Oct 8, 2018 11:42 PM
This blog was originally published on December 9, 2017
I can't say I have a scientific principle to use in this area, although I suspect we could find some ideas on judging the cost of advertising in some biz textbooks. What I do have are some common sense ideas that worked for me over decades of running my own businesses, as well as a method for break-even points developed over years of planning my ice hockey schools and clinics. First, my way of arriving at that sometimes elusive break-even point...
I won't list all my costs for putting on something like a summer hockey school, but the biggest expenditures would usually go something like this:
- costs to rent a facility (or our ice costs);
- costs to hire a coaching staff;
- costs for brochures and other advertising;
- costs for individual student jerseys; and
- costs for award certificates and trophies.
Of course, a lot more goes into running a hockey school than just those things. In fact, a lot of items we dealt with in another budget, because they'd get used over and over -- like pucks, other training gear, and the fancy warmup suits like I'm showing off above. Still, that list gives us a chance to zero in on the so-called break-even point. For, you see, no matter how many times I plugged my costs into a very simple formula, I always arrived at the same answer:
In my attempts to arrive at a break-even point, I actually played and replayed with numbers. In other words, I'd test the students' cost of a camp to see if the break-even point was fair to my company, and I'd adjust the break-even number of students to see if the cost to them was fair. So, back and forth I'd go, until I arrived at the fairest number for both sides.
Cutting to the chase here, I never ran that formula (over like 45-years) without arriving at the same outcome. Ya, the best situation had me charging a fair amount for a camp (maybe $350 in the early years), and expecting that 22 students would get me to my break-even point. If I got one kid over that amount, my cut after paying out all my expenses was $350. However, as time went along -- and my program's reputation spread, I could often turn people away and pocket over $6000 per week.
That 22 student break-even point never changed over the years, either, whether I was running a much more expensive camp or even a lower priced clinic that included far less overhead.
Did I eventually make that 22 number work for me? Kinda, I guess... After quite a few years, I started trusting it -- just testing to see if my newest expenses worked, and then usually running with the new cost per student.
Now, about my title, or about judging the cost of advertising... You might have noticed that I "gave away" a hockey shirt to every student who attended one of my programs. In total, those shirts were expensive, coming in different colors and with my logo screen printed on the front. In fact, I'd have to always over-order so as to have plenty of the various colors (like red, white and black) plus all the various sizes expected to be needed for a time...
There were tons of benefits to giving out those shirts, though... In this day and age of security concerns, it helped a lot that my staff and I could always immediately recognize our students as opposed to anyone just drifting through the rink. The color coding also helped in the teaching process, because we could easily hold scrimmages or work drills between various colored players. And, maybe best of all, those shirts acted as walking billboards when my students left a program and returned to their home rinks around the country. Ya, I can't tell you how many times I've spotted one of my students -- in one of my jerseys -- hundreds of miles from home.
Now, I can envision some folks wanting to do away with something like those hockey school shirts when it comes to judging the cost of advertising (penny wise and pound foolish?). But, like a big-time brand would suggest, they were "priceless" in my ad campaigns. So were the certificates and awards we gave away at the end of each hockey school, if to a lesser degree. No, they didn't get worn everywhere, but I know that friends and family usually saw them, and I've been told that some former students (or their parents) still have their very old hockey school mementos. My advertising certainly didn't stop there, either. Naw, back in the days when newspaper, magazine and Yellow Pages ads actually mattered, I spent plenty of money on those. And I even bought some costly spots on the major Boston sports radio station.
Truth be told, the latter purchase kinda scared me, because it cost a LOT of money, and I really worried about whether I'd effectively written those ads. Unbelievably, though, my phone rang off the hook almost as soon as those ads started running, and I easily made back the kzillion dollars ( :) ) I'd spent.
Of course, few visitors are looking for hockey school advice. Yet, I think anyone in business could borrow from the way I put things together, the way I arrived at a break-even point, and how I went about judging the cost of advertising. As a matter of fact, I'd like to focus on those radio ad spots briefly, in hopes it makes sense to some of our Local Video Marketing friends...
