8 Steps to Effectively Share a Message Step 6: Produce Podcasts/Videos

Developing a personal connection with people in your audience helps promote your message. People like to buy from someone they know. When they feel they have gotten to know you, they want to learn more, either through other material you have created or by buying your books. A podcast & videos are a great way for people to get to know you.

Look at Me!

When I first began writing, I wanted a radio show & my own television show. I was THRILLED when the internet made all this possible & at no cost! Oh, I’ve spent money on these things over the years but I have found through trial & error that the free platforms work just fine for my purposes.

Short is Very Sweet

When I began my first podcast, I wanted to offer a 30 minute program once a week. Mr. D, my hubby, advised me to keep it much, much shorter. At the time, a 30 minute program would have taken too long to download for most of my audience. In addition, most of them didn’t want to listen to a long program on their computer. So, I broke each 30 minute program into a 5 part series with each part only 5-6 minutes long. This length was perfect.I have done longer programs over the years but I am currently going back to shorter program. Blog Talk Radio allows me to host a 15 minute program each day & it’s FREE. I can do it live or record it & upload. This is the perfect length for both me & my listeners.

Never Let it Overwhelm You

Videos can seem overwhelming but they don’t have to be. I often make movies out of slideshows. This enables viewers to stop the video & read a recipe or instructions.I also like doing short videos, short like my podcast. There are so many places where I can record & upload or do it live. YouTube has expanded to offer so many ways to produce & share your videos with your audience. You can create a series that focuses on your current topic, like when I produce videos for Thanksgiving. You can create playlists on each topic to make it easier for your viewers to find the videos they want to watch.

Share, Share, Share

Once you have produced & uploaded your podcast & videos, share them on your blog/website. You want to share them in as many places as possible. You also want to share your series links on the program info. ALWAYS share links to all the material for the series in each different format. Each post, podcast, booklet, book, etc should refer your audience to other formats.Make all your materials work for you. This is the best way to make all that hard work pay off!

8 Steps to Effectively Share a Message Step 5: Create a Digital/Print Book

You created a booklet & began offering it on your website & on your product table during presentations. The response has been great. People are reading the material & asking questions, making comments. You have been doing research, open to more information on the topic. You add to your notebook containing material on this message. After careful consideration, you decide it’s time to create a full book.

Start Digitally

There is no better feeling for an author than holding a print copy of their book in their hands. It’s also great walking into a bookstore & find their book on the shelf. As desirable as these two experiences are, I want to strongly recommend you not rush into having a print book, whether you self-publish or sign a contract with a publishing house. The first thing you want to do is go digital.A digital book enables you to write a full-sized book without the expense of printing. Printing is very expensive. Also, printing is final, more or less. Digital books offer you flexibility.

Digital Flexibility

No matter how many times you go over your manuscript, you ALWAYS find things you want to change after your book has been printed. New information becomes available. You think of things you want to add. You don’t like the way you worded certain things. You might be able to eventually make changes in your book should it ever be considered for a revised edition. Or you just might have to live with those desired changes.Or, you release your book in a digital format first, giving you the opportunity to make any changes you want to make before the manuscript goes into print. You are even able to take a different approach to the material at this point. A message that worked well all the way up to a booklet may begin to break down once you expand it into a book. The digital book causes flaws to rise to the surface BEFORE you commit the material to print. A digital book can be your best friend, your most powerful tool in this entire process. It can save you the heartburn of struggling with a print book

Now You Can Print

Once you have the manuscript as close to perfect as you can get it (you will never be COMPLETELY satisfied), you are ready to create print copies. Now, I have strong opinions about whether authors should find a publisher or self-publish. I am not, however, going make my case one way or the other in this post.If you decide to go with a publisher, you should begin the process early on. You might find a publisher when you first develop the idea. Or you might need to show the popularity of your message by offering sales #’s to potential publishers.

If you decide to self-publisher, there are so many more options than when I had my first book published. In addition, self-published books get more respect today than they did even 10 years ago.

You really need to do your homework to determine which option is better for you & your book. Which ever option you choose, remember, the success of your book always rests in your hands!

