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The Strategy for Storytelling In Business That Will Spark Massive Engagement

The following post was an entry by one of our spectacular finalists in our Awesome Engagement Strategies Contest. Finalists showcased their ideas, and whoever got the most traction (i.e. comments and social shares) within five days of publication was crowned the winner. Check out this post for the complete list of Engagement Strategies Contest finalists!

single-videoEver wondered what the difference is between sites that engage magically and those that are just meh?

Have you ever wanted to learn the secret to inspiring your visitors to take action instead of just inspiring them to leave?

Like all of us, I’ve tried different ways to encourage my audience to engage – from installing social media buttons on my blog to just asking people to leave comments, but I never truly figured out the secret of inspiring true engagement until the day a friend sent me a video by San Francisco baker Chad Robertson. It was a simple video that didn’t pitch anything at all. But by the end of it something interesting had happened – I’d been transformed into a fan.

And not just any fan – the best kind of fan.

The kind who bought his product and who shared his video with my friends on Facebook. And all without having heard of him before that day.

Keep reading and I’ll show you Chad’s video, plus I’ll dissect what he did in detail. And for bonus points I’ll even lay out a complete engagement strategy for doing the same thing for your website and business.

Every single day we’re exposed to literally thousands of marketing messages. From our impossibly overloaded email inboxes, to popups, pop-unders, to your Twitter feed, promoted posts on your Facebook wall, to buses and billboards and those creepy “re-targeted” ads that seem to follow you around for months.

With this amount of competition for the dwindling attention span of your audience, the natural temptation is to yell louder, jump higher and get more outrageous to try to get our message and face out there and encourage the market to engage with us.

But increasingly, it’s not working. People just aren’t listening any more. They’re going into overload and the unfortunate side effect is that less and less people are reading our painstakingly-written emails and our average site visit time is less than 10 seconds.

But what if there was a different approach that would actually encourage people to engage massively with you and even spontaneously create a movement around you and your message?

If you want us to act, you must first make us feel

The average human being has kids, works overtime, has too much to do, too many bills, house repayments, Facebook, too much stuff and feels vaguely unhappy with life. To make them take engage requires something special and you as the marketer get to be the inspirational storyteller they form a connection with that makes them feel like they’re a part of something special, something unique, something worthwhile.

The good news is that it’s actually pretty easy to do all that and more. All you need to do is to tap into something that’s been hiding in your blind spot ever since you started your business — your own story.
Which brings us back to Chad Robertson.

This video is one man’s love letter to, of all things, bread.

In it, he tells the story of how he got started and why he fell in love with everything about it. His naked, unabashed passion shines through and by the end of this video, I’d connected with Chad and been unexpectedly turned into a bread making fan. I loved this video so much that I bought Chad’s book even though there was no hint of a sales pitch in the video and even though I had pretty much zero interest in making bread at the time.

When you choose to get “up close and personal” with your audience like Chad does and tell us WHAT you believe and WHY you do what you do, something magical happens.

We hear your story and we divide unconsciously into two camps. Those of us who didn’t resonate at all with what you just said and those of us who did. Those of us who did will feel drawn not only to engage with you and your business, but to be part of your “tribe.” This rocks because when we resonate like this, we engage, we buy, we’re loyal and we spread the word to our friends. We can’t help ourselves.

(And by the way, those who didn’t will just go away, which is what you want.)

Let me share another example of how this can work – this time of an allergist I know by the name of Dr. Bill Lanting.  Bill had an important message for the world, but one of those dry doctor-style websites that didn’t get it out in a way that sparked engagement or sales.

I had a suspicion there was more to his story so very recently I asked him a few questions on video about how and why he decided to become an allergist. Here’s the result:

In this simple video, Bill tells us what he believes and why he does what he does, and suddenly, almost instantly, we connect with him and want to do business with him.

I hope you can see that your story doesn’t need to be fancy or elaborate to work magic. It just needs to be authentic and honest. To inspire us to engage you just need to tell us what you believe and why you do what you do.

So why do YOU do what you do?

Odds are, if you’ve been doing what you do for a while, you most likely take for granted your story of why you went into business and most likely assume one or more untrue things about it:

  1. We already know it.
  2. We’ll think it’s boring.
  3. We won’t care.

None of these three things are true.

We don’t already know it. Why should we? After all, it’s your story, not ours. What’s more, we won’t find it boring. We humans we hard-wired to find other people’s stories compelling. It’s biology. And we will care — as long as you give us something to care about.

We buy things for emotional reasons and it’s actually THIS stuff that provides us the big emotional REASON for doing business with you. We don’t buy your amazing thing because it’s the best on the market or because it’s the cheapest. We buy because we resonate or relate with your story of:

  • WHY you went into business, and
  • WHAT you believe and the change you hoped to bring about in the world.

This is the kind of stuff that forms the nuggets of a fascinating story that will inspire us to engage when we hear it.

But quick! You’ve only got 3 seconds…!

When we land on your site, you’ve got roughly 3 seconds to communicate this important stuff to us. In those seconds we check our gut and our heart and we decide whether we’re going to “like”, “tweet”, “share”, “+1” or comment on your stuff. If we feel a connection with you in those moments, then we’re happy to stick around to see if we were right about you…

Otherwise it’s “sayonara bucko” because if there’s any doubt or confusion, our first, quick & easiest option is always the BACK button. And we’re ruthless and trigger-happy.

Do the math on that and you’ll realize it’s pretty much impossible to get everything across with text and the best solution is to tell your story in a video.


Think of it like seeing a film compared with reading the book of the film.  How many people read the book compared with see the film? Exactly. So why are you making us read the book when we come to your site. We desperately want to see the film, so give it to us. Putting your story into a video is your “secret weapon” that will hold our attention captive for valuable minutes.

Put simply, all you need to do to cut through the hype and noise is to not be “hypey” and noisy. All you need to do to encourage us to engage with you is to spare us a confusing website experience and instead greet us with just one thing: your honest and authentic message of what you believe and why you do what you do.

Success isn’t measured by who has the most hits, tweets, or blogs. It’s when you tell us your story in a way makes us sit up and pay attention. Success is when the other 4,999 marketing messages we heard today cease to matter and when we think to ourselves “finally, here’s someone who believes what I believe. Someone who understands me and the problem I’m trying to solve.

As Hugh McLeod said: “The market for something to believe in is infinite.”

So tell me – what’s your story? What’s your big reason why? And what’s stopping you from sharing it with the world, starting today?

About Murray Gray

Murray Gray is co-creator of Hidden Story Power and Chief Creation Agent at Pachow, where he gives small business owners the marketing rocket fuel they need to get their message out in a massive way. If you want to tap into the hottest trends, download his marketing innovation report.

135 thoughts on “The Strategy for Storytelling In Business That Will Spark Massive Engagement

  1. Great post! I’m with you on the power of video… what advice do you have for someone who’s a little bit “gun shy” about getting in front of the camera… what do you do if you’re not “a natural”?

    • Hi Marisa,

      Great question! Thanks for submitting it.

      My answer would be to just be your natural self.

      Additionally, if you’re worrying that you need to change in any way in order to do a compelling video, then watch this fascinating video that could have been shot on any street. None of the participants had their hair or makeup done. Nobody had time to prepare or get stressed about being on camera. They were just their authentic selves and it’s amazingly attractive to watch. — i started the video a few minutes in to show you my favorite people of the bunch

      And btw: the only way to get more comfortable in front of the camera is by getting in front of the camera. No getting around that. 🙂

      • Also – check out Scott A. Dennison’s comment below. He has a great tip for helping the “gun shy” folks feel a little more comfortable in front of the camera.

        • One more question – they say the first 10 seconds of your video is critical if you want to keep people watching. What do you recommend doing to capture people’s attention in those first few minutes?

          • You have a some options.

            1) Espouse a point of view or belief that’s a) controversial or b) particularly emotive.

