The Prezi Virgin: update

My post as TigerSteph on the TigerNash site about the presentation I gave on 19 September can be found here. I won’t repeat myself, but I did have a great time and would love the chance to do it again. What I do want to say is how I got on with using Prezi.com, following my post that I was going to trial it.

Firstly, I’ve come to the horrific realisation that I’ve hit ‘that age’ where technology has annoyed me because I didn’t get the hang of it staight away, so I thought it was a waste of time and headed back to my Microsoft safe haven of PowerPoint. A week or so later, I came to my second realisation that I am older, wiser and there is more in my brain, hence it takes longer to learn things and having kids is my excuse for less active cells anyway, so I should give it another go.

I would love to say that I enjoyed the experience, but honestly I much prefer being shown how to use things in person rather than learning online, that’s just how I am. The video tutorials for Prezi were really good though and if I had the time, I reckon I could get the hang of it and make some pretty nice presentations. Depending on the type of account you create with Prezi, it allows you to store, share, edit and publish your canvas creations.

Considering I’m a PC rather than a Mac chick (I think Mac users will feel a more natural affinity with Prezi), I did manage to import my existing PowerPoint presentation and make it a little more funky than your average bear (yey me!), but given more time I would like to create something from scratch in Prezi. So for those who would like to see my first attempt, have a butcher’s here and if you want to make your own, then set aside some time, take a deep breath and give it a go!

  

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A little Prezi…

Last month, I blogged about this amazing iPad presentation and I’ve watch the video for inspiration about three more times since then. I love it and, as I’ve got a presentation to do in a few weeks, I wondered how I could pep it up with just me and not an iPad in sight. So, I’ve turned my attentions to the zoomable canvas Prezi for a more visually captivating approach.

Now, I’ve only had a quick look at the tutorials as yet, but feel pretty confident of being able to make something out of my normal PowerPoint presentation. I’ll get back to you in a week or so with my progress.

Anxiety Reducers – Video Marketing

How often do you pick up your phone and shoot video without even thinking about it? Well, if you have young kids, you probably do it several times a weekend. Video is superb for many things (including keeping the grandparents happy), so why aren’t all small businesses taking advantage of this anxiety reducing medium?

Making videos used to mean big bucks, but not anymore. Here’s a few pieces of advice and links to help you make your first marketing video. This list is by no means exhaustive (I haven’t even touched on editing software for example), merely a taster to see that video is affordable, accessible and works.

  1. Making video is relatively easy and cost effective especially with the amazing technology in our smartphones, but sound quality is paramount for the end result to be watchable. Here the guys at Social Saturday Strategy show you a great way to get around the sound issue.
  2. Statistics show that adding video can significantly increase conversion rates and customer loyalty. (In case you need convincing!)
  3. Content can range from customer testimonials, product demonstrations, dialogues or monologues, but make sure the message is right and supportive of your marketing strategy. Have a look at these ‘how to’ guides for help with structure and objectives.
  4. Finally (for now), how do you get your video out to people once it’s made? Well, make sure it works on your website (homepage or landing pages, depending on your strategy) and, again from Social Saturday Strategy, get your video viewed.

I’d love to hear from you about your video dos and don’ts or examples of where it has really worked for your business, so leave your comments below.

Should I run my business through Google?

Whilst researching webhosting options and working on another WordPress site, my thoughts turn to Google. Can I…? Should I…? Who else does…? …Run a business through Google?

When I say run a business, I mean my online presence and communications. Well for £3.30 per user per month it appears I can have my cake and eat it. Google Apps for Business seem to do everything a small business could want. Email, websites, calendars, video chat, groups, documents, mobile sync and more. You can even start with the free version if you don’t need it all and have under 10 users (which is more likely for me for now).

I’ve had my gmail account for a few years and have never had a problem accessing or using email. Now with Google+ and other things I’m running through it, such as adwords, reader etc, I genuinely believe that as Google works so well, then why not use it for business? Now, I’ve just got to convince the others and I’ll let you know how it goes!

Say it on camera

People buy from people. It’s a well known fact. If you’re selling online, whether it’s a product or service, testimonials can have a significant impact on turning a prospect into a customer. Words are great, but moving pictures are better. Here’s one I made earlier for Status Social following our intensive three day kick-start to the BTEC Level 3 Award in Social Media for Business. Enjoy 😉

Colour me happy!

So, I’m in the throes of designing a new site and also needing to give feedback on another. Following my attendance at Web Fuelled for Business this week, it has certainly boosted my confidence to give the advice that I would normally have given, but now I can say categorically this is what Doug Richard thinks too!

Interestingly, I’ve found over the years the one thing that is surprisingly difficult to get people to change or buy into is colour usage. Regardless of what sites you demonstrate and how you explain what attracts the eyes, decisions on colour still seem to be subjective rather than scientific.

I’m paraphrasing Doug here, but he made it really simple to understand:

Whatever you want people to take action on (register; call you; buy etc), that needs to be in an obvious ‘foreground’ colour to catch the eye. The rest should be in a less obvious ‘background’ colour. Take a quick look at his bootcamp site and decide which are the take action/foreground highlights and what is left more understated in the background. Interesting, isn’t it?

Oh, and one last thing…don’t use a black background. Yuk.