️Episode 056 – Using Video To Enhance Your Consulting Brand with RJ Parrishf the IC Podcast

Video marketing is using videos to promote and market your independent consulting services. Using video increases engagement on your digital and social channels educates your prospects and customers, and reaches your audience with a new medium. 

Video is a powerful lead generation tool and as you will hear from our guest today, RJ Parrish, “video is this huge opportunity for all of us, but there’s still some friction and reluctance for a lot of people to use it and maybe today (on this episode) we might be able to break down some of those barriers.” 

RJ Parrish is a video strategist, content creator, marketer, entrepreneur, and encourager of people. He grew up in a small Northern Michigan town and eventually got a degree in Psychology. After realizing that clinical work wasn’t going to be the right fit for him, RJ pivoted into a digital marketing role.

Eventually, video production became a part of his role in working with social media clients and he realized he had a knack for it. In 2018, he was let go from his marketing role and went full-time into freelancing as a videographer/photographer. After a few years of working this way, he decided to tie together everything he’d learned so far and launched Evoke Media Labs in 2020.

RJ’s company, Evoke Media Labs, is a video agency built around the premise set by a quote from Maya Angelou – “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”. Video is by far the best communication tool we have to share a feeling and Evoke specializes in helping businesses leverage it to build connections with their prospective customers

If you want to learn how to leverage video in order to become sought after and known for what you do in your marketplace, press play now.

  • [03:11] Meet our guest, RJ Parrish
  • [08:30] Why video is a compelling way for ICs to reach their corporate audience 
  • [12:49] Top recommendations for you to stand out on video
  • [17:40] Recommendations for how to get started with video marketing
  • [26:42] Common mistakes to avoid when making video content
  • [31:20] Recommendations to get over your fear of being on  video
  • [39:25] Some encouragement and motivation to help you get started with video marketing
  • [42:22] How to connect with RJ Parrish

RJ Parrish, Founder of Evoke Media Labs
Website– https://www.evokemedialabs.com/
Linkedin – https://www.linkedin.com/in/rjparrish/

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**note: This is an automated transcript, so please ignore spelling errors and grammar mistakes*


Welcome to the Grow Your Independent Consulting Business podcast. I’m Melisa Liberman, a fellow IC and business coach. On this podcast, I teach you to become a consistently booked independent consultant without becoming a pushy salesperson or working 24/7. If I can do it, you can too! Listen on to find out how. Welcome back to the podcast today I have an exciting interview to share with you. I have heard Jay Parrish, who is the founder of Evoke Media Labs. And he is a strategist, a video strategist that helps founders and consultants like you create strong personal brands. So today, we really dove into, you know, how can consultants leverage video in order to become sought after and known for what they do in their marketplace? Like you? How do you become known for what you do? How do you use video as a way to differentiate yourself and become more compelling, and human to your ideal consulting clients. So he walked us through so many great tips, everything ranging from how to stand out on video, how to get started if you haven’t yet used video as one of the mediums in your business, how to get over any fears that you might have of getting on video and using that as a tool for your business. And he talked about how to overcome those hurdles. And really get yourself into a rhythm and a routine where you’re consistently producing content that can resonate with your ideal buyers, and help you stand out from the crowd. And really create a strong brand for yourself as a consultant, he talks about how this video strategy really the way he said it laid the brick in the foundation of your brand. And so I want to share this with you for a couple of different reasons. The first is, as you’re thinking about how to stand out how to become known for and known to your ideal buyer, and what kinds of methods you can use, even from a scalability perspective, to get your name out there in front of the people that you want to work with. This is such an important aspect of that. And RJ helps break it down to make it really simple to make it feel really easy to get started with a video that it isn’t really a high barrier to entry that some of us might feel that it is and how to get out of your own head so that you can be really successful as you’re producing videos and publishing them, whether they’re to your website or to LinkedIn or wherever you might be wherever your ideal buyer would be looking for content and looking for you to help them. So with that, I will introduce you to our Jay Parrish and enjoy this interview. Hi, RJ welcome to the podcast. I’m so glad you’re here. We met over LinkedIn, I don’t remember even how we met over LinkedIn. But one of us reached out to the other and we just had a connection call and learned a lot about each other’s businesses. And I was really interested in the work that you do helping optimize people doing a video for marketing perspective online, to drive more leads for their businesses and conversion of their leads. And so I just thought it would be so valuable for you to be on the podcast to talk with independent consultants about how they can leverage video to get their name out there to become more sought after as a consultant and be known for what they do, and how they service their corporate clients. So that’s how I recall how we got connected. You tell me?


