What we cover:


Betsy Ramirez has always gravitated toward an unconventional path. After years of working in the supermarket industry, she forged her own way in communications by consulting for brands, blogging, speaking, teaching, and media.

Betsy shifted her focus toward video in 2015. She hired a videographer to teach her the ropes of filming and video editing and grew a Facebook page to 53,000 in 9 months by publishing Tasty-style videos.

She has co-authored a chapter in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics new book Communicating Nutrition, on video, as well as her new monthly planner for the food and health entrepreneur, 2020 Video Vision Planner. Betsy loves to help encourage dietitians to embrace video in her Facebook group, Making Videos for Dietitians.

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Welcome to The Unconventional RD podcast, where we inspire dietitians to think outside of the traditional employment box and create their own unconventional income streams. We’ll talk all things online business to help you start, grow and scale your own digital empire.

What to Expect in This Episode

Today, we’re chatting with dietitian and video specialist Betsy Ramirez. She is here today to tell us more about:

  • The top 3 benefits of video for dietitians.
  • How dietitians can use video in their businesses.
  • Video trends to watch in 2020.
  • Recommended equipment for creating videos.
  • How much time it takes to create videos.
  • What to think about when outsourcing.

Let’s Dive Into the Interview with Betsy Ramirez

Erica: Today on the podcast, we have Betsy Ramirez here to tell us all about using video in our business in 2020. Video is something that I find super interesting, but don’t actually know that much about, so I am really looking forward to this interview and I hope you guys and myself learn a lot today. Thank you so much for being here, Betsy.

Betsy: Hey, Erica. I’m so happy to be here.

Erica: You’re known for your expertise in video, but looking back on your background, I saw that you got your start in the supermarket industry. Could you tell us more about how you ended up pivoting towards video and how that all went down?

Betsy’s Background as a Supermarket RD

Betsy: I’m about as unconventional as they come. My path has never been one that was focused and clear. Transition has pretty much become my middle name–I blame my husband for that. I don’t like being boxed in.

I did start out in the supermarket industry, I really think that was the framework that has helped me get to where I am today. That was one of the first supermarket tour days, that’s kind of showing my age. Back in the 90s, I was one of just 10. It was in its infancy. We got to build programs from the ground up. I started out with cooking classes and supermarket tours, community involvement, and partnerships with hospitals.

I actually started doing segments on our local TV stations, and it grew to where I was doing TV for three different states. I started doing commercials within those three different states. I was used to being on the other side of the camera, I never really had an interest in learning anything on the other side.

After I left that job, because I married a military guy, he’s also a dietitian, we’re married dietitians. He’s in the Air Force so I decided to follow him around. I thought hey, let’s just pivot.

I love sports nutrition. Always have, I love working out. I got my masters in Exercise Science. Started consulting in Montgomery, Alabama with some athletes who ended up in the NFL.

We moved again. I ended up having my first child, we ended up in DC, and then Oklahoma with the second child, and back to DC, and then overseas. I’m actually about to do my eighth move and pivoting is just part of what I’ve done. I’ve done a lot of PR jobs, and freelance jobs within the supermarket industry since having kids and moving so much.

Getting Into Video

Betsy: It really wasn’t until I moved to Germany where things weirdly changed. It was the beginning of the Tasty videos in 2014, where all we ever saw on Facebook were these canned biscuits.

When you live in Germany as a military spouse, you really don’t have any job options. Those are pretty much gone. I was blogging, I was a little bored, and I thought, “Hey, why can’t we do healthy versions of these?”

I teamed up with another RD and hired this girl who was doing videography, she was a military spouse too. We did a workshop with her. I literally had an iPad and iPhone and nothing else. I didn’t have a fancy camera, I didn’t have any of those types of things. I just wanted to learn how to do it and just jump in, see how it went. Within nine months of creating a Facebook page, we had over 53,000 Facebook followers.

Erica: That’s amazing.

Betsy: Yeah. With crappy iPhone, iPad videos. It was so bizarre. We both ended up moving and split up. Then when I moved back to the States in 2016, I was like, “You know what, I should probably help some other dietitians do that.” Because I was still trying to figure out what my path was. What did I really want to do? When you move overseas and you live there for a while, you’re in a bubble. You don’t really have opportunities that you do here in the States. Working wasn’t as much as an option for me as moving back home.

I was like, “Okay, let’s help other people figure this out. It’ll be my fun little hobby while I try to figure out what direction I want to go in.” And then, again, another transition, my son ends up being diagnosed with dyslexia, end up having to homeschool him, and everything becomes something to the side. I can’t focus on trying to get him what he needs plus working.

Picked up some side jobs, teach online, and then people just started coming to me for videos. It’s been this bizarre journey to video that if you had told me this 10 years ago, I would have been like, “No way. Certainly not going to happen. I’m going to be a sports RD. That’s what I’m going to do.” Here we are.

Erica: You just went out and you tried something and you just learned it by doing and now you have skills that you can pass on to other RDs. I haven’t taken the time honestly, to learn that much about video, but it doesn’t seem like it’s super intuitive, so I feel like there’s lots of people looking for guidance. It’s really great that you’re providing that for our community.

The Top 3 Benefits of Video for Dietitians

Erica: Just talking about video in general, from your perspective, what do you think the top three benefits of using video could be for dietitians?

#1: Video Humanizes Your Content

Betsy: There’s quite a lot of benefits that dietitians can have for video. But the first thing I always like to tell people is that video humanizes your content. You don’t necessarily have to come up with something super fresh and new. It can actually be something that you’ve already done, you’re just freshening up. Like you would go back and redo with a blogpost in SEO.

