Step-By-Step Guide: How to Start a Podcast

Step-By-Step Guide: How to Start a Podcast

A podcast is a mix of traditional radio format and 2.0 recording technology, all of which is animated by strong values from the Internet and the free-culture movement. Not only are they great alternatives to video if you’re not looking to become a YouTube star, but they are also a great way to engage with your audience. The idea of starting a podcast, a (mostly) audio-only online broadcast, may seem like a novel idea but that might not be the case. While it was in 2004 that the Internet (or the world?) saw the release of the first podcast, since then, they’ve seen a bit of a resurgence. Today, they are a great alternative to a blog if you’d rather vocalize your opinion, well, vocally instead of attempting to become the next Hemingway in a series of blog entries. While they take a bit more work than writing a post, they’re easier for the audience to digest, as they can passively engage by listening to a podcast just about anywhere.

Before you press the record button and publish your podcast to iTunes or your own website, there are a few things to take into account. Check out our step-by-step guide on how to start a podcast:

01. Define your goals

Before you jump into your (makeshift) recording studio, you should be 100% aware of what you’re getting yourself into. The first thing you need to do? Define the goal behind your podcast and go from there. This can be as simple as “I want to entertain” or “I want to inform”. It doesn’t matter as long as you’re passionate about the topic. Take the plunge and do it. Once your ultimate aim is established, you can always go back to it when questioning something along the way: “Does this action help build towards my goal?”

This is also the time to make important strategic decisions, including the primary topics you’ll be covering on your podcast so that your audience knows roughly what to expect when tuning in, as well as the frequency, schedule, and structure of your episodes. If you have a partner or co-host for your podcast, define your roles early as to what will be expected from each of you. For example, one of you is in charge of editing the audio for the podcast and posting it, and the other is responsible for any and all graphic work needed for the episodes. And both of you pitch in to the management of your social media accounts. The earlier you set these goals, the better.

02. Accept hard truths

Creating your own podcast is going to be a lot of fun, especially if you have a passion for the subject you’re covering. That said, you will need to face certain facts that are unavoidable. These hard truths are just something you’ll need to live with in order to move forward, but should in no way discourage you. Here are a couple of examples of what to expect:

  • Sorry, but there’s more than likely multiple podcasts like yours and you will likely be covering the exact same thing in many cases in certain episodes. Still, the podcast world doesn’t have your personal opinion and/or spin on it, so be sure to give it your best!
  • Do it for fun, not for fame. You will end up being disappointed if you’re constantly looking to get a “big break” from one of your episodes. As long as you continue to love creating your podcast, you’ve already won.
  • It will become a job of it’s own and you won’t want to do it sometimes, but you’ll have to. It’s like going to the gym: You don’t have to, but you know you should.

03. Get equipped

Just like most ventures, you more than likely don’t have everything you need to start your own podcast, and even if you think you do, you probably don’t. Yes, it’s true that all you technically need is something to talk about and a recording device, but if you want to take your podcast seriously you’re going to need to invest in some basic equipment. Namely, a microphone and a way to record, mix and edit audio.

Check check, one two: The type of microphone you purchase will largely depend on how you actually capture your audio but USB microphones are abundant in both availability and price ranges. Note: Go slightly above your budget when buying a microphone. Increasing your allocation by $50 or even $25 can get you a surprisingly nicer microphone, especially if it’s your first one.

Recording: Once you’ve settled on a microphone, you will, as mentioned above, need to figure out how you will be recording your audio. There are various ways to achieve this, but one of the easiest is to record directly to your computer using recording software. There are many free options available and most computers ship with (super basic) audio recording programs.

Editing time: After you’ve recorded your audio tracks, you’ll need to find software to edit it to make it sound good. This includes adding multiple tracks together if you have more than one person talking, taking out pauses, silence, adding sound effects and adding background music. There are plenty of softwares you can choose from, but if you’re looking for a robust and free editing software to get you where you need to go, give Audacity a try. When it comes to adding music and sound effects, don’t think you can just throw whatever you want into the tracks. Well, actually, you can, but don’t be surprised if you get hit with a copyright infringement claim. Like stock images, you want to make sure that you either have the appropriate license to use the audio or you’re using royalty free tracks. One of the best resources to find free music is YouTube. Its Sound Library hosts a ton of music for its creators to add to their videos, but it’s also royalty free music, so it can be used anywhere. In addition to this, there are several artists that post their own music to be used for free as long as you credit their work.

