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!

 

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

mic_on_the_air_pc_400_clr_4940I began my broadcasting career in radio before moving over to TV news and have always loved the medium.  The “theater of the mind” aspect of radio storytelling is so creative and magical and it’s a pleasure to listen to skilled interviewers like Terry Gross on NPR's Fresh Air talk with her fascinating guests.

YOU ARE THE MEDIA

In the online media world, YOU can recreate the radio experience to raise your voice and your online profile by sharing your message through “podcasting.”  The Internet radio format has been around for a number of years, but now podcasting is seeing a resurgence in popularity with new and different tools and platforms.

For example, the free app called STITCHER gives listeners access to 25-thousand + podcasts and radio shows on demand on a smartphone, tablet or desktop.  The podcasting field is growing but it isn't saturated yet so this is a great time to make your mark in your niche.

BENEFITS OF PODCASTING

A podcast that continually promotes your brand identity with its informative and entertaining material has many benefits.  For example, when you interview known experts, their “star power” reflects on you and if they promote the interview to their "tribe," it helps you become better known and extend your reach. Interviewing influencers positions you as a credible media authority which will enhance your ability to attract a wider audience and grow your business.

In addition, you can create more inbound marketing content by linking your podcast to your blog and sharing it in your social media communities.  Plus, your podcast can be distributed through multiple online platforms where it can play 24-7, ready for new audiences to discover YOU. 

A podcast can be an excellent plank in a media authority platform.  People are able to listen in many places where "watching" doesn't work, like in their car, while exercising or on the job. 

You know how much I love video, but even if you currently do video hangouts, you can repurpose the content as a podcast and distributes it through iTunes and elsewhere.  Why not produce one piece of content such as an online interview and re-use it multiple ways?  Record the content once for a video, make it a podcast, a blog post, turn the transcript into a special report, a slide show, etc. 

PERFORMANCE TIPS

In terms of performance, hosting a show that listeners enjoy takes some skill.  For example, it's important to keep your vocal energy high throughout your program.  You don't need to possess a deep old-time "radio announcer voice," but you also don't want to speak in a high-pitched squeal or monotone or use excessive um's and ah's and empty phrases such as "you know" and "like" all the time. 

A few practice runs should help you smooth out your delivery.  It's important to pay attention to your vocal quality because since the audience has no visuals, you have only the sound of your voice to keep them engaged. 

Also, please don't try to wing it through expert interviews.  Before you record a podcast, take the time for show preparation.  You owe it to your guests and your listeners to read background material, script the open of your show and write up some intriguing questions.

It's fine to ask impromptu questions as the interview progresses because you're listening carefully to the guest's responses and want to clarify or dive deeper, but prepare some initial questions around their expertise to get the ball rolling.

PET PEEVES

It drives me crazy when podcast interviewers stumble through guest introductions or ask closed questions that get only yes-no responses rather than open questions that elicit longer answers and get the guest expert talking. 

I also dislike hearing podcast hosts go off on their own long stories and tangents instead of focusing on bringing out the best in their guests.  That style may work for certain radio shows where the draw is the strongly opinionated host and the guest is simply a foil.  It's unlikely most podcasters looking to build their business will win clients by exhibiting that kind of  overbearing personality. (info-tainment content is the way to go.)

STILL INTERESTED?

If podcasting sounds like fun, it can be!  But recognize a podcast, like any marketing initiative, will take commitment.  Producing good quality content on a consistent schedule involves work.  

Start your research by listening to podcasts in your niche (and other niches, if you have time) on iTunes or Stitcher.  Brainstorm ways you could add your voice and unique value proposition in a show using this medium. 

Your next move would be to explore the equipment and platforms available for podcasting.  Decide what tools you'll want to acquire. (I'd say a good USB microphone is a must.)

Be sure to map out a strategy for how you plan to develop interesting topics, line up guests, distribute your podcast and monetize your programs.

If you already have a podcast, let me know in the comments and I'll be sure to give it a listen!

