figure listens to mobile audio_1600_clr_9035This week I want to go over some first steps for developing a podcast for your business, but before I do, I’d like to call your attention to a new podcasting software suite that releases today.

Audello is the latest creation from the makers of Easy Video Suite.  As I mentioned last week, it’s an exciting new all-in-one tool for podcasters. (This is an affiliate link which I rarely do, but this tool is powerful.)

Audello is a podcast marketing platform to help you engage an audience with audio. Audello gives you an automated system for creating and uploading your podcast to the existing distribution networks to attract leads more quickly and easily. Check it out.

PLAN YOUR PODCAST

The first steps are to decide what you want to do and create an action plan.

Questions like these may help you craft your action plan:

  • How will a podcast help my business?
  • Will my customers respond to audio information? (Are they auditory learners?)
  • Will the podcast be my main product or only one method of marketing communication?
  • Will it be the primary way my business attracts new customers?
  • Do I want to use it to brand myself?
  • Do I want a podcast to become a niche expert or Internet Business Celebrity?

There is no one surefire way to use podcasting. It really depends on how well you know your niche, how your content serves your target audience’s interests and the passion and comfort level you bring to podcasting.

Once you have a good idea of what you want to do, it’s time to figure out the equipment and services you’ll need to get started.

There are a lot of ways to record, edit, store and distribute a podcast.  Again, let your comfort level and technical skills be your guide.

PODCASTING GEAR

Start with a good microphone and recording software. Good audio is paramount to the success of your podcast.  I recommend buying the best quality you can afford without going overboard or breaking the bank. 

It’s okay to choose “good enough,” or what I’d call the “minimally effective dose,” to produce your first podcasts. You can always upgrade later once you’re a profitable podcaster. 

Microphones come in all shapes, sizes and prices so do some research to explore the possibilities.  Be sure you choose a “mic”  that produces good quality sound and has built-in noise reduction.  You can buy a microphone at your local electronics store or order one online.

Audio editing software also varies in features, learning curve and price and includes some free options:

Audacity – this is a free, open source software for recording and editing audio.  There are versions for Mac OS X, Windows, GNU/Linux and other operating systems. It’s a great choice for beginners.

Find out more here: http://audacity.sourceforge.net

Adobe Audition – This is a more advanced software for editing audio from Adobe. It works with Windows and Mac. You can download a free trial and see if you like it, before you purchase the full license.

Find out more here: https://creative.adobe.com/products/audition

Hipcast – This service makes it easy to record high-quality audio from your web browser or your phone with no software to download or install. This is a good option for people  who aren’t tech savvy or comfortable learning new tech.

Find out more here: http://www.hipcast.com

Podomatic – This is another service that allows you to record audio and even video directly from your browser. You can even receive in-line calls from listeners who want to leave voice comments.

Find out more here: https://www.podomatic.com

HOSTING

You will also need a place to host your podcast files. You can host them on you own domain, but as you create more and more episodes, they will take up a lot of room and require a lot of bandwidth, which can become expensive, if you don’t monitor it closely. 

There are website completely dedicated to hosting podcasts.

Amazon S3 – This hosting is nice because it offers quality hosting at a lower price in comparison to other paid services and it grows with you. Meaning you only pay for what you use. It also has a free plan with a limit of 5 GB of storage and a limit of 20,000 get requests.

Find out more here: http://aws.amazon.com/s3

Soundcloud – They offer free and paid plans, which are reasonably priced. The free version has some limitations but is good for newcomers. The pro version has extras like tracking so you can see who is listening, where they are from and other statistics that will help you improve your podcast.

Find out more here: https://soundcloud.com

PodBean – This is an easy-to-use podcast host for casual podcasts that don’t exceed 30 MB.  Another excellent choice for beginners, it offers a free account with a very friendly user-interface, mobile options and a RSS feed for your podcast.  You can also get statistics and creative themes to spruce up your podcast page.

Find out more here: http://www.podbean.com

Other services to check out include Libsyn, Stitcher and Blubrry.

DISTRIBUTION

iTunes – This platform is the Big Kahuna for syndicating your content. To gain “fame” and exposure from your podcast, you’ll want to make it available in the iTunes Store asap. 

iTunes doesn’t host podcasts. You must host your media files and RSS feeds on your own web servers or a third-party hosting provider like the ones listed above. 

