Video In Focus: Connect with Buyers with 1:1 Video: Why, What and How? with George B. Thomas

(gentle music)So do I use a DSLR, yes.Have I shot with my phone, yes. If I’m at a conference like this do I use a GoPro Hero 7 with some road wireless mics to easily create content, yes. Do I care what it is, no. Do I wanna communicate with humans, yes. Like, you know what I mean?
(Tyler laughs) That’s what I’m sayin’, like that’s the point.Creating and using video contentas an individual in a business may seem like a daunting task and not something that you really need to think about. I mean, isn’t it the brand or creative team’s job to create and share videos online? But that’s only true if you think that video is just a tool for promoting your brand explaining your products or creating buzz on YouTube. And if there’s anything I’ve learned in my five years at Vidyard. It’s that the true power of video lies in the fact that’s it’s a richer more authentic and more personal way to communicate with your audience and to share your ideas. Whether you’re a marketer, an account executive a service rep or a business leader. And the key to unlocking the potential of video within your own role or within your business is to stop making excuses and just start doing it. Welcome to Video In Focus, the show that explores the expanding role of video in modern marketing and sales and how to better build relationships through purposeful video content. I’m your host, Tyler Lessard and in today’s episode I’m speaking with, George B. Thomas. Legendary trainer and evangelist for inbound marketing at Impulse Creative. Host of the online video show SprocketTalk and the official MC of Social Media Marketing World 2020. Now despite all those accolades George truly is just one of us. A helpful, human and humble marketer who’s come to appreciate the power of video and has taken it upon himself to use it to support every aspect of his own role and his business. I caught up with George at INBOUND 2019 following his talk on “14 Tips and Tricks “For Using Video to Personalize Your Marketing and Sales.” And it didn’t take long to see how passionate George is about hitting record, and putting yourself out there.My name is George B. Thomas.I’m an inbound evangelist from Impulse Creative and my claim to fame, honestly, is marketing automation HubSpot, the Platform, but there’s been this strange thing of like creating video, educational content one to one videos for people who need help and so I’ve kind of become a video guy and so they asked me the last two years of INBOUND to speak on the topic of video. Because I’ve had to dive so deep personally into doing that. So, little bit about me and why I’m actually talking about video.Well what I love isyou’ve become a self taught video creator who comes from somebody who has a marketing background who has, you know, learned the ins and outs of how to get scrappy with creating content and how to do it yourself and I think how to be great and personable on camera. What have you learned in the years of becoming your own creator and getting over those hurdles of making video something you do habitually?Yeah, absolute Tyler, so the biggest thingis get past the hurdles and what I mean by that is everybody thinks that video is so difficult. Everybody thinks that video takes so much time. Everybody thinks that video has to cost a lot of money. Those are the three major hurdles that we always hear. And if you just put the thinking cap on of how can I eradicate all three of those things and make it simple, repeatable, measurable. Then it’s like a no brainer, and so everyday as I started to, and I love the word scrappy by the way as I started to get scrappy with like video content whether it’s made for marketing or made for sales or made for service or the HR team. I always came back to how can I simplify the process? What tools, techniques, tactics and talking points will allow me to just get out what it needs to be. I wanna say this, everybody looks at video and they wanna say it’s a sales tactic or a marketing strategy. And video, it’s really about communication. And so whenever I talk to people about how to use video I’m really talking to them about, like listen here’s how you can communicate in a digital world. Like in a place where face to face isn’t so obvious or it doesn’t happen as much. You do what feels like face to face communication with this camera, looking at the lens. Like being authentic, human not being like sales-y, or smarmy, right?Yeah, I think it’s such an important point’cause that simple ethos of video is a compelling way to communicate your message, right? To engage your audience and whether it’s, you’re talking about your website your email marketing, your sales your internal communications, it doesn’t matter.Right.Right, it’s about a mediumthat can be used in any of those channels.Yes.Now, let’s start with the topic that I knowyou’ve been thinking about a lot recently. Which is, how can people get over their I don’t know, almost challenges with looking at the lens and being authentic and natural as a creator. What sort of tips or things are you seeing that are helping people get over that hurdle and start to do more with video as simply a way to communicate?Yeah, well there’s a couple things.Immediately, I think that the mindset of understanding that the video you are creating is not for you, it’s not to make you look good it’s not to make you feel special. The video you are creating is for the viewer. The person that you’re sending it to or that’s going to visit your website and watch it. And so if you think from that perspective that it’s about them then the