How to Reduce Video Marketing Anxiety

Many people get all wound up about creating a marketing video. The countless cheerful recommendations on the net about “keeping it real” tend to get lost in your anxiety about looking unprofessional or amateurish when you make that first video. But here’s a secret for you, in case you’ve forgotten it: You can always edit!

Editing is the best feature about video marketing. You get to have all the fun of making the video. And then you can sit there and cut out every bit you don’t like, or tighten up the “script”, if there’s a point where what you’re saying on screen seems to drag.

If you’ve forgotten something, you can insert it.

If your target market are all visual learners, you can insert second mini-videos – just drag and drop new clips into your story line – showing them examples of what you’ve just been explaining.

And if you’re demonstrating how to use a physical product – for example, your video is about wood carving – you may not even want your actual recorded sound track at all, for some sequences. You can replace those screeching truck noises from the highway and your neighbour yelling at his dog with appropriate music.

So there you are: You’ve explained how to use the wood carving tools, and now you’re going to demonstrate carving a face into your block of wood. Segue in the music, speed up the action so it’s not dragging on and on – and just show them 1 minute of you actually doing some wood carving, at your speeded-up pace.

Much more entertaining than real-time slow, methodical scraping of wood with trucks roaring by, don’t you think?

Tips for Inserting Missing Information

If you’ve forgotten to include some key point in your video, it’s easy to go back and insert it. Just shoot the “missing bit” – and drag and drop into your storyline.

If it’s something as simple as forgetting your URL at the end of the video, this is easy as pie: However, if what’s missing is you explaining a key point in your “How To” video, you’ll need to make it look as if the new section wasn’t thrown in later as an afterthought.

The first way to keep it consistent is easy: Just wear the same clothes and especially make sure your hair looks identical to the way it was in your original video. But there’s a second part to this, and people often fail to include it.

Make sure your lighting is identical. If you shot your video outdoors, it means waiting for the same sort of weather, and shooting the “fill in” segment at the same time of day. If you shot the original video indoors and there is any source of natural light coming into the room at all, the “same time of day” rule also applies – but you shouldn’t have to worry about weather (unless your video was shot on a bright day, and there’s an abnormally dark thunderstorm rolling in).

Never Forget Your Notes

This brings us to our last tip: Make notes about your video, as soon as you’ve shot it! Include things like the time of day, camera settings, lighting details.

But if you’re really not happy with that first video, and all else fails, you can always go for the ultimate “edit” of all.

You can simply re-shoot.

Comparing Membership Site Software

With so many products available, it can be difficult to select the membership site software that is right for you. There are many things to consider, but here are some of the most important things to consider when making your decision:

1. Price – Membership site software can range anywhere from $50 to $15,000. It all depends on the functionality you are looking for and how large your expected user base will be. Keep in mind that price tag often has little to do with quality. You will have to dig a bit deeper to find out the quality of each product.

2. Guarantee – Some (not all) membership site software programs offer a guarantee. Whether they offer a 30-day money back guarantee, or lifetime replacement program, a guarantee is a valuable characteristic to consider when purchasing membership site software.

3. Installation – If the software you are considering requires self installation, be sure it also offers video tutorials or some form of guidance to help you along the way. It is important to know the software provides help, whether you need it or not.

4. Trial Version – Trial versions, or demos, are a great way to quickly find out how the membership site software works. While you may or may not discover how to use all of the functionality of the software through a short demo, it is often helpful to see just how it may work.

5. Support – Whether its online support, a help desk telephone number or personal representatives who will help you should you need support with your membership site software, be sure the product you choose provides you with support.

6. Required Software – Some membership site software is hosted and therefore does not require any software, but others have requirements like PHP, mysql, zend or others. Be sure to find out which software the product requires.

Affiliate Marketing Creating Your Own Products

Most affiliate marketers eventually decide to create their own products. Believe it not it’s not that hard to create good information products for your target market. Once you get a good following your market will start asking your advice about issues, and soon it will become clear what products or services are needed for your target market. The only thing you will need to do is create the informational product, software that solves a problem, or other product that fills the needs of your market.

The simplest product to start with is an information product or an eBook. You can write it yourself or you can hire a writer to write something based on your outline and concept. If you hire someone either edit it yourself or hire an editor to ensure that the information is accurate and well written. Also always check everything you buy from a ghost writer for plagiarism. You can use programs such as copyscape.com and also grammarly.com to check that the work is original.

