How my commute became a call-to-action

Over the past 2 years I’ve worked to modify my own behavior whereby I challenge myself to find extraordinary moments within otherwise ordinary events. I look for the tangential stories that connect the heart to the brain… Moment’s in time and place that draw more meaningful connections between ourselves, our businesses, and our communities. Sometimes it’s a challenge for me to find the right story; at others it comes so naturally I’d swear it were effortless.

For anyone that follows me on Instagram or Vine, you’ve seen this reflected in the short clips and images I share.  I reasoned many years ago that if I practiced the process and refined the steps required for creating video content that when the time was right and I had something I needed to say, I’d have all the tools necessary for executing strategically targeted messages like the one below.

I filmed this during my 3.5 mile commute shortly after learning that my position was being cut from the balance sheet and I was being shuffled back into the wild. Even though I’ve been riding a roller coaster of emotion and confidence at the prospect of being unemployed and unsettled in how I support my family, I’m feeling rather encouraged by the response I’ve received from some of my recent posts like the one above. By incessantly capturing and sharing short video clips, I’ve developed a motor memory for quickly turning ordinary social situations into content that tells a story… or at least allows me to tell a story, like this.

I shared this video in a variety of places, including Instagram, Facebook, and here on my blog. The post on Facebook was especially revealing. While I’m a fairly active content producer, most of the content I produce for myself is a reflection of events and experiences. I originally posted this video to my Facebook brand page and then reshared that post to my personal account. I quickly saw a massive show of support, some coming from complete strangers who felt connected to my plight. Everyone knows that Facebook limits the organic reach of Page posts, but in this instance I saw huge gains and exposure. I even heard from colleagues that I’m not directly connected to online say that their spouse saw my video and commented how clever it was. For the record, I don’t consider this clever… It’s just something that I do. The biggest time suck from this whole process was transferring video from GoPro to my iPhone, which took about 8 minutes. Total time spent on this was about 15 minutes. But in terms of reach and total impact, I saw gains of nearly 15,000% over a typical post to my brand page.

What I take away from this is that for all the seemingly innocuous content I’ve produced and shared over these past several years has cultivated a relative openness to all content I create. My fans and followers are able to consume my content quickly and move on. I rarely post anything that requires more than 15 seconds to consume from beginning to end. However, when it comes time to make a request and genuinely ask for help such as in this case seeking a new job, they mobilize on my behalf and have come out of the woodwork offering leads and connections to help me in my search.

All this is to say, producing content consistently matters, even if you’re not entirely certain what your message is… content matters. And visual content matters most because it stands out. Practice the steps, find a mentor to help you avoid mistakes, and get busy building your own personal brand because that is the one thing your employer can’t take away from you in the unfortunate situation of being laid-off or scaled back.

About Dan Freund (139 Posts)

Dan is a professional brand storyteller who has worked across a range of industries including publishing, consumer, manufacturing, investment banking and private equity. He is driven by a passion for connecting more meaningfully with others by habitually turning ordinary moments into sharable stories with video.