Good stories make the world go ‘round. There’s no better way to make your company stand out than by telling great stories. Our guest today truly understands the power of storytelling in marketing and the importance of holding people’s attention.
Ian Garlic is one of the country’s go-to experts in video marketing and storytelling. He is the bestselling author of 3 marketing books. Ian has recorded 300 episodes of “The Garlic Marketing Show,” created over 10 marketing courses, and produced more than 2,000 videos for his clients.
In today’s episode, Ian shares his secret to reaching people through stories. Rather than focusing on finding people who can say mundane things about how great your company is, look for stories that really touch people. Once you draw people in, they’ll be much more likely to show interest in your brand. That’s how Ian turns notoriously boring testimonial videos into exciting stories that rank on YouTube. This episode will inspire you to upgrade your video marketing and tell stories that matter.
In this Episode
- [00:20] – Stephan introduces Ian Garlic, the go-to expert for video marketing. He’s produced more than 2,000 videos for clients, recorded 300 episodes of The Garlic Marketing Show, and is the best-selling author of three marketing books.
- [04:57] – Ian shares how and why he got into storytelling.
- [09:33] – Ian tells us one of his favorite stories that was given by his client’s customer.
- [15:07] – What does the cold, warm, and hot version in editing case stories mean from Ian’s strategy?
- [20:11] – Ian points out how moments and emotions in case stories are the fundamentals of marketing campaigns.
- [25:44] – What is the Mere Exposure Effect and why does it work in branding?
- [29:17] – Ian highlights the importance of having an expert or coach to work with you in your life and business.
- [37:11] – How to make your ‘About Us’ or ‘About Me’ page interesting?
- [41:01] – What are powerful tactics in YouTube SEO?
- [43:58] – Connect with Ian Garlic thru email at [email protected] or follow StoryCrews on YouTube to get valuable resources or learn more from them.
Ian, it’s so great to have you on the show.
Stephan, thank you. I’m excited to be here and get all nerded out talking about marketing.
I’m sure some of our listeners are saying, did you mispronounce his name? Let’s just get that out of the way.
It is and it is Garlic, just like it sounds. My dad’s name is John and Ian is the Gaelic form of John. My mom decided Garlic wasn’t tough enough so they mispronounced Ian into Ian. I have to have multiple conversations about that and then everyone loves the fact that my wife’s maiden name is Curry.
That is pretty awesome. Okay, we got that out of the way. Now I’d love to hear a bit more about how you got into the story-telling side of video marketing and not just on the tactical production quality and all this sort of stuff because there are a lot of marketers who malign the whole story-telling angle. That’s just fluff. You need to know all the technical nuances. You need to optimize, split test, and all this sort of stuff. I know you got the chops for that too. Let’s just get the storytelling side of this dialed in for our listeners.Stories are what people remember. It's what people pay attention to and what influences them. Nothing has changed more minds than the right story at the right time. Click To Tweet
Sure. I grew up in a family that loves story-telling. My dad, a lot of people consider him a great marketer, so I was always around story-telling. I always told stories. If you look up John Garlic, you’ll see the crazy stuff that he did.
What happened was really, I love marketing. I didn’t realize how much I loved it until I’ve really started to try and figure out what I wanted to do. I did a bunch of different things. I worked on Wall Street, I was a trader, I worked in commercial real estate in New York City. I worked at the best restaurants in the world as a bartender.
Stories were always part of it because it’s what people remember. It’s what people pay attention to. It’s what influences people. I always tell people, nothing has changed more minds than the right story at the right time. Every religion, everything is storytime.
Just because it’s a nuanced thing that people think oh, it’s easy and it’s not something that I really have to focus on. You look at the best comedians in the world, and right now I’m taking a standup comedy class for that reason. They work the beats of the story. They work every piece of that story to make it incredible, memorable, and how they deliver it.
The unexpected turns that they give A then leads to B then leads to C and then it goes completely off track. You’re expecting it to go in a straight line, and that’s how they get you. You should be doing that with your writing, your videos, your podcast, and everything else. The unexpected delight and surprise angle needs to be incorporated throughout.
There are a few comedians out there with one joke. They’re one-hit wonders.
You have to have a collection of stories. That’s our thing too. Comedians, there’s not one joke that you know Eddie Murphy for. There are a few comedians out there with one joke. They’re one-hit wonders.
