Steve Garfield wrote a book you might have heard us talk about before, called Get Seen: Online Video Secrets to Building Your Business (you can learn more about it or purchase the book on Amazon). So when we had a chance to sit down for a few moments and talk about the state of online video, we jumped at it.
Get Involved Now, Get Fancy Equipment Later
Garfield advocates jumping in with both feet, even if you don't have a fancy camera. As he reminds us, 40% of videos uploaded to Facebook are recorded with a simple webcam. Steve himself records a lot of video using his iPhone.
As he points out, Facebook and YouTube both have options to either upload a pre-recorded video… or just click "record," which will then make use of your webcam to record and upload the clip.
"So if you want to put a video up on YouTube, you don't even have to invest in a camera—or choose one—you can use a webcam.”
Beyond webcams and iPhones, Garfield says there are more and more easy and cheap ways to produce video cropping up every day, such as the Kodak CR8, Flip cameras. The technology is cheap enough now that camera size keeps going down while camera quality keeps going up… all while getting cheaper and cheaper for consumers.
So, don't let a lack of equipment—or the price of that equipment—keep you from dabbling in the world of online video, as there are an increasingly large number of options for you to choose from without breaking the bank.
How To Get Views For Your Videos
The way to get views for your video is, naturally, to have an audience. So the real question is how to you find or build that audience. Garfield, like most video marketing professionals, suggest tapping into the power of Twitter and Facebook to connect with other users and become part of a community. Steve's philosophy seems to be starting and participating in conversations around what he knows—video how-to stuff—and then hope that same community you've dialogued with will come out in force and watch the clip once you upload a video.
Once you have a network that trusts you, they will support your work. And don't forget that they have their own networks, and might be willing to recommend your work to those people as well.
"My friend Greg Verdino, who just wrote the book Micro Marketing, he has a term that's really cool: 'Every audience has an audience.' Everyone who… is my audience… if they see something that they like of mine, they can send it out to their audience too.”
Get Seen With Video
Steve talked a bit about how the book is doing, and why he thinks it's been well received. He calls it a step-by-step guide for putting video on the web, and believes the book is unique in the level of detail it goes into
"No one goes into such detail, so I go through how to choose a camera, lighting, sound, editing, how to go live, lots of things like that.”
Each chapter contains an overview, but then also adds specific steps as well. So he's trying to cover the theory—the 30,000-foot view—as well as the practical, hands-on tips that many folks are craving.
The book also contains several interviews with online video professionals who are already succeeding, such as Chris Pirillo, containing fairly specific and detailed questions on how those users are doing what they do—everything from strategy to equipment.
Too many wanna-be video producers are on the hunt for magic beans. Some easy, one-step move they can make to skyrocket to online video success. Sadly, as with most things, there is no shortcut to online video success. While a handful of exceptions exist, the majority of successful video creators got to where they are by just putting themselves out there, slowly building an audience, having tons of patience, and not giving up.
So that's why I like Garfield's advice. Don't wait for the perfect camera set up, just start making video. Make friends on social networks that enjoy talking about the things you're interested in, and be patient. Over time, your peers will begin to trust your opinions enough to start checking out your videos (and hopefully forward them on to their own circle of influence).
Special thanks to Steve Garfield for taking time out of his busy schedule to sit down and talk with us!