On today’s podcast, we’re going to talk about one the most exciting, rewarding opportunities available to businesses.
Are you looking to build your authority? Expand your reach? And/or engage with your customers on a deeper level?
One way to do all of the above is by producing regular news style video updates about your industry. These are daily, weekly or monthly videos, that contain:
- The latest, most important news about your industry;
- Tips and specialty information to help your audience;
- and different ways of using your services or products to get maximum value.
These type of business videos help to build your authority and credibility, and position you and your business as experts. They also familiarise your audience with you, reveal your personality, and over time, will help the audience to feel like they actually know you. It’s one of the most powerful video marketing strategies out there.
To give his in-depth thoughts on the subject, I’ve invited James Schramko on to the Web Video Marketing Show. James owns Superfast Business, an internet marketing operation with around eighty staff, that offers a range of products and services such as web design, traffic, software, information products, and training forums. When it comes to effective video marketing strategies, he’s the man to talk to, as video has yielded him some incredibly powerful results. I’m going to ask James to share some of the results that he’s been getting, so that you can think about how you can apply these same ideas into your business.
If you’re considering implementing a news video strategy in your business, or want to ramp up what you’re doing already, use this interview as a case study to fast track your results.
Ryan: Welcome to the Web Video Marketing Show here with Ryan. Today, we’re going to talk about one of the most exciting and rewarding opportunities available to businesses looking to build your authority, expand your reach, and to engage with your customers on a deeper level.
I’m talking about producing regular news style video updates about your industry. It’s a short daily, weekly, or monthly videos containing the latest news about your industry, tips and inside information to help your audience, and ways of them using your service or product to get maximum value. These types of videos build your authority and credibility and position you as the expert. They also familiarise your audience with you, reveal your personality, and over time, will help your audience to feel like they actually know you.
Today, I’ve invited James Schramko onto the Web Video Marketing Show to talk about this topic. James owns Superfast Business which is a substantial internet marketing business with around 80 staff and they offer a range of products and services including web design, traffic, software, information products, and training forums. James has actually implemented this web video marketing strategy into his business, and it’s yielded some really powerful results. I’m going to ask James to share some of the results that he’s been achieving. Think about how you can apply these same ideas into your business.
I’m also going to ask James to talk us through the exact process he went through to set up this system in his business: From when he first have the idea, choosing equipments, challenges along the way, and advice for people who plan on doing the same thing. If you’re considering implementing a news video strategy in your business, or you want to ramp up what you’re doing already, use this interview as a case study to fast track your results.
James, thank you very much for joining me today on the show.
James: It’s my pleasure Ryan. It’s good to catch-up.
Ryan: James, what is it about video? I mean videos have been around for a while but it seems like really in the last year or two, video marketing has gained a lot of momentum. What caused you personally to embrace video and use it as such a key part of your strategy?
James: I think it’s really a powerful media channel. We see that a big movie attracts people to go to the cinemas. Even from the time, way back before television, people used to be drawn into the cinemas to watch the showreels of the news each week. This is an ingrained habit of humans over the last few decades. I wanted to tap into that.
Then when you consider that sites like YouTube which are owned by Google, it’s the third busiest website and the second biggest search engine on the planet. It makes sense for me to be exactly where my customers are in the same media format that they like to consume.
Ryan: Absolutely! It’s really not something new. People have enjoyed consuming information like this for a long time. It just seems like in the last year or two, people are really starting to embrace it.
James: I think the big shift in the last year or two is that the pioneers have had significant success with it causing a lot of people to figure that they should be doing it as well. The pioneers have had success with it because now you don’t need a quarter of a million dollars worth of studio gear to be able to publish information like this.
Now, it’s within reach of anybody.
Ryan: We can now walk past the pioneers carefully stepping past the arrows in their backs, make the most of the information that we now have and really harness this medium. We’re going to be talking about news style videos. Some of the listeners will already be very familiar with your news videos but there’s others who are hearing you for the first time.
