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Kerry Barrett. Owner and Founder of Kerry Barrett Consulting is the interviewee in the latest episode of the Smarter Business Podcast. In this episode, Kerry talks about the Video IQ Project, going from live to digital, connecting with your audience, and how the camera eats energy.
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(light music) - Welcome to this episode of the Smarter Business podcast. This is a podcast where we like to talk to professionals who are using video and interesting ways to grow their business and maybe yours, which is the case today with our guest, Kerry Barrett of Kerry Barrett Consulting. If you enjoy the content that you hear and you find it interesting, I would love to have you subscribed to this podcast. Share with your friends or colleagues who might find this information interesting as well. And if you're really loving it, please feel free to rate the podcast. That really helps us get found by other people. So with all that said, Kerry, thank you very much for taking the time to chat with us today. - Well, thank you. I'm excited to be here. And for anybody watching, listening, just give it five stars. Right? Today. (both laughing) It's always good. Today will be no different. - Today will be a five-star episode. I can guarantee it. Well, Kerry, it's great to have you on. And I wonder if you wanna just do kind of a quick self intro. - Sure. I've spent 20 years in the broadcast news business. I am an Emmy award-winning news anchor producer, reporter. I usually don't keep that up here till my marketing agency said, "You gotta to put that up front. People wanna see it." It is heavy and it doubles as a weapon, but I don't expect I'll be needing that today. Sidetrack. (Neil laughing) What I do now is I take all of the skills and experience that I gathered over the past 20 years, both through my on air presentation and also through news coaching and consulting. And I help my clients expand their visibility and their credibility by creating and distributing compelling and effective video. So for a lot of people, the scariest part of creating video is being on camera. But being on camera is the part that makes you stand out because guess what? Everybody else across the world is afraid of being on camera as well. So if you can put your face, front and center, you're already head and shoulders above your competition when it comes to your video content. So I help you do that. - That's excellent. And my next question was gonna be to put it into one sentence, but you just nailed it at the end there. - Well, thanks. - I think that's perfect. And it is a really important. Well, it's a really important step as we have talked about my group, right? You gotta be able to get on camera just to take, you know, create content and kind of move to the next step. - 100%. - So really important piece there. So excellent. So I've already somewhat referenced the group, the vidwheel Creator Network, which is the video community that we run here through vidwheel that helps folks grow their businesses through video. And you were a presenter last month for us. So I wanna thank you for that too. In the month of October, you presented the Video IQ Project. I'm gonna include a link in the description for replay. And it's also a course that you're putting on. Do you wanna kind of give the pitch to that course? - Sure. So here's my 30-second pitch. You know how you go to shoot a two-minute marketing video with your phone, except it takes two hours. You absolutely load yourself in it, and it doesn't perform the way you need it to. This course fixes that. I fix that. And the way that I fixed that is through a series of steps. Some of which are about messaging, and reading and understanding who your audience is. But the bigger part of what I focus on amongst all of that is how to be compelling on camera. The best practices really apply to both recorded video, such that you, you know, post on social or scheduled to post on social and live video. Because as I would say, the opposite of good video is not bad video. It's off video. There's so much great stuff out there that if your video is not good, they're scrolling by it, or they're hitting stop, or they're turning it off. So you have to be able to deliver in a way that makes people wanna stick around for the end of your video when you have your offer or your nugget, or you invite engagement, or whatever your call to action is. - Excellent. I mean, that's a super important piece. so I'm glad you have made the course available, and, yeah, we'll have the link in. I think it's a hard thing to wrap your head around as a professional who may be hasn't, you know, doesn't have a lot of experience in video, how to put all the pieces together, how to be comfortable, as you said, to kinda get from point A all the way to point B there. - Mm-hmm. - So it's actually not a bad segue either into the next point that I had, which is that the theme this month on the vidwheel Creator Network is live to digital. So what we're looking to do this month in September is to help businesses navigate that path that takes businesses that maybe typically we're doing things in a face-to-face, live setting, and bring them into the digital space. - Yeah. - So I would imagine you have a lot to say on this, right? Like you've been on video whole time, but like in very different capacities. - Right. - Yeah, I don't know. Do you have any insights on that? I guess, just at a top level, and we'll dig a little deeper. - Sure, sure. I mean, being on camera for the