Who knew I could learn as much about myself in what seemed like a simple 30 day video marketing challenge! Like so many other things we try or do in life, this is an “inside job” as much as it is about the practicalities of video marketing. This challenge is free and I have to tell you; it is worth more than some paid classes I’ve taken. Here is some of what I’ve learned, and as usual, I’ve tied the practical with the internal aspects of what I’ve learned. And with a sense of humor.
Try to read it on two levels: (1) the video marketing challenge experience (2) how that relates to our presence in general. Much of this is generally true, not just for a 30 day challenge with video. That’s why it’s been so fascinating to me.
Speaking to the Video Camera/Phone
It’s hard to keep your eyes 100 percent of the time gazing into the camera. Just like with humans. Remember that your audience and you stay more engaged with a healthy dose of eye contact. Plus, there’s an energy to that connection of the eyes [and camera lens]. Same in a person-to-person conversation. Hmmm.
True in conversations for many of us and true on video: Think first. Don’t get on the video and just start talking or you will end up with a 4 minute instead of 2 minute video. There is a balance between scripting every word and having no support; as a support, use a few keywords or a mnemonic to remind you of your outline. We eased into our videos with prompts which were more about our lives rather than our businesses; once we moved into business questions, we were all more comfortable on camera than we would have been. Brilliant strategy.
Deciding to Do It …. and Then pushing through Early Obstacles
Believe in yourself that you can handle whatever happens. If you are committed enough, and you keep returning to your “why,” you WILL figure it out.
On day 1, I spent longer than I want to tell you being nervous, i.e., looking for exactly the right place to shoot from, getting the setup ready, and then futzing with the technology afterwards. I thought of quitting (on day 1!) and kept up the self-talk: You’re smart and you can figure this out. What’s important to you? Why is this important now
Forget about the times it didn’t work; start fresh each time.
Obstacle: ICD conference. I’d be away and intensely absorbing my education for days. How could I keep up? (1) Let it go. Try it but it’s secondary to conference. (2) At least do bits of it; listen to the daily tip and prompt. Write them down. (3) Start when you return from conference. Do that day’s plus one catch up or do a series.
Your Video Presence is a Present
Our presence has the physical aspect and the energetic aspects.Notes to self: Light colors take the color out of your face. Wear lipstick to brighten your whole complexion.
Energetically: Smile before you start a video or any conversation on the phone. It helps jazz up the energy you’re putting out there. It also quickly clears your head (and energy) of anything dreary or negative.
Close up is better for connection (and wisdom wrinkles) than a few feet away. Your presence is more comfortable and real.
Your face is far more expressive than you thought before the video marketing challenge. [Note to self once again.]
Using metaphor and story infuses your presence with energy and engagement …. as well as your audience’s.
Surprisingly, it doesn’t seem to matter whether I sit or stand in terms of energy and presence; plus, I can talk with my hands either way ! [Turns out that it’s not distracting or ineffective to use your hands; it’s all in how you use them to support what you’re saying. More on that here].
What You’re Saying is Interesting
To help people imagine they are there with you, you don’t need lots of detail. One particular detail will do. Just ONE. [I thought telling more detail would create more of the sense of being there; not so.]
Always start out your video the same way. People generally want to know where they are and where they are headed. [Also true with regular ‘columns’ in a newsletter, newspaper, even in how you organize your phone apps. Some things need to be predictable, to reserve time for the fun, the creative, the unpredictable.]
It’s easier to use props instead of “just” speaking to the camera, or to show off a favorite item or to be outdoors. Things flow easily and comfortably. Also true with blogs, newsletters, presentations, conversations. Mix up your media.
It Takes A Village
A group’s perspectives are almost half the value of doing this and many other things. It’s important to show up to complete the work … and show up to reach out to others or be on the receiving end, too.
I’ve been amazed at how differently we answer the prompt questions, how we have dealt with whatever challenges we’ve experienced and how warm, supportive and motivating comments have been. Remembering that these are people I’ve known for 23 days as of this writing, with about 1/2 hour a day together, virtually. There is something magical about this small circle.
Ending a video with a comment about what you’re looking forward to from the group is a way to reach out, extend your hand and keep the conversations going.
So, I am looking forward to hearing what you think and whether you have tried a 30 day challenge!