The Most Important Small Business Video Marketing Tip You’ll Ever Receive

by Marcus Sheridan

While speaking at the Hubspot User Group conference last month, a kind lady in the crowd asked me the following question:

“Marcus, what are your thoughts on video? I read all of this stuff that I ‘have to do’ and I feel overwhelmed just getting started.”

My response was blunt:

“The only people screaming that videos have to be perfect are the ones that get paid to make the videos. My point? Just hit record. Get started. Some will always be better than none. As long as you try to get better and better, you’ll be just fine.”

As soon as I stated these words, the kind lady showed a smile of relief. Finally, someone was there to help her realize she didn’t have to be perfect to embrace video marketing.  She needn’t be a videographer. All she had to do was give it a try.

The Amateur vs. Professional Debate

I mention this story because last week I again found myself in a little debate with a video ‘professional’ on Gini Dietrich’s blog Spin Sucks.  If you’d like to read the comments verbatim, feel free to see them here, but the philosophical difference I share with this gentleman and many others about video is this: It’s foolish to expect that average Joe business owners are going to be great and ‘professional’ when they first start video marketing, especially with factors such as budget, learning curve, and equipment playing such a big role. Should the end goal be ‘professional’? In most cases, I’d say yes, but the end goal should not be the standard of a starting point.

Fact is, I’ve talked to thousands of small businesses over the past 3 years regarding the power of video. During this time, I’ve developed a very good ‘feel’ for the main reason business owners and entrepreneurs hold back from simply pushing record—The fear of imperfection.

This is why videographers who bad-mouth any video that’s not ‘professional’ make me want to bang my head against a wall. They’re actually hurting businesses from growing because they’re setting the initial bar way, way too high for the majority of their potential clients.

The Sacred Art that is Video Marketing

When it comes to video marketing, I often wonder what breeds this ‘no amateurs allowed’ paradigm from certain people.

As a comparison, does a blogger have to be a great writer to start blogging?

Does a company have to have a perfect business model before they open the doors?

Does a teacher have to be a great teacher before they set foot in a public school?

Does a parent have to be a great parent before they decide to have their first child?

No.

No.

No.

No.

The fact is I can’t think of a single skill we all just ‘get’ from the beginning.

But for some reason there are those that make video out to be some sacred art that no one is allowed to attempt unless they do everything on the sacred ‘list’.

I call bull on that one, and I’m living proof.

We All Start Clueless

The first video I ever made for my business was in Feb of 2009. I had no idea what I was doing and just knew the next big ‘thing’ was video marketing and YouTube. So I decided to talk about a product in the swimming pool industry called Salt Chlorine Generators.

As for the quality of the video, I’m happy to say it stunk. In fact, to verify my claims, I’m going to show it here. If you want to watch it, fine. If not, I’ll cut to the chase in saying the quality is awful, the content is very average at best, and the lighting  is so bad it makes me look like I’ve been lying at the bottom of a lake for the last 3 days.

YouTube Preview Image

Notwithstanding all of these ‘terrible attributes’, the video is something I’m proud of. It marked the beginning of a very, very important marketing/branding tool for my swimming pool company. Oh, and did I mention it also has 21,000 views, ranks for multiple keywords, and has made thousands of dollars in product sales?

Fail to Launch or Launch to Learn?

There are two types of companies when it comes to video—Those that suffer from a failure to launch and those that choose the opposite approach: launch to learn.

Obviously, I adhere to the latter. In fact, this philosophy has helped me train dozens of other small businesses how to get started with video and YouTube over the past year. My goal in working with them is always simple—let’s get better and better with each one.

The beauty is as companies get better and better with video, they’re also making sales in the process. This is what smart business and marketing is all about, which is why waiting for perfection and ‘super professional’ is a ridiculous business model. Furthermore, here are a few facts:

  1. Windows Movie Maker (and similar editing programs) are intimidating for a large majority of small business owners, and do take time and practice to learn.
  2. The only way for many people to get comfortable being in front of the camera is by….being in front of the camera, a lot.
  3. Viewers don’t expect YouTube videos to be perfect or super professional, especially for a small business that doesn’t have a million dollar advertising budget.

Case in point? As my company has been learning video marketing over these past 3 years, here are our stats:

  • Over 100 videos produced
  • Over 1,000,000 total views
  • Over $1,000,000 in product sales

Amatuer videos? Yep, sure thing, but I’ll take those numbers any day of the week.

There is a Place for ALL Levels of Video

I don’t mention these facts as a green light for businesses to simply produce junk and throw it on YouTube.  There is a time and place for high quality and professional. Anyone who watched my video last week knows I’m a huge proponent of hiring professionals to produce truly professional work, as it clearly has its place in every business.

But in the world we live today, there is a place for amateur video of all levels. 3 years ago I was a video dummy. But with each and every video that has been produced, my company has gotten better and better. We’ve gone from poor amateurs to ‘pretty decent’ amateurs, and in 2012 we’ll be spending another $15,000 on a new camera , equipment, and education with the end goal of becoming ‘great amateurs’.

But again, it all starts somewhere.

So let’s not put the cart before the horse my friends. Video marketing is possible for all of us. In fact, great video is possible for all of us. But please, don’t be afraid to learn. Don’t be afraid to experiment.  If you do, the results just may amaze you.

Now go push record. :-)


Your Turn:

What has been your company’s experience with video and ‘failure to launch’? Do you feel video it has to be perfect or are you a work in progress? And if you are doing video marketing, how long have you been at it? Has the learning curve been difficult and what have been the results? Finally, I’d be curious to know what editing program you use?

As always, the conversation below is your turn to add your thoughts, questions, and comments…and please know that everything you say is valued and appreciated.

Read a ton more of my thoughts on video in my FREE, 230 page eBook, ‘Inbound and Content Marketing Made Easy’. Download Now!

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{ 116 comments… read them below or add one }

Gita Street October 31, 2011 at

I love the video. You did extremely well, Marcus. Thank you for sharing this. It’s actually quite fun to see a pro Video Sales Lion seeming to be just a little guarded in front of the camera. I think some of us will never even get to where you were at the beginning :-)

Great point that we have to start somewhere. Practice and taking baby steps is the way. Expecting perfection at first can just paralyze people before they even get started.

Thank you for reminding me to get started on my long planned videos :-)

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Marcus Sheridan October 31, 2011 at

Hey Gita!! Yep, a guarded lion without a clue….that’s exactly what I was. ;-)

It’s nice to see we all start somewhere, isn’t it? So the question now is when are you going to start dear Gita???? ;-)

Thanks so much for your support,

Marcus

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Gita Street November 1, 2011 at

Hej Marcus,

I’m not going to agree about the “without a clue” part ;-)

I just bought a web cam today, and got started with a few inital tests :-)

Gita

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Marcus Sheridan November 2, 2011 at

SWEET Gita!!! Let me know how it goes!!

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Ryan Hanley October 31, 2011 at

“My goal in working with them is always simple—let’s get better and better with each one.”