It was a long time ago, so I'm just going to grasp at those ads costing a little over $1000 to run a few weeks prior to one of my summer hockey schools. Then, from what you know about the way I set prices back then, I'd only need to attract something like three or four students to balance that tab. Better yet, I can tell you that the extra young people I drew to that school -- and even to subsequent ones -- surely increased my profits. (Yes, even though some responders to that ad didn't join us that summer, several of them came over the following years.)
And that's what I'm ALSO getting at when it comes to us judging the cost of our Local Video Marketing services. Actually, I think one has to look at those offerings in two ways: 1) having to do with how your business is affected in the here and now, and then 2) how your advertising efforts might keep sending you more customers -- over the weeks, months and years ahead. Anyway, looking for something we could study together...
Of course, what a client reaps in return for our services or products will have a lot to do with how fast he or she might recoup the cost of advertising.
If you're selling $5 items, I can see it taking awhile to make the $250 back. Still, items like that tend to go out the door a lot quicker than do highly priced yachts -- :) . As for my hockey school example from a little earlier, one might see how only a single sale would put me in the black, and any subsequent sales would look pretty nice on the company books.
For sure, we each have to look at these things differently. However, if I was running a beauty salon, I'd be looking to add more and more help, until we're turning people away. If I was running something like a small construction, automotive repair or painting business, I'd be looking to overload our current schedule until it became possible to add another (and another?) crew, thus freeing me to work even more on growing the business. If I was running a professional service -- maybe like a law practice, a medical or dental or vet service, or some sort of high ticket sales, I'd call this kind of decision a "no-brainer". In the end, I have to refer back to something I've written several times before, in that the typical business owner is usually awesome at working "in" his or her business, and only struggles when it comes time to keep the bottom line growing (and growing and growing).
Oct 2, 2018 11:19 PM
This blog was originally published on October 15, 2017
As I kick this off, I think I might preface the main topic with some personal stuff (trust me, that it'll eventually impact on that thing about an important Local Video Marketing thumbs-up and thumbs-down problem)...
In later life, I thanked my lucky stars for a lifetime spent in sports. It all started at age-10, it eventually had me playing three sports to a fairly high level into my 20's, before I transitioned to 40+ years in coaching (mainly in ice hockey).
Some might think that sport successes build character, but even the greatest players don't get to be successful for very long. So, I'm sure that most athletes and coaches who lasted any length of time would tell you that it was their ability to fight through tough times that led to their true growth.
I laugh and joke now about overcoming adversities as a player -- like enduring broken noses and broken fingers, torn ligaments, probable concussions in a day when no one cared about such things, and double-session football practices in 100-degree weather in a time when taking a drink of water was seen as a sign of weakness.
If you haven't been around team sports that much (beyond the youth level), you might not realize the mental abuse an athlete can face -- some of it intentional, and some of it just being the way things have always been. Everyone generally gets their turn as "It", being dressed down and raked over the coals -- in front of teammates, or even in front of onlooking fans . Ya, you either go home crying at such things, or you suck it up, and grow some rather thick skin. (Little wonder I'd laugh half the time years later as an Army NCO thought he was going to get under my skin -- nope, I'd already been blasted by some of the best!)
You'd think that would all end once a guy switches to coaching -- ya, you'd think... But I could go on about my experiences with this. The great Paul "Bear" Bryant explained a coach's working conditions best, though, when a college professor complained about The Bear's high salary (I'm paraphrasing here)... "And how many people sit and watch as you conduct a final exam?" :) No, I never coached before the 55,000 who usually watched Bryant coach, but I can tell you that any of us who have worked at a fairly high level have endured similar highs and lows, including the cat-calls, boos, and even profanities directed from above. And it can sometimes be worse, as the press shoves a microphone in your face after a disappointing loss.
Phew. Sorry, but I did feel the need to mention all that, just to let visitors know that I'm not your run-of-the-mill marketing guy. Naw, I make decisions differently than many others. Don't get me wrong here, because I'm not saying my decision making is better, only that it's different. And, of course, all the experiences noted above (and more) are going to reflect on the topic at hand, as in those thumbs-up and thumbs-down things. Okay, so while doing my usual daily research into the very latest about video and marketing, I ran across a new form of technology. This had to be about 6-months ago, with that rough timing being important to this discussion. As I read on about that technology, I noticed that it was being promoted by a guy (and popular MLM-er) I've followed on Facebook for quite some time. I mentioned the article to Brenda as soon as I finished it, right there and then letting her know about my thumbs-up and thumbs-down feelings.
