March 22, 2013
I know, I know…”automation”. It has such an ugly connotation of dirty factories and children forced into jobs before their 10th birthday. However, this is ANOTHER kind of automation — the kind that will give you back your most precious commodity: TIME. Check it out (source: Marketo).
Brought to you by Marketing Automation Software from Marketo
August 27, 2012
I was talking with a potential client last week and when we started talking about video as a possible option to help him market his business, he slumped and said, “oh man….spend a ton of money on a video? why????”
That’s when it hit me….and I finally understood. My clients think a few things that I need to clear up:
1. video = tons of money (for no real return, they silently believe)
2. it’s HARD
3. it’s really really expensive.
You’ll notice that I put the money part down TWICE. The reason? Not enough marketers who recommend video truly understand HOW to use it EFFECTIVELY as a marketing tool (meaning: the return on investment is not explained well – or even at all).
Why is this? I am guessing at the number of ad and marketing agencies who regularly farm out video have only used it to make :30 spots and not TRUE CONTENT. OR…they are just video production houses who just want to make video content and have no true understanding on how to market the video content and show true ROI to their clients.
A fabulous idea is born…. when you understand what good content and video content truly is AND how to promote it, it will become clear that as we progress in on-line marketing, video is one of the only true tactics that will effectively do a few things for your business:
1. Builds credibility and scalability. Your face and your message connect to the viewer — your clients get to know you and using video to do this is effectively like adding hours and hours of SELLING time to your week. It’s really hard to fake stuff on video — like a human lie detector, people intuitively know when you’re scamming them. In this case, don’t use video. For all of the rest of you legit folks, read on.
2. We learn better by watching than reading a bunch of dense text. It’s a proven fact that Americans now would rather watch than read. Over and over again, the numbers on video view instructions for a complicated process or product far outpace any written materials on websites of thousands of businesses. We just like it. That’s all.
3. Video can do a number of things well and why not take advantage of 1 and 2 when you’ve got no time and need to generate more sales? Video can:
- attract new clients and customers – utilized correctly in a variety of sites and campaigns, video content done for this purpose is like offering honeysuckle to bees.
- once you get the audience, you’ll need to engage them. Video is also #1 on the hit parade of all marketing tactics in doing this – create the right video for the target audience you’ve worked so hard to attract and they will begin to engage with you and even SHARE the videos with their networks — that’s the exponential effect that video sharing through social media can have on your business.
- nurturing your target clients and customers to up-sell and bring them more VALUE.
- and the Grand Prize of all the work of bringing in the new clients — CONVERTING them. Whether it’s sales or up-sells or referrals – video is unsurpassed at helping you connect on your CALL TO ACTION.
If you’ve made it this far in the post: here’s a freebie. WHERE DO I START??
#1 place? What part of my business is MOST CONFUSING and takes the most time for me to explain. Start here with your video thinking cap firmly in place. This topic should generate at least 5-10 videos, even for the most straight-forward businesses.
by Dorie Clark
What’s the best productivity tool you’re not taking advantage of? Evernote? MeetingWizard? Dropbox? Think again. Harvard Business School professor Teresa Amabile says it’s journaling. In her new book The Progress Principle: Using Small Wins to Ignite Joy, Engagement, and Creativity at Work (co-authored with Steven Kramer), Amabile argues that keeping a journal is one of the best strategies for learning about yourself and improving your professional performance over time.
“One of the big reasons to keep a diary is to record small wins that otherwise might slip through your memory,” she says. “You can leverage the progress principle and allow yourself to get that boost from realizing you are making progress. And it’s also helpful to record major setbacks – or minor ones that recur – so you can think about how to get rid of inhibitors blocking your progress.” Here are four tips from Amabile on how to start improving your productivity today.
Start Small. Keeping a journal – fortunately – isn’t like starting a blog, where you face public humiliation if you slack off. You can try out journaling for a set period of time – Amabile suggests a month – to see if you like it and find it helpful. And don’t set yourself up for failure by chaining yourself to your desk interminably. “It doesn’t have to be a big deal. Write for five or ten minutes a day,” says Amabile, who is also Director of Research at Harvard Business School. “You can focus on one particular project or issue you’re dealing with, and use it to help clear your mind.”
Create a Ritual. When you’re tired after a long day, journaling might seem like the last thing you want to do. That’s why Amabile suggests leveraging the power of habit to help you keep your commitment. “Try to do it at the same time each day, when you’re not likely to be interrupted,” she advises. Whether it’s before work with your morning coffee, on your lunch break, or just before bed, find the time that works for you. The format (electronic or paper) doesn’t matter, says Amabile: focus on consistency.
Don’t Overlook the Positive. It’s easy to use a journal as a venting tool – and that can be useful at times. “But even if the day was frustrating or difficult, try to pull out at least one positive thing,” says Amabile. “Then you can write about the difficult things, as well.” Remembering something good – even if it seems small – can help you shift your perspective and break out of a rut.
Review the Past. Simply writing down your experiences can be cathartic. But, says Amabile, “it multiplies in utility if you use it to review your personal history. You can find insights or pieces of ideas beginning to emerge that you might not have realized if you look back a week, a month, or a year ago.” That was certainly the case for Charles Darwin, who – as profiled in Steven Johnson’s Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation– developed a “slow hunch” that built over time and turned into his theory of evolution.
If you want to improve your performance and productivity, sometimes the simplest solution is also the best. “A journal can help you learn things about yourself, and help you see patterns in your own reactions and behaviors,” says Amabile. “That can help you identify your greatest strengths – and weaknesses you might want to work on.” You can hear Amabile speak about journaling at Behance’s upcoming 99% conference, which – per Thomas Edison – honors the “99% perspiration” that makes innovation possible. (You can read my interview with fellow 99% conference speaker Jonah Lehrer on “How to Stay Creative at Any Age”.)
Have you tried journaling? What are your strategies for monitoring and improving your performance?
Dorie Clark is CEO of Clark Strategic Communications and the author of the forthcoming Reinventing You: Define Your Brand, Imagine Your Future (Harvard Business Review Press, 2012). She is a strategy consultant who has worked with clients including Google, Yale University, and the Ford Foundation. Listen to her podcasts or follow her on Twitter.