A New Trick for Creating Fame: The Business Demo Reel

Watch the video to see my ol ‘hood, the Venice Canals and learn how to use a demo reel to sit pretty and get the customers to come to you!

You heard what to do in the video, leave a comment with your business demo reel!

Mentioned in this video: How to Edit And Upload a Flip Video To YouTube
Purchase the flip video camera here


You probably hear my duck friends. Welcome to the Venice Canals!

Hey, I’m Laura Roeder. Okay, I got a little bit excited in the intro but I am indeed in the Venice Canals. This is where I live in Venice Beach, California in Los Angeles. I just wanted to show you a little bit of my beautiful home. In this video, I’m going to tell you about how I shifted from constantly chasing every client from that feast or famine cycle to now putting myself in a position where people come to me. It’s really cool and you can do it too. One of the ways you can do it is to create a demo reel for your business, and stick around till the end of the video because I’m going to tell you exactly how to do that.

You might have heard that before I had the business that I have now I used to have a web design business. I used to be a web designer in Chicago and the way I would get my clients is I would find someone through going to networking events every single night. I would finally find someone who might be interested, who showed a little bit of interest and I would put together a detailed proposal just for them. We would have a phone call and we would talk about what we wanted. I would put together a proposal and then I would ride the bus over to their office.

I lived in Chicago. It was really cold. I didn’t have a car and I remember I would spend so long just like sitting on the bus with my little proposal. Also keep in mind I was 22 and I looked about 16. So you can just picture me waiting for the bus in Chicago with my little proposal. Sometimes I would take an hour to get there and I would have my meeting which would take another hour and they would say they would think about it or sometimes they would buy or sometimes they wouldn’t. I felt like it was just this cycle that I couldn’t see my way out of. I spent so much time making the proposals and getting over there and having the meetings.

When I would finally get a client, when it actually paid off and I had a client, well, as soon as that project ended, I was back to square one. As soon as the client finished, now it’s time to ride the bus around the city for more proposals, right?

So I was trying so hard. I always felt like I was grasping, trying to get clients like “Please, please sign up with me. Please get in here.” It was so much work and I kept thinking there has to be some other way to do this.

So I went to Los Angeles to visit my friend, Brea, who is an actor. At the time I lived in Chicago. Now I live in L.A. So I was helping Brea with her acting business, with her acting career. I was helping her get on social media and learn about online marketing and blog, and in turn I was learning about how the acting business works which wasn’t something I knew anything about. Actually, that worked with Brea is what inspired the whole Creating Fame system. I used what we did with her, started using it for myself to create fame, to push. But I’m getting a little ahead of myself.

So one thing that I noticed that was really interesting about the acting business is how successful actors get work. This is not how all actors get work. A struggling actor is constantly doing what I was doing in Chicago. They’re chasing. They’re always going on auditions. They’re not getting anything. But successful actors do something different. What happens when you are a successful actor is people see you in one project and they want to book you for another.

Basically, people come asking for you instead of you having to go to them. You probably noticed this when you’ve watched TV. You’ll notice a girl in a commercial and all of a sudden she’s in four commercials, all of a sudden you see someone guest starring in a TV show, and then you notice them guest starring on another show. The reason that that happens is people see them. They see their work and they say, “I want that person for another project.”

So I was thinking, “That’s really interesting. That’s what I want to do for my business,” right? Instead of chasing all these clients, I want to be sitting pretty and having clients coming to me. That sounded much better. So I started using what we had done for Brea and trying it out on myself and on my business to see if I could create fame for myself and my business in becoming the known person getting clients to come to me. So that’s how I created fame for my business, sort of the two-second version, right? And I want you to do the same for your business, and I have a way that you can start doing that today and that is creating a business demo reel, a demo reel for your business. If you’ve never heard this term before, a demo reel is something that actors and producers and animators and directors and artists, any sort of visual artist I guess use this to showcase their work. So it’s just a little video that has clips of all their best work.

You can call it a portfolio or a showcase or whatever. And what happens is an actor shows someone their demo reel then they can watch it in the comfort of their own home, right? The actor doesn’t have to show up and do a little song and dance. People can check out your demo real from afar and then they can decide to hire you. So what I want you to do is create a video that showcases what you do in your business, and you can actually do this for any type of business. So let me explain. If you’re a life coach, you can record a video of you working with a client. Or if there’s privacy issues, I know some of us can’t really do that, just record a video of you doing sort of your initial spiel that you do when you work with a client. I’m sure when you first start talking to someone you tell them your philosophy, how it’s going to work, maybe how many sessions they have, is it by phone or in person. That whole thing is actually really, really useful for people who want to hire you.

So you can film that with a real client or for whatever you can’t do that, just pretend you’re talking a client, right? You can have your friends in there, you can talk to a wall, whatever it is, just say whatever you say when people first start working with you. The same thing if you’re a lawyer. If you can’t have footage of you actually working with a client, just record a little bit of what you say when people first come to your office, right? “This is my philosophy. This is how it works. These are the outcomes you can expect.”

If you are a fitness instructor, like pilates teacher, record a little video of you teaching pilates. It sounds funny but we really want to see you, like, is she a scary teacher? Is she a nice teacher? What’s her style? People really want to know that before they hire you. Or if you’re a healer, if you’re an acupuncturist or an esthetician or anything like that, you can record a video of you doing your work or again, if for privacy reasons that won’t really work out, just record a video of you explaining how your work works. But don’t do it like a little advertisement. Pretend that you’re really talking to a client or really do talk to a client again and have someone record it.

So you might tell them “It will take about this long. This is how the process goes. This is what you can expect.” That type of video is super, super valuable for people who want to work with you. It’s a way for them to get that experience. This is what video is so great for. On video they get that experience of working with you without you having to ride the bus around in cold Chicago to go give them the pitch in person. And you will be really, really surprised by how many people will pick up the phone and hire you based off just what they’ve seen in the video and not having any conversation with you. This works really well.

