Well, howdy there, pardner! *cracks imaginary cattle whip and swooshes imaginary lasso*
(I thought I’d mix up my intros… too weird?)
You are about to hear Episode 2 of my new podcast, Video Marketing Secrets | Simple Strategies for Outrageous ROI. First off, I want to thank you for listening — it means the world to me that you’re choosing to dedicate time and attention to the show, especially in these all-important early days.
And now, to express my gratitude in a more substantial way that will actually benefit your business, I will give away something unique and precious… namely: the #1 video marketing insight I’ve learned over the course of working with 7,000+ businesses in more than 11 years.
No matter what you sell, what kind of industry you’re in, or who your ideal customers are, this lesson will help you sell more and rise to the tippy top of your market.
Anyhoo, I’m going to stop hyping it up… and properly dig into it!
Click Play right below if you want to hear the episode — or check out the transcript underneath if you’d rather read today’s business-boosting insight.
My #1 Video Marketing Lesson (Proven with Over 7,000+ Clients)
I still remember the exact moment I fell in love with video as a way to market and sell.
The year was 2010. I was stunt juggling my way through life as a single mom of two — while trying to figure out where to unleash my copywriting and storytelling skills for maximum impact.
It was during that time of uncertainty-slash-opportunity that my best friend and future business partner Erik shared a video with me.
…Yeah, I know: so mundane, right? We all get videos sent to us, literally ALL THE TIME. I mean, it doesn’t even register at this point. So why am I mentioning it on the podcast?
Well, because that video was different. In a good way!
It was your basic whiteboard animation, which is just a timelapse of a hand drawing with a voiceover narration in the background. In the video, bestselling author Dan Pink was breaking down the big ideas from his book “Drive,” dedicated to the psychology of human motivation.
Dear listener, I was blown away. And not just because of the visuals!
I mean, 2010 Summer thought the video looked AWESOME — but that wasn’t why it impressed me so much.
No, that whiteboard video knocked my socks off for a different reason…
I understood it. I remembered it. And I didn’t even have to pause or rewind! My brain just devoured and digested that entire 10-minute video like it was the most effortless thing in the world.
Even now, a full 12 years later, I can still recap its message for anyone who asks… which is downright freaky if you ask me!
At that moment I realized: THAT’s what I wanted to make.
I wanted to help business owners create unforgettable content that would be impossible to misunderstand. And so the idea for The Draw Shop was born.
From the idea, I immediately moved on to execution. I barely finished watching that fateful video when I replied to Erik, in all-caps: “LET’S DO IT.” In hindsight, I probably confused him a whole lot. I mean, as far as he was concerned, he was just sharing a neat video!
But all the same, Erik rose to the challenge — and less than a month later, we MacGyver’d our first whiteboard explainer in his garage.
After an entire year of making videos for friends and clients, we felt pretty certain that our business idea had wings. And so we set up a headquarters in our first official studio under The Draw Shop name.
Fast-forward 11 years, 7,000+ clients, and about 100 million in revenue attributable to our marketing videos…
…and here I am — about to share my most important AND most profitable video marketing lesson with you.
Ready? Here it is, in just two words:
Now, you’re probably thinking:
“Wait… that’s IT? Summer, why didn’t you just lead with that? Why’d you have to tell me the entire origin story of your business?”
That is an excellent question. Let me try and answer it to the best of my abilities.
I want you to ask yourself: if I began this episode by telling you that “story sells” — without sharing any personal context or proof behind it…
…would you have listened to me at all?
Of course not.
You would have yawned and chosen a different podcast to keep you company on your commute. And honestly? I wouldn’t blame ya!
BUT because I’ve told you the story of the aha moment that launched The Draw Shop into a multimillion-dollar agency… you are now paying attention. You are feeling invested. And because of that, you are giving careful consideration to what I’m telling you.
Because of that story, now my words hold MORE weight.
And that, right there, is what makes stories so powerful — especially in today’s world, where information is overwhelmingly abundant… but every scrap of ATTENTION has to be fought for, tooth and nail.
Stories are the primary way we make sense of the world around us and how we relate to other people. Whenever we make a buying decision, whenever we make up our mind about something… we don’t do it based on facts. Not even a little bit!
The hard, unfiltered truth is:
Humans — including your customers — couldn’t care less about facts or information when making buying decisions. To be blunt, none of us give a hoot!
…But we do care about stories.
Specifically, whenever we buy something, we care about the message it sends to ourselves and the world around us. The products and services we purchase always serve as a statement about who we are; who we WANT TO BE; the values we hold dear; and the values we reject.
- We hire a personal trainer because they promise to bring us into alignment with the person we want to be physically: lean, strong, and — who are we kidding? — looking good naked!
- We go through the trouble of ordering biodegradable toothbrushes online, because it confirms our self-image of someone who cares deeply about the environment.
- We refuse to fly first class — even though we can easily afford it and would love the added convenience! — because we don’t want to be seen as one of THOSE spoiled rich people.
