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The #pf100days video challenge: why we avoid video & what to do about it

As you may have noticed, we’re doing a 100 days video challenge for accountants who want to get better at video. 

And the best video coach is….you, doing more video. 

Think of a child learning about how video works. They see you on your phone, and they want to hold it. If you let them hold it, they want to press buttons and see what happens. When they see their face, they laugh and move it around and press other buttons (sometimes this moves into danger territory and you take the phone back!). 

As adults, we know the power of video for our businesses and for connection, but we don’t quite come to video with the same wide-eyed curiosity and joy. We come with trepidation. With fear. With concerns and worries. 

These are some of the things shared from the accountants doing the 100 days challenge with me, before it started and within the first few days: 

  • I'm worried about what to say and also that I have to do my hair 
  • I actually worried that I will be posting too much over 100 days. Wouldn't it be overkill?
  • My biggest worry is that people may not want to hear what I have to say.
  • Petrified about all of it - what topic, what to say, how much to say and what i look and sound like
  • Will definitely be talking too quickly, and not have enough to say!
  • The only fear really is not having enough to say.
  • It's done and it's making me feel sick thinking about people seeing it!
  • I don't exactly know how to go about it, but I am determined to give it a shot.  If I can do the video challenge I know it will force my hand to go out and make it happen. 
  • When it all boils down to it, it comes down to fear of what other people will think.

Look at the themes there. Worried. Petrified. Fear. I feel sick. 

It’s only day three, and I’m already seeing a lift in what people are sharing and saying about themselves, as they record one video every day for 100 days: 

  • I'm going to use the video challenge to be geared towards the clients I LOVE to work with most. The ones we’ve ended up doing have never really excited me. When I talk to these clients, I look forward to it, enjoy the time I spend working with them, and feel like I've genuinely changed their lives (dramatic but true)! Happy to have found some direction!!! Let's do this!
  • I have made the decision that I am too critical of my videos, so I’m not doing loads of takes! I just want to practise and get them out there!!
  • I think we hear our own umms more than others! and they do keep us human! It’s good to work on being more clear, but if we remove them entirely it could sound too ‘polished’.
  • I had a bit of an epiphany last night when i was watching a video from one of the team from PF - she was talking about why videos are so important for engaging with your customers, how it brings out a more human side rather than hiding behind pretty pictures and corporate speak. I’d like to say it was an ‘aha’ moment but it was more of a ‘ you got me’ moment! Because one of our core values is to be human. And I realised if I want to be true to my values and our business values, I need to stop hiding, to put my big girl undies on and make some more videos.
  • Definitely proud of myself for starting something new! It’s all too easy to get stuck in your ways, but trying new things is never a bad thing
  • I’m proud I’ve taken the leap to do this. I said to myself for ages I want to video but always found excuses not to!

It is one of the great joys of my life to work with our clients and team in a mentoring and coaching capacity (and a bit of #marketingtherapy!). Over the past year or two especially I’ve discovered to my surprise just how much I really love it when I get to be part of transformations like this - not because I have done the transforming or made it happen, but because I’ve created an environment in which THEY can transform. 

And when it comes to something like video, the transformation requires:

  • Recognising this is something you’ve been putting off
  • Understanding what you’re afraid of
  • Being willing to try, to experiment, to see what works and doesn’t, to feel a little foolish at times as you do this 
  • Being part of a community who feel like you feel, and are willing to try along with you
  • Being humble and gracious, with yourself and others 
  • Showing vulnerability and transparency: sharing mistakes, laughing or crying as needed

And it requires GRIT. 

I was listening to Brene Brown’s Dare to Lead podcast with her guest Angela Duckworth, who has written a book on Grit. I was absolutely fascinated by this and the definition of it - a blend of passion & perseverance over the long term.

It struck me whilst listening that using this definition, I have grit. 

I started my business almost ten years ago (PF will be 10 years old in January), and from the beginning I recognised I’m passionate about helping accountants specifically. I could help all kinds of people, but accountants are my people for many reasons. I’m a qualified accountant myself, I’ve been-there-done-that, and I see so many accountants struggling under those burdens, heavy to bear, which they don’t need to be. Which good marketing and good creativity (and vulnerability, and grit) can help relieve. And I’ve stuck at it for ten years, and I’m finally pulling all that together into a book for accountants.

So I’m going to be using the #pf100days challenge myself to share content around my journey as an author. My book is for the ‘accountant marketer’, the accountant who realises marketing is more a part of their role than it ever was before, and who recognises it is their responsibility to take marketing on, and take it on well. 

Here’s my working thesis (which will continue to change as I learn to express why my book exists!): 

I believe accountants get into a pattern of signing clients they don’t like, doing work they don’t enjoy, for fees they don’t make money on. This results in burdens, heavy to bear, lying on their shoulders, making business and life hard. My book exists to give an actual structure and practical help so accountants can understand marketing, enjoy marketing, and see it begin to work for them to relieve those burdens. To see how marketing does the heavy lifting and works on their behalf, so every client and every team member is someone they absolutely love to work with.

Here’s one of my first videos about my book journey, and how I went from “I’m going to write down a few key points” to “oh… I have 60,000 words...what do I do with these??”

I’ll be sharing more over the 100 days about choosing a book editor/coach/publisher, building a roadmap, starting to write, continuing to write, getting frustrated with writing, and actually finishing the damn thing! I’ve now got 7 full chapters finished, so I’m over halfway through with the actual content and feel like I’m moving into the home stretch. (It’s a long home stretch but it’s there.) 

Want to follow #pf100days? Want to join?

You can follow me on Instagram for these videos, and follow the hashtag #pf100days to see all the videos the amazing accountants in this challenge are sharing every day! They have so much to be proud of already, and I’m excited to see all their transformations throughout the challenge and by the end of it! 

If you're an accountant or bookkeeper and want to join us, you can request to be added to the private Facebook community here. Please don't ask to join the Facebook group out of mere curiosity: this is for accountants who are committed to recording one video every day for 100 days, and encouraging all the others who are doing the same! 

We’ve also had interest from non-accountants in doing a 100 days challenge, so we’re considering doing another one for anyone (accountants and business owners) in the new year. If you want in, message me on Instagram or connect with me on one of the other socials!

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