The same thing with any business, you have to have a collection of stories, how you tell those stories. I got into legal marketing and worked as a consultant in one of the big companies. The best salespeople there just collected stories. They’d go around asking for other people’s stories. I realized how important that was and built up what we now call a tackle box of stories. Your stories are your hooks. It’s what draws people in. You should have a collection of them. You should put them in one place. You should work on them.
But over the years, when I got into legal marketing, I also realized that every client wants someone different, and they had someone different in mind. There’s only so far you can go with a standard attorney website. But once the video came out and you could really get into it. Google bought YouTube, I was like, man, we’re going to be able to get the right story in front of people over and over and over again. That’s when I realized that, hey, we’ve got to get really good at this storytelling thing.
At first, we could just put a video out there, and you can put a good video out there and people would watch it. But now you’ve got to really work the stories because to get people to pay attention, first of all, and then keep their attention to is work. That’s what we got into because you can deliver the story, get it to number one, but if you don’t get anyone to watch it, YouTube is not going to reward you by ranking it anymore.
Recently, I interviewed Brendan Kane and he’s the author of One Million Followers and his new book Hook Point. That was a really great episode where we talked quite a lot about getting that remarkability factor, not just memorable, but something that is worthy of remark. Not only remembering the video commercial or the interview but also being able to want to remark about it to others. This is a key distinction.
If you don’t have that remarkability or you don’t have the hook point that drags them in within three seconds, you don’t even get the opportunity to give them that remarkability factor because they’ve already left. Let’s take some of the most boring videos that people have to be subjected to. Let’s use testimonial videos and I know I’m throwing you a softball here.
I appreciate it.
I’ve heard your presentation and it’s fantastic, which is why we’re talking today. Testimonial videos are typically super boring. It’s just fluff. There’s no hook there. There’s no remarkability. It’s just platitudes. It’s just a lot of nice talk about the company or the person. It’s just boring.
If you’re at the final stages of deciding between two different companies, you’re going to want to watch those videos so you don’t make a million-dollar mistake or whatever. But if you’re not at that point, the likelihood of somebody watching those videos on your YouTube channel is pretty much nil, I would guess. How do you work your magic to make a testimonial—the most boring kind of video typically—into the most engaging?
First of all, we never ever shoot testimonials, we shoot stories. We don’t talk about testimonials. Because while it should, in theory, be a story, what you just said is exactly true. We think of testimonials as, Stephan, if you said, “Ian, would you do a testimonial for me?” I would just talk about how great your podcast was, right? That’s boring.
We never shoot testimonials. We shoot stories.
If you ask someone about their story and interview them about their story, you’re going to find stuff. You’re going to find those moments and those emotions. You have to know who you’re talking to. Who you want to tell the story to, what you want them to get out of the story. That’s what every great storyteller is. The fashion that story for that person they’re talking to. They know their audience.
Then you have to know what you want to do, and then you have to really know that person you’re talking to and know where we’re going to lead this. It’s journalism in a way, and you’ve got to dig deep for those moments, those emotions. You have to actually get the story arc. Why should I pay attention to you? What were your problems? What is your life like now? Very rarely are those great stories very centered on the provider—who that story is about. It should be centered on that person. You’ve got to dig deep, that’s the other person.
Part two is I’ve so many times you think that this is going to be a boring interview and testimonial then you really start asking questions and you find that part. I don’t know how I do it and I don’t know why, but a lot of times people start crying when they are doing this. They’ll have that release of emotion, and it’s because you just cared and you find that moment. When you can do that, it goes from something boring to something that’s incredibly insightful to watch.
I’ll give you an example of—I’m going to use the word testimonial here, but it’s—a video case study for a client of yours or maybe it’s for your own company that elicited that kind of emotion like crying or just something visceral that came from that customer or client. Just walk us through how you were able to create that.
We took a lot in legal marketing so we have a ton of those where we find that story. I think one of my favorite ones is—she’s since become a friend because she was part of a friends program, but my buddy, Tanner Larsson over at Build Grow Scale. One of the best ecommerce Shopify coaches out there, runs his own agencies. We interviewed his clients. We go in there and there’s a lot of emotional—you would think ecommerce store owners, how much emotion can there be? Generally, these are people that are very numbers-driven, behind the scenes people, but there’s one and she’s amazing on it.