8 Steps to More Effectively Share a Message Step 4: Create a Booklet

You might believe this is an unnecessary step. You would be mistaken. A booklet serves many purposes in this process. Let’s see what some of them are:

Allows You to Expand Your Message

Your blog series should contain plenty of useful information. You never, however, want to put everything about a topic into any one piece of the process until you get to your book. And even then, you want to be able to refer readers to other formats, like a video or podcast, for even more information. Anyway, while your blog series is more detailed than the infographic, you should have more information to share. I find once I write my blog posts, I begin finding other information to support my message. Or people write comments that offer information or ask questions that help me see areas I need to further develop. A booklet allows you to do this.

Quick to Put Together

You might scoff at creating a booklet, preferring instead to wait until you complete a book. A full length book may take 6-12 months to complete. A booklet can be finished in a weekend. This doesn’t mean you simply throw it together. You always want to create a quality product. Some items, however, can be created in a shorter amount of time than others.

Easy to Giveaway

I always produce a digital version before I have a print version made. A digital version can contain hot links to your blog, your podcast, videos, social media & third party supporting information, like a book that adds on to your message. A digital booklet makes an excellent giveaway for people that subscribe to your mailing list. I just add the PDF to my website & make that the landing page.

A Quick New Item for Your Product Table

If you are really hot on your topic, you want to share it with people as quickly & easily as possible. A booklet allows you to have a physical product to sell when you do events. Your booklets may contain all the information some people want. They are also an inexpensive way for members of your audience to take a piece of you home with them at a low cost. When you do a bang-up job during a presentation, people like having a memento for lack of a better word, to take home with them. While books can be expensive, a booklet is usually only a few dollars. You may find your booklets are the best selling item on your product table.

It Is More Forgiving

There is nothing worse than spending months-years writing a book, having it printed only to discover all the changes you want to make. It’s always hard to let go of your book once you are done writing it. You always want to do MORE! I’m talking about major changes. Info you could have added. Mistakes. A booklet allows you to see where there are holes & gives you the opportunity to fix them. And at a much lower cost then a book. I only print a few booklets at a time so I can make revisions as necessary.

Now you can see how important a booklet is in this process. It is well worth the time & minor expense to produce a booklet, ensuring your future book is filled with even more valuable information than you thought possible.

8 Steps to More Effectively Share a Message Step 3: Develop a Blog Series

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Is the Subject Expandable?

Once I create an infographic, I like to create individual blog posts for each step. This enables those that want to get more information on the topic. It also enables ME to determine if I have enough material to write a book. If I can’t do a decent blog series, then I’ll never be able to come up with enough info to write a book.

A Path to Podcasts & Videos

The blog series also helps you begin the process of creating podcast & video material. I simply take the info from a blog post or series, add to it where necessary & go into production. Depending on the length of each post, I might do either one long program or break it down into smaller pieces just like the blog series. I learned early on to keep audio & video short to give my busy audience the opportunity to listen & watch. I can always put the segments together & make one long program. More on this later!

Design Graphics for Blog & Social Media

At this time, I also create the graphics I need for the blog series. You can see an example at the top of the page. In Canva, I design the first piece & then make copies for each additional post. This is also when I design graphics for social media. I want to share the blog posts in as many places as possible. Designing graphics for Twitter, Facebook & more gives my series a consistent look across the board. Canva offers templates for various platforms so this is easy to do.

Determine the Best Time to Post

I prefer to share the posts from a series M-F. This gives readers time to catch up on the weekend if necessary. I have also found that I have the most readers during the week for this type of post.
Developing a blog series from the steps on an infographic is a great way to expand on a good topic & discover other ways you can use the information across platforms & formats.

8 Steps to More Effectively Share a Message Step 2: Create an Infographic

Once you have created your outline, it is simple to design an infographic. This is a, well, graphic that basically has your outline on it.
Like this:

 I use Canva to design my infographic. They have many free designs from which to choose, including designs for infographics. The great thing about Canva is you can choose a template for the specific use & it is the right size for that format. For example, if you need a new header for your Facebook page, they have a template for that as well as a Twitter header, etc. You don’t have to guess what the correct size is for your need.

