October 2010

Technology Upgrades: Arghhh!

Well, the time has come for a “technology upgrade”.

I’ve been using my Sony HDR FX-1 High Def video camera since 2006, and it has only failed me once before.  The camera has been amazing, and I have always treated it with respect.  But, alas, it could not last forever.  I need to upgrade.  I hear that most videographers upgrade their equipment every two years.  I just haven’t had a need to do that.  But I feel the time has come.

The Sony will now assume the role of “Back-Up Camera,” and the Primary Camera now goes to the Canon XL H1A.  I’m very excited about this upgrade.  I don’t want to say it too loudly, though, because I don’t want my Sony to get upset.  In all honesty, I would have purchased another Sony, but I wanted to match the quality and picture of my mentor and colleague Sharon Ferranti‘s camera, a Canon XL H1A.

The thing that has struck me throughout this process is the very modern need to upgrade.  It’s almost pathological, don’t you think?  But when everybody in America owns either an iPhone or a Blackberry, a home computer or a laptop, the very idea of upgrading has become commonplace. Whether you are upgrading your computer’s operating system (Windows Vista, anyone?), your website platform (WordPress?) or your smart phone (they keep getting smarter), the inevitable moment will come when you need to upgrade.  The same goes for cameras and video cameras…they just forgot to tell me that “upgrade” means “buy a new one”!

The Book Trailer

Trailers Aren't Just For Movies Anymore

I just spoke at the Houston Chapter Meeting of NSA (National Speakers Association) on the importance of video marketing. It was a great morning, and I loved being a part of a full program that included Julie Haralson and Susan Howard.

My segment focused on the many uses of video in a motivational speaker’s marketing strategy. We touched on the speaker’s commercial). The meeting attendees were practically talking over each other with excitement at the possibilities of using video in their marketing efforts.

What I didn’t go into was the Book Trailer. Since so many speakers have written a book, it should have been on my short list of video marketing ideas. Since I didn’t have time, I’m giving it a little blog time today. Check out an effective book trailer below. This guy Garin Kilpatrick is also a pretty cool cat, and has a promising career ahead of him…probably as a public speaker.

Video Blogging as a Marketing Tool

Video blogging (or ‘vlogging’, which is a coined term I haven’t heard many people actually use) is another great way to enhance your on-line marketing.

It’s also a good way to encourage discussion.  Although video is a one-way form of communicating, it can become a multi-directional conversation if it is contained within a blog.

When a user/prospect is visiting your website, it is important to have content on the page which keeps him/her immediately satisfied.  Have your content provide a specific service or value.  If the user is not satisfied by the content, they will most certainly jump away from the page quickly.  One easy way to keep users on your page longer is to use video.

Before you turn on the video camera, make sure you follow a few guidelines.

  • Have something to say in your video, and be passionate about it.  Keep your energy up.  I find it hard to watch somebody who is not engaged.
  • Make sure the video is good enough to stand on its own, even if you’re putting it in your blog.  Content is a requirement.  Think about the structure of storytelling.  Have a rough outline or script in mind. Save the payoff (good information, a service or some other value) for the end of your video.
  • Ensure that you have good audio.  Find out if your camera has a jack for an external microphone.  Speak clearly. If people can’t hear you, they won’t listen.
  • Keep your camera steady.  The best way to do this is by using a tripod. You can also use a webcam built into your laptop, but if you do this, try to frame yourself nicely.  If you sit too close, your face can look distorted and comical.

Marketing Tips for Youtube

This is the Youtube logo, as if you didn't already know that

As I continue to use video as a marketing tool with my clients, I keep stressing the importance of Youtube in their marketing efforts. The benefits of creating a Youtube “channel” are formidable. I’m listing a few below:

  1. Youtube is also a networking site. The more friends you have, the better for marketing. Cultivate your list of friends on Youtube. Also, create lists of “Favorite” videos that support your business’ brand image. Another benefit of having a lot of friends on Youtube is that you can display “friends-only” comments, if you are concerned about that sort of thing.
  2. Share your videos! You can share your own videos (or videos related to your business) with your friends, or even with people who are yet to become friends using email addresses. You can also leverage other social media sites to share your videos, such as Facebook.com and StumbleUpon.com.
  3. Invite people to “Subscribe” to your channel. That way, whenever you upload a new video, your subscribers will be notified. Conversely, subscribe to other channels.
  4. Try to get your video to “Go Viral” (over 10,000 views). Do this by sending your video’s link out in emails or through a Constant Contact database. Encourage everyone to share it. Also, see #2 above.
  5. “Pimp Your Profile.” Customize your channel by uploading your logo, choosing a color scheme and font choice, and populating your page with lists of videos that pertain to your business. Your channel is your brand. Also, take some time to look around for other brands you know. You may be surprised by how many of them have a Youtube channel.
  6. And lastly (for today), put some serious thought into the content of your videos. Make sure your videos support your brand, appeal to your customer and community, and provide a good story or interesting information.

Photography: Capturing Your Brand Essence



How can we be more like Apple?

Public speakers are always improving on their product. In fact, they are the product! Everything they read, learn, experience and do contributes to product development. So, already they are very much themselves like a Mac computer, always getting better. This thought provoked me to think about how public speakers can borrow a few lessons from the Apple school of marketing.

This thought provoked me to think about how public speakers can borrow a few lessons from the Apple school of marketing. I just read how one of Apple’s former corporate marketing geniuses, Steve Chazin, has come out with a blog and a brief history of the company’s brilliant marketing strategies. He recounts the ways that the marketing team rescued Apple from a slump , has come out with a blog and a brief history of the company’s brilliant marketing strategies. He recounts the ways that the marketing team rescued Apple from a slump and made it one of the hottest brands on Earth. Let’s see how they might apply to a speaker (or even a small business).

1. Appeal to their emotions.
2. Figure out what it is that you do better than the competition, and do more of that.
3. Your customers need to be your evangelists.
4. Keep your “story” short and sweet.
5. Create an amazing and unique customer experience (think Apple stores and Apple packaging).

Just thinking about these 5 principles (and there are many others) as they pertain to you, the speaker, can improve your marketing strategy. In what ways are you following these guidelines? Go to Mr. Chazin’s blog to get more in depth marketing ideas: http://www.marketingapple.com/