I can’t think of anyone who could offer better motivation for successful entrepreneurs than Henry David Thoreau – so I shot this video at the site where he wrote his famous book, ‘On Walden Pond.’
Thoreau built his own cabin (yes, he’s the grandfather of the tiny house movement) and lived on Walden Pond for a year while writing his book. What I want to talk about is the inspiration that I’ve gotten, especially as an entrepreneur, from a guy like Henry.
One thing he wrote that really resonates with me was his warning about how ‘men lead lives of quiet desperation.’ When I read those words I thought, “No! I’m not going to do that!”
Thoreau really was his own man. “Live the life you have imagined,” he wrote, “simplicity, simplicity, simplicity” – advocating freedom from distractions of the endlessly diverting display of the world of stuff, stuff and more stuff – great entrepreneurial advice! “It’s not enough to be busy. So are the ants. The question is: what are we busy about…?”
He was a thought leader and the inspiration for civil disobedience movements around the world – inspiring people like Gandhi and Martin Luther King to lead their own movements and succeed. And he did this in the face of a lot of challenge – lot’s of people didn’t agree with him or they thought he was kind of crazy.
If you’re an entrepreneur, like I’m an entrepreneur, we are doing something that is genuinely challenging and where other people are looking at us and saying, “Oh, that’ll never work. That’s never going to fly.” And yet here we are continuing to pursue something that we really believe in on our path to becoming successful entrepreneurs.
When I’m facing serious challenges in the work that I do – and it comes up pretty often where I’m thinking, “Oh, I’m not sure that this will work,” or I have some doubt. One of the stories that I tell myself is the story of Thoreau and what he did to carve his own path and to try things and to go against conventional wisdom.
So, what are the inspirations and what are the stories that you tell yourself when you’re facing your challenges?
I want you to feel like you’ve just discovered the Swiss army knife for attracting clients online with social video marketing.
How many people out there are MacGyver fans?
As you know, MacGyver’s the guy who could take a roll of duct tape and a paper clip and fix just about anything. What I want to do is show you how using live video can be the duct tape and paper clip fix for attracting all the clients you need.
The problem that I see is this: We’re all spending a lot of time engaging with people through social media, in our blog, sending out email and all of these different platforms take up all this extra time. It’s a big, big job to do and the more you look at Facebook and then you look at Twitter and then you look over at LinkedIn, the more it can feel overwhelming.
I want to show you the cure for this. Here’s the MacGyver thing. You can be all over the place with social media and then somebody like me comes along as says, “Hey, I got an idea for you. Why don’t we make video?” And the first thing that’s popping into your head is, “Oh no! Not another thing. You mean I have to do video too?”
But if you use live video and you’re just using your phone, first of all you don’t need any other fancy gear – you already have a phone – and when you do the video, the only time it takes is the time to talk into your camera. And when you’re done, you’re really done. There’s no editing, there’s no post production, you don’t even have to upload it anywhere, it’s already up. And the cool thing is that because it’s up on a platform like Facebook – Facebook is where everybody is. Now you’re able to reach a very large and targeted group of people.
But this is where the duct tape comes in.
You can take that same piece of content – the same video – and repurpose it onto Youtube, your blog, into an email blast, on LinkedIn and even take the audio and turn it into a podcast. So, if you’re already blogging or if you’re already doing a podcast or if you already have a Youtube channel, you can start with a Facebook Live video and then use the same content on all your other platforms – and be everywhere in no time at all.
If you really want to really master the MacGyver approach to making social video then join my FREE Videomaking Mastermind Facebook Group where you can post your videos, get positive feedback and learn from what others are doing.
http://awesomevideomakers.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/magyver-video.png7201280Brad Powellhttp://awesomevideomakers.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Awesome-Video-Makers_opt-logo.pngBrad Powell2017-07-01 22:53:212017-08-10 13:32:15How to be the MacGyver of Social Video Marketing
Let’s face it. The world is a crowded place. And busy. And loud. Which means your small business can feel pretty hidden. And your work ends up lost in the crowd.