We were talking about ecommerce, what she was doing, and how she was getting better at it. Then we start talking about what that result meant to her. She opened up and started talking about how it transformed her relationship with her daughter, with her mom. She was able to be a role model for her daughter, and she started to break down. I still get emotional thinking about it, but it was that moment because it’s like, wow, this program transformed her life, which on the outside would be dry.
We do stuff for family law, divorce, or accidents. One of my clients is a criminal defense client. If you go to 5280defense.com, there’s one that was accused of sexual offense, how they got him off of that and how it transformed his life. Those are pretty obvious emotional things, but something like this where it can be easily dry, you got to dig in and find that moment. But when you find that and someone starts to show that emotion, man, you cannot turn your head away from it no matter who you are.
A perfect example and since then, I’ve talked to Tanner and they play that over and over again at their events. We’ve shot that I think like six or seven years ago. I can’t imagine what the ROI is on that because it’s just over and over again you show those moments and that transformation.
That could be used not only on your YouTube channel, on your praise page, or your results page, but it could be on your sizzle reel for, let’s say when you’re on stage at a conference. This is what’s presented before you come on stage is this two-minute sizzle reel. It includes not just TV appearances, which is great social proof. It’s powerful, but the storytelling angle is missing from that. A good sizzle reel has great storytelling and is very emotionally impactful.
For sure. Another quick example, if you go to Fran Tarkenton, who’s a legendary football player. We’re blessed enough to have them call on us to help them with the video strategy. The guy was on ABC Wide World of Sports. That was kudos. But what we found was you could talk to Fran, he’s inspiring. He’s one of the most inspirational speakers, but then we start collecting their stories and these are insurance agents, they help market insurance agents. I mean, boring, right?
But story after story we found, we dug deep about how they help these insurance agents through hard times. If you go to their homepage, you will see right away how it was integrated into their overview video. It’s not really the story itself, but it’s integrated into the overview video on their homepage and it transforms that video.
I bet that’s really cool. What are some of the elements of success? I’m just going to give you an example of one that comes to my mind that I learned a while back. I don’t remember who I learned it from but it’s been very very powerful. That is to ask for an example of or just for them to speak about the objection or the concern that they had to overcome in order to hire this company.
For me, it might be what was the big thing that made you almost not hire me as your SEO expert or my agency. It might be, oh, well, you were twice as expensive as everybody else. Can you talk about that at the beginning of your video? Sure.
That goes from Stephan’s amazing. His SEO has changed our lives, blah, blah, blah—just puffery to, we almost didn’t hire Stephan. He was twice as expensive as everybody else. You know what, we took out that leap of faith. We figured we would get twice the results, and wow, we have gotten 10X the results we were anticipating. He’s paid for himself a thousand times over. It’ll be the next century by the time the ROI runs out or something like that.
That objection obliterator changes everything, and the objection is people don’t even necessarily articulate yet come through that video and they’re like, oh, I don’t even have to worry about that.
One thing we always do when we edit case stories is make cold, warm, and hot versions.
One thing we always do when we edit case stories is we make cold, warm, and hot versions. What you’re talking about is a hot version, meaning someone’s not only problem where they need SEO, but a solution where they know they want to work with Stephan. And that’s a great hook like you were saying to counteract what you were thinking like, oh, he was way too expensive. I’m like, oh, I’m going to watch this.
Conflict always draws attention. It will draw attention and overcome objections, which is super, super smart to do. So many people just drop the ball on that one.
There’s an element of headline writing here to make sure that the title of the video is enticing and curiosity-inducing. Because if you don’t have that, then nobody’s going to even watch the video and get that there’s a story arc and that this is really good storytelling.
Exactly. We will work that hook over and over and over again. We have so many discussions about our videos. I call it the Motown technique because Berry Gordy, they talk about it, about him and Smokey Robinson. How many hits do they have? So many hits for Motown, right?
You look at it and more hits than any other label out there. What they did is they worked that 10 seconds. They would get in a room that first 10 seconds, and work that first 10 seconds, and work that first 10 seconds. We do the same thing. We’re always looking for that hook in that story that we can put out, and it plays out that grabs someone’s attention, drives the curiosity, makes them want to watch, and gets the emotion. It’s important and it’s work, but you got to do it.Go around, ask people their stories, collect them, and work on them. These stories can be your hooks and what draws your audience in. Click To Tweet
What would be an example of a headline or two that really stands out that you worked on for your client?
