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Video—Personal Branding's Killer App

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It's hard to stand out. There are myriad other marketing professionals with seemingly similar credentials and experience.

Yet differentiation is key to your success.

How do you cut through the clutter and get people interested in who you are and what you have to offer?

One effective option is video, which is why in my personal branding's top 10 trends for 2010, I chose video as the No.1 trend for this year.

Deliver a Complete Communication

The challenge with written bios and other online personal-branding content is that you have just words to convey your message. Yet words account for only 7% of a complete communication.

When you add body language and voice variation to the words, you are able to deliver a message that's more clear and compelling. When you can't be there in person, video provides the best opportunity to deliver a complete communication.

Video also allows you to express your personal brand—to communicate those personal-brand attributes that will get people interested in you.

As a marketer, you know that branding is about creating emotional connections with stakeholders. Video is the best tool for expressing your creativity or energy or zenlike calm; it allows viewers to truly get to know you—enabling you to establish or reinforce those attractive, emotional qualities.

Video Is the Future

Although there are millions of videos on the Web, video as a personal-branding tool is differentiating.

There are few high-quality video bios on the Web (just do a search on YouTube to see what is out there!), giving you the opportunity to stand out and demonstrate your personal-brand attribute of "innovative."

But it won't be long before video becomes the standard vehicle for expressing ourselves on the World Wide Web. According to the Global Web Index (a collaborative undertaking of Trendstream and Lightspeed Research) 7 out of 10 US Internet users watch video clips—making video bigger than blogging or social networking.

Thanks to the ubiquity of video-sharing websites, cheap bandwidth, and a growing interest in watching videos on the Web, you can be sure that video bios will become a standard vehicle for expressing your personal brand and advancing your marketing career.

Seven Tips for Producing a Standout Video

  1. Know what you want to say. A video bio is not a video resume, or a list of your credentials; rather, it's an opportunity to demonstrate your thought leadership and communicate what you believe and how you deliver value for your employer.
  2. Watch videos. You can learn how to build your brand and create your own high-quality video at—a site that sits at the intersection of video and personal branding. Make note of videos or tips that you find relevant and compelling.
  3. Be brief. Keep it to 2-3 minutes. Attention spans are short—and getting shorter. (Your attention span is longer than average if you made it to this part of the article.)
  4. Remember, quality trumps quantity. Invest in and post one high-quality video bio instead of lots of questionable videos to YouTube. Hire professionals; th, after all, is an investment in your career. Use a comprehensive service, such as videoBIO, or bring together the right experts, including a coach to help you with your script, a camera person, a professional video editor, etc.
  5. Dress appropriately. That means professional attire. Select clothes without prints or busy patterns, because they often don't look right in video. Remember makeup (to ensure your face doesn't look shiny). Those small details will all contribute to a polished product.
  6. Maximize distribution. Post your video to multiple video sites, including your own website and sites such as YouTube, Vimeo, and
  7. Promote it. Now that you invested in your video, make sure it gets seen by those who need to know you. Include it in your email signature, put a link in your LinkedIn profile, Tweet it to your followers, etc.

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William Arruda is a personal branding pioneer, the founder and CEO of Reach Personal Branding, and the author of Ditch. Dare. Do! 3D Personal Branding for Executives.

Twitter: @williamarruda

LinkedIn: William Arruda

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  • by Greg Ball Tue Jun 15, 2010 via web

    Hi William,
    This is an excellent article. One thing I'm happy you covered is the notion of producing a High Quality Video. Many folks try and take a shortcut and produce a video themselves with poor results.

    Would someone send a Fortune 500 a XEROX instead of a brochure to gain their business? Why would someone produce an amateur video and expect others to take them seriously? Poor quality = Poor quality. In other words if you send a prospect poor quality materials, they will perceive your company to be one that provides poor quality products or services.

    As a production company, we provide high quality video at competitive rates. This allows our clients to have a video product that they can have confidence sending to clients. Please feel free to check us out at:

    Keep up the great work William!

    Greg Ball, President
    Ball Media Innovations, Inc.
    (954) 432-1274 Office

  • by Gordon Martin Tue Jun 15, 2010 via web

    I couldn't agree more. Our company does S.E.M for small to medium size businesses. One of our frequent needs is a quality video on various subjects. There are times when a poorer quality may suit the objective but if you've ever seen the difference bringing a professional to the project achieves it's usually money well spent.

    Gordon Martin, President
    DropWizard Domains Inc.
    (604) 882-8200

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