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How to step into the spotlight and use video to catapult your brand

How to step into the spotlight and use video to catapult your brand

Let’s talk about the ‘IT’ topic of today. Video marketing. It is one of the most effective digital marketing strategies to build your personal brand, form connections with your target audience, and create a strong brand presence online.

Listen up, small business owners – video content marketing is essential to your business so if you have yet to get on it, it’s time. Stop Googling about it and stop waiting for tomorrow. Let’s lean in to your fear and crush it!

Video is a content marketing strategy that gets nearly 60% more engagement than any other form of content. So, why are people hesitant to incorporate such an effective marketing strategy that has the potential to catapult their business, capture the attention of their target audience, and build a loyal following resulting in sales? And, what is it about video that we can’t get with other marketing strategies?

I am going to say right now that I’m not an expert on this topic. But… I love video (now). I understand the gravitational pull of it. I love that I have the ability to unleash my creativity, I love that I am able to show my true essence and be my genuine, authentic self (once I got into the swing of how to be myself on camera.) And, I especially love that a simple video can educate, inspire, motivate and connect.

Over the past year, I have learned a lot and while I’m not an expert, I have worked with experts who have helped me build a strong video marketing strategy. I would like to share these learnings with those who want to start video and build a video marketing strategy, but aren’t sure where to begin and what to do. I want to provide you with the force and strength to start doing something that is outside of your comfort zone and can change the direction of your business.

(Check out my fully loaded step-by-step video strategy guide, below. It has a tech guide of my favourite tools and apps (that are easy to use), and video tips.

Be a leader on socials. We don’t have time to be a follower and hang back. 

For those of us who have never been in the spotlight, the prospect of speaking into a camera and then sharing video with family, friends, colleagues and our dream clients is uncomfortable, right? Heck yes! But, it doesn’t have to be, with a proper plan and structure. And, the more you do it, the easier it will become. It is all about finding a style that works for you.

Work for it.

What held me back from starting video

There are a few reasons why it took me a while to start video. I had to give myself a good pep talk. Today, I am more comfortable and confident. And, I can speak to a camera and then post an imperfect video of myself into the social ether in one take.

But, before all that, these are the all the thoughts that ran through my head. Let me know if you have or had any of these ring true to you.

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1. I’m an introvert. So, for us introverts, video makes us cringe and cower in fear. 

2. I work in the ultra-conservative industry of law so I had a big fear of being judged by peers and colleagues and doing something ‘different’ by putting myself out there. 

3. I was never a cyber elite. I didn’t post my life on social media… no holiday snaps, selfies, or photos of my breakfast. I didn’t even post or share professional articles that I was interested in sharing. It wasn’t my world. I was a lurker, a stalker, so diving head on into the world of social media didn’t exactly excite me.

4. I’ve been told at least 5 times in my life that I speak very slowly, so I’ve always been self conscious about speaking to a camera and feeling that viewers are checking their clocks and thinking, ‘come on, speak faster, Simran, sheesh!’

5. I don’t think quickly on my feet. I tend to think about what I want to say before I say it – it just turns out my brain likes to think slowly. My brain freezes when I’m on the spot, in front of a camera or large crowds, and I jumble my words.

6. I always thought my voice sounded odd.

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If you resonate with any or all of the above and if even just one is the reason you have held back from starting video, let me tell you – I get it! These are all based on self criticism. But, we have a tendency to judge ourselves more harshly than anyone else would. We are so hard on ourselves and try to strive for perfection. But, what viewers resonate with more than anything else is imperfection, vulnerability, and authenticity.

The more you do it the more comfortable you will become. I am a prime example of that. We shouldn’t be seeking perfection in our videos. Instead we want it to become more natural, easier and more comfortable so that our genuine, authentic selves shine through the video and create connection. And, having a video strategy in place from the beginning will make life so much easier.

Become a digerati.

Mind-blowing video statistics

Renderforest released an infographic detailing some mind-blowing marketing statistics about video. If you have been holding off on adding video to your digital marketing strategy, chew on this. 

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5 billion videos are watched on YouTube everyday

100 million hours of video per day are watched on Facebook everyday

85% of videos on Facebook are watched without sound

1200% more shares are generated by social images than text and images

Marketers who use video grow revenue 49% faster than non-video users

Marketers who use video receive 41% more web traffic from search than non-users

65% of viewers watch more than 3/4 of a video

90% say that product videos are helpful in the decision making process

Video in email leads to a 200-300% increase in click-through rates

Including video on a landing page can increase conversions by 80%

Including a video on your homepage can increase conversion rates by 20% or more

Using the word ‘video’ in an email subject line boost the open rates by 19%

80% of users recall video ad they have viewed online in the past month

40% of users take some kind of action after viewing a video ad

36% of users trust online video ads

After watching a video, 64% of users are more likely to buy a product online.

