Lauren Dragon-Cook: Good morning guys! Happy Tuesday! I hope you’re all having a wonderful week. Today we are chatting with the one, the only Brandy Sales. He is a rockstar when it comes to anything and everything video, especially with your phone. So you don’t have to have a million dollar video camera and all the equipment, if you want to do rockin’ videos. Without further ado, Brandy welcome and thank you for joining us!
Brandy Sales: Thank you! Happy to be here.
Lauren: Tell us… first things first... how the heck did you get started in this realm!? Did you just one day come out of the womb and know you were going to do this? How did you get here?
Brandy: I always say videoing kind of saved my life. I was kind of getting into trouble when I was little. I was getting into the wrong crowd and I was 10 living in Boston. My sister came home from college. She was a ballet major and communication major, so she brought home a video camera. She was like “hey do you want to shoot a video for my senior project?” And I fell in love! I started making funny videos, when I was 11 years old and right around the time that I should’ve started to move away from that crowd of people, I found out my local TV station was offering a course. When I took that course it came naturally to me. Within a week I was editing. The director of the station came to be and said “hey you might want to look into this as a career”. So at 12 years old, I was locked!
Lauren: Wow! Okay that is not even remotely close to what I was thinking. I didn’t even know how you got your start, so that is insane!
Brandy: I just saw an ad and went for it! It was all natural once I got into it. It made sense to me once I was in the studio very quickly.
Lauren: That is rad. That is amazing. You have evolved them obviously from the 12 year old to the expert you are today. So what are some of the major growth points that you had along the way to having framed what you are and what you do?
Brandy: I think in the earlier years, I set a goal when I was 14. My mom and I started to do a TV show together for the town I lived in. So my goal was to do 100 episodes before I graduated high school. So setting that goal and just achieving it, was huge for me. That has become part of who I am today. At the beginning of my senior year, I still had 48 shows to go. I came up with this construct of senior profiles. That exploded and I made an appearance on the 99th showed and the 100th show, because up until them no one had seen me on camera. That for me was really exciting and the fact I was able to build this community through giving my town a voice, I thought that was really important. As I evolved I realized wow videos can really build up a community, and that’s when everything started evolving through social media and this and that. All of it made sense for me.
The next major point was when I had my first business. It was the “Bucket Band”. Anyone that knows me hears me talk about the “Bucket Band”. In 1999 I posted my first video online. And back then, it was cutting edge to even have a website, let alone a video on a website. I had learned it in college and I just decided to put the video out there. It got us a tone of business every week. We traveled the country capturing kids playing on recycled buckets. And that is how I put myself through college.
Lauren: What?! Dude!
Brandy: I’m not a drum player, I’m a tuba player. But I played buckets all the way through college.
Lauren: That is rad! Okay I knew none of this about you. Who are you!? This is amazing and makes me so happy. This is awesome. Okay so, clearly you had your hands in a couple of things then. So what do you do now? Where are you at today?
Brandy: So now I speak and I teach. That is the easiest way to say it. I speak about video marketing and I speak about smart phone video production. I teach folks how to do smart phone video productions and I consult with businesses on how to build a video production studio and how to incorporate business strategies into their video marketing. I teach student sin Boston and Brooklyn. Full time.
Lauren: So what are you teaching them?
Brandy: It is different at every site. I go to community centers in affordable housing. We will go into these community centers or youth centers and work with them. At one point we partnered with this boxing company next door that was funded by Harvard University, but in order to get more funding they needed a video. The kids in my course made the video for the boxing program, sent it to Harvard University and they got refunded. So at another center, the just wanted to get their hands on the equipment and have fun. So we did what I call an iPad experience. I bring in iPads and there is a new challenge each week and I do a team of people that vote on the winners at the end of the week. Then I give away awards at the end of the program. And in Brooklyn, it is actually at a school and we go down once a month and we create videos for their school. We created a year long project this year, which is an end of the year video for their graduating class.
So again, it is a community.
Lauren: That is so awesome though because I feel like so many people I cross paths with they forget that this is what it is all about. Yes you want to be successful, you want prosperity and abundance and all that. But really you can’t have any of that unless you are learning at some level and giving back. That is just how things tend to go.
Brandy: That is what my whole business is built on, giving back.
Lauren: That is incredible. You really truly blow my mind. I just wish more people embodied that same mentality. You are a unicorn dude! You are a freakin’ unicorn!
You obviously know a thing or two then, if you’ve been doing this for more than half a day. So if someone is in the wedding creative industry, why should they incorporate videos? Why should they implementing that into their business strategy?
