When I started Divorce the Workforce in January 2016, I knew that I wanted to get heavily involved in doing live video productions, mainly because as I was preparing for my launch I had come across an awful lot of information about how live video was poised to revolutionize how people conduct business on the internet.
As I learned more about live video, I began to develop my plans about how I would ultimately get started as a producer and broadcaster and use live video in marketing my business and my brand.
Of course, one of the first questions I had was concerned with which platform would be the best for getting started in live video.
While the options seemed endless, with Periscope, Snapchat, Meerkat, Facebook, Vine, and more, one thing was certain: I had never done any kind of broadcasting in my life.
Well, that isn’t exactly true. I was involved in a video production when I was a senior in high school. I played the main character who falls asleep as a high school student and wakes up in a dream as a college student. It was super-cheesy but fun, and if I’m lucky I might just have the VHS tape of it around somewhere.
In any event, I didn’t know which platform was going to be the best for getting started, but I knew I had to do just that – get started.
It was obvious that each platform offered up different things, but when it came right down to it, deciding where to start was easy. I chose Snapchat, and in late February 2016, I started an account on Snapchat and began watching other people’s content.
I didn’t really broadcast anything for the first week or two, which didn’t matter because I didn’t have any followers. Instead, I just thought about what I would snap about and as I watched the other broadcasters, I thought about other things, such as how often I’d like to snap, where I’d like to snap from, who might my audience be, and how would they find me.
So when I installed Snapchat, I had no idea on how to use it. There was no instruction guide. The app seemed totally counter-intuitive. In fact, I hated just about everything about the Snapchat interface, and I was even apprehensive to get started. But I was determined to get into live video by first getting comfortable in front of the camera using Snapchat.
I figured that if I felt this way about Snapchat, surely thousands of other people were hesitant to use Snapchat for the very same reasons.
It didn’t take me long to figure out exactly what it was I would start snapping about when I got started. The shtick I came up which was simply doing a daily ‘Snapchat Tip.’ Each day I would provide a tip or trick about how to use Snapchat, Snapchat etiquette, and basic broadcasting considerations when using Snapchat.
What I wanted to provide was 1) valuable content, 2) served up daily 3) that people could count on that 4) would help other people learn how to use and enjoy the app.
By doing the daily Snapchat tip, all four of my objectives were met.
And the audience responded. Between the value of my content, as well as Ghostcodes arriving on scene with hundreds of people who were also new to Snapchat, my friend/follower base exploded, and viewership of my content grew at a rapid rate.
So now I’ve been doing my daily Snapchat tips for just under 150 days in a row. Yes, I did miss a few days, but when I did, I would do extra snaps when I got back so I’ve effectively provided at least one new tip for every day since March 11.
Not only have I learned just about everything there is to know about Snapchat myself, but I’ve had a role in teaching it to others, and with that I have learned several things (or at least solidified some things I already knew) that I want to share with you now.
Information is a Commodity
There is a classic movie from my teenage years where one of the main characters, Gordon Gekko said, “The most valuable commodity I know of is information.”
That has been true since the beginning of time. Some of us figure out this truism, and some of us do not. And then some of us capitalize on it while helping others, and some of us do not.
As I stated above, what I have been doing with my daily Snapchat tip is providing people information on just about everything they could want to know about how to use Snapchat. This is valuable information for those wanting to learn all the ins and outs of Snapchat.
And by providing this information, which is indeed a commodity, on a daily basis, people have been willing to return on a regular basis to consume that content.
These people who spend valuable time out of their day to spend with me (and for which I’m forever grateful), are treated to free information on how to work something that we share a mutual interest.
And by providing that free information on a daily basis, my online network of friends has increased dramatically, my viewership has grown significantly, and the overall awareness of myself and my brand on the internet has grown.
But most importantly, I have made someone else’s life easier. I have taught people something. I have entertained them. I’ve given them something of value for their time spent with me.
And it has been an awesome ride, let me tell you. I’ve got some great professional contacts from my time on Snapchat, and an awful lot of awesome acquaintances.
I also have people who seem to be there daily, just waiting for the next tip. That’s a nice feeling to see loyalty out of the people who consume my content.
And while further cementing with me the notion that information is a valuable commodity, I did learn other things as well.
A Daily Routine of Providing Information is Tough!
This, I figured out, too.
Having a “daily” anything is always going to be difficult because there are so many other things to do, and so many distractions.
But coming up with new information to provide people on a daily basis has not been easy, at all. In fact, on many occasions, I really had no idea what I was going to talk about.
Many of my tips came from trial and error based upon my own experiences while using the app.
It’s been a long time since I exhausted every conceivable Google and YouTube search looking for new tips and tricks, as well as etiquette and broadcasting considerations.
I’m at a point where, if I don’t stumble upon it on someone else’s feed, or figure it out on my own, I’ll have no content.
And, I imagine this would be the case with whatever content you are creating where you are providing people with educational information on how to do something or use something better.
But what I have figured out is that there is always something new or something that was overlooked that can be used as content.
Which leads me to another something I learned along the way.
You Cannot Assume Everyone Knows Everything
What I mean by this is, many of my “tips” have seemed lame in comparison to other tips. But who cares? All of the tips taken as a whole equal a great education on Snapchat, and have provided people hours of entertainment and learning.
I’ve had some tips that I just hated giving because either I felt that all of my viewers probably already knew the tip or trick, or that the tip or trick was just obvious in the first place.
But that’s the thing; not everyone knows everything about the product, which in this case is Snapchat.
I find that even after doing nearly 150 Snapchat tips, even if I go back and do a simple trick or demonstrate some feature that most people would figure out the first time they use Snapchat, there is always someone thanking me for covering that particular tip.
So an obvious lesson from my daily Snapchat Tip routine is that no educational content is unimportant, as all educational content is important (and is a commodity), and there is always someone who will learn something new even if the piece of information seems like it would be obvious to everyone on the planet.
Consistency is Key
I also learned that when producing content for the masses on the internet, consistency is key.
First, if you commit to doing a “daily” anything, then do it. Period. And if you miss a day or even a weekend due to a family trip, a sickness, or whatever, make it a point to “make up” the lost days over a day or two by providing extra tips. I’ve done that several times so far.
Staying on point and providing value directed at the specific topic is also something I would highly advise.
I really wanted to have people tune in daily to learn something about Snapchat. And I’ve succeeded in that. People know when they see my name in the storyline that, if they tune in, they are going to learn something. And not just something – something about Snapchat.
I’ve had consistency in doing this on a daily basis, and I’ve had consistency in giving a tip each day, and the subject matter has been consistent, as each day it is about Snapchat.
In a sense, I’ve branded myself as one of the “Snapchat guys” on Snapchat.
Whatever you are doing as a marketer, keep in mind what you have learned above, if you didn’t already know it.
Information is a commodity. People are happy to trade their time for your information if you are giving them something they can consume and either learn from or be entertained by.
Realize that there is no end to the information you can provide about whatever the subject matter is, but that it isn’t always going to be easy to come up with information to provide or how to provide it.
Keep in mind that not everyone knows everything about whatever topic you are focused on. There are always going to be people who might get bored or even annoyed when you cover the most basic, trivial details of a particular subject. But not everyone is a seasoned user or enthusiast. There are always new people in the mix who are just getting started and who will benefit greatly from even the most basic tips and information.
If you are committing to a daily routine, then do it. If you are committing to providing a certain kind of value to your friends and followers, then follow through with it. And knock yourself out trying to provide the best value you can.
And your friends and followers will be forever grateful. At least for that moment.