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308. Leveraging Video to Grow Your Business with Mariana Henninger

Leveraging Video to Grow Your Business with Mariana Henninger

The Transformative Power of a Brand Video: Captivating Trust Through Visual Storytelling

Unveiling the Human Side of Your Brand

We've all heard it before: People buy from those they know, like, and trust. But how do you make someone feel like they know you through a screen? The answer, Mariana emphasized, lies in a powerhouse brand video. It's the intimate introduction, the heartfelt hello, the digital handshake that can turn a cold lead into a warm connection.

The Anatomy of an Impactful Brand Video

Creating a brand video that resonates isn't about the most advanced technology or the slickest production—it's about understanding your audience on a profound level and sharing your unique story in a way that hits home. Mariana unpacks how to leverage the power of video to build those crucial connections. Your brand video should be a narrative collage that captures the essence of who you are and what you stand for. It should showcase your journey, your values, and your vision. Making it real means letting people in, sharing both your triumphs and your trials. It's this vulnerability that transforms viewers into followers, followers into fans, and fans into loyal customers.

Where and How to Leverage Your Brand Video

Brand videos aren't just a 'nice-to-have'; they're a strategic asset that should be deployed across various digital touchpoints. Mariana provides actionable insights on how entrepreneurs can maximize their brand video's impact. From pinning it at the top of your social media profiles to embedding it in your email signature or sales page, your brand video is a versatile tool that keeps on giving. Mariana details innovative ways to ensure your brand video isn't just seen but genuinely experienced by your audience.

Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Despite the potential impact of a brand video, there's a fine line between a hit and a miss. Mariana shares her thoughts on the common pitfalls to avoid, emphasizing the importance of authenticity and high-quality production that aligns with your brand image.

A brand video can leave a lasting impression, so making sure it's the right one is crucial. Avoid distracting backgrounds, poor lighting, and low-quality audio. Instead, invest in creating a video that's as polished and professional as the services or products you offer.

From Image to Impact

As we wind down this insightful discussion, it's clear that crafting an impactful brand video isn't just about telling your story; it's about weaving a narrative that invites your audience to join in your journey. By following Mariana's guidance, you can create a brand video that doesn't just demonstrate expertise but invites trust—and in the digitally-driven marketplace, trust is the ultimate currency.

Episode Links

Connect with Mariana on Instagram @brandmagnetic

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Transcript for Episode 308. Leveraging Video to Grow Your Business with Mariana Henninger

Amy [00:00:00]:

Welcome back into the motivated CEO podcast. Today we are talking all about brand videos and how this can be such a powerful tool for you as an entrepreneur to stand out in a busy, busy world and really set you and your brand apart. We have the coolest guest expert on today. And, Mariana, I am so excited that you are here today.

Mariana [00:00:28]:

Yeah, well, you know, I feel like this podcast was named after me. I'm a very motivated CEO. So, so excited to be on. Amy. I'm obviously a huge fan. Congrats on your new book. I'm just always loving everything you're up to. So thank you for inviting me.

Amy [00:00:44]:

Oh, my gosh. The feeling is so absolutely mutual. But before we get into what I know is going to be such an awesome conversation, tell us all the things about yourself, because you have the coolest story. You've done some pretty awesome stuff in your career. So tell us all the things.

Mariana [00:01:01]:

Who you are, what you do, and who you serve. Yeah, absolutely. So my background is in 15 years of documentary filmmaking. I been a journalist. I studied journalism both my undergrad and in my masters. And very quickly in my undergrad, I pivoted from wanting to be, like, a magazine writer to being really obsessed with visual storytelling and realizing that was the thing that really that I loved. And so I started in photography. Right out of undergrad, I went to Israel.

