How to Make Videos Using Adobe Spark

How to Make Videos Using Adobe Spark

This week I would like to offer a tutorial on how to create amazing videos, for whatever your purposes might be [not just social media marketing] using Adobe Spark.

Adobe Spark is an online platform for creating imagery and videos. I’ve been using it now for about a year and absolutely LOVE what I can create there.

Last December I hosted a 30 Day Creativity Challenge and at least half of what I taught and created came from Spark. If you are not using it yet, I highly recommend giving it a try.

Here is my step by step tutorial on how to make a video…

Mari Smith raves all about Adobe on her blog too, check that out here! If you don’t know who Mari Smith is, she’s been one of my mentors since the day I began my business, possibly even before that, and is known as THE Facebook Queen!

Some of my favourite features about Spark are:

  • the resize feature [this is for images, not videos]
  • adding really fun and interesting music to your videos OR being able to add your own
  • being able to voice-over while creating your video, right inside of the platform
  • These are just three random favourites about Spark. There are SO many more!

    I’ve got to say, there is only ONE thing I wish Spark would add, and that is the option to overlay a logo imagine. If this is possible, I haven’t yet discovered a way to do it easily. Because I think it’s important to brand as many social images [for myself and for my clients] as possible, what I often to is create the image in Spark then upload that into Canva and brand it there. I know it sounds labour-intensive, but it really is worth the extra minute or two it may take.

    As far as videos go however [which is the MAIN topic of this blog] I have NO complaints! I love the way they turn out and feel like I’m providing a great product on the outset.

    Here’s an example of one of my most recent ones…note the voiceover as well as the background music.

    I made this in under ten minutes! Adobe Spark gives social and online marketers everywhere the chance to uplevel their game with this awesome tool!

    Instagram Update February 2017

    Latest Instagram Update February 2017

    Hello my friends of the internet, today I’m going over the latest update major update for Instagram.

    If you are not using Instagram yet to market your business I strongly strongly recommend you start to, or, up your game on this great social network. There are so many things that set Instagram apart from the other big social networks, this latest update being just ONE thing; engagement is strong and reach is great! I LOVE the Instagram analytics system as well. Here is a great Instagram guide, if you don’t have one yet. This is not mine, but one by one of my mentors; Sue B. Zimmerman…she is THE Instagram Expert!

    Some interesting stats for the marketers out there:

    By 2017, 70.7 percent of U.S. companies will use Instagram for marketing, edging out Twitter for the first time

    60% of the top brands on Instagram use a consistent filter [I know I do]

    75% of Instagram users take action, such as visiting a website, after looking at an Instagram advertising post

    Posts with at least one hashtag average 12.6% more engagement

    …you get the idea. I’m a HUGE fan of Instagram.

    That being said, here is this week’s video all about the latest update to Instagram, which happened last month:

    As an added bonus to this blog, my friend Simon created this great tutorial on how to use Canva for Instagram stories! This is the exact method I used for this…

    Comment below how you think you will use this new Instagram update? I’d love to see, and even share, your content!

    How to Cross Post the Right Way on Social Media

    How to Cross Post the Right Way

    Today we’re talking how to cross post the right way on social media. This is one of my biggest pet peeves … and of course is entirely subjective. My goal is to help Make Sense of Social Media for you though, so this is what I know to be true about cross posting and promoting.

    What I mean when I say cross posting on social media is, taking the same piece of content [i.e. blog post, video, quote image] and sharing it onto your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc. [easily done through HootSuite…but beware]. Cross posting is in itself a very wise habit to create and or maintain, however, if you do it wrong and without a strategy you really risk damaging your social media reputation and potentially losing fans and followers.

    Having LOTS of followers is no longer the ONLY thing that is imperative to successful social media marketing; in fact, I wonder how ultimately important the numbers really are anymore. What DOES matter is where those numbers are coming from; targeting your ideal audience and ensuring THEY are seeing your content. That is what matters most; and cross posting can help you to this end, but only if you do it the right way.

    Here is an example of what bugs me the most, as I started off this blog post by saying this was one of my biggest pet peeves …

    How to Cross Post on Social Media the Right Way

    This is a Tweet by a reputable hotel company, local to  me; so let’s examine it, shall we?

    First of all, the text itself indicates that not much thought has gone into who will be reading this Tweet. “Always a fun time” … where, when, over what, with who? What does this even mean? Lots of things are a fun time; there is no way for me to even remotely grasp what they are talking about. When describing something in a social media post, even if that is a link, ensure that the text on it’s own makes sense, as the likelihood of your link being clicked, ANY link, is very slim.

