Tag Archives: small business

7 Steps To YouTube Success


Four years ago, I wrote my free e-book “7 Steps To YouTube Success”. It’s been requested thousands of times. Now, there’s a new, updated version. YouTube is evolving and changing. Annotations are gone. The YouTube speech-to-text engine is improved. There’s more competition for views.

If you’re using YouTube to host videos for your business, you’ll want to read this compact, information-packed e-book. The seven steps are easy to follow, and includes tips that most businesses who use YouTube never do. That means you can be one step ahead of your competition. Did I mention the book is free? To get your copy, just click here: SEND ME THE E-BOOK Actually, I’ll send you TWO free books. The second one is called “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of Customer Testimonials’, and tells you exactly how to produce your own customer testimonials from your raving fans.

This is part of our tenth anniversary celebration. There’s lots more to come, so be sure you subscribe to my YouTube channel, or Follow me on Facebook.

–That’s a wrap.

I’VE STOPPED PRODUCING TESTIMONIALS


It happened again: A client came to me with the idea of producing a series of customer testimonials. Another video producer had already shot one testimonial with one of his best customers. I watched it.

The testimonial – let’s pretend it was for Fred’s Lawn Service – shares the time when Fred summed up his service in one sentence.

“That’s when I knew that he understood me,” the testimonial says.

With that one sentence, Fred won over a new customer. It’s a golden, pivotal moment, and one that every prospect should hear. So what’s wrong? – That moment occurred more than three-fourths of the way thru the video!

It’s a three minute video, so statistics show that most of the viewers have already stopped watching. It’s called Burying The Lead.

Many video producers don’t take the time to find those golden moments. They shoot the footage, maybe make a few linear edits and they’re done.

Testimonial videos can be one of the most powerful things that you can invest in. But if the message doesn’t get thru, it’s not going to bring you more customers. That’s why I’ve stopped producing them.

I produce YES-timonials.
There’s lots of things that go into making a YES-timonial. The most important one is knowing the stories and the phrases that trigger the buying impulse in prospects. My experience in broadcasting, working with every imaginable category of business, along with nine years of producing successful business videos, is why I can make that claim.

Want to know more about video YES-timonials? Let me send you my FREE e-book. Then, let’s have a conversation about your business.

–that’s a wrap.

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

License Sense – Good Views season 2, episode 1

It could be your favorite song, or maybe it’s a movie theme that perfectly fits your video.
Don’t Use It. Just don’t. If you don’t have the rights to use a piece of music, you could be fined hundreds of dollars, or your video could be removed totally. And that’s not fun.
But YouTube has a library of music that’s free for you to use in your videos, and it’s simple to work with.
I’ve renamed this series “Good Views” and I plan to feature the kind of information and tips you can start using today. I hope you enjoy it.Don’t have any videos yet? Call me. I’d love to talk with you.

Watch Time (4:30)Link to transcript
Guest: Adam Mathews: Dearie, Fischer & Matthews
Location: Gary Rasmussen Farmers Insurance

HOW MUCH DOES A VIDEO COST TO PRODUCE?

How much does video cost to produce?
Businesses can spend $300 a month to have a coupon on the back of a grocery receipt. They can spend $2,000 on a newspaper or magazine ad. A successful broadcast campaign can run five figures. These are the folks who have not yet discovered the power of online video.

How many ways are there for a business to communicate, market and entice its prospects?
Basically, there are only three: Broadcast, Print, and Online. Each medium has its own advantages and limitations, whether intrinsically or monetarily.

Broadcast is radio and television. Companies buy advertisements. Those ads take up a finite amount of time in the broadcast day. The more successful the outlet, or in many cases the daypart, the more expensive the ad. Nighttime radio in a small town can be had for a few dollars, while a 30 second spot on the NFL Championship game could cost upwards of a half million dollars. Many local broadcast stations produce their clients’ spots for free. National campaigns can have a feature film budget. And in both radio and television, the clusters of spots have gotten longer. But the twelfth commercial in the set pays the same as the first.

For print, size matters. Full page, and 4 color display ads run into the thousands. But print can also cover the direct mail pieces, or the backs of grocery store receipts. Those vehicles tend to be more reasonable for small business depending on the length of the contract and the area of distribution. There is usually a setup fee for the printing.

Online banner ads and platforms such as Google AdWords have been around almost since the inception of the modern day internet. Advertisers pay each time the ad is clicked, or for a particular action (a lead or a conversion) and the rates fluctuate wildly. Production costs vary too, from graphic design to video production for “pre-roll” advertisements.

Here’s what many companies miss: you also must determine the shelf life of an ad and figure that into the cost as well. For radio and television, when your 30 seconds is over, it’s gone. For print, if the ad doesn’t catch the eye, the page is turned, the coupon is thrown away, the envelope isn’t opened, you’ve failed.

But what if there were a way to actually ATTRACT prospects to your message in a way that they found entertaining and informative no matter where they are or when they search? There is.

But it’s not advertising, at least not in the traditional sense.

Folks who search you out are aching to have their questions answered. To find out what you do, and how well you do it.

The CONTENT you put in your online presence is accessible 24/7. It doesn’t disappear like broadcast. It doesn’t get tossed in the garbage like print. So its shelf life is as long as it needs to be. And that decreases the overall cost.

The companies who advertise on the backs of grocery store receipts, or in the neighborhood value magazines, or in the direct mail coupon packs are perfect clients for me, because I can do a better job of delivering their message at about the same price they are currently paying.