            2) Get right into the thick of why you do what you do. Start with the action. Avoid the bits we’d skip.

            3) Drop some curse words and/or get naked. 😉

            I’m sure there are a bunch of other ways, but that should get you started.

            Anyone else got suggestions? 🙂

  2. Yes I agree, great video and it is a subject I have taken an interest in lately, fermented foods, so now I have to go find his website and cookbook! I also see the power of your story and video, I would have been drawn to it no matter what the subject.

    • Hey Laura,

      Yup – you nailed it. We’re first drawn to the story, the person, the reason why… And then the product or subject.

      To put it another way, we buy YOU, not your product.

      In fact, I have a couple of customers who email regularly, who thank me for sharing my story and tell me they’ll whatever I offer. I love those guys and wish I had more like them 😉 but I would never have found them or inspired them had I not shared my story in the first place.

      THAT’s the power of putting your own story out there.


  3. I love business videos (you know, those we are discussing here), however I think it is a tough decision when it comes to publish yours!

    Even though I think you are right about not needing to launch the best quality video to engage your audience, you don’t want to give a wrong image with a bad video, even if the content is great.

    It is a thin line, how to spot it right?

    cheers and congrats, I am fan flooding your tools!

    • hey Cesar — good to see you here mate. 🙂

      you’re right – it can be a tough decision. case in point, Dr Lanting, who appears in one of the example videos above, HATED this video when we showed it to him, and didn’t want to put it on his website.

      he much preferred the scripted, staged, produced and — sadly — “storyless” videos he’d made months earlier. (so, he declined our offer to put this on his website free of charge.)

      everyone is different and some people just won’t ever be comfortable sharing their story with the world.

      but as our online world gets more and more crowded, i predict that those who choose to share are going to clean up.



      p.s. in the meantime, Bill’s “pro” video is still yet to make a sale for him AFAIK.

  4. Powerful stuff Murray – compelling video that tells the business owner’s story wins, hands-down, every time. As Marisa mentioned it can be difficult sometimes to be yourself, so when I coach people (quite different than when I have to make videos with me in them) I attempt to distract them from the camera, just roll and pull the video together from editing. That way there doesn’t feel like ‘we’re on! – now perform’.

    Chad nails it in his video as does the Dr. Thanks for sharing this…

    • Scott! Thanks for reading and posting!

      I love the interview style approach myself too. It can really disarm people who are a little shy of the camera. In fact, here’s an interview style video we with did with an food Aussie company:

      True story: we got the best footage after then interview had officially ended, when he thought the camera was off. :)))

      I’d be interested in hearing any other tips or tricks you’ve gathered over the years for putting people at ease.



  5. Hi Murray,
    Great article ! I’ve been on your list for about a month, like what you’re doing.
    Also been on Danny’s list for about 2 months, (got to finish reading “Engagement”)
    I’ve been kicking around an idea for a blog, the last week, this article was a slap to the forehead “Duh !” Now I know where to start, thanks for the inspiration !
    You guys Rock !

  6. Hey Murray,
    This is a good article! You make a good case for using video to establish authenticity. The bread maker really comes across as genuine… the doctor also, but… the fact that he makes a subtle pitch for allergy testing and medication at the end of the video makes me see it more as a sales pitch than the heartfelt story of bread. In your reply to Cesar’s comment above, you mention that Dr. Lanting’s professional video isn’t making any sales. First of all, good on you for following up! Second, I couldn’t get his video to load in my browser… so maybe this is the source of his conversion problem. Either way, nice video work!

  7. Good stuff! I’d already come to the conclusion that I need to make videos and post on UTube. I now have a handicam and today I’m determined to learn an editing program so I can move forward with this project.

    My business for the last 30+ years has been Portrait Photography. For the last 15 years or so I’ve specialized in Family Portraits. It was about 15 years ago that my dad passed away and only then did I realize that no one in my family had ANY family portraits! So the only portrait I have of my parents, (they’re both dead now), is their wedding portrait. Sad, eh… So it’s been my goal to help as many families as I can to have a really nice family portrait that tells their ‘story’. To me portraits are Family Art Treasures!

  8. Hey Stan — thanks for telling us some of your story and what made you get into business. I love it and your desire to help families tell their own story through an amazing portrait is a great story and if you tell it right, it will definitely draw people to you who resonate with that as well.

    This is something that’s going to let you charge more than other photographers too, because when you connect with a story like that, you’re no longer just a portrait photographer. You’ve become a trusted expert in helping families tell their story through portraits.

    With some good branding and a good video, I think you could position yourself differently than everyone else in your industry and own the market. 🙂


    • Mahalo for the encouragement, Murray! And I appreciate the videos above. They are instructive and I plan to make my story video very soon! I need to figure out the video editing program then I’ll DO it and get it on YouTube and my website. As soon as I get it done I’ll send you the link so you can critique it for me. I appreciate you, braddah!
      SPC II

      • Stan! I’m forward to it! Check out my reply below where I outline a great way to get comfortable telling your story in front of the camera. I think you’d really enjoy the process and get a lot out of it. Aloha!

  9. Hi Murray,

    While I like to use video wherever I can and am absolutely convinced of it’s power – I don’t think your “video convinces, text confuses” argument holds water.

    In your comparison photo you show a video up against possible the worst designed website in history. Not really a fair comparison.

    Text doesn’t confuse. If it did, your text responses in this comment thread wouldn’t make any sense to anyone and you’ve have to use video to explain instead. Patently not so.

    Video can bring more power and emotion into the mix. It can do things text can’t do. But “video convinces, text confuses”? No way.

    And to be honest I don’t get your 3 second rule. Video is particularly bad at getting across a message quickly. How many videos get anything across in the first 3 seconds? The bread one certainly didn’t – you have to watch much further in to get what’s going on.

    That’s why text AND video can be a powerful combination. The text (done right) gets the message across quickly about what you’ll get from watching the video. The video can then provide depth.

    After all, if you go to youtube, every video has a title and a description. Why? it’s much easier to see whether you’d like to watch it from scanning the title and description for a second than it is to press play and spend much longer figuring out what the video’s about and whether it’s going to be useful to you.

    – Ian

    • Hey Ian

      All great points. Maybe the graphic should have read: “Text CAN confuse”? That was the point I was trying to make.

      As for which works better — I do believe we naturally prefer video over text (provided the video gives us what we need to hear of course).

      Case in point — how many of us see the movie VS read the book of the movie? It’s dramatically tilted toward the movie of course. Pretty much everyone wants the movie. But why do so many business websites make us read the book when we land on their sites… ??

      And yes, I agree.. text WITH video can help, but I would argue primarily in places where there’s no context for what the video’s actually about, like YouTube for example.

      If I’m on a doctor’s website, I’m pretty sure that the video is going to be telling me something about what I’m looking for. And that’s the opportunity to really be human and establish that all-important connection with the viewer..

      And that’s something text *can* really struggle to do.

      Hope this makes sense?


      • I was going to chime in with 2 thoughts, one echoes Ian’s.

        I’d also respectfully disagree to a point that everyone wants video. I follow tons of blogs and newsletters and I only watch video when I have the time, or if it comes with a great intro as to why I should watch it, just like you did here. I can normally skim text much faster and even read in detail faster than it takes to watch a video covering the same thing. It’s not exactly like choosing movie over book. Everyone has different learning styles and I think offering a mix or variety on a website which has a goal to inform is still imperative to success.

        The other point I was going to make is that I love this post! Your examples are excellent. However, I will say again that if your written intro had not been as tempting, I may not have watched the longer one. The short one is great because it is so short and basic. Anyone can do that kind and grow from there.