Geez, that’s a big one. I look at so many of them every day. This is just completely off-topic, my most open subject line ever was free beer. That’s a whole nother story. Like car accidents, when someone goes, “I never thought this would happen to me.” When we see that or, “it was the worst day of my life.” Those are some of the things that we look at. Those moments of I couldn’t believe I was standing there, that type of thing. I’m sorry I don’t have an exact example of because we just go through so many of these.
Well, those sound actually quite good. There’s a hook right there—I can’t believe this happened to me or I can’t believe I just walked away from this, not in a casket. Those sorts of things will intrigue people. It creates that tension that they feel I have to relieve by going to click and watch the video or read the story, the blog post, or whatever it is.
Exactly. Let’s say you’re a personal injury attorney. No one ever, ever thinks they’re going to get in a car accident, but the stats are most of us have been at one. I, personally in my life, my wife, my mother-in-law, my mom have all been in serious, serious car accidents, but no one ever thinks they are.
When you’re marketing to people about personal injury, it’s really hard to get them to pay attention unless they’ve just been in an accident, and that’s what you’re trying to do most of the time with SEO. But with that type of hook, you can get someone to pay attention, remember, and be like, oh, if I’m ever in a car accident, I want this person to help this person.
Really good. Give us some best practices for these case story videos. What are some of the key elements? How do you coach the client in a way that doesn’t feel pushy or too directing but you get the result that you’re after?
The first thing is to have a strategy around it. That’s why we start with what we call case story tackle boxes. You have to have a plan in place of what story you want to collect. What do you want to do with that story? Because there are tons of stories out there, but if you know what you want to do with the story, you can go up there. Then you make a list of those stories and the elements of the stories you want before you start asking for them and then you need to regularly ask for the stories.
One of the things with our service we found is getting people on is sometimes the hardest part. Just getting them on, they get nervous on video. But then you got to warm up the client. On the interview side, you have to be a good interviewer. You have to care. You have to know where you want to take the conversation, and you have to find those moments and emotions.
You still have a story arc. You want, I say, the three C’s of story. You want connection—you want to connect with the person, you want to know the conflict, and you want to know the conclusion. But if you can find the moments and emotions, those can tell the stories like we just talked about.
I was standing there, dizzy, dumbfounded on the side of the road at 4 PM. I wasn’t sure if my wife was alive. We’re there, and we’re dealing with that emotion. Now I’m drawn in, and that’s the biggest key to find moments and emotions.
One of the things with our service we found is getting people on is sometimes the hardest part.
It’s work, but you got to do it, and it’s worth it. This is the fundamentals of marketing. This is one thing I say. It’s the free throws of marketing. No one wants to practice free throws, but guess what, those are what win championships.
We just saw it when the Milwaukee Bucks won a championship because Giannis shot 18 and 19 from the free-throw line, turned it around, and won the championship. Wilt Chamberlain—I always tell his story—a 100-point game. The reason it was, he shot 86% from the free-throw line. Case stories are the fundamentals of any marketing.
You can’t rely on the client to just shoot the video on their own with their iPhone and then send it to you. You’re going to get garbage in return.
You got to have a conversation. Very few people are natural storytellers, and that’s why having conversations is so important. We’re good at having a conversation and telling a story in a conversation because we interact with the person. We see a face, we know how to do that.
Most people are not going to hop on a camera. That’s where you get the deer in headlights. Like, oh, Stephan was great. He was the best SEO ever versus just having a conversation, having someone’s go with a conversation on there, you’ll find it.
What would be a script or an outline to take the person through? You’re going to ask him first about what was the situation that brought you to work with us? Or are you going to ask them, what was your decision-making process like, what was the big objection that you had? I’m presuming you’re editing out all of your questionings so that it’s no longer part of the final video.
Most people are not going to hop on a camera. That’s where you get the deer in headlights.
We edit out all the questioning. But really we start warming them up and have them talk about themselves. We want to get that connect shot. Why should I care about this person? You might start with a hook of their problem.
How we edit that video, like I said, it’s going to matter where you put it in the customer journey. If you’re trying to get cold traffic with it, it’s going to be a different video that you put on your proposal.