#2: Video Builds Your Credibility and Expertise

Betsy: But there are really good benefits too; building your credibility and your expertise. Probably as a dietitian, that’s where we’re going to go. Building your brand, building your expertise and your credibility.

#3: Video Improves Conversion Rates

Betsy: But as dietitians, we’re really not as focused on the background stuff like video marketing and conversion rates. That’s just not how our minds work, but it really does boost your conversion rates, you can boost them up to 80%. That’s a big deal when it comes to trying to sell your program or your course, whatever it is you have going on. That’s a big deal. 80%? Yes, please. Sign me up.

In the end, we don’t realize how powerful the buying decisions can be pushed when you use videos. Think about it, if you go to research a product that you want to buy, do you look for a video? Most of the time, yes you do. That influences your purchasing decision 9 times out of 10.

Also something that I don’t think that dietitians think about is your email conversions, your clickthrough rates. You can significantly increase those just by adding video. There’s so many benefits. Facebook feed, social media posts, all of those things are going to have more eyes on the prize if you’re doing video.

Does Video Have to be a Fancy Production?

Erica: Yeah. I feel like at least what I hear people saying in communities and things like that, sometimes people put a lot of pressure on themselves and they’re like, “Oh video, it has to be this huge fancy production.”

But in your experience, even just a cellphone video, even that type of video, just like you filming yourself talking to the camera, will even that help people with their marketing?

Betsy: Absolutely. I think you’re seeing that play out in stories. More so than any other platform, even Facebook Live. Stories are the one to watch—we’ll get to trends later—but I really think it gets people a lot more comfortable.

It’s behind the scenes, that’s what stories are all about. People are interested in that. “What’s on your stove right now?” You look so polished and perfect on your YouTube video, but really, what’s life like behind the scenes? That just adds to the storytelling experience that you can get.

Stories aren’t always live, but you can do IG live. I personally don’t watch any IG Lives. I don’t know about you, do you watch IG Lives?

Erica: Only when they pop-up in the preview on my regular feed, but then I rarely click to finish watching it. I’ll just watch the clip.

Betsy: That’s what I’m finding for most people – that they don’t really watch the IG Lives. But they will watch Facebook Live.

Erica: Oh wait, I’m thinking about IGTV. I forgot there’s also IG Live. No, I never watch IG Live.

Betsy: There’s IG Live, there’s IGTV, and there’s IG Stories.

Erica: Yes. I watch stories the most. I think you’re right.

Betsy: I think most people watch stories the most. But I will watch IGTV as well. There’s opportunities on all those platforms. But we really don’t think about it.

So no, you don’t need a fancy camera, you just need your cell phone especially if you’re just starting out. You really need to get comfortable if you’re going to be the face of your niche or what you’re trying to sell. People need to build trust with you, you need to show your face.

Erica: I think Libby Rothschild started that showyourface hashtag trend that’s going viral in the RD community. I think that’s awesome. I think you’re right. One of the main benefits is people feel like they know you a lot more than just reading your words. They’re hearing you and they’re seeing your face and it just builds that connection a lot faster.

Betsy: I think that’s really hard. We have a lot of RDs who are introverts. You may have an older generation in health, I feel like I’m speaking from a different point of view. Those who are 40 and older who aren’t as comfortable with doing these types of things, it’s really a barrier to producing video, because it is so hard to be like, “Why does anybody want to hear me talk?” That’s not just the world we come from.

But I think there’s so much opportunity, we just have to reframe that conversation and jump in with what you have. You don’t have to be polished. If you have bigger goals, there’s other things that you can do to learn and grow.

Erica: For sure.

How Dietitians Can Use Video in Their Business

Erica: Can you give us some examples of how dietitians could use video in their business and marketing?

Betsy: Right. What I mainly see people doing right now is recipe videos.

We also have more of the educational type videos that we talked about, but it’s more informal. You’ll see that more in your Facebook Live, your IG Stories, IGTV, those are your more informal, educational type posts.

I’ve seen very few how-to educational type videos coming from RDs.

I’ve made quite a few promotional videos for dietitians so that they can sell their programs.

And then people are using video in their brand work. Those are mainly the four main areas that I’ve seen video take off in our community.

What Type of Video Performs Best?

Erica: Personally for you, what do you think has performed the best?

Betsy: It depends. Really, it depends on the niche, it depends on who your target market is, and who you’re working with. How big is your platform? But then you have the micro-influencer.

It’s up in the air. Video, just overall, works the best. If you’re not doing it, you’re not doing as good as you could do.

Erica: I hear that. That makes a lot of sense. It’s like the same with blogging, you could make any kind of blog really work, it’s just understanding where you’re trying to go, and then reverse-engineering the type of content you need to make to get there. Probably the exact same way with video.

Betsy: Very much. Very much the same.

Video Trends in 2020

Erica: This is probably my favorite question. Since you’re on the ground with video stuff, do you have any thoughts on video related trends maybe we should be keeping our eyes on for 2020, since we’re into the new year now?

#1: TikTok

Betsy: Okay. I’m going to start with the hottest one – right now, it’s TikTok.

Erica: Yes. Please, tell me everything about TikTok. I don’t know that much about it.

Betsy: I’m not on TikTok. I am not going to be on TikTok. Chrissy Carroll is on TikTok, she could probably speak more about it.

It’s more eyes on the prize, it’s just a different audience. It’s different people that may not have found you otherwise. For some people, that might be really exciting. For others, like me, I’m like, “Please, no, not one more platform. Not one more. I can’t do it anymore.”

But I think that there is going to be a lot going on in TikTok, for sure. It really started to explode.

Erica: Yeah. I agree. There are a handful of dietitians who are using it. I have really only seen positive feedback. They get a lot of reach, it’s really fun. I don’t know.

