How to cast your talent

How to cast your talent

How To Cast Your Talent - Ep 17

Moonshine Moonshot

How to cast your talent for your new video project.

It sounds pretty simple, pick the person who’s going to best represent your brand or tell your message to your audience.

But if you use actors, what if they don’t sound authentic?  If you use an expert, what if they talk in a way that’s hard to understand? Should you cast a real person? What if they fudge their lines?  (Disclaimer: I’m not suggesting actors aren’t real).

There’s actually quite a bit to think about.  So we’ve put together this episode of the Moonshine Moonshot series on How to cast your talent.  It will help you with some of the key considerations.

Our goal is to WOW you with great tips that help you make great content. The world needs more great content. There’s no shortage of boring videos so avoid the pitfalls by learning how to make engaging videos that make an impact by following this series.

Let us know if you have any questions and please leave us comments.

You can find us on all the usual social media (links top right) or leave a comment here or on YouTube

And all you podcast lovers- please subscribe and leave us a review. It really does help us to produce more shows.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Sue & Mike

Learn more about Sue and Mike here

Are you wondering how video could work to advance your mission?

No problem, just take us up on our offer for a free consultation to discuss your concerns or ideas. We love to talk about ‘video’.

Call us or send an email.  Just click your choice of a button to the right.

Video Content Marketing:  10 Tips on how to promote your video – you don’t have to be an expert!

Video Content Marketing: 10 Tips on how to promote your video – you don’t have to be an expert!

Don’t believe the hype!

Your current experience with video content marketing is telling you this.  But you keep hearing things like-

If your not using video in your content marketing then you’re missing out on important online marketing opportunities. 

Is this really true for video content marketing or is it just hype?

Videos on landing pages increase conversions by 86%. (source)

51.9% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI. (source)

74% of all internet traffic in 2017 will be video. (source)

These stats certainly back video content marketing.

Moonshine Agency Blog Video Marketing Content Sue Collins

When you consider that visual data is processed 60,000 faster by the brain than text, it’s not hard to understand why.

However, just having a video on your site isn’t going to convert unless your site is already getting loads of traffic through your other marketing activities. 

Build it and they will come

Nope, not likely.

There is just too much competition online for your audience to find you organically.  You need to make it easy for them to find you.

If you’ve already invested the time and money into creating a fantastic video (or two) and they’re on your website but there are next to no views, you’re probably feeling pretty frustrated. That means 0 return on investment and all the stats on how great video is can not change that. 

Do not despair, your video is not a marketing lemon. 

You may not have a marketing team or content marketing specialist to call on but there are plenty of simple things you can do to get your video out in the online world. 

If you want your video to start bringing in the bacon, then here are a few ideas to get you started.

You Tube

Have you posted your video on You Tube? It is the second largest  search engine on the internet with 1.6 billion searches per month. With a little bit of work you can get this working for you and your video listing better.

Tip 1- Make sure your video title contains your key search word/s. In the first few lines of text under your video, make sure your key search words are in the copy.  Try to use these key words a few more times in the text. 

Why? Because Google and You Tube can’t watch or listen to your video (yet) so the better the text around your video the better they will understand your video’s topic.  The clearer the topic the better it will rank in search.

Tip 2.  Do you have the same call to action in your video description text as you have on your video. For example- ‘Visit for more information.’  This link should be in the first line of description text.  This reinforces the message for anyone who reads the copy but it also adds a nice source for links which is great for helping your website rank for organic terms.

Tip 3. Use a Custom Thumbnail. You can do this by either choosing a frame when you upload the video from the video manager tab in You Tube or better yet, by uploading a Custom Thumbnail that you have created- ideally with text such as your videos title.  According to WISTIA simply adding a Custom Thumbnail could up your play rate by 10%.  Tip 5: you need to verify your YouTube Channel in the settings to activate the Custom Thumbnail feature.

Tip 6.  Add a hyperlink to your video itself using the Annotations tool in the Video Manager.

Social Media

Putting your video out on social media is a must.  Visual content is more than 40X more likely to get shared on social media than other types of content (Source). The more ways you put it into the online world the more chances you have of reaching your audience.

However, social media is like a bottomless pit and can easily suck hours of your time with very little return.  In my opinion, social media is something you’ll need to explore and play around with to find the right fit.  Are your customers on Facebook and Instagram?  Are they on Linked In, Pinterest, Snapchat or Twitter?  These platforms are all great but there is no way anyone has time to be consistent on all of them.  Even if its their full time job.

