The Principal

I recently started making funny comedy skits on video and posting them to YouTube and Facebook. In this video, I act like I’m Merv, the school principal. He likes to collect McDonald’s Happy Meal toys, make dad-jokes, and do bad impressions. The only thing he loves more than his students is his master’s degree.

This is continual build-out of the universe first created by the 16 year old who rode an Uber, followed by The Substitute Teacher, and The Driving Instructor. The one thing they all have in common is that they all love McDonald’s.

Shirts from the video are available on Amazon.com here (affiliate links):

The Driving Instructor

I recently started making funny comedy skits on video and posting them to YouTube and Facebook. In this video, I act like I’m Gary, a driving instructor who is “only doing it for the money” because it is better than mowing lawns and weedeating.

This is the second video in a series, the first being 16 yo Rides an Uber, in which the 16-year-old Uber rider asks his friend about whether he took Driver’s Education this summer and if he had Gary as a driving instructor. They both love McDonald’s.

My daughter, Magdalena, is coincidentally in Driver’s Education right now and so she actually did the student driving in this video. My son, Kevin, did the videography. Kevin has his own YouTube channel where he covers video games, The Game Boys.

Shirts from the video are available on Amazon.com here (affiliate links):

Video as a Marketing Tool

Video is both one of the most powerful and underused tools in marketing, training, and communication.

I think it would be wrong of any new endeavor in 2013 to not include video as an integral part of their marketing strategy. This is how I am going to include it this year:

  1. Work to create an “interview”-style of videos in a series where I talk about things that interest me published on Youtube and this blog
  2. Work to create videos where I go to events or to work for different clients as a way to showcase what I do in the field in my daily work
  3. Develop video for common IT helpdesk solutions such as how to add apps to your phone, how to setup voicemail, or search the Internet

Just Get Started

The best thing you can do is to just do something. You’re not going to get good at it until you try and fail. It’s okay to fail, it’s how you learn.

Erich Just Doing ItThe video on the right is a perfect example of this. I have a stain on my [T-!]shirt, I didn’t shave, the lighting is horrible, there is no script, and the camera is wobbly. But what you don’t know is that I specifically bought paint and painted that part of my house AND bought a special light to make videos, but I only made them this one time. And the only reason I made this one was because I told someone that I would (she was supposed to make one too, but she did not). The fact is that I did something – and now I can do the next one better.

Video as a Conversion Tool

I ran across this article on video and it reminded me of how important video is in conversions. It encouraged and reminded me to keep developing video for my products, my services, and my clients.

Video is a very strong conversion tool and one that is increasingly being used by companies to help customers learn more about their products or about the community you’re trying to establish around your products and company. Letting people know the ‘rules’ of your ‘tribe‘ and how to act in it will help your customers feel like they are part of something when they do business with you. It’s an intrinsic way to make each customer feel special. Video is one way to let people in on that culture.

I’m not the best at making videos (SEE above), but it’s something I’m learning more of how to do this year. I’ve done some work for other clients (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) but for a professional, there are others I can recommend.

Tools to Make Better Video

Michael Hyatt uses a lot of video and talks a lot about the tools he uses to make video:

I used a Canon 60D camera on a tripod. I did not use any special lighting. I also used an Audio-Technia ATR 3350 lavaliere microphone with a mono-to-stereo adapter from Radio Shack. I also used an iPad 2 as a teleprompter, using the Proprompter HDi Pro2 from Bodelin Technologies. I decided to invest in this gear, since I have a number of instructional videos I plan to shoot in the future. I edited the video in iMovie and then uploaded it to Vimeo, which I like much better than YouTube. It has many more options, including the ability to use a minimalist video player and custom thumbnail image.

I have boiled Michael’s list down to a ‘bare bones’ and ‘all-out’ version:

  1. Camera: iPhone ($400) or Canon 60D ($800)
  2. Microphone: 2nd iPhone or Audio-Technica ATR-3350 Lavalier ($18)
  3. Tripod: Tripod Mount for iPhone: Studio Neat Glif ($20) and Vista Explorer Tripod ($25)
  4. Teleprompting: Paper and Marker or iPad with Proprompter HDi Pro2 from Bodelin Technologies ($1195)
  5. Lighting: Cowboy Studio Lighting Kit ($60) or Fancier Studio Lighting Kit ($160)
  6. Editing: iMovie on a Mac ($999) or Adobe Premiere Elements on a PC ($999) – both prices include hardware and software
  7. Publishing: Vimeo or Youtube – Why not both?

You don’t have to buy all of this at once and can combine your resources with friends or clients who may have iPhones or iPads. Vimeo and Youtube are both free.

Making Video a Habit

If you make this a part of your marketing habits and start treating it as a must-do versus a maybe-should-do then you can start to do the things it requires to help make our business ventures a success. In this way, video can become part of your new Marketing Ecosystem. That’s my goal. What’s yours? And how can I help?