When Video ISN’T the Answer: A Lesson From Elle Woods

Is it right for video? by Paige Media on Becky Mollenkamp

Fifteen years ago, Elle Woods experienced a major disappointment. The night she had anticipated her entire life, the night she thought she’d be getting engaged to the man of her dreams came to a crashing halt when Warner dumped her instead. Cue the tears, the “lightbulb” moment, the persistent, unrelenting journey to study her way into Harvard Law School and win Warner back.

Elle is, of course, the fictional protagonist of Legally Blonde. And the moral of this story is that disappointment makes people do crazy things.

Elle Woods

My point?

Don’t be Warner!

Don’t disappoint your audience by leading them on and promising some crazy things in a video that doesn’t really deliver. It’s downright cruel (Warner was the VILLAIN, people!).

Instead, take your content ideas through a test to see if it’s really going to work for video content! As much as I hate to admit it, some content just doesn’t translate well to video. If it doesn’t, go back to the drawing board and save your time and money for content that WILL make a great video.

Today, I’m leading you over to someone else’s blog. That’s where I’ve made a guest post (AND VIDEO) about how to test your content to make sure it will work on camera.

Check it out and leave comments (I love comments!)

 

Easy Vlogging: 3 Tips to Take the Hassle Out of Shooting Video

Easy Vlogging by Paige Media

In all of my time making videos (ever since I was a wee little child with my dad’s clunky video camera), I’ve concluded two things:

  1. Making videos is not always fun or easy.
  2. But it really SHOULD be (especially now that we’re living in the once unthinkable future where nearly everyone owns a powerful palm-sized camera known as a Smart Phone).

That’s why I’m introducing a new video series all about simplifying and streamlining your video making process. I rave and rave (and rave some more) about the power of video, and I really want YOU to experience this power for yourself. I want you to see how video can make a difference for your business. I want you to become the thought leader of your industry by consistently showing up in front of your people (virtually). The way to do that is to take the mystery out of shooting video.

Let’s kick it off by teaching you how to streamline the shooting process. When shooting your videos is made easy, the rest is a breeze. Check out this week’s video to learn how to take the hassle out of shooting your vlog videos.

5 Tips for a Great Video Call-to-Action

 

5 tips for a great video call-to-action by Paige Media

Don’t leave your audience hanging. A call-to-action is the best way to wrap up a video and make it work toward your marketing efforts. Watch the video below for 5 tips to creating a great call-to-action in your video.

1. Keep it simple.

Pick one thing you want your audience to do and then guide them to do that thing. (Tweet that!) Don’t send people on a scavenger hunt around the world wide web to do a million different things for you. Pick one thing and make it clear what you want from your audience. Here are some examples:

“Subscribe to my YouTube channel”

“Comment on this blog post”

“Share your favorite cat photo”

“Follow me on Instagram”

“Sign up for my mailing list”

2. Keep it short.

The content part of your video is over. That’s what they came for. A call-to-action in your video should be one or two sentences MAXIMUM. Don’t drag it out and go off on a tangent. That’s how you lose an audience.

3. Script it.

I will generally tell you not to script your videos. The call-to-action is the only part that should be scripted. Why? Keeping it short and simple requires a very precise set of instructions. Scripting what you will say will ensure you adhere to rules 1 & 2.

4. Articulate a benefit.

Your audience is thinking, “what’s in it for me?” so make sure you talk about the benefits of following your call-to-action. Here are some examples:

“…you’ll get a free e-book”

“…VIP access to new videos”

“…regular tips & tricks for making more money”

5. Add a title.

A title over your call-to-action will emphasize your goal and show the viewer where to go next. Titles are super effective for marketing purposes because they break up the “talking head” monotony, and they ensure your audience has a clear understanding of where to go and what to do.

Have a great call-to-action on your video? Share it in the comments below!

Why Marketers LOVE Live Streaming

Why Marketers LOVE Live Streaming by Paige Media

Two weeks ago, my goofy mug (maybe it’s time for a new headshot) was plastered on the Meerkat blog for their #FeaturedFriday live streamer profile. Meerkat, for those who don’t know, is a live streaming app, sharing the market with the likes of Periscope and Blab, to give comedians, speakers, business people, celebrities, and even the average Joe a platform for presenting a slice their lives to viewers all over the world. It’s called live streaming because the feed that people watch is actually happening in real time. You can lay on your couch in New York City and watch a shirtless British man cook who cares what from his kitchen in London. Cool? Scary? Bizarre? A sign of the end of times?

