Marketing

Creating video content with Nia Lee

Nia shares how Canadian freelancers can grow their business through video content.

March 16, 2021

Nia Lee is the Founder of Socialee Media Agency, a creative social media agency that helps women business owners create unique, consistent and on-brand content for their social media.

In this episode, Nia and Mohammed talk about how Canadian freelancers can grow their business through video content.

Short on time? Skip to the parts you're most interested in.

[02:29] Getting started as a freelancer

[09:11] Process for creating video content

[14:43] Repurposing your video content

[17:24] Creating valuable content

[22:08] Consistently creating video content

[27:12] Getting consistent about being inconsistent

[28:56] Choosing your content production gear

If you enjoyed the conversation, check out more episodes of our podcast. You can subscribe to Freelance Canada on Apple Podcasts or listen to it wherever you get your podcast. What follows is a lightly edited transcript of the episode.

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Mohammed: Let’s maybe start with what is it that you do as a freelancer?

Nia: I am a social media manager, I am a content creator, I’m a video strategist as well too so I help entrepreneurs, preferably women-owned businesses, really kind of either help them with their social media so whether they need someone to pretty much be their social media manager for the month so helping them create content, engagement, but, of course, making sure that they’re consistent on social media on a daily basis.

Content strategy is another big one as well too. A lot of the time, people don’t fully know how they want to map out their content so I’ll help them with that as well too. And, on the other end of that, the video content strategist or even consulting which is people that just need assistance in specific areas of video, whether it be, again, showing up on camera, being comfortable like that. Editing is another big one that a lot of people have issues with or need assistance with as well too so that one is a little bit more.

They’re pretty much all like one-on-one services or things that I do but they’re all very different but they all kind of coincide with each other because it’s like, “If we do video, amazing, then you’ll probably need help with your content strategy,” and it’s like, “Okay, if we’re doing your content strategy, then eventually you’re going to need someone to help build out your social media for the month,” because a lot of the times, people just don’t have the time. It’s like, “I’m running a business, there [are] like 50 gazillion things to do. Social media is such an important aspect of that,” and it’s like, “Nia, you do this. Help me.” That’s essentially how that conversation goes.

Mohammed: So, if I was to summarize that back to you, it would be that you enable primarily women-led businesses to tell their stories using video, or at least primarily video, and then you also equip them to then determine how they can distribute it as a means to ensuring those business objectives are met.

Nia: Exactly, yeah. And making sure that no matter what — whatever they’re doing, it’s consistent and it’s authentic and that it’s on-brand to who they are as a business because everybody’s business is different. Everybody shows up differently as well too. So I would never tell you to implement something. I don’t have a cookie-cutter formula that I tell everyone.

I mean, yeah, I’ll use the same tools and things to help them, but everybody shows up differently for their business in different ways. So I always make sure that it’s tailored to them and it’s something that they can commit to and [make] sure that, of course, that it has that authentic piece and that it’s very much in line with who they are as a business and a brand.

You have to keep building up that following, you have to keep creating content and I just kept creating. I just kept creating videos. I kept talking about what favourite apps to use, how to show up on video, how to level up your brand, how to use specific tools to help you with social media.

Mohammed: And if we look at all the things you do, video, content, strategy, editing, consulting, public speaking, there [are] quite a lot that you’re doing. So, how did you get started?

Nia: Oh, my gosh. So I got started in it — so, to give you background, I have a background in public relations and media communications so I went to school for that for four years. It was — listen, university post-secondary, I’m sure you know, it is a time, I was somebody who loved — I’ve always loved school, but then post-secondary, all of that went away. But it was interesting because I learned — there was just one class that I remember taking and I think it was like [the] introduction to public relations.

That was probably like my most valuable class throughout my whole four years and it was simply because like it was very particular, like the professor that we had, he owned his PR agency so he would always bring in experts, he would always provide that insight so that was probably the most intriguing and that’s actually — that class was the class that I figured out that I didn’t want to work in public relations. I was like, I remember somebody was — someone came from a PR agency in Toronto and they were talking and like immediately I was like, “I do not wanna work in PR.”

