Video Blogging: Is It Really Transformational? Where’s the Meaning & the Magic?

Where’s the meaning and the magic behind video blogging?

Are you wondering if a video blogging practice can make a meaningful difference in the world, in your life, and/or in your business?

When I took on the challenge of doing video blogging for ten consecutive weeks, things changed in unexpected ways and the “ripples” of these changes are still emerging. No doubt, these are real changes… Some that I can clearly articulate and even more that I’m still learning about.

Please check out this week’s video to hear more:

This Weeks Power Briefing, Video Blogging? Is it Really Transformational? Where’s the Meaning & the Magic?

Bottom line, video blogging becomes a meaningful practice when it’s done (at minimum) once per week. This video shares some of the ways that I think this happens, or at least the ways that this have happened for me.

Are you ready for the challenge of weekly video blogging? If so, I’d love to hear about your experiences; and if I can help, please let me know.

Edited Transcript:

Hi and welcome to my weekly blog. My name is Jon Leland, I’m a digital marketing strategist and this is my 11th week of video blogging. My question this week is a very serious one: 

Is video blogging video blogging on a weekly basis truly transformational? 

I have to tell you that for me I have experienced an energy shift. Things have truly changed. For one thing, I’m feeling I’m building strength. It’s emerging that I have a practice, that this is something I can do… as imperfectly as I do it. It’s a valid exploration that I truly think is important. 

Where I experience the transformational quality (of doing this) can be compared to the metaphor of dropping a pebble into a pond and there are ripples that go out. I’ve been very touched by the number of comments that I’ve gotten from people who say that they are inspired by what I’m doing. They share that there’s something about what I’m doing with weekly video blogging that inspires them. That’s my ripple effect: making a difference, creating a transformational change (for others).

It’s About The Process

I’m really looking for more but the process itself is important whether or not anything ever happens! It certainly isn’t about getting rich quick or even a big business goal. I am, however, making offers around trying to help people do what I’m doing so stay tuned. And, I’m interested in your input on that. 

What is much more important is the process of doing it week after week, of learning what it is. You know, I’m somebody that has a lot to say. I feel like I have knowledge that I want to share and bring forth into the marketplace, so that the information is useful to others. 

But it isn’t so much about convincing you of the value or trying to sell you something. It really is an exercise in self-expression and I think that’s part of what inspires people. That’s the feedback that I’ve been getting: that just going for it as imperfectly as I do it, the idea is that I’m putting myself out here. Sharing that has created a shift and it isn’t a linear shift. 

A Non-Linear Shift

I like to say that “I open the door and they come in through the window.” So, my business is continuing to be visible through these videos which is obviously a healthy thing for my business but I think the shift comes from the courage and the practice of doing it week after week. 

And doing it in spite of day to day circumstances especially when I don’t know what I want to say. That was the case this week… to be vulnerable about it. 

I took a week off, I finished ten videos which was my initial challenge.  That was my goal and I did need to take a breath so I did. 

And then I wanted to come back with this video but I really didn’t know what I wanted to say. And, in the process of thinking about it, listening and checking out the comments that were happening on the other videos, it occurred to me that I wanted to talk about the fact that doing this is a shift, it’s a real transformation. 

A Challenge for You

So, I want to challenge you to be like “the pebble in the pond” and really start being a “ripple.”

The ripple doesn’t come from thanking me (and I really deeply, authentically appreciate the comments). But I think the real ripples come from when you pick up the camera and when you start expressing whatever it is you have that you feel is valuable. Crafting that, honing it and practicing it and being willing to do it imperfectly. 

That practice itself, for me at least, is truly transformational and I invite you to dive in not just occasionally but with a real weekly practice so that you’re present in the marketplace. You’re consistent, and people know that they can trust you. And more and more, you’re learning to have to articulate how you deliver real value. 

That’s why I think that video blogging is truly transformational especially when it’s done weekly. 

I would love to hear your comments. Thanks again for watching and see you next week!

Watch & Learn How Video Connection is the Future of Digital Marketing

Making a personal, human connection via video is more than a trend. It’s a MEGA-trend.

