Great video storytelling that connects
How to reach a bigger audience, attract new clients & grow your business with live video
– it’s all here in the blog…
Want to learn more live streaming hacks and how to get clients from your live video? Then watch this short tutorial on ‘How To Attract Clients On Video.’
One of the biggest challenges when you’re doing a live video is that you need to talk for a pretty long time. Live videos are often 15 – 20 minutes long or more.
What’s the secret to remembering what it is that you want to say in your live video, and not look awkward when you’re looking off camera to try and read your video script that you have pasted on the wall?
How are you going to remember all the things you want to say in your video during the time that you’re talking?
It’s all too easy to forget some very important thing that you want to share.
Here’s my live video cheat sheet for accessing your notes and looking cool while you do it.
First of all, don’t do a script. If you try to read from a script it will sound forced. It will not sound natural. A better technique is to create an outline with your major points. And then you can take that outline and put it on your tablet. Hold the tablet up with you in front of the camera and use it to refer to your notes.
This looks very natural. A lot of very successful video people doing this. One of the most well known is Marie Forleo. She will sit with her tablet and she’ll be interviewing someone or she’ll be just talking to the camera and she’ll have her tablet visibly in her hand so she can look at it whenever she needs to.
Another technique is to use a table and your laptop in front of you and you can have your notes on the laptop for easy reference.
Try this out. Make an outline. Use a tablet.
Want to learn more live streaming hacks and how to get clients from your live video? Then watch this short tutorial on ‘How To Attract Clients On Video.’
Sometimes we can feel like our social media stuff is getting way out of hand. Trying to pay attention to Facebook and Twitter and Youtube and LinkedIn and Instagram and your blog – posting to ALL those platforms – is overwhelming. (And then I come along and suggest you start doing live video?!)
It can feel like you’re traveling in six different directions – and it’s a bit of a gerbil wheel because it’s often hard to tell what kind of results you’re getting.
So, recently I decided to take a different approach.
What if I focussed all of my online activities to support things I’m doing offline – in the real world? After all, the main goal of all this online marketing is to actually meet people and start working with them, yes?
I started experimenting with Facebook Live and just last week I achieved *inconceivable live video success…!
I’m now hosting two live events each month and each event has guest speakers. So, my new content marketing strategy has evolved to do weekly interview with a guest of an upcoming event on Facebook Live – where they can share actionable content. We talk about the guest and invite people to come to the next event.
The live video can be shared with the guest’s audience on Facebook in addition to my own – so I’m able to reach new people with every broadcast.
I wanted to share early results from this experiment because it’s doing even better than I expected.
In this recent interview I was talking with Digital Marketer Taylor Kloss via Skype and doing a live broadcast of our conversation. Here’s what happened: this video reached 390 people and the video had 229 views.
I had a specific call to action which was to invite people to my Big Idea Lab event which was the first thing I say at the start – so I have a pretty clear idea that 229 people actually saw, heard or watched my invitation!
Comparing this to an earlier post I did to announce the same event. A regular post with an image and a link to register had a reach of only 6 people and there’s no way to tell if any of those people even noticed the invitation.
Clearly Facebook likes live video and will reward you when you make one by showing it to more people.
But it gets better.
I can take the same video and upload it to Youtube and post it on LinedIn and share a screenshot on Instagram (and tag Taylor) and post a link to it on Twitter (and tag Taylor). And, like I’m doing right now, turn it into a blog post and then send it out via email.
This is no longer doing six different things all going in six different directions. One piece of content that took 10 minutes to produce. And it’s in support of growing my community in the real world!
Did it work? As of this writing the next Big Idea Lab has over 50 people registered. Which, as far as I’m concerned is a huge success!
If you’ve gone way down the social media rabbit hole and are feeling a little strung out from your content marketing, I invite you to join my FREE Videomaking Mastermind Group on Facebook where you can learn more about how to build engagement and trust with you ideal clients – before they even meet you – by doing Facebook Live Video.
Your business solves a BIG problem – you help your clients make positive changes in their life – and that has huge value, right? So, when you start talking with prospective clients, you may be thinking that if you could just show them the great advantages of working with you, they’d be sure to do it. But describing your process or features, and even your benefits, may not do the trick – no matter how good a job you do of describing your work.
