You wanna see how the magic content gets made?
We’re taking a look behind the scenes to show you how I make my YouTube videos and all the other content I put out. You’ll see my process and hopefully get some tips that will help you in your marketing journey!
Why I Make Video Content
You’re not going to like or be good at every type of content. Figuring out the pillar content that works for you is crucial. We all need to have that long-term content, but you have to find the one you’re comfortable with, can do well, and have the most fun with!
Initially, I focused on blogs as my pillar content, and it really hard. I’m a good writer, but I’m a perfectionist when it comes to writing, so I found myself spending hours and hours of painstaking work trying to make these perfect blogs. It weighed on me a ton and caused me weekly stress. I hated it so much that I stopped doing it completely, which meant I wasn’t producing any pillar content. Not good.
I realized it was easier for me just naturally to talk about stuff. I’ve always felt comfortable on camera, I’ve never really had an issue with public speaking, and for whatever reason, I’m not a perfectionist with video. Plus, video is a great way to go for your marketing plan because everyone loves it and does well across platforms. The best part? I have fun doing it! Now, all of my content starts with the video and then gets translated across platforms.
I have figured out a bunch of things that work for me; you have to figure out what works for you. Hopefully, some of these things will be helpful for you!
Let’s get into it!
I do this in a bunch of different ways. One is just paying attention to the questions I get asked all the time – and there are a lot of them. I have a lot to work with as most people don’t understand what branding is or what they need. It’s pretty easy for me to come up with ideas this way.
I then cross-reference that with what people are actually searching for. I didn’t use to pay much attention to SEO, likely to my detriment. Now, almost all of my topics align with something that people are seeking out. I’m putting a lot of energy into creating this content, so, I want it to be something that’s going to serve my business long-term.
I use Ubersuggest, a semi-free SEO keyword tool. They have a free tier to research keywords and figure out what people are looking for with branding. I also use Tube Buddy for guidance on YouTube keywords.
Lastly, I look at what people I admire or others in my space create and see their most popular videos and what topics are getting the most engagement. While I definitely do not copy their content (this is important), it inspires me to find topics that I can delve into and put my own spin on.
Make An Outline
If you watch my videos, you may tell that I don’t read from a script. (Remember how I said I like to talk naturally?) I do, however, work off an outline that lays out my key points.
After binging all of her content, I’ve borrowed some of my outline process from Ashlyn Carter, an amazing YouTuber and copywriter. She shared an outline that identifies your key objectives for why you’re creating this content:
How is it relevant to your strategy as a business?
What do you want people to know?
Those upfront questions are super helpful when I’m digging into a topic to make sure it’s a good fit. So I start with those questions, then I map out the hook and intro:
What’s the key message I want you guys to learn?
What are the subtopics or mini-blogs within the video that I want to focus on?
Usually, that’s like a step-by-step or a “three ways…” something that’s a really digestible structure because it’s easy to follow.
Then, I move on to my key point and a call to action (CTA). I do my best to always incorporate a CTA with a resource to give y’all as many helpful tools as possible!
I’ve gone back and forth on how detailed I make this outline; it’s all about personal preference. I find that when I make it way too detailed, there’s no room for my natural spontaneity, and I end up getting too wordy. So, I tend to keep it just to some light bullet points, and I talk naturally.
I am not one of those content creators with a gorgeous home/studio/office that’s perfectly Instagram or YouTube ready. I live in a pretty small apartment that’s crammed to the gills with all of our stuff. So, I have to make it work.
Here’s a sneak peek:
My equipment is just some lights and a backdrop from Amazon and a few gifted ring lights. I film everything from my phone and use a little lav mic for audio. I’ve figured out how to optimize my small space with decent natural light to make it look good enough, which is all you need! Especially if you’re new to this.
It takes me about an hour to set everything up and test it:
- Make sure the lighting looks good
- Do my makeup (I don’t look like this every day, haha).
- Test the audio.
- Make sure the lens is clean.
- Make sure I’m shooting in the best resolution.
- Turn off notifications on my phone so I don’t get interrupted.
- Check any other boxes to ensure things run smoothly.
Then, I start filming. I usually do one take of each video, maybe two. I definitely start and stop a lot; thank god for jump cuts 😉 (I’m hoping to have fewer of those as time goes on and I get more comfortable).
I basically just talk about the points. I try not to go on for too long (I’m getting better at that), and I try to treat it like I’m just talking to friends!
The first few videos I recorded were definitely on the longer side. I’m still learning how long an outlined section equates to time in a video. The pre-recorded raw files are usually about 50-75% longer than the final product as I start and stop, mess up, and often try different ways to say things. But then, I’ll just cut all that crap out, haha.
Because it does take some time for me to set up, I love to batch record videos. It also gives me peace of mind knowing I have them done. Previously, I filmed four videos at a time. Now, I do eight, so we’ll see how this goes! The trick? Change your shirt! Sometimes I’ll switch my jewelry or even my makeup look to keep the illusion alive.
Send It To The Team
I am a solopreneur. I don’t have employees, but I’ve started working with a few contractors who have really helped me step my game up.
