Content Part 3: Including Video (YouTube) in our content Strategy
We want to make helpful, fun video content for independent creators interested in building intentional businesses and lives.
That is our intention behind making videos.
Notice we didn’t say become full-time vloggers or famous YouTubers. We don’t care at all about numbers or growth on YouTube. We know it’s VERY hard to get visibility in the beginning and attract NEW organic visitors. In the early days we know we’re basically pushing our existing audience to our channel, and we’re cool with that.
But, let's back up a second. How and why are we including video as a part of the Wandering Aimfully content strategy?
Our video content strategy and why we’re creating videos in the first place
I have quite the history with YouTube and creating videos. Back in late 2008 I decided to embark on a daily video recording and posting journey, before the term “vlog” ever existed. For 889 days straight I planned, filmed, edited, uploaded, and shared a YouTube video. In total, over the course of five years, I created over 1,600 YouTube videos. To say I got burned out on video would be an understatement.
After 2013, I didn’t even want to see a video camera. Sure, I made about 2-3 videos per year for my various projects, but I loathed every step of the process during that time. You see, the 1,600 videos I created started as a fun daily creative exploration but eventually turned into not-so-fun daily arduous work. That feeling is exactly what we’re trying to avoid with our new video strategy. I'm ready to dive back into the world of video, as long as we keep it fun, creative and intentional.
WE DICTATE OUR VIDEO CONTENT
The humungous difference between my previous YouTube videos and the Wandering Aimfully channel we’ve now started five years later is that Caroline and I are 100% in control of the video content we create.
There are no clients. There are no stories we have to share because someone has paid us to do so. The schedule for releasing videos is completely in our control (much like our social media, email, and blog content).
This may sound silly and obvious, but it’s been the mental shift I needed to regain interest in flipping on a video camera and sitting down to edit video footage for hours on end.
creating the content we want to see
In some respects, we’re starting a YouTube channel for Wandering Aimfully because we want to create the content we wish we could see more of in the world.
We’ve always talked about wanting to be a fly on the wall at other entrepreneurs’ meetings. We think it'd be really interesting to listen to a creative couple share how they work and live together. We don’t see a lot of that fully transparent content, so we’ve decided to create it.
The specific reasons we decided to focus on video (not necessarily our written or audio content) to accomplish this goal:
- Video is the most immersive medium for creative storytelling. (We love writing, but you can evoke so much more emotion through video.)
- Video utilizes skills we already have a foundation in. (1,600 videos must've taught me something, right? Plus, Caroline is great at helping brainstorm video ideas, has a basic knowledge of editing and we have her artistic talents to put on display.)
- Video shows our personalities. (This comes through in writing and on our podcast as well, but we can be much more ourselves [read: silly] on camera.)
Again, note we didn’t say anything about becoming known for video content. Video is just one part of our overall content strategy.
Case in point for the "silly" part...
What are the types of videos we’re going to film and share on our channel?
We've identified five types of videos that we want to share on our channel. Yes, we know that is ambitious, and it may change as we move forward (remember, not trying to get burned out here) BUT video is a huge passion of ours right now so we're letting the ideas and motivation drive us.
Here are our five types of videos, along with some reasoning behind our strategy for each.
#1: THE WANDERING AIMFULLY SHOW
- What is it: A video recording of our podcast where we talk about topics related to intentional business and life.
- When will it air: Weekly on Mondays.
- Why does it exist: To be helpful, share our perspectives on life and business, and also to showcase our personalities. (All three of these reasons are an integral part of giving a potential customer of our Wandering Aimfully membership a gateway into our content and our vibe.)
- How will it be filmed: Three camera setup. One main camera (DSLR) showing the two of us. Two iPhones on tripods getting closeup shots of our faces.
#2: TESLA TUESDAYS
- What is it: A weekly series where we talk about trying to get an existing product of ours to cover our Tesla Model 3 payment. And, what life is like living with a Tesla from both our perspectives.
- When will it air: Weekly on Tuesdays.
- Why does it exist: Taking on a $1,000 car payment is a big commitment for us (especially after enjoying 100% freedom from debt the past few years). But, we want to embrace a more sustainable future for the planet, while at the same time showing how you can build up a resource to help pay for something you (intentionally) want in your life!
- How will it be filmed: Not sure yet! Maybe just a GoPro on my forehead looking at Caroline the entire time?? (Jk jk).
