When talking to clients about video and shooting video, the first reaction is always, “Oh, no, I’m not doing that–no way.”
Practice Makes Video Perfect; Message Sells It
The first video is usually uncomfortable but video can really impact your business. Practice makes video perfect; message sells it.
I think video may be more terrifying to people–myself included–than public speaking. But only at first and only if you don’t practice. The other key to video success is to choose topics you care about.
CEOs Work Hard at Making Great Videos
I work with amazing litigators, brilliant doctors and financial gurus, who may not like the idea of being in a video, but if that’s what it takes to get new business, they’re ready to go. They quickly compose themselves and ask what they should talk about. We decide a set, wardrobe and topics and plan for the shoot. It’s that easy.
I could talk about video and why it’s so nerve-wracking, but there’s no need to belabor the issue. Most people don’t like video because it’s forever online. You can take down a YouTube video, try to keep it from being embedded, downloaded or shared, but there’s always a way around everything locked down online. Someone could copy it and watch it again.
There’s a way around all this pent up anxiety: Practice because on the other hand, your video is good, really good and it’s speaking to your target audience in the way that they like to be spoken to, then you can score big online.
A compelling video will drive calls and clicks to your business.
Preparation and Practice in Front of a Mirror
I always outline and research video topics and direction for clients. The content has to be strategic and speak to the needs and interests of the target audience. I ask clients to practice in front of a mirror. To think about what they should say, how they should say it and then, practice again and again until there’s a comfort level.
This is not a fun process the first time around. It’s very uncomfortable. So this tactic I’m suggesting next makes it even more uncomfortable: record yourself on video and audio and listen to how you sound and look at what you do when you’re being shot on video.
This Was Really Uncomfortable
I had to shoot a video segment for ESPN Fight Night that ran on-air during ESPN boxing. I was interviewed and had one minute to explain who I thought was the best fighter of all time. I was asked because I was The Detroit News boxing columnist.
I chose Joe Louis because of what he stood for at the time of his reign in the ring. Joe Louis was fighting for America when he lost in the 12th round to Nazi Germany’s Max Schmeling in June 1936. But in June 1938, Joe Louis won for Americans when he stopped Max Schmeling with a TKO in the first round. It was a personal triumph for Louis and a nation’s victory over Hitler. While I respect many fighters for their skill, no fighter can say that America admired them, the way America respected Joe Louis.
Great story, right? Not the way I told it on air. I blinked through the whole video because they shot the segment in a very small room and the lights were absolutely blinding. Bert Sugar from Ring Magazine shot his segment right after. His segment was fine because he wore his trademark fedora which blocked the lights.
I’d sat ringside for hundreds of fights with special tint on my glasses knowing the lights were going to be bright. I didn’t expect the lights to be uncovered but they had never shot these segments before and the small room ruined it for me. One time. I was prepared with shaded glasses next time but didn’t need them.
I shot more Boxing Minutes on ESPN and continued to get writing opportunities after it. I had to use eye drops and asked the videographers to use blinds on the lights. But I practiced and practiced and memorized what I was going to say. I wrote scripts. I timed them and I stood in the mirror rehearsing. I worked with different reporters who had no problem pointing out my faults and laughing when I messed up. But I got through it.
That’s what it takes to go online with a video. You need to be prepared and you need to practice. I can write and outline and research a great piece, but at the end of the day, practice makes perfect.
The Sale is in the Video Sizzle
What on earth will you say in your video debut? You shouldn’t take heed of music video success and try to do a spoof or dancing video. No one wants to hire the dancing attorney or the silly realtor or goofy financial whiz. If you have a strategy and you know your target audience, you won’t have any problem determining topics. You should have content forever. You’re the face behind the business so what do you tell you customers and prospects? Be the expert.
The prospect and client want to know what you know. Prove that you’re the best source, the right product, but please don’t sell or beg for calls. Yuck. Be original and tell your story. Tell them what got you to where you were and why your product or service will work or perform. Most important: make it convincing in your performance.
Don’t Be a Buffoon: Choose Your Background and Set Carefully
If you want the most viewed video on YouTube, I hate to break it to you but you’ll have to shoot a music video. The No. 1 YouTube video of all time is Psy in “Gangham Style” with two billion, 260 million views. All other most viewed YouTube videos according to Wikipedia are music videos. The Gangham Style video is reported to have driven $13.4 million in revenue for South Korea, also according to Wikipedia.
Or you can do a “Charlie Bit My Finger–Again!” viral video. This video is the only non-music video in the top 10, and features a little boy letting his baby brother bite his finger, twice. It’s No. 8 with 812 million views. The best viral videos aren’t staged. They’re impromptu videos shot on camera capturing something incredibly funny or interesting.
The most expensive videos are run during the Super Bowl where airtime is $4.5 million for 30 seconds.
A business owner should be shooting video where they work, where their product is located. If you work online build or pick a set that reflects your level of quality. You are who you say you are online and your appearance speaks volumes. Don’t go crazy trying to build the perfect office. Shoot where you work.
Fun and Games are Over: How Much Does a Video Cost?
How Much is it Costing You Not to Have Video?
The fun and games are over now. Business owners want to know how much video costs to script, direct, shoot, edit, produce and post. And the answer is: what is it costing you NOT to have videos produced? Your competitors are online with video and you should be online with video as well. Stop fighting it and start doing it.
At the end of the day, no one outside of YouTube viral video sensations have the ability to shoot their own video, let alone edit and produce it and post it, code it and share it online.
Work with someone you trust to share your business story so that they can script your video, direct, shoot, edit, post and share. The cost to you will be in time that you take to practice and work to develop targeted content. Happy shooting!