I’ve seen somewhere where their voice is like autotuned, and they’re almost like singing even though they’re talking. Maybe it’s a cool way to reach, depending obviously who you’re trying to reach, but maybe if you’re going for a younger demographic, maybe they hang out there.

Betsy: A lot of different people are on TikTok. There’s no rhyme or reason to it at all. It’s just like throwing mashed potatoes on the wall, who’s going to be there and stick.

It goes back to some of the points I made earlier about video humanizing your content. It makes you human, it makes you a real person, and it puts your face out there so that you’re recognized for that given field.

Chrissy, she’s got three or four different brands, I’m not sure which one she’s on TikTok for, but it still gives her credibility to drive them to every single one of her platforms. It’s really interesting to watch that one for sure.

Erica: Okay. TikTok number one. What’s next?

#2: Longer Facebook Videos

Betsy: I’m still going to say Facebook. Facebook is still up there. The types of videos that are going to be trending for dietitians are still going to be your recipe videos.

I also think that there’s going to be a little bit of a shift into recipe videos with yourself inserted into them. Not a cooking show, but a mix of hands in pans with some face time, if that makes sense. And then you’ll have some cooking style already mixed in there too. It’s like a bundle. Anything related to cooking, you have those three styles.

But Facebook is going to favor it if it’s longer. One minute videos that we conditioned ourselves to make videos for, “It should only be 60 seconds.” Really, it’s only going to apply to Instagram now. Facebook is going to favor those longer videos.

How to Publish Videos on Facebook

Erica: Okay. This is a random question, but when you upload a video to Facebook, is this something you would be doing through your page? And then what happens to that video after it’s posted? Can you organize them? How does that work?

Betsy: On your page, you have a tab called publishing tools. Within the publishing tools, you have a video library where you have uploaded your videos.

Like what I did the other day, I had an old video on buffalo cauliflower bites for the Super Bowl. It was an old post that I had written and it gives you all the analytics on there. I just went in there and I created a new post with the same video and the same verbiage, and off it went. You can just continue to repost and then your analytics continue to grow on that.

You don’t have to go and upload a new video every time you want to repurpose your content, which I think is the beauty of Facebook. I actually enjoy the pages publishing tools and seeing how many views they got and breaks it down by dates, and by peak time. I think that’s really interesting information, especially if you’re trying to grow your Facebook page.

Erica: Yeah.

How Do you get traffic to your website via videos on Social Media?

Erica: Let’s pretend someone was a food blogger and they were making videos like that and posting it on Facebook. How do you then get them from the video to the blog? Or do you not? Are you just trying to engage them on Facebook? How does that work?

Betsy: This will take me to my third platform we’re going to go through, YouTube. I always upload to YouTube first and then I upload to Facebook.

If my blog piece is ready to go, I will just import the YouTube link into my blogpost. That way, it’s all just tagged between those two platforms.

Of course, Instagram is totally separate, if you’re going in that direction. But YouTube first, then Facebook. Facebook and your blog post at the same time. You probably want to do your blogpost first, now that I think about it. Because you have to have that link when you’re going to post your recipe on Facebook.

Erica: Right. That makes sense.

Betsy: Blog post, then Facebook and Instagram.

Where Do You Put the Links to the Content?

Erica: And then do you put the link to the recipe? Because I’ve seen different things.

People say, “Oh, don’t put the link in the original caption. Put it in the comments.” Because they thought Facebook was maybe not giving as much reach if you’re sending people away. Any thoughts on that?

Betsy: That’s the mystery question of 2020. I don’t know.

Erica: Trends to watch.

Betsy: Trends to watch. See, play with it, see what works for you. Put it in the comments, put it in the main part of the post. I‘ve always put it in the main part of the post because nobody really goes to the comments, in my experience.

Erica: Yeah. I’ve played around it with my Facebook group, doing it both ways. Not with video, but if I’m linking to something, it does seem like when I put the link in the post in my group it gets pushed down a little faster than if I don’t have a link in there.

But then I have had the issue where I’ll put the link of the first comment and then a bunch of other people comment and then people are like, “Wait. Where is the link?” It’s a trade-off.

Betsy: It is! You never know what the Facebook gods are thinking. It changes all of the time.

Erica: For sure. Do you have any other trends or was it TikTok, Facebook, YouTube?

#4: YouTube

Betsy: YouTube for sure, that’s where you’re going to do more of your cooking style videos. Skinny Louisiana, Shelley Redmond, she shifted from Facebook Live over to YouTube and she’s growing her channel pretty quickly. She would definitely be one to watch.

If you’re looking for someone new onto YouTube and is really making an impact, I think, she’s doing a good job of that. She started out on Facebook Live and then she just shifted everything over to YouTube.

YouTube is always going to be a major player. I think that dietitians are not well represented in that area. People are super intimidated by that. The younger ones coming up probably won’t be, but those who’ve been here a while are kind of like, “So much effort. I don’t have time.” Especially if you have family, that’s a huge commitment. But Shelly’s a good example. She has a family, she has a successful practice, and she’s really building her empire around video. Definitely check her out.

#5: Stop Motion Video

Betsy: The other ones that I would look at would be, I know this is not even a platform, but stop motion video is really hot. It will continue to be really hot. I’ve just added that to my menu of services and I’ve already completed it for a major company.

Erica: Can you explain what that is?

Betsy: Stop motion is where you take a series of pictures, like food items can move. A great example of that would be @perspectiveportions on Instagram or on Facebook. Check her out. She does great stop motion videos.

It may be that she has a lot of ingredients going into her bowl one by one and it looks like they’re moving by themselves. There’s no hands in pans kind of action, but it’s basically just a series of still shots to make your food move. It’s been really, really cool.

