VIDEO — The Music principle

If I was to hand you a guitar you could make noise — no doubt….but….could you create music?

I’m sure some of you answered yes and will probably answer yes to at least one of the following two statements.

You have spent endless hours practicing guitar.


You had guitar lessons.

Now what if I was to swap the guitar for a Video camera — I’m sure you could make a video. Just press the red circle to start recording — but is that video just noise?

Is it going to appeal to your audience, generate emotional buy in and ultimately turn them into loyal followers and possible customers?

You see, when I’m making videos I approach them in much the same mindset that producers approach making popular music.

If you think about it, just last week the “ex” members of One direction released no less than 20 songs — a number of them racing to the high rotation lists of radio stations around the world thanks to demand from fans and some record label/ radio station loyalty / royalty deals. The type of songs they put out were somewhat predictable but ultimately unique enough to be attractive and recognisable as their own style.

The same pattern is now emerging with leading Vloggers — they are pumping out videos — fully attuned to what is currently popular — just like Pop songs — and attracting huge amounts of attention thanks to raving fans and deals or arrangements with the platforms that host them.

They are also setting their own styles within the expectations of the market.

10 minutes in duration — tick

Quirky opener — tick

One person film maker style — tick

So what we have are two art forms and a very fine line that defines them as either creative genius or simply noise.

When I was in Year 7 at Mt Waverley High I was encouraged to play the Trumpet — when I first tried it I couldn’t even make a noise! After some pointers I moved onto the odd honk until after many hours of practice I could play Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. That was enough to hold the attention of my immediate family, especially my Grandma.

For many, just starting out on their video making journey — before you start boosting your posts with hard earned $$ (BTW I would never recommend Boosting a post — use targeted audiences in Ads manager) you need to make sure you have graduated out of your family zone.

And I’m not giving you this advice just to save you a few dollars — I’m offering this advice to save your reputation.

SO what is it that sets Music apart from noise? It’s simple really — RULES.

Think about it, Music is created when the performer follows a set of rules, a pre determined combination of moves that resonates and is relevant to the current “mood” or “likings” of the audience.

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star is a set of rules — follow them on any instrument and you get the same song. Britney Spears created hit after hit following a set of rules that aligned with her “brand” of music. Snoop Dogg has his own rules — they are different to Britney’s but none the less they are still rules.

So before you make any videos you need to first understand and be very clear on your “Rules of Engagement”. These rules help position you as an individual, and as unique. Essentially, they set your “channel”. The Channels that do best stay relevant and “On trend” with the mood of the market without compromising their own individuality.

We all had that one friend growing up who loved weird music — In my case it just happened to be my brother — now as an artist there is nothing wrong with satisfying a niche audience as long as you aren’t betting on converting the mass market to your style of art. You won’t succeed. It didn’t matter how loud or how often my brother played his music it was never music to my ears. The Rules creating the music simply didn’t resonate with me.

Ice Cube never made a pop song. KISS never rapped. These artists know their channel, the kinds of rules each song needs to stay aligned with what their fans expect and what drew them in to begin with.

In Video Marketing world, the very best stick to their own rules, rules that can be influenced by others and the mood of the market but ones that always have an element of individualism thrown in to keep the performance unique and therefore authentic.

So before you pick up that camera or flip it on your iPhone, make sure you are very clear on what makes your channel worth tuning in for before you even start to think about talking.

The question you should be asking yourself is…

…Am I making music or simply adding to the noise?

I teach storytelling and communications skills based on the “Art and Science of Viral videos.”

For those who want to work together with me in the future make sure you check out