 




Review:
“Podcasting for Promotion, Positioning and Profit is your blueprint to podcasting success!   Kris is a master at helping business owners position themselves to stand out from the crowded marketplace and attract a loyal following of customers.  If you want to differentiate yourself and become an authority with a thriving podcast, then get this book!”

~ Lewis Howes , Ranked by Incomediary.com’s  “50 Most Influential People in Blogging.”

About the Book:
-Are you looking for a way to generate consistent leads, traffic, and sales for your business?
-Do you want to stand out form your Competition and Become the Celebrity of Your Niche ?

Then Podcasting for Promotion, Positioning, and Profit IS your guide to showing you How to Podcast and tap into over 600,000,000 affluent buyers and over 1 Billion Podcast Subscribers to have your standing out as The Expert In your space.

In this book you’ll learn:
-- How to Podcast - Top 10 Reason for Any Business
-- Why it is Vital that you have 2-3 Mediums In Your Marketing Going
Forward; Podcasting, Video, & Blogging
-- How to Stand out with a Podcast? 3500 Blogs to 1 Podcast as a Woman
-- How to Be Discovered from a Podcast = More Media, More Exposure, More Business
-- How to Craft a Unique Podcast  - Unique Process for Success
-- How to Craft a Unique Title, Cover Art, Program to Stand Out
-- Step by Step process on how to record, edit produce and launch your podcast
-- How to Increase traffic to your Website from 40-500% increase
-- How to Market Your podcast with what you’re already doing
-- How to Monetize your Podcast to 6 Figures
-- and tons more!

Testimonials:  

With the coaching and advice I received from Kris, I was able to craft a show that got attention. In just four weeks of launching my podcast my website traffic increased by 500 percent and my email subscriptions increased dramatically.   If you are serious about using a podcast to promote and brand your business, Kris is the one you need to help you get it done.

~ Wess Murray, NY Fitness Expert, Essentially Fit Podcast

My podcast "The Money Pillow" is averaging around 2000 + downloads a day and I can honestly say if it wasn't for the expert guidance and help I got from Kris I wouldn’t be getting the same results. She knows this medium better than anyone else I know and her advice and direction is 100 percent responsible for my shows success ! In less than two weeks, I received sponsorship offers & I'm excited to turn this podcast into my next "Money Pillow"

~ Sean Malarkey- Marketing Expert & Lifestyle Entrepreneur - The Money Pillow Podcast

People are subscribing to my email opt-in and taking the seven-day free trial membership and continuing on as paid members too! I highly recommend this program to any author, speaker, coach,entrepreneur or business owner who wants to launch an audio or video podcast.

~ Rhonda Del Boccio, Book Publishing Expert, CA   - The Author Adventure Podcast -

My audience has doubled since I started podcasting! And  I had 16,502 hits on my website in November! Thank you Kris for all you taught me in your Podcasting Pro System!

~ Stephanie Mann, CA – Safe Kids Now Podcast

I'd never done any podcasting (or broadcasting of any kind) before, & using her system I was able to go from ZERO to LAUNCH in two weeks.   Kris has cut through all of the confusion out there about podcasting to create a world-class resource that can help you achieve your goals .   She's done everything for you but create your content. I highly recommend her!

~ Melanie St. Ours, Health Expert - Creative Wellness Podcast
Kindle Edition: Check Amazon for Pricing Digital Only

Smiling Woman in sunglasses holding beach ball Want to become a business celebrity? Are you ready for your close-up? What would it take to make a name in your industry?

Get started on a campaign by thinking about who knows you and what you are known for?  Then, on paper or on your computer, sketch out a step-by-step platform strategy roadmap to build your business fame.  A Magnetic Media Expert Platform can't spring up out of nothing. 

First a definition of platform.  I define your expert platform as both what you stand for and what you stand on.

Every field has its “celebrities,” well-known business owners, doctors, candidates, lawyers, authors, etc. who are viewed as industry STARS.  These individuals have figured out how to grow and use their “fame” platform. They share what’s unique about themselves through personality marketing to get recognized and stand out from the crowd. 

