Storytelling

When "comparisitis" gets you down

There are days when you see someone posting all their successes online and you think:

“If they can do it, I can do it!”

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“Wow, that’s so inspiring - I want to try it too!”

And other days all you think is:

“Where do they find the TIME (the energy/the will) to do any of that?!”

“Ugh, are they just trying to point out all the things I can’t make happen – is THAT the point of their "braggy" post?! To make me feel terrible? BECAUSE IT’S WORKING!!”

Now… I’m sure most of us, when we think about it calmly, know that all of those second set of responses are not about the other person at all, but more about how we’re feeling about ourselves. We’re SO hard on ourselves. We want ALL THE THINGS but don’t know how to make all the things happen and we resent that other people seem to have it all figured out.

It’s really important to remember:

  • Nobody has it all together – just because they are having great fitness successes does not mean they're not struggling in other areas of their lives.

In every place that it looks like I have it all together, I very likely have an area I have decided to ignore or have dropped balls on. ;)

  • We all have different priorities – someone who is focusing on one area of their business or life in a major way has probably stopped focusing on something else for that period of time, but we don’t take into consideration what OUR priorities are when we feel badly about what other people are doing really well at.
     
  • It’s a constant work in progress – we’re always having to adjust and figure out what the best next step is for ourselves. Make sure to check in with yourself and see if you’re still prioritizing the right things, and if not, what needs to happen next?
     
  • Don’t try to struggle through everything alone – make sure you have your people:  the ones you can talk to when you feel like you’re not doing a good job, the ones who can remind you of all your recent wins and how awesome you are (because you totally are!).

There are a few people in my social feeds who have been making me have "comparisitis"  lately. Particularly when it comes to health stuff (for you it might be getting more sales, more clients, people engaging with other content when people are not engaging with yours). I’ve had to remind myself that it’s because I WANT to be more active and feel like I’m doing the right things for my body, and my resentment towards them is more frustration at myself for not prioritizing that part of my life. So, I’m upping my health on the priority list for 2018 and re-evaluating how I’m spending my time.

I got an Apple watch and I’m working hard to track my steps and move more often. I’m going to go check out a gym I’ve been meaning to check out for a long time. I’m going to make a snowshoeing date with some fellow entrepreneurs. And I’m going to try my best to remember that it’s amazing that the people I know who are focusing on things I’d like to focus on in my life have worked hard, have struggled, and resenting them isn’t doing me any good. I either need to be OK with NOT focusing on that right now, or make some changes to make it happen for myself, because the only person who can make changes in my life is ME.

*Post brought to you by some whiny self-indulgent freak outs while scrolling through Facebook recently.*

Watching YouTubers doing it right

I may have a bit of an obsession with YouTube. It's a hobby and I love it, and I can chalk it all up as business research now that I'm writing this blog post!

In the year or so that I've found a lot of the big name YouTubers (those are the ones who make substantial livings off their YouTube fame) time and time again I've seen that most of them are doing a lot of what we advise our clients to do and slowly but surely it has turned into Internet fame.

I'm not promising internet fame here, but let's pull out the important pieces:

Great content

Good YouTubers figure out what their audiences want and they provide it. It also needs to be in line with what they want at the same time for it to be successful and for them to want to keep doing it.

Music covers are one my favourite things to watch on YouTube. High quality covers of recent popular songs are gold for a musician making videos (I make no apologies for loving Taylor Swift's new song. I even like the original!).

I could post examples of great YouTube content all day from comedy to musicians to cooking shows, but that would be too distracting so I'll just share one more. I made this meal and it was amazing and now I can't get enough of all the Sorted Food videos.

 

Consistent schedule

Most YouTubers have a schedule they stick to. Grace Helbig of It's Grace made a video Monday through Friday for years and has only recently gone down to three videos a week.  

Hank and John Green (the vlogbrothers) post a video every Tuesday and Friday.

Fans expect the content and if they go to the channel on those days and there aren't videos they are disappointed.

It's not fast

A lot of these people have had YouTube channels for years. It's take awhile to get to the point where they now make enough money to make YouTube (and all that it's brought them) their career, but slow and steady wins the race.

Opportunities come knocking

While a lot of YouTubers make money on their content alone, they also make money from advertising and from companies, such as Patreon and Subbable that have popped up to help content creators find ways to make money online. For example, Walk off the Earth gets a dollar from me every time they make a new video through Patreon. In addition to this, there are also lots of opportunities that pop up as a result of their internet success, including:

Book deals:

Opportunities to be on Broadway and Tours

TV show deals

Consistent quality content aimed at your audience is what helps grow your reputation online. Whether you're creating content to help business owners learn to use social media or you're just out to entertain, it always come back to quality content.

Leave a comment and let me know if you've seen anyone online slowly grow to huge success with the delivery of consistent valuable content. And also let me know if you have any favourite YouTube channels because I'm always looking to check out more!

Invite your customers to tell your story

There is little more powerful than someone else telling people what you do, or that you’re good at it. That’s why testimonials are so important. But there are many other ways that you can get your customers to help tell your story, both to their friends, and to yours. Today I’ll run through three ways that you can get your audience talking about you, creating powerful content, and taking some of the pressure of creating content off of you!

1) Create opportunity and reason to check in

Whether people are using Foursquare, Facebook, or Instagram, you want them to check in to your location and let their friends know they’re there, and you want to make it as easy as possible for them.

