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Date Created: 12/22/15
Andrew McCauley: This is Episode 17 of the Autopilot Your Business Podcast. My name is Andrew McCauley and from the other side of the world bringing awesome stuff to awesome people, Heather Porter. Hi, Heather! Heather Porter: Wow! Awesome introduction, Andrew! Hey, guys, welcome back. We have an exciting podcast for your today. This one we are going to share with you all of what we are doing inside of our business right now to create content. Actually, Andrew, do you know that right now one of our most popular episodes ever is our content creation episode which was back on No. 14, our episode no. 14, and we talked about how to create content, what types of content you can create and also the topics you can talk about but we didn’t really go deeper into the tools that you can use. Andrew McCauley: Yeah, after last week’s episode we had a lot of people asking us about the tools. We talked about some tools and some apps last week and this one we thought what are some of the tools that we are using in our everyday business and creating content? We are always creating content whether it’s podcasts, blog posts, articles, just things like that. What can we use, what sort of tips can we give people and what sort of tools? Even just only a few minutes ago I was telling somebody about a tool that I use which I use all the time and I think everybody should know about it but this person is pretty savvy on the internet and he said “Oh, I never heard of that tool” and I am like “Wow! That’s interesting.” So, I thought what a good idea to go and share some of the knowledge that I have got and some of the tools that we use and get people to start using it if it fits their business. Heather Porter: Yeah and we will even share a couple of tips about how we get our team involved with each of them so you can visualize. If you are going to bring this on board, maybe the types of team members you can actually delegate this stuff to as well. So, yes. Shall we get started? Let’s talk about our podcast. Andrew McCauley: Podcast, yes. So, we are recording our podcast on something pretty basic. We are not using hi-tech software or anything like that. We are using something that you can download for free whether you have got a Mac or a PC and that software is called… Heather Porter: Audacity. Andrew McCauley: Audacity, yeah. Audacity is a free software that you can use. It’s very, very simple to use. It may look at little complex when you open it up but at the end of the day I think we use maybe three or four different buttons on the entire program and that’s all we need. Heather Porter: Yeah, you literally open it up, you decide what your audio input is going to be – if it’s your microphone from your computer or an external mic – and there is a big red round ‘Record’ button that you just click, literally easy as that and there is a yellow stop button and then you hit ‘Save’ and then you hit ‘Export’ into mp3 and you got yourself an mp3 file. Andrew McCauley: Yeah. Now, it’s good if you are recording both sitting there and you are recording into a microphone, that’s pretty cool. We do it a little bit Listen here: http://autopilotyourbusiness.com/podcasts/17-contentcreationtools/ Get a copy of our Online Survival Guide here: http://aybguide.com www.autopilotyourbusiness.com differently because we are on the other sides of the world and even if we around the corner, if we weren’t in the same room, the way we are doing it is we are actually using Skype to talk to each other so we can hear each other talking and I am recording my voice on audacity for me and Heather is recording her voice on audacity and what we do is we merge the two together. Now, Audacity let’s you merge two sorts of mp3 together and what we do is we put it together so that one plays off the other and we can add intros or bumpers – you hear our bumper at the start of our podcast – and at the end we sort of insert those timeline on audacity that you can sort of know exactly where you are in the program. It’s pretty straightforward and pretty simple to do. It’s just a matter of signing it together. It probably takes me a couple of minutes, maybe 15-20 minutes after I just go through and edit and check everything and make sure it’s all good. This system we have got is pretty good now so that we don’t have to spend too long editing this sort of podcast and we sort of do it in one take which is sometimes good, sometimes bad. Heather Porter: Sometimes not. And what’s cool about it too is – just to give you some insight to our team – we are doing this within our business. I mean, as we are growing right now, we were literally just talking to one of our team members this morning and delegating some additional roles to her and what happens is that once you have your mp3 which is the file you export out of Audacity, once you finish the mishing and mashing of the two files together, then you take that mp3 file and you basically upload it into your Amazon S3 account which is just a storage server where you can stick files. Then from there we