I spoke today at the iBlog 6 Summit (iBlog6) held at the University of the Philippines.
My topic was Video Blogging 101 with my own little twist. I titled my segment, “Are you Sexy Enough to be a Video Blogger?” and talked about why people should start a video blog, the power a video blog carries and what it can do for you. I then also spoke about common excuses that people give regarding why they don’t want to start a video blog.
Below is my supporting article to my presentation that appeared in the UP Law Center’s Internet and Society Program “Digit@l” Magazine Volume 9 Issue 1.
Find out more about the iBlog Summits here – http://iblogph.org
Are you Sexy Enough for Video Blogging?
By: Vince Golangco
Long before you and I were around, our great great great great grandfathers used to live by the saying that goes: “It’s all about what you know!” So they poured their blood, sweat and tears into working 12 hours a day and learning a craft to the point where they were better than everyone else. The problem with this concept is that you can be the very BEST at one thing, but if no one knows you’re the best, then you won’t really get much work.
From that splendid point of view came the old saying our great great grandfathers then lived by, that went: “It’s not about what you know, it’s all about who you know!” This concept of course came to life at the dawn of the marketing and advertising era. It was about making connections and seeking them when you need help. It’s a very basic premise that is still used a lot here in the Philippines, especially in politics (that’s a semi-joke). Knowing someone always ensured you could ask for help when you needed it. The problem was that your ask-for-help currency is usually limited. You can only ask for so many favors and people can only do so much for you.
What would be more beneficial to all parties would be you helping other people to find you, when they need you. Help them help you. Thus, in today’s new marketplace and new globalized culture, the new and most effective way of life goes as:
“It’s not about what you know or who you know, it’s all about WHO KNOWS YOU!”
If Big Widget Making Company needed to get someone to make their new widget, and they somehow heard about your excellent widget making skills, they would surely approach you to seek your guidance. If this said Big Widget Making Company need someone to market their new widget, and they somehow heard about your excellent widget marketing skills… well you get the point.
With the internet, we’re each able to promote our own personal brands and inform others about our personal expertise. The person who better markets themselves and promotes their brand will, more often, get the job. This person will get the job even though there may be others more skilled or qualified than he is. But don’t hate the playah’… hate the game.
Blogging and video blogging are some of the most powerful tools to get your name out there.
What’s the difference between a blog and a video blog? Well, it’s pretty simple; video blogging, or vlogging, is twice as powerful as regular blogging.
First of all, a vlog allows for more avenues to publish your work. You’re able to re-post your creative products on other sites such as YouTube, Vimeo, TwitVid and more. Furthermore, most blogs do not do a good job of putting a face on the writer. Have you ever tried remembering a name without a face? It’s much more difficult to remember someone if you can’t recall what they look like. So not adding a logo, or your face, to your blog and brand is a malpractice that most people overlook.
The best practice I’ve seen with vlogs is still having the blog aspect to your post, but having a video that compliments your article. Having the written part helps you with the Search Engine Optimization (SEO), while also giving more depth to your post. What vlogs have though that regular blogs don’t is the ability to feed the need of people to watch TV, or something like TV. Moreover, videos help you feature so much more about your topic that regular words or pictures simply can’t capture.
When I founded WhenInManila.com, I knew from the start that a travel site featuring the Philippines would not be justified with just stories and photos. I knew that this country had way too much splendor to encapsulate into just letters and static images. There was no question that creating a video channel was the best way to properly build this site. The traffic and positive response we’ve gotten as of today is just a small testament of the power of video blogs.
You’ve most likely heard about internet sensations turning into global celebrities such as Charice Pempengco or Arnel Pineda. Both starting out as no more than YouTube video diary producers but are now international talents. These two individuals did no more than just post videos of their singing expertise.
Now instead of giving you more reasons why you should start a video blog, I’m instead going to give you the most common reasons why people haven’t already started a vlog and also the rebuttal I have for these initial mis-thoughts:
Let me share a secret with you – Some of the most successful, most popular, and seemingly most outgoing “celebrities” are actually some of the shyest and most bashful people in the world. Being shy is a normal part of being human. Many people are able to overcome this simply by ignoring their internal thoughts or by excessive practice of pretending not to be shy. The secret is that everyone has some level of bashfulness that comes from the basic human need of being accepted. In fact, sometimes the limelight triggers this need for acceptance even more and some people who get thrown into this popularity pool have no idea how to handle all the attention. They eventually start craving the positive attention and slowly start needing more of it to feed and counter their shyness. I constantly recall a friend of mine, named Pam, who’s a professional model. She once told me that she hates dating other models because models are very needy. She said that most other models need you to constantly remind them of how cool, sexy and special they are, or think they are. They need the constant ego boost in order to maintain their level of “unshyness” in order to properly perform their job. They may do a good job at hiding how shy they really are, but the bottom line is that they’re just as introverted as you are, but the difference is that they found a way to overcome this. So if you want to take your brand, or yourself to the next level, then you need to find your own way of overcoming this internal block. Start by contemplating this statement: “Fake it til’ you make it!” Now STOP, and think about it.
