Creating a successful tutorialYou may be a makeup artist, a salon owner, a blogger, nail technician or even Insta-famous but creating a successful tutorial and getting your tutorials right is key to increasing your followers, reputation and showcasing your mad skills.

Types of tutorial

Tutorials don’t always have to be a step by step video, they can also take the following forms:

  1. Written form: Some tutorials may be in a blog form with pictures and steps explaining what needs to be done and how.
  2. Picture collage: You may want to combine a few images in logical steps to show the various steps and stages in making the nail art design. These sorts of tutorials are handy if you’re planning on publishing them to Instagram or Pinterest where people want to have a quick look on the fundamentals of creating the look. Try limit your Instagram collage to 4 images and your Pinterest collage to about 8-10 (kind of like an infographic)
  3. Combination of video and written form: In the blog-type tutorial you may have steps and an explanation for each step with a video demonstrating the particular step. You could also have some sort of text overlay on your actual video during each step.

None of these tutorial forms are any better than the other but you need to gauge what your audience prefer and what is best suited for the particular medium you are publishing to and the look you are creating

Creating your tutorial.

Obviously if all tutorials were created under the exact same conditions, none of them would be unique or intriguing but here are some general guidelines to follow. These steps focus mainly on video tutorials:

Step 1: Choose your device

You don’t need to be fully kitted out with movie-set camera equipment but it does help to have a device that can shoot high definition videos. Most DSLR cameras shoot in HD and even some smartphones.

Whichever of the two you choose, make sure you can mount the device to a stand to avoid any camera shake. You also want to edit and share the content from the device as effortlessly as possible.

Step 2: Have your tools and products ready.

You will save time by being prepared. Make sure everything you plan on using in the tutorial is out in a logical order that is easily accessible.

Step 3: Decide on your workspace and backdrop

Your workspace will contribute to the overall vibe of your tutorial. You may want to do your tutorial with a certain background or you may even want to pay attention to the décor on the walls and around your workspace to give people an idea of what you’re into.workspace backdrop

As mentioned in the previous step, make sure your workspace enables you to have your tools and products set out in a logical order for easy access and a smooth tutorial – awkward for you if you have to bend over and expose your jewelled G-string to your audience while bending over trying to get a blender.

Whichever workspace and backdrop you choose, make sure it is free from clutter and is kept consistent for all future tutorials – this helps followers quickly identify your tutorial.

Step 4: Lighting

Your tutorial needs to be well lit – and not seem like it’s been created in your basement, be overexposed or detract from the look you are trying to create.

 Slightly overexposed
Slightly overexposed

Opt for cool, white lighting that fills the whole room vs direct lighting, you don’t want to seem like you are in a spotlight – although sometimes we wouldn’t mind it. You could do a little research on ‘three-point lighting’ for the perfect indoor lighting.

Perfect Natural Lighting
Perfect Natural Lighting

Obviously, if you have access to a room lit with an abundance of natural lighting, that is a huge bonus! Alternatively, for the best lighting you could shoot it outside – just make sure you eliminate shadows using fill lighting.

Step 5: Sound

Unless you have a good microphone attached (or built) to your filming device, it is best to shoot your video first and do a voice over. This eliminates the chance of background noise. Please remember that people are watching the video to understand how to do a technique. There is nothing worse than watching a 14-minute tutorial that could have been 5 minutes. Shoot your video, edit it and explain your steps as efficiently as possible using a voiceover.

Step 6: Edit your video

Once you have shot your video you need to edit it. Again, you don’t need to be a video producer to effectively edit your tutorial. For example, if you are using an Apple device then iMovie is more than sufficient.

Editing your tutorial
A snazzy effect in my Bohemian Makeup Tutorial ft. Mac Tribe Collection

You need to decide which ‘scenes’ to speed up, which scenes to freeze to show a particular result and where to place your voice-overs.

Regarding filters, sometimes less is more – especially if the look you are creating revolves around a certain colour. There is no need for fancy filters – they can actually make your tutorial look quite amateur and tacky. If you want, you can tweak the exposure, saturation and contrast to enhance your tutorial ever so slightly.

Step 7: Adapt tutorial for different platforms

Now that the hard work is over you can adapt your video to suit all the different platforms you wish to publish to. You don’t need to go through all the steps again, instead all you need to do is screenshot elements from the video to add to a collage or blog post.

Step 8: Publish, Notify and Generate Engagement

Once you have finished editing your tutorial it is time to publish it. You need to let people know that it is up on your various channels through status updates on various social media or include a link in your newsletter. Encourage people to comment and share their attempts of your tutorial on their personal social media platforms.

Perfecting these steps will help set your tutorial apart from all other tutorials and give you a little bit of a competitive edge which will enhance your reputation and your follower base.

What else have you found works really well when creating your tutorials?

Danielle Combrink