5 Small Steps to Publishing Your First YouTube Video (Part 1)

Is publishing your first YouTube video one of your 2013 goals? Or maybe it’s just in the back of your mind that you should be on YouTube? YouTube is the second largest search engine out there. So, if using YouTube to market your business isn’t somewhere on your to-do list, I’m assuming there’s some fear that’s holding you back. Because you know you need to be there. The most common reasons I hear for not using video marketing are “I don’t know how,” “it’s too time consuming,” and “I don’t look good on video.” In this two-part series, I’m going to help you conquer those fears and get your first video out there. In this article, we’ll cover the first 3 of the 5 small steps to publishing your first YouTube video. But first, let’s knock out one of your objections. Your Face Was Meant for YouTube Before we get the camera rolling, I want to address the “I don’t look good on video” objection. More times than I can count, I’ve heard this response to that objection: “It’s okay, you can make screencast videos so that your face never has to appear on camera.” You’re not going to get that advice from me. It’s NOT okay that you think you don’t look good on video. Guess what? No one cares how you look. They care what value you add to their life. So, set your ego aside and start practicing. You will get better with experience. Really. And, if it makes you feel better, I don’t look good on video either. Still, I make a video every week....

The Secret to Effectively Branding Your Business Online

There are two parts to effectively branding your business online. The first is about how you look. I call this your “symbols.” The second, and often overlooked, part of branding your business online is how you make your clients feel. I call this your “stories.” Let’s take a look at how these two branding pieces work together to make a successful business.  How the Big Guys Do It When you think of Baskin-Robbins, those pink spoons undoubtedly come to mind. When you think of Pillsbury, an image of that dough boy can’t help but jump into your head. Same goes for that big red and white circle that defines the Target store. But, when you hear “Baskin-Robbins,” “Pillsbury,” or “Target,” more than just a symbol comes to mind. There’s also a feeling. You like the business, you don’t like it, or you feel no connection at all with it. You get that feeling based on the stories the business is telling you. And those stories are just as much a part of the business’s branding as the symbols are. In the winter, Baskin-Robbins has “Family Night” every Tuesday night. They sell $1.50 ice cream cones on Family Night. Surely they do it to increase sales during the slow months. But there’s also a branding story behind it. And that story says, “Baskin-Robbins is a place where the average family can come together to enjoy a delicious treat for a great price.” Another example of a company that tells a good branding story is Trader Joe’s, which is a popular alternative grocery store here in St. Louis and beyond. At...

Is Your Social Media Strategy a Waste of Time?

Is it possible that all the time you’re spending developing a social media strategy is wasted? I heard Tony Hsieh of Zappos say something in an interview a few weeks ago that made me think we might be taking all of this social media strategy stuff too seriously. When asked about Zappos’ social media strategy, Tony said, “Just be real, and use your best judgment.” Sounds reasonable. But what did this mean for the 50 blog posts I’d read over the last few weeks that spent a thousand words detailing how to develop your social media strategy for 2013? Can we just delete all of those and tell ourselves (and our employees) to “just be real, and use your best judgment?” Probably not. But I do think the “experts” tend to over-analyze stuff a lot. And I think we may all benefit from a simpler strategy that does focus more on “being real,” rather than worrying about who you are trying to be on social media. The Zappos Way There are two things Zappos does that makes this simple strategy work for them ~ where for others it would result in common occurrences of inappropriate and embarrassing tweets, followed by apologies and explanations. If you can do these two things, it will simplify your social media strategy, and your whole business. 1. Develop Your Core Values As Zappos began to grow really big, they took input from all employees and boiled it down into 10 core values to define the company’s family culture. And this isn’t just one of those “look good” kind of things that hangs out on...

Is a Good Workout the Secret to a Profitable Online Business?

Building a profitable online business is hard work. There is no way around that. And that’s why no matter what you buy, read, and listen to, most people will never own a wildly profitable online business. The good news is, with some focus and dedication, you can be different from most people. There is no “easy button.” There is no “magic formula”  you can buy at any price. It will take time, work, patience, and failure. And yes, a good workout may be your secret to finally breaking into the profit zone in your online business. Here’s why ~ and it’s your lesson for today ~ How you do one thing, is how you do everything. You may have heard this before, and it’s important, so you should spend some time focusing on it. What Does it Mean? First let’s look at what “how you do one thing, is how you do everything” means in real life. Christmas Eve morning I was at the gym. There were 19 people in the class I was taking. As the class was ending, the instructor asked who wanted to go through the routine one more time before we cooled down. Tw0 of us raised our hands. Now I’m thinking, “seriously?!” You’ve taken the time to get out of bed and come to the gym this morning. You probably won’t get to work out tomorrow because it’s Christmas. You’re given a chance to get in an extra 3 minutes of exercise, and you say “no?!” But, as we are sadly cooling down, it occurred to me that of course only two of us...