My kinda outside the box approach to coaching had me keeping my mind open for a time, while it was easy to identify the thumbs-down aspects to that program. Number One on that list? How many people could actually be turned off if they were "targeted" by that new technology? Hmmmm...
As a thought for others who work a lot online, I keep a folder full of bookmarks labeled as "Wish List". Actually, that might be a good description for some items linked in there, but that folder also includes a lot of items I'd describe as "down the road". In other words, I'm not ready to deal with something right now, but I'd like to take another look at it "down the road".
Anyway, it's kinda comical that two things happened almost simultaneously within the past week...
Brenda mentioned to me that a women in one of her Facebook marketing groups was promoting the same kind of program I'd described to her months ago. I think the group's comments over time were mixed between thumbs-up and thumbs-down. And, while I'm not able to comment in that "women only" group, I'd have surely suggested there was no right or wrong in this matter -- at least just yet.
At the same time the most heated debates were taking place in the above noted group, I received a surprise in my inbox. You bet: it was about the latest seeming hot topic, with the sales info confirming a lot about the benefits it could provide to some of our Local Video Marketing clients. On the other hand, of course, there were the thumbs-down feelings Brenda has described to me, as well as some of what other detractors have mentioned in various groups.
Well, here's what your favorite outside the box marketing guy decided to do... I quickly put together and posted the following video in a number of Facebook groups, as well as in my Facebook stream...
Understand that the jury was still out for me, and the links to that new form of technology was still in my Wish List folder. That's why I was introducing the above video in numerous locales with, "If you run a Tampa area business, this video recently raised quite a stir in several biz groups: your thoughts?" If you get my drift, I was looking for more input, beyond Brenda's and my personal feelings, and beyond the comments I'd seen to that point in the above noted Facebook group. And, I did get a number of pretty good comments, from a few who liked the idea, and from a few who had serious reservations. Then... Ya, then... Something made me pull the trigger. I mean, I wrestled with all the thumbs-up and thumbs-down, and I rationalized that it wouldn't hurt a single bit for us to have such technology in our Local Video Marketing bag of tricks.
Speaking of our "bag of tricks" -- and explaining better my decision to buy that program... I ask the reader to take a quick browse down the list of options on our SERVICES page (you won't lose your place by going there). My hope is that a visitor can see that we're not a one-trick-pony, but instead we offer a growing list of ways we can help Local Video Marketing clients. As a matter of fact, we offer package deals within which we promise to use "all the right assets" suited to a given niche. Yes, as Brenda and I explain to prospective clients, no two companies are alike, and no two should follow the same exact marketing approach.
Okay, I'm showing you all the assets we currently have at our disposal for a reason (although that list of services will surely grow, based on the way I keep exploring new ideas with each new day). With that, notice that the so-called new technology is not yet listed in either of our groups. No, as anyone with a Catholic upbringing might appreciate, that program is currently sitting in our form of Purgatory, and awaiting further evaluation. On the one hand, I guess we'll have to keep watching that thumbs-up and thumbs-down thing, until we think it's swung enough towards a positive direction. In the meantime, we honestly can't see taking peoples' money until we feel all the kinks have been worked out. Then, even if or when we do advertise that product, it's very likely we'll only include it in a full marketing package. Of course, all along I'll be putting on and taking off my coaching hat, always looking for ways to help our clients win their games.
Sep 24, 2018 8:16 PM
This blog was originally published on October 5, 2017
Okay, I might have been a little over-dramatic in that title, because there isn't much either Brenda or I could complain about over our first few months of running our new Local Video Marketing company. The good parts of running things so far? Well...
Number One, I'll bet that Brenda would agree, that we've been dealing with some of the nicest folks in the world. :) I think many of them are a lot like us, and equally psyched about the prospects of their new business.
Number Two -- or maybe tied at Number One, is the fact that we love what we do. We're both creative types, who get extra excited at the prospect of designing a new logo or new video production, or guiding a client's company out of a cluttered field and into the limelight.