Mariana [00:01:30]:

I lived in a hostel, and I just started freelancing as a photographer. Honestly, just, like, pitching editors every day. Like, every day, I came up with a new idea, like, hey, do you want to hire me to shoot this? Do you want to hire me? I was, like, really living on a shoestring, but following my passion, essentially. You know, the thing that I was drawn to was this idea that I could use this vehicle to get close to people and to ask them any questions that I want. Like, journalism is amazing for that reason, especially in documentaries, because you have this excuse to get into people's lives, to ask them questions, to see the world through their eyes, to feel what they feel, without necessarily, obviously, like, living everyone's life. And very quickly, though, as a photographer, I realized that, you know, I was putting these. I started putting these more robust stories together. I was sleeping in Bedouin tents for a week and just documenting them, all this crazy stuff.

Mariana [00:02:29]:

And I realized that I missed hearing their own voices. You know, all that was bringing was my own story of them and these photographs, and literally sat one day, probably my hostel bed, and thought, these, man, if only I could combine, you know, these people's own stories, these awesome visuals, but have them tell their own story. And it clicked for me like a hammer hitting my head. Oh, my gosh, that's video. So that's kind of the fun story of how I got into video. And very quickly, documentaries was the thing I was drawn to. I'd watched a documentary back in the day that blew my mind. It was about the ExxonMobil.

Mariana [00:03:13]:

I shouldn't even quote it because I don't remember the name. I think it's like the biggest men in the room, something like. Anyway, but it was something I watched that made me just, like, feel like I was a different person after watching this. I was like, what the heck did just happened? What is this thing that I just watched? And I realized that is the power of documentary filmmaking, which is essentially, to me, if I were to describe it, just an intimate personality view into somebody else's life, into their story. Obviously, there are different types of documentaries. They're history documentary, you know, but I was drawn to the, to the types of documentaries where I got to really go deep into somebody's story, let them tell their own story, and then do essentially edit that, bring that to the world in a way that made other people feel something. And in order to do that, I had to learn to build trust fast. You know, a news organization isn't going to send you, you know, for months at a time to produce a four or five minute piece, which was kind of the range that I was, that I did for 15 years.

Mariana [00:04:17]:

So I worked for the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Time magazine. My docs kind of went everywhere. And then eventually, I ended up at NBC for about five years as a senior producer. My. My pieces there went on Peacock as well. And that's when I won the Emmy. It was nominated for second one, like, in my final year there. And it was the thing that I became obsessed with.

Mariana [00:04:42]:

And one of the reasons why I left NBC after five years was because I realized I was a closeted entrepreneur this whole time. Like, I loved beautiful, intimate, personal storytelling, but I was also kind of really secretly in love with business and marketing and always wanting to do a lot more than the sort of corporate walls would let me do. And I was a bit of a rebel inside of that big news organization. And it was. It just was very freeing. I loved it, my time there. But once I got out and I'm like, oh, my gosh, I never have to ask for a raise again. I can just, like, do this thing on my own.

Mariana [00:05:19]:

I love everything about entrepreneurship and more specifically, the online space was really attractive to me because I'm like, wow, these are my people. These are people who like bootstrap, who love what they do. They're passionate. They figure it out. They have energy. They're gung ho a lot of times. And, you know, I think we're now kind of seeing the rise of, like, the. The lazy launches and the thing that are kind of going against the hustle grain, which is great.

Mariana [00:05:44]:

You know, there's. There's a world for everyone out here, but just the idea that you could make your own money off of this thing that you're passionate and that you love. Um, and then, obviously, for me, it was like, how can I combine this thing that I know how to do almost in my sleep? I love it so much, and I've done so much of it. And with this thing that I love, as well, which is business and marketing, that truly I had to learn a lot more about, I had only can kind of, you know, piecing things together here and there. And then for the last two years now, I've just been all in on business and marketing and essentially finding that all of these coaches, all these course creators, all these people who are building their empire in the online space, we're always leading with value. Amy, it's like, this is tips and tricks and value, and I'm the expert, and this is the thing that will transform your life, and. And these are all the things you should do. Here are the tips.