Find a podcast host: After you’ve recorded and edited your podcast, you’ll need to upload it somewhere and yes, after a handful of episodes, you’ll probably need to pay. There’s no short supply of options to choose from, but do your research before you settle on one.

Get equipped

04. Stick to your schedule – and plan for your laziness

This sounds like an easy one, but it can be hard. Even if your podcast is simply a hobby, there will still be times you don’t want to do it. A last minute invite to a friend’s pool or to check out that new museum exhibit will pop up at the exact time you were planning to record your next episode. Don’t worry, though. There are ways around it, but you’ll need to plan ahead:

  • Let’s say you release your podcast every Tuesday morning, try not to record on Monday night unless you like that type of stress impressed upon you. Allowing yourself some breathing room between recording and editing can give you a different perspective on how it went and that “thing” you wanted to cut out may be worth keeping after all. Like an artist struggling with a painting, sometimes you need to come back with “fresh ears.”
  • When recording, you want to try to keep your episodes in the same time range. The sweet spot is usually 40 minutes to an hour. No matter how long you decide to make your episodes, keeping them the time length can helps build expectations for your listeners, so don’t have a one hour episode one week and follow it up with a 20 minute episode the following week.
  • In order to stay on track, it’s a good idea to have an outline of what you will be discussing on the episode you’re recording. This is essential to stay on topic and away from tangents. However, we’d advise against fully scripting each episode. No one wants to hear you read to them, unless that indeed is the subject of your podcast.
  • It may take a while, but there will come a time where you “literally just can’t even” with your podcast because you’re too lazy. That’s okay! But have a plan for days like this by pre-recording evergreen episodes. While organizing a second recording session sounds like a pain, especially if you have co-hosts, it’s worth the extra effort. I promise you, you will thank yourself later.

05. Push your podcast on social networks like crazy

You may not have realized it, but you may spend more time on social media than recording your podcast, and for good reason. If you have a weekly podcast, you have one day a week that your listeners will dedicate their attention to you because it’s technically all you’re allowing. By sharing your own original content and relevant content from others on your social channels, you can stay in the game all of the other days that you don’t have a new episode to launch. Obviously, social media is a great platform to push your brand but also to find your audience and interact with fans. Do not skimp on this part. This is where you’ll be when you’re not recording, editing, or uploading your latest episode.

Push your podcast on social networks

06. Submit your podcast everywhere

When you first start setting up your podcast online with your host, you will receive a podcast feed URL. In order to submit your podcast to different directories like iTunes, Google Play or SoundCloud, for the most part, you’ll just need to fill out a form with your podcast name, website, and feed URL. Some submissions have a little extra work, so if you’re stuck, simply Google “How to submit podcast to X” and you’ll more than likely find your answer you’re looking for. Even if you’ve never heard of the podcast directory or don’t think it’s worth your time, think again. You’re looking for exposure with your podcast, so cast a wide net.

07. Showcase your podcast with a stunning website

While it’s definitely a good feeling to be able to search iTunes and have your very own podcast pop up, nothing really beats a dedicated website showing off what your podcast and the people behind it are all about. Not only can you link your podcast to any and all of the places people can listen, but so much more. Your website is your own and you won’t be bound by the styling of of iTunes or Google Play or wherever it can be found. Your website is also where you can share a little bit about yourself and the other hosts, just in case your fans want to know more about you or your team. It also provides a seamless way for potential business opportunities to get in touch with you by creating a designated contact page. Something you won’t find on your podcast directory listing. Think of your website as an extension of your brand. A place to display your logo and all of your other branding elements.

36 Free Places to Promote Your Website Online

36 Free Places to Promote Your Website Online

Promoting your website to reach wider audiences is a multi-tiered process. One of the first steps is to find valuable websites and online platforms that allow you to highlight your site’s URL in one way or another. To save you the leg work, we compiled a list of 36 great places for promoting online content. These links will help you establish your online presence one by one. Some work with a simple URL submission while others require a more strategic approach, but they all share one thing – they are free of charge.

What have you got to lose? Start now!

