Archives for April 2017

5 Steps to Great Brand Storytelling, with Chris Smith

Storytelling is critically important when giving a presentation, making a sale, or pitching your business idea – but how do you achieve great brand storytelling? How do you make sure that your story is compelling, that other people will connect with it? How does your story relate to your brand?

Chris Smith of The Campfire Effect teaches entrepreneurs and their teams how to powerfully tell their story so that they can increase clients, revenue and their impact on the world. He shared some of his trademarked frameworks with us, which you can use to clarify your story and tell it in a meaningful, impactful way. Smith recently gives us a detailed interview on his methodology and the key techniques needed for engaging connected brand storytelling. This post will go over the key highlights that you can take away today and apply to your own business. For an even deeper look, check out the full video:

First Things First: Story and Brand

Smith says that many clients come to him, asking how they can brand their story, but they aren’t always clear about how story and brand-related.”Your story is your brand. It’s what you speak into the world, what you become known for.”

[bctt tweet=”Your story is your brand. It’s what you speak into the world.” username=”advancereach”]

Another way to think about it is that after you speak with a client or prospect, your brand is what they remember about you. And we, as humans, always remember stories. There are three components of your brand:

  • What you’re known for: What do people immediately think of when they hear your name?
  • What you consciously decide to stand for: This is what you’ve decided to put out into the world. It’s the image you project and the causes you attach your name to.
  • What other people say you’re known for: What is your audience going to say to a colleague about you? How will they describe you and your business?

That last idea might be a bit scary to some entrepreneurs. If my brand is what people say I’m known for, that means I’m not fully in control of my brand! That’s right. “You control that by telling your story in a powerful way,” Smith says. If you tell a compelling, unique, authentic story, people will remember and share it.

Brand vs. Branding

Before we get into details, there’s an important distinction between brand and branding. Your brand is your story, that essential, unique story that drives you and your business. “Branding is an external manifestation of your brand,” Smith explains. “It’s your logo, marketing, materials, collateral.”

Many entrepreneurs fall into the trap of mistaking their branding for their brand. They obsess over logos and collateral. They have trouble making clear decisions about how their branding should look or feel – and it’s because they haven’t addressed the internal work of understanding their brand first.

Image of dog with caption "When in a hole, stop digging"
Branding for the People helps companies understand their brand identity. Once they have that, branding and collateral fall into place.

“You should at least have a high-level understanding of your brand… for your team to communicate your story consistently and effectively,” according to the experts at Branding for the People. Branding has to come out of your brand, and your brand comes from your story. Once the story is clear, you know your brand. Once the brand is clear, the branding decisions are easy.

[bctt tweet=”Once the story is clear, you know your brand. Then, branding decisions are easy.” username=”advancereach”]

The Importance of Storytelling

Okay, so understanding your story will help you understand your brand. But what does great brand storytelling do?

The truth is, great brand storytelling leads to more clients, more revenue, and a bigger impact. Smith often asks his audiences, “Do people buy from people, or do people buy from companies?” Most of his audience raise their hand to say that yes, people buy from people. “So,” he asks, “How much of you is in the story of your business?” The audience goes quiet.

Image of Chris Smith standing in front of wooden boards
Chris Smith of

Leaders know intuitively that people buy from people, but then fail actually to tell their personal, unique story. We’ve written about this before – storytelling is not just a feel-good exercise, it’s a vital business growth tool.

The Five Forces of Brand Storytelling

The Campfire Effect™ is Smith’s proven storytelling methodology. He uses five forces to tell his story and to lead clients through storytelling workshops. These forces help leaders understand the storytelling process and improve their storytelling technique. They can be used as the actual structure of your story in a presentation – each force can be a few slides in your deck.

On top of that, he says, after a Five Forces workshop, clients “actually have the confidence to tell their story – because they know they have a great story.” These five forces are a powerful tool not just as a framework for telling your story, but for really understanding the impact of your brand storytelling.

