Mirror, mirror on the wall, how was 2018? Let me CONTINUE to recall...
(This post is part 2 of my year-end reflection posts. For part 1, go here.)
Did you make use of video/audio materials in your business this year?
Good job if you did! You are officially au courant.
And if you didn't, that's OK. It's not absolutely essential to use video/audio materials in your business. But with that said, video is an EXTREMELY popular way of connecting with possible clients these days, especially in social media and blog settings.
Let me go over some of the many video/audio options for small business owners.
Simple and even unscripted video methods, like Facebook Live, YouTube Live, or Instagram Stories, give possible clients an opportunity to get to know you in a way that a photograph simply can't convey. Whether you're answering questions live, addressing common information that clients might want to know about you and your business, demonstrating a product or service, touring a location, etc., these more informal means of video production are easy to use and self-contained (in that you don't need to download and modify the videos in anyway).
You may also already be producing video/audio material that you could use in the course of your business. Many business owners are using platforms like Zoom or conference call applications that allow you to connect with clients or other business owners. If you record those exchanges (with permission, of course), those recordings can then be downloaded, modified if desired (to be edited, branded, etc.), and uploaded to a final destination like social media or a website in order to showcase an interview, a sample service session, a class, a video/audio testimonial, or whatever your imagination can come up with. So if you can figure out where to press record and then download and upload those recordings, you can have material to be used in many ways and places. Or you can share those recordings with a video/audio editor like myself who can turn them into more polished products with editing and additional materials. But gone are the days when all video needed to be staged and perfect. Today's viewers have grown to expect less polish and more real-life, engaged videos.
Another option is to use free or purchased stock video materials with elements that you add to personalize them. These kinds of videos are often used as ads or short informational videos. Unless you have video and audio editing skills yourself, you'll need to hire this work out.
Finally, you can hire a videographer or audiographer to come and record you and make whatever you want out of that recorded material plus other additional materials, but this will be your most expensive option.
So if weren't already on the video/audio bandwagon in 2018, you might want to think about jumping on with whatever kind of video fits your particular business and budget in 2019. And if you are on the bandwagon, there may be video/audio uses that could be effective for your business that you are not engaging in yet. So the video/audio area is definitely a good area for a bit of reflection for small business owners.
Did you make a product this year? Or did you have a product idea?
Everyone knows that products allow you to increase the ways that you serve clients, the amount of clients you can serve, and the income that you make by serving your clients. So if you've leapt or are leaping into the product world, well done!
And if you haven't, let me tell you that you know a lot. More than you realize. For reals. As we specialize in our business pursuits, we often become blind to how much we learned to get there and how much the average person simply does not know about our area of expertise. Even things that seem basic and mundane to us now might be completely new and very useful knowledge to someone else.
In our modern, digital age, the product possibilities are pretty endless, too. You can, of course, produce physical products. And sometimes a physical product is exactly what a certain small business' clients need. What I specialize in, however, is helping people think about online product possibilities. In the section above, I talked about how you may already be producing product worthy video/audio content. With some added software shine, those recordings could easily be made into products that could be used in online courses or membership libraries, whether at your own website or through 3rd parties like Teachable, Thinkific, and Udemy. Ebooks are also a great way to share your information without creating a physical product. You could sell downloads through your own website or through small distributors like E-junkie or Gumroad or major distributors like Amazon, Apple, and Barnes & Noble. And small snippets of content like a short video or video series or a downloadable help guide or workbook make awesome opt-ins for email marketing lists.
In any case, you have knowledge that you can share with others in all sorts of cool digital ways. If you're not already doing so, you might want to give a little thought to what products you could create in the upcoming year. And, of course, you don't have to do it on your own. If you can provide the knowledge, people like myself can format it into a sellable product.
All righty! You've now looked into the creative/tech mirror to reflect on 2018 and plan for 2019. I hope these questions helped you see all of the good you're doing already and how you can make your business even fairer in the land in the coming year. 🙂
P.S. I'm not endorsing any of the services linked in this article. I'm just providing them as examples. The end.