The Internet is great for people like me who create media that is primarily distributed online. The web is no longer broadcast’s little brother with limited reach to the select few with high speed internet access.

The reach is greater than any other distribution method, ever. Couple this with all the ancillary or supporting outlets such as social media and you have all the ingredients for solid distribution plan.

The Internet can also be a pretty daunting place. Big, scary and mean.

The scary internet

There’s an invisible shield people hide behind to speak the truth or voice opinions they otherwise would not. It’s almost as if they act like they can’t be caught, so without any ramifications or filters to stop them.

Beyond the noise and bullying there is so much content available screaming for your attention every way you turn. A lot it’s great content, too. It’s entertaining, funny, emotional, sad or moving.

It makes us laugh, cry, share and take action.

The goods news is that this provides plenty to look forward to. Plenty to aspire to. When I see a great short film online I get excited. It fires me up to see something within my reach and potential. After seeing someone else accomplish something I know can do it, too.

Or, I’ll make a mental bookmark knowing that I can take inspiration from it for an upcoming project. Note: a lot of people do just that.

Practice, take notes, learn, make mistakes, iterate, improve, rinse and repeat.

It’s also incredibly intimidating. Knowing that there are so many great content creators out there who can do better work than I can.

This caused me to be incredibly shy and reserved early in my career. It had a hugely negative impact on me as a creator and creative. Even when I was doing my best work I wouldn’t want to share it knowing that there are others out there who are doing a better job. (Note: “better” is thoroughly subjective).

I would question my skills and experience. I would wonder why anyone would want to hire me when there are plenty of better options available.

I would join groups of like minded professionals on Facebook or LinkedIn to keep up with the latest developments in our industry. My contemporaries would share their work and receive a ton of compliments. And I would sit there idle on the sidelines scared to death, wondering how in the heck I would make it in this industry let alone this world.

 

The Changing Tide

I reached a breaking point. The Internet has evolved and changed over the last few years due to social media. The things that used to scared me to death are now motivation. It took a lot to learn this, and to be completely honest, I’m still scared by what I put out online.

But the more I put myself out there, and the work my company was doing, the more confident I became. It allowed me to connect with great people in and out of our industry. I quickly realized that people do care what you have to say and are genuinely fans of what you’re doing.

Being successful sometimes comes down to how you see yourself. If I can inspire people to better the industry as a whole then why not? If you want to be seen as an expert in your niche, be one. Become an expert at something, figure out a great way to do something and share your experience with others.

What’s stopping you from becoming an expert in your field? There are plenty of resources available, and with practice and determination you have the potential to create an impact on someone.

Inspiration is all around us. Online and off.

The path ahead is not always clear. But the closer you get the clearer it gets.

Practice, take notes, learn, make mistakes, iterate, improve, rinse and repeat.

I’ve been working in video for 12 years now. I’ve added millions of dollars to the bottom line of small business, large global power corporations and even non profits organizations.

This wasn’t the impetus to start blogging or marketing ourselves online. The impetus was to share my experience and my work- for better or worse. In the end, when we’re producing a project we do the best job we can give the limitations (every project has limitations). Whether it’s seen by 1 or by 1,000,000 it’s not going to change how we created the project or what the response is.

How Much

A perfect example of this is my recent blog post about pricing video projects and professional creative services in general. I debated for weeks and months whether I should write that post or not. How would I be judged? Would I be giving away too many secrets that I valuably learned over the years? Or worse, would I prevent someone else from learning those same lessons the hard way and ultimately hurt our community? Blood, sweat and tears are what passions are made of, right?

A rising tide lifts all ships.

I wrote the post on pricing and felt ok about it, and after sharing it with a couple of trusted friends and incorporating some feedback I felt great about it. At that moment it didn’t matter what the world thought because my intentions were good and I knew that I could help out a few people.

That post has more views than any other post I’ve written. It was highly discussed here on our blog and on several social groups online. Many gained valuable insight into the business side of the industry and over time will help grow this community.

It’s something that not often talked about and I presume that’s out of fear. Ultimately, I felt it was killing our industry and market and wanted to do something about it.

Take inspiration from everything.

Don't let your fears keep you out.

It’s a Process

Because of this, people reach out all time asking questions, saying how lucky I am to have this or that. But the truth is that I’m in the same boat as you. I’m clueless, and I am not alone.

If there’s someone who enjoy my work, it’s because I stuck my neck out there in the first place and took a risk. If I have an audience at all, it’s because I earned it.

I’m not saying that it’s easier for me because of this or that. I’m saying it’s still just as hard, and there will always be an obstacle to overcome.

I go into a project without a clue as to what the solution is to the problem, or the creative behind telling a certain story. I’m not sure what the best questions to ask during an interview. Or what setting will best compliment a story.

But I do have a process that we have developed over the past decade of doing, trying, experimenting and iterating on. It’s not a guess, but something that I’ve done enough times to know what works and what doesn’t work. When something doesn’t work I figure out why. I look for breakdowns or hiccups in project that affect creative or the end delivery. Once you’ve done this enough times you have a barometer and can improve upon.

Even when you’ve done this 1000x you can still be scared. I’ve learned to enjoy and embrace it. And because I’ve been scared and know how to overcome it it has made me better.

Working on your own videos? Download our free budget templates now.

 

How have you overcome fear and improved your skillset? Let me know in the comments below.

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Comments

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  • Todd LeVeck

    Bravo! Great post and the pricing post was amazing too!

    • Thanks, Todd. Glad to know you’re enjoying the posts. -Tim

  • Normand Charpentier

    Thx for this blog post. My passion for video is a 5-year journey, but I’ve turned it into a business beginning of this year. Reading about your journey is really inspiring. Thx again for sharing.