How To Make A Stunning Video Sales Letter

OK, here's how I make EVERY sales video, and how you can too -


1. Write a Script

I never make "on the fly" sales video for a number or reasons, but mostly because writing a script (just like copywriting) gives me the opportunity to ensure my overall message is concise, covers all the points, and communicates the benefits as quickly as possible to prospective viewers. The quicker a viewer "gets it" - in terms of what the video is offering, the less chance there is of them tuning out and leaving the video.
Writing a script in advance also keeps your finished video more dynamic, fast paced and interesting for the viewer - you haven't got room to waffle and talk about irrelevancies - scripts help you get STRAIGHT TO THE POINT.

2. Pre Plan Visuals

Having written the script, I'll separate the test into sections of 30-50 words (sometimes less/more), and for each of those sections, I'll write a note above each section about what will be on screen. 
The reason I do this for every 30-50 words is that corresponds to about 10-20 seconds of screen time, and I want the video to change what's on screen that frequently. It also creates a nice visual rhythm for the viewer. Leaving clips running any longer than 20 seconds starts to make the video boring, which will lose viewers. Clips changing faster than 5-8 seconds will overwhelm the viewer if used in constant succession (assuming you're showing information/text).
I NEVER pre-plan visuals before the script is completely finished - it's easier to script write in isolation of what the visuals will be, so you concentrate on your script's content, which is actually the most important part of your entire video.
Now I know what visuals I want, I'll proceed to audio ...

3. Record Audio

I posted a long video a while back on exactly how I record audio and tweak it using Audacity (free). I hate the sound of my own voice recorded but after I'm done with it in Audacity I have no problem listening to it - the right audio effects do wonders to your voice!
Occasionally I'll also mix music using the Auto Duck feature - not the most professional way to do it but it produces more than an acceptable results in one click.
Keep music very, very low volume if you use it!!!!

4. Import Audio to Video Editing

Often I'll use nothing more than Camtasia as a video editing tool. I literally need no more than one track of video for clips and one track of audio in most cases, since my audio's been pre-mixed in Audacity.
Once the audio is added to a new track in Camtasia, I just need to add video ...

5. Cut up the audio

OK tricky bit (but easy once you've done it once). I use Camtasia's slice feature to cut up the audio into chunks that correspond EXACTLY with the sections I put in my script above.
"Slicing" is usually used to you can can edits to your audio/video (eg shorten/lengthen), however the only reason I do it is so I know exactly how long each section is in seconds. Once you've sliced up your audio, Camtasia will show you how long each section is in seconds, and I can now use this as a guide for knowing which clips to use, where to put them and how long they need to be.

6. Get Clips!

Now the last task is to decide what I want on screen, and get the visuals made. I used to do this manually, making animations, sourcing colors, design elements etc, it used to take me TWO DAYS to produce 2 minutes of video.
With Video Factory, it's a breeze ....
Using the written notes I made on each section of the script, I browse the available templates in the store and pick ones that are a good fit. Then I just need to setup my colors, add text / graphics and queue up each clip I need...

7. Assemble Video

Once they're rendered, I download, then just drag the files into the video track in Camtasia in order. It's that simple.
Using the slices I made on the audio track eariler, I'll trim the end of each clip to fit with the audio section, and so on with each clip.

8. Produce

When I'm finished, all I need to do is produce the final video, I use custom settings in Camtasia to spit out a 1280 x 720 H.264 MP4, then I'm done.

Your Turn!

There really isn't anything more to it than that. Obviously there's a couple of tricks you can learn in Camtasia, however that's all covered in Camtasia's training videos, which you should watch.
The approach is no different in any other video editing software, though you may need to tweak the audio slicing approach depending on your software's capabilities.
There are only two brain taxing parts to this - writing the script, and deciding what clip to use. Both of these are creative decisions and thus should be the part that get you thinking. Now I have Video Factory, I don't have the extra overhead of thinking about "how" I'm going to implement visual designs/animations, which is a nice weight lifted off the process.
What used to take me 3 days is now very, very rapid, and you can use this same process to produce sales videos in no time.

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