next thing that comes to my mind is it’s all about value. It’s about solving verus selling, right? So value and solving, that leads you into a thing of where you’re educating and you’re educating with empathy. And you’ve actually focused on what are their hurdles what are their goals? What are their challenges? And how can I as a human being that actually cares. Cares, really cares. How can I create a valuable piece of content that’s gonna get them from point A to point B. If that’s your goal then it’s super easy to be authentic. It’s super easy for them to just fall in love with the content they’re watching. Because it’s literally helping them. You’re the catalyst, by all means of getting them from point A to point B. So that’s the first thing that kinda hits my mind on this topic.Yeah, and how do you see video being useddifferently from traditional written content? Because a lot of written content comes from that same idea of delivering value and educating. But as you start to approach that same idea with video where does it really differ and where do you see people struggling with how to take advantage of it as a unique medium?Well I think it differs becauseand I hate to be the barer of bad news but nobody likes to read anything anymore. Like, human beings and I mean this in the most endearing loving way, we’re lazy creatures. And so if we can watch a video, we’ll do that. Now text is not dead by any means and text has it’s place, meaning it should be now considered a supporting actor. So for SEO on your website you’re gonna wanna have a transcript or you’re gonna wanna write a blog article that goes with that teaser video or that full length webinar. When you’re thinking about one to one videos. You’re gonna wanna have an email video recipe of like what does the paragraph say and do before my video thumbnail? What does the paragraph and links do after? How do I exit with a call to action? So the text is still there for the searcher and the search engine but the video is the hero. And that was one of the things that go tweeted most out about my talk, the video is the hero. That’s just where we live right now.Yes, I know two of the most well knowncelebrities in the marketing world Mark Zuckerberg and George B. Thomas. (laughs)
Get outta here.Have now both been quoted as sayingthat you know, “Video is moving from the world where “video was supporting text “to where text is supporting video.” And it’s becoming a more primary way to deliver messages.Absolutely.And I think, you know, most of usstill aren’t quite there, with getting to that point but I really do think as we move forward that’s a big part of the way we need to think.Well it’s like any thing else in life.We’re not there because we haven’t practiced enough. We haven’t done it enough, this is still like quote unquote, “An emerging technology “an emerging strategy.” You know like, you didn’t wake up two weeks ago and be like, ” Oh yeah, I’ve been talking on camera “for like 13 years.” However, in essence you have. The human eye ball is a camera, in essence. We’ve been in front of cameras our entire life. It’s other human beings. So if you just look at the camera, the lens as the human beings that you’re talking to now that’s another hurdle that is gone. It’s not like, well I haven’t practiced that enough. Have you practiced talking, yes. You talk all day, everyday. Just get up and do it and ignore the tech in front of you because it’s the people behind that that matter.So let’s talk a bit aboutthe tools that people are using and you know, I know you yourself have started to use a lot of different tools. But what I think is key is using the tools in a way that we don’t feel like we’re using the tools, right? It’s the technology and the gear can sometimes get in the way and I think that’s an important idea is how do we embrace the right tools and tech that actually make it easier for us to create video as apposed to more complicated.Yeah, yeah, so the tech should get out of the wayfirst of all, like if it’s built right it just gets out of the way. So for instance, like GoVideo, Vidyard, right I mean come on we’re on this show. It gets out of the way, it lets you press a button you have your mic, you have your camera you communicate, it easily goes into an email. You send it, bada boom bada bang. By the way I’m saying that that’s awesomeYes. (laughs)That’s amazing.But here’s where people get stuck ’cause they think that they can only pick one software and then they have to stay with that software. And my thing is, no, you should actually when you get started, pick multiple softwares. Play with them all, but once you figure out one that you lean into and go, “Oo, that made it really easy.” Then you master it, you become a ninja at it like you use it over and over and over again and you figure out every piece that just optimizes, streams line. Your ability to communicate with the other humans on the other side of the camera. And always be kind of testing. So for instance, am I doing a one to one video. Okay, it’s going to be this software. But what if I’m recording a native video? Well, should I use a DSLR? Should I use a phone? Should I use a web cam? Should I use a teleprompter? Should I not use a teleprompter? You should be testing all of these things. Until one day, you’ve tested everything and all of a sudden you sit back and you go “Oh my gosh, you know why this is so easy? “‘Cause I’ve got these seven things in place “depending on what I’m gonna create “and I just do it.”Yeah, yeah, it becomes habitualand to your point, you know, having your go to tools not only makes you more comfortable and confident with them but it