Branding Business Video Marketing

6 Tips for Making Your Self-Made Business Videos Look More Professional

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Before we begin, let’s talk about the elephant in the room.

Should businesses use do-it-yourself videos for marketing or public relations?

For years my answer to this question has been an adamant “no”. My recommendation to most businesses has been to only use professionally created videos for marketing and public relations purposes.

It made sense after all. Have you ever watched a video that seemed unprofessional? Maybe the picture quality wasn’t great, or the sound was less than perfect? I have seen that these issues can turn off viewers almost immediately. They seem to associate the poor quality of the video with the quality of the company. Yet the opposite is true as well. If a video appears professional, it reflects well on the company.

This changed to some extent with the coming of the Covid-19 pandemic.

With the pandemic came the need to quarantine and the closing of businesses. This meant that businesses could not use crews to shoot their videos. They had to either stop using video to communicate, or they had to make home-made videos, usually using their phone cameras.

With the importance of video as a method of communication, many businesses have chosen to make their own videos. Consider that according to, 81% of all businesses use video as a marketing tool. They also say that by 2022, online videos will make up more than 82% of all consumer internet traffic. To stop communicating with their customers and employees by video was going to be too detrimental for many businesses.

So, during covid-19, companies have had to change their way of communicating. Flexibility has been essential. Many companies have decided to temporarily use home-made videos to keep in touch with their customers and employees. They have chosen continued engagement with their customers over video perfection.

The public seems to have accepted this. Now, although there’s some level of opening up of businesses around the country, the use of self-made videos appears to be continuing. It may continue for some time.

So who should use Do-it-Yourself videos for business purposes?

My perspective has changed with the times. Now I’d suggest the following:

  • Those needing to communicate during a pandemic or natural disaster.
  • Small businesses that can’t afford to have their videos professionally produced.

But this comes with a warning. Do your best to create these videos as professional in appearance as possible. 

There’s still truth to the fact that viewers associate the quality of a video with the quality of the company. There are many things you can do to improve your videos’ quality, and I’ll go over some of them below.

6 Tips to Make Your DIY Videos as Professional as Possible

For the purposes of this article, we’ll assume you’re shooting with an iPhone or Android device.

1. Set up your phone/camera fairly close.

You’ll want to have it between 3-5 feet away at maximum. This will help your camera to stay in focus better. Of course, you also don’t want it right up to your face either. That just doesn’t look good. You can frame it so you have a headshot if you wish, but be careful not to get so close that you’re larger than life or distorted.

2. Try to shoot with a simple background.

A busy background will be distracting. Also, your camera’s autofocus will continue to change based on what’s behind you. Stay with something as simple as possible.

3. Shoot horizontally (landscape mode) when possible, as opposed to vertically (portrait mode).

This will resemble how professional videos are shot. Of course, there are times when you will want to shoot vertically, depending on where you are showing your video.

Some platforms display their videos in different ways. If you’re planning to post your video on a specific platform, that’s something to keep in mind. Here are some of the social media platforms and how they display:

  • YouTube: Horizontal (Landscape mode)
  • Facebook: Horizontal (Landscape mode)
  • Instagram: Either (this will always display as a square in your feed)
  • Instagram Stories: Vertical (portrait mode)
  • Twitter: Horizontal (Landscape mode)

4. If you plan to edit the video, or if you plan to use a professional company to edit, plan for it before you shoot.

One of the things you can do to make a DIY video look more professional is to edit it. There are many layperson editing programs available. However, be careful here. Even with the right tools, you can make a video look less professional if you don’t know how to edit. It’s like getting your hair cut. You could have all the right tools, but would you want to cut your own hair or have someone in your household cut it for a special occasion? Most people would not.

So even if you’re shooting on your own, consider having your videos professionally edited. You’ve still saved thousands by shooting it yourself. Using a professional editor is easy. It can usually be done affordably and remotely so that no personal contact is necessary. It can take the video up to a whole new level.

Whether you have it edited by a professional editor, or whether you do it yourself, there’s a lot you can do with editing to make your videos more professional in appearance.

In the editing process, you can:

  • Choose your best takes and remove stumbles, etc.
  • Add titles and words on the screen.
  • Add graphics.
  • Add personal or existing business photos and video clips.
  • Add stock photos and stock video clips.
  • Color correct.
  • Light correct.
  • Sound correct.
  • Add music.
  • Add a voice-over.

So, here’s the tip. With editing in mind, when you shoot your video, let the camera record 10 seconds before you start talking, and 10 seconds after you stop talking. Keep your eye contact and position in that same spot until 10 seconds pass. Of course, you’ll be editing out those extra seconds, but it will give you proper spacing in between cuts. This will make it easier to edit several parts of your presentation together.

5. Use a microphone that connects to your phone.

This will help your audio to be clearer. You can get these pretty inexpensively from major online sellers such as Amazon.

6. Use a Tripod.

This can make a huge difference. This will allow you to have a steady shot. Using a tripod will take you from having a shaky camera shot to a perfectly still shot. This will appear much more professional. These can also be found online through major sellers such as Amazon.

These steps will make a huge difference to your DIY business videos.

Although it might take a little getting used to, with a little planning, you can raise up the quality of your home-made videos. This will allow you to project a more professional image for your company.

About the author


Greg Ball

Greg Ball is the President of Ball Media Innovations, a full-service Miami video production company. Ball Media also offers national service for video editing, video/film translation (dubbing and subtitles), and video studio design and building. They specialize in video production for marketing, training, social media, websites, conventions, and business events. You can reach Greg at 954-432-1274.