Episode 56 - Simon BanksWhy you should be using video content for your business marketing - Making conversations about video count!
Simon Banks, Video Coach & Strategist
Making Conversations about Video Count!
This episode of “Making Conversations Count” is all about the importance of using video content in your inbound marketing.
“If I treat you with respect and treat you how I would want to be treated myself, then you’re always going to get the best out of somebody.”
Simon Banks, Making Conversations Count, November 2021
There’s a video! And THERE’S a video! And a video. And a video…
Actually, no, there’s not always video content out there, everywhere you look.
Not yet at least.
It may sometimes feel like that when scrolling through your social media feed.
But that’s only because of the algorithms.
Algos LOVE video.
And this is why a lot of podcasts use video clips for promotional reasons.
If we didn’t, you’d never know about us.
Yep, one thing’s for sure – videos are becoming more important for business marketing than ever before.
(At the very least, everyone should be using an explainer video on their website)
This episode of “Making Conversations Count” explains why this is happening, and what it means for your inbound marketing strategies, too…
It’s important to note that video marketing is definitely not just for big business. You don’t need an elaborate Hollywood studio set-up to pull it off.
That said, the video marketing pros might have some advice if you’re looking to ‘up’ your video game!
And if there’s a video marketing pro who can do that for you, it’s Simon Banks from “Get Video Right”.
For example, there’s an argument to be made for using video over ALL other marketing platforms due to the fact video uses more than one of our senses, and that makes customers happy.
Simon knows his stuff.
His long list of credentials includes projects working with Sir Elton John, David Beckham, and even 007 himself, Pierce Brosnan!
Find out more about how Simon has made a successful career out of video, and what it can do for you, in this episode…
TLDR: using video for your business marketing helps customers engage with you – and want to buy from you (if that’s your goal) – because video tells a story.
And stories are engaging.
Listen to other episodes on your favourite platform…
Full Episode Transcript
Making Conversations Count – Episode Fifty-Six
Wendy Harris & Simon Banks
11th November 2021
00:01:38: Simon’s background into video
00:04:27: Meeting celebrities
00:09:52: Treat people with respect
00:11:02: Being in front of the camera
00:14:28: Using video as a sales/marketing tool
00:16:42: Audio vs video
00:21:52: Personal video messages
00:23:45: Connection videos
00:27:04: Using video effectively for instant result
00:28:22: Begin with the end in mind
00:30:50: Type of content to video
00:32:51: Transcription and repurposing content
00:36:21: Simon’s pivotal conversation
00:42:27: Final thoughts
Wendy Harris: I’m joined by the one and only Simon Banks on how to get rapid results with video. So, of course, we’re making conversations about video count.
What’s new, Wendy Woo? Well, we got this great shoutout from Joey in Aberdeen, “Sadhir Kumar’s recent episode shows that if you do take action, it may not be the same as his, but taking action gets you moving somewhere in whatever direction. A great motivational podcast episode if you’re looking for that real life example. His tips on marketing aren’t that bad too”. I have to agree with you, Joey; done is better than perfect.
My next statement may challenge you and make you feel a little bit ick. You need a video on your website explaining who you are, what you do and how you can help. Yeah, when somebody said that to me a while ago, I went cold; I’m an audio girl. Video? You mean, I’ve got to do my hair and put some lipstick on? Honestly, this will be the most insightful listening on video that you’re going to hear for quite some time.
The first question that I have to ask you, Simon, is what got you into video in the first place?
Simon Banks: So, it’s always been my dream, my goal. So, since the age of 16, I wanted to be a cameraman. And at the time, and this was when I was living in Sydney, Australia, my sister worked for a video production company. And her production company specialised in music videos, back in the 1980s.
Wendy Harris: I love the 1980s music!
Simon Banks: And so, I did work experience for this company in Sydney, for two weeks, as you do when I was in year 10; and in that week, I met Elton John and the band, Kiss.
Wendy Harris: Wow!
Simon Banks: They were touring in Australia at the time, and basically they were doing the concert video. So, they did all the setup for the big screens on the concerts. And all the cameramen were wearing jeans and a T-shirt, and I just thought, “How cool is this?” wearing jeans and a T-shirt and meeting famous popstars, rockstars. And I was hooked. So, since the age of 16, I wanted to be a cameraman, and by the age of 20, I was.
Wendy Harris: So, just being able to be behind the camera and get paid for listening and watching the concerts?
Simon Banks: Yeah. And so I did a degree, I have a degree in media, and then got a job, my first job in television, because back in the mid-1980s to late-1980s, there wasn’t this thing called The Internet. In those days, it was basically, if you wanted to do — you had to work in television, basically; you had to do broadcast.
