Today’s guest is Lou Bortone, a video marketing consultant and coach with over 20 years of experience in the field. Lou teaches how important video is when it comes to getting your message out, attracting more clients and leaving a more profound impact.
There is no doubt that video is here to stay and for many of your customers, they want to hear what you have to say, but they want to see what you say as well. Lou is one of the experts in the country on how to effectively use video in your marketing. He’ll help us learn how you can use video to build your brand.
Some of the things you will learn today:
- Why video does not have to be perfect to be good and impactful
- The importance of video presence for your business
- Figuring out what your video content should be about
- What color to wear in a video
- and more…
Narrator: Welcome to The Sustainable Business Radio Show podcast where you’ll learn not only how to create a sustainable business but you’ll also learn the secrets of creating extraordinary value within your business and your life. In The Sustainable Business, we focus on what it’s going to take for you to take your successful business and make it economically and personally successful.
Your host, Josh Patrick, is going to help us through finding great thought leaders as well as providing insights he’s learned through his 40 years of owning, running, planning and thinking about what it takes to make a successful business sustainable.
Josh: Hey, how are you today? This is Josh Patrick and you’re at The Sustainable Business. Today, our guest is the person I call the video maven, Lou Bortone. Lou is an old friend of mine.
I actually have a funny story about Lou. We were at a Book Yourself Solid meeting several years ago. I think it was in Long Beach. We were walking down the aisle together– and I’m probably 20 to 25 years older than Lou. We’re walking down, he looks over me and says, “You know, you’re not so bad for an old guy.” I don’t know if Lou remembers that or not but I found it pretty amusing so.
Lou: I deny that completely. That’s fake news [laughter].
Josh: It’s actually not fake news. It was real but it was funny.
Lou: All right.
Josh: I could actually tell you about my old guy stories which I think is kind of funny. But instead of me wandering on about stories that happened five years ago, let’s bring Lou in because he has great things to tell us about video.
Hey, Lou. How are you today?
Lou: Good. Thanks so much for having me. I don’t remember doing that. I may have been heavily medicated at the time but, in any case, I have a lot of respect and admiration for you so thanks for having me on.
Josh: It’s my pleasure. You’re always a pleasure to talk with. I can’t tell you how much you’ve helped me with video and getting over the fear of video and realizing video doesn’t have to be perfect to be good.
Josh: And that actually might be where we want to start. Why is it that video doesn’t have to be perfect to be good online these days?
Lou: I think because it’s really all about the content and the message in the video. And I think– well, I guess, I could say YouTube and Facebook have lowered the bar considerably which is not necessarily a bad thing because it’s really a few clicks on your iPhone or a tap in the desktop and you’re off and running. So you don’t, these days, have to worry as much about lighting. And I know women worry a lot about makeup and appearance and things like that. But it’s really about the content. And the fact that there is so much content out there that there’s so much on YouTube and Facebook that people are looking for an answer, for a solution, for a laugh – whatever they may be looking for. They’re not looking for some kind of a red carpet experience.
Josh: So a lot of business owners I talk to are scared to death of video, Lou. And they say, “It’s too hard, too difficult. I can’t do it. I’m lousy on camera.” Let me see what else we can think of. Well, you probably know all the excuses but why is it so important for businesses to have, not just a little video presence but a pretty strong video presence to be taken seriously?
Lou: Yeah and I understand the on-camera thing and the hesitancy. As an introvert, I prefer not to be on camera. There’s a lot of ways to do video so I do PowerPoints, and webinars, and on-carmera’s like my third or fourth option usually. But it’s important because it’s the way the internet is going. It’s the way business is going. It’s the way people want to consume content. And it’s the way people need to deliver content.
The best example of that is probably that Facebook has put such an emphasis on video. You can do an Instagram on Linkedin now. You can do video on Instagram, on Twitter. So all the social platforms are moving in the direction of video because that’s the preferred way people want to see and hear their content.
Josh: Yeah and by the way Linkedin is really pushing video. And they seem to say, “Gee, if you’re going to put video up in Linkedin, we want native video and not something that’s ported over from YouTube or another platform.”
Lou: Yeah and it’s the same with Facebook. They really prefer that you upload directly to their platform and not simply cross share it. But with that being said, you can still re-purpose your videos and use them in several different places, several different platforms. And I love the way you do this podcast in that you’re doing a Facebook Live so even though maybe the primary vehicle is the podcast, you’re still getting a video re-purpose out of it.
Josh: Yeah and what I do with the good ones, I take a 3- or 4- or 5-minute piece of it, cut it out and then upload it to Linkedin because Linkedin doesn’t allow you to put video up that’s more than 10 minutes long.