Can you describe the types of videos you make just so it’s completely clear to the audience what we’re talking about here?
James: In the simplest terms, I make a three to five minute video everyday or two talking to my three main groups of people who I want to reach. It is simply a news format where I update them about what’s going on and I also let them know what else I have that might be of interest to them so it’s got an educational component. It’s a got a tip in there and then a call to action which is usually to do something whether it’s for themselves or whether it’s to go and check out something that I have or even just to comment on the video.
It’s a high frequency, very consistent video that goes out. The main people that I’m appealing to are prospects, so that is people who have found my website that have not yet purchased, and the idea is for them to become familiar and to trust me. The other group that I am dealing with are current existing customers who are already paying for something and I’m updating them with what they’re getting for their dollars so that they feel like they’re cared for. The third group who I’m catering for in the same exact video are people who may have purchased something before but would like to stay current and find out what else we’ve got so that they can reactivate their purchase.
Ryan: Okay, cool. Before we go into the process of how you’ve actually implemented the strategy, can you describe the types of results you’ve been getting? I know this has been a really successful strategy for you and I think it’s important for the audience to realize just how powerful the results of this type of strategy can be when it’s done right.
James: Since I’ve taken on the video thing, and let’s call it … so it’s seven or eight months worth of doing this, I’ve been able to direct the majority of my marketing focus into this activity.
One thing that it’s done is simplify my marketing. I used to do a lot of other things. I had affiliate programs and I had separate advertising components. Now, I just have to focus on making one core video everyday or two and that aligns my business. I have obviously a technical process for making that roll out but it activates many of the other marketing activities that I used to do separately. Now the feeder for that is just making the video and the rest is triggered from that one event. It simplified things.
In terms of actual results, I know that I’ve had over 50,000 views of these videos on my YouTube channel. The majority of those are embedded on my website. I’ve also built up my subscriber list. I’m getting double digit opt-ins every single day so that might be a dozen or 15 or 20 or 30 opt-ins everyday to my website on the promise of getting more videos just like that.
I get about 1,200 podcast downloads everyday from the iTunes version which I strip off the video. Because I’m already making a video and because I’m focusing on the quality of the audio, it’s perfect for an iTunes broadcast. That’s something that should be considered. I’m also getting about 35,000 page views on my site each month. That means there’s over a thousand page views per day on my website.
Basically, I’m generating activity. I’m aligning my focus. I’ve made my job easier but it’s a far more powerful impact. The telltale signs that it’s very successful are firstly, my business is making more sales than ever even in a traditionally quiet part of the year. Secondly, anytime I asked a feedback, it doesn’t just come from one channel. I get it in about five different places and that’s a remarkable thing. It means I really am everywhere where my customers are. They give me feedback wherever I put the video. It could be in the forum. It could be in the YouTube. It could be on the blog where I’ve embedded it. It could be just hitting reply to an email or it could be on my Facebook where I embed the video.
Having that one place of central content allows me to put it in so many different places that I can have a continual conversation with my perfect customer.
Ryan: Okay, cool. There’s obviously massive benefits of using this type of strategy and I think if anyone was in any doubt, those figures and that information speaks for itself. I mean that being said, my sense is that for many listeners, they already get this in theory, but they’re experiencing a lot of resistance in getting the ball rolling and sustaining momentum. I’d like to talk about some of the common blockages that people have in breathing life into this video marketing strategy.
A common one is that people are often intimidated to put themselves out there. What can you say to people that might help them overcome their inhibitions?
James: I guess when you start trying something new, there is that fear of rejection. If you understand the nature of that fear and that it is an old sack that’s there from pre-historic times, it’s from when we were cavemen and it may not be relevant anymore, the worst that could happen is that someone doesn’t like it. What you actually want is for someone not to like it because if someone doesn’t like it, you’re probably making something that someone else does like.
