15 Wedding Video Questions Every Bride Should Know

Wedding video is a fascinating topic. Layered on top of all the other wedding "must-haves," I'm of the opinion a wedding video truly is a must. Can you guess why?

Well, shucks, maybe it's because I'm a wedding film maker? No, that's only part of the answer.

The real reasons I encourage brides (and grooms!) to get a wedding video package is because of our tireless fascination with TV and movies. And Facebook.

Got you with Facebook, huh?

In today's world, we're bombarded with so much content, but there is one thing that holds our fascination and pulls us in. Can you guess what it is?

Yeah, it's video.

And if a common everyday video can pull you in and grab your attention, surely a wedding video, YOUR wedding video, will not only get your attention, but give you millions of ways to look at it, remember, it and cherish it.

How many times have you seen a movie more than once? Isn't it true that every time you see a movie more than once, there is always something you discover - some subtle nuance?

For a wedding video, that's built to stand the tests of time, you may not view it every day, or week, but perhaps you'll pull it out each wedding anniversary - and it's then that you'll notice your bridesmaid said something you never caught before, or it's that way his lips curled up into an emotional and quivering smile as soon as he saw his bride.

Those are the kind of observations one can only make with a wedding video.

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For me, it's not a question of IF a bride should consider getting a wedding video. It's what should a bride expect of her wedding videographer/film maker experience, and to know the right questions to ask.

So for the bride (and groom) who want to know what questions to ask, here they are in no certain order.

Why Should I Get A Wedding Video?

Let's start with the basics - why should you get a wedding video?

Although we addressed a few solutions why earlier, let's play the time clock factor a bit and consider all of the items you've listed in your wedding plans. Then ask yourself this question:

Which of my wedding plans or outcomes will stand the test of time?

Your flowers, while necessary for decoration, will perish within the week or sooner. Your decorations as well may last a bit longer, they'll eventually fade or go out of style. You see where I'm going with this, right?

If you consider the outcomes, there are three wedding items that you can have to look upon for the rest of your life: your photos, your wedding film and your dress.

Oh, and your groom!

Even your wedding cake is meant to last a year so you can enjoy it on the First Anniversary, but after that the memorable tastes will eventually fade.

The brightest minds and the sharpest memories will all fade a bit over time. Having a physical item to lay your eyes upon brings back the joy of your best day. 

A wedding video is therefore, one of the must haves.

With that question out of the way, there are several more, so let's attack them too.

What is a Highlight Film and should I get one?

When the topic of a wedding video crops up, its easy to forget that it's actually the term "wedding videos," much like wedding photos. 

Plural.

Your wedding ceremony is very formal - at least most of them are. There is the occasional and stubborn flower child or ring bearer that adds in some fun unexpectedly (you may get nervous it will happen, but you'll laugh when it does!) And for that reason, a wedding video is more than just the ceremony film.

A wedding highlight film is your opportunity to see everything that happened on your day, even showing things you wouldn't have time to see them. 

What the groom's crew were doing, how the church looked before anyone showed up, the perspective of the church that only a drone could show, how all of the dances went during the reception - all of these are items not every bride and groom get to enjoy.

Let's call it the Butterfly Effect - only it's the butterflies in your stomach effect. You have better things to worry about than what everyone else is up to on your wedding day.

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And that's what a highlight film does. It captures parts of the ceremony, but so much more so that you have a full perspective of the day's activities. And any videographer worth his/her salt either does or knows a quality editor who can take your footage and piece it together in an emotional story laid over with the day's sound bites and a moving sound track.

Should you get a highlight film - yes, it's a must have as well.

How long should I book a wedding videographer for?

Ever dependent on the budget, your best first step is to ask your wedding videographer how much of the day they'll cover. To get the most of your day and to get the most of your wedding film, the videographer should stay for as much of the day as possible.

From the time the bride and her party start doing their hair and make-up, to the reception and grand exit, you'll want someone to capture as much of the day as is possible.

Like a juicy orange, suck as much of the juice from your day as you can.

Simply ask your videographer their normal coverage to get a feel, then adjust accordingly.

It is in the best interest of the videographer to shoot as much of the wedding day activities as they can because the more opportunities to get memories on film, the better the wedding video will be.

Wait, won't the wedding videographer ruin the intimate atmosphere and annoy my guests?

You've already been to one of those weddings where the photographer or videographer stood directly in line with where you were sitting. You couldn't see and you shook your fist to God in your mind, swearing eternal vengeance on all camera-wielding idiots.

Hey, it's OK to admit that - I've had that happen myself.

A skilled photographer and wedding videographer are able to work WITH you, your party, your guests and the venues you'll be at. That means displaying courtesy, respect and cooperation throughout the day.

That should be the norm. But, I'm not going to lie and say there aren't a few bad eggs out there. 

A skilled wedding videographer will do their best to remain unseen, so to speak. Like me, we try to be as quiet as possible, to think about the best shots and to capture them without getting into too many ways of others.

Is capturing a wedding couple on film totally doable without getting into someone's way?

Highly unlikely. 

But that is why you pay the pros - to do what you cannot, so that your guests can enjoy the events as well. 

From my perspective (and hopefully yours!), a quality wedding video is a reflection of the day's activities. It's largely unrehearsed, a documentary of sorts as to how the day unfolds. When thought from that angle, a wedding videographer will be a fly on the wall, only they'll be lugging some equipment around their neck and tip toeing as much as they can.

If my budget is tight, what priorities should I focus on the most for my wedding video?

This is a tough question comparable to "How many episodes of The Bachelor should I watch this season?"

Duh, all of them!

At the very least, having your wedding videographer create a package that includes your wedding ceremony and highlight film is the very least you'll want, with as much coverage as possible.

The remaining add-ons are really a personal decision.

Some couples prefer a second shooter, who is basically a partner to the videographer, and helps to capture more video. Not only do they gain more perspectives, they assist the videographer. While some insist a wedding can not be shot without a second shooter and that added costs, that may signal you to find a different videographer to help stay within your budget.

Other couples prefer the same day edit - where the videographer quickly edits the day's activities into a film that is shown to the reception guests. Videographers who can pull this off are a rare breed of the best, but for them to do this, at least a second or third shooter are required so that they can film your reception while the videographer is editing.

And that means having a same day edit requires at least a second shooter, so that will impact your budget on two fronts. 

Other add-ons include having the raw files of your wedding day, 4K footage, and more. It's always a matter of personal preference, budget and desire. At the very least, having your wedding videographeHeading 2r capture your day in High Definition with a ceremony and highlight film is a basic package - and why it's the most popular of all. Focus on those pieces, and the rest will be fine.

How long should my wedding highlight film be?

To do your wedding day justice, a standard length of a wedding highlight film should be anywhere between six to eight minutes (and more, depending on your budget). When you consider the length of your day, and all that transpires, sandwiching that down to anything less than six minutes may leave out some good memories. 

However, here's some additional considerations.