news; yes, your content is slightly different, but the best practice are always the same. It's connecting with your audience. It's realizing that even if you're speaking to a live audience of millions, sometimes the way I was, you're always only talking to one person. It's an audience of one. And that's how you make the connection. Sometimes, it's easy to get in our heads about how many eyeballs are on the other side of that lens or what they're doing because we can't see, what they're thinking, what they're saying, remembering that you're talking to one person. And when I was first starting out in the news business, one of the ways that I would make that connection until I got comfortable enough with my skills and my ability to perform was to imagine whoever fit that demographic in the news business. It was obviously my audience there. In my current business, it's my clients. And think about somebody I know well, who I trust, who fits that demographic. And then I talked to them. If you can get into that mindset, it takes all of that other fear away from it. And you're just talking. It's really all you're doing. No matter where you are, you're having a conversation with a friend or you having a conversation with a million friends. You're talking all the same. It's just that the way you perform that speech is slightly different. - Yeah. And that's an excellent point. I often used the example years ago, right? Running a real small video production company. I went in one year to do some financial projection work. - Mm-hmm. - And I knew the revenue goal I wanted to hit the next year, and I knew what was kind of coming in the door. When I crunched all the numbers with my ideal client, I had to talk to four. I had to convert four new clients in that year to meet the goal. - Mm-hmm. - And that changed my perspective completely to one more like you're talking about where you're speaking to a very small group, you're speaking to one person, two people, that much more focused conversation, - Mm-hmm. - which I think applies to a lot of small business folks out there, right? Like a lot of people get hung up on, "I need to get all these views, and I need to appeal to this real wide audience." And if you crunch the numbers, that's usually not at all true. - Not usually the way it works. Because you talked about large audience and a lot of views, I'll very quickly touch on viral video. - Sure. And live video, you know, at least a step that was recorded live and then is played over, not usually edited is the stuff that goes viral. And viral video is great for top of your funnel eyeballs sorts of things. It's not targeting down into your niche audience, but it is great top of funnel video. If you can get a video that has tens of thousands or millions of viewers, that's great. You're gonna find a few in there that are going to probably land into that bottom part of your funnel. However, that's not who you are directly talking to when you're creating mid and bottom of funnel videos to talk directly to your clients or your potential clients. Right? Usually that's more about adding value. It's more about, is it testimonials? Is it about product videos? Is it demos? Is it tips, tricks? Maybe, it's even FAQ's. You're answering FAQ's, right? Those questions that we get all the time that we spend way too much time answering on email. Right? I'll shoot a quick video that explains the whole darn thing. And then, oh, by the way, guess what? That person on the other side gets to look into my eyes, hear me speak, and it makes it much more personal. We get super hung up on the idea of everything has to be perfect when we're doing a video. And I think that's one of the reasons that when that little red light goes on or that little green light goes on, and we stare into that black hole, we get everything that made us unique, and interesting and different sort of dries up because we're like, "It must be perfect. I'm not used to doing things or writing things, or saying things that aren't exquisitely thought out from beginning to end." And they should be thought out, but it doesn't have to be perfect. It just has to be deliberate. Meaning, if you have 30 seconds of someone's time, don't waste it by filling it with 25 seconds of rambling, repetitious sort of mumbo-jumbo. You have to be deliberate with your words. And if you can be deliberate with your words and engaging with your delivery, people will stick around as long as you are fixing a problem or entertaining them. It's that simple. - Excellent. Yeah. Yeah, great points there. That is, yeah. It can really be that simple, right? - Mm-hmm. - A lot of people overthink it, right? - 100%. And I think one of the places... And stop me if I'm taking this in the wrong direction, but I think one of the places that really trips people up is this whole live video that you were talking about. Live digital, right? So it doesn't matter whether there is one person on the other side or whether there's 500. That live element, most people... And there were some who when they first started your group, I remember seeing posting, like I did a Facebook live. When I first started sticking my big toe into this idea of live streaming, and I was shaking like a leaf. And you do have to continue to dip your big toe in the water, and take those risks and try and put yourself out there. Because the idea of video is that it really is like the ultimate one to many conversation. It is like speaking on a stage, but on steroids. And don't freak out when I say that. - Yeah. - What I mean by that is that it works for you 24/7, 365 across the globe. It