Online Directories for Businesses

Ranging from the most high-profile platforms to local directories, these websites cover a range of audiences. The flow is pretty much the same – you submit your website’s URL, as well as additional information about your business or organization. These sites, in turn, incorporate your info to their data banks, ensuring that your link is there when users are searching your content categories. In addition to direct display of your content, adding your links to these directories improves your site’s Search Engine Optimization, gradually improving your website’s ranking on search results.

Social Media and User-Generated Content

Social media has plenty to offer website owners. You’ve all heard of Facebook, of course, but are you using it correctly to promote your site? Have you considered the advantages of Pinterest, for instance? What about user-generated content like guides and tutorials on sites like WikiHow? The links below can all prove extremely useful for promoting your website. All you need to do is explore the ways in which they do.

Social Bookmarking and Curating

While these websites also operate on the basis of link-submission, the emphasis here is on content. You could submit a link to the main page as well as to individual pages, products, posts, images etc. These platforms then circulate your content to their audience base and drive traffic into your site, while also helping to boost your SEO by connecting your links to textual descriptive content.

Browser fingerprinting: What it is and whether you should worry about it

Browser fingerprinting: What it is and whether you should worry about it

It seems as though user safety and security has been a white hot subject for aeons. It’s certainly always been a popular topic online, and the latest buzzword to learn is “browser fingerprinting.”

A browser fingerprint works much like a physical one. In short, it enables savvy analytics app users to identify individuals simply by studying the information their browsers leave behind when navigating your website.

This post will look at browser fingerprinting in more detail, and discuss when it’s useful and if there are drawbacks. We’ll also talk about how recent data processing laws impact whether you should use it or not. Let’s get started!

What is browser fingerprinting?

Of course, we’re all identifiable from our fingerprint — a unique pattern in the skin on our fingers. Though, you’ll usually only be identified in this way when a crime has been committed, and the police need to match prints left at the scene with a name.

However, this concept of fingerprinting can also be applied to other areas. Because a fingerprint is essentially a unique identifier distinct from your most recognizable elements (i.e. your facial features), the term can also be used to describe the trail of information you leave online.

For example, consider browsing to a website. Unless you’re using a video chat service, there will be no visual elements linking you to that site. However, there are plenty of unique elements that make up your virtual presence, and all it takes is a sophisticated tracker to piece them together.

Usually, these elements fall into two camps:

  • HTTP headers
  • JavaScript elements

The former is pretty simple, as they’re part of practically every HTTP request. However, the latter can provide plenty of specific data relating to your browsing patterns. This includes aspects such as your time zone and date, the browser you’re using and the platform it runs on, the system fonts you use, and the browser’s installed plugins.

Individually, these elements might tell you very little. However, when combined, they can make up a fully unique profile of an individual user, known as a device or browser fingerprint.

How is browser fingerprinting used?

In a nutshell, fingerprinting is primarily used for long-term profit-making opportunities — by which we mean ads. Companies that implement this tactic are looking to ascertain who you are, how you browse the web, what you’re interested in, and what you purchase.

By curating user fingerprints, they end up with profiles that can be used to tailor content and ads to each person’s specific tastes. This obviously increases the likelihood that those users will end up spending money.
Browser fingerprinting can also be used in the place of cookies, and is arguably a better option for ad servers. In fact, fingerprinting can effectively reassemble a tracking cookie after it’s been deleted. What’s more, third-parties can track you across the web based on the nature of the data collected.

Of course, for the end user, this sounds like a scary prospect. However, for a business, this presents a potential golden opportunity to earn money.

Is browser fingerprinting a tactic you should use?

As the saying goes: every cloud has a silver lining. However, when it comes to browser fingerprinting, this aphorism is inverted. In other words, the upsides of the tactic are soured by the downsides.

There’s no doubt that browser fingerprinting and its variants are the ultimate in customer profiling tactics. However, it’s slowly becoming a technique that many companies (including Apple) want to see stopped.

End users are also pushing back against browser fingerprinting.

Tactics to strip away any tell-tale information from your browsing history have become popular, leading to so-called “incognito” or private tabs and windows, which includes the slow-and-steady rise of search engines that enable you to search anonymously, such as DuckDuckGo, and sites such as Am I Unique? and Panopticlick, and much more.

Overall, when it comes to whether you should use this tactic, it doesn’t really matter that it’s a useful way to profile your visitors. End users are concerned, which should be enough to stop you in your tracks. Plus, now that some big-name businesses are getting involved by hard-coding ways to stop the practice, there’s little sense in funneling resources away from more traditional approaches.

