I dont know about you, but I produce a lot of inexpensive Web videos for folks, and Im always looking for a source of good photos and good stock videos clips that I dont have to pay a fortune for. I had been using one of those Web sites where you create an account and you license stuff, but that gets expensive particularly if your budget is very limited.
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Heres a Web site called SpinXpress.com and they claim to be used by independent global media producers who create videos, music compilations and other collaborative media projects. They do a variety of things at SpinExpress. They let you place free ads for your services, they have a built-in wiki for a forum, you can publish your work here, and, more importantly, you can search for Creative Commons License Media.
Have you heard about Creative Commons? They been around for about 15 or 20 years. Its a nonprofit organization that has set up an alternative to copyrights, and basically its for independent producers of stuff like photos and videos who want to share it with other people. There are a variety of different levels of creative commons, but the most basic is you just give it away and anyone can use it. They also have something called attribution; where people can use it if they associate your name with it.
Lets say Im working on a video and Im looking for a picture of, I dont know, a skyscraper. You enter skyscraper into the search box and SpinXpress gives you a list of the different levels of creative commons from attribution, thats where I have to provide the name of the person who created it, to no derivatives, meaning I cant take the image and put it on a t-shirt or something, to public domain, i.e., its totally free.
You choose the type of creative commons and the site takes you to a list of skyscraper images you can choose from. Its a good source of copyright-free images and videos for anyone looking for inexpensive multimedia.
Just having a great business idea isnt enough to be successful you have to be able to market your product or service. I found a Web site that might help MarketingProfs.com. Now this is a membership site, but there is a lot of content available to non-members. Like how-to articles. Only the articles with little orange squares are restricted to members.
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For example, in Shopper Marketing vs. the Asteroid, the authors point is that in disaster movies as the asteroid is plummeting to Earth, no one takes action until the very last second and tragedy is averted. And then he draws that same analogy to differentiate between advertising and marketing. Advertising gets the customer to come into the store but marketing takes over once theyre inside. Of course, you need to do both and shopper marketing does its work in the last three feet of sale at least according to the article.
Heres what else youll find at marketProfs.com. There are case studies, but theyre restricted to the members, and online seminars with some interesting topics such as Twitter Like You Mean it: The Right Way to Tweet Your Brand. You know, Ive been wondering how Twitter could help my marketing, but Im not sure I want to spend 90 minutes or pay $129 the cost of this seminar to find out.
MarketingProfs also offers regularly published research reports and surveys, but youve got to be a member to access them. So what does a membership cost? A basic membership is free and gets you access to 2,000 articles and a weekly newsletter. A premium membership adds more articles, case studies and the marketing research. A premium plus membership adds online seminars and extra leg room in an exit row. Oh sorry, thats premiere on United.
I think the free basic membership is certainly worth it, and then you can decide on how much more of their content you need.
Articulate.com manufactures e-learning tools, things like Studio 09 that empowers rapid e-learning development with a set of powerful authoring tools. They have something called Presenter 09 that lets you create Flash-based presentations, without knowing Flash, and Quizmaker 09 that makes Flash-based quizzes, assessments and surveys Ive seen some people use those, and theyre pretty cool.
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Engage 09 adds interactive content to your e-learning courses and, of course, Articulate Online, a learning-management system for keeping track of how people do with your courseware. These tools are primarily aimed at companies who are creating their own e-learning courses or creating e-learning courses for others.
The price for Articulate Studio ranges between $1,000 and $1,400 and it includes the Articulate Presenter, the quiz maker and Engage. The people who would really benefit from a product like this are companies that dont have strong Flash programmers. Articulate takes care of that for you it has a nice, easy-to-use interface that lets you create Flash-based content without an in-depth knowledge of Flash.
You'll find lots more marketing tips and resources from Andrew Lock in our Small Business Essential series, Lock in Your Marketing Resources.
Andrew Lock is a self-described maverick marketer and the creator and host of Help! My Business Sucks, a free, weekly Web TV show full of practical marketing tips, advice and resources to help small businesses "get more done and have more fun."
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