Episode 35: Using video to grow your business with Jess Creatives - Business Bites

Using video to grow your business with Jess Creatives

Episode 35 on the Business Bites Podcast

The Gist Of This Episode: Overwhelmed with how to start using video in your business? Jess Creatives gives us an easy-to-achieve checklist on today’s episode.

What you will learn:

  • Why videos and YouTube, in particular, are great for your business
  • The reason a lot of businesses don’t use it
  • The equipment you need to get started with video
  • Tips to make your videos look more professional
  • and more!

Expand To Read Episode Transcripts

Rachel Brenke: Hey guys, welcome to this episode of “The Business Bites” podcast, I am your host Rachel Brenke, I am joined today with Jessica Freeman from “Jess Creatives”, we’re going to talk a little bit about getting started on Youtube and using video to grow your business.

I know you guys have seen all the videos that have been going around the internet, we’ve got all sorts of platforms and it can be completely overwhelming, so I wanted to bring Jessica on to talk to us a little bit just about Youtube, and we’re going to mention a couple of other platforms but really the focus is going to be using this platform that’s been around for a while, and it’s still relevant, still ready and it’s tried and true. It has stuck around while other ones have fallen off. So Jess, thanks for being here!

Jessica : Yes, thank you so much for having me on the show.

Rachel Brenke: Of course! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself in case the listeners don’t know who you are?

Jessica : Of course. I run “Jess Creatives” a graphic and web design company. And I work primarily with service based business owners for websites, logos, all that kind of fun stuff and I also have a second business, “Easy Peasy Studio” where I do video and podcast editing with my husband. And also, Youtube management.

Rachel Brenke: Very cool. Well, one of the things that really interested me about having Jess come on here, she has a blog post and an Ebook that I’m going to link in the Show Notes for you guys to be able to get, but the blog post that really caught my eye was “Getting Started on Youtube”, and “Branding Your Videos”, obviously with the podcast I don’t have visual branding necessarily ’cause I don’t have the visual part of this going on, but Youtube is something that even I have struggled … with as advanced as I feel that I have been in marketing I have struggled just nailing the Youtube, so this is going to be a learning experience for me as well. And I guess my biggest question to you … which I kind of feel I already know the answer, but do you feel that video is essential in marketing a business now? And how has that changed maybe from the last couple of years?

Jessica : Yeah, so, I absolutely believe that video is essential for … I mean this year and last year maybe even the year before, you know, all of the experts said “Video is it!” That it’s like king this year.

Rachel Brenke: Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Jessica : And I, I started Youtube about two years ago and I myself was hesitant to start doing video. I didn’t want to be on camera, and you know, I’m like, “blogging is fine, that’s enough”. Ha ha …

Rachel Brenke: It’s stressful to get in front of the camera! You have to do your hair, your makeup, put on pants …

Jessica : Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Rachel Brenke: Ha ha!

Jessica : The whole nine yards.

Rachel Brenke: Right.

Jessica : It’s not as simple as just typing up a quick blog post, but it really … I mean Youtube is owned by Google, so it’s like … it’s super easy to … I shouldn’t say easy, but it’s easier for you to show up in Google search results with videos because it’s like, its own search engine, and it really makes it amazing connections with your audience. It really builds that “know, like and trust” factor with your audience.

I have had several clients who were talking to me, you know about like, “Do I need a website”, “Do I want to hire you”, and they had questions I had videos to answer those questions. I sent it to them and they hired me. And you know, fast forward to the end of the project, I’m getting feedback and they’re like “I saw you on video, I saw that you knew what you were talking about, that you were nice, that you were relatable, and that sold it for me”.

Rachel Brenke: That’s awesome.

Jessica : And this like my early videos that I’m super awkward …

Rachel Brenke: Ha ha!

Jessica : I’m not like comfortable on camera, it’s like one minute long, so it’s not even … and I shot it with my iPhone. So, not a fancy video, not a long video, and that has helped seal the deal on getting me more clients. Just a simple video.

Rachel Brenke: So if it is really … I mean, yeah there is some that comes into it, but it can be simple, why do you think that so many businesses are not utilizing video content? I mean I’ve already told you mine. I don’t want to put on pants.

