You’ve seen all the stats and you’ve personally experienced the explosive growth of video in the last 5+ years. It is not a channel we can or should ignore for ourselves or for our clients.
But unless you or your client have a skateboarding cat – producing a compelling video that will attract and connect with viewers is no small task. (If you do have a skateboarding cat – can I borrow him?)
In this episode, we’re going to deconstruct what it takes to create a compelling, engaging video that connects you with your ideal audience. My guest is an expert who has spent over a decade exploring and perfecting the art of the marketing video.
Beyond learning how to best our own hang-ups about being on camera, there are even broader questions. What are some best practices? What elements need to be in place to have an effective video? What does effective video even mean these days?
My guest Gideon Shalwick is a serial entrepreneur who has been creating businesses in the online video space since 2006. He’s been experimenting, studying trends and making plenty of money off video for over a decade.
Today, his focus is on his business Splasheo which is a video captioning service where humans manually transcribe your videos and then burn those captions right into your videos using a variety of engaging layouts. They’re perfect for social and if we’re connected on LinkedIn, you’ve seen my weekly video’s new look, thanks to Splasheo!
Gideon also occasionally offers private coaching and training to help people grow their businesses using video marketing.
A big thank you to our podcast’s presenting sponsor, White Label IQ. They’re an amazing resource for agencies who want to outsource their design, dev or PPC work at wholesale prices. Check out their special offer (10 free hours!) for podcast listeners here: https://www.whitelabeliq.com/ami/
What You Will Learn in this Episode:
- Why video content is not primarily about transferring knowledge
- How to connect with your video audience so they want to engage with you
- How to structure your video content for maximum engagement
- Tips on how to look natural on camera
- Why audio is just as important as imagery in creating a video
- How to use social proofs both as a novice and after you gain traction in video
- Creating video out of your audio content
- Why captions make such a big difference in video engagement
- How to slice and dice your existing content into valuable video nuggets
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Ways to Contact Gideon Shalwick:
It doesn’t matter what kind of an agency you run traditional, digital, media buying, web dev, PR, whatever your focus, you still need to run a profitable business. The Build a Better Agency podcast presented by White Label IQ will show you how to make more money and keep more of what you make. Let us help you build an agency that is sustainable, scalable, and if you want down the road sellable, bringing his 25 plus years of experience as both an agency owner and agency consultant, please welcome your host, Drew McLellan.
Hey, everybody drew McClellan here with another episode of Build a Better Agency. Welcome back if you are a regular listener, and welcome, if this is your first episode, I hope you come back over and over again. I hope we keep providing great value to you. I know that this episode, well, I’m excited about it. Before I get into this week’s guest, a couple quick announcements. All of our fall workshops are live and open for registration. So we’ve got both the advanced AE boot camp and the regular AE boot camp coming up in September. We have money matters coming up in October.
And then we have some really killer new business workshops in January. So head over to agencymanagementinstitute.com and check those out before they sell up. All right. With that, let me tell you a little bit about this week’s episode. So in this week’s episode, I want to talk about something that really has a lot of agency owners nervous or fearful. And I find that fascinating because, for the most part, you guys are confident and outgoing and very comfortable in your own skin. And yet for many of you, the idea of appearing on video is pretty frightening. And I think that we all know how critical video is becoming in terms of search and social and all of those things. And for many of you, this is a tactic that you are helping clients with all of the time.
And so I think it’s fascinating that I don’t see more agency owners doing videos on behalf of their own shop and sharing their expertise. But this week’s episode is really going to be about video in the broader sense of what’s working out there. What do we have to do? What elements do we have to have in place to have an effective video? And what does effective video even mean anymore? And my guest really knows it all. He’s been living in the video space for more than a decade, making his living, shooting videos both for himself and with partners.
And he has actually created a tool, a website called Splasheo.com, where you basically upload your video and they caption it and package it all up and get it ready for showtime. And so he has lived video for a long time, he’s now making his living helping other people live video. And so I’m excited to really learn from him what he thinks the best practices are and things that we should be thinking about both for our clients. And hopefully, it’ll get you thinking about your own opportunities with video as well. So without further ado, welcome to the podcast. Thanks for joining us.
Great to be here.
So tell everybody a little bit about your background and how you came to have this expertise in video that we’re going to pick your brain about for the next hour. And what you’re doing now. I think that’s a good setup for our conversation.
Yes, for sure. It’s something that I actually fell into it’s not something that I decided one day, or long ago that one day, I want to become a video marketing person. It was really a need that I had to solve for myself back in the day. So what happened was about 14 years ago, I decided to become an entrepreneur. So I quit my job, my wife and I, we quit our jobs back in New Zealand and we immigrated to Australia. And we started the new business, a new life, everything. And the first product that I created was a book, I wrote a book and I sold it and it did pretty well.
The only reason I did well is because the person that taught me how to do it, promoted it. They happen to have 10,000 people in the email database and so ED traffic. And` so I thought, “Wow, this is the easiest way to make money ever in the world.” But then because I didn’t know how to get traffic, my sales stopped. I had [inaudible 00:04:48] sales, and then nothing, absolutely nothing. And I thought “Well, I need to figure this game out.” Because my poor wife she was off to work every day paying the bills basically. And so I thought let’s interview some of the top people in the world in this game and figure out how they got traffic and then I could perhaps learn from that. But I thought, “Hey, let’s do this thing on video.”