The First Force: Who You Are

Telling your story starts with telling who you are. What are your roots, what connects your childhood to what you do now? Who are the important people in your life?

Smith grew up in Arizona, around ranchers and cowboy storytellers, and he always includes that when he tells people who he is. He was fascinated with storytelling, and now he teaches people how to tell their stories. This connection to his roots is part of his story, and it’s often what people first connect with when they meet him.

Or think of this story, of a father coming to understand that his son’s tattoos were his way of telling his life’s story. Both the story and the son’s means of telling it were distinctly personal, and it brought them closer together.

Image of woman with numerous tattoos on her arms
The way you tell your story is just as unique as the story itself.

“Everyone has connections in their childhood and roots that connect to what they do today,” Smith says. “We have a tendency to leave it out because we don’t want to be vulnerable.”

This should be simple and genuine. It’s not a sales pitch, and you’re not trying to influence your audience. Your audience will see that you’re a real human being and interested in connecting with them. It builds trust.

Another benefit to really understanding your roots is that it builds confidence. Smith’s clients see for themselves that there are connections between their roots and what they do now, which gives them a sense of connection and purpose.

Need more inspiration for your storytelling? Check out 26 Tips For Storytelling

The Second Force: Why You Do It

The second part of brand storytelling is explaining why you do what you do. Don’t use this time to state that this work is your passion or your life’s purpose – if you tell your story right that will be clear without you ever having to say it. Instead, why you do it is external. Talk about how you saw a problem or need and knew that you could do something about it.

If you’re having trouble putting this into words, Smith has some advice. “Break it up into observations and realizations,” he says. “Observations are things that you observed that were struggles or challenges.” Those are the problems you saw in the world around you, suffering or need that you observed in other people. Then, he explains, “Realizations are the ideas you had about how you could make it better.”

This starts to plant seeds of credibility, reliability, and hope. Again, this stage is not about selling. It’s about telling your authentic story, which will demonstrate to your audience that you’re credible, outward-looking, and here to solve a problem. If they identify with the struggles you’ve described, now they know that you may be the right person to help them.

The Third Force: What You Do

“This is where most entrepreneurs get in a lot of trouble,” Smith warns. Entrepreneurs are excited about their businesses, and genuinely want to share that excitement with others. They can go on for days about what they do – whether their audience wants them to or not.

The key to getting this pillar right is to tell your audience enough to get them interested, but not so much that it turns them off. They don’t need to know every detail of your product or service. This is not the time to close the deal. It should be just enough information to build a little bit of interest. You want the person on the other end to say, “Tell me more.”

Four Filters for “What You Do”

Smith has a list of filters he likes to use, to check himself when he starts to talk about what he does. By asking these questions, he makes sure that he’s giving the right amount of information.

  1. Is it clear?
  2. Is it succinct?
  3. Is it thought provoking?
  4. What’s the benefit?

Here’s an example from his business. At The Campfire Effect, he says, “We teach entrepreneurs how to tell their brand story in a really powerful way, so they can get more clients, build a stronger culture, and make more of an impact.”

That statement is clear – it’s a simple language that anyone can understand. It’s succinct – a single sentence. It’s certainly thought-provoking, making the listener want to ask how exactly he accomplishes all of this. And it states major benefits that his clients get out of working with him.

A simple, clear statement of what you do builds interest in your audience and makes them want to engage with you to learn more.

The Fourth Force: How You Do It

Many entrepreneurs can go on for hours about what they do without ever getting to how exactly they do it. The more precise and specific you are with this, the more it instills confidence in your business – you know what you’re doing. You’ve thought this through.

Have a specific name and clearly articulated steps for your methodology.. Rather than telling people that he leads a “two-day workshop on brand storytelling,” for example, Smith explains that he has a “proprietary framework” to help companies tell their story and increase sales. He goes into the details here, listing the parts of his framework and the stages that he leads clients through – stages like these Five Forces of Storytelling.

