These days there is no denying the power of online video. It is an essential part of creating an online course. But businesses of all types can benefit from video content marketing.
Making great videos doesn’t mean you have to have access to a professional recording studio. You can easily set up a home video studio on your own and start producing high-quality content.
But you can’t just set up a camera and start recording in your bedroom. You’ll want to take some steps to make your studio is set up to produce high-quality videos. Here are some of our top tips for helping you set up your home video recording studio.
1. Get the right equipment
You’re going to need some gear before you even start to think about building your home video studio. The right equipment can go a long way toward making your video look and sound professional.
Notice we said “right” and not “best.” The best video gear can be extremely costly. The good news is that you don’t need the best and most expensive equipment to shoot great video.
The most obvious piece of gear you’ll need for your video recording studio is a camera.
If you are on a budget, there’s good news. Chances are you already have an adequate camera within arm’s reach: your smartphone. Cameras on modern-day smartphones are more than adequate to shoot your videos. This is especially true if you have a newer iPhone or Samsung Galaxy device.
If you have the money to buy a new top-of-the-line camera, look into ones that have:
- A fully articulating flip screen that allows you to see what you are recording
- 4K recording at 60fps
- Image stabilization for when you are recording on the go
- Good low-light performance.
We could list a bunch of high-end camera recommendations, but the truth of the matter is, this list would probably be outdated really fast. However, we will mention Panasonic’s GH5 which has set the standard for digital content creators and has continued to be a top choice for quite some time.
A good video requires good editing, which requires a computer. If you have a newer computer, it’ll probably be good enough to do the job.
If you have an older computer, or just don’t have a ton of RAM on your machine, things could get pretty frustrating pretty fast. Consider investing in something new and powerful.
Without a cameraperson, most of your home video studio recording is going to be shot by you alone.
You’ll need a good tripod to hold your camera in place. If you are on a budget, there are plenty of tripods available made specifically for smartphones, like the Acuvar 50” Aluminum Tripod. If you need a tripod more on the professional side of things, you can grab something like the Monfrotto MT190XPRO4.
Clearly, strong visuals are important to any good video, but don’t sleep on audio. In fact, bad audio can ruin a video just as much as any visual aspect.
Unfortunately, while your smartphone might be able to provide you adequate video, it’s not really a great option for audio. This means you’re going to have to invest a bit in your audio equipment. The good news is no matter what type of camera you are using, there is a plethora of good mics to pair with it.
Depending on your video studio setup, you can use these different types of mics:
- Condenser/USB mic: These can plug right into your computer and are great for recording clear voice-overs for your videos.
- Shotgun mic: Great for pairing with your camera and recording clear and focused audio of whatever is directly in front of it.
- Lavalier (lav or lapel) mic: Wireless mic you can clip on you. Works well when you’re on the move.
Good video lighting can be that added touch that makes your content look very professional. Bad lighting, on the other hand, can absolutely scream amateur.
For those on a budget, you have an excellent and free source for home video recording: natural light. You will have to pick a location for your home video studio that gets good natural light and you’re probably going to have to find the optimal time to shoot.
Just remember that more doesn’t mean better. Don’t shoot when the sun is shining directly into the room, or else your video could be easily overpowered by the light. Instead, look for a time when sufficient light is indirectly coming into the space.
When natural light will not suffice, or you don’t like the idea of only filming during the day, you can spend a little money to buy some lighting. The two most common types of lights for home studios are softboxes and LED ring lights. Softboxes tend to be the cheaper option, but LED ring lights at around $30-$50 more, aren’t exactly going to break the bank.
2. Pick a good location for filming
When finding that perfect spot for your DIY video studio, look for:
- Size. Choose a room that is big enough to fit you and all the gear you’re going to use to shoot your videos.
- Quiet. Find a place that is as free from outside noise as possible. Also, find a space where you are free to make as much noise as you need without interrupting others.
- Good lighting. Try to make sure your home studio has good lighting. Even if you are going to rely on artificial lighting, having the option of using natural light could be useful for some of your shooting.
When picking your location, think about how you can use the space. What different angles can you use? How can you move about the studio to make more interesting shots? Use floor markings to help keep those shots more consistent, especially when recording multiple takes.
3. Create a custom background
The options for video backgrounds are endless. If your budget is tight, there’s really nothing wrong with just using what you have. A nice clean white or neutrally-colored wall, like in the video above, can be a simple background that doesn’t distract from the focal point of the video.
Many YouTubers will also use a bookcase filled with books and knick knacks as their backgrounds.
If you have some money to spend, you can have customized pop-up banners made. This is a great opportunity to throw your brand in your background. If you want to step deep into production to really make professional quality videos, you can build a green screen that will allow you to digitally edit your backgrounds.
4. Set up your video lighting
The three-point lighting system is a tried and true method for video lighting. In it, you have a:
- Key light: Brightest light, focused on the subject at a 45-degree angle. Position yourself near a window so you can use natural lighting as your key light.
- Fill light: Dimmer light positioned opposite of the key light to help fill in shadows.
- Back light: Shines down on the subject from above to create depth in the shot. Slightly dimmer than the key light.
When positioning your lights or positioning your shot in relation to the natural light, consider the shadows. Make sure shadows don’t get in the way of what you want the viewers to focus on. But don’t completely wash shadows away from the shot. They can add nice depth to the picture.
5. Check your audio equipment
Remember, bad audio can ruin a shot just as much as bad video.
As you check to see that all looks good on your video, make sure you are also checking your audio. If things aren’t sounding great, make sure your mics are placed in the best position to get the right sounds.
If you’re picking up ambient noise, look into improving sound insulation in the space, or just tell your kids to go play outside for a bit.
6. Purchase video editing software
With your home video studio built, you can now get started on recording. The last piece of your home video production puzzle is editing. From free to pricey, there are many editing software options available.
Perhaps the most popular free option, especially amongst Mac users, is Apple’s own iMovie. If you want more bells and whistles, you can upgrade to Final Cut Pro. Another very big paid option for Mac and Windows PC users is Adobe Premier Pro.
Whichever editing option you choose, consider that editing can be a long process. Make some space in your video studio setup where you can comfortably sit and edit for long periods of time.
Using professional videos to grow your business
With your lighting, audio, and editing tools in place, it’s time to start creating content in your home video studio. Whether you’re shooting vlogs, comedy sketches, or online courses, the tips above will ensure your video looks as professional as possible.
But what to do with the finished version?
Of course, you can upload to YouTube. The world’s largest video site is a great place to gain an audience and authority around the topics your business is in.
Remember to not just build on someone else’s platform though. It’s still important to have your own professional website. That way, you can control things like your branding, sales pages, courses and more.
With Kajabi, you have access to video hosting, along with a plethora of other content creation and marketing features. With our all-in-one platform, you can create a website, sell online courses, run email marketing campaigns, and more.