Wednesday, 28 November 2012

How To Increase The Reach Of Your Facebook Page Updates

Thousands of Facebook page fans and only a handful of likes, shares and comments – sound familiar? After all that time you’ve spent reading about the greatest Facebook marketing tricks and ways to get your fans to engage with you, and you’re doing everything right – you just can’t seem to get more people to click “Like”, and shares and comment seem more and more like mission impossible. It can’t be that they don’t like what you’re putting out – it’s all positive and engaging, not offensive, by all standards the content you’re publishing is sharable.

And well, you’re probably right. Even if you’re doing it all by the book in terms of selecting the content, finding the voice that your audience loves and choosing the right time of the day, you’re probably not taking one thing into consideration:

How many people actually see your Facebook Page updates?

Officially according to Facebook, Facebook page updates reach about 16% of fans on average. In reality, most Facebook page updates fall into the average of 7% daily!  That means that only 7 out of 100 fans will see whatever you post on your Wall, status updates, images, videos, links, etc.

Don’t you just hate when you realize that your efforts are, for the biggest part, in vain? 93 out of 100 people won’t see that carefully crafted status update nor that link that you are trying to get them to click on. Or 930 out of 1000. And so on – no matter how many fans your page has, the percentage of those who statistically won’t see it is huge.

Luckily, you can do something about it.

First tip: Do you know how well you’re doing now?

Statistical data is one thing, but your actual numbers can be well below or beyond that 7% mark. This is pretty easy to find out – unless you’re using Sponsored Stories, but that’s another scenario. Just go to your Insights and check the numbers of your reach. To be more accurate, take the numbers from the last 30 days and take the average; then divide the number you got by the number of your fans – and there you go, something to start from.

The simplest way to increase engagement! (and pretty effective too)

Images! Facebook users love images, and Facebook loves what their users love. Facebook EdgeRank (what determines whether your content will reach a greater number of people) prefers visual to textual content. So yes, funny and meaningful status updates are all fine, but you can accompany them with an image for better visibility, or write them across the image (all it takes is two minutes of your time and basic Photoshop skills, or even simple Paint).

Status updates, quotes, practically anything you can publish as text – you can publish as an image as well. They’re more likely to be seen and read than the plain text updates (although you don’t want to forget about those either), and they don’t take time to be seen as the video content does.

Second tip: Stimulate the engagement, it’s not as difficult as you may think.

Increased interaction also influences your EdgeRank, and it’s up to you to create it – your Facebook page fans won’t get activated by themselves. This doesn’t require you to be online all the time, nor to spend large amounts of money on sweepstakes and contest prizes; it doesn’t even require that you be insanely creative – you can look around, see what others are doing, modify their idea to suit your audience, and you’re all set.

Some of the most engaging activities on Facebook include:

  • Asking a personal question that the fans should answer to by filling in the blank (it has to be personal, because your fans will be delighted to share something about themselves)
  • Multiple choice Q&A – even one letter comment (y or n) counts as a comment, don’t forget that!
  • Sharing inspirational quotes (people easily relate to them and want to show them to their friends)

In one month, do the above calculation again and see how well you did – for the boost in morale; then just continue with the tips we shared, and add some more – and you’ll do just fine.
Author: Andrew Handley

Sunday, 25 November 2012

The 'Maverick'- Richard Branson

Here is an interview recorded at TED with Sir Richard Branson, the man responsible for the Virgin Brand, whom I had the great privilege to meet some time ago.
Thoroughly interesting interview and gives us an insight into what makes him so successful and how challenging the status quo has led to his success (and failures).

Apologies for the abrupt ending.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

The Real Value of Facebook Isn’t Your Likes or Fans

Most businesses focus on their Facebook page. More specifically, they want to know how to get more Likes/fans or engagement.

These are all common questions from businesses looking to grow with Facebook. The problem is that they may be missing out on the bigger picture of Facebook. Sure, these things matter, but let’s face it, many of your customers don’t want to like you on Facebook (they just don’t care enough about you) and most of your fans have probably already done business with you.

Think about how you use Facebook. You don’t go out and “Like” random pages for businesses you don’t already use or plan to use (with the exception of some inspirational brands). We usually like things on Facebook that we like and use in the real world.

