All posts by Ron Harper

That Time I Had To Tell My Client, “NO”

Sell The Problem You Solve
Joe and Monica have a small business serving seniors. Mostly, they deal with families who are concerned about the care that their loved ones need.
Joe would be taking part in a presentation at a meeting of a group of healthcare professionals who could turn out to be solid referral partners. He and Monica were given a 30 second spot where they could play a video message about their business, so they contacted me for help.
I knew that a 30 second piece would have to be as compelling as possible.
I’ve written thousands of these kind of messages during my radio career. A 30 second spot is one of the hardest projects to write, because of the short amount of time you have to capture someone’s attention and hold it without them getting bored. #0 seconds to establish an emotional connection and try to trigger that buying signal.
Joe and Monica sent me a video that was done by another one of their franchise partners. The man was standing in his backyard spouting off features and benefits. “Could we just do something like that?”, they asked.
“NO”,I exclaimed. “It’s trite, and it says nothing about THE CUSTOMER. It’s just a list of services you offer.”
In the next half hour, I talked with them, asked questions about why they chose that business, and the kinds of customers they were hoping to connect with. It became apparent that both had had the experience of trying to find care for their family members in the past. They told me about their frustrations with that experience.
“The thing is,” Monica said, “nobody ever tells you how to take care of your parents or grandparents.”
“THAT’S IT”, I said with a smile, “That’s your opening statement”
We built a script on that to show their passion for what they do and why they do it. Then we shot the video at their kitchen table, because that was where they most often met with clients. In post-production, I added some B-roll of seniors in different situations.
The final version was a hit at the presentation, and they can now use it on their social channels as well.

Ron Harper is the founder of Videos On Your Website, a Cincinnati digital marketing firm specializing in video web content for businesses. Get a FREE Video Buying Guide at Videos ON Your Website – Cincinnati and Dayton Video Production Guide.

Marketing Is Not A Pinata

hitting a pinata
Marketing is not a pinata. You don’t just keep swinging until you hit something.

Your message has to be targeted. If you’re selling more than one thing, or more than one service, your message must be about ONE thing. Otherwise, it will get lost.

Tell a story about that one thing. Show how your customer has benefited. Get away from talking about yourself. Stories sell. Granted, targeting a message can be hard. I once read an excerpt in a marketing book for entrepreneurs that said, “You should always write your own advertising. No one knows your product like you do.” But time and time again, I’ve seen small business owners completely miss the story they are trying to tell. They miss the emotional connection to their prospects.

Once, in a networking meeting, I was listening to a business owner talk about his concierge services, and all the different things he could do…book and pick up event tickets, find dinner reservations,etc. so that his customers wouldn’t have to spend hours in their car or on the phone. Afterward, I told him, “Just say you sell free time.” His mouth dropped open. He completely got it, and used that line from then on.

Often, someone outside your business can cut thru the fluff, and give you a message that will resonate with your audience.

I do that with video. I may talk to a client for an hour about his business, but the magic comes in the video editing, and constructing the story.
Are you just swinging and hoping you’ll hit someone with your marketing message? How’s that working for you?

–That’s a wrap.

Should You Embed Videos From Other Companies?

Embedding Videos
Problems with embedding videos from other companies

If you can’t produce your own videos for your website, why not just find some others and embed them? Simple, right? Well, not exactly.

Many businesses have a dedicated “Videos” tab on their site for relevant content. Often, someone will curate video content from other sources and believe this is a valuable practice. But just as often it is fraught with problems. The image above is taken from a company website that has many videos embedded from YouTube under their “Videos” tab.

Can you see what’s wrong?

Somewhere along the way, the original content creator has removed the video, leaving blank spots with no content on the page.
Here’s why it’s not a good idea to use other folks’ videos:

    1. You have no control over their content. And if their videos are monetized on YouTube, they could be showing an ad that is counter-productive to your business.
    2. The videos may have a call to action or a link that takes visitors away from your website.
    3. The practice really does nothing to help your Search Engine Optimization and get you found more often.
    4. The best course of optimizing with videos is to have relevant content on all of your pages, especially on your About Us page. Videos under a dedicated tab may be overlooked by your visitors.
    5. Google loves original content. That means videos specific to your business and your message with a few lines of text that compel the viewer to click and watch.

Business websites that use a “Videos” tab are often not updated frequently, so problems like the image above are missed for a long period of time.
Original, professionally produced video content is affordable and gives your business an advantage over the competition. Remember – if you use video, and they don’t: You Win!
–That’s a wrap.

