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Create Your Own "Regent Elevate" Style Series

We are so excited that so many of you enjoy and share our Regent Elevate series on social media.  We get so many comments and responses about how it’s helping you and your business and we love it! 

My name is Brandon Gaffney, and I help produce the graphics & video for the bank as the Marketing Director.  Together with the CEO of the bank, each week we produce & distribute the Elevate video series with minimal video equipment and a minimal budget.  The purpose of our Regent Elevate series is to bring relevant and useful information for free to customers and non-customers to help elevate you and your business to the next level.  If you haven't seen our Elevate series, you can find them here. We currently use a two camera set up and special microphones to produce the video series each week, but today I want to discuss how you can produce similar content in your business as well.  

One of the most common questions we often get asked is, “How can I do a similar series in my business?  I probably need a bunch of fancy video equipment don’t I?” 

The overall answer is NO.  Sure, it’s great to have a bunch of fancy video equipment, but I want to show you how you can replicate a podcast-style series using equipment you already have or can acquire inexpensively.  If this is your first dive into offering content & digital resources to the world, my suggestion to you would be to start small and scale up as you prove the concept.  I would hate for you to buy $10,000 worth of gear and find out it won’t work for you. 


First & foremost, there’s no substitute for good content. 

You can spend all the time in the world creating a beautiful masterpiece, but it would not be worth anything to anyone because you aren’t talking about things people care about.  Fortunately, the star of our show is Sean Kouplen, Chairman & CEO of Regent Bank and also serves as the current Commerce Secretary for the State of Oklahoma.  He’s an author, business leader and public speaker, so it’s pretty easy to put together material that people want to hear. 

If you don't have that kind of a resume, that's ok.  Most everyone has something that they have a core competency in, especially if you are a business owner.  My suggestion to you is to sit down and define your goal and then begin outlining topics and information that help people meet a need.  Don’t let your goal be solely, “to drive more business to my company”.  Your content will begin to appear like a commercial & people will tune out.

For example, if you are in the real estate field, talk to people about things like, “The most bang for your buck improvements you can make to your house before selling”.  Even if you’re in an obscure business that you don’t think you can make 5 videos, let alone 20 for the rest of the year, there’s probably something about you particularly that you can share knowledge on.

One company I used to be personally involved with, was in the industry of repairing broken phones.  People always wanted to see how we repaired the devices or were interested in repairing them themselves, so we started teaching people how to repair and diagnose issues on our YouTube channel.  That accomplished a couple things for us at the time outside of generating brand recognition on a national level.  First, we educated our customer base on the complexities of most repairs and that added value to what we were doing because most people didn’t want to repair the devices themselves. And secondly, we started selling the parts on our website along with tools & accessories to go along with the videos. 

You don’t need expensive equipment.

Let’s talk about shooting video with what you’ve probably got on you right now…your smart phone.  You’ve probably heard this before, but you can shoot great video and take great pictures with your fancy new smart phone.  It’s incredible what the newest phones can do.  Here’s the kicker: You need better audio than the default microphone in your device and you need to frame the shot more professionally.  Here’s a great video for reference (it’s a couple years old, but it still works on shooting video with an iPhone)


#1 Invest in a microphone that connects to your device.

If you don’t have good audio, or audio that sounds like you’re 10 ft away, the viewer can immediately tell that this video isn’t professional, and subconsciously lose interest.  You can actually get away with lower video quality if your audio is top notch. You could use the microphone on your earbuds that come with your device since it moves the mic closer to your face, but no one likes seeing those dangling wires coming out of your ears. 

Here’s some portable phone mics that I recommend:

The Rode Video Mic ($79).  It attaches to the charge port of your iPhone and is essentially a mini “shotgun” mic which targets the audio directly where it’s pointing. 

Apogee MiC 96k  ($99 Refurbished).  I personally use this microphone for recording podcast audio.  It comes with a variety of cables that you can plug into your phone or your computer and works straight out of the box with no software to install.  They’ve came out with new versions since, so it’s easy to pick one up under $100 as it used to be $230 brand new. 

Long story short, there are a thousand options to choose from, but the main thing is you want to get the microphone as close to your face as you can without being a distraction in the shot. 

