This episode is the first in our Stepping Into Your Authenticity Series. We are joined by the funny and charismatic Elaine Williams to kick things off.
Elaine is an accomplished author who has penned several books. She has also found success as a comedian, actress, and speaker. Through her company, Captivate the Crowd, Elaine helps clients get comfortable on stage and in front of the camera. Through Elaine's guidance, she transforms her clients’ stage and video presence, including harnessing their inner comic.
Due to the popularity of video, many clients are seeking her services to keep up with the ever-changing social media landscape. We dive into this hot topic and unravel the popularity of short-form videos and how they can impact your business.
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Captivate the Crowd: Website - Facebook Community - YouTube
Schedule a Connection Call with Elaine!
Learn expert tips for Instagram Reels (webinar): Register
For more info, see complete show notes: https://www.getthebalanceright.net/blog/episode83
Contact Heather: Instagram - LinkedIn
Get the Balance Right Coaching: Website
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Zeitzwolfe Accounting: Website - Facebook
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Hello and welcome to Get the Balance Right podcast. I am your host Heather Zeitzwolfe, CPA and profitability coach.
I am happy to announce that this episode is the first one in a series about stepping into our authenticity to grow our business. Authentic is such a played-out term, so I'm open to suggestions on how to jazz up the name of the series. Regardless of what the series is ultimately called, we have a group of sensational guests coming. These fabulous ladies will be contributing to the authenticity series. We will cover a range of sub-topics, including designing a VIP day, exposure through TV, podcast pitching, and guesting, along with using Clubhouse to build a path towards 7 figures. For the first episode in the series, we are joined by Elaine Williams. She is a comedian, speaker, and best-selling author. Through her business, Captivate the Crowd, she helps her clients become more confident on camera through her video coaching. She transforms them from shy and introverted to funny, engaging speakers through her guidance. Due to the popularity of video, many clients are seeking her services to keep up with the ever-changing social media landscape.
This interview really inspired me to take action using video. I gotta tell you, even though I love to clown it up for an audience, the idea of video always makes me nervous. Not only do you have sound, but then you've got the visuals. I can feel very self-conscious on video, especially when conveying a thought or lesson in a bite-sized chunk. Suddenly my brain goes blank, and the umms and ahhs start rattling through my lips.
Isn't it weird that sometimes it's challenging to be our natural selves because we are nervous or too in our head? Can you think of a time when you had all the answers, but your nerves got in the way. When I've been on other podcasts, I've noticed that my speech gets faster, I ramble more, and I'm unable to keep my train of thought cohesively. I also have this tendency on Clubhouse when I want to respond quickly. As soon as I hit the mic icon, all the ideas I had swimming in my noggin take flight. I think pausing for a moment would be helpful before starting to speak, but I'm such a spaz that it rarely occurs.
I know over time I will get better at podcast guesting and speaking on Clubhouse., It's all about the repetition. You have to give yourself grace, that everyone starts somewhere, and it's OK to be scrappy. The most important thing is that you create. I think understanding your shortcomings and working on them is excellent. But don't let them stop you. Identify them and move on. I know for me, I'm so busy being in my head that I forget to breathe. The loss of oxygen in my brain makes it difficult to find the words I'm looking for. It's like my brain is stumbling around in the dark, looking for the light switch. I know I'll get better over time, but I just have to put in the reps. Being your authentic self happens more easily once you feel comfortable. It's like that light switch goes on, allowing your true personality to shine.
But podcast guesting and Clubhouse are auditory. It's a whole different beast getting used to appearing on video, regardless of whether it's live or going to be edited. We all have our own baggage when it comes to seeing ourselves on film or just knowing we're filmed. For me, it's that red flashing light, knowing that everything I'm going to say and the way my body and face look will be captured and possibly shared. In society, there is so much emphasis on our appearances. We grow up in fear that we're not enough. Like we're not skinny enough, not sexy enough, not tall enough, not, not, not blah blah blah enough. Ugh. Besides the pressure, we put on ourselves based on societal influences from the media, family, friends, industries, etc. We also have the internal demon known as our ego. It's there to protect us, but that fight or flight instinct can be such a killer when you're trying to be natural for the camera.