You’re fishing with awesome bait. Why won’t they bite?
The reason is… they don’t think it’s possible.
And this isn’t because they don’t believe you. It’s because they don’t believe in themselves. They don’t think they can do it. They’ve already tried a bunch of things to solve their problem – and it hasn’t worked. So they’ve giving up. They’ve settled for living with whatever version of chronic pain they’re dealing with…
What can you do to help them when they’ve become non-believers? …when they’ve lost their faith?
The answer is simple: tell them a good story.
Tell them a story about someone who is facing the same sort of challenges. Who tried many of the things they tried. Who maybe even gave up on themselves – but who found a solution (by doing your thing).
Why would a story work?
When you tell a story – and this works particularly well with video – the people watching and listening will relate to the character (the hero) of the story. And when the hero experiences pain or despair or triumph – your audience will have the same experience.
This is the way our brains are wired. When you watch a film – and the main character is having an emotional experience – you experience the same emotions.
This ability is an evolutionary advantage that has been handed down to us since the time of humans sharing stories around a fire. When someone showed up with a story about how they met a tiger and then escaped without getting eating – we’d all pay very close attention – so we could learn about how not to get eaten by the tiger.
When you are able to give your audience the experience of the transformation you offer – a part of the solution to the problem your business serves – you help them believe that a solution is possible. And when they have the experience of possibility with you – you become very attractive. This is why a good story telling video works so well.
Watch the video (above) and you’ll see a group of silver haired women moving gracefully in an adult ballet class.
One by one, they each describe their experience of the class – and we witness their transformation – from feeling old and ordinary to feeling beautiful and able. Listening to the music, watching their movements, hearing their stories about their own transformation – helps us feel the same things they are feeling – gives us the same experience – and helps us believe that we, too, could move gracefully and be beautiful…
The video was made for an adult ballet class in a small town in the UK. The teacher wanted to attract more students so she engaged a local videographer. The ballet students were shot while they were dancing and also in one-on-one testimonial interviews.
We never hear from the teacher – only her students – who talk about their experience. There’s no script. The whole thing was shot with one camera and available light.
It proves how one simple video – one good story – can create change in our mindset. The dancing women transform – becoming beautiful and graceful before our eyes – making us believers. I couldn’t help thinking, “I hope I’m moving like that when I’m their age,” or better, “I could be moving like that right now!”
And it worked its magic on a multitude. The video has been seen over 1.7 million times on Facebook.
Two things to take away from this video:
1. Testimonial stories can be more powerful and persuasive than talking about what you do yourself.
2. If you pick a beautiful and inspiring story – people will share it (which is how this video has been seen so many times).
If you’d like to learn more about the kind of stories you could be telling to help your prospective clients believe that their transformation is possible, then join my FREE Livestream Rockstars group on Facebook
It’s a supportive group to share ideas and inspiration with each other.
Business Innovators Radio
“In the last few years with the technology of good quality video being available on your smartphone, it’s become all too simple and accessible for anyone to produce video. The block is around how do you tell a good story that’s compelling and that’s going to resonate with the people who you want to talk to.
“Everyone is already a good storyteller. We tell stories all the time. But most people, even though they have a collection of stories, they don’t really know how to sort through them and figure out which kind of story should I be telling to the client or customer that I want to be speaking to that will resonate with them.”
Join my FREE Videomaking Mastermind Group on Facebook
Brad Powell is a business coach and videographer who teaches entrepreneurs how easy it is to create engaging video campaigns with just a smartphone and good storytelling. Brad inspires entrepreneurs to find everyday moments that make great marketing and he’s dedicated to helping small businesses get over the limiting belief that video marketing is too daunting and time consuming.
As a former Outward Bound Program Director and National Geographic contractor, Brad shows you how to tap into your sense of adventure and helps you become bold and daring when you need to be – like when you’re facing your audience.
Here’s a case study showing how a simple video was made great by using inspirational metaphors about how the Grand Canyon was formed. Watch how one of the members in my Video making Mastermind group on Facebook shot this video of herself with the Grand Canyon in the background.
