Back in February, I was blessed to make an appearance on the illustrious Leslie McGraw of LesGo Social’s Instagram Pop-up series, “So That’s My Business”.
We talked for an hour!
We covered some really important stuff! But also… it’s an hour. If you don’t have an hour but you still want to enjoy the nuggets shared, I got the transcript and am sharing some parts here.
Why is it called “So That’s My Business”?
You are tuning into the new popup series. Less popup-ish, okay, then I originally planned, but still. It’s called, “So That’s My Business”. So first of all, some of you may or may not know a personality called Tabitha Brown. She’s one of my favorite people.
She did every Live, every day, for 365 days. That’s what she committed to doing. And somewhere in those days, she was starting her vegan food journey and she stopped by whole foods and got this sandwich they had, and it was tempura, tomato, lettuce, and avocado maybe. And she nicknamed it T-TL-A. She was driving Uber at the time.
So she starts eating this sandwich and it’s like ” this, is the best thing I’ve had. Like this is seasoned… So everything, I’m going to call it a T-T-L-A.” And literally by the time she got home, she had 50,000 viewers. Whole foods had made her a brand ambassador for their sandwich and just everything started falling into place. That was the last day she drove Uber.
It wasn’t like, she was a random person doing nothing, and then this video went viral and she got all this stuff. That does happen every once in a while, but most of the time it’s like you doing the work consistently. Putting out the product consistently, and making sure it’s good content, and just being your authentic self and getting a rhythm, and then poof, it happens.
If she (Tabitha Brown) says, I’m going to do this or that, she says, “because that’s my business.”
It’s “So That’s My Business” as a nod to Tabitha Brown. But the second piece is, explaining the holistic way I endeavor to help clients and communities.
How do you help people bring out the stories through your videography and photography?
“… what I’m coming into, is that I love the people. I love the story and it doesn’t need to be polished. The video doesn’t have to be this Hollywood production. That’s not my style because life isn’t polished, life isn’t focused. It’s a little bit messy, and social media is showing that to be the case.
While there is the space for your Super Bowl, polished ads. We’re live in the moment right now with where we are on our phones. It’s real, and it’s breaking the barrier.
It’s not that I’m just standing in front of a screen talking into the ether, I’m talking to you through the camera. And we’re sharing knowledge, we’re sharing stories.
We are using this digital media to connect in ways that we couldn’t before and in ways that we could only do if we were in person.
That really gets me excited to figure how to get you, how to get other organizations, or businesses, or people really talking and connecting with their audiences and finding their tribe. And Leslie, as you would say, “finding their community.”
So to do that, we have to get in deep, we have to get into the nitty gritty, we have to not worry so much about the technical aspects of, is everything proper, and, perfect, and correct.
There’s an 80/20, just good enough. But the secret sauce is getting past that, getting our minimum maintenance met, and then diving in deep and answering those questions about our why. And what we do. And why we do it. And who we are. And what we love. And what inspires us.
The hero’s journey is iconic and a lot of stories follow this. I don’t remember exactly the breakdown of it but it’s super common. A lot of stories follow that. And yet we still enjoy it because as every time it’s told the storyteller tells it in a different way.
They have their different flare to it, they add things and that’s us. We’re all living kind of these similar lives, but we all have our own stories. We have our own flares, we have our own takes, we’ve had our own experiences, and sharing them on video with each other is super exciting.
That’s what I felt that you brought to the table. But I want to add, because your stuff is much better than you let on.
Katie has a really good way editing videos.
I’ve been asked to edit, I know how to do basic editing. I’ve given videos to editors to edit, and they’re editing for quote unquote mistakes, right? They’re editing to cover up mistakes.
When I felt like the videos that she came up with, she was editing to make sure the story was clear. And so it made me think of a friend of mine’s cousin shared a quote recently by Paul Caponigro. And I actually put it in here in the chat. It says, “It’s one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like. It’s another thing to make a portrait of who they are.”
And so I’ve consistently felt that. She’s done direct videos with me. But she’s also done one for Amy and she also has helped one of my clients or helped edit a video for a client. Each time I’m like, “oh wow.”
She’s able to tighten it up, but without taking away the essence of what I was trying to explain. This is my experience that applies a lot to women and especially to black women. That when we speak, we are interrupted, we are cut off, we are misunderstood. If we can’t say what we have to say quickly enough, someone will interject what they thought that I meant.
I’ve been in spaces where that, “wrap it up”, kind of feel is there, and I’m just more of a porch talker. Right? I think it’s okay sometimes to have succinct messaging and that’s important too.
