Brand Video Hacks

Video is not a magic tonic for a brand.

Yes, it is powerful when used properly.

Yes, it can put an emotional stamp on what you’re selling.

Yes, it will deepen your product or service identification.

Video only works to brand when it is consistent.

Keep your visuals, verbals and vision as much the same as you can regardless of where in the sales funnel the video will be used. Your initial video should obviously be the same message as the landing page and the one on the website. Yes they can have variations but since we know we are dealing with limited attention spans, consistency and repetition are essential to build your brand.

The eyes have it.

The secret to powerful testimonials and any presentation on video, no matter what level of equipment you are recording with is being able to see the eyes of the presenter. They should be looking directly at you. My way of getting that to happen is to speak to the person on video from just next to the camera. In looking past the camera at me they give the impression they are looking directly at the viewer.

A tip of the hat to a video of Michael Caine teaching a master’s acting class for that tidbit.

Be careful to avoid shadowy eyes. Seating the subject in the light from a window will give them a healthy and flattering glow.

Seeing the eyes builds trust. It is that simple. Ever notice that meetings that use jumbotron projectors with operators that concentrate on capturing the presenter’s upper body and face provide a deeper confidence in the speaker and the message?

You also see with your ears.

We’ve grown up on audio that just keeps getting better and better. Our expectations are for a full rich sound on a video. You can’t get that recording in a sound swamp. Nor can you get great sound without putting a microphone in close proximity to the presenter.

You can get an adapter for your smart phone or DSL camera that will increase the capability immensely. Or, you can take a note from my playbook and get yourself a video camera that is ported for a microphone. My sound set up uses a lavaliere microphone remoted to a unit that pipes the sound straight into the recorder.

The key here is that you can improve your video quality significantly for less than a hundred bucks!

Steady as she goes.

One last simple but impressive hack.

Use a tripod.

There is nothing worse than trying to understand a video shot hand-held. Yes, the Blair Witch Project was shot hand held. It helped give it that quirky look. Thing is, when you’re pitching yourself, your product or your service you don’t want quirky. You want steady, sure, comfortable.

Jerry Fletcher ThinkinigJerry Fletcher is a beBee ambassador, founder and Grand Poobah of

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for Trust-based Brand development, Positioning and business development on and off-line. He is also a sought-after International Speaker.



3 Tricks to Take Face Time From Awkward to Zoftique

3 Face Time TricksAbout mid afternoon, my brother in law pulled out his cell phone and then his pad computer and announced, “It’s time for some face time.”

I thought, “Do I have to?”

Today there are a myriad of ways to use technology to see who we’re having a conversation with. The results run the gamut from awkward to zoftique.

You can use:
An app on your Smart Phone
An app on your Pad Computer
Your Laptop or Desktop computer via Skype or meeting software.

Is there a device that doesn’t have a camera and microphone on it anymore?

Here are some things to consider before you opt to call or receive a call using “Face Time”

No matter what device you are reading this on, I want you to turn around and look at what is behind you. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

  • Would you be comfortable with an unannounced visitor seeing that?
  • Does the view of you and your surroundings convince people of your expertise?
  • Will the prospect have a better impression of you?
  • Will they remember you or your background images?
  • Most importantly, does the background meet their expectations about you?

Face Time used to mean an in-person meeting. You knew it was going to happen. You dressed for it. You got ready for it, reviewing information and honing your observations and questions.

Today, you could be face to face in a heartbeat. Here’s how to be ready:

  1. Plan for these calls. If you know it is going to happen you can be ready. If you plan for it you can better control what is going on around you. You won’t wind up talking from the back of cab on our way to a costume party which is where we connected with my nephew.
  2. Be aware of the background. In your office take the look suggested above. In the field, try to find a quiet place with a neutral background and a low probability of people wandering through it.
  3. Look at yourself before you answer and make sure to disconnect. Too often people that work from home simply forget where they are and the fact they are in their pajamas (or less). Then, too you can stay online with some technologies and not know it. Just disconnect if someone forgets to do so. You probably don’t want to know what you might see or overhear.

As Humphrey Bogart would say, “Here’s lookin’ at you kid.”

Jerry FletcherJerry Fletcher is a beBee ambassador, founder and Grand Poobah of

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for Trust-based Brand development, Positioning and business development on and off-line. He is also a sought-after International Speaker.



