The Importance of Introductory Videos for Your Business

The Importance of Introductory Videos for Your Business

We’ve all been there. You’re redoing your website and you’ve gathered beautiful photos and created thoughtful text that describes the value of your business. But, does it feel like “something” might still be missing? That “something” could be a short introduction video.

As we’ve mentioned, the internet is constantly changing and the content that catches users’ attention has to adapt to be creative, eye-catching and engaging. Creating an intro video will grab your audience’s attention and show what your business is about and what you offer. (Kudos to you if you’re already incorporating video marketing in your social media efforts too!)


What is an Intro Video and What Should it Include?

Think of an intro video as a “snapshot” of your business. It should be approximately 30 to 60 seconds and explain exactly what your business does, what product or service you offer, and why people should buy it. Intro videos should be one of the first pieces of content users see (read: on the front page of your brand new, redesigned website!), so you want to make sure that you not only include the most important points about your business, but also create that connection with the customer that generates some
excitement. A great intro video will reflect your business and its personality, inform your audience, and leave them wanting to know more. Also something to keep in mind: the average video is abandoned by 20% of users within the first ten seconds, so you’ll need to capture your audience’s attention within the first five to ten seconds. No pressure. 


What Are the Benefits of an Intro Video?


vIDEO eNGAGEMENTBy using an intro video, your website instantly becomes more interactive. Although there are certain visitors who may prefer to read text, the majority of people who land on your site will gladly watch a short video to learn more about your company rather than reading two paragraphs of text. Just remember to keep the video short and sweet – the short attention span of internet users is a real thing!

Intro videos also allow you to efficiently demonstrate what your business does or offers in ways that text alone might not be able too (remember- you want to create a connection!) You can use your video to briefly show how your product or service works, and an intro video will get your message across without “boring” your visitor. Holding their interest throughout the video will increase the chances they will contact you or buy your product and become a (loyal) customer. 

Did you also know that Google search results actually prioritize websites that have a YouTube embedded video? Some studies have even found that a website is 53 times more likely to show up on the first page of search results on Google if it has an embedded video. Be sure the title of your video is well written and keyword rich as well (we love this online tool for title optimization).

If your website has a high bounce rate, it could be because visitors are not finding the answers they need right away. An intro video can provide direct, easy answers about your business. A website that has an intro video could see visitors staying longer on each page and the website as a whole. A video encourages engagement on the website- prompting people to learn more about your product or service.

General Tips to Keep in Mind

Think Outside the Box

  • The viewer will want to know what your business can do for them – how can you help them with a problem they already have or make them realize they have a problem that they didn’t know about and YOU can help? Keep in mind why visitors are coming to your site and be sure to clearly offer a solution to that problem
  • Consider answering common questions that customers have come to your business with. Having a running list of these questions that you can address not only in your intro video, but also in future videos. This will ensure you always have fresh content to put out!
  • Always draft a script for your video. Start by making a bullet point list with all of the topics you want to touch on, and start with a short introduction and end with a clear call to action (CTA)- a video without a call to action is a video without a purpose! Don’t make your CTA something generic, consider offering a free guide or redirect them to a landing page on your website. CTA messages should be clear and easy to follow, and  be sure to reinforce the CTA by having the text overlaid in the video that repeats what you are saying. 
  • Videos that are funny or emotional tend to have higher engagement rates, so be creative with your script! Also, a great “template” to follow for your script is: Short Introduction→ Main Message→ Details→ Call to Action


Video engagement isn’t the future- It’s NOW! Missing out on video means you’re missing out on potential customers. Here at SocialKNX we can help you come up with creative content and ideas for your video marketing needs to ensure your content is always engaging and up to date.

Optimal Video Length for Social Media

Optimal Video Length for Social Media

What’s the first thing you do when you see a video as you scroll through your Facebook feed? I’d guess that you first check the length of the video to decide whether or not it’s worth the time to watch it. Even if you do press play, how often do you actually watch the entire video? 

