Recently, Kontent360 closed a £20,000 deal as a direct consequence of an abridged version of this video I posted on LinkedIn.
One of my contacts saw the video and forwarded it to his Head of Marketing who scheduled a call with me. One week later, we signed a large content development deal.
And this was one of my less popular videos on LinkedIn. It got 1,097 views, 9 likes and 2 comments.
I’m posting videos on LinkedIn almost once a week and I usually get between 1,500 and 2,500 views. Each week’s video gets me around 5 new subscribers to my email list and one project inquiry.
Granted, I have 3,000+ contacts on LinkedIn, so that helps, but take whichever number you have and you’ll quite likely have similar results.
It turns out that LinkedIn is pretty spectacular for videos.
First of all, videos on LinkedIn are rare. Take a scroll through your newsfeed and less than 5% are videos that auto-play (without sound) as you scroll. Most people posts text updates. Video is more difficult to produce and that’s why you stand out if you do it.
Second – the organic reach you get is phenomenal. When was the last time you, a small B2B company, got 2,000 reads on a blog post? Yet video gets me 2,000 views each week. It’s pretty impossible to get this exposure for free, unless you already have a big audience.
In this blog post, I will give you the recipe to replicate this success.
What should your video be about?
Basically whatever a blog post would be about. Anything that serves your audience. A great way to kill two birds with one stone is to simply talk about a blog post you’ve written in a conversational style. This is a good example I did: I wrote a blog post on the topic of Content Market Fit and then simply talked about the idea in a conversational manner. Again: 2,000+ views, 31 likes. (By the way, while these are vanity metrics, they show that I’m hitting my audience’s spot. Content is there to be consumed. And as we’ve seen, these vanity metrics do drive business, too).
Length doesn’t matter. Ignore those who tell you that video needs to be a certain length. A video is as long as it needs to be. Cut out fluff in your script but don’t artificially constrain yourself to some arbitrary maximum minute figure only because your guru of choice says so. If you always aim to serve your audience in the best possible manner, length is irrelevant.
Presentation or talking into the camera?
You’ll notice that my video above contains a presentation and I’m not showing my face. Is this better than talking to the camera? Again, it depends. If you want to talk about a complex concept that is best visualised, use a presentation.
But when either works, talk to the camera. Humans are drawn to faces. It also makes your company more concrete. In the end, your clients will work with people, not with a company. And so it’s great to see the people’s faces. Don’t be discouraged if you feel you don’t look good on camera or think you’re not a good speaker. Here’s how to overcome this issue.
How to become a good speaker in front of the camera.
1. Drop the perfectionism. I’m not a good speaker myself yet. I have a bit of experience now but I still cringe when I watch myself. But already I can tell how I’m getting better, and editing my own videos helps me become acquainted with my mannerisms and improve on the next video. As long as you’ll be getting your point across and are genuine, you’ll be fine. It’s far more important that your content be interesting. As long as your delivery doesn’t outright suck and is just average, content quality matters more.
2. Be prepared to do multiple takes. If you talk off the cuff (i.e. with just a few notes stuck on the wall next to the camera, not reading a script), you will need multiple takes. Just let the camera run and accept that the first 3 takes will go in the bin. I had to do 15 takes in one of my most recent videos. I know
3. Slow down. It’s much better to speak slowly than to speed up and down. Your viewers can always speed you up if they think you talk too slowly. Most amateur speakers vary their number of words per 5-second intervals considerably. Pro speakers are much more consistent. I’m certainly guilty of that. I tend to talk fast until I lose my train of thought and then just stammer around. Instead, if you can even out the amplitudes and constantly talk at the same comfortable speed, it’s far easier to listen to.
4. Drop the fluff. Forget about long elaborate greetings and talking about trivialities at the beginning of the video. I see many inexperienced YouTubers do this, they talk about their day or why they are wearing a certain t-shirt etc. Go RIGHT into the topic at hand. Unless you have a devoted audience who loves you personally, no one cares about your day’s back story.
5. Keep at it. Over time, you’ll know how to improve. Force yourself to watch your videos after you’ve published them. With a bit of distance, you’ll see your video with fresh eyes and notice which things you need to improve. For example, one thing I noticed about myself is that I repeat myself a lot. I make a point and then reiterate it using different words. Often, it’s not necessary and it makes for tedious watching. So I’m much more aware of it now.
What to do when you mess up a sentence
Whether you read off a teleprompter or are just riffing with a few (mental) notes: You will mess up the flow of words coming out of your mouth. How to fix this in a way you don’t have to do the whole take over and over again?
First of all, I wouldn’t worry about it. Even when you stumble over your words, just leave it in. People are forgiving of mistakes.
