“In the last few years with the technology of good quality video being available on your smartphone, it’s become all too simple and accessible for anyone to produce video. The block is around how do you tell a good story that’s compelling and that’s going to resonate with the people who you want to talk to.
“Everyone is already a good storyteller. We tell stories all the time. But most people, even though they have a collection of stories, they don’t really know how to sort through them and figure out which kind of story should I be telling to the client or customer that I want to be speaking to that will resonate with them.”
Brad Powell is a business coach and videographer who teaches entrepreneurs how easy it is to create engaging video campaigns with just a smartphone and good storytelling. Brad inspires entrepreneurs to find everyday moments that make great marketing and he’s dedicated to helping small businesses get over the limiting belief that video marketing is too daunting and time consuming.
As a former Outward Bound Program Director and National Geographic contractor, Brad shows you how to tap into your sense of adventure and helps you become bold and daring when you need to be – like when you’re facing your audience.
http://awesomevideomakers.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/engaging-video-campaigns.jpg8441500Brad Powellhttp://awesomevideomakers.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Awesome-Video-Makers_opt-logo.pngBrad Powell2017-03-16 15:20:542017-12-21 16:53:59How to Create Engaging Video Campaigns With Just a Smartphone
Here’s a case study showing how a simple video was made great by using inspirational metaphors about how the Grand Canyon was formed. Watch how one of the members in my Video making Mastermind group on Facebook shot this video of herself with the Grand Canyon in the background.
Meet personal trainer, Anne Caulkins. Her business is called Wicked Lean and if you’re at all interested in going out there and getting yourself wicked lean, then you should sign up for Anne’s online personal training program – that will give you the body you want.
I made a few suggestions about Anne’s first video. The first one was, “Hey Anne, turn your phone sideways, so we can see more of the canyon!”
The second thing that I suggested was to engage her viewers more. Here she was talking about the Grand Canyon, standing in front of the Grand Canyon, and it would be easy to say, “How many of you have been to the Grand Canyon? If you’ve ever been here before, say, ‘Yes!'”
And in the comments down below people could have said, “Yes, yes yes” and they could’ve mentioned when they were there or what happened to them when they were there. That’s a really good, easy thing to do as a prompt to get people to respond to you.
Next I noted that she’d brought up the inspirational metaphors of, “Here you have this huge canyon, but it took just little drops of water to create it. And those little drops of water were very powerful.” There again she could engage her viewers with questions like, “What are the little drops of water that you’re doing? What’s the little drop of water you’re doing today that’s going to be carving out your Grand Canyon?” Or even better, “What’s the Grand Canyon that you’re carving out?
Two days later Anne made a second video and I just had to share it to show you how easy it is to make just a couple of little shifts that will make all the difference in your video.
I think the second video looks fantastic. This way of using inspirational metaphors in your video is a very powerful thing in terms of getting them to respond to while they’re watching your video – so that they’ll leave a comment and then you can start having a longer conversation with them by replying.
My drop of water is that I make videos. Every week I’m making a new video like this and that little drop of water is carving out a great big canyon of empowering people to show up, and to be themselves, and to share their gifts.
By sharing my own gifts on a regular basis, I’m helping you, and hopefully inspiring you to get out there in the world and gather your people around you and share your gifts with them.
I’d love it if you would comment and tell me, “What’s the drop of water that you’re doing on a regular basis to share your gifts?” And, even better, “What is your Grand Canyon?”
http://awesomevideomakers.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/video-viewers-to-clients-1.png7201280Brad Powellhttp://awesomevideomakers.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Awesome-Video-Makers_opt-logo.pngBrad Powell2017-03-14 23:12:592017-12-21 16:55:07How to Engage Your Video Audience with Inspirational Metaphors
Here are my favorite smartphone steadycam hacks that will create remarkably steady video when your shooting with your smartphone, iphone or android. When you’re away from home and have an idea for shooting video with your smartphone, you probably aren’t carrying your tripod with you everywhere you go. So how do you get a really steady shot, of yourself or someone else, when you’re just holding your phone in your hands?
The first thing a lot of people do is that they hold their phone in the vertical position – as though they are going to take a picture.
And you don’t want to do this.