Publishing a podcast on iTunes is relatively easy.Once you get your show uploaded to your feed, you can submit it for their review. If it is approved, it will be added  to the iTunes Store podcast directory and become searchable once it is indexed which may take up to 24-hours.

You can discover even more podcasting resources in this  2007 article on Mashable.com: http://mashable.com/2007/07/04/podcasting-toolbox

And remember if you’re serious about creating a podcast of your own in 2015, the new software Audello is a strong “all-in-one” solution.

podcasting These are exciting times to be the Media.  You can be both a consumer and CREATOR of digital media more easily than ever. 

And a hungry audience is waiting  to hear from you.  Did you notice the latest iPhone/iPad IOS update made the podcast app a pre-installed default app?  CommScore reported in August that the majority of today’s digital media consumption is now through mobile apps.

Many digital media creation and distribution tools are available and more are coming out all the time.  In fact, a  new podcasting software “Audello” is in pre-launch this week  and looks interesting.

Producing podcasts is on an upswing because people on the move are listening to all kinds of  content on mobile devices in their cars, at the gym, etc.  I’ve written before about the power of podcasting and its growing popularity.  (You can read my past post here.)  Audio is easy to consume on the go. Just put on your headphones or ear buds and you’re off.

If you haven’t included podcasting in your marketing plan before, perhaps now is the time to consider starting your own show. (I am planning mine for 2015.)

Why podcast?

Hosting or co-hosting a podcast, even being a guest on a top influencer’s show, is a fun and effective tactic to establish your media authority and show your knowledge in your niche.

You can have your own radio-style talk show centered on what your business offers. Interviewing experts is one of the fastest and simplest ways to get exposure, attract an audience, build credibility, grow your list and create a profitable venue for products and services.

Your Podcast can help you:

  • Reach more people in your target market
  • Produce quick valuable content
  • Position yourself as an expert authority
  • Build business “fame”  in your field
  • Make a more personal connection to help potential customers get to know, like and trust you.  (Essential for long-term profits)

You’ll need to gather recording tools and equipment, decide on the title, format, frequency and content of your show and arrange distribution channels but don’t get overwhelmed.  Here is a simple checklist to follow:  http://create.blubrry.com/manual/getting-started/create-new-podcast-checklist/ 

You can create basic audio files or  go fancy with a video podcast. One recording can even be delivered as both a video and an audio-only (mp3) podcast,  giving you two pieces of content for two audiences from one session.

If being on camera isn’t your thing,  you can do an “enhanced” podcast,  displaying images and screenshots as you speak, similar to a slideshow presentation.

Many people are also creating their podcast now with the free service Google Hangouts.  Here’s a good article about how to get started that way. http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/create-podcasts-with-google-hangouts-on-air

One of the powerful benefits of podcasting is the wide distribution that is available through syndication. People can listen anytime, anywhere automatically by subscribing to your podcast using RSS (really simple syndication). Here’s an article explaining the RSS concept:  http://www.problogger.net/what-is-rss 

Imagine if your podcast, like David Siteman Garland’s “The Rise to the Top,” became the foundation for a Mediapreneur empire!  You could leverage your show to create products, offer services, training and coaching programs, promote events, attract sponsors and advertisers and more.  The possibilities are almost endless and can be extremely profitable!

Do you have a favorite podcast?  Tell us your favs in a comment!

Book Note: John Lee Dumas is a successful Podcaster featured in the launch videos for the new podcasting software Audello. I’ve included a link to his book about Podcasting which includes video tutorials.

 




Are you ready to launch your very own Podcast? Learn from the best! John Lee Dumas, host of the top ranked EntrepreneurOnFire, is the undisputed authority in launching a Podcast that attracts a massive audience and income. EntrepreneurOnFire was awarded 'Best in iTunes 2013' and has generated over 7-Million downloads since launch.

In Podcast Launch, John shares how he launched EntrepreneurOnFire and turned his passion into a top-ranked business Podcast that generates a SIX-FIGURE monthly income. It started with an AH-HA moment, and passion has guided him since. John shares his journey with complete transparency so you can emulate his successes and avoid his failures. Your final result will be a podcast of your own and we couldn't be more excited for you!

Podcast Launch walks you through the entire podcasting workflow, from the very beginning stages of helping you identify your Podcast name, topic, and the equipment needed; then we focus on how to record and edit your podcast, add intros and outros, publish, embed onto your website, submit your podcast to iTunes, Stitcher Radio, and Blackberry; and much more.