For me, I have a tendency to speed up my delivery. I jump from one thought to another without finishing up one thing before splitting into a separate direction. I'm not alone in this. It's very common when we get nervous, but we can work on it. Now that manic approach worked for Robin Williams, he made a successful career out of it, but he was Robin Williams. He was undeniably in a league of his own. And I'll bet that Robin Williams had complete control over those tangents that came across as frantic and unrehearsed. But we're not trying to be Robin Williams, Shazbot. Na-nu Nan-nu. We want to tap into our authentic selves.
To help me do this, I decided I better try doing some video before this podcast was released. I had made some reels before but had never done an Instagram live before. I had watched them and participated but never initiated one myself. To make this more impactful, I decided to go live 45 days in a row. This seemed like the perfect campaign piece for this authenticity series. I started a few days ago, and you can check out my progress on Instagram. I've been going live approximately 30 min each day. I'm looking for other folks to join me live, so if you'd like to do one with me, please send me a DM on Instagram @zeitzwolfe. You can also search for vegan CPA, and @zeitzwolfe should come up in your search. If you're listening to this well after the 45 days are over, then still hit me up to go live.
I will be a pro by then because I'll be putting in the reps, baby! If you feel inspired by me and want to do your own 45-day challenge, please DM me. I would love to support you in your journey in any way I can. Although I've only been doing this for a few days, I have a pro-tip. You should log your experience. I started a journal to record my personal Instragm live journey. This includes recording activity with followers, time of day going live, etc. More importantly, I outline my speaking points before going live. Just in the few days I've been doing this, I can tell you that having an outline makes it way easier to stay on track and focus on your life. Sure I go off on unrehearsed tangents, but at least I have a clear idea where I want to ultimately go.
OK, so be sure to check me out on Instagram and if you want to be part of this journey, hit me up ASAP.
OK, let's get to our topic today. Are you ready to tap into your authentic self using video? Here is my discussion with the funny and charismatic Elaine Williams.
Heather Zeitzwolfe: “Elaine Williams, welcome to Get the Balance Right podcast!”
Elaine Williams: “Thank you, Heather. I'm so excited to be here. I think you're so fun and such a cool combination of like artsy self-expression, but numbers like woo. You're a triple threat.”
Heather Zeitzwolfe: “Yeah. Well, my mom was always wondering like, what the hell are you doing as an accountant?
She was like, she wanted me to be a clown. So..”
Elaine Williams: “That's hilarious. Usually parents are begging their artsy kids to go with CPA. Right?”
Heather Zeitzwolfe: “Exactly. Yeah, not my mom. That's not how my mom rolled. Actually. I started clowning when I was two, so we can go down that rabbit hole later on.
So Elaine Williams, welcome to the podcast. We are going to be talking about one of my favorite topics: video. And yes, and you help people with confidence. You are a video visibility and confidence coach, a speaker, and a comedian.”
Elaine Williams: “Yeah, I am all those things and more.”
Heather Zeitzwolfe: “Yes, I love it. Let's first dive into the idea of this whole video thing.
I know you're a comedian, you're a coach. How did you start to embrace video? Was it reels? How did you get started?”
Elaine Williams: “Well I grew up performing, Heather. My parents divorced when I was four and in the seventies, that was very rare compared to these days. So I was always like searching family, family, and then I found theater and I was like: “Oh my God! Applause, love a backstage family, sign me up!”.
So I fell in love with theater and I was always doing theater. And then I did a commercial and then I did my first movie when I was 15. My agent was like: “you don't usually book the very first thing you audition for.” And they needed a girl with big boobs, the teenage girl with big boobs. And that was me, the dirt bright kid. You can still see my credit. It's amazing.
So I was always performing. I would do theater, or do VoiceOver, or do a commercial. Then I’d do radio. You know, I always had something coming down the pike. Then I moved to New York City. Cause I wanted to do theater on a whole nother scale.
And even though I worked my whole life in Texas, I get to New York, I couldn't get arrested. It was like, you know, the Olympics of signing. But people kept saying: “you're really funny, you should do commercials, you should do comedy”. And I was like: “what do you mean?”. You know, cause it was hard. I knew one person when I moved here.