Brandy: I’ll let you in on a little secret. I actually had a wedding video business. That’s how I paid for my own wedding. I was working at a college at the time, I was the assistant director of college housing. And if you know anything about college housing you are always on call. I was working like 80 hours a week and running a video business that was growing really fast.
One thing I learned was you need a video to work for you when you can’t do the marketing, follow up, and phone calls. Now that is a lot to do with social media. And back then all I had was a website. I had a video that would answer all the typical questions I would get about wedding videos and then I had a video where I introduced myself. All of that has evolved! The concept hasn’t changed though. If you are busy, you have to make a decision as an entrepreneur are you going to work on your business or in your business? In the wedding industry it is really easy to work IN your business, and not ON it. You want to be able to work on your business and not in it all the time.
Lauren: I love that. If you resonate with what Brandy just said… leave some love! The beautiful with that is you can redirect people back on to your website in a video, instead of having them read something. Most people are visual. I am the 1%. I would much rather read something than watch something… I don’t know what my problem is. But most people would just rather listen or watch it. By having a video you are keeping them on there longer. I see what you’ve got going on there.
Let’s Get Started
That is awesome! If you are considering trying to incorporate videos… where does someone get started?
Brandy: Where you can start is an intro vide. Tell people who you are, what you do, and how they can contact you. That is a simple video you can do. Maybe 20 seconds long. Maybe 30 if you get a little wordy? What I find is the part where you tell people where you are, that works out okay. But the part where you tell them what you do, is where it gets a little cloudy. That is something that you can figure out how to do, explain what you do in a sound bite. That is the version you want on the video. This isn’t the time to say
“Hey I’ve a wedding videographer that creates magical memories for your moment. I offer full service videos that will leave your family wanting more. To contact me go to BrandySalesWeddingvideos.com”.
Lauren: Its like you’ve done this before or something!
Brandy: In a lot of my improv sessions I’ll get behind a video camera and ask people what they do and just create a quick snippet for them. But it is because of all the years I’ve been doing it. That is all you need. I met with a psychic-medium from Chicago and she did an intro video that was literally 25 seconds long and she gest 4,000 views on it! She booked 9 clients! Within one week! Just putting out that 25 second video.
Lauren: I need to watch this video and take notes.
Brandy: I’m not going to lie… its nothing crazy. It is very basic. Shot on her phone and edited on her phone. Very basic.
Shooting on Your Phone
Lauren: Okay so that I’m sure will bring up some questions from people. If you pop on Pinterest and search blogging equipment, you get it all! So how is it you can record video and edit it on your phone and it looks the way you make it look. You are a professional, but how can I do that?
Brandy: The truth is practice. The other part of it is knowing what you want to do. Having that plan in place. That is usually where people get cloudy. You aren’t totally sold on what type of video you want to make. If you are an event planner. You want to shot an event that looks like “flowy”. You are just gliding through everything. Very smooth and your point of view. You won’t buy a tri-pod for that, you would buy a gimble. Those are different things. But lets say you want to do a video where you are just talking to the camera and not moving, you need a tripod. Those are things you need to know ahead of time and those are things I really go over in my group.
If you don’t have that plan ahead of time, you will end up buying a ton of equipment for no reason. I walk into it all the time. I walk into people’s offices all the time and they just have a closet full of equipment. You can pay less than $200 for anything you need! For any video!
Lauren: I’m guilty of that! I thought I needed it all. Teach us your ways Brandy! I’m just going to let you talk.
Brandy: I teach two systems. I teach video marketing systems and then I teach video production systems. Which one do you want to know? I think marketing will take us full circle.
Video Marketing System
Let’s start with video marketing system. The production system will actually cross into this at one point in time.
There are six steps.
- Have a purpose. You always want to have a purpose. Don’t just put a video just for the heck of it. Don’t go LIVE because you feel it is the right thing to do.
- Have a plan. I have a very specific plan called YES Marketing.
- Focus on the product or person. If it is a product, you want to know how to make that product work for you. If it is a person you want to be able to make that person sound and look great. Within this step, you want to think about three things:
- Confidence: Just practice.
- Character: Who are you going to be on camera. I’m not always the same person on camera. Think about how you want your audience to feel as they watch.
- Content: What is the content you are putting out there and how it is fitting your purpose.
- Production. A lot of people will think of ideas as they go. You need to definitely have a plan for your production. That is when you decide are you going to do it on your own? Are you going to hire a professional? Or are you going to do both? Maybe you will shoot it, but someone else will edit it.