Lou: Right, yup. And Instagram is just a minute if you’re doing a prerecorded video so you’re really limited in your time which, again, is not necessarily a bad thing because if you can focus your message and get it out in a really short amount of time then our incredibly short attention span society is going to appreciate your video because you’re giving them what they need in the shortest amount of time possible.
Josh: So why don’t you give us a primer on how to get started on video, and what you should do, and what platforms might be the best to do it on?
Lou: I think that the lowest-hanging fruit is likely Facebook Live. And, again, I did one just before this. I would take my iPhone, go on Facebook. Hit the live button. And it’s really click and go.
Obviously, you want to have a sense of what you’re going to say before you get on there but Facebook Live has made it drop-dead simple to do live video from your phone, or from your desktop, or from your iPad so there’s really no excuse not to do it. And Facebook also gives video more prominence than print and photo posts. So there’s even more of an excuse to do it because you’re going to get more engagement and you’re going to get more reach when you do video.
So I think starting with Facebook and your mobile phone is about the simplest way to get going. And then maybe just have a sense of, “Okay, I’m going to share a tip today. Am I going to talk for two minutes or 20 minutes?” Facebook says 20 minutes. That feels really long to me but I usually do two to five minutes when I’m doing a Facebook Live.
Josh: Yeah, that seems to be– I mean, if you want people to watch the whole thing, that probably is right. I mean, this would be a 23- to 30-minutes sort of Facebook Live thing. We do get 100 to 150 people that watch at least part of it.
Lou: Yeah and there’s a lot of platforms and a lot of ways you can use this where it’s okay to do longer video, podcast, interview guests, obviously, being one of them. But even sharing your screen, doing tutorials, or demos, or PowerPoint presentations. Webinars are really just 40-minute videos so that’s another way to share a lot of information in a compelling way.
Josh: So I’m a business owner. You’ve convinced me I should do video. What should I talk about?
Lou: Again, what your viewers or what your target market wants most from you. I do a lot of surveys and I just go on Facebook Live and say, “Hey, what do you want to know?” because sometimes I may assume what they want to know, “Oh, they want to know about this fancy new software.” No, they just want to know how long should their video be or what should they talk about.
So, typically, you want to share your expertise and you want to give folks the solutions and the answers to the challenges that they have. So, for me, it may be anything from, I can do a webinar on “Five ways to do video without being on camera”. Maybe that would be something I would share for people who are particularly camera shy. Or it could be “Five ways to get up and running on Facebook Live quickly and get more views”. So I just try and kind of keep my ear to the ground. And business owners should, obviously, do the same and think about what their audience wants and give them what they want.
Josh: And what would be the best way to figure that out?
Lou: A lot of it, again, I do it via video. So if I go on to Facebook Live– like yesterday, I said, “Okay, I’ve been doing— actually, I’ve been doing a video a day in 2018 and trying to keep this streak going so. So far, I’ve done mostly live videos. So I’m thinking, okay, it’s February now as we record this and I’m saying, “All right, I’ve been doing these videos everyday, you’ve got to tell me what you want because I’m running out of ideas” and they’ll just list in the comments, “Tell us more about such and such. Or, we want to hear about this Loom Software that you talked about where you can record video emails.”
So, often times, I’ll just ask. Other times, I will do a survey in SurveyMonkey. Things like that. And, again, just talking with folks at events. As long as I’ve been doing this, I keep getting surprised by what I hear back from folks because it’s not always what I think. And it might be something as simple as, “What color should I wear that’s not going to go crazy on video?” which is something I don’t think about because I’ve been doing it for a while. So you always have to kind of go back to square one and see what does your viewer or what does target market need most from you?
Josh: So what color should you wear on video?
Lou: Not bright green. And not patterns like herring bone patterns, things like that. And it’s so funny because having come from the TV business and I used to do a lot more green screen. I don’t do as much now. I mean, I’ll watch CNN and say, “That’s green screen.” Or I’ll watch that Saturday Night Live skit and I’ll be able to tell it’s green screen because there’s a little bit of green tint in their hair. So I’m sort of neurotic about it. But, for the most part, you can get away with just about anything. So I would say it’s more about your brand.
I mean, there was a long time there with Mari Smith who’s sort of the Facebook expert. It was all about turquoise and that was sort of her brand color. So I tend to go with black because that way I can just wear sweatpants from the waist down when I come to work [inaudible 00:09:40] else because I’m always shooting from here up so.
Josh: [laughs] Yeah, I noticed on TV especially the morning talk shows, they’re all wearing jeans with jackets and suits because you never see what their– below the waist.
Lou: Yeah and video’s become a lot more casual as well. I mean, we were talking earlier about quality and people worried about being on camera. And now, even CNN, and Jimmy Kimmel, and folks like that are using Skype and Zoom to bring in their guests which 10 years ago would’ve been unheard of. So the guy’s in his office or his living room and he’s on CNN internationally. It’s like, “Well, if it’s good enough for CNN, it’s good enough for me.”
