I was on vacation recently with my family. My spouse, who receives alerts for payments into one of our businesses noted during our trip that sales had slowed for one client. This client and I have a revenue-sharing arrangement rather than fee for service. So I can see, online, at any time, what income has come in (so can my spouse, on his phone.) During our trip, of course, I wasn’t on my laptop blogging or creating videos for my client, and my husband – who is completely disassociated from this business – noted right away that business was not as active. In fact, sales were down. Way down.
What happened? Or should I say what didn’thappen! In short, our weekly live broadcast on social media, our weekly e-mails to our customer base – these weren’t happening when the client and I were (both) on vacation. We had some backup at her office – a longtime staffer was manning the store, but as it turns out, she didn’t have a ton to man in our absence.
I returned from vacation and on Tuesday, two days after I returned, sales picked up appreciably. What happened? I created live social video content!
All of a sudden, the faucet of passive income, which had slowed, picked back up. You can make this happen for your business too.
- Social media (particularly video) is a relationship building tactic. Think of yourself as a retailer in the 1960s. You’re not an e-commerce entrepreneur, you’re a shopkeeper. Your customers walk by, you say “Hi!” They come in, you ask about them and their day. Your relationship with your customers online is the only one they have. If you have a brick and mortar store but want to branch out – your online presence IS your store for anyone not in your community.
- Social video is a social interaction opportunity. While on vacation I also met up with a CUSTOMER who happens to test out products for us from time to time. I got off the highway in the middle of central California and drove to her house to meet her (my lovely family in tow.)
- It gooses sales. Truly. Notably.
You could post on Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram or send e-mail and never get any direct feedback. Maybe a few likes and clicks. But if you engage your audience with video and engage them while you’re on it, you’ll build up a relationship with them that is powerful. People do business with people they like. They love your products and your brand, and they feel loyal to you when they develop a relationship with you online.
Is Vlogging (video blogging) the same? Nope. It’s one sided. Your-sided. To get this kind of relationship-based reciprocity, you need a way to interact, and right now, social media video is where you need to be. If you’re not doing it, you’re missing out to competitors who are doing it.
What do you need to get started?
Fortunately, the barriers to entry are pretty low. You’ll need a smartphone, a tripod and a phone mount, with an optional microphone (although highly recommended, and inexpensive for a corded one.) Check out our guide to video in our Video Rocks learn to use live video guide to learn what our setup is and how we do it for our clients.
Video allows you to transcend the impersonality of an online relationship and bring it to a class of trust and connection. I get to know the people that buy from our clients because I see their names on our orders, and then again on our videos (and on orders, then on video…) I call them out by name on the video “Hey, Marcy, it’s great to see that you’re on today with us!”
Topic Suggestions for video content:
- Any business promotions you’re currently running
- New products/services you’re offering
- Question and Answer session (you can solicit questions via social media in advance)
- Showcase current products
- Give advice to others looking to start a business like yours
- Interview a client or someone in the industry such as a vendor of products
- How-to videos and blog content
- Unboxing new products for sale
Be creative and make it fun! The best impact from a small investment of your time on live social media video is the boost in sales it will bring. Go ahead, try it!