I took a really cool course by a girl called Trisha Zemp. She does one specifically with food. It probably wasn’t what I would do, because I have all that food and recipe background knowledge, but it was a good step by step program that helped me out in the beginning.

And then there’s also different types of software you can use for that that’s out there that can help the process. It’s just fun. If you really like food photography, stop motion is super fun. You can get as creative as you want to be.

#6: Video on Instagram (Stories, TV, Live)

Betsy: That, and Instagram would be my last one, like we had talked earlier. Instagram is just always going to be hot.

I can remember back in 2010, I was at the Alabama State Conference and I was speaking on supermarket nutrition, but I told that whole audience content has to be visual for consumers from this day forward. That has been so true.

That was at the beginning of Pinterest. You can do video on Pinterest, but that’s not going to be a trend to watch, for sure. But Instagram, the visual content on there, the sky’s the limit. Libby Rothschild has built her business pretty much on Instagram.

There’s lots of dietitians who are killing it on Instagram. If they’re not doing video, they’re actually probably losing followers and money.

How Does Video Lead to More Revenue?

Erica: Before we move on to how to do videos, can you elaborate a little bit on how video can lead to more revenue in your business?

What’s the funnel or the mechanism? There’s probably, I mean obviously if you have a private practice versus a blog, there’s probably different answers. But could you explain that, for the people listening, how video can be monetized or lead to more clients?

#1: Brand Relationships

Betsy: The easiest one, first is if you’re a blogger and if you already have brand relationships.

What I have seen in dietitians, is that they are creating videos within those partnerships. It may be just a recipe video or it could be a talking head video. I know Holly Granger does a lot of those on her blog. I’ve done some work with her.

I’m working with brands. That’s where it mainly starts usually. There’s not very many dietitians making videos, there’s only maybe three, maybe four of us that are focused on recipe videos. I probably do a little bit more.

The funny thing is, I never really thought I’d have a business doing videos. Never really dreamed of that, never really saw that in my future. But the more I started doing it, the more I enjoyed it. People in my group on Facebook or in Dietitians on the Blog or in your community would ask about videos and that helped people start coming to me. I have never wanted to advertise for my services, ever.

Erica: But that’s powerful. That’s the best kind of referral.

Betsy: Yeah. All of my jobs have come from Facebook groups.

How Sponsored Content Works

Erica: You work with a brand and basically, theoretically, they would pay you upfront to create a video featuring maybe their food product… Is that how it works?

Betsy: Most of the time, yes. Say it’s Bob’s Red Mill and they want a recipe video with some creation you have with one of their flours. They would have compensation based on that. It’s going to look different. If you’re doing a YouTube video, those prices could be different than if it’s just a recipe video. I know I’ve utilized Abbey Sharp’s media rate guide for some of those things, but some of these are uncharted territory.

Erica: Yeah. Is it different, too, if it’s sponsored content that’s going to live on your own website versus maybe creating something for them to put on their website? Is there a difference there?

Betsy: There can be. You’re getting into more of your legal kind of concerns with licensing, and what you want to include in your packages, and what your business model needs to look like for you. That is going to depend upon each person.

Food companies are really going to be the best people to work with.

#2 Freelance Video Production

Betsy: But I will say this, I have enjoyed my work with dietitians one on one more than anything else. There is work amongst all of us. We can all share the love, so to speak.

People have given me a chance to create things that I had never done before, like a promotional video for their course. I was like, “You want me to do what?”

I created animated videos for RD2RD for their About Us page.

I’ve done an animation, probably my favorite one is Suzy Fisher’s Go Meal Plans. Her animated video, I had so much fun doing that one. I did it on a paid platform called Platoon. That was super fun.

Really, creativity is your limit. What do you want to do? What do you want to play with? And networking.

Erica: Yeah. Already right there you mentioned hands in pans videos, stop motion, a selfie version, a cooking show version, how to, animated, so many different options. That leaves so much room for you to lean into whatever feels good for you. I love that.

Betsy: Right. I have to tell you, it wasn’t until this year of December that just passed that I decided, “This is my focus.” I was still on the fence about whether I wanted a food blog. Do I want to keep myself open for nutrition counseling because we’re about to retire from the military? So I’m looking at what my future looks like… This has really become a viable source of income for me. I’ve really enjoyed the people that I’ve worked with, I’m continuing to work with. What solidified it for me is that a major company sought me out and hired me. My pricing was three or four times my normal rate.

Erica: That feels good, right?

Betsy: I was like, “Oh my gosh, people will pay this!”

Erica: Yeah, for sure.

Betsy: It’s so good. There’s a lot of opportunities. From those recipe videos came, “Hey, we really like your work, would you do some stop motion videos for us?” I was like, “You realize I’ve never done that, right?” They’re like, “We really just like working with you.” I was like, “Okay, I’ll figure it out.”

Erica: Exactly. That’s the best.

#3: Promotional Videos to Boost Sales

Erica: Just pulling it back…. you can get paid to make videos by brands, but what if you’re not working with brands and you just have your own business and you see clients? Is it more like, you put calls to action throughout those videos or something to then try to monetize?

Betsy: Yes. You’ve got your SEO course. Let’s go there because I’m taking it and it’s fabulous right now.

Erica: Thank you.

Betsy: Something you may want to consider is you could do a testimonial video where you have other people film their testimonials about your course.

You could also do one of just you talking, or you could do an animated video for that, or you could do one that has pictures and words. There’s a lot of different options for you.

If you look back to what we were talking about on the benefits of video, you can boost your conversion rates up to 80%. So yes, that’s money in your pocket.

It would be interesting if you go that route for your next round and maybe that’s something we can talk about. I would love to see, just tracking the results from that, what was before and what’s after.

