After dropping many hints, I received a Flip camera for Christmas. Last Christmas…2009. I had taken Laura Roeder’s Creating Fame workshop, and she recommended using video on business websites. It made perfect sense. People like to get to know a little about you and why you think your work should matter to them. Video is now a cheap and easy way to give them a glimpse of the real you. Why not?
Then I made a few test clips. OMG! What the years have done to me.
For a solid year I have been procrastinating.
My Inner Brat
Luckily, living somewhere deep inside me, is my inner brat: a 10-year-old boy with a wicked sense of humor, who likes to poke fun at me. “Imagine all the traffic a video could create,” he said. “Kids will show your website to their parents. ‘Look, Mom, I found DUMBLEDORE!’”
My inner brat first annoyed then tickled me, so I got into the spirit. “The video will need a disclaimer. ‘I AM NOT DUMBLEDORE.’” At least he got me laughing at myself.
I Am Not DUMBLEDORE!
It’s not that I mind being, well, let’s call it mature. In fact, I rather like this stage of my life. But as I explore the social media scene, one fact is inescapable: those on the frontier of social media are young. They have grown up with the Internet and wireless connectivity.
Excuses, Not Reasons
But there’s always a good excuse for not doing things, isn’t there? We are always too old, too young, not good-looking enough, not smart enough, not educated enough, or not quite good enough in some way.
I asked my inner brat to make a list of reasons why I should put myself out there with video. Here’s what he came up with.
1. Video Isn’t New Any More
Video is mainstream. Websites without video look a little old-school. Putting video on your website at least demonstrates that you’re not living under a rock.
2. People Wonder about You
If there’s no video on your website, people may imagine that you look even worse than you do.
3. The Mind Needs Associations
Information is important, but people are more apt to remember information if they can associate it with a person. It gives them a shorthand way to think about you. Video is personal and engaging, and therefore more memorable.
4. People Respond to People
When you are in business, marketing is an important part of your job. And what is the goal of marketing? To create a response: buy, try, call, visit, or whatever. People take action based on emotion not logic, and video is a good vehicle for creating an emotional response.
5. You Are What You Are
You’re not going to become any better-looking than you are right now. Even if you have that crooked nose fixed, buy a hairpiece, or even get a facelift, the difference won’t be all that dramatic.
6. Flaws Are Endearing
Notice TV commercials that feature children. You’ll see kids with freckles, glasses, unruly hair, and dorky expressions. Why? Those small flaws help the viewer relate to the character.
7. Video Doesn’t Have to Be Perfect
The Internet is an informal place. Studio-produced videos can look a little contrived. Why are they trying so hard? Good videos look as if the person came up with a good idea and couldn’t wait to share it with you.
8. Do-Overs Are Easy
When the ink hits the paper, a brochure is done. But digital formats can be edited, massaged, refined, and tweaked. Worst case, you can dump your initial version and do it over.
9. Darren Rowse Does Video
Darren is the founder of Problogger.net, one of the most popular blogs in the world. He’s a pleasant-looking guy, but Brad Pitt has nothing to worry about. (As my inner brat pointed out, I don’t really look like Dumbledore; I look more like I could be Darren Rowse’s grandfather.) Darren often uses video to deliver his message, and seems perfectly comfortable doing so. If he can do it, I can too.
10. Your Message Is Important
And this is the most important point of all. Don’t hide your important message. Deliver it to the world. Start getting some responses. Find out what your market thinks of you and your message.
Pretty smart advice, coming from an imaginary 10-year old.
I’d love to hear your thought processes:
- Video virgins: If you haven’t done it yet, (video, that is), what’s holding you back?
- Video first timers: What helped you decide to give video a try?
- Video veterans: How does video fit into your business strategy?
Oh, and send us links to your videos, so we can witness your bravery. Below is a link to mine. Yikes, don’t look.