So I just finished uploading the new demo reel for our company. This seemed like a good time to also write our first blog post, something I’d like to start doing regularly. You see, I’m particularly proud of the editing on this reel, and the way it relates to a particular marketing topic: stories and authentic emotional content. [edit: reel is gone now, but the post remains]
As the marketing person, it makes sense that this project started with research. I watched a lot of competition’s demo reels and marketing material. I learned that a lot of people can light an interview, and most of them can carry a camera pretty steadily. But that isn’t an issue to me, because my job isn’t to make pretty pictures. My job is to tell your story. The demos I saw mostly showcased nice looking clips, strung together with little organization. I chose to do something that seems to be unusual in this realm. I kept in the audio from the original projects, and instead of showcasing all of our prettiest shots, I found the clips that had authentic emotion behind them. I’ve done this for every similar edit, and will probably do so for every ongoing edit.
We open with a wedding; not pretty flower arrangements, but the dialog of the vows- of the first step in a lifelong connection. We move on to an artist, honoring his father in the art that he showcases to give to the local community. This goes to a speaker who, after battling addiction himself, started an organization to provide educational support to kids going through what he did. After a few other things we see my personal favorite, Kurt Mobert (from our portrait series) on his decision to leave the tech industry for the world of natural building: “I don’t think I’m ever going to get rich doing this… but it doesn’t matter…”. That one reflects the mentality of a lot of the small businesses we work with, who are after something more than profit.
When I talk to our small business clients, I usually ask them the same question: why did you start doing this? The answer is never money. And if you can remember the answer to that question, if you can think of the emotional fulfillment you get from whatever it is you do, your story can be told with that all valuable authenticity. And if it comes across to your audience, they will respond. The logical, rational values of your business matter, of course, as does the lighting of your interview. But none of it means anything without your story.
My advice with this post, then, is to try to connect with your customers and clients on a personal level. That’s the realm of small business and non-profits, and it’s something larger companies simply can’t compete with. That’s what we try to help make happen. Remember that the people you want to reach are just that, people.
If you made it this far, thanks for enduring my warm up post. I promise I’ll get more entertaining as time goes on.