neil@neilben.com
07956 376239

Get people to love your business #2

Isn't love a wonderful thing. It makes everything look so much better. It throws light on darkness, makes you a better person and interactions, not only with your beloved, but with everyone feels so much sweeter. So....

How do you get people to fall in love with you and your business...

Before they’ve even met you?

Being told "I love you" is wonderful, but feeling that love is even better.

When people feel loved they love in return

So how does that relate to business?

Step 2 - Actions speak louder than words

Telling people what you do will not connect as well as them getting a feel for the difference you will make for them.

In business show people you care about them, that they are important to you and show them the difference you can make for their business. It is perfectly fine to tell people what you do, but there is way more power in showing.

Here are some suggestions between saying and showing

SAYING SHOWING
We are reliableDo what you say you will do, on time and on budget – go the extra mile
We offer great serviceDo what you say you will do, on time and on budget, or better still, deliver more than you said you would, before you said you would
We offer great valueOver deliver. Don’t do the same for less, do more for the same – start at the extra mile
30 years of experienceDo what you say you will do, on time and on budget – and do this without any fuss and with a smile on your face
We are professionalDo what you say you will do, on time and on budget – and don’t do it in your pyjamas

Notice there's a little bit of a pattern forming... It's so much about getting on with what you say you will do, with a smile on your face, love in your heart and (in my case), a cheeky twinkle in the eye.

Show people what you do, rather than tell them

Let them feel your love and passion in what you do and that will give them a feel for what it's like working with you.

In Step #3 in Getting people to fall in love with you and your business (before they've even met you) we look at why Your client is more important than you are.

I spent the last 2 months of 2017 re-branding...

And if all I managed to do in that time was create a new logo and work out my brand colours, then it wasn't such a good use of my time.

But the time I spent working with Lynne Stainthorpe, who led me through the re-branding process, was time well spent.

Yes, we came up with a new logo, colour pallet and font library, but that was just a fraction of what we did.

The most valuable part of the process was that I got to understand what I did better so I could communicate it to others.

More than just a logo
The process got me clear on the services I offered, helped me define my purpose, vision and mission and enabled me to get my message out there so potential clients "got me" instantly.

Purpose

Create authentic stories to help people who make a difference, make an even bigger difference.

Vision

The No 1 award-winning, sought-after director creating training films that engage, inspire and make a difference to people who watch them.

The No 1 director training people to make their own videos with passion, fun and authenticity.

Mission

To unlock the magic of storytelling and inspire people to learn and grow.

Now you know, why not have a good look at my website and see the branding work in action.

Dog Portrait artist Claire Thorogood invited onto Channel 4's Crufts

I recently finished editing a promo video for Claire Thorogood, who is an amazing Dog Portrait Artist based in North London.

Claire started her painting business in late spring 2016, and she wanted a video on her website that demonstrated the painting process so new clients could see what she did.

We are both very proud of the finished video, which tells The Story of the Painting of Herbie, a 13 year old toy poodle.

What's incredible about this promo video is that Claire and her assistant Janet shot most of the footage themselves on their iPhone.

They did get training on how to shoot with their phone from me, and I created a storyboard of shots for them to collect, but they did all the hard filming work.

Since we made this video, Claire has opened her own studio in Hampstead and was invited to attend Crufts, painting no other than Iwan Thomas's dog.

What an amazing transformation in a business started just ten months ago.

Now I'm not saying this self shot promo video was the sole reason Claire got the TV offer, but the broadcasters were able to watch it, see what she did, and decide whether what she did would work for the programme.

Claire on Channel 4's Crufts

You can watch Claire talking about working with me here and of course check out my "Film Yourself Service" which she went through in order to create this video.

Why this may be of interest to you?... Well... The training and editing to help Claire make this video cost about 75% of what it would have 25% if I had come in and produced this video for her, shooting everything myself... Also, this is just the first of many "Story of the painting" videos which Claire is planning to do, so all future story videos we produce together are going to cost her a quarter of the original fee, as she will only have to pay for the editing.

Visit Claire's website to see more of her amazing work.

Only 14% of people keep their New Year resolutions for a year

45% give up in the first month

66% within the second month

80% have quit within 3 months

How do you stick with the promises you've made?

This is a bit of a "closing the stable door after the horses have bolted" kind of statement, but part of the problem (as I see it), is that people make up BIG resolutions that they'd like to do, but deep inside they know they're not going to... They just feel the making of the resolution will create the motivation they need to succeed.

Sadly just making up your mind isn't strong enough in many cases.

According to Statistic Brains the top 5 resolutions made this year are:

  1. Lose Weight / Healthier Eating - 21.4%
  2. Life / Self Improvements - 12.3%
  3. Better Financial Decisions - 8.5%
  4. Quit Smoking - 7.1%
  5. Do more exciting things - 6.3%

They also say that people in their twenties are more than twice as likely to keep their resolutions than those over 50! Surely us oldies should have learnt by now!

Get support

I'm no longer in my twenties so statistically it's harder for me to keep my resolutions, and for years I have been saying "I'll lose weight and eat healthier" with little success.

I get very enthusiastic, I might even buy a diet or nutrition book. I'll shop for healthier food and avoid chocolate and crisps... for a while... And then I have a stressful day, or maybe a long day filming and I'll crave chocolate... So I'll give myself a little "treat" to make me feel a little better... And then I'll have a bit more, and then 3 or 4 days have gone by and I've forgotten my health kick.

I know I can't do it by myself. On my own I give up too easily, I'm weak and lazy and go for the "easiest" option which isn't necessarily the "best" or "healthiest" option, or the goal I really, really, really wanted to succeed in.

This time I'm doing it differently, I AM going to eat more healthier. And to guarantee I succeed I'm getting the support of a nutritionist. She's going to be checking my food diary and will be tough with me if I slip up. So that way, if have some chocolate I have to write it down and justify why I had that sugary "treat" in our weekly calls, which between you and me are not that comfortable. So when that urge hits me I have that added thought "do I want to have a difficult conversation... is it really worth it?" Sometimes it is worth it, often it is not. That means I am eating less unhealthy food and am more likely to succeed in my goal.

It's the same with making video

I meet lots of people who are keen and enthusiastic about growing a YouTube channel with lots of videos. They come on one of my workshops, or sign up for my online course, or even have 1-2-1 coaching and they learn how to shoot video blogs, or info videos, or video testimonials. They tell me about their amazing plans to shoot 20 videos, grow their YouTube channel and get a mass of traffic flowing to their website.

Do they do that? Well some do, sadly most don't. That's why I have coaching programmes that support you in your video production. When you decide how many videos you want to make you get me on your back supporting (nagging) you to finish them, and helping you when you get stuck. After all, your success is my success.

Creating a USP is possibly the most important thing you can do for your business

What do you mean you don't have one?

With a USP you make your business stand out from the crowd. Customers will be easier to come by. Happy customers will gladly spread the word about what you do because they love you.

On the other hand, if you don’t have an effective USP, building an audience or getting any customers to pay attention to you will be a really tough.

