01:37 – A cool story
03:36 – Use this weapon
04:38 – The perks of being a videomaker
06:03 – Types of videos
06:28 – Case study video: Jake Hower
10:13 – Why case studies are powerful marketing tools
10:43 – Elements of a case study video
13:43 – Here’s the key
14:33 – Sell without trying to sell
16:12 – What’s the story?
16:34 – Why use stories in marketing?
18:03 – This is when you’re really connecting
18:20 – The question you need to always ask
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James: All right, so next part is the other side, and again there’s some bits there that I haven’t been exposed to, because my involvement was just facing the camera for half a day and a couple of emails. We’re going to hear from a master storyteller, a video professional of the highest order from Australia, which we’re proud of, and he travels around the world now doing documentaries.
He’s also a SilverCircle member, and I’ve been super fortunate to work with him since about FastWebFormula 3. I’ve seen his business double and then go even further and he’s now experiencing a great lifestyle and doing passion projects, and it was such a privilege for me to have him work on this, because I think one day I wouldn’t be able to afford to. But I’d love to welcome up Ryan Spanger to talk about the videos.
Ryan: Story: I was down at the local shops one day, doing some shopping, and suddenly, a woman runs out of a store, and she’s calling out, “Stop, thief! Stop, thief!” She runs right up to me, and I don’t know if she thinks I’m the thief, or the police, or some, you know, local neighborhood vigilante. And she says to me, “A man, with a green bag, he’s stolen a watch, he’s gone that way!”
And I don’t know what comes over me, but some strange chivalrous instinct takes over, and so I turn, I start running down the footpath, in the way that she’s pointing, and sure enough, up ahead, I can see a man with a green bag. So being the tough street fighting guy that I am, instinct takes over. And I run off ahead of the guy, and I turn, I put my hand in my pocket and I unsheathe my weapon, my mobile phone, and I start filming the guy.
And it was only at this point that I got a good look at him. He was about my height but probably twice as wide, he had a tattoo of a snake which curled up his neck all the way up to his cheek. He didn’t look like he’d seen the dentist for a really long time. I’d say he pretty much just got out of jail.
At this point my courage wavered slightly. But the adrenaline was coursing through my veins, and I approached him, and I said, “I believe you stole a watch.” Kind of like a detective in an Agatha Christie novel, something like that. And he looked at me dumbfounded, like I was a creature that had descended from another planet.
He looks at me, and he looks at the phone, and he looks back at me, he looks at the phone, and he sort of reluctantly reaches into his bag and he pulls out a watch. And he puts it in my hand and he walks away. I march the watch back to its rightful owner, all in a day’s work for an urban crime fighter.
Video is a weapon
So why am I telling you this, apart from the fact that it’s a cool story? Well, basically, video is a weapon that you can use to grab people’s attention, to persuade them, and if you use it properly, you can really use it to get what you want. And that’s because video is all about proof.
It’s about evidence, and the power of video is in showing rather than telling, because you can make whatever assertions you want in your marketing for your business, but once you use video, then you can use that to back up your claims.
I’ve been running a video production business in Melbourne for the last 15 years called Dream Engine, and we work with a range of quite high-profile clients.
And what I want to do today is talk to you about the types of videos we make for those clients, the types of videos that I’ve made for James, and we use the exact same strategy with these videos to promote our business.
I’m just passionate about making films and telling stories, and it’s something that I’ve been lucky enough to sort of discover this early on in life. So one of the cool things about making films is that you get to wear some pretty cool outfits.
And really hang out with some interesting people as well.
I’ve directed a lot of TV commercials, and directed all manner of creatures. I’ve met some interesting characters that I’ve worked with.
One of the cool things about being a director is they sometimes give you your own tent.
I’ve got to interview ex-politicians and leaders.
And girlfriends of dead rock stars.
That’s her today.
And Internet marketing leaders.
Since I’m talking about myself, I probably should fulfill disclosure at this stage; say I’ve also bought some dodgy vinyl back in the 80s.
That’s a 12-inch.
But back to story. I’m going to tell you the story of how I worked with James to make these videos. And I want you to think about how you can use pretty much the same format, the same type of videos, to apply to your business. Whether you’re promoting an event or selling services or using e-commerce, you can pretty much follow the same process.
So James and I had a conversation, and with his typical brevity, we got started.
SFB Live 10 Video Marketing Campaign
So let’s talk about the types of videos that we made.
Case Study Videos
We made case study videos, so we identified people that had been to previous events and who’ve enjoyed success and told their stories through these videos.
