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Midweek Motivation Would You Like To Close More Bookings, Increase Reviews & Command Trust/Respect All With One Technique?

(OK so I apologize about the title: it's something that early-marketer-Matt would have written. But I couldn't resist the cheesy sensationalization on this technique because it's worth the hype.)

If there was one technique that I wish more owners and managers would try, it's talking head video.

Talking head video is you: in front of webcam: saying something meaningful to your guests. It's like a voicemail but on video, which you then send any number of ways to your guests, so they are watching you speak your message (as opposed to seeing it on SMS or email).

It requires a little practice (everyone starts out a bit intimidated) but after a brief learning curve it is SOOOO much faster (and leaves far less room for interpretation) than written word. Just record, then copy the link to the video and send!

Note: a few people have asked what tools we suggest so I included what I use in the video section here.

The best strategy for talking head video in your operation (as featured in "What's The Single Most Effective Marketing Idea/Campaign You've Ever Done?") is using the "Digital Handshake™" created by Will Franco Will Franco (you can get his "Grammar of Video" manual free here).

Here are some classic examples of the Digital Handshake™ from the VRMB Communities vault:

Conveying Personality by @Agnes from Marrakech

Conveying Trust & Availability by HWeb HWeb (Bonus points because this video is evergreen: it can be inserted into all inquiry responses)

Building Trust to Convert Homeowner Acquisitions by @Katie

In addition to the Digital Handshake™, consider talking head video for conveying a sensitive message to a colleague or group too like @MarkB from Yonder:


This is a skill that I would love to encourage any/ever member of this community to at least have in their toolbelt. As the industry gets more competitive, communicating ourselves clearly is paramount and (short of actually meeting in person) I think Talking Head Video is the #1 most productive, profitable, and effective medium.
 
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HWeb

Envoy
Inner Circle
I am happy to lead a little group training (I'm sure Will Franco Will Franco would love to get involved too). Let's see if anyone else is interested!
Here is where I am at- I was really going on the video until the tool I was using stopped doing business. So, I stopped, because I didn't know how to do it anymore. Including- VRBO inquiries now come in with a masked email.

I know FOR SURE that this video helped me bridge the gap between inquiry and booking with many guests, letting them see I was a real person. Especially for people using vacation rentals for the first time, there are people who feel nervous they are taking a "risk" that the home really exists, that its as nice as it looks in pictures (not a dirty, unsafe or unappealing shack), and that they aren't being conned.

So, how do I do this now, without the special software I was using to send these videos? Can I get back on the horse?
 

Karla

Karla, Owner of Tropical Blessings
Inner Circle
I left that Gimbal thingie in the islands, it scared me. I’ll get another one, I need to START. A first step leads to the next one!
 

JPrugh

Envoy
Inner Circle
Sign me up! My PMS accepts videos on the home page. Thinking I could provide a digital handshake for everyone, but then hold up a picture of my property manager so that they know who they will be talking to and possibly seeing. Don't think we need https://bombbomb.com to send a video to each inquiry or guest. But I've been wrong before.
 

Matt Landau

Ambassador
Staff member
Don't think we need https://bombbomb.com to send a video to each inquiry or guest. But I've been wrong before.
You don't need it (ie. you can upload video to youtube and then embed JPEG into email and hyperlink it to the actual youtube page with the video). BomBom merely streamlines that otherwise cumbersome process.

Ps. Be careful using talking head video (which is by nature casual, off the cuff, and imperfect) as a primary branding touchpoint (such as on your homepage). Sent in correspondence is one vibe. Forward facing to cold website visitors is slightly different other vibe. If you're going to use talking head on your homepage, I'd endorse splurging on something slightly more professional if possible (or at least taking time to script out your message).
 

MichelleR

Counselor
Inner Circle
Hey there! Is there an easy (not techy) way to do these, with just a mac/Iphone? Or do you need to purchase equipment to get it right?

I also wonder in what instance most people find themselves sending the videos? Is it at the inquiry, after booking, after check out- all of the above? Is there a way to personalize the message without having to record a new one to each person?

I am interested to learn more, thanks!
 

Matt Landau

Ambassador
Staff member
Is there an easy (not techy) way to do these, with just a mac/Iphone?
A nice microphone and webcam make a huge difference but yes you can do it using your iPhone or whatever camera is in your computer. Would recommend a gimbal (just got this one myself and it's pretty amazing) for stability.