Jessica : Mm-hmm (affirmative). I think one of the biggest things which was my problem was you don’t feel comfortable on camera. You know, none of us like hearing ourselves or looking at ourselves, and that’s because we’re not used to it.

Like, unless you are a newscaster you’re probably not used to being on camera. It’s not something that you do every day, even when we do Instagram Stories and stuff like that. It’s totally different when you are uploading a video to Youtube where millions of people can watch you. So I think the first thing is people are just scared of it, and I mean … and I was too, so I’m not saying in a derogatory way. Cause I totally was too. But then I think it’s also the technical aspect you know? Well what do I shoot with, how do I edit? And how do I actually upload a video and actually see some ROI from it, you know? How do I just … do I just upload and call it “Movie number one?” Like is that actually going to work? Or, you know, it’s learning all the technical stuff. So it is you know, it is its own platform so there is a learning curve, but it’s definitely worth investing the time into it. And if necessary some money, but it really can be a game changer for your business and for your visibility.

Rachel Brenke: Well you know it’s interesting, the first point you said that we don’t like looking at ourselves, we don’t like hearing ourselves. Even myself as a speaker I cringe whenever I do it, but it is a routine practice that I have integrated in order to grow myself, and even if I’m not necessarily going to do video, just the mere idea of knowing how to change my presentation because I’m going to have to interact with people in life, especially in business at some point.

Jessica : Right.

Rachel Brenke: And whether that means I’m going to translate it to video or not … I kind of feel like you can kill two birds with one stone, the more you do it the more comfortable you really … I feel you get in front of the camera or public speaking. I was terrified if you had told me 10 years ago that I’d be a public speaker traveling the world to speak, I’d of been like “You’re crazy”.

Jessica : Ha ha.

Rachel Brenke: But I … I started it by self recording. None of those will ever see the light of day, but … I did it to learn what I needed to change.

But the second one also … and I think honestly this is sometimes even with my background as a photographer that I can get overwhelmed about the type of equipment that I need to get started with video. I mean, what would you suggest for people to look for a resource that they can kind of get going on that?

Jessica : Yeah, so I always tell people, you can absolutely start with your iPhone or your … even if you have like an Android or whatever. You can start with your smartphone. The cameras now are so good, it doesn’t even matter. And really, I mean yes, you’ll see Youtubers who have super high-definition videos … but it’s not a must-have.

Rachel Brenke: Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Jessica : They really … people want to see you, they want to hear from you they want to connect with you. And having a small, mega-pixel difference in the definition of your video is not going to be a deal breaker. Now, if you are sitting in the dark corner of your basement and you like can’t hardly see yourself, and it’s echo-y, okay, maybe we can change that. But really, starting with your iPhone, sit at your desk or stand in front of a wall. It doesn’t have to be fancy.

My first videos were shot with an iPhone, sitting at my desk, I think I had … at that point I didn’t even have lighting. I didn’t have professional lighting, I just used the light in my room. That was it.

Eventually I upgraded to a slightly better camera, and I stood in front of a window so that the lighting was a little bit better, and now I use a DLSR with a microphone and a light set. So it … and I’ve only done these upgrades out of my own desire.

Rachel Brenke: Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Jessica : Like, just because I wanted it to look nicer. Does anybody call out “Oh my gosh, you are shooting videos on an iPhone, how dare you”?! No!

Rachel Brenke: I actually feel like it’s almost more forgiving now to have a lower quality, which is so funny because you would think it would be the opposite, that as technology has advanced we would expect a more higher quality video, but because of reality TV shows and Instagram Stories, Facebook Live, I feel like everyone is really more accepting of imperfect videos.

Jessica : Oh Yes. Absolutely, and I mean some people edit out their tiny little bloopers or, you know , they stumble over their words and they’ll re-do it, and that’s, I mean it’s fine if you want to re-do that, but people know that you’re not perfect.

Rachel Brenke: Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Jessica : And I mean especially if you’re doing kind of a vlog style, like you’re maybe going behind the scenes, showing … you go to an event, or you’re just like “here, here’s a look into my day”, then that especially, people don’t expect perfection. They don’t expect the super high-quality.

Rachel Brenke: Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Jessica : And people really enjoy, as much as … you know … informative, education videos are great, people also really like to see just behind the scenes and just who is this person, you know that I see teaching me all of this stuff. What are they like day to day?

