Tips for Making a Great Video for Your Private Christian School

GUEST BLOG POST: My brother, Donny, has recently spent some time getting more and more into video production. I asked him to share some tips for this post:


I recently spent some time helping with the video production of a great 5 minute “story telling” video. I learned a great deal from listening to the video production and editing crew that I wanted to share with you. Follow these 5 tips to help you tell a great story for your private Christian school:

  1. DETERMINE THE STORY:  Everyone wants that “viral video” that gets lots of clicks and lots of shares. We’ve all seen those great, compelling videos on social media or on someone’s website. And we all assume that we could do the same kind of video. But FIRST, you must have the story. What is the message? Is it compelling? Is it exciting? Does the story resonate with your prospective families and make them want to take action in contacting your school? Does it cause current families to rush to the re-enroll button on your school’s website. The “story” is key and you need to have it written out like a script before an SD card is placed into a camera or someone yells “Action!” (not that they would in making a short video but it sounded fun to say! HA)
  2. VIDEO EQUIPMENT IS CRITICAL: If you are shooting a well-produced video, getting the right equipment is extremely critical. Do you have an older DSLR camera? If so, it may be time to upgrade to a more modern camera that can shoot 4K video. Are you wanting to shoot the video using your iPhone? Yes, it’s possible to do that with most smartphones improving their camera quality with each and every release. The latest iPhones can produce 4K video which is amazing. But if you are using an old iPhone 6s or some older version of a Samsung phone, your video will suffer because of the quality of the video. Also, beyond the video, make sure you have good lighting too. Maybe God has produced some amazing natural light and that’s great. Or maybe you need to invest into a 3-point lighting system so your subject(s) can be well-lit … I mean we are going to be staring at them for a while so the lighting needs to be good.
  3. CAPTURE QUALITY SOUND: This one will be short. The bottom line is your subjects need to be mic’d in some form. Do NOT rely on the microphone from your camera to pick up quality audio – it just won’t. Whether you are using a wired or wireless lavalier microphone, a boom mic overhead or some kind of directional recording device, it’s critical to get good audio. Plain and simple.
  4. FIND A GOOD EDITOR: If you think you can pull this off from your mobile device and some cutesy app you found online, you’re just flat out wrong. Find someone who is a good editor. Most of the good editors are skilled in Adobe Premier or Premier Elements. If the person you are using has never heard of that program, it’s time to run. There are other programs out there but this seems to be the standard. But don’t let them use Windows Movie Maker – please!! It’s not 1987. You can do some good stuff in iMovie but the precision and details you get with Premiere are worth it. But finding the right person to do the editing is key as well. The editor I used on the recent project was in his early sixties but was a wizard with Premiere and brought a great many years of video editing experience to the table. We also had a co-editor on the project who was just finishing high school and he was able to teach us old dogs some cool new tricks. In the end, the video was about 5 1/2 minutes long. For some, they would think that’s too long. It didn’t follow the “well it has to be under 3 minutes or people will lose interest” theory. But this video had tremendous pacing all because of the editing. The almost 6 minutes flew by and no one who has seen it would want the story to be told in any shorter length … and that’s because we had good editors.
  5. USE “NATS”: This was a term that was new to me but made so much sense after I learned more. So often we produce videos that have the “talking head” subject and some good music behind it. Then we throw in some b-roll footage which is helpful. But all you have are 2 layers of audio – someone talking and the music. When our video crew introduced the term “nats” it didn’t make sense to me at first because I’d never done it that way. But when we starting capturing “natural sounds” (that’s the nats), it made the whole video take off. A flag waving in the wind just “sits there”. But when you add the sound of the flag whipping in the wind or maybe a chain hitting the flag pole repeatedly, it takes it to a whole new level. Video of kids playing is great but what if you actually had the fun sounds the kids are making in the background. It brings them to life. Even showing a waterfall can be a peaceful look but adding in the water dripping sound can take your video to a new dimension. Those “nats” or natural sounds can do wonders for your video – give it a try!

And those are just 5 simple tips to help you tell a great story for your private Christian school. And here’s a BONUS: Find a videographer or a video production team who you can trust and use them when you can. You may not always have the budget but when you can, use a professional. The “look and feel” of your video will be amazing and you thank me for it!! 🙂

If you need help in telling your story through video, contact Randy for a FREE, 30-minute consultation.

Thanks for letting me guest post!!

– Donny

Keeping Custom T-Shirt Costs Low

This Could Help Christian Schools Keep Custom T-Shirt Costs Low!

Keeping Custom School T-Shirt Costs Low [by Eric Uzelac of]

Often we find that many design custom T-shirts only to find that it won’t be cost effective for their budget. Here are a few tips that will help you make your own T-shirt in the most cost effective manner possible.

