Today I’m here with Victoria Levitan, video coach & business strategist and we’re talking all about how you can use video in your content planning.

Victoria gives tips on how you can begin to get your video content out to the right audience and what type of content to create. We also talk about how small businesses can benefit from having a YouTube channel, so if you’re thinking of starting a YouTube channel (or you already have one and you need a nudge to start creating more content), then this episode is for you!

Read the full transcript

Meg Casebolt 0:01
You’re listening to social slowdown a podcast for entrepreneurs and micro businesses looking for sustainable marketing strategies without being dependent on social media. Social media is a double edged sword. It’s a wonderful way to stay connected. But it also can feel like an addictive obligation. And it’s even more complex for businesses, your audience might be right there, but you’ve got to fight with algorithms to maybe be seen by them. So whether you want to abandon social media altogether, or you just want to take a month off, it’s possible to have a thriving business without being dependent on social media. This podcast is all about finding creative, sustainable ways to engage with your audience without needing to lip sync, send a cold DMS, run ads or be available 24/7. Let’s get started. Hey, y’all happy summer is my favorite season of the year. And where I live in upstate New York, it lasts about five minutes. So I’ve decided to take some time off from creating content in order to really enjoy as much time away from my keyboard as humanly possible. But I didn’t want to just leave you high and dry for the next three months. So we’ve got a fun podcast plan. Here at love. At first search, we’re all about making evergreen marketing assets really work for you long term. So this summer, we are practicing what we preach. And we’re repurposing something that we created last year, releasing it out to the public for the first time. So last year, we ran an event called SEO summer camp, which focused on creating efficient content marketing systems. And as part of summer camp, I interviewed 15 of my fellow business owners all about their tips for planning strategic content and creating engaging content consistently, and utilizing that same content across multiple channels like YouTube or podcasts in order to grow their audience. So over the next nine or so weeks, you’ll hear those interviews here on the podcast. Some of them might be slightly out of date, but we still think they’re incredibly valuable resources. And we did not want to limit their reach by only having them available to the people who were involved in last year’s event. So you may notice that I start most of the interviews with something like hey, summer campers, and then I give recommendations based on what was happening in the community and the live events we are running. That’s why I wanted to give some context in this introduction. So you’re not just like, What the heck is she talking about. And because we are spending this summer in our podcast talking all about content marketing systems and creating more efficiently, I want to tell you about something that we’re going to be launching at the end of this summer, we’re going to be creating a new digital product, I am tentatively calling it the SEO content Maximizer it may change names by the time we actually release it. We will be sharing all of the love it for search templates and processes and systems that we use to turn every podcast and every YouTube video into its own blog and newsletter and social media content. To give some context in about six to eight hours a week, our team produces one YouTube video, a podcast, two blog posts, a newsletter and five social media posts, you obviously would not need to do that much as a small business owner, we’re you know, we’ve been doing this for a long time we’ve created these solid content marketing systems. But we’ve got this process so locked down that we want to share that with you so that it will be easier for you to make more strategic content in less time. If you’re interested in hearing about that new content Maximizer product when it’s ready, head over to love it first Sign up for the waitlist. And you’ll be the first to know when we’re ready for beta testers. And if you’re listening to this in the future, you can head to that. And we’ll redirect it to where you can find out more about that product. Alright, so there’s the context as to what you’re hearing this summer and why. Without further ado, let’s get started with the interview. Hello, campers, I am so excited to introduce you to Victoria, she is my go to person for any questions that I have about YouTube. She’s a member of attraction activate. So we just kind of reciprocally ask each other questions about content strategy. And when people are thinking about starting a YouTube channel, or, you know making that step in their business to use more videos, I always send them to Victoria, because that’s her specialty. So I’m so excited to have her here to talk about how you can use video in your content planning when it makes sense, who it makes sense for everything along those lines. So thank you so much, Victoria, for doing this for us.

Victoria Levitan 4:38
Yeah, thank you so much for having me. I’m excited to be here.

Meg Casebolt 4:40
So can you tell us a little bit about like how you got started with YouTube and then transitioned into coaching others in YouTube?

