Blog Subscribers, Commenters, Lurkers & Passers-By

Bill CammackI had a conversation a few days ago with a friend who asked me what I thought about blogging / podcasting / creating video content, specifically as it pertains to viewership and even more specifically as it pertains to NUMBERS of viewers for content we post to the internet. Continue reading “Blog Subscribers, Commenters, Lurkers & Passers-By”

Social Media Budgeting (Cars, Not Trophies)

Social Media

Bill CammackPeople always want to know how to make money with social media.

The problem is that social media doesn’t make money FOR you. Social media ENABLES YOU to make money…. maybe.

Everybody wants to know how their sales are going to increase once they hire you to create a website or set them up with a presence on Facebook or Twitter. Continue reading “Social Media Budgeting (Cars, Not Trophies)”

Time, Part 07: “Subcontracting”

Bill CammackOne of the things that makes me who I am as a video editor is that I can visualize aspects of the project that haven’t occurred yet. When I see a scene or a picture, I know how it will work (if at all) with other footage I’ve seen. When I hear something, I know what I can use it for. Basically, I create the video while I’m reviewing the footage and then I basically trace what I already saw instead of building a video from scratch and wondering whether it’s going to work or not.

There are a lot of elements that go into making a video that don’t become important until the final output, yet if you don’t pay attention to those elements ahead of time (known as pre-production), you may end up needing to re-do all the work you just did. Elements include frame dimensions (16×9 vs 4×3), frame size (in pixels), data rate, codec, font, font size, lower 3rds, drop shadows, transitions… For just one example, if your video is going to be seen @ 320×180 (width and height, in pixels), you’re going to want to deal with your font sizes differently than if you were going to present in 1280×720 HD (high definition). If you act as if you’re going to output in HD, you might have to change all your titles when the client sees them in 320×180, because they can’t be read.

The reason I bring this up is that this ability increases my efficiency. I know the questions to ask ahead of time so I don’t waste time. Also, I can see my way clear through to the end of the project. I can basically “see” the finished video as if I fast-forwarded time to when I was finished. This is because everything goes onto a “checklist”. If I know what the video dimensions are, I can visualize the size that the final output will be. If I know the font, I can imagine what the text will look like…

OTOH… If I *DON’T* know what the background color is… That becomes apparent to me in my visualization and I ask the client if they want to use a background image or they have a specific color in mind. Same thing for font color or music selection. I have a good basic idea of what’s missing and what I need to figure out ASAP in order to efficiently get the job done. Continue reading “Time, Part 07: “Subcontracting””

Time, Part 06: “What’s Your Budget?”

Bill CammackCheck it out… If you want to be seen as a businessperson and not a HOBO (read: bum, derelict, vagrant), stop contacting people about projects without including budget information.

Here’s how the process works… When someone with 1,200 Facebook Friends and 400 Linkedin Contacts and another 1,200 MySpace Friends and 2,300 Twitter Followers clicks on your email, that email is going to be scanned for a number. If there’s no number, that email is going to be IGNORED. Continue reading “Time, Part 06: “What’s Your Budget?””

Time, Part 05: “Focus & Motion”

Continued from “Time”, Parts 01, 02, 03 & 04:

Life is easy when you 9-5 it. All you have to do is go where they told you, do what they told you and leave when they told you. Two weeks from now, you get a check and then the cycle starts all over again.

As a freelancer, your time has to be divided amongst several things every day, and it’s up to you to get proficient with selecting what to focus on and how much time to devote to it.

Efficiency

The selection process is actually critically important. I already discussed micromanagement of time, but it’s just as important, if not more so, to minimize the time that you waste DECIDING what to focus on. For instance, it might take you one minute to read someone’s email, but it took you 30 seconds to DECIDE whether you were going to read that email. Perhaps a more efficient style would be to jump right in, start reading and if you realize it’s something you don’t care about, bail.

I know that 10 seconds or 30 seconds doesn’t sound like much, and a year or two ago, it wasn’t much to me either. When you get to the point of receiving 100 emails every day of varying levels of importance, those seconds can add up to a major time sink. Consider the process to respond to a “new Twitter follower” notification (assuming you don’t use a program to auto-follow people who follow you): Continue reading “Time, Part 05: “Focus & Motion””