DIY Video Production (TM) | Please Stop Shooting Vertical Video!!!

Please, please, please….STOP shooting vertical on your phone when you are filming your LIVE or even capturing video that you will post later on social media!!!!

Why you ask? Well here are the top 3 reasons to stop shooting vertical:

ONE: When you post your video it has those annoying blurred out side bars. By shooting horizontally you are getting all the screen time.

TWO: When you watch a video shot vertically, you instantly know that it was shot with a phone. Its not that you are not fooling anyone when you post a video like the one below…but why not create a video in the most professional way possible.

THREE: You will be giving yourself a bit of an advantage by setting yourself apart. Your video will look less amature and you will be utilizing all the screen “real estate” so the focus is on what you want it to be about. In today’s digital marketing world you need to take any step up possible.

How can you even more improve your video content captured with your phone? Invest in a few tools to bring the quality level up a notch. I am not talking hundreds of dollars, this can be done for a small investment into a tripod, small light source and some filming/editing apps. To learn more you can check out my DIY Video Production (TM) Tool Kit download HERE.

Watch Your Language | 5 Steps to Improve Writing for Your Biz

Language…what do you mean watch your language? No, I don’t mean f-bombs, I mean are you really using language that matches who you authentically are when you are writing in your social profiles, marketing content and correspondence with clients / customers (so I guess this could mean f-bombs)?

So all those times you were in English class and wondered how you were ever going to use it in real life…well here is a prime life application. In technical English or Literary terms it is called your “Voice” and it should be reflective of how you speak naturally and your personality.

I am not talking casual emails or social media posts (but we will get to how that writing is important), I am talking about key elements as a business professional that can make it or break it.

Why do I ask this? Writing in a way where you are not truly being yourself does come through…and is usually comes across a bit plastic or fake. Also it is kind of boring because it usually is really polished and sounds like what everyone else is saying.

When you do let yourself have the freedom to be who you really are and fully embrace this in all of what you do, it is so powerful!!! You will start to fully tell your story, connect with people on a different level and (gasp) might actually enjoy the process.

So how do you figure out if you are being authentic in your writing? Follow the steps below to get the ball rolling and on your way:

  1. Go to your “About” page, a recent blog post or the Description/About on one of your social media platforms. Now copy and paste that into a document.
  2. Read it over. Does it sound like you? Is this how you normally talk? Does it have some of your personality in it?
    (If so…awesome, you are on the right track to writing in writing as you. If not…read on)
  3. Now rewrite this a bit as if you are speaking to someone that you know (a long-time client, an associate, etc…). Loosen up a bit so that this language is more uniquely you. It has your spunk and pizzazz.
  4. Put it away for a bit. Go get some coffee or move onto another project for about an hour. Stepping away from writing projects helps you get out of your head a bit.
  5. Pull that writing sample out and re-read it. Does it sound like you? What makes it unique? How can you weave what you changed into other writing?

This is a process and takes time to let go and give yourself the freedom to be you. It also sometimes helps to have another set of eyes to see what you are not. Silver Keys Media has launched our Brand Story process and an intricate part of this is finding your voice in your brand. Please contact me to learn more about this if you are interested in working with someone to unlock your story and help you become a better writer for your business.


Written by Amanda Goff
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5 Steps to Create a Custom MailChimp Automated Email

Automated email campaigns are a feature that is available regardless of what plan you have. This is an amazing tool that can help you with a variety of marketing and administration tasks.

You can check out the preset “Automation Emails” or you can create your own.

The steps below are for custom automated emails…great for a series of emails that you can send out to a specific list or will trigger as you add names.

For example if you have a 5 day training series, you can create a custom email series to drip out to clients.

Step One
Sign in and select “Create Campaign”.

Step Two
Select “Create an Email”.

Step Three
At this step you can select one of the preset emails for a variety of marketing or admin purposes…but to really dial it in, click on “Custom”.

Step Four
Name your campaign and click on “BeginStep Five
Now you can begin to create your custom email series. You can edit your trigger (aka…when it will send the emails and how between time lapses), edit the workflow and design each email that you add as part of the series (I would suggest creating a template for the email series first and then you can easily use that for each added email).

Mail Chimp_Custom Email_Step 5

Click HERE to download a one sheet

Well there you have it. Hope this was helpful and allows you to create some options to streamline your marketing and save you some time.

Please contact us if you have any questions or leave a comment with some feedback!

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What’s the Difference Between a Facebook Business Page & a Personal Profile?

If you are on social media at all, then you almost definitely have a Facebook profile. And if you own a business, then you likely have a business page or at least you have thought about it getting one.

I am often asked, especially as clients are ramping up their visual storytelling, what is the difference between my Facebook Business Page and my Personal Profile?

Well they both have their place and you should manage them in their own way…but they are both being seen by potential clients.

