Content Architect at i am a brand®

Have you thought about creating videos for your business, but lack the fancy equipment? The good news is, you don’t need any of that stuff.

Keep reading, as I reveal how I started on YouTube, worked with what I could afford, and gradually acquired the equipment I have today.

Humble Beginnings

When I first started on YouTube, I didn’t have a schedule or a niche to tackle. Initially, I just desired to create content for fun. I traded my old Galaxy S6 Edge for a Canon Rebel T3i that some kid offered me on Facebook. Honestly, I’m pretty sure that kid thought the camera was broken and was trying to pull a fast one on me. At first, it wouldn’t turn on because it was missing a critical piece. But after a quick purchase of the missing piece, I was ready to roll.

Keep It Simple

I think it is important to mention that a fancy camera isn’t needed to begin on YouTube. Nowadays, a phone camera is definitely great enough for creating content. There are tons of YouTubers out there that are well past the 100,000 subscriber milestone that still use their phone to film.

Before I scored the Canon Rebel T3i, my filming set-up was simply two LED box lights that I purchased from Amazon and a small mount with a phone-holding attachment. Before that, I set my phone up in front of a window in my bedroom.

Lighting Set-Up

When I started filming YouTube videos, I traveled a lot. These mounted LED lights were very portable.

The best kind of lighting is indirect sunlight from a window. In fact, you may not ever actually need to purchase any kind of lighting equipment unless you plan on filming your content at night.

In the YouTube world, content matters substantially more than quality. If your content is valuable to the audience, they won’t give much thought to what kind of camera you use. Just make sure that the audience can see and hear you well.

Tools I Use

When I stopped traveling, I saved my money for a ring light. One of the reasons I needed a ring light was because the lighting in my room was extremely poor, preventing me from being able to see my face to put on makeup. The other reason was because the LED lights are powered by batteries that didn’t last as long as I needed them to.

Currently, the ring light is the only form of lighting that I use in my videos other than the dim, yellow ceiling light that barely illuminates my office.

Neewer ring light

This Neewer ring light is the main source of lighting that I use when creating videos.

A few months back, I sold my Canon Rebel T3i and purchased a smaller, more portable camera — the Canon G7X Mark II. I did tons of research before I made my decision. I knew that I wanted a small portable camera that was portable and that had autofocus (the T3i didn’t have autofocus).

The new camera was a huge investment for me, right next to Final Cut Pro, which I recently purchased.

Prior to purchasing Final Cut Pro, all of my videos were editing using iMovie. iMovie is the standard editing software for Apple users and great for beginners. Depending on what your content entails, you could produce quality content solely using iMovie.

The final investment I’ve recently made is the Blue Snowball USB Microphone pictured to the right of my laptop in the photo below.

Laptop on desk

To the right of the laptop, the Blue Snowball USB mic. To the left, the small tripod I use for my videos.

I purchased the Blue Snowball USB Microphone because unfortunately, the Canon G7X doesn’t have external microphone capabilities. Also, I needed a microphone that would drown out the noise that gets captured by my laptop’s built-in microphone during voice-overs. This mic was very affordable, and in the future I am looking to upgrade to a Blue Yeti microphone that can capture my voice from further away.

All of the investments that I made for content creation were over a period of time, and I always research the best products for my needs before I go through with a big purchase.

You can create epic content with what you have, and I believe that you shouldn’t wait until you have flashy equipment to begin creating content.

The message you are sending to your audience is what matters, not how it gets to them. Start from where you are.

Are you currently creating content on YouTube? I’d love to take a look at your channel. Share in the comments below.

I am so excited to share my experience with the world, and even more thrilled to document my progress as Content Architect at i am a brand®, with such an amazing and supportive community here on The Maverick. Check out our i am a brand® YouTube channel to see the videos I produced with the equipment mentioned in this post!

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