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Success Unscrambled | Blog Traffic Tips | Business Success Stories
30 minutes | 2 days ago
Facebook Page vs Profile: 11+ Features You Never Knew Existed
So, you are at that point in your marketing journey where you are looking at the Facebook page vs profile situation. Yes, there are a ton of experts out there advising you about which one to choose. It’s possible that you are brand new to Facebook or you’ve always had a personal profile but rarely used it. A close friend of yours advised you to set up a Facebook page. However, you noticed another friend going live for a network marketing business on her Facebook personal profile. You are now wondering what to do. How to know for sure what are the rules for each section of Facebook? Is it possible to gain success for your business on Facebook? What methods should you use to attract your potential clients? Will you get banned if you use your personal Facebook profile for business? If only there was a way to get absolute clarity around these areas? In this post, you’ll learn all about the best practices when it comes to using Facebook for business, which section to use when. As well as how to generate leads for your business on Facebook. A Brief History of Facebook Understanding where Facebook came from may help you to better understand its current status. Facebook began back in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg and 4 of his college roommates with the intention of limiting the usage to Harvard students. This was extended to all colleges in the Boston area then to all colleges and universities in the USA and Canada. By 2006, anyone with a valid email address had the ability to create an account on the platform. If you are as old as I am or possibly older you’ll remember what Facebook was like back then. Actually, I am sitting here wondering when I joined Facebook. 🧐 I just checked and my account was set up in 2007. It’s crazy to think how time flies so fast. Facebook got to its first 100,000,000 users by August 2008. That’s just under two years after granting access to anyone with an email address 13 and over. Here’s an interesting Facebook business page fact, there were 100,000 business pages on Facebook in late 2007. October 2008 saw the decision by Facebook to set up its international headquarters in Dublin, Ireland. Why was Facebook created? It was a means for people to have an online profile to display a profile photo of themselves plus other personal information. Now, here we are many years later and Facebook is more than just your face and basic details about you. Why Use Facebook for Business? Well, if you are wondering why you should consider using Facebook to help you generate leads for a business. Here are a few interesting facts to consider. Facebook has a very strict policy about people setting up more than one personal profile. Unlike Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest where you can set up many profiles and brands. LinkedIn is the only one that would be on par with that specific Facebook rule. With a total of 2.8 billion monthly active users as well as 1.84 billion daily users, it is a great place to find potential clients. In terms of business users, there are over 200 million small businesses using the platform regularly. Here are two interesting statistics that will stop you in your tracks. 65% of Facebook users are under the age of 35 and 98% of users use it via their mobile device. The final show-stopping statistic I’ll leave with you is that users of Facebook spend 19.5 hours monthly on the FB mobile app. Facebook Apps Before we look at the Facebook page vs profile comparison let’s spend some time looking at the platform as a whole. You’ll notice that there are now so many different areas on Facebook that it can be dizzying trying to find your way around. Here’s a list of those apps. Personal profile Stories Room Business page Groups Community Marketplace Watch Dating Gaming Jobs Avatars Facebook pay Live videos Offers Weather Fundraisers Events Nearby friends Campus Ads manager After seeing this big list you’re probably thinking that you never realised that Facebook had so many apps. It’s crazy to think that a simple online photo album has so many facilities available to its users. It’s important that you are aware that all of these exist before you even create a Facebook page vs profile for your business. Because it is very easy to get lost on the Facebook platform. If you ever ran any ad campaigns (on your personal profile) before the business platform was launched then you’ll see the ads manager app. Facebook Page vs Profile Now that you know the basics of what Facebook is, where it came from and the services currently on offer. Let’s spend some time specifically looking at the two main applications which are the Facebook page and personal profile. Starting with the personal profile first makes more sense because you’ll need a profile in order to create a page. Personal Profile As the name suggests a personal profile is just a place where you can set up information about a person. I know that there are married couples who share the same personal profile which I find very strange. What’s even stranger is that one profile has two birthdays every year. So, it is quite confusing who’s birthday it is when the day arrives. A personal profile account will contain the following information. Name Date of birth Hometown Relationship status Current city Past jobs Current jobs Websites List of friends Hobbies Books Music Videos Photos Events Sports Timeline The list of information appears to be endless. Are you wondering why Facebook is asking for so many details? Well, in order to serve you relevant advertising, Facebook needs to know as much information about you as possible. For example, if you watch comedy movies, read romantic novels and attend outdoor events, Facebook can include you in an audience with that profiling. It is against Facebook’s terms of service for you to use your personal profile for business purposes. However, as you can see in the screenshot below there are clever ways to incorporate business promotions on your profile. I am able to add an image with links to a landing page which is part of my website right below my profile picture. There’s something you must know, it is the goal of every social media platform to keep the users on there for as long as possible. So, if you would like some more Facebook love it would make more sense to link to a Facebook business page or group rather than an external website. You would normally receive friend requests on your regular profile. Your Facebook friends are able to see the posts that you publish on your personal timeline. Of course, you can adjust your privacy settings to set parameters around who can see your Facebook posts. Business Page The Facebook page is a great way to give your business a social media presence so it is essentially a company page carrying your business name. Typically, the people who like your page wouldn’t be people on your friends list. It would make more sense to have people from your target market following your online presence. Things are about to get very confusing because a business page is managed via the business app. If you want to create a business page you’ll need to have a profile already set up on Facebook. Once that is done you’ll go to the apps section on your top right and click on create a page. A note of caution, the folks at Facebook change the navigation of the platform very often so don’t be surprised that yours look different. However, to manage an existing business page you’ll need to go to business.facebook.com and assign access to an admin or you. In the above screenshot, you’ll see the home page of the Facebook Business Suite platform or app. I currently manage over 20 pages so I have seen this platform evolve over the years and every year I login things are different. It feels like Facebook never sits still. A great benefit of using the Facebook business platform is that you can link your business Instagram profile right inside the app. One key benefit of doing this is that you get to see all your analytics in one place plus you get to schedule feed posts and story posts (including carousels) from this platform. An amazing way to get around the challenge of having a poor performing business page is to set it up as a public figure or Facebook fan page. If you serve a local market, you can set up your business page as a local presence to include your address and even your business phone number. You can even go through a verification process to get your business listed locally on Facebook. Facebook Business Suite Other features available on the Facebook Business Suite include the following: Boost posts Ads Manager Commerce Insights Events Manager Audiences Ads Reporter Creator Studio Media Library Services Instant Forms Partner Integrations Appointments Monetization Let’s spend some time looking at these features one by one so that you can understand what they do and when to use them. Boost Posts While you have the ability to use this features on the post of your business page there’s also the opportunity to do this inside Facebook Business Suite (FBS). This feature is good for when one of your posts is gaining traction like a Facebook live and you want it to get more reach. It means that you can actually get more mileage from one piece of content. This works really well when you have an upcoming masterclass or webinar. Did you know that you have the ability to boost IG posts as well? Yes, this can also be done using FBS. Ads Manager As the name suggests Ads Manager gives you the ability to really get specific in the kind of Ad you want to run. Whether it be Ads to cold or warm or even lookalike audiences. The Ads Manager app allows you to select your objective, choose your demographic and audience interest so that you can get higher conversions. Be sure to get really specific and creative with your interest targeting. There are two schools of thought when it comes to running ads on Facebook. One group firmly believes that you should only use Ads Manager. While another group will advise you that it is okay to use the “Boost post” features just to get more reach on your posts, while Ads Manager should be for a formal product launch. Commerce Inside Facebook Business Suite (FBS) you have the ability to add products from your e-commerce store to the platform. By adding them to shop on your business page you are also adding them to the Ads Manager catalog as well. It means that you can promote your products organically as well as running ads to them using Ads Manager. Many e-commerce platforms like WooCommerce and Shopify give you the option to ad a pixel to your website or shop. Insights This may be obvious but Insights allows you to see the performance of all your organic and paid promotions across Facebook and Instagram. What’s good about Facebook Insights is that you get a 5,000-foot view of which posts get the most engagement compared to other pieces of content. There’s even the option to look at your followers across both platforms by age, gender and top cities. Events Manager One of the keys to getting visibility of activity across your website and e-commerce shops is to install a Facebook pixel. You can easily achieve this by going to events manager, grabbing your pixel and installing it on your website to track events. These events can include actions like views, leads, add to cart, purchase and initiate checkout. To set up your FB pixel click the plus sign on data sources. Choose your data source as seen below. I’m so excited to see that you can now choose a CRM. Select the type of data source connection, API or Facebook pixel. Once you have the pixel installed you’ll be able to see monthly reports similar to the one in the screenshot below. The reason why you’ll have both Google Analytics and Facebook tracking installed is that each one will help you with conversion tracking when you run Ads. In other words, Facebook will be perfect to track leads from their platform while Google Analytics will handle paid search, display ads and video ads. Audiences At a very basic level audiences gives you the ability to create a custom audience based on criteria set by you. 180 days after setting up your pixel you may want to create an audience of all the people who visited your website. The capabilities of Facebook continues to blow me away every single year. You can also create custom audiences for Instagram, shopping, events and even offline activity. To create an audience simply click on ‘create audience’ choose the most suitable option. Then select your data source and enter your parameters as seen below. I decided to choose Instagram as my source over the last 365 days. After creating the audience you’ll be given the option to create a lookalike audience. When you click on create a lookalike audience you’ll see the option to choose your parameters. These include your source, audience location and size. See the image below. You’ll have the option to create 6 different versions of that lookalike audience. I chose to create 3 different kinds as seen in the screenshot below. Ads Reporter You’re probably thinking what’s the difference between the Ads Manager and the Ads Reporter. Well, if you have any experience running Facebook Ads you’ll know how difficult it can be to extract reporting on your ads from the Ads Manager. This is why the Ads Reporter is great to help you to really calculate your return on ad spend (ROAS) more accurately compared to how it was previously. Creator Studio One amazing feature that was launched recently in the Facebook Business Suite (FBS) is the ability to auto-post to IG Stories. Imagine having to schedule all your IG Stories for one week using your phone in under an hour. The key drawback is that the IG Stories app has a lot more features like captions, DMs, polls and questions that’s not available in FBS. In case you are wondering you can even schedule carousel posts as well. I find it easier to access Creator Studio directly by going to; https://business.facebook.com/creatorstudio/home Compared to trying to find it inside Facebook Business Suite (FBS). On your smartphone you’ll need to download the app called Facebook Business Suite. Media Library If you are planning and scheduling all your content 30-90 days in advance you may find it handy to use your media library. You have the option to upload all the images and videos that you will be scheduling out in advance. It means that the process of scheduling content will take a lot less time since you will not need to add them one by one. What’s brilliant about the media library is that you even have the ability to segment your content into folders and sub folders. Services If you are a service-based business you may want to consider using the services app to promote your services on Facebook. The way this application function is a bit strange because you need to add a time frame into the listing. As you know, if you are offering social media management as a retainer you just charge monthly without assigning a time to that service. Instant Forms Do you want to use Facebook as a lead generation machine? Then you need to take a look at Instant Forms. A fascinating feature of Instant Forms is the ability to connect it directly with your CRM platform of choice. This feature is especially useful to generate leads from paid ads using Ads Manager. Partner Integrations When it comes to choosing tools that work seamlessly with all your business technology. It really helps to know in advance what tools already integrate natively with Facebook Business Suite. Nothing is worse than choosing a new application only to realise that it does not integrate with other must-have tools. Some of these partners include: Ecwid Shopify WooCommerce Kajabi WordPress Squarespace Segment Zapier Hubspot Appsflyer Adjust Google tag manager Head over to partner integrations here to see the full list of tools already available to integrate with FBS. Appointments Depending on the type of business that you have it may make sense to give your Facebook audience direct access to your calendar on the Facebook platform. To achieve this head over to the appointments app and choose your available time slots. After choosing your available times remember to switch on the feature that allows customers to see your availability and booking calendar. Monetization One new feature that has been added over the last few days for business pages is the ability to run paid events as well as Instant articles. If you have an existing business page, you’ll notice a notification similar to the one below where they talk about monetization. When you click on it, you’ll see a list of eligible options available including paid online events and Instant Articles. There are 5 other monetization options available. These options include the following: In-stream ads for On demand Fan subscriptions Stars In-stream ads for Live Brand collabs manager You’ll notice that there are a number of criteria that your page will need to meet in order to qualify for these other monetization methods. Business Page vs Profile: Side by Side comparison To help you understand the similarities and differences between a personal profile and a business page here’s a side by side comparison. Feature Personal Profile Business Page Personal details Yes No Website address Yes Yes Run paid ads No Yes Promote business No Yes Promote business person Yes Yes Go Live Yes Yes Publish Stories Yes Yes Business vanity URL No Yes Boost posts No Yes Ads Manager No Yes Commerce No Yes Insights No Yes (100 page likes) Events Manager No Yes Audiences No Yes Ads Reporter No Yes Creator Studio No Yes Media Library No Yes Services No Yes Instant forms No Yes Partner integrations No Yes Appointments No Yes Monetization No Yes Knowing what is possible on Facebook for any small business will help you to assign a budget that will get you the results that you need. Remember that it makes more sense for you to install your Facebook pixels 3-12 months in advance of running paid campaigns via Facebook Business Suite. Having the data available will put you at a big advantage compared to someone who doesn’t have the statistics. 5 Ways to Generate Leads for Your Small Business on Facebook Now that you know every possible area where you can generate leads on Facebook let’s look at the best ways to put this into action. 1. Facebook Lives One of the fastest ways to build the know like and trust factor with potential clients is by publishing video content. It is by far the best way to make your business page more favourable to the Facebook algorithm. Remember to boost that live in order to get more eyes on your content. 2. Personal profile posts When you experience success in your business via awards, testimonials, certifications or just key lessons you can place these on your personal profile. It is not against the Facebook terms of service because you are only talking about things that are happening in your life. Your friends and family or friends of your family will see this and those who are potential customers will reach out to you. 3. Personal Profile Stories You can also share videos of these successes in your personal profile stories. It’s surprising how many of your friends engage with stories. Be sure to have the first image be a photo or image capture of your face as this will encourage them to engage. 4. Facebook Ads While running organic campaigns work quite well, to actually take your business to the next level you’ll need to get more reach using paid Ads. Depending on the offer, you may want to consider driving leads to a webinar or masterclass where potential clients can spend 60-90 minutes with you. Webinars tend to convert much better than Facebook live events. 5. Self-Liquidating Offer (SLO) In case you are worried about your ad budgets there is a specific type of offer called a self-liquidating offer that is designed to keep you in profit. Many small business owners use it as a way to break even on their ad spend. The beauty of this technique is that you offer a high value low-cost product for roughly around $37 together with a one-time-offer. Together they will fill your funnel with potential, highly qualified leads and keep the cost of your ads low. Summary Facebook is a powerful platform for small business owners but everyone complains that it is a pay to play solution. Although Facebook charges for you to promote your business, you have to admit that they are re-investing those funds to increase their platform capabilities. After looking at the breakdown of all the Facebook page vs profile features side by side you’ll know why using the business features is better for your business. There are mainly 3 different types of digital businesses. These include the following: Service-based Coaching + courses E-commerce No matter which model you choose Facebook has organic and paid promotion features that will get you conversions. Yes, I agree with you that using the paid features can be overwhelming especially when you want to ensure that you get a significant return on ad spend (ROAS). This is why hiring a FB Ads Manager who will make your efforts profitable makes a lot of sense. Over to you, what has been your experience using Facebook for your small business? Announcements Are you one of my regular listeners? If yes, did you subscribe to this podcast and leave a 5-star review? Your positive review of this podcast is vital to keeping it alive and running for the next 12 – 24 months so please leave a positive 5-star review for us on iTunes, Spotify or any of your favourite podcast players. Running a organic and paid campaign on Facebook means developing a profitable digital marketing stratgey. Having a good marketing mix of organic and paid creatives always works quite well. I started this blog in 2017 because I had a burden on my heart to reduce women illiteracy globally. Because this is a huge undertaking I have decided to help 1,000 women over the next 10 years to become wildly successful in their online business through simplified marketing strategies. That way we can build a strong business network of women who can donate 1% of their profit and together we can help reduce women illiteracy worldwide. Would you like to be part of this movement? Shoot me an email using alvern (at) successunscrambled (dot) com.
42 minutes | 9 days ago
How to Get More Blog Followers [41 Unbelievable Ways]
Are you stuck trying to get more blog followers to finally generate an income? The thought of logging into your blog statistics every month only to see a trickle of readers can be frustrating. I know because I have been there. When I started my first blog over 10 years ago and published my first post all I heard were the sound of crickets. Do you know what’s more frustrating than having no followers? Not knowing how to get blog followers is worse. In fact, let me know if you can relate to the following. Working a 9-5 job is not exciting for you anymore. You heard that blogging online can be a very rewarding experience. After work and on weekends, you spend hours upon hours watching videos and listening to podcasts about the success stories of others like you. Everyone seems to get lucky after they decide to take action. If only there was a way to grow your online presence on a low budget. In this post, you’ll learn about 40+ ways to get more readers to your blog so that you can finally generate an income online. Content Marketing Statistics Before looking at how to get more blog followers, let us first look at content marketing statistics. In case you didn’t know, blogging is a form of content marketing. By understanding what others are doing in this area you’ll be better able to design and implement a strategy. 60% of smartphone users have contacted a business after engaging with a search engine result according to HubSpot. Over 84% of organisations have a content marketing strategy in place based on a SEMRush survey. Of those organisations who took the survey 76% of them have a content marketing team of fewer than 3 people. Brands are using IG Stories more than ever based on a report from Top Rank Blog. The top 3 hard skills that content marketers need to have to survive are social media, SEO and strategy. This is based on that SEMRush survey of over 17,000 content marketing roles. If there’s one statistic you need to keep in mind it is this one. 89% of content marketers rely on organic search as they believe it is the most effective distribution method. As you can see there isn’t a magic pill or silver bullet that everyone is using to get results. Knowing Your Audience Wait! Before rushing out and creating a strategy for your content marketing or blogging plan. The most important thing that you need to consider is your audience. If you don’t know who they are, what are you going to say to them? Developing a client avatar will help you create content to attract the right people. Here are a few things you need to know about your potential followers. Age Gender Where do they live? (country, city) Do they live in a house or an apartment? Their neighbourhood, what does it look like? The kind of problems they are trying to solve personally, financially Their deepest desires and dreams for them and their family, what are they? In terms of their biggest fears, what are they? (not spiders, emotional ones?) Do you get their short-term and long-term goals? Any idea of their good and bad habits? What gets them excited? The stuff that annoys them, what are they? What are their daily, weekly, monthly or annual challenges? Outline their biggest needs? List the kind of items they spend their money on when they get paid? What type of podcasts do they listen to? Which software and/or apps do they use? Their passion projects, what are they? Where do they spend the most time online? You may not know all the answers to these questions just yet but try to answer as many as possible. Make Money Blogging Once you have a better understanding of who your followers are and their challenges, it is time to figure out how you can help them. In other words, why do you want to get more blog followers? What value can you offer them when they visit your blog? Yes, they can read your content but what happens next, do you have a solution for their problem? Did you know that there are 5 ways to make money blogging? These include: Affiliate marketing Ad networks Courses or products Services Sponsored posts Of the 5 listed ways which one of these is included in your monetisation plan? While this may not be something that you have thought of before. It is important to consider it seriously because your follower wants to solve a problem. If after reading your blog posts their problem is not resolved they will go to the next blog. The Follower Journey In terms of a strategy for solving their problem. Let’s spend some time looking at the follower journey. They come to your blog post and read your blog post. What happens next? This is where things get a little bit complicated because it depends on the price range of what you have to offer. If the course, product or service is $47 or less then your follower can make a decision pretty much straight away. Anything over $47 but less than $500 will need a few more touchpoints. You may have to offer them a free checklist so that they can learn to trust you. Other things you can do to nurture them include offering a 5-day challenge, nurturing them on an email list or getting them into a low-cost workshop. Let’s say what you have to offer is more than $500. A webinar funnel is best suited to help with conversions for products or courses over that price. If you are offering a service then doing a free 15-30 consultation or discovery call will help them convert. Create Your Conversion Path One of the biggest mistakes I see newbies make when it comes to finding readers for their blog is they don’t have a way of converting them. What I mean by this is that they are waiting until they get 1,000 visitors a day before monetising their blog. Let me tell you that you’re leaving money on the table. Remember what I mentioned previously about the follower journey? These followers are coming to your blog because they have a problem that they need solving. Depending on your blog your solution might be a recipe. However, if you have a blog about decluttering and they need a step by step, comprehensive guide, have it ready for them to purchase. Yes, I get it, you may not be technical or you don’t have a budget available to invest in expensive conversion platforms. Sometimes all you need is a low-cost solution like Teachable or Thinkific to create a course. You can use Easy Digital Downloads, Shopify or WooCommerce to sell your ebooks as well. Whatever your conversion path, ensure that it is up and running before you get more blog followers. Strategy vs Tactics It is important to understand the difference between strategy and tactics before looking at the ways to get more blog followers. A content strategy is an overall plan of what you will do to attract blog followers. The strategy will include: audience media channels creative formats demographics content budget timing On the other hand, tactics go into detail about the approach you will take on each platform or media channel. Here are a few examples of tactics: what time of day to post the best performing hashtags by content how many times to post per day which content performs best by the time of day sending DMs or not It is also important to have a good mix of media channels in your strategy to improve your reach and results. In other words, have a mix of free and paid promotions to get a better return on your investment. 41 Ways to Get More Blog Followers Now that you know who your follower is, where they hang out online, where they spend their money and you have a solution with a conversion path set up. Let’s look at how you can attract them to your blog and solution. 1. Pinterest One of the fastest ways to get more blog followers is by pinning your blog post on Pinterest. It is advised that you engage with the platform daily to get traction. Using a 3rd-party application like Tailwind will help you with pinning daily. You can check out my review of the Tailwind app here. 2. Twitter Using social media marketing is another quick way to gain traction. This can be achieved by posting content to Twitter. Depending on your follower you may find that adding Twitter to your strategy may be worthwhile. A great way to spy on your competition is by using TweetDeck. You can learn how to use TweetDeck here. Twitter can also be a great place to participate in Twitter chats. 3. Instagram Feed If your brand elements, products or services are visually appealing, consider using the Instagram feed to post 3-5 times a week. Even if what you have to offer is not visually appealing but your followers are on IG there are other ways to get their attention. Actionable content like quotes, short videos, tips and tricks can help you gain traction. While using popular hashtags can be very tempting to use on your Instagram posts. It is more important to use relevant hashtags to reach a wider audience. Be sure to include a clickable link in your Instagram profile to a landing page in order to attract new subscribers. There should be a clear call to action as well as the ability to collect email addresses. 4. IG Stories Did you know that Instagram users spend 80% of their time binge-watching IG Stories? For this reason, it is a good idea to use this media channel to get more followers. If you find it difficult to create Instagram Stories, check out these apps that you can use to easily edit IG Stories here. 5. Instagram Reels If you are more of a dancer or performer then you may want to consider using IG Reels. There is a lot of contention at the moment when it comes to adding music to Reels. However, don’t let it stop you from creating them. 6. IG Influencer Campaigns A great way to grow your audience really quickly on Instagram is by running sponsorship campaigns. This is achieved by finding an influencer with an audience who can benefit from your offer. As I mentioned previously, having a mix of paid and free campaigns work really well to get a return on your investment. Use a service like the Social BlueBook to help you find social influencers. 7. Facebook Profile It is against Facebook’s terms of service to promote your business using your personal profile. However, it is safe to use it to let people know about the person behind the business. Tell stories about your successes and challenges but no links to your business in the post. 8. Facebook Business Page As you probably already know a Facebook page is the place designated to promote your business. While the algorithm on this section of Facebook is not great it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have a page. I get notifications every single day of people who viewed my Facebook page that’s linked to my blog. 9. Facebook Group The ultimate way to grow your blog followers would be to maintain a free Facebook Group. Compared to a personal profile or business page, growing and maintaining a group takes a lot of work. However, it still continues to be the most lucrative way to grow your business for free on Facebook. 10. Facebook Group Threads On the topic of Facebook groups, there are quite a number of groups that supports bloggers and they even allow you to post your latest blog post. What is specific about threads is that there are rules involved in participating in these threads. For example, visiting someone else’s blog for a minimum of 30 seconds could be one rule. 11. LinkedIn Posts Promoting your blog posts on LinkedIn is probably the least favourite way to gain followers. A better option would be to turn your blog posts into videos making them more attractive and digestible. One awesome software that you can use to get this done is ClipScribe. 12. On-Page SEO If you remember near the start of this resource I mentioned a very important statistic. Which is 89% of content marketers rely on organic search. The reason for this is because search engine optimisation (SEO) has been proven time and again to get the highest conversions. Did you know that there are close to 90,000 searches on Google every second? This is because people use search engines to find solutions to their problems. On-page SEO is ensuring that your blog post is friendly for search engine spiders so that it can be easily indexed. SEO starts with good keyword research for your blog content on a consistent basis. You can grab my SEO checklist here to help you get yours ready. 13. Off-Page SEO As the name suggests off-page SEO involves making your posts or content attractive enough so that others may want to link to it. Doing this is a lot more difficult compared to on-page SEO. This method is also known as backlinking. A clever way to get more links back to your blog is by creating infographics of your content. There are three other ways to accomplish this which I will now outline. 14. Guest Posts Writing content on other people’s blogs is called guest posting. One great benefit of this is that you get to promote yourself and your business in front of other people’s audience. The other benefit is that you will get a do-follow backlink to your blog. This is especially beneficial if the other person’s blog has a higher domain authority (DA) than yours and if their audience are your potential followers. 15. Sponsored Posts In some cases, you may want to consider paying for a blog post on someone else’s blog. This is called a sponsored post and it will be very beneficial when that blog has a much bigger audience as well as a much higher domain authority. The only drawback of this is that the post will be marked as an advert, so the backlink will also be a no-follow link. Google will give it a lower rating when the spiders are indexing it. 16. PR Outreach The next free way to get your blog recognised is by doing a PR outreach campaign. This involves getting your blog, brand or business on large publishing sites like Forbes, New York Times and HuffPost. You can achieve this with the help of a PR company. However, you can also reach out to journalists directly if you have an interesting story to tell. One great benefit of doing this is that you get a high authority backlink to your blog from each post that goes live. 17. Facebook Groups (other people’s) On the topic of other people’s audiences, another way to accomplish this is by presenting to other people’s FB groups. There is at least one group where this is a paid service. The Women Helping Women Entrepreneurs (WHWE) Facebook group. You join their Stand Out Online Membership Program for $97 a month and it gives you the opportunity to go live in front of 500,000 women weekly. Also, you’ll notice in other groups people are looking for speakers to present to the members of their FB groups. 