can actually start to give you like, templates, then it’s about efficiency, right? Because the efficiency thing gets in the way for a lot of people and I think that’s really key. Can you talk about some of the different types of tools you know, whether you wanna mention specific products or not, the types of tools that are in your personal arsenal that help you create content and different styles of content.Yeah, definitely.So the fun part about testing and also being a hashtag nerd is I’ve got a lot of tools. And depending on what I’m gonna create I go a lot of different ways. But my typical like, work course scenario is I have my laptop which I have a platform called Ecamm Live that allows you to live to Facebook live to YouTube, live to a bunch of different places but it also allows you to record a native file. And the reason I ended up going this way Tyler is because I got tired of like, hitting the record button pulling out the card, putting in the card letting the file come to the computer then getting it in the editor. Just explaining it is freaking time consuming. And so being able to have all the cords from the webcam go into the computer and then when I hit finish there’s a file sitting there on my computer. I throw it into the editor and start going. Like that optimizes time. Remember say, like make more money, less time less money. Time, time, so that saves time. The other thing when I’m sending one to one videos I love Tool Go Video, its easy, I’m gonna record it. Depending on the functionality that I need though I may use another tool. If I do one thirds, two thirds, I might pick another tool. If I wanna share it in slack, I might pick another tool. So again, knowing your goal of your video where it’s gonna live, what you’re trying to get it to do how interactive or non-interactive it needs to be. This is why I say test all the different tools. But I love for one to one video, GoVideo. And then the other thing is that people get hung up on the whole publishing, promoting thing. And so finding a platform, no matter what it is where you can host your video and you can publish it out to multiple places. For instance, maybe you wanna publish it and then go out to your podcast. You wanna publish it and then you wanna send it to YouTube. You wanna publish it and send it to LinkedIn pages. Like if you can find a tool that does that again optimizing your time and being able to create a message that goes out and you just boom, it’s there. So that’s what I would think of as tools. Some specific ones and some kind of just general strategies to think about when it comes to video tools. Do I use a DSLR, yes. Have I shot with my phone, yes. If I’m at a conference like this, do I use a GoPro Hero 7 with some road wireless mics to easily create content, yes. Do I care what it is, no. Do I wanna communicate with humans, yes. Like you know what I mean?
(Tyler laughing) That’s what I’m saying, like that’s the point.Yeah, it’s such a differencewhen it just becomes a natural part of what you do. And I’m looking at your GoPro I’m looking at the camera we’re using here and these are just here in our backpacks that were, laptop bags that we’re carrying around. And I know for myself, for example, we’re here at Inbound and last night I was recording some B-roll footage. I got you on camera, some other people–I shared that junk on LinkedIn.(laughing)And about an hour of time this morningwhile I was having my coffee I did a little bit of post editing on it. Added in a little bit of music ’cause I have a subscription to a music service just make it simple. And you know, you create actually some you know, some pretty fun pieces of content. It’s no harder than simple camera and knowing some basic editing tools. Which I think is really key.You know what’s funnyas I listen to both of us talk, Tyler it really comes down to figuring out how to simplify the complex. And if you just make it like simple and it is just something that you do. Then you do it, like removing all hurdles and trust me, if you remove hurdles and you start to use video and you get into these tools. Your wallet will thank you. Your partner, wife, husband, kids, they’ll thank you. You’ll sell more, you’ll make more, you’ll educate more you’ll change your community, you’ll change the world. I know that sounds like a big idea by you just creating video but you’re amazing. You’re special, and the world is waiting for you to create. (sniffs)
(George laughs and claps)I’m tearing up over here, George cause.It’s great. No, but you’re absolutely right, it’s you know having the opportunity to put yourself out there and connect in a much more human way than hiding behind the keyboard. I think is more important than ever. On that note, let me ask you sort of a final area that I wanna talk quickly about is the kinds of videos that you’re seeing businesses create whether it’s your own or you work with a lot of different companies and speak with a lot of folks. What kinds of videos are you seeing people getting going with and being successful with? Where do you think is the biggest bang for the buck right now with the kinds of content people can create?Yeah definitely, so there’s a couple placesthat I really love content right now. First of all, if you have been blogging if you’re watching this, you probably have been. Teaser videos for your blog are amazing. A couple different reasons why. It teases the user into what the content’s gonna be about. It also, on a nerdy side, keeps them on the page which then the page view length and SEO anyway I won’t get too nerdy. Like it’s just a bang bang win, right there. Also being able to, on your home