Video is also the one essential marketing strategy that you can’t afford to skip. Here’s why:

I believe that authentic relationship-building is at the heart of meaningful marketing. Given that nothing you can do online builds relationship more powerfully than video, video has become absolutely essential. It’s not only the future of digital marketing, it’s digital marketing’s SUPER-POWER!

Please check out the video below to learn more…

This Weeks Power Briefing: Watch & Learn How Video Connection is the Future of DIgital Marketing

Resources Mentioned in this Video: 

  • The Book: Rehumanize Your Business: How Personal Videos Accelerate Sales and Improve Customer Experience: https://amzn.to/2MLKmcr

Thanks for watching!

EDITED VIDEO TRANSCRIPT:

Hi, my name is Jon Leland and I’m a digital marketing strategist. I’m here this week to talk to you about why video connection is really the future of digital marketing. 

Connection & Putting People First

I know that that’s a big claim but if you are not creating video connection with the prospects and people that you’re engaging with online, I really think you’re not only missing the wave of the future, you’re missing the opportunity to make meaningful connections and build meaningful relationships that can support your business in the long term.

I was listening to an audio book this week with Seth Godin and he calls what’s going on with all the changes in the ways we communicate, the “connection economy.” And I think that really is apt because we are now making connections and that’s the currency. 

The currency is not just how good you are with the technology, for example or how much you hustle. It’s really the authentic connections that you make. That’s where the real value, that’s where the important stuff happens and the fuel for the connection economy is humanity. It’s your humanity, it’s my humanity, it’s our ability to relate and engage in a meaningful way. 

So, that reminds me to give you the big mega trend – and I can do it very quickly. When I started doing websites back at the beginning of the web in 1995, people were just doing text and then  the next generation was when people started adding images. And immediately I talked to people to tell them don’t use boring stock images that don’t have a face on them, they want to see your face, they want to know who they’re doing business with. 

Going Beyond the Explainer Video

So, I encouraged people to take photos and have their own picture up there. Well, now that video has become so integral to how we engage online, I think we need our faces just like this, on the website which means that your simple two-minute explainer video, all the popular whiteboard animations really are not doing what needs to happen. 

Which is showing who you are and engaging in a meaningful way. And then it really goes to the next level, I’ve been experimenting with an application called “Bomb Bomb” and I want to offer a resource. This is a book by the people that started that application, “Bomb Bomb”, which is a video strategy where you are creating videos inside emails and people are literally creating thousands and thousands of personalized one-on-one emails. And that’s a whole other subject that I’ll get into. 

Relationships Require Multiple Touches

But the bottom line is not only do you need human video to create real engagement, but relationships as I’ve been talking about in these weekly videos which happen through multiple touches. 

So, multiple touches mean you don’t just do that one explainer video. You just don’t do the kind of that one corporate “who we are” video. You really need to have a conversation and be present in a way that people engage with you and I believe that means a minimum of a once a week frequency. 

And I’ll be honest with you, that’s something that has challenged me for a long time. This is actually video number six for me and I’m now ongoing on a weekly basis because I want to walk my talk and I, more importantly, I want to really create the kind of meaningful engagement that I’m talking about. 

So, video connection is the future of online marketing of digital engagement, of digital marketing, all that good stuff. And I’m hoping that you’re doing it too.

I hope this is inspiring and useful, I look forward to your feedback. And as always, I thank you for your kind attention. I really do appreciate that you’re here and you watch and I thank you for that, see you next week!

Video Invitation to the “Your Website is Broken!” Power Briefing

Your Invitation to a Free Video Power Briefing on Meaningful Digital Marketing

The video invitation below is kind of a big deal for me because I’m swinging out in a new way.

It’s not that I’ve produced another video in order to try to be helpful. Rather, it’s because my new “Power Briefing” videos are designed to create a different kind of engagement and that’s something I’m highly recommending and trying to model her for clients and prospects.

Metaphorically speaking, you could say that I am now “eating my own cooking.”  This is the first sales funnel—a sequence of the two videos with lead capture landing pages, & more—that I’ve ever created for my own company. Please click the image below to view my personal video invitation to check this out:

Your Website is Broken Video

As a digital marketing strategist, I have to ask: 
Does your website produce meaningful results?

