25 Nov Important Tips For Video Content Creation With VidChops CEO, Augie Johnston
Video content is a must when you want to promote and market your business. But not everyone has the skills to edit a good quality video. If you’re looking to expand your marketing and content creation but not sure how, then VidChops is the solution you’re looking for! VidChops is a flat rate video editing service for YouTubers, thought leaders, experts, or anyone looking to create videos online. In this episode, CEO Augie Johnston shares just how they’re solving solutions for creators and why you should be investing in your content. Plus, he gives free tips on video content creation you can start applying immediately! Keep your ears glued to learn more!
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Important Tips For Video Content Creation With VidChops CEO, Augie Johnston
I understand you’re a bit of an expert when it comes to videos.
You could say that. I love online videos. I use it in my business and used it in my past businesses. It’s something that I am pretty passionate about.
I would like to cast your mind back a few years. Imagine what your job would be like if you had to record a video on a VHS cassette and mail it to someone.
That would be tough.
We should have a moment to be thankful for all of those out there that are still running Betamax in the hope that one day it will be the standard that will take over the internet as it rightly should. Does that mean anything to you at all?
That one went right over my head.
That’s for our older readers. There was a little bit of a rivalry between DVD and Blu-ray. I’m not dialed into your target audience here. You work with something called YouTube, which is an online place where people exchange videos.
YouTube is part of a content marketing strategy that I’m big on. My whole thing is that if you’re trying to promote and market your online business then you should have some content marketing strategy. Videos should be part of that. YouTube video is the best place for that.
YouTube has evolved significantly since it started off as a place where people would post these crazy videos. Tell me how did you get into video and recording stuff that you do. It can feel quite invasive. There are some things that you watch where you think, “That shouldn’t be recorded. These should not be published in a way that anyone can see it.” There’s a load of stuff that people produce that is low random. How did you get started?
I am a former YouTuber. I grew a YouTube channel to 20 million views and 200,000 subscribers in the basketball training world. My story was I played college basketball at a small college. After that, I moved from Europe to Germany and played professionally, semi-professionally. While I was out there, I was getting paid not much or about $1,000 a month. I was out there and had all this time on my hands. I was like, “I’m still like a broke college student. I don’t have much money and I have all this time on my hands.” I dove into the online world. That’s when I first got interested in the startup culture and entrepreneurship.
When was this? Give me some timeline.
This was about 2009 and 2010. That was the pretty early stages of YouTube. It was founded in 2006.
That was still when it was YouTube before it was taken over by Google owns it now.
In 2009, Google had purchased it a little before that. There I am in Europe, no TV. I don’t speak German. I can’t watch German TV so I’m watching a lot of YouTube. There was not much on there. I’m also online doing these google searches like a lot of people did back in the day, “How to make money online? How to start an online business?”
Over your 56K modem presumably at that point.
The internet speed was not good. There were some teams out there that I played on and all I had was a hotspot. I remember one time I ran that bill up to $2,000.
That’s for downloading 6 megabytes of data.
I ran across, “Build an online course.” You can make money by doing that. I did that. I built an online course, launched it and nothing. That’s only one part of the equation.
They didn’t tell you about the other bit.
We can take those same principles from direct marketing and direct sales and apply them to a YouTube video.
It’s the traffic part. Get people to your website. That’s what brought me to YouTube. I found some resources online. It was a long time ago. It’s a blog post or something that said, “Create YouTube videos, gain attention on YouTube and then send those people to your website to buy your products.” That’s what I did. I had this product. Later down the years, I launched eleven different physical and digital products.
At that time, I had this product, started releasing basketball training content on YouTube, got a bunch of eyeballs and views, directed them over to my website where I had a free email opt-in and said at the end of my YouTube videos, “If you want the complete and step-by-step workout, click the link and head over to my website.” They entered their email and that worked great. I grew my email list to about 50,000 email subscribers and we sold products using email marketing. That was how I got my start on YouTube.
