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How to create amazing video content with your phone


Feb 1, 2017
Read Time: X Min
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In today's world, video has become the dominating content delivery method, and there's no sign of it slowing down anytime soon. 

Utilizing video in your content delivery has so many substantial benefits, and statistics suggest that video popularity will continue to grow year after year. 

There's a wonderful reason for this.

The devices that so many people carry around in their pockets these days, are so powerful that you can run a full empire from the palm of your hand.

Quality of cameras in phones increases year over year, while storage capabilities increase simultaneously. 

What does this mean for you?

Well... this means that if you have a smart phone with a camera, then you can offer video content directly to your audience, without needing any fancy expensive cameras. 

This opens up the floodgates of content for people all over the world.

We truly are in a knowledge revolution, and having the ability to record and send videos will change the way we learn and interact on a daily basis. 

With the addition of things like Facebook live, we are even more empowered to create valuable content and deliver it immediately. 

Bob Heilig knows this all too well. 

By using Facebook live and starting with 5 minute videos, he was able to grow his business from zero to 7-figures!

With that in mind, we'd like to take some time to share some tips on using your phone to record and deliver your video content. 

Before Getting Started

Before we dive too deep into this cove of valuable information, there's a few things to consider before getting started.

1. The overall purpose of your video.

This is a very important thing to consider going forward.

Filming a sales video to live on your landing pages could be different than filming a informative video that you stream live to Facebook.

Either way, it's good to know what your end goal is with the video at hand.

2. The overall length of your video. 

This is surely something to map out before getting started.

Many of us keep our phones pretty full with images and videos already, so the last thing you'll want to worry about is your video cutting halfway through due to storage capacity problems.

Knowing the recording rate of your phone is a great way to prevent malfunctions in the future. 

For instance, the iPhone 7 recording rate is as follows:

  • 60 MB with 720 HD at 30fps
  • 130 MB with 1080 HD at 30fps
  • 175 MB with 1080p at 60 fps
  • 350 MB with 4k

Are you familiar with what this means and how it equates? 

Well, if this doesn't look like something you're concerned about, then let me explain.

Let's assume you have 5 GB of free space on your phone.

You may have 10x that, but based on personal experience, I can bet that this isn't an unlikely situation.

That being said, this means that you can film in 720p for roughly 83 minutes.

5GB = 5,000MB, 5,000MB/60MB min = 83 minutes of recording time.

To expedite that example, filming in 4k with 5GB of free space will allow for just over 14 minutes of recording. 

You can see how this may greatly affect your recording times.

When it comes to resolution, the majority of devices today are viewing things in 1080p, so you may want to stick to that for your filming.

720p was the first version of high definition, and 4k is the latest. 

As the number increases, the resolution is improved.

Lastly, when it comes to 30fps versus 60fps, that refers to the frames per second. 

Frame rates are solely a factor in movement and motion, and not the resolution.

The difference in motion quality between 60fps and 30fps is great, yet 1080p at 30fps looks high quality nonetheless. No need to stress over the frame rates in most cases. 

3. The audio recording and quality of your video.

Audio truly can be a dealbreaker with many videos.

I've seen videos who's quality and imagery is second to none, with audio quality that expedited me pressing the stop button. 

You'll want to consider how you'll piece in your audio of your videos.

If you're doing Facebook live, you may want to invest in a lavalier microphone that plugs into your phone so you don't have to worry about audio quality on a live video.

If you're not broadcasting live, you also may want to consider spending more time filming the content your audience is there to see, and simply adding audio later.

Regardless of your approach, you'll want to consider your audio options before filming on your phone. 

Additional Equipment to Consider

Phone Photography Equipment

Don't worry, the heading above explains it all, the following is a list of equipment to consider, yet nothing additional is mandatory to use your phone for video. 

Let's cover some general tools that could improve the overall quality of your video production experience.

1. Tripods

In a world filled with selfie sticks on every street corner, the power of tripods seems to be put on the back burner. 