Meet personal trainer, Anne Caulkins. Her business is called Wicked Lean and if you’re at all interested in going out there and getting yourself wicked lean, then you should sign up for Anne’s online personal training program – that will give you the body you want.
I made a few suggestions about Anne’s first video. The first one was, “Hey Anne, turn your phone sideways, so we can see more of the canyon!”
The second thing that I suggested was to engage her viewers more. Here she was talking about the Grand Canyon, standing in front of the Grand Canyon, and it would be easy to say, “How many of you have been to the Grand Canyon? If you’ve ever been here before, say, ‘Yes!'”
And in the comments down below people could have said, “Yes, yes yes” and they could’ve mentioned when they were there or what happened to them when they were there. That’s a really good, easy thing to do as a prompt to get people to respond to you.
Next I noted that she’d brought up the inspirational metaphors of, “Here you have this huge canyon, but it took just little drops of water to create it. And those little drops of water were very powerful.” There again she could engage her viewers with questions like, “What are the little drops of water that you’re doing? What’s the little drop of water you’re doing today that’s going to be carving out your Grand Canyon?” Or even better, “What’s the Grand Canyon that you’re carving out?
Two days later Anne made a second video and I just had to share it to show you how easy it is to make just a couple of little shifts that will make all the difference in your video.
I think the second video looks fantastic. This way of using inspirational metaphors in your video is a very powerful thing in terms of getting them to respond to while they’re watching your video – so that they’ll leave a comment and then you can start having a longer conversation with them by replying.
My drop of water is that I make videos. Every week I’m making a new video like this and that little drop of water is carving out a great big canyon of empowering people to show up, and to be themselves, and to share their gifts.
By sharing my own gifts on a regular basis, I’m helping you, and hopefully inspiring you to get out there in the world and gather your people around you and share your gifts with them.
I’d love it if you would comment and tell me, “What’s the drop of water that you’re doing on a regular basis to share your gifts?” And, even better, “What is your Grand Canyon?”
My big invitation to you is to join my FREE Videomaking Mastermind Group on Facebook
Join us, share your videos there, and you’ll see how just little tiny shifts your videos will be getting better and better, and you will start showing up more and more.
My special thanks to Anne Caulkins – Wicked Lean
Here are my favorite smartphone steadycam hacks that will create remarkably steady video when your shooting with your smartphone, iphone or android. When you’re away from home and have an idea for shooting video with your smartphone, you probably aren’t carrying your tripod with you everywhere you go. So how do you get a really steady shot, of yourself or someone else, when you’re just holding your phone in your hands?
The first thing a lot of people do is that they hold their phone in the vertical position – as though they are going to take a picture.
And you don’t want to do this.
Turn your phone sideways and shoot in the horizontal mode. Everything is wide screen and so your video will look a lot better when you post it on social media in wide screen format.
When you’re holding your phone at arms length, it tends to move around – creating shaky video that’s hard to watch. So grab a hold of your phone with one hand (as shown in the video above) and bring your elbow into your chest which creates a very steady support for your camera.
You can use this when you’re interviewing someone and it’s solid as a rock and basically turns you into a human tripod.
A great tool for keeping your video steady is the Stayblcam which acts as a counter weight and allows you to move your phone to follow action shots – and keeps the camera steady and smooth throughout your shooting.
I’d love to see you try these techniques in your next videos – and I’d love to see them. You can share your videos in a place to get positive feedback by joining my Livestream Rockstars group on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/livestreamrockstars
I’d like to let you off the hook.
If you’re like me, you are a bit of a perfectionist. Any time you’ve thought of bringing your work into the world you’ve wanted to make sure that it’s your best. And you take a lot of time polishing and tweaking before you feel ready to show it to anyone.
It doesn’t have to be this way. In fact, your work will get a whole lot better if you focus less on perfecting and more on creating and sharing as often as possible.
Case in point comes from a cool little book called Art and Fear. A pottery teacher split his class in half and asked the first half to focus on making one incredibly wonderful piece of pottery. Then he told the other half to make a lot of pots saying they’d be evaluated on their quantity (rather than quality).
So, who came up with the best work?
Invariably, all the best pots came from the group making as many pots as possible.