So, my first job in television was as a news cameraman in a small town called Wagga Wagga in New South Wales. Now, I graduated, applied for this job. In those days, you had to apply for jobs from newspapers; wrote a letter and my CV, went for an interview, got the job and that’s where I started my career as a news cameraman.
Ever since, so this is 34 years ago, or whatever, I’m still doing video. I’m still doing video. Obviously, my role has changed a lot. I don’t do news anymore, I’m not so much filming these days; I tend to run companies and my role now is to actually help people create their own video content. But I’ve had one career this long. That’s because I love it, I love the variety and along the journey, I have got opportunities to travel the world, I’ve lived on three continents, and I’m met loads of famous and not so famous people. That’s because I love stories, and everyone has a story.
Wendy Harris: And some incredible conversations that you must have had?
Simon Banks: Yeah, I’ve done some great things. One is hanging out with David Beckham.
Wendy Harris: Pretty cool. I think he’s got better with age.
Simon Banks: This was a while ago with one of my clients, UNICEF, and David Beckham is what we call an Ambassador for UNICEF.
Wendy Harris: An Ambassador, yeah.
Simon Banks: So, we went to Copenhagen, they were doing some warehouse — he was packing boxes to ship to somewhere in Africa or the Middle East, I can’t remember exactly where. And I had this strange thing, one of these awkward things. I don’t know if it’s awkward, but we stopped for lunch and we’re in this warehouse sort of room and we had pizza, so I was literally sitting opposite David Beckham, we’re both eating pizzas, and I’m thinking, “What do I say?” because actually, David Beckham is quite shy.
He just sat there eating pizza, just David, myself and I had a sound recordist, his minder and a client. And no one was saying anything, and I just felt compelled to go, I can’t remember, something like, “Have you come far?” or, “How are you finding life in –“, because he was playing for Real Madrid at the time, showing how long ago it was! And he was nice, really easy to work with. He understood what we needed to do, and I was really impressed at the time he gave us. I managed to even get a photograph with him, and it was great.
I’ve had the opportunity to meet lots of famous people in my time, celebrities, and I always find that the more famous they are, generally the nicer they are as well.
Wendy Harris: Do you think that it’s because that fame almost puts people in a bubble anyway, that people, they get a bit starstruck or a bit tongue-tied, ask the daftest of questions, or they just don’t really treat you like a real human being that likes to eat pizza?
Simon Banks: My experience is, the more famous they are, they’ve made it, so they don’t have to pretend. I’ve actually filmed some other Hollywood stars who are not so famous, who were really quite awkward to work with. I’ll give you another example just to namedrop, if you like!
Wendy Harris: Oh, go on, dish the dirt!
Simon Banks: I was filming, what we call “behind the scenes” of a James Bond movie. It was Pierce Brosnan’s first James Bond movie, Golden Eye, and I was on set in Epsom racecourse, which was the set they were using for, there’s a scene where he’s supposed to fly to Moscow. And there was Pierce Brosnan, and I was working for, I think it was called Entertainment Tonight, you remember one of the American Hollywood programmes, and I was there and I was fairly new on set.
We’re filming this particular scene and generally, when you’re doing behind the scenes, you’ve got to stay back a little bit, you don’t want to get in the way. I just remember Pierce Brosnan, he did a take, he looked and me and basically said to me, “Who are you?” and I thought, “Uh-oh”. And I said, I’m Simon, I’m working for Entertainment Tonight, we’re doing behind the scenes. He said, “Okay, great, nice to see you, great to meet you. What did you think of that take?” So, he was amazing!
And after a couple of takes, he actually looked at me and said, “What do you think?” and it was just great; I just felt so special to be part of it. And that’s quite incredible, I think. It all comes down to people skills, doesn’t it? It all comes down to, I think, when you’ve made it, the bigger the star, generally the nicer they are. It’s generally their minders you’ve got to watch out for.
But because of my approach, no matter who you are, I always treat you the same. So, I know a lot of people, when they meet these celebrities —
Wendy Harris: “I’m not worthy!” It’s a Wayne’s World moment, isn’t it?
Simon Banks: Yeah, you’re doing this worship, won’t say anything. The way I approach is, we’re all human, we’re all people, so I treat people the same, which sometimes got me into trouble with their minders, because I’m quite friendly and I ask questions and I try and have a conversation with them. And I ask them to do things like, “Can you do that again, please?” or, “Could you do this?” because when I was filming, you need to get certain scenes and shots to make it work. And sometimes, a lot of people just go, “Well, I’ll do it once and that’s it” and I often say, “Can we do it again, because I think we could do better”, type of thing! So, I just treat everyone like they’re a celebrity.
