neil@neilben.com
07956 376239

What I do is not important

It's what you will do after working with me

That will make the difference

How would you like to have:

And how would you like learn the skills to transform you from an unknown to video internet sensation through a fun and painless process?

You would?

Every over night sensation has to start some where, and your superstar status can start with a conversation with me. So pick up the phone, give me a call and together we'll get the world to see you as the expert that you are. The number is at the top of the screen and I can't wait to talk with you.

 

Easy-Pro Video

Having the tools and knowing how to use them is not enough.

You may know how to use a pencil, but can you write a great letter to your granny, thanking her for your annual Christmas Jumper? If you were 3 you'd probably struggle, needing the help of a grown up. But as you got older you'd develop your writing skills and could do it yourself. Now, my guess is, using a pencil and writing notes is easy.

You may know how to use a keyboard and mouse, but can you design a thank you card (for that jumper) using Photoshop, print it out and send it to your grandma? Some people can, and they can because they've mastered a new skill and now find that easy.

And what about your phone. Can you use it to communicate with your gran? 'Course you can, you just pick it up and give her a call to say "thank you".

That is how most business owners use their phone to communicate with their clients. But there is some much more you can do with that phone in your pocket that will enable you to communicate with 10s, 100s, 1000s, possibly millions of people in one go.

What's stopping you mastering a new skill and using the tools you already have?

Making your own videos is easy with Easy-Pro Video. And with a single video being able to communicate with millions, isn't it time you signed up for one of my 90-day coaching programmes?

That way, in no time at all you'll be making business videos that will be making a difference to your business.

Without video you will disappear

A few years ago if you didn't have a website you'd get forgotten, nobody would be able to find you or know what you did.

The same cane be said these days if you don't have video.

No video means:

If you don't have video as part of your marketing strategy, eventually you are going to disappear.

Video is sooooooo important.

Do you need to hire a professional video production company to get your videos made?

No, not at all... All you need to do is to go into your pocket and pull out your smartphone, or go into your bag and pull out your tablet and use that to make your videos.

I'm going to be straight with you, it won't be possible for me to teach you how to make great videos in a single blog, or a two or three minutes video using your smartphone, but I can give you enough to get started.

 

The most important thing to remember when filming with your phone

And you're not going to believe this. The most  important thing about shooting video with your smartphone is not the picture but the sound. You have to get your sound right because if people can't hear what you are saying the will stop watching your video, even if the picture is great.

So many people film using the on-board microphone, but that could cause you problems like handling noise, picking up background noise and echo.

iPhone_iPad_iPod_Earbuds_Earpods_HeadphonesWorry not though, you do not need to spend a fortune buying professional mics. Your phone probably came with an amazing microphone... The earbuds that came with the phone.

As well as listening to music, you can make calls and to do that there is a little microphone to capture your voice and it's a pretty good mic. Some smartphones (like the iPhone) have noise cancelling headphones too which help improve the sound when listening to music, they also help to reduce the background noise when recording your voice

You can hook the earbud / mic end in your t-shirt or if you are filming somebody hook it there's.

 

Getting great quality picture

So you've got your sound sorted. The next thing is the picture. Most high definition, top of the range smart phones and tablets have a camera at the front and a camera at the back. Film yourself with the camera at the back, the quality is so much better. But how can you film yourself on the back camera when you can't see the screen to see what you are doing? Do not worry, check out this video blog where I show you how to set up the shot when you're not in the shot to set it up!

 

phone holderKeep your shots steady

Now you're filming yourself using the back lens, which is great, it will also help you an enormous amount if you stick your phone on a tripod to keep your shot steady. To do that you'll need a phone to tripod adapter. Just search for smartphone tripod adapter on Amazon and get one to screw your phone to any tripod, which makes the phone really firm and your shots so much better.

The most important thing when filming on your phone

When you clip you phone on the tripod make sure the phone is in landscape, not portrait. Videos are landscape, YouTube is landscape, TVs are widescreen, our eyes go left and right they don't go up and down, so if you shoot a
video in portrait it looks unprofessional.

