E2A 073: The Power of Short-Form Video for Building Your Personal Brand with Sven Gold 

 April 30, 2024

By  Scott A. MacMillan

In this episode of The Entrepreneur to Author Podcast, Scott speaks with Sven Gold. Sven a television and digital media host, moderator, entertainer and content creator based out of Munich, Germany. He also helps people build their public profile and personal brand through short-form video content. Scott and Sven discuss the importance of personal branding, the differences between and compatibilities of short-form and long-form content and how to efficiently and effectively approach creation and distribution of engaging video through social media.


Sven Gold is a model, TV personality and social media star who has gained fame for his eponymous Instagram account. He has gained huge popularity for his lifestyle blogging. Alongside all of this, he helps people build their personal brand through short-form video, providing production and post-production services, consulting and coaching.


Website: http://www.sven-goblirsch.de

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/svengold/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/svengold/

TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@svengold21



LinkedIn (@scottmacmillan): linkedin.com/in/scottmacmillan
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Episode Transcript

Please note: The transcript is produced by a third-party company from an audio recording and may include transcription errors.

Scott MacMillan

You're listening to the Entrepreneur to Author podcast.


Welcome to the Entrepreneur to Author podcast, the podcast that brings you practical strategies for building authority and growing your business. And now, here's your host, Scott MacMillan.


My guest today is Sven Gold. Sven is a television and digital media host and moderator, entertainer, and content creator based out of Munich, Germany. I recently met Sven in St. Martin while we were both there celebrating a good friend's birthday.

And we quickly realized that we've got a shared passion for helping people create content that builds their personal brands. And so I wanted to have Sven on the podcast to talk about that and much more. Sven, welcome.

It's great to have you on the Entrepreneur-to-Author Podcast.


Yeah. Thank you, Scott. It's an honour. It's awesome.


Listen, you've got such a cool and varied experience.

Would you give our audience a little bit of a sense of where you've been, what you've been doing, and what you're focused on now in your career in business?


First of all, I'm not a native speaker. So sorry for that. I'm trying my best.

But in Germany, I'm in the media business for over 10 years now. My main goal was to become a great TV host. And over the years since 2017, besides doing television, I started to be the online social host for one of the biggest TV stations we have in Germany.

And it's kind of a boulevard magazine. And when we started, we didn't post a lot of our own content. So when I came in, the challenge was, hey, Sven, yeah, we started out with that.

Can you please do something so we grow in social media? So we were a small team. We were three people that tried to figure out how social media works. And we started to post our content and see and figure out what works.

And it worked well. We put out 35 pieces of content every day. So after nine months, we had like 3.7 billion views on our channel.

And suddenly, we were the biggest social brand besides television in Germany. So it worked out well. But I always looked over to America because they are way ahead of us.

I like their content. I like the content creators. So I reached out to one of the biggest German-speaking ones who was in the biggest social media bubble since then.

They are still like Logan Paul, Amanda Cerny, Johannes Barthel. His name is Johannes Barthel. And they gained like billions of views every single day.

So I was like, okay, how does that work? I reached out to him, found a way to find some value for him to shoot some days with me in Germany. And through that, we became friends. I went over to the US, LA, Los Angeles, worked with him for three months, and learned from the best of the best.

So they showed me, I don't really need a camera that I'm used to in television. He said, you just need your phone. You save time, you're faster.

It's all about the creativity. And we had this one clip together with this girlfriend where we were standing in the living room and she put out her phone. And it was a shot where all three of us were inside the shot and she just hold up her hand on the side.

And if you look at the video, it looked like we had a videographer there, but it wasn't. The clip gained over 40 million views in three days. Never before have I ever seen something like that.

I was surprised. My social media page exploded 10,000 followers in two days or something. And I was like, okay, that's interesting.

We have to change things up in Germany too. So we did. Everything I know from social media, I know from Johannes Bartel and Amanda Cerny, they taught me a lot.

And since we implemented everything they taught me, everything went up at our TV station too. And there I learned a really crucial thing that is holding a lot of people back nowadays too. They think they need a big camera.

They think they need the best equipment. But in fact, they need their brain or jet GPT to find the right ideas and just try things out. They learn on the run.