Wendy Harris: That’s a great attitude, and I was having this conversation only yesterday, strangely, that it really doesn’t matter who people are, in my mind, because we come in and go out of this world in the same way as each other. It doesn’t matter our upbringings or anything like that; we’re all here with a purpose, I think that’s the thing. So, so long as you’re sticking to your purpose and you’re being kind along the way, then that’s a good point.
But Pierce asking you how that was, you were a stranger to him, but he valued your honesty, because he would be able to judge that honesty as to whether it was, “Oh, is he just telling me that because he’s a fan, or is he telling me that because he knows what he was talking about?”
Simon Banks: I think, for me, Pierce just really enjoyed what he was doing, and actually he was having a lot of fun.
Wendy Harris: Yeah, it’s interesting.
Simon Banks: And he just obviously liked to make people feel welcome on set, which is unusual. And of course, when he said, “How was the take?” of course, I had to say, “Brilliant!” because there was the Director as well! But I just think his attitude was great, treat everyone as equals. And of course, obviously, my motto’s also, if you’re on set, and I’ve dealt with lots of, not only celebrities, Hollywood stars, but as well I’ve worked with a lot of CEOs as well on large, global corporations, and the attitude is, you should always treat who you’re working with, or people working for you, the same.
If you treat them with respect, you will get respect back. If you treat people like they’re a servant, or you’re just a contractor, just a freelancer, “I don’t care about you –“
Wendy Harris: It’s that word, you’re “just”, isn’t it; it’s that “just”?
Simon Banks: You’re just, yeah. If you make people feel like [bleep], guess what, they’re not going to really respond to you very well, are they; they’re not going to then do the next best for you? So, that’s always my attitude towards the people I’ve worked with, the businesses I’ve built, the people I’ve worked with; I always treat people with respect; because I think, if I treat you with respect and treat you how I would want to be treated myself, then you’re always going to get the best out of somebody.
A lot of leadership roles I’ve seen are more bossy and, “You do what I tell you”. I don’t think that works particularly well.
Wendy Harris: And the other side of your business really is, because you’re a very passionate person about everybody using video for their business, is that you often get to work with businesses, or business owners, that maybe are not quite sure how to have that conversation on camera. Then, you’re dealing with a different kind of personality and set of emotions, aren’t you?
Simon Banks: Well, that’s interesting, because quite often when suddenly you’re on camera, your personality can change, I find. And I have been guilty of that.
Wendy Harris: Yes, “Hello, it’s Wendy, hello!”
Simon Banks: Yes, I mean I always remember when I first started being in front of the camera — so, most of my career’s always been behind the camera. I’ve always been filming other people, I’ve been telling people how to be on camera and, “Can you do that again?” and, “Maybe we can get a better take than that” or, “You’ve fluffed your line”.
But it’s so interesting, suddenly I was in front of the camera and I was like, “Er…”.
Wendy Harris: “Now I understand where you’re coming from”, yeah.
Simon Banks: Yeah. And I remember when, you know, you’ve got to practise what you preach, right? So, I always say, no matter what size business you are, you need to be doing video, you need to have some video, at least on your website. And of course I though, “Practise what I preach, I need to be on camera”, and I started doing video content. And I tell you, the first videos, I was wooden, the guy, the videographer who was working for me at the time said, “Where’s Simon Banks?”
Wendy Harris: Who’s stolen him?!
Simon Banks: Yeah, can the real Simon Banks step forward? And I was like, “What do you mean?” because I wasn’t really aware of it. And he just said, “You’re not you. This is not you. You’re very wooden and you’re –” and I said, “Yeah, that’s because I’m nervous and –“
Wendy Harris: Conscious of getting it right; it’s being captured?
Simon Banks: Yeah, conscious of myself. And of course now, I’m a lot more confident on camera, and that’s purely down to practice. And the key part is, although a lot of people don’t like being on camera, and that’s because we don’t like the way we look and sound, don’t know what to say, how do I come across as being authentic, I mean that’s one of the key words here; how do you be authentic? And the real way to only do that is you’ve just got to practise.
Trust me, because I’ve been through this journey. Probably, if you look at some of my earlier videos, which I shot probably over five years ago now, you will see I was probably a bit wooden and not my normal self. But you do get used to it and I do believe, especially if you are a smaller business and you are your brand, because I’m a huge believer; I know we’ve heard this phrase a lot, “People buy from people”.
I just see so many smaller businesses, and I work with people who run coaching businesses, and there are just one or two of them, and it’s like, “Where are you?” People are going to, especially from a coaching perspective, people are going to buy you because of you. You are your brand, therefore video, I would argue, of course I’m biased here, that is the best medium to get across your brand; especially now that, I mean things are starting to change, but we haven’t been able to go and do face-to-face meetings.
