Speech Bubble What ComicsTalking to the video camera should be the same as talking to a person in real life.  That’s the viewer’s perception on the other side of the lens.  It appears you are talking directly to them.

Writing a script is fine, especially if you want to make sure you cover something in detail, but be sure you write the script in plain language. 

SCRIPT TIPS

Scripts are not written in the language your English composition teacher required.  They are written as spoken word, like the dialogue in a play.

If you don’t need to include a lot of detail, you may want to simply tape a bullet point list under the lens to keep your comments on track during the video. Then talk to the camera as you would to a friend sitting across the table from you.

Read your script out loud before recording it and think about whether your neighbor would speak that way while chatting over the back fence.  Ask a friend if what you are saying makes sense and if any phrase or word is something people write but do not say.

Of course, the language you choose will depend on the intended audience.  If you know your viewers will be tech- savvy or doctors or lawyers or engineers, you may want to include a little insider jargon to show your expertise.  But use it sparingly.  Always aim for clarity first.

Even in the most sophisticated audience, there may be newbies who aren’t up on the lingo yet and you'll lose them.  Clear simple language is generally the best way to make your point with any audience. 

CHOOSE WORDS THAT WORK

A writer colleague was recently dashing off a quick couple of lines for the talent during a shoot and wrote something like, “we thank you for your inquiries.”   Hmm. I can honestly say I have never heard anyone SAY "inquiries." 

Is it correct English?  Sure, but it would make the talent sound like they were reading a script and the trick in on-camera presentation is to sound like you are talking. 

Plus, if a viewer has to think about what a word means even for a moment, they'll be stuck in their head and miss the next part of your message.

In spoken language, you use repetition, sentence fragments, unusual grammar and vocabulary constructions and colloquialisms you would never include in a formal written speech.  And that's okay because just like in a face-to-face  conversation, your facial expression, gesturing, inflection, etc. will get the point across.

ON-CAMERA SKILLS ARE LEARNED

No one is born talking to people through a video camera, though some do it more naturally than others from the start.  Still, everyone can get better with a little training and practice.

When you appear confident and comfortable on-camera and speak in plain language, the people watching you feel comfortable and are more likely to believe what you're saying. 

When your script is right and you're able to speak naturally, you appear more credible and authentic.  

DO's AND DON'Ts

You don't want to look like a stiff mannequin staring into the camera lens and mouthing a written text full of tech speak, business speak or legalese with zero personality or warmth in your expression.  You do want to talk to each viewer as a friend. Don't read to them.

Anyone who has a message to share can benefit from developing their on-camera skills. Presenting your authentic personality on-camera can go a long way in selling your ideas, products, services and yourself.

Use the contact form below to email me about video coaching.  We can work together in person or online in a private Google Hangout or on Skype. I can help you develop the scripts and visuals to produce videos for your website, YouTube channel, Vimeo, and more. 

Get media-ready and shine online.

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Subject

Your Message

rally_the_troops_400_clr_10095Becoming a recognized expert and attracting a crowd with your Magnetic Media Expert Platform takes time, effort, thought, planning…and generally some type of monetary investment.  Just because you can start a free blog, host a free webinar, shoot and edit photos or video with a free app on your smartphone does not mean you should rely on free tools alone to market your business.

I called this post "magical thinking" because finding a responsive audience online doesn't just happen.  Too many people are disappointed when their visibility does not skyrocket and their business soar from an occasional blog article, new website design or one video shot on their phone. 

Creating a Magnetic Media Expert Platform is not just about using the right tools. You need a strategy for developing and delivering consistent media content to achieve the results you want. 

BIGGER IMPACT, BIGGER INCOME

What are some of the moves you can make to stand out and reach more people with your message?    Here are some ideas:

