In this post, John Espirian looks at the increasing use of video to promote the services of editorial professionals.
As a freelance technical writer, I spend most of my time writing and editing content for my clients. No surprise there. But my specialty – care and repair for words – scarcely seems to be enough these days. Audiences no longer want to read walls of text (actually, they never did want that), and instead prefer more visual forms of communication.
And we’re not just talking about using pretty stock images or adding fancy infographics. No, no. Writers, editors and proofreaders are now starting to communicate with their audience via video. I already have some experience in the field, as I started dabbling with screencasting way back in 2012. I don’t think many other editorial professionals were particularly interested at the time, even though platforms for sharing video (e.g. YouTube and Vimeo) were already well established.
Year on year, social networks are seeing more and more video being shared by their users. Innovations such as Facebook Video, Periscope and Vine have made it easier than ever to get your video out there for all to see.
Editorial pros are now taking note and have started to use the attention-grabbing power of video to promote their services.
I put out a request on Twitter to ask how colleagues are using video to give their business a boost:
I'm writing a blog about the use of video to promote freelance editorial pros' services. Shout if you know possible contributors.
— John Espirian (@espirian) April 18, 2016
Here are a few examples from those who responded to my tweet.
Screencast with voiceover
We’ll start with my personal favourite, the screencast with voiceover.
Microsoft Word Styles Tutorial – by Katherine Trail
PDF proofreading stamp installation instructions (PDF-XChange) – by Louise Harnby
Fields in Word – by Hilary Cadman
Over the years, I’ve created several screencasts of my own. You can watch them in my screencast portfolio. And to find out how these are made, check out my introduction to screencasts blog plus video. To give you an example of my screencasts, take a look at my intro video:
Introduction to Espirian – by John Espirian
Screen video with music
Voiceovers don’t suit everyone, so here’s a different type of screencast. Background music is better than silence!
Lost for recruitment words – by Alasdair Murray
Sarah Townsend Editorial: freelance copywriter and editor (HD promo video)
Probably the easiest sort of video to produce is a person-to-camera recording. Here are a couple of examples:
Types of editing – by Katherine Trail
Cate Hogan – Romance Writer, Editor & Assessor – by Cate Hogan
Not just for cartoons, animation is a great way to promote your business. Here’s how Full Proof does it:
Proofreading for students – by Nick Jones
YouTube and other platforms can be used to host video podcasts, which might just be audio recordings with one or two still images. Here’s an example: Proofread like it’s 1976 – by Louise Harnby.
What do you think?
If you were a prospective client, would the above videos convince you to get in touch with their creators? If so, perhaps you might want to consider creating your own promo video.
In the future, this sort of content is going to become even more popular, so getting onboard now could be a smart move for you and your business. Should you need a hand, drop me a line. And don’t forget to check out the screencasting tips in my introduction to screencasts blog.
Thanks to everyone featured in this post. To find out more, check out the links below:
- Katherine Trail – @kteditorial
- Louise Harnby – @louiseharnby
- Hilary Cadman – @ozeditor
- Alasdair Murray – @alconcalcia
- Sarah Townsend – @STEcopywriting
- Cate Hogan – @cateauthor
- Nick Jones – @full_proof_uk
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Who wrote this?
John Espirian – the relentlessly helpful technical copywriter
I write B2B web content, blogs, user guides and case studies – all aimed at explaining how your products, services and processes work. I also offer LinkedIn profile critiquing and rewriting.
I work from home in Newport, South Wales and support the (formerly) mighty Liverpool FC 🔴⚽️