As their visibility increases, they attract bigger audiences. More people want to connect with them, learn from them and most important in our context, buy from them and work with them. 

VISIBILITY + AUDIENCE = PLATFORM

Each expert’s platform strategy will be somewhat different, but generally the roadmap to becoming better known will involve online and off-line activities to gain exposure and get more clients:

  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Internet/Social Media Presence
  • Traditional Media – print, radio, TV

Don’t like to speak or write?  Take heart. You don’t have to do all these things, but you will need to do some of them to get attention. (I'd say writing is probably more essential than speaking.)

MEDIA OPTIONS

As my regular readers know, my preference is online media content creation.  Producing and distributing your own content, or hiring people to do it for you, keeps the control of your message in your hands.  Online media is the fastest path to platform building and at the center of my consulting work.  I help clients develop and execute their media platform strategy.

Writing a blog, hosting a podcast, building a strong social media presence, shooting video, publishing a Kindle book, etc. are activities that can incrementally and affordably help grow your media expert platform.  By using tools on your computer, tablet or smartphone, you could create media around your message today and get it “out there” online the same day. How great is that?

Implied third party endorsement from media publicity is also powerful.   You give up control over the content, but who wouldn’t want to see their name in quotes and interviews in articles, radio, and television?  However, mainstream media works differently than the Internet. 

Getting past media gatekeepers to win coverage can be time-consuming and expensive. Plus the traditional media audience is diverse so for all that effort, you may not get your message in front of the “right” prospects.

TIME

“Fame” of any kind does not happen overnight. Hollywood loves that storyline, but usually the reality is their new STAR and latest discovery has been training or performing in the hinterlands for years before their big break. 

Likewise, no individual blog post, video, speech or quote will catapult your name to the top of the business celebrity A-list.  Plus your first video, social share or blog post may not be the most stellar example of what you will eventually produce.  You may need to create media content for months, or even a year, before you get traction.

Still, when you build your platform, it is always working for you, especially online where people around the globe are searching for answers and solutions 24-7.

MONEY

The truth is achieving business fame alone won’t make you rich.  The Cheers Effect where “Everybody Knows Your Name” is not enough. You have to structure a mechanism to monetize the attention you get and convert fans into buyers. While recognition may open doors, it is also possible to become recognized and remain broke. 

When you develop your roadmap and implement a consistent system for showing up regularly on social media, in blog posts, articles, videos, at speaking gigs, with a new book, etc., your growing media platform will become an attraction magnet for new opportunities and more clients.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Pursuing “fame” for its own sake is simply vanity and the clients you attract deserve better.  However, if you are a professional with a message who is serious about increasing your reach, investing in creating a Magnetic Media Expert Platform can help you serve more people and make a bigger impact.

What are your thoughts about business fame? 

Focus and Distraction On Video

Focus

Last time I wrote about what to say. (If you missed it, you can read it here.)  This post is about how to say it. 

Because I advised you last time to speak naturally in plain language to the lens, you might think you can use the same level of delivery and expression you use “in real life.”  Unless you are highly energetic IRL, that will not work on camera.  You have to pump up the energy in your face, your body, your gestures to have personality on video that looks normally energetic. 

FOCUSED ENERGY

It takes a lot of concentration to get your message across effectively on video.  When you are shooting a talking head personality video, you'll want to remove all distractions from your mind.  Speak with new energy and focus, passionately and earnestly into the lens as you picture talking to an individual you know well.

For some reason, the camera is like a vampire. It sucks the life out of your natural energy, but you can overcome this energy drain with practice. See what the right energy feels like for you by doing a series of trial run videos with varying levels of effort. 

GOLDILOCKS VIDEOS

This exercise will help you figure out what is too much – too little – just right so you can practice at the right energy intensity.  Shoot 3 videos of yourself:

  • Presenting in your normal way
  • Doing it super over the top
  • Finally, cut back to mid-level animation. 

Play back the videos and observe which one works best. You may have to shoot more than 3 before you discover that perfect place. You’ll probably find your energy is just right, when you’ve built up your expressiveness to the point that you’re feeling slightly uncomfortable. 