The truth is, they make tripods specifically designed for phones.

You can even find tripod attachments that will allow for your already existing tripod to house your phone.

Maybe you don't have room for a tripod, or perhaps you want to be sitting at your desk.

Well, you can even get a mini or flexible tripod that will hold your phone wrapped around a solid object.

There are endless propping possibilities available for your phone through online and big box retailers worldwide. 

2. Lighting

The power of good lighting goes a long way.

Most of us take lighting in videos for granted, but good lighting technique truly is an art.

Whether you want to utilize the power of a ring light, or purchase softboxes and LED lights is completely up to you. 

At the Kajabi HQ, we've used an LED light behind the subject and projecting on the rear wall/backdrop. 

This creates an ambient aura around the subject.

With the background looking nice and clean, you'll need to brighten up your subject to prevent a silhouette effect.

For this, Kajabi utilizes three separate lights.

Two softbox lights on the sides of the camera, and one ring light directly in front of the subject. 

Keep in mind, this is not our setup in all instances, this is our usual setup from within our studio. 

When we move the camera out to the lobby, or even upstairs, we utilize more natural light and less artificial light.

It truly is a battle of trial and error in most cases, but luckily there are some amazing Kajabi Heroes, like Tiffany Bymaster, who can teach you all about lighting at

3. Audio Recording

As we mentioned above, audio can really be a substantial factor in your videos' engagement success. 

For that reason, it's best to map out your choice of recording before hand. 

There are so many possibilities when it comes to audio recording, and being that this section is for additional equipment, we'll expand on multiple. 

Before we expand on the equipment, there are a few definitions you should know when looking for audio recording hardware.

1. Omni-directional Microphone - A microphone that picks up sound from all directions around the receiver at an equal gain. This means it's sensitive to all noise factors, such as an air conditioning unit running. 

2. Uni-directional Microphone - Microphones that will pick up in a single general direction. When something like the Zoom H6N has two uni-directional microphones attached, it becomes a bi-directional microphone. 

3. Cardoid Microphone - This will pickup sound from a range of 180 degrees from the front of the receiver. This offers a more direct signal at the subject and decreases the pickup of background noise.

4. Condenser Microphone - Condensers will require additional power sources in order to operate, rather than relying on the device to power the mic. In turn, this will increase the audio signal and likely increase the quality. 

5. Dynamic Microphone - Dynamic mics are known for having a high gain before feedback rate, but is an unlikely factor in your recording scenary. The other main benefit of a dynamic mic is that it likely won't need external power to operate.

Now that we have a bit of a term foundation, let's move forward to the hardware.

  • Lavaliers

Lavalier microphones are the small wired mics that are attached directly to the subject and rest on the upper chest. 

Many reputable brands like Sennheiser, Audio-Technica and Rode all have high quality lavaliers. 

There are a few things to note with lavaliers:

  • They can plug directly into the audio jack of most phones for direct recording. 
  • They will stand out on any colors other than black if the microphone is in the frame of the camera.
  • While high quality lavaliers decrease this, all lavaliers are subject to feedback from rubbing against the subject or their clothing. 

While it comes down to a case of preference, lavaliers still prove useful in plenty of situations where larger microphones aren't practical... even if it's just as an audio backup. 

  • External Audio Recorders

Many people have utilized the power of external audio recorders. 

One area they're fairly popular is in legal proceedings with court reporters.

Although they serve as a wonderful backup tool, they also can make your audio quality greater overall. 

The Zoom H6N is in good use at the Kajabi HQ, and it houses 4 XLR ports for audio. 

Now, with something like this, we can attach two lavaliers to Travis & Kenny, then use our Rode mic on a boom recording as a backup.

A device like the H6N also has two microphones, making it essentially a bi-directional microphone in addition to the inputs. 

Many external audio recorders also house the ability to attach either a lavalier microphone into the audio jack, or larger microphones into possible XLR inputs. 

In addition to that, many can fit up to a 128 GB memory card for long recording sessions. 

