Podcast Episode #20: Documentary Sales Videos

Today the Web Video Marketing Show is sitting down with marketing expert Sam Cook, the owner of Prism Communications. Ryan and Sam have recently traveled across America recording sales videos for Sam’s clients, and today’s podcast allows them to explain how they’ve mastered the art of creating great marketing videos.


Sam Cook from Prism Communications on location in America

When your clients are selling great products, but not interested in selling themselves, how can you effectively market their products? Sam and Ryan had to formulate a subtler way to market their clients. This podcast is a masterclass on the docu-drama format, and explains in-depth how to use e-mail and video to tell a serialised story.

Sam and Ryan discuss their interviewing techniques for getting the best out of their presenters.

Find out how passionate story-telling can market your clients, and how to build genuine trust with your interviewees to record better sales videos. Also, learn how to combine “testimonials, visuals, music and a call to action – in which the logical conclusion is the product”!

How long does it take to establish a “flow” with your presenter? How can you immerse the viewer in drama? What is the “Hero’s Journey”? Find out all this, and more, in today’s episode of the Web Video Marketing Show.

You can download our podcast directly from this link, or find The Web Video Marketing Show on iTunes.

Episode Notes

Click here to buy “Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience” by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, as discussed by Ryan and Sam.

Click here to read more about Andre Chaperon’s “Autoresponder Madness”.


Ryan: Hi. This is Ryan Spanger. About 12 years ago, I started a video production company in Melbourne, Australia called, “Dream Engine”. Making videos is a huge passion for me. In this podcast, I’ll be sharing with you a lot of the ideas and techniques that I use in my video production business.

I hope you enjoy this show, and it gives you clear, actionable ideas that you can implement in your business right now to improve your web video marketing and build a stronger connection with your audience.

This is the “Web Video Marketing Show”. I’m your host, Ryan. I’m joined by my co-host, Nico. How you doing, Nico?

Nico: I’m very well, Ryan. As a matter of fact, I’m really happy that you’re actually back around the office at the moment.

Ryan: I’ve been away for a few weeks.

Nico: Can you tell our audience a little bit about what you’ve been doing overseas?

Ryan: I spent the last few weeks in the U.S.A. shooting documentary style, “Sales Videos” for a company called, “Prism Communications”.

Nico: Very interesting opportunity. Can you give me an idea of what the work actually entailed?

Ryan: In the U.S.A., I’ve been shooting series of documentary style sales videos for a company called, “Prism Communications”. We spent time with experts and coaches and film them, interviewed them, and captured their story and the story of their clients. These videos are going to be used in a series of sales videos to either promote their products or to encourage people to join an online forum.

The whole theory behind these videos which you’ll hear more about is that a lot of sales videos on the internet are quite sort of clichéd and a little bit sleazy, and that has its real hard sell, used car salesman kind of approach.

We were creating videos where rather than having the person who runs the business looking at the camera, doing this hard sell, we interviewed their clients, we talked about their experiences, and we captured the story of the business owner. It’s done in a much more subtle, dignified way.

What I’ve done is got on the phone to my client, Sam from “Prism Communications” and spent a while going through the story of what we did, why we did it, and I think the important thing for listeners to think about is how can you incorporate documentary into promoting your business, what are your stories, and how can you capture them and share them with your clients and potential clients to tell the story of your business and to describe your services?

Nico: Here’s Ryan’s interview with Sam Cook from Prism Communications.

Ryan: I’m here with Sam Cook from Prism Communications. Sam, welcome to the Web Video Marketing Show.

Sam: Thanks, Ryan. Thanks for having me.

Ryan: We’ve just spent the last few weeks together traveling through the U.S. visiting your clients and interviewing them to create a series of video production content, and I’d like to talk the audience through it and explain to them what we’ve done, the whole idea behind it, and how you’re going to be using this video content for your clients.

