Videos: A Good Strategy to Promote Your Business

I am always on the lookout for new business ideas. And fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it), I am a "yes" person. What I mean by that is that if someone suggests doing something and it sounds like fun to me, I automatically say an enthusiastic "YES!" Don't get me wrong, I do have boundaries and don't do things I don't want to do - unless I absolutely have to, like doing laundry or cooking. As you guessed, I'm not a very domestic person!

I have made some bad business decisions in the past. The biggest one was when I tried flipping houses. Let me correct myself - not houses - house (singular). I thought I was being very cautious and that the worst case scenario would be that I would at least break even. Um, no. I lost a lot of money on it. So, I don't always have the best track record with my entrepreneurial escapades. But sometimes I do.

One thing I have discovered about myself is that I should stick to what I know and what I'm good at doing. And no, it's not flipping houses (I should have known that, but sometimes we have to learn the hard way!). What I am good is (1) teaching (2) writing, and (3) being on TV & in videos. Luckily, I do all three of these! But I'm going to start doing it even more.

It all started several months ago when a publicist contacted me so he could write a story about me for his online publication. Since he was local, we met in person so he could interview me. As time went on, we became friends. After a while, he suggested that we start an online TV show and publication (also with articles). Since I have been a recurring expert on the TV show Living Dayton for over four years now, I knew that I love doing TV. So the thought of doing my own show was something that I immediately said "YES" to! As a result, Live Laugh Learn TV is going to debut soon.

Another new project I have going on also involves video. My friend Tracy and I have been friends for 16 years, and we are both single moms. Recently, she started writing about single motherhood, and then she asked me to join her in a new venture that will connect single mothers online. Not only did that idea sound good, her main driving idea behind it was - you guessed it - doing more videos! So of course, I quickly said "YES" to her as well. That website will debut sometime in the next couple of months too.

But as much as I love doing video, neither me, Tracy, nor Jeff were good at producing or editing videos. Luckily, Jeff has a lot of connections, so he found a video company that would do Live Laugh Learn TV for a trade. But Tracy wanted to do a more self-made homey videos. So she bought a camcorder for us to use. However, we needed to do some research about how best to use it for our business. We discovered that not only are there very specific tips for how to use a camcorder properly, but also we learned that lighting can make or break a video.

If you are business owner, or thinking about becoming one, you might want to think about doing your own videos too. There are many different ways you can use the videos to promote your business if you do it right. For example, you can demonstrate a product, bring testimonials to your prospective customers, introduce yourself/your staff, or give a tour of your office.

As for me, the reason we are incorporating videos into our new websites is because people love videos. Obviously, the explosion of Youtube's popularity over the last decade proves that. But we are also doing it because of what is called the "parasocial interaction" phenomenon. That is where the audience keeps watching because they feel emotionally connected to the person in the video (or TV show). For example, one of the reasons The Oprah Winfrey Show was so popular is because people really liked Oprah herself. They felt like they "knew" her and that she was kind of like a friend to them. That's what my business partners and I are striving to achieve. And so can any business. Putting a personality to a company via video is very helpful.

I am by no means an expert at creating or marketing videos. But I do know enough about it to know how beneficial they can be to businesses - not only from my own research, but also because of my background in studying and teaching mass communication. So why not think about giving it a try? Even if you don't have a business but there's something else you want to promote, video can be very fun and effective!