How does the GDPR impact the use of browser fingerprinting?

You might not be surprised to learn that the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has an effect on the use of browser fingerprinting. In fact, we may see the tactic evolve, given that websites now need to be transparent regarding how they handle personal data.

The data you collect through browser fingerprinting methods is classed as personal information, and as such has to be treated like any other data passing through your site.

Rather than seeing a specific mention of browser fingerprinting within the GDPR, therefore, you’ll find the various elements referred to throughout the entire regulation. When handled correctly, you can stay on the right side of the law, but you’re still likely to get pushback from your user base.

Use browser fingerprinting wisely

We’ll admit that these are tricky times when it comes to how we communicate with others, especially when their personal data is involved. However, with the introduction of the GDPR, we at least have some legal clarity on the best approach.

Browser fingerprinting has been a common tactic of user profiling for some time (albeit in varying degrees of application). It’s arguably the best way of finding out how your business is being accessed. However, if you don’t take the correct measures to look after your users’ data, the tactic could do irreparable damage.

The Ultimate List of Free Stock Photo Resources

The Ultimate List of Free Stock Photo Resources

Photos are some of the most valuable resources for any business or creative ministry. While I’m a huge fan of using pictures that are actually taken in your business or church, I’ve learned that’s not always possible. That’s where stock photos come in. A great stock photo can provide professionalism, beauty, and quality that you may not have access.

A Google search for these valuable resources will generate an infinite number of websites with stock images ranging from a few bucks per photo to thousands of dollars per photo.

What if I told you that you could get absolutely beautiful stock photos for free? You’re not dreaming, my friend. Below are my favorite resources to download some of the best photos on the web for $0/photo. Check out these Free Stock Photo Resources.

1. Unsplash

 

2. Death To The Stock Photo

3. Lightstock’s Free Photo of the Week

4. StockSnap.io

 

5. Gratisography

6. Freely Photos

7. Life of Pix

8. No More Clip Art

9. Snapwire Snaps

10. Picjumbo

11. Jay Mantri

12. New Old Stock

 

Do you have any other resources for free stock photos?

How to Get More Facebook Likes: 10 Tactics

How to Get More Facebook Likes: 10 Tactics

How many Facebook Likes does your business Page have? If you’re immersed in social media marketing, you probably know this number off the top of your head.

With more than two billion users, Facebook offers a huge potential audience for your business. But with more than 60 million active Facebook business Pages on the network, there’s also a lot of competition for those all-important Likes.

There’s no getting around it: getting more Likes is a critical part of your Facebook marketing strategy. But you can’t get so focused on Likes that you lose sight of what Facebook is all about.

Getting more Likes requires you to share content that is truly likeable—and engage in ways that make your brand likable, too. You won’t find any underhanded gimmicks in this post. It’s about getting more likes by being a good Facebook citizen and working to create content that has real value for an audience that will provide plenty of value for your brand in return.

Click any of the tips below to jump ahead, or keep scrolling and read the guide in its entirety.

10 clever ways to get more Facebook likes

1. Develop a smart Facebook marketing strategy

2. Craft a great Page

3. Make your Facebook Page easy to find

4. Post relevant, high-quality content

5. Engage consistently and at the right times

6. Host a Facebook contest

7. Engage with other brands and communities on Facebook

8. Use the Facebook algorithm to your advantage

9. Run Facebook ads to expand your reach

10. Learn from Facebook Insights

1. Develop a smart Facebook marketing strategy

As with any marketing platform, you’ll only get out of Facebook what you put into it. A well-defined, smart Facebook strategy based on your business goals will help you craft a cohesive brand presence on Facebook that speaks to your brand personality and values.

Define your target audience

Your strategy should aim to collect Likes from the followers who have the most potential to bring value to your business through regular engagement, rather than one-off Likes from online passers-by. Defining your audience personas can be a great place to start. After all, you need to know who you’re talking to in order to use the right tools and tone, rather than trying to appeal to all two billion Facebook users.

Research the competition

Keeping an eye on what key competitors are up to will help you spot techniques that work, and that don’t, so you can model the competition’s success while avoiding their missteps. You’ll also start to get a sense of how many Facebook Likes you can aim for—both for your Page and for individual posts.