Your USP can mean the difference between success and failure

It's not about being the best - Having a great product, creating amazing content or offering first class customer service on its own is not enough to make your business stand out, especially if you're a small business competing in an ever crowded market with lots of big boys.

So don't compete at all, instead be the best at something no one else is doing and your unique selling proposition is the starting point.

How to come up with your USP

If your business is built around you then use your personality. By stamping your personality on all aspects of your business you create something that no one can compete with, after all, there's only one of you.

Define your niche - When you say you're all things to all men (or women) you end up being nothing to everyone. Compare these two statements:

I've met both types of coaches at network meetings and I may know many businesses who want to increase their sales, but I find it so much easier to recommend clients to the second coach. Defining your niche helps others recommend you.

When you work in a competitive market it helps to narrow your target audience.  Me, I work in video production and there are lots of video production companies out there. Am I interested in competing with them? Hell no. I'm interested in creating my own niche and working with a narrow target audience. So this is what I say about what I do:

Helping coaches and trainers who struggle to communicate their expertise, create authentic video content that establishes them as the "go to person" in their field

Lets break down my USP:

Helping coaches and trainers - straight away you know who my target market is... coaches and trainers!

who struggle to communicate their expertise - narrowing my offering, I work with coaches and trainers who have a problem, they struggle to communicate the expertise... That suggests I offer a solution to their difficulty.

create authentic video content - ah, here you go, here's the video production bit, but it's not just any sort of video, it's authentic video which resonates with the way many of my clients want to work.

that establishes them as the "go to expert" in their field - here's the benefit of working with me...

In one simple sentence you get who I work with, what the problem is I help them with, how I do it and the benefit I give. It wasn't simple to come up with that sentence, but it was worth the time taken in creating it.

Having a USP doesn't restrict your business

Even though I say I work with coaches and trainers, that doesn't mean I don't work with other business owners. In fact I get many business owners who aren't coaches or trainers contact me who connect with the "struggle to communicate their expertise" or want to make "authentic videos" who are a real joy to work with.

The clarity in my USP offering makes it so much easier for others to recommend me and to build a following.

Are you, or your business, your brand?

I'm not entirely sure what it is, maybe it's my stunning good looks, or my amazing talent, or my dry sense of humour... But once someone's met me they rarely forget me.

And that's certainly what you want from a brand, to be remembered, isn't it?

Does one person make a business?

I mean, I'm the only full time employee in my business. Being in video production I hire talented freelance crews, designers, editors and admin staff as and when I need them. Without me there would be no business.

And my USP, it's totally built on my many years of broadcast and video production experience. With another Producer / Director at the helm my business would be completely different.

Welcome to Anim8 Productions

Actually, I've been running Anim8 Productions since May 2013 when I was commissioned to produce 36 animated kid's songs and rhymes for an old client of mine. Songs like Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes and If you're happy and you know it...

Anim8 seemed like a great name to me at the time, after all, I was producing animation. But ever since that animation project I've put all my other work through the company, even though very little of it was animation.

As Anim8 only appears on invoices and other legal company documents, very few people know the name.

So, do I build Anim8 Productions into my brand, or build me, Neil Ben, as the brand? After all, if I ever go to sell my business at some point in the future and it's called Neil Ben it'll be hard to separate myself from it!

2 unique brands - 2 USPs

What about creating 2 brands?

1 - Develop myself as a brand, especially around my coaching and training activities, because that work tends to be one-on-one and I'm being hired as me as the one who can help an individual.

Brand: Neil Ben
Helping coaches and trainers who struggle to communicate their expertise, create authentic video content that establishes them as the "go to person" in their field.

2 - Develop Anim8 Productions as a brand around my training video and animation production activities - after all, I want to create something that is bigger than just me to be able to help large organisations.

Brand: Anim8 Productions
Working with training organisations to create engaging video content that inspires their learners to learn, and empowers them with new knowledge and skills.

UPDATE: If you look at the footer of this website you will see I have come up with a solution. I trade using the name Neil Ben Films, but have the below on all official documents.

"Neil Ben Films is a trading style for Anim8 Productions Ltd"

Improv can improve your business

Not only that, it can make your life so much more rewarding.

DISCLAIMER: As they say at the start of every improv show. "Nothing that follows is scripted, everything you see and hear (watch and read in terms of this blog) will be invented on the spot, for one night only, never to be repeated."

I've been doing improv (improvised comedy) for many years. I did my first workshop over 30 years ago, but really started to get serious when I attended a residential workshop at Osho Leela in 2010, hosted by The Maydays, an amazing improv troupe based in Brighton.

The following year, not only did I participate in the workshop, I was asked to film the event, and you can see the promo I produced up top.

Why improv is good for you and your business

The main thrust of improv (as I see it) is to make your on-stage colleagues look great while they are trying to make you look great... When everyone does that the results are amazing. So when someone says "makes an offer" (says a line or does some action) you build on it. To do that (and be really great at improv) you need to, as the Maydays taught me:

Listen

When you're on stage you have no idea what your fellow performers are going to do, after all it's unscripted, that means you really have to LISTEN to them. If not you'll have no idea what's happening.

In business too, listening is very important.

If you don't listen to what your customers or clients are saying, how do you know they like (or hate) what you do? How will you be able to improve the service you offer them? Many times I have been at a network meeting and I get talked at by someone who's not interested in listening...

So what I do is listen, which makes the "talky" person feel good. I may also ask them the odd question or two which makes them feel even better, and then when they have finished I have so much information about what they do and what is and isn't working in their business. I can then tailor a razor-sharp offering to them by coming up with a solution to their problems. My brief response to their elongated soliloquy is focused, to the point and often surprises them as they have no idea why I know so much about their difficulties!

Say "YES"

"Hi Charlie, how's the new job?" she said winking at me.

If I say "I'm not Charlie, I'm Derek and I'm too young to have a job" the scene has just died. Whatever you are offered in improv you need to say "YES" to, that way the scene builds in a way that no one expected or planned and the audience loves it.

"It's OK, I suppose Britney, but the snake-skin leotard really chaffs. " Charlie replied, scratching his bum.

Now the scene is going somewhere interesting... I said "YES" to the proposition and now Britney can build on that...

This is the same in business. If I am offered feedback on a job I have done (good or bad), I can ignore it (wrong), or I can listen and quietly say "YES" to myself  and build my business offerings with this new information.

And Commit

COMMITMENT comes down to how much energy you put into delivering your line. "It's OK I suppose" is a bit of a downer, so in improv terms you deliver it as a BIG downer, you COMMIT to the feeling of the line, so that when Britney responds she has your energy to bounce off.

BRITNEY: "It's terrible that the boss insists you wear it inside out, when I worked for him I had a sequined one!"

CHARLIE: "I feel your pain honey I really do."

In business nothing happens without action, so once you've LISTENED and said "YES", you now need to COMMIT to doing something about it. Commitment for me is like passion... If you are passionate in your business (you are committed to doing whatever is required), you will stand out from all your competitors.

So go on, find an improv group local to you and go and do a workshop. It's a lot of fun and you might learn something that will help you in business.

What else have I learnt about improv performers?