In addition to having the book written you’ll need to invest in graphics for inside the book, and a three dimensional book cover that will work hard to sell your eBook. Spare no expense making your product look as good as it possibly can. Choose graphic artists who are good at their craft and not just the least expensive and you’ll be the most happy about

Next you’ll need to invest in some kind of shopping cart that handles affiliate sales, or you can use a service like ClickBank instead, or both. You’ll have to look at the pros and cons of each service to decide what you want to do about that. If you plan to have many products it can be more than worth it to use a shopping cart system that is an all in one shopping cart with an affiliate marketing module.

After you’ve created the product, you’ll need to not only promote your new product, but also promote your affiliate program. In order to do this you may consider offering your new product to some well-known affiliate marketers free so that they can review it and possibly recommend the product. In addition use every marketing channel at your fingertips including: Article Marketing, Blogging, Social Media Marketing and Pay Per Click.

Once you have some testimonials create a great sales page, great banner ads, and unique and relevant content, and then market this product the same as you would if you were promoting someone else’s product. You can put your product on several different affiliate networks aside from your own. The more affiliates you have promoting your product for you the more money you will earn.

Hopefully you’ve built up your email list with trusting ready-made hungry audience ready to buy your new information product. Learn all you can about product promotions, marketing funnels, and affiliate marketing and you’ll be very successful with your own product creation. Once you have an army of affiliates behind you, your business will practically be on auto pilot. You won’t have to work as hard but right now you will have to work maybe harder than you’ve ever worked before getting your affiliate marketing business off the ground. Nothing will be more satisfying for you than creating, promoting, and earning money off a product you created yourself.

When Linking Eclipses Content

All business bloggers have a more than healthy interest in who is linking to their blog posts. And when you’re not one of the blogosphere megastars and you are struggling to lure targeted, valuable traffic to your site, it’s easy to put the destination before the journey.

While it’s perfectly fine to use logical strategies to encourage quality posters, encouraging shouldn’t become the be-all and the end all of your blog posting focus.

Here are 5 tips to help you increase your links without even trying – while turning your attention elsewhere.

1. It’s about your reader. Listen to what they’re saying, and blog about (answer) asked and un-answered questions

2. Think of yourself at a party, and do your best to chat – and entertain. Very often if something is truly entertaining, people will make time to engage where they normally wouldn’t. After all, if some guy came up to you at a party and proceeded to lecture you about the importance of Search Bots, totally ignoring your statement about never using the net and doing everything on your mobile, you’d probably think he was a self-important, clueless bore.

3. Create a Date. If your posts of necessity are always fact-filled and dry, create an official day when you’ll blog about anything and everything. “Whining Wednesday” (save all your griping for that day)… or “Weekly Wall-Off”, where you leave your regular weighty subject of cellular technology and discuss the chicken you saved, named Eleanor, who turned out to be a capon. (You might be surprise at the relevant people – your regular but silent readers – who actually comment on this seeming frivolity!)

4. Add a Link. You’ve been told that this is absolutely verboten: That you should on no account ever encourage people to click away from your blog… but the truth is, back when I was starting out, one of the most traffic-generating, page-rank-improving posts I ever made was one where I pointed my readers to a really handy and unique resource! That generated buzz, got passed around – and the megastar I sent them to graciously commented, leaving his link on my blog.

5. Interview an Expert. This can be a related professional in your niche, it doesn’t have to be Oprah: And hook them in by only asking a single question – it’s a blog post, so this keeps it short. But make it a doozy; one your readers will really be keen to discuss – and link to.

In each of these 5 techniques, you’re focusing on your subject, your competition, your life or your readers. Pull one of these randomly out of a hat, whenever you find yourself fretting about the resounding cavern of silence that is your blog comment section – and have some fun, seeing what generates relevant or even “famous” links.

Does your Blog Need a Mobile WordPress Plug-in?

If you have a blog, don’t assume it will translate perfectly to mobile: Chances are, it has at least 2 columns, and runs ads, graphics and is set for a screen width that’s (at absolute minimum) 760 px wide.

Besides, even if it was able to load in and emerge with a readable format, you need to remember that many people are paying heavily for each megabyte downloaded on their mobiles (not to mention for the time)… and they’re not going to wait twenty minutes for all your graphics and plug-ins to load.

