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.

The Power of a Personal Touch

As I put my laptop on the table and fired it up, Chris asked, “Should I go get some popcorn for movie time?”

Gail our resident good-mannered grammarian said, “You know, for a digital marketing type you know how video has become so pervasive, it seems to me that you might have a little more patience if not respect.”

Pesonal Touch VideoVIEW
“Easy,” I said. “I brought this along so all of you could comment on a video I edited this morning. It’s about trust. I’ve done a couple speeches recently and I was reviewing the video of them and thought it might be helpful to people to see how you can handle the same material with no technology or a full tilt animated Power Point. I just cut part of the two different appearances together.”

Rob, aka the Brand Buddha welcomed the opportunity to niggle me saying, “Minds me of the way gramps ‘splained the difference between a Yankee fairy tale and one from Dixie: Up north it starts out Once upon a time… Down home it’s you ain’t gonna believe this…”

Kate turned to him and said, “Even I couldn’t sell that notion without looking at the video. You know he’s been talkin’ about Trust on three continents for a lot of years. Besides, I think the presentation differences may be the point he’s making but first we have to watch.”

Bubba replied, “Crank that thing up Fletch and let’s have a look at A Personal Touch.

About 9 minutes later it was quiet at the table.

Then Kate said, “I love the pearl at the end. The video works. I kind of like the way it goes back and forth. The message comes through either way.”

Gail agreed. She pointed out, “If there were no live sequences the Power Point with voice over would tell the story but wouldn’t be as friendly or real or powerful.”

Chris said, “And that is the point. Video we keep being told is the most powerful way to get a point across no matter where someone is on the pathway to purchase. Yes it is powerful but the real power comes from giving it a personal touch.”

Fletch just smiled.

The Takeaways:

A personal touch is the shortcut to trust.

The more personal a video is the more powerful the message.

What you show is important. What you say is critical. But the most important thing is who trusts you.

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, 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.

Personal Touch Breakthrough

“Once again a blast from the past takes over!” I said as I slid into my seat for lunch with the rowdy crew of business developers I’ve become the Watson for.

Personal phone calls build digital businessGail, our copywriter par excellence took a sip of iced tea and replied, “Can we assume that this has something to do with your choice of a topic for the day?”

Kate, the sales consultant sneered, “Yes, do tell. We’re all atwitter.”

Rob, who we call Bubba because he hails from Georgia, said, “Y’all are a cranky bunch today. Give the man a chance to ‘splain himself afore you go flingin’ him into the briar patch.”

“Thanks Bubba,” I said. “You know how we all get those heavy duty pitches from guys trying to sell us on line sales and SEO  expertise and products and you name it? Well I look at some of it but this last video really threw me. Usually these guys are all about on-line and they’re as personable as a loan shark looking for a past due account.”

Chris, the Digital Director said, “Whoa. Not every on-line business is that way. The truth is you have to offer some value or you will soon be out of business. You know that. You helped me when I was doing my entrepreneur thing.”

“My point is,” I said, “that because about midway through a video presentation that had some good stuff in it I was astonished when three of the experts being interviewed talked about how they experimented with personal touch in their on line businesses. What they tried was:

  • Hand written thank you notes to everyone that signed up for a free trial for an App. That more than doubled the conversion from trial to paid membership.
  • Personalized 30 second videos maintained that increase but cut the time needed per touch from five minutes to a minute or two.
  • A one-to-one text e-mail that is not generated by an auto responder started a dialogue that allowed a merchant to discover things about how his product/service is received and used. It proved to be a huge value for the next version.
  • You can use You Tube to put up an unlisted video. Then you send a link to the customer. They never forget.
  • You can overcome cart abandonment using the telephone. If you use a two-step sales approach (Contact info entered separately from Credit card) you can easily see who leaves without buying. Once a day or so, simply call those folks and have a conversation with them. You don’t sell, you just listen to the problem they have and let them know how your product can help them. This approach generates 12% to 30% additional sales.

Rick, our direct Marketing guy who really understands process said, “Let me sum up:

The Takeaway:

Customers do not want to be treated like numbers. They want to connect with a human being that understands their problem, relates to it and is really interested in them as a person. That pays off in increased sales.”


Jerry Fletcher’s blog recaps conversations with clients, prospects and an unruly mob of business development professionals. They discuss what’s new, what’s old, what’s good, bad and ugly plus creative thinking to find what works. Jerry Fletcher is the ringleader and “Watson” of the dialogue.

Jerry has been researching and implementing small business marketing that builds businesses, careers and lives of joy for 20 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.



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