The Biggest Business Video Mistake

Okay – no lie – my eyes almost burned out of my head this past weekend after I saw the most awwwwkwaard business video I’ve seen in a while!

The video was on the Instagram account of a women’s undergarment shop in a glitzy part of Vermont and it showcased the owner strutting around the shop in shorts, a bra and an open-tied blouse while carrying a basket of cucumbers that had a pair of pink panties draped over the side. No lie. Homegirl (the shop owner) promptly offered viewers a free cucumber if they bought a bra over the weekend.

After watching the video about ten times – sipping more of my wine with each view as I winced and rolled my eyes – I decided that someone needed to save this lady from herself. See, I got the joke: oh a cucumber – ha, ha – but for real, did her video actually accomplish what she wanted it to? Did she really increase her sales that weekend…or did she simply get the satisfaction of strutting around in her lacies while making a weird joke?

"What's the point?"

This is the question to always ask yourself whenever you’re shooting a business video…or making a presentation or speech…or having a “sit down” conversation with someone. If you don’t start your video, speech or dialogue with your call to action in mind, you will likely fail to be heard. Worse – you will have wasted someone else’s time with aimless conversation or dialogue.

Try this: for every conversation you have this week – or any video you plan to shoot – ask yourself ahead of time: what is my call to action for this audience, and how do I clearly – and endearingly – make that call?

I often see my clients – and others – lead with humor, as a way of diffusing their own nerves and creating fast likeability. Yes, humor is a very effective communication tool, when used appropriately. Still, if cucumber/bra lady was going to make a joke – she would have been better off just making the joke and not tying it to her business objective of selling bras. It was an attempt at humor that completely missed her demographic: wealthy women and men who are in the market for high-end undergarments that run a minimum of $100+ a pop.

Whatever your means of communicating, though: video, speech or in-person conversation – always lead with action! Let your audience know what you want them to do…and do so in a way that resonates with them.