Tony Coll’s final tip from the Video Skilled team presentation is to start a Video Blog or Vlog, because it’s a great way for potential customers to get to know you.
Once upon a time, a diary was a place where you wrote down your secrets, preserved for posterity for your eyes only. Of course, you could share the diary with others if you chose, and if you were a politician or celebrity this could be a lucrative option.
Online, the diary became the ‘web log’, soon shortened to ‘blog’, attractive because it was instant, flexible and apparently intimate, so that readers could get to know what seemed like your innermost thoughts. Add video, and offline we get the reality TV video diary — a sort of confessional box for Big Brother contestants to bitch about each other in pretend-privacy, but really to the whole nation — and online we have the Video Blog or Vlog.
The word Vlog is largely redundant nowadays, because modern blogs can handle all media – text articles, pictures and video – as this one does. So why keep a blog? What’s the point? Well, to answer that we have to go back to my favourite fantasy, the Virtual Village.
Imagine you’ve moved back in time and into a traditional village, and you’ve opened a shop. People won’t just come into the shop and start buying. First they’ll want to get to know you. So you’ll have to spend a little bit of time just chewing the fat. The locals will want to meet you, know you, like you and trust you before they will have the confidence to undertake any kind of transaction with you.
In the modern world, of course, we don’t know everyone intimately as family, friends and neighbours any more, and we often shop online. And the blog is the modern equivalent of all that chewing the fat that used to go on in village shops. It’s a kind of five bar gate or garden fence over which we can have pleasant, neighbourly chats.
But it’s not just idle gossip. It’s consolidating a relationship. It serves the important central section of the Sales Funnel — a way of keeping interest and dialogue going with a prospect who hasn’t quite decided to buy at all, let alone from you, but hasn’t said no either. Ultimately, you hope, they will buy something from you, but the way of achieving that is not to rush in and start doing the hard sell. So happy blogging, and I hope that eventually it will lead to sales, but don’t rush it.