That they make great performers in training videos, and they are a real joy to direct. So I hope to be making many more improvised training videos in the future... Ones like the clip below:

If you are a training organisation who would like to include video like the ones above as part of your training offerings, then check out some of the training video productions I have worked on.

Is working for FREE bad for business?

I do not know the answer to this question so I value your comments. But I have been thinking a lot about it.

Two things happened to me earlier this week which made me question whether giving my best advice, sharing my expertise and working for free, was good for my business:

  1. I was asked to present a webinar on how to shoot videos with your smartphone
  2. I offered my support to a videographer who was new to the business and wanted to know how to edit a promo

The webinar is going to be part of a series about digital marketing and sales funnels. My role is to present a cost effective way to create video content using your smartphone or tablet, which if you know me you'll know is a core part of my business.

The chat with the videographer started off as a possible sales call and ended up being a pretty one sided conversation lasting well over an hour. In the call I talked the videographer through editing a promo video.

That's several hours work with no fee

Part of me is more than happy to share my expertise, after all, many people have helped me get to where I am today by sharing their expertise with me. I also believe everything is about energy... the more energy you put out there the more you get back.

But then I'm not sure...

If it fits into my marketing then that's good to do, after all the webinar is going to give me great exposure and people who've never heard of me before are going to be introduced to me and what I do.

But then, I have a mortgage to pay and kids to feed and keep clothed (and they grow so fast), and free don't pay the bills.

I was told there are only two reasons for working for free

  1. Because you've just started in business and need to get some testimonials and recommendations
  2. Because you're so minted you can afford to do pro bono work

For a few years I stuck to this argument, but now I'm neither a new business, or rolling in money, so neither option applies.

So I share my expertise for free because it just feels right to do sometimes.

But is that a good argument?

Two years ago I made 5 videos for FREE

The videos were for a charity called Demand, who make bespoke equipment for people with disabilities. The five videos were shown at a Gala event at Watford Football club and helped to raise £24,000.

And do you know what, when I was originally asked if I would be willing to make one of the five videos I said, without hesitation "No, I'm not going to make one video for you, I'll make all five".

Here's one of the videos shown at the Gala

Five videos like this would usually cost around £5,000 to produce, but I was happy working for free as it was a real pleasure to know my skills were being used to help a very valuable cause.

The thing is, it's a real pleasure to know my skills are being used to help someone's business grow, or help someone learn AND get paid for it!

I would really value your opinion here

Is offering your services for free good or bad for business practice?

Are there times when you should or should not work for free?

Please leave a comment below.

 

That doesn't like shooting video!

How is that possible?

Anim8 Production Company is run by Neil Ben, and ex-BBC Producer / Director and yes it's true, Neil doesn't like shooting video.

But his company has won a business award for the Innovative way it helps businesses use video.

Again, how is that possible?

Simple really. Neil prefers to teach his clients how to shoot videos themselves, using their smartphone or tablet, through his coaching and training programmes.

One of the most popular schemes is his Local Hero Programme

How the 'Local Hero' coaching programme works

 

So what can you do if you're a local hero?

Once you know how to capture great footage with your phone, there are many different videos you can shoot that will make a massive difference to your business, including:

You will get all the training and support you need to shoot these videos, creating great quality footage that we will professionally edit.

And the good news is, as you are doing the filming yourself you only pay for the editing, which is a really cost effect way to get loads of great quality videos, and a much better option than hiring a "normal" video production company who shoots the videos for you.

The Local Hero Programme is awesome, but don't take my word for it. Listen to Duncan and Bernard from Believable Finance, who are creating amazing videos for their finance training membership site through the Local Hero Programme.

It's what you will do after working with me

That will make the difference

How would you like to have:

And how would you like learn the skills to transform you from an unknown to video internet sensation through a fun and painless process?

You would?

Every over night sensation has to start some where, and your superstar status can start with a conversation with me. So pick up the phone, give me a call and together we'll get the world to see you as the expert that you are. The number is at the top of the screen and I can't wait to talk with you.

 

Easy-Pro Video

Having the tools and knowing how to use them is not enough.

You may know how to use a pencil, but can you write a great letter to your granny, thanking her for your annual Christmas Jumper? If you were 3 you'd probably struggle, needing the help of a grown up. But as you got older you'd develop your writing skills and could do it yourself. Now, my guess is, using a pencil and writing notes is easy.

You may know how to use a keyboard and mouse, but can you design a thank you card (for that jumper) using Photoshop, print it out and send it to your grandma? Some people can, and they can because they've mastered a new skill and now find that easy.

And what about your phone. Can you use it to communicate with your gran? 'Course you can, you just pick it up and give her a call to say "thank you".

That is how most business owners use their phone to communicate with their clients. But there is some much more you can do with that phone in your pocket that will enable you to communicate with 10s, 100s, 1000s, possibly millions of people in one go.

What's stopping you mastering a new skill and using the tools you already have?

Making your own videos is easy with Easy-Pro Video. And with a single video being able to communicate with millions, isn't it time you signed up for one of my 90-day coaching programmes?

That way, in no time at all you'll be making business videos that will be making a difference to your business.

You can make yourself

With your smartphone or tablet

Mobile video consumption rises 100% every year on YouTube, 75% of executives watch work-related videos on business websites at least once a week and 92% of mobile video consumers share videos with others...

Well you know the rest, I'm a big fan of video and as much of the video consumption and sharing is on mobile devices, using your mobile device to create that content is a great idea.

Top 5 business videos you can film yourself

#1 - CLIENT TESTIMONIALS

When you say how good your business is it can come across as boasting. When your clients say how good your business is it’s proof.


The video testimonial is the most powerful video you can have to promote your business and should form a central part of your video strategy.

Ask your clients open questions, or get them to tell a story about working with you, so when people see their video they get a great idea of what you do, how you work and how you can help them.

#2 - HOW TO VIDEOS

How to videos are the most searched for style of video on YouTube.


There are amazing opportunities to create content that people will devour (some of them literately if you make cooking videos). My kids love learning stuff off YouTube like "How to play the piano" or "How to paint your nails". Me I love videos that relate to my work, so "How to add moving text to a premier edit" or "How to create a great business card"

If you know your stuff you should be making how to videos, because when people learn from you they see you as the expert and when they have a more complicated requirement that videos alone cannot solve...

"Who they gonna call?" Ghostbusters... Um, no... You!

#3 - EXPERT VIDEOS

When someone shares their expertise it helps to build the know, like and trust factor.

The more you share your expertise in bite sized videos, the more you will be seen as the go to person in your field. Potential clients will get to know you through your videos and feel more confident with spending money or coming to work with you.

When planning expert videos, think about the information potential clients may find helpful and then create a series of videos around that subject.

#4 - INFORMATION VIDEOS

Clients both old and new always have questions.

Yes, you can have FAQ page on your site, but why not think of having an Information Video page. Examples of information videos that can work for business include:

Depending on the information being presented, these can feature the boss, administrators or other members of your team.

#5 - WELCOME VIDEO

Unless you have a promotional video on your home page, this should be the first video people see on your site.


What do you want people to do when they arrive on your home page? Do you want them to sign-up for your news letter or register for an upcoming workshop? Are there special offers available or pages you want them to look at?

