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About Bob Gentle

I work with businesses of all sizes on digital marketing, host the Amplify digital marketing entrepreneur podcast and work with entrepreneurs to help them amplify their business online.

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Productivity is the foundation of profitability and I’m going to share a list of the apps and tools I use to keep me organised and on task. Everyone has their own favorites but these are the tools I depend on and spend my days in.

I’ve had my fair share of disasters over the years so this suite of tools has been put together in such a way that I could drop my laptop in a volcano and pick up where I left off on another machine within a few minutes.

Overall I’ve avoided dedicated desktop software. I work across laptop, desktop, iPad, and mobile and I need everything, everywhere.. With a couple of oddball exceptions – the list below is completely disaster proof.

I also have a deep dislike of bloated software. These tools are mostly minimal and great at what they do.

Notion – FREE

Notion is a fairly new addition to my productivity suite. I love ( like, ‘really’ love ) this app because for a long time there’s been a Notion shaped hole in my heart. Apps like Trello, Onenote, Sticky Notes, Evernote and so forth were just a little one dimensional, ugly or bloaty. Notion is hard to explain and has elements of all the tools I described above and so much more. Right now it’s my main writing and content organisation tool but I think it might become a lot more than that. It’s like a web app equivalent of the Room of Requirement 👈 Harry Potter Reference.

Adios – FREE

Adios is easier to explain. If you ask anyone about productivity they’ll tell you the number one distraction is the arrival of email. Most productivity books will tell you to turn off your email or only check it three times a day. With web based email this is easier said than done.

This is where Adios comes in. This free web app takes moments to set up and will prevent email delivery for Gmail and then deliver it on a schedule you set. Currently my email arrives at 9am, 12pm and 4pm. If I need to I can flush email through to my inbox any time. But most of the time I’m distraction free.

Tickey – FREE

Tickey is an odd ball app which I really like. It simply makes the sound of an old school mechanical type writer with every keystroke. Now I know this wounds silly but it’s strangely satisfying. It’s more than that as well. If you’re like me then you’re typing isn;t as accurate as you’d like. Most of us watch the keyboard when we type and don’t notice typing errors on the screen. With Tickey you’ll hear them before you see them and you’ll type more confidently and more quickly.

Canva – FREE

I use Adobe Illustrator a lot for graphics work but it slow and bloated. What I find myself doing more and more is setting up a design in Adobe software and then recreating it in Canva for much more rapid deployment. This work flow might sound nasty to some designers but Canva’s come a long way and this work flow is saving me hours.

Mind Meister – FREE or from $4.99

I mind map everything. Every podcast interview, idea I have, product or project, event, blog post or video starts with a mind map. I used to use Mindjet Mindmanager, a desktop based tool I’ve been using for over a decade. I loved it because it was fast and intuitive. I could literally map at the speed of thought. Mindmanager is desktop based. There is a web version but it’s horrible to use and I really struggled with the idea of upgrading again. I enjoy the freedom and productivity I get from web based tools and really wanted to find something web based which allowed me to work as quickly as Mind Manager.

I don’t remember how I found Mindmeister but it was love at first sight. It has all the functionality I need and very little I don’t need. It’s fast, reliable, looks fantastic and it’s easy to use. It’s a full browser based app but it’s one of those rare web apps that just doesn’t;t feel like one.

Nozbe – From $8

My productivity workflow is loosely based on the process outlined in David Allen’s famous book Getting Things Done. It’s one of the most famous books on productivity of the last decade and most task management apps allow for some from of GTD workflow. For me a lot of them are either over complicated or simple and too restrictive.

Nozbe was another love at first sight apps. If an app is going to spend time on my desktop it better look good. Nozbe really delivers on the good looks. Not only that it’s easy to use, powerful and flexible enough to adapt as my workflow and world changes.

Where Notion is where I write and capture words, Mindmeister is where I brainstorm, Nozbe is where I capture task and things which need doing. One of the key principles of the GTD workflow is to capture everything. Nozbe allows me to do that without making a great big unwieldy mess.

Google Docs & Drive

I’m not opposed to Microsoft Office but I love the simplicity and speed of Google Docs and Google Drive. All my operational files live on Google Drive leaving pretty much nothing else on my local computer other than a hand-full of apps and the OS.

