In January 2017, I released my first VLOG (video blog) and it was bad! The lighting, the rambling, the sound quality, well, let’s just say I have striven to improve.
As I’ve shared before, perfect is the enemy of progress. So, it’s still up there and rather than take it down, embarrassed and beating myself up, I remember anything new needs work. And, I go back to the original intent: add value every week to my connections to elevate their greatness in work, family, and life. In other words, VLOGing is not about me. So, pushing ego aside, the VLOGs stay…all of them.
You may have the same intention of adding value to those you serve, and want to break into VLOGing but aren’t sure how. I get it. It can feel daunting, that only people who speak for a living or communications professionals can do it. Or maybe you feel the investment in equipment or to learn editing is too great. Or maybe you’re just worried, “what if no one watches?”
What if I shared with you that people don’t necessarily want perfection? They want to listen to people they know, like and trust and are actually not as caught up as you might think on wordcraft, sound, lighting, etc. They just want to learn and be inspired, and you have that in spades (however if you don’t offer it, they can’t receive it!) What if you could find people to help you produce the videos so they don’t take more time and energy? What if the right people watched and you made a huge difference in their lives?
Leaders, what if your employees watched your VLOGs and felt more connected to you? Support departments, what if your internal stakeholders watched your VLOGs and were less confused, more consistent and felt more supported by you? Sales professionals, what if your clients watched your VLOGs before you got on the phone, making those sales an easier conversion?
Do you see how VLOGing is for everyone?
So, if you see VLOGing may be for you (or your team or organization), the next question you may be asking is how? I’ve learned a lot from trial and error as well as learning from experts. Here’s six tips to allow you to serve in a way that is fun, sustainable and credibility-building:
1. Plan your content
What is at the core of what you do? What topics and questions do your clients have related to that? What processes, tips or advice could you provide that would make their work and life easier? What do people ask for repeatedly that would allow you to serve them immediately without filling up your calendar answering the same question repeatedly?
TIP: Keep a list of tips/hacks, frequently asked questions and trending information you could turn into a VLOG.
2. Consider if it’s actually an investment
Sometimes I hear, “I don’t have the money in my business/department to invest in this.” Maybe so, however, have you also considered how VLOGing is also an investment, such as saving you time answering the questions? Is it a way to generate the right pipeline of clients, enhance your organization’s reputation, or build your credibility? Is it a way of saving money in another way if folks have timely access to a library of VLOGs?
TIP: You don’t have to do the production and distribution yourself. Hire a videographer to film and edit and have an assistant share it to the relevant groups. In fact, batch film VLOGs to maximize your time and the professionals you work with.
3. Speak to your audience
Who needs to consume your content? Have a very clear picture in your mind, perhaps even speaking with your target client/audience about what they most want to learn from you. If you’re not clear, wait until you are, but this is the perfect time to get clear as to whether you work for yourself or in an organization, you’re doing yourself a disservice by not being crystal clear who your primary customer is.
TIP: Make a list of the 10 things that keep your target audience up at night, and make those the focus of your first VLOGs.
4. Share Valuable Resources
You are the expert, and whether it’s an internal process, hack you’ve come up with, or a trend recently published in your field of expertise, share the wealth through your VLOGs. The more unique value your audience gets from watching your VLOGs, the more they will come back for more.
TIP: Keep a folder with relevant articles, hacks, and resources you would like to cover in future VLOGs.
5. Use a Template to Plan Content
So that you organize your ideas and create compelling content, use a template to organize your thoughts. In one page, you can map out a brief VLOG (and brief is good if you want to keep busy people’s attention). If you’d like a copy of my template, just email me firstname.lastname@example.org; I didn’t start from scratch (thanks Martin Latulippe and Dan Martell for sharing yours with me).
TIP: Start with a template then make it your own so it feels fun, authentic and makes sense based on how your audience likes to consume content.
6. Maximize the Investment
When you create and work so hard to produce these videos, make sure that you’re really maximizing them. We have our videos transcribed using Rev.com, so for a dollar a minute, we have them transcribed into a written blog post and LinkedIn post. Or you can modify it to be a newsletter article, all-staff announcement, PR release. Here’s another opportunity to leverage experts (for example, my wonderful virtual assistant, Caroline Davidson uploads all VLOGs to YouTube, tags them, creates the weekly newsletter, publishes a post to LinkedIn, and shares to social media). You don’t have to consider this just to be one 5-minute video, but rather the start of valuable content you can share in a myriad of ways to serve your customers.
TIP: To truly maximize your investment, ensure the end of your VLOG has a call to action, meaning what you want people to do as a result of watching this video. Is it to sign a petition, book an appointment with you, follow you on a particular social media site, book a health exam, cuddle their kids more? When they do something as a result of your VLOG, now you have ROE (return on effort)!
Have you found this helpful? If you have, why not subscribe to my YouTube Channel so I can add more value to your life every week.