Turn your phone sideways and shoot in the horizontal mode. Everything is wide screen and so your video will look a lot better when you post it on social media in wide screen format.
When you’re holding your phone at arms length, it tends to move around – creating shaky video that’s hard to watch. So grab a hold of your phone with one hand (as shown in the video above) and bring your elbow into your chest which creates a very steady support for your camera.
You can use this when you’re interviewing someone and it’s solid as a rock and basically turns you into a human tripod.
A great tool for keeping your video steady is the Stayblcam which acts as a counter weight and allows you to move your phone to follow action shots – and keeps the camera steady and smooth throughout your shooting.
http://awesomevideomakers.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/steady-video-1.jpg9971500Brad Powellhttp://awesomevideomakers.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Awesome-Video-Makers_opt-logo.pngBrad Powell2017-03-09 00:13:382017-08-08 13:25:38How to shoot steady video without a tripod
If you’re like me, you are a bit of a perfectionist. Any time you’ve thought of bringing your work into the world you’ve wanted to make sure that it’s your best. And you take a lot of time polishing and tweaking before you feel ready to show it to anyone.
It doesn’t have to be this way. In fact, your work will get a whole lot better if you focus less on perfecting and more on creating and sharing as often as possible.
How do you ensure you’re doing your best work? Get out in front of people and get their feedback
Case in point comes from a cool little book called Art and Fear. A pottery teacher split his class in half and asked the first half to focus on making one incredibly wonderful piece of pottery. Then he told the other half to make a lot of pots saying they’d be evaluated on their quantity (rather than quality).
So, who came up with the best work?
Invariably, all the best pots came from the group making as many pots as possible.
You can apply this lesson to whatever endeavor you’re engaged with: if you want to make something really great, you need to start making. Striving for perfection will just get in your way.
I know. You just don’t feel ready. You have a Goldilocks mindset. You want everything to be just right.
Don’t let your inner perfectionist hold you back.
Treat your work as an ongoing experiment and embrace the mess you create. Expect the unexpected. Treat everything you do as a learning process.
Do this often. Rinse and repeat.
Case study: Pulse reader
In 2010, right at the time the first ipad came out, two students, Ankit Gupta and Akshay Kothari, were in a one-month course called “Launchpad” in which the students have to start a real company. In order to get into the class you have to pitch a business idea so our two heros raised the question, “why is the experience of mobile news browsing so bad?” And they pitched the idea of a creating a news reader app for the ipad.
Their first assignment was to build a functional prototype in 4 days.
To get the job done quickly, they chose to sit in a cafe (a room full of prospective users for their reader) where they had a quick, rough version of their app open on an ipad. Since the ipad was brand new, this was super attractive to everyone who passed by. People who had never seen one would ask about the ipad and they’d let them play with the basic version of their new app. They got tons of immediate feedback from cafe patrons and, as a result, went through hundreds of small revisions each day.
Their published app, called “Pulse Reader” turned out impressive enough to be shown off by Steve Jobs himself and, later on, was sold to LinkedIn for $90 million!! (this story came from the book, Creative Confidence)
How can you get into the rinse and repeat mindset?
Move from planning to action. Share quick, rough versions of a product or service your working on to get fast feed-back. Put a time constraint on yourself. Imagine you have a boss who’s telling you, “I want to see something by the end of the day.” See how quickly you can turn your ideas into action.
Rinse and repeat is a core principle of my program, Video Power Strategy™. It’s about engaging your audience in a way that they ensure you’re doing your best work.
As an experiential educator I’ve seen first-hand how well learning by doing works. If you want to do your best work (and if you want your business to thrive) then you need to jump in with rapid innovation cycles of creating a piece of work, showing it off and learning from the feedback you get. Learn by doing. Rinse and repeat.
http://awesomevideomakers.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/rinse-and-repeat-line.jpg6871030Brad Powellhttp://awesomevideomakers.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Awesome-Video-Makers_opt-logo.pngBrad Powell2017-03-07 18:10:452018-01-03 15:54:42Rinse and repeat - Video making by volume
There are few things more frustrating than pouring your heart into your big idea only to see it struggle to take off.
