Small Business Marketing

How Our Mothers Can Teach Us to Stand Out from Our Competitors...[Brisbane Video Production]

“What makes things memorable is that they are meaningful, significant, colourful.” 

- Joshua Foer


Just a reminder...Mother's Day is coming up this Sunday. It's an opportunity for us if we can and if we have or had a positive relationship with our mothers, to spend time with them or thinking of them. To remember what they do for us...what they've done for us and how they may have shaped the person we've become. 

What do you remember about your mother? What are those special things that she did for you as a child growing up? Those special things that you still remember as an adult that make you smile. You know those things. Those things where nobody else can compare. 

For example, my mother is an awesome cook!  Nobody makes fried rice like my mother. I've tasted many dishes of fried rice, but nobody cooks it as good. She also makes the best scones in the world, that melt in your mouth.  She is the youngest of twelve children and after her mother died when mum was only a child, she was raised mainly by her oldest sister who was a chef and specialised in chinese cuisine. 

Mum's sister passed on her culinary skills to my mother. At every family gathering ever since I was a child, I remember mum's signature dishes; special fried rice, Chau Kai (deep fried chicken with special herbs and spices), steamed pork dumplings, chinese wonton, and many more.  One of my favourites we called 'Power Soup' (I don't know the chinese name for it) which nobody else would eat except for myself and my mother.  It had pork ribs, tofu, chinese vegetables, Pig Ear Fungus (Wood Ear Mushrooms) and a splash of brandy. Maybe that's how it got it's name.

This is what my mother is renowned for. Nobody else (in my mind) can cook like her. Nobody compares.

What are you renowned for? 

When your customers think of you and your business offerings, what is it that makes you memorable? What do you give that your customers remember you for and keep returning because nobody else can give them that special something?

And when you think about or spend time with your Mother this Sunday, think of all those special things that only she can do that make her dear to you and I hope you feel gratitude.

Have a great week!

Kerry :)

--WOULD YOU LIKE MORE HELP AND GUIDANCE IN CREATING VIDEOS? I NOW OFFER ONE-ON-ONE VIDEO COACHING, BOTH ONLINE AND IN-PERSON. YOU CAN FIND OUT MORE ABOUT MY VIDEO COACHING SERVICES HERE.
 


The Return of Artisan Products and What It Means for Your Business...{Brisbane Video Production}

  Matthew Evans from  The Gourmet Farmer . Image Credit:  www.sbs.com.au


Matthew Evans from The Gourmet Farmer. Image Credit: www.sbs.com.au

“Craftsmanship names an enduring, basic human impulse, the desire to do a job well for its own sake.” 

– Richard Sennett, The Craftsman


In my last post I talked about what customers really and truly want…meaningful connection. And that the current ‘slow living’ movement was indicative of what people crave in this modern, fast-paced world: to slow down; to savour each moment, and to be present to our feelings, thoughts, surroundings, experiences and most importantly, to our family and friends. To once again deeply value our relationships which bring us more purpose and joy to our lives.

I also offered some suggestions about how we as business owners can begin to create and give our customers more meaningful connection.

In the evolution of this shift, I’m witnessing a return to artisan products and businesses. And as customers we’re hopping on board the artisan train in droves. Why is that you may wonder?

I believe it’s all part of the return to what it is to be more human. To be more attuned to our senses. We have become so desensitised to our feelings and emotions, that we’ve lost the awareness, and hence our feeling of connectedness.

In talking about the return to artisan trades, it brings to mind an Australian documentary TV series on ABC that I love called ‘The Gourmet Farmer’. If you haven’t seen it, I would highly recommend it. The series is about a Melbourne chef turned food critic, Matthew Evans who leaves his job to become a farmer in Tasmania, raising pigs and sheep, milking cows and raising farm animals in a humane, eco-sustainable way, as well as growing produce, with the aim of  influencing and improving  the quality of the food that he, his family and the wider community eat. It becomes more about the journey and the process, rather than the end result. Though that still holds great significance.

We get to watch his progression and how through choosing a life of slow living, he creates a life (albeit challenging at times) that sees him grow as a person; his family grow and thrive, and how his deepening relationship with the animals, produce, and the land, better inform his way of life, creating deep relationships that take him on many adventures.

The series is a poster-boy for the slow living movement and the return of artisan businesses.

For many of us, that way of life which embues slow living, is what we dream of as a way of restoring the meaningful connection we’re longing for.
 

And in that whole artisan movement,  it’s about valuing the unique perspective, talents and abilities that an individual brings to the world. As customers and consumers, we are drawn to the uniqueness and the bespoke ways of the person we do business with…with someone who has taken the time to get to know his craft.

But more importantly, someone who has taken the time to get to know us and understand who we are and what is it about what he or she does that resonates with us. His process has allowed for that awareness. And we seek that out.


It’s this combination of wanting something truly unique, coupled with the human need and want for connection that our customers are wanting.

This week, if you get some time, why not catch an episode of ‘The Gourmet Farmer’ or Matthew Evans’ new series already released, ‘Fat Pig Farm’ where he opens a restaurant, celebrating home-cooked food that’s delivered from paddock to plate, all from his farm in Hobart.  So sit back and enjoy and savour the moments and while you’re watching, think about ways that you can create that sense of meaningful connection in your business.

Have a great week!


Much love...Kerry :) x


What Your Customers REALLY Want--Are You Giving It?...[Brisbane Video Production]

 Photo by  Kym Ellis  on  Unsplash   

Photo by Kym Ellis on Unsplash
 

“Get closer to your customers. So close in fact, that you tell them what they need well before they realise it themselves.” – Steve Jobs



Welcome to 2018 and my first blog post for the year!

Yes, I realise that it is well and truly 2018 and we’re in February already, but I’ve been busy looking at what I can provide for my customers this year that’s of real value and what will help you grow in your own growth and the growth of your businesses.
 
Oh…and please feel free to share what you think will help you, because I’d like to give you stuff that’s relevant, and maybe even a little inspirational. And there’s heaps of new stuff I want to share with you this year to help your business grow when it comes to video and social media marketing!

This month I wanted to talk about what customers really want.  I mean, really, truly want…deep down.  And I think I’ve figured it out.

You know how I know?  Because it’s what I want.  I’m the ultimate customer, and so are you!

So what do customers REALLY, TRULY, DEEPLY want?....CONNECTION

Simple isn’t it? But is it?  How do you give them that? 

In the world of business and marketing, there is so much talk about it; but they are mostly empty words and promises that fail to satisfy. So how can you provide that connection so that you not only attract the kind of people you want to do business with, but in a way that sees them coming back again and again, because you give them that connection that someone else isn’t?

SLOW LIVING…yep…you heard me… SLOW LIVING. 

We can give our customers what they want by understanding the principles of Slow Living and how by applying the same principles in our businesses, we can give them not only connection, but meaningful connection.

So what is Slow Living? It’s a way of living and being where the pace of our lives slows down long enough to be present to the people we engage with, so that we form deeper and more meaningful connections with them.

Let’s face it, when we don’t have our business face on, and we think about what really matters, it all comes down to the people (and animals) we love and how deeply we form connections with them. And not just connections with our immediate family and friends, but with people that we come across each day…strangers and friends alike, and in our wider community.  

It’s how they make us feel when we are with them; how we make them feel, and how they reinforce in us our sense of purpose and identity that is important.  With all of that brings a deep sense of joy.

As Norwegian philosopher, Guttam Floistad observes,

"The only thing for certain is that everything changes. The rate of change increases. If you want to hang on you better speed up. That is the message of today. It could however be useful to remind everyone that our basic needs never change. The need to be seen and appreciated! It is the need to belong. The need for nearness and care, and for a little love! This is given only through slowness in human relations. In order to master changes, we have to recover slowness, reflection and togetherness. There we will find real renewal."

It begs repeating, “It could however be useful to remind everyone that our basic needs never change. The need to be seen and appreciated! It is the need to belong. The need for nearness and care, and for a little love!”

So this week, take some time to sit down and think of ways that you can be more present to your customers… to connect with them, and to show that you see and appreciate them.  What ways can you show them that you care?  Remembering of course, it must be done in a way that is authentically you.

Here are some suggestions on where to start…

  • Talk to your customers (suppliers, collaborators), whether on the phone or catch up with them face-to-face for a coffee with no other intention than to say hallo and to chat.
  • Write them a letter or send a card telling them how much you appreciate them.
  • Thank them.
  • Compliment them or tell them when you think kindly of them.
  • Tell them about their strengths and how they inspire you.
  • Listen.
  • Take an interest in them and their lives by asking about them.
  • Take the time to find out what they want, and what they like about your product and/or services and what keeps them coming back, and then give them more, and give it to your new to customers too.

