Video Testimonials go Mainstream

For about 6 months now, I’ve been encouraging my clients to include video testimonials on their blogs/web sites, not only because it’s a powerful marketing tool, but also because of the "wow" factor.  After all, while streaming video is nothing new, the You Tube revolution has made adding video to any blog or web site as easy as adding a link!

Now, marketing genius Ken McCarty is advising his readers to look into Video Testimonials:

About 80% of consumers put more faith in advertisers who present customer reviews than those that don’t.  Over thee out of four customers say it is extremely or very important to read customer reviews before making a purchase.

And not just any old reviews. They want customer reviews and prefer them 6 to 1 over "expert" reviews. 44% of online shoppers say that consumer ratings and reviews are the most useful e-commerce  feature.  No other eCommerce shopping feature came even close.

I’ve talked often with my clients about the power of testimonials.  I’ve even included a lot of testimonial gathering tactics in my book Beyond the Niche.  However, when it comes to a selling tool that carries the POWER of a testimonial, well… it shouldn’t surprise ANYONE that some people will actually create FRAUDULENT testimonials and place them on a web site. As a matter of fact, testimonials are so powerful, (and their power is definitely "decreased" by fraudulen tuse) that  there’s even a company that offers the service of AUTHENTICATING your written testimonials on your web site.

Which is why I encourage MY clients to feature VIDEO testimonials on their blog/web site.  Video testimonials are much tougher to "fake" than written testimonials.  Simeon Pollock’s Wholistic Blog features a collection of video testimonials.  Take a look at them and ask yourself, isn’t this more powerful than words appearing on a page?

What do women really want?

A young King was ambushed and imprisoned by the monarch of a  neighboring kingdom. The monarch could have killed him but was moved by the youthful king’s morals and ideals. So, the monarch offered him his freedom, as long  as he could answer a very difficult question. The young King would have a year to  figure out the answer and, if after a year, he still had no answer, he would  be put to death.

The question?….What do women really want?

angrycow.jpgSuch a question would perplex  even the most knowledgeable man, and to the young King , it seemed an impossible query. But, since it was better than death, he accepted the
monarch’s proposition to have an answer by year’s end.

The young King returned to his kingdom and began to poll everyone: the princess, the priests, the wise men and even the court jester. He spoke with everyone, but  no one could give him a satisfactory answer.

Many people advised him to consult the old witch, for only she would have the answer.  But the price would be high; as the witch was famous throughout the kingdom for the exorbitant prices she charged.

The last day of the year arrived and Arthur had no choice but to talk to the  witch. She agreed to answer the question, but he would have to agree to her
price first.  The old witch wanted to marry the young King’s most noble knight and the young King’s closest friend!

The young King was horrified. She was hunchbacked and hideous, had only one  tooth, smelled like sewage, made obscene noises, etc. He had never  encountered such a repugnant creature in all his life and he refused to force his friend to marry her and endure such a terrible burden.   But the knight learning of the proposal, spoke with the young King.  He told his friend that nothing was too big of a sacrifice compared to his friend’s life and the preservation of the monarchy.

Hence, a wedding was proclaimed and the witch answered the young King question thus:

What a woman really wants, she answered….is to be in charge of her own  life
.

Everyone in the kingdom instantly knew that the witch had uttered a great  truth and that the young King life would be spared.

And so it was, the neighboring monarch granted the young King his freedom.  The young King’s best knight and the witch had a wonderful wedding.

The honeymoon hour approached and the young King’s best knight began steeling himself for a horrific experience.  He hestitantly entered the bedroom, but, was amazed at the sight awaited him. The most  beautiful woman he had ever seen, lay before him on the bed. The astounded knight asked what had happened.

The beauty replied that since he had been so kind to her when she appeared as a witch, she would henceforth, be her horrible deformed self only half
the time and the beautiful maiden the other half.

Which would he prefer? Beautiful during the day….or night?

The young King’s best knight pondered the predicament. During the day, a beautiful woman to show  off to his friends, but at night, in the privacy of his castle, an old
witch? Or, would he prefer having a hideous witch during the day, but by  night, a beautiful woman for him to enjoy wondrous, intimate moments?

The young King’s best knight,  knowing the answer the witch gave the young king to his question, said that he would allow HER to make the choice herself. Upon hearing this, she announced that she would be beautiful all the time because he had respected her enough to let her be in charge of her own life.

Now….what is the moral to this story?

The moral is….. If you don’t let a woman have her own way….  Things are going to get ugly

Two types of business bloggers

There are two types of business bloggers… those who are posting to their blog with the intent on establishing credibility with potential clients and colleagues and those who are hoping to "break into" the top 50,000 weblogs who, according to University of Texas, Dallas in a study sponsored by Chitika , earn in excess of $500 Million a year!  (Click here to read why Dave Taylor thinks that number is actually low!)

shutterstock_154410.jpgBLOGGING AS YOUR BUSINESS.

