This video is my second most popular one to date:
Music Videos vs. Live Song Videos
Live Song Videos are different from “Music Videos”. In the above example I am playing live to “tape” whereas Music Videos tend to be lip-synced to a pre-recorded track. Here’s what my experience has taught me: the production quality of a video is heavily dependent on the type of camera movement in the individual shots (good editing and planning are really important too). The same is true for both types of videos made for and by singer-songwriters.
Just say NO to lockdown shots (unless they are really short)
A lockdown shot tends to have less value than a moving one, even if the movement is rough. I believe this is because a moving shot is subconsciously perceived as being a community event. There has to be someone moving the camera, so there are at least two people involved in the production. The more complicated and technically involved a camera move is the more expensive it can be to obtain. Hollywood crews have really upped the ante to play in the high end of that game. When you pay attention to any medium to big budget movie (or TV show) you can see how camera movement is a key factor in the production. Big crane shots and long dolly rolls don’t happen by accident, they take careful planning and blocking to achieve. Plus, it really helps when the actors hit their marks so the whole thing can be in focus!
Save money and get great results (I can help you do that)
The same is true for Music Videos that come together well. Take a look at your favorite music videos and tell me which ones they are. I’ll reverse engineer them and give you a clear idea of what is involved in making them. If you are willing to invest your time in pre-production, you can save a fortune in making a great Music Video, or you can hire a company that deals with big budgets and get an expensive one made. I really like to watch those and they can get some epic sharing, however, they are not cheap to produce. There is a middle ground and that is where I can be of most help to you (beyond the low, low budget, mostly “do it yourself” kind of thing which I also love and adore).
After you have made and posted videos you can improve results
There is the optimization and promotional aspect of video posting. You can make it a habit to always upload as “unlisted” and make sure that your title, description and tags are relevant as well as helpful before making your video(s) public. Search engines have no idea what a video is about unless you tell them. The actual video information is just a bunch of 0’s and 1’s that is pretty much perceived by Google (and other search engines) as the same as all the other videos posted online.
Start to post more videos and keep posting every week
One thing I can do is encourage you to post more and post regularly. That will help to guarantee your success more than anything else. I know that you will get better at it with practice. My greatest value is that I can help people to do the stuff that I did right and avoid what I did wrong. You can also make videos about things that might interest people other than your songs (just a hint).
This is my third most popular video:
A simple formula for getting great results
This is what I’d really like to do because I know it will 100% guarantee that I’ll get where I want to be and I will take someone along with me:
- For starters find a friend who also wants to have videos made and be their camera operator (even if your camera is a smart phone). They should do the same for you.
- Secondly for Live Song Videos, record the sound separately, this will require, at the minimum, a second smart phone or anpother type of digital audio recorder (you can get into a mixer and fancy microphones if you want, however, that is beyond the scope of this post).
- Third, plan on doing this routine several times and each time try to get at least two or three full songs done well, not perfect, just done well.
- Then make it a habit to post (with optimized titles, descriptions and tags) every week for at least one full year.
- Lastly, comment on and share other people’s videos and ask them to comment on yours. Be enthusiastic and relentless about this activity. I am living proof that reciprocity works well.
Here’s why this will work
Google ranks (makes highly visible) videos that are on sites (like YouTube Channels or Blogs and other websites) with authority (established and well trafficked) and have more engagement (likes, comments and shares). This is more important more than the total number of views. When your video is shared and/or embedded on another site (especially one with authority) and commented on it builds your channel’s authority.
The goal that will benefit all who participate
What each of us should want to achieve is to build YouTube Channels with great authority. Channels with great reach so that everything we post on it will have gravitas, simply because it’s there. And we should all aim to create videos that are worthy of being shared, both in the content and the quality of the production (whatever our budgets are).
One last thought (and really the whole point here)
Subscribers that actually watch, like, comment on and share your videos are like pure gold. It is a great strategy to nourish those relationships. Here is what I propose: lets start to lead by example and build a community of singer-songwriters who build each other’s YouTube channel authority and encourage regular posting, even if every post is not an epic Music Video or even a tremendous Live Song Video; you can simply tell me what you feel with a locked down, static shot using the on-camera mic.