Victoria Levitan 4:47
Yeah, so I originally started a personal blog, where obviously I was writing a lot and I just realized that I’m much better on camera speaking than writing And I love writing. And obviously I do SEO. But to me, I just found it easier to connect with people through videos, because they could see my mannerisms, they could see how I was talking and how I talk with my hands a lot. And so it was just easier to portray myself that way. Because it was just like, this is just me Take it or leave it. And I found it hard sometimes to translate myself on in a blog post. And so I had a blog that I started, but then I started a YouTube channel and the YouTube channel gained a lot more traction, I got way more views on my youtube videos than I had gotten on my blog posts. And I also enjoyed it more because it was just like, I just have to sit in front of the camera and talk and it just seemed a lot easier than writing for me. So I did that for a couple years. And then I realized that no one where I live in the DC area really helps small businesses with YouTube. And I knew a couple of people who had YouTube channels, or were thinking about starting one. And I simply just reached out and I was like, Hey, do you want me to help you like figure out your channel and figure out your youtube content? And that’s kind of how my business started and took off.

Meg Casebolt 6:08
So you said you work specifically with small businesses? How do you How does a YouTube channel benefit a small business? Like how does that work?

Victoria Levitan 6:16
Well, I think it benefits them in many different ways. Obviously, from an SEO perspective, it helps tremendously because YouTube is owned by Google, and YouTube is thus favored in Google Search. Atemi. Well, on Google, there’s always like videos at the top. And YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world. So that alone allows you to be exposed to tons of people. And so from an SEO perspective, it makes obviously a lot of sense. But then also simply from a like engagement perspective, when people see you on video, they’re able to connect with you a lot easier and quicker. And it really blows through that know, like and trust factor that obviously a lot of people talk about in content marketing. And so when you see someone on camera, you get the sense of how it is to work with them. And I think that really benefits small business owners because it is hard to, to stick out in the CEO of you know, social media and Instagram and all the things. And so if you can show yourself on camera and be like, This is who I am, this is what I do. Do you like the energy that I’m portraying on camera? Would you like more of this, you know, feel free to reach out? I think that that’s how they can really benefit from it.

Meg Casebolt 7:31
I feel like it’s more of a conversation, you know, between YouTube and podcasting, YouTube, you’re actually seeing people’s expressions, and you can get those visual cues that go along with it. And then podcasting also has that sense of intimacy that you know, someone’s in your ears and in your head in a different way. Whereas if you’re just reading words on a page, it can be limiting in terms of how what’s the tone that this person is taking? And what’s the kind of way that they feel when they’re saying this, it can be harder to read into that. So I completely agree. Yeah, absolutely. Do you find that people convert better when they see you on YouTube, as opposed to when they were reading your blog? Absolutely.

Victoria Levitan 8:11
Absolutely. Again, and it’s not like I was writing bad blog posts or anything, it was more so just like, I think that people just think that, especially when it comes to small business owners, like working with someone, and investing in someone’s business is a personal decision. Like I personally decided to work with you or work with someone else. And like, I liked your energy, like all these things. So for me, it’s it, it really helps convert people who are thinking about it, or, and I think it also, it solidifies that you’re serious in your business, like you’re putting yourself on camera, like this is who you are. And this is like you’re you’re not I think, to me, it’s when I see people with a YouTube channel, specifically, to me, it signifies Oh, like, they’re serious about putting themselves out there. And like they really are, you know, trying to reach you know, a valuable audience and help help other people. And I think especially when you go on social media in general, it’s sometimes hard to decipher, like from an Instagram page, is this page, is this person, a legitimate business? You know, no offense, but like, or is it just like something and so you can’t hide when you’re on camera? Yeah, and I and I think that that is really valuable. So I definitely feel like it converts people like I mean, similar with a podcast, you can’t I mean, yes, you’re not on camera, but you can’t hide, you know, your conversation or your thoughts, either. And I just think that because being on camera and being on YouTube is somewhat more of a vulnerable position, but it also is more of an empowering position because you’re like, This is who I am. This is what I do. And so here’s all the content I’ve created for free for you to consume and learn. And then if you want more, you can sign up for my email list or work with me Like all the things,