18. Facebook Ads While on the topic of Facebook you’ll probably be aware that the main reason why the Business Pages don’t gain traction is that it is now a pay to play platform. In other words, if you want visibility for your business you’ll need to pay for Ads. This can work out well for you by using Facebook Ads to grow your business. 19. Promoted Pins Pinterest also has the option for businesses to sponsor pins. This service is called promoted pins and it can work out really well if you know how to get it done. If your potential clients are on Pinterest then this is something for you to consider. 20. Instagram Ads When setting up ads using the Facebook Business Manager you’ll be presented with the option to run ads on Instagram as well. This is something to consider carefully. You even have the option to run ads on Instagram only if that works out better for you. 21. Google Ads One important strategy to consider when doing an SEO campaign is running it in conjunction with a paid search campaign. The reason for this is because SEO can take 6-12 months before you start seeing results. While you wait for organic SEO to kick in you can do a paid search campaign to capture your followers who are ready to go now. The targeting is via keywords and the bidding mechanism is PPC or pay-per-click. 22. YouTube Channel Did you know that you can build the know, like and trust factor faster with video marketing? Also, the 2nd most popular search engine after Google is YouTube. This is why you need to consider using video to reach your audience. Simply repurpose your blog posts into videos to get more mileage from your existing content. 23. Youtube Brand Sponsorship On the flip side of creating your own channel is the ability to sponsor content creators with an existing brand. It means that you cut out all the leg work of creating your own channel from scratch. Instead, you get the attractive opportunity of getting in front of your potential audience via YouTube video content. Learn more about YouTube brand partnerships here. Also, this resource can help you understand how it works. 24. Video Ads – YouTube Another way to get in front of your YouTube audience is by running ads on YouTube. As you can imagine there are many different kinds of video ads available. These include: Premium Buy Masthead Trueview In-stream Video discovery Shopping In-stream Bumper Ads Let’s look at them briefly. Premium Buy Masthead It is a creative that is customisable and runs for 24 hours at the top of YouTube’s homepage. You have the option to run it in your chosen market, it’s bookable by the day with great potential reach. However, it is an expensive media buy. Trueview In-stream This ad type can play before, during or after an existing video. It is only skippable after 5 seconds of play. The bidding mechanism is cost-per-view (CPV). Trueview video discovery As the name suggests this ad type is displayed on the right-hand side of a YouTube search results page. So the ads show based on the search query that was made. Shopping – Trueview While watching a video you might have seen a display of products on the right-hand side of the video. These are referred to as the Trueview shopping ads. A great option if you offer products for sale. Bumpers Ads Sometimes while watching a video you’ll get a notification that an ad is coming up and you don’t have the option to skip it. These ads are called bumper ads and only last 6 seconds. They are also non-skippable ads which makes them different from the Trueview In-stream ads. In order to set up these ads, you’ll need to log into your Google Ads account to get started. 25. Display Ads On the topic of the Google Ads account, another set of ads that you can access while there are display ads. These use a platform called the Google Display Network or GDN. The method of targeting the GDN is by audience, keywords or placement. What makes it different from paid search is that the bidding is by CPM or cost per thousand impressions. One other key difference is that images are mainly used to display across a potential of 2 million websites. 26. Guest Podcasting Back to the topic of other people’s audience is the fact that you can decide to be a guest on someone’s podcast show. Of course, it all depends on who you want as a potential follower. To get on other people’s podcasts can be a straightforward affair. Do the research of which shows you want to be on. Do some podcast outreach or head over to Matchmaker FM to find your perfect match. 27. Podcast Sponsorship If you are too shy to be on a show or it doesn’t make sense then you also have the option to sponsor someone else’s show. There is the option to approach the show directly or you can use an existing advertising platform. Here’s a shortlist of podcast advertising platforms. Podcast Addict Google Ads Overcast Pocket Casts Podbay Spotify Podnews 28. Udemy Have you ever thought of creating a short course and putting it on a course marketplace? What makes a place like Udemy different is that you can use it to build authority. So, instead of publishing your premium or signature course here use it as a way to market your brand by publishing an entry-level course. 29. Coursera Are you an expert, educator or professional? If yes, then you may prefer to use Coursera to launch your entry-level course. While anyone can become a course creator on Udemy, the Coursera platform is reserved for a higher calibre individual. Also, Coursera has Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) from well-known universities. 30. Skillshare You may find that the Udemy platform with over 300 million students is not suitable for your type of course. When compared with Udemy, the Skillshare platform, with 8 million students, offer courses that are more focused on creatives and entrepreneurs. So, spend some time evaluating both before making a final choice. 31. Quora Have you created an account on Quora yet? One of the best ways to capture the attention of potential blog followers is just when they are asking a question. This is exactly what the Quora platform encourages. What’s surprising is how easy it is to gain traction when you answer questions. Find the questions with the most followers that relate to your brand and answer those questions. 32. Facebook Lives Did you know that a great way to increase visibility on your Facebook Business Page is by doing Lives? I ran a test last summer for 30 days and the results were very interesting. I decided to go live on my Facebook Page over a 4-6 week period using SteamYard and my reach was unbelievable. 33. Collaboration Have you ever seen the phrase ‘self-made millionaire’? Each time I see this phrase it makes me cringe because it is not possible to become successful on your own. This is why collaborating with peers in your industry or niche makes a lot of sense. “A rising tide moves all boats”, so when you decide to collaborate with someone else everybody wins. 34. Speaker (paid or free) In the last 12 months, I had the opportunity to be a speaker at three different events. Being a speaker means that you get a chance to promote your brand and business. Your potential blog followers will become aware of the existence of your brand and how you can solve their problem. 35. Sponsor an Athlete If your business is in the health and wellness niche a clever way to advertise your brand or business is by sponsoring an athlete. What this does is help that athlete, the sports club and you achieve goals. Remember your potential followers are very likely into sports themselves. 36. Host a Giveaway Another clever way to get more blog followers is to host a giveaway. Of course, it would be important for you to have high-quality swag or gifts that your potential followers would enjoy. Spend some time brainstorming what you can give away as well as how often you can do this to increase your brand awareness. 37. Sponsor a Charity Event If you are one of my regular readers you’ll know that my charitable cause is raising awareness to help reduce illiteracy among women. No matter what charity you support it is important to think of ways that you can raise awareness of your brand through your preferred charity. For example, breast cancer awareness month normally occurs in October. So if this is what you support, use the month of October to sponsor events around breast cancer awareness. 38. SponsorPitch There are a host of other opportunities where you can sponsor events and organisations. Thanks to the folks at SponsorPitch the hassle of finding these sponsorship opportunities have been made super easy. Just sign up to become a member and get access to all the properties looking for sponsorship. 39. Yahoo Power Listing If you have a brand supporting a local area then you’ll be excited to know that the Yahoo Power Listing is just for you. Basically, you have the opportunity to list your business or brand in one or several local directories. Simply head over to this link to learn more. 40. Become a Bestselling Author There are a ton of courses available online teaching you how to become a bestselling author using Amazon KDP. The benefit of your book becoming a bestseller is that it will help you to build authority in your niche. It can take between a few weeks to months to achieve this goal. One such course is the one offered by Anna which you can find here. 41. Forums Do you remember the days when forums were popular? Before social media became popular one of the best places to ask questions was a forum. While these are still thriving communities it is a good idea for you to find the ones where your potential blog followers hang out. This way you can not only build your authority by answering their questions. You can also use it to promote your brand or blog. 42. Lead Magnets One bonus way to get new followers to your blog on a regular basis is by offering lead magnets. These can be promoted on your Instagram account very beautifully to your Instagram followers. A lead magnet can be any type of content that will encourage your follower to experience a quick win. For example, free tools like a social media audit table, budget spreadsheet or diet tracker. An easy way to deliver it is via your email service provider. After signing up, your blog visitors will then become blog subscribers. 43. Email Signature Yet another free cool way to get more blog followers is by promoting your new blog post on your email signature. Of course, having links to all your social sites included in your email signature are just as important. This area is considered great real estate to promote your top posts and social sites. Summary It is crazy to think that there are so many ways to get more blog followers yet so many newbies continue to struggle. Yes, it does require some thinking outside of the social media box to get the word out about your blog. However, it is very doable if you remember to create a marketing strategy. Remember that it is important to include a mix of free and paid promotional options. Here’s that list of those 41 ways again: Pinterest Twitter Instagram feed IG Stories Reels Influencer marketing FB Profile Business Page – FB Facebook Group FB Threads LinkedIn Post On-page SEO Off-page SEO Guest posting Sponsored posts PR Outreach Other people’s FB Groups Facebook Ads Promoted pins Instagram Ads Google Ads (paid search) YouTube Channel Brand Sponsorship (YouTube) Video Ads Display Ads Guest podcasting Podcast sponsorships Udemy Coursera Skillshare Quora Facebook lives Collaboration Speaker Sponsor an athlete Host a giveaway Charity sponsorship SponsorPitch Yahoo Power Listing Bestselling author Forums While this list is not exhaustive, it can certainly help you to find clever ways to get more blog followers. What has been your experience when it comes to growing your blog readers? Let me know in the comments. Announcements Have you subscribed to this podcast yet? If yes, did you remember to leave a 5-star review? Your positive review of this podcast is vital to keeping it alive and running for the next 12 – 24 months so please leave a positive 5-star review for us on iTunes, Spotify or any of your favourite podcast players. Getting your first 10,000 blog followers will not happen overnight unless you use paid traffic. The big downside of using ads is that you’ll need to have a monthly budget to keep it switched on. I started this blog in 2017 because I had a burden on my heart to reduce women illiteracy globally. Because this is a huge undertaking I have decided to help 1,000 women over the next 10 years to become wildly successful in their online business through simplified marketing strategies. That way we can build a strong business network of women who can donate 1% of their profit and together we can help reduce women illiteracy worldwide. Would you like to be part of this movement? Shoot me an email using alvern (at) successunscrambled (dot) com.
38 minutes | 16 days ago
The Best Software to Record a Podcast on Mac and Save $350
Are you looking for a way to record a podcast on a Mac computer? If you are new to podcasting or just looking for other options to record a podcast quickly and efficiently I feel your pain. It’s been over 3 years since I started my podcast and at the time there weren’t many resources available. When it comes to podcasting you’ll realise there’s so much to learn. To be frank, there are many layers to consider in the podcasting realm. Here’s a short run down for you. What topic will you choose for your next episode? Will it be in a solo format or interview or group discussion? Do you have the best tools to do the recording? Where will you record the episode? If you are not doing a solo show, do your guests have the right software, equipment and broadband connection? As you can see there are so many things to consider when you need to produce a podcast show. In this post, you’ll learn what software you can use to record a podcast on Apple computers as well as what else you need to consider for a good quality audio recording. Podcast Equipment Statistics Before diving into the information about recording your show, it would make sense to look at podcasting equipment statistics. In other words, what other podcasters in the industry are using when it comes to creating, editing and publishing their show. Doing this will help you gain insights into which equipment is popular. While there are a lot of statistics available about podcast listeners. Very few seem to be interested in surveying the podcasters. Let’s first look at the top microphone brands according to the folks at The Podcast Host. Rode – 19% Blue – 17% Shure – 12% Audio Technica – 11% Samson – 7% Zoom – 5% What was interesting about the survey they did is the number of people using recording software. Of the people surveyed, 67% used software, 25% used a digital recorder and another 4% fell into the category of other. On the topic of microphone types, there were 3 in the results. A dynamic mic at 35%, a condenser mic at 29% and a USB mic at 33%. Do you record podcasts with headphones on? Now, I believe that the results are a bit skewed here. Because 74% said yes and 26% said no. The reason why I believe it is not accurate is that I record mine with ear pods. I do it not to hear my voice but to record into the Apple ear pod mic. Podcasting Equipment for Good Quality Sound Now that you know what other people in the industry are using let’s look at the layers of necessary equipment. I’ll try to cover everything for recording and not for post-production. Some of the equipment used in the recording stage can also be used during podcast production. Here’s a list of what you may need. Clear voice Microphone or EarPods Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) Storage for audio clips Stable broadband connection Pop filter A quiet room Topic for recording Uninterrupted recording time DAW for multitrack recording (if not solo) A plan Clear voice When I first started recording my episodes I took this aspect for granted. If you’ve been podcasting for a while you’ll know that the minute you catch a cold it’s time to panic. Because it is difficult to do an audio recording when your throat is sore or your voice is not clear. Fun fact, I recorded a couple of episodes from my hospital bed just after surgery because I wanted to give my listeners first-hand information. Microphone or EarPods One of the first things everyone who is starting a podcast wants to know is what’s the best microphone for podcasting. The funny thing is that new podcasters don’t really need a good microphone. Your Apple EarPods works just fine. You can have the best microphone in the world but if your DAW isn’t good or your environment is not right the audio recording quality will not be good. If you can afford a microphone then go ahead and get a USB microphone but don’t let it stop you from starting a podcast. Based on my research a condenser microphone seems to be the best option. Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) Finding a DAW that will work for you can be a difficult task. I have used the following over the course of almost 4 years. Blog Talk Radio Spreaker Quicktime Audacity Anchor FM GarageBand Zoom Skype Zencastr As you can see, it really depends on your situation. The road to finding a DAW was not an easy one for me. It could be a lot easier for you because you can learn from my mistakes. Storage for MP3 files After working diligently to record your episodes remember to figure out where you want to store your audio files. Initially, I stored them on my hard drive until I ran out of space. However, my advice for you is to use an external hard drive or Google drive because storing them on your hard drive will slow down your computer. A Stable Broadband Connection While this doesn’t sound like something to be worried about let me tell you why it matters. If your DAW is online then you’ll need a stable Internet connection. Have you got plans in place to interview guests? If so, then your worst nightmare would be if either of you get disconnected during the call. Pop Filter In case the word pop filter is not familiar to you, it is just a device you place in front of your microphone. It is useful for softening the sound of Ps and Ts. Without it, your audio recording might sound harsh in some areas. Yes, you can edit it but trust me when I say it is better to do it right during the recording stage. A Quiet Room I giggle while I am writing this resource because I’ve seen so many creative ‘quiet rooms’. Many podcasters have created recording spaces in their closets. Your room not only needs to be quiet but having soft furnishings will really help reduce echoes. Topic of discussion While ad libbing may sound very attractive, I can tell you from experience you are better off preparing in advance. This is because improvising from start to finish can leave you tripping on your words and rambling a lot. A well prepared episode will help you plan for several episodes in advance. Uninterrupted recording time At this point, I can tell you about a few times when the phone or door bell rang in the middle of a recording. Yes, this can happen from time to time which means you’ll need to stop and start back where you left off. If ever you decide to record on your phone, put it on airplane mode and switch on the wifi. DAW for Multitrack shows When you decide to have guests on your show you’ll notice that it adds another level of complication. This is because you’ll need to find a DAW that can record both of you at the same time but on separate tracks. You’ll need a multitrack DAW that is simple to use so that your guests don’t get lost in the technology. A plan The very first 5-10 or even 20 episodes will feel a little bit awkward as you find your groove. What do you say at the start? How will you address your audience? Will you use intro music? Do you have a strategy for your topics? While it all sounds stressful, you’ll get it all figured out with time. Finding the Best DAW As I mentioned previously finding the best DAW for your needs can be a little bit tricky. This is because not all the DAW software are created equal. Here is a list of things that make a DAW good for podcast recording. Can record a solo episode Ability to record guest interviews Records audio without background noises The recording is clean without static noises and hissing or buzzing Unlimited recording length or at least a minimum of 30 minutes Saved format of MP3 or WAV Gives you the ability to easily download your recording Let’s spend some time looking at the ones I used as well as the pros and cons of each platform. Zencastr When it was time for me to record my first podcast interview I was a little concerned because I didn’t know what to use. Zencastr looked like a great option so I went with that for my first and second interviews. This was 3 years ago and the experience wasn’t great. I’m sure the technology has improved since then. They have a free plan that allows you to record in high quality MP3 so give it a try to see if you like it. There’s also a new feature where they can do video podcast recordings which is brilliant. Blog Talk Radio For my third podcast interview, I decided to try BlogTalk Radio. I have to say it is not a good idea to try new technology for interviews. I guess you can think of it as a service that is similar to Clubhouse where listeners and participants don’t need to be members. Here’s a screenshot of the dashboard to help you understand the platform better. You are better off doing a trial run with a close family member before doing it for real. It has a very professional feel to it but it is ideal for live shows. Spreaker I think Spreaker was the next one on the list for me to try out. Simply because they have a mobile and desktop app which is great. What really attracted me to Spreaker is the fact that you can do guest interviews seamlessly. Simply download the Spreaker Studio desktop app and log into your Spreaker account. As you can see in the recording studio there are several features available like integration with Skype and sound effects. I stopped using Spreaker because at the time there wasn’t a low-cost version plus I was already using another podcasting host. Quicktime At some point I wanted to try out local desktop solutions. So, I decided to give Quicktime a try for many episodes. The challenge with the Quicktime player is that there was always a hissing noise with each recording. It is possible that this could have been solved with a high-tech external microphone but I cannot say for sure. There really isn’t a lot of fancy features available with Quicktime. Simply click on new audio recording, choose your microphone and click the red button. GarageBand If you are a Mac user, you’ll know that GarageBand comes out of the box on your laptop or desktop as standard. I deleted it off my Mac because it is a whopping 800MB in size so it does hoard a lot of storage space. You can see that GarageBand is really designed for music production as it comes with so many cool features and devours a lot of storage. Audio files created on GarageBand can also be 100s of megabytes in size. To give you a frame of reference a standard 30-minute audio recording should be 25-50MB in size. Audacity Another desktop app that has given me nothing but trouble is Audacity. So many people recommend this audio studio to record and edit podcasts. However, no matter how many times I’ve tried and how many training sessions I have taken, it doesn’t work for me. One curious aspect of Audacity is that it leaves hundreds of tiny files on my hard drive whenever I install it on my laptop. There’s a video course for Audacity on the app store. I am not saying don’t use it for your podcast. Who knows, you may be lucky enough to get it to work. Skype A few years ago when Skype was free, I used it to record a few podcast episodes that were interviews. In case you’re wondering how to get this done, let me explain. There’s a software called Ecamm call recorder for Skype that will record your podcast interviews for you. It records both mp3 and mp4 versions of the call. A lifetime license is only $40 which is brilliant. However, Skype is no longer free to use so you’ll need to consider if this is a viable option for your business. Zoom As someone who runs a service-based business, you’ll find that you already have a pro license of Zoom which is $15 a month. So, using Zoom to record your podcast episodes is a great option. Except for the fact of doing solo episodes which can feel a little bit weird. It really is a handy and cost efficient way to record your audio podcast interviews. Anchor FM After lots of trial and error and over 150 podcast episodes I decided to use Podcast FM. It’s free to use and the resulting recorded audio is clean. What I mean is that there is no hissing, static noises or other background noises in the recording. Best of all Anchor FM is owned by Spotify and it is free to use. Yes, there are a few disadvantages. You can only record an episode up to 30 minutes long. If it is longer you’ll need to stop and continue from where you left off. There’s a mobile app available to record guest interviews and you can go past the 30 minute limit. The one issue with the mobile app version of Anchor FM is that it’s not clean or studio quality. One of the advanced features of using Anchor FM is that you can use music from your Spotify account in your own podcast episodes. Other Apps to Consider as DAWs While I haven’t tried every app on the planet, there are still a few applications that I would like to try out. Because technology in the podcasting space keeps improving so I’m always open to look at a better DAW. The podcast recording apps on my wish list include: Ecamm Live Podcast Studio (it kept crashing when I did a short trial) Alitu Steamyard (I used it to go live on FB and YouTube already) Resonate free online voice recorder Descript (used it to create audiograms and transcripts) Adobe Audition (steep learning curve) Feel free to give them a try for yourself to see if any of them is suitable for your podcast recording needs. The Ideal Recording Setup You have all the items you need to record your podcast but what does an ideal setup look like? Just in case you’re wondering, I don’t have a specific home studio only my Macbook Air and EarPods. If you are on a laptop then you’ll want to have it placed on a flat service without any humming noises. As a Mac user there are certain times when the fan makes noise for a period of time. What I do is shut it down for 30 seconds and power it back up. Ensure that the room that you’re recording in is not empty otherwise the recording will be full of an echo sound. To absorb excess sound use a room with curtains, a bed with linen, a sofa with cushions, carpeted floors, etc. Stay away from appliances that make a humming noise like fridges, freezer, washing machines and anything like that kind of equipment. If you have pets like dogs, birds or ducks be mindful of them interrupting the show. Have your notes, water, a pen and anything else you find necessary nearby before hitting the record button. Approach it with the best attitude so that your mood comes across during the recording. How to Record a Podcast on a Mac Now that you have all the tools that you need to record a podcast episode let me show you the steps I take to record one. What works really well for me is if I plan a series of topics in advance, like 4-8 weeks. The reason for this is that I am able to think of what I want to discuss on the show long before I record it. There are two ways that I find work well. These include writing out the show notes in advance or having a pre-written outline of the show to hand. As I mentioned previously, I don’t have a professional podcasting microphone so I just use my Apple EarPods (wired). 99% of the time I record using my laptop and my show notes and outline are on the screen. Here’s what I have with me when it is time to record an episode. Show notes Apple EarPods Anchor FM (logged and ready to hit record) Intro line All background noises switched off (washing machine, emails) Phone on silent or aeroplane mode Glass of water A stable broadband connection If you are using a DAW for the first time, I suggest that you record 1-5 minutes of your episode and stop. Listen to the recording, to check and see if there are any static, buzzing or background noises. In case there’s hissing, static or buzzing, try different EarPods, microphone or DAW until you find one that produces clean audio. Recording 30-60 Minutes of Audio One of the things that you probably never thought about is the length of time it can take to record a piece of audio. You can get tired during the recording. Also, your voice will not be used to this experience so you may start coughing right in the middle. Advise your guests to relax and have water to hand as well. Remember you can edit out areas where errors occur so don’t panic. Step 1 Log into your DAW (Anchor FM), click on new episode and choose record. Ensure that the input has the correct microphone selected. Step 2 Get your show notes or outline ready for the recording. This can be on paper or onscreen. Add cues or highlight areas of emphasis and have a pen and paper to hand. Step 3 Ensure that you are connected directly to your broadband connection or sit as close as possible to the router. Have a plan B broadband connection if your WiFi is known to have issues. Step 4 Lubricate your voice with water an hour or so before you hit the record button. Empty your bladder 5 minutes before the recording. Have a glass of water nearby in case you need it. Step 5 Do a test run in your head or out loud of the start and first few paragraphs of the episode. Also, practice what you’ll say at the end. Step 6 Ensure anything or anyone that has the potential to cause background noises are switched off, settled or silenced. Kitchen appliances have cycles so you can time these to record at quieter times. Step 7 Visualise yourself recording the podcast and in your mind see that one person in the audience who will be listening to the recording. Do a few warm up exercises that will put you in a mood that’ll make the show sound lively. Step 8 Pop the EarPods in your ears or the microphone in front of you practice flicking between screens if the intro and show notes are in different views. Take one last sip of water, smile, bring on the energy and hit the red record button. Breathe, say your first few lines, settle into the groove and continue recording until the end. When you’re finished click the stop button. Key Take-Aways Post Recording If you made mistakes during the recording, make a note of where those mistakes occurred. Try to leave a long pause after the mistake so that you can identify it easily during post production or editing. When you make a mistake be sure to re-record a clean version of that phrase or sentence after the pause. Even if the recording was a bit lower in volume than you expected it is okay because you can use an audio leveller to increase the volume. Practicing difficult words before recording can stop you from tripping up. It may make sense to do a test run of the guest interview 24 hours before the recording. This is especially helpful if your guest is nervous about technology. You don’t have to say the same thing at the start of each episode, feel free to switch things up. Sometimes you may find yourself needing to record an episode in 2-3 different parts and that’s fine. Just ensure that all the parts are clean audio recordings that you can join together. Summary Recording a podcast on Mac or any device can be very exciting no matter how ofter you do it. It may take you time to find the perfect DAW that is within your budget. Or even one that is suitable to the way you like to record. As you saw in my 3+ years of recording podcast shows I used several before I settle on one. The truth is that I may change again in the future if a better one is available. While everyone is driving themselves crazy about purchasing the best microphone. Remember that you don’t need a professional setup to start recording a podcast. Spend time focusing on the needs of your audience as it will help guide you in the creation process. If the files you create are over 50MB think of how difficult it might be for your listeners to download that file. Frequently Asked Questions 1. Which one of the digital audio workstations work well on Mac and Windows users? Anchor FM is an online podcast recording application so it should work well on Mac and PC too. 2. How to get the best quality audio recording for a podcast? Ensure that the audio being recorded is clean. Which means it is free of buzzing, static, hissing and background noises in your environment? 3. The room I am recording in has an echo, how I do I get rid of that? You’ll need to use soft furnishings like curtains, cushions, bed linen, rugs and pillows to absorb that extra noise. 4. Is it easier to clean up the audio in the editing stage of the creation process? No, depending on the quality of the recording it can cost you between $80 and $350 per episode to get it cleaned. So, it makes more sense to have clean audio recorded. 5. What if the guest I interviewed has a louder microphone compared to mine? This can be adjusted using a sound leveller like Auphonic. 6. I am brand new to podcasting, do you have a resource available showing me how to start a podcast? Yes, you can take a look at how to start a podcast here. 7. Which is easier to start? A blog or a podcast? Take a look at the blog vs podcast comparison here. 8. Where’s the best place to host my podcast show? Apart from Spreaker and Anchor FM, you check out this handy podcast hosting resource here. 9. What about editing my podcast episodes, how do I get that done? There are a few platforms that can help with podcast editing like Zencastr, Podcast Studio, Alitu and Reaper for DIY editing. If you want to outsource this to someone consider using Resonate Production or this Podcast Management service. 10. What’s the best piece of advice you can give someone just starting a podcast? Never go with the popular option blindly, always do a free trial of the hosting, DAWs and editing software. 11. Why can’t I use the internal microphone on my Mac? Because it will capture the sound of everything in the area including the computer fan, any background noise and there’ll be buzzing, static and hissing. Announcement Remember to subscribe to the Success Unscrambled podcast where you will be the first to hear what’s happening in the entrepreneurial and digital marketing world. Your positive review of this podcast is vital to keeping it alive and running for the next 12 – 24 months so please leave a positive 5-star review for us on iTunes, Spotify or any of your favourite podcast players. The one thing that will save you hours of podcast editing is recording a clean episode that’s industry-standard each and every time. While this may sound simple, the easiest way to accomplish this is testing the DAWs on the market to find the best one for you. I started this blog in 2017 because I had a burden on my heart to reduce women illiteracy globally. Because this is a huge undertaking I have decided to help 1,000 women over the next 10 years to become wildly successful in their online business through simplified marketing strategies. That way we can build a strong business network of women who can donate 1% of their profit and together we can help reduce women illiteracy worldwide. Would you like to be part of this movement? Shoot me an email using alvern (at) successunscrambled (dot) com.
