Ep134: The Instagram Business Show

Ep134: The Instagram Business Show

EP134: The Instagram Business Show

What is Instagram for Business, what are the benefits of having a business profile and how do you get started?

Episode Summary:
Today’s Episode 134 is all about creating a business profile for your Instagram account and the benefits of doing so.

Topics:

What are the requirements to create a business profile on Instagram and how do you get started?
What are the differences between a personal profile and business profile on Instagram?
What are the advantages and tools are available for business accounts?
What advertising and monetization tools are available to business accounts?

Instagram Facts:
Source: Instagram Blog

There are over 25 Million Business Profiles
Over 2 Million Advertisers Use Instagram
Over 60% of people say they find new products on Instagram
Over 200 million people a day visit Business Profiles
The amount of time people watch videos on Instagram have increased by 80%
1/3 of the most viewed Stories on Instagram are from business profiles.

Bottom Line: Instagram is big player and very important platform for businesses of all shapes and sizes and new features are continuously being added to help businesses leverage Instagram to promote or sell products and it could not be easier to get started converting your personal profile to a business profile.

What are the requirements to create a business profile on Instagram?

The only requirement of converting your personal profile to a business profile is that you must have a Facebook Page setup for your business first. The reason for this is to verify payment credentials and contact information and address, etc on Instagram.

Facebook owns Instagram so once you convert your Instagram account to a Business Account, you will be able to mange your Ads and other features from Instagram on Facebook.

How do you convert your personal Instagram Account to a business account?

Set up Facebook Business Page
Log in to Instagram on your phone
In your profile settings, click Switch to Business Account Link your Facebook Page
Fill out your information about your business
The whole process can be done in a matter of minutes.

What are the differences or limitations between a personal profile and business profile on Instagram?

Limitation #1:
With a Business Profile, you can only share posts from Instagram to your Facebook Business Page.
You cannot share to other pages or your Profile Page.

Note:
If you ever want to change the Facebook Business Page you post to, you simply have to switch back to a Personal Account and then create a new Business Profile and select the new Facebook Business Page which is pretty easy to do.

Limitation #2:
Instagram Business Accounts cannot be set to Private, but a Personal Account can.

Note: If you switch to a business account, you can convert back to a personal account and vice versa at anytime.

What are the advantages and tools are available for business accounts?

Instagram rolled out the business profile option and a set of tools to help business promote and grow on Instagram back in 2016.

Business Status. You will be recognized officially as a business even if you are just starting out or maybe building your brand, so there is marketing power and prestige in the business account.

Connect with Clients & Customers. When you convert to business you can add Contact information and this is a huge benefit especially for businesses with a local presence.

In your profile area you will get buttons where you can add a phone number and Email and Directions and if you have a physical address, it will show up below your profile description.

You can add one link in your profile so you can put your website there. Contact information on business profiles are a significant benefit.

Remember, you can also had searchable hashtags and @mentions in your profile description

Insights. The third and maybe most important benefit is Instagram Insights which gives you detailed analytics and metrics of everything about your Instagram Audience, Your Posts and Ads and Instagram Stories.

Examples of Insights:
You can learn all about your followers: age, gender, location and when they are online.
You can see how many people visit your profile
How many people clicked on your email or directions or your website link?
How many different accounts viewed your posts and stories.
How many likes and comments are your posts getting and how many people have saved your posts?
How many accounts followed you recently?
How many accounts saw your posts?
What % of accounts saw your posts that aren’t following you?
For Instagram Stories:
How many times have your stories been seen?
How many accounts have seen your stories?
Did you know you can see How many times do people tap forward or backwards on your stories?
And when people get tire of your story and swipe out to exit?

What advertising and monetization tools are available to business accounts?

Once you set up a business profile, you can create ads on Instagram to sell your products or increase brand awareness.

There are 4 main types of Ads you can Create on Instagram:
Photo Ads in either square or landscape format
Video Ads up to 60 seconds long in square or wide format
Carousel Ads are square in format and allow you to have multiple photos in one ad that people can swipe through

And finally, there are Story Ads that are vertical and can last up to 15 seconds. FYI, there are 300 million people using Instagram Stories if that gives you any indication of the marketing potential of Stories.

How do you Create Ads on Instagram?
The easiest way to create an Ad on Instagram is from an existing post right on your iPhone. From your phone you can Promote ads.

Click on any post in your feed.
Look for the Promote button, then you get to choose what you want to promotion to do for you?
Choose whether you want to get more profile visits
Get more website visits
Or reach people near an address

You can target specific audiences and you can set your budget. When someone sees your ad post, it will say Sponsored under your profile name.

If you want to create the other types of ads that are a little more dynamic, then you need to use Facebook Ads Manager which is the exact same tool you use if you want to advertise on Facebook.