Meg Casebolt 10:01
I love that I actually, I had somebody who watched my YouTube channel, joined my program, watch those videos, booked a one on one call with me and then was like, Oh, you, you actually are just the way that I expected you to be like, you’ve been in my kitchen with me as I’ve been doing dishes and watching your videos. And now I just get to talk to you. And it’s weird. Like, they’ve spent so much time with me and my voice and my face at that point that when I actually show up on screen with them, it’s like, oh, right, you’re talking to me, which can be kind of a weird shift in perspective as a creator, too. So let’s talk a little bit about what you’ve just said about vulnerability, and that feeling of putting yourself out there and potentially being known by people before you talk to those people that work with you and your clients. And how do you get people prepared for that feeling?

Victoria Levitan 10:51
Well, it’s a fun feeling. And I’ve had it myself, obviously, when people come to work with me, they’re like, oh, yeah, I’ve been following you for like, literal months. And like I knew about your basement renovation? Like what, like I didn’t even know like, that you were watching all this? I mean, it’s fun. Obviously. I feel like I

Meg Casebolt 11:08
have people who have watched my kids grow up. And like, I don’t

Victoria Levitan 11:13
have to absolutely, yeah. Yeah. So I think I think I prepare my clients, mostly in just being more can’t like being camera confident, comfortable in front of the camera. And then when they do get the clients or customers who reach out to them to want to work with them. They’re already like, oh, yeah, like, I’m so glad that you enjoy the content. I think that the more videos you do, obviously, the more comfortable you get on camera, and then when someone reaches out and they already know, you and all the things, it’s, it’s obviously surprising in a good way. But it’s not like jarring or anything. But it’s certainly something that you have to get used to. And you’re like, oh, yeah, write books on the internet for everyone to see.

Meg Casebolt 11:54
It can shorten the sales cycle quite a bit, you know, when people have already done the work, they already have connected with you. And then by the time they get to a sales page, it’s like, yeah, I know, I want to hire Victoria, because she’s given me so much value for free.

Victoria Levitan 12:07
Absolutely. And I think it also helps like, you know, because we obviously we want, we want a great website, we want a great email sequence. And we want all the great things in our business. And I think, my obviously myself included, but I think video helps show your authenticity. And so even if even if you don’t have the greatest website in the world, or you haven’t gotten to like, you know, the best landing page setup, I think that having videos shows that, that you care, and that like this is, you know, I may not have everything perfect, I may not have a perfect Instagram feed, but I show up every week on video, and I care about providing value. And so I feel like it kind of levels, the playing field with maybe other areas that you haven’t, you know, developed as much or haven’t had the time to or resources, but it’s like, well, at least I’m showing up on video and like I’m giving you free content that hopefully will benefit you. Yeah.

Meg Casebolt 13:01
So how do you decide what content to make? And what will work really well on video to bring in the right people? So you know, I have thoughts about this?

Victoria Levitan 13:11
Yeah, I mean, I think we have similar thoughts about this. But I always recommend starting out with frequently asked questions, things that you always answer repeatedly. Number one, because people are obviously probably most interested in that because it’s a frequently asked question. So they really want to know the answer to that. And there’s many people that want to know the answer to that, which also obviously helps with SEO. But from a camera confidence level, you’re pretty confident answering that question. Because you’ve done it so many times that by the time you actually have to record it, you record yourself, you’re like, you know, I can do this. I can record this video. And I know what to say. And I can explain things pretty simply and quickly. So that is where I would start. And yeah, so getting like the SEO frequently asked questions out of the way. And then as you start to get feedback, you obviously get inspiration from your audience, like what they liked what they don’t like. I also just always think like, origin story videos do great. Like, how did you get started? Because that’s always really interesting. They might not get a ton of views right out of the gates, but it’s a nice evergreen video to have on your channel. I love it.

Meg Casebolt 14:22
You call it an origin story. It just makes me think so much of like the Hulk, you know, Bruce Banner becoming the Hulk and like, yeah, exactly. How did that happen?

Victoria Levitan 14:31
Yeah, exactly. So I think that the origin stories are always great. And then I think tutorials are always great. Because again, you also have confidence with that. explaining your process. And then yeah, so I think those are like good starting points to really, you know, get your video content out there.