For the last 16 months, here in the UK, we haven’t been doing face-to-face meetings, and I’m not sure they’re going to come back in a hurry. So, my process of sales was, I get an enquiry, probably have a phone call with them, then I would arrange to go and see them. Then, we would sit down for an hour, talk through what they needed, I talk about my approach, go away, made a proposal, send it to them. I haven’t done a face-to-face meeting for over 16 months. It’s all done on Zoom.
Zoom is video. And I’m not convinced, and I’ll be honest with you, I prefer to do my qualifying calls on Zoom now, rather than spend time going into Central London, where I’m based, which takes me at least an hour, to have an hour meeting, to come back. Half a day’s gone. So, I would much prefer now to have a Zoom meeting to start with, and then this is the key here, is the follow-up, is then I would create a video to say thank you.
So, I’ve got a potential lead at the moment for a very large production job, and I’ve done a proposal for them, I’ve had a Zoom call with them, and when I send the proposal, I’m going to record a video, which is explaining my assumptions and my proposal and the way I’ve costed it. I do that through an app called Loom.com.
Wendy Harris: Yes, and that’s free, isn’t it? Yeah.
Simon Banks: And, the reason I do that and the feedback I get, is because no one’s doing it, I get replies. People go, “Yeah, that’s really useful, that’s really good”. Because then, I can go through the document and explain why we’ve come up with this idea, this is our approach, this is how we price it, these are the next steps. It’s not that hard to do. In fact, even using Loom, you can have your camera on or camera off, but it’s video and that’s what I’m all about, is starting to use video as an effective tool for your business.
There are simple ways you can start doing this. It’s not all about doing flashy marketing, promotional videos, or doing social media content every week; it’s about how can you use video effectively for your sales, and sometimes it’s as simple as doing, what I call, personal video, so one-to-one video.
Wendy Harris: It makes sense as well, because if you somebody already, because you’ve had that conversation with them on the telephone, which is kind of my bag. I feel that with 30-odd years of experience working the telephone, I can probably gain a lot more from a conversation on a phone that I can on a video. But the last 16 months has translated that to reading body language and looking for subtle differences as well.
Taking that aside, even my own process, I like audio, because that’s what the telephone is. So, with LinkedIn and that kind of platform, or Facebook pages, I send voice notes. So really, you’re just taking it one step further, because that’s your medium. My medium is audio; I think it’s intimate. You don’t have to worry too much about what you look like either on an audio message, but it’s a great way to start that practice, because it all takes practice, doesn’t it?
Simon Banks: It does. And also, you’ve got to remember, we’re all different the way we like to receive information. So, you’re auditory, I’m visual. Most people would be more comfortable recording an audio message; absolutely great. Some people like myself prefer to see a video.
Wendy Harris: But the challenge here is, just because it’s what I prefer doesn’t mean — and I get great feedback. People say, “I love the fact that you’ve sent me a voice note”, because there’s that inflection of emotion that you get from the voice. Now, that doesn’t mean to say that that’s their preferred method. It’s mine, but am I sending the right thing?
So, when it comes to it actually, Simon, you’re kind of challenging me now to do that video, because that’s the 360, isn’t it?
Simon Banks: And also, you need to probably give all three, because unless you actually know how people want to receive information — so, for example, when I get a LinkedIn request and I accept the request, I have a connection video, so I set up a link for them to say, “Thanks for connecting with me”. It’s a pre-recorded one already, but it’s just a little bit different, because no one’s doing it.
I wouldn’t necessarily then send them a personal video message straightaway, because I think that freaks people out, okay! If you connect with someone and suddenly they go, “Hi, I’m Simon!”
Wendy Harris: Here’s Wendy on my screen talking to me!
Simon Banks: So, part of it, my process probably would be, I send them a link to a video they can watch. I then probably maybe do an audio message, because audio messages are really easy to do on LinkedIn. Then, I might do a video. So, what I’m doing is words, audio and video. I’m giving them three ways that they can absorb my information. Then I might send them a link, so one of the links is actually to download a free chapter of my book, so that obviously they read it; it’s not a video, they actually can download and read it.
So, what I’m doing is appealing to all their senses —
Wendy Harris: And adding value.
Simon Banks: — trying to work out which one might work, because I don’t know yet what will work with them. So obviously, I’m video, but I do believe, well I don’t believe, it’s a fact really, that because of video, you can see. People can see and hear you and with actually certain content, you can put what we call “captions” on the video, so they can also read. So, you’re appealing to all three senses.