Your Next Best Customer Is Connected to Your Current Customers

This is the real value of Facebook as it pertains to business growth and acquiring new customers. It isn’t about getting strangers to like you, it’s about getting exposure with the friends of your fans. These are the best prospects for you, and you already have a foot in the door because one of their friends, someone who they trust and respect, has already made the choice to do business with you.

For example, if you’re thinking of buying a bike, chances are high that you’ll look to your friend who is the cycling enthusiast for advice. If you’ve seen that he is often commenting on a bike store’s page on Facebook, you are more likely check out that store when it’s time to purchase a bike.

If you have been exposed to the bike store through your friend’s posts and the posts of other friends, you may already have a good enough impression of that store to bypass asking your friend and just go to the store.

Harness the Social Graph

The fact is that we are friends with people who are similar to us. This means that our friends and social connections are the best source of new business for the businesses that we interact with.

For example, if there is a restaurant you love, a subset of your friends would also love to check it out. If you discover a new social media tool, a subset of your friends is likely to be interested in it. A handful of your friends are interested in attending the same concerts.

We are friends with people like us, so spreading your message socially can be your best way to build awareness with new customers who are highly likely to be interested in your product.

The Real Value of Facebook Is Friends of Fans

Many businesses think of Facebook as the place to get new customers, and it certainly can be. But the most effective way to get those new customers is through word-of-mouth (or the online version, which perhaps should be called word-of-keyboard?).

Many businesses want to reach new audiences on Facebook, but they just aren’t sure how. The answer is simple: through your existing fans. Here are some of the ways that you can use your current customers to generate awareness with their friends:

  • Encourage interactions with content to build awareness
  • Run contests or trivia where your fans reveal interesting things about their personality
  • Ask customers to post photos on your Facebook
  • Feature customers on your Facebook
  • Provide incentives for sharing
  • Build contests for sharing and social spread, not to maximize entries
  • Create an extraordinary visual experience that customers want to share
  • Build mass momentum with events

Image courtesy of Flickr, roborodent
author:Krista Neher

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Internet Marketing Tips for Shoestring Budgets

The internet is the most powerful tool there is for promoting businesses–and you can use it even if you’re on a tight budget. With internet marketing, you have the opportunity to promote your products and services to a world-wide audience–in many instances at little or no cost at all. Need some helpful tips to get you started? Check out the following internet marketing tips–ideal for anyone on a shoestring budget.

  • Build an Email List

Mass emails are a great way to promote your business because they’re quick, easy, and more often than not–free. Work at building an email list by asking people to sign up to receive newsletters, special offers and promotions, or further information about your business on your website or social media business page. Set daily, weekly, or monthly goals for building your email list–and work hard to achieve those goals by reaching out to potential contacts, sparking their interest in your products and services, and adding their email addresses to your ever-growing list.

  • Use Social Media Sites

More and more businesses are using social media sites to market their products and services–and with millions of people on sites like Facebook and LinkedIn at any given moment, it’s no wonder why. Creating business pages on social media sites is quick and easy to do–and you can link it to your own personal page and ask family, friends, and business affiliates to post links to it, too. What will follow is a domino effect of “likes” and “shares” that will expose more and more people to your business page. Be sure to include plenty of good information about your products and services on your page, as well as plenty of pictures or even videos in order to capture your audience’s attention. You may even want to offer a special offer or discount to anyone who “likes” or follows your business page to get them to try or buy whatever it is you’re selling.

  • Utilize SEO Marketing Techniques

Increased traffic to your website is crucial when using the internet to market your business–and SEO techniques will give you just that. Incorporating the right keywords into your site’s content repeatedly will put your site at the top in search results, leading more and more people right to your website.

  • Leave Links to Your Website

Another internet marketing tip that’s simple and free is to leave links to your website whenever and wherever you have the opportunity. Include a link after your name whenever you guest post, comment, or engage in a conversation on another website or blog, if possible. If you’re going to use this internet marketing technique, it’s important to make sure that the content you post is courteous and professional. If it isn’t, those reading your posts will probably steer clear of your links–resulting in fewer visitors to your site.

  • Do Free Giveaways

Almost everyone loves freebies–so why not do an occasional free giveaway in an effort to promote your products or services on the internet? Giving away a free or discounted product or service in exchange for an email address, a “like” on your social media business page, or a referral is an excellent way to get others to find out about your business–and try out whatever it is that you have to offer them. Post giveaway offers in a prominent place on your website, blog, or social media pages so that they get noticed, or send out special offers via email. You might be surprised at the number of people that respond to freebies and discounted offers.