Only 52% of viewers actually watch a video all the way till the end. If a video is under 60 seconds, that number jumps to 68%. These days, it’s hard for marketers to hold the attention of consumers- small bites of consumable information are what people seem to crave right now- as a result, marketers are tailoring content to consumers’ short attention spans. 

While the long-standing “2 minute” rule is still a good guideline to go by in regards to your video length, it’s important to tailor each video length to the specific platform on which you are posting the video. Odds are, someone is more likely to watch a 4-minute long video on YouTube, but only last a minute if the same video is on Twitter.

How Long Should Your Videos Be?


In a nutshell, your video really should only be as long as it needs to be in order to convey the message you are intending. The video should be engaging all the way through – providing information that is valuable or that tells a compelling story without any “fluff.”



Facebook videos can technically be up to 240 minutes long, but let’s be honest, nobody wants to watch a 240 minute video on Facebook. On Facebook, videos organically get exposure on a news feed when they are at least 3 minutes long. That doesn’t mean that all of your videos need to be 3 minutes long – you want to focus on the message of the video rather than time limits. The video itself is what captures interests and sparks engagement, not the length of the video.

Some other things to keep in mind when creating a video for Facebook: use eye-catching imagery early on in the video as the first few seconds will automatically play as viewers scroll through a newsfeed. In these first few seconds, it is crucial to include only the information you need to get your point across.


Instagram essentially has three different options for posting videos: Instagram Feed, Instagram Story, and Instagram TV (IGTV). 

Instagram Feed
Videos posted in your Instagram feed can be up to 1 minute. That being said, Instagram is now set up so that if a video is posted to IGTV (more on IGTV below!), a 10-15 second preview will also show up in the regular feed. According to Hubspot research, videos that are, on average, 26 seconds receive the most comments on Instagram. Similar to Facebook, people are scrolling quickly through their Instagram feed and may not want to stop to watch a long video.

Instagram Story
With Instagram Stories, each video uploaded directly to your story can be up to 15 seconds, but you can also post a longer video that will be broken up over multiple 15-second Instagram Story scenes. Statistics say that a story with 3 “parts” tends to be the most engaging.

Instagram TV (IGTV)
IGTV was designed with long-form videos in mind, so like Facebook, your video should only be as long as it needs to be in order to get the point across. Previews of your IGTV video now show up in the Instagram feed, and users must then tap “Keep Watching” to watch the rest of the video.



Originally, Twitter had a 30 second limit for video uploads, but it has now been extended to as long as 2 minutes and 20 seconds. However, since Twitter users are used to short updates, it’s usually best to keep your videos on the shorter side. You could always consider creating short teaser videos and linking out to the full video on another social media platform like YouTube.


You Tube The audience for YouTube is different from Facebook, Instagram and Twitter because users turn to YouTube specifically for video content! As a result, viewers are prepared for longer videos as they are not aimlessly scrolling through a feed. Similar to Facebook, YouTube rewards videos that have more engagement (watch time) and will feature them more prominently in search results. 6 to 8 minutes is usually the ideal length of a video on YouTube, BUT if you can get the information across in less than 6 minutes, avoid stretching the video out with filler content. 


While we do live in a fast-paced, ‘results NOW’ world, a benefit of longer videos is that they can build loyalty and create engagement with your brand on social media – as long as you make sure you are optimizing the videos for the correct social media platform to maximize your views and engagement. When a viewer spends more time watching your video, it typically means the content resonates with them personally, increasing their interest in your company. Video content can help your target audience get to know your brand, create that personal connection and establish that long-standing loyalty!

Here at SocialKNX, we know that different social media channels may require different strategies. Reach out to us today to see how we can help you break your content into byte-sized pieces that get shared across the social media universe!

Where to Start: How to Get Your Brand Known

Where to Start: How to Get Your Brand Known

getting started how to get known

Perhaps you don’t ever want the fame of Kim Kardashian or Beyoncé, but who wouldn’t want their business to have at least a little of that recognition? Perhaps your brand is Y.O.U. and you want to know where to begin to get your expertise and brilliance out to the world. Remember, it doesn’t matter how brilliant you are, if no one besides your mom knows about you, it is brilliance wasted.