Moonshine Agency Blog Video Content Marketing Sue Collins Sundial

Tip 6.  Pick your platform.  If you think the majority of your customers are on a particular platform then this is where you should spend your social media time allocation, or at least 80% of it.  Then have a second and/or third platform and dedicate the last 20% of your time to servicing this audience. 

If you find after a few months you’re not getting any traction on your chosen platform, then look at one of the others and explore that.  For example, if you’ve seeing minimal results on Facebook then your customers are probably not there.  Try Linked In or Pinterest?  Personally, I’d do some research, ask your customers what platforms they use.  Check out your competitor pages and see where they are performing well. 

Tip 7.  Always remember, if you really want to engage your audience/ customers on social media then you need to be sharing useful content, not just random comments and a peppering of likes.  If you want your audience to engage, then you need to give them useful information that they value.  You don’t have to create all the content, share useful relevant articles, images and quotes that relate to your customers.

Video on Facebook: You can upload video directly, boost posts for relatively low cost and this allows you to target a very defined audience.  It’s good strategy for those who are social media time poor.

Tit bit- As at Q3 2015 Facebook video viewership sees 8 billion average daily video views from 500 million users- and thats up from just 4 billion video views per day in April 2015. (Source)

Moonshine Agency Blog Sue Collins Video Content Marketing Cows

Linked In.  You can upload video to your profile on Linked In.  You can also publish blogs.  If you’ve gone to the effort to create a video then why not write a blog about the same topic as your video content and then embed the video into the blog.  It  doesn’t have to be a lengthy blog, just a relevant piece of content that relates to your video.

Tip 8. Linked In blogs tend to do well for sharing and when you write a blog it alerts your contacts and promotes your blog to them. A useful, relevant blog also has the added benefit of positioning you as an expert.

Google + Add your video to your Google+ company page.  Ask your customers to write you a review.  These reviews can also be added to your company website and other social media platforms. 

Tip 9: Consider asking your really happy customers to film a video testimonial.  It does not have to be long or fancy.  Why- Customer testimonials and case studies are considered the most effective content marketing tactics, identified by 89% and 88%, respectively, of B2B marketers. (Source 2013 B2B Content Marketing Trends Report).

Tip 10: Put your videos on your website.  I know it’s hard to believe, but we hear many stories of businesses that commission videos then forget to upload them to their websites!  This should be a quick and simple process and will improve the visibility of your website dramatically.

I hope you found this helpful, if you’d like to know more please get in touch. I could riff about this until the cows come home!

If you’ve had some good experiences with promoting your own video- please share, it’s really useful for all of us to know what can work.

Did you like this blog- please subscribe to receive the Activating Audiences monthly newsletter which also has bonus special offers exclusive to our subscribers and new subscriber will receive a copy of 10 Easy Ways to Get More Out Of Your Video.PDF straight to your inbox.

Video killed the radio star and I predict that video on demand will kill broadcast television

Please ponder this thought while you rock out to a bit of ‘The Bungles’.

Why Videos are Good for Business – Top 5 Reasons

Why Videos are Good for Business – Top 5 Reasons

Business videos get a lot of hype from the converted, but do they really live up to their reputation?

Is video the king of content?

To answer this question, we need to compare the online communications options we have: written word, still images (photography), graphic design (infographics), audio (podcasts) and moving pictures (video).  

You may be thinking, “What about websites, apps and social media?”  I’ve excluded these platforms as they are the hubs for communication content, not content itself.

From an entertainment perspective, we all know that moving pictures – film, television and video – are streets ahead of all other mediums in terms of their popularity.  But where the communications revolution is taking place today, is that businesses of all sizes are now accessing the power of moving pictures.  This area – traditionally dominated by Hollywood, the television and advertising industries – is now accessible to us all.

So, here are my Top 5 reasons why videos are good for business.

1.  Our brains are visual

Going right back to basics we need to consider how the brain is wired.  

From our very first breath, when we open our eyes as newborns, our brain interprets the world visually.

The ability to hear and speak, comes next – this capacity is written into our genetic makeup – but it takes several years to fully develop.

Then comes reading – this is a learned skill – it doesn’t come naturally.  In fact, the evidence shows us it is a very under-developed skill.  Just 100 words make up around 50% of everything we read. 

And that’s why it’s said ‘a picture is worth a thousands words’, because the brain is designed to ‘read’ images, not the written word.

2.  Stories are how we connect

Audio and visual images – both still and moving – trump the written word because of how we’re built.  

So the question is, “What is the most powerful way to harness sight and sound?”

