Video Playbook: A Practical Guide For Beginners

Video marketing is one of the most effective ways to market your personal brand or business. However, it’s constantly developing and expanding to suit the preferences of consumers, so we need to meet them where they’re at. That means understanding the latest trends and best practices is essential for your success.

You’ve heard the experts talk about it, your colleagues rave about it, and know you need to record them, but how do you get started? You’re in the right place. I created this guide for you.

As a bonus, I added a short list of my favorite affordable tools at the end.


Write Your Video Script 

Collect your thoughts and write them down in advance to ensure a clear and concise message. Once you hit the record button, avoid sounding scripted or reading from your script. If bullet points help to keep you on track, then place them close to the camera lens on your device so it doesn’t look like you’re reading. The more you practice, the more natural and better you’ll sound when it’s time to record.

Personalize your video by speaking as you would to your ideal customer or a friend, reflecting empathy for the problem that you solve.

Setting Up Your Video Camera 

Place your camera on a tripod or steady surface at eye-level. Avoid angles where the camera lens is looking up or down on you. Shoot in landscape mode and position yourself in the center of the screen, allowing a few inches of space above your head and on either side for comfortable cropping to square or vertical versions.

If you’re standing, the bottom of your screen should be around your fourth shirt button or right above your belly button. If you’re seated, the bottom of the camera should end at your third shirt button or base of a half-zip sweater.

Choose a non-distracting background, avoid windows, showing other people, and posters/signs that viewers can read.

Wait 3-seconds before speaking once you hit record and leave 3-seconds at the end. Bonus tip: When you finish recording, pose in a few different ways so we can take screenshots from the video for a cover image.

If you’re having a hard time recording your video in one take, break it up into a few parts to be woven together later. 


If you’re using a smartphone, set the phone in your tripod and record in selfie mode so you can position yourself in the frame correctly and get comfortable. Please note: unless you’re using an app like ProMovie or Filmic Pro, shoot the final video with the camera on the back of your phone as it shoots better quality footage than the front camera. 

Practice breathing deeply before you begin and smile at the intro and after certain points.

Remember, you’re providing valuable information that your audience wants to hear. Focus on the message and the people, not your appearance. They don’t care about your appearance as much as you do. Don’t curb your enthusiasm – If you talk with your hands, then do that in the video. Move around be the person they will meet in real life.


Find a location with plenty of natural light or non-fluorescent indoor lighting. Position yourself facing a window or set up your primary light sources facing you, not behind you. Avoid overhead lights unless you have an additional light source shining on your face.


Use a lapel mic if you have a headphone jack or lightning port on your device. If you need a lightning port to headphone jack adaptor for iPhone, see the tool list below.


Wear solid colors that contrast with your surroundings. Avoid patterns, stripes, plaids, polka dots, and shiny garments.

Affordable Video Tools

Vicseed 67” phone tripod

Royal Voice Lavalier Lapel Mic

Apple Lightning to Headphone Jack Adaptor

– ProMovie or Filmic Pro Video App

Limo Light Studio 700W Output, LMS103