Sam: Yes, Ryan. I was influenced heavily by you at the James Schramko conference in Sydney, Australia when I saw your presentation on documentary based video style. I’ve been wondering for a while how I could get my clients who were all very successful offer speakers and coaches who’ve been quite successful in spite of their aversion to the traditional internet marketing sales methods that a lot of people embarked on who might not have great products but are great sales people.

I’ve been searching for a way to do sales videos, because I knew that sales videos were the best way to convert on the website. I much prefer them to the long copy sales pages.

The problem was I couldn’t get any of my clients to stand up in front of the camera and pitch their product. They just didn’t like to do that. When I saw your presentation and spoke to you afterwards about how to do a sales video when you told me about the documentary style sale method, I decided that that was the best way to sell my clients, not just interviewing them on their story, but more importantly interviewing the people that they had impacted which thankfully they are had a great impact on a lot of people, and getting those people to sell their course this for them into handle objections and really to give great pitches for the products that my clients were coming up with so they didn’t have to.

Ryan: It’s interesting that you say that they didn’t want to get in front of the camera because I think a lot of people feel uncomfortable, but what was it about them getting in front of the camera and doing a sales video that made them feel uncomfortable?

Sam: You look at a typical internet marketing sales video and the scripts that these people follow. There’s a couple of ways that I’ve seen it done. One is the PowerPoint slideshow where you sit there and flip through a bunch of slides and give your pitch. They weren’t comfortable doing that because it just looks very tacky and amateur to them which they knew that their audiences wouldn’t have responded well to.

The other method would be to get in front of camera and to talk into the camera and say, “This is why you should buy this course,” and of course you have to handle price objections, you have to handle a lot of different things that people know are successful components in sales videos, but I think they suffer from what everyone suffers from when they get in front of the camera is talking into the camera is very intimidating, because I think the camera represents a very impersonal piece of technology that represents a vast world of people out there, and I think all that the newscaster and the professional actors out there are very uncomfortable doing that.

Ryan: Yes. I think it’s so much easier speaking to an actual person because as you’re speaking to them, and they’re sitting next to the camera that are giving you feedback, you can tell that they’re listening and their expression changes based on what you’re saying, and they’re asking you questions so you’re involved in a dialogue. Of course it’s going to be a lot easier and therefore it’s going to look a lot more natural.

Sam: Yes, Ryan. That was … When you came over and really showed me how to do this … You were the cameraman and you showed me how to do the interviews, and I learned a lot about the power of listening. First of all asking the right questions and then just letting someone go and talk. As they’re talking, show them that you’re there, you put your cell phone down, you listen, you nod, you ask follow up questions which show that you’re listening. Usually, it wasn’t until a couple of follow questions that people really started to open up, so you’d ask him about a big raise and they tell you about it, and then you’d ask him to describe a particular moment, and then they start to open up and then you’d ask him how that felt, and then you’d really get the emotion coming out.

Yes, you really get that genuine interaction and passion from people when they’re talking to someone who’s listening.

Ryan: Yes. That takes a while to sort of peel back those layers to build trust with people and to build rapport, and I think when that comes out and you see the spark in people’s eyes, that’s very engaging and that grabs an audience in an even more powerful way than a sort of heavy sales pitch does and what I found that we were able to do is extract these in a really interesting, engaging stories which for people who follow these experts, it’s going to be really interesting to them and it’s a more subtle and powerful way of drawing them in to the sales process than just listing features and benefits.

Sam: Yes. I really saw that in many instances, very emotional moments for both clients and people that they had impacted. You mentioned something interest in there about features and benefits, and one of the things I found about interviewing was you can’t ignore the laws of sales and you still have to get to all those points, but there were much better ways to do it by asking clients questions related to features and  benefits of their products, and then more importantly asking people who’d work with them about their opinions of those features and benefits, and what people would gain by using these products. You definitely need all of that, but if you can do it in a much more authentic and real way, then you can really create a story-based documentary feel on a video that makes people feel like they’re watching the history channel or some other documentary rather than, “Okay. Here’s the sales video,” and when you get that sales video feeling, I think people automatically throw up their defenses. “Okay. When is the pitch coming? When am I going to be asked for money and told about my deadlines.”

