Almost everyone loves to celebrate holidays, especially those that are tied to family and ethnic traditions like Hanukkah, Christmas, Divali, and Kwanza.
Sure, some of us have our Grinch-y moments, but overall we usually find ourselves in a good mood during the winter holidays – sharing cheer with colleagues and co-workers, selecting special gifts for friends and family, and starting to look forward to improving ourselves and our business in the new year!
Most people also love sharing holiday greetings on various social media platforms. Here are 3 ways you can make your holiday visual content stand out in the social media feeds or streams instead of just sharing other people’s content creations.
1. Update your header cover or profile images
One of the advantages of these updates is that your friends and followers will be automatically notified that you’ve changed your image. So that’s an easy post that puts you in their awareness, as well as sharing your holiday greeting with them.
Be creative and original with this, choosing images that reflect your interests or your business focus. But be sure you use very high quality images that are sized correctly for each specific social media platform.
Click here to access an updated tip sheet with all the sizes for the different platforms. Or use a graphic design tool like Canva.com, Pixlr.com, or PicMonkey.com and use their built-in templates to get the right size.
Another option is to use a graphic image that is already sized for the platform where you want to upload it, though this may give you less options for customizing the image.
2. Create unique quote graphics, tip memes, or holiday greetings
Chose your own favorite quotes or short tips that related to your business focus. You can use your own photos as background (see my blog post with 7 Tips for Shooting Your Own Marketing Graphics). Share a photo of your Christmas tree or your grandkids playing with the dreidl (get in close and just show their hands) or a closeup of baking cookies. Take a shot of the decorated store windows or the street decorations in your town.
Or download holiday images from your favorite image source. My current favorite is Pixabay.com and they have tons of free, public domain holiday graphics!
There are lots of easy tools to use for assembling your own quote graphics or tip graphics. If you don’t already have a tool that you use, you might take a look at
3. Share your own custom holiday video with one of these options:
- Record it yourself with your smart phone
- Use a template from an online video creation service like Animoto, PowToon, or
- Create a slideshow video in PowerPoint or another slide software. Add music and save as a video!
You view can my example of a holiday slideshow video below or click here to watch my demo of how to create a slideshow video.
If you have questions about how to create any of these types of visual content, please leave a comment below and I’ll be happy to respond with further help.
For more ideas, get my free e-book, Content Marketing Strategy: Using Holiday Marketing.
On Thanksgiving Day in the U.S., we often think more than usual about the blessings in our lives. I’ve seen many friends and colleagues posting this week on Facebook about how they went around the dinner table and asked everyone to share what they are grateful for.
But have you ever stopped to think about how you are a blessing to the people in your life? Have you thought about how you might be a blessing even to others you barely know?
I was reminded of this truth earlier this week when I checked out the Google Doodle about Lucy Maud Montgomery, author of the beloved series of children’s books that began with “Anne of Green Gables”. In a 2008 essay, novelist Margaret Atwood claimed that the books are not so much about Anne’s transformation but about the emotional transformation of her cold, stern adoptive guardians – the elderly brother and sister who take Anne in to help work their family farm on Prince Edward Island in eastern Canada.
If you’ve ever read “Anne of Green Gables” or seen the PBS special, I bet you’ll agree. Some of the more touching moments involve the way Marilla Cuthbert’s heart begins to melt and open towards the young Anne Shirley.
Over the course of the book series (and the TV series), Anne Shirley grows up – that’s to be expected! How Anne effects other people’s lives, from school classmates to Marilla and her neighbors, is the true lesson of the story.
As marketers, entrepreneurs, business owners, and service professionals, we may believe that the words we teach have a profound impact on the lives of others — and sometimes they do.
But our biggest impact comes from the way we live our lives, the example we set, and just the energies we radiate to everyone with whom we come in contact no matter where we are or what we’re doing!
These subconscious effects are usually hidden from our awareness and from the awareness of those around us, but are powerful nonetheless.
So take a few minutes out of your busy holiday season to reflect on what effect you have on the people around you. Do you have a positive effect or a negative effect? What effect would you like to have on others? What habits of yours can you change to produce the effect you want?
You just never know how your own growth might spark a change in the life of someone else! Make sure you’re causing a change for the better!
Now it’s your turn: Are you aware of the effect you have on others? Do you notice how people’s energies effect you? What kind of effect would you like to have on other people around you?
As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S., I’ve been feeling very grateful for all the teachers, mentors, and supporters who have helped – and continue to help – me push my fledgling business slowly to the edge of the nest where it can take off and fly on its own.
My Gratitude List
First, I have to acknowledge Raymond Aaron for getting me to face the fact that I wasn’t getting anywhere “trying to start a business” on my own! Raymond Aaron also convinced me that I should – and COULD – write a book to establish authority in my field. (My book, “Get Your Message Into Their Brains,” will be published in early 2016.
