More By This Author

Current Issue

Current Issue

Posted: March 23, 2011

So you want to be a YouTube star?

Four reasons business videos fail -- and how to make yours work

Julie Hansen

YouTube is the number two search engine. Video gets a higher SEO ranking than other content. Video allows prospects to see more of your personality and determine if you are a right "fit" for their business. Your competitors are on YouTube. As a business owner or salesperson today, there are many good reasons to create a video and launch it out to the two billion daily viewers on YouTube. There are also a lot of good reasons not to. Make sure you are not guilty of the following before investing time and energy into creating a video presence.

You should NOT be on YouTube if:

1. You are not "camera ready":

The camera is unforgiving. It can show you at your best...and at your worst. Don't assume that because you are good in front of a "live" customer or group that it will translate to video. Speaking to a camera is an unnatural act and in order to appear natural, there are specific techniques you must master. Techniques beyond hitting "play" and "record." YouTube is full of well-meaning professionals awkwardly struggling through their message.

While this unpolished, off-the-cuff style may be appropriate if you're doing a personal video, a spoof or trying to appeal to a young demographic, in the business world, most customers are not impressed by amateur hour. Learning the right techniques for speaking to a camera can showcase your personality and greatly enhance your message without having you come across as staged or phony. As an actor I worked with some great coaches before I was able to communicate naturally and convincingly with a camera staring me in the face. As a businessperson, no one expects this to be your forte. Do yourself-and your business-a favor and get professional assistance.

2. You don't make a fast first impression:

More than two million minutes of video is uploaded on YouTube every day. What is going to make yours stand out? As I wrote in an earlier article, you have seven seconds to make a first impression. Nowhere is a first impression more critical than in video where viewers can turn you off with a click of their mouse the second you lose their attention. Most people take too long to get to the good stuff.

 You need to grab viewers at the outset with compelling content and an engaging, professional delivery. Keep in mind that the average YouTube video is 2.23 minutes in length. I don't know about you, but I rarely watch even the most popular videos in their entirety. Don't wait too long to "warm up" or your audience will be long gone.

3. You're a one-hit wonder:

New content is king. According to data from TubeMogul, the average half-life of a YouTube video is six days. This means that your video gets 50% of its views in the first six days it is on the site. After twenty days, your video has had 75% of its total views. You can't rely on a single video to carry your message indefinitely. Be consistent in your plan and keep the pipeline filled with new content. Ideally you should put out a new video every two to three weeks -- a demanding schedule for most business people. Make it easier on yourself by scheduling a one-day shoot, getting several videos "in the can" and working with a professional to help you create fresh content and make sure you deliver it at your best.

4. Your message isn't unique:

Sure, some of us will watch celebrities or sports figures talk about anything from their favorite food to their shoe size, but the reality for the rest of us mere mortals is this: If you don't have something different to say or a different way of saying it, you're not going to get viewers or business. Think about what makes your message unique. Ask yourself what would compel you to watch a video about your business, product or service. Check out the hot topics in your industry's social networking discussion groups. What can you do to make yourself stand apart?

It's tempting to just "throw something together," but remember video is (almost) forever. One bad video can undo a dozen good ones. Take the time to learn proper techniques so you don't end up just another YouTube casualty.
{pagebreak:Page 1}
New Bio:
Julie Hansen is the author of ACT Like a Sales Pro! A Sales Consultant, Speaker and Professional Actor, Julie helps business owners and salespeople learn how to command the business stage and win more sales by applying proven improv and acting techniques to every step of the sales process, from getting the appointment and presenting to handling objections and closing. Email Julie at or go to: For more sales tips sign up for Julie's blog. *

*Link to my Seven Seconds Sales Test article
**link to my blog:


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, start a sales conversation at  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

Judith: I firmly agree with you about the effectiveness of Toastmasters. I've been a long time member and find it extremely helpful in both presentation development and delivery. As for deleting your presentation, if you post it on YouTube, you can delete it by going into "Your accounts" any time. If someone else posts it on their account or another video site, they must delete it. By Julie Hansen on 2011 03 26
Julie: Thank you so much for the post and the idea. I just attended a meeting last night, Women's Council of Greater Baton Rouge, and the topic was social networking. I am a strong believer in things happen for a reason and following the signposts of life. I will be looking in YouTube and Video to see how many financial advisors are there and planning my approach to a posting. To that end I will call on my daughter and her husband who are very detailed critics of a presentation to assist me. Regarding the idea of getting a message accross in a limited amount of time I would recommend Toast Master's to assist anyone who has would welcome training and or feedback. Tell me once we put it out there can we delete the presentation at a later date and reissue? Regards, Judith By Judith Sinclair on 2011 03 25

Leave a comment

Remember my personal information

Notify me of follow-up comments?

Please enter the word you see in the image below:

ColoradoBiz TV

Loading the player ...

Featured Video