If you haven’t heard how video is the new, shiny, must-have for your business you’ve surely been living under a rock.
Stats like ‘100 million internet users are watching online video every day’ are hard to ignore. Even though half of those are probably people watching cat videos…you can be sure the other half are either looking for advice, how-to’s, or simply wanting to buy a product and know more about it.
And the best part of all this? You can do it yourself, really easily! I know you probably don’t believe me…but I promise it’s easy with the right guidance.
And if the thought of doing anything slightly technical makes you want to crawl back under that rock, there’s no shame in letting the professionals (me!) come and do it for you while you carry on with what you’re best at.
But if this is something you’re interested in, I can teach you to do it yourself.
I promise you it’s not scary.
I have an idea brewing for a free 21 day video challenge where you can learn some basics to be able to use video effectively in your business. With these videos you’ll be able to use social media to reach a wider audience, connect with your customers, and drive traffic to your website in a way that you’ve never been able to before.
I have a passion for storytelling. In business today it’s the best way to stand out from the crowd and be memorable. Stories help us persuade, they make ideas stick, and they inspire us. And when you bare your heart in your business your clients will connect with you on a much deeper level.
Storytelling + video = amazing results.
I would LOVE to hear your thoughts on this…have you tried video? What would you like to learn about incorporating it into your business? Hit reply and let me know, I’d love to use your feedback to shape my free challenge.
I can see it now…my kids all grown up, looking through their baby photos laughing and reminiscing until one of them says ‘where were YOU Mum?!’
We’re missing from so many of our kids memories.
I know you want to wait till you’ve lost a bit of weight, maybe got some new clothes, or for the love of god just had one unbroken night of sleep!!
I get it.
The thing is – you can’t keep waiting for that magical moment where you feel like a million bucks…because it’s probably not going to happen.
You need to take the plunge and make it happen now. Yourself.
And if you feel uncomfortable about how you look in photos consider this. You are beautiful just as you are. I mean hello amazing lady…you’re raising children! This is no mean feat. You are cooking, creating, cleaning, cuddling…day in day out. This, THIS is what makes you beautiful. The love for your children shines out of you and lights up your face.
And when your babies grow up and look back at their photos they aren’t going to say “woah Mum you look haggard!”. They’re going to remember how you laughed, how you smelt and how you hugged them tight when they needed you most.
You are enough. Let yourself be seen.
And if you’re on Instagram let’s all use the hashtag #getmuminthepicture so we can inspire and encourage each other. Make sure you tag me @love._the._little._things so I can see too!
So…read on for some common excuses and some genius workarounds!
But I need to lose some weight first…
– Take the photo from a high angle – hold the camera up in the air and tilt it down towards you. It’s a much more slimming angle.
– Do the turtle neck…pull your shoulders back and jut your chin down and out like a turtle. Even just a little bit. Feels weird, looks good! Play around with it and see the difference it makes to a double chin.
– Stand or crouch behind your child. Use them as a shield in front of your body if you’re feeling self conscious. Hugging them from behind or draping your arms around them will help this feel more natural. Whatever is closest to the camera will look larger, so pop yourself behind your child.
– When sitting down if you’re conscious about your stomach just cross your arms loosely over your stomach. Not like you’re hugging yourself but just cross them over at the wrists. Lean forward toward the camera.
– Take lots off different photos and choose the best one! Keep readjusting and see what works best. Soon you’ll get to know what suits you the most.
But I look really tired/old/haggard…
– One word my friend…filters. If you’re on your phone try downloading the VSCO or Afterlight apps (I find them much more subtle than the Instagram filters) and find one that lightens, brightens and smoothes your skin out. B&W works miracles!
– Don’t get too close. If you’re really feeling the effects of a few nights of broken sleep don’t let that stop you getting in the picture – just take it from a bit further away so you can’t see so much detail in your face.
But I have no one to take photos of me with the kids…
– Best investment I ever made was a $15 smartphone tripod from my local camera shop. I don’t use it every day but the moments where I really want to have a shot of me and my kids together I whip it out of my handbag and set it up. You can use a self timer but I have a Bluetooth remote on my key-ring that makes this so easy!
– Just ask. I know it feels a little embarrassing to say to your partner – can you get ME in the photo as well? We have this stilly idea that we must be vain to want photos of ourselves. Just keep reminding yourself you’re creating precious memories that your kids and grandkids will love to see one day!
But I feel stupid taking photos of myself…
– Start at home and not out in public. I’m not gonna lie…I haven’t yet whipped out my tripod and remote and set up a photo shoot of myself and my kids in a busy public place yet. But I do it at home quite a lot! Then maybe you can graduate to doing it somewhere quiet outdoors.
– Another way to make it less painful is to look and smile at your child. Maybe tickle them or laugh with them. Feels more natural than both of you saying cheese at the camera!
A word of caution – you don’t want to get too carried away with these tips, I always pick a natural shot with real emotion over a super posed one any day, even if it makes my nose look big and my chin double up – but if these tips mean the difference between getting in photos or not at all then by all means go for it!
