You probably didn’t know that I hated doing video (or maybe you have because I wrote about it before), but I did. I felt the pressure to be on, to be and look prefect before I turn the camera on and therefore I opted out of doing video for years. However, when I started shetalksbiz.com, I knew that I had to do things a little bit different and needed to find a way to incorporating doing video.
So I did and did it my way – recording my voice and mashing it up with graphics to make a video. I did it that way for months until I was ready for the next step, in which I did my first day in the life vlog (which almost didn’t get published). In that same month YouTube recommended a video in which I learned about this new (to me) challenge and I told myself I am going to do that. The challenge was SSSVEDA. You are probably thinking just like I was, what in the world is #SSSVEDA?
What is #SSSVEDA
So let me break the hashtag down, it’s essentially two acronyms. The “SSS” part represents the website of the creator of this challenge – savvysexysocial.com by Amy Schmittauer Landino a.k.a The Vlog Boss and the “VEDA” part stands for Vlog Everyday in April/August (because this challenge happens twice a year). The goal is to help us get more comfortable with not only doing video but also being on camera.
This past August was my first time participating and I completed 29 out of the 31 days with me being on camera for 18 of those videos. *Cue the Happy Dance a la David from QVC’s In the Kitchen With David*
The challenge is free and there is no mailing list for you to signup for. All you do is wait for the announcement (by staying connected to Amy on Twitter or her email list– she does not spam), and when it comes add your name, YouTube channel url and Twitter account so you can connect with the other vloggers. Lastly, download the calendar of topics ideas or create you own.
It was so easy for me to get involved and follow along (because I do sign up for a lot of challenges and most of them I never finish because they don’t keep me attention…something I will keep in mind if I ever create a challenge of my own). Anyways, I enjoyed the challenge and learned so much.
Here are 4 major key lessons I learned from doing my very first #SSSVEDA (Vlog Everyday in August) challenge.
Major Key #1 Bulk recording is your friend
We all have lives and other responsibilities that may keep us from recording live every single day. What I love about this challenge is that there are no set rules. You’re not required to go “live”, your videos can be pre-recorded. So do it!
There may be days where you are not up to flipping on the camera and recording so having videos pre-recorded is great. To make it look believable just change your outfit or do like I did keep the same outfit and just space out the videos (if you’re self conscious about having the same thing on in every single video).
Major Key #2 Preparation is Key but you need to be flexible
Preparation is crucial, especially for those of us who are not use to doing videos (or doing video every single day). Getting prepared includes planning out your 31 topics. I love that Amy provides a calendar of ideas for your to download and use. I combine those topics along with the regular schedule topics that I’ve been doing on my channel.
With doing all this preparation ahead of time you still need to be flexible. There were day where I didn’t feel like filming at all or wasn’t feeling the topic assigned for that day. So I did end up making some changes through out the month, moving topics to an earlier day or just replacing it completely.
Major Key #3: Do What feels comfortable to you
There’s a debate about what is consider a video. Some people think that a video is only when you are on camera (when people can see you). They tend to not like (or think less of) videos where it a graphic and hear the person voice (or see “slides” or multiple images like “PowerPoint Presentation”). To that I say, “different strokes for different folks”.
If I only believe that I could not publish a video unless I was on camera I wouldn’t have started my YouTube channel and my fear about being on camera (and not looking or being perfect) would had held me back and continue to do so. SO DO YOU! Do what feels comfortable for you and where you are at and when you are ready to push past your comfort zone, do so at your own pace. Remember – I am not for everyone and everyone is not for me.
Major Key #4: Use what you got and get started
You don’t need a lot to get started with making videos. Use what you have and make it work. I am lucky to own a laptop with a build-in camera and I still have access to my old iPhone 5C with a camera that works, therefor I was able to record videos and take photos. I also have access to GarageBand to record audio and Photoshop to create graphics for those videos when I didn’t feel like being on camera. If you watch the videos done with my laptop, you would agree with me that I definitely need some more equipment such as lighting and backdrops but I can figure all that out by next year. So my advice for you is to take a look at what you currently have and figure out what you can do right now.
The last thing I would like to mention is that it warmed my heart to see such a supportive community. The Internet and the YouTube world in general can be such a cruel place. The other VEDA challengers were amazing – watching each other’s videos and commenting. I love it and it made it easy to keep pushing through the 31 days. And I cannot leave without shouting out the few I have connected with:
- Allegra Heather of Move.Muse.Play.
- Lana McMurray of FREE 2 THRIVE COACHING
- Mariana of Snackable Social Media
- Daphney Howell
- Meg Kerns of MOKup Media
- Cliff Ravenscraft of PodcastAnswerMan
So I’m now off to work super hard so I can up my game by the next #SSSVEDA in April 2018. (FYI – You got to check out Cliff’s office tour video, it made this nerd’s heart swoon.)