With today’s social tools available and free, there’s no reason we can’t get a slice of that paparazzi pie. It takes a strategic focus, consistency, and it takes being in it for the long game (Think Monopoly…not Go Fish!). There is no easy button, no shortcut. You can write a book or get on with Oprah, and you will still be overshadowed by the piano playing chicken next week. You have to do the day-after-day, consistent work to be known and remembered.


If you are just getting started using social media, you might wonder if you are too late to the party. It can feel like you’re showing up to 6th-grade summer camp on day 5 of the 7 days. Everyone has already made friends, practiced their talent show act, and knows where the secret stash of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are. This doesn’t mean you can’t get in and learn the ropes and sign on for weeks two, three and four of camp.


The good news, it’s very doable. If you commit to doing the work and making friends … you will reach thousands and start seeing your impact.

Here are 7 steps to take TODAY to get your brand KNOWN:


  1. Make a list of your top FAQs.

    What are the questions you get asked most often in your business or in the work you do? What do potential customers or clients want to know about your industry? Write them down.
    video and blog content from FAQs

  2. Create short videos for your FAQs.

    Create one, 2-3 minute video answering one of the questions you just listed in step 1. Don’t wait to have these professionally produced. Don’t wait to get your hair done or until you lose that last 15 pounds. Do it TODAY!  Put your smart phone in a simple tripod or even easier, open up your laptop or turn on your computer and start recording. Here are 4 ways to get going:

    1. Record a screen capture video right within PowerPoint? (go to the “insert” link and select “Screen Recording.”) To record right from your computer
    2. On a Mac, you simply open iMovie and hit that record button
    3. On a PC use MovieRecorder to do the same
    4. On any computer you can use a free tool like LOOM to record any combination of your screen, you in the corner, and the audio.
    5. On your iPhone or Android check out VIDEOSHOP for easy editing of short smartphone videos.
  3. Create blog posts for these same FAQs.

    Open a word doc and write the answers to the questions. You might have the exact same thing but it doesn’t matter. Some people like to read and others like to watch videos. You want to cover all of your bases.

  4. Load your videos to your social channels.

    This may seem like something Captain Obvious would be saying, but there are many people who load video or blog content and never share that via social media. Load your videos to Facebook, YouTube, and if they are under 10 minutes, also load them to your LinkedIn profile. Don’t load them only to YouTube and then share the link from YouTube to the other channels. Facebook and LinkedIn want you to load the file natively. Basically, they don’t want people leaving their platform to go to YouTube (It’s like sending people to an Ex’s garage sale when you have the same stuff at your house).

  5. Load your blog posts onto your website.

    You may have to have someone help you with this if you don’t know how …and if you do, be sure to have them show you how to do it. You’re going to be doing this often enough and it is so easy, you should know how to load content into your site.

  6. Load your blog post onto your LinkedIn Profile as an ARTICLE.

    This is simply copying and pasting what you have loaded onto your blog, into LinkedIn as an article. When you post a status update, it goes out to your network, like a Tweet and then it’s gone, unless someone knows to go to your profile and search through “All of Your Activity.” Articles showcase your content in a more prominent way. This is a great way to repurpose your blog post. Don’t forget to add a great image to make it visually interesting.

  7. Lastly, don’t forget to share the link to your videos and blog content on your other social channels.

    Take the links from your website and YouTube channel to share on Twitter and other channels you may be active on. If you are active in a social group, and if it’s appropriate to share your content, do so there. You can add an RSS feed to the bottom of your email signature or a hyperlink to take people to your content. It’s not a one-time promotion. You have to share your content over and over again, week after week, month after month. Not everyone will see your content the first time you share it. [read: Starting a New Business: What you need to know about marketing it]


This may seem like a lot of work, but keep in mind, the Kardashians weren’t built in a day. It takes time. It takes doing at least one thing each week to get your brilliance out for the world to see. Don’t look for shortcuts. You want great content that provides value for your target audience. It only comes from you getting that out of your head and sharing it via writing, speaking, creating content … week after week! You can do it! I’m cheering you on.


