How to whip out your smartphone, prop it up and get chatting about ag
Experts say that video is becoming THE medium for business and industry to communicate with their audiences.
Vlogging – video blogging – is an increasingly popular way to showcase the realities of agriculture. If you’re not sure why or how to start your own ag vlog, read on!
Sheepishly Me is the brainchild of sheep farmer Sandi Brock. An avid user of social media, Sandi found her way to vlogging through using other apps. “Snapchat is actually what led me to YouTube. I love doing it; I love editing. I love watching me and Amy (Matheson, Sandi’s co-host on her Truck Truth videos) laugh! But I love Instagram Stories and Snapchat, too. They’re nice to have in between vlog posts. It’s vlogging in real time.”
While Sandi initially started her vlog to demonstrate the day-to-day life of a sheep farmer, veterinarian Cody Creelman began his YouTube adventure – now home to over 30,000 subscribers on Cody Creelman, Cow Vet – as a way to market his vet practice. “(Starting the vlog) was more about telling my story as a businessperson, as a veterinarian. I started… to be out there, producing great content, communicating with prospective and existing clientele, all from the position of marketing my veterinary practice.”
Knowing your objective for vlogging is paramount to not only creating but also keeping a captive audience. While posting a photo and caption to Instagram is fantastic, using video allows you to showcase your subject in a much different way. Andrew Campbell, known online as Fresh Air Farmer, filmed 52 videos of 52 different farms throughout 2017, posting them to YouTube and Facebook. “With video, you can show people around more, let the farmer speak for themselves and do more of the explaining so people can understand exactly what they’re seeing. I wanted those videos to be about me showing up to chat with a farmer and showing what they do in a day, and that’s what you saw.”
When Kristen Kelderman and Natalie Walt wanted a new way to reach millennials, starting a vlog – Double Dutch in January 2018 – was a no-brainer. “Everyone watches videos online,” says Kristen. “We thought about the perspective we could bring: millennial women working in agriculture, were raised on farms but now live in the city and love to cook, bake and eat great food with an understanding of how its grown. YouTube was a natural fit for us.”
If you think you need to immediately become a star vlogger, know there is room – and time – to gain experience and improve your craft. “It wasn’t until Vine and Snapchat that I turned the camera on myself,” says Cody. “I developed that skill set and had enough self-awareness to recognize YouTube was my most efficient, effective means of communication.”
The number one tip from these vloggers? Be yourself. “Right off the bat, you need to be very open, authentic and transparent about what you’re doing,” says Sandi. “If you do that, you’ll gain confidence and trust right away, and you’ll be off to the races.”