- “I don’t look good on camera” / “I’m not sexy enough to be a video blogger”
This fruitless thought is yet another angle of the shy syndrome that we all need to overcome. We’re fed lies everyday by the television and beauty magazines. They dictate to us the need for excessive make-up and photoshopping skills in order to look like what the ad agencies and big corporations think we should look like. This is a trap that we should not fall into:
“Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking.” – Steve Jobs, Apple CEO
It’s a new world and the dawn of social media has moved the control of what we think is beautiful from the advertising agencies to the end users. No longer is this an era of supermodels with fake tans and breast implants. Today’s Web 2.0 world dictates that the normal people are the more beautiful specimens. It’s all about what’s real today. Believe me, you are more beautiful and more real than half the fakers on TV today. Now you just need to adjust your own self to think the same way.
- “I don’t think I have anything significant to say or share”
Are you religious? Do you believe in women’s rights? Who do you think will be the best president for our country? Do you like cats?
You do have an opinion and you do have something significant to say. Having an opinion of something does not mean you have to be a certified expert in that field. It’s just what it is, an opinion. There is no need for a degree in law or political science to share your opinion on who you think will be the best president for the country. You can vote for whoever you want and have your own thoughts on why this is so. Some people will think you are an absolute idiot for thinking one way, while other will also think that you are an absolute genius for thinking the same exact thoughts. So just say it as it is. Get a camera and let people know what you think. Don’t expect everyone to agree with it. It’s actually a good thing if some people disagree with you. It means you have a good point. It means you’re challenging things. It means you are a leader. Good leaders are the ones who always challenge the status quo. Be that leader!
- “I don’t have the tools to create videos” / “My camera is not the High Definition / Blue Ray quality that’s needed for online videos”
When I first started my vlog, WhenInManila.com, I thought I needed the best quality cameras and the best equipment known to man. It wasn’t long before I realized that the internet does not have such stringent entrance fees as I thought it would. This is one club that lets everyone in. This is not to say that you should produce material of low quality, instead it just means that sometimes, real videos that are less fabricated and more personal are more appreciated online. So that means cell phone cameras and digicams work just as well, if not better for the YouTube community. You don’t need an entire production crew. It’s all about producing quality content with the tools you already have. iPods, digital cameras, your phones and even webcams are more than enough to get you started. Worry about content rather than equipment.
- “I don’t know how to edit a video”
I live by this quote that says: “The man who says ‘I CAN’ and the man that says ‘I CAN’T’ are both right. Which one are you?”
So it all starts with the right attitude. If you’re willing to learn, then I guarantee that you will. In fact, video editing (like so many other things in life) is much easier than you may think. I still use the basic program for most of my video editing needs. You can actually download it for free, just search for “Windows Live Movie Maker.” It’s is the bare necessity / basic video editing program that will not leave you confused like a grandma on Facebook. There aren’t too many options or buttons but it still has more than enough to get you going. You can cut, paste, add videos, add pictures, add music and even put a watermark. It should take you no more than a few tries at this to be an expert at editing videos with this program. All it takes is the right attitude and the initiative to do so.
- “No one will watch me anyway”
Well what do you have to lose? It may take some time but if you do put out anything with decent quality, you’ll start finding your niche and you’ll start getting the support you need. It’s no secret that every blogger, video blogger, or TV star started out with one fan – their mom. Though with the right marketing tactics and persistence, all these people start building an audience of people who appreciate them for who they are and what they do. You don’t need to have any super talents. Sometimes, people appreciate you for exactly what you can bring to the table. In fact, this sometimes makes people more attracted to you as they feel like they can connect with you. They end up feeling just as simple as you are and thus they appreciate you for what you have to say, no matter how insignificant you may think it is (refer back to advice on you thinking that you don’t have anything significant to say or share).
The relatively low cost of starting an online channel has made video production much easier. In fact, marketers and bloggers today like going by the phrase: “Ready, Fire, Aim.” It’s a statement that means you can adjust your content toward your audience. Just get started with what you have in mind and worry about adjusting and tweaking it as you go along. It won’t cost you anything anyway. Go ahead, fire when ready!
- “People might say mean things about me and my videos”
Yes they will. I won’t lie, there are a lot of “haters” out there who do nothing but try to drag people down. The one piece of advice I remember from Filipino internet sensation Christina Gambito, better known as HappySlip, was that you need to ignore all the negative comments and downbeat people. They will be out there and you just need to do your best to produce what you feel is quality videos and content. The rest will fall into place on its own.
Most are hindered from starting a vlog simply by their own selves. Well, it’s time to overcome your personal walls and turn yourself into the next internet video producer. With the right attitude and some practice, you’ll be the next video star faster than you can say “YouTube Sensation!”
Believe me, it’s a lot easier than you think.
“The greater danger for most of us, is not that our aim is too high and we miss it,
but that it is too low and we reach it” –Michelangelo
Vince Golangco is the Editor-in-Chief and Creative Director of WhenInManila.com, a top video blog and digital content provider in the Philippines. Aside from blogging, Vince is also a Radio DJ on Mellow 94.7. Moreover, he is the host of “Tek Tok TV” (Tech Talk TV), a show on the Global News Network (GNN) which talks about the latest trends in technology, gadgets, the internet, blogging and other geeky stuff. You can find out more about him on Twitter.com/VinceGolangco or on Facebook.com/WhenInManila.
Are you Sexy Enough to be a Video Blogger? (how to Vlog)