Whether you’re organizing a project, promoting an event or selling a product or service, there’s nothing worse than spending weeks or months of effort to make something happen – and then nobody shows up, or your phone isn’t ringing, or you’re making videos that nobody’s watching.
When this happens it’s problem of enrollment – you’ve failed to fully enroll your target audience.
In their fantastic book, “The Art of Possibility,” co-authors Benjamin an Rosamund Zander spend an entire chapter talking about what it takes to get someone fully enrolled. “Enrolling is not about forcing, cajoling, tricking, bargaining, pressuring, or guilt tripping someone into doing something your way. Enrollment is the art and practice of generating a spark of possibility for others to share. Have no doubt that others eager to catch the spark”.
Can you imagine a world where others are eager to catch your spark?
The Zanders suggest that you approach enrollment as lighting a spark of possibility in others and then be ready to catch their spark in return. Enrollment will take courage in the face of possible rejection(s). Maintaining your passion and a mindset of possibility is essential.
Ready to fully enroll your target audience? Here we go.
But, there’s also a conversation going on about your thing.
To find the conversation, search hashtags on Twitter and Instagram (like #smallbusiness or #communitygarden or #climatechange) or join a Facebook group or go to a local Meetup – you’ll find out what your people are talking about.
You’ll want to look for what they’re saying about the problem that you want to help them solve.
2. Look for questions, frustrations and desires
These are the things that are most relevant to the people who you are wanting to enroll. Personally, the place where I’ve found the most engaged conversations have been in a few of the Facebook groups that I belong to. (and, of course, my own Facebook group)
What you’ll discover are points of engagement. You’ll see questions that generate long threads of discussion and learn which kind of frustrations or desires resonate most.
It doesn’t matter if you think they’re asking the right questions – these are the questions they’re asking – so that’s where you want to start engaging.
3. Respond with something different
You’re going to discover that people have already tried a lot of things to answer their questions, fix their frustrations, and make their dreams come true. If it’s available they’re checking it out. You need to take the time to study what else is out there too, so you can respond with something unique – something they haven’t tried yet.
How does this work in practice?
Here’s an example based on how I like to engage. Let’s say my preferred method of connection is to go to a networking event or a conference. What I find at almost every business related event is plenty of people (like me) who offer marketing services of one kind or another. In fact it sometimes feels like the room is full of marketers.
And everyone there is introducing themselves with the same question, “What do you do?”
And everyone answers the same way – by talking about themselves.
At an event like try entering the conversation, by saying something different. What if you refused to give an answer by talking about yourself. What if instead you answered by responding to the questions, frustrations and desires that are on the minds of practically everyone in the room?
So, for example, after someone asks me what I do, I might answer with, “I like to help people have more meaningful interactions at networking events (like this one) so they meet the kinds of people they’re looking for, attract the right kind of clientele and so they don’t end up feeling like they’ve totally wasted their time.”
See what I did there?
Now I’m talking about the questions and desires and potential frustrations of practically everyone in the room. All of a sudden I’m positioning myself as someone who might have something different to talk about – and be offering the possibility of a unique value proposition.
Whoever I’m talking to is probably wondering, “What you just mentioned is something that I want to know more about – how do you do that?” So, we can keep talking and I can keep asking questions and learn more about their frustrations and desires.
This is exactly what you want to do.
Don’t enter the conversation by talking about your big idea – start by talking about the thing that is their top of mind frustration or desire. If you’re unsure of what that is, then ask a question.
You can craft content like this in your videos and share it on social media, and when you do people will start thinking you’re reading their minds.
http://awesomevideomakers.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/big-idea.jpg5911030Brad Powellhttp://awesomevideomakers.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Awesome-Video-Makers_opt-logo.pngBrad Powell2017-03-07 14:00:172017-08-08 13:31:233 ways to get your target audience thrilled about your big idea
My friend Terri Ann Heiman has been thinking about making videos for awhile. But something’s been holding her back. She’s been afraid of how she looks on video – something we can all share, right? We’ve all seen videos others have made that didn’t turn out so well. And we’re afraid because we don’t want to be that person. I mean, what if you made a video that’s just not how you want to be seen? Especially in front of all your friends on Facebook? It’s enough to keep anyone from hitting the record button.
