I love the way these testimonials turned out for one of the most dedicated fitness professionals I’ve ever met, Ellen Yates of N2Shape. Getting clients to communicate what drives their patronage can be hard–though capturing genuine feelings can convert online views into real business. In some cases it may be the thing that motivates action.
Preparation and planning ahead can make that easier. I know what I want to hear from each person before I meet them. I already know their story and I’ve planned my questions.
Contact me if you need testimonials for your website or social media content.
What few people looking for video production services know is that it’s easy to get oversold, and pay for crews and equipment that are beyond what is needed for the average online video content project. There once was a clear distinction between consumer grade cameras and those used by professionals. The advent of the DSLR video camera really hammered home the blur between equipment deemed professional and amateur. In the online video world, what’s best isn’t always visible to the naked eye, and streaming video is different that television broadcasting. In the last ten years a near cataclysmic shift in the professional video production world occurred–not just in Washington DC but everywhere. The average business consumer probably didn’t realize the impact of the change because they were too busy enjoying YouTube video content on their smart phones. YouTube, editing software changes and other technological advances have made high quality video not only attainable but easily distributable on a mass scale for the mainstream. Whether you are a video production wannabe or a business looking for video content for marketing, a new world opened up. Long time video professionals who spent tens of thousands of dollars on camera gear were suddenly getting real competition from smaller businesses with the newer, cheaper equipment with a faster digital workflow. As with any business, lower overhead usually leads to lower rates, and that was and is certainly the case with video production. As you can imagine, long time video professionals, deeply invested in the more expensive gear, weren’t so thrilled by this shift In the end, there’s no gain in paying for that better equipment and more expensive crew if the difference isn’t seen in the end product. The newer DSLR gear is more than adequate for online use. If you don’t intend for a video to be broadcast on television, there’s no need to pay for broadcast level equipment and the crew that goes with it.
Let us know what you’ve experienced by completing the poll below. I’ll share the results in an upcoming entry.
In the process of producing videos, I have often been in the company of accomplished and extraordinary people. Most of them adults. Most of them professionals. In the latest Pawpro Media video release we are highlighting the children of Hopecam who are, or have been, homebound and isolated by treatment for life threatening illnesses. It’s hard to not be impressed by their composure and strength.
For ten years Hopecam.org has supplied computers, cameras, hardware and any technical support necessary to connect these children with their school friends. Founder, Len Forkas, took on the mission to address this often overlooked, yet critical, aspect of long-term medical treatment for children after watching his son suffer with leukemia, and the painful emotional separation from his classmates at the age of nine. Often these children are separated from their friends for a year or more while being treated, which can have a significant effect on their psychological and physical well-being. The risk of a complicating infection is just too great.
To hear former Hopecam user, Daniel, now 13 years old, recall his initial thoughts of being diagnosed with cancer, wondering how long he has to live, wondering whether he will ever see his friends again isn’t a topic of which we expect a child to be conversent. And his mother, Donna, recalling how she worried about how to “. . . keep him whole” in the process. But these children and families are forever changed by this event.
With Len’s participation this coming June in the famed cross-country cycling event, Race Across America, Hopecam hopes to reach more children and make more people aware of childhood cancer, Hopecam and the need for this connection in the lives of the children and families isolated by intensive medical treatment. Please help Hopecam raise $150,000 in 2012 to carry out this mission. Visit Hopecam.org to donate today.
If your vision is a little blurry on how video and multimedia applies to your business or Web site and social media strategy, let me bring things into focus. First and foremost, research now consistently shows that over 50% of consumers begin their search for products or services online. In this new consumer world any individual business is just a few clicks away from a new client, or nothing at all. The first few seconds and the first impressions of a browsing consumer will either engage and provide the needed information, or it will send him away frustrated and looking for the answers elsewhere.
Company Web sites have also become a convenient and economical way for companies to engage and inform their own employees. It’s an easy oversight, but don’t forget, employees are no different from clients in that they all appreciate convenience.
Videotaping business conferences and presentations is nothing new. However, making these recordings accessible on company Web sites or other public video sharing sites such as YouTube, Vimeo, and Go Daddy is now less of a trend, and more a necessity. Plus, these days it’s easy to manage who can and can’t see this content.
Information sharing and the growing demand for accessible, intra-company content of all kinds has become an expectation rather than a high-end luxury. As employees and companies, small and large, manage the 24/7 world, online video content feeds the need for employers and employees alike. It’s also a cost-effective option as it reduces or removes the need to hold the same meeting in multiple locations or regions. Hold the meeting once, share the information and its content as many times as necessary.
Video also allows the message to be crafted and controlled so it’s uniformly sent and received, which is equally important whether the target is an employee or a client. It’s never been easier to incorporate PowerPoint presentations, Web site and computer screen navigation into a clean video format as the market of creative applications allowing their inclusion grows.