It seems so simplistic doesn’t it? But it really can make ‘the’ difference in your business. It’s harder to get customers today. The business environment is so competitive. But what I’m observing in businesses that are flourishing, as well as in my own business, is that those who are taking the time to get to know their customers and the network of people they come into contact with; those who are taking the time to  develop relationships, are getting more of the customers they want. And, their customers are coming back and referring others.

It’s returning to the old fashioned way of doing business you might say, but embracing the tools of today. And in today’s dog-eat-dog world, it’s proving to be even more relevant and necessary than ever before when it comes to business success and longevity.

So let us know how you go, and feel free to share your thoughts and experiences about doing business in the ‘slow lane’.

Have a great week!


Much love...Kerry :) x


Want to Fast-Track Your Results?--One-on-One Coaching is Here!...[Brisbane Video Training]

 Sarah in her studio, doing a practice video to test out her phone and the microphone.

Sarah in her studio, doing a practice video to test out her phone and the microphone.

"TELL ME and I forget. TEACH ME and I remember. INVOLVE ME and I learn." 

~ Benjamin Franklin
 


It's nearly been a few weeks since our DIY Video Workshop in Brisbane, and I'm still on a high!  The feedback from participants has confirmed the need for me to provide video training, and that business owners really want to take control of their marketing, with the realisation and acknowledgement that they need video if they want to stand out. You can check out our video testimonials here at the bottom of the page.

It was great that our participants could make it for the two days to gain big learning. But the reality is, as business owners and entrepreneurs, we're busy people and it can be a challenge to line up all our ducks so that we can attend workshops on specific dates.

I've had a lot of interest over the months from quite a few business owners, who by the time the workshop came around, things got in the way, or they had pre-planned engagements and they just couldn't make those dates.  

Case Study

One of those business owners was my client Sarah, who I've just completed some video and photos for her new business and website which is launching in the next week (keep an eye out for her intro and feature videos in the next couple of weeks).

With Sarah's impending launch, she's in the middle of putting the final touches together on her website, and one of the things she really wanted was more stock photos to use in her blogs.  Now we'd already taken some stock photos as part of the multimedia package she'd purchased, and has used for her website.

But because her content is evolving, she needed more photos that were relevant to that. She also wants to start creating her own low-key videos so that she can post them on her facebook page on a regular basis to get engagement and create interaction on topics that interest her target market.

So Sarah booked me in for a half-day one-on-one workshop and we covered a lot of ground. By the end of the coaching, she was tired from the condensed learning and information she'd absorbed. But she gained not only new skills and appreciation, but more confidence as the hours went by. And I left her brimming with enthusiasm!

I'll share with you the summary of outcomes that Sarah outlined in our initial pre-workshop discussion:

  • Good quality photos for my blog and other places in my website online platform, e.g. newsletters, courses, community, etc.
  • recording guided meditations
  • facebook live sessions
  • basic videos for my courses and community.

I also asked Sarah for a list of the equipment she had so I could work out what I needed to teach her in terms of how to use them. For the allotted time, I worked out what would give her the best outcomes that was simple enough to master in a short period of time, including what she needed to learn about the relevant software/apps to get her photos and video uploaded to her site, facebook and other platforms that were relevant for her business.

business video training

By the end of our one-on-one coaching session, she had achieved her no.1 priority, which was to learn how to take good quality photos, edit and resize them them and upload them to her website blog so that she could get her website complete and ready for launch. I sat with her, and talked her through the process of uploading a photo and audio file to her website as she needed to know how to do it after I'd left.

Sarah had also learned how to record videos on her phone using a microphone, as well as how to set up an area and background with the right lighting to get the best results for her video.

All-in-all Sarah had a very productive day, and I'm looking forward to seeing what photos she creates for her blog. Sarah did come to the realisation of just how much technical knowledge is required to get a video to its' finished state and uploaded. So it's something we've earmarked to spend a little more time perfecting in the near future. At this stage, Facebook live was a great video resource that she learned how to record, and can apply and put into action quickly to start engaging her clients.

So how about you? Are you ready to fast-track your video marketing creation? If you are and you don't want to wait until March/April for my next DIY Video Workshop, contact me to talk about booking your own One-on-One Coaching Workshop. To find out more information about pricing for our One-on-One Workshop, click here

Have a great week!

Kerry :) x


Why Do You Want to Use Video?--and How You Can!...[Brisbane Video Production]

 Image by  Sam McGee

Image by Sam McGee

"My methodology is not knowing what I'm doing and making that work for me."

 ~ Stone Gossard


The overwhelming response from business owners when it comes to using video is positive and they can see the real benefits of video and how others are using it to market and get more leads and sales. But for most business owners the truth is, they often can't see the relevance of video for their own particular businesses. They find it difficult to see how it fits in with how they run their businesses, and how to use video in a way that can benefit them and their customers. So today I'm going to give you a process to help you define the many and varied ways that video can help you specifically to promote, engage, uplift, educate and inspire your customers and your staff (if you have any). There is no one-size-fits-all approach, when it comes to video. It just takes putting time aside to focus on the answers that are right for you, and a little imagination.

THE PROCESS

So let's start at the beginning. Start with these three questions:
 

  1. What is My OBJECTIVE?
  2. What PLATFORM do I want to deliver on?
  3. What FORMAT will I use?

1. What is My OBJECTIVE? What is the objective of creating a video?  Just start with one first.  So ask yourself "what do you want your audience to do?"  Do you want to?:

  • General leads and/or direct sales of products or services.
  • Create brand awareness
  • Inform or educate your customers for staff
  • Promote a course, event or an online program
  • Grow your audience and/or community.

Let's expand on a these points a little. The most common type of video that we see is business is a corporate style video with a specific objective - to sell a product or service. This is probably the one that every business owner can relate to because it is the most common form of video, i.e. "Here is what I sell or this is the service I provide, come and buy from me."

But this isn't the only way to sell products and services. You can still sell, but use different approaches, rather than a 'direct selling approach'. It all really depends on the type of business that you are in, your objective, and who your audience is. You can still sell products and services, but in a way that is more engaging and gains the trust of your audience first, and so you may sell over time. However, if and when you do create a video to sell a product or service, your 'call-to-action' in your video is critical. You want to ensure it directs people to buy straight away and how to quickly find what it is that you're selling.

If you want people to know who you are and what you're about, and you have a strong message that you want put out into the world, you can use videos that create brand awareness. This is more about getting your business name and your brand in front of your target audience, regularly and consistently so that they get to know and recognise you. The objective when it comes to brand awareness is to build recognition, trust and credibility so that when your potential customers are ready to buy from you, you are at the forefront of their minds, rather than asking them to buy something from you straight away.

Brand awareness videos can be where you talk about specific subject areas that you're an expert on, or it could be a straight promotional video that relays a bit about your history, what you do and why. And really powerful brand awareness videos that larger companies are beginning to embrace are narrative style, brand story and origin story videos, because audiences are now wanting to know more about how businesses come about and what they stand for. They want to feel a deeper sense of connection with the brands they're engaging with. 

If your objective is to inform and/or educate your customers, then consider creating a 'How-To' video, that gives specific instructions taking your audience from Point A to Point B. Or it could be in the form of a Training Program video for your staff. Perhaps you could create a video that describes and takes your customers through a 'process' to solve a recurrent problem or question; put something together like a piece of furniture; show them how to use a piece of equipment; take them through a step-by-step guide on backing up their computer, etc, etc. The possibilities are endless when you want to help inform and educate.

Do you want to promote a course, event or an offline or online program that you're running? Before you do, work out how you can use video to reach your audience with more impact and deliver a strong message that inspires your audience to sign up or participate. Videos can be used along all stages of the marketing and promotional process for your course, event or program. It can be also used within course or online program content as well, as a teaching tool. 

To grow your audience and/or community so that you have actual customers to sell to, consider creating a weekly Vlog (video blog). This can often be extrapolated from a blog post that you've written. Choose just one subject or topic in your post and expand upon it in a video blog. You can create a weekly FB live or Linkedin video to again discuss relevant topics of the week or answer questions or challenges posed by customers and your community/audience. Customer video testimonials are great for growing your audience and/or community, because its' objective is about building trust.  Keeping in mind that growing your audience is about relationship and trust-building. Sometimes people just want to know stuff and get information without being sold to constantly. So in this case it's not about getting the sale (not directly anyway). 
 

2. What PLATFORM do I want to deliver on?

Once you have a clear idea of the objective for your video, then consider what platform your video will be delivered on. So you need to ask yourself, "Where does my audience hang out?"