Yeah, I think I had reached out to you. I am pretty active and reaching out to other people who seem like they’re doing something they’re trying to build something they’re, you know, a mover shaker, and I came across you and you know what you’re doing. And I think that’s where the conversation started. And then when we had the chance to actually get to chat for 2030 minutes, I think we decided that this would be a great opportunity to, you know, take the conversation further and kind of tailor it to the people that you help. Because video is a huge opportunity for all of us. Were not so long ago something that you had to be a big business to take advantage of. But that isn’t the case anymore. But there’s still some friction and reluctance for a lot of people to use it. And maybe today we might be able to break down some of those barriers.


That sounds like a lot of fun. Well, let’s start off and why don’t you just tell us a little bit about yourself, RJ?


Yeah, so I grew up on a small horse farm in Rural upper peninsula of Michigan, and the middle of nowhere, very remote, not a lot going on, where everyone works in three or four of the same employers and a very small town. And for the longest time, we have the earliest career that I can remember seriously wanting to pursue was to make movies. You know, this idea of when you have a shared love of a film or a movie, it’s just a thing that I remember being 11 or 12, I thought I could spend my life making stuff that brings people together like that people just love together, that that would be incredible. Yeah, it was the first thing that came to my mind something that I want to devote my life to. But at the time, you know, this is probably 15 years ago or so that you had to kind of life in California, or New York. And that was kind of if those were the paths you had to go to film school, you had to kind of start at the bottom and maybe work your way up. And there was really this only linear path. And I learned pretty early on coming from a small town, Michigan that I didn’t want to go to either of those places. That didn’t seem like the path for me, it didn’t seem feasible. So I, you know, let those dreams die and just assumed it would never happen. And went to college to pursue a degree in psychology, I’ve always had an interest in how people work, how they think why they do what they do. And along the way, technology had changed enough that cameras were now in our pockets every day, you could get a professional camera for a couple of $1,000 instead of 3040 $50,000. And it became accessible for someone with no connections to directors or producers to create videos on their own. And I first got in from a sense of creating video for like social media for businesses. And along the way, I kind of by accident stumbled into it. And it turned out I wasn’t terrible at it. And over a couple of years of learning and teaching myself mostly through YouTube videos and self-enrolled courses. I picked up enough skills with video to make it my full-time business. And along the way have kind of encountered this idea that video on its own is not anything special. It’s just a communication tool. But when you pair that with someone who has something important to say, it’s one of the most underutilized tools that we have in our arsenal that we could be leveraging so much more. In over the last few months, I’ve really shifted more to focusing less on production quality, the visual elements of beautiful camera angles, and fancy production. And focusing more on what if we could just enable more people to share their message more frequently? You know, leveraging platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook and TikTok and YouTube. And what if we could do that from anywhere in the world that has an internet connection? And it made me think differently about now it’s not about beautiful cinematography, it’s now about helping people get their message out and stand out in what is becoming an increasingly crowded marketplace.


Yeah, no one do we have such a kindred spirit? I grew up on a cattle ranch. So okay, so tell me when you think about video, why do you think that is could be a compelling way for consultants to reach their corporate audience?


