Have you ever felt overwhelmed with all the ways you can market your business online?
I have found that video is the most cost-e ective way to grow your business. I have also found that videos don’t need to be perfect, polished or professionally filmed to grow your profile, influence and income. In fact imperfect video is relatable and works even better at converting. Research states that a landing page with a video has a conversion rate of up to 80% higher. Back in 2009 I received a phone call from my son’s specialist saying, “We need to start planning for Nicholas’s kidney transplant.” I knew this day would come one day, I just didn’t know when. It was nearly 10 years of waiting and wondering. I sat down that night at the computer and googled – ‘How to start an online business’. At the top of the first page there was a video of a lady, Janet Beckers, who said she was a Business Coach and taught people how to start an online business. An er watching her three-minute video I clicked buy now and bought her $2000 program. I attended an event she put on and met Pam Brossman who o ered a video marketing program which I purchased as I knew I would need to have an online business so I could be present whilst my son recovered from his transplant.
“I sat on my bed and thought, “How can I start an online business and somehow help these parents at Ronald McDonald House who were feeling isolated and alone? If my son can do it and Gary Vee can do it, then maybe I could do it too and start an online Parenting TV Show. “
Nicholas was born with both kidneys mis-shaped and very small. He only had 25% kidney function.
In 2010 at the age of ten, Nicholas had a successful kidney transplant. Whilst we were staying at Ronald McDonald House I would spend most of my time in the kitchen preparing meals and talking with the other parents. It was heartbreaking hearing their stories. Some of them didn’t know when or if they would be taking their children home.
Nicholas asked me if he could start a YouTube channel as he wanted to do Toy Story reviews. I thought what a great way for him to pass the time. So I set his YouTube channel up and in a matter of weeks he came running in to our room, “Mum, mum! Check this out! There’s a kid in America doing a shout-out for me, he said, ‘Hey guys, go and check out Nick Shugg’s YouTube channel, he does Toy Story reviews and is a real cool kid,’ and look here’s another kid doing a shout-out for me in the UK!”
I was astounded how quickly he was growing a global network of friends and followers. I thought to myself, “I better get out my video marketing course and learn how to use YouTube.”
I stumbled across Gary Vee and Wine Library TV and was again astounded by the 40,000 views on one video where he shared what wine goes with particular foods/ meals.
I sat on my bed and thought, “How can I start an online business and somehow help these parents at Ronald McDonald House who were feeling isolated and alone? If my son can do it and Gary Vee can do it, then maybe I could do it too and start an online Parenting TV Show.
I didn’t have any experience in producing a show, had never done a video and didn’t really know how to use YouTube, let alone edit a video. I put a post up on LinkedIn and asked who would like to join my panel of experts for Toddlers To Teens TV. I then interviewed the women and mentored them how to do videos with the little knowledge I had from my video marketing course.
In November 2010 I launched the show with imperfect video and in a matter of weeks we were being viewed in 78 countries around the world, thanks to the power of YouTube. Disclaimer – I had never done a video before I did the one to launch our show.
The day of the launch I got dressed and did my hair and makeup and sat my laptop on top of my ironing board in the lounge room. I pulled down the white Holland blind and used that as my background. I didn’t have any lights so just used the natural lighting. I also didn’t have a lapel microphone. I didn’t write a script as I thought I would just speak from my heart. I didn’t think it would be di icult. I then spent the day avoiding doing the video and cleaned the house from top to toe and then I glanced up at the clock on the kitchen wall and saw that it was 2.30pm. “The kids will be home from school soon, I had better get this video done.” I turned my laptop on and walked towards it. My heart started pumping faster and faster and my breathing became shallow, I felt a tightening in my chest and I broke out in a lather of sweat. I thought to myself, “This is ridiculous! It can’t be that hard.” I eventually did my imperfect video and then uploaded it to YouTube. Looking back at it now it’s so amateur, but that’s not the point. The people who are struggling and need help don’t care if you do a professional video or not, they just want to know that you have the solution to their problem.
“I have to say our videos were imperfect videos. They were not the perfect polished or professionally fi lmed videos. The point is we just got ourselves out there to help people and started where we were at. As a result we all grew our profi le, income and business. “
We put out a show every week for two years and published eight imperfect videos a week. I then launched an online magazine Toddlers To Teens TV to go with the show.
I have to say our videos were imperfect videos. They were not the perfect, polished or professionally filmed videos. The point is we just got ourselves out there to help people and started where we were at. As a result we all grew our profile, income and business. We filmed using our webcams or I used a flip mino video camera that cost me $100. I had to learn how to edit videos and I started with a program called Camtasia. I eventually hired a virtual assistant from India who helped edit the eight videos every week and upload them to YouTube, our website and Facebook.
I remember being shocked one day when someone came up to me at Pacific Fair and said, “You’re Melissa Groom from Toddlers To Teens TV!” At the time I didn’t realise that video was so powerful. But looking back now, my first realisation of how powerful video is, was from googling ‘how to start an online business’ and buying a $2000 program a er watching a 2-minute video from a lady I had never met or heard of, but a er watching her video I felt a connection with her, she was relatable, looked friendly and trustworthy. As they say, video builds the know, like and trust factor.
