Connecting with Customers Through Video
Updated: Sep 15, 2022
with John Woosley, Founder Storyboard Management Consulting
Are you underutilizing video when it comes to content production for your business? John Woosley of Storyboard Management Consulting, shares some great tips for companies, businesses, and entrepreneurs both in and out of the professional service space on how to effectively use video to increase communication and connection with customers. We discuss big mistakes, important strategy choices, and today’s problem: short attention spans.
Notes from the Show
Video is king when it comes to digital content for your business. John Woosley is the founder of Storyboard Management Consulting, a consulting firm that guides small to medium-sized businesses with strategy through the power of video.
With a background in film making, John helps his clients create the best strategy for their company in order to execute effective communication and connection with their client. Many might think the biggest mistake you can make when it comes to video content, is low quality and production value. However, John says the biggest mistake businesses are making with this right now is creating too much content. There is often an oversupply of disconnected video with no real message. This happens when companies have not strategized their use of video to connect with their customers.
Whether you’ve never used video at all or you’ve been using video for a while, John covers the big questions you should be asking before creating videos for your company.
What is your mission as your business, the “DNA”?
What are your strategic objectives?
What are your targeted goals?
Who is going to help you achieve these goals?
Who are your clients?
What message do your clients need?
Video is one of the most engaging content sources because, unlike the written word or an audio recording, it requires both the visual and the auditory senses. This alone is going to capture and maintain attention. John also advises you keep it short and simple for today's shortening attention span, videos should not last more than 5 minutes long unless a formal webinar.
We discuss all of the really enriching ways videos can be used for sales and marketing across the professional services space and through the entire sales funnel. You can find John’s book, Video Secrets: How to use video to attract, convert, and retain customers, we mention in today’s episode on Amazon. To learn more about John Woosley find him on the Storyboard Management Consulting website, LinkedIn, and via email.
Why is strategy important for video content?
What is the biggest mistake companies make when creating video content?
How to build trust and break through barriers with video?
Why video content is great for today’s short attention span.
What questions should you be asking to build the best video strategy?
How to get started whether you’re new or experienced with video content.
Mentioned in this Episode:
Transcribed by AI Susan Tatum 0:37
Welcome, and today I'm talking to John Woosley, who is the founder of Storyboard. Hey, John.
John Woosley 0:43
Hey, Susan, how are you?
Susan Tatum 0:45
I'm good. Thanks. It's great to talk to you tell us a little bit about what you do?
John Woosley 0:49
Absolutely. So Storyboard is a consulting firm that helps small and medium sized businesses connect with our customers through the power of video.
Susan Tatum 1:00
Okay, and how do you do that?
John Woosley 1:04
So we do that, first and foremost, by helping companies create a strategy around how to do that how to use video. What I found, in my experience is that in this day and age, most companies and most founders or entrepreneurs don't struggle with how or the mechanics of making video, what they struggle with is the what? What should I be making to have effective communication and connection with my customers. And we help solve that by a product called story driven, which is a video strategy that we create, in partnership with our clients to help them connect with their customers, their employees, and their partners.
Susan Tatum 1:40
So do do your customers, usually, or your clients come to you for an entire video strategy that's saying? How can I use video?
John Woosley 1:52
Yes, often that is the case. So it's either they're already using video, and it's not as effective as they want it to be. Or they're launching a new product or a new offer. And they need a way to strategically use video to connect with their customers or get the message out. That oftentimes, yes, it's comprehensive.
Susan Tatum 2:13
So you have a background as a filmmaker, don't you?
John Woosley 2:16
Susan Tatum 2:18
So you really know what you're talking about?
John Woosley 2:21
I hope so.
Susan Tatum 2:22
So, in the in the in the film world, I guess the strategy is, I mean, that's just part of it, you're going to do a strategy before with the amount of money that's being invested in a lot of that stuff you're going to, you're not going to just go off into a video without some form of strategy.
John Woosley 2:40
Yes, because in the entertainment world, right, the product is the film or video, right? So there's a lot of strategic work that goes into creating that product before you take it to market. Now, in this case, we're talking about businesses using video as a way to connect and communicate. So the video itself isn't the product, but it is helping to communicate and sell a product.
