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You Need to Add Video to Your Personal Branding Strategy

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When you're building your personal brand, you want to make sure you're visible to the people who are making decisions about you. When building your brand on the Web, that means showing up on page 1 of search results for a Google search. Why? Because if you're not on page 1, you're nearly invisible.

A Gravitate Online study found that 94% of Google users click on a first-page result, and fewer than 6% click on a page 2 result. So showing up on page 1 is essential if you want to get noticed.

So how do you make that happen? Video.

Videos are much more likely than text pages to get that coveted page 1 slot, thanks to blended search. So, instead of focusing only on blogs, articles, and whitepapers, spend time creating a video bio or a series of thought-leadership videos. Doing so is your best opportunity to stand out from the pack and increase your influence.

In addition to increasing the likelihood that you'll show up on the first page of search results, other compelling reasons to incorporate video into your personal branding strategy include the following:

  • Video is popular. Video is the most consumed content format online, according to comScore. It reaches 85% of the US Internet population. For example, my company's all-video website, personalbranding.tv is our most popular Web presence—with more than three times as many visitors as our text-based blog.
  • Video search is hot. After Google, YouTube has the most searches. Technically, YouTube is not a search engine, but the number of daily searches on YouTube is greater than those on Yahoo, Bing, Ask, and AOL combined.
  • Video is easy. Not long ago, creating a video was a challenge. You needed to go into a studio, hire an editor, and expand your hard drive to create and share a good-quality video. Today, you can get similar results yourself thanks to built-in HD video cameras and apps like videoBIO, which help you create, edit, and promote your video.
  • Video builds trust. Effective personal branding requires building emotional connections with the members of your brand community. Video is the next best thing to being there. It gets people to connect with you on a much deeper level than text-based communication. It also conveys your personality in a way that the 26 letters of the alphabet can't.
  • Video helps you stand out. Many of your peers and competitors aren't using video yet. Most don't have a YouTube channel. That means your videos give you an instant competitive edge and the opportunity to distinguish yourself from others who do what you do.
  • Video is current. You're a marketer. You want to be using the latest tools to express your brand, don't you?

You're convinced you of the power of video, right? Then use these Google-friendly tips to increase the chances of getting your videos to appear on page 1:

  • Focus on quality. A small number of high-quality videos will build your brand. Several mediocre videos may detract from it. Make your videos scream quality by focusing on the sound and lighting and what's in the frame. And remember to practice. Quality will increase your video's popularity and ensure your brand is seen in the most positive light.
  • Choose the right file name. When choosing your video filenames, use keywords related to how you want to be known. For example, all my video filenames contain the words "personal branding."
  • Use all the right keywords. Make sure your video descriptions and tags are replete with the keywords related to how you want to be known—the words people would use to find you.
  • Start with YouTube. Create a YouTube channel and host your videos there. Remember, YouTube is owned by Google.
  • Embed your videos. Embed your videos in your website or blog, LinkedIn profile (in the summary and experience sections), and other places where you can control the content.
  • Don't forget promotion. Promote your video to your brand community so it gets viewed. Few people know the exact details of the Google algorithm, but popularity is definitely one of the factors—yet another reason to create high-quality, compelling videos.

Video is the future of personal branding. Become skilled at creating and promoting videos now so you get noticed and stay out front!


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William Arruda, dubbed "the personal branding guru" by Entrepreneur, is a motivational speaker, talent-development consultant, and the founder and CEO of Reach Personal Branding. He is the author of Ditch. Dare. Do! 3D Personal Branding for Executives and curator at Personal Branding TV. He is credited with turning the concept of personal branding into a global industry.