You can set up ads and campaigns and manage everything in the Facebook Manager and it’s available on desktop and mobile.

Note: You do not have to pay for ads to promote your products and services either on your Main Feed or Stories. You can get really creative with your content and hashtags and tagging and promote whatever you want. The main difference of paying for ads is setting your target audience to a specific demographic.

What Features Are Not Available for General Business Profiles?

Swipe Up Have you ever viewed Instagram Stories where you are told about a website or a product to check out and to Swipe Up to go visit that link?

As of March 2018, Swipe Up is only available to business accounts that have 10,000 followers or more. You will see a little Link icon in the upper right near your Text and drawing tools when you reach 10K, so be on the lookout for that.

Instagram Shop You will see business profiles that have a Shop Now button. This feature is currently only available for approved stores and e-commerce sites in certain industries like Fashion and in select countries but it basically turns Instagram into an interactive shopping catalog and storefront.

You know how you can tag people in Photos, well Shop allows brands to tag merchandise that will pop up a preview of the product along with price and the option to visit the website and purchase. Yeah, shopping could be a big deal, but currently only available to a select group of business profiles.

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Ep133: The Backup Show

Ep133: The Backup Show

EP133: The Backup Show

Episode Summary:
In today’s episode, I am going to share my start to finish backup and digital organization and management system.

This episode piggy-backs on Episode 132: The iCloud Show

In this episode:
I am going to take you behind the scenes and share my current 2018 backup strategy and system for archiving my digital data to protect me against any digital emergencies such as a hard drive failing or maybe a lost or stolen computer while on the road.

Practical tips for you to get started take control of your digital data and develop a rock-solid backup plan.
The tools I use for backup and organization.
My current backup system and workflow for all of my devices.

Question for you:
If your backpack that had your laptop, iPhone, iPad and a portable external hard drive was stolen out of your parked car, would you be able to recover your podcast episodes and videos and photos and music library and all of your personal and business documents?

Episode 133:

The goal of today is to Practical tips for you to get started take control of your digital data and develop a rock-solid backup plan.

Did you cringe when I asked the question about whether your data is currently backed up?

Practical tip #1: Take inventory.
Where does all of your digital content live?
Gather it all in one place.
Clean up and consolidate from your internal drive, thumb drives, external drives and Google Drive & Dropbox.
Create one folder on any hard drive that has space and call it 2018 Backup.
Inside that organize by big-ticket items: Videos, Photos, Documents and start to fill up the buckets from your computer and external drives and organize as you go.

The goal is to have one Master Folder to back up.

Practical Tip #2: Clean House.
During the consolidation exercise, delete as much as you can or do not need anymore and try and reduce the amount of digital clutter you have.
Delete applications you no longer use.
Clean everything off your desktop and in the Downloads folder.
Store documents in Documents, not on Desktop!
Look in your photos, movies, and music folders and clean up loose files or folders.
Make a pile of empty external drives and toss them if they are several years old.

Practical Tip #3: iOS Devices.
Clean up everything on your iOS Devices and export all of your photos and videos from your iPhone and consolidate all of them with your Master Photo Library on your desktop or laptop computer.

Tools I Use

Tool #1: ChronoSync ($50)
This a utility for Macs that quickly scans two hard drives or folders and checks for any differences between the two.

I plug in two drives and ChronoSync does a quick scan and tells me all of the files that are different and I can copy anything that is different from hard drive to another so the backup will be an exact clone and it saves a ton of time.

Tool #2: SuperDuper ($30)
It is very similar to Chrono Sync in that it makes identical clones and can do scheduled backups. You can plug in two external hard drives to your Mac and schedule SuperDuper to make automatic backups of one drive to another so you do not have to keep track of any changes of the main drive you are working off of and you can have a cloned backup at all times.

My Preference: SuperDuper

My 2018 Backup System:

iPhone & iPad
They are automatically backed up to iCloud so all of my contacts, notes, messages, photos, etc are recoverable if I were to ever damage or lose my devices, etc.

I plug in my devices to my Mac with a USB cable and use the Mac app Image Capture to export all of my Photos and videos to my Mac and I import them into Lightroom where I manage all of my Photos from all of my cameras.

Adobe Lightroom is how I organize and process my photos so I want all of my photos backed up in one place.

My MacBook Pro:
I use Apple Time Machine to backup my Mac 24/7 to a hard drive that is connected to my Apple Airport Extreme wireless modem so the drive is in another room and not connected to my computer.

If my MacBook Pro were to die tomorrow, I could restore anything on my laptop with my Time Machine backup in no time. Apple Time Machine works in the background 24/7 and is backing up everything on do on my Mac at all times and I can always go back in time and restore anything. Love this.