Most websites are “broken” because they don’t authentically connect with prospects. That’s why this video invitation leads to a two-part “Power Briefing” about what I call “Relationship Funnels.” I’m honestly wondering if these are the most valuable pieces of free content that I’ve ever created?

I’d love to hear what you think!

If you want to skip straight to the Power Briefing, please check it out here: bit.ly/website-broken 

Video Post: How to Do Lead Generation that is Fun and Meaningful, Not Spammy or Sleazy

Spammy, sleazy online marketers have given “lead generation” a bad name. But it doesn’t have to be that way!

So, I’ve created a new video blog post to explain how—when you put “leading with value” and being of service first—marketing online can become more fun and meaningful.

Click the video below to watch now.

Lead Generation that is Fun and Meaning, Not Spammy or Sleazy Video

Edited Video Transcript:

What Lead Generation is NOT

This video came about because of an online conversation where a woman was asking about how do I do lead gen. Just the idea of lead gen or lead generation kind of made her skin crawl because she associated it with the get-rich-quick schemers that are out there pitching digital marketing day and night on the web.

When I talk about lead generation, I’m not talking about that kind of get-rich-quick sales pitch, go get them, you know, hustle until you die type of attitude. That’s not who I am. That’s not how I approach it. 

How I DO approach it is from the point of view of relationship building. Relationship building is a whole different thing when you talk about lead generation and it involves authentic value. I use the term “leading with value.” 

Authentic Marketing Feels Good Because It Is About Relationship Building

First of all, in order to do lead generation that feels good—that is going to really actually work in the long run—you need to offer something of value. You need to give a gift or a service. (For example), I’m doing this video for you because I think this information is important, and because I intend it to be valuable and useful. You have to determine whether I succeed at that, but I’m here because I want to be of service. 

So, immediately for me lead generation is not spammy. It’s not sleazy. I’m authentically trying to be of service. So, any good relationship building-oriented lead generation starts with value and it immediately feels good because you’re being of service. 

Relationship Building Means Offering Real Gifts that Are Truly Valuable

It also begins a real conversation because authentically you’re contributing value. You’re building a relationship. You’re not saying take, take, take, give it to me, give it to me.

You’re saying here, I’m here and I want to be of service. I have something valuable to offer and the relationship building then becomes a kind of what I’ve heard called the “pink spoon,” like at the ice cream store where they give you a free taste. 

So, it becomes something, in a way, delicious, right? 

You’re offering a free taste, a sweet taste, of what you have to offer that’s authentically valuable. And when you offer something that’s of value, then your ideal prospects appreciate it. You’re not looking for just any leads. You’re looking for leads who are your ideal customers, your target audience. 

And when you offer something of value, when you lead with value with that opt-in, incentive, free ebook, webinar, or organic social video like this, then you’re going to attract the people who are a natural fit for your message.

You’re not looking for everybody. You’re looking for the people who are your tribe or your community, and you want to build a relationship with them. 

Being of Services Makes Lead Generation Fun Because It Feels Good

So, you start out by being of service and you feel good about that. 

Then, next, you’re connecting with the people who are the right people for your service or product by offering them a sweet taste. In this way, it becomes a kind of a fun exchange where you’re putting yourself out there. It doesn’t have to be a fearful thing because you’re going for the people who are the right fit for you. And then that synergy begins to happen. And so lead generation authentically does become relationship building and when you approach it that way then lead generation becomes even more than relationship building. It becomes about building a long-term conversation which can become a long-term relationship. 

And, to tell you the truth about myself, I’ve not been doing as much of this kind of being of service as I want to. 

So, my request for you today is to let me know, is this valuable? Do you want more kinds of videos like this? 

Because I’m intending to be here more regularly, more frequently, in order to engage with you in a conversation and hopefully attract the right organizations and the right people who can value the kind of services that I provide… and my company, ComBridges provides. 

I look forward to hearing from you. I hope this has been valuable and thank you so much for watching!

