The most important things you need to know to improve your Videos | Rick Toone | Skillshare

The most important things you need to know to improve your Videos

Rick Toone, Director | Visual Storyteller

The most important things you need to know to improve your Videos

Rick Toone, Director | Visual Storyteller

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7 Lessons (37m)
    • 1. Welcome Video

    • 2. Think Like a Storyteller

    • 3. Forget about the Gear

    • 4. Every Video needs a Purpose

    • 5. Think like a Camera

    • 6. Is being Authentic Overrated?

    • 7. Course Wrap up

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About This Class

Camera gear and editing chops are good to have but knowing these 5 things will improve your videos so people want to watch them. Knowing how and why to tell a story are important elements that every artist, business and brand needs to understand to get the most impact for their video efforts.

I’m not anti-gear but I do believe the fundamentals are important and the gear is secondary to telling a compelling story. After 20 years in Hollywood and then a dozen years helping small businesses craft their story I have learned that the gear will change but the impact of a good story will always get you noticed.

Meet Your Teacher

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Rick Toone

Director | Visual Storyteller


Emmy Nominated - Director/Producer | Creative Strategist | Visual Storyteller

Emmy-nominated, 50 Super Bowl commercials, and stories for days. As a Hollywood Art Director and Prop Master, I learned the arts of communication, collaboration and visual storytelling from the best in entertainment.

Creative problem solving is the first rule of TV film-making. From safely dropping a Mercedes 3 stories so that it can drive away, to shooting web commercials for small businesses, to integrating iPhone video into a TV show via an app, my roles have encompassed every aspect of film and video – from scriptwriter to director, to creative strategist.

With extensive experience in leadership, technology and marketing; I bring deep thinking to every project from conception to ... See full profile

