Growing Something... and Holding Onto It

Monday, June 20, 2022

In a freak of scheduling, you're getting two servings of Sioux in a row. I figured I would continue my post from Saturday about creating a channel-platform-thingy with a couple of production friends. We'll be targeting women over 30. (We're still in the talking stage. We've only just begun. If you're ancient like me, those words might make you think of the Carpenters. Check out the end, where I've taken liberties with the first four lines of the song, and enjoy the link to the smooth croonings of Karen and Richard Carpenter.)

If you missed the past post--just two days ago--here it is, so you can catch up avoid hearing Sioux blather on. Again.

                                                          image by gerait via Pixabay

I've learned a few things since Saturday. Some tidbits I learned from what others told me. Some I learned from what others have done in the past--and I've never forgotten them. And some info I got from research.

Someone with tech skills filled us in: we're contemplating launching our own channel via an OTT platform. For those who don't know--like me, prior to Saturday--OTT stands for "over the top." The channels offered via a platform are above and beyond (over the top) when it comes to companies that usually offer content. Listeners/viewers can subscribe to these channels just like people can pay for HBO and Showtime. (If I'm getting this wrong, don't hesitate to comment. I work with middle-schoolers. I get told I'm off base all. The. Time.) 

This is a small fire that's been fanned in the hearts of a few of us. We know the general direction we want it to go in. Forks in the road will appear, we know. But we're definitely not interested in handing our steering wheel over to someone who has a strong personality so they can start using a new roadmap and take over... which I've seen before.

In the past, I've seen one person step in--after a project has evolved past its embryonic state--and immediately start talking about our program. Our project. Our class. They expected the creators to simply fall into place and include them in what (just a moment earlier) was someone else's our.  However, the dreamers kept true to their mission, listened to the schemer's ideas, and gently reminded them that they could help, yes. They could participate, of course. They could certainly contribute... but it was not their baby.

Hold onto what you know is true. And keep a firm grip on it. By the time it's grown large enough that it fills more than your hands, when it's evolved to the point where you're embracing it--your arms stretching as far as they can--it'll be able to stand on its own. Then you'll happy you didn't tear off pieces, fragmenting your dream.

I've been doing some research, and learned another acronym besides OTT. This one is CTA--call to action. We will need to tell the audience to check out the ____ video. To subscribe to our channel. To come back next Tuesday when a podcast about ___ drops.  Otherwise, our viewers and listeners will switch over to a different channel, leaving us behind in the dust. The CTA is a gentle nudge.

A watermark is important. Our logo--a small version--should be in a corner of whatever we do. Each time someone watches a video on our channel, they'll see our logo. That helps with brand awareness.

Apparently there are clever ways to suck a viewer deeper into content. Inserting a link at the end of one video--a link leading to another video--means they won't be a one-and-done viewer. Similar results will come from creating a "playlist." Just like a musical playlist means the listener will (hopefully) stick around for multiple songs, having a string of videos auto play, one into another, means they'll watch several videos... and perhaps get hooked. (Each time I sit down to watch something on Netflix, I plan on watching just one episode. But when the message comes on that the next episode will come on in a matter of seconds... I end up watching an entire season while lying on the couch. Netflix is so clever.)

How about you? What clever tips/hacks can you share with the blogosphere? 


We've only just begun

to work

White space and techno-stuff

Pulling out hair and we're on our way... 

                                               In case you're under 60 and have no idea who
                                               the Carpenters were--Karen had an incredible
                                               voice, her brother Richard was a master at
                                        arranging... and Karen died way too young from anorexia.

Sioux Roslawski is a middle-school teacher, a freelance writer, the author of Greenwood Gone: Henry's Story, and a dog rescuer. You may check out more of her writing via her blog.


Cathy C. Hall said...

Catching up today, Sioux, and yes, I read the other post, too. Yay for you and your friends taking the idea and going for it! It IS a lot of work, venturing into new territory (and Angela had LOTS of good stuff to share). Sometimes, it's worth every minute of all the sweating and crying...and sometimes, it's not.

But you never know where a dream will lead till you try. And it sounds like you have a great crew with you. That truly is half the battle. GOOD LUCK!

Angela Mackintosh said...

This is exciting, Sioux! You mentioned targeting women over 30, but that's super broad and what I did, and don't recommend doing. Lol. WOW caters to women writers of any age, but there are so many avenues of writing--children's lit, freelance bloggers, editors, copywriters, etc.--that if we would've targeted one genre, we'd have a more dedicated audience, because we're only reaching each niche with relevant content maybe 25% or less of the time. You know what I mean? So I would drill that down even more if you can. I don't know what your subject or theme is or what your product is; your last post said you were going to interview a friend who lost her daughter to postpartum psychosis, so is it a mental health site? But you also mentioned adoption perspectives, so I'm wondering what your overarching theme is. This is the fun stuff! It's exciting to think about your concept and audience in brainstorming sessions with your partners.

I love the idea of the OTT platform, and if you can make a mix of free content and premium, that's the best way to go. Yes, there are CTAs and a lot of technical jargon, but if you make great content, people will share. Interesting you already have a "schemer" and I'm so glad you are protecting your baby. I have stories along that line that I can share but are best shared in private via email, so if you ever have any questions, feel free to email me. :)

Good luck, Sioux! Very excited for you! :)

Sue Bradford Edwards said...

Great things are ahead for you all! This is just amazing.

Sioux Roslawski said...

Cathy--You're right. Only time will tell. Time will determine if it succeeds, and time will tell whether it was worth it or not.

Angela--Maybe we're already doomed because we're planning on catering to a wide variety of interests. I just think women over 30 are in a rich phase of life. Some are parents and some are grandparents. There's a variety of health concerns they grapple with.

Women writers--that wasn't specific enough(when it came to WOW. I think I need help!

Sue--I hope you're right. I'll keep my fingers crossed...

Pat Wahler said...

What an awesome new challenge! Glad to see you're going for it. People often have regrets over not taking a chance to bring their dream to life.

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