Using Video To Build Trust In Sales With Michael Connell
Video has played a more or less visible role in business and sales in the past decade or so, but never has there been a year when it was more dominant than it is in 2020. As we move forward into 2021 and beyond, video is going to take a different and most likely bigger role in any business. In this socially-distanced yet hyper-connected reality we are living in right now, video quite literally gives your business a face in a way none of the other media can, accelerating the process of building trust with prospective clients. In this episode, Chad Burmeister discusses this topic with Mike Connell, Founder and CEO of KC Visuals, who also shares some tips in which you can improve your online video content
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Using Video To Build Trust In Sales With Michael Connell
I've got a visual expert here who does a lot with videos. Michael Connell is with us. He's been the Founder and CEO of his company, KC Visuals, for many years. If you're looking for experience in video and audio, we were talking before the session about some of the latest and greatest technologies and we're going to drill into some of that. Michael, welcome to the show.
Thank you, Chad.
It's great to have you here. You're in a Massachusetts area. Let's talk about video and artificial intelligence. Anything goes in this session. Let's start with the past several years and then we can chunk it into what's happened during the pandemic because you and I talked a little bit about the obviously trade shows and events to a halt. What does that mean? Tell us at a higher level, if we go to a 30,000-foot view, what have you seen in the use of video? How has it changed over the last couple of decades?
It's been remarkable to see what transformation the whole industry has gone through. It boils down to the technology. The technology has gotten smaller, cheaper or less expensive, whatever word you want to use. It's made it available to so many more people. When I started out, the cameras were gigantic. Recorders were even bigger and heavier and you had to have multiple people to move around to do video production. Now, you can do with a cell phone, ten times the quality of the video. You will be getting hundreds of thousands of dollars back in the day. The storytelling techniques are probably pretty similar but video, as you know because of the internet is far more prevalent. Now, 90% of all communications is video-based. If you're not doing video, you’ve got to get there somehow.
With the capture mechanism, as well as the distribution because you can go upload it to Vimeo and YouTube. It's there and it can be published out to millions of viewers.
It's instantaneous. You could go live with your phone and it's going live on whatever platforms. You are sending it to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and so forth and then it's recorded for you. Now, you have permanent recording right online that people can access in multiple locations at the same time. We used to have to send out videotapes. That would involve recording the tapes, packaging them up and mailing them out. It was a huge process compared to what you do now.
Let's talk 2019 versus 2020. It’s night and day. What's changed for your business and what are you seeing is changing with your customer's businesses?
It's a Zoom world. Zoom has risen in the ranks. Their name is everywhere. They had some growing pains early on with the security issues, but people are so used to Zoom now. Some people are even Zoom-fatigued at this point from doing too much of it all day. It's also become an avenue for production. You can record all this stuff as you know and create programming from it. I do a program called BMAD! Spotlight, which is Boston Making a Difference Spotlight where we interview people that are in our group and it gives them some exposure. People can meet various members of our group regularly on video. It's a matter of two people on a laptop or a computer talking and you record it and you've got a production. You can do interviews and testimonials. You can do presentations included in it. You can roll videos in. It's almost like having a nice little TV production facility at your fingertips.
I've got a green screen in the background. I use this nice little circular light to make sure that my virtual office isn't flickering.
I crack up that people do virtual backgrounds with no green screen. When they move about, it looks like they're disappearing and flying.
Their hands can mold into the background. I saw someone whose eyes were see-through and he had a green screen, but it was only taking up about 1/8 of the background.
With the old days, it used to be a blue screen but then because many people had blue eyes, they had that problem on-air with people, with blue eyes. All of a sudden, you can see right through them so they changed over to green. They found that the best color.
I didn't know that was the cause and effect on that one. There are two things to point out. These are the types of recordings that I'll do and Twitter showcases them better. To your point, I'm meeting with a videographer like Michael. He'll capture this conversation with a green screen background and then using technology as well as some manual intervention. He'll come up with the tagline and then when you push play, it'll convert the voice into text. These become amazing tidbits for our audience. This gets posted out to LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, all the areas and then you can boost the posts. This one only has one like, so that might not be one I want to boost, but there's some that will get organic 50 likes and 20 shares and then you can go boost that.
I do videos for a guy that's a VP of a high-tech company here in New England. He puts them on his LinkedIn timeline and he gets thousands of views on his stuff organically. He doesn't even boost them.
I learned this was my very first Instagram text over. It took me probably an hour and a half to write and to fumble around on my thumbs on the app. This woman, Katie, at the end of her presentation up in the mountains I said, "Can you do a demo of what you shared with us for the last hour?" She gets on the camera. She walks around the living room and typed in all the text over the top. It was amazing. I tried to duplicate that. “Life can be stressful even under normal circumstances. 2020 is challenged even the most difficult times of life. You need stress relief that goes beyond quick fixes that's Headspace. Headspace is one of the only meditation apps advancing the field of mindfulness and meditation to clinically validate research and can reduce stress, improve sleep, boost focus, and increase your overall sense of wellbeing. Go to Headspace.com/csuite for a free one-month trial." The point is video is accessible. To me, trying to learn all this on your own as an executive could be time-consuming and difficult.
My website is KCVisualsUnlimited.com.
If you go to KC Visuals Unlimited, you'll see that you'll land on this page. This is how you can get a hold of Mike. There are several video examples of some of the types of work that Mike has done over the years or it looks like these are fresh.
That's the virtual card that I used. My website got hacked, so I redirected it for now. Now that I’ve got my free lifetime membership for GrooveFunnels, I'll be creating a new website soon.
Michael showed me this before we kicked off, GrooveFunnels get started free now, which is amazing. He said StreamYard is another approach to being able to record video. What should companies or brands like myself be thinking about heading into 2021?