Then, there might even be a Number Three here, in our love of the lifestyle that comes with running something like our Local Video Marketing biz. Oh, for sure, working for oneself entails some looooooong hours. Still, having the ability to often choose our work setting -- from a nearby picnic table to poolside to our after church visits at a local coffee shop. Honestly, I've never understood how some folks can make their work a drudgery when it doesn't need to be that way.
Oh, ya, about the slight struggle we've had as a startup in a very unique kind of company... While some other business owners might suggest to the contrary, I'm saying right now that, there's no model for what Brenda and I have been building. Sure, some others offer video production, some others might design logos, yet others might offer to help with a client's marketing or SEO, etc. Yet, are any two companies really alike? I mean, really? Ha, hardly.
Okay, so here comes our main frustration... It's that the newness of our company brought about constant -- and I mean constant -- evolution. From Day 1, Local Video Marketing was built upon my decades of work in video production. Not long after, though, came our realization that video used within social media brought about a huge step in client visibility, and so did our newfound ability to create awesome social graphics. And so did our abilities continue to grow over a good many more months -- led by Brenda's interests in Facebook marketing and search engine optimization.
Of course, that was mostly good for our business, but it was super-difficult to keep up with in our own marketing efforts. I mean, as we increased our capabilities almost weekly, our advertising and this website fell behinder and behinder (LOL)...
With all that, maybe folks around Tampa heard a huge sigh of relief -- like "Phew!!!" -- a few days ago when we just about finished revamping this website. Actually, the windows shook a little -- :) , as Brenda and I both let go from opposite sides of the room. Not that our work will ever be done. However, our 'Home' page is now fairly organized and readable, we're ready to take off in this 'Blog' again now, most of our current 'Services' are listed under a new category (that's still growing). Are we feeling pretty good right now? You bet! And it's even nicer that new potential clients have been contacting us regularly over the past few days.
PS: Not listed as an offering (yet?), but nonetheless sprinkled above and used often in our own Local Video Marketing promos, are a bunch of memes and social ad pics.
Sep 3, 2018 8:12 PM
This blog was originally published on September 30, 2017
I'm really psyched, because we just came by some awesome whiteboard type videos for our Local Video Marketing friends! Before I get going on that, however, let me show you a sample "whiteboard video"...
If you didn't know beforehand, a whiteboard video is one that includes a lot of drawing. These tend to be kinda mesmerizing (if you didn't notice), and they tend to captivate the viewer so that a company's message is seen (and heard) all the way through. Oh, and if you didn't know, while the above type is sketched on a simulated greaseboard, we also have some "blackboard videos" (as if they're drawn on an old fashion blackboard). Getting back to being psyched... What happened -- and it happens often in the circles we travel within -- is that I was able to purchase over seventy professionally produced whiteboard videos, all created with pro-like scripts, professional voice-overs, and some amazing graphics.
Let me comment further on that large quantity, because buying in such bulk makes it possible for us to really drop the costs of a video for our Local Video Marketing clients. Of course, we still have to do some customizing for a each purchaser...
These videos come with plenty of space to add a business' logo and contact information. I'll go a little bit extra for my friends, too, by adding some attractive graphics or effects where they might prove proper.
As for the videos I was able to grab, here are just some of the niches that are covered: accountant, auto insurance, auto repair, bankruptcy attorney, bookkeeping, carpet cleaning, real estate agent, catering, chiropractor, electrician, fencing contractor, financial advisor, fitness center, flooring expert, handyman, locksmith, home insurance agent, landscaper, moving company, painter, personal trainer, pest control, plumber, roof repair, storage facility, travel agent and weight loss. Making things even better, a number of those niches are covered in different types of videos, in videos done by male and or female voice-overs, and even to reflect different specialties within a given niche.
Please visit our website for more information www.localvideo.us and schedule an appointment to speak us because we would love to speak with you.
Aug 20, 2018 4:58 PM
This blog was originally posted on September 29, 2017.
We'd love to bring your Facebook business page up to date, and that means putting both Brenda and Dennis on the job for you!
