Naturally, we are not all comfortable in front of the camera. But if we want to be recognised by our clients, then there is no better time to start getting comfortable than now.
As I briefly spoke about how we are all in the business of selling ourselves in my previous post, “Why the Hell Aren’t You Personal Branding?”, video is possibly one of the most effective mediums of achieving just that. According to an online report, Youtube in South Africa alone reached an active user base of 7.2 million people by August 2014, making it second to Facebook’s 11.8 million in social media use. This just means that there is an astoundingly large audience online for you to reach via video branding. “The global rise of video is now making itself felt [in South Africa],” said Arthur Goldstuck, managing director of technology market research organisation World Wide Worx. “Once the cost of mobile data comes down for the emerging smartphone market, video will become a dominant medium.” True, the cost of data usage remains relatively high in South Africa. However, increased internet connectivity, competitive market pricing and greater demand for data will drive the mobile usage of online video consumption to unprecedented statistics. What you now need to decide is whether or not you will be part of the online digital feast, because sooner or later video will be the fastest selling dish on the menu.
This is all good news for the medium of video, but what does it mean for your personal brand? Think of it this way. In just the same manner we all strive to sell a product or service, you need to consider yourself as a product. There are essentially two fundamental aspects to a product; its appearance and its function. Firstly, think of the packaging, the presentation, the delivery. Every detail of how you display yourself should be scrutinised and ironed out to present the best possible product that complies with your desired brand (more on this “Why the Hell Aren’t You Personal Branding?”). From conducting meetings to social media profile pictures, the perception you show is the story you tell, so make sure it’s a damn good story!
Keep in mind though that how you appear and present yourself is one thing, how you offer value to your customers is another. You can offer the most eloquent vacuum cleaner with a state of the art design, or be the best dressed plumber with custom-made tools, but ultimately what you’re selling is how well you clean the rugs or fix the drains. You may steer your personal brand to make you look like a professional in your field, or someone who others may feel comfortable dealing with. But at the end of the day it comes down to what you can offer them and if your functionality matches your appearance. Once the two align, you will begin to sell the product that is Yourself. By align, I mean being a product that not only has an attractive appearance, but that delivers outstanding value and justifying why a client was attracted to your appearance in the first place.
This is best demonstrated with what can be called the Lure-and-Hook Cycle. In a nutshell, the shaped appearance of a product or service lures a client, whilst the functionality and delivery of value hooks them on. In turn, this encourages them to recommend you, your product or service to other potential clients. These new customers are then presented with the appearance of the product or service, and so the cycle continues.
Now the crucks of the article! This is where the importance of video comes in. A personal branding video is the medium that tells your story. It is a powerful tool in boosting the appearance factor that lures in your customers. Just as an example of the attractive power of video, think of the Apple commercial “1984” that was aired during the Super Bowl in the same year as the name of the ad. It was intended to market the release of the Macintosh, but ultimately went down in history as one of the greatest commercials of all time. The success of the Macintosh itself was questionable. However it undoubtedly created the attention that Steve Jobs and his colleagues intended for the computer’s release.
A personal branding video can have the same desired effect. Having produced personal branding videos for various international clients, they can all contest to the power of video and how the visibility of their brand has exponentially grown their client base. This is due to the fact that a visual representation is selling them, rather than them trying to sell themselves. Owning a personal branding video immediately raises the stature of one’s professionalism amongst their competitors and draws the curiosity and attention of a greater market share. Hooking them on and closing sales is then about delivering value that matches one’s raised stature and appearance. One of the most damaging situations that can harm your personal brand is raising your profile and perceived significance to attract clients, only to disappoint them with unsatisfactory results, ineffective functionality or a lack of value.
The Lure-and-Hook Cycle:
So to recap, take a look at
the graph above that explains the Lure-and-Hook Cycle. As previously mentioned, the medium of video is fast becoming the online choice of media consumption. To grab the attention of this vast internet audience, it is vital to consider yourself as a product to sell. As a product, you need to shape the appearance factor to effectively lure in customers, while simultaneously optimising your functionality in order to hook them on. But to attract curiosity and attention in the first place, it is crucial to gain higher ground as a means of being noticed above your competitors. A personal branding video thus has the power to raise your stature in that it tells your story rather than you trying to sell yourself. If you have a good story to tell, all you need to do now is ensure you match that appearance with a functionality that delivers the value your customers are expecting. Delivering exceptional value encourages existing clients to recommend you to other potential customers. They are then exposed to your appearance, and so the cycle is set in motion.
So it’s time get you in front of that camera, because your future clients are already at the dining table waiting for the main dish!
[Statistics sourced from the South African Social Media Landscape 2015 report by World Wide Worx and Fuseware at: http://www.worldwideworx.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Exec-Summary-Social-Media-2015.pdf]