In 1979, British new wave group the Buggles lamented the decline of radio and the rise of a new medium in its only hit song. “Video killed the Radio Star,” which foresaw the future of communication, became the first music video to air on MTV in the channel’s 1981 launch.

Video is still the way of the future, says Stephanie Holmes-Winton, CEO of the Money Finder in Halifax, particularly for financial advisors. It is an affordable and effective way to provide valuable information to clients and prospects while building your reputation as an expert.

Holmes-Winton offers the following tips to help you engage clients and prospects with video:

> Lead with a question
In order to give your video a strong focus, Holmes-Winton suggests, begin your video by posing a question that arouses interest.

As with any marketing material, you have only a few seconds to capture your audience’s attention so your first challenge is to captivate them right off the top.

Also, avoid making your video sound like an advertisement. That, Holmes-Winton says, will only “turn your audience off.”

So, instead of starting your video with: “My name is John Doe, from XYZ Financial,” start with a question, such as: “Did you know that only half of Canadian parents are taking full advantage of their RESP benefits?”

Positioning your video as an educational tool rather than a sales tool will help you engage your audience and increase the likelihood that it they will share it.

> Stay compliant
Make sure your compliance department has approved everything you will discuss in your video — before you start shooting.

One way to help simplify this process is to forward a clear outline of your topic and your discussion points to your compliance department. Often, bullet points on the ideas you pan to cover will suffice.

Says Holmes-Winton: “Compliance isn’t trying to prevent investor education.”

> Turn on the charm
Making sure you are prepared with your content is important. But how you deliver your message is equally crucial to the success of your video.

If you have never appeared in front of the camera before, Holmes-Winton suggests, try a few dry runs before shooting your final take. Screen them to see whether you are satisfied with your onscreen presence. Make sure you are speaking audibly and that you are conveying a positive image.

As well, pay close attention to your energy level. On video, you typically need to ramp up the energy beyond the way you would normally act, in order to not appear dull. Finding the right level of animation is important to maintaining your audience’s interest throughout your video.

> Avoid “perfectionism paralysis”
Don’t stress yourself out about having a broadcast-quality video worthy of Steven Spielberg.

As long as your video looks professional and you come off as authentic and genuine, Holmes-Winton says, your audience will likely forgive any minor imperfections.

There is no need to rent an expensive studio. Shooting in your office — with good lighting and sound quality — will put you in good standing.

This is the second instalment in a four-part series on using video as a business-building tool.

Next week: Setting up your own “channel.”