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Archive for October, 2013

10 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade to Adobe Creative Cloud

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

I have always been resistant to change. As a business owner, there are always employee wish lists or new equipment that is needed which can eat away at company profit. However, to keep current and do the best work possible, change is extremely important in the video production business.

In this case, new product Adobe Creative Cloud is an excellent change agent. It saves a video production company time and money! Here are our 10 reasons why you should upgrade to Adobe Creative Cloud based on our experience.

  1. Increased ProductivityIf your hardware fails as electronic equipment can on occasion, your project is safe in the Cloud! Adobe Creative Cloud gives you the option to automatically save your work in the Cloud, saving editors from potential power outages/surges and hardware failure like hard drives crashing. However, if you don’t trust Cloud storage, don’t worry, you’re not required to save to the Cloud. Adobe still allows you to save to hard storage with the Creative Cloud suite. Plus, working in Creative Cloud 3046502602_cde9741239is more fun than working in CS6. You have to experience it because words cannot describe how easy and fun Creative Cloud is to use. For some reason, our editor employees work faster and focus more on their productions when they are having fun.
  2. Cloud Storage
    Cloud storage is a great feature for a company like Primeau Productions because you can never have too much storage space for HD video. We spend a lot of money on hard drive storage. Our team of editors can easily share HD media in the Cloud so having unlimited storage space accessible to every editing station is a huge advantage! Of course you have to pay for extra Cloud storage space, but it’s worth every penny because that replaces the time to order equipment, shipping and the actual cost of purchasing physical hard drives.
  3. Accessible from Multiple MachinesCreative Cloud software is accessible on any machine, as long as you have the login information for your subscription.  This is very convenient for an office setting and especially when traveling. Editors gain access to Adobe Creative Cloud from their own editing stations or anywhere in the world! This beats manually installing individual programs to every work station and carrying computers on airplanes for remote editing jobs.
  4. Consistent UpdatesAdobe is capable of updating their software quickly. With Creative Cloud, the software is constantly checking for updates. When you purchase Creative Cloud, no longer will you have to worry about buying new Adobe software, the program will update to the latest version for you.
  5. Consistent Bug Fixes!It’s understandable that Adobe has had some bugs in the past. Before Creative Cloud, users were required to wait for the next version of CS to come out for those bugs to be fixed. With CC, users get consistent updates when bugs are found within the software. Consistent updates also means that bugs are worked out more efficiently and any new tools and features are easily added with very little effort.
  6. Automatic Access to Every ApplicationMax Spiker, founder of DMAD put it best; “[Adobe Creative Cloud] is like walking into Adobe’s toy store and being able to play with ALL of the toys.” (http://dmad.com/adobe-creative-cloud-review) When you download Creative Cloud, you get access to every Adobe software product, including Photoshop, Premiere, After Effects, Dreamweaver, etc. With Creative Cloud, you have the ability to pick and choose which programs you’ll need in your workflow, although not every program has to be implemented.
  7. Pay Per Application SubscriptionSoftware options are great! If you’re only planning on using one software application, you’re not required to buy the entire Creative Cloud suite; you can subscribe to only those software programs you need for a lower monthly rate.
  8. Easy InstallationThe installation of Creative Cloud is quick and easy. When you download Creative Cloud, you’re given the Adobe Application Manager. This manager helps you download virtually every piece of software Adobe offers.  This interface makes installation quick and easy.
  9. Faster InterfaceEvery new Creative Suite has been substantially faster than the rest (taking software bugs out of the picture). Creative Cloud is no different in this regard. Creative Cloud processes all activity faster because of the constant updating of the software and systems.
  10. Cost SavingsAdobe’s Creative Suite is not cheap.  Individually, the software can range between $500 and $1500. With Creative Cloud, you get all of these programs for only $50 a month.  Plus, major discounts are offered for users who are students, along with businesses who need these programs on multiple machines at once.

photo credit: Adobe Logo via photopin (license)

The Future of Professional Speaking

Monday, October 7th, 2013

11077426116_7fe8e5b65fOver the last ten years, the professional speaking industry has evolved into a forward thinking technological evolution of information and confusion. During this time, most professional speakers have seen a decrease in bookings and fees. Competition has been the main contributor to this perplexity and a lot of poor decisions are being made. In the following post, I will provide my perspective and experience earned while working with dozens of professional speakers in various markets and fee ranges around the world.

