Loom video recording software is a tool I use nearly every day to run my business, and I’m going to explain why it’s a solid option for side hustlers.
Running an online side hustle is insanely flexible, but communicating with clients or customers online can sometimes be challenging. People can misread tone, not fully grasp what you’re explaining, and it’s hard to show people what you’re talking about.
Loom video is a convenient way to communicate more effectively with the people you work with (or for), so you’re not wasting time going back and forth via text-based messages.
How to Use Loom Video for Your Side Hustle
What is Loom video?
Loom is a video recording tool that you can use to share your screen, record yourself, or do a combination of both. There’s a Chrome extension as well as desktop and mobile apps, and your videos are stored in the cloud for easy sharing.
Once you’ve recorded your Loom video, you immediately get a link to the video for instant sharing.
Loom is built on the premise that it’s easier to share information for work via video than it is to send an email or Slack message, and I agree with that 100%.
Videos capture not only what’s happening on your screen, but your tone of voice, so there are fewer misunderstandings. This saves time because you’re not going back and forth clarifying what you meant or annotating screenshots. This can be a major time-suck when you’re working in an online industry or working remotely from home.
Loom has flexible pricing options, including a free plan, and a 14-day free trial with its paid options.
You don’t pay per views or viewer accounts; you pay per creator, which is the person recording the Loom videos.
The free plan is solid – you can create password-protected videos, get viewers insights, trim videos, and organize videos into folders – but your number of videos is capped at 25. So if you think you’ll go over that amount, paying for the Pro plan is the way to go, IMO.
The Pro Plan is $10/month or $8/month when you pay annually, and it comes with these additional features:
- Unlimited videos
- Drawing tool and mouse emphasis
- Custom recording dimensions (currently only available for Mac users)
- Custom video thumbnail
- Calls-to-action – add buttons, links, and files to your Loom videos
- Add restrictions for specific email addresses
- Priority support
Most online business owners, especially if you’re working with a small team of freelancers like I do, will be really happy with the Pro Plan.
The Business Plan adds features for shared and team libraries, engagement insights, and dedicated support. You can also remove Loom branding and add your own logo and customize the video player.
How to sign up for Loom
Go to Loom.com, and click on the button that says “Get Loom for Free.”
You’re given a few different signup options:
You’ll be prompted to enter your name and a secure password. Then you’ll need to verify your email address. After that, you’ll enter a little information about how you’ll be using Loom. If you select “For Work,” Loom will ask you some questions about what kind of business you have.
Next, you’ll download either the Chrome Extension or the desktop app (this is only available for Mac users for now).
Below is what it looks like after you download the Chrome extension. You’re brought to your dashboard where you can see all of the videos you’ve recorded, organize them into folders, or start recording a new Loom video.
How to use Loom
Now that you’ve signed up and are ready to start using the Loom screen recorder, I’m going to show you how easy it is to start using it.
The easiest way to record a video if you’re using the Chrome extension is to click on the little Loom icon in the top right-hand corner of your screen.
Loom doesn’t immediately start recording. You get a pop up asking you what kind of video you want: screen and camera, screen only, or camera only. You can also give Loom video full access to your desktop or the current tab.
Loom checks once more to make sure you want to share your screen, and after you click share Loom starts a 3-second countdown.
If you’re doing a camera recording too, your computer’s video recording light will turn on, and then you’ll see your face pop up in a little circle in the bottom left corner of your screen. There are buttons to cancel the recording, pause your video, or finish recording (that’s the checkmark).
After you click on the checkmark to finish recording, the link is automatically copied to your clipboard. You’re also taken to the page where your video is hosted.
This is where you can add a call-to-action (CTA) for your video, which gives the viewer a button to click on that takes them to a specific webpage. Say, for example, you were using Zoom to promote a course in a webinar. You can insert a CTA that takes a viewer directly to the sales page for the course.
You can also trim your video or create a custom thumbnail for it. Those options, and the CTA, depend on your plan, but unless you specify the plan you want when you sign up, you’re automatically enrolled in a free trial for the Pro Plan.
Once the 14-day free trial is over, you can add your payment information or go with the Free Plan.
What I use Loom for
I use Loom a lot. If not every day, then at least every other day.
