Nature – Henry David Thoreau

Last winter I was back home in the Midwest where I was reintroduced to below zero temperatures and snowfall. However, I couldn’t help but to venture out one evening at sunset to capture the amazing beauty and peaceful tranquility my surrounding had to offer.

Coincidentally, I found a book my parents had by Henry David Thoreau and found a passage which related to the exact moment I had just experienced. As much as our technology grows, nothing will be able to replace the power, healing and inspiration nature has to offer.

3 Ways To Use Instagram For Your Business

One of the most popular Social Media platforms out right now is Instagram. With now over 300 million users (more than Twitter), Instagram has showed no signs of slowing down as it continues to evolve and adapt to the market. Instagram is personally one of my favorite social media outlets because it’s quick, simple and to the point. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, well on Instagram, it can be all of that and more!

Here are 3 ways you can use Instagram for your business or brand.

1. Display Company Culture or Lifestyle

No matter what your business or brand maybe, Instagram is an amazing place to showcase what your company culture or lifestyle is all about. A lot of people feel the need to “sell” or push their product in the viewers face, in my opinion, this is not the place. I’m not saying you can’t do posts showing a new product or running a sales promotion once in a while but people are logging on to Instagram to have fun and kill time, not buy.

Let’s look at Nike, a giant brand who has over 20 million followers. Take a look at their Instagram and you will not find too many product pictures or sales promotions but rather action shots of people living the lifestyle the Nike culture represents which is runners, action sport enthusiasts and athletes. Usually, they post a great hiking, running or athletic photo paired with a motivational quote. They will most definitely have the subject wearing Nike apparel, but it will be done discretely so it doesn’t take away from the message they are trying to present.

2. Develop and engage with a community

Like any other social media platform, Instagram is a great place to develop and engage with your online community. Here you can target users who fall into your demographic through hashtags and by following accounts in your industry. From here, you can start building conversations. This is your chance to show you are more than just an advertisement but rather a voice for the people. By answering questions from brand advocates, commenting and liking other user’s posts, you can quickly become the “cool” kid on the block.

3. Get Creative!

Finally, Instagram is a wonderful opportunity for your business to get creative and show it’s more personal side. One company who has done an incredible job of this is OREO. One would think there would be only so many pictures you could show of the same cookie over and over again. However, OREO went way outside the box to develop a unique branding campaign which turned the cookies into art using them in random settings such as landscape pieces, replacing the heads of people and even becoming the backdrop for a moon landing. Now that’s getting creative!

 

 

3 Reasons Why You Should NEVER Grow Up

Ok, so maybe my title for this post is a bit misleading. When I say I’m going to give you “3 Reasons Why You Should NEVER Grow Up” I’m not telling you to abandon all responsibility, quit your job and move to a land of fantasy such as “Neverland”  (although in retrospect sounds quite appealing.) I’m saying it is important to tap into, utilize and hold onto the creativity of our inner child.

As we grow up and enter the “Real World” we find certain realms are simply inevitable (bills, work, family etc.) and we do what we must to make sure they are taken care of. However, a lot of people seem to lose a piece of themselves in this process. It’s easy to get caught up in the “Rat Race” and to forget some of the greatest blessings in life, simply because we feel we’ve outgrown a certain way of thinking.

[Read more…]

5 Easy Tips For Starting A Blog For Your Business

Blogging is an incredible way to interact with your customers, stay relevant and be viewed as a credible authority in your respected industry. It is also a phenomenal way to climb in the search engine rankings making it easier for people to find you. No matter how big or small your business may be, a blog can serve as a wonderful tool and supplement to your social media and online marketing campaigns.

Here are my five easy tips for starting a blog for your business:

[Read more…]

Exploring The Exploratorium In San Francisco

Not too long ago, I had the pleasure of exploring The Exploratorium in San Francisco, CA with Athena Tabula aka “The Busy Yogi.” For those who don’t know, The Exploratorium is a global leader in informal education, igniting curiosity and inspiring creativity in people of all ages. It is a museum of science, art and human perception.

[Read more…]

How To Create A Web Show In 7 Simple Steps

Today, I present how to create a web show in 7 simple steps. At one point in time, the avenue for writers and producers to get their shows “picked up” could prove to be a very difficult and competitive path. Sending off pilot’s to big companies, trying to get funding or even having to move to major markets such as New York or LA was essential. However, with the power of the internet and Social Media today, virtually anyone can create and bring their show to life.

Creating a web show is a great way to bypass all of the traditional “yellow tape” if you will and immediately get your show concept up and running. Whether your goal is to create one episode for a pitch or run it entirely online, the tools are now available for anyone who wants to join the video broadcasting world.

10689439_474791839328454_8009832387994782925_n

One web show I have had the privilege of executive producing and hosting on is The Social Media Show. Over the past couple years we have interviewed several business owners, individuals and brand ambassadors on how they use Social Media in their day to day lives.

 

 

 

Without further ado, here are my 7 simple steps for creating a web show.

Pick An Industry

The first step in creating your web show is figuring out what it is going to be about. Is it going to be based around your business? Is it a variety show? Or are you going for a particular niche such as video games, sports or cooking? Either way, write out your ideas and pin point the direction of what it is you want to create. You don’t have to have everything set in stone but at least develop an outline you can follow to move forward.

