Personal Videos: A Powerful Way to Support Your Brand

personal videosAre you ready to use personal videos to support your brand? Perhaps you should be. After all, video has quickly become a cornerstone of marketing in today’s digital world. And isn’t your job search is all about marketing?

So, yes… it’s time to develop some new marketing skills!

Why are Personal Videos So Popular?

Personal videos give people a better sense of who you are and reinforce your brand. They also help establish trust.

Here’s what’s happening.

People use mobile devices all the time which provides us with instant access to information and overwhelms us with news, entertainment and work correspondence. And add to this our obsession with multi-tasking and our short attention spans. All of these factors have increased our fondness for video.

Thanks to the low cost and fairly simple technology, almost anyone can make videos, including you.

Adding personal videos to your digital portfolio can improve your reach online and perhaps attract the attention of recruiters and hiring managers without having to clear the hurdle of an impersonal application.

Are you ready? Here are tips to get you started creating your first video!

Video Topics

While you could film yourself delivering your pitch, or record a video resume, that may not be enough to engage viewers.

A better strategy is to highlight your industry knowledge or subject matter expertise. Remember, you want to establish yourself as an expert.

The topic and style of your video should fit with your industry and align with your personal brand. For inspiration, watch videos on Facebook and Instagram and adapt to your message and style.

Here’s a list of topics for videos to build your brand:

  • Introduce yourself
  • Discuss an industry trend
  • Record a how-to video
  • Share job-related tips and hacks
  • Interview someone
  • Ask a question
  • Preview events you will be attending
  • Record live updates during an event
  • Show your day at work
  • Film yourself during volunteer projects
  • Compile photos and videos that showcase your professional life

Video Editing Tools

If you already have an idea of what you want to produce, that’s half the battle. The next steps involve creating the actual video and perhaps adding music or audio.

There are a lot of free video editing software and apps. Some work on your desktop while others only work on your mobile device. Some work on both.

If you are looking for a list of free apps or software, check out this list by Buffer

The benefit of using software or an app to create and edit your video is that they allow you to choose the best dimensions to fit the social networking platform you share it on.

If you want to share personal videos on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter, it’s best to use a horizontal video format. But if you want to share a video on Instagram, you’ll need to use a square format and you will need to share it to Instagram from your mobile device or phone (unless you have another paid tool).

Your video can be as simple as stringing together photos in a video. I like to use Wave.video to do this. It costs a little to have this tool, but it’s super simple.

Video Player

As a writer, I like to have my articles automatically converted into video with Lumen 5. It pulls key concepts from the article and puts them into video slots. I can edit all the video content. It even has a library of free photos you can use in your video.

Video Playe

Adding Transcription To Your Video

If you plan on adding audio, it is recommended you transcribe the video. This means you see the words appearing at the bottom of the video. Data suggests that most people watch a video with the volume off, so if you are talking, people won’t hear you.

The fastest (and easiest way) to this is to use a transcription service such as Rev Transcription Services. For as little as $1/minute you’ll receive a transcription of your video which you upload with your video.

Share Personal Videos On Social Media

To give your video even more exposure, share it on social media! Sharing your video on different social platforms helps expand your reach and gives your personal network a glimpse of your professional life. For a full list of preferred video dimensions, check out this post by Sprout Social.

Stories, Native Video, and Live Video

The Stories status update on Facebook and Instagram offers a way to share a photo or video with your friends or followers that will be available for 24 hours. Sharing Stories can be a good way to share updates if you don’t mind that they’ll expire.

LinkedIn launched native video. This simply means that you record your personal videos directly within LinkedIn’s mobile app. (It isn’t a video you’ve saved to Youtube and link to) You would start the video by using the video camera in the status update box. The video can be saved to your mobile device and you can upload it. The benefit of native LinkedIn video is that it gets more views.

Live video is a different beast altogether. LinkedIn and Facebook both offer Live video where people can interact with your video in real-time either by adding comments or adding reactions to your video. These are great if you want to engage with people watching you live! The benefit is that live video is real-time and people can interact with you.

Best Practices for Personal Videos

You aren’t expected to create videos using professional cameras; cellphone recordings are common. You should, however, follow these tips to ensure higher quality.

Camera | Plan to use your phone’s rear camera. Most phones have larger apertures and offer higher resolution from this lens. Keep the camera steady by using a tripod.

Length | Keep your video short! Most marketing videos are under three minutes. Some platforms limit how long your video can be.

Background | Avoid a cluttered or distracting background. If you’re shooting in an office environment, make sure confidential materials and other brand logos are tucked away. You don’t want to inadvertently endorse another brand.

Body language| Try to be as natural as possible by smiling, using subtle hand gestures and looking into the camera.

Lighting: Natural lighting is usually adequate, but if it’s too dark, change your location or add lights. Watch for shadows on your face that will distract the viewer. Be sure you are not sitting in front of a window, which will only highlight your silhouette.

Call to action| Tell the viewers how to contact you or what else to do after they’ve watched the video. At the end, share your website, social media username, LinkedIn URL or email address to make it easy to reach you.

Whether you are actively job seeking or just trying to amplify your personal brand, learning how to create personal videos is going to benefit your career.

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Hannah Morgan hiring prosAbout the Author: Hannah Morgan is a career sherpa, guiding new job seekers through the treacherous terrain of job search. If you are looking for no-nonsense advice, check out her site Career Sherpa. And follow Hannah on Twitter for the latest job search news and trends!

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