And we spend tons of energy trying to figure out what new technique or new tool will help us break through all the noise.
But the real answer isn’t ‘out there’ (with the latest snap chat type app). It’s inside you. Your beliefs. Your experience. Your unique approach is what will make you and your business stand out.
You want to engage your customers, but you need to attract their attention first. So how exactly do you create attention grabbing videos?
Here’s the thing: start by challenging an assumption that your customers are making about how they can get the benefit that your product offers.
To be clear, I’ll say this again in a different way: You have a product that offers a solution to a problem (a.k.a. the benefit). Your customers have a belief system about how they’ll get that benefit. Often this is a limited belief. And their belief is not the truth.
It’s a myth. And that myth is ripe to be busted wide open.
This is a job for Mythbusters!
(Cue Ghostbusters theme song…)
Bust open one of their myths (one of their core beliefs) and suddenly they’ll be intrigued – by you. You’ve got their attention. Challenge one of their assumptions and they’ll start tuning in to what you’re saying. Change one of their assumptions and they’ll start following you – (on Facebook & Twitter & Youtube).
So, how can you do this?
Here’s a case study, (see the video above), which is one of the finest recent examples of mythbusting, and attention grabbing videos, out there.
Case Study: Like A Girl
The Like A Girl video (above) works because it breaks one of our collective myths. After watching you’ll probably never use the expression “like a girl” in a negative way — intentionally or not — again.
The video is striking, and attention grabbing, because it directly challenges our collective myth of what it means to do things “like a girl.” We are shown young individuals (both male and female) standing in front of the camera while being interviewed by documentary filmmaker Lauren Greenfield. (F.Y.I. Greenfield is the Sundance Film Festival award-winning creator of “The Queen of Versailles”).
Greenfield asks each one to act out phrases like “Run like a girl” and “Fight like a girl.” As you might expect, they do a lot of exaggerated limp arm movements and feeble running in place.
This works because we know this is real. We’re seeing honest reactions. And we believe it because we’re seeing people respond to the prompts the same way we would respond. It confirms our mythical image of the true meaning of “like a girl.”
Then, the same question is posed to a group of young girls. And one tiny girl’s unequivocal: “It means to run as fast as you can,” when asked: “What does it mean to you when I say: ‘Run like a girl?’” is especially moving.
You can’t help but feel a swell of pride — as if you were their parent, maybe — as you watch her dart across the screen with purpose and power. (full disclosure: I have an 13 year-old daughter so I got swayed).
The video brilliantly sets up two groups of people. Pre-adolescent girls — and the rest of the world. Ask a young girl how to run or throw like a girl and she, surprise, runs or throws. Period. She gives it her all.
Ask a young boy how to run like a girl and you know what you’re going to get. (the male version of our myth).
But what really makes the video is when women are asked to perform these tasks like a girl. Somewhere between girlhood and womanhood, it turns out, they’ve accepted the boys’ idea of throwing and running and hitting like a girl, and mockingly flop their hands and legs. The contrast makes it all too clear how young women lose self-esteem the more they grow up and hear “like a girl” as a derogatory statement.
All of the above succeeds in flying under the radar of the viewers. We’re no longer watching an ad – or a commercially sponsored video, We’ve become intrigued by the social experiment that’s unfolding before our eyes. And the ultimate pattern interrupt with the question, at 1:06, “When did doing something like a girl become an insult?”
Now we’re hooked.
By busting open our myth about what it means to be “like a girl”, the company who created this video, Always, has now captured our attention and prompted a great conversation, for example: “Why can’t ‘run like a girl’ also mean ‘win the race’?”, (and I really appreciate the shift in this video from social experiments about beauty – as in the Dove Real Beauty campaign – to one about empowerment).
