These are strange times that we’re living in. Social distancing has eliminated one of our most basic human needs, interaction. Businesses now more than ever are feeling a huge strain on customer relations. And with the local business industry have dramatically smaller budgets for marketing, potential customers and clients are slipping through the net. But what if there was a way to engage effectively with Joe average?
The answer? You already know the answer. Social media.
I have no doubt you’ve been hammering social media over these past 8 weeks. If you haven’t then let me be very blunt. WAKE UP! The easiest and most effective way to keep customers updated and in the loop is direct to their phones. Whether you tweet or update your facebook status – do something right now if you haven’t.
Im not here to tell you about how great social media is, we all know its a powerful tool. Instead I want to talk to you about something many are scared to look at. Video.
Sure, we’ll all sit for hours watching videos that others have created, but when it comes to us tackling it ourselves we freeze up. The idea of sitting in front of camera talking is not something we all feel comfortable doing. Many of us feel that our industry is exciting enough to be on film. The truth is that you might be right, not every industry is visually exciting, so you have to make it exciting.
The clients I work with range from sports personalities to retirement homes. Now don’t get me wrong, its easy to make a world heavy weight champion look exciting. But you’d be surprised how you easy it is to capture a group of pensioners love and spirit of community. Ive flown to Australia 4 times to film Golf and let me tell you something, THAT is boring. How many different ways can you film someone teeing off?
Let’s put this in context of your business. If you’re like me, a one man band, YOU are ultimately the product. You might be a PT, a mindfulness coach, a plumber or an accountant. Whilst you’re selling a service/product I would argue that people are paying for YOU. You are expert and you are the one selling ‘the product’. People want to see you, they want to see the person behind the business. Video is the key to showing people who you are!
So how do you get started? Granted, it’s easier for me as ive invested cash in video gear but in all honesty you need very little, so I don’t want to hear excuses that it’s expensive. If you have a smart phone you’re ready to go. So sit yourself down, take a breath and start talking to the phone. Yes its awkward and yes it will take time to find your flow, but follow my motto of ‘something is better than nothing’. In a pandemic like this anyone criticising your presenting skills and camera work probably has too much time on their hands!
But what do you talk about? Here are some ideas to get you started!
Introduction to you and the business- It’s good to get personal with people, ive built my entire brand on this principal. Explain the business, what makes it different and who you are! Do I want to know about your personal life? Absolutely not, but I do want to know you’re genuine and a human being.
Updates – We’re all reading countless updates from Dave in the office who’s just finished painting the 5th wall in his house. So as a customer I want to know what you’re doing as a business throughout lockdown. Plans, projects, developments – just let me know
Give me something for free – How many free workouts have you seen these past 8 weeks? But do you know what I would have found really useful? How do I change a leaking tap? How do I control symptoms of depression in lockdown? How do I decide which pension plan is right for me? People need help right now on thousands of topics. Find something that shows people you care about them. Give them a taste of it because after lockdown they’ll remember that.
Ultimately video is happening right now, whether you like it or not it is now the number one leader for communicating with people. We’re getting lazier as a generation. I’m 29 and I can hand on heart say I spend 90% of my life watching and 10% reading. Even if your market is an older generation, just remember that during lockdown they have been forced to understand ipads, tablets and phones to stay in touch with loved ones. Don’t find excuses not to use video because I promise it can change your business. Start simple then advance.
I recently worked alongside Celtic Financial to create a promotional video that tackled a lot of what ive mentioned above. With the upmost respect to anyone in the industry, finance isn’t visually stimulating is it? Numbers, documents and spreadsheets. So Rob challenged me to do more and to try and change perception of the industry. This resulted in a minute long video that has quick cuts, bold text and a modern soundtrack. We used recycled footage from previous shoots and stock footage from a website. It was that simple. So even if you don’t want to jump in front of the camera there are options available for people with the smallest of budgets.
Overall, I just want you to realise that video can help you so much right now. Emotion, body language, visualisation are all things that written word cannot offer. There’s a place for both. Look at me , im writing a blog post right now. But if you want to engage with your customers and potential customers, it’s time to look at video.