Book Like a Boss – From $9

I love this app. Organising meetings and appointments is a pain in the neck. Book like a boss integrates with my calendar and allows me to email people a link and lets them pick from available time slots for one of a number of predefined ( by me ) appointment types. I can even charge for those appointments if I want to. There are lot’s of other apps out there which do this but I love the flexibility and control of Book lIke a boss.

Zoom – FREE

Meetings suck. As someone who works mainly from home now If someone want’s a meeting it means I’m going to go and see them. That’s a lot of lost time. I’ve been using Zoom pro for just over a year now and it’s allows me to launch a high quality video conference any time I like. The guest doesn’t need to install software, they just click my link and they’re in. I can screen share or control their computer if they allow it. It allows me real presence, anywhere and any time.

Text Expander – $3.33

This is another odd ball bonus tool. Like Tickey it’s a desktop app which does something weird. I find I have to type the same things quite often. Directions to park at one of my events, instructions for setting up certain software, invitations to come on my podcast, rejections, responding to employment enquiries the list is endless. Text expander allows me to create an entry for each of these and then create a keyboard short cut. I even have quick shortcuts for emoji like 👊, ☝️and 😬.

Clockify – Free

Knowing where your time goes is pretty foundational but most time tracking apps are a pain in the ass to use. Clockify is 100% free and super easy to use on your own or as a team. I like it so much I’d pay them if I could but I don’t see how I’d ever use the paid features even if I wanted to.

These are the apps I spend my day in and which power my world. I’d love to know what yours looks like and I’m always looking for ways to be more productive so if you have a tool you think I should know about please let me know. Thanks for reading and see you online.

Overview

There are two things which should get most business owners excited. One is great search engine performance and the other is substantial recurring revenue. Frankly I’m getting excited just thinking about it not. This week my guest is Pete Everitt, co founder of SEO Hive.  

Pete is a great example of someone whose whole business embodies something which Zig Ziglar is known for saying. ‘ You will get everything you want in life if you just help enough other people get what they want.’

About Pete

Pete Everitt is a digital agency owner and online entrepreneur. He has recently launched SEOHive – a white label SEO Service dedicated to helping agency owners create stability in their businesses by delivering high-quality SEO retainers to their clients. 

Pete worked for more than a decade "in" and "on" design and marketing agencies in the UK and around the world, and learned that all agencies essentially have the same two problems – demonstrating results and keeping momentum.

As external influences affect our businesses, the feast and famine cycle of project work can cripple businesses and relationships. Addressing this issue is at the heart of SEOHive that not only delivers results, but also provides the training and resources necessary for agency partners to create, sell and manage SEO clients, whilst SEOHive takes care of the delivery.

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Thanks for listening!

It means a lot to me and to the guests. If you enjoyed listening then please do take a second to rate the show on iTunes.  Every podcaster will tell you that iTunes reviews drive listeners to our shows so please let me know what you thought and make sure you subscribe using your favourite player using the links below.

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Overview

Getting stuck in business is more common than you’d think. Businesses peak or plateau, people get stuck in roles and don’t progress. People small goals are achieved and new ones aren’t set.

This week my guest is Beverly Sherratt and her area of focus is helping people feel at home in their work and less stressed about high performance. Who doesn’t need more of that.

Thanks for listening!

It means a lot to me and to the guests. If you enjoyed listening then please do take a second to rate the show on iTunes.  Every podcaster will tell you that iTunes reviews drive listeners to our shows so please let me know what you thought and make sure you subscribe using your favourite player using the links below.

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In times of crisis business owners have a dilemma. They have to balance the need to be seen as sensitive with the need to do everything they can to keep revenues coming in.

Right now, as we start the descent into the global Covid-19 crisis, I see this everywhere. Some businesses getting it right and others seemingly getting it wrong.

Crisis such as earthquakes, pandemics, extreme weather events and so forth bring out the best and the worst in people. People express extreme opinions on social media in ways they wouldn’t in public and that makes business owners fearful of a bad reaction to continued business promotion. Not everything is intentional and we’re all learning so it’s important to temper criticism with a little generosity.

We need to remember who we serve and what the mission of our business is. Out prime purpose isn’t to serve everyone. It’s to serve our audience and customers. Our secondary mission is to serve our community, normally through our tax contributions.

It’s your responsibility to be as helpful as you can whilst not putting yourself or your business in undue danger. Your ability to continue trading is as important for your community as the ability most other people have to contribute in other ways, such key workers staying at work.

