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Video or transcript?

Video or transcript? Watching or reading?

DeathtoStock_CreativeSpace1 11.45.06 AMLike most business owners I subscribe to rather a lot of email newsletters (probably too many!), and the content of these obviously varies, but there’s one in particular that contains a weekly video, plus a transcript of the video. I will come right out and say (and I’m not biased in any way as a transcription specialist!) that I always read the transcript and never watch the video. So what about you? Video or transcript, which do you prefer?


Different learning styles

Everybody processes information in different ways. For me personally, when I’m faced with even a short video of five minutes or less, I will always prefer to skim read the transcript and I can get the information I need in a fraction of the time.

Yes, I know that makes me sound incredibly lazy! I can’t always be bothered to watch a five minute video, but I’m easily distracted, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. I just prefer to read the text instead, as that’s the way I absorb useful information.

Video versus audio

Funnily enough, however, I’m completely happy to listen to mp3 recordings of things like course content or podcasts while I’m doing something else like housework. This might be because it takes my mind off the completely tedious job in hand (I’m determined to get a cleaner soon!), but I’m quite happy to potter about cleaning the bathroom or dusting and learning at the same time.

I think with video it’s because you’re kind of fixed to the spot and there’s no escape. Because my mind has a tendency to wander, when faced with a one hour webinar or video-based course content that’s longer than half an hour, I’ll find myself checking emails and browsing Facebook, and I’ll completely switch off from what might be relevant and useful information for me.

For other people, however, the opposite is probably true and they’re quite happy to sit and focus for longer periods of time. I’m just not one of these people, unless it’s an episode of The Walking Dead, perhaps!

What this boils down to is that if you’re creating content and you want to reach as wide an audience as possible, it’s always important to remember all the different learning styles out there.

There are so many options out there for recorded content, and if you get your videos and audios transcribed, you’re not only appealing to those who prefer to read (myself included!), you’re also giving yourself the opportunity to use your content again and again. You can turn your videos into blog posts, ebooks, newsletter content and social media posts, quickly and easily.

I’d love to hear your views on this. Video or transcript? Do you prefer to watch, listen, read, or perhaps a combination of all three? Please comment below or ping me a message on Facebook.


Are you visible enough in your business?

Are you invisible?!

A few weeks ago we were lucky enough to view an almost total eclipse of the sun here in Scotland – well, I say view, I hadn’t been organised enough to get hold of those special filter glasses and by the time I realised the eclipse was taking place, everywhere had sold out. Fortunately, despite a bright and sunny start to the day, the clouds came over enough to act as a filter, and I was able to see what was, I think, about 95% totality.

solar eclipse

The whole idea of the sun hiding behind the moon (nearly!) got me thinking about where we hide ourselves in our businesses, especially if we don’t feel particularly comfortable shouting about what we’re good at. I know when I was in the workplace before my children came along, I trundled along in the background in my support role, getting things done, working away on the day to day tasks and providing an essential service to the people I worked for. However, I felt pretty much invisible in terms of the business as a whole, and I never really felt that important, despite the fact that if I hadn’t been there, the whole team wouldn’t have worked!

Becoming a business owner

Being a business owner is a different kettle of fish, mind you. If you don’t make yourself visible, you won’t get business, it’s as simple as that!

That was a difficult concept for me to grasp at first. I wasn’t remotely comfortable promoting myself and telling people what I was good at, and in the very early days even starting my Facebook page made me feel extremely anxious – what if people actually wanted to buy my services?? What a scary thought!

I’ve been in business for over four years, but I’ve only had a blog for just over a year, and the posts were only once a month at first, but I’ve managed to increase them to once a fortnight (more or less) for the moment. I do love the writing process, so once a week is my goal, sooner rather than later, I hope!

So what do you do if you’re feeling a bit invisible?

My advice to you first of all would be to start a blog. It doesn’t have to be complicated, and even if you aren’t able to have it there on your website, you could do what I did in the early days and set something up on wordpress.com. If I can work out the technical bits and bobs, anyone can. If you want to start off by doing a post a month, you only need to think of 12 topics to write about, and I bet you can come up with more than that if you set your mind to it. What questions do your clients and potential clients ask you? What advice can you give? What can you teach people?

You can even do what I’ve done recently and try out video as a way of making yourself really visible. My videos aren’t polished at all, and they’ve all been done either on my phone or with my webcam, but it’s a great way for people to see YOU, and after all, people buy from people they like and trust, don’t they?

As a little addendum, if you’re struggling to write, you could try dictating your thoughts and ideas and get somebody like me to transcribe and edit them into a usable form, and the same goes for videos, which can be transcribed and turned into written blog posts or articles.

How would you like to make yourself more visible in your business? Please do comment below, I’d love to hear some other ideas!

My 30 day video challenge

Video – a bit scary!

If you have read any of my previous blog posts, you will know that I’m fairly new to the medium of video when it comes to content marketing. Not being a big fan of the sound of my voice or seeing myself on the screen isn’t a good starting point, but over the last few months I have managed to record a handful of videos on my webcam and even publish them on YouTube, no mean feat in itself!

However, I was recently challenged by my good friend Lyn Pornaro, of Three A’s Business Coaching, to take part in a 30 day video challenge – recording a short video every day for 30 days!

The challenge!

I will admit that when I realised what I had let myself in for I was a tad apprehensive, to say the least. I decided to go with the flow nonetheless, and unlike my earlier efforts where I was unable to even record anything without a script taped to my laptop screen, I made the decision to talk pretty much off the top of my head about the day’s topic of my choosing, and try not to be too pernickety about any ums, ers and waffling.

You can see the results of the first day in the video above! If you’d like to have a look at my other videos and follow my progress, please do pop over to my YouTube channel.

As I’m writing this, I have just recorded my ninth short video (they’re all about two minutes (ish) long), and so far I’ve more or less managed to come up with something new to talk about every day. The point I’m trying to make is that I think every business owner sometimes struggles to come up with new content, but perhaps this is because we all suffer from the curse of knowledge, and we sometimes forget that we know a lot about what we do and how we can help others.

To give you an example, I did one video last week where I asked how you would describe your business to a ten year old! To put this in perspective, I was speaking to somebody at a networking event recently who didn’t actually know what transcription was, so this made me think. I realised that it’s not always obvious to others what  you do, even if you say something like, “I’m a transcription specialist”. If you get a blank look, then you know you need to expand a bit!

Anyway, please do pop over and check out the videos. I’d love to hear your comments, and if you feel up to taking up the 30 day challenge too, please let me know!