Image of Chris Smith speaking on stage giving a presentation on brand storytelling, facing a large audience
Chris Smith engaging his during a presentation on brand storytelling at the Entrepreneurial Summit in India in 2016.

The clear articulation of your process shows that you’ve put time and thought into it. Every prospective client wants to know what they would be buying. For many people, “a two-day workshop” is simply not enough information to feel confident that they’re going to get a return on investment from working with you.

The Fifth Force: Social Proof

“The fifth force is the one that I see so many entrepreneurs use the least, and it’s the most powerful,” Smith says.

We use social proof every day to make decisions about how to spend our money and time. We look at product ratings on Amazon, we find restaurants on Yelp, and we decide to go see that movie that everyone has been talking about on Facebook.Your customers are guided by social proof in the same way, and many entrepreneurs miss the opportunity to use it.

The most powerful form of social proof you can use is telling a client’s story. Who were they? What were they struggling with? How did you approach the problem? What was the result?

[bctt tweet=”The most powerful form of social proof is telling a client’s story.” username=”advancereach”]

It’s strongest if you can talk about a client who has a lot in common with your audience – the key is knowing your audience first. If you’re in a one-on-one conversation, this means listening to the person you’re speaking to and asking good questions. Then look them in the eye and say, “You remind me of a client that we recently helped, can I tell you their story and what we did for them?”

With a broader audience, it means doing your research. Learn who is going to be there, and learn what their challenges are most likely to be. Then tell the specific, detailed ways in which you helped a similar client. Be intentional, and use this as an opportunity to reinforce “How You Do It.” Explain exactly how you walked the client through your process. This makes your process real and relatable and demonstrates the value in what you do.

One final piece of advice

This framework is useful in understanding and telling your story – which, remember is your brand. That’s important and powerful, but it’s not the most important story when you talk to a prospect or client. Their story is.

Smith uses this same framework to learn other people’s stories and asks these questions when he meets a new potential client. It builds trust, Smith says and creates an opportunity to relate your story to theirs directly. You’ve set your listener at ease by building trust, and you know exactly what form of social proof will have the greatest impact.

Image of a blue hanging sign that says "Ask More Questions"
Use this framework for your own brand storytelling, then use it to connect with others and learn their stories.

Remember: Your story is your brand. Everything else – the collateral, logo, and designs that you’ve been obsessing overflow naturally out of your brand and your story. Clearly articulating your story and being able to share it with an audience makes you a more powerful speaker, helps you connect with clients, and gives you the confidence and clarity to develop your branding.

Let your story bring wealth to your business and those you’ve set out to help, and let us help you with your story. Follow the steps in our Signature Talk Outline to develop your Signature Talk in a more compelling and impacting way. Download now to get started!.

Insights from 10 years of hosting live events from James Schramko

Many businesses think of hosting live events, like an annual conference or training event, as a way to fatten their wallets. Attendees will pay big bucks for tickets, show up, maybe even post to social media during the event and provide some free marketing. They might buy products when they’re there. The businesses hope to attract some big-name speakers, who in turn want to make quick money selling their products to a captive audience.

What’s wrong with this picture?

The attendees might learn something. They might buy another course or product from the company hosting the event, or from one of the speakers. But they probably won’t come back the next year, to

Image of surfers in the ocean
Attendees hang loose at SFB Live 2014.

See the same speakers give the same hard sell. They certainly won’t come back the year after that, when they’ve seen two years of the same stale presentations and have nothing to show for it. They won’t recommend the event to their colleagues, and they won’t think back on it fondly a few years later.

James Schramko has built his annual event, SuperFastBusiness Live, into a touchstone of his community. Notice that word – community. SFB’s event isn’t about pitching affiliate products or bilking attendees out of a few thousand dollars. Their attendees come back year after year. They become coaching clients, customers, devoted members of SFB’s online community, and even business partners.

How do they do it?

Keep your eye on the future

The long-term goal of SFB’s annual event is to build their community of paid members and coaching clients. They want to build a positive, lasting relationship with their attendees. (Of course, you have to be ready to build a great community that keeps your customers loyal. Check out our post on growing a great Facebook community for strategy and practical insights.)

