Every day, you entrust some of your most important and valuable messages to a form of communication short on clarity, short on personality, and short on results. I’m talking about all of those emails, text messages, and social messages that you type, double-check for meaning, perhaps add a helpful emoji or emoticon to (it doesn’t help), and click “Send.”
Do you know what’s missing from much of your daily, digital communication? You!
Over the past couple of decades, we’ve become increasingly comfortable in an increasingly faceless process of communicating. The consequence is that we’re not connecting or converting Six as well. But a growing movement of business professionals in all kinds of roles—including leadership, management, sales, customer success, marketing, recruiting, and beyond—are restoring a personal, human touch to many of their messages with simple videos.
A simple, personal video puts you back into your communication—your face, voice, personality, expertise, enthusiasm, sincerity, gratitude, concern, frustration, and all of those human elements that are blurred or even stripped away when we rely exclusively on the same black text on the same white screen. And you already own what you need to get started: a webcam or smartphone.
Recording and sending video in emails, texts, and social messages can save you time through more talking and less typing, ensure that your meaning is clear, and build human connection across time and distance.
But is it for you? Here are six signs that you should introduce simple videos into your daily communication. If three or four resonate with you, it’s time to get started!
1. You teach, train, sell or serve.
Spoiler: you do. In his New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post #1 bestseller To Sell Is Human, Daniel Pink lays out clearly the case that we’re all in sales. Each of us is in the change business. Our work requires that we connect, influence, and persuade to advance ideas and opportunities with and through other people—even if “sales” fails to appear in our title or job description. Your plain text alone can’t move people as well as you can.
2. Your sales process drives toward face-to-face meetings.
Outbounding and prospecting? Following up with inbound opportunities? Whether machine-driven or manual, most of your phone calls, voicemails, emails, text messages, and other touches have the goal of scheduling an in-person or online appointment. Why wait to get face to face? Why wait to build trust and differentiate yourself? Get in front of people earlier and more often in the sales process by incorporating simple, personal videos into your cadence.
3. You want to improve customer experience.
Explaining complex topics. Responding to inquiries. Showing, telling, or demonstrating. All of these are done better with video than with text and links. It puts a face with a name and humanizes your brand. And in the case that you’re communicating with a frustrated or confused customer, it allows you to manage tone, convey empathy, and let them know they’ve been seen, heard, and understood.
4. You risk disintermediation by web apps, tools, and automations.
For their cost and unpredictability, humans are being reduced or removed in many business processes. If your role is being threatened in this way, you need to add more value than you cost. You need to restore the benefit of having a human in the process—in part by restoring yourself in your daily communication.
5. You benefit from referrals, online reviews, and positive word of mouth.
Each customer should be the source of many transactions through repeat and referral business, so we must provide experiences that people want to talk about. In so many cases, the positive stories we tell and the reviews we write are based on a person-to-person exchange. Getting face to face with more people more often at the many touchpoints customers have with you and your team members builds the connection and enhances the experience in a way that gets this done more effectively.
6.You win more opportunities when you’re face to face.
All that rich, nonverbal communication that our brains are wired to send and receive from one another as fellow human beings and social creatures make face to face the most meaningful and valuable experience. But time and distance often keep us separated from the people who matter most to our success. Recording and sending a video when it’s convenient for you allows others to open your message and experience you in person when it’s convenient for them.
Before you click “Send” again today, think about the opportunity to include an unscripted, unproduced video in your message. Casual and conversational. Simple and personal. When you introduce videos like these to your daily communication, expect more and better replies and responses.
About the Author: Ethan Beute is VP of Marketing at BombBomb, coauthor (with Stephen Pacinelli) of Rehumanize Your Business, and host of The Customer Experience Podcast. Ethan has collected and told personal-video success stories in hundreds of blog posts, in dozens of webinars, podcasts, and stage presentations, and in countless conversations. He spent a dozen years leading marketing inside local television stations in Chicago, Grand Rapids, and Colorado Springs. He currently resides in Colorado Springs with his wife and son.