How to Boost Your Company’s Online Presence With Infographics and Videos

By Scott Vollero

You already know that a strong online presence is an essential part of any business’s marketing and brand-building strategy. Your company has a website and blog, as well as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts. You’ve either assigned someone to handle social media or you do it yourself. You’re adding tons of written content. And, that’s just what you should be doing. But…

So, What’s the Problem?

The problem is you’re just not getting the engagement you hoped. Could it be that you aren’t utilizing the full power of visuals in your social media posts? A recent survey of marketers conducted by Venngage found that 41.5 percent of respondents said infographics garnered the highest rates of engagement, while 25.7 percent said charts and data visualizations performed best and another 20.2 percent stated videos were most often shared.

 

“The bottom line: If you’re not using visual elements effectively,
you’re losing out.” — Scott Vollero

 

OK, you’re probably thinking, “I’m no graphic artist. How can I come up with infographics and videos for my business?”

Don’t panic. Follow these quick tips and you’ll soon have impressive graphics and videos to post and share.

The Basics of Infographics

Because infographics are a widely shared graphic type, it’s important you use them when applicable. Infographics are perfect for laying out factual and statistical information that can be read and digested in seconds. They’re also easily shared and have linkability back to your website or social media page.

Follow these steps to plan an effective infographic:

  • Choose a purpose. The most successful infographics present study results, depict chronological events, explain product/service how-tos or convey earnings results. Do not use an infographic for sales hype. Infographics are for facts, not ads. Instead, choose a fact-based purpose that supports the use of your product or service.
  • Plot the flow of information logically. The information flow should be in a form that makes sense when a user reads it.
  • Identify compelling points. Make concise statements about the information you present.
  • Clear the clutter. Stay on topic. No fluff, no fillers.
  • Design your infographic. Use one of the many excellent online tools that offer free infographic templates. Customize the template to match your corporate colors, fill in your information, add your logo and you’re ready to go.

You, too, Can Make a Video!

If you think only big companies are capable of making videos, think again. If you look online, you’ll see videos on small company websites as well. They may not be as professional looking as a giant corporation’s but they work. You’ll see everything from how-to, behind-the-scenes, thoughts from the owner and charity event videos. If they can do it, so can you.

Familiarize yourself with competitor’s videos. See what they’re doing to give you an idea about where to start. Also keep in mind that videos, like infographics, should have a single purpose. Choose a topic and plot the points you want to make before turning the video camera on.

You can use a smartphone to record video or, for higher quality, a digital single-lens reflex camera, commonly known as DSLR that records video. Once you shoot, use one of the editing programs already on your computer to edit and fine tune what you recorded. There are also free video editing options online.

Make videos brief, to the point and present the information you’re sharing in an engaging and, if applicable, funny way. Watch out for unwanted backgrounds sounds. Annoying interruptions and background noises take attention away from your message.

No one expects your small business video to look like the latest out of Hollywood. In fact, a video with a couple of funny bloopers and self-deprecating humor brings charming insight into the people behind the scenes.

Scott Vollero is an international entrepreneur and expert in the precious metals and automotive parts recycling industries.

7 YouTube Channels with Great Business Advice

By Scott Vollero

YouTube, and online video in general, has democratized knowledge. You can learn anything about anything if you know what to look for. This includes business advice. You can get quite an education on YouTube. It’s not just for cat videos!

But with so many videos on YouTube (300 hours of video every minute!), how do you find what you’re looking for, or who to listen to? Here are seven channels we think are worth your while.

Derral Eves

If you want to know specifically about YouTube marketing, this is the go-to guy. Derral Eves was one of the earliest big adopters of YouTube. His edutainment videos are all about how to leverage YouTube to make your business a lot of money. And it’s not all high-end stuff either. He even has videos on basic YouTube usage. He may be a bit silly for your corporate meeting, but his entertaining style can teach you quite a lot about good YouTube marketing.

Hubspot

You may know Hubspot for its blog posts or its marketing software, but they also have a successful YouTube channel that releases videos three times a week. If you practice inbound marketing, you’ve probably heard of Hubspot.

Where Hubspot can help you is showing you how you can have different video divisions. A YouTube channel doesn’t have to be about a singular thing. You can have sub-lists to show different topics. This is great when you’re trying to get your channel off the ground and you don’t quite know what will stick, or if you have several ideas bouncing around the office and you’re worried about settling on one.

Behind the Brand with Bryan Elliott

Have you ever watched a business-related TED talk and wanted to hear more from that speaker? This is a good place to check. Bryan Elliott interviews high-achieving entrepreneurs and executives about business topics and their perspectives on the business world. And if you don’t know who are the secret masters of online business are these days, you’d get a great introduction googling the names of the people he’s talked to.

Eric Worre – Network Marketing Pro

Regardless of your opinions on network marketing, successful ones know how to do the hard sell better than anyone out there. Want to know what goes on in those expensive meetings, or want to study their techniques? Just take a look at the videos of Eric Worre. He’s on a one-man-mission to change the perception of network marketing and show how to make it work.

Video Creators with Tim Schmoyer

Tim Schmoyer is another early YouTube adopter. Since uploading his first video in 2006, he has published over 2000 videos on the platform. He wants to help people share their own messages on YouTube and broadcast them as widely as possible. Video Creators is a good complementary channel with Derral Eves so you can achieve YouTube mastery.

Dan Martell

Dan Martell is a serial entrepreneur and angel investor from Canada that shares advice on how to scale businesses on his YouTube channel. Getting your business to grow from just supporting yourself to supporting your lifestyle dreams is a challenge for any entrepreneur. Dan can show you how it’s done.