So even if you maybe vlog with your iPhone and then use something else for your, you know, educational videos, that’s totally fine, and just doing whatever is easiest, whatever is going to make it the most comfortable for you to, you know, start doing video. That’s what really matters. That’s what I always say you should use.

Rachel Brenke: Well it also begs the question to me, coming around to this whole idea of these fears of the technology, the fears of public speaking … would you recommend that people do pre-recorded video content to put on Youtube? Or maybe do Facebook Live and then upload it to Youtube? What is your recommendation with that?

Jessica : So you can kind of do a combination, especially now that you can go live on Youtube especially, you can … I know that there are people that do Facebook Lives and then download them and upload them to Youtube. Some people will say it doesn’t convert as well, cause they know they’re watching a Facebook Live, and you’re like chatting, you’re like “Hi Mary!” And so they don’t like it as much. But I think it kind of depends, cause I know some people who do Facebook Lives and they don’t interact with the watchers, they don’t like greet them or anything, they just do the live and then download it and that’s it, so that you can’t really tell.

So I think it’s great to do Facebook Lives because that helps your Facebook reach, and it’ll help you get more comfortable on camera, really, truly, the more you do video, in whatever form if it’s Instagram Live, Facebook Live, you just record videos and they don’t go anywhere …

Rachel Brenke: Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Jessica : Any of that can really be beneficial, so I think it depends on the length, and the content of the Facebook Live, and it kind of depends on your channel like if you are a newer channel, I might hold off until you know, you’re in it for a year or a few months, you have some more followers.

So that they are used to your pre-recorded content and then you can start throwing in these “Lives” to you know, supplement your other videos.

Rachel Brenke: The one thing I like about the pre-recorded video content is that if I screw up I can stop. Whereas if I’m on Live, it’s more real … but … or if like the dogs come rip-roaring through the … if I’m recording through the house I’ve had that happen in the middle of a Live, the dogs go nuts. And … but if I’m trying to deliver a real education piece, it doesn’t come off for while.

Jessica : Yeah.

Rachel Brenke: …Which is unfortunate. So, alright so you say do it, don’t worry too much about technology but I know that some people will have this mindset despite being told that they should get the minimum viable product out there, they still want their videos to look as professional as possible, what are like two tips that you could give to help give a little bit of that professional polish?

Jessica : One thing I would say is be aware of your background or your setting, so make it look a little bit interesting. So if you go back to my early videos, I’m sitting at my desk, you can see like my computer, some pens, you know it’s pretty clean, whatever. And that was great cause it kind of gives context. You can see that like, okay she’s sitting at a desk, so it’s probably business related. I’m not going to start talking about how to cook macaroni.

Rachel Brenke: Ha ha.

Jessica : And then, you know, now I stand in front of a gallery wall that I have in my office and it just gives some more visual interest, now there’s nothing wrong with standing in front of just a blank wall, I know a lot of people who …

Rachel Brenke: That’s what I do! It is so bad.

Jessica : … but there’s nothing wrong with it.

Rachel Brenke: Right.

Jessica : Because again, people are just, they want to learn from you. They’re not going to be like “Oh my gosh, this video is so boring, she’s standing in front of a wall”. That’s not it at all. But it just gives some more visual interest. It makes it a little bit … for lack of a better word, prettier.

Rachel Brenke: Mm-hmm (affirmative), right.

Jessica : And it just, again gives that setting.

The other thing is really pay attention to your lightening. So maybe you stand in front of a window. I did that for several videos. Probably like five or six months worth of videos. If you don’t have a great window or if the window is in an awkward spot and you’re like “Well I have nowhere to set up my camera”, there are pretty inexpensive lighting … light kits like boxes that you can get just off Amazon. You could get one that just sits behind your camera, you could get a light ring, those tend to be a little more expensive. You can have … I mean I’ve seen people who DIY, like they make their own light ring or they’ll just set up tall lamps …

Rachel Brenke: I actually just got a really decent ring light off of Amazon for about 20 bucks, and it has a tripod area that I can put my phone …

Jessica : Oh! Well there you go!

Rachel Brenke: So I can do Facebook Live. It was about 20 … I haven’t used it yet, I just unpacked it yesterday. It’s a little smaller than I would like for like the ring size, but I’ll test it out and add it into the Show Notes if it works out.

