Olu Sobanjo does YouTube and video training as Story Sellers Consulting helping people attract their ideal clients, build trust and sell more. We had a warm and enjoyable conversation about building confidence on camera, recording live video and telling great stories.
Olu’s background is in photography, wedding, event photos, back in uni days. Many years later started doing coaching online. Video became a major part of her work. Clients needed to go online. Then with COVID, lots of people started asking for help with their video.
Video is great because it allows everybody to show up as the expert in their own field, and video makes it easy because people are able to “almost feel like they know you”.
Olu started on YouTube way back but it took hours of prerecording, editing and post-production. With small children this was hard – they had to go to bed, but then she heard about live video.
Live video was a revelation despite initial reservations. She was not comfortable going live after her editing habits. Another Mastermind pushed her to go live. So she jumped in.
Realised that it’s actually a time-saver and every single person should learn how to do it!
Best way is to go live, do the recording, and this helps to validate what you’re talking about – you’re getting feedback from them and finding out if it resonates, while simultaneously creating content.
Sometimes you can find out where you got most interaction. In YouTube you can do it, and other platforms like be.live can give you realtime beat by beat engagement. This helps you find out the best bits to clip and share. Could be between 2:30 and 5 minutes. Cut it – that’s like gold.
Another strategy – if it’s a live stream then engage with your audience – get them to put markers in chat – even if it’s just a number “1” in chat to say they liked a certain bit.
Can people go straight to live video?
We’re all different. Each person is scared of the camera for different reasons. First they need to find out what this reason is – why don’t they like the camera? Once they have nailed the problem, don’t get stuck there, just jump on camera and get started. May need to go ahead and record yourself before going live.
You could go live privately to practice – it’s like a monster that you want to conquer. Once you can do it in private, you can then go public.
Some people find it easier to go live, but for many people they have different reasons, and when talking about your expertise you have to organise your thoughts. Sometimes that can be complicated to people.
Can you separate what you are going to say from how you are going to say it?
If what you’re trying to achieve with the video is to reach a global audience, the question is “is it really going to fly?”. You always have to go back and make sure you have everything clear and that you’re not wasting your own time or your audience’s time.
How to tell a compelling story and get what you want out of it
Storytelling is the backbone of any kind of video. Before jumping in, understand who you are talking to. If you tell a story that doesn’t resonate, you’re wasting everybody’s time. Influencers can fill time talking about their day and other random things, but a business owner needs to be strategic on story and message.
The way it works to choose and tell would be once you’re clear on audience, pick out a few stories that are part of the story for the ideal audience – they’ve gone through it, they’ve felt the way you felt, they’re in it right now, then you can start to use them – in your bank of frequently-used-stories
Share stories with the necessary emotion. In public speaking you have to work the room, zero in on one person etc.. but on video you can’t do that. But you can use emotion. You can pause and let it sink in. Give them an experience of the story. Tell the story and show the story.
The good thing is that most people, as children, have been told “keep quiet, you talk too much”. We’re innately good at telling our stories. We just have to bring back who we were as a child.
The more you share on videos, the more you have live audiences, the more you get confident to actually share with the audience, authentic, relatable stories.
Is it worth developing this with chat? Yes. Once you’ve begun to talk to people live, you begin to understand what they want from you. Olu started from blogging, went to video, podcast, recording 100 episodes of podcast, published a couple of books – it was a journey – but as she continues to interact with people she sees what they see – what they want from you. “It’s not about me, it’s about your audience”. Listen to people.
You will get all you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they wantZig Ziglar
When talking to other business owners, Olu felt like video was the easiest thing in the world – being an expert meant she didn’t realise how much value she had to offer. But by taking one person, finding out what their exact need is, creating a solution, then most of the time it comes to you selling more of your product. Asking people what they want is like gold. Sometimes it will sound redundant, especially when you’re already talking to pros. They’ll be like “no no no” and will even advise you – but they’re not the people you’re out there to help.
With the emotional connection, giving people a chance to connect with what you’re saying – this gives people permission to ask questions and tell you what they need. You can’t make eye-contact or even notice that they’re bored. Why are pauses important? The interaction on chat.
People want to know you – people want to meet you, especially if you have an expertise that can help people. You can connect with people when they see you. Like when you see an actor on the street you feel like you know them – like they know you. Says Olu, “I met this guy that I had watched for years and I expected him to say “Hey Olu, what’s up?”!”
When things are difficult
A client wanted to write a book about all the stress he was going through. “What you think is horror right now is actually going to make this story more exciting and relatable – if he went through that then so can I”.
“Bad times give you something to talk about”Jeffrey Lewis
How to prepare to go live
It’s easy to just turn up and start talking with no plan, but how do we get more pro, provide real value – what kind of structure does Olu recommend?
When going live, you want to give value – maximise the time you’re with your audience. Also, many people will not watch it live. So you want the replay experience to be good. You can start loose and increase live viewership, but if you do this you need to tell people where to fast forward for the actual start.
Olu has a “Go Live Formula” you can download at livevideolikeapro.com.
Here’s a summary:
- First thing: HAVE A HOOK – a hook statement is like you’re scrolling through social media – you want to STOP THE SCROLL. Once you say something that resonates with the person you want to talk to, you can say something that stop them scrolling and make them want to know what you will say next.
- SAY THE HOOK, SAY WHY THEY SHOULD LISTEN, then give them a bit of context – I’m gonna be talking about X today, then immediately after, you want to go into a story that explains WHY you’re talking about it – why you connect with that problem.
- Once they have a story, there’s a structure in copywriting called PAS – Problem, Agitate, Solution. Depending on video, you talk about problem, agitate it, then start giving solution. DON’T JUST JUMP INTO SOLUTION. Make people connect well, draw them in, they should feel “this guy can see me. how does he know me so well? he’s saying exactly what happened to me last night”
- Usually not more than 3 points in your solution – share the points, do the summary – reiterate what you said, then give a call to action.
- However long the time limit, the structure should be the same. Ten minutes gives you more time. But you can even do it in 3 minutes.
Should we optimise for playback or live?
You can’t really grab someone’s attention if you’re currently live – so should we optimise for playback? However, if you know who you’re talking to, you may well have people who are there and listening so focus on THOSE people but REMEMBER the playback afterwards.
Ivanka is not often looking for an audience but thinks a lot of this streaming video stuff could be appropriated to make meetings and so on less dull. In the simplest element – there’s a lot about video – Ivanka is happy to perform in a room, but in a video she finds it different – feels like you’re there to entertain because it’s on a screen.
We all have different reasons the camera is scary
Once we see the story behind our fear, we say that’s an old story. That can be a story we can retire and move on. Once people are past this stage, they blossom and share with the world. You can impact the world. Many people don’t know 1% of what you know. If you can help those people why not?