Yeah, I’m gonna take that in two parts. One. Again, video is just a communication tool. But from a format or a medium, it encompasses more elements than any other format like it hits the audio sensor hits visual senses. And you can pair it with written text, or you can kind of convert it to written text. So from just a pure media tool, you can cover your bases much easier through video. The other side is, I guess the subset of that is most people are not talented writers. Sorry if that offends you. But most people do not have the skill to really use their words in a way to convincingly or effectively communicate. But when you just speak about something that you know, deeply, it’s much easier to just come across authentically. And we can learn in more into emotion like we can let our passion come through in a way that won’t really transfer in our writing. The other side that I want to talk about is the corporate element, which I think some people get tripped up on when you’re talking to more corporate folks, you know, your HR managers or executives, they are just people. It doesn’t matter what their job title is. They are driven by the same base human needs that the rest of us are They’re thinking about a million things at a time near how busy they are. They’ve got to pick their kids up after school, they’ve got to make soccer practice later that day, and they’re super tired, you know, am I gonna have time to get a coffee? Or do I have to work through lunch, we’re all thinking about the same stuff. Like when we’re targeting people, they are not their job title, like, that’s just the hat that they wear on top of everything else. So when you’re communicating to them, you know, I lean more into connecting as a person, not a vendor to a job role. If you’re trying to target a purchasing manager or a community manager, whoever your market is, like, address them as a person first, because they’re going to respond much better. And video is just the most authentic way that we can do that. From a typical communication standpoint.


Yeah, that really takes the edge off of it. Because I think a lot of times when we think, Well, you know, my target market is a corporate buyer, I need to really resonate with the CTO or I really need to resonate with the CMO or the CFO or the CEO, then all of a sudden, that causes us to freeze, right? It’s like, I better figure out how to create this really impactful video, and like you were saying this incredible production quality. And when you just think about it, the way you’ve simplified it, I’m speaking to another human being about a problem that they want to solve, that I can help them solve, it really can take that pressure off, I think I love the way that you describe that.


Right? Because I mean, let’s be honest, we don’t like being sold to, right. And when you present your information in this overly polished, extremely neat package, you have this really nice, slick corporate video, it’s very obvious to tell that you put a bunch of money into it. And the immediate red flag of you’re trying to sell me something you’re trying to impress me with this product. And you’re giving me the same message that you sent to, you know, 500 other people. And it doesn’t factor anything about what I want into this. And there’s a time and a place for those types of assets to running a big national campaign. Of course, you can’t, like the technology doesn’t exist break apart a market and speak individually through a pre-recorded medium, like we just don’t have that technology yet. But when you are approaching the person one on one or company to company, you can get a little more granular and we relate better to less Polish more human, more approachable than perfectly presented.


Love it. For those of us who are perfectionists out there that such good news. Tell me RJ when you think about this, what would you say are the top two or three recommendations that you would give to someone to stand out on video? Especially if this is a new medium to them?


Yeah, the first one. Okay, so one is if you’ve never done a video before, one, just get out of your own head. And a key element that I’ve kind of built my business around I think leans heavily into video is it comes from a Maya Angelou quote, people forget what you say to will forget what you do, but they’ll never forget how you make them feel. So if you are someone who stresses over how you’re going to say something, how you’re going to present it, you know, the perfect way to deliver your message. Don’t focus on that focus on how are they going to feel when they’re done watching this? Are they going to be uplifted? Are they going to be motivated? Are they going to feel a little challenged? Are they going to feel angry? Are they going to be frustrated or stressed? Are they going to be moved to do something? And if you can think well, how do you do that? We are very social creatures. So if you come into a video, and you’re happy, you’re excited, that will transfer. Like there are physiological responses that happen when we see other people smiling or laughing or excited. Where it’s a social mechanic wear is why laugh tracks existence in sitcoms, it prompts that emotion in the viewer. And I’m not saying you know, do canned laughter but it’s a thing that works. It’s worked for decades. And the second piece that I would say if you’re brand new, I would just focus less on making one perfect thing. Acknowledge that the first couple of times are going to be pretty brutal. Like it’s going to be very rough. And give yourself a little grace because to think that you can step into a completely new format and expect to just nail it right out of the gate is arrogant like it’s a skill set like anything. So the first probably dozen are going to feel really awkward. They’re not going to be Good. And that’s okay. Because the second piece that I’d recommend is just focused on frequency. Because when you are sharing a message, or you’re communicating things you believe in or that are helpful to others, the more often someone can hear that, the more likely they are to associate it with you. Like, if you put something out on social media one time, I guarantee you, I don’t care, if you have an audience of three people or 3 million people, there are going to be people who didn’t see the thing you posted. So sharing the same stuff over and over again is fine. You may feel like you talk about the same stuff. But we have this huge error when it comes to marketing in general, in assuming that people understand what we do. They don’t know very, very few people, the closest people to you in your life probably don’t know what you do. Not really, they’ve got an idea. But they probably like what do you do again?