Social listening is a great research strategy that can help you gather information about both your target audience and your competition.

Set goals

Simply aiming for “more Likes” is not really a great Facebook marketing goal—how will you know when you’ve achieved it? Instead, you should create goals based on S.M.A.R.T. principles, meaning they’re specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely.

This allows you to circle back on a regular basis to see whether you’re meeting your targets, and either celebrate your success and develop new stretch goals, or consider strategic shifts to get you back on track.

2. Craft a great Page

This may sound obvious, but sometimes the most important points can be easy to overlook: If you want to collect Likes, you’ve got to have a great Page and consistently great posts. Your Facebook Page is made up of many parts, and it’s important to make sure they are all complete, professional, and on-brand. Here are some key components to consider.

Use all elements of the About section

The About section of your Facebook Page allows you to provide key business details to people who are scanning for specific information. In addition to your contact information, you can add the date your business was founded, provide a company overview, or even add a list of brand milestones.

All of this information helps build your credibility and convince potential followers that your Page is worthy of a Like. It also helps you appear in searches outside of Facebook, directing users to your Page when they’re using search engines to look for information about your product or business.

Visit California uses their About section to tell the story of travel in the state, and manages to get a number of important keywords into their Story section without keyword stuffing.

how to get more likes on facebook

Facebook also views a Page with a complete profile as more credible, which gives you an advantage in the Facebook algorithm (more on that below) and will help ensure more people see your posts.

Choose compelling cover and profile photos

Your profile and cover photos create the first visual impression of your business on Facebook, so it’s important to choose wisely. Your logo is usually the best choice for your profile photo, but you can get quite creative with your cover photo selection.

Put some thought into how you can convey what your business is all about in one compelling image. Do you have a great-looking product you can feature? Maybe you want to showcase a photo of your friendly team. Whatever you choose, make sure it captures the essence of your brand so potential followers have reason to dive into your Page content.

Iced tea might not be the most exciting product, but Nestea does a great job of making both their Page and their product look appealing with a compelling cover image.

Increase Facebook likes

In terms of the technical details, your profile photo displays on your Page as 170 x 170 pixels on computers and 128 x 128 pixels on smartphones. You cover photo displays on your Page at 820 pixels x 312 pixels on computers and 640 pixels by 340 pixels on smartphones. Facebook recommends you use a cover photo that’s 851 x 315 pixels and less than 100KB.

A newer and more dynamic option for business Pages is to use a cover video instead of a cover photo. Your cover video can be up to 20 seconds long, and has the same dimensions as a cover photo.

Pin a top-performing post

If you have a post that’s garnering a particularly high number of Likes, you can pin it to maximize its lifespan. When you choose to pin a post, it remains at the top of your Page, so people see it before any of your other posts. You can change your pinned post as often as you like, so make sure to keep it fresh, always featuring your best-performing content in this high-visibility location.

how to get more Facebook likes

3. Make your Facebook Page easy to find

This is a simple concept that deserves repeating: people can’t like your Facebook Page if they can’t find it. Here are some things you can do to increase your visibility.

Choose an easy-to-discover Page name

People looking for your brand on Facebook will be searching for your brand name. Keep things simple and make it easy for them to find you by using your brand name as your Page name. Don’t add unnecessary keywords—these will just make your Page look spammy rather than like a legitimate business presence for your brand.

Select a memorable and consistent username

Your username—sometimes called a vanity URL—appears in your brand’s Facebook Page web address. A username that’s consistent with your handle on other social channels will make it easier for people who already follow you elsewhere to track you down on Facebook. Like your Page name, your username should be closely related to the name of your business.

Add Facebook follow and Like buttons to your website or blog

Someone who has just discovered a valuable tip or strategy on your website or blog is primed to want to hear more from you. Make it easy for them to connect with you on Facebook by adding Facebook follow and Like buttons to your site, like these:

Embed a Facebook Post on your website or blog

This option provides even more visibility for your Facebook Page on your website or blog. Rather than a simple button, you can embed an entire post by copy and pasting some simple code. Just navigate to the post you want to embed, click the three dots in the top right corner, and click Embed. Then copy and paste the code into your HTML. Here’s an example from the Hootsuite Facebook Page:

Any visitors who click on your embedded post to learn more will be taken to the post as it appears on your Facebook Page, creating an opportunity for a new Page Like. And viewers can like the post itself directly from the embedded post, without leaving your website or blog.

