Be quick!

BY TJ Walker

When people say “at Internet speed” they mean quick—really quick! Victory does not go to the slow and plodding when it comes to talk head video on the Internet.

As I write this today, news reports came in at 4:07 that Great Britain finally had a new Prime Minister. I was in the middle of conducting a media training when a colleague walked in and handed me the news. I switched gears in the training and quickly did a 90 second video analysis of the new Prime Minister’s speaking skills and his role in the English speaking world of great speakers. The video was posted to YouTube by 4:12 PM.

Instantly, the video started generating views and within an hour the Wall Street Journal had called to do an interview. Was my analysis of the Prime Minister’s speaking skills stunningly original and brilliant? Of course I think so, but even if you don’t, it doesn’t matter. Because I was so quick, I got a jump on all of my competition. In fact, at 4:12, I had no competition.

I made it really easy for mainstream media reporters and producers to find me, call me and book me. And being in the mainstream media is one really easy way to get more viewers, followers and fans for your videos and ideas on the web.

When it comes to your comments on breaking news that falls within the realm of your expertise, remember, solid analysis NOW is a lot better than the most brilliant analysis ever thought up if it comes a week late or even a day late. A part of being a social media guru in your field comes down simply to being quick on your feet (and mouth!). Of course being quick alone won’t help if what you have to say is uninteresting or boring to people. But some people are simple incapable of formulating analysis and opinions on breaking news without literally sleeping on it for a night or two. This is a terrible strategy if you want to get the most millage out of your social media videos. You must be interesting, insightful and relevant in a timely way. Only when you are really famous can you bring people to your videos and ideas independently from any larger news issue that is hot at the moment.

Sometimes, it pays to be so quick that you give your analysis of an event before it even happens. What do I mean by this? Clearly, I don’t mean getting a crystal ball or hiring a fortune teller. And I don’t mean just making up stuff. What I mean is shooting a video on a big news event before it happened. One of the biggest viewed videos I ever did was a pre-view of the 2008 vice presidential debates. MY video was up 24 hours in advance and it received thousands of viewers hungry for information on the event. The same thing happens before a major presidential address like President Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize speech. Similarly, when there is a much anticipated event like Steve Jobs giving a speech to unveil the iPad, I do a preview speech analysis and post it the day before his speech. Then I do another video immediately after the speech. Even thought you would think more people would be interested in the analysis of the actual speech, thousands more actually watched the preview video.

So the rules are be quick, be fast, and preferably, be early if you want to capture the largest viewing audience.  


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