It’s taken a couple of years, but Nolan has slowly improved his at-home video studio setup. This meant investing in a professional camera (and lens), quality audio equipment, and lighting gear.
If you’re thinking this sounds expensive, you’re right. However, if you’re going to promote your RIA online, it’s important.
Many advisors are still using built-in webcams or external webcams for their client engagements. These are best used as backups.
Investing in a mirror-less camera is essential for producing high-quality video for virtual meetings. It significantly ups your video content game, as well.
The investment cost him around $5,000 when the equipment was newly released. However, if you want a good camera setup that delivers professional-quality video, you should plan to budget around $3,000.
The next (and arguably most important) topic is your audio. There are several different options. Regardless, we recommend a universal approach with a dynamic microphone like the Shure SM7B microphone.
It only captures sounds coming from directly in front of it. So, if employees, dogs, or children get noisy, it typically funnels them out.
Since Nolan’s SM7B is a professional microphone with an XLR cable, a mixer is required to pair it with a computer. If you are considering starting a podcast with multiple guests, we’d suggest investing in the RODECASTER Pro.
This means an audio equipment budget of around $1,000. In all honesty, there aren’t any cheaper options we recommend.
Now for some good news: Lighting can significantly improve your video’s overall quality. However, it doesn’t have to be so expensive.
The basic idea is to provide as much illumination as you can. This makes the camera have to work less, which results in better video quality.
The key light is your main light—and the workhorse of the trio. It’s the one shining directly on whoever is in front of the camera.
Meanwhile, the fill light illuminates the room, allowing your video to look more natural in color. Last of all, the backlight adds depth, separating the subject from the background.
A solid lighting budget will run around $500-$1500. The layout of the space you are using as a studio accounts for the large disparity in price: Nolan’s personal setup includes a large window providing daylight.
Your background can vary with your taste. We’ve seen advisors with blank backgrounds, a whiteboard for illustrating, and even a professional studio featuring a Google Jamboard TV (for drawing on).
We’d suggest avoiding white walls, which can be a hassle to get looking right on-camera, but that’s your decision. The key is to keep your imagery appealing to the viewer.
Nolan recommends placing your camera in the corner of your room and recording at an angle. This creates some depth and gives you more options, background-wise, to work with.
Last but not least, thank you for listening!
WELCOME TO ANOTHER EPISODE OF THE RIA MARKETING PODCAST. I’M YOUR CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER AND HOST, NOLAN MARTIN.
Today, I want to give you some tips to level up your video quality.
Whether you use video as a medium for your client appointments or even your content, focusing on the quality aspect is going to help you make greater connections with your clients and your ideal future clients.
Over the last couple of years, I have slowly improved my at-home studio setup so that I could improve the overall quality of our videos.
From investing in a professional camera and lens, quality audio, and quality lighting, I have made improvements as a deliberate expense to my company--and something I’m going to recommend your RIA do as well.
In this episode, I’m going to cover the following:
Before I jump into discussing all of these categories--just know that there are many ways to enhance your setup and I’m just providing you with some of my opinions and how I set up my home-office studio.
With that being said--let’s jump into the discussion!
Professional Quality Video For Financial Advisors The first topic to discuss is video.
Many advisors are still using built-in webcams or external webcams for their client engagements.
Although this is a great backup--investing in a mirrorless camera is essential if you want to produce high-quality video for virtual meetings or video content.
In order to hook up an external camera to your computer, you will need a small device called a capture card.
Essentially, this allows you to be able to choose the mirrorless camera as a high-end webcam for your computer.
The capture card that I use and recommend at this time is the Elgato Cam Link 4K.
For those of you who enjoy watching our video podcast on YouTube, you can likely see the quality of our video.
I’m using a Canon EOS R6 and an RF 15-35mm F2.8L Lens.
Now, this is likely over the top for what you would really need for your RIA.
I’m running a setup that cost around $5,000 when I purchased it as a new release earlier this year.
But, if you are looking to budget for a good camera setup that will deliver the professional quality video you are looking for, you should plan to budget around $3,000.