Or will it help if you tell your visitors a bit about what you do and the kind of clients you work with?

A welcome video answers all these AND the average internet user will spend 88% more time on your home page as it has a video on it... Win - win!

 

What's stopping you?

Now you know the kind of videos you could be shooting yourself using your smartphone of tablet, it's it about time you got started. Sign up for one of my 90-day coaching programmes and in no time at all you'll be making business videos that will be making a difference to your business.

Video blogging and the best way to do it

I saw this question in a FaceBook group, posted by the lovely Carol Hanson

I'm finally reaching the 21st Century when it comes to using video and being brave enough to put it You Tube and embed on my website as part of my blogs!! But I could really use some help! ...

1. I've read that it's good to include text with a video post and so have dutifully done so on the ones I've published to date - it's effectively a written transcript of the video (around 300 words) - effectively copying the way that the Huff Post do this. Is this the best approach? Or is there something else I should be doing?

This is the best way to plan your vlog

Dear Carol, thank you for your question - here's my answer.

You are absolutely right, having text around a video is extremely useful, because even though Google loves videos, it cannot "translate" the video content to know what it is about, so effectively the words around the video helps. So this is what I suggest you do:

How (and why) to add description and tags to your YouTube video

This video is from my online training course Easy-Pro Video Online

Right, that's the first question answered. Now for the second question

2. If I want to share on social media (having embedded the video from YouTube should I do this from YouTube or my website), given that I'm trying to build my sales funnel.

Thanks in advance superstars! x

Should I share my video or my video blog on social media?

It all depends... If you want more people to subscribe to your YouTube channel, then share the YouTube video url on social media... The link in the description will point them back to your website. But you have said you want to build your sales funnel, so you want to share the url to the funnel webpage with the video in it, because there's one less click for people to do, they watch your video and the signup box is there waiting.

Hope that helped

You could read this blog but...

80% of you are not going to absorb the information as well as you would from a video because you are visual learners. You need to see stuff rather than read stuff.

Your brain has to work much harder when you read text and in these days of instant gratification and quick fixes video gives the majority of consumers what they want without having to work for it.

Reading articles and watching videos require two different brain processes. When we read, the process requires us to be actively involved. The brain gets a much better workout when reading vs. watching, and the process requires a longer attention span and deeper cognitive efforts.

Watching a video, is passive. It’s much less demanding and more of an automatic process, asking a lot less energy and effort on behalf of the person watching.

Psychology Today

 If you want them to fall in love, use video

I talk all the time about engaging and inspiring your audience. The way to do this is to make videos that create an emotional response. It is much easier to become emotionally attached to something we watch in a video than something we read in an article, and from my point of view it is way easier to create a video that gets an emotional response than write an article, blog or report to get the same effect.

Ten more reasons to use video

This video was made 3 years ago and is even more true now!

training-n-promo films was the name of my company before I re-branded

 

And it's not all about video (although it mostly is). As people prefer visual stimulation, photos, charts and info-graphics work well too.

reasons-why-video-is-better-than-text

 

The only difference is Google loves video more than it loves images. SO USE VIDEO.

 

To increase your Video views

If you're thinking now's the best time to create some Rio related videos around the Olympics, you're probably a bit late. But you can start planning for Tokyo.

When you create videos around big events it's called Tent Poling and can have an amazing effect on your video views.

The calendar is filled with a number of special events that get people excited: Halloween, Christmas, the Super Bowl, and those aren't nearly the only ones.  When it comes to online video, releasing content that capitalizes on the buzz surrounding those events can also mean a boost in your viewership.  And you don't have to do just the major ones.  You can find special events almost every week and capitalize on them if you plan accordingly.  Take a look at a calendar and start finding the events that create buzz, and have a video out during the days or weeks leading up to those events.

Source: How to Increase YouTube Views with Tent-Pole Events: YouTube Playbook
©TubularInsights.com, All Rights Reserved

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You've missed the boat, what do you do?

You start looking for the next big event. Where are we now? August, we're getting towards the end of the summer holidays in the UK. So here's what I'm thinking:

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Oh, in case you missed it, I've got some Olympic footage of an event they didn't show on the telly. It's the Dogtathlon... It's a bit like the Decathlon, but for dogs

This was from a kid's series Megamutt that I directed for Discovery Kids, presented by the amazing Paul Hocker and Produced by Matthew Rose. You may recognise my dulcet tones.

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How do you increase you video views through a tent-pole event?

Strategy: Create and release content themed around tent-pole events.

Why It Works: Tent-pole events drive search trends, editorial opportunities, and advertiser campaigns.

How To Do It: Create and publish content according to a programming calendar.

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Is it really too late for Rio?

Maybe not, the Olympic Parade of UK athletes will be in Manchester sometime in October which gives you a little while to prepare something. But it's best to get your parade videos out there 2-3 weeks before the event as the buzz will start early.

And it's not a promo film

Let's start with a list of some of the videos that you can have on your site:

All of these are great and of course there are many more videos you can have, it is only limited by your creativity.

I've deliberately left one off this list. Any idea what is it? No?

 

Watch this video to find out

Here's what some of my clients have said

 .

“Neil, you are a man of utter passion and dedication to your art. Your films capture the essence of my work, allowing others to see in an instant what my workshops offer”

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Malcolm Stern, Director of Alternatives and Psychotherapist

 

“I didn’t like the way I looked on camera. I didn’t like the way I sounded on camera. I didn’t really know what to say. [Then] Neil explained how easy it is to create professional videos using only an iPhone. I’ve been producing videos ever since.”

Karen Faulkner-Dunkley, JFD Jewellery

 

“I got an enormous amount of value from your knowledge of self-shot video and the kit you can use to improve your filming.”

Stuart Reid Consulting, Trainer / Facilitator

 

“My video blog starts tomorrow. Thank you for giving me the confidence.”

Shirley Batten-Smith, Planet Wills

 

“Neil has incredible ideas all the time. He’s a genius at what he does.”

Kerrianne Cartmer-Edwards, Kickass Branding

 

“There are lots of people out there with the technical skills to shoot a video. But being able to tell a story with what you shoot is quite a different skill set, and Neil has both.

The training DVDs that Neil produced for me knocks the socks off anything else out there.”

Jason Buckley, The Philosophy Man

 

My clients are lovely and they have said some wonderful things about how I have helped them. And still...

The video testimonial is so much more powerful then just words

You can't spell and your grammar is terrible

I know the feeling... And this may not be a diagnosed infliction, but I'm sure I've got typing dyslexia. My brain knows what it wants to type but the signals get muddled up on the way to my fingers so they don't always hit the right keys.

When I was at school I remember being told (when I was about 7 or 8 at the time), that I'd never be good at English. Sadly, in the late 60s and early 70s getting the technicalities right was more important than the content.

The things was, although I struggled with spelling and grammar, I excelled at story telling, Sadly no one was interested in that.

Being told I couldn't write as a child didn't hold me back because throughout my television career I have written hundreds of TV programmes and still get the odd check when a programme I wrote many years ago is shown in some far flung country.