Yes. So


thinking that you’re, you know, people that you’ve interacted with once or twice through comments on LinkedIn are going to get offended that you repeat yourself a few times? I promise you they won’t. If they do, you don’t need them? Yeah, yeah. And the third bit that I’d recommend for standing out, would be to commit for a long term, something people tend to do is think, well, I, I posted five times this week, and nothing happened. I didn’t get a lead no traffic to my website. I didn’t get any subscribers, like, oh, yeah, that’s gonna happen. Yeah, it’s just like with any other format of communication, you don’t talk to someone three times and have them become your best friend. It’s something that happens over time. And video, how I like to think about it is every time you put out a video into the world and distributed to social platforms, where they can be found later, like they’re now existing apart from you, you’re laying a brick in the foundation of your digital brand, is no one thing is going to create the structure that builds anything meaningful, but it’s over time you create assets that are living apart from you, that people can find a day from now or a week from now, six months from now, three years from now. And when you start building that sort of leverage, that’s where it starts to become impactful. Because if you commit for that sort of timespan you are going to improve. You know, the first 10 videos might be pretty rough. But if you’ve been posting for five years, they’re gonna get better, you will get better, and people will respond better. And that’s where it becomes powerful. Yeah,


I kind of along those lines RJ as a follow-up, I’m curious, when people are getting started, what do you recommend for them? So you touched on this a little bit, but when you get started doing videos, do you recommend writing out a script and reading it? Do you recommend an outline? Do you recommend Livestream versus recorded kind of tell me what you recommend someone is wanting to get started creating video content so that eventually, you know for my listeners, they want to be known for something right. So that would be the goal I think of using video is to become known for and sought after as a consultant. So tell me what your thoughts are about what that would look like for them to get started?


Yeah, the biggest one is to not overthink it from a standpoint of how you want it to look or sound. If you don’t have a background in AV or photo or video, or it’s completely foreign to you brand new, use what you have, you use something that you’re going to be comfortable with using your phone, if you’ve got a DSLR sitting around or use a webcam, like worry about the technical production details later. Really, if the quality of the content is there, the production quality can come after like to an extent, don’t sit in like a wind tunnel, or you know, like don’t be going down the highway with your windows open, like use some common sense. But as long as you’re clearly able to be heard, and you’re visible. If you’re doing video format, you’re fine. From there. I don’t recommend scripting, because what we tend to do is when we get into scripting mode, unless you have a background in theater and production, you aren’t going to know how to write a script. And you’re not going to know how to read a script. So what I do is I tend to know how I’m going to start a video so write out your hook your intro, what are you going to do to greet people in your video? Know how you’re going to end the video what’s going to be a sign-off, and what do you want them to do? Mm hmm. And then in between, I like to break concepts into like three talking points, mainly because it’s just easy to kind of transition, you know, mentally transition between three points. If you can distill a singular subject down to like your ABC talking points. It’s much easier for you to kind of stay on track. So, rather than scripted out entirely bullet out the concept, and then just speak about it, you know, this should be something that you know, pretty well, yeah. And if you get into your own mind of thinking how you want to say you’re going to get overwhelmed, you’re going to get frustrated, you’re going to do 30 takes of a video that should take you four minutes to make. And it’s just, you’re going to get overwhelmed and say, you know, this video thing is too hard. I get it, I have probably hours sitting on hard drives, of me just looking at a camera and just trying to talk because I was thinking too hard on what I wanted to say and actually had a pretty deep insecurity about speaking on camera, just, it was a skill I didn’t have. But over the years that has diminished a little bit, especially when you know, the kind of direction that you want to talk about. to completely eliminate that. What I think is probably the best move for just about everyone who has that sort of trepidation around speaking on camera and they freeze up is to have someone on the other side of it, a podcast format, an interview, or talk show format, or even just having someone there to prompt you, where they might not be getting recorded, but just kind of prompting you about, tell me about point A, give me your outline, let’s talk through the subject. And just having that feedback on the other end, helps make it feel more like a conversation rather than a presentation. But the easiest way to create content consistently is just setting up a weekly, a monthly bi-monthly, whatever conversation with someone who is in your industry, or in the industry that you want to serve. So for the consultants who you know, they know their general, target niche, have conversations with people who are connected to your intended avatar, your target buyer, so that you can build an association with leaders in that industry, which is an excellent way to borrow their audience when you don’t have fun. Yeah. Being a fairly young guy, this is my entire play if I want to have an association with people who were 1020 30 years further in their career than I am because now I elevate my position rather than people assuming like, Well, what do you know, you’re young? How could you possibly help my business or whatever? Yeah, I very, very rarely get those objections, because I’ve just done a fairly good job of positioning with people who had never questioned that.