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to promote your business on the internet. With so many inexpensive internet marketing options, it can be done even on the tightest shoestring budget. Use these tips if you want the power of the internet on your side–an increase in both traffic and profits will make them worth your time and effort.

author:Dylan Foley

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Brian Tracy - The Science of Positive Focus - Part 1

A recorded workshop presented by Brian Tracy. Great recording about the Science of Positive Focus.
Useful tips and techniques on how you can be more successful.

While you are here, I am offering you 4 Free ebooks to help you start a successful online business.
Just leave your email and I will send these to you immediately.

Watch Part 2 here

If you need further to help to improve your selling skills online and offline, you can check out the rest of Brian Tracy's DVDs below

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Look Rich or Be Rich: Develop a Millionaire Mindset to Achieve Financial Independence

To obtain the type of financial independence you’ve been dreaming about all your life, you must learn to develop a “millionaire mindset”. Thomas Stanley and William Danko, in The Millionaire Next Door, explain that most wealthy people and self-made millionaires drive used cars, live in average neighborhoods, wear average priced clothes and watches and are very careful with their money.

In addition, very few of them buy boats, recreational vehicles, second homes, personal airplanes or invest in expensive vacations. Stanley and Danko point out that there are “Those who look rich, and those who are rich.” Your job is to be one of those people who are genuinely rich, rather than those who spend a lot of money but who have very little in the bank.

Develop a Millionaire Mindset
Truly wealthy people develop the habit of “getting rich slow” rather than “getting rich quick.” To assure this, they have two rules with regard to money. Rule number one: Don’t lose money. Rule number two: If ever you feel tempted, refer back to rule number one, “don’t lose money.”

Wealth people spend much more time thinking about their finances than people who remain poor. The average adult spends 2-3 hours each month studying and thinking about their money, usually at bill paying time. The average self-made millionaire, by contrast, spends 20-30 hours per month thinking, studying and planning his finances. This millionaire mindset, the very act of focusing on your money, will dramatically improve the decisions you make with regard to it. Wealthy people who invest more time planning their finances invariably make better decisions, get better results, and achieve financial independence.

Develop the Habits of Wealthy People
With regard to your growing bank account and goal of achieving financial independence, millionaires develop a series of other financial habits to assure that they don’t lose money, and that their money grows steadily over time. During the cultivation of a millionaire mindset, one of the best financial habits you can develop is the habit of getting good financial advice before you do anything with your growing account. Ask around and find a financial advisor who is has already achieved financial independence by investing his or her personal money in the areas that he or she recommends to you. Your ability to choose excellent financial advisors can be the critical factor in making good investment decisions.

Develop the habit of investigating before you invest in anything. The rule is, “Spend as much time investigating the investment as you spend earning the money that you are thinking of investing.”

Fast financial decisions are usually poor financial decisions. Develop the habit of taking your time, of moving slowly, of finding out every detail of the business or investment before you ever think of writing a check. Never allow anyone to pressure you into an investment decision. Never allow yourself to feel that a financial investment decision is urgent and must be made immediately. A wealthy man I worked for once told me, “Investments are like buses; there will always be another one coming along.”

Sometimes, the best investments are the ones you never make at all. Make a habit of thoroughly understanding the investment before you ever think of parting with your hard earned money. If there is anything that you do not understand, or which seems too complicated for you, do not put your money in that area at all.

Wealthy People Never Trust to Luck
An important habit for financial success is the habit of insuring properly against any risk that you cannot write a check to cover. It is amazing how many people have spent years accumulating money and then lost it all because they did not have proper insurance policies in place. Develop the habit of using what I call “worst possible option” (WPO) thinking. Always ask yourself, “What is the worst possible thing that could happen in this situation?”

No one likes to spend money on insurance, but it is one of the smartest things that you can possibly do on your road to financial independence. By insuring properly, you will never be caught off guard by an unexpected accident or emergency. An additional benefit of being fully insured is that it gives you a feeling of calm confidence that allows you to think more clearly and be much more effective in everything else you do.

