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Posted: June 17, 2011

The final deadly social media sales mistake

Got video -- or just excuses?

Julie Hansen

What role does video play in your social media strategy? If your answer is "what video?" or worse, "what strategy?" you are missing out on a huge opportunity to attract and create new business.

The web has a voracious appetite for video right now (nearly two billion people tune into YouTube each day) and as a business owner or salesperson you are wise to take advantage of that fact. There are many benefits to using video. YouTube, the number two search engine currently, is only one of them. Video will typically get you ranked higher on SEO searches than other content and it allows prospects to see more of your personality and determine if you are a right "fit" for their business. So if video is so effective, why aren't more businesspeople using it? Here are some of the excuses I hear. Recognize yourself in any of these?

Four excuses for not doing video:

1. I don't know what to do with a video.

More opportunities are popping up every day. Flickr, which used to be just for photos, now accepts video. Twitter has a number of new tools for sharing video, like Twitvid or Twiddeo. Start a YouTube Channel using your name or the name of your business. Place your video on the home page of your website. Include a link to it in your email signature. Stumped? Here are 42 Ways to Use Video to Market Your Business.

2. I don't know what to say.

The answer to excuse #1 should help you frame your script. If your video is going on your website it could be a welcome message, an overview of your business or an interview with a satisfied customer. If you're sending it out to the Tweetiverse maybe it's a series of tips for users of your product or service. If it's for a busy prospect you'll be lucky to get ahold of before 2015, how about a video of your presentation that he can watch at his convenience? Don't get overwhelmed by thinking you have to cram everything you know in to one video. Videos shouldn't be more than two minutes and sometimes a series of short videos with a few simple, targeted points will make a much stronger impression and get more viewership than longer ones.

3. I'm terrible in front of a camera.

You and everybody else. Few people like the way they look or sound on camera, and why should they? It's like a first-time golfer being disappointed when he doesn't hit a hole in one! Don't expect to be a natural. Very few people are. The first time I saw myself on camera I was shocked. Shocked!! I thought I was smiling. (I wasn't.) I thought I was relaxed. (I looked sleepy.) Appearing "natural" while being compelling and engaging on camera is different than just "being" natural. There are specific on-camera acting techniques that can present you at your best. Do yourself, your business and your audience a favor and invest in professional coaching. It will more than pay off.

4. I can't memorize a script.

Can you memorize three or four sentences at a time? Don't expect to be James Earl Jones and deliver a perfect three-minute monologue without any verbal or nonverbal gaffs. Even actors struggle with this. I can't tell you how many takes it took for me to get my first thirty-second commercial right! When I work with clients we break the script into natural blocks. This allows us to really rehearse each section so they can deliver it at their best before moving on. The sections are then connected by a black screen with attention-grabbing copy so that the transition from section to section is seamless and keeps the viewer engaged.

So before you pick up that flip-phone and start shooting, think about your strategy: Where will it run? What is your message? How will you deliver it at your best? What do you want people to remember about you or your business?

Don't leave your reputation to chance. Be strategic. Use proven actors' tricks to connect, engage and motivate viewers. For more information on how to put together a sales video that makes you look like a pro, go here.
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Julie Hansen helps sales and business executives differentiate their solution and deliver winning presentations by leveraging proven performance skills from film, stage and improv.  The founder of Performance Sales and Training, Julie’s techniques have been adopted by Fortune 500 companies across the globe, including IBM, Oracle, SAP and local Colorado companies to gain a competitive selling edge.  Julie is an international speaker, sales trainer and the author of ACT Like a Sales Pro!  Learn more about workshops and keynotes at  PerformanceSalesandTraining.com, start a sales conversation at Julie@actingforsales.com  or connect with Julie on LinkedIn.

Enjoy this article? Sign up to get ColoradoBiz Exclusives. The opinions expressed in this article are solely that of the author and do not represent ColoradoBiz magazine. Comments on articles will be removed if they include personal attacks.

Readers Respond

Julie, stellar article, I read every word ... slowly. Thanks for the black screen transition idea. That really helps; I always thought for authenticity I needed to not have breaks. By TC North on 2011 06 17
Thanks so much, Mark! The link is working in the article now, but here it is: http://www.reelseo.com/42-ways-online-video-business/ By Julie Hansen on 2011 06 17
Julie- Awesome, as always! Can you give me the link to the 42 Ways? Thanks! By Mark Walker on 2011 06 17
Here is the link for "42 Ways to Use Video to Market Your Business:" http://www.reelseo.com/42-ways-online-video-business/ By Julie Hansen on 2011 06 17

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