Susan Tatum 3:05
So it's funny that how, at least I am unaware of not a lot of people doing what you're doing. You know, we're all accustomed to hearing from somebody pitches on hire me to do your two minute video or your explainer video or, you know, something to go on your website, whatever. And I think that I think that I mean, kudos to you for putting the strategy in there because it's awfully important.
John Woosley 3:37
Yeah, and I think that's, that's the thing, right? If you look at the marketplace, the marketplace for production, video production of every type is very crowded. And even though I have a filmmaking background, and I can do video production, I feel like I'm able to add more value from the client service angle, which is not served, really in the small and medium sized business area at all. And it's certainly not served from the perspective of developing a strategy to help companies use video strategically.
Susan Tatum 4:05
So would you? Well, let's see, I don't know, I have so many questions. I don't know where to start. What, what what are the biggest mistakes that you see people, businesses, when they're using video to sell something else? Or, or for their employees, or whatever, were the biggest mistakes or missed opportunities that you see being made?
John Woosley 4:29
Yeah, so you would think the biggest mistake companies make is not investing enough in their production, right? Not not spending enough money on the quality of the video. And that's actually not the biggest mistake. The biggest mistake I see is that companies just make video for the sake of making videos, they think they should, therefore they do and they just pump out a lot of one off content with no kind of bigger picture behind it just because they think they should and they want to try it or you know, it's just I have to do it. So I will do it. And you've got all this disconnected media floating out there that has different messages that has different goals, different audiences that's just not tied together and doesn't really fit with the DNA of the business. I think that's the biggest mistake companies make.
Susan Tatum 5:12
You know, you see that a lot on social media for sure. And we you know, when it first became available, like on LinkedIn, I remember people would like they would be walking around their neighborhoods doing video or riding around in a car standing on a balcony or something like that. I guess that was the novelty of it. but I'm not sure what it communicated.
John Woosley 5:36
Right? Yeah. I mean, yes, you do see that on social media? Right? A lot of different, you know, just tons of blasting content. Right. I mean, Instagram is a good example of this, because now you could put videos on Instagram, you know, originally, it was just photo sharing, and they gravitated towards videos. And now they have new products, like stories and reels, right? And people are trying to figure out how do I use these and I was talking to, you know, one of my family members actually owns a small business. And she's like, I'm trying to figure out real so I'm just going to try and do it. I'm just going to do it and start keep doing it. I mean, it's certainly one way to figure it out. Right? Just because it's just because there's a place to put a piece of content doesn't mean you should do it.
Susan Tatum 6:19
That is a good quote. I like that. So where, if I? Well, so we're most of our listeners here, professional services firms. And I think one of the things that we as professional services firms struggle with the most is building that trust. Because especially in a in a digital first world now, where we're not meeting people face to face or spending time with them like we used to. How can we use video to help with that?
John Woosley 6:54
Yeah, video is a great way to build trust in your eye in the professional services space. Trust is key trust and authority. Right. And, you know, like I said, video is a great way to do that. And the reason is that if you think about all the different forms of media you can use to establish trust or try, right, you've got websites, you've got presentations, you've got traditional media, like a billboard, a flyer, a mail or a letter, all these different things, right? The reason is, videos, the most effective is because video is the only form of media that engages multiple senses, your auditory senses and your visual senses. So if you think about any other type of media, including this podcast, right, because people are gonna listen to this, but I don't know about you, when I listen to a podcast, I'm going to be doing something else, I can't just sit there and listen, like my grandparents did around the radio, gotta be driving, or I've got to be doing something right, just stumped. I'm trying to, I gotta be doing something to engage my other senses, because they're not engaged by just listening to a podcast, for example, right? So that means my attention isn't fully occupied, because even though I'm listening, and I'm engaged, part of my senses are somewhere else, because I'm looking at something I'm looking around, I'm driving, right? But video is different. Because video requires you to both listen, and look. And because of that, you're engaging 100% of those senses. And that's what makes video the most engaging form of content. So when it comes to building trust, the best way to do that is video because you're going to engage your audience's sensory perceptions multiple of them for one. The other is that part of establishing trust in a professional services space, is I'm asking you to do something for me, right? To help me in some way. And I need to see you as a person. And I need to see what you bring to the table. Right? Yeah, and the best way for you to show me that is through video, you can engage me I can interact with you, even if I'm just watching you, I can see you, you're a real person, I can see what you bring to the table, I can see you know, you can layer in, you know, parts of your different pieces of collateral, I can see those at the same time, I could see you talking about them. And I can start to feel that I could engage with you, as you know, as another business, right, or as a business partner, because I see you're a real person. And that that helps build that trust and authority in a way no other form of media can.
