If you know that video is a great way to get more eyes on your artwork, but you're not sure how to go about it, you're in luck! I asked video expert Zach Wolfson for his tips on creating video to promote your art. He provides a simple framework to make it easy for you. Take it away, Zach!
Here’s the thing: I’m not going to tell you why you should be making videos to promote your art. You already know that. You’re reading this because you’ve been thinking about making videos to share your stories, but something along the way has been holding you back.
I’m often asked questions about what equipment you should buy or where you should post your videos to promote your artwork. I’m here to tell you to set all of that aside and just start small.
One of the biggest problems holding many of us back is that we start recording a video without a plan or purpose in mind.
Not having a plan means that we have to figure it all out on the fly while recording, and then we wind up with 10x the work to do later while editing.
This is the reason why we can spend so much time making a video and then end up not even uploading it anywhere (let alone finishing it). We’re not happy with how it turned out … and that can be disheartening.
Sound familiar? It’s happened to me, too. That’s exactly why I want to give you a simple framework that will make it easier for you to create videos (yes, many videos, using this framework over and over again). I hope that using this system will lead you to greater success in your marketing efforts with video.
First, let’s pick the kind of video you want to make.
Here are three types of videos I’ve found to be especially fun and valuable for artists to make themselves:
- A FAQ video: Answer one frequently asked question from your audience or customers.
- A Teaching video: Share one method that’s integral to your creative approach and process.
- A Walk-through video: Give a walk-through of one of your recent pieces, your studio, one small part of a work in progress, or even one of your favorite tools or materials.
Next, use a beginning, middle, and end structure to sketch out a three-point outline for your video’s story.
I like to write my three-point outline on a 3×5 notecard. Here’s what it looks like:
- The Beginning: Say hi and briefly introduce yourself.
- The Middle: Share your story based on the type of video you’re making.
- The End: Say thanks and offer your viewer a next step to take that relates to the story you just shared (this is key).
Now it’s time to record your video.
Grab your iPhone or Android smartphone and find a fun spot to record in your studio. For better lighting, sit close to a window and face it so that your camera is between you and the window with sunlight spilling in.
You need nothing more than yourself, your three-point outline, and your smartphone.
Then open the built-in camera app on your smartphone, switch it to “selfie” mode, and, one at a time, record each of the three segments from your three-point outline.
To make your video work well across as many social media platforms as possible, turn your smartphone to a horizontal position before hitting record. There are some cases when it makes sense to record your video segments vertically (like on Instagram Stories), but for most purposes it’s best to record horizontally.
Here are some best practices for recording your video segments:
Recording video of your artwork in front of you? Switch to the forward-facing camera and:
- Make an “L” shape with both your hands while holding your smartphone horizontally.
- Then tuck your elbows into your sides to create another point of contact which will minimize the movement in your hands and translate to a more steady shot of your work.
- And, if there is something sturdy nearby for you to lean against while recording, you’ll be quite pleased with how much more stable it makes your video clip.
Recording video of yourself? Switch it to “selfie” mode and:
- Prop your phone on a flat surface so that it's parallel to the ground; a work surface or bookshelf is a great choice.
- Then, adjust your height so that your eyes are at the same height as the lens of the camera on your smartphone.
- Look into the lens of the camera as much as possible while recording. It's tempting to watch ourselves on screen, but looking into the lens creates the experience of eye contact for your viewer. This can take some practice!
Once you've finished recording your video segments, you’re ready to edit them together.
I have a tutorial for you from my Start Small with Video show so that you can edit along with me.
First, download Adobe’s free video editing app Premiere Clip for your iPhone or Android smartphone.
Then, once it’s downloaded, watch my tutorial and edit along with me:
That’s it. Really! There’s no need for there to be more to it than that. When we’re first getting started with something new, I’m all about starting small and using what we already have.
Want more help? This video is part of a whole tutorial video series that you can find here: www.infusion5.com/startsmallwithvideo
To recap, here are your action steps:
- Pick the kind of video you want to make from the three I recommend for artists.
- Sketch out a three-point outline for your video’s story based on a simple beginning, middle, and end structure.
- Record your video with your iPhone or Android smartphone in your studio or workspace using your three-point outline.
- Edit your video by following along with my video tutorial.
By the end of these few steps, you’ll have a video ready to upload to YouTube, Instagram, or Facebook—and share with your audience!
If this has been helpful, grab a free copy of my Ready to Record Handbook.
In the Ready to Record Handbook, I’ll walk you through the exact steps to plan and set up to record your next video by yourself, and easily do it again-and-again. Less set-up time for your videos. More results.
Zach Wolfson helps creatives, artists, and entrepreneurs make quality videos that matter to their audiences online. Visit his website for more video tips: infusion5.com
Thanks to Zach Wolfson for providing these straightforward tips on selling your art through video! If you need more guidance about blogging (or vlogging) to sell your work, read this post: 10 Tips for Starting a Successful Artist’s Blog
Questions for Zach? Post them below. Share links to your videos, too!