Online Video

April 9, 2010

Cool Tools for Online Coaching via Video

Online Video represents an amazing opportunity to coach, train or present using new web technologies. There are a host of exciting, easy-to-use, and no-cost options to do coaching via video. After all, video is ideal for client interaction and communication – and it provides a much stronger personal connection to your students or clients.

Aside from the better-known Instant Teleseminar and Go-to-Webinar, there are a handful of hidden jewels (many free) that you can use to take your coaching to a new level. Here are just a few of the cool web resources I use to coach and train via online video:

  • DimDim.com – DimDim allows you to host and attend live meetings, webinars or demos using just a web browser – no software to download. You can share and record web pages, documents, whiteboards, audio and video. It’s free for small meetings, or $25 per month for unlimited use with larger groups.
  • Yuuguu.com – This online meeting and web-conferencing software may have a funny name, but Yuuguu kicks butt when it comes to screen-sharing. Like most of these resources, there is a free version and there are paid plans with more bells and whistles.
  • Ustream.tv – While Ustream is better known as a free webcasting tool, you can certainly use it to make your coaching more personal. Ustream can be especially useful for group coaching, since you can broadcast one to many.
  • TinyChat.com – TinyChat gives you the ability host a live video group instantly. This free platform lets you create your own video chatroom and stream up to 12 people simultaneously. You can also use it for private, 2-way video conferencing.
  • Skype.com – Let’s not forget the tried and true Skype for free video calls, when you want to see each other for a meeting or coaching session.

These resources allow me to share my screen, provide live, real-time tutorials, and teach as if my client was sitting right next to me or looking over my shoulder. It’s a great way to make the coaching relationship more personal and interactive. Give them a try!

loubortone-92Lou Bortone is an Online Branding Specialist who helps entrepreneurs and coaches build breakthrough brands on the Internet, so they can have more visibility, credibility and profitability. Lou’s clients get more business and make more money, because Lou assists them with innovative online branding strategies, including social media marketing and online video coaching.  Lou is a former television executive who worked for E! Entertainment Television and Fox in Los Angeles. He is also an author and ghostwriter of six business books, a Certified Guerrilla Marketing Coach and a Book Yourself Solid Certified Coach. His website is at www.LouBortone.com.

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March 7, 2010

MiPhone Weathers the Storm!

3g-iphoneWho says you can’t run a business from a mobile phone?  When a major winter storm knocked out power to me and a few hundred thousand neighbors, I was left with no technology except my trusty iPhone – the modern day “Swiss Army Knife” for solopreneurs.

Even though I had no electricity, phone or Internet, I stayed connected to the outside world and – more important – my clients, solely via my iPhone.  In fact, using my iPhone web access and various apps, I barely missed a business beat!

I was not only able to check email and surf the net, but my Facebook app and TweetDeck for iPhone kept me connected to and communicating with colleagues throughout the 5 day power outage.  I could “tweet out” my tale of woe and, better yet, shoot video with my iPhone of the damage and destruction, then upload the video directly to YouTube – no computer required!

I could also check my projects in my “Highrise” project management software using my “Bungalow” iPhone app, and even track an order that came in via my PayPal app. (How cool that I could still earn some passive revenue online, even though I was in the dark at home!)

What about rescheduling that conference call?  There’s an app for that!  I used my “Tungle” for iPhone to reschedule meetings that had to be postponed due to the power failure.  I could still make my travel arrangements for an upcoming trip with my “Kayak” app on the iPhone, and then use my handly Flashlight app to find my way around my darkened house.

These smart phones may be smart, but they don’t run forever.  I had to venture out by car once a day just so I could charge the iPhone and maintain some battery power.   All in all, it’s probably not the best way to run a business, but it’s nice to know you can keep your company going in a jam just by using one tiny, but powerful, gadget.

Which just proves that given today’s technology, you don’t have to be powerless just because you lose power!

loubortone-92Lou Bortone is a long-time marketing consultant and branding coach who helps entrepreneurs build breakthrough brands on the Internet.  As an online video branding specialist and award-winning marketer, Lou provides services such as video production, brand development coaching, creative support and video coaching.

Lou is a former television executive who worked for E! Entertainment Television and later served as the Senior Vice President of Marketing & Advertising for Fox Family Worldwide, a division of Fox in Los Angeles. Lou is an author and ghostwriter of six business books, a Certified Guerrilla Marketing Coach and a Book Yourself Solid Certified Coach.  His website is at: http://www.OnlineVideoBranding.com.

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February 5, 2010

Your Top Online Video Questions Answered

online-videoWith the popularity of Online Video skyrocketing, more and more small business owners and entrepreneurs are racing to get in the game.  To help you get past any potential hurdles you may face when you decide to add video to your marketing mix, I've answered some of the most common questions below.  Here's what your colleagues from across the globe are asking…

Sue - Lancaster, PA

How do I optimize a video on a video sharing site to get the most exposure?

