social marketing

niching down and content creation on iphone only

00:00: We are back on the road again, we are on Highway 67 south, on our way from Fort Worth Texas to San Antonio. And can I be honest with y’all? I’ve been feeling really gasy lately. [music] 00:25: Alright. So big changes coming to the channel. I mean this is a new channel, so it’s like, can I even say big changes at this point? I will say that from a content creation standpoint, I think that…

Well, I feel like I’ve put some time in. We’re on 30 videos, past 30 videos, right around there. I’ve got over 400 subscribers now, which is tiny compared to other video channels here on YouTube. One thing that is interesting though that’s happened is that I have already hit over 100000 views on my videos, so that’s wonderful news for me. I didn’t anticipate that that would hit, I thought that I would probably hit 100 videos first, and then I thought that I would get to a thousand subscribers then maybe I would hit 100000 views. So the organic SEO is alive and well on this channel. The problem is, is that it is disproportionately good when compared to the number of subscribers that I have and the engagement, I don’t have a whole lot of engagement.

So I’m working on it. This is definitely a terrific experiment for me. So now that I’m at 30 videos, and I’m able to look at data and kinda see what is generating views for the channel, what makes sense from what I know and what I can actually share with folks that is beneficial for ’em. A couple of changes that are gonna happen on the channel now. [music] 01:52: The first one is is that I have decided in my own practice and on the channel itself, that we are going to niche down to primarily food and beverage as a topic when it comes to online marketing. But that doesn’t mean that I won’t still be talking about music, I won’t be talking about events. It doesn’t mean that I won’t be talking about tech. But it does mean that the majority of my content when I’m looking at targeting an audience for the kind of social media online marketing, email, search engine optimization, the folks that I’m really going to be focused on are going to be folks in the food and beverage industry.

But that’s where I’m niching down, because in my own practice, that’s what I’m niching down to. 02:35: I won’t be picking up anybody that is not in the food and beverage space. In fact, I’ve already turned down three opportunities because of that. And that’s painful, saying no is hard, especially when you’ve got folks that are coming to you who wanna work with you, saying no is really hard. But I think that in the long run it should benefit my clients ’cause I should only be focusing on food and beverage moving forward when it comes to the marketing as opposed to bouncing from music and then food and beverage, and then fashion and then music again, and then quantum computing, and then business services.

It’s really hard to stay creative and to really own a niche. It’s impossible to own a niche when you’re bouncing around between all these different niches, right? So I’ve gotta get through this hump of kind of bringing on clients in the food and beverage industry, but the biggest challenge is gonna be saying no to folks who are not inside the industry. So, there’s that, number one, a little tweak, still doing social media. One thing that’s gonna be added to it, which is something I’m gonna bring up here in a second, is that, how should I bring this up? [music] 03:51: Let me start with this.

Back in 2013 I made a conscious decision to work with one individual client only using iPhones for all of our content creation, it was all the photography and all the video that we created with that client. And the reason being was is that we wanted to create a brand online that felt like it was accessible to the folks that we were targeting, and one of the easiest ways that we thought to do that was to produce high quality content and to produce content that was true to the brand. And this is a premium brand that also looked and felt like the same kind of content that our target audience was producing for themselves on their own social media. 04:41: And one of the easiest ways to do that was to use the gear that they used, the cameras they used to create their own content, which I think everyone knows the most popular camera on the planet is the Apple iPhone.

So we made that call, and it worked splendid, I mean it was fantastic, we nailed it. After that experience I then made a personal decision in my business, a professional decision, to shoot all my content for all of my clients for about two and a half years, only using an iPhone. I started with taking DSLRs and putting an iPhone on the cold shoe, mounting it up on top of my real camera and pretending like I was shooting with the DSLR when I was actually shooting with the iPhone. 05:26: And after having at that point in time two years of fully developed content case studies of stuff that I created with the iPhone, then I got a little bit bolder, and I just started taking the iPhone, in fact I sold all of my DSLR and mirror-less cameras, so that I didn’t have any of them accessible to me to be able to use on shoots.