- Review the results.
- Do it again!
Lauren: It can’t be one and done.
Brandy: I added step six a couple of months ago because people would come to me and say “I did it!” And I would say, “you have to keep going and do it again!” The more content you have out there, the better traction you will get.
What I found in that marketing system is a lot of people were still having questions about production. So I gave them my production system that I used when I had one. It is pretty simple.
- Pre-Production. You go through the planning stage. This will include scripts, the feeling, the purpose. It will all come together and you write either an outline or script.
- Production. If you are doing it on your own you need to know what equipment you will be using. And if you are hiring a professional, you need to know what questions to ask.
- Post-Production. This is editing. If you are editing on your own on you phone, I always say “WE Video” or “Filmora Go”. I like both of these. They both have some limitations, but I use both of them.
- Delivery. This is where you step into marketing. You might already have a plan in place, but as you’re creating a video you always have to have marketing in mind. My delivery system I call Yes Marketing. The “Y” stands for “Youtube”. The “E” stands for “email”. The “S” stands for “social”. Now social means online and offline. If you are networking you tell people to go to your website. But when you are shooting a video you have to know all that ahead of time. You should be shooting two versions, or two endings. One ending should say go to my website and the other ending should say call me. Because why are you going to put your website ending on your website? That doesn’t make any sense. You only want to use one way to send people. If you want people to go to your Instagram, do that. If you want people to join your Facebook group, put that. Have a plan when creating these videos!
I worked with someone who had five endings. She originally had one where she listed you could find her at this number, visit this website, you can find me in my secret group, my Facebook group, or on Instagram. I call this the grocery store effect. I do the grocery shopping. When my wife does the grocery shopping she will not know what to get. There are too many choices! If you give them too much, they don’t know what to do! I always tell people, give them one way for them to find you. Grab it and go!
Tell People What You Do
Lauren: What is your recommendation? Today, June 12, 2018 what are you seeing people are getting the best results for?
Brandy: That is a really hard question because it depends on your business plan. When I work with my private clients I have them create a 90 day plan. And if they don’t have any goals, the business coach comes out in me and we create one! We create video plans around it. If they have an event coming up for the next 90 days, everything I do will point to that event page. Or it will be funneling to a Facebook group that will be promoting my event.
What I will say is you want to keep it short. 30 seconds or less. In some of these private groups, longer videos are awesome. You are delivering really great content to those people. But for getting people into those places and getting clients, you want to keep it really short.
Lauren: Good stuff! I already feel like one of the questions is “okay this is really great, but I need that list of equipment you were talking about and as a wedding professional what type of videos can I do that are going to be unique enough to stand out?” What would your recommend people for that?
Brandy: If you see a video around that has been done a million times, I would say it can be done again. You just need to put your spin on it. Everyone in this group should have an intro video. I don’t care how many people you think already know what you do… they don’t! I still get called to shoot Bart mitzvahs and I haven’t done that since I was 13 years old. You need to make an intro video that tells people what you do.
Lauren: Where do they put this?
Brandy: Good question. On your personal Facebook page. That is where you will have the most influence, that is where it will grow from. You can also put it on your business page. Throw it up on Youtube. Put it in a link in an email. It should be a minute or less and you can put it on Instagram as well. It doesn’t need to be all fancy. It needs to be raw! People might have a general idea, but they don’t know really what you do. Tell them!
Get some video testimonials from your clients. That is way more powerful and believable. Anyone could write a testimonial. I’ll be totally honest… when I first started in the business I wrote a testimonial for myself. I didn’t have any business. Ut that video testimonial is way more legit. I know a lot of you get referrals from family and friends from your clients. If they post a video raving about you, their friends and family will want to work with you.
So intro videos, testimonial videos, and finally I would say some in the moment videos. Short stories where you are at an event and just showing the moment. This will build brand awareness and people will learn what you do. That is the biggest thing. My wife doesn’t even know what I do!
Getting Testimonial Videos
Lauren: My husband doesn’t either! He doesn’t know what to tell people!
I remember people talking about in building your testimonials, how to go about it. People may not understand but is important to have someone singing your praises on video, because it is short and sweet and more digestible. But how do you get people to do it?
I find if you do a client appreciation event at the end of the year, it’s a thank you. Invite vendors, past clients, client’s friends… have them all come to a central location and then have something set up so you don’t have to go above and beyond. Have a backdrop and have your phone set up with some good lighting and just as people come in invite them to record a snippet of their experience with you. What would you tell your best friend if they were looking for a photographer or event coordinator? Half the time people won’t have a problem doing something like that for you. But by giving them some sort of outline, it can help you with your content.
