An Outline for Creating Effective Sales Videos

Video is the arguably the best way to promote and sell your product. It has numerous advantages over traditional sales copy:

  1. Video gives you an opportunity to project your warmth and personality, i.e. it’s easier to build a personal brand using video than text. It’s the perfect vehicle for building trust – and trust closes sales.
  2. You can communicate a large amount of information in a short period of time. It lets you control the pace of your sales presentation so your prospects do not lose interest.
  3. Video is easier to consume than text. Your prospect can just sit back, watch and listen to video on various devices. Text requires a level of concentration and commitment that may alienate part of your audience.
  4. You can keep your prospect engaged more easily than with text. Video is a rich, expressive medium: you can use music, slides, screen captures, interviews and, of course, your own voice and personality. You can also plan and rehearse your presentation until it’s polished.

A winning video sales outline you can use

The following method can be adapted to any video sales format – long or short – the principles remain the same.

  1. Grab your audience’s attention. As with a sales letter, you need to grab viewers’ attention with a compelling headline, e.g. “Discover how to become a go-to expert in your field in just 90 days“. Once you have their attention, you must draw your prospect in further with three rhetorical/empathy questions.
  2. Introduce yourself. This can be as simple as, “Hi everyone, Bill Henderson here and I want to show you how I went from zero contacts, zero list, zero influence to being an influencer in my industry using the methods I’m about to share with you in this video“. Notice how simple this is. Bill doesn’t list his credentials – his expertise is assumed when he tells you what he’s achieved or what he’s about to show you. (This is important as many experts are put off promoting their products as they don’t yet have social proof. Yes proof helps a lot but there are ways around it when you’re just starting out, as shown here.)
  3. Keep them listening to the end. It’s important to keep your audience listening until the end as that is where you make your call-to-action, e.g. sell your product; ask users to subscribe to your list. A few ways you can keep your listener hooked is to offer something of value at the end of your presentation. It could be a discount, a free report, a personal consultation etc. Another method you should use is to remove the controls (i.e. forward skipping) on your video player (there will be a setting that comes with the software). This forces your listener to sit through your presentation.
  4. Share your story to build a relationship with your audience. Stories sell and video is the perfect medium for storytelling. Your journey is the listeners’ journey and vice versa. Let your audience know that you have been where they are; you have experienced the same fears and frustrations; you have felt the same anxieties and doubts; you, like they, struggled and success seemed out-of-reach. Demonstrate empathy; speak their language and voice their feelings. Share your personal experiences. Your goal is to relate to your target audience’s problems, fears and emotions. In his excellent, One Sentence Persuasion, Blair Warren describes this as, “help them throw rocks at their enemy”.
  5. Your darkest moment. Share the darkest point of your story – when all hope seemed lost. When you were about to give up or lose everything and what was the moment everything changed for you. It could be a chance meeting with an expert; finding a mentor; an epithany while walking the empty streets or a story of resolving not to give up.
  6. Introduce your product. Now, you transition into introducing your product and its promised outcome: “[Out of my struggle/After a chance meeting with an expert/Fast forward a year and…] I created and perfected a system that can take any unknown expert – with no list, no contacts, no influence – nothing, and make them a go-to name in their field in just 90 days“. When you introduce it, show an image of your product and its full title. State exactly what the problem solves/the result it promises.
         Be sure to emphasise your product offers a comprehensive solution – a step-by-step guide: the prospect will have all they need, from start to finish, to achieve the result you promise. Nothing is left out. Also be sure to talk about the product’s ease of use.
  7. “Here’s what you get…” Next, you’ll want to go through your product and extract all its underlying benefits. The purpose of this is to overwhelm the prospect with the sheer value of what you are offering. Using our above example of Bill Henderson, he may write, “I want to take a moment to tell you exactly what you get with my course, Influence Zero to Hero”:
    – “Discover my method for cold-emailing influencers and building a working relationship even if you are a ‘nobody'”
    – “My foolproof strategy for creating guest posts authority websites will love to publish”.
