Prepare 1 https://www.prepare1.com Social Media Strategies to Increase Business Sales Tue, 19 Sep 2017 17:25:20 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.2 How to Use the Best Facebook Live Tools https://www.prepare1.com/how-to-use-the-best-facebook-live-tools/ https://www.prepare1.com/how-to-use-the-best-facebook-live-tools/#respond Tue, 19 Sep 2017 17:25:20 +0000 https://www.prepare1.com/?p=9147

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Wondering what  desktop software and  tools you need to produce a GOOD Facebook Live show?

Looking for a guide to tech setup and pre-show production?

In this post you’ll learn about Facebook Live Video tools that can help you improve the video and audio quality of your Facebook Live Videos.

Do you notice some Facebook Live Videos that you watch look and sound amazing, while others are difficult to see or hear? The reason why is because they are using Facebook Live Videos tools besides their mobile device to improve the quality of their livestreaming videos.

EQUIPMENT YOU NEED FOR YOUR LIVE BROADCAST

Computer

You’ll need a powerful computer for live video. The more impressive your computer’s specs, the better. Here’s a quick rundown:

  • You’ll need a modern PC or Mac. It’s cheaper to buy a desktop PC with higher specs than a Mac.
  • A fast, quad-core processor is ideal.
  • 16GB of RAM or more is best (but 8GB is okay).

Internet Connection

When you are streaming, you want to have a high upload speed.

A fast Internet upload speed is important for broadcasting live video. For best results, you’ll need an upload speed of at least 10 Mbps to ensure that the highest-quality video and audio will come through. If you have a co-host or guest broadcasting video to you via Skype or Zoom, their upload speed should also be 10 Mbps or higher (ideally).

As with everything, testing is important. While some people have had success with slower speeds, you’re likely to get poor results with upload speeds less than 5 or 6 Mbps. To check your upload speed, use a speed test tool such as Speedtest.net before you go live each time.

Speedtest also offers desktop apps for Mac and PC.

 Microphones and Webcams

You can use an integrated webcam and microphone, but to greatly improve the broadcast quality, invest in an external webcam and microphone.

If you want to step it up a bit, you can buy an external mic and maybe even an external camera. You could use the Blue Snowball USB mic and the Logitech HD pro C920 camera.

The Blue Snowball is a Very Good Quality External Microphone
The Blue Snowball is a Very Good Quality External Microphone

You now have good high-quality video with good sound.

To take things to the next level, consider getting a dedicated video camera and connecting it to your computer via an HDMI capture card.

There are many good USB microphones to choose from, including the Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB microphone ($79) and SE Electronics X1 USB microphone ($299). If you have the budget, the Heil PR40 microphone ($327) is one that professionals use.

Make sure that you use earphones while you’re broadcasting to help minimize feedback.

Lighting

Whenever you’re broadcasting Facebook Live Videos, it is important to have optimal lighting. Having extra lighting makes for a better viewing experience

You might be able to get away with the natural light of your room and some standard lighting. But if you add two or three soft boxes, it can make a big difference in the quality of your broadcast. You can choose from many soft box options, such as the StudioFX Lighting Kit ($126).

You might also investigate light rings. Just be aware that they can cause a reflection if you wear glasses.

Portable Lighting

Facebook Live Video tools for adding lighting to videos is the Genaray LED light. You can also check out the Manfrotto Lumimuse 6 LED light as well.

WHAT ABOUT LIVE STREAMING FROM YOUR MOBILE DEVICE?

The most basic set up is taking out your mobile and broadcasting but you may want to have a couple of extra bits and pieces.

For this, I’m going to refer you to a list from Brian Fanzo, who does more live streaming from mobile than anyone else – Check out Brian’s list.

When you want to go live on Facebook, where do you go?

You can go live on your Facebook Page, profile or group on your mobile device.

If you want to go live from a mobile device, you just open up your status update and select ‘live video’.

Facebook live

If you want to go live on your Facebook Page, select the ‘publishing tools’ menu option on the top right of the Facebook Page, then select the video menu option and finally click the ‘Live’ button.

If you want to check out who’s live on Facebook at the moment, there is a map showing live broadcasts.

FB Live map

Facebook live

If you want to go live on your Facebook Page, select the ‘publishing tools’ menu option on the top right of the Facebook Page, then select the video menu option and finally click the ‘Live’ button.

If you want to check out who’s live on Facebook at the moment, there is a map showing live broadcasts.

How to setup for Facebook Live.

SETUP AND PREVIEW

1. First, login to your Facebook Page and select Publishing Tools in the top navigation bar.

2. On the left menu, click on the Video Library option under the Videos section.

3. Click on the + Live button to begin configuring your Live post.

4. Depending on the requirements of your encoding software you will use one of the following options:

  • Single Field: Your encoding software requires only a server address or url.
  • Separate Field: Your encoding software requires both a server address and key.

Be sure to enable a secure connection if your encoding software supports rtmps.

LIVE BROADCASTING SOFTWARE

Web apps such as BeLive and Crowdcast offer this functionality through your desktop. There are also other apps such as Zoom that integrate with Facebook Live.

BeLive lets you show up to three people on-screen at once.

BeLive makes it easy to broadcast co-hosted or interview shows to Facebook Live. You can invite your co-host in and have up to three people on the screen at one time. Check out this walkthrough on how to use BeLive for a co-hosted or interview show.

For more power and flexibility, you’ll want to use a dedicated live broadcasting tool. OBS Studio is an excellent free open-source tool. Wirecast is a professional tool with a rather professional price tag, starting at $495.

When you’re live, you can then switch between scenes and even set up slick transitions. You can add as many webcams, microphones, images, videos, and screen shares as you like and integrate your own branding.

Both OBS Studio and Wirecast are available for Mac and PC, and allow you to broadcast to just about any live video platform including Facebook Live, YouTube, and Periscope.

OBS – Open Broadcaster Software

OBS (Open Broadcaster Software) is a free, open-source piece of software that you can use to broadcast to Live. There’s a lot of configuration you can potentially do with it but you can ignore a lot of the options.

This is a desktop-based product.

When you’re downloading OBS, you’ll have the option of Classic or Studio.  Don’t select Classic because it doesn’t support Facebook Live!

obs
Don’t select Classic… set up multiple camera sources and swap between different cameras

To get OBS to stream to Facebook, take these steps:

a) Get the stream key from your Facebook business page.  – To get your stream key, select the ‘publishing tools’ menu at the top of your Facebook Page and then select the Live button.  You will then be displayed a screen similar to the following, where you can grab the stream key for OBS.

Facebook Stream key

Where you access the Facebook stream key

b) Add this in the settings for OBS.  Make sure the service is set to Facebook Live because OBS supports streaming to other services too (e.g. YouTube).

obs-streamkey

c) Start your streaming from OBS

d) View a live preview on Facebook

e) Click a button to go live on Facebook.

The sound, video etc. all come from OBS and this is streamed to Facebook using RTMP (real-time messaging protocol). Facebook picks this up and broadcasts it to your Facebook Page.

If you’re a Mac user, you’ll need to install additional software to capture the audio from Skype or Zoom. Here are some tools that will route your audio to OBS Studio on your Mac:

Wirecast

Like OBS Studio, Wirecast works on both PC and Mac. The standard version costs $495.

You can download a fully functioning demo from the Telestream website. The demo version has a watermark and a demo audio voiceover, but you can use it to follow along with this article.

Wirecast is a more robust and professional live video tool than OBS Studio.

With Wirecast, you can broadcast to multiple live video platforms at once (e.g., to Facebook Live, YouTube Live, and Periscope). You’ll need a powerful computer for this, though.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Facebook live doesn’t have enough functionality currently available so you need to use an external platform to get better production.

Taking the time to set up the technical end of your Facebook Live show is vital when broadcasting from your desktop. Follow a checklist to ensure everything runs smoothly and you’re producing a professional show.

Once you’ve finished your broadcast, that’s not the end of it. Your video will now be viewed by replay viewers. It’s important to continue the conversation and promote.

About Blair

 5 Golden Rules for Sharing on Social Media

Blair Evan Ball is a Social Media Coach and founder of Prepare1, a company that works with businesses, individuals and non-profits. He is a former executive with a Fortune 50 company, and his national division did $1Billion+ in sales annually.

Blair has written three e-books: Facebook for Business Made Easy, Facebook Pages for Business Made Easy, and WordPress Blog Setup Made Easy.

Blair also educates, trains entrepreneurs and business professionals how to amplify their brand, increase revenues, and raise more funds.

 5 Golden Rules for Sharing on Social MediaThe Race is ON! | PREPARE | Get into the Game and WIN!

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How to Make Emotional Videos Stand Out https://www.prepare1.com/how-to-make-emotional-videos-stand-out/ https://www.prepare1.com/how-to-make-emotional-videos-stand-out/#respond Fri, 15 Sep 2017 00:46:35 +0000 https://www.prepare1.com/?p=9136

Video Marketing Tips_Prepare1 Image

Are you currently using videos in your marketing?

Did you realize that in two years it will be 85% of all search traffic on the web?

It’s no secret that video content is on the rise. By 2019, video content will be the driving factor behind 85% of search traffic in the US. Whether it’s Snapchat, Instagram, or Facebook, video content on social media is what marketers need to focus on in 2017.

Additionally, marketers must understand how each social channel is optimizing its platform to allow for more video content in users’ feeds, and how brands are using video content to engage their followers.

Video has become huge on Facebook. Companies and individuals are using the medium more than ever before, hoping to draw additional attention to their content. With the addition of Facebook Live videos, people now have more tools for creating content right at their fingertips.

  • But you have to use Facebook videos wisely if you want to get results. Simply slapping a clip on your page isn’t necessarily going to increase traffic or improve your image.

Everything from the topic chosen, length of the video, the content itself, and the amount of text affect your results. And getting it wrong means your video could flop.

The new data collected by BuzzSumo, an exceptional tool that helps you identify popular content, is mind-blowing.

Steve Rayson, the director at BuzzSumo, analyzed 100 million Facebook videos that were published in the last year and used the data to show you how to create a more engaging and optimal Facebook video.

