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Humanize Yourself and Connect to Your Audience

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From an unabashed fan: “Vlogging has changed my life for the better. Video content creation is extremely powerful.”

Julia Jornsay-Silverberg knows why she video blogs, or vlogs.

“When I started vlogging, I wasn’t sure how much I would enjoy the process,” she said. “I went into video content creation with an open mind. I was eager to see how it would feel and what impact it would have on my business. After creating my first few videos, I realized the power of vlogging.”

Jornsay-Silverberg talked with another huge video advocate, Twitter marketing expert Madalyn Sklar, about how vlogging has progressed along with its best practices.

“Vlogging has evolved drastically over the last few years,” Jornsay-Silverberg said. “More people are creating video content than ever before, making it an incredible way to humanize yourself and connect to your audience. The best practice is to be authentic.

“The more authentic you are on camera, the greater the chance you give for people to feel like they really get to know you through your content,” she said. “There’s nothing more powerful than that. I love using video to create closer connections to folks on social media.”

Like other work done well, success results from more than a whim.

“Preparing ahead of time is super important,” Jornsay-Silverberg said. “It can’t just be run-and-gun style anymore if you want to look professional.”

The first step toward that pro touch is in hand. As Jornsay-Silverberg noted, “Everyone has a camera because they’ve got their smartphone.”

If you have a good notion about what you want to vlog about, take a shot. Don’t expect perfection. You’ll get better with practice – providing you start someplace.

“My biggest advice would be don’t get hung up on the tools and technology,” Jornsay-Silverberg said. “When just starting vlogging, decide the topics you want to be known for, and start creating content around that. Show up as your true self and just start.

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“People are going to care about you more than they care about the specific camera you use,” she said. “Don’t worry too much about whether you have the right equipment. Your iPhone is enough to get started. Plus, audio is hugely important. Every vlogger need a microphone.”

Sklar emphasized that “we all have amazing cameras in our phones with decent audio quality.”

Three good vlogging tools are a general script — at least be well-versed on the subject — a smartphone and someone who can give you feedback.

Jornsay-Silverberg’s Top 3 tools to create vlog content are an iPhone or a DSLR camera, along with a microphone and tripod.

“You need a microphone when you vlog because the quality of your audio is hugely important,” she said. “People won’t get the value from your video if they can’t hear you. They definitely won’t subscribe if they can’t hear you.

“You need a tripod to keep the camera steady,” Jornsay-Silverberg said. “Don’t make your audience dizzy.”

A high-quality shiny product is not required.

“Lifestyle vlog content can be more raw and grainy. Fewer edits,” Jornsay-Silverberg said. “If you want to come across as a professional expert in something, you need that higher quality. A regular show should include good lighting and audio.

“Yet, bloopers are always my favorite part of a movie,” she said. “I decided, why not include them in my own vlogs?”

Subjects will attract initial viewers to vlogs, but it’s personalities that lock them in.

“I’ve found that people watch my vlogs more for the personality than the content,” Jornsay-Silverberg said. “People are tuning in to me. They could easily get the tips I share from someone else, but there’s something about the way I deliver the content that resonates with them.

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“To get your content seen, don’t be afraid to promote it across your other social media channels,” she said. “Your Twitter audience might not know you’ve got a YouTube channel, so, talk about it across your social networks.”

Another benefit is connecting with others.

“The way to get your video content discovered by more people is to collaborate,” Jornsay-Silverberg said. “Meet up with other vloggers and create a video together. That’s a great way to grow your audience.”

A vlog also calls for being natural, not acting.

“Be yourself,” Jornsay-Silverberg said. “It will pay off in the long run because you’ll have followers who actually feel like they know the real you.”

Many vloggers want to create YouTube channels. Again, this takes preparation.

“The first steps are to think about your topic and frequency,” Jornsay-Silverberg said. “The thumbnails and titles of your videos need to be really strong if you want to be found via search. Don’t forget that YouTube is the second-largest search engine.

“I recommend creating at least three to five videos for your YouTube channel before you start to publish,” she said. “Being consistent in your publishing is critically important to growing a loyal audience and looking like a legit vlogger.”

Consistency means creating a schedule and sticking to it.

“I publish a new video to my YouTube channel every Wednesday,” Jornsay-Silverberg said. “Right now, I’ve got five videos ‘in the queue’ for the next five Wednesdays. This lets me stay consistent and never feel like I need to ‘rush’ to create a video.

“It’s tough to see your videos only get a few views — believe me, I’m in that boat,” she said. “That’s why you have to stay consistent. Don’t create content for the views. Create it because you need to.”

Sklar wondered if consistency and frequency are still key to having a successful vlog or if the vlogging world has become more quality orientated.

“That’s a really good question that I have a hard time answering,” Jornsay-Silverberg said. “I do believe that consistency and frequency are critical because that’s what will keep people coming back to your YouTube channel.

“That being said, you need to have quality videos,” she said. “YouTube is so saturated with content that if you aren’t providing value through your videos — in the form of inspiration, entertainment or education — it’s going to be hard to get views.”

That brought her back to the need to find a balance between consistent content — videos every day, week or month — and quality content.

As if the challenge of creating one YouTube channel was not enough, ambitious entrepreneurs want more.

“Multiple YouTube channels can be really effective if you’re discussing different topics on these different channels,” Jornsay-Silverberg said. “That’s why I have a YouTube channel for my #socialmerk passion project.

“Because I talk a lot about social media on my main YouTube channel, I started another one with my friend because we wanted to discuss mental health,” she said. “Two different topics call for two different YouTube channels.”

Jornsay-Silverberg and Sklar continued their vlogging talk fittingly on a Facebook Live video.

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Jim Katzaman
Jim Katzaman is a manager at Largo Financial Services. A writer by trade, he graduated from Lebanon Valley College, Pennsylvania, with a Bachelor of Arts in English. He enlisted in the Air Force and served for 25 years in public affairs – better known in the civilian world as public relations. He also earned an Associate’s Degree in Applied Science in Public Affairs. Since retiring, he has been a consultant and in the federal General Service as a public affairs specialist. He also acquired life and health insurance licenses, which resulted in his present affiliation with Largo Financial Services. In addition to expertise in financial affairs, he gathers the majority of his story content from Twitter chats. This has led him to publish about a wide range of topics such as social media, marketing, sexual harassment, workplace trends, productivity and financial management. Medium has named him a top writer in social media.

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