        Lastly, you mentioned that you had no particular interest in bread making but the video pulled you in and made you think. It was effective for me for a reason that hasn’t been mentioned yet (maybe it is below) and that is, while I still do not want to run out and make bread, I have a friend who would love the cookbook. Guess who bookmarked it in my “gifts” file for later? I know who the audience is, even if it’s not me which is another marketing success story. Thanks again for your entry.

        • Hey Cheryl!

          I totally agree with you: video isn’t suitable for every situation nor every person. Not by a longshot.

          The point I wanted to make (which I don’t seem to have made very well) wasn’t that we should all abandon text for video, which would be silly.. But that I believe video has the *potential* to allow you to connect quicker and more powerfully with your audience than text, which is what I’m all about.

          Thanks so much for reading and thanks for your thought-provoking response, and I hope your friend likes the book ;-)))


  10. Hi Murray,
    I have always loved video but I am very aware that some people are naturals in front of the camera while others are not.
    It is difficult to find someone who will give an honest critique!
    Do you prepare a script or do you just talk off the cuff?

    Many thanks

    P.S. would you mind clicking my link & telling me what you think about my videos?

    • Hey Nick —

      I find that scripting something as personal as your own story can come off sounding canned and the danger is that the viewer won’t feel as much of a connection with you compared with if you had just been talking to them.

      The secret is to get totally comfortable telling your story. Practice telling it so it’s something you can in any situation, at any moment, whether there’s a camera pointed at you or not.

      I share a great exercise with Roberta a bit further down this page for how to do this. I think you’d enjoy it 🙂

      Also – I went to your site to check out your video but didn’t see one there. Can you link me directly to the page where I can see it?

      Thanks mate!


      • Hi Murray,

        Thanks for your reply. It always feels good to have some feedback to our comments.

        Sorry you couldn`t find one of my videos but how about my introductory video!
        I really would appreciate your honest critique

        Look forward to hearing back from you.


        • Hey Nick!

          First of all – congratulations for actually getting a video up on your site. It’s something most people will never accomplish!

          Now for the bad news LOL.. 🙂

          What you’ve made is a combination “welcome/site guide” video… where you welcome people, tell them what they’re going to find on your site and that’s it.

          You haven’t given us a reason to stick around. We don’t really know anything about you, except you’ve decided to whack up a website. You asked us to engage on your Facebook wall, but you haven’t engaged with US.

          The reality is that if you want us to stick around, you have to give us a reason. You have to tell us what YOU’RE about. You need to tell us WHY you decided to get online! What is your site for?

          Without giving us a REAL insight into who you are, we ain’t gonna stick.

          Unfortunately, some people are afraid of saying too much (read: anything) in case it turns a segment of people off. Sorry to say but them’s the facts of life.

          But to turn a group of people ON, you gotta turn a group OFF.

          My advice is:

          1. Choose an audience
          2. Give them a reason to stick by telling them your story.

          See my notes above for a GREAT exercise in finding what your story is. 🙂

          Good luck and feel free to post your followup questions if you need more clarity.


  11. Murray,

    So true! So , SO, true! The bit about taking your story for granted is what stops a ton of us dead in our tracks.

    I, honestly, am not an in front of the cam gal. I prefer screencasts.

    That’s largely due to the fact that video editing, done right, is timely and can be expensive.

    So I avoid it.

    I know, shame one me.

    I guess i need to do more research on it or maybe you’ve got a resource or two.

    ‘Cus leave it to me, I’ll screencast everything!

    Thanks for the eye-opener Murray.

  12. Murray, I loved this post. I was especially taken with “We don’t buy your amazing thing because it’s the best on the market or because it’s the cheapest. We buy because we resonate or relate with your story.” That really took a piece of pressure off of me – that I have to make my product the Best in the World. And that anything less will doom my product to certain failure. How wonderful to see that it’s so much more than that. That you don’t have to have the perfect package, the perfect website, etc.
    thanks, and keep up the good work.


    • Hey Mark —

      Yeah – not having to make a product the “best” in the world is quite a pill to swallow for us perfectionists, but once you get over it, I agree — it IS like all the pressure’s come off suddenly and you’re free to be you.

      I’m looking forward to seeing your videos!


  13. Murray,
    Can you say “I want to make some bread now!” So amazing and such good points. Yes we forget that “everyone” doesn’t always know our story and I think we feel like we should not keep repeating it but as you pointed out it’s worth repeating. Thanks so much for your insight, you are dead on it.

    • Hi Gay — Yes, that was a takeaway I hoped people would really get.

      We all assume so much about our story and because of that, most of us hesitate to tell it. But the funny thing is that human biology is hard-wired to find other peoples’ stories fascinating.

      So, what’s yours? 🙂

  14. Thanks for a great post Murray, what you are saying makes a lot of sense. It is important to communicate what we are thinking or feeling so that others can share in that experience. I am not 100 percent that the world of the internet or anywhere is divided into 2 camps: video versus text. I suspect the way it really works is a bit of both to blend into a message that others can feel along with.

    The bread video is excellently storyboarded, and tells a complete story within its span, with all the elements of a well written piece. Starts with an introduction, shows the context in which the story is set, tells what the piece is about and brings us a wealth of supporting evidence as to why this story works. And then concludes with Mark enjoying the fruits of his own creation.

    Those elements are similar to a well written piece of work and indeed the stories that bring into their midst so that we can experience them along with the narrator, we tend to remember and allow into that special place in our hearts.

    I don’t believe that most videos online do this anymore than I think most TV shows or movies compel us to participate ( or most written work either). But this video works and the text surrounding it and introducing the video play a vital part in its authenticity and value.

    An excellent video and a great way of creating engagement. Now, I just need to get on a plane and fly to San Francisco to have a sandwich and pick up a loaf to take home. 🙂

    • Hey Michael –

      I would definitely agree that this video is very well executed. The storyboarding is excellent and there’s a good structure to it. I would hasten to add to anyone who wants to start making their own videos though to not get hung up on creating something as “pro” as this. This was used merely as an example. A great story video can be very rough as well.

      Here’s an example of great (but small!) stories that aren’t scripted, storyboarded, structured, framed, or introduced in ANY way. The only question participants were asked was this — “What’s Your Secret?” The result is a video a LOT more compelling than most of the films I’ve seen this year LOL!

      Check it out here: (I started it at the story I like the best BTW)

      Cheers! — Murray

      P.S. Pick me up a loaf too while you’re up there 😉

      • The secret video is a pretty good one, very honest and some of the stories are very moving. I was thinking, after reading your site that maybe the Tartine bread would go well in that super toaster where the bread goes through and drops onto the plate.

        I am sorry, though, I am not sure your loaf would last through the shipping process. But I could do an unwrapping video of me opening the bread and eating it for you. Would that be alright. 🙂

  15. Interesting Murray
    Two questions though – how long should the video be? – I tend to play the video and keep working and if something good is said I go watch but anything longer than about 2 minutes with poor sound quality gets turned off.
    And how do get the sound quality reasonable and should you worry about the ums and ers?

    • Hey Roberta — Good to see you here 🙂

      Great question.

      Stay with me as I explain something and hopefully by the end you’ll see how I actually have answered your question about how long the video should be and how to get rid of the Ums and Aahs. OK? 🙂

      To begin with I wouldn’t worry about how long your video should be. Or even making a video at all!

      I think first you have to really nail what your story *is* and get truly comfortable telling it to people. And the best way I know to do that is by telling it every day for 7 days to someone new — face to face.

      That’s every day for at least 7 days. Tell everyone you encounter your story — whether that’s in the grocery store checkout line or a business networking event.

      It won’t be perfect the first time you speak it and you’ll probably feel self-conscious or embarrassed, but don’t stop. That just means this is important to you and you can use that nervous energy to fuel your story. Just keep speaking.

      As you do it more and more, pay attention to how you feel. Are you enthusiastic? Do you feel excitement in your body? Do you feel disconnected or unemotional? Are you speaking like an academic or with the passion of someone who’s truly lit up by what they’re doing?