So with that in mind, how can we continue to promote our business and sensitively cut through the noise in times of crisis.

A first general principle is to be as helpful as possible. Be as free as you can with advice and support to those you might be able to help, but not to the detriment of your core operations ( unless you’re sitting on substantial cash reserves. ).

Don’t compare your ability to help more widely in the community with that of other businesses. Larger businesses have different resources or may have decided to use being helpful in the crisis as a marketing event. Don’t be tempted to participate in that if it puts your livelihood at risk.

So what can we do to promote in times of crisis? Here are a few ideas. These would probably apply at any time but when you’re in a crisis you need to trim everything back to the fewest things which make the biggest impact.

1 – My first tip is content. Firstly you should consume way less content. The world is an overwhelming and noisy place. Stay as informed as you need to be to maintain your safety but avoid becoming a consumer.

Resources might become tighter and your ability to do things like networking, advertising or events will likely diminish. Your ability to create content doesn’t cost money and doesn’t need to be disrupted. Turn it up.

Content reaches beyond social isolation and it works while you don’t. It overcomes geography and allows you to connect with people who need to hear what you have to say.

Creating good content in written, audio or video form allows you to continue investing in your business while also being as helpful as you can to your audience and customer. It’s also building a legacy content foundation in your business which will allow a much faster recovery once the air clears and the dust settles.

2 – Go big on idea generation. One of the surest routes to survival in any crisis is creativity. A lot of people think they’re not creative and while I get that, I disagree. Creativity can be trained.

Crisis demands creativity. You’re going to face challenges and situations you never have before. Starting a few daily practises to build your creative and idea generation muscles will, I promise, give some very surprising results.

In James Althucher’s book ‘Choose Yourself’ he speaks about his daily practises. While I urge you to ready the whole book and consider all his daily practises, one in particular is something I use with clients all the time.

Buy a simple small notebook. One of those ring bound supermarket pocket sized ones. Every day write ten ideas in it. You can choose, every day, what the topic of the ideas is. One day it might be ten ideas for ways to say thank you to customers and the next day you might write ten ways to make your garden look nicer.

The 10 ideas a day practise might sound simple but it quickly stimulates the unconscious into understanding that you value ideas and when you need them they come more easily.

3 – Reassess your level of courage. Crisis demands courage. When times are easy we get complacent and it’s easy to coast. In a crisis, what worked before stops working or just isn’t available. If you want to survive you’re going to need to do things you did’t do before.

There’s a formula at work in digital marketing which I see working very often. Your returns go up and costs go down in direct proportion to your willingness to be visible and express yourself. For a very small number of people that’s easy. For the rest of us it triggers fear.

Professional rescuers and those for whom extreme situations are more routine know that through training, practise and experience, fear can be managed. You need to bring this attitude to your business marketing and start stretching your comfort zone.

I have a bonus suggestion for you as well.

4 – In times of crisis you need knowledge, so take your learning in hand. We’re in for a tough time ahead and while, what you know got you so far in business, don’t make the mistake of being complacent and assume it will continue to do so.

Things are likely to get very competitive and survival skills matter. I’d argue that your ability to connect with your customer just became a survival skill and assuming you have all the answers might just be fatal for your business.

So in conclusion, we need to rethink our business models, certainly, but we also need to rethink how we’re connecting to customers. The world is too noisy and everyone is so busy watching the world burn that it takes more to turn their head.

You might object to the idea of content by saying your business is boring and there’s nothing to say. If that’s how you feel you’re probably in the wrong business or you just need to start working on your idea generation muscle.

We become complacent to our own glamour. We see pictures from inside other people’s business or from other locations and we can’t help but be interested. So why do we assume that same interest won’t be directed towards us. It makes no sense at all.

You need to start working out what you can share. You need to connect with your creativity and courage as this is what will unlock your ability to become a beacon in this current crisis.

Everything I’ve described above might sound like it’s time-consuming. So are eating, sleeping and going to the bathroom. That’s how normal this stuff needs to become for you if you want your business to survive and continue to make a contribution to the world.

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As marketers we all want to be seen and heard.  We want people to choose us, our products and services.  We want to connect with people and stand out.  But it’s hard. 

There’s a lot of noise online. Everyone’s shouting and cutting through that seems like an impossible task.