And to be different because everyone was doing audio interviews back then. This is 2007 roundabout there, just when YouTube was about a year old. And so the video game is still very new, and it was an absolute nightmare. Then if you remember back then cameras we have those handy cams we didn’t have the iPhone, we didn’t even have things like the, not sure if you remember, the little flip camera or that Kodak Zi8, they were a little quite popular for a couple of years, but nothing like that.
And it was an absolute nightmare. But anyway, I did it. I was going to turn these videos into a membership site, these interviews. And then that was going to be my business. Long story short, which took a long time, two and a half years later from when I started, I still wasn’t making any money and really struggling and ready to give up. And I remember telling my wife, “[inaudible 00:06:09], look, this sucks. This is not what I thought it would be. Let’s just see if I could find a job.” And just as I was doing that I went to an event. And then there was someone there who I wanted to interview and I thought, “Ah, what the heck? Let’s interview this guy.”
And anyway, we became good friends. And then we eventually started the business together soon after that and this thing just took off. Within that first two and a half years, we got our first access, everything was done on video. I would literally from zero or negative money to at the time, it was about 23,000 per month in recurring revenue for the business, which was great after not earning anything. And so finally, I had a breakthrough. And then since then, every project that I’ve done has involved video.
So that first one was teaching people how to use blogging to grow their businesses. Then I moved to YouTube, specifically, I teamed up with a local magician, here in Brisbane, Australia. He did the magic, I did the video marketing. And that thing just took off as well within the first six months, I think we had about 50,000 people on our email database. So I worked on that for about a year. And then I said, “Hey, let’s teach businesses how to use YouTube to grow their businesses.” So I launched a brand called Rapid Video Blogging, that did its own thing for a while. Then we had our first baby girl and I said, “Hey, I better start building brands here instead of something that’s so dependent on me.”
I started the company called Splasheo. Then about a year later, I started another company called Veeroll, which is software created to automate the production of video ads for YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram. And I can’t remember I haven’t checked lately because I’ve exited that company. But last time I looked, we had about 27 million ads served for four clients in that company. And so earlier this year, I exited Veeroll and back on to Splasheo now. So yes, it’s been quite the journey, but all of its had a video flavor to it, and just really enjoying the video side of it.
So when you think about everything that you’ve learned about video and when you say, “Boy, YouTube was just starting,” that seems so strange because it just feels like it’s been around forever. But you’re right it hasn’t been. When you talk about what you’ve learned in terms of video, I suspect it’s not about the production as much as it is about the content?
That’s a great question. I’m not even sure if it’s really about the content with these social platforms. I think one word that would sum it up is relationship, building relationships. And I’ve often told people that when you look at a platform like or any of them really, YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, it’s not just a place where you can upload your videos and then voila, you’ve got a ready source of traffic.
It’s not like that. It’s more like a personality or a person that you’re interacting with. It’s almost like an organic being that you can interact with. And so when you upload content there, you need to have that in mind, as you create your content, it is really creating content for a community of people there that you’re going to build a relationship with. I think that’s been the most important thing when you create your content to think about the relationship that you want to build with the right people. So that was a big distinction for me.
Well, and that’s a great lesson for us to take to our clients too. And before we hit the record button you and I were talking about, are we going to end up talking about how agencies should use video for themselves or we can talk about how agencies should use videos for clients and I think we’ll bounce back and forth. But I think part of our role as agencies has always been to educate clients about best practices and tone and content and all of that.
And I think you’re right. I think the idea of, “I’m trying to foster a relationship, even though there’s this wall between us, this screen,” is one that clients probably need to hear over and over and over again. So when you think about people who are great at creating relationship, what do they do in common? So if all of a sudden, I want to produce videos, and I want to start creating relationships with folks on a regular basis from that video platform, what do I have to keep in mind?
I think there are a few things that you’ve got to get aligned. And it’s amazing when you get the alignment how things can take off for you. So you need alignment with at least three things. The end, I’ll come around back to this in terms of the order. But firstly, you need to have the right audience that you’re talking to. An audience who will respond to your message, right? Which is the second thing. You need to have the right message for them as well. And then thirdly, that needs to be aligned with internally, who you are or who you are, as a business or a brand. Those three things really need to be in alignment. And so I call it like a dance or dance as you’d say in America.
Right. I think most people listening like it better the way you say it.
Dance. Yeah, I’ve got a mixture of accents here. But it’s a dance between who you are and what your values are, and what your true beliefs are, and what your internal drivers are, between that and what the market wants. So it’s a question of where do you start, you need to start with what it is that people want, and then serve that, and align yourself to that, or you start with who you are as a business or as an individual. And then later, the market be attracted to that. And I think there’s somewhere in between that you can meet to create a really good combination because nobody’s an island, right?
So we all are interdependent on each other. So even though you might have a certain gift or talent or something like that, you still got to think about that in terms of how that’s going to be useful for someone else. Otherwise, you’re just like the obscure artists who might be creating something for a market of one. And you want to be able to, well depending on your business model, like what I normally work with, is trying to build, look at something that has global appeal. And that I can create a message that will appeal to a large number of people. At least, a large number of people within a niche if you can’t go mainstream or something like that.
So you’re watching two videos, let’s say they’re about the same topic. One of the videos has and in a minute and I’m going to have you tell me what that is, but has the magic portion that creates relationship, and the other one is just a video. What’s the difference? If I’m watching them, why am I drawn to one in terms of creating a relationship versus just watching it or maybe not finishing it because it doesn’t connect? And it can’t be the topic because I watch videos on the same topic all the time and some of them, I’m like, “I want more,” and others. I’m like, “I don’t need to see that anymore.” Right?
