Videos are now one of the most used formats of content to engage with customers and acquire more sales. But according to Joseph Wilkins, Founder of Funny Sales Videos, you can leverage your videos, and sales, more if you're using humor.
In this episode, Joseph shares why and how funny videos can help you increase your sales and his business8 step process on how you can successfully create an effective funny video for your campaign, which you can learn from his free ebook. He also explains why humor is applicable to almost every businesses out there, and how he gets himself and his business #getnoticed.
You can also learn more about video creation from his podcast called How to Make a Video Go Viral.
Post-production, transcript and show notes by XCD Virtual Assistants
Grow, sell, and engage with your audience—all from a single platform
The UnNoticed Entrepreneur Book
The UnNoticed Entrepreneur: Fifty Ideas for your Company to Stand Out
The Marque of an Entrepreneur
Get noticed as an entrepreneur with the 19 Dots range of merchandise; bottles, cups, caps et al
Social listening - google alert killer!
Generate leads and market your product using social listening
The UnNoticed Entrepreneur is hosted & produced by Jim James.
Hello, and welcome to this episode of The UnNoticed Entrepreneur. Today, I'm joined by Joseph Wilkins, who's going to talk to us all about video. Joseph, joining from Salt Lake City in Utah, welcome to the show. Thanks, Jim. It's great to be here. Now, although you're at Salt Lake City, you've got a very British accent, Joseph. So tell us a little about you, and also about how video can help entrepreneurs to get noticed. Yeah, so I grew up in London, lived there for 20 years and then moved out to the States, originally to go to university and then started a business and just, you know, 20 years basically on either side of the pond. Now run a marketing agency that focuses solely on video. So how do we use the power of video to generate sales? And to answer your question, how do entrepreneurs use video today? Well, I mean, frankly, if you are not using video, you are just missing out. It's as simple as that. The opportunities to use video to connect to people, I mean, pretty much every platform that you can imagine, video can be used to connect with people, whether it's to drive immediate sales, whether it's just to brand yourself, whether it's to educate, there's all kinds of different ways that you can. But the quick answer is, if you are not using video, I promise you, your competitors are, and they're gaining market share that you are losing. But now, Joseph, there's one difference between the videos you are making and most of the videos that I'm watching. Because when I watched yours on funnysalesvideo.com, first of all, I laughed heartily at the Reno financing and the detergent video. And then, I went online and I bought the detergent video. I actually bought the detergent product itself, right? So tell us about why videos can be funny. Shouldn't they all be corporate, you know, IBM style? Well, if you want them to be ignored, frankly, yes. If you want them to be watched, you've got to engage with people. Now, they don't have to be funny. Let's just make it clear. I believe marketing is kind of like a salad. You have to have all kinds of ingredients, and not every single video should be funny. There's a time and a place for different uses, but what we do, real quick after 15 years of producing television commercials, infomercials, and standard corporate videos, we realised about five years ago that people were ignoring boring. They just are. So the very first, what we call "A top of funnel video," the first impression video, we have found that using humour is the best, most consistent way to not get ignored, to stop the scroll, right? Today, it's not like it used to be where I had you captured between watching your TV shows and you had to watch my 32nd spot. Today, I've got to earn your interest, I've got to earn your attention, I've got to pique your curiosity, and then tell you a story. And that's the difference, is the difference between the very first impression video being engaging and detaining, but ultimately relevant to advance your story of 'I solve a problem that you have.' Other videos after that don't need to be nearly as entertaining because you've got their interests, you've got their attention. And now it's more about educating and furthering the buying cycle, but for a very first impression video in 20 years now of running every kind of campaign you can imagine, nothing is as effective as using humour. And just to give you a final example so that your listeners maybe sit forward and say, "Oh, this guy actually does know what he is talking about." You know, our latest campaign is now closed, the laundry detergent you mentioned. So, you know, fairly boring product, laundry detergent. It happens to be a very different kind of laundry detergent and one with a mission. But that campaign has over a hundred million views and, you know, millions of millions, and millions of dollars in sales. What could your business do with a campaign that has that kind of reach? Joseph, and it was so entertaining. I watched the whole campaign. This is a Tru Earth, isn't it? The detergent. So fantastic. So, but is humour video for everyone? Or do you think some companies need to be, you know, dried in the wall? I love that question, because, to me, the more you think