 

This is just a start, giving you a few ideas a few tips on how to film with your phone or tablet. You can find so many more hints and tips on my video blog neilben.tv, or check out my YouTube channel.

Can I put you in the picture?

I've been getting involved in a FaceBook thread for the past few days. Here's the question below:

Does anyone in this group do video blogs? I am looking to start and need some advice on good quality yet affordable recording equipment, as well as video editing software. Can anyone assist me with this?

What a gift, if you've been reading my video blogs or know me, you know this is absolutely my area of expertise.

So I write a few answers to this question, ones that I think will be helpful

Neil Ben Yep... me... check out by vlog neilben.tv
I also run workshops on how to shoot great quality video using your smartphone, have one coming up in September if you're interested

I even get endorsed by a few people in the group, one who is particularly well respected.

Roy Smoothe- If you are going to do it - Do it right. Talk to Neil Ben - the guy is off the hook with this kind of thing... I advise my Personal Branding clients not to do the facebook live or video blogs until they get the visuals, imagery and sound right... For when you open your mouth you tell the world who you are... Neil is the Best Ive seen so far... Going to be doing some stuff with him myself!

And still the guy is asking questions... What camera should I use? I want it to be easy? Help me I'm so lost!!!

Then someone posted a link to this page

What is the Best Camera for Vlogging & Youtube?

Here's the link: http://www.vloggingcameras.net/

This being my thing, I think it's worth a look and see the article talks about 5 great cameras, with many awesome features like:

Notice a theme here? The features they talk about are all to do with the image and video capturing capability of the camera. Which is perfect, after all these are cameras and you'd expect great image capture, especially if you are planning to take photos or shoot silent movies. But they are less than half the camera you'll need to make great video blogs.

What do you mean, less than half what you need?

It's simple. People are more likely to switch away from your video blog if they cannot hear or understand what you are saying, in other words, if the sound is dodgy your video blog is useless, no matter how good the picture it.

So you have to make sure the sound is right first.

Only two out of the 5 cameras in the article had the ability to take an external mic, so from my point of view, the other 3 were useless as cameras to do vlogging with.

And I needed to search for the information on the sound recording capabilities of these cameras, they were not up there as an important feature. Which some what baffles me because if these cameras were being presented as the best for video blogging, then recording sound should be an important feature that people think about.

 

Or don't you want to be heard?

Do you freeze in front of camera?

Or don't know what to say when the director says "action". Maybe you are suffering from presenter's block.

First of all, I have no idea if presenter's block is a real term or not, so I am going to define it just in case

WRITER'S BLOCK - the condition of being unable to think of what to write or how to proceed with writing

PRESENTER'S BLOCK - the condition of being unable to think of what to say or freezing in front of camera

So what do you do when you freeze in front of camera
and don't know what to say?

Having worked for the BBC for many years and shot lots and lots of people, the number one reason for freezing in front of camera is - making it a "big thing"

When I worked for BBC Schools Television I'd often have to interview head teachers, class teachers and other school staff and there were times when the contributor would be so nervous they wouldn't be able to answer a question coherently. So this is what I did.

I'd get them to forget they were being interviewed

"How did you do that Neil?"

Funny you should ask

As we set up for filming (the crew putting up the lights, getting the camera ready and clipping on the radio mic) I'd chat with the contributor naturally, asking them things like "do you eat the school dinners here?" or "how was your sports day?" Questions that were easy to answer and felt  like a part of a pleasant, natural conversation.

I'd then have a secret signal that the crew would look out for, like scratching my nose, which would tell them I wanted them to start recording. I'd carry on, chatting away with the contributor, asking them open questions and then I'd scratch my nose and slip in one of the questions I needed the answer to, with exactly the same tone as all the other questions.

