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My guest this week is Caleb Wojcik, the DIY Video Guy.

If you’re anything like me, you’ve been interested in making video for awhile now, but you probably also worry that you’ll look or sound dumb on camera. I get it.

In this episode, I talk with Caleb about how he makes video podcasts for iTunes, but we also talk about what keeps people from getting started with producing videos, and share some practical tips to help you overcome your fear of being on camera. Enjoy!

Highlights, Takeaways & Quick Wins

  • If you’re already making Youtube videos, it’s a good idea to put them in iTunes as well.
  • If people can get 95% of the value of what you’re saying through the audio, then you can export the audio and publish it as a podcast.
  • If you go back and watch the first videos that anyone makes, they always look/sound way different than they do now. No one starts off perfect.
  • The best way to get more comfortable with making video is to make more video.
  • What your audience really cares about is the content. They don’t care that much about how you look, they care about your message.
  • Try to ship something every week, but always be iterating. Try to make it better next time. Always be on the lookout for ways to improve.
  • If you’re busy and you’re afraid of overcommitting, you don’t have to commit to a schedule. Focus on shooting and publishing one video at a time when you have time.

Show Notes

  • 4:08 Aaron: Thanks for joining me today, Caleb. I wanted to have you on the show to share what you’ve learned about video podcasting. I’ll be honest, I’ve been wanting to do video for awhile, but I keep holding myself back. More on that later.
  • 4:16 You do a video podcast. I’m not as into video as I am audio; maybe that’s because I like to listen to audio while exercising or driving, maybe it’s because I have a hard time making time to sit down and watch video. But video is very popular, maybe even more popular than audio. In your opinion, what are the pros and cons of doing a video podcast instead of just an audio podcast?
  • 4:39 Caleb: Pros: You can do a lot more with video than you can do with just audio. You can teach things that have a visual component (some things you just can’t teach with audio only). If you’re doing interviews, viewers can get a little more out of seeing people’s faces. That adds a little extra depth to the interview.
  • 5:12 Cons: It takes a lot more time, energy and equipment to make video. Video takes more work to produce. Audio is also easier to consume in longer chunks; you can listen while driving or working out. With video, you have to be watching and listening; you have to give it your full attention. If you lose someone’s attention for even a couple seconds, they’re more likely to switch to something else. It’s hard to hold the viewer’s attention for more than a few minutes, let alone 40 to 60 minutes.

I Do an Audio Podcast. Should I Also Do a Video Podcast?

  • 8:01 Aaron: A lot of people who are doing an audio-only podcast are wondering if they should also start doing video. What do you think?
  • 8:12 Caleb: You should only do a video podcast if adding video will add more value to your podcast. If it’s just adding you talking to a camera for very long periods of time, I don’t think that’s going to add much value.
  • 9:30 Aaron: We talked about this last week. I was wondering what it’d look like for me to add video to my show. The way I record podcasts now, it wouldn’t make much sense to do a video version because it’d just be me talking into a microphone for 30-45 minutes. That’s not very exciting, I don’t think it would add much.
  • 10:04 Caleb: You have to think about the best medium for the content you want to put out. Maybe recording a video of yourself doing a podcast wouldn’t be exciting, but I bet there are some topics that would make more sense in video form. Maybe you want to talk about microphones, you could show them in a video. Maybe you’re talking about software, you should record a screencast.

Youtube VS iTunes

  • 11:44 Kyle asked: Why would you make a video podcast and put it on iTunes instead of just Youtube?
  • 12:22 Caleb: I actually put my videos (as well as Pat Flynn’s videos) on both iTunes and Youtube (with some minor tweaks). We use Podbean for hosting the video podcasts for iTunes. The main benefits are that people can find the video podcast in iTunes through search, or I can link to them. On Youtube, there’s more long-tail views, your videos will be found through search, they’ll be recommended along-side other videos, and people can subscribe to your channel. It’s more robust than what iTunes offers.

If you’re already making Youtube videos, it’s a good idea to put them in iTunes as well.

How to Get a Video Podcast Into iTunes

  • 13:43 Aaron: We talked about this earlier because I’m not familiar with the process of setting up a video podcast and getting it into iTunes. It sounds like it’s exactly the same as hosting a regular podcast; you need to host the video file on a server somewhere (you use Podbean for hosting), and then you need an RSS feed address that you can submit to the iTunes directly.
  • 14:10 Caleb: It’s very similar. The only difference is you’re uploading a video file instead of an audio file. The file size is going to be a little bit bigger, and I export a smaller file for my iTunes video podcast feed since most people will be watching those on a mobile device anyways. I upload a larger file to Youtube since Youtube will be compressing the file automatically.
  • 14:57 You could use a host like Libsyn for hosting your video files, but they charge per megabyte. Podbean has an unlimited file size option, so that’s why I went with Podbean instead.

What File Size Should I Export My Videos as for iTunes?

  • 15:26 Aaron: You mentioned exporting videos at a smaller size for iTunes, could you tell me a little more about that? How small do you go?
  • 15:41 Caleb: I export at 720p for iTunes. Most people are watching those on their phone or tablet, so that’s fine. I also lower the bitrate a little to 5mbps.

