Top 10 Ways to Make Your Videos Crazy Good

Does the word “video” strike a little fear in your heart? You’re not alone. Making a video can be intimidating but it doesn’t have to be an elaborate production. Idea Decanter is here to ease those fears and make things easier when producing a video.

Idea Decanter co-founder Laura Garfield recently shared the Top 10 Ways to Make Your Videos Crazy Good on the Crazy Good Talks podcast. Here’s what she covered…

10. Tell a Story:

Stories are what connect us. Stories are what make you real and help build a connection with your audience. It’s that simple. A great example of this is from an advisor out of Colorado. Idea Decanter produced a video for him called Prepare to Live a Long Life. He told the story about his grandfather who lived to be 104. It’s a story that draws people in and is a powerful way to deliver his message on retirement planning. Telling this story creates a realistic picture for your audience. 

9. Use the You:

Video is one on one. It’s you speaking to a specific person and you have to make that person feel seen. You can do this by using the word “you.” Don’t speak in third party. Saying “you” allows you to make a connection. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule like if you’re speaking to a group of clients. 

8. Sniper Content:

A Shotgun Approach to messaging is messaging that can apply to anyone; your audience could be any prospective client. A Sniper Approach is a specific kind of person with a specific kind of problem. This tends to be the kind of content that gets to the heart of an issue and therefore tends to drive more views. A great example of Sniper Content… Idea Decanter works with a Canadian advisor who specializes in working with Americans who are living in Canada. He has a video that talks about what happens when you have an IRA in the US and you’re living in Canada. Turns out, there’s a $10k consequence each year for not handling your IRA properly. He addresses this very specific issue in what we would classify as a Sniper Approach Video. An example of a Shotgun Approach would be a video on how do you know when it’s time to retire. It’s a much broader topic, applicable to a bigger audience.

7. Have a Clear Call to Action:

They’ve watched the video, now it’s time to give the viewer an obvious next step. They want to know what to do next, so don’t hesitate to tell them. Be clear. Tell them to visit your website. Tell them to contact you and how. If you don’t give them a next step, it’s likely they’ll do nothing.

6. Keep it Short:

Idea Decanter’s rule of thumb is three minutes or less. Your audience doesn’t have the attention span to stick around for a long video. Editing a script down to around 150 to 300 words is a great length of time to hold your viewers attention. It’s also important to take into account your speech cadence for timing. Someone with a southern drawl will likely take a longer time speaking compared to a fast-paced New York native. 

5. Take Time to Light:

Good lighting makes such a difference in your video. A simple way to overcome lighting obstacles, turn off your overhead lights. They’re not flattering (even if you do have movie star good looks) and can cast dark shadows on your face. Instead position yourself in a room with a window, where some natural light can fall on you. You’ll get an even better result by adding some artificial lighting.

4. Get a Good Mic:

Idea Decanter uses the Rode SmartLav, which is a clip-on mic that can plug into an iPhone. We tested several microphones and found you definitely get what you pay for. It’s worth investing in the Rode SmartLav. It’s also important to consider background noise. Turn off your phone. Silence your computer. And be sure your co-workers know your recording so they’re not singing show tunes in the hallway. 

3. Add Captions:

Close to 85% of content consumed online has the audio muted. Oftentimes people are in situations where they’re looking at their phones but they can’t have the sound on. So it’s important to add captions, otherwise they’re going to pass your video by. There’s a couple of options to do this. You can burn the captions into your video during the editing process. You can add a separate file with captions so they can be turned on and off. Or you can rely on auto-generated captions, but remember this is AI… there can be mistakes so it’s important to review the captions for accuracy. 

2. The Editing Rabbit Hole:

Don’t get lost in the rabbit hole of editing video. Video editing is not easy. It’s time consuming. It’s technical. Paying a professional editor can save you the time and frustration of doing it yourself. 

1. Have a Plan to Promote and Stick to It:

Idea Decanter has worked with countless advisors that have devoted a lot of time to creating content, but then not followed through with pushing it out. Creating a good video is like a football game. You spend so much time on the pre-production, the production and the post-production – that’s just the first three quarters of a football game. You have to finish the game. That means posting and promoting the piece. It’s important to have a strategy in place for when the video is completed. If you don’t have someone on your team to handle this, it’s definitely something you should consider outsourcing. 


5:10 – Tell a Story

7:39 – Use the You

10:15 – Sniper Content

12:27 – Have a Clear Call to Action

14:05 – Keep it Short

16:34 – Take Time to Light

18:14 – Get a Good Mic

20:10 – Add Captions

23:55 – The Editing Rabbit Hole

27:15 – Have a Plan to Promote and Stick to It

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