10 common mistakes entrepreneurs make when creating video

I really wanted it to be 9 common mistakes.

But then I thought of one other thing and it made it 10.

Dammit. Let’s just say I prefer odd to even numbers. Maybe because I tend to veer toward odd. Who knows.


Are you a women entrepreneur? Do you have a YouTube channel? Are you worried that your videos might not ‘cut the mustard’?

You might be right. Especially if you are making one or more of the mistakes mentioned below. But never fear doll, I’ll tell you what you can do to make fab little videos of your own.

First, let’s talk about the fact that…

50% of videos you see on YouTube are crap

[that may be more or less depending on your tolerance for video based crap]

For the remaining 50% you’ll find at least 20% are videos of things you probably have no interest in [dudes trying to recreate Jackass stype stunts *yawn*, some cheesy guy in a cheap suit talking about real estate, someone trying to teach their kid how to ride a bike]

Another 20% are teenagers using the world wide web as a platform to bemoan their angst ridden lives [in fact we may want to add this the to the 50% of crap at the start of this post]

Perhaps I’m being harsh? Perhaps I should be more forgiving of those poorly thought out, poorly made, inane attempts at video entertainment?

Nope. Because making beautiful, funny, creative, informative and well presented videos is what we NEED to aim for my darlings.

Nothing Less

So what about the remaining 10%?

These marvelous videos tend to be an absolute pleasure to watch. They are well crafted, beautifully shot, skillfully edited and have a clear message, high impact or make you laugh.

And, believe it or not, there are many that are made on a small budget, without a videographer and with just a simple message to convey.

You want to be one of the 10% don’t you?

How to avoid the 90% crap pile

To avoid being lumped in the 90% crap pile, here are some common mistakes I see women entrepreneurs make and how you, as an online business woman, can lean more towards the glorious 10%

1.Forget about it becoming viral

Trying to make a video that will go viral is a fools errand. Videos, much like anything else in the world, are subjective and you can never hope to predict what people will love so much, that it will be shared by millions worldwide. Slate wrote about your chances of creating a viral video. Answer is, not very high. So stop trying to create the next ‘Charlie bit my finger’ video and concentrate on making something creative, funny, informative & valuable for your viewers.

2.Set it up.

This seems really obvious but a lot of women entrepreneurs appear to flip open their Macbook when the inspiration grabs them, record a rambling 15minute video and directly upload it to YouTube. This only really works for a select few so do yourself a favour and figure out a pleasing set up for your video, get a favourable composition [how you frame yourself on screen] and if at all possible, try not to do it in your jammies. [Dyana, you rocked it though!]

3. I can’t hear you!

In TV broadcasting, there is a a common thought that sound is in some ways more important than vision. This doesn’t mean terrible video with pristine quality sound, it just means viewers are more forgiving of a poor picture than they are of poor sound. You should of course be aiming for the best for both aspects of your video creation but try to keep your sound as clean, clear and audible as possible.

Get yourself a better microphone if needs be. Turn the radio, TV and washing machine off. Tell the kids to go outside & play and ask you husband/girlfriend/partner to not ask you questions from the other room every 5mins. You’ve got something to say dollface and we want to hear it.

4. Let there be light

I may already have mentioned in a previous post that videos made in a dark bedroom are NOT the kind of videos you should be aiming for so let me stress that light is important, very important, if you want your videos to look semi-professional. No need to go out and spend thousands on pro lighting kits, just utilise daylight the best you can.

Position yourself with daylight on your face, remembering to not do it in direct sunlight [the bleached out look is to be avoided] and don’t silhouette yourself by having the light behind you.[yes I know you love the halo/goddess look but we can't see your face missus!!]

5. Rambling is for walks with your dogs

I’d say this is the BIGGEST mistake most women entrepreneurs make when creating their videos. You’ll know yourself, you’ve clicked on a link to a video, started watching the ‘talking head’ and within 5mins your eyes have glazed over, you’ve drifted off into thinking about a shopping list and are no longer in any way engaged with the video you started watching.