But the thing with a video is that you can convey emotion. People can see the whites of your eyes, they can see your facial expressions. And I believe that people buy from people, so people do want to see you. And if they can see and hear you, they’ve got to watch you. So, the thing about reading an audio is audio, people can just listen to it while doing something else. When people read, they can skim read.
One of the issues I have with emails particularly is tone, because people, depending on how you write, people can misinterpret.
Wendy Harris: Yeah, misinterpretation.
Simon Banks: Yeah, that’s why audio and video are much better, because when you’re speaking to someone or they can see you, you can’t really misinterpret the tone. And I think with video particularly, and I guess this is what I guess comes across from me, is my passion. People just say, “You’re obviously really passionate about what you do”, and that’s why video works well for me, because people go, “Wow, okay, Simon knows his stuff, Simon’s very passionate about this”, and I hope that comes across. And that’s why video works well for me and people buy from me, because they go, “Right, we come to Simon because he knows his stuff”.
Wendy Harris: And because you’ve created a deeper lasting impression. If people were to say, “Right, who would I go to to help me make some phone calls?” Lots of people that know me would say me. Now, when it comes to video, they would go, “I’ve seen Simon and I’ve heard Simon, and he’s told me he knows this stuff will work. Let’s do it”.
Simon Banks: I think the other thing about it is, I know you do sales, okay; now, I don’t know how you’re finding it, but particularly the last 14 months, and particularly when I do work with a lot of large corporates, I can’t get hold of them on the phone, because they’re not in the office. And I think, I don’t know about you, but when someone rings me unexpected, unannounced, which is primarily what I call a sales call, I want to get them off the phone as soon as possible, because I don’t like that approach.
But what I do find works really well is, rather than trying to catch them live, so to speak, is you can record what they call “a personal video”. So you could try, okay, this is an approach you could do. You could try email, right. Try email, which is what I tend to do to connect with them. You could then try and phone them, because obviously, when you’re looking at the live one-to-one phone call with them, that’s a good way to connect in conversations.
But I find people ignore emails, people won’t pick up the phone —
Wendy Harris: But they don’t pick up the phone, and whoever’s calling doesn’t leave a message either to give them any reason.
Simon Banks: To call back, yes. So, there’s a whole different approach in terms of, what I’m finding is people don’t pick up the phone anyway. People don’t phone each other.
Wendy Harris: Yeah, screen everything, because they’re going, “No, don’t know that number”.
Simon Banks: Well, there’s two things going on here, I think. One is, and I’m guilty of this, I don’t like picking up the phone. I don’t like calling other people when basically it’s a sales call. And I think there is a lot of resistance to that, so it’s easier to send an email. But emails are so easy to ignore.
When I do call, you often get a voicemail, because people don’t want to pick up. Or if they see your number or they don’t know who it is, they screen it. So then, yes, I do leave a voice message. But because, if it’s more of a, “Hi, checking in with you, how are you?” sort of call, they might not necessarily call back.
But what I do find is, and what I’m more comfortable doing, is actually recording a video, looking to the camera and saying, “Hi, it’s Simon. I just want to see how you’re doing”. And you make it personal. Literally, you’re just talking to that one person and you talk about, “Hi, I’ve seen your website recently and I saw the last video you’ve done”, whatever it might be, you make a comment on what they’re doing, and it’s just what I call, “a connection video”.
There’s loads of websites. You can use Loom, you can use loads of other websites, where you can record a video and you send them a link, and when they open the link, you know that they’ve opened it and watched it. But the thing is, it’s personal. And the reason why this works, and the feedback I’m getting is because no one’s doing it, no one’s using this approach, because it’s unusual.
Wendy Harris: It’s curiosity, because it’s new.
Simon Banks: Because, when you make the video, you actually say, “Hi, Wendy”. You’re actually making it so it’s a personal message. And when you’ve created the link, because you’re sending normally by email, you say, “Hi, I’ve created this personal video message for you, please watch”. People do, because it’s curiosity. People are not doing this, so it’s really effective. The technology’s been here for a while to do this, so no one’s doing it.
So, I just think it’s a really effective way, again part of a tool, in terms of if email’s not working, if you can’t get hold of them on the phone, create a personal video message.
Wendy Harris: Do you think in part though, Simon, that it’s because we can hear so many things, “You should be doing this for visibility”. It’s kind of a bit of a throwaway comment “for visibility”; yeah, I know that. So, how do I, and what’s it really going to give me, are really the motivators to getting you to actually do it, to take the action?