So anyway, so I figured it out and then I fell into comedy. And then I fell into coaching and I wanted to do comedy on the college market and people kept saying: “well, it's really competitive, but didn't you have all those addictions?”. And I was like: “yeah, I had three addictions and I'm an assault survivor”. So I started speaking on the college circuit.
So I always thought when I started my coaching program, that I would be like a speaker-coach. Cause I had done that for friends and a little bit, but never like as a launched full business, I'd always like had it as a side hustle. And so I'm developing Captivate the Crowd as Facebook Live is coming down the pike.
And I realized, oh wow. Everyone says, they're afraid of speaking in public, but oh my God, being on camera. You know? In the very beginning I kept doing this: “hey everybody!!” you know? Cause I was so used to like working in the room.”
Heather Zeitzwolfe: “Oh, okay. She's looking around for people that are listening to this podcast.”
Elaine Williams: “Yeah. I was like, you know, you work the room, so you're always trying to like, make sure you cover all of the room. And especially, you know, I grew up in theater, so you speak to the rosters. And all of a sudden it was like this thing, I just kept doing it. And I was like, well, I'm going to help people. And I know what it's like to be a woman of a certain age who has body issues. Struggled with my weight my whole life I'm short and curvy. I work out a lot, but I'm, you know, I've never been like: “woo”, but I've never been a Barbie, except when I was on crystal meth. And I don't recommend that diet. It's not, it was not a good thing for me. So I just thought: “oh my God, I'm perfect to help women be able to feel confident and connect with their why and the whole reason they started their business or their mission or whatever they're up to”. Because, you know, unfortunately there's going to be trolls. And so I know what that's like, because I grew up with a crazy alcoholic stepmother who was like the ultimate troll.
So I know I can help you handle. Believe me- - I got ya. That's how it all sort of started.”
Heather Zeitzwolfe: “You and I are both magnanimous. We are expressive. We have comedy in our blood. Not everybody is like that. How do people that are entrepreneurs, they want to be on video, there’s a lot of pressure now to be on video, well, how do people start to embrace video? If they’re maybe an introvert or maybe they feel shy about the camera? What are some ways that they can kind of start to get their feet wet? In all of this?”
Elaine Williams: “I joke around when I work with I have private clients and then I teach group programs too. And I say: “look, I am not trying to get you to be like me, I am enough.Like I'm a lot, we don't need more of me. We want the best version of you”. And just like anything, when you start out, I think there's tendency to, just to try to, I was trying to be very professional, then pulled up and then I was like, Elaine, that's not really you and I was coming across as not authentic, you know?
And so one of the best things you can do, if you're committed, like I got to get better and start making videos and send it to a friend. And get used to how you sound, get used to how you look and you know, that serenity prayer: “grant me the serenity to accept the things that cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference”.
You don't have to go get a $25,000 facelift. But you can invest in some, a little bit of lighting and a better angle. You'll lose 10 pounds. There's different things you can learn. And part of it is just getting used to like: “this is how I look”, you know, and once you've made a bunch of videos, you start to kind of get used to, there's like a sort of a self-acceptance.
And if you really like, okay, you know what, I really want to drop five pounds, then commit to it and do it. But if you're, if you're waiting to be perfect, people are missing out on you. You know, and perfect doesn't help anybody. We relate to people, especially in this day and age with short form videos - which is so hot right now. We relate to people we can relate to. If you’re too perfect, I can't relate to you. And I don't care. Like there's one woman who is beautiful and very powerful. She's a tall, thin brunette. And she has an amazing business and I just never feel, like I'm always like: “meh”. And I'm sure she's been through some stuff, but I just, I, for whatever reason, she doesn't like speak to me, but that's fine. She does fine. You know? So it's like whoever you vibe with.”
Heather Zeitzwolfe: “If people are starting off with video, they're like: “okay, I have this business, what am I going to talk about? What should my videos be about now?”. When we say videos, I mean, there's all types of different types of videos. And we'll talk about that.
But for right now, let's just stick with maybe something like Reels or Instagram Live. With that, do you think that people should plan out what they're going to do? And if so, should they do it where they they've made themselves up and then they can batch record a bunch of these things? What is some of your advice for people that are just getting started? Okay, they want to get used to the camera, they got themselves all dolled up - now what are they going to say? And are there things that you like, should they talk about values? Should they educate, what should they talk about Elaine?”