Mariana [00:06:39]:

Read my caption. I'm like, wow, there's a lot of people that know a lot of things, but how the heck do you differentiate who's who? And I'm. You know, I could keep talking about this forever. I'm sure this is like answering five questions at once. But ultimately, I was like, wow, what makes people different? Like, why. Why are they not sharing their own story and realizing that, ultimately, the reason I'm going to choose to work with Amy is, yes, because of what she knows, but because I actually like her. I like what. I like what she stands for.

Mariana [00:07:11]:

I like her personality. I vibe with her. I want to get the transformation that she's promising me by working with her. I want that journey versus working with someone else. And you only do that. You only really make that call. Once you get to know that person and then like them, there's a reason. No, like, and trust is in that order.

Mariana [00:07:32]:

And I think we so often work on awareness and, like, getting ourselves out there, and then, like, hey, trust me to buy this thing because I'm an expert versus like, you're going to naturally want to buy from me because you've trusted me, because you've liked me, because you've gotten to know me, you know? So essentially, I realized that this was a missing piece in the online space. Let's have one video, one, two to four minute video where you can tell your story, where you can bring to the forefront your values, who you are, emotionally freaking connect with your audience. Let them see you as a human, what you stand for, what you believe in, what makes you do what you do. All of these things all packaged into a beautiful brand video. Pin it to the top of your social media profile, have it in the signature of your email. Let them get to know you, because that's going to essentially be the lens through which they see every other touch point they have with you. Now, it's coming from Amy, this gal that I've loved through this one video, versus, like, who's Amy again? Oh, wait, what lead magnet. Like, why is she in my inbox? Why is she showing up on my social feed? What's her thing again? We're giving our audience so much work to, like, piece together who we are when instead we could give it to them in one video right at the top of our funnel.

Mariana [00:08:51]:

And now they will never forget us again. They'll know exactly who we are, what we stand for, what our vibe is, why. Why we're doing this, what our values are. And every time they see us now, it's going to bring them back those wonderful feelings of connection, and it's going to really. Oh, my gosh. The superpower of everything you do from here on out is going to be expounded because of that connection you've created.

Amy [00:09:17]:

Can I tell you, like, it's so cool to hear your journey of how this concept of a brand video was born because you hit the nail on the head. It's about building those connections. It's about evoking those feelings and emotion in people. And you can't get that through a static post. Yes, you can, through a picture. It's much harder to though where this brand video, like you said, it really brings all the pieces of the puzzle together into one cohesive unit that then we can leverage as business owners. Now, what have you found is the best way to leverage this piece of, this asset in our business? What is the best way to leverage that brand video?

Mariana [00:10:10]:

Well, Amy, the way I. The way I talk about it, you know, I have like this. These are the five places you must put your brand video in. You know, it's pinned to the top of your social media profile. It's your email signature. It's, if you are a personal brand, which most of us are, then it should live on your homepage, your about me page, which is the second most visited part of your website, because people actually want to know about you. By the way, don't even get me started. If I go on your about me page and you're once again talking about what's in it for me, you're doing it wrong.

Mariana [00:10:40]:

I'm going to your about me page because I actually want to know about Amy. I actually want to know what your story is. That first question that you asked me anyway, so it should live there as well. And then on your sales page, essentially, you might be getting cold traffic to that. And so it's that sort of that towards the bottom where you're like, hey, a bit about me. If we haven't met yet, and you're potentially about to buy from me. So this is kind of reinforcing, um, the emotional connection you've either created top of funnel before or reintroduce or introducing yourself at that moment, um, lower down on your sales page. So those are the five places that I recommend.

Mariana [00:11:17]:

But truly it's anywhere, top of funnel, anywhere where you would be introducing yourself with a photo or with a thumbnail or with your name even. Right? Um, one of the things there, there are like all these sorts of, um, other sort of secondary ways you can use your brand video. One of. One of the ways is when somebody follows you on Instagram, be like, hey, thanks for following. You know, sometimes it's automated, sometimes it's not. In fact, I love it. I got, I got a message from somebody recently that I followed. And part of that message was, this isn't a bot, it's actually me.

