How I script videos and webinars is a more casual approach than many take.
My goal is to sound and look natural. A tightly written script that I feel I must follow in detail means I show up looking and sounding, well, scripted, and not at all like me.
What am I trying to accomplish?
Putting together a video or a webinar is a fair amount of work. People usually don’t put them together without a good reason. Maybe they want to build their reputation or sell a product or even sell a webinar. Be sure you know why you’re putting the video/webinar together.
I start with a tight topic
That is, I want a fairly narrow topic. “Freelance Writing,” for example, is far to wide ranging to be good for a video or webinar. “Finding Freelance Writing Jobs” is better, but still leaves lots of room for wandering. “Finding and Landing Freelance Blog Posts that Pay,” however, is just about right for an hour or less video or webinar. You could tighten it up more by adding an additional qualifier like ‘non-fiction’ or ‘travel’ or ‘marketing.’
Make a list of what you must cover to accomplish your goal
I start with a list of what I want to talk about. If the topic is getting a blog post written, my list would probably include:
I’d then write a rough paragraph on each. For example, for this blog post my audience is writers who want to learn something useful about writing scripts for their own videos and/or webinars.
I’d work to make the title interesting, so it stands out.
Platform refers to WordPress for blogging, and probably Freeconferencecall.com with screen sharing for webinars. Pictures I usually source from Pixabay. If I’m doing a video I just note that here.
The three + subheads
In writing a blog post the subheads are my cues for where I want to the article or script to go. As you can see I have more than three here. Under each I’d write a snippet summing up what I want to say in the video or blog – with a webinar there would probably be four or five topics.
This, of course, is how I want to end whatever the presentation is.
I then script videos and webinars by writing out my notes, complete with subheads. Actually, I type them in all CAPS and use that as a script for practice. Considerable editing goes on during the first few practice runs and I’m actually committing the ideas to memory. I then am able to use the edited script as a reminder rather than something I read from.
I use the polished script, which is still just a series of notes, when doing the final writing or video shooting.
Not exactly transcripts
My final use of the script is to create a rough transcript of what I’ve said. I don’t try to make it exact, but to capture in writing the essence of what I said. Transcripts are expensive and I don’t think they are as effective as a summary I’ve written myself.
Now you know roughly how I script videos and webinars. Some people will want to script more tightly, and perhaps some less. This works for me and my hunch is you can use this information to develop your own method.
What kind of persistence do you use in your writing business? Didn’t realize there’s more than one type? Neither did I, not exactly. When I Googled up the definition and got this:
firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition.
“companies must have patience and persistence, but the rewards are there”
I’m not sure I like the choices, which seem to be being firm, obstinate and/or patient. I think the key is actually in the word, continuance.
When we continue to work on our writing or our novel, or our blog or our poetry, when we continue learning the business side of our freelance writing business, we’re being persistent.
Getting words written
If you have any hope of being a successful writer, whatever that means to you, you’ve got to write! Sounds obvious I know but the number of people who say they want to write vastly outnumbers those who actually sit down and write. Wanting to write, or wanting to have written is easier than actually writing. Writing is surprisingly hard work. If you’re like me you will find it difficult, annoying and ultimately satisfying, making it all worthwhile.
Persistence and discipline – they’re related but different
We writers often hear we must be disciplined about our writing and our writing career. In fact I’ve said it here more than once. In my world, to be disciplined about my writing is to actually write, and write often.
Of course, writing and rewriting and editing isn’t all we writers do. If we want readers we somehow have to get our work in front of them, or at least find a way to let them know where it exists. Like the writing, this finding readers has to be done over and over again too.
The act of finding readers is harder to quantify than the act of writing. I can write, for example, every day, or X number of words or pages a day. It’s pretty easy to keep track of.
Finding readers feels different and something I must be consciously persistent at doing.