Most wedding film makers will use a 6-8 minute wedding film as part of a base package. And that is because a cinematic wedding film is pretty popular these days. Let's be honest, having your own privately made film is pretty cool! 

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Bear in mind this highlight film is exactly that - a highlight reel of the best moments of your wedding day. It's not necessarily a documentary, with multiple interviews of friends and family. That is always a possibility to request, but the highlight film is a fast-moving composite of the entire day, whereas a documentary film of the day can be much longer. 

If you want to share something with friends and family, and to have something to re-watch again and again, a highlight film is strongly recommended. If you prefer something with more minutes, or specific audio or just a little more put into it, just ask your wedding videographer what they can do for you. I'm sure they'll be happy to accommodate.

What style of wedding film should I request?

When you meet up with your wedding videographer, it is important to discuss what kind of film they can create as well as the type you want to purchase.

BE SURE YOU ARE BOTH ON THE SAME PAGE.

There's nothing worse than expecting to purchase one thing, then instead get another.

To that point, you can either view the work of your videographer ahead of time to see if they have a certain style, but even with that said, ask them to be sure they are going to achieve the same style you had intended.

  • Documentary/Journalistic style - this style of wedding video is very linear - meaning it conveys your wedding day in a chronological order. It will "document" your day, with interviews, congratulatory messages and refrain from much interaction with guests. It's not a popular style, but some couples prefer this for a bit of a different approach.
  • Cinematic style - by far the most popular form of wedding video currently shown and extremely well received. The cinematic style embraces slow motion sequences, such as a wedding dress flowing in the breeze, a couple embracing, a slow walk through a field, etc. Audio is often overlaid on top of beautiful visuals. With today's technology, utilizing steadicams, gimbals and image stabilization within the camera, this form of wedding film brings out the most pure emotion of the day.
  • Short form film style - this is a more costly version of your wedding film, often starting at 10-15 minutes or more. This is an extension of the cinematic style, but with more audio, complete toasts or reception activities, etc. Short forms elongate certain parts of the day, often to the credit of what action is occurring, for a more complete memory.
  • Traditional style - while not often observed, this is the longest form of a wedding film that embraces minimal editing and is the most raw form of a wedding video. If you want to make sure you don't miss any part of the wedding day, traditional is your source. But as many find, the film becomes a bit long in our day and age of instant gratification and wandering attention spans. Traditional style films are rarely offered, but it never hurts to ask.

Most wedding film makers identify with their own style of film making - which may be the very reason why you chose them. Ask for clarification, allow them to explain their vision and make your decision from there if they are the right choice. 

A pro in any industry will often have great input and advice on what you want in your wedding video, but if you are set on what you want it to look like, you might expect to seek out a few videographers before you arrive at a booked event. Some videographers may only shoot in a certain style, or their style - and while there's nothing wrong with how they choose to shoot, the most important aspect is to make sure it matches with your style as well.

What style of music can the videographer use for your wedding film?

OK, this topic is a bit prickly.

And can be pricey.

A common question during the wedding video conversation is to ask the videographer if they can place your favorite Taylor Swift song into your wedding film. It's a song you fell in love with many moons ago, and it may in fact be YOUR SONG that you and your beloved first danced to, etc.

Although that is a great plan and a desire of most, reality and those damn record labels have other plans. You see, there's thing called copyrighted material - and most if not all music is just that - copyrighted.

Music labels look at it from the perspective of profit. If my band creates music, they deserve to get paid each time that song is performed. Especially when you are paying a videographer for a film to be made for you, and yet the band gets none of the dollars you paid in.

In most instances, popular music is VERY expensive to purchase the rights to. Those commercials you see on TV are paying $$$,$$$ to use certain songs. So when your videographer says T-Swift is not OK with you using her stuff, they are simply looking out for your best interest.

To that point, there are a variety of royalty-free music sites every wedding video maker has access to, and they are very familiar with what works best in a wedding film. With that said, be sure to express your personalities and weigh in if you like on what kind of music you'd prefer.

Many wedding videos start with an emotional song that morphs into a more upbeat pace by the end as the romantic notions of your wedding give way to the celebratory emphasis of your reception and dance. So many times you'll actually get two flavors of music, sometimes more.

Talk this point over with your wedding film maker if it is a big deal. Music is a hot emotional trigger for a wedding video, so be sure to get it right the first time.

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How well will my wedding videographer get along with the other vendors I've hired? 

For some of you, there was probably a grade school report card or a recent evaluation you received that had that one area entitled, "Gets along well with others."

Seen that one before?

This is rarely seen but is an apparent concern due to its searchability on Google. Will the photographer and the videographer get along? 

During tense yet desired moments during a wedding, it is indeed a documented fact that certain vendors just don't want to play well with others. And in these situations, the bride and groom have one trick up their sleeve to keep everyone at bay.

Online reviews.

If your vendors don't have a 4-star rating or higher, check out the reasons why. A lack of professional courtesy could be the culprit.

Any and every business owner should be held accountable for acting in a non-professional manner. Especially during your wedding (or anyone else's).

Everyone wants to get the best shot and yes, a photographer can get in the way of the videographer - or vice versa. But the professional amongst the group will remind everyone that they are all on the same team - Team Married Couple - and that working together goes much further than going against. 

I've been in one of those situations where the photographer continued to get in the way. Rather, it was the second shooter who had no awareness of where they were and assumed to control all versus work as a team. Few scenarios are perfect. But for your wedding, if there is any doubt an individual or business vendor appears the least bit challenging to get along with - don't hire them.

Your wedding day is too important for conflict to rear its ugly head!

When should I expect to get my completed wedding video(s)?

Your Big Day will come and go much faster than you ever imagined. It's common to want to see the wedding film at the earliest opportunity. So with that thought in mind...

Simply ask your wedding film maker - what is your normal turn around time for wedding films during this time of the year? (Note: time of year)

If you're getting married during the traditional busy time of the wedding season (June through October), then your wedding vendors are at their peak. This is THE busiest time of year for wedding videographers and photographers. And try as they might, the conveyor belt of projects goes faster than the ability to keep up.

However - most videographers should return your wedding films back to you within three to six weeks. Anything longer than that should require a conversation, which is why you should...

Ask Your Wedding Videographer How Long It Will Take To Get Your Wedding Film Completed.

I put that in capitals because it's a simple question, but rarely asked. 

What I would say to brides is to be patient to a point. Your videographer will do their very best job - and for that once in a lifetime wedding video, getting everything dialed in just right demands full focus of your videographer and their team. 

Ask up front what the time frame is - and if your budget allows, ask if they have a priority plan. This doesn't allow you to butt in front of others, but some film makers may have contracted editors they can pay extra to do the work for them. 

I've heard horror stories of brides not getting their wedding film back in over a year since their Big Day. That is not only unprofessional, it's a crime! 

Do yourself a favor - just ask up front so you can arrive at the best videographer for you.

