Quotes

A Simple Way to Get People to Watch Your Videos Longer...[video training Brisbane]

 Image Credit: jeshoots.com via pexels.com

Image Credit: jeshoots.com via pexels.com

"There's always room for a story that can transport people to another place."

~ J.K. Rowling


In last week's post, I talked about how you can add interest to your videos, once you're ready to move on from 'talking head' videos.

What I didn't mention, is that by mixing various elements into your videos, not only are you adding interest to your videos, but you're inevitably telling a story.

Anyone has the ability to tell a story. In fact, we all do it without realising. Our lives are made up of continually evolving stories. Whether we are at home or whether we are at work in our businesses doesn't matter.  But it's in the way that we tell them, which makes people sit up and take notice.

Last week I gave you a practice activity to try. I know some of you aren't ready yet for that or may not have had time yet to tackle it, and that's okay. I like to get you thinking and give you inspiration moving forward. And for those of you who did...congratulations!  You have already won because you've started.

This week I'm going to give you another example of how to use visuals in a specific way to tell a story so your viewers hang around longer to watch your video. 

It's simple and I recommend using three types of shots we discussed last week: Wide, Medium and Close shots.

I'm using another video I created for a small business as an example, so you can understand how to use these three types of shots to tell a story about your business.

Below is a brand story video I created for small business, Home Amongst the Green, where I use all three types of shots to tell a story. 

 

Here are screenshots of those three types of shots from that video.

Wide Shot

Wide Shots are used primarily at the start of a 'Sequence' of shots. It is often called the establishing shot, because it establishes a location or scene in which something takes place. It encompasses a larger area so that you as the viewer can quickly sum up where and what is happening quickly, and provides context.
 

video tips wide shot

 

Medium Shot

Medium shots zoom in on the wide shot, cutting out peripherals so that our eyes can focus on a particular area to draw attention to it. It could be a smaller area within the frame, and it can be taken from a different angle. What you need to ask yourself is 'What area do I want my viewer to focus on? What do I want to draw attention to? And why?'
 

video tips medium shot

 

Close Shot

A close shot is when you zoom in really close to focus on one single aspect of the wide or medium shot. The reason to use a close shot is to emphasise something of significance. Whether it's an expression on someone's face to heighten and connect emotionally, or whether it's to focus on an object or group of objects to support or emphasise a point. 

video tips close shot

 

By sequencing your shots, that is, taking the viewer from wide to medium to close, it will have more impact on your viewer and tell a better story.  The thing is, you only need the viewer to see each shot for a number of seconds to communicate what you want them to understand. It takes less time than what it may take to actually explain it in dialogue. 

And don't be afraid to mix up the shots and try sequencing them differently to tell a different story and emphasise a different point. And once you understand how to use this principle, you don't even have to stick to three shots. 

Sequencing shots also keeps your viewer interested because they are having to think and creates distraction for the viewer (in a good way). 

So this week, why not try out these three shots. You can take them as photos or videos. Then put them in order or sequence from wide to medium to close.  Play them back and see if the three shots are telling a story. And try this a few times. Vary the shots a little. Maybe move things around the room or place things differently and take the shots again.

If you create any videos using video footage or photos using the above sequence and want some feedback to see whether you understand or are on the right track, feel free to email me at info@truth-seeker-images.com, and I'd be happy to cast an eye over it.  

In fact, if you're already creating video and would like me to have a look and make any recommendations, I'd be happy to help.

Have fun with it and have a great week!

Kerry :) x


Do You Want to Add Interest to Your Videos?...[Video Courses Brisbane]

 Photo by  Squared.one  on  Unsplash

Photo by Squared.one on Unsplash

My philosophy? Simplicty plus variety.

- Hank Stram


In the last month or so I've been taking you through the '4 STEPS TO EASY VIDEO CREATION', and I hope you've had a chance to at least have a crack at shooting some video and making a start, however small.

Once you've got the hang of shooting some video, then you can start making your videos more interesting and easier for your viewers to digest.

A great place to start when creating videos for business is making introduction or welcome videos.

Technically, these are the easiest to produce and cost-effective. These types of videos are called Talking Head videos.

Talking Head videos are great, don't get me wrong. But after a while they can get a bit boring for your viewers if they are seeing alot of other videos doing the same thing.  

So how can you make your introductory and welcome videos more interesting and engaging?

One way you can make your videos more interesting is by structuring the content of your video differently. Try MIXING IN VARIOUS ELEMENTS in with your video dialogue.  Elements such as other video, photos, music, text, captions and graphics.

Today I will show you how adding a variety of video footage, music and graphics can add interest to your introductory or welcome video.

Below is an example of a short welcome video I shot for client Sarah Roberts, talking about her business, 'The Empty Cradle'. This video introduces most of the above elements and I'll be using it as a case study for this post.

Even though it's a short video of less than two minutes, by adding in other video footage related to what Sarah is talking about, it becomes more engaging and gives the audience more insight and information about her business and how she helps her clients.

In Sarah's case, we added in:

Her name and description in text 

This shows the viewer in a matter of seconds, who Sarah is and what she does without her having to take up time telling people.

DIY Video


Wide Shot Video Footage

This shows the viewer where Sarah conducts her business, giving an idea of the what Sarah does. It adds context by physically placing Sarah in a location and showing her surroundings.

learn video

The peaceful, natural setting also gives insight into the very nature of who Sarah is and how relaxed and comfortable she makes her clients feel. Without having to say anything, the visual paints a picture of who Sarah is and the relaxing, tranquil environment, putting you at ease.


Medium Shot Video Footage

We then zoom in a little on the wide shot to show Sarah in action as she talks with her clients, showing how she interacts with them. We show different angles and perspectives of Sarah engaging with her client to show how she actively listens and engages her clients, revealing her supportive and nurturing approach.

Screenshot Sarah 3.jpg
brisbane video training for small business

These added pieces of video footage give great insight into what it would be like to work with Sarah. And the beauty about this is that while your attention is on the footage, you're listening to Sarah talk about differing aspects of her business, giving you a diverse understanding about how her business can help her clients.

So by talking about the deeper aspects, and also SHOWING who Sarah is and what she does, creates a connection that you just wouldn't achieve if you only saw Sarah talking to the camera.

Also, medium and close shots of your subject creates a more intimate connection with the viewer. This is a great way to build trust quickly.

The video then finishes by returning back to Sarah, who talks about how she can help if you're a woman experiencing grief and how to get in touch with her, which leads you into her call-to-action.

The call-to-action is then cemented in the viewer's memory with a graphic showing Sarah's business name, logo, tagline, website URL and how her viewers can get in touch or connect with Sarah.

Brisbane Video Coaching

 

Practice Activity

If you would like to change up your videos a little, try this activity by creating a short introductory video adding some of the above elements I talk about.