If you do it in this other way which is very story-based, then people keep their guard down and even if they don’t end up buying and they know it’s the sales video at the end, they appreciate the way that it was done in a sensible story-based quality production.

Ryan: One of the things that really struck me about this was that it wasn’t just up to the expert to sell themselves because we can get up and make whatever claims and assertions we want to, but it’s so much more powerful when you have clients who can actually share their experiences and get proof of these claims.

Sam: Yes. Really, the most powerful feature of any sales video, and even the traditional internet marketing sales video crowd will say how important testimonials are to the sales page or to the sales video, but typically you’d see a bunch of people at the end of a conference standing in front of a camera, and we’ve all been to these conferences where people say, “Look, if you have a testimonial, please go to the back and go say it.” It still has this manufactured feel to it these testimonials that you’ll see at the end of these videos. Not that people weren’t authentic or genuine when they’re giving them, but you know that that’s what was going on. The way I think you and I came up with doing these testimonials videos was much more, I think authentic and that we spent half an hour to an hour talking to one testimonial. Before ask them about whether they’d endorse a product, we brought them through their whole journey as for example as a triathlete with the strap on coach that we had, “Bring me through your whole journey. Tell me where you started, how things were before you introduced this product,” and then following this heroes journey construct that’s very familiar with people in storytelling and movies, we would draw them through and put them into that journey.

By the time we asked them about the product, they were genuinely, emotionally passionate about it because it wasn’t manufactured, because they just relived that journey. By vocalizing that journey which many of them had never done before, they realized, “Wow. I’ve had an amazing experience and journey that I didn’t even know about,” because until you’re forced to write or say something, a lot of times you don’t even understand the power of your own story until you’re forced to give it.

Ryan: Absolutely. That states they are really speaking from the heart. I found it as people dropped into the process and the interview were on, they would move from this logical, rationalistic place to once they start to speak more about the experience, speak more from the heart and really articulate the way that these experts and their services had impacted on their lives and had helped transform their lives which is really powerful.

Sam: You know, I like to … I don’t know you’ve read the book “Flow” by Mihaly … I can’t pronounce his last name, but one of the interesting points that people make and in this world of expanding technology, we very rarely get in the state of flow where because of text messages, and emails, and all these interruptions on our lives, most people don’t ever get to concentrate deeply on one task. I noticed in an interview, it usually takes you according to the psychology studies five to 10 minutes of uninterrupted time on any task to get into flow where you’re really kind of in the zone and you’re moving into that. If you’ve ever done a task that requires deep concentration like writing or something you know how that feels, and many people don’t spend any part of a day in flow, maybe when they go for a run or get out and are forced to get away from everything, they get to that point. In an interview, you really find that people usually would not warm up until about 10 minutes into the interview. That’s when things started to come out, and you could almost ask the same question twice once at the beginning and once in the middle which we did many times to get a complete different answer.

Ryan: I know the book that you mean, and it’s a complicated so then we’ll put a link in the show notes to that book. I’ve read about this book where he talks about this idea of once you’re in a flow state, time can feel like it starts to change, so like time can feel like it slows down or speeds up, things feel more effortless.

I think in an interview context, what starts to happen is people’s humanity starts to shine through a lot more, they become more natural and more connected. That’s when this type of video becomes more powerful is that when you’re watching someone who is in that flow state and they’re connected and they’re being real, and they’re being themself, as a viewer you can really relate to them.

Once you relate to them, that’s when it becomes really powerful because you can put yourself in that position. You can say, “Gee. I can see the benefit that you got from using that service or working with that expert. I relate to you and I can see how, if I put myself in that same position, I would benefit in the same way.”