At this point, with the pandemic, it's hard to say where we're going to be, but it's safe to say that many people have learned that doing things online can be better for them. It saves a lot of time, travel and other expenses. The one thing you want to do is look at what you're doing online and improve the quality of it. There are so many things you could do simply too. Many people get on Zoom and they sit by a window and they look like a silhouette. There are simple little lighting techniques you can do. You want to tell people, "Fill the frame. Don't leave all that empty space around. Get up close. If you don't have a microphone, the closer you are to your laptop or phone, the better you'll sound do it in a quiet area where background noise isn't affecting you." You can do a lot of things to improve the quality of how you look and record it if you can. It's always marketing material that you can get, that you could chop up. You can take one program and get dozens of videos out of it that you could use for your marketing.
To me, that was the biggest lesson learned. Let's fill the frame while we're at it. I'm on a desk. I could pull the laptop closer. Would that be your recommendation?
Tilt it down just a little bit, that way it eliminates the headroom and you fill the frame. We want to see more of you than we want to see the background. Avoid distracting backgrounds. Using a green screen is a great idea because you could then put in whatever background you want. You can pick up a green piece of linen, cardboard or whatever and drape it behind you. Put a light on and you've got a green screen and then you could use any of the virtual backgrounds available in Zoom, or import your own pictures that you like and create a great background and have a good mic. I could see you have the podcasters bike, which is what I use as well. It was $150 and you get a nice quality sound. Those are the things you could do inexpensively and boost your production quality 100% right away.
It's an online world. Be innovative and find ways to take your product or service online.
I like your point about the annoying ones. I've seen this one out there and I'm like, "Now, you make me want to go to the beach. Forget that." This one was the funny one, right at the beginning of COVID. I used this.
I did a video on TP. I called them the TP Zombies and I had zombies going into the supermarket to take all the TP.
I have my skiing picture. This was from February 2020. I'm looking forward to that again. The other one was when we did this executive retreat, three levels and there were six bunk beds in two rooms and this is a skier’s paradise.
You break all the COVID rules. Don't tell anyone.
I'd push this out a few months from now. This is exciting. What you're doing in the video is important. For other people who are doing video, you've had to go through a pivot. I'll share a story. There's a company called D’Artagnan and they sell food. They're out of the East Coast. They do $152 million in 2019. With COVID, New York City, Massachusetts, all of their major markets went down to nearly nothing, 20% of year over year sales. They lost 80% like that but they pivoted to where now they're still going to do $150 million this year because they put an eCommerce plan together and now they sell everything direct.
When we were on the call with the president, we said, "What are you going to do post-pandemic? Are you guys just going to shut down the eCommerce model that you built as a result of it?" She's like, "Nope." They're going to be picking up growth because of the pandemic. Are there any words of wisdom? You've done this for many years. You’ve seen 2007. I'm sure you saw the dot-com bubble that hit everybody.
I've got some serious pain myself through that.
You’ve got to be resilient. What resilient ideas would you share with the audience?
It's an online world. Rather than fight it, join it or learn it, if it's not yourself, have somebody in your organization learn it. Get there, be innovative and find ways to take your product or service to the online world. There are some people that don't need to. They are brick and mortar and will stay brick and mortar. Thank God, for a lot of restaurants that had the capability of doing takeout. People could drive up and have a masked man run out with food and hand you the food. A lot of restaurants couldn't do that. You certainly can't eat over the internet yet. Someday that'll be here. I know it will be.
You could probably touch the screen, something will be materializing and you'll have the dinner right in your hand. If you could think of it, you can do it. That's the way you can go with technology. I swear to God, there's going to be time soon that you can have a little chip in your finger and you're going to draw out little windows right in front of you. You're going to have a hologram and talk to people right in thin air. You say they're far-fetch, but it's not. It's all electricity and energy in the air anyway. They'll find a way to do it.
I don't disagree. If you think about it, talking on the telephone, out in the middle of the wilderness, how does that travel through the air? It's not hard to imagine being able to do the same thing digitally.
Marconi was the guy who invented the radio. He said, "We can take messages and send them across the airway." They wanted to put him in a nuthouse that they thought he was crazy. He then created the radio. They were all like, “Huh?”
If you guys want to get ahold of Michael, his email is Michael@KCVisualsUnlimited.com. What's the KC stand for?
I used to have a partner, Paul Kelly, when I started out. It was Kelly and Cornell. He retired some years back and I've been going on myself. I kept the name because we've branded it that way. I've got to do a little bit of rebranding soon, but still keep the KC, but I'm going to shorten it to KC Visuals. We’re going to put a new website together using our great new GrooveFunnels. If anyone's interested in GrooveFunnels, let me know. It's got a great affiliate program too. I'd be happy to talk to you about that.
Thank you for sharing with the audience. I've adjusted my camera so now I know the proper position. After doing this for a few years on Zoom videos, I was doing some audio on GarageBand and I saw on a YouTube training video that when you hold it right here, the sound is so much different than when I used to have it. Play around with the audio because it turns out when you see people have the mic right in front of their mouth, it's for a reason. It's not just to look cool.
Some people bring the microphone right into the picture and that's all a matter of taste and how you like to look. The best quality is right in front of you because it is a directional microphone that's designed to pick up your voice. If you're doing just audio, you definitely want to have it right up close and get the highest quality you can. If you ever watch singers, they have the microphone look like they going to eat it. They want to blow you out with what they're singing.
Thank you, Michael, for joining the show. We appreciate your time and good luck in the rest of the pivot. I'm sure GrooveFunnels is going to be an interesting technology. For now, we'll catch you next time.