One superb and very user-friendly plug in is WordPress Mobile edition. If you can’t find it by searching the plug-in section via your blog Dashboard, you can easily download it from WordPress.org’s plug-in section. (It even allows comments – something that is often a problem.)

One word of caution: If you have one of the smaller mobile phones, avoid the popular Carrington theme recommended on the WordPress.org WordPress Mobile editions page.)

According to WordPress.org, this plug-in works particularly well on Blackberries, iPhones, Androids, touch phones, all wireless, and PDA.

Advertising, Anyone?

If you want to display ads, the Mippin Mobilize plug-in (also found at WordPress.org) is a configuration-free plug in. It works by redirecting other mobile users to Mippin’s rendering of your blog. This is a nice plug-in, because it scales photographs to conform to your mobile site visitor’s screen width, and converts vides to 3G format.

Customization, Anyone?

If you’d rather customize your blog theme somewhat, a plug-in you might like is MobilePress. This one isn’t available at WordPress.org, but you can find it on its home site, mobilepress.co.za/.

It’s biggest benefit: Allowing you to use customized themes, and it also allows specific themes for the iPhone, as well as the Opera Mini browser and Windows CE Mobile. (Surprisingly simple to install!)

So there you have it: 3 fantastic plug-ins to help your WordPress blog go mobile.

(Perhaps the new mobile technology is going to end up being easier to adapt to than we think!)

Create Some Buzz about Your Product and Then Launch It!

Now that you’ve gone through the painstaking task of creating your information product, doing market research, and creating a creative yet effective marketing plan, pick a launch date and start to get people excited about your product.

To start your frenzy about your new info product, join forums and comment on other blogs that are talking about topics similar to what you discuss in your info product. Or go to a discussion forum and join. Social media websites such as http://ning.com allow users to create their own social network and invite others to join their groups. This is a great way to promote your info product and to possibly recruit new affiliates.

Make some announcements using your favorite social media and watch the news spread like wildfire. If you have an existing affiliate program, send your affiliates articles, banners, and other tools that will help pump them up and make them want to sell your newest info product.

A new way to create excitement about your product is to host a teleseminar or webinar to showcase your product to your target market. These webinars get people excited about the product and they are more likely to make a purchase so be prepared to accept pre-orders. At the very least, collect the email addresses of your attendees so you can let them know when your info product actually launches.

Another way to create buzz is to offer your product for review to a few heavy-hitting bloggers or marketers in your field. Reading a testimonial or review of a respected expert can reinforce the customers desire to buy your product.

Be a guest on a relevant podcast to spread your news even further. At the very least, if you’re short on time, consider running some audio ads on podcasts with a large following for more exposure.

No matter which of these ideas you persue, your enthusiasm will be contagious! Stay positive and keep talking to people about your product.

Creating Boards That Get Attention

Business owners are getting on Pinterest in order to get attention, add interest and build their brands. But, you can’t just do whatever you want without direction and expect to get great results from your Pinterest marketing efforts. Like with any marketing endeavor, it’s important to come up with a real Pinterest marketing plan. Truly give some thought to each board you create, and each pin you put in a specific board.

Like with blogging content, or article marketing, each board should have it’s on purpose. For instance, just like you create “how to” articles, you can create “how to” boards. Just like you create educational articles and blog posts, you can create a board to educate viewers about your brand. Want answers from your target audience, you usually create a blog post or a survey to ask questions. You can do all this and more with Pinterest boards that each have their own direction and theme.

As people jump on the Pinterest bandwagon some brands are getting lost because they rush in without a thought-out plan. By creating a plan in advance, you’ll be able to create more effective boards that truly command attention. The truth is, right now nothing matches the possibilities for increasing your brand’s awareness. Pinterest is growing fast, and with the advent of Pinterest business accounts, more tools and uses will soon become available.

To create boards that get attention follow these tips:

Like goes with like — This is something you teach children at very young ages when you teach them to put away their toys. Blocks go with blocks, dolls with dolls, trucks with trucks and so forth. Same idea with Pinterest boards. Each board should have a common theme.

Caption boards with keywords — Consider the words your audience might use to search for the board you’re going to create and caption it with these keywords. Using keywords will make it easier for your audience to find the important information you will be putting on your Pinterest boards.

Create multiple boards — Each board should be focused but create many. You can have boards for many different categories. You might consider have a board for each category you have on your blog, for instance. Shoot for 20 to 30 focused boards with 10 to 15 relevant pins on each one.