Sam: Yes. It’s really, really powerful to see it. One of the things that I think I noticed from the last two weeks of interviews was they are absolutely exhausting, and giving them and or being on the receiving end of giving an interview or being the interview, or like I was, both sides are exhausted after an interview, and you’re just sitting there talking. What ends up happening is, when you really just sit down and get in touch with these emotional memories, people really pour themselves into it and I remember a couple of times how tired people would remark they were at the end of these interviews, they’d really just laid it all out there and then me giving three or four interviews a day, I was exhausted by the end of the day.

Ryan: Yes. It’s an emotional sort of energetic investment. That makes a lot of sense to me. We travelled all over the U.S. and we visited a number of your clients in different parts of the country. I think it would be interesting just to talk through one as a case study. How about we talk about Terry Laughlin, the swim coach and give the audience a bit of a picture of where we went and the people that we spoke to, and then how you’re now crafting these into series of videos.

Sam: Terry Laughlin is a very interesting person. He’s been a swimming coach for 42 years, and was recently featured on the ‘Four Hour Body and the Four Hour Chef’ which were ‘New York Times’ bestselling books by Timothy Ferriss.

Timothy Ferriss made this bet with a friend that he could learn how to swim and swim a mile open water in ocean. He was going to lose his bet with a friend, and Tim Ferriss is very famous for mastering complex skills very quickly, but he was not having any success in swimming. He used Terry Laughlin’s “Total Emersion” book and DVD to teach himself how to swim and became a huge fan, featured Terry Laughlin in the chapter in his book, and then in a follow up a big chapter on ‘Meta-Learning’ and ‘The 4-Hour Chef’.

‘Total Emersion’ swimming has been around for a long time, but has recently become more famous due to the exposure that’s gotten from Timothy Ferriss. They’ve had a hard time capitalizing this into their web presence so I became the marketing consultant for ‘Total Emersion’ the last six months, and we’ve rebuilt their website and we’re rebuilding their online presence to help them create an online university. This online university is going to be launched in mid to late September as it stands right now.

Terry was probably the most resistant of any of my clients to this idea of selling himself, so I came up with … even emails were I would draft sales emails and then we’d go back and forth repeatedly on the tone of the emails were very laborious process, so I really had to come up with a better way to work with him, get the sales parked on to do it in a way that sat well with him for his own personal brand which he was not going to sacrifice to sell his product, and them more importantly to connect with his audience which is a very masters … a very high-level of education usually a couple advanced degrees or his typical clients.

We went to visit Terry in New Paltz, New York and we interviewed a cancer survivor, a lady that he’s been teaching for 10 years who refused to give up swimming in the midst of two battles with cancer, one with breast cancer and one with leukemia. She even had a very painful port installed in her chest which allowed her to continue swimming. It was the drip that fed her her arsenic, which she used to treat her cancer.

She was one subject, very emotional interview with her about how swimming was her illness-free zone and her meetings with Terry were almost as important to her as any meetings with doctors every week.

Then, we interviewed Paul Laurie, who’s a 96 year old self-taught swimmer who’s used ‘Total Emersion’ to refine his swimming technique and is an avid swimmer as a way of keeping himself healthy and I guess the fountain of youth.

Then we interviewed … Then we drove across from New York on our way down south towards Texas. We met up with Jim Thomas, who’s the dean of the Penn State or the former dean in the Penn State business school which is the, I think the first or second best business school in the United States. He’s an avid triathlete in his late 50s, who’s used ‘Total Emersion’ to teach himself how to swim at a late age.

Then we met with Susan Atkinson in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania who is the head of Coaching Development for the ‘Total Emersion’ swim coaches around the world, develops her coaching curriculum and education.

Then finally, we met with Jeff Bauer in Texas who’s a top triathlon coach, also another one of my clients, and he also gave us a testimonial on how ‘Total Emersion’ has helped a lot of his triathletes overcome their initial challenges in the swimming.

