Authenticity In Marketing

Posted on by Mike Liebensohn in Authentic Marketing, Video Production, YouTube Marketing Leave a comment

I talk about the importance of creating “authentic” videos a lot, but I just listened to a podcast where Malcolm Gladwell really nailed why this is so important. In other words, why should a business owner, non-profit, professional service provider, artist, etc want to have an authentic profile video where the viewer can get to know him and/or her people, vs just listing what they do on the website?

Malcolm says, “what people respond to as an audience is authenticity, so you want to be as unusual as you can – spend time thinking about ‘who am I’, what is the image and message I’m trying to project about the kind of person I am and how I see the world”.

You want to be as unusual as you can, he said. Isn’t that interesting?

My daughter Abby, who is as unique as they come =) Courtesy of

It might seem a little unconventional, but think about it – what’s worth more money, something rare and unique or a commodity you can get anywhere? An original painting or a knock-off made in China?

But how do you position yourself as unique when maybe you might not believe you are unique? By focusing on personalities. The great thing about you is that there is only one you. That’s what we highlight. The right “buyers” will resonate with your personality and the wrong ones will be essentially filtered out. You’ll do more business with people who are aligned with your values – people who are happy to pay what you’re worth, and the others are free to go be someone else’s headache.

To hear the podcast I pulled that quote from, go here:

Thanks for reading!


Benefits To Being In Your Own Video

Posted on by Mike Liebensohn in Authentic Marketing, Shower & Showup, Video Marketing, Video Production, YouTube Marketing Leave a comment

There are plenty of good reasons to use video in your marketing – on your website, on YouTube, on Facebook, etc. And a quick Google search will turn up MANY statistics to prove this point.

But, why not a go a step further?

If you’re a small business owner, entrepreneur, service provider (or any singular person out there who has to interact with other humans before “making a sale”) then why not BE IN THE VIDEO yourself?!

It’s a triple threat:
1. deliver the message about your product or service
2. SHOW them how it’s unique / special
3. plant the seeds leading to building a relationship with
them by letting them get to know you, the person behind the product

In other words, let people “meet you” before they meet you!

Imagine looking professional, friendly and knowledgeable in a number of videos on your website (and in web searches) … not only is it more engaging than plain old text / pictures, but if it’s done right, you’ll be reaping some of the same benefits of a “live” meeting: building trust, rapport, and familiarity.

Later, when you do meet in person or on the phone, you’re perceived as a credible authority in your industry (there’s just something about seeing people on “TV” or a stage that makes them seem more important, no?)

Sales teams & customer service people can each have their own video … so the prospect or customer knows who is on the other end of the phone.

Professionals who work by referral … these days people want to still check you out online even if you come highly recommended.

Business owners … let the customer know there’s a real person with passion and skill behind the company

If this makes sense to you, then the obvious choice is to get those videos produced in the most painless way possible, using VideoActive’s “interview style” Shower & Showup™ approach. We are the go-to company for people who want to be in their own marketing videos. It’s all we do. We know how to draw out your message in an easy, unscripted, and authentic way – even if you’re not sure exactly what your message is – even if you’re camera shy.

We do all the work, you just show up.

Contact us to set up a 5 minute phone call, where we can both quickly decide if we’re a good fit or not. There’s absolutely no pressure, just like our taping process =)

An “Authentic Mission”

Posted on by Mike Liebensohn in Authentic Marketing 6 Comments

I’ve felt kinda lost most of my life. This world and people didn’t make much sense to me. I could relate to things more than people, so I would lock myself in my room and play the guitar, work on computer programs, or build something. In school I was a loner and didn’t have a whole lot of self confidence. I would eat lunch alone, or avoid the cafeteria all together. Pretty sad, huh?

Lucky I got through it, and in my teens and twenties I adopted an attitude of “fake it ’til you make it”. I put myself into scary situations (for me), and things did get easier. I learned how to be social enough to sell myself, give presentations, navigate a cocktail hour …. but there was always a disconnect. I didn’t have a real WHY guiding me. It was like, okay, I’m gonna do these things to make money, but at some point I’ll figure out what it is that I REALLY want. I thought for years it would be music – that I would write a hit song that would transform my life – but I wasn’t even in the right place in my head to make that happen if such a song did come about. I wasn’t even in the game. I was like a ping pong ball bouncing around a room, bumping into different people just long enough for them to know my name but not develop any real connection.

