Who knew that the way we would all be connecting with our favorite wine fans and wine brand devotees would be through this new "normal' medium we cleverly refer to as "Virtual Wine Tastings"?
If you are anything like us here at The Wine Militia, you knew that it would only be a matter of time before you knew that you needed to put on some big brave pants, swallow your pride and figure out the best way to host your wine sessions.
We did just that - we partnered with some good winery folks because it was the right thing to do and I will personally be the first to admit that there are a lot of ways to do these and a lot of ways to mess them up. Yes - there are copious amounts of tutorials and 'how to’s' on the best way to perform these beasts and they are stellar, however, we couldn't help notice a few missing tips that we would be remiss to not share with you all - you know for the greater good.
TIP #1 JUST DO IT - COMMIT TO IT
While everyone in your company’s department or social circle is still voting on whether this is a good idea or not, you could have already connected with people that need to hear from you. Sometimes bureaucracy is a good thing when making critical decisions about brand positioning, pricing, and the long game, however, when it comes to communicating with your consumers during a difficult time that many are sharing – there is no better time than now.
TIP # 2 DEVELOP A PLAN
Although we just established that it is good to just get out there and commit to your following; it is equally important to stop, take a breath and create a simple plan together before going live. Consider building an outline of what you want to communicate with 3-4 talking points that will help you deliver your message with ease. Rabbit trails are fun but not everyone is able to come along for the ride if you lose your audience.
TIP #3 DON'T BE BORING
Speaking of losing your audience. It is crucial to keep things spicy, fresh and intriguing. Now I don’t mean make it too over the top and cheesy, but put some thought into it. Look at what others are doing and perhaps build on that but think to yourself ‘How can I make this look and sound better?’ If you are like me and the little punk voice inside you starts to squirm when doing what everyone else is doing – you may want to be true to that voice and just be you. You are way more interesting when you are just being yourself – even minus all the bells and whistles.
TIP #4 BE HUMAN - NOT A BOT
Just be you and be honest, transparent and know that it is ok to not be completely polished up in your techniques and scripts. People right now are looking for more of a human experience and will be able to relate to you more if you just let the guard down a wee bit. The one thing I will say that I learned is that it is ok to smile more and laugh when doing these tastings because that in itself is ridiculously contagious – especially during a stressful time like the one we all have been walking through. Tell more personal stories and real life anecdotes that do not sound contrived or forced. Don’t be a bot - people can smell you out if you are just putting on a face and going through the motions in a virtual wine tasting. See Tip #3.
TIP #5 ENCOURAGE INPUT FROM VIEWERS
The whole point of these puppies are to engage with people and try to connect on some level – any level…just connect. In doing so, encourage your viewers ahead of time to prime up some questions if you have a guest coming to join you on your live segment or let you know what other wines they are drinking (Yes Lord forbid they are actually drinking a different wine than the one you are repping or trying to sell.) Keep the dialogue going. We have found it is even fun to have viewers interact with each other on the comment marquis and thus creates a really enticing segment.
TIP #6 LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
Not to be a big buzzkill but everyone hates a spinning buffering wheel and distorted picture. Don’t get too flustered when and if this happens to you but take notes and know for next time that you need to adjust your location to keep your WIFI ping maximized. Location could be the very thing that keeps you from seeing repeated viewers the next time you go to do these tastings. Try out various locations first before going live with people. Know where the best service is from your location and lock and load when it is time.
We love seeing all of the new creative ways the wine industry is connecting with their consumers and audience and look forward to the day we can all toast a glass in person and virtually at the same time!