I often equate this level of performance energy to a kindergarten teacher at a cocktail party.  She’s used to keeping the attention of little kids for hours at a time with her upbeat demeanor and it doesn’t change when she’s around adults. It can be somewhat tiresome to witness in person, but it’s the type of animated energy the camera  loves.

WATCH YOUR EYES

Make sure your eyes look directly into the lens and never waver.  Sure, you should blink naturally to avoid that "deer in the headlights" stare, but do not let your eyes wander from side to side or look around the room while you are speaking to the camera. If you want to break eye contact (and you should in a long piece,) look down briefly as if you were consulting notes.

Follow these guidelines and experiment with test videos to unlock your natural on-camera charisma.  Soon you'll gain confidence and be able to easily promote yourself and your business in videos that display your fresh, engaging personality. 




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Personality, Personality, Personality is part of the Acting for Real Series which teaches anyone from your newspaper carrier to your Fortune 500 CEO how to use the empowering tools and strategies actors use. Now you can project your personality in person, via public speaking or in web video. Thom McFadden is the acting Coach to the Stars. Gain his valuable instruction, (for which he charges over $1000 a session) and insight. Learn how to project your true charismatic personality, no matter the circumstances, and win in business, love and life.
Kindle Edition: Check Amazon for Pricing Digital Only

Say It Plain on Video

Speech Bubble What ComicsTalking to the video camera should be the same as talking to a person in real life.  That’s the viewer’s perception on the other side of the lens.  It appears you are talking directly to them.

Writing a script is fine, especially if you want to make sure you cover something in detail, but be sure you write the script in plain language. 

SCRIPT TIPS

Scripts are not written in the language your English composition teacher required.  They are written as spoken word, like the dialogue in a play.

If you don’t need to include a lot of detail, you may want to simply tape a bullet point list under the lens to keep your comments on track during the video. Then talk to the camera as you would to a friend sitting across the table from you.

Read your script out loud before recording it and think about whether your neighbor would speak that way while chatting over the back fence.  Ask a friend if what you are saying makes sense and if any phrase or word is something people write but do not say.

Of course, the language you choose will depend on the intended audience.  If you know your viewers will be tech- savvy or doctors or lawyers or engineers, you may want to include a little insider jargon to show your expertise.  But use it sparingly.  Always aim for clarity first.

Even in the most sophisticated audience, there may be newbies who aren’t up on the lingo yet and you'll lose them.  Clear simple language is generally the best way to make your point with any audience. 

CHOOSE WORDS THAT WORK

A writer colleague was recently dashing off a quick couple of lines for the talent during a shoot and wrote something like, “we thank you for your inquiries.”   Hmm. I can honestly say I have never heard anyone SAY "inquiries." 

Is it correct English?  Sure, but it would make the talent sound like they were reading a script and the trick in on-camera presentation is to sound like you are talking. 

Plus, if a viewer has to think about what a word means even for a moment, they'll be stuck in their head and miss the next part of your message.

In spoken language, you use repetition, sentence fragments, unusual grammar and vocabulary constructions and colloquialisms you would never include in a formal written speech.  And that's okay because just like in a face-to-face  conversation, your facial expression, gesturing, inflection, etc. will get the point across.

ON-CAMERA SKILLS ARE LEARNED

No one is born talking to people through a video camera, though some do it more naturally than others from the start.  Still, everyone can get better with a little training and practice.

When you appear confident and comfortable on-camera and speak in plain language, the people watching you feel comfortable and are more likely to believe what you're saying. 

When your script is right and you're able to speak naturally, you appear more credible and authentic.  

DO's AND DON'Ts

You don't want to look like a stiff mannequin staring into the camera lens and mouthing a written text full of tech speak, business speak or legalese with zero personality or warmth in your expression.  You do want to talk to each viewer as a friend. Don't read to them.

Anyone who has a message to share can benefit from developing their on-camera skills. Presenting your authentic personality on-camera can go a long way in selling your ideas, products, services and yourself.