  • Publish quality content on your own blog, website, social media, etc. regularly.
  • Build a strong online presence in as many different media areas as possible.  Distribute your content widely in many forms. For example, you could conduct training webinars, host Google Hangouts, run podcasts, do guest articles for authority sites, etc.
  • Author a book. Nothing says "expert" in the media like the title "author" in front of your name. You can outsource the writing, proof reading and formatting, then self-publish on many platforms including Amazon CreateSpace, Kindle, Lulu and others.
  • Produce multiple videos on your subject. Make the content educational and show your expert knowledge by addressing common problems your target market faces. Include a call-to-action but I do not recommend making these videos into online commercials.  You're trying to build an audience of people who want to do business with you or refer business to you.  No one sits down willingly to watch commercials! (except during the Super Bowl) People watch online video to be entertained and informed. Again, you can DIY and/ or get expert help.  I wrote about my approach to authority positioning with  high-low video production recently.
  • Write and distribute articles to influential blogs, magazines and authority publications online.
  • Write and distribute press releases to highlight your events, developments and achievements. 
  • Leverage the power of your online presence within your market by strategically connecting,  networking and maintaining contact with influencers, market leaders and  of course, your customers.  
  • Speak at industry events and in front of audiences that fit your target market.

I know this is a long list and there are many more ideas!  But don't get overwhelmed. You don't have to do all of them or all at once. 

Whether you put together the game plan yourself or work with an online media strategist,  develop a road map that will help you deliver good consistent content.  

Pick a couple tactics and run with them.  Then, after 90 days of serious effort, measure your results.  Rinse and repeat or if it's not working for you,  regroup and try something else!

PATIENCE AND PERSISTENCE

None of  it happens overnight, but with each article, video, social media mention, etc. you add a visibility "plank" to your media expert platform.  Again no magic here, just working a plan to incrementally become better known online over time.

Save time by repurposing the same quality content in various ways.  For example, create an article, a video and a podcast that are all slightly different presentations but share the same basic information.  This gives people interested in your subject, multimedia choices for how to  engage with you and your material.

HIGHER PROFILE FOR HIGHER PROFIT

The higher your profile, the higher your potential profit because online visibility makes you and your expertise seem more valuable than the "invisible" expert.  That's why investing time, effort, thought, planning and $$$  to boost your visibility, credibility and authority platform is worth doing.

 

redhaired woman hides faceI work with a young woman whose on camera career is growing.  She is steadily getting more and more opportunities to showcase her talent, but if you looked at her social media presence, you'd never know it.

While she's conscientious about posting photos and comments to promote events she's involved in and compliment individuals she works with, she does not do much self promotion.

Many people are modest and unassuming.  They're uncomfortable tooting their own horn and do not want to brag.   But in creating your magnetic media expert platform online, it's important to learn to give yourself a shout-out now and then.  Extreme humility can hurt you and thwart your aspirations.

WHY WE DISLIKE BRAGGARDS

We've all seen examples of shameless, overbearing ME-ME-ME behavior in movie and TV comedies.  These self-centered characters are meant to be outrageous and make people laugh.  Nobody wants to be "that guy," right?

Still, who will tell your story better than you can?  By applying the art of self promotion, you can subtly call attention to your accomplishments without seeming crass or conceited.

ONE FORMULA for social posting is called "the humble brag" and goes like this: 

Emotion + (event, activity, achievement)

Some examples might be:

  • I'm thrilled to be…
  • I can't believe I am…
  • I am grateful to…
  • I am so fortunate to…
  • Wow, this is amazing. I am…
  • I am so proud to be a part of….
  • What a dream come true! I am actually…

When you express genuine gratitude about your good fortune, it is not boasting.  Sharing your personal feelings about something in your life is not bragging.  It's the kind of post the social media community eats up.

Now delivering the humble brag can be tricky. Don't force it. If you really intend to boast and are trying to hide it with a compliment or false modesty, people will spot your insincerity.  

STORIES SELL

Tell a little story about your experiences, especially a humorous or self-deprecating one.  Take people "back stage" in your world for a behind-the-scenes adventure only insiders see. 

EDIT YOURSELF

Don't overdo it.  You don't want to crow about every little thing that happens constantly.  Strategically pick and choose what you mention to promote yourself and mix it in with other kinds of social medial content.  Plus keep it short! 

FRIENDSHIP CIRCLE

Okay, so you'd MUCH rather have other people talk you up. I get that. Third party endorsement is important for credibility building and has tremendous value. Prime the pump by making a deal with a few friends and associates to promote, like and share each others' successes. 

Just make sure everyone knows how to do it subtly and no one goes overboard, laying it on too thick or posting phoney praise.