Mm-hmm. Yep. I won’t make any comment about my eighth birthday. That sounds really good to hear. I think you had something else you wanted to add RJ. Yeah.


So for those just getting started, this is kind of an extra point that I both love and hate it because it’s such a cliche, but being yourself is incredibly important. For a couple of reasons. One, when you market yourself as someone other than who you are, like who you actually are not who you aspire to be not how you want to be identified, it’s one thing to kind of be working on improving yourself is a different matter, to pretend you’re something that you’re not. And if you market yourself that way, they’re going to find out. Like, unless you just maintain a facade the entire time, you know, fake it till you make it, which I don’t recommend, they’re going to learn either who you actually are, or you’re going to become frustrated with the disconnect that you’ve created. So if you just lean in and be who you are, and if you’re kind of funny and goofy and like different stuff, like show that if you are really into NASCAR, or you love to hike or share those things, because again, we’re talking to other human beings. Maybe they like that thing too. And even if they don’t, it’s okay to be unique. There’s a quote from a social media personality that has been incredibly influential on my career. The same as Casey Neistat. His quote of it goes something like, if you’re doing what everyone else is doing, you’re doing it wrong, is kind of that concept. And that is true in any creative for in any business space. And we often learn by kind of mimicking others and kind of building this amalgamation of what we’ve learned from other people, you know, authors and coaches and trainers and stuff that we really resonate with we and we bring into ourselves and that’s okay. But if you become the cheap photocopy version of someone else, then you’re never really going to stand out. You’re never going to really become who you could be because you’re just the watered-down version of someone else.


Yeah, I think that’s so important, especially as we’re selling to corporate buyers, because we think we need to have this sort of corporate persona on and come across very professionally. And a lot of times, you know, we’ve been taught don’t bring your personal life into business. And so then it just all What if you take that approach, as you’re going out to sell your services as a consultant, then you just become kind of watered down this other just another consultant out there who isn’t standing out, versus like what you’re saying, really showing some of your personalities showing some of your passion, whether your ideal buyer has that same passion or not really, as they’re relevant, it’s more about showing you as a human and then making that connection to you that this is someone that I would love to work with. They’re not just another consultant, I’m going to bring on who’s a part of my language, but a pain in the ass, you’re actually a human being that they would love to work with and be around. And that’s such an important part of the whole business development process. And relationship-building process. Yeah,


it’s a much bigger factor than I think people account for. Yeah. Will the experience of working with this person be pleasurable? Will it be fun? Will I want to work with them? Not just the quality of your work? You can have all the case studies in the world. But if you suck when you’re in the office, they’re not going to want you back in they’re not going to refer you. Yeah, yeah. But if you’re a treat, and they would love to grab a beer with you after work, or, you know, they look forward to when you show up, or you happen to have a workshop or do a session, then you’re in a fantastic place because they’re going to tell everyone Yeah,


yeah, absolutely. Tell me what RJ as what are the common mistakes you see when people are creating videos.