      Also, pay attention to how your “audience” is reacting to you and your story. You’ll know you’ve hit on something good when you see our eyes light up or that subtle nod of recognition, that hint of smile that flashes across our face.

      Even better, they’ll ask you questions like – so how do you do that? Or, tell me more? Or we’ll want to introduce you to a friend or colleague or give you our business card. You’ll also notice when they’re looking confused or our eyes glaze over.

      No matter how it goes — ask some follow-up questions. Once you’ve shared your message, ask “Hey, you know, I’m working on fine-tuning how I talk about what I do because I notice that it’s hard for people to really get it. Do you mind if I ask you a few questions?”

      If they seem open to it, here are some questions you can ask them:

      – Based on what I said, what do you think I do? (Listen closely to see whether they got it.)
      – What could have been more clear?
      – Did anything stand out or resonate with you?
      – How did I make you feel when I shared my story with you?
      – Were you interested enough to want to share this with someone else? What could I have said to make you more interested?
      – As I was talking, did you think about someone you know who could use this kind help?
      – Do you know anyone else who does this kind of work? How am I different from them?

      The more you talk it out, they more you’ll gain confidence, lost the Ums and Aahs, and the more you’ll home in on the essence of your story. Keep experimenting. Take it up a notch. Go bigger. Make yourself uncomfortable. If you’re not squirming a little, you’re probably playing it too small or too safe.

      When you nail your story, not only will you feel different, your “audience” will feel different.

      Every time you speak your story, you have the opportunity to not just tell someone about you, what you do and why you do it, but to inspire and even transform them with your vision and enthusiasm.

      It’s only when you really know your story inside out and have practiced it that you can speak it with confidence and inspire us on camera.

      • Murray thank you. That is one of the most complete responses I have ever seen to a comment and I hope you use that as a blog post since many people may miss that comment here. I really like the 7 day principle.

      • That’s true, Roberta. This is actually THE most comprehensive and useful comment response I’ve EVER seen… period! There is no longer any need to post a reply to the post itself. This makes so much sense. I have no problems with doing a video, but like so many others, I’m concerned about getting it right. But practice makes perfect! D-uh! I’m getting started just telling my story, because I think I have a compelling and hugely important one. Thanks, Murray. You ROCK!

  16. Hi Murray,
    Okay, you convinced me. I’m going to do this. I loved the bread movie. They were both playing at one time so I chose to watch the bread one because I love bread. What camera do you recommend to video record? Do you have a fave? And why?

    • Hi and thanks for the note 🙂

      I’m really careful when I give camera advice for 1 simple reason: I don’t want you to get hung up on getting the “right” gear. Or worse — wait to begin shooting until you get the setup that some expert tells you that you need.

      My approach is this: most people already own a camera good enough to film with, so you should use it. Start filming yourself today. Even if it’s just a smartphone. Quality from those things is getting really good these days.

      The bottom line: I want you to in front of the camera in a quick, spontaneous, low pressure way, and there’s no better way than this.

      There *is* one piece of equipment I recommend you invest in though. It’s a Zoom H1 Mic that you can pin to yourself that really gives great sound. And videos *do* need great sound.

      People forgive less than deluxe quality in video. But they don’t forgive bad sound.

      Hope this helps!


      p.s. you may also want to look at getting a tripod to hold your phone/camera still. 🙂

      • hi there…

        I am late with this about video marketing but…..

        I bought the blessed Zoom H1 handy recorder.
        I bought the lavalier audio-technica micro-carvate

        I cannot make them both work together. The mic just doesn’t get the right levels for a proper recording, and of course tons of static comes in.

        Any advice on how to make it useful? the lavalier, because with the H1 it is all seemingly ok

        Cheers! – thanks for your advice

  17. Murray! Wow! I have so much to comment on because there was so much great content and even better execution. Thank you so much for this post. I love how you demonstrated with videos and pics of your own which made ‘getting you’ so much easier. It was like a journey that you took me on and I was with you all the way. Not only that, but because I have now had the experience with you, I will remember it and share it and above all, remember WHO shared it with me. Engagement mission accomplished!

    Which brings me to something I’ve come to realise over the course of this short time (a month) engaging with you and Danny.

    Business and marketing is really moving into a different paradigm. There are many entrepreneurs who shy away from marketing because selling feels so inauthentic. I know how I feel sensing in someone’s blog, email, website or seminar when ‘the pitch’ is looming. That dreaded sense of ‘Oh Lord, you done gone spoiled the friendship now’ and then to be told by marketing gurus that ‘This is how it is because you’re in this to sell yourself and your product’. But I am getting the very real sense that underneath it all, it is all about ‘sharing’. That’s it.

    I mean why are we living this life anyway? To express ourselves, our creativity and talents, right? (Or at least that’s the new way of thinking..)
    We already know a website is set up to house your product display and copy. Leave it be! You don’t have to try and sell it twice.

    All you really need to do is share your story and why your heart lights up at the thought of what you are able to share with people. The more YOU you share with people, the more you serve them. That’s all people have ever wanted on the deeper level – it’s the connection – a shared point of reference.
    And, if you’re a heart-centred entrepreneur your products and services were created with your audience in mind, so in a way, they have co-created them.
    The audience just needs to see and connect to your story to know if they want to work WITH you to solve their problem. If they connect with you and your story they will love your product because THEY are in it!

    Okay, that was my little HUGE epiphany! Thanks! I’ve just gotten clear on what my blog is going to be about. ‘Ditching the marketing rollercoaster and get to what’s real.’ Ha! Thanks Murray!

    On another note – South Africa is an emerging market since our bandwidth is still patchy, slow and exorbitantly priced. So, when I see a site or blog with video and no supporting text my wallet goes ‘Ouch!’ Text is cheaper 😀

    Thanks so much to Danny and Firepole for providing this platform to such a great bunch of people. I have unsubscribed and decluttered my inbox so much since we ‘met’ because I found some ‘real’ people I would rather hang out with – you guys.

    Power to the Heart people!

    • Amen Sister. I think we’re both on the same page here.

      My turning point was starting to share more of my personal story in my emails and I have to say — I certainly feel much better now I’m not using the usual “Overnight 8-Figures In Your Pyjamas on Remote Control” style headlines like a lot of people seem to be doing these days.

      It seems like people feel they need to do that jumping and shouting stuff just to get noticed, but ironically I think it only makes you disappear into the noise.

      What *really* gets you noticed is when people can recognize you for who you are. And personally to me, it feels better, certainly more authentic, and I love that I’m encouraging relationships and great engagement with lovely folks like you.

  18. Great article and idea! I recruited my niece to help me make videos for my freelance writing website and author website. After all, I can’t hold the camera (no tripod) and record myself at the same time. I’m off to write my scripts, which I use as a guide. I can’t help it, I like screenwriting. 🙂 I’ll include that in my video.


    I probably should make a video for my personal development website too.

  19. Video works. Many of us have read this so many times but very few of us are actually taking the steps to use video. I know part of the problem is that many of us are intimidated by the prospect of having our “shortcomings” seen by all. However, I guess that’s what actually makes people connect with us — The fact that we are just human like them.

  20. Hi Murray,

    Great post! Thank you!

    I am one of Marisa’s student in her Message to Money class and she too has encouraged us to find our own story. So this topic has been at the forefront for me lately so your post could not come at a better time.

    You list truly valid reasons as to why we don’t really tell our story. I’d like to add that while I do believe I am an interesting individual, I don’t really feel that I have a compelling story to tell. I don’t want people to be drawn to me because of some physical weakness or bad event I have had to overcome. I want to appeal to an audience for the good things I have done (which may be of the boring kind you list in your post) and not look as if I am just grabbing people’s attention through a sympathy story.

    Other than the bad things that have happened to me, I really don’t feel I have a story to tell.

