Easy Visual Content – 3 New Ways to Make a Video

Easy Ways to Make a VideoMaybe you made a commitment or wrote down a goal to create some new visual content to promote your business or professional practice in 2016.  How’s that going for you?

I’d like to tell you about several new methods I’ve been using to create visual content — and they’re so easy that anybody can do them!

Even if you don’t have an artistic bone in your body … Even though you’re not good at the tech side of marketing … Even if you’re concerned about your marketing being too sleazy or sales-y

I think you’ll still find one of these ideas that you like.  You might even want to implement all 3 ideas!

1.  Use “other people’s videos” in an unexpected way:

You don’t have to create all the video yourself and you don’t have to upload it all to YouTube or Facebook!  One important way that many online marketers (including me) are now using video is for the background of squeeze pages or opt-in pages.  Click here for an example of one of mine.

These 2-step optin pages or squeeze pages have been tested and found to convert at a much higher rate than traditional optin forms or even optin pages.   There are a number of reasons for that higher conversion.  One of those reasons is that people love the subtle but eye-catching movement in the background.

2.  Add a 7-Second Looping Video to your Facebook Profile:

Facebook began rolling out this new feature in the fall and I don’t know whether everyone has access yet.  (You can log into the Facebook app on your mobile device to find out if you have this.)

You can now upload a 7-second video in place of your static profile picture.  Just think about how that will catch people’s eyes!  Once you set this up, you’ll need to start thinking up reasons to get your Facebook friends to go to your personal profile page to see your video!

sample from Legend app

One Way to Use the Legend app

3.  Create and share animated text videos:

These are another super-short video format created with mobile apps.  And there are a bunch of apps available to create these!

My favorite (at least for now) is Legend.  It’s great for typing in a short quote, choosing a built-in animation and a color background, then sending your finished project via email, saving as a GIF, or posting to Facebook, among other options.

Research shows that Facebook’s autoplay feature for videos uploaded directly to the news feed creates much higher engagement that static posts.  How can you use autoplay videos to stop news feed scrolling and get more engagement?

Which of these 3 easy video methods are you ready to try?  Would you like to learn more about these and other easy video tips?

I’m presenting a 1-hour free webinar on February 6th as part of my Creative Marketing TV series.  See more details and sign up here.  I’ll send you a free PDF resource sheet for this topic the week of the webinar!

Will 2016 Be Different? Marketing Goals & Resolutions to Yourself!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

If you’re like most people, you’ve probably made New Year’s resolutions in the past on January 1st or 2nd, only to find yourself giving up on those resolutions before the end of the 1st month.  Obviously, you can’t grow a business based on that type of resolutions!

But setting goals, whether for business growth or personal growth, is something different.  First of all, hopefully you have already started (or even finished) writing out your goals for the new year.  And hopefully you’ve considered those goals carefully, not just deciding in a moment of enthusiasm that you want to stop a bad habit or accomplish some challenge.

Secondly, it always helps to break down large goals into smaller chunks, with a series of action steps laid out.  That way it is easy to actually get started on the implementation of a goal by taking the first action step.  Even if that first step is something simple, actually taking action helps you to solidify your commitment to that goal and to taking ongoing action to achieve it.

There are also some “mindset” techniques I’ve learned over the years that can help to keep me on track with working toward a goal.  Often a mindset problem is preventing me from already achieving that goal, so working on my mindset — in addition to scheduling and tracking action steps — can be a powerful combination.

Some of these ideas come from the accelerated learning movement, while others are based in NLP or neuro linguistic programming.  Here are some ideas to help you activate a more energized mindset around the goals you have set for yourself for 2016new_year_goals

  • Remind yourself frequently of the goals you set.
  • Speak your goals out loud — or, better yet, sing them out loud.
  • Music, rhyming, and rhythm can all help to get your subconscious brain involved.
  • Physical movement can help too, like dancing or some other movements while speaking/singing your goals.
  • Visual images can also connect more deeply with your subconscious brain than words alone.

After an energizing session of speaking, singing, dancing, and other sensory play with your goals, try wrapping up with a few minutes of silent meditation or visualization, giving your brain time to process and store the ideas you have just reinforced.

One of the ways I like to tie all this together is by creating a personal slideshow video with my goals (or with affirmations).  Below is a sample of a video made from a looping slideshow.

Free Training Offer

You can access a free recording which I created 3 years ago to promote a virtual workshop on creating your own personal slideshow to enhance your goals.  The recording covers all the basic steps of the process.  Written instructions are provided as well.  Grab that free offer here.

I’m also in the process of updating that training to reflect changes in the newer versions of PowerPoint and to turn it into a series of pre-recorded, self-study videos.

If you would like to purchase those new training videos now, you can get them for 60% off the future price.  You’ll find more details on the page with the free video.  Grab that access at the link above.




Holiday Marketing: Creating Easy Visual Content

holiday marketingAlmost 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.

Are you a blessing in the lives of others?

Thanksgiving turkeyOn 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.

How do you effect other people

How do you effect other people?

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?