graphic designing, Uncategorized, web designing

20 Signs You’re Succeeding In Life Even If You Don’t Feel You Are

We all feel like failures from time to time. While this is a normal feeling, you have to find a way to see yourself and your life from a different perspective. Sometimes we ignore the “little things.” Just because you are not a millionaire, don’t live in a mansion, and you don’t drive a fancy car, that doesn’t mean you’re a failure. In fact, it’s quite the contrary.

Here are 20 signs that you are succeeding in life:
1. Your relationships are less dramatic than they used to be.

Drama is not maturity. As we age, we should develop maturity. So maybe your relationships were drama-filled in your past, but if you have moved beyond that, then you are successful.
2. You are not afraid to ask for help and support any more.

Asking for help does not equal weakness. In fact, it is a strength. No person has ever succeeded in isolation. It takes teamwork to accomplish goals. Asking or help is a sign that you have grown as a person.
3. You have raised your standards.

You don’t tolerate bad behavior any more – from other people, or even yourself. You hold people accountable for their actions. You don’t spend time with the “energy vampires” in your life anymore.
4. You let go of things that don’t make you feel good.

No, this is not narcissistic even though it might seem like it. Self-love is success. Love yourself enough to say ‘no’ to anything that doesn’t make you happy, doesn’t serve your purpose, or drags you down.
5. You have moments where you appreciate who you see in the mirror.

Ideally, you should appreciate who you see in the mirror at every moment. But even if that doesn’t happen, if you do it more than you used to, then that is success. Love yourself. You are awesome.
6. You have learned that setbacks and failure are part of self-growth.

Not everyone can have success 100% of the time. That’s just not realistic. Life is about victories and losses. So look at your setbacks as stepping stones to something better. In reality, there really is no such thing as as setback. It’s all just part of a wondrous journey.

You may be interested in reading this too: 20 Common Habits Successful People Consciously Reject
7. You have a support system that includes people who would do anything for you.

If you have figured out the people who “have your back” and recognized the ones who only pretend that they do, then you have succeeded. This is a painful realization, but once you learn to see the signs of betrayal, you can stay away from those people.
8. You don’t complain much.

Because you know there really is nothing to complain about. Unless you really have gone through some horrific life experience and had unimaginable losses, most of what we all experience on a day-to-day basis is just mundane. And successful people know that. And they live in a space of gratitude.
9. You can celebrate others’ successes.

Just because other people succeed, that doesn’t make you a failure. Applaud the people who rise to the top. The more positive energy you give to other people’s victories, the more you will create your own.
10. You have passions that you pursue.

You are not stagnant. You know you have something wonderful to contribute to the world. You have unique talents and gifts. Not only do you know that, you pursue it.
11. You have things to look forward to.

If you don’t have exciting things going on in your life that you are eagerly anticipating, then you are slowly dying inside. Successful people create goals that they are passionate about pursuing. They let this excitement drive their life.
12. You have goals that have come true.

Even though “failures” are a part of life, you have stuck to your goals and dreams long enough to make them come to fruition. You have some tastes of victory. It fuels you.
13. You have empathy for others.

A person without empathy is dead inside. Empathy equals spreading love and positive energy into the world. Successful people know this. They love others as if they are family.
14. You love deeply and open yourself up to be loved by others.

Love is risky, and sometimes scary for people. It’s the one thing we all strive for, but it’s also intimately tied to the one thing we fear the most – rejection. If you open your heart enough to love and be loved, then you are successful.
15. You refuse to be be a victim.

You know that life doesn’t always happen to you. Many times, you are a co-creator of your life experiences. Successful people know this and refuse to be kept down by life experiences. The rise up and conquer anyway.
16. You don’t care what other people think.

You know you can’t please everyone. You know that the standards with which society judges people is many times unrealistic. So you just keep true to yourself and love the person you are.
17. You always look on the bright side.

Life can be full of disappointments – if you choose to see them that way. Otherwise, they are learning opportunities. No negative experience is ever wasted as long as you learn from it.
18. You accept what you can’t change.

Let’s face it – there many things you can’t change in life. All you can change is how you view what happens. If you can change your negative perspective on situations to a positive one, then you are successful.
19. You change what you can.

And let’s face it again – there are many things you can change in life. Successful people don’t sit around accepting the negatives that are changeable. They get out there and do something about it!!
20. You are happy.

To me, this is the ultimate definition of success. It doesn’t matter what the balance is in your bank account, how big your house is, or how many fancy vacations you take. If you are happy, then you are succeeding in life.

Even if you don’t see yourself in many of these 20 things, don’t fret. It’s okay. Be happy that you see yourself in just a few. In time, the rest will come. You just need to keep moving onward and upward.

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graphic designing, Uncategorized, web designing

8 Free Resources For You To Make An Online Video Easily

The world of online marketing is constantly evolving, thanks primarily to innovation and the popularization of new media and techniques. This year, video has emerged as the single most effective commercial marketing tool, with U.S. citizens alone watching an estimated 1.2 billion advertisements online every single day. With the number of online video users expected to double to a staggering 1.2 billion by 2016, businesses are increasingly keen to reach out to this burgeoning and motivated audience.

While the creation of audio-visual video content was once a costly exercise, online marketers can now access a wide selection of freely available resources. Consider the following tools as you look to create your video.


The tools that you use to create your video will depend primarily on the nature of the content, but for anyone looking to combine a number of individual clips, Masher is the ideal application. It boasts a large collection of succinct video clips and a diverse music library, making it easy for marketers to quickly develop an effective audio-visual product. It even allows you to add your own content and clips, while text can be inserted through videos to optimize their impact.



New York based Animoto is another free video creation tool. It is based on cinematic artificial intelligence. This cloud-based platform makes it possible for users to quickly create videos using still images, audio tracks and text, while slide-show presentations can also be transformed into audio-visual content. The only issue is that this free software only allows users to create 30 second videos, although this is the average length of promotional and marketing content in the UK.



Another freely accessible tool, Memoov is a service that allows you to create animated videos. Not only is it cloud-based and suitable for individuals with minimal multimedia experience, but it also enables users to develop five minute videos that can be used for marketing or educational purposes. With a host of existing images, characters and pre-recorded dialogue, Memoov makes it easy to bring a fundamental marketing vision into life.



