In this episode of “Where We’re Heading: Business in the Age of Covid,” I spoke with Paul Robbins of Paul Robbins Associates about the importance for businesses and organizations to continue to get their messages out, and how they can modify their messages for the “new normal.” The interview is like a series of short white papers, as Paul gives us a few case studies on how to thrive in times of uncertainty.
I recently spent time in Houston, Texas, on a video shoot. The goal was to produce a couple of videos the client can use to recruit prospective associates and clients. It was a fast-paced, frenetic few days with many highlights (not the least of which was getting direct flights each way! Whoohoo!). I really enjoyed the time I spent with the people there, which is the purpose of this post.
The people were great and that made the all the difference because they’re in an industry where there’s very little differentiation between products and services from one firm to the next. So that’s what we decided to capture — the people stories.
But wait! Don’t their competitors have great people, too? Probably. But how effective are they when it comes to telling the stories of their people and the difference they’re making in the lives of the people and the communities they serve? Done well, visual storytelling can be compelling and a difference-maker. It makes people say, “I want be a part of that.” “I want to work there.” “I want to do business with them.” It provides a connection.
So that’s what we did for a couple of days. We spent time with people to understand their stories and the places where they live and work. It was a blast! It’ll be a while for the final production to make its debut, but when it does, I’m confident it’ll be . . . different.
Do you have an interesting case study or a unique perspective on a current business topic? You may want to share your knowledge and expertise with others in a live setting, but you’re not sure how to go about landing a speaking or workshop presentation opportunity. These five tips may help get you where you want to go.
1. Update your LinkedIn Profile
A quick and easy way to let people know about your speaking experience and desire to speak at more events is to update your LinkedIn profile with information about your past speaking opportunities. You can add your speaking experience to your Summary section or Experience section. If you’re comfortable posting the presentation, you can add it to your profile, too. You may want to consider posting the presentation on Slideshare and linking to presentation in your LinkedIn profile. Adding it to Slideshare will expand your potential audience and allow people not connected to you on LinkedIn to view your presentation.
2. Ask The Conference Coordinator
When you attend your next conference, take a moment to speak to the conference coordinator to find out how they book their presenters. Many times, there’s a call for presentations. If so, ask to be on the email list so you can submit a proposal. When you approach the coordinator, be prepared to offer a high-level synopsis of what presentation could be. Your topic should be interesting and relevant to the kinds of conferences the coordinator produces.
3. Do Your Homework
Look for organizations that produce industry-specific conferences and training seminars. These conferences and seminars typically feature many speakers, both as keynote presenters and workshop leaders. These organizations often have a way for you to submit a presentation proposal through their Website and/or provide a contact person to respond to inquiries. If you have an engaging case study or have a track record for being a subject matter expert in your field, you may want to research a conference company that would be a good fit for you.
4. Start Local
A great way to book speaking opportunities is to reach out to the leadership of any local organizations to which you belong. Your local chamber of commerce, other civic organizations or local industry trade organization often need speakers for their events. The key is to offer to speak on topic that’s current and relevant and an area of your expertise.
5. Host Your Own Event
If you want to get started speaking or would like to refine your presentation before taking it on the road at a regional or national conference, you may want to consider producing your own speaking event. Your local library or civic organization may provide you space for little or no charge. You can invite people to come hear you speak, as well as promote your event locally. After you’ve presented at your event, make sure to update your LinkedIn profile with the relevant information!
Dave Sweeney is a corporate communications professional who has both spoken at national conferences and written and prepared presentations for senior executives to present at national conferences.
If you’re looking to break through the noise and out-recruit your competitors to find the best talent, you should consider creating video job ads to attract the best and brightest candidates. according to a 2013 eye-tracking study by TheLadders, job seekers spend about 77 seconds, on average, reading an ad to decide if a position is a good match for them. That’s not much time to convince someone yours is the position that’s the best fit.