But, there has been a lot of good over the years. I eventually got married, had 3 kids – they are the most amazing thing in my life – and pursued the American Dream, starting (and keeping) my own business. But something happened in the summer of 2015 that gave me a completely new perspective and set me free.

I was listening to Howard Stern interview Jerry Seinfeld (Howard is an amazing interviewer). Or maybe he was interviewing Judd Apatow who wrote about Jerry, I can’t remember, but it was about how in the Seinfeld show writing room there’s a big framed picture of the universe. It’s one from the Hubble Space Telescope, where they sent it way out into space and turned it back towards Earth. Jerry said that when he would get stressed out trying to come up with material for the show, he would look up at this picture and it would put him at ease, and put things into perspective. In the grand scheme of things, nothing we do really matters all that much. We’re just a blip. A grain of sand.

When I got home, I found this picture online, printed it out, and over the next couple weeks I would just drift off staring at it. At first glance, it’s just a pretty picture of space – a bunch of stars. But as it sinks in, you realize that it’s really billions of stars, planets, and GALAXIES – and to give some context, it would take us 25,000 years traveling at light speed just to get to the nearest galaxy! And there are at least 100 billion galaxies! The universe is so vast, it’s hard to even comprehend.

Some might get depressed about this. “Oh, it’s so sad that we’re all alone out here, and may never find life on other planets. We’re so small, we don’t matter” But here’s my take on it – and what has become a major turning point in my life – HOW LUCKY ARE WE TO BE ALIVE ON THE PLANET EARTH.

What are the chances that everything came together, so that you and I can be having this experience on this beautiful planet, 25,000 light years away from the nearest galaxy, of over 100 billion galaxies, where seemingly we are the only living, thinking creatures in existence.

We’ve won the jackpot just by being born. And I’m squandering it, feeling inadequate and “lost”?

I look at this picture every single day. It reminds me to enjoy the experience I’m having right now in this moment, and not to get caught up in trying to empty my email inbox or tackle everything on my to-do list so I can get a gold star. In whatever time I have on this planet, I want to explore my own limits and to “create the things that I want to exist in the world” (thanks to Maria Popova – I love that quote). Now I’ve got an authentic mission.

I think back to the shy quiet kid I used to be, hiding from the world because I thought I wasn’t good enough, that I didn’t belong. Now I see that I am, along with the rest of you Earth People, so very special just because I’m alive on this single planet, thousands of light years away from the nearest cluster of nothingness. And that’s pretty cool.

Inexpensive Camera Options & Resources For DIY Video

Posted on by Mike Liebensohn in Video Production Leave a comment

Professional video production often requires cameras and lenses costing thousands of dollars, specialized lighting, expensive microphones, and years of experience. Yet, it is possible to get really amazing results using inexpensive gear, if you know what to get and which aspects are important.

In this post I’m sharing my thoughts on the cheapest options that are still going to give you good results for a basic “talking head” type video. And I’m sharing this freely because what differentiates VideoActive Productions is found in the content of the video, not the camera or lights we know how to operate.

The main things that make up good video (aside from the content) are:
1. use lots of light (more than you think you need – always set up lights or use natural light from a window)
2. good audio is half the video (always use an external mic, like a lavalier right on the person)
3. keep things steady (use a tripod!)

Earlier on, I recommended going with a “flip” style camera, in particular the Kodak Playtouch – but it’s discontinued, and the one’s that are still available are overpriced. So, I’ve looked at the specs for a number of “camcorders” and below is my recommendation (and I have used it personally). There are other less expensive options, but few have a microphone input (to connect a lavalier mic).