Use the contact form below to email me about video coaching.  We can work together in person or online in a private Google Hangout or on Skype. I can help you develop the scripts and visuals to produce videos for your website, YouTube channel, Vimeo, and more. 

Get media-ready and shine online.

Your Name (required)

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Your Message

rally_the_troops_400_clr_10095Becoming a recognized expert and attracting a crowd with your Magnetic Media Expert Platform takes time, effort, thought, planning…and generally some type of monetary investment.  Just because you can start a free blog, host a free webinar, shoot and edit photos or video with a free app on your smartphone does not mean you should rely on free tools alone to market your business.

I called this post "magical thinking" because finding a responsive audience online doesn't just happen.  Too many people are disappointed when their visibility does not skyrocket and their business soar from an occasional blog article, new website design or one video shot on their phone. 

Creating a Magnetic Media Expert Platform is not just about using the right tools. You need a strategy for developing and delivering consistent media content to achieve the results you want. 

BIGGER IMPACT, BIGGER INCOME

What are some of the moves you can make to stand out and reach more people with your message?    Here are some ideas:

  • Publish quality content on your own blog, website, social media, etc. regularly.
  • Build a strong online presence in as many different media areas as possible.  Distribute your content widely in many forms. For example, you could conduct training webinars, host Google Hangouts, run podcasts, do guest articles for authority sites, etc.
  • Author a book. Nothing says "expert" in the media like the title "author" in front of your name. You can outsource the writing, proof reading and formatting, then self-publish on many platforms including Amazon CreateSpace, Kindle, Lulu and others.
  • Produce multiple videos on your subject. Make the content educational and show your expert knowledge by addressing common problems your target market faces. Include a call-to-action but I do not recommend making these videos into online commercials.  You're trying to build an audience of people who want to do business with you or refer business to you.  No one sits down willingly to watch commercials! (except during the Super Bowl) People watch online video to be entertained and informed. Again, you can DIY and/ or get expert help.  I wrote about my approach to authority positioning with  high-low video production recently.
  • Write and distribute articles to influential blogs, magazines and authority publications online.
  • Write and distribute press releases to highlight your events, developments and achievements. 
  • Leverage the power of your online presence within your market by strategically connecting,  networking and maintaining contact with influencers, market leaders and  of course, your customers.  
  • Speak at industry events and in front of audiences that fit your target market.

I know this is a long list and there are many more ideas!  But don't get overwhelmed. You don't have to do all of them or all at once. 

Whether you put together the game plan yourself or work with an online media strategist,  develop a road map that will help you deliver good consistent content.  

Pick a couple tactics and run with them.  Then, after 90 days of serious effort, measure your results.  Rinse and repeat or if it's not working for you,  regroup and try something else!

PATIENCE AND PERSISTENCE

None of  it happens overnight, but with each article, video, social media mention, etc. you add a visibility "plank" to your media expert platform.  Again no magic here, just working a plan to incrementally become better known online over time.

Save time by repurposing the same quality content in various ways.  For example, create an article, a video and a podcast that are all slightly different presentations but share the same basic information.  This gives people interested in your subject, multimedia choices for how to  engage with you and your material.

HIGHER PROFILE FOR HIGHER PROFIT

The higher your profile, the higher your potential profit because online visibility makes you and your expertise seem more valuable than the "invisible" expert.  That's why investing time, effort, thought, planning and $$$  to boost your visibility, credibility and authority platform is worth doing.

 

redhaired woman hides faceI work with a young woman whose on camera career is growing.  She is steadily getting more and more opportunities to showcase her talent, but if you looked at her social media presence, you'd never know it.

While she's conscientious about posting photos and comments to promote events she's involved in and compliment individuals she works with, she does not do much self promotion.

Many people are modest and unassuming.  They're uncomfortable tooting their own horn and do not want to brag.   But in creating your magnetic media expert platform online, it's important to learn to give yourself a shout-out now and then.  Extreme humility can hurt you and thwart your aspirations.