So what do you do to not upset the Grammer and SPelling police, because mistakes do happen 😉

Well the lovely Sarah Sarke, who writes awesome blogs, makes some suggestions of proofreading apps that can support you.

But she left out a couple of methods that I use:

You can read how I use YouTube to write my content in one of my other blogs, What is the easiest way to create content for your blog

 

If you have a conversational style

this is the best way to create content

 

How to use the Notes App to write your blogs

This is what to do:

voice-mic--ios-7-interface-symbol_318-33733

It's that easy.

 

p.s. I just used one of the proof reading apps that Sarah suggested and it said "No mistakes found"... Interesting, because I definitely left some in!

 

Without trying too hard

You know I keep going on about how easy it is to make your own videos, and that by having video as part of your marketing strategy will have a significant effect on your business.

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Don't take my word for it, let me tell you about one of my clients, the amazing hypnotherapist Sharon Waxkirsh.

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Sharon has been on one of my workshops, learning how to shoot her own videos on her smartphone. She now uses her mini iPad regularly to film with, and when she's finished working with a client she always asks them if they are willing to give a quick video testimonial.

Not every client says yes, but over the last 18 months she managed to gather over 30 great testimonials with titles like Hypnosis for the fear of flying and Hypnosis for pain relief.

Why does she do this...?

Because when you say how good your business is it can come across as boastful, arrogant or big headed, but when your customers and clients say how good you are, it's proof.

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Video testimonials are the most power video to have on your website

And they are the easiest video to shoot yourself.

If you look at Sharon's video count she's only getting 100s - 1000s views on her videos, so I guess you're wanting to know how 1.7 million people got to see her story, as that's a long way short of 1.7million right?

First of all Sharon doesn't make these videos to get lots and lots of views, she makes these videos to raise her profile and credibility, so when a potential client is interested in working with her they can see straight away that Sharon is the real deal, as she's helped so many other people. They see people like them being helped by Sharon which gives them confidence that Sharon can help them too.

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Video testimonials have had a positive effect on her business

But it's more than that.

About a year ago Sharon had one of her wisdom teeth extracted. Nothing too special about that other than she practices what she preaches and had the tooth extracted using just self hypnosis. Yes, without any anesthetic at all!

It wasn't possible for Sharon to film the procedure herself when she was the one sitting in the chair, so I filmed it for her and you can see the video above.

Within three days of posting this video The Daily Mail showed interest and when they saw the body of videos on her YouTube channel they knew Sharon was legit. Without those video testimonials they would have never published the story on the online site which 1.7 million people saw.

Wisdom tooth extraction - Daily Mail story

That is how you get 1.7 million people to see your story.

If you want to start using video testimonials to grow your business, check out my testimonial page, where I give advice on how to do it.

.

If you want to grow you business quickly

Many of the small business owners I know say there’s just not enough hours in the day to do everything. So why are they wasting their time networking when there are better ways to draw in new clients which take much less time?

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First thing to ask is why do people go networking? 

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My answer: To make connections, meet new people, support other members of the group and ultimately create more business. The thing is, people are unlikely to open their wallets to you until they know, like and trust you and it takes 7 touch points to get there.

If you want people to know, like and trust you through networking, that could mean going to 5 meetings and having a couple of one-to-one’s. When you add in time for planning and preparation, oh and the travel, that’s practically week of work, just to get one person to trust you enough to buy from you.

Using just a tenth of the time to get one person on your side networking, you could do some video marketing to get hundreds, if not thousands of people knowing you, liking you and trusting you.

.

How to you get people to know, like and trust you before they've even met you?...

By sharing your expertise through video

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Instead of spending 4 hours going networking it is possible to:

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And the benefit of all this?

It's simple. Once you have videos out there, those videos keep working for you. Videos I made 3 or 4 years ago are still being watched, and the people viewing them are still getting to know, like and trust me. And when they are looking to buy, even though they've never met me, the sale is so much easier because they already know me through my videos.

.

My videos have also set me up as an expert in my field

Now, instead of going to network meetings as a "member", I get invited as a guest speaker because people want to learn from me.

Instead of having one minute to present myself, I get 30 minutes to talk about what I do and really engage the audience. I only need to go to 2 or 3 network events a year to get the same exposure as I used to get going twice a week - and I can't begin to tell you how much time that has saved me (and the business it has created).

So are network meetings a waste of time? Well no, not really. Especially if I'm the guy speaking at the event that you've gone to listen to!

After all, isn't it a lot of work to make a video?

Well no... The truth is, it takes me less time to shoot, edit and upload a video to YouTube then it takes me to write and publish a blog.

Let me break down the steps in creating a blog or making a YouTube video, and the associated time:

Writing a blog

  1. Come up with an idea - 10 mins
  2. Plan out the content - 15 mins
  3. Write the blog - 30 mins
  4. Format the blog for my website - 10 mins
  5. Find a suitable image for the blog - 10 mins
  6. Final spell check and publish - 10 mins
  7. SEO, tagging, sharing - 15 mins

Total time - 1 hour 40 minutes

Shooting a video

  1. Come up with an idea - 10 mins
  2. Get my smartphone filming kit ready - 5 mins
  3. Shoot my video - 5 mins
  4. Edit the video - 10 mins
  5. Upload to YouTube - 5 mins
  6. Create and upload a custom thumbnail - 10 mins
  7. Describe, tag and share - 15 mins

Total time - 1 hour

And the truth is, if I am shooting several videos at a time I can reduce that even more.

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Saving time is only one reason why I prefer to make videos

But it's not the only reason. Engagement is what I am after, and I find I get considerably more engagement from my videos then from my blogs.

People are lazy and would rather watch a video than read a blog, especially if they are viewing on a mobile device. So make it easy for them.

And how's this for engagement? One of my YouTube subscribers created this video by taking clips from many of the videos I have on my channel.

 

How lovely is that?

But what about SEO and Key Words?

Isn't it harder to for Google to suggest a relevant video than a relevant blog based on someone's key word search terms?

Well no... YouTube's algorithms are so much easier to manipulate that Google's. If I describe and tag my videos well, I can get them on the first page of YouTube (and potentially Google) for my chosen key words within hours.

That's the power of video.

But the real power is when you combine the two.

Create a video on YouTube, tag and describe it well with a link to the URL of the video blog you have created to sit around the video. Write your video blog to compliment the video and use the YouTube URL within the blog so your video plays. Now your video and blog are connected and Google LOVES that and you have two chances of being found, via your blog or via your YouTube channel... Sorted!

So if you're a blogger, great. But why not start making videos and inserting them in your blogs, because when you put them together, then you're really cooking on gas.

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And why I get upset when I'm called one

What is a videographer? A videographer is a person who works in the field of videography and video production. They record moving images and sound on video tape, disk, other electro-mechanical device.

Should I get upset when I get called one? "Hell Yes"

And you should get upset too if people call you by the wrong job title.

This is not intended to sound like bragging, but I am a multi award-winning television and video director, I've got a BAFTA nomination, a Royal Television Society award, two Japan prizes for education. I've worked for the BBC and have an FSB award for Business Innovation... So I kind of know what I'm doing.