Meg Casebolt 14:49
Yeah, I love that. And then do you usually when you’re working with your clients, do you help them come up with like, here’s a script for your intro and your outro and here’s the format of your videos, you know, like, what? How do you figure out? What are all the pieces that you need to have a really good YouTube video? Or do you recommend like just start create, put it up there, you’ll get better.

Victoria Levitan 15:11
It’s a combination of both, I always recommend you just got a start because just the act of doing will get you into a rhythm. But I do have a video outline framework that I teach my clients. And actually, a lot of what I do is helping them figure out their messaging on what to say on camera. Because a lot of the times and you know, I’ve been there obviously many times as well as we like to overcomplicate things, or we like to give as much detail as possible to fully flesh out the picture. And then you’re like, Okay, you’ve kind of lost your viewer, potentially, because you’ve given them too much information. So what I help my clients with is really getting down to okay, what is it what you do? Can you explain it quickly and simply and just give them you know, the cliffnotes. And a lot of the times, another thing I see is people like to put so much information into one video, and you’re just overwhelming them with so much amazing information, I’m sure of it.

Meg Casebolt 16:16
I am so guilty of this.

Victoria Levitan 16:19
I’ve been there as well. I’ve learned this over the years as well. So I my videos, I try to keep between three to five minutes. I have another reason for that as well that we can get into but you don’t want to overwhelm your audience. So that is really what I help my clients with is not overwhelming them when they’re when we’re writing the video script and figuring out for each topic. What should they say?

Meg Casebolt 16:42
Yeah, I love that actually, I’ve had videos that I’ve recorded, like, and then when my video editor gives them back to me, I’m like, this is two videos. You know, like I have this whole thing about, there’s an exact example of Google Trends. I was like, look at all these cool ways you can use this tool, you can do this, this, this, this, this and I was like, let’s just cut this tutorial in half. And I’ll do an intro and outro for each because, like, and then I just split it and said, This is for Google, this is for YouTube, you know, just like, sometimes you want a five minute video instead of a 12 minute video. So what’s your thought process behind that three to five minute time period is that the algorithm playing with you.

Victoria Levitan 17:18
So that’s basically what you want to consider is one of the most important things with YouTube and the algorithm is your watch time, you want to have your viewers watch as much watch as many minutes and seconds of your content as possible. So because my business YouTube channel is a newer channel, and I’m still growing my audience there, I like I’m keeping my minutes my videos short. Because if I have if I’d rather watch, have someone watch three to five minutes of my entire video, versus just one minute of a 15 minute video. So I’m trying to build up my viewers watch time. And so what that basically means is, if you’re just starting out, I would highly recommend keeping the video shorter because you have to build up their attention span. And then as they get to know like and trust you, then they’ll stick around for a 1520 minute hour long video. I mean, I watch YouTubers where the video is like an hour long. And I’m like it could be longer because I love watching that person. But then there’s other videos where I’m like, Okay, I just need five minutes, and like I got everything I needed. So you want to start out smaller with your watch with your videos. And then as you see your watch time increasing in your analytics, that’s when he can then be like, Oh, they’re sticking around for like, 100% of my video time, I might as well start increasing it.

Meg Casebolt 18:39
Right. And that’s a, it’s not just the amount of time people are watching. It’s the percentage of the video that they’re watching that is also part of that algorithm. So if people are watching, you know, five minutes of a video, and it’s a five minute video, that’s 100%. But if they’re watching five minutes of a 10 minute video, it’s 50%. So YouTube’s less likely to show that to future people in those, you know, you might like this, because they’re saying a 50% drop off, right? So knowing that if you keep it short, tight, concise, that can be and visually stimulating, and you’re keeping to the point and you have a thesis in mind. You know, this is all things that I need to remember.

