I’ve been getting a great reaction from people, regarding my weekly vlogs and tonnes of you have mentioned that you really enjoy watching them. But I do also keep getting the question; Why?
‘Why are you vlogging?’
‘How exactly does that benefit your business?’
‘Why do you think people want to watch them?’
I know that people really struggled to see the correlation between photographing horses and posting my life onto Youtube. But I promise you, it’s there!
Why I Started Vlogging
When I first started vlogging, back in June, I was terrified. Being on camera was NOT something I thought I’d enjoy. It started as a way to push myself outside of my comfort zone and just as a marketing exercise.
I’m a big fan of watching vlogs. I am subscribed to lots of vloggers on Youtube and I often have them on in the background, whilst I’m editing. They’re easy watching and great for when I’m multi-tasking.
So, that’s how the seed was sown and my fascination with video blogging began.
In addition to this, every social media/marketing guru has been preaching that ‘video is the way forward’ for the past year or so now, so I really felt that I needed to find a way to incorporate video into my online marketing in some shape or form.
Apparently by 2017 video will make up 90% of all internet traffic!
Luckily, for me, social media is not just a chore that has to be done to promote my business. I actually love it! I genuinely enjoy the creativity behind it. So, with all of this in mind, I tentatively made the decision to step my social media efforts up a gear and give vlogging a go.
I had no idea how I’d find it.
Why Do We Watch Vlogs?
Videos have proven to be so much more engaging than any other media and we, as humans, are inherently nosey. Take Big Brother, as one example… Not to mention The Kardashians, Made in Chelsea and The Only Way Is Essex, amongst others.
Reality television is nothing new, but the increasingly popular craze of vlogging is taking things one step further, encouraging us to sit and watch ordinary people, going about their ordinary lives, with a voyeuristic fascination.
When you watch a vlog, you are often invited into the most private parts of the vloggers life… their home, their family, their relationships, in a very reality TV style.
It’s this that compels us to really invest in the lives of these people. It’s just like when you watch a film and get emotionally attached to the characters. Or like when you watch your favourite soap opera, night after night and feel as though if you saw one of the cast members on the street, you’d be well within your rights to say hi. They’re a regular fixture in your life and you feel as if you know them on some level.
And now, we are creating our OWN entertainment. Rather than waiting for television companies and Hollywood to churn out something watchable, our favourite vloggers are offering us content on a weekly or daily basis, so we’re never short of a new instalment to feed our fascination.
I want to know what the SacconeJoly’s new baby is going to be called. I want to know how Tanya Burr’s eye surgery goes. And I really just want Carrie Green to upload another vlog!!
How Does That Work For Your Business?
So, having taken a good long look at why I was so invested in the lives of these people, I realised that it was all about the connection and engagement that video allows the viewer to experience, with the vlogger. Without ever even meeting them. It’s an incredibly powerful tool!
It’s more effective than blogging, than posting photos on Instagram and Facebook… All of those things are great for building your brand. They inject personality and authenticity into your business. But nowhere near as well as video will!
Hearing your voice, seeing your face and mannerisms, and being allowed into your life outside of ‘work’, is going to create a much stronger connection than any Tweet ever can.
And realising this, I was beginning to see that I could nolonger justify NOT vlogging, if I was serious about building a business via social media.
There are plenty of different styles of vlogging. The lovely Shelley Pauslon, an equine photographer from Minnesota, produces more formal videos about all things horsey. I chose weekly ‘lifecasting’ vlogs as I wanted to really allow the viewers an insight into my life. But there are plenty of ways to introduce vlogging into your marketing strategy.
And no matter what business you are in, if your followers and potential customers feel that level of engagement with you, they’re going to want to work with you. They’re going to feel like they already know you!
And that was exactly it, for me. I really wanted my social media followers to feel like they know me.
I went through all the usual doubts, as we creatives always do when we try something new…
‘My life isn’t interesting enough.’
‘Why would anybody want to watch ME?’
‘People will think I’m self-absorbed.’
And then I remembered the time I watched a vlog about a single mum spending a day at home with her little girl, playing with play-dough and baking cookies. I didn’t think she was self-absorbed, or boring…. And I realised that my life was no less ordinary than theirs.
I realised that I’m super proud of the following and community I’ve already built on social media and thought that, seeing as they took the time to follow me in the first place, just maybe they’d like to see who they’re following and what actually goes into being an equine photographer.
So I did it anyway!
And I love it!!
What I’ve Learned From Vlogging
I honestly never thought I’d say that. I couldn’t ever imagine that I’d love being in front of a video camera. Ask my family! I used to shy away from cameras as much as I could. (Yes, I totally see the irony there!)
But I really do love vlogging!
Ok, so I still cringe at the sound of my own voice sometimes. I want to hide when I edit clips of my sweaty face, with very little make-up on, after a hot, summer shoot and I do sometimes wonder if the internet is really ready to see me on a bad-hair-day…
But there’s something really enjoyable and therapeutic about creating the vlogs themselves.
- It certainly makes you more aware of the way you live your life. For example, last week, I realised that my vlog consisted solely of photoshoots. And that made me realise that ALL I had done, ALL week, was work. I hadn’t taken any time off, whatsoever, to enjoy myself.
I now find myself thinking, ‘what interesting things can I go out and do this week, so that I’ve got good vlogging content’. And as a result, I end up making sure I take time out from work and find a better work/life balance. That’s got to be a good thing, right?
- It’s made me more confident about speaking. I used to be terrified of public speaking and now, as much as I wouldn’t be overly excited about the idea, it doesn’t fill me with a bone-deep dread. Progress!
I love that I’m documenting my life. My mum and I recently had a conversation about how when we were little, my Dad used to take a video camera everywhere and film us all the time. And how sad it is that nobody really does that anymore. Well, now I do. And I really love that I’ve started recording my life again. I’m excited to have a record of the run up to my wedding, the day itself, the honeymoon, the growth of my niece and nephew, my dog, my family… That’s valuable to me, regardless of work and marketing.
- And lastly, it’s encouraged people to book! Photoshoots can be scary. I totally understand that. But I’ve had messages and emails from people saying that they watched my vlogs and want to book, as a result. People feel more comfortable now that they ‘know’ me, and see I’m not a big, client eating monster. They see the shoots themselves in progress and get a better idea in their head of how it all works. And they see the results.
I’m so, so excited about the addition of vlogging, to my life. It’s been a more profound exercise than I ever thought it would be and I’m so glad I made the decision to do it.
If you’ve got any questions regarding vlogging, or anything else, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. I’d love to hear from you and chat to you guys about it!