One answer to this problem is to turn up the volume.  To add to the noise with more and more content but this just leads to burn out. And for our audience it leads to tune out.

This post assumes two things.

1 – You actually care about your business.

2 – You are actually into whatever you do for a living.

Creating content without a plan often feels like trying to push water uphill.  It’s not fun and that shows in how it connects with your audience.  

This week’s podcast goes was Pascal Fintoni. Pascal spoke about the three qualities of great content marketing.  A previous guest, Mike Kim, talked about his personal branding trinity.  

In this post I want to show how by combining these you can discover both the map and the compass to great content marketing with much less resistance.

Pascals three qualities.

So Pascal spoke of three qualities of great content marketing and I’ll expand on them here a little.

1 – Be curios. The quality of curiosity is important because by sharing your curiosity, by taking people on your journey with you allows you to flip from creator, to documentor.   

You simply need to record what you’re thinking about, working on, learning about or discovering.

By taking the role of the researcher you generate great content as a by product of your activity instead of it becoming an additional activity.

2 – Be helpful. Sharing your discoveries and helping other people see your world through your eyes allows you to connect your curiosity with others who are on the same path.  

Become a tutor or a way finder, helping others who are’t as far along the particular road you’re on as you are.  Be a friend or companion, tutoring and sharing what you know.

3 – Be present.  Posting on social media gets you seen but it doesn’t build relationships.  Posting on social media is like turning up at event. Some people might see you but they won’t engage with you.  Engagement is where relationships are built. 

Give a little thought to how many platforms you publish on.  It might be none or it might be *all* of them.  If you’re active on many platforms you can’t hope to be fully present on them all.  Decide on where you’re going to spend ‘quality time’ and then make sure you do.  

This can be expanded out into Facebook and Linkedin groups.  Simply dabbling in them takes time.  Decide on where you’re going to be present and then make sure you schedule time do be there.

Presence is about having conversations.  Too many people forget good manners on social media.  Don’t be the guy who does the social media equivalent of drive by networking.  Don’t be the guy who sprays business cards into everyones pocket but never asks about you.  Take time to get to know people.

As the old saying goes.  ‘People won’t remember what you said, but they will remember how you made them feel’. Take time for people on social media and you’ll amplify the effect of qualities one and two tenfold.

Small business owners get very bad advice when it comes to content marketing and social media.  Social media calendars, post templates and all the other hacks will only take you so far ( and that’s not far. ).

These three qualities offer a really useful map. They make it easy to visualise a landscape and make sense of things.  You can imagine yourself there but without a compass it will be hard to navigate. 

The three circles of personal branding.

Mike kim spoke about this on the podcast and it really sunk in for me.  Imagine an old school ver diagram or three intersecting circles.

1 – What pisses you off.  

What makes you angry about your industry, service, customers, competitors, lack of knowledge, what you’ve learned.  Simply put, what pisses you off about whatever it is you’re into.

2 – What breaks your heart? 

Who needs what you have? Who needs to know what you know? Where is there a right you can wrong.  

3 – What problems do you solve?

What are your expertise and how can you help? What skills do you have?

The point where each of these three intersects is where you’ll find your superpower.  It’s where you find the magnetic north of your personal brand.  It’s where you’ll find your *mission*.

If you’re using your imagination then you might be worrying that this compass of the three circles might actually get a negative reaction.  And you’d be right.  I guarantee it.  

You can’t get a strong positive reaction without an equally strong negative.  Polarising an audience isn’t a tactic I’d advise of to’s own accord, but here it’s a by product.  A polarised audience is one which is reacting and as personal branding legend Chris Dicker says, “..you need to market like a magnet – to attract the best – and repel the rest.”

Conclusion

If you want to stand out online, and I’m sure you do, then it comes down to working for it.  You need to be truly into what you do because you can’t fake passion.  More than that you need to make time for it.

Garry Vaynerchuk wrote that every business should be 80% whatever it is they do for money and 20% media company.  Everybody wants you to delegate or subcontract that 20%. You can’t. It won’t work.  You need to take responsibility for your own content mission.  

Overview

Are you struggling to break through online? Feeling like you’re posting content regularly but nobody is listening? It’s a very common experience. Some try to fix this by turning to quantity, turning to social media planners and posting about international pancake day and so on. Volume isn’t the answer. Some try creating complicated or clever content - but that doesn’t work either.

