Had you ever wished that there was a way your website could speak directly to your client?

Not just with images in a slideshow but with actual spoken words? A way to show your passion and your love for what you do, at the same time displaying how you work and building confidence in your brand?

Well, simply put, there is! Before you go any further, watch this brand experience video that we created for my business:

Alison Winterroth Photography | Brand Experience from John Roquemore on Vimeo.

Video, and more specifically a brand experience video, is an effective way to connect with your website visitor, as it engages them and makes you stand out in an extremely crowded marketplace. Personally, I have seen huge booking increases and way more website engagement (people staying on my site 3+ minutes, clicking through to see other pages, etc.) since I introduced my brand experience video. People are responding in the best possible way!

I absolutely loved the process involved with making this video. It really helped me think critically about and define my brand, and made me go through my business with a fine tooth comb. Here are 8 ways that I got the most out of my brand experience video.

1. Brainstorm your brand identity and decide what areas of your business you would like to highlight.

Before you ever even talk to a videographer about making your vision come to life, you need to know what your business is, what style you are trying to convey and what customer you want to reach. Your branding should be flawless and you should be happy with the style you are conveying. This may mean doing an overhaul of your logo and possibly speaking to a branding specialist. Getting your brand just right is critical; you don’t want to have a beautiful promo video made and then 6 months later be unhappy with your logo color scheme or worse, realize you are not attracting your ideal customer.

Alison Winterroth photography

2. Choose a videographer that complements your style and whose work you admire.

When I saw John Roquemore’s work I immediately knew he was the one for me. He has a similar style and I knew he would be receptive to my ideas. The important part of this is to pick someone who will work with you, this is a collaborative project that combines your business and vision with your videographer’s skills and ideas. You need to be able to work well together to achieve a gorgeous end result. You should also have a realistic budget in mind and realize that a good brand experience video (just like a good photographer) will come for a fair price. Be realistic with what you can afford, but don’t budget shop. I contracted John almost 6 months before we shot our session and set a little money aside each month. He was worth every penny.

creating a brand video by Alison Winterroth

3. Prepare and order any marketing materials that will match your brand.

Now that you have a videographer and a solid brand, it is time to order and/or design some marketing materials. You will probably show some of these in the video so it is important to be prepared.

photo business packaging by Alison Winterroth

4. Order product samples that you would like to highlight in the video.

You will probably do a lot of talking in the video about your favorite products so make sure you have some examples that represent your brand. I have an organic look, so in my brand experience I highlighted barnwood, torn edge prints and wood prints. What products do you want to showcase?  Don’t forget to think about how your props, samples and studio will look in the video, so make sure things look organized and clean.

photography studio organization by Alison Winterroth

5. Find models that fit your ideal client both in terms of style and ages. Show what you want to shoot.

Take into consideration where and who you want to shoot. Does your ideal customer live in a big light filled house with modern furniture and white walls? Do they have a more eclectic older home with interesting details? Do you love to shoot at the beach? In an open field? Do you want to shoot mainly lifestyle newborns or studio families? Remember, your client will watch this, and if you have targeted it to the right person it will speak to them! You are showing your ideal customer in a perfect world so make sure you cast that person/family appropriately. I held casting calls for the newborn family and asked a family that I knew would be perfect for the baby session and I gave them digital files for their participation. They both looked exactly how I wanted them to look like the day of the shoot because I gave them wardrobe suggestions and told them the look I was going for.  This is an important step that you want to be involved in.

picture of mom and dad with newborn by Alison Winterroth

6. Pick clothing that accentuates your figure and that looks good on camera. Photograph every look.

This was a hard step for me! I wanted my clothing to look like my brand and spent endless hours looking for things that matched my logo colors, my polka dot theme and looked good with my website. It was a lot of work – although who doesn’t like shopping? In the end, I had 3 outfit changes and 4 clothing options. These videos are usually made to look like they are shot over several days, but really they are usually done in one 12-hour day. Once I had a good idea of what I was going to wear, I had my sister (who also did the lovely braid in my hair for the video) photograph me so I could see what I looked like on screen. Don’t skip this step, it made me realize some things looked too wrinkled or were just plain unflattering.

portraits of woman by Alison Winterroth

7. Hire a hair and makeup professional to make you look your best the day of the shoot.

Find someone who does professional makeup and hire them! Don’t do this step yourself! A professional will know how to make you look your best when there are bright lights all over your face. You will feel so much more relaxed and confident if you are not worrying about how your makeup looks!

photo of dad and baby by Alison Winterroth

8. Video yourself answering questions about your business to prepare yourself to speak on camera.

Your interview portion of the video will be long and you will do a million and one takes, but if you practice what you want to say about the portions of your business you want to highlight, you will find that your interview flows much easier. Don’t worry, you will still have plenty of opportunities to make mistakes and will repeat the same thing over and over but you will have a better idea of where you want the interview to go. It might also help to write down some questions that you want the interviewer to ask you, that way you are prepared with the perfect answer.

list to help you create a video for your business by Alison Winterroth

9. *Bonus* Have fun the day of the shoot and go with the flow!

This should be a fun experience for you! Things will probably go wrong (I realized midway through the newborn shoot that I had forgotten to put on deodorant that morning and was sweating bullets) but there are plenty of things that will go perfectly! You might feel at the end of the day that you didn’t get any good footage, but have confidence in your videographer, he or she knows how to make you look your best!

Good luck on your videography journey. This will be a fun, overwhelming and terribly exciting experience! I can’t wait to see what you create!

child playing with toys photo by Alison Winterroth

Video by John Roquemore. Hair and makeup by Jess Waldrop Makeup.