My External Drives:
I do all of my work on external drives and my brand of choice is LaCie thunderbolt drives. They are fast, quiet and reliable. For my main hard drives, I usually buy two at the same time so I work off one and use the second as a backup clone drive in which I will use SuperDuper or ChronoSync to make a mirror of my working drive.

Hard Drives I Use:
LaCie 6TB d2 Thunderbolt
LaCie 4TB Rugged Drive (for mobile/travel)

Hard Drive side-tip:
If you are a podcaster and video creator, hard drives that do not have loud fans are important. Speed is also important for editing video. SSD or solid state drives are the best but still quite expensive for multi-TB drives, so I usually get Thunderbolt or USB 3.0 drives and they perform pretty fast.

On My Desk:
I have one Lacie 6TB Drive plugged into my laptop that does not leave my desk. I have another 6TB LaCie daisy chained (or plugged into the main hard drive) that serves as strictly a backup and an exact duplicate of the other. These 2 drives do not leave my desk. I have a smaller, portable 4TB Rugged Hard Drive by Lacie that has most of my media and data and I use that when I go to clients or travel.

Tool Tip Time: Backblaze
I use the cloud-based service Backblaze for $5/month to back up my main 6TB hard drive and my MacBook Pro (which is also backed up to Time Machine & iCloud).

Backblaze again is only $5/month for unlimited backup storage and it backs up everything 24/7.

Backblaze is similar to Carbonite.

I have used Backblaze for nearly 3 years without a hiccup. It just works and it is a set it and forget it type of backup. I do log in every month or so just to make sure it’s all working, but so far so good.

Recap:

I use a MacBook Pro laptop.
This gets backed up Apple Time Machine automatically over WiFi.
I have a 6TB Thunderbolt LaCie Drive plugged into my computer that holds all of my media and work I create. This is my digital hub.
Plugged into that big drive is an identical drive that is an exact copy or clone, so if either hard drive fails, I have a backup.
It’s called redundancy.
I use Backblaze.com for $5/month that continuously backs up one of the 6TB drives so if anything like fire, theft, flood or hurricane damaged my house or whatever, reference is in the Cloud so I can access from anywhere.

Final Part of My Backup Plan: Google Drive

The last piece of my backup plan has more to do with productivity and workflow, but pulls double duty as a solid backup plan and that is upgrading my G Suite account to the $10/month business plan which gives me 1TB of Google Drive space that now has all of my personal and business docs and my photos and music libraries.

The G Suite Google Drive is quite impressive and I highly recommend it if you are a G Suite user (which I think everybody should be using G Suite for their online world, but that is another topic). I have most all of my data with the exception of videos since video files take up so much space and having them on Google Drive means that I can get to my files from my iPhone and it’s cloud-based, so unless Google has a major meltdown,

This G suite update gives me everything I need for my business for $10/month and worth every penny.

Parting Advice #1:
If you are backup savvy and diligent about it, I salute you.

If you are not and want to be or know you should be, at a very minimum use Apple Time Machine if you are a Mac user. There is no excuse for not using Time Machine and it has saved me so many times recovering files I accidentally trashed and wanted to restore. Time Machine is underrated and pretty awesome if you are an Apple faithful.

Advice #2: use iCloud Storage for $9.99 per month you get 2 TB of storage which is a lot of space and you may even be able to back up your entire computer and access everything from an app on your phone or a web browser. Doesn’t that sound awesome?

Advice #3: If you are a G Suite user, the new and improved Google Drive upgrade for only $5 extra per month has been one of my happiest decisions knowing that I am not a slave to my external hard drives other than for video files and my backup system is now over-redundant and bomb-proof. Another reason I love using Google Drive is the search engine is Google so it’s awesome. I just start typing what I’m looking for and boom, there is my stuff right from my iPhone or wherever.

Advice #4: Use good external hard drives and back up your data if you are a content creator or taking photos or making art or videos or podcasts, etc. Etc. Do not skimp on the cheapest drives you can find and do a little homework and digging as you want fast read and write times and a fast connector type such as SSD, Thunderbolt or USB 3.0 so you can actually work right off of the drive. This is really important if you are editing any types of videos.

Moral of the story:

Backup your digital world. It matters to you and your business. I can help if you need it.

If you want me to customize a backup system for you or you need some guidance or advice on any of this, please email me anytime at: mike@mikemurphy.co

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Ep132: The iCloud Show

Ep132: The iCloud Show

EP132: The iCloud Show

Today I am going to simplify the mysterious Apple iCloud for you and help you de-clutter, de-stress and take control over your photos and backup strategy on your Apple devices.

Episode Summary:
Today’s episode 132 is going to be iCloud 101 and the goal of today’s episode is to simplify what Apple iCloud is and what it does, cover topics you may be too embarrassed to ask or did not realized existed and to help you on your way to organize and backup your iDevices.