Always succeeded because their #Likeagirl video redefined the myth behind the phrase “like a girl.” They captured attention – 58 million views on Youtube. And they started a great ongoing conversation
Do something attention grabbing to challenge your crowd
What myth can you bust open? What assumptions are your customers making that you can challenge?
http://awesomevideomakers.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/attention-grabbing.jpg5791030Brad Powellhttp://awesomevideomakers.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Awesome-Video-Makers_opt-logo.pngBrad Powell2017-06-20 06:58:182018-04-15 14:37:01How to make attention grabbing videos
I’ve been following lots of teachers online and all of them come up with these simple learning things where they teach you 3 tips or 4 tricks or 5 essentials, and each of the things they teach you start with the same letter. So they’ll offer the 4 P’s or the 5 L’s…
I decided that I wanted to do that myself so in this video I’ve come up with the 4 I’s: The Essential Ingredients to Awesome Videos. And I want you to put in the comments below whether you think this kind of thing is helpful or hokey. Here are the 4 essential ingredients that you need in every single video that you make.
The very first ingredient is Intent. What’s your intention? What’s your reason for making the video? And most importantly, what do you want the people who are watching the video to do? And this is different than what do you want them to learn or what do you want them to understand. You want to think of this as an experience for them. They really want to get some kind of experiential, emotional value from watching your video. So, when they see the video, then they will do something. That’s your intent. What are they going to do after they watch your video?
Then you want to intrigue them. Basically, intrigue is all about selling them the idea of watching your video. At the beginning of the video above I was trying to intrigue you by saying, “I’ve got 4 ingredients.” And now you’re thinking, “Well I wonder what they could possibly be. I know they all start with the letter I, but I don’t know what they are!” Hopefully that intrigues you enough to watch it all the way through. So at the very beginning you have to do something very intriguing to catch their attention.
The third thing is Insight. You want to share your insight. What’s the thing that you know that they don’t? Usually what you’re doing when you’re making a video is you’re solving a problem. And you’re solving a problem for the people who are watching. If they knew how to solve the problem, they’d already be doing it. So, there is something that you know that’s going to help them. You have an insight and that is the main content of your video.
Last but not least, is share your inspiration. You want to inspire them at the end of your video to take action. Cajole them. Inform them. Give them ideas. Give them a very specific call to action so that they will then go do the thing that you want them to do.
So there you have it. The four essential ingredients of every single video: Intent, Intrigue, Insight and Inspire to Action.
Want more insights on how to do live video? And how to get clients from doing live video?
There’s a problem that I see for people who are making videos – and they’ve been making videos for awhile – but they’re just not getting the response that they hoped for. This is a problem because you’re putting out all this effort, and you want to be giving all this value, but it’s like you’re out in the middle of the wilderness and nobody’s showing up, nobody’s commenting and nobody’s giving you the response you want. And now you’re wondering, “How long do I have to keep on doing this?”
I see this pretty commonly, especially over on Youtube. People have a Youtube channel and maybe they’ve made 30 or 40 videos and none of them have really received much in the way of a response. And people are beginning to wonder, “OK, so I’m making videos, when does this turn into anything? When do I start finding clients for my business?”
Here’s a couple of ways that you can move people along so that they will start showing up as who they are and you’ll be able to identify them and start working with them.
The first step in this process is that you want to start making live video. And the reason that you want to do live video is because you can get people to respond to you in the moment in real time. For example you can ask people to make comments. And when you do you want to be very specific. You want to say the specific word to write in the comments so they know what to do and it’s really easy for them to do.
As soon as someone does that, two things happen which are really great! One of them is that Facebook rewards you. If you make a video and all of a sudden a bunch of people are commenting, even if they’re only commenting with one word, Facebook’s algorithm looks at that and goes, “Oh here’s a really engaged video. Here’s a bunch of people who really like this video. This video must be relevant.”
And they’ll actually start showing your video to more people. The more comments you get, the more people will start seeing your video, which means the more comments you’ll get and it just keeps growing like this – and it’s a perfect way to build your audience and to build your reach.