Fast forward, you’re running Vidchops. Is Vidchops the business you’re building now?
To complete the story, years later, I’m creating over 300 YouTube videos. I have thousands of videos in all my courses and programs that I’m selling. I have created over 1,000 videos several years later and I’m burnt out. I’m noticing people complaining about the same thing. YouTube was talking about editing. I was sick of editing. I would go to the gym and my wife was my camerawoman. She would have the camera and we would record 5 videos in 1.5 hours. I would come home with five videos ready to go but then I had to start editing them.
You’re like, “I have 500 hours of editing in front of me.”
I decided to solve that problem. That’s what Vidchops is. We are a flat rate video editing service for YouTubers, thought leaders, experts and anybody that creates online video. We edit for them. Our mission is to help solve the biggest issues for content creators and YouTubers. That’s what we do. Not only do we edit the video but we also have plans that will create the thumbnail image. On YouTube, you see those thumbnail images. We create highly clickable thumbnail images and upload them to your YouTube channel. We will do the title, tags, description and all that stuff. Our mission is to solve the biggest issues for YouTubers.
I can certainly concur with that. The thing with editing is, whose lens is the editor looking through? One of the biggest challenges I would have thought of is making sure that when you return an edited video, it still has that same vision or voice that it had when it arrived in the first place in its unedited form. What are the details that are involved in making sure that the edit blows the socks off the person that sent it to you?
It’s all in our process. We have a process. When new client signs up, they have to complete a form. We have an onboarding call and a process. We fill out a whole branding guide for them on our end and all that stuff. Here’s, in a nutshell, what we tell our editors, “Take a look at all their past content. Take what they’re doing and replicate it, duplicate it and then find ways to make it better.” If a client comes to us and we’re able to create the style that they have been doing all along and make it better then that’s normally going to be a sticky client for us and somebody satisfied with our service.
There are different types of editing. You’ve got the editing where you’re cutting out the pops, coughs and dropped cameras. There’s editing that turns raw footage that’s like, “Me too,” into something truly differentiated. Is that something that you would like to be able to focus on as a part of your offering?
We love it when our clients say in their forms or let us know when they sign up, “You can be creative,” because then our editors will. If you give them the green light to be creative, they will do things that add creativity to their edit. Our editors enjoy that. Most of our clients are editing YouTube content, which is normally 9 times out of 10 talking-head videos. For us, we’ve got that dialed in. We know how to edit a talking-head video and make it better as far as creativity and stuff like that. A lot of times, it’s pretty cut and dry on how we do it.
That’s half the problem but also therein lies the opportunity. You see all of this stuff coming in. You’re in a very interesting position because you’re getting to see all of this raw information. Presumably, everybody has the same objective, which is to try and create some content that drives traffic or has an outcome. Are you able to learn from that and push back to your client’s things that have worked for other people and make it more than just an editing service? You’re becoming almost like a consultancy business.
We don’t do any straight-up hardcore consultancy but we do advise our clients on certain things. For example, if someone’s creating a YouTube video and there’s no hook at the beginning, we will tell them, “You might consider adding a hook.” In our editing process, we will look for, “Is there something we can cut from the video and add at the beginning that would hook somebody in?” We would advise on that stuff. From my viewpoint, from what I see and the way I treat it is that writing a video script or creating a video, you want to use the same principles as sales copywriters or blog post writers use.
If you take it back to the direct marketing days in sales letters, we’re taking all those same principles and using them in the online forum. When we’re talking about digital marketing and creating sales pages and websites, it’s the same principles. We can also take those same principles from direct marketing and direct sales and apply them to a YouTube video to hook a viewer, keep them engaged, talk about the problem that the viewer is facing. Talk about the solution in your video as well and be able to create good content that’s targeting that specific ideal client.