That's the most important part, what I learned. And to your question, nowadays I do three different things. I do my TV hosting.

I do communication training, mostly in Germany, but for investors and CEOs. To teach them how to be authentic in front of the camera or in front of the microphone. Everything I learned as a TV host.

And you said it right, when we were in St Marten, I told you about my new agency that I'm building right now because one investor came up to me and she needed help with social media. And what I see in the agency landscape with social media, there are a lot of agencies, probably through coronavirus or something like that, that came up, oh yeah, I should start a social media agency. But most of them never did social media themselves or grew a real audience there and know all the stuff I learned in LA.

So, when she came up to me, I said the only way we can do that is social media works or building a personal brand on social media only works with consistency and frequency. Through those two parts, you will have quality as well because in a shorter amount of time, you will see what your niche wants to see and you will be even faster with producing your content. So, we went in, we come there every two months for two days, we shoot 60 to 100 videos in two days.

We are documenting her while doing her job as a, for example, for her, it's real estate while she's talking to her clients. So, we try to show on her page her different attitudes she has, not only as a business owner, but also with her as a person. And with these 60 videos, she can be on five platforms at the same time.

So, if you post one video every day for 30 days, you are on TikTok, Instagram, YouTube Shorts, Facebook, LinkedIn, and also maybe on Snapchat, everything is short form. So, you have like 150 pieces of content at the same time. And with this consistency, she's the best example for that.

Seven weeks, 3,500% growth. And this is free marketing. That's what Gary Vaynerchuk is talking about every day.

Alex Somozy is talking about every day, and they are spending like 90 to 250,000 euros a month for growing their brand because they know if I have a certain amount of super fans, they will buy whatever I bring in front of them. And as your partners, they bring out books. If somebody likes what they see in your short form content, you build trust over and over every day.

They see different things you're talking about, the values you have. They trust you. So, they want to hear about your specific field from you.

Everybody has a phone. So, it's a waste of money to not use it. That's what I figured out.


Let's talk about that a little bit more because I think our audience here is very much sold on the idea, the importance of content, right? They're already invested in the idea of creating long-form content in the form of a book. But what role can and should short-form content play alongside long-form content? And I guess an extension of that is, what's different in terms of what works in short-form content compared to long-form content?


I think if you look at Mr. Beast, the biggest YouTuber worldwide, he talks about that a lot. He says it's the retention rate that counts if your videos go viral or not.

It should be above 90%. And if you look at all the short-form content, the difference to it is a little bit the pace. So, short-form is really as long as it needs to be, but as long as, yeah, it needs to be.

Yeah, that's it, exactly. And I think short-form is an easy way to start because creating great long-form content like YouTube videos, to see success, your motivation will probably fall off pretty quickly. With your phone and short-form content, it's pretty easy to test different things in the same amount of time than just with long-form content.

I think to perfect YouTube like Mr. Beast did, that takes a lot of dedication and time. But with short-form content, you will see success pretty fast. And what I also see is people look for people that have good advice.

So it shifted from this dancing platform, for example, TikTok, to a lot of business owners talking about their business input they have or they experience. So it's a great opportunity. I think now is the time to do it.

And as I said, short-form content is the way to go right now. Right now, it's everywhere and you can, with one video, you can be on different platforms at the same time. And long-form content is a great way to start.

I think if you, for example, do a video podcast and then you create, then you cut out like 10 or 15 pieces with the main advices you had during the video podcast or your guest said something interesting, you can use that as well. That's probably also a way to do both, do a video podcast and cut out all the important stuff for short-form. A lot of people do that, like Logan Paul with Impulsive, they have their main video podcast and then put out the short-form.

But if I would start out, if I have my book, you talked about that Scott, when we sat down, you said, is it right? You said, if you put out a book in the two years until you have finished your second book, you can put out a lot of value and you hook the audience and have the best snippets for them so they stay with you and don't go to another business owners and learn from them, right?


Yeah. Yeah, that's right. We did talk about that because oftentimes, obviously writing a book, it's not the kind of thing that you can put out 30 books in a day, right? It takes time to create the intellectual property and craft that into a book format.