Probably more than any other social media site, Facebook seems to be constantly changing. Most casual users needn't mind this, but if you run a business, it's a totally different story. In particular, a Facebook business page is loaded with opportunities to better connect with and better inform potential customers. And, no one knows how to make a Facebook business page work better for you than Brenda.
Of course, one of the most exciting updates to come along in some time is the opportunity for us to place a video atop ones Facebook business page (like the samples seen below). That's where Dennis comes in, creating just the right visuals, audio and message to greet potential customers to a given Facebook business page.
Okay, so what are we offering here? We're talking about a total make-over to one of social media's most powerful sales tools: the Facebook business page. And we're talking about putting two creative specialists to work for your business -- Brenda on the page itself, and Dennis on the video. And, of course, we'll work closely -- and back and forth -- with a business owner, to ensure the job gets done to satisfaction.
As for samples of Dennis' Facebook business page cover videos, here are two -- one designed for the top of our "Local Video Marketing" page, and the other for a page called "Better Health & Wealth". As one might imagine, some videos need to be very business-like, while some can be more on the whimsical side...
We look forward to local business owners contacting us -- through the adjacent Contact Form, so we can schedule a free consultation, and then start the process of bringing your Facebook business page up to date.
Jul 23, 2018 9:29 PM
This blog was originally published on July 25, 2017
Brenda and I were watching TV the other night, when I spotted something interesting... "Hey," I said to her, "that commercial looks just like some of the videos we're making for local businesses!" Oh, it wasn't exactly the same, but the style was just like many of the videos I've put together thus far.
That's when something else struck me... For sure, we make videos for Tampa area companies, and for sure they're intended to market one of our clients towards enhanced online visibility and SEO. But they're much more than that, really.
With that, I suggested to Brenda that we have to: 1) start thinking of our videos as more like television commercials, and that we have to 2) start producing them with that in mind. In other words, we don't want to just create a "video" for a local mobile mechanic (for example), but we want to create a "commercial", that has him sort of a starring in front of Tampa area viewers. And, to even stretch the point a bit, we'd like to make him (or her) a celebrity in our area, not unlike the Diamond Store couple or the local law firm, Morgan & Morgan. Is the latter possible? I think so, just by virtue of our audience seeing a personality, over and over again, or enough times so that our client becomes a household name or face. So, as you're watching TV over coming days, see if you spot what Brenda and I have been noticing lately. Once you do see a "commercial" similar to what we do, I'm sure the whole thing will make sense to you.
Jul 23, 2018 8:20 PM
This blog was originally published on June 21, 2017
I promised in my last blog post -- "Leave It To The Geeks", that I'd let my readers in on an interesting secret. So, here goes...
Before I get going, though, I wonder if you liked the "talking avatar" that greeted you to this post. Actually, after listening often to the two avatars I use on my major sites, I find I like the one here best.
Is there some science to that? Hmmmmmm...
Well, as it turns out, there have been some studies done in that area, and they've pointed towards more online listeners preferring females voices over males ones.
That bit of news has influenced my work -- plenty. I've used more and more lady characters in my work, and I've stocked up on more female characters than guys.
That doesn't mean that I'd necessarily avoid using a male to act in a rugged kind of business. I'm not one to buck science the rest of the time, though.
So, just in case you're thinking about using someone to do a voice-over in your local video marketing, consider sticking with what studies tell us, and go along with the voice listeners seem to prefer.
PS: I was thinking of an earlier post here this afternoon, when a business newsletter hit my inbox. I mean, I loved this quote:
"The man who chases two rabbits, catches neither." - Confucius
Jun 19, 2018 8:15 PM
This blog was originally dated June 16, 2017.
My guess is that all our Facebook friends who own "fan pages" received a notification as shown above and off to the right. It's a little small and muddied, so I'll repeat
"Tell more of your story Instead of a cover photo, now you can use a video..."
Then it goes on to tell some basic parameters.