28 minutes | 23 days ago
A Blog vs Podcast: Which is Better for Your Small Business Marketing
34 minutes | a month ago
Write Your First Blog Post and Get 1,000 Readers [Blog Post Ideas Incl]
Congratulations on deciding to become a blogger! Do you need to write your first blog post but you don’t know what to write? You’ve probably never classified yourself as a writer at all. To put it bluntly, you don’t see why anyone would ever be interested in your content. The English Literature class at school was super boring for you. Writing English compositions and similar essays were the least pleasurable homework assignments during high school. If only you had a pet dog that ate your homework it would’ve been a good idea and the perfect excuse. Tell me if you can also relate to these. Despite your checkered past when it comes to writing long form essays, you want to give blog writing your best shot. There’s so much information out there about what to write that it has left you confused. Technical blogging terminology sounds too scary to understand and you feel a little lost. You just need a way to start your blog off right to avoid future regrets. In this post, you’ll learn everything you need so that you can write your first blog post confidently and get your first 1,000 blog readers as well. Latest Blogging Statistics Before diving into this first blog post guide let’s spend some time looking at the statistics when it comes to blogging. It’s important to look at blogging statistics because it will give you a frame of reference. So, you already know that there are close to 8 billion people on planet earth at the moment. However, you may not know that there are over 1.7 billion websites and about 600 million of them are blogs. That’s about 13 people for each and every blog. In terms of active bloggers in the US alone there are about 32 million. If you will be blogging for the USA, don’t let that number worry you because blogging categories are endless. The current rate of newly created blog posts stands at 70 million new posts a month. While that may all sound overwhelming you also need to be aware that there are close to 90,000 searches conducted on Google every second. Those searches include people looking for content that you have not even written yet. Bloggers who spend 6 hours or more on a blog post report a 31% increase in results. If you can’t see yourself spending that much time on a blog post yet don’t worry right now. Here’s a strange statistic, 73% of people prefer reading articles less than 1,000 words long. On the flip side of that, blogs earning $50,000 or more a year have blog posts averaging 2,500 in length. To summarise these statistics in a lump, profitable bloggers are those who spend 6 hours or more crafting blog posts that are 2500 words long as they attract some of those 90,000 searches per second. This will all make sense in a bit so stick with me until the end. Types of Blogs If you have been doing some research you’ll notice that there are all different types of blogs that you can create. In fact, when I first started blogging over 10 years ago these blog types weren’t as clear cut. After creating over 100 blogs I can tell you that getting this right is super important. The reason for this is that your blog type will determine the type of blog posts that you create for years to come. Here’s a list of the different types of blogs. Niche Guest Teaching Journey Lifestyle Curation Let’s briefly look at each one to help you decide your chosen blog type. Niche As the name suggests a niche blog is one that is super focused on one specific topic. When I say super focused, I mean that the topic is very narrow. A great example of a super-focused topic is gaming mice for left-handed gamers. What is unique about this blog type is that there’s no need to write hundreds of blog posts. The flip side of that is that you may need to create 10 different niche blogs to achieve your income goals. Guest If you haven’t figured it out as yet a guest blog type is one where many bloggers are invited to write as contributors. You as the owner will get help from other writers in your industry to write content every month. The good thing about this blog type is that you don’t have to do all the work. The downside of this blog type is that you have less control over the quality of the content unless you hire an editor. Teaching You may decide to set up a blog in such a way that teaches your audience about a topic like fly fishing, gardening or even sewing. Every week you write about a different area that you want to teach about and invite readers to try it out themselves. It can be a fun way to develop your blog if you enjoy teaching. However, it means that you need to constantly come up with new ideas or things to create. Journey The journey blog type is a bit tricky because as the name suggests it is all about you documenting your journey to achieve a goal. For example, a journey can be how I grew my blog from 0 to 1 million followers in 3 years. Another example could be 0 to six figures a month, my step by step journey. It is a very exciting blog type because your followers want to see how you did it. They want to be part of the experience with you. Lifestyle Believe it or not, the lifestyle blog type is very popular among bloggers because it allows you to write about whatever is happening in your life. Unlike the journey blog there is no end goal just weekly updates on things that you are working on. While this may seem pretty aimless and bland it can be very rewarding and exciting if you are a celebrity. If you are already a celebrity or influencer you’ll already have a following. Curation The final blog type is the curation blog. If you never heard of curation in your life it basically means that you take content from other blogs and blend them together. At first it may sound like a terrible idea because it sounds like stealing. Lol!! However, curating other people’s content is an acceptable practice if done correctly. You need to ensure that you put your own spin on the piece you create and give credit to the content originators. Of these 6 different types of blogs, only 4 of them grow really fast compared to the other two. In fact, out of the 6, there’s one blog type that is super fast to create. This blog type is one of the fastest growing in the industry. If you create this blog type you can expect to go from 0 to 100,000 page views a month in under a year. Do you know which blog type grows the fastest? Grab this resource to learn about the 4 fastest growing blog types in the industry today. Blog Post Types As I mentioned previously, the type of blog that you create will help determine the type of blog posts you’ll write. So, what are the different types of blog posts anyway? Well, let’s take a quick look at them. List Comparison post Tutorial Resource Ultimate guide While that list may seem straight-forward at first, it can be very easy to get confused on the different types of blog posts. List As the name suggests a list post is a blog post with a list of items showing you how to accomplish a goal. For example, 11 painful reasons why you fail to increase blog traffic. Or 13 simple stupid ways to grow your blog traffic. One clever thing to remember when writing a list post is that if you promise 7 ways be sure to give your reader all 7 ways and number each point. Comparison post The next blog post type on the list is a comparison post. Unless you absolutely enjoy writing these types of posts I wouldn’t suggest this as your first blog post. These posts are very valuable for your followers who are very close to making a decision on two items. For example, I wrote one recently about Canva pro vs free right here. A great benefit of this blog post type is that it gives you the opportunity to write an honest review. I must warn you that it can take time to write this blog post type because it can be 2000+ words in length. Tutorial post A tutorial post is one where you are walking someone through how to do something like use a product or service. As you can imagine this type of blog post is very helpful for your reader. It is helpful because you help them to save time, overwhelm and they get to experience all the benefits of that product or service. Think of it as you giving them a shortcut to success. Recently, I wrote a tutorial post about how to use TweetDeck here. You’ll notice how I took my readers by the hand and showed them everything about TweetDeck. Resource At some point during your blogging career you would have written many posts that can be placed into the format of a resource. A good example of this is if you are a lifestyle blogger and over the years you create a ton of articles on everything related about the back to school season. It now means that you can create a post that is a back to school resource. In my case, I wrote about 100 blogging resources and tools here. Ultimate Guide You’ve probably seen this type of blog post around in the past. A blog post that is an ultimate guide is like a cornerstone post. This is because it really goes in depth about a topic and covers it from several different angles. The best way to describe it is a blog post that answers every question about a certain topic. Ultimate guides tend to be very comprehensive and can be 8,000 to 10,000 words in length. I will never suggest writing this as your first blog post because you’ll find it frustrating. You can see my ultimate blog planner here as an example. Feel free to compare it with my ultimate Instagram scheduler post as well. Search Engine Optimisation Now that you know all about the different types of blogs as well as the post types it’s time to look at search engine optimisation (SEO). SEO is important because it helps you to conduct research before you choose a topic. However, it can take a long time for your post to get the first impression from Google search. While it may seem exciting to write about anything that pops into your head. It’s more important to write about what people are searching for in Google. If you remember I mentioned earlier that there are close to 90,000 searches in the Google search engine every second. That adds up to over 7.776 billion searches in 24 hours. Wouldn’t it be nice if your potential followers can find your blog post? To ensure that happens you need to do your research to see what your potential clients are searching for in Google. When you find that out then there are a few things you need to consider before choosing the topic. Does the topic match your blog? What’s the user intent? Consider the next best step after they finish reading Will this topic actually give you a return on your investment? Can you answer all their questions? Do you have the ability to optimise the blog post sufficiently to rank? A few years ago it was okay to write whatever you want in your blog. However, Google has implemented so many rules because they care about the user so much. It is probably one of the reasons why lifestyle blogs are so popular. You can basically write about everything and anything for it to match your blog content. One thing that new bloggers find very difficult is understanding SEO which is why I created two resources to help you out. SEO for beginners is the first step to helping you to grasp the basics. While this SEO checklist is the next step to help you rank in Google. Blog Income One of the factors that will help you to choose a blog type is the potential income that your blog will generate. As a blogger there are several ways to generate income online. These ways include the following: Services Affiliate income Ad Networks Courses Sponsored posts Just by looking at this list, you’ll realise that only two of these sources of blog income are passive while the other 3 involve some extra work. Yes, you can easily argue that creating a course is a ‘set it and forget it’ activity but that really depends on your niche. For example, my niche is digital marketing so if I create a course it means I’ll need to update it every 6-12 months. In my opinion, services and affiliate income are the two easiest ones to help you start earning an income straight away. As your blog grows in daily and monthly traffic levels your income from Ad networks like Adsense, Ezoic and/or Mediavine will also increase. You’ll also get pitches constantly from brands who don’t want to pay you a minimum of $250 per sponsored post. Just ignore them because it would be worth the wait. Are you wondering which blog niches make the most money? It is definitely something to consider before you write your first blog post. Only 6 blog niches are the most profitable and you can learn more here. Blog Post Ideas You are probably super excited to start writing your first blog post so I am going to help you by giving you access to a ton of first blog post ideas. There’s nothing worse than facing a blank screen as a blogger when it’s time to write a blog post. Even after 10 years experience I sometimes face a blank screen not because I don’t have a list of possible topics but because I have to choose a topic that fits a timeframe. As I mentioned previously, the most successful bloggers spend 6 hours on a single blog post. Many of my blog posts tend to be 3,000 to 8,000 words in length so I have to consider how much writing time I have in order to choose a topic. One of the secrets to never experience writer’s block is to always be on the lookout for topics. For example, I have a collection on Facebook that is set up to save blog post ideas. You can also take a look at these blog topics for lifestyle bloggers. As well as these topics for food bloggers right here. Did you know that not all blog topics are created equal? What I mean is that there are some blog topics that are higher in demand compared to other types of topics. So, if you need blog post ideas that are considered popular blog topics go here. However, if you prefer to check out topics with even higher searches then grab these most searched blog topics over here. In total, I have given you access to over 2,500 blog post ideas so that you can pick and choose according to your needs. Blog Post Outline Too often, new bloggers spend a lot of time stressing about their blog post outline when it is not as important as it seems. Yes, there needs to be a structure to follow when creating blog posts. This can be done in a few simple steps. In fact, the structure actually helps you more with research compared to the actual writing itself. When you consider your target audience and how they read or consume your content then you’ll understand the best way to structure your posts. For example, a food blogger will have a completely different outline when compared to a blogger writing about fly fishing. A great way to develop an outline is to have a beginning, an end as well as an objective. It is important to have an objective because it helps you ensure that your audience achieves a goal by consuming your content in an easy way. For example, the objective of a food blogger with a recipe post is that anyone can take his/her recipe and make it at home without the need for too many specialist ingredients. Think about it, if the recipe is too difficult to replicate then that blog post has failed miserably. The same applies to your blog post, what’s the end goal? If you are writing for the sake of writing you’re missing the point. Let’s look at a simple outline now. Objective Introduction (mention objective inside the introduction) First subheading (develop the need for your content, give a definition or statistics or talk about the problem) Second subheading (what your reader needs in order to experience success) Third subheading (a few things to consider on your journey) Fourth subheading (this is how you do it, the solution step by step) Bonus subheading (optional, sometimes I may include a bonus or unexpected freebie) Summary (recount what they learned) Conclusion (closing remarks) Now that you have an outline to work with it is important to remember that when you write your first blog post it should be user friendly and SEO friendly. In other words, the search engines should be able to crawl it and index it appropriately. Remember to include keywords, title tags, alt tags for images and a meta description. Also, your readers should find it easy to consume the content and accomplish their goals. How to Get Your First 1,000 Blog Readers After you click publish for the first time you’ll notice that you will not get much traffic or a lot of readers instantly. In fact, you’ll need to promote it across different social networks to get a lot of people to your blog. Social shares can also help your blog get social signals that help with ranking. It will be a great idea to create your social media accounts before publishing your first post. One clever way to get more readers quickly while you wait for your blog post to show up in the search results is to promote it on Pinterest. Pinterest is a visual search engine so there are rules and practices that you’ll need to implement to get results to your blog. The first thing you need to do is get a great understanding of Pinterest SEO and how that will work for you. Also, spend time researching Pinterest keywords as this will help you master the platform faster. Although Pinterest group boards are not as popular as they used to be they are still useful for getting your content in front of your audience. If you have a marketing budget available consider using the Tailwind App to automate your daily pinning process. You can take a look at my review of Tailwind here to get a step by step overview. To get even more out of Pinterest consider taking a look at these courses here. My Blog Promotion Ninja course is free for you to access as well. How to Get Better Results The biggest mistake that bloggers make when it comes to SEO is not conducting any keyword research. There’s a free guide here to help you with DIY SEO tools. Set up an editing process that will help you check for grammar errors, spelling and developing a great headline. Believe it or not your writing skills will develop over time. As part of my blogging process, I write inside WordPress and use a combination of Google Drive and Google docs as the best place to keep a copy of every blog post safe. I normally start with a working title that I develop as I write and edit the blog post. Using good hooks in your first blog entry can help you gain repeat visitors. Feel free to check out this list of catchy titles that will help you formulate your very own unique hooks. If you are stuck on a post type to write then choose list posts to get started on your journey. Choose a blog post topic and use the simple formula above to write your outline. Ensure that you use keywords wisely, have good blog post introductions and solve your readers’ problem. Doing this will bring you a steady stream of new readers over time. Cover all the main points and feel free to sprinkle in your own experiences as this is your own blog. Developing a successful blog after you click the publish button on your next post as well as future posts involves adding internal links to new and existing posts. Your first blog post could also be an introductory post but it doesn’t need to be as you can introduce yourself on the about me page. The good news about blogging is that you don’t need to be an English teacher and you can develop your own writing style along the way. Did you know that when I started this blog a few years ago I disliked writing? The thought of writing a blog post weekly made me feel ill. Summary As a new blogger, you may struggle in several areas but it is important to remember that creating and mastering a blog is a journey. It will take time to get the hang of things in the first few months. Depending on the blog niche, type and posts that you create you can experience results quickly or slowly. You will need to develop a great blogging schedule in order to blog consistently every week. Here’s a summary of what was covered. Blogging statistics Types of blogs Blog post types SEO Income from your blog 2,500 blog post ideas Blog post outline Getting your first 1,000 readers How to get better results Yes, it will seem like a lot of work initially but it is so worth it if you stick to an established process in the next 3-5 years. Over to you, what do you think you need now to write your first blog post? Announcements Remember to subscribe to the Success Unscrambled podcast where you will be the first to hear what’s happening in the entrepreneurial and digital marketing world. Your positive review of this podcast is vital to keeping it alive and running for the next 12 – 24 months so please leave a positive 5-star review for us on iTunes, Spotify or any of your favourite podcast players. When I first started this blog I didn’t believe that it would survive the first 6 months. After all who am I and why would anyone listen to me? I started this blog in 2017 because I had a burden on my heart to reduce women illiteracy globally. Because this is a huge undertaking I have decided to help 1,000 women over the next 10 years to become wildly successful in their online business through simplified marketing strategies. That way we can build a strong business network of women who can donate 1% of their profit and together we can help reduce women illiteracy worldwide. Would you like to be part of this movement? Shoot me an email using alvern (at) successunscrambled (dot) com.
26 minutes | a month ago
How to Use TweetDeck to Find Opportunities [7 Things You Need to Know]
Are you wondering how to use TweetDeck to manage or get the most out of Twitter? One of the ways to stay abreast of what’s happening in the world is to use a social network like Twitter. If you’re like me and you dislike being fed items that have been selected by someone else to broadcast on the airwaves then stay tuned for alternatives. While this article is not a rant on who’s taking sides when it comes to what the media publishes daily. It is an educational piece to help guide you into choosing the options best suited to your needs. Tell me if these sound relatable. You’re sick and tired of wading through a ton of content every day that is irrelevant to your needs and interests. Nearly every time you switch on the television or radio station you lose the ability to be selective about your news choices. Even when you decide to use platforms like Facebook or Instagram there’s still the challenge of finding something interesting to digest. If only there was a way to set up your own selective news channels so that you get a real choice. In this post, you’ll learn how to use TweetDeck to get very selective about the choice and sentiment of the content in your own private feeds. What is TweetDeck If you’ve never heard of TweetDeck before or you’ve been meaning to take it for a spin this is your 2-minute description of this fabulous customisable tool. TweetDeck is a social media dashboard application with functionality for managing Twitter accounts in real-time. Think of a single interface to stream tweets across different types of columns and still access your home feed. It was first released back in 2008 by Iain Dodsworth and was later acquired by Twitter in May 2011. This makes TweetDeck one of the only native Twitter apps where you’ll get the latest tweets in a standalone setting. You can think of TweetDeck with desktop client functionality to give you a bird’s eye view of the things that you would like to see on Twitter. Essentially, it gives you the ability to streamline the things you would like to see and eliminate the ones you don’t want to see. A great way to visualise this dashboard is seeing it as a tool to reduce the overwhelm associated with the Twitter platform. There are at least 5 things that you can do on TweetDeck that’s not available as standard directly on the Twitter platform. Let’s spend some time looking at some Twitter statistics so that you can see why using TweetDeck can be a game-changer for you. Twitter Statistics If I asked you how many people use Twitter daily you probably wouldn’t know because it is not as popular as Facebook and Instagram. On a daily basis, there are over 187 million people using Twitter regularly. According to this report by Hootsuite. The average age range is 25 to 34 and in terms of gender 70% of the users are male. Over 59% of people using Twitter use it as their source of daily news which is truly eye-opening. 5.8% of the world’s population over 13 can be reached using Twitter Ads. In terms of the predicted growth rate, Twitter is forecasted to grow by 2.4% this year. What’s really surprising is that Twitter is the number one social media platform in Japan. When it comes to ranking in mobile apps worldwide, the Twitter app ranks in 6th place. Have you ever wondered which are the top 5 user accounts on Twitter? Well, at the time of writing this post here are the top 5 Twitter profiles. Barack Obama Justin Beiber Katy Perry Rhianna Cristiano Ronaldo I don’t know about you but I would have never guessed that Barack Obama would be the number one followed account on Twitter. It’s great to see that at least two women made it in the top 5 seeing that Twitter is a male-dominated social media platform. TweetDeck Features Before looking at how to use TweetDeck let’s spend some time looking at the features that are available natively inside the application. TweetDeck is available as a standalone web application or desktop app. Unlike any third-party application available in the market, it allows you to conduct an advanced search. You’ll be prompted to sign in using Twitter after navigating to their web page or after downloading the app. Simply enter your Twitter details and you’ll be ready to use all that makes TweetDeck special. Dashboard Whenever you log into the application you’ll be presented with a dashboard where you can see everything that’s happening based on how you set it up. Ideally, you’ll have lists of different columns based on your Twitter feed (accounts you follow, etc) which is also known as your home feed. You can also have columns set up to see your direct messages, notifications and hashtags that you follow. There’s also the option to have collections but I’ll cover that later. Options On the left-hand side, you’ll see a menu giving you a number of options for you to choose. These options include ‘add column’, accounts, settings as well as any columns that you already have set up with notifications and hashtags. Add column As the name implies, ‘add column’ gives you the ability to add as many columns as you want. You can think of it as your customised news feeds. I think it is amazing because they are very flexible to move around and you can add and delete them as you need. In other words, you are not locked into a specific choice for a long period of time. Accounts It is amazing that you also have the ability to manage multiple accounts from a single dashboard. This means that you can also manage Twitter accounts for your clients. If you run a marketing agency, you can also give your team access to your client’s accounts without giving them the password. Settings In the settings area, there are a few options that may come in handy over time. The settings area is found by the gear icon. You’ll get access to keyboard shortcuts, search tips and a further settings menu that looks very similar to the one below. Profile When I click on my profile name it just brings me to an image with a summary of all my important Twitter statistics. Information like the number of followers vs following, total tweets, lists as well as the date I joined Twitter with this specific account. You’ll also have the option to filter by any of the items with the icons at the bottom. So, in my case, I’ll be able to drill down and see tweets, mentions, lists, collections and likes. Team members TweetDeck is great for individual users. However, if you are running a social media marketing agency, TweetDeck can help you manage multiple Twitter accounts. As you can imagine you’ll also need a team of social media managers to manage those accounts. This is where the team management aspect of TweetDeck becomes invaluable. Simply click on accounts and you’ll see the ‘manage team’ option. It will allow you to keep the passwords of your clients secure because there’ll be no need to share your client’s password. When you click on manage team, you’ll be brought to a screen to add your team members. How to Use TweetDeck to Manage Twitter Now that you know how to find your way around the TweetDeck platform let’s look at specific ways to use it to make life easier. While it offers a very simple interface don’t underestimate the powerful features of this useful tool. It allows you to conduct powerful Twitter searches using particular words or specific topics. You can even do a deep dive into a single user like a verified user with the blue icon. It’s great for news stories as well as any Twitter content that you find useful to boost your small business. 1. Social Listening As a social media manager, you may need to conduct a 60-90 day social listening exercise for a client or your company. TweetDeck can help you accomplish this very easily using the columns feature. Simply click on the add column feature and click on the magnifying glass or search option. It will bring you to the top left search area where you can enter your specific hashtag or if you want, a specific account. You’ll see in the above example I did a search for the Canva account on Twitter. When I click on Canva I get a view that looks at their profile statistics. You can choose to listen to their tweets or mentions or even take a closer look at their lists and likes by adding it to a column. When I click on likes it gives me this preview and I can decide to add it as a column inside TweetDeck. 2. Sentiment Search At the start of this post, I mentioned having the ability to create feeds that give you the information you want and excluding everything else. Well, did you know that you can have only positive news and exclude everything that will affect you negatively? If you are a social media manager you’ll know how important it is to track the sentiment of tweets. Especially if you are managing multiple Twitter clients. One clever way to accomplish this is by adding the positive emoji after your search term. For example, if I am looking for positive tweets about things happening in New York, I would do a search for “New York :)”. Here are the results between positive and negative sentiments. Social media managers know that keeping a positive sentiment of a brand or business is very important to their success. This is why setting up a permanent social media listening campaign for sentiment will help them stay ahead of potential challenges. 3. Twitter Chats If you are one of my regular listeners or readers you’ll know that I believe that participating in Twitter chats are so powerful. In fact, I participated in one just over 6 months ago and it was so much fun. Without a tool like TweetDeck, it can be very difficult to follow Twitter chats on the native platform. That’s why using the TweetDeck dashboard can help you to keep your finger on the pulse of your favourite chats on Twitter by adding a specific column for that stream. Here’s the stream for #vcbuzz. 4. Collections One of my favourite features on TweetDeck is collections. The reason why it is cool is that it allows you to add tweets into groups called collections. You’ll literally have your own separate collection column with a list of recent tweets that you want to save. Let me give you an example of using this feature. If you were doing some research via social listening and you found a few posts across several columns that you wanted to save for later. There isn’t a way to do this natively on Twitter so this is why collections are so important. Here are three streams or columns where I am listening to content related to social media. However, it will be difficult for me to keep up with all this content every day so what I can do is save the ones I want to a collection. Add a column click on collection then create a collection and give it a name. After giving it a name, click ‘save’. After your collection has been created simply click on the 3 dots on the post you wish to save and you’ll see the option to save it to a collection. This feature alone can allow you to have your very own Tweet collection that will help you stay on top of important Tweets. 5. Filtering Another way to get the absolute best content for your collections is by filtering your feeds by engagement. What I mean by that is that you have the ability to apply a global filter to each column. There are many filters available as you’ll see but adding engagement filters means that you only save the content that is performing well. Simply click on the area up top that looks like volume controls. You’ll be presented with a drop-down menu for each category like content, location, Tweet authors and engagement. Always remember that you can filter by location, author, content and engagement inside TweetDeck columns. After filtering, you’ll have a stream of tweets that are carefully curated for you to use. 6. Schedule Tweets One of the most exciting features inside TweetDeck is the ability to schedule tweets for a specific time. While you can get similar kind of features inside other social media schedulers not many of them are very Twitter-specific. The ability to schedule a tweet natively on Twitter is also not possible at the time of writing this post. Depending on the size of your marketing agency you may have a team focused only on Twitter accounts for clients. This is where TweetDeck comes in to save the day. What’s truly awesome about this feature is that it not only allows you to upload images. You can also add alt text catering to those who are visually impaired. It will auto-post your scheduled tweet for you so that you can get back to doing what you love. 7. Twitter Lists As you probably already know creating and using Twitter lists is a very powerful way to get seen by influencers. Well, TweetDeck has the ability to 10X your results when you add layers of filters on your list feeds. The best way to accomplish this is by adding a specific column that would accommodate the feed from your lists. Here’s a cross-section of my created lists, plus lists that I follow or I’m subscribed to at the time of this post. If you want to find a specific set of tweets that are made by verified users, contain videos and belong to a specific Twitter list you can do just that inside TweetDeck. Simply add a column for a specific list then add your filters. How to Use TweetDeck to Spot Business Opportunities Now that you’ve become a TweetDeck Ninja, let’s look at how to use it to spot opportunities for your business. Previously, you saw how to set up a long-term social listening campaign using TweetDeck. Well, using the same concept you can make a list of your top 5-10 competitors and listen to their customer feedback. After making a list of your top competitors, make sure you obtain their Twitter handles or profile names. Head over to TweetDeck, search for their Twitter handle one by one and hit enter. This will automatically set up a new column for each competitor. Here are three examples of how I did it for Amazon, Spotify and Facebook. Amazon When I set up the new column for Amazon, I entered the sad emoji in the top bar. Doing this helped me to filter out everything else and see all recent customer complaints. As you can see there are quite a number of people complaining about their experience with Amazon on Twitter. Spotify It probably never occurred to you that a platform like Spotify also experiences negative customer feedback. However, remember that the larger you become as an organisation, the easier it is to get stuff wrong. Customers also have no problem with using social media to voice their concerns. It appears that Spotify updated their app and accidentally removed a feature in this release. You can also see that finding a specific music item on Spotify is proving difficult for some customers. Facebook If you have been using Facebook for a number of years, you’ll be aware of the fact that there can be a lot of challenges with the platform. People experiencing account lock-out and spambots infiltrating groups are just a few of the plethora of issues. Of course, for you as a small business, these are just examples and your competitors may not be as big as these industry giants. Think of your 5-10 competitors and the kind of complaints they would experience. Set up your social listening campaigns and see what kind of diamonds you can uncover. Summary Prior to reading this post, you must have seen Twitter as just another social media platform with a lot of noise and heavily biased information. However, with the help of TweetDeck, you can now consume content on Twitter by streamlining feeds to meet your needs. In fact, learning how to use TweetDeck has literally turned the way you viewed Twitter in the past. You now have the ability to create carefully curated lists, columns and feeds which is like creating your media experience on demand. Using TweetDeck regularly means that you’ll need to create a new habit where you design a media lifestyle to suit your preferences. Because it is available as a web browser and desktop application you can take your curated media feed with you wherever you go. It is not currently available as a mobile app (the alternative solution is Hootsuite). Goodbye depressing news, hello unique media feed by design. Over to you what has been your experience using TweetDeck. Announcements Remember to subscribe to the Success Unscrambled podcast where you will be the first to hear what’s happening in the entrepreneurial and digital marketing world. Your positive review of this podcast is vital to keeping it alive and running for the next 12 – 24 months so please leave a positive 5-star review for us on iTunes, Spotify or any of your favourite podcast players. Entrepreneurs generate income from solving big problems and challenges. You can find these gaps using TweetDeck quite easily. I started this blog in 2017 because I had a burden on my heart to reduce women illiteracy globally. Because this is a huge undertaking I have decided to help 1,000 women over the next 10 years to become wildly successful in their online business through simplified marketing strategies. That way we can build a strong business network of women who can donate 1% of their profit and together we can help reduce women illiteracy worldwide. Would you like to be part of this movement? Shoot me an email using alvern (at) successunscrambled (dot) com.