Then, see if you can support some of your points with visuals. Look at my video below (the one about RolePoint). There are a few instances where you don’t see me but see the book I’m presenting. Those bits are a god-send because all I had to do in this video is to get my words straight until 2:12 where I showed the book and I wasn’t in the picture. And video that’s only audio and not you moving your mouth in the picture means you can cut out errors. If you had to cut out errors while you’re talking you’d have weird jump cuts in the video.
If you do need to do jump cuts, e.g. you say sentence 1 correctly, and mess up sentence 2, start sentence 2 all over again. Not just the last few words. During editing, you will then make a cut after sentence 1 and plug in new sentence 2.
You can do your videos just using your smartphone.
But putting in a little bit of an effort will make your visuals pop and you will stand out.
If you want more of a studio feel instead of a wobbly video selfie, here is the equipment I use:
- Camera: Canon EOS 200D £520
- Camera tripod: Zomei Q666 – currently it’s out of stock on Amazon. I recommend buying something above £50. You want this one to be sturdy and heavy. Not one of those flimsy £15 stands. After all, it’s carrying a £500 camera.
- Extra Light: Abeststudio Soft Boxes £46 – you always need more light than you think. Just let those babies shine in your face like you’re being interrogated by Scotland Yard. Place them one on each side 1m diagonally in front of you, at a 45 degree angle. Also, place a light somewhere behind you. It’ll add depth to the light setting.
- Teleprompter – You can either buy a teleprompter or build your own. It’s surprisingly simple. Follow the instructions in this video.
- Audio Recording – don’t skimp on audio. As most YouTubers will confirm – good video is mainly about good audio. Also worth noting for novices (I didn’t know this before): You will record your audio totally separately from your video. You talk into the camera, the camera records the image, but you record your voice on a separate device. When you then assemble the video, you then overlay these two channels, sync up the audio with the video, and delete the crappy audio that your camera recorded.
- For talking to the camera. I just clip on a mic on my shirt and plug into my phone which is in my pocket.
- Clip-on mic £9.50
- Any free recording app, I use Voice Recorder on Android
- For screen cast recordings (PowerPoint)
- device: Zoom H6 £259. This one is used by professionals, I took the recommendation from Tim Ferriss. Less relevant for the videos where you talk directly to the camera, this one is good for clean, quality audio when recording screen casts. It’s a bit of audio luxury, though, and using the clip-on mic above should be good enough. In that case, you can omit the Zoom H6.
- Shure Mic £108, mic foam cover £7, XLR cable £3, mic stand £6
- For talking to the camera. I just clip on a mic on my shirt and plug into my phone which is in my pocket.
- And finally, for editing I use Adobe Premiere Pro. £30/month or something like that, depends on the plan you have with Adobe. I found it extremely intuitive and easy to learn, and whatever you don’t know how to do there’s a tutorial on YouTube.
You’ll get more engagement with the video on LinkedIn if you add subtitles to it. See this video of mine. Not sure if subtitles have been the cause, but this one had very good viewing and my best engagement figures so far.
The reason subtitles work is that often people who start watching your video see it auto-play when they are scrolling through their feed. And if you give subtitles they instantly see what your video is about. If it interests them, they will turn up the volume. But if they see just your face moving but they cannot hear you, they don’t know what you’re talking about and they will scroll past you.
Here are great instructions how to create subtitles in Adobe Premiere Pro.
How to upload the video to LinkedIn
Don’t just upload the video to YouTube and then post the link to the video on LinkedIn – you won’t get as much engagement with that vs if you upload the video natively to LinkedIn. The reason is in the previous chapter – the video will only auto-play if it’s on LinkedIn, not just a link to YouTube.
Here’s how to do it:
1. Start creating a post
2. Click on this icon
3. Upload the video.
Important: It can be max 10 minutes long. If your video is longer than 10 minutes, I recommend you simply chop it off at 9:30 and insert a call to action that directs people to your website where you post the entire video.
Make it a habit
Finally, one very productive hack was for me to set up the equipment in one corner of my home office and leaving it there permanently. Now, when recording a video, I just switch on the camera and the lights, plug in the mic and am able to roll in a matter of 2 minutes. Psychologically that’s a big barrier gone, and I have fewer excuses to not record a video.
I hope this was useful. Remember, this practice will drive new business for you, so commit to doing videos regularly. Don’t expect success with the first few videos. But if after 3 months you haven’t seen results, then it’s time to reconsider. Until then, don’t think twice and just do it.
Follow Kontent360 on Twitter or Facebook, follow me on LinkedIn, and if you feel like all of this above is too much for you to do, get in touch with us at Kontent360 and we can do all your company videos for you.