OLD POST ALERT! This is an older post and although you might find some useful tips, any technical or publishing information is likely to be out of date. Please click on Start Here on the menu bar above to find links to my most useful articles, videos and podcast. Thanks and happy writing! – Joanna Penn
When mega-publishers Simon & Schuster say authors should be on video sites, we should all be listening. In March, This podcast expands on the topic by interviewing internet video expert, Gideon Shalwick.
Gideon Shalwick is an internet entrepreneur with businesses that include BecomeA Blogger.com, GetYourVideoOnline.com and KillerYouTubeStrategies.com. He specialises in online video marketing and certainly has a lot to teach authors and writers.
In this podcast, you will learn:
- How Gideon got started as an entrepreneur, writing self-published books as well as publishing very successful ebooks using internet marketing to spread the word online. He has spent several years working out how he could make money online and has now committed to using online video.
- Why video is so important for online marketing. It can give you fantastic traffic to your main blog and get people really engaged in your product. You can use it to build an email list very fast and it can be a primary traffic source. YouTube is the no. 1 video site.
- Tips for people who are not so comfortable with being on video. You could use screen capture for your videos e.g. with slideshows or other information. Using video with yourself starring is awkward at first, but it gets easier over time. No one likes their own voice or the way they look, but you will get used to it and you will get results!
- Video can be quite basic. You don't need fancy, expensive equipment and in fact, the more authentic, the better on a site like YouTube. So keep it simple.
- Create an authority channel on YouTube. If you post regular, quality content on a topic then you will get a following and you will rank in your niche. For this amount of leverage, you do need focus. If you are into video, this can be a good approach. But even if you don't want to completely focus on video, it is still a good idea to have some videos to make your site multi-media.
- It is easier to dominate on a video-based blog than a text-based blog so video can get you a lot more exposure. People buy from people that they like and online video can make a great impression.
- Video demographics. It's not just teenagers anymore! (Watchers of my channel are aged 45-64). YouTube is also on the growth curve and the mainstream is expected to come online in 2012. Now is the time to be on video in order to take advantage of the future.
- Easy and free/cheap ways to get online. Free site Screenr.com allows you to do screen capture. You can also buy Screenflow for Mac, or Camtasia for the PC. For quick and cheap recording, try the Flip Ultra HD (and some tips for using it).
- A couple of killer YouTube strategies. It is a social network so you do need to interact, leave comments and friend people. Also, use a long keyword rich description as well as tags (the description box is longer than you think!) It is also better to do more frequent, shorter videos i.e. under 3 mins.
You can connect with Gideon and sign up for his free report at his blog GideonShalwick.com and also on Twitter @GideonShalwick
OR/ Click right to Show the transcript of the podcast =>show
Hi everyone. This is Joanna Penn for the Creative Penn podcast and today I’m interviewing Gideon Shalwick.
Gideon is an author and Internet entrepreneur with businesses that include BecomeABlogger.com, GetYourVideoOnline.com and KillerYouTubeStrategies.com. He specializes in online video marketing and certainly has a lot to teach authors and writers so welcome Gideon.
Gideon: Thanks Joanna. I’m really looking forward to this call and very excited about the information that I will be sharing with you and our audience.
Joanna: That’s great. Maybe you could start by telling us a bit about yourself and your various businesses.
Gideon: Okay well I guess you’ve introduced me as an author and you’re very right in saying that I’ve written a couple of self-published books that were distributed all over the world. I have written a whole bunch of other e-books that’s now been downloaded by 55,000 people around the world. So, certainly it’s been spreading across the globe and using the Internet basically to help me spread the word about my books and any information that I have online. The whole thing started – I guess if I just backtrack a little bit, a few years ago. About four years ago I told my wife, we were still in New Zealand back then, and I said look I’m – I was stuck in a job and I told my wife said, “I want to start my own business. I’m not sure what exactly in but I also want to go and do it in Australia.” So, we decide to immigrate and I started the business. My wife went to work and for a couple of years there I was kind of struggling and just trying to figure out what to do and how to use the Internet to help me get a lot more exposure for my work.
It’s been about four years now and things have gone really well. The first two years was pretty tough just getting the ball rolling, but now that I’ve got that critical mass things are ticking along really nicely.