Spontaneous hot air balloon live stream on Meerkat Paige Media

A spontaneous live stream from a hot air balloon festival in Moneta, Virginia

People have mixed feelings about the recent popularity boom of these apps.

And whether you love to stream, prefer to watch, or hate the idea of live streaming in the first place, I’m going to tell you live streaming is impacting the future of marketing in a big way, especially in a culture where instant gratification is the rule rather than the exception.

If you’re on the fence, here are my three reasons to start live streaming right now:

1. You don’t have to plan it.

Whereas a video shoot has to be set up, planned out, edited, etc., a live stream happens in that moment, in real time, usually without much foresight. For example, about a month ago, I sat down with two men living on the street and had a conversation with them all while live streaming on Meerkat (with their permission, of course). It was completely spontaneous, and it gave a glimpse into a very different way of life than many of us are used to. And with Meerkat, you own all your content, so you can save your streams and upload them to your YouTube channel.

2. The community is supportive!

For the most part, there are very few “trolls” out in the live streaming community. And if you find them, it’s easy to block and report them. People are very encouraging, interactive, sharing, and excited about your content. I live streamed a fairly straightforward stream talking about storytelling in business, and I got GREAT feedback from people. Here I was worried it would come off as vanilla and boring (compared to my other streams). But the encouragement I received actually motivated me to stream more often.

3. You can build a tribe.

I have a lot of recurring people who join my feed. I get to know them: their names, where they’re from, their senses of humor. Streaming helps you create human connection on a new level. It feels very sci-fi series-esque (Black Mirror, anybody?) because I have never met these people in real life. But think about virtual service-based businesses– it’s so common these days to provide a service for someone and make money without ever speaking to a human being. On Meerkat, you can schedule regular streams or “episodes” that people will subscribe to and be alerted when your stream starts.

Try it out! Do you use Meerkat? What’s your username? You can find me @paigemedia

A New Video Series for Entrepreneurs

I am so excited for this moment!

A new video series called “Rollin’ With Paige” is now LIVE, and you can watch my premiere episode RIGHT NOW.

Maybe it’s because I’ve always (not-so-secretly) wanted to be Oprah or because I’m so inspired by the talented, motivated, beautiful entrepreneurs that surround me here in New York City, but something in me said I needed to make a video series that introduces these FABulous entrepreneurs to the world and gets them SEEN.

Let me be honest and open for a second: 
It’s an unconventional path we are all taking as entrepreneurs, and because of that, it can be lonely, it can feel overwhelming, and there may be times we want to throw in that tear-soaked towel.

It is my hope that this series will teach you, inspire you, and change you in some way. It will show you that you are not the only one taking this journey, and it IS possible to lean on each other for support. So please join the community by commenting, subscribing, and sending myself and my guests all kinds of messages and feedback. We’re listening!

Ok, moment’s over. Now that that’s been said, I would love to introduce the premiere episode of Rollin’ With Paige, featuring my lovely friend Nicole Liloia. Click the video below and share the support!

Video Series for Entrepreneurs

25 Videos To Make for Your Biz

No idea what kind of video you want to make? There are LOTS of possibilities. Here are just a few.

 

I challenge you to try one of these out. You don’t need fancy equipment, your Smart Phone will work great! Share your videos in the comments.

Vicious Videos Part 3: The Edit

What time is it? EDIT TIME.

What time is it? EDIT TIME.

FINAL CUT in da’ house!!

Ok, you’re probably not as excited about editing as I am, and I know why— it’s scary (as in “WTF is this alien software” scary) and tedious (as in “I’m gonna start drinking now” tedious). But technology had made all of that a lot easier to deal with.

So let’s easeeee into this with some cool ways to edit your videos:

  • Directr: No, that’s not a typo. With Directr, you can make simple, clear business videos using just your iPhone. It’s pretty amazing what those little devices can do. In complete honesty, I’ve never tried Directr, but they just came out with this version for businesses, and I’ve heard great things about it for people just starting out in biz videos. If you try it, let me know.
  • Animoto: If you hate editing, why not have someone else do it for you? You can send them pictures and video clips, and Animoto will create a clean video complete with licensed music. Done and done!
  • iMovie: It comes free with your Mac. It’s fairly straightforward. And it does the job. Unlike Directr where everything is done on your phone, you will have to upload video footage from your phone or a camera to the computer to use iMovie. But they have such cute demo videos of families playing on the beach, so how can you go wrong? They also have intro templates to add some visual animation to your video, and text options as well. If you want some control over the edit, and you’re just starting out, this is the place to be.
  • Final Cut v. Adobe Premiere: Ahhh, the age old question (for video nerds like me). It is one of my personal philosophies that “once you go Mac, you never go back”, so I almost feel like a traitor when I tell you that I use Adobe to edit my videos. Sorry, Steve Jobs. Both programs have a similar interface. But Adobe Premiere is slightly superior. But I digress. If you’re looking for software to make your videos professional and clean, either program will work.