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Marketing Business

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1. Welcome Video: Hey, a trick. That's window a quick video here to welcome you to the group and to say thank you for signing up. And I hope that this is certainly worth your time. So we're gonna talk about several things here. We're talking about storytelling. We're talking about purpose. We could talk about the reason why you do what you do. We're gonna dig, dig a lot deeper than, um, camera gear and lens numbers, light lumens and all that kind of stuff. The gears is the gear. You know, if you got one of these, you can do video. So let's not get hung up on the gear. Let's think about the other important pieces first, and then we'll go from there. What I really like for you to do is after each video to make a comment, the group or after a series of videos, put comment in the group. And let's just have a chat. You know, you have your unique to you, but you don't have different fears than anybody else. You don't have different concerns. Anybody else. Your anxiety over doing video is the same as everybody else. There's a few major components that people really have, and that's kind of what we try to address in this series. A lot of those things. So, which comment in the group? Asked me questions, asked the group questions. And let's get on this journey together and I'll create shoot better video. 2. Think Like a Storyteller: Let's talk about thinking like a storyteller, and what does that really mean? So you may have heard of, like the book, the Hero's Journey or the platform story brand. Or maybe there's even a campfire in your past. Whatever formula or system that you wanna believe to incorporate your story is really a good idea. You know, from the early days, storytellers have held a unique position in our society. They've been hired in the blacksmith, the baker, the factory worker, even the school teacher, people who can tell a good story and keep you interested. They're rewarded. You know, we all look for the Academy Awards, the Emmys, Tonys. Those are the stories being rewarded. New York Times Bestselling authors are based on sales. Not always the best story, but not always the best writer their boat. But the stories are compelling enough that gets them noticed, right? So the stories or what's important? So how does that relate to you? Well, at the end of the day, you need to work out what your best story is and why do you do that? Why do you want to do that? Let's talk about how did you get here. What was it? Something in your past that created who you are today. Let's see how that relates to who you are and you know it's hard to pull out your own story . It often takes a skilled person. Teoh. Figure that out to connect the dots for you because we all have our story that we're aware of. But we may not think certain aspects or interesting or not. There's a guy no here who lived in Cuba for a while, and he was selling bras to Grandma's on the street in Cuba. Now that's a great story. But when you talk about him and the bigger picture of him selling and his hustle, and that fits his story. But he just kind of throw a common at lunch. One day we went, What do that's so awesome and like, every person has their own story. His story is that's a very unique and interesting story, but only he has that anybody can put a spin on something. Anybody can make things up, but when you have a good, compelling story, it's not PR and not B S B s. It's just who you are. It means that you're believable. So I understand that your story is not your job. It's not how many kids you have. It's not where you into college. None of that place or is as important as the bigger picture. Those complain a into it, but you don't preach your store in every video, but you do have a base for the content. So be very careful about what your story is and how you sell. Say it and how you sell it. Because we're always selling our stories. I make sure that that's the real story of who you are. So every video has specific purpose and a specific audience. And knowing your story makes it easier to create that video and make it believable. We'll talk about the avatars paying the avatars from marketing right? Well, the story is not that much different. The difference is the story is not tangible, like Google can't analyze your story and then tell you that's the right one toe have, because that's what your customers looking for. So you gotta have this big, overarching story that's constantly hitting you from all angles all the time. You know, Let's so let's just say you're a chiropractor God knows plenty of in the world, right on what separates carp actor A from chiropractor be is that their style is the office . Is that the Whatever you want to think it iss well, the chances are good that if Chiropractor who was a second level second, I'm sorry. Second generation doctor is probably more believable. He's more chiropractic, right, and they seem to have a certain something that you really can't put your finger on it. But you know there's something about them because their story is they grew up breathing this stuff at the dinner table their dad would discusses day at the office. They heard the conversations about the patients about helping people about their business, kind of that chiropractor. He has a deeper level people, meaning of understanding, then the new chiropractor, fresh out of chiropractor school with no history. So if a chiropractor incorporated this generational story into their videos and marketing, it might go something like this. You know, if they were telling the video, I remember my dad telling us how Mr Jones, our neighbor, came in one day hunched over and barely able to put one foot in front of the other, and when he left the office, he was standing straight up and walked with no problem. So when I loved I love those things and two days later I see Mr Jones shoveling snow on the street and I wave and he hollered back between scoops, shoveling snow. Your dad's a miracle worker. Do you see how that plays into authority and authenticity and your story? You get people's attention and respect, not because of snow shoveling or the fancy office of People know that you became a chiropractor to help people