Stupeflix is similar to Masher, in that it is ideal for users who wish to create a video montage that incorporates linked or random clips. There are one or two significant differences, as Stupeflix allows you to drag and drop your favorite images into a predetermined sequence, while it is also far easier to add text that enhances the quality of your video. The only downside is that you have to add your own audio files, as the software only features a single default track.


Photo Peach

If your aim is to create an audio slide-show rather than a video, then Photo Peach may be the ideal application for you. It is unique in that users can develop content from images held in their social media accounts, including Flickr, Picassa and Facebook. Carefully selected images from your computer’s hard-drive can also be selected, while the technology also features more intuitive caption and text functionality. It is also easy to determine a favored sequence on Photo Peach, especially in comparison with the more heralded Animoto.

photo peach

Izzy Video

This is a slightly different resource in terms of its orientation, but it is also one that has great value among novice marketers and directors. It essentially delivers free to access and cutting edge tutorials on the art of creating audio-visual content, from promotional adverts to full-length films and video clips. Including expert guidance for individuals who wish to create videos using their iPhone or tablet, Izzy Video is a must have tool for inexperienced creatives.

izzy video


In terms of freely accessible and collaborative tools, WeVideo remains the standard bearer. By allowing users to upload their own media or borrow heavily from an extensive library, it opens the boundaries of possibility and enables them to follow their creative goals. The video editor tool also provides you with the capacity to modify the sound of individual elements of your footage, which is particularly important if you intend to use music or narrative. On another note, every video that you create can be saved in your Google Drive account, making them easily accessible through the Cloud.

we video


Perhaps one of the most underrated resources is the excellent GoAnimate, which is free to access and allows users to create simple videos within a matter of minutes. Featuring step by step guidance and easy to utilize tools, GoAnimate ensures that the process of uploading images and creating a functional sequence can be completed in little more than a few clicks. While GoAnimate allows for less flexibility and creative thinking than other resources, it is ideal for marketers who are either novices or looking to develop a number of small, simple videos.


The Bottom Line

With video and audio-visual media now dominating the online marketing space, it is increasingly important that you look to promote your business through this medium. By accessing these free and easy-to-use tools, it is possible to create one or a series of videos that are capable of engaging an audience and motivating them to find out more about your venture.

Some killer websites you can’t miss: 25 Killer Websites that Make You Cleverer

Featured photo credit: William Brawley via Shutterstock

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How to Create Your Own Promo Video for Under $100

Sherice Jacobs explains why video marketing has finally come of age, and why video is an essential selling tool for any business. One of the more popular video formats these days are explanatory videos, or explainer videos.

Explainer videos are typically 60-90 second videos explaining how your company works and what sets you apart from the competition (your unique selling proposition, or USP). Below is an explainer video for GoHoody:

But What If You’re Strapped For Cash?

If you’re like a lot of startups or small businesses, the typical price for creating a professional explainer video (anywhere from a few thousand dollars to ten thousand and above) just isn’t in the budget. But don’t let that get you down. I’m here to give you a few insider tips on how you can create your own explainer video in a few weeks on a budget of $100 or less.

Step One: Write a Script

A well-written script is the basis for a great video, so make sure to take your time and get this part right.

Like all sales-related copywriting, you want your script to:

  • Catch the viewer’s attention
  • Explain what your business does in an easy-to-understand way
  • Keep people engaged.

This means keeping things simple (i.e. short and concise sentences), speaking in a personal tone and always ending things with a call to action. It also means keeping the duration short. Most studies show that viewers tend to drop off after 30-60 seconds, so try to keep things to a minute or less (no more than 150 words).

I find that a simple problem-solution format is often the most effective way to format a script. Your outline might go something like this:

  1. Present a common problem or pain point that your typical customer is experiencing
  2. Explain how your company will fix their problem or soothe their pain
  3. Close things with your company name, tagline and an invitation for people to take the next step (e.g. sign-up, call-in)

Try writing your script in Google docs, and then sharing it with a select group of people that have your business’ best interests at heart. By asking them for input and ideas, you’ll have the advantage of a focus group—something many large companies pay thousands for.

Step Two: Record the Voiceover

Once you have a winning script in hand, it’s time to record a voiceover. The key to a professional sounding voiceover is:

  • A decent microphone
  • A quiet, echo-free space

If you have it in the budget, it might be worth investing in a quality USB microphone, like the Yeti from Blue Microphones for $100-150. You can usually record and mix the voiceover within your video editing software (see step four for software options). However, there are also a lot of free recording tools out there, including GarageBand from Apple, or Mixcraft (14-day trial) for Windows. But keep in mind, if you decide to use an audio-only tool, you will eventually need to import the audio file in to your video editing software.

If you don’t have a great speaking voice, try recruiting a friend or family member who you think might be able to pull it off. For those who would rather just use a pro, check out There you can select from thousands of voice artists who should be able to provide a professional quality voiceover for a few hundred dollars.

Step Three: Create the Visuals

Before you create a list of the visual assets you’re going to need to complete the video, it helps to brainstorm a written storyboard that coincides with the script. How will each scene play out? What visuals will most effectively convey the message?

GoHoddy Storyboard

Most visual assets for professional explainer videos are developed with digital or hand-drawn illustrations, usually in a program like Adobe Illustrator. Unfortunately, most of us aren’t proficient with Illustrator or gifted artistically. Fortunately, there are a few alternatives to consider.

  • Stock Photos and Video – Websites like iStockPhoto and Getty have thousands of royalty-free images and video clips to choose from. Each asset can run anywhere from $5 to $50, but you can find almost anything you need.
  • Doodles and a Scanner – If you or someone you know can draw (or even create a respectable doodle for that matter), have them draw each asset, scan them on to your computer and then cut them out (try using the lasso tool in Photoshop Elements; $100). Here is a finished video from a startup who used this technique with success.
  • Live Video – In some situations, using live video can be the most effective way to present yourself. If that’s the case, borrow a video camera or buy a Flip cam (currently $70 on Amazon) and start shooting. Just make sure you pay attention to the lighting, speak in a loud, clear voice and drink a few Red Bulls beforehand.
  • Screen Captures – If your product or service is software or web-based (or even mobile, using the iPhone or Android simulator), you can use screen capture tools like ScreenFlow for Mac and Camtasia or Jing (free) for PC. With these tools, you can create a video that shows your service in action.

