Online Coaching Video Equipment For Your Next Course
Having online coaching video equipment basics down is essential for your course production. The equipment you use may in many ways “make or break” your video, and potential profits. In the online coaching industry, there are a few course production standards most coaching platforms uphold. There are also a couple styles you will want to learn and hone. Your focus should be on video, audio and lighting as you begin planning production.
When it comes to developing tutorials, course promos, or your actual course, you can enlist two different methods. The basic video, audio and lighting setup, which is cost effective for course production. The other is a more expensive method, employing a DSLR camera, GoPro, or lavaliere/lapel microphone. It all depends on budget and quality preference.
It may be best practice to stick with a basic setup before investing in professional equipment. You may decide online coaching is not a good fit for you after developing a few courses. But if you are looking to purchase a new DSLR camera anyway, your coaching career could be an excellent excuse to pull the trigger and buy one. Let’s take a closer look at the basic and professional setups closer. Touching on screencast essentials as well.
Online Coaching Video Equipment to Get Your Video Rolling
Most online coaching videos are comprised of “talking head,” screencast, or a mix of both. For talking head courses, you will need a decent camera. Using your computer's factory installed webcam equipment may be a valuable “first timer” online coaching tool.
As the old saying goes, “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.” However, you should be aware of your computer’s webcam capabilities. If you have a HD 720p webcam, you may be able to slide by for a few courses. It is a great start, especially while you are getting comfortable sharing your knowledge on camera.
Basic Video Setup
You shouldn’t settle for HD 720p for long. It is essential for your students to have a clear picture during your online coaching course, and upgrading equipment to a HD 1080p webcam is the right decision for all long-term coaches. Especially for your online coaching promotional videos, making the best first impression possible.
The Logitech C920 is the majority favorite among coaches, priced around $60 to $75 on Amazon. It has HD 1080p recording quality and automatic light correction. It is compatible with both PC and Mac, with 1080p Skype, but 720p for FaceTime. When offering live coaching sessions, Skype is the internationally preferred virtual classroom anyway.
When recording your courses, you can use Screenflow, a program that records webcam and screencasting for Mac. You can also enlist another program with both Mac and PC compatibility called Camtasia. But be sure to check your computers installed recording programs as well. They may do the job just fine too.
Don’t Count Out GoPro Cameras
GoPro cameras have taken on a whole new form with the GoPro HERO4 Black and Silver models. These cameras can be used for online course production with ease. GoPro’s Black model has 4K30 recording, which is four times the resolution of 1080p HD. They are also versatile enough to justify the $500 price tag, since you can use it for just about everything in your life. However, anything above a GoPro Hero2 is production worthy.
Going Pro with a DSLR Camera
Purchasing a DSLR camera for your online course video production is a game changer. They offer video quality worthy of a Sundance documentary submission, all depending on the make and model of DSLR. And don’t forget about lens quality. For a basic DSLR setup, you can find something quite inexpensive. The Nikon D3300 24.2 MP offers up excellent production quality with a cost hovering around $500 to $600.
The next DSLR step up would be the Sony SLT-A58K, which focuses on recording just as much as photos. You can pick one up for about $500 on Amazon. However, if you want to go “super pro” and shell out more than $1000, the Canon EOS 70D is perfect. A video creator kit is even available for the camera, diminishing some of your future audio woes.
You can also choose the lens that best suits you, but this will of course readjust the cost. The Canon EF-S 18-135mm lens is the perfect lens for all shots. Since you won’t be doing much more than recording your course, it could be all you need. The sky is the limit with DSLR cameras. You can spend in upwards of $5000 if you were so inclined.
Audio Coaching Equipment Vital for Course Success
Having exceptional audio for your online coaching, or live coaching session, is possibly the most important aspect of your production quality. Many coaching platforms require a test video before you can begin submitting actual courses for profit. The most common reason a new coaches test fails is due to poor audio. Poor audio can also frustrate students who have either downloaded your course, or are engaging with you via a live coaching session.
Whether its course production quality, or knowledge, your reputation is on the line. If potential students read reviews about poor audio, they will most likely not purchase your course. Audio is vital to your success.
Basic Audio Setup
The Blue Microphones Snowball is one of the most popular, and cost effective microphones used for course production. For a basic online coaching setup, this little snowball is invaluable for the price. They are hovering around $60 to $70 on Amazon. However, if you want to splurge, the Blue Microphones Yeti is wonderful. It is roughly double the price at around $160, but offers the clearest audio for a basic setup production kit.
Pro Audio Options
If you are looking to compliment your professional DSLR camera setup, than you may be looking into the best audio equipment as well. An industry leader in microphone quality is the Sennheiser EW 122P G3-A. It not only offers quality, but mobility as well. This is a fantastic choice if you are planning on moving around during production. However, the cost is high for this audio setup, around $600.
For a lapel microphone with a lower price tag, the Shure WL185 is an excellent and cost effective choice. It may only set your course budget back about $100. The Zoom H4N is another great audio recorder without the lapel wiring. For the price, it can be a valuable component to your online coaching setup. It ranges from $160 to $250 on Amazon, depending on your purchasing research skills. It is also an excellent audio choice for screencast recordings.
Illuminate Your Knowledge with Exceptional Lighting
Lighting can play a big role in your online courses. Especially when recording those online coaching talking head videos, or even during a live coaching session. Your students want to have nearly all their senses stimulated during your course. Give them the illuminating experience they are seeking with a decent lighting setup.
Basic Lighting at Home
For a home inspired lighting setup, you can simply hang fluorescent light bulbs from a backdrop stand. This is a quick and easy online course lighting fix that many online coaches use for production. You may even find PVC piping to be handy in constructing a lighting backdrop that suits your needs and home well.
Next Step in Illumination
If you feel that something more professional is in order, than the Fancierstudio Professional Digital Video Continuous Softbox Lighting Kit is excellent. It is also very cost effective. For around $150, you can shed light on your promo video, course and knowledge. Maybe you want to spend a little more for lighting. The StudioPRO 3000 Watt Photography Continuous Output Light kit is an excellent buy for $200, also available on Amazon.
Course Delivery Using Screencast
Screencast is utilized the most in online coaching courses, whether mixed with a few talking head videos, or not. Using screencast equipment is a very important practice to get into, especially if you are a bit camera shy. Screencast is vital for presenting your power point course material. It also allows you to show students your screen, which is perfect for all those web development, front-end, and beck-end computer courses.
For optimal screencast videos, enlisting programs like Screenflow and Camtasia are recommended. University professors and online coaches alike use these programs, and for good reason. It allows you to record the material on your screen while recording audio at the same time, and in real time for live online coaching sessions. The more you learn about screencast and put it into practice, the easier your online course production will become. And more courses in your online coaching course portfolio equates to more profits.
There is endless course production equipment at your fingertips. Cost may be a deciding factor in the equipment you can purchase, but don’t let basic tools stand in your online coaching way. Your personality and online coaching material is always a vital factor for enticing students to click on your course. You can have the most expensive, mind blowing production equipment in hand. But without knowledge and an engaging online coaching personality, your audience will move on to another video and coach.