Those were five different testimonials we received for ‘Total Emersion’, all of which were amazing stories. Then finally, when we interviewed Terry himself, he had probably the best interview that I gave and received because he just had 42 years worth of amazing stories from coaching as a 21-year old brand new swim coach, then going on the coach at WestPoint, a division one school and then starting ‘Total Emersion’ and his journey through really is evolution as a swimming a coach from competitive swimming to lifestyle swimming, and then using swimming as a metaphor for learning and wellness in life. We can see the evolution of a swim coach through the many stages of really human development; what different phases we are in life, the ambitious achieving phase, when we’re younger and then the higher level, more Zen-like consciousness that many people achieve later in life. It’s just an amazing journey through his story and those that he’s affected.

Ryan: Yes. I was really inspired and moved by the stories that we’re hearing. The other thing that did was shoot what’s called, “B Roll or Cutaway Footage” of some of these people, so you not only hear them speaking, but you also get a picture of what happens on a day to day level. We filmed Terry in a pool, doing some swimming and training. We also have access to other footage of him training and people speaking, and the video ends up being not just a series of talking heads, but a range of people speaking and cutaway footage illustrating the points that they’re making. It becomes like a drama, like an immersive, engaging documentary drama that to me it’s a real sign of success this would be. Even if you have no interest in buying a product or a course, you would enjoy it anyway because it’s such an interesting, enjoyable story to follow.

Sam: Yes. You know, Ryan, you really hit on a point there which is the docu-drama. I was in graduate school at NYU, and I was at a dinner party and a fellow WestPoint graduate of mine who’s a little bit older than me said one of the greatest things that he’d ever heard that really challenged him was if you die tomorrow, would you have enough to put in a 30-minute documentary on your life, and would anyone watch it?

I think what I found and I’ve always been inspired by that quote or that challenge is, all of these experts that I’m working for really do have lives like that. For whatever reason, they don’t have their 30-minute documentaries on their lives but they really deserve it. To give this to them as a marketing consultant was really a pleasure and they really enjoyed and were inspired by the project telling their story and really getting it out there in a way that, “You’re right. Anyway would want to view it,” regardless of whether they want to buy the product, they would just be interested in the stories, and the way you make something saleable or viewable is precisely to just tell a great story and I think a lot of times, we get wrapped up in sales of what’s the formula and what are the triggers, and what are the little tricks I need to use to get people to buy and really tell a good story, and allow people to imagine themselves living that story with you, and more importantly insert their own story into it so that you can be impacting them. That’s really what it’s all about.

Ryan: Yes. You’re basically distilling the essence of what is the biggest impact that these experts have made on the world and on the people around them, and distill that into this five, 10, 15, 20-minute story that if you’re out there looking for an expert, looking to solve a problem, and you can watch a story that’s captivating, that really sums up how this person can help change your life. That can be very motivating. That can be incredibly engaging.

Sam: Yes. I actually learned this technique of marketing using storytelling from Andre Chaperon who wrote ‘Autoresponder Madness’. He was just launched by Mine Valley, they just launched his email marketing training, and it’s really the most brilliant, I think course I’ve ever bought online and actually very affordable compared to a lot of them out there.

He makes the point by using emails, he just tells great stories about people that you can identify with and he’d loops these stories between different emails, so he’ll start part of the story and then he’ll pick it up again the next email, and then he’ll close it out maybe a few emails down the road. What happens with his email sequences is people just get hooked on them.

What we’ve decided to do is take his concept related to email marketing by storytelling, and just transform it into documentary-based videos. We’re going to take these stories that we’ve heard and we’re going to spread them out over a series of videos which will be inserted in the emails, and when people watch them, they’re just going to die if they haven’t seen the one before, and of course they can go back and watch it, and then they should be waiting to see the next one, because they can’t wait to hear how the story ends. I’m really excited to finish editing these because the stories we have just have some great drama in them, and making that process come alive is going to be the fun part.

