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How to Make a Video with the Most Basic Equipment (We’re Talking a Mac ‘n Cheese Budget)

How to Make a Video with the Most Basic Equipment (We’re Talking a Mac ‘n Cheese Budget)

Do You Want to Start Doing Videos, But Don’t Want to Spend A Lot of Money?

If you’re looking to add video to your marketing mix, but don’t know what equipment you need to make it happen, check out my video below. No need to drop a lot of cash! Start with the basics and get going! Text version is below the video.

When you’re planning to dip your toes into making videos to promote yourself or your business, it can be intimidating when you watch videos on YouTube that are professional quality.

Some of those slick videos are shot with very expensive cameras, have full lighting setups and advanced editing software. You wonder how can I compete with all that? The good news is, you’re not competing with them because you are you and no one else can give the exact message in the exact way that you can.

You will be someone’s cup of tea even if you shoot your videos in your mom’s basement. Just don’t mention that last part. What’s cool about video, is that you don’t have to spend a fortune to make a video and create a look and feel that is right for your audience.

Also, keep in mind, most of those successful YouTubers probably didn’t start with all the fancy stuff. In fact, it was more like the opposite. They either used what they had, borrowed stuff or bought inexpensive equipment on Craig’s List or Amazon to get going.

That’s the way to do it. Start scrappy, then you can upgrade as you make progress if you’d like. Whatever works.

My Basic Must-haves:

Here’s what you need to just get rolling:

  • Recording device: phone, tablet or laptop
  • Tripod (if you are using your phone or tablet)
  • Microphone (if you are using a phone or tablet)
  • Light (if you’re not in front of a window, you need a light)

Use a Tripod to Hold Your Phone, Tablet or Camera

If you are using your phone or tablet, buy a cell phone tripod or tablet tripod.

Most importantly, a tripod will keep your camera steady, so no shaky video. Also, you can adjust the height depending on whether you are standing our sitting. The one below is a tripod and selfie stick in one.

Sure, you can put your phone on a shelf in front of a stack of books to hold it, but using a tripod gives you much more flexibility.

Lavalier Microphones Provide High Quality Sound

Another item to use with your cell phone is a lavalier microphone. With this one, you can plug it into your phone and the sound quality will be much better than if you were just using your phone

The sound of your voice will be stronger and clearer and there won’t be much background noise. This is especially important if you are shooting video outside.

Webcams are Generally Better than Built-In Cameras

If you’re using a camera on your laptop, invest in a webcam. The quality of the video and audio is much better than the built-in camera and microphone. I’ve been using the Logitech c920 for years and have recommended it to a lot of people. It’s worked consistently well. Also, there’s a box you can check that says “touch up my appearance” which is pretty sweet.

Whether you are using a cell phone or web cam, you also need to make sure you have good lighting. You need to make sure you have light directed at your face.  If you can set up in front of a window, that will work.

Gotta Love a Ring Light

If you can’t, then consider buying a ring light that goes around the lens of the camera. This will work for any kind of camera.  You can adjust the settings to have light that is flattering to your skin. Here’s one with a cell phone tripod. You can find ring lights for any kind of camera.

Whatever you do, don’t skip lighting. It can be the difference between looking bright and cheery or looking like you’re in the witness protection program.

Once you’ve got all your equipment ready, all you need to do is hit record. You’re going to be great!

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Hi and welcome! I’m Susan and this website focuses on all aspects of video to get your message out in the world.  For more of my background, please check out my About Page. 🙂


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