How long have you been filming weddings, Mr. Videographer?

In the popular Malcolm Gladwell book, Outliers, it was asserted that to be an expert once must do a certain activity for at least 10,000 hours before they could be an expert in that field.

And so it goes with videography - that you are only good at what you do IF you have been doing it longer than the next person.

I want to challenge that line of thinking for three different reasons.

The first reason is the Good, Cheap, Fast model shown here. If you want something done quickly and good, it won't be cheap.

If you want something done fast and cheap, it could be done fast, but it probably won't be any good.

And if you want something good and cheap, it won't come quickly. 

So as a function of time, hiring someone who has been doing weddings for a while may posit that they are good and fast perhaps, but you can rest assured they won't be cheap.

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The second reason to challenge length on the job doing weddings is that many of the skills doing various films can translate over to weddings. A film maker, at their heart, is a story teller. And a wedding is the best story of all - as two become one and live happily ever after. 

The third reason to challenge length on the job is...it's just not always true. Experience doesn't always translate over. Quantity DOES NOT EQUAL Quality.

Case in point: a videographer friend of mine was a wedding guest and observed the wedding videographer. This film maker had the highest end equipment my friend had ever seen. We're talking Hollywood level cameras, lenses, etc.

But when the wedding film hit social media - I was shocked as was my friend. The quality of the filming was second to none. However, the editing of the film was horrendous. There was little to no cinematic movement. There was no b-roll footage (complimentary movements to match the voice over, etc.) and worst of all - there was no story told. The wedding couple weren't happy with the film as well as the extravagant price they paid.

While asking how long someone has been filming wedding videos, don't forget to ask them for samples of their work. You'll not only get a flair for how good they are, but for their style. Be sure those sync with yours.

What equipment will you use? (And why this is not as important as you might think.)

The best chefs in the world have the most expensive knives. The best drivers in the world have the most expensive cars.

So, do the best wedding videographers have the most expensive equipment?

Sony is well known to perform well in low light - as in a church ceremony or wedding reception. But Canon is well known to have the best lenses - think crisper images. Then there is the growing and very popular Panasonic GH-5 with buttery smooth slow motion filming capabilities. 

The nuances with equipment then go down a crazy rabbit hole because the limitations with each camera system can be solved using other equipment. So does your wedding videographer have that equipment (like a nice Aputure 120D to solve for low light)?

More important are these two questions - do they know how to use that equipment AND can you afford to hire that videographer?

Of all the questions I field from my clients, only ONE TIME has anyone ever asked what equipment I use. And to be honest, I take that as a compliment.

While us videographers and photographers pride ourselves on the gear we use, always looking for that next best camera or lens, the truth of the matter is that the law of diminishing returns eventually pop up. There is only so much gear you can buy - and if you are constantly staying current with the equipment, your prices would have to inflate to pay that equipment off.

Instead of focusing on the equipment a videographer uses, focus on the end product. Is the videographer able to film in slow motion (if that is important to you?). Can they film in low light settings? Can they product the types of shots YOU want?

Yes, equipment is important - but to an extent. At the end of the day, make sure your wedding videographer can deliver on the type of film you crave the most.

Have you shot at my church or wedding reception venue before?

This question is added to our list, but not because it's important but because OTHERS THINK IT'S IMPORTANT.

But I'm not convinced it's important at all and neither should you. Here's why.

Yes, to have shot a wedding film at a venue has some advantages. Knowing the lighting situation, who the owners are, what they will and won't allow - these are all good things.

However, these same questions and issues can all be uncovered given 15-20 minutes. And all of these would be a normal part of filming a wedding because if there is one thing to expect at a wedding, it is the unexpected. 

With so many moving parts, so many people, and so much planning - Murphy's Law applies and all you can do is expect that unexpected. So with that being said, any wedding videographer worth their fees will have the resources to solve most any situation.

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What packages do you offer?

Perhaps the most popular question of all, and hardly necessary to include, is the question of packages (and pricing). But it is equally important to add this to our list because it is necessary to distinguish that there is more than one option on the table for a wedding couple to choose from.

While most wedding film makers will have a popular or "go to" package, couples like to have options. So having a variety of packages is very much on the need-to-have list of wedding videographers.

Packages can start with the most basic of films - perhaps just the wedding ceremony or perhaps just the wedding highlight film. Be sure that whatever package you choose includes the time frame your wedding videographer will be there to capture the day. 

Filming just your wedding ceremony may not necessitate the need for all-day coverage, but most couples prefer a highlight film in addition to the ceremony footage, and with that being the case, multiple hour coverage is highly recommended.

A step up in the packages might include more minutes for your highlight film or more hours for your wedding videographer to record. Either situation requires more time and thus, more price.

Additional costs in upgraded packages may also include filming done during the rehearsal, the "How We Met" love story (my personal favorite), an expanded reception film that shows all the toasts and first dances and more.

I'm a big fan of the love story for two reasons. First, given that the love story filming occurs prior to the wedding ceremony, you get added exposure to your videographer so that the opportunity to learn more about each other is there. The other bonus from doing a love story is that the families from both sides get to see why the wedding couple matches up so well - and you get to learn about how the groom met the bride, what their courtship looked like, etc. 

Love stories are a win for everyone!

Additional package options may also include how the couple receives their film, on what form of media, and how much access their package provides. For example, you can get your film via digital download using Vimeo.com, Dropbox.com, MediaZilla.com, etc. Your videographer may provide your film on a USB flash drive or SD card. And for premium pricing, you can ask your wedding video film maker to place all of your footage onto a hard drive.

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What is the process you use when editing (and what is your back-up routine)?

So much attention is given to the front end of making a wedding film, that little is given to the "post-production" aspects. And this, in my opinion, is more important for several reasons if you want your wedding video to shine.

Editing a wedding video is the act of going through all of the video footage, finding the best audio and video clips to use, digitally "splicing" them together, creating a story, adding titles and effects, and manipulating the footage to build a beautiful experience.

This is no small task. But that's not all that is involved in the editing process. 

There's that space of time between when the wedding footage is taken and when the editing process begins. And that space can make or break the entire wedding film because we're talking about the protection of all of the data captured.

Depending on the format of footage taken, a camera recording in 4K can take up a 200 gigabytes of storage space, at the very least, not to mention your audio files in addition. If anything were to occur to the SD cards (what film data is recorded on by a camera), the entire wedding video would be lost.

And that's why a strong backup routine is paramount to choosing the best wedding videographer.

At the end of the day once the cameras and equipment are all packed up, the first thing a wedding film maker should do is back up your data. But doing it just once is not enough.

Although not necessary for everyone, I find the greatest peace of mind when I have backed up my video footage for all weddings to at least three separate drives. My personal back up of wedding film footage includes the following:

  • Total archive/backup of raw data to three separate hard drives (on-site)
  • An additional back up to a cloud-based server or drive
  • The importing of all footage in a separate file that is what I use to begin my editing of each wedding video
  • If resources allow, I will keep the footage of each SD card intact until each card is re-formatted for the next project I'm hired to shoot

When you're discussing the intake of a wedding film, arguably the most important day in a person's life, the back up process is simply the most important aspect to ensure everything possible is taken to protect that footage.