History provides the answer – stories.

Humans have been using stories to connect with one another and make sense of the world for millennia.  Indigenous Australian cave paintings reflecting Dreamtime stories stretch back as far as 40,000 years.

When we think about business today, there is also a resonance – behind every great business is a great story.

3.  Structured stories are more memorable

The Greek philosopher Aristotle put forth the idea that “A whole is what has a beginning and middle and end”.  Shakespeare took this notion and ran with it, proving beyond any doubt that well-structured stories perform best for audiences.

His work provided the foundations of what we know know as the dramatic structure or dramatic arc – exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution.

In my film and video production work, I see the same fundamental principles inform whether a video succeeds in holding an audience’s attention, and fails in its absence.

Modern-day humans are visual animals with a highly sophisticated understanding of story, so failing to structure a story to meet their expectations is fraught – do so at your own peril!

4.  Videos are the most engaging way of telling stories

Life Asked Death, "Why do people love you and hate me?" Death replied, "because you are a beautiful lie and I'm a painful truth".

We’ve narrowed the field down to audio and visual communications as being the best way to tell stories.

I feel the case for video is based on pure arithmetic.  It simply engages one extra sense than audio alone, adding vision is the difference.

Because our brains are so highly tuned to capture and process visual information, this gives video the edge.

That visual processing power can be harnessed to deliver massive amounts of information in a much shorter time. Visuals also have the benefit of being more memorable.

So let’s put this theory to the test…

Is it easier to understand and interpret an instruction on how to use a function on your computer by listening to a podcast or watching a short instructional video?


For most of us, the answer is video – because we can see what’s happening as well as hearing what we need to do.  And we remember the key image that relates to that learning more than the narration that accompanies it.

We also see this reflected in consumer behaviour research – we’re collectively reading and listening less, and watching much, much more.

The opportunities afforded to businesses to take advantage of this trend are immense.  The quality and quantity of original video content created for YouTube (the world’s second largest search engine), Facebook (the world largest social media network) and video-on-demand (the future of television) attests to this.

5.  Great stories move audiences to action

However, there is a catch…

I believe there is a big difference between passive and active consumption of moving images.

If we plant ourselves on the couch and let the images wash over us without moving us at all, we haven’t changed.

This is the television culture we grew up with… but the world is changing.

In fact, when we think about television, the bits that are most effective at moving us to action are actually the ads – they say ‘buy this’, ‘do that’, ‘drink up’, ‘bet down’ – and many of us respond.

Now the Internet – with its increasingly popular video services made or curated by us, and social media connecting us all – changes the equation yet again. 

Passive consumption of content is no longer the norm – we want to click, tweet, post, multi-screen and engage with the content we’re presented with.  As audience members, we expect to be activated, and failure to do so often leads to us disengage.

All of us are now empowered to inform, entertain, advertise and move audiences to action.

And from a business perspective, the opportunity is to be be at the leading edge of this communications revolution.

To learn more about how Stories Shape Our World please sign-up to our monthly newsletter Activating Audiences or visit 

Mike Hill on location in Myanmar with Yau Weng Wai for Life Asked Death, a documentary film about developing palliative acre in asia for the Asia Pacific Hospice Network
Behind every great business is a great story!

Behind every great business is a great story!

Are you tapped into a business asset that has enormous potential to connect and resonate with your customers, is completely authentic and can be use across all your marketing? The great news is…. it already belongs to you


Do you want your customers to see you as a shooting star, a diamond in the rough or the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow!

If you’re in just about any business from Lawyer to Mortgage Broker, Personal Trainer to Real Estate Agent generally people who are seeking your services have a pretty good idea of what you do.  For a new customer to engage you, you need word of mouth, a good referral or to stand out from the crowd. 

So how do you do that simply and effectively?

Regardless of your marketing budget, where you invest your money is important.  Your marketing needs to provide results, it needs to cut through and convert your potential customers into your new customers, and your existing customers into repeat customers. 

Bigger brands with bigger budgets tend to yell the loudest, take up repetitive ad space and hammer people with a generic message because they’re too big to offer the all-important personal touch.  And that’s where the opportunity is to make your message different and memorable. 


“Different is better than better!”


World class branding expert Sally Hogshead explains in her book ‘Fascinate’.  When you’re marketing your brand it’s tough to be better than others but far easier to be different.  Being the best of the best takes resources ‘money’ and energy ‘time’, so if you can stand out from the crowd by having a point of difference then that is better than being better. Please remember we’re talking about marketing here – not suggesting you compromise the quality of your product or service.