So I went through that phase, I did that for about three years, and during that time for about two years of that I also used an iPad to do all my post production for photos and video. I came across a few critical moments where the iPad just would not do what I needed it to do, and it caused me quite a bit of pain, I mean show-stopping type of issues. 06:15: So, because of those and because those were so critical to the work that I did with clients, and because I’d kind of proved to myself that I could do what I was doing with iOS devices, I started moving into playing around a little bit more with point-and-shoot and mirror-less cameras for a little bit. Now, one of the reasons why I also went and made the move to the iOS devices was part of it was the challenge of it, and another part of it was kind of seeking to live a more minimalist life.

In the world that I live in with photography and video, you end up getting a lot of gear all the time, because you feel like you need to, because you feel like you need to keep up with the competition and you gotta have the latest camera. And I came to a realization that, you know what, I got into doing what I do because I like the creativity part, and actually because I wanted a way to kind of feed my soul in a way that being a programmer and a technologist wasn’t feeding my soul. 07:14: So the move to the iPhone was a bit of a move to simplify what I was doing and also to challenge myself and my art, because another reason why I was shooting at the time when I made the move on Canon 7Ds and 5Ds and I got through a point to where I knew those cameras so well that it was impossible for me to take a bad shot.

I knew the camera, I knew what it could do and increasingly it became an issue for me to where I wasn’t being challenged creatively because it was too easy to get stuff that looked professional. That’s a dumb problem to have. It’s a stupid thing to complain about, but it was something that was kind of eating away at me that it wasn’t fulfilling anymore. Alright. So I go through my iPhone phase and iOS phase for about three years, and then I come out of it. And for the last year or so, I’ve been shooting with different Fuji cameras again.

But then when I started to re-launch this channel back in January, I really hunkered down and looked for the exact right camera that would do the perfect job for me, to be the all-around camera for me, because I’m still fighting this need to have a minimalist set-up. [music] 08:34: In the hunt for finding the right camera for vlogging, the right camera to be an all-around in the field camera, but also be minimalist, super small, it’s super important that when I’m out shooting in the field that I don’t draw attention to myself, because I’m really a fan of creating content that is editorial, right? That it is candid.

I don’t want staged shots when I’m out in the field shooting for clients. I want shots of people enjoying the products that the clients provide to them, and I want them to be caught in that kind of magical moment, when they’re honestly enjoying the product versus when I pose them and say, “Okay, act like you’re having fun.” 09:22: So that’s what I’m looking for in a camera. That camera for me didn’t exist. So what I ended up with was the Canon EOS M50 which had every single thing I was looking for, except it’s not weather-resistant. And that is critical for me, because I shoot a lot of music festivals, food and wine festivals.

Being weather-resistant isn’t necessarily an issue of it being water-resistant, I think a lot of people just assume that weather-resistant means that it can withstand being splashed with water. That is not as much an issue as being sealed so that fine dust and particulates don’t get inside your lenses and don’t get inside the camera body and ruin the camera body. So the EOS M50, oh my gosh, I mean what a 90% perfect camera. Super-small footprint, check. I mean, everything about that lens or that camera was wonderful, but not weather-resistant. 10:28: So, I had to find a camera to use in the field that would serve basically the purpose of what the EOS M50 did but was weather-resistant. So I get the EOS M50, I’ve got it for the vlogging camera, I’ve got a couple of more for studio cameras, and then I get the G1X Mark 111, which is a point-and-shoot, but it’s got that same sensor in it, the dual pixel image stabilization in it, weather-resistant, but it doesn’t have the microphone jack.

What I intended to use the G1X Mark 111 for was that B-roll kind of camera out in the field, at festivals, and getting stills images that are that quality. But then, because of no microphone jack and because it’s kind of bulky, I didn’t have anything to vlog with, like I’m vlogging now in the car, I didn’t have anything to vlog with when I was on the road. So enter a GoPro HERO7 black with an external microphone set-up on it. So then I also wanted a different camera in the field that would allow me to fake drone shots. 11:30: Now, I use a DJI Spark as my drone. It’s the smallest drone that DJI makes, and for the way that I use drone footage, it’s all I need. I throw the drone up in the air, I get six to 10 seconds of smooth footage of an environment.