Like I just made that decision right there. But that was in [the] third year. I knew I had one more year so obviously, I was gonna finish, but — I don’t know, I dabbled in so many things. I’ve always been a creative person. I had a YouTube channel for a little bit that’s still up. Don’t look it up. I’ve done podcasts before. I’ve had — like I started my own t-shirt company at one point. I’ve always wanted to do so many creative things and this Socialee Media Agency stuff kind of started itself because I remember I had a friend of mine who I was working with at the time.

So at the time that I was working part-time, I was also interning at a PR agency and the PR agency is really where I got my footing in the world of content creation and social media management and being in that world. Before that, I didn’t know how I was going to fit into it, but when I was there, that’s pretty much what I was doing. I was creating graphics and I got my feet wet there. But, at the same time, at my part-time job, I had a friend of mine who I saw that she was trying to do like her own thing.

She was trying to build her own business and I was looking over her Instagram, I was like, “You should be doing this, you should be adding that,” like I was giving her all this pretty much like unsolicited advice but it was valuable advice because this is I’m a millennial, these are just things that I know. I’m on YouTube all the time. I’m working at this PR agency so I have that insight. So, I was telling her how to do all these things and she was like, “You’re telling me how to do these things and they’re amazing and they’re great.

I wanna tell people about what it is that you do and let people know that you’re an expert in this.” But at the time, I didn’t have anything. I had an Instagram account that was very focused on beauty because I was trying to get into that world and she — yeah, so from there, I think maybe a month even after that, I don’t remember when, but I think I made the Instagram account for Socialee Media. So, at the time, it was Socialee Media. It’s Socialee Media Agency now, [but] before it was Socialee Media, and I just kind of started. I just kind of started posting up some videos.

I remember I started posting videos simultaneously on Instagram and LinkedIn because I knew LinkedIn was another tool that a lot of people were using. I was getting a lot of love on LinkedIn, obviously, but on Instagram, it was — obviously, with Instagram, as we know, it’s a slow burn, like slowly but surely, you have to keep building up that following, you have to keep creating content and I just kept creating. I just kept creating videos. I kept talking about what favourite apps to use, how to show up on video, how to level up your brand, how to use specific tools to help you with social media.

And, slowly but surely, I just kept being consistent and that was — I started being very consistent — so I made that — I think I made that Instagram in like April, then I really — I didn’t post anything from April to September, and September 2019 is when I got very, very consistent and from September 2019 to currently we’re in right now which is July 2020, I had 69 followers in September, where I’m currently at now I think it’s like almost like 1,400 or something like that.

But, regardless of that, I’ve been able to create tons of videos, content, provide in so many different ways to the point where people refer to me as the person who’s [the] go-to for video, which I never thought was ever going to happen because I was just out here creating. I wasn’t even trying to tell people how to build a business and how to sell using video. I was just creating content because I thought that was the way to do it. I thought that was the way to go. When I’m not on Instagram, I’m on YouTube.

So much of what I get creativity-wise comes from YouTube because YouTube is such a creative place for so many creators. So I was like I’m gonna bring some of that spice and some of that excitement over onto Instagram and people just loved it. They loved it to the point where they were like, “You got to go to Nia for video. She’s always got the stuff.” People were sharing, people were liking, tons of comments. And so, here we are, to the point now where I actually had to make this a business because people started reaching out to me, and now I’m in it. I’m in it.

Mohammed: And like for those who haven’t seen your Instagram, it’s quite engaging. It’s very colourful, it’s very vibrant. And I feel that you’ve just encompassed all of your — not even just your personality but also just how you want your brand to be perceived in that as well too which I feel can be quite hard for a lot of freelancers to like how to ensure that Instagram, which is almost my visual portfolio aligns well with sort of my services but then also my brand as a whole.

Nia: Exactly.

