Are You Camera-Ready? Zoom-Ready? Teams-Ready? Video-Ready?
When reviewing my 10X versus 2X activities for the past year, I was surprised to identify how many weeks of waste still exist in my calendar in a given year, primarily due to travel. My regular readers know I am not one to travel to every trade show and I discourage others from mindlessly attending the same industry events year after year. As I say, it surprises me to see the waste in black and white.
I’ve written previously about 10X is Easier than 2X by Dan Sullivan and Benjamin Hardy. It’s about focusing on activities that can 10X your business. Most of us spend too much time on things that will only achieve 2X, if that, on a timeline that’s too long.
I mapped my past year and found that even giving a 30-minute presentation in a distant city might cost me 3-days of event travel, and several days of preparation time. For those who don’t speak in public regularly, it is a performance for which one must prepare. If you don’t do this, you might not be as effective as you think. Speaking events were one form of travel; just offering it as an example here.
Wasted days in the calendar aren’t just from distant travel, but can also be from traversing across town for a single 20-minute meeting. Lots of people do this sort of scheduling without thinking too much about it. I encourage you to add it up. Reston, VA to downtown DC, for example. Annapolis, MD to the Navy Yard in DC. Norfolk, VA to Chesapeake, VA. If you’re honest with yourself, you’ll see that it adds up.
What’s the alternative?
I recall a specific moment in 2003 when the use of small digital cameras was proliferating rapidly. Incorporating cameras into phones was just upon us. I was admittedly slow to appreciate where the technology was moving. “Who would need a camera embedded in their phone?” I asked rhetorically. Today, the recollection is comical. However, I wasn’t the only one to miss the emerging transition that digital imaging would allow – remember Kodak? They were an inventor of the digital camera, and they missed it too! After filing for bankruptcy in 2009, they sputter along as a shadow of their former self.
Flash forward 20 years to today. The pandemic forced us all onto videoconferencing supporting remote work to a degree we had not imagined. This environmental “threat” (from our SWOT exercises) likely accelerated the adoption of remote work by ten years, whether we like it or not. Even the biggest brand names shifted to nearly 100 percent remote through the heart of the pandemic, and many now signal a larger percentage of remote work is here to stay.
Regardless of your personal feelings about remote work and connection by video links, this is a permanent shift that now makes economic sense and has proved more manageable than some could previously envision. But you can still share more than your pretty face by videoconference. Are you doing so?
Today we communicate with images and visual technologies. These technologies will only improve their ability to convey vivid detail. Bill Gates previously thought that screen quality would be the limiting factor preventing the widespread adoption of digital books. He may have been right until he was wrong. People adapted to the screens, the screens improved, and digital technology allows books to be produced more economically and delivered much more quickly.
As we now know, social media writ large is a visual medium. Short, tightly worded captions say all that needs to be said. Video clips do the same thing. They can be humorous TikToks or links to longer and more thoughtful messages.
I recall being at lunch with a young and successful CEO. This CEO took out his phone and snapped a picture of lunch at a new place. Again, the gesture grabbed my attention in the moment’s unexpectedness and perhaps cemented the difference in my mind of generational differences incorporating digital images into most aspects of our lives.
So you know all of this stuff.
But are you weaving the capability of video into your work with your customers? I regularly incorporate short video clips into discussions within my customer constellation and my client’s customer constellations. Creative use of even a short 30-90 second clip can frame your issue for your audience far more quickly than you can do so with words and PowerPoint slides. Embrace it.
Without the ability to use nonverbal cues of in-person conversation, you need to be creative with how you communicate with your customer constellation. When someone sees your issue come to life in a video or with select, high-quality images, they “get it” quickly.
You may be reluctant to put yourself on camera. “I don’t like how I look,” you say. Trust me, that’s how you look. Dan Rather’s book, The Camera Never Blinks, was written in 1987—36 years ago. Get over it and get on with it.
For a copy of my book, Pitching the Big Top: How to Master the 3-Ring Circus of Federal Sales, and more information on federal sales, visit Capitol Integration.