Why should I use video?

Robert Weiss

What you will learn in this course

Lesson 1: What should be in my video?
Lesson 2: What video format should I use?
Lesson 3: What tools do I need to make my video?
Lesson 4: How do I make a great video?
Lesson 5: Do you have any tips to help my video stick out?

When I first started making videos it took me four hours of trial and error and research just to figure out how to export a video that wasn’t 120GB – that is huge. Two months into it, I realized that I had my camera on the wrong settings. I wish that I knew then what I know now. That is what we want to do for you, give you all the basics you need to create a video your audience wants to see.

I am also tired of seeing terrible videos online that miss the mark or don’t deliver the information well. So here is a chance for us to fix that problem.

In the first lesson, we’ll cover different content ideas for your first video and go over what format this content can take. Now that you know what you want to make I will cover how to actually capture that video in a way that won’t turn people off. Next up is how to get the video edited and posted. Finally, I will give you a couple of tips that will elevate your video above the others.

If at any point you have questions or want some advice on how to get your message across please contact me. See you soon!

You can reach me, Patrick Lothian, at p3lothian@live.com.

What should be in my video?

Jason Acidre

My favorite type of video is one that explains your “why.” People become your true fans and customers because they connect with your mission and purpose. There is no better way to jump start that connection allowing your team to visually explain your mission.

The best part is that you can shoot a simple, inexpensive video and still have a great impact. Some people might even feel more connected because it is like a peek behind the curtain.

So don’t get scared away because you can’t spend big money on equipment or a video project. This tells how to get your message across with any budget. Step one is figuring what your video’s content will be.

What video format should I use?

“Humans are incredibly visual and powerful, moving images help us find meaning… [and] video helps capture and contextualize the world around us.”
Dan Patterson

Now that you know what your video is about, it’s time to figure out your format. It is always time to figure out the level of production. You want to pick a format that matches up with the quality you can produce. You don’t want to use a handheld phone when trying to show how amazing your product or service is because that takes away from your message. You also want to keep your expectations in alignment with your purpose for the video. You want it to look great, but let’s be honest, it won’t look like a Hollywood produced film – and it doesn’t have to.

And don’t worry if you don’t have money to buy a $10,000 camera. In the next lesson I’ll walk through the steps to take to improve your production at any level. For now, let’s focus on the format you would like to create and we will go from there.

What tools do I need to make my video?

“The sheer cost of video production has come down to a point where there are no barriers to entry. Buyers have devices that can play videos with them at all times… [and] are engaging in 100% more information year-over-year before they make a buying decision.”
Joe Pulizzi

Shooting video can be very expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. The price of some of these tools has fallen so much that great video can be shot without expensive gear. There are also some simple hacks that can be used to make cheap gear feel expensive.

If you want any advice on some more advanced tools or want to know what we own send us a message. For now, here is a list of the basics.


Here are some cameras to consider.

  • Low End – Your smartphone
  • Mid Range – DSLR
  • High End – Black Magic


We said it before and we’ll say it again. Audio is just as important as video. You can choose from two paths – buying a mic that records into your camera, or buying a separate audio recorder. The separate recorder is going to give you a better result, but it adds another step in the editing process.


Most people don’t think about lights, but this can make the biggest difference in the quality of your image. You don’t have to break the bank either. Simple LED work lights from Home Depot may work just fine. But if you want to diffuse or spread out the light, make sure you use a light non-flammable material to cover the light panels.


How do I make a great video?

“Give them quality. That’s the best kind of advertising.”
Milton Hershey

First, let’s go over some tips.

Audio is just as important as video. Most people don’t focus on audio but really should. Most viewers can let bad visuals pass, but when their brain hears bad audio it tells them the video is bad as well.

NO COMEDY. Unless you are a pro don’t try to be funny. There is nothing more painful than someone not connecting with humor.

NO SCRIPTS. There is no better way to show something stale than to read off of a script. We will see you reading. And don’t memorize it either. That just doesn’t sound natural. The only time you should use a script is for voiceover.

Go Hands Free. Don’t hold anything. If you have papers or a water bottle the audio will pick up any motions with it. Also, if you have notes, you’ll use them even if you don’t have to. If you need notes, put them face down and look at them between takes.

Clean Up. Look at the background of your video. Have a stuffed animal sitting behind you? People will stare at it and miss your message. We’re naturally distracted like that. So don’t give them a reason to look elsewhere.

Sunlight. Don’t shoot with a window behind the subject. Most cameras cannot capture you and the outside at the same time. Either you will look really dark or the outside will be completely white, especially on beautiful sunny days.

Sit up straight. It looks really bad when you are slouching in a video and takes the energy away. One more tip. Use a non-swiveling or reclining chair.

Keep It Short. Make the video as short as possible while putting in the needed info. Under two minutes is best. Some would say under one minute. You can have longer videos for tutorials, but people generally don’t have long attention spans.


Do you have any tips to help my video stick out?

Brick Marketing
Joe Pulizzi

Now you know what makes a great video, there are still plenty of things you can do to make sure yours stands above the others. This includes using video and pictures as b-roll. When you are filming your subject make sure to film around the area for things that are related to your subject or the message of the video. If your subject talks about an award get video or pictures of the award to add to the video. This kind of extra work goes a long way to keep the viewer interested. Remember we get bored easily, so the more you can change it up the better. Below are a couple of more add-ons to think about adding to your video.

Video Bumper

Video bumpers are great. They are the quickest way to brand your videos so people always know it is coming from you no matter where they are watching. Think of the Disney logo you see before every film they make. All you need to do is create a simple animation of your logo and URL moving into place. You can even do a simple fade in if you have to. These can also be used on websites or on screens at trade shows. If this sounds interesting then don’t miss the offer below.

Video Opening

A video opening happens right after the bumper to introduce the specific video content. Think of it as the show credits on a TV show. The peacock animation was the bumper for the network and then the credits were the opening of the video. These can add interest to what you are about to see and give your video a little more of a professional look. But be careful. Making your opening 30 seconds long is a quick way to lose your audience.


Adding music to either your opening or entire video makes your can provide a more professional feel that is much more engaging. It also helps cover up any problems with the audio. Unless you have the most expensive audio equipment you are going to get some background noise or hissing and this will cover that right up. Make sure to try different types of music because it will affect the feel of your video.

The Offer

Alright. You got all that? Video is so cool, so essential to your company, so valuable.

To help jump start your video production project we’re offering a Free Video Bumper (your company’s logo animated) for the first 10 people to reach out. Want John Lothian Productions to do all the work for you and include the bumper? No problem. How about about a 20% discount on your first video with John Lothian Productions that we will also include as sponsored content in the industry-renowned John Lothian Newsletter. You tell us what you have in mind and we’ll help bring that concept to a finished video. 

If at any point you have questions or want some advice on how to get your message across please contact me. Hope you enjoyed the class. You can also access the whole class on our website. Send me your videos once you make them. I would love to see them.

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