Here’s a beautiful story of how Terri overcame her video anxiety and made a couple of simple smartphone videos (to promote her podcast). It’s a perfect case study because she made some of the most common mistakes that almost everyone makes when they start making videos with their phone. And with three simple tweaks – she created something really nice – and now feels inspired to do lots more.
Terri posted her first smartphone video on Facebook – and then called me out because I’d been pushing her to make smartphone videos.
“Ok Brad… I did this with you in mind. It was easier to “just do it” without the worry of what I looked like. But still fighting with that issue! I will overcome… right!”
I wrote back, “Hey Terri – You look great & sound fabulous!! And most importantly enthusiastic! – I think I caught your spirit 😉 Way to jump out there… Let me know you’d like some handy hints on how to look and sound even more fabulous.”
She replied, “Yes I would for sure!”
OK, Step #1: watch the video below on ‘Vertical Video Syndrome’ and then just say, ‘NO’ to vertical video.
Step #2: Raise you phone up so that it’s at the same level as your eyes. You’ll look even more beautiful if you do this. You can use a large box or a stack of books or what I use is one of these little iphone tripods with bendy legs that grab onto just about anything and mount almost anywhere.
(Terri commented: “Hello ..I have one of those tripods sitting next to me! Thanks!”)
Step 3: Position yourself so that your room light hits the front of your face – instead of the top of your head. Overhead lights = very harsh + deep lines.”
(Terri commented: “Hmm… that’s going to take some staging! Going to play with that one!”)
So I said, “You might not have to move. Just turn off the overhead light. Open up any windows and/or get a floor lamp or desk lamp with a diffuse shade and aim it at your smiling face.”
Then, just after recording her podcast, Terri posted this second video, “Wow.. Brad Powell what a difference! Thanks!”
Here are some of the Facebook comments after this second video:
One more suggestion: Terri’s phone is mounted in a way that’s causing some camera shake. So, mount your phone on something that isn’t connected to your movement.
Here’s a third video Terri made that keep’s the camera nice and steady.
BTW – I love the in-the-studio-with-Terri look…
Terri commented, “I’m noticing the likes from the video creating more attention for the podcast. Excited (did I say that?!) for my next video posting now that I know these tips!”
Terri’s first video received 150 views and the second had 280 views and the third broke 300. This is a minor hit – and a simple way for Terri to grab attention for her podcast.
And how does Terri feel about this process? She writes:
“Brad and I talked about using video for visibility and he challenged me to just start doing it. Use my story. That people would be interested in seeing me. Like getting ready for my radio show with the head phones on, etc. So I took his challenge because I knew I was missing out on opportunities to get my message out. His tips helped my videos to look 100% better! So I kept trying! And he was right about visibility. And about getting more comfortable about doing them. Because I was feeling more confidant on video I was able to reach out for the TV interview too!”
“I can’t believe the visibility I’ve gotten from my last video post (see video above). Over 500 views! Thanks for the encouragement!”
Terri’s done a great job getting started with getting more comfortable and confident in front of the camera – and she’s learning the first basic steps in how to produce simple videos with her smartphone. But this is just the start of how to show the transformation you bring to your clients’ lives and demonstrating the solution your business offers on video.
http://awesomevideomakers.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/smartphone-videos.jpg10001500Brad Powellhttp://awesomevideomakers.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Awesome-Video-Makers_opt-logo.pngBrad Powell2017-03-04 17:58:002017-08-08 13:32:42How to make Smartphone Videos that make you look smart
The making of a good action video: Wheelchair Skateboarder, Erik Kondo
I’ve never thought of producing action videos. But recently the chance to make something really inspiring changed how I look at action videos. And the project turned out to be one of the most popular videos I’ve ever made.
A short time ago I was riding along the bike trail when I caught site of something impossible. It was my first view of wheelchair skateboarder, Erik Kondo – flying along on his home-made electric skateboard – while balancing in his wheelchair.
I had to check this out.
“There’s a lot of things that can be done out there that people just never think of.
So, I chased Erik down and while we were riding along together he began telling me the story of how he came up with the idea to fit his wheelchair onto a skateboard.
My first question I asked was how did it feel?