Right. There’s one of the words that you used in your question about people connecting. And to me that is the keyword here is connection, can you as a video creator or the talent, the person in the video, can you connect with the other person, the person on the other side? And there’s a number of factors that come into it. And there’s little tricks of the trade that you can use to help that. Let me touch on that in a second. But the first thing is to be creating the right kind of content.
And like I know you were saying that sometimes you could maybe watch two videos exactly the same content, but one response better than the other one or one appeals more than the other, you connect better with one than the other. But that is the first thing is to make sure you’re creating content that appeals to your audience, that your audience actually, but wants to watch.
And that’s often things like solving problems, solving boredom, that’s one of them, talking about fears and frustrations, needs, desires, this sort of thing that’s really aligned with the goals of your target audience and what they want to learn and what they want to solve in their lives. So that’s the first thing to get right. So that goes without saying, but then there are other things that you can do in terms of the delivery. One is your content structure, and how you, I guess, design the flow of your content.
And there are two extremes here. One is where you can have a very formulaic approach, where you have a very structured approach, and the other extreme is where you go fully off the cuff. Now, both can work really well. Again, there’s something in between that can also work well. So an example of a very structured approach is where you use a formula. One that I use, it doesn’t sound pretty, but it works really well is, Zed, I SEE CTA.
Okay, so those are the letters. So the Z stands for Zeigarnik. So was the Zeigarnik was a Russian psychologist in the 1800s. And she figured out that whenever she was teaching her students, if she created some suspense or breaks in between her lessons, then her students would pay more attention. And so this has been used heaps in the movie industry and the television series industry. You look at programs or TV series like Game of Thrones or Lost is good example as well.
All of them, really, they do this, where they essentially open up loops, to open up a loop right at the beginning and they create that suspense right at the beginning of the program. And then throughout the program, they might open up more loops, they might never close until the end of the series or they might close some. Then it hooks you and gets you in and then you want to come back and stay and keep watching and come back for the next one.
And then they have another open loop at the end which is just another variation of it, which is the cliffhanger where they open up a loop and they don’t close it, you’ve got to watch the next episode to do that. So that’s the Z or the Z. And the I see is for I-S-E-E. The I for intrigue or interest. And so this is where you may be you tell a quick story to draw people in. Maybe the story illustrates the problem that you’re trying to talk about and solve for people in the viewer. Maybe it’s a story about that could be a personal story. It could be a story about a client, anything. A story is just really powerful for building that interest and intrigue.
Then the S is for state and this is where you state basically something like the solution. So it can be very quickly. Then the first E is for explain, you explain what that actually means. And then second E is for example, so you give an example to make it more concrete. And then the last bit is really just the CTA, which is the call to action. And depending on what video creating, like on social media, I reckon, these days, the call to action really needs to be along the lines of, “If you liked this video, share it or like the video, or leave a comment, get engaged.
Have an engagement call to action. And as opposed to a, Sign up for my free stuff, or join my course or become a client here,” or that sort of thing, I think there’s different approaches there. But anyway, that’s an example of a structure that you could use, and it works really well. Sometimes it can get a bit rigid. You could look like a robot if you’re not well practiced with it. But of course, the other extreme is where you just go, “Now guys, I have this experience in blah, blah, blah,” and you really just got off the cuff, but it’s still within topic, you’re not just rambling on and on.
Some people, it’s better for them to go off the cuff and to create a connection with the audience. And then some people like the structure. So I think you’ve got to play around with that a bit to see what it is that you find easier and better for creating content, for creating video content for.
I would also think that part of that is based on whoever is delivering the content. So some people are perfectly comfortable speaking off the cuff and would look comfortable on camera, and others would look either petrified or stiff or whatever without some structure, right?
Yes, that’s right. And that’s the next thing that I wanted to mention was how you come across on video. And like you said, sometimes you watch people on video especially when they’re quite new to it, new to the game, come across very stiff and almost like a deer in headlights, right? As soon as the camera turns on they turn into this robot and go, “What’s going on?” So there’s easy ways to solve that. One is the way that you look into the camera. I know this sounds like really basic but some people don’t realize this in terms of where you have your focus when you look into the camera.
And you’ve got to look right into the lens and have the focus right into the lens as if you’re speaking to someone else and as if you’re looking into someone else’s eyes. I often say that the best way of doing this is to imagine you are either speaking to a friend and looking them in the eye when you look into the lens. Or if you want to take it a notch up, this is like a little bit of a, what do you call it? My little secret to imagine that the person that you’re talking to when you’re looking into the lens is someone that you’re in love with.
I can’t remember where I saw this or lend this from it was many years ago now. But anyway, what happens is, when you do that, when you’re acting like you’re speaking to a friend or someone that you’re in love with, maybe it’s your wife, or your partner, what happens is it does something to your face and your body language. It changes what your eyes look like, it changes how you move your body, maybe you relax a little bit more, or maybe you’re a little bit more interested in talking to the person on the other side. And what happens is people can pick up on that, people pick up on those visual clues.
Yeah, the oral nonverbal clues.
Absolutely, it’s incredible. And then compare that approach to someone who’s perhaps new and you can often see they’re sitting or standing back. And when you can tell by just looking at their eyes they’re accessing information in the back of their brains. They’re not with you, their presence is not with you, their presence is with some image or idea that they’re accessing in the back of their minds. And that’s where you get the deer in headlights look from. It’s when you’re accessing without having your awareness into the camera, basically, that’s especially a shift of awareness from back in your head into the camera, just like you would if you’re trying to bring across a point to someone else.
