Experts increasingly express their ideas through video content on YouTube. It's not uncommon to hear monikers like 'author, speaker and host of a globally successful YouTube channel.' 

If you’re getting started, what’s your best bet in terms of a setting for your channel? Should you create a full-scale news broadcast room that mimics CNN? Or just shoot videos on the fly, using whatever happens to be behind you?  

I have a home-based studio set-up, which I use to shoot my daily videos in the 'From Amateur to Expert' series. It’s a simple green-screen, and I can insert any background I want afterwards. But I've noticed something interesting. The occasional informal outdoor shoots way out-perform the more professional-looking indoor shoots. And the research on popular video blogs globally seems to back up that trend too.

Some years ago, I filmed a piece of myself walking between two cars; my very first (and very humble) VW CitiGolf, and then my newest car, a large BMW. I was making a point about entrepreneurs determining their own income. That video, shot in a suburban street, went viral. 

As something of a purist, I actually prefer my more professional studio shoots. (If you'd like an example, here's a link to one: Video). But there's no doubt that the more casual ones get significantly greater viewership. Walking down a street, sitting in your car, skateboarding across a city, working out in a gym, or hanging from the side of a building while you address the audience will out-perform a studio-shoot just about every time. These videos are just perceived as more 'real.'

So does that mean professional shoots are out? 

I would argue: no. I think the professional shoots are great for consistent branding. But the occasional novel location and casual on-the-fly shoot is great for driving higher numbers and viewership. 

So why not balance a consistent brand with occasional bursts of creative brilliance? Not every video needs astronomical viewership numbers. But the intermittent break-out instalment is definitely a good thing. Get the balance right, and you could own your industry.


Douglas Kruger is a multiple award-winning professional speaker, focusing on innovation, agile culture and expert positioning. Books like his, ‘They’re Your Rules, Break Them!’ are bestsellers, informing his conference speeches for leadership audiences. Book him as the motivational speaker for your next conference or event at .