Getting Value from Zoom and Video Conferencing | Up and to the Right | Episode 036

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Show Notes

If you haven't heard of Zoom, you probably will. Zoom is a video and teleconferencing platform that has seen a large increase in use as businesses change the way they communicate.

They've been in the press for two major reasons lately. One - the explosive growth during social distancing. 2nd they have been faulted for security concerns.

There is a great opportunity here for us to lean in to a new tool that can help us add value to our business but how do we get real value out of Zoom and other video conferencing tools?

Let's get value from our video!

For more detailed information listen to the audio version of the podcast or watch the livestream recording.

Business Principle(s)

  • Effective Use of Resources

Two Part Series

Episode 036 (this one) - Getting Value Out of Video Conferencing

Episode 037 (next one) - Getting the Most for Your Video Conferencing Money

Is Video Conferencing Secure?

No

Nothing on the internet is 100% secure.

Having said that, there are things we can do to reduce the risk.

Yes

While nothing on the internet is 100% secure, there are some best practices we can use to reduce the risk.

  • Don't publicly publish meeting links (URLs).
  • Use 'invitation only' meetings so you can have positive control of your attendees (if needed)
  • Have a backup plan so you know what you're going to do if something goes wrong with a meeting.

Some Video Conferencing Platform Examples

  • Zoom
  • Skype
  • Webex
  • Google Hangouts (Shutting Down 2020?)
  • Join.me
  • Zoho Meeting

What's the Difference?

There are basic functions that you will find in all of these platforms:

  • Video
  • Audio
  • Chat
  • Share Screen

Where they differ is in the additional features and cost structure used. Some examples include:

  • Multiple Presenters
  • Recording
  • Scheduling
  • Calendar Integration
  • Full Screen Video
  • Participation (clap, thumbs up, raise hand)

Cost ranges from free to around $10/month for most of these. There are higher costs for more advanced features or number of participants but these are less likely to apply to small business owners.

Replacing IRL Events

Some in-person events that you can use as a starting point for your video conferencing adventure are:

  • Stay Social While Your Distant - see other humans!
  • Workshops
  • Customer Calls w/Presentation
  • Customer Calls
  • Customer Service Calls
  • In Person Consults
    • Is there some part of your in-person service that you can do over video?
    • What portion of your in-person service is talking/listening? What is that worth?

Notes:

  • Now is a great time to practice getting into video - everyone's new at it so expectations are low.
  • Be the better video user and you're ahead of the curve!

Getting Value Out of Video Conferencing

It's just a meeting - run it that way. Have an agenda. As small business owners we don't have time for high level meetings with lofty goals and no resulting action. We need our meetings to end with who is going to do what by when. That doesn't change just because we went to video. Create, distribute (if appropriate) and stick to an agenda.

Test your setup in advance with the equipment you plan to use in the call. In addition to testing your camera and microphone in the setup of the software - test it with another participant so you can get feedback about the experience.

In some ways you're going to have to also learn to 'let it go'... because you don't have control of the meeting environment like you would on premises. Your participants will have a wide variety of possible concerns:

  • Internet Bandwidth
  • Technical Knowledge
  • Video Etiquette
  • 'Office' =
    • Kitchen
    • Bedroom
    • Dining Room
    • Garage
    • Basement

Have a plan for dealing with disruptions either by planning ahead to avoid high traffic periods in people's homes or by setting expectations early that if a disruption occurs it will be handled 'like this' - whatever that means for your situation.

Set expectations early on in the video call and check with participants before hand (if possible) to see if there are any considerations you need to be aware of.

Get to know your software in advance. Test and become familiar with the features you expect to use and at least gain a working knowledge of the features you don't plan on using because you never know when another participant may be more familiar with the software than you are. Be sure the review the basic functions at the beginning of the video conference and avoid asking 'if anyone is unfamiliar with this software' - no one likes to get called out in public.

Stay engaged in the call. I shared in the live stream and audio podcast that I had cheated this week in a couple of calls but it got me thinking. Every situation is different and these weren't 'sales' or customer calls but the idea is still worth considering. I turned off my video and microphone so I was half listening but mostly working on other things. In retrospect I should have...

Just dropped off the call and put my full attention to other work.

-or-

Turned my camera back on and paid attention to the program.

Of course, this is especially important when we're on a call with a customer, vendor, investor, prospect etc. Video gives us just enough insulation from the situation to be dangerous. When in doubt give the call your full attention.

Practical Action

Brainstorm some ways that you can continue to engage your customers and other business contacts through video. Referring to last week's episode Let's Build a Revenue Stream - are there ways you can create value using video so you can still generate income?

Decide what features you will need in your video conferencing platform that will support the ideas you just brainstormed and find a good fit.

Try it, test it, break it and fix it. Work through the bugs with a trusted colleague as you go through a scenario or two.

Do it. That's it... no more procrastinating!

The Aftershow

During the live stream I didn't talk about HIPAA compliance when using video conferencing for medical practice business owners. This is a very important point that, as a provider, you will need to review and address if you plan to incorporate video in a way that might divulge a customer's medical information. When looking for a video conferencing provider you'll need to ask direct questions about your specific applications and requirements whether it's HIPAA or other legal or regulatory considerations.

I also don't remember talking about recording functions. This is a very useful feature for meetings that you want to post for later viewing. Just be sure to notify people that they are being recorded.

Resources

Here are links to the video conferencing services I mentioned.

Zoom

Go to Meeting

Webex

Join.me

Zoho Meeting

Skype

Google Hangouts

Closing

What are your tips for great video conferences? Put a comment in and share them!

Click the link above or use your favorite pod catcher to listen to the full episode.

Thanks for watching or listening!

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