So, what you’ve just described there is, if your emails are being ignored, then you can send them by all means, because there’s an audit for it. But if that’s getting you no response, then that energy is dissipating to nothing. If it is that you’re just leaving constant voicemail messages and, yes, I agree with you, people aren’t in the office, they have changed the way that they approach the telephone, because they’ve had the opportunity to address how they want to deal with that as a tool in their business. So then, sending a video through to them that people are opening, and are coming back to you, is a really compelling argument to say, “Why are you not doing it yet then?”
Simon Banks: Exactly, and this is what it’s about. I’m all about making video simple. How can you make video simple and effective for your business? And I think making a personal video like this is a real way to get a return of investment straightaway on video, rather than seeing video as a marketing tool, which most businesses do. When you’re doing marketing videos and promotional videos and content, putting it onto video —
Wendy Harris: Yes, you do that video of, “Hello, I’m Wendy Harris of WAG Associates and I’m here to tell you all about our business”!
Simon Banks: Yes, I’d argue most people would think that’s the video they should produce, but it’s not the first video you should produce.
Wendy Harris: It’s not, is it? No.
Simon Banks: But then people struggle with, “I can’t keep doing video content every week for social media”, and quite often it’s hard to track that. Yes, you should be doing that; ideally, you should be, but that’s a long-term gain and you’ve got to be consistent with it. What we’re talking about here is how can we use video effectively which you can get instant result.
Wendy Harris: Instant gratification, mid-term, what you can grow that to for your social media, and longer-term strategy.
Simon Banks: Yes. And I think using the one-to-one, it doesn’t have to be polished, do you see what I mean? You can just pick up your smartphone and record your message.
Wendy Harris: And it would be human.
Simon Banks: It doesn’t have to be high production values, high quality; it doesn’t matter so much. It’s just, as long as people can see and hear you, and you keep it short, one minute, two minutes max, depending on what your message is, you don’t have to overthink it, is what I’m trying to say, by thinking, “I haven’t got the right tech and I can’t do this, because it’s not good enough”. It doesn’t matter, you’ve got to start somewhere, and then you build on that.
Wendy Harris: This is where the getting it right is the conversation that counts, because it’s about where you start and how you start and from that small start, bigger steps can be taken.
Simon Banks: I always start with, “Begin with the end in mind”, to quote the Late Stephen R Covey, and that’s where I always start. What results do you want; who’s your audience; how do you connect with that audience; rather than thinking about, what type of video do I have to go; how do I create that; how do I edit it? That’s the wrong start. That’s part of the elements of video, but I always say, “Keep it simple. Let’s start with what you want to achieve; who’s your audience; what’s the best way to reach them?”
Wendy Harris: What’s the conversation?
Simon Banks: I think, doing a personal video, it’s a conversation. And I think in this day and age, where we’re all being bombarded with different messages, it’s harder to reach people, because we’re not in an office anymore and people are not picking up the phone, and being bombarded with social media. But if you’re just sending a link, you can do this either through email, or you can send it through a text or WhatsApp even.
Or, what’s even better, you can do it through LinkedIn. LinkedIn has, on the smartphone, you can record a video. And I think that’s sometimes even more effective, because people can ignore emails, but people tend not to ignore direct messages in LinkedIn.
Wendy Harris: And you can see that it’s been viewed too.
Simon Banks: And again, you can probably do this view Messenger as well, you can do it through WhatsApp. You’ve just got to think a little bit, “How do I reach my audience, if the traditional ways, email, phone, in-person meetings aren’t working?”
Wendy Harris: I do still genuinely believe that all of those traditional tools have still got a purpose, they all have a part to play, but sometimes it’s about changing up the priority and how you use those tools.
Simon Banks: Absolutely. It’s not and/or.
Wendy Harris: It’s not instead of.
Simon Banks: And I think, in this day and age, it’s about how do you reach your audience through different methods and thinking a little bit differently, rather than just do what we normally traditional do, which would be email then try and phone them. There are loads of platforms which handle video as well. How can I engage with my audience in a different way which makes me stand out?
Wendy Harris: I guarantee that once somebody starts this journey, the road to other content will open up.
Simon Banks: Once you start doing this, your video messages will suddenly be a theme. You’ll be talking about the same things, in a way. So, this will lead me on to the types of video content you should be creating. And when people say, “I’m not sure where to start”, I always say, “Start with asking a frequently asked question”. It can just be a simple talking to the camera, no more than — it can be a minute or less, answering what’s your frequently most asked question.
So for me, it’s often pricing. It’s, “How do you price your services?” It could be, “How do we work with you; what’s your process?” It could be as simple as, “What hours are you open?” It could be, “Do you offer guarantees?” It could be, “What results could I expect by working with you?” It could be a, “This is my product”, if you’re doing product services. You can do a review on one of your products. You could do answering client testimonials. I mean, there’s loads of options you can do.