Go Beyond Storytelling – Hear Your Authentic Voice with New Ears

“I’m trying to say out loud the things that my soul is streaming.”

— Tim Grahl at ConvertKit’s Craft & Commerce conference

I’m delighted to report that my soul is showing me ways to discover what wants to be said, rather than “should-ing” myself into trying harder via the “buzzword du jour” (which is most likely “storytelling”).

It’s a subtle distinction that’s requiring me to up my awareness so that I can distinguish a story that’s naturally in tune with my soul’s “streaming” vs trying to make something happen. Joyfully, recently, in a number of ways (including those described below), the Universe has been teaching me to pay more attention to these kinds of authentic messages.

A Blast From the Past

The Artist Formerly Known as Dancing Bear.

Recently, I reconnected with the importance of authentic storytelling at a workshop with Michael Kass in San Francisco. Very unexpectedly, I found myself rediscovering the story of how I got and then embraced the name “Dancing Bear” in the 1970’s. The story that emerged re-energized the ways that that name still resonates for me. (For more on this, read “The Revolutionary Resonances of Dancing Bear” on Medium.)

Connecting with My Business Creator Tribe

Even more recently (in early June), I traveled to Boise, Idaho to attend the Craft & Commerce conference put on my email marketing provider-of-choice, ConvertKit (affiliate link), “an email marketing platform designed specifically for creators.”

Not only did I hear a quite dazzling array of main stage speakers (including the ones quoted above and shown below); but more importantly, I felt connected to a business (my email marketing service provider) as a community or tribe. Who knew that this was possible? And, because it was so real, so fun, and so inspiring, that’s another story that, for me, wants to be told.

A BUSINESS THAT STANDS ON VALUES

Suffice it to say that it is inspiring for me to partner with a business that stands on its values to such an extent that their service becomes as much (or more?) about the way they connect people than it is about making money… or even making great software. And, of course, they are making money and making great software.

What made this conference so special is what makes ConvertKit so special, and that’s their commitment to “creators.” It’s not just a “lip service commitment” as evidenced by the extraordinary collection of creators that Craft & Commerce attracted and the quality of the uplifting, valuable speakers that they curated. That’s was meaningful.

That’s what made me go to the conference. I had a sense of this from their culture which promotes values like “Create Everyday,” “Work in Public,” “Teach Everything You Know,” and the new one that was on the t-shirt we all received, “Default to Generosity.” The experience of the community of creators who share these values and the individual creators who I met there took this to a whole new level. I’m already committed to going back again next year, and that says a lot!

Yours truly with Nathan Barry, Founder & CEO of ConvertKit.

Recommended Resources: Luscious Links

  • Running Down a Dream: Your Road Map to Winning Creative Battles
    by Tim Grahl
    Tim was one of the main stage speakers as the ConvertKit conference and I’ve been really valuing the vulnerability and insights that he shares in this book. It’s a kind of extension of one of my favorite all time books, “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield.
  • ConvertKit email marketing software
    As discussed above, this company excites me through a unique combination of its culture, its software and its focus on serving Creators of all kinds to make a living from their creative work.

Thanks for reading!

Insta-LOVE: How We Leverage Instagram to Make Clients Shine

This post illuminates how a creative digital marketing strategy can find meaningful opportunities to shine a positive light on a client’s value.

A recent, fun example of how this kind of content marketing works is the way we brightened the Instagram feed of our client, Marin Airporter. In this case, we used passenger produced photos (also known as “user generated content” or UGC) to leverage the beauty of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Beyond our recent website redesign for Marin Airporter (described here), we now help this client stay connected with its passengers (and potential passengers) with engaging social media content.

How the Golden Gate Bridge Became a Social Media Asset

It’s not unusual for small companies—many of whom struggle to engage successfully through social media marketing—to still be playing catch up with regard to leading edge social platforms like Instagram. Nonetheless, every company’s customers are already on these networks, and often they are communicating in ways with which any business would want to interact. Marin Airporter offered us this kind of “golden opportunity” because, prior to working with us, they had no Instagram presence whatsoever.

