By Jim James, Founder EASTWEST PR and Host of The UnNoticed Podcast.
Hailing from Holland, GJ van Buseck is considered a thought leader and influencer in video creation. In a recent The UnNoticed Podcast episode, he talked about how you can use video to tell your story and get yourself noticed.
Image from LinkedIn
From Sales Manager to Content Creator
GJ was a sales manager for an energy company until 2018. He decided to make a complete change of career, studied how to become a documentary maker, and finished a filmmaking course.
But as COVID-19 caught the world by surprise, he had to stay home, hindering him from doing the things he had in mind. He had to reconsider his future — What should he do sitting at home, being quarantined, and not being able to go anywhere? That was when he decided to be more active on LinkedIn, a platform that he hardly used before. When he met LinkedIn content marketing consultant Alex B Sheridan, he was inspired by how he busied himself making content. It prompted him to start making content as well to help other people get ahead.
In September 2020, he recorded his first 60-second video. He simply used a mobile phone to record himself as he put out a message that he thought would be interesting for others. When he posted it on LinkedIn, he expected the worst reactions and responses. However, nobody gave him the criticism he expected. In fact, some people were actually surprised about him making video content.
From there, GJ started building his content. He established a routine of putting out short videos (ranging from 60 to 90 seconds). Then, his network grew from 700 to around 1,800 as of writing. He shared that his connections don’t only include people that he invited but also those that followed him because of the content that he makes.
Today, he can now be regarded as an expert in using video as LinkedIn content. And this is what exactly is stated in his profile: to get in the picture and make yourself known out there. And for him, the best way to do that is through video.
Making Content and Overcoming Excuses
When he was starting, GJ had nobody in mind as his audience. If his content is interesting for anybody, then anybody could listen to and watch it.
At that time, he was only giving short messages about his view on LinkedIn — how it used to be a platform for recruiters and job-seekers; how it became an avenue for content creators to share their knowledge and help others improve themselves.
Image from Unsplash
Later on, he realised that he had to focus on the subject of video creation itself. From there, he started making videos to show people that it wasn’t that difficult to make one. If you have a phone with a camera, you won’t need any other expensive equipment such as green screens, lamps, and lights. All you have to do is to switch on your camera, record yourself, and share whatever it is that you know with the world.
There are always excuses when it comes to accomplishing things. You can say that you can’t be able to do video content because you don’t have the equipment or you don’t know about video.
In reality, GJ said that you don’t need to know all that much. If you have a smartphone, you can stick it to your window with duct tape or tie it with a little piece of rope through a window. Take advantage of the beautiful daylight falling over you, then just press the record button. He noted that daylight is the most beautiful light that you can use for short video content (Remember: you’re not making a three-hour movie). One- to two-minute videos are enough to share an interesting message. They just got to have that something that can entice others to keep listening to them.
Finding Your Own Rhythm
In terms of the frequency of publishing your content, GJ shared that it’s about finding your own rhythm.
Image from Unsplash
When he started in September last year, he was enthusiastic about making short movies. He began posting several times a week. But what he realised was, you can overdo things with that. This is why you have to give people the time to digest your content.
Also, keep in mind that if you’re going to make a movie every day, it will take a lot of time: You have to record it; if the first take is not good enough, you have to re-record it. You also have to do some editing. However, for GJ, editing is something that you can improve on over time. In the beginning, it’s not that necessary because your focus should be on the message that you’ll give.
If you’re just starting out, you can simply use your phone and use it to make a video of you sharing your knowledge with the world. Keep in mind that everybody has something that is interesting for somebody else. And whether your video has 10 or 10,000 views, what makes it worth doing is having one person finding value in it.
To make his content more accessible, GJ posts videos on his LinkedIn feed. He emphasised that groups are limited in terms of the number of people who can view your content. However, you can still put it on such avenues if you belong to one (in his case, he has a group comprising people who attended the same video-filming course he attended).
Tools for Editing
There are free mobile applications that you can use for editing.
InShot, for example, allows you to add stickers to your video, edit it, and upload it anywhere you want to. These platforms include YouTube, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
Image from LinkedIn
However, GJ said that he prefers using professional editing software on a computer because working on a tiny phone can be challenging. His software is Final Cut Pro, which is similar to iMovie but more expensive and professional.
The Adobe Cloud editing software, another professional tool that you can use, is available via subscription at $8 a month.
On Backgrounds, Content Subjects, Language Used
Currently, there are two schools of thought on video backgrounds. One is having a green screen; the other is using an authentic backdrop. For GJ, your choice of background should depend on the type of video that you’re making.
For his weekly video column (which he started in January), he uses a green screen and edits a theatre background into his video.
If you want to record in a natural set-up like a park, you can do so. However, he pointed out that you have to be careful with the sound. In a park, the birds and winds can affect your video’s audio quality.
Screengrab from LinkedIn
Whichever your choice is, it all boils down to the message that you have and the story that you want to tell. If you need to rely on a background to make your story more interesting, you have to reconsider your story.
For the content of his video column, GJ does a look-back on the news and events that happened in the past week. He performs stand-up comedy as well. Now, he’s also doing a “vide-od-cast” (a combination of video and podcast) where he places himself on a resort-like background. The topic of his content is how you can make videos.
Screengrab from LinkedIn
All of the subjects that he uses are those that he thinks are fit for the series that he makes. If his audience will be interested in new subjects, then he’ll make a new scenery in a specific format for that.
The audience of his content is Dutch, so he does his videos in Dutch. He only has one video in English to honour his foreign connections.
In terms of response, he uses the Shield App to measure engagement on Linkedin. The benchmark on the platform is 5% and GJ averages 6.6% across all his content (including sliders, articles, and videos). His engagement rate for videos alone is significantly higher — which is 11.3%. His latest video series racks up an average of 14%.
While you have to put in a lot of time in making videos, the feedback and engagement will still be higher compared to written content. For him, filming is the best way to get in the picture and earn high engagement. Again, you just have to find your rhythm, know what it is that you’re going to talk about, and make several clips out of that. In his case, he’s been fixed at recording everything every week.
If you have questions, contact GJ through his LinkedIn account. And if you want to get noticed, try to make a video and get in the picture. Muster the courage, use your phone, press play, and enjoy.
This article is based on a transcript from my Podcast The UnNoticed, you can listen here.