It wasn’t like me just posting and one and done. It was like people who were actually engaging, people who were following me, people who were sharing, I was getting into their brains and talking to them.

Mohammed: You talked a lot about how you got started creating content when you were at the PR agency as you were starting to help your friend who unsolicited feedback maybe but clearly valuable, informative, and actionable feedback. And then you started getting recommended and referred and you started creating your content, then, over time, you’ve built into your own freelance business. What made you decide that you’re going to create video content specifically? And how did you even get started?

I mean, even when I was thinking about this podcast, for example, for me, it was more so just like, “Okay, what would be the first episode? And should this be in a chronological order? And how should I create it?” and it just becomes so overwhelming to then be like, “Where do I even get started with my content?” So I’m curious to understand what your thought process was and how you got started creating video content specifically?

Nia: Yeah. I honestly think it just came from a place of — there [were] a couple [of] things that I knew. There were things that I was using, there [were] so many things that were going on that I was like, “This would be a very valuable video for people to know,” or, “This would be something very valuable for a lot of people to either take and use for their, again, content, for their business,” so on and so forth, because, again, I’ve never done anything like “business-related.” I’ve never been in this world of entrepreneurship or, again, freelancing.

So, for me, it wasn’t even coming from a place of, “Hey, let me try to create content for coaches and businesses,” like you know how that whole thing of like deciding, like defining your niche or like determining who it is that you want to speak to? I had no idea how to do any of that. I was just like, “I have all this information. I’m using these apps, or I’m this is how I’ve been able to show up, let me share my tools, let me share my tips that have worked for me and let me just give them out,” and so that’s what I did kind of earlier on and a lot of people gravitated towards that content.

But another thing that I did that really kind of showed my audience that I was actually listening was I would consistently jump in Stories and would ask people, “Hey, what do you want to know? What do you want to learn?” or, “I’m going to be creating these videos, which one do you want to see first?” or I might do a story about a particular topic and I’m like, “If you guys want to know more about this, let me know.” So, I would consistently go in and ask people questions and I would consistently have a lot of conversations with people in my comment section, in my DMs.

So it wasn’t like me just posting and one and done. It was like people who were actually engaging, people who were following me, people who were sharing, I was getting into their brains and talking to them and saying like, “What is it that you want to know? You saw me on this Live and you thought this topic was valuable. What else would you want to hear more about?” So I was very open and honest about me saying, “I don’t know everything.

So I want to know what you need assistance with the most and let me try to do some research or let me try to break this down in layman’s terms so that now —” you know, ’cause sometimes, a lot of the times, people kind of know this stuff but they kind of just want to hear it from somebody who they like or they know or who can break it down a lot simpler and one of the things that people say about my content a lot is that, “You just make it very simple. You make it very engaging. It’s very short and easy, it’s not drawn out.”

As a creator, that’s — I like to create that kind of content. I love to create engaging content, I love to create content that is digestible, like, yes, it’s a six-minute video but it’s an engaging six-minute video. So, for me, it comes down to, one, just kind of providing. It’s like, “Hey, I know something, let me share,” and on the other end of that is like really listening to my audience and asking them like, “Hey, what is it that you want to know? Hey, you said you were struggling in this. Do you need more assistance in this as well?”

And those are the two things that allowed me to kind — and, again, things that I’ve used consistently that have allowed me to provide valuable content because I’m not just creating content for the sake of it, I’m actually creating content that people care about and want to know more about. So, now, I don’t. Now and again, yes, I’ll create things because I think it’s going to be valuable or someone gave me a compliment here and there on like — one question that I always get is people love my video thumbnails.

So, they’re always like, “Oh, my God, your thumbnails are so fun and engaging all the time. Amazing. Great.” So I was like, “Hey, maybe it’s valuable for me to create a video about how to create on-brand, fun, engaging thumbnails,” and so that’s something that I’m going to be doing as well. And, recently, actually, I just figured out how to utilize my green screen that my boyfriend gave me for an early birthday gift which I didn’t fully know how I was gonna work it out but tried it over the weekend, it worked out amazingly.

