I currently live in Brooklyn with my three little boys and husband. What can I say, I’m the unofficial -but official - Queen in my house. I love weird combinations of food (more on that later), going out (MOMS CAN DANCE TOO), and seeing the "A-HA" look on a founder's face when they unleash the story that has been buried in them and their business for way too long.
In the spirit of content repurposing, I stumbled upon this blog post from three years ago in the google archives when “I was determined to write a blog” and I never did because consistency! Add that to my long list of “died a hot fiery entrepreneurial death” idea grave.
Also, this was waya hella too long. So I retracted as much as I could without losing the meaning.. ENJOY!
FROM MY “BLOG THAT NEVER WAS” ARCHIVE FOLDER:
If you are a company or a founder who needs to make a brand story or founder video, I have two words for you: Hire. Journalists.
If you’re a founder who is scared of doing video because you “suck on camera” I have two words for you: Hire. Journalists.
If you’re a company and want to hire a production team to make your brand go “viral like that Dollar Shave Club video” I have two words for you: Stop. It.
Full disclosure…I used to be a journalist. So biased here..#guilty but for good reason (keep reading.)
Having spent a good chuck of my life as TODAY show producer and prior to that holding stints at Bloomberg TV, Time and CNN, I am a journalist at heart who now runs a video production company & coaches entrepreneurs on storytelling. Where most of my team came from either the media world or is still telling stories for a living.
We Are Not Natural Marketers
Rule No. 1 when you produce for TV is you need to “grab the viewer’s attention STAT!” So when we work with brands that give us grief over not showing their product, logo, or boring rambly sound byte in the first bit of the video we say, “YOUR AUDIENCE DOESN’T WANT THAT.” We’re not natural marketers, but we promise you’ll have better video for it.
We Are Naturally Curious
Isn’t this why most people become journalists? You’re a little kid and you keep asking your mom but WHY, WHY, WHY, WHY and then someone in your family goes, “You should be a reporter!”. Well, when you’re trying to get genuine responses out of company founders who typically have NEGATIVE ZERO on-camera experience, it helps to have a genuine interest in what they do. All of a sudden you’re just having a natural conversation with them but really you’re getting the best sound out of them. We sneaky like that.
We Know How To Tell Stories For Real
OK, so this whole story-telling thing is starting to fall in that cringe-worthy category where cool words go to die. Looking at you “disruptor, value-add, synergy, deep dive, ecosystem, leverage, etc.” ARRRHH. But every other marketing person who says they are “storytellers”…we call your bluff. You’re technically not. But we are. Some of us even went to a lot of (expensive #sigh) school to learn the art of storytelling so please don’t toss this term around lightly. Not everyone is a storyteller just because you like to watch great stories or because you have a few thousand Instagram likes on some captions. There’s an actual art and craft to writing a story and having that translate into a watchable video.
BONUS: you CAN learn how to do it…which is something I teach all the time.
We Understand How To Ask The Right Questions
You know that reporter or writer friend where all of a sudden you’re spilling your entire lifestory too? Yeah, we’re that person making you word vomit. Because we know how to ask questions and we know how to build the delicate trust dance from “what did you have for breakfast” question to “what is your biggest regret in your life” and you’ll answer it ALL because you don’t even know what is happening. Those skills come in real handy when you need someone to loosen up and be authentic on camera.
We Are Always Operating On Deadline Panic Time.
Whenever we do a project with a brand, most of us are thinking about the actual edit. Why? BECAUSE WE REMEMBER THE SHEER PANIC FEELING OF #THATDEADLINELIFE. At the TODAY show it wasn’t uncommon to get an assignment and have to turn around an amazing video piece in hours, especially if it was breaking news. This makes us way more efficient on set because you are always thinking about how shots will be strung, the sound you need because we’re still nervous deadline disciples. We cannot leave the video setwithout the best stuff but we still act like we have 18 minutes to get all of that. Noone is more efficient…and scared of missing a deadline than us.
There you have it. Next time you need awesome and watchable brand or founder video, do yourself and your audience a favor and hire people like us. Former news nerds. #werd.