If you're going to use a larger microphone, it'll likely have to plug into either an audio device or a computer via USB.

  • Microphones

Nowadays, USB and podcast microphones are quite common. 

Companies like Blue Microphones and Neewer specialize in USB microphones catered to a podcast market. 

These have a good reputation for sound quality and can prove extremely useful when recording audio later on in a controlled environment. 

One thing to consider when going with a USB powered microphone is that it will need to be recording directly into a computer. 

Software like Screenflow or Adobe Audition make this easy, yet you'll need to prepare for the computer to be near the subject. 

Also, if you've ever wondered what the floating circles in front of studio microphones are, they're called pop filters.

The purpose of a pop filter is to decrease the emphasis you naturally make on certain pronunciations. In the United States, pop filters are common for decreasing the emphasis on the letter P. 

You can usually find a decent pop filter for about $10 - $20 or so. 

Some larger microphones or lavaliers come with an XLR input rather than the 1/8" audio input.

In these cases, you'll need an external sound device in order to record the audio, unless you have a camera with XLR inputs. 

  • Phone Clip Microphones

There's been a wave of clip on microphones, built for phones, that attach directly via the audio jack and secure themselves via rubber clips. 

After trying the Rode phone mic, we can say that these can prove to be a very useful way for increasing the phone's audio capability without having to hold any additional equipment. 

  • Your Phone's Default Audio 

We'll admit, originally we were thinking of putting this at the top of the list. 

Luckily, the additional equipment title saved us.

The reason why we decided to include this, yet kept it for the bottom is because of the ability versus quality factor.

Yes, you can easily use your phone's audio input in most cases. 

For instance, recording to Facebook live doesn't need an external microphone of any sort, and there's no reason to stress about it when people are expecting it to be candid and lower production quality. 

However, if you're planning on recording your sales or promotional videos on your phone, then you'll definitely want to utilize the power of an external microphone.

In a controlled environment, on newer model phones, you can still have wonderful sound quality to suit your needs with just your phone. 

However, adding external microphones will only increase the quality and allow for consistent branding going forward in your online journey. 

4. Software

Now, there's a reason why this is listed under 'Additional Equipment to Consider.'

That reason being; there's technically no need to have any software for this, so we didn't feel the need to list it as a necessity outside of this section.

You truly can do a single take on your phone, and then upload it immediately.

There's no right or wrong way to video with a phone, there are only best practices paired with trial and error. 

That being said, you could easily accomplish your entire video library and content offering without video editing software.

In case you did want to edit these videos, here are a few powerful software tools that are common industry standards:

1. Adobe Premiere

2. Apple Final Cut Pro

3. Camtasia

4. Screenflow

5. iMovie - Yes, that's the 2nd Apple shoutout in the list... sorry PC users. 

6. Movavi

If you're on a phone with an app store available to it, you can search through for the top rated video editing apps that may suit your needs. 

While the list above is a few samples of popular platforms, they all can edit basic video in the exact same fashion. 

They do have different powerful features independent to themselves, but for general cutting and editing, they're all in the same general ball park. 

Your Presence On Camera

Now that you've stuck with us through our overview of possible additional equipment, let's talk about you on camera. 

Studies show that people relate to smiling far more positively than they do with frowning or straight facial expressions.

That may seem obvious, but it's amazing how often a subject may forget to smile when they aren't speaking or engaging the audience.

When it comes to setting up your shot, it's important to remember a few key tips.

1. Film in the landscape orientation, rather than portrait. 

Many people utilize Facebook Live with portrait oriented filming (and this truly is the one exception), but if you want this to remain on your website and be viewed possibly on computer monitors, you'll want to stick with landscape orientation.

2. Utilize the Rule of Thirds

Break up your shot into three sections and analyze what is taking place in each of these three sections of your shot.

Will your audience be distracted?

Will they stop listening to what you're saying because they're wondering why your computer monitor has a screensaver from 20 years ago? 

