How to Film Reluctant Staff

If you work in marketing, you’ll be fully aware of the power of video and no-doubt be keen to sell the virtues of film to the company owners.

Not many people will disagree that platforms like Linkedin, Instagram and ‘the book’ will serve more video content into your feed as it drives more engagement, keeps you on the platform longer and so they can sell more advertising.

But the problem comes when you ask your MD, Sale team or Simon in accounts to feature in your film about the company.

“Errr, I’m not standing in front of that camera, no, not me, you’ll have to get someone esle”

This is the typical response!

So where do you start?

The easiest place to start is by getting the stakeholders on board with the concept of video itself.

It is quite an easy ‘sell’ when you show comparative stats, but also when you talk about breaking down barriers, especially in a B2B environment, this is a really good way to show potential customers who you are.

Incidentally, it is also a really nice way to keep you in the mind of current customers too in between meeting them.

So you have the buy-in on the theory of video, now for the detail!

How to pitch a video concept

I have noticed a really common issue with video is, brands become rather selfish when they start building concepts. Generally, they want to get all the wonderful features of their business crammed into a 3-minute pitch video.

Stop them right there. Just say NO!

Whilst this may be better than a 15-page brochure or a static advert, it probably won’t work very well as it is still very much trying to sell something to people and NO ONE LIKES BEING SOLD TO.

The trick is to start with how those features benefit the target market. Once you have a list of benefits, this can help guide you on your messaging. But the most important thing you can do is get your head into the mind of the customer. What matters to them, who is this video for, why are you making it in the first place?

If the benefit you are talking about don’t matter to the client, don’t waste your time talking about it. Your service could be 20% cheaper than anyone else (feature), saving your clients loads of money (benefit), but if budgets aren’t an issue or a deciding factor, what is the point in talking about it?

I’ll say it again, you need to ask WHY you are making the video and WHO is it for?

Video Series

A really simple place to start is simply sharing your journey as a business in a series of videos. If you can strategically weave into your narrative the things that matter to your customers along the way, then you’re on to a winner. This may include showing simple things like:

  • > You are nice people to deal with. If you script the video too much, people won’t believe you are being yourself.
  • > You know your stuff. To build people’s confidence, you need to show you are an expert and can talk with authority.
  • > Show you love what you do. You’d be surprised how compelling it is to simply show a passion for your market, service or product. People don’t want to buy from someone who doesn’t care about what they are making or selling.

How to get people comfortable on camera

This is really what people want to know. I can assure you, I have worked with some real introverts who have turned out to be utterly brilliant on camera. In fact, quite often, those who are really nervous actually perform better than those who love the limelight.

With people who are reluctant, you need to explain that you don’t want them to perform. My personal approach is to do the following:

  • > Start the camera rolling before they’ve had time to think. Record them as you are explaining how the filming is going to work.
  • > Don’t make them look directly into the lens unless you have to as, for some reason, people often go blank when this happens.
  • > Chat to them and get them to say what you need as if you’re just having a conversation. Remember as you are recording not to make a sound but encourage with nods and smiles. All your questions can be edited out afterwards.
  • > Have your shot list handy but make sure you are open to capturing spontanious moments.
  • > Don’t worry if, as the person filming, your voice does get on the video. It just shows the subject is actually talking to someone…which is a very normal thing to do!
  • > Use a lapel mic if possible. Good sound makes editing a lot easier too.
  • > Get loads of footage. The more you record, the more ‘special’ moments you can catch. The best bits are usually when they let their guard down as they start to relax. This usually comes when you’ve been filing for a little while.
  • Don’t get them to repeat the same thing 40 times. Come back to it if you can’t get it after a few goes as people will start to doubt themselves, stiffen up and panic.

Corporate Video

As you know, my company is called Human. It is called Human for a reason, i.e. I believe we are better when we’re not trying to be something we aren’t.

If you try and record a scripted corporate-style video getting very specific points across in a very staged setting, you will need someone super-cool on camera to pull this off. But I believe, in the main, we have passed this kind of video marketing and we are now seeing a new style of video communication.

Corporate videos can be structured, but I implore you to convince the decision-makers in your business to have the confidence to drop the hollow messaging they might want to push and instead, just show excitement, passion and their personality when filming a video.

It is up to you as a marketer to guide these people and put them in a setting where they feel comfortable, where they look like they are having fun and they can talk easily about the love of what they do.

If all else fails, give me a call and I’ll come and help 😉

James



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