Because the more a program is around, your sales start dipping down a little bit. Sometimes your target market runs a little thin, or it could be the economy as an issue, those types of things. It’s always interesting to me to see how video can really boost that bottom line and it does. It’s just result after result.

Erica: Yeah. I’ve done webinars, which I guess is a form of video. Those actually do convert really well. I’ve only done live so far, but I have plans for after this live round of the course to then move them to evergreen. I am super excited to see how that goes.

Knock on wood, so far my course sales have only been going up… which is like, great!

Betsy: It’s a great course, I see why.

Erica: Thanks. But I think part of that is because when I first started out, it was a very low baseline to improve upon.

I’ve been reading and learning more about this… but part of continuing to grow your business is continuing to grow your audience and then having structure behind the scenes, of like, what happens when someone joins your audience. How are they getting to know that you even have something for sale? Getting all that pinned down.

Video, even on the front end of just that – the growing your audience part, is probably a big attractor to you, boosting your visibility, and then you have it all set up.

Show Your Face, But Stay True to YOU!

Betsy: Like and trust factor. Know- like- trust. That is what is going to boost your business bottom line. I was the worst about it. I will show my face in my group, but I did not want to get on social media. I’ll post pictures all day long or something about my advocacy work. I just haven’t shown my face.

Erica: It’s a little weird for me too. I have to push myself to do it. It’s not like I’m excited to hop on a video every day.

But if that’s really not you, that’s not the type of business you want to make, you could still do video on the back end and just be the behind the scenes video creator for other people’s businesses as well. There’s still tons of opportunities.

Betsy: I don’t want you to limit yourself on that either. You can be behind the scenes in creating videos. Maybe you do educational videos that have pictures and words.

Erica: True.

Betsy: You don’t necessarily have to show your face. That intimidation factor is huge for people. It is just so overwhelming. I get it. I get it. I live it. Some days, I’m like, “Oh my gosh, I’m in my 40s now. My face is saggy.” Like, today is not my day. It’s huge for some people. Absolutely jump in there and do what feels comfortable for you.

Recommended Equipment for Creating Video

Erica: If someone’s brand new and they want to get started with video, what are the pieces of equipment that you think people will need or should have?

#1: Do an Assessment + Formulate a Strategy

Betsy: Before you do that, you have to do an assessment. You have to have a strategy. Your course is the perfect example of that. People don’t put a lot of strategy behind it before they start doing their videos. You have to reverse engineer, like you said, what is your end goal?

And in the end, you have to take yourself out of it, completely. I just did a Facebook Live in my group about this. It’s really not about you, it’s about who you’re trying to target and it’s about having a very, very clear message.

I think before you even go to the equipment, you have to know those things. You are just a vehicle to help them get from point A to point B.

Hopefully benefitting your bottom line. That’s the goal, conversion. That’s what we want. Why would you be doing it otherwise, unless it’s a hobby for you?

#2: Recommended Filming Equipment

Betsy: When you can get to that point, really, you can do an equipment assessment.

Use your phone. Start out with your phone, start out with your iPad. You don’t have to buy a fancy DSLR camera to get started. You just don’t.

You can do those little clip-on lights if you want to improve your lighting. They’re $10 on Amazon. Super cheap, super easy. If you need a tripod, you could get those under $20. You may be looking at an investment of maybe $30 for just getting started.

Erica: Yeah. Is that for if you want to do the hands in pans style videos? You could just do that on your phone? Just get something to hold your phone above, basically?

Betsy: Yeah. Food Blogger Pro has a good article on what they use for their phones. They have a tripod that they recommend. I’ve never used it, but they have one.

This is my story – I took my little bitty tripod, I duct-taped it to my crockpot, and I stacked it on some books, and that is how I started.

Erica: That’s perfect. That’s the best. I’ve seen some really funny ones on Facebook in food blogger groups. And you’re right, totally, some are like a ruler taped to the wall or something.

Betsy: I started with duct tape and a crockpot.

Erica: That’s great. I feel like you can make it work. If you have a phone, you can make it work.

#3 Recommended Lighting Equipment

Betsy: Yeah. If you could, have access to natural light. I think as you get into it more, you’re going to want to improve. I do a mix of natural light with softboxes now.

If you’re really wanting to be serious about recipe videos, a white foam cardboard would be a great investment to have so you can bounce some light. You already probably have if you’re doing food photography. Maybe some clamps to help put some stuff up.

Backdrops, I think are a wise investment. You can go to Home Depot and get some MDF and paint it. It’s like a 24inx24in piece of wood. There you go, make it whatever you want. I’ve got plenty of those that I still use.

I’ve got some Ink And Elm backdrops that are more expensive, but I like how easy they are to store and roll up, and they’re not big heavy pieces of wood that I have to move to seven different places every two years.

Erica: I have a lot of those. For people listening, those are like vinyl prints that you can order online, Ink And Elm is the company. Yeah, you can have a fake marble backdrop, you could have wood rustic things, a table cloth, basically anything you could think of, concrete looking. Those can really add a lot.

Betsy: Yeah. I’m dangerous with the sale. They have something going on sale, I’m like, oh, I need to stop myself because I love having different options.

I actually go for the bigger ones and even when I would buy MDF at the store, I bought a 2×4, not a 2×4 as in like something you’re building your house with. I’m talking about a 2ftx4ft piece of wood. I’ve started using those. I have a little bit more wiggle room when I’m filming recipe videos.

If you’re going to be doing any type of cooking show or talking video, you really need to look at investing in some good lighting. Like softboxes, ring light. I don’t have any experience with ring lights because I wear glasses. Ring lights put a lot of reflection on my glasses, where softboxes take away from that so I don’t have to worry about it.

Erica: What is a softbox? Could you explain that?

