Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Goal-Setting the SMART Way

December 27, 2012 by  
Filed under All Posts, Business Practices

Since the world didn’t end last week, we are now faced with looking at 2013 straight in the eye.

Are you one who makes resolutions? I haven’t done so in years but I do set goals all the time. When you think of resolutions do you think in terms of goals? To me, if you focus and put a lot of thought and effort into making new years’ “goals” instead of just “resolutions,” you will be much more likely to actually accomplish what you want. Resolutions tend to be larger – and vaguer – and that is part of the challenge in keeping them.

To increase your chances to actually meet your resolution, it should be written down as a goal and then broken into mini-goals. Over the last few years, I’ve been using the “SMART” method to guide me.

So what is “SMART” goal setting? It is basically looking at your goal and then asking yourself: Is it specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-based? In answering these questions, you take your idea or “resolution” and transform it into an action plan that you can achieve.

S – Specific: Before you begin, you need to decide exactly what you want to accomplish. For example, rather than saying, “I want to make money with video,” say it more specifically, “I will produce a five part video series on ______ .” (You fill in the blank with your topic.)

M – Measurable: You need to have a method to evaluate your progress. Continuing with your video production goal of producing a five part series, one measurable factor might be something like, “This project will cost less than $8,000.”

A – Attainable: Make your goal possible but not too easy. If it’s too easy, you may not be that motivated to pursue it then you’ll be back at square one. If you make the goal too difficult and out of reach like “My video has to be shot on the summit of Mount Everest and the deserts of Iraq”, you may be too frustrated and too discouraged to even try. You want an attainable goal that you can do and which will motivate and challenge you.

R – Realistic: Your goal should be in line with your lifestyle, talents, budget and abilities. For example, if you’ve never operated a camera before and your budget is small, you probably shouldn’t choose a highly technical and very pricey camera such as a Red Epic. A better approach would be choosing a good quality consumer camcorder that meets your needs and your budget.

T – Time-based: You have to have a specific date of completion, setting mini-deadlines along the way. For example, “I want to produce my video and have it on the market by September, 2013.” You then will set the dates where you need to have the script finalized (by February 28), shooting finished (by June 30th), video edited (by August 15th), etc.

Now I’m going to give you an assignment…I want you to set one or more goals for the videos you want to produce for 2013 and WRITE THEM DOWN!!  You can use any number of the free online tools or apps available for keeping them front and center in your mind or just put them on sticky notes and put them where you can see them each day. Doing so will help to keep you accountable and committed.

It also helps to establish a support system. Having a spouse, family member, friend or co-worker who supports your goal enhances your chances for success. That is one of the reasons we recently started the Special Interest Video Organization, a group of like minded video-entrepreneurs who can help each other out, so check out joining it.

Following this SMART goal-setting method will help set you up for success but remember…the key is to START. Why not today?

Camera Support Designed For The Small Camera – The Dougmon

December 21, 2012 by  
Filed under All Posts, Equipment, Video Production

Because cameras are getting much smaller and lighter, there’s a lot more speed and flexibility in the types of angles and shots you can now get with them. However with that comes a lot of camera support and stabilization issues. Last week we shared one camera support system, the Ready Rig. Today we have another new option to show you, the Dougmon.

In this short 5 minute video we shot at DV Expo, you’ll meet 30 year veteran cameraman Doug Monroe who created this small camera and DSLR solution.

In the video you’ll see how:

  • To use the Dougmon to create a body-pod;
  • You can use it to shoot long interviews without fatigue;
  • You can use it to mimic feature film style camera perspective;
  • It got its interesting name;
  • You can use it with the Slingmon to support your heavier cameras while still getting the versatility of the Dougmon.

The Dougmon is a great support system for action and sports videographers and the price point is a lot lower than what you’d expect in something this effective and versatile. You can see more at The Dougmon Special Camera Support Rig with Manfrotto-Style Head & Plate is available at B&H Photo Video and at Amazon.

Keep It Simple – This Isn’t A Motion Picture

While determining who your customers are and finding them, assessing your competition and offering your own unique selling proposition (USP), expanding your product line, and testing, measuring and tweaking are key to success, there’s also something else you need to keep in mind when producing videos with the express purpose of teaching something to someone….which is the information is paramount; the bells and whistles not so much.

What do I mean by that?

Do not try to make this into a motion picture, especially if you don’t have the skill set or the money to make a high end production. For what you are trying to accomplish, that will not only be overkill but if done poorly, will be profit kill! You are providing information; keep it simple, clear and concise.

What about production value?

While production value is important – you want to produce the best video you can…more on how to do that later – don’t overlook that your most important goal in producing your video is conveying information the end user needs and is willing to pay for. You want to make a profit on your video and if you over-deliver in needlessly expensive areas, you may not see a profit let alone a return on your investment! Your first step in knowing what is needed is to really know who you’re producing this video for.

Know Your Audience

Doing all that research identifying your target market will come in really handy in knowing what you need to do and spend in order to produce your video. These people have to be front and center in your mind when developing your budget. You want to scale the production value to your subject and to your intended audience.

For example, you don’t have to go overboard with locations, effects or expensive stock footage if you determined that what your audience wants is a simple “how-to” program that is all closeup shots. You may also find you don’t even need to shoot any video at all providing your topic is one that would work well as a screencast movie, such as teaching a computer software program, internet marketing technique or social media tool.

I’ve seen people make expensive mistakes in this area. One of my associates spent well over $50,000 developing a series of educational videos for a very small niche market. He was paying the producer by the month rather than a flat fee (he learned his lesson to never do that) and it was taking far too long and getting more expensive by the month. While that video is very well done, it has been on the market now for 5 years and he’s yet to make his money back on it.

Give your audience just what they need in terms of production quality and don’t spend anything more. We’re not talking about feature film productions here. Those are different videos with different objectives.

Increase Your Production Values Without Breaking The Bank 

As I shared above, you still want to produce the best quality video you can and the good news is that you don’t have to spend a ton of money or do a lot of fancy stuff to get higher production values. If you’ll be shooting this yourself, even if you’re using only your  smartphone, it doesn’t take much effort or money to ensure the audio is good, your subject is lit well and your  camera movement is steady.

While I’ve shared that the main problem with trying to make this into a film for the big screen is that it may end up costing you WAY more than you’ll ever make, the other concern in thinking it needs to be this way is that it very well may leave you overwhelmed and keep you from actually getting started. And that won’t get you anywhere!

Recommended Reading and Resources:

Identify Your Target Market Before You Do This

Video Resources – Our recommendations

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