Help – my client is hard to pin down about video content

by Teena Hughes

My client is hard to pin down - smart phone and cloudsToday’s question about content and video marketing is a good one!

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Or read the Transcript:

Matt wrote:

My client is hard to pin down about video content

I totally understand this situation because I’ve seen it myself — and I do have suggestions on how to handle it.

There are two parts to this, in my humble opinion:

  1. the client can’t come up with or think of any content
  2. the client really doesn’t have time to do this, and is probably already feeling overwhelmed by his business and the need to increase his revenue, so is feeling pressured.

Perhaps I can best explain how to proceed by telling you how I helped a client with the same type of situation.

I removed the client’s pressure by doing two simple things:

  1. I came up with a list of potential topics for his videos
  2. I made sure he didn’t have to write a word, send an email or doing anything which felt time-consuming to him.

Coming up with a list of potential topics for videos

If you’re the one making the videos for your client, or if you’re the business owner who knows they need “content”, I’d like you to take a step back and think about these points whether you’re the video maker or the client:

  • if you understand what “content” means, it can feel overwhelming just thinking about it
  • if you have to write down the ideas for content, finding the time to do so might may create even more pressure.

I asked to meet with my client for an hour. I explained we were just going to “chat” about his business and I’d ask him some questions, and record his answers by using my smart phone.  I also explained that this was just to show him one way we could proceed, to take the pressure off him.

I also told my client that by recording the questions and answers, it helped ME to get a better understanding of his business, so we may not ever use the recordings, but it would be a win-win for both of us.  He was happy with that, and said yes, he could schedule a ONE HOUR APPOINTMENT.

So straight away he’s done the most important thing required — he made the time to talk about his business with someone who can help him.

The One Hour Meeting

We we met, I got my iPhone out and briefly explained how I can make little videos and record us talking. I asked him a few questions about his business, things which were of interest to me, and I recorded my voice with the camera aimed at the client. I told him I would press record but there was no pressure on him to ‘look beautiful’ (he liked that) or be photogenic (he liked that even better 🙂

I told him I would just take one 10 second video to make sure the light and sound were good enough to proceed and he said that was fine. We both looked at the short video and agreed it looked and sounded pretty good.

Now it was my turn to start the friendly chatting. He started to answer my questions and I’d record him on video, and then I would ask a question based on his response. I’d then stop the video and ask him if he had any more info about that question. If he did, I’d start recording again and ask another question. We did this for an hour, and at the end of it I had recorded enough short Questions & Answers video clips to turn into about 10 little videos.

The key is to take SHORT videos so the client doesn’t feel like they’re not allowed to make mistakes or stumble over words etc.

  • Tell him/her if they make a mistake, make a noise 3 times with their mouth or clap their hands 3 times, repeat the phrase correctly this time and keep going. This helps me find the booboo and edit it out.

The easy bit

The questions EVOLVED based on his answers and my interest, so he needed to explain to me as though I knew nothing about his business, which worked out well.

When the hour was almost up, I thanked him for his time and asked him whether he trusted me to make a few “demo” videos from our meeting, and see what he thought of them. He agreed and then said the magic words — “Is that all I have to do? No writing? No social media?”, and I confirmed he didn’t need to do anything else. His grin said it all 🙂


I have found through trial and error that it’s easy to get business owners to talk about their business if they’re passionate about it.

Recording them on video in a casual setting, over a coffee etc, makes it more relaxed.

No recording studio.

No guy holding a boom.

No bright lights.

Just two people chatting, one asking questions, and one answering honestly — and with passion.

The Result

When I got back to my office, I made two videos, added intro and outro to each, had some text appear strategically, had his name and business name as a “lower third”, and uploaded them where they could only be accessed by a password.

I rang my client and asked if he could check his emails and click the link I’d sent him.

I gave him the password, and asked him to watch the video while I was on the phone, and to give me his opinion.

He was blown away — instead of focussing on what he looked or sounded like, he was impressed by the simplicity of the video, and the quality of the branding, text etc which appeared at the right moments.

