Video Email Creates Empathy — Towards You and Towards Everyone Else

GUEST: Ethan Beute, Chief Evangelist from BombBombB2B_Revenue_Executive_Experience-Ethan-Beute-02

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You’re your worst critic, especially when it comes to seeing yourself on camera.

You paused awkwardly, said ‘uh’ a million times, and your hair looks kinda weird.

Well, you know what? Send a video anyway.

I talked to Ethan Beute, Chief Evangelist from BombBomb, about the communication challenges of sending personal videos.

He started at BombBomb when there were about 200 customers, and now about eight years later, there are 45,000.

Today’s communication is choked by its sheer volume. “Only a handful of generations ago, almost all of our work was done face to face,” Ethan pointed out. “We’re setting all that stuff aside and we’re essentially hiding behind a cloak of digital anonymity.”

Plain text doesn’t build rapport. It doesn’t differentiate us. It doesn’t communicate as well as looking someone in the eye.

“We’re looking to help swing the pendulum back a little bit to a more personal and human way to communicate,” Ethan said.

We’re over-reliant on forms of communication that don’t let us sell with our best sales asset, which is us.”


Video Creates Empathy

Video is more effective, as well as more satisfying.

Young people may be digital natives and all, but any salesperson who gets into video could think this: This makes what I do fun again. This is why I got into sales.

“It is fun to have people feel like they know me before they meet me or get back in front of people,” Ethan said.

What video doesn’t do is let you hide.

“The thing we like about electronic communication is that it allows us to hide. We can carefully control every single word,” Ethan pointed out.

“We carefully curate what we share and we, you know, we finesse things and we control things,” he added. Which is exactly the hangup of the younger generation.

So digital natives don’t like video because it doesn’t let them take 35 photos and pick the best one, and older salespeople may be uncomfortable trying new tech.

“What this all gets down to is the issue of vulnerability. We are so uncomfortable with this idea of putting ourselves out there in a real and honest way because our mind tends to operate out of fear,” Ethan said. “We don’t look at that as an opportunity to make connections and to be accepted and loved.”

Video means overcoming that vulnerability and accessing empathy for the person you’re speaking to — more so than your own fear of rejection.

“The thing that stops anyone from getting started is around this issue of the discomfort of vulnerability and the challenge of being seen and heard in a more honest unproduced, casual, conversational way,” he said.

We are our own harshest critic, and we’re going to judge and finesse every frame of that video.”


Practice Builds Confidence, Confidence Builds Success

So, how do you overcome that basal fear of rejection and tap into the fun of video communication?


“So the high level takeaway here is that we are our own harshest critic and we’re going to judge and finesse every frame of that video,” Ethan said.

By practicing, Ethan suggests recording a video to someone you trust and sending it without watching it.

“Practice builds confidence, confidence builds success,” he said.

What not to do:

  • Acting like you’re recording a video and not recording it.
  • Recording a video and not sending it.

Practice means remembering that it’s not so much about what you say as it is about how you say it.

“If we’re sincere in our excitement about the product, service, opportunity that we’re representing, then what exactly you say and how exactly you say it, falls away,” Ethan said.

Practice builds confidence, confidence builds success.”


How to Actually Get Started

You can differentiate yourself in a powerful way with video by, you know, actually sending video.

Here’s how to build build psychological proximity and share your energy and enthusiasm with others.

“Take 10 minutes, one morning a week, and send about four thank you videos to people you know,” Ethan said.

You already know them, they already know you, and they’ve already done you a kindness.

It isn’t that hard to look someone in the eye and express gratitude. “In an even more personal and human way, this gift of time and attention cannot be faked,” Ethan said.

Thank-you video ideas:

  • Thanks for the meeting (client)
  • Thanks for the appointment (prospect)
  • Thanks for doing fantastic work (team member)
  • Thanks for the opportunity (supervisor)

“You’re going to start a feedback loop that will create this positive upward spiral that will break you out of that highly cognitive self judgment and rejection piece and get you more into the spirit of it rather than the thought of it,” Ethan said.

So I should always send a video?

Well, no. Just like everything, you need to mix it up.

But if you’re about to type four paragraphs to explain something, that might be a clue that a video would save you time.

“Anywhere you’re looking to convey emotion, video allows you to control the tone of the message,” Ethan pointed out.

If you’re thinking of writing with some bad news or an apology, send a video instead.

“We’re over-reliant on forms of communication that don’t let us sell with our best sales asset, which is us,” Ethan said.

“When your customers send these videos out to their people, their people don’t just feel closer to them. They also feel closer to their people,” he added. “So there’s something about this process of looking at the camera, the lens, and being who you are and speaking directly to one person that creates some relational foundation that people find more satisfying.”

Connect with Ethan on his LinkedIn, send him an email at, or read his fantastic book, Rehumanize Your Business.

This post is based on a B2B Revenue Executive Experience podcast with Ethan Beute of BombBomb. To hear this episode, and many more like it, subscribe to the B2B Revenue Executive Experience.

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