We also made a documentary sales video, and there’s cloud maven Pete Moriarty helping out with the lighting.
And a series of sales funnel videos, which Jake talked about.
So let’s start off by having a look at one of these videos. My attitude is that too much Jake Hower is not nearly enough, so let’s have a look at the case study video that we made about Jake.
Jake: We had an office, and I had six staff working, and I’d be working, I’d be the first one in and the last one to leave. My wife was pregnant. And I quickly realized that what I was doing was not what I wanted to be doing. I knew what I was doing wasn’t right, but I was scared to change.
I started listening to podcasts and listening to the Small Business Big Marketing show. From that, I heard that James Schramko in one of the episodes, and I actually realized how much I resonated with James. And within probably 2 months of listening to that, I’d purchased a ticket to his first event, FastWebFormula 3, up in Caloundra.
James: Jakes was really typical of someone who has their own business, but it’s very job-like. Skinny margins, competitive industry, working from an office, wearing a suit, dealing with corporate customers, big companies, and grinding it out. And I’d say a little bit passionless, at that point.
Jake: Probably the number one aspect from my perspective in attending these events is connecting with others. If I look back now at where I am and the relationships I’ve built, I can trace just about every single relationship back to that one event, to people in that event. It’s almost like an expanded mastermind, because you feel like the people on stage are your peers, almost. I’d say it feels like you’re just learning from friends.
Sure, some of them have that celebrity status, but once they walk off stage, they’re just like anybody else in the crowd. And all the speakers seemed to stick around and listen and want to learn and get as much information as possible from everybody else. Everybody’s so far ahead of the curve in that particular market that you’re so far in front of people, it’s not funny.
James: And he got so much traction that it completely changed not just his business but his whole fundamental belief system of what’s possible.
Jake: My mindset changed, and I started systemizing the business, and I started removing all these tentacles. I’d basically created these tentacles that all went back to me. Anything, the marketing of the business, anything, all went back to me. So I started untangling that. So we went from having an office with a staff, to basically closing down the office and everybody works from home. Once I was able to break through that mindset and realize that I have a service to serve my lifestyle, then I guess I just got so much more freedom.
James: He’s gone from working in the travel agency that he was a part owner of, to expanding his family, developing software, travelling overseas, attending events like I do, and he’s supported and nurtured by the community and really well-regarded.
Jake: One of the things I like about James is how receptive he is to having a relationship with his community. You look at a lot of other experts, and they put themselves up on a pedestal. But with James, it’s very different. The entire community is a difference, and that I guess is the leadership that James shows them, that is why.
Changing from having a brick-and-mortar business with hired heads, lots of staff, lots of stress, lots of pressure, not being able to see my son or wife a great deal, to now, basically spending as much time as I like with my family, that’s been the biggest change. And I could directly relate that back to being a member of this community.
Ryan: So are you using case study videos in your marketing at the moment? Can you raise your hand if you’re using videos like this? Just think, there’s such an opportunity. This is like the low-hanging fruit.
Every business has people like this, you know, your greatest advocates who’d be only too happy to tell their story. And when your customers, people just like them, see this, it gives so much proof to show that you can do for them exactly what you’ve done for someone else.
So let’s actually just go through and break down the elements of the case study video.
Elements of the case study video
You saw it has this before, during and after structure. People talk about testimonials and case study videos and they sort of use the term interchangeably, but they’re quite different. A testimonial is basically an endorsement. It’s a recommendation, so it’s essentially someone saying, I used the service or product, it was great, and I recommend it. And testimonial videos are fine, they work particularly well if you have someone with a really high perceived authority in the video. Case study videos take things a little bit deeper.
So going into this before-during-after structure, the start of the video talks about what was life like before. So Jake tells a story about how he had a business, he was going along OK, but really he was a little bit unfulfilled, there wasn’t a great future in his business, he had really high expenses, and there was a lot of pressure on him. So that’s where the story starts, with this background and a bit of struggle.
What was the biggest pain, or challenge? I think for Jake, it was really not reaching his full potential at this stage, and seeing that the business just didn’t have a great future. All the tentacles, like he said, were all leading back to him, and he needed to make change. So at this point, when you’re telling the story, you bring yourself in, your business, and you talk about how you helped solve that problem.
So Jake came along to the event, James was able to facilitate him meeting experts, being exposed to new information, seeing a whole new scenario of a way that he could run his business.
And how is life now? So as you saw, Jake is spending a lot more time with his family, he’s working on his terms. He’s working in a business that he’s really passionate about, he’s really grown, and he’s up here on stage today.
So start to think about the structure and start to think about clients or customers and how you can use that structure to tell their story.
