It’s become the norm for businesses to post videos about things they specialise in, themselves, their pledges, or their products and services. We want you to do well on our platform, and we know that having an introductory video with yourself in it, talking about the things you do, will give you an advantage over others who don’t. Running any kind of business today requires a certain amount of personal identity attached to it, which creates the confidence in clients that they can trust and relate to you.
That’s not to say people are guaranteed to like you if they view a video of you. Clients just generally want to get a feel for who you are before they opt into your offerings. And the most effective way to get a feel for you is often through watching you speak and gesture your way through an introductory video. Not everyone will watch it, but the ones who do will usually click “play” because they are curious and open to what you have to say.
Creating a script
If you’re already confident talking about yourself and know more or less what you want to say in an introductory video, the best approach is often to just go ahead and shoot the video several times where you improvise what you say until you feel you’ve got it right. This would make you look more natural than if you were following a script, but you may still find the below points useful.
If you don’t know what you’re going to say or how, here are some ways to approach it:
Decide what the purpose of the video is. For example, do you want to give a taster of how you do your sessions, or do you want to sum up what you do and how you’re different from other practitioners? Whatever the intention, sum it up in the first 30 seconds of the video. People will often, without hesitation, stop the video and move on to something else if you don’t get to the point immediately or entice them to keep viewing. So, sum everything up in the first 30 seconds, and elaborate in the rest of the video.
If you’re writing the script word for word, remember to keep the tone conversational and true to how you normally speak, throughout the video. The way you speak is not the same as the way you write a profile description or CV. For example, people naturally speak in long sentences. For example, what would normally be many separate sentences on paper will in speech be a chain of sentences that are all linked up with words such as “and”, “but”, “you know”, “uhm” and so on.
Write a page of notes covering the things you want to say. Instead of writing it all word for word, try to just write keywords so you’re encouraged to use your own, natural wording in the moment you say the things the keywords are meant to trigger. You’ve probably noticed people in some videos talking a bit stiffly and unnaturally, perhaps looking to the side frequently as if reading - that’s what you want to avoid if you want to look completely at ease. On the other hand, if you feel most comfortable reading whole sentences to avoid relying on your abilities to improvise during filming, then that’s the way to go. See how you feel! With practice, whatever you start out with, you’ll improve and inevitably look more confident and natural with time.
Use storytelling in your script to engage viewers and make it easier for them to relate to you. For example, talk about something personal you’ve experienced that led you to X, Y or Z, and this will make it much more likely to be remembered and listened to than if you mentioned lots of things without an interesting thread.
Creating the video
There are different ways you can shoot the video depending on your existing resources, budget, goals and expertise. It doesn’t have to be high-budget to be successful. Prospects could even feel more drawn to you with a low-budget video, as it can make you look more human and perhaps therefore more approachable. If you come across as natural, friendly and someone who can help them, you have a good video.
Equipment and setting
If you own one or know someone with a camcorder or camera that shoots good quality videos, then that’s your ideal solution for a professional-looking video. Fret not, however, if you only have a smartphone or webcam - those are also perfectly acceptable with today’s standards when you know how to make the best of it.
Specific guides on recording videos can be found here:
As with photos, you need plenty of good lighting in videos, and in the right places. If you’re sitting in front of a big window with bright sunlight shining straight at the camera, you need to find another place as it could mess up the light balance. Your face, body and surroundings ideally need to be well-lit for the video to be as sharp as can be, so it’s worth experimenting with different lamps and lights in different positions around you until you get the exposure on film just right.
Find a room, or perhaps place outside, where the background is suitable and not too dominant. If you have access to a conference room with empty walls, you could shoot it there (with the added benefit of minimal sound disturbances). Somewhere in your home or practice where the background is neat and simple would work well too. Our guide on taking the ideal profile photo will come in handy for more tips on this. Wherever you choose, it has to be quiet enough so your audio will be as clear as possible.
Expect to make several recordings until you get the image, angle and lighting just right. Use a tripod, books stacked on top of each other, or whatever else you can find to place the the camera in exactly the right place, pointed at you from the right angle. Make several test shots sitting at different angles and with different face positions. You don’t want the camera to look at you from below if you want a flattering frame. Likewise, you don’t want it to point downwards on you if you don’t want to appear small. It should be straight in front of your face, and you should speak directly to it as if speaking to a friend, face-to-face. You come across as most approachable if you look and speak in the same way as when you do in face-to-face meetings, and the right setup of the shot helps you achieve this.
Be aware of your body language
, as this can tell the prospect a lot about you. If your body expresses a nervous energy, it could give your prospects mixed feelings about you. Things that help include keeping your upper body straight, maintaining eye contact with the camera, smiling and using open (though not exaggerated) hand gestures whilst speaking.
The best option is if someone else can record you. It will make the process easier and quicker if you have a second person to give their opinions and handle the camera. If you have the budget for it, hire a professional to film you with their camera. You can do this at reasonable prices on Upwork or PeoplePerHour, for example. Opting for this option will make the whole video production process more seamless, and the only thing you’d have to work on yourself is the script. This guide, however, explains each step involved for the many of you who choose to do it yourself.
There are different tools you can use to edit videos, depending on the type of camera you use. Ideally, if you’re not experienced in editing, you should aim to shoot the video as well as possible to avoid the need for edits. If you do decide to edit, the following free apps and tools are widely used and recommended (the lists might overlap):
Things you can consider when editing are the colour balance, exposure corrections, video format, cropping, adding music/sounds, and more. Just don’t overdo the special effects as it could make the video look tacky if exaggerated.
Once you have a video, you can post it on all your professional profiles online. Just one good video is enough to make a difference to your conversion rates - you should try it. You might even get properly into it and make more. You could take this anywhere, of course as long as you don’t breach confidentiality. For inspiration, below are some good videos (some look professionally made, some less so) made by practitioners. We’d love to see your first intro video too and perhaps add it to this list (with your permission) as inspiration for others who are not sure whether to make one or how to style it. There’s no one way of making it, so it helps to get ideas from different people to refine your own ideas if you are stuck with it.