Big tell for amateur video is not getting to the point quickly. And there are times when you can watch someone’s video, especially live, where they will talk for seven minutes, and you still don’t know what it’s about. And is a telltale sign whenever you watch a show or a movie or anything but just the whole time, it doesn’t really feel like it’s going anywhere. That is not a good place, you need to have a clear point that you get to quickly. A good metric to live by is if people ask how long should my video be? As long as it needs to be but as short as possible. Yeah. So if you know, and this is where having your bullet points kind of prep, you don’t have to script it, but have your structure planned. So if you know I’m going to talk about how to forecast revenue for the year, or I’m going to talk about how to lead a great connection meeting or I’m going to whatever your you know, a matter of subject expertise is have your one topic and get to the point quickly so they know if they need to stay to the end, and then continue on like Don’t dawdle. The other side is, and I think this is kind of the parallel of that same point thinking that the video is about them. And sometimes that’s true, I think there should be some degree of your content should just be about the personal connection, sharing the stuff that you’re excited about sharing stuff, you know, your goals and what’s going on with you. But the vast majority should be focused on what is in it for them. Why do you care? How can this help you? What will I teach you, you know, what experience can I share with you that will be beneficial to you in your everyday life? Or in your one very specific instance. And I think this is where marketing gets kind of flubbed up a lot is we tend to think it’s all about us. It’s not about our company, it’s about the person that we’re helping. Yeah. And if we can shift that narrative, now, it’s their story that they’re living. It’s not them looking in on our story, wondering, Well, where do I belong in


this? Yeah, I think that’s so important. This is one of the techniques I love to use, tell me if this is a good one or not, give me a rating. I love just talking to one person. So I think about the one person that is my ideal client. And I’m talking to them versus like a bunch of people or kind of more anonymized people, it helps to me to really get grounded. And as I’m talking to someone, I think it feels more passionate as I’m talking to them. Because I’m really thinking about that person, as consultants or creating these videos, you feel like that’s a good tool, as they’re thinking about how maybe I’m speaking to this one CTO, and then the message tends to come across kind of more emotive if you will, I think, what do you think about that? Oh,


absolutely. I mean, one is actually true. You are only speaking to one person, and we lose sight of that because we think oh, well, more than one person is going to see this usually. And that’s true, but they’re not all like sitting in a drive-thru theater watching See it all at once. Like they’re seeing it one at a time, maybe two at a time. And that’s it, you’re talking to one person at a time. So when we take this approach, we’re talking to a crowd, we’re just broadcasting a message. They feel like we’re yelling at them. Yeah. That’s not how you talk to another person. You know, I don’t like when people say, like, you guys, or Hey, everyone, like, you’re not talking to everyone. I’m talking to you. I’m talking to Melisa, I’m talking to Sarah, I’m talking to Dan, I’m talking to, you know, like, we want them to think, oh, wow, I relate to this, you know, I’m struggling with that. I’m dealing with that I’ve gone through that I’ve experienced that. Because when you can connect on that human level. Now you are breaking down some of the barriers of like, it’s not just some, you know, a vendor trying to get a conversation with me. You’re trying to get past the gatekeeper, you’re trying to capture the attention of another human being to gauge if what you have would be valuable to them.


Yeah, that’s such a good perspective to have. And again, I think it’s another way to break down that fear. It’s like, I’m not talking to this entire huge audience. This isn’t an arc. This is literally right now I’m talking to one person, it happens to be there might be a lot of one person but I’m talking to one person. And speaking of which, tell me what do you recommend for someone to get over their fear of video?