Actually, the above pics were gathered from Brenda's fan page, "Better Health And Wealth", and she was the first to notice Facebook's new video option. Once she let me know about it, though, all I could say was, "Wow!" Ya, I mean Wow! I've been reading for a long time, that Facebook has wanted to see more video used within its pages. So, while "Live" was one major step towards that end, encouraging the use of a video in each user's fan page is yet another biggie to me. I'll tell my faithful readers something else, too -- or, I'll share a pretty educated guess here, in that a Facebook page with video is going to gain a lot more visibility than those with the old static photo. Said yet another way, if Facebook likes video, there's going to be something in it for those who add video to their pages. You have to know that I went scrambling to be among the first to have a video on my page. And I spent the afternoon creating the following...
Now, something you ought to know, if you plan on creating your own fan page video. I had to learn it the hard way, but that's what I do...
What I'm getting at isn't so surprising -- if you've worked much with Facebook. In other words, they don't often make matters easy for their users, and they hardly ever give us all the information we really need.
So, what I discovered after an hour or so of producing my video was that it didn't exactly fit the space provided. And, no sliding the video around was going to help at all. Ugh.
If you'd like to see how my second attempt came out, take a look at my fan page: "Local Video Marketing" (and please Like it while you're there -- :) ).
Give it a try, though, and see what I mean.
Of course, if you don't really want the hassle, you know I love that kind of challenge. And I'm willing to satisfy Facebook's new video option for you. Just complete the Contact form off to the right, and let's talk.
I have a feeling Brenda is going to be asking me to produce a video for her Facebook page tomorrow. And I'll show you how that looks as soon as I'm done.
Mar 6, 2018 9:23 PM
This blog was originally published on May 31, 2017.
I posted the following video in social media the other day, suggesting it was "a bit of video marketing genius". Why so? Well, how about watching a little of that movie -- you don't have to watch it all -- before I explain myself...
Up front, let me say that I'm not endorsing anything here -- other than an advertising approach. Yes, I do "vape", although I don't currently use Lizard Juice products. I was put on that company's emailing list a long time ago, though, and that's why I receive their videos and other blurbs on a regular basis. Actually, I believe that company has only been producing videos for a very short time. So, while it was really that part of their promotions that I labeled a bit of video marketing genius, I'm going to go so far as to make one more claim...
While that video surely is a sign of marketing genius, I'll also suggest that all their other tips -- whether in video or written form -- do a lot to sell both vaping and their company.
For example, down the right side of their email were links to articles on: "Switching from Cigarettes to Vaping", "Ohms and Wattage 101", "Avoiding That Burnt Taste When You Vape", "Does CBD Oil Work?", "Coil Building", and more.
If you're not getting the drift here, Lizard Juice is doing a lot more than most other vaping companies by educating their customers (or potential customers). And, that's something I'll highly recommend to my Local Video Marketing clients. For sure, I'll help my clients with their own bit of video marketing genius, but we ought to also go a lot further with the above described educational approach.
If you become my client, do you need to emulate the guy up above -- as something like a "talking head"? No, not really, unless you're comfortable doing so.
If you browse all the videos on the Home page, you'll notice some of our capabilities (while there are even more that haven't yet been explained or shown). You should get some good ideas, though, including the possibility of showing the owner, the staff or the company work area in the background with one of my professional speakers out front.
Oh, and let me end with something kinda cute and funny... Every time Brenda and I enter a local auto service station, the guy at the desk grins and tells us how much we remind him of a couple in a local TV ad. If you're reading this in the Tampa Bay area, you might know that couple as the husband and wife who run "The Diamond Store". (I usually joke back and suggest that the only connection is that the two wives make up for their husbands not looking so good. :) ) Why do I tell this story? It's because that couple from The Diamond Store has become sooooooo familiar, I'm sure anyone reading this can envision them right off the bat. It's the playing and replaying of their videos (or TV ads) that have done it, and etched their faces -- and even their voices -- in our minds. Better yet, their ads are cute, and they make the couple very likeable. So, if you're looking for a comfortable atmosphere in which to inspect some jewelry, might theirs be the place? Ya, I think so. My point... Although the guy in the above video isn't as cute as either of the young ladies I've just mentioned, he's going to grow on email customers with time, they're going to get comfortable with him, and they're going to eventually trust his opinion. So, once again, is Big J's thing a bit of video marketing genius? Ya, I'd say so, and I'd also suggest he has a slight head start on some of my Local Video Marketing friends.
