Tag Archives: small business

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

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.

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.