Step 1:  Write a short script about your business explaining what you do. Or talk about one topic. If you need help, go back to my post 'How to Write a Script to Engage Your Audience'. Practice the script and shoot a 'talking head' video. Be sure to introduce yourself and give a call-to-action at the end. 


Step 2:  Now look at your script in writing and think about what else you can video that would describe what you are talking about. So for instance, if you are a naturopath, take some video of some of your products set up nicely on the bench, or get a friend to set-up a mock consultation and take some video of the consultation. Take a variety of different footage, and also take some photos too.


Step 3: Once you have video of you talking and other video footage and photos as above, then add some music. Use your talking head video as the main video, add your chosen music piece and overlay the main video with snippets of video and photos you took. For information about editing apps on your phone and PC, you can read my post 'Shooting, Editing & Uploading Your Videos'.

To make it nice and easy for yourself, just start with adding videos, photos and music together. Then add in more elements, such as text, graphics and your logo once you are confident.

Remember, it's all practice and regardless of how it turns out, if you keep practicing and refining your skills, you'll eventually create something that you can start using in your marketing.

And...KEEP IT SIMPLE! As long as your video delivers your message then you can use it. You will find that your videos will improve each time you create them.

If you have any questions or get stuck, be sure to ask me. And if you'd like to share your video and get some feedback, I'd be happy to help.

Have a great week!

Kerry :) x


How to Write a Video Script to Engage Your Audience--[DIY Video Training]

 Photo by  rawpixel  on  Unsplash

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

"To make great film you need three things: the script, the script, and the script." 

- Alfred Hitchcock


Today we're going to cover Step 3  of '4 STEPS TO EASY VIDEO CREATION'. If you've missed the previous steps, you can find them here>>> STEP 1: CREATE A VIDEO STRATEGY;STEP 2: START WITH 3 SIMPLE TOOLS.

STEP3: WRITE A SCRIPT, is not so much about WHAT you're going to say in your video, but more importantly, HOW you're going to structure what you say, to get the attention of your audience and maintain it.

And we're going to start with the simplest structure which has three parts. Though I've added an extra part to cater specifically for videos. 

We're also going to stick with a script more suited to businesses, rather individuals. Remember though, the basic structure doesn't really change much whether it's a personal or business video. It's the content that makes your videos unique and how you visually piece them together (but we'll go more into that a little later in the year).
 

Simple Script Structure:

1. Introduction

2. Body

3. Conclusion

4. Call-to-Action (CTA)

 

INTRODUCTION

Again, we're using a common structure for business videos. So you should introduce yourself, your business and what topic or topics you are going to cover in your video.

It's important to say your business name (and your location if your target market are in a specific geographical area), so your audience knows who you are and they don't miss what you say because they are waiting for a name. 

Next, give a summary about what you're going to be talking about so your audience can decide whether they're going to hang around to find out more. 

HANDY TIP: Please note that for SEO (search engine optimisation) purposes what you say is important, especially for YouTube videos which don't just read the tags you enter in the back end of your video, but also read what you say as keywords for search engine ranking. 

Sample Script: "Hi, I'm Kerry Warnholtz from TSI Multimedia and today I'm going to show you how to write a script, by putting your words into a simple structure that will get and keep the attention of your customers."

 

BODY

The body makes up the largest part of your video and is what your video is about

So whatever you talk about, ensure that you cover the main points in a logical way. You can further break them up as follows (you can add more or less points):

  • Point 1
  • Point 2
  • Point 3

Your topic/s should speak to your customer.  That is, the words you use needs to resonate strongly with them, as though you are talking directly to them. And what you say should address their specific needs, wants and/or pain points. Try not to cover too many points or topics within your video, as you'll confuse your audience, they'll get bored, or just switch off.

Lastly, you then need to offer them a solution and explain how you can (uniquely) help them to solve their problem.

 

CONCLUSION

Here you should revise and summarise your main points of what you covered in the body of your video.

At this point it's also recommended that you sign off saying again, your name and business name as you did in the introduction. This will then lead or meld into the Call-to-Action as below.

 

CALL-TO-ACTION

Your CTA is all about what action you want your audience to take

Do you want them to sign up for a blog or newsletter; buy a product or service; sign up for a course, ebook or program? 

Or maybe you don't want them to buy anything, but your call-to-action is part of an engagement strategy or series of topics that give value and build your network, database or community.

Or it could be just to educate or build your audience's awareness around a sensitive topic and the outcome you want is for them to come to a specific conclusion.

Whatever action it is that you want your audience to take, ensure that you only give them ONE OPTION for one video. If you give too many options, your potential customers may get confused. And when they are confused they do nothing.

CTA example:  "For this week only, we're giving away a FREE 500g Bag of Origin Coffee beans when you buy an Expresso Machine. Be sure to enter in this promo code ---- when buying."

So this week, why not try putting together a short script following this structure to introduce yourself and your business, and what you want to talk about, finishing with a clear call-to-action. 

Read it out and time yourself as to how long it takes to read the script. You can then use this script to create a short welcome or introductory video to sit on your website or facebook page. Be sure to keep the video to two-to-three minutes at the most. 

I hope this helps. In the coming weeks, we'll look at how you can make the content of your videos a little more interesting by changing up the script a little and adding in other elements.

Next week however, we're going to cover the 4th and last step of '4 STEPS TO EASY VIDEO CREATION', and how we bring all the previous steps together to create a finished video.

Have a great week!

Kerry :) x
 

***FREE 90 MIN WEBINAR: 'PLAN, CREATE & EDIT YOUR VIDEOS ON YOUR PHONE' TUES 12/6/18 @ 10am***Do you want to use video to start growing your business? Maybe you don't know where to start, or understand all the tech stuff. Or maybe you're just overwhelmed with it all? Next Tuesday, I'll be holding a FREE WEBINAR to take you step-by-step through the process of planning, making and editing videos on your phone, so you can start getting some traction in your video marketing.  So join us and REGISTER for my webinar here >>> http://bit.ly/plan-create-edit-video. If you can't make it live, don't worry--as long as you register, you'll have access to the recording.
 

 
 

Three Simple Tools to Create Videos Right Now--[Brisbane Video Training]

  Photo by  Adam Birkett  on  Unsplash

 Photo by Adam Birkett on Unsplash

"Never overlook the power of simplicity." 

- Robin S. Sharma


Last week we looked at the first step to easy video creation, to stop the overwhelm when creating videos for your business, which is to CREATE A VIDEO STRATEGY.

This week we go into STEP 2: START WITH 3 SIMPLE TOOLS. It really is that simple, but we as humans tend to overthink and complicate things, coming up with excuses to why we can't get started. But if we're honest with ourselves, we know that all we need to do is have plan, and then get out of our own way and get started.

If you're a micro or small business owner, then making videos can seem like an expensive exercise. But it doesn't have to be. So today I'm going to share with you three affordable and easy-to-use tools for you to start making professional looking videos RIGHT NOW!