Joanna: That’s fantastic. You talk about getting Internet exposure for your work and that’s why we’re talking today. Many authors and writers write their books and many of them fiction novelists for example and other non fiction writers and they want to sell their books obviously. And one of the things that has happened in the industry recently is mega publisher Simon & Schuster has recently said that they want authors to be posting videos on sites like YouTube. So, I thought maybe you could explain why video is so important these days to online marketing.
Gideon: Absolutely. When I wrote my first book about three and a half years ago, one of the key problems that I had was with getting traffic to my web site to help market book. I launched my book and I got a whole bunch of sales but then it really tapered off to pretty much nothing, maybe one a month or something stupid like that. I didn’t know how to get some more traffic because the initial traffic that I got was with a joint venture partner that did it with, but then it just totally dried up. So, I spent a lot of time researching what can I do to help me get extra traffic to my site and just in general getting more traffic, more qualified leads for whatever I’m trying to do online. Basically, from everything that I studied, online video was the thing that appealed to me most and so I started with that about – it was about three and a half years ago that I started with online video. Started looking at that, researching that and really fine tuning that exactly to help me get more exposure online and of course now with YouTube there is just an amazing opportunity there especially for authors but also for anyone else who wants to get massive exposure.
One of my sites is a magic site at – if you want to check it out it’s freemagiclive.com so it’s in the magic niche but it’s a good example to see what’s possible. For that we basically just used our YouTube channel, a blog, and an email list to grow massive exposure there. We’ve been online for twelve months now, we are building our email list there, about a hundred people per day. We’re getting about thirty thousand hits to our blog per month and we’re getting about six to seven thousand views on our YouTube videos per day, and most of our traffic is coming from YouTube. So, I think if you’re not using video marketing or YouTube in particular as a strategy to help you get extra exposure, you’re really missing out on a lot.
Joanna: Wow, there’s some great stuff there and I think probably there are writers listening and going “well, I write, I don’t do video”. Have you got any tips for people who are not very comfortable with video as an idea? As writers who are good at writing, how can they move into video?
Gideon: Absolutely. Now one thing to keep in mind is that you don’t necessarily need to be on the video yourself, you can get someone else. So, if you have a friend or if you know an expert in your niche, you could always approach them and tell them that you’d like them to be the face of the business. That’s one strategy if you don’t want to be on video yourself. Another way of doing it is to simply do very simple screen capture type videos where you don’t actually see your face on the video. You simply record the screen on your computer while you’re talking to the microphone. That’s extremely easy to create the videos and it’s low pressure cause no one can actually see you when you do that. I would encourage you in any case to get used to recording yourself on a video camera and getting that online. At the beginning it’s going to be awkward, it’s going to feel strange and sound strange and look strange, but over time and more and more you do it, the more you get used to it and the easier it will become.
There are a couple of reasons actually why a lot of people when they just get started with video and video marketing especially when they’re recording themselves, is that because when they look at themselves and listen to themselves, first of all it sounds really weird when you listen to yourself. One of the main reasons for that of course is because we sound different to ourselves than we sound to other people because of the way our hearing equipment is structured inside our heads. The sound waves inside our head travels quite differently from the way that it travels outside of our heads so when you hear your voice for the first time outside of your head, it sounds quite different to you but it sounds exactly the same to everyone else. So, when you hear it, it sounds weird and it doesn’t sound like you and you kind of freak out, but trust me the more you listen to it the more you get used to it and the more you kind of reset that expectation of what your voice sounds like. So, that’s one thing.
So, you just got to keep on doing it, get used to it and the second thing that not many people know about is looking at yourself on video. It’s kind of weird. Now, when you look at yourself in a mirror you – I don’t know many people that have too much of a problem with that. In fact that’s probably a thing that people quite enjoy doing, but for some reason when you see yourself on video it’s different. The reason for that is because when you watch a video it’s not actually a mirror image of yourself, it’s a true image of yourself and so things are swapped the other way around to what you’re normally seeing when you look in the mirror. So, the same way that you’re not used to the sound when you hear it coming from a different source other than inside your head, when you watch video that doesn’t look the way that you normally look to yourself in the mirror, it kind of looks a little bit off and your subconscious goes, wow that’s not me, I don’t look silly like that, my face is not skewed that way it’s skewed the other way. So, a lot of people freak out, but once again the more you do it, the more you get used to it, the better you’ll become.