You actually want to polarize people little bit so it’s okay not to please everyone. If you come around to the fact that the consequences of putting out a really bad video, assuming you’re not putting out a hype video like that thing that was out recently, but if you’re making an honest attempt to put out something reasonable and you don’t please everyone, well that’s not going to end your life. It’s just means you haven’t hit your target market if the people that you want to like it don’t like it.
There’s another investment and experience on the journey towards making something that people like, but you can’t please everyone all the time. In fact, you won’t. The people who you won’t please much at all are probably your competitors and people who feel a little bit jealous that you’re doing this and they’re not. Occasionally, you might get a nasty comment, but that’s just how it is. If you want proof of that, go and have a look at the video like Gangnam Style which has been viewed over a billion times.
You could say that it’s been fairly successful but there’ll probably be some negative comments and some haters and bad reviews on that video as well as people who love it. Just take some comfort in that fact. You can’t always please everyone and you shouldn’t try to.
Ryan: I think that observation about this almost instinctual thing like a throwback to cavemen times, it’s almost like there’s an instinct that might have worked well thousands of years ago but no longer does now because the consequences of not being approved of or being ostracized within a group would have gone right down to your survival or not. Now, it’s more just your ego. It sounds like you need to have a little bit of a thick skin, but actually in some ways, if you are getting some of that negative feedback, that’s a positive thing because it means firstly the people are listening and also you’re polarizing the audience. It’s interesting enough for people to actually respond.
James: Yes, because you’ve actually got their attention enough to even watch it and comment. That’s a breakthrough in today’s society. To have someone’s attention is an asset.
Ryan: For sure. Now I think another big one that people often cite for not getting going is whether they are actually interesting enough or have enough interesting content to share on an ongoing basis. What advice would you have for people in this situation?
James: I might be too honest to that. The big one that comes up is how could I get all these ideas to make a video all the time? If you tuned in to your audience and listening to them, you’ll have a laundry list of problems that you can solve through your video. If you’re taking the news approach, it’s really just joining in on the discussion out there and you can bring in information from various sources. My big suggestion is have the information come to you and that could be just monitoring news boards, forums, other news releases, and also listening to your customers and finding out what problems and struggles they have because that will give you a list of things to talk about.
In terms of making it interesting enough, if you take a problem solving approach, then it should be interesting to your perfect customer because people buying solutions and if you can be the person with the answers, then that is interesting to the person who has the problem even if it’s not interesting to everyone. It will be interesting to the right person.
Ryan: I like to think of it as almost like a service way of summarizing the most information on a very specialized topic and saving the people the time and effort and trouble it might take for them to go and find all that themselves and serving it up in a really easy way. That’s where I’m providing value because I’m giving people the information that they need without having to go out and find it all themselves by trial and error.
James: That is exactly right. You are saving people time and money in many cases with good information.
Ryan: Another big one for people, something that often stops them, is that they can be shocked or sometimes mortified when they see the results of their first face to camera efforts. It’s funny because in so many other aspect of life, we accept the fact that there’s a learning curve to things and a bit of journey to mastery, but for some reason with video, often people expect themselves to be instantly good and they can lose heart when they see their first efforts or maybe even just convince themselves that they’re no good at it. It’s a common reaction.
How can people break through this type of thinking?
James: I think just remember a time when you are trying something new and it took a while to get good. Although there’s ideas such as it takes 10,000 hours to be at world level of anything, think about when you were born, it takes a while to pick up English. It takes a number of years. In fact, it takes a number of years until you can go to the bathroom without having nappies.
If you would put it in that context, it’s a pretty fast learning curve to be able to make a decent quality video compared to many of the other things you’ve already achieved in your life that took a way, way longer.
Ryan: Yes, absolutely. I mean hopefully we’ve now diffused some of these much common reasons that holding people back. Now, I like you to take us back to, what was it, about a year ago when you first started your news video strategy? I’d like, if you could go through step by step how you got it off the ground and built it. I think this a perfect opportunity for listeners to benchmark your success and use this as a kind of case study to build their own news video marketing strategy.