Betsy: It’s basically a more professional lighting on a stand. It’s almost like a tripod, but it’s not. And then it literally looks like a square and it’s got your high intensity light bulbs for lighting. And then you put an opaque cover over it so it softens the light, which is perfect for anything that has to do with food or filming so you don’t have a lot of reflection on, if you’re using clear glasses, or if you’re using a glass bowl, or if you’re using shiny silverware. There’s not as much of a reflection on that.

Three-point lighting system is usually the best way to go. You have one behind you, you have one to the right of you, and one to the left of you. It’s called the three key lighting system.

But that’s just a general idea. If you’re really trying to get that professional polished, but you don’t have to. There are plenty of YouTubers out there in dark kitchens. Plenty!

Erica: Yeah. It’s not a barrier for getting started.

Betsy: No. We make excuses. Actually, someone just posted in my Facebook group this week about it. And they were like really torn up. “My kitchen is awful.”

I’m in military housing. I have blue laminate countertops, they’re horrible. That’s not what I’m doing right now. I’m not filming videos. If I start doing it again, I’ll have blue laminate countertops, because that’s military housing. That’s what I have to work with. You can always ask your friend if you can film in their kitchen if it bothers you that much.

#4 Recommended Audio Resources

Erica: That’s true. What about sound quality? Do your videos usually have sound? Or do you get music to put in there? How does that work?

Betsy: Recipe videos have music and there are three sites I usually go to – AudioJungle, PremiumBeat, I think SoundBox is one, but I use Melody Loops a lot. That one, you can buy bulk packages of music and you’re free to use it after that.

If you want something free, go to bensound.com. That’s a really good one, that’s what I started with. You will hear Bensound music all over the internet.

And then the other one that no one really knows about that I love is Purple-Planet. It’s purple-planet.com and they’ve got a lot of music that’s free. You just have to make sure that you’re properly citing that it’s their music in the comments of your YouTube or your post, or you can do it within your video. Because that’s their terms of use, you need to follow their terms of use. Anytime you buy music, make sure you’re reading through those terms of use so you know for sure that you can use that music.

#5 Recommended Editing Resources

Erica: Okay. You record your video, maybe on your camera, and then do you put it on your computer for editing?

Betsy: Yeah. I would like to point out that you may use music even if it’s like a cooking show. You may have some background music going on. It’s important to know that about music.

When it comes to editing, you have a lot of different options. If you’re just getting started, start with iMovie or start with Movie Maker so that you understand what it’s like to cut footage. You need to have that basic skill down.

And then adding text. How comfortable are you cutting your footage and adding your text? That would be the first two things. Movie Maker, iMovie.

Then if you want to try something else, you could move up to something, my favorite is Filmora. I love Filmora. I think it’s the easiest, most intuitive program out there, especially for dietitians who want a more professional presence and a few more bells and whistles, because you’re very limited with iMovie and Movie Maker, but you’re not as much in Filmora.

They have a store that you can buy all kinds of motion graphics and customize them to whatever you want them to be. You can do a lot of customization within Filmora. It’s like a one-time price, I don’t know if it’s $69 or $89, but it’s a lifetime price and it’s yours forever and it will upgrade your software.

I still use Filmora for some things. But my next level for what I’m doing, because I’m doing more professional editing. I’m using Premiere Pro or if you’re a Mac user, most people use Final Cut Pro.

I just don’t have a Mac. I have a PC. I’m not able to use that fabulous program. I would love to. That’s one of my goals. I want to switch.

It’s easier though, doing stop motion, if you’re already in Creative Cloud. You can go between Photoshop or the other photo editing program. Then you can import it, that makes that easier, but it’s nice to have both.

Erica: Okay. Can you add music in the lower-tiered ones like iMovie? Or is that something you can only do on Filmora?

Betsy: I think you can. I think you can add music and text. You just don’t have a ton of options.

Erica: Okay. It’ll be a little more bare bones.

Betsy: Yeah, yeah. Absolutely. Shelley’s using iMovie to edit her YouTube videos, nothing is stopping her.

Erica: Good point. Okay. I think I’m wrapping my head around it.

You first plan out why you’re doing the video to make sure it fits into the strategy of your business. Then you film it. Then you put it on your computer. Then you put it into an editing program. You have text, music, and whatever. Maybe a call to action at the end or something.

The Importance of a Clear Call to Action

Betsy: Yeah. Always a call to action. That would be the reason you’re making it. You’ll see on recipe videos, “Find more recipes at…” that’s to draw traffic.

Here’s the thing, you’ve got to quit giving people more options. Don’t say, “Learn more.” Don’t say, “Find out more.” Say, “Buy it now.” Tell them what to do. Women are horrible about it. We don’t want to be rude.

Something I’ve learned with my story brand—things that I’ve been doing—you’ve got to be very clear about what you want them to do. “Sign up today.”

Stop with this, “Learn more,” stuff, “Find out more.” Stop it. Stop that. Tell them exactly what you want them to do, because you have their attention. If they’ve been through your entire video, they’re hanging on to find out what’s next. Tell them. Be very clear about that.

Erica: That’s a really good tip. I probably would do that subconsciously and not even think about it. Just, “Learn more.” Yeah, you’re right. They could also buy.

Exporting Your Video Files

Erica: Okay. Once it’s all edited, then what? You export it or something as a video file, then upload it wherever you want to share it?

Betsy: Well, yeah. You’re going to export it as an MP4. Some programs will export it as an MPEG. You’ll have to convert it to an MP4 for it to play on these platforms.

In the end, you’re also looking at what size video you want. You would decide that at the beginning of your editing experience—if you want a vertical video, if you want a landscape video, or if you want a square video.

