The Visual Web: Get Started in Video: Easy Tools and Strategies
What the audience wants to take away from today's session:
-minimum requirements to get started
-production value, look professional
Host: Jyl Johnson Pattee
Why do Video?
-Traffic, relationships, and compensation
We want to grow our audiences for the numbers and we want to have engaged readers and to be able to connect.
Video gives a great way to do both. With Video and Google Plus
you can be ranked highly in search engines. Who you are and what your story is more dynamic on video. With compensation, there are lots of different opportunities that help
We have 4 major points:
Transition from blogging to vlogging, tips for creating successful videos, ways to work your magic on Youtube, Google+ Hangouts on Air and media opportunities
Francheska Medina @HeyFranHey
My blog is about natural living, how to take care of your skin and hair naturally and make your own lip balm, etc. I'm basically the Youtube version of Pinterest.
Jenny Chiu, Mommynanibooboo.com @mommynanibooboo
A lot of you may know me from my blog but I've started jumping into vlogging. I'm here to talk about transitioning from blogging to videos.
Laurie Luck, smartdoguniversity.com, @smartdogu
I am a dog trainer. People look at the dogs more than they look at me so that takes the pressure off of me. I raise and train service dogs and my passion is helping dogs fit into families so they are not relegated to living outside or staying home when you go out and stuff. How to teach your dog good manners.
Jyl Johnson Pattee, Momitforward.com, @momitforward
I started doing video with Google+ hangouts on air.It was a great way to jump into the space of videos but alot less intimidating. I've got 2 kids and I live in Utah.
We will start today with the Jenny.
Jenny: For the first 6 months, I started with a webcam on my laptop. As long as you are not too far, it works pretty well. I am here to talk about just vlogging, which is you talking to the camera. Your smart phone is a good tool, to combat the shakiness, I would get myself a really cheap guerilla tripod. I think I got mine for $16.95 off Amazon, i would invest in that if you worry about the shakiness but you don't want to spend too much. I shoot most of my stuff with daylight near windows. If I try to use my lighting in the house, it's overhead which casts shadows, lamps could also cast shadows. Daylight works the best. Your voice and your personality. As bloggers we talk about finding your writing voice, and a lot of us forget how to use our actual speaking voice. If you are engaging, no one cares what your hair and clothes look like. If they focus on you, they forget about that. Record yourself first, watch it. Then record again and talk 2 times louder and faster. When people watch video, if you don't engage them right away, they will click away. Content: With video, you can record a few lines, stop and record a few lines. Don't worry about content if you are already a blogger. For software, I use imovie. I am not tech savvy in any way.
I have not purchased any expensive software to help me edit my videos. I taught myself by just clicking around. There are lots of little things you can do to enhance your video.
Jyl: You haven't been doing video that long. How long did it take you to feel comfortable?
Jenny: I still don't feel comfortable. I am a very busy mother. i haven't had time to sit down and focus.I learn as i go. If there's something I need to do and I don't know how to do it, I just push buttons until I finish it. If I were to sit down for 2-3 hours to learn, I might feel overwhelmed and not do it.
Laurie: Watch a youtube video if you can't solve it yourself.
Jenny: Fill the screen with you if you don't absolutely need your background. It's more engaging. Keep transitions between .3 and .5 seconds. Jump cuts also work. The sweet spot for duration of the video is 3 minutes. Try your best to keep it to 3 minutes. Or make a part 1 and 2. Keep your camera slightly above eye level, it's the most flattering. It forces you to lift your chin. Your neck looks longer and chin looks thinner. If you have it lower it forces you to look down and also we can see up your nose. Keep your momentum going. You don't have to worry about memorizing everything. Just cut. Jump cuts work well here too. It will look like you did it all one go. My traffic is not very high, I don't get millions of hits, but video is more lucrative for me. Youtube is still a very young place, alot of teens and tweens. I don't get hits from that demographic because I can't relate to them. But all the independent contracting work has come from my Youtube channel. If you're worried about traffic and that's holding you back, try a little bit longer. Video is an excellent portfolio. While we need creative outlets, it would be best if our outlets also bought the groceries. My last tip is to smile. If you are pausing in a video and you forget what you're going to say, just smile.
