Here’s the scenario. I say “You should do video.” Then you visibly recoil and give me a bunch of reasons why you can’t:
You’re not good on camera.
You don’t have the time.
You don’t have enough to say to fill an entire video.
You’re not really good with technology.
The objections go on and on. And you’d be right, in a way. Even the most dedicated stage-mom would admit it can be expensive to make a video. (Although she’d tell everybody you’re totally worth it.)
Most of your objections would be wrong. That’s because you’re visualizing one of those talking-head videos. The ones that need a professional camera operator, with lighting, scripting, sound and make-up.
Those videos have a purpose, if you have the budget and the message to warrant them. But I’ll tell you something: they aren’t going to sell much in a competitive industry where your differentiator is your relationships.
There are no good reasons for NOT doing personalized video
Personalized video isn’t expensive. It doesn’t take any longer than sending an email or text, and you don’t need to have anything profound to say. (In fact, it’s better if you don’t.)
It’s also better if you don’t have any on-camera abilities. You being you, in your own words, is all it takes.
If you can take a selfie on your smartphone and say, “Happy Birthday <NAME HERE>,” you’ve got what it takes for personalized video.
What is personalized video?
It’s a short (really short) video that takes the place of a plain text message or email. You put it right in your email, text message or private messaging system.
Instead of an email that can be cold or confusing, the recipient hears your message, in your voice, with your smiling face delivering it.
It builds relationships by rehumanizing communications
The average businessperson receives 96 emails a day. That’s a whole lot of black letters on a white screen. Why be just another one of those?
In a personalized video:
You sound like you
They’ve put a face to the name
You’ve engaged their eyes and ears, while they’ve just scanned other emails—that makes yours more memorable
If a picture’s worth a thousand words, imagine how much a video is worth.
Ever wondered what “OK” meant in an email?
It’s hard to tell what those two harmless letters mean when there’s no tone or context.
We’re typing LOL all day long. That’s because most of us aren’t confident our words alone are enough to convey what we really mean.
From an early age we learn to read the contextual clues in facial expressions and voices. Your humour, sympathy, excitement or concern are going to come across clearly in a video message. They could be lost or misunderstood in words alone.
And when your emotions come across, you’re building a connection with the recipient.
A video shows consideration
If you could get in front of each lead, and every call went through, you wouldn’t need personalized video.
Instead, a personalized video lets you record your message when it’s convenient for you. They can watch it when it’s convenient for them.
They’ve got time to consider a response, and you know you’ve reached them when they’re ready to listen.
That can even turn a cold call into a warm call.
Like stats? You’ll like this…
Sales teams using video for prospecting are seeing five times higher click-through rates and eight times higher open-to-response rates.
10 great occasions for a personalized video
Say a heartfelt thank you—for breakfast, for business, for help doing the paperwork.
Introduce yourself after a referral—and thank the referrer.
Encourage readers to dive into your newsletter.
Explain a complicated concept.
Give a progress update.
Mark a special occasion, like a birthday, anniversary or holiday season.
Connect on LinkedIn or solidify a contact made at an event
Extend an invitation.
Check in after a period of inactivity.
Find your new contact in a crowded place.
If you haven’t done video before, here’s some advice for getting started
Make a schedule – Challenge yourself to do 30 videos in 30 days. Make a list of topics and who you’ll send them to.
Start with people you know – Just be yourself and practise sending short, everyday messages.
Don’t ask for feedback right away – Just experiment. When you feel like you’re ready to learn more, then ask for feedback.
Use software to make it easy – I recommend using a video software tool like BombBomb. It makes the video easier for you and the people you’re sending messages to:
They don’t have to download the video (so you’re saving their data).
Your message appears with a still or preview of the video, so they know it’s you.
There’s a great mobile app, so you can reply to emails, texts, voicemails and LinkedIn wherever you are.
It integrates with Google and Outlook, so you can reply with a video right from your email or browser.
You’ll know when they’ve watched the video (and the time is ripe for follow-up).
You get excellent analytics about your viewership.
Here’s my own checklist for making a great personalized video
Make clear that it’s a video – Put video in your email subject line.
Keep it short – 15 to 30 seconds is all you’ve got, otherwise you’ve gone on too long.
Be authentic – Don’t use a script, and use one take even if you fumble a word.
Use the recipient’s name – Use their name at least three times.
Use a whiteboard – Write a message on the hand-held whiteboard and it will appear in your preview.
Stand up – You’ll look more confident and you’ll project your voice.
Be animated – Smile, move around, show them something you’re holding or something nearby.
Scrap the sales pitch – Offer value; advice or information is what the recipient needs.
Give a call-to-action – Make it clear and only give one, so you don’t overwhelm them with resources.
Be yourself – Authenticity is most important. Don’t try to be like somebody you’ve seen in another video.