How to Create a Professional Podcast – “How To” Series

podcastingPodcasting is a great way to get information to your audience. They can download and take your message with them to the gym, listen in the car while traveling, or simply listen on their computer while they chat on Facebook. Podcasting makes your message more personal and tangible to your audience. Aim to make your podcast as professional as you can to give the best possible experience to your customers.

9 Ways to Create a Professional Podcast

1. Use the Right Mic – Purchase a mic that has noise canceling features, and that is of high quality. The best mic will be one connected via USB and not cordless, as the latter will mess with the quality of your mic. You want a directional mic that captures sound in front of it and not around it; this will make for a much better quality sound. Ask your guests to also have a good sounding mic if you’re recoding them over the internet or by phone.

2. Invest in Good Software – Software made for podcasting like Audacity is good a choice to record your podcast. Be careful using software like Skype and Pamela for your podcast because the quality will be affected due to talking over the internet. But, if you do choose to use something like that, ask that your guests are plugged into the internet by USB and not wireless.

3. Edit the Final Results – Everyone makes mistakes, so it’s not as if you have to make every answer and every last part of your podcast perfect and whitewashed. But, some editing will need to be done so that everyone sounds professional and long-winded answers can be cut down for time’s sake.

4. Keep the Room Quiet – Yes, you have a life and you are probably recording your podcast in your bedroom or home office, but you don’t want it to sound like you are. You don’t want to have to take time out to shush a child, or quiet a barking dog. Instead, do what you can to make sure the room stays quiet while you record your show.

5. Practice – When you first start out it might take some practice to get used to the technology, the quiet time in the recording room, and a lot of other things. Take the time to have a few practice shows before you put your show live so that you can learn how to use the new technology.

6. Pay for an Introduction – Find someone to do a professional voice-over, and make some intro music to take you in and out of commercials. Some people have music for the end of the show as well. It helps the listener to get ready to listen, and helps let them down easily when the show is over.

7. Sell Advertising – As your show becomes more popular, sell advertising. In the meantime, you might consider giving away some advertising so that people who are listening gets used to ads being in the show. And if anyone who listens wants to place an advertisement, they can hear the type of quality you expect.

8. Invite Rock Star Guests – People love listening to podcasts more if there is a conversation instead of just one person talking. Try to invite guests who are masters of their niche and their businesses. This will rub off onto you by association. If you hang out with those who are doing well, you’ll be seen as someone who is doing well too. Think: Oprah.

9. Be Consistent – Putting out a podcast irregularly is the kiss of death for your podcast. It’s important that your audience become dependent on hearing your podcast on a certain date and time. It sometimes takes a bit for a good audience to catch on, and if you aren’t regularly posting podcasts you’ll never catch on.

10. Stay on Niche – This can be hard when you are doing a podcast because of having to repeatedly come up with subject matter for shows. But, you want anyone who listens to understand who you’re speaking to and not to end up bored due to targeting the wrong audience.

You really can produce a professional-sounding podcast from your home office. You just need to have a good niche, understand the audience, and post podcasts on a regular basis using subject matter that your audience wants to hear.

How to Use Audio in your Marketing – “How To” Series #3

Audio is a such great way to expand your market. If you start thinking about how you can add audio to your content marketing efforts, you’ll improve your connection with your audience. This in turn will boost sales by making a stronger connection to your target audience and current customers, creating more repeat buyers.

9 Ways to Market Your Business with Audio

1. Make Audio Available on iTunes – If you can get approved to be on iTunes with whatever audios you create, not only can you expand your audience, but you can also earn some extra money, thus creating a new income stream.

2. Use Audio to Increase Opt-Ins – When your target audience clicks to get more information for your products and services, how would it make a difference if you were talking to them with your voice to explain what you have to offer?

3. Create Audio Testimonials – Ask your fans to create audio testimonials. You can set up a special number for them to call which records their testimonial. Then you can use the recording on your website. Set up a Google number using Google Voice.

4. Add Voice to Your Blog Posts – Using the software you probably already have on your computer (search for sound recorder) to record yourself reading your blog posts, you can easily add the recording to the blog post as a choice over reading.

