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What’s the quickest way to make an impression on video?

Who are your influences?

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?

make an impressionWhat 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.

Are you ready to reveal yourself, share your stories and learn how to make your own videos? Join my FREE Videomaking Mastermind group on Facebook

It’s a free support group where you can share your own videos and get inspiration and positive feedback from others.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/videomakingmastermind/

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Why being different isn’t enough (and what to do instead)

 

I believe the best route to success is to carve your own path. And for most people that means doing something different. But being different is not enough. You need to show how you make a difference.

What does this look like…?

My very first business was an outdoor program for young people.

The magic formula? Cramming 10 teenagers into a little open boat for three weeks.

After running this program for 6 years – Outward Bound took notice. They offered to buy my company & hire me. All of a sudden I was working for an outdoor school that earned over $5 million annually & making a differnce for thousands of young people.

If I had first knocked on Outward Bound’s door to work with them – no one would have answered. But by carving my own path & making a difference, I got their attention.

My second business was a fair trade music company. I built an online platform where you could stream and download music from around the world.

The magic formula? When you heard a song on the radio you’d never heard before, you could go online and download the music – and the artists earned half from every sale.

After operating this business for 6 years – National Geographic took notice. They offered to buy my company and hire me.

All of a sudden I was working with a media company that earned over $500 million annually and my music service was in front of 2 million National Geographic viewers and making a difference for thousands of artists.

If I had first knocked on National Geographic’s door asking to work with them – no one would have answered. But by carving my own path & making a difference, I got their attention.

Now my work is helping influencers and entrepreneurs carve their own path – with video. And now I’m making a difference for thousands of business owners around the world.

If you’d like to explore how you can make more of a difference by using video, then get started with my Awesome Video Toolkit: http://awesomevideomakers.com/awesome-videomakers-toolkit/

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Cinderella gave me the best advice on how to show up

Because of my daughter I tend to watch a fair number of movies with female heroes. This year Wonder Woman and Super Girl have played across our home screen. But recently we got the DVD to the 2015 version of Cinderella, and not only did I like it, I picked up one of the greatest lessons in how to show up the world.

In the final scene (watch the video) Cinderella has finally been found by the prince. But from her perspective, the jig is up. After all, her only previous encounter with the Prince was at the ball when she had used magic to transform herself into a princess. Now she has to literally come out of the closet and reveal herself as a servant, an orphan, a nobody.

At the moment of truth she catches her reflection in the mirror and the narrator intones, “It is perhaps the greatest risk any of us will take, to be seen as we truly are.”

and then says, “Have courage and be kind.”

Compare this to how most people are choosing to show themselves – especially online – with polished images and perfect seeming lives.

And when we’re showing ourselves on video, it can be especially challenging because we feel as though the whole world could be judging us, right? But when you show up as the person who you are, that can be one of the most attractive things you can do.

So, the next time you get in front of the camera, remember Cinderella: Have courage and be kind.

If you want to practice growing your courage and kindness, (as well as grow your business) then you should join my Big Reach Video group program where you can learn to use live video to build a tribe of raving fans for your business. I’m starting a new group of 20 participants at the end of the month so don’t wait!

Sign up right here >

 

 

 

 

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The 3 Simplest Ways to Make the Best Live Video

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How to Document Your Journey with Live Video

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!

I’d love to have you make a short video like the one above – showing part of your morning commute. Show us who you are and post it in my FREE Videomaking Mastermind Facebook Group

http://facebook.com/groups/videomakingmastermind

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How to Engage Your Video Audience with Inspirational Metaphors

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?”

My big invitation to you is to join my FREE Videomaking Mastermind Group on Facebook

http://facebook.com/groups/videomakingmastermind

Join us, share your videos there, and you’ll see how just little tiny shifts your videos will be getting better and better, and you will start showing up more and more.

My special thanks to Anne Caulkins – Wicked Lean
https://www.facebook.com/WickedLean/

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How to make Smartphone Videos that make you look smart

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.

 

smartphone video(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:

smartphone videos

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.

If you’d like to have a bigger conversation about the kind of story you could be telling with video – to help your prospective clients believe that their transformation is possible, then contact me for a free Video Storytelling Strategy Session >

Set up a time to talk with me below and in our conversation we can develop a strategy to help you…

  • get clear on your story
  • get comfortable in front of a camera
  • get psyched about becoming highly visible.

How to make inspiring action videos (with minimal gear)

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.”

Check out Erik’s Wheelchairboarding page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Wheelchairboarding

How to shoot an action video (with minimal tools)

action videosThis 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 learn more and share some of the videos you’re making? Join my FREE Videomaking Mastermind Group on Facebook

4 Surprising Reasons The First Kiss Video Went Viral

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.

First Kiss Video3. 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.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/videomakingmastermind/