Rather than making a video where you tell people to buy your book, it’s much better to make a video describing how your business operates, and why the type of business in general is a good business to be in. Subtlety always works better than beating people over the head with a sales promotion. Give your viewers something of value and they may return the favor.
For variety, and to broaden my appeal, sometimes I make a video designed simply to inspire people. I tell stories from my life that have inspiring messages, or describe ways that I find inspiration in my own life. In general, the better people know you, the more likely they are to become a customer.
2.) Keep it Short and Entertaining
Many videos on YouTube are long and boring, when they should be quick and fun. I keep my videos short, and I try to include humor in them. I will tell a story that has recently happened to me, or use something that I have recorded in my “humor” notebook, where I record quips or jokes that I have come across.
3.) No Adlibbing
To make sure that I come across as professionally as possible, I write a script before I start recording. The script doesn’t have to be word for word what you plan to say, but just an outline so that you know the key points that you want to make. I always try to include quotes from famous people, and, of course, humor and stories.
Unless you’re Jay Leno, don’t try to adlib your way through a video. It just won’t look as good as you think it does. Think, “nose piercing.”
4.) Break it up into Pieces
Now I do my videos in segments. I will look at my script and decide what I want to say about one key point. I record myself talking about that one point. Then I stop the camera and study the next key point, and so on.
Try to look right into the camera, and speak in a friendly voice as though you were talking to your best friend.
5.) Don’t Overanalyze
Don’t try to overanalyze making videos. As Douglas Adams said,
If you try and take a cat apart to see how it works, the first thing you have on your hands is a non-working cat.
What’s my motivation?
My First Video
For the first video that I made (where I was actually on screen), I was so nervous that I actually wrote out the entire script and read it into the camera. I had my son, Bryan, holding the script next to the camera so that it wouldn’t look like I was reading it.
My son commented, “Surely, people will know that you are just reading.”
I said, “No way. I’ll read it like I talk. And don’t call me Shirley!”
Bryan was right. It did kind of look like I was reading.
At the end of the video, I was going to stand up and walk away down a peaceful rural path with my dog Blackie (the Wonder Dog), and I got tangled up in the microphone wire. And, the camera pan was jerky as I walked away. The video was unraveling into a Three Stooges experience, but none of that mattered. All that mattered was I somehow got the first video finished and posted.
I did this video before I started using an editing program so, like live TV, we had to get it all on one take.
Here is that first live video, warts and all, entitled “Walk Away From Your Problems and Find Inspiration.”
Two Alternatives to Using a Movie Camera
1. For the Camera Shy
If you really do not wish to appear in a video, you can still produce videos. You can use Easy Screen Capture Video, or ESCV (or any number of similar companies) and just do a voice over of a power point presentation, or use screen shots. It’s amazingly simple to do. You don’t even need a camera.
Here is the first video that I made using the ESCV technology, entitled “Start a Fixer Upper and Rental House Business” (which, looking back seems to run too long).
2. The Economical Way
If you want to do it the cheap and easy way, you can just record your videos using an video camera attached to your computer. I have a Logtech camera that captures sound and video. It clips onto the top of my screen and plugs into a USB port of my computer.
We’re Not Filming “War and Peace”
It’s tempting to think, “I don’t want to show this video to the world until it’s perfect.” Come on, you’re not Quentin Tarantino. We’re not aiming for a masterpiece here. You have to swallow your pride, and just put the video on YouTube, even if it has a few flaws.
People will overlook mistakes, especially if you have good content. My attitude is: my videos are not great, but I’m getting better each time I make another one. The more videos I make the better I get.
In this later video, “The Secret to Success in Less than 2 Minutes.” I employed several of the techniques that I have mentioned. It’s my most popular video with 3,200 views.
Camera and Editing
The camera that I use to record video is the Kodak Zi8. It’s small, easy to use and makes very clear videos. I also recommend that you have a tripod, a remote control, an external microphone, and an 8 GB flash memory card.
For editing, I use Windows Live Movie Maker, which is free if you have Windows. It allows you to cut and paste your video, and add music and titles.
Show People How to Do It!
Most people don’t want to waste time reading how to fix a leaky sink, or repair a car lock, or start a real estate business. They want to see how to do it!
They go to YouTube for answers.
That’s why your videos should be there.
This week’s recommended articles from the blogosphere:
I recently received several emails and even a postcard from a marketing guru.
He is promoting a new book publishing program where, he says, “REAL multi-millionaires show you how to become THE thought leader by sharing your wisdom and content.”
His postcard reads:
“GET PUBLISHED. GET PAID.
Fair WARNING: If your content creation, distribution, and monetization strategy sucks, you’ll be a broke, unknown expert forever. If your content strategy is smart, distinct, ubiquitous, and automated, you could be a famous millionaire who inspires the world. Your call.”
The card directs you to an on-line video sales pitch, where you see that he is offering a 3-day seminar where you will learn all you need to know to publish your book, for a cost of $10,000 dollars.
Lemme get this straight. We can learn all we need to know in just 3 days?
Take a 3 day swallow for $10,000
Where do we sign up?
Alas, this sales pitch is an un-holy marriage of fact and fantasy.
1.) Many people would like to write a book;
2.) There are genuine benefits from writing and publishing a book.
3.) Book promotion should be smart and ubiquitous.
