VIPER Content Creation

Okay, so let's talk about the VIPER content creation system, which I've been using for the past week and am still using with varying degrees of success. The thing about work methods is that they take time to get used to - about thirty days, usually. So I should be used to this and using it like a fucking boss by the second week of October.

At the moment, I am having some issues with it simply because it's new and I'm not accustomed to using it. But the entire point here is to crank out a coherent, interlaced system of content which meshes well with the elements of the BADASS methodology and slots into the things that engage with your tribe. So let's look these over real quick.

The five elements of VIPER are Video, Image, Post, Email, and Release. The core idea is that you select a particular venue around which your efforts revolve - usually either a video or a blog post, but if you're a visual artist you may choose to focus on the image, and if you're an email expert you may actually want everything to drive people to your email list.

Regardless of your core element, the other three elements are designed to drive traffic to that core element. They exist to tease your audience into going there. It's a waste of time to try and make all of them equally important; they can't be. One of them is the vehicle and the rest are sidecars. Some people like to call them "satellites."

In my own case, the blog is my core property, because it's where all the real ideas are. Fundamentally, I'm a writer - I get my best work out in text, even though I can be a highly entertaining and engaging speaker, and the real "money" advice is always written rather than spoken. This is primarily because no matter what you do, a spoken performance is one-shot and you don't get an infinite number of chances to edit. As a perfectionist of sorts (this is a problem and I am working on it), that means my written work has been through several rounds of revision and is just plain more polished than anything spoken.

That said, the first thing I do on any given day is my video. I do it first thing. I get up, do my workout, shower, get dressed... then slap on the makeup and fire up my video camera. It's the first thing I do. It clarifies my thoughts for what I'm writing on the blog, or for what I've already written on it if I'm buffered up. Sometimes, if I'm kind of off my game, I'm just talking about what I'm going to write, like this week. The videos are done, but the posts aren't. I know what they are, though.

Mostly I do this to keep my head in the game. I have a sort of uniform I wear, and part of that uniform is that every day of the week I wear a different-coloured Laina shirt. Saturday is white, Sunday is blue, and then it goes green, yellow, black, red, purple. So if I do a video on the wrong day, I'm wearing the wrong colour shirt, and if I change shirts I have to redo my makeup.

You might not have this particular first-world problem. I'm about to go "fuck it" about this problem anyway, starting next week - I just want everything to match up for the first hundred posts, and I'm doing my final catch-up pass today and tomorrow. So starting next week, my shirt may or may not match the day the video was shot, because fuck you.

The point of my video, however, is simply to capture interest and drive people to the blog post. That's all it's for. It doesn't have to be complete or even really coherent; in fact, it's better if it serves as an "open loop" where you start talking about something that you'll finish discussing in the core element.

Try to keep the video to under three minutes if it's not your core element. Most people will only watch up to two minutes of it, anyway, so if you can't sell the click in two minutes they've probably moved on. That's life.

Tomorrow we'll talk about the image element, and how it plays into that thing people are always talking about these days... and that right there is an open loop. I use them all the time. The story isn't over, come back tomorrow. There's more. But you have to come back to get it.