But we always start with getting them to talk about themselves, what their goals are, what they want, and what they don’t want—those emotions. Then when they first knew that they had a problem. What were the first signs of the problem? What else did they try? We want to know what else did they try with that problem. Because that can help overcome someone’s objectives.
I was trying to do SEO myself, or I hired an internal SEO person. I hired a VA for SEO. I did this for SEO. Someone built me bad links and destroyed my website. We want to get all those problems out before finally, it’s like, I needed to find the best expert. Like you said, how did they search for that? Where did they look?
This is a great SEO tip. I’ve done my best keyword research in case story interviews because I’ve found literally million-dollar terms. My clients have made millions of dollars. I can’t share any of them, but they’re low keyword volume and super high intent. It’s really hard to find, but you will find those search terms in there. You can optimize for that search term really fast with the case story.
You find out how they search, what the experience was like, and what their expectations were like. What was the first point that they knew that it was starting to work? When did they feel like it was really working? What is life like now? Because really, the best stories are stories of transformation.
We always start with getting them to talk about themselves, their goals, and what they want.
Now that your website’s ranking, you’re getting great traffic, but what does that mean? What kind of traffic? How is your business different now that you’re number one for this thing? What is your life like now that you’re number one for this thing? Those are things that we always want to look for.
Totally makes sense. I’m curious if you have an example of a cold traffic video and how that would differ from a proposal video. As you described, these are different videos because people are in different parts of the buyer’s journey. Maybe you could even give me a roleplay example of a cold traffic case story versus a proposal one.
For SEO, cold traffic might be solution-unaware. I knew I needed more traffic for my website. My website did nothing for me. People early on are solution-unaware, or maybe they’re just like, I was trying to rank for this, I was trying to see this, and I saw my competition.
I find a lot in attorney marketing. Attorneys think that people rank higher than them. They’re like, this person isn’t even as good an attorney as me, why are they ranking higher? That might be the way I intro if I was doing a legal SEO video because they’re solution-unaware. They really don’t understand SEO.
A warm traffic would be talking about, I’ve been trying SEO for years and I didn’t think SEO could work for us. I thought SEO was dead. I might start with a hook like that and talk about what they’ve tried.Every great storyteller knows their audience. Ask them about their story, and you're going to find those moments and emotions. Click To Tweet
Then a hot traffic one that I put on a proposal would be the one you talked about. Stephan was really expensive I thought. I thought this was way too much until six months later. Then I’d have that story, bring that conclusion into the end, and how their business is transformed (like you said) into ROI. Those would be the three different versions that I would create.
What’s great about it is if you can do it right and keep people telling that story, and they keep seeing the same person telling a different version of that story, they begin to trust that person innately. Because you can’t help but see someone and hear someone’s voice over and over again and not trust. It’s called the Mere Exposure Effect. That’s why branding works.
The more we see someone’s face and hear their voice, the more we know, like, and trust that person whether you want to or not. Unless that person is doing something very abusive to you. Even then, we hear about the Stockholm syndrome where people connect with their kidnappers. It’s because the more we see someone and hear them, the more we know, like, and trust them.
Right. You mentioned earlier how the best stories are stories of transformation. Let’s take an example. A plumber fixes toilets and whatever. What does the story of transformation look like, in particular the story arc leading to that transformation event, and then after the resolution for something as mundane and quotidian as a plumber and calling it a plumber?
This is a great point of what type of plumber are you and who do you want as a client? Because if you’re an emergency plumber, it was 3 AM, and it’s the second night I’ve been up trying to fix this thing. I’ve already called out one plumber. Again, I’m working on it, I can’t sleep at night, and my wife hates me.
You can’t help but see someone and hear someone’s voice over and over again and not trust.
And he called three other plumbers. They didn’t call back, or they didn’t answer the phone even though they said they were emergency plumbers. It really milks that story around availability and how that person was at the end of the road.
Exactly. Now, it’s like, great. I get up in the middle of the night. If I have to go to the bathroom, I don’t have to worry that every time I flush, it’s going to explode on me. This is where knowing who you’re talking to helps us know what story we’re looking for.
On the flip side, you might be a restoration plumber. My water was gross coming out. I was worried about my kids. I just didn’t really feel good in my house because of my water. Now, I love being at home and I don’t have to worry every time I see my kids drink out of the faucet because I know my pipes are new.
It has very little to do with the actual technicalities of plumbing. It’s that transformation. That’s knowing that it’s a family. Maybe it’s a single guy. Every time a new girl comes over, I don’t have to worry about the toilet gurgling at her.
