So you want to build a YouTube empire? Done properly, it can reap a world of benefits. “If you want to go the education route in hairstyling, being on YouTube is a huge advantage,” asserts Lexi McCracken, stylist and owner at Indianapolis- based Harbor Collective. “You can reach so many different people—and even make a nice profit from it if you get big enough!” We tapped video guru McCracken for her top tips on making a professional mark in the ever-growing video domain.
1. Start Small. McCracken initiated her YouTube channel with only an iPhone. “Start with what you have and add on later,” she advises. “I added a Sony Alpha a6000 camera—mirrorless, lightweight, easy to use—that can send all content directly to my phone.” She also employs a Canon EOS Rebel T6i, a DSLR camera with “amazing” video quality—but did her homework and experimented. “I watched a lot of YouTube videos and started just messing around with different cameras,” McCracken admits. “I’m not a videographer, but I love being able to use these cameras to show my work in the salon.”
2. Mind Your Lightening. McCracken warns that lighting can be tricky—especially in the salon, where you may not have control over conditions. “I always recommend natural lighting over a ring light,” she adds. “Ring lights may read too harsh on camera and can make the hair look dull, but natural light brightens everything around the hair and improves the video quality.”
3. Eliminate Distraction. A clean background allows viewers to focus on your work, not surrounding clutter. “When I’m filming a tutorial in my salon, everything is clean and organized so people don’t get distracted and lose focus on what I’m trying to teach,” McCracken explains. “For a product review video, I want a clean background, but I also set up the camera so that I’m the focal point and the background is blurred.”
4. Structure for Sound. You’ll likely need a microphone if you’re talking while filming, but McCracken avoids the issue by later adding voice-overs. “I usually can’t use the original audio because it includes so much background noise from other stylists and clients,” she says. “Also, I can let my filmed clients know that none of the audio from the service will be in the video, so they feel more relaxed during taping.”
5. Tap Editing Apps. Try various editing apps to find what works best for you—McCracken’s go-to is iMovie. “I edit all of my videos on my laptop now, but when I first started out, I used iMovie on my phone, too,” she notes. “I like Splice when editing on my phone, and Rotate Video for when the video needs to be rotated. You can also have fun with Filto, which allows you to put filters or cool effects on your videos!”
[Image: Getty Images]