44 minutes | a month ago
ClickUp vs Trello vs Asana [the Best Project Management Software Comparison]
If you run a serviced based business and you’re wondering what to use among ClickUp vs Trello vs Asana then this project management software comparison is for you. In many service-led businesses, there is a growing requirement to modernise the way projects are managed. This is especially when true when there are external contractors or subcontractors. Whether you are an interior designer, run a marketing agency or are a business coach. You’ll be very familiar with the daily struggle of being able to streamline subcontractors and projects to enhance business efficiency. Let me know if this sounds relatable. There are multiple clients on your books at different stages of the project cycle. Some clients go for your full-service package while others may go only for one of the smaller packages. However, you need to manage all these clients using the same resources as contractors or set up a similar workflow. You are hoping for a way to automate or semi-automate the processing of all the work and milestones. In this post, you’ll learn the similarities and differences when it comes to using ClickUp, Trello and Asana to manage projects and clients. Disclosure: Please note that this post may contain affiliate links which means that if you buy one of my recommended products I get paid a commission for sharing the link at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products that I have tried myself and have experienced success. What Does Good Project Management Software Look Like? In case you’ve never used any kind of project management software let me spend some time looking at what makes them good. As the name implies, any software with the name project management on the badge should at least help you manage projects. The reality is it should help you to manage many projects and resources at the same time. When it comes to agency work the rule of thumb is that you should have one project manager for every 7 clients. So if you have 28 clients you should have 4 project managers accessing the software to manage those clients seamlessly. What do I mean by managing projects? Well, at a very high level, handling clients and subcontractors should look something like this. Processing client intake forms Assessing client needs Managing payments and contracts Onboarding new clients Assigning tasks to contractors or subcontractors Completing their work Getting approvals and sign-offs Off-boarding clients As you will realise there is a lot more that goes into managing client projects but I’ve decided to keep it brief. Is it possible to do all these tasks in ClickUp, Trello and Asana? Let’s take a look and see. ClickUp – Everything Revealed ClickUp started in 2017 by co-founders Alex Yurkowski and Zeb Evans. Based in San Diego, California, their legal name is Mango Technologies Inc. Did you know that my favourite fruits of all time are mangoes? Well, as I child growing up I use to collect buckets of them as there were tons of mango trees everywhere. Anyway, I digress, they have received a total of $137 million in funding to develop a good project management tool. The ClickUp tag line is “one app to replace them all”. Is it possible that you can use one tool to manage all your projects? Let’s look at ClickUp in more detail. Pricing models There are currently 4 pricing plans available to suit every budget including a free version. Even if you upgrade to the ‘Unlimited plan’, you’ll only be paying an extra $5 per person. With a team of 10, you’ll be looking at $50 per month. One of the best ways to become familiar with a new piece of software is to take the free trial for a spin. That way you can see if this is something that will revolutionise the way you do business. Guest Access If you are wondering about those contractors that you need to bring on per project you’ll be happy to hear that ClickUp gives you guest access at all levels. Check out this overview of what guest access looks like for each pricing plan. So, what does that mean exactly? Well, let me show you how to assign guests inside the system with a real example. Here’s a ClickUp content calendar plan that is inside my version, you can also call it a content management system. Say for example you have a contractor or virtual assistant that needs access to create content. You can only give him or her full access because I’m using the free plan. In the following screenshots, you can see what it is like to give them access Add their email address in the space provided and you’re brought to this screen below. You’ll notice that I’ll need to upgrade to the unlimited plan to give this person a more restricted permission set. ClickUp Structure As with many project management software, ClickUp has a number of levels. In fact, there are 5 levels or possibly 6 if you count in subtasks. When you use ClickUp for the first time you’ll notice that it has a user-friendly interface with all the bright colours available. The levels in ClickUp include the following; Workspace – org Spaces Folders Lists Tasks Subtasks Think of spaces like a hub inside a company, like administration. Folders will be the various aspects of operations like accounting + finance, customer service and systems. Lists will be everything inside that area of the business or the workflow of customer services like onboarding processing and off-boarding if you’re a service business. Each list is broken down into tasks as necessary and those tasks can have subtasks and even checklists. If you run an agency, you can have the ‘Spaces’ labelled as clients and each client can be assigned their own folder. Then inside the client’s list will be tasks and subtasks to be completed for them. Different views One thing that is really unique about ClickUp is the fact that you can see your project tasks in many different views. It’s almost as if ClickUp is an ice cream parlour offering many different flavours of ice cream with the option to have a blended view. The views that are available in the free plan include. List view Board view Calendar view Gantt view Mind map view Table view Document view Timeline view Activity view Map view Workload view Chat view Dashboard view To be honest, I think that ClickUp is giving away everything for free. Imagine having access to all these options without the need to upgrade. List view Are you someone who likes to see your tasks in a list format? If yes, then you’ll enjoy using the list view immensely. When I change that content calendar to a list view this is what it looks like. Board view The board view is one that consists of several kanban boards. This is my favourite view as I find the list view overwhelming to a certain extent. Calendar view As you can imagine it is essentially a view that lets you see all your tasks daily or monthly. Some users of ClickUp like to use this view to schedule all their unscheduled tasks. You even have the ability to use the ‘me’ mode using the calendar view. The ‘me’ mode is a view where you see only tasks assigned to you. Gantt chart view One of the best ways to see all your tasks weekly, monthly or annually is using the Gantt chart view. You’ll be able to easily spot areas where you need to add resources or more clients. Mind map view Are you as crazy about mind maps as I am? If yes, then you can quickly and easily create mind maps from scratch right within ClickUp or you can turn a list into a mind map. See screenshot below. Table view Does the thought of using spreadsheets excite you? The cool thing is that you don’t need to export your tasks into Excel or Google sheets. You can simply turn your tasks into a table view with one click. Document view On the topic of spreadsheets, maybe you like to complete work using a standard document. For sure, you can achieve that by creating a document view. What is even more exciting is the fact that you can have a table and even a checklist inside of the document which is a great option and so cool. Chat view Have you ever wondered if it is possible to have real-time conversations inside a project management software? Well, now you can do just that inside of ClickUp with their chat view. It will obviously make sense to have more than one team member for that conversation to happen. I have to tell you that you’ll love chatting inside ClickUp because the chat feature comes as standard with commands. Think of it as a cross between Slack and direct messaging on Instagram. You can literally create tables, add images and even add checklists inside the chat. There’s even the ability to embed data from external apps right inside the chat. Dashboard view Another cool feature inside ClickUp is the ability to create dashboards allowing you to see all tasks across several spaces. The advantage of this view is that you have the ability to identify bottlenecks, productivity and areas where you can increase resources. To create a dashboard simply head over to the dashboard area on the bottom left and use the widget feature to customise your dashboard. Other views Some of the other views available that are included when you upgrade to the unlimited version are the box view and form view. The form view is a great resource to use as a client intake form. What I really admire about ClickUp is the ease of use as well as the ability to set any view as your default view by saving it or pinning it. Task Management As ClickUp is a project management platform it would be important for you to see how to handle task management for your small business. In fact, managing tasks is pretty simple as it involves creating tasks and including as much information as possible. The next step will be to assign the tasks and add a due date. You do have the option to add subtasks and/or checklists if that is a requirement. What you’ll like about ClickUp is that you can do this by clicking on the desired icons in the board view. Or you can click on each task and add a detailed description as well as images and attachments. Custom Fields The one thing that makes ClickUp one of the best project management tools in the market is the fact that they give you the option to create custom fields. In the screenshot where I showed the task view, you’ll see that there are 31 empty fields. Those are custom fields that I created for the content calendar. Let’s take a closer look to see what these can do for your business. The options for custom fields include. Dropdown list Text area Date field Number field URL field Progress bar All very cool and flexible options to help you customise ClickUp to suit the way you work. Automations One of the most fascinating features of ClickUp is automations. It is amazing because it can get very granular in what it can do for small businesses. Automatons can only be created at the list level on ClickUp. Earlier I mentioned that ClickUp has 6 levels, Workspace-> Spaces -> Folders -> Lists -> Tasks -> Subtasks. A great way to use automations is by using it to automatically create a task inside a list when a task or subtask is completed. Or when the status has changed. The cool thing about ClickUp automations is that you have the ability to auto-populate information from a previous task into the newly created task. How to Create an Automation on ClickUp Step 1 Decide what you want to automate. A few examples include; Sending an email to someone once a task is completed Creating a task in another list when a task changes status Moving a task to another list once a due date arrives Assigning someone to a task when moved to a new list Step 2 Write out exactly what you want to happen before and after the automation. In this example, I’m going to create a task in a new list once the status changes. You will notice that I have two lists under my content calendar inside ClickUp. Imagine I have a separate team (graphic designer + videographer) that creates my content. I would like a new task to be created on my content creation list when a task on my content calendar workflow list moves from ‘researching’ to ‘creating’. Step 3 Create the automation by carefully selecting all the variables. Automation in ClickUp works on a “when this happens, then do that” scenario. So, my automation will be when the status of the task changes from researching to creating, create a task in the content creation list. Give the task the name of “Content ready for creation”, assign it to the status labelled “content format” and pull the description from the existing task over to the new one. Assign a start date that is one day after the trigger and set a due date of 5 days after the trigger. Did you know that you have the ability to create such comprehensive automations inside ClickUp? Integrations While ClickUp may not have everything that you need available natively inside the platform they do give you access to over 63 native integrations. There are 1,000+ more available using the Zapier platform. In case you are migrating from Asana or Trello to ClickUp, you have the ability to import all your data using the native features available in ClickUp. You can access the full list of ClickUp native integrations by going here. After seeing all these features it will help you understand why ClickUp is one of the best Asana alternatives on the market. Trello In 2010, after doing a number of internal explorations for potential software and developing a prototype in 2011, Fog Creek Software launched Trello in September 2011. However, in 2017 Trello was acquired by Atlassian to start the next chapter of Trello’s journey. Trello Pricing Plan If you have been using Trello for a number of years, you’ll notice that after the acquisition the features on the free plan has been reduced. You’re now limited to creating 10 boards on your account. The good news is that you can have unlimited cards and members. However, you’ll also notice that with the business class plan (a paid plan) there are 4 new views introduced to the Trello family suite. These include the Dashboard, Timeline, Team Table and Calendar views. You’ll also get access to unlimited boards. Basic Structure in Trello In order to understand the differences between Trello vs ClickUp let’s look at their features in detail. At a very basic level Trello is made up of boards that contain statuses and each status is made up of a list of cards. A Trello board has a kanban style view of all the tasks under each status. Creating a new board creates a new project. You can decide to set up your board in such a way that your tasks would need to go through each status in order to get to completion. The other option is to set up your board by weeks so that all tasks to be accomplished over a 12 week period sits under its designated week. See example below. Guest Access in Trello When it comes to guest access, this is only available with the business class plan of Trello as single-board guests. There’s also an option to add observers. You can have unlimited members in the free plan of Trello but you will not have the ability to restrict their access. To invite a team member to collaborate on your board, simply create an invite link or add their name or email address in the area provided. Kanban Boards If you are new to Trello or even if you have been using it for years, you’ll notice that it only comes with the board view with kanban boards. You may be more interested in getting your hands on a list view of Trello but this is not possible at the time of writing this article. Task Management Managing tasks in Trello is a pretty straight forward process. Simply click into each card you created and assign the task to a team member and add a due date. What is clever about Trello is that you can add a checklist of items on the fly which means you’ll save a lot of time and avoid unnecessary stress. Custom Fields In case you encounter a situation where you need to include a field that isn’t already available on your Trello board you can do so using custom fields. How this works is you need to add it as a Power-up to your Trello board. Bear in mind that there’s a maximum of 1 Power-up for each Trello board. If you already added a calendar to your Trello board then you will not be able to add a custom field as well unless you upgrade to business class. To add a custom field, simply head over to the menu and click on ‘Add Power-up’. You’ll be brought to a screen with a big directory of Power-ups, search for custom fields, when found just click on ‘Add’ next to the custom fields option. After custom fields have been added you’ll see it on your list of options on the right-hand side of your Trello card. To create a new field click on custom fields then ‘new field’ and choose the type of field that you would like to create from the list. Automations in Trello As Trello is considered to be one of the best project management software available, it would make sense for them to have automation features available. If you remember what automations in ClickUp looked like then you will be able to relate to the ones available in Trello. It is all based on logic, when something happens then do this. Project managers will be happy to hear that Trello also has an advanced level of automations where you can specify a card down to the colour of the label. Trello integrations At this point, you already saw the integrations available in Trello as it is labelled as Power-ups. It means that in order to integrate many different external applications with Trello you’ll need to upgrade to business class as only one Power-up is allowed per board on the free plan. You can learn more about the list of Trello integrations via this link here. Asana Like many other project management solutions, Asana was founded after several teams in a corporate environment were struggling with productivity. In 2008, Dustin Moskovitz, co-founder of Facebook and Justin Rosenstein, ex-Google and ex-Facebook engineer founded Asana after their experience with teams in Facebook were struggling to get stuff done. Asana was later launched commercially in 2012 and by 2018 it was valued at $1.5 billion. They have offices in 10 locations around the world including their head office in San Francisco, California. Asana Pricing Model There’s an entry-level, free forever plan available for users of Asana. That entry-level plan is very generous as you get unlimited tasks, messages, projects and activity log. You’ll also have the ability to collaborate with 15 team members and integrate with free time tracking apps like Toggl, TimeCamp and Time Doctor. Asana Structure In a similar style to ClickUp and Trello, Asana has a number of levels. These levels include the following; Teams Projects Tasks Subtasks Below is an example where the team is the blog writing team, the project is to write 100 blog posts in 30 days and the tasks can be broken down by statuses. Each team can be working on multiple projects in their hub. At a glance, you can see the subtasks in each of the tasks in the above screenshot. Guest Access in Asana The free version of Asana does not seem to allow for guest access at all. Either you are a member of that specific team or you’re not. You do have the ability to add unlimited guests in the premium version of Asana. While this could be seen as a negative aspect you need to remember that you do have the ability to create unlimited projects in Asana. I am not 100% sure if the 15 team members on the free version mean 15 per project or 15 per account. Inviting people is super easy, simply click the invite people link and you’ll get a screen that looks like the one below. Just add the email address of your members and click the send button. Views in Asana Unlike Trello, you can see your tasks using multiple views in the free plan. These views include the following; List Board Calendar While you can also get access to a timeline and dashboard views in the premium version of Asana. List view Think of the list view like your standard to-do list but each list can be assigned to a specific status. Board view The board view in Asana is very similar to the kanban views in Trello and ClickUp. There are more customisations available in ClickUp. Calendar view As the name suggests the calendar view shows you the due dates of all your tasks and subtasks. You can filter the view and see them by assignee, due dates and projects. The major observation that I have between ClickUp and Asana is that in some of the views they seem to be running short of ink or colour. I find some areas of the user interface views are very faint or in need of greater contrast to improve the visibility of the features. Task Management Managing tasks is a pretty straight-forward process inside Asana. Simply create the task and assign it to a team member with a due date. Anytime that person is mentioned on a task or if they are assigned a task they will receive in notification via email. Each person will have the ability to view a list of tasks assigned to them when they log into Asana on a daily basis. If you prefer, there’s also the option to view all your outstanding tasks using the calendar view under ‘my tasks’. Custom Fields While you have the ability to create custom fields in the free version of ClickUp and Trello, this is only available after upgrading to the premium plan in Asana. Of course, this really depends on if this is something that you need in your small business especially if you are working with smaller teams. Automations in Asana In Asana, automations are called rules. While the use of rules are not available in the free forever plan of Asana, you can certainly access it after upgrading to the premium version. As a project manager or small business owner, it is important to consider if having rules is something that you need in order to manage tasks more efficiently. Asana Integrations If you are a project manager, you’ll be excited by the fact that Asana has over 100+ free integrations. These integrations are across 10+ different categories including file sharing, reporting, time tracking, Google, Microsoft, Forms, importers, communication, development and connectors. Here’s a brief peek at those integrations made by Asana. Are you looking for a big list of apps that can integrate with Asana you can check them out here. After looking at Asana you can see why it is one of the best Trello alternatives available. ClickUp vs Trello vs Asana – a Side by Side Comparison At this point, you’re probably thinking that is a lot of information to digest in one sitting. You are so right, that’s why I decided to include a side by side comparison for you. In this comparison, I’ll include all of the main features that are essential and popular among project managers as well as small business owners. Feature ClickUp Trello Asana Workspace level Yes No No Team level Yes Yes Yes Total levels 5 3 4 List view Yes No Yes Board view Yes Yes Yes Calendar view Yes Yes (Power-up) Yes Gantt view Yes No No Mind map view Yes No No Table view Yes Yes (paid) No Timeline view Yes Yes (paid) Yes (paid) Activity view Yes No No Map view Yes No No Workload view Yes No No Box view Yes (paid) No No Document view Yes No No Form view Yes (paid) No Yes (paid) Chat view Yes No No Dashboard view Yes Yes (paid) No Custom fields Yes Yes (Power-up) Yes (paid) Automations Yes Yes Yes (paid) Integrations Yes Yes (Power-up) Yes Pulse Yes No No Create templates Yes Yes (paid or make public) Yes (paid) Share templates publicly Yes Yes (public boards) No Paid plan $5 per month $12.50 per month $15.00 per month Choose Your Tool Try ClickUp Try Trello Try Asana As you can see the price per user is a very real advantage because Asana is working out at 3 times the price of ClickUp with a lot fewer features. User Reviews One of the best ways to make a decision on a piece of software is to check out the overall reviews from real users. It is important to realise that these users may not be using the software in a similar business to yours. Even if they are in the same business their access to resources may be different. According to the folks at G2 in the project management category here are how ClickUp, Trello and Asana stack up against each other. Product Total Reviews Rating Year Launched Asana 7,067 ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ – 4.3 out of 5 2012 ClickUp 2,639 ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ – 4.7 out of 5 2017 Trello 11,284 ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ – 4.4 out of 5 2011 Another important point to remember is that each of them were created or founded in different years and to service a specific audience or team environment. Hopefully this will help you in your decision making and help you choose the right tool for your projects. Summary When it comes to choosing the best project management tools for small teams or large teams there are quite a number of things to consider. After looking at this ClickUp vs Trello vs Asana comparison the main differences can be found in the views, customisations, automations and sharing templates. While all three platforms are great as a team collaboration tool only ClickUp has a real-time, rich chat feature with comprehensive integrations. Project planning across different business models can be achieved once project managers decide to take each platform for a 30-day trial to assess features. Since many organisations use G-Suite as standard, the fact that they integrate to Google drive is a relief. While all three platforms are suitable for teams of all sizes the robust features available in ClickUp may work better for larger teams. Over to you, what has been your experience using any of these project management tools? Announcements Remember to subscribe to the Success Unscrambled podcast where you will be the first to hear what’s happening in the entrepreneurial and digital marketing world. Your positive review of this podcast is vital to keeping it alive and running for the next 12 – 24 months so please leave a positive 5-star review for us on iTunes, Spotify or any of your favourite podcast players. Using project management software at least 4 days a week while working with clients has really kept me efficient. It’s reassuring to know that you too can become even more productive using these tools. I started this blog in 2017 because I had a burden on my heart to reduce women illiteracy globally. Because this is a huge undertaking I have decided to help 1,000 women over the next 10 years to become wildly successful in their online business through simplified marketing strategies. That way we can build a strong business network of women who can donate 1% of their profit and together we can help reduce women illiteracy worldwide. Would you like to be part of this movement? Shoot me an email using alvern (at) successunscrambled (dot) com.
33 minutes | 2 months ago
An Honest Canva Pro vs Free Review [Is it Worth it?]