9 times out of 10 they'd give me a great, relaxed answer and I would say to them "that was an amazing answer, [to the cameraman] I really wish you had been recording it", to which the cameraman would say "I was".

I would then compliment the contributor, thanking them for their answer and that they were a natural in front of camera. That would make the rest of the interview run smoothly.

"That's all very well Neil, but I'm not an interviewee,
I'm trying to present my own content to camera
and still struggle, what do I do?"

Funny you ask, actually it's a similar issue. You're making your filming "way too important" which is causing you to freeze. Making a video is NO BIG DEAL

If you are making a business video, where you are sharing your expertise, then you should have no problem talking to camera. Here's why I think that?

Which means talking about your expertise is easy and being filmed on a phone is not alien, you're just combing the two.

"Logically Neil I know that, but I still get stuck"

Ok... Ok... You're being stubborn here. So let me tell you a couple of tricks I've been using for years to help people through.

  1. Practice, practice, practice... The more you do it the easier it gets
  2. Imaging a client is standing just behind the camera and talk to them
  3. If that doesn't work, get a photo of your favourite client, cut a small hole out the middle of the picture and stick it on the back of the phone so the hole is over the lens. Then just talk to the picture.
  4. Get it wrong, get it wrong again, get it wrong lots of times, laugh at yourself and think "this isn't a problem, after all, I can always shoot it again". Eventually you'll get it
  5. Learn how to edit. That way you don't need to capture the whole of your video in one shot, you can do several different takes and edit the best bits together. I teach you how to do that in my coaching programmes

This one is from the archives, with a few more
tips on presenting to camera

The camera's set, the lights are on, you press the record button or the director shouts "Action!" and then what?

Where do you look? How do you talk? What do you do with your hands?

So check out this film and the next time you're in front of camera won't seems so scary.

 

Video blogging and the best way to do it

I saw this question in a FaceBook group, posted by the lovely Carol Hanson

I'm finally reaching the 21st Century when it comes to using video and being brave enough to put it You Tube and embed on my website as part of my blogs!! But I could really use some help! ...

1. I've read that it's good to include text with a video post and so have dutifully done so on the ones I've published to date - it's effectively a written transcript of the video (around 300 words) - effectively copying the way that the Huff Post do this. Is this the best approach? Or is there something else I should be doing?

This is the best way to plan your vlog

Dear Carol, thank you for your question - here's my answer.

You are absolutely right, having text around a video is extremely useful, because even though Google loves videos, it cannot "translate" the video content to know what it is about, so effectively the words around the video helps. So this is what I suggest you do:

How (and why) to add description and tags to your YouTube video

This video is from my online training course Easy-Pro Video Online

Right, that's the first question answered. Now for the second question

2. If I want to share on social media (having embedded the video from YouTube should I do this from YouTube or my website), given that I'm trying to build my sales funnel.

Thanks in advance superstars! x

Should I share my video or my video blog on social media?

It all depends... If you want more people to subscribe to your YouTube channel, then share the YouTube video url on social media... The link in the description will point them back to your website. But you have said you want to build your sales funnel, so you want to share the url to the funnel webpage with the video in it, because there's one less click for people to do, they watch your video and the signup box is there waiting.

Hope that helped

Is it not enough to just have video?

That statistics are very persuasive:

Which means people are eventually coming round to the idea that having video on their website is a good idea. But is having video enough?

Not if it's boring!

It's like any content you put out there... Write a boring blog post and no one's going to engage, make a boring video and you've missed an opportunity.

 

How do you make your videos engaging?

You make sure the viewer has an emotional response

 .

How do you get an emotional response?

Having some of these elements will raise your "average" video to being a "great" video and get people engaged

Standing there and talking in a monotone voice is not going to engage.

Next time you shoot a video, think about what you can do to connect to your audience and get them to feel something, because when they feel something they won't only be engaged, they will remember you and your message.

What's the best camera to film with?

I often get calls from people who want videos made and the first question they ask is "what camera do you use?"

