There’s always something to howl about

Virtually belly-to-belly: Don Reedy’s salesmaniacal YouTube video voicemails.

Reacting to this post from yesterday on a better way to handle video testimonials, Don Reedy brought us this idea in the comments:

Greg, this is really easy, and does take planning, but not much time.

I’ve started trying to communicate with prospects, people I just meet coming and going, and folks in escrow by using my laptop, recording a 30-45 second message, posting as an “unlisted” video to YouTube, and then linking a picture of myself with a “play button” on my torso to that link.

I embed the picture with link in emails. They fly through, are almost always clicked on, and provide that belly to belly contact emails don’t always do. And yes, often that simply results in future actual phone calls, but the goal of creating value to and for the client is surely helped along by this methodology.

Here is the photo of Don he sent to me in an email:

And here is the video I see when I click on that image:

As constructive criticism, I think I want the photo to be bigger with a bigger YouTube-like Play button, plus also a reiterated call to action in text form: “I’ve made a ‘video voicemail’ just for you. Click ‘Play’ to see it.” For the video, I want Don’s head and shoulder bigger — closer to the webcam — and higher in the frame.

Those are quibbles, though. I love the idea, and the “Yeah!” special effect is fun. It might work to tack on a business card at the end, along with a link-back, in the video and in the description section, to any client-specific web pages.

This is cool, though: Using rough-and-ready tools to put a very personal touch on voicemail-like contacts. Using smartphone video with one-touch YouTube posting, Don’s technique would be useful for all kinds of client follow up.

As an example, here’s the ‘script’ for a movie you’ll have to screen in your imagination:

Hey, Jim and Shirley. Greg Swann here with a quick video voicemail about the houses I looked at for y’all today. I’ll have a web page for you later today with photos of the homes I visited, but here’s the Cliff’s Notes: Westwing Mountain may be the answer to our prayers. The homes are a little pricier, but they’re newer and most of them are in great shape. And the views are simply breathtaking… [insert slow panorama here] Watch your email for my pix. Talk to you soon.

Not as fast as a voicemail, but it delivers the goods where a voicemail can’t. I rate that a win.

This is a cool idea, a Scenius present from Don. How do I know it’s a Scenius-in-the-making? Because if you think about this Don’s way, you’ll come up with a dozen great ideas of your own.


8 Comments so far

  1. Don Reedy November 30th, 2012 12:25 pm

    Greg, you’ve got it entirely. Scenius is spot on. It’s so easy once we’ve met someone, or are working in the real estate world with some, or a hundred other things all of us do, to fall back on phone calls and emails. Geez, even the concept of “drip email” lacks the purpose, pimples and profoundness of a quick video.

    And yes, this video was taken without doing some of the more advanced stuff I do. With just a template and a few edits, you’ve got a much more professional touch. This particular message was intended to be totally casual. I’ll draft up a quick note later today with a more typical, less personal video, which I still believe (if some of your ideas are taken into account) create a valued message in a unique way.

  2. Greg Swann November 30th, 2012 12:40 pm

    Please don’t be stung my my quibbles. The video is great and the idea is priceless.

    Often the purpose an email or voicemail is to serve as a placeholder on future action: “Just letting you know that I’ll be delivering the real message later on.” This way of doing that job is superb, because it looks and feels like added-value.

  3. Greg Swann November 30th, 2012 1:06 pm

    Here is a more generically promotional video from Don:

    I think that’s sweet: Interesting and to the point in two quick minutes. Plus which, it’s an easy sale to get the sellers and their friends to pass it along. “Viral” doesn’t mean everyone everywhere, it means everyone who can move the ball down the field.

  4. Greg Swann November 30th, 2012 1:21 pm

    I have a transparent YouTube play button overlay I built a long time ago for playing Ryan Hartman games on Craigslist. It looks like this:

    It’s built as a PhotoShop file, but you should be able to open it from any photo editor that groks PSD files. Click here to download the file.

  5. Ashlee Anderson December 19th, 2012 2:35 pm

    What a cool idea! I think that using a better background might have made it look more professional or better yet if your talking about something in particular, such as the drainage in the video, you could have shot the video on site then panned to the actual drainage concern. Super cool tho.

  6. Don Reedy December 19th, 2012 5:44 pm

    Agreed Ashlee. I did this “quickie” in my garage. It shows that I care enough to talk to an “established” client, and they will always like this kind of feedback.

    On the other hand, you hit the nail on the head about “background”, etc. If you’re going to send to someone you don’t know at all…or very well, then taking care of combing your hair and putting some makeup on never hurts. 🙂

    Just go ahead and try it is my wish for you. And then send a demo along to me.

    Merry Christmas!

  7. Susan Flores February 26th, 2013 10:37 am

    Very creative idea. I’ve actually seen this done by a few very bright SEO and google places marketers. I’ve actually received a personalized video critique of my website prior to me even hiring them.

    It really made me think if this is the amount of effort they put into their marketing, just how much would they put once I hired them?

    Never did I think to try it in my real estate business. So thank you for that!

  8. Ray Smiley February 28th, 2013 9:19 am

    This is a really cool way to interact with your client and also makes it more personable. It says that you care enough to make a small video voicemail. I agree with the criticisms above as he should be closer to the webcam or perhaps a better background. Nonetheless those are minor suggestions but just a great effort on thinking different from the rest.