Here are two examples of the application of video in business.
For many years I have been exploring my ancestry, and I recently made an interesting discovery. It appears my love for almost all things related to photography may run in the family. My grandfather’s cousin, my first cousin twice removed, was, and is, a relatively well-known photographer in New York whose work is still sought by collectors and galleries. His name was Kenneth A. Linn and he studied and taught at The Clarence H. White School of Photography in New York City which was the first school to teach photography as an art form.
Photographic collections from this prestigious school, which operated from 1914 to 1942, are held in the Library of Congress and in private collections such as the Coville Collection. This small school is credited with producing some of the most celebrated photographers of the 20th Century who were innovative in their approach to this evolving and emerging medium, which incorporated design, aesthetics and illustration. I wonder what their reaction would be to today’s imagery, and the viral, visual bombardment from the television and the Internet?
Kenneth A. Linn was the son of Allen and Sadie Linn. Allen was a silk salesman in New York and Sadie, formerly Sadie Neafie McCollough, came from a well-to-do family, I’m told. My side of the family through Robert A. Linn, Allen’s brother, stayed in Ohio and West Virginia selling life insurance–need I say more!
Since being given my first old camera I’ve loved the sound of the shutter. I would walk around taking pretend photos, no film in the camera, just to hear the shutter movement. Somehow even though the direct lineage should have made me a salesman, I got the photo gene.
Online video appeals via e-mails and social media sources by charitable and non-profit organizations have a proven success rate. Nearly all online searches involve a searcher watching videos. There is also a proven success rate for harnessing the power of inbound marketing, that is being at the right place, online, at the right time–when a person interested in your charity goes Google. Make the best use of that searcher’s time by providing an appealing and clear video message. This is what Pawpro Media does best.
What’s that sound? It’s not coming from a dust speck, people! It’s coming from the great efforts of Horton’s Kids, a Capitol Hill based organization which provides tutoring and support to students and families of the lowest-performing schools of Ward 8 in Washington, DC. Pawpro Media will be producing a series of videos for this great organization led by Brenda Chamberlain, and founded by Karin Walser. It’s only fitting that we make this announcement on Dr. Seuss’ birthday.
While filling her car with gas in 1989, Karin had a chance encounter with a group of children from this troubled area of our nation’s capital, and it inspired her to recognize their need as well as their presence in the shadow of her everyday life working on Capitol Hill. It was as if they were calling out, We are here! We are here! We are here! just as the tiny Who’s in Who-ville did in the infamous Dr. Suess book, Horton Hears a Who.
For 20 years Horton’s Kids has advocated, transported, and enriched the lives of these neediest of children with educational tutoring, mentoring as well as the basic necessities of food and clothing when necessary. Horton’s Kids’ work is funded entirely by donations. Please visit hortonskids.org/donate.html if you would like to make a donation.
Monday Pawpro took advantage of the biannual open house offered in the Main Reading Room of The Library of Congress within the Thomas Jefferson Building just across the street from the U.S. Capitol. What a great space surrounded by an ever-growing collection of print materials so vast it boggles the mind. The Library of Congress calls it, ” . . . the world’s largest repository of knowledge and creativity, with 145 million items in its collections . . .” I overheard one employee saying the collection grows by 10,000 pieces daily! And, yes they still have a functioning card catalog which has become less of a research tool and more of a historical relic for young visitors.
One twenty-something aged girl proudly boasted of using a card catalog once in her short-lived, past. Never fear all volumes and collections are now searchable in a digital directory that took 12 years to complete, which might be the definitive data entry hell.
One of the major attractions is the personal library of Thomas Jefferson provided by the former president as a replacement following the burning of the congressional library during the War of 1812. Of the 6,000 plus books in the collection, some 2,000 are the actual books Jefferson possessed. The others were lost in subsequent fires in 19th Century. The impressive site is preserved behind glass enclosed, climate controlled bookshelves, so visitors make walk around on all sides. The collection is augmented by a series of kiosks, which describe the intimate details of the collection such as the gifted book from John Adams with a handwritten note to Jefferson following a period of estrangement between the two Founding Fathers.
Pawpro will be working with McEnearney Associates Realtors to produce promotional and inspirational video content for the company’s Website. The first will feature Executive Vice President, David Hawkins and the Alexandria office. McEnearney plans to utilize video to keep it’s brokers and clients informed about the Washington Area’s fast-moving market tides.
Pawpro has previously produced video home tours for McEnearney brokers Theresa Graham and Deb Pietras.
Pawpro is set to produce a video for one of the leading educational tutoring services in the Washington, DC area. Ann Dolin, a former Fairfax County public school teacher and author of the book, “Homework Made Simple”, started this entrepreneurial business in 1998. Twelve years later her company, Educational Connections, is on-track to gross $1.45 million this year, and employs 150 tutors serving students all over the DC region.