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VOL. 40 | NO. 18 | Friday, April 29, 2016

Parikh’s niche: Helping you get organized

By Linda Bryant

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Mridu Parikh, coach, author and organizer with Life is Organized, holds up some organizing bins in her home office.

-- Michelle Morrow | The Ledger

Mridu Parikh wouldn’t have a viable business without the educational videos she writes, produces and posts online on her YouTube and Roku TV channels or directly to her company website.

Parikh is an organization and simplicity coach who lives Franklin, but the vast majority of her clients and fans are sprinkled all over the nation and globe.

Her business, Life is Organized (www.lifeisorganized.com), provides resources such as online video classes, episodic video blogs and organization and simplicity coaching via Skype.

“I was not very good at making videos when I first started,” Parikh says. “I was scared, but I knew one thing. I needed to shift from my former business model of going into people’s homes and offices to help them get organized to offering education and training online. It was the only way I could scale my business.”

Mridu Parikh at her home office

-- Michelle Morrow | The Ledger

Parikh struggled in the beginning because she really didn’t know how to make great videos. She also underestimated the time it takes to gain the trust of online customers.

Local clients in need of her help had been able to find her easily through referrals or by interacting with her in the community. But enticing people who she’d never met – and who couldn’t make eye contact – to sign up for her online organization classes or coaching services was very difficult.

“My sales cycle went from very short to very long,” Parikh explains. “There was a massive learning curve involved in understanding the mentality and psychology of creating a relationship online.”

Slowly, and with determination, she faced the challenge of learning to make effective videos that would gain the trust of her fans and, ideally, convert them to paying clients.

“One of the reasons why video is so important for an online business is because customers like seeing the person they are buying from,” Parikh says. “Video is the next best thing to someone being with you in person.”

The first videos were done with the help of her son and husband. And Parikh says they were “ridiculous, just really bad.”

“It would take an hour to do a three-minute video,” she says. “My then 6-year-old son would hold an iPhone and, believe me, it would shake around. I stuttered a lot. But I still have my first videos online so people can see you have to start somewhere.”

Parikh slowly added to her video production skills. After 18 months she bought a tripod and started using a white screen and lights in her makeshift home studio. She learned to write scripts that were peppy and succinct.

Life is Organized has grown to the point that Parikh can hire a videographer to come into her home. She’s got a lot of the process down to a science now.

She practices her scripts ahead of time and produces them in blocks of five every 10 weeks. She even changes her outfits and hair style in-between episodes so that it doesn’t look like all the content was filmed on the same day.

“We can knock out five videos in two-and-a-half hours,” Parikh adds.

Parikh’s videos don’t rack up numbers like those of a YouTube superstar. But small businesses such as Life is Organized don’t need viral videos.

A few thousand fans who appreciate your value niche works very well, Parikh says.

“Video is a much underleveraged tool,” she adds. “I now help others learn how to monetize their online business and the first thing I tell them is, “Get some video up on YouTube. Get it up on your website.

“The fear of being on camera really holds people back,” she adds.

“I advise people to get really comfortable on camera before you make any major investments (in video equipment).

“You can get the best videographer, but if you’re not confident on camera it doesn’t really matter. I tell people to start simple. Go outside on a sunny day, pick up your iPhone and push record.”

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