The short term goal is exactly the same. There is no short-term profit goal, no quick cash. They make sure the event doesn’t run at a loss, but beyond that, the event is completely oriented towards their customers and the long-term relationship.

Image of conference room full of attendees, some raising hands.
SFB Live is packed with an attentive audience. Hosting live events is about having the right content, attracting the right audience, and running a tight ship.

Schramko explains that he had to make a key decision years ago, of whether he’d try to keep hosting the same event for a different audience each year, or whether he’d host new, evolving events for the same core audience. “A lot of event companies have gone out of business,” he says, “because they’ve cycled through their audience and run out of victims. They’re making a classic sales mistake where they’re thinking about their own needs, and they’ve forgotten about the customer’s needs.”

Their core philosophy is hosting live events that people will love and remember. This builds the best possible customer relationship. They want a lifetime customer, and the event is an important means to that goal – but not an end in itself.

The customer is always right – if it’s the right customer

SFB has been successful by putting its attendees first. This means that they curate speakers who are going to teach something that their audience actually wants. How can they be sure? “I know that because I survey them,” Schramko explains.

Image of income pie chart. The largest slice is $100,000-$1m, with 71.4%
A graph on the SFB Live website shows the income levels of attendees. Schramko knows his audience and targets people who are going to get the most out of his events.

A pre-event survey ensures that they understand exactly where their attendees are in their careers, and what they need to learn now. Because SFB has been so successful in building loyalty and bringing customers back every year, they have to keep content fresh and new, to meet their customers where they are this year. If they learned it last year, they don’t need to learn it again now.

Image of chart of topics for SFB Live 2017. The categories are Traffic, Conversions, Content, Scaling, and Exit.
When hosting live events, Schramko carefully curates content for his audience, based on their interests and needs. He can be confident he knows what they want because he surveys them beforehand.

Even more importantly, they make sure they have the right people attending the events. It’s not enough to sell tickets, and they want to sell tickets specifically to people who will benefit from the event. Those attendees will recommend the event, become part of the community, and come back next year. Someone who is a bad fit might shell out for a ticket once, but they won’t be coming back again and they won’t be writing glowing testimonials. Worst-case-scenario, they’ll start spreading rumors that the event is a waste of money. “Be deliberate about who you attract to your events, Schramko says. “You should tell people who the right person to get the most from the event should be, and who might not get the most – and be honest about that. If you want to maximize the event, you have to have the right people there.”

No one comes to hear a sales pitch

Image of conference speaker in white t-shirt, arm extended.
Hosting live events is all about getting the right speakers. A high-pressure sales pitch means attendees feel like they’re being sold, not taught.

The speakers at SFB’s events are given specific, unusual instructions. Schramko first carefully curates speakers he knows and trusts. They’re usually business partners, or leaders who he has coached, who he knows are absolute experts in their field. Then, he says, “I ask them to trim the whole 30 minutes of lead-up – let’s just assume they’re there for a reason, so we don’t need to know about their journey to fame and fortune. Then trim the whole 30-minute sales pitch, stick to the content. Give us some full-on training, show us how it’s done.”

Another key factor is the presentations themselves. Schramko doesn’t allow presenters to put on a ‘hard sell,’ encouraging attendees to rush to the back of the room in a frenzy and buy their courses. The content must drive the presentations. This lets the attendees relax and learn. And they’ll come back next year because they know they won’t be pressured into dropping $5,000 on a course they don’t need and can’t afford.

Every presentation has to be tight and compelling. The presenter should be talking about an area where they’re a true expert, in a way that only they can – the foundation of great business storytelling.

Content, content, content

James Schramko has learned the hard way how to structure content when he’s hosting live events. At his earliest events, attendees would bring their own laptop and expect to leave the event with a brand new, fully-built website. This was enormously risky, as everything from the hotel wifi to the quality of the attendees owns computers could sabotage the entire enterprise.