    – “Step-by-step instructions for generating pre-sales buzz for your book”.
    – “A proven fire-and-forget system for landing interviews with leading podcasts and TV shows”.
    – “A done-for-you schedule of daily tasks which, if you follow, will double your Internet fame”…
    You get the idea: stack your benefits. Finally, be sure to tell the prospect about any audio, PDFs, video or worksheets etc. that come with the product. That will increase its value further.
         Should you offer bonus products? We don’t think it’s necessary. If you follow the above steps, you will have such a benefit-intensive product that any bonus is unnecessary. In fact, bonuses can reduce the perceived quality of your product. They’re seen by some as gimmicky and they are usually of lesser quality than the main product. If your bonus is unrelated, leave it out; if it doesn’t meet quality standards, leave it out; if it’s related and meets standards, include it in the product; if it’s unrelated and meets quality standards, create a new product around it.
  8. Offer social proof. Do you have testimonials you can use? If not, ask friends and family to review your product and give their feedback. Reach out to influencers in your field and offer them a review copy in return for an honest testimonial. As you get customers signing up, be sure to ask the same.
  9. Give a guarantee, if you want. You can offer a 30-day money-back, no-risk guarantee to overcome any remaining doubts your prospect may have. Many internet marketers say you should always offer a guarantee – you will make more in extra sales than what you pay out in refunds. (An alternative to a guarantee might be to offer a limited access free trial so the prospect can see if your product is for them.) However, whether you offer a guarantee depends on other factors such as your status, your authority in your field, how well established you are. If you’re a proven expert with tonnes of social proof, a guarantee is unnecessary.
  10. Announcing the price. Now’s the time to announce your price. If you’ve done the previous steps correctly – empathised with the reader; stacked your benefits – announcing your price is straightforward. Simply say, “So what’s the investment? It’s not $995. It’s not $795. $595? Nope. It’s just $495 – all the benefits I’ve described to help you go from anonymous expert to industry guru in 90 days. To order, simply click…” . That’s it. Don’t try to justify the price – you’ve already demonstrated its value; don’t sheepishly announce the price as though you were embarrassed or sorry. State it clearly and confidently and move straight to your call-to-action.
  11. Give a call to action. Tell your prospect what action to take next (e.g. place their order; submit their email or book their spot etc.) Instil a sense of urgency into the viewer, e.g. there are only a limited number of places; price will increase after today (and stand by this); you’re closing the doors on this program until next year etc.
  12. Remind your prospect of the price of inaction. Your prospect is in a state of inertia. It’s more comfortable to do nothing than to take action. At this point, remind your target of the price of doing nothing. In our example, Bill might say, Look, whatever you decide to do, time will pass. You could lose another year doing nothing, going nowhere and being as lost and frustrated 12 months from now. Or, you can take a different action. You can make this the start of something new: follow this program; join hundreds like you who are growing their influence, and reaping the rewards a year – or even months – from now. I hope you make the right choice – this will work for you, I promise.”
  13. Summary. Close by repeating the main benefit as described in the product’s headline in Step 1 and point the user to the call-to-action one last time. Thank the viewer, “Thank you for investing your time with me today, I know you’re busy and I appreciate it. I’m grateful for your attention and I hope to see you on the course. Thank you and goodbye”.

Takeaway points

  1. Video is a powerful sales tool – perhaps the most powerful. It has significant advantages over text and audio.
  2. Like sales copy, sales video has a well-defined sequence and psychology running through it.
  3. If you’re producing sales copy anyway, use it to create a video instead and A/B split test to see which performs best.

Action steps

  1. Write a video sales script for your product using the outline above.
  2. Practice to camera until it comes naturally. Do not over-practice – you will appear stilted and unemotional. If you’re uncomfortable speaking to camera, keep a video diary for a few weeks and speak into it for a few minutes every day. Review your performance (you will hate it). See where you can improve and in your next recording concentrate on improving that aspect.
  3. Invest in a teleprompter to help you speak fluently and naturally to camera. You can buy a perfectly good budget version for $150 on eBay.

Photo credit: ZapTheDingbat via Foter.com / CC BY

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