I just think quite often, you answer these questions all the time, so why not put them into a video format and put them on your website?
Wendy Harris: There’s a great book that’s on the podcast website by Marcus Sheridan, They Ask You Answer. It’s effectively, if you think about the blogs that you create that are to answer questions of your customers, it’s about simplifying those blogs from the written form into a short video.
Simon Banks: And the great thing about videos, I would argue, is that people see video as too hard, because it’s a lot more elements. But when you do a video, you can then get that transcribed, so you can create that blog from it, written blog.
Wendy Harris: I can’t wait for Jo to do that Wagga Wagga, or wherever it was that you went to work experience! But yeah, I know, because it is then creating further content.
Simon Banks: Correct. So, start with the hardest bit, which can be seen as video, but from that, you can create the written word and auditory as well, and it’s what —
Wendy Harris: Kiss the frog.
Simon Banks: Yeah.
Wendy Harris: No, I think you’re absolutely right there, Simon. I mean, we have the audio transcribed here for show notes, because not everybody has the time to listen, but they are much quicker readers; they prefer that format. And from the transcripts, we’re able to draw out elements of text, or audio, to timestamp it, to be able to create even smaller sound bites of audio or video or text.
Simon Banks: Correct. And it’s all about create once, but use it multiple times. I find a lot of people will do a video once and that’s it. They won’t repurpose it in terms of different edits, you can use then quotes from it, use audio chunks as well. There’s loads of things you can do. So, create once, it doesn’t mean that’s it. Why don’t you then reuse it multiple times, and also just reuse it full stop?
Wendy Harris: Yeah, and there’s something else to be said about using video on social, I think, is that when people say they’re running out of ideas, repurposing is perhaps the best way of using the videos you’ve already created, because not everybody will have seen it. When it goes live, what is it; something like 5% of your audience will see it?
Simon Banks: Correct, something really, really low.
Wendy Harris: Miniscule, yeah.
Simon Banks: And that is true. So, I do create a lot of video content. I should be repurposing. Literally, rather than me redoing it or anything, just repost it.
Wendy Harris: Yeah, so if you create one video and post it 50 times, you may reach your whole audience.
Simon Banks: There is a video I shot five years ago. It’s about me winning an Oscar for Best Corporate Video. I have this Oscar behind me! I filmed this five years ago, and it’s me and it’s very cleverly done; it’s me accepting and Oscar for Best Corporate Video! It’s a lot of fun, it’s well done, and I post that every year when the Oscars happen. Every year, I get amazing comments and fantastic — no one, over the last five years, has said, “Didn’t you post this last year?”
Part of me feels the temptation that I should re-edit it or redo it, but then I don’t see why I should really, because my audience has grown since then, and people don’t remember, because I’m only posting it once a year, and because it’s fun and it’s a nice little video. So, watch out for the next Oscars, I’ll post it again across my platforms. You can probably find it there somewhere; it will be on my Facebook page and my LinkedIn already. But people love it and you don’t have to wait a year to repost, I don’t think.
Let’s face it, the algorithms, what do they say? Instagram is, what, 24 hours; Twitter is a couple of hours. LinkedIn tends to be a little bit longer, could be a couple of weeks. Facebook is short. YouTube is longer, because that’s a different strategy. But if you’re doing social, there’s no reason why you can’t look at something you did four or five months ago, and just literally repost it. You can change the words, because obviously with video, you have a post and you do write stuff. If you wanted to change it slightly, I would just change the words on it, and then post it again, because we know most of your audience, well, we know 95% of your audience who follow you won’t have seen it.
Wendy Harris: No, that’s very true. Simon, we get to that part in the show that I always enjoy most, because I have no idea what’s coming next. And that is to ask you to share with us that conversation that created a turning point for you.
Simon Banks: This is actually an easy one for me, although it’s not a conversation, it’s a book.
Wendy Harris: Oh, I like it!
Simon Banks: So, it’s a book called The E-Myth Revisited, by Michael E Gerber. I read this book probably ten years ago. The subtitle is, Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It. It was a lightbulb moment for me.
Over ten years ago, I was what I call a technician. I was a videographer working in my own production company where I was doing everything. I was doing the filming, the editing, the client management, the selling, the marketing. I read this book and it was like a lightbulb moment to think, if I’m ever going to be, not necessarily successful in business, but if I’m ever going to grow a business where eventually I can actually step out of it, I need to work on it, not in it.
As a small business owner, and particularly with video production it can be, but it’s a technical skill and I realised that I’m just going to be filming and editing, and it’s very hard for me to build a scalable business if it’s just me doing all the work. And there’s also going to be a cap on actually what I can earn, because there’s obviously only a certain number of hours I can do per day.