I’ve been thinking about persistence recently because of our darn writer’s forum. There have been a whole series of technical difficulties over the last several months. I’ve been tempted I don’t know how many times to give up. But I like the forum. I’d like to see it grow, and so I persist. In fact I’ve become quite obstinate about it.
That’s just one example. I’m sure you have many of your own.
How do you persist? And how is persistence different than discipline for you, if it is?
If you’re a freelancer, you need your own freelance writing website. It doesn’t have to be great or fancy, really, but it needs to be there.
In this day and age, any potential client shopping for a freelancer is going to Google you. If you don’t have a site, people will wonder why.
These 5 tips will more than get your started.
If possible name your site after yourself. Using your full name or an obvious variant helps people who know you find you. My pro site is AnneWayman.com – I got it ages ago. Cathy Miller was able to score MillerCathy.com. My son, Michael R. Wilder registered MrWilder.com. I just looked and JRSmithWriter.com is available… Try your first and middle name, your initials, the kind of writer you are, etc. at one point. Whatever you end up using make sure it’s easy to remember and easy to say on the telephone.
Choose your host carefully. Your host is where your site is actually stored and made available on the ‘net. I like BlueHost (yes, that’s an affiliate link – use it and I’ll earn a commission) because their customer service is 24/7 and all their techs speak excellent English. They also know their stuff.
Build your site with WordPress. WordPress is thought of as blogging software, but it’s truly a very flexible content management system. This site is on WordPress and is a blog. So is AnneWayman.com and it operates like a static website. BlueHost and others have a one button WordPress install that makes getting started a snap.
You’ll build your site on a WordPress theme. There are gagillions of them these days, and many free ones. Start with whatever default theme shows up. One of the joys of WordPress is you can change your theme, totally redesigning your site, with the click of a button. Use the default theme to get familiar with WordPress.
Websites are never perfect. So put yourself on a deadline, of no more than a week or two before you have enough to publish your site so the world can find you.
Remember what your freelance writing website is all about
The whole reason your building a website is to increase your client base and up your income.
That isn’t the only benefit. You can, and should, create some great content for yourself and use social media to actively increase your base.
Beware: This is one of the places where almost everyone messes up, at first!
Our instinct, as writers, is to write what we know. There’s certainly a place for that, yes, but this is where it becomes so critical to remember your goal is to increase your revenue stream. Your site is supposed to do that by bringing in new clients and making you look awesome.
Do you see the trap here?
This is your business site
Our first writing instinct, to write what we know, means we will be writing about writing or editing. If you write a fantastic article about, say, “My Favorite Ten Ways to Avoid Comma Errors” and it ranks way up there in search engines, it will bring in readers, for sure. But who are those readers? Most likely other writers. By all means use it in your credits, but write a few articles or posts that are designed to bring in the clients you want. Tell them about your special skills, what you specialize in or that you’re a true generalist.
You want to write articles targeted at people who are looking for writers!
For example, you might want to write an article like, “Five Ways to Find a the Right Freelance Writer”. It’s important to note that often small shifts in tone can move essentially the same article from one market to another. Despite being essentially the same question, people looking for writers will probably search for something like “What Does a Freelance Writer Cost?” rather than, “How Much Does a Freelance Writer Charge?” which would likely attract freelancers.
Your freelance writing website is a key marketing tool
It’s easy to get caught up in the fun of a website. Building it, tweaking it, promoting it . . . Not that we’ve ever done that. Remember this is just part of your business, and not the part that puts food on the table—at least, not at first.
So, yes, you need to put a lot of TLC into your site if your want it to shine, but not at the expense of passing up on paying work, or letting it distract you from that purpose.
This is also something to keep in mind as a philosophy during the design. Your rates, bio, and examples of your work should be easily accessible, and potential clients should be able to contact you at any point in the process with one click.
If you keep this in mind, your first freelance writing website will practically design itself. Make it clean, make it clear, and don’t get hung up on the small stuff.
I’ll be happy to answer questions about your freelance writing website in comments