They Ask, You Answer Mastery

A coaching & training program that drives unmatched sales & marketing results.


Sales Performance Mastery

Improve the competencies and close rates of your sales organization.

Web design

Website Mastery

Web design, development & training for your team.


HubSpot Mastery

Everything you need to get the most from HubSpot.

AI Mastery

AI Enablement Mastery

Unlock the power of AI in all aspects of your revenue operations.

Discover how IMPACT’s services can help take your business to the next level. Book a free 30-minute coaching session Book a free 30-minute coaching session
Learning Center
Learning Center

Learning Center

Free resources to help you improve the way you market, sell and grow your business.

Discover how IMPACT’s services can help take your business to the next level. Book a free 30-minute coaching session Book a free 30-minute coaching session

Free Assessment: How does your sales & marketing measure up?

Get Started

Free Assessment:

How does your sales & marketing measure up?
Take this free, 5-minute assessment and learn what you can start doing today to boost traffic, leads, and sales.
Get Started
Liz Murphy

By Liz Murphy

Mar 18, 2020


Interviews Video Marketing
Join 40,000+ sales and marketing pros who receive our weekly newsletter.

Get the most relevant, actionable digital sales and marketing insights you need to make smarter decisions faster... all in under five minutes.

Thanks, stay tuned for our upcoming edition.
Interviews  |   Video Marketing

How to earn trust and build rapport quickly as a videographer

Liz Murphy

By Liz Murphy

Mar 18, 2020

How to earn trust and build rapport quickly as a videographer

IMPACT Creative Director Alex Winter and I have many things in common.

For instance, we both love a good dance party and adore a bold plaid shirt.

Screen Shot 2020-03-17 at 1.33.27 PM

Man, we look good. 😎

Most of all, however — despite being storytelling leaders of two wildly different mediums at IMPACT (him in video and myself in the written word) — we both credit our success to our possession of the exact same skill:

The ability to establish trust with subject matter experts and other collaborators.

Without that skill, we would not be able to do our jobs. Period.

That's why, whether you're thinking about hiring a content manager for your company or hiring a videographer, you should always look for someone who can do the same; someone who is friendly and can understand intuitively how people around them think and operate to help get answers.

However, I realized something over drinks with Alex last week — aside from the fact that we are work-obsessed goobers who must, at all times, gab about what we do, because we love it so much. 

After listening to him really dive deep into what he does, I uncovered the fact that videographers must be able to establish trust instantly (in almost all cases) with the people they work with.

Whereas content nerds like myself usually can do that over time, piece by piece. 

So, what do first-time videographers — or videographers looking to spruce up their skills — need to know about establishing trust immediately with subjects so the videos they produce are amazing right out of the gate?

That's exactly what this interview with Alex will answer.

OK, let's just rip this band-aid off. How do you establish trust immediately with on-camera talent, so you're not stuck spending your time trying to produce a video while also walking uphill trying to earn trust at the same time?

Alex: Trust is crucial. And, I think for people that haven't met you as their videographer — or when you're just walking into a situation cold turkey — you have to be confident.

However, there's definitely a difference between cocky and confident, so you have to find that balance.

When you strike the right balance, people start to feel like they know that you know what you're doing. They can sense that you've done this before and that you're ready to tackle whatever project is front of you, head on.

On the flip side of that, you still need to be humble.

And you need to be able to smile, and be as genuine as you can so that you start to build rapport with the talent you're working with. 

You should be exuding that positive energy, showing whomever it is you're working with, "We want you to be smiling. I'm here to help you."

It's a very nurturing moment, and it's a make-or-break moment.

So, that first impression moment is a big one when you're meeting on-camera talent or other folks for the first time, as a videographer?

Alex: One hundred percent. First impressions are key. So, when you're walking in and you're meeting somebody for the first time, you really got to come correct and show them that confidence and show them that positive energy.

That way, they feel like they don't have to be anything else other than themselves.

They can be a little bit more relaxed than they might otherwise be in a professional situation, because they instinctively see that you're going to take care of them and the project itself with ease.

But the only way you can do that is if you know your gear inside and out. You can't keep people in the right zone or right place mentally if you don't know what you're doing or don't have enough experience under your belt with your equipment.

So, you need to practice knowing and handling your gear inside and out, backward and forward of having everything set up beforehand.

Your pre-production work has to be spot on so, when you get there, you don't need to think about who needs what, how things are going to get done, and so on. 

You don't want to be fumbling around with set-up when you should be focusing on building that trust and confidence with the people you're working with.

That's the most critical element of making people feel comfortable that I think so many fresh videographers overlook. It's all in the prep work. It's all in knowing your equipment.