You’re not going right back to the start when you chose this news video format. Do you remember when you first have the idea? What set it off or what was your thinking at that time?
James: The funny thing is it wasn’t just a year ago. I actually started this a few years ago and I did because I was inspired by other people doing it and I had freshly read the book “Crush It!” by Gary Vaynerchuk who really was a pioneer with his Wine Library TV show. Some of the obstacles I had then I couldn’t solve at the time and I stopped doing it. If you would look back at my original videos which is still on my James Schramko channel on YouTube, you’ll see that I had problems with lighting and sound.
I live at the beach at the time and I was continually getting winds noise and I was trying to make this with a flip cam. The wind noise and the lighting and the production values were making me feel as though it was too much of a challenge and I didn’t get into the regular habit. I made about eight or nine of these and then went on holidays and then stopped. It was only years later that I started again.
This time, I made a dedicated effort to learn more about the technology side of it so that I could quickly transition from the equipment that I had through to getting to a video that I was happy with that I felt that would represent my brand values more because in the meantime, my businesses added an extra seven figures of income and also expectation goes up from my customer base. I feel so they expect more from me than they would have a few years ago.
Ryan: You were no doubt delivering good content, but the way it was delivered sounds like it wasn’t making the grade. It just wasn’t up to par with everything else that you were doing and it was almost detracting … the technical side is detracting from your brand. Is that right?
James: Yes, the technical side was being a frustration. I was using a Kodak Zed I8 with an external lapel mike. The picture quality was okay. However, I didn’t know much about lighting and so I knew to have good sounds and I knew to have lighting. It was having problems with the sound coming through one channel and I was having lighting issues like shadows around my eyes, like the skull look … It was really then I started asking experts more about lighting and sound.
It turned out that where I wanted to go was a DSLR camera. I figured that that was going to get me a much nicer looking sharp with that blurry background, then it was a matter of learning how to use that and then refining my education around things like composition, sound quality and lighting. It’s only after about six months of just chopping away at it, trying different settings, going for the fully manual, back to fully automatic, (laughs), about eight different pieces of equipment to finally get a setup that I find is easy to use, gets a good quality look and it’s easy for me to repeat over and over again consistently.
I’ve built it into my routine and I’ve just got my core pieces of equipment that get the job done depending on the situation.
Ryan: Okay, cool. That’s really interesting if we look at the challenges that you experienced the first time around compared to the second time. You still had technical challenges the second time but it sounds like you’re much better prepared to deal with them. You had better access to equipment, better access to information, and more of a plan and a commitment to work through those challenges as the technical quality improved.
I’m thinking for people who are about to start this and thinking, “Gee, there’s a big learning curve of trying to shoot a video and I was pretty unhappy with the quality,” it sounds like the people on that situation, getting access to information like an information product about how to shoot better video or going on to the forum or speaking to experts is going to be the best way for them overcome those challenges.
James: Yes. If they can get to where I’m at now in the shortest possible route, they would save themselves buying additional equipment they don’t need and they would get there very quickly. I mean I can show someone now, I can tell them the exact things that I use for equipment, the minimum amount of equipment, and then I can show them how to use it. I did this at my house once in a workshop and it was easy for them to understand and they can go out. Within one day, they’re filming high quality videos compared to the learning curve that I took.
Ryan: Cool! Can you run as quickly through the equipment setup that you have?
James: Absolutely. I’m using the Canon 60D body. I have a Canon 50mm 1.8 lens which is that fixed-focus lens and it gets a nice blurry background. I have a Polaroid filter on it because I film outside a lot. I had an RC-6 remote control which allows me to autofocus and then record and stop automatically so I can film my own videos. I have a really sturdy Manfrotto tripod. That’s what I‘m suing to record the video.
For the sound, after testing all the different things, I’m most comfortable with the Zoom H4n portable recorder and I literally just set that up on a second tripod just underneath the shot right near me, and I film straight into that device without any extra bits. That is my minimum equipment that gets me the maximum result. I end up with two SD cards: one for sound, one for picture. I marry them up in ScreenFlow when I’m editing.