Brandy: I’m going to give you a virtual high-five. Funny enough I’m flying out to Buffalo at the end of the month to do exactly this for a real-estate team I work with. They are having about 150 people come out to this lake house to record testimonials. I am literally just there to make sure people say the right things.
What I think about testimonials, your client will say whatever they want to say anyhow, But if you give them a structure, they will nail it for you. I might say
“Would you mind saying a couple words on camera about your experience with me? I’ll walk you through it so it will be super easy and you can be done in 30 seconds or less”.
Then when they get over there you say “all you are going to say is your name, why you chose to work with me, and the result”. That is it! They are going to say whatever they want anyhow. They have something in their head. But at least you’ve given them a structure and direction to go in. Those three points will win you all the time.
Lauren: What are some other strategies? What if someone isn’t putting together an event?
Brandy: Take that same structure and put it in an email. You could go in and say you can record it for them, using a virtual app like Zoom. Send them a link and the questions ahead of time. Tell them you will be done in 5 minutes or less. You can do it through Skype, VCam… If someone wants to do it on their own... awesome. Send them the questions! That is it! That is all it is!
It can be challenging at time. You know it may take 8 tries to get a sale, it is the same thing with getting people on camera. It is hard. I’ve been at events where there are 100 people and 1,000 people and it can be hard to get people to do testimonials, but if you simplify it, it can be really easy.
Lauren: Would you ever recommend, at the end of a wedding you are still there, would you say it is more practice for that person to snag their phone and get something on video with them in their dress or tux?
Brandy: I haven’t seen that. But if you feel a really strong connection with a bride or groom… you can usually feel that at weddings. Then you can totally do that! When I was doing weddings, there were times when there is footage of me dancing with the bride and groom. But I didn’t do this with every single couple.
Lauren: I’m just trying to think outside the box. The video testimonial itself is the goal. But if you can get the couple in the element, especially after they’ve had a cocktail or seven!
Brandy: If you have a connection, go for it! That testimonial will probably look a little different, you won’t have why you chose me and the results, because you don’t have any results yet. But “how fun was your wedding day? How much fun are you having right now?” If they are having fun with you they are going to sing your praises!
Lauren: If you were to do something like that, what equipment should you have?
Brandy: Just your phone. Make it look raw. In the moment. Bad audio everything! There is a place for bad audio and video, that would be the place. Make it raw. Take your phone out, you saw an opportunity, and go for it! Don’t overthink! No, you don’t a tripod. You’ve got one built in, its called your arms, body, and legs. Seriously. There are times and places for tripods, but there is always a time for shaky raw footage. It sells.
But I’m Scared…
Lauren: That is awesome. I love it. One of the last questions I think I have for you is… we understand the value of video now. If you are terrified, like probably need to go buy some depends because you may have an accident. What are some tips and tricks? What should they do?
Brandy: One tip is to practice with a friend you trust. Shoot your intro video 30 times. That’s probably how long it will take anyhow, to be honest. Don’t watch any of them, just delete them. Then shoot it again, and watch that one. You are your worst critic.
Another tip, practice without a friend and do it without a camera. 30 times. Do it a lot until you get sick of it. You have to get sick of it.
I would also say to get in front of somebody that understands how to be in front of the camera. Whether that is me or somebody that has been in front of the camera a lot. Talk to them. They will have tips that they will tell you as well. I almost always choose standing up, the energy flows a lot more naturally. You want that person to look at your eyes. Right now, I’m not talking to Lauren, I am talking to my camera up here so I am talking directly to you. Those are small things you will learn as you do it over and over again.
So those are just a few tips. Practice with someone and record it again and again. Practice alone and don’t record it. Or hire someone to help you!
Just a quick story… we are so judgmental about ourselves son camera. I don’t like myself on camera. I bought a filter in my editing program back in the day, and I have never used it. It is a $500 program to get rid of blemishes on my face. But it isn’t worth it!
My very first brand video I put on my page, I had it up for 6 months, it generated a lot of business… and I had a button undone. My wife was walking by and she was like “oh hey, what are you watching…” and I showed her the video and she heard nothing. All she noticed was my button undone. I made thousands off of that video and I don’t care that I had a button undone.
That’s the most important thing, what is that feeling and that message you are delivering to your audience? You’ll hear me talk about that a lot. It is the first question I ask all of my clients. How do you want your clients to feel after they watch your video? Ask that for any video you make.