In this episode Pascal Fintoni share the three qualities all great content marketers have in common. It’s a very simple lesson which could quickly change your results. I loved speaking to Pascal and I know you’re going to love listening to him.

About Pascal

Pascal Fintoni is a professional trainer and speaker with over 25 years practical experience in digital marketing, Pascal has worked across diverse industry sectors developing and implementing audience engagement campaigns.

Pascal is also a video producer and he has introduced many of the storytelling techniques used by filmmakers into his coaching to help his clients create great online reputations. His focus for the last few years has been to guide business owners on how to take back control of their digital communications and become the most trusted brand in their chosen markets.

Links and mentions

Thanks for listening!

It means a lot to me and to the guests. If you enjoyed listening then please do take a second to rate the show on iTunes.  Every podcaster will tell you that iTunes reviews drive listeners to our shows so please let me know what you thought and make sure you subscribe using your favourite player using the links below.

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Automatic Show Transcript

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First off, feel free to jump to the end of this post.  I’m going to give you a lot of ‘why’ before I get to the ‘how’ of things.  This post is as much about getting your head right for video marketing as it is about some practical advice.  If you’re hear looking for some quick tech tips – you’re in the wrong post.

I started the Amplify podcast back in October 2018. My goals for the show were to make a start with content marketing and then build a business around that. 

Some of the best things about starting the podcast weren’t what I thought they’d be and many of the benefits were unexpected.

Besides the outward success the show’s had, here’s what happened.

1 – It’s transformed my network.  Because my show is guest based I need to reach out to people I think will add value to my audience every week. I’m spending time with them we get to know each other and guests often become friends or at least acquaintances.

Living in a fairly remote location, my network isn’t now limited to the people I ‘happen’ to meet.  I get to choose who I meet. And because I have a podcast and need guests I have all the reason I need to reach out to anyone I want and actually offer them some value.

2 – It’s transformed my knowledge and perspective. Spending so much time with  the smartest marketers, experts, coaches, consultants, and creatives has completely transformed my own knowledge and practice.  Real insight into any issue only comes when you shine a light on it and work through it with teachers.   Many guests have gone on to be informal mentors.

3 – It’s changed the nature of my business.  I have to pinch myself to think that the podcast started just over a year ago.  So much has changed in my business. Things are different on every level. I’ve achieved more in the last eighteen months than I did in the last ten years.  I’m making more money now with a small virtual team than I ever did with a big team and a traditional agency. Not only that, I’m doing work I like – for people I like.

4 – At the risk of going a bit Ron Burgundy. Another benefit is that the first shoots of industry ‘authority’  slowly showing.  Because I host the show I’m approached daily by people who want to be guests.  Guests talk to each other and because I have a platform ( and I’m a nice guy ), people help me out. I’m understating this whole ‘nano-influencer’ thing because nobody likes a show-off but opportunities are starting to come which I’d never normally be in the path of.  

5 – I’m much more confident in my own competence. When you spend time with the smartest people in and around your industry and you hold your own, it’s great for your confidence.  When the best in the business tells you to try something, you try it. A lot of my old competitors must think I’ve lost my mind because while they’re all busy doing the same old thing, crazy Bob is walking off in a completely different direction.  And I’m fine with that now.

So that all sounds great and now I’ve written it I can see why I don’t want to change the show at all. I might smarten up the intro and get some Hollywood actor to introduce me with dramatic music over the top, but other than that, I don’t want to change it.

But – it’s not enough.  Because it’s a guest based show it’s not really helping drive my business they way a solo platform would.  I don’t want to change it but it feels like it’s time to graduate and add something new.

In all the interviews I’ve done some themes have emerged. One of the most obvious has been that video builds your personal brand better than anything else.  Coupled with this is the compounding effect of a Youtube channel. 

I’m not writing a post about why video is good or why Youtube, in particular, is a very good bet.  They just are. I’ve spoken to lot’s of people like Gavin Bell, Amy Landino, Chris Ducker, Philip VanDusen and Joe Burnich who’ve all said the same thing.  It’s hard, uncomfortable and people will think you’re crazy. But they also say it’s been the single most powerful thing they’ve done for their business and after a time, drives most new opportunity.

Gavin Bell, in particular, spoke about video as allowing him to build relationships ‘at scale’ through video content.  This is a tricky thing to get your head around but reflect on how you feel about anyone you regularly see on screen.

