September 2017 - Small business consultant

Monthly Archives: September 2017

My favourite video tools for small business

Ever seen those viral videos on Facebook and thought, “I wonder how I’d record myself?” I have to be honest, my original videos were done with a digital camcorder. While not in a professional studio, I promise there is an easier way.

Here are the video recording tools I use

Facebook Live – Live streaming video

It’s no surprise that I use this since I love live streaming. I love the interaction and the ease of recording from my phone (yes I also go live from my laptop).

I will often run a Facebook Live, save the video to my gallery and upload it from there so that I can have it on my Youtube channel or repurpose it into a blog.

You can also download your Facebook Live videos and then upload them to other channels.


Debut Video Capture

I use the Debut Video Capture from Australian Company, NCH Software to quickly record my screen. You have a number of different views you can record, be it a set area, active window or full screen.

I like how Debut Video Capture quickly integrates with their video editing software – Video Pad. Better still, Video Pad can load directly into a number of video platforms, including YouTube. I really like this function as it saves logging in or moving to another window.

You can also overlay text or your webcam video. The webcam overlay is great so you can still see your face when sharing your screen. Perfect for video tutorials.

COST – $50 AUD

Adobe Spark Video

I love that Adobe Spark have mobile apps (IOS only) and that means that I can make videos on the run. I have used their templated videos to run Facebook Video ads with a voice over.

Adobe Spark Suite gives you access to the Adobe images suite and a multitude of templated designs. Of course, you can design your own from scratch.

Adobe Spark Video has a library of music to use as backing or you can dub over your video of transitioning images.

Cost – FREE

Lumen 5 – Blog to Video conversion

Lumen5 is my latest find and I am a little smitten with shiny new toy syndrome.

With Lumen5 I can take a blog post URL or text and put it in and out pops a video. Ok, so there’s a little work to do in there.

With the manual upload, you input the link or text and then you can add new slides and slide text to cover off the points in the uploaded content. The great thing is that it will import the linked images for you to use and it will also find related images and video to have in the slide backgrounds. Yes! You get video in video. It certainly makes for a more entertaining production.

You can then add background music from their library, upload music or you can dub over the top.

It gets better!

The Lumen5 video tool will also take an RSS feed and turn your feed into templated videos. Now that’s a hands off approach to video creation that I can applaud. The templates draw text from the posts into the template. You can then edit, change images/video and add the audio. A much faster result.

Most Lumen5 video sits in under a minute. This is great for a quick teaser to your content. Upload it to YouTube etc and embed with your blog for an overview for those who don’t like reading!

COST – FREE (so long as you don’t mind their branding)

Zoom – Video Conference & Webinar

I use Zoom for video meetings & training. I love the record feature and how it brings my webcam in over my screen when screensharing.

I use Zoom recordings to repurpose the trainings I do using Zoom.

COST – FREE to $28/mth AUD


How to overcome the fear of success – for small business

Ever dream so big, set the goals, put the plan into place only to realise as it’s about to realise that you’re scared witless (or rhymes with) about it actually succeeding. Yeah that’s me. Keep reading or watch this…

Back in February 2016 I heard about Inbound, a major marketing conference in the US. I had just shifted my branding over, redone my website, and I had big plans for my business. “Why not reward myself?”, I thought with a trip. I spoke to friends about different social media & marketing conferences and Inbound came up as the one to attend for those who were already in marketing. So I decided that 2017 would be the year I attended.

In mid-2016 I toyed with the idea of attending in September 2016 but for various reasons that never happened, & I kept my 2017 goal.

Around comes 2017 and my business is growing and I find out that some of my favourite speakers (Michelle Obama & Brené Brown) are keynotes. Well, my need to get to Inbound went up a notch. I had to be there. These were bucket list speakers.

I bootstrap my business, meaning there is no capital investment outside of the income it generates. I had to work for those tickets.

Here’s the thing. All along, all through my career, I always thought the only way I would get overseas for work was if my boss paid for me. (Well I did work for the government) Now that never happened and in 3 short years of business, I find myself paying to go overseas.