Image of notebook with pen, and text "Starter Pack - Give new ninjas everything they need to win on their first day"
Content packed sessions lead to attendees focusing up and taking detailed notes.

Now, he says, “instead of a to-do list, they have an action plan.” Schramko focuses on content that will give his students the right ideas, help them understand the why and the how then directs them to resources to get the actual mechanics of the idea done. The session content is still practical, real instruction, but he no longer attempts to train people to be web developers in 48-hours. Instead, attendees leave with ideas, resources, and practical case studies.

By focusing on content, SFB is actually accomplishing two major things. First, attendees get enormous, practical value out of every session. They learn practical, hands-on techniques to grow their businesses. Second, SFB is growing their own content library for the SFB blog and paid community. Each session is packed full of useful, meaty content, which can be developed for multiple purposes. The high-quality recorded sessions are released online, along with transcriptions, illustrations, and blog posts. Some are available for free, and others are restricted to the paid membership community. Each event session serves double duty as high quality paid content and a content marketing tool year-round.

The devil’s in the details

Every aspect of hosting live events contributes to success or failure, and you can’t afford to scrimp on the details.

Imagine arriving in an unfamiliar city. You’re jetlagged and get up at the crack of dawn to make it to the first session. It finally breaks time – but there’s no coffee. You pull out your phone, only to learn that the nearest Starbuck’s is miles away. And the next session starts in 5 minutes.

This is exactly what happened to Schramko at an event he attended years ago, and he’s determined not to let it happen to his attendees. Snacks, coffee, water, and meals are all taken care of, so attendees can stick around during breaks for valuable networking. Every session starts and ends exactly on time. Notepads and pens are provided, so there’s nothing to worry about if something gets left behind. Social time and ample breaks are built into the schedule – no glassy eyes or dozing off.

Image of conference attendees smiling, sitting at lunch tables.
Event attendees relax during a break. Ample time for rest and networking are key to hosting live events.

Attendees want to get the most out of an event, but too many organizers treat their events like marathons. They expect attendees to suffer through it. It’s a simple equation: set the attendee up for success, then they’ll actually feel successful and come back next year. Set them up for exhaustion and failure, and – well, you get the picture.

This attention to extends to everything from check-in to swag, by the way. Even the lanyards are selected carefully. “We have lanyards with hooks instead of clips, so they can keep using it as a keyring – they won’t throw it away,” Schramko explains. After the event, “they have something to anchor that learning. They’ll see it 100,000 times.”

Make a list, and check it twice

Schramko has SuperFastBusiness Live down to a science. He’s perfected a checklist of everything he needs to get his event ready. Every year, he and his assistant copy over a new version of the checklist, and use that to make sure everything stays on track. “We get it all locked down nice and early,” Schramko says, so they never risk overlooking any details or putting themselves into a last-minute panic. He’s even provided his entire checklist online, for anyone to use.

Leave a lasting impression

“We surf at our event.”

Image of surfers in the ocean
Attendees hang loose at SFB Live 2014.

Schramko is hosting live events geared toward web marketers, looking to grow their businesses and create new opportunities for themselves. Surfing might not seem like the most obvious activity, but on the last day of the event, SFB organizes an optional group surfing lesson. “We give people a challenge – they can conquer a fear or try a bucket list item,” Schramko says. By the last day of the event, attendees have learned new skills, built up their confidence, and prepared to take on new challenges in their business life. So why not let them take on a new challenge right now, today?

Every year, over 50 attendees get into the water and hang ten. “Afterwards, they just feel like they’ve levelled up,” Schramko says. “They’ve come away with an experience.” You can bet that for those new surfers, this event was uniquely memorable. They remember SFB as a place, a culture, and a community that brought them outside of their comfort zone and put them on a new path to success. This unique opportunity builds a unique culture, where attendees want to keep coming back to “level up” year after year.

Make every event count

Live events can move your business forward – whether you’re hosting live events or speaking at them. Want to know how to 10X (or more) the value of your stage? Check out the Speak to Scale Formula Worksheet.

