Building your Brand & Video Blogging Tips

March 30, 2012 in Workshops and Tips

On March 29th, 2012 we were hosted by the wonderful team at My City Lives. The event took place at the Social Centre for Innovation and featured Travel Video blogger Mike Corey of Kick the Grind TV, Amira from My City Lives, and Brendan Howley from Flavors of Paris.


The theme of the evening was about building your brand and diving into video. Here’s what was covered:

Flavors of Paris:


  • Brendan Howley kicked off the evening with an in-depth presentation on the importance of creating a strong brand using Flavors of Paris as a case-study. Based in Stratford Ontario, they offer culinary walking tours into hidden neighbourhoods of Paris unearthing authentic taste and cultural experiences for participants.
  • Brendan stated that when building your brand, it’s important to consider the Emotional, Psychological, Physical and Intellectual expectations of clients.
  • Flavors of Paris listens to client feedback and uses social media such as Linkin, Twitter (@flavorsofParis) and Facebook to build community and help tell their story. Tips for success include regular postings (leaving 20 characters for RTs on Twitter), great headlines and seeking out key influencers in social media and the culinary scenes.
  • Flavors of Paris owners Lisa Rankin and Michael Lutzmann wound up the session by answering questions and treating the crowd to swag bags with delectable samples of artisanal chocolate from Un Dimanche a Paris and premium O&Co olive oil/balsamic vinegar.
  • Bloggers are invited to contact Flavors of Paris if interested in experiencing a tour and helping share the story of Flavors of Paris.
  • My City Lives:


  • Amira Dhalla of My City Lives provided an overview of this start-up platform for people to watch, create and share videos specific to a location within a city.
  • Each map of a city features storytellers using video to make those stories come to life — stories that define the city — from burgers to boutiques.
  • My City Lives will be launching in several cities but is currently focused on showcasing Toronto through local stories.
  • My City Lives will eventually be able to embedded in Blog pages which will help Bloggers enrich content and build community through video. Keen bloggers can sign up with My City Lives to be testers of beta version.
  • If you’re a proud Torontonian with a story on how to save money, they have a cool #saveinthecity contest where 4 winners will get iPads (or $2500 to donate to a charity of their choice). Just visit the My City Lives website for all the details. Contest ends April 12th.
  • A special contest is underway for Toronto Massive folks, just upload and tag your videos #TravelMassive and you might win a signature poster of Toronto.
  • Kick the Grind TV


  • Mike Corey, a marine-biologist, break-dancing videographer has won several international travel video blogging contests such as “The Best Travel Job Ever” and “Travel the World in 80 Days “ due to his authentic, enthusiastic take on the world. He presented several tips to help bloggers deal with technical issues.
  • Video won’t Upload? Try adjusting your Export setting to H.264 or use Handbrake (free all-purpose program).
  • Why does your video have black bars? Change aspect ratio
  • Where Can I Find Royalty Free Music? Record local musicians or purchase their CDs. Another low-cost option is to purchase music from sites such as Audiojungle, Neosounds and Shockwave Sound.
  • Want Honest Feedback on your Video? Watch a person’s eyes when they’re watching and cut video clip where their attention wanders
  • Poor Quality Video? Your problem could be poor lighting and not the camera. Try boosting the light source and see what happens. When it comes to audio, consider ambient sound.
  • If travel becomes work, it’s game over. Don’t film everything – decide what you’re going to focus on before you leave home.
  • Feel Awkward in Front of the Camera? Be passionate about what you’re interested in – it’s infectious. Every video needs a star.
  • A discussion then took place about tagging and it was noted by @backpackerBrock that YouTube SEO doesn’t transfer over into your blog so it’s important to spend time tagging.
  • IMG_3094



    Big thanks to those that attended and a huge thank you to Amira and the team at My City Lives for hosting us!

    Don’t forget to enter their  Save in the City contest!. Upload a video (this can even be done from a mobile device) on how you save in the city of Toronto and be entered to win either an ipad 3 or $2,500 to a charity of your choice.

    They are also giving away two one of a kind Toronto vintage posters made by Kid Icarus exclusively to members of the Toronto Travel Massive who participate in the contest! Use the hashtag #travelmassive when you tweet it to @MyCityLives.

    Thank you to Michele Peterson -aka- @atastefortravel for taking photos and writing a wrap-up of the event for us!