If you are looking to increase engagement on social media, video is the way to do it. With Instagram rebuilding its platform to encourage users to upload and watch Reels, and the explosion of TikTok, it’s time for therapists to form a video strategy. Video actively engages users and helps them feel more connected to you and your brand. It is especially impactful for reaching Gen Z (tweens, teens, and early 20’s) and Millennials (those aged 26-41).
With quality video content outperforming still images on social media, and online counseling becoming more and more popular, it’s time to assess how you’re showing up via video. As a therapist, maintaining a professional appearance across all digital platforms is crucial. You don’t have to spend much money or time to improve your setup with some new equipment and our recording tips!
Before you begin producing videos, put some strategic planning into your content and the technical aspects of recording. In this post, we have the technical side covered so you can show up like a pro! If you are stumped on what to post and looking for content ideas customized to your brand, contact our team at Theory About That.
Lighting can truly make all the difference in the quality of your video! Try to record videos in a room with natural, even window light. Avoid any harsh shadows from blinds or curtains. If you’re recording mid-day and the natural light is too harsh, try drawing sheer curtains to diffuse the light.
If recording after dark is more convenient for you, or your space does not get even window light, consider purchasing some portable lighting equipment. This will allow you to have consistent quality lighting in every video.
Make sure to turn off any lamps or ceiling light fixtures that can cast unflattering shadows or a yellow or blue tint on your skin. Light fixtures that face you and have a neutral-colored bulb can help to enhance your lighting. Play around with lighting and do a few test recordings to see what you prefer.
Your listener should be completely focused on what you have to say, so don’t distract them with a busy background. Choose a space that is free of clutter and is a neutral or brand-consistent color. Sit with your back facing a plain wall or drawn curtains. A background with a piece of art or two, a shelf, or a plant will work well. If possible, record in the space where you see clients to reinforce your brand and give viewers a sense of what it would be like to work with you.
Try to schedule your recording at a time and place where there will be minimal background noise, and avoid areas with an echo.
When setting up your camera (or phone), consider the platform you are recording for. For online meetings and sessions or Youtube, your camera should be recording horizontally. For TikTok and Instagram or Facebook Reels and Stories, your camera should be recording vertically.
Set your camera at eye level or above for the most flattering angle. Place it on a tripod or sturdy surface instead of holding it to avoid shaky footage.
Showing up through video for the first time can be daunting. As therapists, it’s not something we are used to. However, practice makes perfect! Once you get started, you will be recording like a pro before you know it. Here are some tips for improving your camera presence:
You don’t need to wait until you have perfect gear to start creating videos. But, new equipment can be a way to take things to the next level. Finding quality equipment that works for your specific needs doesn’t need to be a lengthy process. The items below are a good starting point for your very own desktop recording kit, which will allow you to make more of an impact in any video content.
Your camera quality is important but it may not be as important as you think. If you are working in good lighting, any newer smartphone should be sufficient for creating videos for social media. Opt to use the rear-facing camera rather than the front-facing or “selfie” camera for the best quality.
It will also be easier to transfer, email, or edit this content if it is already on your phone than on a camera.
Most recent laptops/desktop computers have a built-in webcam that can be used for recording horizontal video. However, we would recommend the quality of a smartphone over your built-in webcam. If you are attending a lot of online meetings or you offer online therapy services, you might want to invest in an external webcam. You can purchase a webcam that is higher quality than your built-in laptop camera. And unlike your cell phone, a webcam will more seamlessly integrate with online meeting software.
If you would like to invest in even better quality video, here are some recommended cameras for recording video content for social media. Note that there will usually be a learning curve with these cameras.
A tripod isn’t necessary if you’re using a webcam. Even if you are using a phone or camera, you might be able to prop it up on a higher surface, such as a stack of books. However, a tripod makes setup more convenient and allows you to create a more flattering angle. Here are some tripod options for your smartphone:
If you do not have good lighting where you’d like to film or it would be best to film after dark, try a desktop ring light. These are small, portable, and can easily be set up or stored away. Here are some well-reviewed ring light options:
While a backdrop isn’t essential, it can help you create a specific vibe in your video that is on par with your brand. Portable backdrop stands are easy to set up and take down and allow you to change up your background without leaving the room. Once you have a stand, you can use almost any fabric as your backdrop.
Again, a microphone is not a must-have item for video recording. However, if you notice that your recording device isn’t capturing the best audio, or you have a goal of starting a podcast, a quality microphone is something to look into.
Thanks to free editing programs, you can take your raw footage and turn it into social media-ready clips quickly and easily. If you want to keep things simple, use the native video editing software on your computer. Apple products come with iMovie and PC’s usually come with a Video Editor app. If you would like to try something a little bit more advanced but still good or beginners, check out Adobe Premiere Rush. For making social media graphics or easily adding logos, text, or graphics to your video, Canva is an excellent free tool.
While video content is an important part of a modern marketing strategy, don’t put too much pressure on yourself to create it. Take it slow and enjoy the process of showcasing your brand through a new medium!
See Part 2 of this series, Show Up with Video Content Like a Pro Part 2: Ideas for Your Practice for prompts to get you started!
We hope this information can be a resource to you and your practice! If you would like more information on content creation, contact us at Theory About That!
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