Once ComBridges got involved, we noticed that many passengers on Instagram were sharing an exciting aspect of riding on Marin Airporter, a memorable trip across the iconic, world famous piece of art deco architecture known as the Golden Gate Bridge! They were even sharing videos in the rain, at night, and in the dark.

The passengers themselves made it clear that the Bridge crossing is an important part of the Marin Airporter experience. So, we decided to celebrate these customer posts by compiling some of the best videos and pictures of their buses’ Golden Gate Bridge crossings into a blog post on the Marin Airporter website. As you can see, it showed just how special the Marin Airporter route is. Check out the full blog post here.

Content Marketing Meets Customer Listening

Through this example, you can see how well-conceived content marketing leverages customer awareness to create content that shines a spotlight on our client’s value.

In this way, ComBridges opened another door for our client to connect and communicate. With our support, Marin Airporter now reaches and interacts with its passengers in a 21st Century way. Because social media is a two-way medium, these messages also provide critical feedback, questions, or moments of gratitude from happy customers. And, thus, they are a form of customer service that needs attention.

In today’s world, this kind of creativity is a critical dimension of successful digital marketing. Done correctly, it is also an important branch of customer service and customer listening.

If you are ready to shine online and make better connections with your customers, please let us know.


Video: 3 Key Online Marketing Insights for 2019

This blog post features the following new video with my three key online marketing insights for 2019. For your reading convenience, scroll down, there is an edited transcript below the video.

Edited Video Transcript

As an online marketing strategist, I am committed to helping clients build authentic relationships that expand their influence and increase their sales.

I’m making this video to offer you three key insights that come from my experience as an online marketer that I think are particularly relevant for this new year, 2019:

  • The first is that ‘Instagram is the New Facebook”
  • The second is that “A Boost is Not Facebook Advertising’
  • The third is that ‘funnels are the new websites’.

And if some of those terms are not familiar to you, stay tuned because I’m going to explain each one of them. Let’s do this.

Instagram is the New Facebook

I say that Instagram is the new Facebook because we’re seeing engagement on Instagram that we’re no longer seeing on Facebook. Facebook is still the “monster” in the social media space; but in Instagram we’re seeing engagement, connections between people around like-interests that we’re no longer seeing on Facebook.

For example, I have a client that has thousands of followers on Facebook; but we’ve just started their Instagram account, and they’re only in the hundreds of followers there. However, the same post on Facebook and on Instagram is getting more engagement on Instagram. Instagram is that much more alive.

In addition, not only is it a visual medium, but the hashtags enable you to connect with real like-minded people who are interested in what it is that you’re posting about.

So ,for example, I put an inspirational quote up today on my Instagram feed. I hash-tagged #inspirationalquote, and Instagram showed me that there’s tens of millions of people who are interested in inspirational quotes. Likewise, when I do posts like this ones that I’ll do related to this video, and I hashtag #onlinemarketing, I will get other online marketing people or other people who are interested in online marketing to check out that post.

Bottom line, it’s working. It’s real engagement at an authentic level that we’re not seeing on Facebook anymore because that platform has become so busy and so noisy.

A Boost is Not Facebook Advertising

Speaking of Facebook, a boost is not Facebook advertising. And for those of you who don’t know what a boost is, that’s like the very simple form of Facebook advertising that Facebook offers. Now, a boost, technically, is Facebook advertising, but potato chips are also technically food. But, as all of you know, food is so much more rich and robust that just potato chips. Some people call it a culinary art. And there’s desserts and fruits and vegetables and salads. Food is a much bigger subject, and Facebook advertising is also a much bigger subject than just a boost.

You can do far more sophisticated things with targeting. You can reach people who have visited your website by using the pixel.

Even more importantly, you can communicate so much better by creating an ad rather than just boosting a post. So, Facebook advertising, like food, is a huge subject with lots of nuance and variety and sophistication.

So a boost, technically it’s Facebook advertising, but it’s not really Facebook advertising because when you do it using the Facebook Ad Manager, you can do so much more and be so much more effective.

Funnels are the New Websites

My third insight about online marketing for 2019, is that funnels are the new websites.