So why am I so afraid? I’ve even lived in the US. I travelled between Australia & the US alone, so it’s not that. It is precisely what this trip represents.


I have succeeded in achieving a goal I had never had for myself prior to starting my own business and one that seemed improbable.

Yes, I do have an overall fear of success. That’s why all of this is making me anxious just as it’s about to occur. Now don’t worry, I’m not a self-sabotager. I will be getting on that plane and attending that conference.

But what has got me stumped is this fear of success.

For many years I was told not to shine to bright, give others a turn, don’t get too big for my boots. I always thought that this was why I had a fear of success. I thought it was the self-talk tape I had had programmed.  Perhaps a little.

Then I thought it was actually a fear of failure. You know the whole, but what if I fail and fall flat on my face thing! Nope, not that either. While I used to say that failure was familiar, in a self-deprecating manner, and it’s true that I am no stranger to failure. I’m actually ok with failure. I learnt long ago to live without regret, which frees me from fearing failure. I am also incredibly resilient which means that I fail, I get up, I brush myself off, and I get on my way.

So it’s not a fear of failure in the guise of not fearing success.

So what is it about my fear of success?

The paradoxical thing about success, unlike failure, is that it can never truly be achieved. Once you’ve achieved a certain level of success, a new one appears. And I think that’s it. My fear of success is actually that I can never attain it, but don’t confuse it with felling like I will fail, it’s not that. It’s fleeting and surpassed by a new goal. I’m afraid of something I believe doesn’t exist because while I achieve a goal, success has moved. It’s a mirage that jumps along the road of progress to a new point.

So what to do about my fear of success?

Well I’ve acknowledged it and that’s always a good step.

I’ve called it what it is, the never ending fear.

So what does psychology say when overcoming fears, generally it’s exposure therapy. Repeatedly putting yourself in a position to encounter the fear while still in a safe environment. That goes against those things I was told growing up of not showing off.

But I have to lean into my fear of success. Just like getting over a fear of flying (not that I have that, heights yes). I have to work that muscle.

So I’m heading to the US to attend that conference. I’m doing it on my own dollar. I’ve leaned in to success and I’ve actually applied to be a speaker at a conference in Canada in 2018, speaking on consumer behaviour on Facebook.

So what’s my advice to those of you who fear success?

Look at your track record. Look at how far you’ve come. If you fear success, remember it is an incremental upgrade and that means you’re already successful. So lean in, there’s nothing to fear.




3 tips to maximise your first media coverage

During the week I asked my friends and my Facebook group: What they would do next after their business was featured on national tv. I was wondering how and if businesses had thought about maximising their media coverage. The results were interesting.

For most it would be their first media coverage and to be honest, it can be daunting. While not necessarily press coverage, I remember seeing my first piece of associated press and not only was I over the moon, but I was completely daunted by the company I was keeping. Seems my reactions were not dissimilar to those I asked.

Most small business owners said that they would celebrate, cry, scream; essentially we all run through a range of emotions. Which is perfectly normal when we get that first media coverage, but then what? How do the best small business maximise their media coverage?

Get your website ready to cope with the media coverage

Some of the people said they’d check to make sure that their website could handle the increased traffic after receiving the press coverage. While the ability to handle the load is important, you need to maximise the press coverage too. Here are a few tips to ensure your website is ready not just for the rush of customers but the associated press too:
– add a link to your media page
– add excerpts to your media page
– add excerpts to other pages or blog posts
– add their logo to your site to say “As seen in”

By adding these points through your site, you maximise the kudos appearing in the media has and it shows associated press that you are interested and will share their press coverage.

Share the press coverage

Only one person said that they would upload it to their social media, they said their Facebook business page first and then their Instagram. No one mentioned uploading the media coverage to YouTube.

The thing is you can’t and shouldn’t just share the press coverage once to each channel and forget it. Here are some ideas:
– share the whole piece of media coverage
– share screenshots with quotes taken from the piece
– share excerpts of your press coverage
– share the story from the media outlet’s channels
– thank and participate in conversations about your media coverage, and

do all of these across all of your social media channels a number of times. The amazing thing about social media, is that your fans will celebrate your media coverage with you and won’t mind if you mix things up and keep your social media posts relevant and engaging. So ask them to share!