Each video was about 1.5 minutes long.

After he’d watched both of them, I asked if he’d be happy for this type of video to be shared online, to answer the questions many potential clients might have, and to represent his business in a friendly light, showing him as real, approachable and friendly.

He was blown away by them, and said “Absolutely!”

My client is hard to pin down - laptop and notebook

The Final Step

So then I asked him if he’d be happy for me to proceed making the other videos, to a total of 10 (agreed to in our video marketing contract), and he said yes.

My final question was this: “Would you be happy to spend an hour with me once a month to do the same thing, and then I can go away and make another 5-10 videos?”

His answer? “When can we start? How many months do you recommend?”

And that’s HOW to take the pressure of your client who feels like they have to (1) come up with the ideas and (2) write or create something for which they cannot find the time.

Other Video Marketing Client Content Ideas

  • ask your client if they have ever received a Testimonial of any description — whatever the answer, offer to make a series of video Testimonials — you can even contact the clients of their choice and set it all up, and provide the end result. Not local? Video testimonials can be done by the client and emailed to you, or connect via Skype.
  • ask your client if they’ve ever had any QUESTIONS about anything to do with their business. They’re bound to say yes, so this becomes the basis for the questions you ask in the one-hour sessions.
  • ask the client if they’ve ever had an amazing success story or result from a client — get them to talk about that on video, and if possible, ask to contact the other person who had the result and get a snippet of audio or video from them to add to the video.

“My client is hard to pin down about video content. What types of questions work best?”


ALL questions work best 🙂

  • An example — a Coffee shop — questions can include:  how to make 5-10 of their coffees, take videos of the barista or the business owner answering the questions; where do they source their beans etc from? what’s their favourite coffee and why?
  • A Dog Groomer — questions can include: the top 10 things to be aware of when grooming your pet; how to find the best dog groomer; what to look for in a dog groomer; how to tell if a dog groomer has bad reviews etc.
  • A Jewellery Maker — questions can include: the top 7 questions to ask before buying jewellery online; 5 tips on cleaning jewellery so it looks new; 7 ways to store and display your jewellery at home.
  • A Plumber — — questions can include: the top 7 reasons why drains and pipes block; 5 tips on how to make sure your drains are always free of debris; 15 questions to ask before hiring a plumber; what’s the difference between a quote and a final invoice, and why they may be different.
  • A Furniture Removalist — questions can include: top 15 things home owners should avoid when packing their apartment or house; 5 tips on how to easily calculate the amount of shipping space will be required;  the top 10 questions asked about furniture left in storage for 5 years or more.
  • A Website Designer — questions can include:  the top 20 questions to ask before hiring a web designer; understanding websites, hosting, domains and ecommerce;  25 ways to bring traffic to your website fast.
  • No matter what the business is, it is based on QUESTIONS — so it’s up to you to tap into those and use them.
  • People love stories — if every video becomes a mini story, the viewers will keep watching.
  • Videos need only be 30-60 seconds long, and once the intro and outro are added they will be about 60-90 seconds long – perfect!
  • When you have a series of Q&A videos, make sure they’re on Youtube (and other video distributors) and create Playlists of all types to showcase the videos in different categories.

I hope this has been helpful, let me know what you think.


"My client is hard to pin down" - office desk and speaker

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  • Walt
    August 12, 2015

    The print in the boxes is too light. I was guessing what went in them. lol
    I think that you have a webinar that you should do. It was excellent. I am going through a 5 hour Udemy course about video and I did get some useful information, but the cost in time was much greater than this.

  • Teena Hughes
    August 13, 2015

    Hi there Walter, thanks for dropping by! If you mean the text on the photo with the laptop, stop trying to read it — that isn’t MY computer screen, haha!

    Glad you enjoyed the article. When my video training courses are ready, I’ll let you know — rather than a 5 hour one, I’m making 5-10 min videos to a total of one hour for each Course, so it’s more doable and achievable in bite-size pieces 🙂


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