This is good advice for Life not just video marketing. How do you get better at cold calling… cold call. How do you get better at golf… golf. How do you get better at video… produce video.

I bet no one that reads this blog is a “professional” golfer (maybe you are a pretty big deal Marcus) but we all are willing to go and hack up the course with prospects and clients… But producing a less than quality video is an issue?

I say swing away… get a decent digital camera and a tripod… Hit play, start talking.

Great stuff Marcus.

Ryan H.

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Marcus Sheridan October 31, 2011 at

It is solid ‘life’ advice, that’s for sure Ryan.

Speaking of golf, maybe when we finally meet we can hack up the course together, then you’ll see just how bad a lion swings a club. ;-)

Really appreciate your support bud. Have a great week.

Marcus

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Jordan J. Caron August 17, 2012 at

Well I’m an ex Professional Golfer Ryan!

Nice to hear you and Marcus play a little bit.

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Steve Roy October 31, 2011 at

Hey Marcus,
Interesting post. I’ve never seen you as nervous as you appeared on this video! You also looked like a convict being interviewed in prison :)

I’ve been hesitant to get into video for a few reasons:
1. I don’t have a video camera :)
2. I hate being on camera
3. I haven’t learned how to do it

All of these are not good enough reasons not to do it and I know it would help my blog and my readers if I added a video componenet.

Today I am going to make it happen though. I’m going to find a camera and get to work on creating my first video.
Thanks for this…

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Marcus Sheridan October 31, 2011 at

Hahahahah Steve, that’s so true man, the convict analogy is perfect, and that’s exactly why I wanted to show this buddy. We all gotta start somewhere ;-)

No go push record buddy!

Marcus

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Jack @ TheJackB October 31, 2011 at

Marcus, the attitude of some people is simply ridiculous. No one expects the owner of your average small business to be an expert at making and producing videos for their websites.

There are some basic things that should be covered just because you can’t get around them. If you have text all of the words should be spelled correctly. The lighting and sound should be better than adequate and the people on camera shouldn’t read their lines or keep saying “um.”

That is a short and incomplete list but there is not much more that is required. This is not supposed to be an academy award performance.

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Marcus Sheridan October 31, 2011 at

We’re certainly on the same page with this one Jack, and I’m glad you stopped by, because the way that guy talked to you at Gini’s house wasn’t too respectful in my opinion.

And yeah, this ain’t the academy awards. This is actually ‘real’. :-)

Cheers bud,

Marcus

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Jack @ TheJackB October 31, 2011 at

It is not a big deal. That guy was a clown- I don’t take him seriously. Keep me posted about Blog World LA.

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John Falchetto October 31, 2011 at

I suggest you buy my How to make awesome videos course for 99$ :)

Video is something which interest me because I have a background in news broadcasting working for APTN. Yes everything can be edited to look just great, but how much is enough?

Seriously if we all waited for a perfect product to do it, not sure where that would leave us. I think the biggest issue is the mindset of overnight success.
A guy like David Siteman from Rise to the top has evolved A LOT in his videos.

I personally shoot on my computer (iMac) or with my iphone when I am out. Then I upload it to my mac and edit it with Screenflow http://www.telestream.net/screen-flow/

I used to spent hours on iMovie, but I found SF to be much easier.

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Marcus Sheridan October 31, 2011 at

Hahaha JF, but if you did have that course brother, I just might be whipping out the CC ;-)

I love that you’re getting into video man, I think it’s right up your ally.

But your point about evolution is key. Siteman is a great example. The dude has come a longggg way. That’s why I posted my first vid. I looked brutal. But that’s the beauty of this thing we all call progress, right? ;-)

Thanks for dropping by brother, hope your week is an awesome one.

Marcus

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Nancy Davis October 31, 2011 at

Hi Marcus,

This week it happens. I will be making my video debut. The thing is, I am very hesitant about being on camera. I feel us women have to be soft and pretty. I am aggressive and loud. I am not nice and pretty like other women and so I worry about being well received.

I am not doing a personal video. I doubt I ever would. I am doing these videos for my new job. I gave them the idea to do videos, and they want me on camera! That was not part of the plan!

I know I have to get over it, but I just feel very self-conscious. Reading that post over on Spin Sucks helped and this helps too. We all have to start somewhere I guess.

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Marcus Sheridan October 31, 2011 at

Nancy, this is wonderful news!!! Seriously, what do you think is going to happen to your value to the company as you’re now producing important video content for them??

That’s right, you become indispensable!! Yee Haww to that I say!

So embrace and run with it girl, I can’t wait to hear all about it. :-)

Marcus

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Cheryl Pickett October 31, 2011 at

Hi Nancy,
Just wanted to pop in and say, don’t worry about soft and pretty. I proudly join you in the ranks of the non-girly girls :-). The key is your uniqueness needs to be matched with those prospects/clients that will appreciate it. They’re your “people” and they’ll like your style. If you try to be something you’re not, not only will people likely sense it, you risk pushing away those who really would “get you” when you’re authentic. If you can get everyone at your company that’s involved with marketing to understand this concept, you’ll have a much easier time producing the videos because you’ll just get to be you sharing something you’re already interested in/passionate about.

BTW, if you want to read blogs by other women who are not apologetic about being called loud/aggressive, I can point you to several.

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Lisa Braithwaite (@LisaBraithwaite) November 7, 2011 at

Add me to the list of the loud and proud! But there’s a difference between aggressive and assertive.

Nancy, I imagine you’re the kind of person who is straightforward, speaks your mind and is clear about what you want, but not an aggressive person who doesn’t care what it takes or who it hurts to get what you want. Two different things!

I embrace my unique qualities as a quirky, vivacious woman with a large personality. This sets me apart from other coaches and speakers. Your unique qualities set you apart, too. Don’t ever feel bad about who you are. You will attract exactly the clients who fit you, just as Cheryl said.

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Marcus Sheridan November 9, 2011 at

…quirky, vivacious woman with a large personality.…….That is AWESOME Lisa!!! Love it lady! :-)

And thanks so very much for stopping by,

Marcus

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Lisa Braithwaite (@LisaBraithwaite) November 9, 2011 at
joe October 31, 2011 at

A saying we use in a group I belong to is “Progress not Perfection”..the only way you progress is to start. Nice video Marcus, glad you brought this back up after you’re professional video..Great video, well done, but you start with Progress and try to work to but never achieve perfection.
Finally that little video I sent you shows how much longer people stick around on your web site with video.

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Marcus Sheridan October 31, 2011 at

Love that saying Joe. :-)

Yeah, I wanted to put this article out there because the branding video post of last week may add to the ‘intimidation factor’ that so many currently have, and for obvious reasons, I want people to truly believe they can do this stuff.

Thanks for the comment bud.

Marcus

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Bob Ault October 31, 2011 at

Wow! $15,000.00. I’ve been looking at a $200.00 camera. Is it a mistake to pay that little? It’s a vary simple device. I don’t want to buy something I don’t know how to use.