VIDEO MARKETING VOLUME STATS

  • 82% of Twitter users watch video content on Twitter
  • YouTube has over a billion users, almost one-third of total internet users.
  • 45% of people watch more than an hour of Facebook or YouTube videos a week.
  • More than 500 million hours of videos are watched on YouTube each day.
  • More video content is uploaded in 30 days than the major U.S. television networks have created in 30 years.
  • 87% of online marketers use video content.
  • 72 Hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every 60 seconds.
  • One-third of online activity is spent watching video.
  • 85% of the US internet audience watches videos online.
  • The 25-34 (millennial) age group watches the most online videos and men spend 40% more time watching videos on the internet than women.

MOBILE VIDEO MARKETING STATS

RULES OF ENGAGEMENT 

When it comes to reaching your audience, video is the way to go. Based on data from April 2017, the average video post caught the attention of 12.05 percent of the total page audience.

  • Photos grabbed 11.63 percent, while links and status updates only captured 7.81 and 4.56 percent respectively.

Even for publishers who reach their core audience through other forms of content (like text articles) on their own sites still see the highest rate of engagement with videos when it comes to their Facebook page.

The most recent statistics show that video content isn’t just effective — the demand for it is growing at an impressively rapid pace. Did you know, for example, that 43% of people want to see more video content from marketers? Or that 51.9% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI?

TOPICS MATTER

The number one video category (by far) on Facebook is food. In fact, it gets twice the number of average interactions than the second topic on the list, Fashion & Beauty. Rounding out the top five are Animals (Pets), DIY, and Humor.

So, which categories garner the least engagement?

The bottom five on the list are

  1. Education
  2. Cars
  3. Marketing
  4. Real Estate
  5. and Finance/Stocks.

Video StatisticsRELEVANCE

Consumers visit certain social media platforms to see specific types of content. For example, according to Pew Research, a majority of Twitter and Facebook users are there to gather news. As such, you should publish timely, newsy content on these platforms — such as videos that announce new product lines.

Users on Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest, on the other hand, are looking to build their skills and feel inspired. According to Google, YouTube searches containing the phrase “how-to” are growing by 70% each year. So on these platforms, try to provide tip-based marketing videos for the DIY crowd.

You should also allow demographics data to drive your creative decision-making. For example, eMarketer predicts that two-thirds of all millennials will have Instagram accounts by 2019, and The Wall Street Journal recently reported that 41% of 18- to 34-year-olds in the U.S. can be found on Snapchat. Integrating young actors or influencers on these platforms can lead to better results.

HOW LONG WILL YOU WATCH A VIDEO?

Urgency. TIME Magazine declared that goldfish now have longer attention spans than humans. Keep this top of mind when creating videos for social media, as you’ll have between half a second and five seconds to capture users’ attention.

Work hard to hook viewers with stunning imagery within the first few frames of the video, but no matter how tempting it is, don’t lure them in by flashing something irrelevant on the screen. Instead, try having the first few seconds of an ad provide a visual teaser of the best, most relevant part of the video.

For example, if you’re promoting a direct-to-consumer fashion line, starting your spot with a time-lapse unboxing segment will be much more engaging than simple product shots. After you’ve hooked the audience, you can cut away to the explanation of how your product or service works.

Typically, shorter Facebook videos are more likely to attract attention from viewers than longer ones. The highest rated duration includes clips that fall from 60 to 90 seconds.

After 90 seconds, engagement falls consistently until you reach the 6-minute point, where it remains fairly constant.

  • But hitting the 31-second mark is especially critical, as videos below 30 seconds performed worse than any other category.

FINAL THOUGHTS

If you want to create engaging Facebook and Facebook Live videos, there are a few key takeaways that can help you improve your content.

  • First, keep your videos short
  • Aim between 60 and 90 seconds.
  • Your Live videos need to be longer, falling above the 15-minute mark.

When it comes to the intro text, get to the point quickly. Be concise and give users just enough information to entice them to view the clip.

  • Choose the right topic for your video.
  • When in doubt, how-tos, hacks, and tips often perform well, along with anything that is humorous or inspirational.
  • Ultimately, you want your content to be shareable. People enjoy telling others about videos that are entertaining or provide value, so keep that as your overall goal when you create your videos.

Video marketing is an incredible way to create content that is personal and has a real impact on your audience. It has an incomparable ability to create emotion driven sales – and sales are always personal on some level. Buyers want to feel good about their choice, and video marketing, when done correctly, is the best way to create this feeling.

Video stats

About Blair

 5 Golden Rules for Sharing on Social Media

Blair Evan Ball is a Social Media Coach and founder of Prepare1, a company that works with businesses, individuals and non-profits. He is a former executive with a Fortune 50 company, and his national division did $1Billion+ in sales annually.

Blair has written three e-books: Facebook for Business Made Easy, Facebook Pages for Business Made Easy, and WordPress Blog Setup Made Easy.

Blair also educates, trains entrepreneurs and business professionals how to amplify their brand, increase revenues, and raise more funds.

 5 Golden Rules for Sharing on Social MediaThe Race is ON! | PREPARE | Get into the Game and WIN!

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7 Steps to New Habits https://www.prepare1.com/7-steps-to-new-habits/ https://www.prepare1.com/7-steps-to-new-habits/#respond Thu, 07 Sep 2017 17:54:17 +0000 https://www.prepare1.com/?p=9126

7 Steps to New Habits 700X400_Prepare1 Image

Have you ever developed good habits? Bad habits?

Were they easy to create or break?

“Nothing succeeds like success.”

Whether we like it or not, a big part of what we do in life is governed by habits. Even more importantly, habits can lead us to think and feel in certain patterns.

Since habits are so powerful, it’s worth paying attention to the ones that are most effective.

You must develop the success habit by doing something every single day to move forward toward your goals and objectives. Always be mindful for something you can do to have an impact on their achievement.

Success can seem like a great mystery — some people are destined for it while others aren’t.

But that’s probably not the case. While luck and genetics may play a role, there are certain learnable behaviors which make success more likely.

1. ALL HABITS ARE LEARNED

Almost everything you are or will be will be determined by your thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Fully 95% of everything you think, feel and do will be determined by your habits. The key to becoming a great person, and living a great life, is for you to develop the habits of success that lead inevitably to your achieving everything that is possible for you.

Fortunately, all habits are learned, and are therefore learnable. If you have bad habits, or if you have not yet developed the habits that you need to become everything that you are capable of becoming, you can develop these habits by a systematic process of practice and repetition, just as you learn any other subject.

Good Habits or Bad Habits

Good habits are hard to learn, but easy to live with. Bad habits, on the other hand, are easy to learn but hard to live with. In either case, once you have developed a habit, it becomes automatic and easy. Like breathing in and breathing out, you find it easier and easier to engage in thoughts, feelings and behaviors that are consistent with the person you want to be, and the goals you want to achieve.

2. ONE THOUGHT AT A TIME

Your conscious mind can only hold one thought at a time, either positive or negative. You may be capable of thinking hundreds of thoughts in a row, but you can only think of one thought at a time. And you are always free to choose that thought. An essential success habit is the habit of keeping your mind focused clearly on the person you want to be, the goals you want to achieve, and the steps that you will have to take to achieve those goals.

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When you make a habit of thinking and talking most of the time about where you are going and how to get there, you take complete control of the development of your self-concept and your personality. You step on the accelerator of your own potential. You move yourself onto the fast track in your life. You begin to move ahead at a speed that will amaze you, and everyone around you.

3. BECOMING A PERSON OF VALUE

Fortunately, all habits are learned, and are therefore learnable. If you have bad habits, or if you have not yet developed the habits that you need to become everything that you are capable of becoming, you can develop these habits by a systematic process of practice and repetition, just as you learn any other subject.

Successful leaders develop good habits.

  • Good habits are hard to learn, but easy to live with.
  • Bad habits, on the other hand, are easy to learn but hard to live with.

In either case, once you have developed a habit, it becomes automatic and easy. Like breathing in and breathing out, you find it easier and easier to engage in thoughts, feelings and behaviors that are consistent with the person you want to be, and the goals you want to achieve.

4. DEVELOP A NEW PATTERN HABIT

How long does it take to develop a new habit? The time period can be any length from a single second to several years. The speed of new habit pattern development is largely determined by the intensity of the emotion that accompanies the decision to begin acting in a particular way.

Bad Habits - Prepare1 Image

Many people think, talk about and resolve to lose weight and become physically fit. This may go on for years. Then one day, the doctor says that, “If you don’t get your weight down and improve your physical condition, you are in danger of dying at an early age.”

Suddenly, the thought of dying can be so intense or frightening that the individual immediately changes his diet, begins exercising, stops smoking and becomes a healthy and fit person. Psychologists refer to this as a “significant emotional experience,” or a “SEE.” Any experience of intense joy or pain, combined with a behavior, can create a habitual behavior pattern that may endure for the rest of a
person’s life.

I have a saying “When the pain becomes great enough, action will occur.” Some of us have high pain thresholds! Or maybe some of us are too stubborn.

The key is to be proactive, and develop new habits before your in critical condition personally or professionally.

According to the experts, it takes about 21 days to form a habit pattern of medium complexity. By this, we mean simple habits such as getting up earlier at a specific hour, exercising each morning before you start out, listening to audio programs in your car, going to bed at a certain hour, being punctual for appointments, planning every day in advance, starting with your most important tasks each day, or completing your tasks before you start something else. These are habits of medium
complexity that can be quite easily developed in 14-21 days through practice and repetition.

How do you develop a new habit? Over the years, a simple, powerful, proven methodology has been determined for new habit development. It is very much like a recipe for preparing a dish in the kitchen. You can use it to develop any habit that you desire. Over time, you will find it easier and easier to develop the habits that you want to incorporate into your personality.

5. GET UP EARLY

Up and at ‘em!

Morning people are successful people. Just ask any CEO, politician, professional athlete or inventor out there – they all start their day at the crack of dawn, gaining a leg up on the competition.

Create a routine and stick with it. Studies prove that willpower is the strongest in the morning before exhaustion and other priorities get in your way. Adopt a morning ritual and you will start to see BIG results.

