Saturday, January 24, 2015

Why Make Video Classes?

I thought I'd blog today about video classes as I've just finished one and am working on another.

Why make video classes?

I first decided I needed to do video when I started designing motion pieces...there is no way to show the movement without video. It was great...I could show people how my design moved, they could see it from every angle...just what was needed.

The next step was after having a few hours of e-mailing back and forth with someone on how to do my Rolled Peyote became evident to me that I needed to SHOW how it was done. And I made my first video tutorial. That showed me the way....this is what people need (generally speaking, not everyone needs a video).  Now once I released the video the questions on the tutorial not only decreased....they stopped. The video answered the questions.

I sat and thought about that. I sell a LOT of tutorials, it's my business. I figured that 5% of the people who bought a tutorial had questions.....another 2% had a LOT of questions. Every question had to be researched and answered, I needed to see photos on some, make additional illustrations for others....and that could eat away at my time. I figured with 100 tutorials out there (at the time) and selling as many as I did, that 7% ended up as 8 hours a week of answering questions.....that's a lot of design time and it would just grow!

Videos were the answer.

I decided that from that point on my tutorials would have an accompanying bead-along video.  Even if I had to learn video editing and titling! 

I also discovered that THE best ever way to proof and edit a tutorial was by making up a sample on camera....not to mention all the extra information I could add! If I hit a problem I could show how to get out of it, which was the best way to hold the work, lots of small things that never make it into a written tutorial because it would add so many more pages.....and you just  don't think of them when you're writing.

The first video class I did I offered the option of with or without video and was surprised that I only sold one tutorial without the video.  Interesting. I then gave it some more thought and decided I wouldn't offer the option, after all it took time to make the video and it was there to answer questions.  And I wasn't charging much for just added $5 to the cost of the tutorial (now, as some videos are much longer than others I charge $5 for each hour of finished video). Some asked me why I charged so little.....but I took into account the time I saved answering questions when I priced them out.

The other thing about doing the videos....I don't teach. I'm not on the teaching circuit.  This isn't because I don't enjoy teaching or seeing new places it's because first and foremost I'm a designer, it's my joy, my love and teaching wold take time away from that....considerable time.  I once asked a fellow designer how many new designs she created in a year and was told in a busy year...six! SIX! I was doing anywhere between 20 and 40 at that time. Over achieve much?   But I have all these ideas in my head screaming to get out and if I didn't get them out I think I'd end up in a strait jacket.  

The videos do get me out teaching....into your homes, one on one....and you can turn me off when you're sick of hearing me. Lots of people have written and told me they would just love to sit and bead with me....and that's what the videos do. They are deliberately informal, they have goofs, I screw up, get my thread caught...the real stuff, the stuff you would see if you were sitting and beading with me...minus the expletives :)
My Pagoda video was actually used in a workshop, which was very cool and I heard it worked great. Everyone purchased their own DVD and tutorial so they could finish at home but they worked as a group for a couple of days.
Not everyone can afford to take classes and do workshops so video classes are a great option. 

The goal is to have my customers end up with a finished piece of beadwork and not a UFO...videos help achieve that.  My fellow designer Melissa Grakowsky Shippee has spoken about video classes being the way of the future and I totally agree with her.  With new technology things Mom and I recently changed from cable TV to Amazon FireTV and it's fabulous. It's made me see some possibilities too.....with second screen capability you could watch the videos on your TV while using your tablet to see the cool is that?

I'm an old dog learning new tricks and that's how to stay young. Who knows I might be doing podcasts next :)


  1. So great! I usually am embarrassed to ask for help as I figure that it must just be me! Super idea to have video.

  2. I learn better from watching a demonstration. Your patterns are detailed and easy to understand, but sometimes I just have to see things done. Your videos are well done also. I have taken quite a few video classes and sometimes it's hard to see what the instructors are doing. I've never had that problem with yours. Well worth the little bit extra that you're charging.

  3. Mikki your patterns and videos are the best. I am a visual learner so the videos are great for me. I hope to have more free time in 2018 to do more of your projects. I am an old dog who always is looking for new tricks, and yours fit that bill perfectly.


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