I want you to feel in control of your digital data and because we are moving to a mobile world, you must have a system to manage your iDevices.

If you are an Android user, my apologies as today is Apple only.

Today will start off with:
An overview of what Apple iCloud is
What is backed up and where is it stored?
How does iCloud Photos really work?
What is iCloud Drive and how can it help you in your overall backup strategy?

Episode 132: The iCloud Show:

One of the questions I get asked the most: How do I free up space on iPhones and iPads?

Questions for you to ponder:
Do you frequently get error message popups inviting you to purchase more iCloud storage and not sure what to do?

Do you know what gets backed up to iCloud and how to manage and access your backups?

If you delete a photo from your iPad, will it also delete from your iPhone or Mac? What about text messages and Notes and Contacts, do they all get backed up?

Do you know when the last time your iOS devices were backed up and are your old devices taking up space on your iCloud storage?

Did you know you could back up 2TB of any type of files for less than $10/month and access all of your content right from your iPhone?

Are you confused about iCloud backups or Photos or iCloud Drive? You are not alone,

Plan:
Once you understand iCloud and how to work your iDevices into your main backup system for all of your computer and business data, you can have peace of mind and mastery over your digital world.

This is where the de-stress and de-clutter come into play. I think a lot of people would like to have a good system in place for backing up their iDevices, computers and photos, but it is either too confusing or they don’t know where to begin so they keep putting it off.

Reality:
You never know when your hard drive will fail or you may break your phone or computer or get it stolen so you have to get a handle on your backups before it’s too late. I will help you.

Hard Drive Storage vs. iCloud Storage:
The hard drive on your iPhone or iPad is unrelated to your iCloud storage limit. Buying more iCloud space will not free up room on your iPhone unless you remove data from your iPhone and archive it in your iCloud storage.

If your phone hard drive is at full capacity of storage (all 32GB is being used) and you cannot take more photos or videos, buying more iCloud storage will not fix your full hard drive problem by itself.

You need to delete or offload files from your iPhone hard drive in order to be able to add more photos and videos.

I know this gets confusing when you see the popup offering you more iCloud storage, but it’s a little misleading.

What is iCloud?

iCloud is simply the proprietary name for Apple’s system of storage and backup for files and devices and services that lives on the internet so it can be accessed from anywhere.

Apple iCloud is where all of your iDevices get backed up and photos and data gets stored and it’s how you recover data if your iPhone gets broken or stolen.

Your Apple ID & Password let you into your little private storage locker in the Apple iCloud.

You’ve likely heard of Dropbox and Google Drive, well iCloud is Apple’s version of a similar product. In addition to backup and storage, iCloud also has a suite of services that include Mail, Calendar, Contacts, Reminders, Notes, Photos, Pages, Numbers, Keynote, iCloud Drive and everyone’s favorite, Find My iPhone that you can use on any of your devices and the documents and data all get saved into your iCloud account freeing up hard drive space and allowing you to access the information from anywhere. All pretty handy.

The ‘Cloud’ is a mystery word for many, but it’s pretty simple. When you hear The Cloud or cloud computing, all that means is that information is stored on the internet accessible from anywhere.

The opposite of this for those who are still confused by the concept of the cloud is think of a typical external hard drive tethered to your computer with a USB cable. If you unplug the hard drive and take your computer down to local coffee shop to work, can you access the information on the external hard drive that is sitting on your desk at home? Unless it is a network drive, probably not.

Apple Ecosystem
iCloud is also indirectly one of the main reasons we love Apple products and keep buying more. Apple has created an entire family or ecosystem of devices including the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, computers, Apple Home & TV and they all seamlessly communicate and work with each other using iCloud. We have come to take it for granted, but it’s pretty magical and important if you step back and think about just how effortlessly Apple products work with each other so long as you are signed in with your Apple iCloud ID & Password, which is nearly as important as our social security number today.

Continuity & Handoff:
You can be viewing something in Safari on your iPhone and then jump on your Mac and pick up right where you left off or maybe you were listening to a podcast or watching a YouTube on one device and want to finish on your iPad, it all just kind of works now, right? Or if you want to transfer the video you just made for Instagram from your Mac to iPhone simply zap it over using AirDrop. It almost doesn’t matter what device you are on in the Apple world now and that is largely in part to iCloud.

What gets backed up in iCloud and how do you manage it all?

All of your app data, apple watch backups, call history, settings on your iDevice, Home screen and app layout, all iMessages, Photos & Videos, Purchase History, Ringtones, Contacts, Calendars, Bookmarks, Mail, Notes, Health Data and iCloud Drive Files.

Pretty much everything on your iPhone and iPad gets backed up so if you upgrade your phone, as long as you have iCloud backup on, you can switch phones without losing anything. Is your iPhone backup turned on? Did you turn it off because you ran out of space on your phone? Did you know you can delete old backups? Did you know that you may have your old iPhone or iPad backups on your phone taking up space and you can delete the old backups?