Do you offer the ability for a second shooter?

As discussed earlier, having a second (or third or more!) second shooter just means that your wedding film maker will provide an assistant or someone who will man an additional camera. 

So why is this important?

Again, as a function of costs, having a second shooter is a great idea, especially for couples who don't want to miss a beat. If both the groom and bride are getting ready at the same times, one shooter will accompany the bride and her bridesmaids while the second shooter will hang with the groom and groomsmen. 

Having two people in two separate areas is a bonus, especially if the prep areas are geographically separate. While many couples prepare for the big day in a large hotel or church, some prefer to use their own homes or just keep things at arm's length. In these cases, a second shooter is a big asset.

Another way a second shooter is of benefit is the amount of footage they can also bring to the table. Often times the main videographer will set up at least one stationary camera in the back of the church to capture a wide angle shot of the ceremony and then will move throughout during the service using various lenses to get even closer to the action. A second shooter can work with the main videographer and stay on the groom's or bride's side, to capture them from behind the officiant, or behind. 

The options are less limited with a second shooter and when multiple cameras are running, there are more memories to be gained. However, many qualified videographers do great running solo, so this is not a deal breaker unless your requests totally hinge on another shooter.

And, in closing...

Although fairly comprehensive in scope, this post is meant to cover the basic questions every bride (and groom) should ask when it comes to creating their perfect wedding video. Please use this as a guide only, know that many arguments for and against each of our provided questions is valid and are very unique to each situation.

We strongly recommend that your videographer involve you in your wedding film. You'll know in your initial consultation whether the individual will involve you or not. For that reason, bring this list of questions with you, cover them in as much detail as is pertinent and most of all...have fun in the process!

Overcoming Hesitation So You Can Grow Your Business

 

In prepping for this video I thought I would take a look at where hesitation comes from and if you look in your Bible hesitation is mentioned quite often. It'sactually a combination of a couple of books of the Bible.

Combine Hezekiah and Lamentations and you get "hesitations."

OK, bad joke, but just appreciate the effort, OK?

Overcoming My Own Hesitations

Even though I want to talk today about hesitation, hesitation in general, hesitation of marketing, hesitation in life; I hesitated making this video.  As a filmmaker I'm very very anal about the things that I do and the things that I put out.

I spend hours editing and looking at the videos that I put out to make sure that they're the best quality because that's what I get paid to do. So, I am going to literally rip the page on hesitation and I'm gonna put this out there. 

But at least I would let you know that you're not alone when it comes to hesitation.

The Back Story Around This Hesitation Topic

A Facebook friend of mine is having some marketing problems.

I find that a lot of people, small business owners especially, they suffer from a lot of insecurities. I do.

They suffer from a lot of paralysis through over analysis. I do. 

And they also suffer from too much hesitation. And as the characters from the movie Point Break remind us, "Fear causes hesitation and hesitation will force your worst fears to come true."

 Don't enjoy the view too long - or you might sink.

Don't enjoy the view too long - or you might sink.

So hesitation in my mind really does "exacerbate" (how do you like THAT word?!) fear.

FEAR.

Picture you're about to jump off of a bridge and the longer that you stand there,  the longer that you start to obsess over:

"Is this going to hurt?"
"Am I gonna die?"
"What's gonna happen if...?"

The longer that you sit there and you hesitate, it ends up crippling you until you just don't even take any action. And when you're trying to grow a business, when you're trying to make any decision in life, hesitation is not going to benefit you.

I'm not gonna Bible thump you, but using it as a reference tool with many, many stories in it,  God rewarded individuals for taking action. Rarely will you find suggestions that it's a good idea to hesitate.

In addition, you have the famous Nike slogan, Just Do It. And if we don't "just do it" then we're not gonna do anything and when we don't do anything we're gonna "screw the pooch." (I don't know where that phrase comes from, but I love saying it even though my wife hates it. Sorry Cindy!)

The fact is we're hesitating because we're not sure what we need to do and we're not sure what the big plan is.

What Would It Take to Make You Not Hesitate?

For me I'm not gonna hesitate near as much if I know what those next steps are in life or in business. Well we don't always know the success of the steps that we take, BUT if we put together a plan then we're probably gonna get there versus having no plan at all.  I

If you lack a plan to grow your business, and you need a plan for marketing, let's start with something that I call the Creative Brief. 

Don't hesitate - Download your FREE Creative Brief today!

The Creative Brief is a series of questions myself and many creatives around the world use. It's a method and a process to figure out where you want to go with your marketing and what you want to do based on your audience.

Who's your audience?

If you own a florist shop, your audience is going to be wedding planners or spouses that want to buy the other spouse a gift. There's any number of people that buy flowers so you need to lock in on who your audience is.

Which brings us to the next part of the creative brief.

What does our audience believe?

Continuing the floral shop example, now we need to figure out what do they believe about the flower buying experience? 

There's a lot of questions that that you, as the business owner would need to figure out about what do they believe about the experience, or what do they believe about the pricing.

And then what you want to tease out of this, as you're going through this mental exercise, is...

What do you want your audience to believe about you?

What do you want them to believe about your business? And this is where that little phrase, "unique selling proposition" can come into play.

What are you doing that's so cool, it's so unique that others would want to do business with you.

If you're doing the same thing that everybody else is doing,
why should anybody come see you?

It's up to you to figure out what that path is that your potential customers should take and visit your business.

It's not as hard as it you might think, but you might need to talk to some other people, and say "Okay yeah, what do I do that's different?" Take a look at the people that you've already attracted into your business and from there you're gonna figure out what your unique selling proposition is.

OK, so we've identified our audience, we have figured out what they believe,  and now we've figured out what we want them to believe. 

So now you need to figure out...

What is your brand personality?

I love Amazon because they provide almost anything that I can think of that I want, its online,  and as a member of Amazon Prime, they give me what I want within two to three days.

Their brand personality is a great shopping experience and to me they are logistics experts. They take this massive warehouse (or warehouses) and they give me what I want, when I want it, and I get it at a pretty good price.

What is your brand personality? How do you want others to perceive you and will you live up to that perception?

 Don't let your brand be faceless - make it an extension of you or your customer's needs.

Don't let your brand be faceless - make it an extension of you or your customer's needs.

Again if we're going back to the florist example, think about who you are and what do you want your flower shop's personality to be? If you take a look at your competitors, what's their personality? Does that fit with what a customer is really wanting. Is it working for them - or do you want to emulate that success but put a little spin on it?

Yes, borrowing ideas and tweaking to make them your own is totally acceptable, but my attorney says you should visit your own before totally taking that piece of advice to the bank.

