One of my team members shared this story with me. I thought it was a great idea to share with you just to give a little insight on what it’s like to go viral for the first time.
The first time I made a viral video changed everything.
I had seen some great success in the past with hitting company goals, sometimes surpassing them. I was working on e-commerce design and optimizations, advertising and app-funnels, and general design work.
I had no video experience, but I did have a bit of photography experience under my belt. One day I had the idea to try out a video format that I had seen online, and got the go-ahead to try it out.
I brought my own camera to work, since I didn’t have a budget for this yet and we didn’t have any video cameras at the office. I didn’t have a tripod or stand, or even lighting that we could use to get the types of shots I needed. So I just stabilized everything manually.
We got the materials we needed and started shooting. Boy was I out of my element. I probably spent about 6 hours shooting what I later learned should have taken about 2.
Then I opened up editing software for the first time. Another mess. I didn’t know what to do with the files, I didn’t know what settings to use, and I only knew in a general sense what some of the tools did.
So I spent the next few hours watching YouTube videos and was able to put together a rough video assembly. That night I watched more. I was hooked. This whole process was fascinating to me. The next day I finished up first draft.
That video ended up being awful, and we didn’t post it. But it gave me confidence to try again now that I had learned a whole lot about the nuance of creating videos.
We did another round of shooting, and I edited that footage. I was able to turn it around in about a day. We posted it up with no expectations, and moved on.
As I was leaving the office, I checked in to see how the post was doing…and to my surprise, it had over 50,000 views! I was of course very excited, and I did a little internal fist-pump. I kept tracking it throughout the evening, and saw it eventually get up to about 90,000 at one point.
I woke up the next morning to a text telling me to take a look. The video had made it to 800,000 views already.
I’m not sure I know how to describe the feeling of seeing something like that, but I’m sure you can imagine it was a good one. That feeling becomes addicting. From that point on, I never looked back.
Once you’ve seen the potential of your own success, the whole world can change around you in a heartbeat. You start constantly looking for new ways to build on what you did, and every next step is just as exciting as the last. That video changed my life.
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