New goals.

So why am  I talking about this now? Well over the last year or so I’ve learned a lot about what works and what does’t.  The way I deliver  value to clients has also changed in that time and walking the walk has become very important me.  I have to be seen  to do the things I’m advising others to do. The things which I know work. And it often comes back to video.

I’ve seen first hand what kind of business you can create when you reach beyond your geographic catchment area through video marketing. How it can free you from doing the same as everyone else and allow you to focus on the value which you, uniquely bring to the world.  I know now that’s the kind of business I want but the price of admission is an acceptance that you  have to live on the edge of what’s comfortable.

So what stopped me?

If you’ve listened to my podcast or spent any time speaking to people in the online marketing world you’ll hear the word ‘niche’ a lot.  The theory goes that the more specific you are about who you serve the more compelling you become for that person.  There’s a whole lot more to it but in the industry there’s a huge drive towards niching.  For a lot of people it’s the right thing and quite natural although for me it’s been a struggle.  

Your niche is what ultimately informs your audience ‘Avatar’. This is detailed picture of your ideal audience member.  Ideally you have just one Avatar and all your content is created with that one person in mind.  I’ve found this impossible and it paralysed me for a long time.

I knew that to move forward I’d have to tackle this head on. It wasn’t easy but and I’ll not go into it here but I’ve done it now.

The bigger issue

There are some people who don’t give the idea of appearing in video on social media a second thought.  I don’t get it but I know these people exist.  I’m not one of them.  Working with my clients I know that most people feel the same.  I think I’m happier to speak in front of a room full of people than I am about being on video.

So let’s break down what’s going on in my head, and maybe yours too.  

What are the mental barriers to video marketing?

Confidence.

This is a general umbrella term which describes inexperience and a fear of the unknown.  It’s a primal response to any significant action where we can’t anticipate the consequences ( how badly hurt we’ll be when it goes wrong. ).

Introvert.

I ran a survey a while back where over 80% of respondents claimed to be introverts.  Clearly that’s nonsense but we all use introversion as an excuse.  While I’m a genuine introvert who fantasises about the kind of alone time you’ll only get on a solo mars mission. I now it’s not a real barrier to video marketing because you do it alone but I did use it as an excuse for a long time.

Perfectionism.

This is a bigger deal than you’d think.  Any creative will tell you the same thing.  By the time they’ve completed any work all they can see are it’s flaws.  It’s a universal constant and is always present.  You will always get better but you can’t wait for that day to show your work.  

Vanity.

I’m probably not going to make any friends with this one but the truth is most of us aren’t as smart as we’d like and don’t look or sound like we wish we did.  If you’re twenty one you probably wish you were older and had more authority. If you’re forty five you probably wish you were younger and had more hair. Vanity has no place in business. This is work.  

Imposter syndrome.

OMG this is the real deal.  It’s easy to be the expert in your own head where nobody is watching but as soon as you do it in public, especially where peers or competitors might see, you start worrying.  Someone is going to call us out.  I don’t think imposter syndrome can be fixed.  I’ve come to look at it as an effect of being in the right place.  If you’re stretching yourself, and you should be, then imposter syndrome will be there with you. I think it’s a survival mechanism which can be managed.   

A word on discomfort.

A lot of our reactions in life are primal and hard wired.  We like to think we’re rational and intelligent people but the majority of our actions and reactions are governed either by habit or instinct.  Our unconscious self hates change and will work like a bitch to preserve what it think normal and safe should look like.  If you do anything which triggers any kind of anxiety your brain goes into overdrive to tell you to run away.  

For the last 5 million years it was super helpful.  For your video marketing – not so much.

So I’ve got all that going on.  I’m starting to sound a little neurotic but it’s the truth and I know if you want to overcome anything or improve at anything then you have to spend a little time really getting to know yourself and what might get in the way.

The truth is my video marketing is going to be awkward, some people will make fun, some might call me out, I will get things wrong and it might just be a bit crap for a while and that just has to be ok. 

So what’s my plan?

Think about the campaign and not the battle

I’m not going to worry too much about the effect of any one video. A campaign is made up of many battles and you can’t win every single one.

Take regular exercise

Comfort zones are like muscles.  The more time you spend stretching them the more elastic they become and the bigger they get.  Todays crazy challenge will become tomorrows normal. 