Now remember that these tools are just a starting place and is a general recommendation. If you've read last week's post on creating a video strategy, and going through the exercise of working that out, then you may find that depending on what kind of video you want to create and your strategy, that your specific needs require to buy alternate equipment. If you're not sure, then feel free to ask by leaving a comment or emailing me at info@truth-seeker-images.com.

Here are the 3 SIMPLE TOOLS and what they'll cost you.

1. SMARTPHONE - Cost: $0

2. PHONE TRIPOD - Cost: $10-$99

3. LAPEL MICROPHONE - Cost: $70-$90

 

1. SMARTPHONE

If you're in business, then you will already have a smartphone (hence the cost is $0). The more recent your phone, the better quality and video you'll be able to take. In fact, you don't need all three tools to even start taking video. You only really need your phone.

Have you taken photos or videos on your phone of your children, pets or while on holiday or just out? If you are, don't discount these skills. Take that same approach and those skills you have, across to your business. Have some fun when you're starting out. Play with it. Have a laugh at yourself. If it doesn't work the first time, then delete it and try again. It's not a waste of time, because you're getting better each time.

So if you want to start practicing with your phone, here are a couple hints:

HINT 1: To steady your phone to reduce shaky video, hold with two hands or place both elbows on a surface while holding your phone to video, or lean against something solid to support your body.

HINT 2: Use the 'Self-timer' on your phone. This way you have time to get into position before the video begins.

HINT 3: For the most flattering angle, hold your phone at eye level or above and look towards the camera on your phone. 

2. PHONE TRIPOD

Using a phone tripod is the best way to stop the shake in your videos. By placing your phone on a tripod, it stabilises your phone and allows you to use both hands, and place your phone at any distance you want to. They are also small, light and portable, allowing you to easily take them anywhere and set-up.

Phone tripods are the most affordable option to start, and is best set-up on a flat, even surface like your desktop or bench. Just make sure that your phone is at eye level or above to where you are sitting or standing. 

If you like standing then you may want to invest in a standard camera tripod so it will be at the right height. Just make sure you have a phone bracket that you can put on the tripod, as only phone tripods come with phone brackets.

Here are my recommendations for what features to have for a phone tripod:

a. Sturdy legs and base.

b. Central column to extend the height.

c. You can adjust the phone to tilt forward or back and sideways.

d. (optional) Blue Tooth remote will allow you to stop and start your video from a distance.

Also, I would recommend getting a phone tripod with a phone bracket that you can detach. This way, if and when you want to use a standard camera tripod, you don't have to buy another phone bracket for it.

You can buy phone tripods from department stores, stores that sell camera gear (like Harvey Norman) or dedicated camera stores.


3. LAPEL MICROPHONE

Lapel microphones are the easiest and cheapest type of quality microphones you can buy when starting. I highly recommend the RODE Smartlav lapel microphone (pictured). It's captures great quality sound. Lapel microphones, because they are close to your mouth will pick up your voice clearly over any ambient sounds in the background or surroundings. They plug straight into your headphone jack on your phone.

If you like to stand at a bit of a distance from your phone, you can also buy extension cables for your microphone, so you can stand a bit further away and still get clear, crisp sound.

*N.B. If you have an iPhone 7 or more recent, you will need your adapter, as the latest iPhones don't have a normal audio jack, but have a USB jack.

So that's all the equipment you need to get started. 

It is simple. Much simpler that using a DSLR camera. These tools require little technical knowledge to be able to use them, which makes them ideal for those of us who aren't technically savvy.

It's the perfect combination tool kit...easy to use, quick to set up, portable and best of all, you can create great looking video for your business!

So what's stopping you? Go out there and just start playing and practicing.

And remember, if you have any questions about using the equipment, or what to buy or what's going to suit you, then shoot me an email at info@truth-seeker-images.com, and I'll be able to set you off on the right foot.

Have a great week!

 

Kerry :) x


How Our Mothers Can Teach Us to Stand Out from Our Competitors...[Brisbane Video Production]

“What makes things memorable is that they are meaningful, significant, colourful.” 

- Joshua Foer


Just a reminder...Mother's Day is coming up this Sunday. It's an opportunity for us if we can and if we have or had a positive relationship with our mothers, to spend time with them or thinking of them. To remember what they do for us...what they've done for us and how they may have shaped the person we've become. 

What do you remember about your mother? What are those special things that she did for you as a child growing up? Those special things that you still remember as an adult that make you smile. You know those things. Those things where nobody else can compare. 

For example, my mother is an awesome cook!  Nobody makes fried rice like my mother. I've tasted many dishes of fried rice, but nobody cooks it as good. She also makes the best scones in the world, that melt in your mouth.  She is the youngest of twelve children and after her mother died when mum was only a child, she was raised mainly by her oldest sister who was a chef and specialised in chinese cuisine. 

Mum's sister passed on her culinary skills to my mother. At every family gathering ever since I was a child, I remember mum's signature dishes; special fried rice, Chau Kai (deep fried chicken with special herbs and spices), steamed pork dumplings, chinese wonton, and many more.  One of my favourites we called 'Power Soup' (I don't know the chinese name for it) which nobody else would eat except for myself and my mother.  It had pork ribs, tofu, chinese vegetables, Pig Ear Fungus (Wood Ear Mushrooms) and a splash of brandy. Maybe that's how it got it's name.

This is what my mother is renowned for. Nobody else (in my mind) can cook like her. Nobody compares.

What are you renowned for? 

When your customers think of you and your business offerings, what is it that makes you memorable? What do you give that your customers remember you for and keep returning because nobody else can give them that special something?

And when you think about or spend time with your Mother this Sunday, think of all those special things that only she can do that make her dear to you and I hope you feel gratitude.

Have a great week!

Kerry :)

--WOULD YOU LIKE MORE HELP AND GUIDANCE IN CREATING VIDEOS? I NOW OFFER ONE-ON-ONE VIDEO COACHING, BOTH ONLINE AND IN-PERSON. YOU CAN FIND OUT MORE ABOUT MY VIDEO COACHING SERVICES HERE.
 


A Story That's Right Under Your Nose...[Video Storytelling Brisbane}

 Image Credit: Seemi Samuel of  Unsplash

Image Credit: Seemi Samuel of Unsplash

“When I walk along with two others, from at least one I will be able to learn.” 

– Confucius


Last week I talked about story, and in particular the telling of your own story and how it's the hardest story you will ever tell

As in most hardships, once you've experienced them, life becomes easier in the sense that if you've survived it, you come to the realisation that you can survive anything. And telling your story is a bit like that. What you originally feared, once faced and experienced, loses its' hold on you.

But you know, when it comes to stories around your business, yours is not the only story that you can share. Story comes in many forms and has many applications. If you step back a little, get in the moment and just observe, you'll find stories in many places you never thought existed. Many of them unexpected and right under your nose. 