Now the question is how do you make your brand different?  The good news is that it already is.  The story behind you and your business is the greatest differentiator that you have. You can make it your greatest marketing asset.  Because the story of your business is unique it will naturally be authentic to who you are and what your business is about.


As leadership expert Simon Sinek says- “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it”.  When people learn about your story, they are learning about why you do what you do.  Let me drill down on this a bit further.  A quick Google search on any type of business will usually bring up many listings specific to a local area. 


What is it about your business that can set you apart from the crowd- answer: YOU!  Your passion, your motivation, your why – in short YOUR STORY.  What you do and why you do it will always be different to the next guys, and that’s what your potential customers want to know about.  And it’s really critically that you include YOU in YOUR STORY.

Here’s an example of how stories shape your business.  You’ve been putting money into various savings plans your whole career, from superannuation to purchasing your own home. You now have children and are keen to make the most out of your money so you can send the kids to University and to set you up for retirement.  You decide you need to speak with a Financial Advisor to get some expert advice. 

You do a quick search on Google and a few Financial Advisors come up in your area. On further research you learn that one has a solid background in finance, good credentials and has worked with major banks, their website looks polished and has some good sounding testimonials but there’s no genuine sense of the person or people behind the business. 

The next one you click on has similar credentials and good testimonials, however front and center, they also talk about their passion for helping their customers make good investments, that they get a thrill out of watching both the stock market and property markets and have a genuine belief that people should be able to access all the information needed to make strong decisions about their financial investments and secure their future. There website is straightforward and functional but they have published a range or professional videos and photographs that clearly communicate their story, their why.

Which one would you make a time to meet with?


What is your why?  What value can you bring that your competitors aren’t and how do you position this your value in your business through marketing?


If you’re a Chiropractor, you may want your patients to see you as a shooting star, one that lights up their day for a brief moment (and alleviates that crick in their neck) and then is gone into the night sky, only to return when they need you at their next appointment. 

Your story can help them understand your genuine drive to improve people’s health.

If you’re a Mortgage Broker you need a customers trust that you can deliver the best solution for them, that you have the passion and negotiation skills to find them the best deal, you become the diamond in the rough. 

The one they feel grateful to have discovered among the other Mortgage Brokers out there.

Their decision to pick you was on learning that you run a family business started by your father and you value the relationships you have with your clients. This aligns with their values.

 Or if you’re a Real Estate Agent, buying or selling, your clients are looking for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.  They want to be sure you’ll ride the rainbow journey with them and not turn out to be the Leprechaun clutching the pot of gold at the end. 

Your story can give them confidence in that!

I’m sure you get the idea. Once you’re clear on your point of difference, the next step is to figure out how to tell your potential customers about it.   Have you defined your perfect customers?  They are your primary audience and the ones your story needs to align with.  The values they hold need to come through clearly in your story as this is what will set you apart from the rest.

 I hope this has helped you clarify the unique point of difference your story is for your marketing and how you can leverage it to engage your ideal customers. 

 Your next step is working out your budget and how you want to deliver that message.  Whether you want to produce a video, invest in professional photography, write a blog, use social media and direct marketing or engage a graphic designer to create an ad.  All of these work and work well together. 


The reality is, no matter what you decide it will take some time and resources. 


Because most of us are now reading less and watching more, videos are fantastic as you can communicate a lot of information in a short amount of time, people can get a sense of you immediately and you can begin building trust right away.  However, your potential audience still needs to see it to be converted.

 Likewise, blogs are great as they can position you as an expert and you can put them on your website, e-newsletter, send tweets and Facebook posts to promote it.  You could also use this same content to create a video that will do the same. However, your potential audience still needs to see it to be converted.

 Online ad’s and print advertising can also work well but can be costly depending on where you run the ad’s so the success will come down to budget.

 You’ve probably noticed by now that I love telling stories and as I specialize in video, I naturally recommend it.  I know how powerful it is in quickly delivering a message.  Often you only have seconds to deliver your message before your potential customer has clicked away so memorability, clarity and speed are key.

 If you’re keen to learn more about how you could craft your story to attract more customers and also market it effectively to get the best return on the investment, please subscribe to our Activating Audiences newsletter where we share loads of information and tips on digital communications, leave me a comment below or get in touch.

Take Heart – Why we made this movie

Take Heart – Why we made this movie

Making films is a team sport and Take Heart is no exception.

The impetus for the project came from Dr Lyn Roberts AO while she was the leading the National Heart Foundation of Australia. 