humour isn't for your company, the more I say it actually is. Now there's maybe one or two examples where humour maybe isn't appropriate. Not many. I mean, if your company has humans as their customer, those humans have emotions and which humans don't like to smile, which humans don't like to laugh. Now you've got to be relevant. You can't be, you know, silly, you have to speak to the audience. So a video for a C-suite executive is going to be much more clever, higher intelligence, and jokes that will relate to those kinds of people in their problems compared to a acne cream for a teenager. That's a totally different kind of video. You've got to speak to the audience, but if you do it well and you can get your customers to laugh and smile, there's all sorts of studies that say that psychologically, they will remember you. And hopefully, you know, the end goal is to do what you did yesterday, to take you from a video that you've never seen before, that you don't know much about the product, sold in three minutes or less is kind of our motto. Yeah, and I thought what was interesting about that true earth video was that you had a lot of statistics in there as well. And I actually remembered the statistics about, you know, the number of bottles that were recycled and so on. So by embedding the key takeaways into a humourous video actually, they landed much more resolutely than they would've been if they'd just been dull superscript, right? So you're really taking people's key messages and embedding them. Is there a process, Joseph, that you take people through? Because most people are kind of afraid of humour in case they get it wrong. So do you want to just tell us at Funny Sales Videos, how do you do it? Yeah. So we actually have made a free ebook that anyone can download where we step through every one of the eight steps that we take our videos through. Now, our videos take four months to produce. And there's a reason why they're so successful, it's because we spend a lot of time on each one of these steps, and I'll really quickly run through what they are. Step number one, we've already kind of touched on that. That's do your research and understand who is your customer avatar. You would never write a letter and then decide after you've written it, who to address it to. Yet, that's what we often do with marketing, whether it's videos or copy for your website, we just kind of write what we think. We we really spend time to research our customer avatar. We read their comments on either the client's product reviews or competing client product reviews. But really understand who you're talking to before you start doing anything. Step two is brainstorm as many bad ideas as possible. Now I say bad, because that takes away the pressure. If you just throw out, you know, high-level ideas, the more you go through, the quicker you'll come to the diamond in the rough. Step three is the scripting, and that's a two-part. So there's the marketing copy points and then there's the story. Step four is bringing in the comedians to add comedy. Now I always say, bring in freelancers to do this part. At most everything else you can do yourself, but the writing really needs to be done by experts. So again, I go into detail in all of these steps in the ebook. Step five is the production. Now, when I say production, most people think cameras, and lights, and sound, but the most important part production is actually casting the right actor. Second to your product, your actor, the spokesperson for your video, is the most important part. And then, obviously, production is, you know, I've got my iPhone here in my hand for people that don't see the video. This is something that I would've dreamed of having 20 years ago when I started this company. So I don't want anyone listening, thinking, I can't do this. Because I started with a lot less tech than you have in your pocket right now. Step six is editing. You've heard comedy is all about timing, and so a really good editor that understands timing. Nobody stops watching videos because they're too long. Let's get that myth out of the way. Netflix is still around, pumping out two-hour videos. They stop watching because they get bored, they stop watching because it's irrelevant to them, they stop watching because it's not entertaining. So you've got to cut out anything that makes people get bored, zone out. Most of our videos, if there's any critique, it's that they're overwhelming, that you can't take it all in, but that means that you're never getting bored. Okay. Step number seven is testing. You'd probably be surprised when I tell you every video that we do, we create 36 different versions of that video and we test different elements. We test the opening hook, we test the offers, we test the length, we test the format, whether it's, I mean, there's all kinds that we talk about in the ebook. And then step eight. And this is the one that may kind of pop a few bubbles is forget going viral. This isn't about creating a funny video, then uploading it to YouTube and praying that it goes viral. That's no business plan. That's not something you can predict, repeat, or build a business around. What these are, if done right, are videos that when run as an ad will double, triple the return on ad spend. So I kind of use an analogy if I was to build you a vending machine that was full of a hundred dollars bills, but it still costs $20 to use that machine. How many