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Marcus Sheridan October 31, 2011 at

$200 is likely a perfect start Bob. That’s exactly where I started, so go make the purchase and start playing with it IMMEDIATELY!! :-)

Marcus

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Michael Simpson November 1, 2011 at

Hey Bob you can start cheaper then that. Look at a Kodak Zi8. When Kodak first started making them they were about $160, then they discontinued them and the price dropped to under $70. Now the price is going up due to the demand and scarcity. They are great little cameras, I have three but also have an $4k HD camera. I like the Kodak because it has a mic input. Make sure your audio is good, people will stand for crappy video if they can hear and understand what you are saying. I have several of this mics Audio-Technica ATR-3350 Lavalier Omnidirectional Condenser Microphone, they are under $20 on Amazon. This is a simple push the red button to record and again to stop type of set up. Do your on camera stuff first then look at it and figure out what graphics or pictures you can use to edit in over the video portion of your video to give some dynamic movement to what they are watching… you can do this!

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Bob Ault November 1, 2011 at

Thanks Michael, I’ll look at the Kodak Zi8.

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Marcus Sheridan November 2, 2011 at

Ahhh, now that’s what a community is all about ;-)

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Marcus Sheridan November 2, 2011 at

Great help there Michael!!!!

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Mark Mathson October 31, 2011 at

Great thoughts on video marketing Marcus. For the average person it is very intimidating to think about ‘just hitting record’, but you are right. Just doing it is so important.

I had to chuckle at your list of questions and answers, there really isn’t many things we just “get” before we do it. Only one that quickly comes to mind right now is breathing, and that is just built in. Video marketing, heck most marketing and promotion for businesses isn’t built-in, like anything worth while it takes a little time and energy to learn, but you have to do it (i.e. hit record) to get there.

Keep us on our toes!

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Jk Allen October 31, 2011 at

Marcus,

I got a chance to check out the conversation you had with the video professional. And, as he’s professional I can see where he’s coming from. But I think you made a great point by mentioning that the more businesses that take on video, the more the video production business grows.

I haven’t done any video yet, but I will be. I don’t think that videos have to be high quality depending on what purpose they serve. I work with Google in my day job and they have all kinds low quality videos for their partners to view. Why? Because they can produce them quickly and they serve their purpose. HOWEVER, when they need to create the professional videos – of course they have the resources and staff to make that happen. They don’t always take that route because of the agility of non professional videos.

Hope you had a good weekend my friend.

PEACE

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Brankica October 31, 2011 at

Hey Marcus, you are so right about everything you wrote here. I am still not getting over the “put my face on video” but I am still a step ahead compared to a year ago when I would not make any videos because I was embarrassed of my accent, but now I make tutorials any time I need a video to explain it better. Are they perfect? No. Are they doing the job? Yes.

There are so many things we could be doing that we are scared to do and once you start, you think “Why the heck didn’t I do this earlier”. I am over my problem of putting my face on video, now I just can’t do it cause I can’t be serious and I just laugh. So I will probably have to take some tranquilizers to actually make one where I talk, lol.

But one step at the time is always better than taking none. Thanks for an awesome post!

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Ameena Falchetto October 31, 2011 at

I have to hit record. One day I will. I know, i know, one day isn’t a day of the week. Urgh.

I want to but I’m scared, I could and maybe I should but … I HATE my voice recorded.

Thanks for the push … let’s see if I can make that one day come sooner rather than later :)

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Beth November 1, 2011 at

Ameena! I faced my fears of video recording partially after reading your Eye of the Tiger! Go by my website and watch my vblog on Looking Fear in the Face! I hated every moment of it but I did it!! You can do it, too, I know you can!

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Mark Kilens October 31, 2011 at

Hey Marcus!

We just had a HubSpot customer create a two-part blog article on how to create video blog articles. Her name is Aimee Gromowsky from Truman Tickets. She walks you through what to do from start to finish.

Here are the two links:

http://camp.hubspot.com/blog/bid/44809/How-to-Create-a-Video-Blog-Article-Part-1

http://camp.hubspot.com/blog/bid/45530/How-to-Create-a-Video-Blog-Article-Part-2

All the best!

Mark

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paul wolfe October 31, 2011 at

Marcus

You are right right right RIGHT RIGHT RIGHT RIGHT. Did I mention you were right yet?

I’ve got similar results….since Nov 2nd 2008 I’ve uploaded 155 videos (that are public) and had 1.7 million views. Can’t give you a direct correlation in product sales – but my bass website is going to break 6 figures this year. (Given that my expenses are my time, my webhosting and my Awebber account – the profit percentage is pretty high).

Here’s why I think most people find video overwhelming:

1) The technology of the camera (how do you set it up, how do you take a good shot, etc).
2) The technology of lighting. (How many lights do you have – how do you position them,
3) The technology of audio – (audio btw is more important than the video IMO – great video with crappy audio and you’re toast….average video with great audio and you’re good to go. Blair Witch Project – need I say more?)
3) The technology interface between camera and computer – how do you get the files onto your computer?
4) The technology of editing – what software do you use….the learning curve of that software.
5) The technology of outputting – what is the best render size? What is the best video format – is it .AVI or .MP4….what frames per second rate do I use…etc

That’s just the beginning. We’ve not thought about staging, backdrops, props, or the ACTUAL CONTENT that you want to put in the videos.

And then when you have a finished video what do you do with it? Most people just throw them up on YouTube. And that kind of works – but there’s SOOOOOOO much more you can do.

For anyone now feeling thoroughly overwhelmed here’s a 20 Day plan to start getting you used to video. Will take about an hour a day – at the end of this 20 hours you won’t be a pro, but you’ll be much more familiar with video.

1) Make a list of 20 topics you are passionate about. This could be a sports team. A pet. A book. A film. A style of cooking. Whatever.
2) Day 1 – take your first topic and bullet point out what you would say on this topic. Tape the bullet point list (so BIG letters) to your tripod.
3) Set camera up. Position yourself in front of it. Press Record. And speak for 3 to 5 minutes on that topic.
4) Import footage to your camera.
5) Edit footage to ‘finished’ video – this might be just trimming the front and back and adding a still at the start and end.
6) Render video.
7) Now load the video to your YouTube channel – if you don’t have one, create one. MAKE THE VIDEOS either PRIVATE or UNLISTED. This means NO-ONE will be able to see them without your consent.
8) Days 2 – 20: Repeat steps 2 to 7 with your other topics.

I lied above – depending on your proficiency Day 1 might take you 3 or 4 hours. But I guarantee that by Day 20 you’ll be doing it in an hour or so.

NOW you’re ready to create some for your business.

And as you start making your videos for your audience also commit to improving just ONE thing every time. So research and make the lighting better. Or buy a better backdrop. Or ‘brand’ yourself with the colours you wear. If you’re a lady there are things you can do with make up to make your eyes look bigger and brighter. Or buy a better mic and make the audio better.

Commit to keep learning. And keep posting regular videos. In a short space of time you’ll be wayyyyyyyy ahead of 95% of your competition because they are too lazy to do this.