If you are facing a decision on whether to go with Canva pro vs free but need a detailed comparison to help you choose one then this review is for you. So, like me, you have been using Canva for a number of years and you are constantly prompted to upgrade to the Pro version via a free 30-day trial. Each time you are tempted to give it a go for that 30-day period just to see what it is like. However, the timing is never right or you are just not at that place in your business to justify that additional expense. The truth is that you had a few occasions where you’ve experienced one of these. You wrote the perfect Instagram caption and you found the perfect complimentary image on Canva but it’s not free. While creating your Pinterest images you found a cool image that you can use but you aren’t excited about the background. It would be nice to easily organise your product offers or printable items into specific folders. There must be a better way to get the most out of Canva but how to justify upgrading to the pro version is something you really need. In this blog post, you will learn the similarities and differences between Canva pro and the free version as well as when the time is right for you to upgrade to Canva pro. What is Online Graphic Design Software? If you are new to online marketing or you never thought of creating your own images before let me pause here and explain further. Whenever you want to promote a business, wedding, party, sale, engagement, an event or send a card you would use software to create the announcement. Depending on your experience or affinity you might have used Microsoft Publisher to create flyers, business cards, logos, party invitations, thank you cards and banners. However, since many services are now available online there is a plethora of applications available to create these items on the Internet. The reason for this is because there is a huge need to collaborate with others in your team or group. When you are planning a big event there are so many other people involved in creating content and graphics. Online graphic design software (aka online design tools) gives you the ability to seamlessly create your design from scratch. If you are like me and graphic design is not in your wheelhouse you will probably customise an existing template instead. Another obvious reason is that for many small business owners, hiring a graphic designer to create your brand graphics from scratch can set you back at least $1,000. About Canva Canva was founded in 2012 in Sydney, Australia by Melanie Perkins, Cliff Obrecht and Cameron Adams. What many people are not aware of is that Canva acquired Pexels, Pixabay and Zeetings over the years. They also have partnerships with Office Depot, FedEx and they are valued at $6 billion as of 2020. Canva Pricing There is a forever free version of Canva available for small business owners and their pro plan will set you back at $12/month for up to 5 users. You are probably wondering why would anyone upgrade to the pro plan if they are getting so much value for free. Taking a closer look at the features at the pro level will help you understand the amazing time saving features. Free Forever Plan Before looking at the pro version let’s spend some time revisiting the free forever plan of Canva for a few minutes. I’m still stunned by the sheer number of features that come as standard for free on this platform. Colour Palette A number of years ago when I started using Canva I was introduced to their clever colour palette which I thought was the best thing since sliced bread. Goodbye colour picker hello colour palette. Lol!! I actually felt that I could spend a whole day just uploading photos and creating Pinterest pins that had text with matching colours. That is until I found out that blending your text to the image does not make a pin scroll stopping so I needed to change that habit. Anyhoo, at least for any upcoming birthdays, anniversaries and major events I can be assured that I have a tool that I can use to match the text and images professionally. Design Elements As I mentioned previously, when I first started promoting content on Pinterest I spent a lot of time creating pins on Canva. In fact, I calculated that in order to be successful on Pinterest I needed to be creating a minimum of 100 fresh pins every month. Because I am not a graphic designer by any stretch of the imagination I needed to get creative. One idea that came to mind was adding design elements to pins. If you have no idea what I am referring to then check out the screenshot below that gives you a quick overview of the design elements available in Canva. There are a ton of features to choose from including lines, arrows, grids, frames, stickers, charts and gradients. Using these design elements can help you to easily customise an existing image or template to make it unique from an existing version. The grid element is especially helpful when you need to create a product mockup or display several images on a single Pinterest pin or social media post. Social Media Platforms One cool feature that anyone would like about Canva is that it comes with templates for 9 social media platforms that are ready to customise. You already know how scary it is to start with a blank screen so that challenge is addressed really well thanks to Canva’s social media templates. If you have not explored them all yet here’s a big list of social media templates that are available on Canva. They help you create social media images in a flash. LinkedIn Canva has templates for the following LinkedIn requirements. Banner Post Sponsored content Story Video Ad Tumblr While Tumblr is not as popular as the top 5 social media platforms, Canva still offers templates for the following requirements. Banner Graphic YouTube If you ever had the opportunity to run a campaign on YouTube or if you post to that platform every week you know that creating scroll stopping thumbnails are super important. Here’s a list of YouTube graphic templates available on Canva. Channel art Display Ad Icon Thumbnail Video Ad Gaming video Intro Music thumbnail Tutorial thumbnail Food thumbnail Snapchat Snapchat seems to be more popular among millennials. However, there are quite a number of brands and businesses that use it regularly. I was actually quite surprised that there was such a thing as a wedding filter but you learn something new everyday. Geofilter Congratulations geofilter Community geofilter Birthday geofilter Wedding geofilter University geofilter Facebook Have you ever wondered about how many Facebook graphic templates are available on Canva? While this is not something that keeps me awake at night it is something worth knowing just in case. The available Facebook graphic templates include the following (at the time of writing this post). Facebook Ad App Ad Cover Event cover Post Shops Ad Shops cover Story Video Shops story Ad Pinterest If you have been using Pinterest for some time you would know that the platform is undergoing a tremendous amount of change every 3 months. Almost every week in Facebook groups I see a post of someone who has experienced a massive decrease in traffic from Pinterest. While you and I may not have any control over what happens on the Pinterest platform we can do our part by creating pretty pins. Pinterest pin Wedding pin Food pin Video pin Birthday pin I am surprised that the Pinterest Story pin is not yet on the list at the time of writing this post but let’s wait and see when they will arrive. Twitter While many small business owners are not users of the Twitter platform it can be a great place to create business collaborations. Here’s a list of Twitter graphic templates available on Canva. Twitter Ad Header Post Earth day post Event header Quote post Love post Photography header Birthday post Illustration header Just like you, I was quite surprised at the large amount of Twitter templates available to small businesses. TikTok “Are you on TikTok yet?” This seems to be the question on everyone’s lips whenever a video or statistic from TikTok is mentioned during a discussion. Even though I am not there yet it is reassuring to know that it will be easy for me to get started thanks to Canva’s TikTok templates. TikTok video End frame Magazine cover Background In-feed Ad Do you have any idea what a TikTok magazine cover is? Neither do I? Lol!! Instagram If someone asked me what the most popular social media graphic template is on Canva I would have thought that it would be Instagram. The reason for this is because there are so many different areas of Instagram that require you to create content as well as so many different sizes. Instagram post Reel video Story Easter post Newsroom post Autumn post Delicate florals story Reel video end frame Feed static Ad Clean minimalist story Chinese new year post Reel video background Snapshots story Natural scrapbook story Father’s day story Ask me 3 questions story From a glance, you can see that this list is not exhaustive and there are so many more Instagram graphic templates available. Brand Kit Now that you have access to all these templates in Canva, is it possible to easily customise them using your brand colours, fonts, logo and elements? The free version of Canva gives you the ability to partially customise your brand kit. It does this by allowing you to choose 3 colours from your brand’s colour palette. However, uploading more colours, adding your logo as well as your own custom fonts can be accessed after upgrading to the pro version of Canva. To add 3 colours for branding purposes in the free version just head over to brand kit after logging in and add your colours there. Desktop vs mobile If you use social media software on a regular basis you’ll know that in many cases they will have a desktop version as well as a mobile app available. One good reason to continue to use Canva is that it is available on desktop and the smartphone. Which means that you can save time by creating designs from any device. While it is easier to create designs using the desktop version you have the ability to update your designs on the go. You can even start them on the mobile app and complete them when you get back to your desk. Cloud storage If there is one thing you need to monitor consistently in your Canva account is the use of your cloud storage. As a user of Canva for almost 4 years, I have only managed to experience issues with my cloud storage last year and this year. Even now as I am creating this resource I have a warning message inside Canva. It’s letting me know that I have used 78% of my cloud storage facility. In the free-forever Canva account, you get the standard 5 GB of cloud storage. This is very generous when you consider that the Adobe Photoshop paid photography plan comes with 20GB of cloud storage. Stock images Isn’t it great that the free version of Canva comes with a stock photo library as standard. Essentially, you get free images as part of the free account. Yes, you can argue that because they now own Pexels and Pixabay which are free stock photo resources it is easy for them to offer these free to users as well. When you think of the hassle of looking for that perfect image to speak to your social media messaging outside of a graphic design application. You cannot help but appreciate the fact that Canva helps many small businesses globally. They do this by offering a one-stop-shop for their graphic design needs. Marketing materials When it comes to the standard brick and mortar company, small business owners will be pleased with the fact that there is a plethora of marketing materials available on Canva. The traditional forms of marketing include many non-digital items like the following. Letterheads Business cards Flyers Invoices Brochures Posters Flyers Postcard What makes Canva different compared to other platforms is that they also have a printing service which is great for promotional items like the following. T-shirts Mugs Photo books Rack cards Gift certificates Invitations They even offer free delivery on these items which is surprising. I can’t wait to give them a try for my upcoming big event next year. Save design as template As I mentioned previously, creating beautiful designs for your Etsy or Shopify store and saving them as templates is possible. The best way to achieve this is by using the templates feature which is available in the free forever plan of Canva. Canva Pro Plan Now that the features of the free version have been covered let’s look at what you get in the Canva pro account that is not available in the free plan. If you have never used Canva before you’ll be happy to learn that the user experience is more or less the same on both plans. Unlimited folders As I mentioned previously, I have been using Canva for over three years now and the one thing that frustrates me is the inability to search inside the application. For example, if I created an ebook 2 years ago and the only way to find it is to scroll through all my existing designs. This is why unlimited folders are brilliant, because I can store my creations in clearly marked and labelled folders to easily retrieve them later. I am sure that you’ll agree with me that this feature alone can save you hours of searching through hundreds of existing designs. Background remover One key headache I mentioned at the start of this post is the ability to change the background of a photo. The Canva pro version comes as standard with a cool feature called the background remover. Essentially, plucking the subject out of an existing background. An important benefit of this piece of technology is it gives you more control over images. At least you get sufficient control to brand the photos from the stock library faster and easier. I’ve used the background remover in one of my client’s accounts and it can be glitchy sometimes. Premium stock photos Speaking of the stock photo library, the Canva pro account gives you access to premium stock photos. Think of all the times that you found the perfect photo to compliment your social media image only to realise that it is not available with the free version. The pro plan gives you 75 million premium stock photos, videos, audio and graphics to use whenever you need it. What’s even better is that you also get to use the background remover with your premium photos. Magic resize Remember I mentioned earlier about creating 100 Pinterest pins every month? One of the key aspects of creating a variety of pins was to create two different sizes. If you were ever in a situation where you needed to resize or create dozens of different sizes of images in a short time period this will resonate. After creating the 10th pin and you realise that you need to do another 20 graphics you’ll be wishing for a resize feature. I’ve used the one click resize design inside a pro canva account and here’s my feedback. While taking an existing 900 x 1600 design and turning it into a 1080 x 1080 sounds like magic it does require a number of tweaks. Brand kit As I mentioned previously, the brand kit in the Canva pro account gives you the ability to upload all your important brand elements. These include your logo, font styles and brand board colours. If you have several brands across your products and services then it would make more sense to use the Enterprise plan or version of Canva. Transparent background When it comes to creating icons, product mockups and assets for your website and landing pages you’ll come to realise the value of having this one feature. There are several occasions where I desperately needed a mock up or icon with a transparent background. To get around the challenge I needed to match the background colour of the page to that of the mockup or icon so that the design looks flawless. It took a lot longer than I originally anticipated to get it done. Having the Canva pro version would have saved me so much time. Team members As your business continues to grow you will soon need to give other members of your team access to Canva. Upgrading to a Canva pro account will give you the ability to support additional team members. It will cost about $40 a month for 5 team members. Sometimes Canva offers special discounts where you can get 5 team members for the price of 1. So join their mailing list to learn more about their offers. Content Planner When you upgrade to the Canva pro plan you’ll get access to the Content Planner that gives you the ability to plan your content months in advance. You’ll also be able to schedule and publish to Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Twitter and Instagram. Advanced features Canva continues to introduce a ton of advanced features every year. Some of these advanced features include the following. Charts If you have data from a spreadsheet that you want to make pretty you can use the ‘chart’ feature to produce eye-catching charts. Styles Creating a colour scheme for a new brand can be quite a challenge if you’re not a designer. This is why the styles feature in Canva is great for giving you inspiration. Giphy If animated GIFs are part of your brand style then you’ll love the fact that you can access Giphy for free right inside Canva. You even have the option to download your creation in GIF format in the free version of Canva. Frames and Shadows Canva recently added the ability to add shadows and/or frames to your photos or images. This means that you can now make your photos look like they were created by professional designers. Simply click on the edit or effects button and you will see a list of options on your left-hand side. This list includes access to a variety of frame and shadow options. The above example displays the frames feature in Canva. The shadows feature really makes this drawing stand out by giving it the depth effect. Smartmockups Just when you thought that Canva offered anything your heart’s desires they decided to throw in the kitchen sink as well. If you ever wanted to create amazing mockups for your products you can now accomplish this right inside Canva. Simply choose your photo, click the effects or edit button on the top left and scroll down to smartmockups. This is a great way to bring your product to life by applying it to real life situations. Additional features One thing I like about Canva is the fact that there are a plethora of features. It just seems to have no end to what is possible. Here are a few more additional features that will take your designs to the next level. Animate If you would like to add a touch of excitement to the design experience then using animate in your social media posts can give you a boost. After designing your social media graphics click on the animate button on the top left and choose one of the 17 options available. Seven of the options are only available with the paid version of Canva while the other 10 can be accessed from the free Canva account. Check out the above screenshot to get a sneak peek of what is possible with Animate in Canva. Canva Live Many small businesses have decided to move their in person events online due to recent events affecting the globe. So one of the ways Canva can assist you with this recent development is the fact that you can present content live directly from Canva. Simply announce the date and time of your live presentation with your audience. When the time arrives, share the link with your audience and simply click the ‘present’ button to start the online presentation. While this doesn’t give you a seamless experience where you can automate sending the link. At least it is an economical way to start doing online events. Canva Pro vs Free a Side by Side Comparison At this point, you’re probably thinking that there is so much information to take in when it comes to knowing whether to go with the paid version of Canva or stick with a free Canva account. To help you decide here’s a comprehensive side by side look at both versions Feature Canva Free Canva Pro Colour palette Yes Yes Design elements Yes Yes Direct social media publishing No Yes Desktop access Yes Yes Access to the mobile app Yes Yes Brand kit Limited to 3 brand colours Yes Free stock photos Yes Yes Cloud storage 20GB 100GB Unlimited folders No Yes Background remover No Yes Premium stock photos No Yes Magic resize No Yes Transparent background No Yes Team members No Yes Content planner No Yes Save design as a template Yes Yes Charts Yes Yes Styles Yes Yes Giphy Yes Yes Frames Yes Yes Shadows Yes Yes Smartmockups Yes Yes Animate Limited to 10 Yes Canva Live Yes Yes Workflows and permissions No Yes There are a lot of features available in both versions even when you decide to sign up for the monthly plan of Canva pro. Social Media Schedulers If for some reason the content planner together with the direct publishing to social available in Canva does not suit you. There are many other ways to schedule your content to social media. One of the best ways to plan your content 30, 60 or 90 days in advance is by using social media schedulers. Some of them are great while others just get the job done. I am currently using 2 different schedulers because they give me access to a variety of features. Here is a shortlist of social media schedulers available on the market. Planoly (visual grid) Later (visual grid) Agorapulse PlannThat (visual grid) Preview App (visual grid + hashtag finder + filter pack) Inssist (visual grid + generate hashtags + post from desktop) Buffer Hootsuite Tailwind I am sure that there are at least 10 more schedulers that are available but like I said this is a shortlist. Summary As I mentioned at the very start of this resource, I have been using Canva for over 3 years. So, this Canva pro vs free review is honest and authentic. It continues to amaze me how much this platform continues to blossom each year. Depending on how you use Canva in your small business it will make sense to stay with a free Canva account. However, if you have a team of people working with you it will become apparent that upgrading to Canva pro would benefit your business. A good example of this is if you are a social media manager, graphic designer or even it you own an online shop where you create printable items for sale. Spending hours searching for a document you created 2 years ago or organising your creations into folders would save time using the pro version of Canva. Also, if you create a lot of content each week to be published on social media the content planner together with direct publishing may work out better for you. Remember that you can always do a free trial of Canva pro to see if it is worth it to upgrade. If you are tired of the constant content hamster wheel and you need help with content planning, check out the 90 Days in 90 Minutes content bundle here. Over to you, what has been your experience using Canva in your business? Announcements Remember to subscribe to the Success Unscrambled podcast where you will be the first to hear what’s happening in the entrepreneurial and digital marketing world. Your positive review of this podcast is vital to keeping it alive and running for the next 12 – 24 months so please leave a positive 5-star review for us on iTunes, Spotify or any of your favourite podcast players. We live in a world where it is a lot easier to promote your business online thanks to platforms like Canva. You can think of it as an all-in-one solution for content creators where you can turn ideas into amazing and valuable content. I started this blog in 2017 because I had a burden on my heart to reduce women illiteracy globally. Because this is a huge undertaking I have decided to help 1,000 women over the next 10 years to become wildly successful in their online business through simplified marketing strategies. That way we can build a strong business network of women who can donate 1% of their profit and together we can help reduce women illiteracy worldwide. Would you like to be part of this movement? Shoot me an email using alvern (at) successunscrambled (dot) com.
26 minutes | 2 months ago
Burn Subtitles or Captions for Instagram Videos 7 Ways Automatically [And Why]
You’ve created some awesome video content but you are now wondering how to burn subtitles for Instagram videos. The excitement of using video content to promote a small business has continued to increase over the last number of years. If you are an introvert, doing talking head videos is one of the last things you want to do for your business. Coupled with the fact that shooting and editing videos can take a lot of time. So adding captions to your videos just feels like an added burden. If you can relate to this you are in good company. Here’s why… Creating video content for your small business can be seen as a separate full-time job. First, there is the need to come up with content ideas and if you are publishing to YouTube these ideas need keyword research. Don’t get me started on the right equipment and lighting to get the most out of your video production. To make matters worse, as a woman, you now need to find the best outfit as well as get your hair and make up done. Finally, there is the burden of knowing exactly what you will say when you hit the record button. Does creating and publishing video content need to be so stressful and overwhelming or is there a better way? In this post, you will learn about the simple ways to burn captions into your video during and after production. So that you can get your videos published in a much shorter timeframe and in a very organised fashion. Is Using Video to Promote Your Small Business Worth It? If you are still sitting on the fence hoping that video marketing will become a thing of the past then check out these insights. Did you know that this year alone the average US consumer will have 9.5 video streaming apps installed on their smartphone? I don’t know about you but I have over 100 apps, maybe closer to 200, and I can confirm that many of them are video apps. Also, users arriving to an e-commerce site via a user-generated video are 184% more likely to make a purchase. E-learning grew by 36% during 2020 and it is predicted to grow even more in coming years. Here’s is a shocking statistic that you probably weren’t expecting. 89% of video marketers say that they get a good return on investment from videos. Check out this one trend I noticed, 7 out of 10 event organisers moved their in-person event online during 2020, that’s 70%. 96% of current video marketers plan to increase or maintain their spend in the area of video marketing. Interestingly, 69% of marketers who haven’t been using video are saying that they plan to use video going forward. Finally, online viewers claim that they retain 96% of a message that they obtain from videos. The bottomline of all these statistics is that video marketing is here to stay for small businesses. The Video Creation Process When it comes to getting captions for your Instagram videos we need to spend time looking at the different IG areas. As you probably already know Instagram now have 6 areas where you can create and publish video content. These areas include: Instagram feed Instagram Stories IGTV Reels IG Live Live rooms Let’s spend some time looking at the requirements and restrictions for each of these areas to understand what is possible. 1. Instagram Feed As you know the Instagram feed is a place where you can publish 3 different kinds of content. Which are: Single image Image carousel Video As we are specifically focused on video the requirements to publish a video in your IG feed are as follows: Format – MP4 Longest video length – 60 seconds Max file size – 15MB Maximum width – 1080 pixels Frame rate – 30 FPS H.264 codec AAC audio 3500 kbps bitrate If you would like to test what this process looks like before creating a talking head video. Head over to Canva (free version is fine) and create a new design that is 1080 x 1080. Using one of the stock videos, spend some time creating a video that is up to 60 seconds long. Give it a name and upload it to your favourite IG scheduler and write some captions, add hashtags and publish it. I did one recently and you can see an example of it here. 2. Instagram Stories IG Stories can be challenging because although you can now auto-post to IG stories the creation process is not simple. First lets look at the required format of videos created for Instagram Stories. Format – MP4 or MOV Max length – 15 second per slide (up to 2 minutes per story – 8 slides) Aspect ratio – 1080 x 1920 (9:16) Video size – up to 14MB While the list may not seem very long the catch is to make sure that you add a few engaging items in your Stories. To put this to the test I suggest that you head over to Canva and create a test IG Stories video. When you are in Canva create a new design by choosing Instagram story from the drop down list. Grab a portrait video from the complimentary video stock library inside Canva. Reduce the size to 15 seconds and when you are happy download it and upload it to your favourite scheduler. If you choose to auto-post to IG stories ensure that you add the necessary hashtags and call to actions on the video. 3. IGTV In one sense IGTV is probably the best area for you to publish videos if you are an introvert. You have the ability to create the perfect talking head videos in advance then publish them as a series on IGTV. Before digging further let’s look at the basic IGTV requirements. Aspect Ratio – 9:16 (preferred) and 16:9 10 Minute Video – Max 650MB Maximum length – 15 minutes from mobile, 60 minutes from the web Max File size – 3.5GB You can add a link in the description or caption These videos don’t expire File format – MP4 Pre-recorded videos are fine One key difference that makes IGTV videos differ from those in the IG feed and Stories is the need to add a cover image. If you are really good at video editing you can try to create a test video in Canva that is 2-3 minutes in length. However, you can wait until we get to the section discussing all the apps that you can use to create videos for IG. 4. Reels Up next is Reels which I see as a public cutdown version of Instagram Stories in one sense. The major challenge with Reels compared to IG Stories is that it doesn’t disappear after 24 hours. Let’s look at the specific requirements for a Reels video. Format – 1080×1350 or 4:5 Thumbnail size – 1:1 Max length – 15 seconds Entertaining – lol!! If you haven’t noticed it yet, Reels is one of those videos that is quite a challenge to create. Yes, you can choose not to try creating content for Reels until you get better at video creation. In case you need some inspiration to create your first IG Reel, here are 3 examples for you. 5. IG Live One of the most flexible types of videos on Instagram is the ones where you go live. If you are an introvert this may scare you to death and you may even find it a little bit off-putting. However, the beauty of IG Live is the fact that you can go live with a friend or colleague. You also don’t have to worry about video formats since you will be using the native IG app. All that is left to do is pick a topic, choose a date and time, get dressed and show up to add value. Here are a few things to consider before going live. Your video will disappear after 24 hours (unless you save it to IGTV or download it) It will stream real-time in your feed Potential viewers are given a sense of urgency You will be able to engage with viewers while streaming Comment moderation and turning off comments will be available Announcing in advance will increase attendance It can be up to 60 minutes in length Vertical video is the preferred format (9:16) The fact that your video will disappear after 24 hours can be a bit discouraging but consider this. If you made a mistake or you are unhappy with it then it will be gone after 24 hours. Instagram live and Live rooms are probably the only two areas of IG where you are unable to use an external app to go live. I recently went live on Instagram with a friend and you can check it out here. 6. Live Rooms At the time of writing this post, Live Rooms is a feature that was recently released on Instagram. In fact, this new feature is technically speaking an addition to the existing IG Live. Previously, when you went live you only had the ability to add one other person to the show. Now you have the option of adding up to 3 friends with Live Rooms. The way I see it, this is good news for anyone who is an introvert because now you can have 3 other people supporting you. There is one catch with this feature which is that the 3 other accounts need to be already following you. You also need to be following those other 3 accounts. 7 Apps to Burn Subtitles for Instagram Video Now that we have covered all the areas inside Instagram where you can create video content. Let’s spend some time looking at apps to help you create those needed captions. Firstly, these applications are in two broad categories. a. You can record the video in it while captions are produced in the background. b. The other option is to create the video ahead of time then get the captions burnt in after the fact. 1. AutoCap When you want to burn subtitles for Instagram videos AutoCap is an app that can do just that for you. Simply download the app from the app store and start using it right away. It will give you the option to select a video from your camera roll or you can literally record the video from scratch right inside the app. Either way AutoCap gives you the ability to add subtitles to your Instagram video up to one minute in length for free. I must say that I think the captions are kind of cool because they really stand out compared to other applications. Best of all you can save the video to your phone and happily get on with the rest of your life. 2. MixCaptions If you already created a video but you need to quickly add captions to it then MixCaptions is a great app to do so. Several times after creating a few short videos for Stories I wanted to quickly create captions. In those scenarios I used MixCaptions to seamlessly add subtitles to my talking head videos. See the screenshot below for an example of what it looks like in reality. You will be happy to hear that they offer several options when it comes to downloading the content. There’s even the option to download the SRT file as well. 3. Crop.Video Another interesting application for creating captions for IGTV videos is Crop.Video. It is a web based application which comes with three pricing plans. As you will soon realise there is a free version available so that you can give it a try. The downside of using this platform is that it doesn’t autogenerate subtitles for you. You actually need to type them in yourself. However, if you are looking to create snippets from a longer video or you want to turn a square video into a vertical one. Crop.video can help you achieve both of these requirements. 4. Headliner Many podcasters are familiar with using Headliner to create audiograms for podcast episodes. However, Headliner can also be used to create captions for videos as well. The good news is that it is available both on desktop and smartphone which means that you can create the video on your phone and upload it to get captions straight away. In terms of pricing, Headliner comes as standard with three pricing plans with the option to choose the free forever plan. The key advantages of the mid-range plan is that you get to create 10 videos a months with unlimited transcriptions, reusable brand templates and custom watermarks. All this for only $10 a month. Here’s a screenshot of what it looks like inside of the desktop version of Headliner. I must admit that the free plan is very generous because you get up to 10 minutes of transcriptions every month. Plus you have the ability to download up to 5 videos without watermarks and the remaining unlimited videos with the Headliner watermark on them. 5. ClipScribe Another cool web application to burn captions for Instagram videos is ClipScribe. When compared to Headliner, it comes with three standard plans for users to choose from with the lowest plan starting at $10 a month. The ‘Starter Plan’ gives you 30 minutes of transcription every month but there is a small catch. These minutes are counted when you upload a video. So, if you have a 10 minute video and you only need 1 minute of it transcribed you are better off trimming the video down to 1 minute before uploading it. Some really cool features of ClipScribe include: Multiple video layouts Automated subtitle or caption creation Ability to add logos, emojis and images Custom countdown creator Attention-grabbing headlines Save your design as a template SRT import/export Available in 17 languages You will have the ability to easily resize your videos and export them in various formats and versions for use on Instagram. 6. Veed Veed is another application I came across recently and their pricing combined with video allowance looked way more attractive when compared to the other options. There is one small catch that I noticed before making a purchase. Unless you are on the Pro plan the maximum video size you can upload is 50MB with a watermark. A great service that’s available to compress videos is this one. You may have a video that is 5 minutes long but the actual size is over 100MB which is a bit disappointing. After uploading your appropriately sized video into Veed, you will be presented with this screen. Quick note: You actually have the ability to record a video from scratch right inside the Veed application. I am like a kid in a candy shop when it comes to testing new software and I already clicked the clean audio button just to see what happens. In terms of video size options there are 11 available including one size for TikTok. Veed appears to be a proper video editing software that also comes equipped with its own timeline. You get the option to do auto-generated subtitles, input them manually or even upload your own SRT file. In one sense the application seems to come with a ton of options like adding emojis, progress bar, soundwave and shapes. The ability to add your own images and brand elements is also available. If you want to take the video and create a different size simply duplicate the project and adjust accordingly. When it is time to download your video you are given the option to download it as a video or animated GIF. Veed is a super interesting application to help small business owners to burn captions for Instagram videos. It can feel a little bit glitchy when arranging the elements onto the project. The only downside is that you may have to upgrade to the Pro version to truly enjoy all the features. 7. Kapwing The final little solution on the list is a piece of software called Kapwing. Compared to all the other options Kapwing has a very interesting proposition with a free forever plan and no watermarks. You can publish videos up to 7 minutes in length and the monthly allowance is 3 hours which, in my opinion, is very generous. It is so simple to get started. Just click the ‘start editing’ button and you are given the option to start from a blank canvas or upload an existing video. I chose to upload a video. I am brought to this screen to start the editing process. Here is a list of video sizing options that are available on the Kapwing platform. You will like the fact that you can also add your own custom dimensions just like you can with Canva. I decided to go with a 1000×1500 size video. If you choose this option you will need to click on ‘lock ratio’ for the video to fit into the new canvas size. Add text on top as the header and head over to the subtitles tab to edit your captions. Although, the captions may not be 100% accurate, they are still near enough to perfect. Once you are happy with the captions or subtitles, title text and style of captions (colour + background + location) you can go ahead and download your video. Here is what mine looks like after the video has been rendered and before I download it. It gives you the option to download the video as mp4 or you can embed it or copy a link so that you can share it on social media platforms. The catch here is that the video is now available publicly for everyone to see and that is why they give it to you for free. Summary While burning captions or subtitles into your Instagram videos can seem to be a time-consuming process it will be worth it for your viewers. After all, you are spending a serious amount of time creating your promotional videos. So, it would make sense to maximise the return on your investment by getting the maximum reach when you add subtitles to your IG videos. Do remember that Instagram has 5 areas where you can promote your business using video including IG Feed, Stories, Reels, IGTV and IG Live. While the list of apps to burn subtitles on IG videos is short, do remember that it is not exhaustive so feel free to conduct your own research. If you need help putting together a content strategy or someone to help you set up a content planning system for your business book some time in my calendar here. Over to you, what has been your experience when it comes to adding captions to Instagram videos? Announcements Remember to subscribe to the Success Unscrambled podcast where you will be the first to hear what’s happening in the entrepreneurial and digital marketing world. Your positive review of this podcast is vital to keeping it alive and running for the next 12 – 24 months so please leave a positive 5-star review for us on iTunes, Spotify or any of your favourite podcast players. After a few years in business there’s one thing that stands out to me for those people who become wildly successful. They go the extra mile in everything they do to create a bigger impact on their community. I started this blog in 2017 because I had a burden on my heart to reduce women illiteracy globally. Because this is a huge undertaking I have decided to help 1,000 women over the next 10 years to become wildly successful in their online business through simplified marketing strategies. That way we can build a strong business network of women who can donate 1% of their profit and together we can help reduce women illiteracy worldwide. Would you like to be part of this movement? Shoot me an email using alvern (at) successunscrambled (dot) com.