You can apply this lesson to whatever endeavor you’re engaged with: if you want to make something really great, you need to start making. Striving for perfection will just get in your way.
I know. You just don’t feel ready. You have a Goldilocks mindset. You want everything to be just right.
Don’t let your inner perfectionist hold you back.
Treat your work as an ongoing experiment and embrace the mess you create. Expect the unexpected. Treat everything you do as a learning process.
Do this often. Rinse and repeat.
In 2010, right at the time the first ipad came out, two students, Ankit Gupta and Akshay Kothari, were in a one-month course called “Launchpad” in which the students have to start a real company. In order to get into the class you have to pitch a business idea so our two heros raised the question, “why is the experience of mobile news browsing so bad?” And they pitched the idea of a creating a news reader app for the ipad.
Their first assignment was to build a functional prototype in 4 days.
To get the job done quickly, they chose to sit in a cafe (a room full of prospective users for their reader) where they had a quick, rough version of their app open on an ipad. Since the ipad was brand new, this was super attractive to everyone who passed by. People who had never seen one would ask about the ipad and they’d let them play with the basic version of their new app. They got tons of immediate feedback from cafe patrons and, as a result, went through hundreds of small revisions each day.
Their published app, called “Pulse Reader” turned out impressive enough to be shown off by Steve Jobs himself and, later on, was sold to LinkedIn for $90 million!! (this story came from the book, Creative Confidence)
Move from planning to action. Share quick, rough versions of a product or service your working on to get fast feed-back. Put a time constraint on yourself. Imagine you have a boss who’s telling you, “I want to see something by the end of the day.” See how quickly you can turn your ideas into action.
Rinse and repeat is a core principle of my program, Video Power Blueprint™. It’s about engaging your audience in a way that they ensure you’re doing your best work.
As an experiential educator I’ve seen first-hand how well learning by doing works. If you want to do your best work (and if you want your business to thrive) then you need to jump in with rapid innovation cycles of creating a piece of work, showing it off and learning from the feedback you get. Learn by doing. Rinse and repeat.
Want instant feedback for the next video project you’re working on?
Join our group on Facebook and share often >
Whether you’re organizing a project, promoting an event or selling a product or service, there’s nothing worse than spending weeks or months of effort to make something happen – and then nobody shows up, or your phone isn’t ringing, or you’re making videos that nobody’s watching.
When this happens it’s problem of enrollment – you’ve failed to fully enroll your target audience.
In their fantastic book, “The Art of Possibility,” co-authors Benjamin an Rosamund Zander spend an entire chapter talking about what it takes to get someone fully enrolled. “Enrolling is not about forcing, cajoling, tricking, bargaining, pressuring, or guilt tripping someone into doing something your way. Enrollment is the art and practice of generating a spark of possibility for others to share. Have no doubt that others eager to catch the spark”.
Can you imagine a world where others are eager to catch your spark?
The Zanders suggest that you approach enrollment as lighting a spark of possibility in others and then be ready to catch their spark in return. Enrollment will take courage in the face of possible rejection(s). Maintaining your passion and a mindset of possibility is essential.
Ready to fully enroll your target audience? Here we go.
In my earlier post on how to introduce yourself on video so that it matters I was dissing social media by saying it’s turned us all into one-way broadcasters – and you only have to spend 10 seconds looking at anyone’s Twitter feed to see the sad truth in this.
But, there’s also a conversation going on about your thing.
To find the conversation, search hashtags on Twitter and Instagram (like #smallbusiness or #communitygarden or #climatechange) or join a Facebook group or go to a local Meetup – you’ll find out what your people are talking about.
You’ll want to look for what they’re saying about the problem that you want to help them solve.
These are the things that are most relevant to the people who you are wanting to enroll. Personally, the place where I’ve found the most engaged conversations have been in a few of the Facebook groups that I belong to. (and, of course, my own Facebook group)
What you’ll discover are points of engagement. You’ll see questions that generate long threads of discussion and learn which kind of frustrations or desires resonate most.
It doesn’t matter if you think they’re asking the right questions – these are the questions they’re asking – so that’s where you want to start engaging.