But when you’re trying to capture a story, you have to listen to the full story in order to take out the nugget. And so that’s one of the things that I really enjoy working with her.
We had a Sankofa Sunday at church. I was brought up Christian… black Christian at that. So sometimes there’s a disconnect with, if you bring in indigenous beliefs… okay, that’s not what we should be doing.
The way that our pastor explained it, it gave me the green light to embrace what I had already been feeling, in a way that I could still be true to both belief systems. Which is that, yes, we should be looking forward and everything and not dwelling on the past, but, Sankofa is a west African concept and the kind of image you usually see is of a Sankofa bird.
The Sankofa bird has the feet going forward, but the mouth has a little pearl that it’s getting from the past looking back. And that pearl is wisdom from your past. Right?
Depending on how you view that, it might be from the ancestors, or it might be a pearl from your past lives. When I say past lives, your past iterations of yourself, right. So I’m not the same person I was 10 years ago or the person I was 20 years ago, but there’s a constant push in Western society to push forward. New year, new me, whatever. But as your new year, new me, looking back and like, ” oh, what did I learn from that?”
So I’ve been… it’s a weird kind of balance and I’m still shaky with it, but I’ve just been put into this journey.
I’m having all sorts of thoughts from this. I’m not sure which direction to go.
I think that’s relevant in how we market ourselves online. I think a lot of us are like, ‘Well, I don’t know what to talk about. I don’t know what’s interesting. I don’t know what people want. I’m not qualified to post tips, or to make videos, and share videos,’ but we all have… however, old we are, we have that many years of lived experience and we have learned things or else, we probably wouldn’t be here.
That’s valuable, and that’s valid, and that’s our own story, and our own way of looking at things. If we’ve been doing our business for any number of years or however long, we’ve learned things there too. Things that other people, who haven’t had those experiences, haven’t learned and there is value in that.
The idea that we could look back and just see that we have what we need within us, and that that is worth sharing on social, on video, is cool.
I think the hardest part, probably, is allowing ourselves the grace to get it wrong sometimes. To not have the setup be perfect, to have our websites be works-in-progress, but at least we know we’re moving forward instead of throwing up our hands in frustration.
And like, “oh, I can’t do it perfectly on the first go. I’m not even going to bother.”
On Hiring a Professional
I think the work is in finding somebody that jives with you. Somebody that gets you when hiring a professional and then trusting them. But, also having the conversation to guide what you’re doing.
Yesterday, she and I had a conversation about learning to trust your professional. I was more talking as it pertains to videography and photography, but even with strategy work. It’s learning to trust the person you hired, but also still having enough sense of what you want, that you can give pushback, right?
So as the business owner, you have to take that internal time to think about who you are, and what you want, and everything.
You’re creating a story, but part of this weird dance you have to do is finding professionals that are able to complete that story. Not just spit back out what you said, but actually complete it.
So when I hear people say, what their vision is for their LinkedIn, for instance, I’m synthesizing that, to hear, okay, okay. I’m listening to you, I’m hearing you, but let me tell you what I’m thinking is that you might need to get this third party app.
Or maybe in order to do what you’re looking to do, you need to have LinkedIn company page with subsidiaries underneath to showcase your different product. You see what I’m saying?
The onus is not on the business owner to know all that additional information. They just know what they want to get out of their LinkedIn. Right?
If you’re hiring somebody that’s a strategist, then you really should have enough trust in that person to give professional advice.
As a videographer, there are people that will shoot video. There are people who will edit video, that’s what I was kind of alluding to earlier.
There are people who will take photos. Nice photos, even, and go to JC Penny’s and get my me and my daughter’s picture. They have seven props, right? Three different ways to do it.
When I’m doing a business photo shoot, that’s not what I want. I don’t want you to give me a stuffed animal.
<pulls out a stuffed animal> I thought about having this in the shot, but I opted against it for a little cleaner look.
Yeah, I think it all ties around back to us, sharing authentic content, telling our story, and not being afraid to, to find our community.
Because it’s by us sharing what’s authentically us, or having a professional, capture it, and us consuming some other business or organization’s authentic content and story that we can start to attract each other, and then the vetting process is easier.
It’s not like “I need video. This person does video”, badabing badaboom.
We first need to operate in the same sphere. We need to talk in the same language. We need to get the good vibes. Then, once my need arises for video, I know this is the person that is going to jive with me because we’re already vibrating on the same wavelength.
vvvv Watch the whole video here! vvvvv
And! Check Leslie out at