If you follow me on Facebook and Instagram, you probably saw last week that most…
There’s no doubt that video is king right now. It’s the primary format social media sites push. It’s engaging and creates more of a personal connection with your audience. But it’s also wildly intimidating and scary for a lot of people, including yours truly. And yet here I am putting out a new video every week for 4 years running. So here’s my tips on promoting your massage practice using video.
#1 Develop some thick skin
I think this is one of the biggest hold-ups for people when the idea of doing video comes up so I want to address it first; the idea that people are going to be mean, say hurtful things, and all that. And I’m not going to tell you they don’t, because that would be a lie. You are going to have trolls, people who say mean things, and leave generally awful comments. Hopefully, with a local reach it shouldn’t be nearly as bad for you, but here’s just a sampling of some of the comments I’ve gotten.
“What a judgmental little piece of sh*t you are”
“This woman is a prude and unattractive.”
“That accent sounds dumb”
“I feel you are lying. I don’t know why but I hate you.”
I’ve been doing these weekly videos for a few years now, and yeah…I get some pretty rude comments now and then, and to be honest, when I first started, oh it was soul-crushing. I’m a people-pleaser at heart and it was extremely defeating to see some of those things written toward me. BUT I also get a lot of these…
“Your youtube channel is amazing!!!!!!”
“You’re a marketing genius!”
“THIS IS GOLD RIGHT HERE!! I can’t like this enough!!!!”
“I love your stuff.”
“Honest, frank, and very sound advice for all MTs.”
“I like your style – straight to the point and thorough :)”
And regardless of how some people just want to get online and spew hate, the majority of my audience is amazing and very complimentary, and THOSE are my people. Those are the people I make these videos for…not the ones who say crude things, or get offended by half the stuff that comes out of my mouth. My videos aren’t for them…they’re for you guys. The ones who are trying to gain some sort of knowledge so you can build your business. And the same is going to go for you and your videos. Hopefully you’ll get nothing but amazingly wonderful feedback, but just prepare yourself to get some not-so-nice comments too. Just remember that those people aren’t your ideal clients and therefore you don’t need to spend any time trying to appease them or overcome whatever comments they hurl your way. You’re not going to please everyone, ever, on anything. If the state of our world right now and the monster that is social media has taught us anything, it’s that people will argue and be hateful about literally anything on God’s green earth. It’s insane. So just keep that in mind, thicken up your skin a little bit, and let any negative stuff roll right on by.
#2 Don’t go crazy with equipment
This is where a lot of people spend way too much time and money. If you’re just starting, unless you’re wanting to do some crazy high-end production sort of thing, keep it simple. People are looking for videos that, yes are well-done, but are still personable and not some Hollywood level production. A good phone, a decent mic, and a window is pretty much all you need.
Your phone camera is pretty dang good, especially considering what you’re using it for. You do not need to invest in a high-end camera to do some marketing videos. Guess what this video is filmed on…my iphone. It’s a couple years old, but the camera is still great and videos actually look better using my phone than my professional dslr camera. Get a basic tripod for it to make setup easy and there you go. And as for the mic, I use a Yeti Mic because I need my audio to be really good here given the fact that I’m talking for several minutes and a lot longer for my classes and such, and you need to hear it very clearly. It was a little over a hundred bucks on Amazon, I think, but honestly, you don’t need to do that unless you just want to. Airpods actually have pretty good sound quality for some basic videos like you’ll probably start with. And considering most people watch videos on social media without sound, you can do videos without any sound at all. If you’re showcasing massage moves, demonstrating stretches, and things like that, you can do no sound at all or add in some free music if you want. Captions are always a good choice. Now, lighting is a bit more tricky, but it really comes down to what you’re doing in your video. If you have some larger windows that let in some good bright light, face those throughout the video and your lighting will be pretty good. Be sure to lock the exposure on your camera so it’s not auto-adjusting as you move or as cloud coverage changes the lighting though. If you don’t have windows in a convenient spot like that, you can get a basic ring light for anywhere from $40 to $100 depending on the size and accessories. Again, don’t go crazy spending here. This whole video is shot with one ring light, a table lamp behind me to soften some shadow and my office floor lamp above me. I started big when it came to equipment and spent way too much time and money on it all. Trust me, simple is best here. That’s what I’ve reverted to and it’s soooo much better.
#3 Keep it concise and purposeful
You do not need to have some 20 minute long video to sell your services. In fact, that can be really counter-productive for a lot of audiences. 10-30 second clips are actually really effective on social media and even when people are clicking around on your website. Focus on one very specific purpose for any video you do and get that point across as concisely as possible.