Podcast Launch also focuses heavily on your Podcast Launch strategy, the best methods of growing your audience and platform, and an entire chapter is dedicated to the exciting world of MONETIZING your Podcast.

Ready for more?

Take your Podcast to the next level by joining the #1 Podcasting community in the world: Podcasters' Paradise

Podcasters Paradise is THE place to CREATE ~ GROW ~ MONETIZE your Podcast.

Podcasters' Paradise is made up of 3 components:

1. An ever-evolving library of video tutorials for the beginner, intermediate, and expert Podcaster.

2. A thriving private Facebook group and community forum where you can engage with thousands of Podcasters, exchange honest reviews, find guests for your show, find shows to be a guest on, and share the latest tips, tools, and tactics. Have questions? This amazing community is here to help.

3. To top it off, we have monthly Webinars where today's top Podcasting experts, like Pat Flynn and Amy Porterfield, Michael Hyatt, and Lewis Howes share their insider tips with the Podcasters' Paradise community. John Lee Dumas also holds a monthly Q&A session and boy do we have fun!

John Lee Dumas Bio:

John Lee Dumas is the Founder and Host of EntrepreneurOnFire, a top ranked podcast named "Best in iTunes 2013". John interviews today's most inspiring and successful Entrepreneurs 7-days a week and has been featured in both TIME and Inc. magazine, and is the founder of Podcasters' Paradise; a community where Podcasters can create, grow, and monetize their podcast. EntrepreneurOnFire generates over 550,000 unique downloads a month with past guests such as Seth Godin, Tim Ferriss, Barbara Corcoran, Gary Vaynerchuk, and Guy Kawasaki. Recaps of the 600+ episodes and MUCH more can be found at EOFire.com.
Kindle Edition: Check Amazon for Pricing Digital Only
Release date May 23, 2014.

stand out from the crowdMy title is meant to be tongue-in cheek because anyone who has heard the “rules” for producing online content has probably, at least briefly, scratched their head and thought, “Huh?”

We’re told: Your content has to be compelling. It must be remarkable. Make it sizzle. Make it buzz-worthy. Make it EPIC! Make it influential. Make it go viral! Oh, my!!!

No pressure, eh?  It’s enough to make a content creator freeze in place. How the heck do you do that? What does it REALLY mean to be remarkable? Who defines what is compelling? Plus, even if you knew the secret, could you produce content like that consistently, day after day?

Give yourself a break.  Just create content that is “useful” and presented in a way that enlightens and entertains YOUR audience. That’s it!

If you know your niche and know your customers, you have the raw materials for an endless stream of relevant content. Figure out what your target audience cares about and wants to read, hear, see and share about your field.  If you don’t know, ask them in a survey or poll or email or social media appeal. Then, give it to them.

IDENTIFY YOUR CONTENT

Here’s an exercise to create a long list of topics. Write down on paper or on your computer the questions your customers ask you all the time.  You could probably list 100 of them. I’m sure you’ll have at least 10. 

Now think about what your customers fail to ask. What don’t they ask that would help them be better consumers of what you offer? Peel back the curtain with useful nuggets and factoids about your industry, the “should knows.” Another 10 items or more?

Think about the pain points and fears your clients express. What keeps them up at night that your expertise, product or service can help with?  Toss in some offbeat, just for fun topics you know will delight them. 

Keep in mind, if you don’t want to read it or watch it, your audience won’t either. How long is your list now?

WHAT FORMAT?

Next, map out what kinds of content you will create to share this information wrapped up with your expertise, ideas, suggestions, tools, resources and a call-to-action. Once you know what you want to express, you can slice and dice the same material in multiple formats.

Examples would be different versions of the same information presented clearly and concisely in a blog, articles, emails, social media posts, white papers, case studies, infographics, photographs, slide shows, podcasts, videos, hangouts. 

Plug your plans into a content calendar and start producing.  (There’s also the little matter of strategically distributing or syndicating your content.  Great content is useless unless you pull in a growing crowd to consume it, but that’s a post for another day.)

Overtime, this wealth of relevant, interesting content could grow into your own digital media empire. You could compile, re-purpose and “publish” the materials in Kindle books, digital magazines, Web TV and Internet radio shows, online courses, membership sites…and so it goes.

