When It Comes To Growing Your Business, I Always Say:
“Start with what you have.”
Creating create videos and choosing business tools doesn’t have to be complicated. I’ve listed my absolute favourites here so you know that you’re choosing quality tools.
Please note there are some affiliate links on this page, but I love each one of these products and wouldn’t recommend something that I don’t personally love and use in my business.
I’ve converted from Canon to these Sony mirrorless cameras for a couple reasons: they pack a ton of features into it’s small size (including in-body 4K and 120fps slow motion), and it’s much lighter than my bulky Canon. I love my 35mm prime for dreamy, blurry backgrounds. The FE 24-70mm is a great versatile, everyday zoom lens. The 24-240mm lens is an incredible telephoto lens which will give you excellent detail even for subjects far away.
I love this tiny but mighty point-n-shoot style Sony RX100vii that’s lightweight on my Zhiyun crane gimbal, but packs a ton of features like 250 fps slow motion (that’s really slow mo!), and has most of the grown-up features of the full sized mirrorless models. It also has a full flip LCD monitor that allows the user to see themselves, which makes creating vlog or talking head videos super convenient.
A clip-on lavalier mic will improve your audio without using an external recorder (although you still can). This model plugs directly into your iPhone or smartphone. For newer iPhones with a lightning connector, you’ll need a lightning to headphone adapter.
ZOOM H4N AUDIO RECORDER
If you’re serious about making videos, you should use an external audio recorder. You’ll notice that with an external recorder you’ll actually sound more like yourself, and you won’t have any distracting background noise which results in a much more professional looking video. Zoom makes a fantastic “little brother”: the Zoom H1N which is a less complex version. The only downfall is that you will have to sync your video and audio files together.
WESTCOTT LIGHTING KIT
I use a Westcott uLight 3 Light Kit for my blog videos and clients shoots. It’s durable, high quality and more than enough for most indoor shooting situations. This light kit come with tungsten (indoor) lights which tends to cast a warmer, yellowish tone to your footage. An easy fix is replacing the bulbs with daylight bulbs. They won’t be as bright, but they will create a nice, “daylight blue” color in your videos.
A ring light is a great option for lighting yourself on videos that doesn’t include the hassle of setting up a complex light system! They come in a range of sizes and prices, but this one wins for quality that doesn’t break the bank.
MANFROTTO 294 ALUMINUM TRIPOD
Manfrotto is a sturdy and reliable professional rated tripod that I trust to not fall apart during my shoots. I love the tilt ball head for full flexibility to position my camera from virtually any angle. The quick release plate also snaps out making for quick transitions to my monopod for shots that don’t need a full tripod.
I love this flexible tripod that I can use on my desk, or attach to other objects for interesting shots! There are many on the market, but none as durable as this one. If you’re using this for your smartphone, you’ll need this smartphone tripod adapter.
TELEPROMPTER APP BY JOE ALLEN (iPhone/iPad)
I love this versatile Teleprompter app that syncs with your Dropbox account! Simply upload your scripts in word format into your Dropbox and you can read them in this app.
Investing in a teleprompter is fantastic for when you need to speak on camera and deliver a lot of content (ie. sales page video). Practice a bit so you don’t look like you’re reading, but this is guaranteed to speed up your workflow!
The all-in-one platform that includes your newsletter provider, landing pages, membership site and shopping cart features. You can get started for just $1 and I’m pretty darned sure that you’ll fall in love like I did!
The cloud based software that I use to organize all my invoicing, CRM, projects and bookkeeping into a streamlined workflow. I love the templates that you can create for emails, contracts, quotes (anything really!) and put it into a workflow so it’s all automated.
Acuity Scheduling has made booking all appointments streamlined and simple! You can easily establish office hours to limit bookings, block out dates/times that you’re unavailable with a click, and customize your emails that go out to prospects and clients.
My go-to printer for high quality business cards and business stationary like thank you cards. Their easy-to-use website for placing your orders, coupled with fast shipping, you can count on them to help your business stand out with printed collateral.
A robust editing program that I use for all my screen recordings. With the multiple layers that you can control, you can create your own animated intros and have virtually all the functions of a professional editing program. If you’re on a PC, Camtasia would be a close equivalent (and it’s available for Macs too). If all you need to screen capturing (and not the editing bells and whistles), the free version of Quicktime can do that for you.
FINAL CUT PRO X
My go-to editing software for all my projects. The workflow is robust, the interface is pretty to look at and there are a ton of new built-in features like 3D titles, advanced effects like masks and color grading, and support for various file formats, editing has never been sexier.
My go-to resource for stock footage clips. They have monthly memberships available starting at $79/month which is a fraction of what you would pay for a single clip. Some other great inexpensive options are Dissolve.com and MotionElements.com. For higher end stock footage, Shutterstock.com simply can’t be beat with their diversity and quality.
High quality stock footage can be expensive, and they often don’t fit the style I’m trying to create. Fortunately, Filmpac creates beautiful, dreamy high quality stock footage that you can purchase in “collections”. They have various packs for different content and styles, so you’re sure to find something for your project!
Purchasing stock music can get expensive, but this is my new favorite source to get high-quality soundtracks for only $199 for a year. They’re always updating their diverse selection so you’re sure to find something for any project!
Simply the best selection of royalty-free music and all so well organized so the search process is streamlined. They also offer a selection of sound effects for adding extra touches to your video or animated intros. A more economical option is Audiojungle.net
As an extension of Google searches, this platform has been the leader for video hosting for a long time because (with the right keywords and descriptions) your videos can appear in Google searches. It’s the platform for sharing your videos and vlogs, but never for posting private or paid membership content. Even when your video is listed as unlisted or private, it’s still not as secure as a platform like Wistia or Vimeo.
My choice for hosting paid membership videos because of it’s customizations and very reasonable cost. You can add your brand colors and logo to embedded videos, gather viewership stats and organize your videos into collections so they’re easier to manage. For a free basic membership, you can upload up to 500MB/week, but if you’re hosting videos for a membership site, you’ll want to upgrade to Plus or Pro. You can check out the full run-down on tiers and rates here.