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After digesting all of those video statistics, why is it that people aren’t immediately incorporating video into their digital marketing strategy and pulling out their phone to record themselves right now?! 

Fear. But, it’s time to lean in to the fear and work through it. We are entrepreneurs, after all, and we need to have the right mindset for what lays ahead and be comfortable with the uncomfortable. We grab hold of our fears, lean in and use that fear to move forward and grow. Being entrepreneurs, stepping outside of our comfort zones is part of our journey. We believe in our purpose and we are here to serve our dream clients. We know we can solve their problems and make their lives easier, so it would be a disservice not to step into the light and show them how we can transform their lives.

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Why have a video marketing strategy? 

Whether it’s on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, or YouTube, video has become a preferred medium for consumers and a key marketing tool. Using video is a hugely effective method to build your personal brand, attract your dream clients, and build an online presence.

Video will help you to: 

Create personal connection with your target audience. With video, there’s no way around it, you are who you are, you are vulnerable and people have the opportunity to see your true self – which is exactly what they want to see. This is what creates connection with your target audience and forms the bond. ‘Selling’ today is all about creating connection with your target audience and to do that, they need to see who you are and what you’re all about. Video is a powerful tool to educate, inspire, add value, create connection, and be who you are.

Stand out online. While video is hugely powerful to get in front of your target audience, a lot of small business owners are yet to incorporate this strategy into their business. As a result, there is opportunity. 

Create content that your target audience will consume. More and more social media users prefer to consume content through video, more than any other form of content, so if you know your target audience enjoys video, then that’s the form of content you should be producing. 

If you want to add video to your hustle’s content marketing mix, it can be hard to know where to start. So, let’s go through a video strategy that’s easy to follow, implement and will help make video more easy to kick off. 

For me, I’m a methodical person, I love lists, procedures and methods. They give me a clearer idea of what I’m achieving, and breaking down my tasks moves me forward, especially when I am diving into an area that I’m inexperienced in.

Fight the gravitational pull of conformity and normality.

Let’s begin. I am going to show you how to ease your way into video.

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Strategy

Step 1. Make a content plan

Create a content plan that brings together all of your content – video, social media posts, articles, blogs, podcasts, or whatever they may be. Plan in advance how all of your content will work together in your strategy, streamline the process, keep the topics consistent and sync them up. 

EXAMPLE: Every week you will talk about one particular topic. And then, all of the content you post that week will be centred around that topic. 

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Step 2. Choose where to house your videos

Think about which social media platforms you want to focus your video marketing strategy, specifically choose where you will post your videos. Some examples are: 

Facebook – your closed group or business page where you post pre-recorded or live videos

Instagram – IGTV, Instagram Stories, Instagram lives

LinkedIn – videos and lives (if lives have been introduced to your country)

YouTube

Webinars or memberships.

Whichever platforms you choose, be consistent. 

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There is a difference between the types of video you produce:

Video that is spontaneous and is less structured, perhaps they are Instagram lives or Stories that capture in the moment shots.

Video that is more structured, perhaps educational videos, where you have particular points you want to talk about. This could be on LinkedIn or on Facebook, for example.

It’s good to have a mix of these types of content.

You may choose to do a Facebook live every week within your Facebook group, post daily educational LinkedIn videos, and show your fun, inspiring side in Instagram stories. It’s good practice to get into the habit of posting videos across a range of platforms, but don’t take on more than you can manage, because consistency and showing up is key. 

How many videos am I supposed to be making every day?, I hear you ask. It’s not about creating separate videos for every platform. You can simply create one video and then repurpose it so that is sits natively on the platforms you have chosen. So, be prepared to tailor your video to how that particular platform approaches video. This could mean trimming the video or changing the written content so that it works for that platform. Instagram Stories would be more spontaneous, and in the moment videos that don’t require less preparation. 

TIP: Save your videos, especially if they are educational, such as  a mini masterclass, as they can be used down the track for online courses you create. Create a video strategy that will incorporate long form and short form videos that you can use in future.

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Step 3. What’s your message? Set a purpose. 

Think about what you hope to achieve with your video. Just like a blog or article, video is content, so it’s important to have a message or purpose to give you direction and focus. This will avoid long rambling videos and will keep you on track. You want to be on point with video to maintain your viewers’ attention. 