Do you want to be a little bit more playful in your brand to attract customers? You may want to offer up something in addition to flowers to show people that you care that much more and you can save them a trip to another business (like offering chocolates, perhaps).

Some people think that their brand is their logo and that's not true.

It's part of it but the brand is what people believe about you. What do you want them to feel?  Your brand personality is gonna come out in your marketing and how you approach people, how you talk to them and the methods that you use to carry out your business. 

With this Creative Brief exercise, you're actually creating a customer profile, an avatar if you will. 

Let's pretend, going back to the floral example, that your customer is "Betty" and Betty is 27.  Let's say Betty works for a wedding planner, and so she's going to need somebody who can be very detail-oriented, who can provide her instant quotes, and who can give her floral  arrangements via picture or video.

She wants someone who can provide transportation of said flowers. She wants you to take care of her.

If Betty is your customer, or potential customer, maybe she believes that the floral shops of today aren't that customer service driven or that they don't deliver on time. If that is the case, you've identified a customer need and you will need to fill that. 

This step shows that you're very authoritative in your approach that you are going to solve a problem and, best of all, maybe you're going to do something kind of innovative and unique which then becomes part of your unique selling proposition.

If you want a copy of this creative brief, just the form below for an instant download. I use the exact same form for my corporate clients.

This creative brief is not going to be a one facet problem solver that's going to solve all your problems. It's a part of a larger approach.

And just like Facebook ads are not going to solve all of your problems, a good marketing plan should include various tactics on a schedule attached to a a budget - and that is what's going to lead you down the road towards sustained growth.

Morale of The Story: Don't Hesitate and Plan Accordingly

f you're hesitating, like my Facebook friend is with her new business (is that you as well, kind reader?), maybe that'll help get you off the edge. 

And if this solution does not accurately address the area in your business that can take you to the next level, please leave a comment below or email me so we can talk further.

My First Facebook Live Video - How'd I Do?

I decided to embark on what the Cool Kids are doing and I did my first Facebook Live video yesterday. But it wasn't easy and here's why.

Every video I do, I naturally critique myself.  Hard.

Let's face it - every video a videographer puts out has the potential of winning over a client. And when you do a Facebook Live video, there is a lot that gets compromised.

First, the video is live. That means any minute a child could bust in, an alarm could go off or your battery goes dead.  Embarrassing stuff!

Second, the video quality isn't that great. Depending on your phone vs. your typical cameras, its just not up to the caliber I like. But I decided to get over myself and just wing it.

Third, my audio was poop, which I actually called out because I lacked a TRRS adapter/microphone. If you've watched the video already, you'll see that I call it out because the entire intention of this video is to help others make their Facebook Live videos as great as they can be, whether business or for personal use.

In addition to the tips I collected and shared, I also point out a small ebook I wrote that you can download for free. So get yourself a copy and there will be more tidbits of info coming your way to supplement that guide.

If and when you decide to do your first Facebook Live video, remember these few keys:

1. Everyone who has ever done a Facebook Live has made a few mistakes. We all do. So don't sweat it. Welcome to the club!

2. Try to find a quiet and isolated spot to collect your thoughts and to record. But if something goes wrong - just go with it! That's the fun part of going Live. I forgot my Red Whip I talk about in the video. I just jumped up and got it, even though I had something similar on my wrist (watch closely and you'll see it).

3. Use the closed captioning feature after you post your video. Statistics are continuing to come in, but if your audience is somewhere that they can't turn up the volume, your captioning helps them follow along as you speak.

OK, first one is in the bag - let's move on to more!

How To Find the Best Wedding Videographer (In Sioux Falls)

While most brides search for wedding photographers first, the popularity of online video is making the case why you want to find the best wedding videographer, whether in Sioux Falls or elsewhere. Everyone loves a great picture. But in this current economy of social media and attention deficit, no one can compete with video. And that's just a fact.

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According to BuzzSumo, "Questions, images, and videos were more engaging than all other post types. Videos were most likely to be shared."

We live in a world where we love to share our most important moments, like weddings. The equipment to shoot wedding videos and edit them has decreased in costs. Creatives are now able to express themselves through formats such as wedding videos where the brides are rewarded. They are rewarded because they get the wedding video of their dreams AND they can share their biggest day to those who attended the ceremony PLUS all of the other friends and family who weren't in attendance. And they do that sharing online.

But...HOW DO YOU FIND THE BEST WEDDING VIDEOGRAPHER IN SIOUX FALLS?

Having made the case that wedding video is important because you can share it online, let's talk about locating your wedding videographer. I live in the Sioux Falls area, so I'm going to simply use it as my own geographic preference, but finding the best wedding videographer includes a few obvious recommendations, but one tid-bit at the end that I'm betting you've never considered.

Read on.

1. Meet in person with your wedding videographer before you sign a contract.

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Online research for your wedding videographer has never been easier. However, trusting reviews and watching example videos start the ball rolling, but shouldn't cement the deal. It's important to schedule a time where the bride AND groom can meet over coffee and talk. Does the wedding videographer show interest in your wedding? Do they have a process they can share that demonstrates they know what they're doing? Do they demonstrate a willingness to meet your needs? Having a checklist with them is a sure sign a wedding videographer is the right choice as it demonstrates both process and choices for your consideration.

2. Put your trust in your wedding videographer.

Not just because I'm a videographer do I recommend this, but it's worthy advice. When you micromanage any process - that cake you checked in on for the tenth time has an increased chance of falling in the oven. If your research and meetings led you to a wedding videographer, let them do the rest. As the bride, you have a lot on your mind. Unless you have videography experience, trust that the individual you hired has some great ideas and let them execute on those ideas on your behalf.

Wanna know about our worry-free process?

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3. The real secret and best advice of all for how you can find the best wedding videographer...

Ready?

There are a few common tips I'm purposefully leaving out of my recommendations for a wedding videographer because you've probably read them already. Checking the contract over, yep, that's good advice, but fairly common. All the rest of the advice can be summed up in this over-arching tip:

To find the best wedding videographer (in Sioux Falls), you simply need to participate on the front-end of the conversation and help that individual make informed decisions. A good wedding videographer will have a list of questions that will eliminate your concerns and help you focus better on other tasks for your wedding. In addition, you can instantly enhance that videographer's outcome through your input.

Bride + Groom + Wedding Videographer = Memories to Share (For a Lifetime)
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Think about it like this: when you combine someone's expertise (even if they are a first time videographer) with your wishes, most anything can be accomplished. You simply need to let them know your wishes, write down your expectations, check for clarification - then let them do their job.

Just like having your house built, or your honeymoon planned out, it involves a relationship of discussion, compromise and eventually agreement. 

Your input is THAT important. 

And if a wedding videographer is deathly opposed to your input, to understand what you'd like out of your wedding video, then it's time to find another wedding videographer.

When you're ready to ask questions and meet that interested videographer, please fill out the form above and give us a chance to discuss how we can make your wedding a memorable, enjoyable, and worry-free experience.