Mar 6, 2018 3:37 PM
This blog was originally published on May 30, 2017.
I actually spent some time on this subject a week or more ago, in a post entitled "My Neighbors Need Help". The fact that so many Tampa Bay area neighbors truly do need help never goes away, however... The long holiday weekend being over, I was greeted this morning with a new email plea asking, "Does anyone have any recommendations for someone who does free estimates on roof repair?" And, once again I only wished I could have sent a video telling that person (and lots of others within eye-shot) about a great local company. (Can you help more of our neighbors? Please keep reading...)
My blog readers might like to know that I'm aiming to work with only one company in a given niche (see my earlier post on "Video Marketing for a Local Landscaper"), which would make it easy for me to promote a single nearby roofing company to my neighbors.
That morning's email didn't end with one appeal -- no: yet another person explained, "We are looking into replacing our worn out wood fence with PVC vinyl fencing..." Can you help more of our neighbors -- like this one? I'll bet you could. Another neighbor mentioned owning a pool, and wishing to get pricing on "monthly service"for that pool. Oh, and here's one I'd never thought about before, but surely it's a great business to be in... I mean, another neighbor asked, "Does anyone know of any reasonable dumpster rental places?" Hmmmmm... Which causes me to ask, can you help more of our neighbors? The above all came from a single email, and I skipped quite a few other appeals for help within that. I also deleted nine other emails that accumulated over the long weekend. My point: there are tons of people all around us who are seeking some sort of help for around their houses or yards. And, it's quite obvious that no local company is automatically coming to mind if they need to ask. Is there a reason your company isn't the first they think about when locals need help? Hmmmmmm... Then, one last thing I happened to notice today (and I'm wondering why I hadn't mentioned this already)... Under almost every plea for help came a number of suggestions from other locals. In other words, we probably lost opportunities on the fifty-plus pleas that passed my laptop screen this weekend. And the same is going to happen tonight, tomorrow, and every day coming, until we find a way to make more and more locals think of your company as soon as any need arises. All that said, if you'd like to consider putting your company on the tips of local tongues, please do a couple of things:
1) browse this blog more for a sense of how I might help;
2) complete the simple Contact Form off to the right, and;
3) let's talk about how we might work together.
Mar 6, 2018 2:58 PM
This post was originally published on May 24, 2017
If you noticed my title up there, I hope you also noticed that I said it as if I'm planning on doing video marketing for "a" local landscaper. Ya, I've thought long and hard on that, and I've come to the realization that I'd prefer not to try getting more than one client to the top of the heap in any given niche. Make sense? (It surely does to me.) Now, as promised elsewhere in the trailer versions of the following, I want to include the entire video here for local landscapers. If you work in another trade, however -- like painting, roofing, fencing or so many others, I hope you'll be able to see how this could work for you...
If you're anything like me, you need time to watch that video several times and do some serious thinking (personally, I'd probably watch it a half-dozen times, take some notes, and do lots of heavy thinking :) ).
Want something to REALLY thinking about, though? Most folks who run a small business need to devote as much time as possible to their customers' needs (I've been there and done that). And that leaves little time for wearing yet another hat.
Then, to repeat a couple of things... 1) I would truly like to work with only one client within any given niche. So, while I'm obviously directing this post towards video marketing for a local landscaper, I can envision only working with one painter, one real estate agent, one auto repair shop, maybe one beauty salon, etc. I'm not sure other local video marketers would be willing to do the same, but...
Oh, by the way... Visitors should make note of the way I've separated certain video options on the Home page -- like for logo videos, talking avatars and other promotional videos. I have those priced very reasonably, just in case a client wants to purchase one or more of those -- separately or in combination. However, if we're to do something as suggested in the above video, we'd include any such items as needed -- after all, the main idea would be to get the job done right.
Lastly, once you'd like to pursue these possibilities a little further, please complete the Contact Form, and I'll touch base with you promptly. I look forward to helping you with putting your company on the map.
PS: Just this morning, a local neighborhood publication I check everyday included calls for a handyman, some fence repair, septic work, hardwood flooring installation, swimming pool maintenance, roof repair, and reliable lawn service. Of course, these kinds of publications seem a gold mine for those who have the time to scout them -- again, IF one has the time to scout them.
