post

Easy Split Testing With Google Content Experiments And WordPress

If you're interested in which headlines, offers, videos, prices, guarantees and copy increase the number of leads and sales your business gets, this post is for you. One warning though – you have to put into action what you learn here today. Once you finish reading this post, start your first content experiment. And if you're one of those people that thinks A/B testing (also known as split testing) is hard, let me assure you it isn't.

Everything you'll see in this post is free. Here's our ingredient list:

  1. WordPress
  2. Google Analytics
  3. Google Content Experiments (now in Google Analytics)
  4. Two Free WordPress Plugins

Now, let's look at the exact steps you need to take to create this recipe and get the leads and sales you're after. [Read more…]

post

Three Types Of Marketing You Must Be Doing To Stay In Business

Regardless of what type of business you own or are involved in, you need to think strategically. This is true for marketing as it is for every other part of your business. The result of a lack of strategy is a flaming death spiral that can be either short-lived, or faster than you can say “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”. As an example, I had no strategy for my IT business back in 2000, and when 9-11 occurred, it was a matter of months before I had to close my business and figure out how to pay back more than $30,000 in credit card debt.

Here's how you can keep that from happening to you. [Read more…]

post

How To Make Business Videos For Less Than $200

Video Wall

Business videos are typically expensive and time consuming to produce. However for small businesses this just isn't the case. In this post I'll show you step-by-step how you can easily and quickly create videos with less than $200 that take only minutes to complete.

Listed below you'll find an equipment list for both Mac and PC, however the “how to” part of this post will show how to do it on a Mac.

Alrighty then let's dig in!

All The Equipment You Need

The equipment I'm about to list will help you create a few types of videos:

  1. Interviews
  2. Talking head videos (you talking into the camera)
  3. Online ads (think commercials)

If you aren't planning on doing interviews you'll need even fewer items. In this post we'll be looking specifically at creating interview videos, however the “editing” steps can apply to any video that you have.

Here's the equipment list for a Mac:

  1. Skype – free
  2. iSight – built in, so free!
  3. Skype Call Recorder – for recording Skype calls: $19.95
  4. ScreenFlow – for editing: $99
  5. YouTube Account – free

Total cost: $118.95

A quick note here – you could use iMovie on the Mac, however I've found the export options, ease of use, and support provided by the makers of ScreenFlow to be top-notch.

If you're on a PC it's going to be a bit more expensive:

  1. Skype – free
  2. Webcam – typically between $30-$50 on Amazon.com
  3. Pamela Call Recorder – for recording Skype calls: $25.91
  4. Camtasia – for editing: $299
  5. YouTube Account – free

Total cost: $374.91

Both ScreenFlow and Camtasia come with 30-day free trials so give your choice a trial run before making a final purchase.

Once you have your equipment it's time to record an interview. Let's see how to do that.

Recording Interviews With The Skype Call Recorder

When I was doing Life Of The Freelancer I recorded a few hundred videos. The settings I ultimately landed on for the Call Recorder plugin are:

Call Recorder Settings

Call Recorder Settings - click for a full view

The result is that you're recording the audio at the best quality possible and the video at fairly high quality. Also these settings allow you to create an HD video (1280×720) in ScreenFlow, and give you the largest view of you and the person you're interviewing.

Note: if you have a fast internet connection on both sides of the call as well as a fast computer you can crank the “video frame rate” setting up to “Maximum.”

With the call recorder set up recording the interview is pretty easy.

When you launch Skype you'll see the Call Recorder Box floating on your screen. Once a call is in progress you can click the middle button to begin recording.

Call Recorder Box

Call Recorder Box

Once the recording begins the “recording indicator” on the right side of the call recorder box will start blinking, and you'll see lights flashing on the input and output areas on the bottom half of the call recorder box.

Once you're finished recording it's time to edit.

Editing Your Interview Using ScreenFlow

I've used a number of movie editing applications including ScreenFlow, Camtasia, iMovie, and higher end stuff including Final Cut Pro. When it comes to creating these interview videos however ScreenFlow makes it super simple and the editing step takes literally a few minutes.

On my videos you'll see that I have what's called a “splash screen” at the beginning and end of the video. I use Adobe Photoshop to create those, however you can add text and other elements directly in ScreenFlow – no additional software or money required.

To edit your video in ScreenFlow do the following:

  1. Open ScreenFlow (sorry to insult your intelligence there but I had to add it as a step)
  2. Create a New Empty Document
  3. Add your media to the project: video, beginning and end graphics, music
  4. Resize the canvas area to 1280×720 – this is an HD size and works well with the recording settings above
  5. Align everything on the project timeline using drag-and-drop
  6. If you have beginning and end graphics add some transitions – I like fade ins and outs
  7. Adjust the brightness of the video
  8. Adjust the audio

And that's it! Once you have this system down it takes about 10 minutes or so to put together a video. If you're interested in seeing detailed instructions on editing with ScreenFlow check out their tutorial videos.

Get That Video On YouTube

Once your video is edited you need to get it in front of your community. YouTube is the place for online video, and no matter where in the world I am I can always get a YouTube video streamed to my computer. Other services don't work as well.