What Are Some Examples of Good Video Podcasts?

  • 16:46 Aaron: We got a question from John in the chat. He asked for an example of good video podcasts, so I want to give you a chance to plug your show.
  • 17:09 Caleb: My video podcast is DIY Video Guy TV. The videos I publish to iTunes are similar to what I publish on Youtube, but I resize them and remove the call-to-action that is specific to Youtube.
  • 17:25 One of my favorite things about video podcasts is that they’ll download to my phone automatically, and I can watch them in batches when I don’t have a good cell signal. So if I’m on a flight, or at the gym, or anywhere I don’t have good signal or wifi, I can watch a bunch of them in a row.

Do Your Shows Get More Views on Youtube, or on iTunes?

  • 19:02 Aaron: I’m curious; do you have stats on how your shows do on Youtube vs iTunes? Which gets more downloads/views?
  • 19:08 Caleb: It’s hard to tell because both platforms measure downloads and views differently. Youtube will tell you how many people viewed each video and how long they viewed for, while Podbean only gives you total download numbers.
  • 20:36 Aaron: So it sounds to me like you’re saying that it’s hard to say which is “better”, and that it’s a good idea to put your video in both places. Multiple platforms equals more exposure.
  • 21:46 Caleb: Think about it strategically. You don’t have to put your videos up everywhere, but maybe some of the main places, especially if you already have an audience there.
  • 22:11 Aaron: Right. What are you paying for video hosting on Podbean? And how often are you publishing video podcasts?
  • 22:29 Caleb: I typically publish about once a week, and Podbean’s unlimited plan for video is $25/month.

Should I Strip the Audio From My Video and Publish It as an Audio-Only Podcast?

  • 22:57 Aaron: Here’s a question that I get asked a lot. Should someone who makes a video show strip the audio and publish it as an audio podcast? Sean McCabe started doing this with seanwes tv, for example.
  • 23:16 Caleb: That depends on the information, the format, and the style of the video you’re making. In Sean’s example, he’s mostly just talking to a camera. There’s not a lot of b-roll or additional visual information happening in his videos, so it works. In many of my videos, I’m showing how to use a piece of gear or doing something that just makes more sense if you can see it, so it wouldn’t work as well for me.

If people can get 95% of the value of what you’re saying through the audio, then you can export the audio and publish it as a podcast.

  • 25:44 Gary Vaynerchuk is another example. His Ask Gary Vee Show is a video show where he answers people’s questions on camera. There’s very little else that happens (visually) in those, so it makes sense for him to publish them as audio podcasts.

Is It Worth It to Pay for Video Podcast Hosting?

  • 28:09 Aaron: Should you pay the money to host your video podcast? It comes down to your long term strategy. We have a Community member, Austin Saylor who is doing a blog about his transition to being a full-time freelancer. It might be worth if for him to pay for hosting because someone might see his video podcast and decide to hire him. A single client job could pay for a whole year of hosting (and probably more).
  • 28:52 On the flip-side, if you’re doing a vlog just for fun (nothing wrong with that), it might not be worth it for you to pay that $25/month for hosting so you can get your show into iTunes.
  • 29:11 Caleb: If one person finds me through iTunes and buys a $300 course, it’s paid for the whole year of hosting. And yeah, it’s a little more time and effort to get the show into iTunes, but at the end of the day, it’s worth it for me. I usually get at least one email a month from someone who says they found my video show in iTunes.

Why Don’t More People Do Video?

  • 32:12 Aaron: I started my first podcast back in 2012, and I’ve been helping people make podcast since then as well, so I’m pretty comfortable with podcasting, but I’ve never been comfortable on camera. I’ve always been self-conscious about how I look and sound on video, and it’s prevented me from doing more video. I think a lot of people feel the same way. Lately—as weird as it might sound—Snapchat has been helping me get over my fear of being on camera.
  • 33:30 But I want to hear about you; when did you first start doing video? Was it hard for you? Did you find it weird and awkward, or were you comfortable with it right away?
  • 33:42 Caleb: Oh no, I was awful. The first videos I made aren’t even online anymore, I don’t want anyone to see them.
  • 33:58 I got started back in 2011. I wanted to make some videos about personal finance, and I tried to, and they were awful. I was just standing in front of a whiteboard, the lighting was bad, it was boring. I didn’t even had a microphone. That was just a stage I had to get through.
  • 34:55 I started with with Corbett Barr over at Think Traffic (which became Fizzle). I started editing some Skype interviews, we started making some courses, so I had to learn audio and video editing, lighting, equipment setup, all that stuff. It’s hard for me to go back and watch those old videos, but it was a learning process I had to go through.

If you go back and watch the first videos that anyone makes, they always look/sound way different than they do now. No one starts off perfect.