That’s where the connection comes from. And then there are other simple things like making sure your shot is framed well. You’ve got a good visual image. And surprisingly enough the visual quality of your video is not as important as your audio quality, you got to make sure you’re using a really good microphone. Whenever you can use a good microphone and you can get away with some very affordable equipment, you don’t have to be fancy with this. I’ve gone full circle, I started really simple, then I went completely complex with the top pro stuff, and then I’ve come back to just using my iPhone and a webcam and a really good mic and making sure I’ve got good lighting.
Often if you improve your lighting that can make a big difference to the video quality. And little things like making sure you’re in the right position framing the shot, you’ve got a nice background, that sort of stuff. All of these are, I guess what you could call hygiene factors that you notice them if there’s something wrong but you don’t notice it if it’s going right.
So it’s like when you’re walking into your room, and it’s messy, there’s clothes on the floor and the bed’s not made, you tend to notice that, well, other people might notice that. But if it’s all tidy and clean, you just walk through and you’re all good. You didn’t even notice that it’s tidy. It’s the same thing with video, there’s a few hygiene factors that it’s in your favor to make sure that they’re in place.
Yeah. And then one of the things that you talk about are what you call the principles of persuasion, and making sure that that’s woven into that content. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
Yeah, it’s really interesting. I guess those principles come from someone like Robert Cialdini’s, his six principles of persuasion, right? There’s some triggers that we have as human beings that we naturally respond to and automatically respond to. So to me, that’s a double-edged sword because I think, if those things are used in a artificial a way, people can see through that quite often and I think they might still work, but I think long term, it’ll come back to bite you.
Really, what it comes down to and part of this connection and something we haven’t even touched on, which is extremely important is the authenticity of you, and your message and how you come across on video. People can smell it a mile off if there’s anything that is even relating to fakeness. The fakeness thing it’s just been too much of it in the past.
And people have been burned and so when you look at some of the channels and videos and companies who are doing really well, it’s where they have a leader or someone at the front of the business who they’re just speaking their mind and they’re just being themselves and it’s nothing put on. People come to mind immediately now are say Gary Vee is a very, popular example. What you see is what you get with Gary, right?
Right. You either like him or you don’t.
Exactly. You either you like him or you don’t and that’s exactly how it works as well when you get your messaging right and your authenticity right. You become like a magnet and you become both attractive to the right audience and repulsive to the wrong audience for you. So, that’s what a magnet does, right? Elon Musk is another good example of me as well. He doesn’t even try. He’s not trying to build a personal brand as far as I’m aware, but just because of his authenticity about who he is and what he’s trying to achieve that naturally comes through, whenever he gets interviewed, or whenever he gets on video, or whenever you see a message from him.
And I think that’s a very inspirational way of doing it for me because it means that you don’t have to worry about little tricks and fancy things. If you can really get clear on what it is that drives you. What are those deeper down motivational drivers and how that can be aligned with your audience and you just express that as a business owner or as an influencer, or as someone who wants to make the world a better place through your gifts and talents that you’ve built into your agency, for example.
I think that’s where you build a connection and how you have eventually build that influence. But then, of course, you can look at the principles of influence from Cialdini and say, “Okay, well, can I be intelligent about this? And are some of these things useful that if I have this authentically already but I’m maybe just forgetting to include it could I just may be included, in any case, to strengthen my message, to strengthen the authenticity?”
Or how do I use this in an authentic way to deliver my message in a more compelling, attractive way, right?
Exactly. That’s exactly what it comes down to. There’s something like, the social proof one, for example. There’s negative social proof and positive social proof, so one simple way of thinking about that is that, if you’re just starting out, say with a channel or with subscribers, whatever, like on YouTube, for example, you can choose whether you want to show the number of subscribers. Now, when you’re just starting out, it might have negative social proof if you only have 10 subscribers, so you could turn that off, so it’s not visible.
And maybe only turn it on once you got 1000 subscribers. So that’s a good example of using the social proof trigger to your advantage and you’re not being fake there, or trying to manipulate anybody. You’re simply just making sure that you’re using it for the best possible advantage while [inaudible 00:27:57] and staying authentic in your messaging, things like that. And there’s the authority one, for example, as well. So if you already are working with other celebrities, within your industry, you might as well feature them and get them to endorse you and show that to your audience.
There’s nothing wrong with that. If you’ve got brilliant case studies where you’ve really solved the problem for your clients. And it’s very illustrative of how you can help other people as well, you might as well share that, why not? If you have proof that you’ve shown it to lots and lots of people, you might as well tell people about it, right? So I think the problem comes in when people fabricate those sort of things and use it as a manipulative-
[crosstalk 00:28:51][inaudible 00:28:51]
Yeah, correct. But at the same time, it’s like Star Wars and the force. And that’s the way I look at it. You can use for both good and evil and the force is actually neutral. It’s the same with marketing. The marketing force is actually a neutral force, and some people use it for good purposes. And some people use it for evil or not so good purposes. Beneficial and not beneficial. That’s something that comes internally, that’s up to you how you want to use that.