WHY WE DISLIKE BRAGGARDS

We've all seen examples of shameless, overbearing ME-ME-ME behavior in movie and TV comedies.  These self-centered characters are meant to be outrageous and make people laugh.  Nobody wants to be "that guy," right?

Still, who will tell your story better than you can?  By applying the art of self promotion, you can subtly call attention to your accomplishments without seeming crass or conceited.

ONE FORMULA for social posting is called "the humble brag" and goes like this: 

Emotion + (event, activity, achievement)

Some examples might be:

  • I'm thrilled to be…
  • I can't believe I am…
  • I am grateful to…
  • I am so fortunate to…
  • Wow, this is amazing. I am…
  • I am so proud to be a part of….
  • What a dream come true! I am actually…

When you express genuine gratitude about your good fortune, it is not boasting.  Sharing your personal feelings about something in your life is not bragging.  It's the kind of post the social media community eats up.

Now delivering the humble brag can be tricky. Don't force it. If you really intend to boast and are trying to hide it with a compliment or false modesty, people will spot your insincerity.  

STORIES SELL

Tell a little story about your experiences, especially a humorous or self-deprecating one.  Take people "back stage" in your world for a behind-the-scenes adventure only insiders see. 

EDIT YOURSELF

Don't overdo it.  You don't want to crow about every little thing that happens constantly.  Strategically pick and choose what you mention to promote yourself and mix it in with other kinds of social medial content.  Plus keep it short! 

FRIENDSHIP CIRCLE

Okay, so you'd MUCH rather have other people talk you up. I get that. Third party endorsement is important for credibility building and has tremendous value. Prime the pump by making a deal with a few friends and associates to promote, like and share each others' successes. 

Just make sure everyone knows how to do it subtly and no one goes overboard, laying it on too thick or posting phoney praise.

KEEP IT REAL

The whole key to avoid being "that guy" is authenticity.  Be honest and do not inflate your position or achievements. Talk about the other people on the team as much or more than you talk about yourself. Never try to manipulate a situation just for visibility.

When I talk to this young woman, she is genuinely thrilled and amazed by the opportunities that are coming her way and in awe of some of the people she's meeting and the places her career is taking her.

If she adds social media comments expressing these feelings about her experiences, she'll enhance her personal brand and take supporters, fans and followers along for the ride, with no hint of a boast or brag.

sunrise-free Pixabay-Angelou QuoteIn working with clients, I always keep this favorite Maya Angelou quote in mind.  It's also an important aspect of how effective testimonials work on camera because the essence of a good video testimonial is a customer who expresses positive emotions about working with you.

Every business wants to show off lots of compelling testimonials to win new customers.  Displaying written testimonials on your website and marketing materials is one way to do it.  To really be unique,  why not mix in video testimonials? 

Real people talking on camera about you and your business can make a powerful impression on a potential client.  Seeing and hearing your satisfied buyer makes the human connection with a viewer that is almost as persuasive as getting  a word-of-mouth recommendation from a friend.  

THE PROCESS

Sometimes when you ask someone to shoot a testimonial, they'll prepare something and show up ready to go, when the camera rolls.   But most of the time, that does not happen. People will usually tell you they don't know what to say or they are uncomfortable "talking to the camera."

Reassure them they'll do fine and they'll be talking to you, not the camera.  Also while you secretly want them to praise you to the stars, resist the temptation to write the script for them or to tell them exactly what to say.  

You want  your testimonials to flow, to sound sincere and authentic and not feel staged or forced.  The best testimonials resonate with  viewers when they are an expression of genuine appreciation of you and your work. You are more likely to get that when people tell their story in their own natural voice.

That said, there's nothing wrong with giving them a little direction.  Roll the camera for an interview and start a conversation.  Keep it low-key and chatty so they get comfortable, before getting to the "meat" of the testimonial.    Some questions might be:

  • Give me a brief summary of who you are and what you do and the problem you were facing?
  • How did you find out about me and my business?
  • What specifically set my company apart when you made the decision to buy my product or service/hire me?
  • What was your experience with my product or service?
  • How did we solve your problem ?
  • How did you feel about the results?
  • What did you particularly like about what we did or how we did it?
  • Why would you recommend my company/product / service to someone else?
  • Who do you think my product or service is suited to?
  • What would you say if someone asked if they should use my company/product / service?

