Advanced Video Strategies for Building an Authentic Personal Brand: TubeTalk 196 Renee Teeley

Are you active on YouTube or LinkedIn but want to know more about growing your personal brand via video? On this week's episode of TubeTalk, we talk to Renee Teeley about how to do that as authentically as possible.

So you have a YouTube channel, and you're doing all the right things, but you feel like something is missing. You should be doing a lot more to get that exposure, so in this week’s episode of TubeTalk we're talking about some advanced YouTube strategies that you can use to promote your content but also build your own brand via video.

As content creators, our time is valuable. There's only so many hours in the day, and there's only so much we can produce, so how do we get the most out of our time and maximize our reach?

Today I'm speaking to Renee Teeley, who is the founder of Video Explained and the co-host of Video Marketing Value Podcast. Renee has also been named as one of the top people to follow on how to use video content to engage and educate throughout the buyer's journey.

Renee has been helping video creators since 2006, so she knows a thing or two about maximizing your output. Let's take the opportunity to dive into some advanced strategies that we can do to help our channels, help our reach, and make some money on YouTube. In this podcast you will learn:

  • How to build a personal brand with video
  • Why it's OK not to publish video on every platform
  • How to squeeze the value out of every video
  • How to identify which platform your core audience uses
  • Why you should upload content natively to each platform

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Advanced Video Strategies for Building an Authentic Personal Brand: Full Transcript

Liron Segev: Renee, welcome to Tube Talk.

Renee Teeley: Hey, thanks for having me. I'm super excited to be here.

Liron Segev: Well we're going to be talking about awesome advanced tips for YouTubers and video content creators as a whole. Renee, for people who don't know you, how do we sum you up in a tweet?

Renee Teeley: Yeah, so the professional side of me, I typically say that I help companies strategically use video to drive business results.

Liron Segev: Today what we want to do is I want to dive in a little bit deeper into the whole video content creation element of it. We know the basics. We know we have to have a good thumbnail and a good title. We know we've got to shoot good content, and we've got to cater our video based on our audiences.

So a LinkedIn audience is going to be different to a YouTube audience. We understand all that. The problem that I am seeing a lot of and people are complaining about is you want me to be on all platforms and shoot video for every platform that's out there because my audience is out there. How on Earth do I mass produce content? I simply don't have that kind of time.

Renee Teeley: Yeah. So this is a really good topic. I love this topic. And the first thing is I actually don't think that you need to be everywhere. So I know a lot of people say that, that you need to be on all platforms, but I don't agree with that. I think that it's fine to strategically choose your platforms and to create content for those platforms. If you're a business, I think it makes a lot of sense to be on the majority of platforms out there, but I think it's okay to strategically pick your platforms.

Liron Segev: So fish where the fish are. So if your audience is not there, why are you spending a lot of time and energy going to a platform nobody cares about?

Renee Teeley: Yeah, absolutely, and the more platforms you're on, the more work that's involved. Even if you're creating one piece of content and repurposing that in different ways to different platforms, it still takes time and resources. And so we all have a limited amount of time and resources, so pick the ones that are most appropriate for you and strategically spend your time there. So that's the first piece of it. But the second piece of it is figuring out ways to get more value out of the content that you are producing.

Liron Segev: Okay, so let's unpack that a little bit more. I've got to be on YouTube, I want to be on LinkedIn, and let's just say Instagram. Very different audiences, but I still have to produce content for each and every one of those platforms. How do I do it as a mass production when I just don't have that kind of time?

Renee Teeley: Yeah, so I love the platforms that you picked because those happen to be the three that I'm actually on. I promise we didn't discuss this in advance, it just turned out that way!

So yeah, so I typically produce content with YouTube in mind as my main platform and then repurpose a lot of that for LinkedIn and Instagram. And I think with Instagram, it's a very visual platform, so it's okay to do some behind the scenes. You can also do a lot of photos kind even if your main type of content is video. So you can think about ways of promoting it not just in video form, but also with images.