If you’re showing them 5 stretches for xyz condition, you’re not going to sit and do an entire stretching session. You’re giving them a basic overview of each stretch, not walking them through second by second of a full routine at different angles, holding for long periods of time, and going majorly in-depth with the discussion. You can do those longer, deeper videos for sure, but especially in the beginning, keep it short and sweet and to the point. Limited attention spans are prevalent, and the more value you can offer in the shortest amount of time is what makes your videos effective. And this also takes some of the pressure off of you on creating a ton of content. Little short blurbs are better for your audience and for you. So take advantage of that and consider what kind of value you can offer your audience in the shortest time.
#4 Use a script
If you’re super nervous when a camera cuts on and start to fumble all over your words, or you go on tangents and struggle keeping things concise, consider using a script. I’ve had a lot of people ask me how I keep my focus when doing these videos, and how comfortable I look on camera…yeah, I’m not. I’ve gotten more comfortable over time, but I definitely struggle if I’m just winging it in front of a camera, so guess what…I use scripts. I write like I talk and then I upload it to a basic teleprompter app on my phone to use as I record. Makes it a lot simpler and I don’t go off on tangents. It’s not for everyone, and if you want to start by doing silent videos with just music and captions overlaid, that’s perfectly fine. But if you’re going to speak, a script and teleprompter app can help a lot.
#5 Batch your content
Now there’s something to be said about spontaneously taken videos and times when you’re just in the moment and have something to share via video. That’s great and kudos if you’re ready to jump into that. But if you’re not, batching content helps tremendously. So what I mean by this is to sit down and develop, record, edit, and schedule a whole bunch of videos all at once. Set a couple hours aside, a whole day if you want because it will inevitably take you longer than you expect, but set that time aside, come up with the purpose of each video, any themes, and the overall value you’re offering your audience. Then write all your scripts or come up with all the notes you’ll need to prompt you if you prefer to speak off the cuff or you’re follow some specific routine or something. Then record all your videos in one sitting, edit them all, and schedule them out on social media. Doing this all in one fell swoop allows you to first, get into that creative mindset of just coming up with content, which can be hard to do just jumping in and out of marketing stuff in the midst of running your business. And secondly, you can get it all over with and you don’t have to worry about coming up with new stuff, editing, or any of that for a bit. You’ve got content ready to go out without you having to think about it for a while. So for example, I’ll take one day and write all my scripts for a month of videos, record them all, edit them all, and schedule them into social media…all in one day. I’m doing one video a week, and these are anywhere from 4 to 8 minutes or so, sometimes longer, and I’m doing 4 or 5 in a single day, getting them all ready and scheduled into YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook, along with the associated newsletter emails they go out with too, and getting all that done in pretty much one day and not having to think about it for another month. Batching is fantastic for a lot of people because you won’t feel like you’re constantly having to get on camera or think up content. Just do it all at once, get it over with, and move on with your regular schedule.
#6 You’re in charge of publishing
I know when the camera turns on a lot of people get nervous, but it’s not like you have to start doing live videos right out of the gate. You’re recording something, which means you can always start over, redo something, and edit stuff out. Editing is wonderful; cutting out those bits where you stumbled on your words, a gnat flew in your face, you need to pause for a drink, or whatever. It’s your eyes only until you choose to publish it. So just remember, just because the camera is on, doesn’t mean everything has to be just perfect throughout. Editing is your friend…use it.
#7 Focus on your ideal client
Every video has to be centered on your ideal client; providing value, informing and educating, enticing, whatever your purpose is, focus on your ideal client and their needs.
And speak to them like they’re right in front of you, like a friend at coffee…not a computer screen. It needs to feel pretty natural, so if you’re following a script, write it up how you speak, or if you’re doing things off the cuff, imagine the camera is one of your favorite clients. How would you explain this to them? What do they want to know about? What grabs their attention? Now do all of that in front of a camera.
#8 Just start
Video is intimidating, but take a look around and see just how many massage therapists in your area, those that would be followed by ideal clients, how many are using video? Probably not a lot. So if you can pave the road on that front, do it. You’ll stand out from every other therapist, every other spa, every other clinic, if you’re doing something that no one else is in your area. And even if a few are, it’s not like you can’t jump on in and make yourself a real competitor in the marketplace. You still have something valuable and unique to offer, knowledge to share, and clients to serve. Just get out there and do it.
So I challenge you today, take out your phone, stand in front of a window or go outside, and record just 10 seconds of video. Anything. A stretch. A basic introduction of yourself, who you are, your business name, and the clientele your serve. A quote from a happy client who just left. Whatever it is, you don’t even have to post it right this minute, just get in front of a camera and record yourself. You have to start somewhere. So just do it.