What’s great about stories and if you’re constantly looking for them, constantly interviewing people, and you have intent is you will find the stories. You will find them, and you will look around. Same thing, like I said, with standup comedy, one thing I’m learning is everything is funny if you look at it the right way and if you start looking for jokes. The same thing with stories, if you start looking for stories, you will find them, you will get them for your videos and you will get them for your marketing.
There’s this expression about the cobbler never bothering to make shoes for their own kids. That’s a common excuse that agencies and video marketers have for why their own ‘about us’ video or ‘about me’ video isn’t stellar. Their own channel doesn’t have very many subscribers or they don’t post very often their own videos. What do you say to that?
It’s hard to do it for yourself. It is very, very difficult. I know because I make a lot of videos. I look at them, and I’m like, ugh. There’s no one there really coaching me. There’s no one saying, yeah, that’s good that’s reaffirming you.
No offense to influencers out there. There are a lot of great influencers when we think of thought leaders, but many of the thought leaders I know that you think are really successful are pretty narcissistic. They think everything they do is great. They have no fear of putting stuff out there because they’re like, I’m great. I put up videos.
But most of us are not that way. We make a video, and we’re like, I don’t like that. That’s why I love working with agencies because I’m like, most of them are always ashamed of their marketing. I’ve worked with so many marketers who used to come to me like, I’m sorry, I know I need to do this. I’m like, that’s common.
It’s like being your own lawyer. You can’t be doing surgery on yourself. It’s really hard to have the perspective that you need without having some outside help to promote yourself. That’s what I say that is it really shouldn’t come down on yourself because it’s really hard to do for yourself.
It’s hard to do it for yourself. It is very, very difficult.
How do you counter someone who says, why are you not doing this for yourself? You want me to hire you as the marketing expert and you’re not even doing the things that I think are basic like having a good YouTube channel, having interesting videos, and all that. How do you respond to that?
You can’t really say, “Well, I’m busy, I’m self-conscious,” or “I’m too wrapped up with my clients to put any energy on my own marketing.” None of those excuses will fly because they’re excuses. How do you counter that one with a prospect?
I don’t get that one that often. It also depends on who you’re going after. I’ve always sold with case stories. I just present them in a different way. Let’s say SEO. If you’re not doing enough SEO for yourself, it might be that it’s not the highest use of your time. Maybe it’s out public speaking. Because your clients need SEO it doesn’t mean you need SEO.
When it comes to case stories, I think everyone needs them. We use them. I just use different versions of them. I use a lot of it in direct selling. I’ll show them. It was day one that I started using video case stories before I even started our agency because I knew I needed to.
Back then, 15 years ago when I was working with lawyers, no one knew what SEO was. Most people are surprised the internet was still around 15 years ago. They thought, oh, the dot-com crash happened and then the Internet shut down, right? No, you still need Internet marketing, so I had to use stories.
If it’s other types of marketing like websites, if you’re in a B2C environment, you need a great website. In B2B you still need a good website, but a lot of that conversation happens outside your website. In B2C, you’ve got to have a good website, it’s got to convert, and you’ve got to have good CRO and all that stuff. Especially in higher-level B2B, no one stays in a marketing funnel, but you still should have retargeting, and you should still have the rest of that stuff.Conflict always draws attention. It will draw attention and overcome objections. Click To Tweet
I’m curious. Your company website, storycrews.com, doesn’t have a praise page, testimonials page, results page, or anything like that. It’s got hire, learn, how it works, join today, and partners. You do have some case stories featured on your homepage, but where on your site do all of these—
That’s a good point. For our stuff, it’s in retargeting. We do a lot of funnel-driven stuff for this website, and we’re actually rebuilding this website. This is us connecting people to videographers.
We’re going with a different route at this and we’re doing direct connection where people will call us up instead of having a directory. Because what we found was a lot of videographers that we’re connecting people with were not good at calling people back. While they were good videographers, they just didn’t know how to run their business.
We were actually altering this website. We do a lot through funnels. That’s a place where we do a lot of lead gen through funnels and a lot of email marketing. But we do have testimonials and case stories floating around in our retargeting. You might see them now.
Got it. Do you have another website then that’s more of your agency services?
Yeah, sure. It’s authenticweb.media.
