“Same day dry cleaning” is only the name of the shop, and other lies.

This is your weekly column. Well, when I said week, I only meant I’d publish it, you know, in a week. Not like weekly. Or on a schedule. And I didn't say which week it'd start.

But then political untruths seem to be in this week. Like Countries committing economic suicide. That kind of thing.

We once bought “smokeless dripless candles” from a corner shop on the way to a birthday party. Those candles melted faster than any birthday candle I have ever seen, wax all over the cake, black smoke pouring off the candles. It was both horrible and acrid to watch, and very, very funny. A bit like British politics.

Last week on Thursday I was in New York. I say this obviously to impart glamour. Add an air of worldly sophistication. A nuance.

I was there on business – hosting a session at the TSAM conference, which is all about suits and finance. Seeing as I had never chaired a conference session before and this was in a room of Americans, as a native brit I was trying my hardest not to be British, and be interactive and have fun with the audience.

The session went well. Largely down to the panellists who were smart and funny. It was too early for anyone to be drunk, anyway.

Channelling the spirit of Gary Vaynerchuck (hilariously sweary American entrepreneur. In fairness he’s not actually dead) I asked the audience of 50 client reporting people how many of them were marketing to their clients like it’s 2016. “How many of you…are using video?”.

One hand.

You’re understandably appalled. Me too. I felt smug for all of 10 seconds. Until I realised I have no video on my own site. None. Nada. Nil.

That’s not to say it doesn’t matter. I have plenty of ideas for video. I know exactly what I want the films to look like. I have a script in mind, and the truth is – perfection is the enemy of the good.

It’s also because when I have a choice between picking up the phone to call a client about work, or sorting out the video – the client comes first. This is the problem that most of us in a B2B business face. Video is nice. But we secretly think that we get hired because of our years of experience. Because we go to events. I understand my clients – because I’ve been in their shoes. And I’m busy, so who needs it?

I’m not actually that cocky. I know that video is vital…and yet I drag my heels. Unfamiliar territory brings fear, and if there’s one this that B2B businesses do exceptionally well, it’s creating a honed fear of screwing their reputation. We’d rather do one beautiful thing than 20 shoddy ones. This is human rationalisation in action - my thoughts on video : "I'm bad at it, therefore it must not be important". Nice one, brain. Thanks. 

Alas, it’s a new world. Your content has to be good, but it also has to have volume. Body. It has to be like 1980’s hair. BIG. SHINY. Flammable. Fit for MTV.

Despite next week’s intake of interns, and current client workload, I’m determined to create my first, probably terrible video. Why? Well, when we arrived back at the hotel at 1am in New York, having been cocktail-hopping with fellow conference peeps, I saw the Brexit result. I was horrified. I also realised that as the pound would skydive, my chances of selling my services to my American cousins would go up. Despite my childhood wishes (fuelled by too much science fiction and Wizard of Oz), there is apparently no time travel and no ruby red instant transport slippers.

Seeing as I can’t be in two places at once, I guess it’s time to embrace a bit of video schmoozing.

Yes, I said SCHMOOZING. I fell ever so slightly in love with New York. I’m hoping the states doesn’t commit Trumpicide. I’d like to go back.

So fellow B2B’ers – what are you avoiding: Video? Twitter? Snapchat?

All of the above?

Confess all here. It’s time to make some smokeless, dripless candles and weekly columns.



Hannah LewisComment