You may have heard in the news by now about an amazing story of second chances for a man named Ted Williams, whose now known as the man with the "Golden Radio Voice." The Brooklyn-born Williams was a panhandler in Columbus, OH who had fallen on really hard times after a career in radio. A second chance for Williams was born when Doral Chenoweth III decided to shoot a video interview of Williams after seeing him and his intriguing sign on the side of busy intersection. What happened next was a viral video sensation combining second chances, resilience, and the power of online video.
As of this moment, the YouTube video entitled, "Homeless man with golden radio voice in Columbus, OH" has more than 12 million views. That's up from 5 million views yesterday (1/5/11). My recent check shows that a legal team in Columbus, OH has now entered the story. Now one encounters a message saying "This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Zeiger, Tigges."
What's the result of all these eyeballs viewing this content? To start, Williams was invited to appear on CBS’s The Early Show, a trip which also allowed him to reconnect with his 92-year-old mother in Brooklyn. He's now entertaining job offers from the NFL, the Cleveland Cavaliers, and Quicken Loans who's offered to buy Williams a house.
Williams hasn't yet made any decisions just yet but he certainly has terrific prospects going forward.
If we put our SMB marketing goggles on, Williams' product is his voice. His product is tremendous. His voice simply sells itself. His marketing budget, however, is non-existent. Let's look at the role that video played in getting such a great product in front of so many eyes at virtually no cost.
Williams' video allowed him to connect with millions of potential employers and well wishers. They were able to make that connection at a time and place that was convenient for them (at home, work, on the train - morning, noon, night, weekdays, weekends). They were able to engage in an audio-visual experience with Williams' "product" before they ever connected with Williams in the real world. Now the connections are happening in real time, over the phone and face to face. To make this story have a happy ending, Williams doesn't need all 12 million to engage in a conversation. He just needs the fraction that are willing to help and have the means to do so. In his case, the story is so compelling and the product is so good that his phone is ringing off the hook with offers. Williams' viral video sensation is a perfect example of using an "asynchronous" medium as way to get valuable "synchronous" or real time communication with new audiences he'd previously never met. Now, he's got a pipeline of opportunities. Sound familiar?
You can apply this strategy to your business or cause. Here are three lessons to start with right away:
1) Video can be your #1 prospector
Make your next email campaign's call to action a trackable video presentation that explains in 60-90 seconds why your product/cause is valuable to the recipient and why they should set aside valuable time to connect by phone or perhaps attend a full demonstration. Offer that same video on your site for inbound prospects. If you're a myBrainshark Pro series user, you can use the guestbook feature to collect leads.
2) Give your audience a taste
Do you use webinars as way generate leads? For your next webinar, offer prospective registrants a short voice-enriched presentation that offers a sample of what will be covered in the scheduled live webinar. Put it on your site, in the event listing, and in the emails that go out inviting prospects to attend. It's the same methodology studios use to get us into movie theater seats. Once they're registered, keep them engaged by sending a survey in advance and/or a second teaser.
3) Be there 24/7
Returning to #2, also experiment with webinars that are available on demand, accessible 24/7, just like the Williams' video. MarketingSherpa reports that 66% of webinar registrants fail to attend. Why? In most cases, they're busy with something else they didn't foresee when registering. Avoid losing prospects by allowing them to view your valuable webinar content right away, at any time they choose. Record it in myBrainshark so it's concise, interactive, easy to navigate, and trackable to follow up appropriately. Here's an example from Corporate Visions.
This is an amazing personal story. From a marketing perspective, it's an insightful story about creating new opportunities using online video at virtually no cost, which is something anyone can do for free in myBrainshark. Thanks to Ted for a very inspiring start to the New Year!