Why You Need Ian Garlic’s Handbook to Tell Video Stories and Increase Your Business

Guest Blog by Jim Nowakowski

After Thomas Jefferson completed the Louisiana Purchase (828,000 square miles at 4-cents an acre that doubled the size of America), he commissioned Lewis and Clark to map this vast newly acquired territory. The two-year expedition was full of adventure, danger and excitement.

Adventure, danger and excitement are also what Ian Garlic produces in his mapping of a new digital video frontier that centers around storytelling. It’s a largely unknown area that all marketers face. While there is no shortage of video productions, there is a tremendous gap in the story within videos – a gap that Garlic’s new book can fill. Frankly, once you read it, you’ll never make another video the same way you’ve made them in the past. Or pitch a new client like you did before.

But unlike Lewis and Clark, you won’t need two years to explore this challenging territory to help shape your new business efforts as designers and architects!

The Force of the Story

In his new book “Video Testimonials that Land the Big Fish,” Garlic draws from his rich experience of storytelling to map out what every marketer needs to know about this new frontier using video to tell stories. The 150-page book is actually a story within a story, with chapters unfolding in a logical, compelling manner to help guide us in the art of the story through video.  Its core fulfills the promise in the subtitle: how to ”Collect, Craft and Deliver Video Case Stories that will explode sales, traffic and make you love your business even more.”

Garlic admits right off, “While editing this book, something happened that profoundly shaped my understanding of the power of customer stories.”

Stories are something we all grew up with. Storytelling has been done throughout the ages, starting with Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey. As an English major, I learned early there is a different between telling and showing. Showing is always more exciting, and that is the essence of Garlic’s book: he SHOWS us how to enrich our stories in the medium that has become the staple of marketing today: video.

In fact, when people realize the power of a story using video, it will be difficult to ever do what they have been doing the same way. Many people may not remember, but Mark Zuckerberg brought in storytelling into Facebook in 2015 because he realized that it was a way to make Facebook more relevant and authentic. Stories do that naturally.

Where You Aim

Garlic notes: “Being a great storyteller with a focus on customer stories still holds tremendous power today.” He got his inspiration from his father. “Whenever I felt stuck or uncertain, he would say, “Action begets action.” This simple yet profound advice has guided me throughout my life. It is through taking action that we propel ourselves forward and create the future we desire.”

That future for Garlic and all marketers is in mastering the art of video storytelling, which his new book maps out for us. And he practices what he preaches, because he uses QR Codes to expand the depth of his print storytelling!

QR Codes

At first glance, using QR codes in a book may seem a little odd; however, it fits in perfectly with his intention to teach people, because QR codes deliver a whole layer of content you can’t replicate in a print or PDF edition of a file.

Garlic uses QR Codes throughout the book in strategic areas, codes that lead to video supplements that expand on what he talks about in the book[1].

For example, in his chapter on “Fundamentals and Commitment,” he quotes Michael Jordan and goes on to use additional sports examples of people who master the fundamentals in order to achieve success. He even cites Walt Disney as the “collector of stories,” and a man who had to “continually evolve to be the best.”

In the QR Code at the end of this chapter, Garlic takes a slice of one of his interviews with information on case histories and their ability to bring in prospects — a powerful slice to underscore what you just read in the chapter.

Each chapter does that – creating an integrated extension of the printed page you’re reading.

Testimonials Stink

He shocks people with chapter headings like this. Marketers have been trained to think testimonials are the way to go, but Garlic shows them that’s simply not the case. “Testimonials are about you. Video Case Stories are about them.”

In other words, it’s not about you: it’s about them. That’s really one of the key ingredients of success, which underscores Garlic’s entire positioning for this book. The more you know about them (your customers), the more successful you will become. It’s a winning formula that often gets lost in today’s self-absorbed culture.

And for the fast readers who skim rather than read, he anticipates them and cautions them as in Chapter 6: “If you skipped ahead to here, please go back. I know I skip ahead in books too. The chapters before set the foundation for your success.”

The book creates a dialogue with the reader – as if Garlic is sitting in front of you telling his story.

Readers will find the chapter on crafting questions especially useful because questions beget answers, which beget more questions. It is the essence of the storytelling technique itself. How did this happen? What caused it? How did you deal with it? What were the obstacles?

Overall, designers and architects can gain a whole new point of view on their pitches with Garlic’s book. Instead of the usual RFP or RFQ they deliver, Garlic’s insights can help them gain a rich new way to present their solutions and as he says, use Video Case Stories that will explode sales, traffic and make you love your business even more.

For more information on his book, you can visit his website: and also find it available at outlets everywhere on the web. Just google the title video testimonials that land the big fish. Or, go to Amazon.


[1]In 2016, I posted a blog Do QR codes work? Since then, QR codes are everywhere including on television commercials. But Garlic uses them with purpose: to gain additional “deep dive” insights into the topics the is talking about.

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