If you’re looking for inspiration for your video content, look no further than Bon Appetit’s incredibly successful test kitchen videos. Instead of bringing you the same old cooking show formula, they’ve built incredible engagement and legions of fans with a format that is fun, fast-moving and, most of all, imperfect. Here are some lessons you can learn from the chefs to make your video content pop.

Everyone knows that content is king when it comes to marketing these days, but video content is empress. With high engagement and the ability to create connection instantly, a well-designed video marketing plan can supercharge your business. What a pity, then, that so many real estate agents and brokers are so resistant to creating videos.

When talking with clients about video marketing, the overwhelming response is: “I know I should. I just can’t.” Objections include everything from fear of looking fat to fear of looking silly. Many agents feel that video inevitably ends up looking unprofessional in some way. Still others believe that they need an expensive production setup to create great content.

If you’re looking for inspiration and reassurance, you need look no further than Bon Appetit magazine’s incredibly successful test kitchen videos. Instead of bringing you the same old cooking show formula, BA has created incredible engagement and legions of fans with a format that is fun, fast-moving and, most of all, imperfect.

Here are some lessons you can learn from the BA chefs to make your video content pop.

Share your struggle: Claire Saffitz

What she does:

By far the most popular of the BA test kitchen chefs, Claire Saffitz is the one who put the video channel on the map. Her series “Gourmet Makes” has a simple and fun-filled premise: Let a world-class pastry chef create gourmet versions of junk food like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Oreo Cookies and Pringles Potato Chips using only the equipment and ingredients readily available to the home cook.

The best part of watching Saffitz is the lack of ease with which she handles these tasks. She gets frustrated. She goes home and fumes, then comes back the next day with a better idea. She sometimes sits down and pouts — accompanied by a sepia-toned filter and sad music — before making the same thing for the 10th time. It’s all so relatable.

When Saffitz inevitably succeeds (though she still doesn’t claim victory over Starburst), you feel her triumph and share it with her. While you’ll probably never make her version of these complicated goodies, that’s not the point. You’ve lived the struggle with Saffitz, and you cheered her on.

What you can do:

Turn your fans and followers into your biggest cheerleaders by sharing the struggle with them. Stop trying to present a picture-perfect image, and let them get a peek at your messy car trunk or tag along as you try to put up open house signage. Show them how hard you work and let them get invested in your success.

Share your enthusiasm: Brad Leone

What he does:

If you met him at a party, you’d never guess that Brad Leone is an all-star chef at Bon Appetit. He looks like a cross between a mountain man and a hipster and gallops around the test kitchen with the manic energy of a sugar-filled toddler. His series, “It’s Alive,” offers viewers the chance to see him use fermentation to make foods like sourdough bread, kombucha and sauerkraut.

But Leone is more than just a chef. He has a woodworking business, is a metalworker, and spends his spare time fishing, hunting and crabbing. His cooking interests are inspired by his love of the outdoors and the natural world. He makes a fun and sometimes comic contrast with his more serious and low-key colleagues.

What you can do:

Think about what you can bring to your videos besides the well-trod real estate topics everyone is covering. If you love hiking, show viewers the best trails in your market. If you love antiquing, take them along on your shopping trips. If you go to the farmer’s market in your town every Saturday morning, share your favorite stalls and vendors with your viewers.

Stop aiming for what you think a real estate agent has to talk about and start talking authentically about what you love. You’ll not only attract clients with your enthusiasm, you’ll show your expertise and market knowledge in a whole new way.

Share your knowledge: Carla Lalli Music

What she does:

Imagine a world-class chef as your personal cooking teacher. The catch? You’re on-camera with your back to her and have only her descriptions to guide you through a gourmet recipe. This is the premise of “Back-to-Back Chef,” Food Director Carla Lalli Music’s BA show, which features guests from weatherman Al Roker to drag queen Shangela attempting to cook with only Carla’s verbal instructions.

An ex-Shake Shack manager, Lalli Music has risen to the top of the culinary firmament at Bon Appetit with a mixture of no-nonsense directness and fearless individualism. She is pro-MSG, pro-pressure cooker and pro-mistakes. She is clearly an expert, but she is also a big believer in experimentation. These qualities make her an ideal teacher.

What you can do:

Don’t treat the ins and outs of real estate like a mystery to make yourself seem smarter. The more you share your knowledge and well-informed opinions, the more you will draw clients who value your experience. Don’t be afraid to speak your mind. It doesn’t make you seem arrogant; it makes you seem like the expert you are.

Stop thinking about video marketing as a commercial designed to focus on you, and start thinking about it as a way to amplify the best parts of your market and educate potential leads. That way you won’t worry as much about your double chin — you’ll be too busy sharing, serving and connecting with your next client.

Christy Murdock Edgar is a Realtor, freelance writer, coach and consultant with Writing Real Estate. She is also a Florida Realtors faculty member. Follow Writing Real Estate on  FacebookTwitterInstagram  and YouTube.

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