Here is the camcorder link (currently about $200)

Here is a lavalier mic with a nice long cord (about $20)

You’ll need at least one SD card (that’s where the files are saved, and how you transfer to your computer)


Lighting kit

My recommendation for video editing software on a PC is Sony Vegas Movie Studio Platinum – here’s a free 30 day trial

For Mac, use iMovie (comes with it or can be downloaded for free)

Here’s a resource for royalty free music to use in your videos (you can’t just use popular music without a license)

Here’s another camera that I liked, but it doesn’t have a mic input – yet it’s waterproof, like a GoPro camera (real GoPro’s are like 400 bucks)
* this option uses a micro-SD card, so don’t use the link I provided above

These videos go deeper on …
lighting –
audio –

As for the content of the video, we take an unscripted / documentary type approach that involves interviewing the subject, followed by creative editing. Why? Because we’re often dealing with business owners and entrepreneurs who are not professional actors, and it’s important that they come off natural to the viewer. Even outgoing people and experienced speakers tend to get a little awkward once the camera turns on, so we engage them in a conversation, and ignore the camera. The result is a video that evokes a feeling of trust – like they’re meeting the real person behind the business, not just a talking head. For more info on our unique interviewing / taping process called “Shower & Showup™”, click here.

How To Choose a Video Production Company For Your Business

Posted on by Mike Liebensohn in Video Marketing, Video Production, YouTube Marketing Leave a comment

videoactive productions - How To Choose a Video Production Company For Your Business - heather and camera lens picture

As a business owner, you understand the important of a strong video presence these days – on your website, YouTube, and social media. Not only do today’s consumers expect it, but when done right, video sells for you 24 hours a day, freeing up time and resources  for other parts of your business.

Technically, it’s easy to make a video these days. Many people are even using their smart phones or buying pro-consumer camcorders. And there’s no shortage of videographers to choose from. Lot’s of great video people, lots of options, BUT operating a camera is only one piece of the puzzle.

The Big Picture – Lighting & Sound

Beyond the camera, there’s an art to composing great shots. It goes without saying that you want to find someone who understands how to use the proper lenses, lighting, and settings to make the subjects look good – and interesting visuals to hold viewer attention. Not to mention using the right microphones so you don’t sound like your office is in a cave (remember, audio is half the viewer experience).

But …. The Most Important Part Is What You Say

Let’s pretend you hire someone to tape you, that understands all of this. Maybe they’re even an award winning cinematographer. How awesome would that be!  BUT … what are you going to say once they turn the camera on? Are you going to write a script? Are they going to write something for you? Will you be able to deliver the lines in a way that doesn’t do more damage to your brand than good? (There’s a reason why A-list Hollywood actors make millions. It’s a lot harder than it looks.)

“Instead of writing a script, take more of a documentary / news story approach to your company videos”

What’s the alternative? Would you really want to hire an actor – a paid spokesperson? That would defeat the purpose. This is an opportunity to make a connection and engage the viewer. People want a glimpse behind the scenes of the place where they’re thinking about doing business. Because of the internet, consumers are more skeptical than ever. Being “real” goes a long way.

videoactive productions - How To Choose a Video Production Company For Your Business - alex and mike interview in kitchen with dog

It’s Not Just About The Words

Instead of writing a script, take more of a documentary / news story approach to your company videos. Hire someone who is an experienced interviewer to lead you (and your team) in a conversation, and let the cameras run. Then the best parts can be pulled out and edited together, along with other shots and images that tell the story (and show some behind the scenes) of your company.

Documentary makers have a general idea of the story going in, but ultimately they build the final production around what comes out of the interviews, organically. You can do the same with your business marketing videos. Get the top people from your organization who are on the front lines every day, get them talking, and their natural passion comes out. That’s the kind of video that engages the viewer. It’s not just about the words, it’s how they say it, their whole physiology.

At VideoActive Productions, this is our specialty. As a matter of fact, it’s all we do. We call it Shower & Showup™.  Our entire process is designed for us “regular” folks who get a little flustered in front of a camera, who aren’t sure what to say, but realize the value in being in our own videos.

I guarantee no matter what type of personality we’re interviewing, if they have a strong belief and passion in what they’re doing, it WILL eventually spill out on camera, once engaged in a conversation … and we know how to nurture it, capture it and edit it into a beautiful, compelling production, that engages your prospective clients and compels them to take the next step.  (And – our video shoots are actually a lot of fun!)

Next Step

Contact us to set up a no charge / no pressure conversation where we can get to know each other, talk about your vision, and see if we’re a fit.