Historical perspective

To put this post into perspective, I have to share a story. Back in 1978, I met Floyd Wickman. He was the first professional speaker I worked with while I was employed as an audio engineer. I was the low man at the studio and nobody else wanted to work with him. He wanted to record a 2 pack cassette product. It was hard for him to be energetic and motivational in the studio while talking to a microphone. He said he was at his best in front of a live audience. I remembered the Dezi Arnez story about how ‘I Love Lucy’ was the first television show to be recorded in front of a live audience. This gave me an idea. Why not audio record his presentations where he could feed off the audience energy, at a live seminar? He gladly accepted my offer and my boss had no problem since this was not a conflict of interest. I rented two 80 pound reel-to-reel recorders and one of the first wireless microphones and headed to the Hyatt Regency in Dearborn, Michigan. The difference in the outcome of the product was amazing! Thus, Primeau Productions was born.

A lot has happened since then. Cassettes have turned into CD’s and downloadable Internet audio files. Speaker demo videos became affordable and a necessary tool to get more bookings; first on VHS tape and then DVD, and now the Internet on over 30 International websites. These days, a meeting planner can find almost everything they need in regards to booking a professional speaker on the Internet; including credentials, a speaker’s demo video and video clips.

Today

The speaking industry took a hit after 9-11, and many professional speakers had speaking engagements cancelled. Attendance of meetings also dropped and as a result, the number of meetings decreased. Professional speakers at the top of their game reinvented their marketing and did the best they could. Those who have not reinvented themselves still blame 9-11 for their decrease in bookings.

Here is what you need to do to play in today’s competitive professional speaking Industry:

1. Have an easy to use world class website. A lot of speakers spent a lot of money on Flash based websites and planned on using them for a long time. The problem with Flash is that Apple products do not support it. The cool effects on websites, like walking on the computer screen and moving headers are also not viewable on Apple products. We cannot ignore this rapidly growing market sector, so the solution is to stick with HTML 5. Use Youtube and Vimeo to embed your video content into your WordPress website and keep the website simple and clean. Most of all, make your products and expertise easy to find.

2. Have a professionally produced speaker demo video. When you consider that one or two paid speaking engagements will return your production investment back to you, why would you consider producing your demo with a non experienced production company, or yourself? Not to mention, your competition is more than likely using professionally produced video. There are plenty of professional video production companies, including Primeau Productions, who know the speaking and meetings industry, and will get your demo produced professionally so you get more prospects and bookings. A pro that has experience with speaker demo videos will help make your demo better than if you go it alone. Look at samples and choose wisely.

3. Add value and make it obvious. Many professional speakers say they customize, and many others value added propositions, but keep them a secret. Get creative and make this added value obvious in your demo and on your website. Post blog articles that address the needs of the speaking industry and meeting planner.

The Future

I believe the future of professional speaking depends on the willingness of professional speakers to reinvent their business model, speaking messages, Internet presence and brand positioning for their expertise. You have to be a thought leader in your area of expertise and prove it. Use video to show the depth and extent of your subject matter expertise. Interview past clients and kick your social media for business into overdrive.

Don’t brag about your experience, rather display experience in everything you do. I find many professional speakers are full of themselves because their last presentation earned them a standing ovation. It’s time to learn humility and be humble in everything you do.

Follow your heart, not your wallet. Instead of focusing on the money, focus on your passion. You may have earned a great income from last year’s speech, but what does the world need today and in the future? Concentrate and meditate on your passion and promote those keynote topics instead of the ones that use to sell. There is nothing wrong with reinvention, except it takes valor.

Be courageous and project that courage in your messages. When you do your homework and discover the clients’ pain, address that pain on the platform and provide solutions. You can no longer be a bubble gum speaker, you have to provide value as well as solutions.