The second thing that happens is that when people comment, all of a sudden instead of being anonymous video viewers they raise their hand and they show up and you can see on Facebook who they are and their profile picture and their name, and then you can reply and start having a real conversation with them.
So for example, in my case, if I know that you’ve said to me, “I make videos, but I’m not getting the response I want.” Then I can start talking to you about how to address that issue and how we can move forward in helping you get better and better response with your videos. And this is something that you’ve told me that you want to work on. If I start helping you do that, that’s a really attractive thing to be doing. And this is the kind of thing you can be doing with your live video so that you start generating real conversation after the video is over – during the replies with the people who watch. This is so powerful and it’s how you start moving people along from being an anonymous viewer to becoming someone who wants to work with you.
Now doing this kind of thing takes practice. You have to try different ideas and see what works. And the best way to practice is with a group of people who can support you – whether you’re doing it weekly or every other week or every other day. Whatever schedule you choose, you want to be doing it in an environment where you’re getting feedback.
We’re building an enthusiastic group of entrepreneurs who are all going through the same process together in stepping out into the world in a way that’s very engaging and very attractive and very interactive using this new medium of live video. Join us!
http://awesomevideomakers.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/video-viewers-to-clients.png7201280Brad Powellhttp://awesomevideomakers.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Awesome-Video-Makers_opt-logo.pngBrad Powell2017-05-08 15:49:062017-11-19 16:44:522 Proven Ways to turn Video Viewers into Clients
When it comes to making videos, a lot of people are held back because they think they have to create a lot of new content all the time. You might spend all their time thinking about what to create and how to create it and you end up not producing many videos.
Don’t do this.
Instead, the way to start is to document your journey. Show us your process. Take us behind the scenes of what you do for work and in your daily life.
This is perfect for live video and easy to do. Whenever you find yourself in the middle of something, or stuck on a problem, or in a moment of inspiration – go live and document your journey.
If you want to be respected and known for what you do – then start showing up – by showing what you do! Don’t get stalled by thinking it has to be perfect, or scripted, or a finished product.
Live video is a perfect vehicle because it can’t be perfect. It let’s you off the hook and gives you permission to show up as who you are. People who want to create content make a big mistake: they care about the camera, and the lighting, and how they look…
Yes, you can do simple things just using your smartphone to make your video look professional and beautiful (and I can show you how) but don’t let that keep you from going live – and showing up.
Live video helps you be transparent. I mean, really, you don’t need to know all the answers. So, it can be much more effective to show your process of going through your work – facing your challenges – and growing your business – than coming up with the advice that you think you need to give people.
Think about how to document more than thinking about creating. The key is to talk to people around you and get their stories and reactions. The other key is to start!
http://awesomevideomakers.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/document-your-journey.png310554Brad Powellhttp://awesomevideomakers.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Awesome-Video-Makers_opt-logo.pngBrad Powell2017-05-02 13:18:112017-08-08 16:05:43How to Document Your Journey with Live Video
Let’s say you organized a live event and you managed to get some sponsors and you invited a panel of speakers plus a guest host and then the day of the event turned out to have a torrential rain storm and only 12 people showed up?
Not so great, right?
But what if you live streamed your event? – and encouraged audience engagement? Could you reach a much larger audience and turn your first-time turnout into a big success…?
Here’s an example of a first-time event that had an attendance of fewer than 20 people (including the presenters!) and yet managed to reach an online audience of hundreds viewers who watched the live stream. This case study shows how you can dramatically increase audience engagement.
Just this week, I was at an event that was the first time this event had ever happened. And it was in the morning. It started at 8:00AM and it was on a really rainy day.
You can imagine the turnout we had.
For this event the organizer had recruited three panelists and a host plus another guest speaker and two sponsors who also got up and spoke to the audience – a total of eight people including the organizer himself. The total number of people was less than twenty – so the audience size was pretty modest for this first-time event.
We could have all been quite disappointed at this turnout. However, I was there with my phone and I made the whole thing go live onto Facebook which gave us the chance to reach a much bigger group of people.
