I’ve never met a person who loves how they look or sound on video. I know I don’t.
Is my voice that nasally?
Is my hair that thin?
Do I look that old?
Videos eek out every one of our nits and picks.
We scrutinize ourselves as we think others might scrutinize us.
Why Care about Video?
You might wonder, “Why should I care about video? I’m a writer. Writers write. They don’t produce videos.”
Ten years ago—maybe even three years ago—I would have conceded to that argument.
But if you’re a writer who wants to publish a book, and actually have people read it, you’ll need to sell your book.
Whether you traditionally publish or self-publish, marketing your book is up to you.
No one is coming to save you. To write is to promote.
That means you must grow an audience.
Actually, you must captivate an audience. Pull them into your world so that they want to hear from you. It’s called “building your platform.”
And video, (I hear you groaning) is one of the leading ways (if not the best way) to quickly connect with people and extend your reach.
Video on the Rise
First it was YouTube. Then Snapchat. Overtaken by TikTok. And Instagram has been trying to catch up with Reels.
Video is ubiquitous. We live in an era where we video chat instead of talking by phone.
Video makes us feel like we are connecting with someone, even if separated by physical distance.
Studies have shown that video on social media platforms and websites creates trust and an emotional connection with viewers that writing doesn’t. That’s because humans connect with humans.
Studies also show that when you add video to your communications (whether via a blog, a social media platform or a newsletter), viewers stick around longer. Ten times longer.
And when people stick around longer, engagement increases.
Humans are curious.
If you’re an author, people want to know who you are. What you look like. What you sound like. What makes you tick. What ideas excite you. What direction you’re headed with your writing.
Video Platform Building in Action
Recently, one of the members of our monthly membership called “Roadtrippers,” shared that as she completes the revisions to her book manuscript she is also concentrating on building her platform.
For her that means sending out a weekly newsletter.
One component is a link to a YouTube video, where she shares a bit about life.
Sometimes it’s related to her book idea.
Sometimes it’s about something personal.
Sometimes it’s a funny story.
It’s always her in front of the camera—connecting with her followers.
Does she enjoy it? Not really. She says she feels vulnerable showing herself.
Why does she do it, then? Because people like it. They comment on it. They share it.
They connect with her.
And guess what? The more she does it, the more comfortable she gets in front of the camera.
So, give video a chance.
You’ll feel awkward at first, but it will get easier.
Tell us, what is your experience with video?
Now, buckle up and take that video!