Mike Liebensohn

Chief Producer
VideoActive Productions

mike {at} VideoActivePro {dot} com


Now accepting new clients nationwide

For our portfolio click here
Watch our video about Shower & Showup
See a sample YouTube channel
Click here to contacts us
Get on our email list


Activate Your Marketing With VideoActive

Posted on by Mike Liebensohn in Shower & Showup, Video Marketing, Video Production, YouTube Marketing Leave a comment

Real Video, Real People – Could This Be The Missing Ingredient?


You’ve got a website. You send out emails. You post things in social media. But how well are you connecting with your audience in this new virtual world?

It’s time to “punch up” your marketing with more personal, entertaining, and engaging content that invites people into your world and goes behind the scenes a bit – while warming up your prospects, developing trust and credibility.


We can give you an entire library of videos, including a 60 second business profile video, a 15 second teaser video, and a slew of “traffic magnet” content videos – all taped in one short and painless Shower & Showup™ session. There’s nothing for you to prepare, read or memorize.

We’ll give you a presence on YouTube, optimize all videos for the search engines, and create a new videos page on your website. Then, you can start to incorporate the new videos into ALL parts of your marketing – your home page, email signature, blog posts, email newsletters, ad campaigns, etc.


Shower & Showup by VideoActive Productions

Money – You may be thinking – is this going to be way out of my budget? The truth is, with our streamlined process (this is ALL we do) and lower cost of technology, our service is affordable for even the small “single person” business owners.

Fear – Maybe you’re nervous – not sure what to say or if you’ll come off well in a video. We don’t just shove a camera in your face. We lead you through a conversation, just like a coffee chat … while the camera rolls in the background, then we edit together only the best parts. And, we know what lenses and light to use to make you look your best.

Skeptical – I get it, maybe you’re just not convinced that being in your own videos can help your business. Let me put you in touch with a list of clients who will tell you about how they now feel like a celebrity when they show up to meet with a new prospect – or how much easier they close deals because they’re perceived as “the expert” right out of the gate. And don’t even get me started about the popularity of online video these days – YouTube, social media, Google …

Shelf Genie YouTube Channel

I’m sure you have questions. Let’s talk. The first conversation is free, and I guarantee you’ll never have a more low pressure experience with a potential vendor.  Even if you’re not thinking of getting started for a while, now is the time to begin looking out for topics, and I can give some very powerful advice that has the potential to make you A LOT of money.  Want to know what it is?  Send me an email so we can put something on the calendar –


Mike Liebensohn
Chief Producer
VideoActive Productions

For our portfolio click here
Watch our video about Shower & Showup
See a sample YouTube channel
Click here contacts us
Get on our email list

Unique Selling Proposition (USP), Value Statement, Elevator Pitch, 30 Second Commercial, Twitter Profile Message …

Posted on by Mike Liebensohn in Marketing Consulting, Shower & Showup, Video Marketing Leave a comment

I’m constantly re-writing and testing out different messages to see what gets the best response. I believe it’s the most important thing you can do for your business.

If you can describe what you do in one sentence, and the person on the other end says “really?” or simply shows a genuine reaction, then you know you’re on to something! Otherwise, you’ll simply blend into their already overcrowded databank … just another person who “does what you do”.

With that being said, here’s my latest incarnation: “From 60 minutes to 60 seconds™. We produce short, powerful & personal “interview style” business videos. Just Shower & Showup™ and we’ll take care of the rest!”

You need to say just enough about the type of business you’re in so they can put you in some sort of box, but the main thing should be to give them a mental image as to how / why you’re different or better. You don’t want to be too out there or it won’t work, yet it’s got to be strong enough that they question what’s wrong with their current product / vendor or it makes them feel a little excited about maybe trying out what you do for the first time.

Just start paying more attention to what you say and how people react when you describe what you do, and I guarantee ALL of your marketing will become more effective.

Marketing Assets vs Liabilities – Why Business Owners Should Invest In Video First

Posted on by Mike Liebensohn in Shower & Showup, Video Marketing, Video Production Leave a comment

Connection Picture - courtesy of BrainlessTails dot com

Before spending a dime advertising in Google, Facebook, newspapers, billboards, mailings, radio – wouldn’t it make sense to KNOW that the message you’re putting out there is going to be effective? Why spend the money to get people to see / hear about your company if it’s likely going to be ignored or the point missed. It’s like a crapshoot. It’s likely to end up a “marketing liability”.