Ryan: I really like this idea of doing it in a serialized way, in an episodic way. It’s not just a one off story, and each video builds on top of the other.

Now, for people who are listening, who come from more of a film or a business background, then they’re not that familiar with the idea of email autoresponders, can you just give a little bit of background about how that works maybe starting from gathering email addresses in a list and then how you communicate with that list.

Sam: Andre Chaperon wrote this series called the ‘Autoresponder Madness’ which is really teaching marketers how to take someone who’s signed up on your email list and engage them in a way that they appreciate, and that allows you to build a deep rapport with them.

What I found in my email marketing is people typically will read emails that are short and to the point, but more importantly they love to click on videos from email, and I found that when you send out a series of videos to people, as long as these videos are good and educational and engaging, people will consistently open them and watch them.

The real trick is to keep the videos between five to 10 minutes in length because that’s enough time where someone … if you send an hour video over email, they’re probably not going to want to watch it. You want to tell the story that the entire story of these people is obviously more than five to 10 minutes. When someone signs up on your list, you give them the series of short videos that might be educational and then you’d launch into this documentary style storytelling which can happen at any time in the sequence, and you’re going to send out say their story takes 40 minutes to tell on film with all the different ways that you weave it together. Send them out in four different videos, in four different emails that are just very short interesting title, and then when they open the email, a teaser which gets them to want to watch their video, and then when they open up the video, the concept is tell them what they missed on the last video, last time on ‘Lost’, and then go into the story, and then show them at the end, and this is how we’re going to edit it what you’re going to see on the next video, “Next time on ‘Lost’, this is what you’ll see.”

We’re actually planning on doing a little bit of a musical trailer effect at the beginning and the end, maybe a voice over and just giving the exact same quality and feel in an email as you’d get on a soap opera or television channel.

Ryan: That’s very cool.

Sam: That’s how the documentary style should work in the emails, is just make it a lot more interesting than a standard set of autoresponder emails.

Ryan: Sam, how does this then translate into making sales?

Sam; That’s the really interesting part of what Andre Chaperon teaches in ‘Autoresponder Madness’ is by telling stories, you can insert hints or triggers of things that are coming, so you would start to talk about in this four part email what’s coming next, so the heroes journey of the expert would show that they’re great, spectacular beginnings, some of the trials that they’ve had, and then hint towards what’s coming in the future because just like all of us, they have their own struggles and their own things that they need to put out there. You tell the story in a way that makes people want to see what’s next because the story doesn’t end with the present, it’s going to continue into the future.

The purpose of these four documentary-based emails is really to lead people to the logical conclusion which is the product and what’s next. Then the fifth video in the sequence of these documentary style videos actually becomes a sales video, so people get used to watching your first four videos and really get engaged with the story, by the time you send out the sales video in the exact same style using stories and testimonials, the sales video will be different in that – it’s talking about the course, the story behind the course, why it is, what features are going to be, what the benefits are going to be, what people will become when they go through it, and then a bunch of testimonials that attest to what this author, coach or course has done for people who’ve taken it, so it’s different in that it’s not as much story-based, but it’s still the exact same style.

The intended effect is, by the time you get to the sales video, you almost are like, “Okay. How can I be a part of this?” so people are anticipating this, they know it’s coming, and then you just give them a very good, well done sales video that’s about 10 to 13 minutes long and you put in some good music. Usually orchestra music is what we’re going to be using to underscore the tension and the emotions that people should feel while watching the video especially towards the end with the call to action.

Using the combination of testimonials, rolling testimonials that build in their intensity, music that builds with it, and then a strong visual call to action at the end, that’s how we’re going to drive people to sales at the end of these videos. The logical conclusion of this entire series is the future, and the future of this expert’s journey is their product and joining them on their community in their next station, and then people can actually join and become part of the story, and everyone in life just wants to be part of the reality show. You’re just inviting them to become part of it.

