VIDEO AID IN THE TIME OF CORONAVIRUS – How Software Providers Are Helping Us Connect & Communicate

Coronavirus has truly changed everything. ​
​We are all in this together.

As online video software provider, Loom said, “Inaction Felt Wrong.” Or, as Chris Cuomo said recently on CNN, “sitting on the sidelines is not an option.”

​In this episode of Video Mojo, I shine a spotlight on three online software companies who are examples of companies who are doing what they can (based on their company’s culture and values), especially in support of educators who are teaching online, using video, for the first time.

About Video Mojo

​Video Mojo is a weekly video blog and podcast hosted by award-winning media innovator, Jon Leland. It combines timeless marketing principles with a playful exploration on the “bleeding edge” of digital video & social media.

Resource Links from this episode:

If you want to check out ConvertKit as an email marketing platform:
https://app.convertkit.com/referrals/l/cb9d89ab-194a-4937-b1c4-7027fd850bf2
(affiliate link) Please let me know if you have questions.

I’d love to hear what works for you and if you find this program useful. If you’ve got questions, feedback or suggestions, please comment below, or let’s connect (and leave us a review on Apple Podcasts or wherever):

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT:

VIDEO AID IN THE TIME OF CORONAVIRUS – How Software Providers Are Helping Us Connect & Communicate

Hi there and welcome to Video Mojo!

My name is Jon Leland and this is a video blog and podcast where we combine timeless marketing principles with the bleeding edge of video communications, social media, and digital marketing.
So we’re living in strange and interesting times. But it is an area where video can make a difference and help to connect us all, as I’ve been talking about week after week; human connections through video. This is an episode about how video software providers and an email software provider are really providing support for people to be able to take advantage of the fact that we’re staying at home and working at home. Many people are really cutting down on all kinds of travel and person-to-person interactions, so we want to make more of these human interactions. And when we make human interactions, it really becomes a matter of empathy, caring and wanting to make a difference. That’s why there’s this beautiful theme here between video connection and people making a difference in making offers.

Today, I want to shine the spotlight on three different software providers that are doing offers to help support people in this time of need.

Loom

The first one is Loom. I have actually become a fan of theirs even more since the video that I did in February where I talked about 4 video tools to help improve video fluency and connection. The folks at Loom have dramatically illustrated how this changed, because of the coronavirus and people working from home, is impacting the amount of video that we’re all using. They posted these charts both from China and from Italy showing how increased use there is where people are being most negatively impacted by the coronavirus.

The first thing that I want to say about Loom is I really love their culture and the fact that they felt in the presentation video on the page where they announced their response to the coronavirus they said “inaction felt wrong.” I really salute that spirit, and I feel the same way. I really think we need to be there more than ever for each other even though we can’t be there in person.

The other thing I want to say about Loom is that when I did a video in February about four tools I talked about Loom and I found that I have become even more of a fan of their platform since then. One key advantage is that when I record Loom videos they’re instantly available on the web. Some of the other platforms require you to upload the video within the application. For example, on Snagit, I have to wait for it to upload. It’s great the way it gets shared quickly, but with Loom it’s instantaneous.

In terms of the coronavirus, they’ve extended the terms of the already free version of Loom. It used to be that there was a limit of 25 videos when you had the free platform, it’s now unlimited through July 1st. And for everyone they’ve made the platform half cost. It was $10 a month for their pro platform, it’s now $5 a month. I recommend checking out Loom in any case because the free platform is quite powerful. And the most important part of their offer is for educators. Anyone in an educational institution a teacher, an administrator, or whatever they can get the Loom platform at the pro level for free forever. Not just the July 1st temporary offer.

Bomb Bomb

The second platform that I want to talk about in terms of a response to doing more video with the coronavirus is Bomb Bomb. They talked about rehumanizing your communications. I think if you’re a teacher and now need to teach online, part of that process is going to be the interactions that you might have done in office. Things that you will do now by email. Bomb Bomb is a very sophisticated application for doing video in email, particularly with Gmail. Normally it’s relatively expensive, starting around $30 a month per user. But for educators, it’s now free and they did not put a time limit on it. So if you think that you would benefit as a teacher delivering your communications as close to face-to-face that you can get. Really making eye contact with your students and doing that by email, this offer from Bomb Bomb is worth checking out.

Now I will put one caveat. I experimented with Bomb Bomb and in addition to the cost, there is a learning curve. It is an application. You could manage an entire class’s email list within the Bomb Bomb application and follow up with each student and have all of that readily available. So that’s something that I think educators might want to check out.

Convertkit

The third thing that I wanted to talk about is Convertkit. Convertkit is an email platform like MailChimp. Though, there are a lot of things that I like about it better. One of the things is their culture and that they specifically designed their platform and market to creators. What Nathan Barry, the CEO, has done is to create a “Creator Fund” and has funded it with $50,000. They’ve already gotten close to $150,000 as of a couple days ago and I’m sure it’s going to go beyond that. They are getting tons of applications but as we all know a lot of people are taking some very serious financial hits because of what’s going on with the coronavirus. So they’re creating a fund for creators who need help with their rent, health expenses, groceries, and those kinds of things.

People do really care. I really applaud these software companies that are doing something about the situation that we’re in. More and more I think we’re going to be learning to be video savvy and connecting via these kinds of video communications.

I look forward to your feedback. Thanks for any input that you can provide, for sharing, for subscribing, and all that good kind of support. I look forward
to seeing you next week!

Go Beyond Best Practices: Email Is Your #1 Marketing Tool (but not the way you think)

Now, more than ever, it’s essential to do what works. Why would you want to do anything else!?

​This episode of Video Mojo explains why email works so well in today’s digital marketing mix. This video will also help you avoid a couple of fundamental yet common mistakes:

  1. Don’t be distracted by formulaic solutions like ‘best practices” or “quick tips” that some huckster says is a “silver bullet.”
  2. Don’t be fooled by “shiny objects” like the latest and greatest social media networks (or Facebook Ads) with the result that you overlook the power of email to deliver the kind of consistent value that truly connects you with the people (real human beings) that are most important to you.