To get the video ready for export use the following settings:

ScreenFlow Video Export Settings

ScreenFlow Video Export Settings

The result of these settings is a .mov file that is ready for fast internet streaming and has high-quality audio. Once that's configured you click the export button and wait.

Depending on how long your video and how fast your computer is it can take between 20-50 minutes to render the video. As an example, on my Mac Book Pro a 15-minute video takes about 20 minutes to render.

Some tips on rendering:

  1. Turn off your screensaver. Screensavers use the processor on your computer and that's needed for rendering your video. Turn it off for the time being.
  2. If you're using a laptop I've noticed something odd with ScreenFlow – if I have an external USB drive plugged it it gets to the very end of the rending and causes an error. I wasted more than a few hours finding that out.

Once your video is rendered log in to your YouTube account and upload that puppy! Once YouTube has it you can embed it in a blog post, a page on your website, and share it on your social networks.

And That's All Folks

Creating videos for your business doesn't have to be expensive, time consuming, or rocket science. Using a few pieces of software and the power of a fantastic conversation you can provide a metric ton of value to your business' community.

Get started with a free trial of ScreenFlow or Camtasia. Don't worry about being perfect either. Be personal and be yourself.

Are You Creating Videos?

If you're creating videos for your business let us know in the comments. What software and equipment are you using? Any tips?

post

Author Interviews: Roger Dooley of Brainfluence

Roger Dooley, Author of Brainfluence

How do you peer into the brains of consumers in an attempt to figure out what makes them buy something? It's happening today, and it's called neuromarketing.

Companies spend tens of thousands of dollars to hook people up to machines and watch their brains light up while watching ads, playing video games, and consuming content. They then take the insights they gain from these studies and update product packaging, change their ads, create new products, and get us to buy more stuff.

Neuromarketing may sounds like science fiction, but it's very real and something business owners can take advantage of today.

Basically neuromarketing comes down to one thing – attempting to determine why consumers make the choices they do. To do that, researchers use,

… technologies such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to measure changes in activity in parts of the brain, electroencephalography (EEG) and Steady state topography (SST) to measure activity in specific regional spectra of the brain response, and/or sensors to measure changes in one's physiological state (heart rate, respiratory rate, galvanic skin response) to learn why consumers make the decisions they do, and what part of the brain is telling them to do it.

Thank you Wikipedia!

But don't let all that scare you away (if you're still reading). A small business can leverage the results of these very expensive studies without having to lay down the cash to perform their own.

Thankfully we have someone that's made all that geekery available to us in a highly actionable format – Roger Dooley.

I've been reading Roger's blog for months and was excited when he announced the impending release of his book – Brainfluence.

I purchased it for Kindle as soon as it came out and it's at the top of my “must read” list. I caught up with Roger to record this video where he talks very specifically about how small businesses can use neuromarketing to attract and convert more ideal customers.

I highly recommend you pick up a copy of Brainfluence and read it cover to cover. Also be sure to subscribe to Roger's blog as he continues to provide actionable insights from the field of neuroscience. I promise you won't need a science degree to understand it.

post

Forget What You Heard About Niche Strategies…Now Here’s Mine

Path Through The ForestThere are many ways to build and monetize niche sites, however some work better than most.

Regardless of what you're selling and who you are selling it to, there are a set of rules that all sites must adhere to if they are to work, and by “work” I mean create a win/win for you and your customer, and of course make you money.

There are 5 rules in total, and they are:

  1. Bring in the right customers
  2. Get survey responses that validate the niche, and helps determine what products are best for the people in the market
  3. Convert visitors into leads by getting them to sign up for an email list
  4. Convert leads into customers
  5. Withstand any raging wildlife or algorithm changes made by the search engine geniuses

Now let me ask you something – what would happen to most of the sites out there if the unthinkable happened and Facebook or Twitter decided to shut down? What would happen if ClickBank or another affiliate network had Uncle Sam temporarily shut it down? What would happen is that many people would be completely S-O-L. Depending on another company for your livelihood does not a stable business make.

But that's what many out there teach.

How many products on the market today are dependent purely on Google or Twitter or Facebook? Many, many products. And that's not good for you. What you need is a strategy – a system – that works across niches, across search engines, and can be used regardless of where your visitors are coming from.

And that's where NicheSiteStrategy.com comes in.

In the video posted today I'll show you the system we'll be building in my upcoming coaching course.

See you there!

Niche Site Strategy - Works In Any Niche

post

Niche Site Strategy For Online Domination

World in my handsWhen it comes to creating, marketing, and making money with a niche site strategy there are many ways to do it. In this video I discuss, in detail, the three that I am using.

To give a hint of what's in the video, I go over:

  • The 3 major types of niche sites I currently have
  • The many niches that I cover with each type of niche site
  • How many of each I have
  • The methods I use on each type of site to make money

If you are currently considering using a niche site strategy, or looking for new ways to go about it, watch the video.

Are You Building Niche Sites?

I'm very interested to hear what you think of my approach. Also, are you building niche sites? Anything different than what I discussed in the video?

Let's talk about it below in the comments.