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Women Branching Out: Genna McWhinnie

I’m thrilled to have Genna McWhinnie with us today to chat about her video production company McTofu Media Services.

I met Genna virtually over a year ago and fell in love with her red lipstick and sassy self-expressive ways. She always makes me laugh out loud with just a Tweet. I’m sure you’ll love her wicked humor, too!

Genna’s new ebook “Shine on Screen: Your Guide to Producing Great Video On Your Own” is chock full of great info to help you get started making videos for your online business.

Here’s Genna…

Tell us about McTofu Media Services what do you do, who do you love to serve and where are you located.

McTofu Media is a video consultation and production company based in sunny London, UK. It evolved out of my life coaching business, started in Sep 2010. Although I loved coaching, it didn’t seem specific enough to both my talents and the needs of my clients. But I had a light bulb moment in June last year when I realised I could combine the coaching element with my wealth of experience in TV and video production.

That and the fact that video is the perfect medium for Self Expression, which is at the core of everything I do and want to encourage in women entrepreneurs.

I provide video consultations, video critiques, bespoke motion graphics and video editing. My clients are predominantly women entrepreneurs in the service industry.

Oh and McTofu is my nickname, what with being Scottish and Vegan 🙂 And I thought it would be a really cool name for my biz!

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I love that you are completely Genna 24/7 (jokes, vaginas, red lipstick, potty mouth) what advice do you have for women just starting out in their online businesses who are hesitant to put their “real” selves out for everyone to see?

Ha! Yes, the potty mouth, you got me 🙂 Being yourself is the one true constant. It’s easy, effortless and you’ll feel a whole lot comfortable being you and being authentic in your business.

I’d say the best way to do this is to be really clear and upfront from the get go as to who you are, what you stand for and what it is people can expect from you. Be explicit about this on your About page, your Twitter Bio, create a free manifesto download if you wish and make sure that everything you write or create is consistent with who you are. If it is the ‘real’ you, then it won’t be hard work and we like things that are not ‘hard work’

I know some business women want to keep a strict delineation from their ‘true’ selves and their ‘business’ selves but DO. NOT. DO. THIS. It’s boring. It’s duplicitous. And it could do more damage than you think. For serious.

AND by doing so you miss the opportunity to REALLY connect with your clients, customers and audience.

Be you. It’s delicious, it’s easy and it will help weed out the peeps that are NOT for you.

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You have a Fine Art degree and all your videos are very creative and fun. What other ways do you express yourself creatively?


Writing, photography, drawing vaginas [art portfolio here].
I also love writing posts for my website as much as I enjoy the video production process. Does banter on twitter count? If so, I LOVE that. As I’m a natural chatterbox, my creativity tends to always come through in my conversations and connection with other people. Instagram is another small addiction when I’m not on Twitter!

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When did you first discover the power of video?

Well, I’ve been in television broadcasting for 11 years, am an avid film fan and have always been fascinated by the moving image, so I guess you could say all my life. I remember watching films like the Wizard of Oz when I was a kid and being completely transfixed, wanting to be on screen myself. The ability to actually record and produce my own stuff came a little later, probably about 13yrs ago now when I did a TV production course at college [after my Art degree]. And as I’m a bit of a show off, being on screen is my drug of choice…

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For women entrepreneurs who are just getting started creating their own videos there are so many questions. Before they go out and start hiring videographers or buying software and cameras, what’s the first question they should ask themselves?

The first question should always be: do I have the time to dedicate to this? Recording and editing can be very time consuming and so women entrepreneurs should really ask ‘If I dedicate this time, what can I expect to get back in return?’ This means really looking at what you will be providing in each video, what do you want your audience to take away? How will it benefit them?

If you know that a video will be a far better way of communicating some learning or a concept with your audience, then go for it. Beware of doing video for video’s sake and be realistic, if it’s going to take too much time, look to hiring a videographer or even just a freelance camera operator or video editor. Having the help in just one part of the process can make all the difference.

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Pricing for shooting, editing, processing videos, etc. range widely. What’s your advice for women on how to evaluate and compare the work and offerings of different video consultants for where they are in their video journey?


I did a comprehensive blog post about this, you can go and have a read here.
My advice would be to not only to get quotes on a videographer, that will do the shoot and edit for you but to also look into someone who could either just do the shoot or the edit for you. My advice if looking for either of these freelancers, is to look local, you’ll probably get far better rates and you don’t have to worry about trying to upload large video files to someone half-way around the world.

