Ep138: The Teacher Show

Ep138: The Teacher Show

EP138: The Teacher Show

I’m 48 years old, and when I grow up I want to be a teacher. Today’s episode 138 is a behind the scenes look at my journey to make a living as an online educator.

Episode Summary:
I share my goals and the steps I am taking to create the life I want helping people figure things out. Today is a bit of a story time episode and sharing some recent realizations I have acknowledged.

So the key points I will discuss today:
What does a perfect world look like for Mike Murphy LLC?
What and who do I want to teach?
What steps am I taking to position myself as an online educator?

 

So shine those apples and let’s get into Episode 138: The Teacher Show.

Apple

What does a perfect world look like for Mike Murphy LLC?

I’ll answer this question by taking a look back in history first.

My Tagline: Learn. Create & Move Forward.

For as long as I can remember I’ve been motivated by learning anything and everything that interests me. Some of my happiest memories were talking about books and playing cards and watching trivia game shows with my mom because I enjoyed the activity of feeding my curious mind. I didn’t really care with what… I just wanted knowledge and mostly simple stuff to make me go huh. I didn’t care much to learn about the pythagorean theory, but knowing that the Grand Canyon was 18 miles wide in places or that Santa Fe was the highest capital, now those types of things excited me.

When I got to college I had no idea what I wanted to do (a common theme in my life), but the environment of being in a college town surrounded by old book stores and academia people everywhere was all I needed. Until now, I’ve always lived in college towns for that very same energy of being around people who like to think and be creative and just have a hunger for more.

I traveled to learn and explore.

My typical day on any trip I have ever taken is to wake up early, grab my camera and just walk and take photos and videos and soak up new sights and pick up tidbits here and there. Rinse and repeat. That inspires me.

Learn. Create. Move Forward. 3 things that have been a constant in my life and imagine will be forever.

I take tutorials as a student every single day. I create something every single. I do something every day to make this business better. I never stop.

So what does a perfect world look like for Mike Murphy LLC?

I want to make tutorials and be recognized as someone who knows their stuff because they work really hard at it and care.

Getting paid to do what I love to do. Doesn’t everybody want that? Some people have it. Why can’t I? And why can’t you?

What do I want to teach and who is my target audience?

I am very conscious of relevancy.

Trendy is not important to me, but recognizing trends and behaviors is something I do intuitively and I pay attention to everything that gets my attention.

I want to teach others what I think will help them when they most likely do not realize it yet.

I have a very good filter that completely ignores a lot of the noise online and I look for the nuggets that catch my eye and it usually in the form of something very unassuming and simple that gets me.

The extra mile stuff. Attention to detail. Caring.

I love the technology and creativity behind everything, but what really attracts me is when there is an underlying message of simplicity and good. I like products and tools that have the best intentions of others in mind and not just as a front or marketing tool.

I see no point in doing things if the end goal is not happiness

In terms of specifics, content creation in the new media is my zone. Video, podcasting, writing ebooks and articles about the latest and greatest.

I want to reach the hard-working people who are giving it their all.

For a straightforward answer to the original question of what do I want to teach and who is my target audience:

I want to teach what I teach now: content creation
My target audience is creatives and go-getters who are not afraid to get their hands dirty and try.

What steps am I taking to position myself as an online educator?

Well… I made 365 videos in 2017 to get better at teaching and video.

I’ve created daily content for over 900 days in a row to push my creativity and build confidence and reach people and many other benefits.

I’ve never missed a day on Instagram Stories to improve my storytelling skills and to share my thoughts and ideas and to maybe inspire people by sharing what I’m working on and what is putting me to the test. I’m relentless and selfish as I am doing everything in my power to be a great creator and educator.

I make daily tutorials and hope they help someone, but the only thing I expect in return is that the next day I make a better one. So what am I doing to position myself as an online educator? I’m setting the bar really high for myself and while I really do not care to compete with anyone but myself, I am very conscious that I am putting in the extra effort that most are unwilling to do and the position I am going for is way ahead of the pack.

