Your Own Media Juggernaut!

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I pride myself on my ability to come up with creative marketing and business development ideas but I recently met an entrepreneur who matched my enthusiasm and knack in every way; so I had to share her perspective with you. Donna Maria Coles Johnson is an award winning attorney, blogger, publisher and helps women and families successfully manage home and business through her Indie Business Radio Show. She is the founder and President of the Indie Beauty Network, a membership based trade organization providing business services to 700+ cosmetics manufacturers nationwide.  

Anyone who knows me has heard my mantra, “how would you market your business if you had a television station, radio outlet, magazine and newspaper totally dedicated to your business?”  Mrs. Coles is the living embodiment of this ideal and has seen fit to impart some of her wisdom and experience with us.

Q:  What has web video done for your business?
 
Video allows me to reach more people with the Indie Business messsage of self-sufficiency and empowerment. The message is powerful on its own, and whether it was my blog, radio show or magazine, it has always been well received. But video is a medium that engages the senses more completely than the others. Video allows me to share in a way that not only educates and informs, but is also entertaining. Additioanlly, video allows me to connect with people in a memorable way. I often hear from viewers that, when enjoying one of our videos, they have been made to feel like they were chatting with me over tea, and like I was speaking directly to them. Now that’s powerful! Finally, because my husband is a long-time video professional, it has also allowed me to collaborate more with him so we can expand the business beyond where either of us could take it separately.
 
Q:  How do you use video?
 
Four ways. First, by sharing an empowering and heartfelt message that I feel is important. For example, at the start of the New Year, I taped a segment called, “Ready, Aim, Fire” to get people excited about moving their business into 2008.

Second, I create packages that share Indie Business owners’ personal stories. I usually do these on location, just as a news reporter would, interviewing the Indie Business owner, showing video of them at work and sharing a bit about how they successfully combine their family responsibilities with their business ones.
 
Third, I use it to promote other things I am doing. For example, if I am having an especially exciting guest on Indie Business Radio, I’ll tape a “program note” to encourage viewers to tune into the radio show and enjoy the show live.
 
In each case, we load the video to social networking sites so that it can be played by millions of people the world over. This promotes our message and our work while we are asleep. Technology is great for that!
 
Q:   If someone is considering web video, where should they start?
 
They should start by setting goals. What do you want a video to do for you? I have seen too many videos thrown together at the last minute that make a business owner look so bad that even if what they are promoting is good, it’s ruined with bad video. So set a goal first. For example, if you are a self help author, perhaps you want to use video to promote your book. A 60-second promo message is great, especially if it includes a testimonial or two from some sincere people who can vouch for how your book has helped them. On the other hand, if you own a yoga studio, you’ll probably want less of you talking and more video of people in your yoga studio performing yoga routines and enjoying healthful time at your location.
 
A combination of things must come together for a good video: a good camera, appropriate lighting, proper makeup, a good set, good sound quality, and a powerful and organized message. Because good video is more than just “pointing and clicking,” I suggest engaging the services of a professional who can get to know your business and help you not only produce a professional quality video, but who knows enough about your business and your goals to actually help you script and produce the video.
 
Start small at first. Even 45 to 60 seconds is long enough if your message is powerful and professional.
 
4.  When does do-it-yourself video work and when should you bring in a pro?
 
Do it yourself video works for your hobby or personal ventures. But if you have a business, and you are using your video to generate sales leads, you have to have a quality product. Not many people are going to pay for your product or service if you are not professional, and if you have an unprofessional video, you will not look like a professional. This is why it’s important to have a goal in mind. If you are short on cash, start with a goal and a plan in place to recoup that cost as quickly as possible so you can start to enjoy a profit sooner rather than later.
 
Having said that, I realize that everyone has to start somewhere and that not everyone has the budget for a professional quality video. There are plenty of free or low cost resources online to help you make your own video until you get to the point where you can afford to engage a professional. You can get free video at archive.org or veer.com. You can get free music at freesounds.com or go to myspace.com and find some music you like and ask the musician if you can use it. Then get “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Making Videos” by Steven Beal, a great book to get you started.

Related Subjects:

  1. Entrepreneur Magazine Talks Video
  2. Do It Yourself Video: The Quality Myth
  3. Using Video to Boost Direct Mail Results
  4. For hundreds of ways to get customers to call you (subscribe to our newsletter) (browse archive)

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7 Responses to “Your Own Media Juggernaut!”

  1. Grant Hutchinson Says:

    I’d like to clarify a point made in the last paragraph. Veer does not currently supply video clips for use in multimedia projects, free or otherwise. We had been a source of royalty-free video products up until last fall, but those were certainly not free. I heartily agree with using sources such as archive.org, but you still need to review any Creative Commons or public domain usage restrictions placed on that media.

  2. John Easton Says:

    Grant:

    Thank you so much for straightening things out with respect to use of Veer assets. I completely agree with you that whatever creative source a do-it-yourselfer or professional for that matter uses, they should comply fully with any usage restrictions. Further, I suggest giving the creator credit in the form of a mention and return link (link love), especially if the content is offered at no cost.

    Regards,

    John

  3. dM Says:

    Grant, I thank you for pointing out my error. I didn’t mean to suggest that anyone should use copyrighted material without permission and I should have done a better job of editing my answers to John’s questions before sending them. Thanks for the clarification and correction.

    dM

  4. Grant Hutchinson Says:

    No worries. I didn’t really have a problem with the way the question was answered, but I did want to make sure that people weren’t confused Veer was offering in terms of products. Cheers.

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