because that's what doctors do. And if I go the doctor, I want somebody genuinely concerned for my health. So the barriers of entry to be to remove yourself from certain aspects can be told by story and not by the facts. I've been in business 14 years. Great. My dad was in business for 40 years before me without a family business for 54 years better , right? So for your homework, I want you to dig deep. And what's your story? What do you better people find interesting? What do people What should people know about you? What's embarrassing, What's on your sleeve? You discuss. You know, I think about when you go to a cocktail party or something, talking to somebody and the 1st 5 minutes of the same kind of general conversation. Here's what I do. Here is where I live. Here's how many kids I have, etcetera. And then after half an hour, you have a different conversation. What do you want them to take away from that whole conversation? You know, that's not gonna be your whole story, but that helps you kind of define certain things. You know, when I lived in L. A all my friends worked in the film business like I did, and they're almost everybody that works at the level that I worked at has been Super Bowl commercials. So it wasn't a big deal. I would never use that as part of our story. When we talk to people we talked to, you know, work, venture. Mark Ridley. Oh, I got a thing with, you know, Michael Bay next week that tells people got a certain level, but that's the inside scoop. So when I moved away, people didn't know the name of the people I work with of the projects or understand, Uh, what goes into making a television commercial. They think it's just, you know, you shoot some stuff and boom. There it is. Well, that's not really true. So when I started telling people that I don't over 50 Super Bowl commercials after I moved away from L. A. They instantly understood the level and the quality of work that I worked at because Super Bowl commercials have a certain meaning. Hint. Super Bowl commercials of the same. The day at the Super Bowl is they were for the Super Bowl, and they just like every other commercial. They just had a bigger ads. But my story change in that process, and it didn't change as much as I just added that to my story. So if you add to your story, by the way, you don't have to be a writer to tell your story. You just have to be you. So make your story interesting. What they're asking facts, the things that you think are mundane things. I think their mundane about film and video other people go. Oh, that's so cool. How do you drop a car three stories and have a drive away? How do you make fake ice cubes. How do you make ice without any air in it? How do you? I mean, there's all these different things that I like it here. That what people care about that. So you're probably learn a lot about this in the next series of videos that I do. But for now, just know that your story is your story. And if you learn how to tell your story, okay, Great results from it. 3. Forget about the Gear: year. I like here, but let's forget about the gear. But I like here. But gear does not make a bad video. Good gear has a place. Gear has model numbers, lumens, F stops, anything to start the next full frame megapixels. The list goes on. And do all these things really make your videos better? Well, they can. But no more than using a top blind gear to shoot a stellar acting performance with your 10 year old versus shooting Meryl Streep with same gear. One is gonna be better. And it's not because the gear so so much a good video is about message, clarity, purpose authority and not what model number you use. Whether it's Canon, Nikon, iPhone, android, face it, they all make great looking videos in today's world. If you give an Academy Award winning cinematographer an iPhone and asked him to shoot the same scene you just shot, I guarantee you will see something completely different than what you shot with the same phone here. The simple fax message. Good lighting subject and focus, steady controlled shots and good audio. Those are what matter most above everything else. Misty's and your message gets deluded a big misstep on me. These and the audience switches channels and you lose. You lose them. People think that gears the answer to everything. It's not often it's an excuse. It keeps you busy in more ways than one. I say it's all the time. Bigger is bigger, more is more and the learning curve is longer and has more difficult to try to get all the gear. So let me ask this question. You like here? Do you know the grip is a gaffer? An apple box about a C stand c 47. Chances are you probably don't, but these are the people in the things that help you look better on a Hollywood set. Personally, I think everyone with the camera should own to see stands there frickin bomb. But if you don't know the 100 things it can do, by the way, is he stands called a C stand C standing for century, meaning 100. But if you don't know things that can do the other, how can help you and there's no use in having one, much less two. So you see my point Well, that's a great piece of year, and it's used on Hollywood sets. It's probably not something that you're going to use in your everyday life. You know, model numbers change, and every year there's some new whiz bang thing coming out. Should you buy it? Should you get it? It depends on what you're doing. For example, you may or may not know this, but gear needed for a fashion shoot is different than what's needed for a shoot food shoot . And that's different than what's needed for just a talking head like what I'm doing here. So you start with the basics and get what you need when you need it. Then you grow with the gear and you're not always learning something new. And chances are you really don't want to carry around a whole bunch of stuff. If you do, then you become the production company. But instead of being the creator, you're now the facilitator, and it's better than that of spending quality time creating content. You're running out to buy Triple A batteries and checking the I S O on the F stop in the frame rate and all that other stuff. I mean, personally, I like the gear. I'm a new adopter what comes out. I think stuff is cool, but I have yet to really justify all the gear