    Second of all, this Twitter account is assuming that I will click that obvious Facebook link to discover what this fun time is about. What if I don’t care to, or feel like it? Chances are HIGH, to anyone who uses Twitter regularly, that they know this is a Facebook link and will potentially feel miffed or put off that the content creator is not creating content that is Twitter exclusive [or even relevant].

    You may be thinking now, “but Lorri, cross posting effectively sounds like it takes more time and effort”, and you would be right. However, the long term gain from approaching this from a “who is reading my content” as opposed to “what do I want to say” standpoint is great, and worth the effort.

    When you DO create great content on a daily or weekly basis, ensure that the scheduled posts [or unscheduled for that matter] are PER platform. Here are some pro tips for you:

    • use different visuals per platform; size them accordingly
    • use different hashtags per platform
    • use different descriptions per platform
    • learn what it takes, per platform, to keep your audience engaged

    You may, in the beginning of this practice, spend a bit more time creating your posts to set this up properly, but in the end your readers and fans will KNOW you have laid out your content for THEM and not just a random “butter spread too thin on toast” approach of having your content potentially seen.

    Just about every single time I see a******** post on Twitter I scroll right on past for I KNOW that the content creator simply  has a rule set up to Tweet every time a Facebook update is posted. Not all posts are created equally.

    As a side note; I am by no means perfect, as I often post my Instagram pictures to my Twitter account, however, I ensure that the description, to the best of my ability, is still something that my Twitter followers want to engage with.

    Know your audience, PER PLATFORM, know what they need and serve them the best you can. THAT is how you cross post on social media, the RIGHT way!

    Every Generation Must Learn New Things

    Every Generation Must Learn New Things

    Every generation must learn new things in order to stay relevant. In the very late 1800’s and early 1900’s it was the radio. That was the newest way for people to learn of what was happening in the world. WWI and WWII brought the radio into being a necessity in a big way!

    Next was the age of television…while coming to life in the mid 1920’s, TV was not widely embraced for many years yet. I’m old enough to remember being one of the first families of my neighbourhood to have had a television. People thought we were snobs. [side note: our entire neighbourhood was called “snob hill” in my growing up years; to this day I really have no idea why. Perhaps it was because we were a little more urban than the farmers of town; not sure.] How wrong they were.

    Between 1953 and 1955, television programming began to take some steps away from radio formats.

    Gen X Social

    And telecommunications, they were slightly before that of radio. I remember one of my Aunts having one of those rotary walls phones [gosh, I’m really aging myself today!]. Then the good old push button phone! When we got one of those we thought we were real high rollers! Almost thought ourselves to be snobs [kidding of course]!

    The reality is that ever since the printing press, the evolution of communication has not stopped. It is increasing now, with new technologies, some I’ll personally never be able to understand, at light speed. We keep up, or become irrelevant, in my humble opinion. Not irrelevant as a human being, but irrelevant in that we don’t want to continue learning. To learn is to evolve, grow, change, become better.

    The GOOD news is that a great deal of communication now occurs through social media. And because of this wonderful thing called the internet [yes, let’s stick to positives shall we … while there IS “fake news” and cyber bullying, I choose to believe that the internet is massively capable of creating much more good than harm] we can communicate with [mostly] the entire world in real time for almost zero cost or inconvenience to anyone.

    My purpose for writing about this today is, being part of the 50 plus crowd myself, I GET the frustrations and misgivings of wanting to learn how to use social media properly, and well. These frustrations that so MANY feel are one of the main reasons why I created Gen X Social. Gen X Social is a social media training program specifically designed for people my age, and older. People who are finally deciding they want [and need] to learn how to communicate with the world that we live in, yet just don’t know where to start. I have FREQUENTLY talked with people who say things like “my granddaughter tried to teach me how to use Facebook, but it didn’t work” or “my neighbor’s kid tried to show me Instagram because they said it was like an online photo album, but I still don’t get it”. This is where I come in. I have personally been eyeball deep in social media for 10 years now, and love it more than ever. Knowing as much as I can about using social media well is one of my biggest passions in life; teaching it is another.

    I have recently given some podcast interviews about social media for the 50 plusers. One is here and the other is here. If you’d like to give them a listen I think you’ll enjoy them!