If you don’t know what a funnel is, it’s really a device to build engagement, to go from people that don’t know who you are and have never been exposed to you or who are “meeting” you for the first time, to move them via a “value chain” so that you get more and more of a relationship built by delivering value over time. For example, you might do this through webinars, through an email course, through email followup, etc. So with a funnel, there are sequences and strategies that build relationships over time.

Websites don’t really build relationships. At best, they are brochures. Once somebody comes to the website, what happens next? And how do you create engagement? And then once you get that email address, or get that follower, how do you get them to continue to receive value from you so that you can build the relationship over time and make an authentic connection?

So a funnel is a real strategy, and just like real relationships, it requires multiple touches. ‘Touches’ is a marketing term, but really what it means is that you continue to interact, that you continue to offer real value. And that’s the kind of stuff that builds real relationships.

In Conclusion

So, think about it:

  • Instagram is really worth doing. It’s the new Facebook.
  • Facebook advertising is much more than boosting, and
  • Building a funnel and doing an online strategy that really creates authentic engagement, that’ll make your online marketing much more effective, and more importantly, much more meaningful.

Bottom line, we are in this, not to create more “noise,” not to just sort of be a hustler who is trying to sell something; but really, we are doing online marketing to do business in a meaningful way where we contribute value. We seek to offer content and other forms of marketing that are both valuable for the longterm success of our businesses, of our lives, and ultimately, of the planet.

Create Authentic Connections: Website Video Production Insights

Anyone doing online marketing faces the challenge of how to engage and inform visitors, while also communicating clearly enough that people get the intended message. Without the human face of a home page welcome video, most websites miss a crucial opportunity to engage with authenticity.

At the end of the day, at least in my opinion, there’s no point in digital marketing, if you don’t make an authentic connection with website visitors. Given the fact that website visitors, in general, have the “attention span of a gnat,” the power of video has become paramount. (For more on this, I produced this video in 2010 that’s still relevant: Why Online Video is Now a ‘Must Have’ for Internet Marketing)

Videos Starring You Are Essential

One of the best ways to grab people’s attention is video.  I am fond of reminding people that a video is starring you, has the added advantage of making a virtual human connection that only a human face and voice can deliver. Video does this quickly and in the exact way that brief home page visitor encounters require.

For more on why a human face should be in videos and not just hidden behind a whiteboard animated video, I recommend Wistia’s recent post, Your Business’s Videos Should Include Faces. Here’s Why.

The authenticity of human connection in video is one of the main reasons that I’ve been promoting video for years. I love opportunities that help my clients tell their stories by producing “welcome to my website” videos. Recently, I’ve produced two of these videos for clients. I’m offering them here as examples of how to do this, including some detailed production insights.

Helping an Expert Witness to Testify

Recently, I had the opportunity to work with Mark Levy, a forensic psychiatrist whose firm provides expert testimony for legal matters. His new company website for Forensic Psychiatry Associates Medical Corporation, fpamed.com, needed a new video for its home page. Mark was clear that his earlier “do-it-yourself” effort didn’t represent him in with a professionalism that reflected his services. This collaboration took the form of a low-budget video shoot with my Canon DSLR camera.

As you can see in the video above, Mark is an excellent speaker; however, one issue with his earlier video, was that it ended up being a bit unfocused. Without wanting to toot my own horn too loudly, I was pleased to be able to add value, as a director and performance coach.  I’m not just a cameraman who sets up the camera and records “pretty pictures.”

In this case, I felt more like a “crafter of communications” because I guided Mark in ways that ensured his video had a structure, a beginning, middle and end. Now, he has a website welcome video that includes an engaging and direct welcome message and a call to action at the end.

Beyond YouTube for Online Video Delivery

Another capability that I provided and applied to Mark Levy’s videos was optimizing them for YouTube search. Behind only Google, YouTube is the second biggest search engine in the world. If you aren’t already aware of this fact, let it sink in. Many small businesses consider SEO optimization for their website, but most don’t think about optimizing their YouTube video clips to be found in search. This is a very common mistake and often overlooked by a video novice.