25 minutes | 2 months ago
How to Start a Service Business Online [And Actually Find Clients]
So you’ve always wanted to start a service business online but you don’t know how to get started. You’ve watched a ton of YouTube videos and listened to several podcast episodes of entrepreneurs who’ve done it. However, they make the process seem so easy and they all appear to be experts in their field. Your steps to getting there seem more like this. Despite the fact that you’ve watched a ton of content and taken loads of notes. You’re not sure if you should get a website to promote your services. Finding your first client seems like a pretty daunting task since you’re not really sure what to offer. The fact that you don’t have any testimonials is a huge obstacle that you need to overcome. If only there was a way to get all your ducks in a row so that you can start your serviced business in a matter of months. Enabling you to leave your corporate, 9-5 job in 1-2 years. In this post, you will learn the steps involved in finding your strengths, pin-pointing your skills. How to get testimonials and finally land your first client, especially for women. Disclosure: Please note that this post may contain affiliate links which means that if you buy one of my recommended products I get paid a commission for sharing the link at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products that I have tried myself and have experienced success. Why Start a Service Business Online this Year Before diving into the granular details of how to get started with your online service-based business. Here are some statistics you need to keep in mind. 66% of small businesses will outsource their services to other small businesses. It only takes 6 days to start a business in the US. 54% of all small businesses are actually home-based businesses. The main challenge to start up success is generating new business or finding new clients. Did you know that 1 in 3 people start their business with less than $5,000? Another interesting statistic is that 40-year-olds make up 3% of startups compared to 1.7% of 25-year-olds. Tech-driven opportunities offer better pay compared to other industries as they offer a rate of $102,000 compared to the average of $48,000. So what does this all mean? Older people have a better chance of business success in tech-related organisations especially helping other small businesses. Finding Your Strengths Almost 15 years ago I started my journey into the online world and if there’s one thing that stands out to me it is this. It is super important to know your strengths. By this I mean, get a really clear understanding of the soft skills you are good at doing. For example, although I was in a customer facing role in my corporate role for 18 years. I am no good at customer service or even technical support. However, I am a great problem solver. I will keep trying until the issue is resolved. One of the best ways to understand your strong points is by completing a personality test. The ones available at 16 personalities is quite good as it really helps you understand yourself on many levels. Public speaking is something else I enjoy especially when I am talking about something I believe in 100%. Acknowledge Your Weaknesses This may sound hilarious initially but getting a handle on the things you dislike is equally important. The reason why this is important is because in the service-based space you’ll try many different jobs. Doing many different things actually help you to find out what you enjoy and what you dislike. For example, I dislike accounting and finance at all levels so it is not something I will try out. Graphic design and those types of creative jobs are definitely not my superpowers. I just don’t have an eye for design at all so I’ll never apply to do those jobs only to make clients unhappy. Lol!! Outside of public speaking, I am an introvert so asking me to manage a community will be a nightmare for me. Whatever you do, get real clarity on these and write them down. Rate Your Skills You’ll discover that you probably have skills in 7-10 areas and in some cases this can make things difficult. If you are a multi-passionate entrepreneur, like me, choosing to focus and market a skill will be torture. A clever way to overcome this challenge is to rate your skills. Here’s how to get it done. Write down a list of your skills and talents on a sheet of paper Rate each one on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the highest Take the top 3-5 and see if there is any correlation between them Decide which of those skills have actual market demand Do some pro bono work around those with market demand in exchange for testimonials (you’ll learn more later) Getting clear on the skills you want to offer as an entrepreneur or small business is important. This is essential to helping you to narrow your focus and gain more knowledge in these areas. For example, if your best skill is customer care then it would be important for you to learn more about it. Types of Online Service Businesses and Their Profitability Before we delve into the area of learning the technology associated with your offers. Let’s spend some time looking at a list of online service business ideas. Depending on your skills and interest some may or may not appeal to you. Social media management General virtual assistant digital marketing management operations management general administration graphic design project management website design business branding copywriting blog writing bookkeeping Now that you have a list of what types of services small businesses are looking for online. I must tell you that the most profitable business model is one where you work as a consultant and you implement the service yourself. You do have the option of building out an agency where you have other specialists who work with you doing the implementation. However, the bigger your agency the less profitable it will become over time due to high overhead costs. Learn the Tech for Your Specialty In almost every online role your potential clients are expecting you to know or be familiar with the software for those roles. ZenDesk is a software platform that many online businesses are using to manage their customers. Learning how to use Zendesk will set you apart from other applicants for the customer service roles. Asana and ClickUp are the latest project management software so if you are thinking of helping small businesses with projects learn these. If you want to do social media management for potential clients then learning schedulers like Planoly and Later. Will help you stay one step ahead of their requirements. Maybe you have a keen interest in YouTube marketing which means you should play with tools like TubeBuddy and VidIQ. The most important thing to realise is that potential clients are expecting you to have some level of experience with the tools. Once you are happy with your ability be sure to create a portfolio or resume of your capabilities. Gathering Testimonials At this point you are probably thinking, “how do I get testimonials?” It reminds you of what it was like to find a job when you just graduated from college or high school. Everyone expects you to already have experience right? Well, there are a few ways to get the testimonials that you need to add to your resume or portfolio. If you are on LinkedIn, you can reach out to potential clients in your network and offer to do 2-5 hours of work. While this may sound unsettling remember you are doing it in exchange for a testimonial. However, there are 3-4 less scary places to gain these testimonials. Publishing a post or FB Story letting your friends know that you are looking for testimonials is another way. Creating an Instagram post and/or Story is another clever way to gain testimonials. There are also 3-4 Facebook groups where you can offer work in exchange for a testimonial. The Live Free Podcast Mastermind Boss Moms Goal Digger Podcast Insiders Women Helping Women Entrepreneurs Each of these groups has special posts and days where you can jump and either swap or ask for help. Finding Virtual Assistants Jobs One of the fastest ways to start generating an income online is by becoming a virtual assistant. Think of virtual assistants as the lowest level job for the online business owner. You may end up doing a wide variety of things just to get your foot in the door. After 3-6 months you can start specialising and narrowing your focus. The most important thing to remember is that you need to start somewhere in order to make some money. Ensure that you have a resume and a portfolio showing off your skills. There are a ton of places where people post jobs online including: Inside Facebook groups On the Instagram feed + IG Stories Online job boards Company websites 1. Inside Facebook Groups While the list of Facebook groups that I gave previously will work well for getting testimonials. You will be able to find VA jobs there as well. Here are 4 other Facebook groups that aren’t as crowded where you can find VA specific roles. Freelancing Females How She Did That – A Community for Virtual Assistants + OBMs The Break Room – A Community for Service Providers Online Job Opps by Meg K Co As you can see the options can be great inside of Facebook groups. 2. On IG Feeds + Stories Many people may not be aware of this but there are still a number of people hiring through Instagram feeds and Stories. You can do a hashtag search for your job title like #virtualassistantjob. Or you can find your dream clients and follow them on Instagram and in many cases they announce that they’ll be hiring soon. Here’s one example with the associated hashtags. The important point to remember is that you’ll need to search for these jobs using hashtags or follow specific IG accounts. 3. Online Job Boards There are quite a number of job boards that offer VA jobs or remote jobs for many different roles. While this may initially sound unbelievable check out this list of places where you can easily find remote jobs. Smartrecruiters.com Dynamitejobs.com TheMomProject.com Upwork.com In the first two cases just type in the word ‘remote’ to find those virtual assistant jobs. 4. Company Websites This one can be a little more tricky since companies don’t always have job listings every single day of the year. So, what you need to do is make a list of 10-20 online small businesses that you would like to work with. Every week or 2 weeks check their websites for new job listings. Here are a few examples of online businesses that are currently recruiting. Mel Robbins Amy Porterfield HerPaperRoute Styled Stock Society Mariah Coz Power Your Launch This is a great list to help you get started so that you can land your first client in a matter of weeks instead of months. Start a Service-Based Business Course If after looking through these steps you still feel apprehensive about taking the plunge. Maybe you would like to get accountability as well as group support to help you with starting a service business. There are a few courses that I recommend and you should join one of them depending on your needs. These three virtual assistant programs, run by women, are great to help you get started with your online business. The first one has a very specific program that lasts 3 months where you’ll get access to their Facebook group for 6 months. They also offer weekly job postings for members only and they give you an outline to help you to create your portfolio. You can join the free class for the first one here. However, the second program is more expensive but you get access to the Facebook group for a year. One cool benefit is that you also get access to the leads that come through on their hire form (I picked up a client here as well). To get access to the second one, go here. I find that the second one has a more personal touch to the program because the coach really cares about your success. The Profit Plan If you’ve been trying to start an online service-based business, for example, freelance writing, social media manager. Pinterest manager etc, then The Profit Plan can help you out. Chhavi has worked as a full-time freelance writer for over 3 years, after this, she moved into blogging, YouTube and online business coaching. In the Profit Plan, she helps you with the following: Getting into the right mindset, setting realistic expectations and busting myths about online businesses Finding your niche, creating attractive offers and portfolio Pricing your services Branding your business and claiming online space Setting up processes (done for you templates) Getting clients Talking to the clients, how to close deals and be confident in your offers Overview on how to grow your business [BONUS] Overview on how to create more income streams Right now, the course is in BETA so it will be a 14-15 day bootcamp where there will be live workshops with her. You’ll also have 2 x Zoom Q&A sessions in between and 1 Q&A at the end of this bootcamp to answer your questions. The most amazing part is the ONE 1-1 30 mins coaching call with her that you can claim anytime you feel ready. That said, she advises you to take this up right after the lesson on confidence. By that time, you’ll be a lot clearer on your goals and ways to move forward. You will also get lifetime access to the full-fledged course when it launches + all the bonuses. There are also MONETARY awards for the BETA so if you put in the work, you stand a chance to win back your total investment. You can enrol here and reach out to her on Instagram @mrsdaakuacademy Summary There is quite a lot that was covered in this overview about how to start a service business online. Remember that there are other business models available such as selling products on places like Etsy, Shopify or Amazon. You can also decide to become a coach and sell courses instead of services and the program I recommend for that is this one here. To recap, here are the 7 steps you need to follow to get started in double-quick time. I have made over $10,000 in revenue from offering services so I know this stuff works. Find your strengths Be familiar with your weaknesses Rate your skills Learn the tech for your speciality Get testimonials Find VA jobs Join a coaching program (optional) At this point, you are probably thinking, “Alvern that is a lot to follow through with on my own.” Yes, if you can do it then break it down into a 12-week goal and get it done step by sep. However, you can access group coaching as well as accountability and support by joining one of the VA programs. VA program with 6-month group access – free class VA program with 12-month access – more personal approach Over to you, have you ever started or do you run a service-based business? Announcements Remember to subscribe to the Success Unscrambled podcast where you will be the first to hear what’s happening in the entrepreneurial and digital marketing world. Your positive review of this podcast is vital to keeping it alive and running for the next 12 – 24 months so please leave a positive 5-star review for us on iTunes, Spotify or any of your favourite podcast players. While running a service business online is exciting. I started this blog in 2017 because I had a burden on my heart to reduce women illiteracy globally. As you can imagine this is a huge undertaking so I have decided to help 1,000 women over the next 10 years. I want to help them become wildly successful in their online business through simplified marketing strategies. That way we can build a strong business network of women who can donate 1% of their profit and together we can help reduce women illiteracy worldwide. Would you like to be part of this movement? Shoot me an email using alvern (at) successunscrambled (dot) com. 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17 minutes | 9 months ago
5 Apps You Need to Get Instagram Hashtag Analytics
If you have been using Instagram for a while you will know the importance of getting visibility of your Instagram hashtag analytics. So many people focus on follower growth that they tend to forget that there are other statistics to track for success. Let me know if this sounds familiar. You have been posting consistently week after week being careful not to overuse those hashtags that you found. So far your account seems to be in growth mode because you are getting likes, comments and even saves. Posting a specific kind of content gets a lot of engagement which is great but you still wonder if you can improve your reach. The truth is that knowing precisely which hashtags work 100 per cent of the time is difficult to ascertain using Instagram Insights. In the post, you will learn about the applications that are available to significantly remove the guesswork when it comes to hashtags. What Can Instagram Hashtag Analytics Do? Before diving into the list of available applications let’s spend some time understanding the benefits of using them. I know for me using these Instagram analytics tools will help me to gain more visibility about what’s happening on my account. As you already know, Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags on an Instagram post in your feed and 10 hashtags per story. What you don’t know is which of those 30 hashtags are giving you the best results. The reason for this is because Instagram Insights only shows an overall report of where your impressions came from. So, what can be done to get this level of detail about each individual post? This is one reason why we need analytics tools outside Instagram to help us get more visibility. Which Instagram Analytics to Track? Hashtags are not the only things to track when it comes to Instagram. There are a number of other metrics to keep an eye on. These analytics include: Followers Posts Following Likes Comments Reach Impressions Views Shares Saves Of all the metrics listed above the hashtags will have a direct impact on reach and impressions. If your content is good then when people see it they will take specific actions which include liking, saving, commenting, following and sharing. There are some larger accounts that don’t use hashtags at all but they still get the reach and impressions from their followers. The key thing to remember is that hashtags help index your content in the right category so that it could be found. Instagram Hashtag Analytics Just before diving into this section on the applications that you can use I need to give you a stern warning. Trusting every company or business with your Facebook/Instagram logins is not a great idea. There have been reports of people’s accounts getting hacked because they used 3rd party applications for analytics or bots so be careful. Here are a number of applications that can help you with Instagram visibility. Analisa RiteTag AgoraPulse Inssist SmartHash Let’s spend some time looking at each one, in turn, to see what benefits are on offer. 1. Analisa Although there is a free version available you will soon understand the power of using the paid version of this application. It does offer you basic analytics of any Instagram account without the need to give away your login details. However, the draw back is these basic analytics only cover the most recent 12 posts on any Instagram account. I think Analisa is such a great tool if you want to get a feel for what is happening on your account in terms of metrics. One added perk is that it also gives you the words you use most inside your captions. 2. RiteTag The next tool on the list is RiteTag and although it is not as colourful as Analisa it does request for you to log into to your Facebook account to generate a hashtag report. What I like about RiteTag is that it offers many other hashtag features like looking up banned hashtags. Other features that help users with hashtags include a hashtag generator, hashtag sets and even hashtag comparison. In the screenshot above you can see a simple example of the hashtag report generated from RiteTag. 3. AgoraPulse AgoraPulse is the next hashtag analytics tool but in my opinion it is best for enterprise level or agency accounts. The lowest price package comes in at $79 a month which is quite an investment for any small business. In terms of what it offers over and above any other social media schedulers, I am yet to decide since it doesn’t have link-in-bio, visual grid and the ability to do multimedia carousel posts. The screenshot above shows you what you can expect from their hashtag report. As you can see, the hashtags are stack ranked based on the interactions each one has received over time. 4. Inssist This tool is fairly new to me but all the same, it seems quite impressive. Here is a screenshot of the basic analytics. One important observation is that I was able to grab this information from Inssist only after logging into my Instagram account. You do have the ability to post directly from your desktop using this application and even send DMs. The desktop version is so cool and realistic as it just feels like I am using a larger version of my mobile phone so no need to learn something new. Here is a peek at what their hashtag report looks like on face value. The report shows you each hashtag used as well as all the associated likes, posts, comments and total engagement with each one. 5. Smarthash Unlike the other four applications Smarthash is a phone only app so you do not have the ability to do a full analysis via the desktop. What makes Smarthash unique is that it gives you the ability to split test your hashtags and it can analyse the effectiveness of your tags using a heatmap feature. The more orange the hashtags the higher the probability that they were the most effective for your Instagram post. How to Improve Your Hashtag Choices Now that you have detailed visibility on the performance of your current hashtags you’re probably wondering how to improve them. If you are like me then finding the perfect hashtags for your posts is probably a pain in the neck. I discovered recently that doing hashtag research on Instagram without a strategic plan is a total waste of time. This is true because it is nearly impossible to find low competition hashtags without the help of software. Also, there are tons of hashtags that may be perfect for you to use but they are virtually hidden unless you plan to check every single post manually. Recently, I wrote a detailed Instagram hashtag cheat sheet to help you to think ‘outside of the box’ when it comes to finding those elusive hashtags. There’s also a social media group program available to help you develop and skyrocket your Instagram strategy. Summary As you can see the benefits of tracking the performance of your hashtags can be rewarding especially if you are not sure what it working for you. The thought of finding 5-7 different groups of hashtags every month can be a bit scary seeing that is can take some time. If your goal is to generate sales using Instagram DMs then this can easily be accomplished with 100 followers or less. However, if your goal is to become one of those mega influencers I do understand how stressful it can be to get your first 10,000 followers. Hopefully the applications listed here can help you to get closer to your long term goal. Of course, if you want to find out how many people are clicking through to your offers then something like Linktree can help with those analytics. Over to you what has been your experience in looking at Instagram hashtag analytics. Announcements Remember to subscribe to the Success Unscrambled Podcast where you will be the first to hear what’s happening in the entrepreneurial and digital marketing world. Your positive review of this podcast is vital to keeping it alive and running for the next 12 – 24 months so please leave a positive review for us on iTunes, Spotify or any of your favourite podcast players. If you are new to social media planning and strategy then the first step would be to do a social media audit of all your social accounts. Are you unhappy with your engagement on Instagram? I recently outlined a cool resource about how to increase your Instagram engagement. Unsure of the best Instagram scheduler? You will love this article that compares Planoly and Later in great detail and which one I use. I am so excited that you had the opportunity to access this resource because my focus continues to be helping female entrepreneurs to skyrocket their visibility across social media. When you get visibility it is like putting your sales and lead generation on autopilot so that you can get back to your zone of genius and spend quality time with your loved ones.