So, I think it’s just a matter of really getting your hands dirty and realize that everyone else has the same issue. I don’t know one person who loves themselves on video the first few times that they do it. It takes time and it takes a bit of practice.
Joanna: That’s great and I guess the important thing is also that, as you said, it can be screen capture, but also I watched a video of you the other day in a park and there was a lizard behind you. You were just sitting on a bench and having a chat about something, and it doesn’t have to be sort of in a studio or lots of special graphics or anything does it, video can just be quite basic?
Gideon: Absolutely. One thing that I teach especially if you want to use video on YouTube, is that you don’t need to worry too much about the editing and making it look all fancy. I mean to be honest I’ve gone through full circle with my editing and making videos look good and what I’ve decided on right now is to keep it extremely simple. All I have is a quick fade in at the beginning of the video and I might do a couple of zoom ins and zoom outs during the video and at the end all I do is a fade out. So, I don’t even have any fancy music, I don’t have any fancy splash screens at the beginning and end, it’s just a fade in and fade out that’s it. The reason why I do that is because when you submit a whole bunch of videos on YouTube, people go and watch it and they go to your channel and they watch all your videos if they like you. Now, if you have a funky bit of music and a splash screen at the beginning of each of your videos that lasts like two three seconds, by the third video people get sick of it and they switch off. They go, ‘oh I don’t want to see this again,’ and they click away, and you can’t afford to do that. On YouTube just as on the Internet you’ve got to do everything you can to keep people’s attention. You look at the big channels out there, none of them do this big introduction, splash screen and music at the front and waiting five seconds before you get to the content, they get straight into it. So, that’s what I’m doing now too. With all my videos I just have a fade in and I get straight into it and that’s about the content, it’s about creating value. It’s not about creating a Hollywood production type video. Just with some really basic editing you can create some really great looking YouTube videos.
Joanna: That’s great. I don’t know how many of the book trailers you might have watched online, but the big publishers are bringing out movie style trailers for Stephen King books, but obviously average authors aren’t going to do that. Do you think average authors can just do reading on video or have you got any ideas for them for book marketing?
Gideon: Oh, absolutely. I think the trailer type of video could work really well, but normally with those sort of videos they would have a lot of clout behind them that have a lot of money behind them, a lot of resources. So, first of all the production quality is going to be much better than your average Joe blog, and not many people have a budget like that to spend on a video like that. Then secondly they have a lot of money to buy traffic or to send traffic to that video to make it go I guess viral in a sense. Now, most people don’t have budgets like that to be able to create that kind of exposure and so the method that I teach which works really, really well is to basically create an authority channel on YouTube. What that means is basically that you consistently and continuously and regularly provide valuable content on your YouTube channel that relates to the topic of your discussion. Now, if you do that over a period of time you’re going to build a following and not only that, YouTube is going to like you. They’re going to increase your page rank as a result, you’re going to start ranking better inside YouTube and Google and over time you will start dominating in that niche that you’re operating in.
So I have a very focused approach philosophy with something like YouTube. In fact I’m just busy on a report right now, I will be releasing it in a few weeks time, and I talk about what I call the YouTube Beach-head strategy. Basically all that means is that I look at YouTube as a massive leverage point and what I try and do when I look at YouTube is that I focus all my attention on my YouTube channel and making that as successful as I can. Now a lot of people try and focus their attention on a bunch of different things like YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon, a whole bunch of video sharing sites and they end up spreading themselves too thin and not getting any sort of results. What I’ve been doing is applying heaps of focus just on one thing which is YouTube in this case. Just apply to one thing and get to know the community, get to know your niche, get to know your information. Get to know everything about it that you can and just try and dominate and if you do that I think you’ve got a much better chance of success.
That’s exactly what we did for the magic channel that I’ve been doing over the last twelve months. That’s been a focus point for me. It’s been kind of an experiment for me to see if I apply this strategy what sort of results I get and you heard the results that we got earlier in this interview. So, it’s very, very powerful if you can do that.