Six Reasons Why Video Will Make You More Profitable

Video will make you profitable? Seriously?  Not just famous, but rich too?

While many aspire to be famous, adored by millions, and sought after for autographs, the rest of us are just fine serving our customers, making them happy and exchanging currency for our products or services.

For small business especially, why be Insta-famous if we can't put food on the table? It only makes sense that if you're going to do videos, that it should or has to make you profitable.

With no further delay, here are the top six reasons how video will make you more profitable. 

Reason #1 - Video Emotionally Connects You To Your Customer

You've no doubt seen a handful of videos that leave you telling others that you're just peeling some onions. Or they leave you feeling empowered. 

Pictures can inspire you. But videos connect you with the viewer in a way that is challenging to describe. They'll remember the imagery (much longer than a picture), they'll watch and re-watch it - and they'll share it with others so they can feel the same way.

Want proof? Grab a tissue - and don't say I didn't warn you.

Brands and businesses that can make a viewer feel a positive emotion will stand out from the competition. If you live in Thailand, wouldn't you have a higher likelihood to choose this insurance company based off of this video?

It's emotional branding at its best.

Reason #2 - Video Will Increase Your Page Rank and SEO

Google and other search engines base page rank and search engine optimization (SEO) around content. When a site includes video as part of its content, it sends a signal that your site is full of rich media content.

Another example of how video increases your SEO is attributed to how viral your video is. Every time a video goes viral, it gets linked to other sites. And for every link that goes back to that site, your SEO improves that little bit more. Consider a viral video gets over 1 million views. If just half or one-quarter of those were backlinks, your site SEO for each viral video could exponentially increase, propelling you into SuperStar SEO Status - and way past your competition.

And even if your video doesn't go viral, there's a higher likelihood than not it will get shared and linked to. So even if you don't acquire the success of Dollar Shave Club, you'll still do better than what you were doing the day before.


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"10 Things You Need to Know for Creative Effective Facebook Video Ads."
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Reason #3 - Video Equates to An Astronomical Amount of Words

Quick math lesson: if a picture is worth a thousand words, how many words is a one minute video?

If you think the answer is 60 seconds * 1000 = 60,000, you're not even scratching the surface. Just remember that most videos are shot at 24 frames (images) per second, so let's try 60*1000*24?  That's 1,440,000.

Getting closer. The answer?  1.8 million words of text are equatable to one minute of video.

Wow.

According to Forrester Research, visuals are processed 60,000 times faster than text. This makes video the perfect choice to teach your ideal consumer about your business and offerings. 

The New York Times has approximately 140,000 words each edition; 280,000 words on Sundays. But one minute of video conveys five times more.

Getting convinced yet?

Reason #4 - The Machines Want More Video To Take Over the World

The Zombie apocalypse has several fans, but not as many as video. Even technology supports the Video Apocalypse.

In the past decade, few technologies have embraced anything more than video. Consider YouTube, Facebook (video, Facebook Live), Instagram stories, SnapChat, the "second screen experience" and all of the apps to support interacting with you as you watch TV, virtual reality, etc. All of these examples demonstrate how much we and the multitudes support and demand MORE VIDEO.

Does your website include video? If it doesn't, you can bet your customers aren't as happy with you as they could be.

 The Machines won't be happy if you don't have video on your site!

The Machines won't be happy if you don't have video on your site!

Reason #5 - Video Captures the Attention (and Imagination) of Everyone

Although showing a little leg used to be the way to get attention (never worked for me though), these days it is a challenge to stand out.

But not if you're engaged in video/advertising, you're already riding the wave of wonder because video is on the rise with little likelihood of settling any time soon. 

Everywhere you turn, videos are catching on. So much so that many believe that certain newspapers like the Washington Post are going after YouTube to impact their growing ad revenue. While the verdict is still out on that topic, there is no doubt that newspapers and magazines will never have the ability to embrace video in the paper form.

However, in online format, videos are everywhere that the news is. Everywhere that music is. And of course, everywhere that entertainment is. 

When you go to an amusement park, they don't hand you a newspaper while you wait to ride the Invomitable Terror. They show you videos on big screens.

The imagination is endless in terms of content for videos as well. If you want the attention of consumers, you want video.

And you must want Sia's Chandelier as well. She has a whopping 1.6 BILLION (not million) views of this song. Maybe I should have taken ballet instead of shooting spitwads at Bobby Jensen in the 3rd grade...

Reason #6  - Forget the Bachelor, Video Has the Best Chance of Engaging You

In addition to all of the reasons we've already listed, video has that intangible quality about it that elevates your spirit. You can go to wherever the camera takes you, even up high in the sky. You can hear the scream of thrill or of agony and feel what those around the camera were feeling (to some extent).

In the video below we created for a client, the music is soft, the smooth motion of the camera puts you at ease, and around the 1:26 mark you see the majestic wings of an eagle or hawk enter the frame close by.

Video has the power to hold your attention, to help you imagine, and in many cases, to purchase.


As a special thank you, Download our new 15 page guide called "10 Things You Need to Know for Creative Effective Facebook Video Ads. Click the button below to instantly download your copy.


4 Surprising Ways To Reach (And Sell To) Your Ideal Customer

Selling to your Ideal Customer was supposed to be a snap, remember?

You toiled away at your previous job, dreaming of the day you'd chase your passion. After what felt like a few hundred people who kept telling you to take a chance, you did it.

You went all in and played what felt like a winning hand of cards...but it wasn't. 

Many days, weeks or months later, you still have those cards, but you've switched to solitaire as you wait for that door (virtual or otherwise) to open and the cash to start rolling in.

At this point you'd accept Monopoly money.

Hold on a sec! Before you decide to throw in the small business towel, here are four surprising ways you can reach out and sell to your ideal customer. 

What You Should Know About Posting Videos to Facebook or YouTube

Let's just get this out into the open - posting videos onto Facebook and YouTube are the present day equivalent of owning a smartphone. Although it's a tragedy to think we once existed as humans without iPhones and Androids, it's equally a tragedy if you do not possess a video on your website or social media channels. I'm not talking about posting videos because "everyone else is doing it," but rather posting videos onto Facebook or YouTube because it drives engagement with your viewers, customers, etc.

Need proof?

According to HubSpot, here are the top three stats regarding visual content marketing in 2017:

  1. 37% of marketers said visual marketing was the most important form of content for their business, second only to blogging (38%).

  2. 74% of social media marketers use visual assets in their social media marketing, ahead of blogs (68%) and videos (60%).

  3. When people hear information, they're likely to remember only 10% of that information three days later. However, if a relevant image is paired with that same information, people retained 65% of the information three days later. 

The source article goes on to list 39 more reasons how video is going to rule in 2017, so let's assume you are already nodding your head and you're ready for the meat of the article.

 
 

An example of a Facebook embedded video on my site - not perfectly centered if viewed on mobile.  :(

This is what a Youtube embedded video looks like - pretty good!