I use ScreenFlow because I can also just blend in screenshots from … because of the type of work I do, I tend to have a lot of illustrations and it’s better to have video than stock images. That’s what I edit with. Also that will allow me to do green screen these days as well. I have one editing tool to keep it simple and I’m able to marry up the audio and video. The sound is good and the picture is good.
Ryan: There’s a couple of things that you mentioned there with your equipment that I bet really help. The fact that the camera has a flip-out screen when you’re filming yourself, it’s so much easier to see yourself and set up the framing. If listeners are thinking about camera purchases, a DSLR with a flip-out screen is going to make your life a lot easier.
The other thing you mentioned is the RC-6 remote control and I think that there’s not a lot of people who are actually using that, but again, it just makes your life so much easier because you can get focus. Now focus isn’t all that easy on a DSLR camera so something like that where you can get focus while you’re sitting down facing the camera just make your life so much easier and save yourself a lot of hassles of recording, realizing it’s out of focus and then having to do it again.
James: I’m recording by myself nine times out of ten so I need to be able to have this setup to be self-sufficient. (Laughs) The great thing about using the zoom on a second tripod is that I can now actually autofocus with the remote and then walk over to the camera and check that it’s focused on me and then walk back to my mark which is standing just behind the tripod.
Ryan: All those little tricks then become part of your routine and it starts to become seamless and you go into that routine and then you can just focus more and more on the content and not have to get hang up on the technical side.
James: I’m just down to two batteries now. I just have to make sure the camera battery is charged and that my zoom has battery. I literally pick up the two tripods. I walk outside about five meters, put them down, set the camera to on, and turn the zoom on, flip-out the lens, get the remote, autofocus, set the audio, record the video, just turn them both off, pick them up, and walk back inside.
I can now do my three to five minute video in about seven to eight minutes.
Ryan: That’s awesome! Now, most people listening will probably be aware of the zoom which is a small digital audio recording device, but for the people who are not, the main reason that we use it is because DSLR videos don’t record great sounds. James is talking about recording sound separately into a portable audio recorder and then connecting it up in the edit.
Now James, we’ve talked about the technical side which it sounds like you’ve got worked out pretty well. Thinking about presenting, you look pretty comfortable in front of the camera. Have you got any tip or tricks for people to help them become more comfortable in front of the camera and just present in a more relaxed, natural sort of way?
James: I think the easiest thing is to just video yourself and watch it back. You’ll get a completely different result than practicing in front of a mirror because we don’t often speak to mirrors. We do sound and look different to what we think, so by filming yourself and then playing it back, filming yourself and playing it back, you start to notice your own nervous ticks, your um’s and uh’s, you’re eye twitches or nose rubs, and you can pay attention to the way the light looks on your face and what’s in the background.
For me, it’s just a matter of being on camera. I am cheating a little bit because about 20 years ago, I did an acting course for about four or five years. Every single week, we got a script and then filmed it and it was time on the camera. I have no trouble speaking in front of a crowd or going on camera and that is just because I’ve done it over and over again and it’s now not a problem. Perhaps, it’s partly because I realized that it’s just a video camera and me. If I don’t like it, I can just re-record it. I can do it again and again until I get one take because the end user only sees what you permit them to see.
It’s not like a live performance. You just keep filming until you get something you’re happy with and then just present that pace. They never see the outtakes unless you put them in there, of course.
Ryan: There’s a lot of techniques that you can use, but it sounds like the main thing you’re saying is just practice. Just keep on practicing and watching what you’re doing and improve little parts. The more you can hang in there, the better it’s going to get.
James: Exactly. Time in front of the camera will actually make you better at being in front of the camera.
Ryan: Do you remember how you felt the first time you saw one of the videos that you filmed of yourself?
