Category Archives: Behind The Scenes

READ THIS BOOK !


I had breakfast this morning with Terry Dean of DeanOfSales.com
He has written a book “Exceeding Expectations In Sales And Life”. I just finished reading it. It’s a One Minute Manager sort of book with some extremely valuable information that can make a difference is what you do and how you live.
For example,
• The 4 step sales process that anyone can do
• The importance of “3 words to describe your business”
• What achieving your goals really depends on
• The good part of procrastination
• Making effective lists
• The 4 M’s of Marketing
Do yourself a favor and read this book; it’s the best advice under ten dollars you’ll find.
There’s a digital version and an audiobook version too. Grab it at https://deanofsales.com/

Ron Harper is the founder of Videos On Your Website, a Cincinnati digital marketing firm specializing in video web content for businesses. Read more at Videos ON Your Website.

I KNOW A GUY

I know a guy
One of my website partners referred a longtime client to me. Of course, he wanted a video, BUT he was having a friend put something together for his business.

Then, he sent that to me.

In the entire video, his business name wasn’t even mentioned. There was also no call to action – the video simply ended. To top it off, his friend had found some stock footage of a man searching for something on his laptop. In that piece of stock footage, you could see – reflected in the man’s glasses – what he was searching for. It had nothing to do with the client’s business.

One of my products, #NoContact Video, Uses stock footage along with client-supplied photos to create a compelling 60 second video. The price is ultra affordable, so I sell a lot of those to companies where I can’t travel to shoot.

While my client had sent me some photos, I used those in a montage instead of inserting them directly into the video. Then, after a couple of hours searching for other footage I could use for his very specific industry, I rolled that in with some animated graphics that spoke to his features and benefits. Finally, I added a directed call to action.

My small business client loved it, and wanted to use it immediately. We’ll keep track of the number of views it gets and the amount of business it generates.

So just because you “know a guy”, it always pays to check in with a professional. The savings in time and hassles could be worth it.

–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. Read more at Videos ON Your Website.

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.
–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.

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.

The Cincinnati Dayton Video Production Buyers Guide


Planning a Video Shoot in SW Ohio? Use these tips:
Maybe your customers, or a vendor, or even a business coach has told you that you should have one or more videos on your website. Or maybe you’ve decided that you could use a training video instead of finding time to teach the same things over and over. What do you need to produce your marketing video? Your first big step should be finding a Cincinnati video production company. Let us make it easy for you with these practical tips.
Most small business owners have their hands full with just the day to day business. Even larger companies need advice on shopping for a production company. Sure, somebody could shoot something with their smartphone, or a consumer video camera, but the last thing you need is something that looks amateurish and isn’t even functional. Should creating a video be a big Hollywood-like production, or are there smaller, boutique creative firms that understand your business and can guide you each step of the way?
That’s why we’ve created this guide. Of course, we’d love for you to just hire us, but there are a lot of Cincinnati video production companies. We want to help find the right one for your project.

Why Should You Get Bids From Multiple Production Companies
Each one is different. Some are big; some are small. A few can actually help with scripting and show you what to do with your video afterward. Others might shoot weddings as their bread and butter and only produce corporate videos on the side. One of the biggest differences is equipment and the people who know how to use it. This goes not only for cameras and the stuff you see, but editing platforms, and the stuff you don’t see.
When you take these things into account, you can understand why looking and two or three companies will give you a better sense of what you need for your project. It may even spark a new idea or two.
A big budget production can mean multiple cameras, a large crew, fancy equipment that arrives in semi trailers. If that’s what you’re planning, you’re going to need a big video production company that you can hire, and then get out of their way.
On the other hand, if you have a story to tell, a factory tour, or just some compelling customer testimonials then you won’t need the complicated production gadgets. In this case, a smaller company could take care of your needs.
Here’s how to begin

Tip #1: Look at their samples
Most production companies, whether large or small, will have samples of their work on their website.
One of them will be the “sizzle reel”. This is simply a highlight video… a compilation of some of their neat shots. That will be them putting their best foot forward.
They should also have samples of actual client productions. If they have a samples or portfolio page, see if a variety of businesses are represented. If there are three videos for the same client, you may want to see what they do for other types of businesses. See if a business similar to yours is there.
Beyond the actual demos, see if that production company has produced something for… themselves. That make sense, doesn’t it? I mean, would you want your website designed by a company that doesn’t build their own website? Then why wouldn’t you want a video production company that doesn’t produce a few “About Us” videos?

Tip #2: Due Diligence
Once you’ve narrowed down the list to a few companies with videos you like, you’re going to want to vet them.
Is there a client list? Who has hired them in the past? Could one of them be a competitor of yours? Do they mostly work with Fortune 500, medium-size companies, micro-businesses… see any companies that seem to be about the same size as your business? Are there any in related industries?
At this point cost may also come into play. And you’ll find that most production companies don’t list any prices. The reason for this is that each project has its own unique challenges and budget
Still, if you’re a small business owner, you may be on a limited budget. That’s one of the reasons we’ve created video production packages for one-time, or multiple productions. We can price out the basics, and then get with you to take a look at any special needs or add-ons for your video.
So for each production company you want to look at, get on the phone and talk to them. While you’re at it, pay attention to how their phone is answered and their demeanor while talking to you.
While they’ll ask you a bunch of questions for your price quote, you should ask some as well, like:
• Is there a minimum cost?
• How do they charge? By the hour, day, video length?
• Make sure to ask if they’ll give you a fixed price, or will it change depending on how the production goes?
We have clients who were burned by production companies in the past. They thought the price was fixed, but things were added during the production process (extra shoot days, special equipment, more post-production time) and next thing they knew the price had skyrocketed.
It’s okay if it’s not a fixed price, but make sure the production company will agree to talk with you in advance of any additional expenses.
• You need to know what you’re getting for your money.
• Will they brainstorm with you? Will they come up with creative ideas and help you write them, or will they simply shoot and produce and be done with it?
• Ask about their process. Find out what’s involved, how long will the production take, and what is the approval process?
• Are revisions included in the price? If so, how many rounds and are there deadlines?

Tip #3: Getting it in writing
You’ve watched some sample videos and demo reels, you’ve found a company you can work with, and you have come to an agreement on price.
Some companies will put everything into a formal proposal. Others may leave the details in the contract. Whatever it is, make sure everything you’ve discussed is there. No one wants any last minute surprises. While I’m at it: have some respect for both the production company and the process. If they offer one round of revisions, don’t hold out for unlimited revisions with no increase in price.

Congratulations
You’ve Selected Your Cincinnati / Dayton Video Production Company
I hope I didn’t overwhelm you. There is a lot of factors that go into making the decision, but it’s all worthwhile. And now that you have this trusted guide, the process should be much easier.
And the good news? At the end… you’ll have a compelling message and a marketing edge that will work for you and your business 24 / 7 / 365.

–that’s a wrap
(c) 2018 Ron Harper Creative, llc

Thumbnailed It – Good Views Season 2, Episode 3

What makes someone want to watch your video, aside from all the interesting and compelling information you have, that is? Well, one very important element is the frame that shows in your video player. That frame is also called the thumbnail.
YouTube gives you a choice of three different thumbnails you can use to showcase your video, but there are also ways you can (and should) make and upload your own.
In this edition of Good Views, I’ll show you some of the most important qualities of thumbnails, and a couple of easy ways to make your own. I hope you enjoy it.
Don’t have any videos yet? Call me. I’d love to talk with you.

Watch Time (3:04) Link to transcript
Location: Cliff Hardware, Sharonville, OH
Guest: John Houston – Spectrum Business