The big difference with the sales letters is that they were two-dimensional but a video is three-dimensional. You’re getting to see something of the character of the person themselves. You’re able to create some link or this feeling that perhaps, “I know you a little bit better now because I’ve watched your video.” I’ve spoken to a number of people who believe that video is very much an underused tool in engaging customers and creating this feeling of trust. Are you seeing a resurgence of videos? Are you seeing more businesses that traditionally used email and other contact forms? Are they dipping their toes into video as a customer acquisition strategy?
The word is out on that. There used to be just a few solo creators here creating content on YouTube but now you’re starting to see big brands create content. The cool thing about video is it levels the playing field for smaller businesses. I could rank for a search term on YouTube and outrank Nike if I’m selling basketball training stuff. I could outrank all these big brands. It’s good for the scrappy company. What we’re starting to see is bigger businesses are getting into it and creating online videos.
What’s the pathway for Vidchops? If you’ve got that direct connection with the client and I know you said that you’re not doing consultancy, what are the ideas you are beginning to see and sparks of inspiration, having been exposed to all of these people with their attempts to rise to the top of the pile? What have you extracted from that in terms of key messages that you would communicate to someone that’s stepping into this for the first time?
The hardest thing about video is that you can’t type up a blog post and publish it. You have to get on camera and deliver your lines. You’re very opinionated about what your stuff looks like. Many people record a video and never end up publishing it. My advice to people is to understand the fact that you’re only going to get better. With every single video release, you’re going to improve. I saw that firsthand. My basketball training videos were terrible at first.
Over time, you get better on camera and at delivering your lines, even to this day. I’ve made so many videos. It’s second nature to me like, “What’s up, guys? Augie Johnston here. BallerBootCamp.com. In this video, I’m going to teach you how to crossover in basketball.” It’s second nature now. I’m sure it’s the same for you with this show.
This is my first one. I’m a little late in it. It’s a little scripted here. I’ve got four of coaches behind me whispering in my ear telling me what to do. You’re right. What happens is you start off by trying and talking about who’s the audience. After a while, you think, “I’m going to forget about it. I’m going to do it.” That’s half the battle.
People try and assume other characters or other personas because they think that that’s what their audience wants. That shines out in videos. You end up defeating the object. Is your advice is to be you? I know it’s terribly trite and overused. If that is the case, a two-part question here. Two for the price of one. How do you teach someone to be themselves?
It’s all about camera presence. That’s what you’re talking about. How do you have a good camera presence? There are a few things you can do. You talked about authenticity. You want to be authentic in your videos. The advice that I give is you want to be like an actor but you want to act like yourself. You don’t want to be on camera like you’re sitting at dinner talking to your wife like, “How was your day, honey?”
You definitely want to be authentic in your videos. Act as yourself but double your energy.
You got to pick it up a little bit. There is a little bit of acting involved. You got to act like yourself. Also, another piece of advice is to double your energy. Bring a little bit more energy than you might normally. From what I’ve seen, those two tips right there are enough to get somebody to be happy with how they look on camera.
There’s so much training. You must be screaming silently when you see some of this stuff, where you want to pick up the phone and say, “Be a bit more dynamic for God’s sake. Otherwise, I’m going to file your video under the cure for insomnia.” It would drive me mad doing all this. You would want to say, “Just a little bit more. Don’t wear a pink shirt on a pink background or stuff like that only because I’ve done that in the past.”
We run across that and it happens. At the same time, you can do and improve a lot with the edit using B-roll and that stuff. It’s going to be as good as who is on camera. For the person creating the video, that should be your mission. If you’re creating videos, how can you be better on camera? You will get better in time.
Apart from these, “Don’t worry. You will get better,” in other words, you couldn’t possibly get any worse. What other advice? We’ve got energy, talk to your wife like you would never talk to your wife and act like yourself. I don’t want to do that because I want people to think “He sounds and looks like Daniel Craig. Is that Daniel Craig?” How do you get that without acting lessons?
Another thing that I will throw out there and another tip I give people is to have a cadence almost like a rapper raps on a beat or a singer has a melody. That’s another tip. As you deliver your lines, you’re going to develop some cadence and you can stick to that cadence.