5. Create an Audio Version of Your EBooks – Using the same software mentioned above, you can record your voice reading all of your eBooks so that you can offer a recording of your eBooks on iTunes or other places where audio books are sold.

6. Interview Experts Regularly – People love hearing two people conversing and nothing is better than listening to an expert talk about the things you’re interested in. If you can find experts to help you create recordings, so much the better.

7. Create a Webinar – Another way to use audio is to create a webinar, which has both voice and video. A webinar can help your audience feel much more connected to you because they can hear your voice and also see you.

8. Have a Teleseminar – Want to really get close to your audience? Offer regular teleseminars for your “inner circle” subscribers. If you do this once a month or so, be sure to record them because you can use the recordings to create other products.

9. Repurpose Everything – When anything is in one format, remember that you can recreate it into a new format. A blog post can become an audio post, and vice versa. The more you repurpose your products and information, the more people you can reach.

Using audio for marketing is a great way to get new interest, find new customers, and to boost your brand across the internet. Audio can breathe new life into your marketing if you figure out interesting ways to use it, giving your followers and fans a new way to interact and engage with you.

Promote It – How to Setup Your Lead Generation Funnel – Part 5 – Strategix Video Tip

The final installment in the series n building a lead generation funnel. The focus now turns to promoting your offer and driving traffic to your website to opt-in. While there are many great paid methods to do this like: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube ads, plus Adwords Campaigns, we focus on 5 free ways to generate traffic to your offer.

Please add your comments below on what yo have experienced in building your funnel or even any questions you may have.

How to Create Videos That Convert – “How To” Series #2

video conversion tipsCreating videos that make good sales is an art form. You need to be able to craft a video that looks great, sounds great, and also gets the message across to the viewer to take further action. It’s a balancing act between giving too much information and not enough information. In addition, it matters where the video is going to be placed. If it’s on a sales page, it can be much more directly sales oriented than if it’s being placed on YouTube, for example. To ensure that you create converting videos there are some best practices to consider.

10 Tips for Creating Videos that Convert!

1. Use the Right Tools – There are many tools you will need to create good videos including editing software, presentation software, a good microphone, a good camera, and potentially a green screen or other technology and tools to help you produce the most professional video that you can.

2. Never Forget Your Call to Action – If you want your viewers to take an action after viewing, you’re going to have to tell them what to do. You can also insert, with the right software, clickable links right on the screen to take them to a sales page or other information, making the video interactive.

3. Know Who Your Audience Is – Like with any other content that you produce, don’t suddenly change the subject matter just because you changed the format. Your audience is still the same, so create videos for that audience and stay on track even though it’s a new form of content.

4. Edit Your Videos – Don’t just spend five minutes making a video then upload it to YouTube and expect something to happen. You need to create as professional quality videos as you can afford to produce. While you don’t have to be perfect, you should get better as you go along.

5. Keep It Short – Don’t make long videos as your audience will lose interest. More than 3 or 4 minutes may be too long, but definitely not longer than 10 minutes on harder to grasp information.

6. Stick to One Topic – One way to ensure that you keep your videos a good length is to pay attention to getting off topic. Each video should cover one aspect of a topic, and not seek to be an overview but rather just one little portion of a topic covering one thing at a time.

7. Use Visual Cues – A good way to enhance your videos is to use some sort of visual cues within the video to make it interesting. Don’t just tape yourself talking into the camera. Use something visual that gives your audience something to help them learn the concept you’re trying to teach.

8. Add Music and Sound Effects – In addition to nice visual cues, adding audio besides your voice with music and other sound effects can also help you retain interest of your audience. If you want them to remember a specific point, highlight it with effects.

9. Write a Script – You don’t want to sound like a robot, but you do want to ensure that you cover each point, so write an outline, if not a script, to help you cover each point that you need to cover.

10. Practice Makes Perfect – Give yourself a few practice sessions so that you can get used to how you sound, look, and feel doing video. Remember that you can make several takes, and you can edit the best takes for each section together with your editing software.

