Mimika Cooney is an international award-winning photographer and the author of Photographing Newborns. She was nominated by the Huffington Post as one of the 50 women entrepreneurs to follow in 2017.
Mimika is a multi-passionate creative. Born and raised in South Africa, Mimika and her husband left in 2000 and emigrated to England. In 2006, they immigrated to the US. She is currently based in Charlotte, North Carolina.
She’s had a very interesting journey both creatively and in the realm of business and marketing.
Photography was originally a hobby for Mimika. She’s had an entrepreneurial mindset since she was a child, and she always looks for ways to make money with anything she does.
She loves the creative outlet of photography. Mimika started her photography business in England, and continued it when she moved to the United States. She decided to write her books about newborn photography to answer all the questions she was getting while speaking at photography conferences; writing was a natural progression for her because she’s been writing in journals since she was a child.
Mimika is passionate about teaching people how she learned from her own mistakes in business. She credits that skill more than any other as the reason for her level of success today.
Changes to the Writing World
Mimika is taking an entirely different approach to writing her third book than she did with her first two.
“I made the mistake of thinking after I wrote my first book, my job was done. It wasn’t.”
– Mimika Cooney
In today’s world, publishers expect you to do all the marketing for your own books. Writing is only the beginning of your author journey.
What Has Changed in Online Marketing over the Last 20 Years
Marketing has become so saturated, the number of offerings in the marketplace is overwhelming.
There are a lot more platforms and apps available for business people to directly connect with customers. There are many more places to promote yourself. That’s a double-edged sword, because the internet and social media have led to information overload for almost everyone.
Video marketing has become prevalent, when just two years ago very few people were doing it.
Successful marketing tactics change about every six months. You can’t rely on one platform for all your marketing.
The internet landscape changes so quickly, you have to focus on evergreen tactics that will bring customers into your business.
When you’re an author, you are a business person. You have to pay attention to that reality, and spend the time, money, and effort needed to build your brand.
One benefit of a market oversaturated with marketing channels is that it lowers the price of marketing yourself.
When Mimika started her online TV show MimikaTV, it used to cost her $350 an episode to produce. Now she is able to produce it free using the YouTube platform.
“It’s the easiest it’s ever been to start a business venture or project, but it’s also the most competitive.”
– Mimika Cooney
Succeeding in business today is all about figuring out what marketing channels work for your audience and how you can put the pieces together to make your business successful.
Video Marketing Is Evergreen
“Video is the best way, other than meeting you in person, to get to know you. Reading your body language, hearing what you sound like, getting an idea what you sound like—it’s almost like meeting you in person.”
– Mimika Cooney
You can write blog posts and you can post on social media, but nothing translates better than a video to captivate your audience and get them to understand who you are and what you’re trying to do.
Video is the easiest way for people to get to know, like, and trust you.
How a Beginner Should Get Started in Video
As writers, it can be hard to transition from writing behind a computer screen to going on camera. But it’s important you get over yourself.
One thing you can do to get used to being recorded on video is to record yourself on your cell phone. Just get used to the actions necessary to go through the recording process.
Put your phone in selfie mode, turn it around, and start talking to it like you’re talking to a friend.
At the end of the day, all you have to do is take baby steps. You don’t have to jump in with both feet, guns blazing.
The great thing about video is you can record and delete it if you really hate it.
Learning to publish and distribute videos is very much like learning how to write. The first few times are going to be difficult. As you get more used to the mechanics of what you’re doing, things will come easier and you’ll have more fun doing video.
When it comes to video marketing, starting is the biggest hurdle. After you’ve started, you want to keep your video marketing efforts consistent.
Use Facebook to Launch Your Video Marketing Efforts
The first thing beginner video marketers should do is a Facebook Live feed. Using Facebook Live is simple and easy to do, and it’s free.
The biggest benefit of doing a Facebook live is that you’re pressured to actually complete a video. You’re doing it live, so it’s impossible to fail because of analysis paralysis.
Get on Facebook Live and ask a question. Start a conversation. Give your audience something to interact with beyond passively watching you.
Traditional publishers want new authors to have a platform to sell their books. Start building your platform before you publish your books by doing Facebook Live videos.
If you’re going to be an author, you should have your own professional Facebook page. Facebook frowns on doing business promotion on your personal Facebook page.
Once you have your business page set up, start posting your videos on that professional Facebook page. You can also make use of YouTube and build an audience between Facebook and YouTube.
If you want to pay for traffic to your videos on Facebook, now is the time to jump in. You only have to pay pennies per view.
Start Small with Video
The key to getting started with video is just to do one thing at a time. Start small, learn from your failures, and build on your successes.
Practicing video marketing is very much like writing drafts of your book. You know the final draft of your book is going to probably be very different from the first draft of the book.
The major difference between publishing your book and practicing video marketing is that we are so conditioned to only put out what we think is perfection. The truth is, nothing is perfect.
Anything you want to do, you have to be willing to do poorly at first. Doing something poorly is the only way you learn how to get better at a skill.
The key to getting better at anything is consistent practice. If you do a video every day for 30 days, you’ll be much better at the end of 30 days than you are at the beginning, just by going through the steps of recording a video.
How To Develop Content for Your Video Marketing
Developing content for your video marketing efforts should be approached like any other content marketing endeavor. All you need to do is figure out the answer to these three questions, and you’ll have a content idea for your audience that will be helpful to them and engage them.
3 Key Content Marketing Questions
- Who is my audience?
- What can I share with them to add value to their lives?
- What do I want to talk about? What are some takeaway tips you can tell people about your book?
You can always quote yourself and create a graphic to post on social media. That can start a conversation.
