My first introduction to visual storytelling was when I was a kid. One of my favorite memories was sitting with Roland, who was like a grandfather to me and listening to his crazy stories. With great ease, he would spin these wild tales of adventure while I listened completely transfixed, envisioning the entire adventure.
Wildly enough, not all of his stories were fiction, which is probably part of the reason why he could spin such a great story. When he was a forest ranger, he caught a rattlesnake with his bare hands that had escaped into a crowd of people. He also saved the life of a Marine from drowning during a pool training session. Roland had a way with words that allowed me to “see the story”.
What Does Roland Have to Do with Video?
Let’s try a thought exercise. Think about the last time you were truly transfixed by something or someone. Who was your Roland? What was it that got your attention? What pulled you in and made you want to watch more?
I just finished binge-watching Netflix’s Drive to Survive. It is one of my favorite shows because it tells the wild story behind the 2021 F1 Season and the technical, logistical, and human challenges of the sport. A friend of mine raved about a series on Amazon, “Reacher” couldn’t stop watching – why because it was loaded with twists and turns, new questions that had to be answered.
“Yeah. OK, those are cool stories…But what does that have to do with my business and making a video?”
Ending the Video Marketing “Disconnect” with True Visual Storytelling
When people are planning out videos, they often have a disconnect between how people connect with stories and how you market with video. I regularly talk to people who have this idea of how they’re going to bring video into their business. They’re excited about moving their business forward and then they proceed to tell me the most boring list of information possible.
“Ok I don’t race cars, catch rattlesnakes, or have lots of twists & turns what am I supposed to do?”
Yep…You sell widgets that move the whatchamacallits and have a tolerance of .0001” and it functions in this medical device that no one has heard of and you’re selling in bulk to a guy that is buying on price.
Or maybe you sell concrete, shingles, or truckloads of sawdust…. How does the storytelling idea apply to your business which has no drama and isn’t sexy? The first thing to remember is that sawdust may be boring to the average guy, but your prospective client is already going to have some kind of love for that sawdust so we’ll connect with that.
Start with Feeling.
To quote Stephen Covey “Begin with the end in mind”.
· How does your product or service solve the problem of the buyer or end-user?
· How does it make the end-user feel?
· How does your excellence in customer service make life easier for the purchasing agent who is only buying on price?
You make a good story when you emotionally connect with a need of your client. When you are creating your video, you don’t have to spend a long monologue talking about how awesome you are or the building you built in 1982. Spend as much time in your video talking about how you can make life easier for the buyer.
Answer the Question
Your potential clients have lots of questions and in today’s market, they are probably getting those questions answered online before they even talk to you. They are making value judgments on your business before they even meet you. Are you going to be there for them or are they going to find another resource?
Stories in movies always answer the question, “Does he get the girl?” “Who wins the race?” “How do they escape the dragon?”
Your clients might be asking questions like, “How long is the delivery process?” “What type of material are you using?” “How do I make my first order? Excellent visual storytelling will get you the client!
These questions are essential to the customer experience. The more convenient and accessible the answers are the more likely the client will come to you for the product.
Good Visual Storytelling is Quick and to the Point
Since you don’t have a beautiful damsel in distress and you’re probably not Crocodile Dundee, keep your videos short and to the point.
You need to ask, “What do my prospects need to know?” Then give that information in the most succinct and accurate way possible. Here is the cool thing about video storytelling: You can quickly answer questions and you only have to do it once! Your video can be played repeatedly and answer that one question you get asked daily without eating up your time.
This is convenient for you and for your client. You never want a “story” to go on longer than it should. The power of a good story is that it tells you just enough information to make you want more.
Ideas for Visual Storytelling Videos That Can Empower Your Business and Engage Your Client
1. Client testimonials – When a client can see how you solved a problem for someone else, they are more likely to believe that you can solve their problems.
2. FAQ – These are great tools for your sales team and can be great lead generators as potential clients begin to see you as the one with the answers.
3. About Us – “Wait, I thought you said don’t talk about myself.” Yes, I did. The goal with an “about us” video is to only talk about how dedicated you are to solving a client’s problem.
4. Project videos – These videos show projects you have completed so your prospective clients can see your excellent work. You want as many of these as possible to relate to as many people, locations, and groups as possible. These can be professionally shot or something that you and your team gather with your cellphones.
Ok…Let’s start telling your story in a visual way. As you are brainstorming your story check out this quote from the book “The Visual Sale”, “More than 80% of the buyer’s journey now happens online in a self-service fashion, before they even think about contacting a vendor directly or speaking with someone in sales.”
Happy Visual Storytelling!