You want to get your business message out in a multi-media format so that it will be both read and watched, or at the very least, listened to. If you are lucky, you'll get all three. You see, you have no control over the environment of your audience with online media. They may be watching your video attentively. They may only be listening to your video while checking emails. Or they may be scanning the text for the high points to see if it's worth reading or watching at all.
Take whatever you can get! Any connection is better than none at all. For this reason, keep your message tight. Too many extraneous details, too much selling of your stuff, and too much too much – i.e. too long – all will get you tuned out, whether the format is text or video. Here's a simple tip: The faster your text can be read or your video watched, the more credible you will be. You have to get to the point and start communicating in the first few seconds – or less. For tips on writing the text that accompanies your video, please refer to the previous post of this blog. Here's the link.
One of the things that prevent most folks from communicating in any format is the desire to make it perfect. The harder you try to do that, the more likely you are to fail. Fancy words don't impress. For more, see this post from Sonia Simone at Copyblogger.
If fancy words don't impress, than the same is true of video. Puhleeeze! You don't need fancy fade-ins and music and wild animation. Whatever enhances your message is what is going to work. An example is a banner that shows the correct spelling of your name, the location from where you are shooting your video, or possibly your website. Trying too hard tells the audience you are trying to be someone you are not. If that happens, you've failed to connect, and therefore, failed to communicate.
Here's my simple process for creating a video blog post.
1. Write your blog post.
2. Rehearse – Read it aloud as if you were recording.
3. Set up your camera. I use the Flip Mino. Test to get the framing right.
4. Shoot the first 30 seconds a few times to make it tight.
5. Roll camera. Shoot all the way through. Check the time. Do it again – shorter and better.
My gut feeling is having a video that is a little "raw" and unpolished is BETTER than one that is too slick. It's the same reason blogs are more credible than websites. Just follow the above steps and get going so you are comfortable with the message – and loose with the delivery. Watching your video should be like watching a great sportscast. Nobody is reading from a script. However, they are using their energy and the excitement of the game to carry the broadcast through. Yes, you have to make your business message exciting. And yes, that is part of the game of video blogging.
Now for some tips on technique.
- Keep your eyes on the camera. Don't use notes.
- Wear solid shirts instead of stripes.
- Lean into the camera, tilting your head forward.
- Keep going. The next words will come to you.
Your goal with any kind of blogging is to build community. This is a powerful way to grow a fan base over time if you consistently make solid posts. It will complement the other marketing you are already doing, and even make it better. You'll have to develop your own style – and you will. When I look back at my older video blog posts, I just cringe. Even what I did just a few weeks ago I'd like to throw out, but I won't, because it probably still has value to somebody. All you can do is get out there, get started, and keep going and getting better over time. Deliver a message of value and you'll connect, communicate, and build a community of followers that will help you to grow your business.
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