By Jude Charles
“Why should I do business with you versus any and every other option available to me?”
That’s the No. 1 question on your customers’ minds before they ever call you or send off an inquiry email.
Never before have customers been so well-equipped to do their research and make their own choices. And there is a giant wall of skepticism up because those same customers have had nightmare experiences that they wouldn’t like to repeat.
So, what can you do differently to stand out and build trust immediately? Create a video that shares your story and demonstrates your expertise. Doing this will help you effortlessly attract your ideal customer and leapfrog ahead of your competition.
While many people want to share the same boring story about how passionate they are, it’s more convincing to demonstrate what makes you different so customers can see for themselves how passionate you are.
Storytelling Is Key
First things first, let’s understand what it means to tell a story. When you’re telling a story, you’re telling me about a very specific moment in time. If you say, “We strive for creativity, integrity and great customer service,” that isn’t a story. It’s a statement.
A story would be something like this: “It’s hard to forget that one day that changes your life forever. On May 4, 2006, a teacher recognized my talent and encouraged me to launch a video production company at 17 years old. She even went as far as handing me a yellow envelope with my first set of business cards inside. That moment gave me the courage I needed to get started.” This happens to be my story about the specific time that I became an entrepreneur.
OK, so you understand what a story is, but how do you bring a story to life using video? By creating what I call Dramatic Demonstrations. Dramatic Demonstrations give potential customers a three-dimensional view into your world as an entrepreneur.
Dramatic Demonstration 1: Capturing Behind the Scenes
Here is where you pull back the curtain on your business. Yes, you might be an extremely polished, powerful entrepreneur, but you also have unique quirks and interests that make you human. Filming “behind the scenes”of how you’re able to do what you do, all while telling your origin story, helps consumers better understand and see what makes you different.
Here’s another example: Instead of telling people how detail-oriented you are, show them a moment where you’re visiting a vendor and looking back at notes you’ve made to make sure they got the order right. At that moment, they’ve seen it for themselves. Their skepticism slowly begins to melt away.
Dramatic Demonstration 2: Creating a Live Illustration
Sometimes it’s impossible to capture behind-the-scenes moments, but there’s still a way to demonstrate the point you’re trying to make in your story using tangible objects.
Let’s go back to the example of being detail-oriented again. Recently, I was on the “A Well-Designed Business” podcast with LuAnn Nigara. She talked about having a process where she visits each client with black, blue and green pens. I asked her why. She told me the story of working with another interior design firm where a miscommunication cost her business money and delayed the project. She uses the black, blue and green pens to keep track of all changes during each visit. She then shares this information with other vendors and team members to make sure everyone is on the same page.
For the video, I would start the film with a close-up shot of the black, blue and green pens sitting on top of a clipboard with sheets of white paper (this creates a bit of intrigue). Then, go into the story about a specific moment when something went wrong. Instantly, these two things give you a clear understanding of what will happen throughout your design process and why it’s going to happen.
Dramatic Demonstration 3: Walk Through the Journey of Transformation
Show potential clients what a home was like before working with you, after working with you and, finally, what life is like for the customer now that they have a great result.
Here is where it’s possible to use all three Dramatic Demonstrations at the same time. Let’s say you don’t think anything is compelling about how you started the business, but there’s an excited customer who has worked with you and can share their own story of why they loved using your business.
We can see behind the scenes of your process as you walk through the house or visit vendors on behalf of the client. Then we see a “live illustration” of you working on a real-life puzzle, because a remodeling project is like putting the right puzzle pieces together. Last, we see the finished project with the client elated about how it came out. Of course, throughout the video, we’re hearing the customer explain what the experience was like, what fears they had initially, how you overcame those fears throughout the journey and what it means for this to be completed.
Hearing something said 1,000 times is not as powerful as seeing it once. Read that again. It’s the most important takeaway from this article. Now, start creating videos that tell your story today. In the next issue, I’ll go more in-depth on how you can find the stories that make you unique.
Jude Charles is a filmmaker and brand strategist. For over 15 years, he has been producing stories for purpose-driven entrepreneurs and brands such as Google, Steve Harvey and Coldwell Banker. He digs deep to find compelling stories that no one else knows, and then leverages those stories to scale your business.