The Ultimate Guide To Video Email

Why Use Video In Email?

The technology that drives our modern culture has provided us with tools to connect with almost anyone instantly. Ironically, it has also left most of us starved for a true human connection.

When you hear the words “human connection”, the last place that comes to mind is the email inbox. It’s a jungle of spam, pitches, and “brain pickers”.

Classic email restricts us to text, and words make up only a small portion of how we as humans communicate. The tone of your voice, your body language and your facial expressions do much more to drive the meaning and emotions of your message than the actual words you pick.

For the exception that proves the rule, look no further than Michael Scott, who always seems to have the best intentions when he speaks, but can’t quite pick the right words, which is what makes him so entertaining.

Bad jokes by Michael Scott

Using video in your emails is the next best thing to a face-to-face conversation. It gives you the power to convey that extra meaning and emotion in the messages you send and to put a face to your name.

[bctt tweet=”Using video in your emails is the next best thing to a face-to-face conversation. @bombbomb” username=”advancereach”]

How Do I Add Videos To My Email?

There are a lot of different apps and services out there that can help you add a video to your emails. Our favorite is BombBomb. It’s an incredible tool that makes recording a video from your computer or phone a snap.

When you send a video email in BombBomb, it appears as a short animated GIF at the top of your message. It shows a quick thumbnail of your video and gives a call to action to click it. If you click it, it opens up a window in your web browser to play the video. Below your video, you can include text and all the other common elements of the email.

BombBomb video email preview

BombBomb is very easy to get started with, and you can start seeing good results right away from adding a video to your email.

What If I’m Not Good At Video?

Great question! First, you should take comfort in knowing nobody is good at the video at first. It takes practice just like everything else. But before we get into how to practice, I want to hit you with some more good news.

You don’t need to be an amazing videographer to be successful with BombBomb. You don’t need expensive equipment, a polished script or hours of editing. In fact, a raw, unpolished video that’s authentic and honest may get better results than a more “professional” one.

[bctt tweet=”You don’t need to be an amazing videographer to be successful with #videoemail @bombbomb” username=”advancereach”]

With BombBomb, you’re sending a video to 1 person or a small group of people. If your video looks like you spent hours working on it, people feel like there’s some sort of trick happening. With a simple video that’s more personable, people know it’s something just for them and they pay attention to you, not your fancy video skills.

Tips to improve your video skills

Do it a lot – I know, this one is obvious, but BombBomb provides a great platform for practicing. If you make a bad video, there’s not much risk. One person will see it, that’s all.

Since you’ll need to make a new video for every email you send, you’ll get a lot of practice fast if you use it for your outreach. You’ll improve quickly and get more comfortable in front of the camera. You’ll start to feel less pressure to make each video perfect, which will make you more relaxed and engaging in your videos.

Over time, you may become so comfortable with video on BombBomb that you’ll expand to using video in other areas of your business.

Watch your own videos – This can be painful at first. We’re not used to seeing or hearing ourselves on camera. What’s worse is the first impulse to compare ourselves with the masters we’ve seen on our social media feeds and expect that our second video ever needs to be on the same level as theirs.

By consistently reviewing your videos, you’ll get used to seeing and hearing yourself, which will lower your discomfort on camera. You’ll also start to spot ways to improve what you are doing and develop your skills faster.

Get clear on what you want to happen – Make sure you know what you want someone to do before you start recording your video. If you have a clear purpose and call to action in mind when you start your video, you’ll be more confident and direct in your videos.

Check your posture – Your body language has a big impact on how other people perceive you. But it also impacts how you feel and perceives yourself.

So before your video, get into a good posture and a strong pose. You’ll start to feel more confident, and it will become a virtuous cycle.

Be energetic – When starting out with video, it’s best to err on the side of “over-energetic and enthusiastic” when creating your videos.