A lot of times, what I do with those, is I start with landscape, export that file, then I’ll open a new editing session. I’ll import or copy it over and I’ll square it. Or I’ll just make a copy of it, adjust everything, and make it whatever size that I want. It really depends. IGTV’s letting you do landscape now.

Erica: Where do you go to figure out the right dimensions for the different platforms?

Betsy: You just have to go to the websites. Just Google it, you’ll find it.

Erica: Okay. Do you store these videos, maybe on a cloud somewhere, so they don’t take up all your computer space?

Betsy: My computer has two hard drives. I also have five terabyte external hard drives.

Some I’ll keep in my Dropbox for my clients, that’s really where I use my storage for my clients. They have a certain number of days to grab the file and download it. I have a lot of editing projects that come in, that are dietitians are maybe sending me. They’re film footage. I’ll also get that through Dropbox. Then, I’ll just return the video inside the Dropbox too.

How Much Time Does It Take to Make a Video?

Erica: You’re probably really fast at it now, but maybe in the beginning, how long should you expect it to take to make a video? Versus once you get a little faster at it? What type of time frame should people give themselves?

Betsy: Right. There’s a lot that goes into video production and people don’t realize it. They think, “Oh, you can just edit this video for me for an hour.” Well, no. No, I can’t. I need some time because I need to first understand if you have a storyboard.

Something that I do with my clients, I try to give them as much input as I can. I need to know what your story was. Even if it’s a recipe video, what are your ingredients? What is the sequence of ingredients? Does it make sense? When you write the recipe, sometimes it doesn’t always line up.

You have to also think about – what are your props? What’s your backdrop going to be? Even down to – are you going to have a little hand towel in it? What color is that? What are your brand colors? What are your fonts that you use in your logo?

These are little details a lot of people don’t think about. I’ll lay those all out for my clients within our storyboard. That’s the pre-planning process that really needs to take place before you even set up a piece of equipment.

You also have to go and shop for the food. You’re looking already at two and a half hours. In the end, you’ve got to produce it. That, with setup, disassembly, and the recipe video itself, can be three or four hours. It depends on the complexity of the recipe.

Also, if you just have one camera, you may be setting it up three different ways to get the shots that you need. With the recipe videos, it’s a lot different. You have to get it and make sure you get that beauty shot. You have to make sure that you get a couple of different angles to where it makes it a little bit more interesting.

You, of course, could always have an overhead shot, and keep it that way. No one’s saying that you have to do any different. But videos perform better if there’s more angles and beauty shots involved. Always that fork in the food kind of moment, people love to see.

It’s very labor-intensive, people don’t always realize that. If you’re doing a cooking video-style with your face showing, that, sometimes is a little bit easier. Only because it’s not as much strategy that goes behind it.

You should have a storyboard though. I really want to hang that. Always have a storyboard. Have a plan of action. Know exactly what you need to do. Even if you have to use post-it notes as you’re filming so you know step one, step two, step three. Practice using empty bowls if you want your hands to look in a certain way. You can film it with empty bowls the first way through it just to see what it looks like. Then make changes from there.

These are all the little things that if you’re a perfectionist or if you’re doing it professionally, you should really be thinking about these things, because a lot of people don’t.

After you did all that and you’ve eaten the food (this is a recipe video per se), then you have your editing time. You’re maybe five hours in then, and it may take three or four hours to, depending on how long you want it, to edit. It could take less than that. It just depends.

If you’re a first time client, it is always going to take longer. But if I’ve been with you for a while, we move through that process a little bit quicker because I already have your fonts loaded. I already have your colors loaded. I already know the kind of style that you like and the call to action.

Those things make it a little bit more simple. As you get more comfortable doing it, you’re going to get faster. It takes an editor no less than two to three hours.

Erica: Yeah. I think that’s such a good point too. As you grow, just hanging out in food blogger groups, and everything, it’s a lot. There’s a lot of moving parts to running a food blog or an online business of any kind.

If you want to bring on video, I would probably hire out, to be honest. It’s great that you have this service that you offer for other dietitians too because that sounds like a full day out of the week to make a video.

There’s already so many other moving pieces to your business too. I think it’s awesome that we can all collaborate. If one person’s good at writing, they could do that. Another person could make the video. Another person can do all the social media, it all comes together. I think it’s great to hear the behind the scenes of what goes into the video because it is a lot.

Can You Hire Out Video Production for Your Own Blog?

Betsy: It is. I just want people to understand too, if you are going to hire out for a video, please know that it is not like this four hour experience. It is very in-depth. A lot of people are undercharging a lot for recipe videos. I still thought my prices were very undercharging.

Erica: Can you give us an idea? How much would someone expect to pay if they wanted to hire for a recipe video?

Betsy: If you’re going to hire a professional videographer, you’re going to pay $150 an hour.

Erica: That’s a good framework. Some people are probably going to be like, “Oh, I can never afford that.” There are really big food blogs out there making $100,000 a month. It’s all relative. You may not be able to start there.

Betsy: People who are doing it for vloggers are doing it anywhere from $30 an hour, to $75, $80 an hour. It just depends. It depends on how experienced you are. I think people need to be very mindful, it is a big job. If you go out and hire somebody in an economy, think about wedding videos. You’re looking into that now, right?

Erica: Yeah, except we’re not even doing videographers.

Betsy: Oh, it’s so good though. Videographers are very expensive. The food and nutrition world is such a niche market, it’s a different way of thinking.

Even if you hire out, for instance, I just did a job where the dietitian hired me to do the editing. Because I live in North Dakota right now and I’m moving—thank goodness—down to the south. I’m not able to be in the south where she’s filming.

She hired a guy to come and film it for her. He’s a professional photographer. She’s trying to learn video. He has no frame of reference when it comes to working with food and nutrition brands. Or thinking about food placement or where she needs to be so I can write the text to her right or left.

