Key takeaways from AWAI’s “State of the Industry” Summit

by Apr 1, 2021Blog

Learning never stops, which is why we had to attend AWAI’s “State of the Industry” virtual summit, packed with valuable information on copywriting, video content, and more. Here is an overview that you might find useful based on a few influential speakers and the interesting questions they were asked.

“If you are a freelance writer, be a specialist.” While the market is not entirely full of writers, it is essential for you to try and be the best professional you can. Make it clear who you work for and who your priority is, but don’t try to be everything to everyone. At the same time, don’t feel the pressure of being active on every social media platform. Pick one or two and put 100% into it, instead of giving only 25% to 4 different platforms. If you’re a fashion designer, it’s understandable to focus on Instagram and TikTok, while a public speaker might aim to concentrate on Clubhouse, which has all the rage right now.

Let’s talk about video. One of the biggest concerns about video creators is engagement – how to grow it and keep it. A simple piece of advice that was shared during the AWAI Summit is to script it! Many people think it’s easy to get in front of the camera and speak, and it does sound like a piece of cake. But a good video that will stick out and get the engagement it deserves is put together. While writing the script for it, try to use curiosity, so people’s attention is on that video only, and they scroll through your profile, looking for more. 

Videos are very good at getting an emotion across; it allows you to create a deeply emotional connection with your audience. Here are the 3 most popular video types to try out:

  1. Testimonials and case studies. These videos portray your existing clients’ honest opinions and views, and they might be one of your most potent weapons for acquiring new clients. They provide valuable, unbiased information about your products or services. Such videos often succeed to encourage people to buy something they didn’t even know they needed!
  2. Demos and tutorials. People love to explore and learn new things, especially in a video format. After you’ve decided what valuable skill you want to teach others, make a well-scripted plan. People will never know how to follow your structure if you don’t have one!
  3. Explainer videos with drawing animations. These videos have been popular for a long time because of their effectiveness. People love when something complex is broken down into different pieces, explained, and put back together – this is what you can achieve with an explainer video and drawing animations that match your explanations. Bear in mind that such videos also need to be very well scripted.

If you haven’t been active with video but want to start, make sure to watch a lot of videos while paying close attention to the details and not just for fun! Watch them with a hyper-critical eye, analyse what happened when you stopped engaging with the video, why it happened, did it get you curious, etc. And while you watch videos from your niche, don’t forget to go outside of it, as that’s where you will find inspiration.

The AWAI summit also presented Seth Godin – an entrepreneur, a speaker, and an author of 19 international best-sellers. According to him, “Marketing is what we do when we do what matters for people who care,” a simple yet effective definition. We also learned that it doesn’t matter what other writers do because everyone has their own unique process. Steven King was once asked what kind of pen he uses when he writes, while in reality, we, as writers and content creators, should find our own practice and commit to it.

Lastly, Seth Godin encouraged us to explore the benefits of habits over goals. Goals are essential for our growth, personal and professional, but they are externally related and outside of our control. So why don’t we begin to create habits – Let’s try with “I will create the habit of working out regularly” instead of “I have the goal to lose 40 pounds”. Take this approach, adjust it accordingly to your business and always note down your progress.