Jessica : Nice! Yeah, so there are, you don’t have to have, you know, like four light boxes, and these drapes … it does not have to be fancy. There are several options out there for lighting. You can even look on Youtube for DIY lighting kits or Youtubers often share their studio setups in the link to the specifics that they use.

Rachel Brenke: Awesome.

Jessica : I mean yeah, you could definitely, you know, spend a couple of thousand on lighting but you don’t need to. You can find things for under one hundred dollars. So those two things I think make the best looking videos. Is your background and your lighting.

Rachel Brenke: Awesome. And so, if say someone’s just starting out, what would be like the main style-content that video would be good to dip their toes into? Maybe should they start with tip lists, or how-to videos? And I know this is dependent upon what they’re selling and offering, but is there like one format is easier for video beginners to present?

Jessica : Yeah, so I usually recommend starting with how-to videos. Because those are pretty easy, you know it’s “Hey, here’s how to do XYZ”, you know, you record your screen or if it’s a physical thing you just show it, you inbox it, or you know whatever. So those are pretty straight forward. It’s, there’s not a lot of, you know, thought leadership in it. It’s … this is the matter of fact, this is what you do. So there’s not … you don’t have to worry too much about scripting it, and all of that sort of fun stuff.

Rachel Brenke: Mm-hmm (affirmative) and is there … is there a target video length for that, that they should shoot for?

Jessica : It’s recommend to stay under at least five minutes, but you definitely want to pay attention to your Youtube analytics because you can see when people drop off of the video. And you can look specifically at each video, but you can also look at your channel average. So for me, my audience loves videos under two minutes.

Rachel Brenke: Oh my gosh, I talk way too much to do two minutes! I even have a podcast! This one! That is like 10-15 minute episodes and that’s still … there’s no way I could do two minutes.

Jessica : Yeah so …

Rachel Brenke: No way.

Jessica : I know! And it’s crazy, but and not to say that you know, you have to stay under that, part of the reason that my audience probably does like that is because the first three months of my videos were specifically one minute or less.

Rachel Brenke: Ah yeah.

Jessica : Like, I had … I kind of trained them to stay for short videos. So I kind of bit myself in the butt doing that. And not to say that … I definitely have videos that are four minutes long. It’s not that you have to stay under that, but … for beginners …

Rachel Brenke: I think that’s good. I think that kind of helps some of the pressure, maybe for people listening thinking “Oh my gosh, I don’t like to talk, I have to present for an hour”… this shows you that just couple of minutes can have great impact.

Jessica : Yeah, I mean I tell people all the time, like I have another friend who just like you she’s like “I have so much to say!” And I was like, “You just need to break it up into different little segments”.

Rachel Brenke: Oh!

Jessica : And that will also help, I mean A), you get more video content …

Rachel Brenke: Right.

Jessica : And it’s … you have more videos that you can post, but also you can really niche down on your title.

Rachel Brenke: Right, right.

Jessica : So if you, let’s say you’re doing Instagram video, you could, yeah you could have a 10-15 minute video on like “here are all the Instagram things you need to know”.

Rachel Brenke: Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Jessica : Or you could break it up and talk about Instagram hashtags, Instagram filters, Instagram algorithm, and really, you know, title those well and start ranking your videos … so that they …

Rachel Brenke: Oh that’s super smart.

Yeah because I know … I think that you and I have similar audience avatars, like for mine is essentially me, it’s busy moms who are trying to run their business and [inaudible 00:19:02] by it came about as a small bite is because … I don’t have time to sit and listen to 45 minute podcasts, so I love that. I absolutely love that tip.

And you know, that was what was interesting is you talk about it also being a search engine within a search engine, having Youtube and Google so inter-related, in your blog post where you talk about “Getting started on Youtube” you also then have an Ebook that is “How to triple your traffic” the whole idea of this super niche marketing within the titles is … can we … can we give them a little bit of what is in the eBook? Do you touch on getting super specific?

Jessica : Yes. Yes. And my biggest tip when it comes to, you know, the keywords to the nicheing down in your title, being really specific, is using the Google keyword planner to lookup search words, pay attention to …

Rachel Brenke: Yeah.

