The Next YouTube Sensation: Construction ‘Power Users’?
Pablo Giraldo and Steve Tissier are both aiming to build a community of online followers through self-created Bluebeam-centric videos
Last year, Pablo Giraldo and his team at The Walsh Group encountered an emergency problem at one of the general contractor’s wastewater jobsites in Georgia when one of his managers suggested marketing the project on social media.
“That’s a pretty unique jobsite,” Giraldo’s manager told him. “Maybe you should do some videos on the emergency project.”
On Giraldo’s current project, he started creating videos for social media demonstrating workflows he thought other team members could benefit from in Bluebeam Revu, with Giraldo’s ability as a “power user” of the software prominently on display.
“I started getting some good feedback internally in the company,” Giraldo said.
Steve Tissier had successfully convinced his transportation facilities engineering and design firm, American Consulting Professionals LLC, to switch from Adobe Acrobat to Revu shortly after his arrival in September 2017. But the culture was resistant to the change.
“I got buy-in pretty quickly from upper management,” Tissier said. “But getting it from the production staff was the trickier part.”
Tissier started conducting a few internal training sessions each year to help colleagues learn ways to maximise their use of Revu. He’d then post them on his company’s internal server for coworkers to reference, but he quickly found that there were downsides to this workflow.
“That just wasn’t very practical for people to have to watch the videos through a VPN or download them if they wanted to watch them outside the office,” Tissier said.
A star is born?
Today, Giraldo’s videos have blossomed into a public YouTube channel and a growing LinkedIn following. He has videos on Revu topics ranging from tracking quantities to hatch patterns to quantity link.
A little more than a month ago, Tissier also started posting his Bluebeam videos on his own YouTube channel, “Structural Steve.” Not only does the channel help people learn Revu, but it also includes videos on other construction, engineering and architectural technology.
“It started off with, ‘How do I make this content easily available for our internal use?’” Tissier said. “And then, after thinking about it, I was like, ‘Why don’t I just share this with everyone? Why not help everyone save a little time and become more efficient?’”
At a time when the ability to create and publish professional-quality video and distribute it to the masses online has never been easier, Giraldo and Tissier are examples of Bluebeam “power users” that aim to not only share their specialised knowledge of Revu through video but hope to create a personal online brand around the practice.
While Bluebeam posts and promotes many of its own technical support, tutorial and feature videos — both on YouTube and its blog — more and more enthusiastic customers like Giraldo and Tissier are taking it upon themselves to promote Revu, sharing a fuller picture of the value it can provide to construction, engineering and architecture professionals.
Giraldo isn’t necessarily all in it to become some sort of Bluebeam “influencer,” however. He genuinely is fascinated by the power of Revu and he wants to help others see the power of it, too.
“I see a workflow in Revu, and I want to post it and let other people learn from it,” Giraldo said. “I think people use Bluebeam, but they use it for the basic things. Really, once you start diving into it, then you’re like, ‘Oh, I didn’t know you could do this.’”
When Giraldo first started recording videos, he used a GoPro camera and PowerPoint to record his screen as he demonstrated different Revu workflows. He then edited the videos using a simple iPad application. As things have progressed, he’s switched his editing platform from the iPad app to Adobe Premier Pro. It takes him about an hour to edit each video.
Giraldo also has a strict rule about each of his videos. “I try to stick to a one minute, 59-second rule,” he said, referring to the maximum length of all his Revu workflow videos. Giraldo said he intentionally keeps his videos short to keep people’s attention.
“If you see that one minute or less-than-a-minute video, then more people will tend to watch it,” Giraldo said. “So, that’s my one-minute, 59-second rule.”
While Giraldo publishes all his videos on his YouTube channel, he gets most of his views and engagement — likes, comments, etc.— from LinkedIn, the platform he feels is best to earn views from his colleagues in the profession.
Giraldo said his motivation for creating and posting these videos is not because he feels like the Bluebeam-created ones aren’t sufficient. On the contrary, he said the videos Bluebeam creates as a company are incredibly valuable.
More motivating for Giraldo is his desire to build a community around his content.
“It all stemmed from listening to Gary Vee,” Giraldo said, referring to Gary Vaynerchuk, an entrepreneur and internet personality best known for his hard-hitting personal brand and his advocacy of grassroots social media marketing. “When I started listening to him a year ago, he always said, ‘You need to create your community. You need to create your own path,’” Giraldo said.
Giraldo’s hope is to continue to grow his Bluebeam-centric community organically. “I want to get more videos going, dive deeper into Bluebeam and the different capabilities,” Giraldo said. “I want to get better with the iPad app. How can I use the Bluebeam app to stream workflows and eliminate that double-data entry that the industry is so used to?”
For Tissier, creating and sharing Bluebeam and other industry technology videos is also about building community.
When he first started out, Tissier said he was recording the videos through platforms like Microsoft Teams or GoToMeeting. Once he started posting the videos on YouTube, however, he started using Camtasia, a screen-recording platform where you can both capture and edit content and post directly to YouTube.
Unlike Giraldo, Tissier isn’t on-camera in any of his videos; they simply feature his voice and computer screen as he navigates viewers through different Revu workflows or other software technology problems.
Tissier’s initial goal was to publish one video a week, but his schedule doesn’t always allow for that. To decide video topics, Tissier said he keeps a running list of things based on ideas that come up in conversations with colleagues and elsewhere. “I have this long list of things that I’ll eventually get to,” he said. Before he records, Tissier creates a rough outline of each video.
Currently, Tissier said his main topical focus of his videos are Bluebeam and OpenBridge Modeler, “a 3D bridge modelling software,” he said. “Those are my first two, but if something comes up that I think is a big time-saver productivity-wise, then I’ll make a video and post on that, too.”
“Like last week,” Tissier continued, “someone was complaining to me about it taking forever to find an email in Microsoft Outlook. So, I showed them a trick where you can add form field filters and do a refined search and find emails in seconds that used to take them 10-15 minutes to find. They’re just like, ‘Oh my gosh. I wish I would’ve known this 10 years ago.’ I was like, ‘I’ll make a video on that.’”
For now, LinkedIn also remains Tissier’s distribution platform of choice — besides YouTube, of course. “LinkedIn is a no-brainer for this type of content,” he said.
Tissier said he’s gotten great feedback from his videos. “People were excited that I was posting content from the user’s perspective instead of the vendor or the software distributor’s perspective,” Tissier said, “because it’s more of an unbiased view coming from a user.”
While Tissier said he doesn’t fancy himself an “influencer,” he said he views creating videos as a way to bolster his own thought leadership as well as the thought leadership of his company.
“I want to help others become more efficient while showcasing how ACP is leading the way in innovative technologies,” Tissier said.