The first thing you need to do is make sure that you’re set up on all of the different apps so that when they try to check in, you appear. If I’m out and want to share my location with a picture, and the location pops up for me to tag, I do it. If the location doesn’t show up, I don’t. This is easy to do on Facebook (by putting in your address and making sure your page is listed as a place), and adding your location to Foursquare makes it available both there and on Instagram as well. On top of making it easy for people to check in, be sure to encourage them to do so - either by asking them to check in, or…

2) Have contests

Contests are a great way to get people to share content for you. Put up signs in your location or promote them online to get people to share photos, stories or quotes that have to do with your business. Create a hashtag that then ties all the entries together and that leads people back to your site or business.

Here are examples of the types of contests you can run:

Ask people to Tweet or Facebook their favourite thing that you sell. Let them know to tag you or use a specific hashtag, like this company did:

The contest will encourage people to post photos like this:

or this one:

Ask a social media question for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card with a hashtag that corresponds to your business (i.e., #AskWellmanWilson)

3) Ask for their story

People like sharing their story and are often willing to do it as long as you ask. There are many ways to do this:

  • Ask them to write a sentence or two describing what they like about your company or your product.
  • Ask for a guest post that details their experience with you or your product.
  • Send them a questionnaire they can fill out and then post their answers as an interview.

Being the voice of your business and telling the story of your brand is made easier when you invite your clients and customers to join in. Our next blog post will give you some of the benefits that encouraging your customers to tell your story can bring.

What are some other creative ways you’ve seen businesses invite their customers and clients to tell their story?

Throwback Thursday - why it's fun for businesses too

Every Thursday I love going through my social network feeds and seeing old photos of my friends for Throwback Thursday/#TBT (Throwback Thursday is when people share old photos, primarily on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram). I know I’m not alone because the likes and comments on these posts are all super high. So, what is it about Throwback Thursday that people like so much?

Who are you?

People want to know about you.  They want to get to know you.  They want to feel like they’re talking to a human being who they can connect with. 

That photo of you and your sister at the beach in 1986, or the photo of you at your high school graduation, it gives people a glimpse of you that touches an emotional point in them. Those old photos help make you seem more human to them, which makes them feel more connected to you.

It’s the story

All of this comes back to the idea that people love a story and Throwback Thursday is giving people another glimpse at your story. Who you are, how you became the person you are and how that relates to the people you deal with in your audience is always key.

Should YOU be sharing old photos?

If there are photos of you that you feel comfortable sharing and that you can relate back to your business, either because it has a direct link or because it lets you share a story that your audience will relate to, it’s a great idea to share the photo. I have shared a lot of Throwback Thursday photos on my personal Facebook timeline, but I am now inspired to share some here with you.

Take a look at this photo from 2010 of a gang of friends in a “Losing it in Ottawa” group (the first project Karen and I started together) taking part in Run for the Cure. We’ve done a lot of fun things together!

 

 

Or this photo, of my husband and I before we were married. It was taken for an article in Glue Magazine about couples who met online, proving I’ve been making online connections for a long time!

 

Or this one of me taking part in a workshop to learn how to make videos on my phone, which reminds me, I need to start doing that again!

 

 

These little glimpses into my world will hopefully make you feel like you know me a little bit better, and that’s what I’m always looking to have happen in my online communications. I want to build relationships with people so that when the time comes, you think of me if you’re ready to take the next step and learn more about online marketing. Spend some time and think of how you can do the same with YOUR audience.

Then leave me a comment and let me know if you share Throwback Thursday photos personally or for your business, and if you do, share a link - I’d love to come and see them!

Storytelling and social media: mini movies

How do you make people listen to what you have to say when there are so many things to read and watch?

Turn it into a story!

We talk about storytelling a lot because it is one of the best ways to pull your audience in to what you have to tell them. Today we’re going to share some of examples of how brands are using the mini-movie (longer than a typical ad but generally under 5 minutes) to really pull in their audience.

In some cases, the brand’s personal message is really subtle, in others it is less so. Either way, I had no problem watching the following three examples in their entirety without being tempted to close the window mid way through (this is particularly impressive given my personality.  

Investing as much as 5 minutes on an ad says a lot about how well-executed these were. Interestingly, two of these weren’t made in English. I hope to see more of these produced in North American markets.

Cornetto

Cornetto sells ice cream. This mini movie is a teen love story and there aren’t any real ice cream references that I noticed (though it’s not in English so I may have missed some). That being said, it has been viewed over 26 million times. Just by putting the mini movie together, they are getting a lot of visibility. 

Google search

I don’t know how I’d get through life without Google. In fact, when I was recently on a cruise our group spent a lot of time joking about how we were back in 1993 (“we know the information is out there somewhere and we can’t get to it!! We’re actually going to have to guess and then look it up later!”) because none of us had access to wifi.

This short movie pulled on all kinds of heart strings for me, and shows just how much many of us use Google search regularly.  It’s been viewed 6.5 million times and it was posted less than two weeks ago!

Code.org

The world needs coders.  This mini movie took some fascinating people and had them share their personal stories on why they learned to code. I thought it was a great way of sharing the personal side that people should consider becoming computer programmers.  Not to mention the job perks they get! :)

It’s been viewed over 11 million times.

What do you think?

I want to hear from you. Did those mini movies hold your attention? Have you seen movies like this going around and have you watched them? Leave a comment and let us know what you think: Does it work? Why?

If you’ve seen a good one, Share a link with us!

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