Susan Tatum 9:14
So you know that that brings up an interesting questions, because you were talking about when you were talking about the the podcast you can't listen to you can't watch a video like you would listen to a podcast, right? Because you got to pay attention to the video. Which then means there are I mean, we would love for everybody to watch video and give us 100% of their attention all the time. But and then there are some there's some instances where it's you everybody you just know it's better. I'll use YouTube videos as an example if I want to figure out how to do something. I'm going to watch a video where show somebody I can see them showing me how to do it. I sometimes I still have to read instructions if it's if it's software or something but what what is there anything that you can do to encourage somebody to want to watch you on video? If they're they're these really busy people and we're multitasking. And maybe we want to take the easy way out.
John Woosley 10:25
Yeah, I mean, you have to keep it simple and keep it short, I'd say are two things you can do when people don't have like attention spans. And, you know, they want something simple and easy to understand. So that's, that's a couple things. But the other is that there has to be a reason for them to watch the video, you can't just send them a link and say, Hey, I made you a video, but watch this, right? You have to provide some kind of value to get them to watch it. So everything you do in terms of video communication should be valued first, right? There should be value in what I'm asking you to watch. If I'm just asking you to watch a video where I said, Hey, Susan, you do interesting work, I looked at your website, it's very interesting, give me a call. You know, if you even watch that, you probably would not respond to it. Versus if I said, Hey, Susan, I took some time to look at your website, here's three things I noticed, point A, point B, point C, here's what I would do to fix it. And if you want a little bit more help with this, set up some time to talk to me, right, and I show you your website, and I show you how I looked at it and what you should do about it. Now I've provided you value, and a reason to contact me in a very short video, you know, and if I had the proper language and an email to get you to click on that, right, that would probably be really powerful. You would build trust you build authority, right? And you'd be using video in a really engaging way.
Susan Tatum 11:45
Well, and you also hit on a few things that sort of gets could it kind of help get you through the barrier of somebody not wanting to give you their time or give you their attention. And that is I can listen to you your video really quickly. It's not as much of an ask, as it is that I actually have a conversation with you. So I can I can listen to your three points. And then I can decide do I want to now do I want to put aside the time to have a longer conversation with John.
John Woosley 12:15
Right. Lowers the barrier?
Susan Tatum 12:16
Yeah, Lowers the barrier? The other thing is that came to my mind is it also it is so easy to misinterpret. Words, written words. And it's in your in your sort of demeanor. When you're saying, Hey, Susan, I looked at your website, I noticed these three things was very, it did not put me on the defensive. Where because of your because it's just the way you did it. Were those same exact words in writing. I could have made I could have thought, Well, this guy thinks he knows what he's doing with my website.
John Woosley 12:54
Exactly. Right. Like clearly this is you know, if you were to read it, it's like, oh, clearly this guy's trying to sell me something, next, delete, right and move on?
Susan Tatum 13:02
John Woosley 13:03
Susan Tatum 13:04
So what works best with that type of thing? Do they have it now and I'm showing my ignorance about video, I'll happily do that. But they they haven't, where you can play the video within the email, and you don't have to go somewhere else to watch it is embedded?