And then the way that I typically use video on LinkedIn is that I'll take the video that I produced for YouTube, and I'll edit it down into something that is friendly for LinkedIn. I also always add captions to my LinkedIn videos. So often on LinkedIn, when you're scrolling through your feed, it will autoplay in your feed the videos, and typically that happens with the sound off. And so to give people context to what the video is about instead of just a talking head where no sound is coming out, if you have captions on your videos, they can at least get a little bit of context before they decide to listen to the video.

To actually like click that video and have the sound playing on, or maybe they decide they just want to watch the video with the sound off and they can read along with your caption.

So I think the most important thing is to figure out why people are on those platforms to begin with. Make sure you're producing content that actually resonates with that audience before you even post it there, and then think about the context in which they're viewing that and make it appropriate to that.

So with LinkedIn, as I said I typically add captions. I also just make sure that the post, the text that accompanies the video, is relevant and gives people an idea of what the content is about. So before they even watch that video, there's something relevant that's in the post. So that's pretty important. I think that LinkedIn is still a text-based platform in many ways, and so it's good to give some context to your videos.

Liron Segev: All of this is actually feeding off your main video, which you said you shot for like YouTube?

Renee Teeley: Yeah, that's the way that I typically do it. Sometimes I'll shoot videos that's specific for LinkedIn that are more casual, and those are quick videos, but my main type of production is geared towards YouTube, and then I repurpose that for other platforms.

Liron Segev: Okay, so I think that's important. YouTube is where we put the most effort because there are transitions, there's an intro, there's an outro, it's usually long-form content or longer than the other platform. There's a lot of golden nuggets in those YouTube clips that perhaps you could simply cut out and then do the strategic placement using captions, using a nice, colorful border, getting someone to stop what they're doing and go, "Oh, watch this."

Renee Teeley: Yeah, absolutely. Often times when people are just getting started promoting content on LinkedIn, they're just going to share a link to their YouTube video, and I highly recommend against that.

So when you're uploading content to the different platforms, as much as possible, try to share content natively. Which means that if you have a video that you've produced, try to upload those to the platforms, because it's just going to get more visibility.

All of the algorithms today on each of these platforms, they're trying to keep people on their own network, their own platform instead of driving them away. And so you're just going to get a lot more value out of giving someone some information directly in the platform that they're in instead of trying to push them to another platform.

Liron Segev: And whilst we're on that topic, what are your thoughts on doing maybe a teaser kind of video on LinkedIn or Instagram and saying, "To watch the full video, head over to my YouTube."

Renee Teeley: Yeah, so I think that's a common strategy that people do, especially for LinkedIn, trying to get views on LinkedIn and to promote their content. I think that it makes sense if you have longer-form content on YouTube, but if it's short-form content, it's a two-minute video, I would just upload the whole video.

Liron Segev: Right, makes sense. And I suppose you are speaking to a different audience anyway. So your maybe short version content is going to do better on LinkedIn if you're addressing a LinkedIn audience versus my normal rant and raves on my YouTube, for example?

Renee Teeley: I think that's a good point that you mentioned that on LinkedIn it's geared towards shorter form content. If you have a long video that you're posting on YouTube, you might want to slice that up into a couple of different topics, and then each of those topics can be its own video that you upload to LinkedIn.

Liron Segev: I like that. Yeah, that's great. So maybe you spoke about five different tips to have better productivity, make five separate shorter video clips for LinkedIn, and then that's beautiful. That actually will work really well. So lots of content just being used multiple times differently.

Renee Teeley: Yeah. Absolutely. And then you can do the behind the scenes for Instagram.

Liron Segev: People love that. They want to know what's going on, how did you get that shot, what's going on behind the camera? And those are so quick and easy to produce, right?

Renee Teeley: Yeah, they're super quick. But people love them. You can get a lot of value out of those. Absolutely.