And, again, asked a Poll Sticker, I was like, “Hey, would you guys try this out?” and I got like I think over 20 people that said yes and so, in situations like that, when I get that feedback, it prompts me to want to create and want to provide and it’s like, “Hey, guys, remember when I said I was doing this green screen thing and you said you guys want to try this? Well, I’m going to give you a tutorial about how you can go about doing this,” and then so on and so forth.

Mohammed: I really liked that. I mean if I looked at what you said, essentially you got started by sharing what you know and showing what you can do while asking your core audience for input on what it is that they would like to see more of, right? So, it’s very much kind of almost a cycle or a loop, in a way, where it’s like, “Hey, this is what I know, I’m going to create the content in the manner that I am the expert of and then, as I share it, I’ll get feedback and I’ll then utilize the feedback to share more of what I know,” and then just rinse and repeat. Would that be a fair —

Nia: Exactly.

Mohammed: Okay.

Nia: Yeah. And then repurposing, which is another big aspect of like my brand and my business as well too and I tell a lot of people to do is like, a lot of that mini-training that you did last week or a month ago, guarantee you have a whole new group of people who don’t know about this topic and are probably going to love that you — like they’re not going to have any idea that you did it last month, especially if you’re not utilizing your Highlights so you might as well repurpose that again because it’s a relevant topic, it’s something that you talk about enough and, again, get all that feedback.

I’ve had [times] where I’ve reposted things that I’ve done months ago and people are like, “This is so amazing. Yeah, this is exactly what I needed,” or I’ll get comments from videos I did in like October and people are like, “This is so —” What happens is they start watching all the videos and I start getting all these comments on all these old videos and I’m like, again, this is what happens when you create valuable content, not necessarily because you — like it’s just kind of a one-off thing that you’ve created.

You’ve created something that you know is going to be valuable enough or that can live on your feed, let’s just say, and people are still going to be able to find valuable information about it. So, I like to create timely content but I also like to create content that people can use, regardless of wherever level that you’re at, whether you’re just starting out or whether you’re “the expert.” It’s really about creating that content that is — creating those videos that people can find valuable throughout, right?

So, if they want to pick apart certain things that I’ve said and pick things now and again, checking my Highlights, checking my IGTV, checking my feed, I’ll guarantee you there [are] something in there that you haven’t fully known or don’t fully know all the way yet and this is how and, again, it’s just an interesting situation because I do get those comments from people. I’m just like I created this video so long ago, I never would have thought this was gonna have any sort of but it’s a valuable video because I’m like talking about the best apps or like my go-to apps for social media and it’s like that’s something that people are consistently always wanting to know. So they have it.

I would definitely say valuable content comes from content that people feel like they can actually genuinely get some sort of insight and information and knowledge from and now it’s like, “Wow, amazing, great. Let me go utilize that for my business or let me utilize that in my life.”

Mohammed: And I guess there [are] probably going to be people that are listening to this that have the same question here as I did. It’s like how do you know what is considered valuable, right? Because I feel values can be so subjective at times. How would I determine that “Hey, this content that I’m going to create is going to be valuable”? How do you get to that?

Nia: Yeah, I think — like valuable content has to not be about you, I guess I would say that. Like when you create content, right? You know, the people that create content for themselves versus people that create content for their audience and their business and other people. So, I would say valuable content is content that people can’t — and this is interesting because I did a mini-training about this I think a couple [of] weeks ago about two key things that your videos always need to have or always need to be and they always both need to be valuable and they need to be engaging.

So, when you’re creating valuable videos or valuable content, that content has to be — like that — whatever information that you’re talking about, somebody has to genuinely feel that they can get some sort of insight and then utilize that for wherever they’re at in their business or their life. Like I don’t want to just watch something. There are some people that I watch and I’m just kind of watching them for the sake of that.