John Woosley 13:21
Yes, you can embed it, you can embed video in an email pretty easily, you can have a link to another site, something that I would recommend. So one of the things I talked about in some of my courses and workshops is what I call a press play shortcut. So if you want to try to get somebody to watch your video, what are the some of the things you need to do? One of those things you need to think about is the all these sites like YouTube and Vimeo and whoever else you're hosting your video through, they allow you to select the image, click the thumbnail image, video, right? And the software will automatically choose probably the worst possible, you know frame where your guy would like your mouth half open or something ridiculous, right? So you need to choose it. But what's better than choosing it from the video is actually creating an image. So taking what you know, it's still from the video, adding text over it, you know, something like the title of the video, like an arrow to the play button in the middle saying hey, watch this or something like that, to get somebody to watch. That's one thing you can do. The other thing you could do is create a GIF of the video. So you know a five second loop, right? Where it's just you know, it just loops the video five seconds of it back and forth, and select the part where you're talking about their website. So okay, I can see right away. This isn't just a generic video, you're actually talking about my website. Now I want to watch this, what is this? This is for me. So that's, you know, a couple of things you can do to get someone to watch it.
Susan Tatum 14:46
So those are the kinds of things that I mean, maybe there's applications that do it. I think one called bom bom comes to mind. But that's, that's the kind of the thing that people it's good for them to be able to do themselves, I think or because the more you the more you can just the more you can do that the more you can use videos, you've got a good strategy that say, John has put together and some pieces of that are kind of, you know, have to be all polished and scripted. And it's, it's you know, it's just like having a conversation is a valuable use of that. I think as long as it doesn't get gimmicky,
John Woosley 15:27
right, right. Yeah, like I said, I don't think that issue is mechanics. I think people either can learn how or know how to Do the various pieces are related to creating a video? I think where the gap is is like, what do I even start? What do I even say? What am I even trying to achieve? Right? What's the right messaging to use? All those pieces? If you just wing it? It's not gonna work?
Susan Tatum 15:49
Probably, yeah, not any better than it would if you were winning a consulting, engagement without thinking about it.
John Woosley 15:57
Susan Tatum 15:58
So what? Every question I think I know the answer is going to be? Well, it depends. So somebody that hasn't used video at all. And it's professional services firm? Where would you start with them?
John Woosley 16:17
So I'd start the same place I start with, you know, a company, whether they've used, you know, no video or a lot of video, which is first defining what is your business trying to achieve? So who aren't, you know, I call this the DNA of your business. So what's your mission, your vision, your values? What are those things? Hopefully you have them? If not, you know, go and go and figure them out, right? Because they should be the guiding light of everything you do in your business, every decision, you make sure all feedback to that, especially when it comes to video. So that's first. Next is what are you trying to achieve over the next five years? So what are your strategic objectives? And then what are the tactical goals that you're doing over the next year or two to help you achieve those things? So you got to figure out those things first, right. So that's kind of high level, big picture, what are you trying to achieve? The next is, who do you need to help you achieve those things? So you've got all these objectives? You've got these goals right now, who specifically is going to help you achieve? Now the obvious answer is, well, my customers because all my goals are revenue based? Well, yes, that's okay. Great. So think a little bit further down, right? How would you segment your customers? Or what types of customers? Or are they different customers for different products? So you have to identify that and then you have to identify the specific messages you need to use to speak to those people? Right? What is going to most persuade them from a messaging standpoint, then you can get into the actual tactical creation of the video. So what specific type of content are you going to use to persuade them to kind of walk through this exercise, whether you got a million videos or no videos, if you define all these things, you'll know exactly the type of content you need to go and create to achieve your objectives and your goals as a business. And when it comes to professional services firms, right? I think, you know, if you if you want to go kind of the the route of types of video, right, the most powerful you know, video, I think any company can make professional services or, you know, retail shop. Right, is what I call a testimonial video. Which is where you have your customers talking about their experience working with you.
Susan Tatum 18:27
I've seen some of those. Yeah.
John Woosley 18:31
Yeah. So if you have nothing else, right? That would be one thing to go ahead and do, right? Because there's no way you wouldn't be able to put that together in a way that achieves your goals and objectives and speaks to your audience, especially if you're a customer services firm, right? I want to understand what the experience other people had working with you. Because like we were talking about earlier, builds trust, it builds authority, right? And it builds credibility.
Susan Tatum 18:54
And it's video, so it makes that person seem more real. Are there any, are there any, like rules around those types of videos like length of time they should be? Or?
