34 Reasons I Won’t Record a Promo Video Today, and 3 Reasons I Will

This post is for content creators.
This post is for anyone that said to me “you are a natural at recording these videos”.
This post is for all of you that have dealt with fear while making a thing.

Reasons

These are 34 reasons I won’t record a promo video and 3 reasons I will.

  1. I don’t like the way I look on video.
  2. I don’t like the way I sound on audio.
  3. I don’t have the right clothes to wear.
  4. I wore this shirt last time.
  5. I didn’t wear this shirt last time.
  6. My teeth.
  7. I didn’t shave.
  8. I shaved too closely.
  9. I cut myself shaving.
  10. I don’t want to shave.
  11. I was up too late last night.
  12. I was up to early today.
  13. I’m too pale.
  14. My head is sunburned.
  15. My sunburned head is peeling.
  16. The dog is out and may scratch at the door.
  17. The dog is in and may bark.
  18. The kids are home.
  19. My wife is home.
  20. Nobody is home.
  21. I’m not home.
  22. I’m not sure what to say.
  23. I’m sure what to say, but I’m not sure anyone will like it.
  24. I can’t handle criticism.
  25. I don’t care about criticism, I’m going to just ‘do what I do’ but nobody may care.
  26. I’m too hot.
  27. I’m too cold.
  28. I need new glasses.
  29. I need to clean these glasses.
  30. I shouldn’t wear glasses.
  31. I’m getting old.
  32. I don’t have the right music bed.
  33. I haven’t had enough coffee.
  34. I’ve had too much coffee.

3 Reasons why I WILL record a video today that trump the 34 above:

  1. Because I want to help people I haven’t reached yet.
  2. Because I want to help the people that I’ve already reached.
  3. Because my soul needs to create to feel alive.

Can you relate?

Jason

Don’t Ice Over When Your Slide Presentation Does

It happened to me last night. I’ve heard the horror stories about a slide presentation freezing up, but in 5 years of public speaking, I’ve never actually experienced it.

Last night I spoke to the Tennessee Pest Control Management Association for their quarterly meeting and new President induction event. The topic was on building a better audience with the right marketing.

I had 16 slides for my keynote and it froze on slide #6. It took me about 30 seconds of messing with my clicker (which I had JUST put new batteries in, and hour before) and looking at the computer before determining that it was actually the computer that froze.

I had 2 options. The first option would be to reboot the laptop, readjust the screen, restart the slides, fast forward to where we were and move forward. The second option is what I did instead… Just kept going.

Even though this had never happened, I’ve been preparing for it for 5 years. This is how you can prepare for the unexpected.

1) Know Your Material. The content from this presentation is VERY familiar to me, and close to my core business knowledge. This topic has been researched and put into practice. I’ve read about it, attended seminars myself, implemented these strategies and techniques personally and with customers. I think about it, study over it and consider different aspects about it. I may be a little obsessed with finding the right audience and connecting with them.  Even with that level of confidence, an hour before the presentation, I reviewed all the material and walked through the presentation in my mind.  I was ready.

BullHornSlide

Slide #6 That Froze

2) Be The Focus. If YOU are the focus, you are less reliant on slides.  I’m confident the vast majority of people I speak to, can read. I don’t want to attend a presentation where the presenter reads slides to me, and I promised myself years ago that I wouldn’t do that to an audience. If you are an expert in something, talking about your thoughts and opinions is why you are speaking! Don’t have paragraphs of text to sift through. I’ve been working on cutting down my slide ‘word count’ and forcing myself to remove words on slides for every presentation. Below is the slide with the most words on it from last night.  (This one will be shortened and updated next time.)  SlideWithMostWords

3)  Limit Your Points.  If I only have a couple of takeaways, I won’t confuse the crowd OR myself. A crowd of people will only remember a thing or two.  Keep your ‘points you are trying to make’ to a minimum.  I want people to walk away from a presentation with something that is immediately actionable.  I don’t want someone to only thing “that guy knows his stuff”… I hope to give information that can be put into practice immediately, so the outcome thought from the audience is “look what I can do know.” This is counter to my natural tendencies – I would like to tell an audience EVERYTHING and give them ALL of the information… However, if it’s a fire-hose of info with no actionable points, then I’ve done a disservice.

Story5P

Typical of one of my slides. Title + Word + Image.

4)  Don’t dwell on the issue. If you don’t act bothered by a slide freeze, your audience won’t care either. By dwelling on it, and mentioning it, you are bringing attention to the wrong thing.  The crowd isn’t there to see how you deal with issues, they are there to learn something about your topic.  I never said “well, on the slide you can’t see now, I talked about _____.”