So hold off hitting that snooze button and read up on some tips to guarantee a more productive future!

6. HOW TO IDENTIFY YOUR GOALS

Sometimes in life we need to reassess. A good habit to get into, is identifying your goals. Being specific vs. a wandering generality.

Goals for Fuel_Prepare1 Image

Here are some thought provoking questions pertaining to your goals and goal setting.

  1. What are the top five values in your life?
  2. What have you always wanted to do with your life, but have been afraid to try?
  3. What do you enjoy most doing? What gives you the greatest satisfaction and feeling?
  4. What would you do if you won the lottery worth millions?
  5. What would you do if you found out you only had six months to live?
  6. What are the top three most important goals in your life and business, right now?
  7. What one great thing would you dare to dream if you knew you could not fail?

7. OVERCOMING PROCRASTINATION

Everyone has put off a task at some point in their life.

One of the biggest reasons people procrastinate is because they catastrophize, or make a huge deal out of something. It may be related to how tough, how boring, or how painful it will be to complete the task; the underlying theme is that doing the task will be “unbearable.”

In reality, challenges, boredom, and hard work will not kill you — or even make you sick. Procrastination, on the other hand, is associated with stress — think of the stress you feel when you avoid making a phone call you know you need to make. So keep things in perspective: “Sure, this is not my favorite task, but I can get through it.”

  • First, make a decision to start in immediately on your most important task each day.
  • Second, never allow an exception until the habit is firmly entrenched.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Where do you start in new habit pattern development?

When people first learn about the importance of new habit pattern development, and how positive patterns of thought and behavior can have a wonderful effect on their lives, they often make the mistake of resolving to develop several new habits at once.

They decide to improve in every area of their lives simultaneously.

They very excitedly draw up a list of new habits that they desire for their work, their financial lives, their business activities, their relationships, their family, their health and their personal organization skills. As a result, they very quickly hit a mental wall, and no improvement takes place at all.

Here is the rule in developing new habits:

  • Be patient with yourself.

It has taken you an entire lifetime to become the person you are. It is not possible for you to change everything overnight.

You should therefore select a single habit that you feel can be more helpful to you at the moment than any other particular habit. Write it down and create a positive affirmation, combined with a visual image, of yourself acting exactly as if you already had that new habit.

You then launch immediately, and never allow an exception.

About Blair

 5 Golden Rules for Sharing on Social Media

Blair Evan Ball is a Social Media Coach and founder of Prepare1, a company that works with businesses, individuals and non-profits. He is a former executive with a Fortune 50 company, and his national division did $1Billion+ in sales annually.

Blair has written three e-books: Facebook for Business Made Easy, Facebook Pages for Business Made Easy, and WordPress Blog Setup Made Easy.

Blair also educates, trains entrepreneurs and business professionals how to amplify their brand, increase revenues, and raise more funds.

 5 Golden Rules for Sharing on Social MediaThe Race is ON! | PREPARE | Get into the Game and WIN!

 

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How to Crush it with LinkedIn New Video https://www.prepare1.com/how-to-crush-it-with-linkedin-new-video/ https://www.prepare1.com/how-to-crush-it-with-linkedin-new-video/#respond Fri, 01 Sep 2017 12:07:12 +0000 https://www.prepare1.com/?p=9105

LinkedIn New Video_Prepare1 Image

Were you aware of the new video feature LinkedIn rolled out this week?

Did you know there are now more than 500 million users on LinkedIn?

It’s no secret that video content is on the rise. By 2019, video content will be the driving factor behind 85% of search traffic in the US. Whether it’s Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, or now LinkedIn video content on social media is what marketers need to focus on in 2017.

Additionally, marketers must understand how each social channel is optimizing its platform to allow for more video content in users’ feeds, and how brands are using video content to engage their followers.

Now Microsoft-owned LinkedIn is hoping to muscle in on the party with its own video strategy. Today the social networking site for the working world is launching a new feature to let any user upload a video to the site, via LinkedIn’s iOS or Android mobile app.

The idea will be to let users create videos that highlight their professional work: projects that have been finished or are in progress; product demonstrations; and other work-related videos that highlight what you do.

It looks and feels very much like a video launch for the non-Snapchat set. For those who might not know where to start but think it might be a good idea to upload some video, LinkedIn has taken the very un-Snapchatty route of providing some direction and pointers.

TIPS FOR VIDEO ENGAGEMENT

  1. Catch people’s attention within the first 3 seconds.

    BuzzFeed has become a master at this. Here’s how they’ve done it:

    • Great thumbnails – BuzzFeed uploads custom thumbnails that do a great job at capturing people’s attention while they scroll through their feed.
    • Tease the video with a short post update: Sometimes it’s the title of the video itself (if that is compelling enough). Other times they tease what the video is about.
    • Immediate start: BuzzFeed doesn’t waste time in capturing people’s attention. In general, the first frame is already geared towards piquing someone’s interest.

    Here’s a recent example which has garnered more than 28 million views at the time of writing: CLICK HERE

2. Focus on one key point

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One Thing

If you want to make a shareable video, focus on one easy-to-understand point.

This is a tip from popular YouTube creators, Rhett Mclaughlin and Link Neal, in a video on creating shareable videos.

Can we summarize what this video is all about in one sentence that is easily understood and also compelling in a way that people will want to share?

The point is if you can’t summarize it in one sentence, then it’s going to take someone longer to explain it when they’re trying to share it.

If your video is easy to understand, viewers would be more likely to share it as it is easy for them to explain what’s great about the video when sharing it.

Rhett and Link try to think from their audience’s point-of-view on why they might share a video even before writing a script for the video. Why might your audience share your videos?

According to Jonathan Perelman, former GM of Video & VP of Agency Strategy at BuzzFeed, there are five main reasons why people share videos:

  • To be social

  • To express how they are feeling about a particular topic

  • To show off, or humble-brag

  • To prove they were the first ones to find something

  • To make friends and colleagues laugh

Do your videos help your audience achieve any of these?

3. Cut

Timing is everything, as the old adage goes, and perhaps never more so than with digital video. Most studies show that Thursdays are a solid choice for maximum eyeballs on LinkedIn, though this depends on the content and one’s current reach.

While most experts maintain that length of digital video should be 30 seconds to two minutes in length (especially keeping in mind that the latest studies show that the average human being in our culture now has an attention span that is lower than that of a goldfish), be flexible.

Most video on this platform should surely remain within this range. Leave viewers wanting more, but it is crucial to keep in mind that if the content is deeply compelling, people will keep watching. Make judgments based on the offering, not solely on a generic study, and you should be on your way to dominating LinkedIn.

4. Inspire

Nobody likes to hang around negative people. Be inspirational!

Inspire Someone

The text quotes we love to share and forward across social media remain a prominent content piece because, through them, we share inspiration. The business day can be fraught with setbacks and disappointments. Such quotes often help pick the reader back up, if only for a moment.

Continuous self-promotion and sales, particularly across video is laborious and can create negative sentiment toward a brand or individual rather than a previously existing neutral position.

Thus, sharing a fellow employee’s uplifting story, an overall industry triumph, or tips for work-life balance brings others along for the ride and increases the chance of engagement rather than a bounce to the next content piece.

PROFILE VIDEO

Including video in the Summary, Experience, and Education sections of your LinkedIn profile is a great way to give people a sense of who you are.

To add video to these sections, click the Link to Media button. Then in the text box that appears, paste the link to the video and click Add to add it to your profile.

In your profile, you can also add testimonials, product demos, videos of you speaking, and media clips and interviews. If you’re an author, add a book trailer. If you’re a speaker, add a sizzle reel. You’ll also want to include a company video if you have one.

linkedin-video-full-screen

Ideally, you’d like to include high-quality videos on your profile, but it’s more important that the videos are authentic so your audience can relate to the content. If you have raw video you want to fine-tune, you can find someone else to do the video editing for you. There are also inexpensive options for outsourcing video work, like Fiverr.

IMAGE: Social Media Examiner

READY TO START RECORDING? HERE’S HOW:

In the LinkedIn mobile app, look for the share box at the top of the feed (iOS) or the post button (Android) and tap on the video icon.

You can record a video in the app, or upload something you recorded earlier.

SEE WHO’S VIEWING YOUR VIDEOS

After you post a video, you can see audience insights such as the top companies, titles and locations of your viewers, as well as how many views, likes, and comments your videos are receiving. With these insights you can begin to understand if you’re reaching the people and companies that matter to you.

You can find audience insights in the dashboard section of your LinkedIn profile on both mobile and desktop.

DIGITAL AD SPENDING

Video ad expenditure

The reason why these major social networks are optimizing their platforms is because the majority of search traffic will be a result of video content, and future marketing projects will include high spending on digital.

To illustrate this is eMarketer’s data on the expected ad expenditure in the US over the next four years. These future projections indicate that not only will digital ad spend increase significantly, increasing on average $13 billion every year, but social and video are the only ad types expected to grow in the near future. While social is expected to grow significantly, video ad types will boom 184% from $9.9 billion to $28 billion in ad spend – making them the fastest growing ad type.

Video Ad Spend Statistics

Video content millennials want to share

If you want an excellent example of the type of video content millennials like to share, take a look at Tasty’s Facebook page. Its page is devoted to short, one minute recipe videos. Tasty’s success lies in their ability to condense information down into short, “snackable” content, that is just long enough to maintain viewers’ attention and short enough to keep them around to watch more.

What is so fascinating about Tasty is their ability make videos viral on Facebook instead of YouTube, which is a platform we would normally associate with viral videos. Instead, Buzzfeed’s Tasty garners millions of views targeting a millennial audience that many thought had left Facebook all together.

COMPANY VIDEOS

“Live video and live video chat is an interesting possibility down the road because it helps people add a whole different dimension,” according to a LinkedIn spokesperson.

Other areas where LinkedIn is very likely to bring video in the near future is advertising and videos from companies on the service.

Company videos are “coming soon,”, and a separate source notes that these videos will be hosted both on company pages as well as in other places: another feature that LinkedIn has been quietly developing has been event-style pages that let you search for specific subjects by hashtags in order to browse videos and other content related to them (here is one for #TED2017). These pages will give users one more ways to discover that video content.