KEEP IT REAL

The whole key to avoid being "that guy" is authenticity.  Be honest and do not inflate your position or achievements. Talk about the other people on the team as much or more than you talk about yourself. Never try to manipulate a situation just for visibility.

When I talk to this young woman, she is genuinely thrilled and amazed by the opportunities that are coming her way and in awe of some of the people she's meeting and the places her career is taking her.

If she adds social media comments expressing these feelings about her experiences, she'll enhance her personal brand and take supporters, fans and followers along for the ride, with no hint of a boast or brag.

sunrise-free Pixabay-Angelou QuoteIn working with clients, I always keep this favorite Maya Angelou quote in mind.  It's also an important aspect of how effective testimonials work on camera because the essence of a good video testimonial is a customer who expresses positive emotions about working with you.

Every business wants to show off lots of compelling testimonials to win new customers.  Displaying written testimonials on your website and marketing materials is one way to do it.  To really be unique,  why not mix in video testimonials? 

Real people talking on camera about you and your business can make a powerful impression on a potential client.  Seeing and hearing your satisfied buyer makes the human connection with a viewer that is almost as persuasive as getting  a word-of-mouth recommendation from a friend.  

THE PROCESS

Sometimes when you ask someone to shoot a testimonial, they'll prepare something and show up ready to go, when the camera rolls.   But most of the time, that does not happen. People will usually tell you they don't know what to say or they are uncomfortable "talking to the camera."

Reassure them they'll do fine and they'll be talking to you, not the camera.  Also while you secretly want them to praise you to the stars, resist the temptation to write the script for them or to tell them exactly what to say.  

You want  your testimonials to flow, to sound sincere and authentic and not feel staged or forced.  The best testimonials resonate with  viewers when they are an expression of genuine appreciation of you and your work. You are more likely to get that when people tell their story in their own natural voice.

That said, there's nothing wrong with giving them a little direction.  Roll the camera for an interview and start a conversation.  Keep it low-key and chatty so they get comfortable, before getting to the "meat" of the testimonial.    Some questions might be:

  • Give me a brief summary of who you are and what you do and the problem you were facing?
  • How did you find out about me and my business?
  • What specifically set my company apart when you made the decision to buy my product or service/hire me?
  • What was your experience with my product or service?
  • How did we solve your problem ?
  • How did you feel about the results?
  • What did you particularly like about what we did or how we did it?
  • Why would you recommend my company/product / service to someone else?
  • Who do you think my product or service is suited to?
  • What would you say if someone asked if they should use my company/product / service?

Get them to speak in whole sentences with rich details and heartfelt emotion.  What you want to avoid is simply, "Ted and his crew were great."  A quick before and after anecdote works especially well.  Tease out specifics about the work you did to produce a personal testimonial that will stand out in the viewer's mind. 

Please note: be sure you interview people long enough to get plenty of good comments you may or may not use. The idea is to pick and choose the best comments to edit into the final testimonial video.  Even ask them to repeat a good comment since people often speak haltingly as they form their thoughts the first time they speak and will say the thought better and more smoothly the second time.  (DO NOT put words in their mouths or do a choppy edit to make them say something they did not say.   The testimonial will look staged and not ring true for the viewer.)

THE FORMULA

In the final edited version,  you want to end up with something like this:

"I'm so and so of X business."  Or X location or whatever introduction fits your customer.

Then add statements similar to these:

I needed help with (problem) and decided to work with (business name) because…

The result was…(emotion + fact)

One thing I especially liked was…

The whole experience was…(emotion + fact)

I would recommend (business name) to people who…

If they asked me, I'd say choose (business name) because…(emotion + fact)

IN CLOSING

A good rule of thumb is a 30-60 second video testimonial, although it's okay to run a little longer, if the speaker is animated and interesting.  Tell the person you will edit together the best of what they've said and show it to them before you post it.

Your customers are likely to surprise you following this formula.  When you get people talking about their experience, your satisfied customers will probably say amazingly complimentary things about you;  things you would never have thought to write in a script.  

High-Low Online Video Strategy

As anyone online has realized, the Internet has become a highly visual place and video is a huge draw, since most people blue stick_figure_out_of_monitor_1936would rather watch than read. 