If making meaningful and authentic connections that lead to sustainable, long-term relationships matters to you, then please check out this episode and let me know what you think. Thanks!

About Video Mojo

​Video Mojo is a weekly video blog and podcast hosted by award-winning media innovator, Jon Leland. It combines timeless marketing principles with a playful exploration on the “bleeding edge” of digital video & social media.

Resource Links mentioned in this episode:

I’d love to hear if you find this vlog post useful. If you’ve got questions, feedback or suggestions, let’s connect (and leave us a review on Apple Podcasts or wherever):

VIDEO TRAnSCRIPT:

Go Beyond Best Practices: Email Is Your #1 Marketing Tool (but not the way you think)

Hi and welcome to Video Mojo! 

This is a weekly video blog and podcast that combines timeless marketing principles with a playful exploration of the bleeding edge of video communications, online marketing, and all kinds of good stuff like that. 

This week I’m talking about:

Beyond Best Practices: Email is your number one marketing platform, but not the way you think. And how to make your emails massively more effective.

So let’s start with fundamental principles. Digital marketing is about relationships. Really all marketing and business are about relationships. And not only is marketing and business about relationships but when you build them online it HAS to be recurring. 

I’m going to be interviewing Jay Acunzo on Video Mojo and his Marketing Showrunners company has this line.

“Great marketing isn’t about who arrives, it’s about who stays.” 

That really is what I’m talking about. That is how you can use email to be your #1 tool. You can keep people coming back and stay engaged with the people who care about the value that you are offering. 

How do you build relationships using all of these latest greatest online marketing tools? Well, email is often overlooked. It’s interesting, when people are starting out and building an online presence, they know they need a website but they don’t often think about the email list as a primary way that they connect. People don’t always go to your website, for example, but they do always go to their inbox. If you’re leading with value, as I like to say, then you’re visiting them and having the opportunity for multiple touches. And that really is one of the main reasons that email is the #1 marketing tool. You get to go back again and again as long as you build a relationship, lead with value, and give some meaning for you to be there. 

Seth Godin defines “permission marketing as the privilege (not the right) to deliver anticipated, personal and relevant messages to people who actually want to get them” 

So how do you do that? How do you deliver email messages that people actually want to read? Well, the first thing is the  #1 principle, keep it simple! The biggest and most common mistake that I see is complicated, convoluted, long newsletter-style emails. That’s not really something that has much appeal. But a personal meaningful message that really is designed to give your most important followers the value that they’re looking for, on message with the way that you contribute, that is something valuable. 

How do you get them to understand that? It actually starts with the subject line. At last year’s Crafts + Commerce, the Convertkit conference – that I’ll be going to again this June – I heard Karen X talk about viral videos. She emphasized that it all starts with the headline. So when you’re doing videos and you want people to find them, the subject matter actually begins with the title. And with an email, equally important if not more so is your subject line. Because obviously if people don’t open the email then it doesn’t matter how good it is and how much valuable content it is. That subject line is how you let people know the value that you’re trying to deliver. 

What is the fundamental game-changer? Being intimate and personal, rather than the more conventional approach to digital marketing – a shotgun blasted out, see what comes back. You really want to make an intimate personal connection rather than some kind of manipulative selling. 

Keep it simple, keep it focused. It doesn’t have to be glitzy. Definitely don’t make too many notes, too long, or too complicated. But keep it valuable and let people know with the subject line how you are going to help them. That simplicity of focus on being valuable and being of service is what will keep people engaged with you and deliver the holy grail of building relationships, online meaningful, authentic, sustainable relationships with what you’re doing online and email is your best channel to do that because it has that conversational recurring basis. 

One final tip: A lot of people tell me that they’re worried about a weekly frequency, that people will turn them off. Well, if you’re being valuable on a consistent weekly basis, that actually is the real secret sauce of building relationships and keeping it going. The unsubscribers, don’t worry about them. They’re not your people. The people who engage and read on a regular basis and appreciate what you’re doing, that’s the real gold. 

That’s video mojo for this week. Thank you so much for your kind attention. 

I look forward to your feedback questions and suggestions and I’ll see you next time!

Digital Marketing Guidance: Better Choices Make a Better Business – This Changes Everything!

Is there such a thing as a “North Star” guidance system for your digital marketing? You bet there is.

And, it’s not a tip, trick or “recipe for success.” It’s WAY more valuable than that.

For me, connecting with what I call “the real Internet” is “the one in front of all the zeros.” It’s that important because it gives everything else meaning.

Click above to watch this week’s Video Mojo video blog & podcast episode.

Please watch and let me know if you agree. OK?

About Video Mojo

Video Mojo is a weekly video blog and podcast hosted by award-winning media innovator, Jon Leland. It combines timeless marketing principles with a playful exploration on the “bleeding edge” of digital video & social media.

Resource Links from this episode:

I’d love to hear what works for you and if you find this program useful. If you’ve got questions, feedback or suggestions, please comment below, or let’s connect (and leave us a review on Apple Podcasts or wherever):

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT:

Digital Marketing Guidance: Better Choices Make a Better Business – This Changes Everything!

Hi and welcome to Video Mojo!

My name is Jon Leland and this is a video blog and podcast that combines timeless marketing principles with the bleeding edge of marketing and video communications.

Today I am talking about something that can change everything! It’s the choices that we make in our business and really some of the fundamental choices that are like the north star that guides everything. You know, there are these “whys” and these passions, and when you have the discipline to take the time to listen for those they do make better business choices. It’s not just about money but about quality of life, quality of relationships and doing marketing and communications that are meaningful.

I started listening on Audible to the new James Taylor fragment of autobiography. It’s his first 21 years he calls it “Break Shot”. He opens that audio program with this quote.

“Perhaps art happens when the usual channels
are not available and you have to find a new path forward.
Sometimes in describing that new pathway,
we open a door that is useful to other people too.”