John Woosley 19:08
No, I say every, you know, you shouldn't, in general, have videos more than five minutes in length, right? Because unless it's like a webinar type of format or something, you're asking somebody upfront to invest, then they know they're going to invest a lot of time on like, if you put a 10 minute video on your website, it's just a bunch of testimonials. No one's gonna watch it. Right, you know, short and sweet, right, is the best thing to do when it comes to using video. Because people have short attention spans.
Susan Tatum 19:35
I know I do. Then what about the use of? I mean, it's just somebody sitting there talking. Do you need to have like slides that go with it? Or? You know, I don't know.
John Woosley 19:49
Yeah, certainly. Certainly, you can write again, and just to use the independent dependent, right. This is this is business professional services. Right. So everybody says it depends that every question
Susan Tatum 20:04
because it depends.
John Woosley 20:05
That's right. That's right. And so yeah, you can certainly use visuals very helpful, right? Especially, you know, if you're in like the software industry, for example, right, show the product, right, show people how it works, how they will use it, how they would interact with it. You know, the higher the hard thing about professional services is sometimes the visual is is not something you can share because it's client specific, right, and it's different for every client. So what I would encourage professionals services firms have to do is try to try to find a way to productize their offerings into something that is at least, you know, there's visual similarities between what you do from client one to client two something that you can, you know, create a template around that you can create a visual around that you can share it, even if you know the end result is different, which will be for every client, right? The you know, have some frameworks have some strategies, some methodologies, you know, some, some collateral that is part of your process, or your sales process that you can use as a visual will be very helpful.
Susan Tatum 21:06
So you might be showing them the framework that you use, or the front of the cover of a report or whatever that might be. That makes sense, right? So are there certain so for for stick with sales and marketing here? Are there certain places in the funnel, or buying process where video works best? Like we talked about top of funnel, middle funnel, bottom of funnel? Is there this visit video have a better home in any of those places?
John Woosley 21:40
I would say it has a home in all of those places, right? You can't just use one and in one place and right in not using the meals because you think about from a marketing perspective, top of funnel, right, so you're just kind of trying to get somebody onto a website, for example, a great place to use video, Facebook ads, and Instagram ads are a great place to use that kind of high level type of funnel like, please come and check this out, right or, you know, this is going to be great, I'm gonna solve this problem for you. And then on your website, where it's starting to be a little bit more middle of funnel, or you can use more of a longer form like a video sales letter. So if your audience is familiar with the old school sales letter, the video format of that very similar, right, you're addressing your audience, you're walking them through the problem they have, why it's a really big problem, how you can solve it, what your credibility is what you've done for others, right, and you're inviting them into the next step of the process, probably to have a meeting with you, right, so video sales letter is a great way to do that. And then what I encourage is, you know, continue to use, but also now you've got somebody, let's say they book a meeting with you, you can then use a video, like if you have a thank you page on your on your meeting invite, right you can use another video. And then you can also have you know, a sequence of videos, you can even use to keep engaging with them up until the meeting happens or after the meeting happens. So video can be used throughout the funnel. And the more you use it, you know, the more the more somebody is going to engage with you without you having to actually engage with them at all. So by the time they are actually meeting with you don't feel like they know it. They know you. Yeah. Right. Because they've been having this conversation with you, without you even
Susan Tatum 23:24
without you knowing it. Okay, so what about so I can see when you were talking there, I can see how video can also be be used for something that's also near and dear to my heart, which is differentiation?
John Woosley 23:40
Susan Tatum 23:41
Until we get to the day where everybody's doing the same video.
John Woosley 23:44
Well, but no one will exactly the same video, right? Because everybody's different, right. And everyone has different products services offers, right. So you know, it's a great way to, again, paint that picture of what you're bringing to the table. And yeah, you can use it to, to highlight the ways you're different. There's so many things you can do with that video, right, but you've got somebody's attention and they start watching it. And then you have to, you know, you have to walk them down the road, if you will, of who you are right what your product or service is going to do for the person watching it and why they should start to have a relationship with you. And video is a great way to do that.