Lyn was familiar with one of our previous productions LIFE Before Death and spoke to my partner Sue Collins and I about the need for a global advocacy project around Rheumatic Heart Disease.

My response was something along the lines of: “Whaaaaa? Robotic Heart Disease?? Whatchoo talkin about Lyn?”

Now, over 3 years down the track, Rheumatic Heart Disease, or RHD, is firmly implanted in my vocabulary.

And this is really why we’re making this project. We feel everybody in Australia and New Zealand needs to know what Rheumatic Heart Disease is.

Perhaps one reason why RHD is so little-known in this part of the world is because it’s so shameful.

To think that Australia and New Zealand, countries ranked 2nd and 7th on the United Nation’s Human Development Index, still have a disease like this is a national disgrace.

Let me explain why…

Rheumatic Heart Disease is completely preventable. Yet, tragically, Australia and New Zealand’s first people have amongst the highest rates of this disease in the world.

In the Take Heart feature film, one of the stars of the show, Dr Bo Remenyi, observes that “if we had a similar outbreak of measles or meningitis, or even Ebola around the world, that would make the headlines and the news, whilst this is not something that the general public is aware.”

Here’s why we all need to know about RHD…

Rheumatic Heart Disease starts as a common sore throat and possibly infected skin sores in children typically aged between 5 and 15.

If children with a sore throat (“Strep Throat”) or infected skin sores as well as a fever or sore joints are not promptly treated with a course of antibiotics, they’re at risk of developing rheumatic fever.

To cut a long and rather complicated story short, rheumatic fever is an autoimmune reaction to Strep in the child’s body that, in some children, can lead to serious heart damage.

When this damage persists and becomes permanent it’s called Rheumatic Heart Disease, which is a life-long condition that all-too-often leads to open heart surgery, permanent disability, stroke, heart failure and premature death.

So otherwise healthy kids, through no fault of their own, can get this disease because it hasn’t been diagnosed and treated appropriately.

And one important reason it hasn’t been dealt with appropriately is because understanding and awareness of this disease amongst at-risk communities and their health services is not as high as it should be.

The reality of this travesty came into sharp focus for us as filmmakers while we were capturing the stories of young people living with the disease in Australia and New Zealand.

Given that an estimated 2% of Indigenous Australians and New Zealanders living in the ‘top end’ have RHD, it should come as no surprise that virtually every Indigenous person you talk to about the disease personally knows someone whose life has been diminished by it.

But it did come as a surprise to me – a very unpleasant surprise that challenged the way I thought about myself as an Australian.

Two of the film’s stars, Carlisa and Liddywoo, have had 7 open-heart surgeries between them before their 15th birthdays. This means years of inactivity, months in hospital and interstate surgeries running a health system tab totaling millions of dollars. Worse still, Carlisa has lost 4 members of her immediate family to the disease, including her mother…


Beyond our shores Rheumatic Heart Disease is described as a “disease of poverty”. While it was once widespread in all parts of Australia up to 70 years ago, it now exists almost exclusively in Indigenous communities.

What does that tell us about Australia?

Rheumatic Heart Disease is linked to overcrowding and poor housing conditions (Strep is highly contagious and passes between children rapidly who sleep in close quarters). This, combined with a lack of access to effective health and education services, is at the root of the problem.

As we investigated the situation through the lenses of our cameras, we were shocked at the level of disadvantage we found. The societal failing we witnessed was exacerbated by the genuine relationships we were forging with the film’s participants and their communities.

These are good people, good kids, playing their hand in life as best they can and being brutally struck down by a disease that is 100% preventable.

No longer.

This story needs to be told, and told in a way that makes a difference to the lives of Indigenous children in Australia, New Zealand and beyond.

We all need to know what Rheumatic Heart Disease is so that we can prioritize its eradication and condemn it to the history books once and for all.

And by doing this relatively small thing we will also go some way to closing the gap on Indigenous disadvantage.

These kids and their communities need our help to amplify their stories as broadly possible so that decision makers hear this message loud and clear:

No child should suffer from preventable RHD in our country.

Sign up to the Take Heart newsletter to stay tuned and take control today.

Heartfelt thanks to the participants, cast, crew and sponsors of this important project. “Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.”

Sign Up For The

5 Essential DOs & DON'Ts Before You Roll Camera

Action Guide

 This guide provides 10 key insights & actions to help you ensure your next shoot runs like clockwork and avoids common fatal flaws.

Simply click the YES button below.


Check your inbox for your goodies.

Pin It on Pinterest