A recent infographic from Brightcove shared some interesting research about good video versus bad video experiences.  You can see the whole image here:  http://files.brightcove.com/highcostoffree-infographic.jpg

This part stood out for me:

  • 62% are likely to have a NEGATIVE PERCEPTION of a brand that publishes a poor quality video experience

  • 23% would HESITATE TO PURCHASE from the brand

  • 60% said a poor quality video experience would DISSUADE THEM FROM ENGAGING with the brand across all its social media properties

  • 57% are LESS LIKELY TO SHARE a poor quality video experience

Ouch!  I've always said, having no video is better than bad video, BUT in the online world today, if your business has no video, your competition with video will have the advantage.  Still, you can't just put up any video. The Brightcove survey found, a poor quality video experience can actually hurt your business.

Producing quality video is a big part of what I do.  And to be honest, to get quality, you need to commit time, effort, thought and a few dollars.  If you want to be taken seriously as a business professional  who takes pride in their product or service, don’t skimp and substitute amateur video.

That said, I usually recommend a hybrid web video strategy to help clients keep costs down. You could call it a “high-low” online video strategy. 

Women are probably most familiar with the high-low concept.  It’s used in fashion and home decorating all the time.  The idea is to invest in a few good quality pieces and then mix the higher end items with lower priced goods in a way that makes the whole outfit or room look richer than the individual parts. In fashion parlance, it means pairing something grand with  basic items such as wearing a designer jacket with blue jeans. 

Here’s how that can work with online video:  Your digital media platform will grow best from establishing a quality base of foundational videos produced professionally.  Get several well-edited videos with good audio, good lighting, good backgrounds and framing that help visually position you as an expert in your field and cement the perception of you as a credible authority. 

These videos can be used as an opt-in video for your landing page, an about me page video, an explainer video about your product or service, a welcome video people see when they join your list, etc.

Then,  regularly post short simple DIY videos on social media, as a video blog (vlog), as links in your email marketing, etc. These can be shot, edited and posted from a mobile phone or tablet.

The key is to make sure the content quality is equally good in both your pro and DIY videos.  

I am happy to chat with you for 15 minutes about your digital media strategy.  Contact me using this form to set up a convenient time.

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Subject

Your Message

The headline You're in the News on a newspaper to tell you you'r

Dear Loyal Blog Readers,

Thank you for hanging in with me. Although I have not posted to my blog for months and months, I am grateful the existing content  attracted a steady stream of visitors.

 

I could tell you that I was sick (I was), that we had an especially harsh winter in these parts (we did); I was working seven days a week for clients (for real, but don’t ask!) or some other blah, blah, blah excuse (a true story, of course), but I won’t. (or maybe I just did, ha, ha)

Instead, I’ll simply say: While I love to write, somehow I lost my editorial calendar mojo and got out of the habit of blogging regularly. My blog fell and it could not get up! frown

Now Spring is here and I want to make it up to you by rolling out a new media strategy service for experts designed to help you get more visibility, step into the online spotlight and enhance your image as a media authority!

Here’s the deal: I recently launched a "Digital Headliners" article writing service. It's an interview and article writing/distribution package focused on who you are and what you know,  My system leverages media connections to get your name and business spotlighted in online business magazine articles which are then syndicated to major online media sites such as ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX affiliates, The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, etc.

Imagine how prospects and clients will feel about you, the "expert," when they see you featured or quoted on major media sites. Getting media attention (called 3rd party endorsement) separates you from your competition. Plus media coverage often leads to more media opportunities.

The "Digital Headliners" article won’t be a front page breaking news story on media sites, but it will allow you to legitimately add the credits “as seen on” or “as featured on” from multiple credible media outlets to your marketing materials to boost your credibility as an expert in your field.

as-seen-on 300x109 TV icons

This is NOT a cheap “trick” of simply posting a comment on a major media site blog so you can CLAIM you “appeared” in  the media, nor is it a paid placement "advertorial."

It IS a real article written about you and your area of expertise by a journalist (usually me, although I can tap into a team of other experienced journos to keep the quality articles flowing and your media exposure growing.) smiley

We only work with a select group of true subject matter authorities with real expertise at any one time to ensure we meet the media's high standards and deliver quality results.

Be aware, this is only one media authority positioning strategy and it isn't right for everyone who wants to build a Magnetic Media Expert Platform online and off.  But it can be a good starting point and the low introductory price won't last long.