Design Graphics at One Time

I try to design various graphics at the same time so they all match. Yes, I know how OCD that sounds. Guilty! This, however, enables me to brand each series I create. You notice the infographic & the blog graphic have the same colors & line design. Ta-da! I am also able to design a graphic for Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, & more. All the same design that has been plugged into a new template.

Creating the Infographic

The infographic is basically my outline. I make sure it has enough information so anyone that only sees this one part of the process is able to apply the lessons offered in the infographic. I ALWAYS make sure each step of this message sharing process not only supports & builds on all the other steps but is able to stand alone & help my audience, even in a limited way. An infographic doesn’t offer a whole lot of information but I make certain that small paragraph is powerful. And hopefully causes the reader to want to learn more.

Why Bother?

So why bother with an infographic? First, you can use it as a teaser for your upcoming series. Share it on social media the week before your series begins. I also share it on Pinterest with a teaser before the series begins & then again with a link to my blog once the series has started. I pot it on my blog to let subscribers & potential subscribers know this series is coming. I send it to my mailing list. And on & on.

Rack Cards

You can also have your infographic printed as a rack card that you place on your product table when you have a speaking engagement. Rack cards give your audience a free takeaway that invites them to visit your blog for more information.As you can see, infographics play an important role in the process of effectively sharing your message & are well worth the time to design.

8 Steps to Effectively Share a Message: Step 1 Create an Outline

 I could hear you groan, you know! Outlines seem tedious. Perhaps you never had to learn about outlines in English class. They were a pain! Breaking things down into smaller & smaller pieces with very specific tags to identify their place in the outline. It was painful & confusing.
 
Not Your English Class Outline
 This is not that type of outline. When I began as a speaker & author, I studied under Florence Littauer. We were taught that outlines help us formulate the message in a logical order. How many times have you listened to a speaker that motivated & inspired you yet later, you were unable to share anything they said in their presentation? The speech might have been very well written but if it wasn’t created in a systematic format, your brain is unable to retain the information.
 
Is There Enough for a Series?
When I come up with a great topic, like this one, the first thing I do is create an outline. This enables me to see if I am able to develop a message from the idea. If I can’t flesh it out into a simple outline, then I know I only have an informational graphic to share on Instagram.
 
It’s Easier than It Sounds
You want an outline that makes it easy for your readers or listeners to remember your material & easy for you to share it across multiple formats. An outline makes it easy for me to first create an infographic & then break it down into a blog series.Your outline is easy to create. Pick a word that represents your message & make an acrostic. For example, TALK: Teach, Act, Listen,Keep. Or you might you words that rhyme: Make, Take, Wake. You can use an analogy. To share my Simple Joy message, I created a message using a tree through the seasons. It takes some effort at first but it becomes very easy, very quickly.
 
Well Worth the Effort
Take the time to develop an outline & you have the foundation for a message that can go from infographic to book!

The Power of 5

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In business and life, it’s mandatory to set goals. Earl Nightingale defined success as the progressive realization of a predetermined goal. Without goals, you are on the journey of life without direction. Would you begin a long trip with no idea which road to take to reach your destination? Then why would you continue on the most important journey of all, your life, without a clear idea how to proceed? Perhaps the problem is a lack of vision. I find many people are unable to set goals, to lay out a predetermined path for their lives because they have no idea where they want to end up once they arrive. In that case, it becomes necessary to establish your ultimate destination before you begin. This enables you to set goals that take you farther and farther along your path, toward your goal.

As a blogger, writer, podcast & more, I must constantly set goals for my life & business. I must have a clear idea where I am and where I want to go to lead my life along that path. When I first began this process, I found it to be overwhelming. How do I determine where I need to go? How do I decide where I should end up at a predetermined time in my life? What steps do I take along the way to ensure I arrive at my destination? I was working to set goals for the coming year and found myself unable to proceed. I was in trouble.

As I reflected on goals, I realized it was not enough to think only of the coming year. To have a productive year, I needed to be working on goals that helped me accomplish my long term goals. That meant I needed to set long term goals for my business and life.

When I first sat down to do this, I came up with a long list of items that I wanted to accomplish in the coming year alone. As I studied the list, I realized I was setting myself up for frustration. All I was creating was a list of items that would be carried over, uncompleted, from year to year. I didn’t want this. I believe goals should be achievable but have stretch. I wasn’t certain what to do.