times would you want to use it? And that's what these videos are. When you create them and spend a little bit of money to promote them on Facebook, they should return, you know, much higher levels of what that $20 bills that you invested in. So it's a business, not a, you know, a spray and pray kind of an approach. So that's really quickly those eight steps. Well, and we'll obviously include a link to Joseph's amazing ebook. Although it does sound as though some of those steps one could look at doing in-house, but you really do need that combination of your production expertise, your creativity, the right freelancers, the video I saw, you know, the young actor was brilliant. And in the, in the DeLorean with the female actress in the renovation, also, you know, was scripted and was real proper comedy. So, Joseph, what would be of those eight? Would there be maybe two or three of those things that you think a client could think about before coming to you? Because they have to do some work upstream, don't they, to come to you? Or do you like it when they just come to you saying help me out? Well, back to your point. I would tell people don't be afraid when you see our videos that, "Oh, I can't do that." My position is that regardless of whether, you know, do every one of those eight steps perfectly, or you kind of say, "I'm just going to do 'em all myself." I believe that even if you do them all yourself, you'll get better results than what you're currently doing, that's my position. Now, obviously, the difference between a campaign that gets a hundred million views, a millions of dollars in sales, that kind of campaign you want to do every step professionally. So it just depends; money in, money out, right? You may not be ready for a full-blown campaign, but at least use some of these steps to improve on what you're currently doing. But I would say there are two of these steps that you shouldn't do on your own if you really are serious about results, okay? And those two steps are the writing and the acting. Those two, I would say, "Bring in professionals." Now that doesn't have to break the bank. I mean, I'm here in Utah. Rates are going to vary around the world. Here in Utah, a really good actor is going to charge $1,500 a day, maybe a $1000 a day. So you're not looking at breaking the bank here. And most of our videos were shot in one or two days. The majority actually are probably shot in one day. So it's not breaking the bank. For the writers, there are plenty of freelance sites out there - Fiverr, Upwork, you know, your local classifieds. There are very talented writers that will work for very reasonable rates. So if you just pay for those two things, my opinion, your video just doubled in quality. Okay, Joseph. That's great advice. I would say those are the two most important. I am going to ask you a question though, about humour. I mean, you're an Englishman in Utah. I was an Englishman in Singapore and then China. You know, how does someone decide what would be humorous? I mean, you talked about looking your avatar. What makes humour, and will it travel? Because that's also a danger, isn't it? Great question. So my two responses, number one is humour doesn't travel across culture. It just doesn't. In fact, there's a Netflix movie about how the guy that created everyone loves Raymond, tried to transplant that into Russia. It's a great documentary just for entertainment's sake, but it shows clearly how it absolutely bombed until they really hired Russian writers and that's what you have to do. If you want to translate this across languages. It's completely different writing. It's completely different acting. Never try to take a video and just put subtitles on it. It will never work. Now, there's some exceptions, Canada and the US, maybe some into the UK, we have had some success, but even then, you know, if you really want to hit the bullseye, you've got to hire local writers and local actors. So that would might be my advice is "The concept may travel, but the execution of that concept really needs to be localized." And what about what makes humour then? Let's assume we can't say what humour would be in America or China. But what about in America? What would you say is going to be the essence of good humour? So that's why it's so important to start with the research, to understand your customer avatar. And I'm not talking about age, income, and location. I'm talking about, you know, what do they order at Starbucks? What music stations do they listen to? What journals do they read? Whatever it is that defines who your target demographic is. And that's why we go through it. We will read at least a hundred customer reviews so that we understand the voice. We literally steal lines from customer reviews and put them in our videos. What I mean by that is let's say I'm just holding up a blender bottle here from my protein shake from this morning, right? It's got a little ball inside that you shake and the mixture gets mixed much better. So let's say this is my product. What would I do if I needed to understand my customer? Well, I would go on to Amazon and I would read a hundred reviews, and I would say, "Why do people like this? What are the features about this that they like?" Now, maybe I'm a startup and I'm making a knockoff and I don't have a hundred customer reviews. I'm going to go to blender bottle and I'm going to read their reviews because the customer is the same. And