Also, remember that not all content is good for video. If your content doesn’t need visual cues to get the message across, you may not want to spend the extra time necessary to make a video for that particular content. Find content to present in video form that is most easily explained with examples and video instead of just with text.

How to Use Video Marketing to Generate New Leads – “How To” Series #1

video-marketingAccording to Dr. James McQuivey of Forrester Research, the value of a one-minute video is over 1.8 million words. That’s pretty amazing. When you consider putting resources behind video in your business, you will need to think about the value as you set your budget for video. Creating well-made videos takes a little more time, but you’ll garner the benefits if you do it right. If you’re wondering how you can use video for marketing your business, here are a few ideas.

10 Ways to Use Video Marketing  to Generate New Leads

1. Make Sales Page Videos to Improve Conversions – Video sales pages have been shown to have a high level of conversion. Some estimates put the conversation rate 46 percent above typical text-based sales pages. However, when it comes to video sales pages, quality matters a great deal. Don’t skimp.

2. Develop Demonstration Videos for Hard Concepts – If you have a concept that is hard to understand or explain in words, such as rolling the perfect sushi roll, then a video is the perfect medium to use to demonstrate your concept. Be sure not to skip steps, and explain concepts as you move along in your video.

3. Create Educational Videos about Your Topic – Outside of demo videos you can also create really good educational videos about a topic. Just pick a topic and one serious point to cover for the video. By explaining a topic carefully and thoroughly with video, your audience will come away with fewer questions and a lot more knowledge.

4. Tell Your Story in Picture Form – You can use video to create a wonderful “About Page” for your blog or website. Let the people know who you are, what your values are and how your business fits into your overall value proposition.

5. Use Explainer Videos for Hard Concepts – Have you seen explainer videos before, with the hand drawing out the examples? Well, it’s a proven fact that the mind remembers better when you engage as many of the senses as you can. By providing voice and a clear picture of what is being said, you will improve retention.

6. Capture the Importance of Your Product or Service – Sometimes it can be hard to show how big or how important your product or service is with only text and even still images. A video is a great way to show your potential audience everything you can about your products and services.

7. Collect Testimonial Videos by Having a Contest – A really great use of video for your business is to collect testimonials in video. You can do this by having a contest inviting people to enter by telling what they love most about your product or service. Further, have them invite others to “like”, “share” and vote on their favorite video.

8. Create Videos of Your Google Roundtables – Google enables you to create Roundtables and Hangouts and record them. This is a great way to kill two birds with one stone. On the one hand have a live event, on the other repurpose the video for use later. With a little editing, it can even be sold inside of other products.

9. Create a Vlog – Video doesn’t have to be fancy to get views and convert. You can use video much like you do a blog, but beware that you need to try to give a professional view of yourself and your business based on who your audience is and what they expect.

10. Turn Your PowerPoints into Video – You can also add voice and music and even your picture within a video of your PowerPoint slides to make them much more interesting. It’s an easy way to break into the video marketing world.

Using video to create more sales, garner more interest and even perhaps to “go viral” can be fun and profitable. Get started if you want to see your sales explode.

Mirror, Mirror…How to Recognize When You Are Shooting Yourself in the Foot and Overcome It

self-sabotageIf you’re not having the type of success that you want, it is possible that you’re experiencing some self-sabotaging behaviors. And, if you are engaging in these types of behaviors then it’s important to identify what you’re doing and turn it around.

Do any of these sound familiar?

Playing the Waiting Game – If you ever hear yourself say, “I’ll be do that when xyz” then stop it right now. You may have always done this and not realized it. “When I lose weight I’ll go hiking.” “When I finish this client’s work I’ll write the great American novel.” “When I do x then I’ll do y.” It all makes sense but it’s a waiting game that will never end. If you don’t take action now, nothing will happen.

You Hang Around the Wrong People – Yes, even as an adult you can choose the wrong friends. If you often find yourself at odds with your friends’ values and goals in life, or find yourself apologizing for other people’s behavior, you’re just making excuses to avoid an uncomfortable conclusion. You’ve outgrown your friends.