Much of this, longer term, is likely to help feed into one of the biggest reasons for getting deeper into video in the first place: advertising.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Innovation and change is part of our world today. Brands should anticipate their audience to expect them to offer video content. Those who don’t will be left behind, with consumers opting to engage with brands that tailor their content to consumer preferences. In addition, marketers will be creating more video ads, especially on Facebook and Instagram, and now LinkedIn as they yield more engagement and higher click through rates than traditional static ads.

Brands need to think about experimenting with video content through social media and their websites to understand how their audience reacts to various forms of video content. Think how you can portray your brand in a fun and natural way. Stiffness will turn your audience away.

Also, listen to your audience! What information are they seeking that can be easily condensed into a short video? Put yourself in their shoes – it is much easier to watch a short video and get the information you need then to click through and read an entire article.

Ultimately, time will tell in how LinkedIn will do with video. Also, how will the major social networks optimize their platforms and how consumers will respond. Major changes are on the horizon and it is up to marketers to decide whether their brand will watch from the sidelines or get in on the action and reap the rewards.

About Blair

 5 Golden Rules for Sharing on Social Media

Blair Evan Ball is a Social Media Coach and founder of Prepare1, a company that works with businesses, individuals and non-profits. He is a former executive with a Fortune 50 company, and his national division did $1Billion+ in sales annually.

Blair has written three e-books: Facebook for Business Made Easy, Facebook Pages for Business Made Easy, and WordPress Blog Setup Made Easy.

Blair also educates, trains entrepreneurs and business professionals how to amplify their brand, increase revenues, and raise more funds.

 5 Golden Rules for Sharing on Social MediaThe Race is ON! | PREPARE | Get into the Game and WIN!

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How to Optimize Your Organic Reach on Facebook https://www.prepare1.com/how-to-optimize-your-organic-reach-on-facebook/ Thu, 24 Aug 2017 12:05:19 +0000 https://www.prepare1.com/?p=9086

Facebook Newsfeed Organic Reach_Prepare1 Image

Are your posts reaching more people or fewer people on Facebook?

Do you wonder how to appear in more people’s news feeds?

Facebook’s has been using an algorithm which dictates who sees your content and who doesn’t.

Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg rang the bell to the Nasdaq exchange from Menlo Park on Friday May 18th 2012 signifying the social giant’s first day trading as a public company.

The IPO marks a new chapter in the storied social network’s rise — from a website born in a Harvard dorm and launched on February 4th, 2004. to an international phenomenon boasting more than 2 Billion+ users that has defined online relationships and reshaped the digital age.

FACEBOOK NEWSFEED EXPOSURE

It comes as no surprise that your Facebook Newsfeed Exposure is trending downward, and has for the last few years. Being a public company now for 5 years and shareholders to please, has changed the way Facebook approaches business.

After all it’s free to us. Right?

Marketers are now faced with decreased Facebook News Feed exposure, and must find ways to boost exposure. For those without a advertising budget, it will be hard to sustain any traction.

A significant 53% of marketers surveyed by social media examiner said they saw News Feed declines. Plus, a significant 42% of marketers surveyed were unsure. When combined, 95% of marketers either don’t know or have seen a decline in Facebook News Feed exposure over the last 12 months.

FB News Feed Exposure

This hit’s small business particularly hard. According to Dan Levy Facebook’s director of small business, there are now 65 million small businesses with Pages on Facebook, and only 4 million actively advertise.

Are your competitors advertising? Are they boosting posts? Maybe they’ve found a way to reach people on mobile, which is now considered the holy grail of engagement.

“The number one reason businesses succeed or fail is their ability to attract customers,” Facebook said. Chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg once remarked that “building an online presence is hard, and building a mobile presence is even more difficult.”

The company has sought to highlight Facebook Pages as a suitable alternative to setting up a website, touting its effectiveness on mobile devices, among other advantages.

Breaking down the numbers for business Pages: Eighty-five percent of users are on mobile, while 40 percent of active advertisers have created a Facebook ad on mobile.

Pages are also becoming more diversified, with more than 30 percent of small- to medium-sized businesses owned by women.

People that know me, have long heard me say that Social Media Platforms like Facebook are rented land. You don’t own it, your just there for whatever time you deem worthy.

However, your website is the hub of all your activities, and these social platforms are the spokes.

Your Website is Your Hub_Prepare1 Image

 

HOW FACEBOOK’S NEWS FEED ALGORITHM RANKS YOUR CONTENT

Facebook doesn’t use a chronological feed, like Twitter does (or like Facebook used to). Instead, what you see in your News Feed is determined by an algorithm that sorts things based on what Facebook thinks you want to see. This is a cause of some consternation.

Facebook wants to keep you and me, the users, engaged. They have poured millions of dollars into finding ways to keep as many people as possible coming back for another hit of social crack.

Showing us a load of stories from former friends or pages we liked to try and win an iPhone 6 isn’t going to achieve that. So Facebook has had to find a way around that.

Facebook algorithm pre-filters content that users see in their news feeds. The algorithm manages the vast amount of content posted to Facebook and thus helps advertisers, while hopefully showing Facebook users the most relevant content among the thousands of posts they could see.

Users can have as many as 5,000 friends, join up to 6,000 groups, and follow up to 5,000 pages. With posts coming from all of these sources, users might see as many as 15,000 posts.

Facebook algorithm narrows down what users actually see to about 1,500 posts, and from that pool of content, narrows what users might see even further to about 300 posts.

Organic Reach

Remember the good old days when everyone that liked your page saw the new product or service you launched. For example, if you had 100 followers, when you posted something everyone saw what you posted. Today that figure is around 2%, or in this example 2 people, and going lower.

Could  Facebook organic reach would eventually hit zero?

Organic reach is dwindling and marketers and business need a strategy for using what little organic reach they get to maximize a post’s visibility and their ad budget.

Facebook 4 Step Process

Adam Mosseri (VP, News Feed at Facebook) recently broke down the four steps Facebook uses to rank your content in the news feed during 2017’s F8 Summit.

He first explained that an algorithm is “a formula or set of steps for solving a particular problem.”

He then presented a real-world problem to illustrate how it works; specifically, what to order his wife at a restaurant.

To find a solution, Adam breaks this problem down into four steps:

  • He checks the menu to see what his options are.
  • He considers all of the information at his disposal (e.g., what does his wife like to eat, is it lunch or dinner time, what’s good at the restaurant?).
  • From there, he makes lightweight predictions in his head (e.g., would she enjoy having salmon for lunch today, would it be weird if I ordered her a chocolate soufflé for breakfast?).
  • He then has to consider all of this information and place his wife’s order.

By activating this process, Adam is executing an algorithm in his head. Which is what we all do every day. Similarly, Facebook’s algorithm uses four steps to help it decide how to rank your content in the news feed.

Those steps are:

  1. Inventory (What’s on the menu?)
  2. Signals (Is it lunch or dinner time?)
  3. Predictions (Would she enjoy the salmon?)
  4. Score (Place an order)

The Signals Facebook Considers When Ranking Your Content

A key takeaway from Adam’s keynote speech was “the most critical input into what you see in your news feed is who you decide to friend and what [pages] you decide to follow in the first place.”

This makes sense, as these critical inputs will largely determine how Facebook interprets the myriad of signals it looks at when ordering a news feed that’s most relevant to your interests.

Some of the specific signals that will affect your ranking on Facebook include:

Who posted a story

  • Frequency of posts from that person / publisher
  • Previous negative feedback on an author

Engagement

  • Average time spent on content
  • Overall engagement a post already has

Facebook Emoji's_Prepare1 Image

When the story was posted

  • Friend tags
  • A recent comment from a friend

Story type

  • Completeness of page profile
  • Posted from a friend or page
  • How informative the post is

To increase a post’s chances of getting organic reach, Facebook guru Mari Smith encourages marketers and businesses to make sure their post is relevant to their audience.

In other words, the post should be

  • Newsworthy
  • Entertaining
  • or educational.

Mari calls her approach to creating relevant posts the Mari Method, and she explains how it works in an article she recently wrote for Social Media Examiner.

HOW TO OPTIMIZE YOUR CONTENT FOR MORE REACH

I know from experience that visuals play a key role in optimizing your Facebook reach. You can get some great engagement by doing so, without the expense of advertising. However, it’s becoming more challenging.

Photos are still #1 in terms of engagement, with video, especially LIVE VIDEO approaching fast.

These should be taken into consideration when crafting your strategy and tactics.

As a marketer or business owner, you want to reach and engage as many people as possible. In a digital world of noise, that takes effort and creativity. Check your insights to see the demographic makeup of your audience.

TIPS

  • Be Positive – Create content that will elicit positive response and feedback.
  • Post content that is shareable and social.
  • Create posts that want to make people click on something.
  • Post consistently.
  • Create posts that are likely to result in your audience liking, commenting, and sharing.
  • Build audience that ties into your goals and objectives.
  • Don’t be spammy.

To increase a post’s chances of getting organic reach, Facebook guru Mari Smith encourages marketers and businesses to make sure their post is relevant to their audience.

In other words, the post should be

  • Newsworthy
  • Entertaining
  • or educational.

Mari calls her approach to creating relevant posts the Mari Method, and she explains how it works in an article she recently wrote for Social Media Examiner.

FACEBOOK IS FACING A DEMOGRAPHIC TIME BOMB

For years, Facebook has faced a lingering problem with one of its core constituencies: teenagers, the most fickle tech demographic, don’t think it’s cool.

new report from eMarketer suggests that Facebook’s 12- to 17-year-old user base in the U.S. will decrease by 3.4 percent this year—the first time eMarketer has predicted a decline among any age group in Facebook usage. Its estimates for Facebook users who are 18 to 24 years old “will grow more slowly than previously forecast, too,” according to the firm. Even worse, there’s now a group of children the firm calls “Facebook-nevers,” who are becoming tweens and skipping Facebook entirely.

Is this your target audience? If so, you may want to come up with a different strategy and tactic that keeps your business growing.