Does your audience hang out on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram, or can they find you directly via your Website if it's well optimised? The reason you need to take into consideration where your audience hang out, is because this has a major bearing on type of video that's going to appeal and their attention-span. The more intimately you know your audience, the better you will be at creating video content that speaks directly to the customers you really want to attract and who are more likely to buy from you (whether that comes to a product or a service). Say for example if you want to create a video for Facebook and Linkedin. You may want to create videos with a different approach in mind, as your audience are mostly on facebook for social reasons and for Linkedin, you may want to create videos that are more educational and inspirational in their delivery. If you have an audience that already has a heavily vested interest and it's a unique or niche area, or you've built an audience, then this is where you can be more flexible with the style of video and also the length, because you're audience already knows and trusts you and you know they're already interested.  So, consider where your audience hang out, and why they are there when working out what approach will work best for that given scenario.
 

3. What FORMAT will I use?

What I mean by format is, "What will my video look like?". Ask yourself:

  • Will it be a DIY or a professional video company that creates my video? 
  • Will it go for 30 seconds or 5 mins or longer?
  • Will it be a promo, explainer, music, intro, narrative style video?
  • What overall style and feel do I want? Is your business more corporate style where you're a business or medical professional, accountant, lawyer, etc or is your business a trade or service in the areas of fashion, retail, health and wellbeing, artistic, etc, etc. Because your industry will be a major determinant of the look and feel of your videos, marketing and overall branding.


In summarising...to answer these questions thoroughly and to work out what is the right approach for you when it comes to video, you should firstly take into consideration your business and/or the industry you're in, and your target audience. What is going to appeal to your audience? But also remembering your objective and the platform on which your video is going to be seen. For example, if you're creating videos to grow and build your audience and build relationships, then DIY videos in the form of FB live, Linkedin, instagram, etc,  are quite acceptable and very popular, especially when the objective is to engage, interact with and create dialogue on a regular basis. And depending on your business, weekly vlogs created as DIY are also now alot more mainstream, as people are wanting more connection and authenticity in their dealings with businesses. They want to know the person or the people behind the business.

But if you're wanting a video to create brand awareness or purely promotional video and the industry and size of your company creates the expectation that a more professional approach to video is required, then you may have to go down that line. It's then a matter of finding the right company to create the video. But be sure to look for a company that can deliver something that is in alignment with your business brand and desired objectives. 

And most importantly, ensure that you have good communication between you and the company you use to create your video. It should be a collaborative arrangement to ensure that you're both on the same page, and that they understand exactly what you want, so that you get the desired outcome.

I hope these questions and examples have helped you see that whatever your business, that video can play a significant role in delivering the message or messages that you want to uniquely convey to your target audience. And if you're having difficulty working out what may work best for you or how you can use video in your business, then please give me a call, book a skype session or let's just have a coffee so that I can get to know your business a little better and offer suggestions.I may not always have the answers, and in fact, if I feel we are not a good fit, I will point you in the right direction.

Have a great week!


Kerry :) x
 


DIY Video Workshop

*** DIY VIDEO WORKSHOP--BRISBANE ***

IT'S ONLY 10 MORE DAYS UNTIL MY DIY VIDEO WORKSHOP!  IT'S NOT TOO LATE TO LEARN HOW TO START CREATING YOUR OWN VIDEOS!

✔ Want more than 'tips'? 
✔ Do you want real world, practical video skills that you can apply to your business right now? 
✔ Want to know how to step out and feel confident in front of a camera?
 Do you want to start building your own community and tribe?
✔ Ready to start creating your own intro, educational, training videos, plus more...(all on your Smartphone) in 2018 with your video marketing?

Then come along to my 2 DAY HANDS-ON DIY VIDEO WORKSHOP'DIY Video for the SAVVY Entrepreneur' in Brisbane on 3rd & 4th November in 2017.

For all the details and pricing go to   *** DIY VIDEO FOR THE SAVVY ENTREPRENEUR ***


The Stories That Bind Us--How Narrative Shapes Identity...[Brand Story}

 Image Credit: www.pexels.com

Image Credit: www.pexels.com

"What story will you write for yourself? What story will you share with the world? In the end it is our stories that bind us, that heal us, and that grow us."

- Nicole Cody


It's said that every person has a story. It's true. We all have a story. But do you think you have a story worth telling? Well I'm here to tell you that I believe you do. Because if I didn't think you had a story worth telling, I wouldn't be here right now talking to you, and I wouldn't be here right now, telling my client's stories and documenting them in the only way I know how to...visually.

Those like us who have taken the road-less-travelled and pursued the calling in our hearts to create or go into business, I think have some of the most interesting stories. Usually, business people are more driven than your average person and have an insatiable thirst to make their mark upon the world in some way--to make a difference. Usually, there's a reason behind that drive and it's often wrapped up within a story. It's often a journey made up of many stories along the way. How we got to where we are today matters, however humble the road we've travelled.

Lately, I've been a little frustrated with being in business and having to be so visible--feeling like the proverbial hamster on the social media marketing wheel, and all that goes with building a business in this digital era. I don't know about you, but sometimes like now, I feel a little lost and I become overwhelmed, not knowing where I begin and where my business ends--the lines get blurred and I feel like just another 'face' out there whose voice becomes drowned out among the myriad of other voices just like my own--all scrambling to make sense of our own place in the world and having to make a life that is financially viable and sustainable--and questioning whether our place in this world has real value.

Do you ever feel like that sometimes?

It's times like these that I take a step back. I turn and look back to see how far I've come. I turn to look back at the stories I've created or been a part of in my life. It helps me make sense of who I am and why I'm here right now doing what I'm doing. 

The Stories That Bind Us

So I love stories...all kinds of stories. I'm fascinated with stories and the human psyche. Sad stories...happy stories, and all those in-between--they make our lives more meaningful. Because without grief, how would we come to know true joy? Without challenges, how would we come to know and appreciate our triumphs?

And here's an interesting thing...what we know about our own family stories and narratives, often plays an integral role in how we approach business and to a certain extent, how resilient we are when it comes to the challenges we face.

It was observed by American psychologist, Sarah Duke, the wife of Dr Marshal Duke of  Emory University, who works with children with learning disabilities that the students who do better at facing challenges were the ones who knew a lot about their families. Dr Marshal Duke and colleague, Robyn Fivush set out to test Sarah Duke's hypothesis, and came up  with a measure called the 'Do You Know?' scale that asked children to answer twenty questions. Some of those questions included examples such as: "Do you know where you grandparents grew up? Do you know where your parents met? Do you know the story of your birth?"

[Excerpt from article, The Stories That Bind Us, by Bruce Feiler, New York Times, March 2013]  "Dr. Duke and Dr. Fivush asked those questions of four dozen families in the summer of 2001, and taped several of their dinner table conversations. They then compared the children’s results to a battery of psychological tests the children had taken, and reached an overwhelming conclusion. The more children knew about their family’s history, the stronger their sense of control over their lives, the higher their self-esteem and the more successfully they believed their families functioned. The “Do You Know?” scale turned out to be the best single predictor of children’s emotional health and happiness."

Dr Duke goes on to say that the answers are to do with a child's sense of being part of a larger family...a family that has a unifying narrative. And that "the children who have the most self-confidence have what he and Dr. Fivush call a strong 'intergenerational self'. They know they belong to something bigger than themselves."

So what do narratives have to do with business?

I quote from the same excerpt above..."Leaders in other fields have found similar results. Many groups use what sociologists call sense-making, the building of a narrative that explains what the group is about. Jim Collins, a management expert and author of “Good to Great,” told me that successful human enterprises of any kind, from companies to countries, go out of their way to capture their core identity."

And the core identity--the who and why of who we are and how our businesses came about, all stem from our stories and narratives. In knowing and appreciating our own significance in these stories, we come to feel like we too belong to something bigger than ourselves. This gives us the courage and resilience to keep going in the face of challenges. 

But most importantly, it also gives our customers a sense of something bigger that they too, can feel a part of. So if you ever wonder about the significance of your own stories--don't question that, but look deeper into it.  

Because all we need to do as business owners is find the RIGHT STORIES that speak to our customers, strongly connects and resonates with them, and then find ways of authentically telling those stories to attract our ideal customers and keep them coming back for more.

So what stories are you writing for yourself and your business, sharing with the world and in turn helping to bind, heal and grow yourself and others?  I'd love to know! So if ever you feel like sharing a little of your story, I'm here to listen. 

Kerry :) x


 

 

 

Creating a Video Testimonial on Your Smartphone is as Easy as 1-2-3...{D.I.Y Video Brisbane}

"If not you, then who? If not now, then when?"---SEIZE THE MOMENT!


There's always a lot of talk about having Client Testimonials on your website, facebook page and other social media platforms--it's important...we get that. But recently, the buzz is around Video Testimonials and why you need them for your business. The reason being, as business owners, if you already have satisfied customers who are willing to shout your name from the rooftops, you should be taking advantage of this (mostly) free, and most effective marketing opportunity.