Joanna: That’s great and I was talking earlier with somebody about how I concentrate for social networking on Twitter and you’re saying you concentrate on YouTube and where you focus you actually achieve don’t you. But, I think probably for authors not many of them will be able or will want to focus highly on YouTube, as in they wouldn’t be growing a massive audience necessarily. It’s still worth doing some video though isn’t it, sort of to become more real to your audience because I know you work with Yaro Starak on becomeablogger.com and encourage people to be blogging with text as well as multimedia. Do you still recommend people to do some video if they can’t focus a hundred percent on it?
Gideon: Oh, absolutely. I guess I’m a little bit different to Yaro in that respect and that is because I really love video and I can really see the potential of video. If you look at the growth of the video, the online video industry, it’s just been incredible and just with – if you look at the comparison between text based blogs and video based blogs for example, there is almost no comparison. I mean trying to dominate in a text based blog niche for example, is much, much, much harder than to say dominate in a video based blog for example. So, your opportunity is just so much greater with video now and if you’re an author and you want to get that extra exposure, doing something like video and specifically YouTube can really help you get a lot more exposure. Now, if you don’t want to do like a video every day or even every week, you could still use it. You never know, you could create a video that could go viral. If you create a video that has that spread factor as I call it in my report, you have the potential to get a lot of traffic back to your site.
But Joanna, not only that. When you do video it is a total different medium that people can get to know you, that they can consume the content and the way I look at it it’s not only traffic but it’s also a massively cool relationship building tool. You can build rapport so much quicker with a video than you could just with text. I mean text is great, it’s easy and fast to create and consume, but with video you get that extra benefit of building rapport really quickly with your audience. I can’t remember who said it, but there is a saying that goes, people buy from people that they like, and when you use online video that’s exactly what you can achieve. When you get people to like you, they’re going to consume your information more. They’re going to buy your books and they’re going to visit your web site and interact with you.
Joanna: Yes and – well you’ve totally sold me on video and I’m really trying. It’s really funny. I really try but I’m still at that stage of thinking, oh well I have to do my hair and put on some makeup before I do my video. Yes, so another question I had is that I think – I’m trying to think of all the objections that authors will be having to this because I agree with you, I’m just trying to go with their objections. They will say “my market doesn’t watch online video or my market doesn’t watch YouTube”. What can you tell us about video demographics on YouTube that may change people’s minds about who’s watching?
Gideon: Okay. That’s a question I get a lot as well and I bought a report, a company that did basically a tremendous amount of research on YouTube and who actually goes to YouTube and watches YouTube. Before I read that report I was of the opinion that it was pretty much only teenagers that go to YouTube and watch funny, silly videos there. But what this report suggested was that, sure that is the case that a lot of teenagers do that, but there’s heaps and heaps of other people over the teenager age that also do it. I can’t remember the statistics exactly but it around about 70% of 55 year olds have watched the YouTube video in the United States. So, it’s no longer just for teenagers. The baby boomers and everyone up – basically any age group is now on YouTube and that’s only going to grow. So, if you can get onto YouTube already now, you will be basically preparing yourself for what’s coming up. One thing that this report also pointed out to me, was that we’re still on the growth curve with YouTube if you look at where things are at. What it was predicting, it was saying that the full mainstream of the United States and the U.K. will be on YouTube by the year 2012.
So, it’s now 2010, we’re halfway through 2010, that means there is still about a year and a half left before the mainstream, the full mainstream of the United States and the U.K. is on YouTube. So, that’s not even taking Eastern countries into account. So, there are tremendous opportunities here that I think you really need to look at if you’re an author. So, even if you think that your audience is only people who read stuff, when you look at something like video, there is a different kind of audience that you could access to. An audience that you may not have been able to tap if you were only focusing on text. So, yes it will be a different audience but why not increase exposure if you can through something like YouTube.
Joanna: And YouTube has a very good statistics page doesn’t it for your own channel and I was surprised to find that my – the majority of my viewers are between the ages of 45 and 64.