Elaine Williams: “Oh my God. Oh, how long do you have Heather? No, that's a great question and it's really a broad one.
A year ago. I would have been like: “gotta be live video because the algorithm pushes up the live video more than the recorded”. Now that Instagram and TikTok and YouTube were all like jockeying. They are all doing all these things. They're trying to compete with short form video.
I'm actually teaching a class on this. I don't know when you're going to drop this, but I'm teaching a Reels class on the 20th because it's so hot and what's exciting is a different format. It's just a different animal. It's kind of like. Are you going to have an automatic drive car or are you going to do a standard?
You have to, you know, there's different things about each one, right? And some people might enjoy the standard more than the automatic and vice versa. Right. So, you know, reels are short 60 seconds or less. And they're great because they're going to push you out more and you have to really work on being concise and really thinking about: “what am I going to say? What am I going to do?”.
So there's a whole sort of philosophy and strategy around harnessing the power of Reels and short form video with TikTok and on YouTube. And then there's also, it's really great, if you can go live.
I'm a big fan of plan, but don't memorize. I have little post-its all over my desk.
Like right now I'm talking to you, I'm looking right into the camera, but I could have a piece of paper, like right here over my screen, over my face or your face. And nobody would know that except me. There's lots of ways. I think it's good to have an idea of how you're going to open. What are you going to teach or talk about? And then how are you going to close? The thing is the more you do it, the more fluid it's going to be. So. I think it's really good to have a plan and, you know, I can be the sidetrack queen, but sometimes if people go off and ramble, you're going to lose people. Right? We're so like: “entertain me now!”, right?
We are so fast, fast, fast - so have a plan. It's okay if you don't always stick to it, but start with a plan, whether you're doing live or doing a short."
Heather Zeitzwolfe: “And it really should have some sort of purpose to it. So it's not just to entertain, but we need to have some sort of call to action. We want to entertain, we want to give value, but we also have to have a call to action because we're entrepreneurs.
So, is there a cadence to this? And do you like to sprinkle a little entertainment with a little bit of education and then a little bit of selling? How do you approach this?”
Elaine Williams: “Right now I'm playing with doing one Reel where I'm like dancing because I love music and I love to dance. And then I'll put a caption as super tip about what I teach, you know, video speaking, storytelling, humor, or I'll put something inspiring.
And so that's kind of just like: “hey, this is part of my brand, which is fun, energy, woo, imperfect action, that's what I kind of stand for”. And so I'll put out a Reel with some version of that. And then I'll do a talking head one where I'm teaching a point about video or Reel or something and it's quick.
Because I'm goofy and I just love to laugh, I’ll do like those VoiceOver ones. And I'll do them just, and for me, it's sort of like, it makes me giggle and then sometimes I can caption it or put, you know, “read in the description (something to do with my business)” and obviously CTA call to action. You want to invite people to come engage with you. What do you think about this? Send me a message. Message me for this. What do you think about this? You know, you can ask questions cause you, the whole idea of social media is to be social. And so you want to invite conversations. And you have to be careful because there are a lot of weird creepy guys too. So, you know, sometimes I'm like: “whoa, dude”.
So I've just learned for me, ignoring can be the best thing. Sometimes I get weird messages. And I just try to like ignore it. And then it cracks me up because my, one of my clients is like, this guy keeps messaging me and I was like: “well, I thought he liked me!” and it's like, no, he messages everybody, Elaine.”
Heather Zeitzwolfe: “The short form videos for TikTok or Reels - if you're just getting started with doing video, it seems like, okay, there's a little less pressure because there's a little less time. But because it's so short and concise, it's actually a little bit tougher to do, I think, because you can't ramble on. You got to really keep that message super, super short.
So do you have any recommendations with making an Instagram Reel how you can get that information so concise?”
Elaine Williams: “For me, creativity is very circular. So if I'm at my computer on a Monday morning… I have to write a blog, it’s like nothing. Right? I am super creative when I'm moving. When I am washing my hair, washing dishes, folding, talking, walking.
