The internet can now teach us how to do everything. From how to operate an iPhone to cooking a 5-star dinner. We expect information to be available as quickly as we can tap a screen, and when we do find what we’re looking for, we expect it to be easy to understand and use. Put this all together and it’s easy to see why tutorial videos are so incredibly popular—all who wants to read when you can watch?
With this in mind, we’ve put together a simple step-by-step guide on how to make a tutorial video from start to finish. Here are the steps:
1. Decide on a Question to Answer
The first step in creating your tutorial video is determining what question you want to answer. Whether you’re a blogger, a marketer, or a hobbyist, you likely have knowledge to share with the world, but what is it that other people would want to know? You can find out what questions people are asking by using popular search marketing tools like SEMRush and Google AdWords—or type in a question in Google Search and look at the “People also ask” section. Figuring out what questions people have can help you focus on a topic that people care about. Ultimately, you want your video to be seen, right? Instead of shouting into an empty room, find a room that already has an audience, then go from there.
2. Develop Your Outline
To make your information easily digestible, you’ll need to organize it in a way that makes sense. Creating an outline will allow you to lay out all of the important steps in the correct order so that you don’t forget anything when you go to film. Creating an outline will also help you pair your video with a blog post or transcription, which can help you reach a broader audience.
3. Get the Right Equipment
We could create an entire post on equipment alone—and if we get enough comments and questions about it, we might do just that. For now, let’s go over the basics.
If you’re only going to be doing one or two videos you might not want to put down the money for a fancy mic. You can use Snagit to record your screen and your voice through your computer’s built in mic. The audio quality won’t be stellar, but if you speak clearly the quality will likely be acceptable.
If you are going to be doing a lot of these videos for a class to sell on Udemy or for a tutorial series on YouTube, then consider investing in a quality mic. Our advice? Search Amazon for budget-friendly mics if you are just starting out. Once you have a few videos under your belt, and you think you will continue to make more tutorial videos, then you might want to invest in a mic like the UTX-B2 by Sony.
4. Prepare your Environment
While you may think that your bedroom is a great place to record your videos because it’s nice and quiet, you’re most likely wrong. Do you have a ceiling fan or humidifier running at all times? White noise can really mess up the sound quality of your video. Do you have beautiful hardwood floors or bare, minimalistic walls? These hard, uncovered surfaces can produce a lot of reverb and mess with your video’s sound quality. You can cover your floors with rugs and your walls with paintings… or you can find a smaller room with better acoustics.
Helpful tip for eliminating the sound of silence from your video: Record 15-30 seconds of “silence” so that you can use it in between sound gaps. Adding in white noise where you cut audio will make your audio more seamless even after editing.
Your physical environment should be ready for recording, and so should your technical environment. If you are going to record your screen, you will want to either clean up you room or hide away any clutter. You will also want to put your equipment at arms length so you can grab it while filming. This makes your video come across as more professional.
5. Record Your Video
You’ve got your outline, and you’ve prepped your equipment, so it’s time to start recording. Don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t come out perfect the first time…or the third, you’ll get there eventually. Chances are you will stumble over your words a few times, forget crucial steps, and need to re-record many times. Practice makes perfect though, and once you’ve gotten the hang of things, you can add some flare and personality to the video. We’ve all seen those videos with the presenter who has a monotone voice fit for putting an insomniac to sleep—don’t be that guy! Once you get your final recording, complete with witty comments and easily digestible information, it’s time to move onto the editing!
6. Editing Your Video and Audio
There are a number of software programs that will allow you to edit audio and video. Some popular video and sound editing tools include iMovie, Adobe Premiere Pro, Adobe and Apple Final Cut Pro. Each of these has their advantages and disadvantages, so do some research to figure out which one is best for you and your current skill level—but you can of course always improve your skill level by watching tutorial videos. Cut out any mistakes you made during your recording, make the sound quality consistent throughout the video, and re-record any sections that need it. It’s time to polish up your video so you can come off as the pro you really are.
7. Add in Extras
Extras for Branding:
If you’re creating a tutorial video you want your viewers to know exactly who made the video for them. Whether you want to use it to promote your personal brand, your blog, or your company, you should add some branding to your video. One of the easiest ways to add your brand is to create a title or intro that is consistent across your videos. While you can create your own title template from scratch, you can also use one of our After Effects templates, and just edit it to make it your own.
Extras for Quality:
Check out AudioBlocks sound effects and music to add emotion, comedy, or drama to your video. The AudioBlocks sound library is full of boings, rain sounds, and laugh tracks, and the music library is full of every genre and style. Audio can be used to cover up mistakes, moments of bad sound quality, and extraneous noises that you couldn’t control.
8. Upload and Optimize
Once you’re satisfied with your video, it’s time to upload it to YouTube and optimize your video for search. Remember in the beginning when we had you do some research to figure out which questions you should be answering? Well, your research will also help you optimize your video to reach larger audiences. Write a description for your video including the big questions that people were asking and that your video is meant to answer. You can even do a quick summary of the key points you make in your video—your outline would be a good place to find these key points. You will also want to use the main question you are answering in your title and tags. Finally, you’ll want to change the thumbnail of your video to something relevant and appealing. This image is what will show up when people are searching through YouTube, and you want to draw them in so that they click on your video.
9. Gather Constructive Feedback, Then Do it Again
Unless you’re a natural, your first video will have plenty of room for improvement. Whether you weren’t quite comfortable speaking, you missed a few crucial steps, or your audio was inconsistent, you’ll have plenty of time to try again. Once you’ve put together a video that seems pretty good to you, ask your friends and family for constructive feedback. Don’t take the feedback personally, use it to make your next video 10x better.
Looking for inspiration? Explore our library of After Effects templates for more tutorial ideas.
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