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It's hard to ignore the importance of video creation for financial advisors. U.S. adults watch 147 minutes of video per day. People want short-form videos more than any other content type, which makes creating a quality video essential.
Creating videos is daunting because people tend to think they need expensive equipment and a professional setup. That's not always the case, though. Over the last three years, I've successfully created over 107 videos using only my phone.
Here are my six best tips for creating high-quality video content using your smartphone.
1. Use the rear camera, not the selfie one
Everyone loves a good selfie, but when creating video content, there are better options. With the rear camera, you capture higher-quality video and establish the right framing and clarity.
Pro tip: Invest in a phone tripod. Using a tripod will stabilize the image and save you from shaky video.
2. Turn on the grid
Most smartphone cameras have a setting that allows you to turn on a grid, which makes framing shots much easier by allowing you to position yourself appropriately in the frame.
Pro tip: Your head should be between the two vertical lines, and your eyes should be above the top horizontal line.
3. Take advantage of natural light
Light is one of the easiest ways to make your video look more professional. But professional lighting is not necessary for a professional video. Lucky for us, the sun is an excellent source of natural light. Take advantage of windows or other natural light sources to brighten your production.
Pro tip: Sit facing your light source. That way, the light streams onto your face, allowing you to stand out from your background.
4. Adjust your phone settings for video quality
Most smartphones have options to adjust how video is recorded. Changing these settings can improve video quality and ensure a smooth editing process. Remember, it's easier to scale your video down after recording than to scale it up.
Pro tip: Before recording, open your camera setting and choose these settings on your phone (specifically for iPhone):
- 4k at 24fps (best resolution for capturing detail and helping footage feel cinematic)
- Toggle off “HDR video” (makes editing easier later)
- Turn off “view outside the frame” (easier to set up shots)
5. Do not text or email videos from phone to computer
Once your video is recorded, the editing process can be done on your phone or computer. Doing it on a computer will give you a wider variety of options, but both can work well.
But before you dive in, take note of how to transfer video from your phone to your computer. Do not text or email it. This will compress the video, dropping its overall quality.
- Upload to Dropbox
- Upload to Google Drive
Pro tip: If editing on your phone, check out Adobe Premiere Rush, a powerful tool that allows you to edit videos on the go from anywhere.
6. A few final touches
As you wrap up video editing, there are plenty of quality-of-life additions that you can include to help your video stand out. These will allow your video to reach a wider audience and improve its accessibility.
Try adding these to improve your video:
- Subtitles for those hard of hearing
- An intro or title screen
- Your logo
- Any disclosures
- Images and charts
Let’s get recording
Starting your video marketing journey may feel daunting, but with the tips above and your smartphone, you are ready to get started.
Samantha Russell is the chief evangelist at FMG Suite. She helps financial advisors create digital marketing strategies that produce explosive growth through website development, content marketing, SEO, social media and video. A prolific speaker and content contributor, she often appears on stage at financial conferences in the pages of well-known industry publications. She is an Investment News 40 Under 40 award winner and was named on the "10 to Watch" list by WealthManagement.com in 2020.