Smile – you're on camera: High Growth Scotland with Kim McAllister


My son turned seven yesterday and today it was pointed out to me I’ve been in the media industry 12 years.

I’m feeling old.

I don’t know how you feel about aging, but I’m actually quite liking the wisdom that comes with it.

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As a woman in business I am often underestimated; easily dismissed as “young and dumb”. I’m thirty bloomin’ five – but on such occasions I tend to just sit quietly until I can deliver the knock out punch. I do enjoy the look of shock, followed by the grudging respect as people quickly rearrange their prejudices.

The thing is, I’ve gathered quite a lot of knowledge over my career. In the media and in tech, things are evolving at such a pace, that just keeping up is a skill. I love testing new platforms and techniques – and as I’m doing it daily, people tend to ask me stuff.

Yesterday a lot of people asked me stuff.

I was invited to talk about my experiences in the media by Michelle Brown at her Love Your Business networking event at Black Ivy. It may come as a surprise to you, but I love an audience, so happily agreed.

I’m sure you, like me, have been to lots of different styles of networking and have your own personal preferences and bugbears. One of the things I hate is when a speaker just stands up and boasts. Yeah cheers, you’re very clever and successful but how does that help anyone here?

Luckily neither of us did that yesterday. Cal from Foxlake Adventures shared its start up and growth story – it’s brilliant and we’re planning an interview. (tick) As for me, I guessed that I could deliver the most value by discussing video. Thank goodness I guessed correctly. So many attendees came up to ask further questions afterwards that I’m actually going to run a workshop.

Turns out, most small businesses are only too aware they need to be using video to tell their story. What they lack is the confidence, the kit and the editing skills.

I hope I dispelled some of the myths.

For example – you do not need an expensive camera, microphone and light. If you have a decent smartphone then spend your money on a compatible microphone and some extra cloud storage so you can use your phone to film. I use the Zoom IQ6. I showed everyone my flexi tripod – which sounds rude, but is actually one of the greatest ever inventions for making stable videos in just about any location.

Finally, I explained about editing. If you have a Mac, iMovie tends to come as part of the software package. While it’s beginning to frustrate me with its limitations, it does offer a good range of video editing effects, including captions, transitions, templates and sound adjustments. A lot of apps have basic editing capability – VivaVideo is one of the apps I use for editing vox pops (on the spot interviews).  Editing is definitely the hardest and most time-consuming part of making videos. My interview with Simon ran to 34 minutes – cutting that down to less than five was a real challenge!

Judging by the questions, everyone’s biggest challenge was speaking fluently on camera. Do you flip the camera so you can watch yourself or do you need someone else to film you? How long should it be? How do you get subscribers on YouTube? What if your subject is really dry – how do you make it interesting? How often should you post? All brilliant questions – and all requiring quite detailed answers, hence the workshop I’m planning.

Do you use video to promote your business? Would you be up for an interview on camera? Post your links below or drop me a line:

Other articles from Kim McAllister
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