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Brandee Sweesy is friend of mine and an expert on Google Hangouts. Specifically, she’s a leading Hangout Marketing expert. With 20 years of marketing and public speaking experience Brandee helps coaches, speakers, online thought leaders and businesses to Engage! Ignite! Expand! their audiences with Google Hangouts and live video. With her unique strategies she helps clients drive thousands of viewers and thousands of dollars in sales every month using Google Hangouts.
I met Brandee at an impromptu mastermind and barbecue last time I was out in San Diego, which is truly becoming the “Silicon Valley” of Internet Marketing as well as being a great city!
What is a Google Hangout?!
In case you’re not familiar with them a Google Hangout (or Hangout on Air or HOA) is what Google describes as “the unification of their video, voice and chat.” In one sense it’s similar to Skype in that you can have up to 10 people chatting (“hanging out”) live on video. The magic is that it also streams live to your YouTube channel where any number of people can tune in to watch. And… it’s completely free – doing something like this would have cost you thousands just a year or two back!
“Tripping” into Google Hangouts
Brandee did her very first Hangout to help launch another brand. With very little promotion and just 36 hours’ notice that Hangout had 700 viewers!!! At this point Brandee realized she was onto something big and began to learn about Hangouts properly. An important distinction that she makes is that she’s a Hangout Marketing Expert as opposed to a Hangout Expert. In other words, it’s the marketing side she’s interested in and she doesn’t get too hung up on the tech side.
Brandee does high-end consulting with household name clients as well as offering courses teaching people how to use Google Hangouts.
Falling down flat!
The best entrepreneurs have tasted failure as well as success – in other words, at some time in their journey they’ve fallen completely flat! What sets the most successful apart from the rest is their ability to pick themselves up, learn the lessons and move on: don’t let failure (or success for that matter) define you.
In the context of a run at Oprah, Brandee explains that as an entrepreneur you can only “connect the dots backwards” (listen in at the 11’00” mark for how she explains this).
“Embrace your failures because your failures are only setting you up for bigger successes.” — Brandee Sweesy
“YouTube marketing on nitrous”
The most neglected part of Hangouts is what Brandee calls “YouTube marketing on nitrous.” YouTube marketing on its own is very effective… However, Hangouts will outrank anything on Google (note that Google owns YouTube so this obviously helps!).
They rank so well that they can be number one on Google before the broadcast even starts!
Keys to successful Hangout marketing:
When you set your Hangout up be sure to do the following things:
- Keyword tag it
- Title it properly with the sort of relevant “How to” phrases that people are searching for
- Put in a good description
- Include a call to action (CTA) at the start of your description making sure that it’s above the fold
- Don’t forget to also include a CTA in the Hangout itself when you tell people what you want them to do
When I asked Brandee how Hangouts and being known as a Hangout marketing expert had helped position herself and her business the word she used to describe the transformation was “Insane!” People began describing Brandee as the “overnight success” – and it had only taken 20 years in marketing for that “overnight success” to happen!
Brandee did that first Hangout on 6th April 2013 and then… Boom!
By the end of May someone had offered to publish her. In June Brandee was asked to speak on stage at Social Media Marketing World. The trajectory was rapid and “crazy” and now Brandee has clients who are world famous. (She does mention one of them in passing during the interview – first name only. See if you can catch who it is!)
Now Brandee is “on the map” she has a platform to share her other ideas in addition to her Hangout expertise.
Taking massive action
One of Brandee’s clients – who had never done a Hangout before – went from zero to 2,000 subscribers in less than 30 days. In the process he attracted millionaire clients to his high-end mastermind. There are two keys to this kind of success:
- Taking massive action
- Being consistent: success doesn’t happen overnight – you have to keep going and keep improving.
Remember: success comes from MIA = Massive Imperfect Action (one of my favorite acronyms)
One of the things that Hangouts bring is the ability to connect with people by being transparent and authentic live on air. Your prospects, fans and followers get to see the real you and this is tremendous for relationship building. The more natural you can be and the more you can share your story with people the more successful you are likely to be.
The future Google Hangouts
The amount of money and bandwidth Google have pumped into Hangouts is astronomical. NASA, Richard Branson, the White House and big movies all do Hangouts. New features are being added all the time and it has been HD for a while now. Could Google be positioning to take over from traditional broadcasting with Hangouts and live streaming HD video?
Even though technically they are YouTube videos, Hangouts outrank YouTube videos because they are current and relevant.
People are starting to up their game on Hangouts and bring ever higher levels of production quality. This is allowing them to begin to compete on a much more level playing field with the traditional broadcast media using “a free software that Google provides and loves because it’s their baby!”
Amazing really when you stop and think about it!
Getting started with Google Hangouts
You can get started with Google Hangouts at very little cost. In fact you could start for free just using the built in webcam and mic on your computer. However, for a really small investment you can significantly up the quality of your production:
The webcam that Brandee recommends and which is used by a lot of the top marketers is the Logitech C920 which only costs around $70. (This is best used with a small tripod so that it can be set back a little from your computer.)
There are lots of good inexpensive microphones on the market. The one that I use and recommend for webinars and Hangouts is the Blue Nessie – it’s both excellent and stylish and gives really high sound quality at only around $70.
And for listening to other guests without their sound being picked up on your mic you can simply use whatever set of earbuds you already own.
Lighting is key so make sure your lighting is good. Strive to have plenty of light, but avoid backlighting yourself or you’ll appear in shadow.
Another key is to simply get started! Don’t put lots of pressure on yourself to create a massive production. And hour of TV time only has around 42 minutes of content so don’t feel like you have to come up with an hour of content right out of the gate. Try starting with a short 12 to 15 minute Hangout and then build from there if you need to (that may be all the time you need).
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Brandee’s favorite quote:
“Screw it just do it!” — Richard Branson
“Screw It, Let’s Do It” also happens to be the title of one of Branson’s bestselling books as well.
Business top tip:
Learn to dance with your demons. As an entrepreneur your “stuff” is going to come up – know this will happen and keep pushing forward.
How to connect with Brandee