My Chevy Tahoe is getting a little age on it. On the freeway not long ago smoke suddenly started pouring through the vents and I thought I was on fire. I pulled over, shut it down, and looked under the hood, but found nothing obvious.
Turns out there is an air conditioning/heating blower motor under the dash that can have a meltdown. When I got home I told the lovely lady of the house that I could fix it. “Are you sure?” she said, one eyebrow lifted. “YouTube is my friend,” I replied. The eyebrow did not lower. She remained unconvinced.
Fifteen minutes later, after watching several videos of horrible quality, I knew how to remove and replace the blower motor, including accessing a very hidden screw that would have made the task impossible to do without knowing about it beforehand. So I ordered a new motor and the next day it arrived on my doorstep (Amazon is amazing).
What a resource YouTube is. These days it has become one of our industry’s leading educational tools. If somebody calls up and says, “Hey, how do you install sheetrock to ICF?” I send a YouTube link. Every ICF manufacturer has full-blown detailed installation manuals and cut sheets and white papers etc. on this topic, but it’s just more effective to send a quick video that shows somebody doing the exact thing that needs doing.
That’s what led me to try to shoot content for ICF construction practices. I mistakenly thought I could shoot good quality ICF videos. Had the audacity to even start uploading and posting a bunch of ’em, none of which were very good. Bad sound, bad video, didn’t have the pertinent action centered, or better yet half-framed. I had many with overlapping audio and some with silly music in the background and so much shakiness everywhere that one viewer commented he got seasick trying to watch a piece on lath attachment and almost threw up.
But amazingly, every once in a while a video would have a hidden gem that was just like that hidden blower motor screw. And heartfelt thanks would come in from an ICF project from one part of the country or another. So I kept at it. And while I can’t be certain I have gotten better, I have learned a couple of interesting things that may help with sharing videos of your ICF experience.
- Assume you are the subject matter expert. Compared to someone who has never done ICF before, you certainly are. Shoot away.
- Assume what’s utterly mundane or trivial to you is exciting and profound to someone who has never seen it before. That screw going through the drywall into the ICF stud is worthy of a slo-mo closeup. Same with the electrical box being chased into the foam.
- Audio and video quality is overrated and may actually work against the credibility of the message. Forget about doing it perfectly, because that’s just holding back progress.
- Brand messaging is counterproductive. As soon as a viewer starts feeling like they’re watching a brand advertisement, the gem of ICF info in the video gets some tarnish on it. (Yes, I admit I am remarkably guilty of this. No need to send a letter to the editor.)
- If the project is already done, shoot a video of the completed job and describe what it is and why it was built with ICF. Let’s say, for example, that you were part of an ICF library project. Shoot it. Combined resources on ICF libraries across the country would be unique leverage to show off to prospective clients.
Regarding that last bullet . . . I found out there is a “share” button on every YouTube video. Click on that and a link pops up. You can create a document with ICF market segment list of these links. Say someone inquires on if there have ever been any ICF churches built. Click after click, church video after church video will pop up, with ICF featured. It is a powerful tool to establish credibility.
By the way, the blower motor got semi-installed, but I could not get it working (wiring messed up) and the Tahoe ended up at the shop. Although how-to vids are great, an expert is still an expert. The lovely lady of my house was right again. But I did order up the right motor, so there’s that. Couldn’t tell you what brand it was though.
I am eyeing TikTok next. Imagine . . . safety vests and hard hats up on a ICF tall wall scaffold, boom pump hose in hand and concrete flowing into the core, all moving to the beat, filling those walls, dancing to Van Halen’s “Jump.” If you take the advice of the lyrics, go ahead and jump into creating YouTube videos.
Randy Daniels is commercial business development advisor for the Sustainable Construction Products division of Airlite Plastics Co. in the Western US. Airlite Plastics is a family-owned company established in 1946, and is the parent company of Fox Blocks. Reach Randy at firstname.lastname@example.org.