Online Consulting | Unskippable - Marketing Keynote Speaker - Jim Kukral

Category Archives for "Online Consulting"

Never Price Yourself Too Low

One of the biggest mistakes I’ve made in the past was pricing myself and my services too low. Whether that was for a consulting or speaking gig, I’ve always found that I get more gigs when I price higher. The video below talks all about my experiences in pricing myself and my services.

Just remember that perception equals reality. When you send in low prices, the perception is that “he/she might not be worth it” or, “they’re prices are low, so what I’m going to get in return is going to be junk/cheap.” That’s bad for you. Never, ever, price yourself too low!

What’s your experience with pricing? Got any stories to share? Leave a comment or do a video and send me hte sharing site link and I’ll embed it here!

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How Do You Know When You’re Undercharging For Your Expertise?

photo_experts.jpgToday I met with a client and presented him with a strategy for his struggling online business. When I finished my presentation and outlined my ideas, he said something that really hit home. And I quote…

“I wasn’t expecting this for what you charged me. I thought I was just going to get a few ideas. I’m blown away.”

Alright, so I’m tooting my own horn, but it brings up a good and valuable lesson for all of us, and not just consultants, for everyone who does something unique, or has skills that other people don’t have.

Never Sell Yourself Short Or Undervalue Your Knowledge

YOU are the expert.

YOU know what the heck you’re talking about, whatever it is.

YOUR time IS valuable.

YOUR customers will be ok with paying for it, don’t undercharge.

YOUR knowledge is valuable to those who don’t have it, simply put, they can’t do it, YOU can.

YOUR customers EXPECT you to “wow” them, that’s what they paid for.

Video Search Results Making Their Way Into Major Search Engines

Take a look at one of the results for “kukral” over at Icerocket.com, which is a blog search engine. What will you see? You’ll see a video result, with direct links back to “kukral” tagged video in YouTube.

(By the way, Technorati is doing this as well for tags already.)

I predict Google will begin posting similar results for regular searches by mid-Summer 2007. Tell me why they wouldn’t. They own YouTube, and this is the natural progression of search. They themselves through their own investment have proven that they are making a huge play into video.

What Does This All Mean?

Again, as I said before, and will keep saying. You need to be building videos that are uploaded to YouTube and optimized with tags that WILL be indexed in the major search engines results eventually.

So think about your biggest keyword. Maybe it’s “birthday invitations“? In 2007, I’m betting that Google will start showing video results, DIRECTLY AS ICEROCKET IS DOING, right into their main index.

Will your video be there? Your competitor’s will be probably be, and then you’re playing catch up, again.

Get on it. Do a video today. You’ll thank me next year.

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.

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.

How to Monetize Your Blog – The Entrepreneur Magazine eBiz Show

I had the pleasure of appearing on the air with Chris Malta and Robin Cowie of the Entrepreneur Magazine eBiz Show the other day. We talked about how to monetize you blog. The show was broken up into three segments, which can be listened to here.

Segment 1 – Mp3 or read transcript.
Segment 2 – Mp3 or read transcript.
Segment 3 – Mp3 or read transcript.

Blogging is one of the biggest trends on the internet right now, but a blog can do more than give you an online voice. It can also generate significant revenue for your ebusiness. Joining us today is Jim Kukral, founder of BlogKits.com, to share different ways you can turn your blog into a serious income stream.

It was a huge honor to be on this show for so many reasons. First off, Chris Malta (CEO) and Robin Cowie (President) of Worldwide Brands are amazingly smart people who I admire. Secondly, I am an avid read of Entrepreneur magazine.

If you haven’t heard of WorldwideBrands.com, it’s The Internet’s recognized leader in EBiz Product Sourcing. They connect online sellers with highly qualified wholesale suppliers. They have a great product that I need to blog about soon as well.

Idea Consultants Must Have A Plan & Be Able To Solve Problems

Aaron Wall over at SEOBook (that’s my affiliate link, buy the book and get me a spiff I’d appreciate it) has a good post called ‘Hiring the Ideas Guy‘.

As more and more content is created there are more publishers than there are good ideas, which means publishers are hungry to spread the few good ideas that exist. What separates a profitable channel from a money loser is typically two things: ideas and execution.

Righto.

The reason consultants can charge $500 to $1,000 an hour is because they can create and spread good ideas that create significant market leverage and value quickly.

Yep, and here’s my own additional thoughts on “being an idea guy”. As I said in the comments on Aaron’s post…

I’m an idea guy as well, but I can, and do execute. You just have to have the resources to get r’ done.

Here’s a mistake you should never make that I did once. Don’t pitch yourself as an idea guy, pitch yourself as an idea guy who implements. Most people hear “idea guy” and think, “Oh, he wants a big paycheck for sitting around thinking about stuff.”

See, most people want consultants to solve problems. Whether it’s time, or saving money, or whatever. So for an “idea guy” to come in and get the job, they have to solve one of those problems, or whatever it is the customer needs. So, ask them right up front.

“What problems do you have?”

Then, come in as the idea guy and solve it, with an execution plan. That’s how you get work as an idea consultant.