That’s kind of why I’m here. Because I’m opening doors for myself and exploring:

  • What do I want to say in this video blog?
  • How can I contribute?
  • Who are my tribe?
  • Where’s my community?

What I’ve remembered is that the internet is this multi-faceted thing. We all know that there are spammers and trolls out there and there are get rich quick marketing people. I do highly recommend that you avoid these, in particular, get rich quick ideas. “Here’s the formula, here’s the recipe, if you just follow this three-step process you’re guaranteed to make six figures.” I don’t think that’s how it works and I also don’t think that’s a north star.

I’ve really learned over the years that it’s not about the money, I like earning a living there’s nothing wrong with money, but I’ve found that there is a better internet and the better internet is based on real people who are doing authentic things.

I’m reminded of this story when I was on a video shoot in India. We were in an airport in a small city in India and it was kind of this relatively modern concrete impersonal dry cold kind of building, like airports tend to be. We were waiting for a delayed plane and one of the locals invited me to go for chai tea at a local chai walla – a local chai stand. We walked out of the airport around a corner and before we knew it we were with the local people in a local chai shop. It was warm and friendly and colorful like most of India, very much not like the airport. I said to myself, “Oh, this is the real India. Now we’re in the real India”.

I had a similar experience recently. I had a conversation with a marketer, the head of Marketing Showrunners, Jay Acunzo. And this conversation lit up my heart. He’s an authentic guy who I really think is about making a difference. Someone who is saying some very direct things about how we build real community. In this conversation, I went “Oh, this is the real internet! I remember there are people out here like that.”.

So that’s my invitation to you this week. Find your north star. Find real people, make real connections, build authentic relationships. There is a real internet out here and if you do that, it changes everything. You’ll make better choices that will give you a better life, better communities, and a more satisfying business.

So let me know what you think I really appreciate your kind attention and I do look forward to your feedback comments and suggestions.

Thanks again for watching. See you next week!

3 Types of Ad-Free Social Media Engagement: The Building Blocks of a More Attractive Online Presence

Social media networks are a whole new kind of communication opportunity; but too many people and organizations are either confused, over-whelmed or just “don’t get it.”

In only four minutes, this episode of Video Mojo describes and illustrates three types of social media posts that have no advertising expense required. Each type of post is used by my company, ComBridges, in order to help our clients and ourselves. By using all three types of posts, we more present on social media; and, we “lead with value” to build authentic, sustainable long-term relationships. Please check it out and let me know what you think:

Click above to watch this week’s Video Mojo video blog & podcast episode.

About Video Mojo
Video Mojo is a weekly video blog and podcast hosted by award-winning media innovator, Jon Leland. It combines timeless marketing principles with a playful exploration on the “bleeding edge” of digital video & social media.

If you’ve got questions, feedback or suggestions, please let me know (and leave us a review on Apple Podcasts or wherever ;-):

* Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/joncombridges/
* YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/jonleland​/
* Vlog Home: https://www.combridges.com/blog​/​
* Podcast Home: https://anchor.fm/video-mojo​/​
* On Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/video-mojo-jon-leland-tips-strategies-for-better-world/id1489867374?uo=4​​
* On Spotify Podcasts: https://open.spotify.com/show/1ORM2qja8iMWM9ykwvhaXk​
* Twitter: https://twitter.com/joncombridges​/​
* Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/combridges.fb/
* LinkedIn: https://linkedin.com/in/jonleland/​

Thanks!

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT:

3 Types of Ad-Free Social Media Engagement: The Building Blocks of a More Attractive Online Presence

Hi and welcome! My name is Jon Leland and this is Video Mojo. 

Video Mojo is both a video blog and a podcast that combines timeless marketing principles with a playful exploration of, what I call, the “bleeding edge” of both digital video and social media. 

Today we’re going to dig into social media a little bit. 

There are 3 types of ad-free social media posts. They’re kind of the online building blocks of a vibrant authentic social media presence. They exist within, what I would call, the social media ecosystem. I’m not going to get into social media content marketing campaigns today, which are really kind of fundamental. With whatever we do in social media we want to lead with value. We always want to contribute and make a difference before we ask for a sale. Relationships are built over time through multiple touches so you want to show up in the marketplace as a valuable contributor. What this post is about is the 3 types of social media posts. Once you have done your content marketing and developed your own original and valuable content there are other things that you can do, the building blocks, that will help you stay present and build relationships. I’ve broken that down into 3 distinct types of social media posts. 

Type 1:

Social media posts type 1 are original visual designs that are linked to your own content. We see those all the time as quote graphics or quote memes. They come out of our own content or creations. We develop original graphics so that they reflect the brand of our client as well as the message of our client and they’re our core value messages. They may reflect values literally or they may reflect the communication mission, if you will, of what that clients work is about and what their niche is about. 

Type 2:

The second type of posts are content curation posts. Next week I think I’m going to get into a tool to help enable content creation. But within the niche, again following the same focus, there are other contributors. There are other people publishing valuable content. So for example, my client The Soul of Money Institute likes gratefulness.org. They are very aligned with their values and so we might repost a blog post from that site. 

Type 3:

The third type of social media posts are retweets or repost, usually on Instagram or Twitter, where you are using other posts or other kinds of content that are being posted and are relevant to what you’re doing. A good example of this in our business is we represent the Marin Airporter, the local airport bus service. People will post pictures of their experience with Marin Airporter and their joy of travel using #MarinAirporter. 

**Bonus**

And then finally, not really a kind of post but, is being involved and monitoring what is going on and responding to comments. I call it conversational engagement. It is a really important piece of the service. If you are going to have a social media presence you certainly want to be responsive and engaged with the people that are liking, retweeting, commenting, and answering questions. 

I’m always looking for your feedback, because I would love to do more of the kind of posts that you want to hear. So please let me know. And again, I am very very grateful for your presence. 

Thank you so much for watching or listening and I’ll see you next week!

Improve Your Video Connections with These 4 Recommended Video Software Tools

Are you looking to up your video communication skills?