During that time, your audience can probably get through your book in a few days and then you're sort of leaving them lonely. You're not continually engaging them if you don't have more bite-sized stuff that they can consume in between your books. Yeah, you're right. We did talk about that.

Now, what would you say, I'm going to ask a question that some people might be embarrassed to ask about because I think it's perhaps a little bit of a sensitive point for some people, but what if someone's area of expertise is a little bit, well, sort of boring, right? Not everyone can be posting content from private yachts in St. Barts or rollerblading through the streets of Munich. How should I think about my short-form content strategy if I'm, I don't know, an expert in corporate restructuring or mechanical fasteners or bathroom cleaning, something a little bit less glamorous?


The funny thing is there are so many good examples that the difference is you as a person.

Your USP is you. So, I see a lot of channels, for example, there is a delivery driver on his bike that has a GoPro on his chest and just films the way he's just delivering food. And people love to be a part of it.

And there are different channels where they talk about cars or where they are just working in their field. And you can create an audience even with a boring job, because, for example, if you're working, for example, in insurance or something, but you take people with you and you show the people in your office and they see the dynamics you have, people laugh to watch people that have fun, for example. If you love what you do, no matter what it is, if you transport that in an authentic way and people feel the passion you have for that kind of stuff, for example, one of our biggest influences in Germany, he's a lawyer, for example.

The other one is talking about insurance, Versicherungen mit Kopf in German. So it's just the way you talk into the camera, be authentic and give them real advice. So don't hold back with value.

If you put out value that people can really, that really helps people. And Alex Omuzi, for example, he's not holding back any golden nugget. He puts out everything on social media.

And that's the way how you build trust and a real fan base, I think. So it doesn't matter if it's a boring job or something. You don't need a yacht or a Lamborghini or something like that to gain followers.

In the end, what's also cool, if you're a business owner and talk about business, your CPM will be higher. So if you have the views at some point, you will make way more money than those guys that grew up, grew fast just because they showed their six pack, their booties, all this fancy stuff, cars and stuff. You will have a bigger paycheck because you talk about real business and real advice because of the ads and everything.

It also makes sense to be in the business sector.


You talked a little bit earlier about the importance of consistency and frequency. And I think that's something for many people, particularly people who haven't been posting content continually and consistently on social media.

That feels pretty daunting to create content at that level, at that scale, the volume and frequency that seems to be necessary to be successful as a creator. What advice would you give for people in terms of how to deal with that?


Of course, if you start out, it's a new skill with everything. If you want to learn golf or another sport, it takes time to perfect that skill.

The same is with your phone. But the great thing is there are really easy apps to learn. For example, if you look at video editing, I would do InShot and CapCut, for example, because these apps can do everything a professional tool on your computer can do as well.

And there are different ways how to do it, but I would recommend to just start and set a goal, like one video a day. And what I think what holds people back a lot of times, it's the perfectionism we all have because we are experts in our field and now we want to show people the perfect side of our business and everything. And what I learned through the communication training I do every day, it's the imperfection things and also the mistakes we all do that makes you a human that builds trust.

And so if you just set the goal for one video a day, you will get fast so quickly. In the end, you will end up like me. I just need two minutes to shoot the video and two minutes to edit it because your workflow will be so fast.

If you don't know how to do... So there are three ways. First, just try it out. Second one, you try to get somebody that teaches you how to do it yourself.

Or the third way would be you get a full agency like what we do. We come in. We know what to do.

We film you. I ask you the right questions. I teach you how to be authentic in front of the camera and we edit it and do everything on our own.

But if you want to do it yourself, use InShot, use CapCut, use Lightroom on your phone as a picture editing software and learn those softwares and you will be fast and quick. And the last thing for what I also think is always the problem is finding the right ideas.

Also, you waste a lot of time if you search for ideas on Instagram.

So you really have to pay attention to good, good advices. Take a 20 minute timer at the end of the day, screen social media for your favorite creators and really look what they do. Like is that a great idea? And my opinion is every trend you can apply that to every field.

So every sound you hear that goes viral, every video idea that goes viral, try to think how can I do that in my own style and find a surprising ending. That's what Amanda taught me, by the way, surprising ending. So nobody can expect what's what is happening at the end.