“I’ve been using a wheelchair for about 30 years and when you use a wheelchair you face forward. When you get on a skateboard you still face forward in the chair – but you go sideways.
It’s a completely different feeling.
Your steering is based on front-to-back balance. It feels really different. That’s what I like about it because I still have my chair with me all the time, but as soon as I jump onto that thing (the skateboard) it completely transforms my mobility experience.”
Next, I asked him how the skateboard was put together.
“I started with a regular longboard, but what it has that’s different is a set of wheel rails. The wheel rails lock the wheels on my chair and prevent them from rolling – while I hold a wheelie. The bottom of the longboard has a motor and a drive train. And the motor is wired to a box that contains all the electrical components – batteries, an electrical speed controller and a receiver. I hold a transmitter in my hand.”
I noted the feat that it takes to hold a wheelie – balance his chair on just two wheels – in order to stay on the skateboard. Erik’s reply was pretty modest.
“Now I’m really trying to work my balance so that I can go over more rough terrain. Right now I’m just limited by my skill. I never really skateboarded before. I don’t have that much experience, but the more I do it the better I get.”
I had to ask him how he was able to figure out such a challenging task: how he came to be riding a skateboard without the use of his legs?
“There’s a lot of things that can be done out there that people just never think of.”
This video was shot entirely hand held. I tend to favor using hand held – especially for action video footage. For the interview section I had a microphone attached to the camera and shot close enough so that you can still hear Erik’s responses. For al the footage on the skateboard park I was holding the camera with two hands and moving in sync with Erik. When we moved to the bike trail, I followed Eric on my bicycle to get the moving shots – one hand on the handle bar and one hand on the camera. A GoPro camera would make these shots a lot easier to capture.
The audio on all the movement footage was not critical because I planned to use Erik’s voice and/or music as the soundtrack.
One thing that really helped this video is the inspiring subject – a guy riding a skateboard on his wheelchair. This video received over five thousand views on Youtube and another thousand views on Facebook simply because wheelchair skateboarding is so unusual.
Want to make an impression? Tell us about the most influencing people in your life. For example…
When I was five years old my mother took me into New York City to see Robert Preston in “The Music Man”. Live on stage.
The character of “The Music Man” had the energy and charisma to galvanize a jaded community (in River City, Iowa) around music. His vision was bringing communities to life with music.
From him I learned how sheer enthusiasm can be so contagious.
I was hooked. I wanted to be the Music Man.
It was probably one of the most shaping influences of my life. We had the soundtrack at home and I used to put the record on and march around the living room singing “Seventysix Trombones in the Big Parade…!” at the top of my lungs.
You have your own story like this.
There’s a fabulous scene, in the video above, about influences in the movie “The Commitments” – a film about a young man who wants to form a soul band in Dublin (of all places). And when the he auditions new band members, he asks only one question: Who are your influences?
What is so revealing about your influences?
The scene is a set of jump cuts. The front door is opened to each new person who gives just one answer – and yet, instantly, we get an impression of who they are – what they’re personality is like, how they look at the world – (in addition to the certainty that they’re totally wrong for a soul band).
You need to reveal yourself in your video, so ask yourself the same question.
But don’t settle for a one-word answer. Share the details about the influencing people in your life. Tell the whole narrative of how your life has been affected by them.
You have a story of something profound that shaped who you are and revealing yourself means sharing that story.
Tell that story and the world will see you apart from the others.
http://awesomevideomakers.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/The_Commitments.jpg430800Brad Powellhttp://awesomevideomakers.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Awesome-Video-Makers_opt-logo.pngBrad Powell2017-02-27 21:49:072017-08-08 13:52:44What's the quickest way to make an impression on video?
Want to get someone’s attention? Here’s a great hack that will help you stand out in someone’s inbox…
Let’s say you want to connect with someone special. You could contact them via their email address, their twitter handle, their Facebook ID, their linked profile – but which route will get their attention?
We all know how well we respond to email from perfect strangers. We don’t open those emails.
But imagine if someone took the time to record a video with a personal message just for you – wouldn’t you be a little intrigued? Hmmm…?
Welcome to video email.
Send a standard email to a new contact and you’ll likely get no response. But send video email (that is personalized to the person your approaching) and you’re much more likely to receive a reply.
