When anyone starts their own business, the list of things to do, systems to create, and templates to build can feel endless and overwhelming. It takes perseverance and no small degree of mental/emotional fortitude to finish them all, but the satisfaction once you have those replicable systems in place is immense. And then you remember one that you still had yet to do….
Recently we were brainstorming ways to further raise awareness amongst potential clients. One of our avenues was to some of our trusted associates to see if we could tap into their wisdom. The response from one of them was “What about a digital deck?“
A Digital What?
We had heard the term before, but had admittedly connected a digital deck with presentations, something you might show prospective clients in face-to-face meetings. (If you’re of a certain age this may also conjure up images of slide deck carousels and the mechanical click of briefcase-sized projectors…)
Of course, the term might apply to that sort of deck, but what we are really talking about here is a short video that succinctly explains what you do, what makes you unique and why someone should hire you. This is definitely a handy tool that could be posted on a website & social media. This link can then be sent to prospective clients – or those who were willing to spread the word about your business. And this was something we hadn’t created yet…
Creating a Digital Deck
So, the next question was “How should we best go about creating our digital deck?“, particularly given that we wanted to do this ourselves.
Firstly, we took a look at other decks/videos out there right now and this gave us a feel for the look we wanted (bright, fun, insightful, maybe a bit quirky). The length is variable – from 30 second promos/commercials to 10-min in-depth features, but the average is around 3 to 6 minutes.
For our needs, we decided that the best way to achieve what we wanted was to create a slideshow and then record a voiceover (of us) going through the presentation. While a professional video design company may create something very slick, we wanted to something that reflected who we are, and even if it sounded a bit ‘homemade’, that would be a good thing as it would allow viewers to connect with us on a more personal level.
Next up was the script which went through MULTIPLE drafts to wittle down the text to something that communicated our message, but didn’t contain any (much?) extra ‘fluff’.
The Digital Deck Toolbox
Finally, we took a look at what software and hardware we would need. In the end, here’s what we decided upon:
- Keynote (Apple) – Keynote allows you to put together a pretty amazing presentation with professional-grade animation effects (PowerPoint would work as well, of course). The temptation to go overboard with these visual tricks is definitely there though, so we had to show a fair bit of constraint...
- ScreenFlow (Telestream) – A really excellent video recording and editing software package. It’s a little pricey at over $100, but completely worth it as it allows you to record your screen along with your audio, add music or other audio tracks and intuitively (and powerfully) edit your video and then export it to a web-friendly format.
- Yeti USB Mic (Blue) – Also a little over $100, but well worth it for its quality and usability. We wanted professional-sounding audio and the Yeti delivers
- Royalty-free Music (TunePocket) – We wanted an interesting, ear-catching soundtrack, and TunePocket’s catalogue and ability to filter/search for the style(s) of music you are looking for allowed us to pick a couple of ideal tracks. TunePocket offers subscriptions, but we just went with a flat-rate for up to five tracks.
After a fair bit of practicing, rehearsing and tweaking, we were ready to record and while it did take us a few takes to get it exactly how we wanted it – with a lot of laughter and maybe a bit of swearing along the way – we were able to get an excellent final result. Editing the video/audio and adding in the chosen soundtracks was a breeze with ScreenFlow, and once we had finished, we had ourselves a kickass ‘digital deck’!
While this is yet another item to add to an entrepreneur’s to-do list, the benefits of having it done, uploaded and sharable are immense.
Please check out our deck, let us know what you think and we hope it inspires you. Even better, please pass on this link to our digital deck to anyone you think may be interested!
Until next time…
Namaste & Be Well,