Victoria Levitan 19:15
You know, and I mean, it’s funny because I’ve definitely filmed longer videos, but I have made the conscious choice. And I knew not everyone’s gonna watch this until the end. And I’m okay with that sometimes. And I mean, I think you’ve just recently you know, sent out an email, I’m on your email list where you like, some blog posts aren’t for SEO. Like they’re just to like build community or to build, you know, just some trust. Yeah, trust. And so that’s the same thing with YouTube videos. There are certain videos where it’s not about the SEO, or it’s not about the washroom. It’s simply like, I want to share a really long and interesting story and I don’t care if it’s 25 minutes because I want this to be out there and I think the beauty of YouTube videos is that because they stay on your A channel forever, they’re always going to, you know, get traction over time. So don’t be too hard on yourself, if you have longer videos on your channel is what I’m saying like, it’s okay, it takes time to sometimes dial it down,

Meg Casebolt 20:15
right and to recognize what your audience wants, you know, if your audience is ready to go deep with you, or there’s a certain level of difficulty that you have to get through, maybe you want to have a couple videos building up to something greater, right? And then you can you can use cards to be able to link between your videos so that people who are coming in at that, you know, I do this a lot where I’m like, I have this tutorial about this tool. If you haven’t watched this tutorial yet, go watch that first and then come back to this one, or, you know, I’ve already talked about this in more depth. So go watch this one. And then, you know, here’s the basic overview of it. So you can kind of be very self referential, and YouTube videos in the same way that you can be self referential in your internal links on your website. So not every video has to stand alone.

Victoria Levitan 21:03
Exactly. Yeah. And I think that’s, that’s another great point is like, and another thing yet, like you said, you are very conscientious of how your videos are interwoven. So so when you are filming, you already know, okay, I just filmed the video last week about like, you know, X, Y, and Z. So in, as I’m recording today’s next video, I can say last week, I posted this video, like check it out. So you become a little bit more intrinsically aware of what content you’ve already put out. And then you can self promote past content in future content.

Meg Casebolt 21:40
And show people that you have that depth of experience and that your knowledge is greater than just that three to five minute video. But that’s just the part that, you know, like the sum is greater than what the sum is greater than the parts of the whole, you know, I did say? I think so. Or like the channel as a whole is so valuable, as opposed to just video video video video. Yeah, absolutely. And

Victoria Levitan 22:03
I think that another thing that one of my clients told me is, she wanted to start a YouTube channel because she really wanted to show her body of work. And I just think that that’s really nice with you know, regardless if you want to create consistent YouTube videos, or you just want to have she called it like a library of videos that showcases what she does. And I think that that’s just a really interesting way to look at, you know, thinking about starting a YouTube channel or having one, it doesn’t mean that you have to create consistent content, if you don’t want to, it’s okay, if you just be like, I have these amazing tutorials that I like to send out to clients whenever they asked me about something and like, here’s the link.

Meg Casebolt 22:42
Yeah. So when you’re working with business owners, do you feel like a lot of them want to use their YouTube channels more as that kind of library of content? Or do you also have people who want to pursue more of a I’m gonna say like influencer approach to things where they want to get lots of subscribers lot like huge watchtime monetize the channel grow their advertisers, like, what are the two? Maybe there’s more than two paths here. But kind of when people are thinking about starting their YouTube channel, what can those end goals be?

Victoria Levitan 23:15
Yeah, so I there’s definitely, yeah, there’s definitely that spectrum, there are some people who just want to have their content up there that they can, you know, basically show how professional they are. And like, you know, legitimize themselves in some way, by having that body of work on YouTube, for everyone to see. But most clients that I work with, they want to expose themselves to a wider audience, they want to grow their community, they want to grow their reach all the things so most of my clients, they are definitely like community growth oriented. Either by by reaching new people, or by growing their existing community and converting more of their existing community into their offers. So it just depends on your audience size. I don’t really work with clients who are like, wanting to be like influencers or anything like that. While I do have some experience with that, it’s more so that’s not I just don’t think that’s sustainable, like trying to get more subscribers and like all those things, because you want to have a good mindset going into a YouTube channel because it is a long game and it there’s no quick gratification with YouTube. It’s like all SEO, all SEO. So I think that you want to start a YouTube channel with the mindset of I’m doing this for the growth of my business and I’m, you know, you’re not going to get millions of views on day one. And that’s okay. And things just grow over time. And like I said, I always say I’d rather have 10 people watch my entire video start to end than 100 people that click away after the first 10 seconds because they didn’t get to know me at all, and I’d rather have 10 people who really Enjoy it and, you know, consume my content rather than like masses,