I also have a very handy little guide called “SHINE on SCREEN: Your guide to creating great video on your own” which covers all the questions and tutorials you should need to produce video yourself.

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What are your favorite video projects to do?

Doing silly, comedy videos of my own. And working with women who are brimming with excitement about their business and who bring that passion to the screen.

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What’s next for you and your business?


I’m looking to how I can build on my recent ebook guide, evolving that into a web based workshop for a small group of women [between 6-10 at a time]
and ultimately doing large events that take women entrepreneurs through the training, support and inspiration they need to leverage video & their Self Expression in their businesses. I’m hoping to launch the first SHINE on SCREEN – Web Workshop in August, look out for it!

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You’ve recently become an aunt to little Miss Kitten McTofu, I know you’ll be a big supporting of her throughout her life. Who in your personal life is/are your biggest supporter(s) and what does this support allow you to do?

Aaaaw Kitten McTofu, yes, she is an absolute little cutie [real name Leah, Kitten is just my nickname for her]. Love her. I’d say that my Mum, Mama McTofu, has been my biggest and most consistent supporter. I know that’s kinda part of the remit but she really has been the one woman who has most inspired me to be the strongest, most fulfilled, most self expressed woman I can be. Love her for that. Also I have an insanely supportive network of close friends and online friends. Can’t really ask for more.

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What did 7 year old Genna say she wanted to be when she grew up?

A stripper. Seriously!! My Mum let me watch the film ‘Gypsy’ about the gorgeous burlesque star Gypsy Rose Lee, when I was that age and I WANTED to be her so bad. So, yes, not the perspex behooved, sequined g-string gal writhing around a greased pole but rather the corset & feathered glamour of the Burlesque star. I guess it’s still stripping either way you look at it but I’m pleased to say [and those that possess a pair of eyes are too] that this figure + sequins + removing of clothing aint something that is gonna happen soon. I’ll stick to remaining fully clothed and being silly on camera. The world will be a better place for it 🙂

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Genna (or McTofu, as her pals say) believes video is the perfect platform for self expression and THE best tool for engaging your viewers, clients and customers. She makes funny, entertaining and informative video content for her own business and is a consultant and producer for small business owners who need video production, motion graphics and/or editing skills. She has 10 years experience in Post Production for television broadcasting, making programs for broadcasters across the world including the biggest and most well known British Broadcaster. You can find Genna on her website, Twitter: @gennamcwhinnie or @McTofuMedia, and Facebook: Genna McWhinnie.

If you love this interview with Genna, share it, like it, pass it on! And leave Genna a comment below!

21 Responses to Women Branching Out: Genna McWhinnie

  1. nasrine April 9, 2012 at 12:44 pm #

    AH! I am loving this write up! I am JUST learning more and more about employing video and it’s been a challenge to learn all about lighting, the technology, editing and all the other details, WOW who knew. I too am sporting red lipstick when I do my lil videos and I noticed that I am just starting to find my voice in this fairly new medium for myself. I am loving learning from McTofu and I am headed over to her site now to learn more about her. I love everything you write Christie, your site and vibe are always so engaging!

    • christie April 10, 2012 at 5:54 pm #

      Thank you Nasrine … I remember we talked about video in one of our first conversations and all the implications of a world-wide audience. Will love to see you who you shine in this medium, too!

  2. Genna April 9, 2012 at 2:13 pm #

    Hey Nasrine, always great to meet a fellow red lipstick wearer (if I were a superhero, it would be my special power!!!) also glad to hear you are giving video a go, it really can be so much fun and very rewarding too. Just take it a step at a time, you’ll get better with each video you make and will soon be rockin it!

    And if for any reason you get stuck, get in touch! Always happy to help

    Genna aka McTofu xxx

  3. Yvette April 9, 2012 at 8:48 pm #

    What a great interview thanks Christie for introducing us to Genna. I haven’t fully embrace video yet, but I know its power. Your tips were amazing thank you, will be checking out your freebies.

    • Genna April 10, 2012 at 4:09 am #

      You are very welcome Yvette! If you are not ready to buy my SHINE on SCREEN guide, you can always pop over to McTofu Media on YouTube, where I have a good few video tutorials to get you started and/or keep visiting my site, I fairly regularly post help and videos there too.