As opposed to being flat. I hear you saying that flat monotone is yesterday’s news. Is that right?
Exactly. You don’t want to be flat monotone. You want to have a rhythm to how you speak. Otherwise, people are going to think you’re reading off a blog post. That’s not what you want. Another piece of advice that I’ll give out, this is the main thing and we already talked about marketing is, you want to create videos for your ideal customer.
When I’m talking about creating YouTube videos, to everyone that’s reading, I’m not talking about becoming a famous YouTuber and making some good money off the ads on YouTube. I’m talking about using online videos on YouTube to build leads and get more customers for your business. When you create these videos, you want to make sure that you’re having a call to action at the end of your video and sending them to an actual offer.
When you create them, keep your ideal customer in mind and create videos that they would find interesting. The main key to this whole thing in succeeding on YouTube is creating videos that your ideal customer would want to watch so that they watch them all the way through and go binge-watch all of your content. That’s the name of the game.
People use the expression the avatar. What you’re saying is that I shouldn’t leap in. I should do some homework and try and figure out who my customer is. I know who my customer is. My customer is someone who buys my stuff. Is it more than that? Are we trying to recognize why those people are customers? When you’re on the journey of finding out who your customer is, what questions would you ask of yourself?
Let’s take the basketball training YouTube channel I had. My customers were 12 to 18-year-old boys that played basketball. That was normally my customer. What problems do they have? What things are they looking for on YouTube? Imagine having a bad game in basketball where you missed the game-winning free throw. The next day you wake up, what are you looking for on YouTube? How to shoot a free throw? That’s a video topic that I’m coming up with.
For Vidchops, we want to attract YouTuber clients and people that are creating online videos. Those are our ideal customers. What’s something that would interest them? How to light your YouTube video? How to speak on camera? All of these are topics that you can go and create video content for, show up in the newsfeed and get in front of the people that you want to get in front of.
As part of the onboarding process, there’s a questionnaire. Are you going to help me figure out who my customer is? The chances are I’ve jumped in with both feet and started recording the video without giving that any thought. Do you help give structure to people in terms of thinking about not only what they’re going to say but who they’re going to say it to?
Normally, our clients are a little further down the path than what you’re describing right here. We do offer through email and stuff some minor consultation. We do get those every now and then, “What should I make my videos about?” Those are people that are starting their journey. Normally, those aren’t our clients because if you’re paying $600 a month then you are a little further down the road and know who your avatar is.
Knowing how much and how valuable video can be is an astonishingly valuable proposition. I can see what you’re effectively doing. It was important to figure out where you are in terms of who your customer is. Your customer is typically someone who’s producing a lot of content, knows their way around is getting some momentum is getting the feel of it but is now, like you, being snowed under by hours of editing that needs to be done. You’re doing the heavy lifting for them in that space.
The very first client that we ever got was a tech review channel. It was Andru Edwards. He does tech reviews. When he signed up for us, I remember his first email came in like, “I can’t believe this finally exists. I and my YouTuber friends have been talking about something like this for a long time.” When I heard that, I was like, “I have something here because he said, ‘My YouTuber friends and I have been looking for something like this for a long time.’”
What you’re doing is you are doing something that few entrepreneurs do, which is to identify and solve a problem as opposed to creating content for the hell of it. Is there a different approach? I know that you talk about YouTube but there are other media like TikTok, Instagram, other shorts and even videos that you would present on Facebook, even though it’s not designed for that. Are there different approaches that you need to take because the media or the audience is different?
You will want different calls to action on different platforms. You want to edit for those platforms too. For example, a short little 16×9 regular YouTube format video doesn’t look great on Instagram. What most people do as part of their content marketing strategy is they will create one piece of content for YouTube. Everyone knows the strategy. They will repurpose that video and re-edit it for Instagram, LinkedIn or something like that.