Well, I mean, that talking to one person is actually a huge one. Because I don’t know how true it is. But there have been multiple studies where people have reported they fear public speaking, more than dying, which I don’t know that’s true. Yeah, I don’t know if I believe that. But there’s definitely this kind of apprehension around speaking to a crowd. And I think it’s more a fear of not being accepted, or not being, you know, it’s this kind of very tribal instinct of will I will be supported through this VM? Or am I going to alienate myself? And the reality is, you likely won’t, there are outliers in either instance, but the reality is, most people will probably forget all about it fairly quickly. And they are going to think very little about you, which is freeing when we get over the thought of people are not going to judge us for this. You know, if I’m a little awkward, I stumbled through my words, I seem a little nervous, nobody’s going to mind. They understand what it’s like to be there if they’ve ever done it before. So very quickly, I personally realized that nobody’s going to comment on it. And if they do, you can probably just cut them out of your social circles, you don’t need them. This is going to be the heart advice for people who are really struggling right now a really heavy point of apprehension is you need to just get over it and do it repetitively. If you’ve done one interview ever, and it freaks you out, then there’s just not a good representation of whatever your experience is going to be like you need to do 20. And then pretty soon, you’re going to realize it’s not that bad. But if you never do it, if it’s strange and unusual, and you’re not comfortable with it, it’s going to feel awkward. Yeah, you’re gonna hate the sound of your own voice, you’re gonna look at yourself and be like, oh, man, you’ll probably go through some range of emotions from I need to exercise more, I need to diet, my what’s going on with my skin, I should have plucked my nostrils, all the things, but you start to gain them in awareness of yourself, of how you present yourself to the world. Because this is a bummer of a realization, if you’re presenting yourself that way on video, you’re probably presenting yourself that way in real life. That’s right you in presentations, in meetings, in networking events, every time you get nervous. Those are the habits you’re displaying, those are the behaviors you’re exhibiting. To analyze it, don’t judge yourself for it, and realize where you can improve for the longest time. I don’t know why I did it. But I had this really strange nervous tic read you like weird eyebrow raises. And just like I thought I had to talk like this. And I saw it happening constantly, like, what is happening, and I just had to make myself stop. And now you know, it’s just something that I’ve caught on to and have improved on. So audit your tics, figure out what you’re doing that maybe you didn’t realize before, and just use it as a tool to improve through repetition. Put yourself in as many situations that stretch your comfort zone without completely throwing yourself into the deep end of like, I don’t necessarily say like completely overwhelm yourself with terrible experiences. Don’t just go from being terrified to talk to your iPhone to you know, becoming a Toastmaster. But take it incrementally, you know appearance On a friend’s podcast, start your own and invite people that only you know, even if you don’t publish the first 10 episodes, just do it. And you’re going to get better. Because you’re not to get to cliche here, but the fear itself is going to be more anxiety-inducing, than the action that it takes to overcome that fear. Like, once you get into an environment where you can be on camera, and ideally, you know, have a decent experience, you can kind of get over that fear of, it’s going to be okay. Especially if you’re in a recorded standpoint, not doing a live show, you can edit out the bad parts. If you had something you screwed up, you don’t have to post it. And I think once we kind of get over that fear of, oh my god, I screwed up, I can’t let that see the light of day. That’s okay, you have control. But don’t let it get so overwhelming that you can limit yourself and the benefit that you might bring to someone else. Because the last piece that helped me kind of overcome the anxiety of production of being on camera is realizing that what I have to share could help someone else, live a better life, improve the quality of their business, help them bring in more revenue, help them get more customers, help them connect with someone new, then I have a moral obligation to do so. It’s not about me.


Yeah, I think this is so important. I mean, you brought up so many great pieces of advice here, starting with just start creating videos and as a tool to improve your own public speaking. I know when I very first started Accenture, so I won’t tell you our day, how many years ago this was. But a long time ago, it was a VHS tape they made of us, but we had to present it in front of a camera. And they videotaped us. And they gave us this VHS. And so I’ll date myself that much. And you know, then you watch yourself, you’re like, wow, I didn’t think that’s what it looked like. I was literally I think dancing across the stage Rakim for just not standing in place because I was nervous. And my reaction to that was, you know, my way of compensating was moving a lot. Well, that’s very distracting. So just being able to, I have to pull out that video, I wonder if I have a way to play it. So a VHS, but really just creating that, you know, and then along the years, I remember when I first went to coach certification, they would make us submit these videos, it was horrible, horrible because I just hadn’t done it for so long, right? And getting to the point where you’re watching those back over again. So you had to make it really tight. It had to be three minutes to teach a concept. And it had to be very tight. And so I had to watch it over and over again. And I think there’s such value in getting desensitized to the judgment you were just describing, like, okay, I can stomach watching myself over and over again. And these sort of weird things that I do, I know that this is how I want to tweak what I’ve been doing to make myself sound more confident or to come across in a way that’s more powerful and less distracting. And so even if you get into a practice of creating video, just for your own purposes for a little while, and then get to the point, you got to be careful though, because you got to start using those assets and not give yourself some bar that’s they better be a plus, before I start using them, get to some b minus bar, whatever that is for you and start publishing those to your point RJ thinking about who could be helped by this? Is there some CTO out there who’s really struggling with finding resources, for example, and trying to accomplish whatever projects they have going on right now? And are struggling with doing that, given all of the challenges of recruiting these days? What could I tell that person that they could pivot in the way they’re doing business and maybe not need that open headcount anymore? Or whatever the message is? How could I help someone else who’s my ideal buyer, or someone related to that ideal buyer that would help them improve their life this week? And thinking about it that way? I love the way that you describe that. RJ tell us? Is there anything else we haven’t talked about today that you want to share?