Whether you are using video for marketing, to share software tips with those you work with, or to share valuable information via social media, you have choices to make in order to find “the right (video) tool for the job.”

​I’ve got recommendations! The episode of Video Mojo (video below) will help you by offering a quick overview of four video software tools that I have used to create casual, but informative videos, especially for clients and colleagues.

Click above to watch this week’s Video Mojo video blog & podcast episode.

The first three apps are particularly useful if you need or want to share your screen, including if that screen is sharing a presentation. The fourth video software tool is particularly useful when you want to make a more powerful video connection via email. Links to all four video apps are below (FYI, none are affiliate links.)

​About Video Mojo

Video Mojo is a weekly video blog and podcast hosted by award-winning media innovator, Jon Leland. It combines timeless marketing principles with a playful exploration on the “bleeding edge” of digital video & marketing.

Resource Link from this episode:

I’d love to hear what works for you and if you find this program useful. If you’ve got questions, feedback or suggestions, please comment below, or let’s connect (and leave us a review on Apple Podcasts or wherever):

* Video Launch Pad: https://go.combridges.com/video-launch-pad​
* YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/jonleland​
* Video Blog Home: https://www.combridges.com/blog​/
* Podcast Home: https://anchor.fm/video-mojo​/
* On Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/video-mojo-jon-leland-tips-strategies-for-better-world/id1489867374?uo=4​
* On Spotify Podcasts: https://open.spotify.com/show/1ORM2qja8iMWM9ykwvhaXk​
* Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/joncombridges/
* Twitter: https://twitter.com/joncombridges​/
* Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/combridges.fb​/
* LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jonleland/

Thanks!

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT:

Improve Your Video Connections with These 4 Recommended Video Software Tools

Hi and welcome! 

My name is Jon Leland and I’m a digital marketing strategist and the host of Video Mojo, a weekly video blog, and podcast that connects timeless marketing principles with the bleeding edge of video communications, technology, and marketing. 

So today we are going to talk about four applications that can really help you get more fluent in the language of video and increase the power of the connections that you make via video. As you may have heard from other episodes of this video blog and podcast I’m a big advocate of the practice of video. I am passionate about learning by doing and experimenting, but most of all getting yourself out there so you develop the video muscle. These are four applications that can help you do just that in order to make better connections with the people that you are working with or that you want to influence. 

I will include all of the links for the applications that I’m talking about and some other resources throughout the description.

Loom

The first application is called Loom. Loom is very popular because of its simplicity and also because of its free level robust application. It operates both as a Chrome plug-in and as a desktop application. I’ve only used it as the Chrome plug-in because I find it really convenient. When you use Loom the limitation is that you do not have many customization options. Your talking head video will be a small circle in the lower-left corner. You then will be able to share your screen and show people what it is that you want to communicate about. We use it frequently and I’ve seen it used to explain things that are going on within software or websites. It’s very powerful and relatively easy to use. 

Snagit

A step up from that is Snagit, which is a kind of a Swiss Army knife of video tools. It has both the ability to do still frame captures as well as various forms of video interaction. It introduces the sophistication of being able to switch back and forth between a screen share and the full live-action video talking head. I got turned on to Snagit by Steve Dotto of Dottotech. He is a resource that I recommend and I’ll also include a link to his video review of Snagit for a lot more detail. Snagit is a paid application. It is a one-time fee of about $50 unless you get some kind of discount. It will give you a more sophisticated ability to produce videos where you’re switching back and forth while recording but NOT in post-production. 

Wistia’s Soapbox

I really like the third tool, Wistia’s Soapbox. Wistia is a video hosting application that I do recommend to get away from the YouTube noise that happens when you host videos on YouTube. For example, on my landing pages for the video launchpad, I have embedded videos that will not recommend other YouTube videos by using the Wistia platform. Soapbox is an application that Wistia has developed and is also accessible by a Chrome plug-in. It has a really clever post-production editing interface. You record once and then in this editing interface you have the ability to switch between the live talking head and the screen share as well as a  third view which is one-third talking head in two-thirds screen share. So if you’re doing “mini-tutorials” soapbox is a pretty cool application that will enable you to produce a kind of presentation that looks like you’ve used much more fancy editing software that has a nice combination of the live talking head human presence and the screen sharing. 

BombBomb

Then if you want to move up to the next level BombBomb is a really cool application, particularly if you’re doing a lot of email outreach and you want to move to a more sophisticated level. For example, if you are a real estate marketer that wants to stand out above the crowd in how they communicate with their prospective customers, BombBomb integrates with email like nothing else that I’ve seen. The way that they do that is when you record a BombBomb video for somebody the first two seconds is an animated GIF that can be embedded into an email. In fact, they have a whole email integration for outbound marketing. That means the learning curve is higher and the cost is definitely higher as it’s a professional application. But it will give you the ability to communicate via email and really make personal messages that can attract and engage in a very powerful way. 

So there’s a quick overview of four tools that you can use to increase your video muscle. You know, it’s a practice. It takes determination and perseverance to stay with it. Each one has a learning curve starting with something like Loom (it’s simpler), and walking up the ladder to something like BombBomb (it’s much more complex). Whatever you do I really encourage you to get out there, make yourself more visible, and do the kind of engagement that these kinds of video tools enable. 

Thanks again for your kind attention. I really do appreciate you being here and I’ll see you next week!

The Beyond Storytelling Interview: How to Find the Story that WANTS to Be Told

Sadly, the meaning of storytelling has become clouded by the fact that it has become a “marketing buzzword du jour.” AND, as my expert guest Michael Kass says, “Story is real!

Story is so real in fact that, if you listen to yourself carefully, you might find that there’s a story in you that WANTS to be told.

​This episode of Video Mojo is different. It’s longer than usual because it’s an interview/conversation with healer, facilitator, and coach, Michael Kass, who encourages us all to plumb the depths of storytelling. As you will see and hear, this approach is something quite different from the more mercenary and manipulative, “storytelling-as-a-marketing-strategy.”