If you want to work with me that is not a question you need to ask, because if you are worried about the technical stuff; what camera I'm using, what microphones I'm using, what lights I'm going to set up, then you're not interested in the content. It is just about how good your video is going to look.

What I am interested in is:

So if you pick up the phone to me and say "Neil, I know my stuff and I want to touch more people with what I know, with my message"... My ears will prick up, my eyes will brighten and I will say "you're the kind of person that I want to work with".

If you have an expertise that makes a difference, maybe you've worked with a dozen people, maybe a few hundred people and you've made a difference in their lives, then you can make a difference in thousands of people's lives, tens of thousands, even millions, if you get it right.

It has nothing to do with what camera I use to film you with

Get the content right and let me worry about the technology

And do you know what? The above video was shot on my iPhone, using a little cable mic, an LED light, all sat on to of a £40 tripod. The whole kit cost me about a third of what the phone cost. Does it matter that I wasn't using a £20,000 camera? No, because what I was saying in the video was more important then the technology I was using.... I hope!

You let me know what you think.

Without using your brain

Today is Sunday, last night was Super Saturday of the Rio Olympics, I was up until 3.30 in the morning to see if Jessica Ennis-Hill could win the gold medal in the Heptathlon.

She got the silver, great. Moe got the gold in the 10,000m which was awesome. The thing is I've only had about 4 hours sleep and I'm out today, and I've got a blog to do.

So what's the quickest way for me to get content out there, with the least stress?

For me the quickest way is to stick my phone on a tripod, put a microphone on me, stick a light up and talk! And I can share my ideas and my expertise through video, because it is so much easier for me to talk to camera and share and interact and present then for me to sit at the computer and type.

What did I do with the video in this post? I stuck it on YouTube and once it was up YouTube had a caption generator. So it essentially transcribed what I was saying. I then went through the closed captions and copied and pasted the words that I was saying into my blog. I didn't even have to write, it just converted what I was saying. I then edited the text, tidied it up a bit and formatted it.

I'm sure there are some online options to get your video transcribed, I think I've seen one for as little as $1 a minute. $1 a minute to get a video transcribed... Not bad at all.
The transcribed words formed the basis for the content of this video blog and how long was the video? About 2 - 2 1/2 minutes, at 3 words a second, that's 180 words a minute times two and a half, that's 540 words. Perfect amount of words for a blog.

And a two and a half minute video is perfect too for YouTube and people's short attention span.

It was that easy, I didn't even have to use my brain 'cause all I was doing was talking. For me that is the easiest way to create content for a blog.


For less than the cost of your phone

The video camera on your phone shoots better quality video than the cameras I used when I was at the BBC.

Let me say that again, so you get it.

When I was at the BBC we shot on the best cameras in the world, and now, that phone you carry around in your pocket, the one you check FaceBook on and send emails with, can shoot at a higher definition than the cameras I used when I was at the BBC.

To get the most out of the camera on your phone (or tablet), you need the right kit to go with it.

With the right accessories there's no need to spend a fortune on a professional video kit. In fact, I often leave my pro camera, tripod and mics at home and just take my smart phone filming kit with me when I go filming.

So when I went out to Morocco last year to film modules for my Easy Pro Video ONLINE course, and was flying Ryan Air, I traveled light.

Check out the video above to see what kit I took
And it all fitted in a small rucksack

phone holderThe most important thing to get is a phone holder, which attaches the phone to the tripod. That way you can frame up correctly and keep your shots stable.

After that you need to get a decent microphone, but remember, not every microphone works when plugged directly into the phone so you may need to get an adapter.

In a future blog I will look at sound and lighting, but for now, if you want to boost the light a little, consider getting a small, battery powered LED light like I had in the film.

That's it really. And the kit I took with me in the video, well that cost me less than half the cost of my phone... So not much at all.

Happy shooting.

 


If you've found this post useful please subscribe to my YouTube channel, share it using the social media buttons or leave a comment below.


