And while it’s easy to get caught up in semantics and buzz words, there’s one type of online training that most of us know, love, and use on a regular basis: tutorial videos.
Whether it’s a YouTube cooking class, an intro to a new tax software, or a Minecraft walkthrough, we’re all using tutorial videos. They’re usually short and super practical. But best of all, they show us how to do something instead of telling us.
And, once you’ve watched someone do something, chances are you’ll say – “Hey, I could do that!” That’s what makes tutorial videos so powerful.
In this article, we’re going to talk about how to make a tutorial video that rocks! We’ll talk about what makes it work, what gear you need, and give you a short, step-by-step guide for getting started!
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What is a tutorial video?
A tutorial video teaches somebody how to do something. It could be a demonstration or an explanation, but usually, tutorials are pretty hands-on and practical. Like we said in the intro, tutorials usually show instead of tell you how to do something.
When creating an online tutorial, you might choose either a talking head approach, where you teach into a camera. Or, it's also common to share a slideshow or something on your screen with a voiceover.
There's no one right way to do a tutorial video, but we'll get into some of the best practices below.
Mistakes people make with tutorial videos
- Too theoretical. This ain't college. Tutorial videos are supposed to share some practical knowledge.
- Too wordy. Try to make sure your script or outline keeps you on track and away from a bunch of unnecessary descriptions or editorializing.
- Too much info. This is connected to the point above, but resist the temptation to teach everything you know about a subject. Instead, teach what your audience needs to achieve their learning goals.
- Bad sound. We'll get into the technicalities below. Make sure your video has good-quality sound. Good quality video can help too… but we’ll get there.
What gear do you need to make a tutorial video?
- A camera or screen-capture software. If you are doing video, your phone or webcam can work just fine. But some presenters opt for a better digital camera. If you’re not appearing on the screen, chances are that you’ll be showing your audience how to do something – often on a computer screen. You’ll need screen capture software. There are a lot of these out there, but even a screen-share in Zoom that’s recorded will do the trick.
- A mic. Assuming you are speaking for your tutorial, a mic will really improve your sound quality. You could look for either a lapel mic or a USB condenser mic that plugs into your laptop. These cost a little bit, but are totally worth it in the improved quality of your sound and experience for your students.
- A platform to host/sell it (we'll get to that below).
How to make a tutorial video - 7 Steps
Step 1: Plan your outcomes
Before you even think about recording a video, identify the learning outcomes you want. People are going to watch your tutorial video for a reason. Probably because they want something.
Do you remember the old formula for achieving goals? Try the SMART formula. Learning goals should be:
Here are some examples of how to create SMART goals for your tutorials.
Get better at marketing (weak)
Get 100 coaching prospects monthly with targeted Facebook ads (SMART)
Improve your physical fitness (weak)
Learn 10 targeted, daily exercises to strengthen your core in a month (SMART)
Learn to draw (weak)
10 pencil techniques to draw realistic faces (SMART)
Creating these clear outcomes help you figure out what you offer, and in turn, what your audience expects.
Step 2: Design your content
If you have your outcome set up, the next step will be designing your content. This will look different depending on how you want to structure your tutorials.
At the bare minimum, create an outline of what you would like to cover, making sure to include everything that will help your students achieve their learning goals.
Some people like to write down a script word for word, but it's not necessary. Most instructors find the flow much better with a simple outline. But you can do whatever makes you most comfortable.
Step 3: Choose your tech
The next step will be choosing a tech solution to help you deliver a tutorial.
If you are screen sharing, choose a program that will let you use your slides. Zoom will work for this, but here are some other options:
If your tutorials are going to be live, you will need some sort of live streaming solution. Here are some tips for creators. And here are some options for live streaming a tutorial:
- Mighty Networks
If your tutorial is going to be pre-recorded, you need some way to capture video. This could just be your phone placed on a tripod or a window sill.
Step 4: Test
Make sure you test everything! This is true for live recording, where you don't want to have technical issues. It’s embarrassing in front of a live audience.
But even if you are pre-recording, there's nothing worse than talking for half an hour only to realize that your mic wasn't plugged in properly! Test everything to make sure it works.
Step 5: Record
Whether you're teaching your tutorial live or pre-recorded, the time has come to start recording.
Step 6: Edit
You don't have to do this step. Live, unfiltered video can be fantastic! And if you’re teaching a live tutorial, obviously no editing is required.
But if you have a pre-recorded tutorial you’re sharing, this might be a good point to edit your video, adding in any music, sounds, or transitions that you want.
At this point, you can also cut out any extraneous material.
Step 7: Share
If you haven't yet, it's time to share your tutorial!
We hope these steps and tips have prepared you to create tutorial videos!
If you are looking for an awesome place to bring together live streaming, Zoom, plus the option to sell your tutorials, come try Mighty! It's an all-in-one cultural software platform that lets you bring together community, courses, content, and commerce. And Mighty's flexible Spaces mix in community discussions, live streaming, chat and messaging, member profiles, and more. You can sell access to your tutorials in 135 currencies or with token-gating. And your audience can access them on apps for every single device.
Come give us a try for 14 days! No credit card required.