    But I understand this is a journey toward realization of self so the door is not closed to finding that ‘just right story’ that resonates with my audience and that makes me feel comfortable expressing publicly.


    Janine Gregor
    Your Virtual Wizard – Internet Marketing and Virtual Assistance Services

    • Hi Janine!

      Thanks for posting and thanks for asking this great question.

      The path to discovering your “Hidden Story” as I like to call it isn’t always obvious or clear. But one thing I CAN tell you is that you do NOT have to lead with a weakness or a bad event.

      That’s just ONE of the places you can find your story and I’m going to give you four questions you can ask yourself that will really help you find something that’s true for you and which resonates with your audience.

      Don’t worry if you don’t have answers for each question. In fact, you might find that you really resonate with one and that’s perfect. Home in and dig down on the ones that hold true and interesting something for you.

      All you need to do is undercover a single nugget of truth, emotion, authenticity, uniqueness, or belief and you’re on your way to finding your hidden story.

      Question 1: Why did you go into business?

      • What was it that kept you up at night, dreaming and scheming and planning?
      • What was it that got you so excited?
      • Were you angry at the status quo in some particular field and want change?
      • Which common enemy did we share?

      Question 2: What uniqueness do you bring to the market?

      • Does it require 100 hours of labor?
      • Is there nobody else making X with material Y?
      • Is every piece you sell handmade therefore unique?
      • Are you ___s from the remote andes mountains picked by monkeys on a full moon? 🙂

      Question 3: What authenticity do you bring to the market/your industry?

      If you be yourself and create your business as a unique expression of who YOU are, then you’ll naturally attract people who resonate with that. After all — we gravitate naturally toward those people who have the courage to be vulnerable and show who they really are.

      A great example of this is Richard Branson who’s created some of the world’s most successful companies. He’s been quoted as saying he creates businesses that he would want to patronize. Two quick examples, Virgin Fitness is a gym he would want to use, Virgin Atlantic, an airline he would want to fly.

      Question 4: What strong beliefs propelled you into business that would resonate
      with other people and make them rally around? And I’m not just talking about religion here. It could be any strong belief that you hold, on pretty much anything.

      • Is “big business” an evil that needs to be fought at every turn?
      • Do you believe that God isn’t present in our lives as much as He needs to be?
      • Is meat-eating killing the planet?
      • Is our modern-day lifestyle dooming us to sickness?

      Whatever believe we hold, when we put them into video form they become compelling to watch and energizing to those who share them with us.

      So hopefully this gives you a few good tools you can use to find your story, whatever it turns out to be.

      What do you think?


      • Hi Murray,

        Thank you for your reply.

        I get your motivating points. And I am thinking…

        I will ask one more question…

        I have strong beliefs as do most of us however, the challenge is how to incorporate those beliefs into videos which are relative to business.

        Are you saying that someone coming to my virtual assistant website for social media services will be interested in a video on animal welfare or my volunteer projects in building libraries in Africa?

        Thank you.


        • hi Janine, Thanks for the question..

          >Are you saying that someone coming to my virtual assistant website
          >for social media services will be interested in a video on animal
          >welfare or my volunteer projects in building libraries in Africa?

          no — people won’t be interested in a video on animal welfare if they’ve come to your site looking for social media services.

          but — a question — do you donate money to help build libraries in Africa? perhaps that’s something you can incorporate into your story along the lines of…

          “I believe we’re here on this planet to do good. And I believe in the promise of social media to help us do better as human beings. In fact, I believe SO strongly in helping that I’ve committed to donating $x out of every $y I earn to help build libraries in Africa.”

          Janine, that’s a VERY VERY rough idea, but you can see the direction I’m going? When you talk about what you believe in a way that allows people to identify and resonate with you and what you stand for… then there’s a huge potential to attract a very healthy army of fans around what you’re doing. (Maybe even enough to start a movement.)

          Of course too, the ones you didn’t resonate at all, who don’t care about this stuff, will just go away. Which is what you want, after all.

          Let me know what you think?

          I’m happy to kick around more ideas with you too. Just add to this thread! 😉


  21. Hi Murray,

    Thanks so much for sharing such an insightful post. I loved the video and really take my hat off to Chad. Interestingly, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about WHY I do what I do and have been wondering if I should share it on my website…so thanks for giving me this confirmation!

    What’s your advice for where a video like this should be positioned on a website? Will it work as the Opt-In video on the Home page of a website? Or should the Opt-In just be focussed on explaining the FREE product people will get if they subscribe.

    Thanks in advance!

    • Hi Kerry 🙂

      Maybe you could try the video on your home page, free to view.. and at the end of the video, like Chad did, put some text saying “if you liked this video then go ahead and throw your details into the form below and I”ll send you this other cool thing.”

      Here’s another example of a chocolate store in NY.

      They have an amazing video on their About page which explains What They Believe when it comes to chocolate. You could do exactly the same thing, but for what it is that *you’re* passionate about.

      In case you’re thinking “That’s all well and good Murray but they’ve spent serious money on this video. I don’t have that kind of money to throw at it”. It’s totally raw and unedited footage taken by a client of Captain Chuck Wilson’s and it actually works very well as the basis of a his Reason Why. It’s about the cheapest and least produced thing I’ve ever seen, but the point I want to make is that production isn’t important when you’re telling your Hidden Story. It’s only the story that’s important. And as they go, this is honest and compelling.

      He gives us a glimpse into his past life working as a cop in the big city and shows us the life he’s living now. Chuck’s journey is inspiring and inspirational. We connect with his authenticity and he makes us see the world through his eyes. End result –

      I’m guessing lots of people resonate with his story because Chuck’s got no shortage of eager folks to take fishing in Hawaii.

      Hope this helps Kerri!

    • Why are you giving people a FREE product if they subscribe? That, to me, should be the parting message of your video – assuming the video is to tell your story AND get people to subscribe. Please allow me to rant, but this may not apply to you, so here goes: Don’t tell me that your free product is going to change my life forever or it’s the thing you usually sell to your clients for $750 but free for me if I subscribe – this is marketing.

      Finnish with something like: ‘I’m looking for some crazy-assed people who want to take a journey with me. For x years now I’ve been doing abc and that’s changed lives – but of course, you’d expect me to say that – so what I’d like to do is give you a SINGLE POWERFUL KEY STEP in the journey I offer. Simply fill in the form and I’ll email you all about it.

  22. GREAT post. I’ve done some basic videos for a couple local businesses for their website. Some too long…. some not really animated… but they did work. I think we tend to forget to consider just how many need to watch the video to be profitable. A B&B that has 4 rooms, only needs maybe 100 people over the course of a year to actually watch the video and like it to boost their room occupancy.

    I think the allergist should run a test with the video you created. I really liked it. And Chad’s… well, what can I say. I gave up making bread several years ago because I eat too much of it. hahah I’m a grandma… and now I want to go back to bread making because he reminded me of why I love to make bread. 🙂

    Great job on this, Murray. I have two clients that I’m going to do this … even if I’m using an old FLIP camcorder. Because their stories will work.

    • Thanks for reading Ellie – I appreciate it.

      And I agree with you 100%:
      – The allergist should test
      – We should eat more bread
      – Your clients should have videos



  23. I’ve been reading the comments and have this to add – and I think it sets up the ‘who needs video’ along with ‘when and where to use it’:
    Our take on video at stems from this – not many people go into a business or starts a business because they want it to be ORDINARY (However, many businesses (and business owners, for that matter) end up that way).

    Video works best for those of us who still have a fire in the belly, who still want to create a great business that creates great products or services and breathes life into the customers, and, importantly, the owners.

    If someone has a business whereby they can’t say those things or don’t feel those things, then the style of video Murray is talking about is probably not the way to go.
    This is why some videos you see on the web in the candid, heart-to-heart style for large corporations don’t work – it’s something the marketing department came up with and the sentiment is not shared by the staff etc.