I wrote today’s podcast because for the first time in 48 years I identified with the title of a profession or career that I feel like I have been seeking for my entire life. I am a teacher. I enjoy making tutorials. I like the challenge of taking a topic that most people would need ten minutes to teach and I try to do in 60 seconds.

Another step I am taking to position myself as an online educator that may not seem so obvious is Murphy Concierge, my local tech handyman business. I get paid to help people figure things out. Sounds a lot like what a teacher does, doesn’t it? I am teaching people in person and when I mix that with creating digital work, I see it as a super-power.

I started Murphy Concierge on one account because I really need to make an income, but I modeled it around everything I am trying to do online and that is learn, create and move forward. My local handyman business is feeding me content that I can teach online and it’s also helping me figure out business and productivity and marketing. It’s a win-win cycle for me and you as the better I get and more knowledgeable I become the better the content I create and can share to others.

Conclusion

Today was a reminder that at some point you need to pick your head up and do a self-audit or tell the universe out loud what you really want. Be honest. Do you know where you would like to be going?

Today was about seeing the trees through the forest and making the effort. When I started making stuff online I had zero idea what I was doing, so I decided to just make stuff.

I watched a Ted Talk that I will never forget that just said, keep making things if you do not know what do to and you will start removing the things you don’t want to do and get really good at a few things. And then you either figure it out or someone smarter than you recognizes your talents and opens up a door you never knew existed.

About 2 weeks ago I officially acknowledged this to myself that I really just want to teach people simple things (for me) like the quick tip tutorials I make. That makes me really happy, but that can’t possibly pay the bills can it?

I have studied and practiced Adobe Photoshop and all of the other products in the Creative Cloud for 10+ years and I want to position myself as an expert because I am.

I said it out loud.

2 years ago I said on this podcast that teaching for Lynda or Adobe was a secret goal I had but there was not one part of me that really believed I was good enough or at that level to teach for Lynda or to collaborate with Adobe. That has changed and part of the inspiration for today. It changed when I said, wait a minute, I am an online educator right now. I am qualified to teach for Lynda (now LinkedIn) or Adobe and I’d still really like to. I want to teach at a high level.

I said it out loud. It’s subtle and simple because nothing has changed except my own self-awareness and perception of what I do and what I want to do. Own it.

So what does the future hold for Mike Murphy LLC and what does a perfect world look like for my business? I want to learn, create and move forward teaching and inspiring others along the way. Creative educators they say are going to be highly sought after as technology disrupts the status quo and I’m all in. Just saying it out loud. Nobody can read your mind. If you want it, let someone know. Even if you’re not sure if anyone is listening.

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Ep137: The Client Show

Ep137: The Client Show

Episode 137: The Client Show

Episode Summary:
In today’s episode, I am going to share my workflow and tools I use for managing my local freelance business, Murphy Concierg

In today’s show:
What is Murphy Concierge?
Who are my clients and target demographic?
How do I keep track of client information?
How do I schedule and manage the calendar?
How do I organize projects and jobs?
How do I invoice and collect payment?

 

Tools I Use:
G Suite): The complete office suite
Google Drive: Storage
Google Calendar (everything gets scheduled)
Gmail (email & documentation)
Apple Notes (To-Dos & Notes)
Apple Reminders
Apple Contacts (Address Book)
Evernote (Brain/Hub)
Things 3 (To-Do App…in Trial Mode)
Freshbooks (Invoicing)

What is Murphy Concierge?

Murphy Concierge is my tech handyman business where I help local residents and businesses in Old Naples, Florida with their digital devices such as iPhones, iPads, Macs, wifi, printers and all things online such as social media channels, content creation, web and graphic design, etc.

The majority of what I do is fix issues and teaching people how to get the most out of their iOS & Mac devices as that is the center of most people’s digital worlds.

I am a problem solver, fixer and educator and Murphy Concierge is a combination of all three. Murphy Concierge is simply an extension of the brand and business I am building online only I get to meet people face to face.

Who are my clients and target demographic?

This matters because the tools and how you manage and communicate with your clients needs to be as easy and convenient for them and make sense for your business.