Wealthy People Cover Their Assets
As you begin to accumulate money, develop the habit of protecting your estate from unnecessary taxes and frivolous lawsuits. Invest in the services of a lawyer who specializes in wills and estate planning. Set up a family limited partnership, under the direction of a good lawyer, and transfer your assets into the partnership so that they cannot be seized in a lawsuit, or taxed away if something were to happen to you. As the old saying goes, “A stitch in time saves nine.” Small actions that you take in planning, investigating and insuring your assets can save you an enormous amount of money on your road to financial independence.

Do Your Homework
In addition to the habits discussed above, another important habit that wealthy people develop is the habit of carefully considering every expenditure before they make it. This involves getting as much information as possible on the various prices and costs involved in any financial decision. The power is always on the side of the person with the best information.

Develop the habit of negotiating more effectively to get higher prices when you sell and lower prices when you buy. A good negotiator can save or gain 10%, 20% and more on every financial transaction. Each dollar saved or gained is additional money that you can put away to accumulate and grow in your financial fortress account.

Develop the habit of asking for higher prices when you are selling and asking for lower prices when you buy. Ask for lower interest rates. Ask for better terms and conditions. Ask for immediate payment when you sell and ask for deferred payment when you buy. Ask repeatedly. Ask pleasantly. Ask courteously. Ask expectantly. Ask confidently. But don’t be afraid to ask. Ask for what you want, and if you don’t get it, ask for something else.

Achieve Financial Independence…Slowly
Most great fortunes are built slowly. They are based on the principle of compound interest, what Albert Einstein called, “The greatest power in the universe.” In full 99% of cases where people become wealthy, it is over a long period of time, and it is based on slow, incremental growth as the result of compound interest.

Every dollar that you save, properly invested and protected, has the ability to grow 5% – 10% each year. As your money grows, it compounds on itself, and grows even more. According to Stanley and Danko, it takes the average millionaire 22 years to accumulate a million dollars from the time he gets serious about his financial life. Most wealthy people get rich slowly, by gradually increasing their earning ability, saving more and more from their income, and investing it carefully and intelligently so that it grows and compounds over the years. You must do the same.

More Than the Millionaire Mindset
financial independence- millionaire mindset- wealthy people

Achieving financial independence as the result of developing Million Dollar Habits is a great goal in itself, but it is not the most important thing. It is the person that you have to become, in terms of courage, character, thoughtfulness, and persistence that is most important. As the result of becoming financially successful over a long period of time, you will feel truly happy and satisfied with yourself, and with every other part of your life. This is the most worthwhile goal of all.

Thank you for reading this post on developing a millionaire mindset to achieve financial independence. Please share any comments below!

Author:Brian Tracy

Saturday, 3 November 2012

How to Edit Video on YouTube


Wave goodbye to the days of inaccessible, high-priced video editing tools — they’re long gone. Anyone with a smartphone and a free YouTube account can create a video that could reach millions.

For context, there are now more than 1 billion smartphones in the world, and YouTube video views surpassed 1 trillion in 2011. Basically, the world has video fever.

And anyone with a camera phone can film. What you may not know is that YouTube has some basic editing tools built into its website.

The YouTube editor is rudimentary, even when compared with simple video editing programs like Movie Maker and iMovie. Let’s not even talk about how it stacks up to Final Cut Pro — it doesn’t.

Even though it’s basic, YouTube editor can still be useful. But while it is relatively simple to figure out, particularly for anyone with previous editing experience, there are some potential pitfalls. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you get the most out of the available tools.

Locate the Editor and Timeline

Many people don’t even realize YouTube has built-in editing capabilities — after all, the editor is not easily found on the site.

One way to access it is by going directly to the URL, which is Or click on “Video Manager,” which will make the “Video Editor” tab appear directly under the search bar at the top of the page.

Once you get to the editor, you will need to figure out the timeline. Linear video editors like YouTube’s are based around an intuitive and easy-to-use timeline. If you want to add a clip from your pool of videos into the project, simply drag it onto the timeline. You can also include any YouTube videos that were uploaded with a “Creative Commons” license. To do this, click on the tab marked with an encircled “CC,” find a video and drag it in. You can reorder clips once they are on the timeline.

=> See also 'How to Make Money From YouTube'

Efficiently Trim Your Clips

The only way to edit the length of your videos is by trimming from the beginning or end. Unlike most video editing programs, YouTube does not let you split and cut parts out from the middle of the video.