Mariana [00:11:50]:

And I was like, you know what? I really appreciate that. And it made me respond to him and I wasn't going to anyway. So you can have that sort of welcome message when somebody follows you and include your brand video there. Hey, this is a. A short little video about me. Why? Because people are interested, right? They're at that moment of interest where they have committed to following you. It's only natural that they want to know a bit more about you. So capitalize on that.

Mariana [00:12:16]:

Um, and then another place that's really interesting to use your brand video, so many places, another place is in your welcome sequence. So I had actually a client who took her brand video and created little gifs from it, and she sparse them out in the email in her welcome sequence, maybe third email, I want to say, where she talks about herself and she reintroduces herself to that cold audience, and her response rate to that email skyrocketed. She used to get an answer here and there when her call to action was like, what's your story like? Let me know. I want to know about you. And, you know, most people don't answer that. But once she included gifs of her brand video and then a link to her brand video, which became the most watched video in her YouTube channel, and all of that, the response rate skyrocketed. It's something that absolutely works. I have so many case studies and examples of how much of an impact this makes.

Mariana [00:13:15]:

Like, it makes people feel like they've had a coffee chat with you, feel like they've had an intimate moment with you and makes you unforgettable.

Amy [00:13:24]:

Okay, so you've totally convinced me that I need to make a brand video. What should I think about when creating this powerful, powerful piece of content?

Mariana [00:13:35]:

Yeah, absolutely. So, you know, we have a whole process that I work with, with my clients, and I also teach in my course the brand trailer system. And it's basically, it's. It's not a complicated. It's very simple. It doesn't mean it's easy, but it's very simple framework, which is you first know your audience. You know? But when we say, know your audience, there's so many different levels of that. And I'm talking about, like, knowing them deeply.

Mariana [00:13:59]:

Knowing not just pain points and problems, but knowing their desires, their aspirations, really, really getting to know them. The effect that we want to create is, oh, my gosh, she's in my head. Oh, my gosh, she knows me so well. Like, that's the effect we get from good copy as well. Right? Like, when. When you have good copy and you get that reaction, you're like, yes, I nailed it. Like. Like that.

Mariana [00:14:20]:

That's what we want. And it's the same sort of feeling that we want to create with our brand video as well. So knowing your audience and then knowing yourself, those are the first sort of the basic things that you need to do. Knowing yourself. So knowing what makes you unique, what makes you different from everyone else. Why do people buy from you very specifically? So when I work with my clients and my students, there's like a. There's like a set of very specific questions. Um, in fact, I had a student who did them recently, and she was like, Mariana, does she like, do you know that you're asked, you're sorry.

Mariana [00:14:52]:

This is what she was thinking in her head as she was asking her clients this question as she was doing her market research. She was like, these are the same questions over and over. And then after she did them, she was like, this is so brilliant. I got different answers every time. Like, there's a specific order to those questions, but ultimately what you're trying to get to the bottom of is why did they buy from you? Two things. Why did they buy specifically from you? And what does trust look like for them? We talked about no, like and trust, it's not, trust is not the same across the board. It feels differently for each person. More specifically, it feels differently for each person that's selling something.

Mariana [00:15:35]:

So that's what we want to get to, exactly. Understanding what, what color trust looks like for you or for your audience in regards to you. And then we think about all of the different stories you can tell. It's an exercise called story banking that we do all of the different stories, but then we're, we're thinking now through the prism of knowing our audience deeply and knowing who we are. It's the intersection. So what stories can I tell about myself? It's usually one or two stories within that brand story that are going to make my audience feel that what that trust looks like. Right. To get those exact feelings of trust.