So when someone calls me a videographer it dilutes by brand.

 

Calling me a videographer is like calling a Savile Row tailor a machinist.

As a producer director I do a lot of things I can:

  1. help you tell your story
  2. help you generate ideas
  3. find you a great cast
  4. write your scripts
  5. direct you, actors, presenters and crew
  6. edit your videos
  7. operate a camera (videography)
  8. help you with your video marketing
  9. help with your YouTube Channel
  10. coach you to be confident in front of camera.

And that's me just getting started, and videographer is just one of those things.

If you are an expert in what you do, do not allow people to dilute your experience by calling you something that you are not. Stand up for your position, your job title and your skills, because people will trust you and elevate you and think "yes" that is the guy I want to work with.

I don't want to work with a machinist or a videographer because maybe they will able to cut my jacket or shoot me some video some footage, because they only offer part of the service I require.

So if you offer a quality service, your job title needs reflect your quality. Do not stand for anything other that what you want to be called.

 


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Well that depends

It is hard to breakdown all the costs involved in making a video because every client and every requirement is different, but below is an example of what it takes to create a short promotional video (2-5 minutes) for your business and approximately how much things are going to cost.

Pre-production

This is the most important part of the production process, get the planning right and everything else will fall into place. During pre-production planning everything is decided, for example who's appearing in the film, is there to be a script, what about locations, are there shots that absolutely must be got? At a minimum a video running order and schedule will be created, the content of which could be sorted in a short meeting or telephone call. But if more detailed planning is required, for example scripting, storyboards, casting, location scouting and facilities, that will cost.

The average pre-production costs are around £250 - £450.

Production FIlming

Equipment

For most business promos we'll be filming your staff rather than using actors and a script, so will only require camera, sound and a little bit of lighting. Of course like any technology there is a whole range of cameras to choose from all with very different price tags. If you want your video to be shot in 4K and look like something you see in the cinema we are going to have to hire specialist kit and a lot of lights. But for the majority of video requirements you won’t need that. We have camera and sound kit that is broadcast ready and is perfect for online videos which is hired out at £200 per day.

Crew

Again depending on the type of video, the crew list could be huge, from make up to lighting operators, grips to boom swingers. It will all depend on the idea. Most jobs will only require a single director / camera operator with sound, and we add additional cameras and sound as required.

Transport

Usually charge 45p per mile.

Post-production

Editing

The editing process can be more complicated than most people think and usually takes 3 to 4 times as long as it takes to film. So for a one-day shoot there is likely to be three or four days of editing. If we have planned well, then the editing will be easier and take less time.

We charge £450 per day for editing a business promo video. This includes everything from the editing to sound mixing, colour grading to simple graphics and delivery in any format you require. It also includes any changes you may want to make after seeing the first cut.

Final Costs

To sum up, a typical 2-5 minute business promo video, producing by the multi-award winning director Neil Ben, and shot to broadcast standards, is going to cost you between £1,750 and £4,000 + vat

 

Of course, if you want something as flashy as the Lewmax story above, with specially produced graphics AND animations, then it's going to cost you a little bit more.

Because you're worth it

You're an expert in your field, you really know your stuff and you are making a difference but, you want to draw in more high-paying VIP clients.

So how'd you do that?

If you really know your stuff there's no reason why you cannot bring in high-paying VIP clients because there are always people our there looking for what you do. The problem is how do they find you?

That's the tricky bit, that’s the bit you've got to get right because if you get that bit right you will have no problem attracting those VIP clients.

So how do people get to know what you do?

[embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a5iE46PkkPM[/embedyt]

 

You have to put yourself out there - you could be doing speaker tours, you could be going to network events, that's great and maybe you'll be seen by a handful of people or maybe maybe a few hundred if you have a big speaking engagement, and yes you will find clients from that. But the numbers are small and there could be people all around the world who will love what you do. So how do you get somebody in America and Australia, Sweden, in fact anywhere, without spending your whole life traveling the world networking?

You need to be sharing your expertise in bite size pieces through video and every so often you create a video blog (like this). Then, when someone who is sitting at their computer in Germany say, types in "I need an expert in video training", they've found me!

I've had people find me from all around the world... Spain, Germany, Thailand, Japan, America, New Zealand, oh and the UK (to name just a few).

It's a numbers game, the more videos you have out there, the more chance that perfect VIP client will find you.

I suggest you start harnessing the power of video to grow your business and you can do that using a smartphone or tablet the film your videos, or hire a professional to coach you.

And you know who can help you do that?
Me!
Because I'm an expert in what I do!

Videos raise your profile and get you seen as an expert in your field

 

'Cause I'm really good at what I do'

Being great at what you do doesn't necessarily mean you're going to have a lot of clients

It's a sad fact that not everyone who is great at what they do gets as much work, as many clients, or gets paid as much as people who, to be blunt, are nowhere near as good as they are.

And it can be very frustrating, I know, I've been there. That was until I realised two things:

  1. People buy from people and
  2. No one's going to work with you until they
    • Know
    • Like and
    • Trust you

So how do you get more clients? Did you watch the video above?

You need to be visible

You may be the best therapist in the world, get amazing results as a business coach, save people hundreds of pounds on their insurance, but if you don't put yourself out there, let people know what you do and demonstrate your expertise, how is anyone going to find you.

Yes, but I've got a website

So what... If you have a website full of text and pictures, people may get to know what you do, but they're not going to get to know YOU. People only get to know you when they see you, so that's either face to face or through online video. That's all there is to it...

Videos raise your profile and get you seen as an expert in your field

You can choose to hire a video production company to produce your videos for you, or you can learn to make your own videos with the Easy-Pro Video Coaching Programmes

The choice is yours. Just whatever you do, start making those videos as it will help draw in more client, position yourself as the expert you are AND earn you more money.

Nor do I need a Lovely partner

Having spent 12 days in Thailand, sometimes working, sometimes relaxing, I learnt lots of things.

For a start, I realised that I crave connection, I don't like being on my own. I love working with my clients, making sure they get the best support from me to enable them to get their message out there.

I also enjoy connecting on a personal level.

But I saw quite clearly that NEEDING these connections does not work, all it does in push away the possibility of connection.

Watch my insights below on why needing doesn't work.

And it's worth watching to the end, as I kind of lose it, which is quite funny!!!

[embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6keUyMKnbc[/embedyt]

 

And why networking is a waste of time

In 2010 I was a successful (mulit-award winning) television producer / director, making TV programmes for the BBC, Sky, Discovery and Nickelodeon.

Then everything changed. I became a single dad and it was no longer possible to work the hours that television demanded, while at the same time look after my two beautiful children. So I had to come up with a new plan.

I decided to use my skills as a director to help business owners make videos to promote their businesses. That way I could schedule the filming around school hours and do most of the editing from an office I had at my home.

This worked great, but I still needed people to know what I did so they could hire me!

To get my message out there I started doing network meetings, and through my 1-minute pitches and 1-2-1 meetings people got to know me, what I did and business started growing.

Problem was, I was spending as much time networking, meeting people and following up leads as I was doing the work I was getting paid for, and as time was something that was in short supply, I needed to find another way that didn't eat up so many hours.

