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Archive for November, 2012

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.

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  • 8 comments

    Big duh technology tip: Film that testimonial, YouTube it, then share the link with your client.

    A while back, I wrote a post on BloodhoundBlog about using pocket-sized video cameras to record and propagate video testimonials. That kind of job is now better done by smartphone video cameras, but you can still buy a Flip camera if you have money burning a hole in your pocket. (But, if that really is your problem, I would be ecstatic if you would buy me a Looxcie headset-size video camera instead.)

    Any way you capture the video, here is the procedure I talked about then:

    1. Capture the video. Because you’re doing an interview, you can guide the testimonial to elicit the information you want to convey to other clients.

    2. Post the video on your YouTube page.

    3. Embed the YouTube video on your testimonials page. (I have code that will place a randomly-selected miniaturized-video, as pictured above, in your weblog’s sidebar, so that your clients see a different testimonial every time they come to visit.)

    Here is the big duh I left out of that original post:

    4. Share the link to the YouTube video with the subject of the testimonial.

    When you made the film, you told your clients that you wanted for them to share the news of their good experience with their friends, colleagues and family members. How much easier can you make it for them to follow through than to give them access to their own video-recorded testimonial?

    If you make a playlist of all your video testimonials, prospects referred by past clients may end up looking at more than one of your videos. Needless to say, each of those videos should link back to your main blogsite. But the big bonus of working this way is to make it very easy for your satisfied clients to share their satisfaction with their warm network.

    How do I know this is a bug duh idea? Because it only took me four-and-a-half years to think of it!

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  • 5 comments

    Black Friday? Grey Thursday? Before the flood, a pensive Wednesday night at Walmart.

    I love Walmart. I am very happy to call myself a member of the middle class, and I take huge delight in cruising the aisles at Walmart, scoping out all the incredible deals.

    I don’t buy a lot of stuff, though. Away from TechToyz, I lead a pretty Spartan existence. But I love to see all that incredible wealth stacked floor to ceiling, knowing that it is the much-maligned engine of freeish-market capitalism that makes all that stuff available to me.

    I’m not a Black Friday kind of shopper. We’re not all that Christmas-y, and I do not like to be crowded, not ever. But the phenomenon of Black Friday, especially at Walmart, is fascinating to me.

    We had to stop in at a Super Walmart late Wednesday night, and I took the opportunity to snap a few dozen photos of that store’s preparations for Grey Thursday and Black Friday. Every wide aisle in the store was lined with pallets full of shrink-wrapped merchandise, millions of dollars worth of stuff waiting to be sold between now and Monday.

    There were more staffers than customers in the store, and they were all busy getting ready. Black Friday takes its name from the sad fact that the day after Thanksgiving is the day most retailers reach the stage of profitability for the calendar year. In other words, storekeepers large and small work almost eleven months of the year before they make any profit at all.

    Walmart might do better than that. Apple’s retail presence does a lot better. But retail is a hard way to make an easy living, and my bet is that it will get harder as the parasitic weight of government crushes more and more of the economy.

    Meanwhile, smug people like to sneer at Walmart for selling Americans goods they want to buy at prices they want to pay. I’m happy that some people are so rich that they can afford to spurn and scorn Walmart. But I’m happier still that Walmart is around to provide incredible values every day for people who work hard for their money and want to make it go as far as it can.

    Happy Black Friday, Walmart. You treat us better than we deserve.

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  • 7 comments

    Happy Birthday, Greg!

    Enjoy your next trip around the sun!

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  • 2 comments

    Embracing your inner anarchist — because there is no alternative.

    Here’s my quick take on the presidential election, from a video made one day prior to the event: Mitt Romney is going to win an Electoral College landslide. My state-by-state prediction is shown below, but it’s not based on any sort of arcane science. I’m just betting that married people with kids and jobs will vote to fire Barack Obama for gross incompetence.

    Note that this is not an expression of racism, as you will surely hear from the perpetually-sore-losers of the chattering classes. I’m just betting that the people with the biggest stake in the game of human life will vote against the most perniciously anti-life candidate ever to seek the office of the presidency.

    But at the same time, Romney’s win will not be any sort of repudiation of Marxism, contrary to Michael Walsh’s claim at National Review Online. It’s just the correction of a bad hiring decision.

    In this week’s video, I argue that the self-loving thing for you to do is to accept that fact that each human being is sovereign and indomitable, and that, therefore, self-control is all the control that can ever exist among human beings. In the course of that argument, I cite an essay of mine, Meet the Third Thing. I also recite an old poem, which I will transcribe here for what may be the first time it has ever appeared in print:

    What if I’ve been wrong?
    What if I’ve been wrong all along?
    What if everything I’ve said,
    everything I’ve done,
    everything I’ve thought about is wrong?
    What if I’ve been wrong all along?

    Here is this week’s video:

    For an audio-only version of this video, take yourself to the SelfAdoration.com podcast on iTunes.

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  • 9 comments

    A Scause for applause: South Park rescues you from despair and ennui.

    I am ignoring this place, and in this I am clearly not alone. I have other things commanding my attention. If y’all want to talk about real estate, you know what to do.

    Meanwhile, with the kind of surgical concision we have learned to expect, South Park takes on the Lance Armstrong modified-limited-hangout brilliantly:

    Watch the whole episode. It rocks, I promise.

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  • 2 comments