When uploading your video to YouTube (or any video sharing site), it's important that you use your keywords in the title, description and tags.  Using "My New Video" as your title will certainly not give you any SEO benefits, so be descriptive.  Also, when uploading to YouTube, be sure to start the description section with your website's entire URL.  This will show up on YouTube as a live link back to your site!

Nikki - New Orleans, LA

What's the best sequence of attention-getting benefits to attract and keep the viewer intrigued for addressing their problems? What are the best, most attractive places to shoot your video?

To make your video more engaging, keep it short and relevant. Get to the point, address the needs of your target audience, and offer some value in your video.

As for setting or background, that really depends on your brand and the message you are trying to deliver.  If you're an attorney, the best background may be your law office or a courtroom.  If you're a work-at-home mom, it's perfectly acceptable to shoot video from your home office or even your living room.  Shooting video "on location" outdoors is also an option, as long as there is some logical connection to what you're talking about on camera.

Jerry - Montclair, NJ

I am disappointed by the audio quality of the new mini-cameras (like Flip). The pictures are fine. How do I get both good pictures and good audio without buying a professional rig?

One of the few limitations of a pocket camera like the Flip video camera is that the microphone is in the camera, and there's no way to attach an external mic.  If you're using a Flip, the best advice is to stay no more than 3 or 4 feet away from the camera when recording.  If you're too far away from the camera, the audio will fade.

One alternative is to look at video cameras that allow you to attach a separate, external microphone.  Kodak's new Zi8 pocket camera is similar to the Flip, but you can plug in an external mic - giving you much more control over your audio quality.

Ashley - Dallas, TX

How important are written comments that show up on the bottom of your screen while making a YouTube video? e.g."call this number (finger pointing down) for more information," or "check out this website: www.abcdef.com".

With the enormous volume of videos on YouTube, it's always a good idea to keep your call to action front and center.  If the goal of your video is to drive traffic to your website, then be sure to include your web address on the lower third of your screen at the end of your video, if not for the entire length of your video.

Make it as easy as possible for video viewers to find you and take the next step.  Be sure to list your entire web address early in your video description, as well.  For even more interactivity, consider using a video service such as Veeple.com, which allows you to embed live, clickable links into your video!

Janine - Johannesburg, South Africa

I would like to have a website that shows short travel videos. What is the best way to do so?

One of the best ways to begin quickly and inexpensively may be to purchase a "dot TV" domain name, such as www.YourNameHere.tv, so you can create your own web TV "channel."  You can even do this with a simple WordPress blog site, then upload all your travel videos (or any video) to your "TV" site on the web.

Chris - Chula Vista, CA

What's the best and quickest way to make professional style unique videos without being in front of the camera?

There are many alternatives for online video that don't require you to be on camera.  Camtasia or Jing are two options for creating computer screen captures which are great for training or demo videos.

You can also use some of the popular new web-based video creation solutions such as Animoto.com or OneTrueMedia.com.  There are free versions of both online, and each allows you to simply upload some photos, select some music and add some text for an almost "instant" online video.  The online software is easy to use and the end result looks very professional.

Melissa - NY, NY

I want to insert videos into Blog entries. My first video is being hosted by YouTube. Is this the best way to do things (hosting on a server other than where the Blog is)? And is YouTube the best platform for doing so (taking into account cost, performance and overall exposure)?

YouTube is a perfect starting point for uploading and hosting videos that you can then add to your own website or blog.  YouTube (and most other video hosting sites) gives you an "embed code" that you can copy and paste into your site.  YouTube also provides easy, "one-click" sharing options to send your video to your Facebook or MySpace page.  Other low-cost video hosting options include Amazon's popular and reliable S3 service, as well as Techsmith's Screencast.com.

Phil - Perth, Australia

What length of video into do you recommend for a website?

The short answer is as short as possible!  In today's no-attention span society, it's best to deliver your video message as succinctly as you can.  If you can make your point in 30 seconds, then do it.  For most videos, you really should try to keep the length under a minute and a half.

The exception would be training videos, online lessons or demos - which by nature usually need to be longer.  Otherwise, short and sweet is the way to go!

loubortone-92Lou Bortone is a long-time marketing consultant and branding coach who helps entrepreneurs build breakthrough brands on the Internet.  As an online video branding specialist and award-winning marketer, Lou provides services such as video production, brand development coaching, creative support and video coaching.

Lou is a former television executive who worked for E! Entertainment Television and later served as the Senior Vice President of Marketing & Advertising for Fox Family Worldwide, a division of Fox in Los Angeles. Lou is an author and ghostwriter of six business books, a Certified Guerrilla Marketing Coach and a Book Yourself Solid Certified Coach.  His website is at: http://www.OnlineVideoBranding.com.

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