BY TJ Walker
A foolish consistency may be the hob goblin of little minds, but there is nothing foolish about making it really easy for people to experience you and your ideas on a regular basis. Oprah may be a great host, but how successful do you think she’d be if she just put out a show when she felt like, say, once every 3 and a half weeks? She would have never built an audience and never been successful that way.
I recommend that you figure out a regular pattern for creating and distributing your videos on the web. Whether it’s once a month, once a week, once a day, once an hour or even once a year (that works well for the Queen of England!), figure out what works well for you and your audience.
There might not be much hard news in your niche if you focus on, say, ceramic pottery. But for many fields of economics, business, marketing, finance, politics, the law, there is an endless stream of hard news stories for you to comment on and provide analysis. Figure out a pattern.
Personally, I try to pick one communications related story in the news every day to comment on in a video. As news warrants, I might even do a second or even third video that day if there are hard breaking stories where I have analysis and expertise that I feel would be interesting or helpful to people. But I don’t force it. I wait for the issues to rise. Occasionally, I don’t see any issues in the news so I might do a non-news topic that deals with fundamental how-to issues on some aspect of public speaking or communications.
For awhile, when I was experimenting with different aspects of video social media, I would do as many as 10 videos a day. This proved to be too much—some would say way too much! I couldn’t maintain quality and I wasn’t helping my brand or image by talking about so many things. So I don’t advise being greedy and trying to do too many videos. But if you do too few, you aren’t likely to make a firm and lasting impression. It is unlikely that any one video you record is going to strike people as the single most brilliant thing they have ever heard to the point where they can never forget you. Instead, you are lucky to get people to think you made a couple of good points, sounded reasonably intelligent and perhaps worthy of another 90 seconds of their time if they come across another one of your videos in the near future. That would actually be a success.
Text bloggers who are successful generally do it on a consistent basis—many make multiple updates a day. Tweeters with huge audiences also do so with great frequency. You don’t have to put out 50 videos a day the way Guy Kawasaki tweets, but you do need regularity so that people can put you into a part of their brain that is predictable. Yes, people like surprises, but they also like people who can deliver surprises in predictable frequencies. I read the New York Times every day because it’s always full of surprises, but also because I know that the second I turn on my Kindle reader each morning, that new edition of the Times will be waiting for me.
There is a school of thought that says wait until you have a brilliant idea, then and only then produce your video or other art form. The problem with that is if you don’t give yourself deadlines, you might not ever produce anything. William F. Buckley produced a great number of best-selling and influential books. He also wrote some books that weren’t so hot. Regardless, he wrote a book every February for around 50 years, and he had the influence, wealth and clout that accompanied it. Larry King has done a daily radio or TV show for more than 50 years. Love him or hate him, but that consistency is a source of durability and power.
Video social media is a “new” media, but that doesn’t mean that you can learn lessons from successful people in old media. Consistency and regularity are valued in talk show hosts, advice columnist, marriage partners and yes, new social media video communicators.