5 Things I Learned From Making 100 COVID Lockdown Videos.

COVID19 lockdown hit in March and I suddenly had a whole lot of time on my hands. I am both creative and action-oriented, so I determined: it’s time to write that book.

I dusted off my notes I have picked up from leading in MarComms over the last decade-plus (including a 500+ post blog). I wanted some bite-size morsels, to support people who are extra busy during COVID; and in need of a little ‘you can do this!’ encouragement (Ep. 26).

99 tips and tricks…

Then I thought about my own learning style – curious (Ep. 30) and visual. OK, let’s record each of these puppies as 60-second segments! And let’s use some of these tips and tricks to execute the project too! Done and done – the Dis!Organize series for your delectation.

Here’s what I learned during the process:

  1. Getting started is the hardest part.

I watched a bunch of YouTube videos on “How to make YouTube videos.” Was there an app where I could do it all in? No.

I needed an autocue app to keep me tightly focused on the delivery withing the 60-second time frame. I can learn presentations verbatim but it can take one hour of practice to learn one-minute of delivery (see my pecha kucha preparation from 2014). I needed a tool to deliver, on my iphone.

Some autocue apps have editing tools too, so I spent time trying to find a single resource but everything was too clumsy. Prof Hornet did enough for the autocue.

I transferred the raw content to another editing app – inshot.

Determining the production process was the hardest part. (Ep.56) I knew I had to get it right from the start if I was going to do 100 pieces efficiently (Ep. 39). It is worth committing to the right process before you go too far along, otherwise there is no cohesive whole to the project. So, it all began with a bunch of testing and experimentation (Ep. 23).

2. Break down the whole into chunks.

I had framed out the 99 chapters / episodes, but everything seemed to be moving too slowly, the inertia was getting me down. So, I decided to chunk the whole in 10 parts. I finalised 10 episodes, then recorded, edited them; organized the social media release schedule and launched; then went back to the next 10 episodes.

I had forward momentum, and also a fire lit that I had promised 100 pieces of collateral so I had to keep going.

3. 80:20 is the best way to proceed.

The product is not perfect. Each episode could be slicker from an editing perspective. I could have created more cuts and introduced more design wow. But I wanted to stick to the 80:20 principle of one of the episodes (Ep. 38). You get 80% of the way there with 20% of the effort. I was able to churn out 10 videos a day from start to launch schedule with this principle in mind.

4. The ego is ever present.

What does success look like? My ego was in constant dialogue as I developed and delivered.

Will it go viral!? Why not more likes?! Why does that piece of collateral on your LinkedIn feed have 3000 likes when it is no better than your video about X?

It is tough to keep going sometimes, so I keep bringing it back to the craft of doing. Act is one of my favourite words (Ep. 11). Moreover, once you acknowledge that 90% of everything is crap (Ep. 32) you let go of the idea that your work needs to be perfect.

Throughout, I try to keep a peasant’s heart (Ep. 73).

5. Work is learning and learning is the work.

The most important part of the work is to learn through and from it (Ep. 23). How do people get good at things and make promises about it? By moving out into the world through experiment and conversation and questing (Ep. 18). Sharing the content is my gift (Ep. 22), for whatever it is worth. Hopefully it works for some (Ep. 99).

Now the video series is out, it is time to get the book done. Onwards!

This Much We Know.

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