Sunny Lenarduzzi

While this channel may not have been updated in over a year, the information in it is quite sound. Sunny Lenarduzzi came to YouTube with a background in journalism and it shows in her presentation style. If you need a model for how to engage an audience, this is the woman to watch. And if you’re interested in more from her, she still has an active presence on Facebook.

Fast or Slow? Arguments for & Against Rapid Business Growth

What’s your speed — fast, slow, or somewhere in the middle? If you’re trying to get a business off the ground, this isn’t an idle question. You need to decide whether you want to grow your company quickly, opt for the slow and steady approach, or split the difference. Let’s weigh three common arguments for the two extremes.

Why Grow Slow? 3 Reasons to Take It Easy

  • Your Tax Bill Could Rise Faster Than You Realize: Back in the Internet’s Wild West days, you could easily get away with selling merchandise across state lines — as many as you pleased — and not paying a cent of sales tax. For better or worse, those days are over. If you decide to open a store in a new jurisdiction, you need to make sure you’re forking over your fair share to the local tax authorities. That’s doubly true in international markets, where value-added taxes (VATs) are often the norm.
  • You Could Bite Off More Than You Can Chew: Managing a 10-person company is lot different than managing a 100-person company — and a heck of a lot different than managing a 1,000-person company. You might be great at envisioning and developing killer products that your customers can’t get enough of. That’ll get you through your company’s “death phase,” but it might not be any good once you’ve got several layers of middle management between you and the front lines. If you grow faster than you can grow into your new (and constantly changing) role as company leader, you’re likely to reach a point at which you’re doing more harm than good.
  • You Could Cede More Control Than You’re Comfortable Losing: Rapid growth often comes at a price: less control over decision-making and direction-setting at the top. Once you have a board to answer to and investors to keep happy, you’re no longer the boss — or, at least, not the sole boss. That’s a tough change to manage.

Why Grow Fast? 3 Reasons to Get a Move On

  • You Could Lose Out on Talent & Investment: Investors love winners. So do talented workers. Even if your slow-growing company is financially stable and executing its business plan to a ‘T’, you can’t expect prospective employees or stakeholders to understand that. Rapid growth is sexy, and sexy sells.
  • You Could Sacrifice Market Share for Stability: In emerging industries, market share is more important than any other financial metric: revenue, profit, margins, you name it. The more market share you’re able to grab right out of the gate, the stronger you’ll be when you finally figure out how to turn a profit. Slow growth might mean stability, but it could also foreclose opportunities down the line.
  • You Could Find Your Way to the Door Faster: If you’re a restless founder, you don’t want to be tied to your startup for a decade or longer. Rapid growth breeds more (and more timely) opportunities to exit, either by selling your stake outright and reinvesting in a new company or stepping back and handing day-to-day operations to a trusted subordinate.

What’s your business growth philosophy: tortoise, hare, or somewhere right in the middle?

 

Scott Vollero is an international entrepreneur and expert in the precious metals and automotive parts recycling industries.

4 Ways to Reward Your Employees (& Convince Them to Stick Around)

By Scott Vollero

America’s quit rate, or the rate at which U.S. workers quit their jobs, is holding steady near long-term highs. Translation: the country’s workers have rarely been more restless to leave their jobs and learn once and for all whether the grass is greener on the other side.

Zoom out a bit and the picture gets even starker for employers. After a rapid collapse during the Great Recession, the U.S. quit rate steadily recovered most of its lost ground. Every year, it’s gotten harder for American employers to keep good employees around — and, because there’s so much competition for rockstar workers in the labor market these days, to find quality replacements.

These four ideas for rewarding and retaining employees won’t turn your company around overnight or make it the envy of HR specialists the world over. But each will give you a cost-effective edge over the competition — one more reason for your top performers to stick around a little longer.

  1. Train Better Supervisors

Quality supervision isn’t a traditional job perk, to be sure, but it’s absolutely critical to keeping employees happy. When you hire or promote a new supervisor, run them through the training ringer: conflict resolution strategies, hands-on management best practices, compliance, and anything else that makes sense in the context of your company. Track their retention rates over time and offer performance bonuses for managers that meet or exceed target thresholds. If a team or department consistently turns over faster than comparable units, don’t be afraid to ask whether the supervisor is to blame.

  1. Increase Flex Time

Flexibility is currency. Your employees have lives outside work, after all: kids, spouses, parents, siblings, friends, hobbies, feelings (including, you know, wanting to be anywhere other than the office). If your white-collar workplace doesn’t yet have a telecommuting policy, what are you waiting for? And there’s absolutely no reason you should be tracking time-off accumulation by the hour. If your workers are able to get their work done before the deadlines you’ve set, they should be able to take an afternoon off to take care of their sick kid.

  1. Boost Bonus Compensation

Scheduled raises are so passe — and so expensive. Why not reward your employees when they reward you? Even a moderate boost to your current bonus pool, or the addition of a new financial performance incentive, can improve morale among affected workers. Bonus compensation is a win-win: employees who feel recognized and rewarded are willing to work harder for the same amount of (guaranteed) money.

  1. Spiff Up Your Office

The old ping-pong tables and beanbag chairs cliche is wearing thin, even in the latte-frothy world of software startups. But that doesn’t mean you can’t invest in a practical, employee-friendly office design, decor and programming. You don’t have to hear the place apart — just upgrade your common areas, add some collaborative work space, and make sure your office manager (who you’ll need to hire if he or she doesn’t exist already) keeps the refreshments coming. It’s amazing what fresh coffee, local artwork and comfy huddle rooms can do.

What are you doing to reward and retain employees in an ever more competitive job market?

 

Scott Vollero is an international entrepreneur and expert in the precious metals and automotive parts recycling industries.