In the last two weeks I’ve recorded my first video podcast and vlog.
Here are 6 things that I learnt. I wanted to pass them on here so you don’t end up with outtakes like this — although to be fair I’ve warmed to the outtakes since I recorded them.
1. What Can Everyone See Behind You?
I recorded my first video where I have all my video calls — from my dining room table with the window behind me. I wouldn’t recommend doing this.
As the light changes so does the light in your video — which makes editing it together from different points difficult.
When I tried a first go at my vlog the week after I tried to film a little insert when I was editing. It looked awful as the light had changed so much I could have been recording from a different location. Not good.
After that I moved to the study upstairs where there is plenty of light but none of it is behind me. That way I just look well-lit and not like I’ve been recording all day in a never-ending vlog session.
2. Can Anyone Hear You?
I’ll let you into a little secret. My first video podcast, with Kat Loughrey, is not the first recording that we did.
Kat was so generous with her time and we arranged a Zoom call to record the podcast.
When we were done I was so disheartened to find that what we had recorded was just unusable.
The format I used for the podcast was to record an online conference call using Zoom. Whilst there were a few crackles on the line before we started and while we were recording, I didn’t expect the recording to come out so badly.
I was very lucky that Kat was so understanding and we recorded it again the week after the first attempt. We were both agreed it went far better the second time around, I think we were both more relaxed about it and enjoyed it more.
Have a quick test of the recording quality before you start. Just record and playback a minute or so to check that what you can hear is what is actually being recorded to avoid any crackling or other sounds problems.
No one wants to see frozen screens and hear the audio jumping around. Make sure you have the highest quality for telling everyone your favourite stories, tips and tricks.
3. Who is your guest? Check the (little) details!
I had said Kat’s name out loud a few times but once I said it out loud in front of her I wished that I’d asked her instead of guessing.
Check your guest’s name. Check what they want you to call them and how to pronounce it.
Check their bio. I had read up on Kat from her website and social profiles but actually I should have asked her how she’d like to be introduced.
You know why you’ve invited a guest to join you but your take on what they do might not match up with theirs. Ask what they want you to mention and which projects they are keen for you to highlight.
4. Where is this conversation going?
Think about what you want to talk to your guest about. I sent Kat over a set of questions that I wanted to ask her.
There were a few topics that I thought would be interesting for us to talk about and that I was keen to cover. I also wanted to make sure that Kat knew where the conversation was going and could come back and suggest things she would like to talk about.
We ended up with a long list of questions that I realised we would never get through when we recorded. That didn’t matter. I wanted to make sure there was plenty for us to discuss and we could see where the conversation went, rather than sticking rigidly to just a few questions.
5. Embrace your outtakes.
I didn’t really think about how I would edit the video. I did think I wouldn’t do much editing but it hadn’t occurred to me how I would approach those moments when nothing went to plan.
Watching the video back when I was editing I cut out a little snippet of me tripping over (all) my words. It made me smile. So I used it as a teaser for the episode while I finished editing it. And then as an introduction.
It is nice to see where you went wrong. I didn’t think every single thing would go according to plan and sharing the moment when it didn’t go so well felt fun and honest.
6. Nail your shout outs! Who are you actually referring to?
In my first vlog I wanted to mention a few articles that I feel show the value of content, which was my chosen subject.
At the start of the vlog I managed to namecheck Rand Fishkin and his ideas around 10x content with no problems.
Later on in the recording, however, I had wanted to mention Aaron Orendorff and Nadya Khoja and their great content adventure with “How to Attend a Conference (And Take it Over) Without Even Being a Speaker.”
My fandom came across with the words — I’m paraphrasing but it really was basically this bad- ‘so there was this guy and this girl who went to a conference.’ ARgh!
There are a few problems with this. 1. It’s embarassing. 2. It’s unnecessary — write yourself a note with the name and title of the article before you hit record!
But most of all it leaves you with no way of reaching out to say ‘hey, guess what, I mentioned your amazing article.’
Having seen a great recap of a video from Lewis Howes where he gives links straight to the moment in the video that talks about a certain topic, I had thought of doing something similar. I thought a quick link, starting at the mention, tweeted to those I’d mentioned would be a great little virtual high-five all round.
But then using the words ‘that guy’ doesn’t make for such a great shout out. I shelved that idea for next time, when I’ve remembered to write myself a note of exactly who I’m mentioning!
So, there you have it. 6 things I will not be repeating, laid out for you to go through and action so you don’t have the ‘d’oh’ moments that I did.
I hope you enjoy producing your video content. Please leave me a link in the comments and I’ll be sure to check it out.