From the day we started Kontra, my partner and I decided to put a company brand above our personal brands. We wanted (and still want) to have a strong company brand so whenever someone wants to works with us, he chooses to work with Kontra, not with us as the owners. Over the years, I built my brand as I have a lot of speeches at conferences and seminars, but I didn’t put too much focus on it. In September 2018. Petar Bogdan went to Boston to attend a conference and have some meetings. He listened to Grand Cordone and Casey Neistat and decided he should start his vlog. When he came back with that idea, I agreed but didn’t put much thought into it. Still, at the same time, I watched some of GaryVee’s videos and one night I realized, we both should do it!
Should you build your personal brand?
Some people are afraid to put their name and face in front of the audience and I understand that. But today we have an amazing opportunity to reach a broad audience using social media and we should definitely use it. Everything we do defines us as a person, but technology enables us to reach a broader audience than ever before. Before social media, you had limited options on how to brand yourself, as almost the only distribution channels were TV/radio/print. Meanwhile, today we have social media which enables us to reach thousands of users for free. We live in a golden era! Many people won’t use it, but for us who decided to exploit all possible options, this is proving to be the best use of our time.
So, what’s your strategy?
Petar and I have a different strategy.
He decided to record his vlog every week. He takes some subject, talks about it, records it and puts it on his YouTube channel. Also, he cuts his main video to smaller pieces and distributes it (we’ll talk about this later).
I decided not to record weekly, but to record my talks! I have so many talks at conferences and seminars, so I decided to record (almost) every talk and put it online. I found The GaryVee Content model and I realized I can do the same. Of course, not that much as Gary, but I have more than enough talks and I just need to record them. Then I can use those recordings and cut smaller videos to distribute them around. To be honest, I don’t use any advanced equipment at the moment, just my iPhone XS and some basic mobile phone holder. In controlled environments, iPhone records really good audio and I don’t need to use any microphone. In noisy environments, I use a simple clip-on microphone, but I will probably buy some better microphone in the future.
We both decided to start with the Croatian language, which is the opposite of Kontra’s communication. We decided to do it that way so we can test everything first, learn on the smaller market and then we can start with the English language. For me, as I give most of the talks in Croatian, it will remain the only language I use in my videos for now.
How do you distribute your videos?
There’s one simple rule: native upload on every social media network beats everything else. When I have a long video, I upload it to my YouTube channel and then I share the link to my Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter + I add photos with a call to action to my Instagram Feed and Instagram Story. That’s a lot of sharing around.
The real magic happens when I take this long video and start cutting it in smaller videos that last around 60 seconds. I create those videos to be used on social media networks only (I also upload them to YouTube because I want to have them in one place). I create those videos in 1×1 format and add titles to it. Why? Because most users will watch them on mobiles phones, which means they won’t be able to hear the sound. It takes more time, but it is definitely worth it. I upload those videos natively on every network and get really high reach, especially on LinkedIn.
So, what are the results?
This video strategy really brought a lot of attention to us and our work. When I see that some of these videos have thousands of views, I know it is worth it. Potential customers are learning about us, people approach us at the conferences and praising our work, sending us messages and asking to work with us… all that in only 6 months. Our personal branding activities are bringing results for Kontra and we’ll definitely continue using it.