STATISTICS

So here are some statistics for you, quoted directly from an article from boast.io, a company that specialises in 'Testimonial Collection Apps'--you can read the full article here...

  • People are 63% more likely to purchase a product from a site if it has product ratings and reviews (People Claim).
  • 79% of online shoppers tend to trust online reviews as much as recommendations from friends and family (BrightLocal).
  • Customer reviews create a 74% increase in product conversion (People Claim).
  • Customer testimonials have the highest effectiveness rating for all types of content marketing, with a rating of 89% (WebDAM).
  • 90% of consumers admit their buying decisions are influenced by online reviews (Marketing Land).

But here's the interesting thing--when you introduce Video Testimonials as opposed to using only written testimonials, your credibility and trust skyrocket, thereby exponentially increasing the likelihood of your potential customers buying from you and clearly leaving your competition behind.

Now with so much technology available to us, if you're just starting out in business or even if you've been in business for a little while, if you have a smartphone, you can capture a great video testimonial from your happy customers. All you need is just a little bit of planning and forethought, a little bit of know-how when it comes to lighting and backgrounds, and basic equipment--like your smartphone and a mobile phone tripod.

D.I.Y VIDEO TESTIMONIAL EXAMPLE

So just to show you a real-life example of what you can create on your smartphone, at the top of this article, you can view a Client Video Testimonial I created on my iPhone and uploaded to my YouTube channel. Now it isn't a fully professional video production that I would normally create for my clients, but it's professional enough to put on my site. And by creating a professional image that sits over the top, it makes it look more professional.

You see, I was shooting professional head shots for my client and business owner, Nicole, and quite frankly, I had enough to think about without having to also think about a full filming set-up complete with all the gear for a video testimonial. Besides, I already had my full portable studio photography gear, so having additional equipment with a restricted time slot was just going to be too hard.

But I did have my smartphone, bracket and a light stand (you can use a mini-tripod) and very little time. And here's the most important lesson...I had a live customer!! I had standing right in front of me a customer who was buzzing from her just completed session and was ready to shout from the rooftops...and she was right there...ready and primed to give me a glowing testimonial!

Was it a perfect video in terms of lighting and audio? Hell No--but it was good enough! And if you watch and listen to the above video, you can understand why I wanted to capture Nicole's excitement don't you? I was ecstatic! And if I would have waited to try and video this another time (which doesn't often come because our clients are just as busy as we are) I would have missed getting that raw excitement and emotion on camera.

If you can, try to take advantage of opportunities that present themselves. And in order to do that, you have to be prepared. I now always carry around with me my iPhone and a mini-tripod as a minimum, because you never know when that opportunity might present itself.

So remember to ask your happy customers for a testimonial. You can email and ask them for a written testimonial, or you can record a video testimonial if you've been out to see a customer and completed a job that they're happy with. Or you could also organise to record a video testimonial at a later, more convenient date.

WHAT TYPES OF TESTIMONIAL QUESTIONS YOU SHOULD ASK?

Now, here is a GREAT TIP if you want to get great written testimonials that say more than just ..."She was great!" or "I highly recommend (....)". Try writing down a few questions for your customer to answer, so that the information they're giving is more descriptive. And then combine the answers to create a more comprehensive and inspiring testimonial. Of course, be sure to let your customer know what you're doing and why.

Here are three examples of testimonial questions you could ask you customer:

  • "What was it about our business that attracted you?" This gives an idea of what uniquely appeals to your target market, and can also draw other customers that are wanting something similar.
  • "How did you find dealing with (insert person or business name)?". This speaks about the character of that person or business. It gives insight as to who you or your business are, and is the fastest way to build trust and rapport.
  • "What can you tell us about your overall experience, and what was the biggest learning, outcome or takeaway from your experience?" This is one of the most important questions you can ask your customer, because this will reveal exactly what their experience was, especially if it was a great experience, and also what the final result or outcome was for them.

These are just a few suggestions, but you can come up with your own, tailored to suit your business or industry, or they could be based around an event or workshop that you're holding. Hopefully these will stimulate some ideas for you.

So why not begin now? Start collecting video testimonials from your excited customers, because you've got marketing gold right there, ready to be mined. And if you need help to get started, get in touch with me via my website contact page, at Truth Seeker Images Multimedia, whether that's about how to get a DIY video testimonial or a professionally produced video testimonial.

Now if you're ready and serious about learning how to create your own videos with your smartphone, you can register your interest for my upcoming 2 Day Workshop >>> 'DIY Video for the Savvy Entrepreneur', being held in Brisbane on October 28 & 29, 2017. I'd love to see you there and help you get started on your video marketing journey!

Have a great week and ciao for now...


Kerry :) x


Why You Need Storytelling & Where Can You Find Your Stories?...[Video Production Brisbane]

"Connection is the energy that is created between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued." 

- Brene Brown


Beth Comstock (Marketing & Innovation, GE) says in the above video, "Behind every person...behind every company...behind every thing, there's a story of how it got there, and the most relevant stories connect on a personal level."

In today's competitive market, every business is fighting for to be heard. I don't know about you, but I find the tsunami of information through social media and emails so overwhelming some days, it all becomes a blur and I can end up feeling numb. It's hard to know where to begin and what to pay attention to. Like every other business person, my time is limited, so what little time I do have when I'm searching for information, a product or service, has to be used wisely and it has to be super-focused. It also means that the businesses who are vying for my time, also not only have to be super-focused in their messaging, but their message has to really grab my attention long enough for me to want to listen.

So why do you need storytelling? 

 "Today it's not so much about market-share, it's all about 'Mind Share'. We have to get into the minds of our audience and our target customers." - Beth Comstock


And what better way to get into the minds of your audience, than with good storytelling? Storytelling is an art. You can't just tell any story and expect to mesmerise your audience and turn them into raving customers. It has to be a story that's strongly told, and most of all...it  has to be relevant! So how to do you tell a relevant story? You have to find all the possibilities - the stories that are there waiting to be told. You'd be surprised where these stories are hiding. But you don't have to look very far. The first and easiest place to look is in your own backyard--your personal or company story, and/or the story of how your business got to where it is now. Why was your business incepted in the first place? What was the desire behind it's inception? What are you doing right now in your business that's relevant and people want to know more about because it will solve a problem or make their lives better?

You can find other stories within the framework of your employees or your customers. You don't have to dig too deep to find them. But in order to find them, it requires that you connect with people first. Unless people trust you, they're not going to be so open to sharing their stories. But if you have good rapport with your staff (if you have staff) and with your customers, you'll find that you've probably uknowningly uncovered their stories, but you just haven't acknowledged their presence or relevance yet. So stop and look at all the possibilities of where stories can be uncovered and then developed. 

Once you've found your stories and uncovered all the details, it's a matter of then cutting through that detail to find if and what's relevant. It's not only about what's relevant to your target customer, but it must be relevant to your objectives and the product and/or service that you want to focus on. So you then need to simplify. Get it down to the bare bones--the basic outline which holds the key messages and purpose of why you're telling that particular story. If you don't, your message will be lost and it will confuse your audience and they'll switch off.
 

 "Simplify--how are you memorable when you have complicated things to talk about?"   - Beth Comstock


Beth says so insightfully, businesses tend to get stuck in the "logical, mathematical, financial dealings", when in reality if you truly want to connect with your customer, you have to be about the story--the story that's relevant to them. The story that taps into their emotion in a way that they're no longer focused on you selling them on your product, idea or service--but the story that has them so focused on your message because they relate so strongly, they're now deeply engaged and they're listening as though they're hearing you for the first time.

So start taking a magnifying glass to your business and the people you connect with on a regular basis, to start finding stories of relevance. And then, start sharing your stories. You'll be surprised at how much interest you'll create, and the exponential results you'll gain from your prospective customers, who you can then turn into long-term, raving customers who keep bringing you more and more business. 

And if you're not too sure how to use story in your business marketing, then call me on 0488 723 673 or email me at info@truth-seeker-images.com for a quick chat. Sometimes it just takes someone standing outside of your circle to see your business with clear and fresh eyes.

Ciao for now...
 


Kerry :) x


 



 

Stop Ruining Your Content by Selling...[Video Production Brisbane]

"The life I touch for good or ill will touch another life, and that in turn another, until who knows where the trembling stops or in what far place my touch will be felt."

- Frederick Buechner


In Tara Hunt's vlog episode, 'Stop Ruining Your Content by Selling',  she says "Content marketing is not about selling - that's the beauty of it. It's about being useful, relatable and entertaining."

And in my post last week, '6 Simple Types of Video to Showcase Your Business' where I talk about the appeal of vlogs, I mentioned how it's all about building a relationship with people who over time come to know and trust you. When you're Selling, per se, you're throwing away the opportunity to gain a customer, build trust and establish a relationship that sees you take your customer on a journey and sees them returning to you again and again.