Jessica : You want to find ones that are low competition, and high volume. And you’ll see on the Google keyword planner there’s columns that say competition and search volume. And then you can also use plug-ins like Tubebuddy, that will help you search those kinds of things.

Rachel Brenke: Oh.

Jessica : And once you have a bunch of videos up, or even just … doesn’t have to be bunch … a few videos there’s section in your Youtube analytics that you can see what people are searching when they land on your video. So that might give you additional video ideas.

Rachel Brenke: Ah! I am writing this down for myself.

Jessica : Yeah! So you’ll go to the video and then you can see search and there’s a heading and you can see like where are people finding you and you’ll see, “Oh it’s suggested videos, it was embedded externally or Youtube searched.” And then you can click on that and you’ll see “Oh, SquareSpace, SEO, SEO for SquareSpace”.

Rachel Brenke: Awesome.

Jessica : SquareSpace search … you know, different things like that. And it will give you all the different things, and sometimes that helps you come up with additional ideas of like “Oh, someone was searching that, I could make a video that’s really targeted to that title”. Even if this one is kind of related, I could make a more targeted one on this information.

Rachel Brenke: Oh I love it.

So what I’m going to do is, I’m going to link all of this, this is going to be episode 35, so it’s going to be at Rachelbrenke.com/epi35, what I’m going to do is I’m going to link the blog post and the eBook that she has but I wanted you guys to listen closely to what Jess was just saying. She was pointing out all of the things that come out of just narrowing your niche on your title, looking up these keywords, and you guys hear me talk a lot in the other episodes about how I want to have … every action that I take I want to get multiple benefits out of it, and right here you’re getting new ideas for other content, you’re being able to go for the keywords that are high-quality, but not necessarily that competitive so you can be found.

I absolutely love that you phrased it and approached it in that way and that you also have the same approach to developing this type of content, I guess I just have one final question for you, this is so much information, I already have so many notes because this is something I really want to embrace a little bit more in my business, but do you have like one final tip that could be like one key takeaway not that we haven’t had plenty, but … one key takeaway for them to take with them about utilizing video content in their business marketing?

Jessica : Be consistent. Don’t feel like you have to start with five videos a week or three videos a week, like do one a week, make them short, do a minute or two minutes, and then just be consistent because that’s the greatest way to get subscribers. I mean think about your favorite TV shows. You know it comes on every Tuesday at 8PM. They know to tune in, and that’s, you know people will expect the same from you. So really getting consistent or … if you can’t do once a week, do every other week, or once a month, but stick to a schedule.

Rachel Brenke: You know, one of the things that I always talk about is … and that I do in my business is I do kind of this batch processing, where I do a whole bunch of recording, cause then I don’t have to set up and tear down and … I get it all done at once, I was trying to find the episode actually that I talked about this on … in depth, and I can’t find it at this moment. I’ll stick it in the Show Notes, but I … so I only have to put on pants for like one week to do my recording.

Jessica : Yes.

Rachel Brenke: I don’t have to do it every week.

But, awesome, well Jess, thank you so much! This was a great insight into this, I hope it inspires people to … it definitely inspired me but I hope it inspires some of the listeners to put video into their business. I feel like we can’t get away from it now, everybody is using it, everyone loves it, everyone is sharing it, let people market for you, all you have to do is give them the content to do so, I will link all of Jess’ information into the Show Notes. Again, that’s going to be at RachelBrenke.com/epi35. Thanks for being here!

Featured Guest & Resources

Jessica Freeman is an award-winning graphic and web designer, helping service-based entrepreneurs create a brand that shines. In addition, she runs a second business, providing video and podcast editing services. Jess lives in Atlanta, GA with her husband, Aaron, and their dog, Morgan.

Getting Started on YouTube & Branding Your Videos 

How to Triple Your Traffic

Website:  www.jesscreatives.com
Instagram:  www.instagram.com/jesscreatives
Twitter:  www.twitter.com/jesscreatives

YouTube Channel:  www.jesscreatives.video

Link to studio setup video: 
Recommended tools: http://easypeasystudio.com/recommended-tools

About the author

Rachel Brenke is a lawyer, author and business consultant. She is currently helping professionals all over the world initiate, strategize and implement strategic business and marketing plans through various mediums of consulting resources and legal direction.

Hi, I’m Rachel Brenke

Rachel Brenke

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