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.

A Branding Bar Story

Branding Bar storyTwo guys walk into a bar. Both spot a pretty girl, alone, seated at the bar. One borrows a megaphone approaches her and bellows into her ear, “I’m rich, good looking and I want you to marry me.”

The other simply walks to the bar, orders a drink and the young lady joins him and says “You are intriguing, good looking, possibly rich and I want to marry you.”

That, according to Taylor Graves of Nemo Design, one of the panelists at a National Speakers Association luncheon in Portland on November 13th, is the difference between advertising and branding.

The other panelists were Brian Berger of Everything is on the Record and Matt Watson of Watson Creative. All have won their spurs doing branding work for national and international clients.

My usual Friday lunch bunch loved Taylor’s story, especially Rob, our Brand Guru who we call Bubba because he hails from Georgia.

Bubba, wiping away tears from laughing drawled, “Thas one of the best ways I’ve heard it put in a lot of years. What else did these guys have to say?”

I said, “The format was self intros and credentials and then questions from the audience.”

Kate chimed in, “So, Fletch you got in trouble didn’t you?”

“No, Madame Sales, I did not. These guys knew what they were talking about. Each, in their own way said what Bubba and I have been saying about Branding for years. Let me give you some examples:

The first question from the audience was “How can you create a brand experience with a very limited budget?” (I’ve heard this question before. It is why I teach No Budget Branding TM).

Matt responded, “We put your business on the couch to learn about it. We work on positioning and strategy and business design because Brand is not a logo it is the emotion that comes from the people that intersect with you, your company and products and services.”

Taylor said, “Brand is about who you are, what gets you up in the morning. It has to be true to who you are or it just doesn’t work.”

Brian agreed saying, “You have to be true to yourself. You are the brand. Your success is based on the people you meet and the relationships you build.”

Someone asked, “How do you use Trust in Branding?”

Matt told a story about working with non-profit trying to raise money noting that when the first e-mail request went out to 30, 000 people the landing page had only a still photo and some copy and it generated about 700 sign-ups and contributions. But, the next time they included a video with founders and contributors talking about why they were involved. The responses jumped to 10,000.

As Matt said, “Your Why is the epicenter of your brand. Great photography and video get the story and the image across faster than almost anything else.”

Taylor, an international award winning photographer agreed. He said, “If you haven’t watched Simon Sinek’s video on TED about Why and the Golden Circle, do so. The thing is people want photos and videos to be authentic universal communications. If they are authentic you will generate trust.”

Brian added, “Storytelling is another way to get there. It uses the emotions to overcome clutter and can be passed along without devices.”

Matt agreed and noted that sometimes a small client is better served by concentrating on a very tight segment, spending more per contact than they might ever dream to make each contact an event.”

Rick, our Direct Marketing Maven said, “I know this story, instead of spending a five figure budget for wedding photographer, he convinced him to go to only the 10 top wedding planners in the country with a really classy custom wooden box presentation at a about $100 bucks each and the guy did 5 or 6 times his business, like well into six figures, the next year.”

Yes, I said. “That’s the story. Branding is not advertising. It is not logos. You can’t buy it. It is what prospects and clients think, feel and believe about you, your products and services whether they’ve ever met you or not.”

Jerry Fletcher has been doing the kind of branding these gents believe in for over 40 years. He is a Contact Relationship Magician focused on making the techniques of enterprise level marketing available to small businesses with low or no cash. His consulting website is

Jerry speaks professionally on networking, marketing and Contact Relationship Magic across the Americas. His speaking website is:

How To Do A Home Page Video That Builds Business

Chris, the digital marketing director said, “The websites you build videos into keep people on the site longer, get better click through and higher signups. I want to know why.”

Video can hook people on your website“Yeah,” Kate said, “Tell him the formula, Fletch.”

“It’s simple, I replied. “It’s a combination of selling like Kate coaches people to do and a marketing trick I’ve learned over the last 25 years. All you have to do is make a video of your 30 Second Marketing conversation.”

Gail asked, “Is that the thing you came up with to replace elevator pitches?”

“Yes,” I said.

She continued, “The one that is intended to answer the question what do you do?”

“Yup. The answer is what I call a hook. The four elements of the formula are:

  • Hook ‘em
  • Hold ‘em
  • Pitch ‘em
  • Close ‘em

Rick said, “I’ve heard you speak on this. As I recall the hook is hard to come up with but once you’ve got it you’re more memorable and people want to talk to you if only to find out more about you… but that’s in person. A video on a web site is more like direct marketing and that is my bailiwick. How does this work there?