I love like this kind of thing with my clients, we record everything because to me it's magic comes out of that. I'm always like making lists. You want to be thinking, like: “what do you say to your clients all the time? What, what is one of your slogans? What do you say to people you love or your friends or whatever?”. You know? That’s how I came up with all of my slogans for when I was on the college market.
You're swimming in content. We all are. We just don't realize it. And so part of my job as a coach is to help people realize: “oh my God, I have so much content all around me”. So my job is to help you recognize it, capture it and organize it. We have more information than we ever, ever, ever, ever will be able to totally intake, right?
If that's how life worked, we could all just go on Google and then ‘bling’ we’d be millionaires. It's not about the information, it’s about the organized information, the strategy of it, the way we teach, how it lands on people, right? Like there's, there's nuances to having this information. And so I love helping people. How do we make this bite-size? Because a confused mind doesn't buy. And when, I mean, doesn't buy, that means like they don't click. Like have you ever gone like: “oh, this person is really cool” and you see if they have another video and then they go on and on and you're like: “oh, this is too much work”?
Right. Our brain's job is to protect us and to help us survive. So if something takes too much mental energy, that's when I'm like: “this is too complicated, I’m sorry, I'm out”. Like, I'm just the older I get too I’m like: “keep it simple”. So if you can, you know, you always want to be making a list of what are your slogans, what are your theories, what is your, you know, what do you really believe in favorite bumper stickers, favorite quotes, favorite books, all kinds of things like that.
And then you can also be thinking about, you know, what is one tip? What is one tip I could give? I get excited when a client is like: “oh my God, I did it!” Or, you know, I get like, oh, and so I sometimes I'll make a bit of spontaneous video because I'm like super excited about win somebody has.”
Heather Zeitzwolfe: “Oh, I love that idea of that spontaneous idea.
You were talking about putting together this list of ideas, of things that are in your everyday life that maybe it just comes naturally to you and you don't even think it's anything that special, but other people can really benefit from. Do you advise people to have like a notebook that they keep all this stuff in or put it on their phone? How do they do this normally?”
Elaine Williams: “You know, I am a recovering paper-holic, so I'm really trying to get stuff electronically because as a comedian, I was always writing, writing, writing.
This is important, Heather. So many people were like: “I'm going to make videos!” and it's like, okay, stop. So yes, you want to be entertaining and inspiring and educational, but you want to stop before you do that and think, okay, who do you serve? How do you help them? What makes you uniquely qualified? What are their problems?
When I first was getting ready to speak on the college campus, I was like: “I want to teach about creativity".
And they were like: “Elaine, we need you to talk about heavy, heavy stuff, because that's the issues, that’s really what we need”.
So I had to change some stuff. And then I wove in some things too, like there's an old thing in marketing, “Sell them what they want and then teach them what they need”.
If you really want something, you will find a way. If you really, really want to buy something, you will find a way to get that special skincare or whatever, right? And a lot of times there's a, there's a disconnect between what people think they need and versus what they want. And so a good coach, a good thought-leader: “you want to be a TikTok superstar, sure. I'm going to show you all that stuff. But I'm also going to teach you how to have substance. And the other things that made me not be are so sexy, but you need to know them”.”
Heather Zeitzwolfe: “Going back to the idea of this voiceover thing, what is that? Is that recording somebody else on a Reel, how does that work?”
Elaine Williams: "It's a little technical for a podcast, but I'm in Instagram and on the very bottom in the middle, there is like a, take two, it looks like a movie clipboard. You click on that and that brings up all kinds of Reels.
So you can just scroll, scroll, scroll. So it's like this person, it's her name and picture and her, whatever her name is. And then there's her caption. And then underneath that, it says: “original audio”. Sometimes they would say: “music”.
So let's just say: “oh, I love this, this is making me laugh”. You click on that, it brings you to another screen and it shows you all the people who use this particular voiceover and you can put: “save audio”, and then you can keep scrolling, scrolling, scrolling, and you can look at, I love the dog and the cat and the horse things.
And, and then when you go into your Reels account and make a Reel now, you click on the little crossmark, click on the Reel. And then on the left, it says: “audio”, and then: “search music”. There's tons of music and there's also a saved I can go into saved. And then there's all my songs, which I never know what the heck I saved because I don't know half of the songs cause I'm 53.
