Video Marketing for Your Practice: How to Get Started
Late in 2017, I was invited to join an Accountants’ Video Marketers Group on Facebook. However, I was – and still very much am – a newcomer when it comes to video marketing. My only claim to fame at the time was packaging my own bookkeeping basics and QuickBooks® Desktop 2016 courses for another online training platform, creating short QuickBooks Online how-to YouTube videos, and posting short inspirational videos targeting job seekers and career changers. In short, I’m no superstar.
So, I figured that being a part of this video marketers group would up my game in the video marketing realm. Well … it’s done that .. and much more, but what I’ve quickly discovered is there’s a lot about video marketing I didn’t know and still don’t know – and much more I need to learn, especially when it comes to producing higher-quality video.
To help, I reached out to two experts who excel in accounting and video marketing for their insights:
- Hector Garcia, CPA, head of his own firm, Quick Bookkeeping and Accounting LLC, and co-host of the QB Power Hour.
- Seth David, chief nerd and president of Nerd Enterprises, Inc., a popular presenter at various conferences, and a regular contributor to many profession blogs.
I’ve also enlisted a handful of Video Marketers Group members to provide some of their thoughts as well. With all our collective brain power, I will explore the “why” behind a video content strategy, “how” this strategy will help with finding and retaining clients, and how video can wide your own sphere of influence.
Why do Video?
One of the main reasons to consider video marketing is exposure. According to Chris Brogan, an American author, journalist, marketing consultant and speaker about social media marketing, “One billion YouTube hours are consumed daily.” As a result, I believe there is true potential for wide-range publicity for virtually little or no cost – and Seth is truly living proof of this: “Every day, I get calls and emails from people who’ve been watching my videos, and they want to know if they can hire me for more help,” he says. “I don’t have to advertise.”
Alicia Katz Pollock, an author and member of the Intuit® Trainer/Writer Network, as well as a member of the video marketing group who styles herself as a “visionary workaholic” at Royalwise, shares that, “Sometimes, I’ll snip a useful tip out of a longer video and post it to YouTube, Facebook and LinkedIn to create teasers for people to purchase my longer titles.”
Another reason related to the first “why” is expertise. The exposure provides a platform to establish yourself as an expert on a particular topic or subject area. For example, Hector shares that his use of video marketing has helped him build great clout with his accounting and bookkeeping) peers, which usually turns into great referrals and collaboration.
Another example is from Mariette Martinez, EA, a member of the video marketing group and self-described solopreneur. Mariette reveals that a lot of her video marketing centers on sharing what other people are doing. In doing this, she’s become a source of knowledge for her audience and is increasing her visibility and followers; in fact, at press time, she has more than 1,100 followers on Twitter. Mariette reveals that she must be intentional on what she shares through her platforms. Her focus is on accounting and/or tax topics, and her motto, “sharing is caring,” is paying off for her in more ways than just her bottom line!
A “why” that may not be as obvious, but equally valid is education. In doing these videos, Hector shares that it forces you to be on top of your game and learn the content being shared really well. I wholeheartedly agree; the prep work, alone, has done a lot to help me solidly retain the information in my mind, therefore improving my mastery of the tasks at hand and adding to my expertise level.
How Videos Can Help Your Practice
If done right, video marketing can help your practice by demonstrating what you know in front of potentially millions of YouTube viewers. Hector shares that, with video marketing, “Potential clients get to see your capabilities upfront, which reduces their stress of ‘shopping around’ for the best provider.” He actually started out many years ago with longer (1+ hours), in-depth “how-to” QuickBooks Desktop videos that hundreds of thousands of new QuickBooks users have watched over and over again. From those early videos, he’s built a solid reputation of being an expert in his field.
Video marketing can also help with launching a dry run of a concept in front of a wider audience. As Seth David explains, “Video is your opportunity to create a distribution channel for your business. You can test market a concept, see what your audience likes and build that audience through the very same means by creating videos that attract your target audience.”
As I’ve also discovered, there’s much more involved with video marketing than just throwing things out there and seeing what sticks. That may have been true when YouTube was in its infancy, but the platform grew, along with the expansion and increased usage of video technology with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. As a result, there is much more competition to get anyone’s eyes on your video. Therefore, some forethought or pre-planning as to how video marketing fits into your overall business strategy is a necessary step. Seth agrees: “You have to identify your target audience, define what interests them and create videos about those topics.”
Hector shares that the longer videos he used to do are not necessarily the norm due to most people’s short attention spans, but it worked for him and I am guessing it’s because, at that time, there were such a scarcity of materials geared toward his market – the QuickBooks end-user. I tend to agree. Most of the QuickBooks videos viewed on my YouTube page seem to be those in that so-called sweet spot of approximately three to five minutes in length. Any of my content significantly longer than five minutes displays fewer views.
Your sweet spot is what ultimately works best for you. That may mean starting off with some trial and error to see what works. Alicia shares that she uses video to record her clients’ training sessions, so they can go back and remind themselves how to do it correctly, long after the course ends. Remember to be intentional, and as Seth said, take the time beforehand to identify your target audience and define their interests so that you can create videos on those topics.
Depending on your comfort level, just do it. Start small with a few videos you can record by phone and upload to your YouTube channel as I have done. Promote those links on your Facebook pages and Twitter feeds to see what traction you receive. Sometimes, by just doing it, you will build forward momentum – and that in itself will give you the confidence to keep going.
Karen Magno, another member of the video marketing group and a consultant with Transaction Pro for QuickBooks, shares that she recently created a video to embed into a blog post after she kept procrastinating and putting it off. Afterwards, she said, “It was actually a lot easier than I thought it would be. I figured take this baby step and just get started, and with each new video I will make improvements.”
If you feel you need some additional handholding or aspire to use more elaborate production techniques, then consider joining a group of like-minded individuals to help keep you motivated and accountable. That’s the purpose of our Accountants Video Marketing Group. We share videos in a safe place and seek honest feedback from others in the group with no shaming or negativity before putting the videos out for public viewing. There’s probably a group for individuals in whatever field you may be in, or even a generic group you can plug into, that would be helpful.
I cannot promise you or I will become the next YouTube star – we can only hope. But, if you wish to dip your toe into video marketing, be sure to heed the advice of the pros:
- Take the time beforehand to find that target audience.
- Create content geared toward that audience.
- Do what you feel works best for you.
Remember, you are the most important ingredient in the video marketing element. After all, it’s your face and personality you are presenting for all the world to see!