so I literally will steal lines that say, "This is why I like this product. This is why I won't buy another product." Or I may also steal, you know, reasons why people don't like this product and make something different, right? R and D obviously sometimes drives marketing, if you do it right. And so then back to how do I make it funny? Well, it's essential that the writers who are writing, and we have a whole process that we spell out in the book, but we make sure that the writer's writing are at least in touch with that demographic. So I will have a totally different bench of writers that are writing for, you know, older males that I do younger females. I will bring in different people. And that's the beauty of, you know, these online freelance marketplaces, is that they're at your fingertips. You just have to test on your demographic. So what we do often is before something is said to be final and go into production, we test our scripts and we make sure that people are laughing at them, right? Now, how do we do that? Survey monkey, we send our emails to customers, or where the client has budget, we've literally brought like 20 people into a focus group room with a one-way mirror and we will test these to see. Now, not too many people had that kind of budget, but the point is nothing is funny unless your customer demographic says it is. So you want to test it before you spend the money to hire that actress or actor. And so, testing, testing, testing. That's fantastic, Joseph, and I like the way that you had the hero was, you know, the man at home doing the laundry and not the woman who was on the couch. And that juxtaposition of the role reversal in itself, created a setting for humour as well, right? And resonated, I guess I'm in your avatar because I'm a, a man who's doing the laundry at home. Yeah, I love that. And actually, that point, let me just really quickly address... that was the second video that we had done. The first video that we did was the woman who was our primary demographic. And once we'd hit that, we actually got some complaints on the video, which you should get. If you don't get complaints on your video or, you know, heated comments, the whole point is to create engagement, right? Now, you don't want to be offensive and you don't want to, you know, sync the value of your brand. So it's a fine line but because we got so many women that responded to that video that said, "You know, I love that video, but it's a little one sided, right? It's a little stereotypical of the woman in the home doing the laundry." So that's what gave birth to writing the second video, which was where we left it all to the man. And the title of that video was "Real Men Do Laundry." And that one was, you know, it just really hit home with that secondary demographic, widening the number of people we could sell to. Which is, you know, me counting me in that demographic. Joseph Wilkins, final question for you. How do you as an entrepreneur get noticed for your business funnysalesvideos.com? So it's a little... I have an unfair advantage, because w hat I do, by definition, gets views, right? So I get huge exposure. And anytime you create, I don't care what industry you're in, when you create great content, I think of Elon Musk, create the best electrical vehicles spend zero money on advertising. And now, you know, now the fastest growing car company in the world by some people, measurement. So I take the same approach - create the very best product, and people will talk about it. The second thing that I do is what I'm doing now. I create free training. I hold no bars back. I tell you exactly how I do things, and I get invited onto podcasts, I get invited to speaking engagements. In fact, little plug for Vidtel, in August, I'm going to be flying to Oxford University to attend a video marketing conference where I'm going to be lecturing on how to use humour to increase sales. So, the more you can do as a business owner to, number one, make a fantastic product. And then number two, figure out how can I teach people to do the same kind of a thing, and don't hold back. Just share everything. Be transparent. I think there are more opportunities that will come back to you than anything that you might lose by, you know, customers doing it themselves rather than hiring you. Joseph Wilkins, that's a wonderful message. How could people find out about you? Well, first of all, if you like podcasts, I have my own. It's called "How to make a video go viral." It's on all the podcast platforms we go into a lot more detail. And then, secondly, funnysalesvideos.com. That's our website. That's where you can download the free ebook. It's also a place that you can schedule a free brainstorming session, where I'll personally take a look at your business and give you some ideas for funny campaigns for yourself. Joseph Wilkins. Thanks so much for joining me. I have great experience and purchased as a result of your videos, and love them. So thank you so much for sharing with me and my listeners, my friends in The UnNoticed Entrepreneur community about how to get videos to be active and to be fun to make and to watch. Thank you so much. Thanks, Jim. It's been fun. It's been a lot of fun. You've been listening to Joseph Wilkins in Salt Lake City, Utah, with me, Jim James, here in the UK. Two Brits on the mic, across different parts of the world. Thanks for listening to this episode of The UnNoticed Entrepreneur.