Creating Your First Tolstoy

In this guide we'll walk you through making your first Tolstoy. All you have to do is follow these simple steps.

Start at the end: What’s your goal?

Before you write your script, you need to figure out what your goal is for the Tolstoy. This can be whatever you want!

For example, do you want to:

  • Qualify leads 
  • Schedule meetings 
  • Collect emails
  • Educate your audience
  • Promote products

Once you know what you’re trying to achieve, writing the script should be a breeze!

Write the script

A Tolstoy script is nothing more than a conversation. A script is made up of simple steps. In each step, you provide a bit of information, and ask a question. We like to put our scripts in google docs, write the script for each video step, and then use bullet points as the text for each button option. Here, let me show you an example.


This is Charlotte from Yotpo’s Tolstoy, here’s a snippet of her script:


Download Charlotte's full lead qualification template here.

Tips to keep in mind:

  • Keep it simple! You might feel the urge to create a complex tree with lots of options. Resist! The most effective scripts are often the simplest.
  • Multiple answers can all lead to the same next step. This is totally fine, and don’t worry, the viewer will still feel like they’re going through a personalized experience.
  • For more help check out our best practices guide for scriptwriting.

Filming

Now that you have your script, you’re ready to film your first Tolstoy. There are multiple ways to do this:

  • With your phone. This is the easiest and fastest way to launch a Tolstoy, and it also has the benefit of creating a conversation vibe that viewers often respond well to. Check out out DIY filming guide for best practices.
  • With your laptop. This is easy, and will allow you to share your screen and give product overviews. But keep in mind that the quality on computer cameras isn’t as high as it is on a phone.
  • With professional equipment. If you plan to publish your Tolstoy directly on a website, you might want to consider investing in a higher production experience. This doesn’t have to cost much, and no technical skills are needed. We compiled a short list of best-in-class, affordable equipment that will supercharge your Tolstoys without breaking the bank.
  • With one of our creative partners. Our community of expert filmmakers, actors/actresses, and script writers can create Tolstoys for you and help in situations where you either don’t have the time, or the desire to do it all yourself. We’re happy to connect you to the right crew, whether you have a script and just need someone to act in it or film it, or if you want to outsource the entire thing. Check out our partners page to contact us.


Need more help getting started? Check out our other guides or shoot us an email!