I’d love to hear from you and have you share one thing you are doing this week to get your content out to the world. Connect with me on your favorite social channel or right here in the comments.



The Perils of Perfectionism in Marketing: 5 Facts that Will Motivate You and 4.5 Steps to Recovery

The Perils of Perfectionism in Marketing: 5 Facts that Will Motivate You and 4.5 Steps to Recovery

perfectionism in marketing

We all know that perfectionism, while it has its merits, holds us back from making the progress in our business and in our lives that we truly want and need to make. Perfectionism in marketing is death. Death to progress and eventually to your business. I have to admit, not with any sense of pride mind you, but I have never had to worry about the negative effects of being a perfectionist. I have been a self-proclaimed slacker-mom, rusted trophy-wife, and a fly-by-the-seat of my pants entrepreneur. Always biting off more than I can chew and figuring out how to survive as I choked it down. Let’s just say, I have no shame in my game!

So I am not going to sit here and tell you how I overcame my struggle as a recovering perfectionist. But I am going to tell you that in my 22 years of being in business, helping people with their marketing, I have seen the carnage that perfection leaves in its path. I’m going to give you some facts that will help motivate you to let go a bit with your marketing and then 4 and ½ steps to help you recover, make more progress, and grow your business!  Why the ½? Well it’s so perfectly IMPERFECT!

Let’s get a few things out so we can build your motivation for seeing the need to let go of the neat lines and perfect circles:

  • Perfectionism kills creativity and can completely cripple your ability to get ideas out and move your business forward.
  • Today’s pace is faster than ever. We can’t wait months to get a piece of content created. Many times, we need it in hours or days.
  • Marketing is all about testing. Testing means you have to produce multiple products, videos, lead magnets, blog posts, etc. to… TEST.  You have to release something to the world before you can truly know what your audience wants. Then you can make adjustments based on the feedback you get. If the only feedback you have is coming from your head, you might spend months on something and then release it to crickets! If it takes you MONTHS before you can get one item completed, the only thing you will test is your patience.

Perfectionism in marketing
You may say you don’t want to put anything out unless it “looks professional” or is “professionally created.”  There is absolutely nothing wrong with things looking professional if it can be done in a realistic time frame. There is nothing wrong with something being created by a professional, as long as they don’t cause said professional to age 12 years working with you because of all of your “small edits.” If you can’t get something out because you are waiting on the graphic designer to return the 87th version of a 2 page PDF, you need therapy…and now the poor graphic designer does too!

Video is one of the hottest marketing tools you have today and yet video is a big hurdle for many perfectionists because there are just so many areas where perfection is nearly impossible. You may want to wait to do videos until you have the perfect equipment. You will of course then need to put it off until you are at your perfect weight and have made an appointment with your hairdresser to get those highlights looking perfect. Then, of course you will need the perfect day when you got the perfect amount of sleep so you look…PERFECT. (I think this could be the beginning of a children’s book… If you give a perfectionist a project.) Let the real YOU shine through. Instead of trying to create a perfectly produced video of you sharing your expertise, imagine sitting across from a friend over coffee and sharing these nuggets of wisdom. Be THAT you on video. It is so much more enjoyable to watch and learn from someone who is REAL like the rest of us.    

More motivation here:

  • Overly produced videos do not do as well as raw footage of the real you when trying to build relationships with an online audience. When people see a very nice “commercial” of you and your product, they see you trying to sell them something. When they see you giving tips, information, or advice with nothing but you and the camera, you become more real and approachable…Even with bags under your eyes! Your imperfections create likability and build trust.
  • Authenticity comes from showing your imperfections.  We want to see the real you not the overly produced you. This doesn’t mean your videos have to be unprofessional, it just means they don’t have to be perfect. You may find after you record your video that a piece of your hair was sticking up like Alfalfa, the entire time. You may start a live broadcast a few minutes late because there were technical glitches. You may be recording a video and you forget something you were going to say next. You may be in the middle of a live video stream and your dog will bark…or all three of them will suddenly go NUTS…all hypothetical examples of course! This is REAL LIFE. What would happen if you were face-to-face with someone and these things happened? You would keep going.

