Over the weekend I recorded a quick and dirty video for my other website. I was asked by someone who knows what I do for a living why I didn’t add a ton of production value to it like new graphics, sound effects, titling, etc. My response… sometimes done is better than perfect.
If you’ve read some of my other posts you may have seen this recurring of theme of “just finish the job.” Sometimes you don’t have to spend hours (days, weeks or months) crafting the highest-quality video you can create and still get the same desired result. It’s pretty simple. Let me explain…
Know your audience’s expectations
In the beer world and on YouTube, where the video I created lives, my viewers just want the information. A bit of entertainment won’t hurt either. They don’t necessarily care about how I look, mixed color temperatures or jump cuts. Does X help them do Y? For my video, does this beer (X) help them enjoy an evening better (Y)?
Knowing this I can get away with less than ideal lighting and average sound so I can knock out videos in no time (which I should do more). I didn’t have to stage any lights, hide my dog upstairs or, most importantly, shave. Post becomes simpler because I can get away with just minor tweaks to the color and audio and then use a couple simple lower third templates I’ve already built. My audience will only complain if the information I gave them is wrong. This is where you can spend some extra time on the content. It took about an hour from concept to posting this video online and the majority of the time I was able to spend on figuring out the content.
I recently posted my first tutorial for you here on Edit Video Faster. I know that this audience wants HD video, clean sound and even cleaner graphics. Both videos are about the same duration but I took my time and spent about six hours on this video from concept to posting. Before you start creating any video or content of any sort determine who your audience is and what they expect.
Then go one step above
Always always always deliver a product that goes the extra step. For my beer video the extra step was adding in some stock music and a silly outtake at the end of the video. With this post it is these stock photos.
Whenever you put your work out there your name is attached to it. You want people to see that your creations are first class. If you are working for a client and they aren’t expecting a custom lower third, create one. You can subtly let them know so they feel special too. Say something like, “I didn’t have anything that would fit you guys so I created this one from scratch. No one else has ever used this.” The next time that client thinks about who to hire hopefully you will land the job over someone else that did the bare minimum.
What happens next?
Figure out where you are in the post production process and determine the next step of your video. If you are the sole creator then cool, use the steps above. But let’s say you are just putting together a rough cut and it’s going to the producer next. How long are you going to work on that graphic if there’s a chance it’s going to change anyway?
A rough cut doesn’t need to be complete. A fine cut doesn’t have to be perfect. As long as revisions are coming in why finish off the small time-consuming things like audio and color? Whenever you make a change you’re going to have to adjust these again anyway so get it close and then polish it off once things are good to go.
Get more done
Getting more done in less time is the goal, isn’t it? I figure that’s why you are reading this. Finishing a project, even if it isn’t perfect, is better than not finishing one. Here’s the secret formula: start a project, do a good job on it, add just a little more value to it, publish/launch/post/announce/share it then repeat.
Start a project, do a good job on it, add more value to it, complete it then repeat.
You don’t always have to create a perfect video. Start by knowing your audience. Create a product that fits their viewing requirements. Make sure you deliver something one step above the competition. Figure out what’s happening next for your video. If it’s being published then finish it off. If it’s going through rounds of revisions then get it part of the way there without wasting time on the small tasks you’ll have to complete in the end. Lastly, do it all again once you finish. Start a project, do a good job on it, add just a little more value to it, launch it then repeat.
That’s why sometimes done is better than perfect. What do you think? Are you spending too much time perfecting a video instead of finishing it and moving onto the next one?
Hey, one last thing – send this post out to someone you think is spending too much time perfecting and not enough time finishing. If you enjoyed this post and want to be notified when I come out with new posts, typically once or twice a week, pop in your email address in the box at the bottom of the page.
As you can probably see there’s still a ton of work to do to set up this brand new website. The list is endless. One of my next tasks is to setup an email newsletter that will contain focused, real-life examples of becoming a faster video editor that you won’t find on the website and exclusive offers on products I’ll be creating. I can’t wait to have that up and ready for you soon. If there are any products you’re in need of like moving backgrounds, lower thirds, effect templates, color correction templates, etc. just let me know!