If you want to remove anything from the middle of the video, you’ll have to drag the same video into the timeline twice, then trim each down. You end up having two different clips from the same original source on the timeline. Obviously, you can do this more than twice, depending how much you want to chop up the footage.

The photo below shows a single video dragged onto the timeline twice around a text title. The videos are trimmed appropriately, so roughly half the video will play, then the text title will appear for two seconds, followed by the rest of the video:

Also, be aware that the trimming process isn’t always smooth. While you’re adjusting the slider on the timeline to trim a video, the video constantly reloads on the display. The best way to trim a video is to pre-decide the exact startpoint and endpoint, rather than trying to eyeball it while dragging the trim bar.

Go Easy With the Stabilization

Usually we don’t use tripods when shooting smartphone video, which means filming can get pretty shaky. The YouTube editor provides a tool to help stabilize shakiness, to a degree.

If you mouse over a clip on the timeline, three icons will appear. Click on the center one, which resembles a magic wand. That particular clip will pop open in a new window with several editing options.

Before anything else, check the box in the bottom-right corner of the window that reads “Preview effects side-by-side with original video.” Then adjust the “Stabilize video” bar to remove some of the shake. Unfortunately, there is a significant clarity tradeoff involved. The more you stabilize the video, the blurrier it becomes.

Before using the stabilization bar, or any other, it is usually a good idea to try the “I’m feeling lucky” option. Sometimes that makes the slight adjustments your video needs to shine.

Avoid the Temptation to Transition

The YouTube editor allows you to combine multiple video clips, a very useful tool. Simply drag multiple clips onto the timeline and arrange them in whichever order you fancy.

The editor also includes several options to segue between the clips. You can find these beneath the “Video Manager” tab, by clicking on the icon that resembles a bow tie. There are 15 segue options; add them to your project by dragging them onto the timeline. My advice, however, is to avoid nearly all of them. Other than the first two (Crossfade and Crossblur), which are relatively subtle, each of the other transitions will make your video look amateur.

Or select some of the sillier ones, such as Heart and Star, for ironic or comedic purposes — if that’s your goal.

If you really want to break up the clips, use a blank black screen. To do this, click on the text tab, marked with a lowercase “a” and located next to the transition tab. Drag the “Centered Tile” to the proper space in the timeline. When you place it, a popup box will appear. Simply delete the “ABC” from the text box and you’ll have a two-second black screen transition.

Thinking About Adding a Soundtrack? Proceed With Caution

You have the option to add music to your video. To do this, click the tab marked with a music note. A list of songs will appear. These are the only songs you can use; you can’t drag in outside audio files. Even with the option to sort by genre or artist, the list of songs can be tricky and frustrating to navigate.

If you do find an appropriate track, you may choose to either completely replace the audio from your video or engineer a mix between the song and the video’s audio. First, drag the song into the timeline below the video clips. Once that is done, an easy-to-navigate yet often buggy slider will appear on the right side of the screen.

Some of my videos just don’t seem to like mixing with the soundtracks. Usually, I fix the bugs by refreshing the page or taking the video or song out of the timeline, then replacing it. You may have to play around with it for a while to get it right.

“Please Note: After you change your video’s soundtrack to one from the YouTube library, the video won’t be eligible for revenue sharing. Additionally, advertisements may be displayed on videos that contain soundtracks from the library.” 

Another shortcoming is that you can’t trim the audio clips at all. If a song is longer than your video, the song will simply end awkwardly at the point where the video ends. Also, you can’t strategically line up the song and the video.

Finally, should you choose to use audio, YouTube will automatically add advertisements to the associated video. And using a song from YouTube’s library negates your ability to monetize a video if it goes viral.

The Secret to YouTubular Video Editing

The YouTube editor is great for compiling footage and making minor improvements to the aesthetics of a video. The secret to great YouTube videos, if there is one, is to start out with solid footage. As with anything, post-production techniques generally won’t yield any miracles.

Keep a steady hand when shooting for stable videos. Go for compelling camera angles. Learn how far from your subject you should stand for optimal volume. And always keep in mind that you have millions of YouTube fans waiting for you to entertain them; so keep practicing and try to produce something amazing.

If you’ve got great tips about how to get the most out of the YouTube editor, let us know in the comments section.

=See also 'How to make money from YouTube'

author:Fran Berkman