But if someone’s like telling me how to do something or showing me the way of how they go through their process or letting me know that they did a poll and they got a lot of feedback on this and now they want to go in and create something more long-form and something that you can save and share and do all those things, it’s like that’s value, right? It’s not just creating content because it’s like like — I’m sorry for some people like always posting — like if you’re treating your business Instagram like a personal Instagram, nothing about that is valuable, right?

At least genuinely to me, like — it all really depends, but at least from where I’m at, I would definitely say valuable content comes from content that people feel like they can actually genuinely get some sort of insight and information and knowledge from and now it’s like, “Wow, amazing, great. Let me go utilize that for my business or let me utilize that in my life,” and then they don’t have to necessarily buy anything from me, right? That’s another thing.

A lot of people feel like they can only give out the value when people click a call with them or buy from them but it’s like no, Instagram is the place where you give free value and free content, like that is what we’re doing. Like Instagram is a tool, it’s something that’s going to allow somebody to book a call with us or buy our services and that’s fine and that’s great, but you need to provide, right? You need to serve, right? Especially when you’re wanting people to trust you and relate to you and buy from you.

I need to know that whatever you’re talking about, whatever product or whatever service, is going to make my life easier or it’s gonna allow me to get to wherever I need to go. So, whatever content — if the content you’re putting out there isn’t making people say, “Oh, my God, this is so useful,” or, “Oh, my God, I’m gonna try this,” or, “Oh, my God, this is so good, I’m gonna try this, I’m gonna try this out in my business and see how it works,” then you instantly know that your content isn’t valuable.

People aren’t learning anything or people that say all those things, they know that it’s valuable for what they’re doing because now they can go ahead and use it and do whatever it is that they want to do in their lives, right? Whether it’s [using] the apps that you talk about or whether it’s about using the steps that you talk about to go level up their business and their brand or whether, again, it’s about taking the things that you just spoke about.

Now when I did a video about how to show up on Live, how to be confident on live video, and I gave you like step by step by step what you need to do and so, again, that’s my information that I have tried myself that I have given out and now I’m wanting you to go take that information and try it out for yourself as well too. I’m not asking for literally anything in return. I’m probably asking you to like, comment and share it and save it but that’s pretty much it. I’m not trying to sell you anything. 

I’m just trying to give you information and knowledge so that you can go ahead and utilize that and be confident on video and be confident on Live because that’s what I want you to be able to do. I want you to be able to be confident on live video. I don’t want you to just see me on my video and just be like hey, whatever. I want you to be able to do the same thing that I’m telling you to do. And I’m talking from my experience, of course, but I’m also talking from just things that I’ve seen in the industry.

And, again, it’s coming from a place of like experience, that extra knowledge, that extra information, and then giving that to you pretty much at no charge, pretty much just saying like, “Comment if this is going to be valuable for you,” and so on and so forth.

You have to get people familiar with what it is that you’re doing and by being consistent, showing up three days a week, four days a week, five days a week, whatever it is that you do.

Mohammed: I could be biased, I will say that I really appreciate the “create value first” mindset for viewers where it’s [going] out, provide value to your core audience, to your potential customers, to your clients, whoever, before you start asking them to trust you with their money, with their ideas with their opportunities. So, I think that’s a really good point there. And I think you mentioned just being able to show up consistently and creating content and just owning what is right for you or the personality of your brand that you want to create, right?

Now, what is that consistency? Is it every day? Is it once a week? And I recognize that there isn’t a cookie-cutter answer to this because it depends. At the same time, it is something that, a lot of times, anyone that’s creating content kind of questions like how often should I be posting to ensure I’m engaging my audience at just the right amount without drowning them and becoming overwhelming instead.

Nia: Yeah, no, I think it all, again, it depends on what kind of growth do you want, right? If you want some serious growth, if you want your following to grow, if you know that you can commit to being on all the time, then I would probably recommend you posting maybe four to five times a week. Like when I first started, I was posting at least three to four, maybe five times a week and I’ve always dabbled with it. I’ve always like done three days or like four days or five days. What does that look like? So I’ve always dabbled and I always will.

