How to make a professional looking video on a budget

Video is an extremely powerful way to attract new customers, engage with existing customers, and to position yourself as a leader in your field. It compels, it’s shareable and it works.

However, for many businesses the perceived cost of video production places the idea in the too hard or too expensive basket. The good news is that it is possible to make your business look professional on camera with a limited budget or even no budget at all!

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Use your smart phone

Smartphones have remarkable cameras these days. Follow my top tips below for creating a professional looking video on a budget.

1. Sound
Make sure you can be heard clearly. Be close to the camera so that your audio is clear and loud.

2. Framing

Position your head in the top of the frame. Amateurs will put the face in the centre of the frame and leave empty space above them.

3. Lighting
Make sure you are well lit and avoid having the light behind you. The sun is a good free lighting source.

4. Background
Avoid shooting against a wall. It is uninteresting and doesn’t add to the message. Having some depth in the background looks great. The background can be part of the story, so look for something that adds to your message and ideally have layers to the background. If you don’t have access to an expansive background then film along a wall rather than up against it.

5. Keep it steady
If you don’t have a tripod then keep the camera zoomed out wide and hold it steady. The wider the shot it, the less obvious any movement will be. Having the presenter up close to the camera also helps with this.

6. Practice
The more prepared you are, the more at ease you will be in front of the camera. Do plenty of takes and use the best one (it’s usually the last one).

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7. Editing
There are plenty of free editing programs that come with operating systems. Windows has Movie Maker, Mac has iMovie. It can be a steep learning curve, but if you have kids in high school they can probably edit your production while dinner is being prepared. Otherwise check out the numerous free tutorials on how to get started.

8. Titles
If you want a professional looking animated logo then you can use the people at to create one for you for $5.

9. Music
Royalty free music can be found at iTunes. It will still cost a $1.69 a track but you can use it without infringing copyright. Search for “iTunes Royalty Free Music”

10. Personality
If you can reveal your personality in your video, the audience will forgive some minor imperfections in the technical delivery.

Limited Budget:

If you do have some money to allocate to your production then think about hiring some professional equipment. You can hire equipment for about 10% of the cost to purchase it.

Bigger Budget:

It goes without saying that by hiring a professional, you are more likely to get a high quality product which upholds the standard of your brand. Not only will the professionals have their own equipment, but they will know how to use it.

Remember, regardless of your budget, make sure you are clear about your message and your audience. Video really is a powerful way to connect and reinforce your brand and your personality.

Geoff Anderson
Geoff is owner of Sonic Sight, a corporate video production company. He presents on using video in business and is the author the Amazon Bestseller “Shoot Me Now – Making videos to boost business”. To find out more about Geoff and to learn about the 5 Mistakes to avoid when making videos, visit or visit

2 replies on “How to make a professional looking video on a budget

  • Kate McMahon

    Thanks for the tips! Just wondering if you’ve got any ideas for content? I’m a copywriter and marketing consultant, and just wouldn’t know where to start!

  • Geoff Anderson

    Hi Kate,

    Here are a few ideas that can get you started:
    1. Case Study videos are an extremely powerful way to promote a business through the story of their customer.
    Ask them the following questions:
    – What was happening for them before they used the service or product – what was their need?
    – What product or service was provided and what was the experience like?
    – How has this affected their business – what is the outcome?
    – And how do they feel now as a result of this?

    2. Do a pitch video. This can follow this format

    3. Provide useful tips and advice. Share the love and be generous. It will help create an air of authority and expertise.

    4. Tell the story of how someone got into their business and what their passion is.

    Hope those help for now.


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