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When Junior Mapesone commented, “That’s in front of my house in Manono,” on one of my first travel videos from Samoa, my first thought was, “Wow! Someone watched my video!” By the time I did my Monwya Night Market video and received the comment, “I miss my city,” I realized that I was helping people with my videos, in this case with remembering neighborhoods and family members who sometimes they could not visit.
Connect with Lisa: Watch her Monwya Night Market video above.
People were not only watching but also helping me in my travels. I received a correction on how to spell someone’s aunt’s name in Samoa and heard about the best ice cream parlor near a location in one of our videos.
When I meet with clients about social media, we often talk about YouTube as the second largest search engine on the planet. Many people have concerns about and are intimidated by making videos. I highly recommend Lisa Lubin’s book, Video 101: Tips & Tricks for Awesome Visual Storytelling. Her tips are very practical, and she is an award-winning filmmaker with years of news and television experience.
Tips from her book include:
• “Shoot and Move: Do move yourself and your camera when not filming.”
• “Vary your shots: Vary angles, and focal length. Get low. Get high.”
• “Let your camera do what we don’t normally do in real life: We don’t get too close to people (unless we are about to hug or kiss them). Let the camera invade personal space.”
Lubin’s No. 1 rule is to get sound.
“Videos are nothing without great natural sound,” Lubin writes. “Too many people think of sound as secondary. It is not. It is just as important as good video.”
Lubin’s shooting tips and editing tips tear sheets are full of helpful hints that you can bring with you on a shoot or into the editing room.
Jason G. Miles’ series of books on social media have changed my strategies. His book Instagram Power assisted me in going from zero to over 1000 followers in three months. I found another of his books, YouTube Marketing Power: How to Use Video to Find More Prospects, Launch Your Products, and Reach a Massive Audience, full of ideas that you can easily take advantage of.
Miles’ advice to tap into YouTube’s massive social network is: “Do something specific, consistent and excellent.”
My experience matches one of his quotes: “Your videos are, in essence, a conversation with your viewers, so be authentic and engage your viewers. Even if you only end up with one subscriber, you may never know the difference you are making in that one individual’s life.”
I like his reminder that videography does not have to be hard work but simply a commitment to “publish more frequently. Have more conversations.”
One of the most common mistakes he sees among business owners is that they undervalue YouTube as “a legitimate platform” and give up because they don’t see immediate results.
“Making online content is a long-term investment and should be treated as such,” Miles writes.
I agree with Miles that there is no “secret sauce,” but the dedication and effort to make great content that people want to share is worth it. Your videos can drive traffic and results for years. I have over 280 videos on my YouTube channel and 230,000 views. I started with a Flip video camera and 10 minutes of instruction from a fifth grader. Taking the first step is always the hardest part of any project.