A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

Friday 30 August 2019

"Hearing something a hundred times isn’t better than seeing it once."

- Confucius

“[A poet would be] overcome by sleep and hunger before [being able to] describe with words what a painter is able to [depict] in an instant”

- Leonardo da Vinci

"A good sketch is better than a long speech."

- Napoleon Bonaparte

That was all back in a time when creating the picture was a challenge and the concept of moving pictures with sound was barely a dream.

Fast-forward to modern times and creating those pictures is a breeze. We all have smartphones with incredibly good cameras in them and the ability to distribute those pictures anywhere in the world at the click of a button - all thanks to the wonderful internet. And of course, the internet is now the first place we all go to for information and to find people and businesses that can provide solutions to our needs.

So with this “picture versus words” adage foremost in our minds, why on earth are websites still full of the written word when we create the “About me” or “About us” sections of our websites? These must surely constitute the biggest ‘missed opportunity’ in todays internet-driven world of business.

Most of us understand that we make a judgement about people within 15 to 20 seconds of seeing them. We subconsciously decide from their body-language, eye contact, tone of speech and breathing whether or not they are interesting, credible, trustworthy and worth taking the time to listen to. None of these assessments can be made from the written word. I’m willing to bet that almost all of these bios are written by the person being described, and who is ever going to write anything bad about themselves or their business if they want to be seen in a positive light? Have you ever read “I am an unfriendly Life-Skills coach with very few clients. I haven’t won any awards and none of my clients recommend me to anyone”?

If your business is based on a relationship between you and your clients (for example accountants, therapists, financial advisors or private tutors) then you really need to let potential clients meet you virtually before they meet you for real. I am of course talking about a video here - the moving picture. But even trades like a painter/decorator, gardener or home care assistants - people who need to go into the private home of a client, would benefit from a more personal pre-introduction to clients - let them know who you are before they open their door to you. A talking-head video on your website, 1 or 2 minutes long, will allow potential clients to make better, more accurate judgements about you than they ever will by having to read between the lines of a written bio.

Now some people have said to me “what if they don’t like me on the video - they may not get in touch? Well that’s a fair question, but isn’t that a decision best made before meeting them in person? If they make that decision in your office before they’ve barely sat down, then that is an uncomfortable situation. They then have to find an excuse to cut the meeting short or finish up with the old ”I’ll be in touch” promise knowing full-well that they won’t be. If they’ve seen you on video, and they still turn up at your office, or ask you to call on them, then you can be confident that they liked what they saw, and all you then have to do is carry on being the person you were in the video - the ice having already been broken.

Websites with video content rank higher in search-engines, due to a decrease in bounce rate and increase in session length. And adding video opens you up to a greater audience when you consider that the visually impaired can now at least hear the person that they were previously unable to read about on a text-based site, or those with hearing difficulties can now both see and read about you in closed-captions or subtitles - win-win all round.

I have built a compact talking-head studio to produce exactly these kind of films. Nowadays, you don’t need a large space with masses of mega-expensive equipment to achieve a high-quality result. And my in-house edit facilities with high-speed broadband means that the entire process, filming, editing & distribution, can all be done in the same small space.

Going back to the “what if they don’t like me on the video?” problem. Well, it’s unlikely that you really are are an all-round horrible person, but just a case of you not being comfortable in front of a camera, therefor not coming across too well. All that can be sorted. My extensive experience of working with the country’s foremost presentation-skills trainers means that I am well placed to work with you on improving your image in front of the camera to produce a short but effective client-grabbing video.

Does it sound like you could benefit from adding video to your marketing strategy? Contact me and let's work together.