I’d like to share with you the results we got from this experiment. There were two things that worked really well for this kind of audience building.
The first thing that happened was that I got up in front of the group and I asked them to pull out their phone and to go to the Awesome Videomakers page on Facebook where they could see the live stream. I enrolled them in the vision of helping us grow the event simply by hitting the share button.
We got a total of 16 shares. Which means practically everyone there actually did what I asked them to. It’s an amazing response from the number of people who were there.
What did that do for us? The live stream had a total reach of over 3,000 people and over 800 views! From an audience of 20 to and audience of 800!
The second thing that we did that seemed to work well was that we asked people who were wathing the video to respond to us during the presentation.
In this case the event was all about leadership for millennials. The organizer of the event asked the audience, “Which generation are you? Are you a millennial? A baby boomer? Generation x? Or generation y? In the comments write in ‘millennial’ or write in ‘baby boomer.'”
And that was a very good prompt. And this is the kind of thing that you want to be doing in your events to get people to respond to you in the comments – even when they’re watching during the replay.
Don’t ask tough questions where they have to write long answers. Give them a multiple choice or give them the word to say to respond. And what that does for you is that it takes an anonymous group of viewers who will now identify themselves. They raise their hand and say, “Here’s my answer.” Facebook displays their name and profile picture so you can reply to them and start having a real conversation.
And then, of course, make sure you invite them to your next event.
http://awesomevideomakers.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/audience-engagement.png7201280Brad Powellhttp://awesomevideomakers.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Awesome-Video-Makers_opt-logo.pngBrad Powell2017-04-23 13:49:592017-08-08 16:04:26How to increase audience engagement on live video
I’m going to talk about something that’s really been bugging me. I’ve been watching a lot of people go live, and do live streaming, and there’s been this one thing that is just not right about your live streams.
I’m doing it at the start of this video, and I’m wondering if you can take a look at what I’m doing and tell me what’s wrong with this picture?
If you can tell what’s wrong, put it in the comments below…
(Hint: can you read the words on my T shirt?)
Here’s the deal.
A lot of people go live on Facebook and they’re using the selfie-facing camera, which is the one that’s aimed at yourself, and when you do that, that default settings for that camera is to have everything flipped around backwards.
This is especially disorienting when someone is going live while they’re driving because it looks like they’ve moved to the U.K. and now they’re driving from the right side of their car…
And if you have writing on your shirt, or if you want to hold up a sign, or if you have a big logo behind you – all of that is going to be backwards.
Here’s the solution…
When you’re getting ready to go live with the Facebook app and you open up the app – you can see a little tiny ‘wand’ icon in the top corner of your screen. Press on the wand and you open a narrow menu which has four icons. The top menu icon is a little wrench. Press on that and you’ll open a second menu which has ‘horizontal flip’ as the top choice. Press on ‘horizontal flip’ and your image will right itself!!
The next time you go live make sure you press on the wand and then press on the wrench and then press on ‘horizontal flip’ and you will not be in the land of backwards.
If you’d like to find out what other mistakes you can easily avoid (and if you never want to miss super simple video hacks), then
http://awesomevideomakers.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/live-streaming-hack.png476847Brad Powellhttp://awesomevideomakers.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Awesome-Video-Makers_opt-logo.pngBrad Powell2017-04-17 15:15:002018-01-14 12:31:341 Simple Live Streaming Hack that will make you right with the world
Here’s my 3 step strategy which will guide you in the best ways to make video for your business.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: you’re thinking, “Oh video! That’s too much trouble. That’s gonna take way too much time!”
So let’s be honest.
There are lots of ways that you can make video that are really time consuming.
But today, I’m going to show you a system – three simple steps – so that you can put your video out there and you can be sure that you’re going to get a good response from all the effort that you put into making your video.
Step #1 is that you start by going live on Facebook. Now why do you do that? It’s because of reach. You’re going to be able to reach all your friends and all your followers on Facebook because that is where they already are.