Don’t forget to share with your email list too!

Chase associated press coverage

It might seem odd but it’s easier to get press coverage once you’ve already had it. Now you might not get good results straight away and pitching the same story generally has little appeal to associated press, but you need to strike and set seeds while your name is still buzzing.

There are a few ways small business can get their business ideas in front of associated press channels. You can call or email the appropriate desks in the media outlet. You can also monitor sites such as Help A Reporter Out (HARO) and Sourcebottle, where journalists post opportunities to be featured in the media. If you’d like to read more on media pitches, have a read of my interview with Kellie O’Brien.

Write a note to the journalist who featured you. A personal note of thanks is rare and shows that you took the time to put pen to paper and appreciate their work.

In the end, your first media coverage can be daunting but it’s important for the best small business to maximise the spotlight and put their business ideas out there. This media coverage affords you the opportunity to grow your small business and the best small business will run with these opportunities. Media coverage is part of achieving your business goals and growing your business and perhaps if you’re not sure what you’d do if the spotlight was turned on you then you might want to consider getting clear on your business goals and what you would do if you were featured in your local press.


6 ways to grow your business on Facebook without a Facebook Page

Many times I’m asked how to grow a  Facebook Page, often I refer people back to my Facebook Page and my Facebook Profile. There are a number of things you can do just on Facebook before you start a Facebook page to grow your business. The good thing is that all but one of them is totally free!

Facebook Profile

Link your business to your personal Facebook profile

I understand that some people don’t want to do this for privacy reasons, if this isn’t you then read on.

The reason you want to do this is for those Facebook Stalkers, in a nice way, who check you out based on friends, interactions in a group, networking events etc. This helps point them in the direction of where they can do business with you.

You can link to your Facebook Page in a few locations. You can add it to your Workplace as you can see here in my Facebook profile:

Or you can add it as a link in your About Overview, like I’ve done in my Facebook Profile

Your Facebook cover picture

While you can get in trouble with Facebook for linking to a page or group from your Facebook cover photo, you can add it as a comment.  Make sure you use the proper Facebook Cover  picture size or the main information telling people why they want to use your business and where to find your business will be lost.

Facebook Post

I understand that some might feel  that they’re spamming their Facebook friends, but the thing is that they already like, know, & trust you and these are some of the biggest hurdles in making a sale. So what do you post on Facebook? Well the easiest thing is sharing a post from your Facebook page, but you can do more. Some great Facebook post ideas I’ve used are:

  • Ask a question
  • Survey an issue
  • Share a win

All of these things are the types of things we like to post to Facebook any way and so there’s no reason why you can’t make them related to your business. Friends love to help.

Facebook Groups

Before you stress, I’m not talking about your own Facebook Group, though I have written about it in the past. I want to talk to you about being a member of other Facebook Groups. The key in these strategies, with all of the groups on Facebook, is to ensure you’re hanging out where your ideal client hangs out.  If your not sure which Facebook groups to join then ask your friends, ask your page, ask your clients – they’ll give you some direction.

Be of use in Facebook groups

There is nothing worse in a Facebook Group chat than someone who comes in, drops a link, and leaves. Be of use without any expectation of anything in return. Offer advice and only link to your business if invited. This is where having your business linked in your Facebook Profile comes into its own.

Make note of the facebook group rules on promotion days

Many Facebook group rules have set days for promotions. Stick to those days and promote. Once again, don’t just drop your link and run. Explain to the group members how they will benefit from the item you’ve linked.

Become a Sponsor

Some Facebook Group rules set particular days and times for group sponsors. You’ll still need to make sure that your post is of benefit to the group. Don’t worry, you don’t have to make them all specials posts either, look at it as an opportunity to educate and build a relationship with your clients through that group on Facebook.

So there are many ways to grow your business on Facebook without necessarily relying on your Facebook page. These methods build relationships which is where all long lasting business relationships begin.