Ron Harper is the founder of Videos On Your Website, a Cincinnati digital marketing firm specializing in video web content for businesses. Get a FREE Video Buying Guide at Videos ON Your Website – Cincinnati and Dayton Video Production Guide.

Want To Stand Out? Be A Purple Cow

I remember that poem from my childhood days. My parents owned a gift shop for a time, and the purple cow poem was emblazoned on a pair of cow-shaped salt shakers. Nowadays, being a purple cow is what you should be striving for. Here to explain, in the latest episode of Good Views, is Angie Thompson of Living In America, a business communications company in the Cincinnati area. After having lived and worked in several countries, and within various cultures, Angie learned the essential value of communicating clearly and effectively.

I see it so many times – that businesses struggle to explain themselves and what they do. You can’t be everything to everybody. You must pick one thing that you want to be known for. For me, it’s affordable video production. Whatever it is that makes YOUR purple cow come through, it starts with your “Why”. There are some great lessons in this Good Views. Thanks to Angie. You can learn more about what she does at her website.

Animated Whiteboards Are Hot – Good Views Season 2020, Episode 4

You’ve seen them and they are fun and informative to watch. What are the secrets to making animated whiteboards successful? How long should they be, and what is the optimal way to distribute them? On this episode of Good Views, I chat with Terry Dean who creates and writes animated whiteboards for companies all across the country. Terry loves what he does, and whiteboard marketing has really gained a foothold over the past few years.

As always, if you have any questions, or want to connect with Terry, drop me a line.
–that’s a wrap

DIY Video With Teleprompter – Good Views – Season 2020, Episode 1

Well, Here we are, and Good Views is back. It only took a pandemic to get some more episodes recorded. Truth be told, I have three others that we recorded almost a year ago that never made it into editing and post production… but, maybe sometime. My inspiration with the #WorkFromHome edition was that – well, maybe I can offer some tips for folks doing DIY videos. I am seeing a lot more of them – either folks are really getting bored, or we all have a lot more time to work on promoting our business. Either way, I still believe that any kind of video content is better than no content.

So for those of you trying to do this on your own, I have some tips and tricks that will help you with your on-camera performance. In upcoming episodes, we will talk about the best ways to look good on camera, how to be comfortable and confident. And to kick things off, Intellectual Property attorney Shannon Villalba is pretty proud of the teleprompter app she uses. Having that script in front of her has actually spurred her to start making more videos. Shannon uses an iPhone, and the app is available on the Apple store, but there are some equally nice apps for Android. One of them is Parrot Teleprompter, which is free. The one I use in the field is Teleprompter Pro. I use it enough that it justifies the small expense. It also works very well on my Windows 10 laptop, which folds in half to fit under the two-way mirror which is the part that the talent sees. Anyway, here’s the latest Good Views. I hope you enjoy and can share.

If you have any questions about teleprompters, shoot me an email. Thanks to Shannon. She’s a great attorney, by the way. You can reach her at http://thevillalbafirm.com
–That’s A Wrap

THIS IS HOW WE PIVOT – Pandemic 2020


– What happens when a business that thrives on showing the features, benefits and successes of its clients can no longer shoot videos at the client’s location? Well, in my case, I went back to my business plan. Eleven years ago when my mentors suggested I research starting a video production company for small, local business, they also insisted that I write a complete business plan. As it turns out – that was a very good idea. And keeping it periodically updated was vital.

Now, with locations closed, or operating at reduced capacity, I find myself turning to that business plan to what some folks would call the SWOT section – Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. I now have in place a service that I’ve branded #NoContact Video Production. Here’s how it works:

  1. I can use pre-recorded video from any business, and I can use photos from that business.
  2. Better yet, I can consult with the client over the phone or on Zoom to instruct them how to properly shoot the footage we will need.
  3. I can make use of my vast collection of stock footage to help sell the client’s message
  4. I own five different video editors, each having it’s own strengths, to add video effects and animate the client’s footage
  5. I have stock music tracks from every genre’
  6. As an accomplished voice actor with a home studio, I can add a voiceover to videos.

Video editing involves a lot more than just cutting and re-arranging scenes. It’s knowing where to add the right “spice” that will make a client’s story pop.
The above demo video was built in just one afternoon. There are a myriad of little video tricks in it. How many can you spot?

It is absolutely essential that small businesses keep in touch, make themselves known, and continue their messaging for this time, and beyond. If you know of someone feeling overwhelmed and scrambling to stay relevant, please introduce me to them. I truly believe I can help.

It is heartening to see small business pull together and support each other now. I am grateful for the opportunity to be a part of that.
— that’s a wrap.