If you told Ari Baum he is a video superstar, he’d quickly tell you he was no Brad Pitt. Okay, it’s true, Ari isn’t a Hollywood A-lister. He’s a financial advisor running a practice called Endurance Wealth Partners in New York City. And unlike Brad, who seems pretty confident in the spotlight, Ari didn’t always gravitate to the camera.
For many financial advisors, the idea of being in a video is about as appealing as a trip to the dentist. Ari was once in that camp and he knew it was holding him back from his business growth goals. “One of the challenges that us financial advisors have is we’re our own worst secret.”
In 2020, during the pandemic, Ari decided to launch a video marketing campaign to reach the prospects and clients he couldn’t meet in person. He believed in the power of video to connect, but he wasn’t excited to record. He did it anyway. Check out this clip from that first video and then a clip from one of his recent videos:
“Night and Day” Transformation
When Ari watches these two clips, he says it’s like night and day. In his first videos he battled with what he calls a self-imposed barrier. The mindset that video is hard or that people will judge you is what most commonly holds advisors back from recording videos. Ari just quieted those voices in his head, ripped off the bandaid, and recorded. And each time he did it, he found he felt more comfortable.
“It’s like riding a bike, you know, if you’re teaching your kids, they think it’s impossible, but once they get going, it feels easier,” says Ari.
Two Tips to Become your own Brad
At Idea Decanter, we have a saying: Your first video is your worst video.
It may seem frightening to a first-timer, but it might help to know that you will only improve with experience. Ari puts it more bluntly. “Be prepared to suck,” he says with a laugh, “And know that your audience doesn’t expect you to be perfect.”
Use the feedback and encouragement you’ll get from clients as motivation to keep going. Ari says every time a client emailed, called, commented, or mentioned that they liked his video or his message, it empowered him to keep going. Even when he didn’t feel confident on camera. “It’s not like I’m some polished Hollywood actor, but people connect to that authenticity.”
Stick with it. Ari compares the leaps he made in on-cam performance to going to the gym. “The first time you do it, you get through it and you feel sore the next day. So you might not be as good, but the more you go back, guess what? You get more comfortable with it. You get used to it.”
You’re not going to get 6-pack abs from recording videos (though Ari says that would be a great motivator), but you will enjoy the results. He sure has! Since starting to record, Ari has experienced a 2.5X growth in his book of business which he directly links to consistently releasing videos [read about it here].
Hitting the Big Time on NASDAQ-TV
Not long ago, Ari was scrolling through LinkedIn, when saw a call for advisors to submit a question to NASDAQ-TV. If selected, the advisor would be invited to appear on set to record a segment for the show. A few years back, Ari would’ve scrolled on. But thanks to his on-cam experience, he decided to submit a question.
Not only was Ari’s question picked, after he recorded the segment, the producer told him he was one of the best guests they’d had on the show. Many advisors get nervous being in front of the cameras, getting the mic clipped on, under the bright lights. For Ari, the studio wasn’t that different from going through the steps to set up his shot for recording videos. He uses lights, a mic, and other gear and he had done it so many times that the studio didn’t set his heart racing. “That muscle was developed through Idea Decanter,” Ari says. “You helped me find my voice.”
Today, Ari will tell you he is much more comfortable on camera than he was back in 2020. So comfortable, in fact, that he was invited back for a second guest appearance on NASDAQ-TV. Watch out Brad Pitt!