Creating Video Content

Let’s talk about video. First, I’ll go over types of video available for your P.I. Machine. Then we will discuss some basic requirements for creating video content.

The four types of video content I use are:

  • Video sales letters
  • Presentation videos
  • Screen capture videos
  • On-camera videos

All these need some sort of video capture device — either computer capture software or a video camera. You will also need some simple video editing software or outsourcing to complete the project.

Video Sales Letters, Presentations Videos and Screen Capture videos can be created on your computer. Screen capture programs are available for both Mac and PC that will allow you to do this.

I’m not certain about Windows, but the Mac operating system includes a screen capture utility. I prefer to use a program called SnagItwhich is available for both PC and Mac. I’ll talk about SnagIt when we get to the screen capture tutorial.

For On-Camera video, you will need a video camera. Today, video cameras are more affordable than ever. Most smartphones can record video and do an excellent job — and though they are not the perfect solution, many people use them for quick recordings.

Some people use their computer camera to record video lessons. I recommend you try to avoid that, because the quality is usually poor.

If you are on a limited budget, phone or computer camera video is definitely a way to get started. I’d recommend only using it for a simple test product though. Then use any income to upgrade your equipment as soon as possible.

Investing in a good video camera will definitely add to the professionalism and perceived value of your online product or course. Remember that everything you put out in your name will reflect on you. If you want to build a base of clients who will buy from you again and again, I recommend you try to offer the best quality possible.

A good HD video camera can be purchased for under $400. Personally, I went with prosumer-level cameras. I find for Internet streaming they do a really good job. I'll include some links below for the cameras I use, along with other possibilities you can check out.

Once you have the capture device, you need to consider how to edit your videos. My Mac came with iMovie installed, and I’ve also used Adobe Premiere Elements 13. I finally settled on Final Cut Pro.

For most P.I. videos, you won’t need anything fancy — just video software that can create cuts and fades, and also allows you to add a music track if you want.

Another possibility is Camtasia Video Editor, made by the same company that produces SnagIt. Camtasia comes with its own screen capture utility, so you can save money by purchasing both together.

Ideally, the editing program should be able to save video in a 720P format. The best file type for online streaming currently is an MP4 video. They are smaller file sizes and yet maintain quality video.

If you are nervous about editing your own video, editing can be outsourced. Again, I would recommend you look to one of the major outsourcing sites such as eLance, Guru or HireMyMom. Fiverr is very tempting, but you want to make certain your video is right — and not going to show up somewhere else for free!

Editing can be time-consuming, so if you decide to outsource, practice your script and try to record in one take. That way the only editing required is adding an intro or fade-in, and ending or fade-out.

If you make mistakes during recording, be sure to take good notes on which “take” you want the editor to use. Verbal cues can help too. After several takes of a scene, you could say, “Use the third one” to indicate which version you felt was best.

I recommend you at least review your raw footage and make notes on the timing of the clips you want to use. That saves your editor from watching the entire clip, because their time costs you money.

Now that you know the equipment and software required, it is time to discuss each type of video production. The next chapters will describe creating the videos to help shorten your learning curve.