Marketing

Use the marketing tools available to you today to get the word out. More and more speaking leads come from people you don’t know, instead of those you do know that are part of your database. Inbound marketing has become at least 20 % of all professional speakers’ business. Get with the program and leverage your social media networks. As the second largest search engine and third most visited website (after Facebook and Google), YouTube has taken over as a promotion tool for professional speakers.

It’s not enough to post video clips and speaker demos on YouTube, you have to be active and engaged frequently to get the biggest bang out of YouTube for marketing. Friend, subscribe, like, share and post comments often for the videos you watch on YouTube, and use this strategy if you are involved with a mastermind group or NSA chapter to help each other out. YouTube videos also end up in search results and include thumbnail images, so make sure to optimize your videos with great titles, descriptions and tags that include your predetermined key words and phrasing as search criteria.

Talent and Growth 

To compete in today’s meetings industry, you have to be r-e-a-l-l-y g-o-o-d; if you are just ok, then it’s time to learn how to get better. Get a coach, or hire a speech writer to help you boost your content, delivery and entertainment quotient. If you attend educational events like The National Speakers Association then write down action steps after you leave. Hold yourself accountable or ask someone else to be your CAO (chief accountability officer).

If you use stories in your presentation, what other stories do you have that can be told on stage that you are not using? Many years ago I had the pleasure of working with Og Mandino in Las Vegas.

During our back stage conversation, he explained to me that he kept a story log. Before each speaking engagement he would look through his story log and pick the stories that suited each audience. Nothing about Og was off the shelf. Today we have the opportunity to log dozens of stories every week if we just pay attention to the lessons we learn.

This is part of the customization process. If you don’t customize, it’s time to start, and stories are where it’s at. Show customization in your demo video when possible and definitely in standalone video clips. Embed those clips into blogs written about that customized subject material.

Don’t let others influence your creativity. Stop asking for feedback from friends, family and other speakers. One of the worse activities you can become involved with is to ask others for their opinion when you are creating. Remember, opinions are like noses, everyone has one. The Beatles worked behind closed doors when they created their music. Opinions can cause your true creativity to become scarred. Work and create from your heart and instincts and leave the feedback for after you’re done creating.

Increase your Opportunities and Negotiate

As much as we hate to admit it, we all negotiate our fees. One thing that is a big time benefit for the future of professional speaking is to offer value to your prospects to close more bookings. Speakers who do not add value and negotiate speaking engagements will have fewer speaking engagements.

 

Speakers who offer to include breakouts, master of ceremonies and other multiple presentations to close their offerings during the negotiation process close more deals.

We know this to be true because many of our speaker clients have success stories of negotiations resulting in multiple bookings from their client.

The future of speaking successfully and being booked as much as you like depends on your willingness to be the best bargain in your fee range.

If the prospect is willing to pay you $5,000, and your fee is $7500, you have to do some searching and negotiating if you want the gig on the flip side, once you lower your fee, word travels fast.

To Sum it up:

• Add value, because the rules have changed

• Be visible everywhere you can on the Internet and position yourself as a thought leader

• Update your professional speaker demo video at least every other year

• Continuously learn and grow to perfect your mes- sage; get a coach or speech writer to help

• Be ready to negotiate your fee

I would love to hear from you after these thoughts and ideas have settled in. This is my promise to you; if you take my advice and break away from the same old- same old, your business as a professional speaker will flourish. It takes courage to be different and break free from the herd. It also takes creativity to compete in today’s professional speaking and meetings industry.

photo credit: Chrystia Freeland and Linda McQuaig Toronto Centre Byelection Debates via photopin (license)

Adobe CS6 VS Adobe Creative Cloud

Monday, October 7th, 2013

8748887617_a8e6e7bd4dBack in June, our CEO, Ed Primeau, was interviewed by Adobe about his Audio Forensic work with Adobe’s CS6 software.  After this segment, the Primeau companies (Primeau Productions Primeau Forensics) agreed to test drive a year subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud.

Since working in Creative Cloud, it has become very clear that the service is a no-brainer for anyone involved with digital media. What exactly makes Creative Cloud stand out from past installments? The virtual back up for starters, which makes it possible to access the entire Creative Suite from any computer anywhere in the world.