Gideon: Yes, exactly. So, it definitely depends on your niche. Our magic niche there is a big majority of boys between the age of 13 and 24. That’s our demographic and YouTube shows that but for my Gideon Shalwick YouTube channel which is more Internet marketing and online video marketing related, my majority of viewers come from the 45 to 55 age group. So it’s the same as you. So, it’s not more just for teenagers. That’s a myth that’s totally being busted now.
Joanna: Yeah. That’s fantastic. Also, many authors and writers tend not to be very technical. So, can you give us some simple ways to actually get video online without having to spend thousands of dollars.
Gideon: Sure. There are number of options that you can use. I guess the simplest way of getting videos online or videos on YouTube is to use something like a screen capture type of software. Now, there is a free service that I just absolutely love. It’s called screenr.com. Now, when you go there you can sign up for a free account and what it allows you to do is record your screen for free. It uses your web interface, your web browser. You don’t even need to install any fancy software, you just need microphone and Internet connection, that’s it and then you can record your screen for five minutes. So, you can record these videos really quickly, it uploads it for you automatically, it stores it on their server and it even gives you the option to upload it to YouTube as well. I mean I’m not – I’m not aware of any other easier way of getting videos online than that. Now, of course it’s more limited than other options but hey if you’re just starting out, you just want to get something really quick. Go to screenr.com and create your first few videos there. It’s real fun and you can create some pretty cool videos like that.
If you’re a little bit more serious, for just screen capture videos you can actually buy some software. If you’re on Mac the software that I would recommend for that is Screen Flow and if you’re on PC the software for that of course is Camtasia. So, they’re both applications that you need to purchase and you can install onto your computer and that allows you to record your screen and export it to a specific file format that you can then upload to YouTube. I mean Screen Flow even has a function where you can straight away just upload it to YouTube without worrying to export the file or anything fancy like that. I’m not sure about Camtasia. Then if you want to take it even to the next level, instead of buying massively expensive equipment, I’m going to save you a lot of money here now so listen up, if you want to get a really well performing camera. I would recommend something like the Flip Ultra HD camera. They do come in the Flipmino version as well but I wouldn’t get that one because it’s not as good as the Ultra HD for a number of reasons. You can just use that for shooting some video. It’s about 250 Australian dollars, so it’s probably even cheaper if you’re in the United States, but it’s a great little video camera that record in high definition but the files are still small enough so you can edit them really easily on your computer.
Now, I do a few fancy tricks with it to make it a lot better cause the sound of the flip camera and similar cameras like that is not that great. So, I do a little twist on it that I use for making the voice – the sound get a lot better. I actually do teach that in a lot more detail inside my free report that I will be releasing very soon. It gets a little bit technical so I don’t want to bore you too much with the details, but that’s a really easy option to use a flip camera. Then if you’re on a Mac you can just use Screen Flow software to do the editing for that and if you’re on a PC I would recommend the – it’s called Sony Vegas HD I think it’s called. It’s only about 50 bucks for that. It’s really, really affordable. So, you don’t need much more than that to record sort of moving pictures video and you can get a pretty good result. So, you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on that.
Joanna: That’s great and I have Camtasia for screen capture which is very good and I just use my little iPod Nano at the moment, which you know it’s just something. But it’s just I guess to get started people – I think the thing I wanted to tell people was start where you are. You don’t need to get all the equipment. Just have a go and then see where it takes you and than as you have you’ve gone right up the range, but people don’t have to do that. They can just start simply.
Gideon: Absolutely. Look Joanna, I’ve actually gone full circle. I’ve gone right from the simplest stuff to actually very expensive equipment. Where I am right now is that I’ve actually moved away from all the professional equipment. To be honest the video that you watched on YouTube of me sitting in the forest, that was a flip camera that I used and the quality as you could see was pretty good. The lighting wasn’t as awesome for that particular video, but at the moment for all my YouTube videos I just use my flip camera and it does an excellent job. There is only one thing to watch out for, for flip camera in Australia or in countries that have a different power source to the United States. That is when you have under some fluorescent light it can have a flicker in the image and that’s because our power source here in Australia for example is at 50 Hertz and the power in the United States is at 60 Hertz and that causes a bit flicker. The way around that is just not to use fluorescent lights or just to use other natural lights or do your recording outside but it’s not too big a worry.