For instance...

What experiences have you had with your customers who have used your products and/or services, who have been satisfied and have acknowledged or shown their appreciation? 

What did you do or provide that gave them great satisfaction? 

How, in fulfilling their needs did it make a difference or change something? 

And if they are repeat customers, why do they keep coming back?

Your customer's experience is one type of story. It's not your story, but it's a very relevant one, because it directly connects potential customers to you. It also lends credibility and trust, because it's not you telling it, so it's more believable. 

One of the most powerful stories is the story of a satisfied customer who has become your biggest fan and evangelist. Is there one customer who fits the bill and that comes to mind? 

And do you know why they are satisfied?

If you haven't already, then ask them. Pick up the phone just to say hallo and talk to them. Make a time to catch up in person and have coffee. And whether you're talking on the phone or whether you're sitting across from them, ask them why. 

Ask them about what they do, the things they get up to on the weekend; do they have children; what do they love to do? Listen to everything they have to say. Be genuinely interested. You'll probably find that your best customers are in many ways, a lot like you and that they have similar values to your own. 

Then ask them what brought them to you and what is it about your product and/or service that they love. Ask them about how they've found dealing with you and/or your staff and what they value most. What is it that keeps them coming back?

The answers that they give can become a story that you can then share. 

That story can be told and used in a number of ways:

- as a customer testimonial
- as a case study
- as a story that shows a particular outcome or proves a particular point.


It can then shared on your website as blog post. It can be used to prove a point or outcome. It can be used to create interest and engage your audience if you're giving a presentation or speaking at a business or public event. It can be used as a supporting tool to include in your promotional marketing.

And your customer's story can also be captured on video. When shared on video, it becomes more powerful as it reaches out and connects with and evokes strong emotion. 

Cate explains how we met and shares about her learnings at her one-on-one coaching session.

 

A well told customer story will connect with potential customers who see themselves in that story, and say..."I can relate with that person. I totally understand and empathise and I really get them. I want that for myself."

So this week, I want you to think of just one happy customer that you have a good relationship with. And if you haven't asked them 'why', then take the time to pick up the phone and ask. If anything, to get to know who they are and to hear their story.

Have a great week!

Kerry :) x


 


 

Video Lighting Options on a Budget...[Brisbane Video Training]

 Image credit: http://quadralite.eu

Image credit: http://quadralite.eu

"Design is defined by light and shade, and appropriate lighting is enormously important."

~ Albert Hadley


Two weeks ago, I wrote a post called Video Backgrounds That Are Easy to Set Up, and my friend Monique who has recently started her business, commented on the link I provided about lighting. Here is what she said..."I clicked through to the lighting blog but that was way too complicated and confusing for me. I would love a blog on budget lighting options". 

So this week's post is inspired by Monique. Thanks for the feedback and request Monique.

NATURAL LIGHTING

The most affordable lighting option to start with is Natural Light. It's free and it's the most flattering light there is. If you have an abundance of natural light in your office or room, and you can video during the day, then go with this. To get even, flat light though, you will need to be facing directly or mostly towards the window. So you have to ensure that the light isn't too bright. Earlier in the mornings and afternoons, the light is softer, so that's an ideal time. 

 Image Source: https://www.designtrends.com/

Image Source: https://www.designtrends.com/

However, we don't all have access to natural light or the perfect office or room set up.

MAN-MADE LIGHTING

Light Bulbs

The next step up from natural light is to use man-made lights or lamps. However, avoid using halogen or tungsten bulbs that give off a warm or yellow colour or 'colour temperature'. Conversely, using fluoro lights should also be avoided, as they tend to give off a cool, blue light or 'colour temperature'. Replace them with LED lights. LED lights give off a colour temperature that is closest to natural light.

HOT TIP: If you can, use two lights, so that you get even lighting across your face.

You'll see in the LHS photo below, a two light set-up. The photo on the RHS shows what the spread of lighting is across the man's face. You'll notice that it's nice and flat and even. This is ideal lighting if you want to create live video, webinars, vlogs, instructional videos or any conversational style videos where you or other people are featured and talking.

 Image credit: http://quadralite.eu

Image credit: http://quadralite.eu

 Image credit: http://quadralite.eu

Image credit: http://quadralite.eu

However, if you only have one light then try to keep the light towards the centre of the subject. And the larger the light source, the better. Again, if you look above, LED lights are being used as the light source. But it's a small light source, so on it's own, it will only light up where it's exactly pointed. To help spread the light, photographic umbrellas are used to help spread the light and illuminate more of the area, including not only the subject's face but his body and also the area in which he's sitting.

The set-up above is a very affordable set-up, but only if you have the space. As you can see above, this set-up does take up some space.

LED Video Lights

So what if you only have a small area in which to work from?

This is where LED video lights come into their fore. They come in different sizes. They emit powerful light, are portable, and you can also increase or decrease the strength of the light, as well as soften (diffuse) it, so it's not so harsh on your face.  You will need to place the light on a light stand or tripod.

 
LED light
 

Ring Lights

The next option is also ideal if you only have a small area to work from. Ring lights are one of the most economical, versatile, space-saving lighting options that emit a beautiful soft, flattering light.

The other great thing about ring lights, is not only can you set it up on top of your desk or near it, you can also mount your phone or camera onto the light. And look for a ring light that is dimmable, if you can.

 
 Image Source: https://www.dhgate.com/

Image Source: https://www.dhgate.com/

 

This is a great option for those of you who are either using your phone or a DSLR camera, and will be creating a few different types of conversational videos, such as FB lives, vlogs or video series, and also for those of you who regular host webinars.

So these three lighting options are what I would class as BUDGET LIGHTING OPTIONS, and a great place to kick off your video journey.

However, there is one more lighting option that can't be overlooked. And that's a PHOTOGRAPHY SOFTBOX LIGHTING KIT.

Soft Box Lights

 Image Source: http://www.gtaphotostudio.com/

Image Source: http://www.gtaphotostudio.com/

These again do take up a bit of room. But today, you can buy softbox lighting (flattering light) complete with all the lights, stands and backdrops, all together. It's economical and what's great about the kits, is that you can just use one, two or however number of lights you need, or you can use the lights plus the backdrop, if you want to.

DO YOU WEAR GLASSES?

If you wear glasses and you don't want any reflections coming off your glasses, then you will need a different lighting option, other than just placing lights in front of you. You will need more that one light. You have to position the angle of your main light above eye level and angle down toward you, and have it off to the side a little. Then move your second light or fill light to fill in any dark areas. And for you main light source, use a larger sized light source that's nice and soft. 

You will then need to test and adjust the position of the light or lights, and then record the video to see whether any reflections appear on your glasses.

 
lighting set-up
 

 

I hope these simple and economical lighting options will be a great help to getting you starting with your video journey, or help you along on your journey.

Remember, if you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment or contact me, if you want more information about your particular situation.