Stay within your niche — If you’re a dentist, don’t create boards for podiatry. Stay within your own niche. Yes, it’s okay to share information with your audience that they’d be interested in outside of your area, however make sure it is compatible. For instance, going back to the dentist idea, you might share information about the dangers of tooth lightening or the issues with high alcohol mouth washes and the connection to cancer.

Optimize your boards — You can move around your boards so that relevant boards show during different seasons. Remember to pay attention to how the eye sees your Pinterest. Put the most relevant toward the top, the most beautiful and visual in the center, and the rest just put in order of importance. You can change this around as seasons change and to bring focus to other boards.

Be social with others — Don’t forget that at its core Pinterest is social media. By definition that means that you should interact with others by sharing your content. Search for and follow people whom you believe are your target audience. Being strategic with whom you follow and with whom you share is a very important aspect of using Pinterest in the most optimal way to promote your business.

Now that you know how to create boards that get attention you can use Pinterest in the most strategic way possible to increase brand awareness for your business. And while it goes without saying, I’m going to say it anyway, create a business Pinterest account and don’t just use your personal one for this purpose.

Separating Personal from Professional on Social Media

Social media is used both professionally and privately. People use it for sharing news about grandchildren, personal milestones, and to market their business. It’s easy to start off with good intentions to keep your personal social media separate from your business social media, and then have it all somehow go awry.

Personal friends follow your business account, and business associates follow your personal accounts. Before you know it you have a hodgepodge of followers on each account, and you get off track with your message on both. Next thing you know, you say something on your personal Facebook page that insults and offends your business acquaintances. Or, your friends get irritated with your constant business promotions.

If you’ve already mixed things up, it’s time to separate your accounts and clean things up. Announce to your friends as well as your business acquaintances that you want to separate personal from professional because you value their time and respect them as individuals. It’s probably okay if your friends want to keep following your business, but unless you’re positive you’re really friends with business associates its best not to mix business with pleasure.

This is especially true if you happen to involve yourself on a personal level with the three things that should not be spoken about in mixed company: Religion, Politics and Money. It may seem fun to engage in friendly debate, but with some people it could severely damage your reputation. It could hurt your business. Let’s be frank, there are people who won’t do business with those who disagree with them on these three topics. It may not be right, but it’s a fact.

To protect your business either do not participate in these debates on social media at all or at least try to keep them very separate. Start with creating separate accounts for each of your social media accounts that you wish to use for both personal and professional reasons. When posting on your business accounts ask yourself whether or not your post aligns with your business goals and your target audience.

Create a social media marketing plan for your business related social media accounts so that you’re not tempted to post about the last time your child went tee-tee. Every post you make on social media in relation to your business should have a focus and a call to action. If you don’t have a reason for making a post then it’s best that you don’t make it.

One thing great about having separate accounts is that you can be freer on your other social media as long as it’s the type of account where you can block people, as well as block search engines. Because, remember that people will Google you. People who want to do business with you or hire you for a project typically search on Twitter and Facebook too. If they can find you, and see things that they don’t like, no matter how good you are in your business they make not choose you.

How to Self-Publishing Print Books Without a Traditional Publisher

Self-publishing is an excellent way to break into becoming a book author. Your book can become your calling card and garner you more respect, expert status, and business than almost any other method. But, a lot of people get side tracked when trying to self-publish and get ahead of themselves. Let’s go through the steps to get you to the finish line without losing too much sleep.

Write Your Book — Yes, this is the very first step to self-publishing. In fact, if you don’t have a book written yet, you’re probably making one of the first mistakes of self-publishing. Not writing. You’re not a writer until you write a book. There is nothing to publish until you write a book. So, get to writing. If you need to know more about the process of writing, that is what you should research at this point. Once you have something to publish, then it’s time to research publishing. Until then. Write.

Proof & Edit The Book — Once you’ve written the book, after you’ve gone through your own editing process, and you think the book is finished, it’s important to let someone else proof your book. There are professionals who will proof and edit the book for you. You can hire someone to do a variety of levels of proofing and editing duties from grammar, to sentence structure and word usage, to making the book more interesting, to ensuring the formatting is done properly. It’s up to you how far you want an editor to go. But at least have someone edit for grammar and errors even if you just ask a few trusted friends to do this for you.

