We’ve been in our current sheltering mode for nearly two months. Regardless of when we exit this, our ways of doing business will be forever different.
One of the most significant changes will be around technology. More people will continue working from home. More people will continue using the Internet than ever before for learning.
If you haven’t quite yet embraced this, it’s time to jump on that bandwagon.
On our Members’ Studio coaching call this week, we focused on using zoom, one of the video conferencing platforms. As an early adopter of zoom, I’ve seen its power in connecting people as well in teaching and presenting content.
Here’s a bit of what we shared on our call and thoughts on how I use the platform.
Embrace the change
This is something new for all of us. It requires a mindset shift.
You need to look at this as a growth opportunity, especially since this is not a temporary change.
It’s also an opportunity to learn more about yourself. How do you handle change? What can you do to more easily adapt to change?
Use zoom as a sales platform
Traditionally as a sales rep for a fabric company or brick and mortar shop, you depend on in-person connections to make money. This is particularly important in the fabric industry. We are tactile people and we have to find a way around that.
Right now you don’t have that in-person opportunity. Be open to the opportunity that you can use video conferencing to bridge the gap.
As with any meeting, set an agenda of what you want to cover. Develop the materials and then present them using the screen share capabilities on your video conferencing platform. Manufacturers will have materials that you can use for this purpose.
Discuss the feel of the fabric, since that is what people are missing. You have to engage all the senses on video, just as you would in person.
This week I saw a shop owner do a Facebook Live, which in this case was just like a video conference, to show how to see the new fabrics in her shop. She also helped her customers learn how to navigate her website.
You could so something similar for your shop and invite your customers to come to a weekly webinar of what you have that’s new. If you do something like this, you’d want to be sure to share it on social media outlets.
Teaching your content
Zoom, or other video conferencing tools, are perfect as simple teaching platforms. When I first thought about teaching on Zoom, I thought of it as place to share a power point with my customers.
You can use Zoom for a one-time class or for a multi-class. You can use it for a 3-day workshop. You can use it for in-person classes and record the classes for later use. Just as in other classes you teach, you will supplement the video conference with digital handouts.
It does have a learning curve, especially if you are shooting video of product creation. It just takes practice, and you’ll improve the more you do.
Share your content
When you create a webinar on Zoom, you can also Livestream onto Facebook. You can save the Zoom and then put it on You Tube and/or Linked In.
If the content is public, you can repurpose it on your blog. You can also it on Instagram and Facebook, gaining more
Looking your best
Video conference requires the same tools as other video. You need good lighting, good audio, a good camera.
Today, your phone or computer likely has a good quality camera. You may want to supplement it with a higher quality webcam, but it’s not necessarily required.
Good lighting may require additional lights in your studio or just finding the right spot in your studio to set up. You may also want to supplement your computer audio with a dedicated microphone.
Here’s one video I watched that offered some good tips. You can find others with a quick search on YouTube.
Remember the newbie
You may have been using Zoom for a while, either as the organizer or as the participant. Not everyone is tech-savvy. And, while you may be, don’t think that all your customers are. One way to combat this is to make a training video to explain how to use zoom, or the video conferencing tool you use. Make this available to everyone prior to your call.
One of the other options that Zoom offers is breakout rooms. Depending on your meeting, you may want to split your group into smaller units for networking, conversation, and/or connecting.
Zoom also has a system to connect its registration page with PayPal so you can charge for a webinar.
Taking polls of your attendees is a fun option. You can see what they know or don’t. You can ask questions to engage attendees.
Zoom also has a system to end emails and reminders for your calls. This takes one more thing off your list and ensures that people show up.
To get started using zoom, head over to zoom.us and sign up. It’s easy.
You can use the free plan, which allows for 40-minute meetings with 100 participants. That is actually a bargain. Lots of 40-minute meetings at no charge. Or you can use the paid plan, which allows for up to 24-hour meetings.
If you aren’t sure how to use Zoom, look for some YouTube tutorials. Alternately, join our Thursday Creative Connections + Conversation over in our Creative Passion to Profit Facebook Group. That’s the platform we use, and I’d be happy to answer your questions. You can join here.
From here, just take a chance and start using video. Your first one is always bad, so just get used to it. We all started somewhere. And, you’ll get better at it. I promise.
And, learning how to use one video conferencing tool will help you as more become available. It won’t be long before Facebook offers Rooms as an option.
It’s your turn!
How are you using video conferencing in your business?