Have you ever watched a marketing video online and felt disconnected from it? It could have been a very slick, polished production, but, in the end, it didn’t “speak” to you. What went wrong, do you think? Maybe it was because there was nothing “real” about it. Maybe the person on camera was dead-pan script reading, or maybe it was all graphics and no heart. It just felt fake, or forced. An imitation of the message it was meant to convey.
At Direct Me Anywhere, we believe so strongly that video is the most effective way to communicate your message – in the most authentic version of who you are. But, for the small business owner or entrepreneur, the question sometimes is, “How?” How do you keep your video authentic and keep it from feeling like a cheap imitation?
Jason Hsiao of Animoto, an online video building and editing platform, put together 8 Essential Tips that will help you build trust with your potential clients, and let them get to know your authentic self. We love these tips and agree with him so much we thought we would share his insights with you. Our comments and thoughts on his advice are in italics below.
Tip #1: Be yourself
Give people the opportunity to get to know you as a person, not just what you sell. Through showcasing your personality, you can stand out from your competition. When my wife and I were planning our wedding, we had a lot of decisions to make about who we wanted to involve in our special day, from a florist to a caterer to a limo driver. I realized that people’s stories, interests, and personalities actually mattered a ton, and we ended up hiring people with stories that resonated with us. Remember, the reason people choose you may not be because your product or service is better. They may be choosing you because they like YOU.
We agree 100% with this. There may always be someone cheaper than you. There may also be someone whose product may be better than yours. This is all about relationships and relationship building. Not about the quick sale. This is not about being a fake copy of who you are. Be yourself every time and attract the type of clients you are excited about working with, and who are excited to lean in with you.
Tip #2: Let your passion shine through
When sharing your story, let your passion shine through. Don’t just share information about your business, but share what inspired you as a business owner. You’re passionate about what you do, and that passion can inspire your customers too. When your passion shines through, people can’t help but be drawn to it.
Take your passion, and make it happen. Not just a lyric from an 80’s Flash Dance song, it’s true. If you are passionate about what it is you do or offer, others will pick up on it and lean into it. It’s one of the easiest ways to present your authentic self.
Tip #3: Speak naturally
Be natural and be yourself. Speak as if someone just walked up to your office or your store, rather than as if you are reading a script. It will feel much more natural and human. If you’ll be speaking on camera, don’t feel like you have to commit things to memory. Simply be yourself, be human, and talk like you’re having a conversation. It can often help to have someone you feel comfortable with stand behind the camera so you can talk directly to them.
We love the non-scripted, interview-based video. Not everyone is comfortable on camera. We excel at helping real people shine on camera, and we believe one of the best ways to do that is to relax and just talk, rather than memorizing a bunch words that sound good on the page but inhibits you on camera.
Tip #4: Own your imperfections
That’s right! It’s ok if you’re not perfect. In fact, things that aren’t perfect feel more authentic and human. Own your imperfections! Don’t worry about having to think for a second about what you have to say or if you throw in an “um” here and there. Be okay with being yourself, and know that the more practice you get on camera, the better you’ll get.
This is something that is so very hard to do – I know by experience. When I started videotaping myself without a full makeup crew, I agonized over every double chin, uneven lip liner, my size, and, of course, wrinkles. And I hated the way I sounded. But, it was so much more important to me to “walk the talk” and allow my clients to build trust with me.
Tip #5: Get scrappy with production
Speaking of not having to be perfect, this applies to your production as well! You don’t have to get a fancy camera or hire a production team. These days, more and more big brands are getting scrappy with their production and shooting videos for social media on their phones, using natural light.
Let go of perfection. Enough said.
Tip #6: Go behind the scenes
Take potential customers behind the scenes to show them how you work or introduce them to your team. You could showcase yourself, the founder of your company, or anyone with an interesting story or a smile. And you don’t have to record yourself speaking on camera. Even including photos of yourself or your team at work can give prospects a glimpse into who you are.
The use of an energetic voice-over, music, and good editing can go a long way to build a compelling video simply and effectively.
Tip #7: Give your customers a voice
Your customers can also help tell your story and humanize you. Sharing your customers’ success stories and testimonials shows potential customers what it would be like to work with you. And you don’t need video clips for this one either! You can create a video using quotes from happy customers too. Quotes that call you out by name, rather than brand, can be effective for giving your business a human touch.
We absolutely love customer testimonials. The best advertising is from happy, return customers.
Tip #8: Set the scene
Where you shoot your video can say just as much about you and your brand as what you say in your video. A backdrop with perfect lighting may feel overly formal and not shed any light on the personality of your business. Try shooting within the space you work, or including elements in the background that showcase your brand for a more authentic feel.
It’s so important to make sure your “set” looks like you and the brand you want to present. There are many ways to accomplish this. If you film yourself at your desk at home, or even in your car, make sure it’s clean and tidy and anything in the background is the same way. Check for boxes, papers, dangling wires that are distracting to your message. A few minutes getting “camera ready” will go a long way to the professionalism of your brand.
We hope these tips will help you embrace all the positive aspects video marketing can bring to you and your business. Need help? That’s why we are here. Reach out any time.
It’s your turn,