How to Build a Successful Video Workflow

How to Build a Successful Video Workflow

If you want to make a video but don’t know where to start, our video workflow series can set you off on the right path.

The video creation process can be overwhelming for anyone who’s never done it before. There are so many different parts to consider, from what camera you’re going to use to how to write a script.

Creating a video workflow can help you understand how to complete each part of the process and help you make better videos.

TechSmith’s Video Producer, Andy Owen, and Global Content Manager, Justin Simon, join Learning and Video Ambassador, Matt Pierce, to share their knowledge in the Video Workflow series. The 30-minute episodes help you build a successful video workflow, as the trio provide tips and advice from their years of experience in all areas of the video creation process.

Andy is a video production specialist who has been both in front of and behind the camera for more than 20 years, Justin is a content expert who knows what makes a good video script, and Matt is the host of TechSmith’s livestream show and podcast The Visual Lounge. The trio has a wide range of video workflow experiences. Listen, watch or read on to find out why you should build your own.

You can watch the video on this topic at the top of this post, to listen to the podcast episode, hit play below, or read on for more…

Why you should build a video workflow

One of the great things about modern technology is that anyone can record a video and post it on social media. But how do you take your videos to the next level?

There are small adjustments everyone can make to their video creation process and make their videos more helpful and enjoyable to watch. These could include changing your camera angle, paying attention to how you’re lit, or even simply centering yourself correctly within the frame.  

As your video skills become more advanced, your video workflow will develop. But the crucial part to growing these skills is to start creating video – that’s where the Video Workflow series comes in. It’s designed to meet you where you are in your video creation process (even if that’s at the very beginning) and help you build a workflow that’s right for you.

How a video workflow streamlines your creation process

Whether you’re making tutorial videos or social media videos, the Video Workflow series can help you design a system where you won’t have to recreate the wheel each time. Justin pointed out that’s why the series is called “Video Workflow.”

“The idea is to try to help you set up a process to where you don’t have to recreate the wheel and rethink of things every single time you sit down to make a video.” – Justin

While many of us might want to create something unique every time, it’s not realistic if you want to produce lots of content. Introducing a system helps to streamline and speed up your video workflow. You can also templatize your video style, which works especially well if you’re creating videos for a specific series – just like the Video Workflow series.

If making your workflows faster is something you want to achieve, all three presenters agree that you have to let go of one idea: perfection. Setting perfection aside can stop you from worrying that your videos aren’t Hollywood-quality and instead focus on providing the content your audience need.

“Perfectionism ends up being what stops you” – Andy Owen

It can also prevent you from spending too much time on your videos. As Matt noted, “video editors will say a video is never done – it’s due.” You can keep editing your videos or adding extra content, but your video may never be “perfect.” If it achieves what you set out to then it’s time to publish.

What your video workflow should prioritize

You need to be clear on what you want your videos to achieve and design a workflow focused on your goal. If your video content is to help someone, like a tutorial video, then your information is far more important than a high-quality video.

You can introduce more technical elements to your videos as you become more skilled. But, when you’re getting started, you need to consider what people will get out of your videos and prioritize delivering that.

“Your audience will give you the benefit of the doubt when it comes to video quality, so long as the information is helpful” – Justin Simon

We know that our audience enjoys watching videos that help them achieve something, so our priority is to provide them with helpful content. But it’s up to you to understand what your audience expects from you and design a workflow that allows you to provide it for them consistently.

It’s also worth thinking about what you shouldn’t prioritize. There will be times when you want to include something that you think is cool but doesn’t give your audience anything extra. Andy states that you’ll often have to make creative judgment calls about whether you’re expanding your video’s creativity for fun or to benefit your audience.

“If you’re doing things that meet your creative needs, but don’t help your audience, then you’re off. Don’t slack on your audience. Don’t slack on the things that are important to them.” – Justin

What video workflow pitfalls to avoid

You can make several errors when creating a video workflow that can lead to longer creation times or just bad videos. Here’s a quick overview of some pitfalls to avoid.

  • Under-planning – if you don’t plan your content, you may not have the right content, or you may have so much content that you get stuck in the editing process. Storyboarding and scripting can stop you from getting bogged down with unnecessary content.
  • Over-planning – conversely, if you spend too much time planning, you may never get started. Set some basic parameters to help. For example, to record our Video Workflow series we’re using a simple bullet-point plan and recording for no more than 30 minutes.
  • Not reading your script out loud ­– video is a visual medium, but your audio is a crucial part of communicating with your audience. Reading your script aloud can help you understand where you’ll need to add visuals to support your information, and if you need to cut any unnecessary material.
  • Not being intentional with your edits ­­– each edit you make to your video should increase its value, not take away from it. If you’re planning to use transitions or effects in your videos for example, think about why you want to use them and whether or not they’re helping the audience.
  • Biting off more than you can chew – don’t try and create an Oscar-winning video on your first try. There’s a lot to learn with video, and doing too much can overwhelm anyone, especially beginners. Start with what you know, and your skills will grow from there.

We go into much more detail about video workflows, including where to start and what to watch out for in the full Video Workflow series. The episodes are now available to watch now on the TechSmith website.

For even more resources to level-up your videos, including video courses and free downloads, check out the TechSmith Academy.

For more expert advice and tips visit TechSmith Academy on YouTube or listen to the Podcast.

Ryan Knott

TechSmith Marketing Content Specialist. Geek. Science Enthusiast. Retired roller derby coach. On a mission to pet all the dogs. He/him. A few things about me ... 1. Mildly obsessed with the movie Alien, 2. Two pibbles: Biggie and Reo, 3. Friend of ducks everywhere.

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