Step Four: Video Editing

Voiceover, check. Visuals, check. Now it’s time to put it all together. During the editing phase, you’re able to add life to your project by injecting motion in to your visuals, adding transitions and fine tuning the video for publishing. The pros typically use Adobe After Effects, but you have a few free or cheap options, including:

All four of these options are relatively easy to use, and most include video tutorials which can get you up and running in a day or less.

Once you feel comfortable, start by dropping in your voiceover file. With the voiceover in place, you can start adding in the visuals (it usually helps to have a nice background and a few standard things, like your logo) and timing the transitions. It may take some effort to get everything just right, but the software makes it pretty easy to add professional looking effects and create a highly polished promo.

Common Editing Techniques:

  • Cutting – Chances are you’ll be doing a bit of “cutting”. This means cutting video clips down to fit with your voice track. Look for a razor, scissor or knife icon in your tool bar. Remember, if you ever cut too much off a video clip, all programs allow you to easily “undo” your cut.
  • Transitions – You may want to add transitions in between your video clips or title clips. Common transitions include: dissolve and fade-to-black. Experiment with different transitions to see what you like best.
  • Adding Text – If you want to add text to your clips, look for the text tool (usually an icon with a big “T”), and simply click on your video editing work-screen to add text.

Tutorials for Various Video Editing Programs:

Step Five: Add Music and SFX

Once you’re happy with how the video looks, adding music and sound effects is a breeze. Because of legal issues, you can’t just pick your favorite song out of iTunes, but fortunately there are hundreds of stock music websites out there. Make sure any stock music you purchase is royalty free and comes with the proper license for unrestricted web use. I typically find music at Premium Beat, Audio Jungle and IB Audio. Royalty free music tracks range from $15-30 and you can often sort each library by style, tone, instrument and more.

Sound effects can be purchased in bulk, or downloaded one at a time. A decent free option is where you can download individual sound effects as needed from a library of thousands. After selecting a music track and sound effects, add them to your video file and adjust the timing to sync with the rest of the video.

  • Syncing the Music – Be sure to line up your music track so that it’s in time with the rest of your video. Usually this is as simple as dragging the music track to the right point on your time lime. You can always cut your music track down in size if need be.
  • Music Volume – You don’t want the music track to be blasting over your voice track. Be sure to lower the volume on your music track to be loud enough, but not too intrusive.
  • Fade In / Fade Out – To make your opening and ending smooth, it’s a nice touch to ramp the music volume up in the beginning of the video, and fade the music out at the end. All video editing programs have slightly different ways of doing this, but it’s worth the five minutes of research to learn how.

Step Six: Publish Your Video

Most video editing programs will allow you to adjust your video settings before exporting, giving you the opportunity to select a file type and adjust the size and quality. If you’re planning on hosting your video on YouTube, experts suggest exporting your video in MPEG-4 format, ideally in high definition (1280×720 or higher).

Once exported, watch your video all the way through at least once to make sure nothing was lost during the encoding process. When you’re ready to show it to the world, upload it to YouTube, or a paid service like Wistia and make sure to add:

  • A Good Title – Obviously your brand name should be in the title. You might want to include a value statement as well.
  • Description – Describe the value and benefit of your service, keeping your target audience in mind.
  • Tags – Think of tags as keywords for video hosting sites. What keywords will get people to find your video?

When the upload is complete (usually only takes a minute or two), navigate to your video and find the embed options. In Youtube, click on “Share” and then “Embed” to expose the embed code and sizing options.

youtube embed options

After adjusting the size of the video to fit your website, simply copy and paste the embed code (in most cases you can choose to use an iframe, HTML or javascript) on to your site.

As soon as the video is live, you can start tracking the results and making improvements as needed (both YouTube and Wistia have video analytics, which allow you to track things like view count, engagement statistics and more).

That’s it! All in all, I would expect you to spend close to $100 and several weeks on a project like this. That’s not bad considering the time and expense that can go in to a professional production!

Do you have bootstrappin’ video tips or tricks of your own? Let us know about them!

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graphic designing, Uncategorized, web designing

11 Things to Consider When Making a Promotional Video

Making a great promotional video can bring your message, your product and your company to life. So why do so few videos take advantage of the medium’s strengths? Max Rosen, President and Executive Producer of Indigo Productions, an NYC video production company, offers 11 tips to consider when creating any type of corporate video:

1. Get the most bang for your buck!

You’re going to shoot a training video? Multipurpose it. Design it so it can be shown to customers as well. Use it as an intro video to kick off your next big meeting. Turn it into a web commercial to spice up your website, and be sure to tag it for organic search purposes. This will provide a huge return on your initial investment. Finally, be sure to post it on YouTube and send it to everyone you know. If it’s original or funny, it may go viral.

2. Nail down a strong concept

Don’t make the mistake of settling for a boring concept, or developing your ideas on the fly. If you’re stuck for ideas, do some research: Go on the web, watch as many promotional videos as you can, and identify ones that you like. Don’t copy them – that never works – but ask your producer to use them as inspiration for creating something fresh and unique for you.

3. Be realistic with your concept

So, you just saw an episode of Lost and want to set your corporate video on an exotic beach locale? It may be a brilliant idea, but it may not be realistic. Be open to a collaborative solution that may work much better given your goals and budget. (BTW: Be sure to read our article How much does it cost to make a video?)

4. How long should your video be?

You don’t need “Gone with the Wind” to get your point across. The best corporate videos are short and sweet and really grab your attention. A 15-minute video can feel like an eternity. A 2-minute to 5-minute video with higher production values will be far more effective.

5. Brochure text is not a video script

Don’t assume that informative brochure or PowerPoint text will be an effective video script. What looks good on the printed page often sounds stilted or incredibly dull in a video. Read the script out loud to others and get feedback. Chances are it will need serious tweaking by a professional scriptwriter. Or, chuck it altogether in favor of a fresh approach.

