5 mistakes when creating smartphone video and how to avoid them

It has never been easier to create video. 

41% of those who created video for the first time in 2022, said they were able to do so because it was easier to do so (source Wyzowl).

You no longer have to invest in specialised equipment or spend your budget on expensive services. All you need is a smartphone!

Your video needs to make a great first impression. It’s easy to get carried away and end up doing more harm than good.

Here are some common mistakes that make videos look unprofessional and how you can avoid them.

01. No plan of action

Lack of planning could result in a video which overwhelms the audience. Preparation lays the foundations of a video, it can guarantee you are capturing the best footage.

Before grabbing your smartphone, think:

WHY is your video needed?

What is the goal of your video? Share one key message and plan how you’re going to get this across.

WHO is your audience?

Get to know who you’re talking to. Find out what type of video they want or what will benefit them.

WHERE will it be shared?

Be aware of how video ratios differ for social platform and capture your footage to these dimensions.


Add a hook at the beginning of your video to grab your audiences attention quickly.

02. Looking into space

Your audience want to make a connection with you. 

It’s easy to look at your reflection on screen when recording yourself talking to camera. This can look like you’re looking away and not directly at them. 

Look into the lens of the camera so it appears that you are talking to them personally. 

If you find that you get distracted by the screen, cover it up with a sticker or a post-it note so you can focus on the lens. You can also use this as a cue card which can also stop you looking down at your notes. 


Cover your lens with your finger and then look at that point.

03. Using one shot

The most engaging videos use a variety of shot types and B-roll.

B-roll is footage that compliments your key message. It is often edited with the main footage to enhance the story, create dramatic tension, or illustrate a point further. 

Incorporating B-roll can take your video from amateur to professional. 

When planning your video always consider, what extra footage can help convey your key message?

Extra footage and different shots will help you during the editing stage of your video you have options if there are any mistakes you didn’t spot.

04. Not adding Captions

69% of people view video without sound in public places. 

According to Verizon and Publicis Media’s research, 80% of people who use captions do not have a hearing impairment. 

Including captions in your video means your key message is accessible and will reach your audience.

Captions also increases your audiences attention and it is believed they are more likely to watch the video in its entirety. 

There are many free online captioning tools if you choose not to use the built in tools on social platforms. 


Make sure the main action is in the top two thirds of the screen so there is enough space for captions.

05. Aiming for an Oscar

When starting with videos don’t be over ambitious.

Remember, your audience wants relevant content not fancy production techniques.

Short form video is very popular at the moment. Create videos under 60 seconds, these are concise, give the audience what they want quickly and are easier for you to create.

Be yourself and authentic. Talking to camera can feel awkward at first, keep practicing, learn from any mistakes you make along the way and don’t be afraid to experiment with different ideas.

Give it a go and don’t forget to enjoy yourself.

Could your business benefit from expert training in
making videos with your smartphone? 

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