People only read an average of 19 minutes a day, including texts, emails, social media posts, and books. As important as written communications are, other mediums are on the rise in terms of capturing attention from potential customers. Today I want to talk about video. YouTube serves over 1 billion hours of video a day and climbing. Most of the world consumes more video. So, are you using video to earn more small business customers?



One detail about your business that I see entrepreneurs underestimate is that what you do is often more interesting than you think. Okay, it’s true: Some of you have boring businesses. No one would ever want to watch a video of someone filling out an insurance form. But that doesn’t mean the information you know can’t be made interesting. There are tons of videos like this that prove the point.


Often times, what you sell can be interesting. I saw this swell video about coffee making. Or if you prefer beer, here’s my pal Sam Calagione walking you through one of Dogfish Head’s beers being made.


Video Isn’t SUPER Hard Once You Break It Down


To make video, you need only a few tools and a little bit of creativity. For instance, you don’t need a lot of tech. Your smartphone and the camera built into your laptop is a decent start. Let’s talk tech first and then production.




    • Something to shoot with - use your smartphone and laptop camera to start
    • Lighting - you can use something as tiny as this Lume Cube Air or get a little more fancy with a ring light kit
    • Editing - use iMovie on a Mac or Microsoft Photos on a PC
    • Music - if you want to get a little more fancy, get a subscription to and throw that into the mix.




Video needs to serve your buyer. If you want to do a behind-the-scenes video on how your shop bakes wedding cakes, people will love it. If you want to interview your air conditioner installers to show what separates you from the competition is service, that’s great.


Start with a story. “I’m going to interview the president and a couple employees about a typical day here at the fish market.” From this, you can start to figure out what you’ll need. Obviously, you’ll need the interview video footage. You’ll also want some clips of the market, some of the workers doing their jobs, and so on. But what should you shoot?


My favorite secret to teaching people how to make videos for work is to look at and break down other videos to get a sense for what reallywent into making it. Scroll back up to the coffee making video above. Count how many clips of video show up in the first five seconds. I got 6 or 7. (That’s a little more than one clip per second.)


Your first recording/production tip is this: shoot lots and lots of tiny clipsof video to go with the longer ones. Get lots of angles, zoomed in and out, and use them to enhance the story. Notice in the coffee video, the clips showed loose grounds, then a menu sign (I’d have put that in somewhere else), then tamped down grounds, then coffee poured in, then steam coming out of the espresso machine.


Editing is Where It’s At


Once you shoot all the video clips you need, toss them into iMovie or Microsoft Photos (open a new project and you’ll see where to drag everything). This is the editing phase. (You can ask YouTube for a few tutorials on either software. There are literally thousands of videos to help you.)


Trim the clips to grab only the action you need. Phil DeFranco explains why jump cuts are important in this video. It’s what separates out useful video from “just a bit too long” video.


If you decide to add some music underneath clips, you might do two things: 1.) lower the music clips when people are speaking and 2.) lower the sound on your video clips if it doesn’t add to the experience. (That’s the very basics of sound editing in a few sentences.)


How Long Should Your Videos Be?


There are a few “magical” lengths of video to consider.


    • 30 seconds - 1 minute - this will get the most views.
    • 1 - 3 minutes - most people want nothing more than this.
    • 10 minutes plus - now you have a “show” length. People love shows, if they already have a video consumption habit. 


Notice what’s missing? The middle. Between 3 and 10. That’s the weird “people don’t watch these as often” times. Why that is the case is still up for debate.


Upload and Share


I post my videos to a few different places. I post to YouTube because it is, by far, the most used video service in the world. I add my videos to LinkedIn because they’re investing heavily in showing off video right now. I sometimes post to Facebook. I link to my YouTube account via Twitter, and I post some of my videos on my business website.


People’s number one protest to me about making and posting video is that THEY don’t watch videos online.


1.  Usually, people under-report how much video they actually watch, forgetting everything they scroll through on Facebook.

2.   Even if YOU don’t watch a lot of video, people of Earth do.

3.   Maybe you should watch more video.


There’s gold in here. It takes practice, but not as much as you’d think. Peek at some of my videos. They’re simple as anything. Often just talking head videos. But they serve my business well. You can do the same for yours!


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About Chris Brogan



Chris Brogan is an author, keynote speaker and business advisor who helps companies update organizational interfaces to better support modern humans. The age of factory-sized interactions is over. We all come one to a pack. And it’s time to accept that we are all a little bit dented. Chris advises leadership teams to empower team members by sharing actionable insights on talent development. He also works with marketing and communications teams to more effectively reach people who want to be seen and understood before they buy what a company sells.


Web: Twitter: @ChrisBrogan

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Bank of America, N.A. engages with Chris Brogan to provide informational materials for your discussion or review purposes only. The third parties within articles are used under license from Chris Brogan. Consult your financial, legal and accounting advisors, as neither Bank of America, its affiliates, nor their employees provide legal, accounting and tax advice.


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