Surprising Reasons Why Instagram Video Length is Ideal

Why is everyone so afraid of video marketing?

Because they think it takes too much time, it’s too expensive, it’s too difficult or it’s too scary!

Instagram Video Length is ideal to make awesome videos in no time.

Here’s a style of video marketing that’s just way to easy not to do it. Instagram has become a community where you can share visual moments, with your smartphone camera, simply and beautifully. Some moments, however, need more than a static image to come to life – which is why Instagram video was born.

Until fairly recently video has been missing from Instagram. The Instagram video length of 15 seconds allows you to make short videos in no time at all and share them across your social platforms on a regular basis. With Instagram video you can make stunning short form videos that build your brand and rock your business.

15-Second Video Marketing

instagram video lengthYoga instructor Kaitlin Daddona promotes her yoga practice with 15-second videos – made with her iphone – that she uploads to Instagram. She now has a group of 2,000+ people who follow her and every time she posts a new video she gets a couple hundred likes – which means that her followers are making her video visible to others.

Making a video like this is the exact opposite of the perfectionist’s method of spending hours planning your shots and then more hours tweaking the edits. It takes Kaitlin less than five minutes to create a new video start to finish.

And while this works great for a yoga instructor like Kaitlin – imagine the many, short, 15-second videos you could make showing visual parts of your work. Whatever reasons you’ve been hanging onto for why you aren’t yet making your own videos: “it’s too complicated,” “it takes too much time,” “i don’t have the right equipment,” this leaves you with no excuse. Everyone has a smartphone with a video camera – and everyone has ten minutes to put one of these together.

Instagram Video Length of 15 seconds leaves no excuse

Whatever reasons you’ve been hanging onto for why you aren’t yet making your own videos: “it’s too complicated,” “it takes too much time,” “i don’t have the right equipment,” this leaves you with no excuse.

Everyone has a smartphone with a video camera – and everyone has ten minutes to put one of these together.

So, get inspired to make your own Instagram video, and when you do please share it in the comments below!

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What’s the secret every entrepreneur needs to take the plunge?

take the plunge

How Jumping cold water every morning helped grow my business

I used to work for Outward Bound. Every morning we jumped in the ocean. It was always cold. Really cold. And yet we made everyone take the plunge. There was only one way to get used to it.

Do it every day.

At first it seemed like maybe this really wasn’t such a good idea. But by jumping in every day, it became normal. We didn’t just turn it into a daily practice, we made jumping in the ocean part of our cultural identity. When we each agreed to take the plunge, we became members of a tribe who were people of the water. We jumped in every day because we now believed that this was how we how we thrived.

It sounds crazy. It was crazy. No matter the weather, no matter how cold, we jumped in all the way.

Getting your feet wet as a daily practice

Since then I’ve seen first hand how developing a regular practice of ‘getting your feet wet’ works really well for growing your business.

We tend to develop our new stuff in a closet. Musicians call this ‘woodshedding’ – as in a long period of practicing your instrument out back in the wood shed so no one can see or hear you until you’re good enough.

This is not the way to grow your thriving enterprise. If you spend six months developing your next big project on your own, you may well find that you’ve spent all that time on something that no-one cares about.

You need to take the plunge with your new projects.

Jump in – get your feet wet – every day. I know. You’re not quite ready yet. It could be really cold!!

But, if you share some small part of what you’re working on you’ll get feedback right away.

Show Your Work

You may have noticed that this site is all about making videos. So what can you do with video as a daily practice? You can show your work.

Austin Kleon has a great little book called ‘Show Your Work’ devoted to this subject. His secret to getting known? “Do good work and share it with people”

It’s all about reaching out to those you want to connect with. And you know what? If you start sharing part of your work each day you will change your identity. You will move from someone who’s thinking about doing something to someone who’s doing it.

Like Austin, I’m totally a morning person. I like to get up and stay unplugged while I do my most productive tasks for the day in the morning, while my mind is clear. Then, by the late afternoon – when I’m winding down – I’ll start listening to the conversation on my social networks and look for ways to share my inspiration for the day.

The art of a daily share-your-work practice is about experimenting your way to success – to stop planning and start acting. In their fantastic book, ‘Creative Confidence’ authors Tom & David Kelley talk about three action catalysts: create peer pressure, gather an audience, do a bad job (and learn).

If you’re thinking about plunging in yourself you may be wondering what exactly does it look like? To help get you started, I’ve created a Free ‘Take the Plunge’ guide that you can access instantly just by sharing this page:

To walk the talk I’m extending an invitation to join me in a #dailyplunge practice. I’ve just created a Facebook group where you can join and start sharing your work – as well as give feedback and support to the work of others.

Jump in & join the Standout Biz Club on Facebook >


Want to create something wonderful? Rinse and Repeat

rinse and repeat

I’d like to let you off the hook.