ADVERTISING

Of course, it’s not enough to just have a Facebook Page — sadly, the adage “If you build it, they will come” isn’t always effective — so businesses are also advertising on the social network.

To enhance those efforts, the company has released new opportunities, including boosted posts, promoted pages, and even video ads — something that recently got Facebook into a bit of controversy.

Video ads seem to be catching on, however — within the last six months, more than 4 million new video ads have been created by more than 20 percent of “active advertisers.”

Facebook Marketing: Is it Time to Rethink Everything?

About Blair

 5 Golden Rules for Sharing on Social Media

Blair Evan Ball is a Social Media Coach and founder of Prepare1, a company that works with businesses, individuals and non-profits. He is a former executive with a Fortune 50 company, and his national division did $1Billion+ in sales annually.

Blair has written three e-books: Facebook for Business Made Easy, Facebook Pages for Business Made Easy, and WordPress Blog Setup Made Easy.

Blair also educates, trains entrepreneurs and business professionals how to amplify their brand, increase revenues, and raise more funds.

 5 Golden Rules for Sharing on Social MediaThe Race is ON! | PREPARE | Get into the Game and WIN!

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How to Outsmart the Six Ghosts of Fear https://www.prepare1.com/how-to-outsmart-the-six-ghosts-of-fear/ Thu, 17 Aug 2017 12:05:36 +0000 https://www.prepare1.com/?p=9021

6 Ghosts of Fear_Prepare1 Image

Have you ever had indecision about something?

Did it lead to doubt?

We’ll all suffered at some point in our life and career about indecision and doubt. Are we doing the right thing? Going down the right path? What will others think?

INDECISION is the seedling of FEAR!  Indecision crystalizes into DOUBT, the two blend and become FEAR! The “blending” process often is slow. This is one reason why these three enemies are so dangerous. They germinate and grow without their presence being observed.

Fear can be uncomfortable and crippling. But eliminating it would be the equivalent of taking down your home alarm system because it sometimes makes loud and irritating sounds.

Being fearless doesn’t mean eliminating fear. Being fearless means knowing how to leverage fear.

THE SIX BASIC FEARS

  1. The fear of POVERTY
  2. The fear of CRITICISM
  3. The fear of ILL HEALTH
  4. The fear of LOSS OF LOVE OF SOMEONE
  5. The fear of OLD AGE
  6. The fear of DEATH

Normal Fear is healthy.

Fear is hardwired in your brain, and for good reason: Neuroscientists have identified distinct networks that run from the depths of the limbic system all the way to the prefrontal cortex and back. When these networks are electrically or chemically stimulated, they produce fear, even in the absence of a fearful stimulus.

Feeling fear is neither abnormal nor a sign of weakness: The capacity to be afraid is part of normal brain function. In fact, a lack of fear may be a sign of serious brain damage.

Fear_700X400

1. THE FEAR OF POVERTY

There can be no compromise between POVERTY and RICHES!

The two roads that lead to poverty and riches travel in opposite directions. If you want riches, you must refuse to accept any circumstance that leads toward poverty. (The word “riches” is here used in its broadest sense, meaning financial, spiritual, mental and material estates).

The starting point of the path that leads to riches is DESIRE.

Every human being who reaches the age of understanding of the purpose of money, wishes for it.

Wishing will not bring riches.

But desiring riches with a state of mind that becomes an obsession, then planning definite ways and means to acquire riches, and backing those plans with persistence which does not recognize failure, will bring riches.

2. THE FEAR OF CRITICISM

This fear is almost as universal as the fear of poverty, and its effects are just as fatal to personal achievement, mainly because this fear destroys initiative, and discourages the use of imagination.

Ever since you were small, someone has been telling you what you can’t do.

  • Your mother told you that you couldn’t walk down the middle of the street.
  • Your father told you that you couldn’t ride your bike without reflectors.
  • Your teachers told you that you couldn’t run in the hallway.

Criticism_700X400

During life, there are hundreds of people who not only tell us what we cannot do, but what we can’t accomplish.

  • “You can’t be a chemist. You’re not analytical enough.”
  • “You can’t be a professional singer. You’re not attractive enough.”
  • “There is no way you’ll make it as a teacher. You’re not patient enough.”

“People refuse to take chances in business, because they fear the criticism which may follow if they fail. The fear of criticism, in such cases, is stronger than the DESIRE for success.”

Can you relate to this?

Here are some steps you can take to help you overcome this fear:

  • FORGET PERFECTION
  • CHANGE YOUR INNER DIALOGUE
  • AVOID PROCRASTINATING
  • CONSIDER WORST CASE SCENARIOS
  • MAINTAIN YOUR FOCUS
  • NEVER QUIT
  • IMPROVE YOUR SELF-CONFIDENCE

3. THE FEAR OF ILL HEALTH

Man fears ill health because of the terrible pictures which have been planted in his mind of what may happen if death should overtake him. He also fears it because of the economic toll which it may claim.

Understand that fear sells and you’re being manipulated.

Fear sells, and the media knows it. So it’s no surprise that every other headline is warning you about the “Secret Dangers Living In Your Cupboard” or the “Deadly Dangers Of Airplane Travel” or the “Cancer-Causing Toxins In [Pretty Much Everything.]”

Yes, there are real health risks out there that can be easily avoided. And why not do what you can to minimize your risks?

Did you know higher quality sleep can radically improve your health, productivity & happiness?

Here are 7 ways to improve health.

4. LOSS OF LOVE OF SOMEONE

The fear of the loss of love probably dates back to the stone age. The world war II generation didn’t show much love or affection, but that’s how they grew up. Today it’s quite different to openly say I LOVE YOU to someone.

Whenever there is a loss of something significant in our lives, we suffer grief.

When an intimate love relationship ends – whether we were married, living together with a partner or significant other, or committed to another as part of a couple – the separation can be overwhelmingly painful.

Why do some people rebound?

While others waste away?

Life is incredibly short. We don’t have forever to grieve. Until you have exhausted all of the options and configurations available, you would do well to move on, start a new life, change the scenery.

Rebound is good. Life rebounds and so should you.

5. OLD AGE

For many thousands of years, mankind has wondered when old age began. Mostly, it began about a week after puberty. In the Middle Ages, reaching age 21 was the goal. If you made it that far, you had a pretty good shot at living into your 60s. Of course, your teeth would have all rotted out and your eyesight would have been gone, but if you avoiding the plague and bloodletting, you’d have it made.

Beginning at the turn of the 20th century, life spans started steadily rising, from 45.7 years to 88 years, now. A lot of that rise was due to the decrease in infant mortality and the vast array of drugs that have been introduced to the market, which allowed more people to aspire to saying things like, “This getting old stuff sucks.”

It wasn’t until Boomers appeared on the planet that the concept of old age began to be threatened.

Boomers, in an effort to eliminate old age completely, invented Spanx, cosmetic surgery, Viagra, and the belief that they looked 10 years younger than they really were.

So the question was, when did old age really begin? It was confusing. Asking actually people resulted in differing answers:

  • 5-year-olds: Old age begins at 13.
  • 13-year-olds: Old age begins at 30.
  • 30-year-olds: Old age begins at 50.
  • 50-year-olds: Old age begins at 75.
  • 75-year-olds: Never. And go away.

For some thought that old age may bring with it the fear of POVERTY.

As the saying goes, your only as old as you feel! Right?

6. DEATH

They say there are only two sure things in live TAXES and DEATH.

To some this is the cruelest of all the basic fears.

“The idea of death, the fear of it, haunts the human animal like nothing else,” wrote Earnest Becker in his book, The Denial of Death. It’s a fear strong enough to compel us to force kale down our throats, run sweatily on a treadmill at 7am on a Monday morning.

Most people prefer not to think about death, much less plan for it. In a tech-crazed world, where time is commonly measured in 140 characters and 6-second sound bites, life would appear to be dissected into so many bite-sized morsels that discussion of death doesn’t even seem to fit into the equation.

For some it’s what will their legacy be?

Everyone must figure out their own way to handle the fear of death.

Some worry about going to hell…while others worry that they will get to heaven.

The greatest of all remedies for the fear of death is a BURNING DESIRE FOR ACHIEVEMENT, backed by useful service to others. A busy person seldom has time to think about dying.

He or she finds life too thrilling to worry about death. Sometimes the fear of death is closely associated with the Fear of Poverty, where one’s death would leave loved ones poverty-stricken. In other
cases, the fear of death is caused by illness and the consequent breaking down of physical body resistance.

OLD MAN WORRY

Worry is a state of mind based upon fear. It works slowly, but persistently.

  • Worry is a form of sustained fear caused by indecision.
  • Your state of mind can be controlled.
  • Indecision makes an unsettled mind.
  • Most individuals lack the willpower to reach decisions promptly, and to stand by them.
  • During periods of economic unrest (such as the world is experiencing), the individual is
    handicapped, not alone by his inherent nature to be slow at reaching decisions, but he is influenced by the indecision of others around him who have created a state of “mass indecision.”

You may control your own mind, you have the power to feed it positive or negative thoughts, your choice. With this privilege goes also the responsibility of using it constructively.

FB Ghosts of Fear_Prepare1 Image

You are the master of your fate just as surely as you have the power to control your own thoughts. You may influence, direct, and eventually control your own environment, making your life what you want and like it to be—or, you may neglect to exercise this privilege which is yours, to make your life to order, thus casting yourself upon the ocean sea of “Circumstance” where you will be tossed hither and yon, like a bobber on the waves of the ocean.

About Blair

 5 Golden Rules for Sharing on Social Media

Blair Evan Ball is a Social Media Coach and founder of Prepare1, a company that works with businesses, individuals and non-profits. He is a former executive with a Fortune 50 company, and his national division did $1Billion+ in sales annually.

Blair has written three e-books: Facebook for Business Made Easy, Facebook Pages for Business Made Easy, and WordPress Blog Setup Made Easy.

Blair also educates, trains entrepreneurs and business professionals how to amplify their brand, increase revenues, and raise more funds.