Have a great week!

Kerry :) x

*P.S. If you need some help getting starting and you want to start creating your own videos, contact me about my ONLINE or IN-PERSON VIDEO COACHING SERVICES. They're customised just for you and your individual needs and situations. 


 

 

Creative Ways to Learn Video...[Mobile Filmmaking]

“Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's Creativity.” 

– Charles Mingus


At the moment, it's school holidays, so I've been busy juggling business with mum duties. It's always a challenge to find things to do for and with my daughter, AND run a business at the same time. For me however, it's important to make time for my family and friends and to reconnect with the 'other' important things in my life too.

It's also an opportunity to spend time on my own creativity. It has a great positive impact on my business and my ability to deliver authentic, unique creative services and outcomes for my clients [that's my excuse anyway ;) ].

Making time for creativity in your business is really important, because it's this time that allows for innovation to happen. In order for your businesses to stand out in today's competitive marketing environment, you need to come up with ways to innovate that get noticed, by the kind of people you want to do business with.

I think it goes without saying, that video is one effective way of standing out and getting noticed. But what I find is that for businesses who want to use video and learn how to do it themselves,  they inevitably become overwhelmed with where to start. I also find that for many people, coming up with ideas and time to practice using video is a challenge. There are always so many things to juggle.

But it doesn't have to be this way.  

When practicing video to use in your business, why not try a different approach and angle?  Rather than seeing video as something that is a task, why not consider practicing video for fun? It takes the pressure off you, because it's no longer about getting results and getting things perfect. It becomes about just 'playing' and experimenting and using what you have to create something. It becomes about the journey and the pleasure of just creating for yourself.

And that's exactly what I do, and I encourage you to do the same. What have you got coming up that you're doing just for fun that you could video and document? Try capturing the energy and the feelings of these events and moments with your phone. Take photos and some video and see if you can create some kind of story to tell about what you experienced on the day. You probably already do that...take photos and video on your phone. 

So in addition to taking random shots and footage (if that's what you already do), before you head out, think of how you would like to capture the days' moments to tell a story. That way when you get there, you become a little more attuned what you need to tell the story you want to. Once you've set the intention, you will find that ideas will come to you as the day unfolds. 

The video at the start of this post called 'Fires on Top of Mountains' was made up of bits of footage that I shot as part of the 'Share Fire Community Celebrations' at Beaudesert on Monday night. The celebrations take place over about 10 days, and they culminate with the big 'Fire on Water Finale' at Kooralbyn on April 14th. 

Apart from spending time with my daughter and some friends who enjoy arts festivals, it was a great opportunity for me to experiment and have some fun. It was a great atmosphere and there were lots of activities and things going on, which means lots of opportunities to get a variety of footage. I also love shooting in the late afternoon, because you get that beautiful, golden light that adds a touch of magic and dreamyness to your images.

For those of you who are interested in the technicalities. I shot the footage with my iPhone 7 Plus and a smartphone gimbal stabiliser, rather than just use a phone tripod. This allowed me to be able to get nice smooth, steady footage that doesn't jump up and down. This tool also allows you to pan (moving the camera horizontally from left to right) and tilt (moving the camera up and down without raising the camera) your phone to get really creative types of shots that add a lot more interest to your videos. Though I found in slowing down the footage, it wasn't as smooth as I would have liked, so I just need to change the speed up a little next time. And you'll find out what works and what doesn't, the more you do it.

smartphone gimbal


I then edited the video in my gimbal app, phone editing app and iMovies before posting it to my YouTube channel.

But of course, you don't have to have all these gadgets. Just start shooting with what you have, whether it's handheld or with your phone tripod (which can double as a selfie-stick). It's not about the gear you have. It's all about understanding the gear you have and what it can do and then going out and trying different things and having fun with it! It won't always be perfect, especially if it's your first time, but you'll get better as your skills and understanding grow with practice.

Below is another video I shot recently while on a break in O'Reilly's Rainforest out at Lamington National Park. With only my iPhone and my mini-tripod, I set up my phone on top of the mountain and captured this time lapse video from Luke's Bluff, showcasing nature's amazing beauty, power and magic. In this particular area, where we had nearly 360 degree views of the entire valley, the weather was constantly changing, especially the sun and clouds.  And in addition, with the wind adding movement to the grass, trees and plants, as well as clouds, made for perfect time lapse video.


So if you're wanting to use video in your business, why not just get it out and start playing with your phone? You don't even have to go out. You can play with it at home while kicking around. And feel free to share your videos and send me a link!  I love it when people tell me that they've gone out and started learning how to create videos and having fun with it, whether it's for business or just pleasure.

Have a great week!

Kerry :)

--WOULD YOU LIKE MORE HELP AND GUIDANCE IN CREATING VIDEOS? I NOW OFFER ONE-ON-ONE VIDEO COACHING, BOTH ONLINE AND IN-PERSON. YOU CAN FIND OUT MORE ABOUT MY VIDEO COACHING SERVICES HERE.


Video Backgrounds That Are Easy to Set-Up...[Brisbane Video Training]

 Photo by  Bench Accounting  on  Unsplash

"The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do."

~ Michael Porter


Last week I talked about what equipment you need to get started in video marketing.  In keeping with the spirit of last week's post, we're going to keep things simple.

When it comes to choosing backgrounds for video creation, it's easy to become overwhelmed with all the options, and to look for perfection. But your background need not be perfect or complicated or expensive.

Background choice is about what's relevant to your video marketing strategy. So depending on the platform on which your video will be seen, the objective of your video, and the people who will see it, these factors will greatly influence your background choice.

If you're not sure about what your video marketing strategy is, you can read my recent post, 'Do You Want to Use Video But Don't Know Where to Start?--START HERE',  for ideas.

So in keeping with my motto and approach when it comes to video (and life), let's keep it simple.

Start with what you have and where you are.

It's recommended that small businesses start with the easiest and most cost-saving place to begin - their office or indoor area. Depending on what your office or indoor area looks like, you can start creating professional looking video right away.

If your office has one or a number of these elements, you could start creating video right now:

  • Lots of natural light, or a window that lets in good natural light.
  • Well lit or good lighting (if you don't have natural light).
  • One wall that is either clean, uncluttered and accessible.
  • One wall that has a background that's relevant to business or what you do specifically.
 Photo by  Rob Bye  on  Unsplash

Photo by Rob Bye on Unsplash

 Photo by  Slava Keyzman  on  Unsplash

Photo by Slava Keyzman on Unsplash

If you have a suitable inside area but your lighting is a bit dodgy, then you may have to supplement the lighting. The main thing to remember is that what ever is the main subject of your video (usually yourself if you're starting out), your face needs to be well lit, so that when people watch you they can see your face and eyes clearly. 

If you want to know more about lighting, here is a great, easy-to-understand article called 'Lighting on the Fly' that explains what you need to know about lighting for video.

