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VIDEO SMART – Make smartphone videos like a pro

A practical 5-step guide to creating effective business and social videos with your smartphone, the one camera that’s always on you. Now available in Hardcover, Paperback and Ebook.

About The Book

Video Smart: Make smartphone videos like a pro, is a practical 5-step guide to creating effective business videos with the one camera that’s always on you: your smartphone.

From creating professional shots, to applying the right light and audio techniques, to implementing effective video plans and to being more comfortable in front of a camera, this guide will teach you it all.

When it comes to digital video and web marketing Video Smart is the book that gets you ready for the future.

Pelpina has tested and selected the best video apps and production tools for you and shows you how to optimize your video for publishing it to social media. And all you need is your phone.

In detailed steps she will show you how to optimize your videos for YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Video Smart is both for iPhone and Android users, anyone who wants to learn how to make videos with a smartphone.

Whether you are marketing or communication professional, entrepreneur, teacher, mobile journalist or simply interested in making videos for social platforms, Video Smart is the guide to help your videos get noticed.

Talking to a camera is not natural for most of us. But Pelpina shows you simple steps to overcome camera fear and gain more confidence when you are presenting in front of the camera. Video Smart also guides you through interview techniques, storytelling methods and provides practical tips on how to capture people naturally.

Sweaty hands. Pounding heart. And for the life of me, I couldn’t remember my lines. It was my first time being semi-live on TV news. 2008, KDAF-TV, Dallas, Texas. I was standing in front of a huge touchscreen, talking about some amazing fancy new app. I had practiced working with the touchscreen for hours. I knew exactly what I was going to say. But when I walked up to the camera and saw the red light, I felt my confidence slip away. Everything I had practiced was gone.

What’s inside


Preparing your videos

Spend less time on shooting and editing, with a Video Plan and Shot List.


In front of the camera

How to frame people, conduct interviews and how to appear natural on camera



Audo, lighting and camera techniques specifically for your smartphone


Film and edit faster

Tricks to shoot and edit fast, taking advantage of smartphone apps


Publishing videos

Optimize your video content for social: YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook







Watch this video by simply holding your

smartphone camera towards the QR code


Do you want to make goal-oriented videos and save time making them? Spend less time on shooting and editing? Then you need a good plan.

After almost every videomaking workshop I give, participants will tell me: “You were right. I should have planned better. It would have saved me a lot of time.”

So, trust me: This is the most important chapter!

Before you grab your camera, take a step back. Take the time to plan out your videos and save a lot of time, energy, and frustration afterwards. Planning your videos doesn’t have to be complicated.

For each video, you need two things:

1) A video plan

2) A shot list

The video plan is the content of your video. The shot list shows the visuals. And trust me, this doesn’t have to be an extensive plan with a lot of details. I like to keep things simple, so let’s start out with a basic video plan, and a short shot list.



We’ll start with the content of your video: the video plan. You might already have some fun ideas for videos you want to make; now you just need to give shape to those ideas. That’s exactly what the video plan is for. (If you have no inspiration, don’t worry: I’ve got you covered! Check the video format canvas later in this chapter.)

Each video plan has a few basic elements: the length of the video, the intro, the outro, how your video starts, whether it has subtitles, etc. First, I’m going explain the different basic elements, so that you can create your own (simple!) video plan.


Length of the video

One of the biggest factors that determines if your viewers are actually going to watch your video is its length! Do not underestimate this. Decide beforehand an approximate length of your video. At the end of this chapter, you can find specific info for the ideal video length per platform. But keep in mind that these specifications differ per target audience and change over time, so always keep up to date with the current guidelines and keep an eye on your own statistics.

The main questions you need to ask yourself: How long will my viewers watch my video? When and where (on wht platform) will my viewers likely watch this video? What is the right length for my ideal target audience?


Beginning of the video

Another big watch factor: the start of your video. What triggers your viewer to keep watching? What happens in the first few seconds? A few uninteresting ways to start a video: someone introducing themselves for more than 30 seconds (boring!), the exterior of a building (boring!), a full screen logo or a long paragraph of text (boring!). Some interesting ways to start a video: a powerful statement, an intriguing question, a unique product attribute shown visually, or a funny blooper.



How is the logo or company branding visible in the video? This is another element you’ll have to determine in your video plan. Most companies use a sound logo: a moving logo with sound or music that is visible for one or two seconds. (I know: I can hear the designers’ and CEOs’ doubts while I’m writing this sentence. Trust me: You really don’t need the logo to be on screen longer than a few seconds.)

You can put your sound logo at the beginning of your video, but you can also put it after a fun teaser, or at the end of a video. You can also choose to have a small semi-transparent logo at the top or bottom corner of your video. Whatever you choose: make sure it matches your audience’s expectations, and use the same branding style in every video.


“I always make a video plan. It helps me think about the creative shots I’d like to make, a possible start of the video, and a good ending. Every hour I spend in prep saves me at least two hours in editing.”
Geertje Algera, Smartphone Video Expert


Video format

Landscape video is still the most common form of video. It’s well supported on almost all social media platforms, and it’s the standard format to film on almost every camera. But vertical and square videos are on the rise, especially when you want to reach viewers on LinkedIn, Instagram, Tik Tok, or Facebook.

Vertical and square videos are a must for a young and mobile audience. In the final chapter and in the overview later in this chapter, you can find more on which format to use for what platform.

Keep in mind that, again, these specifications differ per target audience and change over time, so always keep an eye on current guidelines and your own statistics.

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Including engaging elements, such as video welcome videos to each chapter, which personalizes the reading experience. 

"Finally! A book that is perfect for amateur and professionals alike when it comes to smartphone video. Pelpina is here to help take your video skills to the next level. Get this book. You can thank me later. "

Shama Hyder, CEO of Zen Media

"As someone who is exceedingly fussy and particular about business books, the depth at which "Video Smart" goes, and how comprehensive Pelpina was - way surpassed my expectations. Pelpina draws from years of experience working in TV and online video, she just does genuinely knows all the little things. I've learned a lot." -

Richard Moore, Founder of Entrepreneur Business Live Events


"Best mobile journalist book I've seen!" - Yusuf Omar, multi-award-winning mobile journalist and smartphone video expert

Yusuf Omar, multi-award-winning mobile journalist

About the author

Pelpina helps companies generate visibility, sales and authority by creating videos with impact. She has trained thousands of professionals to create videos using smartphones. In 2020 she released her book Video Smart: Make smartphone videos like a pro.

Pelpina offers a unique combination of expertise with years of experience in journalism, TV, and online video, combined with practical knowledge on apps, social media, and content marketing.

On any regular day, you can find me hosting a video, filming, editing, making video strategy plans, and sharing my knowledge through training, speaking, and coaching. 


New courses in 2021

2 hour webinars

5-day academy 

Learn the ins and outs of effective video communication or bring your smartphone video skills to the next level. Or let Pelpina help you to be more confident on camera Check out our new courses today!

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