One Note that I will say is, all of us have a story? In us, you know, there’s some message that we have generally well, my experience has been that if you pursue entrepreneurship, with a service business, as a consultant, as a coach, there is some drive to have some sort of change in the world to affect some sort of transformation. And that story is important. When we stripped down all of the tactics of marketing and Digital Communication, it all comes down to the story is the universal language is what everyone understands. We understand the challenged hero who accepts a mission they’re not really prepared for, but they rise to the occasion. And they face it, anyone has, we understand the person who has struggled with something before they went through some hardship or trauma or pain, and they have now become a guide for others, to help them avoid that same pain. We understand these stories. So when we talk about video, there’s a lot of really tactical stuff on platforms and you know, best practices for social media and distribution and all of those things. What I would say for those who are kind of just feeling it out or not taking advantage of it is forget all of that stuff. And just tell the story, you can polish the other stuff later. But regardless, this is not about marketing or hitting your target buyer. This is about documenting the legacy of what you’re building. And along the way, like this is something that you are going to look back on, it will become priceless, that you are creating documentation of where you are in life, the way you think the things you want the things that scare you, that stretch you that push you to get that documented now, it will be increasingly meaningful for you, for your family, for your loved ones. And who knows if things go really, really well for you might make for a great doc series.


That sounds good, RJ is I think that’s such an important way of thinking about this as you’re building a personal brand as a consultant, like documenting that legacy and helping people to see the types of problems that you solve and the way you think about the problems. And really building that personal brand through using video and stories can really help you stand out as a consultant that a client would want to work with.


Yeah, absolutely.


That’s great. RJ thank you so much for being here today. It’s so fun to see how your background and your passion for filmmaking and psychology and video all have dovetailed into this career you’ve created for yourself.


Yeah, Melisa, thank you so much for having me.


Yes, tell me where the listeners can find you and more information and resources.


Yeah, I would love to connect on LinkedIn, RJ Parrish, Pa RR is h, send me a request. I love to, you know, offer support to bounce ideas around I post content that is rooted in the realm of video and help people build their founder brands and become the obvious choice in their market. So that’s the best place to find me. And what I would push you to do is just start. Don’t overthink it. Just press record and see what happens.


That’s amazing. Well, I appreciate that. We always like to make these podcasts actionable. So RJ just gave you your assignment for the week is so good. Thanks, RJ. We’ll put all of that in the show notes. So you can, the listener can link to it. And it’s been so fun. I love meeting people like you on LinkedIn. And you know, it starts as like a conversation and the direct messages which I know a lot of us think is overused and overgrown at the moment, but finding gems like you and being able to create this relationship and you being able to come here and share that the valuable tips and resources that you’ve got with the independent consultant who’s listening. I just really appreciate it. Have a great one. We’ll be in touch.


Thank you.


Bye bye. Thanks for joining me this week on the Grow Your Independent Consulting Business podcast. If you like today’s episode, I have three quick next steps for you. First, click Subscribe on Apple podcasts or wherever you listen to make sure you don’t miss future episodes. Next, leave me a review in your podcast app so other independent consultants can find that benefit too. And finally, to put the ideas from today’s episode into action, head over to Melisaliberman.com for the show notes and more resources to help you grow your consulting practice from your first few projects into a full-fledged business. See you next week.

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