6. Casting the right company spokesperson

Should you use your staff or hire professional actors? There are pros and cons to each choice. No one knows your business like those who provide your services or sell your products. But don’t star your CEO or any other staff member if they aren’t good on camera. If you’re not sure how they will come across, shoot a quick “screen test” using a small camera and available lighting, and then look at the tape objectively with your producer.

7. As the client, be responsive to requests

The producer may ask you to provide assets like logos, photos, products, brochures, or PowerPoints. You’ll certainly need to give feedback on scripts or rough edits. And you might need to secure company locations or make your staff available to participate in the video. Try to be responsive or production may get slowed… way… down…

8. Should you shoot in Hi Definition Video?

If you are considering showing the video in HD, then YES – shoot in HD. If not, then there are pros and cons to this question and no simple answer. HD is wonderful, but it may increase your costs, requiring additional crew and equipment and post-production resources. Furthermore, the crystal clarity of HD can be stunning, but it can also be unforgiving, revealing every flaw in skin, every paint chip on the wall. Ask your producer whether or not HD makes sense for the job at hand.

9. Know your audience

What is the purpose of the video? Sales? Awareness? Information? Entertainment? Who will be seeing it? Where will it be shown – on the web? At a meeting? On a DVD? This information is critical when designing a concept and delivering a message that your audience will enjoy and relate to. Younger sales staff or customers often respond to humor that senior management just doesn’t get – but if it works for the audience, don’t argue with it.

10. Don’t forget the script

Finalize the script before production begins. Is the information accurate and up-to-date? Will it fly by your legal department? Will it serve your purposes? It’s much easier to make changes on a word processor than on location with a costly cast and crew hovering nearby, or in an expensive post-production suite.

11. Enjoy the process

View the project as an educational experience, and one that can be a lot of fun. Ask questions. Watch examples of videos you like, and discuss with your producer what makes them effective. On the day of the shoot, eat good food on the set. Play your favorite music during breaks. Don’t get bogged down in unnecessary details that your producer knows how to handle. Creating a good atmosphere during production enhances creativity and leads to enjoyment that ends up on the screen.

Producing a promotional video is challenging, fun, and extremely rewarding. Do your homework, but keep an open mind when you start production. Most importantly, make sure you hire a professional that has a track record of producing the kind of video you want. Then, let them take the lead and work together to create your vision.

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10 ways to make your video go viral by Karen .X. Cheng

10 ways to make your video go viral

I almost didn’t write this post.

Because I wanted to keep the magic behind my viral video to myself. Because of my ego. Because I would have loved to brag that I just sat back and it took off on its own. But that’s not what happened.

I did a ton of marketing, and it started long before the video was released. Going viral was not an accident — it was work.

I tried a lot of things. This is what worked for me.

1. Don’t be “too good” for marketing

I almost didn’t put together a marketing plan. Because what if I did all this marketing, and then the video still flopped? That would’ve been embarrassing. Then I realized how stupid that was.

It’s better to try your damnedest and fail than to hold back and always wonder what if.

If you put all this effort into your video, why would you rely on luck for the last leg? Swallow your pride. Give your work a fighting chance. Put together a marketing plan. This article will show you how.

2. Understand how things go viral on the internet

You see videos on YouTube with millions of views and you wonder — where did they all come from?

Here’s how my video, Girl Learns to Dance in a Year went viral:

Views per day on Girl Learns to Dance in a Year

Day One: 80k views

Day Two: 800k views

  • Bloggers who had seen it on Reddit the day before started publishing articles about it. First Kottke. Then blogs like Mashable, Jezebel, and Huffington Post.
  • Blogs drove a ton of traffic. Each blog is a giant marketing engine with millions of readers and twitter followers. It’s in their interest to get the article as many views as possible, because each view is an ad they can serve up. Understand how the money flows. It’s all about clicks and advertising dollars.

Day Three: 1.8 million views

  • It made the YouTube frontpage. I’m not sure how it got there, but I suspect the blogs were sending it so much traffic that YouTube’s algorithms picked up on it.

Try many things. You only need one of them to pay off in order for your video to go viral. For me, that thing was Reddit. Your thing might be different. Your goal is to get major blogs to write you up, because their marketing power is ridiculous.

3. Release on Monday or Tuesday

People watch YouTube videos when they’re at work. They read the news at work. Release your video on Monday or Tuesday to give it the whole week to gain momentum. Weekends are speed bumps.

I chose Tuesday because people are busy catching up with email on Monday. I got lucky with the timing because there wasn’t any major breaking news that day. Releasing on a slow news day will help you.

Mind your holidays, too. Don’t release when people are not at the office.

4. Figure out who has a stake in your video

If your video takes off, who are all the people and companies who might want a piece of the action? These people can help market you.

My YouTube description was full of links to possible sponsors — to the Lululemon and American Apparel clothes I was wearing. To the Lift app I used to track my dancing. To the BART train station I danced at. To the music I danced to. They’re all things I genuinely believe in, so I was happy to send traffic their way.

I contacted all these companies and asked them to share the video. Some of them shared, some of them didn’t. Try them all.

5. None of this matters if your video isn’t good

You can get your friends to share. But only the strength of the content can get their friends to share. If you are serious about making good content, read Made to Stick.

Why will people share your video? People share things when they feel emotion. What emotion will your viewers feel?

Some emotions spread better than others. Emotions that spread: awe, excitement, amusement, anger, anxiety. Emotions that don’t: contentment, sadness.

6. Tell a story

I’m a decent dancer for a year of practice but I’m nothing compared to the pros. There are thousands of dancers way more talented whose videos didn’t go viral.

Girl Learns to Dance in a Year went viral because it wasn’t just another dance video with cool moves and cool camera angles. It wasn’t about how good the dancing was. It was about how awkward I was when I started, and how I got better with practice.

And it’s not just a story about dancing. It’s about having a dream and not knowing how to get there — but starting anyway.

People want stories. That’s what all TV, movies, and books are. Tell a story.