I would also have the media call me up and ask me for my opinion on topics such as one time the local paper called me up to ask what I thought about Kick Ass the movie being 15+ in Australia when it was MA in America.
Did you know that businesses who use video grow their revenue 49% faster than non-video users? A er two years I really needed to get out of the house so I started a women’s networking group on the Gold Coast, Mums In Business Australia, which I ran every week for six years. I had to rebrand to Empowered Mums as we had a trademark issue. I also launched Mums In Business Magazine.
We had over 400 speakers at our events and I met so many wonderful entrepreneurs but what I found is they were all struggling to market themselves online.
One day I wrote a blog post and shared it on my Facebook profile. I shared my story of the adversities I had overcome in my youth having been sexually abused by two of my mother’s boyfriends. It was a positive post to inspire others to speak up and use their voice and show that you can have a happy life a er major trauma when you get the right support. I shared the things that helped me overcome my challenges I experienced as a result of years of abuse.
I received a phone call from my father who said, “Your mother is very upset by you putting up that post on Facebook. Why did you do that? Are you doing that for attention?”
I felt totally gutted. Number one, because my mother had not phoned me to tell me she was upset and number two because my father was asking if I did it for attention. My father and mother had divorced when I was four but were still friends. I had le home at 14 a er the Department of Welfare and the police came to my school and told me I didn’t have to go home. A girlfriend’s mother who I had told what was happening to me had phoned the police, thank God. Anyhow, my father and step-mother supported me all throughout my court case which went from 14½ to 18 years old, during my final years of high school. My mother sided with her partner and testified against me in court to say I was making it up for attention as I was jealous of my baby brother. It was gut wrenching to see her lying up there on the stand.
I started trembling and broke down. I was crying uncontrollably and curled up into the foetal position. I felt so betrayed by my parents who had adopted me at the age of 17 months of age. They were supposed to protect me and support me.
I felt so abandoned, so rejected, so alone. I wanted to close my eyes and fall asleep and never wake up. The pain was so excruciating.
“I only shared my story to inspire others, Dad”. I tried to explain. He said, “That’s okay if you want to talk about it, but you don’t share that type of thing on Facebook.”
Facebook was the tool I had used to build my business, but none of my family used Facebook for that purpose, only to connect and share photos with family and friends. My brother explained to me later that mum had commented on my post, but I didn’t see it, which meant that it went onto her page and her friends read it and then they started ringing her and asking her questions. I know she would have told them I was lying and trying to get attention.
That day I went down to the beach, my happy place, the place I always went to when I was feeling down. I looked up to the sky and asked, “Is this pain ever going to end? I know I brought this on myself but I was only trying to help others. Why did I go through all of this if it wasn’t meant to help others. What is the point of it? How can I run a business encouraging others to share their story if I can’t share mine?”
“I felt so heartbroken by my parents’ reaction. I really wanted to just close my eyes and not wake up. I had experienced this feeling before when I was younger. I know the signs of depression and I didn’t want to go down that track.”
I felt so heartbroken by my parents’ reaction. I really wanted to just close my eyes and not wake up. I had experienced this feeling before when I was younger. I know the signs of depression and I didn’t want to go down that track. I knew strategies to snap myself out of this type of thinking. I mostly prayed for strength, went to the beach, my happy place, I never go home from there feeling sad, you just can’t when you look around at the beauty and realise how lucky you are to be alive. I focused on everything I was grateful for, but I was still feeling at a loss as to what I was meant do with my experience. One a ernoon when I was thinking, “What is my purpose, what am I here for?”, I did the Oprah thing and went out to the backyard and I said, “God, how can I serve you?” Straight away I heard a voice say, “You need to teach people what you know about video. There are so many amazing people who just don’t know how to grow their profile online and you can teach them what you know and how you did it.”
It was so crystal clear. I then went inside and sat down on the lounge and started scrolling Facebook. I asked, “How will I teach people about video?” Every second post was 30-day butt challenge, 30-day ab challenge or some other 30-day challenge. The voice came again and said, “Start a 30-day video challenge.” I then asked “How will I market it?” The voice answered, “Post it on your profile and ask, “Who wants to join my 30-day video challenge?” O er it for free and get social proof and then upsell your mentoring, which I did.
I ran that challenge for seven years and taught thousands of people to become confident on camera, all with imperfect video, and also mentored others how to start their own web TV show.
In 2020 I was asked to become a Facilitator and Coach for Speakers Institute where I teach Communication and Video Mastery. We are the leaders in Speaker Training and teach people to become confident speakers, influencers and share their story/ message globally.
So today I want to teach you – No. 1: You have a story, a message, many life lessons that you can share with others to help them, get out there and share it, not everyone will like it or you, but that’s okay; No. 2: You don’t need expensive, professional equipment to do your videos; and No. 3: Imperfect video is relatable and authentic and can help you to become a recognised leader in your industry.
Shine bright, the world needs you.
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