doesn't take holidays. It doesn't get sick. It doesn't go to sleep. Like you have the opportunity to reach people with video all the time. One of the easiest ways to do that is through live streaming. And the reason is, is because when you're doing a live stream, you get the content, you have the opportunity usually, anyway, to have an immediate feedback loop or engage with your potential clients, customers, followers, whoever, answer questions. Right? And it's very low in terms of pre-production and that sort of thing. And then, guess what? You did a half an hour live stream or a 15-minute live stream, now you have all of that content that you can cut up and edit and you can use for email outreach. You can use for social posts. You can use for download tools on your websites. You can use for video blogs. I mean, there's so many different ways that you can repurpose that. People also think video is really time consuming and it sort of is until you get the swing of it and the hang of it. Once you figured that out, holy cow, you can get so much done so quickly and use it in a million different places. It's well worth the investment of time off the top. - Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. And you've moved right into the next spot that we're gonna go to, which is kind of the benefits of digital, right? And the always on factor is huge. - Mm-hmm. - And to note on the time aspect, right? Like that's one of those big fears that I think people run into. And it's almost a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy because the people who are worried about time who then commit to, you know, I don't know, creating a daily video or doing all the editing themselves. It's easy to bite off more than you can chew there. And you gotta find that balance, like enough of a presence, but something you can commit to and continue to produce. Right? It's a tough thing. And you almost have to do some trial and error to figure out where your sweet spot is there. - I would 100% agree. I obviously had a slightly different experience because I was already comfortable with being on camera. What I didn't know how to do, because when I was editing video way back 20 years ago in the beginning of my career. We're on beta, and we're going like tape to tape. We're still taping stuff together. - Right. - And those of you who are younger and are listening; I mean, actual, like, physical masking tape. There was no computer editing. There was none of that stuff. And, you know, you laid your audio track, you laid your video, the whole nine yards. Anyway, my point is that was where I had to grow when I jumped into this off the top. And I'm not an expert in it by any stretch. If there's something that I need to be super slick and polished, I obviously get somebody else to edit it. But there's a lot of editing apps and stuff that people can use. I think one of the keys though, in order to not get overwhelmed and be efficient when you are creating is to batch produce. And what I mean by that is, and you can't really do this with a live stream, but it's worth pointing out because I do think people have overwhelmed is, you know, block off a half a day or a full day, once a month, depending on your content needs and just start knocking stuff out. I always suggest start with an episode. Like how many FAQ's do you get? Are there like five or ten maybe that are consistent, drainers of your time? And create a series. Create a five to ten part series, answering those questions. You can release them on social. You can release them on LinkedIn. And, oh, by the way, you can put them in a newsletter or you can put them on your website or whatever, but try and knock them out in all together in that one period of time. And the reason is because once you get into the flow, it's easier to maintain that momentum. And if you don't block out time to do it, it won't get done. I know that all too well. Even for me whose business is video. So it's like the cobbler's children who have no shoes, right? It's hard to block out the time for yourself. And the other thing I think I would suggest is don't try and do all the things because if you try and do all the things right off the top, you will not do any of the things because it is too darn much. Don't worry about crazy graphics. Don't worry about adding music. Heck, don't even worry about adding, you know, transcriptions off the top. Just get in front of your camera and practice for five minutes a day, and maybe get some content out of it. And that's all you need to do to start. Right? It's that simple, but it's making yourself do it. - Yeah. I think that's great advice. And yeah, we often within the network, we'll talk about kind of shipping that first video. And you know when you ship it, that is not your best video. - Right. - And it's not supposed to be. You ship the first one and you incrementally improve from there. - 100%. I think too, you know, one of the things that people find, so aside from time constraints and all that other stuff, and I don't know how to do this, and it's a lot, it's overwhelming. What's the first right step? People just get nervous on camera. And all of that stuff that makes, like we said, off the top, that makes them interesting, compelling, unique, dynamic; it's sort of like shrivels up. Somewhere, somebody told them that they have to stare down the camera, and they can't move. And if they break gaze, somehow they'll magically forget where to look again. And so they like, you know, it's that like staring contest you had with your younger sibling when you were in second grade. All