20 thoughts on SlideShare.net

Creating slide shows and uploading them to the web is a a great way to introduce your company to social media. I view it as a sort of stepping stone to video. SlideShare.net is a great site that gives you all the tools you will need to do this. Here are some thoughts to keep in mind. This list is going to be similar to the list on using video to market your service.

1. You absolutely should not create a commercial.

2. Engaging slide shows are hard to make.

3. Clearly establish expectations on the first slide.

4. Create value for your target audience.

5. Value is not a slide show that regurgitates your website.

6. Value is the sharing of knowledge in a way that engages people.

7. Please do not use PowerPoint templates.

8. Nothing says “amateur” like a PowerPoint template.

9. Being viewed as an amateur is death to selling a service.

10. Put yourself in your audiences shoes, what information would they find valuable?

11. Is there a pain that you can remove through a slide show?

12. The slide show has to be visually engaging no mater what the content.

13. Just because they cost nearly nothing to make doesn’t mean a slide show has to look cheap.

14. The goal is to create something that will be shared.

15. Do it in a way that is unique.

16. Make it easy to find.

17. Do NOT regurgitate your website.

18. Don’t make a slide show just to make a slide show. Have a reason.

19. Embed the slide show(s) somewhere that makes sense on your site.

20. Create a slide show that makes people realize that you are an expert in your field.

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21 thoughts on video sharing

Let’s talk video and service marketing. Its exciting and daunting at the same time.

There are dozens of video sharing sights out there. YouTube, Revver, Yahoo Video, Veoh, etc. They are all fairly similar with slight variations from site to site. YouTube is probably the best place to start.

Some things to keep in mind if you decide to go down this path.

1. You absolutely should not create a commercial.

2. Make it no longer than 3 minutes.

3. Create value for your target audience

4. Value is not simply a commercial about your company or service.

5. Value is the sharing of knowledge in a way that engages people.

6. Value creates a sense that you are an expert in the information that you are sharing.

7. Value can also be to simply entertain.

8. Creating something that lot’s of people find entertaining enough to forward to their friends can be challenging

9. The wrong video will be mocked and ridiculed…

10. …or even worse, ignored.

11. Put yourself in your clients shoes, what information would they find valuable?

12. Ask your clients what they would find valuable.

13. Is there a pain that you can remove for your clients through video?

14. The video has to be quality.

15. It can be low budget and reflect quality if done right.

16. The goal is to create something that will be shared.

17. Do it in a way that is unique.

18. Make it easy to find.

19. Do NOT make a commercial.

20. Don’t make a video just to make a video. Have a reason.

21. Create a video that makes people realize that you are an expert in your field.

The listener is in control

Imagine if you could put yourself in a situation where you know everything about what the other person is thinking and they know nothing about what you are thinking.

You can…just ask questions and listen.

Most people love to talk about themselves, their problems, their opinions and if you’re in sales, your product or service. But, you learn nothing while you are speaking. And chances are that your clients learn very little while you are speaking as well. If you simply ask questions and listen you will be the one in control of the situation. You know everything about them. They know very little about you except for the fact that your service can provide a solution to their problem, which you know because you’ve been listening.

The listener controls the conversation.

Common social media tools and marketing a service

There are lot’s of them. But let’s look at the basic one’s and how they can be used for marketing a service.  

YouTube (video sharing) – Great tool if you have the resources to make it work. The quality has to be there or a video could actually be damaging to your companies reputation. And reputation is huge for a service company. Don’t simply make a commercial. Create something of value for your target market. The videos can be easily embedded into your website. Users will forward it to others if they see value. That’s the power of social media.

SlideShare – Poor man’s version of YouTube. Same idea except its slideshows instead of video. A great stepping stone if video is too intimidating.

Blogs – Don’t blog just to blog. Have a reason and provide value. Blogs are a great way to demonstrate your knowledge and encourage exchanges with your clients and target market. 

Social NetworksFacebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, Bebo, Friendster, Orkut, etc. There are literally thousands of social networks if you count all the niche networks created using sites like Ning. But be careful which networks you join. Your brand can be effected by where it hangs out. Do your research as some of these networks have special tools for companies looking to take advantage of them.

Second Life (virtual world) – Cool concept but I’m not sold yet on its effectiveness as a marketing tool. Have fun with it but don’t expect much just yet.

These are some of the most common examples of social media. I plan on expanding on each of them in a future post. I’m also planning on discussing some other social media tools at a later date. 

Social media is negative

Have you ever tried getting someone’s opinion when you have them on the phone or are talking face-to-face with them? Most of the time they will not be 100% honest. By nature, most people do not want to create waves so they tend to respond in a way that may not be completely honest. I know I am guilty. Take for example the following exchange I recently had. I’m guessing you’ve had these too.

Friend: “How did you like the condo I recommended in Maui? Wasn’t it great?”

Me: “Yeah, it was nice.”

Friend: “We just loved it. Its so cute.”

Me: “Yeah, it was really nice.”

Friend: “I mean the furniture was a little outdated, but the place was nice. Didn’t you just love it?”

Me: “Yeah, we had a good time.”

The fact is, I hated the place but I just didn’t have the heart to tell the person that recommended it to me. The same can happen with your clients. Account Mangers develop relationships with individuals and those individuals are probably not always honest with the Account Manager due to the relationship and not wanting to cause friction.

In steps social media. For whatever reason, people are more honest when they are not directly speaking with another human being. Blogs, wikis, forums, online surveys are all great ways to get honest customer input. Phone calls can be made afterwards. The key is to get the customer to provide unfettered input and then react accordingly.

I believe it can be summed up best with a quote that I heard a while back from the CEO of Southwest Airlines. “Negative is the new positive.”

If you want to be successful, don’t sell your service

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been sold to. My guard immediately goes up when this happens. How does the sales person know if his or her service is something I need? And even if it is, do I want to buy from someone who is more intent on making a sale as opposed to listening to my needs?

Sometimes the conversation starts out on the right path, but too often turns into the sales person telling me what he or she can sell me. This is a short sighted approach. Listen to your potential clients. They have a problem that needs to be solved. If you don’t listen, you won’t be able to solve it. Resist the effort to sell.

The other thing is that a potential client is giving you their most valuable resource…time. You should feel honored and grateful. Don’t abuse it. 90% of that time should be spent asking questions and figuring out if you can solve their problem. If your service doesn’t solve their problem, be honest. You may not make an immediate sale, but you also won’t waste valuable resources trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.