Setup:
Your Apple ID & Password is all you need to set up iCloud and you can manage iCloud settings on each of your idevices, and on your Mac computers.

Manage Storage:
I suggest going into iCloud on your iPhone General Settings and on your Mac in System Preferences and explore and be sure to go to Manage Storage so you can see what is taking up all the space on your devices and delete things you no longer need like old backups or unwanted apps.

iCloud in Chrome or Safari:
iCloud.com only works on a desktop or laptop web browser like Chrome or Safari or on Windows.

You can not access iCloud.com using Safari on your iPhone or iPad. On your Mac, I want you to open up Chrome or Safari browser and type in iCloud.com and sign in using your Apple ID and password. This is where all of your iCloud information is stored and it’s a good exercise for some of you to go and look around and try to make the connection between what is on all of your devices and what is stored in iCloud.

If you use iCloud Mail or Calendar, it will all be here as well as Pages, Numbers & Keynote and much more. The name of the game of mastering your digital and backup world is knowing where everything is and how it is all syncing with each other.

Your Homework: Manage Settings
On your iPhone & iPad go into settings>click on your name up top and look at this first page.

Look at the devices on the bottom. Are they all current? Any old ones you can delete?

Click on each one and make sure iCloud Backup is on. Look when the last iCloud backup was and it should be within the last 24 hours if everything is working correctly.

If you are on iPhone or iPad, click on iCloud and then Manage Storage.

Look for big backups or anything out of place. If you have multiple backups, you can delete one. Explore and learn how it all works. Peace of mind. On your Mac you will find all of the settings in System Preferences under iCloud.

How does iCloud Photos really work?

I use Adobe Lightroom to manage my photos, but I do take a lot of photos and videos with my phone so I have to understand how it works.

You control the Photo settings on your iPhone or iPad in Settings>Photos and on your Mac you have some controls in the Photos app and in System Preferences in iCloud.

iPhone Photos Settings:
iCloud Photo Library should be turned on and I use Optimize iPhone Storage to save hard drive space on iPhone and I find the quality uploaded is still pretty good.

I also turn on Upload to Photo Stream so the photos I take on iPhone show up on my iPad and Mac if I used Photos.

Every photo and video you take is accessible on all devices and gets backed up instantly to iCloud.

Warning:
If you delete photos from your iPhone to free up space, the photos will also be deleted from iCloud and from your iPad.

Clean up is a good thing:
I highly encourage you to delete as many screenshots and photos you took from inside your pocket by accident, but if you want to preserve and backup your photos forever and also maybe free up some space on your iPhone hard drive, you need to have a backup system in place for your photos.

Archive & Backup Photos on your Computer:
If you want to really backup your iDevice photos, you should get them off your iDevices and back them up with your Master Photo Library that will likely be on your main computer or on an external drive or you can also back it up to the cloud. Use Image Capture on Mac to download photos from iPhone or iPad to computer.

iCloud Drive & Files App

Look for the app on your phone with blue folder icon labeled Files. This was introduced in 2017 with iOS 11. This app contains all of the files you store in iCloud Drive, which you can view in the Finder Sidebar on your Mac or by going to iCloud.com in a web browser.

A cool feature about the Files app on your iDevices is that you can also access all of your other storage apps like Google Drive, Dropbox and even Adobe Creative Cloud Library files. Pretty awesome really.

Storage Pricing for iCloud Drive
5GB included
50 GB for $.99/month
2 TB for $9.99/month

Files stored in iCloud Drive do not take up space on your iDevices hard drive so you can offload all of your photos and videos and store them in your iCloud Drive.

You still have access to them and get the space back on your phone or iPad. And, have a cloud backup of all your data, so if any of your hard drives fail, your data is safe.

Did you know iCloud was a viable backup option for all of your files including photos, video, music, photoshop files, doesn’t matter. Any file under 50GB in size you can store in your iCloud Drive and it will all be accessible right inside that Files Folder on you iPhone and iPad or on your Mac in iCloud Drive.

On your Mac, you can turn on Desktop & Documents backup so anything you put on either your Desktop or Documents folder automatically backs up to the cloud and does not take up space on your computer. All pretty cool stuff.

Backup 2TB of anything you want in the cloud accessible on any device for $10/month. Not too shabby.

Summary Recap:

Think of iCloud as a big Apple cloud in the internet sky and you have your own little room for all of your Apple products and services and as long as you sign in with your Apple ID & Password, all of your tools can communicate with each other and you can access the iCloud from anywhere on any of your devices and because your data is in the cloud, you really do not have to worry about things like fire or hurricanes or faulty hard drives when it comes to protecting your data. You just have to develop a consistent practice and habit of maintaining your backup system.