So I asked myself "why do I go to network meetings?"

The answer was "Obliviously, to get me work, but people weren't going to hire me until they got to know me, liked what I did and trusted me".

There had to be a better way to get people to know, like and trust me.

And that's when I started making videos to share my expertise.

The videos I made raised my profile and I'm now seen as an expert in my field.

And now, instead of going to network meetings as a "member", I get invited as a guest speaker because people want to learn from me.

Imagine that. Instead of having one minute to present myself, I get 30 minutes to talk about what I do and really engage the audience. Now, instead of going to 2 network events a week I only need to go to 2 or 3 network events a year to get the same exposure - and I can't begin to tell you how much time that has saved me (and the business it has created).

Another thing that my regular videos have done, is to draw in more people who are easier to work with. You see I have a unique style and way of doing things... I like to have fun and use humour to engage... That's what comes across in my videos.

Some people are drawn to my style and others are not.

The ones that do not find my humour, character and approach suitable tend to go to someone else for their video production. The ones who like the way I communicate, well they really appreciate what I have to offer and are much easier to work with.

So if you want to save time AND draw in more of those clients who are a real joy to work with, then sharing your expertise though video is a great way to do that.

You can choose to hire a video production company to produce those videos for you, or you can work your way though The Easy-Pro Video Coaching Programme.

The choice is yours. Just whatever you do, start making those videos as it will free up more of your time AND earn you more money.

 

It's got to be good enough for us !

If you've known me a while you've probably picked up that I think filming on your smartphone is a great idea... I've even gone as far to say that the camera on my iPhone gets better quality video then the cameras I used to use when I was at the BBC.

Don't believe me...? Then don't take my word for it... Just check out what Bentley have been doing.

They've only gone and shot an ad using an iPhone.

Yes, I know what you're thinking... If Bentley where going to make an ad, they'd pull out all the stops to make their product look absolutely perfect by using a camera that mirrored the opulence of its subject.

But no, the ad was shot on an iPhone 5s and edited in the back of the car on an iPad...

Just watch the video as the result are absolutely gorgeous!

 

There you go... It is possible to shoot amazing videos with just your smartphone, it is also possible to edit those videos on your iPhone or iPad...

It's a tough market out there, so how do you stay one step ahead of the competition?

This was the problem faced by Spanish plumber José, business was booming until another Spanish plumber rode into town.


 

The 5 BIGGEST mistakes people make when filming their own business video

I was sitting in my office the other day, editing a children’s animation, when I heard the familiar ping of an incoming email. Normally when I’m in the flow of editing I ignore the emails, but I glanced across to check the subject line How to cut your insurance costs by 30% and was just about to hit delete when I noticed there was a video embedded in the text, so I paused…

Ok, video is my thing so of course I’m going to check it out, but…

In my experience I get considerably more opens from my

video emails (35-40% open rate) compared to my text emails (1-2%)

Video emails work better than text emails

So I thought, if this guy knows about video, maybe he knows something about saving me money on my insurance too. I opened the email and clicked to play the video

Well done Mr Insurance Salesman, you succeeded in

getting me to open your email and engage with you

Sadly, that was as good as it got

Now I’m not going to say who the insurance salesman was, that wouldn't be fair, so lets call him Mr Jones. Inserting a video in the email was the only good thing Mr Jones did, and to be honest, he would have been better sending a text only email as the video was so bad it really put me off him and his business.

So what did Mr Jones do wrong?

Mistake #1: The BIGGEST mistake Mr Jones made

I see people making this mistake all the time. Mr Jones did it and I wouldn’t be surprised if you’ve done it yourself recently. When people shoot themselves this way it is a real turn off to serious clients. Change this one thing and your videos will be so much better than the majority of videos you see on YouTube.

Tip #1: Watch this video to see what the BIGGEST mistake is

 

Mistake #2: The video was shot with the front camera

Unless you happen to have a top end iPhone or Android, the video you shoot with the back camera will be far better than what you get with the front camera.

Sadly Mr Jones didn’t have a very good phone and he shot his video with the front camera, which meant his video looked grainy and soft, not High Definition quality, as it would have been if he’d used the back camera.

Tip #2: Always use your phone’s back camera to shoot your videos

Mistake #3: The video was wobbly

I can picture it now… Mr Jones, sitting in his office, holding his phone, shooting himself as if he was taking a selfie. Of course the video is going to be a bit shaky, wobbly video is a real distraction and shows a lack of professionalism.

Tip#3: Mount your phone to keep is stable while you film

Mistake #4: The sound was horrible

Mr Jones didn’t use a microphone, he didn’t tell his kids to be quiet in the room next door and he forgot to turn his radio off. With all that background noise combined with the lack of a decent microphone meant I could hardly hear a word Mr Jones was saying.

People are more likely to click away from a video if the sound is poor than if the picture is dodgy so…

Tip#4: Make sure you get the best sound you can

Mistake #5: The video was too long

Running at a cool twelve and a half minutes, Mr Jones’s video was far too long. Worse than that, Mr Jones started his video talking about himself, his contacts, all the different companies he had worked for; he was having an ego trip. Thing was, I wanted to know how I could save 30% on my insurance, not about Mr Jones, so got bored long before he got to the point of his video.

I made it to about 45 seconds because, like I said before, video is my thing and I’m interested in how people use it. Most people would have given up a lot sooner. Sadly, I never found out how I could save money.

Tip#5: Make sure you get to the point quickly and keep your video short, 90 – 150 seconds

Videos are meant to be engaging, to help build rapport and make it easy for the audience to decide if they want to work with you or not.

Sadly, by shooting himself, Mr Jones killed any chance of me wanting to do business with him

 

Is vlogging better than blogging? What are video blogging’s benefits?

Why bother with video blogging? After all, isn’t it a little bit of a hassle getting your camera out every couple of weeks and shooting yourself talking about something interesting? Surely it’s going to take considerably longer to produce a video than write a blog?

Well no…

Talking to camera can be incredibly easy and very fast.  I can write quickly, but I edit heavily; I chop out words, rearrange sentences, delete and move paragraphs around and of course I need to spell check because I know spelling is a weakness of mine.  All that takes time.

Vlogging can be much more spontaneous.  I have an idea, plot out a few points that I want to talk about, turn the camera on and see what comes out my mouth.

Average time for me to write, edit and spell check a blog – 3 hours
Average time for me to shoot, edit and upload a vlog – 1 hour

That means I can produce 3 video blogs for every written blog. OK, I’m a professional so do it faster than most people. But even so, you could benefit from faster vlog production of your own – especially if you finding blog writing a difficult chore.

The key benefits of vlogging

#1: The NUMBER ONE reason why you should vlog

It’s such a strong reason I’m going use my video blog to tell you!

So watch the video below to find out what is it.

[embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cLq2vqpUrKU[/embedyt]

#2: Vlogging helps you stand out from your competitors

70% of internet traffic last year was video but only a fraction of businesses used it as part of their marketing strategy.