Hope that helps some folk….

Paul

And PS – if you want to see my first video and chuckle, then go here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9M11lBF3KM

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Ryan Hanley October 31, 2011 at

Paul,

Great comment… if it can even be considered that since it’s probably 1,000 and full of much more than Way To Go Marcus… (way to go btw marcus)… I just read the first module of your eBook. Excellent stuff. I’m happy to connect with you on here and look forward to reading more of The Spoon.

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Jk Allen October 31, 2011 at

Dang Paul – that was one heck of a breakdown. Thanks!

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Craig McBreen November 1, 2011 at

Paul,

This is incredible, thanks!

Just printed this out. You and Marcus gave me a kick in the pants today ;)

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paul wolfe October 31, 2011 at

Me again.

I just went over and checked out Gini’s post and your discussion with Dan Perez. Most of what he says I agree with. But it’s easy when you can ‘do it’ to assume everyone can do it to the same level.

I’m currently moderating a challenge in a private forum to get more folk doing video – the challenge is to do a video a week for 10 weeks. My biggest tip for people has been this: get to a base level of competency and then draw a line in the sand and move forwards and upwards. Over time your videos will get better.

As I said above, most people will never invest the time to do that. And they’ll either have to pay video professionals to shoot, edit and upload (and for anyone looking for a business idea combining the area where they live with the internet….take that and run with it, in about 2 years when those companies that haven’t embraced business realize they HAVE to, you’ll be printing your own money)…or just forego video altogether. In a couple of years the majority of companies doing that will be companies going out of business.

Ok, hijack over. Going out to consult with one of my clients in the local Pub.

Paul

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Chris Johnson October 31, 2011 at

Listen, you have to be careful here. You have to have reverence for your message, and throwing up any old content “just to be done,” was something I tried.

And failed.

Again and again.

When I became reverent, fewer messages, Simplifilm became the business that it is. I wont’ throw out numbers, but it’ll be obvious soon enough.

You can’t be indifferent to quality. You have to ship, but it’s more important that things are GREAT than that they are done tomorrow.

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John Falchetto November 1, 2011 at

Hi Chris,

I think Marcus’s point is that we all start somewhere and when we start, whatever it is we do, it’s always crap.
Nobody starts with perfection and in many cases aiming for perfection at the beginning is a serious non-starter. You get into paralysis by analysis, and aiming for

I always reference Picasso because he was the most prolific and the most wealthy painter of all times. He painted everyday, most of his work was un-remarkable but to get to the really great stuff you need to produce a LOT of junk. There are no shortcuts.

Quality will come but nobody starts out with quality and greatness takes time. Waiting for greatness isn’t a solution. You need to ship.

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Pam October 31, 2011 at

I like video marketing. But since I’m not english speaking person. I outsource my video, and sometime when my budget is tight, I buy video gigs at fiver.

Good post, useful tips for my video marketing campaign.

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Tom October 31, 2011 at

Hey Marcus,
I agree 100%. You have to start somewhere and how else can you improve beside doing it. Practice makes perfect, right?
I have considered video blogging for a while. I have actually tried a couple in the field. They were raw, shakey and amateur as it gets. But they are a great way to get a point across quickly and show a very true side. I actually think raw and shakey suits my industry. I hope I can get past the intimidation factor and start video blogging. I like the “now go push record”.

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Robert Dempsey November 1, 2011 at

Video doesn’t have to be perfect at all. In fact if you’re trying to make a personal connection with your ideal customer having a heavily produced video isn’t always going to do the trick. Sometimes it can work against you.

The key I’ve found with video is to know what you’re going to talk about and keep them relatively short. As you know Marcus I’m never at a loss for words but keeping it concise (different than short) is important. Also if you can make it entertaining it’s extra bonus points.

I’ve had great success with videos of me talking into my webcam or recording Skype video interviews. I put those into ScreenFlow (on my Mac) add some background music (keep it soft), some lower thirds (those name things in the bottom that appear/disappear) and render that sucker. Works like a charm.

I’ve done the HD camera + mic + editing + too much freaking time to do it all type shows and while they did great if it isn’t your job I’d say don’t worry about it.

The biggest fear I see people have is looking stupid on camera. As long as you know what you’re talking about you’re good to go. After that it’s a matter of practice.

Thankfully it’s all digital and hard drive space is cheap, so do a few takes.

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Jayme Soulati November 1, 2011 at

I love this post, and here’s why…I hate myself on camera…my usually round face, just gets rounder, and I swear after 4 videos, the latest yesterday, I don’t know where to look on that dang iPad2 camera!!! Hilarious.

I’m 100% in your camp about “just hit record.” I liken this to speaking a language. I speak two besides English conversationally, yet I want to speak French in the airport, too. I can’t, but the analogy here is “just speak already.” Some (the French) will have zero tolerance for lack of perfection IMHO and others, the Germans, will indulge my college-major Deutsch and then speak English after I’m all done.

Ramble? Yes! But, perhaps we can take your encouragement into other areas of our lives, too; because, it certainly applies.

I don’t have lighting or a mic. I use books to prop the camera higher (Gini uses her upside-down garbage can!), and I’m stumbling along each time. But, each time I earn a bit more confidence to put myself out there for all the world to see. It’s difficult; believe it or not (especially when you read my written posts!).

So, Marcus, this post is perfect. Encouraging, helpful, trial by fire tips, and bare yourself. Good.

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Marcus Sheridan November 1, 2011 at

You’re so sweet and funny Jayme, you really make me smile. :-)

But I so love what you say about how this principle really does apply to every aspect of our life. ‘Launching’ and ‘Shipping’ is something we can all do a little more of, and video is just one example of thousands.

Props to you Jayme for being so courageous in your approach to life. Keep smiling with that big smile lady. :-)

Marcus

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Josh Sarz November 1, 2011 at

Very inspiring piece of information Marcus. One of the reasons why I haven’t started making videos yet is because I’m quite shy when it comes down to it. I need to get over it ASAP, I know.

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Marcus Sheridan November 1, 2011 at

Hey Josh, so glad you shared this man. Yes, this is something you’ll need to get over. I’m not going to lie. But, if you’ll just start with the most simple of steps, I can assure you that amazing things can happen, and then the person you were will no longer be the person you’ve become.

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Dan Perez November 1, 2011 at

Mr. Sheridan,
I don’t know how you deduced being “perfect” from the simple and basic video tips I shared on Gini’s blog post. They were just a foundation to get started and only required a camera and a cheap tripod.
“It’s foolish to expect that average Joe business owners are going to be great and ‘professional’ when they first start video marketing”. What’s really foolish is to misunderstand one’s comments. Even more foolish is not to try to make your video as good as it can be – even your first one.
Some people are happy with mediocrity. Those that aren’t will first learn some basic tips and then get started and work each time to make their videos better.
Nuff said.

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Marcus Sheridan November 1, 2011 at

What’s funny Dan is the fact that you and I both essentially believe in the same thing– strive for excellence in any form of communication.

Where we differ is one approach is humble, the other is haughty.