So what I want you to do, if you don’t have a video camera, if you’re like “Where do I start?” I’m going to tell you exactly what to do. Don’t worry. Get a Flip Video camera. That’s what we’re recording this on right now. You can probably see there’s no fancy equipment. I don’t even have a microphone. They work great. It’s called F-L-I-P. You can get them on Amazon, get them anywhere. Just get the cheapest Flip. Record your video on the Flip. You can have your friend do it; you can have somebody you work with to do it, whatever. Record your video and then post it on YouTube. I even have instructions for that. I’ll put the link below this video on how to upload your video from Flip to YouTube and then put it on YouTube, send people the link, and embed it on your own website.

That’s a sort of bonus points because on YouTube people are going to find it googling. So somebody searches for pilates teacher in Toledo, your video is going to come up, they’re going to watch it and fall in love with you, and then call you and book with you, and you won’t have to do anything. It will be awesome. So that’s how you record your business demo reel. The last step is post it below this video. I want to see your demo reels and I would be happy to give you feedback if you can post them in the next few days, right? A little challenge for you.

So get out there. Get a Flip. Don’t make this complicated. Don’t try to make it perfect. You don’t have to do any video editing. Just have someone record your process, whatever you do with your clients. Post it on YouTube, put it on your website, and then link it below this video, and we’ll all check it out and I’ll tell you what I think.

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About Laura Roeder

Laura Roeder is a social media marketing expert who gives businesses of all sizes the tools they need to make their mark on the web. She is the creator of the social media scheduling software Edgar, as well as social media marketing web courses like Creating Fame and Social Brilliant.


  1. Thanks for the video. I agree! I self-produced a demo reel for my personal training and yoga career and it has helped tremendously.
    Here’s the video: http://www.youtube.com/mightycollective

    Next up for me is producing full-length yoga and fitness videos which will launch very soon. Thanks again!


  2. Great, great, great idea. Between b-school and the dash I’m learning and implementing TONS.

  3. Weve made two videos taking advantage of imovie software


    and as always, the link back to our site which has gone from page 10 to page 1 link 4 in our search category using some of your techniques

    Happy Tails To You!
    Mary McNeight, CPDT-KA, CCS, BGS
    Service Dog Academy, Seattle WA
    Owner/Head Trainer

  4. I love hearing your story L because I was 22 and started a web company and did the EXACT same thing for 8 YEARS!! Last 4 years have been easier, global and fun! oh and of course more profitable. One day we shall meet :)

  5. Thank you for the tips! I’ve got some good ideas of ways to show how I work with clients :) Time to implement! ~ Christina

  6. Laura,

    Great takeaways thank you. Also, we share the same neighborhood too – very cool!! Video presenting is a topic I am familiar with it, so would love to share the following quick tips:

    1. I recommend scripting prior to shooting your biz-reel. It will help you get clear on your key messages, and stay on point (curtailing any rambling or going off on a tangent).
    2. Do a few “run-throughs” or cold reads first before you film. It will help reduce the number of speech flubs, and takes, plus it will warm up your vocals, face and jaw (notorious places for tension). To help with tension, try and make yourself laugh prior to filming. This will relax you, open your airways and put you in a great mood!
    3. Check your background. Is it congruent with your key messages? Does it add to your brand or does it distract? Could you incorporate some subtle form of product placement in the background?
    4. Manage your first impressions – you only get one shot to make a great one! Do you look the part? Is your wardrobe on brand and congruent with your key messages? I.e. if you’re a fitness instructor you wouldn’t wear a suit , it would confuse your viewer
    5. Good lighting is essential. Don’t have your back to the window. Face your light source. Light is your “friend” on camera – it will make you look great
    6. Watch out for excessive body movement. Often when we are excited, nervous, or anxious we can have a tendency to shift our body weight, or bob around which can highly distracting to your viewer. Excessive movement on camera will upstage you every time.
    7. Cater for short attention spans 2,3,5min videos work well (may reduce number of click-aways to)
    8. Remember you are the star – be your best self – genuine, warm and engaging. Smile (its attractive), and most of all have HEAPS OF FUN!

  7. Thanks for this great idea! I was just getting ready to give up on reading blogs, subscribing to emails, attending webinars–since everything seems like a lead to buy something. While I understand that sales are what it’s all about, it was so refreshing to see you give helpful information, and not just a teaser for something I can buy. Thanks for that, and you’re right, when I’m ready to buy, I’ll remember how helpful and open you are.

  8. Hey, Laura –

    I LOVE this business showreel – I remember seeing it a few months ago and giggling to myself a bit. We come from a pro acting background, and it’s hilarious-wonderful to see things turned around – from the other perspective. I had a “duh” moment – we’d been neglecting to apply all the principles we’d learned as actors and performing artists, to our creativity & communications training business.

  9. Laura, I recently recorded my demo reel and have had a lot of new potential clients contact me. I would love to hear your thoughts and I’ve posted it on the bottom right side of my homepage. Thanks for continuing to give great advice1 Tracey

  10. Jalanda James, Videographer NYC says:

    These are awesome tips.

    I’m glad to see entrepreneurs beginning to embrace video. Some entrepreneurs think that video is just for the “Super Stars” and for them not so much.

    I agree video does help sell. I create Video Business Cards for NYC female entrepreneurs. I think people have to be careful when crafting their video. Some people request “sizzle” videos which just turn into a big love fest all about them. How long would you listen to someone discuss themselves? So when recording I like to include some relating some sales. It’s a fine balance. See samples at http://jalandajames.com

    Good Luck. Video is fun. Making my own on Sat.