So it seems to me like every time I turn around, there are more talking-head videos, that seems to be the prevalent thing right now. And now people are adding to it that they’re walking while they’re talking which I can’t fathom [inaudible 00:29:43]. But that seems to be the rage. So I want to take a quick break. But when we come back, I want to talk about a, why you think everyone leans towards the talking-head video, and b, what other kinds of video should we be thinking about on behalf of our clients by also potentially for our agencies. So let’s take a quick break. And we’ll come right back.
Thanks for checking out this week’s episode of Build a Better Agency. I want to interrupt very quickly and just remind you that one of the services that AMI offers is our coaching packages. And it comes in a couple of different options. So you can do a remote coaching package where we would communicate with you over the phone or over a Zoom call.
Or we also do on-site consulting, where we would actually come to your agency and work with you for a day or a period of days to solve a specific problem, typically, that you’ve pre-identified, and we’ve talked about on the phone. So if you’re interested in either of those, you might go over to the AMI website, and under the consulting tab, you will find more information about both our remote coaching and our on-site consulting.
Let’s get back to the episode. All right, we are back and we are talking about video and how to do it with authenticity and how to do it in a way that creates a connection that over time builds an audience and right before the break. I was saying that it seems like every time I turn around, and for those of you that I’m connected with on LinkedIn and other places, I’m guilty of producing this kind of video as well.
So I’m not pooh-poohing it, but the talking-head video. And I was saying that the big twist I’ve noticed lately, it seems like everyone’s walking down a country road while they’re shooting their video. So I guess my question is twofold. One, is it just the simplicity of production that makes that so attractive? And b, what else should we be thinking about?
I think you’re probably right. It’s a very practical, simple way of doing it, just flip out your mobile phone and use that for recording. And what’s advantageous about that is that you can do it anywhere. And I’ve often heard people say that the best camera is whichever camera you have with you at the time for recording. And so I think that’s often the case, especially on places like LinkedIn, we’ve got the talking-head video.
I think that it’s very popular at the moment because it is easy. And the walking one similarly, I think it’s just trying to break things up a little bit, when there’s a bit of movement, it grabs more attention, that sort of thing. Some people think better when they walk as well. That’s quite a common thing, too. I think Steve Jobs is one of those who would often have his meetings while walking with someone, right?
So there is something to that. But it’s not the only video that you can have, I think if you don’t mind being on camera, it’s probably the easiest way for you to get that content out there and to get your message out there. But there are other ways to one, I think that’s quite popular too. And, again, super easy if you think, and I don’t think this is ever the case really but some people think they have a face for radio or a face for podcasting, and they don’t think they look as good on video or whatever. And just by the way, that doesn’t matter at all, what you look like. You can be the-
You can be the ugliest in the world and you can still get a tremendous connection with your audience. It’s not about what you look like. But if you’re concerned about it or if you already have audio content, that can be a tremendous way of creating video content as well. If you’re good with audio content, say you’re doing podcasts regularly, what you can do is turn that audio into actual videos so you can transcribe them, bring the text into the video as captions, and then wrap it up in a nice-looking format.
And basically have little videos where the text moves on the screen and upload that. What’s great about them is that, with all the social media platforms now even YouTube, when people, when they scroll on their mobile phones, or even on desktop, or other mobile devices, the video autoplays and when there’s text coming up on the screen, and the text is moving with each new sentence, there’s a new bit of text on the video, right? That grabs attention and it draws people in and it makes that connection for you.
So it can be very effective when you’ve got just text and audio-based videos, especially for that autoplay feature on the silent… 85% people or right about there on Facebook, at least who watch their videos on silent and on autoplay. So you have got to get the text in there whether you’re just audio or normal talking about video as well. Then there’s screen capture comment videos, we have quite a few of our clients they basically record their screen photos to have their face in there in the bottom right corner or something like that.
There’s a little inset and sometimes they don’t. But again, that’s another way of doing it where you can show people stuff on the screen, right? I love sometimes using my iPad, I bring it up on my computer screen and record that while I’m talking and I draw stuff on it and I use that just like a whiteboard, for illustrating what I’m talking about. So that can also be really engaging. And I guess get away from just having a face there. And when you get really fancy, if you want to, you can flick between things like that. You could have your honing in on your face, but then flick between your face and something that’s on the screen and make it more engaging that way as well.
Well, I think two-part of the reason why I think the talking-head video is so popular is because it requires no technical expertise. So I don’t have to have any editing skill to marry something I screen captured on my laptop to my talking-head to my dog walking along the street, right? I don’t have to do that. I just can shoot it, and be done with it.
So I think as people are multitasking and trying to get different things done, I also just think they don’t have to involve anybody else on their team who maybe has more technical expertise or in our client’s case, and this may be problematic, they don’t have to hire someone to do the editing, they can just literally do it on their phone, right?
That’s right. I had a very interesting discovery, like last year. And I’ve been doing this video thing now for what is it? 10 years or 12 years, right? And I’ve surveyed 10s of 1000s of people about this. The question would always be what is your number one frustration when it comes to video marketing? And the number one thing that will always come back would be the editing. The time that it takes and the frustration of it. And when you think about the whole editing thing, the whole reason, especially for the kind of videos that we’re talking about, which is not like a Hollywood production kind of thing, or a TV-
[crosstalk 00:36:46][inaudible 00:36:46]
Exactly right. We’re talking about creating content videos that solves a problem or tries to engage with the audience, that sort of thing like building a relationship, these kind of videos. You don’t need fancy video editing. And the only really big reason that I would do video editing in the past would be to help increase engagement. And there are a few things that you can do like that which by the way, I don’t even do anymore.