LOOK WHO’S TALKING?

By the way, your content does not have to be all you, all the time.  One voice can get boring.  Tap into the wisdom outside yourself to enrich your content.

Reach out to others in your field and related fields to contribute content and collaborate on producing content together. Be sure their contributions fall into the“useful and fun” content parameters you’ve identified that serve YOUR audience.

DEVELOP YOUR CONTENT

Each item on the list you wrote could potentially be broken down into 5 or more hooks and angles. Keep your audience up-to-date on changes in your field. Talk about how new developments came about and show them how to capitalize on them. Trace a topic’s history or ask guest experts to look at it from a variety of perspectives. Be a contrarian about an issue in the news or express controversial opinions on a topic, if that’s your style.

Elicit thought-provoking insights in discussions with  your guest contributors and encourage your audience – viewers, readers, listeners – to ask questions and share their views. (Getting audience members to make a remark = remarkable!)

FINAL THOUGHTS

Don’t over-think your content creation. Step back and breathe. Have fun! 

There’s no one standard for producing remarkable, compelling, sizzling, epic or whatever content. It’s in the eye of the beholder! Just aim for readable, useful, quality content and serve it up consistently.

Not everyone will LOVE your content and that’s okay. Deliver value that suits your target audience. When you find their sweet spot, your content is sure to be compelling.




Reach more customers than ever with TARGETED CONTENT

Epic Content Marketing helps you develop strategies that seize the competitive edge by creating messages and “stories” tailored for instant, widespread distribution on social media, Google, and the mainstream press. It provides a step-by-step plan for developing powerful content that resonates with customers and describes best practices for social media sharing and search engine discoverability.

Joe Pulizzi is a content marketing strategist, speaker and founder of the Content Marketing Institute, which runs the largest physical content marketing event in North America, Content Marketing World.

Kindle Edition: Check Amazon for Pricing Digital Only

Young woman in sunglassesIn this Digital Age, it’s possible to run a business as an entirely “virtual” venture. No face-to-face customer contact, no office, no employees.  Just you, your computer and a mobile phone. 

Many people dream of running this kind of business in their pj’s, from a coffee shop or on the beach, either as a sideline venture or as their main income producer.  But while owning a  “virtual” business can sound romantic and care-free, it can also present unique challenges.

In an increasingly searchable world, your online presence may be the only way potential customers will ever know about you or connect with you. You want to be visible and accessible and use every digital media means possible to establish that you are worthy of their trust.

As the Internet has grown more mature and mainstream, online buyers have become more savvy and skeptical about what they see online. The website of a real business and a fake one can look “virtually” identical.  Let’s talk about a few factors to consider to enhance your credibility and authority, key steps to show you’re not trying to hide behind your computer and ARE the expert you say you are.

CREDIBILITY MATTERS

When someone comes to your website, “googles” your name or checks your social media presence, what do they find?  Can they easily get the following information?

  • The name of your business?
  • Who the people involved in your company are? (The “about” page is one of a website’s most visited pages. Be sure you put a human face on your business because people want to do business with people, not impersonal entities.)
  • What does your company do?  Do you explain your mission, who you serve and note your products or services?
  • Is there a telephone number where you can be reached?
  • How about a physical address? (Tip: Get a Skype number that goes to voice mail and a P.O. Box for your business address)
  • Do you have testimonials from satisfied customers?

It goes without saying you will want to provide useful products, services and information at a fair price. Developing a customer base of repeat business is the path to success and you won’t get repeat customers, if you deliver poor quality products and services or fail to respond to customer service requests.

5 STEPS TO MAKE THE CONNECTION

  • Share quality content regularly
  • Be contact-able (I know, not a real word)
  • Promote repeat business
  • Encourage Word-of-Mouth
  •  Media credibility

In addition to the useful information you produce in your blog posts, videos, articles, books and other online media content to highlight your expertise and attract potential clients,  it is important to your credibility that your visitors see accurate, up-to-date information about you and a method to reach you. Nothing is more frustrating for a customer or prospect than to want to contact a business owner directly and not be able to find something as simple as a contact form on an entire website or blog.

On the flip side, once you deliver real value to your customers for their investment and show you care by keeping in touch and addressing their questions and concerns, not only will they be glad to purchase from you again, they will recommend you to others which will boost your credibility.  Word of mouth marketing is powerful, and the very best word of mouth you can get is a happy customer who raves to everyone about their positive experience working with you and signifies how much they trust you.