What is backed up to the iCloud? By default, when you turn on iCloud backup on your iPhone and iPad it should automatically backup every 24 hours pretty much everything you have on your phone that you would want to transfer to a new phone if you ever lost or damaged your phone. Be sure to go into settings & manage storage periodically for housekeeping cleanup and to make sure everything is working.

For Photos: We all take tons of mobile photos and videos, but I think many of you may have a mess on your hands and your iPhone Camera Roll might have 1,000s of photos and you really do not know what to do with them. Just remember, when you delete from your iPhone or Photos, in most cases when you have Photo Library on, it will delete photos on all devices.

Advice: Spend a few hours and delete the junky photos and then do a big download to your computer and organize with maybe your main photo library that you may have with your travel pictures or wherever.
You can plug in your phone to your computer with a USB cable and use Image Capture on a Mac to quickly download everything from Phone to computer.

You can always store the photos in iCloud Drive.

iCloud Drive
is the Apple version of Dropbox and Google Drive and it works pretty well. Backup your precious data and content in the iCloud for under $10/month and you can access anything and share all of your stuff right from your iPhone and no longer need to be a slave to the stack of hard drives on your desk.

Traveling for a conference? Put your Keynote in iCloud Drive and do your presentation right from your iPhone. Piece of cake.

Apple Support Links:
What is iCloud?
Photo Library Help
iCloud Drive
iCloud Storage Pricing by Country

Questions, Comments, Feedback?:
Please email me anytime at mike@mikemurphy.co

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Ep131: The Ebook Show

Ep131: The Ebook Show

Ep131: The eBook Challenge Show

Intro:
I challenged myself to self-publish an eBook by April 15th, 2018 and today’s episode is a brief overview of ebooks and an introduction to my new Write the Life Project.

Days Remaining: 37

Episode Summary:

Today’s episode 131 is a behind the scenes episode as I wanted to introduce you to my self-imposed writing project, Write the Life.

Today’s episode begins with a brief overview of ebooks and then I jump right into my eBook challenge which you can find in its early stages at Write the Life.com

What is Write The Life?
Why did I start the project?
What is my vision and long-term goals for me and others like you?

What is an eBook?

An eBook is short for electronic book. It is a book made available in digital form, consisting of text, images, or both, readable on computers or other electronic devices such as your iPhone or iPad. The electronic version of a printed book.

Benefits of eBooks?

People like eBooks because they are generally inexpensive, there are endless titles to choose from and they are convenient to read on smartphones, tablets or dedicated eBook devices such as the most popular Amazon Kindle. EBooks allow you to highlight text and bookmark pages and add notes to a book, search text and they take up no room in your luggage.

How do you get eBooks?

You can buy from Amazon, Apple iBooks, Google eBooks, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo and many more, but Amazon and the Kindle Store dominate the market.

Amazon has made it very accessible for self-publishers and creators self-publish and sell books. Amazon is where I will put my focus, but like podcasts, my eBooks will be distributed to other smaller eBook sellers.

Price of Ebooks?

EBooks are generally under $10 and most common price points in the Kindle store tend to be around $2–3.99 with lots of ebooks for free or $.99.

Purchasing:

If you have an eBook reader such as the Kindle or Nook you can purchase them on the device from their respective stores.

If you are using your iPhone or iPad you have to purchase eBooks first on Amazon and then use the free Kindle app to access them, but the syncing process is easy. I read all of my eBooks primarily on my iPad Pro with the Kindle App.

What is WritetheLife.com

It is a new blog I built to challenge myself to start blogging and publish an eBook on Amazon by April 15th, 2018.

Parkinson’s Law which is the concept that whatever time you give yourself, it will take that long even if it seems like a stretch.

I launched this podcast in 30 days without knowing how to launch a podcast or to record audio. I had nothing to start, but made it happen.

The challenge:
To self-publish an eBook and document the process on the blog along with the steps and all of the tools I use.

There will also be a 5–10 episode podcast episode and a class.

Why did I start the project?

It’s pretty simple really.

  1. My vision for my entire business of Mike Murphy LLC is to create educational and motivational content and teach creatives and creators like you tech and all the stuff I learn while building an online business. This gives me the framework to put it all together.

Content today consists of audio (podcasting), video (tutorials & classes) and words (articles and books). These are all skills that I have been working on really hard for many years now and they are the skills of the future and I want to create products that will make it really easy for people to get up and running by making the tech and process step by step and simple.

EBooks are the perfect medium for my style of writing and teaching and tech how to books and online business eBooks are quite popular still.

How Long are eBooks?

I currently have 131 podcast episodes.
Each podcast script is approximately 3,000 words.
My eBooks will be about 10,000 words.
That means I have about 40 eBooks potentially.

