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I’m not a big planner. I mean I plan. I plan on a going a trip and I plan on having fun. That’s planning right? Now my sister in law and sister – they can plan! They have all the info on places to see, where to go, what restaurants to visit. Ticket information too! Don’t get me started on my husband who sees a calendar with all the boxes filled as a reason to celebrate.

Me, I’d rather meander around a new city, find cool places myself, talk to locals. Discover my own vibe.

But when it comes to creating videos, especially for businesses, I’m the exact opposite, and you should be too. Everyone has a smart phone, everyone can take videos and it’s easy to whip it out and start filming no matter where you are. But did you think about creating a video at this event before you hit record or send? Or did you just send out a live video and now have to live with the consequences?

Those consequences are real, and they can hurt your company – I’ll give you an example of someone who didn’t plan a bit later.

Whether you’re creating a video blog (vlog) or a how-to video, even an interview to be streamed later, your first step should be planning the video. Think of how you want it to flow. Think of who you’re trying to reach, really focus on the topic and make it specific. Participants in my workshop often get Topics and Subjects confused.

I ask them to write a list of Topics and I’ll get lists like Landscaping, Organizing shelves, Non-profits. These are Subjects.

A Topic is “Why a water resistant garden is the wave of the future”, “How I used crowdfunding to pay for my non-profit’s new office. How you can too.”.

See the difference? When you’ve planned your video you know which direction to take your script (my next blog) in, or how to frame your questions. Being organized can give insightful information to your clients, friends, colleagues. You can set yourself up as an expert.

Here’s another reason to plan. Research shows us that we have 8 seconds to capture our audience’s attention. Eight seconds. Think about that. If you spend those first 8 seconds hemming and hawing, getting your camera ready, working your way up to your topic it won’t matter. You’ve lost your audience. Make your words, your background, even you worth watching in those first eight seconds.

Look, it’s hard getting noticed. There’s a lot of noise and the competition for attention for your client’s attention span is big. More marketers than ever are using video. More video is uploaded to YouTube daily than the networks have created in the past decade. If you don’t get your message out in a way that gets attention, viewers will move on. Planning your video gives you an advantage to THINK about what you want to say and how you want to say it before you hit record. Put effort into your message. You and your company are worth it.