It’s simple: use video now, before your competitors do

Suppose I was searching the internet for a particular service – let’s say a landscape gardener - and I found 3 suitable companies in my area. All three blog with gardening tips, advice about keeping your lawn looking nice and how the changing seasons can affect your garden, but only one has video in their blog.

I’m going to look at that company first. I’m going to check out their video and if I get a good feel about the gardener, their knowledge and expertise, I’m going to give them a call before I check out the other companies.

#3: Video blogs give you so much lovely Google juice

When you create a video blog, you are creating content that can be linked all over the web. You can tweet about it, embed it in emails, share it on FaceBook or Google+. Other people can then ‘like’, retweet, share or ‘+1’ your video which will give you a higher ranking on search engines.

Also, because Google owns YouTube, it ranks WebPages that have a YouTube video embedded in them higher than ones that don’t. So upload a written blog or article and embed a video in it and Google will love you.

Creating blogs that contain a video is also a great way to appeal to two different audiences; the ones who read blogs and the ones who watch videos. As any communication expert will tell you, this works for two different types of audiences: the ‘visual’ and ‘auditory’ ones.

You now have two things to share: your blog, and the video that sits in the blog. That’s two different ways for your expertise to be found.

#4: Vlogging is cost effective advertising

If you were John Lewis and it was Christmas, you’d spend £1m creating an animated commercial and a further £6m getting it played at peak times, in front of your target audience, on their televisions.

Vlogging doesn’t have to cost you a penny. You can shoot it on your smart phone or tablet and upload it straight to YouTube.

Getting the video in front of potential clients doesn’t have to cost anything either. A carefully written description and a title with suitable keywords will attract an audience who is interested in what you are saying.

Better still, if your content is good, your family, friends and business contacts will do the marketing for you by sharing your video. You very rarely hear of a viral blog, but get the content of your video right and millions could see it.

#5: Vlogging makes it easy for people to decide if they want to work with you or not

Blogs are great for getting deep into a subject or idea. They can demonstrate your expertise, knowledge and experience, but it can take a long time for readers to decide if they want to work with you or not.

Nothing works better than seeing a person in person!

I’m sure you’ve seen these stats before:

Communication is:

  1. 7% - words
  2. 38% - tonality
  3. 55% - body language

While a great writer can weave words, use punctuation and formatting that creates a tone (7% + 38%), there’s still 55% of potential communication missing as you can’t get body language across in a blog.

When people see you on video, they get an immediate sense of you. They get to know you and quickly decide if they like you or not. Then, after watching several of your vlogs, they start to trust you.

When someone knows, likes and trusts you they are more likely to buy from you, and that is why shooting yourself is good for business

Please leave a comment below, I'd love to hear what you think of these vlogs.

 

What makes a great profile video?

If you want people to get to know what you do, the easiest and quickest way is to create a profile video. You can put the video on the home or about page of your website; you can embed it in your LinkedIn profile; you can even put a link to it in your email footer.

But what makes a great profile video, how long should it be and what should you talk about?

Below is a simple structure that I use with my clients. It gets across what they do, communicates what makes them special and helps get across their personality.

My structure for a great profile video

#1: Take no more than 10 seconds to introduce yourself and what you do

People want to know who you are and what you do right off the bat, so start your profile video with your name and what you do. See if you can keep this sentence short and put a number in it.

For example:

“My name’s Neil Ben, a Video Coach, with nearly 25 years, experience working in broadcast and video production”

Why a number?

25 gives me credibility: it quickly says “he has been working in production for quite a while so he must know what he’s doing.”

#2: Say what makes you special in the next 10 seconds

Suppose you’ve been working as a business coach for the last 8 years. What makes you different from other business coaches? Maybe you work with top executives who are looking for a new direction, or maybe your clientele are mothers who are looking to create a business they can run from home so they can create some income while the children are at school.

Tell people now your area of specialism.

For example:

“I help very small and micro businesses use simplified book-keeping to keep their finances in good order – yet cut their admin time down by up to 50 percent.”

#3: Tell a transformational story for 30 to 60 seconds

This is the meaty part of your profile video, where you talk about something that’s going to make people think, “yes, this sounds interesting, maybe they can help me.”

We also get to see a little more of your personality which helps potential clients decide if they like you or not, or could work with you.

For example, I might say something like this:

“One of my clients Sharon, is an amazing hypnotherapist. I’ve been working with her for a few months now, teaching her how to shoot client testimonials on her phone, filming some of her treatments for her, and building her YouTube channel with a library of videos. Recently Sharon had a wisdom tooth extracted and used self-hypnosis instead of chemical analgesia to handle the pain. Within a week of posting her video on YouTube an evening standard journalist saw it and her story was featured in the paper, with the video included in the online version.

From that single video, 1.7 million people have seen Sharon’s story.

 That is what that video can do for you"

#4: End with a call to action

It’s always good to end your profile video with a call to action, to encourage the viewer to do something. It could be as simple getting them to check out your website, or signing up for your blog, um, I mean vlog! Or you could go further and invite the viewer to drop you an email or give you a call.

Mine looks a bit like this:

“If you want to stand out from your competitors, but are not sure how video can do this for you, book yourself a FREE 30 minute consolation with me by clicking the how can I help? tab below and we can chat about whatever you want. I look forward to speaking with you”

Always remember to add links, email addresses or phone numbers to the video, and if you type a URL in the description make it a live link by using the http:// format e.g.

https://neilben.com

Oh, and how long should it be?

If you add up all the different sections above, your video is going to be around 45 to 90 seconds. Shorter that 45 seconds doesn’t really give the viewer a chance to really assess you, and if your video is longer that 1½ minutes, people may not watch it all the way though, clicking off before they see your call to action.

Please leave a comment below, I'd love to hear what you think of these vlogs.

Imagine you’re a plumber and you’ve just finished fixing the heating system in a client’s home and they say to you...

“Thank you so much for coming today to fix my heating. I haven’t been able to bath the kids for two days and now we are all looking forward to a lovely warm bubble bath. I really appreciate you coming over the weekend and not charging me extra. You’ve done a great job and I’m certainly going to be recommending you to my family and friends.”

 

Feedback like that is lovely to receive, but other than that warm fuzzy feeling you get from the pride of being appreciated for a job well done, how valuable is that to you?

Now image that you had captured that comment on video and loaded it on YouTube, embed it in your website, shared it on your company FaceBook profile and posted it on Twitter or LinkedIn. How valuable would that be to your business now?

Studies have shown that only 14% of people believe advertising, but an amazing 90% believe peer recommendation. So having your customers saying wonderful things about the work you do through video, is one of the most powerful ways to persuade others to become your customers too.

But having a film crew on standby on the off chance that a customer is going to say something nice about you is not a cost effective solution to gathering your video testimonials, so what are you going to do?

Well, what you’re going to do is whip out your smart phone and film the testimonial yourself.

If all this seems a bit too daunting to do on your own, check out my smart phone video training courses, where I teach you everything you need to know in order to shoot great quality films on your phone.

Here’s one of my recent students, Mike Dilke from www.backapp.co.uk talking about his experience on the course.

[embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-KN-_gaEuk[/embedyt]

Please leave a comment below, I'd love to hear what you think of these vlogs.

 

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