  1. Writing is one of my strengths and I want to do more things I am good at.
    I know I can write and I have always had a fascination with words and the literary world.
    I did graduate with an English degree after all.
    I also secretively has always wanted to make it as a blogger, but have not pursued it seriously since my first blog and I think that is a mistake.
  2. This is a kick in the pants scheme to hold my feet to the fire and force myself and create some products that have been weighing heavy on my shoulders but busy work and life always seem to get in my way.

It’s also a very realistic and practical goal as I have a lot of content to pull from and I am more than capable of writing 10–15,000 words at a time. I’m looking for forward momentum.

Aside:
The companion podcast and course, I plan on keeping them pretty simple, but they make sense for what I am trying to accomplish so I am going to give it my all, but publishing the eBook and getting some good material on the blog is priority number one and if all goes well, there will be another right behind it and a pretty helpful site in writethelife.com.

What is my vision and long-term goals for me and others like you?

My vision and goal for this project is exactly what I have always wanted. To build a platform of tutorials and educational content on my own website and blog that teaches people and generates passive income through products and affiliate links, etc.

EBooks are great marketing products
Small brands and businesses can use eBooks much like having a business card, but the process can be technically challenging for many and I hope to make it really easy from how to set up a blog or podcast or social media channels and of course how to self-publish ebooks or traditional books.

Conclusion:

That is my Write the Life eBook challenge. I have set the goal that eBook #1 will in the Kindle store by April 15th, 2018 and I am going to start populating the blog by sharing the steps and everything I am doing. What tools am I using to write and manage the project and if there is anyone out there looking to join the challenge with me, I would love it.

Everything today will be in the show notes at mikemurphy.co/ep131 and if you go to mikemurphy.co/wtl as in write the life you will see a mailing list sign up
form.

Follow Write the Life Blog Project:
https://mikemurphy.co/wtl

Links Mentioned (Past Shows):
EP72: The Self Publish Show (Pt. 1)
EP73: The Self Publish Show (Pt. 2)
EP74: The Self Publish Show (Pt. 3)

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Music: Life of Riley & Wallpaper (incompetech.com)

Ep130: The Evernote Show

Ep130: The Evernote Show

Ep130: The Evernote Show

 

Topics Covered:
What is Evernote?
How does it work and what can it do?
Why has it taken me 10 years to finally start using it consistently?
How do I use it?

Episode 130 is for you if:
1. You are not familiar with Evernote
2. You have an Evernote account, you want to love it like most of the internet seems to, but the reality is, it doesn’t help you all that much.
3. You love Evernote and are a power-user and you just like to see how other people use it to get some ideas for your own workflow or productivity.

Evernote Square

What is Evernote?:

Evernote is a Silicon Valley company that officially launched in 2007 but was available to the public in 2008–2009. There are 200 million users of Evernote.

How Much Does Evernote Cost:
Basic: Free forever
Plus: $35/year (my plan)
Premium: $70/year

 

Tools similar or complementary to Evernote:
Apple Notes
Bear Writer
To-Doist
Trello
Google Drive

When did I join Evernote?

I created my account in January of 2009 as a beta user. I have started and stopped using it at least 20 times. I have always liked it, but could never make it helpful for me.

What Does Evernote Do?

Evernote is the Swiss army knife of productivity tools and there are many features. Evernote is a note-taking and list making app, organizer of stuff, and place to archive and save stuff. Think of it like a filing cabinet for your brain and digital world that you can access from anywhere in the world.

Evernote is all about capturing your ideas and saving digital information whether it be a webpage article or photograph or an email or an inspirational quote or pretty much anything.

What Evernote is not:

Evernote is not for backing up your data like Dropbox or Google Drive. Evernote makes virtual copies of everything you upload so you can view it and share it, but it does not store the original files.

Primary Uses of Evernote

Create and share notes.
Take or upload photos and mark them up or add notes, etc.
Record voice memo notes by itself or add to an existing note.
Scan business cards and any paper file
Create to-do lists with checkboxes and reminder alarms

Evernote 101: Getting Started

You sign up for a free account at Evernote.com
You download the free app for your Mac or Windows machine.
You then download the free Evernote app on your iOS or Android mobile devices such as iPhone and iPad.

Create a New Note: When you open Evernote on your phone you will see a green plus symbol and you simply click that and start typing a note or you can record a voice memo just like you would in something like Apple Notes.
Inside every Note you can add photos, pdfs, audio, attach files, mark it up with illustrations and annotations and share your notes and so much more.

Notebooks: Notes are stored in Notebooks which is how you organize Evernote and everything is synced in real time across your devices. Notes can be notes that you type up or dictate with your voice or than can be stuff you save from the internet or any digital source such as a webpage or files you add into Evernote from your computer. The maximum number of notes you can create is 250. Tags are unlimited.