Ryan: That’s a pretty powerful invitation. Who do you think are the types of businesses that would most benefit from this type of documentary storytelling approach?

Sam: It’s interesting. I’ve actually gravitated myself towards experts, not necessarily by design, but that’s who I’ve been able to bond with because I myself have a very strong interest in the expert niche. The information, I would say that really who would benefit from this is someone who has a great information based products, so someone who’s selling ideas, whether they have a book which they could turn into a course, or whether they have a course already online which they might not be selling as well, or something that really benefits from the personality of the person selling.

I don’t think this would work as well, although could for a physical product, especially if the inventor behind that physical product has a compelling reasons to why they came up with it. I think it would work for any niche, but I think it would work best for experts who are selling information that has an impact on people in whatever field that they’re in, whether it’s fitness like the triathlon and running coaches that I work for, or personal developments, or leadership, sales training, or any of those different niches where you’re selling information-based products versus physical products.

Again, I do think it would work well for the physical products, and really any product that has a story behind it, but I think it would work best for the information industry.

Ryan: It’s been a terrific few weeks travelling across the U.S., and spending time with your clients and capturing their stories and capturing the stories of their clients. I want to thank you for being part of this brilliant experience.

What I’m really looking forward to now is watching these videos and autoresponder sequences take shape and go out into the world and the impact that I believe that they’re going to make, so I’d love it if you could come back once these videos are edited and are out there and we can talk about the results and the effects of the videos.

Sam: Yes, Ryan. That would be great. I’d love to come back and maybe talk through one as a case study or maybe a couple depending on how these go over. That would be awesome to come back and talk about results and lessons learned, because as I’ve got four of these to edit for clients, over the next few months we’ll be releasing all of them, and as I do each one of them I’m sure I’ll learn lessons and come back and refine them to just make this process work better and better.

Ryan: What’s being like the biggest learning for you, or what’s the main message that you would want to leave our audience with today?

Sam: I think the biggest lesson that I’ve learned is just the power of film done in a way that’s there’s a lot of courses out there right now coming out about how easy it is to do a video and you can do this with your iPhone and anyone can do it. I think I would say the opposite which is if you really want to do this right, you need to invest in doing it properly. If your brand is a high-end brands, if you consider yourself just not some flyby night person that’s looking to make a quick buck, you really need to make the investment in quality.

I saw the difference that your video quality made in everything, the quality of the sound, the quality of the video, the quality of interviews which you taught me how to become a good interviewer, the editing process, the picking music … Now I’m working with audio engineers and I’m talking to composers to maybe custom compose a music for this versus using stock. There’s so many steps in the process that I just did not have any clue about, and that you taught me …

You basically taught me how to be a director over the last few weeks and I know I’m not nearly as good as you at it, but I now know what I need to know and need to study up on, and that I will always look for people like you who really understand film from a film school type perspective to do projects like this, because if you want to do this, you need to do a video right and I think if you do it right with all of these different quality elements in place, you just absolutely transform your business.

I can’t wait to put these out and see the effect that they have on my client’s business, but film if done right I think changes everything.

Ryan: Thank you, Sam. I really appreciate your positive words and I’m very excited because I know how cool these stories are that we’ve captured. I’m very excited to see them out there and the effect that they’re going to have.

For people who are listening to this and have enjoyed what you’ve been talking about and would like to connect with you or learn more about what you do, where is the best place for them to go?

Sam: Yes. I have a website, “Prism-communications.com”. It’s actually … don’t pay much attention the video up there because I did it about a year and a half ago. I can’t wait to replace it with a documentary style video that you and I shot. That would be the best place to … probably just email me Sam@prism-communications.com because I’m in the midst of revamping my website and redoing the video for the homepage now that I’ve picked up this new method of videos.