Should I Post My Videos to Facebook or YouTube?

To answer this question in blunt fashion, you already know the answer quite likely.

You should post your videos to Facebook AND YouTube AND any other social media channel you utilize as well as your website. But the real question isn't should you post your videos, it's HOW. So let's start with the basics and drill down.

Understanding Your Goal Determines Much of the Picture

Let's assume that you represent one of three camps - the business, the video creator or the individual. Each has different goals with how and why they are posting content and the methods may differ.

Starting with the individual, you have the least skin in the game. You are using your smartphone to capture life's moments so that you can attract likes and followers (I'm over generalizing, so comment below if I'm way off base). For this individual, seeking to grow their personal brand, I'd recommend simply posting these videos to Facebook. Re-posting to YouTube is always an option, but only if the content is funny enough or attracts a larger audience beyond your typical follower base.

For the content creator, the "YouTuber," the smart money is pushing your content onto YouTube where you can monetize your content. The serious YouTuber depends on this ad revenue source for their income (as well as sponsorships), so posting this content to Facebook could work against you when people are viewing without ad revenue going in your corner. YouTube is the second largest search engine on the web, so a well-placed video with tags, a good thumbnail image and a great title can very well earn you some dollars. 

That leaves our final camp - businesses. Here it gets a little complicated.

The Pros and Cons Every Business Should Know About Posting Videos to Facebook or YouTube

Although Facebook launched in 2004, a year before Youtube, we know Youtube is the place to go for videos. It's what they do, right? But as video has increased in value, other social media networks have incorporated it into their features. Blogs don't contain just words and text, video is in there as well. Facebook has also embraced video.

(Insert record scratch)

Facebook has embraced video. That doesn't mean they've embraced YouTube. There is a distinct difference.

When videos are uploaded to YouTube, it's commonplace for many to copy the video's hyperlink from Youtube and post it on Facebook. I'm guessing that uploading and waiting for the video to process on one social media outlet vs. two saves you a few minutes in your workday. But before you get too complacent, consider these two charts form social media analytics provider Quintly.

 With a dramatic swing in December, here's why you should upload videos direct to Facebook

With a dramatic swing in December, here's why you should upload videos direct to Facebook

This graph shows some startling comparisons that just may prove Facebook's favoritism for videos uploaded directly to their platform versus copying a YouTube link. Of special note is how the YouTube share rates remain stable, but as Facebook's share rates began to dip, with the lowest rate being in November, it instantly shot up in December. All conspiracy theories aside, something dramatically changed within Facebook's algorithm that you should pay attention to.

 And the proof keeps coming. Interaction/engagement dipped but shot back up in December.

And the proof keeps coming. Interaction/engagement dipped but shot back up in December.

This second graph from Quintly demonstrates another analytic at work that you can't turn your head away from. Similar to the chart above, Facebook's interaction/engagement rate was rolling down while YouTube videos posted to Facebook were pretty constant and then in December of 2016, Facebook videos shot up in interaction. 

With the good always come the bad, so if you're viewing this blog post on your mobile device you already know what I'm going to say. Embedding Facebook videos (as demonstrated above) is not always failproof. I chose to keep my embedded video so you can see the difference.

Creating and Posting Videos Direct to Facebook Is Your Golden Ticket

Unless your business is tied around creating YouTube videos, the evidence is pretty clear. Businesses not only need to create videos but should upload them to Facebook versus posting them to Youtube and copying the links over. And that may cause a little heartburn.

In each of our cores we possess brand loyalty. We choose the brands we engage with for a variety of reasons. If you want your customers and potential customers to choose your brand, Facebook is that go to place you need to include. With almost 2 BILLION monthly users, Facebook is and will continue to be the Big Dog of Choice for quite some time. 

For the YouTube Loyalists, Here's Some More Advice

As shown above, embedded videos may not always work perfectly on your website. For Facebook and YouTube, the situation is pretty well taken care of. But when you embed either platform's videos onto your website, here are my researched tips:

  • Some web platforms let you copy the link or embed your videos. Your results may vary, but I recommend using the embed function as often as you can. The videos will provide a nice thumbnail but if they don't...
  • Inside YouTube, click on "Embed" so you can copy and paste the code, but note the "SHOW MORE" below that.

When you click on the SHOW MORE, you'll have added features that will be of great help. By making sure there are no check boxes marked for your video, you'll eliminate a lot of hassles and another video starting up after yours has finished. For that reason I highly recommending making sure all these check boxes are not clicked on. It makes for a much smoother interface on your site and less distractions.

And for one last recommendation for your business when using YouTube. For the love of God, DO NOT MONETIZE YOUR VIDEOS. Don't worry if every one else is doing it, by monetizing your videos you risk having other brands, perhaps competitors, show up on your video. In addition, many may simply click off quickly if they have to endure a 15-30 second ad before seeing your video. Don't risk it. DO NOT MONETIZE YOUR BUSINESS YOUTUBE VIDEOS.

Putting the Final Nails in the Coffin for Posting Video to Facebook

As a small business ourselves, we post video content like the embedded Facebook video from above. Had I simply posted this video onto YouTube, I'd have to pull from many sources to get the views I attracted on Facebook. Because of the way Facebook is set up, I was able to share this with my friends and followers, personally, and I also boosted this post as well on a targeted group within my geographical area. Each of these is its own blog post, but the result of posting my first video to Facebook resulted in over 1,500 views (compared to 19 on YouTube). Not too shabby for a young start-up in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. 

But What If I Don't Have Any Business Videos to Post Yet?

Videos has emerged onto the scene and there are any number of ways to create and post your video. For many, the go to standard for video is the smartphone. With high def capabilities and a decent microphone, those fun and informal shots are easily had with your phone.

When you need a more professional look, it's important to seek out a company that can address your needs, seeking first to understand your goals, actively adding input to your ideas and then possessing the means to put those ideas into action. You want a company that can shoot in various styles, from varying perspectives, and in 1080 HD or higher. You want someone who can place your logo in just the right places, who can provide motion animation where required, who can honor your budgets and provide an efficient workflow for quick turnaround.

As a growing CrossFit gym in Sioux Falls, we had the pleasure of working with Jeff on a recent project to capture the heart and story of our diverse community and coaching staff. Jeff produced over 17 high-quality videos for a variety of social media platforms, captured from 10 individual interviews. Jeff handled the diversity well, striving for a unique product from each interview and working hard to create a comfortable environment for our members to share their story. You can often tell the quality of a video/video producer in the first few minutes of a video - and in a digital world over-run with content, it needs to stand out. Jeff had the eye to capture the right shot, lighting, and placement and provided us with a truly inspiring set of aesthetically beautiful, concise, and powerful videos.
— Luke Lynass, CrossFit Phos

If you haven't guessed it, if your business seeks video content for your website or social media, you need Media By JP. To date, we've never disappointed a client yet nor will we. And we'll help you post your videos to all the right places so that you not only earn more likes and followers, you earn additional income for your business.

