Let me be honest with you…
I wouldn’t consider myself a “creative” person. As the head of WireBuzz’s strategy team, my skills tend to fall more on the analytical side of our business.
Fortunately, I’ve had the opportunity to work closely with some truly exceptional creatives over the past five years.
But that doesn’t mean it was always easy. I had to learn a lot about working with a creative team.
That’s why This Week In Video Marketing, I’m going to share the two most practical lessons I’ve learned along the way:
- Recognize your weaknesses, so you can hire (or build) a team that fills the gaps in your expertise
- The more feedback you provide, the better your final video will be
Free Bonus: Speed up your workflow and create better videos by learning how to give great feedback to your video crew. Download our free checklist to discover how!
It almost sounds too obvious when you put it like that…
Of course you need a well-rounded team…
Of course you need to give good feedback…
But I’ve found that few marketers actually take these lessons to heart — a mistake that will cost you both time and money.
Hopefully by sharing my experience, you’ll be better equipped to develop and manage a team that creates videos that exceed even your grandest expectations.
Lesson #1: Recognize Your Own Limitations & Those of Your Team
It takes a village to produce world-class videos.
In order to manage your team effectively, you first need the right team in place.
There are verbal thinkers and visual thinkers. Analyticals and creatives. Strategists and tacticians.
But more than that, your team needs to possess the right mix of skills and knowledge if you want to hit home runs.
Because here’s the thing…there are no all-in-one video marketers. It’s too complex for one person to master every skill. So as a manager, that means you need to know what each person brings to the team.
When I started working at WireBuzz, there were only 5 of us, so we all had to wear a lot of hats. As a result, we were effective, but not great.
Then something magical happened as we grew…we looked at every new hire as an opportunity to level up.
So here’s my recommendation to you: think long and hard about your own strengths and those of your team.
Your video team needs to possess each of the following areas of expertise:
- Video Strategy
- Editing and Animation
- Social Marketing
- and Advertising
If you’re building a team, look for candidates who can help you check those boxes. It’s better to have a superstar in each discipline than someone who’s average at them all.
Average talent leads to average videos. And you’re not in the business of being average, right?
But if you’re not planning on building a team around video marketing, and want to hire a video partner instead, your needs are going to be similar.
In this case, the type of team you hire should be based on filling those gaps.
In this video, Stronz discusses some of your options when it comes to hiring, some general pros and cons for each type of partner, and how to choose the right one for your needs.
Within each partner-type, there are varying degrees of effectiveness. So as part of your vetting process, you want to be mindful of the gaps in your own skills and experience, so that you can find a partner that fills those gaps.
And don’t take that last statement lightly — if you’re not gifted at something, it can be difficult to identify those gifts in others.
It takes constant self-awareness to lead such a diverse team.
When are your instincts “right,” and when are they just noise?
Because the time will come when you and a member of your team will disagree, and you’ll need to know when to defer and when to stand firm. Ultimately, the answer lies in understanding each person’s unique gifts.
Which brings me to the second most important lesson I’ve learned…
Lesson #2: How to Provide Helpful Feedback To Your Video Team
In my experience, there are only three different communication strategies that marketers use when managing their video team:
- “Here’s exactly what I want. Just get it done.”
- “You’re the expert. I trust your judgment.”
- “Here’s what I think, but I value your expertise. What do you think?”
It should be clear that the first option is not how great teams operate, but which of the other two options is most effective?
In our experience, the second is more effective than the first, assuming of course that you’re working with a capable team. But the real magic happens when you’re all able to collaborate and refine ideas together.
Even if you don’t have much expertise with video, you do know your product and your customers. Even an “instinct” or a “hunch” can be brought to the table as feedback, because it may provide insights that your creative team wouldn’t otherwise have access to.
Now obviously, not all hunches should be acted upon, but when you share your gut reactions with your video team, they’re more likely to create an effective video that resonates with your customers.
And trust me, your video team will really appreciate it too.
It can certainly be a challenge to manage a team that requires such diverse skills and temperaments. An effective video team needs both analytical and creative thinkers. And because videos are more complex than other forms of content, each of your team members needs to be a specialist if you want to get the best results.
Ultimately, building and managing an effective team boils down to understanding what each person brings to the team and when to defer to their expertise.
But at the same time, you don’t want to get carried away and become too trusting. Your feedback and insight as a team leader is extremely valuable. Even when you’re not sure why you feel a certain way, you should speak up and create an open dialogue with your team.
Because at the end of the day, greatness comes through collaboration, not magical ideas. And only you can foster a team culture that encourages that collaboration.
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