Like it or not, stories shape our reality much more than any quote-unquote “rational” thinking.
And video just so happens to be the most effective storytelling tool ever created.
It combines the visceral intimacy of telling tales around a campfire… the eye-catching spectacle of modern visual effects… and the breathtaking scale of digital marketing… to produce something that’s SO much more powerful than the sum of its parts.
And if you want to leverage video to plant your message in the minds of ideal customers, then you MUST captivate them with the right type of story.
…Well, that’s enough theory — let’s put everything I’ve just taught you into practice!
Here are 4 actionable strategies to make your videos more unique, more engaging, and more high-converting, all thanks to the power of story.
1. You can pull your ideal customers in like a magnet
The first 5-10 seconds of your video are crucial. They determine whether your viewers will stick around long enough to absorb your message — or get bored and bounce to do something else.
Vague, toothless introductions are the bane of marketing videos everywhere. And that’s understandable, to be honest, because starting a video is HARD.
…Unless, that is, you know exactly who your viewers are, and what they are going through right now. Because if you do, you can retell that story back to them — and earn their undivided attention pretty much instantly!
Even though we are overwhelmed with marketing messages, they rarely show us genuine understanding and empathy. Simply by reflecting your customers’ situation back at them you can send a message that says, “I understand what you’re going through — and I can help.”
Do this, and they will have no choice but to listen.
2. You can convert more prospects by “future pacing”
Like I said before, people often buy products and services because of the promise they are making. If you want to achieve something in your life, and you encounter an offer that promises to get you there faster, wouldn’t you be tempted to say yes to it?
Of course you would! …As long as it’s convincing enough, at least.
This is yet another area where confident mastery over storytelling can come in handy. If you know where your ideal customers want to go, if you deeply understand their goals and desires, you can weave them into a story about the bright future that awaits them if they buy from you.
You can mentally transport them into that glorious future, let them savor it in their mind, and channel that enthusiasm into closing the sale.
Stories aren’t just a means of recalling the past and processing the present. They can be our window to imagining the future, too. And when it comes to marketing and sales, helping your prospects imagine the future they want can be your ticket to higher conversions!
3. You can teach your customers about sophisticated ideas and concepts
The human brain is TERRIBLE at retaining information without context.
I could tell you right now that Mount Fuji is 12,365 ft high… but you’d forget about it in 2 minutes. Heck, you probably already HAVE forgotten about it!
But if I told you that the height of Mount Fuji is “12 months in a year / 365 days in a year” …that’s so much more memorable already. And all it took was a little bit of context.
Stories are context-producing machines. They can make the most boring, dry information digestible and memorable.
That’s why, as kids, we used to adore teachers who could make boring subjects, like chemistry or physics, interesting with the use of examples, analogies, and anecdotes — or in other words, stories. And that’s why now, as adults, we can’t get enough of non-fiction books that repackage boring science into thrilling tales that take our breath away.
So the next time you need to convey a complicated idea in a video… turn it into a story! That way, you will guarantee that your audience truly “gets” your message — and even takes action on it right away.
4. You can humanize your brand and create strong emotional bonds
Have you ever thought about why some people have “brand loyalty”? Like, what does that even mean? How can people develop ANY kind of meaningful relationship with a brand, period?
Well, the answer is, a brand is not just a logo or a set of fonts codified in a design doc…
A brand is a story. A set of values. A team of people.
It’s a container for something more.
And what ACTUALLY resonates with customers… is its contents. The values the brand stands for. The people powering it. The origin story behind its creation.
That’s what attracts customers and inspires them to form those emotional bonds.
That’s why some people have a favorite airline, or the only brand of cookware they ever buy, or the go-to contractor they hire again and again. Because something about them speaks to who they are, or what they stand for, or who they want to be — or all of the above.
So if you want your brand to inspire loyalty, then ask yourself what kinds of stories you could tell about it. Those could be: your origin story as a company; the stories of your team members; the memorable times you stood by your values and principles as a business; and so on.
As you can see, storytelling is THE essential skill for any marketer or entrepreneur looking to use video to grow their business.
Right now, there are more videos online than anyone could possibly watch in a billion lifetimes… and yet, the absolute majority of them are cookie-cutter and low-effort.
Your audience knows this all too well — and they crave something MORE.
They want to see and hear messages that were handcrafted specifically for them; that speak TO them and ABOUT them. They want to engage with stories that reflect their pains, their goals, their fears, and their dreams back to them.
They want to do business with brands that say, “Hey, I understand what you’re going through. I know where you want to go, and I know what’s holding you back. Let me help you.”
If you can become this trusted, empathetic figure for your audience…
…then you will be able to charge what you want, enjoy a limitless abundance of ideal customers — and you’ll never, EVER have to worry about competition again.
Well, there you have it! This has been my 7-figure video marketing lesson, proven over 11+ years and more than 7,000 clients across dozens of different industries! I hope you’ve found today’s episode valuable — and I will see you next week with another business-boosting insight!