One of the most common questions people ask me about my business is, “how did you get started? How did you make that transition from earning a salary and full benefits for over 20 years to one day boldly walk away from the safety of a paycheck to courageously start your journey to entrepreneurship?” My answer to that is…umm….I didn’t boldly walk away from anything. I got fired.
Yup. Fired. It caught me totally by surprise; I was shaken. So, when people ask me how or why I started this business, I tell them it’s because I had no other choice.
For some reason, my story resonates with a lot of people. My abrupt transition, my 20+ years of slowly losing my soul in my job, my embrace of the new adventure in entrepreneurship, my will to make it work, and finally, my desire to make it meaningful. This story somehow needed to be told. Not for my own gain, but so those that relate can be inspired to figure out their own next steps.
Here’s a 2-minute video we made that summarizes what I’m talking about:
So, why is our own story so important?
Telling your origin story is one of the quickest ways to build a connection with your audience. Here’s how:
- Your story is your differentiator. In an ocean full of options, customers need to see right away what makes you different. There might be other companies who offer a similar product or service, but no one has your unique story. It’s what sets you apart from everyone else.
- Good stories drive business. As we discussed last week, people are hungry for ways to improve their lives, and if they find that with you, they’ll keep coming back for more. Your story builds relationships, and relationships build customer loyalty.
- Your story can attract employees. If you do it right, your story will inspire others to join you. People will want to work with you because YOUR story feels like THEIR story.
A few tips to remember when creating your own origin story video:
- Share your history… Obviously an “origin story” should be about how your business came to be. It may not seem as epic as a radioactive spider bite, but trust me: the problems and passions that led you to this work will connect with people in ways you don’t expect.
…but keep it tight. It might be challenging to capture your life’s journey in two minutes, but think about how we all engage with YouTube – if you click on a video that’s longer than 5-10 minutes, most people won’t continue watching. Editing is your friend.
- Highlight pivotal moments… Every great story has a turning point – an epiphany moment where everything changes. When did you suddenly realize a problem that you wanted to solve, or a different way to do it? Your customer is looking for similar transformation in their own lives.
…but don’t lose sight of your audience. There’s a fine line you’re walking here. It’s your story, but it’s also for them. Focus on the details that they’ll find interesting and solve their problems.
- Connect your story to your values… In the midst of giving the background that brought you here, you’re also sharing more than that. You’re helping people understand the why behind what you do. Share more than just facts; help them understand what drives you.
…but be authentic. Don’t be afraid of honesty. If you know Pixar’s 22 Story Rules, the first one is, “You admire a character for trying more than for their successes.” Trust that people will relate to the human side of your story, with all the ups and downs.
Which leads to the most important tip of all:
- The founder is not the hero… the customer is. This is the twist ending – ultimately your story is not actually about you, it’s about THEM. What if the mission of your business is to make your customer the hero, with you as their guide?
I can’t tell you how many people have contacted me after watching the video to say they want to work with me because they know I went through exactly what they are going through. Setting this common ground has been the foundation of our growth – sharing our failures and successes and using that knowledge to help other businesses is the number one thing that keeps me waking up every morning excited for the day.
SO – if you’re ready to make a video, I would love to be in touch to help you make it happen. That’s what BOS Media is all about – our passion is to SPREAD THE WORD about you and see more and more customers impacted by your story.
Reach out today and we’ll get ready to show the world how great you are! Looking forward to helping you shine.
As an entrepreneur, I have so many ideas. And as a super curious person with hundreds of hobbies and new interests in EVERYTHING, I just love learning.
If you look and analyze my own YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook history, you’ll see a pattern. It’s mostly me watching someone who’s awesome at their craft or their industry as they teach and explain what they know. This is where my learning begins.
But why do these content creators do this? Why take the time and record themselves teaching something that might expose their “industry secrets,” or help their competitors get a special glimpse of how they do business? Why do they offer all this information for FREE to strangers who may not even live in their city let alone their country, and might never even have the opportunity to become their customer or their client? Why?
Because the best marketing is EDUCATION. You will attract and retain more people to your business if you educate other curious learners like me.