Many people think that if they “lock” down their personal profile, that they have a bit of safety in posting more personal opinions and content. That their personal profile will not really impact their business page.

Well this could not be farther from the truth!

Whatever you put out there online is out there…all of it.

It is not just friends and family that will look at your personal profile. Current clients and potential ones will snoop and find out who you are. They will look at your business page and compare it. Why? Because people want to connect personally with those they choose to do business with.

So what does this mean? Well it means that as a business owner that is marketing online you need to be intentional about what you post anywhere online.

This does not mean that you can’t share personal things on your personal profile. You should do that…however you may want to hold back a bit on sharing pics that might not be in line with an image you would want your business associated with. Or maybe keep some of your stronger opinions for in person conversations.

Whatever you choose to do, just be mindful of what you put out there in the world wide interwebs.

Claim Your Business | Top 5 Local Listings You Should Grab

As a small business, free marketing is always a welcomed resource. Claiming the local listings for your business is one of these free marketing tools out there…but the #key here is to make certain you are optimizing this opportunity and spending time on the listings that will give you the most value for your time and efforts.

As a small business, free marketing is always a welcomed resource. Claiming the local listings for your business is one of these free marketing tools out there…but the #key here is to make certain you are optimizing this opportunity and spending time on the listings that will give you the most value for your time and efforts.

What is a local listing?

Think of this as tapping into the “yellow pages”

Of course there are paid marketing packages that each of these will offer and there are also services you can sign up for that will set these up for you and manage them (Yext). If you have the marketing budget and want to try these things out, my suggestion is that you try them out one at a time and make certain you have some time dedicated to testing/tracking these services so you know what the return is on those hard earned dollars.


Great for services based businesses. If you are not familiar with Yelp already this is a community platform that allows consumers to leave feedback, rate their experience and reviews. Simple set up…create an account, provide correct information about your business and upload logo/images.

Yahoo Small Biz

This is one of the top sites that pulls up when consumers are searching for local services and business. This listing is a must so you can have control over the information that potential clients are seeing about your biz. Simple set up…create an account, provide correct information about your business and upload logo/images.


This is how Yellow Pages came into the digital age. This is similar to the Yahoo listing, another way to take control over the information that is provided to the digital community. Simple set up…create an account, provide correct information about your business and upload logo/images.


In order to fully use the free tools that Google+ have available, you will need to create a Google+ profile for your business and then also set up the Business Page that is then tied to your Google+ page (of course this is also tied to your YouTube and personal profile. You will need to verify your address by having Google send you a postcard to the physical address associated with your business. This postcard will have a verification code that will unlock you ability to fully optimize your listing.


This is tied to Microsoft, so you will need to set up an specific login with Microsoft to then login to this platform. Bing is a leader in digital marketing and is used as a primary browser landing page for many. In addition to their free listing there are opportunities to advertise, which if you have some extra cash flow and time to test is a good place to put some marketing dollars. You will need to verify your location via phone number through either a call or text code.

Five Tips to Get A Rockin Business Headshot

No matter how wonderful the product or how amazing the cause, when you are the owner or on staff in a customer connected position, people will want to see who are. Several years ago, there used to be more of a refined control over the “face” that was associated with the company. The consumer did not get to see “behind the curtain” so to speak. But now with a shift to content marketing, social media and the need to have a strong visual presence for search engines like Google, the community can research to find out more about who is associated with a company.

This is where a headshot comes into play. Believe it or not, this image can make or break a deal. A headshot is often the first impression that someone has of you before you ever meet or talk to them. This is why we have written this post and help professionals create a rockin business headshot. But before we get to the top tips, here is a sampling of what not to do and why:

Bad Headshots | Silver Keys Media
Identities Hidden to Protect The Innocent

So now that you have a visual snapshot of what not to do, here are the top five tips you can follow to make certain you are on the right track


  1. Get a professional image.
    Ditch those selfies or cropped image from last years holiday party and make the investment in a quality photo session. However, not all photographers are equal. Make certain to visit their website and take a look at their portfolio. If they know how to take headshots, they will have this highlighted as one of their services. A wedding photographer may capture lovely images, but may not know how to present you in a polished and professional way.
  2. Have photographer deliver it to you in a large format pngThis format will give you the ability to resize and optimize your image for different online sites. Why? because you will want a certain size for your profile image on social sites and a different the size you will likely use on your website. If you are working with a web designer, be sure to ask them what format they prefer your head shot image delivered.
  3. Be prepared with a  few different looks for the photo session to give you variety.
    You want to make certain that you have some choice for your final edited images, so bring a few professional looks. It can be as simple as changing your jacket or add an accessory. Sometimes photographers will have on-site viewing of proofs so you can choose them on the spot and take some additional if you do not like what you see.
  4. Choose a complimentary color, black or dark grey for your clothing.
    Also color is also crucial! Don’t try out a new color, wear shades that you know look good on you.
  5. Choose a look that matches your business personality, yet is professional
    You want to have an image that feels like you. People will look at a headshot and they create a persona in their mind of how you will interact with them. So make certain to identify ahead of time the professional personality you want to have online

Why Should I Care About Branding?