Ask yourself, what’s my intention with this video? Do you want to – inform and educate, show your fun and approachable side, inspire, build awareness about your services?

In your video, communicate a clear message and yield a result.

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Step 4. What style of video should you do?

In the early stages, play with it. See what you are comfortable doing and what works for you. In fact, it’s a good idea to mix it up.

Here are some ideas: 

Talking directly to the camera

Interview style so you are looking off camera

Screen shares – you may be showing a process online so you can record your screen and have audio

Slides – you can create a few slides on Canva and then share your screen and record audio

TIP: video that’s raw, gritty, and unapologetically you have higher engagement rates. Talking on the street, with the world moving behind you, is incredibly effective and will get eyes on your video. 

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Step 5. Scripting the video

Depending on which styles you choose, you may want to put a script to video. This will keep you on track and will avoid rambling videos that don’t have a focus. 

‘Scripting’ could simply mean having sticky notes, using a teleprompter app, or writing notes and referring back to them. 

This all depends on who you are and what your flow is. Test out a few different ways to see what works best for you.

(Check out the handy guide which has a tech guide of my favourite apps and tools, keep reading.)

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Step 6. Filming the video

You have your intention with the video, you know what style you’re going for, you have your script, now it’s time to film! Lights, camera, action!

You don’t need high tech equipment to film a video. You can simply use your laptop or phone. As I mentioned, raw, gritty videos that show you being genuinely you and are entirely authentic, have high engagement. So, think imperfect, simple, raw video. 

It’s a good idea to take a note of video you have seen on social media that you like the style of. 

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Step 7. Editing the video and the tech

You may want to edit the video depending on what the style of your video is. If it’s a pre-recorded masterclass or webinar, you may decide to edit it before posting. If it’s an Instagram Story, you choose a filter, shoot the video and then post!

(Check out the tech section of the guide, below, for easy ways to edit your video, keep reading.)

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Step 8. Posting the video

Now it’s time to post your video! You have already chosen where you would like to post your video. What is key in this section is that the video sits natively on the platforms you choose. For example, if you post it on YouTube, don’t simply link that video in your LinkedIn and Facebook. Post the video again in those platforms. The platforms will like you and reward you for it by putting your video at the top of newsfeeds. 

A major tip – if your video is long, not all platforms will allow you to post the entire video. For example, LinkedIn has a 10 minute limit, IGTV on Instagram has limits depending on the size of your account. So, if your video is longer than the platform allows, clip it, show a sample and then link to the entire video that’s on YouTube. That’s a nice work around, and the platform will still like you!

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The tech

Make it easy for yourself by creating your own videos. You don’t need to engage an expensive video service. All you need is a smartphone or laptop! It’s amazing how high quality many phone cameras are and viewers love raw, unedited, gritty videos that show you being you. 

Find somewhere with good lighting, and then hit record. You can play with filters later on but you don’t need to. Make it easy for yourself. It’s all about producing organic, engaging content that shows you being authentic and creating connection.

(I did promise a Tech Guide to help you in creating video with ease, and here it is.)

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Video topic ideas

When starting out it might be hard to know what your video topics should be about. Here are a few ideas to get you kick started.

An introductory video about you and your business

Client FAQs

Discussion on a relevant topic

Top 3 ways to… / 10 different ways to… 

Interview with an expert in your niche on a topic of interest

Your favourite business podcast

Your mentor – who it is and why you look up to them

Your morning routine

Your opinion on an interesting article you read.

On that note, it’s old school to simply share an article you found interesting. The new school way is to create a video on your opinion of the article, and then provide a link to the article, and ask for comments.

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Challenge: To keep me accountable and to really push myself into the world of video, I did the 30 Day LinkedIn Challenge, which is 30 days of daily videos. The idea is to form a habit and to get comfortable with video. After 30 days, move onto the 90 Day Challenge. I suggest you do the 30 Day LinkedIn challenge to keep your focussed and accountable. 

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Lifesaver video tips

Batch your videos – batching your videos is a great way to get your video for the week done in one day. It allows you to become more comfortable with video. Warm yourself up by starting with shorter videos and then as you become more comfortable, move into the longer videos. You have then finished an entire week’s worth of video content in one day! Or, if you are like me and prefer to be spontaneous, make a plan of action with your topics, scripts, call to actions and prepare any lead magnets. Then on the day, create and post your video and you will have your post content written and so it’s a much faster process. 

Have a call to action after every video and make an accompanying lead magnet to capture emails and build your email list. You should always be building your email list. 

