When I first thought about launching a vlog series, I wasn’t sure whether anyone would watch it. Would it be worth the time and effort I’d need to put in to make it really good? Or would it just be another burden on my already busy schedule?

After deliberating for a while, I decided that the easiest way to find out was probably just to ask people. So I did. I created a simple SurveyMonkey survey, shared the link with my networks and my clients - being sure to flag up the fact that there were only five questions, so it wouldn’t take long to complete - and waited.

The results were really interesting. Not only did I validate my theory that a vlog would be a useful addition to my marketing tool bag, I also made some useful discoveries that directly influenced my plans.

For example, I learned that as well as watching videos, podcasts are a big draw for my target audience - these are busy people, and they like to listen to podcasts in the car on the school run or on the way to work. From this information, I made the decision to turn my blog archive into a podcast series, a project that is currently underway and will hopefully be ready to launch soon. (In the meantime, have a listen to my Freelance Mum podcast with Faye Dicker.)

I also found out which business vlogs people most enjoy. After spending a morning watching numerous examples, from Gary V to Lucky Bitch, I felt much more confident about what I wanted mine to look and feel like. I made the decision to invest in a professional intro from my videographer Nick Jones at Filma King, for example, and to position that intro after a short teaser introducing the subject of each vlog.

Finally, by asking about what subjects my audience most wanted to see covered on the Rin Hamburgh & Co vlog, I ended up with a long list of ideas for future episodes. Which in turn helped me come up with the Q&A format, and the premise of making the vlog a deliberately interactive resource.

The importance of understanding your audience is something I’m always banging on about, with good reason. Unless you understand your audience, you might spend hours creating content - and indeed, products and services - they don’t actually want.

Doing your research before you even start is the best way to save time and money in the long run. And whatever you need to know - which social media channels your audience spends most time on, how often they want to receive your newsletter, whether they’d be interested in a new product you’re developing - the simplest place to start is to just ask.

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If you like to consume content in video format, subscribe to #RINSWINS to make sure you don't miss an episode of the new vlog. And of course, if you have a question on copywriting or marketing that you'd like me to asnwer, do get in touch.

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