But this is what I used to do, things like having jump cuts in your video where you zoom in and zoom out on your face, for example. Adding B rolls into a video, which you see this quite often with documentaries where you see the person talking, and then while they’re talking, it flips over to another visual maybe about what they’re talking about, that sort of thing.
You can do fancy things with sound effects, you can do fancy things with music, you can do all sorts of fancy things with special effects and sound effects and all those. There’s a whole range of things you can do, but the only real why you’re doing it is to help increase engagement. So a question that started you boiling up in my head end of last year or so was, “What if I could find a way to not ever edit videos ever again, but still make them engaging?”
And then, I’ve been noticing a lot of people have been captioning their videos, right? And, “Oh, hey, I wonder if this could be a solution,” and start testing it. And I noticed that whenever I caption my videos, the engagement would go up, I start getting more interaction and more views and all those sort of stuff. And it just hit me like a ton of bricks, that I no longer had to edit my videos, which is great. All I had to do was add the captions and that will take care of it.
Because just by people, as the captions come up, they read them. And because they move first of all, so they draw attention by moving and then when people start reading it, that draws them in. So it engages, it connects with them, and then they consume content a lot better. So by default, there are a lot more engaged just by doing that. So that was a nice little revelation I had. And so I have been capturing video since then. So it’s been really good.
So you guys through your software as a service, you’re producing 10s of 1000s of videos on a regular basis. What trends are you seeing in terms of, when you look at all of it, I know you don’t look at all the videos that people produce through your tool. But when you look at the aggregate whole of what’s running through your company, what are you seeing more? Is it all talking-heads? Are people starting to do more explainer videos or instructional videos? What do you see now and what do you think you’re going to see in six months or a year?
Well, certainly, what we’re seeing 90% plus of the videos we’re getting are talking-head videos, just literally people, there’s no editing, they just send us a video where it’s them either sitting in the office with a nice background or they’re walking around somewhere where they’ve got a backdrop and the scene goes through. So that’s probably say 90%. And then there’s a few screen capture videos. And occasionally, we might get videos that are quite well edited to caption through our service. So that’s what’s happening currently.
I think, what we’re going to see a lot more of is where people have say previous recordings of where they may have spoken publicly like on stage, people like Gary Vee does this really well. Kerwin Rae, like the Gary Vee here in Australia, he does it really well, too. And a lot of the public speakers and influencers they’re starting to do really well too now. But basically, what they do is they, and this is, by the way, a really great way for coming up with content for either yourself for the agency or for your clients.
If you’ve got clients who are maybe public speakers who does any public speaking. So they take a longer piece of content like maybe they spoke on stage for 45 minutes or an hour. And they basically cut that up into shorter clips say between one and three minutes of little, one of my friends calls it a golden nuggets. So you find these little snippets. And then you basically transcribe those, caption them up, put them in the nice format, and then publish those on social media.
So I think we’re going to see more of those and the reason for that is because you already have the content. And so this is [crosstalk 00:41:29] way of leveraging what you already have. And just putting it into a good format that works really well on social media. So I think we’re going to see more and more of those. The only trick there is to find those little nuggets, right, but I that’s not hard enough, that’s not that hard.
And then, snip them up, and you’re ready to go. And what’s good about those is that the energy of those videos are often well taken care of [inaudible 00:41:57] that way because when someone is speaking on stage, they carry and present themselves differently when there’s an audience as opposed to when they’re just talking to a camera. So the energy changes. And so by default, those kind of videos, I think, has a different energy, which also, I think connects better with the audience, with the viewers.
And my guess is if it really is a gold nugget, you may also be hearing, or seeing, depending on the camera angle, the audience interaction, or reaction to that as well. So now it’s a more complete story.
Yeah, exactly. And also it starts bringing in some of those influence aspects from Cialdini where if there’s an audience, and you’re speaking on stage, you get at least two things happening already. First one is if you’re speaking on stage, it must mean that you’re an authority, right? That there is a trigger that happens there that people just assume that if you’re speaking on stage that you know what you’re talking about, right? Whether it’s true or not, that’s a different question. And the other thing that if there is an audience, the bigger the audience, of course, the bigger the social proof. So you hit two triggers in one go without even trying which is brilliant. Yeah, so I think those things can be very effective.
Yeah, it’ll be interesting to see if we start seeing more of that.
Yeah. I think, sometimes you really can’t tell the future. And part of the reason I think is because technology is changing so quickly now. Like, if you look at just the speed of the processing power, a friend of mine talks about how we are on the second half of the chessboard now. Have you come across that story of the chessboard?
Okay, this is so cool. And I think this will help us be prepared for what’s coming up as well, or try to be prepared anyway. I’m not sure if this is true, but the story goes of how the game of Chase was invented was apparently, it was this peasant in old China somewhere. And he invented the game of Chase. And he took it to the Emperor and said, “Hey, here is this is cool game.” And the Emperor loved it and said, “Hey, this is a cool game. Tell me what you want, and I’ll buy this thing off you.”
And the person said, “Oh, it’s really simple, actually, if you can just put one piece of grain of rice on the first square, right? And then on the second square, just put two and the third one, just like four, and then just keep on doubling it, and then just fill up the whole board for me. And that’s all you have to got to pay.” And, of course, the Emperor who’s apparently wasn’t very good at exponential mathematics said, “Yeah, sure. I’m sold.”
Right. Yeah, I’ll give you some rice.
