Video offers a number of benefits, including these:
- Create an experience: Video engages more of their senses than reading an e-book or listening to an audio program.
- Give them a demonstration: Clients and bureaus see you in action.
- Build credibility: People are used to seeing experts on screen, and judge you by how well you appear, not just on what you say.
- Create a personal connection: The words are your words, straight from your mouth.
- Teach something: Some of your educational material might translate well to video.
- Publish fast: You don't require a professional studio and a production team to record your video.
- Take control: It's relatively easy to record, edit and publish the video clips yourself.
- Get traffic: Promote your videos on YouTube, your blog, bureau Web sites, Facebook profile, invite others to embed them, etc.
- Gain a competitive advantage: Despite these many advantages, most businesses - and even most infopreneurs - are not using online video effectively.
Three things now make online audio feasible and attractive:
- Better tools are available to create and publish video.
- Broadband Internet allows users to watch it fast.
- YouTube has made it easy for them to watch.
- It can be slow: Broadband Internet access has certainly made things faster but it's still slower than downloading an audio file or an e-book. It's much, much, much faster to download an audio file of an hour than a video file of an hour.
- It can be clunky: If you don't have super-fast broadband, on-line video clips tend to stop and start. That's because the segment you're watching runs out before the next segment can be downloaded.
- It requires single focus: Video requires a single focus, whereas audio can be "multi-tasked". Keep this in mind, particularly in today's busy world when many people won't have the time to sit and watch your video.
- It can be harder to produce: Because video is a visual medium, it's not as easy to do impromptu. You have to think about the right background, the right lighting, a quiet environment, your own clothes and grooming, and so on.
- It's harder to edit: Video clips are also harder to edit than audio clips. If you remove bits of a video clip, viewers will see that as a jerky spot where that happened. It's much easier with audio clips, because it's fairly easy to add or remove segments and still keep a smooth transition between them.
YouTube is not the only video Web site, but it's the biggest. So if you're creating any public videos, you should definitely put them on YouTube.
YouTube is not just for fun personal videos; it's also now a serious publishing platform for business users. Your videos should be informative and look professional, but don't have to be Hollywood-style masterpieces! You can create them in the comfort of your home or office, and publish them quickly to YouTube.
If you're a business owner, here are some ideas for videos:
- Create a welcome video for your business
- Relate some of your newsletter articles to camera (don't read them verbatim, of course, but speak to camera as if you were explaining them to somebody)
- Interview clients and team members for their insights and experience
- Ask other people to interview you
- If appropriate, interview clients for case studies and testimonials
The best way to get started is: Get started! Don't wait until you get the perfect lighting, buy the perfect camera, write the perfect script or learn the latest technology. Millions of ordinary users publish videos with just their mobile phone! There's no reason why you can't get started with on-line video, and it's the best way to learn.