My favorite authority tactic (but, of course 8-) ) is  to get implied third party endorsement through media mentions, quotes and features from respected media outlets that you can display along side your customer testimonials and quality online content.(Contact me here for help with this.)

MediaIcons

Online hype may lead you to believe there’s an “easy button” for everything, but in my view, developing a stellar reputation for quality and service takes time and vigilance. You want a system with elements that all work together to position you as the “go-to” authority in your niche,.  No one online authority tactic will make or break your credibility, but one false move could open a floodgate of online complaints and negative reviews that quickly topple your carefully constructed expert image. As anyone who’s gone to high school knows, a reputation lost is very hard to regain.

Make a commitment to hone all aspects of your online presence to show you’re a trustworthy credible authority in your field and an expert worth doing business with. You don’t want to leave anything to chance in showcasing your abilities and value, if you plan to stand out from the competition online successfully.

(NOTE: I don’t design websites but know many quality people who do. What I can do is help you assess what you have and what you want and construct a custom strategy blueprint to help you build your digital assets and gain media authority.)

“You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do.”  – C.G. Jung

Good intentions and planning are wonderful and necessary, but often experts, entrepreneurs, coaches and consultants get stuck in a “getting ready to get ready” mode. 
We put barriers in our minds, telling ourselves we’ll be ready once we have more training, more equipment, more something in place. This ‘getting ready” takes all our focus and can keep us from using media to become visible and recognized as an authority in our field.

A Simple Action Plan

Last week I wrote about the foundational questions for crafting a Personal Publicity Plan. You can read it here.  Now let’s look at harnessing the power of media to get your message, products and services in front of your target audience. 

A quick jump start could be to write an outline or draw a mind map, sometimes called a spider or wheel diagram, to visualize a plan. A starting example might look like this:

 Spider DiagramTactics might include developing a business website and separate personal “celebrity” website, producing a blog or video blog, authoring a book or being featured as an expert in a chapter in a published book, getting media quotes, mentions and interviews online and in print, radio and TV, finding speaker opportunities, etc.  Sketch out from each heading a list of steps.

One Action One Focus

Your action details will depend on your goals and strengths. Choose one area to pursue, get out your to-do list and calendar, write down the steps you’ll take daily – weekly – monthly and set a deadline.
Start small. You don’t have to do everything; you can add other tactics incrementally. Often people build massive visibility and credibility as media authorities without ever moving beyond a couple of tactics.

The Key to Success

This is the most important piece of the puzzle. Create monthly newsworthy “events” for yourself and your business. Consistently build buzz to leverage your brand with social media content, in a press release, on your blog, in a video, etc.

Ready, Set, Go!

Recognize your media platform won’t happen overnight and nothing happens without taking the first steps. Don’t get stuck in preparation mode. Make a preliminary Fame Game Plan and take action today.

Thoughts?

5 Steps to Brand YOU Visibility

Microphone and Red Theater Curtain Personal PublicityHere’s a basic framework to begin to create a personal publicity plan.  As I often say, there is a formula to fame and while individual media tactics may differ, the foundational steps are the same.  Consider these 5 “big” questions as you chart your course.

1- What is Your Goal?

Before you take a road trip, you need to map out where you want to go.  Start with your current level of visibility and the media tools you are using. Then, think about where a personal publicity might take you. How do you want to be known?  Define what you stand for and what problems your expertise can solve. What is your story? What’s your dream?  What would “fame” in your field look like for you?

2- What is Your Message?

Your message is the central theme from which your media “fame” will grow. Tap into your passions. What are your main areas of interest? What in your personal or professional life makes this topic important to you? (This will be part of your media story. )

For example, my professional arena is media. My story is: I spent a lot of years working in traditional radio and television news and information programming and loved it.  What evolved in the early 2000’s for me was a passion for the emerging field of online media (called “new” at that time). That led to a desire to use my professional knowledge, experience and skill to help experts and entrepreneurs use digital media to develop a polished presence, build a media expert platform, get known and grow their business.

Think about  some well established media authorities. For example, Richard Simmons  and his passion for helping obese people lose weight and Suze Orman who offers no-nonsense personal finance advice. Their over-the-top personalities don’t appeal to everyone and what they say is information you could probably get from others in their field.  Yet they’ve packaged their passion in a way that sets them apart.  Their personal story and empowering “you can do it” message attracts legions of fans.

