YouTube for Small Business: Trophy Boutique Case Study


In addition to cranking out episodes for my two web series, last year I found myself increasingly interested in how to use YouTube for small business marketing. I wanted to do a small scale experiment to see what might work. I immediately thought of my friend Laurel, a personal stylist here in Austin Texas. I’ve known Laurel for awhile, she’s made a few guest appearances on Hilah Cooking and we even did one of the Learn To Cook photo shoots in her kitchen. She was the perfect guinea pig for my YouTube marketing experiment.

Laurel’s personal styling business actually grew out of Trophy Boutique, her fashion blog. She’s awesome at what she does and has tons of very satisfied clients, so word of mouth was already working well for her. Her blog already did a great job of explaining her services and offering photographic proof that she knew what she was doing as far as fashion. I wanted to build on this with a small no-budget video campaign.

My goal with the videos was to:

  1. Give potential customers a better sense of Laurel’s personality. Video is perfect for this. I wanted viewers to get a glimpse of Laurel’s kind, funny and cool personality and let them know that they could not only feel comfortable hiring her, but that they would have a good time working with her.
  2. Clarify what her services are and what all is involved. Laurel offers several different styling services so we devoted one video specifically to what you can expect when you hire her.
  3. Help her rank for the term “Austin Personal Stylist” in YouTube search. She already ranked well for this in Google, but why not rank well for it in YouTube as well.

We shot the videos in about 6 hours. It was a very simple, casual shoot. I used my Canon 60D and occasionally a tripod. We shot at a dress shop and at her house. It was a very fun and casual shoot. I edited the videos in Final Cut Pro X and used CrumplePop’s Carousel for some light leaks and Instagram-y color effects. Laurel is also very active on Instagram and I wanted the videos to convey some of the look that people were used to seeing in her photos.

The videos were released to very positive feedback. They’ve brought in quite a few new customers directly and work as a great tool for explaining her business to potential customers who might still be on the fence. She’s also now ranked #1 in Google and YouTube!

The initial plan was to do three videos, with the third comprised mostly of customer testimonials. But our schedules both got insanely busy and we haven’t been able to schedule that shoot. It’s still something I’d like to do and I think it would round out this video campaign nicely.

I recently checked in with Laurel to see how the videos were doing and this is what she had to say:

Interview With Laurel Kinney (Trophy Boutique)

It’s been a few months since we launched your videos. How do you feel about them now?

Laurel: I am 100% happy with these videos (if I don’t concentrate too hard on my verbal ticks:)). Not only have they improved my site’s SEO, but they have made my business marketing more well-rounded. I have more to offer my prospective clients as to what I do, and they can get a better sense of who I am and what my business is all about than they can from just reading my blog/site info. It adds a whole other dimension!

What kind of feedback have you gotten from friends and clients?

Laurel: Everyone loves them and say they feel like ME. They are the perfect length–no one stops them early out of boredom. I think people who didn’t really get what I do before understand it all better now.

Have you landed any clients as a direct result of the videos? How have they impacted your business? Any other cool results/benefits of having the videos out there?

Laurel: Well, aside from the SEO helping my business get seen more on google searches, when they first came out I got a lot of bites. People were like: Oh hey! That’s what she does! I totally need that! What I love about them long-term is that whenever I am approaching a business contact or anyone who I’m first introducing myself and my business to for the first time, I can send them the videos as an introduction – it’s much more engaging than just typing out what I do, and I think it gets the point across much better. They can hear about my business while also seeing what I do, and learning about who I am (which is how most people decide they want to work with me). The videos hit all angles!

What recommendations would you have for other small businesses thinking about adding internet videos to their marketing mix?

Laurel: I recommend going for it! I think it’s super helpful for so many reasons, and makes sense. It’s not overly difficult to tell your story to a camera, because you are just talking about what you’re already an expert in. I would recommend having someone who is a pro at production/editing help you with them, because it’s time-consuming to learn enough to make them look sharp if you don’t know how to do it, and you want them to look professional or else it might undermine your message.

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