Jyl: Thanks Jenny. What would you say for anyone getting started with vlogging, what is your one piece of advice to get started.
Jenny: You're not going to look or sound like anyone else and that's why you should do it.
Jyl: Now we will talk about simple ways to create successful videos every time.
Laurie: For me the length is 3-7 minutes. I can take it a bit longer because I have a dog in the video. Short is good, people are busy and you have to grab them right away. Grab them quickly. Don't spend a lot of time with your company or blog name, just get to it right away. You can be funny or not. Sometimes dog training is hilarious and other times it's straight forward.
Some things, loose leash walking can sometimes be pretty dry. It's nice to smile alot. Make yourself compelling, have compelling information. Get some topics you want to talk about. I try to categorize my stuff with teach, play, love. Get a schedule. I committed that I would put a video up once a week. If I can get more videos, I would do it, but otherwise, it's once a week.
I tell my viewers that, and if they expect it of me, I hold myself accountable for it. I don't like to look at myself on video, but just get over it. That's why you're doing it. In the beginning I hired someone to just hold the camera. As far as equipment, I just use a regular video camera. Or you can use your smart phone and hold it landscape. Do not hold it portrait orientation.
I record single stream, I just add a title and an ending. I was hesitant with the first 5 videos because I was so nervous but I decided to just post it and I've been doing it for a year. When my video guy comes, I have 5 change of clothes because I record 5 videos. I have also done videos by myself with a tripod. I shot a series on improving a dog's down, and we couldn't do it 5 at a time because we needed a week to see the improvement in the dog's down. So I just recorded a video with my tripod. You can do it yourself as well but for my videos I have to be moving, so I hired a guy to hold the camera. Smile alot. I watched some of my beginning videos and I was so serious so I started livening it up a bit. For lighting, make sure you're facing the sun, it makes you look better even though it gives your eyesight a bit of glare. Watch how the news people deliver stories, listen to their intonation. They are talking with some inflection and with some pauses and excitedment and a bit of speed and then not so much speed. Varying your pace, pitch, adding smiles. Just watch how they do it and you'llbe surprised about how you can do it too.
At first I felt a little affected, but when I watch the videos, I was easier to watch. Editing: I use imovie. I add my titles, I add my closings and music. If there's anything you take away from this, do video. It doesn't take much to start. My videos weren't perfect in the beginning, I cringe at some of them, but you just have do it. there's no way to get through that awkward phase except to just do it. You can't get better unless you start somewhere. Get a big block of ideas. I've covered the main points I've covered, and now i take notes for new ideas.
Jyl: What would you say is your most meaningful experience you've had, videoing, over the last year or so.
Laurie: We train service dogs, we keep them for a year, train them, and send them back to the agency. Every time we send them back, I cry like a baby. One time I filmed the process of sending the dog back. When I had to leave her, I filmed myself crying my eyes out. People want to know what it's like to train a service dog so I filmed it.
Jyl: Francheska, tell us about how to get user engagement and traffic.
Francheska: I'm 32, when i was 25 years old, I randomly woke up one day with awful kidney complications that came out of nowhere. I woke up and thought I had the menstrual cramps from life. I couldn't get out of bed, I dragged myself on the floor and had to call a friend. I battled kidney complications for a year. So i jumped on tumblr and started writing down how I was feeling about being so young and so sick and not knowing what to do about it. I was on various medications and doctors told me i might need to have a catheter. I told my doctor that day, no more medications for me I'll figure it out. I didn't know what I was doing but I saved my money, got a juicer. I started studying how foods affect the kidney. I was unable to walk but I started going for slow walks.
My body started regenerating through nutrition. I stopped eating meat I stopped buying processed foods. I became one of those people who could tell you about lavendar. My quality of life started getting better, even better than before I was sick. I just felt like the world needed to know about this. I started sharing this on tumblr. Before you knew it, I started getting hundreds of questions a week.