1.) It’s fast. You can learn all you need to know to be a “famous” millionaire book author in 3 days;
2.) It’s expensive, but worth it. You need to pay an exorbitant sum of money to “jump start” your dream;
3.) You need “millionaire experts” to correctly publish and promote your book;
Granted, you could probably learn something from this seminar, but …
if so-called “REAL multi-millionaires” are running the seminar, it’s probably going to involve you handing over your wallet to them so that they can do things for you that you could do for yourself. They’ll also be happy to tie your shoe laces for you and cut your meat up into smaller pieces so it’s easier to chew, but is that really necessary?
This runs counter to what life teaches us about “self-reliance”
Emerson said, “the essence of genius, of virtue, and of life is available to us through our intuition.” If we determine that our intuition is guiding us to write a book, nothing can stop us. We will learn as we advance in the direction of our dreams.
A better approach – carve out your niche
Self publishing only takes time to learn to learn the steps. Once you know them, you can publish books till the cows come home.
The same is true for book promotion. Some of the most powerful ways to promote your book are accessible to anyone, and they are inexpensive. These include:
3.) Amazon promotional tools;
4.) Radio & TV interviews;
5.) Public speaking;
and, many more.
Leap, and the net will appear
I say, instead of sending blank checks to needy multi-millionaires to get your book published, rely on your own inner compass and ingenuity to lead the way. You can do it yourself, and maybe even become more self-reliant and famous-ish in the process.
“Dreams come true: without that possibility, nature would not incite us to have them.” — John Updike
One of my favorite blog authors is Lynne Spreen at Any Shiny Thing. Her article “Our Dreams Persist” describes the long and winding road that she traveled to write and publish her book “Dakota Blues.” I admire her persistence in the face of many obstacles to hold tight to her dream and to finally see it come to fruition.
Reading her story of how she wrote her book reminded me of my own experiences.
I first determined to write a book when I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Honduras in 1987. I didn’t have any idea, at that time, exactly what I wanted to write about. I just knew that I wanted to write a book that would be useful to others, and to hopefully inspire them along life’s way.
Time Marches On
It wasn’t until 15 years later, after starting my fixer upper and rental house business, that I began to put pen to paper (and fingers to computer keys) to begin writing my book. I thought that sharing my experiences with fixer upper houses would be that useful and inspiring book that I had imagined writing years earlier.
Four years later, through many iterations, and alternating periods of exhilaration and self doubt, “Fix em Up Rent em Out” was proudly rolled out on Amazon.com. Seeing my book finally published gave me a warm glow that still shines inside me to this day.
The Seed Continues to Grow
What I find interesting, in both my experience and Lynne’s, is that once the seed of a good idea is planted, it grows inexorably and invisibly inside of us, until it eventually becomes reality. The fact that it takes years for the final completion of the dream makes it all the more satisfying.
Writing blog articles is another way to share, but it doesn’t go far enough. A book is all your experience and wisdom concentrated into one simple package, like frozen orange juice. Someone can read it and be able to follow in your foot steps and do what you do.
Think Like an Artist
Where’s my coffee?
Writing a book requires the same perseverance and gusto that we bring to our chosen profession. However, it also requires something more. We need to be able to think like artists. Don’t worry, you don’t have to walk around with a tortured look on your face, grow a goatee, or sip coffee all day at French Cafés.
Thinking like as artist requires delving into the inspirational and creative natures of our personalities. In short, we have to be struck by inspirational lightning!
Author Julie Cameron, in her book “The Artist’s Way” describes a two-pronged technique designed to plug you into your inner source of creativity.
The two steps are:
1.) Writing morning pages; and,
2.) The artist’s date.
The morning pages allow you to bypass your “logic” brain, which is normally in gear, and shift into the “artist” brain. The artist’s dates are fun things that you do to refill your creative reservoir.
Up a little too early?
The “morning pages” technique involves getting up an hour earlier than you normally do, and in longhand writing, write three pages using strictly stream of consciousness. Every day, just write three pages of whatever crosses your mind, and don’t stop until the three pages are full.
The purpose of writing morning pages is to get past the things that inhibit us from writing; our fears, our negativity, or our moods. It gets us past them to a place where we can hear that still, small voice. And, when we are in that place past the negativity, we can align with our creative energies.
As Cameron says “It is impossible to write morning pages for any extended period of time without coming into contact with an unexpected inner power.”
The Artist Date
An artist date is a block of time, maybe two hours a week, committed to nurturing your inner artist. It can be things like a walk in the county, a visit to an art gallery, attending a film contest, or visit a great junk store. It’s just you and your inner artist.
Seek out the mysterious.
The artist brain is drawn to sensory stimulation, like sights, sounds, smell, taste, and touch. Do what intrigues you, explore what interests you; follow your sense of the mysterious.
Your inner artist needs to be taken out, indulged, and listened to. Our creativity uses this time to confide in us and to bond with us.
Morning pages and the artist date are a two step process for the aspiring au thor. The Morning Pages draw from your well of inspiration, and the Artist’s Date fill the well again.
“Someday” never comes.
I know, every time you imagine writing that book of yours; you get that glazed, wistful look in your eyes, thinking “yeah, someday I’m going to do that.”
Snap out of it!
You should allow these two techniques to jump start your creative juices, like inspirational lightning, and to begin writing your book!
Julia Cameron on Morning Pages & Artist Date
How to Turn Your Home into a Rental House, Instead of Selling It