Getting new clients is the hardest part of being a business owner, you probably know this first hand. But there are some very specific things that have proven to work for me and my agency.
I was about 5 months into running my digital marketing agency when I used a simple, yet strategic YouTube video to win a bank as a new client. This is how I did it.
Now we all know that YouTube is one of the most important channels for a brand to promote their products or services. After all, it is the #2 search engine on the Internet. But how do you specifically target the people that will buy from you?
That’s the exact question we were asking ourselves when we met one Monday morning to discuss new business development.
Whether it be word of mouth, advertising, or submitting PDF proposals, most businesses use similar tactics. But we were the new kid on the block, we needed to find a way to stand out from the other wolves.
So we sat around that table and threw around a few ideas, when we came upon the power of storytelling, and video’s way of conveying it.
Imagine if you are managing your businesses brand mentions across the Internet, trying to find opportunities to boost your connection with your audience. When all of a sudden you get an engaging email addressed specifically to you, and explaining that an agency had produced a video all about your business.
In that video there is a strapping young gentleman explaining how proud he is that he gets to work with companies like yours to help make growing your business easier. He looks at you with sincerity in his eyes and says that he would work hard for you, and that his values compliment your businesses long term goals.
Imagine that you watch this video on a morning when you are planning ways to take your business to the next level. And the man in this video offers his hand to help you get there.
This is the exact strategy that we developed that Monday morning at our business development meeting.
We mapped out a video storyboard that would explain Good Monster’s mission, our values and our commitment to creating engaging content for our clients. We wanted to make sure that the message was clear: we are your only choice for a content marketing partner.
And it was.
On a bright sunny day in Syracuse, NY we filmed the story of Good Monster and it’s founders. We shot the video in the heart of downtown Syracuse to show that we aligned with their slogan “We’re local and we mean it”.
The video contained a beautiful message that was from the heart.
So how can you create an engaging video that makes potential clients yearn to work with you?
There are a few strategies that are absolutely necessary to ensure a profitable outcome for your business.
#1: Know who you are talking to
This is the single most important step to a successful pitch. But it may also be the hardest.
Most often the decision to do business with you is going to be made by one person. Even if it’s a board of directors, a team of executives or the entire staff that reviews your pitch – the decision will begin with one person who champions your pitch.
It begins with one person’s trust in you. That person then sways the other members of the decision committee to believe in your ideas. If your pitch is really good, you might have several champions in the group.
But how do you get to understand a person that you might not have met yet? Even more, how do you know who it is?
The best way to get to know a person is to ask her friends and colleagues.
When we decided to pitch the bank, we wanted to learn as much as we could about what they needed. So I reached out to a member of the marketing team on LinkedIn, and asked to grab a cup of coffee to learn more about their mission and company values.
My offer of, I want to learn more about why your company is awesome, was a very harmless, and she immediately agreed to a meeting.
During this meeting I learned everything I could about the company; their struggles with growing their brand, what has worked, what hasn’t and who makes the decisions. This provided the basis for our video.
I suggest you do the same thing and reach out to someone who knows more about the potential target than you do. Learn how you can help the organization and be transparent with them. Tell them that you want to show the team how determined you are to help them solve problems.
This person will most likely want to help you because it will make them look good for being part of the solution.
#2: Be empathetic
Once you learn more about the organization and the people that run it, you can begin to formulate your pitch.
This all starts with painting a detailed persona of the hopes, dreams and fears of the company. And even better, the hopes, dreams and fears of the person who will ultimately hire you.
Now, you already know a little about the company and possibly the person who will be making the decision, via your meeting with a member of the company. Use this time wisely to begin to strategize what they are really struggling with.
When I met with the marketing director of the bank, I learned that they had a board of directors that was super old school, and a member base that was just as old. The marketing director said they had been dumping money into traditional advertising, mainly print, but that they had not seen any results over the past few years. She said they were beginning to worry that they weren’t doing enough to attract a younger audience.
And to top it off, a competitor of theirs was beefing up there own marketing and they were starting to get worried.
So what were their hopes, dreams and fears?
They wanted to attract a younger member base, so that the future looked a little bit more stable for their business. And they were worried that other banks were beating them to the punch.
And what was the marketing director’s hopes dreams and fears? She was in charge of coming up with solutions to present to the board showing how they are going to grow the brand. Her job was on the line and she wanted help crafting unique marketing strategies.
#3: Convey your core message
When you are creating your presentation video, make sure that you convey your core message as clearly as possible.
In fact before you even start filming anything, you and your team need to have a clear understanding of what you want the viewer to get out of watching this.
Do you want them to laugh? Do you want them to cry? Do you want them to get excited? Do you want them to feel relieved?
Develop your pitch with the end goal in mind.
