Sept. 21, 2021

Engaging People Through Visual Storytelling with Chris Ryan

Recently, Bret Schanzenbach spoke with Chris Ryan of Ryan Video Productions on the Carlsbad People, Purpose, and Impact Podcast. San Diego native Chris Ryan has an extensive background in media, marketing, and advertising. He has traveled across the globe to produce videos for clients, started his own video production business, and is serious about connecting businesses with their clients through visual storytelling. In this episode, Bret and Chris discuss how Chris started his own video production company, his passion for corporate storytelling and visual branding, and how videographers can serve people in an increasingly virtual world.

An Entrepreneurial Adventure: How Chris Ryan Transformed His Hobby Into His Own Business

Chris Ryan from Ryan Video Productions is a California local. He grew up in San Diego, but after high school, he was not certain what he wanted to do next. Soon, he was accepted into a nursing program, but because he could not afford the books and uniforms, he moonlit at UCSD as a DJ from midnight to 3am. After volunteering as a DJ for two years, he enjoyed it so much that he decided to get involved in radio. He tried to join the radio stations in San Diego, but it was very difficult to break in. Instead of choosing a different path, Chris packed up his Volkswagen Beetle, and drove from Arizona to Utah, dropping off audition tapes everywhere he went.

Eventually, he got an offer from a freeform FM radio station in Tucson, where he stayed for seven years. He finally got a job in his hometown of San Diego and did radio in the city for the next two decades. After his time in radio, he shifted his focus to marketing and advertising, which took him to various cities. Eventually, he moved his family to Cincinnati, so that his son could grow up near his wife’s relatives.

Chris had always been interested in video, and it soon became one of his primary hobbies. He would make videos with friends, and, according to him, “I'd be the guy at, you know, different events that would show up with the big, giant video camera, and people would say, ‘Put that thing away!’” When he was working in marketing and advertising with Dean Houston, he used his videography skills to record testimonials and brand videos of their clients, which allowed him to travel all over the world.

Then, three years ago, Chris Ryan decided to venture out on his own and start a video production company. “I started with absolutely nothing: no clients, no prospects. [I was] just like going to chamber events and networking like crazy,” he explains. Now, he has many loyal customers and continually gets referrals. “It’s like, you know, when you're camping… you're starting a fire, and you get this little smoldering thing in this pile of needles, and you keep blowing on it and blowing on it, and there's nothing happening. But, then all the sudden—poof!”

The Power of Corporate Storytelling & Visual Branding

Given Chris’ background in marketing and advertising, he has become highly specialized in corporate storytelling and branding.

“It’s all about communication,” he says. “It's all about knowing who your audience is and knowing what you need to say or can say that will kind of breakthrough all the other clutter out there—the thousands of messages a day that we get on social media, all the stuff. How can you make a direct connection with an ideal customer and then be different than everybody else that they've heard the same thing from?”

Chris is intentional about ensuring his clients stand out from the rest. He infuses credibility into his corporate storytelling videos through word-of-mouth testimonials and personal videos. Not only does Chris provide his clients with promotional videos and visual branding, he also helps them create video blogs so they continue to be engaged with their audience.

Due to the pandemic, the way people interact with each other has shifted dramatically. Now, people engage through video much more frequently. In 2020, Chris began creating virtual content and streaming all sorts of events, including conferences, weddings, memorials, trade shows, medical techniques, and more. Now that people have gotten experience with the world of virtual meetings and engagements, what sets videos apart now is the level audiences can directly interact with what they are seeing. Gone are the days when virtual events merely incorporated streaming and passive participation. Now, people want to be entertained, educated, and actively involved. This has opened a whole new world for videographers and video production companies like Chris Ryan’s.

According to statistics, 82% of all consumer internet traffic will be online videos by 2022. Certainly, businesses, leaders, and creators need to produce excellent videos in order to connect with their consumers. However, not all videos are equal. According to Chris:

“[Being] qualitative and [being] popular are not necessarily the same… I mean, you see Tik-Tok videos of singing birds—[they’re] viral in a day. Your brand is associated with whatever you put out there, whether it's a good website, or a nice brochure, or a good business card, or a good video. If a business is conscious of their brand and their quality, and if they want to come across as being professional, then yeah, videos are not all the same. You could do a good video with an iPhone—and people do it all the time—but most people aren't comfortable in front of a camera… unless you're a total ham, you know, and some people are. But some people need a little bit of help.”

This is where a great videographer comes in. Some people need videographers who just handle the technical aspects, while other individuals need a videographer who partners with them in every area of video production. Regardless of the extent of their role, videographers not only capture the story, they also help people relax and be themselves on-camera. “Being genuine…” Chris states, “is the key to a good video.”

Interview Links

Click here to check out Ryan Video Productions.

Contact Chris Ryan.

Watch Chris Ryan’s Videos on YouTube.

Follow Chris on Instagram.

Friend Chris on Facebook.

Connect with Chris on LinkedIn.


Did you like what you heard? This show is produced by Imagine Podcasting dba Heard Not Seen Media, Inc. For more, visit Imagine Podcasting.