Yeah, right. And so the trouble is, by the time you get to the 64th square because eight by eight, right? The 64th square, so two buy the power 64 is a tremendously big number. In fact, I think it’s so big that if you count up all the rice grains, it would make up the size of something stupid like Mount Everest. Of course, the trouble with the chessboard thing is that you only start seeing that crazy exponential growth towards the second half of the chessboard. And what they’re saying is that I think right about 2012, right about there, I can’t remember exactly.
But that’s when we entered the second half of the chessboard when it comes to the growth or the speed of the processing power for computers. So what that means is that the doubling effect is much more visible because it’s like that hockey stick effect right at the end. And so the growth each year, now, each two years, that doubling effect is way more dramatic than it was last year or two years or even five years ago. So a couple of things happened there.
One is, it’s growing a lot faster than we could ever imagine. And the second thing is, it’s catching us by surprise because we’ve never been used to such fast growth. We don’t know what’s going to happen with this. And so I think that’s a nice thing to keep in mind when you think about the future with anything technology-related but also with video. What’s going to happen? How is that going to change? So anyway, I think we don’t really know.
But we know it’s going to change, right?
Yeah. Well, what’s interesting to me is that with increase in processing power, you can do so much more, and with bandwidth as well with internet, you can do so much more. Like we’re doing with video now, live video has being huge. But what’s going to be next? Is it going to be the virtual reality thing that hasn’t really taken off yet? But maybe it’s because of the restrictions with technology, whatever it is.
What’s the next thing going to be? And I think if you keep the basics right like we talked about at the beginning with your messaging, and being consistent and congruent with what your audience wants, and who you are, and what you can offer them, and solving problems for them. If you keep those basics right, you can carry that through to whatever technology serves us in the future.
Well, when you think about it, so I’ve been in the business a long time. And I think, when we used to shoot a video for a client and let’s say the video was going to end up being three minutes long, we might shoot for two or three days, and then we might edit for two or three days. So the technology has gotten, in some ways simpler, in that, if you want to shoot a three-minute video, a lot of times, if you do it twice before you’re happy with it, you shot for six minutes, right?
And to your point, maybe you edit for another five because you’re trimming off the part where you turned the camera on and turned the camera off. And after that, you’re done. So in some ways, the technology is so much simpler. So it’s not necessarily that it’s going to get more complicated. I think a lot of agencies struggle with the dumbed-down version of video especially agency owners that are my age in their 50s.
And they went through the heyday of, four-day video shoots and all that sort of stuff. But the reality is what the audience has told us loud and clear is, it’s not about the production value. It’s about, “I want to get something from the video and whether Drew shoots on his iPhone, or he has a Hollywood production crew following him around for four days doesn’t really matter to me, all I want is I want the tip of the day, right?”
That is so true. And I experienced this just recently on my LinkedIn profile or whatever, I don’t even know what’s called LinkedIn profile or page, right? So I’ve really basically been ignoring LinkedIn since I started as an entrepreneur, and only start of this year someone said, “Hey, you better look at LinkedIn especially with the video game now and the live feed thing.” I thought, “Okay, I’ll have a look.” Anyway, I had about 500 connections there at the time when I did this. I was actually not going to do it.
I was testing a new feature in Splasheo where you could record straight into the platform using webcams. “Okay, let’s test this thing. Now what should I talk about?” And it just so happened that a couple of weeks before that I made a stupid mistake on LinkedIn. “Okay, I’ll talk about that.” So I literally hit record through my webcam on my computer. And I talked for three minutes and 40 seconds and hit stop. And then that thing went through the Splasheo service, and then I uploaded that video.
So it literally took me like three minutes and 40 seconds to create the video. And I wasn’t even going to upload it because I thought, “What the heck, who’s going to watch this stupid video? Anyway, for [inaudible 00:49:41] I only have 500 connections. Who cares? No one’s going to see it.” So I uploaded that video. Within a week, was it two weeks? I had 27,000 views on that video. I think over 200 comments like a crazy number of likes, and it just totally blew me away.
And at least, I think one of the key things that happened there was when I created the content, the video, I didn’t think about structure, I didn’t think about being fancy, I didn’t think about editing or anything like that. I was purely speaking from the heart about a mistake that I made. And I think because of that rawness, that authenticity, not trying to impress anybody, it must have really struck a chord with people, especially on the LinkedIn community because the message was actually how I made my biggest mistake on LinkedIn or something like that.
My big mistake on LinkedIn, that was it. And I think the message just really connected with the viewers and they just started spreading it in and sharing it. And seriously, so I think that’s just another example of how you don’t need to be fancy. Like you’re saying, it’s definitely becoming easier. And all you’ve got to do is be yourself and just speak from the heart but with the intention of really helping people and serving, and I think that’s the key.
Well, and I think that’s the key, right? I think that when you authentically are creating the video to be helpful to other people, to teach something, or encourage, or celebrate, or whatever. I think a sales video is a whole different thing. And I’m not saying that I don’t think video for sales is a great tool because I do, but I think it’s different. The kind of video we’re talking about, the social videos, really do have to be about being of service, I think.
Absolutely. I mean, yes, and so it’s [inaudible 00:51:38] for courses to these different kinds of videos, and I think these videos we’re talking about here, their purpose is really for connection and for helping people solve problems. I think being of service to others. I think if you’re doing it for the purpose of say, recognition, or for the purpose of influence, or for the purpose of being recognized, or getting respect, or anything like that, if that’s the purpose, you’re probably going to come across inauthentic and it’s going to fall over.