Unlike Apple’s Final Cut Pro, after working for awhile in CS6, Adobe automatically saves your work.  This is something Final Cut Pro X even exhibited upon release, but Creative Cloud actually spawns a prompt for it, making it very clear to the user that the software is taking necessary precautions with saving your work without asking.

FCPX doesn’t give you any sort of indication that the project is saved; we are just left to assume the file is secure. The conformation really gives editors a further sense of security that their project has been stored securely. Especially when working in a Cloud setting.

What initially concerned the Primeau team when working in Creative Cloud was the concept of saving only to ‘the Cloud.’  We like to trust the idea of securing our files on the Internet virtually, but live by the philosophy that everything should always be backed up. We like a physical drive to feel that our files will stay secured.  Something we can ‘see.’

Other people likely have this preference as well, and Adobe has catered to that.  Like past CS installments, you are able to save to a physical drive, and you don’t have to rely only on the Cloud to secure your files.

This is like when we made the transition from digital tape to tapeless video recording formats. We used to carry a box of tapes with us back from a remote recording. Now we carry external hard drives which have backed up digital video files from the remote video recording.

Primeau Productions has several video editors.  In the event that an editor needs access to a project edited by another editor, saving the project into the Cloud is an efficient, simple means of allowing another editor to access a project.  Creative Cloud offers 20GB of Cloud space with their subscription. Don’t worry, you can purchase more Cloud space directly from Adobe.

Overall, Adobe’s Creative Cloud is a must ‘check it out’ for anyone involved in digital media.  The interface doesn’t stray too far away from past CS installments, making it comfortable for the user, along with offering plenty of new features that will only make your work flow more efficient and productive. Plus, with access to all Adobe Software for only $50 a month; how can you go wrong?
photo credit: spectral-display2011 01 Jan via photopin (license)

YouTube Monetization – Is It Really Worth It?

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

FullSizeRenderMonetization is a questionable subject.  What sounds so bad about allowing YouTube to advertise on your videos? Monetization makes you money, gives you higher credibility with YouTube, and overall could make your channel look more credible to users.  That all sounds great! However, there are potential downsides to monetization you should be aware of before making a decision.

Though monetization could make you some extra side money, this profit is nowhere near the amount of money that could be made from voiding monetization. Think about it like this: let’s say you’ve opened a small software company that has created a new type of photo editing software. You’ve established a following of users online by creating an explainer video about the software, and YouTube offers monetization for your channel. Great! You can make some extra money on the side while still promoting your brand! Well, let’s say once you allow monetization, Adobe runs a new ad campaign for the newest edition of Photoshop/Creative Cloud.  If a user clicks on your explainer video, and the first thing they see is an advertisement for a new edition of Photoshop, this will only distract the user from hearing about your software, and potentially drive them to just pick up Photoshop.  That click to Adobe’s site does make you a small amount of money, but not nearly as much money as if the user had purchased your software. This ad is only taking away from attracting people to your brand.

Now, just because ads can be distracting doesn’t mean monetization should be completely ignored. Monetization establishes authority with YouTube for your brand and puts you as close to partner status as a channel can get. This is something you can take advantage of. Remember that video you put on your channel with good intentions, but it never received the traffic you expected it to? Use these videos as your monetized videos.  This way, the important videos on your channel will not lose focus, but YouTube will still know that you are interested in the authority that comes with monetization.

Aside from these, you have to think of the user.  When a user is looking for a piece of content quickly from your channel, and a mandatory 30 second ad spot plays before your video, that user will seek other arrangements to find the content.  With the increasing speed of technology and social media, typical users don’t have the patience or attention span to deal with waiting through an ad like that. Users want instant gratification, as many sources amongst the internet can provide that gratification. Making users sit through these ads could cause them to associate your channel with this impatience, causing them not to come back. You want to provide users with your branded content as efficiently and effectively as possible.

So where is the money really? Are the cents you make per ad click really worth more than potential leads? Monetization can be effective for authority, but ultimately, establishing your brand is the most important part of creating an online following, which could subsequently gain your company leads.

This blog post was inspired by a video created by James Wedmore entitled “Youtube Monetization – Yes or No.” You can find that video here and subscribe to his channel here.

You can learn how to create a call to action ad here.

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