7. Make your video shorter

The first thing people do when they play a video is check to see how long it is. It helps them decide whether to watch it. 10 minutes: forget it. 2 minutes: I’ll give it a shot. 30 seconds: Heck, might as well.

Make your video as short as possible while still keeping the heart of the story. The editor and I literally spent hours shaving off seconds to get the video down to 1 minute 51 seconds.

Short videos spread better.

8. Write a viral title

Here’s a quick test. How would you finish this sentence:

“Hey did you see the video of __________”

Fill in the blank. That’s your title.

Here’s a bad title: My Journey of Dance, a Year of Movement

Better: I Learned to Dance in a Year

Even better: Girl Learns to Dance in a Year

Best: Girl Learns to Dance in a Year (TIME LAPSE)

9. Know what you’re willing to compromise

What are you willing to do for views? Are you willing to compromise on your beliefs? If so, which ones?

I made a compromise. I believe that grown women should not be referred to as girls. Then I named the video Girl Learns to Dance in a Year. It rolls off the tongue better than Woman Learns to Dance in a Year. I had decided I could live with that compromise.

I almost named the video Asian Girl Learns to Dance in a Year. I’m really glad I didn’t do that.

You have to decide what you can live with and what you can’t. Figure this out before you release because once you hit publish, you can’t take it back.

10. What to do once you go viral

People will criticize your work. This is good because it gets them talking. There are lots of comments about how I’m a terrible dancer, or how I got worse on Day 365. People left racist and sexist comments. They even debated the definition of time lapse. Try not to let all this get to you. Controversy is good.

Viral videos have a short shelf life. You have 15 minutes of fame, and your job is to open as many doors as possible in those 15 minutes. Create as many opportunities as you can. Ironically, the week I released the video, I barely danced at all. I didn’t go out and celebrate. I went home and responded to as many emails and tweets as I could.

Make sure the media can get a hold of you, and it’s not hard to find your email address. Media interview requests will start coming in. Accept them. National TV may contact you. Feed the media beast.

Know where you want to direct your traffic. I linked to my blog, website, and Twitter from the video. They were all ready to go. One thing I messed up was I didn’t have an email signup form ready on the Dance In A Year website. I’ve fixed that now, lesson learned. Be prepared.

Why I did it

I wanted people to see the video because it represents what I believe in.

When you watch a professional perform, you’re seeing them at their moment of glory. It’s intimidating because you don’t see how you could ever get to where they are. You don’t see the moment they started, when they were a beginner just like you. I wanted people to see the beginning.

The best response to the video has been all the people who reached out to me, newly inspired to learn. Learn dance. Learn guitar, Korean, beatboxing, drawing, parkour. That brings me a lot more fulfillment than the video view count numbers.

After hearing from so many people, I’m now working on a site for people to make their own learning time-lapse projects: 100. I’m really excited to see other people level themselves up in all sorts of skills.

None of this might have happened if I had decided to sit back and just hope it went viral.

Thanks to Cedric Dahl, Alex Debelov, Nikolay Valtchanov, Lynn Tao, and Orion Hombrebueno for marketing help and advice for the video.

This article was originally published on Fast Company.

graphic designing, Uncategorized, web designing

29 Tips to Make Your Video Marketing Easy

Are you using videos to market your business? Are you wondering how to get started?

Do you need some ideas to improve your videos?

We asked our writers to share their best tips on how to make video marketing easy for you.

How to Get Started Creating Videos

chris garrett

Chris Garrett @ChrisGarrett

#1: Try video now

My biggest tip is to try video out, see if it works for you. I resisted video for so long due to my shyness, but when I did put some videos out there my audience reacted so warmly (and forgiving of my goofs) that I wish I had tried sooner.

You don’t need professional gear, expert editing skills and software, and you don’t need a fancy script. You don’t even need to be super-confident in front of the camera.

Just make a good point and deliver content people can use and enjoy. There is no time like the present. Get started!

Chris Garrett, author of the popular blog

kristi hines

Kristi Hines @kikolani

#2: Use Google Search Stories if you’re shy

If you’re shy about videos and not ready to put your face (or voice) on camera, there are still options!

My particular favorite is using Google Search Stories to show viewers your best online properties by simply searching for them. You can see mine below that highlights my blog and guest posting contributions.

If you’re having a hard time getting particular results to show up, use some more advanced search queries. For example, one of mine was Kristi Hines site:, which showed results with just my posts here on Social Media Examiner.

You can get really creative too, incorporating results from Google image, maps, news, blog, product and book search to feature photography, a business location, blog posts, stuff you sell and books you have written!

Kristi Hines, author of the popular blog Kikolani.

Stephanie Gehman

Stephanie Gehman @airport_girl

#3: Find your company’s best cheerleader

Find your internal cheerleader to be the person you put in front of the camera. Your marketing and sales professionals are not always the most likely candidates to be the star of your company/brand’s videos.

Consider the person in the office who encourages and has a smile for everyone, as his/her natural exuberance may be just the on-camera talent you’re looking for!

Stephanie Gehman is marketing manager for Harrisburg International Airport in Pennsylvania.

Lewis Howes

Lewis Howes @LewisHowes

#4: Start publishing regularly

Video can seem like just another challenge to overcome, but I see a major increase in my business and brand awareness all from the power of video. There are a number of tips I could share, but the best one is easy. Simply put, it’s important to start publishing video on a consistent basis.

Don’t worry about what camera to use (I use the reverse camera on my iPhone often) and don’t worry about editing it to make it look perfect (the “mess-ups” will make you look more genuine and real) as the most important thing is to simply get your message out there on video.

Start with shorter 1- to 3-minute videos that educate your audience, then as you get more comfortable, you can make them longer or do more editing, but for now, the best thing you can do is take action and produce videos on a consistent basis.

Lewis Howes, author of a popular blog and soon-to-be-launched Video Traffic Academy.

Neal Rodriguez

Neal Rodriguez @notifyneal

#5: Be transparent and authentic

You want to be as transparent and authentic as you can be when expressing yourself on video; talk with a naked tongue.

I have generated business through video by communicating passionately and honestly on the topic of social media marketing. I have touched on topics and tactics that other people with whom I operate don’t discuss, like the successful use of social bookmarking platforms like Digg, Reddit and StumbleUpon.