But if you’re interested in growth, if you’re interested in people getting to know you for real, like be consistent on a daily basis. So that means Monday to Friday. Again, I always say look into your Insights, see when your audience is most online because you want to line up with that, but I honestly think, again, like consistency comes down to people [wanting] repetition. People want to know that every single — it’s the reason why certain sitcoms or certain shows or TV shows are such a hit because we know every single Wednesday at 8 p.m. Central, whatever, This Is Us is coming on and like I’m tuned in and like we’re all ready to go and it’s like a whole thing, right? 

Like — shout out to This Is Us, [an] awesome show. But that’s typically what and that’s one day a week, right? That is consistency, right? And tons of people tune in, right? It does not matter how many times that you do it. It doesn’t matter, you know — it comes down to can you commit? People are looking for people to commit because we all know what it’s like to feel like to commit to something and then maybe fall out of it because that’s just who we are as humans.

But if I know that this creator that I’ve been following or that I’m just starting to follow shows up every single Tuesday or every single Monday, let’s just say because it’s Monday today, let’s just say they show up every single Monday and they go live and they do an interview series with somebody, right? If somebody knows, like if I genuinely know that I can go and tune in to a show or something that somebody is doing or I know every single Monday, this person is going to go on their Stories and talk about a particular issue or like give me the roundup of all the things that are happening in social media, right? That is consistency.

That is something that people want to come into. That’s something that people look forward to. And what you want it to be is so much that people are like saying, “I love your show that you’ve got going on,” or, “I love the fact that you’re doing all these trainings,” or, “I love the fact that you’re talking about this particular thing for a certain amount of time,” right? Or, “I love tuning into this because it’s my daily dose of content or it’s my daily dose of information for the day and it’s always good,” right? And that typically will be the thing that people will remember you for, right?

It won’t even necessarily be for all the [things] like your business and this and that. It will be because of that consistent thing that you do, right? So if every single Thursday, you got an episode dropping about something, that gives people something to look forward to and that’s actually what you want. You want whatever you’re creating for people to look forward to, right? So that they’re like there, you know? You’re like new episode drops, everybody’s there, right? Or like, say, for example, like — let’s even talk about like shoes, like sneakers, right? When sneakers drop, right?

I know nothing about the sneaker world but I do know that when things are moving and people know every time a new sneaker drops. This is the consistent way that things are going, you got a whole bunch of people lined up and ready to buy, you know what I mean? Or that’s what you want. You want people to genuinely get excited about whatever it is that you’re doing and if you’re inconsistent, right? Nobody can get excited about anything that you’re doing because they never really know what’s coming, right?

And so, at a certain point — but then here’s the other thing, you can get consistent about being inconsistent and what I mean by that is like if you think about someone like Beyoncé, for example, who just kind of drops music for the sake of she doesn’t give any timeline, she posts nothing but the consistent — her inconsistent of like not knowing when she’s going to drop music is like a consistent thing that she’s always done but then people are always really excited.

I don’t know if it’s because it’s a secret drop or if it’s like Beyoncé, it could be both things, but, at the same time, it’s like you have to get people familiar with what it is that you’re doing and by being consistent, showing up three days a week, four days a week, five days a week, whatever it is that you do, lets people get like — gets people familiar with you, gets people familiar about whatever it is that you’re selling to the point where it’s like, “I’ve been watching this person every single Wednesday, come on, do a Live, kill it,” you know?

“What else content are they creating? What do they do for business?” Right? You start — people start asking those questions, they start getting super intrigued because they’re like, “This person comes on every single Wednesday,” or, “This person drops three videos a week, how does she do it? What else does she do?” Right? It’s all of these other things that get people intrigued and, again, by you being consistent in doing so, is, again, you’re building that like trust.

