Show and Tell – How important video and maybe even live video is for small businesses


Lights for small businesses

Creating a warm welcome in your business can include sharing simple videos online. Here are some simple ways to get started. Photo by Chris Brogan.

By Chris Brogan

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but sometimes it can also be worth a thousand dollars. In the past ten years, restaurants and bars that post their best food or drink as photos on sites like Instagram have learned that people like to see examples of what they will get if they come for a drink or a bite. As large as a photograph may be, I thought I would talk for a moment about why you should consider the video as part of your sales package, even if it sounds a little scary to you. think of the beginning.

A video shows people your business in a special way

No matter what you sell, a video goes a long way in giving your prospects and customers new opportunities to discover your business. If you have a service business, like plumbing or landscaping, spend some time interviewing the team and giving people a sense of the people who work there. If you sell a product, show this product, its manufacture, behind the scenes. All that.

There are a few ways to do this. You can shoot somewhat generic videos for business in general, which is great. But you might even consider putting together a few videos "for special customers". Instead of a product video, it may be "Claire, I know you like it when we get into new fabrics." You will love this lot we just received from South Dakota. "My friend Mick sends children who collect various photos and videos of comics from their specific Wednesday deliveries and which increase his sales lot!

Is the video difficult to make?

No. (Boy, I wish I could finish this section here.) You use a smartphone. There is a video camera in there. If you train even a little and learn to hold the phone to the side (landscape, they call it), you can probably shoot a video. There are many free editing apps for iOS or Android. And you can download it for free on YouTube (which is also free).

If you want to edit on your computer, Microsoft Photos has editing tools on PC and iMovie works easily on Mac. When I say "edit", I realize that most of the time, I don't mean much more than learning to cut and paste a little. That’s it. (You can search YouTube for "how to edit movies using ____" and you'll see tons of free tutorials.)

Small businesses work better on video

When I was a child, my grandfather lived on a farm in rural Maine. There was an old general store at the time, about three kilometers from the house, but all of the full stores were about 45 minutes away. "Going to town" was sort of a pilgrimage. Sometimes we should be smart and call ahead at a store if we wanted something specific, like when we needed rock salt to make a hand-churned ice cream. Other times, we forget and drive into town only to find that they don't have what we need.

The world is researching online before you go anywhere these days. And that means big companies are trying to take your customers at every turn. One way to compete is to upload videos of your products and people in your business so that people can develop a relationship with you. If it is a choice between a faceless society and "Old Alva's Garden Supply", there is a chance that you can win buyers who will trust your advice in the face of competition without a face.

Let's really run down

Imagine that I convinced you. Here's what to do:

  1. Get a free YouTube account (name it after your business or yourself – anyway.)
  2. Practice filming short videos (usually 1-3 minutes are best)
  3. OPTIONAL – If you're feeling smart, learn to edit a bit and turn a series of clips into a video.
  4. Upload your videos to YouTube
  5. Promote it by posting on your website where it makes sense, and / or by pointing the videos through your email marketing efforts.

And that's it. If you ever get stuck or have a question, you know you can always ask me. My email is [email protected] Do not hesitate to write me a word. And hey, show me your videos!

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