That’s the purpose behind the next type of video we’re highlighting: Blog Videos.
These videos are so much more than just being informational. It’s recognizing that your customers have a hunger for learning, and they’re constantly searching for new ways to improve their lives. By providing that, you’re establishing a long-term place in their world.
I love this example from Sephora– education transformed the customer’s experience. What could have easily been a one-time transaction was converted into repeat business because of the information that was provided.
That’s the magic of these types of videos. Education is relationship building, which ultimately leads to customer loyalty.
Some of you might be thinking, “But I don’t have any special knowledge to pass on.” Not true!
Whatever industry you are in, you are an expert whether you like it or not. You have unique insight that no one else has. You might not see it because it’s part of your everyday life and you’ve been doing it forever so you take it for granted…but what you know and what you do is unique to a lot of people and they are dying to know what you know. Dive deep into the knowledge that seems so obvious to you, then share your journey and your findings.
So there it is – your new marketing strategy: Educate your customers, so when they want to learn more, you’ll be the one they keep coming back to.
And just to prove my point, I’m going to go watch a new video right now.
I love the analogy of “pulling back the curtain” – it describes a moment of revelation, when something hidden is finally brought to light, when a secret is made known, and Voila! The mystery is revealed.
(the previous paragraph kind of just pulled back the curtain on “pulling back the curtain”… *mind bomb*)
It’s the perfect imagery for the next type of video you may want to include on your website: a Behind-the-Scenes Video
These videos are intended to give your customers a little window into how you work. You might have some of this information on your “About” page, but this is a chance to bring that text to life, and give it some personality.
The goal of a behind-the-scenes video is to show more of the process behind WHY YOU DO what you do. It can help humanize you to customers, making you more relatable as they realize, “Wow, this person is a lot like me.”
And once again, it brings us back to the most important question you can answer as a business:
“What problem are you solving?”
Let this video be a way of showing the tangible benefits you bring to a customer. Not just “what you do,” but “how you help people.”
On a practical note, two things we recommend including in your video:
- Use b-roll. We don’t want to see talking heads – show actual clips of what life looks like in your world.
- Use music. This helps set a pleasant tone and can make the video more engaging.
I’m excited for you to show more people the joy you find in your work!
And PS: can you imagine if the person reading this was actually in the curtain business… pulling back the curtain on the curtains… that might be the biggest mind bomb ever.
Whenever I click on a video to watch before buying a product or a service, I ask myself… “What am I looking for in this video? What is going to convince me?”
For me, the thing I’m looking for most is assurance. How can I be sure that this company is trustworthy? That’s easy. I want to listen to others who are like me share their own story of what they experienced from purchasing these products or services. And the more that’s shared, the more I will learn to trust.
That’s why the second type of video we’re going to discuss is so important: Testimonial Videos.
Here are the Top 5 things every good testimonial video should aim to include:
- Tell the Before & After Story. Whether it’s a testimonial or a blockbuster movie, the best stories give us a transformational experience. Quite simply, it’s: “This was my life BEFORE I became a customer, and now this is my life AFTER.” Testimonials show us you’ve got something that can literally be life-changing.
- Present your Product as the Solution. The two biggest question we always ask is, “What problem are you solving?” and “What makes you different?” This is really the key to a good Before & After testimony – it’s the story of how your product came along and changed everything.
- Show the Product in Action. We talked about this last time – just because we’re hearing from a satisfied customer, but ideally we still want a visual. Talking head videos are great, but the best testimonials let us experience the magic with our own eyes.
- Be Honest. This sounds obvious, but authenticity is essential. Sure, we want to hear from your most passionate customers, but not if what they share off as fake. Look for customers who have had a great experience, and can genuinely translate that when on camera.
- Give Potential Customers a Next Step. By the end of the video, hopefully the viewer is ready to buy! Make it easy for them by offering a clear way to connect, whether it’s contact details or product purchase information.
I hope this helps you spread the word about the great work you are doing. Kind of like that old saying about a tree falling in the forest – you’ve helped so many customers, here’s to creating an opportunity for them to make a sound!