One other little tip about lighting is to make sure that you don't have your back to a window, otherwise the light coming through the window will be overpowering, and you will be in complete darkness in the video footage. If you can, face toward the window, and a little distance away so the light won't be too bright on your face.

Another option if you're shooting video indoors is to set-up a man-made background. If you go down the route of setting up a background, you will need the space to set-up the frame to hang your background on.  Man-made backgrounds come in different materials and sizes, so you can choose one that is suitable and that you like. You can get cloth or muslin, vinyl or paper backgrounds. You can buy pre-made backgrounds, like the one below, or your can also get custom made backgrounds.

 Image Credit:  etsy.com

Image Credit: etsy.com

There are other background options, such as using a green screen, and also using an outdoor location for video. However, both of these options introduce another layer of complexity. And today is about keeping things simple.

So if you'd like to get started in video, why not take a good look at your office or another area in your home that could possibly be used to shoot some great video.  Look at what areas have good natural light, or have an ideal background you could use to shoot video. Play around with your furniture and see what other things you can use to create a background. Experiment a little and try different rooms, move around the furniture; use lamps and other lights.  And observe what time of the day you get the best light and try shooting some video to get an idea of what it looks like.

Next week we'll look at some cool features on your smartphone that you may not know that you have, and how you can use them in your videos.

Have a great week!

Kerry :) x

Would you like more help and guidance in creating videos? I now offer ONE-ON-ONE VIDEO COACHING, both ONLINE and IN-PERSON. You can find out more about my video coaching services here.


How to Overcome Your Fear of Being On Camera...[Brisbane Video Training]

 Photo by  Sam McGhee  from  Unsplash

Photo by Sam McGhee from Unsplash

"The fears we don't face become our limits."

~ Lewis Carroll


Last week we talked about getting started in video, and I gave some practical tips on where to start. If you missed last week's post, you can read it here.

This week we talk about one of the biggest challenges stopping small business owners from even starting...FEAR OF STEPPING IN FRONT OF THE CAMERA.

It's safe to say that the majority of us have some type of fear or hangup when it comes to stepping in front of the camera and being visible. It's more prevalent in generations where putting yourself front and centre and being the centre of attention wasn't really a done thing.

But things have changed, and we understand that in order for our businesses to grow and thrive, we have to step out from behind our business safety nets and become more visible, so that our customers can see us, get to know us and trust us. This is the nature of business in today's world.

So how do we step up so that we are keeping up and moving with the changes, but still maintaining our own integrity and authenticity?

Here are 3 SIMPLE WAY TO GAIN CONFIDENCE, and get a foot in the door, to make the start that you want and need.

1. TAKE YOUR EYES OFF YOU

The first thing we tend to do is start thinking about how we're going to look and sound, and all our doubts and insecurities about the way we think others will perceive us rise to the surface. And they rise with such speed and force that it can catch our breath before we've had a change to truly think about why we feel this way.

Put those feelings aside for now. Don't ignore them, but just be aware of them and observe them like you would if you were listening to a good and dear friend . 

Now change your perspective...

I want you to now focus on your customers and what they want. Do you believe that what you have to offer will give them what they want and need, and that you can give them what nobody else can?

Because if you do, then by focusing on what it is that you can uniquely give, your attention is given to serving. And when you do this, even though the fear and self-judgement is there, it no longer takes centre stage. Our desire to give our customers what they want takes precedence.

In the end, our customers are only concerned with one thing - can you give them what they want? They're not focused on what you look like. Only you are.

2. DESENSITISE YOURSELF

The truth of the matter is that for most people they're not going to like seeing and hearing themselves on camera. It's a given for most people. Not all, but the majority of business owners I know don't like seeing themselves on camera.

So accept that the first time you see and hear yourself on video, you are probably not going to like it. And the only way to get past it is to keep doing it...over and over and over again. But you can do it in a way that's less confronting.

Here's what you can do:

  • video yourself on your phone (use the selfie mode) for 30 seconds to 1 minute to start and then immediately delete the video.
  • keep doing that over and over and over again.

Eventually, if you've done this enough times, the initial strong reaction you had when you saw and heard yourself will begin to subside. After that you become numb to it, and even though you still don't necessarily like it, you no longer feel such a strong negative reaction.

When you get to this stage, it's then that you can begin to focus on what you're talking about and think more strategically about the content you're delivering.

You basically will get over yourself.

 

3. FOCUS ON YOUR BEST ATTRIBUTES

We all have things about us that are considered strengths. Our strengths can take visual form and/or other less visual, but demonstrable forms. 

When creating video, try to capitalise on those strengths and your best features and attributes that draw others to you.

You may not feel that you're particularly stunning, but you have the most amazing voice that people feel compelled to listen to. So focus on your voice and the delivery of your content.

If you need help with how you look, whether it's make-up, hair and clothing, then maybe seek out someone who can help you with that. It will put you at ease and give you more confidence. And that goes for any other area where you feel you lack or need help with.

If you have content that you know people really need to hear and it's important you get your message out but you have a particularly strong aversion to your voice, then maybe pay someone to do a voice-over to begin with,  if it's stopping you from moving forward.

Whatever it is that's holding you back, there is a way around. And by focusing on your strengths and outsourcing or getting help or advice on minimising certain aspects that you feel you just can't get past, can help tremendously in order for you to make a start.

The last thing I can suggest is to keep things simple and stop looking for perfection - look for progress. Begin with a simple structure that isn't too complex and make your videos short and to the point. Practice doing this first until you gain more confidence and until you begin to find your stride. Then you can up the ante if you want to.

Let me know how you go and if and how this helps. I know it has for many people who have already tried these tips.

Next week I'm going to give you some practical tips on what equipment you need to get started that won't break the bank.

Have a great week!

Kerry :) x

*Missed out on the webinar? Don't worry, enter your details and get immediate access to the video recording, 'How to Create, Edit & Plan Your Videos on your Phone'.


 

 

 

 

Do You Want to Use Video But Don't Know Where to Start?--START HERE!...[Brisbane Video Training]

 Photo by  Chris Knight  on  Unsplash

Photo by Chris Knight on Unsplash

"Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can."

~ Arthur Ashe


Last week I held my first DIY Video webinar called 'How to Create, Edit and Plan Your Videos on Your Phone'.  It was a great success and I was happy with the feedback about the content.

Going through the exercise of getting people to register was really worthwhile because through asking one simple question,  I found out what you really wanted to know when it comes to learning video, and what stops people. And it allowed me to deliver the right content.

So from this week I want to start delving deeper into STARTING IN VIDEO. Because it seems that is the place where the majority of small business owners get stuck. And it's not from lack of ability or lack of not having the gear.

Shooting video on a phone doesn't require a lot of skilled ability. Most of us have done it to different levels, and mostly in a social capacity. We just have to use those same skills and enthusiasm and transfer them across to our business. And as far as having the right gear, as I explained to my webinar participants, you don't need very much at all.

