Learning how to film a vlog for LinkedIn is not only fun but is the number one way to stand out on the professional network. The term vlog simply means a video blog (think of it as a video diary).
Before you get trapped into thinking that you MUST produce video and vlog content to be using LinkedIn effectively check out my other blog on building an audience on LinkedIn. I’ll help you work out whether this is the right thing for you and your business!
Filming an effective vlog and making sure you put your best foot forward isn’t about fancy equipment. It’s about making sure you are being authentic, that you are telling a story your audience cares about and providing value.
My favorite catchphrase to remind me of the sort of content that wins on Linkedin = be relentlessly helpful!
I have managed to grow my following by over 4000 people in only 5 months by using quite an aggressive vlogging campaign. I published a video every weekday.
This is my latest video which was published on LinkedIn:
You can see that in under 5 hours I was able to generate 39 reactions, 36 comments, and 782 views. The high comment rate shows just how powerful this form of content production can be!
So clearly, if you are after a quick way to grow your professional brand – Linkedin videos work.
Don’t be fooled, however. It can feel like a lot of hard work but following my steps will help you create awesome video content in no time at all!
The rise of vlogging
In recent months that has been an explosion of video content on LinkedIn. Vlogging was once only found on YouTube. However, Linkedin video and vlogging has now become a popular strategy for professionals, businesses, and marketers.
This is both good and bad for you. It’s bad news because it’ll become harder to stand out amongst the noise!
But with change comes a lot of opportunities. It’s good news because if you do everything right and you’ll be able to stand out above the noise and grow a loyal following!
Follow these simple steps and you’ll be rocking your LinkedIn profile with vlog content in no time at all!
Step 1: Come up with a narrative or script
The most important part of any video is in the planning stage.
You’ll need to think of content that will be valuable to your audience. When I consult with clients I’ll get them to write down common questions that their customers ask. These are perfect seed ideas that will set you down the right frame of mind to succeed.
Your video structure
Then you need to think about the structure. For your first video consider this structure:
- Hook – in the first 3-5 seconds grad the attention of someone scrolling through their feed.
- Explain what your audience will learn today by watching your video
- Describe the problem that you will help people solve in this video
- Your personal experience in solving the problem for yourself or your customers.
- Call to action and ask people to comment on your video or like it. You can also have another call to action such as “do to this link and download…”. Anything off the platform is far more challenging to get people to do. Stick to on-platform calls to action for the first videos.
Use this as a starting point but as you start getting comfortable with the format, talking to the camera and the vlogging process as a whole you can play with the format.
What works for my audience will not work well for yours. Testing ideas and monitoring how your video’s metrics change will be the only way to discover if something is working for you!
There are many ways to film and edit a podcast and you are only really limited by your imagination. I chose to do a fully edited vlog with loads of b-roll footage: check out an example of one of my vlogs here:
Step 2: The equipment
Don’t get swept up in thinking that the quality of your vlog is directly proportional to the value of the vlog. Sure, everyone wants a professional-looking vlog but chucking more money at equipment won’t, necessarily, result in that.
I think that all you need to start out is…a smartphone.
Yep. That’s all you need to get started. In the early days of your vlogging journey, you don’t need to test the waters with anything but your phone.
The reason I say to clients that you should start with your phone is that a lot of them use not having a camera as an excuse. But remember it’s the content that will make you stand out – not the resolution of your video.
No matter the camera you are using there are two things that you need to take into account. The lighting and the microphone (sound recording). Both these issues can be fixed without any extra equipment by being aware of your environment.
Step 3: The environment you’re recording in.
There are two things that kill any recording equipment.
- Poor lighting. It doesn’t matter if you have the worlds most expensive camera. If your lighting is poor it will ruin your video.
- Excess environmental noise including wind noise. Trying to isolate your voice from background noise is a massive pain in the arse in postproduction. A little preplanning will ensure that you won’t have to re-film your piece to camera.
This is how you can overcome these two big issues:
When recording your video make sure that you are in a well-lit area. I have found that being outside is best for lighting – but be careful that it is not windy – you’ll end up with a different problem!
Another top tip is to avoid areas that are heavily backlit, like in front of a window. This will leave you looking like a shadow in your video and any post-production to lighten up the video will leave artifacts in the final video.
You can purchase small lighting setups and LED lights but I’ve never felt like I’ve needed them (or the expense). Try to keep your vlogging set up as minimal as possible. Then you’ll be able to carry it around in a bag without too much hassle.
My style of vlogging was to take a camera with me to events and while I was walking around during my day. Sometimes I couldn’t help but have poor lighting.
Noise and wind effects
The microphones on cheaper cameras and mobile phones are heavily affected by wind noise. Even the slightest breeze can cause a huge rumble on the recording.