5)  End well.  Even if you open for questions, make sure to give your own ending. Don’t rely on the question part to be YOUR end, because a Q/A session is not usually motivating or inspiring. Last night after a brief Q/A session, I reminded the group that we needed small business owners to keep pushing forward, that business with 50 employees or less are were responsible for a third of ALL employment opportunities in the U.S. and we needed them to keep moving forward even when things were tough.  This wasn’t even ON a slide, but I had practiced it and knew how I wanted to end.

 

Have you ever had a presentation that you were giving freeze?  Have you been in the audience when this happened? Let me know your thoughts!

Jason

New Facebook ‘Call to Action’ Button

Are you a Facebook Page Administrator? Did you notice a new option when you checked out your page?  This is what I saw when I logged into Facebook on Thursday, January 29th.

Facebook Call to Action Button

There are multiple button options to choose from, each with their own micro-icon that shows up at the top of your Facebook Page.

Book Now
Contact Us
Use App
Play Game
Shop Now
Sign Up

sjvyUqE

This new button shows up on mobile as well.

unnamed

 

Facebook has also added a new button for tracking clicks above your message notification section.

Bnoyvs6

 

The interesting thing about this new feature is that Facebook is (passively?) suggesting you click on the button go to another page.  It IS possible to link the Call to Action Button to a Facebook post, but I’m assuming most businesses will be linking to a buy page of some kind on THEIR website.

If you are monitoring this new platform for your company or pages you manage, drop a note in the comments and let us know where you drove traffic and if it’s working for you.

Jason Elkins

 

 

Story Marketing – Series 1 of 4: Angels Consulting Group

image (1)2015 is the “Year of the Story” for marketers.  More than ever, big brands and small businesses are utilizing stories to connect with their particular audiences. 

This connection allows for more loyalty, better customer service, longer customer relationships, more social sharing, social growth and exposure.  The brands and individuals that struggle with this, will lose ground to those businesses who work at developing their stories.  

I wanted to help you think about stories as a nucleus  for your marketing.  In this 4 part blog series, I’m going to show you some examples of brands that are telling stories in their marketing, in the hopes that you can learn some techniques to help you identify and develop your story.   

This is the fist story in that series.  

People hire me to help their business define a voice and then develop strategies that connect with a particular audience. Typically this includes coaching on digital media, social media, helping with newsletter building, creating better partner communication and support around an event or a specific goal.  Recently I met with an organization that had a contagious passion to help others!

In our first meeting, learning why they were passionate about their job brought me to tears…

Angels Consulting Group helps elderly folks and their families, make good decisions regarding senior living facilities.  They learn the specific needs of their customers, find suitable options and help the seniors and their families navigate HUGE amounts of paperwork.

When I first met the employees, what struck me immediately was their energy and enthusiasm for their work.  In fact, they didn’t talk about work like it was work at all… The talked about work like it was their calling.  Their mission.

Digging into their past was fascinating.  Their earlier pursuits leaned towards self expression and the type of interests that could easily lead you down a path of pretentiousness – although there was NONE of that.

I learned about the family band that they created when they were younger.

I learned about the artist management company they built.

I learned about some interpretive dance classes.

I learned about their love of art and music.

I learned about the beauty pageant trophies.

I learned about their connection to a music icon.

None of those experiences seemed like a ‘first step’ to helping seniors and families.  So I kept digging.

During our discovery process, we were able to uncover the heartbeat of all of that passion.

Three sisters and a brother work with their mother in this company .  When the kids were young, the whole family lived in a very remote city in Alaska.  The mother’s parents owned a local grocery store and worked hard every day.  On the weekends, the parents would gather up their children and grand kids and go to the remote areas of the remote town town to distribute food to people that couldn’t afford it.  They basically fed the less fortunate for free and helped widows and the people that couldn’t help themselves.

So, the family’s ‘norm’ was service and helping others.

Giving back to their communities.

Looking out for one another.

Helping elderly folks figure out how to survive better, how to deal with their surroundings.

Doing life with people.

Being ‘neighborly.’

I had tears in my eyes as one of the grand-kids was describing how deeply her grandfather cared about the people he served.  His business was his livelihood, but he always made sure to help those that couldn’t help themselves.  Perhaps it was this ‘service DNA’ that is helping them connect deeply with their audience.

If you interact with a business that is driven by a passion, your experience will be different, especially if that story is carried around at every level of the organization.

What about you?
What drives YOU in your business/job?  What is your origin story?  Have you been able to incorporate that story in your marketing?

Talk to me…

Jason

 

Personal Facebook Tips – Find Your Four

EveryPost

Ever notice that the people that are always positive, tend to post positive things on Facebook and Twitter?  The same is true of people that tend to be negative.

Every time you post on Facebook (or any other social media platform) you are showing your personal portfolio to your audience.  Every thought, quote, or picture that is posted, tweeted, snapped, shared, commented, liked, tumbled, blogged, or Instagrammed – is showing the world how you think and act.  This data, assembled together over a period of time, is your ‘digital DNA’.