Then it hit me. I remembered something I had read in one of my Mary Kay Ash books. Mary Kay advised her sales consultants to follow her example of only setting 5 goals a day. By listing only 5 items on their to-do list, Mary Kay from her own experience knew that anyone could easily accomplish the things they needed to get done for the day. The list was to be created at night before going to bed. I had been using this technique for a while and found it worked very well. If I needed to make phone calls, I would make the calls 1 item on the list but no more than 5 calls. If I needed to make more than 5 calls, then I would create another item on the list.

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So, I began to think, why not use the same technique for setting long term goals? The Power of 5 was born. It’s very simple. I went 5 years into the future. I personally find it is easier to go forward and work my way back than the other way around. I thought about my business. What did it look like? What had I accomplished? What was I on the verge of accomplishing? Then I made a list of 5 things that I had accomplish 5 years in the future. I always write each goal in present tense, as if it were a reality, which it is. You see, once I create the goal and commit it to paper, once I accept the possibility of it being accomplished, my mind begins to subconsciously create ways to accomplish the goal. My mind accepts each item as reality and acts on it accordingly.

Next, I considered a year from now. To be a year closer to accomplishing my 5 year goals, what 5 things do I need to accomplish in the coming year? Then, I thought a month ahead. What 5 things did I need to do to bring me a month closer to the annual goals? Each week, I study the monthly goals and set 5 goals for the week that bring me closer to accomplishing the monthly goals and each evening, I study the weekly list so I can set goals that insure each day helps me to complete the weekly goals.

I am finding it much easier to accomplish the items on my list because they are not overwhelming. If I finish all 5 things on my daily list, then I refer to my weekly list and decide what else I might do to whittle away at the week tasks. Just like eating an elephant, I bring myself one bite closer to those 5 year goals everyday.

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You can create your Power of 5 list anytime. Right now is the perfect time. Sit down and look 5 years into the future. Who are you? What are you doing? What are you about to accomplish? Create a list of 5 things that you see happening right then. Your goals should reflect the different aspects of your professional life. For example, if you are an author and speaker, you want a goal for each of these areas. You want each item to be as specific as you are able to make it. If the items are vague, you are not going to accomplish them. Your mind cannot act upon a vague idea. You need to give your mind a specific goal upon which it may act and accomplish.

Next, come back to one year in the future. What 5 things do you need to accomplish in one year’s time to be on schedule for your 5 year goals? Then go to a month out. What do you need to accomplish by then to complete your annual goals? Then set goals for the coming week to nibble away at your monthly goals. Finally, each evening before you go to bed, make your list of 5 for the following day. Study the list from that day. If you did not accomplish something, determine why. You might have set a goal that was too big to be finished in one day. Learn from that mistake and create more realistic goals to avoid frustration. Perhaps something came up to prevent you from finishing the list. That happens sometimes. Resist the urge to beat yourself up and add the item to tomorrow’s list. Perhaps the task doesn’t even need to be done. Then cross it off the list and forget about it Tomorrow is an opportunity for a fresh start. Take advantage of it

The Power of 5 is a great tool to help you accomplish the incredible goals you see ahead of you. Using the Power of 5 enables you to answer God’s call & fulfill His plan for your life with greater ease & focus!

8 Steps to Effectively Share a Message: Introduction 

You come up with a great idea for a topic. You believe it can help many people. The question is, how do you make certain the people that can benefit from your topic have an opportunity to see it? I believe the most effective way is to share your topic across a variety of media. Sure, you say, that sounds great but WHO HAS THE TIME?Sharing your great idea through a variety of formats doesn’t have to be time consuming or expensive. By following a systematic process, you are able to easily adapt your topic over time without spend much money or even any money at all.
In this series, I show you how to take a simple idea & over time, evolve & adapt it for your audience. The great part about this process is, you can have a message on one step while working on another message on a different step. This allows you to have more than one project going at once without losing your mind!Now more than ever, people are looking for practical guidance & hope. Rather than wasting time thinking about it or struggling to perfect it, you need to follow Nike’s advice & JUST DO IT! You may be amazed how much your can accomplish in very little time.
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