Susan Tatum 24:24
So John, what do you do about a somebody a person who is just not good on video? Can they be helped?
John Woosley 24:33
Sure. The best way to get better at being on video is to be on video, right? You have to you know, you just have to keep doing it. Right. Keep keep practicing. And I think you know, if you have any hope of having a relationship with a client, you're going to have to try to figure it out, right? Because if you can't have a relationship with somebody on video, how are you ever going to have a relationship with them in real life? Right?
Susan Tatum 24:59
Well, and videos just so necessary now. I mean, I know the world is opening back up again. But a lot of people have realized I will have to get in a car and drive somewhere. I don't have to get on a plane and fly somewhere. And so we're going to do this by video.
John Woosley 25:15
Susan Tatum 25:16
But it can be very painful to have to watch a video of yourself in order to make yourself better.
John Woosley 25:22
It can't be but when you're going to be your own harshest critic, so that's, you know, you're gonna get the harshest advice from yourself but also you can get advice from other people. Have other people watch the video, you know, get their reaction to it, if you're trying out something different. But the other thing is to, you know, put it out there and see what the result is you get, you know, I talk a lot about measuring the result you're asking for. So if you're asking for somebody to download something, how many downloads did you get that it'll tell you how effective the video was. If you're asking for someone to book a meeting with you after watching a video, how, how often are they doing that? Or if it's all the way into the purchase? You know, the purchase point are they actually purchasing so you can use kind of metrics like that to measure the effectiveness of content you're putting out there. But the most important thing I'd say is don't just make content for the sake of making content that will not be effective, right? Have a reason for it.
Susan Tatum 26:16
Right. All right. Well, so you have a book that's out, don't you video secrets?
John Woosley 26:21
I do? Yes.
Susan Tatum 26:23
So want to tell us a little bit about that?
John Woosley 26:26
Sure. So it's all about how to use video to acquire, convert, and retain your customers. So walk through the framework that I use with, with my clients, right? I call it narrative strategy. So watch the the framework I use how I use it, and has a lot of great information for businesses and entrepreneurs that are looking to use video, but just need some help. Right? So where do I even start? Right? What is you know, what is video marketing broadly? How do I use it throughout the sales center? Funnel? What are different types of videos that I should be thinking about, you know, there's testimonials, there's video sales letters, and there's times of different types, right? So you know that, that catalogue of content that you could go and create, and then you have a framework to use to think about how to start creating video for yourself.
Susan Tatum 27:12
Sounds perfect. And everyone should read that before they go off and create some video they didn't think about. If it would help save us from the noise that's out there. If every if every if every video had a purpose.
John Woosley 27:31
And yeah, because there is a lot of noise out there. And that's that's part of it, right? You have to figure out a way to stand out and that's why a lot of video is just is just noise because it's done without purpose, right, has no meaning behind it is just content for the sake of content. People don't have time for that. You're asking for someone to give you their time. Everybody's time is precious, right? So there has to be a return for the person watching it. Right? We give a lot of time to Netflix, right? We give a lot of time to HBO Max, but the return is we get a lot of entertainment value out of watching those things. So if you're asking for someone to watch a video, what are they going to get out of that? That's why I mentioned earlier you have to you have to provide value. If you provide value. Okay, then I get something out of watching your video. Even if it's like shot, you know, have you in your car right on your cell phone? Right. If you provide me value, it's still worth it. Still worth my time to watch it?
Susan Tatum 28:22
Yeah, yeah. All right. Well, John, this has been great. I got I got three pages of notes here that I took. And for anybody that wants to follow up with you after they buy your book, which is available on Amazon. How can they get in touch with you?
John Woosley 28:38
Sure. So my website is storyboardmanagementconsulting.com. You can find all my contact information on there.
Susan Tatum 28:46
And you're on LinkedIn as well.
John Woosley 28:48
I am on LinkedIn as well, yes, yes. You can find me on LinkedIn. Just search my name.
Susan Tatum 28:54
All right, John, it was great talking to you. Thank you for your time.
John Woosley 28:58
Yeah, thanks so much for having me, Susan. It's great talking to you as well.