“Hooks can be found or developed in a lot of ways, I said. Here are just a few that have worked for me with clients over the years:

  1. Review customer testimonials for simple descriptions
  2. Try to put what you do in terms a first grader could use to explain what you do to his or her classmates.
  3. Think about what you do from the customer’s viewpoint. What problem do you solve for them?
  4. Put it in words that will force them to want to know more.

“But y’all got to be careful of your brand,” said Rob, our branding big brother. “You can’t say something that is gonna hurt you long term even if it gets their attention today. I reckon tha’s wheah the rest of the formula fits in, right?”

“You’re right Bubba,” I said. “the hook is what everyone remembers but what makes 30 Second Marketing TM work is the rest of it. In order to hold ‘em, you have to find the words that come after You know how That means you have to know the problem that brings your ideal customer to you. When I train people to do this I try to get them to know the top three problems that their ideal customers are trying to solve. The pitch always starts with the words What we do is… and then explains how you solve the problem for your ideal customers. The close is a specific Call to action.”

“And, Y’all don’t want to be flappin’ your gums too much either, said Rob. Make it quick. If you go much more than a minute and a half they’ll be gone faster than a fox when a beagle bays.


Jerry and the marketing lunch bunch will be back next week. Their discussions are always about small businesses marketing tips that are low or no cost. is Jerry’s consulting web site He meets around kitchen and boardroom tables to change the marketing of companies in the Americas. He prefers working with “Little Guys” with 1 to 500 employees. is his speaking site. He speaks professionally on three continents on how to craft Trust-based marketing that builds businesses, careers and lives of joy…on and off line.


Why You Need A Video On Your Home Page

“The client doesn’t want to do a video for the home page of her web site, Chris said.

Home Page videdo“Why not?” asked Rick. “I don’t know what her company does but I can tell you all the kinds of operations that videos have worked for in direct marketing. With that he started listing them:

  • Consultants of all kinds
  • Professionals like CPAs and Lawyers
  • Health care providers—Doctors, Dentists, etc
  • Personal Care folks like beauty parlors, nail salons and the like
  • Any brick and mortar retail establishment
  • Manufacturers, Distributors, etc

“Whoa there Bre’r Direct” said Bubba, our southern fried Branding expert. “Y’all could just as easily said every company stead o’ running yourself round the pasture.”

“I agree that video seems to work,” said Kate. “But the question is why?”

Bubba continued, “All those first ones he mentioned are situations where the person is the brand and there is no way to be more convincing than for y’all to tell your story the same way you would in person looking right at the camera. Manufacturers and Distributors many times are hooked up with the guy or gal who started the business but the words of someone in the business that speaks to the brand can be just a powerful even when theah name isn’t on the door. ”

Kate nodded in agreement and said, “Cognitive Psychologists tell us that way down there in bottom of our brains each of us is still programmed to respond more positively to human faces than any other thing we see. We’re just wired that way.”

“We give videos time,” I said. “We spend up to a couple minutes without clicking to jump to another screen. That builds Trust and as Rob would say builds your brand. Comscore reported that the difference was over 60% in time spent on a site when there was a video.”

Chris said, “The thing my client is confused about is the cost. She believes she has to have ‘movie grade’ video to put up on the web site. I’ve shown her the level of quality you can get with a home camera and editing software that is free but she’s not going for it.”

“She’s being a woman,’’ Gail said.

Kate snorted and all the guys looked perplexed.

Gail continued, “Women worry more about what they look like on camera than men. But they also have an advantage. If you display the faces of male and female models with equal grooming side by side, men will look at the woman first. So will the women. In other words, women know they will be looked at and either like it or dislike it. She doesn’t like it.”

“But if she is concerned with the ROI of her marketing efforts, She might change her tune given some facts. Video provides the second highest return on investment you can get on-line just behind featured articles with direct links to your site,” I said. “On top of that if you want to know what visitors are really interested in on your site, start tracking the videos they watch and then personalizing from there.

It all starts with establishing Trust and telling people what you do. That short positioning video on the home page can make a web site up to twice as powerful at building business.”


Our ”Little Guys” Marketing brain trust will return next week. See you then.


Jerry Fletcher crafts Trust-based marketing strategies from his offices south of Portland, Oregon for companies in the Americas and Asia. Learn more and see a home page video at

Jerry speaks professionally on three continents on Networking, Trust-based Marketing, and Contact Relationship Magic. Click on a home page video at