Simply provide your contact info below and we'll be in touch with you shortly to talk further (phone is optional).

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Why This Video Maker is Proud to Live in Sioux Falls

As a video maker who lives in Sioux Falls, I've had the pleasure to make several observations since arriving. Having moved here in 1998, my first opportunity to enjoy Sioux Falls came my first weekend and challenge - the Sioux Falls Half Marathon. Since that time I've noticed so many reasons why Sioux Falls is amazing.

One Major Reason Why Your Business Might Be Failing

Today I want to talk with you about one major reason why your business might be failing. I’m being authentic with you today as I am dressed down. It's basically me and the computer doing some editing today and I wanted to talk about this video that I came across.

One of my favorite YouTube vloggers is a guy by the name of Casey Neistat. He does a great job telling stories and communicating about every day things. It just so happens that in yesterday's video he proves a point your business might need to pay attention, so I'm gonna have you come along and watch this video with me as I call out a couple of parts. (see above)

Casey is a big Boosted Board electric skateboard user. The guy is always on it and he goes all over New York City from meeting to meeting, somehow videotaping himself while he's on the board. Yesterday he gets a brand-new carbon fiber board from a different supplier. It’s super small, super compact and Casey is super excited to use it.

Casey spends at least an hour trying to figure out how to ride his new carbon fiber skateboard and he's not having any luck. For about a minute or two you see Casey with the manual trying to figure out how to ride the new skateboard. Marlon, his UPS guy, has better luck than Casey but they still can't figure it out.

Marlon takes off, goes back to work, and there's Casey again. What’s he doing in the video? He’s reading the manual which is what any person would do, right? Next comes my favorite part so pay attention below. 

CASEY: “So I do think there is a place for this little guy in the market. It’s incredible and feels well-built and all that stuff. With that though I am a man of moderate to average to medium intelligence and I read this manual twice. I’m also a lifelong skateboarder and a fairly competent guy when it comes to all things electronic. (Shows manual to the camera) I don't know what this means.”

How many times have you picked up a product yourself and you take it home and you're so excited to use it? Then you get home and you read the manual and... nothing. 

I recorded the video episode of this blog on the Sony X 70 which came as a standard video camera with a license to upgrade to 4K, which I purchased.  It took me two hours to figure out how to get the camera to go into 4K mode -  and like my good friend Casey,  I'm a fairly savvy guy when it comes to technology.

I could not figure out how to get this camera to go to 4K and I literally wanted to throw it through the window.  Next, here’s what Casey does and I want you to pay special attention to what the individual with the skateboard company has to say. Casey calls the skateboard company and here's the phone exchange:

CASEY: “Are you the guy who sent me the Spectra skateboard?"

SKATEBOARD REP: “Yes sir, that’s me.”

CASEY: “I have some questions for you; I spent an hour and a half playing with your board and I never figured out how to use it.”

SKATEBOARD REP: “Oh wait, so you didn’t ride it at all?”

CASEY: “I couldn't make sense of your manual.”

SKATEBOARD REP: “So the thing is, we’re gonna have a tutorial video…”  

Wait, what did you just say? (This is me talking rhetorically.)

VIDEO TUTORIAL?

Casey Neistat, an individual who is no stranger to technology, couldn't figure it out because of the manual. And one of the first things the individual representing the skateboard company says is, “…oh, we're going to come out with a tutorial video…” 

Here’s the Big Idea Why Your Business Might Be Failing

How in tune are you with your customers, and how in tune are you with how your customers perceive your product or your service?

Do they know how to use it to the extent you want them to?

Or is it maybe going to improve if you would simply create a tutorial video that demonstrates how to use your product?

How did I figure out how to get my camera to go to 4K? I went to YouTube and I watched a video that somebody else made, not from the company, but an independent individual. 

Don’t Let Your Business Fail - Next Big Point

As a business, if you want somebody else representing your company and representing your brand and telling people how to use your product, that's really up to you. For me, I wouldn't be too happy about that and I would want to be the one that would say, “Hey I'm customer-centric enough that I'm going to create a video. I’m going to tell people how to use my product.

If you're a small business and you need help visit, www.mediabyjp.com where you can learn more about my business and how it can help yours. We connect brands to its customers through story telling, video productions and creative consulting. We pride ourselves with helping small businesses grow. We can help you produce ads, testimonials, and yes, tutorial videos as well.

Why You Need Video to Grow Your Brand

As an earlier adopter of Twitter, writing 140 character messages was both fun and challenging. It was new, it was cool, and it was infectious. Was, was was. Back then there was no video to grow your brand, just text. For small businesses, Twitter was a great platform. But yes, there is that magic word again - was.

Unfortunately Twitter could only do so much so fast and then the next big player came to town. Say it with me - Facebook.

The central reason why Facebook has survived is simple. They evolved. I'm not going to step on the Zuckerberg Express, mind you, but hats off to Facebook for being the modern day Terminator - evolving and bettering itself with each new version. They're not perfect, but you have to admit their monstrous growth attracts us all.

But the next time you're on Facebook, ask yourself one simple question:

"What Facebook posts attract me the most?"

A friend of mine, Kim VanderPoel, owner of social media company Fresh Impact, recently shared with me her opinion, which fortunately matched my own. It's one of the reasons why Twitter is slowly dying and why Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat, and others are still in the fray. And although the stat I'm about to share comes from a few year's back, it's as true today as it was back then.

Three Reasons Why You Need Video to Grow Your Brand

If your brand wants to engage with your customers, video is the primary force to do so. According to Sproutsocial, videos average 62% more engagement than photos. In other words, if you're still posting text or photo only posts, you're leaving money on the table.

Why is video that much more engaging?  

The first reason why you need video for your brand is its diversity. Video comes in all shapes and sizes. Videos can be long or short. They can be in black and white or colored. They can contain words, images, music and leave you wondering how it will end. Just like a movie.

Speaking of movies, the second reason why you need video for your brand is the emotional connection you can create with your customers. Like various genres of movies, videos can make you sad or glad, mad or empowered. When marketers talk about connecting brands to consumers, emotional branding is a strong frontrunner. To make the viewer feel a certain way is more readily done via video versus words alone. 

And the third reason, but certainly not the last, why you need video to grow your brand is as simple as looking at your competition. Here's a hint: if your competition is doing video and you're not, they're going to leave you in the dust on the competition floor. And if your competition is not doing video for social media, etc. - then it's a great time to start so you can leave them in the dust and stay ahead of the game.

Consumers are smart cookies. They no longer want you to tell them what you do. They want you to show them. As the quote goes, "Words are nothing. Actions are everything. Don't tell me. Show me." 

Since I'm from Missouri, the Show-Me state, there's no one better to remind us all that if you want to grow your brand in today's consumer-driven world, improve your chances and engagement and use video to do it. For more reminders, updates, etc. - sign up below.