that I own or that I have purchased over the years. When we moved to the Caribbean, I gave away thousands of dollars for the gear and I've sold thousands more. Do I miss it? Not really. I never really used it. We brought down six suitcases and a cat to our Caribbean home. To those suitcases were camera gear. And if you want that, don't tell you how much those camera gear cases costs and shipping versus how much I use them. I'll tell. Let's change of subject because it really wasn't worth all the stuff I brought down. I met a guy here in Playa, and he's been carrying around these lights and backdrops for months tries. He's been traveling, the country is a no man, and he wanted me to work with him to set up his studio. So I said, Great. So we get together and we start talking. And the more we talked, the more of us forcing himself into a studio that was in his brand that wasn't him. So now he shoots talking to camera videos with his iPhone as he walks to the cities around the world wherever he's living, empowering people to be their best self. And you know what his videos air great. And they wouldn't have been nearly as good if he forced himself to sit with lights of the black backdrop trying to get his message across. He felt he had the gear, so he had to use it. And by taking the gear away, he freed himself up to actually make better videos. So gear can hold you back because you feel like you have to use it. That said, you could do some incredible things with it. And if you buy that new four axis gimbal or that drone to make your message better, you're fooling yourself. Well, it added dimension to your videos. That could be amazing. Of course it can. But until you've got the fundamentals down until you got the message down, that new piece of tech is not gonna make you sell anything more than what you're already salad Now good lighting. It matters, I believe good audio matters, so there's two things right there. Good lighting. Here's what I say. Get a get a ring like get a portable led like find a big window. I've got a little 12 inch soft box right here. Just a little fill right here. You know, you go out in the sun, but make it diffused. Don't don't do stand the harsh sunlight shooting on a beach Everyone loves the beach. Beach is a hard place to shoot because you get the shadows and the harshness and the sound of the waves. People like shooting L. A. Because of the cloud cover when really small, let's face it. And if you avoid these kind of bright sun lights and go for the diffuse like like they have in L. A. You're easier to watch if you keep the bright lights from behind your head and your face isn't lit. Then there's a ratio there, like I've got my face lit, but it's as bright as the background, probably little bit brighter because I want to be brighter, that so you're looking at me and not the background. So that's just a few things about lighting that can help you audio. Same thing. You can have a $2000 microphone on set, but they still unplugged the refrigerator in Hollywood set so that it doesn't make noise and get that hum. So oftentimes, the iPhone, The mic on iPhone is good enough right now. I've got a shotgun Mike here. That's probably $700 might. I've got it going into a zoom record. I've got XLR connectors that run that and camera. I'll sink it all in post. That's the way I'm doing this video. That's not the way you have to do your videos. Don't over complicate it with the gear. I have the gear so I can use it. I know how to use it. I don't think twice about it. You know there are are a lot of ways to get better quality than with the year. For example, if you're shooting audio and there's a construction zone right next door like we have, I'm shooting this on Sunday because it started building on Monday this past week. So during the week there, there on the weekends or not, so I'm shooting on Sunday because the audio will be better without the noise right next door. So pay attention to your surroundings and move away from bad audio. Move away from bad lighting and put yourself in the best light. That has nothing to do with here. That has to do with paying attention to what you need to accomplish to get the results you want. So I love here. Here's not necessary. Here's a learning curve. Years often an excuse. Don't get caught up with excuses. Better message, better distribution and get a couple of fundamentals right, that's what really matters. 4. Every Video needs a Purpose: Okay, let's talk about purpose. Every video needs a purpose. And let's talk about what I mean by that. So very few people can actually just talk to a camera, make a video without any previous thought. Yeah, there's people like Gary V. He can do it, you know? But he's been saying the same thing for years. He has a video crew that falls around editing. Somebody is posting. So his mind is only thinking about the video and what He's going to stay on the video, but it does have a purpose. And his purpose is to empower people to get out there and do the work. You know, he's got the hustle, right? Do the hustle, do the hustle, do the hustle and get the work. So he's been saying the same thing over and over and over. But that is his purpose. So you're in a video. What is your purpose? But defined the purpose Fridge video. Before you ever start filming, you know, don't try. Think about it. Why you're doing it? If, uh, it could be just huge by yourself talking about the purpose. But really why are you doing this video? What? You're recording. Where is the video being published to? What results do you want to get from the video? Thes their secondary purposes, but they're still the purpose, and sometimes the purpose is to show a new place. Sometimes it's doing something fun. Sometimes it's, Ah, birthday party, opposing political ideology. There's a lot of things that could be the purpose. Sometimes you want to sell something, get someone to sign up for something, and sometimes you just want to be helpful. Sometimes you just want to show lifestyle. And each of these places, each of these types of videos has a value, and they have a place in your bigger video strategy. Let's take this, that is example. Let's say you want to do six videos over the next two weeks and your purpose for the syriza's to get a jump start on your brand