In the recent article “Attract More Talent With Video Job Ads” in Entrepreneur Magazine, author Helen R. Human lists seven tips for creating engaging job ads on video to aid in hiring employees. Some that stood out to me are:
“Spark interest through emotion. Job ads should should tell a story about the employer and inspire job seekers. After viewing a job ad, an individual should feel motivated to immediately apply for the job.”
“Illustrate core company values. Job seekers want to work for employers with values similar to their own.”
“Provide a sneak peek of company culture. Job seekers want to learn about what it’d be like to work for an organization if they were hired for the position.”
“Provide contact information. Video job ads should make applying for a job accessible for job seekers.”
You May Have A Video Job Ad Half-Done and Don’t Even Know It
I would also add that job ads can be cost-effective because you can re-purpose video footage across several job ads. For example, showing company culture and illustrating core company values are probably elements you want to show in all of your job ads. While you may not want a shot-for-shot re-purposing of this video, a little creative editing can go a long way while saving money. As a matter of fact, you may already have some culture and values video already available if you’ve ever done a company overview video or announced a new company policy or strategy. If you add an interview with an executive and/or some details about the open position, you have a video job ad ready to go.
What Can I Do With a Video Ad?
Once complete, you can post the video ad in many places where you’re already posting your positions, including:
- Company website
- LinkedIn Business Page
- Instagram (will need to edit)
If this information has gotten your creative juices flowing, let’s talk about how we can generate many of these to help differentiate your business and attract the best people for your open positions.
Here’s an example of a video job ad from Starbucks:
Whenever I’m conducting a social media workshop, I include a discussion about company-wide social media policies. A lot of the time, attendees state they don’t have an established social media policy or that they are pursuing creating one. And much of the discussion is around telling employees what they can and cannot post, as well as how to respond to negative posts or comments.
But before getting into the employee “do’s and don’ts,” policy creators would be wise to take a step back and approach the social media policy strategically. Social Media Examiner has an excellent post on this topic — “How to Write a Social Media Policy to Empower Employees”, which raises several good points for creating a social media policy that engages and empowers employees instead of chastening them or putting them in defensive position, which may cause some employees to abandon any work-related social media completely. Some important points that stood out to me are:
- Are there already policies in place that would cover social media? Many human resources policies that address workplace language, conduct, harassment, etc., probably already exist and simply need to be extended to social media platforms. No need to reinvent the wheel.
- Research current federal and state laws. There are already laws on the books regarding endorsements and disclosures. Make sure you’re in compliance. And some industries have more regulatory oversight than others.
- Establish parameters for personal use. Can employees Tweet while on the clock? Can company equipment be used for personal social media use? What are the implications? What is the impact to productivity? How will you monitor it?
- Get departmental buy-in and keep the communications about the policies in short, digestible nuggets. And keep it in plain language, not legalese.
- Accentuate the positive. Once you launch the policy, highlight people who are using social media effectively according to the policy.
Read the full Social Media Examiner post here.
Do you have a social media policy in place? If so, what’s working best and what would you like to see improve? Post in the comment section!
The team at viz-bang! often talks to folks about the power and increased engagement generated by online video. We have even posted some case studies about it.
But as a study from Invodo, an online video e-commerce company with clients including Sports Authority, Verizon, Lenovo and others, shows, businesses shouldn’t stop at simply adding video to a Website. They should include a loud-and-clear call-to-action to watch the video.
“Just as the salesperson bags the deal by asking for the business, the online marketer increases conversion by asking for the click. That’s the idea,” the report says. Don’t just write “video” on the player. Be specific in what you want site visitors to do. Videos with a text call to action generate view rates of 6.16% compared to 4.75% with an image-only call to action.
So if you are including a video thumbnail in an electronic newsletter or are simply emailing a link to a video to a friend, client or prospect, including “click to watch” will help increase the number of views.
For a synopsis of the Invodo study, read this MediaPost article.
For the complete study, click this link to go to the Invodo Website. You’ll have to register to download the white paper. No fee involved.
Hat tip to GCAI for alerting us to the MediaPost article.