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It’s time your business jumped on the YouTube bandwagon. Here’s why.
  By Rick Segel, CSP

     YouTube—the free service that makes using video online easy and inexpensive—is more than weird people trying to get their 15 minutes of fame. I believe it is becoming one of the most important tools to understand, master and employ in your business today.

     I want to first tell you some of the ways you can use YouTube in your business. Then I am going to take you step-by-step through exactly what to do to go from an idea to finally having your first video published.

10 Ways Florists Can Use YouTube

  1. The testimonial. Have you ever had a customer give you a compliment about how much they like your store? Of course you have. The next time that happens, pull out your digital camera, and ask the person if he or she could repeat it so you can film it. If people are complimenting you, trust me, they will never complain about doing it. Then you can upload it onto YouTube, and the places you can use it are endless—from your website to having it play in the store.

  2. Positioning and branding. A short YouTube video can tell your potential customers who you are, what you do and, most importantly, why they should do business with you.

  3. Training. A YouTube video doesn’t have to be available for the general public to view. If you have lots of part-time employees, it is a great way to offer a training program to them. Then create a test to make sure they watched it.

  4. Product information. When you work with sales reps, interview them, and let them talk about their product or products. Sales reps can be a valuable source of product info. Just ask three basic questions, and remember that the video should be no longer than four minutes.

  5. Product showcase/Product presentation. This seems so obvious, but it’s amazing how many people forget to talk about the products they sell.

  6. Educational purposes. Every retailer today is in the education business because there are so many new solutions or products that are being released weekly or monthly. But it’s more than just new products; it’s how we use or maintain our old products, like the florist who shows customers how to achieve maximum vase life from their flowers or the jeweler who teaches how to properly clean a ring.

  7. Make it personal. Unveil the person behind the company. Consumers like to do business with real people, and YouTube videos enable you to talk to your customers and tell them how you got started in business, your successes and maybe even your failures. People love to do business with underdogs. Introduce your family and/or staff as well.

  8. Employee videos. Encourage your employees to make videos about some positive aspect of your business. Then take it a step further and have them sing the praises of another employee and what wonderful experiences the customer will have when that employee takes care of them.

  9. Contest videos. These can be made by your employees or customers. Especially if you are catering to a younger market, it is amazing how kids get into creating their masterpieces. The only requirement is that they’re clean and relate in some positive way to your business. Remember the word-of-mouth thing. This is the stuff people talk about.

  10.  “Share the journey” videos. A few years ago, a restaurant chain, called BGood, in Boston won the Retailers Association of Massachusetts “Restaurant of the Year” award. This business was built solely on its videos. Every couple of weeks, the company releases a new video. As the owners described, they are sharing their journey. The videos are hip, upbeat and fun. Go to http.//www.bgood.com/ourvideos.php to review these classics. Wait until you see the number of videos they have created. (There is even one when they received the RAMAE Award from me with the Legendary Uncle Ferris. He is one of the owner’s uncles and is quite the character, which makes him perfect in the use of video.)

The Steps from Neophyte to YouTube Producer and Director

Log on: Go to YouTube.com Create a YouTube account. (If you have a Google account, it’s the same.) Then log in.

Title: Type in your title.

Description: Then type in the description of what the video is about.

Category: Then decide what category your video best fits.

Tags: Now type in the tags, which are simply the words that people will use to find you.

Broadcast Options: Choose “Open To the Public” or “Private” for just friends or family.

Sharing Options: Choose if you want to create a URL or if you want to embed the video into your website.

Upload from your computer, and you are now done.

Now you have a basic video. If you need any help editing and you are a Mac user, go to iMovie. Microsoft has a similar movie-editing feature. There is also a free service called Slideroll.com that works well.

Don’t go crazy with creating all sorts of fancy intros at first. There will be plenty of time to get sophisticated. There are also some wonderful YouTube videos that explain what to do.
 


Rick Segel, CSP, is a seasoned retailer of 25 years and the author of 12 books. As a Certified Speaking Professional, he offers keynotes, seminars, training sessions and breakouts covering every aspect of growing and running a business. Learn more at www.ricksegel.com.


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