27 minutes | 10 months ago
The Ultimate Guide to Easily Increase Instagram Engagement
It is hard to believe that it can be easy to increase Instagram engagement in a short space of time. Before getting great results on Instagram I always thought that getting any kind of love on Instagram was hard work. Let me know if you can relate to these feelings with it comes to social media and Instagram. I ditched social media years ago because it was such a time suck with very little payoff. I don’t find it drives much traffic to my blog but I do make connections with brands on IG and have monetised it as well. All that said, IG is exhausting I put a ton of effort into reaching 10K followers on IG. I finally got swipe up this month and… tada… I have a grand total of $0 affiliate sales and X sessions from IG Stories. IG was the first to go for me, just like you, I find it totally exhausting, and it is almost impossible to stay on top of all of these consistently. The truth is that Instagram seem to work for some accounts which would be strange seeing that it is just a platform. Could it be that, like everything else, people have bad experiences depending on their actions on the platform? In this post, you will learn a number of tips, tricks and tools that you can use to improve your engagement and results on Instagram. Disclosure: Please note that this post may contain affiliate links which means that if you buy one of my recommended products I get paid a commission for sharing the link at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products that I have tried myself and have experienced success. What is Engagement? It would make sense to spend some time diving into what is classified as ‘engagement’ when it comes to Instagram. A few weeks ago, I spent some time outlining necessary information that spoke to social media metrics and why it is important. When it comes to Instagram, engagement is essential for boosting your visibility on the platform. Engagement will consist of the following: Likes Shares Saves Direct messages Profile visits Website clicks Emails Comments Essentially, it involves getting your audience to take specific actions after viewing your post. The most important thing to note is that if you are only getting likes then that engagement is not enough to alert the algorithm. In fact, it would be best to get a combination of these activities on your posts in the Instagram feed. Now that you have a great idea of what constitutes engagement let’s spend some time finding out how to increase Instagram engagement for the long term. The Anatomy of a Post In order to improve your results on Instagram let’s look at the Instagram post in a little bit of detail. Compared to Pinterest you have to admit that creating a post on Instagram can be a lot easier. Many months ago, I went into a lot of detail on the anatomy on a Pinterest pin which you can find here. Basically, you have the image, the captions and the hashtags. At this point, you are probably thinking if it is so simple then why is it so difficult to increase your engagement on Instagram. Well, there are many things to consider when creating a post other than the actual anatomy of an Instagram post. With that in mind, let’s look at those things that are super important before creating a post. The Keys to Good Engagement Some of the keys to good engagement involve going back and revisiting the goals and objectives of your marketing plan. Here is a list of the key elements to consider. Your audience Day of the week Type of content The message Call to action Time of day Aesthetic So, what do any of these have to do with whipping up a simple post on Instagram and how can they affect engagement? Let’s have a look. Your Audience If you are one of my regular readers you know that I frequently refer back to your ideal avatar on several occasions. Remembering that your followers are actually people with hopes, dreams, desires and feelings really helps when creating a post. So, spend some time thinking about them and what they want to get out of life and how you can help them. Because when you give them value they will definitely react by engaging with your post. Day of the Week There are many people who don’t believe that the day of the week will have any effect on the way people react to your posts. Well, I have been testing it myself and I can assure you that the day of the week matters so much. For example, I feel that Wednesday is never a great day for engagement for my audience on Instagram. I get the most engagement on a Tuesday and a Thursday which is great. Your audience may respond to you very differently. Spend time understanding what days work best for you and your business. Type of Content It has been my experience that not all content types get the same reaction from my audience. Content types can fall under 4 different themes including, educational, entertainment, aspirational and mindset shifts. These four themes can then be displayed on a post as an image or video. The image can be single or a carousel. What is very interesting is the fact that people respond differently to an image with text on it compared to one without text. This segment on content can be really complex but the important thing you need to do is keep tweaking and testing to see what brings results. The Message In a similar way to the content, the message can also have an affect on the way in which your audience reacts to you. Is the message harsh, sympathetic, friendly, funny or just plain fact? For example, a message where you want your audience to experience a mindset shift can be delivered in so many different ways. What I really like about Instagram is that you can repeat the same message every 2 weeks or every month (written differently of course) to get your point across. Call to Action After crafting your message, remember to add a call to action at the end of your caption. At this point, I am going to hop on the soap box because I want to hammer a really important message to you my reader. The whole point of having an instagram account as a business is to generate revenue. If having 10,000 followers does not generate money for you then why are you interested? In fact, you can generate an income with only 100 followers. Hopping off the soapbox now. So, remember to include a call to action so that people can reward your business for transforming their lives. Time of Day Just like the day of the week has an important impact on the post engagement, posting at the right time can improve reactions. One of the reasons I like using Instagram schedulers is that they will literally give you a report and suggestions as to what time each day is best to post. Here’s a screenshot from my Planoly account where it tells me what time to post each day. Notice how each day has different times that I can post content. When I first started using Planoly those times were not available to me. However, over time, the app learned what times were suitable based on the engagement or response of my audience. Aesthetic So, this one will involve a bit of extra planning and it is especially suitable for businesses that are visual brands like travel, food and even personal brands. One of the ways of differentiating yourself from other accounts is by developing a specific aesthetic by using presets. While this is not everyone’s ‘cup of tea’ it really helps if you have an audience that will appreciate a great feeling or emotion that can be accomplished with presets. A short cut for achieving this is by using the filters readily available inside Planoly which comes as standard. Tools to Increase Engagement Now that you have an idea of those key elements that can be used to increase Instagram engagement let’s look at tools to help get stuff done quicker, cheaper and more beautifully. Instagram Schedulers Photo Editing Apps Smart Captions Social media templates Stock Photos Hashtag Research Story Prompts There may be more tools available but this is my short list for the time being. Instagram schedulers One of the best ways to plan your content 30, 60 or 90 days in advance is by using Instagram schedulers. Some of them are great while others just get the job done. I am currently using 3 different schedulers because they give me access to a variety of features. Here is a shortlist of Instagram schedulers available on the market. Planoly (visual grid) Later (visual grid) Agorapulse PlannThat (visual grid) Preview App (hashtag finder + filter pack) Inssist (generate hashtags + post from desktop) Buffer Hootsuite Tailwind I am sure that there are at least 10 more schedulers that are available but like I said this is a shortlist. Photo Editing Apps Earlier this year I was looking into ways of editing photos for Instagram and I have to say that my mind was blown. There seems to be hundreds (exaggeration) of apps available to take your photos and turn them into eye-popping shots. Here’s my shortlist of photo editing apps for Instagram. Unfold VSCO Ripl Snapseed Pixaloop Unum Photoshop Fix Lightroom Facetune If there is one thing I can promise you is that it can take you a whole week to play with all these apps to get the perfect photo. What a ton of fun!! I use an iPhone so these apps may be different on Android. Smart Captions Have you ever had the privilege of drawing a blank when it came time to write a caption for your post on Instagram? This can happen for beginners as well as experienced Instagramers. A great way to get over this hurdle is by having a list of smart captions or prompts nearby. I have a VIP membership over at this place that supplies me with a whole lot of captions that I can use whenever I am batching posts or if I draw a blank. Grab it while you can and you’ll thank me later for the awesome idea. Social Media Templates 3-5 years ago before I was a proficient user of Canva I always admired people who did graphic design. However, since
23 minutes | 10 months ago
The Ugly Truth About Instagram Hashtags You Need to Know
I was left feeling clueless after completing the course, what I really needed was an authentic Instagram hashtags cheat sheet. If you have ever invested in a social media course but realised that the tips and tricks did not work then you probably feel the same way. You see a few years ago this was my plight, I was promised the earth moon and stars. However, after I signed up I discovered that the self acclaimed Instagram mentor really had no clue what he was doing. In fact, the content that he as posting to get results was not only difficult to create but expensive to outsource. The crazy thing is that he didn’t teach anything about developing your personal brand or catering to your ideal avatar. Truth be told, this course creator did not care about his followers and he was only in it to generate an income and move on. In this post, you will learn about the key things that you need to consider before mapping out your various groups of hashtags every month. What is the Key Function of Instagram Hashtags A few years ago when I first encountered Instagram, there was something about the profiles I visited that did not feel right. It seemed to be focused on lavish lifestyles, luxury vacations and daring stunts. The images of things and places that seem unattainable was plastered across the feeds. Nobody seem to care about the real reason why hashtags should be used at all. Thankfully, after a few unfortunate events, the Instagram algorithm has changed and now caters for real people with real struggles. Plus people can now stop scrolling mindlessly through the Instagram feed and search for what they need using hashtags. As you can expect hashtags allow you to search for products, services, experts, communities and even topics that are of interest to you. You can see hashtags as the keys to filing cabinets fill of content that is related to each other. Instagram Hashtag Categories Before creating groups of hashtags that you need to use every month there are a number of things to consider. The first thing to consider is who does your content resonate with that you want to post daily, weekly or monthly? Yes, it is that annoying ideal avatar subject again but this time from a more social perspective. Depending on the content that you want to post here are a few key categories to consider. Niche Community Transformation Values Topic Interest Location Did you know that when you choose your hashtags this list of categories are what you need to take into consideration? Let’s look at each one in turn to get a better understanding of how they can affect your reach. 1. Niche This one is pretty obvious but just in case you didn’t know it is a great idea to stick to niche hashtags when posting content. For example, if you are in the fashion or beauty industry it is important to use hashtags that reflect your niche. Niche related hashtags are probably the most popular hashtags on Instagram because everyone uses them thinking that is the right way to use them. 2. Community This one can be a bit tricky for small business owners. While Instagram is not a place that has an area where people hang out together except pods. The idea of a community is difficult to visualise. However, birds of a feather still flock together on Instagram and that is how you find the group of people you like to ‘hangout’ with on the platform. A great example of this is the hashtag #creativeentrepreneur which at the time of writing has over 230,000 posts associated with it. when you look at the tags related to it you will learn about what else to include as part of your content creation. Community hashtags gives the users and followers a sense of belonging. 3. Transformation Well, you may understand what this means straight away but essentially transformation hashtags are the ones people use when they want to become something. For example, the hashtag #buildingempires is one that tells you about the person’s intention. Here’s a screenshot of all the hashtags related to that dream. It is almost as if hashtags have a secret or hidden language that you need to read between the lines. 4. Values Each of us as human beings have certain values or beliefs that we hold dear to our hearts. As a result, you can also find these on Instagram as well. One of my favourites is #sisterhoodovercompetition, which speaks volumes. I remember the first time I saw it my heart melted. There is a lot of emotion in these hashtags that speak to values. 5. Topic As the name suggests, topic hashtags are those that are part of a niche but more specific. A great example of this is #digitalmarketing101 which specifically speaks to people at the beginning stages of their digital marketing experience. The niche hashtag #digitalmarketing was used over 11,000,000 times on Instagram. However #digitalmarketing101 has only been used 23,000 times. You can also see all the related hashtags in the screenshot above for that hashtag. 6. Interest This one is a little bit tricky because interest can also be niche but not quite. You see it all depends on the context where the hashtag is being used. In many cases it is a cross niche hashtag. For example, the hashtag #icecreamnails is one that is in the beauty niche but it specifically focuses on people who like nail art with ice cream elements. Here is a screenshot of those ice cream nails. Lol!!🤣 I don’t think I will ever go for this look. Will you? 7. Location Another obvious one is location which is generally used by many local business owners. An example of one that is location specific is #houstonbusinesscoach which was only used 1,000 times on Instagram. You can also see all the hashtags that Instagram considers related to this one. Instagram Hashtag Planning Now that you have a fair understanding of a few different categories that you can use it’s time to look at a few other factors. Here is a list to carefully consider. Image Value Caption Storytelling Competition Let’s spend some time looking at each one in turn to see what is important before choosing your final set of hashtags. 1. Image Years ago when Instagram came on the seen the most important element of your post had to be the image. However, people are changing the way they use Instagram so they have a keener interest in authenticity. Yes, images are still a requirement but depending on the topic Instagram users are looking for more. This is especially true for niches that are not necessarily visual like marketing. 2. Value Small businesses in the none visual niches have to be more focused on delivering value to their audience. While you may have a beautiful image of your product it is a good idea to show how this product can improve someone’s life. A great example I saw recently is one where a photographer was showing what she can do for clients in a photoshoot. Meghan Claire Photography In the screenshot above the photographer captures herself painting which is so interesting. 3. Caption The next important section of a post is the caption where many people draw a blank because they are not sure what to say. Captions tend to tell you more about what is happening in the image especially in images without text on them. A great way to increase engagement is by writing great captions. One that makes the reader relate to you and the image. Lotte Lobe, Sales Consultant Here’s a screenshot of one from Lotte Lobe which got a lot of engagement although there doesn’t seem to be a lot written. If you are in sales you will be able to relate to what she is saying in the caption. 4. Storytelling Another way to write captions that get engagement is by telling a story that drives emotion and gets your audience to respond. When I first heard of story telling in captions I taught that it was too difficult for me to become vulnerable. However, I started a few weeks ago and now I cannot stop. Lol!! As you can see in the screenshot above I am telling a story about something I experienced recently. 5. Competition This is probably the one variable that gets a lot of attention when choosing hashtags. There are countless Instagram experts that have their own beliefs of which hashtags you should be using and when. As you know, the algorithm changes frequently so it can be difficult to stay on top of what’s working this month compared to last month or even last year. Should you use hashtags by low, medium and high competition? Well, it really depends on a few factors. How many followers on your account Your objectives The niche A specific topic I know that is not the answer that you were expecting but I have to tell you that I have tested what the experts advise and it does not necessarily work in every case. You probably heard it said that you should use hashtags that are as follows: 20k – 100k – low competition 100k – 500k – medium competition 500k – 1M – high competition If you have less than 5,000 followers on your account this advice is not going to work for you unless you have images that are scroll stoppers. You are better off starting with low competition hashtags to see what the engagement is like before going for more competitive ones. In fact, the reason why there are Instagram and Social Media Strategist is because it is their job to sit down with small business owners in order to develop a hashtag strategy. This is one of the things that I will be offering in my upcoming group program. Each participant will have the opportunity to spend 4 hours with me planning out their content for 90 days. My Instagram Results I have a tiny account with less than 500 followers and I can tell you for a fact that I am getting engagement. My secret is using the tips and tricks outlined in this Instagram hashtags cheat sheet plus other things I teach in my group program. Of course, I spent some time understanding my ideal follower and their needs before cre
27 minutes | 10 months ago
The Ultimate Instagram Schedulers You Need To Get Results
The situation was desperate, a hot Instagram tip meant I only had 2 hours to rework a post and I needed a specific Planoly vs Later comparison. Before I go into why I found myself in that situation let me give you a bit of background. A few years ago I did some training on Instagram because I wanted to change my attitude towards the platform. You might find this quite surprising since so many small business owners and brands love Instagram. At the time you can easily classify my attitude towards Instagram as one that is a love-hate relationship. Yes, there are many people generating an income for themselves using Instagram. However, there are some that are doing this using methods that are fake and pretentious. It does not mean that they all are that way. For this reason, I wanted to give it a fair attempt. Sadly for me, the person running the course a few years back was using dubious methods which was a big turnoff for me. The truth is that Instagram can be a great place to get visibility for your business using authentic methods. In this post, you will learn about Later and Planoly, why I use them and which one you need to remain authentic and deliver value on Instagram. Why Bother with Scheduling Tools for Instagram This past week I was speaking with a potential client who was posting to Instagram everyday natively without using a scheduler. Just in case that wasn’t clear enough, she was creating Instagram posts from scratch and leaving them in draft mode. She was doing this manually every day on the platform without getting sufficient visibility on her feed. You might be thinking that this is not so bad but let me ask you a question. If you want to get visibility across multiple platforms and/or scale your business exponentially do you think that is sustainable? Well, it is possible to do it 24/7 but the results will be overwhelming and there will be no time for anything else in your life. It is time to think about the reason you got into business in the first place. Gaining time freedom in your life does require some automation and outsourcing of monotonous tasks. Automation can be easily accomplished using scheduling tools like Planoly and Later. What About the Instagram Algorithm? I have heard a ton of people complain about the Instagram algorithm changing frequently. The thing is that the only thing consistent across social media, business and marketing is change. So, if you expect change then there should be no reason to complain at all. The key is to embrace the change and adapt your business processes to meet the new way of publishing. At this point, I would like to give a shout out to all those people who spend countless hours figuring out the change for the rest of us. One of the reasons I tend not to complain is because I would not like to be the one tasked with figuring out the algorithmic changes. My zone of genius is problem solving in terms of figuring out how to get marketing campaigns done easier, faster and on a low budget. This is one of the reasons I am launching a group program to help solopreneurs to get more visibility for their business. Compared to other courses out there this program is unique in that it offers a key element of a 6-hour, one-one workshop for each participant. It means that I will sit with you and together we will develop a 90-day plan for your business as well as the tools and systems to get it implemented. No more worrying about the changes in the algorithm because you will be advised to use 2-3 platforms to avoid a single point of failure. What to Look for in an Instagram Scheduler Based on my experience of using Instagram scheduling tools there are few things that I believe are super important. The obvious first feature should be a visual grid especially if your business is in the creative niche. Yes, there are some big name businesses like Marie Forleo and Marie Smith who don’t have an aesthetically pleasing feed. However, their business is not in the visually creative space so that is totally expected. Depending on the size of your audience on Instagram you may want to consider starting off with an aesthetically pleasing feed to attract your audience. Later on, after you build a sizeable audience you can do whatever you want. Other features that I consider essentials include the following. Auto-publish Media library Hashtag storage Saved captions Multimedia publishing First comment (auto-publish) Link in bio Analytics Rescheduling I am sure that there are other things that can be added but let’s spend some time looking at these in the first instance. 1. Auto Publish I previously mentioned the constant change when it comes to the Instagram algorithm. One of the factors that many creators believe affect your posts is auto-publishing. Personally, I set up my tools to send me a notification on my mobile phone so that I can publish it manually and follow-up with engagement. There are many other small businesses that prefer to use the auto-publish feature 100% of the time. It means that the Instagram scheduler publishes content to your feed or stories automatically. 2. Media Library Give me a media library every single time compared to not having one. If I have a collection of images that match my feed and theme I find it far easier to come up with captions. It also helps with creating or sourcing images in batch because it means you get more done in less time. Right now I have a few weeks of images ready to be captioned in my Instagram media library. Another plus is that it significantly reduces overwhelm for busy entrepreneurs. 3. Hashtag Storage In case you never understood Instagram hashtag system, think of it as the way for you to add SEO elements to your post. To put it simply, hashtags are the SEO keyword language for Instagram. The major difference of course is that you need to switch up your hashtags every single month. Because it takes so much time every month to find 5-7 groups of hashtags, it is essential to have them stored in your scheduler. 4. Saved Captions Having a saved caption feature is important because it will help you with themed days of the week. For example, you may have motivation Mondays, tips Tuesdays and training Thursdays. In many cases the captions used on these days will have similar language which you can save as a template. 5. Multimedia Publishing At first glance this may not seem like a must have item but just this week I was trying to post a carousel on Instagram. My carousel consisted of a mix between images and video. Here’s the thing, not all schedulers are able to offer this as a feature which is why I had a last minute panic attack. Many will give you images or video or a link, while others allow for a carousel of mixed media. This is important because carousels get a lot of engagement on the Instagram platform. 6. First Comment (auto-publish) Yes, this is a thing which I can never take advantage of fully simply because of the limitations or Instagram API restrictions which I’ll explain later. In other words, you have the ability to automatically post the first comment when you auto-publish an Instagram post. It helps to boost the visibility of your post when this is done. Do I find it cringy? Yes, definitely. Lol!! 7. Link in Bio If you are familiar with Instagram you know that you only have the ability to put a single link in your profile or bio. Of course, there are many tools available to help you circumvent this challenge. Some of these tools include Linktree, Shorby, Lnk.Bio and Shortstack. You can look at it as having a landing page with all your important links. 8. Analytics Just in case you think that this may not be important let me put it to you this way. Although Instagram has powerful, native reporting that allows you to view insights. Yet insights does not report on many necessary things. For example, how many impressions you get broken down by hashtag. Another essential item missing from Instagram Insights is the best time to post. 9. Rescheduling / Re-gramming So, this one is a mixed bag because you may be thinking why would you want to reschedule the same post? Well, if you are running a campaign for 30 days you may want to use the same post a number of times but with a different image, caption or set of hashtags. Also, the ability to ‘re-gram’ someone else’s post that did well is something you may want to consider doing. Planoly vs Later Now that you have a fair idea of what features are important generally speaking for marketers. Let’s spend some time looking at the key features available with each Instagram scheduler. Later This Instagram scheduler comes with 5 plans which can be billed monthly or annually. There is a free plan available which is really handy to get to know if it is the right one for you. For me the key features offered by Later are as follows: Visual grid Link in bio Analytics Best time to post Story Scheduling Hashtag suggestion Media library Unfortunately, the hashtag suggestion tool is only available with the premium level package. However, if this is super important for you and your business then feel free to subscribe to that plan. Here is a look at their user interface in more detail. The one thing that makes Later stand out compared to Planoly is that their visual grid is displayed on a mobile device from the browser view. I find this very realistic and helpful. Planoly As the name suggest Planoly allows you to plan your Instagram content in advance and it comes with 4 different pricing plans. It also has a free plan available which may not be as attractive as the one offered by Later. In my opinion, the key features offered by Planoly include: Ability to post photos, videos and GIFs Auto-post 1st comment Best time to post Hashtag research Search posts by user Stock photo library Low budget price plan If you are into creating a specific aesthetic on your Instagram feed then you will like Planoly a
26 minutes | 10 months ago
The Best Kept Secrets to Skyrocket YouTube Videos Easily
It began as a mistake for me initially but for many small business owners comparing TubeBuddy vs VidIQ can be complex. Using VidIQ started out as an accident for me in the beginning and I’ll explain why later. Publishing videos on YouTube looks like a very attractive opportunity for many people. However, what several people don’t realise is that there is more to the whole process than meets the eye. Coming up with an idea for your YouTube channel and publishing new videos each week is only a small part of the work involved. Getting views and retention on your videos are the two most important metrics if you want to be successful. The truth is that becoming a rockstar YouTuber can be hard. This is especially true if you have no idea what you are doing or how to increase retention. In this post, you will learn the differences between TubeBuddy and VidIQ as well as why you will use one as opposed to the other. Disclosure: Please note that this post may contain affiliate links which means that if you buy one of my recommended products I get paid a commission for sharing the link at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products that I have tried myself and have experienced success. YouTube Video Elements As a casual viewer of YouTube videos, it is difficult to imagine that there are many elements that contribute to ranking those videos. You see, YouTube is part of Google so as a result there are many ranking factors that allow your videos to get to page one of the results. Some of these important factors include: Channel optimisation Video description and title Thumbnail of the video Tags Length of video Audience Retention Number of views Playlists and End screens Hashtags Just when you thought that growing an audience on YouTube is easy across all niches it is not that simple. Creators in the music, beauty and cooking niche seem to have it easier compared to other niches. Sometimes people just get lucky or they already have an audience on another platform. So, if you are thinking of starting a YouTube channel soon remember that there is more to the setup and weekly publishing than meets the eye. Important Video Factors In order to help you to understand how TubeBuddy and VidIQ can save you hours of hard work and frustration. Let me explain in some detail the key factors that make a YouTube channel and video successful. 1. Channel Optimisation One of the key elements to get right when starting your YouTube channel or making it successful is by optimising your channel. This optimisation process involves getting your key message, channel graphics and keywords right. When creating your channel art follow the instructions listed in this video to ensure that it fits on all devices. He even supplies a template. Setup your links to other social media channels and finally correctly setup all other elements in the channel settings. Go to YouTube creator studio and on the bottom left of the channel dashboard you will see settings. As you can see in the screenshot above it is advisable that you complete some basic information about your channel. Head over to advanced settings and verify your YouTube channel using your Adwords or Analytics account which you will have already. These are just some initial pointers to help you get your channel started in the right way. 2. Video Description and Title Did you know that you can write up to 5,000 characters in the description sections of a video? That is equal to between 500 and 1,000 words of text. It means that you really need to do your homework before creating descriptions. One cool trick is to use your YouTube channel upload defaults to store some of the description text that you want appearing on every video. Here is an example of mine below. One important thing to consider for the description is if the text is search engine optimised. Of course, the title is the most important element of the video and I have to tell you that it takes a lot of research to get the best low competition title. Your ideal title should be 60 characters in length. 3. Thumbnail of the Video This may sound crazy but the thumbnail image of your YouTube video is probably the single most important element to get the click. To get an idea of the best thumbnail design for your video take a look at the popular videos when you go to YouTube home page. Here is a screenshot of what I see in terms of popular videos. The best advice I have for you in this area is to ask yourself which one of these videos catches your eye on first glance. Which one would you click on and why? 4. Video Tags For many years I could not understand how YouTubers figured out which tags are the best for their videos. In case you did not know it tags is a totally separate section of a YouTube video that tells YouTube what topic your video is about. Sometimes I wonder why a video requires so much text associated with it. The best reason I can give you is that the search engine bots are still unable to decipher videos. In the screenshot above, you can see an example of tags for one of my YouTube video. I will explain later on how I came up with that list. 5. Length of Video Believe it or not the length of your videos on YouTube have a profound effect on where you rank in the search results. In other words, depending on the topic, your first 5 seconds of footage plus the length of other competing videos determines your ranking. Your videos cannot be too short or too long, you simply need to take a look at what the competition is doing. 6. Audience Retention This means your ability to keep your audience watching each video until the end. I can tell you for a fact that it is pretty difficult to get this right every single time. However, with a bit of trial and error you will find your groove over time. The trick is to capture their attention in the first 3-5 seconds of the video so that they will continue until the end. Dig into that pain so that they will want to stay until the problem is solved. 7. Number of Views As the name suggests, it is the total number of views on each YouTube video. There is also an element of channel views in your YouTube statistics. Obviously the more views your videos receive the better it will be for your channel. A clever trick to improve your views is to create a series of 5 videos so that your viewer will need to watch all 5 in the series. 8. Playlists and End Screens While this may sound very trivial when it comes to ranking by adding end screens to your videos you improve your channel retention. It means that viewers can continue their experience by watching a related video from your channel or playlist. Also, by categorising your videos using topics or subtopics you also improve your retention rates on your channel. 9. Hashtags While hashtags are not yet that popular on YouTube a number of influencers are starting to include them in their descriptions. Now, this is not a crazy amount of hashtags like 20+ as you often see on Instagram. I am only talking about 2-4 hashtags at the most. TubeBuddy vs VidIQ Now that you have a better idea of what you need to do to get your videos to rank on YouTube let’s look at how the software helps. Unfortunately both solutions are not free but they do require a small investment for you to use them effectively. VidIQ While both applications appear to offer the same features there are some things that make VidIQ better in some areas compared to TubeBuddy. For example, when it comes to channel optimisation especially as it related to keywords VidIQ is the best one to use. There is a feature called SEO inside of VidIQ that allows you to do a search for a broad list of keywords that have low competition in your niche. You can sign up for a free trial or pay $10 for one month to do all your research if you are on a tight budget. You can also use the free version to check the optimisation on individual videos. All the other premium features that VidIQ have on offer require you to be on their Boost plan which means paying $49 a month. These premium features include: 1-Click syndication to Facebook Running description campaigns for your videos Seeing what else your subscribers are watching and when they are online Spying on competing channels Many of these you will not need as a beginner to YouTube unless your videos go viral at the start. Other Free Cool VidIQ Features Some other interesting features that are available with VidIQ fall into two broad categories. Channel specific Video focused 1. Channel specific The features that are available to help you gather data about a specific channel include the following: Trending Stats Top keywords Competitors Trend alerts Most viewed Channel audits Achievements As a member you also get access to the VidIQ academy. To give you a flavour of what that looks like take a look at the screenshots below for the top 3 channel-specific features. Here is what the channel statistics look like for a specific channel over a 3-month period. Check out the top videos for that channel where VidIQ reveals a breakdown of the total views per hour. Finally take a look at the top keywords for this specific channel. As I mentioned previously VidIQ also offers statistics for a specific video to help you optimise it as much as possible. 2. Video Focused Statistics The data that is collected by VidIQ for a video can be an eye-opener so that you can tweak each video to get it to rank on YouTube. It is cleverly broken down into various segments as follows: Overview Social SEO Compare views in the first 30 days Video optimisation checklist Channel Video tags Let’s quickly look at each one in turn to help you understand what is covered in each segment. Overview + Social The overview gives you a standard VidIQ score, views per hour as well as the total views on that video. On the other hand, the social shows a breakdown of engagement rate, YouTube likes, dislikes, Reddit engagement, Faceb