Wendy Harris: Time element, yes.
Simon Banks: And also, video, as a camera person, is physically pretty hard as well. The cameras in those days were much bigger and heavier, and the amount of kit we had. But generally, it was a lightbulb thinking, “Okay, I need to change my business model”, because keeping working as a technician, working in the business, wasn’t going to be sustainable.
So, I moved the business to working on it, where I stepped out from the technical skills of the business and bought those in, so I started to use freelancers more, I started to employ people, so I then grew my business to £500,000 by just changing my business model. I was then headhunted to work for a larger, corporate company, which we got to £1 million. Then I was managing a much larger team, so it was different just changing the mindset and just realising that actually, if you want to build something sustainable, it can’t all be just you. You’ve got to work on it, not in it.
Wendy Harris: True. And I think the key point here that I’m picking up on, that you’ve perhaps not been so clear about, is that you’ve not stopped doing the thing that you love, and I think that’s the important part. If you want to scale up and come away from what you do and have other people doing what you do, then running a team is a completely different set of skills, isn’t it? But it doesn’t necessarily mean you stop doing the bit that you love.
Simon Banks: So, the difference now is, I’m not the guy who goes and actually films and edits videos. My role has changed, because obviously, when you’re running a business, especially a smaller business, basically you are the person, you’ve got to do the marketing, you do the sales. So that’s my primary role. Then obviously, being a leader in terms of, when you build a team, you’ve got to manage that team.
But I’m still involved overall in all productions, so my role has changed, not being the technician, cameraperson, editor; I’m what they call now, what I call, Executive Producer. So, I bring the work in, I bring the right people in and I still have the vision of working with the client directly in terms of their strategy.
Wendy Harris: Executing the vision.
Simon Banks: Yeah, so I’m executing the vision and supporting my clients with that, which generally means it’s a more scalable business, because I can bring in a team when I need them. But I personally get a lot more enjoyment out of actually, if you want to make a video work for your business, how do we do that through more planning and strategy, rather than just focussing on the production? And that’s where video works best, is when you have a strategy in place, not necessarily going, “I want a video”.
Wendy Harris: This is where you have to plan your premiere for your business.
Simon Banks: Yes.
Wendy Harris: It is. It’s like, roll out the red carpet for video with Simon.
Simon Banks: Absolutely. And that’s where I start with clients. I always begin with the end in mind, so let’s think about your premiere; so, when you’re launching your video, what do you want people to think about it, what do you want me to do, who do you want to watch it; rather than think about, “I need to make a video. How much?” These are the questions I often get, “I need a video for my website. How much?” without thinking about actually, what results do I want first?
Wendy Harris: Yeah, what elements are going to go into that so that we can actually cost it too?
Simon Banks: Correct, because that will determine the results you want, will determine the type of video you need, and what the approach will be.
Wendy Harris: How you get there.
Simon Banks: Yeah, which can be very different from when you first thought about it.
Wendy Harris: People that write books, and I know you’re an author too —
Simon Banks: I am, yes.
Wendy Harris: — it’s a great way to be able to have a conversation and not actually be in the room. So books, like video, are very evergreen content and able to pass on that expertise and skills to people.
Simon Banks: So, I wrote a book called How to Get Video Right, and I wrote it because I was seeing so many people just focus on the production, make a video and not use it effectively. I just think that’s crazy. So, I’ve written a book about how you can use video for your business, and it’s not a “how to make a video”, it’s about “how to use video for your business” and how you should go about it.
Wendy Harris: And then, you’ve got all the ideas to be able to go on and implement it; perfect. Simon, it’s been wonderful to talk to you. There have been so many tips and tricks and thought processes that we’ve gone through there. If people want to carry on the conversation with you, of course we’ll put all your details on the website. But for the listeners now, where’s the best place for them to find you?
Simon Banks: The best place is my website, getvideoright.com. It has how you can work with me. But ultimately, if you’re not sure where to start with video, or how video could be effective for your business, then I would booking a 15-minute call with me, where we can talk through how you can get started with video.
Wendy Harris: And let’s just say that 15 minutes might not seem like a lot, but when you know what it is that you need to get to, 15 minutes, you can cover an awful lot of ground. So, that’s a really valuable offer there. Thank you, Simon. It’s been absolutely wonderful to talk to you about making conversations about video count.
Now you’ve heard from Simon, all those wonderful tips on how to get it right with video, let us know when you’ve actually been off and got it done. Send us the links, let us have a look. It would be great to hear from you.
Now, next week, we’re going to be joined by Roger Cheetham, who technically is very lucky to still be here to tell his story.
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