If you watched my most recent video, you would know I believe in excellence, but I’m also a realist, a teacher, and a supporter of those persons who are not up to your ‘level’. Nor do I strive to make others feel inferior.

Also, if you read the comments on this post, you will see just how many people have been touched by these simple words to take action. Once these people catch the vision of the power of video, one day they might even hire a professional like yourself to do something truly great.

You’re a talented guy Dan. I’ve seen your work. It’s a shame that your air isn’t less college professor and more kindergarten teacher—looking to help hopeful students dealing with fear and uncertainty.

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Dan Perez November 1, 2011 at

Mr. Sheridan,
I did find it rather funny that ultimately we are sort of saying the same things. Why you decided to use comments I made on another post about producing the best video you can and use it as a rallying cry for this post does puzzle me, however.
It’s not about humble or haughty – it’s about producing a video (or a blog post or a painting or a film, etc) as best you can with what you have, whether it’s your 1st time or 100th time. I like to think those people that invest their time watching one of my videos or reading one of my blog posts deserve my best efforts. Certainly that does not seem to be the majority opinion in this social media world where quality is eschewed in favor of SEO, but that’s a whole different conversation.
Moreover, how you discerned from my comments that I was implying that people have to be at my “level” to produce a quality video also puzzles me.
In short, I think we’re saying the same things differently, yes? No?

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Marcus Sheridan November 2, 2011 at

I would certainly lean more towards the ‘yes’ in that one Dan ;-)

Be well sir,

Marcus

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Roger November 1, 2011 at

You know I was sitting here eyeballing the video camera on my desk when I opened my email and read your post. That’s a little creepy bro. But point taken. I am setting up the tripod now :)

Time for a little Twitter love, hehe~

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Marcus Sheridan November 1, 2011 at

Now those are the type of comments I long for Roger…..ACTION baby!!! :-)

Be well brother,

Marcus

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John Sherry November 1, 2011 at

Just about to begin loading up my YouTube channel Marcus in the weeks ahead and I’m with you all the way on this. We’re not professional studios but we are professionals who know our subject and the world wants information, data, help, advice, direction etc so we offer our skills, expertise, inside tips, and support to match that. What the world wants is clear, distinct, helpful messages not barnstorming vidoes full of great graphics but not much else. I’m no Spielberg but he’s no me either. We’re all good at something so go share that good out there because someone somewhere needs what you know. Don’t tell them, then they can’t find you.

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Marcus Sheridan November 2, 2011 at

I’m no Spielberg but he’s no me either

Maybe the best line of the entire bunch John! You’ve certainly got the right perspective my friend!

Marcus

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Bob Ault November 1, 2011 at

There’s a lot of helpful information here, but first I have to read the instructions and find out where the “ON” button is.

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Kelly Kaelin November 1, 2011 at

Hi Marcus -

I’ve been lurking for awhile and now must say something. I am a media professional. And I’m jealous of you guys because my videos must look professional. I can’t get away with the little (and endearing) imperfections. Use this and revel in it!

Now while I’ve been lurking, reading and learning about how to use social media, one thing keeps coming out: be authentic; be yourself. Communication is the key. It’s the same with video and maybe even more so since we can see you. When I produce, I try to get the person to talk to me like we’re having coffee at a coffee shop. Think about meeting a friend and talking to them (instead of the camera) – that warmth comes through on video.

And if you don’t like your first “take,” re-do it. It’s not a one try thing. I would think you would have several takes on your videos. It helps to see yourself and have a chance to correct that weird facial expression or distracting hand gesture. Or maybe you don’t like the way you say “pah-tah-toe.” You might also get someone whose opinion you trust to look at the video before you post it. This should be the type of friend that would tell you that there is spinach in your teeth. One hint: don’t erase your earlier takes until you’ve got the take you want posted on the web (or at least in the computer).

With all the technological capabilities of cameras and editing softwares, I say get out there and do it. Basic camera and editing skills are quickly becoming commodities and more easily learned. Video is cool and it is very fun to create something and then see it posted on-line. Don’t deprive yourself of this.

And don’t let the “professionals” tell you that you can’t.

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Marcus Sheridan November 2, 2011 at

And don’t let the “professionals” tell you that you can’t.….YeeeeeHawwww to that one Kelly! Love your perspective.

And boy did you have some great tips here that anyone could do!

Thanks so much for adding to the conversation,

Marcus

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Craig McBreen November 1, 2011 at

Marcus,

This is a great post. Thank you. More inspiration.

Amazing comments too. I’ll be coming back to this one!

By the way, did you know Paul Wolfe wrote a blog post within your blog post? :) ;)
Nice stuff, Paul!

You keep writing about video and I’m getting more interested in actually doing this. I guess I need to stop talking and just do! Before I do though I need something to talk about ;) So, note to self: start on a video plan and get over the fear, just do the darned thing.

Your posts are simply great to read, but now I’m really taking time to read through your comments. Lately I’ve been going to school just reading through them. You sure know how to get the conversation started.

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Marcus Sheridan November 2, 2011 at

I’m not sure if I know how to start a conversation Craig or if I just hang around really intelligent people. ;-)

Here is the thing bud—If you’ve written about it you can record it. Really, it’s that simple. I’ve never seen a blog post that couldn’t be done on video. So don’t look at them as separate. Really, content is content.

Now get recording before I have to come out there and kick your ….. ;-)

Marcus

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Craig McBreen November 2, 2011 at

Al Smith and I spoke about this today. I think you are motivating the both of us.

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john cecil November 1, 2011 at

Your missing half of the equation – video delivery is just as important as production ( UGC or professionally produced). Companies use YouTube but not for the delivering videos on their site

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Cheryl Pickett November 1, 2011 at

This conversation is not unlike what’s been going on in the world of publishing. It used to be that only a few educated people could write well and author books, most of the masses had only a minimal education. Later, there were lots and lots of publishers to help those who had the ability and something to say, but no resources or knowledge in printing, distribution and delivery.

Catch up to the last four or five years and there is now little need for publishers in many cases, because now there is easy access to layout, print and many outlets for sales and distribution.

In both cases though, there’s still a need for a professional level of both services. Just like there is a place for self published work, whether in a blog, ebook or print book, if you want a lot of help, color or hardcover, a traditional publisher might be needed.

With video, there’s a place for a good effort by those who are not pro-video producers but who have something to share. There is also a place for higher production values and the extra skills a professional videographer can provide.

A big key, as with most other marketing tools, is to figure out which one to use and when.

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Marcus Sheridan November 2, 2011 at

LOVE your comparison with the publishing industry Cheryl!! Yes, how true.

You seem to have the perfect perspective here as well—-there is a time and place for everything, all standards of video. ‘Super professional’ will never lose its importance, but amateur also has a major place in today’s world.

Thanks for being awesome Cheryl!