On the video, the pace and tone of a normal, relaxed conversation feel slow and uninteresting. We make this worse this as beginners. Often, when we’re just getting started, our shyness or nervousness cause us to dial back our personality, which makes our videos feel awkward or boring.

Get excited, jump around and get pumped up when making your video so that the person on the other end gets infected with your excitement.

Be forgiving – Give yourself permission to take risks and make mistakes. Remember that you are your worst critic. Nobody else is going to notice that stray hair or that you said a word kind of funny.

A few slip-ups in a video makes you personable, so don’t force yourself to be perfect. You’ll want to experiment with your approach to find the best results, which means you’ll also make mistakes.

Go easy on yourself, keep learning, and you’ll get better.

Practice on social media – If you’re unsure about practicing video in your cold outreach, why not try with your friends first to get comfortable.

The Facebook Messenger app allows you to record and send 15 second video messages from your phone. Get some practice there and try to send a video message to your significant other (remind them how lovely they are) or invite your friend out for a drink.

Do I Need Fancy Equipment For Video Email?

You don’t need to break the bank on expensive cameras or editing software to be successful with video emails.

Most laptops and smartphones have cameras that are good enough to work for video email. Remember, we’re not trying to be the next James Cameron, we just want to make a personal impression.

A simple, unedited video can actually be more effective at creating a sense of personal connection and authenticity. This is what you want in your email communication.

When To Use Video Emails

First impressions – Any time you’re making a first impression with someone through email is a good time for video. A video will make you much more memorable and relatable than plain text.

People are used to getting blasted with automated emails that are impersonal and “pitchy”. A personalized video that addresses them by name and puts a face to your name is more likely to get a response.

Following up and picking up an old thread – A video email is a great way to reconnect with someone you have not heard from in a while. Whether they’re a lead, someone you’re collaborating with or an old friend, a video will put you back at the top of their mind.

Complicated or nuanced messages – Sometimes you need to make an announcement to your team that involves a lot of information. This information may be sensitive, detailed, emotionally charged, or controversial. It’s better not to leave anything up for interpretation. With a video, you can emphasize certain details, explain subtleties, and communicate your own emotions better.

To express gratitude – There are few better feelings than receiving gratitude from someone you helped. Don’t let bland text get in the way of those good feelings. Saying “thank you” in the video is very powerful. It conveys your gratitude in a more authentic and powerful way. This will invite more of whatever you are grateful for from that person.

Holidays and special occasions – A holiday greeting is a great excuse to reach out to someone and spark new conversations. Seeing your face and expressions will make your greeting feel more personal even if you’re sending it to a large list.

When you’re on the go – For some, it’s much easier to speak a message than it is to write one. Especially when you’re on the go, and you need to use your tiny phone keyboard. Sometimes you only have a brief moment between meetings on the road to send a message. With BombBomb, you can record and send a video email right from your phone.

Here’s an example of Pete on the go with the BombBomb app:


For more great ideas of when you use Video, check out BombBomb’s guide “10 times Bombbomb video says it better than text

How We Use BombBomb At Advance Your Reach

We specialize in getting people with a message to share onto stages in front of people who need to hear that message.

The meeting planners who control access to those stages are often bombarded with dozens of requests every day to get on their stages. They have to tune out 99% of these requests because they don’t have time to look through them all and truly find out who would be a good fit for their stage.

In our experience, most of the competition is sending out bland emails that are poorly thought through and impersonal. They lead by asking for things right away with no consideration of what the meeting planner wants or needs.

BombBomb is our favorite tool for cutting through the noise that these meeting planners experience. The video is personalized to them, and we use that first video to let them know that they should keep an eye out in the mail for something special. We emphasize that we’re excited to help them instead of asking for things right away.

Here’s an example of one of Pete’s video emails reaching out:


For more strategies on outreach to meeting planners, influencers or anyone else you want to connect with, check out “Unstoppable Outreach Strategies that Cut Through The Noise

Optimizing Your BombBomb Emails

Get a good thumbnail – The first thing people see when opening a BombBomb email is a short animated GIF image of your video. People can sometimes mistake this for the whole video and think maybe you made some sort of mistake by sending this strange half-second clip.

