smartphone video tax training
smartphone video tax training

Lights, Camera, Action! Making Your Own Videos to Educate Your Tax Clients

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Tax reform is on everyone’s mind this season. If you’re reading this article, glancing back up at the title, and wondering what tax reform has to do with video content, keep reading – you’ve come to the right place.

Tax and accounting firms of all sizes are working with many clients who require immediate, in-depth analysis and consultation on their unique individual and corporate tax issues associated with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). Not to mention, it’s just a few short months until we bump up against our next tax deadline, so here’s the real question: How are you going to speak to so many individuals and business owners in such a short amount of time? Leveraging video content for the web will help you quickly scale to do just that.

Anytime we try something new, it can indeed be a little daunting. For this exercise, all you really need is a smartphone that records video and a tripod. There are some other things to consider, including items that will make your recording easier; these are listed below. The main things to remember are that you know your audience, and they are anxious to hear from you – so be bold and have fun! 



    • Messaging: Keep your message under the four-minute mark. Typically, the drop-off point is around two minutes, so put your most important content at the beginning, and be concise and entertaining.
    • Lighting: Good lighting is essential, so consider your light source. Try sitting near a window for a pleasant, soft, diffused light. If a window isn’t available, add a lamp or two for effect.
    • Movement: Limit any movement to avoid being out of focus and to prevent the camera from having to auto-focus.
    • Microphones: You can buy a wired microphone or go with your phone’s audio; it depends on the environment you’ll be shooting in. Noisy or windy places require some more specialized equipment.
    • Plan: Try to map out your content a few weeks in advance so you’ll have a plan and can easily adjust it. You will also feel less pressure when life throws in a curveball.
  • Posting: If you are not sure how to do it or are uncomfortable with the technology, find someone who is at ease with transferring video files, editing footage and releasing it on social applications, including YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook and your website.

Consider your Content:

  • Audience: For each specific video, think about who you’re trying to reach and why you want to reach them.
  • Scripts: These are good to use for practice, but try working without a script for the final recording. You’ll have more natural, conversational content.
  • Action: Be sure to include a call to action for the viewer. If the goal is to set an appointment, ask for it and include your contact information.
  • Storage: Where will the videos be stored – on your server, in the cloud, on YouTube, Vimeo or Facebook? Where your video is shared publically, include your branding and logo.

My best advice is to jump in with both feet and begin filming. What’s also good about producing your own videos is the search engine optimization you’ll get from featuring videos on your website and linking to videos on other applications. This will help you when prospects are searching for tax professionals who can advise them on tax reform and other areas.

See you at the movies!

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