for the outdoor active lifestyle

Top 5 Tips on Nailing Your Zoom Call by Outdoor Action Sports Videographer and Photographer Pete Webb
by <a href="" target="_self">Stephanie Briggs</a>

by Stephanie Briggs

20 May, 2020

Pete Webb, Director & Photographer, Merci

Talking to Pete Webb has us nostalgically reliving our ski press trips. Oh how fun they were! Right now, though, action sports photographer Pete is focusing on the other part of his role at digital solutions company, Merci and that’s E-Commerce. Pete and Stephanie go way back. He braved the ski train with Stephanie, taking media onto the slopes and being her right hand man. Good times! So we caught up with Pete to see what businesses are wanting right now from a company like Merci. What’s more, he shares five top tips on how to work a Zoom call. Invaluable!

So ski is out, photography must have ground to a halt, what are businesses wanting from you guys right now?

Our focus is on the digital aspect of a business and at the moment all that activity is about e-commerce.  We take old, established businesses and make them look fantastic.  We look at branding, websites, digital content, e-commerce and the glue that binds it all together: personalised data.

Yep, it’s a great time to review your website – that’s what we did – just launched actually. We’re super happy with it. Do you fancy taking a look and giving us the benefit of your expert opinion?

Haha! It looks great to me. Nice SEO on your key terms. Keep doing what you’re doing!

The big market growth has been with businesses that traded out of a bricks and mortar store. Once lockdown, locked down, they had no selling window. We have been helping these businesses.  So much so that a couple of them dealing in outdoor sports gear have run out of stock, and unfortunately can’t get their hands on more.

Oh dear, that’s a big shame. So how long were they able to trade with their e-commerce site before they ran into that problem? Hmmm, better question, say we wanted to have an e-commerce arm to Spring PR (we’re thinking cookies and cakes) how soon could you build our site for us?

Within a week. And currently we have an offer, whereby we will build an e-commerce system for a business for £2000. It’s a special offer that we have just released.

“People are saying to us that they’ve effectively now got a new business”.

That sounds like a good deal to us. We’ll think about it! This series of events has certainly got everyone more digitally savvy. We have virtual pubs, book clubs and wine nights. We’ve got a gin night booked in for Friday and a pamper night booked in for Saturday too (no idea how that’s going to work!). Do you think our newly honed digital know-how is shaping businesses?

“People are actively refreshing their brands.  They’re having a good look at work flows and what they do well and not so well.  The old SWOT anlaysis has swung into action and generated requests.  People are saying to us that they’ve effectively now got a new business.  Their content and websites need updating and sometimes this means a complete overhaul and with others just a slight adjustment. Lots of people are looking at their businesses and wanting a global refresh.

How can companies make the best of what life is currently throwing at them?

Online visibility is key. Good visuals. When people look at your brand it needs to look modern and suit its target market. If you have advertising lined up and you’ve not changed your strategy, revisit the collateral and plan. Chances are your objectives will have changed and you don’t want assets going out that will upset the apple cart because it’s no longer suitable. Retargeting is the most cost-effective way of reaching potential customers because they’re warmer.  OK, let me explain. When someone has clicked on a link but not followed through, they’re what we call “warm”.  We have software that retargets these people.  They have a much higher conversion rate so you get more bang for your buck when you retarget.

From a Spring point of view we’ve got our website sorted, we just need to nail these Zoom calls. You’re a photography guru and video specialist by profession, what five things do we need to know to look our best on Zoom?

Good question. Here are my top 5 tips:

1.         Camera height is key: get that camera at eye level and if you’re using a laptop use a stand. If the camera is too low then you’re “looking down the toilet”, camera too high “you’re on CCTV”. 

2.        Look at your background: Tidy up and if possible use some branding in the background. Zoom offers digital backgrounds you can use and there are options to make your own too.  

3.         Ensure a good light source: you need lighting from the front.  Long term, having your screen backing onto a window will give you eye strain so think about a scenario for calls and then move for continuing work.   

4.         Connectivity: can you switch to a good mobile signal if your Wi-Fi disappears or becomes problematic?  Have your phone ready so if one device drops out you can come in with the other quickly. 

5.         Clear audio: consider using a head set with a noise cancelling microphone, that way you can work in an area with background noise and you just can’t hear it. We use Jabra Evolve 40.  All the Merci team have these and you can take them back into the office and use with your noisy colleagues when things get back to normal!


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