First, I have a video editor named Sydney Converse of Converse Studio. She’s fucking awesome and so creative and I truly could not do this without her. I’ve tried to edit a few of my videos myself, and I just don’t have the patience. I send her the raw files, and she knows exactly what I want with very minimal instruction. She’ll send me back a draft, and maybe I’ll give her a few tweaks, but usually not too much. Usually, it’s a pretty perfect cut right on the first take.
I also create a transcript from the audio file of my videos using rev.com, a pretty affordable, automated transcription service. I upload the transcripts to my Google Drive, which is where I organize everything. Again, shout out to Ashlyn Carter. A lot of my organizational style is based on her file structure.
Here’s another peak of how I set it up:
Then I have a lovely writer, Bree Flory, who creates an article from the transcript. Bree uses my tone of voice, words, and ideas, but structures it for a blog. They also incorporate some of the SEO keywords and just add a little polish.
I use Click Up as a project management system to keep all of my ideas and themes organized and kind of all the moving parts. But most of the actual stuff is going down in Drive. That’s where all the files go, and everyone in my little team has access to it. It’s a very well-oiled machine at this point. We don’t have to have a lot of communication back and forth. Everyone knows what they’re supposed to do. I get my video drafts on Wednesday and the blog post on Friday. Everything works great!
Create The Social Stuff
Next, I create all the social stuff. I’m using this pillar content – the video and blog – as the starting point to repurpose for social media. For me, that means Instagram, my Facebook group, and Pinterest. I also have a weekly newsletter that I write a little personal message – sometimes it’s a story or what I’m going through in business – and drive people to the blog post in the video.
I still create all of that stuff for myself. As I do branding and design and writing for clients, I feel like it’s a great demonstration of my skillset (but maybe because I’m also a bit of a control freak). So, I always want to be really close to it. I design all my Instagram graphics and write all the captions, all that stuff. I’m gonna be honest; it takes a lot of time. Some people act like you can just knock that stuff out but not me.
The social content I create includes:
- YouTube descriptions.
- Social posts
I knock it all out on Monday, two weeks before it’s going to go out. So, I have on track in a bit of advance, which is a big win for me!
Then my VA (shout out the amazing Chezelle from VA Suite) schedules it all out. She does a little bit more research on things like hashtags and keywords. She’s totally up on all the best practices for optimizing everything for each platform, so she handles the actual uploading of the video and scheduling across platforms.
Learn, Adapt, Repeat
While I’ve been going pretty hard on the social side for a couple of years now, I’m still pretty new to the blog and the YouTube side of things. So I’m still learning. I imagine I’ll watch this video a few years from now and be like, “what the fuck was I doing?” But that’s part of the point.
Fortunately, this is one of the few areas of my life where I’m not a perfectionist. I can let it go and be cool with good enough. As time goes on, I’ll learn to make it better, learn how to do more, optimize it or make it more interesting, and figure out what people like.
Taking that free, adaptive, fluid mindset of putting something out there and learn, rinse, repeat, has been transformative for me. Hopefully, I give you guys some good content that you enjoy and is valuable to your businesses!
Some Final Thoughts
#1 Start Where You’re At:
Content can be intimidating. You may feel like you need this whole studio or an awesome video setup. I shot my first videos on my phone. No lighting, no audio, nothing. The quality was bad, but the content was good! That’s what gave me the confidence to keep going and starting to figure things out.
I’m sure I will continue to upgrade as time goes on, but don’t let not having the right setup prevent you from getting started.
#2 Figure Out What Works For You:
This system works for me, but it took a lot of time, energy, and frustration to figure it out.
Whether that was video vs. written content or the rhythm of creating the system and processes with my team, it all took so much longer than I thought. For a while, I felt ashamed or embarrassed by how long it took to get something that seems so simple up and running. Like, “oh my gosh, I should have been done with this months ago.” But, now that I’m in it, all that time was worthwhile.
Take the time to figure out what you like, what works for you, and remember, you don’t have to commit to everything. Try stuff out, find what’s it’s weighing you down or isn’t as fun or exciting as you thought, and switch it up.
#3 Have Fun With It:
This has been the best part of doing videos that I didn’t anticipate. I never thought I would be a video person, but it’s been a really fun and new creative challenge. It’s helped me think more creatively about content and what would be engaging for people, especially on the business side, like presenting business content in a more interesting way. So, have fun and don’t take it too seriously. This is supposed to be a good time!
#4 Keep Learning:
As I mentioned, you’re going to figure out a whole bunch of ways to do things better. The platforms are going to change. Your audience is going to change. The world is changing. Just keep learning, keep trying, and you’ll figure it out.
#5 Done Is Better Than Perfect:
I know a lot of people struggle with perfectionism; struggle with how they look on camera, the way they word things, or if they fuck up. I try to include a lot of that stuff in my videos because I’m human, and I fuck up all the time! I actually like raw stuff and seeing that from people. Remember, perfection doesn’t exist, and it’s better to start imperfectly and learn as you go than to wait and do nothing. I know it’s easier said than done, but sometimes you just need to hear it one more time.
I hope this has given you some helpful insight into how I create my content. And maybe you’ve learned a few things that you can use and implement in your content marketing strategy!
If you like, download the outline template I use to map out all my videos and blog posts (again, shout out to Ashlyn Carter, she definitely influenced it)! Hopefully, that will help you get started mapping out your content.
Let me know what you think if this was helpful or link to some of your own content! I would love to check it out.
Until next time, stay badass!
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