How Good Does A Video Have To Be?

I introduced Jim to the group at the Friday Marketing lunch bunch meeting saying, “So we came across each other working on a Chamber committee together. Jim is a video consultant. He provides all the services you need to do personal, product and service videos for use on line or in trade shows or any other way you want to use them.”How good does a video have to be?

I thought you would all like to meet him and might have referrals for him.

Let’s order and then you can start lobbing questions at him.”

Chris apologized for catching Jim with his mouth full and then waved off his words. He said, “I do the digital marketing for a training company. We already produce digital training videos and edit those produced by others for our market. Is there something different we should be doing for product marketing?”

Jim responded, “There is a difference. The rules you apply in a training video are different from those you put to work for you in a product selling video. For starters I’ll bet you want to sell product groupings rather than individual videos. That alone means you have to show or demonstrate how you cover the full range on a subject. More importantly you have to think carefully about who the buyer is. It isn’t the same person you are editing the series of videos for. It is the person that has to manage staff training.”

“Tha’s making sure you’re talkin’ to the right persona,” said Rob, brand guru that hails from the deep south. “And y’all got to understand that when you get the right approach to the Persona they really like your peaches and they want to shake your tree.”

Noting Jim’s confused look Kate, our sales specialist, pushed her dreds back over one ear and said, “Allow me to translate. Bubba mystifies a lot of folks but once you get used to his down home way of pointing out the obvious you can learn from his experience. What he’s trying to say in his grits and syrup style is that if you have a good idea of the person you are talking to you can capture their interest and get them to respond.”

“And that,” said Rick, “is what it is all about. At least that is what I tell my clients as I advise them on their direct marketing needs. I have to admit that video is not something that has been in our wheelhouse until lately. It seems like everyone wants a video approach and I’m beginning to think it is a big part of the answer. It is particularly important in the on line retail arena. But you know me, I’m always looking for statistics. This is what I discovered the other day getting ready for a presentation:

  • Retailers who provide online product videos to report that the products with video sell a lot more than products with no video—90% of ’em!
  • 75% of business execs in a Forbes survey said they watch a business video on line once a week.
  • 80% of folks that viewed a video in an ad remembered it but more importantly over half took action–26% looked for more information — 22% visited the website named in the ad–15% visited the company represented in the video ad–and best of all–12% purchased the product!”

Gail cleared her throat and all of us focused on our writer/editor friend. She said, “What I want to know is how good does an on line video have to be? Do I have to have network quality or will the camera on my Apple computer or phone do? Do I have to have flashy animations and overlays and that kind of stuff? Is there a web site that gives me answers? I could go on but let’s start with those questions.”

Jim looked around the table, took sip of coffee and began, “For starters, stop looking in the rear view mirror. Get a video done! There is no single answer that fits every situation. If you are selling product, you want the best quality you can get for the price.

A little bit of imagination goes a long way like the manual turntable one of my clients came up with to do a walk around of boots and other gear from their outdoor shop. We even did reach in’s to show the soles of the shoes and how a camp stove opened.

Individuals do videos that go viral all the time with their computers. Sure it is mostly talking heads but you can use screen capture programs like Camtasia to make simple Power point animations and then incorporate them with live recording using free editing software. There are a lot of consultants that use that approach, some of whom have been professional editors. There are some folks that say using the video capability of a 35 mm camera gives you the look of broadcast at a much lower cost.

There are two things you need to really think about:

  1. Sound—you need to get sound that is close up and personal if you use any handheld video recording device.
  2. Lighting–You need to have good light. A couple lights with umbrella reflectors for shooting inside and at least a reflector panel for outdoors.

If you’ll give me your cards with other questions noted I promise to answer them all… and include them in my Blog.”

Jerry Fletcher’s blog recaps conversations with clients, prospects and the unruly mob of business development professionals he consorts with. They discuss marketing that works from solopreneur to enterprise level. Jerry, sometimes called The Consultant’s Communication Consultant, is the ringleader and “Watson” of the dialogue. Sign up for the blog and other publications at:

Jerry has been researching and implementing small business marketing that builds businesses, careers and lives of joy for 25 years as President of Z-axis Marketing, Inc. Learn more at

Schedule a personal appearance. Jerry speaks internationally on Networking, Marketing and Contact Relationship Magic.