One of my favorite commercials growing up was this ad for Juicy Fruit:
The 80s vibes are so strong, and it’s very funny to see how the mere act of opening a pack of gum can instantly change your life. You might be one stick of Juicy Fruit away from being the coolest person in town who everyone is attracted to when they see you on water skis – who knew chewing gum could be this fun??
Last week, we talked about the importance of incorporating videos on your website and in your digital marketing strategy. If you do it right, using videos will:
- build trust in your company
- clarify your product or services
- help generate more business
There are four different types of videos that businesses can use to make this happen: Explainer/Demo Video, Testimonial Video, Behind-the-scenes Video, and a Helpful Blog Video. Over the next few weeks, we’ll go into more detail about each one so you can answer:
What kind of video makes the most sense for your business?
For today, let’s talk about the Explainer/Demonstration video.
Like the Juicy Fruit commercial, this type of video shows your product or service in action. This is especially helpful if you offer something that might require a little more explanation. Your goal is to take the mystery out of the equation, so your customer has even more confidence to make a purchase.
This is especially important in today’s marketplace. Most customers will make their first impression of you ONLINE. It doesn’t matter how friendly you are in person, or how amazing your product is to use – if you can’t make that translate online, people aren’t buying it.
Demonstration videos are a great solution – you can show people exactly how things work, and give them the opportunity to see how they would experience it themselves. They are significantly more effective than text alone ––
Research says people are 3x more likely to watch a video than to read the same information, with a much higher retention rate.
So don’t just talk about it.
Open up that pack of gum, get on your jet ski and SHOW THEM what you can do.
By recording a demonstration video, you’ll have something that lives online and engages customers 24 hours a day. That’s a simple way to amplify your sales.
Chew on that!
I always carry around jumper cables in the trunk of my car just in case. Just in case my battery dies, or if someone else’s battery dies and I want to help. A couple of years ago, I ran into a situation that I was 50% prepared for. I had my jumper cables. But the 50% I wasn’t prepared for was trying to figure out how to jump a hybrid. Do I connect the cables like a normal car? If so, where’s the battery? Is there more than one battery? If so, which battery do I jump? Where do the cables go? I don’t see any positive or negative terminals. I am so lost. The truth is, the hybrid car had the owner’s manual in the glove department. But, I needed answers quickly and visually…so, what did I do? I quickly searched YouTube and found a 1-minute video that told me everything I needed to know. And voila, I became an instant expert and an instant hero. Thanks, YouTube.
The other day, I was looking for a drawer organizer online. There are hundreds of them. I found the one that I liked but wasn’t sure if it was the right fit, size, or function that I was looking for…until I saw that this product had a video. A quick 45-second video that showed someone putting the organizer in a drawer and placing utensils in it to show how it would simplify and beautify my life. Yup, exactly what I was looking for. Thanks, YouTube.
Today, I watched a video on YouTube to stretch and relieve my lower back pain. Thanks, YouTube.
Do you see a pattern here? We are watching more videos online than we ever have before. In fact, we watch an average of 16 hours of online video per week, which is a 52% increase in the last two years. It’s also known that we retain around 90% of a message when we watch it in a video compared to only about 10% when we are reading it in text.
This has major implications for your business. According to research:
- 96% of people have watched an explainer video to learn more about a product or service.
- 86% of people would like to see more videos from brands.
- 64% of consumers make a purchase after watching branded social videos.
- 68% of consumers prefer watching videos to learn about new products or services, as compared to articles, infographics, ebooks, and presentations.
- Consumers who end up on an e-commerce site through a user-generated video are 184% more likely to purchase and spend 45% more.
- Google shows a video thumbnail next to a search result about 26% of the time, and users are more likely to click that listing.
So, are you thinking what I am thinking? Why don’t you have a video? I honestly believe every business website should have one. For this next series, I want to go through the different types of videos you need and how they will not only help generate more business but also truly help those who are seeking a solution, build trust in your company, and clarify your product or services. Videos create higher engagement and increase traffic. It’s a win-win all the way around.
Looking forward to introducing and explaining a new video category each week. Also, I would love to hear from you on what type of video you think will best engage with your customers and ultimately, help you grow. Let’s talk about it!