My clients for Murphy Concierge are broken down into 2 segments:
1. The majority of my clients are retirees over the age of 65 and

2. The other group is small professional businesses who I help with their content strategy and marketing and tech-related issues.

Use Tools Clients Do not have to learn.
I have a few clients who do not text message or email, so I need to be aware of these things and accommodate and so do you.

My business clients are more up to speed, but the reason they hire me typically is that they either want to get brought up to speed and be relevant online or they are tech-challenged and have no interest in learning my system or workflow.

This to me is an important consideration with everything we do also online as content creators and same thoughtfulness of who your target audience is should play a major role in every decision you make for your business and brand.

Do a brand-audit:
Look at your colors and fonts and graphics and podcast tone and music and the articles you write and the videos you make. Do they consistently represent you and your brand and speak to your clients and target listeners or viewers? Be yourself and be genuine, but you have to always be intentional and considerate of your audience at all times.

How do I keep track of client information?

My business must be able to operate 100% on my iPhone so every tool I use is cloud-based meaning if I am looking at my MacBook, iPad or iPhone, I can access and manage all client relations.

Gsuite, formerly Google Apps for Work is the hub for everything I do mainly because Google Calendar is my lifeline and most important part of running my business, but the entire G Suite is worth its weight in gold.

Google Drive: Storage for documents and files and media

Gmail:
is also critical to client management as I have my entire address book in Gmail and I always like to send my contact information for every new client and also appointment confirmations.

Gmail is a great tool for keeping a history of your appointments and timelines. Gmail is my filing cabinet for nearly everything, so even if a client calls me to set up a job, I always send an email as a form of documenting the transaction. Creating the paper trail is important and may even protect you legally.

https://www.mikemurphy.co/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/GSUITE.jpg

How do I schedule and manage the calendar?

Google Calendar: 100%

I pride myself on being reliable and dependable and that means I rely on my calendar. For me, there is no substitute for Gcal as it just works and also integrates with other tools I use so my appointments come up wherever I am and I also have reminders set up for every morning and 30 minutes before each scheduled event. I am petrified of ever missing an appointment and it does not take long for people to realize that I am never late. But, the busier I get and the thinner I spread myself with all the things I am trying to do, it can be really easy to mess up and forget to put something on the calendar, which makes it absolutely crucial to develop a foolproof client management system that has checks and balances.

Side Tip: Understand & test how your devices are synced.

Are you using Google Calendar & iCloud?

What is your main calendar?
Are you storing contacts in iCloud or Google?

Test:
Open up all of your devices and put stuff on the calendar and make sure it shows up on all of your devices. Delete stuff and basically verify that you are syncing and with the tools you thought.

When all of their contacts and mail and to-dos are all working, it feels good and if you are a business, it will keep you on time and trustworthy.

Here is my ‘new booking’ process:
As soon as I book a new job, I immediately grab my phone and say Hey Siri, add so and so to my calendar at noon on the 27th.

I then create a reminder the exact same way. Checks and balances. My calendar and reminders will remind me to the point where it drives me crazy, but I want that for client work.

While on the phone, I gather all the vitals of phone, email, address, problem, etc and like to copy and paste this information into the calendar event notes, just so I don’t get lost while traveling to a job and I don’t have to scour around looking for where they live, etc.

While I do have all of my contacts in Gmail, I use Apple iCloud contacts as my main address book and every couple of months I just synced it with Gmail so I have my contacts in both places. I prefer iCloud only because I am usually on my iPhone and it works great and if I ever get a new phone, iCloud backup is the ticket. I do not use iCloud Calendar, but I do use Reminders, Notes & Contacts.

How do I organize projects and jobs?

I was using Highrise CRM, but now I organize mostly using G Suite (drive, calendar, Gmail, contacts). I use Reminders to keep me on track

How do I invoice and collect payment?

Freshbooks. It is my financial center and it’s a keeper. I love it and so do clients.

Freshbooks is $25/month and it is also where I keep track of all of my expenses and my accounting stuff.

Freshbooks has a lot of features and they are always adding things with freelancers and small businesses in mind and they have as good of customer service around. Extremely friendly and helpful and they even answer the phone when you call.

