Holiday Marketing and the Power of Giving

gratitudeIn the United States, just a few weeks ago we celebrated Thanksgiving Day.  I love that holiday, partly because of the foods that I enjoy, but mainly because it is one time of year when everyone talks about gratitude.

All over Facebook, people were sharing quotes and memes about counting your blessings and giving thanks.  Two of my favorites are:

It’s not happy people who are thankful, but thankful people who are happy.

Gratitude is not about having what you want but wanting what you have.

It’s also great time for small business owners to show their appreciation for their clients and customers.

Of course, we always see lots of special offers at greatly discounted prices.  While it’s nice to get a discount on something you wanted to purchase anyway, it has always struck me as kind of a back-handed thank you.

The underlying message is “I appreciate you so much for purchasing in the past that I’m going to entice you to purchase more from me.”  Or “I’m so grateful for you being my customer that I’m giving you another opportunity to buy from me again.”

There’s nothing wrong with offering special sales during the holiday season. But why not also give your clients or list subscribers or joint venture partners something completely free – just to really thank them?

I did this on the evening before Thanksgiving when I reached out via Facebook messages, quite spontaneously, to many of my clients and partners and even some of my mentors and teachers who I just wanted to thank for what I’ve learned from them. I offered them a free holiday cover video to upload to their Facebook pages.

I had so much fun giving away the videos I had worked hard to create. I loved seeing the surprised and pleased reply messages. I loved seeing the videos uploaded to their Facebook pages.

I’ll be honest: I also loved getting tagged on their appreciative Facebook comments. But my heart was already feeling full before that, just from the act of giving away something that made a lot of people happy!

The season of giving continues through December. What can you give to your clients, subscribers, joint venture partners, and others during the holidays? What can you give just for the sake of making people happy?

5 Secrets for Facebook Video Content

Are you taking advantage of all the “secret” features that Facebook provides to help you create and share video content more quickly and easily?

I’ve highlighted 5 good ones on this infographic, with hyperlinks to learn more about each one.  Use the slider on the right to move down through the full infographic.

And be sure to see my special invitation for free training below the infographic.

Would you like to learn more about these Facebook video secrets and how to actually use them?

I’ll be giving a free webinar on November 16th to demonstrate 2 of these techniques. And I’ll tell you how you can learn about the rest.

Click here to register and attend live OR watch the replay later.

Which of these 5 secrets is more interesting to you?  Which one do you think you’ll try first?  Or are you already using some of them?

Please leave a comment below.  I always like to hear from my readers and to find out what you are most interested in learning.


3 Tricks to Avoid Frightfully Bad Content

spider and Trick-or-TreatIn keeping with the Halloween spirit today, I’ll show you 3 frightful content problems to avoid and 3 tricks that you can use instead to create better content marketing.

And you may not even know these are a problem because so many other people are guilty of these mistakes in their content, that you might believe this is the standard way to create content — even the “right” way.

But in this blog post, you’ll get a better understanding of how your audience actually processes your content in their brains and why some of these common practices don’t help them absorb your message!

Plus I have a treat for you at the end of this blog post.


Steam_GhostSpooky Content Problem #1:  Vague, Wandering Topic

One annoying problem we, as viewers, experience far too often is presenters who don’t plan their content and they wander all over, talking too long about vague ideas that don’t offer enough value.

If someone asked your viewers an hour later what they learned from you, what would they say? Would they remember your key points? Would they remember anything at all?

Make sure you identify the most important points you want them to remember.  A good way to make those key points stick in your audience’s brains is with visual images.


Bullet_Points_Are_CreepyCreepy Content Problem #2:  Too Much Text on Screen

Did you know that people cannot read and listen at the same time? Verbal information – both written and spoken – is processed in the verbal part of the brain.

So when you make your audience try to read text at the same time that they are trying to listen to you speak, their brains cannot process both forms of input.

Instead give them one short headline on each slide or page of content. Use those simple headlines to summarize your key points. Then add a large picture or animation that supports the point you’re making and does not distract them from listening to your spoken explanation.