But if the purpose is to help, and to truly change people’s lives and change people’s businesses with your gifts and talents, I think it comes back to that. There has to be some alignment there with what you naturally want to help people with, right? When that happens, people can just see that. They can see that you’re interested in helping and I think that that makes all the difference. And then the side benefits are all these other things.
The extra exposure, the audience building, the recognition, if that’s even a thing that you want. But those are things that come as a side benefit. It’s almost similar to trying to chase happiness. It’s like a more you chaste it, the more unhappy you become. And whereas when you chase or pursue meaning and service, the side benefit of that is fulfillment and happiness, right? So it’s similar sort of thing.
Yeah, I think so. Before I let you go, tell everybody a little bit about Splasheo and what it does because we were talking a little bit offline about it, but I want to make sure everybody who’s listening knows a little bit about it as well.
Sure. So I started Splasheo a long time ago, about six years ago, but it’s been in rest mode because, in between, I started another software company and I got totally distracted. So Splasheo was just sitting in the background until end of last year as it’s only been a few months now. I pivoted the business. And I wanted to be much more aligned with what I want to do which is helping people get their message out there. And so one of the first things we’re doing here at the moment is doing exactly that. We are removing all the obstacles for people to be able to get the message out there, right?
Just like we’ve talked about in today’s call. And so the way we do that is we basically we take a video, and we transcribe it, we take that transcriptions and bring it into your videos as captions, you got captions moving on the screen, which is one of those key things I’ve talked about for helping you get that engagement. And then we wrap it in a really nice-looking professional format that works really well on social media. So one of the templates, for example, is where you’ve got a headline.
It’s a square video, square format. You’ve got a headline at the top, your content, your video content in the middle, and then the captions down the bottom, and we’re adding things like video progress bar, call to action, logo animation, all this sort of stuff to round off your video, so to speak, and help you get that attention and get engagement without you having to lift a finger. So you just basically give us your video, and we send it back the next day. So we’ve got real people doing it. It’s not software. We have real people doing the work. So that’s why it’s takes a little bit longer to get your video back.
Yeah, a day. Isn’t that funny how-
… that sounds like it takes forever now, right? It’s crazy. This has been a great conversation. I appreciate you sharing what you’ve learned and giving us a sense of where you think things are going. But also, I think encouraging people to give this a try, again, whether it’s for their own agency, or whether they’re looking to do this with clients that people need permission to do this in an authentic way, which often is a little messy, and maybe not as polished or things like that. And the reality is, I think the marketplace and I think you validated that says that’s not what matters.
Absolutely, yeah, it comes down to, very first thing we’d talked about, actually. It’s that connection. The connection that you can build with other people. I think that comes back to one of our deepest desires as human beings. And that’s just to connect and to feel connected and through that connection to feel loved in a way. It’s weird, we’re talking about video marketing here. But it really almost comes down to something as basic as that. It’s just feeling loved and feeling led to be part of something bigger and cared [inaudible 00:56:20].
Yeah, that somebody is doing something on your behalf.
Right. And it’s fun as you get into it. It really is fun as you build the audience, as you build connections. It’s like you make friends. The friends I’ve made over the years is through video because of video has just been incredible. To this day, I still get people who I might have never connected with them, but they might reach out, “So Gideon, I’ve been following your videos for the last decade.” I had one just two weeks ago, someone interviewed me, they’ve been watching my stuff, been following what I’ve been doing for 10 years. And that was the first time that I met them. And then we became instant friends, and it was just such a powerful moment. And I think when you use video in that way, and look at the bigger picture, the long-term picture that’s really what it’s about.
Yeah, I agree. So if folks want to learn more about you, if they want to start watching your video content, they want to learn more about Splasheo what’s the best way for them to track you down?
I guess it’s a couple of things. We’ve actually set up a page for you, Drew, if people are interested getting a free trial for Splasheo they can go to splasheo.com/build. And they’ll see a picture of you there and invite them to join a free trial. If they want to test it out, you can upload one video up to five minutes long. And we’ll transcribe that and turn it into a beautiful-looking video for you. And then if you would want to see what I’m doing, I think lately I’m focusing on LinkedIn quite a lot. So you can just search me there. Gideon Shalwick on LinkedIn and connect with me. I’d love to connect and have a chat and see how I can help you.
Beautiful. Thank you so much for your time today. I appreciate it.
You’re very welcome.
All right, gang. This wraps up another episode of Build a Better Agency. I will be back next week with another guest to get you thinking a little bit about your business differently and your clients’ business. And here’s my hope out of this episode, I hope for those of you that have not shot any video either for your clients or more so for your own agency because I think it can be a very powerful medium for people to find out who you are, and to learn what you know, and to learn from you before they engage with you in a deeper way.
I hope this gives you encouragement or permission to play with video a little bit. I think you have something to share. And I think video is a great way to share it. So I hope the conversation has inspired you that perhaps it doesn’t have to be perfect to be absolutely perfect. So I hope you took that away. If you’re tracking me down, you can just go over to agencymanagementinstitute.com and find me there or shoot me an email and I will be back next week.
Until then, take it easy and I will talk soon and I will be watching for your video on LinkedIn very soon. All right, see you next week. Thanks for spending some time with us. Visit our website to learn about our workshops, owner peer groups and download our salary and benefits survey. Be sure you also sign up for our free podcast giveaways at agencymanagementinstitute.com/podcastgiveaway.