Meg Casebolt 25:04
right? That’s that like 1000 true fans approach to things like you don’t need the entire internet to know who you are, if you have 1000, or some people even saying 100 super fans, then those people can grow your business so much share your information, they can be your advocates and your ambassadors, you don’t necessarily need to hit number one on, you know, YouTube doesn’t really have a front page anymore that we need to do. But like, you don’t have to be in front of everyone to be successful. So the metrics that you’re looking at may not be, you know, 1000 subscribers, and this many watch hours, I can’t remember what it is to get monetized. But like 404,000 4000,

Victoria Levitan 25:40
I just filmed a video about yesterday, it’s 4000.

Meg Casebolt 25:43
fresh in your mind, it’s not mine, because that’s not my goal. My goal is conversions. My goal isn’t necessarily monetization, if at some point, they want to give me money for it great. But that’s not the goal. So knowing going into those guys that you don’t necessarily have, that’s not the only way to make money from YouTube is to have those ads on there. You can make money from YouTube, by driving people to your offers, by sharing your expertise by letting people discover you go to your website, get to know your business, hire you that way, or buy your products that way. So don’t feel like YouTube is this big, you know, money grab of advertising this in the same way that a blog can make you money. If you write reviews of something, and you put AdSense on it, or media, Vine or magazine or any of those, you know, display ad networks. That’s one way to monetize your business and have a business from a website. But another one is to have offers and YouTube can just be another way of creating content to bring people over to it.

Victoria Levitan 26:39
Yeah, absolutely. I just literally filmed a video about how you can make money on youtube yesterday. So

Meg Casebolt 26:44
well put it below this video, we’ll include a link to that include a link to your channel, and how can people learn more from you, obviously, your YouTube channel, but what are some other ways that they can you know, get to know you work with you potentially hire you? Yeah, so

Victoria Levitan 26:58
I have a free YouTube checklist on my website, Viktoria, that you can download, that talks you through how you can use YouTube and create videos for your channel. And then of course, I’m also on Instagram in case you don’t want to be on YouTube. At Victoria live Atlanta,

Meg Casebolt 27:16
I want to get off Instagram, and I want to be on YouTube. There people are feeling differently about the social media right now.

Victoria Levitan 27:23
I know there Yeah, it’s all over the place. But yeah, so I’m, you can go to my website. And then also, I also offer YouTube channel audits, that is a low cost way to work with me, and you can submit your channel and then I send you a recorded audit of your channel. And I kind of walk you through some recommendations, and just some channel content ideas that might be good for your channel. So those are kind of the two ways that people can get in touch with

Meg Casebolt 27:51
those audits are like 47 bucks, right? Yes. Okay, guys, go get your channel audit if you have a YouTube channel, because I’m going to pressure Victoria by the end of the summer to put it up at least 97. So go grab us now because I think that is so much value for that price. And I want to make sure that people are paying you. But first we’ll get it for the low price. You know, we’ll just beta test

Victoria Levitan 28:16
the you’re all out there. Yeah, so yeah, exactly.

Meg Casebolt 28:20
Alright, sounds good. Well, thank you so, so much for being here. We’ll include links to everything that we mentioned here. You know, the Instagram, the audits, the YouTube channel, all those things right below here. And then Victoria will pop in one day this month, and answer any questions that are in the comments. So definitely if you have questions if you want to, you know, share your channel and good, well, I don’t want you to get free feedback. But if you do have specific YouTube questions, definitely ask them below. And thank you so much for being here. Happy Summer.

Victoria Levitan 28:50
Yeah, thank you so much for having me. This was so much fun.

Meg Casebolt 28:53
Thank you so much for listening to the social slowdown podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe or come on over to social and sign up for our email list so you never miss an episode. We’d also love if you could write a review to help other small business owners find the show you can head over to social Or grab that link in our show notes for easy access. We’ll be back soon with more tips to help you market your business without being beholden to social media. Talk to you then

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