    Papa John did a great, moving story: and then said in there somewhere that 80,000 team members basically put their hearts into Papa John pizza. This is only something a marketing department would say – the first comment on Youtube is from one of these team members that earns a whopping $5.50 an hour there.

    The key, I think is this:
    If you set out to do something extraordinary then tell your story – it’s pretty simple – you had a beginning, then stuff happened in the middle and then tell them how you see the end.

    If you don’t have a fantastic story then don’t worry about doing video. The thing about video is most viewers can spot if it’s fake or contrived – they’re not just listening to the words, they watching your face and reading your body language – something that won’t happen if you simply write your story down and plonk it up as text in the ABOUT US page on your website.

    Lastly, sometimes you don’t need words at all. Here’s a video, without a single word, that will make you think an $800 pair of shoes is cheap:

    As Murray has said in this comment thread, everyone worries about the right sort of gear for making video – an iPhone is just fine for your video, however, people may forgive picture quality or bad editing but they won’t forgive bad sound – do invest in a good microphone and find some music that sets the emotion.

    Then get out there and practice – start the camera, cue the mic and start talking. Get shots of what you do, happy customers etc, then walk away from it for a week. The following week, fire up iMovie or whatever and edit your little movie. Play it back, if it sucks then rinse and repeat.

    Interestingly, most of the videos featured here are not trying to be salesy – the video helps put a face to the product or service in a HUGE sea of anonymity which is the internet. Most websites selling a service look the same as the other websites selling a similar service – the owners are mostly unknown to the prospects – an authentic video helps break the barriers and builds the trust by putting a face to the name. People like faces – probably more so than slick websites.

  24. I am overwhelmed with all this inspiration here.
    There can be thousands of questions, I have my own kilo as well, but at the end is clear what is all this about.
    In this occasion I want to share an example I bumped into. At the beginning of the loop of this post, my thoughts were something like: Well, these people do something! You know? they actually DO bread, Chocolate, healing people, etc. And what about people like me doing just businesses? like consulting for example, well! I found the answer, and I am totally engaged to this flow of comments following the thread, which means these videos are working.
    here is my business-related example for all those with a similar situation to mine.
    it’s about a consulting firm specialized in sustainability, it has a motto, a purpose, there is a story behind, and a hope. ( and it’s only 100 secs long)

    bye, throw your videos.


    • Hey Cesar!

      Thanks for posting this video. While I agree that this is a super important topic, I didn’t like the video at all.

      Where’s the emotion??? There was none!

      The guy was talking about “value chains” and “dynamic interplay of values”, and stuff. Damn near put me to sleep.

      What about instead telling us a story of WHAT brought him into this world? WHY he decided to try to make a difference in the world?

      • Perhaps it was to make it a better planet for his kids? To see him tell a story like that would have been worth watching.

      • Perhaps it was because he was sick of corporate America poisoning the 3rd world? (just making stuff up here) … But that would have been a polarizing story worth watching.

      And that’s the key — the more polarizing and emotional the story, the better.

      It means more committed fans. It means they’ll share it with their like-minded friends. It means you can dominate a niche instead of trying to capture the world and failing dismally.

      Too many environmental and NGO organizations make the mistake of assuming that the importance of their cause is self-evident. They assume people will naturally understand why they need to be involved.

      But we don’t. We’re busy and we don’t have time to “work it out”.

      So when they keep the emotion out of it to keep it “professional” (I guess to try to keep the appeal “broad”), they really miss a golden opportunity to capture the very people they need.

      My advice:

      • Put emotion into everything you do.
      • Tell us what you believe.
      • Tell us WHY you’re doing what you’re doing.
      • Don’t hold back.
      • Tell us stories that move us. That shake us. That make us laugh, cry and think.

      Hope this helps!


      • I would like to tell my story and I do think its a good an inspiring one. *But* it doesn’t position me as the expert consultant and professional service provider which is my goal. How do you balance the two?

        • Hi Mandi,
          I haven’t really thought this through but here’s my quick take on this: The bread video, the shoemaker video etc. don’t try to position or sell – they tell the story. They give your, otherwise, unknown product or service a history, culture and personality. In short, these videos show that you’re simply not another breadmaker, shoemaker, architect, consultant – the idea is to show that your business has HEART.

          Saying your an expert or a professional through your marketing is hype – especially for people that don’t know you. Let me take this a bit left of field and bring it back home: Charities are always trying to raise money and if you go to their sites they all pretty much look the same and say the same things and beg for donations – yet how many times have people who needed charity been inundated with funds simply because they told their story? Just recently the community on Reddit raised $80,000 for an orphanage, that was attacked by robbers in Africa, when someone put a photo up of one of the workers who was cut by a machete trying to defend the kids. Originally the orphanage was looking for $2,000 but the picture and the story gives the request HEART.

          In short, telling the story was stronger than simply asking for the money – and I’m going to extrapolate this to your business: Telling your STORY is going to be STRONGER than simply asking for the BUSINESS.

          Marketing consultants are really business therapists – you take your business to the consultant/therapist and ask – ‘what’s wrong with me? Why don’t more people like me?’

          And here’s the thing: the problem with many businesses is they don’t really have anything to ‘market’ – they’re just not that special or not special enough. You may think that’s horse-twang but think about all the shoe stores in your town, the hairdressers, the pizza shops, the butchers, the accountants . . . +/- 10% they all look the same, and all operate the same way and are all probably priced the same.

          So, in order to make a business like that stand out a marketing consultant needs to find something that he/she can sell – some point of difference – something that gives people a reason to choose YOU.

          This is where the video comes in: tell your story, tell them why you got inspired to do whatever it is you do, tell them what pissed you off about what others were doing in your industry – – – put all that on video. Then after the video ask people to join you on your journey.

          As I read somewhere about creativity – many creative ideas or innovation arises because someone was pissed off by the way the product or service used to be done.

          This is why boutique *insert any business here* do so well – they simply don’t look or operate the same as their competitors and thus people actively seek them out because they want the experience, they want to be part of the journey.

          Let your video, show people the journey you’re on and let that video be the first part of the experience than can expect from you.

          Does that make sense?

          • Thanks for that in-depth answer. It makes me pretty scared to proceed because it is against the advice of my mentor. I read The Elements of Persuasion, which is about storytelling, and I came out more ready to tell my story. Apartment manager/marketer with amazing results >> started a business as web and graphic designer >> focused more on brand identity + brand strategy >> now emphasizing brand and marketing strategist with some design. I’m very passionate about what I do and there is a good story behind it, but it is very non-conventional (ie. my start was reading an entire bookshelf at the downtown library + on the job) and I am afraid I will loose credibility if I admitted, that although I am talented and take an alternative approach, I am not as experienced and I don’t want to bring up a potential issue. Thanks for your take on this!

          • Mandi – that’s how i got started in marketing…

            i didn’t have a degree or any “conventional” training. i just read my Dad’s bookshelf dry. and then found more books. and then started doing it for people.

            when i would tell them my story, i found that they loved it! :))

          • Hi again,
            but this is exactly your story – let’s see if I can show you how to use your lack of ‘credibility’ as a way to discredit people with more credentials. This may or may not work for you but let’s explore it anyhow.

            Here’s how I see you coming at it: . . .
            I came to brand and marketing strategy from a different direction to most people. I had my own businesses and I didn’t have ‘Other People’s Money’ to play with when it came to building my own business brands and marketing. I had a talent for design which helped me but, more importantly, I devoured every book I could get my hands on about marketing, branding and design then went out and implemented those ideas.

            In short I have a ‘sleeves rolled up’ approach to branding and marketing with proven strategies that get RESULTS. And my approaches don’t require mortgaging the farm to do this stuff – I guess that’s what sets me apart – real world experience with real people were the dollars count.