What can you store in Evernote? Just about anything. Put all of your thoughts, ideas, documents, pdfs, web clippings, voice memos into one place and if going paperless is a goal of yours, Evernote is the perfect tool.

Capture: When you think of Evernote, just thing of the word capture as it is a repository for everything and in this digital world age of information overload, this tool is designed to give you a place to store and organize everything it so you give your brain and memory a breather .

Why has it taken me 10 years to love Evernote?

I signed up for Evernote when it first came out.
I have always loved the technology and simplicity of it.
The design and user-interface is beautiful.
It works incredibly well and syncs seamlessly.
It’s free or inexpensive which I like.
It’s up there with two of my favorites Gmail & Dropbox.
I have always loved Evernote, but it never helped me and always felt like I had a giant pile of stuff that I never went back and looked at.
I am a less is more person. Evernote was clutter to me and it did not help my workflow or productivity.
I saw Evernote as a ‘digital cemetery’. Once stuff went to Evernote, I never saw it again.
Tutorials I watched had complicated organization systems that I just did not want to deal with.
But, I never deleted or canceled my app because I knew I would figure out a way to use it because it’s a powerful tool.

Why did I start Evernote again in 2018?:

I felt disorganized and could not process all of the information and resources that I read and learn online.

My goal is to be a knowledgeable and resource for people who need help. I need to have a system to remember tools and resources to teach people and refer them to.

Bottom line: is I was overthinking how to organize and use Evernote for many years and I just could not figure out how to make it work for me, but once I figured out a system that is really simple and will help me save the massive amount of material I am constantly processing in my head, I had an a-ha moment. I already knew the app and technology was simple and amazing, but when I realized just how helpful I could make it for my business and personal life, I decided to go all in and make it my new digital brain and filing cabinet.

So How do I use Evernote:

The power of Evernote is in Search and Tags and not in creating an elaborate Notebook system to organize your notes.
Everything is searchable in Evernote and in fact it is kind of mind-boggling how good it is. It’s Gmail good.

In my personal notebook: I save scans of every important document such as passports, health insurance cards, passport, library card a list of everything in my wallet with phone numbers of each credit card so if my wallet was ever lost or stolen it would be really easy to remember what I lost and replace. Everything including memories or anything I want to save.

For business:
I use Evernote to research topics and curate content. If I take a good tutorial on After Effects I save it or if I download a good PDF or cheatsheet.

I have saved all of my affiliate links and web services I use and resources I frequently recommend and use. Pretty much everything that I use frequently or have memorized or new stuff that I think will be important to know I am trying to dump off into Evernote to just give me peace of mind.

I have notes for podcast, tutorial and content ideas. I have never done this and it stresses me out to not have a library of topics to pull from.

I am using Evernote to be more organized, efficient and to build better creative habits that I know will make it easier for me to create more content

How I Organize Evernote:

Step 1: Digital clean-up
I spent a few hours and just cleaned house and deleted 10 years of saved documents and resources that I no longer needed. .I kept only the essentials and placed them all in one notebook called Inbox. I deleted all the old notebooks and tags so I could start new.

Step 2: Inbox
I have one Notebook called Inbox. This is my default notebook where everything gets saved to and this is a fairly common best practice for power.

My Evernote Inbox will be temporary storage and I will try to keep it empty except for things I need to review or tag or add notes to. I view the Inbox as my to-do list.

Step 3: Stacks (optional. This works for my organization, but I may change it and consolidate all to one stack.)

Stacks: A group of notebooks.

Stack 1: Learn (Resources. Main filing cabinet)
Stack 2: Create (Notes and current projects)
Stack 3: Move Forward (Goals and Bucket List)

Recap:

Evernote is free to join and paid plans are available for upgrade which you will likely do once you start using Evernote on a regular basis.

Evernote works on iOS, Android, Windows or Mac.

Evernote is for creating notes and storing, organizing and archiving digital information and documents in a variety of formats. Evernote is not a backup system for files, it creates virtual copies of everything that you can view or share.

The power of Evernote is in its search capabilities and tag. Everything is searchable so rather than trying to come up with the perfect folder system, keep it simple and use search and tags to find stuff.

I use Evernote to save personal and business documents, to keep track of resources and tech stuff and to capture thoughts, ideas, topics and to write content such as articles and class outlines and notes.

Do you use Evernote?

I would love to hear about how you use Evernote or what your organization system looks like or if have questions, comments or feedback please send them to me at: mike@mikemurphy.co

LISTEN TO PAST EPISODES

HOUSEKEEPING

Subscribe To Podcast

Leave a ratings & review (if you already did, thanks)

Buy My New eBook (How To Podcast on Wordpress.com)

Ask Mike Anything

Music: Life of Riley & Wallpaper (incompetech.com)