Let's circle back to something you just said that I want to explore further; that a videographer needs to "come correct" and present that positive energy in order to make people kind of breathe that sigh of relief with their body like, "Oh, OK, I can relax around this person."

What are some of those well-meaning rookie mistakes videographers make in order to do that, which will actually backfire and do the exact opposite?


Alex: It's all about self-awareness. And, if you're younger, it's really important to think about body language and to really be present in the moment when you're having these interactions.

You communicate a lot about yourself just through body language alone, as well as how you're behaving.

Personally, I'm hyper aware of those things and I think that contributes to how I position questions, how I say things, etc. But I can also be a bit of a chameleon, adjusting my tone and affects to a given situation.

Mirroring, when still rooted in the authenticity of who you really are, can be a great way to make someone uncomfortable feel very comfortable. 

Like, still be yourself — you should never present a fake version of yourself — but you can throttle your energy to rise and fall with those around you. 

My dad was in sales for a long time, and he used to always say, "You're selling yourself all the time. You're not selling a product. You're not selling anything. You're selling yourself, and people have to trust you and like you, otherwise you're never going to sell anything."

The same thing applies to being a videographer or a producer.

You're selling yourself and you can do that well. But you you can also talk yourself out of a deal — or, in this case, a healthy video shoot with good outcomes and happy talent — because you're talking too much or you're saying the wrong thing.

So, part of it is having the awareness to just shut up and listen and let the other person talk and really give them a chance to have the floor.

To tell you how they're feeling and what's going on with them, too, so that it's not just a one-way street with you constantly talking at them and potentially overwhelming them.

You can definitely talk someone into being nervous or scared. Or your energy is so high and you're so in their face that you make them anxious; they don't know why you're so amped up.

Again, it's about finding a balance and really reading people, reading body language, and reading the situation.

I get that, but being a chameleon and the mirroring... that kind of behavior can sometimes erode trust, because people might be able to sense you're not being real. So, doesn't that go against what you're trying to do with trust-building?

Alex: Oh, you're absolutely right. And, when I was younger, I had situations where I overcompensated, trying to make someone comfortable, but it had the inverse effect. 

That's why, I know I already said it, but self-awareness is key.

You have to know where your zone is, know where your boundaries are without overstepping, and so on. 

To mitigate problems like these though, I like to always try and meet beforehand with people — if I haven't met them already — before going into a shoot. I really don't like going in cold, where I'm essentially pulling someone in to do a video without having spoken to them before. 

It's funny though. Whenever I do those calls, people are surprised that I don't have some checklist or script I'm running through with them. They're surprised at how relaxed it is. 

What are those first conversations like? What are you really trying accomplish?

Alex: It's more of a conversation where I'm just like, "Hey, I'm Alex and I know nothing about you. So where'd you go to school and where'd you grow up? And let's talk about your family and your life."

I try to establish a bit of a rapport that's genuine and I actually care. I want to know those things because it's going to help me position the questions that I really need to ask them in the interview later on.

But if having that conversation in advance isn't possible though? What if you have to go in blind?

Alex: I try to find some type of common ground, whatever that is. If they're wearing a jersey and I can make a sports comment or if they're wearing cool sneakers and they're Jordans — and I'm into Jordan's, that's a way to connect.

What that common ground is, it'll be different for everyone, but I try to find something or some way to connect with somebody on a baseline level first to establish that sort of like, "Oh, okay, this guy's cool."

That way we're vibing a little bit before I get into work mode like, "OK, here's a microphone in your face, now talk to me. And let's get lights, camera, action going."

What's the biggest lesson you learned the hard way in your younger days about building trust as a videographer?

Alex: Ha, I love this story. It was 2009. It was right after the bottom completely fell out and we were in a recession. I was working for a production company in Boston, and they were doing a documentary on economic crisis.

Through this shoot, I met John Tisch, one of the owners of the New York Giants of the NFL. 

He came on set the first day we're in Boston. We were filming at Panera Bread because Panera Bread at the time was one of the only companies that didn't have a dip from the recession.

So, the first day on set in Boston, I'm like a little production assistant guy and the sound engineers were having issues and were asking me to help them out and put a microphone on John Tisch. 

So, I walked right up to him. I was wearing a Patriots jersey, and he was a really nice guy. I shook his hand and introduced myself, trying to find that balance of like just meeting this guy and building a rapport. 

But I'm putting the microphone on him and it's pretty awkward because when you put a microphone on someone, you got to get up in there and have them adjust their clothing.

So it's like, "I'm just meeting you and now take your shirt off and let me get the microphone on."

As I'm doing this, he says, "Oh, are you a Patriots fan?"

