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Monday, January 28, 2013

Incremental Improvement

In the YouTube content creation world I have learned that it is important to make incremental improvements.  After I produced my first 10 videos I made a decision to stick with how-to videos for at least one year to see if I could get any views.  Once I decided to commit I knew it was time for some sort of improvement.  In September 2011 I contacted my friend Mark at Six Am Comics and asked him to develop a logo for me so I could build my brand.  He does professional graphic design and I wanted something that communicated visually who I was.  I could not be more pleased with Mark's work.  If your in the market for something, tell him BigNate sent you.  No promises, but maybe he'll give you a discount.

Having a logo and avatar helped solidify my brand and visually bring together all my supporting social media accounts.  In fact just last week I was invited to appear on Craig Chamberlin's PCM Tech Help Show as a guest, in part because he noticed my sweet professional-looking logo.  My first 10 videos are a good reminder of how things play out in the real world.  Things aren't always perfect right out of the starting gate.  And that's ok, they don't have to be perfect.  The audio and video quality was not very good in my first few videos.  There is no logo or BigNate84 avatar.  It's easy to think...

Maybe I'll wait to publish my first few videos until I have more details worked out and better quality gear

This type of thinking can lead to the pitfall of perfectionism.  Reality check.  You probably won't have time to work out all the details in advance.  Especially if you have a full time job.  So if you wait too long to publish your content, you run the risk of never actually publishing anything.  Obviously there is a balance between uploading complete garbage and uploading something thoughtful.  You should put forth a good effort and strive for high quality production values to the best of your ability.  It's ok to go the extra mile.  Just don't let your endeavor come to a grinding halt because your logo is the wrong shade of orange.  Does that make sense?  Plus you'll be able to look back one day and see how much you have improved.

This is why the idea of incremental improvement is so important to embrace.  Below is a video by FreddieW that inspired me near the beginning of my web publishing journey.  Whether it's waiting to save up for better video production equipment or waiting to hire a graphic designer like Mark, it is better to work with what you have rather than do nothing at all.  I started out with a Flip Ultra HD camcorder, five dollar tripod from a garage sale, Windows Movie Maker and a pair of $6 work lights from Home Depot.  The experience I gained with this entry level gear helped guide my future YouTube decision making.  One of my most popular videos came out of my first ten that didn't have a nice polished logo but still managed to bring in hundreds of thousands of views.