When you are clear on your message, care deeply about a subject, put your unique spin on it and express it consistently across media platforms, you stand out from the competition.

3- Who is Your Audience?

Do you want to make a splash and draw a crowd locally, nationally, internationally?  Do you want to attract members of your own profession or get in front of a particular demographic such as baby boomer women or entrepreneurial millennials?  Maybe your audience is people working in government locally or nationally.  Perhaps your audience is in a very specialized community such as tattoo artists, comic book collectors or artisan bakers.  Define the audience you want to serve in as much detail as possible.

4- What Do They Care About?

When you niche down and  understand your specific audience fully, you can research what they want to hear, why they would appreciate your message and deliver what they want! Set up google alerts on the topic. Read and scan niche magazines and newsletters.  Ask within your circles!  Send a brief survey to your email list or social media contacts. Talk to friends and colleagues in the niche about what thrills them in their industry, what issues bug them and what they’d like to see done.

Use this data to think about what you can say or do to educate and enlighten your audience…and perhaps most important…motivate them to action. (ie- want more from you!)

5- Where’s Your Audience?

Now you are ready to find an audience to express your expertise in a way these people want to hear. This article on The Buffer blog has lots of ideas and tools for tapping into a community online:  Find Your Audience and Build a Community

There’s more work to do to produce a strategic personal publicity plan, including some objective assessment of your strengths and weaknesses, but this is a good start.

Once you have a clearer vision and framework to make yourself “famous,” it’s time to craft the Action Plan.  I’ll talk about that next week!

Thoughts?

 

 

 

 

“What Gets Measured Gets Managed.”

~ Peter Drucker

WoodsyPencilNotebook946152_81375193

I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t spend a lot of time crunching numbers in my business.  My darling retired accountant husband pays the bills and I often joke that I am “innumerate.” But keeping track of numbers is an important aspect of maintaining and growing a business

One of the big challenges for entrepreneurs is often termed Bright Shiny Object Syndrome.  It happens to non-entrepreneurs too.  We are all wired to notice and be attracted to the “new,” but as a business owner, if you’re constantly trying or buying new things and neglecting or forgetting what you already have, you are wasting time and money.  And if you have a really bad case of BSO, your business is likely spinning its wheels- in other words stagnating – and your success will suffer.

I did a brilliant exercise this past weekend that gave me some insights into my own BSO leanings and helped me breathe new life into a plan to defeat it. One of my mentors sent out a simple excel spreadsheet to track all the online training and products you purchase month after month for your business.

SPREADSHEET EXERCISE

Across the top columns it lists the purchase date, the product/service name, the purchase price, whether it is a recurring charge, who created it, your reason for buying it, the URL, login, password, etc. and general notes.

I looked at my Paypal account and elsewhere for receipts and wrote it all down. What an eye-opening experience! My spreadsheet lists dozens and dozens of purchases since January, several of which I had forgotten about, some I had not “gotten around to” using yet and at least one I think I actually bought TWICE! (Ouch!)

Regarding implementation, I noticed I am quick to jump into training materials I buy, but slower to dive into getting a new tool set up and running and incorporated into my business. With this simple exercise, I discovered this behavior and now can be more mindful about changing it.

TAKE ACTION

With only a few more months left in 2014, taking this kind of inventory can help any entrepreneur work smarter. What purchases are you using fully and what tools and training did you invest in this year that you have overlooked? You have no way to calculate your R.O.I. (return on investment), unless you keep track of the I!

Don’t feel guilty. Bright Shiny Object Syndrome afflicts all of us. You still have time to get value out of what you have lying idle on your computer hard drive. Just do the exercise, become more aware of your tendencies and start working with what you already own to get results before 2015!

From now on, I am going to keep a running tally on a spreadsheet and look at it before I decide to make any new purchases. This one small step should make me a less likely BSO buyer and a more savvy action-taker!

Thoughts? Please leave a comment.

Beautiful Brunette Looking In Mirror On WhiteWhether your media expert platform involves a blog, a book, producing videos, webinars, podcasts, articles, press releases, a digital magazine or some other type of consistent digital marketing content, you want to guard against focusing it on only your own accomplishments, wants and needs. 

