Ideas | Unskippable - Marketing Keynote Speaker - Jim Kukral - Part 2

Category Archives for "Ideas"

Online Success Lessons From ZEfrank

ZE’s gone, but not forgotten. Well at least “The Show” is over, and yeah, ZE’s still around in spirit, that’s apparant by reading one of his post “the show” interviews over at Slate.com.

070322_brow_zefrank.jpgThis piece is for anyone who wishes to learn how to be a successful online, in any capacity. Why? Because if you read it, you’ll learn just how accidental this type of stuff can be at first.

Ze Frank tasted Internet stardom early. In 2001, he made a party invitation of funny dance moves for a few friends. The invite went viral, and he had the experience of refreshing his e-mail to find 60 to 70 new messages from around the world. He was a network star, and the attention was addictive. The dance thing, however, was a fluke. The real challenge would be to create that kind of attention purposefully, from scratch. He quit his job and built up his personal Web site. He had a few successes, but nothing on the level of The Show.

This breaks the perception that a lot of people seem to have that ZE’s early dance skit was what propelled him into the world spotlight, it’s not. The “Show” is what did that. In other words, he didn’t stop when his first “hit” was scored, he kept pushing.

The Point?

The point is. You have to keep trying. You have to keep pushing. You have to believe in your ideas and keep working hard and doing what you love.

ONLY then will you have a chance at the success/happiness/money/love/whatever you desire.

At the very least, if you do all that, you’re doing what your passionate about, so even if you don’t become rich and famous, you’ve won already.

One More Point?

ZE didn’t get where he is today because he was trying to get rich. Think about that.

New BUMPzee Community Launched Today: How To Be Successful Online

You all know how much I love BUMPzee! Well, I love it even more now that I was chosen as one of the select few to manage my very own community while it’s still in beta. So what community did I make?

bzheaderlogo1.pngIntroducing the ‘How To Be Successful Online’ BUMPzee Community

Bookmark this: http://www.bumpzee.com/onlinesuccess/

What is the community all about?

The How To Be Successful Online community is for anyone who is interested in learning how to be successful on the Internet. The blogs and members of this community will focus on and discuss the world of Internet marketing, professional blogging and making money online. Join today for free, or submit your related blog for free as well.

That description you just read is really what JimKukral.com is all about, and many, many others like it that I read every day. Like those blogs, I don’t write about one topic like affiliate marketing only, but rather, I focus on writing about all types of online marketing, with the specific goal of trying to help businesses, brands and individuals be successful online.

Do you fit that mold? Are you someone who’s looking for more information about how to be successful online? Join the community for free!

Do you have a blog that talks about ways to be successful online? Submit your blog to the community for free!

FYI. I’ve preloaded the community with about 14 blogs, listed below (in no particular order & if I missed your blog, I’m sorry, just go add it).

If your blog is on the list below, go sign up and claim your blog, and most importantly, add the bump widget to your entries and sidebar. If your blog isn’t in the list below, what are you waiting for, submit it!

Not sure about BUMPzee yet. Read this.

Super Affiliate Marketing Blog
Earners Blog
Revenews
WaynePorter.com
Shoe Money
CostPerNews
Graywolf’s SEO Blog
Copyblogger
Andy Wibbels
Aaron Wall’s SEO Book.com
The Blog Herald
Ask the Blogger!
901am
ProBlogger Blog Tips
Jim Kukral Online Marketing Ideas

Oh yeah, and make sure to check out the other new beta BUMPzee community managed by CostPerNews’s Sam Harrelson.

Called “Next Gen Marketing”. In a nutshell, this community on BUMPzee will serve as an aggregator of blogs and insights focusing on developing trends and emerging tactics to address the rising tide of social media, attention economies and “web2.0″ platforms. It should be fun to see the discussions which arise there.

There’s also some new interface changes at BUMPzee too, so check it out!

How To Change Your YouTube Video Thumbnail Image?

Graywolf teased us a bit in his video entry here, and below about a technique that can set your YouTube thumbnail image. Here’s his video.


So, does it work? I tested it out, after trying the math in my head. I’m probably wrong, but we’ll see.

It worked! See the black video overlay with the message?

This post from Crunchnotes, and the comments, are postulating that it is the center/middle of the video. That’s what I did above. However, YouTube says here that it’s not possible.

