Did you know there’s a cheap gadget you can start using today to get more leads for your business? In fact, you may be sitting in front of it right now. With your webcam, you can make online videos that can help boost your site’s conversion rate and build trust with potential clients or customers.
Forbidden conversation with two men and woman
Why bother making videos that aren’t about kittens?
Kittens are awesome, but online video has a lot to offer small businesses in terms of how many visitors take the action your content encourages them to take. If you don’t sell stuff on your site, they’ll usually fill out your contact or request-a-consultation form. According to a 2014 report from video platform Vidyard, 71 percent of marketers said that their video content enjoyed “much better” or “somewhat better” conversions than their other kinds of content.
But making videos is tough when most business people don’t know how to talk in front of a camera.
You’ve probably seen lame videos from other folks in your niche. Making engaging videos isn’t easy. Think of it this way: when you’re speaking in front of a crowd, no matter how nervous you are, you’re still getting useful feedback from the audience. Even if you’re bombing, that feedback is still improving your performance as you go along, although you might not consciously realize it. When you speak in front of a webcam, however, you’re getting no feedback at all. You may know that this recording will be watched by hundreds or thousands of people later, but your brain doesn’t naturally respond to that the way it responds to even one human being.
Your webcam can also be your toughest critic.
You’ve seen audiences laugh at dumb jokes and applaud boring speeches. That’s just what people are trained to do. Your webcam, on the other hand, won’t cut you any breaks. When you watch a recording of yourself speaking, you’ll see every awkward gesture and hear every stutter. You’ll know how well you did because you already know what a good public speaker acts and sounds like. When you watch a presidential debate, you can usually tell who “won.” At a business meeting or conference, you can tell if the presenter is keeping you interested or reminding you of how close your phone is.
The fact that so many other business people don’t make good videos, and that making good videos is tough, could mean a great opportunity for you. Imagine how much you’ll stand out from the crowd with lots of engaging videos right on your site. The only way to improve is to practice, so get started today with these simple steps:
- Check your equipment. An easy-to-use combo for video newbies is a Logitech HD Pro Webcam, Sony VCT-R100 Tripod, and CowboyStudio Lighting Kit. These are all moderately priced gadgets you can find online. That said, if you don’t have the budget for equipment right now, don’t use that as an excuse. You can get started with a basic webcam, lighting kit, and camera set, which you can buy for $15 online from websites like DealExtreme. Anyway, if you have a smartphone or newer laptop, both of those devices probably have a decent-quality video recording camera and mic built in. Working with what you have is better than not taking action.
- Crank up your lights and clean up your background. You’ve probably cringed at the sight of dark videos shot against messy backgrounds. Give your viewers a better experience. Whatever lights you’re using, you want them to be bright. The main light should be coming from somewhere near the position of the camera, in front of your face. Please tidy your desk too.
- Brainstorm some common questions you get from leads. What are some questions you’re sick of getting from leads? Now’s your chance to help answer some of those questions on your site and encourage potential clients or customers to contact you for more information. By answering their pressing questions as close to face-to-face as you can, you’re building trust with leads and establishing yourself as an expert.
- Shoot the video. Pretend your lead is sitting in front of you and answer the question as you would if you were speaking to him or her. Use the same language and tone, because the fact is that you are speaking to your leads. Sifting through YouTube will show you that shorter videos tend to get more views, so try to keep your answer under five minutes, and end with instructions on how your potential clients or customers can get in touch with you.
- Upload the video to YouTube. Did you know YouTube is the second most popular search engine? By keeping up a strong YouTube presence, you’re giving more potential clients or customers a chance to find your videos. Secondly, YouTube is owned by Google. From a search engine optimization perspective, Google and YouTube are intricately connected. If you want to have a strong presence on Google (and who doesn’t, right?) then it makes sense to want to have a strong presence on YouTube too.
- Publish the video as a post on your site and share it on your social networks. If you have a WordPress site, you can just paste the URL of the YouTube video directly into a post and the user will see the full embedded video after you publish it. If you’re not using WordPress, click on the Share link underneath your YouTube video, then click on Embed. Copy the code that shows up in the text box. Then, back on your in-progress post, go into HTML mode and paste this code.
Seductive woman using her computer in the bedroom
Once this new post is titled and published, share your video across all of the social media sites you use. You’ll be building your personal brand and driving traffic to your site. Additionally, you’ll get honest feedback from members of your social networks, whether it’s in the form of conversions, unsubscriptions, or shares on your videos. Metrics don’t lie.
Extra challenge: Repeat steps 3 through 6, Monday through Friday, for 3 months.
It takes a little over two months to solidify a new habit. For example, a 2009 study that was published in the European Journal of Social Psychology measured how quickly 96 participants could form a new habit, such as running for 15 minutes daily or including a piece of fruit with their lunch. The study found that it took about 66 days to reach a plateau. Since you’ll only be doing this on weekdays, try for three months instead.
It only takes about 15 minutes a day to set up your desktop equipment, record an answer to a question you already know how to answer in your sleep and upload it to YouTube. If you can get more leads by showing up at the office 15 minutes early to do this, isn’t that a good return on investment?
If you take these steps, you may be surprised at how well your site converts and how much your communication skills improve. When you start getting personal with potential clients or customers, talking to them as close to face-to-face as you can and answering the questions they care about, they’ll respond. People will start commenting on your videos, liking your videos, and following you on social media. That’s how you build a real following: getting people to know, like, and trust you. Eventually, your videos may even start getting viral exposure, with members of your network sharing them with their friends, and their friends continuing to pass them on. When that happens, the videos you make in a three-month time span can keep earning you leads for years.
Even so, the best part might be the improvement in your communication skills. After a while, you’ll realize that you’re starting to sound more like the best communicators you know. You’ll start sounding clearer and more confident, both in your videos and when you answer client or customer questions “in real life.” People will start to notice. This is a personal change that will stay with you, and all it costs to start is that $15 webcam kit.