Success with such platforms is perceived as black magic by most social media marketers and strategists, but I have communicated how I have been successful in detail through video.

The other critical component is the marketing of your videos. I have developed relationships by helping other bloggers and webmasters in my niche, who have allowed me to post guest contributions on their websites. This way, a proportion of people who visit another website will visit mine, and a proportion of people who visit my website linked from the guest post will subscribe to my email list, RSS feed, Twitter, YouTube, Digg and Facebook digital assets.

Once you have built a community of engaged friends with whom you keep in touch through social channels, some of these people will help you promote your content by sharing it on social media, buying your products or services, or referring you to somebody who will buy your products or services.

Neal Rodriguez is an online marketer who teaches companies how to use social media marketing.

How to Create Videos With Others

David Garland

David Garland @therisetothetop

#6: Include other people

My #1 tip for video marketing is to include other people in some way. And these folks will become your best marketers. Let me explain.

There is something powerful about video unlike any other medium when it comes to connecting with our core. Remember the Old Spice guy? The audience flipped out because he was responding to people on Twitter via video. If he had done it in text, it would not have been nearly as effective or interesting.

What are some ways you can implement the power of others?

  • Try shout-outs in your videos to other people. A little love. People love hearing about themselves (we all have a little ego, right?).
  • Interviews are another great way to bring others into your videos. Remember, the more interesting and unique your interview is, the more likely your guest will share it with his or her community (especially if your subject is interviewed often).

These are simple ideas you can use right away.

One more piece of simple advice: Never try to force others to share your videos (even when you mention or interview them). It gives off that “ewww” feeling. A better approach? Try simply mentioning to them that they are in the video or thank them for coming on as your guest. Good things will happen. Trust me.

David Garland, founder of The Rise To The Top.

Leo Widrich

Leo Widrich @leowid

#7: Create compelling content collaboratively

Although I am fairly new to the topic of video marketing, the results we’ve achieved so far are amazing. The lesson I regard as the most important is that videos are a fantastic opportunity to create compelling content collaboratively.

This worked well for us for many reasons. If, for example, you are doing an interview, you can tell a story and create content in a very personalized way. Sharing your experience or thoughts in a conversation with someone else makes it a lot more fun to listen to.

Another reason is you will get everyone participating to actively promote this content. In my case, my interview partner did a hell of a job reaching out to people in his niche with me doing the same. The results were that the video posting was the most read post of the month, in all measures of pageviews, sharings and comments.

Leo Widrich, co-founder of

Michael Stelzner

Michael Stelzner @mike_stelzner

#8: Use trade shows to interview experts

Go to trade shows and conduct video interviews of a handful of experts. You have them all in one place!

You may not think this is a video marketing tip, but getting experts in your industry on camera is a great form of marketing. It allows you to meet that expert and creates great content. Often the expert will link back to your video interview, driving more traffic to your site.

Michael Stelzner, founder of Social Media Examiner.

How to Create Different Kinds of Videos

Andrea Vahl

Andrea Vahl @AndreaVahl

#9: Create video tutorials

Video tutorials are a great way to create content that is going to be searched for, consumed and shared on the web. So many people love the visual, step-by-step learning that video can give them. If you have a computer and a webcam, you can easily create video tutorials that include your screen.

There are several tools available that range from free to rather pricey. Camstudio and Jing are my favorite free versions. Camstudio has the ability to add an inset of yourself on a webcam, which I think can help people get to know you as you are presenting the tutorial. My Grandma Mary has a Camstudio tutorial:

Camtasia is my favorite paid version but is a bit expensive at $299 (Mac users get a nice price break of $99). The investment is worthwhile because the features and editing incorporated into the product are superb! You can easily zoom in and zoom out to highlight areas of your screen and it does have capability of a video inset.

Once I do a video tutorial, I upload it to YouTube because so many people search for good how-to material on YouTube. Then I embed it into my blog post so it can be found both on search engines through my blog and through YouTube.

Andrea Vahl is a social media coach, co-author of Facebook Marketing All-in-One for Dummies and the Facebook community manager for Social Media Examiner.

Janet Aronica

Janet Aronica @janetaronica

#10: Demonstrate how to use your product

My tip for startups launching software products is to use Screenr for screencasts.

Professional marketing videos sell your vision, but screencasts demonstrate how to use your product by focusing on the interface.


Screenr screencasts are easy and free to make, they engage beta testers or trial users and help people better understand what your product is for and why they should try it.

Here is a link to a screencast that I made of SocialBase:

Compare this with our (brand-new) marketing video (a little more about vision):

Janet Aronica, director of marketing and community for oneforty and author of a social media blog.

Ekaterina Walter

Ekaterina Walter @ekaterina

#11: Use video to respond to your customers

When consumers create a video (either to highlight your product or criticize it), it is a perfect opportunity to engage in the conversation and either thank them or turn them around or highlight some of the best features of your product.

In either case, your quick response might attract more traffic and create more conversations than the original video itself, as well as offer you an opportunity for creating yet another advocate. But you have to be agile and open to being creative and innovative in the way you provide your response.

One great example would be Tiger Woods’ game—when the customer found a glitch in the game where Tiger walks on water, he posted the video on YouTube describing the glitch. And this is how Tiger responded:

Absolutely brilliant marketing! Agile and innovative and connects with the customers on emotional level.

Ekaterina Walter, a social media strategist at Intel.

Ben Pickering

Ben Pickering @bpicks

#12: Tap into the power of the masses

Crowdsourced marketing made a big splash when Doritos launched its ground-breaking Crash the Super Bowl campaign, which I had the pleasure to be a part of. Since then, many marketers have tried to emulate this through video-based competitions of their own.

Even if consumers aren’t creating commercials for you, by running a video contest you can get access to content that you can use in your video marketing. A successful video contest requires planning and execution, but when the effort is put in, the results can be quite rewarding.

Ben Pickering, CEO of Strutta.

Richard Spiegel

Richard Spiegel @crowdtogether

#13: Run a video contest

How can you take advantage of this abundance of user-generated content (UGC) and create a social video marketing campaign? One way is to set up and run a video contest.