Basically if you have a product or service you will want to have something that the community will identify with in order to create trust, recognition and ultimately a client, customer, supporter or donor.

What is branding anyway? According to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary:


noun  brand·ing \ˈbran-diŋ\
Definition:  the promoting of a product or service by identifying it with a particular brand
First Known Use: 1913

Basically if you have a product or service you will want to have something that the community will identify with in order to create trust, recognition and ultimately a client, customer, supporter or donor.

If you are not sure what your brand is or if you have a brand that is helping you move forward successfully, then you will want to take time to identify what that is. How do you want the community to identify with your company or organization?

While there is not a single fix-all solution to formulating a brand, here are a few things to consider as you examine your current branding or begin to move towards a new one all together:

  • What is your Unique Selling or Service Proposition)? [USP click here to learn more]
  • What problem does your product or services solve?
  • What is your tagline
  • What colors represent best what you do? [yes a bit ethereal, but color does matter! Look for a post soon on this]
  • What are your core values, vision and mission for your company?

NEED HELP? Feel free to reach out by emailing silverkeysmedia @ or fill out the form below if you have questions or if you want to schedule a strategy session to get your story on track.

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Five Steps to Create a Solid USP


What is a USP?

A USP is a single sentence or phrase that captures your Unique Selling Proposition. It takes a bit of work to get to this piece of your marketing plan, but it VITAL to understanding the problem your business/organization is solving and what sets you apart from others in your community. A USP gives you a clear identity, lets you target your market and will help you with putting together a solid story. Successful USPs can be used as a company tagline and should be incorporated into all of your marketing activities.

Stand out in a crowd
What makes your company or organization unique


Step 1: Find Your Target?

You need to know who you are targeting. In this first step you need to be a specific and intentional in your wording.. For example, if you are a business coach with an expertise in fundraising, you may identify your target client as non-profits or community based organizations.

Step 2: What is Your Problem?

This is so IMPORTANT! Take some time and think from your prospective clients’ perspective. What problem or challenge do they face that your business can solve?

Step 3: Identify the Benefits

What are 3-5 of the biggest benefits a client gets from choosing to work with your company?What sets you apart from your competition? These benefits should explain why your services would be valuable to your prospective clients and what would compel them to choose you.

Step 4: Define Your Promise

A HUGE part of a USP is what you will promise to your clients, what are you going to do to solve their problems. This are active words.

Step 5: Put it all together

Now take all of the information you have written down and put it all together into one paragraph. There should be some recurring ideas and thoughts, so you’ll want to start merging statements and rewriting in a way that flows and makes sense.You want your final USP to be as specific and simple as possible.

Here are a few links to some great USP examples:

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Product Video | Corporate Commercial

You can tell the story of your product, services and company with a simple video. Make sure to keep it short and sweet. Here is a great sample of using intentional words and striking images to create a visual message.


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Marketing Yourself While Being Realistic

As a small business owner you wear many hats. You do the work, manage the books, pull the trigger on your marketing….it can be a lot. One of the first things have my clients do is to tell me what they are doing for their marketing and then we talk about what makes them happy…and what is purely a chore.

Marketing your business is different for everyone and there is no magic formula. The key to figuring it all out is to look at what is realistic for you. What? Realistic…what does that mean? Well that means you need to access the time you have, what you enjoy doing and what you can leverage to others. This may mean you need to pay someone to pick up the tasks you do not like or do not have time for, but by taking the time to think it through you can make an educated decision.

Marketing Yourself

Here are a few tips that will help you along the way to make this assessment:

  • Social Media: Do you like social media, know how to use it and have at least 2 hrs a week to manage it? Keep in mind, you do not have to be on every social profile, choose what fits your business and ability to use.
  • Email Marketing: Do you have a way to capture customer contact information? Do you have content that you can send regularly (bi-monthly or monthly)? Do you have the ability to pay for a management system?
  • Digital Ads: Do you know how to do basic design? Do you understand Google Ads, Facebook Ads or any other ad platform? Do you have at least 45 minutes a day to check in and manage ads (this can be less on one and more on another)?
  • Blogging: Do you like to write? Do you have the unique content needed to maintain regular blogging? Do you have at least an hour a week to manage this?

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What Story Are You Telling Without Saying A Word?

You don’t have to hang around me long to know that I am a bit dramatic. I have been acting, dancing and performing since I was 4 years old. My mother put me in dance and acting to increase my confidence. Both of these crafts focus on how you present yourself and how to communicate with out words…to tell a story with out even saying anything.