Find A Host (s)

Next, you have to have someone whether it’s your or not, host the show. This should be someone who has a very good camera presence and When we first started The Social Media Show I was the one and only host. Throughout our progression, Asia Jade joined me as co-host and eventually Wayne Alexander aka “Vegas Wayne” joined Asia as her co-host, which allowed me to step more in to the Executive Producer role (although I still will get on camera from time to time).

Location

So now that you know what your show is going to be about and have hosting, it’s time to pick a setting for your show. There is a variety of ways to do this. You can rent out a studio, build a set at your home, film at your business or even film on location. With The Social Media Show with have done a little bit of everything. We started out filming at UNLV in studio then have transitioned over to filming on location. There are pros and cons to doing both of these but really it all depends on what type of show you are trying to create.

Video Production

With everything in place, it’s time for lights, camera, action! Having high quality video production is crucial for your web show. This is going to be the meat of your product. This is what people are going to be watching on their lap tops, iPads or mobile devices. Your going to want to make sure you have proper angles, lighting, sound and graphics that are going to give your viewer a pleasant viewing experience. That being said, you don’t have to go out and break the bank to make high quality videos. Depending on what type of show you have, you can do everything from a simple web cam set up to a multi camera production. I actually got my start in show production by filming on my web cam off of my mac and editing everything myself on iMovie. It’s basic, but when you do basic well you can still deliver a high quality product. If you need assistance, going to a creative agency such as Create See Share is always a great option.

Choose A Schedule

Once your show has been produced, pick a schedule to follow for it’s release. Everyone has their own way of doing it but more times than not, once a week seems to be a good way to go. Make sure no matter no what route you decide, to just stay consistent. This means if you tell your audience you put up a new episode every Tuesday at 6 p.m., be sure to post a new episode on Tuesday at 6 p.m..

Social Media Marketing 

Coming up with a good Social Media plan is essential when producing a web show. Having your web show on Youtube or embed on your website is simply not enough. If you want to get the word out on your show and attract more fans, you must have a Social Media Marketing plan. This means getting on social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Have Fun!

It sounds simple, but it’s important to remember to have fun while producing your web show. You and your team will be putting in a lot of long hours so try to take time to remember why it is you all are working on the project. Go out for team dinners, outings or anything else which will help build your team outside the “work” setting. If you work alone, do something for yourself every once in a while rewarding yourself for all of your efforts.

There you have it. Follow these 7 simple steps and be well on your way to producing your own web show. With the internet and video production becoming more and more accessible for all, there is no reason why you can’t get your show idea out to the world. With some hard work and planning, you can be producing your dream show in no time!

10906296_524169224390715_5079535605606101255_n

 

 

 

3 Reasons To Have A Creative Session

There are many times in life where we find ourselves having “creative blocks.” Whether you are a writer, painter, musician or business owner, we all face the realm of stagnation from time to time. One of the best ways to pull yourself out of this is to get together with like minded people and have a creative brainstorm session.

A couple years back, myself along with fellow “Vegas Creatives” Matt Dever (My Brother), Shane Allen and Khalilah Yasmin got together for a creative session at one of our favorite places on The Las Vegas Strip, The Cosmopolitan Hotel and Casino. Shane was leaving for Japan and this would be one of the last times we could be together for a while.

We gathered on the third floor of The Cosmo where we were surrounded by an array of art pieces while enjoy the luxuries of the extremely comfortable furniture. Throughout the afternoon we conversed, collaborated and worked on our own individual projects exchanging ideas among each other. It was an amazing experience I will never forget. I highly encourage you to check out the video at the top of the blog to get a firsthand look on what I’m talking about.

Now, without further ado, here are my top 3 reasons to have a creative session.

[Read more…]

How To Become A Thought Leader Online

Social Media has opened an array of new portals for individuals, brands and businesses alike. Giving us the ability to become thought leaders in our respective industries. With the click of a button we can be connected with virtually anyone around the world in a matter of seconds. Not only has this been great for developing relationships on the friendship level, but many have been able to attract new business and clients simply by showcasing their business or brand in a more personal way.

One thing I have learned through my experience working with clients and my own projects on the social media platforms is people do not respond well to “in your face” selling. When you are constantly tweeting, Facebooking or Instagramming out “Buy My Stuff” posts, people tend to be turned off. They are on social media to have fun, learn and interact, not necessarily to buy. That doesn’t mean you can never run a sales special or come up with a clever ad showing the benefits of your product but if you don’t balance your content marketing campaign with useful information in respects to your industry, you’re going to hear crickets.

[Read more…]

The Universe Is In Us

Since the dawn of our existence, we have looked to the sky with great wonder marveling at the beauty and presence of The Cosmos. What is it? Where did it come from? Who created it? Which in turn leads to who are we? Where did we come from? Who created us?

I’ve been watching a lot of Neil deGrasse Tyson and Carl Sagan as of late and Neil pointed out one thing which really fascinated me. When asked what was the single most important thing to know about The Universe, Neil replied with “The same stuff the universe is made up out of, we’re made up out of.”

As simple as this statement seems, take a moment to understand how pivotal it is. To me it means everything is connected, we are all one and the power of The Universe lies in every one of us.