Picture of a guy sitting on a sofa and ready to start recording a video with his smartphone.

16 hacks for self-recording videos with a smartphone

May 27, 2021 | Content Marketing, Marketing best practices, Tips for small businesses

In the video below, Vittoria (our Co-Founder) shares our 16 hacks for self-recording videos with a smartphone.

We all know that video content is a really impactful tool to help enhance your marketing campaigns. We also know that creating fresh videos can be expensive and time-consuming. However…in this fast and social media obsessed world, your videos can be short and produced by you rather than by a professional video production team. 

So, let’s dive into our 16 tips for creating your own videos! 

Firstly, let’s set the scene.

Tip 1

We suggest you pick a quiet location with plenty of sunlight, OR, if you’re indoors, simply place yourself right in front of a window. The best thing you can do is to record yourself in daylight.

Tip 2

Ensure your face is lit well by the source of light. If you’re indoors, position yourself so that the windows are facing you. You want to make sure that no shadows are projected on your face.

Tip 3

Avoid overhead lighting and backlight. If you’re indoors and there isn’t enough natural light, you could position two lamps at 45-degree angles from the front of your face and place your smartphone in the middle. Take a few steps forward and stand away from your background wall to avoid creating a shadow behind you. If the shadow persists, you can place a third lamp right behind your back and point it at your background.

Tip 4

Try to use a clear and clean background! This can be a solid-coloured background wall, a bed-sheet or a tidy bookshelf – they’re all good options. Messy backgrounds are distracting and they look less professional, so try to avoid them if you can.

Tip 5

To avoid shaky footage, don’t hold your phone in your hand whilst recording yourself. If you can, use a tripod with a smartphone clip. Or, if you don’t have it, simply set your device up on a steady surface. That’s all you need!

Tip 6

Keep your smartphone camera at eye level because the results will not do you justice if your device is looking up or down at you.

Tip 7

Shoot in landscape mode. Look into the camera and position yourself in the centre to create symmetry. Or, if you know you’ll be adding text to your video, simply position yourself to the right or the left of the screen.

Tip 8

Cool. Our last tip before moving on to the next phase. Don’t zoom in! You’ll lose details and you’ll appear pixelated, so that’s a big no no. 

Next, let’s prep and shoot.

Tip 9

Take some time to plan your video before you start production. For example, think about the purpose of your video:

  • What are you trying to achieve and communicate? 
  • What do you want customers to do as a result of watching your video?
  • What’s the main message?

Tip 10

Next, write a script and revise it until it flows naturally and feels conversational. Remember that the best kind of content is human, authentic and possibly fun to watch.

Tip 11

Another good tip is to use a teleprompter app whilst shooting! We find ‘Teleprompter with Video & Audio’ very simple to use.

Tip 12

If you make any mistakes whilst talking, that’s fine! Just stop, leave a slight pause and then repeat the sentence. You can cut it out later when editing the video.

Tip 13

Try to look approachable and warm. For example: 

  • Keep your hand movements to a minimum and try not to cross your arms.
  • Whether you’re sitting or standing, pay attention to your posture and relax your shoulders. We recommend you do a few deep breaths before you start so that you feel calmer and appear relaxed to the audience. 
  • Use open and positive body language. Try to smile, especially at the beginning of your video.

Now it’s time to edit.

Tip 14

When self-recording your videos, make sure you pick a good DIY video editing programme (for example, we find ‘Wondershare Filmore’ pretty simple to use). You need to make sure the tool you’re using allows you to:

  • Add text to your video and adapt sounds.
  • Trim and crop your video where needed.
  • Play with scene transitions (which is very important)
  • You need to be able to change the aspect ratio of your video to adapt it to different platforms and placements.
  • And it needs to have a bank of royalty-free music you can use.

 Tip 15

Once you find the right tool, keep your editing simple!

  • You can adjust the lighting if you need to.
  • You should cut out any awkward pauses and fumbles (everyone has these!)
  • And, finally, you can add some background music and graphics to join up the different sections and create a bit of pace. 

Tip 16

That’s it, you can finish self-recording your videos and the results will look good! However, if you have a small budget you could get a professional video producer to help you out with post-production. 


We always say that your return-on-effort is as important as your return-on-investment. It might take you 2-3 days and you could save earning time by paying a small fee to an expert. Read more on how return-on-effort is just as important as ROI in this blog post. We can certainly make a few recommendations if you need them!

There you go! That’s our top 16 hacks for self-recording videos with your smartphone. Remember, authenticity is essential and your videos don’t have to be 100% polished. If your message and your purpose are compelling that will be enough. 



  1. 7 marketing techniques for attracting customers in 2022 - Saltoria Marketing - […] Be bold and brave and experiment with your own DIY video content. Check out our recent video ’16 hacks…

Subscribe to our Newsletter and marketing emails to keep yourself in the loop! By ticking the boxes below you consent to Saltoria Marketing using your data for this purpose.

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. If you'd like to have more information about our privacy policy, please click here.

Marketing Permission

You have Successfully Subscribed!

    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop