In March this year I committed to publishing 100 videos in 100 days as part of being present in, and adding value to the market I am working on now.
I accomplished it. I worked hard, and I was diligent to be certain I put something up that I believed in and that would help people in life and leadership. More specifically in helping technical experts become people leaders. I recorded them in semi formal settings, on city streets, in my driveway and with the Golden Gate Bridge as a backdrop. I wore jackets and pocket squares, T- Shirts and jeans. I got in excess of a 1000 views and sometimes just 27. It was a wild ride that I am extremely glad I did.
Video consumption, along with Podcast engagement, is on a steep upward curve and has been for sometime. There is no shortage of data flowing around and this US Centric, and comprehensive report from Oberlo highlights a few emerging trends.
- Video consumption is both the fastest growing and most preferred way of searching.
- YouTube is one of the “Top Three” Search Engines in the world.
- People want more video content not less.
- Video via Social media is also both preferred and in demand.
- Video with text is increasingly popular due to the nature of videos being played with no sound.
So what did I learn immersing myself in this?
I learnt that I love it more than I thought. I really enjoyed communicating through video.
I learnt the discipline of making an idea clear and stick in a minute is a great skill to hone.
I learnt that discipline in both thought and consistency in delivery, make a big difference over time.
I also learnt:
It made me be much more intentional about my thinking.
I loved the challenge of thinking about my day in the context of lessons learned, challenges faced, problems solved and practical take-a-ways to notice.
The process fired up the ‘noticer’ in me more than anything. Like the sound of your own child’s voice over the deafening crowd it made me more and more aware of what I am thinking, learning, concluding, almost always in the setting of my work with clients and the things they were facing, I found myself thinking about these questions:
- What’s the problem we are talking about?
- What’s the real issue?
- How do I say something to be honourable to the conversation and accessible to listeners?
- What is the most helpful way to make this memorable and practical?
In the end, unless the video IS a cat video, or you are on Kookslams then the danger is you’re just noise. The video needed to make a point, be clear, helpful and useful.
The content mattered more than the setting.
My colleague Jane Anderson said, content needs to be relevant. Add to that helpful, digestible and engaging and you now have something to say and a way to say it. Welcome to video!
Halfway through the 100 Videos I sat down with a thought leader friend, Suzanne Waldron, and she simply said to make the videos more natural and less staged. Up to that point I had been shooting them weekly and using iMovie to make them look, feel, and sound as best as I could. Suzanne said to move away from that approach and take a more immediate, more impromptu, less staged approach.
That was great advice.
So I changed, midway. From a more formal approach to a more day by day conversational approach.
I had to develop a system; allocate the time, and leverage resources.
You see, shooting the video is the easy part. Really easy. On average it took about a minute and one in every 5-8 times I would reshoot it. Usually early on because as you launch into the idea you realise you have nowhere to go and the whole conversation stumbles and falls over.
Before I switched out to a less formal approach I had created a system to make sure I could produce, edit and upload the video as efficiently as possible. Many people have asked me the apps I use. I have used apple clips and more recently Cliptomatic. Both good. Cliptomatic has that quite cool text box embedded into it but doesn’t have a feature to save and return to the video. Apple Clips is a bit more conservative with text choice but does have a save and return function. Pros and Cons.
By way of summary, the system I prepared was the following. You might like to geek out on it a little. It was meticulous and detailed and following the system made all the difference.
What takes the time is the following:
- Design – I used a 100 video sheet from my friend and colleague Taki Moore.
- Planning – I also mapped out the days on a 6×4 card and made notes for each video following the 4 Mat Model. Why this? What is it? How to do it? What now?
- Shoot – I used my iPhone, small bluetooth tripod (Benro BK10) and the best quality audio I could find. I have hesitated buying the ‘next best thing’ in video but the DJI Mini looks amazing 🙂 Initially I shot 7 in a row, saved them then followed the process below. After I sent across to a more rhythmic, day to day approach I shot the video, sat down and edited the text. Wrote the copy once and uploaded it to my Social Channels. It took about 45 mins all up for each video.
- Edit – I used iMovie on my phone.
- Opener & Closer – I used Canva and exported the designs as a png file and dropped them into iMovie via my mobile.
- Music – I used the standard iMovie music and lowered the volume to less than 50% of the original to make sure the audio was the priority but the music filed in some gaps.
- Audio – I worked really hard to get the best quality audio, sometimes using my plug in lapel mic to ensure the quality of the audio was high. On one hand this really mattered, on another, with so many people watching via text only, it didn’t. Ironic hey!
- Copy – I wrote the copy in a google sheet, day by day. Wrote it once then used it to post to Instagram, facebook and LinkedIn. Edited as I went, and fixed any problems along the way.
- Hashtags – I have a set of hashtags I use for all my posts and keep them in Evernote so I just copy and paste into the comments section of each social media post.
- Social Media – For the first half, I uploaded them to YouTube then distributed them to Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn. The last half of the videos that I did in a less formal sense, I didn’t upload to YouTube due to changing the way I recorded and posted the videos.
Some ideas soared, some bombed. Most were good.
This is the part where you have to be more grown up. Some ideas worked, some didn’t. Some videos got more views than others, some didn’t. In the end, the goal was to be present on these Social channels to position myself as someone with something to say about leadership.
I achieved that goal. I learned not to be too attached to the likes, comments and shares (although they are good feedback) and I was determined to keep ideating and producing the content as a discipline as well as an experiment. That alone was worth doing this for. You get sharper, quicker and more focused in your thinking and how it relates to clients and people you want to help.
I also learnt that more people watch more of your content than you know. AS I travel working with clients and connecting and recounting with people all over they have been consistently telling me they ‘see me everywhere’ – of course that’s only one step, the key is delivering value that matters and content that’s useful. It does start by just doing it too.
Likes, comments and shares make a big difference to visibility.
On one side of the algorithm you look way better than you are. On the other, it can be kind of depressing. There’s no doubt that on the wrong side of the curve your video just falls into the big bucket of other videos whilst having the opportunity to trend organically. Makes a big difference to view and engagement.
It’s worth noting here that this whole experience was organic too. I paid nothing directly in ad spend. Nothing to promote it. What I did do was, with my colleague Mike Hardie, chose to boost some posts in on our Maximised Leadership page, but for the whole I spent nothing and let the www do the job.
What I would do next time is be smarter about targeting these videos to people who would engage and respond to my content more specifically. Navigating ad spend and all that goes with it is an increasingly important part of doing business.
I’d do it all over again, smarter, more focused and with even more value.
I have developed a rhythm with making video and it works well. I think the key focus for the next 100 days will be refining and improving the content, the recess and the valued added to you.
Thanks for going on the journey with me, and no, the irony of writing about video is not lost on me….
This is for leaders. I am for leaders.
I’d like to equip you as a leader on HOW to shoot a 60 second video to your target market or team. If that interests you please reach out.