Local vlogger Amy Schmittauer traded the camera for the pen, authoring her first book Vlog Like a Boss. A practical, educational guide to video blogging, Schmittauer created the manual for what she wished she’d had when she was getting started.
Duty as a bridesmaid inspired Schmittauer to put together her first video in 2007.
“I had never touched a video camera before, I didn’t know what YouTube was, so I just figured out how to do it,” she says.
When the video rolled at the rehearsal dinner, not only did the bride love it, but, “So many people in this room were affected by it, and I just thought this is really cool, when you storytell in a way that something made for one person can affect so many people,” Schmittauer says.
She became obsessed with video, turning it into her creative outlet on the side of a full-time job in policy. She saw channels popping up with people sharing their lives online through video and was intrigued by the concept. Schmittauer started documenting her own life online, gaining authority in the video space and other social media channels. In 2009-2010 she saw more small businesses turning to her for social media advice.
By 2011, it was time to pursue full-time what was once a creative outlet. Schmittauer launched her YouTube channel, Savvy Sexy Social, as a designated platform for talking about how to use online tools as a small brand. Video gave her the tools to communicate effectively, and Schmittauer went from speaking to a camera to speaking to an audience, adding public speaking to he repertoire.
It was the speaking that gave way to the book. Schmittauer says when she was on the stage, people would listen, like what they heard and want to take action, but she didn’t really have anywhere to direct them.
“I’ve never been able to say, now you heard me talk, go do the thing and here’s my book on how to do the thing,” she says. “That ended up being such a disconnect and something I was really missing because people wanted it.”
So, she wrote the book.
Vlog Like a Boss combines practicality with a dose of Schmittauer’s story to provide context to why she’s writing the book on vlogging, touching on what helped her, what motivated her.
“I wanted to give somebody what I wish I had in 2008,” she says.
But before anybody can get in front of the camera, there’s one big thing to address: fear.
“A lot of people don’t take video into consideration simply because they are sure they can’t do it,” Schmittauer says.
Vlog Like a Boss starts by knocking down the three fears she hears most often as to why people are afraid to get in front of the camera: gear, personality and return on investment.
From there, chapters unfold about how to get it done, covering strategy, designing programming, what works best on certain platforms, collaboration, etc. But the chapter she’s most proud of, “I basically developed what’s called my authority video formula, so if you’ve never made a video before, you can sit in front of a camera, press record and have sort of a blueprint,” Schmittauer says.
She adds that if a reader isn’t ready to start making a video about a third of the way through Vlog Like a Boss, they just don’t want to.
Schmittauer has watched as it has been “the year of video” for several years over.
“Video itself has changed because it’s just easier, it’s just so accessible,” she says, which makes it more important.
She reasons that if the average Facebook user can upload a video, so should a brand. It’s created a competitive space online that’s leaving behind brands that don’t get in front of the camera.
“If that’s what the users want (video), that’s what platforms want, and so if that’s what the platforms want, it’s the only way to show up organically is to post video,” Schmittauer says.
That’s why everybody should be vlogging and why her book can be a guide for an individual promoting their personal brand to a company with a product. Whether it’s one or the other, or something in between, a video has to stand out to stop a scrolling newsfeed.
“Meet them where they are, but more importantly show as you tell,” Schmittauer says.
Vlog Like a Boss can be found online at vloglikeaboss.com and at the Book Loft in German Village.
For more on Amy, visit savvysexysocial.com.