Most days I’m using the Loom screen recorder to communicate with my team. I find it easier than typing things up, and because I can record my screen, it’s easy to show them exactly what I’m talking about with my blog or a piece of software we’re using.
When I was having my site redesigned last year, my web designer and I talked extensively via Loom videos. He could show me what he was doing with my site, and I could record myself interacting with it and then point out specific issues or things I really liked.
My business partner, Mike, and I use Loom videos to go over Facebook ad issues with students in our Facebook Side Hustle Course. We do regular “hot seats” where one of us (Mike mostly) will break down someone’s ad and explain how they can improve it.
And Mike and I recorded all of our lessons for that course and the Facebook Ads for Bloggers course using Loom video. It allowed us to give students an over-the-shoulder look at what we’re doing. It was the next best thing to sitting at the computer next to them and explaining how to run ads.
You can browse through Loom’s use cases to see how Loom videos can be used in different industries, like engineering, design, customer support, and leadership.
I know Facebook ad managers who use it to explain ads to their clients, my editor uses it to ask pointed questions, my project manager uses Loom to share project updates with me, and my VA uses Loom to show me what’s going on with billing or email.
Loom privacy and security
Loom is big on security, and this includes the following measures:
- Loom is GDPR compliant – these are privacy standards for personal data
- Your videos are stored on Loom services which sit behind a secure firewall and videos are uploaded over an SSL-encrypted WebSocket
- All Loom videos have unique IDs
- You can file takedown requests through the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) if another user has used Loom to violate your copyrights
- There are options to archive or completely delete videos from Loom’s servers
FAQs about using Loom screen recording software
Where is my Loom video?
Your Loom videos are all stored in the cloud and can be accessed from your dashboard. As long as you stay logged in, you’re brought to your dashboard when you go to Loom’s website,
You can see all of the videos you’ve recorded, go back and edit them if needed, see when people have viewed your video, see reactions, and copy the links for sharing.
Can you download a Loom video?
Yes. You just click on the video you want to download and click on the download button at the bottom of the video player.
Videos are downloaded in the .mp4 format. You can’t download videos over 20GB – that’s approximately a 3-hour long video recorded in 4K, so you should be fine. You can always record several shorter videos.
If you really do need to download a Loom video that’s larger than 20GB, Loom’s support team might be able to help you do that.
Yes. Besides sharing the link that is automatically copied to your clipboard, there are more sharing options available when you click on the link-sharing icon (far right) under your video.
There’s also a Slack add-on if you’ll be using Loom a lot to talk with your team. Even though I do use Slack, I find it easy enough to copy and paste links in Slack rather than using the Loom for Slack integration.
Does the viewer need Loom installed to watch my videos?
No. When you share the link to your Loom video, it’s available to whoever you share that link with. This is one of the reasons I’ve really liked using Loom with my business – I can share videos with anyone regardless of whether they use the software or not. It makes my videos accessible to anyone.
Can I record Loom videos with other browsers?
Loom supports recording on Edge, Safari, and Firefox, but you will have to open the recording software from the desktop app or through the Loom Chrome extension. From there you can switch to the browser you want to record from.
More tools to help you run your business
If you want to learn more about the tools I use to run this site and my other business, Laptop Empires (I run this site with my good friend and work-husband Mike Yanda), here’s a rundown of other articles you might interested in reading:
- ConvertKit Review 2020 | Are the Features Worth the Cost? ConvertKit is an email service provider that you can use to set up automations and manage your email list.
- Teachable Review | Is This the Best Course Platform for Beginners? Teachable is what I use for my courses, but I’ve also done reviews on Kajabi and Thinkific.
- Canva Review | Pricing & How to Use it for Your Side Hustle Canva is free graphic design software for beginners.
- I haven’t done a review on it yet, but I also use Asana to organize and manage all of my projects and stay on a publishing schedule.
- And if you’re working with a team of people, I also recommend Slack. I’ve mentioned it in a couple of places in this article, but it’s a way to communicate with the people you work with so you can get away from email, texts, Facebook Messenger, etc.
The final word on Loom video
Being able to communicate via video has been a game-changer for me. Even though I write for a living, I prefer video over text-based messages if I need to explain something to a student or someone on my team.
Maybe it’s the years I spent as a teacher, but I’m a big fan of hands-on communication, and Loom is the closest thing to that when you work online.