Free trial available. Awesome company and service.

Make it easy for your clients to reach you and pay you. Very big part of running a successful business.

Contact Me:

And If there is anything I can help you with or if you have comments or feedback for me, I would love to hear from you and you can email me at mike@mikemurphy.co or go to https://mikemurphy.co/live Monday nights and stop by for some help or just to say hey.

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

Ep136: The Ask Mike Show

Ep136: The Ask Mike Show

EP136: The Ask Mike Show

I take you behind the scenes of my new livestream Q&A show called Ask Mike Murphy

In the show:
What is Ask Mike Murphy Live?
What are my objectives for starting a live Q&A show?
What steps did I take to create the live-stream show?
What tools am I using to go live?

The Backstory:

I started Mike Murphy Unplugged in September of 2015 to give me a platform to teach, find my voice and document my journey of starting and online business.

I if I shared my knowledge and the tools and resources I was using to build an online business that it would help me move forward and hopefully teach and inspire others along the way.

This podcast was started as much to help me figure things out as it was to help others.

If you want to get good at something, you have to work hard and practice a lot. To get really good at something, teach what you know to others.

I was always learning new stuff, but once I started sharing them in the podcast and in articles and teaching, my knowledge and confidence in my abilities grew exponentially.

I started this podcast to push me out of my comfort zone and I knew if I committed to a weekly podcast, it would get me in a rhythm of creating meaningful content and help me develop my teaching voice and style and establish myself as an authority in the podcasting and content creator space.

I launched Mike Murphy Unplugged, on Friday September 25, 2015 and I had zero audience. On the next Monday I decided on a whim that I would start a live Q&A show on Blab.im (#ripblab) to gain exposure and establish my authority and help people figure things out.

What is Ask Mike Murphy Live?

What: It is simply version 2 of Open Mike Night that I started in 2015 and did every Monday Night for over a year.

When: Ask Mike Murphy will go live every Monday night at 9pm Eastern and answer questions or help people solve tech issues or give feedback on designs or videos or websites.

Where: Facebook to start. I will experiment with YouTube & Twitch eventually.

Note: mikemurphy.co/live will always take you to where I am going live.

What are my objectives or goals for starting a live Q&A show?

I love the Q&A format and nothing makes me happier than solving problems for people or giving tech or gear advice that I know is right for them and will help them.

My ultimate goal is reaching more people and building my community and audience and doing what I love, helping people figure things out.

What steps did I take to create the live-stream show?

How hard is it to start something like Ask Mike Murphy Live?

Are you thinking of starting a livestream show but not sure where to start or what you need to do.

Step 1: Commit & Pick a Time
The hardest part about starting Ask Mike Anything was committing to a time that I knew I could stick to. Monday nights at 9:00 pm seem to be good for me, so step 1 was mentally committing to showing up every Monday at 9. Just like I show up for this podcast every week.

Step 2. Create graphics and artwork
To the livestream on Facebook, Insta, Twitter, etc.

I suggest creating 3 sizes:
Wide 1920x1080 graphic to place over videos, etc.
Square (1080 x 1080) for Instagram
Vertical (1080 x 1920) for Instagram Stories

Tools:
Adobe Photoshop CC
Canva.com (free design templates)
Unpslash.com (free photos)

Step 3: Make videos/animations to promote livestream (optional)

Tools: (Use any video tool)
Adobe After Effects, Premiere Pro CC, Photoshop CC
Screenflow
Camtasia

Step 4. Marketing.
Start spreading the word. Post your graphics or simple animations telling people you are going live. Create some buzz even if you have no idea what you’re doing or if anyone will show up.

Do not get discouraged or give up if nobody shows up to your live stream. It happens. Do a show anyway and people can always watch the replay.

What tools am I using to go live?

Software:
ECamm Live ($39 w/ free trial)

Webcam:
Logitech c920

Microphone:
Shure SM7b

Mixer:
Allen & Heath Zed10

Lights:
IKan IFD576 LED

Alternatives to eCamm Live:
BeLive.TV (web-based tool)…great option.