Josh: That makes it easier for us to do stuff.
So let me ask you a question about how sales-y can you be when you’re doing video for your company versus how much education?
Lou: That’s a tricky one. I mean, most people will tell you the for every five videos that you do maybe one or two of them can be promotional, like 20% of the time. But what I do is I just try and integrate it all so I don’t make that much of a distinction.
So it’s like a webinar, if I’m teaching the webinar, okay, well the next logical step to what I’ve talked with you about is a coaching session or a product or things like that. So I think it’s best when you mix it in as seamlessly as you can. Obviously, you don’t want to come on video and just pitch, pitch, pitch. But at the same time we’re in business to make money and grow our businesses so we really have an obligation to offer folks our products or services even as we are teaching them.
Josh: So you mentioned webinars a little while ago and webinars are just another form of live video, frankly. And it seems to me that most webinars are somewhere around 90 minutes. Is that the right time or is that too long?
Lou: I feel like it’s too long, when I’m a viewer, just because it’s a pretty big commitment. And I feel like, in a lot of webinars, people waste a lot of time at the beginning talking about how wonderful they are. And a lot of time, at the end, like– okay, well, if it’s 45 minutes of content and then 45 minutes of pitch, I don’t need to watch the 45 minutes of pitch at the end. But if it’s something where they’re teaching all the way along or doing tutorials and it’s compelling, I’m going to be sort of be interested in looking further or buying the product even if they haven’t pitched it yet because they’ve done a good job of adding value. So I like to do maybe 40 minutes and probably 10 or 15 minutes at the end about a possible offer.
Josh: Let’s say, I was in my old business. I used to be in the vending and food service business. We fed people who worked in factories. That’s a pretty blue-collar business and it’s basically a business-to-business sort of business because the people who spend money in the machines or the cafeterias really don’t make the decision about whether we will be their provider or not. So for that type of business, what kind of advice would you give them? And if they’re saying, “Gee, I don’t see how video fits.” And if you were to say, “No, you’re wrong. Video does fit.” What would you say?
Lou: Again, it depends on the end user but there are a lot of ways to use video that doesn’t feel like, “Oh, my gosh, I’ve got to sit down in front of the computer and watch this.” I do things like video– I call it video outreach. But it’s really a video email. I use things like Loom which is a free service at useloom.com where you can record little videos on screen. So it’s really just about reaching these folks. It may be on their phone. It may be on their iPad. Sort of getting them where they are so it’s not obtrusive but it’s still helpful and compelling.
The way I see it now, especially with the younger folks and millennials, like my kids are 19. My twins are 19. And they’ll watch TV and they’ll watch a YouTube video on their phone at the same exact time, it makes me crazy because I can’t have the two sound sources. But for them, that’s just the way they consume media now. So they don’t even make any distinction between screens. They can watch YouTube on a 50-inch TV or they can watch a TV episode on an iPhone.
Josh: Yeah and the truth is – and this is actually a very important point for us to just look at from an efficiency point of view, is that you cannot watch TV and watch a YouTube on your phone and pay attention to both at the same time.
Josh: What your kids are doing, they’re using the TV for background noise while watching the video on their phone.
Lou: Exactly. Yes and making dad crazy because I hear two sound sources and I can’t distinguish them. And I go all ADD-crazy on them.
But, I mean, I think the point is try and reach people where they are and meet them where they are rather than force them to come to a screen or things like that. Especially with some of the B2B business.
I was at the gas station the other day and it’s like, “Oh, great. Gas station TV. I get to watch a video while I’m pumping gas.” So it’s pretty ubiquitous at this point.
Josh: It seems to be.
So you mentioned a couple of times, something I’ve been trying to get my head around whether it makes any sense and that’s Loom which is basically email video. And both Loom– and I forgot there’s another–
Lou: Yeah, there’s one called GoVideo and another one called Soapbox. So they’re starting to be more popular.
Josh: Yeah, so does it make sense to send a video instead of writing an email?
Lou: I think so because it’s more unique and memorable. It’s more personal and engaging.
And, for instance, I came back from a conference in New York last week and I had the usual stack of business cards. I said, “You know, I can send these guys the usual follow-up email but I think it’s going to be a lot more personal to do a quick Loom video.” For me, frankly, it’s easier just to hit screen and say, “Great meeting you last week. Let’s continue our discussion about such and such.” You can make it very specific. And they’re seeing your face and it’s just more engaging for them. And, honestly, they’re going to get 30 emails but they probably are only going to get one video email.
Josh: [laughs] You know, that’s true. That makes a lot of sense. So what you do is you’re doing actually a personalized video for each person?