Is it at the inquiry, after booking, after check out- all of the above? Is there a way to personalize the message without having to record a new one to each person?
The #1 way is at inquiry (see examples from Philippe and Holly above). Holly's is evergreen (one video sent to all) and Philippe's is personal (created for one guest named Obi).
 

Craig

Envoy
Inner Circle
Accelerator
I just can't bring myself to do this...I can just imagine grumpy guests calling up saying "NO BUT I WANT TO SPEAK TO CRAIG THE GUY IN THE VIDEO!!!"

Has anyone done something different like a video explainer instead?

For example, we have one aimed at owners, maybe I could do one like this for guests?

 

Will Franco

Efficiency Manager
Staff member
We had clients with the same concern. They hired a professional and made an evergreen video, or talent to make and send the videos on their behalf.
 

DMartinez

Ambassador
Inner Circle
Wing Fighter
I also NEVER even thought about an explainer video. Craig Craig as expected you've nailed all the pain points PLUS anticipated all the hesitations. Excellent Excellent job!
Nice how technology has advanced. When I worked for George Washington U I was director of an online Resource for students/teachers/parents of students with disabilities. I frequently did a web walk* for them- usually over a conference call system 😜 or standing in front of a conference full of people and plowing through the website while on stage. Let me tell you it gave me a greater appreciation for all the web support people having to talk me through web crashes and dilemmas on the phone.

Discussing what was new, the major highlights, and how/where to dive deeper for that one greatly needed nugget of information for their survival in school was essential. As our site was grant-funded we needed to make sure our money was well spent and actually used and offered a functional tool by end-users

*A web walk is similar to a book picture walk- where you familiarize yourself with what the story may be about. It provides you with contextual clues to help you understand what the story is about- and it's great whether your literacy skills are low or high.
 

DMartinez

Ambassador
Inner Circle
Wing Fighter
I just can't bring myself to do this...I can just imagine grumpy guests calling up saying "NO BUT I WANT TO SPEAK TO CRAIG THE GUY IN THE VIDEO!!!"

Has anyone done something different like a video explainer instead?

For example, we have one aimed at owners, maybe I could do one like this for guests?


I recall way back when the forum started there was a similar media company that did something similar to this. I tried my hand at it. It was ok- I may have even posted my project here. Not sure if it's been archived since then.
 

Matt Landau

Ambassador
Staff member
OK time to do some talking head video lessons!

If you said you wanted a little coaching in this process, here we go.

FIRST: BUY A WEBCAM: please make sure you have a high-quality webcam (don't rely on the one inside your laptop or desktop monitor...I promise, it's worth the difference). I recommend Logitech (either c920 or Brio). If you choose NOT to invest in the webcam, please note that the quality of your videos will leave a lot to be desired. But that it's still possible.

SECOND: Click 'Like" or any other emotion on this post so I can see how many people have done step 1.
 

DMartinez

Ambassador
Inner Circle
Wing Fighter
OK time to do some talking head video lessons!

If you said you wanted a little coaching in this process, here we go.

FIRST: BUY A WEBCAM: please make sure you have a high-quality webcam (don't rely on the one inside your laptop or desktop monitor...I promise, it's worth the difference). I recommend Logitech (either c920 or Brio). If you choose NOT to invest in the webcam, please note that the quality of your videos will leave a lot to be desired. But that it's still possible.

SECOND: Click 'Like" or any other emotion on this post so I can see how many people have done step 1.
Matt Landau Matt Landau - Is this moving forward?
 

DMartinez

Ambassador
Inner Circle
Wing Fighter
OK time to do some talking head video lessons!

If you said you wanted a little coaching in this process, here we go.

FIRST: BUY A WEBCAM: please make sure you have a high-quality webcam (don't rely on the one inside your laptop or desktop monitor...I promise, it's worth the difference). I recommend Logitech (either c920 or Brio). If you choose NOT to invest in the webcam, please note that the quality of your videos will leave a lot to be desired. But that it's still possible.

SECOND: Click 'Like" or any other emotion on this post so I can see how many people have done step 1.
Matt Landau Matt Landau - Well, heck seems like me, Google, and Youtube will be holding our own classes?
 
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