This week’s Video Mojo video blog & podcast episode.

Most importantly, Michael aligns with this program’s core values of being more human and our commitment to cultivating what it takes to build more authentic relationships and community. Sound good?

About Video Mojo

Video Mojo is an (almost) weekly video blog (vlog) and podcast hosted by award-winning media innovator, Jon Leland ( that’s me! ). Video Mojo combines timeless marketing principles with a playful exploration of the “bleeding edge” of video & marketing communications tips, tools and techniques.

For more Michael Kass, please visit: https://www.storyandspirit.org/

Your Feedback, Questions, and Reviews… Please!

I’d love to hear what works for you and if you find this program useful. If you’ve got questions, feedback or suggestions, please comment below, or let’s connect (and leave us a review on Apple Podcasts or wherever).

I’d love to hear what works for you and if you find this program useful. If you’ve got questions, feedback or suggestions, please comment below, or let’s connect (and leave us a review on Apple Podcasts or wherever):

* Podcast Home: https://anchor.fm/video-mojo​

* On Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/video-mojo-jon-leland-tips-strategies-for-better-world/id1489867374?uo=4​

* On Spotify Podcasts: https://open.spotify.com/show/1ORM2qja8iMWM9ykwvhaXk​

* ComBridges Website: https://www.combridges.com​

* Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/joncombridges/

* Twitter: https://twitter.com/joncombridges​

* Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/combridges.fb​

* LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jonleland

Video Transcript:

The Beyond Storytelling Interview: How to Find the Story that WANTS to Be Told

Welcome everybody to a very special episode of Video Mojo where we bring together both traditional marketing concepts, really timeless marketing concepts, and the next latest generation of tools, techniques, and strategies. 

Today, in some ways we’re talking about an UN-strategy. We’re are talking about going beyond storytelling and my good friend and the storytelling expert, Michael Kass is with us. 

Jon: Michael, Thank you for being here. 

Michael: I am happy to be here.  This is fun! 

Jon: Yeah and unlike most of my editions of Video Mojo, 1 – This is going to be more than 4-5 minutes long, and 2 – It’s going to be a conversation.  Michael and I are going to talk for 10 minutes maybe about storytelling and then we’re going to open up and have Q&A with the people that are joining us online. And thank you to those who are with us live or those that are listening to the recording. Anyway, this will go out via podcast as well as via the video blog. So Michael, storytelling. I was thinking that “Beyond Storytelling” as a title would be in quotes and then within that “Storytelling” could be in quotes because the word “Storytelling” has all these meanings. Historically it reminds me of way back in the day when multimedia was the hot thing and I would be talking about multimedia and I would hear What do you mean by that?. And then digital video came along and now there’s not only YouTube but high-end commercials, television, tick-tock and Facebook live. I mean all of that is technically digital video. My point being the term becomes so broad you don’t know. I think that storytelling has become a buzzword and it means a lot of things to a lot of people. I saw a blog post the other day that I didn’t send to you because I think it would have made you nauseous because it was about how with storytelling you have to tell your brand’s story and it’s become this marketing hook. 

Michael: My heart! My heart! 

Jon: I know, exactly! So I don’t want to make you sick but I also think it’s very exciting to go to another level of storytelling. So how do you distinguish that? I liked the way you did in one of the social media posts about this conversation you said “It’s NOT about marketing and It’s NOT about persuasion” So, what the heck is it? 

Michael: That’s a great question! So there was a moment a couple of years ago where I had a pretty profound realization about story. I’ve been hired to teach storytelling in a prison up in the Central Valley and I was very bad. It was 12 sessions and I was terrible. I didn’t know how to run the room and  I was just doing a bad job. As I was on my way out one day a guy stopped me. He was the Native American spiritual leader in the Chapel of the prison. They had all the different religions represented and he asked what I was doing. I tell him “Oh, storytelling”. We then got into a conversation about the role of story in indigenous cultures. I had known this but the way he said it really struck hard for me. He looked at me at a certain point and said “Story is real. It’s not a form of communication and it’s not a tool to allow us to connect. Story, quite literally, creates the world around us.”  So at that level, story is an act of profound creation. And if you do it in a really deep way it becomes a profound act of co-creation because you’re inviting others to create with you. So when I think of story I think of it as a profoundly creative act, that’s also the basic building block of community. If we start to think about our businesses, really if you’re doing it in a centered way with integrity you’re engaged in the act of community building. What wants to happen and what story can enable, and isn’t really being fully realized much, is a deep act of code creation with the people who joined that community, right? So that’s how I think of story. When it gets flattened to – Well, if you just tell your origin story then it’s going to tug at the heartstrings and people are going to want to X – whether X is buying your product or contribute to your nonprofit or whatever it is, I think a pretty profound misunderstanding of how deep story is woven into the way that we make sense of the world. 

Jon: So clearly you’re talking about going deeper. Is it a philosophical concept that our language basically creates our reality? So are you going to that kind of fundamental level? 

Michael: Yeah, I wouldn’t even say that that’s philosophical. I would say that there’s, you know, there’s the clickbait articles. According to science language creates our reality. My favorite example of this, and it’s the language substitution I give to everybody I work with is Hey, what if you substituted the word and for the word but every time you use the word but. The use of a word as simple as but automatically cancels out everything that came before it. Like, “I really wanted to do this conversation with John but it was a busy day.” Well, now it doesn’t matter how much I want to do the conversation with John as opposed to, “I really want to do this conversation with John and it’s a busy day and I’ll make it work” or “and we can reschedule it” So even something as small as that starts to create a different reality. So I push back on the idea of philosophy but yeah. 

Jon: Okay good. So, the other angle that I hear there is, which is one that I love and that I would say I still aspire to reach as I have something of a following, is this community building and co-creation. And the language that then “positions me“, right? You talked about, I’m trying to remember the example you said something earlier that the word flash to me is, well that’s manipulation. If you’re telling your story designed, you talked about moving people, so we’re going to design our story to have an emotional hook. And that’s storytelling that will make a difference. You’re really talking about something different from that so how do you distinguish between something that makes an emotional connection and something that truly is a co-creation and builds community? Meaningful storytelling is really what I want to do with Video Mojo and it is actually kind of part of the mission. 