Professional Quality Audio For Financial Advisors
The next and arguably most important topic is your audio.
We have all had the experience when you click on a video or podcast and the audio is awful--you immediately click out or onto another episode.
There are several different options when it comes to audio, but I recommend a universal approach with a dynamic microphone, such as the Shure SM7B microphone that I’m using here.
I like this option because it is a great-sounding microphone with a cardioid pattern.
What that means to you is that it is forgiving to background noise if you are in anything except a dedicated professional studio.
If you do not speak into the front of the microphone, then it will not capture the full sound.
So--when you decide to work from home or office and you have employees, the dogs, or even your kids that occasionally get out of control--it can really save your client’s ears!
Since this is a professional microphone with an XLR cable, you have to use a microphone activator to properly use this microphone with your computer.
If you are ever considering starting a podcast with multiple guests or want the room to grow in the future, I’d recommend investing in the RODECASTER Pro with this microphone.
The package makes your life easy and will provide you with the quality audio you are looking for.
For this setup, you are looking at about $1,000 and I don’t recommend you go with any cheaper options.
Professional Quality Lighting For Financial Advisors Lighting can significantly improve your video’s overall quality, and you don’t necessarily have to invest in expensive options.
What you want to remember is the 3-Point Lighting setup, which is your key light, fill light and backlight.
The basic idea is to provide as much light as you can because it makes the video camera have to work less, which equates to a better quality video.
The key light is your main light and this is what does most of the work to illuminate yourself. I’m using a simple ring light but if I could go back, I would have chosen a light with a softbox so you don’t see the halo effect in my eyes. Now, I’m fortunate enough to have a large window off to my right side.
This is providing the light that a fill light would fulfill if I didn’t have this window. It is basically illuminating the room and allowing the video to look more natural in color. A backlight is going to separate you from your background.
If you are tight in space, then this is extremely important. If you have some depth in your recording setup, then it is less important in my opinion.
Ideally, I would have a light that is placed behind me and hits the back of my head and upper body.
This would allow me to stand out a little more in the video. I also have these lights in the background to provide a little more depth to this setup. For a lighting budget, plan to spend around $500 - $1500.
The large disparity in price is due to the space you are using for your setup. You may have to find compact options or use additional lights if you aren’t fortunate enough to have a great window right next to you.
You a top-of-the-line setup, you can easily spend around $3,000. Professional Background for Financial Advisors Your background can vary with your taste.
I chose to go with an entryway table and a print of George Washington at the Battle of Trenton.
This room was already painted but if I had white walls, I would have wanted to paint the room to make it a little more appealing for the viewer.
But, I’ve seen advisors who have everything from a blank background, to a whiteboard for drawing concepts, to a professional studio setup with a Google Jamboard TV that you can actually draw on.
So, just know that there is no one shoe fits all.
A pro tip is that if you place your camera in the corner of your room and record at an angle, you are going to create some depth and give you some more options to work with.
Hopefully, you were able to take away some ideas as you start to plan your studio setup--whether it is at the office or at your home.
Now, this is a podcast that is all about getting quick wins for your RIA--so with that:
Quick Win #1: Invest in a mirrorless camera setup with RF lens technology.
The RF lens is the new technology for these cameras, so it should future proof your setup for longer than if you went with the older EF technology.
Even if you meet with your clients in person, it allows you to send video emails and build a great connection with your existing clients as well as prospects.
I’ll cover this idea more in future episodes.
Quick Win #2: Have a plan that maximizes the depth and versatility of your space.
I have this great sit-stand desk that allows me the flexibility to sit down when I need to or stand up when I’m on a client call or recording a video podcast.
Well, that is it from us for today’s episode. I’m Nolan Martin and this is the RIA Marketing Podcast. We at Gray Line Media thank you for listening to our podcast.
Please remember: We’re determined to help RIAs connect with their Superfans and Ideal Future Clients through remarkable websites and relatable content.
My only question is, will it be your RIA?