These skills translate to everyday life. I think all too often we float through and are note aware of what we say with our body, our eyes and the energy we focus from ourselves. This blog post is an overview of a few key non-verbal elements (there are many more) to be in tuned to. I will be offering a workshop & webinar soon that I will to help give more application.

What are you saying with out speaking a word?

Body Energy
We all have energy that flows from our body, but it is how we channel this energy that tells the story. When you are in a situation at work, at home, under stress…what energy is flowing from you. It is a different way to look at things, but awareness of this can help you turn a situation around or elevate the mood of things.

How you simply stand gives a lot away about how you are feeling and the confidence you have.  A tight, closed down or twisted stance sends a message that you there is insecurity and that you are not as open. A wider stance communicates that you are rooted and thus signals confidence. The most strength lies in the “Power Pose” (think superman or wonder woman) to take charge of a situation (for yourself and to give those around you the cue that you are in charge).

We all have a bubble…some have the need for lots of space and others are very comfortable when someone gets into their bubble. I am a notorious hugger…which I am very aware of being very intentional. But just like the three little bears, there is a way to approach the “bubble” that is just right for a professional setting when you are networking or just meeting people. When you are a step to close while you are speaking this is a signal of control and dominance. When you are just a bit out of reach (to far away) you communicate that you are either insecure or uninterested. To find a distance that is just right will signals confidence and that you are sure of yourself, but takes into consideration the other person.

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Content is King: Create Your Own Meme

Part of this fun journey of blogging for 29 days is to provide some quick tips on how to create unique content to tell your story.

Original content is so important to have in your social media and digital marketing. Do you like those images with text…or better known as meme? You can easily create these with your own photos in a very simple way. Follow these steps and you will be on your way to creating fun, inspirational and informative content for your business.

Sample Seasonal Meme from Original Photography

First…Identify your Screen Capture Tool

PC = Snipping Tool

  • Locate Snipping Tool in Accessories (Start Menu Search) and Open
  • A communication window will appear
  • Click on arrow next to choose the type of snip you want. Rectangular Snip is best for memes
  • Once you have the item you would like to capture prepared, click “new”
  • Drag cursor over area you want to capture
  • Save as the image format you want

Mac = Command (⌘)-Shift-4

  • Press Command (⌘)-Shift-4. You’ll see that your cursor changes to a crosshair pointer
  • Move the crosshair pointer to where you want to start the screenshot
  • Drag to select an area. To adjust the area, hold Shift, Option, or the Space bar while you drag
  • When you’ve selected the area you want, release your mouse or trackpad button. Or to cancel, press Escape (esc)
  •  Find the screenshot as a .png file on your desktop

Second…Create Meme in a Word Doc

  • Open Word Doc
  • Go to Insert tab and select Picture…this will allow you to import the image
  • With image selected go to Format and click Wrap Text and select In Front of Text
  • Click on Insert tab and select Text Box…this will give you the option of which text box you want to use
  • Double click on Text Box content and then type the quote you want on your image
  • Make certain that Text Box is still selected and click on Home tab. Highlight the text you just added and format using all the Font formatting tools
  • Make certain that Text Box is still selected and click Format tab. This is where you will select Shape Fill (none) and Shape Outline (none)
  • With box selected drag the Text Box to where you want it on the image.
  • Use screen capture tool to capture and save as either a png or jpg

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29 Days Of Blogging | Day 5: Top Fifteen Songs I Love

I love music…music of all kinds. I listen to country, classic rock, hip-hop, dubstep…the list can go on. Since I was little I have created emotional ties to certain songs. When I hear them they can transport me back to that time and place. If my life could have a sound track here are ten songs that would be part of that collection. They all have their own hook into the story of my life:

Maxwell’s Silver Hammer  – The Beatles
Brown Eyed Girl  – Van Morrison
Defying Gravity – From “Wicked” (yep here comes the musical numbers)
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club Band – The Beatles (actually this whole album)
Foxy Lady – Jimmy Hendrix (this one holds two memories)
Suddenly Seymour – From “Little Shop of Horrors”
The Goonies ‘R’ Good Enough –  Cyndi Lauper (“Goonies Never Say Die!”)
Smells Like Teen Spirit  – Nirvana (ode to the brooding 90’s teen years)
Jesus Freak  –  DC Talk
Come What May – From “Moulin Rouge”
Monster  –  Skillet (helped out on a couple tours with them…amazing band!)
You Can’t Stop the Beat – From “Hairspray”
Thief  –  Third Day
Elements – Lindsay Stirling (I love everything she does…the video is worth a watch)
Hello  –  Adele (yes it is over played…but she is soooooo amazing!)

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My Favorite Quotes

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”  –  Maya Angelou

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.”  –  Helen Keller

“We know what we are, but know not what we may be.”  –  William Shakespeare

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