awareness for a new yoga class that you're starting in three weeks. So in video, you could do one video that would show yourself doing something fun to get people interested, you know, get people to remember the fun guy who did 30 cart wheels in the beach. The next thing you could do is talk a little bit about the results you got from helping someone in your business. You know, shooting you doing yoga in a yoga studio would be really good for this. And the purpose is show people that you know what you're doing and that your real yoga person third video you could do is talk about why you like to help people, you know, How did you help somebody overcome something? Or was there some physical thing that they got? Or do they just feel better from doing yoga? Now you're building trust because it's showing who you are. You can also dumb fourth video. Just tell interesting story something about yourself. When your birthday member you have vacation something about your mom. Just show people that you're human because people like that also and explain what you do and how to get in touch with you. That could be 1/5 video, you know, here's what I do. Here's the results I get. Here's how you can get in touch with me. And then in the six video in this series, you give them an offer. That offer is, Here's the class. Here's the dates. Here's how much it is. Please sign up, right? I mean, that's sort of it's kind of a week offer. I get it, but that's kind of what they're doing. And this formula is not like the final word for everything. But you get the point of how each video has a specific goal in its meaning, and it's not always a revenue goal. It's not always a numbers. The big picture purpose that you have is determined by your big picture goals. If you have a six month plan or three year plan, you have a goal in mind. So incorporate those goals into your videos. Each goal has tactics, expectations that associated with it and defining your purpose on an individual level for each video will keep you on track and keep your focus. So often we think I know this stuff. I can start talking, and soon we're rambling off topic and trying to save ourselves from what we're say are only making it worse because people lose interest in what we're saying. We've all done that right. I do it all the time, but I'm a big believer that each video should have a singular topic and a singular call to action. I'll explain that in a second, but and before you get to that point, create a cheat sheet, no cards, outlines of something big behind the camera to go a teleprompter. It doesn't matter you something so that you're staying focused and on task. So back to the singular purpose of each video is just This is huge. And take take note from every big company that advertises. Here's what they do. Four. For example, they got the F 1 50 truck. They advertise it in multiple ways and 32nd spots. Right video. One course will wind its about their payload. How much can they handle? How much can they toe? How much can they left? Carry etcetera? Video number two is about the room in the comfort, the blue blue to the automatic inflating tires or whatever they have. And video three is about family safety, because that's gonna matter if you have Children and you still need a truck. A singular benefit to owning their truck Per video is presented in multiple short bursts of information known as a 32nd commercial Upton. Thousands of these and I can tell you they all function in the same way Each commercial has singular purpose that fits in the greater purpose of selling whatever product it is. This affords cases truck. Your videos restructured the same way. Don't treat your audience like they're just another tender hookup, but instead, like they're fine Valentine's Day dinner. Make them feel your passion. Make them feel your purpose. Give the information they can use. Don't confuse them. Most of all, be purposeful in your videos. Be purposeful and the results be purposeful in your tactics and you will get far better results from everything. 5. Think like a Camera: So in this video we talked about thinking like a camera. What does that mean? Well, what you're I see is different than what you think they see, and that's different than what the camera lens sees. So try this, if you will. All right, So take a look outside your window looking tree. What do you see? You see this big green thing like what's behind me with some branches, right? But if you look closer, you see the individual leaves. You noticed the veins. Notice the colors. If you look even closer, you'll see the variation in color and you'll see the light in the shadow in the veins. The best camera operators are always looking for that detail in all four corners of their frame. Every time they start filming so up your camera skills start looking out for corners. Look for reflections of windows. Look at the colors. Look at the shape. Look what's coming out behind somebody's head. Pay attention to who's gonna walk in your shot. Sometimes you to wait 30 seconds, let them go by. You don't have to control everything, but you should be aware of what's gonna end up in your video, often waiting that extra 30 seconds for a barking dog going up with a better video read. That is no distraction. If it's a dog piece in the more barking dogs to better right, add them. And later, just like NPR does in the radio, you still get the same effect. I spent decades setting the stage all around the world, and I've had the luxury of a budget and a crew you have ever don't need to go that extreme . But I strongly suggest that you do have the best possible image in the frame. Look around, you know, in still photography photographers always looking at, you know, the height of lens perspective. What's in focused rule of thirds composition, color. All this stuff videos the same thing. The biggest difference in video is your recording audio, and you're recording camera movement. So get the shots that you need to tell the story using those elements. And that's what separates video from camera. But looking at all four corners still the same. So one of my pet peeves is the unsteady shot. If you really want it shot steady tripod, get a gimbal walk holding the camera. The same height, etcetera. Just pay attention to the camera