21 minutes | a year ago
Skyrocket Your Twitter Engagement Using 7 Secrets
One of the best ways to increase the value of Twitter for your business is by using clever Twitter engagement tips. If you have been using social media for a while you may have noticed that very few business owners get excited about Twitter. The reason for this is because either they have created a profile because they were told that they needed to be on there but never touched it. Another reason is because they do not understand the value that Twitter presents for their business. If you fall into any of these categories then you are like me many years ago when I had no clue about social media. In fact, many years ago I saw social media as this thing that will hopefully go away because it seemed so fake. Fast forward to today and I finally got to understand the different personalities of each platform as well as how to use it. The truth is that while having thousands of followers on social media has its place the real value for any business is a whole lot bigger. In this post, you will learn a number of clever tips to help you understand how and why you should be using Twitter for your business. Setting up your Twitter Profile for Success I have to admit that Twitter is probably one of the easiest social media platforms to set up from scratch. The biggest hurdle will be choosing your Twitter username or handle. You will have the ability to customise your profile based on the objective or end goal. In other words, why did you join Twitter? Is it to grow your followers, increase your visibility, build your authority or generate leads? It is going to be very difficult to decide from the onset but for me, I wanted to increase the visibility of my podcast in the first instance. Last year, I wanted to grow my visibility and authority. See screenshot below. In my latest campaign, I will be driving awareness of my group coaching program for social media. It is called 20 Minute Social and you can sign up here. My profile will change to reflect this new campaign shortly. What is the Real Deal with Twitter There are so many reasons why people use Twitter at the moment. One good reason is to get the latest news on what’s happening locally, nationally and internationally in real time. Think of it like a place to tune your very own news channel which brings me to a personal story. Over 10 years ago I made a decision to go on a media fast simply because I felt impressed to take a break. At the time I also believed that my mind was being bombarded with so many forms of media. So, I got rid of TV, movies, newspapers and everything media-related for one month. It then continued for over 10 years which fascinates me as I didn’t believe that I could do it. The funny bit is that when I did that there were people in my life who would let me know what’s happening in the outside world. People like my mother would call me to fill me in on what she considered the ‘important’ bits. I want you to think of Twitter like my mother. You can follow the people who fill your feed with the important news and that’s it. The Value of Twitter to a Small Business You are probably thinking, apart from the latest news is there any other value to a small business? Well, yes there is and that value lies in the following areas: Build a List of Who’s Who Generate leads Create meaningful relationships Grow awareness Campaign promotion Let’s take a look at each of these one by one so that you will be able to implement the ones you want in your business today. 1. Build a List of Who’s Who One of the things I did in my career in the past is business development for many years. It started with using an Excel sheet with company names and I had to go and find the key contacts in each of these companies and reach out to them. However, with the invention of social media this process became very advanced because of this thing called Twitter lists. On your profile, you have the ability to create these lists of people who you would like to keep an eye on or build a relationship with in the future. Think of it like a wish list that you are not sure why you want these people in your life just yet. As you can see in the image above I have created five (5) lists so far of very special people. In one of my lists, I have added 57 people and I decided to make that list private. Now, I have to let you know that when you add people to a list they get notified. There’s no need to freak out. Lol!! Twitter will even give you a list of people similar to the ones you added to your list. See the ‘suggested’ tab in the image above. I will tell you the value of this list later in this post. 2. Generate Leads The one advantage of Twitter is that you have the ability to send direct messages to potential clients or collaborators. You can also just promote links to a landing page to grow an email list. I will be using it to generate leads shortly but in the past I have used it for different reasons. Did you know that you can also run paid campaigns for Twitter via Quuu Promote? There is also the option to do paid promotions directly on the Twitter platform using promoted tweets to amplify your message. 3. Create Meaningful Relationships One of my favourite things to do on Twitter is creating meaningful relationships. I know you are thinking that this sounds super scary but bear with me as I explain a real life example. Last autumn, I wanted to do a collaboration post with the movers and shakers in the content marketing niche. The first thing I did is created a list of potential people and place them inside a Twitter list. Then I crafted an outreach message explaining why I was contacting them. As a result, I created 15+ new business relationships that never existed before I came up with the idea. This is a module I will be covering in great detail in my upcoming small group coaching around social media, you can join here. 4. Grow Awareness This one is a given and it involves you simply promoting your content on the platform 24/7. My favourite tool for accomplishing this task is Missinglettr which is very clever at what it can do. I like to see it as creating a baseline of content 365 days a year for every single blog post. For example, 6 months from now I know exactly what I will be publishing on Twitter. Check out the screenshot below to see for yourself. Take a look at my Missinglettr review here and get 50% off your first 3 months as well. 5. Campaign Promotion I did mention this earlier in this post but another great way to use Twitter is by promoting your upcoming product or course launch. In order to get your content to be seen by as many people as possible on Twitter is by using the correct hashtags and publishing 5-22 times a day. At first glance, publishing content 22 times a day on one platform may sound crazy. However, when you consider the speed at which things move on Twitter it is ridiculously fast. There is a feature on Twitter called Automated Ads that cost $99.00 a month that gives you additional reach of 30,000 people. You do have the option to manually create your ads and there isn’t a minimum ad spend. I have to say that the audience targeting on Twitter is not as sophisticated as the one on Facebook but it does the job. Try spending $5 a week to see what kind of return you will get on that investment. How to Get 207% More Profile Views One of the keys to having a Twitter profile is getting more people to stop by and take a look or grow brand awareness. Earlier this year and managed to do just that by increasing my profile views by 207%. As you can see I had only 57 profile visits in March and in April that shot up to 118. Think of it as 118 people visiting a specific landing page on your website or blog. I have to tell you that I did this by simply engaging with other people’s content. In case you are wondering how that is even possible then check out my top 5 tweets for April. Can you guess what happened with the number 1 tweet for April? Let’s take a look in more detail. In case you are thinking that you need to create more content in order to get more people to see your profile that’s not the case. All you need to do is engage with other people’s content on the platform by retweeting with a fitting comment. How to Improve Your Engagement with a Single Post The final piece of advice I can give you is to get the most out of every single post by doing this one thing. One of the ways to build authority on the Twitter platform is by publishing other people’s content. It would appear very self-centred of you if every time you publish a piece of content is something from your blog or business. In fact, you will be admired more if you spend time once a week featuring content from someone else in your niche. I am not referring to retweeting I am talking about adding it to your queue in Buffer. You will gain a lot more reach if when you publish the content if you remember to include this one thing. It will be important to add the Twitter handle of the creator and anyone else mentioned in the article. Below is an example where I added the Twitter handle of people mentioned in the article. The beauty in doing this is that these people get a notification that they were mentioned and of course they engage with the post. Summary Twitter could be a very clever tool in your arsenal for building valuable business relationships that last a lifetime. What I have learned is to take my eyes away from the mentality of follow and unfollow and instead think about collaborations. When you are launching a product or service and you want to get the word out about it these people in your network can help. You also can return the favour when they are promoting something. The opportunities for business networking on Twitter are endless and I am about to get involved with another project with my peers. Can you imagine reaching out to the Chief
17 minutes | a year ago
11 Reasons Why You Are Not Achieving Your Dreams
Childhood is the most blissful time of life for many people. As an adult, you look back at that time and wonder why you’re not achieving your dreams. In fact, you may remember many adults around you encouraging you to chase your dreams and find fulfilment. Let me know if this sounds familiar. As a child, you wanted to become a doctor, lawyer, nurse, eye specialist, teacher, fireman, footballer or some other profession but things didn’t work out. Your parents got you gifts frequently to help you move along the path to that profession. The gifts included a blackboard and chalk or stethoscope or gavel or fireman outfit, dollhouse or a soccer ball or other significant item Something happened along the way but that dream started fading during your years at school. The truth is that it is not your fault at all. No one ever teaches any of us how to achieve our goals or to turn our dreams into reality as teenagers. In this post, you will learn the 11 things that you are doing wrong when it comes to fulfilling your long term dreams. Dreams vs Goals As I am sat writing this blog post, I can think of several reasons why it is so easy to get all confused when it comes to the topic of dreams. For the purposes of this exercise I am not referring to nightmares or random dreams that you have at night. The focus here are those dreams as it relates to positive or progressive things that can transform your life. I will not be diving into the world of manifestation or supernatural things or astrology. Everything will be practical and down to earth and include everyday actions that anyone can do comfortably. Dreams in this post, will be related to life goals. 11 Things You are Not Doing There are so many reasons why you are not achieving your dreams yet despite having the best intentions. Here’s a list of the top 11 reasons why your dreams have not yet come true. Did not set goals Goal not big enough Unsure what’s good for you Not exercising skills or talent You are not serious In action Stopped learning Hiding from others No collaborations Have not hired a coach Misaligned with God’s will Let’s spend some time looking at each one of these individually to better understand how to turn things around. 1. Did Not Set Goals In case you are new to this concept, it is often said that the first step to achieving your dreams is to write them down. “A dream written down with a date becomes a goal. A goal broken down into steps becomes a plan. A plan backed by action makes your dreams come true.” Greg Reid As you can see this is not something I invented recently. It is a quote by Greg Reid encouraging us to turn our dreams into goals. Let me tell you that it was one of the hardest lessons for me to understand because I thought the exercise of writing down dreams was absolutely pointless. In fact, the main reason for this is that the first time I wrote down my dreams nothing happened or so I thought. The reality is that I did not have a good coach the first time I wrote down my dreams. 2. Goal Not Big Enough Do you like playing small? What I mean by that is the fact that instead of making a plan for a big dream you start by going small. For example, you may think that your goal is to be healthy which isn’t a bad thing but is that really exciting? “The size of your dreams must always exceed your current capacity to achieve them. If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough.” Ellen Johnson Sirleaf While your health is your wealth it is more important to take the dream of being healthy and quantify it. How will you know when you have reached to goal of being healthy? Is it by what you can wear, do or be? For example, I would like to drop two dress sizes in 12 months is a dream that can be scary simply because it will take a transformation to get there. Also, being healthy means different things to different people so ensure the dream is big, quantifiable and suitable for your situation. 3. Unsure What is Good for You For many people, during childhood, your parents are there as a guide to help you to understand what is or is not good for you. However, during adulthood things become very difficult as your age now dictates that you are old enough to make correct decisions. This is not necessarily the case for everyone in all aspects of life. This is especially true when it comes to career and personal finance. “When you finally figure out what you really want, everything else pales in comparison.” Tammara Webber There are a few people in this life who know what they want with 90% accuracy from the time they are a teenager. Others are not so lucky and they spend a large portion of time figuring out what they want in life. Can you relate to this? No matter which camp you fall into find out what you really want, find your purpose or be miserable and unfulfilled. 4. Not Exercising Skills and Talents If you have a great understanding of your talents and skills then these gifts can be used to help you achieve your dreams. By keeping them to yourself and not using them you are not only robbing the world of these precious gifts but you are hindering your progress to success. “You are unique. You have different talents and abilities. You don’t have to always follow in the footsteps of others. And most important, you should always remind yourself that you don’t have to do what everyone else is doing and have a responsibility to develop the talents you have been given.” Roy T. Bennett The teacher or career guidance officer at school told you that in order to become an astronaut you needed to do x, y and z in that order. I have nothing against career guidance officers or teachers who mean well. However, if they have never been an astronaut how can they guide you? There is so much information available in this world that it is possible to find a course, path or way to get to that end goal. Even if it means taking the scenic route. 5. You Are Not Serious A big reason why you are not achieving your dreams is the fact that you are not taking them or yourself seriously. There may be a ton of people who would look at you and say that you are perfect to become the president of America and you are like, nope! “If we keep telling that life is unfair but do nothing serious about it, then life will forever continue to remain unfair!” Mehmet Murat Ildan So many people look at injustice happening around them but they say that there is nothing that they can do. Maybe your path to the presidency is one that is bound up in a career working for those being treated unfairly. In case you are still not convinced, you need to read the story about everybody, somebody, anybody and nobody here. 6. Inaction After making a list of gorgeous SMART goals the next best thing to do is to break those goals into tasks. Those tasks will lead to you taking action every single day. If you are not taking action then you are also saying that you are not achieving your dreams. “When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.” Confucius When you are feeling hungry you take determined action to get rid of those hunger pains. The same is true with your dreams. It is only by taking action that you are able to “eat that elephant”. 7. Stopped Learning Is it true that you learn something new everyday? When was the last time you spent time learning a new skill? I am a lifelong learner at heart and I get bored very quickly if I am not learning a new skill frequently. “If you want something you never had, you have to do something you’ve never done.” Thomas Jefferson That quote by Thomas Jefferson gives me goosebumps all the time. Everyone of us want something that we never had. If this quote is true then why are so many people reluctant to learn a new skill or do something they never did? 8. Hiding Your Dreams This one is hard. I can tell you from years of experience that sharing your dreams with others is one of the hardest things in the world. Why? Because you will be afraid of being judged by your best friend, family, spouse or significant other. Do you know what? The moment I decided to make my dreams public a whole lot of things started to happen in my life. “When we were children, we used to think that when we were grown-up we would no longer be vulnerable. But to grow up is to accept vulnerability… To be alive is to be vulnerable.” Madeleine L’Engle Making your dreams public means that you now become accountable and even vulnerable. It also means that you are open to transformation in your life. Almost a year ago I decided to make my dreams public so that I can become accountable and vulnerable. You can take a look at my 50th birthday bucket list here in all its glory. Haha! 9. Not Collaborating A great way to make other people aware of your dreams, goals and aspirations is via a collaboration. The good thing is that collaborating with others can take several different formats and it can also be very enriching for both parties. “Teamwork begins by building trust. And the only way to do that is to overcome our need for invulnerability.” Patrick Lencioni Last year I decided that I needed to collaborate with my peers in the marketing niche even though I did not know them personally. It was very hard because it means becoming vulnerable, feeling judged, fear and lots of human imperfections. I wrote a blog post with 17 other collaborators and it was hard, amazing and rewarding on so many levels. Trust me collaboration works, nobody said that it will not be awkward. 10. You Have not Hired a Coach Okay, confession time. Haha!! For years and years I heard people say that the secret to getting ahead in life is by finding a mentor. I searched high and low and could not find one. In fact, I had no clue how to actually find a mentor. There are tons of sites on the In
26 minutes | a year ago
13 Delightful Tools to Make Your Weekly Marketing Tasks a Dream
So, you need to promote your content every week and you wondering if there are any Chrome extensions for marketers to help save you time. Let me know if this sounds familiar if you publish content every week. You are preparing to write your next blog post so you need to research the keywords, user intent, questions, problems and subtopics before you create the outline. While this may sound pretty straight forward to the casual onlooker the time involved gathering all the data is unreal. Here’s another scenario. When your blog post goes live, you need to spend time promoting it to get the word out there. Of course, the time spent actually involves taking the images, captions, descriptions and videos that you created and pushing them to social media. If you currently spend over 7 hours every week promoting content and you wish that there was a better way then keep reading. In this post, you will learn how to drastically reduce the time taken to research, create and promote your content using Chrome extensions. Disclosure: Please note that this post may contain affiliate links which means that if you buy one of my recommended products I get paid a commission for sharing the link at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products that I have tried myself and have experienced success. What are Chrome Extensions? In case you are new to the world of Chrome extensions and you have no idea what I am talking about let me explain. A great way to access the Internet is by using browsers like Chrome, Firefox and Safari. Each of these browsers offers small applications that will help users get stuff done faster or to help customise the browsing experience. One popular example is the ability to capture a video of what you are doing while using a specific webpage. Awesome Screenshot is a Chrome extension that can be used to capture a quick video that can you can use to illustrate a feature on your blog post. There are many other Chrome extensions available to do all kinds of things. However, in the post, I will share those that will help you save time with content marketing. Chrome Extensions for Marketing As a marketer, you will probably know the process of promoting content every week involves several activities. These activities include logging in to social media platforms, creating images, writing captions and descriptions for social media. In some cases, you will also find yourself creating videos or going live on platforms such as Facebook. You may also need to use other applications like Google docs and keyword research tools to plan and organise your content. Here is a list of Chrome extensions that will save you a lot of time each and every week. SEOQuake MozBar Buffer Tailwind TubeBuddy Grammarly WhatTheFont Eye Dropper Pin on Top Emoji Keyboard SimilarWeb VidIQ Airstory Let’s spend some time looking at each one to see how it works at saving you time each week. 1. SEOQuake As the name suggests SEOQuake is a Chrome extension that allows you to effortlessly see search engine optimisation details for pages that rank in the SERPs. The key benefit comes in when you are doing research for a set of keywords. You need to see if it is possible for your fresh blog post to rank for your chosen keywords. SEOQuake allows you to see at a glance the Facebook likes, Pinterest re-pin count, pages indexed in Google, external and internal links for pages in the SERPs. You even have the option to inspect pages on an individual basis as well as shown below. 2. MozBar In a similar fashion, the MozBar Chrome extension does the same but gives you a lot less information. It is easier to make a decision based on the results. It gives you the domain authority and page authority when you login using your free Moz community account. You can easily sign up for a free account here. Essentially, the lower the DA is for the pages in the results the higher your chances of ranking for your chosen keyword. 3. Buffer One huge time saver for me every week is the ability to add content to my social media queue so that I can build authority in my niche. The fastest way for me to do this is when I am using Tailwind Tribes. I find a lot of great content there so I just visit the blog post and click on the Buffer extension. I simply choose an image from the list, add my hashtags and click the ‘add to queue’ button. 4. Tailwind As I mentioned previously I use Tailwind every week to schedule my pins to Pinterest. I also use it to schedule other people’s content to build authority. The best way to use the Tailwind extension is by going to the Pinterest feed and scrolling down as far as possible. Simply click on the Tailwind button in at the top of the browser then choose items to add to your queue. Here you can see pins added to be scheduled at the bottom of the image. You may not be a fan of Chrome but the good news is that this extension also works with the Firefox browser. If you are new to Tailwind you can see my step by step Tailwind review here. 5. TubeBuddy Do you create videos every week and you are looking for a way to find keywords or tags that are less competitive? This extension might just be the solution for you. You can think of TubeBuddy as the keyword research tool for YouTube except that it is more like an all in one solution that gives you great insight. Here’s a screenshot of all the functionality available with TubeBuddy. As you can see the opportunities are endless. Later on in this post, I introduce a second YouTube extension. For a detailed comparison between the two take a look at the TubeBuddy vs VidIQ discussion over here. 6. Grammarly I don’t know about you but when I am writing content every week the one thing that can slow me down is checking for correct grammar. Thanks to Grammarly, I now have that process completed for me automatically so that I can stay in a creative frame of mind while writing. Even if you are working on a document offline you have the ability to upload it into the Grammarly app for corrections. 7. WhatTheFont Have ever been browsing online and come across an eye-popping gorgeous font? Maybe it is just me but I instantly want to know which font was used. Well, there’s a great way to find that out using WhatTheFont Chrome extension. Here is a screenshot of me putting WhatTheFont to the test. As you can see it is telling me that the font family used on this Pinterest pin is Roboto. 8. Eye Dropper Another great Chrome extension that works really well along side WhatTheFont is Eye Dropper. Naturally, when you see an image with an awesome font the next best question would be what colour was used to make the image pop. The eye dropper tool allows you to get the hex code and RGB combinations so that you can get the exact shade used in the image. In my opinion, Eye Dropper has to be one of the best Chrome extensions for marketers because it is a huge time saver. 9. Pin On Top Many bloggers complain about the fact that they can no longer see re-pin counts organically on Pinterest. Re-pin counts allow you to see pins that have the potential to go viral on the Pinterest platform. Although Pinterest has removed this feature there is a Chrome extension that gives you this visibility and it is called Pin On Top. It may not be the savviest of tools but if you need the visibility at least it works. Here is what a regular search for the term SEO tools look like without using the Pin On Top extension. After clicking the Pin On Top extension button you will see this little app on the top right-hand corner. Just enter how many pages and sort by saves. In the below screenshot, you will notice the results sorted by total saves per pin. Most of the results in the first row are ads or promoted pins. Below is a screenshot showing the results from the second row of pins. 10. Emoji Keyboard If you write captions to post to social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram regularly then you will like this next tool. It is a Chrome extension that gives you an emoji keyboard on the fly which means that you will save a bucket load of time. Because I post to Instagram every day as well as doing captions for Facebook Live this tool will save me so much time.🕰 11. SimilarWeb Another awesome Chrome extension for marketing is the SimilarWeb tool. It is great for checking competing sites or complimentary sites in your niche. When used correctly it allows you to see their country rank as well as the visits over time, bounce rate, pages per visit and monthly visits. The category rank is also a great indicator when you want to get an idea of the top 20 sites within a specific sub-niche. 12. VidIQ Although we looked at Tubebuddy earlier for help with ranking your YouTube videos I wanted to also make you aware of VidIQ. The difference between the two tools is that VidIQ strengths lie in finding overall keywords for your YouTube channel. You can see that even with the free version of VidIQ you can see a lot of valuable information on your videos. I have accounts with TubeBuddy and VidIQ to help with improving the ranking of my videos on YouTube. 13. Airstory If you never heard of this one before, Airstory is basically an online application that helps you to write comprehensive stories faster. It does this by giving you a blank space to focus on your writing craft but more important it comes with clever research tools. There is a research tool which is a Chrome extension that allows you to capture items of research from the Internet. See example below. After you highlight the item from the webpage you will have the opportunity to assign it to a project and even add tags. What I really like is that it also captures a link back to the original source of the article making it easy to link back to the source of the content. How to Save Time Every Week Here is a quick step by step guide outlining how you can use
33 minutes | a year ago
How to Easily Add Subtitles to Videos to Skyrocket Social Media Results
If you are using video for marketing you know how important it is to add subtitles to videos. However, this process does not seem to be as straightforward as you originally thought. YouTube creators know that in order to get this done they need to either have the script already written, word for word. Otherwise, they would need to painstakingly write out the text using the YouTube Creator Studio. While this may seem logical for the casual onlooker I want you to stop and think of what that process looks like for a second. You spend endless hours planning, shooting and editing a video to get the copy, thumbnails, description, keywords and tags right. Imagine having to upload 3-5 of those videos every week and still needing to write the subtitles or captions. What if there was a way to get this done faster or to have them auto generated in the background while your videos are uploading. The truth is that there isn’t a one size fits all solution for all social media platforms. In this post, you will learn how to easily add subtitles to almost all your social media videos including Facebook, Pinterest, IGTV, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. So that you can grab the attention of your followers without feeling overwhelmed and frustrated every week. What are Subtitles and Why You Need Them? In case you are new to the world of video marketing on social media let me spend some time explaining what are subtitles or captions. Subtitles are basically the script of the video or audio file that you watch or listen to online when the sound is off. Camille Hughes of Intro to Digital reported that “video traffic accounts for about 80% of all consumer traffic”. She goes on to say that “videos that are about two minutes, generate the highest engagement levels.” Did you know that 85% of Facebook videos are watched without sound? A whopping 60% of Instagram videos are watched with the sound on. The number one reason why you need subtitles or captions are for those people who would like to consume video without sound. If you think that this is weird try to remember a time when you really wanted to watch a video but didn’t have earplugs or headphones. Consumers dictate how marketers should cater for their every need just by their behaviour alone. Yes, I know of some people who would try to lip read the actors on video but I am just not there yet. Which Platforms Accept Video + Criteria At the time of writing this post, I can think of 5 social media platforms used by business to promote content via video outside of YouTube. These platforms include: Facebook Twitter Instagram (IGTV + Stories) Pinterest LinkedIn Let’s spend some time looking at each platform as well as their capabilities for subtitles. Facebook Of all the social media platforms, Facebook seems to be ahead of them all because they now offer autogenerated subtitles or captions. Did I mention that these auto-generated captions are close to 100% accurate? I have been doing a Facebook Live Monday to Friday for the last 2 weeks and the subtitles have been amazing. It is a little bit scary when I think about how accurate these subtitles are compared to those on YouTube. Has Facebook been listening in on my conversations? Their recognition of my voice is too accurate. So, what are the accepted dimensions for Facebook videos? Facebook Video Design Recommendations Aspect Ratio – 16:9 or 9:16 (vertical + horizontal) Max File size – 4GB Maximum length – 240 minutes Twitter Although Twitter is not a very popular platform for many bloggers it is still used by many business people. You have two choices when uploading videos to Twitter. You can either do a native upload by logging into the platform. The other option is to go live using Periscope ensuring that you link it to your Twitter account. When you go live, your video will automatically show up inside your Twitter feed. In order to get subtitles on your videos in Twitter there is a little bit of a catch. You need to head over to studio.twitter.com if you already have an existing Twitter account. It is also known as Twitter Media Studio. You will come to a library that looks like the screenshot below. Unfortunately, videos uploaded here can only be 2 minutes and 20 seconds in length. I know that sounds confusing because you can upload longer videos on the front end. After uploading the video you need to click on the three dots as shown below which brings you to the media details view. Next click on subtitles, select the language of the subtitles and upload your SRT file. If you don’t have an SRT file you will learn how to easily get one later on in this post. Twitter Video Design Dimensions Aspect Ratio – 16:9 (horizontal only) Max File size – 512MB Maximum length – 2 minutes and 20 seconds Instagram If you have used Instagram you will know that there are two different sections of Instagram where you can find people’s videos. The first is via Instagram stories and the other is on IGTV. It will not be normal practice to add subtitles to Instagram stories due to the nature of those posts. You can add text and hashtags in stories. However, IGTV continues to blow up and surprise everyone by what you can find on that platform. Bearing in mind that the preferred format of these videos is that they are vertical or 9:16 or 1080×1920 in size. It is not surprising that there are tons of cooking videos on IGTV where people have adapted to suit the required media. In case you have tons of 1920×1080 or 16:9 or landscape videos and you are wondering how to get those into a vertical format, I will show you later. Uploading Videos to IGTV For best results, you should burn subtitles or caption into videos into IGTV videos before uploading them onto the platform. As of now, there is no way to upload a separate SRT file to the IGTV platform so captions would need to be hardcoded into the video file. The good news is that you can upload a video to IGTV using your desktop via your web browser. Simply click on IGTV, then click the upload button. You will then see this screen. Go ahead and upload your video, enter a title and a description. Adding your own custom cover photo will also help to gain attention in the IGTV feed. IGTV Video Design Dimensions Aspect Ratio – 9:16 (preferred) and 16:9 Max File size – 3.5GB 10 Minute Video – Max 650MB Maximum length – 15 minutes from mobile, 60 minutes from the web File format – MP4 Pinterest One of the most tricky platforms when it comes to videos is the Pinterest platform. The reason for this is because they seem to be still in the testing phase of accepting videos on Pinterest. Each time a video is uploaded, it needs to be manually approved before going live. A key concern for businesses is getting a return on your investment. So far, the performance of videos on Pinterest seem to be a bit of a ‘hit and miss’ affair. I will still cover video requirements for Pinterest in the meantime since it is something that may take off in the near future. Videos are called ‘video pins’ and images are just called pins or pin images on Pinterest. Click on the plus button on the top right and you will be brought to this screen. Upload your video and you will then get the opportunity to add a title, description, link and tags. The option to choose your own custom video cover is also available. Once completed, choose a Pinterest board and click publish. Your video pin will go into a review queue and should go live in 24 hours. Pinterest Video Design Dimensions Aspect Ratio – 9:16, 1:1 or 2:3 Max Filesize – 2GB Maximum length – 4 seconds to 15 minutes File format – MP4, MOV, M4V LinkedIn One of the best places to get your videos in front of decision makers really quickly is by uploading your videos to LinkedIn. As you can imagine, your videos really need to be on point and eye catching to get the positive feedback that you need. There are two options on LinkedIn when it comes to video. You can go live or you can upload a video to the platform. To get started simply click on ‘start a post’ and you will be presented with this screen. The camera icon is for images, while the video icon is for uploading videos, so click on that one. As you can see from the screenshot you will be presented with the option to add a SRT file and even a thumbnail image. Once you are happy click done and publish the video. Personally, I find that ClipScribe is the best application for editing LinkedIn videos because they give you a professional finish. You can see my review of all the subtitle software platforms, including ClipScribe below. LinkedIn Video Design Dimensions Aspect Ratio – 1:2.4 or 2.4:1 or 9:16 or 16:9 Max File size – 5GB Maximum length – 10 minutes File format – MP4, AAC Video Conversion + Subtitles Software First let me introduce you to the subtitle producers of the Internet. These applications give you the ability to not only go from 16:9 to 9:16 but they help you produce those SRT files. Quicc.io Clipscribe Zubtitle Veed Otter.ai Kapwing Not all of these applications are created equal. Each of them are great to one extent or another. Let’s briefly look at each one in turn in terms of what they are offering as well as their pros and cons. 1. Quicc.io This application is 100% online which is great news and they give you the option to get your first 5 minutes free. Depending on the length of the videos that you create every week or each month you may find these prices awesome or expensive. After verifying your account you are brought to this screen below. It took less than a minute to upload my video which was 2 minutes in length. You come to the screen to edit the captions. The resulting subtitles were not 100% accurate but they were okay. There is also th
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