Stop Wasting Time in Your Business

What is the value of time?

Instead of asking my usual, “How was your week?” I’ll go with a question that may underline something you should change: How much time did you spend stuck? That is, how much time did you spend wondering about what to do or how to do it? And how much time did you spend on things that didn’t create the results you wanted?

Many people rather don’t stop to think of that because the answer is painful. But in general, I think it’s better to know the things that aren’t good because then you can change them.

Anywho, here are the usual couple of questions that came up this week and some random tidbits at the end.

How to make business cards effective?

Most business cards are comically ineffective. It’s 50% the cards and 50% the way people use their cards.

There might be other options I haven’t thought of, but here are a couple of more-effective-than-standard ways to use business cards:

Creative Business Card Ideas

First, use it as the piece of paper where you write down the time when you’ll have a call with someone. The idea is that you agree to have a call with someone. You even schedule the call. And your business card is just a reminder for when the call happens.

Second, use your card as a mini advertisement. The idea here is to think of the card like it was a small advertisement—much like a Google ad. Sure, you have things like your phone number etc. on it, which often don’t fit into a Google ad. But you have a headline and a sentence or two about what people can get from you.

The reason 99% of business cards go to waste (literally the waste basket) is that they’re handed out mindlessly to people who aren’t committed to doing anything with the card. And when the card just has some contact info, I assume most people can’t even remember whose card it is.

If you agree on a call time with someone personally or make the card act like an ad, your business cards can actually help generate sales.

What are the technical requirements for shooting videos for marketing?

There’s more variation to what’s “good enough” video quality than people often realize. It depends on your topic, brand, competition, where the videos are used, and a few other things. A handheld iPhone video can be great for one person/company, even though it would be simply embarrassing in another situation.

In any case, there are four main things to consider (in terms of technical stuff): lighting, background, camera, and sound. Here’s what I usually tell my clients to go with; this option is good enough for just about all uses, but it doesn’t take excessive time (or resources) to set up.

Lighting: Go with the basic 3-point lighting. You can find countless tutorials on it from Google. Also, avoid strong light sources behind you (e.g., windows).

Background: Rather go with something too simple and plain than something too busy and distracting.

Camera: If you get strong enough lights (check your local hardware store) and use the 3-point lighting, an iPhone camera will be fine. If your lights aren’t strong, cameras with tiny sensors (like iPhones) have a hard time. And in any case, get a stand for the camera.

Audio: Use a lapel microphone that connects to your camera. If you use a smart phone as your camera, Røde SmartLav+ is my recommendation.

You can go crazy on fancy equipment and perfecting the video quality. But that’s usually far from efficient. Go with a simple option that won’t keep you from getting things done.

Tidbits:

  • A marketing tips training platform (likely one of the best in the industry):What It Really Takes to Grow Businesses and Change Lives.”. I didn’t get a chance to see this one, yet, but if it’s anything like the previous versions, it’s one of the most valuable trainings in the industry. So, if you’re even thinking of ever learning marketing, register now.
  • A video I found interesting: “What is Online Marketing?”. When it comes to online advertising, you know you should do it, but the options are intimidating and confusing. The more you hear about how effective online advertising is, the more anxious you get about not using it! Whether you’re thinking about running campaigns yourself or having someone do it for you, it’s essential to know what you’re paying for. We created this video & eBook to help you understand more about online advertising