On this week's Smart Conversation, video journalist Kayla O'Brien, shares why video is such a vital part of any business venture today and how to make yours count. Kayla is an Emmy award winning video journalist with some great stories of her own to tell, but who spends her time telling other people's stories through the lens of her camera.
If you ask her, she will tell you she loves helping businesses and brands experience the power of video storytelling - using her own unique approach to it. Before launching Kayla O’Brien Media, she worked as a video journalist in TV news, at a newspaper, and for a national digital media startup. Her Emmy came from a documentary she helped produce after the Pulse shootings in Orlando. That's worth watching this video for, if nothing else. The story of how she came to be part of that, to win her Emmy, is fascinating. And exactly why her approach to videography is so powerful for authors. She gets the 'make a connection with your audience' idea.
In fact, I brought Kayla on Smart Conversations to talk a bit about book trailers. I met Kayla via Melanie Hicks, another Smart Conversation guest, after watching Melanie's fantastic book trailer. I was more than just impressed with Melanie's book trailer, I was blown away. The beauty of it was one thing, but the story was what got me. I was pulled in and totally taken over. Watching that trailer, I felt as if I understood Melanie, and her reason for writing her book. I felt like the book could be worthwhile in my life, too! A good bit of that was because of Kayla's hard work telling the story.
What's a book trailer? It's a short video about your book. Much like a movie trailer is a short video about the movie. The book trailer will be 2-4 minutes, try to keep it short, and include both your story (why you wrote the book), and the story of how the book is going to transform your audience. Melanie's trailer was an on-site shoot - Kayla was there with her camera and acted as director. Some are not on site. Kayla tells me she can work with a local videographer to do the shoot, then take the entire video in-house to edit with her tools and expertise. This seems pretty fantastic to me!
It's no secret that video is the #1 way to reach your audience. Kayla says,
"It's fast, digestible, and combines everything about us - the writing, the speaking, the story, the visual, the excitement, and so much more."
How true is that? In a video, your audience can see, hear, and listen to you as you open up as a person and become more than the logo or tagline on your business card.
Here's a great tip - you can work with Kayla just once (but why would you? You'd want to work with her frequently, to update, revise, improve all your videos over time) and get a year's worth of great content from her. She told me she can do a 2 or 4 hour shoot and grab multiple videos from it. Multiple storylines. Multiple messages. To share on your website wherever they are appropriate. The idea being, you only pay for the one shoot, and then the editing. You don't have to have dozens of photo shoots to have dozens of videos.
A prime talent of Kayla's, and why I think she's so successful, is her listening power. It's important to listen, she tells us, because the story evolves during the conversation. Using a script can guide you on the journey, but to be authentic, the story should unfold during the discussion where Kayla asks open-ended questions of each of her clients. (she showed her listening skill in the conversation just be listening to well to me - I sometimes go on a bit more than I should.)
The fact that Kayla understands the concept of story and character and drama in video, is what I think is her unique power. She stresses that the author (or client) needs to know her audience, she needs to have her message if not down pat, at least formed into a sentence or two, and she needs to meet with Kayla beforehand to create that relationship - the one that will meld the shoot into a movie about the author (client), the power of her story, and the message of how it will impact the audience.
Oh, and relevant to the title of this post, Kayla knows you can't fall in love with any part of what you produce, because that might be the little snippet that has to be cut. Love your work, but don't fall in love with the results...until it's done. Then you can crow about it!
Professional videographers bring much more than a camera to any shoot they do. It's apparent in this smart conversation that Kayla has all the right tools (music, editing equipment, knowledge, and eagerness to learn more stories) as well as the right experience, to offer anyone looking to do professional video today. While we all love DIY, and can create some great stuff on our own, why not put some money into your budget to work with a video journalist - to create your next series of videos? You'll outshine all your competition, if you do.
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