The $50,000 Video

I started a VT KnowledgeWorks member company one year ago.  I have spent that year, as all start-ups do, proving the merit of my product in the marketplace.

The products and services of my company – online public relations firm Handshake Media, Incorporated - emanate from the premise that people are more likely to do business with those they know rather than those they don’t, and that social media – blogs, videos on YouTube, communication and connection tools like Facebook and Twitter – provide opportunities for people to know and get known in new ways, if not in person, then virtually.  No matter how advanced technology becomes, that trust-engendering “It’s who you know,” word-of-mouth referral is still the scrip of business deals.

Perfectly logical to me.  Embraced by early adopters (thank you, my first clients!).  Harder to make happen than I, in all my exuberant, entrepreneurial optimism, expected. 

One year of effort produced for my clients lots of good words and goodwill, more prospects in the sales funnel and more website traffic through all those fragmented media channels - and the sense they had gotten a deal through a social media campaign.  But no direct way to trace it.

I got tears in my eyes when I received the call that one of my company’s products, a video on YouTube, had resulted in a deal.  ROI for my client.  Proof that it works.

Prior to starting my company, I worked in the public sector for a salary of not quite $50K. Since starting my one-year-old company, I have not taken a salary. 

That’s why I call this the $50,000 video.

Update 9/18/09:  Agh.  I learned that the phone call Energy Check received did NOT result in a booking for an energy audit after all.  In terms of ROI, my $50,000 video is now a $0 video.  Energy Check was kind enough to share, “Our clients who look at our website enjoy the video.  We are happy with the PR services we received from Handshake Media, Incorporated, and believe they are increasing our visibility and image as experts in our field."


For more on the story feel free to visit Energy Check Checks Out the Home of Handshake 2.0.


VT KnowledgeWorks is a unique growth enhancement program open to entrepreneurs in the New River Valley of Virginia and beyond.  Acceleration center and incubation facilities are located in the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center in Blacksburg, Virginia

VT KnowledgeWorks sponsors include Attaain, Inc., BB&T, Handshake 2.0, Harris Office Furniture, Hodges, Jones & Mabry, P.C., Latimer, Mayberry & Matthews IP Law, LeClairRyan, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) and The Becher Agency (TBA).

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