KEEP IT SHORT darlins, 3mins at the MOST, 5mins if it’s especially riveting. There are some that can break this rule[this is generally with a promo or a instruction video] And they can do this because their content is stellar, they inter-cut their ‘talking head’ with graphics & a variety of shots and usually have hired a pro production team.

6. Do you own a record label?

If you do or are in fact a musician, then you can most likely use your music freely on your videos. Music copyright is something to take heed of when creating your videos. If it’s commercial music that you can buy on iTunes, then the chances are you do not have permission to use the track on your video.

And don’t think because everyone else has done it, that it’ll be ok for you to do it. If you upload your video to YouTube, then the track will be recognised & highlighted anyway, so there is no hiding it.

I have used commercial music on some of my creative videos and am looking to replace it with local musicians and artists that would be willing to either let me use their music for a credit or to pay them for a single use license. Think about it. It’s only fair that the person who created the track should get paid or credited. You want the same for your own work don’t you?

7. This is about you, not the adorable Mister Floofy kittykins

Unless you are a vet, pet groomer, pet whisperer or any kind of animal related business, then it’s usually best if your pets don’t feature in your videos. I’m not saying you can’t use some shots of you with your pets [these kind of shots are best used as general shots to inter-cut an intro video or promo video with] and you can’t argue against the fact that cats RULE the internet.

However, if you are doing a piece to camera and trying to convey a message or teach your peeps something, it’s generally best if your kitty doesn’t keep walking past the screen or mr barky pants isn’t singing you a howling lullaby in the background. You’ll know what your audience expects from you and if it aint pets, then keep your videos animal free.

8. Leave it to Tina Fey

Be wary of the silly, goofy, funny videos. These can be used to great effect but you need to really ask yourself if it fits with your brand, your personality and what your audience expects and will tolerate from you. I’m not saying your videos need to be deadpan, serious and humourless but if you are trying TOO hard to be funny or zany in your videos, it will come across as a bit desperate and a teeny bit uncomfortable for your viewers.

Just be yourself at all times, if being silly/funny comes natural to you, then go for it but if not, that’s cool too. Not everyone needs to be the clown [I simply HAVE to be the clown, let's just say "jester' is an innate part of my personality, business or otherwise.]

9.Chop. Chop. Chop.

When you get to the edit stage [the stage that makes you want to tear your hair out] of creating your video, try to remember two things:

1.Tell a frikkin Story.

2. Inter-cut the talking head with other images.

When I say tell a story, I don’t mean ramble on and on for 20mins in a mini Harry Potter-esque story-teling session, about every little thing that could be relevant to the point you are making. I mean structure your video the same way you would a story. Start, middle and end. The best way to do this is by introducing your subject matter [start] explaining how it is done and/or why it is important to your viewer [middle] and then a call to action or something for them to think about [end]

Inter-cutting the footage – if your 3 min video is all about, let’s say green juicing and the benefits to your health, then you would inter-cut your piece to camera with shots of lots of lovely green veg, perhaps you washing the veg under a tap, chopping the veg up, feeding the juicer, the iced glass with the juice being poured into it, you drinking the green juice etc etc etc.

By including other shots in between your piece to camera, this will keep your viewer engaged with your video and less inclined to click away.

10. You didn’t check it did you?

I see this sometimes. A women entrepreneur takes the time to shoot and edit a film, then uploads it to YouTube without checking it back, then posts the link to Twitter, FB & G+ without realising it’s either A. The wrong video or B. there are glitches in it.

Do yourself a favour dollface and ALWAYS check your video back before sharing it. You’ll save yourself the embarrasment and having to apologise to everyone.

Need some extra help with video creation?

Glad you asked dollface as I can totally help you out! Please do leave a comment for me here on this page, tweet me or leave a comment on my FB page – will be more than happy to answer any quick questions you have

Or if you feel like you need a little more one on one time, head on over to my services page and book a consultation.

And if you’d rather just learn a little more by yourself, you can always pick up my handy guidebook!

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