Liron Segev: I suppose people want to see that even if you're engaging with a company, at the end of the day there's still a person behind that lens. There's still a human being that you're trying to make a connection with. So seeing someone upload their bloopers, for example, and everyone laughs and they're just having a good time makes you have that more intimate connection with that brand.

Renee Teeley: Yeah it does, you know, I've actually been thinking about this a lot recently, and there's so much content out there. So if someone is watching your video, they're watching because it's you. So you should look for ways to infuse a little bit of your personality. Even if you're doing tutorials and how-to videos, look for ways you can include your personality. And behind the scenes, that's a great way to do that and to show a little bit about you.

Liron Segev: Okay. Love that. So again, very quickly, have your main base, assuming it's YouTube, and then cut it up and then repurpose the same content, make it appeal to that audience, and then even add in some personality for behind the scenes kind of stuff.

I love all of that. I think that's going to save us a lot of time because a lot of people have it in their heads that everything needs to be this massive, massive production every single time. And it really doesn't need to be. And these are great examples of how you can quickly leverage both multiple channels.

And now with video, it's a great way to give you exposure. It's a great way for you to engage with an audience. But I mean we are talking about advanced tips. So could I use my videos, be it my YouTube channel or my LinkedIn profile, and actually get some speaking gigs out of this and go take my show on the road and be in front of a crowd. Is that possible?

Renee Teeley: It's absolutely possible and I do that on a consistent basis. It's especially helpful when you're first starting out with booking speaking sessions. So if you haven't spoke at a conference before, having a video that actually shows a little bit of your style and level of expertise is going to help you get that first gig, book that first session. But it's also going to help you on an ongoing basis.

So for example, I speak about a couple of different topics, all related to video, but sometimes it's about personal branding, sometimes it's about content marketing, sometimes it's about videos to engage throughout the buyer's journey. So different types of topics. And I have videos that talk about each of those things. And so if I'm applying to talk at a conference, I have a video that's a little bit of my style that people can see. It's not exactly the same as speaking at a conference, so video is a bit different, but it at least gives the conference organizers just a little taste of your style before they actually book you.

Liron Segev: And I think for the audience as well. If I was organizing a conference, I see that you're producing content continuously, you're getting great comments and engagement with every one of your videos, I know the people are hanging onto your every word, you're going to make a good speaker for my event even though you've maybe never spoken before.

But just the way that you're presenting yourself, it's almost like a resume. "Hey, this is what I do. Look at how people are enjoying my content. I could speak at your event too." You're sending that message everywhere. It's almost like a cool little way to predict someone as opposed to, "Hey what's your bio, email that over." It doesn't really tell you much.

Renee Teeley: Yeah, and I've actually had a lot of conference speakers find me through my videos. Whether it's through YouTube or LinkedIn, so instead of me having to apply to speak at a conference, they've seen my video and identified me as someone who would be good to speak about that topic at their conference.

So you can use videos in lots of different ways. So it's not just about showing an example of your style, but it's also a way of actually connecting directly with those conference organizers, and for them to identify you and reach out to you.

Liron Segev: Yeah, and I love it. We don't want to see a copy and paste of somebody else. I want to listen to you because I'm connecting with the way that you're doing things. I might want to listen to another speaker because they're, I don't know, they've got their way of doing it, which helps me in a different way. So injecting yourself into everything that you do seems to be pretty important on your list, right?

Renee Teeley: Yeah, it really is. And I think when I started off in video and putting myself on camera, I didn't actually inject my personality into it. I stuck to the bullet points and kind of always adding value, and I still do that today, but I think now I'm more comfortable being on camera and in video. Injecting my personality into it has really helped my personal branding, and more conference organizers have been reaching out because of that.

So I really want to encourage people to put a little bit of their personality, always show up in a professional manner, so don't be unprofessional in videos, don't show all of yourself. Show a professional version of yourself, but include your personality.

