How to Produce Professional-Looking Testimonials With No Experience

man putting plates on a barbell

Does your business use videos for marketing? Video currently makes up 70% of consumer internet traffic, and Facebook alone gets 8 billion video views per day. Consumers are watching a lot more video on a huge variety of platforms, so if your business isn’t making videos, it’s missing out.

Videos are an invaluable way for fitness businesses to communicate directly with current and prospective clients. For example, you can use video to share the story of your gym with someone before they walk in the door, creating trust and transparency, building your brand and ultimately growing the business.

If you don’t have video on your website or social media, then testimonials—the ultimate social proof of your services—and overview videos should be your next marketing priority. But how exactly do you go about making them? Let’s take a look at how to get set up.

  • Equipment

    There are plenty of good quality and inexpensive camera options out there. GoPros, entry-level DSLR cameras and even your smartphone can work just fine. No matter what camera you use, you’ll need a good and sturdy tripod with a moving mounting head to make your shots more dynamic and interesting.

    Use a 3-point light kit to make sure the shot is not dark and grainy. You can buy one for around $100 or make one yourself for about half the price.

    Buy a microphone for clear, quality audio. You don’t have to get the best, but don’t go cheap on these either. We suggest lavalier style mics that clip to a shirt collar.

    Once you have your equipment and are ready to shoot a video, the process of making the video is broken down into a few simple steps.

  • Pre-Production

    Come up with the questions to ask in the video interview. The right questions will trigger the right responses from your clients and make for compelling testimonials. (Check out some examples of good questions here.)

    Have a second person stand slightly off camera (to left or right) so that the client you are filming does not have to look directly on camera. It makes it more natural and conversation style.

  • Production

    Production is the actual shooting of the video. Consider lighting your testimonial subject evenly. Best practice is using the three-point lighting method: a key light, fill light and back light.

    Place the key light about 45 degrees to the subject. Use the fill light to eliminate shadows caused by the key light. Use the backlight behind the subject. Clip on diffuser material (a white pillow case will do) to your light if you get any harsh light areas on your subject. Try using reflectors or natural light to make the most of the resources you have available.

    Be sure to do a sound check to ensure microphone sound levels are optimal. Do this for each subject you record. Everyone has different tones and volumes in their natural speaking voices.

    When it comes to composition (framing your shot), consider the rule of thirds: Imagine the frame is divided into a 3x3x3 grid. A point of interest is better off where the lines intersect than in the center of the frame. This provides an intimate view of the subject and focuses attention on the face.

  • B-Roll

    The interview is the main focus of the video, but B-Roll is equally as important. It includes all the shots of the gym, people, and workouts that the subject might be talking about. It’s the best way to pair the narrative of the video with visuals. Bonus? It can mask the cuts you make in the editing phase.

    Not all B-Roll filming has to be captured from a traditional point of view. Get creative! Try shots from different angles, close-ups, wide-shots and everything in between.

  • Post-Production

    Back up the footage to hard drives or cloud storage, edit the video to create the story, adding text, logos and music to bring it all together and export the final video file.

    To maximize your content marketing output, it’s worth creating videos specifically for social media as well as YouTube, and even taking scenes from the YouTube version and repurposing them as short social content, or ‘trailers’ that point towards your main video.

Happy filming!

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