Video Call Etiquette and Team Spirit Looks
In the last couple of weeks, how many video calls have you been on with dark, shadowy figures who are just as likely to be a cadre of James Bond villains as they are your coworkers and customers? You don’t need expensive, studio-quality equipment to look good on a video. In fact, you don’t even need technical knowledge.
Here are seven and a half tips and hacks to make sure you’re looking your best on video calls:
We may not have all the answers, but we’re here to help you with staying productive and making the most of your quality time at home.
1. Keep the Light in Front of YouUnless you’re threatening 007 with a giant space laser, you’ll want to make sure your face is well lit. The easiest way to accomplish this is to make sure you’re always facing the light. If you’re near a window, make sure it’s behind your camera, not your head.
2. Use Your Monitor for Extra Fill Light
Sometimes you need a little more light to make your face pop on camera. You don’t need to invest in free standing LED lights. You just your monitor and a blank Word Doc.
Open a new Word Doc and make it full screen. This will make most of your screen a brilliant white and bring out nice highlights on your face. (Note: depending on your skin tone, you might not want pure white fill light. Just play around with the page color until you find one that complements your complexion.)
3. Position Your Camera at Eye LevelUse a few books and raise your laptop so your camera is level with your eyes. This will eliminate weird angles and unfortunate views up your nostrils. It’ll also make it easier for the other people in the meeting to connect with you, and it have much better posture if you aren’t hunched over the camera.
TIP 3.5: Use a Post-It Note to Make Eye Contact
When we’re talking to people, our natural reaction is to look at their faces. However, if you do that on a video call, you’ll actually appear to be looking away from the people you’re talking to. You can fix this with a single Post-It Note.
Draw a smiley face on the Post-It and then stick it right behind your camera. When you talk, talk to the smiley and it will look like you’re making eye contact with the other people on the call!
4. Keep Your DistanceDistancing isn’t just something you want to do socially right now. Keeping an arm’s length between yourself and your camera will help you frame the shot and avoid looking like either too small or filling the frame with your face.
5. Leave Just Enough Room On TopSpeaking of framing, make sure to leave just enough space between the top of the video frame and the top of your head. You don’t want too much space there, but you don’t want to cut yourself off either. Staying an arm’s length away will help with this, and then simply adjust the angle of your camera to tweak.
6. Backgrounds MatterA messy background can distract your viewers from what you’re saying. At the same time, a completely blank background can make it look like you’re taking a mugshot, not leading a team conference. Take a few minutes to declutter your background but leave a little bit of visual interest to add a little depth to your shot.
7. Control the Sound
Even if you’re alone in your home office, the built-in microphone on your camera or computer isn’t designed to deliver crystal clear sound. Instead, use your earbuds or an external microphone for better audio quality. This will also reduce any ambient background noise like dogs, family members, or the upstairs neighbors who recently decided to buy their tween a drum set.
These small tweaks will drastically increase the professional appearance of your video calls. If you’re looking for more ways to enhance your calls, we recommend searching YouTube for webcam tips and tutorials. You’ll find a wealth of information, reviews, tips and tricks. it. It’s the perfect time to do some out-of-the-box thinking.
Should You Stop Marketing During COVID-19?
Here are 3 ways to market your business during the coronavirus crisis:
Reassure everyone that you’re protecting their health.
This is especially true if you have a brick-and-mortar location. This may mean sharing your extra sanitation practices, putting a hand sanitizer station at the front of your location or implementing a policy where all staff wears masks and gloves.
For example, A Local Cleaning Company shares their additional precautionary cleaning measures due to coronavirus on their website.
Be prepared to pivot.
You need to be flexible to best serve your customers. That might mean instead of canceling a customer conference, you change it to a virtual event. If you are planning an upcoming workshop or event, pivot with your audience in mind. It’s possible you have already been forced to cancel or postpone, but don’t assume everyone wants the solution you’re providing. Consider options such as making it a virtual version of the event or postponing your conference to a later date. Or some people may want ticket refunds.
Polls and questionnaires can be a great way to get honest feedback from your ticket holders before changing an event.
And of course, take a look at all of your contracts to ensure you’re covered before making any changes. If you’re a service provider, create other ways to help your clients like a local fitness trainer did. He offered them a way to stay fit that doesn’t involve being around a group of people in a gym.
Make your employees a priority too.
Don’t focus all your efforts on marketing during this time. Your employees are what keep your business going, so how can you care for them? Maybe you can give your staff the option of working 100% remotely while COVID-19 is a concern.Or, remind them you fully encourage them to stay home if they’re feeling sick.
The more you can put your employees at ease, the better they’ll be able to support your business and your customers.
What Small Business Owners Can Learn from Coronavirus
I know this is hard, and I hope you can hang in there and focus on the present, and on being of service to your clients and staff.
They’re afraid, and what you do or share can help alleviate those fears. Remember to be careful and intentional about what you’re saying.
If your small business is being adversely affected by coronavirus, it’s also a good time to reassess your business fundamentals, including how COVID-19 is affecting your digital marketing. How will you deal with a crisis the next time it happens? Are there things you’d do differently to be more prepared or prevent losses?
Like everything else in life, this is a learning experience. Stay healthy, safe and positive.