So you want to make a video, huh?

March 27, 2017

So, you want to make a video for your website or social media? Great! You’ve recognized that video content on the web is one of the best ways to reach people with your message. You’ve realized that videos have the power to connect and touch people.

But most videos fail to do this. And worse: no one wants to watch another video with a boring talking head reciting a stale mission statement. 
Who got time for that? Ain’t nobody!

Unfortunately, people do not politely watch all videos from beginning to end giving the creator the benefit of the doubt, pondering what they may have, possibly “meant to say.” (You might not even read every word of this article!)

We consume like bees

People watch online videos like bees hoping to quickly get what they need and nothing else. They scrub, pause, and abandon. (read Mindful Writing at Work to hear more about this.) You’re already scanning this article seeing if there’s anything good here.

But if your video doesn’t “give” anything, you’re sunk.

As much as “your story” is important…No one actually cares about your story. Everyone has stories and they’re just trying to get through their day and figure out what really matters. People care about their OWN stories.

Align your video with what matters to another person

If what you have to say aligns with what really matters to another person, well then you have something. When you make your PURPOSE public, people will begin to care.

When you make your purpose public, people begin to care.

If you explain your deep purpose to a specific person, you’re not buzzing in their ear — you’re singing.

What’s my purpose?

Simon Sinek can help you better than I can. Check out his famous TED talk. Then come back here.

People buy things when they find out what motivated you to do your thing. Putting this on display is hard. Most people fail to do it. But when it’s published online in video form—when your purpose aligns with their purpose—a connection fuses. You can make these connections happen!

You’ve got about 5-10 seconds to grab someone. Maybe less. Earn their trust. Get their attention. Align YOUR purpose with THEIR purpose.

People might think you’re interested if you get at the essence of what you do and why you do it. And if your essence says something about their essence… who THEY are as people and what they stand for, well, now you’ve got something to “glue you together.”

Make your purpose public

If you make your purpose public, or “visible,” people will naturally—in their own timing—learn more about what you do, where you do it, and how they can buy whatever you have to sell. They will be running. Not walking. (And we’re all selling something.)

I could probably bet that you want more people to buy your thing, donate to your organization, or consider your next idea. Making your purpose public can help expedite that process. Video can help. (It’s not the only medium, but it’s a powerful one.)

Make your purpose public.

If your video is easy to watch and understand, you win. Here’s an example of one of my favorites:

You can make this happen!

I truly believe you can make a pretty good “purpose” video. You’ll have to figure some things out on your own. But start here:

  1. Before you plan, get real. You’re going to have the tendency to want to dream big, think of fun ideas, and what “could be.” You even might find yourself saying “wouldn’t it be great if we could get Jimmy Fallon to… ” or… “imagine how it would look if we could film this one shot on the beach”. Those are great ideas. And they may be worth pursuing. But unless they are actionable and truly realistic, they’re not going to happen. They will slow you down and freeze you up. Get real and stay real.
  2. Stay local. In order to actually make a good “purpose” video, you are required to only use resources within a 15 minute radius of where you are now. And you have to be able to capture them on your iPhone. No excuses. If you can’t get really film Jimmy Fallon in 15 minutes of where you are right now, this project will turn into a vague aspiration, instead of a goal you’re going to complete.
  3. Decide who will film and produce. If you’re considering hiring an outside company to do the filming for you, you still need to figure out how your visuals can be filmed in a 120 minute session. The shorter and more realistic you can be, the cheaper your video will be. You can probably make this using nothing but your iPhone. Download iMovie for $5 and get to work.
  4. Schedule a 120 minute window for filming. I think 120 minutes is a good filming window even if you’re doing it yourself. Don’t spend too much time on this – the hard part is figuring out what to film and aligning that with what shows your true purpose.
  5. Coordinate people. Can you get all the people you want in the video together in one 2-hour window? Can you get all the shots you need for this project within 120 minutes? It’s more than enough time to accomplish what you need. So, try again. Refine. Revise. Get practical.
  6. Edit. As quickly as you can—potentially on the same day you film—edit your 45 second video. Keep it short.
  7. Ship. Post the dang thing onto YouTube or Vimeo.
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