Use web video to introduce yourself, show off your business to attract customers

October 14, 2009

Video is for national brands with budgets big enough to buy network television time. Right?

Jeff Zaret videoWell, sure, but it’s also for your local business. It’s affordable and a compelling way to introduce yourself and your business to customers online. Companies like Schmidt Heating and Cooling in Cincinnati smartly use video on its web site and in its Yellow Pages advertising as a virtual way to shake hands and say hello. Minuteman Press of Lebanon (Ohio) created a television commercial and also posted a version on Google Video to quickly demonstrate all of its services and equipment. The Cincinnati Museum Center announced winners of contest with video on its Facebook Fan Page. And Jeff Zaret, VP of sales at National Processing Solutions in Centerville, Ohio, shares tips not about his company’s credit card processing but instead about ways to improve your customer service. He posted a series of three videos on YouTube.

Each of these approaches is different but they have this in common — their image and sound quality is professional. These are good-looking videos that send a clear message about each of the businesses. So I asked a pro how businesses can get this quality and how they should consider using video to connect with customers. Here’s what Mike Cornett, owner of Visual Media Concepts in Dayton, had to say: Read the rest of this entry »

3 ways to write about your business

May 23, 2009
1038121_76724335People who are really smart about how to make money by selling insurance, investments, real estate or running a restaurant all say the same thing: “I don’t know what to write about my business. I don’t know what to say.”

As a result, you don’t know what to make of Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook, blogs and the rest of the booming social media and online communications tools.

You gotta be kidding, right? You’re the experts and the rest of us want to know more about what you’ve already figured out. So there’s opportunity for you to share some of your knowledge. There’s also a big opportunity for you to share some of yourself by joining online conversations and groups and getting to know people.

That’s what social networking is all about. And conversations online are in so many ways no different that conversations you have in person — if you approach them in these three ways:
Read the rest of this entry »

Shiny new thing or old-fashioned networking?

May 9, 2009

1009935_25003389You’re thinking that turning to the latest and hotest social media and online communications tools will increase sales and get your business moving again. Nothing wrong with that idea and lots of people will tell you that’s just the thing to do.

Heck, I’m one of those people. But simply setting up on Facebook or Linkedin or Twitter without a clear purpose in mind and a commitment of your valuable business time to follow through is not going to increase anything — except for your frustration with the folks who sold you on the whole social media idea in the first place.

The purpose and how much of a commitment, of course, are up to you. You know what you want to accomplish for your business or community group. But your purpose for using social media also has to include meeting people, getting to know them and building and keeping relationships with them. It’s business development and no different from attending a chamber of commerce event, or lunching with a customer, or any of the other ways you use to say hello and stay in touch. Read the rest of this entry »

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