Include a link to your Facebook Page in your newsletter or email signature

The people you already communicate with through channels like email or an opt-in newsletter are a great potential audience for your Facebook Page. Make sure it’s easy for them to find and connect with you by including links to your Facebook Page in all of your electronic communications.

Cross-promote your Facebook page on other social channels

Take advantage of the following you’ve built on other social channels by cross-promoting your Facebook content. Don’t just post a link to your Facebook Page and ask people to follow you. Instead, choose a great piece of Facebook-specific content—like an infographic or short video—to promote so that you can highlight the value of your Facebook Page, rather than just letting people know it exists.

Aim for shares

Shared Facebook posts increase your organic reach, giving you a better chance of getting more facebook Likes. A share also indicates that someone felt strongly enough about your content that they were motivated to share it with their personal network, giving you additional credibility with an audience that may not already be familiar with your brand.

Invite existing contacts and employees to like your Facebook page

Facebook makes it easy to invite personal Facebook connections to like your business Page, but be careful about how you use this feature. Simply sending out mass invites is more likely to get you unfriended than to bring in Facebook Likes for your Business Page.

Instead, create a message explaining what value you think your contacts might gain from liking your Page. Make it about them, not about you.

You should also encourage employees to like your Facebook Page—both so that they can stay up-to-date with what you’re promoting as a brand, and as part of a larger employee advocacy strategy.

Promote your Facebook Page in real life

Don’t limit your promotion of your Facebook Page to the online world. Include your Page address on your business cards and corporate stationery. Designer Ana Bermejo uses the same handle across social networks and includes the icons on her business cards so contacts know where to find and Like her on social, including Facebook.

Or, if you host events, include the address on your signage.

People who are already interacting with your brand in real life understand the value you have to offer—make it easy for them to connect with you on Facebook to access more of that value.

4. Post relevant, high-quality content

Facebook recommends you share “short, fun-to-read copy and eye-catching images to get attention.” What does that look like in practice? Incorporate these strategies to develop posts that are inherently likeable.

Include compelling visuals

A study published in the journal Management Science found that posts with photos receive significantly more Facebook Likes than text-only posts. If you don’t have a photo library of your own, there are plenty of free stock photo sites you can use. You could also try creating a unique infographic that conveys valuable information relevant to your niche, or even something humorous, like this graphic from WIRED that got 1,500 Facebook Likes.

Write great headlines

A compelling headline is key to getting attention for your post—but don’t veer into the realm of clickbait. Facebook offers these tips for crafting a great headline:

  • Make your headlines informative
  • Use your headline to set appropriate expectations about what the post contains
  • Be clear and accurate

Don’t be too promotional

Sure, you’re trying to promote your brand on Facebook—but people want their feeds to be entertaining and informative, not pushy and packed with sales pitches. In particular, Facebook found in a survey that followers do not like posts that:

  • Direct people to purchase a product or download an app (without offering any other valuable content or information)
  • Direct people to enter a contest without providing any context about why it’s relevant to the Page or followers’ interests
  • Reuse content from ads

That means these posts are less likely to generate Facebook Likes from the followers who see them. But they are also less likely to be seen in the first place, since Facebook specifically limits organic reach for Pages that are too promotional.

Give followers what they want

How do you know what type of content people want from you on Facebook? By listening to them. If the majority of the comments on your Page are customer service inquiries, try creating content that focuses on helping followers use your product better. For example, try a short video featuring “hacks” or alternative uses for your product, or a series of “how-to” videos or photos. Experiment, and pay attention to what people respond to.

Invest in video

On that note, if you seriously want to increase Facebook Likes and you don’t already have a Facebook video strategy, it’s time to create one.

5. Engage consistently and at the right times

Post consistently

Facebook itself notes that “being consistent in the quality and types of posts you create can help people know what kinds of messages to expect from you and how they tie into your business.” Create a content calendar and schedule posts in advance to help keep your Facebook content organized and consistent.

Post at the right time

We’ve found the optimal times to be 12–3 p.m. weekdays and 12–1 p.m. on weekends.

Be responsive and human

If you want more people to like your Facebook Page, you need to engage with those who already do. Unanswered comments or questions on a Facebook Page can be a huge deterrent for potential new fans. Remember, Facebook is a social network, and being sociable is a key way to make your brand—and your Page—more likeable.