Shoot me an email to apply and discover ways to increase your media magnetism!

Janet (at) YourMediaMoment.com

Here’s the fine print. Since this is media, there are no guarantees of specific media placements. You will get pick-up, but I pay to get these articles in front of the site editors and they are free to accept them or not.  (The good news is I am a journalist and have a pretty good track record.) cheeky

 

Are You Human?

ice-Picabay 222709_1920It’s been quite a winter here at Vasil Media Group World HQ in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and it’s not over yet. (that darn groundhog!) 

This week we had back-to-back storms.  One gave us a significant snowfall and it was followed by an ice storm.  A lot of friends and neighbors lost power and heat, trees are down across roads and on roofs, traffic lights are out..its a mess. Plus some utility companies say it will take them 5 days to get things back to normal. Yikes!

One thing I noticed online was several local businesses had posts, tweets, etc. that were clearly loaded up and scheduled in an automated system before the storms hit.  To be sure, social media management systems like HootSuite, Sprout Social and others are great tools for implementing your social media strategy and terrific time-savers, but I always recommend you use them lightly and intersperse a few relevant human comments, shares, etc., among these pre-designed posts, based on what's happening in real time day-to-day.

The automated posts caught my attention because I know these FB pages, twitter accounts, etc.  are for businesses affectedc by these storms and their posts were so out of touch and frankly, in this weather emergency, irrelevant. (most were in the "buy my stuff" category).  Now to be fair, maybe there was no one around who was authorized to add any fresh messages or the person with the passwords had no power.

Still, here's my tip:  designate a couple people who can post from where ever they are to keep your business online content "real" and up-to-date.  In a crisis, put the scheduled posts on hold or add some light-hearted comments. The posts don't have to be big, fact-laden entries. 

Perhaps a few posts here and there could say something like "Bad weather is keeping us out of the office today. Enjoy our regularly scheduled tips and tricks until we return."  or "We can't get into the office today and are off to make a snowman. But expect our usual great (photos, stories, quotes, recipes, whatever you usually post) to continue until we get back to work."

I know the Internet is global and not everyone is experiencing the same weather situation you are, but social is social.  It's people talking with people, not robots and even if you use a scheduling tool, you want to maintain that perception. 

It's not the end of the world that these companies dropped the ball though it may hurt their credibility a bit in the eyes of local patrons.  Just know it's possible with a little ingenuity and pre-planning, to sprinkle some personal perspectives amid the scheduled posts to give your business a human voice.

Thoughts?  Please leave a comment.

Where Are You Going in 2014?

driving_car_personSetting goals is about creating and following a roadmap or a GPS for your life and your business. 

Sure you can just take what comes and roll along, but my belief is you’ll never get where you want to go without driving directions.  If you'd rather not drive in circles, you will need to put together a plan.

You notice I don’t call goals “resolutions.”  That term seems so temporary and fraught with negativity. The conventional wisdom is that no one keeps their resolutions. Or they express the same half-heared resolutions every year such as quit smoking, lose weight, exercise more, take no concrete action and are expecting to fail. Working toward a goal is a different mind-set.

You can sit down and plan what you want the next 12 months to look like anytime, but the year-end holiday period is so much about “out with the old, in with the new,” why not make your plans now?

I promised myself I’d do more content curating this year to bring you extra value by sharing the wisdom of other authorities so here goes.

One of my favorite experts on personal growth, leadership and productivity is Michael Hyatt. Here’s one of his blog posts from just before Christmas and a podcast he did about the topic of goal setting.

Mon Dec 23 2013 – The 10 Biggest Mistakes People Make in Setting Goals

Podcast Replay – Live Q & A about Goal Setting Podcast

I’ve been writing down what I want the year to bring since I was a college girl (a long, long time ago) and when I look back I’ve ticked off many boxes on the achievement yardstick I set for myself.

Do I nail every goal every time?   Mostly yes, but not always. Life has a way of throwing curveballs when you’re making plans.  Still, even when I’ve fallen short, I’ve learned a lot and in retrospect often appreciated the process for being almost as satisfying as reaching the destination would have been.