How do I change the default thumbnail for my video?
While we may add this feature in the future, there is currently no way to change the screen shot that we capture from your videos for thumbnails.

The other theory is that you can set something called a “poster frame” in your video editing tool. I did not try that, and a quick look around in my Sony Vegas DVD software package tutorial and I can’t find anything about how to do that.


20,000 points to anyone who can solve this mystery?

Got a Digg for me?

Google Facts You Did Not Know & Expert Tips You Can Learn From

mayer.jpgFound a nice little review of a talk by Google Product Manager Marissa Mayer. Check out some of the stuff she revealed, pretty darn interesting.

The prime reason the Google home page is so bare is due to the fact that the founders didn’t know HTML and just wanted a quick interface.

Lesson Learned: Simple Works
How true is this? Sometimes things just work out. Don’t always think you have to over analyze something. And most importantly, if you’re confused at what to do, go simple. Simple usually works.

Due to the sparseness of the homepage, in early user tests they noted people just sitting looking at the screen. After a minute of nothingness, the tester intervened and asked ‘Whats up?’ to which they replied “We are waiting for the rest of it”. To solve that particular problem the Google Copyright message was inserted to act as a crude end of page marker.

Lesson Learned: Testing Means Everything
I’m going to guess this was ‘back in the day’ of slow internet connections. However, there is a lesson to be learned here as well. Testing means everything. You may think it’s so easy a monkey could do it. You know what? Sometimes, just sometimes, it can be too simplistic and it can confuse people. Test.

The name ‘Google’ was an accident. A spelling mistake made by the original founders who thought they were going for ‘Googol’

Lesson Learned: Embrace Mistakes, Sometimes
Wow, it makes you wonder if ‘Googol’ would have hit with us as well? I don’t think so. Regardless, it’s important to realize that mistakes happen, and sometimes they happen for a reason. Don’t kill yourself over mistakes, instead, learn from them and sometimes embrace them.

Employees are encouraged to use 20% of their time working on their own projects. Google News, Orkut are both examples of projects that grew from this working model.

Lesson Learned: Your Employees Are Your Best Experts
If you’re running a business, think about this some more. Your employees are the #1 expert resource about your product or service, therefore, they are most likely the ones who can come up with the next big idea for you. Why not invest some of their time back into the possible future of your company?

BigBrownBox.com Project Goes Live – Over $13k Value In The Box In Less Than An Hour

The Big Brown Box project just went live. Check it out, in less than an hour of it going live, the big brown box has over $13,200 worth of stuff in it. Including a $1700 Dell XPS gaming laptop.

bbb_screen.jpg

Want to put something in the big brown box? It’s easy, find out more here.

Here are the first four items in the big brown box.

Item #4: $10,000 Web Traffic Package From Jon At Wickedfire Forums!
Item #3: $500 Podcast Design Consultation from David Lawrence
Item #2: $1000 Professional Logo Design Package
Item #1: Dell XPS Laptop Valued at $1700

So What Is The Big Brown Box?

The best way to know what the big brown box project is, is to read this page.

Questions???

What kind of stuff can I send in for the big brown box?

What kind of stuff DON’T you want in the big brown box?

Am I donating these things I send in for the big brown box? Will I ever get them back?

How do I know what you’ll accept into the big brown box?

When will the big brown box fill up & what will happen to it?

Are you guys gonna just steal my stuff?

So if you put my item in the big brown box do I get a link on your site?

AuctionAds.com Big Problem & The “Porn Test”

What’s the big problem with AuctionAds? It’s simple… “eBay sucks” (in my opinion), and eBay is the basis for the entire datafeed/products.

I know, I know, eBay is a billion dollar company, producing trillions of transactions yearly, etc… But you know what? Every single time I’ve used eBay to try and sell something, my auction gets flubbed up by scammers and fraudulent bidders. I hate eBay.

But honestly folks, I just signed up for AuctionAds and it was smooth and easy, and the product is easy to grab and implement. I always say, if you can make it even easier than Adsense, you’ve done a good job. They did.

The New Ad System Obligatory “Porn” Test

Whenever a new ad system comes out I like to do what I call the “porn test”. It’s simple, you just create ads based on dirty words and see what comes up. The point? None really, it’s just fun to see if the ad network allows it. So here’s a few I tried.

