Creating YouTube Videos for Your Small Business

By Maria Peagler

Apr 14
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Chances are if you’re a small business owner, high-priced commercials are out of the question.  Lucky you!  In today’s age of social media, commercials aren’t nearly as effective as a DIY YouTube video.  Who, me?  Yes, you.  You don’t have to be a video pro to create an authentic video that showcases your business.

How do you get started?

Get an inexpensive Flip video camera or Canon PowerShot.  Both take incredibly sharp images and are priced around $150.  Invest in a tripod and you can even record video solo.  Not ready for additional equipment?  Use the webcam on your computer.

Brainstorm content to reach customers.  Not sure what kind of video to make?  Here’s a list of ideas that work:

  • The most shared videos online are how-to and tutorials, because they deliver valuable instructions, while at the same time establishing your credibility as an expert.
  • Consider a behind-the-scenes look at your business.  My kids love watching How It’s Made, and I must admit there’s something hypnotic about watching how even the most mundane items are made.
  • Gotten some negative reviews online?  Offer a genuine video apology, and you’ll earn people’s trust.
  • If you’re an author, create a fun book trailer using Animoto, a free video slideshow tool.  I did this for my own book, and it was the start of two YouTube channels, which I’ve found to be highly effective in driving traffic to my website, increasing subscriptions to my blogs and email newsletter, and selling products.

Add titles to the video’s start and end.  Viewers are not going to remember your business name or website, so help them out.  Create a simple title frame to introduce your video that includes your business name, and a concluding title frame that offers your website and other social media channels.  You can use simple video editing software like iMovie (Mac) or Adobe Premier Elements to add the titles and make simple changes to your videos.

Keep it short. People are busy and you’re competing for their attention.  Get to the point, do it quickly, and be concise.  The best advice I’ve heard on quickly getting to the point is from children’s author Rosemary Wells, who said “start in the middle.”  You may have learned about introductions and summaries in English class, but those days are gone.  Keep your video under five minutes, and if you can keep it under two minutes, that’s even better.

Learn from the professionals. Many former television anchors are going solo these days, and they offer excellent advice.  Take a look at Mary Ellen Miller’s guest vlog, or watch Amani Channel’s excellent how-to videos.  He’s a former Fox reporter who now lives in Atlanta and does solo video reporting, training, and consulting.  His tips have helped me create better videos and I’m sure he’ll help you too.

Create a YouTube Channel. Once you’ve created multiple videos, develop a presence on YouTube by creating your own channel.  It’s easy, free, and helps people find you:  YouTube is the second largest search engine behind Google.  Stay tuned, because my next post will contain a tutorial on how to do this.

I hope you’re now convinced that you can create an effective video for your business.  We’re here to help.  Take a look at our online classes and how we can help you be successful in social media.


About the Author

Founder of, Benjamin Franklin award-winner for independent publishing, award winning author of eight books, wife, mom, quilter and watercolor artist.

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