My tumblr blog had hundreds and thousands of views a week because people had ailments and would ask me questions. I became a blogger. My friend told me I should put my tumblr blog and put it on Youtube. I didn't want to do it first because people on Youtube are mean. She encouraged me to think about my information and to forget the trolls on the internet. They will come no matter what you post.
So I did my first video, I had 200 subscribers and I was very excited. The video did really well with health information. While the cool girls are doing lookbooks and beauty blogs. It didn't happen overnight but people were able to see that I was living proof that the information I provided worked. In under 2 years, I hit 125K subscribers. I never envisioned this for myself. The videos did well, and I'm able to be here from new York. I wish I could tell you there's a golden key that can make you be fabulous on Youtube. There could be someone consistent or with great equipment and still not grow. The key is to be authentic. You have to have a story to tell, you can't recreate others' magic. What worked for me and allowed my channel work real well. I was coming on to Youtube saying I don't have medical insurance, I need to pay my medical bills for the next 25 years, but here are my little essential oils in the meantime. It's a community and a way to be very real and help people. The more you keep on an even playing field with your subscribers where it's a friendship. My viewers don't feel like it's a sponsored ad, it's like they just came over in my living room to hang out. I think Youtube has become this thing where every video is pretty sponsored. what separates me from the average Youtuber, you wont' catch very many sponsored products because it's not really my intention. when people can sense that your intention is authentic,
It's going to help you. You will end up getting opportunities that will surpass those sponsored checks half of the time. what help are you offering? People are going on Youtube as a form of escape. There's something in the viewer's life that they are trying to fix or get help for. You are going to sound a mess in your first few videos, no matter what. You will get better. Now I see myself and I'm so comfortable and I'm like who is that? if you don't have money for lighting, make sure that the window is behind your camera, and face the video. Umbrella lights are $36 on Amazon are a great substitute for daylight.
It's all about content and being authentic. Don't take yourself so seriously. have fun with it. Solve a problem, what's missing? In the beauty scene, no one was talking about beauty from the inside out. Solve a problem, have an emotional thread, be fun and authentic.
Jyl: How do you stay engaged with your large audience?
Francheska: I used Instagram, twitter. and the biggest thing is to be on every site and do not set them up to automatically post the same thing. Look at your analytics, which post did the best on each site and start catering to the audience.
My FB page has the foodies so i post my recipes there. I never worried about views ever, all I did was post videos.
Jyl: I will share a bit about my story. 4 years ago, I was running a social media conference for women called the Evo Conference in Park City Utah to help women learn how to blog and improve their business. At the same time, my husband was diagnosed with severe depression, and it rocked our family. It took me 2 years to figure out what that really meant. I really didn't understand it and over the next several years, I watched what that did to my family, I wasn't even sure we were going to make it. When we closed the Evo Conference in2012, I know my business is about helping moms make money from blogging, but if they lose their families in the process, I haven't done enough. How can we be super hero families, what can we do? What if we did a family event where all the members of the family can go to every single member can go to every event.
The brands don't want to pay as much for sponsorship if you don't have as much influencers. I had a conundrum about what do I do? Then I thought what if I start Google Hangouts? We started a google+ page and at first we had 0 followers. But we just kept going and going. You have to be willing to flow with it but in 7 months we had 70M followers. People were really connecting with us about how to deal with these big family problems. Along the way we did 26 different hangouts. We started doing these twitter party, Google+ hangout combos. It makes the whole event more dynamic, whether you're doing it as something you're collaborating with on a brand, or you're doing it for a community, it makes the conversation more dynamic. Those Google+ hangouts go directly to your Youtube channel, and then it's there forever. We spliced the hangouts and made the videos about 3 minutes in length and promoted them on our blog and youtube. I found that this is the best way to enter the video space without taking too much time to produce. Choose your format, plan it, market it, moderate it and share your skills.
Media Opportunities: go local. Pitch to them, be on a segment. Alot of stations now are trying to work with bloggers. Really go after those small local segments first, and then you won't be as nervous with bigger brands. take advantage of opportunities and use it to hone your skills.