Liron Segev: And it's okay to get weird every once in a while. We are all different, and nobody is one type 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Renee Teeley: Yeah, it's true. I love that you said it's okay to be a little weird. I spoke at a conference called the Content Marketing Conference. And while I was there, I met a woman named Rachael Kay Albers. And we've stayed in contact on LinkedIn, and so I see a lot of her videos there.

She has a show called the Awkward Marketing show, and it is incredibly awkward and hilarious. Like she brings her weird self front and center to her marketing videos, and it's part of her branding. Like it's just incredible content. So yeah, absolutely. You can bring your weird self to your videos and you can use that in a lot of interesting ways.

Liron Segev: And that's what's cool about video, because you can bring all of that out and let your audience connect with it. Try a bunch of things, see which one works well, which ones you feel the most comfortable with, and then which one is your audience obviously going to respond to. And then roll with it. Take it from there. It doesn't all have to be copy and paste, and I love that message that you're bringing across here.

Since we are talking about LinkedIn, we're talking about video tips, you've saved us a bunch of time because we're repurposing our content, you've told us how to do that, we are now booking some speaking gigs, because again, these are advanced tips for people who have been in the game for a while and want to maybe take that level up. The big question is what about the money? How do I get to that level? I do my free speaking stuff to get exposure, but realistically you can't eat exposure, you can't pay your bills with exposure. You pay it with cash. How do I get some of that cash?

Renee Teeley: Such a good question. There are lots of different ways to make money on video. Brand deals, that's one part of it. Speaking at conferences. That's another way to do it. So initially when you start speaking at conferences, there's a good chance you're going to do it for free. You're going to do it for exposure. And instead of actually having conferences make you money, it might cost you money, because oftentimes you have to pay for travel to speak at conferences.

And so initially yeah, it might cost you money to do that. But eventually, as you get to a point where you really have a good message to share, you have a good style, you can start doing keynote sessions and charging for that. And so eventually you can build that into making money.

The other thing is speaking sessions don't just have to be at conferences. You can get paid to lead workshops. That's another type of event. It's easier to get paid to lead a workshop than it is when you're first starting at conferences. So you can look for different types of events to get paid. In terms of brand deals, LinkedIn is such a great place to connect with different people for brand deals, sponsorships, opportunities to collaborate with people. So lots of different ways that you can get brand deals out of that.

What I typically recommend is if you're a video creator and your content is your main thing, so you're not using video to sell something, to market something. Video, that's your main content and you're looking for brand deals and sponsorships, look for companies that are 100% aligned with what you do.

So instead of just thinking about how much they typically will pay, some type of CPM or based on the audience that you have, the size of audience that you have, look for companies that are really targeted and want to work with you specifically because of your niche.

So if you can niche down and have a very targeted audience, even if it's a small audience, it can be really valuable for your sponsors. When you're much bigger and you have a large following, so if you're Peter McKinnon and you're getting millions of views, it's much different. And then pretty much everyone wants to work with you.

Liron Segev: Then it becomes the other way around. People chase you down.

Renee Teeley: Yes, absolutely.

Liron Segev: And if you're kind of not at the Peter level but you're also not starting out, you haven't just recently discovered your wings, you've been doing this for a while, you've got a bit of an established base, how would I perhaps use LinkedIn to maybe reach out to a brand?

Are there any tips there? Should I be searching for someone specific, do I look for a brand manager, do I look for a PR company? Where would I start using LinkedIn and showcasing my video to kind of almost start getting that eyeballs and attention of somebody else?

Renee Teeley: So the people that you would connect with for brand deals, they go by different titles. So it makes it a little hard. At some companies they actually have someone who is specifically responsible for influencer marketing. So if someone has influencer in their title, so an influencer manager or something like that, that's a great person to connect with.

Often times it's also just a marketing manager or director of marketing or VP of marketing. But I would really recommend that you start trying to get the attention of people at the companies that you want to work with. So instead of just messaging them directly, I'm sure a lot of people do this, instead of just messaging them and saying, "Hey, I want you to sponsor me," try to get their attention.

