“Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.” a quote that is still familiar and relevant to this day. Even though this quote is often attributed to Thomas Edison, a little lookup would lead one to discover that it is first penned by a different author the name of Kate Sanborn. Similarly, just as how Tesla is said to have invented the light bulb, it was Edison who is always remembered for it.
Although this piece is not dedicated to debating the veracity of such topics, we can learn a thing or two from these instances. For one, in our modern world visibility and branding largely define how our products and businesses are perceived. The other is that perception is largely influenced by herd mentality, that most people prefer that they are accepted en masse than confronting the fractured truth.
In this digital age, herd opinion seems to pull weight and audiences more than authenticity does. Much so that popularity and visibility are almost considered barometers for trustworthiness. Chasing after views might seem to be a good strategy for the short term but it can hurt your brand in the long term. Not only that you need to compete with a lot of people to get views, but also risk getting sidetracked from your original vision.
To make your videos trustworthy and avoid the click-bait label, you must be able to truly connect with the audience through videos that are unique as it is appealing to them.
No longer that videos are confined to video-sharing platforms such as Youtube. Videos can also now be easily shared across different platforms -Facebook, Instagram, Tiktok, etc. With tons of videos and information bombarding us daily, it is very easy to fall into a creator’s block or a creative coma.
Finding ourselves caught up in the tangles of this digital jungle, it can feel that we are left forever waiting for that wonderland of inspiration. So how do we jumpstart inspiration and create the next viral video? How do we achieve our goals while avoiding the traps of click-bait and cringe videos? Here are some tips on how to help you find your next best video:
Find your niche, your network, and your identity.
Dedicating your first few weeks (or days) to investigating your intentions and setting your vision is the first step in understanding if you are in the right direction.
Knowing what you want to share, topics to explore, and types of audiences to capture can help you get inspired and get the ball rolling. Finding your niche is easy to stumble upon if you segregate tasks into achievable chunks of lists and to-do.
Whatever your niche might be, you can easily find a similar creator on YouTube or other video-sharing platforms. Despite the amount of competition on these websites, searching videos through sites such as Youtube can already make a difference. You can easily find trending videos via the search bar and see suggestions as the website instantly predicts what most users look for.
Finding these videos and topics is only a start, as what matters is how you take the ideas and define what would set yours apart. For example, you can take two trending videos and probably mix them. Improving on an already existing product is never a bad idea as the story of innovation is founded upon people picking up the learnings of the past and building around it.
I remembered Austin Kleon from his book, Nothing is Original and how this makes more sense, especially in this ever-changing digital world. Taking on a mantra of “nothing is original” and just taking small steps is a useful tool in navigating these increasingly changing waters.
In the same spirit, we don’t necessarily need to try so hard and wait for the perfect idea. By taking it this way, one can easily identify your niche and attract the right network (or join online groups) to help build your reputation within online communities.
Take a dip, chart the current, and carve your path.
People say that loving what you do is the key to success and happiness. By understanding what you like and engaging and immersing yourself in communities that make sense for you, you are more in tune with what the community needs.
Nowadays, there are tools and platforms that we can take advantage of to help find what the specific niche needs and help you understand the type of videos that will help you create engaging and authentic videos. A good business is always founded on creating value and solutions for its customers.
As focus and engagement is a precious commodity these days, you want your audience to perceive that watching your video is entertaining and worthwhile. It is by not trying so hard and by responding to the communities instead, that you can truly make a difference.
Aside from that, there are tools available to aid you in your pursuit to understand the market better. For example, making polls through LinkedIn or your business page can help you weather the temperament and engagement potential of your viewers.
Immersing further in your target market, you can bank on platforms such as Reddit and Twitter as a good scale and measure in understanding what is ticking the boxes for people in your specific niche. Another is by creating Facebook groups for specific purposes, you are essentially creating new communities that can help you acquire insights regarding the current trends. Just look at how the TikTok algorithm works creating a niche and catering to the specific interests of its users.
To boost up your viewer engagement further, creating niche products across platforms can help too. Other tools that you can use are by keying in niche-specific keywords in Google Trends, email lists, and following competitors will help you create good sounding boards and test your ideas. By doing so, you can understand where the current market is headed and can fill the gaps along the way.
Dive deep, capture audiences, and connect experiences.
As the digital world increasingly becomes more and more superficial, human touch and authentic engagements are becoming scarcer. That is why to bridge this gap, it is still as important to put yourself out there and engage with the real world as you engage with them online. In that way, you can truly understand how to connect with and understand your audiences.
Whether by attending conferences, watching the news, or joining your local group, your next best idea might just be lurking around the corner. Remember, most viral contents capitalize on relatable yet unexpected concepts.
Whatever tools you employ to find and make content, either that is by watching videos or stumbling into something interesting and putting your spin on it, people always tend to gravitate to what’s natural. And by not forcing it and trying to make it as natural as possible, no matter how superficial something is, there is a chance of creating a niche for it.
For example, say you saw a flying bird and then remember a transition in After Effects that can complement the material and vice versa. Or maybe you were out and listening to music and that music perfectly corresponds as a backdrop to the scene you’re seeing or imagining for.
Exploring the possibilities and creative potential of your tools is one way of dissolving the barrier to creativity. The art and science of video production are dependent on the constant innovation and technical experimentation of the producer. Innovation per se is always dependent on the willingness of the creator to take risks and explore ideas.
Another way to be inspired is by meeting with people, as one can bank on the cumulative experience of the other person. One small fun or serious conversation can be turned around into a meaningful and engaging video for potential viewers. You might even get surprised that what you thought was weird and unimportant would resonate with a lot of people. This will help you connect and engage further with more people and make your perspective relevant while still being true to yourself and your intentions.
Engaging in new hobbies and experiences can also lead you in creating new content and opportunities. So let your creativity flow, experience life and get inspired, and implement your ideas even the silliest and crazy ones. The best ideas often come naturally when you are not trying so hard looking for them.
Whether you choose to run after that elusive idea or combine it with an existing one, running your ideas against existing trends and sentiments is always a smart move. Using this as a framework for creating unique and engaging videos will help you create videos with ease and confidence.
A relatable and relevant video can be more engaging than a perfect trendy one. Also, as much as it is important to have a good idea, to begin with, the product or video should be existing, to begin with. There can be no engagement if there is no material for people to work with.
Finding your authentic self as a video-maker is a challenging task and will take years of failure and improvement. So, for now, pick an idea, get out there, and get going! Remember that the beauty of doing creative work relies on being able to innovate and improve on your work day after day.