I am sure there are apps for goal setting and tracking but my personal method is old school. I  sit down with a calendar, blank paper and my daily agenda book.  I decide a handful of big picture items I want to accomplish by Dec 31, pick one to focus on for each quarter (12 weeks) and then work backyard to list the tasks monthly and weekly on my calendar and agenda book that I expect will get me there. I make smaller goals too and map those out on my daily and weekly to-do list.

To me, the secret is setting consistent internal deadlines!  I’ve always worked from a "to-do" list every day and over the years, I've learned to be more realistic about what I can accomplish.  I don’t write down a thousand things I want to do or a thousand steps I have to take to make it happen.

That kind of list would overwhelm me before I got started. Instead I aim for the big 4, one for each quarter, and make sure I leave room for the smaller achievements so I can celebrate mini-milestones as I go along.  

I am sure some people will think my process itself is too left-brained.   Where’s the creativity and artistry in making lists and marking calendars? They'd rather just go with the flow and enjoy life.

I get that.  Do what works for you, but I’ve always looked at structure in the same way Julie Andrews does:

“Some people regard discipline as a chore. For me, it is a kind of order that sets me free to fly.

Here’s an excellent post from the Chasing Happy Blog with a worksheet.  It’s aimed at setting blogging goals but can apply to any goal.

Setting Blog Goals for 2014 [+ worksheet]

Two other resources I recommend are books.  My old stand-by is a favorite by Henriette Anne Klauser. I keep the paperback by my bedside and read it often. Now it’s also available as a Kindle book:

Write It Down Make It Happen: Knowing What You Want and Getting It

The other by Brian Moran and Michael Lennington was published in 2013 and takes its process from the seasonality of the sports world:

The 12 Week Year: Get More Done in 12 Weeks than Others Do in 12 Months

It’s available in hard cover and as a Kindle book.  It resonated with me because I break my big goals up into quarterly tasks,  so in a way, I’ve used their 12 week execution cycle for years without knowing it! 

I hope these tools get you moving toward achieving your heart’s desire in the months ahead.  Have you come up with a system that works for you? Please share and leave a comment.




The guide to shortening your execution cycle down from one year to twelve weeks

Most organizations and individuals work in the context of annual goals and plans; a twelve-month execution cycle. Instead, The 12 Week Year avoids the pitfalls and low productivity of annualized thinking. This book redefines your "year" to be 12 weeks long. In 12 weeks, there just isn't enough time to get complacent, and urgency increases and intensifies. The 12 Week Year creates focus and clarity on what matters most and a sense of urgency to do it now. In the end more of the important stuff gets done and the impact on results is profound.

  • Explains how to leverage the power of a 12 week year to drive improved results in any area of your life
  • Offers a how-to book for both individuals and organizations seeking to improve their execution effectiveness
  • Authors are leading experts on execution and implementation

Turn your organization's idea of a year on its head, and speed your journey to success.

List Price: $23.00 USD
New From: $12.51 USD In Stock
Used from: $11.89 USD In Stock

Happy New Year 2014!

Happy 2014

hbw | happy (custom) bokeh wednesday
Adam Foster | Codefor / Foter.com /

I hope you are enjoying the holiday season and making fantastic expertizing plans for the year ahead. I have a million things going on as the year winds down as I am sure you do.

With that said, I will take a holiday break from blogging for the next couple weeks to refresh, set new goals and strategize for 2014.

The 2014 changes I envision at Your Media Moment will result in shorter posts with more curated content to give you more value from more expert sources. My weekly email round-up of blog posts will be sent only after 8 posts have been published so subscribers will likely hear from me in their inbox monthly or less often. If you don't subscribe by email, sign up for the RSS to keep up-to-date.

I believe in consistent blogging for business and intend to continue to "walk the talk," but who knows?

"Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans." – John Lennon

The video, social media and other online content creation needs of my clients will come first, but I also want to develop a media training program or two, offer new services and write a couple more books in 2014. Clearly, I anticipate a very busy year. 

How about you? What are your media goals for next year?  Please leave a comment.

Until next time…

I wish you the Happiest of Holiday Seasons and a Prosperous New Year!

 

 

 Page 1 of 34  1  2  3  4  5 » ...  Last » 

© 2008-2014 Your Media Moment & Beyond! All Rights Reserved -- Copyright notice by Blog Copyright