Saying: “I’ll never ….” – Fill in the blank about what you’re never say, do or feel. They say you should, “never say never”, and nothing could be further from the truth. The fact is, if you don’t believe you’ll become successful at your business, or lose that extra weight, you likely won’t. You have to envision the success you want to achieve to make it happen. If all you see is negative, that’s all you’ll get.

I Don’t Want to Do “It” Alone – The fact is we are all ultimately alone. If you wait around for everyone to be on the same page as you, you may miss out on a great new adventure. Whether it’s starting a business, seeing a movie, or trying a new restaurant, you can do it yourself without anyone else doing it with you.

Thinking You’re Not “Smart” As…. – The truth is, someone is always going to be smarter, prettier, or something more than you. By saying that you’re not something, you will have a hard time breaking out of the box you’ve put yourself in. Forget about who you think you are, and do what it is that you want to do. No need to be perfect.

You Hide Your Feelings – When someone asks you a question about your feelings, you simply say “I’m fine” and leave it at that – even when you are not fine. Did you know that you can get stuck in a certain mindset if you avoid it and don’t talk about it? That’s true whether it’s about work or something personal. You have to name it to change it.

My Client Needs Me – The fact is, everyone is replaceable. If you find that you’re working with someone just because you think they need you, even when the relationship is not working for you, you’re really wasting your time. A client who is not compatible with you will drop you the moment they find someone they’re compatible with. Don’t do anyone any favors unless you really just want to.

You Lack a Support System – Support can come in a variety of forms, from human support to electronic support. If you set up a good system to help you stick to your schedule (whether it’s for work or fun) and get help when you need it, you will be a lot more successful than if you don’t do that.

Being self-aware enough to notice self-sabotaging behavior will go far in helping you curb it, but you should also give some thought to how you’re running your life so that you can kick self-sabotaging behavior to the curb.

How to Create Actionable Content

actionable-contentThe most important part of creating content is ensuring that you have a plan to follow. You need to know who your audience is, know the keywords you need to use to attract them, decide upon content types and topics, and then plan when and how they’ll be created and pushed out to your audience. The most actionable content will be the most meaningful content to your audience, which is why they play such a central role in your content development.

8 Ways to Make Your Content More Actionable

1. Create Audience Personas – Your audience consists of a specific type of person. You should know their demographics, location, profession, learning style, and more if you want to craft content that people will act on. If you can create audience personas for each type of content you want to produce, you’ll be able to better form your content.

2. Know Why You’re Creating the Content – Each piece of content that you create needs to have a reason for being. This may be to sell a new product, promote a new service, and get more subscribers, or something else entirely. It’s important that you know why you’re creating the content so that you can use the right words to encourage action.

3. Keep It Simple – The KISS method works for a variety of issues and it’s no different for creating actionable content. Explain jargon to your audience and define terms to them, so that there is no confusion about what something means and no mistake about what you want them to do to follow through.

4. Lay It Out Correctly – How something is laid out depends on how the audience will consume it. Will they be reading the content on a Kindle, in a book, or online? Understand how people read books versus how they read content online. For example, online content needs plenty of white space and other factors that break up the content to make it easier to understand.

5. Provide Clear Examples – When you tell people how to do something, they’ll respond better than just telling them what to do. It’s the difference between an expert and someone who is just regurgitating information.

6. Use Visual Cues – Images can evoke feelings as well as help explain more than words can. You can use graphs, memes, infographics, and other types of images to get your point across and inspire your audience to take action.

7. Answer Burning Questions – Your audience has burning questions that need to be answered. If you’re aware of these questions, not only will your audience feel as if you can read their mind, but they’ll also make you the go-to person when they do have a question that needs to be answered. Find questions where your audience hangs out, online and offline, and then start producing content to answer the questions.

8. Think Outside the Text Box – When most people think of content creation, their first thought is almost always blog posts or articles. But, there are so many other forms that your content can appear in. Be innovative and think of new ways to present your information and your audience will be transfixed.

