If you’re reading this or listening to this, you may have noticed that I’m not doing as many weekly video posts and I was in 2013, 2014 and early 2015.
You might be curious about the video marketing for small business trends I’ve noticed…
So I want to address why I stopped doing my video show on a weekly basis… and why I’m going all-in on other mediums. I’m also going to address whether or not video is still a viable marketing channel, and how to decide if it’s right for you.
The Evolution Of Video In My Business
I’ve had YouTube videos as part of my marketing mix since I started my very first business online in 2009, all about healthy eating… and you can still find many of my home made kitchen recipe videos online today.
Some of these early videos have tens of thousands of views, and a few “one hit wonders” were responsible for a flood of traffic to my website in those early days.
When I transitioned to doing more digital strategy, I moved to how recording “how to” tech training mini lessons… many of these videos were just seen by my email subscribers, but a few got popular thanks to people searching for specific keywords that I had optimized for.
You know how it is: when you have a tech issue or you’re looking for a technical solution to a problem, finding a video that shows you the answer can be a godsend.
And while these videos were easy to make, they weren’t always the most inspiring or fun, for everyone in my audience.
By this point, Marie Forleo my mentor and coach at the time, had started her successful MarieTV show and was getting the weekly on-camera video trend started big-time.
Marie shared with me and her mastermind clients how she organized her video shoots, and it seemed really doable to record a whole bunch of videos in one day and then to have a bunch of content to release over time.
With my techy videos, I was often recording and editing each one just a few days before sending them out… and that kept me on this constant “content creation hamster wheel”. So I loved the idea of batching my videos, and of having someone else edit everything into a neat package that we could upload and send to our email subscribers and tribe.
Then when a young videographer reached out to me after we moved to Brooklyn, New York… I knew I had found my video co-creation partner! Adam was a total pro, he went to film school, and he was creative and loved the vision that we came up with for the show.
The Off The Charts weekly video show was born.
We filmed the videos in my tiny Brooklyn apartment, dealing with the interruptions of having a daycare right outside our window (screaming children in the background doesn’t make for the best audio quality!) and our crazy-hot radiator heating system in the winter.
I figured out how to script these weekly episodes, and we got to the point where we could record 8–10 short episodes in one day. I hired a hair and make up crew, we ordered some take out, and the show was off to a great start.
Video Marketing for Small Business Trends: How Video Helped Us Grow
At this point, I realized that my business was quickly shifting out of the “teaching the tech stuff” phase and into more of a coaching and consulting space. So being on camera was helpful for prospective clients who might consider hiring me, attending a live event, or working with me in other capacities.
I could definitely see the benefits that these weekly videos were having – I was able to connect in deeper ways with my tribe, and show my personality, too.
That’s not to say that there weren’t snafus, and that I didn’t stay up late a few nights trying to write all my scripts for our video shoot days… Or that I didn’t need to take a whole day off to recover after doing intense “on camera” work.
After all, I’m an introvert and as much as I love being around people, it can be taxing to be “on” all the time. Give me a laptop and a blank document to write in, and I’m happy as a clam. And while I do get energy from sharing what I’m passionate about on camera, I usually end up with tense shoulders and sore cheeks from tons of smiling.
Why We Moved Away From Doing a Ton Of On Camera Videos
When we moved to Dallas, Texas my goal was to keep doing our weekly video show. We even dedicated a whole room in our new house to be our designated studio space. We bought fancy videography lights, upgraded our background to shoot videos in front of… and set out to find a new local videographer.
Around this time, a few different things started happening in my business.
We were really excited to keep doing what had worked so well for us in the past: like continuing on with hosting our live event, and doing lots of on-camera video, plus running my coaching mastermind program.
The first challenge we faced was finding the right video team, and getting on the same page for the vision of the Off The Charts show. Although we did find someone as soon as we could, there were some differences in work styles and it became more of a burden to organize and manage the videography projects.
