Guest Blogger: Chuck Green is a Big 50 remodeler who returned to video production, winning a New England Emmy® Award in 2012. Chuck and Shawn have worked together on several video productions including a series of RRP videos for Remodeling magazine. Check out Chuck’s work at www.PerpetualMotionMedia.com He can be reached at: CG@PerpetualMotionMedia.com
Tips For Using Video On Your Contractor Website To Introduce Your Team
To consumers a remodeling project can either feel like an invasion or a friendly co-occupation. Using video on your website is a great way to convey which reality your company offers if they hire you.
In my last guest blog here at the Design Builders Blog I discussed 6 Creative Ways You Can Use Videos On Your Contractor Website. In this blog I offer some tips and suggestions for getting the best value out of the videos you use on your website to introduce your team.
Topics for staff to address in their video interviews
Before you do these videos I suggest you consider your goals for doing them. Below I offer two suggested goals and some topics to help accomplish the goals.
Goal 1: Convince your future customers their home will be in good hands.
- What is their background and/or length of time at their trade?
- What does it mean to them to be a team member?
- How long have they been with the company, and how have they moved up in skills and responsibilities?
- Is there a special project they’re still passionate about? Any award winners they’ve worked on?
- Mention how, especially if they’re also homeowners themselves, they really understand the importance of (for example) closing outside doors and wiping off their feet.
- Or perhaps it’s keeping work disturbances to a minimum.
Goal 2: Deepen the personalization, demonstrating they’re people not too different from your customers:
- What town do they live in? Grow up in?
- Say something about their children and family.
- What are their hobbies and outside interests?
- What are their significant achievements both in work and outside?
- What’s the most interesting place they’ve ever traveled to or lived in?
- What instruments do they play, and for how long? (Sometimes it might be wise not to talk about the kind of music they’re into.)
Tips for creating high quality video and audio
Ideally, keep each of your construction team introduction videos to under a minute, but 1-1/2 minutes should be the max. Record all the relevant topics, but post only 2 or 3 of the elements which come out best with each person. Here are several important considerations to keep top of mind if you want to maximize your video investment.
It’s important to have everyone around be relaxed; if it doesn’t flow easily after a couple of tries, take a break and return to the filming later. For the interviews, have each person sitting while looking at someone they’re friendly with, located just off to one side of the camera. Interviewees should remain looking at the other person continuously and avoid quick looks at the camera (or look only at the camera). If a person's eyes shift back and forth, they literally look shifty!
All the introductions should have extra care taken to light the person and background well. To look best, avoid mixing daylight, fluorescent, and incandescent lighting; either applying gels to change the color temperature of sources, or swapping out bulbs.
Surprisingly, the mantra in the film and video world is “Sound is half the picture.” Poor sound is a hallmark of schlocky work, dragging down many otherwise promising videos. If someone insists they don’t need an external microphone to record speech, don’t even consider working with them! Also, watch out for and eliminate distracting sounds in the background. Radios OFF! And don't seat someone close to an inside corner, because there will be very slight but irritating echoes.
Tools do not make one a master
As with construction tools, mastering the use of the equipment to do professional-level work is a long process. Not surprisingly, creating video worthy of a company which does high quality work involves far more than just having good equipment.
Prepare a rough script, allowing for the improvisational nature of most interviews. It can serve as your guide during the production recording work, in many ways. When developing your script you might also want to consider and plan for the places other than your website where you will show off your videos. For example a cable television commercial could be filmed simultaneously if your efforts are well planned.