Facebook loves live video.
And it rewards you when you make a live video by giving you this huge reach. So, you make a video and it’s typically going to reach out to about 1,000 people – and out of those 1,000 people, several hundred of them will watch your video. That’s the reward that Facebook gives you – every single time.
The real reason to start with live is because it’s easy. The time that it takes you to go live is all the time it takes to make your video. When you’re done, you’re done. There’s no post production, there’s no editing. You don’t even have to upload it anywhere. It’s already live.
If you’re wondering about how do you make video without taking a lot of time or going to a lot of trouble: go onto Facebook. Use the Facebook app. Go live. Press the button, and you’re done!
OK, so what’s step #2?
After you go live, you take that same video and you add a nice introduction that’s been pre-recorded that says, “Hello, I’m this person and I do this thing and today this is what we’re going to talk about.” And put that at the beginning of your video.
At the end, take another section that’s a pre-recorded video that says, “Thanks so much for watching and make sure that after you watch you do this thing that I want you to do.” And give them a call to action.
You take those two parts and you just bolt them onto your video with an editing tool like iMovie – and upload this longer video onto Youtube.
Now why do you upload onto Youtube? Because when you’re on Youtube, now you’re going to get search. On Facebook you get reach, but you don’t get any search. People aren’t going to search for you on Facebook and find you by searching. But they will search for the problem that you solve in your video or the answer to the question that they have that’s in your video. And they go onto Google or they go onto Youtube and they look for the answer you’re providing, and if you have a video on that subject, they can find you and watch your video. So you get more views this way.
And this keeps going on forever when you have a video on Youtube. The unfortunate thing about Facebook is that it gives you great reach but has a short shelf life. Your video goes up but within 24 hours that’s kind of it. It’s not going to get a lot more views. But as soon as you put it on Youtube, it has a shelf life that lasts for a really long time.
Step #3 is you take that video – the same video – and embed it onto your blog. You reach out to your email list and say, “Hey, I just made this great video for you!” Put a little thumbnail picture of the video in the email and you get them to click through and go to your blog post and watch it.
That will create the same kind of search index for people coming to your blog and coming to your website – where you can engage them further. If they’re new visitors, you can invite them to join your email list.
These three steps:
Start with FB live (big reach!!)(no time!!) – do something actionable – people are looking for results – you want to give them the experience of getting the results they’re looking for…
Post on youtube (search!!)(long shelf life!!)
Post on your blog (web site) add bonus content that people can download (grow your email list) bing!!!
Here’s the thing – this information is awesome – but if you don’t make these changes then you will spend too much time and not get the return you’re looking for
http://awesomevideomakers.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/video-for-your-business.png306553Brad Powellhttp://awesomevideomakers.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Awesome-Video-Makers_opt-logo.pngBrad Powell2017-04-04 23:36:352017-11-19 16:23:23How to Start Using Live Video for Your Business
Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?
Why is great talent not enough?
“A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that 1,100 people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.
Three minutes went by, and a middle aged man noticed there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace, and stopped for a few seconds, and then hurried up to meet his schedule.
A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till and without stopping, and continued to walk.
A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work.
The one who paid the most attention was a 3 year old boy. His mother tagged him along, hurried, but the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally, the mother pushed hard, and the child continued to walk, turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on.
In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money, but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32. When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.
No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the most talented musicians in the world. He had just played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, on a violin worth $3.5 million dollars.”
Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater here in Boston where the seats averaged $100.
The real story behind the Joshua Bell subway video
What bothers me about this story is not that Joshua Bell went unnoticed – it’s the suggestion that since he was ignored there must be something wrong with us and that if we can’t take a few minutes out of our day to notice great talent then we’re kind of doomed to a boring, mundane, existence.
No. I can’t accept this.
What bothers me is that this story is like the one about the king who disguises himself as a beggar and goes out among the common folk – and then ends up being surprised that no one recognizes or accepts him as king once he reveals himself.
