This guest post is from Hal Kaufman, an adoptive parent and the Founder of My Adoption Advisor.
I stole “Good is the Enemy of Great” from James C. Collins, the author of Good to Great, a book about how few organizations – schools, governments, businesses, etc. – achieve greatness, principally because they’re good.
Adopting parents use an adoption video to share who they are with potential birth parents.
I have viewed a lot of adoption profile videos and some are definitely good. Few are great.
Why is making a great video important? What’s the different between a good adoption profile video and a great one? And even if you happen to make a great video, why isn’t that enough?
Let’s get to the answers.
The Importance of a Great Video
Matching with your future child’s birth parents is YOUR responsibility.
You may choose to outsource it to an agency or attorney, but it’s still your choice to do that and ultimately, your responsibility.
By the way, don’t completely outsource matching. Complement what someone else may be doing with your own efforts. As a group, those who do this see more opportunities and adopt more quickly. Stop waiting to adopt!
To match, you need to do an amazing job creating an image in the mind of potential birth parents of what their child’s life may be like as a member of your family.
YOU own your hard copy profile, adoption website, social media pages, and yes, adoption video.
There are two key reasons why creating a great adoption video is particularly important.
You Need to Attract Millennials
If you are looking to adopt an infant, you need to make a strong connection with someone who is considering placing their child for adoption. You need to connect with a Millennial because Millennials are 15-35 years old right now.
Do you know what else they are? They’re quickly bored and impatient. They’re not big readers. They’re also always connected through mobile devices and they live on social media.
If you have a hard copy profile sitting on a shelf somewhere, how do you feel about that now? That traditional adoption profile can work, but there are A LOT of other avenues for you, too.
What’s a great tool for sharing a story and making an emotional connection with someone who is on a mobile device, is impatient, and doesn’t love to read?
The answer is the same for business people focused on content marketing. VIDEOS!
You Need to Stand Out
The second reason that an adoptive parent video is so important is because it helps you stand out from the crowd.
There are more people looking to adopt and fewer people making adoption plans.
Most adopting parents only do what is required of them. They check the boxes.
In terms of a tool for introducing yourself to potential birth parents, the checkbox is usually just a hard copy profile (and most of those tend to look alike to potential birth parents).
Sometimes an agency requires adopting parents to create a website, too. We’ve created more than 200 adoption websites for adopting parents.
A few agencies require adopting parents to have a social media presence, but that is by far the exception and not the rule.
Very few agencies and attorneys require adopting parents to create an adoption profile video. If you want to stand out, you need to do what most others fail to do.
Good vs. Great
Not that many people create an adoption video in the first place, but for those who do, most of the videos are good.
Few videos are great, and therein lies your BIG opportunity.
If we define a “good” video as the typical adoption video we see today, it’s mostly a collection of the same photos that are in the hard copy profile plus some zoom/pan effects, background music, and a few title overlays. That’s it.
A “great” video contains…wait for it…ACTUAL VIDEO!
This doesn’t mean you need to set up the camera on a tripod in your living room and sit on the couch and talk. Instead, think action video.
What do you love to do that is important for potential birth parents to know? Bake? Play sports or board games? Bike or hike? Travel? Host dinners or barbeques with friends and family? Read a good book on the couch with your cat? Play with your nieces and nephews?
SHOW your loves and passions through video.
Plan your video. Keep it under 2 or 3 minutes, but plan it at a much smaller increment – maybe 15 seconds. What are the 10 topics you want to communicate for 15 seconds each?
Let’s say you enjoy cooking and hosting dinner parties. Shoot some video while shopping at your favorite grocery store, prepping and cooking in the kitchen, and finally, serving and enjoying your masterpiece.
There are definitely 10-15 interesting seconds in there.
Plan the audio, too. Think about your audio as a separate element from the video.
You can easily separate them during the editing process and then add audio that you record at a different time and/or place to any video segment you want.
For example, you don’t have to use the audio tied to the video of you grocery shopping. That’s boring and uninformative.
Instead, after you shoot the video, record audio of you talking about the great stores nearby your home; how you love to buy healthy, organic food; and a dessert you can’t wait to make with your child.
When you’re cooking, you can share a story about your favorite holiday dish. When you’re serving, you can talk about how fun it is after dinner to watch the little kids run around the backyard.
Imagine the possibilities that result from a little creativity and planning!
Finally, plan the titles. What (few) words are necessary to expand on the video and audio?
Don’t forget to share your website, social media pages, and contact information during the video. Also, the majority of people will view a video on social media without sound, so add subtitles for all spoken words.
After you have a great hard copy profile and maybe adoption website, social media pages, and now a video, it’s all about exposure – getting in front of as many potential birth parents as you can.
You’re responsible for this, too! Look at everything you’ve accomplished to get to this point. Don’t leave the last step to luck.
Be strategic when it comes to getting others to share your video. Your friends and family will share it, of course, but think bigger. MUCH bigger. Think VIRAL!
Remember the shopping, cooking, and serving video example? Where did you buy the groceries? Does the store or mall have a Facebook page? What about the appliances and cookware you used to prepare and serve the food? Does the manufacturer or retail store where you bought them have a strong online following? Where did you get the clothes you were wearing? What background music were you playing?
Your answers lead to potential people who may share your video and who likely have a lot of followers.
Some people or companies will decline, but others would love to help you (as they point out how the cookies just slide off of the non-stick pan they sell!).
You can help them market themselves as they help you do the same.
Get the idea? Ideally, do this brainstorming as you’re planning the video and not after you’ve shot it.
Maybe you’ll think to wear the Hedley and Bennett apron you bought at that trendy store at the mall (there are three companies to go after right there!).
The bottom line: Use an adoption profile video to more effectively connect with Millennials and differentiate yourself from everyone else.
And as long as you’re going through the effort, you may as well make it great and get the exposure you deserve. GO FOR IT!
This guest post is from Hal Kaufman, an adoptive parent and the Founder of My Adoption Advisor, an adoption consultancy. My Adoption Advisor has a unique expertise and breadth of services that focus on Millennial expectant parents and personal networking and advertising by adopting parents. The company, founded in 2008, offers interactive eLearning courses and adoption profile, adoption website, and online advertising services for adopting parents.
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