Are you shooting more than 2 people in your video?  Well, that’s more complicated and probably not the best situation for a basic, low budget set up like this.  Though, it can be done.  Send us a message on social media and we would be happy to try to walk you through some ways to set it up or get you more information.

#2 Get a Tripod for your phone. 

Don’t try to have someone hold the phone while shooting.  Handheld phone video is ok for short informal social media videos, but not best when you’re trying to really get your point across in a longer format.  No one likes to be on the other end getting motion sickness with your videos.  The easiest set up is a small desktop tripod with a universal cell phone holder.  With social media apps becoming so popular that allow people to shoot & post video of themselves, there are millions of cheap options to choose from.  Here is one that I use.

You can also purchase taller tripods that even have lighting attached to it, but you don’t always need it.  Which brings us to…

You don’t need fancy lights & lighting.

Natural light coming in from a window is one of the best options!  Try not to shoot with the window in the background of your shot, but instead try to put your camera set up in between you and the light source.  If you shoot with the window in the background, your phone will try to auto expose for the bright light in the background and will make you look dark. 

It’s amazing what natural light coming through a big open window will do.  Some of my best video & photos have come from having a good natural lighting source.

Frame your shot.

You want to make sure you have the subject well framed.  It’s best practice to usually set the tripod/camera at eye level so that the view feels like they are part of the conversation. Generally, looking down at your subject can make them look small or unnatural.  Shooting up at the subject is rarely flattering.  So, when you’re starting out, it’s probably easiest to shoot straight on and, I can’t stress this enough…make sure your phone is turned sideways!  There are exceptions, for example if your video is specifically being created to be used on Facebook or Instagram stories and not on the normal news feed.  The stories function of these platforms are in portrait mode and not widescreen.  However, if you’re posting to your company’s social newsfeed or to YouTube especially, try to make sure your shot is horizontal and in the highest resolution possible (4k isn’t necessarily needed, but shooting in 1080p HD is at the very least what you want).  You can find these resolution options in the camera settings of your device.  Shooting in 4k allows you to crop your shot later without losing resolution. 

Try not to shoot against a wall.  There is a HUGE difference in the way a shot looks with someone against or near a wall and someone who has a lot of room behind them.  Ever notice that blur that happens in the background of a great shot?  That’s called “bokeh”, and your phone has automatically set up a focal range for you and tries to stay in focus with the subjects eyes.  So, everything in front and behind the subject gets the blur effect.  You won’t get this if you’re against the wall. 

Editing & publishing your video

Fortunately, the star of our Regent Elevate series is a one-take wonder.   There’s very little editing that I need to do to get the video ready for publishing other than cutting out the dead airtime before he starts talking and after he finishes up.  If you’re anything like me on camera, I’ve got to record my ideas in bursts or read the entire thing off a teleprompter.  If you’ve got a lot of sections that you want to cut out, I’ve got some great inexpensive editing tools that you can use on your phone or computer:

If you have an iPhone or an Apple computer, you have access to a great free editor already.  Since you’re shooting on your iPhone, you can download “iMovie” from the App Store and dice up your video and publish it straight from the app.  It’s very easy to use and is great for simple and quick edits.  If you want to work from your computer, your Apple will come pre-loaded with the same desktop version of the app as well that can do everything and more that the phone app can do.  If you want a little more control and editing power, you can download their pro version of the software, “Final Cut X” for $299.  However, if you’re just getting started, I recommend working out of the free version to start. 

If you have a PC or Galaxy phone, I recommend using Adobe products.  Creative Cloud (which has all of the creative apps like Photoshop, Illustrator & more) also contains the software “Adobe Premiere” which is a great editing tool.  It’s what I would classify as a “pro” tool, so it might be a little more complicated to use than you’re used to.  However, they also have a phone app called “Adobe Premiere Clip” that you can download for free and is fast and easy to use.  The company that makes GoPro cameras also has an app called “Quik” that you can use and easily put text in your shot, add music, and stitch together your clips. 

Most of these apps have a “share” button that you can easily share to your social media channels straight out of the app so there’s no clunky exporting of the file back to your device.

I hope this helps!  If you like this series, be sure and leave a comment on what next subject you'd like to see us tackle & be sure and like & subscribe to our social media & YouTube Channel.

 headshot of brandon gaffneyBrandon Gaffney
AVP/Marketing Director