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1. My Short-Form Video Journey

To kick off this training, I think it’s interesting to share my story. You may find my relationship (the good and mostly bad) with short-form video familiar.

The Early Days

I do not like being in front of a camera. I am most comfortable with a keyboard, writing. It’s why I was able to build a business. I leveraged my comfort with writing, and I wrote a lot. That content drove people here, who then subscribed to my list, and then ultimately bought something from me.

But during those early days, you may be surprised to know that everything other than writing was a challenge for me. The first time I recorded a podcast episode, I was nervous (I know, it’s a RECORDING!). Webinars made me nervous. And public speaking? Yikes, I was petrified.

Once I had all of this experience and broke through those barriers, I would eventually dabble a bit in videos. But more often than not, those videos would be screen shares. Hiding from the camera.

And, guess what? This worked out just fine for many years! I gained a comfort level with podcasts and webinars. And even in those cases, they were recorded without a webcam. And that was never a problem.

Something Changed

But during the past few years, things started to change.

My assumption is that the ascent of short-form video was accelerated by the pandemic. We went into isolation and most of our interaction was virtual.

People craved personal interaction and connection. So, videos of all kinds were doing well.

Did I take advantage of this? No, I did not. Strangely, I completely missed the memo that video was the way for me to go.

Well, that’s not completely true. I definitely heard from Luke Elliott on my team from time to time that I should create videos. He’d even try to make it easy by putting together video versions of things for me.

If you try to dig deep and uncover what it was exactly that prevented me from jumping into short-form video, it wasn’t about nerves anymore. It was about every possible excuse imaginable getting in the way.

I didn’t know what I was doing. I had no idea how to use the app. I didn’t know what format the videos should be in. I didn’t know how to use the filters. I didn’t know how to edit or add music or sound effects or stickers or anything else. I didn’t know whether I was supposed to be linking people to my website (and I didn’t know if that was possible!) or what I should be trying to do.

I was a complete noob. And when you’re a complete noob at something, you have zero confidence. I didn’t know where to start or how to create a good video.

Combine that with uncertainty about lighting, software, the equipment I should use, and self-consciousness about how I look and act in a video, and it felt impossible to get started.

Something Had to Be Done

I didn’t immediately notice, but my business began to suffer. I can’t tell you how much of this was due to my refusal to adjust to the short-form video craze, but it certainly didn’t help.

The things that I did for years no longer worked quite as well as they once did. And because I wasn’t evolving, my brand began to grow stale and it started to fade.

I could no longer make any more excuses. My stubbornness to do things the way I always had was no longer working. It didn’t matter how hard it would be. I needed to do something different.

That something different was short-form video.

The Journey Begins

It was the end of September when this decision was made. I was going to start creating videos. I had no idea how or what I was going to say, but I was going to do it.

And that is the step we all need to reach. Full commitment without concern about how you’re going to do it. You’re going to do it.

I just started creating. They weren’t very good, but I started feeling just a bit more confident with each video.

Here’s the first video I created when I knew that I was going to commit to this…

@jonloomer

Create stuff that sucks!

♬ original sound – Jon Loomer

Things really changed in October once I committed to recording at least a video per day. In fact, most of those days I’d publish two or three. I’d publish 70 in all during that month.

I had it figured out now, right? It was easy! No way. It was hard. It was taking me two hours and sometimes longer to record, edit, and publish a single video. It was exhausting and frustrating.

But I was committed, so quitting was not an option. I used TikTok and followed people who made good videos that felt like something I wanted to do. No dances or trends, just good educational stuff. I learned by watching them. I asked questions.

Things started to get a little easier in November and December. I took a couple of days off around Christmas, but I had otherwise published a new video on just about every day during this stretch.

I set a goal of recording a video every day for 2023. It’s not always easy. But as of the middle of February, I’ve done that.

I’ve now progressed to publishing on TikTok, Instagram Reels, Facebook Reels, YouTube Shorts, and LinkedIn. I even take some of these videos and turn them into short podcast episodes for the Pubcast.

Once I had more experience, it became clearer how I wanted to create a video. Things like equipment, lighting, and software became more of a focus since I started to see where I could get better.

The Impact

I’d like to tell you that my TikTok or Instagram profiles exploded, but that hasn’t really happened. But truthfully, it’s not really the goal either.

What I will say is that this is absolutely impacting my business in positive ways.

I can’t tell you how many times someone commented on a Reel of mine to tell me they appreciated it, and that they hadn’t seen me in their feeds for years. That was an encouraging, yet stark, message. What I was doing before wasn’t working. But this was.

And then I’d have someone who set up a one-on-one or joined Power Hitters Club tell me that they were there because of the videos. Not because I created a video that sold those things (I haven’t done that), but because I regularly showed up in their feeds as a reminder.

I can’t help but think that this decision to commit to short-form video saved my business. I cringe, wondering where I’d be if I hadn’t made this pivot.

Your Move

The fact that you’re here shows your motivation to do this. Know that I understand it’s not easy. But you can do it. You just need to cut through the excuses and roadblocks.

And just do it.

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