If you’re like me, you are a bit of a perfectionist. Any time you’ve thought of bringing your work into the world you’ve wanted to make sure that it’s your best. And you take a lot of time polishing and tweaking before you feel ready to show it to anyone.

It doesn’t have to be this way. In fact, your work will get a whole lot better if you focus less on perfecting and more on creating and sharing as often as possible.

How do you ensure you’re doing your best work? Get out in front of people and get their feedback

Case in point comes from a cool little book called Art and Fear. A pottery teacher split his class in half and asked the first half to focus on making one incredibly wonderful piece of pottery. Then he told the other half to make a lot of pots saying they’d be evaluated on their quantity (rather than quality).

So, who came up with the best work?

Invariably, all the best pots came from the group making as many pots as possible.

You can apply this lesson to whatever endeavor you’re engaged with: if you want to make something really great, you need to start making. Striving for perfection will just get in your way.

I know. You just don’t feel ready. You have a Goldilocks mindset. You want everything to be just right.

Don’t let your inner perfectionist hold you back.

Treat your work as an ongoing experiment and embrace the mess you create. Expect the unexpected. Treat everything you do as a learning process.

Do this often. Rinse and repeat.

case study: pulse reader

In 2010, right at the time the first ipad came out, two students, Ankit Gupta and Akshay Kothari, were in a one-month course called “Launchpad” in which the students have to start a real company. In order to get into the class you have to pitch a business idea so our two heros raised the question, “why is the experience of mobile news browsing so bad?” And they pitched the idea of a creating a news reader app for the ipad.

Their first assignment was to build a functional prototype in 4 days.

rinse and repeatTo get the job done quickly, they chose to sit in a cafe (a room full of prospective users for their reader) where they had a quick, rough version of their app open on an ipad. Since the ipad was brand new, this was super attractive to everyone who passed by. People who had never seen one would ask about the ipad and they’d let them play with the basic version of their new app. They got tons of immediate feedback from cafe patrons and, as a result, went through hundreds of small revisions each day.

Their published app, called “Pulse Reader” turned out impressive enough to be shown off by Steve Jobs himself and, later on, was sold to LinkedIn for $90 million!! (this story came from the book, Creative Confidence)

How can you get into the rinse and repeat mindset?

Move from planning to action. Share quick, rough versions of a product or service your working on to get fast feed-back. Put a time constraint on yourself. Imagine you have a boss who’s telling you, “I want to see something by the end of the day.” See how quickly you can turn your ideas into action.

Rinse and repeat is a core principle of the Broadcast Your Brilliance™ strategy. It’s about engaging your audience in a way that they ensure you’re doing your best work.

As an experiential educator I’ve seen first-hand how well learning by doing works. If you want to do your best work (and if you want your business to thrive) then you need to jump in with rapid innovation cycles of creating a piece of work, showing it off and learning from the feedback you get. Learn by doing. Rinse and repeat.

Want instant feedback for the next project you’re working on?
Join our group on Facebook and share often >


How Mommy Blogs can be your best marketing

Melissa Kieling, founder of PackIt, explains how mommy blogs (moms and their blogs) can help spread the word about your product.

“Having started the company out of my home with no budget for any kind of marketing or media dollars, I would sit up late at night, in my bed, on my computer, hitting mommy blog sites – just searching for people who were talking about the topic of lunch, of keeping things cold – which, surprisingly there are a lot of people out there talking about taking lunch.

Mommy BlogsThe Internet and bloggers and social media have given us such a platform to be able to communicate with other people who are seeking similar topics that we have to discuss and we were able to really hit home with those mommy bloggers.

Moms can really make or break your product. If you give them something to talk about they will and we’ve been so fortunate to be embraced by a lot of our customers who are moms and who are willing to share the concept and the product with their friends and hit social media talking about the product and sit at the park and be at the parent/teacher conferences and they’ve really embraced the product and are talking about it – and that is just invaluable.”

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Recycled Beauty: Supporting a Cause with Video

Can advertisements be used to inspire people into supporting a cause like recycling and inform them about best-practices along the way? Ellen Callaway of Callaway Photo, is using her skills as a food and product photographer to do just this. She’s created an advertising campaign called Recycled Beauty that’s designed to build knowledge and passion around recycling. Her photos are beautiful and informative and also promote recyclables as valuable raw materials in the economy.

I’ve been passionate about the environment for as long as I can remember. In fact, when I began college at a non-recycling institution, I sent my mom home with bags of recyclables like smelly milk jugs and crusty yogurt containers whenever she visited. So, I recycled and built my awareness about best practices throughout my education and early travels as a photographer, but really began to dive into the topic when I opened my own photo studio in Arlington, MA. From that steady location, I began to look-into the specific recycling rules and regulations of that area. I wanted answers to the pressing recycling questions that I’d held for years, such as ‘What if food is left in the recyclables?’ and ‘What if an item is made of mixed materials?’ So, I started volunteering with the Arlington Recycling Committee to find out.