Mariana [00:16:16]:

And so essentially, that's the basis of your brand video, is choosing that story, or Max, two stories that are going to create those feelings in your audience. That's the entire purpose of the brand video, is to create that feeling of trust at the end of it.

Amy [00:16:33]:

Yes, trust is so, so powerful. And I think we forget about it. We forget about trust and, but think about you as a consumer. When you're buying something, you want to make sure that you're making the best investment for your hard earned money. And as no matter what you're selling, trust is essential. So my last question, because I would love to know what makes you cringe? What do you, when people are creating these videos and they think they're doing a good job, like what makes you cringe? What is a mistake that we can learn from that we make sure not to do?

Mariana [00:17:18]:

Oh, my gosh. I'm going to give you an answer that sounds so pg, but it's really how I feel. Here's the thing. I have set aside any sort of cringe feelings when I look at what people are doing. Let me just sort of rephrase that and say, when I look at what other filmmakers are doing, I cringe all the time. Or not all the, you know, there are things that I cringe about when I see other professionals in what they're doing doesn't matter, but in your. What you're asking me about, you know, if I'm scrolling and looking at how other people are doing video, I don't cringe. And here's why, Amy.

Mariana [00:17:55]:

I think every effort that you make to show up is so freaking important. I don't care what it looks like, and your audience might not care either. I mean, it's so much more important that you're actually showing up versus what it looks like. And so you might ask, so what's the argument for making a brand video where you're making a much bigger investment to have something that looks really polished? Well, it's all about positioning, right? So if you have a high ticket offer but your videos look like crap, yes, it's great that you're showing up, but you're. You have to be careful about the image that your audience is creating about you. There's a reason why a Louis Vuitton store looks like what it does and Walmart looks like what it does. Two different types of audiences, two different types of experiences, two different types of products. And so if you want a more polished look, there's definitely a reason to do that.

Mariana [00:18:43]:

But ultimately, honestly, if you're showing up, I bless you for, like, you're doing the right thing. Um, but I'll. I'll give you a tip nonetheless. I think we often don't think about things like what's in our background. We don't think about. You know, a lot of times I see folks that. That might have, like, a window behind them, and that's a source of light that's going to be competing with the attention of your eye, of your audience's eyes to your face, for example. We also want to think about the light source on our face.

Mariana [00:19:16]:

So a great light source is a window without direct light or maybe with shears, you know, as curtains. We want to think about good audio. I mean, you know this because you're a podcaster, but having a great mic, like, actually make the investment in a good mic, it will make a difference for. For your audience, especially for videos that are a bit longer. If it's a short social media video, it's not. Not as big of a deal, but so things like that, I think are super important.

Amy [00:19:45]:

Yes. Mariana, you dropped so much value. I have learned so much from you, and now I am adding it to my list of things that I need to do to move the needle forward is to get into your world and learn how to create a brand video in the right way. So how can listeners get into your world and learn all the things about you?

Mariana [00:20:08]:

Yeah, absolutely. So I'm pretty active on Instagram at brandmagnetic and then I was just telling you about this new guide that I'm putting out, which are like five things you need to know as you're creating your brand video or your brand story. By the way, the difference between a brand video and brand trailer is just, it's kind of the length and the production, you know, brand video, we use a cinematography team and my team edits a brand trailer is where I teach you how to do this all on your own with your phone. But anyway, so five things that you need to know about as you're crafting your brand story, um, is going to be found at guide. So slash guide, you can pick up that handy dandy sort of start to your brand story journey. And, and I write pretty good emails but I keep getting told so you'll end up in my email list and, and hopefully we'll be friends there.

Amy [00:21:04]:

Oh, thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to share so much with us. I appreciate you.

Mariana [00:21:11]:

Yeah, thanks, Amy, I love you and support you and I think you're a rock star yourself. So I love following you.

Amy [00:21:17]:

Right back at you. And until next time, cheers to making the money you want so that you can create the impact you desire.


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