Remember – A photo of yourself is one second in time of a living moving object. You are so much more than one angle frozen in time. If you see a bad photo of yourself remember the angle makes all the difference – a bad angle makes a bad photo! It’s not how you really look to others when you’re moving and laughing and talking. So just remind yourself of that next time you see an unflattering picture!
Nerves, dry mouth, stuttering…are you thinking about getting a video made for your business but TERRIFIED of being on camera? Well it might make you feel better to know Megan and Jeremy from Little Bird felt exactly the same – but you would never guess from watching their video! Take a read of the little Q&A I did with them recently to hear about their experience in front of the camera, and why they wanted to use video in their business.
Why did you decide to get a video made?
We needed a video for our Pledge Me campaign as while it is possible to run a successful crowd funding campaign without a video, it is way easier to succeed with an engaging and convincing video.
(Even a crappy video can make a difference, but the better the vid, the more chance we were giving our campaign! Having a video available makes a massive difference to the engagement of any
audience these days. Reading and concentrating is hard work! 😉 and if you can make something interesting and entertaining that can be watched instead…. Much more people are going to know
about whatever it is you want to talk about. It also makes things much more real, the video invited people into our world, it put faces to our brand, it let our customers see we are real people and given
that we were running a pledge me campaign, it gave us a greater chance of convincing people to join our campaign.
We were introduced to Michelle through one of our staff, we had some other options too, but we felt Michelle’s work was the warmest and most successful at representing people naturally and honestly,
whilst still being fun. A benefit of the project was that we shot a little extra footage and have been able to re-purpose the video to be a more permanent addition to our website – Great value for
What was the video making process like for you?
We have spent enough time leading a big team now to be fairly confident of talking, but put a camera in your face and something happens! Nerves, dry mouth, stuttering…! It made it easier that there
were two of us in the video (moral support), but it didn’t take long to loosen up. There wasn’t any real pressure to do things a certain way – I think that is a strength of Michelle’s direction, she put us at
ease and guided us through things so nothing was a big deal. And she kept things light and fun, humour can be such an important part of audience engagement.
What impact did the video have?
The video was critical. It basically was our campaign. (That and the great rewards we were offering!) It created something that could be easily shared amongst friends, groups and different media
channels. At the time I think we were one of the most successful campaigns on Pledge Me, we managed to raise over $48,000, well above our $20,000 initial target.
What was the best reaction you had to the video?
The video was very well received. I think what was most successful was how the video depicted us as who we are. We do our best to run our business as openly as possible, we share everything with our
staff (which has its upsides and downsides!), but it was nice to be able to have some sort of dialogue with so many of our customers. To introduce ourselves, and for people to see, hear, and understand
who we are and why we do what we do.
What would you say to other business owners thinking about getting a video made?
I think video work is probably underutilised amongst small business in New Zealand – it has become very common internationally. It’s really neither that expensive, or
time consuming, and so much more valuable that running an ad in some glossy magazines. (You’ll pay similar money for either.) If you have a story to tell, a product
or service to introduce, something to celebrate… a video gives you a chance of reaching a big audience and making a lasting impression.
Michelle knows what she is doing, but is not overbearing. She listens, and lets the story come out rather than pushing it out. She is a small business herself, so understands what that means when working with your small business,
and her experience in her previous roles with the big tv stations means she will be equally comfortable working with your big business. Running a small operation means she was able to be very flexible about when, where and how we did things, which was valuable, especially considering the 3 month old baby we had in tow.
We loved working with Michelle, and Love the Little Things will be our first stop for future video work.
So, what can you do in 19 minutes?
Vacuum your house? Take the dog for a short walk? Cook baked beans on toast for your kid’s dinner cause it’s Friday night and you’ve had a few wines with your friends?
Or you could learn an amazing new skill that will impact your family forever.
I am known for being a bit of an exaggerator (seriously I did once catch a massive shark when fishing!), but this really is something I feel strongly about.
If you’re anything like me you take 20 quick pictures of the exact same scene because a) kids move fast and b) kids move fast!!
You might think anyone can take 20 pictures and have one look ok, but I think the real trick is in the selection. So often we go for the ‘everyone smiling and looking nicely at the camera’ shot, but when you think about it that can be kind of boring! When you already have 500 pictures of your little cherub’s smiling face how about trying something a little different?
Try embracing the imperfections – who cares if they have hair all over their face, or they look a little cross eyed? Life is messy, life is crazy and sometimes it just plain sucks! So why not have your pictures reflect this too?
The important thing to think about when you’re flicking through those 20 near identical shots is what story do you want to tell?
Maybe it’s that one time at Halloween we were confined to our house with a super infectious virus!
Or maybe you want to remember the fashion sense…of your husband! Yup, outfit by Dad.
Newborns are tiring…
Iceblocks are cold…
And café’s are boring…
Yes Lila’s hair is all in her face – but the second I spotted the expressions on the faces of those guys on the left, I knew I had my shot.
I took about 10 photos of my husband pulling out my daughter’s wobbly tooth but this is the one I want to remember!
And there were loads of photos of Sylvie smiling sweetly but I never want to forget how she loves to see herself pulling funny faces in the camera screen!
So next time you’re looking through those multiple photos trying to decide which one to keep…embrace imperfections and go for the unexpected!!