movement. So you don't get people all sick like they're on a boat. So let me talk about ah little sequence here that we've all grown up with that you're all aware of. And this little sequence is just a very simple thing. But we all know inherently we just don't usually do it in our shots. So it goes something like this. So you start with the wide shot and you get to the medium shot. Then you get to your close up shots. Then you do the reverse shot. Those set sequence. Those four things are all you need. You've seen it 1000 times on TV in the movies. And here's an example example to follow along with. And this is how the camera thinks and how you think about storytelling. So close your eyes if you want to and imagine the scene and let's agree at the impact of composing a scene with the reveal will be much better and have a greater impact than just a standard here point and shoot kind of shot. So be the camera. Here's a simple scene. You're walking down the hallway and open the door to find. That's it. That's all seen. So you show an establishing shot of you in the hallway. You cut to a shot of the door. You matched the same shot as a reverse from the door. P o v of you walking towards it. Cut to your feet, walking across the floor, cut to a medium shot of the door P O. V. Again with a different focal link matching the first shot on Lee. It's closer cut to your hand, grabbing the door, not cut to the door knob from the inside and see it turning. Cut to a medium shot of the door opening again inside. And your surprised face Can you cut to a P O v of you. Looking back in the room of the wide shot with the room completely destroyed, you cut back to a low angle of the dog looking up at you, and then you cut to the wide shot of you looking back down at the dog that sets the whole scene of you walking down the hall, only to see the dog has destroyed your whole house. Simple and easy, right. That sequence may seem like a lot. It's really not that much harder to shoot than just walking down the hallway. It just takes an extra couple of minutes. But the impact of that story of what the camera sees to tell that story is so much greater . And that's how you want to think like a camera. You want to use shot selection. You want to use foreground elements you want to use at a focus backgrounds. You want to use camera Most movement with purpose. If you watch a chase scene on a movie, if you notice most of time, they're always moving left to right. Left, right, left right. That's how the story continues for the chase. It's all psychology in the subtle ways are ways you can improve your video over the competition. Good photographers take more than snapshots. They capture moments. And when you refine your video capabilities and your abilities to capture interesting scenes and not just shoot from the hip and not just off the cuff kind of stuff, I guarantee your videos will be better. When you start thinking like a camera, your storytelling will improve and your audience will remember, because now they've got more than just a pretty waterfall. They've got a trip to the waterfall. Got what happened at the waterfall. They've got getting back in the car, being soaking wet. Those are the little element to tell a story and all on the way. Your cameras picked out the four corners necessary to tell that story. So think like a camera. Think like a storyteller. Pay attention to what the lens sees because all this stuff behind you all matters to the viewer. So start thinking like a camera to get their stories out there. 6. Is being Authentic Overrated?: so is being authentic. Overrated? You know, big guys just sell beauty products muscles, So weight loss. Fancy cars mean you're a rock star, right? Oh, not always. Come on, let's face it, telling someone had to make $1000 a day with Facebook ads can be a compelling video, but no one's gonna believe you if you're in your mom's basement wearing a hoody, and it's dark and dank looking. B, you show us the real story. It's that simple. I have a friend, real friend. We have dinners, we go out, we do things together. And she has a message geared towards being powerful. And when you look at her pictures on Instagram and on her Facebook feed and her website, her images are her with elephants and scuba diving and pole dancing, and she always has his big smile on her face. She's always positive. She's very direct, though, but it's not an act. That's her brand. That's her light. That's who she is. That's everyday life. That's what she is. That's her authentic self. On video, she comes across as just that fun, whimsical but in command. To me, she's refreshing because she's being her best self. Most people don't want drama unless there Kardashian fans, they want another riel stuff. They want you to give them the goods that they need and expect. Before I shoot a video, for example, I take a shower brushing my hair, brush my teeth, put on a button down shirt, and even though we're T shirts most of the time, I still feel better. When I'm like in a button down shirt, we're going to a meeting or doing a video or something that just seems more me because it is more meat. I don't have to feel like I'm not being me by wearing a shirt like this, even though I'm in T shirts 90% of time. But my persona of this is this. It's authentic. It's just being Mies. Authenticity is about being you. It's not just about looks. Everyone is always judging you on some level, when they see you, when they hear you, when they learn about you, authenticity is also about your story, your value, your promise, your ethics. It's how you conduct yourself on camera and off camera Actress get paid to do a roll. They get paid to act when they're off camera you read about in the tabloids. When you're on camera, you are indeed playing a role, but it doesn't have to be fake or contrived. I tell people when they're on camera to be 20% bigger than you are in real life, you're just being your best self. That 20% translates on videos to the viewer who will feel and understand you better and not be quite as bored with what you're talking about. You know, you have to hear the words natural organic flow, and these are all great words. I think they're buzzwords. Personally, I think people use them a lot or people say, I don't want to be