Tips for Getting Over Your Fear of Being On Camera

  • 35:58 Aaron: Do you have any other advice for people who are afraid to get started with making video? A lot of people worry about looking or sounding dumb, or they worry that their backdrop or room doesn’t look cool enough. For example, I watch Shawn Blanc’s videos, and he’s got a cool wood table in a white dining room with nice bookshelves and everyone’s all clean and warm. My room looks nothing like that. I’m self-conscious about these things, so what advice do you have for anyone who feels the same way?
  • 36:39 Caleb: Starting on a platform like Snapchat or Periscope can be a great way to get more comfortable on camera. Especially Periscope; you’re talking to a single person or a group of people, and that’s the mindset you need to be in when you’re recording a video, talking to your camera in a room by yourself. Even if you’re not live-streaming, eventually people are going to watch it. Starting on those platforms, doing that style of video can really help you get comfortable.

The best way to get more comfortable with making video is to make more video.

  • 38:02 Aaron: We’re all way more judgmental about ourselves than most other people are. I scrutinize my face, my teeth, the way I talk, the way my hair looks, all these things. I think about all these things so much, and I don’t think anyone else thinks about it nearly as much.
  • 38:48 Caleb: No one thinks about how you look more than you do. You watch someone fixing their hair in a mirror and you’re thinking, “What are you doing? Your hair looks good.” It’s all in your head. You think that this piece of hair has to go in this direction or no one is going to love you. And yes, you should try to look good if you’re going to be on camera; but you don’t need to take it so seriously, and you start to get over that as you record more.
  • 39:35 Aaron: I don’t think it’s wrong to want to look better on camera. If you want to look healthier, spend some time exercising. Put on some sunscreen and go outside and get some color in your cheeks. Get a haircut, trim your beard. It’s ok to do things to make yourself look more attractive, just remember that no one is judging you as much as you’re judging yourself. Spend more developing your content and your message. Spend more time in front of a camera, talking to people, sharing your story. You don’t have to make it perfect every time.

What your audience really cares about is the content. They don’t care that much about how you look, they care about your message.

  • 41:00 Aaron: You’ll get better the more you do it. You have to overcome that initial hurdle of feeling like you have to make the perfect video or everyone is going to laugh at you, because nobody will, and if someone does, screw em. You don’t need those kinds of people in your life.

Focus on the Content

  • 41:55 Caleb: At the end of the day, you’re making a video because you’re trying to help people or entertain or inspire them in some way. They’ll think about how you look for a split second, but then they’re thinking about how you’re delivering the information, if they’re entertained or learning something, if they’re getting what they were hoping to get when they clicked on the video thumbnail.
  • 42:48 The production quality is something I harp on because I do think it’s important. Good equipment and lighting and professional sound do matter, but the video just has to be engaging. If you’re focusing on how you look, you’re not focusing on outlining and scripting and making a really good video, which is what you should be doing.

Q&A

  • 55:08 Ben Toalson asked: There’s some great stuff out there in the vlog space. While I admire the styles of what I see, I want to draw inspiration while not being a copycat. Ultimately, I want to have my own unique expression for vlogging and I know that comes with time and doing the work. My question is: should I wait until I’ve really honed in on my style to start posting publicly?
  • 55:40 Caleb: It’s ok to make some test videos and not publish them. There’s a big push nowadays to post everything publicly. Yes, you should aim to publish and you should try to create consistently and on a schedule, but you shouldn’t publish just for publishing’s sake. Try making three videos privately, be critical, see what you can improve, and then go from there.
  • 56:25 Aaron: I’ve never done a vlog, but I’d give the same advice I give to podcasters.

Try to ship something every week, but always be iterating. Try to make it better next time. Always be on the lookout for ways to improve.

  • 57:12 Cory Miller asked: I’ve wanted to start some sort of video content, but I have a few issues. 1. The consistency I would require of myself would mean a lot more time out of my week to shoot, edit, and publish. 2. The planning process of video content makes me nervous because I’m already doing a lot and don’t want to overcommit and lose quality on the other things I’m doing. Any advice?
  • 57:59 Caleb: The answer to both of these is a good system and batching. Try to have a place where your equipment and and backdrop is already setup, and batch your videos. You should be able to walk in and shoot. I like to plan out several videos and then shoot them in one sitting. I’ll go back and edit them (one at a time) later.

If you’re busy and you’re afraid of overcommitting, you don’t have to commit to a schedule. Focus on shooting and publishing one video at a time when you have time.

  • 59:54 Aaron: I like to keep a list of videos or screencasts that I want to do, but I always shoot and edit one at a time. Batching sounds like a good idea, though. How does that normally work for you?
  • 1:00:24 Caleb: I don’t like to try to shoot something if it’s not completely prepared. But let’s say I’m working on a course; I like to block off a whole day or two to record the whole course in it’s entirety.
  • 1:01:35 Aaron: I think the hardest part of creating something like a video isn’t coming up with the content or shooting it; it’s learning the process. I feel like what stops people is uncertainty about a new process.
  • 1:02:20 Caleb: The more complex the thing is, the more steps there are, the more you can procrastinate. What has worked really well for me is listing out all the steps so I can stay focus on what I need to get done next. If you don’t have your process documented, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. If you break it down and list it out, it feels more manageable and doable.

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