James: I couldn’t believe that I had a lisp when I was tired and that I kept rubbing my eyebrows, sort of itchy and I’m thinking how distracting is that. (Laughs) That was one of my first recollections. Then, of course, you look at other things like in the last few years, I might look at a video back and go, “Oh jeez, I look really fat in that t-shirt or I can see my double chin. I may have to raise the camera up a few inches.” You start to get a little pickier about what you present to the audience.
Then there’s times when … what we haven’t talked about yet is the times when I’m using different equipment and that will primarily be an iPhone or an iPad mini when I’m travelling. It seems that my audience permit me to use different equipment when I travel and they don’t discount me for having worse sound or picture because they really appreciate that I might be taking this video in front of a famous landmark or that I’ve bothered to send them a video even when I’m on a holiday.
That’s another thing that I’ve been experimenting with. On those occasions, I’m really not as worried about how I look on the camera. It’s just a real natural, “Hey, you’re coming with me on this journey shop, so I changed the production values a little bit.”
Ryan: Yes, I mean it’s great to have really high-quality videos but there’s also a point for immediacy and spontaneity and special access. The more interesting the video is the less people are concerned about the technical quality.
Ryan: All right, cool. I notice one of the other things that you do is it seems like just about every video you do is in a different location. Why is that?
James: I want to keep it interesting for people. I get really bored when I watch people’s videos with the same set. When I listen to podcast, there’s this famous podcaster at the moment who has exactly the same set of questions for every single person he interviews. It’s effing boring. It’s so boring. I just like I’m shouting at it when I’m listening to him like, “Come on, ask a different question, please.”
It’s really my creative, so I’d be coming out perhaps where I just want to mix it up. I want something interesting. I want some intrigue there. I don’t think it takes away from the video. I think it just makes it more interesting for people, like they almost log on see where am I today?
Ryan: Do you think that can be a risk of the audience maybe becoming bored with this format like for instance, when you look at TV, a television show might last a season or a few episodes and get axed or maybe will for a few seasons if it’s really popular. What do you think is the key for longevity with a format like this?
James: One of the case is the news factor. Because it’s news you never know what I’m going to talk about. It’s not straight out training that can be left and come back to later. I do blend that in there but the news element means it’s timely and we consume news. I think in my case, the reason people still stick and watch each episode is they want to know what’s new.
Ryan: That makes a lot of sense because if you look at the new format on TV since TV has been running, it really hasn’t changed that much. It’s not so subject to fashion or being a gimmick or a passing phase, it’s something that’s, like you say, timely but also timeless. Perhaps for that reason, this strategy is also more of a sustainable long-term thing.
James: Yes, I’m pretty sure every major TV station has a news update at least daily, and some of it have it every hour. It is not going to go out of fashion.
Ryan: James, when you look at … there’s plenty of other people now doing this sort of format, what do you notice as being the most common mistakes, or for people who are about to start doing this, what are the most obvious things that you’re seeing other people doing that if people can avoid, they’re just going to do a whole lot better?
James: Now that I’m aware of it, I can easily spot. If someone is dead in the centre of the screen, I know they don’t know about the composition, the rule of the thirds. The other major offense is usually sound qualities. Shocking on first timers.
Ryan: That’s actually something that’s pretty easily remedied.
James: It is as soon as you know about, I mean like a way to stand on the screen is extremely easy to remedy. The most amateur video is they just square on in the middle of the screen. Usually, they’ll be sound buffeting or just low quality. Because I consume a lot of my videos through high quality headsets and high quality speakers, I notice that probably more than some people. A lot of people are watching things on their iPad and they’re getting that good quality sound straight to their eardrums, so I would focus on sound more than most people are now that I’m aware of how important that is. That’s why I go to the effort to record it separately.
Ryan: I notice the technical quality of your videos keeps on improving and I mean you know why I believe that high quality polished video is important. We’ve spoken about that before and it’s definitely something I speak a lot of about on this show. How important is it to you? I mean why do you keep on trying to up the quality of your production values?