I think these are the most crucial parts. So you don't lose so much time to search ideas there, especially us as business owners. It's really important to pay attention to our time and how we use it.


Yeah, that makes a ton of sense. And for those listening and not looking at the video, I was raising my hand when Sven was talking about the challenge of feeling like everything has to be perfect. And I think especially those of us that are focused first and foremost on the long form content as the starting point, write a book.

You do want that perfection. You don't want to publish a book into the market that has spelling mistakes and doesn't put your best foot forward. The rules are completely different, it seems, when it comes to short form content.

 And so I think what you're talking about, Sven, around bringing somebody in who has that sensitivity around short form content and how to really build an online presence, that can be really, really valuable for those of us that come from a different angle of the content creation piece. One more thing I was wanting to ask you, and you talked a little bit about how you can create content that then can have a life on multiple different platforms. How important is it to be on multiple platforms?

I know that's another thing that can be sometimes daunting for people is there are all these different social media platforms.

There's Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, Twitter or X, now LinkedIn, et cetera, et cetera. Do you have to be on all of them or at least all of the major ones?


If you ask Gary Vee, he would say, yes, he said, yes, do it. You really have to think about your time.

How much time do you have? How much time do you need to produce the content and everything? I mean, if you already produced a short form video, why not post it at the same time on another platform that takes just one minute of your time more? So I would do it because it's free marketing. If I would start out, of course, I would try to master one first, for example, Instagram. But in the beginning, I would really think of who is my target audience and which platform would they probably rather use? Is it, for example, if it's just business owners, CEOs I want to reach, you probably go to LinkedIn.

But if you want to have a broad brand to create really fans and a big community, I would be on all platforms. I would focus on the major ones like YouTube Shorts, TikTok and Instagram, for example. But as a business owner, if you post once a week on LinkedIn too, that can damage your brand as well.

And that's how I would do it, honestly. For me, and that's what I tell my clients too, we already produced the video, so we plan it on every platform. Because you never know where the piece goes viral.

It maybe goes viral on TikTok, but maybe not on YouTube Shorts. So you lose a chance of going viral and one video can change everything. Matt Rife, nowadays one of the biggest comedians, he was using social media and he didn't like social media at all.

He said, yeah, why am I posting these stupid videos? And then one video went viral and he was on the edge of going broke. So he was really thinking of changing his profession. And then suddenly one video goes viral on TikTok and now he is one of the biggest comedians of our time now.


Wow. That's incredible. That's incredible.

And that's a really good point. There probably is a kind of short term answer, right? When you're just getting started and you just want to get into the habit of creating the content, maybe you don't need to be on all of the different platforms, but as your goals kind of expand, it can be quite easy to then take the same content and extend it to other ones. Brilliant.

Sven, where can people follow you, connect with you, learn more about what you do? And if they'd love the kind of support that you've been talking about, engage with you on that front.


Yeah, you can reach me at, my tag is at Sven Gold. You will find me on Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, everywhere.

It's mostly German content unless I meet amazing people like Scott in some bars, but the agents, if you really need help and if you say, Hey Sven, I want to talk with you, maybe you can help me. Our agency is working internationally, so we probably will work in Canada too, in Miami, in anywhere in the future. So if you need any help or if you really need some advice, just hit me up, write me a DM and I'll try to help you.


Fantastic. And what we'll do is we'll put all of the appropriate links in the show notes so that it's easy for people to access. Sven, this has been incredible.

I've learned a ton myself and I know this will have been super useful for our audience too. I've seen you in action creating content on the fly and the consistency with which you show up for your audience. And I'm grateful that you showed up for us today. 

So thank you again for being here.


It's an honor. Thank you for bringing me in.


As we wrap up this episode of Entrepreneur to Author, remember this, now is the time, time to write, time to publish, and time to grow. I'm Scott McMillan. Until next time.

Scott A. MacMillan

Scott A. MacMillan is a speaker, international best-selling author, entrepreneur, and the President and Executive Publisher at Grammar Factory Publishing. He and his team help expert entrepreneurs write and publish books that build their authority and grow their business.

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