I speak to teen groups, and remind them that employers and colleges take this seriously and business people need to think about this as well.

Shopping Carts (In Real Life)
I noticed a Facebook post the other day from a friend and client.  He is a brilliant and passionate missionary and has dedicated his LIFE to building wells in remote parts of the world. On his personal Facebook he was complaining about people leaving shopping carts in the parking lot at Walmart.  I felt strongly that this was incongruous with his life mission, so I called him.  I reminded him that his donors, travel teammates, church partners, prayer warriors, family and friends were connected with him on Facebook, and for the sake of his mission, he may need to rethink, his message. It wasn’t wrong for him to feel sad or frustrated about the lack of common courtesy he witnessed (or perhaps it was the lack of customer service?). The question was, did his post fit his overall personal portfolio?  I didn’t think so, and he agreed… There were SO many better choices of things to discuss on his Facebook.

Written Communication 
Keep in mind, when you post a written thought, there are missing nuances. Are you REALLY that mad? Were you joking?  Was it a continuation of another thought that was posted earlier? All of these nuances in written communication are left up to the reader.  How clear is your message?

CoffeePostFind Your Four.
Today, like it or not, your ‘social profile’ is linked to future opportunities for work, business partnerships, school, and/or relationships… You may want to consider your thoughts a bit more deeply before you hit the Post Button.

I have four things I talk about on social media – Business, family, music, and coffee.  This gives me LOTS of latitude to post things I find fun or interesting. All of those 4 items fit into the “fun and interesting” category for me. This intentional focus has led to business opportunities, and allows me to build online relationships with people that are interested in the same things. This focused approach also stops me from over posting, or posting the next funny cat video.  I watch cat videos, they perhaps built the internet – however I want to be more intentional about what I share with the world.

I encourage my business building and success seeking friends to utilize a little more discretion with their posts.  What about you? How much do you think about what you share on social media?  Are you intentional?  Does being intentional take the fun out of it for you?

Let me know!
Jason

 

 

Why Your Critics Don’t Matter

christmasconcertYears ago I went to an amazing Amy Grant Christmas concert at a stadium in Grand Rapids Michigan. She had cool guests, excellent production and the show was fun to watch. I typically enjoy smaller scale intimate shows where the artist is just a few feet away, but there is something special about Amy Grant – and for the entire show, I felt like she was singing RIGHT to me.

Prior to the concert, there was another performance. Outside of the venue, a man with a bullhorn was yelling about Amy Grant. He used strong language and was apparently very angry she was going through a divorce. Bullhorn Dude wanted us all to loudly know his opinion. I noticed something though that I’ve thought about many times.

Even though he was easily the loudest person in 2 blocks, nobody was paying any attention to him, chatting with him or trying to understand his point of view.

The Song Remains the Same
When Led Zeppelin’s first album came out in 1969, “Led Zeppelin 1″ Rolling Stone had this to say about Robert Plant – “as foppish as Rod Stewart, but he’s nowhere near so exciting” and said Jimmy Page was “a very limited producer and a writer of weak, unimaginative songs.”

Led_Zeppelin1_Songs

 

Led Zeppelin 1 has sold over 8 million copies in JUST the United States! In 2006, Rolling Stone changed it’s tune “Time has done nothing to diminish the quality of one of the finest debut albums ever recorded.” Rolling Stone ranked it 29th on the magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

If you are doing anything meaningful, you are going to ruffle a few feathers.  Here are a few things to remember.

1)  It’s Universal: Everyone gets critics.  Your favorite artist, actor, poet, musician, business person, parent, child, friend, cousin has had critics.  If you have any level of success, expect them to grow in numbers, and be prepared. Social media has made criticizing others SO easy… I see stuff written every day that would NEVER be said in person.

2) Not Your Target: Critics typically aren’t your best customers.  If your process is working for most of your audience, there may be no reason to change it. You don’t walk into a McDonalds or Starbucks and tell them you want to be seated and given a menu.  It’s THEIR business and they know what works for THEIR audience.

I’ve talked with organizations that were in the process of overhauling their entire marketing plan because ONE person said something negative and that person wasn’t even a customer.

3)  Advisers vs. Critics: Critics have THEIR best interest in mind, advisers have YOUR best interest in mind. Advisers have permission to speak into your life, critics scream for your attention.

4)  You Drive: You are still in control of YOU.  Amy Grant wasn’t crying on the sidewalk with her feelings hurt.  She didn’t change the show.  She kept talking about her faith. She kept touring.  Changing direction because of criticism rarely works in your best interest. Critical people continue to find things to be critical about.  Don’t jump on that train with them them!

What about you?  Have you faced criticism in your business?  What did you do about it?

Jason