Yes, there are video production services out there charging $1,000 per finished minute. In my world, that could be three months worth of compelling content videos.

Consider the message. Consider the audience you’re trying to reach. Consider the shelf-life of the message. One of my original clients just refreshed his video after seven years! It was working extremely well for him, but he wanted to use it on his mobile website, and the video was in Flash format, instead of MP4. This time we shot two specialized pieces and testimonials. His clients love his service, and now he’s poised to grow the business even more.

For video, Facebook Live, Periscope, and other apps can bring an immediacy that other mediums can’t touch. DIY video can be alright, depending on where it is going to be used. If you’ve invested a thousand or more into your website, you may not want your brand to be represented there with an amateurish video.

Professional video can be added to your website or blog for just a few hundred dollars. If you’re looking to build a content video library, regular monthly or semi-monthly shoots can lower that figure even more. It’s an investment that will pay off. It’s an investment you want to make in your business before the competition does.
— That’s a wrap.

Baseball, The 30 Second Pitch, and Sigourney Weaver

It was a glorious summer day, the first Friday of July, 1941. Almost four thousand fans filed into Ebbets Field to watch their beloved Brooklyn Dodgers lose to the Philadelphia Phillies 6-4. But there was another bit of history taking place that day. For just as many fans were able to watch the game elsewhere – thanks to a new piece of technology called Television.

The baseball broadcast began with a map of the U.S.and a clock, as an announcer intoned, “America Runs On Bulova Time.” History’s first TV commercial.

It ran for only ten seconds. Bulova paid $9.00, about $130 in today’s money.

Within seven years, advertisers flocked to the new medium. Entire TV shows were sponsored by one company, and those businesses could often dictate the content of the shows. It wasn’t until the late 1950s that one man changed the way TV and advertising did business. Actually, he changed a LOT of things on TV: he invented the Today Show, and he invented the Tonight Show, too. Pat Weaver can lay credit to many of the ways television works today.

A side note: Pat Weaver was once a guest lecturer in my college broadcasting class. He’s one of the more fascinating men I’ve been privileged to meet. A couple of years after he had been in class, his daughter got a bit part in a Woody Allen movie. Yep. Pat Weaver is Sigourney’s dad.

Anyway, Pat figured out it was more cost effective – both for TV and for advertisers to sell that sponsorship to more than one company, and suggested one to two minute chunks of ads within the programming. In an hour, they could sell nine minutes of commercials. Cut those in half, and there are EIGHTEEN 30 second spots. Cue the cheering salesmen.

I did not achieve as much fame or significance in broadcasting as Pat Weaver, but I have written and produced thousands of 30 second spots. And I’ve learned this:

  • They are very difficult to write …and
  • Thirty Seconds Is For Broadcasting

Ever since I started Videos On Your Website, folks ask if I will do a 30 second video for their website. I won’t. Maybe the message takes 47 seconds to get across; maybe it takes two minutes and five seconds. Whatever it is, you don’t want to be constrained to a specific length. Studies have shown that folks will watch a video of about four minutes, IF it is compelling enough.

Remember: people don’t search for commercials.

Sixty year old factors should not determine the length of your message. Just get out there and tell your story.

— that’s a wrap.
(note: this post originally appeared on LinkedInJuly, 2015. I brought it back because of the World Series.)

In 30 days . . .

30 days
A lot can happen in 30 days after posting a video to your business website.

  • One of my clients booked a contract that paid him over 25 times what he had paid me
  • Another client received a 5 figure grant to grow her business
  • still another client was the subject of a local TV news story, AND won a Cincy Innovates award
  • And let’s not forget the million-dollar condo. We did a feature video, and it sold in 59 days. (ok, it was a slow market.)

Where will YOU be 30 days from now? I’ll keep saying it: If you’re using video, and the competition isn’t, You Win.

— that’s a wrap.

5 Reasons Video Intimidates Businesses

I get it. After all of the statistics showing how well video performs online; after more and more case studies on businesses who use video to inform, educate, and market to their customers, you’re still on the fence. You’re not alone.
Video, from how to use it to how to deploy it, is still intimidating.

1. I don’t like myself on video. — It doesn’t have to be about you. Your customers or staff can bring compelling case studies and testimonials. There are dozens of scenarios where your “screen time” can be minimal or non-existent. I see this occasionally, but with patience, the client can open up and start to have fun.

2. I wouldn’t know what to say. I’m not good at memorizing a script. — a good producer will have multiple ideas for you, and multiple ways to present them. I shot a great video last year a few sentences at a time then pieced it together. I have some clients who need prompters. Prompter devices are simple to set up. Anyone who shoots business videos should have one. They make you look really good. If news anchors can use them, you can too.

3. I don’t want to end up with a video that’s too “Hollywood” . — Sure, in a lot of cases, simple is better. But you need the professionalism of good lighting, great sound, and a non-shaky camera. Those are the first priorities for anything that is going to represent you.

4. It’s too expensive. — costs for professional video vary widely. It’s very possible to produce some nice testimonials for less than a couple of hundred dollars. But they’re yours. They don’t vanish into thin air like commercials, or get thrown away like flyers. If you’re on a really short shoestring, do them yourself. Just remember the three principles in the previous paragraph.

5. I don’t know what to do next. — put them on YouTube, on Vimeo, on a blog, on Facebook, Twitter, anywhere and everywhere. Be sure there’s a call to action and it links back to your site.

Don’t allow your fears to get in the way of stepping up communication with customers and prospects. No matter what you sell or who you sell it to, adding video content is something you can’t delay.
— that’s a wrap.