Excellennial, Excel Tutorial Videos

A Praxis portfolio project from June 2018
 
In June 2018, I was working on my Praxis module two.  In this module, I had to select a project to work on based on a set of goals I put together, which were as follows:

What skills do you want to prove you have?:  Excel, writing, storytelling, verbal communication, and MailChimp*
What traits do you want to show you have?: Resourceful, organized, problem-solver, efficient (to the point), and detailed.

*MailChimp was new to me, but this is a skill I wanted to learn and wanted to show that I picked it up quickly.

Ultimately, I decided to work on a project that I first started thinking of in the early part of 2018. A youtube channel for Excel guides that I named Excellennial which stands for Excel Millennial!

The Project Goal

The idea I had at the beginning of this year was simply a youtube channel with Excel tutorials. By the time I started working on the project in June, I was focusing time on making them story-based Excel tutorials. This pivot in my project completely shaped the way that I handled presenting each video. It helped keep the videos interested and helped me explain how to use Excel more clearly.

Here were my goals at the beginning of this project:

  • Make 100% of my Excel tutorials “story-based” with a character slide at the beginning of each video.
  • Create and upload a total of 12 videos, with a stretch goal of creating and uploading a  total of 15 videos.
  • Keep all the videos under 15 minutes, with a stretch goal of keeping all the videos under 10 minutes.
  • Create a MailChimp drip campaign for 3 to 5 specific tutorial videos.
  • Overal Goal: Use my love of Excel to show others how valuable it is and the potential it has to help them.

I really do love Excel because that are so many solutions embedded in the program. You just have to find out how to manipulate your data in the application to find your solutions. I’ve been working with Excel for years and want to use Excellennial to continue training myself to see the potential situations and resolutions to more issues. I want to use my youtube videos to record my process of learning this to benefit others along the way!

 

30 Videos in 30 Days

Originally the idea was to record 12 videos with a stretch goal of 15 videos. While talking with a Praxis Advisor in a group meeting, he challenged me to 30 videos instead of 15. This was a crazy thought to me! After talking through it with the group a little more, I decided to push for posting 30 videos in 30 days.

Progress Updates

While working on this project, I also posted weekly updates noting my progress, any issues that arose, how I addressed them and more.

You can read each of those here:

 Praxis, Module 2 – Week 1

Praxis, Module 2 – Week 2

Praxis, Module 2 – Week 3

Praxis, Module 2 – Week 4

Part One – Creating the Videos

 

I started by using a four-step process to create the outline of a story-based video.

 

1.  I had to begin the process by coming up with a story and problem. I then put together the “Excel problem” and “goal/solution” on a slide in PowerPoint. Then I would find a stock photo for Pixabay.com and add that to the slide.

 

2. From here, I’d have to create an applicable Excel spreadsheet!  It would have taken me forever to create my own false data. Not so with Mockaroo.com, where I could generate mock data in seconds! That was a fantastic resource that I found for this project.

 

3. Once I had my problem PowerPoint slide and my Mockaroo datasheet, I walk through the steps of the problem and solution. In this step, I needed to find out two things: How well does this process flow? Do I need to make any adjustments or improvements to my data?

 

4. Make any changes to the data accordingly with Mockaroo.com and Excel according to step 3.

Part Two – Recording the Videos

 

The records may have been the hardest part initially as I had to find my voice and become more confident projecting my voice into the microphone. I started with the standard set up of my laptop microphone and a screen share app I found online. That worked fine enough but still didn’t sounds as high quality as I’d like and the screen share app didn’t have all the features that I wanted.

Two significant changes occurred concerning video and audio recording over the last four weeks:

First, I purchased a higher quality external microphone. I am still working out the best placement for my mic and how to use it. Even still, I can hear that my audio production is better than before.  Long term, I would still like to get a microphone that is better yet.

Second, I did some hunting for a proper screen sharing app that had everything I wanted. That took a while, but I finally found Movavi for my screen sharing, which also lets me have a mini webcam video on the screen too!

 

 

Part Three – Editing the Videos

 

I couldn’t believe how much time I spent editing the videos. I now have many hours of practice with iMovie, but I didn’t want to spend this much time on editing the videos. About two weeks in, I decided that my videos need to always be under 10 minutes. With a stretch goal of keeping them under 5 minutes. This would both save me time in the editing phase and keep users more engaged. 

 

Part One – Learning MailChimp

 

Going into this project, I knew very little about MailChimp. I knew how to link my WordPress “subscribe” widget to my MailChimp account, and that was it. I wanted to learn more about MailChimp because it is a useful marketing tool and could be used to make drop campaigns. The idea in my mind was to find a specific task or series of tasks in Excel that I could make videos for and build into a MailChimp.

 

Part Two – MailChimp Landing Page

Before I could make a campaign, I needed to create a way for users to sign up for the e-mails in the first place. I quickly learned how to make a landing page that told users what they would receive by providing me with their name and e-mail.

What would they be receiving? Five e-mails in a row, once per day, with a video guide explaining how to use the following functions.

LEN Function
DAYS Function
AVERAGE Function
MIN/MAX Function
VLOOKUP Function (Bonus e-mail/video!)

All of these videos were unlisted so this was exclusive content to those who signed up on the landing page.

 

Part Three – MailChimp Campaign

This was probably my favorite part. By week three, I had solidified what I would be sending out in the drip campaign and began making the e-mails to go with each video guide.

I added another e-mail to go out immediately after sign-up with a thank you video as well.

Here is a video overview of my MailChimp Campaign set-up.

What I Learned

 

What I thought was a reasonable goal and what was an attainable goal were very different. I had 15 videos by the end of week two an blew my original goal out of the water. That is a lesson that I plan to bring to the table in my challenges going forward.

On top of all of this, I did learn some Excel tips and tricks that I didn’t know before creating this channel!

 

 

 

Looking Ahead

 

Going forward, I plan to continue adding videos weekly and hope to work with viewers on some of their Excel problems as well.

Please message me at Info@LaceyLanzo.com if you have any specific Excel problems you’d like help with working them out!

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