Last year, I went way outside of my comfort zone and tested the waters of video marketing with my friend and partner-in-crime, Nicole Krug. Though I am most definitely not a wallflower, I was super nervous about posting videos on a public YouTube channel and opening the door to criticism, rejection, and even ridicule.
And guess what?
Those fears never materialized.
Instead, we got awesome feedback. And because we had so much fun doing one video, we decided to create a video series of marketing tips for small businesses called Business Rules. (It’s totally awesome – you should subscribe.)
Here’s what I’ve learned about video marketing along the way:
Do not stress about it
Video marketing is not a life-or-death thing. Your business will not shutter tomorrow if your first video doesn’t become an instant YouTube sensation. You will not be banished from your industry. And you won’t lose clients.
None of the above has happened to Nicole and I yet, so you should be good.
Resist the temptation to don a persona and become someone else. You’re not an actor auditioning for a role in a big Hollywood blockbuster. Just be you! After all, people buy from and work with people they know and like, and videos are a great way to let people get to know you.
Cover hot topics
Not sure what to talk about during your video?
- Look through your list of FAQs.
- Ask a few top clients what’s on their mind right now or what big challenges they’re facing.
- Do a search of trending topics and hashtags on social media.
This is of utmost importance to Nicole and I. Marketing is not easy, especially when you’re a small business owner! That’s why our series is completely focused on teaching via provide actionable takeaways that our target markets can start using today. (Did you subscribe yet? You can do it here.)
Yes, you want to share your expertise and yes, you want to show that you’re a thought leader, but you also want to help people. That’s why you launched a small business to begin with, right?
Instead of hiring a videographer and planning out 20 videos to shoot in your first go-around, start small. Here’s what Nicole and I do:
We use Nicole’s Samsung Galaxy, which has phenomenal camera, and we place it in a small tabletop tripod. We shoot the videos in a private conference at a local co-working space called Make Offices. It has a hip, slightly industrial vibe that appeals to us.
At our first shoot, we recorded 10 videos, because a previous video we had done together was very well received. However, you might want to start with two or three videos. See if people like them before you invest any more time and money in video marketing.
Use talking points, not a script
Unless you want to sound like a robot, don’t use a script. Instead, jot down talking points and display them behind your phone’s camera. This ensures you end up talking naturally and sounding like yourself. And you might also sound somewhat dorky, like Nicole and I, but that’s part of the fun.
Record some tests
I don’t know if a camera adds ten pounds, but it does add a dose of reality. You might think you are acting perfectly fine, but instead you’re bouncing in your seat, using your hands so much that you’re covering up your face, talking too fast, etc. So, record some test videos, watch them, make notes, and start again.
(I will not share the embarrassing things Nicole and I discovered about ourselves when we were first on camera. Well, maybe over a glass or three of wine.)
Consider partnering up
Working with a partner has been a godsend for me. Nicole has the technical know-how to edit the videos and add an intro and outro – skills I definitely do not possess. And because we offer complementary services to the same target market, each video is promoted by two companies, thus extending our reach.
So like I said above, it’s super fun. Give it a shot!