            You know, when it comes to marketing and branding it’s not about degrees or even industry experience – I’ve seen to many marketing strategists saying they have 6 years experience when they’ve really had only one year experience and have done it six times – and it’s not about people who have studied how Apple did x y or z. There are so many small or medium sized businesses out there who are creating amazing experiences for their customers, building businesses that give customers, staff and owners LIFE – and they don’t have the budgets of a fortune 500. You don’t need a Harvard degree to create a great brand – you just need help.

            What I think most businesses are looking for is someone who can help set them apart from their competitors. Someone who has been in business, didn’t become a marketing person because that’s what a guidance counsellor told them they should do at school.

            For me, a business is about personality – a good brand is a business where people go to FEEL something – a place where they feel they belong – and that applies to everything from where you buy your coffee, to your copy paper to the person who does your taxes.

            There’s no reason for any business to be ordinary – in fact most business start out with a person wanting to do something EXTRAORDINARY. I guess my talent lies in taking the story or emotions that drive the business and turning those things into powerful branding and marketing strategies.

            I guess you could say I have a talent for it – it’s what I love doing and what I do best.


            I’ve thrown the kitchen sink at you and while that may be a heap to read I think you could pick the sound-bites out of it and turn it into an interesting video. Throw in shots of cool coffee shops, funky stores, happy customers etc, some cool designs etc. and this might become a nice little 2-3 minute video. Don’t forget a suitable soundtrack – people love music.

            Lastly, feel free to ignore my post my advice is free and, as the saying goes – ‘you get what you pay for’ – in this case a poorly thought out, unproof-read bunch of copy that may miss the mark entirely.

            I don’t know your story or your business whereas your mentor does – so listen to your mentor.

            What I was trying to get through in my copy – having read it and found it a bit disjointed – is the following:

            • Big business can afford the throw big $$$ at marketing and branding – you are different because you know how to get great results within a small business’s budget

            • People with degrees experience have either come at this because someone told them to do ‘marketing’ when they left hight school and have never read or picked up a book since OR they have done one or two things that worked and just ‘rinsed and repeated’ over the years.

            • I’m trying to turn your perceived negative “I lack experience or credibility’ into a positive – ‘I’m cutting edge and have walked in your shoes”

            • It’s not about tricky copy or fancy stunts – it’s about making the invisible VISIBLE – finding the story and the emotion that built or drives your client’s business and turning that into the BRAND through good MARKETING – that’s what you do, that’s your talent and for a no-obligation chat you would be happy to talk to me about my business and find MY story.

            Does that help?

          • Wow! Yes that helps immensely. It is great hearing from others who have taken a similar path. Thanks you! Amazing tips here. It can be so challenging pulling out the details of your own story. You really need a pair of outside eyes, which is what it sounds like we both do. Really love your approach! Good luck with the contest!

  25. Thank you Murray for your insight into area I know nothing about. I am overwhelmed by the amount of “noise” in print and video. What would you recommend for the length of time of a video intro on a home or about page?

    • Hey Carmen 🙂

      Short answer: Your video should be as long as it needs to be. If you’re really telling us your big WHY and what you believe, then it will rise above all the “noise” that you mentioned.

      For a slightly longer answer, I’d need to know a little bit more about your industry and your audience. If they’re teenagers, then I’d say keep it shorter. If they’re used to sitting still for longer, then you could go longer.

      But the golden rule is and always will be — don’t be boring. 🙂

      Does this help?

      That said, feel free to tell me a little more about you and your story here in the comments and we can workshop it a little.

  26. Loved it!… Yes I wanted to make bread and buy the book and go out to lunch in a cool bistro… BUT the use of video to promote what are obviously stellar services is brilliant…

  27. Genius strategy, Simple but still genius. One thing that is evident is how sharable real/authentic/unfiltered content is. Will be doing this for my blog and why I started on this journey really great insight. Do you have your own blog Murray?

    • hey Dwayne — thanks for reading and I’m glad you enjoyed the article so much. 🙂

      My blog/site is at .. it’s just launched last week and together with my business partner we’re talking about breaking the “rules” of marketing in hundreds of easy ways that get you noticed quickly and powerfully.

      I’d love to hear more about the story you’re going to create… Tell us more…


  28. Great article Murray! Video is one of those “duh” marketing tools but it seems to bring up all sorts of fear in people. I reminder myself that I’m not trying to create anything Emmy worthy … just be myself so the ideal clients in the world that are meant to work with me will see who I am and what I’m all about. I’m DEATHLY afraid of being in front of the camera and have always been the behind-the-scenes production manager for events so I appreciate the tips you and others here shared. I recently was interviewed on camera in a group setting as part of a teleconference series and despite my sweaty palms and pounding heart you can’t tell that I’m nervous in the finished product and my true authentic self really shines through. I’m here to say it can be done and it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be and the power of that message is 10,000 stronger than any textual write-up I could have ever created. Kuddos to you for sharing this post – slainte!

    • Hi Deborah —

      Good to see you and you are right on the money. Video can engage in a way that text can’t and I for one applaud your efforts to get comfortable on camera.

      Keep it up!


  29. Hi Murray. I was actually inspired enough to leave a comment, something I never do!! What a great video, and I’ll have to echo the same as most who left a comment, you cannot show or express emotion thru the written word. Many have tried, but most of us get bored too easily and move on before you get to the meaty stuff. I’ve been on your list for about 2 weeks now, and love your stuff. But like most small business owners, time is a valuable commodity. Its been a tough couple of years, but I came to a realization a day or two ago, I don’t like what I do anymore, so I’m going to change it. I’m turning down work that I would have jumped at in the past, and I”m very good at it. But I feel that at my age, I need to start expressing myself thru my artistic side, and a no nonsense video like the Baker and the Doctor is what I’m setting my sights on now. Not sure how I’m going to do, or what equipment I’m going to use, but I have an incredible circle of close friends who can lend me equipment, expertise and as much support as I need. I’m going to do it!!! Thanks again for all of your great stuff, and for opening up my eyes to an endless list of possibilities…….

    • Hey Carl!

      Hahah! Sounds like you’re beginning many things which you’ve never done before. My hat’s off to you. Not many people are brave enough to really change things up like you are!

      We’ll all be very very interested to see the videos you start to create.

      BTW: Thomas, in the comment below, had some great feedback if you’re just getting started.



  30. Thanks for an inspiring post!
    If we only can find the courage to stand up for who we are and what we believe in (following our heart and intuition), then almost no marketing is needed. We will attract the right people (our tribe) just by our sheer presence and message. I believe video is a great medium for this because people will get to know you in an instant.
    I also agree with you on the point that rough videos without too much of scripts are the ones that stand out the most in this era of information overload. We always look for somethimg real and even if it comes across with “flaws”, we tend to take it heart because it is deeply rooted in our nature to do so.
    So whoever that wants to share there message via video on the web today. My suggestion is: Buy cheap equipment or just use your PC or iPhone/Android. Get in the habit of filming yourself weekly (short clips 1-3 minutes), sharing your story, message, tips and tricks with the world. Then it gradually will become a relaxed creative, fun and inspiring process for both you and the viewers.

    • Great comment Thomas. I agree wholeheartedly. It’s all about just doing it and doing it and doing it until you feel natural.

      Have you made any videos? I’d love to check them out. You look like an interesting character LOL. 🙂


  31. I gotta have some of that bread! Such a simple, but powerful tip to let people in on why you do what you do. As a fitness professional, people are shocked when I tell them I used to be overweight and out of shape. It really helps me gain their trust that I have been in their shoes before. Kind of a silly question, but do you have any recommendations for tripods that would work with FlipCams or iPhones?

  32. Great article, Murray! Thanks for sharing the Baker and Doctor. I am going to show this to my wife so we can improve her business’ website!

