Looking Scary? How to Create a Custom Video Thumbnail

Here's an example of what you DON"T want to see in your splash image

Have you ever created what you thought was a terrific video of yourself either talking or interviewing someone, or even just recording a Google Hangout? Then you uploaded it to YouTube, filled in all your tags and details, and checked it out on your channel, only to find….

…the most horrific image of yourself staring back!

Maybe your mouth was open and your eyes scrunched up. Maybe you were looking down or grimacing in what looks like pain.  It’s amazing what just one frame of a video can reveal.

You definitely DON’T want that as your video’s advertisement to the world. It might get a few people to click and watch, but is that really the message you want to convey?

Here’s how that ‘Scary Video Thumbnail’ happens.

Whenever you upload a video, YouTube randomly picks 3 different still shots to use as your splash image.  That’s the image people see when they’re browsing through to see what videos to watch.

The problem? YouTube seems to pick the ones where you look your worst!

Like this one….

How to avoid a video thumbnail like this

Don’t let that be the face people remember.

Use these 10 simple steps to creating your own custom thumbnail:

  1. Bring up your video on your computer monitor
  2. Play it until you find one frame that you’d like as your thumbnail/splash image
  3. Stop the video and take a screenshot
  4. Crop the image so that there’s no border around it (I use Snagit, but any photo editor will work)
  5. Save it to your computer
  6. Go into your “Video Manager” on YouTube
  7. Click ‘Edit’ next to the video where you want your thumbnail
  8. Click on ‘custom thumbnail’ to the right of the video (under your 3 thumbnail choices)
  9. Find your new image on your computer and select it.
  10. Save your changes

That’s it. Done.

Now your video will always show that nice splash image, rather than the one with your mouth open and your eyes closed (or some other awkward pose).

Here’s what my new one looked like, after I added some extra stuff with Snagit and added it to the sales page:

Thumbnail for sales video for Creativity

Also, because you take the screenshot directly from the video, it will be in the right proportions for YouTube!

I hope that was helpful. Don’t forget to add your own solutions below 🙂

Sharyn Sheldon




P.S. If you end up watching that sales video, you should know that I no longer break that course up into separate bundles. 95% of people were buying the Full Marketer’s Bundle, so I’m just offering that now.

==> Exercises in Creativity and Innovation  – Fully Customizable Training Program