It's about CONNECTEDNESS, and this week this theme has been popping up for me everywhere. It's funny how this often happens. Some call it coincidence, but I call it synchronicity. It usually happens when we need to be aware of something. If we're not listening we'll miss the message.

And then last week at our weekly KBN (Key Business Network) meeting, the same theme came up. We were watching a TED talk by Margaret Heffernan called 'Forget the Pecking Order at Work' and the talk centres around the organisational culture of 'Superchickens'. This model is all about singling out a high-achieving person and their talents, to the detriment of other people on the team. Eventually, as statistics show, it's creates a dog-eat-dog environment, which eventually leads to unhappy people and the loss of staff and productivity.

Margaret talks about how an organisation that encourages social collectiveness ends up experiencing the most success. It's about recognising that people will thrive in an environment where each person in a team is acknowledged for their individual gifts and talents and what they bring to the team.  But in order to be able to truly understand and know what those gifts and talents are, social interaction and connection must be encouraged so that through authentic listening, we can more readily recognise those qualities.

Most significantly, what is apparent to the success of any organisation is as Margaret says, what happens between each other, is achieved by cultivating a culture of helpfulness. By being sensitive to others, and showing we care, will lend to the success of the person as well as the organisation.

So how can we as small business people apply connectedness to our own businesses and to our marketing?

Connectedness is a theme that I see running through all our own interactions, personal and business. In the end, we all want to feel connected and to feel that we each have value. Connectedness is also about recognising that we achieve more 'together'. To yearn for connection is to be human.

So this week, rather than thinking of how to 'sell' your products and services, think of ways that you can connect with your customers through providing engaging content. Think of what you can share that has real value, and that shows you've genuinely listened to them and you care. Sometimes, it's also about just making people feel good. 

Have a great week!

Kerry :) x

*Banner image credit: www.pexels.com


6 Simple Types of Video to Showcase Your Business--VLOGS...[Video Production Brisbane]

 Behind-the-scenes snap I took while filming vlog content for Studio 55, graphic design studio.

Behind-the-scenes snap I took while filming vlog content for Studio 55, graphic design studio.

"Content marketing is the only marketing left."

- Seth Godin


This week is the last instalment of '6 Simple Types of Video to Showcase your Business', and we're going to look at the most effective form of content marketing out there...VLOGS. 

What is a vlog? It's a cross between the traditional written BLOG and VIDEO.  So it's a blog in video format, in the most simple terms.

It's also one of the easiest types of video to create and the most effective form of content marketing out there.  Why, you may ask?  Because a vlog is REPETITIVE in its' ability to garner attention, with the key being the CONSISTENCY and REGULARITY of scheduling. Unlike blogs, vlogs give your audience an instant impression of who you are and what you stand for and because of the consistency of showing up, they get to know, like and follow you. Just ensure that  YOUR CONTENT IS INTERESTING AND ENGAGING and inspires them to keep turning up and watching. 

If you want to build a 'list', 'following' or 'community' of people who love what you do and resonate with what you say, then vlogs are unparalleled in being able to deeply and consistently engage your audience. It's all about building a relationship with people who over time come to know and trust you. Vlogs are also a great tool to boost credibility and lift your profile and establish you as someone who is knowledgeable in your field of expertise.

To start creating your own vlog, as I advise all my clients, use the K.I.S.S principle. Just start, and start simply (vlogs are easy to create on your mobile phone or you can pay someone to do it for you). You're not going to get it perfect the first or second time. In fact, you might just suck at it when  you start and you'll make mistakes. But that's okay. And that's not important. The important thing is starting and sticking with it. Each time you go out there you learn something--you get better--you feel more confident--you begin adding to your skills and repetoire of what's possible until you've built something solid.  And apart from that, if you feel you have something important to share and give to others, and they want what you have to offer, then that becomes more important than getting it perfect and never starting at all. 

The best place to start looking at examples of Vlogs is in on Youtube. Look for someone in your area of expertise or at someone you like and check out their vlogs. One of the most famous vloggers is Gary Vaynerchuk. He can teach you a thing or two about what to do and what not to do. But just a word of warning--take the information and see how you can use that to suit you. Don't try to copy someone else. It won't work. Look for someone who you resonate with as an example and model yourself after them if you like, as a way to get started. But always be authentic and create something that is uniquely you and gives your audience something of value that only you can offer. 

If you haven't already got one, create a Youtube Channel for your vlog.  Not only is it free, it's essential to optimising keywords when it comes to search engine ranking. It's also flexible and easy-to-use and share, especially from mobile devices. 

And lastly, here's a great website I found to help you get a vlog started. It's called Vlog Nation, and it has stacks of information about vlogging including 'How to Start a Vlog''How to Build a Relationship with Your Audience', and other really useful and cool tips about vlogging. Even though the information is about vlogging on Youtube, it's applicable to any vlog, regardless of the platform.  But honestly, Youtube is the place to be...oh and did I say that IT'S FREE?

So I hope you found this last instalment useful.  Now go out there and spread your message (and the message is also for me too--I'll be creating my own Vlogs in the near future and following my own advice very soon). ;)

If after reading this you're still not too sure how to use video in your business marketing, then why not book a time for a 20 minute Discovery Session via phone or skype to discuss your particular business and how video can help it grow, on 0488 723 673 or email me at info@truth-seeker-images.com.

Ciao for now...
 


Kerry :) x


6 Simple Types of Video to Showcase Your Business--WHITEBOARD VIDEOS...[Video Production Brisbane]

"Having the aspiration to be memorable is easy. The hard part is creating a crisp message you want others to articulate when you're no longer in the room."

- Carmen Simon, Author of 'Impossible to Ignore'


This week we're going to look at WHITEBOARD ANIMATION VIDEOS and ideas for using these types of video in your marketing.

Also called explainer videos, this form of video marketing is a great because it's simple in its' approach and is one way of succinctly getting your message across. It's also easier if you're on a budget, especially if you want to get across a number of short messages over a set period of time.

Whiteboard videos are different to standard video story productions and are less complex when in comes to story creation and production. With whiteboard animation videos, the viewer is visually engaged through the use of  text and images that are 'cartoon-like' in appearance. This is achieved by using a multitude of drawings strung together to give the appearance that things are moving, just in the same way that cartoons are produced on TV.  Even though the process of creating these drawings in the background is complex,  the way in which the drawings are projected, gives the impression of simplicity to keep the overall message very clear, concise and easy to follow for the viewer. It also adds an element of play and gives a lighthearted and upbeat feeling, adding to its' appeal.

Now whiteboard animation videos are not the magic bullet when it comes to video. You really need to think of why you would use whiteboard videos in your marketing. What type of business or industry is your business in? What is your objective and would a whiteboard video suit that objective? So to help you decide whether whiteboard videos would suit your business, here are a couple of ways in which to use whiteboard videos to create maximum interest and engagement and that may benefit your business.

Simple Story Telling

We don't always need to tell stories with complexity, in the same way that say a video story production may do. Sometimes, the story we need to tell is less about creating visual drama or emotion, and more about showing or drawing out one element of a story and then 'explaining' how that element (product or service that you provide) solves a problem. This whiteboard animation video is a story about Joe who is starting his own business, and who by using a whiteboard video production business to create his video, finally experiences success. It's a marketing video for the video production company that specialises in animation video, but the point about the video is how the story is created to get their message across.

Storytelling whiteboard videos are ideal to use on your 'home page' or 'about me' page as a bit of an introduction and to help create a connection and build trust with your prospective customers. The attraction of using whiteboard videos as opposed to 'tallking head' videos, is that you as the business owner don't need to physically be in the video. And if you have a business or are in an industry where the story is built around a 'touchy' or controversial topic, whiteboard videos are a fantastic way to introduce the topic in a way that's more pallatable to the viewer. 

Here's a link to a great little video called Healthy Relationships, which tells the story of a fictional character, Kiah, to make young aboriginal girls aware of the danger signs to watch out for in controlling and abusive relationships. Not an easy topic to talk about, but by using a whiteboard video to tell this story, it's made the topic more approachable and the information easier to digest for the viewer. You'll also notice that the message is strongly targeted at young aboriginal girls, so the language used and the pictures speak directly to that market in a way that they would get the message and relate. So that's something to take into consideration - who is your target audience?

Showing a Process & Education

One of the most effective ways of using whiteboard animation videos is to show our viewers 'how to do something'. Sometimes what you may need to do as a business is less about telling a story and more about showing interested viewers how to complete a task or take them through a process. Whether that's explaining how to use your product, if it's something that's technical and requires a step-by-step approach or whether it's about delivering them content that's all about teaching, educating and providing them knowledge about your area of expertise. If you're thinking of providing online courses, you could use explainer videos to get certain points across to your audience who have signed up for your course.