  33. This is a terrific article and I am goign to action this on my new website – I think it is the thing that is missing…that personal connection upfront, the putting forward of a a ‘real person’ behind the website that will hopefully make potential members feel more comfortable to join and also understand the passion behind the project – great article Murray! Thank you.

      • G’Day Murray,
        The site is – just launched, so in its infancy. I think our approach would help to key people in to the sense of community we are working to build and put a human face on what we are doing.
        Question – in terms of editing, can you recommend a person to do the editing, intro and exit work?
        Cheers Simon
        PS: Happy Australia Day for tomorrow!

  34. Hey Murray, great info here…

    Have enjoyed learning from this and also the ideas shared

    Was wondering what your story is? Have you created a video for your story?

  35. Great article. The bread example is a nice one, but I hope others won’t feel intimidated to do this with their own stories because they don’t have the capabilities to produce such a video masterpiece. Just getting the message out is what counts. I hired my acupuncturist with meh website (we are relaunching an update soon) based entirely on his personable, but low-tech video. I “got it” in under 2 minutes that he understood my needs and was passionate about solving my problem. Win-win for us both since he got a raving fan, I got fast pain relief that kept me living and working.

    • Somewhere in this conversation, Murray was talking about a client we helped who had it in his head to do a video like your acupuncture example – he was trying to be a bit salesy and convincing in order to get people to use his factory. However the real gold came when he thought the camera was off while we were setting something else up and started telling us what excited him about his business, how the business was small and agile with the ability to do great things and how much he loved what he had created.

      Anyhow, we gave him two versions of his video – one where he was like your accupuncturist – all facts, figures etc. – and the other where he had his heart on his sleeve explaining how he found the factory that wasn’t doing well and turned it around and even though it is small there is a heart to the business that wants to do great things with great people – he loved the impromptu version but coming from a traditional business background he was scared in running it – so we added it as a ‘special feature’ that runs in the credits.

      Interestingly it’s the snippet in the credits that really gels with his prospects. You can see the video here:

      I should point out that this video was shot in a few hours, he had a lapel mic on for the interview going into a zoom recorder and we basically asked him questions about his business and edited the sound bites. One of the key questions was to say ‘So What?’ to him when he was talking about boring stuff and that lead him to go deeper and rephrase his answer in ways that MEAN something to the prospective customer.

      The soundtrack came from

      Lastly, his strategy was kind of cool. He didn’t want to have a website that would bog prospects down by talking about equipment, facilities, technical details etc. What he wanted was a way for people who are interested in making sauces or dressings to identify with his business and contact him via email – it’s kind of like how many websites ask you to enter your address for a free report 🙂 .

      This is how he grew the business – the video helps him work with customers who want to work with him. They don’t want to work with a BIG mayonaise seller – which is why he pushes ‘small and agile’. He wants to work with smaller companies who care about ingredients and taste – the video helps pre-select those sort of clients.

      Anyhow, I think that is one of the things I like about a ‘single video strategy’ – a good video gives your brand a VOICE or a personality. Some will like it, others won’t but at the end of the day our biggest successes come from working with people who WANT to work with us.

      Which leads me back to the acupuncturist video you linked to above: for me it would have been so much cooler if he explained WHY he got into the business, how badly he wanted to HELP people without drugs etc. And interlace that with shots of his studio, needles being applied, candles being lit, ancient chinese texts being written, dolly shots over the needles all laid out – you get the idea.

      His video was good but was possibly missing a key ingredient: heart. It’s kind of like he was reading the text of what you might see on a home page. You should have a chat with him, and show him some of the video examples on this page then consult to him – tell him you’d like to reshoot the video with him talking from the heart about why he does what he does, why he feels the way he does about acupuncture. Make that video, put it at the top then rattle off the FAQ about treatments, first appointments etc. underneath on the page with text.

      Somewhere Murray and I started a report with links and brief overviews for heaps of these sorts of videos – I will try to get hold of him and see if we can finish it. It’s a huge source of material to learn from and build upon – and we even include the dollarshaveclub video amongst many others.

      • Thanks for sharing all that!

        You are right that the video isn’t inline with what you are talking about and he admits it not up-to-snuf. It is better than nothing though. I got to “know” him enough to trust him enough to go in there. Also a huge distinction in my mind is that he showed me what was different about WHA. Going more facts and result is actually a plus when your competition is very touchy feely, all Asian energy. That’s great and all, but I am thinking: “I in pain right now! I don’t have time hear about their passions unless it directly involves fixing me!” He addressed the issue where skipping around.

        • But Mandi, when you are in pain, isn’t that exactly the time you want to know the person you are going to really cares, not only trying to use your pain to make a buck?

          • Yes Ruthy! Great point. There is only one thing different about the world of natural medicine- seemingly *everyone* is passionate about helping people. People don’t go in that field to get rich, unlike conventional medicine. It comes down to credibility. When a whole industry is slanted one way, going the other – an evidenced based route, is an easy way to stand out. (Side note: I think this is exactly the direction the entire industry needs to move toward to experience more growth and main stream acceptance. )

  36. And here I am again.

    😉 Did anybody mentioned one amazing, incredible, fabulous video I just bumped into? about some guy trying to TAKE A SLIDE OF THE MARKET FROM a TERRIFYING HUGE company? like P&G? with a ONE dollar something something business? wow!

    get some hilarious and overwhelming effective 1,3o secs video here

  37. Thanks for such a fabulous article Murray…love the thought process and the storytelling. I’m a storyteller (and lifelong one at that) who hasn’t done this, yet, for all the reasons (and more!) you’ve highlighted. Much of my story has been a falling into things by “accident” and I didn’t think people would give a hoot. Now I’m thinking about how to reshape those thoughts.

      • Hi Murray…you’re most welcome! I’ve been reshaping them…and reshaping them and took the opportunity to share something very personal about divorce with the Divorce Catalyst. The first time I’ve shared outside immediate family and friends. Since I’m something of a geekette and a “there’s a tool for that” person who focuses on strategy and automation, I did a couple of Q&A calls about Pinterest. For the first time ever I shared a bit about how that came to be and at the end, told people I really didn’t give a damn about techie stuff…it could fall off the face of the earth. What I really cared about, my BIG WHY, is that I spent a lifetime being told to shut up. sit down. be quiet. And now my mission was to help voices be heard…and it so happens technology is one way to do that. I know it wasn’t as smoothly done as Marissa’s AND I started. Thank you!

        • Oh…and I didn’t do an on camera video and had a blast doing the one for my home page! Others tell me my gift is my voice and I’m starting to share it more now. Thanks!

  38. I have been avoiding video! After watching the examples you put in this article, I no longer have any excuses. I avoid flour, but wanted to eat the whole loaf of bread on the first video you shared. I realized how powerful that was. Of course the video was well done and quite professional. I think that is one of my biggest hang ups, not wanting to put out a video that looked hookey. Thanks for the article. I will make a commitment to do at least one video in the next 7 days. Whew, scary!

      • I produce training, promotional and corporate videos for big businesses (Siemens, Nissan etc) and now that the technology is so much cheaper and better I am really enjoying working with the small business owner who has something to say 🙂

  39. I’ve always struggled with video because I want it to look professional. I’m cool with looking into SlideShare and PowerPoints, but unless I have a real videographer, I think my video would kind of come out like crap. I’ve done stuff similar to this (and it’s on YouTube), but I’ve never put it on my site because A) I believe I’m a better writer than speaker and B) I don’t want it to look amateur-ish.

    What are your thoughts on this? Does the quality of the video matter, or just the content?

  40. What you’ve outlined here is one of the reasons why I try to include a video in every post that I do.

    People are going to go for video or audio because it is less work. They can get a real feeling for what you’re like and how passionate you are.

    I know a lot of people are shy, and that can be hard to work around. It just takes small steps.

    If there is one thing that people should think about, it’s audio quality. There have been times when I am watching a video and interested, but the audio is crap, so I stop watching. Just a small tip.

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