James: We’ve established that it’s easy for anyone to get online and make videos. Where I see my advantage is that I’ve got the time and the resource to make a better quality video. If you look out there at the benchmarks, I’ll give you an example. There’s a lady who puts out high-quality videos called Marie Follo. Her video is a really high-quality production and they look high quality production. I think that helps her brand value go up in the eyes of her customers. They probably prepare to invest in her more because she has high-quality videos.
I think it’s important for the same reason you have a production video service. People want to present themselves in the best light possible. I’m prepared to move towards that direction as long as I can still keep nimble and not get overburdened with it. I’ve found a good compromise, I guess, of quality versus time invested to getting that extra quality. I think that’s a way for me to stand up above all the rest of the people who are now making videos, and those people standing above all the people who don’t make videos.
You can pick your position in the market. I’m not at the point where I want to hire someone out and video me everyday because I think that might be impractical. I don’t have an office environment. If I had an office and I had staff, then I would probably just hire someone in-house and I’d set up the studio and just have it happen everyday.
Because I’m filming it myself at home, then I’ve got the best that I can get from a [high-end] studio perspective without spending hundreds of thousands that’s going to get me at a level that’s above the average and where my brand feels most comfortable. I continually work on that and I expect that my video production values will increase even more as I get fussier and pickier about how I want to be presented.
Ryan: That makes a lot of sense. You keep on innovating and keep on pushing the production values to stay ahead of your competitors and keep offering your audience something interesting and showing that you are evolving.
Have you got some new ideas for 2013? Are there some different things that you want to try?
James: Yes. See, the biggest innovations I had this year, probably was when I interviewed you for my other podcast and you touched on the key essentials of sound, lighting, and composition. That really helped me bring my quality up. I think my next 2013 ambition would be to have Ryan come to my house and show me how to use my own equipment better than I can use it. I know that it’s down to the way that I’m using the equipment, it’s not the quality of the equipment I’ve got. I’m sure that I can make a great video with the equipment that I’ve got.
Now, it’s to have someone come and show me exactly how to use it. I’m going to see if I can engineer that somehow.
Ryan: I look forward to the chance to do that. That’s a really good point that you raised actually because people can go on a really long journey trying to gather all the bits of information from forums and books and cobble information together where often there’s one or two people that you know that you have access to who can just fast-track that learning process and help you create a process so they can just come and help you set yourself up with that anywhere you go.
James: Ideally, they would do it at the point where they buy in the equipment. If I had been more sensible, had I known you longer, I would have gone to the shop with you and said, “Just tell me what I need to buy,” and we just go straight for the good bits. I mean I’ve got a box here, a shelf full of stuff that I don’t need. I’ve got Sony [inaudible 00:35:08], I’ve got Sennheiser wirelesses, I’ve got Rode PinMic, I’ve got NTG Shotgun mic, I’ve got two Beachteks, I’ve got about five cameras.
I don’t need all that stuff now that I know what I need. I just need my good camera and my good sound and I’m happy. It’s two pieces of equipment that above all that stuff have given me the best combination of being able to get a good quality video and sound. I’m sure that that’s all I need to take it to the next level.
Ryan: It sounds like there might be a few good deals coming up on eBay of them.
Ryan: Equipment that hasn’t been used much.
James: I swear I’m going to get the old SLR out there with a nice white backdrop and maybe a drop shade. I got the really long, actually the black, green, and white rollers. I’ll roll them right out into the garage and I’ll place all my equipment one by one and take a nice still shot and stick it up on a page for sale, absolutely.
Ryan: I’ve done that with some of my equipment recently and things that I’ve had sitting here for a really long time that I thought one day I might actually use including a 8mm film equipment. It’s great just to let that stuff go past into the hands of someone else who can make use of it. You talked about that idea of a great artist needing fewer tools and I think that’s a great strategy to just find the minimum setup that you need to create great videos and being nimble. Don’t make it about the technology. Use the technology to create great videos that really focus on the content.
