The Life-Changing Magic of Making Videos

Amanda Thomsen
After years of making excuses, I’ve dedicated myself to making lots and lots and LOTS of video content. My only regret is my years of procrastination. My list of reasons I couldn’t make video:

• I didn’t have a camera/camera person

• I don’t know how to edit

• I don’t even want to edit

• I didn’t have a microphone

• I don’t want to make it if it isn’t perfect on my first try

Is this you, too? Listen, nothing portrays the feeling of your garden center, the space you’re working with and the vibes of your people like video does. Here’s what I’m using to conquer that list of excuses to make my totally imperfect, but fun and informative, videos:

• Get a $17 tripod on Amazon for your smartphone. I now travel with mine in my purse because I never know when I’m going to need it. You can clip your phone right into them and awayyyy you go!

• Shoot landscape style for YouTube and Facebook, portrait style for Instagram (there’s an app called Video Crop that helps resize for Instagram for you, if you want).

• If you have a person to shoot video for you so you don’t think you’ll need a tripod, you should still get one anyway. Shaky video is very hard on some people (raises hand). Buying and using a tripod is way less expensive than buying a Gimbal (handheld phone stabilizer) at $70 to $300 bucks.

• Always set your tripod up so that you’re looking directly at the camera, not up or down. This is friendlier and more conversational for the people watching. (Also, it helps eliminate those under eye circles, I swear it.)

• From any video you take, you can always screenshot or otherwise save stills from what you shot. This has saved my bacon numerous times.

• With my iPhone, I was always able to edit the beginning and ends of my videos, which may be enough for you.

• I eventually got brave enough to dip my toes into iMovie, which I now love and you will, too. If your needs are simple and you’re making short videos, it’s really easy and pretty intuitive. Sure, there’s a little learning curve, but isn’t the best thing in life when you figure out something new? New tools in your tool box! You can edit, add titles and insert photos, free music, sound effects and anything else.

• You don’t need a remote microphone. Just speak up and when you use iMovie you can reduce background noise and boost the speaker’s voice well enough. It seems like it shouldn’t work, but it does.

• I make quick and easy logo graphics on my iPhone using the Over app and then just add them to the beginning and end of my videos. It’s as easy as it sounds. (I hope I made it sound easy, it really is).

Not wanting to make video if it wasn’t really good was a case of me needing to get over myself. Every customer conversation doesn’t go to script, every day doesn’t follow your outline, so why try to start this new endeavor with perfection? There’s so much fun in trying something new and inviting complete strangers on the journey with you. Sure, there’s some vulnerability, but customers love that! The more absurdities and blunders that creep in, the more real I am (and the more real you’ll be).

I hope you’ll set some goals to introduce video (or even more video) to your marketing in 2020. Get yourself a YouTube Channel, upload to Facebook, have a ton of fun with IGTV or Snapchat and I’m getting a great return from sharing YouTube links on LinkedIn, Twitter and embedding them on my blog and newsletters.

What excuses do you have left? GP

Amanda Thomsen is a funky, punky garden writer and author. Her blog is planted at and you can follow her on Facebook, Twitter AND Instagram @KissMyAster.