If you have a list of potential clients – send them a video email.
If you want to touch base with a current client (or former client) to keep yourself top of mind – send them a personal video.
If you need to reply to a client query – send them a video answer and catch them by surprise.
If you have a long list of emails to do – try sending a series of video emails instead – it’s more fun!!
If your email open rates or click-thru rates are not going so well – try video emails
You can learn how to send video email for FREE and in the next five minutes. Here’s how:
All you need are three things:
1. A relatively new computer with a webcam. Late model Apple imac, macbook or even ipad mini will work fine.
2. A good location. Quiet. Distraction-free background. Well lit with natural light. (Find a location where you can sit facing a window so that you are evenly lit from the front)
3. Recording software: I record messages using Zoom.us – You can get a free account and zoom will give you the best quality webcam video.
Make Your Video Email Short and Personal
Don’t talk for more than 60 seconds. Be personable and conversational. Smile. Thank the person your talking to.
Upload to Youtube
Upload your video to Youtube and save it as ‘unlisted’ so it will not show up in the Youtube search or public display.
Take the url of the video and paste it into the text of your email. Once you send your message, the thumbnail of your video will appear in the email and your recipient will be able to click on the image to watch.
http://awesomevideomakers.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/video-email-thumb.png311556Brad Powellhttp://awesomevideomakers.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Awesome-Video-Makers_opt-logo.pngBrad Powell2017-02-25 17:42:352017-12-29 10:06:20How to Send Video Email to Anyone
How did the First Kiss Video, a simple, black and white video about strangers kissing, become one of the most viewed business video?
At first blush (pun intended) it would appear that Tatia Pilieva’s First Kiss video of complete strangers kissing – with 156 million YouTube views and counting – was a brilliant viral hit. But what were the essential ingredients that made this video so successful?
1. Showing Emotion
The video (above) invited 20 strangers to meet and kiss for the first time – and captured both the awkward and endearing results. “They shed all these layers in front of our eyes and in front of the cameras and that sweetness and kindness resonated with people.”
2. Making it Real
Each couple was asked to meet on the set – and then they just let the cameras roll. “It felt so real and sincere and it was,” Director Patia Pilieva told the New York Times, saying each couple really did meet for the first time the day they shot.
3. Turning it into something big
First Kiss succeeds as a clever social experiment in the awkwardness of intimacy – showing a quick study in how easily a kiss creates a visceral bond between two people who barely know each other’s names. For the awesome video maker, Tatia Pilieva, the outcome is amazing: She’s succeeded in creating something culturally interesting and something that has people interested in discussing its very meaning.
Some of the viewers have told Wren Studio that it “restores their faith in love.” That’s pretty good branding.
4. Telling a great story (and don’t be obvious about trying to sell something)
The fact that it was wasn’t obviously a video advertising campaign may be why the video garnered 1,392,296 Facebook shares, and 68,740 Twitter shares in just 31 days. The First Kiss video was created as a subtle advertisement for clothing company Wren Studio, with all the women in the video wearing Wren clothing. Wren creative director, Melissa Coker wrote in Business Insider that, “Traffic to the Wren website increased 14,000%, and 96% of those visitors are new to the site. Sales in the online store are up over 13,600% compared to the week before the First Kiss Video was released.”
When the video was released on Youtube it reached the front page of Reddit by the first evening. By the next day the video had been viewed almost 2 million times and by the end of the week, it had been viewed over 60 million times. It spawned a bunch of parodies, and was covered in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, CNN, Bloomberg TV, Adweek, Fast Company, Inc, and many more journals and blogs.
How can you put these lessons into action for your own video storytelling?
You can learn how easy it is to get creative, get more confidence and develop your own low budget video marketing strategy. Join my FREE Videomaking Mastermind Group on Facebook and practice how to be more confident on camera, growing your audience and learn how to turn viewers into clients.
http://awesomevideomakers.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/first-kiss-video.png5851039Brad Powellhttp://awesomevideomakers.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Awesome-Video-Makers_opt-logo.pngBrad Powell2017-02-22 21:42:152017-12-28 12:01:474 Surprising Reasons The First Kiss Video Went Viral