I love to hear from people especially in the video world about just ideas in this area and also if people need any advice, I’d love to shoot back some thoughts on email to them.

Ryan: Cool, Sam. Thank you. I guess you’re going to be hitting back into edits right now.

Sam: I’ve got a lot of editing ahead of me. You’ve taught me how to edit which is dangerous.

Ryan: Edit ruthlessly.

Sam: I know. I know. That’s a big lesson.

Ryan: Thanks, Sam and I’ll see you later.

Sam: Okay. Thanks, Ryan.

Nico: There you go, Ryan. That was an absolute master class from the docu-drama, “Format” and probably the thing that interest me the most is whether or not you think that this is a growing avenue in Australia or something that Australian businesses can target.

Ryan: I think regardless of whether it’s Australian or American or anywhere else in the world, I think that there’s been a cultural shift in much more of an interest in real people telling real stories. There’s much more distrust of the hard sell, and more and more people just don’t want to be sold to. People like to buy and they like the opportunity to buy, but they want to gather that information in their own way without being told or forced to buy. I think that’s the great thing about these documentary-style sales videos, is they reveal stories. Based on hearing the story, you think to yourself, “I’ve got to know this expert. I can see what their culture and their values are. I can see the type of people they work within the problems they solve.” Based on seeing these stories, I can see this is someone who I have a compatibility with, or on the other hand, once I’ve heard the story, there’s no fit between me and that person. I can hear this story, I can hear where they’re coming from and that’s not the type of business that’s going to be right for me. By watching these documentary stories, you’ll get a really clear idea of who you’re going to be dealing with, what their ethics values are, what their story is, what sort of problems they solve, and that’s why I think the form is so powerful.

Nico: Ryan, in terms of the key points to take from today’s podcast, and your experience travelling across the U.S. of A is these days, businesses, you’re encouraging them to go for softer sells, be more softer with the advertising, just generally be smarter about it.

Ryan: Yes. If you’re in business, think about what your stories are that would be interesting to your clients, for people who might want to work with you. It might be the story of how you created the business, your philosophy behind the business, who you work with, and then most importantly, the stories of people whose problems or challenges you have helped solve.

These days, with more and more business going online, it’s even more important than before that people want to do business with people and know them, and trust them and feel like they have a connection. That’s what these type of videos can do.

In most cases, I think the traditional hard sell sort of video is there’s going to be less and less reception for that type of thing, and more and more using video to break down barriers, develop a connection and a sense of trust.

Nico: There you go. Today’s podcast is all about using video better to better market yourself. Of course, Ryan for people who are interested in weighing in on this kind of media or form of advertising, or at the very least asking you questions about it and where you believe their business can take it, they can get in contact with Web Video Marketing Show, or at Dream Engine here in our comments form.

Ryan: Yes. Absolutely. People can get on our website, Dreamengine.com.au and there’s a lot of resources there or contact us to talk more about it. There’s also a video that we’ll put a link to which tells the story of the shoot, and there’s a lot of footage and you’ll see a lot of the footage that we actually shot and interviews that we shot and the video interview with Sam as well.

If you head over to Webvideomarketing.com, and click on the link, then you can learn more about what we do, you’ll see links to the things that we’ve talked about and you’ll see a link to the video that we shot as well.

Nico: If you found this content informative or helpful, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with the Web Video Marketing Show Cast and Crew. We’re happy to handle  the questions or give any advice should the need arise.

Ryan, thank you for bringing us this informative interview.

Ryan: Thanks Nico and look forward to speaking to you in a few weeks time.

Nico: We’ll see you in a few weeks time on Web Video Marketing Show.




 Ryan Spanger


Ryan Spanger is one of Melbourne’s most respected and sought-after video production professionals. Ryan founded Dream Engine in 2001, and specializes in helping medium to large corporates, government departments, and the non-profit sector to connect with their audience by using video.

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