of that, push it out of your head. The way that you will get comfortable is to just talk the way you normally talk, but just like slightly amped up, like 10 to 15% more because we've talked about this with your group. The camera eats energy. And it doesn't matter if you're alive or edited the camera, gobbles it up. It is insatiable. And the more you give it, the more it'll eat. So amp up that energy, just 10 to 15%. Right. Lean forward, use your hands, vary your voice. Don't be monotone. Don't keep the same pace throughout. Right. That sort of stuff that naturally comes to us in conversation, do it all on camera. But just even do it a little bit more. - Yeah. And to that point, we've actually got one of our members who by the time this posts, we'll have already put the article out on LinkedIn, but she speaks to that. From being in the group for a year and kind of analyzing her video performance month to month and tweaking. She actually got to the point at the end of a year where she felt like she'd lost some of her authenticity because she was kind of trying to fix it too much. Right? - Yeah. - So she called it incremental deterioration, which I like into, I don't know if you're a golfer at all, but I like into what's happened to my golf swing more than once in my life where you get too many tips. Right. - Yeah. - And all of a sudden, it feels weird and your hands and you can't swing into it at all. You need to go back to like what kind of comes naturally. And maybe, it's not perfect, but it's more real. - Mm-hmm, 100%. And at the end of the day, video is best not at dumping statistics and having a lot of data, right? Knowledge is certainly important. And if you have statistics or data that you need to articulate in a video, back them up with an animation or something like that. But when you're talking about talking head video or video that tells a story, it's not a great place for statistics and data. It's a great place to make a connection and like an emotional connection. And that's all you really need to keep at the forefront when you're thinking about that individual person that you're talking to, what their pain point is, and how you can help them, like, let me make a connection that way. The rest, you can shove aside until you get more comfortable and you wanna start experimenting. But back to basic or the old adage KISS, "Keep it simple, stupid." - Yup, yup. - That's all. Yeah. - Spot on. I love it. I think this has all been great advice for our new monthly theme here live to digital and kind of being comfortable in that digital space and how it ties back to how you just talk live, right? Like how you have regular conversation. So I think it's spot on. And I'm gonna move on to the... I have one question. That's our common thread throughout all these episodes. And it is, what is one thing that you've done to make your business smarter? It's called the Smarter Business podcast for a reason. What's one thing you've done to make your business smarter? Or I'll let you say a client's business as well if there's something there. - You know what? This is gonna sound sort of dumb. I mean, I've hired an assistant, a couple of them. I know what I need to know, and I know enough to know that that's not my bag, and I'm gonna waste way too much time figuring it out, and that's the stuff that I offload. What I think I've done for my business and a client's business that's made it smarter is really jumping into using video strategically. When I first started, I knew nothing about business. And to be frank, I still don't know all that much about it. Right? But I have people to help me figure it out. And one of the things that I did was I just spoke everywhere. I got advice, speak everywhere. You don't know exactly what you're doing yet, but get your face in front of people, either on a stage or on video. Right? And yes, that was great advice. But one foot after the other, even if you don't know exactly where you're trying to get to. If you stagnate, you're gonna lose all momentum and then you might as well hang up. So I got on video, right? And I started getting more strategic about it. I started figuring out where that video needed to go. And I started figuring out who it needed to talk to. And I started figuring out what stages I need to just go to and what virtual events that were most likely to bring me clients or at least engagement, or maybe just add a name to my email list. Like that sort of thing. Like figure out where the video needs to go, and figure out what your competitors are doing, so that you can find the holes in their strategy and you can fill them with your own content. And I do the same thing for one of my clients. I have a client who's a lawyer, very successful lawyer, started out in corporate, now has his own solo practice. And he really wants to expand his visibility and his credibility, not just as a lawyer, but as sort of a mentor for other lawyers who are looking to start their own solo business. And I'm like, "Well, this is great." There's a million business publications and law publications that you could be a contributor to. And just expand your visibility in the legal world, do a huge capacity, but you have to start putting something out there that'll make that happen, that they notice you. And so we've started doing a Grow Your Solo series, which is a series of videos and tips that he puts on video and walks people through, you know, finding a great bookkeeper, how to let someone go, how to know what your first hire should be, expenses you need to consider that you may not have. And he puts this out. One