Unless you have been living under a rock for the better part of a decade, you have been exposed to a little social network called YouTube.
YouTube.com is the second most searched network on the web.
You can pretty much find information on any topic just by initiating a search for it. It’s amazing how much information is shared through video.
The best part is…
Video is an awesome way for you to convey a message, while at the same time letting everyone get a glimpse of the face behind the business. When it comes to building trust, a medium quality video, written, directed, and starring a “real person”, is by far one of the best ways out there!
As a small business owner, you can leverage the popularity of video, and become your industry’s own Spielberg!
All you’ll need is a basic video camera or smart phone, maybe an external mic, and a love for the spotlight.
1) Be Yourself
As stated in my earlier post about networking, people will be able to detect quickly if you are trying to “fake the funk.” If you are trying to create some engaging character like the Sham Wow guy, you can leave your acting class early. All the public wants to see is that you believe in your business, and you back your product. Don’t let being on camera turn you into something you’re not. Your personality will shine, and the trust will be be built!
2) Don’t Break the Bank
You don’t need the most expensive equipment in the world. You more than likely have all the gear you need already. I use my iPhone. It comes with an awesome camera, and I’m able to edit the video on my phone, and submit it to YouTube using a downloadable app from the app store. The audio quality is not that great, so you might want to look at investing in a decent wireless mic. For iPhone users, I like the Swivl Personal Cameraman (affiliate link) system . While it’s just shy of $200, it allows you to record a video using the full 360 degrees, and it comes with a wireless mic plus a motion sensor. That system is a little more advanced, but I thought it was cool, and wanted to test it out. If you don’t have video capability on your phone, there are a ton of small flip cams on the market for right around $100. A great return on investment!
3) Don’t Write A Script!
Do not be one of those guys or gals that insists on reading from a script. That takes the fun right out of creating a video! Plus, it sounds dumb, and you come across sounding like a robot. You don’t have to shoot from the hip either. You can annotate some key talking points, and follow a structured flow. It always reminds me of the movie Anchorman, and the part where Will Ferrel’s character can only read what’s put on the prompter. If you saw the movie, than you know what I’m talking about. Just have an idea of what message you want to convey, and start to speak. The first couple takes might be rough, but you’ll get the hang of it quickly!
Some of the best lighting you can use is what already exists. The sun is an awesome source of quality lighting for making a clear video. Make sure the sun is not behind you, and position yourself so that you’re not squinting the entire time. If you’re indoors, I recommended spending under $20 and investing in some of that shop lighting you can get at any home repair store. They usually come with a hook or clip attached for easy hanging.
5) How To Videos Work Best
If you have a service based business, this an awesome time to educate your clients on how they can do something simple and on their own. If you sell an actual product, make a video that shows them how to correctly use it, and maybe some fun facts about its creation. People love being taught! That’s why YouTube is so successful. A wealth of information is available 24/7 right at your fingertips. Basically, if How To videos convert the best, and receive the most views, it might be a great idea to come up with your own. No need to reinvent the wheel!
Just like in a magazine, the title is what will draw the most attention. Take some time and come up with an engaging title that leaves the viewers wanting more. Just like number 5 above, How To works really well. Most queries will start with the words “How To”. It’s also a great idea to introduce every video in the beginning with a description of what they are about to see. For example, “Hello. My name is Andy from Bent Business Marketing, and today I am going to show you how to create a viral video from scratch!” Don’t leave any room for confusion, and never bait and switch your viewers with a misleading title.
7) Don’t Overdue the Edits
At first, you are going to want to edit the crap out of that video. You won’t be satisfied with anything, because you are the one on camera. We are all super critical of ourselves at first, but once you make your first video, you’ll learn to relax a little more. People love watching outtakes from a movie on DVD. It’s one of the coolest things about owning the movie. We love witnessing other peoples mistakes, and we often get a chuckle out of it. So when you get to the editing phase, only slice and dice the stuff the stuff that might lead to confusion. A short pause, or a slight grin is nothing to be worried about. In fact, people might even trust you more because you appear to be more real. Why do you think people love reality TV so much?
I’m not promising your next video will go viral, but what I am promising you, is that making a video is definitely a step in the right direction.
Put yourself out there, and be open to feedback. Let people know you exist, and don’t be scared to act yourself.
The public will love you for it!
I’d love to see your first video!
Feel free to email me the link at [email protected]
Also, you can subscribe BBM’s YouTube channel and witness our failed attempts at online stardom 🙂