Get them to speak in whole sentences with rich details and heartfelt emotion.  What you want to avoid is simply, "Ted and his crew were great."  A quick before and after anecdote works especially well.  Tease out specifics about the work you did to produce a personal testimonial that will stand out in the viewer's mind. 

Please note: be sure you interview people long enough to get plenty of good comments you may or may not use. The idea is to pick and choose the best comments to edit into the final testimonial video.  Even ask them to repeat a good comment since people often speak haltingly as they form their thoughts the first time they speak and will say the thought better and more smoothly the second time.  (DO NOT put words in their mouths or do a choppy edit to make them say something they did not say.   The testimonial will look staged and not ring true for the viewer.)

THE FORMULA

In the final edited version,  you want to end up with something like this:

"I'm so and so of X business."  Or X location or whatever introduction fits your customer.

Then add statements similar to these:

I needed help with (problem) and decided to work with (business name) because…

The result was…(emotion + fact)

One thing I especially liked was…

The whole experience was…(emotion + fact)

I would recommend (business name) to people who…

If they asked me, I'd say choose (business name) because…(emotion + fact)

IN CLOSING

A good rule of thumb is a 30-60 second video testimonial, although it's okay to run a little longer, if the speaker is animated and interesting.  Tell the person you will edit together the best of what they've said and show it to them before you post it.

Your customers are likely to surprise you following this formula.  When you get people talking about their experience, your satisfied customers will probably say amazingly complimentary things about you;  things you would never have thought to write in a script.  

High-Low Online Video Strategy

As anyone online has realized, the Internet has become a highly visual place and video is a huge draw, since most people blue stick_figure_out_of_monitor_1936would rather watch than read. 

A recent infographic from Brightcove shared some interesting research about good video versus bad video experiences.  You can see the whole image here:  http://files.brightcove.com/highcostoffree-infographic.jpg

This part stood out for me:

  • 62% are likely to have a NEGATIVE PERCEPTION of a brand that publishes a poor quality video experience

  • 23% would HESITATE TO PURCHASE from the brand

  • 60% said a poor quality video experience would DISSUADE THEM FROM ENGAGING with the brand across all its social media properties

  • 57% are LESS LIKELY TO SHARE a poor quality video experience

Ouch!  I've always said, having no video is better than bad video, BUT in the online world today, if your business has no video, your competition with video will have the advantage.  Still, you can't just put up any video. The Brightcove survey found, a poor quality video experience can actually hurt your business.

Producing quality video is a big part of what I do.  And to be honest, to get quality, you need to commit time, effort, thought and a few dollars.  If you want to be taken seriously as a business professional  who takes pride in their product or service, don’t skimp and substitute amateur video.

That said, I usually recommend a hybrid web video strategy to help clients keep costs down. You could call it a “high-low” online video strategy. 

Women are probably most familiar with the high-low concept.  It’s used in fashion and home decorating all the time.  The idea is to invest in a few good quality pieces and then mix the higher end items with lower priced goods in a way that makes the whole outfit or room look richer than the individual parts. In fashion parlance, it means pairing something grand with  basic items such as wearing a designer jacket with blue jeans. 

Here’s how that can work with online video:  Your digital media platform will grow best from establishing a quality base of foundational videos produced professionally.  Get several well-edited videos with good audio, good lighting, good backgrounds and framing that help visually position you as an expert in your field and cement the perception of you as a credible authority. 

These videos can be used as an opt-in video for your landing page, an about me page video, an explainer video about your product or service, a welcome video people see when they join your list, etc.

Then,  regularly post short simple DIY videos on social media, as a video blog (vlog), as links in your email marketing, etc. These can be shot, edited and posted from a mobile phone or tablet.

The key is to make sure the content quality is equally good in both your pro and DIY videos.  

I am happy to chat with you for 15 minutes about your digital media strategy.  Contact me using this form to set up a convenient time.

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