#3: WEEKLY BUILD DIARY/CHECK-IN
- What is it: An inside look at our lives and businesses. Think of this like a wvlog (that’s weekly video blog). Very much like the weekly build diary videos we’re sharing right now, just continuing forward with them.
- When will it air: Weekly on Fridays.
- Why does it exist: I’ve really enjoyed sharing our weekly recaps and we both agree it might be fun to continue this on well after Wandering Aimfully is launched. It gives us a chance to take other creative entrepreneurs behind the scenes and puts our "work/life blend" on full display. This reinforces our enjoyment of sharing transparently and honestly.
- How will it be filmed: Talking-head style like we’ve been doing. Throwing in random hilarious clips I find to support our weirdness.
- What is it: Inspiring content that represents our values and mindset shifts we’ve made in life and business.
- When will it air: Probably once a month. These will be pretty intense to film and edit.
- Why does it exist: First and foremost, these mini-films are fueled from our own creativity. We want to get better at telling stories AND we want to create content about the more impactful mindset shifts and beliefs that guide our life. We want our mini-films to be pieces of content that are share-worthy and will motivate and inspire people.
- How will it be filmed: These will probably be the most intensive of all our videos. The basic process goes like this: write story bullets, then script out each bullet, draw out crude storyboards for filming, create a shot list, finalize a script, record the A-roll, record the B-roll, record extra audio, add in Caroline’s lettering or illustration, and then probably 10 other steps in the process 😂😬.
Oh hey, we happen to have our first mini-film ready for your eyeballs:
Ps. If you'd be ever so kind, hit that friendly share button and send this to a friend that might need that extra push to finally put their creative work out there and ASK.
#5: LASTLY, ONE-OFF RANDOMS
- What is it: This is a "catch-all" bucket for if I want to do a review of a piece of gear (camera, desk organizer, Kickstarter product, etc). Or if Caroline wants to share a hair tutorial. (She doesn't actually want to share a hair tutorial, but GIVE THE PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT, CAROL.)
- When will it air: No clue. Haha. Maybe once a month? Very random on the release of these.
- Why does it exist: It’s a video around a topic that we truly enjoy or are excited about. It’s much more for expressing our own creativity than anything else.
- How will it be filmed: Who knows! Maybe we’ll do split-screen of Caroline doing her hair and me reviewing a video camera??
That’s a crapload of video content, right?? Yeah, we kind of feel the same way. But, we’re also excited by the new challenge. All of this video content is first and foremost for us. No client expectations. No one to make happy except ourselves (well, and hopefully you!)
The hope is that if we can just be consistent, we can create a stronger emotional connection with our existing audience WHILE building up a presence for ourselves over the next year which may (or may not) turn into a marketing vehicle by getting organic traffic down the road. Only time will tell.
Random aside: Free Google Chrome Extension that blocks Subscribers and Video Views
As mentioned multiple times, we want to avoid the trappings of focusing on growing our YouTube channel. I’m so personally against focusing on numbers on YouTube that I found a technical solution to help fight my psychological desires to see numbers increase. And by found, I mean I asked on Twitter if anyone could create a Google Chrome Extension that would block me from seeing subscribers or video view numbers.
About a week later a friendly developer named Ashik Nesin sent me a DM with a link to install the Less Vanity Metrics on YouTube Google Chrome Extension. With a few clicks of my mouse, I had a defense-system in place to keep my monkey brain from obsessing over YouTube subscriber numbers and video views on our new Wandering Aimfully channel.
This may seem like an absolutely silly thing to have made, but I remember how focused I was on trying to increase my video views a few years ago. To say I was obsessed would be an understatement (can I get an amen for honesty about this?).
Unless I look over Caroline’s shoulder at our YouTube account, I have no idea how many subscribers we have or how many views our videos are getting. I’m going to do my best to keep things that way so I stay laser-focused on creation and not growth.
I won't sugarcoat it. Video content is a big investment. It's an investment of time, of money for high-quality gear, of emotional fortitude (after recovering from burn out), but it's an investment we want to take on. Not because of any arbitrary "futurist" view about video being the future or anything. Just because we like venturing into new creative territory, and we like making things that we wish existed. We've worked hard to build a life and business we love, and we want to share that in whatever way possible with people. Video is our opportunity to do that in a new and challenging way.