In this explainer video called How Whiteboard Video Technology Works in Education, the narrator talks about the use of explainer or 'scribe' videos for delivering information and the statistics around the popularity and also the increase in memory retention when it comes to information absorption - perfect for those businesses who want to use video to educate their audience. You don't have to watch this entire video, in order to get an idea about the effectiveness of whiteboard videos for delivering information that's more technical in its' structure, in order to make it easy to understand.

Within these two methods of using whiteboard animation videos, the ways in which you can utilise these methods is numerous. It just takes a little thought and imagination as to how you can use whiteboard videos in your marketing.

And lastly, how do you create your own whiteboard videos?

There are basically two ways.  The first and most affordable way is to do it yourself using Whiteboard Animation Software.  There are too many of these software programs to go through individually, but what I would recommend if you are wanting to purchase software, is to do a google search on 'whiteboard animation videos' or 'whiteboard animation video software', and you'll be given a ton of information. It's just a matter of going through them and researching which ones are going to suit your particular needs and skills level, your objectives and your budget. You should also consider how often you would use this software to create videos before you make a purchase.

And the other way is to enlist the services of a video production company that specialises in whiteboard animation videos. You can do a google search in the same way you would for whiteboard animation software to find a business to do this for you. Keeping in mind that by enlisting a company to do this, will increase the costs, but you need to weigh up the benefits of using such a company that is experienced in creating these types of video. Here's a link to a video production business that specialises in whiteboard animation videos, called Yum Yum videos. They provide some great articles and information on what you need to consider before you begin creating these types of video.

So today, I hope this post has helped you understand a little more about Whiteboard Videos and how you can possibly use them to promote your products and services. And remember to look out for next week's post, which will be the last post in the series, '6 Simple Types of Video to Showcse Your Business', where we take a look at one of the most popular and effective types of video called 'VLOGS'.

Not too sure how to use video in your business marketing? Why not book a time for a 20 minute Discovery Session via phone or skype to discuss your particular business and how video can help it grow, on 0488 723 673 or email me at info@truth-seeker-images.com.

Ciao for now...
 


Kerry :) x

*Banner image credit - Web Centricom
 


What is Authenticity and How Do You Create That In Your Business?...[Video Production Brisbane]

 Image Credit:   www.pexels.com

Image Credit:  www.pexels.com

"Authenticity requires a certain measure of vulnerability, transparency, and integrity."

 ~ Janet Louise Stephenson


Today I'm going to take a detour from '6 Simple Types of Video to Showcase Your Business', to talk about something that's been popping up a bit lately. Just in general life, and interactions with clients as well as what's been floating around in the big and often overwhelming world of business and marketing...AUTHENTICITY.

This word just keeps jumping out at me and like many other words, it's being used more and more. I'm seeing this word used generously in marketing, and I myself use this word in my own marketing.  But it's one of those words that gets bandied about so often and we see it used over and over again as the latest 'fad' in marketing, that it loses it's ability to shine and to offer us the depth and significance that the word truly implies. But that observation doesn't discount the fact that we need to be looking at authenticity as part of our own personal and business development.  And how if we want truly want to grow our businesses,  we need to ensure that AUTHENTICITY forms an important part of our core values - business, as well as personal.

So what is 'Authenticity' and how do you create an atmosphere of authenticity in your own business? 

The definition of Authentic according to Miriam-Webster dictionary, is "True to one's own personal, spirit or character - sincere and authentic with no pretensions", and "not false or imitation: real, actual". So as much we need to be talking about that in our marketing, we also need to ensure that what we do speaks louder than what we say.  I'll repeat that...we need to ensure that what we DO speaks louder than what we SAY.

I think it takes a certain amount of courage to be authentic. How often is it, that when you engage with your customers, regardless of how good your relationship is, you can sometimes experience challenges, doubts, and uncertainties during your dealings with them?  These are moments when your courage to be authentic, both as you genuinely consider the needs of your customers and also your need to bring value to your business, can be truly tested. But having the courage to do so also provides the opportunity to build a stronger relationship and set that all important foundation of trust.  Because without trust, we can't progress our businesses. And as we know, trust is hard to establish, but so easy to lose.

Authenticity is also not just about what we do and say, but it comes through in the visual messages that our customers see across all our platforms. Have a look at your visuals...the images, the colours you use...the style of fonts, and how you bring all these elements together.  Is there are commonality? Do they have a similar look and feel? What about your photos? Your head shots (if you have any), your stock photos and graphics - do they imply a certain message? What do they stand for and does what they stand for align with your core values and reflect your personal and or business brand?  

If your words speak corporate and professional, but your visuals and behaviours smack of anything but, you're going to lose the trust of the people you're wanting to attract, because there will be a mismatch between the message you're implying and the actual message that's being received. This then comes across as being 'false' and people get a feeling of something not being quite right.

I believe that authenticity requires a high level of integrity, which is doing the right thing, regardless of the status quo and what others think is the right thing for you to do.  I also think integrity is having a deep sense of responsibility and genuine care for others. It's about thinking of not just what is going to be in alignment with our own values, but what is going to ensure that our customer's needs and wants are being considered and that we also place value on that too.

But mostly, I think authenticity is about understanding what makes us uniquely qualified to offer something of value, and conveying a consistent and strong message, so that we then attract to our businesses other people who possess those same core values of transparency, integrity and trust.

So this week, think about the messages that you're putting out in your business, whether that be in person, online or otherwise. Do those messages convey authenticity? Do they reflect your unique offerings and are they aligned with your core values? Because there's always time and opportunity to work towards this in order to gain and build trust with your customers.

And if you're like to read a little more about authenticity in marketing, I found this great little article to help you called 'Why Authenticity in Marketing Matters Now More Than Ever'.

Next week we'll continue with the series '6 Simple Types of Video to Showcase Your Business'  where we take a look at WHITEBOARD VIDEOS to create interest!

Ciao for now...
 


Kerry :) x


6 Simple Types of Video to Showcase Your Business--INTERVIEWS...[Video Production Brisbane]

"Empathy is connecting with the emotion that someone is experiencing, not the event or the circumstance." 

- Brene Brown


Today I'm going to share with you one of the most important approaches and styles of video that you can use in your business...INTERVIEWS!

Aside from creating a pure interview style video, the technique of interviewing itself is crucial in gathering the information required to get a feel for your overall subject and objectives for creating a video. It also helps you decide what you should focus on when it comes to video content and creation. Understand that the information extracted during interviews has profound implications on the message that you want to convey to your audience. Interviewing is an art form and it's a good idea to think carefully about what approach or style you are going to use for your own interview videos and what questions you need to be asking to elicit the best responses.

We'll take a look at a couple of styles that will suit most businesses to gain the attention of your particular target audience.

Now we've all seen interviews on mainstream television, and you're probably familiar with a current affairs program called 60 Minutes. Interviews are critical to these TV programs. Often these interviews have the effect of creating extreme curiousity, so that as viewers we are pulled into the stories and dramas because we want questions answered or we want to know the outcome. And usually the people being interviewed are either famous or infamous, and there is a current and significant amount of media attention surrounding the interviewees, increasing the curiosity factor and so, holding our attention longer. 

You can incorporate the same approach or style, by creating purely interview-only videos where the content is based entirely around one interview, whether that be one or two people. In this particular style of video, the interviewer's questions are also being recorded and broadcast, and will make an appearance in the final video.  These types of interview videos are great for businesses.  Especially if you have a subject or person that is interesting and engaging. You can interview customers or other businesses that provide services which are aligned with your own business. I would highly recommend this style of video but using a less formal set-up, like a chat session where it becomes more of a conversation, rather than an interview.

Another variation of this, like the video above that I filmed and created as part of my Business Stories series, is where the interviewee's are being filmed and recorded, but the interviewer (myself) does not appear as part of the video.  The reason for this variation, is because the objective is to promote the business itself, so we want to focus purely on the business and the owners and/or key characters. It also focuses on the storytelling aspect of video, and interviews are crucial to telling stories in videos.

The main difference you'll notice about this type of video which includes other footage as well as the interview, is that it makes it more interesting. Different visual elements called'cutaways'  and 'B-Roll' are interspersed with the footage of the interview to keep the viewer's attention longer. Things such as Andrew and Jess preparing and cooking food and close-ups of the salad vegetables, and varying aspects and perspectives. These elements help support and tell the story by providing context to the viewer, and they also relate to the what the video is about, which is about providing allergy-friendly food. You may notice also that as some of these elements appear, you can't see who is being interviewed, but you can still hear their voices (these are called voice-overs). Again, this is to make the video more engaging and help tell the story so that the viewer can relate to what is being discussed, but it also keeps the viewer's attention.