Michael: Yeah, that’s a great question and it’s tough. I think that for me it’s sort of a felt sense thing. So, unfortunately, there’s no chart where you can say Oh okay, this story is co-creation versus this story which is manipulation. I would say that when folks are engaging in storytelling that is not fully aligned and doesn’t have integrity, at a certain level they feel it. It just doesn’t feel quite right, there’s a little hitch in it, it doesn’t work. Then the question becomes, how do you train yourself to recognize that feeling of misalignment? Breathe into it and go okay, what wants to happen in order for this to feel more fully aligned

Jon: And the converse – right? That converse is when you’re in alignment and you are connecting your heart to your soul’s story, if you will, you know when that’s happening to.  I think that’s part of the reason I became good friends with you is because I think you and I have these conversations and it happens enough that I want to spend more time with Michael even though most of it we do like this in zoom. There’s a resonance that happens and that’s also the converse indicating that you’re in alignment. 

Michael: I would say I love that word “resonance”. You know, what’s coming to me is when I feel that my story is in alignment and I’m deeply connecting I can tell because I literally feel my body temperature rising. I’ll feel my eyes tearing up and my body feels different in very very tangible, measurable ways. And there is the science behind that, there’s oxytocin flooding through my body because I’m connecting with another human being or several hundred human beings if I’m doing a large workshop. And if I stay aligned with that in attuned to that feeling then it’s easier for me to hit those places of integrity and alignment. 

Jon: So you ask the question as you were talking, “How do you train yourself to notice when you’re out of alignment?” and I would also say how do you train this in alignment and that is in fact what you do.  The context is, if I’m wanting to connect with more people, if I’m wanting to build community or wanted to build an audience or wanting, god forbid, to sell something online – which there’s nothing wrong with doing that – How do you bring this kind of storytelling into play? How do you teach yourself to do it in a way that works? 

Michael: A part of it is ignoring everything that they teach you about storytelling. So a lot of the more conventional storytelling will train people to follow a template that fused pretty closely to the hero’s journey. The standard entrepreneur story would go something like, “I wasn’t doing well I was in a real I was in a real pickle and I was sleeping on my grandmother’s couch and I went I wonder how many other people have couches that they would like to rent out to people and then I formed Airbnb and now I’m a bajillionaire.” That’s kind of the fairly standard way of doing a story. Once you get trained to only tell stories that way, you’re stripping narrative of a lot of its humanity and you’re stripping it of the details. In terms of how to share a really authentic story, I would say go to those moments that feel really resonant to you, and don’t worry about structuring, just write down what made the moment so resonant. Really go through an exercise of deep exploration knowing that the deeper we go in that exploration then the more universal chords will hit. Because it’s not just what happened, which is where a lot of particular entrepreneurial storytelling tends to stay at the plot level. “I wasn’t doing well I made a bunch of money now I’m gonna sell you this thing so you can make money too.” There’s nothing human in that. That’s a functional story. And it’s based on somebody’s perceived lack. Meaning, if that story resonates with you, you feel like you don’t have enough money. That makes sense? As opposed to, if I share a very simple story. You know my favorite one, this guy I was working with had a small business and we just asked him to share story just about a time he wanted something really deeply. It ended up that the thing that came up for him, and he apologized for this, he was like this is a stupid story. I’m gonna tell it because it just came up. He was eight and he wanted this pair of shoes and he would have done anything to get them. He ended up spanging, asking for spare change, in a small town to get these shoes. Now that is a pretty dumb story but what did those shoes mean to you? What did they represent? And it ended up that the rich kids in the neighborhood wore them, and so it represented growth and social mobility and he felt that if he had those shoes he would finally belong. The business that he ran was all about helping small businesses scale and reach a different level of achievement. So in that small human moment what he actually uncovered was the same DNA that made him so passionate about his business. And he started sharing that is almost an origin story and people resonated with it because it showed not just that he was effective at what he did but that at a deep level he knows what it is to do what it takes to move into what he thinks will bring him more satisfaction. So it’s finding those small moments and really lifting them up, I think, it’s where you find some really powerful stories that almost never get told. 

Jon: Yeah and I will dovetail on that in terms of what’s been working for me which is, I think it’s a practice. That’s the other big fallacy about storytelling – Oh, we’re just gonna switch we’re gonna pivot right and try a new strategy which is storytelling – That’s just more of the same really.  But what I found with the video blogging, particularly because I’m doing it really without an agenda, is that I’m now getting practice and exploring my voice and what do I really feel called to talk about and do. This of course conversation is part of that. So good! We’ve probably done, Oh we’ve done 15 minutes. And we could go on about this. But, you know, the thing that I wanted to say is that I think training is like a practice. The more you do it the more you can feel  – am I in alignment? am I not in alignment? – and kind of tune your listening machine, your human-machine, if you will. 

Michael: Yeah, I love what you said bringing more humanity into it is really a measure. To build on that real quick before we see if folks have questions, you know one of the things that happen, especially when I do workshops for organizations, that I caution people is you know in the room in a safe space all of this stuff is very intuitive, right. It makes perfect sense, cool we can share stories. And then they’ll go out in the world and they’ll try to do storytelling this new way once and maybe it’ll work. Then I’ll do it again and it won’t work. Then they feel stupid and never do it again. So it’s not just practice, it’s creating spaces or groups that are dedicated to practicing storytelling in this more deeply human way so that you’re building the muscle. We’ve gotten so far away from it, many of us, especially in our work lives that it takes some time to build that capacity back up. 

