I’m an avid DIYer. In the beginning, I’d try to perfect every aspect of a DIY project, turning simple into complex. For instance, I set out to make a birdhouse and ended up making the equivalent of a deluxe bird mansion.
Jest aside, as I gained experience with all these projects I came to the realization that investing more time doesn’t always improve the result.
The same is true for personalized video—when that red recording light comes on, I find myself reaching for perfection. For example, when I fumble a word or a co-worker distracts me, I scrub that take and re-record. Everything. Must. Be. Perfect.
This hasn't been a challenge in the past because I’ve only been making a couple of videos at a time. However, it became a challenge recently under some special circumstances...
Leading up to our 10th anniversary since inception workshop1, I was recording an average of twenty videos per day. I was sending them as video email follow-ups to thank people for registering for the event. I didn't get to everyone, there were too many, but I did send almost one hundred video messages. The constant re-recording of messages was becoming a major time and energy drain.
During this process (much to my surprise) I realized these fumbles and distractions I was viewing as “mistakes” had big benefits. Let me explain.
For example, we “adopted” a feral cat. Every now and then she roams inside, but we don’t encourage it because I’m quite allergic to cats. As Murphy’s Law would have it, the cat decided to make a cameo appearance in a video I was sending to a new lead. A flush face and couple of sneezes later, I was left with a choice to (a) scrub the take or (b) run with it.
I was tired, it was nearing the end of the day, so I decided to run with it.
The next morning, you might be able to guess what happened—there in my inbox, waiting, was a reply from my lead...
...they were explaining how it was great to put a face to the name and how much they loved the video. Later that day, the cat cameo became an easy and amusing opener for our phone conversation as well!
This experience lead me to create two best practices that are fundamental to success (and your sanity), when it comes to creating personalized videos:
In a face-to-face or phone conversation, who doesn’t trip over a word here or there! So when I record a video, I’ve trained myself not let a small mistake become an excuse to stop and do another take, or worse, to not send a video at all. Instead, I chuckle, correct myself, and continue.
Phones ringing, dogs barking, card horns beeping, co-workers being noisy in the background... Distractions are unavoidable, and as they say, “The show must go on!” I’ve learned to embrace (most) distractions, recomposing myself while the camera is rolling—sometimes even incorporating them into my message.
So, if you fumble, don’t stop; and if you get distracted, keep going!
Personalized video is equivalent to a regular email; professional video is equivalent to a technical white paper. Each medium has a different purpose and expectations associated with it.
Personalized video isn’t supposed to be perfect. In fact, this aspiration is counter-productive on two fronts: you end up wasting precious time and missing great opportunities to create a connection with your clients.
Enjoy the big benefits of being able to record videos faster while adding that all-important ingredient: authenticity.
Wholeheartedly immerse yourself in this process, and the results will come.
What fumble or distractions have your recorded through? How did your lead (or client) respond after watching the video?
Reed is the Champion of Client Success. He has diverse skills set spanning sales, marketing and finance. Reed's a go-getter in every sense of the word who motivates and inspires, but he's not afraid to hold people accountable to help them get results. When he's not working, Reed can be found in his shop tinkering and tweaking with everything from computers to his motorcycles and race car.
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