So let’s get to the 4 ½ steps to help you tousel your hair a bit and start producing more marketing content to build your business.

Perfectionism in marketing

  1. Get rid of “All or Nothing” thinking.

    Remember, in marketing your goal is to produce regular content to TEST. You have to let go of the thinking that gets you stuck, or paralyzed. “If I can’t get more people connecting with our brand on social media, then I don’t want to put together the slides for the webinar we were supposed to do. And if I can’t do the slides, then there is no point for me to schedule a weekly Facebook live.” “If I can’t get the graphic artist to get this image just right, I don’t want to put out the blog post.”  Put the blog post out with a regular image and you can always go in and swap it out later if you wanted. Aim for PROGRESS, not perfection. You need to TEST, TEST, TEST.

  2. Use tools and then TRUST the tools.

    If you find yourself frustrated trying to get your marketing pieces looking professional but can’t do it yourself or your budget can’t afford the cost of having a graphic artist do 87 revisions, check out some of these tools:  Beacon for creating tip sheets, resource guides, and even eBooks. Typepad or for creating quizzes. Tools like Canva can help you create infographics or graphics to promote the tip sheets and guides you’ve created. (See our post on Create Lead Magnets for more information.) And if you want a video tool to send out videos in emails check out LOOM, a free Chrome extension that allows you to record just you, or you showing your screen. This tool is free for videos under 10 minutes.

  3. Go for 80% Done.

    A good friend of mine (and client), Toni Newman, is a recovering perfectionist as well. Someone told her that she needed to use the 80% rule because her 80% good enough is still 100% enough for everyone else. I love this. If you think you must have 10 pages on your whitepaper before it can be complete, let it go when you have 8. If you think your blog post has to have exactly 1,400 words before it can be published, wrap it up at …. 1,120 (full disclosure… I had to ask Alexa what 80% of 1400 was, whereas I should have said “wrap it up when you are around 1,000 words”). Just learn to let go a little sooner and watch how the world keeps spinning and you get more accomplished.

  4. Allow yourself to be a beginner.

    Especially when it comes to using new tools like podcasting or social video!   It’s ok to let your audience know you are using a new tool, or finally working up the courage to use live video. Not only will people be ok with it, they will often cheer you on and offer words of encouragement. This transparent confession also makes you much more LIKEABLE.

    4 ½.  GET STARTED!

    That 1st step is the only huge one. Once you commit to doing it—putting yourself out there—getting that first blog post written and published, or that first video done and out to the world, you will find that each one following gets easier and BETTER! I used to tell my youngest daughter, also a perfectionist, that she can’t start something as an expert. Experts become experts by being beginners who kept doing something over and over. You can’t get GREAT until you GET STARTED!

[bctt tweet=”You can’t get GREAT until you GET STARTED! ” username=”GinaSchreck”]

Do you have tips that have helped you overcome your need for perfectionism in your marketing? Do share below. And if you’d like to hear a Facebook LIVE that we did on this very topic with one of our Group members, Elizabeth Suarez, check out the video below (and you will hear dogs going crazy!)


Live Streaming Interview Style with What you need to know

Live Streaming Interview Style with What you need to know

facebook live streaming how to use live streaming

Everyone is talking about live streaming and especially on Facebook, with Facebook Live events. You may not feel ready to fly solo just yet on a broadcast. Perhaps doing live streaming interview style with a co-worker, or an expert in your industry would help ease you into the whole live streaming world, but Facebook hasn’t opened up the multi-user feature on their live streaming product yet, so what else can you do?

There are a few tools out that allow you to connect with another presenter and pull both of your video feeds into Facebook to “go live.” One of the tools we recently tested and really like is

Here’s why we like

  1. Super easy to set up and use. No bulky client to download or equipment to purchase. Simply sign up, connect to your Facebook account and schedule your first event. Once it is scheduled, you will be given a link to send to anyone you want to join you as a guest or co-host. Anyone else can watch and participate in your event through chat. There is no limit there.
  2. The cost right now is …FREE (They are officially still in BETA and therefore offering it free for now. When they start charging a fee, I am guessing it will be under $40 a month to stay in line with other similar tools).