    If you’d like to learn more about what Gen X Social is about, get a free report that I’ve made for you, which will give you a real good taste of it, here.

    In the end, we ALL need to learn new things as we grow, and our numbers get higher [that’s what I refer to as aging]. Learning has never been JUST for the young, but for the young at heart. I hope that means you.

    The Diary of a Winter Storm [aka #bcstorm17]

    the diary of a winter story #bcstorm17

    You learn a lot about yourself when you’re stranded, house bound, nowhere to go, no one to see and no way to get to see them, even if there were. Sure, there’s the internet and you can connect with friends and loved ones 24/7, but when the possibility of being in their physical presence is completely stripped away from you, you, well I, begin to see life a little differently.

    Today’s blog is going to be a little different; it won’t be any kind of a social media training or sales pitch of any kind. It’s simply the story of my last 7 days…and the unlikely metaphor it became, for me, about this stage of my life. But first, the storm; here are some pictures that were snapped on Feb 4 ’17. Need I say more…

    As my car became completely buried, no amount of shoveling I did made any difference. I’d shovel away 10″ of snow and 15 more fell. It was a week of walking (thank GOODNESS I’m close enough to a mall that I can walk for necessities) for food and eating it alone as no one could access my street.

    You get the idea.

    Now, trust me, this is NOT intended to be about bitching about the snow or complaining. Although, and part of why I am writing this blog, I can honestly say that I startled myself at how MUCH I complained during this last week. I got off track, off balance, off centre SO quickly that it startled me to be honest. I felt so completely at a loss of anything good in life because I had zero control over what was happening outside and as a result, my limitations were slapping me in the face 24 hours a day.

    I am embarrassed to say that I lost it. A week of snow, sub zero temperatures and “cabin fever” and I lost it. I believe it was a catalyst though..hear me out. I am in this strange place in life that appeared entirely too quickly. At 51  I am essentially an empty nester (the girls come and go as they please as that is just where they are at in life right now with school and work and lives of their own), I am single, I am self-employed and found myself saying “who am I” and “what is my life all about” this week. So you see, I feel that was a good thing. I think I NEEDED this week to happen ( although I would have been equally open to receiving this message via another method 😉 ) for me to wake up.

    Whatever version of storm /  cabin fever / abandonment you encounter, you and I, we must get through it. There is so much more to life than being needed. Children grow, relationships end, clients come and go (as do jobs in most cases). We can’t be so beholden to these things that we lose ourselves to them. We must find our TRUE selves, and I don’t mean our work either. Although, for someone like me my work is a HUGE part of me, but it’s not everything.

    Full disclosure, I haven’t completely figured it out yet…but, this “snowmaggedon” helped me see that I needed to go to that place of complete surrender to the things that I thought were important, to see that there is really so much more.

    I seek to trudge through this metaphorical whiteout to see the rainbows on the other side. I may not see them tomorrow, or next week or even next year, but I know that I will find what I am looking for … and that is myself.

    I know only a few things; that I want to love and be loved, I want to be useful and of service, I want to explore this glorious planet to collect experiences and I want to leave a legacy of kindness, compassion, empathy, tenacity and fun.

    So yes, let’s start there. Like Gary Vee always says, take what you want and backwards engineer it.

    I know I don’t want to feel as useless, helpless and out of control as I did in this storm, not ever again.

    So you see my friends of the internet, I ended up being very grateful for the #bcstorm. It taught me a lesson that I have likely been avoiding for many years.

    Here is this week’s video; it is simply scenes from throughout the week from my Snapchat account…

    Finally, I have learned to no longer fear the storms. I think that was another huge takeaway from this week. Embrace it, as you don’t have a choice. It’s coming whether (or weather in this case) you like it or not.

    As Jim Rohn to eloquently and famously said…

    “It’s not what happens that determines your life future. It’s what you do about what happens.

    It’s not the blowing up the wind that determines your destination. It’s the set of your sail.

    The same wind the blows on us all. A difference in arrival is not the blowing up the wind. It’s the set of the sail.

    Learning helps you set a better sail.

    What changes is your philosophy. This changes the set of the sail.

    Correct the errors of the past. Pick up new disciplines for the future.

    You can change at any time “if you wish to.”

    Some people don’t know they can change because they never read the book, went to the class, or attended the seminar.

    It’s possible to make the next three years better than the last three years.

    It’s not the blowing of the wind that determines your income or your fortune. It’s the set of the sail.