I’m working with an advisor in Australia. He has a brilliant mind and he’s on the cusp of changing the way investors see investment risk. His views are non-mainstream so that complicates the communication challenge. Last year, he produced a corporate video. While several clients applauded his efforts, he hated it. He showed it to me and clearly, his clients were being polite.
It got me thinking about how many corporate videos I’ve seen. I know I’m a harsh critic. In my opinion, most financial firm corporate videos fail miserably.
The Echo Chamber of Sameness
Most videos do the exact opposite of what they were commissioned to do. Most focus on explaining the firm’s approach in a way that makes them sound similar, if not exactly the same, as most other advisory firms – at least in the consumer’s mind. “We offer comprehensive services,” “We have your best interests at heart,” and “We’re different,” leave the prospect/consumer un-intrigued and un-convinced that this firm is any different or better than myriad others out there. Video after video, telling the same story.
Therein lies one of the industry’s greatest challenges, “Why are you not getting more referrals?” You’re not getting more referrals because you don’t appear to be any different or better than the status quo. Just another “trusted advisor”.
If you want your corporate advisor video to stand out…your video must:
Too often corporate videos fail to fulfill all of these. And #7 is the most important purpose.
7. Pitch that you are indeed different and better – then point them to where you can “prove it”.
C’MON KIRK — GIVE ME SOMETHING I CAN GO TO THE BANK WITH!
Here are 11 Best Practices for producing a KickAss Advisor Video
1. Position Yourself as Different & Better
If you’re going to say something, make sure your video positions you as different and/or better than other advisors. This involves understanding your story as a financial advisor and what sets you apart. Don’t use terms like comprehensive, trust worthy, integrity, or we put your interests first. Create your own terms that reflect your uniqueness. Identify clear differences and how those differences will positively impact your clients’ financial lives.
2. Location, Location, Location
Your video location (backdrop) should convey trust, professionalism and comfort; not mega-success. It should not be in front of a tree. It should be in an area that reflects where clients expect you’d walk or sit during working hours.
3. Hire Professional Freelance Videographer
If you want the best outcome for your money, stay away from amateur videographers honing their craft. Even though you will spend less money, the money (not including your time and effort) will likely be wasted. If you don’t want to break the bank, stay away from large media firms.
4. Work from Outline or Keywords, not Script
Scripts promote the last thing you want in a corporate video; to appear inauthentic. Create an outline or key words and use them to cue your talk. Use cue cards if you must but don’t read.
5.Get Multiple Camera Angles
A single angle video is boring. Two camera perspectives will keep people engaged in your video for longer.
6. Consider Using Video as Backdrop to Your Narration
What I mean by that is it can be visually intriguing to have segments of a “pan” of your office or desk (or you photo) with your voice in the background as narrator.
When you speak directly into the camera, you have to get the video part and the audio parts right. It’s not easy unless you’ve practiced for years or come by it naturally.
Narrating over top of backdrop video (of you or your office) allow you to nail each component independent of one another. This format has some creative production merit to it also – it’s not a compromise.
Narration is one mechanism to nail your first corporate video. If you’re practiced, live action video of you with several camera angles will likely work best. It may be a decision you need some help making.
7. Communicate a Clear Call-to-Action and/or Next Step
Think about what action you liked your viewer to take after watching your video. Give them clear instructions on where and how they can learn more about improving their financial life. Make sure this ‘next step” is simple and not asking too much. A referral to a white paper or video you’ve produced would be a good trust building call-to-action. Asking them to contact you for a free consultation may be too much of an ask at this point.
8. Practice Before the Camera Rolls
We’re not asking for perfection here. Practice your video to the point you feel comfortable and like yourself. Authenticity is key in any video.
9. Be Yourself
Don’t “act”. The best way to ensure you are authentically you is to speak from your passion and unique story. Do not try to be someone you’ve seen on TV or on stage. Do not try to read a script prepared by someone else, or even by yourself.
10. Engage a Proven (Financial) Marketer
Given the cost and importance of producing and marketing your corporate video, leveraging a proven financial marketer would be a prudent step. They may also have contacts in place to make your video a success.
11. Have a Plan, Start to Finish
A written plan will provide you the guidance you need as you progress through the corporate video process. Consider its purpose, best practices, vendor selection, and marketing your video.
Style (live action, narration, camera angles, attire)
– Professional Freelance Videographer
– Financial Marketing Consultant
Goals/Role of Video
Deadlines & Milestones
BTW, my Australian friend was quoted $20,000 to shoot and produce his video. Somehow, he negotiated the videographer down to $10,000. It’s a large expense for most firms. That doesn’t account for his time or the post-production work of getting that video watched.
Limit your exposure and make good marketing decisions.