People start liking you because they see you regularly, they feel like they know you because you come on every single week and you introduce yourself and that’s the whole thing and they just trust you at the end of the day because they know you’re going to come back every single Wednesday, drop some new information and it’s going to be great and so you get people into a routine and then, slowly but surely, you start building your community that way.

I want my videos to stand the test of time. I want my videos, if they’re shared, that they look good and people are like, “Oh, this is great.”

Mohammed: You talked about production and production value earlier. And, a lot of the time, people, as a result, believe that they need to have the best camera, the best lenses, the best lighting, everything has to be the best for them to even get started in creating content.

And so, typically, that ends up becoming a roadblock for them and they don’t even get started on creating content, where I believe that even just an iPhone alone is more than enough to get you started and as you start growing, then you can evolve and elaborate on your production setup. So, I’m curious to get your thoughts on what you believe to be your recommended production gear set up to look like?

Nia: Yeah, no, definitely. Well, for me, it’s super important to make sure that whatever tools that you’re using, whatever it may be, that you’re comfortable using it, right? I don’t want you to go out and buy this like $4,000 DSLR and not know how to use it, you know what I mean? And I would never preach that as somebody who literally who — I don’t want to say. I don’t want to say started at the bottom because that’s not it but I’m someone who still uses my phone and creates content and I still have been able to build a following and I’ve still been able to create great content as well.

So, I don’t think it has anything to do about how much money you’ve got, what kind of high-tech camera that you have. I do think if that’s — if you’re feeling that that’s a hindrance for you. If you think that you need to have that to start, I think you got to ask yourself what’s really going to happen when you get that expensive camera. When you get it, you’re probably going to have to spend like a month or so trying to figure out how to use it and learn it because you’re not going to just open it up and know how to use it, unless you come from that world of like photography and videography, which, nine times out of ten, a lot of us in this space of like social media most of the time don’t.

And I think it comes down to like you gotta ask yourself, like — you know what I mean? If it’s super important for you to have this high-tech piece of equipment for you to create, you gotta ask yourself, “If I didn’t get it, would I not create?” [Do] you know what I mean? “Would I not create content? Would I not create videos? Would I not create, you know —” And that’s the thing, like if you’re allowing something to hinder you from doing the thing that you actually love and care about, then you genuinely know that that’s probably not the issue. It’s some other thing that you’ve got going on in your brain about video and this and that.

I’ll be really honest, there are YouTubers that I love and they are incredible and they’ve got their 4K cameras and they’ve got their editors and they’ve got all of that and I love to see it. And, yes, it — and even seeing that as well too, it kind of — it doesn’t make me want the 4K camera because I know I can’t afford it, it just makes me want to use what I have and just try to make my content as amazing as possible. So, as somebody who has an iPhone; I’ve been able to do so many things with my videos and I even like creating a lot of my videos on my phone and I like editing my videos on my phone too.

I don’t typically like to use a whole bunch of software. I have Final Cut Pro and I did this whole tutorial on how to use your green screen on Final Cut Pro, which is great, but, again, that wasn’t hindering — that was something that I found out later on to the fact, that’s not something that I said I had to figure out right away to create. So, I say, to start, you probably need a decent phone and you need to figure it out as well too, right? You need to know your camera settings, you need to play around with it, you need to experiment, you need to see what can be done within that. 

Because you can use your camera, which is great, but then you can also use Instagram and, as we know, Instagram, there [are] tons of functionalities that you can do within the actual camera filming story app, right? You can record videos, you can add photos, you can do boomerangs, you can add filters, you can add GIFs. There [are] so many things that you can do. Using that Instagram app is great, right? But there [are] other tools as well that I typically love to use and that I say are very just kind of simple, beginner-friendly, like Canva, for example.

Canva is an awesome tool that you can use to create graphics, you can create logos, you can create templates for your videos to add to your videos or just use in social media in general. It’s a free tool as well. And it’s just very simple and straightforward. You can add your colours in, your brand colours, your logo, your fonts, and it’s just a great opportunity for you to just create, right? And it’s not something expensive. Like if you want to get the pro version, it’s just an opportunity for you to just create, right?

