Video. Just the word can send shivers down your spine.
Whether it’s a fear of the camera, failure or technology, video is an often overlooked marketing medium.
However, with the dawn of Google+ and Hangouts on Air, your ability to get “on camera” is more readily available than ever before.
One of the best ways to use Hangouts is to raise awareness around your business or brand.
There are hundreds of hangouts taking place each week. Why not identify those that are specific to your industry or area of expertise and request a guest interview?
Not only can the right video interview position you as an authority, but it can also build credibility.
Nevertheless, becoming a great guest and knowing what it takes to provide a perfect interview doesn’t happen overnight.
I was honored to join Ronnie Bincer, The Hangout Helper to discuss Google+, Hangouts and the power of video interviews.
If you’re ready to take advantage of Hangouts on Air and become the best interview guest possible, read through these top tips taken from our hour together.
Use Video Interviews to Boost Business Visibility
In the digital age where over 6 billion hours of video are watched on YouTube each month, video interviews are a marketing tool you don’t want to miss out on.
Not only do they offer unique insight into your business, but also an endless supply of content across your website and social channels.
So, let’s get you started!
STEP 1: Prepare
- Know your topic and focus on the key points you want to convey. Stick with three main points and don’t allow yourself to veer off-topic.
- Keep your answers short, concise and get to the point.
- Avoid complex industry speak – talk as if you’re talking to someone who doesn’t understand your industry.
- Ask for an outline or questions ahead of time so there’s plenty of time to prepare.
- Talk through your answers, but don’t script them out. You’ll come off feeling stilted and inauthentic.
- Do your homework on your host and understand their audience. You’re far more effective if you can speak directly to their needs.
- Don’t be afraid to ask your host for talking points and make suggestions based on content and topic.
STEP 2: Look Your Best
- First impressions are powerful. They create credibility and authority. Don’t miss an opportunity to make an unforgettable impression.
- For women, make sure your makeup is the same color as your skin. If not, you may appear pasty or pale or worse yet, the sunburned fake suntan look.
- For women and men, apply powder on your nose, forehead, and face to avoid looking shiny or oily under your lighting.
- Apply lip balm, but not liberally as to make you look shiny. Just enough to keep your lips moist.
- Pick bright, vibrant colors that pair well with your setting.
STEP 3: Presentation
- Choose the right setting and make sure it’s bright, open and doesn’t include distracting items.
- Lighting is imperative – double-check yours before going live in any interview.
- Sound quality check is the same as above. Ensure that your sound is crisp and clear.
- How to feel comfortable in front of the camera:
- Look directly into the camera and hold eye contact.
- Don’t fidget – it only makes you look nervous.
- Lean forward, sit tall and breathe evenly.
- Use your interviewers name and speak directly to them.
- Talk to one person, not every person.
STEP 4: Don’t Forget
- Turn off your cell phone.
- Shut down everything running on your computer except the HOA or video.
- This should go without saying, but spit out your gum.
- Sit in a comfortable chair that allows you to look directly into the camera. Keeping your audience eye-level creates a relationship rather than looking up or down which can be threatening, or worse, diminishing.
How to Become the Best HOA Guest (and find awesome opportunities)
I had the pleasure to not only join Ronnie, but several additional professionals on the hangout. Each were kind enough to share their best tips.
If you’re eager to become the best Hangout on Air guest and want to find awesome video interview opportunities, below are ways you can get started.
Consistently share the video from a HOA Event or the HOA Event itself with some relevant, insightful commentary ‘up top’ while tagging the Host and panel members. Explain in that commentary why you think the content is helpful to your followers in a way that gets the attention of the Host of the HOA.
Another related idea is to follow the host you hope to connect with as they appear in other people’s HOAs as a co-host or a guest. Make helpful, insightful comments in the Event stream while tagging the contact in the relevant comments. There is a good chance that this person will appear in other people’s HOAs and if your comments are useful and interesting, that will likely help you get on the radar of the desired person. – Ronnie
I’ve found that the best way to be invited as a guest on a HOA is not to ask right away but provide value to the host over time.
For example, a great way to be noticed by a HOA host is to become active in the comments. If someone in the program mentions a specific link or website, be the one who finds it and types that into the comments for everyone to have as a resource. If a guest mentions a Google Plus post that they have written, be the one who tracks it down and provides it for the audience.
Don’t do this one time and expect (or ask) to be invited to the next show. Adding value with thoughtful comments, and providing a helpful service to the host and their audience on a constant basis will help you stand out to the hosts and even their guests! – Jeff
Just as in guest blogging, experts who want to take advantage of the reach and audience of a successful HOA Show should first research the show and the host so that there is a basic understanding of what the show is about and the typical format.
Then, compose a letter to the host that introduces yourself, your expertise, and specifically points to an article you’ve written or some other recent content that covers a topic you would like to address. Book authors have been doing this for decades to get on radio shows.
They send a letter that says, “Hey! I have this great new book out that is making all kinds of waves in my industry, and I think it would make a particularly interesting show for you and your readers. Here’s a copy for you to check out, and I would love to book one of your future shows to come on and talk about the book and this topic and answer questions.”
So similarly, you offer the host proof (as in a blog or a book or an article or whatever you have) that you know what you’re talking about and can bring to the show a new and interesting perspective on a topic or issue that is relevant to the show and viewers. If you frame yourself and your expertise properly, you will make the show host’s job easy! Every HOA host is always on the lookout for their next guest and are thrilled when someone interesting and qualified approaches them. If you can come on the show and provide value, you’ll make that HOA host look great, so don’t be afraid to reach out and clue them in to the value you can bring. – Mike
1) Be an active participant in live HOAs.
2) Be prepared to be invited (because active participants are sure to be noticed and invited). E.g., If someone approaches you about being on their HOA, know what your key messages are; your call-to-action; your objective for being on G+. Write these things down and rehearse saying them out loud. If it feels natural, you’re ready to be a guest on the panel of an HOA. – Debi