Not only is the contest format a great way to get UGC, it’s also a great way to make the campaign social as participants share submissions they like and then vote for the winner.

The majority of folks who will participate in your video contest are amateurs, so put solid guidelines in place to help participants produce a better-quality product. This is key to making your video contest a success.

Richard Spiegel, founder and CEO of Crowd Together.

Carla Dewing

Carla Dewing @CarlaDewing

#14: Create a series of videos

One-off videos are great, but the key to attracting a larger audience is to create series of several videos that deal with certain topics. Plan each video to follow on from the next, in a logical manner. When you do this, you encourage viewers to watch one video after the next, which means more views and more clicks to your business website.

This is especially effective for educational videos in specific niche markets. It also gives you the opportunity to promote the entire series, instead of a single video. People will spend hours watching your videos, like they watch series on television—and all because you’ve made the effort to package them like this!

Carla Dewing of Contrast Media.

Amy Porterfield

Amy Porterfield @amyporterfield

#15: Use videos to grow your email list

To keep the momentum going in your business you need a growing list of people you can regularly reach out to via email. To help grow your list, create videos to encourage your prospects to give you their name and email in exchange for something you will give them.

You can give away an eBook, an article (tips, strategies and how-to are always popular), a tutorial video, a free consultation, a type of assessment, etc. Figure out what your prospects would find most valuable and create a giveaway around that.

Here are 3 steps to quickly make this strategy work for you:

  1. Create a 3- to 5-minute video telling your viewers who you are, what you can do for them and the benefits of your free giveaway. End your video with a call to action by saying something like, “Enter your name and email now and I’ll be sure to send you your free report instantly.”
  2. Embed your video on a page with an opt-in form. To create the opt-in form you can use services such as AWeber, Constant Contact or Mail Chimp. For an example of a video opt-in page, check out this page here.
  3. To drive traffic to your video opt-in page, post a link to it on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and your other social networks. The key is to make sure to tell your fans and followers what’s in it for them!

By going the extra mile and creating a short video to entice your visitors to give you their name and email in exchange for a valuable giveaway, you are dramatically increasing your chances they will sign up and get on your list.

Amy Porterfield, a social media strategy consultant and co-author of Facebook Marketing All-in-One for Dummies.

How to Create Videos People Like

Mari Smith

Mari Smith @marismith

#16: Make your videos personal

Shoot impromptu, personal videos to spark deeper engagement on your Facebook fan page. Keep the videos short in length (under 90 seconds) and don’t worry about getting it perfect. Usually the first take is just fine! When you look into the lens of the camera and you talk directly to your fans as if you’re in a room with them, this creates more intimacy and connection and builds better relationships with your fans.

Mari Smith, a widely recognized social media speaker and trainer and coauthor of Facebook Marketing: An Hour a Day.

Mike Essex

Mike Essex @Koozai_Mike

#17: Be the first

Our best video marketing tip is simply to be the first. Ensure you can adapt quickly to relevant news and topics in your niche and streamline the video-making process to help you respond quickly.

When Google+ launched, we dropped everything to make one of the first videos. It received over 5,000 views in 48 hours and that’s for an account which usually only gets 100 views per video.

Although it helped that we could promote the video through our Twitter and Facebook accounts, this paled in comparison to the traffic arriving directly via YouTube. Although lots more videos have been made since, because the video was one of the first it’s amassed a good number of views and Likes which are holding it above the other clips.

Mike Essex, a search specialist for digital marketing agency Koozai.

Ann Smarty

Ann Smarty @seosmarty

#18: Get inspired and find interesting video topics

These days, when online video is everywhere, it is hard to come up with an interesting and catchy topic and perspective. Here are a few tips on how to brainstorm great video ideas using various search tricks:

1. Use YouTube Comment Search

Use YouTube Comment Search (within TestTube project) that works as a real-time tool for searching through most recent video comments.

youtube comment search

The YouTube Comment Search tool provides a great insight into what viewers are most interested in.

2. Use YouTube Suggest

Use YouTube Suggest to get a glimpse into users’ video search behavior.

youtube suggest

YouTube Suggest works wonders for expanding your initial search query and giving you more ideas on what to search for.

3. Use YouTube Search creatively by utilizing advanced search operators

  • Use Wildcard * search: It prompts the search engine to insert any words in place for it. It may trigger quite unexpected results, help you to brainstorm and even change the initial focus of your research. For example, “how to * hair” will find “How to cut your hair,” “How to curl your hair,” “How to: Avocado Hair Mask Tutorial” and many other interesting tutorials.
  • Use Synonym ~ search: The ~ operator (without the space) prompts the search engines to use various synonyms of the word. It can thus help you come up with various neighboring topics and other ways people describe your main focus. For example, “~money” will also find “cash,” “financial,” etc.

It all comes down how creative you are and how deep you are able to dig!

Ann Smarty, owner of

Jeff Korhan

Jeff Korhan @jeffkorhan

#19: Jump right into the action

Grab the attention of your viewers by jumping right into the action. Introductions of any kind undermine the purpose of video, which is to communicate a message through action.

Captivate the attention of your viewers by planning an opening scene as if it were a major motion picture.

Jeff Korhan, professional speaker, consultant and columnist on new media and small business marketing.

Charlene Kingston

Charlene Kingston @SocialMediaDIY

#20: Plan your greeting and sign-off scripts

The best videos will look and feel like a spontaneous conversation. However, what separates a good business video from a great one are little bits of information that must be planned and written in advance.

It’s a smart idea to start every video with a greeting, your name and your business name. It’s friendly and it tells people who you are.

The way you end each video is also important. The ending gives you another chance to mention your business name along with other information that would help a potential customer find you, such as your address and city. It’s also a great place to add your business tag line.

Write out these pieces in advance, and practice saying them until they are completely natural and you can say them without thinking about it.

Charlene Kingston, author of the Social Media DIY Workshop.

Debbie Hemley

Debbie Hemley @dhemley

#21: Follow Ted’s 5 useful ingredients

One of my favorite video marketing tips has to do with the five useful ingredients commonly used in TedTalks: music; interviews; and showing before, during and after scenes from a live event.

