Mike Liebensohn

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 ThatPhotographerGirl.com

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: http://freakonomics.com/podcast/malcolm-gladwell/

Thanks for reading!

Mike


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.


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.

Thanks!

Mike Liebensohn

Chief Producer
VideoActive Productions
www.VideoActivePro.com

mike {at} VideoActivePro {dot} com

203-665-8874

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.

HOW?

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.

WHY NOT?

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@videoactivepro.com

Thanks!

Mike Liebensohn
Chief Producer
VideoActive Productions
www.VideoActivePro.com
203-665-8874

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.


How To Enable & Upload Custom YouTube Thumbnails

Posted on by Mike Liebensohn in Video Marketing, YouTube Marketing 3 Comments

eyes closed picYou know that little picture that you click on to watch a video?

Sometimes the image that shows up is pretty unflattering – it’s usually someone with their mouth open or their eyes are closed. Don’t let this happen to you!

Normally when you upload a video to YouTube, they give you three choices for this image, which is called a thumbnail. Very often, none are great options. But, you can unlock the ability to upload a custom thumbnail just by verifying your YouTube account.

Just go into account settings and click verify – then it will ask for a phone # for them to text a verification code to. That’s it. They just want to make sure you are a real person. There’s no other requirements.

Unfortunately, YouTube menus can be very confusing, so here are some screenshots to show you how to find the verification button.

Untitled-1

Read more


Customer-Centric Marketing

Posted on by Mike Liebensohn in Marketing Consulting Leave a comment

How well do you know your business?

Pretty good, right? You’ve probably been at it for a number of years – it’s what you do every day … if you’re like me, perhaps you get a little (a lot) obsessive about it!

It’s easy to forget when talking to other people that they don’t live inside your business like you do, and they often don’t understand all the in’s and out’s of what you do.

Here’s my point. Try to look at your business from the customer’s point of view. The best way to do this is to call up some of them and ask them how they would describe what it is that you do for them. Ask them how you’ve helped them and the value you bring. Even better – tape the phone call, then go back and listen (it’s always a really different perspective listening in as an observer – when you don’t have to be present in the conversation)


How To Properly Upload Videos To YouTube

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

We always recommend uploading all videos to YouTube – even if you want them on your website, put them on YouTube first then embed them on your site. Why? Because YouTube is the #2 search engine, owned by Google (#1). Enough said …

In this video, we show the basics of uploading a video to YouTube, including how to create a title, description, and tags section that will help you get found in the search engines.

Make sure to also watch this for a quick how to on adding your video to your LinkedIn profile

Need a new video? Our Shower & Showup™ is the perfect way to easily get a pro video made that shows people what you do & WHY you’re different.


Mike’s Shower & Showup Video – Why This Process Is So Effective

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

Finally, the shoemaker’s son has some shoes! Below is a Shower & Showup™ video featuring me, Mike Liebensohn, owner of VideoActive Productions.

In this video I talk a little about who we are best suited for, and why our techniques tend to create a final production that’s more compelling for the viewer while also making the entire taping experience a lot more fun!

For a behind the scenes / overview of Shower & Showup™, watch the video on the home page

Special thanks to Tanya Detrik at All Write Resources (a fantastic business writer) for lending us her amazing interviewing skills, allowing me the ability to switch roles for just long enough to create this video.