And so the way that I typically do this is I'll figure out the types of companies I want to work with, and I might just reach out directly and ask to connect with a few people, but I don't just message them and say, "Hey, do you want to sponsor my content?"

I start sharing their content, I start commenting on their posts on LinkedIn, and then I also start posting things and tagging them in my posts, something that's relevant to them. If I want to do like a top 10 list of LinkedIn creators, or a top 10 list of YouTube creators, I'll start tagging them in that. And so it's just a way to get their attention and to get in front of them and to start building up a relationship. I don't recommend that if they don't know who you are, that you just directly reach out to them and ask them to collaborate or ask them to sponsor you, whatever it might be. It just feels a little spammy. You haven't built up that relationship yet.

Liron Segev: I love your way. Your way is great. It's not about connecting with the brand. It's almost, "Hey, they would be interested in this. I'm adding value to their company. Let me kind of grab their attention on something I'm already doing." As opposed to, "Hey, you don't know me, I don't know you, but send me money, send me a product."

Renee Teeley: Yeah, and if you're able to get their attention, if you do it in the right way, they'll actually reach out to you and ask to sponsor your content or ask to collaborate with you kind of depending on what you're looking for.

I've had this with people that I want to work with. And instead of me having to ask them, I built up a relationship with them in a way that they then reach out to me and say, "You know what, I think we'd be a great fit to work with each other." And they might propose something. And that's a great feeling when you don't even have to be the person initiating that.

Liron Segev: Oh absolutely. But now, this is only on LinkedIn. Could the same kind of strategy of adding value, tagging people in, could that work off LinkedIn with Twitter or Facebook or others?

Renee Teeley: I think you can do it on any platform. I focus on LinkedIn because I work with a lot of businesses, and so it's my kind of area of expertise is helping companies use video. And so LinkedIn is just a great platform for that. But I also connect with a lot of the same people on various platforms, and we have different conversations.

And so look for ways to connect with them on whichever platform that they're on. And it actually is a really great strategy to connect with people on multiple platforms because they're going to see you in different places, they're going to see you, and they're also going to see that you understand how to use each of the different platforms to their fullest ability.

Liron Segev: I love that. That's great. She actually snuck in a bonus tip there. So when you do the right things on other platforms, other people can see it, they can see that you understand how to use that platform, making you once again more valuable to them and your future collaboration.

That was almost a sneaky one that you let get past us. Nice try, but we do pick these things up. So as we're ending up, is there any message that you want to send out there? So I always like to kind of ask people this question. If you could put something in a tweet that all content creators are going to see, what would that message be?

Renee Teeley: Oh man, that's a tough one. I know it's a little cliché to say be yourself, but I really like this idea of infusing a little bit of your personality in everything that you do. And it's taken me a long time to do that, and I wish I had started doing this much earlier. But when someone is watching your content, they really are watching because of you. So infuse a little bit of you in everything that you do, including your videos.

Liron Segev: Yeah, that's a great, great message. As I always like to say, be yourself, everybody else is already taken. This is what it boils down to. If people want to get a hold of you, they want to follow you on social media, they want to see what you're up to, learn from you, what's the best place to connect with you, how do we find you?

Renee Teeley: You can connect with me on LinkedIn. Matter of fact, you can just look for Renee Teeley on any social platform. I'm the only Renee Teeley, so it's pretty easy to find me. But LinkedIn is a great way to connect with me. I also have a new video series that's coming out soon called Video Explained, so I have a new YouTube channel.

So if you're interested in kind of following along with more of my content, finding me on YouTube is a great way to do that. But also I'm pretty active on LinkedIn, so just connect with me on LinkedIn as well.

Liron Segev: Superb. And we're going to have all those linked in the show notes in this episode, so if you missed anything, simply go down and click on that and then meet up, connect, definitely if you see her at an event, definitely go and say hi, and you'll just never know it's a great, great value. Always fantastic with you. Thank you very much for sharing with us on Tube Talk today. I really appreciate your time.

Renee Teeley: Thank you. This was so much fun.

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