And then there's all these original audios. And you could practice, you have to practice if you click the thing on the right. It's like the sampler can hear: “oh yeah, I saved that one, that made me laugh”. And then you can play it and play it and play it and practice it and practice it and practice it.
And then you can select it. And then you shoot you mouthing the words to the voiceover or the sound or the music or whatever. And then you've made it your own real, and then you had captions blah, blah, blah.”
Heather Zeitzwolfe:. “Well, okay, for people that are a little bit timid about talking the first few reels, they can just do lip sinking. That's really cool. I didn't know how that works. That's awesome. Thank you so much for sharing that. I'll have to try that out.
With Reels, that’s a really great way to get into video, but there's so many other platforms. There’s Zoom, I think most people are familiar with Zoom. Then there's Loom, which is a pretty cool software where you can send messages to prospects or your clients, and you can put it in an email. And then there's TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo. Now there's LinkedIn lives.
And now I just discovered that Amazon has a thing called Amazon Live, I believe for influencers, where you could actually sell products off of Amazon.
There's all these opportunities for video. When someone's like: “oh my God, I've got all these options”, what do you recommend for getting started? Is it what's easiest, cheapest, or what's going to hit your target market and, or is it all of the above?”
Elaine Williams: “Well, I would say keep it simple. If you haven't done any short videos or videos, pick one platform and master that.
And what's cool, you go on YouTube, there are tons of tutorials. I recommend picking one platform and starting with that. And you have to think about who is your market? Right? Like TikTok has some old ladies dancing who have millions of followers. Everything keeps shifting and changing. You want to be consistent.
You want to be giving value, being entertaining, inspiring, and educating people about who you are, what you do, why you're uniquely qualified and how people can work with you."
Heather Zeitzwolfe: “Now if people are thinking: “okay, this sounds great and all, but what about all the equipment, the software?”. When someone's going to get started, what are some things that they might need?
I made a list and I wonder what you think of these. Possible equipment could be like a ring light, that you use for your face, that either can hook to your laptop - you've got the kind of hooks to the laptop - or to the side. And then tripod. I personally, I have a little mini tripod that I put my phone in and it's got a shotgun mic that I can just prop up and then do my, Instagram Reels.Then there's buying tripods, microphones, green screens, editing software.
To get started. There's a lot of things there. And if people aren't familiar with all the software, do you have a recommendation when it comes to? Just use your phone? And if so, what do you use to edit it?”
Elaine Williams: “There's a lot of different software things, but what's cool is because these platforms are competing, they’re one upping each other.
So you can edit quite easily with an iPhone in iMovie on your phone. You can edit quite easily in TikTok and Instagram, you can edit right in the app. And so for starting out, that's what I would recommend. I have a ring light. I love my little tripod. It's a selfie stick and/or tripod. I take it everywhere I go. And it's great.”
Heather Zeitzwolfe: “And these things don't really cost that much. Like I think I got my ring light for like $20 something bucks. And the shotgun mic thing that holds the phone, I think that was like $35. So it's not a huge investment. And the sound quality actually is pretty good with this stuff.
I mean, it's amazing what you can do with a phone. And sometimes the quality is better on the phone then it is other types of devices, at least for, for video.”
Elaine Williams: “Oh yeah. I mean, Apple, especially - people on film sets use some of the framing apps for Hollywood pictures. Like, wow, that's crazy.”
Heather Zeitzwolfe: “Video is hot, everyone seems to love it. There are platforms like Clubhouse that have no video, but that's a totally different thing.
Incorporating video, how can that help you make more money?”
Elaine Williams: “Oh my gosh. That's why I love teaching video. You can 10X yourself. You can clone yourself. We want to work with people we know like, and trust.
That's why video can be so scary because it's so transparent. But if you have good products and services and you have a good heart and your intention is to make the world a better place with what you do and who you help. So, You have that intention, even if you have green stuff in your teeth or you lisp, or you mispronounced something, people will forgive you.
When you first meet people, I think they Google you. You want to be binge-able. You want people to go: “oh my God, I heard this woman on a podcast, I really want to check out her stuff. And I saw her she's on LinkedIn, she's done this, she's done this, she's done this”. That stuff doesn't happen overnight.
