man and woman sitting at table shooting video

Videos are one of the most important forms of content you can create in order to connect to your audience. The viewers can’t get enough of them, and the feed algorithms favor videos for that reason. If your engagement is tanking or you want to reach more people, it’s time to shake off your fears and get to creating video. Not just any video but that which is valuable, honest, or entertaining. My clients are always asking for this so I thought I’d share it with you too: a video checklist. Read on to get a better understanding of the steps you’ll want to go through to make great video content for social media. I’ve also got a printout for you to use and save for the next time you pull out your camera.

Be Efficient

woman in chair on video shoot video checklistBefore I was a social media consultant, I was a professional organizer and I still use those tactics in my work. So many obstacles can stand in the way of us achieving our goals (I’m included here) after all, we’re human. What I’ve found helps people of all kinds be more efficient, productive, and likely to complete is to batch tasks together.

Think like a chef. Instead of cutting just one carrot that you need for a recipe, keep going and cut a lot of them for snacks and future recipes. They call that prepping. If you’re an artist, you prep as many canvases as you can at once rather than one at a time. It’s just an efficient use of your time.

You’ve got your camera out, shoot as many videos as you can in one sitting. I call this batch production. We’re making a whole batch of videos in one session then spreading them out over time.

More Info

I’m not a professional videographer but I have been shooting video for social media for 16 years. I’ve hired pros, shot it myself, been on the production end as well as front-of-camera. I was a professional model and actress long ago in traditional media spaces so my experience incorporates how that world works in addition to digital-only.

(Fun fact, I was in the original iMovie promo film. You can watch it here.)

I’m going to list out what you need to think about, scroll down to the bottom of this blog to access a print out of the video checklist, and then explain some of them in greater detail. Check out my blog 5 Steps for Better Video to help you craft the content itself.

two women in camera host video checklistPre-production

  • Write a script, then increase the font so it can be easily read when it’s printed out. I use a bulleted script instead. Read more about that below.
  • Create a shot list, make note of where videos will be distributed for aspect ratio changes
  • Prep multiple outfit changes, jewelry, makeup touch up
  • Scout locations and changes in backdrop
  • Charge batteries on devices, bring plugs, extension cords

Production

  • Bring all the gear
  • Clean your lens
  • Use a tripod to get shots at eye level or higher and to stabilize the shot
  • Use a ring light or natural lighting
  • Adjust camera settings to highest quality & highest frames per second (fps)
  • Keep the subject in sharp focus, don’t cut off the top of the subject’s head
  • Minimize background noise, use external microphone if necessary
  • Make sure background isn’t projecting light at the camera and isn’t distracting to the viewer
  • Take test shots and video to check lighting, sound, and background
  • Shots to capture (still image and video) – wide, medium, up close, behind the scenes
  • Once you’ve gotten your shot list done, shoot anything natural and spontaneous

Notes about being on camera – almost everyone feels uncomfortable. Don’t worry about it too much. Don’t take yourself too seriously. I love to really lean into the bloopers because then I laugh at myself and it helps me relax and find my true smile and real voice.

Use your script to practice what you want to say. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to hit every word. I like to use bullet points instead of a full script because then I don’t read the script and it sounds more natural (resource on how to sound natural). I use the first few takes to nail down what I’m going to say and I take note of where I babble or get off track. I write out the bullet points in a dark felt tip marker and tape it up underneath the camera so I can easily see the points I want to make.

woman with ring light video checklistWhen it comes to makeup, I don’t normally wear it. Like ever. Except when I’m doing a really important batch of videos or I’m speaking on a stage with powerful lights. I’ve hired a professional makeup artist and stylist for some shoots. They’re worth the money. But you don’t need to do that for every video you create.

If I’m shooting a more casual video, I’ll just wear lipstick or gloss to bring color to my lips because they wash out on camera. (BTW did you know that Zoom has makeup filters? They do! I have a light lipstick filter that’s automatically applied to my face when I’m on virtual calls. It’s the best!) Bring with you any makeup touch-up you’d like. You’re using extra lights and working hard, you will likely get warm and become shiny and it’s noticeable on camera. Any blotting tool you can use will be worth the effort.

Postproduction

  • Download all footage to a file for organizing
  • Only use essential footage so viewers don’t get bored
  • Make sure audio levels are consistent when editing takes together
  • Create templates for graphics – intro, outro, CTAs
  • hand on keyboard editing software video checklistUse professional titles
  • Avoid typefaces/fonts: Comic Sans, Papyrus, Chiller, Curlz etc
  • Recommend standard: Helvetica
  • Use closed captioning, if possible, for accessibility
  • Confirm you’re using proper specifications, aspect ratio, and export settings for each channel
  • Plan the order which they’ll be released
  • Schedule videos or put manual publishing dates on your calendar
  • Include keyword rich descriptions that summarize the theme or content of the video for search engines to serve accurately

Notes – Keep it short, friend! Really. Two minutes or less. Here’s the data to prove it. Have a long video you need to use? Edit it down to smaller pieces and make it a series. If you can’t keep it short because you’re a talker (I’m looking at myself), you need to edit out the unnecessary parts.

Search the term “video specifications for YouTube” or Instagram or any other channel you need. The information should be less than a year old as the specs change often. Check the dates on what you read or filter your search results for a recent time frame. There’s a lot to know about capture quality, length, aspect ratio, and exporting. Every platform is different and you’ll get better each time you do it.

Closed Captioning is the kind you can turn off, open remains on always. No matter which one you use, it’s important you consider using them. 70% of viewers watch videos with no sound. If they can’t understand your video on silent, they’ll keep scrolling. It’s also accessible for those that are deaf or hard of hearing. We want everyone to enjoy the videos we make. It’s worth it! Many of the services have a captioning option built in. If you’re using your video in multiple places, you may want to provide your own.

Keyword rich titles and descriptions are extremely important! This goes for any media you publish on the internet. Search engines don’t have eyes and can’t “see” content the way humans can. They depend on the words you include in your video titles and descriptions to know what the content is about and how to serve it to viewers. After all, you aren’t making content for it not to be seen! Learn more about how to use keywords in your posts to be successfully found in search and social.

If You’re Hiring a Professional Editor

  • Discuss the best way to transfer files between you (I like Google Drive)
  • Give any production notes they need for edits
  • Review files
  • Provide notes for any changes
  • Download final files into your records

 

Notes – A long time ago, I didn’t know much about editing and I wasn’t very patient. I needed an editor to get them completed. I still use a hired pro occasionally but now I shoot videos in a way that they don’t need a lot of editing, the editing tools are easier to use, and I’m improving my skills with every shoot I do.

Kerry Rego video checklist 2Tools I Use

  • Cameras – iPhone 13Pro & Nikon CoolPix P610
  • Tripod – any brand will do, needs a phone holder
  • Ring Light – any will do, cheap ones die quickly
  • Editing – iMovie
  • Graphics – Canva
  • Captions – Rev

Notes – These are the tools I use and recommend to my clients (no sponsorship). You can see a larger list of my tools here. I’d love to get a gimbal, if anyone wants to hook me up see my Amazon Wish List.

You Can Do It!

Just like anything else, it takes practice. The more organized you are, the more efficient you can be in creating great content and connecting with a wide audience. Now go shoot some video!

Let me know if you need some help. I’m here for you.

Get the Video Checklist!Be More Efficient
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