 5 Golden Rules for Sharing on Social MediaThe Race is ON! | PREPARE | Get into the Game and WIN!

]]>
5 Killer Content Ideas for Facebook Live Video https://www.prepare1.com/5-killer-content-ideas-for-facebook-live-video/ Thu, 10 Aug 2017 12:05:55 +0000 https://www.prepare1.com/?p=9060

5 Killer Content Ideas for Facebook Live Video_Prepare1 Image

Are you using live video in your marketing?

Has the fear of live video held you back?

With video marketing on the rise, coming up with a catchy and attractive video can be a huge challenge for those who lack the time (and money).

That’s where the beauty of Facebook Live comes in. Making its debut in 2016, the service has enabled users to make videos that stream live using only a minimum of your smartphone’s camera to capture it.

Brands and video marketers who want to step up their live content game don’t need to look any farther than Facebook Live. The broadcasting platform, which was officially introduced in April 2016 to all Facebook users, has become a favorite destination for the site’s users when they’re looking for live content to entertain and inform them.

However, the same type of content that works on YouTube Live, Instagram Live, or even Snapchat or Twitter won’t necessarily be what works best on Facebook Live. Depending on your particular brand, you’ll want to tailor a strategy specifically to the streaming platform to maximize your reach and marketing potential, and make the most out of your Facebook Live video content.

But as intimidating as streaming live might be, there is a variety of brand-boosting benefits to using the service that will only make you seem more trustworthy and credible as a company.

One of the most amazing opportunities Facebook Live offers is the ability to engage with your followers. With reactions, comments, and viewer numbers shown in real-time, you can prompt responses by asking and answering questions in your broadcast.

Facebook’s newsfeed algorithm also favors Live videos so if you’ve got an important message to get out, this is likely a better option than a traditional text update.

Here are 8 tips for better live video broadcasts.

1. BEHIND THE SCENES

Nine times out of ten, consumers only see the forward-facing side of your brand, the side that markets to them and wants to impress them enough to purchase your products or services. But if you use Facebook Live to take them behind-the-scenes, you’ll find brand loyalty and interest will grow.

You can do this by showing them preparations for a red carpet event, revealing the process of how their favorite product is made, or by letting them follow along with a particular employee’s daily duties.

Example: Dunkin’ Donuts hosted a live stream for Valentine’s Day where it took viewers on a tour of its test kitchen. The archived clip has more than 44,000 views.

2. EVENTS OR APPEARANCES

The biggest problem with events and appearances used to be their localized nature. But now brands can use Facebook Live to stream such events to viewers around the world. Bringing a big event or celebrity appearance to your Facebook page means you’re reaching consumers who might otherwise not be able to attend the event in person.

Example: The American Music Awards teamed with Coca-Cola to broadcast live from the red carpet and interview celebrities before the November 2016 awards ceremony. The first video of the night-long series pulled in over 171,000 views alone.

3. RETAIL

In this day and age, more and more people are looking for motivation to stick to their diet and workout plans (especially during colder seasons).

Luckily, Kohl’s understands that struggle and decided to help those looking for encouragement in 2017.

Kohls teamed up with ‘Tone it Up’ to host a live workout for their #GetActiveWithKohls campaign. The women behind Tone it Up took to a stage for basically a live workout video. Pulled in over 35,000 views.

4. PRODUCT & SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENTS

Much in the way live streaming events and appearances allows viewers to tune in regardless of their location in the world, product and service announcements can also be made via Facebook Live to immediately inform consumers of your newest offering. You’ll get to see fans’ reactions in real time, and answer any of their questions within chat to help them better understand the new product or service.

Example: Chevrolet used Facebook Live during its CES 2016 announcement of its new electric vehicle, the Bolt EV. Over 58,000 people have tuned into the archived video as of this writing.

5. HOW TO – DEMONSTRATIONS

While how-tos might be one of YouTube’s most-searched video types, they’ve become incredibly popular on Facebook Live, as well. You can use the live streaming platform to not only demonstrate how your own product or services work, but also to show how to perform tasks related to your industry. Doing so builds your reputation as a helpful, trustful brand.

Example: Tastemade, a top culinary brand, broadcast a live video of tiny food preparation in a tiny kitchen, and viewers went nuts. The clip has over 3.8 million views to date, and almost 8000 comments, and 18,000 shares.

HOW TO USE FACEBOOK LIVE FOR BUSINESS

Facebook Live’s growing popularity, especially among younger users, makes it a great tool for small businesses. What’s important for businesses is to understand how best they can use it to engage their audience.

By making this tool part of your digital marketing strategy, it is possible to leverage a sizable social media community. But before you get started, acquaint yourself with the tool and understand how its features can benefit you.

Once you have a thorough understanding, you can explore different ways in which you can use it to market your business. Whether it’s promoting an upcoming event or teasing a new product, Facebook Live can make a real difference.

FINAL THOUGHTS

One-fifth of the videos shared on the site are now Live videos.

With viewers spending on average 3X longer watching live video broadcasts than native video uploads, including Facebook Live video in your social video marketing strategy is becoming vital for generating engagement on the site.

It has been a year since Facebook made it possible for all its users to broadcast live. And within this period, the daily watch time for Facebook Live broadcasts has grown by more than four-times.

That’s quite an achievement considering Facebook has confronted serious competition on this front. Twitter, for example, made a big push into video when it acquired live streaming app Periscope.

But it was Facebook that ultimately managed to reach the youth demographic with exciting live streaming features.

In a recent eye-tracking test, Facebook discovered that people gaze FIVE TIMES longer at video than at static content on Facebook and Instagram.

“Getting from a live video broadcast to ROI is a process:

  • Engage
  • Distribute
  • Convert
  • and close.

Using a live video platform, you can distribute a live stream’s URL through ad units across the web.

Each ad unit has a cookie that tracks view time, engagement, conversions, etc. Then, marketers can track click-through rate, conversions, and other metrics within the platform’s dashboard and use those insights to inform their next action.”

Are you ready to take the next step to Facebook Live?

About Blair

 5 Golden Rules for Sharing on Social Media

Blair Evan Ball is a Social Media Coach and founder of Prepare1, a company that works with businesses, individuals and non-profits. He is a former executive with a Fortune 50 company, and his national division did $1Billion+ in sales annually.

Blair has written three e-books: Facebook for Business Made Easy, Facebook Pages for Business Made Easy, and WordPress Blog Setup Made Easy.

Blair also educates, trains entrepreneurs and business professionals how to amplify their brand, increase revenues, and raise more funds.

 5 Golden Rules for Sharing on Social MediaThe Race is ON! | PREPARE | Get into the Game and WIN!

 

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How Much Time to Spend On Social Media Marketing https://www.prepare1.com/how-much-time-to-spend-on-social-media-marketing/ Thu, 03 Aug 2017 12:05:57 +0000 https://www.prepare1.com/?p=9045

Time Spent Social Media Marketing_Prepare1 Image

How much time do you devote to social media each week?

How does that compare to other businesses? Your competitors?

The average internet user is now on social media and messaging services for over 2 hours per day. This shows the central role that social is playing in the daily lives of today’s internet users.

As the influence of social media continues to rise, we take a closer look at how this trend has evolved over time.

Social Media can be a total drain on resources if you don’t use it correctly. You can put in hours per day crafting the perfect Tweet, pinning things on Pinterest for your customers, or publicizing your latest viral video on Facebook; but if no one ends up buying anything from you, then it’s all been a waste of time.

So how do you know when enough’s enough?

It’s about what you post

If you just post trash ten times a day, people won’t care what you’re saying, and they’ll switch off. If you take the time to make something good, it’ll be worth it.

THINK QUALITY

But wait, lots of social media posts means lots of eyes on my brand…

Think about your goal – what is it you want to get from social media? It’s not just a case of “More sales, more money.”

  • Do you want to use it to build a brand?
  • Are you just looking to promote your products/services more directly?
  • Are you trying to become the authority in your industry?
  • Or simply be more interactive with your customers, as a means of customer service?

Used correctly, time spent on social media offers an excellent return on your investment. You can use it to create an image of your brand; coming across as relatable, empathetic and maybe even cool; rather than corporate and stuffy.

Think who your customers are

WEEKLY TIME COMMITMENT FOR SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING

This is the first question that you need to ask yourself: How much time should I spend on social media marketing every week?

A study conducted by Social Media Examiner Industry Report 2017 asked 5,700 marketers how much time they allocate to social media marketing, and the entire report is worth reading, but here’s an overview of how much time marketers spend on social media marketing each week.

Weekly time commitment social media

The truth is, there’s no exact formula for deciding how much time to spend on your own social efforts. Large corporations can have multiple social media managers working around the clock, while smaller shops may only dedicate a few hours to social every week.

It’s all a matter of testing to see what works for you.

But no matter how much time you do decide to spend on social, you need to determine how to allocate your time to make sure that you’re working as efficiently as possible.

THE EXPERIENCE FACTOR

There’s a direct relationship between how long marketers have been using social media and their weekly time commitment.
For people just beginning with social media (less than 12 months of experience), 51% spend 5 or fewer hours per week.

However, of folks who have been doing this for 2 years or longer, at least 65% spend 6 hours or more per week on social media activities.

Social Media Experience

 

HOW TIME COMMITMENT VARIES WITH BUSINESS SIZE

Time commitment for social media by business size

A significant 64% of marketers are using social media for 6 hours or more and 41% for 11 hours or more weekly.

It’s interesting to note that nearly 20% of marketers spend more than 20 hours each week on social media.

Obviously the larger the business, the more resources they have to devote to social media marketing. Yet, I know many small businesses that have all there employees posting, with that said, they clearly define the field of play.

What’s in bounds, what’s out of bounds. No one wants to damage their brand with a wayward tweet.