"So where are people getting stalled?  OVERWHELM"

Why? Because if you think about what it takes to create a video, from start to finish, there are lots of moving parts and many pieces to the puzzle. There are also an overwhelming number of options. So it can become confusing as to where to start.

In the webinar we began with IDEAS FORMATION as a place to start. Because before you even pick up your phone to start videoing, you have to know what you want to video. You have to ask yourself "why do I want use video?", and "what do I want to do with it?"  (if you'd like to access the recording of the webinar, CLICK HERE to enter your details and you'll be taken straight to the video recording).

So  here are two questions and places to begin. And take the time to answer them as thoroughly as you can. Your answers will influence your ability to attract the right customers and audience when it comes to creating your videos. I've taken these directly from my webinar slides and notes.

  1. KNOW YOUR OBJECTIVE. Do you know why you want to use video? Is it to:
    • build a community
    • promote a product or service
    • create an online program
    • educate your audience
    • create brand awareness
    • tell a story
    • promote an event
    • develop your relationship

2. KNOW WHO YOUR TARGET MARKET IS. What are they interested in? 

Most businesses should know who their customers are. If you don't, then take the time before you do anything else, and get to know who your customer is,  and who wants and needs your products and/or services. How do you know how to market or how to package what you do if you don't know who you are selling to? 

And more importantly, what is the message you are sending to your customers if you don't know what they like or want, where they hang out on social media, what interests them, and what you can give them that your competitors can't?

Just in answering these two questions, you can begin to work out what content is going to appeal to your customers to then help you begin developing a video marketing strategy.

So if you are one of those business owners who is confused about where to start, then start right here and answer those questions as well as you can and in as much detail as you can. And don't worry about getting it perfect. Just start somewhere, with the understanding and acceptance that you will make mistakes and you won't get it perfect the first time, or even the second time.

In fact, perfection is rarely achieved. But in order to experience success in getting video to work for you, all that's required is a little planning and imperfect action!

Next week, I'll talk about another big challenge that can stop business owners before they've started - stepping in front of the camera. And I'll share some tips to help you reduce the fear.

Have a great week!

Kerry :) x

*Missed out on the webinar? Don't worry, enter your details and get immediate access to the video recording, 'How to Create, Edit & Plan Your Videos on your Phone'.


The Return of Artisan Products and What It Means for Your Business...{Brisbane Video Production}

  Matthew Evans from  The Gourmet Farmer . Image Credit:  www.sbs.com.au


Matthew Evans from The Gourmet Farmer. Image Credit: www.sbs.com.au

“Craftsmanship names an enduring, basic human impulse, the desire to do a job well for its own sake.” 

– Richard Sennett, The Craftsman


In my last post I talked about what customers really and truly want…meaningful connection. And that the current ‘slow living’ movement was indicative of what people crave in this modern, fast-paced world: to slow down; to savour each moment, and to be present to our feelings, thoughts, surroundings, experiences and most importantly, to our family and friends. To once again deeply value our relationships which bring us more purpose and joy to our lives.

I also offered some suggestions about how we as business owners can begin to create and give our customers more meaningful connection.

In the evolution of this shift, I’m witnessing a return to artisan products and businesses. And as customers we’re hopping on board the artisan train in droves. Why is that you may wonder?

I believe it’s all part of the return to what it is to be more human. To be more attuned to our senses. We have become so desensitised to our feelings and emotions, that we’ve lost the awareness, and hence our feeling of connectedness.

In talking about the return to artisan trades, it brings to mind an Australian documentary TV series on ABC that I love called ‘The Gourmet Farmer’. If you haven’t seen it, I would highly recommend it. The series is about a Melbourne chef turned food critic, Matthew Evans who leaves his job to become a farmer in Tasmania, raising pigs and sheep, milking cows and raising farm animals in a humane, eco-sustainable way, as well as growing produce, with the aim of  influencing and improving  the quality of the food that he, his family and the wider community eat. It becomes more about the journey and the process, rather than the end result. Though that still holds great significance.

We get to watch his progression and how through choosing a life of slow living, he creates a life (albeit challenging at times) that sees him grow as a person; his family grow and thrive, and how his deepening relationship with the animals, produce, and the land, better inform his way of life, creating deep relationships that take him on many adventures.

The series is a poster-boy for the slow living movement and the return of artisan businesses.

For many of us, that way of life which embues slow living, is what we dream of as a way of restoring the meaningful connection we’re longing for.
 

And in that whole artisan movement,  it’s about valuing the unique perspective, talents and abilities that an individual brings to the world. As customers and consumers, we are drawn to the uniqueness and the bespoke ways of the person we do business with…with someone who has taken the time to get to know his craft.

But more importantly, someone who has taken the time to get to know us and understand who we are and what is it about what he or she does that resonates with us. His process has allowed for that awareness. And we seek that out.


It’s this combination of wanting something truly unique, coupled with the human need and want for connection that our customers are wanting.

This week, if you get some time, why not catch an episode of ‘The Gourmet Farmer’ or Matthew Evans’ new series already released, ‘Fat Pig Farm’ where he opens a restaurant, celebrating home-cooked food that’s delivered from paddock to plate, all from his farm in Hobart.  So sit back and enjoy and savour the moments and while you’re watching, think about ways that you can create that sense of meaningful connection in your business.

Have a great week!


Much love...Kerry :) x


What Your Customers REALLY Want--Are You Giving It?...[Brisbane Video Production]

 Photo by  Kym Ellis  on  Unsplash   

Photo by Kym Ellis on Unsplash
 

“Get closer to your customers. So close in fact, that you tell them what they need well before they realise it themselves.” – Steve Jobs



Welcome to 2018 and my first blog post for the year!

Yes, I realise that it is well and truly 2018 and we’re in February already, but I’ve been busy looking at what I can provide for my customers this year that’s of real value and what will help you grow in your own growth and the growth of your businesses.
 
Oh…and please feel free to share what you think will help you, because I’d like to give you stuff that’s relevant, and maybe even a little inspirational. And there’s heaps of new stuff I want to share with you this year to help your business grow when it comes to video and social media marketing!

This month I wanted to talk about what customers really want.  I mean, really, truly want…deep down.  And I think I’ve figured it out.

You know how I know?  Because it’s what I want.  I’m the ultimate customer, and so are you!

So what do customers REALLY, TRULY, DEEPLY want?....CONNECTION

Simple isn’t it? But is it?  How do you give them that? 

In the world of business and marketing, there is so much talk about it; but they are mostly empty words and promises that fail to satisfy. So how can you provide that connection so that you not only attract the kind of people you want to do business with, but in a way that sees them coming back again and again, because you give them that connection that someone else isn’t?

SLOW LIVING…yep…you heard me… SLOW LIVING. 

