I’ve been following some of Ian Fraser’s (IanF) video blogs (vlogs), just a couple, not daily, but the few I’ve seen have struck a chord with me, and I’ve become quite a fan since.
I think one of the reasons for this is that he appears to be, quite effortlessly, doing what I have found missing in social media posting for quite some time now; and that is, exhibiting signs of being human. The lack of personality and as Ian rightly says, the overwhelming “blandness” of content from (or because of) corporates, SME’s and stuffy individuals across just about all media be it radio, TV, print or digital, alike irks me greatly (awesome word – irk).
I’ve said it before, and the Brand Agent philosophy is all about addressing this issue too – social media needs consistency, persistency, and personality. Ian has this all. In fact admirably so, in that he has managed to come up with unique, relevant and interesting content every day so far. I’m keen to see if he manages to keep this up however I suspect that if businesses have any sense, especially tourism type businesses, they will soon start begging him to do his vlogs at their attractions and he will have more than enough to keep himself busy. Can he continue to be genuine and interesting, be commercially (financially) viable and still not succumb to being a video telemarketer for paying clients? I hope so – and I think he can do it too.
Why? Well – because he’s genuinely genuine. You get to see him be vulnerable, human and “real”. You get the feeling he’s been through some stuff and come out on the other side better for it.
He also says what he feels, and like Gareth Cliff’s “Cliff Central”, because of the platform, he can do that. Because of his freedom from horrible bosses and corporate policies, he can also be critical of things without fear of recourse (I don’t think he would ever delve into things overly political or sensitive, like Gareth tends to). I loved his chat about the state of radio in SA – I have no doubt he more than slightly annoyed a few people with that one, much to my total glee. I enjoy annoying people that deserve to be annoyed. Especially dinosaur institutions.
That said, Ian’s vlogs also seem to have an inspirational thread going through them, regardless of the topic. He makes you feel like it’s going to be ok, and if you want, as hard as it may seem, you can make things better. Make things better like he has done for himself. That money isn’t everything, that a job isn’t everything, that if you are prepared to make even a small step, it can mean great changes for you. It’s actually pretty awesome.
Then there is randomness, weirdness and just for the sake of stuff, but isn’t that just life anyway?
An audience’s trust is a very powerful thing to have, and he has mine.
I think Mr Ian F is doing what he wants to be doing, and that’s more than a little special. He probably won’t promote anything he doesn’t actually believe in himself. I don’t know Ian – but again – how I’ve managed to connect with him through his Vlogs, makes me feel this way – and to his credit, an audience’s trust is a very powerful thing to have, and he has mine. I believe he knows the value of this (even said as such about his audience), so we can hope for the best that he sticks to his philosophy on that.
He has to make money, so there’s bound to be some sort of advertising – and I’ll be watching keenly to see if he crosses the line for me of creating another place for those bland corporates to stick their products in my face, or whether he’ll have the creativity to do it in a way that keeps it personal.
What can we take away from all this? Not all of us can be video bloggers, most of us struggle with a normal blog. But the thing is – if you’re prepared to put yourself out there, put in some preparation in your content, make it your own, make it personal, chances are, people will be drawn in far more than posting reposted garbage, or mundane memes – give people some of YOU every time. Your potential clients will trust you, get to know you, learn that you are credible in your field, and more.
Anyway, this is my admiration for what Ian Fraser is up to these days – I think he’s brave, and I suspect it will be a great hit. I’m certainly hooked!