James: I agree. I want the absolute least amount of things now on my business so that I can just purely focus on creating great stuff.
Ryan: You said that a few years ago, you watched the pioneers and you learned from them. Now in many ways, you’re a pioneer and these people watching and learning from you about video. The people who are listening now who are about to embark on their own new strategy or video blogs or people who’ve been doing a little bit but want to get serious about it, they’re in a really advantageous position because they can learn from you, maybe some of the mistakes and learning that you’ve made.
One of the key things that you mentioned was about finding someone who has that expertise right at the start to help you set things up. What do you think the other key things are that people right at the start now can do to just fast-track things for themselves?
James: I think the obvious one is to understand why I’ve chosen the strategy that I have and I even published that as a checklist for people. For a small sum, they can actually buy the strategy and the checklist so that they actually know what they’re using this equipment for, they know why they’re using it, they know how to do it, and when they listen to your material and the things that I have recorded with you and to podcast on your podcast, then they will know how to get better results from that equipment.
The equipment to make the video should be quite straightforward if you go straight for the good gear. At the worst case, you could just use an iPad mini and then know why are you using this video and how are you using it. That’s the important thing to get a hold off and go straight for the good stuff whether it’s committing to a weekly news video, whether it is making a series of seven of eight tips that solve problems that your customers have knowing why are you doing that and then just doing it. That’s the other step. Just get out there and do it while no one else is doing it and you will have an advantage.
Ryan: We’ve talked through the initial things that are stopping people from doing this and then we’ve gone through step by step the things that you have implemented to make this a success. Is there anything that I’ve missed out on that you think is really important in your process that would help listeners?
James: No, I think we’ve got it covered. We have agreed we should be doing it. We have talked about how you can go about it technology-wise and mentally. We’ve talked about just touched on having a strategy around it and then the fact that you actually just have to do it. I think what we should see as a result of this podcast is a budding army of video bloggers who are tapping into that video channel because it makes so much sense to do that and start building their empire.
Ryan: You mentioned that you’ve got some resources, a checklist online. Where would be a good place for people to go to learn more about you to access some of this information and actually check out some or your news video broadcast?
James: The primary site is called SuperFastBusiness.com and that is [made] doing what we’re talking about. If they want to see behind-the-scenes of that, there’s a product that I have on the Products tab there called “OwnTheRacecourse,” and that is where I go behind-the-scenes of SuperFastBusiness.com and I show the actual process of gathering news, making the video, and then syndicating that video into all the different places and having your audience find you wherever they happen to be because you can get video anywhere. I mean especially with Facebook and on your own website, but also YouTube.
Ryan: Absolutely. We’ve really focused on the production side but I know some of your resources talk about building content and syndicating content and there’s a whole lot of other elements to this to make this news strategy a success.
James, thank you so much for being on the Web Video Marketing Show. You’ve given some useful ideas about how to get a video content marketing strategy off the ground.
James: I’ve really enjoyed it. Thank you Ryan for having me.
Ryan: Awesome! All right, that’s it for this episode and I hope you’re feeling as inspired as I am after listening to James and be out there shooting your face to camera videos over the next few weeks and making this content marketing strategy a reality for you in 2013.
If you like what you’re hearing, head over to WebVideoMarketing.com and subscribe to the show. I have some awesome interviews coming up with video marketing experts and you’ll be notified as soon as a new episode goes live. Also, if you have questions about web video marketing, go to WebVideoMarketing.com and send me a question and I’ll answer it right here on the show.
We have accumulated a few listener questions already so we’ll be having a listener questions episode coming up. All right, thanks for listening. I look forward to speaking with you in a couple of week’s time.
Ryan Spanger is one of Melbourne’s most respected and sought-after video production professionals. Ryan founded Dream Engine in 2002, and specialises in helping medium to large corporates, government departments, and the non-proﬁt sector to connect with their audience more effectively by using video.