To take it one step further, they will go and create the blog post on their website, embed the video, create an entire blog post for that and that blog post can rank on Google. That’s a pretty typical and common content marketing strategy and definitely one that I recommend too. It’s one that I did with my basketball training business, with Vidchops and everything. That does work well.
There are other things that you’ve discovered that very few people are doing. They’re such simple things to do that could make a material difference to the effectiveness of their video marketing campaigns.
We’re talking about content marketing but we could talk about other ways that video is used online to drive sales. There are video ads, Facebook video ads and Instagram video ads. Those are super powerful ways to advertise your business. We use them a lot with Vidchops. Imagine this. You create a great video that tells all about your company, you and what you do. You tell a story that’s captivating and builds rapport. You can show that to whoever you want on Facebook.
Anybody that watches 75% or 50% of that video, you can then cookie them and show them the next video in your sequence. You could tell the entire story of your brand and all along add different things to get the customer more interested in your product. Tell stories and create a whole automated system that turns cold traffic, people who never heard about you, into warm traffic who eventually become customers. That’s powerful.
One of the other people that I spoke to talked about rehumanizing communications where emails, spam and this are a constant deluge of messages and images, there’s no humanity there and no connection. What advice would you give when someone’s putting videos together to try and create content with the purpose of engaging them for their business? What are the key messages that you have found that have been most successful in all the videos that you have seen?
If we’re talking about video ads then the same marketing principles apply to copywriting. It’s the same thing. You want to start that video with a hook, hook in your audience and then talk about the problem. Talk about what the problem is, “Is video editing taking up all your time? Did you have to miss your kid’s soccer game?”
You can agitate the problem, talk a little bit more about it and then tell them your solution, “There’s a solution out there, Vidchops or whatever your company is.” Give a simple call to action at the end. It’s not that complicated. People get overwhelmed. “I got to create a Facebook video ad. I have no idea. Let me google it.” Hook them, talk about the problem, agitate the problem and give them a solution and a call to action at the end. That’s it.
There are lots of discussion about content versus audience. In other words, “If my content is no good, don’t worry. If I segment the right audience, I’m always going to score.” Do you find that works? Is it always the content?
You got to have good content. When I say good content, I’m not talking about high production value. I’m talking about the words that come out of your mouth. If there’s value there, if people see you as an expert, if you teach them something and it works for them then they’re more likely to buy from you.
Do you think that at the top of the tree in terms of things that work best is that sense of genuineness, connection and someone speaking from the heart rather than reading from a script or pretending to be someone they’re not?
Generally, authenticity will normally win. What you’re looking for in a video is you want to test it. If you’re running an ad, bust out the selfie video and create an ad. Check it out and run it for $5 to $10 a day. What’s your click-through rate? How many people are seeing your ad and clicking it? Is it 2%? Why not create one more with a little bit different messaging and words that are coming out of your mouth and run a test?
You can do that. Run a test and see, “The new video is getting a 4% click-through rate.” Four percent of the people that see it click it. You doubled the amount of traffic in one test. You can do the same on your website. When people land on your website, you already know what I’m going to say, there should be a video sales letter. You can do the same thing. How many people are landing on this page and buying, 1%? Let’s change the video and the messaging, “It’s now 2%.” You doubled your business.
From your perspective, it’s great because if I don’t have the editing issue and can cut raw video, I can refresh my sales message every month, every week or every day if I wanted to.
You’ve got to have good content, not in terms of high production value but the words that come out of your mouth.
When you’re creating video ads, that’s what you want to do. You want to focus on new creatives and create new creatives and new videos to keep it fresh because it will get old. It’s that same video popping up in the newsfeed.
For some businesses, you can have the message from the CEO, which is updated every month. If you’ve got that editing where you’re bringing in higher production values then it makes that much more accessible. Your talking-head is going to get better because they know that they don’t have to worry about cutting out the crap staff and keeping the good stuff in because you’re going to do that for them.
It makes the process way more streamlined. I love it myself to be able to record, upload, hit enter and then forget about it.