We can give our customers what they want by understanding the principles of Slow Living and how by applying the same principles in our businesses, we can give them not only connection, but meaningful connection.

So what is Slow Living? It’s a way of living and being where the pace of our lives slows down long enough to be present to the people we engage with, so that we form deeper and more meaningful connections with them.

Let’s face it, when we don’t have our business face on, and we think about what really matters, it all comes down to the people (and animals) we love and how deeply we form connections with them. And not just connections with our immediate family and friends, but with people that we come across each day…strangers and friends alike, and in our wider community.  

It’s how they make us feel when we are with them; how we make them feel, and how they reinforce in us our sense of purpose and identity that is important.  With all of that brings a deep sense of joy.

As Norwegian philosopher, Guttam Floistad observes,

"The only thing for certain is that everything changes. The rate of change increases. If you want to hang on you better speed up. That is the message of today. It could however be useful to remind everyone that our basic needs never change. The need to be seen and appreciated! It is the need to belong. The need for nearness and care, and for a little love! This is given only through slowness in human relations. In order to master changes, we have to recover slowness, reflection and togetherness. There we will find real renewal."

It begs repeating, “It could however be useful to remind everyone that our basic needs never change. The need to be seen and appreciated! It is the need to belong. The need for nearness and care, and for a little love!”

So this week, take some time to sit down and think of ways that you can be more present to your customers… to connect with them, and to show that you see and appreciate them.  What ways can you show them that you care?  Remembering of course, it must be done in a way that is authentically you.

Here are some suggestions on where to start…

  • Talk to your customers (suppliers, collaborators), whether on the phone or catch up with them face-to-face for a coffee with no other intention than to say hallo and to chat.
  • Write them a letter or send a card telling them how much you appreciate them.
  • Thank them.
  • Compliment them or tell them when you think kindly of them.
  • Tell them about their strengths and how they inspire you.
  • Listen.
  • Take an interest in them and their lives by asking about them.
  • Take the time to find out what they want, and what they like about your product and/or services and what keeps them coming back, and then give them more, and give it to your new to customers too.

It seems so simplistic doesn’t it? But it really can make ‘the’ difference in your business. It’s harder to get customers today. The business environment is so competitive. But what I’m observing in businesses that are flourishing, as well as in my own business, is that those who are taking the time to get to know their customers and the network of people they come into contact with; those who are taking the time to  develop relationships, are getting more of the customers they want. And, their customers are coming back and referring others.

It’s returning to the old fashioned way of doing business you might say, but embracing the tools of today. And in today’s dog-eat-dog world, it’s proving to be even more relevant and necessary than ever before when it comes to business success and longevity.

So let us know how you go, and feel free to share your thoughts and experiences about doing business in the ‘slow lane’.

Have a great week!


Much love...Kerry :) x


How Our Personal Stories Call Powerfully to Our Customers--A Case Study...[Video Production and Multimedia Brisbane]

 Head Shot image of Sara  © TSI Multimedia 2017

Head Shot image of Sara  © TSI Multimedia 2017

"You're not a victim for sharing your story. You are a survivor setting the world on fire with your truth. And you never know who needs your light, your warmth and raging  courage." 

~ Alex Elle
 


Do you have a story to tell?

You might think that your story is nothing special and that other people have more interesting stories. But you know, every one of us has a story - actually, we have many. The challenge is often choosing one, or a number, that as a business owner is going to resonate with your customers in a way that they say..."they get me...they understand me...I want to work with them".

Today I want to share with you a story just like that. The popularist term for that type of story is called 'The Hero's Journey', and it's a classic story where the business owner overcomes great challenge and struggle to realise their dreams and goals and emerges the victor. Sounds so dramatic doesn't it? And you know? It often is. But not in the scripted, Hollywood sense.
 

You see, The Hero's Journey is not only your journey as the founder and business owner, but it can also be your customers' journey.  It's why your customers are often drawn to you. They see themselves in you--some characteristic where they shine a mirror on you and see themselves in your reflection.  They can relate so strongly and they feel like you really do get them and you care about how they feel. Because now more than ever, people want to feel connected. They want to feel that they matter, and that you genuinely care.


Today I share with you Sarah's story and how it is a powerful catalyst for women to step out of from behind the shadows of grief, of staying small and to rise to greater possibility. To talk about a journey that is highly misunderstood and rarely acknowledged. This subject, I discovered through working with Sarah, is often one of taboo that we find difficult to discuss and even more difficult to truly comprehend.

That journey is The Sacred Journey of Childlessness, and the greater difficulty for women just like Sara, is for society to understand that the grief and loss that women feel through involuntary childlessness, is no less than that of a woman who has borne and rared a child and then loses that child. For me, as a woman who has a daughter, I finally understood Sarah's pain when I imagined how the loss of my own child would feel--incomprehensible and inconsolable. 

The reason I'm sharing this story is because Sarah has just launched her own business (The Empty Cradle) and helps women who have lost the opportunity for motherhood. Through her own personal journey and her skills as a teacher and counsellor, Sarah has developed practical tools and resources to help other women navigate their own journey of childlessness. Through her new business, she wants to provide a safe space for women to grieve, heal and to redesign their lives through childlessness by providing counselling and information, as well as access to a healing community for ongoing friendship and support.

So I was honoured that Sarah approached me to help tell her story as well as talk about the services she provides, through video, and to create images to support her website and social media marketing. You can read and view images of Sarah's full Case Study here which comprises a multimedia package incorporating an introductory video, feature video (below), head shots and custom stock photos.

You can listen to Sarah's story through her feature video, 'The Sacred Journey of Childlessness'  [ 9:24] by clicking on the video link below.

So what can you learn and take from Sarah's story example to help you connect with your customers? How can you apply the same storytelling principles?


Now you don't have to have such an emotional and personal story as Sarah's. But what you can do, is look a little more deeply into your own business: how you got started; your reasons for doing what you do and how you came to be where you are right now.  What stories and experiences did you encounter along the way that your customers might relate to? What challenges did you face? And what solutions did you come up with that worked and that your customer's may benefit from?

Now the stories don't always have to be directly yours. They can also be your customers' own 'Hero's Journey'. Maybe what you've provided in the way of a service, product or experience has positively impacted them--small or great. But what ever that experience has been, you've been able to connect with them and created a relationship of ongoing trust.

A relationship where they value not only your product or service, but your ability to make them also feel valued and that you care. Isn't that the type of relationship we all want to have with our customers? Because they're the type of customers who will not only keep coming back again and again, but who will also bring others along for the ride.

Not too sure what story to tell that your customers can relate to? If you'd like help with this, and would like to know how to use Story to engage your ideal customer, be sure to book a 30 min Story Strategy Session with me and let's explore the possibilities!

Have a great week!

Kerry :) x

*P.S. If you know of anyone who can benefit from Sarah's story and her services, please share this post. Much appreciated. :)