There are situations every day of the year where a great many talented people are practicing their craft – and yet they are getting a response equivalent to people ignoring Joshua Bell in the subway.
The simple truth: your talent is not enough
Many of us believe that if we put in the work and we hone our skills and we become the best at what we do – that our talent will shine through and people will recognize and reward us with their patronage.
Actually, you’re story will likely end up like the Joshua Bell subway video. You’ll be ignored.
I know that Joshua’s performance was meant as an experiment and that he purposefully did nothing to showcase himself – except to play his violin. But let’s imagine what he might have done to attract some attention.
Location, Location, Location
Joshua’s first mistake was that he was playing near the entrance to the subway. Everyone knows that early morning commuters are notoriously in a hurry and that when they enter a subway station they will hurry on down to the train platform almost no matter what. On the other hand, the train platform itself has a captive audience – because no matter how much of a hurry you’re in – you’re not going anywhere until the next train comes.
Joshua could have placed himself on a platform and, in between train arrivals, he could have been playing his heart out to an audience that he knew would be forced to wait and listen.
This is important. No matter what it is that you do – you can find an audience that will love your work. Where do they hang out? Where could you find the equivalent of a captive audience? Go there.
There was a time when all across the United States there were little signs put up along the highway with clever little rhymes. This was an ad campaign by Burma Shave. The series was always in the same structure: four signs each with one line of a rhyme – always humorous with a punch line.
Don’t put your elbow
Out too far
It may go home
in another car
(there was always a fifth sign that said ‘Burma Shave’ – the ad part)
I remember traveling across the country in my family’s station wagon (at five years old) looking eagerly for the next signs and reading each one aloud. The anticipation was half the fun. I also remember that people made up their own rhymes – as a kind of parody – always ending with ‘burma shave’ which turned out to be an amazingly creative viral strategy for the company.
(full disclosure – the above example may, in fact, be one of the parody rhymes – it’s the only one I can remember off the top of my head)
Not Another Roadside Attraction
Two decades ago the poet William Stafford used this exact same technique to showcase his poetry. Stafford, a very talented and celebrated poet from Washington state, was grappling with the challenge of how exactly do you bring poetry to the mainstream? How can you get mom and dad and all the kids reading poetry together?
Well, he published a series of poems as roadside attractions along a lonely stretch of highway in the Methow Valley in Eastern Washington. His poems were each placed on weatherproof signs at a series of road turnouts along the route – usually where there was also an incredible view of the natural scenery of the North Cascade Mountains.
A Valley Like This
Sometimes you look at an empty valley like this and suddenly the air is filled with snow. That is the way the whole world happened – there was nothing, and then…
But maybe sometime you will look out and even the mountains are gone. the world become nothing again. What can a person do to help bring back the world?
We have to watch it and then look at each other. Together we hold it close and carefully save it, like a bubble that can disappear if we don’t watch out.
Please think about this as you go on. Breathe on the world. Hold out your hands to it. When mornings and evenings roll along, watch how they open and close, how they invite you to the long party that your life is.
By going to where his target group would be and speaking directly to them, William Stafford captured his audience.
As a result his poetry has been read, and shared, by a larger and far more diverse population.(note these poems were all posted in the pre-internet era.)
You can accomplish the same level of engagement that Stafford did by speaking simply and directly to your audience and addressing their desires.
Imagine if, back in the subway, Joshua Bell had collaborated with a poet who wrote out four lines of poetry about the beauty of music played on a violin – and these lines were then placed on four signs leading to Joshua’s location on a train platform (where everyone would have to listen while waiting for the next train)?
http://awesomevideomakers.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/joshua-bell-in-subway.jpg250400Brad Powellhttp://awesomevideomakers.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Awesome-Video-Makers_opt-logo.pngBrad Powell2017-04-04 16:14:142017-08-08 15:53:21How to be ignored & unpopular: the Joshua Bell Subway Video
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