Keyword: Porn

Keyword: Boobs

Keyword: Sex

How’d they do? Anything funny? Anything too objectionable?

JimKukral.com Was Hacked!

By me. :) Please excuse the horrible link bait-ish headline, but I wanted to get your attention for a special announcement I need to tell you about.

You can view the announcement at JimKukral.com.

Online Video Lighting Tips To Help You Produce High-Quality Online Videos

If you’re a regular reader, you know I’ve been harping on online video for quite some time now. Well, I’ve actually done more than just talk about it, I’ve taken the plunge off the high dive and worked very hard to create video content over the past month or so.

I’m here to tell you one thing. If you’re going to do video production, you gotta get the lighting right.

Case in point, here are two examples of videos of me talking on a white lit backdrop. The first is me using lights from Home Depot setup in my small little office. The second is a professional shoot for an entrepreneurial event I’m speaking at in May.

Jim’s Home Depot Lighting Setup
(The green border on the sides showed up because my white backdrop wasn’t big enough)

Professional Video Shoot Lighting Setup

Much nicer, eh? Video owned and shot by New Image Media, Inc.

Why Didn’t Your Home Depot Video Lighting Experiment Work?

It did, and it didn’t. As you can see from the two video samples above, one is much, much nicer than the other.

Online Video Lighting Problem #1
As you can see in all the videos that I shot, the first problem is that there is a green border appearing on the sides. That is because I first tried to shoot video on a green screen (so I could put scenes behind me), but I couldn’t get the lighting right, it’s very tricky. So I brought in a white backdrop instead, except, my home video camera picked up video outside of the white backdrop, even though the view finder only showed white.

Lessons learned: Never trust the view finder, and make sure you have tons of background space to work with.

Online Video Lighting Problem #2
The lights I bought from Home Depot were 300 watt Halogen work lights. I bought three lights for a total of $48.00 or so. I positioned one light on the floor shining on the wall behind me. The second light was on a stand to the side of me, but turned to the wall to reflect light onto me (you do this so it won’t make a shadow). The third light was in front of me, and I ended up bouncing that light off the ceiling back down onto me.


The arrows point where the light is pointing to. The front light is pointing to the ceiling.

Lessons learned: Cheap work lights are extremely hot, so be prepared to sweat when filming. Also, don’t think you’re going to set this up quickly, take your time and get it right.

Online Video Lighting Problem #3
It may look bright enough on camera before it goes into your computer, but it’s not. I used a piece of software called Sony Vegas Movie Studio + DVD 7 Platinum Edition (my amazon affiliate link) to import and edit my videos. After I imported my video in, it became very dark, nothing like how it looked on the camera. I had to apply a “levels” filter onto each video where I adjusted the contrast and the gamma to make the background drop out completely, and to ensure I didn’t look like I had a major sun tan. It was difficult to find the right settings.

Lessons learned: Cheap software like I used can get you by, but won’t really cut it. You’ll have to play with the settings and filters to achieve the effects you want.

Summary: Can You Shoot Videos Yourself Successfully?

Sure, but it’s not going to be easy, especially with non-professional equipment. However, I think that in time, and in practice of getting the lighting right, you can produce good quality video that is acceptable (and frankly much nicer) than yourself sitting behind a webcam at your computer.

Stay tuned to this blog as I’ll update my progress and findings about lighting videos over time.

Online Marketing Idea: Keep The Conversations Alive On Non-Blog Content

What if you have a blog, and a website? I know, it sounds so archaic, believe me, I know. But even blogging geeks like me still sometimes have “non-blog” pages as part of their blogs, or, have pages that were created years and years ago before the blog ate the main part of the site.

The problem with those old pages is that they aren’t interactive without comments, right? It’s foolish to not attempt to keep the conversation alive, even on old non-blog content. How can we solve this issue?

One solution would be to convert your old static html pages over to blog entries and back date them. That’s a lot of work. Or, instead, you can find an easier way to bring the comments to your static html.

Check out an amazingly simple, yet very powerful script I found last fall called Js-Kit.com.

JS-Kit.com allows you to add dynamic functionality to your own site.

It doesn’t get much simpler than that does it?