Around the same time, we were hiring other local employees and really learning a lot about the types of people we loved working with, and those that didn’t jive with our fast paced business.
We ended up having a lot of turnover with the local team we hired, and we pared things back to just necessities. We had the Off The Charts event to plan, so we focused on that instead of scheduling another video shoot like we would normally have done.
How AmbitionAlly Took On A Bigger Role
At this point, there was a lot of stuff “in transition” in our lives – we had moved across the country, we had hired in a rush and fired out of frustration, and we had a big event with over 180 people to pull off.
At the same time, our AmbitionAlly software brand had been taking off…
If you were to look at our spending, you would see that in previous years where we would have spent money on videography – we were now spending on new team members with programming skills to help us develop our software tools.
I was also realizing that with plans to start a family, I wouldn’t be able to keep doing as much one on one coaching or running a big mastermind program each year… So our focus on building the AmbitionAlly software brand was really becoming a no-brainer.
I was coming full circle with a focus on technology again, but this time with our own software tools for WordPress.
That’s when it really hit me: investing heavily in doing weekly on-camera videos was just not the best strategy for my business anymore. With a baby on the way, I knew that scheduling a whole day to do video would be impractical – and instead I could definitely see myself sneaking off to record a podcast episode or write a piece of content for the blog.
I also knew that some of the topics I was addressing on video were resonating with my audience, but that they didn’t always want to sit in front of their computers to watch – instead they told me they loved to listen on the go and fit learning into their busy lives.
As a soon-to-be mama I totally get it.
How Doing Less Video Helped Us Earn More Money
Now, I’m not saying that video is not an incredibly useful part of your online marketing mix. In fact, I still want to do on-camera videos in certain special cases… I just think that you should really consider if on-camera videos are your best delivery mechanism or not.
And if you need to invest in the type of high end production that we were investing in, or not. Sometimes a down-to-earth web cam video with good audio quality can be just as effective as something recorded with a fancy camera.
If you freaking love being on camera and you could smile and talk all day… then by all means, video might be your jam.
But video is not the only way to communicate online, and I really don’t think it’s a one-size-fits-all. I absolutely love podcasting because I can record an audio file in my pajamas without getting all dolled up (hair and make up is so not my favorite thing to focus on!)… and I can pause and re-record as often as I need to, without worrying that we’ll go over schedule on our video shoot.
We’ve also looked at the numbers – and while some of my YouTube videos got thousands of views, overall most of my videos got a few hundred views… most likely the same loyal viewers week after week. And while there’s nothing wrong with that, one of the big reasons to create content online is to be able to reach new audiences…
In contrast, every single day my podcast gets hundreds of downloads or listens, and this platform has allowed me to reach a new audience that I wasn’t getting to on YouTube.
In turn, because it’s easier and less resource intensive to create podcast episodes, we’ve been able to branch out and start interviewing amazing guests and focusing more on our core competencies: creating amazing software for small business.
That in turn, has helped us to earn more money and create more value in the world.
For example, take the launch of our WebinarAlly tool – instead of spending a full 4 days prepping and recording videos, then managing the editing of these shows… We got a ton of buzz by releasing a small but mighty piece of software that enables business owners everywhere to unleash their voices on a webinar without being technical.
And as my business continues to grow, the AmbitionAlly brand is no longer “just me”. While NathalieLussier.com will always be my place to share my journey in business with you, I know that I don’t want to be the only person that represents my company anymore.
This business is bigger than me, and stroking my ego by being on camera trying to represent all the amazing people that make magic happen behind the scenes doesn’t feel right anymore…
So there you have it. A peek inside my thought process around video and marketing… and why we’re going all-in on other mediums. I still believe in the power of video, so don’t expect me to totally go into hiding, but if you’ve been waiting for permission to explore other mediums, this is definitely it.
Here’s to building a business that you love, on your terms, and using the expression mediums that really light YOU up.
Oh, and now that video studio room is being turned into our baby room… Exciting times ahead!