Finally, remember that your job is to create value for your audience. To create a loyal audience you need to deliver excellent content every time at the right time. By developing a plan of action and planning your content out strategically with purpose, you can deliver value to your audience every single time.

Show ‘Em – How to Setup Your Lead Generation Funnel – Part 4 – Strategix Video Tip

This is the fourth of a five-part series on building a lead generation funnel using your website. The focus of this video is on showing your prospects exactly what yo want them to see. All too often we hide the good stuff away on our website and people have to hunt for it (if they even go looking at all). I recommend 3 ways you can add this to your site if you have a WordPress site, a non-WordPress site or not site at all.

[Tweet “Learn how to build a lead generation funnel on your website. #leadgen”]

Book Recommendation – Epic Content Marketing

Epic Content Marketing: How to Tell a Different Story, Break through the Clutter, and Win More Customers by Marketing Less – by Joe Pulizzi

Content is still king online but only if you know how to use it. the idea of user centered content is one where the content on your website and elsewhere is tailored to the users that you want to attract. First, you need to know your users. Who is actually visiting your site and reading your content? Are the articles you are providing exactly what they need from you? will it endear your product to them and convert them from just viewers to customers?

To make sure that your content hits the mark, it needs to: meet the need of the reader or answer a question for them. Constantly provide new and innovative content on a regular basis. Use a voice that the readers can identify with in your content. Avoid being preachy or always on the sales pitch. They want honesty. Stay on target. What are they looking for?

Learn how to define your content niche so you know where all roads lead with your content whether interactive, video, slideshow or another form. Social media can also help you to promote your content and gain feedback from your target audience.

Epic Content Marketing: How to Tell a Different Story, Break through the Clutter, and Win More Customers by Marketing Less

Ten Things You Can Learn from Customer Feedback

suggestion boxWhether it’s compliments or complaints, you can learn a lot from customer feedback. If you pay close attention to it, you’ll figure out what is working and what is not working for your customers. You may also identify gaps in your products or services that you can correct.

10 Things You Can Find Out With Customer Feedback

1. If the Buying Process Works – If you find that you are getting a lot of abandoned carts, as well as emails asking how to do things or find something on your website, it’s a sign that the process isn’t working. You then need to revamp it according the customers’ feedback.

2. How Well Your Website Communicates – Your website likely has a FAQ that is designed to answer questions before they contact you for information. If you’re getting the same question asked that is in the FAQ a lot, you may need to fix the keywords used or the headline so that your customers can better find the answer.

3. Whether Your Shopping Cart Works or Not – If people want to buy what you’re selling and they can’t due to a faulty shopping cart system, they will contact you. Listen closely to their experiences so that you can get it fixed fast.

4. If Your Sales Pages Convert – If you have a lot of hits on your sales pages but not a lot of sales, then you need to revamp your sales pages. Even if no one contacts you but you’re getting hits and no converts, there is a problem.

5. If There Is a Problem with Your Product – Buyers will be faster to tell you of a problem with your product or service than if something is good. Therefore, it’s imperative to listen when they tell you about a problem even if you initially do not agree.

6. If There Are Gaps in Products or Services – When a customer purchases a product from you, give them time to enjoy it, then send them a survey giving a couple of open-ended questions designed to find gaps that they’d like filled.

7. How to Make a Product Better – When customers give you feedback, you can often learn how to make your product better. When a customer gives a great idea, take it for what it’s worth and improve.

8. What You’re Doing Right – Yes, from feedback you can also learn what you’re doing right and what your customers want. You can then do more of it in order to increase your income.

9. Help You Generate New Ideas – Every time you get feedback, whether it’s on social media or from a survey, if you read carefully your creative juices will be activated and you’ll get new ideas for new products or services.

10. Learn New Ways to Use Your Product – Many times, customers will send feedback and tell you about a way that they are using your product that you had not considered. Knowing these new ways to use your products can help you improve your marketing efforts.

Learning from customer feedback is an important part of doing business. One of the least expensive forms of market research that you can conduct is through the follow up. Whether you send a survey or call your customers to ask them for information about how they like your product and services, you can use what they tell you to improve your business.