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  • by Dimitri Thu Mar 13, 2014 via web

    hi William .. Sure, you need to add video to your Personal Branding Strategy. But because it's branding .. you have to be careful saying that video is simple to do, thanks to HD and so on .. and a couple of sentences later you make a statement "focus on quality". Well ... doing all the things by yourself is, according to me and my experiences, not true. Making video is still a craft. I have a iPhone 5s, a very good camera to make video recording .. but saying that I can make pure quality video with it .. not at all. Scripting, shooting, editing requires experience, professional experience. It's not the gear that you use .. it's the man or woman behind those equipment. And I really don't believe that you can make the difference if you are not familiar with those techniques. You think it is .. but it isn't. In other words : everybody needs a shooting director as a guide, a coach, a second opinion if you will. There is a lot of bad DIY video on the web .. so people that wanna shine with their video as a professional for their image branding, need to invest in professional video. The other part of non-believers will disappear from the social media radar in the future. Storytelling isn't something you do all by yourself. My advice: begin with some good video's, not DIY, but professionally made as a starter: first impression counts, especially when you talk about image and personal branding. When a prospect gets to know .. than you can use your own made video's in a blog ... after you had some advice how to use it and what not to do. After a while you can again invest in some professional videoseries that you can sell .. but professional, not amateur things that even my children could make. It's not about video William, that's just a tool, a medium that we must care in respect (nobody want's to see and hear ugly things, have respect for your viewers), it's all about communicating, to tell a story that triggers.

  • by Roger Hurni Thu Mar 13, 2014 via web

    While video is important as well as other tools, true personal branding is not about self promotion. You're missing the whole point of what a personal brand is and means to the individual. 99% of the people are not going to build a personal brand to the point of getting a book deal and going on the speaker circuit. Your personal brand is about managing your career and how people perceive you -- most of which has nothing to do with video.

  • by JohnS Thu Mar 13, 2014 via web

    Right on, William. People are making decisions about us every day. And most people learn about us online before they even meet us. Video is the best way for them to get to know us. In a video, we can tell others how we can deliver value for them, as an employee, business partner, consultant, etc. It seems to me that this is just the evolution of personal branding. Lots of people were hesitant to put their photo on their LinkedIn profile because they were stuck in the past - where resumes didn't have photos. You are clearly speaking to the trend setters here. Eventually, most everyone will have video but it can help you stand out right now. Thanks for a great article.

  • by Dimitri Thu Mar 13, 2014 via web

    I agree JohnS. But focus on quality when you use video as a branding tool: content, shooting,editing and strategy. And the most successful entrepreneurs are choosing to outsource specific tasks ... Someone who is taking his business seriously, doesn't start learning wordpress in depth or take the shortcut with using Wix for building a website when it is not his or her core business. It's just like video : professional versus DIY. Although I believe that you can make video by yourself (after knowing what to do and not) but I see this DIYvideo as a supplement to more critical visual communication (first impressions) that has to be professional made.

  • by William Arruda Thu Mar 13, 2014 via web

    Thanks, Dimitri. I agree that for a video bio or thought-leadership piece, a professional studio shot is ideal. For more casual communications, DIY can work - but you must make sure it is of the highest quality possible - right background, lighting, audio, editing, etc.

  • by Dimitri Thu Mar 13, 2014 via web

    Thanks William. No we're talking. :-)

  • by Catharine Fennell Mon Mar 17, 2014 via web

    Thanks William for this article. I think the biggest hurdle that most face today is getting comfortable with being on video and realizing that video is now a mainstream medium for conveying the connecting elements of your persona. There is an honesty in video that cannot be delivered in any other medium. It is important to make careful choices around your "production value" as it relates to what you are delivering.. the shelf life of the video... and who you are trying to connect with. Much of this will dictate whether you invest in a "produced" video vs. a DIY or user generated video. However, we cannot underestimate the need for people to truly meet people behind brands online, and this can only be accomplished with through the honesty of video. So, whether some we want to believe it or not, video is becoming mainstream and we need to understand it! At the end of the day, people connect with people, and that authenticity can only be delivered via video online.

  • by Kimmy Burgess Fri Mar 21, 2014 via web

    I agree, being visible to clients increase the potentiality of getting more clients. Video blogs or posts help boost the product or service influence among the customers.

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