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What is your nightmare scenario?

Mine was creating a video by committee. To be avoided at all costs.

And then…

Three weeks ago, a client got in touch about a video for a charity fundraiser. It should be created like the one I had done for him a couple of years back. The deadline would be tight, though. The video had to be ready for the week of the 17th of December, which gave me just 20 days to complete the project.

No problem.

To put you in the picture, a couple of years earlier this client had handed me 15 video clips with a total viewing time of 9 minutes that he had taken on his iPhone. The task was to transform the clips into an information video about 2 minutes long.

What could go wrong?
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This can’t be serious!

Actually, it is.

I’ve been reading this book by Yuval Harari (Homo Deus) who is a hugely successful thinker and in demand worldwide as a speaker. He made this outrageous statement about the twenty-first century:

“…to ensure global happiness will involve re-engineering Homo Sapiens so that it can enjoy everlasting pleasure.”

Homo Deus
To be quite clear: Homo Sapiens is, of course, us.

This means the quote translates into:

“…to ensure global happiness will involve re-engineering us so that we can enjoy everlasting pleasure.”

There are 3 important points here:
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Facebook is competing with YouTube for primacy in the online video platform market.
Yet they are two completely different platforms with different purposes that require different approaches of us when we want to publish videos on either platform.

To illustrate this, here is my video, London Between Meetings, published on YouTube:

and on Facebook:


Dedicated to my friend Joolia who loved this city.

Posted by Max Alter on Thursday, 18 October 2018

There are two main differences:
Open captions are necessary on Facebook and also on LinkedIn because on these platforms videos mostly start playing automatically and are muted by default. If people don’t know what your video is about, they won’t watch it. We, therefore, have to show them.

Given the way people watch videos on Facebook, the video format ought to be adjusted, too. Square is best if the original is (like mine) full HD. Beware of portrait format (vertical) videos. They can be annoying for a host of reasons.

If you want to know more about optimising your videos for YouTube, check out my article here.

A word about LinkedIn

Native video on LinkedIn is an afterthought not an organic component of this platform.

For instance, it is not possible to embed square Facebook videos on a LinkedIn page. While YouTube videos embed properly, LinkedIn automatically cuts a square video in half and only displays the upper part in 16:9 format. For videos natively uploaded to LinkedIn, this means that open (permanent) captions have to be added in the editing process.

Is it worth generating yet another version of your videos just for LinkedIn? This will be the topic of another article.

For help, support and discussion of this and similar topics, join us in my Facebook group – Videos for Professional Services.

Every time I publish an article on my blog, I receive an automated video.

“It’s so easy,” they say, “you don’t have to do anything. You publish an article and we deliver a professional looking, quality social video for your article directly to your inbox that will…”

beach lifeWell, take your pick but my preferred outcome would be: ‘make me a million without having to lift a finger while sitting on the beach and living the laptop life,’ or some such variation on the theme.

Yeah, right. Bring it on!

So, how come that I keep receiving such miraculous automated videos? And do they make any sense at all?
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7 million times more productive
On Wednesday, 4 weeks after my hard disk saga kicked off (see here if you haven’t read it), I finally received my 2TB Barracuda drive for my editing machine. It works.

That made me think.

Do I …work?

How much more productive has technology made me after 30 years of computer use?
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Customer Service?
It all sounds so wonderful… We are here to serve you… We are here to help… Our customers/clients are our priority…

But do they REALLY MEAN it?

When you look deep down into the soul of your business and examine its heart, does customer service really reside there?

Or are these phrases just fluff hiding the wool that is pulled over the unsuspecting punter’s eyes?

Let me show you why I have recently become extremely cynical about all these “we love our clients” claims.
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Are we allowed to use other people’s content in our videos?

There is so much great stuff floating around freely on the internet. Surely, we are allowed to use it, right?


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How about having your own Corporate Video on your website? A real blockbuster that makes you stand out from the competition, shows you as the authority you are and generates clients queuing for your service?

No? Too expensive?

I agree.

What about a corporate STYLE video, instead?


Let me tell you why this is a really bad idea.

What Do Corporate Videos Look Like?
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What do you think we should focus on: our Market or our Brand?
Should we be Marketing or Branding?

Actually, it’s a trick question. For Professional Service Providers, Marketing is at the same time also Branding provided that our Marketing is done right.

And what does AIDA have to do with it?

Absolutely everything!

What is AIDA?
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How much is a video?

Cost is probably THE first item on your mind when you think about having a video done for your website.

Don’t worry, you are not alone. It usually is THE first question people keep asking me.

Well, my answer is as you might expect, IT DEPENDS.

Here is what it depends on:
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