You can make a custom thumbnail in BombBomb. A great thumbnail will get more people clicking to see your video and capture their attention. A good tactic is to write a message on whiteboard or sticky note and set that as your thumbnail image.

The written message should be a small call to action like, “Hey Kristin, click me to watch this video”. Seeing their name written will help ease any suspicion that this is some sort of email blast.

Create an enticing subject – Right now, video emails are so uncommon and new that simply adding (Video Email) at the beginning or end of your subject line is enough to capture attention in a crowded inbox.

Don’t make your video too long – Try to keep your video shorter than 90 seconds. Be brief and clear with what you are offering in your video. People may not watch the whole video if it is too long and will miss what you want to share with them.

Include a call to action at the end of your video – Make sure you give the person you are reaching out to a clear call to action at the end of the video. Usually, it’s something like “click the link below to set up a call.”

Your video email is likely to make a stronger impression than most of the communication people receive on a daily basis. That means they’re more likely to take action if you give them some specific instructions.

Make The Most of BombBomb’s Analytics and Notifications

BombBomb can let you know when people open up your emails, watch your videos, and engage with the links and content in your message. This can clue you into when the perfect time to follow up is. If you see someone opening your email and watching your video, send them a quick email to engage them while you’re on their mind.

Send history

The send history view in the Emails tab in BombBomb gives you a breakdown of how emails are performing. You can see how many opens, clicks and video plays your emails are getting. Use this information to see who is engaging most with your emails and who to focus on in your follow-ups.

BombBomb Video Email Analytics

Experiment with your tactics on your email. Test out different calls to action, thumbnails, length of the video, topics of your emails, and people you reach out to. Review how each email performed and compare them to each other; you may find certain things give you a significant boost to your engagement.

Create Automated Video Email Sequences In BombBomb

Video email can also be incorporated into your automated sequences. Email automation is a popular tool for many small businesses and startups, but it is being used so frequently that most people start to tune them out.

Including video can go a long way towards capturing the attention and curiosity of those you are reaching out to with email.

Here are a few suggestions for what kinds of automation do best with video email.

Welcome series

A welcome series is a set of emails you send to someone who subscribes for the first time but is not yet a customer.

In his post “Building a Newsletter Welcome Series from Scratch”, Gregory Ciotti outlines 2 main problems with most welcome series.

  1. “They pushed too hard for a sign-up in the first email. I didn’t feel welcomed, and I felt sold out (and I know that wasn’t their intent).
  2. The message said nothing of substance. There was no objective and zero reasons for the email to be sent.”

A video email series can go a long way to solving both of these problems. A video of you greeting them and introducing yourself as a person can make a good impression and allow for a more personal connection right away.

Follow up with a few video emails that add value through the series. The video will make the information you convey will be much more memorable than the average plain text email. Make a few videos that suggest some content on your site, give a few useful downloads or tools, or shares some tips directly in the email.

[bctt tweet=”#videoemail is much more memorable and interesting than the average plain text email @bombbomb ” username=”advancereach”]

Sales sequences

Copywriting for email is a challenging skill that requires you to conjure emotions in the reader with nothing more than simple text. This is difficult to do because 93% of communication is nonverbal. That means using text only to create an emotional response that drives action is like trying to fight with 1 hand tied behind your back.

Using video in your sales sequences can convey emotions through your gestures, tone and expressions. This can support your copywriting and make the whole experience more compelling for the viewer.


Email remains one of the most common and powerful tools for communication today. But it has some big drawbacks with its impersonal and bland nature. Video email goes a long way towards balancing out the drawbacks with email while making the most out of its strengths.

It’s our favourite tool for outreach and communication. It gets us more replies, clicks and conversions. But you don’t have to take our word for it. You can get a 14-day free trial here to test it out for yourself.

[bctt tweet=”The Ultimate Guide To Video Email” username=”advancereach”]