The rule of thirds is an under appreciated way of making your screen presence more pleasant.

When a subject is directly in the middle of a shot, and staring directly at the camera, it can come off as aggressive to people. 

Simply setting the subject slightly off center can go a long way for the smallest of reasons. 

If you're going to have a banner stating your name or information at the bottom, you should also utilize this practice. 

Having your name left justified and not front and center also appears more professional in many cases. 

3. Don't be too close or too far from the camera. 

Now, there's no set definitive distance that a subject should be from the camera. 

Obviously, if you are the size of an ant, you'll lose engagement.

Likewise, if you're so close to the camera that your face doesn't even fit, they may be closing your page just as fast as opening it. 

These are all things you'll need to analyze and adjust for yourself to suit the best interest of your audience. 

4. Never be afraid to introduce yourself in every video.

Never assume that somebody has watched all of your videos, even if they're on video 3 of a 5 part series.

For that reason, don't be afraid to introduce yourself in the beginning of every video.

Don't necessarily go into detail about your background, but come up with a good quick 5 second intro to start each video, and you'll soon get into a habit of saying it automatically and comfortably. 

5. Never take advice as concrete limits.

This rule is simply here so you take this post as a word of advice, but make whatever you want with it.

The truth is, there's no best way to make a video, and there are always ways to improve on a practice. 

Just because we're sitting here giving you tips on how to produce video via your phone, doesn't mean that you can't practice other techniques. 

Send Video From Your Phone To Your Audience

So you've learned some best practices for actually recording your video, both with your phone and external equipment, so now let's talk about how to get it to your audience. 

Below, we'll breakdown a few common practices for sending your video out to the world, both freely and for a price.

1. Dropbox - The majority of smartphones have the ability to install the Dropbox app, allowing you to not only upload your video directly, but then also link it with your Kajabi account for quick upload to your site.

2. USB Upload - If you plug your phone into your USB port of your computer, you can then transfer the file over and then store and upload it however you wish. This will allow you to delete the file off of your phone and keep a file on standby for uses elsewhere.

3. Record to Facebook Live - If you're recording directly to your Facebook audience, then this will be a live stream from your phone and you won't have to worry about storage. If you decide you want to download the file, you can do so through Facebook.

4. Google Drive - Like Dropbox, Google Drive can store tons of footage, while also giving you the ability to link it with a Kajabi account.

5. iCloud - For any Mac users out there, you can backup video content to the cloud and access it later on on multiple devices.  

The Power and Value of Video Content

To wrap up this article, we'd like to share with you some statistics that indicate just how powerful the use of video, to share your content, can prove to be.

  • According to Groupon, 78% of people watch videos online every week.
  • According to Digitalist Mag, online video now accounts for more than 50% of all content.
  • Almost 5 billion videos are viewed on Youtube every single day.
  • The average number of hours that people spend watching videos on Youtube increases steadily by 60% year over year.

While these statistics may seem pointless to some people, it shows that this monster of a way to view content is not going away anytime soon.

The more video content you produce, the more your digital library will grow, and therefore create an authority in your niche. 

Don't let yourself be mentally held back or reserved about putting yourself on video and sharing your content with the world. 

If you haven't already done so, go out and video yourself talking about the knowledge you have to share, then put it on a landing page or social media.

Make Your Phone Work For You

Now that you have the drive to truly tap into your potential video skills, it's time to build on the platform that can carry your message throughout the world. Kajabi is by far the best choice in sharing your passion with the world.

Nowhere else can you have every tool living under the same roof that will maximize your potential for sharing your knowledge online.

If you haven't already done so, checkout all of our Kajabi Heroes and see their stories of success with our platform.

Right now, start your free trial and really utilize the power of Kajabi to get you on your way to a life-changing income.

What are you waiting for? Get on Kajabi and share your video content!

Find more related blog posts:

How to make your podcasts, videos, and audio courses sound better
What is Kajabi?

10 Tips for starting your first YouTube channel

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