There are other cameras that can fix that problem too like the Creative Vado camera. They’ve just brought one out and you can actually set whether it’s for 50 or 60 Hertz which gets rid of that flicker problem that the flip has.
Joanna: Very handy. Okay, well we’re almost out of time. I just – there was one thing. I wanted to mention your fantastic killer YouTube strategies course, because I did it myself before Christmas and although I currently have not killed YouTube I am trying to do more video and I was really inspired by that course. So, you give stacks and stacks of tips in that course. I wondered if you could just give us one killer YouTube tip and then point us in the direction of the course if anyone is interested.
Gideon: I think – I will probably give you a couple just to make this worthwhile. The biggest tip I can give for YouTube is that it’s a social media site. It’s a social networking site so what that means is that you’ve got to get involved. You’ve got to get social and get to know people there. You’ve got to talk to people, you’ve got to leave comments, you’ve got to rate people’s videos. You’ve got to interact with people. I think that’s a huge thing about YouTube that a lot of people miss when they think about just marketing their businesses. Another quick tip that I will give is when you create the title and the description and the tags for your videos when you upload them, have a bit of a think there. Think about what are people likely to search for when they search for your videos and use those same key words in your title. When you create a description for your video write quite a bit of text there. You can even use that like a blog post. Write relevant text that relates to your video and for your tags once again use keywords that people are likely to search for to find your video.
So, those two things I think you can use to really help you stand out from the crowd on YouTube and help people to find your videos and help you get more traffic. So, those are the two biggest things I would probably say.
Joanna: That’s great and it’s funny you say that about the description because I seriously didn’t realize that you could write something bigger than box that they put there. You probably get that all the time right?
Gideon: I used to think that too and I experimented. Well, I haven’t tried to see how much I can add there, if there are any limits. As far as I know I’m not aware of any limits there. They may do have a limit but I’ve had some pretty long posts in there that didn’t cause any problems so I think you can go wild there and see what happens.
Joanna: That is great. And then one final thing. There are things that once you’re as experienced as you, you take for granted but the other thing I didn’t know is that you really should have short videos. So it’s better to do two three minute videos than one six minute video. Would that be right?
Gideon: Absolutely. I think the longer our generation spends on the Interent, the smaller our attention span is getting. I mean just a few years ago there was some research done that showed that our attention span was optimal about thirty to forty five minutes. Now it’s about two to three minutes and one of the reasons they think that is because something like YouTube most popular videos there are only about one to two or three minutes long. So you’ve got to keep that in mind when you have video especially for a place like YouTube. That people when they are there, the mindset that they’re in is that I’m only here for – I only want to watch one or two minute long videos. So, you’re right. Definitely keep them short if you can. If you have say a broader topic break it up into smaller subtopics and rather create more shorter videos than less longer videos.
Joanna: Fantastic. Well we’d better let you go. Thank you so much for your time. So where can people find you online?
Gideon: I think the best place they could do, obviously if they want to check out the Killer YouTube Strategies course they can just go to killeryoutubestrategies.com, but I keep on updating stuff. I’m actually going to be releasing a course very soon that will teach you the whole gambit of online video marketing and online video blogging. It will go through the whole aspect of how to create your videos really quickly but still at a very high quality. It goes into the whole content creation thing, how to set everything up. Then it goes into all the YouTube strategies. It goes into how to get extra traffic and it also shows you how to monetize all of this stuff. It’s not really at this stage yet at the time of this recording but I will be releasing a free report soon that pretty much will be summarizing all of that stuff. At the moment it’s sitting about 74 pages and I’m trying to…
Joanna: It’s a book.
Gideon: It’s pretty much a book and if you want to get on the early notification list for that and I’ll send it to you for free, you can go to my blog which is at gideonshalwick.com.
Joanna: Fantastic. We’re all heading over there right now. Well, thank you so much Gideon. That was really brilliant information.
Gideon: No problem Joanna and any time if you want to ask me any more questions about this or if your audience wants to find out anymore information about YouTube marketing or online video marketing just let me know.
Joanna: Thanks for listening today. I hope you found it helpful. You can get more information on writing, publishing options, sales and promotion for your book at www.TheCreativePenn.com.