The good news is that you don’t have to do live video to be successful in marketing. In fact, you don’t have to do any one particular thing at all. But you need to be doing something. And there are a range of marketing activities you can do that don’t involve being a talking head on social media.
If live video feels like pulling a tooth without anaesthetic, then don’t do it. But if you are comfortable with a microphone, consider starting a podcast (we did!) A podcast really is just any kind of audio presentation, usually involving a voice recording, that is delivered via episodes on a regular basis. You could go daily if you’ve got the time, weekly if you like to plan it out a bit more, or monthly if you’re looking for something that is more produced and polished. The worldwide market for podcasts is still exploding in 2020. While blogs are starting to stagnate and a more mobile world is looking for snackable and convenient information and entertainment, media like podcasting is mobile, private, entertaining, and educational.
And if you don’t think that what you do for work is interesting enough to turn in to a podcast, then do a local business podcast. Or a local real estate podcast. Or a “what’s on in my town” podcast. They key here is to offer something of value to people that positions you as someone worth listening to. And if your podcast is about absolutely nothing to do with your business, then your business becomes the sponsor of your podcast. Simple!
If you’re someone who squirms at the thought of talking to a camera, chances are you’re also a little shy about talking to a microphone. And that’s ok too. Because no one has to see you or hear your voice when you’re writing an article. Some people call this “blogging” but it’s really just writing an article about something that you know a lot about and publishing it on a website or a social network or… somewhere.
Now not all of us have endlessly fascinating jobs or exciting businesses that draw in a cast of thousands to hand off your every word on your website. But you’d be surprised at how many people have questions about what you do, especially when they need you to fix a problem that you know how to fix. The great thing about writing articles on your website is that they don’t have to be super long. They don’t have to super good. They don’t even have to be in perfect English. They just have to be regularly done.
You may then strike a problem around where to come up with the ideas to write about. Start out by writing on a Frequently Asked Questions page. Every week add another question that a customer asked you, and then answer it. You don’t have to go into hundreds of words. You just answer it quickly, simply and to the point. Every time you add something to that page, Google picks up the update and updates its information about your business. Each piece of expertise you add to that page, Google learns a little bit more about what your business can do, so it can more easily answer the questions that people in your area are asking about the stuff that you can fix for them.
If you’re not much of an online person, then get off the computer, put down the phone and host a workshop. People go to workshops all the time. I live in a relatively minor 3rd-tier city in regional Australia. And I manage to sell out most of my workshops. And I do workshops every week. And that’s not because I’m something special, it’s that I have knowledge that people want, and they’re willing to come along and hear about it. And in many cases, they’re willing to pay to get that knowledge. Before I could pay for TV and radio advertising, or operate Google and Facebook ads, workshops were my first port of call, because they’re really cheap to run, get you in front of motivated people, and get you known in the community.
Again, you may think that no one will be interested in what you know, or do. Just take a look at Eventbrite or Facebook Event listings for your region, and see the range of topics that are covered. People love to learn. People love to learn with other people. Even if it’s not a workshop about what you do… consider doing a workshop on something you love? And then your business can be the sponsor.
Despite what social media princes and princesses are saying, you absolutely do not have to be on video. Don’t get me wrong, there are tonnes of benefits to being on video, doing live video, and getting your face in front of people. But it’s all optional. You can get just about all the same benefits doing other marketing activities that don’t require subtitles to explain what the heck you’re saying with all that background noise.