I recently set myself a bit of a challenge. Actually, it’s the kind of thing I might suggest of many clients – and, I admit it, it’s far easier to ask someone else to do it than it is to do it for yourself. Isn’t that always the way! 🙂

I’ve been wanting to introduce video onto my website for some time, so the challenge has been to write a script that runs for around three minutes and clearly conveys what I do and what I can offer clients. Wow! Trying to sum up your business really isn’t easy, is it? I have been through so many drafts exploring ways of getting across my key messages that help solve the problems of my small business clients. Then there’s the added challenge of trying to deliver it in a natural and friendly way. And there’s the even bigger challenge of doing it on camera – what is it about a video camera that turns a confident business person into a tongue-tied quivering wreck?!!

Doing a 60-second pitch is second nature to me. I go to plenty of networking events and have got my pitch well honed, but let’s face it, 60 seconds is over in a flash and there really is only time to give a top-line description of what you do. I regularly present seminars and enjoy that immensely, so I’m not nervous in front of an audience by any means. But three minutes on camera seems an eternity and it requires delving a little deeper into your business and extracting the salient facts and benefits to your audience.

When I work with my clients on a marketing review we spend a lot of time examining what their business is all about, what they do and how it needs to be communicated through their brand identity and key marketing messages. For many it’s an interesting and revealing journey – and, indeed, an essential one to take. The process I take my clients through rarely fails to throw up gems that should be exploited. And this is through no fault of my clients, many (possibly even most) small business owners fail to communicate their USPs clearly enough. It’s easy to assume that your customers will understand you one way or the other, far too easy to gloss over important benefits their customers seek and, easiest by far, hide behind a business name in preference to revealing the person your customers will be dealing with. This is common amongst small business owners – it is, I think, a natural concern that they’ll look too small to have real business credibility, so they reach for the smoke and mirrors (there’s a Wizard of Oz in all of us, I reckon) and get lost in a ‘we do this’ and ‘we do that’ mentality.

One of the main reasons I decided to commission a video is that clients are buying me – my knowledge and my marketing expertise. It would be pointless for me to hide that, if we’re going to work together they have to meet me at some point, so why not meet me as soon as they visit my website? It’s a great opportunity to have a sneaky peak, decide whether they like what I have to say and how I say it, and to get a feel for whether they’d be comfortable working with me. If they do, that’s great. And if they don’t, well I won’t take it personally – unless my website analytics shows visitors leaving my site in droves after watching! (Gulp, hope not!).