Don’t miss out on connecting with your audience
It’s really easy to get comfortable. You get into a routine, and you find your groove. Over time, you keep doing what you’re doing.
Then without warning, a pandemic or some other life-altering event comes into the picture.
You’re a public speaker, and you suddenly don’t have any gigs.
You’re a consultant, and you have no clients.
You’re a freelance writer, and your publications aren’t giving you any more work.
Ruh-roh. Something has to change here. What can you do?
While blogging is still important--and podcasting is too--there is actually an even better way to find your customers.
The Best Way to Reach Customers
Video is by far the best way to connect with your audience. Why? The barrier is really low. Video is the most entertaining form of media around. And the numbers reinforce this fact.
- 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals are processed 60,000 times faster in the brain than text. (Sources: 3M Corporation and Zabisco)
- 40% of people will respond better to visual information than plain text. (Source: Zabisco)
- 85% of the U.S. internet audience watches videos online. In addition, adult males spend 40% more time watching videos on the internet than females. (Sources: comScore and Nielsen)
- Over 500 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute. (Via Statista)
Quite simply, if you’re not creating videos, you’re not giving the audience what they want. And that’s not good at all, right?
The Barriers to Video
I know all the things that are stopping you. You’re not happy with your appearance. You don’t have the proper gear. You don’t have a good space to shoot videos. The kids are too noisy.
You’re an introvert.
I hear you. Just go and type Stephen King’s name into YouTube, and you’ll find him giving speeches or doing tons of video interviews.
Stephen is an introvert too. Being an introvert is just an excuse not to do something you find uncomfortable. So is everything else you mentioned above too.
You’re all out of excuses. The great news is that I promise you can do it.
Start With Video the Easy Way
If you have the courage and guts to sit in front of the camera and just start recording a video, that’s great. Go for it! But for most people, that is simply not going to happen.
One super-easy way to get started is to start going on podcasts. When you do a podcast, sometimes it will be on Skype or Zoom. Sometimes it will be on the phone. It doesn’t really matter; just get started.
I found that taking intentional steps helps a lot when you start doing video. Like just doing a Skype call with someone could even be a possible first step.
The Simple Next Step
The next step would be to record the podcast and put it up on YouTube. You can even turn off the comments if you want. Or just make the video private and share the link with just one friend.
I know even this can be a little scary. So many people never share their videos. The thought of having a large group of people watching your video doesn’t comfort anyone.
Instead, focus on one person. That’s right, just one person.
Even this post I’m writing, I’m really writing it for one person. Let’s call her Kara. Kara is a great writer who struggles with putting out content to tell others about her writing.
You know the audience now. Focus on that one person. That’s not so scary, is it? The focus is on the content, not your personal appearance.
Remember that. The focus is on your content, not you.
Repeat that if you don’t believe it. It’s true, I promise. The focus is on the content. You still might not be happy with your video setup, your hair, your makeup, your wardrobe, the lighting, or something else. That’s OK.
The real focus is on the content you’re providing for the end-user.
- Is it helpful?
- Is it encouraging?
- Does it solve a problem?
- Does it tell a story?
- Does it make the lives of the end-user easier?
Focus on answering those questions, not if you need a haircut or not.
The next step is to create your own video and keep focusing on those people you’re serving with those questions.
Your Homework Assignment
Fear doesn’t go away completely, but it does get better. I went from being scared of creating videos to making them all the time as a way to reach out to potential clients and to encourage other writers.
Video is a tool that you use, just like a computer, pen, or pencil. I know it can be scary at first. But as you practice, you’ll get better and better.
Just like you would practice a musical instrument, you need to practice video.
So now I bet you can guess the next step.
That’s right, it’s time to create a video. Just a short little video and I’ve got some ground rules for you:
- The video can be any length you want. I don’t care if it is 10 seconds, 30 seconds, or 20 minutes long.
- Use the camera on your phone.
- Talk about something you love about writing.
- Then watch it once.
- Now delete it.
Remember, it’s practice. Next, do the same thing tomorrow. The length doesn’t matter. The point is you’re doing it.
After the third time that you make a video with this same topic, I want you to share it with a friend. (This is really important, please don’t skip this step.)
If you’re not sure which friend to send it to, you could always pick a friend here on Medium. Don’t overthink things, just do it. Otherwise, you won’t start publishing videos. We all start out uncomfortable and uncertain. It’s OK. Share that video. Do it.
Listen carefully to your friend’s feedback. Don’t settle for, “It’s good.” Ask questions. If your friend doesn’t give you a specific area that you can improve upon, share your videos with another friend. You want specific feedback. Keep doing this until you get it. Implement the feedback as much as you can.
And now it’s time to publish. I promise it will be OK. Hit the publish button. You’re now a video creator. Congrats! Keep showing up in front of the camera and you’ll get better and better. And, best of all, you’re taking action and you’re connecting with more customers than ever before.