If you have a business, it’s online to some extent. Video is now a marketing necessity to be seen and heard, and to build your recognition and trust factor. Simple text and image do not work anymore.

Some interesting stats on the use of video in marketing:

Online video now accounts for 50% of all mobile traffic.

Video has become essential: A significant 60% of marketers use video in their marketing and 73% plan on increasing their use of video.

According to a report published by Forrester, including video in an email leads to a whopping 200-300% increase in click-through rate.

On Facebook, video posts have 135% greater organic reach than photo posts.

Just reading these stats makes me nervous. They make me feel like I’m not doing enough, and I teach video and on-camera presentation. A video web presence is no longer an accessory; it’s now elemental to online businesses, entrepreneurs, coaches, teachers, specialist, gurus, instructors, preachers or whatever you are. And really, who isn’t online? But what those statistics above really tell you, is that not doing video should scare you a lot more than taking the plunge.

Video is one of the most powerful tools we have online to grow our brand authority and our know/like/trust factor.

I conducted my own experiment on my business page, so here’s some first-hand evidence:

I scheduled a Facebook Live broadcast on my business page for a Friday evening. (Note: Bad time to go live, but what can you do?) To promote it, I did a quick one-minute Facebook Live broadcast that morning. Using my iPhone, with the backdrop of Eastern Parkway’s promenade in Brooklyn, I created a quick Facebook Live video and invited everyone to the evening broadcast, “Hey, check in tonight because I’m talking live about making videos and Murphy’s Law.” That quick promo video’s post had an organic reach of over 2.5 times the amount of people signed up for my business page. And it’s still growing. (The metrics are based on the reach of my page; at the time 205 people, and the organic view of the video, 560 or so).

I also posted an image with text inviting people to the same evening’s live broadcast. I did this twice over the course of the day with two different images, just to see the difference. Image number one received four views. Four! Image number two received… one view.

Video marketing is not “the next trend.” It’s already here. So, what’s stopping people? The usual excuse is all the technical stuff they need to catch up on, which means taking the time to learn a whole new craft, one they don’t like in the first place. And I don’t need to tell anybody how busy entrepreneurs already are. They can always hire a pro to do it for them, but therein lies a new whole candy store of procrastination.

But, the real reason entrepreneurs aren’t using video is psychological. There is a massive fear factor about actually getting out there, being visible and vulnerable in public. It’s like the old joke about looking in the mirror and seeing your worst nightmare – yourself. I’ve found a lot of business owners feel like they’re falling behind the curve, thus adding one more excuse not to go video: they’ve missed the boat.

But it’s not too late.

Here are the quick simple steps to making a decent looking marketing video right now:

Grab a smart phone or tablet.

Grab a tripod. You can get great ones at Amazon. Make sure it has a mount that holds your smart phone or tablet. Most tripods do not come with this, so be aware. Size is not important, but you want something sturdy since your valuable mobile device will be on it. You’ll also want the camera to be at eye level when you’re filming so we can look in your eyes, so think about how high it can go, or what you can set it on when filming before you buy. A great inexpensive brand is Slik or Magnus. These can cost $35-$100.

Use a lavalier microphone, or even your earbuds with a microphone. A lavalier mic is a small microphone that clips onto your clothes, usually your collar, in order to allow for hands-free operation. It also improves the production quality of your video. You can get a great one for about $20, also on Amazon. Just look for “lavalier mic mobile” and many options will pop up.

Frame yourself in a medium shot: head/shoulder/bust in the frame. You can always move the camera away from you a bit and get more of your body in the shot, let’s say to your waist. This is perfectly fine. Keep the background basic and not too busy. The mobile device should be held horizontally whenever possible.

What to say? You’ve already written it; many times over. Now, just pretend the camera is your friend, hit record and say it out loud: Who you are; why you’re the expert; what they need; what you offer; and end with a call to action. Try to keep your videos short and concise. Expect engagement to decrease with your video’s length so aim for 1-2 minutes for optimal engagement.

Those are the five simple steps. No more excuses.

If you’re an entrepreneur, you’ve already stepped out there. You’ve already overcome, proven, struggled and are in the game. I expect to see you uploading videos all over the place. And when you do, tag me. I’ll cheer you on.

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