What if you don’t like the stuff that comes back from Vidchops, for example? If it’s like, “It’s okay but you missed the main point that I was trying to get across. I know that’s my fault.” Are you pretty flexible on difficult customers?
That’s called a revision. That happens all the time. If you want a color change or anything then you can ask for a revision. Revisions take us one day. We have developed an in-house app where our clients complete the form and submit it. It’s got a project management aspect to it. When they get it back, it has a video player in it with a timestamp tool. They can press play on the video and at any time they can type in a comment, “Change this.” It will leave a little timestamp there so the editor knows exactly what you’re talking about. It works well for our clients.
Where to next? Where’s the next iteration? Where’s Vidchops? If you’re growing horizontally, how do you grow vertically? What are the plans for Vidchops or for you?
Like every founder, we’re constantly trying to be visionary and think of new things. Our mission is to help YouTubers solve their biggest issues. I could see this app continue to evolve and be something where it can come up with video ideas and video scripts for clients using some machine learning and AI stuff and help with YouTube SEO research.
Those are the next steps. I’m interested in machine learning and AI and how they can be used to write. We’re starting to see a lot of apps pop up that can write a blog post for you. In my head, how can I use machine learning and AI to write a video script that keeps viewers watching and covers a topic in detail? That’s the visionary idea there.
You’ve got even more ways of engaging people and whether the hook becomes more effective. Once you’re in this space, the more people you work with, the more data you get and see what works and doesn’t work. You’re the hub in the middle of the wheel collecting all of this valuable information. That can only benefit your customers, presumably.
We want to keep serving YouTubers. I don’t think this YouTube content creation thing is going to go anywhere. It’s going to keep getting bigger. The crazy thing is that they did a study and asked a bunch of ten-year-old kids what do they want to be when they grow up? Back in the day, it was a firefighter or doctor. Nowadays, the answer is YouTuber.
“I want to be Mr. B-6,000. Mr. Unspeakable.” I have to listen to this stuff. I have young kids.
They’re probably starting to want to create videos themselves.
It’s ice hockey first, gentlemen.
I’m with you on that one. My son is going to be bouncing a basketball.
I would imagine that he’s going to have a rather good coach or at least some videos to watch. We shall take that as an opportunity to shift gears and move on to the show’s quick-fire questionnaire. Are you ready to garner all of your professional experience? Fasten your safety belt, Augie Johnston and scream if you want to go faster.
Let’s do it. I’m ready.
Question number one, what is your favorite word?
What is your least favorite word?
What are you most excited about?
I’m excited about machine learning and AI. We’re going to see some cool apps coming out in the near future that can do amazing things.
Question four. What turns you off?
The whole makes money online niche or the fake guru type of people.
These were all the people that presumably were cryptocurrency specialists previously and before that. I do understand you and agree with you there. Question number five. What sound or noise do you love?
I love when the ball goes through the hoop swish.
What sound or noise do you hate?
The sound of my son crying.
Also, the sound of the ball when it misses the hoop.
That’s much worse.
Question seven. You may plead the Fifth on this. What is your favorite curse word?
That’s the longest curse word in the history of mankind.
It’s the longer version.
Number eight. What profession, other than your own, would you like to attempt?
Programming. Software developer.
Conversely, what profession would you not like to attempt?
How about an emergency room nurse? That would be a tough one.
Bring your gloves. Final question. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?
“At least you tried.”
It’s been such a pleasure having you on. How do people get in touch with you? How do they find out about Vidchops, what you’re providing and how to sign up for something that is rampantly good value?
Thank you for that. You could check us out at Vidchops.com if the video editing service thing is interesting to you. You also can follow us on Twitter @Vidchops and feel free to reach out to me. Send me a direct message on Twitter and I will get back to you.
Thank you so much for being another guest/victim on Hooked On Startups. I’m looking forward to staying in touch. Look out because another customer is coming your way.
Thanks for having me on.
It’s a pleasure.