David: This is episode four of Nonprofit Video Comms, the show about video marketing tips to help your organization be seen, be funded and help more people. My name is David.
as a video maker, a creator. I always think you should find a specialist for things that you don't know how to make. You should get an accountant to do your books, you should get a copywriter to do your writing, graphic designer and so on. But I'm not really stubborn about this idea. I also think, Well, why wouldn't you try doing something yourself? Especially when you have all the equipment in your pocket. I think most modern and privileged parts of the world people have at least a laptop or some kind of smartphone or device with a camera on it and an Internet connection. In the world of film, some might say that's not enough equipment, but you'd be surprised if you know your craft.
People are winning awards with films made of iphone, made from iphones. Maybe some of you remember Blair Witch. They really revolutionized horror movies with sort of shaky handheld, low quality camera. I think season five of Grey's Anatomy … five or six, something like that, was entirely shot with a photo camera, a Canon 5D. Anyway, you should try it. You should do it yourself.
If you are brave enough to spend the time and ultimately the emotions and energy and hope on making your own introduction video for your nonprofit or consultancy. There's two things I'd like you to know. First, I'm going to talk to you about the structure of this video that you're going to make yourself. Secondly, I'll explain why this structure.
So first of all, the structure is this … and grab a pen and paper. Your home made introduction video should have you talking to the camera or at least recording your voice and tell them one or two sentences of each of these things.
The first one is the who. who is this for?
The next one is what you do for people. What is your service?
Next one is why do you do this.
The next one is how it works.
and the next one is a clear call to action.
All of these should be maximum two sentences each.
Let's go back to the first thing. Who is it for … do it this way. I know some of you are going to struggle with trying to figure out who your audience is, but if you could be as specific as possible, for example, “if you are a youth between 18 and 25 looking to upgrade your high school marks to get into College,” that's one way of calling someone in in the first few seconds of a video.
Secondly, the what. tell them what you do.” We provide job skills training.” “We provide community income tax.” “we provide an affordable weekly farmers market.”
The third thing is the why. why do you do this? “Our mission is to X-Y-Z. For the past 30 years, we've been deeply involved in the community and providing food security.”
The next thing is the how-it-works. and this part is important. You have to tell people how to engage with you and what they should expect, help them imagine themselves and give them as much predictability as possible. So you would say something like, let's give an example for how it works to come to a weekly, affordable farmers market every Thursday. “Show up to our location at such and such time. It's welcome to all. No questions asked. You will be given a quick 30 seconds sign-up at the door. After that, when you come inside, you will have your choice of fresh produce just like you would at any store.”
And for a call to action, I recommend something more than just saying, “go to our website to find out everything you need.” I think you should tell them what happens after they click or inquire. So you say “go to www. .xyz.com. at the top menu You can contact us through our form. You can expect a response within one day. someone will book an appointment with you to speak on the phone, which generally takes about 15 minutes and is completely confidential.”
So let's try that one more time. I'm going to make something up off the top of my head using this structure. “If you are a newcomer or immigrant to Canada and you are looking for job search help to see where your credentials might qualify, please come to X-Y-Z. We provide job search support and help for newcomers who want the best out of their credentials. We've been doing this for 20 years in the Southern region and as many of us are newcomers ourselves and are passionate about this work. How it works is call this phone number and you will be connected to anyone in your language. We speak most languages. The person that you connect with will book a 15 minutes appointment with you over the phone to find out what you need and will explain the rest of the process based on your needs. So please call 123-4567 8910 and someone will be in touch with you within one day in the language of your choice.”
So the second point I wanted to wrap this up with is “why this structure?”
Well, let's get this part out of the way, which is most video creators would suggest some sort of a story arc, a dramatic arc, a hero's journey. It's possible, it's doable. I have yet to see that format really work for an amateur or someone doing it for the first time. There's a lot of nuance and subtlety to that to make that really hook an audience. So I think on your first try, you should go easy on yourself and do something a little bit more rigid.
And when I say rigid, I don't mean something robotic. I just mean something that's a little bit easier to understand. Like who, what, why, how and call to action. Each part of the structure serves the viewer. You can bet that if an immigrant is looking for support for job search, giving them straight ahead, transparent, clear information and what to expect is the most helpful thing you can do, especially if maybe they're not great at a new language and listening and understanding a new language. Keep it clear. High emotion is not needed. Metaphors, poetic things... not needed.
Your video is a greeter at a virtual door and it just needs to be clear and helpful. And while you're at it, offer as much predictability as possible. Your video is a greeter in a digital landscape, not necessarily a storyteller at a campfire.
So to wrap up, give me, the viewer, and anyone who's watching your video the who, what, why, how, and a clear call to action and what to expect after they connect with you. Think about me — the viewer— and how I use the Internet to get the help that I need. That is the perspective you should put yourself in when creating your own introduction video.
Thanks for listening to this episode. My name is David Phu. P-H-U-. I would love for you to follow me on LinkedIn. That's where I spend an unhealthy amount of time till next time. Bye bye.