The "blogging as your business model" tool seems to be the newfound darling of the "get rich quick from home while you do nothing but cash the checks" crowd.  While blogging is old news, it’s recently been vaulted into the spotlight and embraced by those who want to earn huge checks with a minimal investment of time and energy.  Unfortunately, blogging offers neither.

The "top" blogs are usually the work of more than one person.  Micheal Arrington’s Tech Crunch (which earns a reported $200K per month) maintains that blog using a staff of 10.  That’s right, it takes TEN people to maintain the Tech Crunch blogging enterprise.

Which is something most people don’t realize:  It (usually) takes a village to create a mega-blog!  Blogging is time consuming.  Not only do you have to write, but you have to research as well.  Maintaining the level and pace of the mega blogs usually requires more than a single individual can provide.

I’ve seen more than one "farewell" blog post where the author decides that it’s JUST too much to keep up the pace on the road to the Technorati hot 100. 

BLOGGING AS A BUSINESS COMMUNICATION TOOL:

There are, bless their hearts, business owners who recognize that blogging is a GREAT business communication tool. These business bloggers who are using their blog to communicate with their customers.  They are posting regularly because they understand the importance of communication with their potential customers.  Those whose strong suit isn’t writing are using other means of communication to communicate and they’re using their blog as a tool to deliver these alternative means of communication.  Whether it’s via the written word, audio or video, these business owners understand that communication is the key to building business relationships.

Not only do these brave souls find that they are connecting with potential clients through their blog, but they’re also recognizing the "path" they need to take in building their business. 

I have one client who discovered her "niche’ through blogging.  When she began the process, she "thought" she was a career coach.  However, when she signed up for a blog and tried to get blogging on the subject of career coaching, she struggled to the point where she couldn’t create an ABOUT US page. 

I began working with her one on one and it turns out her real passion is not career coaching, but instead providing SUPPORT FOR DIVORCED WOMAN OVER 50!  Now THAT is a niche market, one which she is a PIONEER!  It’s SO exciting to watch her business "bloom".  The blog has not only provided her with the direction for her business, it’s also an INCREDIBLY effective tool to reach women over 50 who are trying to find a new life after divorce. 

These business bloggers recognize that there is a signficant investment required to achieve success.  Blogging does not require a significant investment of CASH but it does require a significant investment of time and energy.   However, the payoff is not in the form of "passive" income but rather in increased business opportunities in the form of

  • new clients/customers
  • new collaborators
  • speaking engagements
  • prestige amongst peers

Oops… there is a third category and that is blogging amongst the "employed".  Yes, even those who are "traditionally" employed (a.k.a. have a "real" job with vacations and benefits) are finding value in blogging.  Some savvy career builders are using their blog as a virtual resume to highlight their strengths and accomplishments.  In addition, their blog is serving to help them make connections, land speaking gigs and establishing themselves as a thought leader amongst their peers.

 

 Whatever your business blogging goal, blogs are the wave of the future for business communications. 

Creating a “pretty” email newsletter isn’t very pretty….

The request from my client was simple:

Kathy, how do I make my email newsletter pretty?

My response….

Speaking of pretty…. this isn’t going to be.  <grin>  (Remember, my clients are VERY tech challenged….)

The key you to creating "pretty" email newsletters is known by the name H-T-M-L. Basically, you’ll have to create an HTML page on the web and then "reference" it in your newsletter. Then, when you’re creating your newsletter, you’ll have to remember to use FULL urls (Dreamweaver will assume you’re creating a web site and will make the links relative).

[Read more…]

Tightly targeting your blog helps increase it’s effectiveness

I love blogs because they are a boot strapping entrepreneur’s best friend.

For example, what do you do when you’ve got a concept that is "revolutionary" and therefore, by nature, NOT a topic of search on the internet?

That’s the quandry facing the web site "15 Minute Date". 

15minuteDate is a new concept in online matchmaking that combines the best of blind date and speed dating. Great concept, but the problem is twofold…

  1. No one is searching for the keywords "15 minute Date"
  2. Online dating is a HIGHLY competitive keyword term.

What’s an entrepreneur to do?  Launch a BLOG of course!!!  The 15 minute dating blog features True Dating Horror Stories and Tips from Real People.  Funny, engaging and provocative, blog entries like 20 things NOT to do on a first date are sure to catch the target audience’s eye.

I tell my clients over and over again that blogs act like bait…attracting readers AND journalists alike.  15MinuteDate.com is an outstanding example of this process in action.