If you’re a business consultant, then you know how important it is to stay up to date with all the methods you can use to contact your clients. We all know the benefits of communicating and networking through the blogosphere, social media and LinkedIn – but when it comes to one-on-one communication, nothing short of meeting each other will come close to what a video call has to offer.
However, video calling isn’t a technology that’s received all too much attention these past few years – despite the fact that, as TechTarget pointed out, several people have heralded its cataclysmic capabilities in the future. When video calls on voice-over IP services began creating a buzz and a new standard for communication, the thought of paying for the service seemed ludicrous.
Need some examples of how video can be used within your brand or business? I have some great examples in this article here — such as how live events like CES and TedX events live stream their keynote speakers, so anyone who couldn’t attend the live event could actually see the conference and speakers live from their home or work office.
This most important thing to note about video conferencing of today, is that a lot has changed and progressed over the years. The technology available to most today is capable of a lot more than free services would have you believe – especially with a steady Internet connection. Between the lack of privacy and the inefficient software that free VOIP software is plagued with, premium services have the potential to really shine today – so long as people know how to use them. And given today’s dependencies on mobile devices and the Internet, it’s a wonder premium video conferencing adoption among trainers and consultants isn’t more widespread. Here’s why it should be:
Take on More Clients than Ever Before
When you host a video conference call on a service like Blue Jeans, it’s as easy as sending a customized URL link to a client and having them open it on their web browser – no matter what device they’re on. That means any client can be sent an email with an invitation link, and your consultation can begin immediately.
When you implement video conferencing into your existing brand, business and outreach, the following features and integrations can be put into play.
It’s easier than free services, but it keeps the benefits of video conferencing and actually enhances them through a multitude of applicable features. Another factor for meeting clients is location – it’s notoriously difficult to have a coffee with someone a few thousand miles away from you, as you can imagine. But video calling software allows you to very easily and casually eliminate that gap. Now you can watch each other drink coffee while discussing business, all from the comfort of your favorite cafés.
To further backup these statements and the importance of video conferencing, we can refer to this article from NetworkWorld.com, that showcases three different reasons why the use of video across all ages and demographics is growing in size.
Digitize Your Resources
One of the bigger benefits of the recent development in cloud computing is that file sharing has become incredibly easy – and widespread. Many high-quality video conferencing services utilize the cloud to facilitate several forms of communication – especially file sharing. That makes it easier for you to share certain examples or resources with your clients – articles, templates and presentations, lesson outlines, and so on.
This is especially helpful if you’re security conscious – which you should be. American companies lost the most money in cyber-attacks than any other country: 15.42 million dollars, versus Germany’s second-place statistic of 7.5 million dollars according to Statista.com. According to survey results on the website, 100 percent of American companies experienced viruses, 97 percent experienced malware attacks, and 76 percent experienced web-based attacks.
No matter what business you’re running online, you’re constantly open to attacks. Securing your client communications is critical to establishing a reputation for trust and quality, especially if you want clients to remember you as a consultant capable of confidentiality.
Unlike free services, a paid video conferencing tool will often guarantee off-site private data centers for its cloud operations, alongside encrypted communications – both for video and audio – to make sure that every second of communication goes over a secured network and remains inaccessible to uninvited eavesdroppers.
Save Time Through Screen Sharing
A newer, yet not fully-fleshed out service on many a free video conferencing software is the ability to share your screen. To consultants, this is an invaluable tool. Whether you’re giving advice on social media marketing and influence marketing, or whether you’re reviewing a client’s website for functionality and ease-of-use, the ability to actually have them see what you see on your screen and point out directly where the problem lies is great for explaining issues and tackling them appropriately.
This article goes into detail on the many different ways to start screen sharing through different devices and platforms like Google Hangouts, iPhones, Apple iMessage and iPads.
Premium services will let you broadcast your screen in full high-definition alongside crisp audio, replacing the need for you to go through all the trouble of a separate screen capture, uploaded to a video hosting website, and sent to the client via a URL.
Communicate Directly with Clients Everywhere
Location doesn’t matter when you’re using a video conference tool to do your consultation sessions – all you have to do is make out a time, and you can contact and speak to clients as they’re sitting in their Beijing hotel room prior to a large conference, or as they’re preparing their Monday morning meeting in their New York office.
Train Entire Companies in Real-Time
Finally, client-count won’t matter either. This means you can adapt your consulting material to not one, not two, but a dozen; two dozen; heck, even thirty different clients at once. You could offer live workshops with a live, face-to-face Q-and-A session at the end, you could offer training and consulting packages for entire departments – or even entire businesses – and so on. The sky is the limit at that point – so get creative.
No matter how big or small your business or organization is right now, if you aren’t using video to communicate with your team and those around you, you are simply missing out. Video has also become extremely powerful in the online marketing space as well, especially through live video consulting and webinars.