Who is this article for?
For all of those small businesses – small shops, the less-than-25-person businesses, the manufacturing shops that have a do-it-all marketer as CMO, the Thought Leaders and Coaches, the Solopreneurs and side-hustlers who have big plans… This is for you.
After about the 30,000th call from an awesome business person who wants a great video and has no budget I knew I had to do something… From custom low-cost retainer services (browse our website if that’s something you need), to digital courses and masterclasses that help people get on the right track faster than going it alone, we’ve come up with ways to help. It’s never enough though. Some people just need a tip or leg up and this article is one part of helping with that.
Get your pen out… this is the how.
OVERCOME YOUR FEARS
Easier said than done, right? I often tell people to get over themselves and what I mean by that is that some of us have a perception that doesn’t fit reality. Everyone is not actually watching you; not yet at least. Your reputation is also not as fragile as your beliefs make seem. A series of bad, or so-so videos won’t destroy you (provided that you’re not doing evil things like kicking puppies… never kick puppies).
Take into account the following points as you “get over yourself”.
- Being on camera in the 2020’s is “flexible”. From bedroom backdrops (because lockdowns got us used to this look) to not looking or sounding like a Barbara Walters or Chris Cuomo, we don’t have to be the best. We creators just need to be confident in our messages and competent in our appearances. What this means is that you should make your bed, don’t sit on a messy one. Dress clean and shower before going on camera. Sounds silly and simple but some people don’t and it shows that they don’t care BUT, the fact that they are in a bedroom and not polished like a TV personality has become permissible.
- Nobody Cares! Think about this for a moment. Your following is likely small, if not a big fat goose-egg… ZERO. So if you create something nobody is gonna see it anyhow, right!?!? So, at the start, it’s true that nobody cares. Now, you’ll have to do things to show your work and share it or your work has been done in vain. Even so, once you try to share it some people will not watch because it’s not for them anyhow. Some people will dismiss it because they are distracted. One grumpy low-life in their mom’s basement will troll you – ignore that dude, his life sucks and his opinion is of no concern to you. But… at some point, after you work this new muscle (video creation) that you’re building, you’ll do it. You’ll get followers who do care. And, as you practice you’ll be getting better at this new activity anyhow. So, the risks are low, the rewards at the outset are low, too. There is a lot to gain as you get into this though. (Do note: if you plan to make a sales video and do things like send it to customers, they do care and you’ll want to make sure you share your work with peers before launching a sales video. Sometime those take a few passes to get to a good copy for a newbie like yourself. Be patient, be diligent.)
- The Speed of the Internet: So much goes up online so often that your content will get buried fast. That promotes the safety of the “nobody cares” reality. It’s on you to push your videos and other content with frequency. New content, sharing old content, engaging often… all these habits help you get attention. Take comfort in the fact that new videos you create will be buried in the feed pretty fast so that any perceived negatives you get will be buried and forgotten pretty quickly. This cuts both ways, your wins can be buried and forgotten fast UNLESS you choose to engage with those who appreciate your work and you keep the conversation going.
- Have a Plan.
Before a plan; HAVE A SCRIPT
For a screenwriter and ad-man I’m oddly anti-script. What I advocate is being so prepared as an expert that once a camera turns on (eventually) your delivery of information will be as polished, accurate, valuable and entertaining as if you’d just been asked a question on the street by a client or customer. With that in mind, here’s some Do/Don’ts to help you:
- DON’T: Write a verbatim, memoizable or telepompt-able script.
- DO: Write a competent bullet list of points to make (a short one, maybe 3 points)
- DON’T: Be cute. Cute can be confusing to an audience. It can take extra work to make cute work, too.
- DO: read Building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller and find out what the SB7 Principle means for storytelling in business. It’s excellent for sales videos of all kinds. Helpful as a guide to make sure your language is right even when it’s tutorial videos.
- DO: Make sure you have a call to action at the end of your videos
- DON’T: Make every call to action “buy from me” or “book a meeting”. Do more of “tell me what you think” or “like my Facebook page” to build engagement. Selling all the time can look slimy.
Now, HAVE A PLAN
I do this talk called the 5-Keys to Owning Your Influence Online Using Video. The 5-keys are this: 1. Get Over Yourself (see above); 2. Use the Easy Tech you Already Have (see below) 3. Batch Your Work 4. Schedule and 5. Listen. The “Plan” as it were is 3-4-5.
- If you’re doing only 1 video for a selling need (home page video, product explainer, etc) then this is not of high relevance. If you are doing social content this is critical… are you ready?
- BATCH YOUR WORK!
- Never Never Never do just 1 video at a time. It’s exhausting. It’s going to slow you. It’s going to eventually stop you. This applies to scripting the videos, later filming the videos, and later posting them. Batch each effort.
- Plan your schedule
- Before filming, plan your release strategy. Is it 1x? Is it many? Is it one platform? Is it many platforms (can we all agree that the plural of platform would be more fun if it was “platfii”)?
- When you batch upload your content, use a service that can help you do 1 upload session to launch many videos/photos/text posts/etc and schedule them with the release strategy you planned ahead of time. We use the following: Facebook Creator Studio. Postfity. We ditched: Hootsuite (and every marketer I know has).
In this article I want to leave this as a bit of an afterthought BUT, we all know tech is important. Know that I advocate using a cellphone for video capture. I also advocate using simple, cheap tech to do cellphone video well. You can get a free primer on this from me but I want to loop you into a cool thing in order to do this. Visit Facebook and join this marketer’s group MARKETING THAT WORKS. Tell the Admins I sent you (I’m an admin, as is Russ Stalters). Ask us for Josh’s Video Equipment Tutorial and we’ll get it to you asap.