that pushy person and push, Use how you do it, that's you. But pushy may not be you, so you find that balance. Asking for a sale of business is good for the buyer, and it's not pushy. If you believe in what you have to sell, that's being authentic. If I'm making these videos and I believe they're good, I want you to see them because I believe in my bigger purpose that these videos can help you, so you should buy these videos or buy stuff that I do or higher my services because I can help you be better. That's authentic. That's honest. That's really who I am. If you feel good enough to be making a product or selling something that you want people to buy, you could be authentic enough to be able to sell it and ask for the sale without being embarrassed or something else. Because it's not fake. I think so much of it's about mindset. I think that, uh, authenticity is a big buzz word that I get tired of. I think people really assess what it really means. I think words like leverage and assets and business meetings are also big buzz words, but they do have value. I think it's, you know, don't think about how you can be authentic. Just be huge. Do it. I mean, you are Here you are. There's no one gonna change that. My friend, she loves animals. She knows herself. She shows herself with these animals and these powerful creatures everywhere, and she would spend time with them even if she wasn't using them. In her personal life in social media for her business, she also just use them because that's who she is. They are the snapshots of her life. But I can tell you she doesn't think about all the perceived optics. And what's everybody gonna think? And second guessing She's just being her, doing what she loves and just comes across that way. So what about you? What is truly authentic about you? Me, for instance, I laugh. I like to laugh out to make people laugh. I tell a lot of bad jokes tell a lot of stories. I think I'm witty. I try to get zingers in when I can. I just want everybody to laugh. I want others to experience joy and happiness and just laugh. At the end of the day, that's all I'm going for. Some people have said that I'm attention seeking that I'm insecure, but I have to have the last word and if you know me, you know that's really not true. My agenda is really just make you laugh or smile. It's a lot of times around, not center of attention, trying to be that person and I just let it go. Your videos have subtle cues about you and your personality and who you are. You know, if you're a travel writer and you do a lot of videos from the home office, that's far less authentic than doing videos from traveling. Some look exotic. Location doesn't mean, you know, travel writer. It just means that the optics for others requires a little bit more of elite. Get to prove yourself a little bit more. So here's a true story. Recently, Jen and I were on a TV show, House Hunters International, and I wasn't really into it so much because I'm always the guy behind the camera. But I thought, you know, why not? Let's do this. So she's a travel writer. So being on this show that shows that she's walks the walk and talks the talk, right? So now, when she talks to magazine editors and drops that little tidbit of information she will on House Hunters International, they cut to the chase because they know that she understands with travel. Audience is looking for, and she is a better writer because, in essence, she's a traveler every day living in a foreign country. So, yeah, I mean, I've gotten some mileage out of it, too, but it is who we are. And I say that because it's part of our story is part General Rick stories part of Jen and Rick being authentic. It's part of our brands and it's part of who we are. So the show really made. It makes sense for us to do. I mean, I'm sitting here now in from these countries, right? You could think it's a great set. Well, this is my balcony. If you go 500 meters that away with Caribbean Sea is right there and this is on my balcony and we moved here because we wanted to move somewhere where there was an ocean and tropical . So we got it. That's being authentic to ourselves. That's who we are. So I can do a video here and not feel bad about Oh, some contrive set. I mean, you don't think palm leaves or like Lambros parked in the garage. Other people use fine, but that's really not it for me. And don't forget that when you judge other people, they're judging you. If you judge somebody because they like high heels or eye lashes or whatever it is that you think may be superficial, they're really being there. Off in itself. So be careful how you judge people. What you what you think about them doesn't matter to them. Just because they don't think like you were act like you doesn't mean that they're not being authentic to who they are. So have an open mind about authenticity. Also, you don't have to conform to what everybody else wants. So at the end of the day, be yourself be your best self, be authentic, but don't be fake off in it. I know you know what I mean. And I know you know, people that have been like this. So is up the destiny overrated? I don't know that it's overrated as much as it's not always sincere. So be sincere. Do you? That's off in it. Just be you 7. Course Wrap up: Hey, I hope you enjoyed this series that we just did. And what I really want to get across in these five videos was it doesn't require a lot of gear. It doesn't require all that stuff, that income, Bridger. That really does kind of hold you back. In my opinion, sometimes I mean, hire people, that camel, that stuff so you don't have to learn it. Focus on what's really important. You think like a story teller Be the camera? No. Your purpose. What? You're why these are all the real things that make great video. The gear he had the gear matters. But the gear is not the most important thing going right now. Eso get these other pieces nailed down, and then when you get the gear you hire someone with here you are truly ready to create a really great. So anyway, I hope that that the whole series was helpful to you. Hope this is helpful to you. If you have any questions, concerns, thoughts to reply, give me a comment email, whatever it takes. And I will be happy to answer any and all of your questions. Thanks, Figure