In our pitch to the bank, we wanted them to feel warm inside, like they understood who we were – like the knew us for years. Everything we did, from the scenery, to the words that I said, all surrounded the goal of making them feel like we were part of their community.
And I’ll go ahead and toot our horn a little, it worked. We got a second meeting to discussing partnering with the brand and helping to develop the message.
#4: Include a strong call to action
The next step is to have a strong call to action.
I don’t mean that you need to say buy, buy, buy! in your video. What I mean is that the viewer should have a clear understanding of what to do next.
This doesn’t have to be in the video necessarily. It can be in the email that you send, or in a supporting PDF that you send, or on the webpage where the video is hosted.
Now if you are bold, and you feel that you know your audience well enough, you can get creative with your presentation. We had a feeling that the bank might be monitoring their brand online, so we published the video publicly on YouTube.
Turns out that they were using Google Alerts to keep track of their brand mentions. So when we published the YouTube video, a nice little email was sent to the bank letting them know someone had published a video about them.
A couple days later, we also sent an email to the marketing director letting her know that, we were very capable of helping them find and attract the right customers. And to show that we were ready to get started immediately, we included a link to a “video that shows our worth to your growth.”
In the email I wrote that we were really excited to present our marketing solutions for their company, and if she hadn’t had a chance to check out the video that we made exclusively for her, to click the link to view it.
After that we added in a strong call to action that simply said that we had already done some preliminary research on their brand, and that we were ready to present some ideas to them immediately – when would be the best time for us to present them to you?
So we let them know who we are, what we do and why they can benefit from meeting us. We left a valuable carrot dangling in front of them – we are ready to present some ideas immediately. And we ended with a call to action – when would be the best time for us to present them to you?
Whatever you choose, just make sure they clearly know what the next step is.
#5: Produce with purpose
The saying ‘presentation is everything’ is not far off. If you want to leave a positive lasting impression, you need to make sure that your video and it’s presentation are well thought out.
This means putting together all of your research about your target viewer and producing a video that is high enough quality to impress them. Now, notice I said “high enough”. What I mean is that this doesn’t have to be a Hollywood production, it just has to be clean and have a clear message.
So don’t film it with your iPhone, in the middle of the market on a Saturday afternoon (unless maybe you are pitching to that market). Place yourself in an environment that makes sense to your target and your pitch.
We filmed our pitch video in and around downtown Syracuse, NY on a sunny, warm day. We did this because we wanted to align the message with their slogan, We’re local and we mean it. We also wanted the video to be upbeat and positive.
Some suggestions to easily produce a great-looking video:
- Use an HD camera (or your smartphone if needed)
- Test your audio
- Film with natural light evenly lighting your face (you could use shop lights with natural light bulbs)
- Have a professional edit it (it should only take a couple of hours)
I’ll say it again, you don’t need to be Steven Spielberg here. You just need to make sure that it looks good, and has a clear message.
#6: Have a follow up plan
Now that you have researched, strategized, produced and submitted your video, it’s time to sit back and wait for the money to roll in.
Before you even submit your video, you need to have a follow up plan. Remember all the time and hard work you put into making this happen, do you really want to just hope that it works?
Okay, yes, you have to hope a little bit because nothing is 100%. But wouldn’t you rather have an 80% chance of this working, then a 50% shot?
I suggest you develop a follow up plan that just about guarantees that they will want to meet you. Here are some tips to help you out:
Save the best for last: Create a value-bomb that you can send in your follow up email. For example, create an infographic that shows them the best ways to save money in your industry. This gives you an excuse to follow up and shows them that you know your stuff.
Be empathetic: Understand that they are busy, and make sure that they don’t feel like you are pressuring them to make the decision. But at the same time use a little psychology to make it happen. Say something like “I know this is a busy time of year for you so I don’t want you to feel like I’m pressuring you. But we have done some really interesting research and found some unique strategies that your competitors aren’t using yet.” This takes the pressure off, but also shows them they should probably act quick to stay ahead of the game.
Know when to back off: If you aren’t getting any response after several tries, it’s better to send an email that says something like: “I understand you are busy and this might not be the best time to jump into serious business development. If it’s okay with you, I will reach out in 3 months to see if the timing is right.” If they are interested but haven’t had time to get back to you, they will reach out to keep you on the line. If they aren’t, then the door is left open for later conversation.
Don’t let your research and hard work go to waste. Make sure that you have some sort of a follow up plan to increase your chances of success.
Video is one of the most engaging mediums that you can use to convey your message. Someone watching your video can see, feel and almost touch your message if it’s presented strategically. By following the steps in this article you can develop any message you wish, to whatever audience you desire.
If you want to earn a new client, you have to earn their trust. Presenting a well-thoughtout video that shows them the value of you and your services gets your foot in the door to a profitable relationship.
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