Google Keyword Tool and UberSuggest – video is used to boost SEO. Find keywords that your audience is searching for to use in your content and video heading. Both Google Keyword Tool and UberSuggest are useful tools for this. 

Start with Instagram Stories – if you are hesitant to start making videos, start with Instagram Stories. Insta Stories are great as they are only published for 24 hours and then they disappear. People prefer watching imperfect, unpolished, unscripted videos and you can make it really easy by talking about yourself, your hustle, how you started your business, what is happening in your day, behind the scenes of your business. KISS = Keep It Simple, Simran!

LinkedIn – unlike other social media platforms, LinkedIn is still relatively new so there is mega potential to be seen and to grow your brand. The platform is really generous when it comes to video and shoots your video to the top of your connections’ newsfeeds. I won’t go into all of the amazing reasons you should be on LinkedIn and posting video, but if you aren’t currently active on the platform, start. Use the opportunity to go viral while it lasts!

Subtitlesas the stats say, 85% of viewers watch video without sound, meaning that they prefer to watch video with subtitles. This one isn’t a must-do, especially when you are starting out and want to keep things super simple. But, it is an option. I am all about giving you options!

So, all the hype you have been hearing about the power of video by marketing experts, is true. Video is an absolute power house to help grow your brand and build your profile. Video is an effective content marketing strategy that can be as difficult or as simple as you want it to be. What is key is your message. 

What you are saying to your audience should have a focus, and be authentic and educational. Give viewers a reason to watch your video – whether that’s for people to get to know you, or to educate or inspire. Think about what your dream clients would like to watch – and then, give them what they want!

Once people get to know you, your service, and who you are, they will begin to trust you and form a relationship with you. This then makes selling your services a whole lot easier.

TIP: When it comes to video marketing, strategy is key.

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Benefits of video

Finally, I want to conclude by providing some powerful benefits of video that are on a personal level, rather than business focussed. I am a big believer that you need to have a certain mindset when stepping into the entrepreneurial world. You need determination, grit, resilience and you need to be prepared to do whatever it takes to success. 

These points are specific to video and once you realise you have achieved them, you will know that you are fine tuning your mindset. So, periodically, take a moment to realise where you are right now and what you have achieved.

When you step outside your comfort zone, take a moment to appreciate the accomplishment in that and how far you have come

Lean in to your fear, move through it and overcome it. Then, look back and relish in the feeling that you have overcome a fear

You will become comfortable with being uncomfortable

You will become quicker on your feet. With video, you will naturally learn to speak faster and look more comfortable on camera. No more brain freeze!

You will become unapologetically you on camera. You will move past the ‘show’ you and into speaking to the camera as though you were speaking to a friend

You are happy with who you are, what you say and sending the imperfect version of you out into the world – and, owning it!

You will get to a point where you can shoot a video in one take and then, boom, post it.

As with anything, practice makes perfect. While drafting this article, I re-watched my very first LinkedIn video on day 1 of the #30DayLinkedInChallenge. I honestly couldn’t watch it all the way through. It was too much of a cringe-fest. Today, I enjoy the challenge and I look forward to posting videos. I don’t do multiple takes. I shoot the video in one take, edit it depending on the type of video I am making, and then post. I am all about keeping it simple and it takes only a few minutes per day.

So, whether you have been wanting to start but you’ve been too fearful to post that first video, you don’t know how to start, or you don’t understand the tech, I hope you have found here some simple and easy to action ways to get you started on video. 

As hustlers, we should be constantly outside of our comfort zones. We need to embrace it. When I first started my business, I was hesitant to step outside of my comfort zone. I realised the fear was driving me rather than my purpose. Today, I wish I had started on day 1. If I had a do over I would have started on day 1 because I would be much more comfortable with video today, a year in. So, believe me when I say that starting is the hardest part. And once you do, you will thank your past self for it! 

If you want results, you want to be a disruptor, and you’re willing to create magic to grow your business and transform the lives of your dream clients, start video. Building a video strategy before you begin will make life a lot easier and will be a more comfortable lead in!

DOWNLOAD: Here’s the fully loaded guide on building a step-by-step video content strategy, a tech guide of my favourite tools and apps, video tips, and a handy guide on the length of videos for the different social platforms.

Let’s grow your hustle!

Hi, I’m Simran, and I’m here to help savvy new coaches and service-based business owners start and grow a profitable business and land clients with intentional action and strategy.

And, I am here to help you catapult your online visibility with confidence and authority, while being authentically you.

If you want to work with me, find out more about my coaching services.

simran@simranksingh.co

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