If you are truly unsure of what types of content to share, try posting a Facebook poll asking your audience what they’re working on, or what they want to hear about.
You can also join the Facebook groups of your target readers and conduct surveys within those groups. It’s best to become a part of the communities you join before you start conducting surveys within the group.
If you listen to the conversations of your target readers, you can get content for your book and help them solve problems they’re having at the same time.
Video Marketing Tools
If you have the latest iPhone, the cameras on them are tremendous. Even a year ago, the cameras on iPhones weren’t nearly as good as they are today.
Selfie sticks with tripods are inexpensive and really help boost the quality of your video by keeping your camera stable when you’re recording.
Logitech 720p Webcam C510 – this is the webcam that Mimika uses when she’s video chatting. You can use your computer’s built-in webcam if you have a good one. Video quality is important. You should really look for an HD-quality camera that will give you video that doesn’t pixelate as you record it.
Buying a quality external digital webcam allows you to have more control over the settings of your device so that you look your best.
You want to pay particular attention to your video and lighting quality when you record your videos.
Three Things to Consider When Planning a Video
1. Audio Quality
If your audio quality isn’t good, people won’t watch your video because they can’t understand what you’re saying.
2. Video Quality
The higher quality your video, the more things you can do with it. You want to have the highest quality video possible in your price range. The newest iPhones have excellent cameras in them.
3. Video Stability
You don’t want your video to be constantly moving around or jumping—it looks very amateurish and can even make viewers a little motion sick!
Getting a tripod for yourself a selfie stick is an inexpensive way to dramatically improve the quality of your video for your viewers.
You really don’t need much software these days to produce a great video. Everything is mobile friendly. If you want to do a Facebook Live feed, all you have to do is push record when you’re on Facebook.
Where to Promote Your Videos
With video marketing, it’s little by little, and nothing’s going to happen overnight (unless you have a huge marketing budget and can pay for views).
That’s why Facebook Live is such a powerful tool. It allows you to test out content with your audience.
Mimika has been experimenting with Facebook Live recently and she’s been surprised at which videos did well with her audience organically, simply because of the title of the video.
The quickest way to build an audience for your message is to get people to like and share your videos, regardless of the platform you use. If you know your audience really well and can strike a chord with them, it becomes easier to build an audience faster.
Another way to build your audience inexpensively is to create a video and then boost that post on Facebook.
Boosting a post much less expensive than actually paying for a Facebook ad, and video is more engaging than a static text post or even a picture post. Just boost your video post and see what happens.
When you boost your post, you can also target a specific market of people, like women between the ages of 30 and 40 who have children in school.
Interviews and Collaborations
Once you get to a point where you have 1,000 subscribers or likes, start seeking out different content creators you can collaborate with. Collaborating with different creators who have similar target readers is the fastest way to grow your audience.
You can also do interviews. Interviews allow you to tap into your interview subject’s network much like a collaboration would. You interview somebody, and then they tell their audience about it. Their audience becomes aware of you as an authority in your field, and some of their audience will join your mailing list.
Selling through Videos
The types of products you’re offering to the market dictate the types of videos you should do. If you’re a coach selling coaching or a subscription website, webinar-type videos work really well.
As a general rule, Mimika likes to follow the 80/20 rule when it comes to selling on her videos. 80% of the time she provides content, and 20% of the time she offers something for sale.
“Video is a long-term game. It’s not something you’re going to do once and then all of a sudden you have people breaking your door down. It’s a branding exercise. The more people see you visually, your visibility grows and the more your audience will come to know, like, and trust you.”
– Mimika Cooney
In today’s marketplace, people have to hear your name between 10 and 17 times before they associate your name with what you do.
Video marketing is time-consuming in the sense that you don’t get an immediate result. The only way you can get an immediate result is if you have some money to put into it. If you can buy views, that will increase your visibility and increase the chances that your video will go viral.
Build a Relationship with Your Audience through Video Marketing
If you’re looking to use video marketing to build an audience over time, you are going to have to offer something that adds value to your audience before you ask them to buy something from you.
“Video marketing is very much like dating. You wouldn’t go up to a girl and just simply asked her if she’d like to get married. She’d probably slap you, and tell you you’re a creep.”
– Mimika Cooney
The great thing about video marketing is that it’s the fastest way for you to build a genuine relationship with your audience. All it takes is time, and putting out valuable content.
Whatever you do to market yourself, do it consistently and make the best use of the resources you have available to you.
The Side Benefits of Video Marketing
Once people get to know like and trust you, it’s amazing the range of opportunities that come your way.
Video marketing is like an online, visual business card. When people get to know who you are and what kinds of things you offer, things can skyrocket really quickly.
Writing a book isn’t going to make you a millionaire—it’s the opportunities and personal growth that come from the writing that are the most valuable.
Just think of video marketing as a tool to get you where you want to go and you’ll be surprised by the opportunities and benefits that show up along your journey.
Links and Resources Mentioned in This Interview
Photographing Newborns by Mimika Cooney
How to do a Facebook Live video – an instructional video on YouTube about how to do a Facebook Live broadcast.
https://belive.tv/ – a subscription service with different levels that integrates with Facebook. This service will allow you to do interviews on Facebook while integrating with your Facebook Live stream. There are different user levels and there’s also a free trial period.
http://mimikacooney.com/video/ – get Mimika’s free guide, How to Look Good on Video.
http://mimikacooney.com/ – Mimika’s website
Connect with Mimika
https://www.instagram.com/mimikacooney/ – Mimika Cooney on Instagram
https://www.facebook.com/mimikacooney – Mimika Cooney’s Facebook page
https://twitter.com/mimikacooney?lang=en – follow Mimika Cooney on Tw