Authenticweb.media. That has a section for all of your case stories?
There are examples of case stories we’ve done. Authenticweb.marketing. I’m not super happy with the messaging, but you’ll see a lot of client stories on here. You’ll see examples of our work. You’ll see an about us story. It’s not the best about us video, but here’s a good point. I’ve been in the other agency group. I’m like, I need to find someone that does what we do for me because it’s really hard to decide a lot of this stuff if you don’t have someone outside looking in.
It is not only difficult to see what’s happening on your own. We get myopic in our vision and it’s hard to see what’s going on in our own business, but it’s also really hard to see what’s going on with your own stage presence or video presence.
For me personally—and probably a lot of the listeners can relate to this too—there’s not a lot of interest in watching recordings. I don’t want to cringe watching myself on video, so I never watch the videos. I don’t watch the recordings. Whether it’s me on stage speaking live at an event or it’s me doing a pre-recorded video, I don’t love watching those over and over again and analyzing what I screwed up and how to make it better. It’s uncomfortable.You have to have a plan in place of what story you want to collect and what to do with it. Make a list of the elements before you start asking for them. Click To Tweet
It is. That’s why having someone to coach you along is important. Back to the sports analogy, the best athletes watch those videos over and over again, but they have a coach. They’re going, okay, this is what really went wrong, not what you think.
I have so many people watch the videos and call out stuff. I’m like, no one’s paying attention to that. They’re like, there’s this thing in the background. I don’t like the way I look at that thing in the background. No one in the world noticed that except for you. It’s really hard to have that outside perspective.
We do tend generally speaking to be hypercritical of ourselves. Like, oh, my hair doesn’t look that good. I need to reshoot it.
For most of us, people are attracted to something like that. They want to know that you’re a real person. Some of the worst videos we’ve done are the people that are the trained experts on being on video because it comes across and lacks that complete authenticity. It does. It’s hard to connect with someone who’s perfect on video.
So true. With ‘about us’ videos or ‘about me’ videos, in particular, those tend to be one of the most boring videos if you look at a typical about us page because it’s all about them.
There needs to be more involvement of the viewer in pulling them into the story and not well, first, I did this, then that inspired me to start this business, and we just kept growing and growing. It’s just accolade after accolade. None of the dirty laundry is aired in those about us videos. Just 10% of the way in, people give up.
I always tell people that ‘about us’ is about them. It is. If someone comes up to you and just talks about themselves at a cocktail party, you’re like, oh my God, it’s boring. What I always say to people, what do you think of that person? You want to walk away from them, right? If you don’t know who that person is at that party, that’s probably you. No one wants to hear that.
A great storyteller will go, “Oh, Stephan, you’re in SEO. I got a story about SEO. SEO is tough, isn’t it? Being an SEO agency is tough.” That’s the kind of thing that your ‘about us’ needs to be. It needs to be about them. That’s where case stories come in, integrating that, and really telling the story of why you want to help that person. You’re good at it and what was hard about getting good at it.
That’s why having someone to coach you along is important.
That’s great. Do you have a particular template, outline, or something for a great about us video?
Once again, hook, there are some elements I like in it. I always want to have a good hook. Why should I pay attention to this? That’s one of the places I would want to have traditional testimonials.
Once again, the transformation. What was difficult? Where was the point where you realized you’re doing something wrong or need to do something better? How did you come about doing that? Yes, I want to know your accreditations, but what does that mean to me? Let’s say with SEO, 15 years, that’s great. You did this and you knew all these technicalities.
You wrote a book. What does that book mean to me and the fact that you wrote a book? The fact that I’ve taken the time and I’ve taught the best people in SEO. That’s the thing that I would want. Why is the book important to the person watching?
Then core values. I like to have something about culture and what your core values are. How do we line up? Why should I like you? Those are some of the elements I like to have in there. How it’s arranged really depends on what’s the strongest in your business because some people have some of that and some people don’t. But always a good hook.
Very important. Let’s get, for our last couple minutes here, into some tactical weeds here. Let’s get specific into YouTube SEO because you have all these great storytelling videos that are on your YouTube channel.
Yes, you’re going to direct people from your website to those YouTube videos, but what if somebody is just doing a Google search or YouTube search, and this is their first point of contact, assuming that you do your YouTube SEO well? Where they’re going to first enter your funnel is perhaps watching one of these case story videos. What would be a few of the most powerful tactics around YouTube SEO? I’m guessing the playlist might figure in here, but you just go through whatever some of your favorites are.