are just having her literally go in, get that file, and put it into our website, our blog www.AutopilotYourBusiness.com/Podcast. We have a plug-in in there that is called Blurberry… Andrew McCauley: Before you get too technical, before you bring out the whacking stick, we are using Audacity for our podcasts but you can use Audacity – we didn’t want to turn it into ‘How to do a podcast’ episode… Heather Porter: That’s true, that’s true. Andrew McCauley: But you can use it for a number of things. You can use it just to record your voice, your own thoughts and get them transcribed by somebody who wants to transcribe. You can do all sorts of stuff. So, I don’t want to cut you off or I don’t want to scare people about “Oh my god! What are we using this for?” Heather Porter: I guess all I am saying is that basically is I want you guys to think big with what you can do and how you can use your team around your audio files so when you export an mp3 file, you can really give it to anybody on your team to distribute for you. So, the hard part is really just sitting down and creating the content and then you can delegate and get that mp3 pushed out in a lot of different areas if it is your podcast that you want to do. Andrew McCauley: And if you are like us, you will take weeks and weeks and weeks to prepare your content. Heather Porter: Yes. And not so much anymore because as I did a public promise in the last episode, every week we are going to be doing one of these now. We are doing it. Listen here: http://autopilotyourbusiness.com/podcasts/17-contentcreationtools/ Get a copy of our Online Survival Guide here: http://aybguide.com www.autopilotyourbusiness.com Andrew McCauley: We are doing it. We are still doing it pretty quickly. We know what we are going to talk about. So, it’s pretty easy to jump on and do a podcast. It’s just about finding the time. There are no excuses. So, there is now time we have made for ourselves. Heather Porter: Absolutely! So, Audacity is a great, easy free tool that you guys can use in your business to create audio content. It’s fantastic. Andrew McCauley: Love Audacity! Heather Porter: Love it! Okay, so what else? What else are we doing right now? We are doing a huge amount of video content. So, there is a few really great tools that we absolutely love to use. Actually, Andrew, I want to hear you talk about what this My Speed thing is all about because it makes me laugh every time you use it. Andrew McCauley: Okay. So, My Speed is another tool; you can get a free version but I think for the full version it’s 30 dollars and I do a lot of educational; actually, I learn a lot by video – YouTube videos or Flash videos or videos at the house or on the net – and this My Speed tool let’s you speed up a video up to 5 times faster than what is actually played so that you can get through videos quicker and understand a lot more. Now, the reason I like this is because it doesn’t make it go chipmunk – you know when you speed up things and in the hold days you hit a tip that go bllbllbll because it will be fast like chipmunks; that was my best impression of a chipmunk. Well, it lets you understand what the person is saying in the video and if you have got a 15-minute video, it suddenly becomes 3 or 5 minutes. I like to play it at about 2½ speed or 3 speed because it gets pretty crazy after 3 but it makes it to about a 5-minute video and I can learn stuff really quick in rapid succession because I can intake a lot more than what the person is saying at the rate that they are saying it at. Some people you will get are really slow speakers; it’s awesome for that. I love it. Heather Porter: Exactly. Now you know, guys, I just told you why I laugh every time he uses it because I have been sitting next to him in the same office and he has pulled it out and played it with some of the slower speakers that are out there and it’s very funny but it’s an incredible, incredible tool; it saves a lot of time. Andrew McCauley: The other end of that too, Heather, is the fact if you have got something really technical you are watching and you have got a fast speaker and you want them to slow down a bit, you can slow it right down to half pace or quarter pace so that you can understand what they are trying to say slower so that you are not missing the point. So, it’s a pretty dial that changes the speed either faster or slower but without putting it into chipmunk voices; it’s pretty cool. Heather Porter: So, again, that’s My Speed by Enounce and you use that in particular to do your learning. Is that correct? Andrew McCauley: I do everything. If I want to watch something on YouTube and you know sometimes these viral videos and I want to see what it is, I don’t want to watch the whole thing because it’s all the same, I play it through Enounce Listen here: http://autopilotyourbusiness.com/podcasts/17-contentcreationtools/ Get a copy of our Online Survival Guide here: http://aybguide.com www.autopilotyourbusiness.com and it whips out real quick and then I am done. I get through a lot of YouTube videos that way. Heather Porter: Dangerous! Andrew McCauley: Dangerous but mainly for my education, yes. Heather Porter: Cool. So, a great tool. So, that’s I guess the learning side of video within our business and a tool that you guys can use in yours as well but what we use also to create video is something that we both love and that is called Screen Flow and we are on Mac, so that’s the Mac version but the PC version is Camtasia; it’s by Camtasia. Andrew McCauley: Yes, both are very similar. I love Screen Flow. In fact, I love Screen Flow 95% of the time up until only a few weeks ago and now I love it 100% of the time. Heather Porter: I was just going to say, really! Andrew McCauley: There was one thing that I couldn’t do on Screen Flow or I didn’t know or I didn’t think I could do. So, I used to revert to iMovie and that was green screen stuff. So, if anybody was doing green screen and they had to edit a green screen video or if I did a green video, I would always end up going back to iMovie and having to edit there first which becomes a little bit of a pain in the back side and, as a result, I have got my own green screen studio but I don’t use it because of the painful editing process that I had to go through. Now, with Screen Flow, the green screen, I dusted it off today and it’s going to rock and roll. So, you will start seeing a few more green screen videos coming through from me. I edit everything in Screen Flow. Now, Screen Flow is a very cheap too. It’s, I think, 97 dollars for a full version and you can do anything. You can edit all sorts of videos, all sorts of ways transitions, texts, add music, cut, split clips, put all sorts of fun things in there as well. So, everything you need from a video editor, I think I can find it in Screen Flow. Heather Porter: Yeah and it’s just really easy for the layman to use as well. I mean, if you are looking at it as a tool, basically you have different layers inside of it. So, if you are visually looking at it, one layer might be this video and then you are going to put a layer of sound and then you are going to put a layer of images and you can click and drag them around inside the program to position them where you want them. So, if you want music to start at say 5 minutes, you just drag your music track across to 5 minutes in on the video. It’s just literally a click-and- drag sort of tool and very, very simple and I love it too. Andrew just introduced me to the green screen editor and also what’s really amazing about it is there is a filter that you can use within the video itself where you can brighten up the video. So, if you have a bit of dodgy lighting going on in some of the videos, you can very easily within this tool brighten your videos to make them look much more professional. So, just that technical. Oh, one more thing too is the sound – you can also take your sound and turn up the volume of the sound very easily. So, those are two things that more amateur small business video do is have bad lighting and bad sounds. So, they use just these two alone to amp up your sound and your lighthing. Listen here: http://autopilotyourbusiness.com/podcasts/17-contentcreationtools/ Get a copy of our Online Survival Guide here: http://aybguide.com www.autopilotyourbusiness.com Andrew McCauley: And one more thing is you can actually zoom in. So, if you are recording a screen, you might want to say “I am explain how to use a certain project or a program on the computer”, you can zoom into a specific spot so that people get to see what that spot is rather than the entire desktop screen. Heather Porter: Absolutely. And I guess one last thing about that is nowadays with YouTube having hi-definition settings which is really where they are going for their hi-definition internet-enabled TVs around the world, you want your videos to be in YouTube on hi-definition settings and what Screen Flow allows you to do is do settings within it or I should say export directly from it straight into YouTube. So, there is an actual ‘Publish to YouTube’ button and it allows you to just tick a box to say “I want this in hi-definition export settings”. So, it’s really easy to use. You can do quick edit and a quick publish straight into YouTube. Even Vimeo, I think, is the other one and perhaps Viddler but there are three video sharing accounts that you can share it to directly from Screen Flow. Andrew McCauley: The other one is Flash. Heather Porter: Flash, that’s it. Thank you. So, we love this tool. It’s a fantastic tool. Again, PC users out there, you can look to Camtasia to get a very similar sort of software just like this. Andrew McCauley: Exactly. Heather Porter: Moving on. We have talked about audio. We have talked about video. So, let’s move on to our written content that we do. One thing about writing nowadays – and we have probably talked about this a little bit before and we will definitely talk about that in the future – but the power of using images within your writing is very, very good, not only for search engines because that’s an added sort of SEO boost to what you are doing because you can name your images but also to users because we users like to go on to blog