Tips to Keep in Mind as the Host of the BeLive Event for Facebook Live:

  1. You can have one guest, or co-host, with the host on screen at a time (two people total). I have read that they are working on the ability to add more, but as of March 2016, you and one guest will be shown on screen.
  2. You can have multiple guests slotted in your event as long as you have given the link to join you on screen and guest number one drops off or hangs up before guest two joins in. So if you had 4 people to interview in one show, you could schedule them all back to back and have them watching the live stream so you could direct the next guest to join in.
  3. You do not have to have a guest. You may want to just host a BeLive Q&A session or fly solo to discuss something that is on your mind or share tips. Using the BeLive platform allows you to schedule (something you cannot do at this time through Facebook), as well as have very nice features such as adding your name and company in the lower third of your screen (see names in lower third of screen) and pulling questions that are asked in chat, onto the screen to feature them.Facebook Live events using
  4. Speaking of questions. During your event, any questions or comments that are typed into Facebook by your viewers are seen inside the BeLive platform. You can simply click on a question or comment to have it pop onto the screen as you answer it. (See Sarah’s comment below) The key to remember is to click it again when you are finished to take it off the screen so it doesn’t cover your lower-third name tag.Live streaming interview style on Facebook live
  5. works best in Chrome browser, so be sure and have that downloaded prior to beginning the setup.
  6. Have your guests run a test with you before the show to ensure their video and audio is set up correctly. If you have one guest, simply have them join you in the BeLive platform 15-30 minutes prior to run the tests. If you have more than one guest, you have to run these tests one at a time.
  7. The only equipment needed would be a computer with a video camera and microphone or smartphone. You may want to use a microphone/headset to plug in for improved audio. TIP (from experience): Do not use a microphone-only plugin as it could affect your ability to hear your guest. Since the microphone is usually plugging into the headset jack. It is fine if you don’t need to hear anyone else speaking, but in this case, use a headset with a mic built in.
  8. You can schedule your event to broadcast into your personal profile, a group or a business page you manage.Live streaming interview style use on Facebook Live
  9. When you schedule your event, notifications, as well as subsequent reminders, are sent automatically, which is wonderful!


Tips for the Guest Coming on

  1. You will be sent a link to click on the day of the event. Log in a few minutes early (if not several minutes early to practice) and test your microphone and video.
  2. Do a quick check of your surroundings. You will be on camera and you may want to tidy up around you or be sure there is no confidential information that will appear onscreen.
  3. You must have a Facebook account to participate. pulls your name and info from Facebook, at this time, in order to connect you.
  4. Using Chrome browser is recommended, if not required. Do not wait until the day of the event to download Chrome.
  5. Just like the host, the only equipment needed would be a computer with a video camera and microphone or smartphone. You may want to use a microphone/headset to plug in for improved audio. TIP (from experience): Do not use a microphone-only plugin as it could affect your ability to hear your guest. Since the microphone is usually plugging into the headset jack. It is fine if you don’t need to hear anyone else speaking, but in this case, use a headset with a mic built in.
  6. As you are logging in for the first time, you will see a notification “Do you want to allow BeLive access to your microphone and camera.” This is a small message that will appear but watch for it. If you click away or click NO, your computer audio and video will not work. You want to allow the tools to use your camera and microphone. Don’t worry, they won’t snap any selfies on their own.
  7. Be sure to have strong internet connectivity or strong cell service if you are participating from your phone. Just like using Skype, Facetime or any other live video tool, your internet connectivity is crucial to a smooth live streaming experience.
  8. Have fun! Your personality is what will make the event fun for the viewers. Relax and don’t try and be scripted. Bullet points are fine but don’t read your answers onscreen.

So how do you begin? Can you test this before you schedule your first public event? Yes. Go in and schedule an event you will see at the bottom a TESTING ONLY-DO NOT POST option. This will allow you to get comfortable with the features before diving in.