OBS Studio (open-source & free)
Wirecast by Telestream ($500+)

————————————

Software

:
ECamm Live

Conclusion:

What:
Ask Mike Murphy is my new live Q&A show where people can ask me anything about podcasting, video, design, web, online business, and all things in between.

When:
Office Hours are on Monday Nights from 9:00 - 10:00 pm Eastern Time (or until it’s over)

Where:
Mike Murphy LLC Page
YouTube Live or Twitch (future shows)

Default Livestream Link:
mikemurphy.co/live

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)

Ep135: The Alexa Show

Ep135: The Alexa Show

EP135: The Alexa Show

Episode Summary:
Today’s podcast is all about the voice-activated personal assistant, Amazon Alexa.

Topics Covered:

  1. What is Amazon Alexa and how does it work?
  2. What can Alexa do?
  3. What are Amazon Skills & Flash Briefings?
  4. How do you get your podcast on Alexa devices?

Pro Tip for Podcasters & Livestreamers:

Mute the microphone before recording or going live:

On Top of the Amazon Echo & Dot is a little microphone icon. Click the button and the ring around your device will go red. This mutes Alexa and she will not respond to anything. Add muting Alexa to your pre-show checklist!

 

Note:
This is particularly handy if you are recording a podcast about Alexa as she would start talking every time her name is used.😀

What is Amazon Alexa & How Does it Work?

Alexa is a cloud-based, voice-activated virtual assistant and speaker created by Amazon in 2014. Alexa is the brain behind the devices

and the two most popular are the Echo and the Echo Dot.

The Echo is $99 taller and shaped like a cylinder. Buy on Amazon

The Echo Dot is $50 and shaped like a hockey puck Buy on Amazon 

 

Alexa uses artificial intelligence and she can listen, understand and answer most questions and is always improving and updating her features automatically.

 

How to use devices:
You wake Alexa by asking a question or tell her a command by first saying her name and then speak to her and she will do what you ask. Alexa is always on and always listening, so ask away.

You control the settings using an iOS or Android App.

Origin of Alexa Name:
Alexa got her because X is a hard consonant and could be recognized more accurately.

Her name is also reminiscent of the ancient Library of Alexandria and apparently inspired by the computer-voice system on Star Trek.

Note: If your name or someone in your household is named Alexa, you can change the ‘wake name’ as it’s called to anything you want and she will respond only to the new wake name.

What can Alexa do?

First, I just want to say that I am not going to go through all of the models of Alexa devices and I am talking generally about the Echo & Dot which are the most popular in the lineup.

Questions & Answers: you can use Alexa just like Siri or Google and get answers to your questions.

Stream radio stations, music from Amazon Prime, Spotify, play podcasts and even tell your kids bedtime stories.

Productivity & Tasks: Set alarms and timers, make to-do lists, check your calendar and help you in the kitchen with measurements, etc.

Information & News: She can keep you informed with the weather, news and sports scores

Calling and message device if you want to call your friends and family who also have an Alexa device

Smart Home Devices: Alexa will control your smart home devices such as turning on/off lights, thermostats, and any compatible device. One of my favorite things to do is tell Alexa to turn on my studio light. It’s so simple but really handy.

Fun & Games: Alexa has a good sense of humor so ask her to tell you a joke or to sing or one of my favorites is to ask her to tell me a pun. Alexa can play jeopardy and other games.

Shopping: Tell Alexa to buy things from Amazon. Shopping is not going to be restricted to Amazon either as there are areas where you can order Dominos, call for an Uber and order Starbucks for pickup.

And don’t worry, there are restrictions you can put on shopping so not anyone in your house can order stuff.

What are Amazon Skills & Flash Briefings?

Amazon Skills are the power behind Alexa devices as they are what expand the services and functionality. Think of skills like iPhone apps and there are already 1000s of them available. 3rd party developers can create skills and you can enable them to use on your devices through the Alexa app on your phone or on the Amazon website.

Check out Skills on Amazon:

Amazon skills range from games to controlling your Sonos speaker system or playing music from Spotify.

What are Flash Briefings:
Flash briefings are a special type of Alexa Skill that is designed to give short news and information updates from various sources including RSS feeds from blogs and podcasts.