The other vital part of this kind of story, this kind of video is being authentic. And these themes have really come up a lot yesterday. It’s important just to be yourself and for the characters in your story to be themselves because people become cynical. You know, we live in an age of media manipulation, an age of politicians lying to us, saying one thing, doing something else, and people are very skeptical and cynical. I just think it’s more and more important to tell real stories that are uncontrived, the actual stories of the clients that you work with.
And people have much better bullsh** detectors these days, so the source of content that people might have accepted or been happy with in the past are no longer acceptable. People are looking for a higher quality, something a little bit less contrived and something a bit more authentic.
Stop trying to sell
The key is really, like Dan Dobos was saying, stop trying to sell.
Or stop trying to sell in a traditional sort of sense. When I give my kids my mobile phone, and it comes back to me, then I end up getting alerts like this one. Clash of Clans: “Hey, come back, your warriors need a leader.” Stop interrupting people. I hate being interrupted. Nobody does.
Audience member: It’s an urgent call to action.
Ryan: It is. That’s true, but however, I don’t care about my warriors. In fact, I didn’t even know that I had any (laughter and clapping). And I’m not concerned about their leader. Perhaps it’s a little bit untargeted.
The truth is that these days, for the most part, your customers really don’t need you. They’re much happier for the most part to do their research on their own time, to go online, to gather the information that they need, to get to the point of being ready to buy. So how do we deal with this situation?
We go online, and we meet them with videos, like face-to-camera videos where they can meet you, they can see your personality, they can see your expertise and authority.
Or case study videos where you’ve got your best customers actually doing the selling for you, or promotional videos, which are using music, images, sound, graphics, editing, to really captivate people’s attention and draw them closer. To me this is just a much more effective way of building the relationship.
So there I am, the reluctant salesman. In the first few years of my business, this was the biggest challenge that I had, because I had this sort of preconception about sales that it was all about convincing and persuading people to buy something. And I just hated the experience of people doing that to me, and I just didn’t really want to do that to anyone else.
I was also studying these sales books and reading about different closes, and all that sort of thing, and I was thinking, ‘Gee, I’m really not that great at this stuff, and my heart’s just not in it.’ And it took years to finally get to the point of realizing that I didn’t actually have to do this. And it was when I actually just stopped trying to sell that things took off for me. So what I did was use videos instead, and that turned out to be a far more effective way of building the relationship.
What’s the story?
The next thing to think about with these sorts of videos is story. What’s the story?
When I went to film school, one of the most important things that my teacher taught me was to ask the question, what’s the story about, and then ask, what’s the story really about? So just think about that. We’ll come back to that. We’ll come back to explain what that really means.
Why do we use story in marketing?
Because story is engaging. People want to get involved in stories. They want to know what’s going to happen next. They want to engage with the character in a video.
And a story is about emotion. Humans are really emotional characters, like we like to think of ourselves as being really logical, and rational, but we’re actually highly emotional. And so when you’re using emotion in your marketing, when you’re appealing to people on an emotional level, they’re connecting with you in a much better way.
Story is about change. It’s important, when you make your stories, when you’re telling these stories, these case study videos, we want to see change, we want to see what the person’s life was like before, and you saw Jake walking down the alleyway in a state of deep anxiety and contemplation, to where he got to later on in the story, with his family, having more freedom.
And familiarity. Choose characters that are going to go into your case study video that your audience relates to. So when you think about this video, I think anyone who’s in a situation of running a business but not really feeling fulfilled, not seeing a great future in their business and knowing that they need change is going to identify with Jake.
Now in this video, I’m actually telling the story about Jake, but what you’re really doing is telling the story of the viewer. You’re telling the story of your potential clients. And this is something that came out yesterday. When you can tell the story of the client, of the potential client, and you can articulate it actually better than they can even tell their own story, that’s when they really start connecting to you, and listening to you, and that’s when they start to understand that you actually have the answer.
Ask yourself when you’re telling a story, what’s at stake? There has to be something at stake. So for Jake, it’s like, his future, his freedom, his time that he spends with his family. And every story that you tell, ask yourself, what’s the big deal? What’s at stake?
So think about now, who’s going to be in your case study video? I bet if you just spend a second thinking about it, there are clients and customers who come to mind that would tell your story perfectly. And once they’re telling that story, they’ll be telling the same story that your future clients will be challenged with.
And think about mapping out their journey. Where were they when they started, what was the journey that they went through, and where are they now? And how did you facilitate that? Connect that back to you.
So that’s case study videos, which was one part of the campaign.
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