**NOTE** This article was originally published last July, but as I’ve been doing lots of “talking head” interviews and testimonial shoots lately, I thought it timely to re-share a neat story of how to help non-professional on-camera talent to get comfortable in front of the camera.
One of the kindest testimonials I’ve received came from Elizabeth Fairchild, of Accurate Background, here in Orange County. I was tasked to shoot a series of interviews of company employees representing various departments, and the videos would be used as part of their exhibit at a national human resources convention. Some of the candidates were very comfortable being in front of a camera; others, not so comfortable. There are a number of techniques that I use to distract an interviewee from the camera and related equipment, and aside from some warm-up banter before we begin, we tried to focus on what excites them about their position in the company. I often roll the camera before we “start” because sometimes, you can get some real gems in the commentary. I also use the off camera style of interview popularized by shows like “60 Minutes” because again, if the interviewee is looking and speaking to a person, they tend to be less conscious of the gear in the room. Introverts present their own challenges, but by investing a little extra time, once these folks open up, their contributions are truly invaluable!
Part of Liz’s testimonial follows, and the next time you want to schedule interviews for your company or organization, give First Impressions Video a call! If you want to read her entire compliment, scroll down through the comments on my home page, and you can see it there.
“The day Terry came into film went off without a hitch. We had scheduled a full day of interviews with eleven employees. For many of them, this was their first time in front of the camera, and they were quite nervous. Terry did a great job making each interviewee feel comfortable – offering advice on how to ignore the camera and coaching them through their responses. At wrap, I think everyone felt like Terry was a part of our company family, and we were able to capture natural, authentic testimonials.”
**UPDATE** As of yesterday, 5/24/16, LinkedIn has added videographers to the categories on their ProFinder site. BRAVO!!
This morning, I received an email from LinkedIn “inviting” me to participate in a pilot program with LinkedIn ProFinder. This is LinkedIn’s venture into “lead-gen,” presumably to compete with Thumbtack, Angie’s List and so many other portals used by SMBs to help grow their respective businesses. I was pleased to see LinkedIn have a go at this, but was immediately repulsed by what I saw as I attempted to set up my business to possibly get leads: THERE WAS NO CATEGORY FOR VIDEOGRAPHERS!! The closest thing I could find was ‘video editing,’ which is only one element of what video professionals do! Now comes the stake in every video person’s heart: Photography! There were all manner of categories for photographers, but only one for video! This is NOT a slam at photographers! I started in still photography over 40 years ago, so I have no beef with my still shooter counterparts. It’s just that video people have gotten short shrift long enough, and it’s time to take a stand.
I am sick and tired of videographers not getting their proper due–or respect! It seems that most lead-gen portals recognize photography, but rarely–on the first blush–list videographers autonomously. This is a colossal blunder and all you have to do is read the hundreds of articles that espouse the importance of video for businesses–small and large. I would expect better of LinkedIn and remember: YOU INVITED ME for the ‘beta test.’
The title of this Pulse says LinkedIn ‘misses’ an opportunity. It can still be fixed…I suggest that someone jump on this promptly. It shouldn’t be that hard to correct.
That is all. A final point: If LinkedIn makes this change and includes more video-oriented categories, I will make note of it here.
Borrell Associates recently conducted its Local Online Advertising Conference in New York City. CEO Gordon Borrell typically kicks off his conferences with predictions for the next 2 to 5 years. One of his overarching themes pertained to video and to amplify Gordon’s point, Brian Russell, Chief Operating Officer of Media Distribution Solutions—and a company I do work for, shared some stunning research about the power of video in marketing for local businesses:
- Having video on your website makes it 53 times more likely to show up on Google
- Video causes people to stay longer on your site by an average of 2 minutes
- Video is shared 1,200% more than photos and texts combined
- Emails with videos get 50% more clicks compared to emails without video
The takeaway is that video is clearly the new frontier in capturing attention in your marketing. I agree with Gordon and Brian!
They’re out there…we know they’re out there! We have to be vigilant 100% of the time; they only have to be lucky some of the time–and they are! So please indulge me–if you have time–and read the thread shown on the attached pdf below, starting at the end and working yourself back to page 1. You will see the story emerge as to what the scammer ultimately wanted me to do…needless to say, I didn’t take the bait.
There are a number of red flags in the perp’s initial message and subsequent replies, starting with a sudden change of her (we assume it’s a ‘she’) email address. She relentlessly refused to fill in my online form or provide any other concrete information about herself and the event she wanted videotaped. And although I didn’t fall for the scam, countless others have been victimized by approaches similar to this one. I suspect that “Kim” thought she had her “fish on the hook,” and moved in with her ask: that I carry out the entire transaction using her credit card, which included a generous overage to the bill, if I would only do her a ‘favor’ and send cash to the other participants in the deal. Well that just wasn’t gonna happen!!
You must protect yourself at all times, and if you get one of these BS inquiries, report it, as I did!
That is all. I will now go back to blog posts about videography and related subjects…things I would much rather write–and talk–about.