Just like any other skill, you can simply ask Alexa to enable Flash Briefings and when you wake up in the morning you can simply Ask Alexa to serve up your flash briefing and you can also put briefings in what is called Routines.

You can ask Alexa for your morning routine and she can read your to-do list and calendar appointments, tell you the weather and play Flash Briefings.

Flash Briefing

How to make Flash Briefings?

This is not a full tutorial. I’m just giving you the starting point for now.

You can create a Flash Briefing without any coding knowledge and if you are a podcaster already, it should be very easy as you can create a Flash Briefing with your podcast RSS feed or create a new show and use the RSS feed generated from your media host.

All you really need to do is sign up for an Amazon Developer account: and Amazon has tutorials and will walk you through the process. Flash Briefings are the easiest of skills to create. Your RSS feed must be valid and secure (https://) (see issues with RSS Below)

  1. Create Account Amazon Developer Link: https://developer.amazon.com
  2. Support & Help Tutorials:
    https://developer.amazon.com/support
  3. Create a New Skill (Flash Briefing)

RSS Feed Issues & Fixes:

This can get complicated and requires an entire article, but I just wanted to point out a couple of things as my RSS feed was rejected the first time and I just wanted to note that and let you know how I resolved it.

  1. Your RSS feed must be valid and secure (https://) or it will get rejected. The ‘s’ at the end of https:// is required.
    https://www.yourfeed/feed/podcast/
  2. Let’s Encrypt SSL Certificates will not work for Amazon Flash Briefings. Let’s Encrypt is free and popular way to make your WordPress site have https://. I use it, but as of now, it is not on Amazon’s list of accepted SSL Certificates.

Workaround Powerpress Users using Let’s Encrypt:
Create a mirror feed of your RSS Feed using Blubrry’s new service PodcastMirror.com
Tip: Ask Blubrry Customer Support for help as their instructions will leave you confused and hanging. It’s not difficult, but it is not immediately clear what is going on, so I went to Plan B

3. Libsyn RSS Feed: I host my media files on Libsyn so I used the Libsyn RSS Feed even though it does not have the ‘s’ at the end of http://

The Trick:
1. Copy Libsyn Feed http://www.yourfeed/feed/podcast/
2. Paste Feed in Amazon Flash Briefing Application:http://www.yourfeed/feed/podcast/
3. Add an ‘s’ manually: https://www.yourfeed/feed/podcast/

Summary:
My RSS Feed Problem & Fix in a Nutshell:
My RSS from WordPress using Let’s Encrypt was rejected.
I used the feed from Libsyn and simply added an ‘s’ after http:// and it worked just fine and my Flash Briefing went live.

HOW DO YOU LISTEN TO PODCASTS ON ALEXA?

To listen to my podcast, I would say, “Alexa, play Mike Murphy Unplugged on TuneIn” and Alexa would pull up my latest episode.

You can rewind and fast forward and pause, etc.
You can also search for your favorite podcasts and music and more on your Alexa app and play it right from your phone (I find using the Alexa app on my iPhone easier to browse for podcasts and then just tap play)

What is TuneIn?
TuneIn is the default podcast directory on Alexa for now, so you just have to make sure your podcast is in the TuneIn Directory if you want your audience to listen to your podcast on Alexa devices.

TuneIn is a free internet radio station and podcast directory just like iTunes or Stitcher or Spreaker, but just happens to be one of the default stations on the Alexa app that has podcasts. Spotify and iHeart Radio also serve up podcasts.

 

 

How To Get Your Podcast in the TuneIn Directory?

You may have already done this when you launched your podcast, so do a search on TuneIn and if you find your show, there is nothing you need to do.

To make sure your listeners can hear your podcast on TuneIn, you simply have to fill out this short form and submit your RSS feed to TuneIn. Real humans process your request, so give it a day or two before you start getting worried.

Fill out the TuneIn Form and paste your RSS Feed:

 

 

LISTEN TO PAST EPISODES

HOUSEKEEPING

Subscribe To Podcast

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

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Ask Mike Anything

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