4 Tips to Make Your Videos Look and Sound More Professional (Without Ever Leaving Your Office)

The world of DIY video recording has come a long way in the past 20 years. It’s easier than ever for financial advisors to create amazing video content right from your office. 

Recently I wrote about the benefits of using videos to market your financial advisory business. You can read that here: How Financial Advisors Can Market with Videos and Podcasts

You no longer need to invest thousands  – or even hundreds – of dollars to create great videos. With the right setup, planning and preparation, producing your own video content doesn’t have to be complicated. You can record in your office or home. 

Here are some tips to help you create the right environment for recording so that your videos look and sound good.

Choosing the Right Background

The last thing you want when people watch your video content is for the viewer to be focused on what’s behind you instead of what you’re saying. 

As a financial advisor, your goal is to create a feeling of trust and confidence in you as an expert, so think about how what they see reflects that. 

Begin by setting up your camera in the direction it will face when you record and look at the background with a critical eye. Remove any visual clutter or distractions from the line of sight, and consider if there is anything personal, like family photos, that you don’t want on display. 

If you’re worried about the color of the walls in the office, don’t be. It’s not the color that matters, but how you look against them. For example, if your background wall is a deep red, then a bright orange shirt isn’t the best wardrobe choice for your video content creation day. 

For ideas on how to style your background, check out some Youtube videos like this one

Selecting Your Lighting

Lighting impacts the overall quality of your video content. Too much light and you’ll look washed out; too little and it will look like you’re filming in a cave. 

Natural lighting looks very good on video, but the location of the window matters. The window should be in front of you, not behind you. If the sunlight coming in is too bright, though, you run the risk of stark shadows on your face or having to squint while on camera.

If you can’t depend on natural sunlight, using table or floor lights is a great substitute. The key is trying the lights in different locations to see how you look on camera. If you’re using multiple lights in the space, avoid mixing the color temperature of the lights (yellow versus white), as that can be distracting for viewers. 

Once you’ve tried different options, if you’re still not satisfied with the lights you have, purchase a ring light – a light commonly used for video and photoshoots.

The key to lighting comes down to having plenty of it without over-saturating the camera. You want just enough light so that your face is clear and viewers can easily focus on it. 

Achieving the Best Sound Quality

Nothing gets viewers to turn off a video more quickly than poor sound quality. Viewers are watching to hear what you have to say; you want your audio to be top-notch. 

Achieving good sound quality is all about having the right microphone. Most people choose to go with a lapel mic, however, a stand mic is an option as long as it’s positioned properly to pick up your voice well. 

USB mics are the most popular, as they are cost-effective and easy to operate. Look for a mic that offers the ability to connect directly to the camera so that the audio and video are together in one file. 

One additional consideration for your mic is how loud your environment is. If you plan to work and record in an environment that has a lot of background noise, then think about how that can be minimized. At a minimum, carefully read the reviews of the microphone you’re going to purchase to see what users have to say about background noise and sensitivity or purchase a microphone with noise cancelation.

Ensuring Great Video Footage

If your camera is being held by a person or is just propped up on a table, your videos will be shaky. You need a stable source for your camera placement. 

A simple tripod will hold your camera steady and give you control of the height and orientation of the camera. If you are using a phone or tablet to record, mounting brackets are available that will hold your device securely. If you don’t want to purchase a tripod, you can always prop your camera up on a nearby surface, but it will be difficult to achieve a flattering recording angle and a tablet or phone may be prone to slipping down in the middle of your recording session. 

Final Thoughts on Creating Video Content

Now that you’ve sorted out your background, lighting, and sound, it’s time to put everything to the test. 

For the first time using a setup, record a test video to see if you're happy with the look of the shot, quality, and sound. This gives you the opportunity to adjust and fine-tune your recording environment. 

Once you find the best setup, stick with it for a few videos, then consider if you need to change anything up. Some future improvements to your video content could include shooting from different angles, but the key is to focus on the basics first and then go from there. 

Don’t forget the steps you should take before you get in front of the camera. From your appearance and mindset to planning out what you’re going to say, preparation is key. If you skip over the prep work, filming video content will take much longer, and the overall finished product may not be what you want.  

For additional ideas on how to set your environment for video content, watch a couple of videos like this one to help you get started. 

Are you interested in creating video content but want to make sure it fits well with your overall marketing strategy?

Crystal Marketing Solutions offers solutions for financial professionals looking to craft a strategic roadmap by having a consistent marketing presence that attracts the right customers. Contact us to discuss your needs.

About the Author

Crystal Lee Butler, MBA is a creative marketer and results-oriented business consultant with over a decade of experience collaborating with independent advisers. At Crystal Marketing Solutions, she delivers exceptional insights for financial professionals enabling them to create a consistent marketing presence so they can focus on the things that matter most to them.