I built up my YouTube channel, before all these shorts. Just to prove this is not my first rodeo, I've been performing since I was four years old. And I had been working professionally my entire life in the arts. So, so when people can get a sense of who you are and you're congruent with that, they’re more likely to want to work with you. To come down that funnel path.
A lot of times people make video and to be this: “ooh”, or “I have to be perfect, my colors have to be done”. And you have to be perfect to coach? No. The best skill you can learn is being comfortable and confident on camera so that people can get to know who you are, what you're about.
And for some people that takes two days, right? For some people that might take two years. Everybody has different things. And if somebody is like: “I just started my business, I'm not ready to even deal with video” I'm like: “cool, let’s stay in touch, I'll see you in a year - if you're still in business, hopefully”. Right? So like it all depends on where people are and what the priority is.
But that's why I love teaching video because people can go to your website and look at frequently asked questions. They can go check you out on YouTube. They can check you out on LinkedIn. There's just so many ways for people to digest you.”
Heather Zeitzwolfe: “Let's unpack some of that. I love this idea of being binge-able. I can see that if you have maybe your whole bunch of Reels on your Instagram account and people can binge those. Or you have a bunch of videos on YouTube. Now you mentioned FAQs on your website, that’s an interesting idea. Is that something people do a video with their frequently asked questions? Cause I love this idea.”
Elaine Williams: “ Yes. Because we want to be in the people’s, our prospect’s minds. Everybody has like Funnel 101. Who is this person? Can I trust them? Stranger danger. So once we decide, okay, people have to go through these unconscious buying decisions. And by buying, I mean, like keep clicking, keep watching versus: “oh, that person's in congruent, I get a creepy vibe, I'm out”.
So you can have all kinds of videos where you're like: “hey, you may be feeling this, you may be worried about this. Welcome, you’re in the right place. My name's Elaine and I love helping new business owners, just like you, who know they want to do video and they don't know where the heck to start. So take a look around. This is my website. I have a beautiful, loving, safe community. Come play with us on Facebook. Feel free to reach out. You can go here. You can go here and go here. Welcome”. Like that is a lot more fun than just copy, right?”
Heather Zeitzwolfe: “Yeah. I love that. Yeah, that's great. I'm kind of a big personality and so people are either going to jive with that, or they're not.
I think showing someone your personality upfront is a great way to sell yourself and also just to vet out each other as a good fit. So they'll see like: “oh, hmm I don't really like her style or wow, I really can get into this, this makes it fun”.
Very cool. I love that idea. I saw somewhere that you were in Waiting for Guffman. Were you in a scene with Christopher Guest or Parker Posey? What were you in that movie? I've seen a bazillion times. I have to go back and look at it.”
Elaine Williams: “Well I think that one of my scenes got cut from the thing. But when they first premiered it, I got to be the dairy queen worker with Parker Posey.
When Christopher Guest drives through and says: “you got the part”, she turns around and says: “I got the part!”. And they told me just to act normal. So I was like: “ahhh”, and they're like: “cut”. And they're like: “don't talk”. And I was like: “oh, because if I had spoken words, they would have to pay me”. It was a low budget. I had to make dairy queen curls at like eight in the morning. And it was really hard.”
Heather Zeitzwolfe: “Wow. Well, Parker, Posey is probably one of my superheroes. So was she nice to you or?”
Elaine Williams: “She was so kind to me. She said: “oh honey, I tried to turn your face towards the camera”. Like she was phenomenal. And then I got to be in another scene at the high school, the night of the show.”
Heather Zeitzwolfe: “I also saw that you were in a Saturday Night Live with Jack Black.
Did you meet him or what happened with that?”
Elaine Williams: “Yes, I was in Saturday Night Live. I was an MTV dancer for Seth Myers. And I was dead center and I was also really sick. I had like 102F fever, but I was like, I'm not missing this opportunity. I'm not going to talk to anybody. Jack Black was the host and he was really cool.
And I also got to hang out with Darrell Hammond, who used to play Bill Clinton all the time.