Skeleton_StructureScary Content Problem #3:  Unstructured Content

Having a clear, solid structure for your content helps people quickly understand the information you’re giving them.

And when they understand your ideas, they can more easily make a decision about investing in your offer.

Regardless of the form of your content, let your viewers or readers know what you’re going to talk about, how many key ideas you’ll share, and when you are transitioning from one idea to the next.


rotten_pumpkinRotten Pumpkins Award!

What is your biggest complaint about poorly designed content?

What common, annoying practices do you see far too often?

Please share a comment below and I’ll feature your idea in a future blog post.


candy-corn Trick-or-Treat

Are you ready for a treat?

Since visual images are such an important part of creating good content marketing, I thought I would share with you my top 10 favorite sites for downloading free pictures.

Most of these download sites offer all public domain images. However, some of them do occasionally have some pictures that are NOT in the public domain.

Remember, it is your responsibility to read and understand the terms of service, which vary from one site to another, and the license agreement for using pictures from each site.

To download this free list, just click here OR click on the Trick-or-Treat image at the right.




3 Steps to Repurpose Content Marketing Graphics

how to repurpose content marketing graphic imagesHow can you repurpose graphic images into different types of content when different image dimensions may be required?

NOTE: If you prefer to listen, the core ideas of this blog post were shared on an episode of my FB Live show, “Coffee, PPTea & Me.”  Watch/listen here.

My workflow follows these 3 basic steps:

1. Plan ahead for what different types of content I want to create with a particular image.

I refer to this as multi-purposing — planning right up front to create a piece of visual content in multiple formats.  This could include blog post graphics, social media memes, short videos, infographics, e-books, and more.

2. Determine which format requires the largest image dimensions.

The largest image could be a social media cover or header image, such as for a LinkedIn profile or a YouTube channel.  Or it could be a bit smaller, like a slideshow or a YouTube video, both of which would need a 16 x 9 (widescreen) format.

It’s important to figure out the largest version that you will need for the particular image.  That way you can be sure you download the image with a high enough resolution that it won’t get stretched, pixelated, or blurry.

Image cropped to vertical dimensions3. Then I work my way down through each successively smaller image.

The widescreen image at the top of this blog post can also be used as a header in my Facebook group, although it will need a bit of cropping which Facebook will handle as I upload it.

Then I would proceed to cropping out a vertical image that could be used in a collage or, in my plans, for a slideshow video on my Facebook business page.

Finally I’ll crop that down to a square image to use in a meme in the Facebook newsfeed.

Graphic Tools

Since I like to use PowerPoint for this type of design layout, I have work files set up with various dimensions that I use for creating blog graphics, videos, etc.  Each of the images in this blog post was created using a different PowerPoint file with the slide/page dimensions set, respectively from top to bottom:  Widescreen (16:9); Portrait (Widescreen) with custom size 7.5 inches by 13.333 inches; and Square custom size of 10 inches by 10 inches.

But you could follow a very similar process as these 3 steps with any software you use to create your graphic designs.

To learn how to change the dimensions of a PowerPoint slide layout, see my video “Setting PowerPoint Slide Size in Pixels.”  The slide dimensions can be entered as inches or centimeters.  Dimensions can also be entered as pixels and PowerPoint will be automatically convert to either inches or centimeters, depending on the general settings for your operating system.

Examples of Multi-Purposed Graphics

square format for images on FacebookThe image at the top of this blog post is in the original format and dimensions.  I simply added the text box in the upper right corner.

The portrait image above was cropped from the center of the original image.  It is being used in a slideshow video on my Facebook Page, along with other pictures in portrait dimensions.

The square image on the right was shared as a meme on Facebook, Pinterest, and Google+, with links in those posts directing viewers back to this blog post.

How do you work with graphic images for your content marketing?  What are your biggest challenges?  Is there something you really struggle with?

Share your thoughts below and let me see how I can help in a future blog post.  I always enjoy hearing from my readers so I can make sure I’m sharing content that will be valuable to you.  Thanks in advance for your input!