You’re going to discover that people have already tried a lot of things to answer their questions, fix their frustrations, and make their dreams come true. If it’s available they’re checking it out. You need to take the time to study what else is out there too, so you can respond with something unique – something they haven’t tried yet.
How does this work in practice?
Here’s an example based on how I like to engage. Let’s say my preferred method of connection is to go to a networking event or a conference. What I find at almost every business related event is plenty of people (like me) who offer marketing services of one kind or another. In fact it sometimes feels like the room is full of marketers.
And everyone there is introducing themselves with the same question, “What do you do?”
And everyone answers the same way – by talking about themselves.
At an event like try entering the conversation, by saying something different. What if you refused to give an answer by talking about yourself. What if instead you answered by responding to the questions, frustrations and desires that are on the minds of practically everyone in the room?
So, for example, after someone asks me what I do, I might answer with, “I like to help people have more meaningful interactions at networking events (like this one) so they meet the kinds of people they’re looking for, attract the right kind of clientele and so they don’t end up feeling like they’ve totally wasted their time.”
See what I did there?
Now I’m talking about the questions and desires and potential frustrations of practically everyone in the room. All of a sudden I’m positioning myself as someone who might have something different to talk about – and be offering the possibility of a unique value proposition.
Whoever I’m talking to is probably wondering, “What you just mentioned is something that I want to know more about – how do you do that?” So, we can keep talking and I can keep asking questions and learn more about their frustrations and desires.
This is exactly what you want to do.
Don’t enter the conversation by talking about your big idea – start by talking about the thing that is their top of mind frustration or desire. If you’re unsure of what that is, then ask a question.
You can craft content like this in your videos and share it on social media, and when you do people will start thinking you’re reading their minds.
if you’d like more interaction than this once-per-week blog post, join my Facebook Group and leave your comments there >
My friend Terri Ann Heiman has been thinking about making videos for awhile. But something’s been holding her back. She’s been afraid of how she looks on video – something we can all share, right? We’ve all seen videos others have made that didn’t turn out so well. And we’re afraid because we don’t want to be that person. I mean, what if you made a video that’s just not how you want to be seen? Especially in front of all your friends on Facebook? It’s enough to keep anyone from hitting the record button.
Here’s a beautiful story of how Terri overcame her video anxiety and made a couple of simple smartphone videos (to promote her podcast). It’s a perfect case study because she made some of the most common mistakes that almost everyone makes when they start making videos with their phone. And with three simple tweaks – she created something really nice – and now feels inspired to do lots more.
Terri posted her first smartphone video on Facebook – and then called me out because I’d been pushing her to make smartphone videos.
“Ok Brad… I did this with you in mind. It was easier to “just do it” without the worry of what I looked like. But still fighting with that issue! I will overcome… right!”
I wrote back, “Hey Terri – You look great & sound fabulous!! And most importantly enthusiastic! – I think I caught your spirit ? Way to jump out there… Let me know you’d like some handy hints on how to look and sound even more fabulous.”
She replied, “Yes I would for sure!”
OK, Step #1: watch the video below on ‘Vertical Video Syndrome’ and then just say, ‘NO’ to vertical video.
Step #2: Raise you phone up so that it’s at the same level as your eyes. You’ll look even more beautiful if you do this. You can use a large box or a stack of books or what I use is one of these little iphone tripods with bendy legs that grab onto just about anything and mount almost anywhere.
(Terri commented: “Hello ..I have one of those tripods sitting next to me! Thanks!”)
Step 3: Position yourself so that your room light hits the front of your face – instead of the top of your head. Overhead lights = very harsh + deep lines.”
(Terri commented: “Hmm… that’s going to take some staging! Going to play with that one!”)
So I said, “You might not have to move. Just turn off the overhead light. Open up any windows and/or get a floor lamp or desk lamp with a diffuse shade and aim it at your smiling face.”
Then, just after recording her podcast, Terri posted this second video, “Wow.. Brad Powell what a difference! Thanks!”
Here are some of the Facebook comments after this second video:
One more suggestion: Terri’s phone is mounted in a way that’s causing some camera shake. So, mount your phone on something that isn’t connected to your movement.
Here’s a third video Terri made that keep’s the camera nice and steady.