Weekly webinars with Cliff Atkinson, consultant and author of “Beyond Bullet Points,” changed the way I presented training materials in my full-time job as a technical trainer. Helping Cliff produce his 3-day live, public teaching event in 2012 led me to become a Certified Beyond Bullet Points Presenter, as well as nudging me into the marketing world.
My association with Cliff introduced me, several years ago, to Ellen Finkelstein and her annual online event, Outstanding Presentations. Since then, I’ve had the good fortune of meeting Ellen in person, interviewing her for my upcoming book as well as for a recent marketing campaign, and getting to know her and call her a friend. Her support helped me recently launch my first successful paid 4-part live training, “Free Pictures Formula.”
Master speaker trainer, Arvee Robinson’s weekly group coaching calls helped me begin to adapt my teaching skills and experience into persuasive speaking skills.
Signing up for some one-on-one coaching with Jim Alvino (with Top One Coaching) helped me develop a lot more clarify about what services I was going to offer and who were going to be my target clients. Though that changed a few times, I still look back to what I learned from those initial exercises.
As I was feeling my way into the world of online marketing, I was (and still am) grateful for Michelle Shaeffer’s “Launch Your Blog” course, her incredible level of personal support and encouragement, and her amazing willingness to answer questions and help her students.
Through ongoing group coaching with Steve Sipress, a business coach trained by Dan Kennedy, I began to see how much I needed to learn. His live events in the Chicago area and his online self-study courses helped me finally understand the essentials of positioning, branding, and marketing.
Attending Steve’s monthly local networking events made me realize I didn’t know how to talk about my business, which led me to ongoing group and individual coaching with Eric Lofholm, sales coach, trainer, and author of 7 best-selling books! Besides radically changing the way I think about sales, Eric also led me to Rick Cooper, social media trainer and coach, from whom I’ve learned a great deal and received a lot of support and encouragement over the past several years.
Tony Laidig’s weekly free webinars, “The Expert Media Show,” and many of his paid training series have inspired me with new ways to connect my visual creativity to the development of my business. His teaching has helped me fill in digital design skills gaps and expand my vision of what I can do in the brave new world of visual content marketing – a long way from my college minor in art and major in music education!
As my full-time job brought me new opportunities to learn video editing software, Lon Naylor of ScreencastStudios and LearnCamtasia has helped me continue to build on those video marketing skills and has been extremely generous in his support and in answering questions about what he models in his own online business.
Attending several of James Malinchak’s live events, Big Money Speaker, has made a lasting impact on the way I think about speaking, writing, and marketing and on my long-range plans for my business.
More recently, Amethyst Mahoney has brought me new understanding about how to make better use of Facebook in its current environment, as well as modeling her way of integrating her personality, philosophy and spirituality into her own business. (She is also a lot of fun to interview, in case you’re looking for guests for your radio, hangout, webinar, blab, periscope, or podcast show!)
Another new teacher in my life this past year was Donna Moritz. Her webinar training series, “Visual Content Blueprint,” opened my eyes to a whole integration between social media visuals and basic small business marketing that I was missing!
The Grace of the Guru
There is an expression used in Eastern spiritual/philosophical traditions: the grace of the guru.
While the word “guru” gets tossed around a lot in the internet marketing community, often with implications of self-acclaimed celebrity status, the Sanskrit origins of the word reflect a more esoteric meaning.
Sanskrit words often have many layers of meaning and guru is no exception. The most common meanings of the gu syllable include heavy or dark or difficult to understand. The ru syllable is sometimes defined as light, but a more accepted meaning is breaking or shattering.
The breaking or shattering of heaviness or darkness – a true guru performs this task by simply being an “enlightened being” whose example shines forth to those all around.
Even when words are used to teach certain ideas or concepts, the true deeper message is often beneath the surface of our conscious awareness.
Think about this as you learn from your teachers and mentors. What are they teaching by example – by role modeling? Don’t just listen to the words they say, but feel deeper into how you can learn from what they do.
Now it’s your turn: What teachers and mentors have shattered the difficulties in your life and lit up your understanding?
We all know that visual images are crucial for content these days. But how do you find enough good images that you can afford without spending hours searching the internet and without risking a lawsuit for copyright violation?
Recently I interviewed 7 of my mentors, colleagues, and friends and asked them about how they use visual images, their favorite tools for working with graphics, and their favorite sources for downloading photos and illustrations. I included some clips from those interviews in series of 3-videos. But people found the information so beneficial that I decided to put it in infographic form so you don’t have to watch the whole video to learn what you need!
Click on the thumbnail image to the right or use the URLs below to view the full infographics on Slideshare.net
To learn about dozens of different free pictures download sites, check out the new course I’m offering:
This 4-part training series will consist of live Google Hangout sessions, in addition to access to the recordings. Click the link above for more details or click on the picture at the left.
Whether or not you decide to join us for the live training, I hope you enjoy the information that the 7 experts offered – the information you can find on the 2 infographics or in the 3 videos.
Please leave a comment and let me know what you learned from these experts and which new tool or new photo site you plan to try out in the near future. Thanks! I always love to hear from my readers.