Want to see it action? I made up a sample static html page that has a YouTube video on it. Then I inserted the simple line of code below the video, saved the page, and wella!, instant comments.

Try it for yourself, visit this page and leave a comment. If you use your real email address, it even sends you updated when anyone else comments.

Techcrunch has an archived write up if you want to read more.

How To Manipulate The Media & Get Free Publicity With Creative Marketing Ideas

Got 10 bucks, an hour of time and a creative idea? Because that’s all it really takes to get all the media publicity and exposure you or your business could ask for, all for almost free.

Don’t believe it? I can prove it. This is a story about how I did it, why I did it and the results I got from it. You can do it too. What, you don’t like free publicity for little work? I know you do, read on.

The Setup

I live in Cleveland, Ohio, and I’m a die-hard Cleveland Browns football fan. If you don’t follow football, the team has not been good for close to 10 years with losing season after losing season… the fans stay true, yet at the same time, they get very disgruntled come the end of the season. The Browns had one final home game left in December 2006, on Christmas eve, a horrible day to leave your family to go watch a losing football team in the snow and cold.

The Opportunity

This is key in your strategy to get publicity and attention. You have to focus on what is a “story” to a news person. You have to have the awareness to understand how a news person or show producer thinks. They’re thinking, “What stories are available that are topical and timely and most importantly, interesting?”

Those are the stories they want to cover. So your opportunity is to create a story. You need to figure out an angle about something that gives that reporter a story, and then present it to them in a manner which makes it attractive. It’s not that hard, read on.

What I Did To Exploit That Opportunity

So I asked myself, “what does a reporter want right now?” The Browns are always a huge story here in Cleveland, so I decided that I’d concentrate on them and their final game in 6-days. All I needed was an angle.

The idea came quickly. I’d call for a boycott of the Browns game on Christmas eve. But wait, that’s not good enough. That’s been done before, and a reporter isn’t going to bite on a story that simple unless there’s a hook, or a unique angle to it.

Aha! I thought of a unique, cheap and effective angle. Something that could be done in an afternoon or less.

Here’s Exactly What I Did

1. I registered a domain name called www.fanprotest.com. It cost me $10 at Godaddy.

2. I built a one-page website on the domain and wrote a few paragraphs about how I was calling for a protest of the game on Christmas eve.

3. I recorded a short, unedited, simple computer webcam video at my computer in one take where I wore my Browns jersey and called for the boycott. Here’s the video.

4. I uploaded the video to Google and YouTube (free) and added the video to show on my webpage.

5. I looked up all the local television news stations in town and found their contact emails for stories, and sent off a simple email with a short summary of what I did and a link to my page to view the video.

That’s It. It Took Me About An Hour And A Half Total

I sent the emails off at about 3:30 on a Tuesday afternoon, and I went back to my regular working day. At 6pm I got in the car to drive home, and at home I was chatting with my wife and playing with my kids when the phone rings, my wife picks up, she looks confused.

She says, “Scott from Channel 3 news is calling and wants to talk to you about some fan protest story?” I hadn’t even told my wife what I did yet, hence the confusion in her eyes.

The Results

The reporter asked to come to my house to film a story about me and my website and idea. I said “when”, and he said, “now”. So less than an hour later, and less than 4-hours after I sent the email, I had a television news crew and reporter in my kitchen filming me for a story. That story then ran that very same night, about 4 hours later, on the 11 o’clock newscast.

You can view the actual story here on the Channel 3 website in video form.

Summary

Why did I do this? To see if I could. Could this be done by anyone? Yes. What did I get out of it? Well, I get to tell you about it here, and I get to prove a point that it’s not that hard to do.

Don’t let your highly paid public relations firm tell you this kind of stuff isn’t possible. The media is begging for you to feed them stories that are interesting and unique and frankly, helps them not have to work so hard. I’m not saying that the media is lazy, not at all. What I’m saying is that the easier and more interesting you make it for them, the more likely it is that your story will be picked up.

Anyone can do this, the key is concentrating on what the media wants and giving it to them. What I do/did is use online media tools and marketing techniques to create unique angles to get attention.

Sales Pitch Alert!!!! – Jim Kukral is currently providing similar type consulting services to customers who are looking for more publicity, sales or leads, or who simply need to find new ways to be successful online. Find out how Jim can help your business.