 

And just for you, loyal reader, here are three editing tips to help you make kickass videos for your biz:

  • Keep the edits tight. Limit the long periods of dead space in between. Once a scene stops being interesting, cut it there, and maybe a second before.
  • Add B-Roll. This is the industry term for footage that is sandwiched in between clips of the main subject. Let’s say a guy is talking about how he is a world class sprinter. You would show him talking, then B-Roll of him running (while his voice from the interview continues), and then his interview again.
  • Transitions are part of the story. Corny transitions dilute the credibility of your video and your biz. Stick to simple transitions that help move the story along. A cross dissolve transition, for example, will represent the passing of time. A fade out will represent the end of something.

So you feel ready to try editing now? If you are still unsure, sign up for my mailing list. I have tons more editing tips where these came from to help you market the crap out of your sexy biz.

Sign up here!

Vicious Videos Part 2: Shooting

So you’ve got the basics in place and now you’re ready to get to the fun part: shooting. (YAY!) I’m assuming you plan to make your videos on your own, without an assistant behind the camera. So these tips are for you.

  1. Don’t strive for perfection. If you try to be perfect in videos, you won’t get them done!
  2. Plan the script. This is another blog post within itself, but the key is to have a clear message and a plan behind what you’re going to say.
  3. Use a tripod and leave the camera there. Here’s a really cool DIY tripod if you don’t want to invest in one: http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Bottle-Cap-Tripod
  4. Frame the shot. Make it pretty. Rule of thirds is your friend.
  5. Choose your angle. Straight ahead or a little above you and angled down is the most flattering.
  6. Focus. Use your pillow friend (see video) to get sharp focus on your subject.
  7. Breathe. Oxygen is good. Lack of oxygen is not.
  8. Have a blast. Pretend the camera is your best friend.

Can’t wait to see what kind of videos everyone makes. Share them with me and subscribe to my mailing list for lots more video shenanigans!

Vicious Video Series: Three Basics of GREAT Videos

Spoiler alert: video content is huge and it’s taking over the internet. We all know it. Come on, how many videos have you already watched today?

Video is such a fun and effective marketing tool, so it’s a shame that so many entrepreneurs are too scared to even go there. No longer, sister! In this ongoing series, I’m going to break it down, step-by-step, and walk you through the process to create some super vicious videos to kick off your video marketing. This series will build on itself as we go, so follow along because you don’t need a professional crew and a massive budget to create great online videos for your business. 

To begin the series, these are the three FOUNDATIONS of any video. If you don’t have these three things in place, posting a video is useless and will probably do more harm than good.

1. Audio Ask any filmmaker for the most important elements of good video, and one of their first answers will be “sound”. Bad sound = unwatchable video. When you are shooting, speak clearly into the camera’s microphone, but not too loud. Audio that is too soft can be just as bad as audio that’s blown out. Think Goldilocks! It may take you a couple of tries to get it just right, but I promise you it makes all the difference.

Also, be aware of background noise AKA ambient noise. Air conditioners, car horns, sirens, people talking– all of that can be really distracting when watching a video.

2. Light Unless you’re making an M. Night Shyamalan movie (which you’re not), TURN ON THE LIGHTS. If you’re shooting outside, avoid direct sunlight. It’s too harsh and can make you look washed out. If you’re shooting inside, turn on a bunch of lights, move lamps around, do whatever you can to get your subject well-lit.

Just like ambient noise can be distracting, so too can awkward shadows. Be aware of shadows on your subject or on the background. A good way to avoid harsh shadows is to diffuse the light source by using a lamp shade or a piece of paper over the light (that’s a little hack I use– just don’t start any fires, please).

3. Energy Video is a tool for communication. If you are tired or lazy or boring, that tells me that your business is tired, lazy, and boring. No one wants to tell THAT story. You want to know my secret? I put on my favorite song (currently Pharrell’s “Happy”…sometimes I mix in some Ke$ha) and dance for a few minutes. It releases all those little happy endorphin-powered feelings, and boosts my energy.

When shooting, make sure you breathe (you wouldn’t believe how often people forget to do this) and SMILE. Bring the feelings you want to communicate to your audience. What you say is secondary to the energy you give off.

To continue following this Vicious Video Series, enter your email below and get a delicious ebook that breaks down how to create engaging videos.

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