I encourage you to adjust your thinking and take the "ME" out of your media to grow your audience.  Instead, position yourself as an educator and advocate for your clients. 

 

WHO CARES?

The truth is your readers, viewers or listeners don't really care about you. They care about what YOU can do for THEM!  

Even if you are creating content that explains or shows how you do something,  make it about the steps and how they could do it.

LOOK, MA! NO ADS!

Content marketing is not about making commercials. In fact, one of its core principals is NO DIRECT SELLING.

We are all bombarded everywhere every day with advertising, commercials and sales pitches.  Ads are an irritating interruption and most of the time, we simply tune them out. 

To "sell without selling,"  share useful, high quality information that educates and delights your target audience.

Create media that presents actionable education in a fun way. Base the stories you tell and the examples you show on the systems and solutions you know can produce the results they want. Include a call-to-action to get them to take a next logical step with you such as download a template or checklist, attend a training webinar, join your FB group, etc. so you can interact with them more. Research shows it takes 7-12 "touches" to make a sale.

"Sell something and you make a customer. Help someone and you make a customer for life." 

~ Jay Baer, Author of YOUtility

The key to getting what YOU want is to provide value to help others get what THEY want.

IT'S FREE

It's okay to give away your best stuff.  Give them the whole enchilada, not a teaser.  You want your audience to feel empowered and confident they can do it themselves…but here's the secret…they won't want to!

After all, you're the expert with the media platform.  You wrote the book, produced the videos, led the workshop, hosted the podcast, ran the webinar, was quoted in the media, etc. You've proven you are a whiz at this stuff.  They'll want to work with you!

MEDIA MATTERS

When you know what your audience wants and give them insights, tools and resources to be better and do better, people will want more of you = SALES. 

The final step is to build TRUST in your authority and expertise with a two-pronged approach:

  • Syndicate the content you create for the "I see you everywhere" effect
  • Leverage media exposure to get implied 3rd party endorsement 

My team and I can help you accomplish both.  Schedule a free discovery session here.

BOOK NOTE: I received a good response to my post about podcasting a few weeks ago and wanted to recommend another book. What I like about this little Kindle is the focus on scripting which you can use to develop effective audio or video CONTENT.



The Podcast Scripting Book (Kindle Edition)

By (author): Donna Papacosta

One of the most common questions about audio podcasting is: "Should I script my podcast?" There are pros and cons to scripting or not scripting. In this book you'll learn when to script, when not to script, how to write a great script and how to read your script naturally. This knowledge will help you be a more effective podcaster. Whether you're already podcasting or just thinking of getting started, you can learn from Donna Papacosta, and her successes and flubs as a podcaster.
Kindle Edition: Check Amazon for Pricing Digital Only

spiral-notebook with pens-381032I don’t go anywhere without my trusty reporter’s notebook.  Friends kid me about it sometimes, but losing it would be akin to losing my wallet.  Why?  I would feel helpless without it because I keep notes about EVERYTHING in it… personal and professional.  If it’s on the "To Do" list in my notebook, it gets done – PERIOD.  

If something is not written in my notebook or on my calendar, it's out of sight, out of mind…gone, forgotten, non-existent.

The best way to have a good idea is to have a lot of ideas. ~ Linus Pauling
 

MY IDEA CATCHER ROUTINE

Another important aspect of my notebook is its running list of ideas. I write in it constantly.  I make notes for blog entries, video scripts and visuals, business ideas, products to create, headlines to write, titles of books to read or to write and so on.  I take notes on magazine articles when I am reading at the hairdresser and make notes when I read the morning newspaper.  I sometimes get up at night when I am trying to fall asleep to write down a phrase that is rolling around in my head.  When I spill what's stuck in my head onto paper (some call it a brain dump, but I am not enamored of that term), it frees and quiets my mind to relax or to move on to other thoughts.

Yes, ideas are everywhere, but I find I generally have to catch them when they arise or they're gone. You could certainly keep such lists on your computer, tablet or smartphone. There are probably software programs or apps that can do this, but I like to keep things simple.  My system consists of a notebook, a calendar and an editorial calendar. 

I do use a Google calendar online which I can share with others, but I also write down calendar items in a spiral day planner. I love technology, but for me, putting pen to paper for some tasks is more satisfying than digital notetaking and calendar entries.  I've played around with various online tools and software but ultimately the best productivity system, like the best video camera, is the one you will actually use. 

