We had a lot of fun in the Video Professionals studio recently “unlearning “ decades of skills making videos. It’s second nature for us to be meticulous in the way the studio is set up for a shoot, ensuring the lighting is just right, the audio high quality and the cameras set up in perfect position to frame the shots just as they should be. We decided to make an Amateur Video Versus a Professional video comparison. To make a true representation of an amateur production we had to forget everything we had learned over the years and shoot a video through the eyes of a novice. So what was our motivation for the amateur V Pro shootout? Well, with everyone walking around with smart phones equipped with High def video recorders these days the question often arises “Why do I need you guys to shoot my online video? I can save big dollars by shooting the video myself and editing it on my computer.” My reply is “Yes you can, but remember, the video you produce is a direct reflection of your business and the quality of service you provide.” “Prospective customers will look at the video and decide on the quality of your brand, based on the production value of the video that you are running on your website.” So you might save some money initially, but consider the long-term cost. I often recount the story of the website I visited recently. It was a boat and marine products site. They sold big-ticket items up to hundreds of thousands of dollars. I was interested to see if they had any videos of their products. The first one I came across was for a Jet Ski. What better way to sell it than a video of the Jet Ski out on the water? The concept was fine but the application was atrocious. Whoever shot the video couldn’t keep the camera straight, hence the Jet Ski looked like it was going up hill. The unsteady shots made me feel seasick. Then the crowning glory, an on-screen graphic stating C420X Jet Ski avalable now. (Note no “i” in available}. That was enough for me and I left the site never to return. That video did the business immeasurable harm. How many others had reacted like me, how many potential sales lost? All to save a few dollars. So here we are in the studio shooting a video as we believe it should be shot, then forgetting everything and shooting like novices. The resulting video is well worth watching. Even if you decide to make your own, you might pick up a few tips. .Nothing will hurt your credibility more than an amateurish, shaky video created with cheap equipment, bad lighting and bad sound. Video produced without proper thought and planning can damage your company’s brand because it projects the wrong image to your potential clients. For many visiting your website , it will be their first contact with your business. Remember, you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. The bottom line is: if you have pride in your brand and the service you offer, don’t put it all at risk by making your own video. My advice – stick to what you know – and leave the video production to the experts. The resulting high quality production will pay you back many times over. .