So as businesses, what can we learn from having videos which incorporate interviews?    It's highly personal and it's targeted.

What that means is that by interviewing a person, we get to know the person...the individual. We get a sense of who are they, what drives them...what's meaningful and important to them. We also get a real sense of what they are passionate about - what they care about. And most importantly, what we often get to see, is another human being sitting in their vulnerability, displaying and sharing their feelings (depending on the skills of the interviewer). If we as viewers get a glimpse of what it feels like to walk in someone else's shoes, the more that we can relate to a person and/or their story or experience, then the stronger the connection that is made and the level of trust increases dramatically.

Say for instance you have a video interview of one of your customer's who had a great experience, and during that interview they shared how much your product or service changed their life or made a positive difference in some way...and they were visibly moved.  How do you think the viewer (your target audience), who is considering buying your product or service would feel after watching that interview? How much more impact do you think that would have, coming directly from someone who has had that positive experience? How much more would you trust in that business that provides that kind of product or level of service? 

So today, I hope this post has helped you think a little differently about interviews and how you can incorporate them in your own video marketing. And remember to look out for next week's post where we take a look at WHITEBOARD VIDEOS to create interest!

If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment or email me at info@truth-seeker-images.com and I'll be happy to help!

Ciao for now...


Kerry :) x

*Banner image by Sam McGhee


6 Simple Types of Video to Showcase your Business--TESTIMONIAL VIDEOS...[Brisbane Video Production]

"Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value." 

- Albert Einstein


In this great article on '20 Impactful Statistics About Using Testimonials in Marketing', l want to draw your attention to Statistics #14 #16 and #20.

#14:  85% of consumers said they read up to 10 reviews before feeling they can trust a business.
#16:  39% of consumers said they read reviews on a regular basis to determine whether a local business is a good business. 
#20:  88% of people trust online reviews written by other consumers as much as they trust recommendations from personal contacts.


Now if the above statistics are just for 'written reviews', you have to ask yourself how much more of an impact can a video testimonial make and increase these percentages?  You see, video marketing alone has the potential to create deeper engagement with your customers, creating trust and connection, therefore leading to sales. And I say 'potential', because not all videos are made the same. We can't expect to throw any video up and think that it will instantly bring us amazing results. Like any form of marketing, we still need to ensure that our video marketing is well thought out, and that we understand our objectives in using video as part of our overall marketing strategy.

So today, apart from bringing to your attention to the importance of, and how much of a difference that video testimonials can make, I'd also like to make you aware that your approach to what a testimonial video looks like can differ. The type will depend on your objective and the message you're wanting to convey.

If you watch the above video, you'll get an idea of what I mean. The video uses a slightly different approach. This client testimonial video I created back when I was solely doing photography in my business. And in this video, what my beautiful customer Paula, is doing, is relaying her experience of having a 'Day-in-the-Life' Family Photography Session...so it's all about the experience...not me or the product, but what in the end, the product or service brought her and her family in the way of experiences to cement their memories, and what was most significant to her. 

Having video testimonials of your customers telling the world about their great experience using your service or product is one of the most powerful forms of video you can include as part of your arsenal.

The easiest place to begin with testimonials, is with a happy client, and just after they've used your services and have expressed their satisfaction. So when your customers share their great experiences with you, why not take that opportunity to ask them whether they would consider doing a video testimonial for you. And make it as easy as possible for them. If you're talking with them in person or you happen to be there if you're delivering a product or service, you could video a testimonial using your mobile phone. At the very least, you could video them with just your phone or even on your laptop. Or if you're prepared, take along a mobile phone tripod and bracket and a lapel microphone so you can easily and professionally create a 30 sec-1 min testimonial video. And if you want to make it more engaging, plan out the questions to ask your customer or ask them if they could give feedback on or around specific topics, in order to get the desired information you want your audience to know.  It's about putting people at ease and asking the right questions to elicit the best response.  

Here are some questions you could ask for or information you could use for your customer testimonials:

  • Ask your customers to say their name, and if it's another business, what that business is and what they do. If they're an individual, just there name and any information that might be relevant to provide context.
  • Ask them to state why they used your products or services--what was their reason in the first place for using your services (they may have had a bad experience some where else).
  • What was your overall experience using our product or service?
  • How happy were you with our customer service?
  • Was there any particular thing that really stood out for you or made a positive difference for  you? 
  • What do you think makes this business different? 
  • How did you find (insert owner or employee)? How would you describe them/him/her?
  • Would you recommend (person or business name) to your friends, family or colleagues?

There are all types of questions you could ask. What you need to remember is to ask questions that elicit a specific response that you want your audience to hear. Because when you ask a question, most people will use the same or similar words in their response, so really think about the kind of words you want  your customer to use in their response.

Click on the above image for a video testimonial that I gave for Moana from 'B Styled for Life'. In this example,
Moana has used her laptop to record this video with no additional microphones or lighting (I did make sure
I faced towards the window light though).

The reason why customer testimonials are so impactful, as in the above article states, people trust what others have to say about your business, rather than you saying it. When a recommendation comes from someone who has already used your services, it instantly allows your audience to gain trust. "If somebody else has used them before, then they must be good and I'm not going to get a raw deal and I'm going to be treated with respect, and get great service."  Testimonials are a way that your potential customers 'qualify' you or your business before they spend their hard-earned dollars.

The other option is to commission a video production company to create a professional video testimonial that will not only have high quality sound and video, but they should be able to help you plan around what questions to ask to get the desired answers. Professionally created videos also allow you to add in more bells and whistles, such as your logo, either as a static logo or animated, text, background music and also you could add in custom photos that highlight your business and the specific product or service your customer may be talking about in your video.  So this way, it's a more comprehensive customer testimonial with a polished finish.

What I've done today, is to show you an example of two customer testimonials that aren't created by a professional video company. These have been created with what the business owner had on hand (the only addition is that the end result was achieved using post-processing sofward to create a more professional appearance). It's to show you that to get started in video, you can start simple and work your way up, if that's all that is currently in your budget to do.

Well I hope this post has stimulated some more ideas for you if you are considering video marketing for your business. And remember to look out for next week's post where we'll be talking about how you can effectively use INTERVIEWS to showcase your business!

If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment or email me at info@truth-seeker-images.com and I'll be happy to help!

Ciao for now...

Kerry :) x

 

6 Simple Types of Video to Showcase Your Business: 'HOW-TO' VIDEOS...[Brisbane Video Production]

  Click on the above image for an example of a 'How To' Video in YouTube

Click on the above image for an example of a 'How To' Video in YouTube

"Successful people, in all callings, never stop acquiring specialized knowledge related to their major purpose, business, or profession." 

- Napoleon Hill



Back in May 2015, Google released some interesting statistics which revealed that YouTube 'How To" Video Searches were up 70%, with over 100 million hours watched in 2015.  Now that's pretty impressive, and if that was 2015, you have to wonder how much that statistic has morphed.

Today, 'How To' Videos are still one of the most popular and highly searched videos on YouTube and Google search in general. I only have to think of my own use of searches, and YouTube is definitely a place I like to go when I'm researching or looking for information, or even finding more detailed information about really technically specific things when it comes to video, video equipment, or maybe when I'm tackling a situation that I've never come across before and I need to do a bit of pre-preparation. How about you?  Have you ever wanted to know how to do something and gone onto YouTube or the net in general looking for information on how to do something?  What comes to my mind are those 'How-To' videos on the Bunnings website, showing you how to do just about anything hardware related. 

   Click on the image to 'Learn how to give your bathroom a makeover on a budget'.


Click on the image to 'Learn how to give your bathroom a makeover on a budget'.

So how we can we as business owners take advantage of the growing 'HOW-TO' video trend? It's really quite simple...we show our own customers something that is of value - some piece of information, knowledge or instruction to help them understand our products or services, and most importantly, how it can benefit them. There are many types of formats of How-To videos, but as I always stress, it's best to start simply and then build upon that.  

  1. The easiest How-To video is one where you simply explain a process or instruction step-by-step. You could have yourself feature in the video talking or introducing the process, and then switching to a photo or series of photos along with some step-by-step instructions in text to match the process you're explaining. You could also explain the same process just using photos, video or text or a combination.  
  2. Maybe you could create your How-To video as a whiteboard video.  Whiteboard videos are easy to create and produce and don't require you to be in the video physically. These types of videos are great to use accompanied with your voice, or as we call it in the video industry, voice overs. And they are also very cost-effective when starting out in business.
  3. Another great type of how-to video is one which is used alot in teaching courses online, using Screen Capture software. This is ideal if you have a business that's quite technical and you need your audience to follow instructions online in a systematic way that is step-by-step. As the name implies, you are capturing a shot or screenshot of what is actually appearing on your computer as you go through the motions of taking your audience through the process. So they see what you see on your screen as you are doing it live. This is great if, just say you have customers who might make the same mistake and you're constantly having to explain to them over the phone how to correct the mistake. Along the lines of 'trouble-shooting'. So a how-to video taking them through the same process you do over the phone could be a great way to save you time so you don't have to give the same explanation over and over again.