WHY AN IDEA NOTEBOOK HAS VALUE

When you have pages and pages of ideas, you won’t ever be stuck for content creation which saves time and reduces stress.  Maybe you won't use the exact idea you jotted down months ago.  Now, you may see a  connection between a couple of them and combine ideas together or see an entirely new angle on what you wrote.  Sometimes simply thumbing through the pages can spark another idea.  Who knows?  One of these scribbled entries might turn out to be a killer concept and a profitable light bulb moment!  Perhaps my little notebook has a 6-figure $$$ idea lurking inside. laugh

Years ago, The National Science Foundation estimated the human brain produces 12,000 to 50,000 thoughts per day and while most thoughts are not IDEAS, surely some of them must be.  Imagine the possibilities if you jotted down those ideas!  As any student of history will tell you, one good idea can change the world:  CNN – 10 Ideas that Changed the World

I was having coffee with a friend recently when she suddenly whipped out a notebook and said, “Hold that thought. That would make a good blog post.”  I laughed because I don't remember her doing that before.  Maybe she always has or maybe my little habit is rubbing off.

SUGGESTED HOME WORK:

With all the back-to-school sales going on right now, why not buy an inexpensive spiral notebook and start an "idea-catcher" habit of your own?  Let me know how it goes.

Do you have another way to keep track of ideas?  Please share with a comment!

 

Do You YouTube or TV?

Media_Star_single_star_labelYouTube has reached 6 BILLION views per month.  Wow. 

In less than a decade, what many people looked at as strictly a platform for amateur video distribution is now recognized as online TELEVISION.

It's no longer a question of watching YouTube or TV.  It's all television now.  According to PoweronMedia.com, YouTube has actually overtaken television as the primary source of entertainment, information and education for 18-24 year olds.

Significant brands are using high quality video production to produce TV-style programming for the platform;  sales growth in “Smart TV’s,” which integrate television with the Internet, is making it easier to access shows on multiple platforms and changing the viewer experience. 

YouTubers who recognized it as the future of television early on have become established stars of the medium and are creating businesses to profit from their increased visibility.

YouTube Stars Cash In Offline

Richest YouTube Stars in 2014

Becoming a YouTube sensation may not be your goal. Only a handful of the thousands of video creators are “stars.”  But there’s no question, creating online video for YOU-TV can be a powerful part of your media authority toolbox.

By establishing your own YouTube TV “channel,” you can appeal directly to your niche and attract the right audience to educate, entertain and sell your products, services, books, events and more.  Enhanced features on the platform this year allow fans to become more involved with your content, even contributing money to your projects.

As I’ve written before, my approach is a high-low video strategy in which we show clients how to augment their professionally produced business videos with simple DIY video blog (vlog) messages using a web cam, tablet or smart phone. They can all live on your YouTube TV Channel's playlists.

Professionally, I recommend clients buy a business account on Vimeo as the home base for their videos.  Owning a safe place for your videos that you control is important because YouTube is a free service and constantly evolving. I’ve known users who lost their channel and their entire collection of hundreds of videos because YouTube decided they violated its terms of service. 

But to be media-smart, don’t ignore YouTube. Post your videos on both platforms. It would be foolish to discount all those eyeballs!

 




This book is a video idea book for anyone interested in getting started with online video who is struggling to come up with video ideas.

Whether you are an author, speaker, service professional or entrepreneur, video can help you promote your expertise and grow your business.

In this book, you’ll discover 30 ideas for online videos. It's designed to give you the motivation to create video to stand out from the crowd, make a personal connection and spread the word about your business, your brand, your cause or yourself.

Why video? There’s nothing like video to boost your online visibility and credibility. Video can be more personal and persuasive than print to help potential customers get to know, like and trust you fast.

K-L-T is important because people want to do business with someone who is likeable and trustworthy. With video, you and your business come to life right before their eyes.

Make your business easier to find. With the click of a mouse, you can post video to your blog, website, YouTube, Facebook, etc. and people can watch your video from anywhere anytime, on their computer, smartphone, tablet, even on TV.

Cisco Systems estimates that 90% of web traffic will be driven by video by the end of 2013. Just think, you could be days away from getting the cutting-edge video advantage over your competitors by harnessing one of the most powerful marketing tools available today.
Kindle Edition: Check Amazon for Pricing Digital Only

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