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  • Writer's pictureNana Grace Kwapong

Meet Erica Hanna, Video Content Creator and Strategist and Business Owner

"People don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it."

'I love this quote because I think it really gets to the heart of how I love to do video production. Storytelling isn't always about the "what", it's about the "why" and how it moves people to act.’

Video Expert, Digital Guru, Creative Genius, Ally, Survivor, Advocate. These are just a few words that describe the wonder that is Erica Hanna. She has won numerous regional Emmys and awards, raised $30,000 for a charity she loves, and is a Social Media Ambassador for the Nobel Peace Prize Forum. Erica owns Puke Rainbows Creative, a company that primarily plans video content strategy and produces videos for clients, as well as helping with branding, photography, copywriting and social strategy.

In the past, Erica was the Director of Branding and Social Engagement at BringMeTheNews, Promotions Producer, Director, and Editor for WCCO-TV at CBS, Promotions Producer, Writer, and Editor at KSTP, and a Marketing Coordinator at KIMT-News. She also worked for a few years as a Freelance Choreographer, Consultant, and Judge for "competition style" cheerleading squads.  Erica earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and Electronic Media from Waldorf College (Go Iowa).

What does a typical day in your role look like? 

A typical day really varies depending on the project I'm working on! It could look like getting up early to prep/produce/direct a video shoot, or hopping on a plane for a speaking gig. I absolutely love teaching people how to use content and video; those lightbulb moments are incredible to witness. 

What are you passionate about?

I love taking complicated ideas and presenting them in a simplified, conversational, creative, and entertaining way. Breaking down those communication walls so all consumers can understand what the company/client is about, is really pretty freakin' rad. 

Outside of work, I'm passionate about social justice. Anyone who is connected with me on social media probably knows that, and that's important to me - because aligning with friends, clients, and companies that feel the same way about human rights - is an important thing. 

What do you find most challenging about your job/career?

Well, it's a tactical thing. I'm not great the paperwork side of things, and I've had to become really diligent with setting up reminders. Half of the time I dive headfirst into a project, before I realize I need to get a contract signed...because I hate halting momentum. But, paperwork is there for clarification and the safety of both client and contractor - so, I'm learning to love the value of it. 

What do you find most enriching about your job/career?

The ability to make a difference. Storytelling is a powerful thing. It opens doors and helps people understand things they've never considered before. Also, video "wins" with tone, where print can sometimes fail. It's much easier to convey comedy with video, for instance - where print, if someone is in a bad mood and reads it, could be taken the wrong way. Visual storytelling is a beautiful thing. 

How did you find yourself in your current career?

I actually started out as a radio major...then, had to take a video class in college. I LOVED it. After working in the creative sector of TV for ten years, I had an amazing interaction with Prince on a freelancing video job - and he made me see what I do in a completely different light. He said, "Don't ever tell someone you make video. From now on, you say you create art."  It's helped me see that pretty much every occupation and career is artistic in some way.

Words of advice for anyone who wants to pursue this career?

Your next project is only as good as your mind will allow it to be. Look at all of the possibilities. Never let budget hold back your creativity, you'll be surprised at what you can make out of something as simple as a piece of paper and marker. If you would like to get some tips on how to creative good video on a low budget or, want to hire Erica, visit her website: Puke Rainbows Creative. To learn more about her career journey, click here.

Thanks for reading!

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