Eighteen months ago, I didn’t know from online video.
I’d done a few Flip videos and posted them online. But I was, first and foremost a writer. Video was more or less something people did to waste time or share their goofiness.
Then, something happened that shattered my understanding of the power of video.
In the final hours before my last book launched, we created a video book trailer. Just me, sitting in front of a camera. Totally unscripted, telling a story. Professionally filmed and edited, but simple as can be.
The video went live and the response was like nothing generated by anything I’d written. It took me by surprise in a huge way. I never had the need to be in front of the camera. Still don’t. I’d actually much rather hide behind the screen. But I couldn’t ignore the response to the medium. Here’s the video…
Since then, I’ve made a series of big moves into online video. The venture that’s become my driving focus over the last year, Good Life Project, features a broadcast-quality weekly interview show. The educational side of that venture was launched not with a text landing page, but a 22-minute video that sold out our flagship training program in days, two years running.
One of the things I decided, right away, was that if I was going to do video, I wanted to raise the bar. No home vids or iPhones. We film on-location with a crew, three cameras rolling and everything is professionally edited.
Does that cost me waaaay more than writing posts or creating a text-driven website or landing page for offerings? Absolutely. But, at least for me, the outcomes have been more than worth the investment.
It’s building community, brand-equity, value and delivering impact way faster and at a higher-level than almost anything I’ve done. The daily emails I receive from the web-show regularly leave me breathless with gratitude. And, from a pure marketing standpoint, I’ve learned well-scripted and produced video moves people to action phenomenally well.
A few more examples of people tapping video to do big things…
1. Marie Forleo -
Marie Forleo produces a weekly web-show, Marie TV, that offers advice on business and life. In a matter of a few years, she’s built a massive, die-hard global audience. While her show is angled toward women viewers, her advice applies pretty much across the board to anyone looking to do big things in life. And the production values set the standard for web-shows.
Looking to serve and solve the needs of her huge, devoted community, Marie created a series of educational experiences and products and launched them all with video. In fact, right now, she’s smack in the middle of a stunningly well-crafted video product launch for her online B-School.
Here’s the entry point for her video marketing sequence and here’s the product detail page that just went live today. If you’re interested in how to tap video to launch anything, watch her entire sequence.
Doesn’t matter if you want to buy what she’s selling or not. Just go check out how Marie’s leveraging video to build a powerhouse, value-driven marketing “funnel” that honors and gives along the way (P.S. – If you do end up investing in her stuff, I’m a friend and an affiliate and will benefit from your purchase. But, like I said, that’s not the main point here. The real thing is to devour how she’s using video to market and to learn).
2. A.J. Leon -
A.J. and his wife, Melissa, are the co-founders of Misfit, Inc. They were featured on an early episode of Good Life Project. Days before their wedding, A.J. walked out of a 6-figure job to rebuild his career and life with Melissa in a way that honored the man, husband and human being he wanted to be.
Together they launched a new venture, Misfit, Inc., in the quest to create something that would let them to travel around the world, work together and build a for-profit business that served as an engine for philanthropy. They’ve since raised millions of dollars for causes and foundations globally, helped build schools and bring fresh water to villages in need.
They often tap video as a primary vehicle for community-building and messaging, though because they’re often filming in some of the rawest places on the planet, it’s less about production-value and more about storytelling and sharing reality.
Today, A.J. tapped video in an entirely new way. He launched a Kickstarter project to fund his new book The Life and Times of a Remarkable Misfit. The entire campaign is exceptionally well put together. And his use of simple, close-up, story-driven video is drawing donors to the project on a level that’ll likely see it funded in less than a day.
Where does that leave us?
There are so many great examples of people tapping video to create content, build brands and launch ideas, services, experiences and products. Yes, highly-produced video still costs real money. But far less than it did only a few years ago. And, you’ve got to look not only at the investment, but the impact and growth side of the equation.
I’m a writer, that’s still my primary medium. I’ve written more than 800 articles on my blog and two books with plenty more to come. But, I can no longer ignore the astonishing power of well-crafted video to engage, connect and inspire action.
Has video killed the text star?
Not entirely, but depending on the audience and the intended use, it’s become an extraordinarily powerful tool in the communication arsenal. One I think you’d be nuts not to at least explore as you figure out how to get where you want to be and leave the footprint in the sand that’ll best honor your time on the planet.
So, what do YOU think?
Share your thoughts in the comments below…
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