As the guru of personal branding, William Arruda, writes “video is the future, and the future is now”, there is literally no time to waste in getting your own personal branding video out there in the world. Whether it be online or offline, people are looking for professionals and specialists that stand above the cluttered crowd and make themselves known to be the go-to figures in their fields. We’re tired of mediocrity, with sub-standard quality of products and services. We’re fed up with not being able to decide on which law firm to be represented by, which restaurant to go to, which agency to market with. We’re looking for business coaches, graphic designers, interior decorators, bookkeepers, but all we have are lists of names and their bios that boast their brilliance on LinkedIn. We want to see who to make deals with. We want to create a connection and level of trust with that person who makes him- or herself visible in the public sphere. It’s time for you to take that step forward from the crowded frontlines and show why you are that person we are looking for.
The best way to be noticed, as I wrote in my previous article “Lights, Camera, Branding! The Importance of a Personal Branding Video”, is through the medium of video. But there are 6 steps that I’ve highlighted in helping you create your very own personal branding film. I will be drawing on three videos that I have produced throughout the following steps:
- Decide on the Purpose of the Video
Every personal branding video will be different and created for various reasons. Arruda outlines 10 Ways to Use Video for Vibrant Personal Branding in his Forbes publication. Whether it’s for presentations, online marketing, or for a job application, you need to decide on the purpose of the video and what message you want to convey. For example, one video I produced was for a renowned public speaker and business coach, Ryan Malfara, who decided he needed a welcoming video prior to his conference presentations. The purpose of this video was to energise the audience and to raise their awareness of who was about to speak. This leads me to the second step.
- Define your Audience
Clearly define who you want to see the video or who it is intended for in order for it to have the biggest impact. Whether it’s for live audiences, online customers or an employer, the video is intended for their reception, so steer it that way. For example, the video I produced for a business woman and author, Desiree Koo, was a short 2:30 min video that briefly told her story from rags to riches, highlighted her first publication and ended with her logo and image to cue her to start the presentation. For a live audience, this video works perfectly well as it is short, tells a story, advertises her book to the audience and allows a cue for the crowd to welcome her on stage.
- Identify and Create Your Story
We all have stories to tell, it is just a matter of finding it. Identify your story, what information you want to convey to your audience, and develop from a start to an end point. Coherence is key in drafting your story so that it is logical and easy to follow when your audience is watching it for the first time. The example above tells the story of how Desiree built her wealth from a poor background and learnt of the importance of investing in financial education for your children. Draft after draft we finally fleshed out a short but focused story that was both emotional and informative.
- Choose a Storyteller
This step is about choosing the voice of your story. It essentially comes down to four options: 1) yourself; 2) a narrator/voiceover artist; 3) others (testimonials); or 4) text graphics and images.
1) Having yourself be the voice of your story can make it more personal and focused on you as the subject, but it can easily border the fine line of egoism or arrogance. It generally goes back to step 2 of defining your audience, for it could be more suitable for an employer to hear you tell your own story, whereas a live audience may prefer to hear someone other than you for credibility purposes.
2) A narrator/voiceover artist is one option to emphasise credibility and professionalism, as it indicates certain measures were taken to get a specialised voice to tell your story. It also gives a third-person perception as opposed to a first-person narration of oneself. In Desiree’s video we contracted a professional voiceover artist to narrate her story as a means of distancing herself from telling her own story and to add a certain professional aesthetic to the video.
3) Having others as testimonials speak for you is a fantastic way to up your credibility and to tell your story from an outsider’s perspective. Testimonials are the subjective accounts of those who hold them and can be more convincing for others to take you seriously than for you to try and sell yourself. The video I produced for Max Tay, a public speaker and entrepreneur, is a collection of testimonial accounts that others have of him. Multiple voices glorifying your story is definitely a way of winning someone’s attention without having to say anything about yourself.
4) If none of the above options do it for you, then you can stick to text graphics and images to tell your story. If done properly, it can make for an interesting an aesthetically pleasing video to watch. However, you’re losing out on that extra element of having an audible voice, as well as easing the viewing pleasure of your audience by not forcing them to read too much text. Choosing your text in the first place may prove difficult, particularly if you’re wanting to tell the full story with as few words as possible.
- Opt for Quality
So you’ve got your purpose, your audience, your story, and have settled on a storyteller. It’s time to put the video together. Whoever you decide to go with, make sure you opt for quality! There is nothing worse than putting all your hard work together only to produce a cheap-looking video and adding to the wasteful junk that’s already polluting our screens. If your story is great or your testimonials are top class, then do them justice and make a high quality video, even if it costs you a little extra. Trust me, it will be worth it!
- Distribution Channels
You’ve got your kickass video, but now what do you do with it? Well, as mentioned before, let the world see it! We’re all waiting to see why you’re the go-to specialist, so show us by any means. Use your social media pages: create a YouTube account if you don’t already have one, post it on your Facebook page, Tweet the link, share it via LinkedIn. Ensure you have the video in various formats and sizes, for you never know what situation may demand for it. Whether it’s a full HD version for conferences, a compressed file for emails or social media sharing, you’ll want to make sure it looks best on any platform.
Hopefully these steps will get you thinking about your own personal branding video and telling your story. Remember, video is the future, and the future is now. So get on it!