In turn, I’ve answered these questions and more about how recycling works for various materials, observed the challenges that my town faces in diverting trash and in communicating guidelines to the public.

In time, I saw the connection between my trash reduction research and passion for descriptive photos to tell a story. Here, I had an opportunity to make visual connections between the wastes that we humans generate and how we can reduce and reuse them, give them new life through processes that are way more beautiful and exciting to take-on than a generic stock photo might portray.

So, the images in Recycled Beauty are informative and capture these valuable wastes as I would an intriguing product to be sold in the marketplace – transforming the “eyesore” of trash into an attractive, valuable raw material with endless potential.”

I ultimately hope that these Recycled Beauty photos are used to educate the public about the importance of recycling and how to do it correctly in a clear and inspiring way. Meanwhile, I’m working with entrepreneurs and leaders in the recycling community to build knowledge and excitement around recyclables as raw materials – earthy friendly and good for business.

Support a Cause: Recycled Beauty

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Video Marketing to the Affluent

How do you capture the attention of the most discerning consumers – those who have the most to spend? When you’re marketing to the affluent how do you stand out within a crowded field?

With video, marketing to the affluent does not have to be hard.

Let’s say you’re interested in selling your house. OK, so who do you call? This requires some major decisions involving your most valuable assets, so how are you going to develop trust in whoever you find to work with?

But when you browse most realtors’, financial planners’, insurance companies’ or law firms’ web sites, you see that they all look the same. They all say, basically, the same things.

This is actually good news because it makes it easier for you to stand out and attract just the kind of clients you are looking for.

The Agency – A Case Study

Here’s a remarkable case study of how one brand new real estate agency in Los Angeles (called The Agency) became a market leader and did over $2 billion in transactions in their first 2 years.

What was their magic for differentiating themselves?

They used video to tell their story.

Take a look at this video which they placed on top of their web site’s ‘About’ page.

Redefining Real Estate

The Agency deals in multi-million dollar properties, but the services they offer are not really all that different from other luxury realtors. But when you watch this video you learn exactly how they’ll go about marketing your home. Because of the upbeat style, the video garners attention, interest and attracts more business. Plus it has a long shelf life. Once in place, the video can live on, introducing the Agency’s unique approach 24 hours a day.

Now take a look at this second video – from the bottom of the Agency’s About page.

People want to connect with real people and a video like this one let’s people meet you online in a way that goes way beyond ordinary text description. This video does a great job at giving you a sense of the culture at The Agency. The video serves as a recruitment video – for potential hires – as well as clearly showing the personalities and values of the founders.

It’s also worth while to note that The Agency’s videos are hosted on a video platform called Wistia – instead of Youtube.

Why did they do this?

If you place your video on youtube and then embed it onto your site – anyone searching for the keywords that are in your video’s title who finds your video will be sent to Youtube – not your site. But with Wistia’s hosting, you get the direct traffic that your video creates. Also Wistia’s analytics are far superior to Youtube’s. So, instead of merely seeing how many views you’re getting, you’re able to see how long people watch your video and when they lose interest. And the Wistia player lets you create a specific call to action so that you can direct your viewers to a specific offer that can be updated over time.

All of this can greatly enhance your video’s performance in attracting just the right client for your business.


What’s your story? How to talk about what you do

One of the concerns people have when they think about making a video is “What do I say?” and “Do I need a script?” My approach to video making is to not use a script. When people use a script you can always tell that they are reading something and you can come across as far more authentic if you create your video in an interview style – so that the final version is an edit to your answers about different aspects of your work (which you are kind of an expert on).

And even though you do not need a script – you can prepare what you want to talk about with the following set of questions. These questions will also serve you well when talking to anyone about the work you do.

You probably hear the question, “What do you do for a living?” all the time.

Your professional category is the wrong answer.

Your greatest breakthrough in connecting with prospective clients will come when you understand on a deep and personal level exactly what your clients need. Here’s a list of questions to help you create a dialogue about what you do from your clients’ needs perspective.

Part 1 – Introductory questions:

Who do you help?

What do you help them do?

Why? What’s your purpose? What do you hope to achieve through your work?

Part 2

I. Summarize your target market in one sentence

II. Identify & summarize 3 of the biggest & most critical problems your target market faces

III. List how you solve these problems & how you present your clients with unique solutions

IV. Include the most dramatic results your clients ever achieved

V. List the results & deepest benefits your clients receive

Part 3 – Your script:

You know how [part I] do/are/feel [insert part II]

Well, what I do is [insert part III]

The result is [part IV]

The benefits are [part V]

The short version:

I help [part I] … [part V]