So, you’ve got your camera, you’ve got Canva, and then you need a decent video editor, right? So one that I use that I — that’s like my tried and true that I tell everybody [to] get is InShot app which, again, another free app. And so, yeah, all the apps that I’m mentioning right now are free. The only thing that’s not free is the iPhone in which you might have to spend some money on it but, again, you’re spending money on all these things, on all these other things in your business anyhow, you might as well invest in something that’s going to allow you to create, right?

And as we all know, iPhones allow you some really great experience versus some other phones, at least from my experience. [As] I said, I was team Android up until maybe last year, I think. It might have been like October, maybe November, I think. Somewhere around that. But I made it work, you know what I mean? I made it work with my Android. A lot of my earlier videos have been filmed on my Android as well too. But I just realized I was gonna get a better experience viewership-wise because that’s also something super important to me, which is the quality, right?

I want my videos to stand the test of time. I want my videos, if they’re shared, that they look good and people are like, “Oh, this is great,” you know what I mean? I don’t want my videos to kind of be perceived as not that great quality. So I made that investment and that was probably the only big investment that I made within like filming stuff recently. I bought a MacBook which was great but that wasn’t even necessary for filming, that was more so, again, for other things and I recently bought a green screen which, again, was for filming.

But, again, not a super big investment like an iPhone. I think it was maybe — my boyfriend got it for me but I don’t think he spent more than maybe like 50, 60 bucks on it. So, there [are] little things that you can do here and there. But, [as] I said, [the] InShot app is a free tool that you can edit videos on and I’m telling you, you could edit any video on there. You could edit a 30-minute video, you could edit an hour-long video, you can edit your videos for Stories, for YouTube, for Instagram, like there [are] so many capabilities within that app.

And so I want people to know, at the end of the day, if your excuse is, “I need a 4K camera,” then you’re probably in it for the wrong reasons. You’re probably doing this whole business video thing for the wrong reasons and you’re not doing it because you want to create and you want to provide value. You’re probably just kind of doing it so you can sit there and say, “I got a 4K camera,” and then not know how to use it, right?

So, at the end of the day, I really want you to know that creating and being creative comes from it comes from a place of wanting to try, it comes from a place of wanting to experiment, and you keep experimenting, you keep trying, you keep having fun with it and work with what you have and work your way up to that 4K camera, if that’s important to you, right? I know tons of people, tons of creators that use their phone. All the videos that I’ve ever created have been on my phone. All of them, right?

And so if you go back and see what that quality looks like, you’ll know in your hearts of hearts that it’s not about the camera. It’s not about the camera. It’s not about the editing software. It’s not about any of that. It’s about passion. It’s about the ability to create and know that I’ve got a bigger purpose at the end of the day than worrying about if people are viewing my video in 4K. There are other important things to be there are other important things to take in.

And this is no shot to the 4K camera, I’m just like — when I see YouTubers use it, I’m just like, “How do you even get into the world of 4 freaking K?” But that’s a whole other situation, a whole nother conversation for another time.

Mohammed: Right. I love that. And I really appreciate all of your insights and tactical input that you’ve shared. Yeah. And, with that, where can people find out more about you and the work you’re doing online? I know you’ve mentioned the Accelerator earlier but I’d love to get a better sense of what this Accelerator is for those interested and also where they can find you.

Nia: Yes, of course. So, again, if you ever want to connect with me, definitely slide into my DMs on IG, @socialeemediagency. That is socialee, like my last name, Nia Lee, and then agency — well, the media agency, there [are] only one A in that but, either way, if you want to connect with me on IG, that’s pretty much where I’m at all the time.

Mohammed: Awesome. I don’t know what else to say there. I really do appreciate you giving me the opportunity to learn from you and sharing all of this insight.

Nia: Yes, for sure. This has been amazing. Thank you so much.

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