Pro-Level Personal Branding in Video: from new apps to AR
By Aidan Fitzpatrick, CEO and Founder, Reincubate
When you’re trying to present an on-trend personal brand, it can feel hard to keep up. Like increasingly fast fashion, the promotional landscape is an ever-changing kaleidoscope of possibilities.
Take video streaming and presentation, for example. It’s a must-have for influencers, marketers, and entrepreneurs, and has seen significant innovation over the past few years, as we’ve relied on remote communication more than ever.
Today, videos are the most impactful way to connect with others online. TikTok’s popularity and engagement among users has stormed past that of image-based apps such as Instagram. A Forrester Research study found that videos are 53 times more likely than similar text-based content to get a page-one ranking on Google search results.
Many New Ways to Look Your Best
While TikTok and YouTube have made it easier to make and post videos, one thing the pandemic helped accelerate is tech that helps people look better, even without a bunch of fancy equipment. Augmented Reality (AR) is fast becoming more relevant in the fashion industry, with companies like ZERO10 and DressX and developers like Don Allen III creating outfits that users can ‘wear’ in AR with an almost instantaneous download.
“Very few people have professional recording studios. I don’t, but being on camera became increasingly important during lockdown,” says Aidan Fitzpatrick, founder and CEO of Reincubate, which helps consumers and businesses get more from their devices and data. “There’s a huge amount you can do to improve your video using existing hardware with new software.”
While Fitzpatrick is not a fan of virtual backgrounds, he does see a use for filters, AR, and other tools that give creators more—and easier—control of their images.
“I think it’s important to be who you are and express who you are, and when you use a virtual background, the impression you give is that you have something to hide,” he says. “But I think there’s a way to look better while staying true to yourself and presenting yourself in an authentic way.”
For example, Fitzpatrick recommends exploring apps and AR filters that include subtle but effective ways to amp up your own style with varying degrees of fidelity, such as a light beauty filter, color-saturation controls, or a muted background option that can convey signature color and style while masking clutter.
Tips for Looking Like a Pro
Even with such filters, there are some tried-and-true ways to put your best, and most authentic, face forward:
- Find a great recording app—Fitzpatrick’s Camo Studio has a recording function, as do other apps like FiLMiC Pro and Native Camera.
- Keep your camera stable—use a gimbal if you’re moving, tripod or gooseneck if you’re stationary.
- Make it sound as good as possible—eliminate outside noise, get the mic close to the source of sound, consider upgrading your microphone. Using an app like Camo allows you to switch the audio source directly from Camo Studio.
- Focus on the subject—Use an app like Camo to zoom in on your face and crop out distractions in the background, or switch the lenses on your phone for closeups of your face, or wide-angle shots to show more of your outfit. You can use Camo to take advantage of the best quality lens (those on the back of the camera) while keeping an eye on your video with Camo Studio.
- Make the background cohesive—remove anything too distracting, avoid using the same color in the background as the subject, consider adding lights to add depth, or if the background is too busy, consider using a subtle background blur or a masking filter.
- Adjust your lighting—make sure your lights are in front of you or just off to the side; don’t sit in front of a bright window. If need be, supplement lighting with a key light on your desk.
- Pay attention to positioning—set your camera at a height that it can be angled just slightly down at you—right about at your hairline—to give you the most flattering angle, and don’t sit too close.
Finally, where to look? Most people look directly at the person on the other end of the camera, resulting in a downward gaze. For a quick “how-to” on creating a natural looking eye contact during a video, take a look at this brief tutorial.
About the author
Aidan Fitzpatrick, Founder, CEO, Reincubate
Aidan Fitzpatrick founded Reincubate in 2008 after building the world’s first tool for iOS data recovery, enabling users to securely manage their data while growing a values-led enterprise committed to integrity, thoughtfulness, and innovation.
With a focus on authentic communication, Reincubate is dedicated to consumer privacy. The company does not track or sell user data.
A software engineer, angel investor, entrepreneur, and author who started his first company at 14, Fitzpatrick led Reincubate to win the UK’s highest business honour twice.