30 MINUTES A DAY?

According to marketing automation software company Pardot, most marketers—or in the case of small businesses, owners or staff members tasked with social media—don’t know “how to tackle the mountain that is social media and wind up wasting a lot of time haphazardly updating and monitoring their social presence.” That’s why the folks at Pardot developed an infographic that outlines how to complete social media in just 30 minutes per day. I recommend checking out the full infographic, but here’s the jist:

  • Twitter: Devote ten minutes to responding to any direct tweets or messages; use an automation app to schedule tweets (I like Buffer) promoting any recent blog posts or other content, events, or specials; and scroll through your feed to re-tweet or share any relevant content.
  • Facebook: Spend six minutes responding to any comments, scrolling through your feed to engage with others’ comments, and sharing and promoting your own content.
  • LinkedIn: Take six minutes to share content and engage with your LinkedIn groups and your company page.
  • Pinterest: Devote four minutes to pinning any new content of your own, repinning others’ content that’s relevant to your brand, and engaging with those who’ve liked, commented on, or pinned your content—a quick “thanks” is all it takes.
  • Google+: Spend two minutes sharing content and posing questions in your status update.
  • Instagram: Take two minutes to post an interesting photo of your staff, facility, or presence within the community; also, scroll through your feed and like and comment on any images that are relevant.

Don’t have a profile on one of the above-mentioned social media sites? That’s totally fine. Devote that extra time to your other profiles.

Chris Brogan’s Social Media Time Management

This post is from 2009, but the advice is timeless. Chris Brogan, the CEO of Owner Media Group, recommends breaking your social media efforts into four chunks; then determine the total amount of time you can devote and go from there. While Brogan believes that two hours per day is the minimum for most efforts, that isn’t a hard-fast rule—although Americans spend an average of 3.2 hours per day on social, according to Ipsos, so maybe a couple hours isn’t too far-fetched. Here’s how Brogan divides up the social media time pie:

  • ¼ time = listening: “Start your day by listening and finding what the world is saying about you, your competitor, your marketplace, etc.”
  • ½ time = commenting and communication: Spend time commenting and replying back to people on the various channels where they reach you…I also include sharing [here].”
  • ¼ time = creating: “Your efforts in content creation are every bit as important as your connectivity and communication. This might include blogging, making video or audio, creating email newsletters…”

How to Save Time

According to Buffer, “Smaller companies, including many entrepreneurs and startups, spend a disproportionately larger amount of time on social media [than larger businesses] due to smaller staffs and lower budgets.” The team at Buffer also found that people waste a lot of time on social media—6 hours, 48 minutes to be exact. (Here is Buffer’s full pie-chart breakdown.)

I’m a big fan of Buffer, but also use Hootsuite which is my favorite.

Common sense says to cut out these time-sucks so you’re far more efficient and effective at social media, but how do you do that? Here’s what Buffer recommends:

  1. Automate your social media posting. Pardot recommended this in its 30-minute-a-day social media plan. And what do you know? Buffer is a social media scheduling and auto-posting tool.
  2. Budget a half hour—max—every day to scour the web for relevant content to share. (The article breaks it down further with specific time duration’s to devote to each social media platform.)
  3. Assign a customer service team member to address questions and inquires.
  4. Stop trying to gauge ROI by measuring “how many people liked or retweeted a post.” Instead, measure the right kind of metrics.

Source: Social Media Examiner

FINAL THOUGHTS

It’s clear the trend, businesses and individuals are spending more time on social media. That creates more noise, and sometimes can get us off track.

Be clear about your goals and objectives. Tie them to the social media platforms that work best for either your B2B or B2C business.

Guard your time wisely. It’s easy to get carried away with the latest trending article on Facebook, and lose track of your time and your goals and objectives.

Be clear about your social media strategies and the time it will take to accomplish your goals and objectives.

Think quality over quantity.

Remember these social media platforms are rented land! We live in changing times, and social media platforms are no exception.

Remember When MySpace was King?

Social Media sites will come and go. Point being…do not neglect your website. You have total control and last I checked most people like control.

Social Media Should NOT be Your Primary Web Presence

In fact, it should be used to support your website, not replace it. With so many different social media channels available, it makes sense to seek out which ones can support your website.

For example, you might use YouTube to host your product videos while embedding them on your website. Or use Twitter to promote your latest blog posts, while using Facebook to share how your business is active in the local community, and you could use create a B2B LinkedIn strategy to generate leads.

About Blair

 5 Golden Rules for Sharing on Social Media

Blair Evan Ball is a Social Media Coach and founder of Prepare1, a company that works with businesses, individuals and non-profits. He is a former executive with a Fortune 50 company, and his national division did $1Billion+ in sales annually.

Blair has written three e-books: Facebook for Business Made Easy, Facebook Pages for Business Made Easy, and WordPress Blog Setup Made Easy.

Blair also educates, trains entrepreneurs and business professionals how to amplify their brand, increase revenues, and raise more funds.

 5 Golden Rules for Sharing on Social MediaThe Race is ON! | PREPARE | Get into the Game and WIN!

 

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The Best Content for Social Media Marketers https://www.prepare1.com/the-best-content-for-social-media-marketers/ Thu, 27 Jul 2017 12:05:18 +0000 https://www.prepare1.com/?p=9033

Content Marketing Ideas_Prepare1 Image

What marketing content do you use to engage your audience?

Are you using the right content in today’s business environment?

Maybe you are still skeptical that content marketing is right for your unique business/industry/size/audience.

Maybe you still think content marketing is just a buzzword. Maybe you are trying to learn from others by emulating what works for them.

And maybe your boss needs some convincing. Nothing gets executive buy-in like some solid fear-based examples of the competition being ahead of your company on the latest and greatest digital marketing trends.

Content marketing is not a piece of content. it is not marketing with content like brochures. It is not a native ad. It is not a “viral video.”

Content marketing means acting like a publisher, consistently creating content that your customers actually like to read and share. Content marketing is how to build an audience and attract subscribers who opt-in to allow you into their already over-crowded email inbox.

Content marketing is one of the most in demand skills of the year. And its influence just keeps on growing. According to a recent survey conducted by SkilledUp, 50% of businesses plan to increase their content marketing spend, and yet 34% claimed they had a difficult time finding job candidates with content marketing skills.

MOST IMPORTANT CONTENT

According to Social Media Examiner’s Industry Report 2017.

Types of Content

The top pick was visual images (41%) up from 37% in 2016, surpassing blogging for the first time.

  • Blogging dropped from 38% in 2016 to 32% in 2017.

Blogging is more important for B2B marketers (43% say it’s the most important) than B2C marketers (26% claim it’s most important). B2C marketers place more importance on visual content (45% say it’s the most important) than B2B marketers (32%).

HOW WILL MARKETERS CHANGE THEIR FUTURE CONTENT ACTIVITIES?

#1: Video

The use of video is a key part of most marketers’ plans in later part of 2017, with 75% planning on increasing their use of videos.

#2: Visuals

A significant 73% of marketers plan on increasing their use of visuals in 2017 and beyond.

#3: Blogging

The written word is still important for marketers. About two in three plan on increasing their use of
blogging.

#4: Live video

Considering that live video is a relatively new content option, it’s impressive that 61% of marketers
plan on increasing their use of live video in the next 12 months (up from 31% in 2016).

#5: Podcasting

Only 26% of marketers plan on increasing their use of podcasting and a significant 60% have no plans
to get involved in podcasting.

B2B marketers are more likely to increase podcasting activity (30%) than B2C marketers (23%).

CONTENT FORMS MARKETERS WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT

Creating videos took first place as the area marketers most want to learn about, followed by live video and creating visuals.
B2C marketers are more interested in learning about using videos (76%) than B2B marketers (67%).

Content Forms Marketers Want to Learn More

Video content can be a valuable asset in your inbound marketing content mix. In fact, by the end of this year, video content is expected to represent nearly three-quarters of all internet traffic.

But getting people to sit through your videos can be challenging, considering that the longer your video is, viewers will consistently drop off and stop watching, in most cases.

Your video is being judged on its content, presentation, production quality, style, and the valuable information it provides. What does this tell us? Your content must be truly remarkable to maintain your audience’s attention.

Here is a great article by Hubspot on video creation.

14 Video Production Tips for Your Next Marketing Video

SUCCESSFUL CONTENT MARKETING EXAMPLES

WHOLE FOODS MARKET

Content marketers are likely to notice one distinct and somewhat surprising aspect of Whole Foods’ homepage: Rather than hitting users with deals or a large search bar to find the nearest store, the homepage – and much of the site – features content.

Whole Foods Content

Beautiful food photos and recipes are at the core of Whole Foods’ website. Users can browse seasonal recipes, Instagram food photos from other Whole Foods shoppers, and tips for healthy eating and smarter shopping. Whole Foods knows that by presenting users with useful, compelling content, they’ll inspire visitors to shop – even if they don’t explicitly tell them to do so.

Whole Foods takes the same approach with its social channels. On Instagram (1.8 million followers), they’ll regram beautiful food photos from users, but rarely promote their own products or deals. Whole Foods is also a prolific video creator who updates its YouTube channel (53K followers) nearly every week. They have series on cooking how-tosfood trendsrecipessourcing, and more. In addition to providing existing customers with inspiration, Whole Foods is creating content that will be surfaced in search when people look for recipes or cooking tips. This will inspire existing customers to shop for ingredients – and introduce the brand to other potential customers.

GOOGLE


Google is one of the world’s most recognizable brands and it’s not just because of its unshakeable hold on the search market. (Google controls nearly 95% of the U.S. mobile search market and almost 86% of all U.S. mobile and desktops searches.)

Google is also a brand that has a great worldwide reputation. And that’s largely due to its smart marketing practices.

The company’s business goes way beyond search. Google has teams working on everything from work collaboration tools (G Suite) to a cultural institute (Google Arts + Culture) that strives to make the fine arts more accessible. Because it has so many lines of business that ladder up to the Google name, the brand appears to be everywhere. Dozens of Google teams produce and distribute various forms of content daily on multiple channels – including many of their own, including YouTube and the Google homepage.

More importantly, Google consistently delivers free content that people value. Their videos, apps, games, and written content speak to people at a human level. Most Google content is inspiring, entertaining, and informative, with subtle self-promotion. This is one reason people hold Google in such high esteem: Because the brand proves its value every time people interact with it.