Feb 26, 2018 7:59 PM
This blog was originally published on May 15, 2017.
Ironically, I never intended to use the word "local" when I decided to start a business having to do with video marketing. The way it happened was that an Internet search for thoughts on the latter subject kept emerging with three words instead of two. Yup... As it so happens, there are a lot of companies around the US that cater to clients close to them. And it kinda made sense as I thought on that elongated phrase a little more... Hmmmmm... "Local Video Marketing" seemed to work for me, and I sensed that with the plans I had cooking in the back of my mind, I could probably help "local" businesses a lot better than I could those too far away.
Actually, Brenda paved the way for us quite some time ago, organizing two Facebook groups totally based on folks who live, work or travel to our new hometown area of Tampa, Florida. We both mix a lot with new friends in the Tampa Bay Community Group, while she mainly helps promote her lady friends in the Women's Biz Networking Group of Tampa.
I've had my own ideas for helping local Tampa Bay business folks, though, beginning with an online newspaper. "Tampa Bay Weekly" will ultimately cater to and promote my "local" video marketing clients, featuring them in stories and free advertisements.
Not so surprisingly, Brenda and I have been putting our heads together to get all our future customers high in the SEO rankings -- in both traditional ways, and in some ways that few others could or would consider.
Please do touch base with us in our nearby Contact Form, so we might discuss some of what I mentioned here today.
Feb 26, 2018 5:37 PM
This blog was originally published on May 10, 2017.
I suppose that a lifetime in sports -- and an adult lifetime as a coach -- comes with some excess in self-confidence. Ya, sorry 'bout that, but I say it in reference to my earlier mention of being an innovator through most of my years in hockey. I say that also in reference to my striking out on a new course some weeks ago, long before I'd discovered that this is, in fact, “The Year of Video Marketing”. Hmmmmmmm... “The Year of Video Marketing”... I'd actually stumbled upon that in a pretty well respected publication (Forbes), and in an article entitled "5 Things Your Video Marketing Strategy Should Include". Personally, I don't want to steal the author of that article's thunder by listing those five things here (please do, however, read John Rampton's article for some great tips). On the other hand, I very much do want to get a little more into my own title, or into why 2017 might be known as “The Year of Video Marketing”. Rampton hit the nail on the head at the very start of his piece, when he suggested how quickly video can tell a story (those might be my words, but I'm sure he'd agree with my quick paraphrase). I mean, I've followed many a links to article I thought would prove interesting or informative, only to fall asleep wading though paragraphs after paragraphs. Not so, of course, when it comes to videos.
Ironically, I took a quick break moments ago, checked on my Facebook notifications, and was immediately greeted with a "Live" video. That video was shot by a couple exploring a city area, and it gave them an opportunity to explain things as they moved their camera along -- kinda stimulating many of the viewers' senses along the way. (I wasn't able to capture their video, but I was able to put in its place a photo showing a friend beaming while at an MLB ballpark.)
The whole video lasted something like 10-seconds, but the combination of visuals, background noise and a little narration accomplished more than one could ever do in words.
That in mind, just imagine what a short video could do to explain a business. I'm just thinking, too... Without dwelling on this being “The Year of Video Marketing”, can tell readers that I've found myself shying from chasing links all over the place. I mean, I'll see some interesting businesses mentioned in my favorite social media areas, but I'm less and less inclined to leave an area to chase down another (and another) online rabbit hole. What I can't avoid is watching a video. No, they're almost all short and sweet, whether they're informative or not. As a matter of fact, there's no chasing involved, but only a click on a "Play" button -- right there in Facebook, Twitter, or wherever. And, if it's a snooze-inducer, I can "Stop" it and just move on. Then, one last thing... If SEO is important to a business owner, it's imperative that he or she accompany any social media post with either a great picture or a video. Your social media site likes such things, and so do the top search engines. As for the kinds of videos I've been describing here, just think about what a business could accomplish in 10- to 15-seconds of combined visuals, add some narration, and maybe a little background music. Better yet, make that a combination of professional narration, plus some clips of a business in progress, and you have an impression that is likely to stick with potential clients for a long time to come.