Jon: I want to thank you and I want to ask you one more question which is when you were talking before and we talked about the inner work and connecting to our authentic self. I love the book called The Legend of Bagger Vance. He talks about the authentic swing because it’s a golf story. We’re getting a little woo-woo, right? And a lot of people are listening from the context of business, so where’s the overlap between wanting to be successful in the business and wanted to have thriving successful businesses and this community inner work taking time for alignment. I mean I will answer my own question in part because and I mentioned in my last Video Mojo episode the book Content Inc. And he has a model which I think I’m going to be talking more about as I work it through myself. But when you look at the sweet spot of you know who you are, what your capabilities are, and what you’re really passionate about and then how you do the content tilt about your unique message. It’s not something that happens in a day it happens from expressing yourself continually, blogging, video blogging, podcasting, what have you, so that you can find it. But is that a business model or are we outside the business realm hoping business catches up somehow and if you tell your authentic story the money will follow. 

Michael: No that’s not a thing. But I will say, there’s a question that came up as you were saying that which is how do we define success and thriving in our business, right. So if success is purely financial then tell manipulative stories. Make people feel that. If your goal is just to make money then let nothing stop you in the pursuit of that goal, right. I think that’s a crappy business model. I think it’s an unethical ideal, it’s terrible. 

Jon: That’s a crappy life model. 

Michael: So I would define success and thriving as finding that place where, yes you are able to generate income and be comfortable at whatever level feels right to you and do that in a way that is uniquely yours and has deep integrity with your deeper sense of purpose. You could say souls purpose or reason for being here. That’s not a woo-woo thing, that’s just real that every single person at some point feels, unless they’re very lucky, that the work they’re doing or their life that they’ve built around them doesn’t fit. And that’s because there’s a misalignment between the story they’re out there telling and the story that wants to live through them. 

Jon: Say that again slowly. I think this is the point. 

Michael: Yeah, everybody, certainly myself among them, at some point feels like the story they’re building out in the world, what they’re part of, their work the life that’s built around them is out of alignment or intention with the story that wants to live through them and who they really are. And resolving that tension happens when we do that deeper inner work and bring those stories into alignment. It’s rarely a comfortable process, right. People do it in all sorts of ways through therapy, through soul seeking, through dumping their life out and putting the pieces back together like a jigsaw puzzle. But at some point, that’s what wants to happen.  Then when we share that story the results of that process that becomes a really really powerful thing that community can build around. 

Jon: I love that! But I do think that it’s in some sense a radical concept to presume that there’s a story that wants to live through me. I think that most people are thinking, this is kind of where we started, is when they think about storytelling they well I can just make up the most clever manipulative story that fits the model of selling. Whatever it is I want to sell as opposed to being willing to listen and wait and then actually hear the answer and then actually respond to that. I mean that’s a fairly, I would say, sophisticated spiritual process. 

Michael: Sneakily, I use story and story coaching as kind of a Trojan horse to talk about these deeper, you know, spiritual or personal growth concepts. Because if people really want to tell a story that sticks than it wants to be told from that deeper level of connection. 

Jon: Yeah, I think what you said was that you wouldn’t disagree with me. That it’s a fairly sophisticated spiritual concept to assume there is a story that wants to be told through you.
Yeah Alright, so we have some people online. Who has a challenge or an issue or a question around the stuff that we’re talking about here today? You can raise your hand. Judith has a question.  Thanks so much for joining us. 

Judith: Hello. Hi Michael. How are you? 

Michael: Santa Fe looks good on you! 

Judith: Yes thank you! I’m enjoying it, it’s great.  You know, there are a few things. You said so many things they were really great. I came in when you said story is real and that just like Whoa I just got my money’s worth! That really resonated deeply with me. I think it’s interesting that you’re having this conversation about story versus business versus woo-woo and I think that is – I don’t know if this is a question or a comment and it might be both – I think that that’s an indicator of how far we have moved away from what it means to be human. Because the truth is there is no, in my view, real distinction between story, what we do our business our work, and this idea. You know, I once looked up the definition of woo-woo and woo-woo is something that can’t be scientifically validated and everything we’ve talked about is scientifically validated. We know that story has existed that this was how we passed information on for millennia until we learned how to write and then even after that because not everybody knew how to write. And then now that everybody knows how to write we’ve let go of these very fundamental human qualities. I think that we’re I struggle – and perhaps this is my question – and we’re many of us struggle who grew up in this modern era is that we don’t understand what real story is. It’s just become a foreign concept. So even though it’s innate to who we are to being human and that there really cannot be, and is no conflict with what it means to run a business. It’s still something that I, and I imagine others, struggle with. So if that’s a question? 

Michael: I think there a question in there. 

Jon: What’s the, How would you describe the struggle? What’s your struggle with it because you seem clear that story is real? 

Judith: Yeah I think the struggle is that when we get into business mode we put up the barriers and we stick to the facts, as Michael was saying earlier, that we just focus on the factual and we don’t get into the deeper stuff which is where people connect. And as Michael knows, I actually teach this I teach about human emotion and connection and that if we want to be successful it’s the emotional connection. And yet I even still find myself in the way I might be approaching potential business clients who are businesses with just the facts. 

Michael: I was gonna add you don’t just teach this stuff to anyone though, you teach it to Lawyers. So you go into the places that are most disconnected. I just wanted to add that because you glossed over it.

Jon: Yeah, Michael do you want to answer? 

Michael: Yeah, I have a thought. I think you’re absolutely right. Because, you know, there’s inertia and all of the structures, particularly in conventional businesses, all the structures are in place to support a fairly shallow level of connection and being. 

Judith: Yes Yes 

Michael: So, what’s necessary, and I’ve had some beautiful experiences of this recently, is to create experiences where people get to have the embodied experience of sharing story deeply and allowing the stories that are shared to reveal, for example core values for a team or to reveal strategic opportunities. Instead of coming at it from a very left-brained rational way. Because if we try to tell people that the way they’re doing things is deeply extractive and responsible for everything terrible in the world that doesn’t work. I had this beautiful experience on Friday where I created a story experience for people where in the space of 30 minutes they shared really deeply with each other. These are people who have worked together for years and they came out of that experience just with tears in their eyes profoundly grateful because in those 30 minutes so much stress and so much disconnection fell away. And that created enough curiosity in them to get them to ask well what do we do, right? We’ve had this experience how do we do it? Because it’s so short and so simple, they are leaders in their organization, they can bring that back to their teams. But if we just go in and start doing things a different way it won’t land. How do we invite people to participate in this different way of being? I think that’s what you give people in your classes as well. You give them tools that allow them to move differently, I think. 