For example, in August 2016, millions of people around the world were turned to Rio de Janiero for the Olympics. That month, Google released a video series, called “Beyond the Map,” that took viewers into favelas – Rio’s historically poor and crime-ridden shantytowns – and introduced them to locals. They included Luis, a teenage ballet student, who dreams of dancing at the Teatro Municipal, and Paloma, a young woman who hopes to study artificial intelligence. Some are 360-degree videos, and the whole series is meant to be watched on Google Cardboard for a VR experience. (At the very least, people who don’t have Cardboard can navigate through the videos on mobile or desktop.) Either way, by giving people compelling content, Google introduced people to its latest technology and provided impetus for them to interact with it.

In 2016, Google also made a prominent change to its global communications content strategy. When you wanted to find information about the company, well, you Googled it instead of going to a specific blog. Last September, Google acknowledged that was a problem and launched The Keyword, the official new Google blog. This hub aggregates content that was previously posted across 19 blogs, so users will have a much easier time finding information.

Those are just two content marketing examples amid many. Others include the marketing insights blog Think with Google, the Google Primer marketing lessons app, and, of course, Google’s “Year in Search” videos that go viral every year.

FINAL THOUGHTS

As content marketers, it’s our responsibility to provide our readers with valuable content. Developing strong frameworks for how we think about content and the process we use to create it are crucial to becoming better content marketers.

  1. Continue to build on your strategy.
  2. Focus on those forms of content that provide the most engagement
  3. Become an expert in those forms of content like VIDEO.
  4. Meet with your team weekly.
  5. Use different social media platforms.
  6. Be persistent day in and day out.
  7. Challenge yourself to take risks.

SOURCE: SOCIAL MEDIA EXAMINER INDUSTRY REPORT

About Blair

 5 Golden Rules for Sharing on Social Media

Blair Evan Ball is a Social Media Coach and founder of Prepare1, a company that works with businesses, individuals and non-profits. He is a former executive with a Fortune 50 company, and his national division did $1Billion+ in sales annually.

Blair has written three e-books: Facebook for Business Made Easy, Facebook Pages for Business Made Easy, and WordPress Blog Setup Made Easy.

Blair also educates, trains entrepreneurs and business professionals how to amplify their brand, increase revenues, and raise more funds.

 5 Golden Rules for Sharing on Social MediaThe Race is ON! | PREPARE | Get into the Game and WIN!

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How to Develop the Master Skill for Success https://www.prepare1.com/how-to-develop-the-master-skill-for-success/ https://www.prepare1.com/how-to-develop-the-master-skill-for-success/#comments Thu, 20 Jul 2017 12:05:42 +0000 https://www.prepare1.com/?p=9023

How to Develop the Master Skill for Success_Prepare1 Image

How do you define success?

Is there a magic formula for this?

How can you tell if you’ve paid the full price of success?

Many people define success in different ways. Some define it by money and position. Some define it by family. Some define it by happiness. Some define it by health. Whatever you choose, you must have a why, a goal and define it.

Success is the progressive realization of a worthy goal or ideal. – Earl Nightingale

Why do some companies achieve things that completely exceed our expectations, defying all our assumptions for what’s possible?

Why do some people?

A high level of ambition is a hallmark of all successful people.

Everyone has a Why

  • Why do you get up in the morning?
  • Why does your organization exist?
  • Your Why is the purpose, cause or belief that inspires you to do what you do.

When you think, act and communicate starting with Why you can inspire others.

According to Simon Sinek, the fundamental difference between the “Apples” of the world and everyone else is that they start with “why.”

What does that even mean? To explain this concept, Sinek has developed what he calls the “Golden Circle,” image pictured right. The golden circle has three layers:

  1. Why – This is the core belief of the business. It’s why the business exists.
  2. How – This is how the business fulfills that core belief.
  3. What – This is what the company does to fulfill that core belief.

Sounds simple, but what Sinek found is that most companies do their marketing backwards. They start with their “what” and then move to “how” they do it. Most of these companies neglect to even mention why they do what they do. More alarmingly, many of them don’t even know why they do what they do!

Not Apple. Apple starts with “why.” It is the core of their marketing and the driving force behind their business operations. To help illustrate this point, imagine if Apple also started backwards by creating a marketing message that started with “what.”

“We make great computers. They’re user friendly, beautifully designed, and easy to use. Want to buy one?”

GOALS ARE THE FUEL

I grew up playing sports, and I learned at an early age to have goals and dreams. I learned to clearly define what I wanted, and with the help of my coaches developed a plan to achieve them.

I was fortunate to set a state record in high jump. We won back to back championships in football and basketball, those were exciting times. Yet, I learned that didn’t happen without setting goals, and a lot of hard work.

It’s easy to pay the price when you have a clear goal and dream in site. It’s what pulls you through the valley’s.

Even the most successful have valley’s.

Goals for Fuel_Prepare1 Image

Success equals goals, and all else is commentary according to Brian Tracy.

Intense goal orientation is an essential characteristic of all high-achieving men and women. Study after study continues to solidify this.

Your potential in life and business is severely limited until you have learned the master skill of success which is setting and achieving goals.

The number one reason people don’t set goals is FEAR!

  • Fear of failure
  • Fear of criticism
  • Fear in general

Joy is one of hardest feelings to hold onto, isn’t it? Fear is always crouching nearby ready to snatch it from us.

In Daring Greatly Brené Brown talks about “foreboding joy,” the idea that some sort of disaster looms just around the corner no matter how promising things look for the moment. Instead of experiencing joy, even when things are going well, we feel worry, fear, and dread.

I think this reality is especially problematic when it comes to setting goals for the future. We’re afraid—afraid we’ll fail or that others will fail us. It’s safer not to get our hopes up.

The end result is that we’re rarely disappointed. But at what cost? Brown’s research would say that the cost is joy, happiness, fulfillment, satisfaction, and a wholehearted life.

Is that true for you? It’s sometimes true for me. I can’t count the number of times I’ve let worry and dread steal my joy.

Goals are the fuel in the furnace of achievement!

Thomas Carlyle wrote that “a man with half volition goes back and forth and makes no progress on even the smoothest road, whereas a person with a full volition moves ahead steadily no matter how difficult the path.”

Human beings, you and I are goal-centered by design. Your brain has within it a goal-seeking mechanism that guides and directs you over time toward the accomplishment of your goals and objectives.

TWO REQUIREMENTS FOR SUCCESS

Many successful people fail before they hit it big. Famous oil billionaire H.L. Hunt, went bankrupt raising cotton in Arkansas. He then went on to become one of the most successful men in american.

He said that in America, you only needed two things to be successful:

  1. Decide exactly what you want. Most people never do that.
  2. Decide the price your’re going to pay to get it, and then resolve to pay that price.

We know two things for certain about the price of success. First, in order to get what you desire, whatever you define it, you must PAY THE PRICE IN FULL.

YOU MUST SOW BEFORE YOU REAP

Most frustration in achieving your goals comes from trying to avoid this timeless principle.

Next, you must pay the FULL PRICE IN ADVANCE.

How will you tell if you have paid the full price of success? It’s clear…

When you have paid the full price, the success will be right there in front of you. It will happen by law, not by chance. When you’ve sown the right seeds, you will reap the right reward.

Cause and Effect

The life you are enjoying today is a reflection of the price you’ve paid up until now. The life you enjoy in the future will reflect the price you pay between now and then.

WHY PEOPLE DON’T SET GOALS

Goals, goals, goals!

You want the goals, everybody wants you to want goals, then you put the pressure on yourself to achieve the goals….it’s a vicious cycle. Often times when people set goals, especially *cough* New Year’s resolutions *cough*, it seems great! Then life and reality set in, a few weeks go by and you can’t even remember why you set that goal.

So why don’t people set goals?

  1. They simple are not serious. Look at their actions not their words.
  2.  They have not accepted responsibility for their lives.
  3. They have deep-seated feelings of guilt and unworthiness.
  4. They don’t realize the importance of goals.
  5. They don’t know how.
  6. They rejection and criticism.
  7. They fear failure. This is the #1 reason. It’s the single biggest obstacle to success in adult life.

Fear_Prepare1 Image

Success is a numbers game. So is social media marketing. There is a direct relationship between the number of things you attempt and your probability of ultimately succeeding.

Thomas Edison was the most successful inventor of the modern age. He received patents for 1,093 inventions, 1,052 of which were brought into commercial production during his lifetime. As an inventor he also suffered the most failures of his age. He failed more times, in more experiments, attempting to develop more products, than any other living scientist or businessman. It took him more than 11,000 experiments along before he finally discovered the carbon-impregnated filament that led to the production of the first electric light bulb.

There was a story about Edison that, after he conducted more than 5,000 experiments, a young journalist came to him and asked him why he persisted in these experiments after having failed more than 5,000 times.

Edison is said to have replied, “Young man, you don’t understand how the world works. I have not failed at all. I have successfully identified 5,000 ways that will not work. That just puts me 5,000 ways closer to the way it will.”

FINAL THOUGHTS

You must maintain continuous action to maintain your momentum toward your goals and objectives. This is based upon Isaac Newton’s physical principles of inertia and momentum. These principles state that a body in motion tends to remain in motion unless acted upon by an outside force.

You maintain your forward momentum by taking continuous action toward goal attainment. You keep up the pressure. You define your goals in terms of activities necessary to accomplish them, and then you discipline yourself to perform the activities. You do something every day to move you toward the achievement of your major goals.

“Nothing succeeds like success.” You must develop the success habit by doing something every single day to move your toward your goals. Review them every morning and think about them everyday. Always be looking for something you can do to contribute to their achievement.

About Blair

 5 Golden Rules for Sharing on Social Media

Blair Evan Ball is a Social Media Coach and founder of Prepare1, a company that works with businesses, individuals and non-profits. He is a former executive with a Fortune 50 company, and his national division did $1Billion+ in sales annually.

Blair has written three e-books: Facebook for Business Made Easy, Facebook Pages for Business Made Easy, and WordPress Blog Setup Made Easy.

Blair also educates, trains entrepreneurs and business professionals how to amplify their brand, increase revenues, and raise more funds.

 5 Golden Rules for Sharing on Social MediaThe Race is ON! | PREPARE | Get into the Game and WIN!

 

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