Originally published on Advisor Perspectives August 8, 2017
When I started my coaching practice, my focus was on converting prospects into clients. That’s where I believed most advisors could use help. Recently, however, advisors have asked for assistance in generating more leads.
Let’s take a look at video, which should be a critical part of your marketing plan.
The data supporting the use of video is overwhelming. YouTube receives over one billion unique visitors every month. According to Forrester Research’s Dr. James McQuivey, “a minute of video is worth 1.8 million words.”
While this assessment strikes me as overblown, there’s no doubt that video has an enormous impact. Its usage is growing exponentially. Surveys confirm it has a positive impact on marketing results.
Why advisors need video
It’s entirely appropriate for you to note on your website that you are fiduciary to your clients, have no conflicts of interest, sell no products and are transparent about fees. But that’s not what differentiates you, since many advisors do the same. Here’s what does.
You. You are the only firm where an investor can retain you.
Video is the ideal medium for showing who you are and how you really are “different.”
Don’t assume any video is better than no video. Unless you’re prepared to invest in first class video, don’t pursue it.
Your video needs to be professionally produced and written. Production is the easy part, but it’s often overlooked. Almost every city has a studio with high-end equipment (including cameras, lighting and audio), which you can rent fairly inexpensively.
Conceptualizing your video content is another story.
A central tenet of The Solin Process℠ is that prospects hire advisors they like and trust. When I’m asked to consult on video projects, the first question I ask is: “Does your existing video evoke those feelings?” The answer is rarely “yes.”
A 3-5 minute video of you in front of a green screen, reading from a teleprompter, and talking about investing issues, doesn’t create an emotional connection with the viewer.
Here’s what’s far more effective. Using humor, maybe animation, making only one point, and sharing something with the viewer that shows you are a sensitive, kind, caring, intelligent and thoughtful person. That’s the standard your video project needs to meet.
There’s a lot of data on the ideal length of videos. Shorter is better. Almost 50% more people will watch a one-minute video to its conclusion than a two-minute video.
When I did the videos for my YouTube channel, my goal was to keep them under one minute each. Why fight the data?
Massive numbers of unique views and subscribers are great, but it’s probably not attainable with the kind of videos you will be doing. Social media consultants promise many views. Here’s what they don’t tell you. If you’re willing to pay for YouTube ads, you can increase viewership of almost any video.
I did this myself, with my investing videos. When I paid $500 a month to YouTube, we generated over 10,000 views for a designated video. When I didn’t, viewership went down to 100-200 views.
But the metrics are very misleading. I didn’t see a spike in subscribers commensurate with the increase in viewers, so I stopped advertising and my subscriber numbers continued to grow organically.
But here’s the most interesting thing I learned: The number of subscribers and viewers you have may not have any relationship to the amount of business you generate from your videos. I have 472 subscribers. Yet the number of inquiries I’ve received for speaking engagements all over the world and coaching requests (including requests to consult on video projects) has more than doubled in my practice since I started posting videos.
If you are going to join the video bandwagon, do it the right way.