Judith: I do yes I do. And yet I find in my own experience when I’m thinking about myself I actually have a tendency to go more toward the less emotional and the more factual. I find that to be a curious conundrum. What you said just now I think is an opportunity for me to notice when I’m going in that direction and bring myself back. So thank you. 

Jon: Yeah and I think that that’s exactly the process, I mean Buddhism, for example, you know talks about the human condition and how we get stuck in our patterns. I know a little bit about recovery and it’s like you don’t undo what you’ve been doing for an entire lifetime in a short period of time. And as a culture this moving away from, as you said at the beginning, being more human. I think my Michael’s approach to storytelling and what we’re talking about in terms of this story that wants to be told is very deeply human and we all have these patterns and tendencies to go off into “Show me the money! I’ve got to make a buck!” or whatever the other story is a cultural one. I’m also a fan of a group called the Pachamama Alliance which taps into the wisdom from the indigenous people of the rainforest. They call it the dream. You know they say It isn’t just enough to stop the drilling we have to change the dream. I think that’s very similarly the same thing. We have to be more human recognized that we’re part of nature, what our true nature is and so forth. Anyway hopefully that helps reinforce what you’re asking about. It is like we’re talking about earlier I mean it is a practice and it’s a skill just like meditation and other forms of alignment doesn’t happen in a day it’s a practice and a skill that you develop. This being more human and what I’ve learned from Michael in terms of working my own finding the story that wants to be told you know it’s a process that goes on literally over years. Some people might say that’s the bad news other people say we get to enjoy the journey. 

Michael: Yes and the other thing I’d add to that is people are hungry for this. I know Judith you’ve seen this with your students and I’ve seen it you know when I walk into a room of like conservative business people in suits there’s always part of me that’s like this is the time it’s not going to work. And every time they have a pretty profound experience and they’re very curious about what they can do with it. So I think there is a deep hunger that people maybe aren’t aware of until they have an experience of something different that’s simple and doesn’t come across as you know super-spiritual or crystal slinging. It’s one of the reasons I love working with story. Its story everybody can work with story. There’s no you know sure I always wear my white robes and I’m my little golden crown but other than that I’m just like them! 

Jon: That’s a very funny image Michael! 

Judith: Yeah, I’d love to see you in your white robe and gold! 

Michael: That’s never gonna happen 

Judith: You know it’s really true, I’m no longer distracted by the suits and ties because nothing enough times the human shows up the experience they’re really there to get something. When there are the cynics in the room it’s always really surprising and enjoyable to see them look up and go “huh, what something’s happening here” and you know there’s not as much resistance as we might imagine. But the continuity I think is what’s important to both of your points and to Jon’s point a moment ago and creating that continuity I think is where people run into a challenge. It’s really easy to just fall back and this has been working it’s not comfortable but it’s been working so far so I’m just gonna keep doing it. 

Jon: Thank you so much! I really appreciate you coming on being willing to show your face and be present in the video 

Judith: Thank you! I’ve been enjoying it. 

Michael: Something that Judith said feels very very powerful because I know especially when I talk about story it can get a little bit esoteric and it goes you know kind of like conceptual and big up here. So I think it’s really useful to bring it back to something really concrete which is my favorite thing. This comes from the social transformation project and it’s the wheel of change. I think we’ve talked about it Jon. 

Jon: I’m not sure what’s a social transformation project is. 

Michael: The social transformation project comes out of either Berkeley or Oakland. But they have a whole bunch of amazing tools that are all about you know social transformation and one of them is called the wheel of change. And the wheel of change is very very simple. It’s basically, you have a change you want to create, so I want people to tell stories in a more human way and bring humanity back into the workplace and their businesses. Cool, that’s the first part it’s hearts and minds, right. There has to be a shared desire to create that change. Which doesn’t do anything. A shared desire is lovely but it just sits there. Then you need behaviors, what are the behaviors we want to shift, right. So in my case, I would love the behavior is deeper listening, right. I want people to see each other’s deep humanity and relate to each other in the world around them in a profoundly different more co-creative way. Those pretty big behaviors but those won’t happen on their own because there are so many structures in place to either inhibit those behaviors or promote the opposite behaviors, right. So then the third part is structured. This is what Judith’s point triggered. If we don’t put structures in place to reinforce the desired behavior then nothing will change and that’s where a lot of organizations and individuals stumble because they don’t put the structures in place. Those structures can be something, I just worked with the group I was like hey you’re not allowed to have any meetings that are longer than 45 minutes and here’s how every meeting needs to start with three deep breaths. Great. That’s a very concrete structure. Another one would be, you need to do quarterly story circles where you get together and you go through this process. That’s a structure to reinforce the behavior. That’s how we create change in a systematic and strategic way. It’s not just about information and about desire. It’s also how do we put really powerful structures in place to support this new way of being. 

Jon: Fabulous! I love that you brought it back to the concrete that way. Alright well, I think we made an awesome new episode of Video Mojo, which my podcast and video blog. Find it everywhere or if you’re interested in more information my website is combridges.com Where do they find if they want more Michael Kass where do they go? 

Michael: They could find me at Storyandspirit.org 

Jon: Okay awesome, Michael has all kinds of awesome services and things that he uses stuff and things yeah! 

Michael: So check it out and feel free to get in touch. 

Jon: Yeah, so Welcome and thank you all for being here live thank you for listening to the recording. Thank You, Michael, so much for your time and presence and the teachings and the mission that you’re carrying forward I really admire and respect it. 

Michael: Back tell you Mr. Leland.  Thank you for having me. 

Jon: You’re welcome, Thanks again. And as I say at the end of every episode, See you next week!

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!