In addition to YouTube for attracting new viewers and potentially new website visitors, for Mark, I also recommended and implemented video hosting on Wistia.com so that when Mark’s video clips are embedded in his own website, they can be customized to match his website’s colors; and, more importantly, so that YouTube doesn’t have the opportunity to “steal” traffic away from Mark by pushing other psychiatrist’s videos to his viewers at the end of his clips.

Bottom line, Mark’s website is his own “owned” virtual real estate. Why let YouTube leverage it for their objectives? Owned media is a thing and we should all maximize this kind of control on our own websites as much as possible.

Wistia’s call-to-action and other integrated features within the video are more robust and attractive than YouTube’s. Because of this, videos look more seamless as they are integrated into websites.

Giving Wistia a try is easy given that their free introductory level includes three videos hosted on their video delivery platform. Beyond that, it’s $99 a month. This pricing may not work for every small business, but I recommend it for companies that have a serious commitment to video marketing. The image to the right is how this video looks embedded in Mark’s home page.

A More Scripted Approach & Cool Piece of Video Tech

I would also like to share a second video client case study. The second home page welcome video that I produced recently was for physical trainer, Adam Hirsch of adamhirsch.net. A significant difference, in this case, was that before the video shoot, Adam and I collaborated on a script.

Truth be told, while Adam is extremely knowledgeable about his expertise with physical training, his expansive perspective of this subject can also result in him being a bit verbose. Because of this, we needed to find a way to help him be more concise, especially given the online environment where, as I mentioned, holding people’s attention is at a premium. By collaborating on a script, we were able to co-create a straightforward and concise description of what Adam offers.  

However, this creates a different challenge. I didn’t expect (nor was there time) for Adam to memorize and deliver this script like a professional actor. So, while Adam’s new home page video was also shot with my Canon DSLR camera, we used a nifty little piece of technology in the form of a small affordable teleprompter that uses an iPhone for the scrolling text.

Another example of how advanced small electronics are becoming, the Parrot Teleprompter costs only $115 (plus shipping) and fits virtually any video camera. I loaded the written script onto my iPhone before the shoot, and used the voice-activated PromptSmartPro ($19.99, free version also available) so that the text scrolled right along with Adam’s pace of delivery. No teleprompter operator required.

Not only was the hardware a small fraction of what it used to cost, personnel costs were also significantly reduced. The use of a teleprompter, when appropriate, has become remarkably accessible!

I believe the result is a clear presentation, well-articulated and precisely-focused in a way that would not have been otherwise possible. Take a look and see what you think.

At Your Service

Bottom line, I approach online marketing as relationship building. The quality of communication, when done well, enables authentic connections to be built via whatever medium is at play and regardless of what technologies are used.

Sure, innovations like Wistia video hosting and the Parrot Teleprompter help make this happen, but there’s no substitute for quality content and that’s what we do.

I believe that the human beings who are such a crucial part of every forward-thinking organization or business needs to be “front and center,” right from that first nano-second that a web visitor spends on your website. After all, if you don’t engage with them in a personal way, right away, you will lose them.

Please let me know if I can help you or your organization. Thanks!

 

The Marketing Power of a More Human Web

What Makes the Biggest Difference? People Who LOVE to Help Others.

Some things should not be counter-intuitive, but they are.

The fact is that, despite the “muddy waters” created by “get rich quick” hucksters on the web, the web that I know and love is populated by some really good people who love to help others with their online businesses.

Yes, while it is true that the internet has many trolls and political “flames,” with this blog post, I would like to illuminate, via example, the dynamics of “the more human web.” It’s where I prefer to hang out, and it’s full of people and businesses actively creating meaningful, valuable relationships.

When Authenticity Pops-Up at You

Here’s a little story—and a new online course platform that I’ve discovered. It illustrates the fun and exciting ways that humanity can intersect digital marketing and business.

Recently, I was researching options for hosting an online course. Thanks to a referral by a new email provider, ConvertKit, that I’m using to segment and better target my various email lists, I stumbled upon the online course hosting platform, Coach.

As I arrived at the Coach website, in the usual way, I was immediately greeted by a live chat.

Because of my conversational nature, however cautiously (because these kinds of chats are not often useful), I began interacting with Spencer, the rep on the other side of the live chat. I presumed that Spencer was an agent, employed by Coach to help the sales process.