One thing that's cool is Saturday Night Live is really nice. They include the extras and they don't treat you like dogs. In some movies, they treat background, not very nice. And Saturday Night Live kind of goes out of their way to include you.
And if you think about it, they're putting on a brand new show every week. Like it's crazy. The budget for the show is really a lot of all the sets and props and costume and makeup. So, yeah, it was a great experience.”
Heather Zeitzwolfe: “Yeah. That seems like that would be a lot of fun just to see like just the backstage of how all of that happens, all the logistics of everything. It always seems really incredible what they do in a short span of time. And sometimes the camera will like pull away and you're like: “oh, wow, that was just like a little set over there”. And then they're going to another thing that is really cool.
Well, Elaine, tell people how they can work with you, where they can find you.
Obviously you're on Instagram. How do they find you there? And we'll have links in the show notes.”
Elaine Williams: “Okay, well, thank you, Heather. Thank you for asking.
Yeah, I would love, I love helping people and I have lots of different ways. You can, I have um, a group program, Captivate the Crowd. What I love about this is it's accountability. Because what happens is we learn this new skill and then we go: “oh, I'm going to take a break” and what I found is that I want you to build the muscle.
I want you to learn this skill. Incorporate it in your daily, weekly thing. And so I have that structure of a two month program and you get to practice in this really cool Facebook group. I do have VIP stuff that I do one-on-one with people if they want to go deeper into the storytelling or speaking. Like I have somebody I'm helping with their Ted talk.
The best way to get ahold of me is at: captivatethecrowd.com.
I have a podcast, Still Human with Kathy and Elaine that we're growing and it's a lot of fun.”
Heather Zeitzwolfe: “ Very cool.
People are feeling nervous about being on video.Video is not going away. With the pandemic, we can't even meet people in person anymore. Most of the time we can't. So everything is on video. We have to get used to being on video and seeing ourselves on the screen. Can't always have the camera off. So if they're nervous, they got to see Elaine and join your Facebook.
Is your Facebook group open to the public or do they have to be a client to join?”
Elaine Williams: “No. I have a public group called Captivate the Crowd. We just have to be friends on Facebook. So you'll find me Elaine Williams. There's a couple of us, but that’s probably the best way to kind of get started.
And yeah, video, the platforms will keep evolving, right? And what's hot now will maybe be totally gone, like Vine, or whatever in a year. But video is here to stay.
So, you know, if I had to tell you what is one skill to work on that's more important than copywriting right now, more important than even sales? I would say, work on your camera confidence, how you come across, what you can do, how you can practice, so that you can be at ease and even have fun with it.”
Heather Zeitzwolfe: “I love that. Yeah.
Here's the thing with me. So I, like I said, I'm like, I'm loud and goofy. I'm like improv and like crazy. And then once I turned the camera on and I see that red flashing light, I'm like, uh, so just one last recommendation.
So when people are trying this out, they might have to put the camera in front of them and just kind of do it over and do it over. Do you recommend writing it out first?”
Elaine Williams: “ I recommend having some bullet points that you want to say and remembering your why. Right? Because there's always a good reason to not press go. “Oh my hair. Oh, it's cloudy. Oh, it's this, I'm feeling off”. Right? We can talk ourselves out of anything, but when you get grounded. And why did you start your business? Why did you, who do you, who are you here to help? Who are you helping? How are you lifting people up? How are you helping to heal this mad, crazy world that needs you now more than ever?
When I get grounded in that, that pulls me forth. So it's so much bigger than worrying about some troll who's going to make fun of that I have a lisp or that I talk fast or that sometimes I'm a little bit “ahh”, right? Like my commitment to make a difference with my life and my story and my business is so much bigger than worrying about these things little gremlins. Right?
And so I think it's, if you can keep practicing coming from that, your why, that will pull you forth. And that will help you get through that uncomfortableness. Until you keep doing it and you do it and you do it and before you know, it you're like: “woo”.”
Heather Zeitzwolfe: “Yes, that's wonderful advice, and it's just about doing the reps. So just keep doing it and then you'll start to feel more comfortable.
Well, Elaine, this has been so fabulous. Thank you so much for being on the podcast today!”
Elaine Williams: “Thank you, Heather. Thanks for having me, this was fun!”