Towards the end of July this year, I joined a 21-Day Facebook Live Video Challenge which was being facilitated by one of my favourite people online, Marisa Murgatroyd. The challenge was to do a live video everyday for 21 days and share it in the private group. I was ready to take on the challenge because I have, for the longest time now, wanted to incorporate video into the content I share online. But one (rather unfortunate) thing was certain too. I was not ready to publicly go live in front of my 600+ friends or 700+ fans on the Twenty47 Virtual Assistant Facebook page. The fear was just real for me and I.WAS.NOT.GOING.TO.DO.IT. Instead, I chose to go live directly in front of the more than 1,500 members in the private Facebook group. Nobody knows me in there, I thought to myself.
So much hype over video. So what?
I believe video content is powerful online. I’ve seen so many personal brands go far with their messages online simply because they made the bold move to get in front of a camera in real time, share their messages and interact with their audiences there. Like it or not, video is the future of content marketing. Remember, people are visual beings. We process images 60,000 times faster than text. Now, in my work as a virtual assistant, I do a lot of social media management too and have, in the past, encouraged one or two of my clients to add video (and audio) content on their profiles. Most times, my suggestions have either been rejected or just accepted in part. Sometimes at their events, I just end up making videos without their knowledge (always in client’s best interest I tell you 😉 ) and share the content online. The content, almost ALWAYS, attracts the desired engagement from followers. So I’ve wondered what the real problem/fear/challenge is with sharing video content and by accepting this 21-day challenge, I was trying to go through the experience for myself. You know, walk my talk.
The first Facebook live video I did for my Day 1 was just a fail. Yes. A fail. It didn’t go as planned and I kind of felt embarrassed because, guess what? I was live! Here I was shining and about to share something deep (I think) and what do you know? My “Limo” shows up! I downloaded the video from Facebook and you can watch it below:
At this point, some of the fears people have when it comes to going live on Facebook dawned on me. Things are happening in real time and you have no time to prepare or plan for what could happen. Anything could happen. Your dog could show up. Your mother could call your name. The lights could go off even! Everything right there on live. There are also the comments that come in whilst you are doing the video. Some people can say lovely, nice & encouraging things. Others, however, may see it as the perfect opportunity to settle scores from 20 years ago. So deciding to go live, for many people, means dealing with these fears they will be having.
What did I talk about for 21 days?
Now, before I go further with this, I need to issue my disclaimer. As much as I will continue talking about the 21-day challenge I failed to finish my 21 days. I only did up to day 10! After Day 10, I was so engrossed in a client’s project so much that doing the live videos just couldn’t be a priority anymore. But I remember my initial worry when I started the challenge. What was I honestly going to talk about for 21 days? I just didn’t want to say gibberish. I wanted to make sense and relate to my audience in a meaningful way. I’m grateful accepting this challenge came with some really cool video content ideas. Unfortunately they are so many and will have to dedicate another post to discuss just some of them. So from the 10 videos I did, here’s one where I talked about how technology has brought the world together. It’s just about 3 minutes long but, personally, I encourage longer videos. Why? I realised that they give audiences more time to hear what you have to say and decide if they want to stay tuned and interact with you.
In summary, I want to tell you this about my experience doing the 10 days. It was fun! Here I was thinking I was the only person from Zimbabwe in that group and I got to meet another lady who is currently living in Zimbabwe and could relate to some of the stories I had to share. I also learnt that, despite being 1000+ in the group, there was no way I was going to relate to EVERYONE. No. It’s not possible and it’s absolutely OK. So trying to appeal to everyone through these videos is a recipe was only going to lead to confusion and eventual disappointment. It was more satisfying sharing 100% of who I was without, at any time, pretending to be somebody I was not. There will be people who will relate to you and whatever you have to share and your focus should be on them. Some people who engaged with me via the live videos ended up following my Facebook page and asking more about what I do. You see. Videos are not so bad after all. Allow people to get to know you, decide whether they like you and then whether or not they trust you enough to keep following you. As a virtual assistant, I know how it can be when people doubt your very existence so giving people a little sneak peek into my life is something I have chosen to do every now and again.
I am still contemplating on whether or not to share all of the Live Videos I did. I will continue to contemplate over the coming week. Till then, continue to be real, be authentic, and be you!