In my 30+ years in marketing, advertising and business development, I’ve always been quick to share a nugget or two of knowledge–even with an occasional competitor. The generosity has served me well over the years! Today’s piece is for those of you that have decided to take the plunge and shoot your own video. It would be easy for me to say, “…just call me,” but I’m never going to get 100% of the business I pitch, so I’m willing to offer a few of those “nuggets” to those that want to go it alone. Or at least “in house.”
The chart below lists 9 things you need to pay close attention to, to make your video something people will want to watch and respond to (see last point). There is no order of importance…all are equally relevant when it comes to producing a quality video product. And if, after having a go at it, you would prefer that the task be delegated to someone who has a good handle on these things, that is when you give me a call.
The truth is, when you consider the value of your time, and that of any co-workers engaged in the project, never mind the cost of professional cameras, microphones and lighting equipment, it just may be cheaper to have it done by folks like me.
But in the meantime, good luck, and good shooting!
I can give you five reasons! Well actually, I could probably give you more than 5, but Explainify did such a great job with this infographic, I think I’ll leave well enough alone for today. If any of these reasons prompt you to get up and grab the phone, be sure it’s me on the other end of that call!
Enjoy, and have a great February!
Sources/Attribution: Vidyard.com, Explainify.com & many others (see the URLs at the end of the infographic).
With so much going on in digital marketing these days, it might be easy to forget about organic search, or just dismiss it as being too difficult to execute–especially with so many updates to Google’s search algorithm. I should know. As many who read my blog are aware, I spent over a decade in digital marketing of all sorts and types, before starting the video business. So here’s my take or organic search: it still works!!
Yesterday, I shot a funeral for a family. It was a very moving ceremony and was held at Forest Home Memorial Park in Glendale. I received a call about a week before the service from a photographer friend of the family asking if I was available. He was a pleasant gentleman and I could tell that we both had the right kind of sensitivity in our approach to this unique assignment, so I agreed. Through several calls and emails, I forgot to ask him how he found me, since we didn’t know each other, but I was able to ask after the service and he said, “I Googled you!” Understanding search queries, I asked further, what search terms (keywords) he used? His reply, “I Googled ‘funeral videography orange county.’ ”
I was very pleased at this revelation as it proves positively the value and importance of good search engine optimization (SEO). I ran the same query this morning and found this search result:
First Impressions Video appeared–after the ads, that I don’t buy–in the first four positions of the search engine results page (SERP), and the map! I think it’s safe to say that I would likely NOT have received the call that turned into a nice piece of business had I not invested the necessary time to optimize my website.
No matter what your business is, taking the time to build robust SEO for your website can be…no, should be…a critical component of your overall digital marketing strategy. Do not overlook organic search…it is a cornerstone to effective online visibility!
As many people know, I spent the last decade or so before starting First Impressions Video in digital marketing. During those years, I had the pleasure of meeting Pete Gombert, who, at the time, was CEO of Balihoo. Pete has been wildly successful over the years and took an extraordinarily bold step a little over a year ago, by stepping away from Balihoo. Some might call it a sabbatical, others might call it a leave of absence, and a few might even call it crazy (see below). Whatever one chooses to call it, Pete returned with a new vision for an organization that, by its commission, would help to leave the world a better place. That vision is GoodWell.
I wouldn’t dare to explain more about GoodWell, since no one can do it justice but Pete, so I will simply point you to the GoodWell website, and ask that you learn all you can about this worthwhile organization. I would also invite you to become a Founding Member, and then ask three people you know to do the same. It’s only 50 bucks, but leveraged across thousands of–dare I say one million–people, we CAN make a difference.
Please join me and Pete, and become one of “the crazy ones!” Or as Pete might say it:
“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
Thanks for reading.
GoodWell Founding Member #117
Start off 2016 with a new or updated video! According to the recently conducted Vidyard/Ascend2 survey, reported by ReelSEO, there are several types of video that provide the most effective content for your business! First Impressions Video has the experience to produce any or all of these, and as I’ve said many times, great video does NOT have to break the bank!
What are you waiting for? Call, drop me a note, or request a quote!
A few weeks ago, Borrell Associates, Local Media Association and Local Search Association hosted the “Fast Forward Video Summit” in Chicago. Two days of learning how to harness and leverage the power of video—specifically tailored to the local business marketplace! I wasn’t able to attend, but friends that attended were kind enough to share the insights with me, from Mark McMaster, who runs Google/YouTube’s Global Brand Activation unit.
These observations should resonate with any local business looking to advance their visibility online, with video being a major component!
- Real estate, automotive, food & dining, home repair, health & wellness and sports & leisure are the top categories on YouTube. Not far behind these are service businesses, professional businesses and retailers.
- There are millions of “how-to” videos on YouTube – this represents a tremendous opportunity for local business owners. Think: “episodic TV.”
- 45% of males 18-34 will visit YouTube TODAY (more than watched the Super Bowl).
- 18-34 year olds watch an average of 142 videos per month on YouTube.
- These 18-34 year olds spend 9.8 hours per month on YouTube.
- And their average watch time is 4.1 minutes.
- We are in the participation age – users are driving content!
- YouTube can offer precise targeting – for example, people looking to buy a car.
- Business owners must think like a content creator when creating video. But this is often outside of their comfort level. Local media companies can help them in a big way.
- Call First Impressions Video to discuss all your current and future video production needs! (Yes, this one is mine!)