Why I Started SmartPhone Video Marketing

In these unprecedented times, we hope & pray that everyone is staying safe & well. Many of you will be extremely worried about how things will plan out, what’s going to happen to your business or how you are going to just be able to survive.

Well, no one has these answers as things are changing at a dramatic pace. However, what we can do is to make sure that when we come out of this situation, and we will, you are not just surviving but thriving.

Before I start this blog, I would like to give you a little background about my journey into video marketing, why I started it and what I’ve achieved with my YouTube channel in just over 2 years.

Dec 2017, I came home one day after attending yet another business networking event. My wife said to me why are you so miserable and if you don’t enjoy going to these events, then do something else! 

Most of my/our outbound marketing at that time was via the various local business meetings. I used to see the same faces and people attending these events. It was a circuit where all of us went from 1 meeting to the other and I knew that I was wasting my time with them as these were not really my target audience.

I had to make a change and do something different to bring in qualified leads to our business. During the Christmas break, I thought long & hard and came to the conclusion that the way forward was online. I didn’t know how, but I knew it had to be online. 

Then I looked and researched more into it and I had heard before from other marketers why video is the future and why businesses need to leverage it. I came to the conclusion that it had to be video and decided to give it a shot.

I was scared at first as to how my videos would be received, will I get trolled all over the internet, how will I get new customers and many other questions kept going through my mind. I’m pretty sure you are having the same thoughts and feeling nervous about getting in front of the camera!

No Excuses!

Before you start reading this blog any further, watch this short video. 

90-Day Video Marketing Challenge

I made a New Year’s resolution that I will upload 1 video a day for 90 days and then see what happens. I made up my mind that even if I didn’t get a single view, like, share, dislike or comment, I will not give up and will continue this challenge for 90-days and then see what happens.

This challenge even got featured on one of the world’s leading marketing blog SEMRush.

Here’s a little video I shot at YouTube Space Los Angeles and I talked about my journey from a little town called Leighton Buzzard to Los Angeles.

Next problem was what to upload and how to keep on thinking up new content. I researched and found a gap in the niche and decided to create training tutorials on Google Ads. 

Within the first week, I started to get comments & feedback from my viewers and they were thanking me for creating these videos. I then knew that my content is being appreciated and being liked.

In just over 2 years, I’ve gone from 18 subscribers to over 10,000 YouTube subscribers and have built up an email list of thousands of subscribers and have got clients from all over the world. 

This is not to boast in any way, but hopefully, it will inspire you to get started with video marketing to take your brand, business, services & products to the next level.

The good news is that only around 9% of businesses are using video as a marketing tool and your competitors are probably not leveraging this channel. 

If You Are A Perfectionist….You Have A Big Problem!

Many of you will want to use this excuse of wanting to upload the videos once they are perfect. If you are one of those, unfortunately, you will never start.

Getting it done is 100x better than being perfect. My initial videos were terrible, the sound wasn’t right, lighting wasn’t good, but I kept on improving as I went along. I figured out as I kept uploading videos. 

Remember, we are not trying to create a Hollywood blockbuster! We want to create simple videos with great content which your audience is going to love & like.

Let’s Get Started…

Before you start, you need to organize a few things and have some kit & apps. Don’t worry, these are very inexpensive and won’t break the bank.

These are the items you need to get started:

  • Smartphone
  • Tripod
  • Smartphone holder for tripod
  • Microphone
  • Lights
  • Teleprompter
  • Editing Apps
  • Spread The Word

Smartphone

Let’s start with the smartphone. You really don’t need the latest and the greatest smartphone. As long as your phone shoots HD, you are good to go. You don’t need 4K right now. 

Pro Tip! When shooting, always shoot horizontally, although the vertical videos are getting more popular.

Tripod & Mount

Get a tripod so that your videos are not shaky. If you are hand-holding, make sure you have a very steady hand or are leaning against a wall to give you some support.

You can buy something like this for under $20 from Amazon. Few of these also come with a smartphone mount and wireless bluetooth remote control for stop/start the video.

Microphone

You can spend a small fortune on mics. But, as we are on a budget, we won’t go for anything fancy. Just a wired lavalier microphone which will plug straight into your smartphone. These mics cost around $10.

