Video Killed The Thought Leader Star

If you haven’t heard, by 2017, 70% of online content will be video. We can see this already. Our social feeds are rife with them. Short and long clips with or without subtitles, showcasing somebody’s idea, or product, or ‘best smoothie ever’.

As entrepreneurs, professionals and consultants it’s vital we start sharing our message in high def. A video strategy and production line is something we’ll have to get used to, become proficient with and integrate into our brand.

But there are many different ways to approach video. All with different levels of investment (time or money) and effectiveness.

In the interest of brevity, I’d like to offer you three distinct frames (pardon the pun) you could use to begin or deepen your online video presence. Three styles worth exploring and experimenting with to build on your motion picture mojo.

1 — The Brutal Truth : Raw, unfiltered, organic.

Harness the magic of the moment. Perhaps shot on an iPhone, maybe using a selfie stick. Probably speaking direct to camera about whatever is real for you at that time. Unscripted, relevant and authentic.

The young among us are already fluent with this kind of expression (SnapChat, Facebook Live, Instagram Stories). Although it might feel unprofessional, it can be an effective and engaging way of touching your audience. Revealing your ‘real’ self in ‘real’ time.

Tips to nail it:

1 — Lighting is everything. Consider your light source (sun, streetlight, computer screen) and where you are in relation to it.

2 — Audio is everything else. Consider the ambient noise around you (busy restaurant, crashing of waves, neighbours lawnmower) and position yourself in relation to it.

3 — Good content is the cost of entry, but your delivery will get you VIP access into the hearts and minds of your audience. Engage through authenticity.

4 — Always keep an eye out for ‘extraordinarily ordinary moments’. Don’t just film in your office, with a beige wall as a background. Let the richness of life colour, flavour and shape the landscape of your content.

Beautiful moment, spontaneous idea, trust the talent around you.

2 — Surprise n Delight : Creative, considered, congruent.

It’s remarkable what can be done with a little imagination and ingenuity. Fire up iMovie, upgrade to a DSLR camera, download an app, build a set or a find a prop that turns ‘meh’ into f@#k yeah! This kind of clip won’t break the bank but it does rely on your wild and untamed creativity. And usually, a higher investment of time to make it work.

  • Perhaps you overdub a spoken word piece on a sequence of images sped up.
  • Or put a filter on what you’ve filmed with bold subtitles flashing spontaneously tell the story.
  • Or interview someone on the roof of a car, or sharing a glass bottomed kayak, or after 3 bottles of pinot.

Tips to nail it:

1 — Watch a lot of short films. Diversify your stimuli and stuff your subconscious full of interesting inspiration.

2 — Make the time to be creative. Don’t stop at your first idea. Don’t rush to copy your competitors. Blend, borrow and bastardise your influences into something unique to you.

3 — Leverage your limitations. Don’t know how to use iMovie? No idea what that setting does on your camera? Who cares. Embrace beginners mind and play. Break the rules before you know them.

4 — Shoot and stockpile. Record whatever, whenever, and use it later it interesting, unexpected ways.

Recorded at MONA (Tasmania) 2014, add iMovie filter, music & lyric 2016
Recorded in Cambodia 2013, add iMovie filter, music & lyric written in 2014

3 — High Def Elegance : Rich, vibrant, enchanting.

A gorgeous, multi-layered positioning piece that elegantly captures your message and presents it in an enthralling manner. This is the legacy piece. Ground zero for your brand. You get to architect the experience for your audience. Draw them into your world and tell your story, your way.

This requires expert help. Unless you are one, you need to work with a quality filmmaker to get this level of Artistry. And they need to know your story just as well as you do in order to help you tell it.

Tips to nail it:

1 — Determine what your message is, who your audience is, and why they should care before you worry about how to tell your story.

2- Script and Storyboard till you’re blue in the face. Don’t ‘just leave it till the shoot’ nor tell yourself you can ‘fix it in the edit’. Plan, plan, plan, plan, plan. You’re better prepared for synchronicity when the fundamentals are clear.

3 — Short n sweet. No more than 90 secs. Tighten your script for impact. Work harder to tighten your tale for your audience and they’ll love you harder for doing so.

4 — Music is the most powerful thing in the universe. Your soundtrack can make or break your piece. Make sure it is congruent with your message, and if possible, I’d commission a talented songwriter to write something for you. (Put a muso to work people!)

Promo clip for Inspire9 2015, produced with Dave Dixon
Promo clip for Dr Jason Fox 2016, produced with Dave Dixon
Promo clip for Talking Sticks 2016, produced with Dave Dixon

Final tip…

Before, during and after producing any kind of video content ask yourself…

Would I watch this? Would I share this? Is this a worthy investment of my time?

If the answer is no…then keep creating.


Mykel Dixon is a Keynote Speaker, Author, Advisor & Creative in the emerging fields of Artisan Thinking and Cultural Architecture.

He shows entrepreneurs, professionals and consultants how to brand authentically and creatively, with clarity, congruence and conviction.