If you need more tips on creating better social videos, be sure and download “3.5 STEPS and 8 TIPS for BETTER SOCIAL VIDEOS”

Tips for doing live streaming video

Connect with us on any social channel or join our business building group on Facebook. I look forward to connecting!


Gina Schreck, social marketing

Last Minute Gifts for the Entrepreneur in Your Life

Last Minute Gifts for the Entrepreneur in Your Life

Do you have someone in your life who inspires you with their drive and determination to start or run their own business? Do you want to encourage them and show that you believe in their dreams as much as they do but need some ideas?

I have a few items I pulled together that will show that you not only support your entrepreneur but that you understand what is on trend for 2017.

tools needed for live streaming video last minute gifts for entrepreneurs

For the past couple years, we have seen a surge in live streaming with tools like Periscope, Meerkat (already closed down), blab (already closed down), YouTube Live and others. But when Facebook announced they were entering the live streaming game (opened to everyone in early 2016), I knew it would change how we used this tool.

The term “Live Stream” may sound intimidating, like streaming a large sporting event or a concert, but actually, it is simply a term that means bringing a video message to an audience as it’s happening. Pre-recorded video is still great to use in marketing, but when you can go “live,” it allows your audience to join in and ask questions or comment as you are streaming. This is a wonderful way to announce new products or services, answer questions that people have about your business or bring helpful tips to your audience in a more conversational way.

The trend to beam into people’s newsfeed with a short video message still has some trying to figure out exactly how to use it, but for those who live out on the edge, ready to try new tools that allow them to get closer to their customers, it’s powerful.  We will see this only explode further in 2017, as more brave these new live streaming waters. You don’t need a lot of equipment to get started. Here is a list of low-cost tools to get any entrepreneur shouting, LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION!”

(As an Amazon Prime member, you can have these items to your doorstep in 2-3 days, so you still have time!)


You can spend a lot of money on microphones for podcasting and video work, but the reality is, you don’t have to. Most laptops, computers, and smartphones have built-in microphones that will do a fairly decent job for live streaming, but what I like about this clip-on lavalier with a 20-foot cord, is you can sit back or stand a little further away and still be able to hear. This mic will still pick up background noises so if you are at a conference or trying to shoot video while outside, this won’t be a good option, but for sitting in your office recording, it works great, and for under $20, you can’t beat it.

You can spend a lot of money on microphones for podcasting and video work, but the reality is, you don’t have to. Most laptops, computers, and smartphones have built-in microphones that will do a fairly decent job for live streaming, but what I like about this clip-on lavalier with a 20-foot cord, is you can sit back or stand a little further away and still be able to hear. This mic will still pick up background noises so if you are at a conference or trying to shoot video while outside, this won’t be a good option, but for sitting in your office recording, it works great, and for under $20, you can’t beat it.


One issue many people have is recording in a room that is not well lit. Either they have a window right behind them, causing a dark silhouette when they turn on the camera, or they don’t have enough lighting altogether and the video is just dark. While a  couple of small desk lamps can do wonders for boosting your lighting, this “selfie ring” is a much better option. Because it clips on (like a chip clip), you can attach it to a laptop or phone with ease. I also love that this little light is rechargeable (no batteries needed).


While most “selfie-sticks” have a clamp that holds your phone, they are usually held in portrait mode and if they come with a tripod, it is almost always a very flimsy one that sits on a desk or table top. The iOgrapher allows you to connect your phone in any position to a full-sized tripod, add lights, additional lenses, and more. You need to order one that fits your exact phone model because of how the camera area fits in the cradle.


Whether you are needing to snap some photos or create a video, having a steady hand with a camera will avoid the Blair Witch Project style filming. A good tripod will collapse and sit on a counter, desktop or table, and extend to hold your phone or camera at eye level when you are standing up. There is a universal screw that sits atop most tripods and that will attach to your iOrgrapher or other phone cradles.


So, whether you are wanting to show your love and support to an entrepreneur in your life, or perhaps YOU are the entrepreneur and you want to set yourself up for 2016 to rock that business, these four tools will get you started off right!

Happy Holidays and be sure to share with us a link to check out your videos or podcasts.

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