Marcus

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Owen Blevins November 1, 2011 at

Marcus,

As you know I’ve been at my videos for about 1 and a half years and about 70 plus videos to date. If you go back to my first one, you’ll see how far I have come, I’m much more comfortable w/myself on camera now. I’m not scripted and I think that’s very important. Using a decent HD Sony w/interchangeable lenses and high quality wireless mikes. Sound is more important than video quality IMO BIG TIME! Using Final Cut Pro for Mac. Always have my gear w/me. Studio w/green screen/Chroma-key, lights. Total invested, about $10K so far. I own my industry on LinkedIn, YT, Google, etc. Hard but rewarding work. Bottom line I don’t know where I’d be w/o video in my business…

Rock on…

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Marcus Sheridan November 2, 2011 at

Owen my friend, you are living, breathing proof of someone who started from nothing and now has become a video mac-daddy!! And I so appreciate you for it.

Furthermore, when I was speaking of eduction in this piece, I was actually referring to Jason coming to see you soon.

Can’t thank you enough man for your example and kindness.

Marcus

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Beth November 1, 2011 at

I think this is true in so many areas Marcus! I tend to have perfectionism syndrome! It’s gotta be perfect or I just don’t even try! However, I am learning the difference between doing something in excellence which stems from a heart attitude, and doing something perfect which doesn’t exist!

I look at it like this, whatever I mess up on in the beginning, God’s gonna double in the in end just because I persevered and didn’t give up! :)

I posted today about my daughter’s challenges, as she has a developmental disability. If she only did things that she was good at, she’d never even begin… but it is through the failures that she becomes better! I tell her all the time, don’t be afraid to fail, make mistakes, or just simply blow it… those are the areas we learn the most from!

Imperfections, mistakes, and simple beginnings aren’t bad things, they’re just some of the tools God uses to make us better!

Good on ya!
Beth

Have a great week!

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Marcus Sheridan November 2, 2011 at

I look at it like this, whatever I mess up on in the beginning, God’s gonna double in the in end just because I persevered and didn’t give up!

You’re the coolest ever Beth! ;-)

So great to see you,

Marcus

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Amber-Lee Dibble November 1, 2011 at

Ugh.
Marcus.
Ugh.
I’m going to have to do this, I just know it! I’ve watched so many of these videos since starting online with HubSpot in January. I just FREEZE each time I think, ok, today, I’ll make one.
What?! How should I start? Ask me a question, anybody, ask me one question, and I’ll make a video answering it- TODAY! (Well, when I get the question!)
Dude, you rock. Seriously…this is scary stuff!
~Amber-Lee

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Marcus Sheridan November 2, 2011 at

Thanks Amber :-) Just remember, if you’ve ever ‘written’ about something, it’s worth showing/saying the same thing via video.

Just do it girl !

Marcus

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Adam November 1, 2011 at

The problem with your community Marcus is it is too good. Seriously. If you don’t get here early, everything’s been said! Suffice it to say, this was a really strong post, and one I am bookmarking for the future. It is a great reminder of how powerful video can be and a kick in the pants to “just do it.”

My takeaway is that I am setting a time goal to post my first video before I get up from the computer. Thanks for the inspiration!

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Marcus Sheridan November 2, 2011 at

Hahaha, how right you are Adam! Just do it baby! :-)

Thanks for dropping by brother,

Marcus

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Universal Web Design November 1, 2011 at

Good video!

I must admit, that is a great point video is for everyone, as long as the content is good quality and the video is concise people will engage.

Good point made

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Walter Pollard November 1, 2011 at

Marcus- Like anything practice makes perfect. Love your analogy of being at the bottom of the lake for three days.

For many people, having the camera in their face is like public speaking. A great deal of fear.

I tell people all the time, practice in front of the camera without recording. You quickly get used to the camera in your face and the lights shining in your eyes. Over a short period of time ones comfort level increases.

Regarding editing software we use Adobe Premiere.

Would be interested in hearing what camera your purchasing? I”m always interested in the technology.

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Allan November 1, 2011 at

Well written Marcus,

One of the reasons I think people struggle with video is that it provides immediate feedback. You record yourself and then watch yourself straight away and many people feel self conscious when they see what the look and sound like. But we’re our own worst critics.

I think one of the best reasons to use video is to help people connect with you. When you do a video they can see and hear you – it’s so different to reading an article. When I watch a video I don’t expect fantastic quality (especially if it’s on You Tube).

Personally, I shoot my videos on a camera with a tripod and edit the footage in Sony Vegas. I don’t do a lot of editing, but will crop the start and finish, cut out the bits where I ramble on too much, and sometimes add some screenshots or photos. It’s simple to use, and makes the videos look a bit better than some of the other videos they’re competing with.

I think the best advice is to get out and do it. Shoot a video once a week for 3-5 minutes, post it to You Tube and look for ways to do it better.

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paul lopez @ cloud hosting November 2, 2011 at

I do agree that the way of video marketing is to support small business and provide long-term significant opportunity to increase sales revenue as well as brand promotion of products and I do hope that the video marketing for a small business will help to achieve success in the long term.

As such, features can tip a small trend into a huge trend, and the influence of a new attractive videos can make a big difference if they have the necessary qualities.

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Tony Elam November 2, 2011 at

Hey Marcus this is my first time actually making it over to your site. I have talked to you some on twitter. I am really impressed by your community over here, and I will be checking in more often. You really crank out some great content.

I’ve been doing video episodes, and I have done a handful of YouTube videos so far. The one thing I have noticed personally is I FEEL like I am being low key when I am recording, and that’s my personality. When I watch the videos back it seems like I am boring, and flat. I think you have to enhance your efforts, or bring them down somewhat (depending on personality) when recording, and speaking to get your personality across. What do you think? I could just be boring! lol

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Marcus Sheridan November 4, 2011 at

First of all Tony, thank you so much for joining the community and the conversation. That simply means the world to me, and I’m grateful.

As for the ‘excitement in video’, I think there is one cure for that—SMILE.

Seriously, no jumping jacks required, just smile. A lot.

One thing I’ve really improved on over the years doing video is understanding how smiling carries the day, sets the mood, and is all the ‘passion’ a viewer needs.

Good luck my friend!!!

Marcus

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Ilana Rabinowitz November 3, 2011 at

I agree about getting those videos out there as a priority over having great production or “acting” values. There is a certain level of quality you may want to achieve but too high a level and it looks too sleek, like an add.

I’ve found that for the company where work, beyond excellent SEO, we sell a product that helps to demonstrate (yarn for knitting). Our customers tend to be more visual and a video is often worth much more than a thousand words when trying to explain how colors work together or how you need to move your needle in a circular motion to create a stitch.

When I hear that people are afraid to post videos for all sorts of reasons, I think of Seth Godin who talks about how we are afraid to go public with our work and that we should “just publish.” We have the power and tools in our hands to make movies. People should wait until they’re at the level you imagine you have to be to make it public (you proved that!) and just get it out there, learn, improve and see the sales in spite of yourself!

(by the way, the company is LION Brand)

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Marcus Sheridan November 4, 2011 at

Hahahaha Llana, you won my heart with the Lion comment! :-)

But I love your outlook and passion for this. So very true, especially with visual products, video can make a HUGE difference.