6. Host a Facebook contest

In a poll by the Content Marketing Institute, 81 percent of marketers said that interactive content (like contests) is better for grabbing readers’ attention than static content.

Even better, liking a post is a popular form of contest entry—and one that’s allowed under Facebook’s contest rules (unlike “share to win” contests, which, while popular, are technically prohibited). For example, Funko got nearly 7,000 Facebook Likes on this like-to-enter contest:



To start collecting more Facebook Likes with a contest of your own, check out our post on how to run a successful Facebook contest.

7. Engage with other brands and communities on Facebook

Remember that Facebook is primarily a social network—so get social and start engaging with other brands that are relevant to your niche but not your direct competitors. A simple Like or comment on another brand’s post can help draw their attention and open up opportunities to work together to cross-promote your businesses so you both gain more Facebook Likes. Tagging other brands may also expose your Page to a new audience (that other brand’s followers)—but only use tags in relevant posts.

Look for communities of potential followers to engage with, too. Facebook Groups are a great place to find people who are passionate about subjects related to your niche, and offer you the opportunity to highlight your expertise. Just make sure your participation in Facebook Groups is helpful, rather than promotional, or you might find yourself kicked out of the group.

8. Use the Facebook algorithm to your advantage

Understanding the Facebook algorithm is key to increasing your organic reach—in other words, getting your Page and your posts in front of more people who could potentially give you a Like. At its core, the Facebook algorithm prioritizes the types of content we’ve already talked about: Quality content that is not overly promotional.

This should really come as no surprise. Facebook wants people to enjoy browsing their News Feeds, which means it wants to surface the best content to the top. Invest the time to produce valuable posts, and don’t be a spammy jerk. Facebook specifically highlights authentic posts that inform and entertain as having value recognized by the algorithm.

One additional way to take advantage of the Facebook algorithm is to try live video. The algorithm prioritizes live broadcasts, bumping them higher in the News Feed. If you have an event or presentation that would work live, give it a try.

9. Run Facebook ads to expand your reach

Facebook offers very detailed ad targeting, so you can laser-focus your advertising efforts and make the most of your ad spend. Putting your brand in front of your ideal audience is a great way to pick up more Facebook Likes. There are two different types of Facebook advertising: boosted posts and ad campaigns.

Boost a post

By boosting a post, you can extend the audience beyond people who already like your Page. This can be a great option for a post that’s already proved to be compelling by bringing in a large number of Facebook Likes from people who already follow your Page.

Run a campaign

Facebook offers campaign objectives relevant to every type of business. Since this post is about how to get Facebook Likes, we’ll focus on the Engagement objective, which is designed to expose your ad to a wide audience to increase the number of post or Page Likes. For example, this ad from WealthSimple offers the option to like the Page with just one click.

how to get more Facebook likes

10. Learn from Facebook Insights

Analyzing Facebook Page Insights can give you a clear view of who your current fans are, which will help you better target future Facebook efforts. You’ll also be able to identify the kinds of posts that have the highest average reach and engagement, and use that information to create more of the content your audience wants from you on Facebook.

After all, learning from your mistakes, amplifying your successes, and giving your followers content you know they’ll enjoy are key ways to boost the quality of your content, and lead to—you guessed it—more Facebook Likes.

Where to Get Logo Design Inspiration When You Need Help

Where to Get Logo Design Inspiration When You Need Help

You probably know this feeling…you sit down, ready to start designing a logo for your client and…nothing. Zero. Zilch. Nada. The logo design inspiration fountain runneth dry.If that sounds like you (sometimes), you’re definitely not alone. It’s something all creatives struggle with, which is why we have terms like writer’s block and designer’s block.And if you are hit with designer’s block, sitting there stewing about it is rarely the best way to approach the situation. So to that end, let’s go through some tips for where to get logo design inspiration when you need help. I’ll split the list into two parts:

  • A list of websites where you can get design inspiration
  • Some non-website tips to help get the creative juices flowing

What’s The Line Between Inspiration and Plagiarism?

I want to lead with this because it’s a hot debate whenever the topic of inspiration comes up. My take is this:

If you have to ask the question, you’re probably leaning towards plagiarism.

Inspiration should be about using an existing idea to inspire a new idea. It’s not rote copying.