I think the place where most people drop the ball that’s the easiest, low-hanging fruit is optimizing for the name of your business, your name, plus reviews, plus results, plus some of those things, and the name of your company because that’s what people are going to google.
I always want to have a good hook.
Yes, there are review sites, but it’s an opportunity for you to have your clients’ stories showing up in the Google search results. That video will draw someone’s eye and they’ll watch that because at this point, they want to know more about you. It’s kind of a third party.
From there, I move out. Tactically, longtail FAQs are awesome especially around you and then pushing out in the customer journey. When I say out, I mean from the buying points earlier on. Those are some easy points.
When it comes to YouTube, it’s content. You’ve got your technicals. You should definitely have really good basic keyword research. You should have a well-written description. Don’t put a ton of links off your YouTube video right away because YouTube doesn’t want to promote stuff that is taking you off of YouTube. In a lot of people, I see that. They’re like, I want to make some link stuff, that outbound link. YouTube doesn’t like that. They want people to stay on YouTube.
What’s the other thing that YouTube wants? This is why I always tell people on SEO and YouTube SEO to think like that company. YouTube wants people to stay on those videos as long as possible. The more information you give them, the more you can engage them.
If you’re teaching something, the more you can be very specific and go, here’s what I’m going to teach you, be very specific about it, get that view time, and then throw the chapters in there so that they’d see what’s going to come on, you can get people to get that view time. If you can get that view time, that’s going to be very important.
Then, the speed of that first view time is going to be important too. How fast can you keep pumping people to that YouTube video? As fast as possible. If you’re driving outside traffic to YouTube, YouTube’s going to reward you by showing that video to more people. Those are some essential ones.
Local search is important, but thinking about this too. If you are in a referral-based environment, people are looking for a referral for you. If you can have customer stories ranking because customer stories will get that view time. A story will get that view time. It will get that relevance. It will hook someone. They’ll get to watch it.
If I’m looking for SEO services, and when your best customers are talking about that five-minute, six-minute story of their transformation, I’m going to watch it. YouTube’s going to reward me by ranking that video for SEO services.
That’s good stuff. Thank you so much. I know we’re out of time. Where would our listener or viewer go to work with you and your team, to learn from you, to read your books, and all that? Where’s the best place for them to go?
Sure. If you email me at [email protected], if you want any of the resources here, I’ll send it to you. You can connect with me on LinkedIn. If you want to learn more about the tackle box, that’s great. Follow us on the STORYCREWS YouTube. We got a ton of videos on YouTube. That’s one place we do spend a lot of time.
Awesome. Thank you so much, Ian, and thank you, listeners. We’ll catch you in the next episode. In the meantime, do some of this stuff, get it done, and make a difference in the world. We’ll catch you in the next episode.
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Your Checklist of Actions to Take
Shoot stories. People look for authenticity, which can’t always be found in testimonials. Instead, focus on getting raw emotions and opinions from clients.
Understand my audience. Know what they want to see and create videos accordingly. Empathizing with them retains their attention.
Be patient. The fastest way to lose clients is by being forceful. So avoid being pushy when coaching my clients.
Develop a strategy. Have a plan when interviewing clients for a smooth process. An organized flow will finish faster.
Allocate warm-up time. Sometimes, people get nervous before interviews. Allow the interviewee to get comfortable before starting.
Elicit emotions. Make relatable videos by looking for authentic moments. Having a story arc invites more viewers.
Create conversations. Interacting with my audience establishes a connection. This allows me to easily develop customer relationships.
Ask for help when necessary. I don’t have to do everything alone. Don’t be afraid to reach out to the right people for assistance.
Have well-written YouTube descriptions. Explain clearly what the video is all about. Avoid putting too many links that will lead people away from YouTube.
Email Ian Garlic to learn more about his services and connect with him on LinkedIn. Then, subscribe to STORYCREW’s YouTube channel to get access to video marketing resources.
About Ian Garlic
Ian is one of the country’s “go-to” Experts in Video Marketing and Storytelling. He is a best-selling author of 3 marketing books. He’s recorded 300 episodes of “The Garlic Marketing Show,” created over 10 marketing courses, and produced more than 2,000 videos for his clients.
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