The B-roll shots, it was some cereals, and I wanted to make sure I had B-roll shots because we had done the storyboard. I knew what the script was. I knew from doing our talking points, we could go to this shot, this different cereal in a very slow motion. When you’ve seen commercials, it’s a very slow motion kind of thing. That’s called B-roll. It’s not her talking, it’s just the B-roll.

I was literally, virtually, on the phone face timing with this man I’ve never met, and this dietitian. It actually worked out really well. We got everything we needed. I was able to edit the videos exactly the way she needed them, and got them all done for this brand. Everyone was happy. It’s a really neat perspective for that photographer because he’s never done that type of work before. He’s done weddings, completely different venue.

You really have to think, especially if you’re going to work with brands. If your goal is to, “Okay. I’m going to just do video-only services. I’m going to work with brands.” You have got to have that attention to detail. You need to understand what B-roll is. You need to go beyond the recipe video. It’s just so open-ended.

Recommended Resources for Learning More About Video

Erica: Before we sign off at the end here, do you have any recommended resources for people to go and learn more about video?

Maybe your own resources or just other things you’ve really enjoyed? I know you’ve mentioned a lot throughout this episode, but anything else off the top of your head?

#1: Betsy’s Making Videos for Dietitians FB Group

Betsy: Yeah. My Facebook group, Making Videos For Dietitians. I keep that to only dietitians. I do that because I feel like there’s a lot of fear anyway in the video. There needs to be a safe place for people to be able to ask questions that big food bloggers or other health and wellness professionals are a part of.

I do that for free. I’m not always on there all the time but I try to answer all the questions that I can. I’m doing much better about having things. I just did a Facebook Live here today about Donald Miller’s book and how the video should not be about you.

People post in there all the time. It’s a great support system. I’d like to have any dietitians who are interested to head on over and join our Facebook group.

#2: Donald Miller’s Book – Building a Storybrand

Betsy: There’s two things. Donald Miller’s book is really good on StoryBrand. You can Google that. It’s a great book. Just to learn how to make your message really clear, I think it helped me a lot.

#3: The 2020 Video Vision Planner

Betsy: And then I created a 2020 video vision planner. It’s a month by month calendar and goal-setting resource for you where you can help you set your 90-day goals, like what’s realistic to you.

A lot of people are like, “Oh, I’m going to put out four videos this month.” They don’t realize that it takes a lot of effort and time. It really walks you to the process of what are my goals? What do I really need to focus on? Even break it down.

You’re going to love this in the SEO world – Do your SEO keyword research before you even produce that video. This is going to be pointless if it’s not something people are interested in. I break it down in that way.

Then, we go through, and have a storyboard in there to help you breakdown that process. Then at the quarters, we do a quarterly recap of what performs. There’s a tracking sheet where you can track all of your analytics.

Then it gives you a brainstorming section to what did well, what didn’t do well, and look at the why behind it. By the end of the year, you can look back, and go, “Oh, okay. This did well. This didn’t in this timeframe.” This was like, “Summer wasn’t really a great time.” Those types of things that you would normally look at.

That’s on my website. I have a discount for your folks listening.

Erica: Awesome. Is there a code they should put in?

Betsy: Yeah, there’s a code. It is 2020TURD.

Erica: Perfect. I think I mentioned in one of the episodes in this podcast that I’m trying to embrace the TURD acronym. That’s the acronym for The Unconventional RD. We are rolling with it. It’s very memorable.

Thank you. That was a really helpful interview. Even with talking for an hour, I only scratched the surface. There’s so much more to learn.

Yeah, I agree. Your group is fabulous. I’ve seen people even go in there and post videos for feedback from people, which I think is really valuable.

I just love that we’re getting out there and we’re doing it. It’s not going to be perfect the first time but you’ll only get better by practicing. Thank you for making a safe space for everybody.

Betsy: Thank you for having me. I really enjoyed this today. I really hope to see more people start jumping on the video bandwagon because they’re really missing out if they’re not doing it.

How to Keep in Touch with Betsy

Erica: Yeah. I guess one last thing, can you just say your website URL out loud so people can check it out if they’re not on their computer right now?

Betsy: Yeah. It’s betsyramirez.com. The planner is under nutrition resources. I don’t have it up on RD2RD yet, my planner can only be found on my website. That’s getting a makeover in the next couple of months, that’s going to be exciting to see me actually go in that direction.

Erica: Awesome.

Betsy: You can see my work there.

Erica: Yeah. Is there anywhere else people should connect with you? Obviously, your Facebook group. Do you have any other social media handles you’d like to send people to?

Betsy: You can find me on Instagram @betsramirez. I’m on there doing a lot of behind the scenes when I’m filming there. You can connect with me there.

Erica: Great. Thanks again. This is really informative. I feel like I’ll have to have you back in the future to talk about next year’s trends once that time comes around.

Betsy: I’d love it. I would absolutely love it. Video marketing is never going to get old.

Erica: Agreed. Well, thank you. For anyone listening, you can check out the show notes on my website. Thank you so much for being here.

I wanted to sign off today with just a quick reminder if you are not in the Unconventional RD community on Facebook, I’m here to invite you to join.

There’s nearly 8,000 amazing people in that group right now, a lot of dietitians, a lot of students, a few nutritionists, and other wellness professionals. Seriously, it’s a wonderful place to connect, bounce ideas off of each other, cheer each other on, while we all work through this crazy life of online entrepreneurship or even just entrepreneurship in general.

If you haven’t joined already, just search for The Unconventional RD Community on Facebook and check it out.

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Erica Julson is a registered dietitian turned digital marketing pro. She has over 12 years of experience blogging and building online businesses and has taught over 900 wellness professionals inside her signature program, SEO Made Simple.