Leveraging Online Video for Business (Part 2)
Good for you! You’ve chosen to look at leveraging online video for business. So what’s next? Where to begin?
Well, here are 6 quick tips on strategy and best practices…
There are a number of easy-to-use cameras on the market. I chose The Flip – not only is it super easy to use, with only 7 buttons and a built-in, flip-out USB connection for your computer, but the video and sound quality are excellent. (When, instead, you decide on wanting a professional to do the taping and editing, contact me. I’ll have some referrals for you.)
- Keep it Short
As I mentioned in “Part 1,” it seems we all suffer from A.D.D. when we’re sitting at our computers. Before hitting the play button, most of us will look to see how much time we’ll have to commit to watching a video. So keep it short. Anything under 2 minutes seems to be perfect. I do recommend an extended version for those who decide they want to see more of you. Aim for 5 to 10 minutes for the longer version (Note: YouTube limits your uploads to 15 minutes in length.)
2. Be You … Times 5
You can’t fake authenticity. Instead of trying to be someone you’re not, simply embrace the real you. Not everyone is going to “connect” with you and that’s OK. Wouldn’t you rather do business with people who like you for who you are? By being yourself, you’ll attract exactly the right clients for you. Want proof? Watch what Paula Shulman, Vice President of Sales for Prime Resources, has to say in this 56-second video (below).
(By the way, here’s the 93-second video that Paula saw.)
While attending a National Speakers Association meeting, I met a newscaster from Baltimore. I told him about my cable TV show and asked for some expert advice. He said, “You need to magnify your personality times 5 in order to engage your viewers.” He added that when you’re communicating without the luxury of the third dimension (being in person for your audience), your personality must make up for the difference. In other words, speak up – and smile – to stand out.
3. Imagine the Audience Inside the Camera
Effective communication requires you to align your behavior with your intentions. This becomes challenging when you’re not speaking to a live audience. The tendency is to behave one way when in front of others and another way when staring into a camera lens. Before hitting that record button, close your eyes and imagine your audience. Picture them in your mind’s eye and then envision them inside the camera. I find it’s helpful to have someone standing near the camera and imagine they are representing my target audience.
4. Bullet, Don’t Script
You want to make sure you cover all the information without appearing too polished and you certainly don’t want to come across as if you’re reading from a script. Again, people need to see the real you. Just speak as you would to a prospective client … or friend. To be sure that you include all your favorite and most compelling points, list them on paper as bullet points and refer to them if needed. Though chances are if they’re truly your favorites and the most compelling, you’ll have no problem elaborating on your brief notes … naturally, without having to read.
5. “Caught in the act”
Just as candid photographs are usually the most complimented, some of the best videos are unplanned and unscripted. You and your team often say and do things during the course of the business day that could really impress your clients (existing and prospective). At your next staff meeting, simply place a camera in the corner of the room on a shelf or tripod. After the meeting, review what transpired and look for a 1- to 2-minute clip your clients should see.
6. Can you say that again?
Some of the best web sites are chock full of client testimonials. Trouble is, most prospective clients don’t read them (and, unfortunately, some may even question their credibility). Supplement your written testimonials with video testimonials. Your clients have wonderful things to say about you and their experience of doing business with you/your organization. These things are powerful to read … and way more powerful to watch. Your clients add a whole new dimension of expression and credibility by showing rather than just telling. Ask your clients to say it on camera. Here’s how…
The next time a client pays you a compliment, say:
“You really made my day with your powerful words. You certainly don’t have to, but it would be great if you’d be willing to say it again, on camera, for prospective clients to see. It would take less than a minute.” Yes, some people will decline, but you may be surprised at how many are willing to do it. And no one will fault you for asking.
Just do it!
In closing this post, the best advice I can offer is the same for any new strategy or best practice in life or business. Just take that first step and do it. As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” Let me know how it goes for you…