You can see how wonderfully they all work together in the video “Behind the TedTalk 2010″ and how much they add to a video.

I believe the five ingredients help add visual and human interest to videos of all lengths. (This was tip #13 in my SME post, 26 Ways to Engage with Customers Using Video.)

Debbie Hemley, social media consultant and blogger.

Lori Randall

Lori Randall @lori_randall

#22: Make it surprising and delightful

How? Do something completely unpredictable. In this fun video by the Rockstar Video Game, a baby sitting on the sofa and watching his scruffy dad playing Rockstar reaches for the game’s guitar and proceeds to play an amazing guitar riff on it in front of his amazed parents.

This video ad is particularly delightful because it winks at the idea of a random home video gone viral.

Corning Glass created the viral success “A Day Made of Glass” with clever, unexpected visual effects on everyday objects, showing just how much they contribute to modern living. It’s set with driving music to carry the idea forward.

Lori Randall, online marketing strategist.

How to Get More Out of Your Video Marketing

Linda Coles

Linda Coles @bluebanana20

#23: Check your audio equipment

You can make a great-looking video very cheaply and easily but the one thing you do want to spend a few bucks on is the audio equipment. If you are using a camera with built-in audio, make sure you are within about 3 feet of the mic so we can hear what you have to say.

Test it, and make any adjustments. You can be forgiven for bad lighting, but never for bad sound. If the viewer can’t hear your message, he hits the stop button.

Linda Coles of Blue Banana.

Rich Brooks

Rich Brooks @therichbrooks

#24: Use YouTube Annotations

Use YouTube Annotations to direct traffic to other videos, your YouTube channel or a call to action to subscribe to your channel.

This is also very helpful if you made a popular video that now has out-of-date information. Just add an annotation to direct viewers to the new, updated video without losing any of your visibility.

Rich Brooks, president of Flyte New Media.

Corina Mackay

Corina Mackay @corinamackay

#25: Follow up

For any new tool or strategy you test as part of your social media marketing campaign, there is no better way to learn from the experience than through follow-up. Rather than doing all the hard work getting your video made and promoting it, and thinking the journey is over, taking action after posting your video online will give you an idea of the reception it is getting, and whether the venture has been successful.

Try these ways of following up your video campaign:

  • Monitor comments and then reply. Develop a conversation about your brand, your industry, your team and your products, as well as the video specifically.
  • Measure the statistics. If your video includes links to your website, or a call to action for viewers, monitor the increase of sales, website visits or blog subscribers you receive.
  • Answer questions. If viewers want to debate the topic you discuss in your video, or ask for more information, allow them to continue the conversation with you.
  • Take feedback on board. Listen to what industry leaders, customers and your own staff say about your video, and make notes to use next time.
  • Try again. Using the information you gain, develop a more successful plan for next time.

By taking on board feedback and monitoring which areas of your video marketing strategy worked each time, your videos will become more engaged with your target customers and hopefully, more successful overall!

Corina Mackay, an entertainment-based social media manager and writer.

Lori Taylor

Lori Taylor @lorirtaylor

#26: Improve your video marketing

The most underutilized space on YouTube is the description below the video where you can describe your service and put in your URL that can be clicked through. Add a call to action at the end of the video; for example, “If you liked this video, please click through my link below to find more information.” This is a great way to increase engagement. Also add the Annotations feature from YouTube to create links in the videos. This is very powerful.

Use captions and subtitles, not just for people who need them, but they also anchor your message if the words are there to read. In fact, YouTube has an underutilized feature that will allow the video to be translated for multi-languages. Using Google Trends, you can find the non-U.S. areas that have high interest in your topic.

Any video you upload to YouTube should also be uploaded to Facebook. The embed code from Facebook should be used in your blog or website because if the viewer is not a fan of your Facebook page, he or she can click on video and it drops the user to your page to Like you. This is very powerful and provided a major increase in fans at my page and my client’s page.

Lori Taylor, an award-winning marketing veteran.

Jim Lodico

Jim Lodico @jlcommunication

#27: Optimize your video for SEO

Make sure that the search engines can find your videos. The search engines can’t crawl a video like they can a text-based web page, so you’ve got to give them a little extra help. Use a couple of keywords in the title of your videoand be sure that it matches the title tag of the page.

Also be sure to submit a video sitemap just like you would an XML sitemap. This creates an index of the videos on your site, making it easier for Google to find them. If you’re using WordPress, there are a number of plugins that make it easy to create video sitemaps.

Jim Lodico, copywriter and marketing consultant.

Nick Shin

Nick Shin @shinng

#28: SEO your videos and make them shareable

We all know that YouTube is the most popular video site, but did you know that YouTube’s search algorithms are different from search engine algorithms like Google? Five quick tips:

  • Create your video title to engage users while keeping in mind the SEO aspect.
  • Use keywords in the video description, title and keyword tags.
  • Include a link in your description of the video back to your site. You will not get SEO link juice, but you will get referral traffic.
  • Share your video on YouTube and post it on your website. Remember to keep your titles SEO- and social media–friendly.
  • Include a transcript of all your videos when posting them on your website. This process can be manual, but in the long term, it will help your SEO.

Nick Shin, online marketing strategist.

Denise Wakeman

Denise Wakeman @denisewakeman

#29: Create a podcast feed for your videos

As you integrate videos into your marketing plan, don’t make the mistake of thinking YouTube is the only game in town. While it is considered the second-biggest search engine on the web, you have many other avenues for getting your videos in front of your target audience.

To extend your visibility and tap into millions of potential viewers, add a video podcast to your syndication tactics. ITunes has 160 million users in 23 countries, so adding your video podcast to their directory should be at the top of your list.

You must have a web host for your video files and create a podcast feed. Then, submit that feed to the iTunes store for approval and listing in their directory.

Check out for free podcast hosting and publishing. To get the best exposure on iTunes, create an eye-catching graphic and a keyword-rich description that will attract and entice users to subscribe.

itunes podcast

Here’s where to find the link to submit a podcast on iTunes.

For more tips, visit:

Now, Over to You

What do you think? Do you include video in your marketing plan? What video marketing tips do you have to share?