While not all of my tips involve looking at other people’s work, I think it’s important to consider because you always want to stay respectful of the work and creativity of others, even if you draw on it for inspiration.

The Big Tip: Logo Design Inspiration Websites

The Internet has left us spoiled for choice when it comes to logo design inspiration. Beyond the ability to instantly pull up any brand’s logo from pretty much any point in history, there are whole websites dedicated to providing you with an easily filterable gallery of logo inspiration.

Below, I’ll take you through some of the best options when it comes to inspiration sites.

Behance and Dribbble

I lumped these two together because I’m guessing you’re already familiar with them if you’re a graphic designer.

On the off chance that you’re not, both Behance and Dribbble are design portfolio sites. Or, as Dribbble puts it, “show and tell for designers”.

While it’s not all logos, you can find plenty of logo inspiration by simply searching for something like “logo”.

Logospire

Rather than opting for any type of filter, Logospire is one long infinite scroll of logo design inspiration. You just keep scrolling. And scrolling. And scrolling. Until you find one that catches your eye.

The sheer volume of logos flashing by is a good way to break free of a design funk.

Logopond

Logopond is the opposite of Logospire. Instead of one long feed, you can search for logos by both title and tag. Then, you can further refine your queries by categories like:

  • Client Work
  • WIP (work in progress)
  • Unused
  • Student Work
  • For Fun

If you want inspiration on a specific topic, it’s a good option for niching down your inspiration sources.

LogoLounge

LogoLounge is another inspiration site that focuses on making designs searchable. Currently, LogoLounge offers up more than 260,000 designs, which should give you ample opportunity to strike inspiration.

To browse all those logos, you can search for keywords and then sort by chronological order.

The only downside? LogoLounge is not free. If you want access to those 260,000 searchable logos, you’ll need to shell out $100 per year.

Reddit

If you’re not familiar with Reddit, it’s basically a collection of different topic boards called “Subreddits”. These subreddits cover pretty much every topic in existence. Including…

Design inspiration.

You can find subreddits for both pure design inspiration, as well as for design critiques that might spark something creative in you. It pays to search around, but some good starter subreddits are:

Non-website Ideas for Logo Design Inspiration

If the websites alone aren’t lighting a creative fire for you, here are some other ideas to help get the creative juices running.

Brainstorm With a Mind Map

Sometimes it pays to go at things conceptually. Brainstorm ideas, concepts, and aesthetics that apply to the logo. Then use mind mapping to connect associations and find patterns.

If you’re not familiar with the concept of mind mapping as it applies to design, The Graphic Design School put together a great post with some examples of how mind mapping can help spur creativity when it comes to graphic design.

To actually get your thoughts down, you can either use pen and paper or go high tech with a tool like MindMeister.

Doodle it Out

It’s easy to become too focused on creating something “productive”. Sometimes, it pays to take a step back and just let your mind take your design wherever it wants to.

Imagine you’re back in your middle school days just doodling away on your notebook. Even if you don’t find sudden inspiration in the doodles, you’ll still succeed at clearing your mind, which is a win all by itself.

Go For a Walk

I’ve met plenty of designers who swear their best source of inspiration is stepping away from the screen and going for a walk outside, whether that means nature or the city streets. Not only is it another way to take your mind off the issue, but it also opens you up to all sorts of inspiring sights and sounds.

Additionally, a Stanford study found that a “person’s creative output increased by an average of 60 percent when walking.” So walking is actually scientifically proven to make you more creative!

Look to the Past

If your client is an established entity, they may have a back catalog of logos that you can pull inspiration from.

Can you take one of their original concepts and pull it into the modern world? Or maybe an element in their old designs kicks you into gear.

Live to Fight Another Day

If none of the above is working for you – you may just need to completely take a step back and return another day.

Sometimes it’s just not the right time for creative work – and when that happens, there’s no use banging your head against the wall (unless you have an unavoidable deadline, of course).

Wrapping Up

The array of logo design inspiration websites that have popped up make it easy to quickly draw upon hundreds of thousands of logo examples. But they’re not always an instant source of creative eureka.

Sometimes, it pays to step back and let your mind wander by mind mapping, doodling, going for a walk, or anything else that helps jog your creativity loose.

But as we as know – this is a fairly personal thing. So I’d love to hear from you all. Where do you look for logo design inspiration?

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