Pro Tip! Don’t use the phone’s internal mic. The sound is awful. Invest in a mic.

Video Lights

Lighting is extremely important. You want to be lit properly. If you don’t have the funds or resources to invest in a lighting kit, then use your window. When using window light, make sure you are facing the window so the light is falling on you. 

Pro Tip! Never shoot with the light or window behind you. And don’t shoot with direct sunlight on you coming through the window. This will cause harsh shadows and your eyes will be squinting.

You can get a 2-head softbox lighting kit for under $70.

Teleprompter

This truly is a game-changer. If you are not very confident and quite often you will say the wrong words or forget to say the important things in your video, then this is something you cannot do without.

Go to the App Store or Play Store and search for ‘Teleprompter’. You will find quite a few of them. Try them for free and if you wish to invest in any, then they are pretty cheap. Around $5 – $15.

This will take your videos to the next level. You read the scrolling text like a professional newsreader and as you create more video, you will get better and better. Here’s a video I’ve shot using a teleprompter.

You can control the speed of the scrolling, change the size or colour of the text.

Here’s how to use the teleprompter. It’s as easy as 1,2 & 3…

  1. Create a Word Document either on Google Drive or any other platform. 
  2. Then open that document on your phone. Copy the text.
  3. Paste it into the teleprompter. Start shooting your video!

Video Editing

This is where a lot of people get stuck. You have 2 choices:

  1. Learn simple video editing and do it yourself.
  2. Hire a freelancer and get it done.

If you want to edit the videos yourself, you can use simple apps like:

  • iMovie (Mac only)
  • Adobe Premiere Rush
  • Kinemaster

There are loads of video editing apps which you can try for free and decide which one you like. I personally love Adobe Rush. It is very easy & simple to use, yet extremely powerful. 

Here’s a video I’ve shot & edited completely on my iPhone. Add music, timelapse, slow motion, photos & transitions, etc to make your videos more interesting.

If you are too busy and want to focus on running your business and don’t want to get involved in learning how to edit your videos, then hire a freelancer. You can go to sites like Fiverr & Upwork where you will find loads of video editors.

ProTip! Send a test job (paid) to different freelancers. Give detailed instructions on what you want. Then see who does the best job and creates the video which you like. You then continue to work with that freelancer.

Getting Ideas For Your Videos

The most ‘excuses’ I get to hear from people is that I don’t have any subjects or topics to create videos about. I don’t believe this for a second. Everyone has some kind of expertise, experience & knowledge which they can share with the world.

Couple of things you can do if you are struggling with content ideas. Go to Google and search for your keyword. Then go to the websites which come up and you will get a ton of ideas.

Another great website is Quora or Reddit. These are the hidden gems of the internet. No matter which niche you are in, you will find a community over there who are talking about your subject/topic and asking questions.

All you need to do is take those questions and turn them into simple 1-2 minute videos. You don’t need long videos to start with. Walk before you can run.  

Spread The Word…

Now you have created your 1st video, you need to spread the word. What I do is put it up on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and any other social media channel you may have.

Pro Tip! You can also do a ‘video-reply’ to question asked on Quora & Reddit. This is extremely powerful. But make sure that you are not self-promoting, but rather helping out the community. No one does this and you will stand out and will build up your brand in front of your target audience very quickly.

Getting Organized

As you continue to create videos, you need to keep things organized so you can find and keep track of your video assets when required.

I/we use Google Suite to share all the files/documents relating to each video. Each video is given a number and that number is used throughout the workflow. All the assets, docs & files sit inside each folder.

Here’s how the folders are numbered & named.

Pro Tip! If you are using Google Suite & Google Drive, download the Google File Drive. You can access all your files and keep them synced across multiple devices & computers.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post as much as I enjoyed writing it. I would highly recommend that you build up your brand & business using smartphone video marketing. Video is the most shared piece of content on social media and as there are so few companies & professionals using this channel, you will be able to get a head start from your competitors.

To your success.

Uzair Kharawala



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About Uzair Kharawala
Uzair Kharawala is the Co-Founder at SF Digital. He is a Certified Google Partner, is a Cricket fanatic and loves Photography.
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