Lou: Yeah. And usually when I’m using video email, I try not to sort of do the blast thing. I really try and individualize it. And, again, that’s one of the trends that we’re seeing a lot more of, not just in video but in any marketing, is personalization. So it may be print but in this case it’s video and we can do video personalization just by sending that quick, little, 30-second follow-up video. And Loom makes it really, really easy. Just a couple of clicks and it’s free.
And the other nice thing is if you’re using Loom, you can do it from a website. So if I want to talk to somebody about a coaching program or something, I’ll do the Loom from that web page so that they’re sort of automatically on that page when they view the video.
Josh: One of our suppliers is a company called Click Funnels and they refuse to use telephones which drives me crazy. But what they are doing now is they’re accepting Loom videos so I can now make a video of my problem–
Josh: –and send it them and to see if they can solve it a lot faster.
Lou: Yup. And a lot of the companies, especially with B2B, you can save time and money, if you’re answering the same question over and over just do a video tutorial a quick little Loom video and you may be able to take care of it without having to pick up the phone.
Josh: Yeah, that helps. That helps a lot.
So here’s another use of video, I think, which really gets talked about. We always talk about marketing but it also seems to me that if you have people working on screens, it would become really easy to use video for training.
Lou: Yeah, absolutely. And it could be on-boarding, or just getting a client up and running, or tutorials, or training. Even some of the folks who do like continuing education credits and things like that are starting to allow folks to do it via video rather than, “Oh great, I’ve got to go to Dallas for this thing and spend all this money where I could just sit down in front of the screen and watch it and get the same thing.” So I think there’s a lot of use that way. Especially with all the video conferencing and the new software we’re seeing.
Josh: So we have a couple of minutes left, Lou, and if you were going to do video and you were going to be serious about it and just say, “Okay, I’m going to do my phone – although phones today take remarkably good video–
Lou: Right, yup.
Josh: –and the microphone on a phone seems to be good enough. But if I’m going to be serious about it. Let’s say I’ve got this really fancy microphone here for podcasting– which, by the way, I only use for podcasting because I use other microphones which are easier to use and not in the way of my mouth. But what kind of stuff would you recommend? And what software would you recommend that they use?
Lou: It really depends on the end product that you want to put out. I mean, if you’re doing something that’s more like a show and it’s formatted and it’s a specific length then you want to find your setup from the beginning. I mean, for me, I’m doing a lot of Facebook Live so I’m using software called Ecamm which is a Macintosh software which allows you to bring up lower thirds and share your screen and do split screens. So if you want to get a little bit more technically savvy– and you can do a lot of the same on Facebook Live with BeLive.tv as well with lower thirds and sharing screens and things like that.
So you just need to decide, what do you want that show to look like at the end? Do you want it to look as much like a traditional TV show as possible? Or is it simply, “Hey, I can get away with just pulling up Zoom and recording a Zoom video and then doing a little bit of editing afterwards?”
And most of the really fancy TV whiz bang stuff is done after the fact anyway so. That’s why a lot of people like Facebook Live because it doesn’t typically involve a lot of editing. It’s just do it on the fly and you’re done.
Josh: So, Lou, we’re pretty much out of time and I know you’ve got some really great programs. Can you tell us about a couple of them?
Lou: Sure. I do everything from– I’ve actually started to do some video editing again which I haven’t done for a while. But, again, it’s like, “Well, what do the clients need most?” And in some cases, if they’re not doing live video, they may want video editing. So I do a video of the month club or I’ll do videos for folks and give them a new video every month. And sometimes, I’ll just do– like I have products and services, if somebody wants to learn how to use Facebook Live or YouTube or things like that. So I’ve got tons of courses and also coaching and services. All of which can be found at LouBortone.com.
Josh: Cool. So that’s B-O-R-T-O-N-E.com?
Josh: Great. And as Lou mentioned, in the beginning, today is book launch day for me. I have been working on this parable which is called Sustainable: A Fable About Creating a Personally and Economically Sustainable Business. It’s really easy to get. All you have to do is go to SustainableTheBook.com. That’s SustainableTheBook.com and you’re going to see this big, orange button on the front of the home page that says, “Buy the book”. Click and you’ll get a special deal on the book. And we also have some special bonuses that go along with that. I wrote a 50-page how-to that goes with the fable and you get that. And if you sign up and get the book offer website, I’ll also give you a free 20-minute coaching call.
So go to SustainableTheBook.com. Buy it. Sign up for a coaching call and we’ll have some fun.
This is Josh Patrick. You’re at the Sustainable Business. Thanks a lot for stopping by today. I hope to see you back here really soon.
Narrator: You’ve been listening to The Sustainable Business podcast where we ask the question, “What would it take for your business to still be around 100 years from now?” If you like what you’ve heard and want more information, please contact Josh Patrick at 802-846-1264 ext 2, or visit us on our website at www.askjoshpatrick.com, or you can send Josh an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for listening. We hope to see you at The Sustainable Business in the near future.