Focus on marginal gains

A little thing done frequently can have a big impact.  Marginal gains compound over time and the effect is often greater than the sum of it’s causes.

Start really small

Don’t try and jump right in to the big leagues.  That doesn’t mean it isn’t the goal, it just means you have to earn your stripes and learn the ropes.

Something Philip VanDusen told me about video marketing is never far from my thoughts and applies to so many areas of life, clearly not just content marketing.

‘If you want to be a pro tennis play then you can read books about tennis, speak to pro tennis players, watch them play and buy the gear pro tennis players use.  But until you start playing tennis you’ll never be a good tennis player.’

So now we know what all the barriers are what are my tactics for dealing with them?

Well, like anything else, once you have a map things get a bit easier.  Once you know all those trolls in your head aren’t real they get a bit easier to deal with. There’s still the reality of our human reactions to discomfort and basic biology.   It’s still not easy.

Knowing your WHY.

If you’re going to break through all the mental and emotional issues I described then you’re going to need to know why you’re doing it.  Your WHY needs to be compelling enough to power you through some discomfort.

The baby steps.

I have no intention of jumping into high production value Youtube videos.  I will post videos on Youtube but building an audience there isn’t the priority right away. That will come with time.  My priority is getting comfortable with video.

Video chat.

If you’ve never been on video simply seeing yourself on screen can be a startling experience.  I work with clients through video chat every day and I can see for some of them it’s a disconcerting experience at first.  It’s so easy to forget that just because something is normal for me, doesn’t make it normal for someone else. If you’ve never been on camera at all start by making FaceTime, Skype or Facebook messenger calls where you might have used the phone.

Video messaging.

A step up from video calls where you chat in real time is video messaging.  Here your brain is doing something different.  You have to record a message and then send it to someone.  This can be done using most messaging platforms.  Where video chat is getting you used to being on camera and seeing yourself there, video messaging is getting you used to recording something which another person will watch back.  You have to actually hit the record button and then give it to one other person to watch.  Use this when you might otherwise send a text message.  

Live video.

Once you’ve become comfortable with being on camera and having others watch something you recorded, the next natural step is live social video.  At first glance this might seem crazy but actually I found it makes a lot of sense.  In live video on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter people don’t expect high production values or any editing at all.  Raw is expected.  Once you get your head around this, going LIVE is actually a really smart move from a training perspective because you’ll get used to larger numbers of people seeing you on video.  

One time social video.

Much like live video, nobody expects Instagram or Facebook Story videos to be polished.  They’re only around for twenty four hours and then they’re deleted.  Stories are a great way to ease into being seen on recorded video by more people.

Accountability

Whenever I read this in other people’s content I always have a reflux reaction but accountability is a powerful thing.  It’s the antidote to the brains inate resistance.  Ask me to do something scary and I might do it.   ‘Dare’ me to do it with you and the chances of action shoot up.  Accountability can work a bit like that.  For me Chris Duckers Youpreneur community and more recently his incubator program has become my accountability group and I’ve become an accountability convert.

Conclusion

I’m making video my top priority for 2020 because I have a very strong WHY, I know who it’s for, what impact I want to have and I’m clear about what it can do for my business. In addition I’ve spent a lot of time and effort understanding why I find it so difficult and developing a plan to help me overcome those challenges.  

Being confident on video is not normal, despite what you might think when you watch Youtube.  I’ve spoken to many people who, if you watch them today, look polished and successful, but it wasn’t always that way for them.  They had to work for it and I expect I’ll have to work for it as well.

My investment in podcasting is starting to pay off in ways I never expected.  It was really difficult at the start but became natural and normal very quickly.  I know video will be the same and I’m happy to go through the pain of getting used to it.  Truthfully, I think I’m pretty much through the real pain now and I’m starting to enjoy it.  Like podcasting, video marketing, and Youtube in particular is a long term investment.  

People are wildly different on the inside.  My challenges and goals are not yours but if this resonates with you then high five for reading this far.  Reach out and tell me more.

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Overview

Personal branding is often badly misunderstood or taken out of context. Similarly, people think of influencers as driving fancy cars and getting freebies. If that’s your perception then you’re probably missing out.

Andy Storch is what I’d call a nano influencer or micro famous. He’s very visible online and to a very small audience he’s a strong authority and his business reflects that and in this episode he’s going to unpack it all for you.

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