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Stop Playing It Safe.

Everyone knows that taking a risk is dangerous. But what about playing it safe?

While the consequences of a risky decision typically show up in a few short days or even hours, it might take years to see the negative effects of not taking a risk. And even when those impacts come, it will be difficult to pinpoint the exact cause and compare it all to the could-have-beens.

That doesn’t make playing it safe the better option, though.

You might think you’re protecting your organization, budget, and reputation by playing it safe, but the only thing you’re truly protecting is your comfort zone—and it’s only for the short term.

The truth is, taking risks can pay off. Greatly.

Long-term growth and success come with big, bold moves.

For example, begin your creative brainstorming sessions by asking your team, “What is the most unpredictable/bold/unexpected/unconventional solution to the problem?” The most unusual ideas often are not the answer but simply saying them out loud can inspire the actual solution. That is how you arrive at a city bus as a superhero or a googly-eyed pickle as your main character.

But, of course, it’s easier said than done. Here’s our advice on taking calculated risks in video marketing.

  • Be vulnerable, honest, and transparent. As with personal relationships, opening up can feel like a risk, but being genuine always pays off. The inclination to control the story or to be overly precious with each word creates a thin narrative that audiences will see through or won't connect with.

  • Stand up for what you believe in and be specific about your values. Trying to please the masses will make your organization unmemorable and insignificant. In music, MOR stands for “middle of the road” but it’s also known as "elevator music." Don't adopt an MOR approach to your messaging.

  • Don’t worry about having a proof of concept that perfectly matches your vision. Often our clients bring us examples of other videos they’ve been inspired by or what they’d like their video to look like. We understand that is one way for clients to demonstrate their expectations or their hopes, but it also snuffs out the possibility of thinking about the solution from a different angle or having our team offer up a bigger concept.

  • Find a video marketing partner who understands your organization, goals, and values and isn’t afraid to push you out of your comfort zone. If you can partner with a team who understands these fundamental principles of your organization, you are building a strong foundation for success.

It may seem contradictory, but a “low-risk” approach might just be the riskiest approach.

For those projects where you have one chance to capture a single moment, in those instances where you must cut through the noise to make your announcement, and when you are asking your audience to dig deeper and commit more—these are not the times to play it safe.

At best, playing it safe will maintain your status quo and have you blending in among your peers. But a bold, calculated risk could bring in donations, memberships, new audiences, and more. You just have to be brave enough to take the leap.


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