BTW – I love the in-the-studio-with-Terri look…
Terri commented, “I’m noticing the likes from the video creating more attention for the podcast. Excited (did I say that?!) for my next video posting now that I know these tips!”
Terri’s first video received 150 views and the second had 280 views and the third broke 300. This is a minor hit – and a simple way for Terri to grab attention for her podcast.
And how does Terri feel about this process? She writes:
“Brad and I talked about using video for visibility and he challenged me to just start doing it. Use my story. That people would be interested in seeing me. Like getting ready for my radio show with the head phones on, etc. So I took his challenge because I knew I was missing out on opportunities to get my message out. His tips helped my videos to look 100% better! So I kept trying! And he was right about visibility. And about getting more comfortable about doing them. Because I was feeling more confidant on video I was able to reach out for the TV interview too!”
“I can’t believe the visibility I’ve gotten from my last video post (see video above). Over 500 views! Thanks for the encouragement!”
Terri’s done a great job getting started with getting more comfortable and confident in front of the camera – and she’s learning the first basic steps in how to produce simple videos with her smartphone. But this is just the start of how to show the transformation you bring to your clients’ lives and demonstrating the solution your business offers on video.
If you’d like to have a bigger conversation about the kind of story you could be telling with video – to help your prospective clients believe that their transformation is possible, then contact me for a free Video Storytelling Strategy Session >
Set up a time to talk with me below and in our conversation we can develop a strategy to help you…
I’ve never thought of producing action videos. But recently the chance to make something really inspiring changed how I look at action videos. And the project turned out to be one of the most popular videos I’ve ever made.
A short time ago I was riding along the bike trail when I caught site of something impossible. It was my first view of wheelchair skateboarder, Erik Kondo – flying along on his home-made electric skateboard – while balancing in his wheelchair.
I had to check this out.
So, I chased Erik down and while we were riding along together he began telling me the story of how he came up with the idea to fit his wheelchair onto a skateboard.
My first question I asked was how did it feel?
“I’ve been using a wheelchair for about 30 years and when you use a wheelchair you face forward. When you get on a skateboard you still face forward in the chair – but you go sideways.
It’s a completely different feeling.
Your steering is based on front-to-back balance. It feels really different. That’s what I like about it because I still have my chair with me all the time, but as soon as I jump onto that thing (the skateboard) it completely transforms my mobility experience.”
Next, I asked him how the skateboard was put together.
“I started with a regular longboard, but what it has that’s different is a set of wheel rails. The wheel rails lock the wheels on my chair and prevent them from rolling – while I hold a wheelie. The bottom of the longboard has a motor and a drive train. And the motor is wired to a box that contains all the electrical components – batteries, an electrical speed controller and a receiver. I hold a transmitter in my hand.”
I noted the feat that it takes to hold a wheelie – balance his chair on just two wheels – in order to stay on the skateboard. Erik’s reply was pretty modest.
“Now I’m really trying to work my balance so that I can go over more rough terrain. Right now I’m just limited by my skill. I never really skateboarded before. I don’t have that much experience, but the more I do it the better I get.”
I had to ask him how he was able to figure out such a challenging task: how he came to be riding a skateboard without the use of his legs?
“There’s a lot of things that can be done out there that people just never think of.”
Check out Erik’s Wheelchairboarding page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Wheelchairboarding
This video was shot entirely hand held. I tend to favor using hand held – especially for action video footage. For the interview section I had a microphone attached to the camera and shot close enough so that you can still hear Erik’s responses. For al the footage on the skateboard park I was holding the camera with two hands and moving in sync with Erik. When we moved to the bike trail, I followed Eric on my bicycle to get the moving shots – one hand on the handle bar and one hand on the camera. A GoPro camera would make these shots a lot easier to capture.
The audio on all the movement footage was not critical because I planned to use Erik’s voice and/or music as the soundtrack.
One thing that really helped this video is the inspiring subject – a guy riding a skateboard on his wheelchair. This video received over five thousand views on Youtube and another thousand views on Facebook simply because wheelchair skateboarding is so unusual.
Want to learn more and share some of the videos you’re making? Join my FREE Livestream Rockstars Group on Facebook