Instead, start by clearly answering the question already going on in every prospect’s mind: “what’s in it for me? why should I care? what’s so great about you?” And don’t just answer with a laundry list of features and benefits on your website that no one will read, but with a real visceral message that has depth and weight. Something that people can connect with on an emotional level. The best way to do this is with a Shower & Showup video from VideoActive, or what I like to refer to as your new “marketing asset”.

We draw out what makes you and your company great, all while the camera is running in the background. But more than that, we lead you and challenge you – from the perspective of a skeptical prospect who is always asking that question “so what – why do I care?” – and we capture it all in real time. After about an hour interview, we edit down the footage, taking only the very best parts – plus adding in any other footage, imagery and text to tell the story – and create a final short (about 60 seconds) polished video, which we upload & optimize on YouTube, and put on your website, linkedin, social media, etc.

Sure, you can work with a copywriter, general marketing consultant, or other video production company … they’ll interview you, craft the words, write a script etc – but, it might still miss the point. So much of what makes you great comes across in the tone of your voice and your physiology. In our videos, your passion and expertise comes across without you coming out and saying it. The viewer gets to make up their own mind about you, and that’s extremely important in today’s untrusting online world. There’s nothing better for us than capturing a moment when our client realizes his own value right in front of us, on camera. That’s something that resonates with viewers, and it can’t be faked unless you’re a trained actor (really, an “A list” actor!)

With VideoActive, you get the best of both worlds – a professional video crew AND marketing consultant rolled into one, and you walk away with an asset. Why am I calling it an asset? Because you’ll have a video that lasts, working for you 24/7, and you’ve only paid for it one time. You’ll know that when someone sees your video, it will be effective. It will give your website direction and substance. It will inspire your words when you meet someone at a networking event. The experience of creating the “perfect” video will bring clarity to your entire marketing and selling process.

Small Business Marketing – Making Your Video (Interview Questions)

Posted on by Mike Liebensohn in Shower & Showup, Video Marketing, Video Production, YouTube Marketing Leave a comment

Deer sticking tongue out - that photographer girl dot com and  videoactive productionsWhat do you like better – Obama or Clinton?

Don’t worry – I’m NOT talking politics … just making a point about communication.

With Barack, it’s obvious that he’s reading a teleprompter, while Bill just comes across like he’s having a conversation with you over a cup of coffee.

While you may not have Bill’s charisma, you obviously have something that makes people want to do business with YOU. Why not just capture that natural style in a short video – in a “journalistic style” marketing video.

Trying to read a script in front of the camera is hard. You’re going to get nervous and feel the pressure to “get it right”. Unless you are an experienced performer, it’s likely to come off canned and flat – it’s not going to have the power it needs to have – because it won’t be the real you.

For that reason, our approach is to just show up and interview you (over a cup of coffee), get you talking (not even looking at the camera), and then produce the video using whatever footage we get from the interview, weaving in text, graphics, shots of your office, pictures, etc – to tell your story. The heavy lifting happens in the editing.

It’s easy for you and more believable for your audience.
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Business Video Made Easy – Is This What’s Holding You Back?

Posted on by Mike Liebensohn in Shower & Showup, Video Marketing, Video Production, YouTube Marketing Leave a comment

fear-textIf you’re a business owner, professional, salesperson, or even a job seeker, it’s essential to have your own video to market yourself and/or your company.

I’m talking about a real video with YOU in it.

Not a flashy animated text video or a slide show, but something where people can really get to know you and decide if they believe what you’re saying enough to take the next step and email / call / meet with you.

If you don’t have this, you’re missing out – because chances are, they’ve just seen your competitor’s video, and already made a connection with him. Why would they need to call YOU if they’ve already found their guy?

That’s the type of culture we live in these days – Google search and social media and YouTube. By the time you get them on the phone it’s already too late.

Great – so, what’s holding you back?

Fear? Budget? Disbelief?
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