I’ve seen people buy little sticky windshields and covers for the microphone holes on phones. You can buy them on Amazon for about $20 but click here to check the price – it’s always changing! This is what they look like:
Buy yourself one of these and you’ll be able to record outside in wind with confidence!
Step 4: Recording your video
Once you have the video narrative and you are aware of where you are filming it’s time to push record. For many people that is a scary prospect.
The more you do it, however, the more relaxed and natural you will start to feel when the red light is on!
Vlog style framing is typically set so that the person is set in the middle of the frame.
You’ll see loads of recommendations that you should follow the rule of thirds. This is all well and good if you have a forward-facing monitor that you can perfectly align each time you record. But just making sure all of your face is on the screen is all you are really aiming for with a vlog.
You’ll also have to consider the aspect ratio that your video will end up in. I have chosen a square ration for all of my LinkedIn videos. Therefore I have a limited area that I have to play with and having my face in the middle of the frame makes sense.
I found that my face was a very dominant part of the video and so I switch to fish-eye mode on my camera. This made sure that more background was present in the square video and my face wasn’t as confronting as it was in other videos.
To find your style you will have to produce a vlog regularly over a long period of time. Take the time to review each vlog and bote what you like or dislike about each one.
Ask a friend that you trust to give you feedback about the video and, most importantly, how it makes them feel. Change your video when they hit on something that you also have noticed. Don’t change the video just because someone says they don’t like certain aspects.
You are going to get a lot of advice from people who are not taking the courageous step to put themselves out there. You are – so take all advice with a grain of salt.
Consider filming b-roll
While recording your vlog you are going to be laser-focused on your message and not misspeaking but there’s something that audiences love that you also need to consider filming – b-roll!
Audiences love seeing where you are and what you are up to. Are you in an interesting building? Have you done something interesting during the day that you can film?
These additions to your video will really help build rapport and a relationship with your audience. In my opinion, LinkedIn vlogs are too dominated by faces and talking heads. At the moment, the easy way to stand out is to BE DIFFERENT!
What can you bring to your videos that no one else can?
Step 5: Editing your video
I think we are seeing the end of raw videos posted to LinkedIn. Audiences expect some level of post-production – this can be as simple as captions for mobile viewers.
Both have their pros and cons but if you don’t have time to edit the videos yourself check them out. The issue with all of these services is that when they become popular your videos are going to look like everyone else!
Learning to edit your own videos means that you’ll be able to stand out from the pack and brand the videos as you need to. It may be a skill that you find enjoyable too!
No matter what you choose to do for editing your videos – you must include captions!
I get an .srt caption file generated from rev.com. I used to write the captions myself but for $1 per minute of video, it is well worth the money. I’d much rather have the time to do more of the fun parts of editing.
Late 2018 there was some discussion around how you should place captions in your video. Because an .srt file is uploaded manually, the thought was that LinkedIn was able identify your captions and therefore prioritize your video.
I’m yet to see evidence of this in my view numbers and people with larger audiences normally use open captions that are embedded into the video.
I still prefer to use closed captions that are uploaded separately and see no reason to move to open captions for the time being.
As long as you are including captions I think you are ahead of a lot of videos.
Check out my full rundown of music options in another one of my blogs. I go through free and paid options.
Most people choose to not have any music in their short vlogs – and I think that is a good thing! Music can be distracting if it is not used properly.
Take a look at the style of video that you’d like to produce and make a choice on whether or not music is the right thing for your videos.
BONUS – Step 6: Publishing your video
Once you have produced and edited the video. It’s time to release your creative product into the world!
When should you publish?
LinkedIn is a professional network and that means the busiest times are Monday – Friday. Social sprout recently released this data from 2019:
Use this information as a guide but test your audience and engage them when they want to be engaged. For example, I found that a lot of my audience were most engaged during their morning commute. Therefore, I published my videos between 7:30 and 8 am. Any later and I didn’t see any significant traffic until lunchtime.
I also stopped posting on Saturday and Sunday – simply because I needed a break from content production. So take your schedule into account too and go for a sustainable schedule.
Every video that you produce should be accompanied by a long-form text post that highlights the main message of your video.
There was a trend to include a load of emojis and other text-based graphics – I decided not to go down this path but it may be right for you.
Aim for at least six or seven sentences and include your call to action in the text as well.
Don’t use this strategy too much! I’ve seen people spamming their contacts to get them to comment or engage with the content. Only tag people when it makes sense or they can add more information to the vlog.
Good luck with your vlogging journey! I hope that you have learned enough about how to film a vlog for LinkedIn to feel comfortable to give it a go!