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Video Your Way to Better Business

It’s a video world

As you may have noticed, it’s extremely easy to shoot a video and post it to the Web these days. Most people in urban environments have a screen of some kind in front of our face every workday, and even on the weekend. Faces facing screens are so prevalent that studies keep coming out about the need to walk away from electronic media dependence. You can find articles on WebMD and other health-related sites about smartphone addiction. 

Given that reality, however, there’s a way to use the video side of online obsession to your business advantage, without being intrusive. The key is the use of social media, a quality smartphone, and the length of your videos.

I once ghost-wrote a book for a successful real estate entrepreneur in the Los Angeles area. He had an excellent rags-to-riches story and he wanted to chronicle it and use the book like a big business card to help him get speaking engagements and expand his influence. I learned he already had a large following on social media, which he’d built up with continuous short videos. 

People keep coming back for good information and/or inspiration

When most small business people think of making a video to promote their business, they envision finding a professional videographer and spending a lot of money. My client didn’t do that. Instead, each morning he would make a new video with his smartphone and a Bluetooth selfie stick. On occasion, he would record the video directly onto his computer inside his office. 

When he described his methods while interviewing me about writing his book, I thought it sounded terribly amateurish. Then he showed me how he had tens of thousands of followers on Facebook – no small accomplishment. He called his morning broadcast “Tip of the Day.” He would explain some small aspect of his business – useful information every time, sometimes speaking about real estate, sometimes about hard money lending (he did both). He would end on an encouraging sentiment as simple as a “You can do it!” Adam Sandler movie scene. People loved it on Facebook, and he’d port it to YouTube, too. 

If you have explored YouTube to any degree, you’ve probably read about or heard about people who get paid once there are enough “hits” on any one video. A very small number of people make a lot of money that way, but for my client, YouTube was simply a storage facility. It’s much easier to scroll through a YouTube channel than to try to find a past video on Facebook. 

Size matters to people on smartphones

Here’s his real secret – every video was around 45 seconds long and no more than a minute and a half. The background was pleasant, but the main thing was the man and what he had to say, always offering a smile. There was no attempt to be profound, just to provide useful information and inspiration. He made the vast majority of his videos talking directly into his smartphone, and most of his viewers were watching his “Tip of the Day” on their smartphone. 

On Facebook, viewers could comment, ask a question, or click on a link to something on his website if they wanted more information. Their investment was under two minutes, like a quick hello and short conversation at work. 

With Skype and other video apps like FaceTime (Apple), Periscope (Twitter), and LiveVideo on Facebook you can connect with people online for extended periods of time, but that requires scheduling and developing a following if you don’t already have one. By putting up short videos on a regular, dependable schedule, you might be surprised how quickly you can build that following. 

You don’t have to be perfect

On Snapchat and Instagram, you can share Stories of photo sequences or videos, but they disappear after 24 hours. That might work for you if your business appeals to people who use those apps a lot. If you have a special event coming up, or a business opportunity to discuss, this option might help.

I often tell clients that 80% of the people on Instagram are women, and they’re often ready to buy; they go to Instagram to shop. See any opportunity? 

If you post much on Facebook, you know it has a “Your Story” option as well as the normal “News Feed” choice. Facebook (which owns Instagram) Stories are also kept for 24 hours only. If you use any of these options, you only need (a) customers who understand their use, and (b) enough people who will show up so that your online time is cost-effective for the amount of time you talk. 

If you’ve ever done a Facebook chat, you have the benefit of instant feedback. The main thing is, people don’t expect you to be Hollywood “perfect” with short online videos, or even longer half-hour or hour-long discussions. What matters is that you have something to offer that they need and you’ll share. 

Conclusion

You may have deduced by now that none of the video options cost you anything but time and thought. If you have a phobia about “public speaking” (often listed as the #1 fear of most adults), simply consider this – with short videos, imagine you’re speaking to one person. You have a heartfelt message that won’t take long to share, and you’ll make that person more informed and possibly even inspired. Ralph Waldo Emerson, American champion of individualism, said: “The only way to have a friend is to be one.” 

With regular short videos placed well on social media, you can inform potential clients about your business and expertise and make them much more amenable to doing business with you. Be yourself and be a friend. 

Meet The Author:


Skip Press Headshot

Skip Press

Skip Press has made a creative living wearing many hats: director, editor, ghostwriter, instructor, playwright, producer, screenwriter, and TV staff writer, but mostly as an author of almost 60 books including the Complete Idiot's Guide to Making Money with Craigslist. His clients range from beginning authors and screenwriters to CEOs of major companies.
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