  • Tip #1. Order your custom tee shirts in large volumes when possible. Printing custom t-shirts is like printing business cards, newspapers, or any variety of items, the cost is in the set up. As such, the higher the quantity of custom apparel ordered the lower the cost per unit becomes.
  • Tip #2. Look for a cotton mix product vs 100% cotton. The product chosen plays a factor in the price of custom apparel. Name brands, type of fabric and specialty items will drive the price up. Changing a product from a 100% cotton ringer tee to a 50-50 white tee will dramatically bring the cost down.
  • Tip #3. Be flexible on the colors of your custom tee shirts. Color of your custom t shirt also enters into the mix. Because color shirts require extra steps in the printing process you will find that it is less expensive to print custom t-shirts on white rather than color.
  • Tip #4. Be aware, the more elaborate and more locations of the t-shirt design, the higher the cost. When you make your own t-shirt for  your school, your t-shirt design plays a big factor in the cost. How many colors and where you want it printed will determine how much you pay. Basically, the more colors and the more areas you print, on your custom t shirt the higher the cost. When you make your own t-shirt the best rule of thumb for a cost effective custom T-shirt is, one color and one side.
  • Tip #5. Stick with sizes less than XL. Lastly, size plays a factor. You will find that custom tee shirts sizes above XL cost a bit more. Unfortunately the only thing one can do to change that is hit the gym!

Have a great day and remember when you make your own t shirt:

Price = Quantity + Product + Color + Design + Size.


Eric Uzelac has printed thousands of T-shirts for schools and churches all over the U.S.  While some party-poopers may discount the need for “yet another T-shirt”, Eric understands how each T-shirt provides your students and staff the opportunity to be a walking billboard and word of mouth marketing voice in the community.  Eric can help you avoid the pitfalls most screen printers make and give you tips on designing a T-shirt that really creates buzz!  One unique thing about Eric’s company is that they also provide FREE SHIPPING anywhere in the U.S. – so let Eric’s team design and print your next T-shirt!  Launch your idea today in the world famous Design Lab at!


Watch this tutorial video from about “How to Add Names and Numbers to Your T-Shirts”.

Like TheShirtPrinter on Facebook and see Eric’s ad on the side of the full version of our site.


(Susan Bearden) Digital Footprints: Managing Your Online Reputation

Enjoy this visual presentation from Susan Bearden, Director of Information Technology at Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy and an internationally recognized conference presenter and blogger on the topic of social media.

In 2012, Susan was interviewed our our school marketing podcast.   In episode #12 of the school marketing podcast, Susan and colleague, Catherine Koos, discuss “Using Social Media to Build Relationships.”

Susan is also a contributing author to theHuffington Post and was recently ranked #9 on their list of “The 50 most Social CIOs on Twitter.”  Susan co-founded and moderates #edtechchat, a popular Twitter chat about education technology, and is a board member of Get Social Brevard.  Follow her on Twitter at @s_bearden and @HTEATech and visit her blog at

How Front Desk Personnel Contribute to Building and Maintaining Relationships for Your School - Guest Contributor - Mia Johnstone

I have been working in advertising for private schools for over 10 years. I visited about 100 schools this past year. Our initial visit is first and foremost to establish relationships with the school, learn about what makes them different, and hear what their needs are. I get to meet all kinds of people answering the telephones and working at the front desk. This person is one of the most important representatives of your school.

Last week I had an experience that illustrates the importance of basic customer service with front desk personnel. I had in my calendar a meeting with “ABC High School” (we’ll call it that for privacy reasons). I wanted to confirm the visit especially since it was the Tuesday after a 3 day weekend and a 50 mile round trip. I called the administrator and got her voice mail. I even called administrators in adjoining offices. None of them were in either. I called back again to the secretary to explain my dilemma, that I was driving 50 miles and wanted to confirm the meeting but could not find the administrator. She let me know that the administrator would call me back within a few hours. Not wanting to miss the scheduled meeting, I drove to the school. When I arrived the secretary called the administrator to let her know I was there. The secretary proceeded to tell me very rudely that the administrator had only 10 minutes to meet with me. She was the same person I spoke with in the morning. I perceived that my multiple phone calls an hour earlier had disrupted her routine. I felt discouraged and very unwelcomed after all the work I had done to secure the appointment.

Being that it is my business to connect with schools, I bypassed the sour experience and made the most of it. Fortunately, the administrator had good follow up.

Nonetheless, it exemplifies that your front desk/phone person is such an important part of your recruitment. People in sales such as advertisers or book consultants are just as important as prospective parents. A bad experience with even the front desk person can leave a lasting impression. And it likely will get talked about. It is even worse when it’s a prospective or current parent or even another administrator.

When schools approach me for marketing consulting, I always ask them to evaluate their secretary and/or front desk personnel. This person is vital to maintaining a healthy and positive customer service experience to ALL people that connect with the school. Front desk personnel/secretaries can do their part by making sure courtesy is extended to all guests. Your guests will feel appreciated and well taken care of.  That way the really hard work we do for recruitment does not get lost by a single bad experience.


Mia Johnstone is Publisher of the Los Angeles Private School Guide She loves building relationships with schools, visiting campuses, and finding great things about them. She also consults with private schools on marketing and growth strategies. Read about school marketing and advertising tips on her blog at


Mia recently wrote a great article for AISAP, “6 Tips on How to Create Positive and Lasting Relationships with Feeder School Administrators“.  Follow Mia on Twitter.