Muhammad and his journey to creating Sophia Hubs first infomercial videos – the ups and downs and ups!

Muhammad NasirI joined Sophia Hubs a few months ago and have really enjoyed carrying out the marketing activities for such a forward looking organisation. I am fortunate to be associated with this growing organisation that is fast achieving its objective of ‘making Redbridge a better place to live where local businesses and communities support each other’.

My background which brings me to where I am today is as a marketing professional with many years of fulfilling work in the pharmaceuticals and automobile industries. In addition I also ran a successful online jewellery business. At the start of running this business it revealed to me how difficult it was to capture perfect photographs to promote my products on my website and other outlets such as Ebay.

Back then photography, for me, was an uncharted territory and taking my own photographs _DSC0029gave me a great opportunity to tread into the unknown. This was the start of my journey into photography and has led me into the exciting world of videography. It took many hours of hard work and dedication to teach myself photography and I am pleased to say I enjoy it immensely and now click excellent photos and make professional recordings!

It is now widely accepted that social media has changed the dynamics of businesses. I know, from experience, how important it is that all businesses embrace and incorporate this ever changing marketing option.

Here at Sophia Hubs we are working all the time to incorporate business technology. Not only for the organisation but to share with all our users so that we can all benefit in some way.

Sophia Hubs decided to have a greatly improved presence on social media. The advantages looked at were that there would be easier and effective promotion and be able to interact with the wider audience. To get the most out of social media Sophia Hubs decided to start with infomercial videos to help build awareness and get the word out there.

With my marketing and professional camera skills, and the necessary equipment, I knew that I duck_ muhammadcould offer a professional job and so it was agreed that I would undertake the assignment.

I would like to share with you my journey; the highs and the lows in the hope you can take something from this to help you and your business.

I had to invest in a few expensive types of equipment so that I could do the best possible job. Knowing that what I produced would not only be promotional for Sophia Hubs but would reflect my values and the importance of my achieving the best video quality. It is always difficult at the start when money has to be spent but looking back I know that it was well worth it and a good decision.

I knew, from the start that there could be some unknown problems which made me nervous. I also knew that I was convinced that I could overcome anything at all that surfaced. Yes, they did surface but since I was mentally prepared and being a part of Sophia Hubs team I felt supported to resolve them.

Our first attempt to make the video went horribly wrong as the recording was carried out at St. John’s church on a day when a few annoyed car drivers outside were honking at each other at the end of school time and the sounds could be heard on the recording. One of the team members kindly offered to shift the recording to her place. Unfortunately it was technically not possible to take all the studio there and leave it set for a week so I had to think of an alternative.

In the end I had to turn my living room into a studio. This did cause some problems at home due to lack of space but I can happily say that the joy of producing an infomercial far outweighed the inconvenience. Having found a good workplace I was now well on the way to producing the film.

I had to face another challenge early on when I sought to include photographs of small businesses in the videos; this was more difficult than I thought it would be. Many businesses were not comfortable with the idea of their premises being used for someone else’s promotion. A few agreed but later changed their mind leaving me back to square one. I did not give up and kept on contacting businesses using one approach; that somebody would let me take the photographs. Determination and perseverance paid off at the end and as you can see in the video I got great photographs.

Whilst I had the camera work in place my next requirement was the right voice for the video; something that was not in the initial plan. I wasn’t sure how to find one at such short notice! marshmallow cup muhammadHere social media played its role. A simple request was put on the social media and Janet Barrett offered her services. This proves how powerful social media is and therefore should not be taken frivolously.

Content was another necessary requirement for the voice-over and this is where Jonathan Evens stepped in. As you can hear on the recording he wrote a lovely and precise script that was complimented by Janet’s voice. I wanted to have one signature tune for all Sophia Hubs videos and for this I had spend many hours online with Taha Khan, who is overseas, to develop a perfect piece of composition. I was not put off by coordinating overseas and rose to the challenge to go that extra mile to get the best quality.

Social media should be the part of overall marketing strategy if you want your business to grow and never feel shy to reach out to others and also, if needed, contact professionals for support.

Being a marketing person what I rediscovered while making these web-viral videos was:

  1. Never give up and always believe in yourself.
  2. Just focus on what you are good at and outsource the rest to the experts.
  3. Don’t try to learn every subject unless you are a super human.
  4. Anything you learn will help you, if not today, may be in a different context at some point later.
  5. There is always an alternative route available but if not then design one.

I hope you can take something from my journey and achieve your own success.

Muhammad Nasir. Email: M: 07864 884 431

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