Anyone with a phone can make a video these days, but to make a professional, high-quality video that gives your company or brand a clean, modern look requires two important things 1) the time and effort put into editing the video, and 2) excellent content – video, audio, and still imagery.

If you are low on editing skills, have no fear: there are some fantastic tutorials out there. If you have iMovie, Adobe Premiere Pro, Windows Movie Maker, or any of the major video software programs, there are some quick and easy lessons you can use in your design. So, content skills: check that off your list. Now, as for creating, or assembling the right content, here are a few key tips:

1. Explore for ideas. One low-cost subscription with Video Blocks is great so that you can download unlimited videos or audio clips cheaper than the cost of just one clip on other sites. Spend some time exploring videos and graphic sites for ideas, looking for pieces that resonate with your plan. Tag the items you like by adding them to your project bin or favorites list. Leave it alone for it a bit, and come back for a few more rounds of exploration. By the time you are done, you should have a good collection in your list for inspiration.

2. Fully storyboard your video. Many people lay out their basic plot line, but don’t take the time to envision more complex, and costly, items like compositing, montages, and superimposition. Take the time to map your entire concept, including any crawl you want to use, so you know exactly what content you will create yourself. Once you finish your visual map, go ahead and generate your creatives from raw footage, voiceover, and/or graphic design. As you do so, you should find yourself drilling down, and further organizing the clips you want to download.

3. Make your intro and exit your big “wow” moments. Spend time on the moments that count the most. Your video should be short, ideally under one minute for a concept and five minutes to teach something. Thus, your beginning and end are your most important impressions. Consider something truly unique, like 360 degree aerial shots. And above all, don’t forget to transition well in and out of those “wow” moments. Try a slick cross-fade, or a dramatic cut. Use the sweetening process to enhance those beginning and ending moments to their maximal potential with the right sound effects.

With a little effort, you can make a professional, high-quality video for less than $100. Take your time, and enjoy the process. And don’t be afraid to ask/watch for help!