And just a tip when creating How-To Videos for your business, is to first work out the most challenging problem or frustration that your customer is having. There may be a few challenges. Once you've pinpointed these, then write down how you would solve that problem or challenge, and then document that process step-by-step. Then lastly, have someone else who isn't familiar with your business or industry follow through the steps before you create your video and then again after you've created it. Because we have to remember that our customers may not be familiar with the words, jargon and the environment that we work in, so they as someone who doesn't know anything about what we do, must be able to follow and understand our instructions.

Well I hope this post has stimulated some more ideas for you if you are considering video marketing for your business. And remember to look out for next week's post where we'll be talking about how you can effectively use TESTIMONIAL VIDEOS to showcase your business!

If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment or email me at info@truth-seeker-images.com and I'll be happy to help!

Ciao for now...

Kerry :) x


6 Simple Types of Video to Showcase Your Business: Type 1...[Brisbane Video Production}

"The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one."

~ Mark Twain
 


When you think of business video and video marketing, what comes to mind for you?  Do you think of TV commercials for big business or gimmicky videos of businesses wanting to flog their wares with loud owners with annoying voices doing silly things, trying to get your attention in any way they can? You might think that video is only for big business and that in order to garner the attention of your customers you have to do something silly...something that isn't you. Well I'm here to tell you that you don't!  

In fact, you only need to do what's right for you and your business and what's going to have the most impact on your target audience and customers.  It has to be something that speaks to them and their demographic and it should bring you qualified leads of customers who genuinely want what you have to offer. The more personal it is and the more your offering resonates with your customers, then the better chance that your video marketing is going to work and start bringing you business.

But where do you start?  There are so many types of video and ones that work well for small business. How do you choose?

Over the next number of weeks, I want to share with you just SIX TYPES OF VIDEO that you can start using in your video marketing right now. Some of them are very simple, easy and affordable to get up and going quickly. Others take a little bit more time and you may need a slightly larger budget. But all-in-all, these are a great place to start and are still affordable for small to medium sized businesses . Of course, there are more than six types, but I've chosen the ones which I think may be easier to get off the ground. You'll also find, that depending on your type of business or industry and also your objectives, some types of video will suit your business better than others.

This week I wanted to talk to you about one of the easiest type of video to get started on your video marketing journey... THE INTRODUCTORY VIDEO. The introductory video is just as it reads...an introduction of you and/or your business; what your business is or does and most importantly, how your business solves the problems of your customers.

Most introductory videos appear on the 'About' or 'Bio' page of their website, but statistically, to get the highest conversion, an introductory video is best placed on your home page. They are a great way for your potential customers not only to get a good idea of how you can help them, but can be critical in helping them decide if they want to do business with you through an impression they form from seeing and hearing you speak. Often this impression is formed in their subconscious, and it can be one of the most powerful ways to build instant trust and connection with them.  And when comparing your business with another, if one business has a video and the competing business doesn't, potential customers will often go with the business that has video because it forms the strongest impression by engaging the senses, evoking emotion and inviting your customers to take action.

So how can you create an introductory video? The most common type of intro video is one where you or an employee feature in the video, speaking about the business.  And there are basically two ways to go about it. Firstly, you can create an introductory video yourself (DIY Video) if you have basic equipment, such as a DSLR camera or your mobile phone, tripod and a microphone. And if you want to add in some creative features such as text, music or your logo you'll need some type of mobile phone app or desktop software program for editing.  The other option is to commission a video production business to create one for you. Depending on your business and the level of professionalism you want to display and also depending on who your target market is, will depend on which way you choose to have your introductory video created.

This is just one style of introductory video and one I highly recommend, because it's more personal and is the quickest way for you to build rapport and connection with your customers. However, there are other styles of introductory videos that don't rely on you having to be in front of the camera, such as animated videos or whiteboard videos where you or your business is depicted through illustrated characters or animation. Again, there are software programs that you can purchase online to create these types of animated video or you can commission local video production companies or online services who specialise only in these types of video. But we'll go into more details about these types of video in a future post.

Whichever way you go, and whatever type of introductory video you choose, I recommend that you sit down and take an honest look at your business--the size, your budget, your type of business or industry and most importantly, what your objectives are--how do you want your customers to feel and respond?--what action do you want them to take? Just because you might think that a certain type of video is the easiest or the cheapest, doesn't necessarily mean it's the best course of action. Choose one that is going to best serve your needs and get you the best results, taking into consideration your budget, objectives and your target audience.

I hope this post has stimulated some ideas for you if you are considering video marketing for your business. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment or email me at info@truth-seeker-images.com and I'll be happy to help!

Ciao for now...
 


Kerry :) x


Master Storytelling or Risk Becoming Irrelevant--...[Brisbane Video Production]

 Photo by Kerry Warnholtz -  Eking Out a Living , Hanoi, Vietnam © Kerry Warnholtz 2015

Photo by Kerry Warnholtz - Eking Out a Living, Hanoi, Vietnam © Kerry Warnholtz 2015

"These brands are now ingrained in their customers lives, they have become a friend (of sorts) and there is a sound commercial reason for this strategy. You are more likely to buy from a 'friend' than someone you don't know." 

- Peter Mountstevens


Well I'm back!  So straight after my saying a final goodbye to my father, I left straight after his funeral on a meditation retreat which had been planned for many months. Sometimes I wonder about the timing of things in our lives. Needless to say, it was just what I needed. However, now that I've been catapulted back into the real world, there's been much to catch up on. I didn't miss the crazy, frenetic life of business I must admit, and am consciously incorporating more balance into my life.

Anyway, I'm being a bit lazy this week as my brain isn't in full swing yet, so I decided to share with you a great article that I came across from Virgin.com. There is so much truth to this article and it's insightful. And what resonated with me, and it's something I'm seeing and hearing more and more is that our customers are sick and tired of being sold to. People no longer want to be treated as a commodity or just as a number without a face. People want real, authentic connection. There is so much 'disconnection' with amount of information we are bombarded with and the pressure of keeping up with mainstream business or society, that we've lost the ability to really listen and communicate effectively with not only the people around us, but our customers. So we are finding it challenging to really understand what it is they truly want or how to best serve them. The ability to slow down and really consider the wellbeing and needs of the person we are trying to reach out to will become more paramount to the success of your business and mine. And the great thing is, the side-effect will also bring more clarity and create deeper, more fulfilling relationships with the people nearest and dearest to you--it really does create a ripple effect with exponential results.

So here's the start of the article, and you'll see the link below to go to the full article. As a side-note, I feel a little uncomfortable with use of the word 'entertainment' in this article. To me it denotes a degree of shallowness in our customers. But hey, that just might be me being a little precious--I like to think that my customers are intelligent and discerning.


You want your company to get coverage in the national press. But you’d ideally like them just to feature a couple of nice images of your handmade candles, with some prices and a web link. At a time of your choosing.
 

It doesn’t work like that anymore (if it ever did). To get the best coverage (and sustain it), brands need to have something to say. A press release announcing a, "New range of candles from Candleford candlemaker" just isn’t going to cut it.And if this seems like a joke, ask any journalist to share the contents of their press release-heavy inbox.

"Every brand has a story to tell," says Peter Mountstevens, managing partner at brand communications agency Taylor Herring, whose clients include Samsung, Paddy Power, Kelloggs, UKTV and Diageo. "On a basic level this is a story rooted in the service they provide, their reason for being and the history of the company," Mountstevens says, "These foundations combined with customer insights allow brands to distil a personality, with a distinct tone of voice and a clear view of their position and the world they exist in."
 

Brand storytelling is hugely important if firms want to survive and thrive, says Mountstevens, "A recent study found that most people wouldn’t care if 74 per cent of the worlds brands disappeared tomorrow. This is worrying news for the majority of companies doing business today. The message is a clear one - whether you make toilet rolls or soft drinks, today every brand is an entertainment brand that needs to work hard at engaging their core consumers above and beyond their basic product offering."

The brands that are thriving, says Mountstevens, are the 'firms of endearment'. "These are the companies who have a clear manifesto, the companies who stand on their soapbox and consistently keep us entertained. Consumers have taken these brands to their hearts, they follow them on social media and enjoying hearing from them."

Read the full article here to find out what Peter Mountstevens believes makes a good story.

Enjoy and have a great week!


Kerry :) x