However, as we chatted, the banter was above average and his joyful enthusiasm for his online course platform seemed more authentic than I would have expected. He seemed authentically interested in helping. And then, much to my surprise, it wasn’t long before Spencer made it clear that he is one of the founders of the company.

How many founders have you seen on the front lines of customer service? I was impressed.

The truth emerged that Coach is committed to authentic engagement and exemplary personalized customer service, and their founder was walking his talk on the front lines. What more can you ask than to have a founder on the live chat, instantly ready to assist you?!? And, beyond my own instincts, the truth of Spencer’s authenticity was brought home when I discovered his enthusiasm for helping entrepreneurs via his personal blog post, “Why I started Coach: The 3 reasons I decided to launch my 4th company.” Both reasons #2 and #3 are about loving to help people.

Relationship Marketing: More Than a Buzzword

This is precisely what relationship marketing is about: The Relationship. And when it manifests organically like this, it isn’t a tactic. It’s not something that you can fake. It requires a company culture when the players genuinely care about the potential clients and how they can authentically help them. This goes WAY beyond tracking “engagement statistics.”

For me, when you find it at a company and a quality of service like I’ve experienced at Coach, I naturally want to become an advocate. Right here, right now, it’s fun for me to share with you about how this personal relationship evolved out of what is more often a mundane sales interaction.

Isn’t it only right that when you find this kind of relationship, you stay loyal to it and you tell others about it?

This concept is so simple, yet so few people actually make it a reality.

Taking Our Relationship to the Next Level

I’ve heard it said that what you focus on expands. I know the kind of web that I want. One that is built on authentic relationships. Thus, as a result, I’ve enjoyed getting to know Spencer and have begun to experiment with Coach (my book, “Internet Marketing: 8 Key Concepts Every Business MUST Know” is already available via Coach here, and online courses on Squarespace website creation and Social Media for Social Action are in the works.)

And, more immediately (drum roll please), I’m also going a step further! Next Thursday, June 8th, Spencer will be my special guest on a Social Video Sandbox Session (my somewhat regular informal webinar-style interviews) where we will be sharing insights about online course creation. I hope you will join us and get to know both of us better!

Marketing Tip: I’m finding these kinds of live streaming video sessions to be a great way to extend relationships with members of my lists and online communities who are interested. More info and the opportunity to join us, click here.

The Real Bottom Line

It’s been a long held value and a core operating principle of mine that “business is about relationships.” When I speak and lead workshops (and also in my book), I articulate the fundamental goal of digital marketing to be “building authentic, long term, sustainable relationships.” Without that, I don’t think we are building a better world, no matter how much money we might make.

So, please be one of those people on the web that is doing good. When you do, you will find that you are part of wonderful networks or tribes of people that are doing likewise by “paying it forward.” If you’re not already working and playing in this way, try it. You’ll like it. It feels good and it works.

More importantly, this approach, in my opinion, is what makes doing business worthwhile.

I look forward to your comments please!

Video Invitation to a Breakthrough in Your Video Presence – Playshop Starts Tuesday!

As I explained in my last video and blog post, video via social media is The Next Big Thing and arguably the most powerful digital marketing strategy.

Last year, I also developed an amazing experiential process or practice called “Video Play Experiences™” that I am now bringing to you, no matter where you live, via a four-week Live Video Playshop (one hour of live video interaction per week) that starts next Tuesday, May 2nd. This post, “Social Media Video Marketing: An Experiential Breakthrough” tells the story of how I first developed the Video Play Experiences™.

Now, I want to invite you to The Live Video Playshop. The video below is your personal invitation from me. It explains more (and also shows off my new green screen and teleprompter) 😉

[callout title=”Learn More or Register for the Live Video Playshop” button=”Yes! I want to have a breakthrough.” link=”http://selz.co/4J6WP1r6G” buttoncolor=” blue” target=”_blank”]The Live Video Playshop is a 100% online experience using state-of-the-art interactive video collaboration including educational presentations, 1-to-1 video exercises and group interactions. Please join us.[/callout]