page explain exactly what you do, who you do it for. So they immediately know they’re in the right place for the right thing. Because you want their journey to start out properly. But even before that, if a company came to me Tyler and said, “You can only do one thing with video “what are you gonna do? “Like what’s the most powerful thing?” If you have a sales team, if you’re watching this I swear by all that is holy, if you’re watching this and you have a sales team and you don’t have some type of strategy to communicate with one to one videos from the top of the funnel to the bottom of the funnel. Introductions, product knowledge, just anything. If you don’t have that strategy in your business that’s where I would start because with everything else in sales that’s where you’re gonna see the immediate ROI or return on your investment. And then you’re gonna be like “Oh my gosh, the video for the sales team “is working amazing. “Marketing, here’s some money, go do it, we know it works.”That’s great, so last question on that point thenis as companies do look to get their sales team using one to one video or being a part of the video experience. Have you found any tricks of the trade with respect to, how to get sales reps more comfortable being a part of video, you know hitting that button and embracing it and being able to be their natural self. Anything you’ve found that works to get them in there?Yeah, definitely, so the first thingis realize is that you don’t have to have a persona. You don’t need to wear a mask. There’s not a special way that you need to talk. You just need to be you and if nobody has told you this for a while, you’re enough. Like you’re an expert in your field you’ve worked at the company for one year five years, 12 years, 20 years. Like you’ve talked to a bazillion people about this. So just turn the camera on and be authentic. No matter what that means to you. Like you might think, like I wanna be energetic professional, and humble. Cool, that’s you, do that in every video. So for instance, if you watch any of my videos I usually stay in them or at the end of them I wanna be a happy, helpful, humble human. That’s who I am, that’s me being my authentic self. Me being a catalyst to help people get from point A to point B. The other piece of this, once you figure out I don’t have to be like, “Hey!” This wild and crazy guy, you just talk normal is do it, do it, do it, do it, do it. The first video, you’re gonna hate it. Second video, you’ll probably hate it. 10th video, you might sort of not hate it. But the more you do, the better you get. And there’s also something psychologically happening here, Tyler and that is for all of our life we see ourselves in a mirror. We are used to the mirror image. We hear ourself from our own, you know, inside of our head. When you watch your videos back, you’ll be like man that doesn’t look like me it doesn’t sound like me, but guess what? It is you, that’s what the rest of the world has heard and seen their entire life. So once you break down the barrier and know that there’s this thing called the mirror effect and once you work your face off and do video, video, video, video, video. And you realize it’s about me being my authentic self and just adding value to the world. Boom, you’ve got it, you’re good to go.It’s beautiful, it’s beautiful.All right George, you mentioned following your own content, which I think is a great idea because you do an amazing job yourself of being a happy, helpful and humble human.Yeah, it’s a tongue twisterunless you do it a couple times.It’s good, just like a videothe 10th time I’m gonna nail it.There you go.And you also walk the talkwhen it comes to using video as part of your blog and your social content. And you’ve got some great video based series as well which I think is amazing. So where can people find you, follow you to learn more about you or to get inspired by your content?Yeah definitely, so there’s a couple different placesyou can go to Beyond that if you’re on the educational side of this go to you can get a free VIP membership. We’ve got some courses in there we’ve got some video tutorials in there. As well as, if you don’t even wanna bother with that just go over to YouTube and search Sprocket Talk. You’ll find us, if you have questions let us know. We love to help humans and add value to the world. (clapping)George is a shining example of what you can dowhen you set aside your biasses for what video means in the business world and you just start creating. Was he great on camera his first time? Nope. Did he have any formal training and video gear or video editing? Nope. Did he have a passion for sharing his insights and connecting more personally with his prospects, customers and community? That’s a hard yes. So whether you’re a marketer getting going with online video creation or a sales rep, or a business professional planning to use Vidyard for one to one video messaging. I encourage you to follow George and to check out his content on SprocketTalk, the ImpulseCreative blog and at And whether or not the subject matter is relevant to you personally. I expect you’ll find some great inspiration for new types of videos and new approaches that you can start using yourself. Because remember, you’re amazing and the world is waiting for you to create. Thanks for joining us on Video In Focus. Brought to you by the fine folks here at Vidyard. If you enjoyed the show, give it a like or a share. Hit that subscribe button for future episodes and check out the podcast version now available as part of the Creating Connections podcast series.

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