Continued success!

Marcus

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Tom Ewer November 3, 2011 at

Hey Marcus,

That video – were you okay man?! You seem…depressed! Not the lively Marcus I know from your awesome (more recent) videos.

How would you say that you’ve come along in terms of confidence in front of the camera from then until now?

Totally agree with you sentiments by the way. I will be getting into video soon, and know that every aspect of it will probably be rubbish – but there is only one way that will improve!

Cheers,

Tom

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Marcus Sheridan November 4, 2011 at

I’m so glad you noticed that Tom! You see, when I made this video I was only thinking about one thing—”I hope I don’t screw this up.”

But today, when I record, it’s literally like the camera isn’t there. Instead, I imagine myself talking to a real person, and by so doing, I’m utterly relaxed and don’t worry about ‘messing up’.

Great question my man!

Marcus

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paul lopez @ Web hosting knowledgebase November 3, 2011 at

One question I would like to ask. Along with video marketing advantages; I have been heard a lot of positive feedback about podcast marketing. Do you think it is still beneficial to promote brand name of business or it is outdated now?

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Marcus Sheridan November 4, 2011 at

No question Paul, podcasting has its place. Many folks love podcasts as their prime source of information. Notwithstanding, the percentages simply are nearly as large as others. Personally, I’d love to start a podcast here on TSL.

Thanks so much for stopping by man and have a great weekend!!

Marcus

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Jeff Molander November 3, 2011 at

Hey, Marcus…
I have a tip too: Put a call to action in your video. What about that part, buddy? Hey, I think your words are all great here, good advice. But nowhere did you mention the most important elements of your video: To earn a response from viewers. Isn’t that our job as sales and marketing people? Isn’t that our main responsibility?

Case in point: Joel Comm won’t get any of my money here. Very slick, good production values (above average but still not overly expensive). But completely lacking provocation. I’m not tempted at all to buy his book. I’m too busy being amused (in a way that spoofs… which isn’t very compelling either).
http://www.blazingtrailers.com/show/1246/

Compare it to Janine Driver and Crown Publishing’s low budget but highly effective video.
http://vimeo.com/9938652

Dude, I’m just sayin’ :)

Again, you’re living proof that jumping in the pool (har, har) and learning, then improving, works. But I think it takes more and I know you know what it takes :)

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Marcus Sheridan November 4, 2011 at

No question Jeff, that’s a great point, and I love your comparison. This post was a calling cry to all those persons who have yet to even push record….much less think about the all-important call-to-action.

But yeah, a million views and no action equals one thing….nothing. :-)

Thanks for all brother,

Marcus

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Samuel Joshua November 4, 2011 at

Hey Marcus,
I really admire and appreciate your firm and well fabricated thoughts,everything has to be start from somewhere,without entering into the mud no one can grab that Lotus.The people who are screaming out there about perfections,they only want to stop beginners from taking there first step,because perfectionists are selling those services and they want amateurs to ask for there services.I have liked your video very much and it is not looking that much amateur by the way.I reckon that there are so many small business owners out there which have the same feeling of overwhelmed like that kind lady whose question you have answered.And i admit that i am the one from them.I get hesitate to make a video,i start to fumble when i hit the record button.But you have inspired me a lot and now i am preparing myself for the task.Oh yes i have one thing more to tell you Marcus,i am learning about the AFTER EFFECT(editing software),it is a good editing software with lots of features and now when i make my first video i will use this editing software.And i came back to show you my amateur work,i need your blessings Marcus :-)

Thank you for motivating us with your great and valuable views.

Good Luck and God Bless!!
With Regards!
Samuel Joshua

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Marcus Sheridan November 4, 2011 at

Awesome Samuel!! Way to push yourself and fight through the discomfort. Proud of you man!!

Best,

Marcus

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tanya November 4, 2011 at

Hey Marcus, thanks for your encouragement. I still haven’t manned up to show my face in videos (yet) but I did make the first step – just did a voice over my company’s video tutorials in a language that is not my native. Drank some coffee, sat down and pressed the record button – the first recording was pretty bad but a few recordings later it got incredibly better.

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Marcus Sheridan November 4, 2011 at

Drank some coffee, sat down and pressed the record button – the first recording was pretty bad but a few recordings later it got incredibly better.….That is SO AWESOME Tanya!! Yay!!!! You’ve made my whole week with this comment :-)

Keep it up girl and have a great weekend!!

Marcus

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Steve Murphey November 5, 2011 at

Marcus…your video on Salt Generators has changed the way I feel about owning a pool. Thank you!

It’s easy to get caught up in quest for perfection, I even got caught myself. Last year I bought a Kodak Zi8, external mic, some lights, backdrops etc for a video series on business/entrepreneurship. The videos were really good, sound was great and they were in HD.. It was WAY too much of a hassle and I stopped doing it after about 12 episodes.

I recently learned how Andrew Warner at Mixergy does interviews (over Skype) and his editing process. He doesn’t have “perfect” videos, but his content and guests are so great that it doesn’t even matter. He records the interview and then it takes him about 10 minutes to edit. Makes it so easy to keep cranking out fantastic content week after week.

Like you said…just hit record.

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Marcus Sheridan November 6, 2011 at

Wow Steve, what a great example man of how too much ‘stuff’ can actual impede one’s work and progress.

Love your dedication to this stuff man and appreciate your comment here,

Marcus

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Davina K. Brewer November 8, 2011 at

Meant to comment sooner Marcus, finally getting around to it. I think Paul and Dan have good advice, and I know that no one is really arguing for ‘perfection’ .. it’s all about doing something already, right?! Some good examples from other industries abound but the point I’ll now run with is Kelly’s and the Cobbler’s Shoes Syndrome.

If you ‘sell’ blogging, shouldn’t you have a good one? If you’re a writing pro, shouldn’t your work be well-written, free of typos and gramatical errors? If you are in a high tech or luxury industry – even as a small business – shouldn’t your marketing reflect that? Taking the time to script a vid, edit out a flub or poorly phrased word is part of it, even for a first timer. Of course there is no ‘perfect’ and we shouldn’t let the fear of that hold us back (like Jayme, I fear the closeup on my red, round face and nervous, fast-talking voice) but at the same time, we can’t use that as an excuse to throw up just anything.

I realize you are NOT in support of throwing up crap, really empowering people to do this right and of course, we can’t always afford the ‘professional’ fees. But at the same time – and as one who’s job it is to put a ‘professional face’ on things (branding, writing, design, etc.) – there are times the lack of professional effort shows and it can do more harm than good. FWIW I am agreeing w/ you, and hope small businesses take your advice to heart, choose to invest money and time into making videos that help them grow.

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Marcus Sheridan November 9, 2011 at

Love and appreciate your perspective Davina, I really do. Yes, depending on the video and the company, crappy work can reflect poorly on a business. What’s funny though, especially when it comes to social media, is that poor quality videos can way out perform poorly written/produced videos. Sometimes when I see these $500k productions I’m left who the heck is the ad agency in charge and how they possibly have a job.