I take it around to the other side. I get six to 10 seconds of smooth footage from another environment. Boom, I’m done with the drone footage. So I don’t need to have a Mavic Pro or anything like that for what I’m doing for social media. So the Spark is fine there. I throw an ND filter on there if it’s too bright, we’re all good there. And then I found myself being drawn back to… I’ve done 360 video for a few years. I find myself drawn into the Insta One 360X, Insta 360 One X, whatever the heck it’s called. 12:18: I think that you probably know where I’m going here, is I went from looking for a minimalist set up to all of the sudden I’ve got, again, like eight cameras, each one of these cameras takes different batteries. So now I’ve got a backpack with not only the iPhone in it, which I still shoot half of my footage on, because they’re so good. But now suddenly I’m walking around with a backpack with the Canon point and shoot camera in it, I’ve got the GoPro set up and all it’s gear in there, I’ve got the batteries for the GoPro, I’ve got the batteries for the G1X Mark III, I’ve got the Insta One 360 X, I got the batteries for it.

Oh, by the way, all three of those cameras have different chargers on it, so you’ve got different charging bricks on ’em, different cables for ’em. 13:04: And I’m right back to square one. In fact, it’s worse off, I’m worse off than when I started this when I was shooting with the Canon. What a mess. Wow, there was a gust of wind.

With all that to say, I woke up about a week ago, and I’m like, “Man, I am so gasy, my backpack is so bloated. We’re gonna go back and we’re gonna fix this again.” I just woke up one day… Can I back up a little bit? When you’re a content creator GAS is gear acquisition syndrome, it means that you get sucked into this vortex of feeling like you have to have the exact right tool for the exact right job, and you forget that the reason why your content is good or bad, is mostly due to the person creating the content, and to a small extent dependent upon the gear that you’re using. And so, I’m gonna fix that. [music] 14:09: Everything is back on eBay. All three of the Canon M50s, back on eBay, the G1 X Mark III back on eBay, the GoPro back on eBay, moving forward, I will only be shooting content, any content moving forward, this is September 2019, with an iPhone, iPhone. The only other cameras that I’m gonna keep in my backpack are gonna be the Insta-360 One X, which is this doohickey guy here, it’s a 360 camera.

I’ll have a couple of those with me in my bag whenever I go to shoot. I’m gonna keep the DJI Spark, ’cause obviously I can’t get drone footage out of an iPhone. 14:53: And I will use accessories with the iPhones. I mean I’m gonna use the moment lenses, I’m gonna use gimbals. I’m not gonna limit myself by saying I’m gonna be hand-holding an iPhone all the time, but the sensor from now on is gonna be the sensor out of an iPhone, and it’s going to eliminate a lot of complexity, it’s gonna make all my content super consistent again and it’s also going to allow me to focus my creative energy on creation and not have my creative energy spent on figuring out which camera I’m gonna take and whether it’s all gonna fit inside the camera bag and whether or not I’m gonna be able to get away with pulling out a bigger camera rig to shoot something at an event when I don’t have media credentials.

You know, there’s all kinds of things that’s freeze up. So that’s the path moving forward. 15:43: And also, when I spoke early on about niching down to food and beverage, from a technical standpoint, this allows me to niche down into folks that work with iPhones, work with iPhone photography. And so I’ll be able to create content that’s not only kind of social media-based, food and beverage primarily, but also smartphone mobile photography, mobile video. And the nice thing about that is I’ve been recognized by a couple of movie-making magazines as being somebody who does mobile cinematography. So that allows me to niche down in a few areas to help me kind of center my brand and grow out my brand a little bit quicker.

16:21: With all that being said, I think we’re done here. I am gonna continue on the lonely back roads of Texas till I get to San Antonio, and we’re heading to San Antonio to do a meeting with another agency, about something that’s super exciting that I can’t talk about right now. So there, there’s a teaser for you. Keep watching and maybe in the future, I’ll be able to talk about that a little bit. It is super cool. I’ll see you in the next video. [music].

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