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How to Create a Successful DIY Video on a Budget This guide for beginners will help startups and entrepreneurs create a high-quality video at a low cost.

By Jennifer Jager Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

As an expert in your field, you likely have experience and advice that's important to others. One way to market your area of expertise is uploading a simple video to YouTube, which can help attract some new Facebook fans, Twitter followers, build up your email list and gain new customers. But that is only if it is done correctly. And no, it doesn't necessarily need to eat up your entire marketing budget. Indeed, some of the best videos are shot with just a phone.

Here are a few tips for creating videos yourself that will help you rise to the top of Google's search engine results and give your social media a boost:

Related: 9 Tips for Packing Your Brand's Message Into a 15-Second Instagram Video

Informative content is key.

Don't try to create a branding or marketing video on your own; a DIY video should be purely educational. Your audience will forgive your poor production values if they're learning great information. Be sure your DIY video is chock full of meaty content that's meaningful to the viewer. Think: tips, advice or recommendations.

Know that videos work for any business.

The type of field you're in will dictate the type of video you should create. If you sell a physical product, shoot a demonstration about how that product works. If you're in a service-related industry, like real estate, create a video blog using a webcam or set your phone on a tripod. Give some advice about a very focused topic, like how to effectively price your home for sale.

Related: A Checklist of 8 Best Practices for Successful Video Campaigns

While it may be easy to ramble on about your area of expertise, keep it under two minutes. You need to leave them wanting more.

Be confident!

Frankly, it takes some guts to get in front of the camera. You might have insecurities about your level expertise but that is OK. As long as you know 95 percent more about that topic than the general population (and believe me you DO) that's good enough.

Also, don't try to memorize a script, or worse yet read one during your video. The viewer will know right away if you sound scripted and that gives the impression that you really don't know the information you are talking about. It's better to be a bit imperfect with a few "ums" and "ahs" than to sound like you're reading or reciting information.

Lastly, practice smiling while you talk. It may feel unnatural at first, but your viewers will perceive you as comfortable and confident.

Use the technology you already have on hand.

Smartphones or web cameras are the perfect tools for anyone just getting started with DIY video. When shooting with your phone, make sure you hold it sideways, not vertically. Another small investment I recommend is a lavelier, or tie clip, microphone. The built in microphones on your laptop, desktop or smartphone pick up a lot of background noise, and even the most inexpensive tie clip microphone will deliver a vast improvement. Many can be found online at Amazon for under $20 and will make a world of difference in the quality of your audio.

Fresh video content is so valuable to your online marketing efforts but hiring a pro every time can be expensive. Don't be afraid to unleash your inner Spielberg and try your hand at DIY video.

Related: Determining the Right Kind of Video for Your Message

Jennifer Jager

Creative Director at Plum Productions and Host at

Jennifer Jager is the creative director at Plum Productions, a South Florida-based production company. She's also the coach at, an online video-production training site for small-business owners.


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