      Good luck and once you do embrace video, you’ll love it for sure!

      Genna xx

    • christie April 10, 2012 at 5:52 pm #

      Yvette – you’re welcome! I remember seeing one of your videos, your humor really shines! Looking forward to more when the time is right!

  4. Sabra April 9, 2012 at 9:29 pm #

    I totally agree! Video is great for connecting with your audience and with potential new clients. I’ll be using it on my new and improved website (to come out soon) so that my clients get a “taste” of who I am before they even meet with me in person. I hired a professional videographer to create mine. Would be great to learn how to make on the spot videos as ideas come up. Interesting interview.

    • Genna April 10, 2012 at 4:13 am #

      I totally get that hiring a videographer is the right choice for many, it can take a whole lot of the headaches out of video creation for you and you should get a lovely, professional looking video out of it. But don’t be scared to do off the cuff videos yourself, sometimes these can seem a bit more ‘real’ a little less ‘staged’ and can connect better with your audience. But only do them if you feel comfortable, confident and relaxed – if you prefer the videographer, then you can stick with that too.

      Hope you have fun with it Sabra!
      Gxx

    • christie April 10, 2012 at 5:51 pm #

      Sabra – congrats on your soon-to-launch new site & on your videos, can’t wait to see!

  5. Felicity Fields April 10, 2012 at 5:43 pm #

    Wow! I’ve been putting off doing video for a few weeks now, even though I need one on my website. Gotta say, I’m super inspired to just start doing it after reading Genna’s post. She makes it sound like so much fun!

    • christie April 10, 2012 at 5:50 pm #

      Felicity – Yes, Genna does make video fun! Good luck with your video!

    • Genna April 12, 2012 at 4:24 am #

      Video making shoudl ALWAYS be fun in my opinion! Good luck with your video making Felicity! Feel free to ping me an email or tweet if you get stuck!

  6. Laurie Erdman April 11, 2012 at 9:04 am #

    WOw, I so needed this post. I had a total bungle with my videos. Shot 4 of them and Lost the file. Grr. It feels very overwhelming. But now I see, it was a sign to read this first, and start from scratch with an even better idea to spread my message. I’m feeling better already.

    • christie April 11, 2012 at 9:16 am #

      That’s great Laurie! Would love to see a video about your fire walking experience!

    • Genna April 12, 2012 at 4:47 am #

      Just take it a step at a time Laurie and be ok with the process. Video is pretty much the same as everything, if you complete small steps at a time you can prevent it from becoming overwhelming and ultimately give up.

      If you need any help at all, with any stage of the process, please do get in touch.

      And like Christie, I too would love to see a video of your fire walking!!!

  7. Jennifer Peek April 11, 2012 at 2:51 pm #

    Love Genna – thanks for sharing her, Christie! I’ve gotten lost in her website, blogs and videos – in a good way. Her energy is contagious…if I can look like THAT on video, I might not cringe every week when I shoot mine 🙂

    It is great to see how she has been able to combine her love of coaching with her love and expertise of video production. That’s certainly something that we can all learn from – along with being yourself instead of some business persona.

    Jennifer Peek
    Find Your New Groove
    Left-Brained Strategy for Right-Brained Businesses

    • Genna April 12, 2012 at 4:50 am #

      Ah Jennifer, you flatter me so! *blushes*

      Thanks so much for you kind words, means a lot xx

  8. Anastasia Valentine April 11, 2012 at 5:04 pm #

    What an awesome woman! Jokes, vaginas, red lipstick, potty mouth – can you ask for anything more? I’m inspired, energized and motivated! Talented and artistic! Enjoyed this post immensely and shared whether people like vaginas or not 🙂 Awesome interview!

    AV

    • Genna April 12, 2012 at 4:53 am #

      Surely everyone likes vaginas? Certainly if you are in possession of one!! Tee hee

      So thrilled to have energized and motivated you Anastasia, so when are we gonna see your gorgeous face on video, huh?

  9. Rowan TwoSisters April 11, 2012 at 5:21 pm #

    Love a woman who is her most authentic self, sharing what she does. I bought her Ebook on Videos, boom!

    • Genna April 12, 2012 at 4:55 am #

      Thank you Rowan!!

      And double thanks for buying the Guide Book – do let me know if you get stuck anywhere, I’ll be happy to help.

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