posts and we are instantly attracted to images or videos. So, images are very powerful things. So, there is a tool that you can use to actually resize your images very easily and let’s talk a little bit more, Andrew, about why you want to resize your images. Andrew McCauley: Yes, sure. Resizing images is important because there are certain sites that once you upload an image, it might be an avatar or a bio photo for some of these social sites and they will only accept certain size images and if you have got an image that’s way too large, they will reject it. So, you want to use some tools that can reduce the size of that. Now, if you are a Photoshop user or a Gimp user or one of those, you can resize it through there but a lot of people don’t have those tools, they don’t have Photoshop which is expensive. Gimp is free but it’s complex and if you don’t know how to use it, it can take you all day just to resize a photo. So, if you have got photos you need to resize, you may want to be doing a blog post or even a brochure that you might have for your business and you need to resize because it’s too big to fit on your canvas or your paper that you are working with, then you can go to a tool called PicResize and PicResize will actually do this resizing for you online, it will allow you to change certain dimensions or customize the size that you want the output to be and also lets you put some filters on some of your images as well, so you may want to make it black and white, you may want to put a frame around it, you may want to put a different-colored tinge or a hue over the top. So, it lets you do a couple of cool Listen here: http://autopilotyourbusiness.com/podcasts/17-contentcreationtools/ Get a copy of our Online Survival Guide here: http://aybguide.com www.autopilotyourbusiness.com things and then what it does is it spits it back at you and it says “Here you go” and you just right click and save it to your desktop or save it to your computer and you have a brand new image with the right-size settings that you need for that image. Now, this is also important too because in this day of duplicate content – we spoke about this in podcast no. 14 – that you want to make sure your images are original images as well. So, start thinking about how to change the images so that they are original and PicResize is a place you can do it. You can send copies of images that you have got and then put some filters over the top and change them and create a new image itself from PicResize. Heather Porter: Well, I love that and I have to say one key point of that entire little spill that you just did that I loved was how you spelled the word ‘PicResize’ with a Z-Z. Andrew McCauley: I did that twice. I know. I am like “Where am I? Where am I? Who is listening to this? I better cover both bases.” Heather Porter: Well done! Love that. Yeah, a good too, isn’t it? Love it. Andrew McCauley: We could hear that laughing too. Heather Porter: I know and I was suppressing mine on the other end. Andrew McCauley: Yeah, I know, I know. Heather Porter: So, another thing that you could just use that for is often times we have clients that will try and send us humongous images in an e-mail and they are literally 50 megabytes which means they are huge and they cannot be e- mailed. I am exaggerating of course but what you can use this for is if you have a whole bunch of images you want to send across to somebody in an e-mail, you can resize them and squish them down first so you can send them across because most e-mail does not allow you to send anything bigger than like 10 megabytes. So, you can use it for sharing your files across as well. So, one other thing that we like a lot is when we are doing blog posts and/or manuals to supplement our videos is there is a really amazing tool called Screen Steps and I know, Andrew, you have been dabbling in this a little bit more than me. So, what do you think is so amazing about Screen Steps? Andrew McCauley: Well, Screen Steps lets you put manuals together or lessons. If you are ever trying to create some information for people to follow or you want to create a manual, if you are running an event or a course for people – in the old days, going back a few months – when you wanted to put a manual together of specific screen shots or images that you wanted to insert into a Word doc, you would have to go and have all of those images separately out there in your file, you would have to bring them in and then sort of resize them to fit in with a Word doc. Then you would go and add some more text and then another image or so and what would happen is it could take you a long time just to try and format all of that. What Screen Steps does is it actually lets you put images in a specific place holder. So, it lets you create a lesson with moveable images that you just drag and drop very easily. So, this process makes it very easy to create a manual or a lesson plan. What it also does is it lets you convert it to a PDF if you wanted to convert it to a PDF for people to print out and read or it can even export it to HTML Listen here: http://autopilotyourbusiness.com/podcasts/17-contentcreationtools/ Get a copy of our Online Survival Guide here: http://aybguide.com www.autopilotyourbusiness.com document so that you can upload it straight to your website which is a cool thing. If you are doing a blog post about something you want to teach people on, you can do this as an HTML. You can also set it up as a Word document as well so people might want to look at it as a Word document. So, you create it using Screen Steps – very, very easy plug-and-play sort of stuff – but over time you are getting used to it pretty quickly. I am developing a series of products. I am using the PDF version of it so I can actually have a PDF download almost like an entire booklet of all the training courses inside that little training center. Heather Porter: And what I actually started looking at it for is our client manuals. So, I know there is probably several of you guys out there listening to this that have to a handover process with your client when you actually give him training or an operations manual. This is an amazing tool for that. You are just grabbing bits off of your computer screen and you can do the graphics like arrows and circles and things like that. So, you can do Step 1 and then insert an image very easily all in one place rather than multiple graphics and then just going crazily confused with it. So, think of it as something you can use even in your internal operations and training manuals as well. Andrew McCauley: Yeah I am glad you said that because you can do things like let’s say you are trying to train somebody on software. You can take a screenshot or a screen grab of the software page and then you can annotate it, you can put marks on it, you can put arrows and circles to say “This is what I want you to focus on” and it just lets you add notes to it as you go without having to have any of this other fancy screen grabbing sort of software that you need to do this sort of thing. Heather Porter: Yeah, add notes and add a tremendous amount of value to your clients when you are doing this sort of stuff, to your clients and your followers on your websites. I know that just some of my most popular blog posts have been my tutorial posts and I have had to very clumsily go to get screen grabs and go to Photoshop and then do this and that and try and make them look nice. So, a tool like this is quite amazing and quick to allow you to just pump out content online in that space. Andrew McCauley: Yes, definitely. Heather Porter: We like that and we are now coming to the end of our episode for our content creation tools. Andrew McCauley: I know that was a super quick one, wasn’t it? Super quick. Heather Porter: It was actually. We are just shy of sort of 23 minutes now which is amazing for us. Andrew McCauley: I know. I love it, I love it. Well, get in, get out, give you some value and on your bite. Heather Porter: Nice one. Alright, guys, as always, you can come on over to www.AutopilotYourBusiness.com/Podcast and look up this episode which is Episode No… Andrew McCauley: 17. Listen here: http://autopilotyourbusiness.com/podcasts/17-contentcreationtools/ Get a copy of our Online Survival Guide here: http://aybguide.com www.autopilotyourbusiness.com Heather Porter: Thank you, Andrew. You saved me on that one – No. 17 and then on that episode you will be able to see the links to these amazing tools that we have talked about in this episode there are all sorts of other wonderful little things throughout this website as well. Andrew McCauley: Can we give a shout out to our magazine. We have got on Apple Newsstand; we haven’t even spoken about this yet. Heather Porter: Yes! Yeah, magazine! We are publishers. Andrew McCauley: We have published a magazine. It’s called The Online Footprint. Do a search for it on iPad Appsstand and on the newsstand if you got a newsstand on your iPad. The Online Footprint – it’s out now, it’s got awesome content from a whole bunch of contributors that we know we are dealing with and if you see anything in there you like, let us know. If you would like to see something specific about that in the magazine, let us know but here is the cool thing with these Apple magazines. They have got videos inside there; you can actually watch the videos inside a magazine. This is awesome technology that’s just coming out and we are loving playing with that magazine. So, have a look at that. Check it out. Go and let us know if you like it and we would love to hear from you and love your feedback. Heather Porter: Yes, wonderful! Alright, guys, again, thank you so much for listening to this episode and we are very excited to be bringing you our next one in a much more timely manner than normal. So, until next time, goodbye from me and thanks, Andrew, for being my lovely co-host as always. Andrew McCauley: It’s a pleasure. Goodbye, everyone. Take care. **End of Audio** Listen here: http://autopilotyourbusiness.com/podcasts/17-contentcreationtools/ Get a copy of our Online Survival Guide here: http://aybguide.com www.autopilotyourbusiness.com
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