Create a Telling Title — A title is an important component of marketing your book. If the title doesn’t explain the book very well, the people it’s meant for, might not read it. Ask for advice for the title from those whom you’ve allowed to read the book, and from editors. Take a day and brainstorm various titles and ask people what the title says to them. Then choose a title, and move forward.

Get a Professional Cover Designed — If you’re not a graphic designer, please don’t try to design the cover yourself. This is where you should spend money to ensure an excellent cover is designed in the formats that you’ll need as you go through the publishing and marketing process. There are designers at all price points, ask people for recommendations. If you already have a following you could even make it a contest. If not, seek out portfolios and choose someone whose work you admire, within your price range.

Copyright Right — Adding copyright legal language is legally enough to copyright your work. However, it’s best to submit your work to the copyright office to ensure iron clad legal protection on your work. You can find out more about copyrighting by visiting Copyright.gov. It’s not difficult, so don’t let this scare you.

Buy an ISBN Number — It’s important that you purchase an ISBN. This number will be a unique number that identifies your title. If you use a self-publishing company they may give you one of theirs but ultimately it’s better to have your own. The problem is that you have to buy them in groups of 10. To get an ISBN you can go to https://www.myidentifiers.com. As of today, you can get ten ISBNs for $250.00. If you plan to publish in multiple formats you may need many numbers per book.

Choose a Printer — There are many ways to have your manuscript printed toady on line. But, now that you’ve got a book, it’s okay to choose a printer! The POD printers today are createspace.com, lulu.com, lightningsource.com, and others. Research the various options to decide what you want to do. Some of these services offer add on services such as editing, formatting, cover art, and ISBNs so ensure that you use the service you’re most comfortable with.

Market your Book — That’s right, after you finish writing and publishing the book, your work is not over. Now you need to market your book via every method you can such as online via blogs, youtube, blogtalkradio interviews as well as offline via book signings, talks, readings, newspapers, magazines, and more. Leave no stone unturned. If there as a place you can be that your target audience will see you, be there.

The big secret of traditional publishing that they don’t want you to know is that the marketing part is the hardest part of publishing. And guess what, unless you’re already super famous, they don’t market you very much. They expect you to do that for yourself. So, you’re not at a disadvantage by self-publishing in the least. If you’ve followed the steps above, created a product you’re proud to promote, get out there and promote it.

Affiliate Marketing Keys to Success

If you want to make a lot of money in affiliate marketing you can do it, it’s there for the taking but you have to get out of your comfort zone and do what needs to be done to make it work. The people who have succeeded in affiliate marketing aren’t any different or smarter than you are, the only thing they’ve done differently is to act upon their ideas and see them through to completion.

Avoid reinventing the wheel — In many ways if you’re just starting out you can benefit from the directions of those who have gone before you and avoid their mistakes and do what has been proven to work. One reason franchise businesses work is that they’ve got a proven business model that if the buyers follow through on sticking to the plans that work they will be successful too. Affiliate marketing is like that too. Now that others have succeeded before you, you now know it’s possible, if you follow the plan you will succeed too.

Have a written plan for your business — Just because your business is online doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a written plan about what you want to do, how you will do it, and in what time frame it will all come to pass. Businesses that have a business plan, a written plan with actionable steps are more likely to succeed than a fly by neat or fly by the seat of your pants operation. The more clear and spelled out your plan is, the better for you.

Find a niche market and stick to it — Choose a niche market that you care about, have knowledge of, or are willing to do what it takes to gain knowledge of, and stick to that niche. Don’t leave that niche and cast a wide net to a huge market because it’s much easier to target a smaller audience and you’ll actually make more money by knowing who you are selling to because you’ll be better able to choose products or services that they need and want.

Less is more — In affiliate marketing the truth is, less is more. The fewer products you devote time to promote the more money you will make and the easier it will be to promote. The biggest key is to promote one to four at the most products at a time until they are profitable before moving on. In general when you first start out you may want to stick to one product at a time so that you can learn how to handle product promotion from start to finish. One you do it once successfully it will get easier with future products.

Buy the right tools — Without certain tools and technology it will be difficult to be successful. You will need a place to host your websites and blogs, a way to process payments, an autoresponder, and basic website technology such as self-hosted WordPress which is open source software that is free to use. You will need to spend a certain amount of money to start because you will need to use professional technology and not services that don’t shout, cheap and free.