Anyway, thanks so much for stopping by Davina!!

Marcus

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Davina K. Brewer November 9, 2011 at

Seen it too, money spent on junk, big budget wasted where it wasn’t going to do much good, or on overpriced projects that could have been done at half the price. I also shake my head, wonder how some people get sold on hype, flash yet other folks (like me! :-)) struggle when we’re suggesting actual value, substance, style. FWIW.

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Bojan November 25, 2011 at

That video was awful, I am sure you are doing better than that now…

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Bojan November 25, 2011 at

But I am following you, it takes a lot of guts to sit in front of camera and talk, I was shaking the first time…

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billydelaney November 26, 2011 at

Hello Marcus.
Having read and gotten the flow of the conversation here, I’d like to add a suggestion.
The library!
For free a few books can dispel so much of the feelings people have about video. Mostly the comments are about how you or I feel about the matter.
The actual production of the content can be something altogether different.
Competency is what this seems to be about, and that comes from educated practice.
Example:
Riding a bike, if you want to learn how you keep at. Then when you can you keep at it until you don’t need to hold the handle bars, you can take your feet off the pedals and so on.
I have been new to all things interent. Just 10months and counting.
My thoughts are that some research into the matter will always dispel some of the lack we all have in any subject. Then some practice will shape the understanding of the fundamentals that need to be learned. Then some proficiency will increase proficiency.
I being new, have paused to take stock of these wonderful tools.
Blogs, video, audio, Twitter and such like; and the outcome for me is that soon I will come into these arenas with the above elements under my belt.
So, while I do agree that you have to start, I respectfully decline to start in such a full on way. It’s me and my way and that’s O.K. too isn’t it?
Thanks for a post that shows the normal process we all face and some valuable tips on how to face those techi’ monsters.
Billy

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hypnodude December 3, 2011 at

Surely videos are great marketing tools, and it’s true that if a picture is worth a thousand words a video is worth even more. Actually I haven’t produced any also because I write in English while it’s not my first language and a video would be good only for fun. Which could be good anyway. I probably have to think a bit more about it.
Anyway, as a customer I usually skip every video and look if there is a pdf transcript somewhere. Part of this is because I prefer to read and part because most of the videos on the net are too big for my wireless internet connection, and YouTube is heavy for the same reason. I think some producers misunderstand the fact that many people prefer quick information either in the form of pdf files or videos, sometimes it’s because of personal preferences, sometimes for technical difficulties.

This obviously has nothing to do with the fact that you’re perfectly correct and videos are a hit. Great post. :)

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Marcus Sheridan December 3, 2011 at

Without question, videos are not for everyone, especially with technology limitations. I think the biggest key here is that folks do their best to have at least some video in their content. This way, they’re getting closer to pleasing all parties.

Thanks again for stopping by!

Marcus

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Ruth - The Freelance Writing Blog December 22, 2011 at

Breathing a HUGE sigh of relief. I know the video on my website is amateur, poorly lit, stiff, mediocre at best. It’s a modest improvement over the one prior (which was abysmal). I HATE HATE HATE being in front of the camera (or making videos of any kind, for that matter), but I do recognize that it’s something I need to do. I’m not sure it’s a fear of imperfection – I DO think it has a lot to do with the fact that videos are so public and so revealing. It’s like a little window into a part of our lives that can otherwise remain anonymous online. But I need to get over it – and this post helps :-). Thanks Marcus.

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paul wolfe December 22, 2011 at

Ruth

Jumping in for Marcus….I’m sure he’ll jump in himself later! Please read either my comment on this post above….or the post that I created by building on that comment.

I set out a 20 day plan that if you follow will definitely get you feeling more comfortable with your ‘on screen persona.’ There’s a learning curve in video – just like everything – but the learning curve is made to seem bigger and harder because just about everyone hates how they look on camera and more particularly, how they sound on camera. (This is not just unique to bloggers by the way…if you read good interviews with Hollywood Actors you’ll hear similar themes buried in the subtext of the interview.

HTH. And happy holidays.

Paul

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Marcus Sheridan December 22, 2011 at

You’re awesome Paul….#justsayin bud ;-)

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paul wolfe December 22, 2011 at

Ha ha – in my dreams maybe!

Hope you have a great Christmas and looking forward to picking up on our project in the New Year!!!

Paul

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Marcus Sheridan December 22, 2011 at

Hey Ruth, I’m so glad you chimed in here and Paul answered you as well.

I think you’re coming to a realization that many others are starting to see–video soon will not be an option for web success. More and more consumers are expecting video. Soon, the search engines will be reading as if it’s text. And then we’re all going to have to dive head-first..or be left behind.

Continued success to you Ruth, and congrats on confronting this!

Marcus

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rony February 20, 2012 at

Nice post about video marketing, video marketing helps you to grow your online business. I like video marketing.

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Tanya Malott March 1, 2012 at

I am curious what you think the actual benefits of video on a blog are.

I tend to skip over any video I see on a blog. I don’t enjoy watching them and would rather read a transcript.

Maybe because I am a photographer, and I know that good lighting and a good background are not only important to have, but easy to get, I am automatically turned off if these things are not present in the opening frame.

Am I the only one?

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Marcus Sheridan March 1, 2012 at

You’re not the only one at all Tanya, no doubt about it. I tend to do the same.

But the fact is, you and I aren’t a representative of the rest of the world, and we have to be careful not to allow the way we do/learn things to dictate our ability to deliver it to others.

Make sense?

Thanks for the comment,

Marcus

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Samdonna April 18, 2012 at

You did a good job, thank you for sharing this. I love this post. This video is very good. In this video I never seen you as nervous. Thanks again for sharing such good video.

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Bill Knight July 17, 2012 at

I have to completely agree about any video being better than none at all. An information video on your website is bound to get you some Google love, and as just about anyone can produce one within a few minutes… why is everyone stalling? Come on guys… camera… action!

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Kyle Clouse August 27, 2012 at

Marcus, this is SO TRUE! Getting a video found is far more important then getting a video perfect.

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Jason R. Coleman March 20, 2013 at

Disclaimer: I am a video pro

You are right. Something is better than nothing and getting started is the most important thing, BUT (you had to know there was a but coming) I would only recommend this if you or your company are flat broke and have absolutely no budget. It IS actually very damaging to a business of any size to publish a video that is of poor quality. The consumer generally just won’t take you seriously UNLESS you really know your stuff and deliver quality content. If you have a budget, hire a pro to help you and prove to your potential customers that you take your business seriously and you take them seriously.

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Marcus Sheridan March 20, 2013 at

Hey Jason, and thanks for your thoughts on this. I certainly partially agree with you. Ultimately, I’m a “best effort” guy, and as long as they improve and give it their best, I’ll stand by that as the best approach.

But I do understand what you’re saying, it can be a catch 22.

Thanks again,

Marcus

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Jason R. Coleman March 21, 2013 at

Love the post man. You may have a new follower.

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