episode, Monday; one episode, Wednesday; one episode Friday,. And he puts it out to a group, a LinkedIn group that's got about a hundred thousand lawyers in it. The traction he has gotten is insane, but it's knowing what to say and where to say it that made his business that much smarter. That was a very long-winded answer. I apologize. - Perfect, no. I think it's a great answer. And I'm gonna say you kind of hit a two further. Right? You touched on at the beginning, especially as a solopreneur, right? - Yeah. - The idea of hiring out the parts that either you don't know or the parts that you don't wanna do yourself. Right? - Yeah. - Like bringing in an assistant can be a huge kind of time gain. Right? - Massive. I mean, I have to tell you. I was really nervous because she was my first hire, like full-time hire. And I was scared, poopless to do it. I would have used another word there, but I don't know how you feel about that. And I have to tell you, holy cow, if I had known what that would have done for time and strategy and my ability to put my own resources where they needed to go and what that would mean for ROI, not only for what I pay her for, but for what it brings me in for other clients, I would have hired her, like, practically before I even established my LLC. Like it's that big. It's life changing. - Yeah, yeah. And you know, you probably kind of hit on the other half of it again there, which is when you free up that time and you brought up video strategy for kind of the second part of that answer. When you free up time, you have time to do things that are more important than day to day tasks, like strategy work. You nailed it. - It's key. It's like working on versus working in. - Right. - Which I read that book. The one thing shortly after I started my business. And I didn't fully understand the difference between working on and working in until I made that hire. - Yeah. - And it's, yeah, life changing. And I would also say one of the things smarter. If you can live stream, man, dip your toe in there. If you're listening and you wanna hook up on like a LinkedIn live, and I'll walk you through some questions, and we can have some fun doing it. Hit me up because I'm more than happy to do that. It is a great way to repurpose. Again, you can take a live stream, very low production value, get content there, immediate feedback, and then just spray the rest of your platforms, and your social posts, and your website with the content that you get from that, and use it to drive people to, you know, whatever it is that you want them to do. So huge time saver with that as well. - Yeah. Yeah. And I'm gonna use that as a segue. We're gonna start live streaming on LinkedIn live this month, Month of September. So we'll have a couple of things coming out where we speak to some members of the group and so on. - Awesome. - We'll be there. We're not gonna be as established as you right off the bat, but we'll be on there with you. - Well, we need to do a live stream together. - I think we should. - Yeah. - I think that would be excellent. - That's right. - So yeah, we'll work out the details on that affair. But I've got one last thing to ask you. So you've had a lot of interview experience yourself. I always like to ask at the end of any interview I do, whether it's testimonial podcast, did I miss anything? Is there anything that you were hoping to say that you wanna kinda throw out there? And some people take this as a time to suggest a book or software, or way to think about business? - Boy, that's a really good question. I don't think that you missed anything that I was intending to talk about. You know what? I am reading a book right now that's really- - All right. Let's hear it. - It's called "Meant For More" and it's by Lisa Sasevich. And it is all about figuring out what it is that... As business owners, we've heard this a million times. What's your USP? What makes you different? What makes you stand out? And I'm like, "I don't, I don't." I mean, I can fall back on experience, but there's other people that have experienced too. What is it that really makes me different? And how do I figure it out? And then how do I put it into an offer? "Meant For More" by Lisa Sasevich. I can't put it down. It is amazing with walking you through that process. It's not just like, think about this and think about that. It's the stories and the background and all that other stuff. But it's a very specific process for framing, and building and defining your offer to make it absolutely irresistible, so that people come to you, and you don't have to chase them down. - And I cannot recommend it. - That's nice. - I highly recommend it. That's what I'm trying to say. - Awesome. I am gonna go track that down. - Good. - Yeah, yeah. That sounds like one I would really. And there's some great books suggestions through our episodes here that that other folks have put out there and all worth checking out. I tried to read up on them after I hear by them on the episode. So yeah. - Good. - Well, thank you very much, Kerry, for being on this episode of the Smarter Business podcast. To all of you who viewed or listened, once again, subscribe, share, rate this episode. If you enjoy the content, feel free to share it with whoever colleagues and friends that might find it useful. And check out Kerry. she's got a great presence on LinkedIn. And we will have all our contact info in the show notes. So Kerry, once again, thank you very much. - Thank you, Neil. It was a pleasure. And thanks to the audience as well. It's great to get a chance to speak with you. (light music)