And I just kind of gave him this look like, "Are you joking dude? Like, do you know where you are? You're in Boston."

So I said, "Like yeah, of course I'm a Patriots fan."

Then he asked, "What do you think about the Giants?"

Now, keep in mind, I didn't know he was the owner, or one of the owners of the Giants.

So my smart mouth was like, "Well, the Giants suck. Dude, I hate the Giants. They're the worst team ever."

He laughed, but it was kind of like a dark laugh.

Afterward, I walked away and my producer came right up to me and was like, "You basically just told the owner of the Giants that his team's the worst team in the NFL."

He was so mad at me. I thought I was going to get fired.

I got lucky though. At the end of the day, John came up to me after everything was done and he was super cool about it and it worked out. It ended up becoming our banter for like the two weeks that we filmed. He was giving me crap about football and I was giving it back to him.

But he could have easily told me to get off the set, you know, "I never want to see this kid again."

I completely misread the situation.

So, that's the lesson I want people to understand here. Know who you're talking to. Always be self-aware. And, you know, don't tell the owner of the Giants his team sucks to his face.

You've shared a ton of great stuff in this interview, Alex. But if videographers only walk away remembering one thing from this article, what should it be and why?

As a videographer, your number one focus is to know your gear and how you run a production inside out and backward. Because, when you get onto a location, your focus and your attention needs to 100% be on making this person that you're interviewing feel comfortable.

If you're not focused on that and you're tinkering around with cameras and dealing with all sorts of other stuff and trying to do it simultaneously, it's not going to work out for you.

So, I think the number one takeaway is no matter how you do it, whatever your situational awareness level is, however you handle yourself, your number one goal should be focused on your subject and making them feel as comfortable and as confident as possible.

Free Assessment:

How does your sales & marketing measure up?
Take this free, 5-minute assessment and learn what you can start doing today to boost traffic, leads, and sales.

Related Articles

2023 Retrospective: 10 Industry Insiders Look Back

November 20, 2023
John Becker John Becker

Sure, They Ask, You Answer Works in Other Industries — But Will It Work in Mine?

February 23, 2023
John Becker John Becker

Inbound Marketing Success: A How-To Guide to Conducting Content Interviews

September 15, 2021
John Becker John Becker

Yes, HubSpot can change your business — but it’s not a marketing strategy

February 24, 2021
John Becker John Becker

Is your marketing still relevant in 2021?

February 11, 2021
John Becker John Becker

How to best use your 2021 marketing budget so your company rebounds

February 8, 2021
John Becker John Becker

Virtual sales training with IMPACT: Will it really help my team?

January 18, 2021
John Becker John Becker

How did small businesses respond to pandemic challenges? [New research]

December 18, 2020
John Becker John Becker

What does a virtual event consultant actually do?

November 17, 2020
John Becker John Becker

Virtual event technology: What does the future hold for marketers?

November 5, 2020
Stephanie Baiocchi Stephanie Baiocchi

Should you hire a paid media agency for your Black Friday and Cyber Monday campaigns?

September 18, 2020
John Becker John Becker

How PosterMyWall used COVID-19 to really listen to its customers [Interview]

September 17, 2020
John Becker John Becker

I’ve read They Ask, You Answer, why do I need your help to build my strategy? [Interview]

September 3, 2020
Gemi Hartojo Gemi Hartojo

We're not new to paid ads; what can we expect in our first 6 months with IMPACT? [Interview]

September 3, 2020
John Becker John Becker

2 things sales teams need to be focused on going into the end of 2020 [Interview]

August 24, 2020
John Becker John Becker

How to turn strangers into customers (and friends) with Facebook Ads [AdvertiseMint CEO Brian Meert Interview]

August 19, 2020
John Becker John Becker

How to make your company rebrand go smoothly, according to a graphic designer [Interview]

August 5, 2020
John Becker John Becker

How to use LinkedIn as a powerful B2B lead generating tool [Interview]

July 21, 2020
John Becker John Becker

How to leave feedback about your IMPACT experience (and why you should)

July 17, 2020
Jolie Higazi Jolie Higazi

How to succeed with introverted leadership [Interview]

July 14, 2020
John Becker John Becker

How agencies can better use data to prep for post-COVID success [Interview]

July 10, 2020
John Becker John Becker

How artificial intelligence is already influencing the digital sales process [Interview]

July 1, 2020
John Becker John Becker

Why growing as a specialist often doesn't mean scaling the ladder [Interview]

July 1, 2020
John Becker John Becker

How much does the HubSpot CMS cost — and is it worth it?

June 30, 2020
John Becker John Becker

Should I hire an agency or hire internal digital marketers? [Interview]

June 17, 2020
John Becker John Becker