YouTube Reaches out to Small Businesses with New Director On-Site
The night before my presentation on YouTube marketing for an entrepreneur conference, I Googled “YouTube” to see if there was anything new and noteworthy to tell my audience. That was mid-June and YouTube had just officially released this newest program to support video creators.
I honestly thought it was too good to be true and so I immediately signed up. The only catch is that you agree to spend $150 in promoting your video, which is an amazing deal considering that you get a professional video.
The Director On-Site Program offers small businesses the chance to make video creation easy. If you want to use video to market your business, but feel overwhelmed at the idea of making a quality video or simply don’t have the equipment, this program will solve that. So far only offered in a handful of US cities, but has plans to expand. If you’re lucky enough to be in one of them it’s completely worth it to try it out.
A YouTube director comes out to your office (in my case, my home) and films a video of you talking about your business. He then edits it to make it look professional, adding music and text as necessary. Don’t let it stop you if you don’t have a beautiful work space. You could rent space, or maybe even record outdoors.
I was staying in LA and had the chance to try out the On-Site Director program TWICE. It was so good I couldn’t just do it once. I got to work with the same Director both times. Thanks, Ron!
Who and What this Program is For and Not For
DO IT if:
- You already have a small business. You are pretty clear about your service or product, even if you’e not making money yet. It’s important to be able to express what your business offers to your customer in a very concise way.
- You want a short video. You want to give your audience an introduction to your service or product. These videos are meant to be kept under 60 seconds.
- You are open to being on camera. It’s OK if you’re not a professional actor, but you must be willing to try, or get someone that is.
- You are open to working together with a director. My director was flexible and great to work with and offered suggestions to make the video flow better.
- You have $150 to spend on advertising. The agreement is that you will spend at least $150 on advertising your video through YouTube.
DON’T DO IT if:
- You want to use this to create a series of videos for your YouTube channel. This is meant to be a one-off (ok, maybe two, as I did) deal.
- You want to use this to create an online course. This is not intended to be a series, a course, or any kind of intensive long-term video production.
- You want to use this to make videos that are intended for purposes other than YouTube. This is a YouTube program, so obviously you are supposed to use the videos on your YouTube channel. You can post your video on social media and on your website, but the primary purpose should be for your YouTube video marketing.
- You don’t really want to be on camera. Yeah… it’s you on camera, unless you hire an actor.
- You don’t really want a director’s opinion. If you have very strong, inflexible ideas about how your video should be, maybe you should just make it yourself. Part of the amazing part of this program is that you’re working with an experienced film director, and you should be open to taking his suggestions!
- You don’t have $150 to spend on advertising.
Inside my YouTube On-Site Director Experience
Here’s exactly what happened, in case you’re curious.
When I signed up, I selected a template that is at least somewhat related to my business goals. For example, you may choose “education,” or “e-commerce” or something else. I chose “education,” even though it’s intended for a physical school and mine is online. Then I selected at least 3 days and times I would be available to chat on the phone with my assigned YouTube director.
My YouTube director in LA was amazing to work with. He called on the phone on time and we discussed my goals and messaging. He typed our ideas into the script boxes of the education template I had selected. We didn’t follow the template exactly, but used it as a base.
I told him that I help entrepreneurs to use video to market their business, and he laughed and said I didn’t need him since this is what I do all the time. The truth is, I think it really helps to have someone experienced to talk your script over with!
A few days later, we had a follow up call to revise the script. We updated a few lines, making them flow better together and making sure that my message was communicated clearly. It was the final communication before the big recording day. I requested to record from my apartment.
On the recording day, my director showed up right on time. Set up was fast and soon we were recording. I didn’t have to memorize a long script and it was easy to record a few takes and choose the best ones.
I have a lot of experience creating my own videos, so that helped make our process much smoother. If you’re camera shy or haven’t made many videos before, expect to practice more and get more coaching for a better final product.
After recording, the director went right to work on editing. He asked me to provide some appropriate b-reel for the video (examples of my work on video) and to select some background music. Then he magically put everything together.
The recording appointment is typically 3 hours, but we finished everything in 2 hours. Before lunch time, we watched the final clip together. It was awesome!
Tips for Making the Most of Your YouTube Director On-Site Video Making Experience
It’s such a great opportunity to take advantage of this program. Here are a few things I did that made the experience go smoothly and optimally.
First, think about what type of video your business will benefit from the most now. For example, a video that explains your services and products? A video telling your story as the founder? A video focusing on client testimonials?
Even before you talk with your assigned director, decide what you’d like for your video’s call to action. The best choice for most videos will probably be a call to subscribe to your YouTube channel.
Imagine where you will use this video. Obviously you will post it to your YouTube channel uploads. Your video could make a great channel trailer, featured video, and advertisement on YouTube. You probably want to post it on social media and on your website, too.
Think from the viewer’s point of view. Literally, look into the lens of the camera and pretend you’re talking directly to a client. When you’re recording, make sure to bring your energy! Practice this using your smartphone if you’re not used to making videos.
Imagine someone who has never heard of your business and what they need to know. Most people who will see your video will not be familiar with you or your business. You need to tell them in less than 60 seconds why they should be interested. Do not try to say too much in the video. Imagine it as your video handshake, a greeting to the millions of viewers on YouTube that you’re sure to attract.
Bottom line, it’s an amazing value and will probably be a great investment for your business.
It isn’t a big time commitment. I found it to be really fun and I learned a lot from working with my YouTube Director. I’ll use the videos we made for a long time.
The best part of the experience for me was learning how a professional film director working for YouTube makes a video from start to finish. I’m so grateful to have had this experience twice!
Here are the videos I made as part of the on-site director service:
For my English language learning business
For my video marketing and online course creation channel