 

To promote the work that you do

You run a business, you've been told video is the best medium to get your message out there, to create lots of that lovely google juice and to connect with your tribe. So you've decided to start making videos. You want to share you expertise, connect with your tribe and share you message, so surely a script is the perfect place to start.

How do you write a video script?

We'll I've been writing scripts for over 25 years, so let me share my expertise with you right now.

Scripts are great when you're working with actors and performers because that's how they work. A script is their manuscript to help them create characters and deliver their lines.

But I hate scripts when it comes to helping people who are not actors share their message, because they're not trained in the art of delivering a script.

My advice to you is don't write a script!

 

Just talk like you talk with your clients, share your your wisdom and your expertise as naturally and comfortably as if you were talking to a prospect or someone you're already working with.You know your stuff, you can talk to people about what you do at network meetings, when you're on the phone, to friends and family right?... And you don't need a script to do that, so why would you need a script to make a video?

If I don't have a script, what do I do?

You come up with three points you want to cover. One main point, broken down into three steps. The beginning, the middle and the end.

Or you could just have one idea and start talking!

I had an idea for the video is this blog, it was about "actors needing scripts, but people who are not actors are better without scripts", and then I just started talking.

I've been in the business 25 years so I have learned a few things, so I just connected with my wisdom and my experience and the right words came out of my mouth when they were meant to come out. It was that simple.

Try having one idea, switch the camera on and starting with that idea and see where it goes. I think you will be pleasantly surprised because you will come across naturally and authentically, rather than staged and scripted.

.


If you've found this post useful please subscribe to my YouTube channel, share it using the social media buttons or leave a comment below.


How do you get people to watch your YouTube video all the way to the end?

There are a few things you can do in your video to keep your audience engaged and watch all the way to the final frame.

Watch the video... All the way to the end... To see what you can do to keep people watching.

 

Tip #1: Headline your video

Right at the start of your video, tell your viewers what the video is about, not who you are. If someone has stumbled across your video it's because they are looking for an answer to a question not to see you. Yes, it is important that they know who you are and why you are qualified to share your ideas eventually, but first you have to share what your video is all about.

Tip #2: Stay focused on your content

Going off on tangents is fine for a personal vlog, but if you're planning to raise your profile by sharing your knowledge and experience, staying on track is a must.

For example, if your video is all about how to tie your shoe laces, don't start talking about where you bought your last pair of trainers from, it's not relevant. And... if someone is interested in where you got your trainers, they will ask in the comments.

Staying on topic will also help to keep your videos short, and this will make it less likely that your viewers get distracted before your video has finished. There's nothing worse than a long, rambling, unfocussed video to send people surfing off to other people's YouTube Channels.

Tip #3: Entertain as well as inform

Ok, people have come to your video because they want to learn from you. Sadly expertise is not enough, you need to entertain, or at least, engage your views too. So add some humorous stories, some quick asides, or silly hats to keep people interested.

Tip #4: Outtakes

People love seeing experts make mistakes, it shows we are human. So if you make the odd mistake, get your lines wrong, or have to fight off a fly during filming, save those shots for the end and cut a little compilation of outtakes together. As people get to know you put your mistakes at the end, they will stay around more often to see them...

 

So did you watch my video all the end to see my outtakes? No? Click Here to watch it again.

 

Please leave a comment below, I'd love to hear what you think of these vlogs.

Setting focus when you're trying to film yourself?

If you are going to shoot yourself and want it to look great, I suggest you get some of the technicalities right. Especially setting focus.

Yes, it's so much easier to keep all the settings of the video camera on your smartphone to auto, but that's not going to give you the sharpest image.

If your phone has the ability to lock the focus them make sure you set the focus

But how can you stand in front of the camera in the position where your are going to present from, and at the same time be behind your phone so you can set the focus?

Watch the video below and find out how...

[embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-f11gTCZxo[/embedyt]

 

Please leave a comment below, I'd love to hear what you think of these vlogs.

 

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