Bookphoria’s Magic Sanity Potion

sanity potion

If your holiday season is anything like ours, it is not just “Santas” and “truffles”

Putting on a couple of pounds,  frantically searching for presents, experiencing sudden nostalgia due to the lack of the vitamin D (not because of our Russian origin!), increased cravings for anything chocolate-covered are also a huge part of this season…

How do we deal with all this mess?

Here is our little secret – a special Bookphoria’s Sanity Drink that was created by combining both of our favorite recipes together, resulting in this majestic elixir of youth, slim waists, calmer moods, and glowing skins.  And today we are ready to share it with our followers!

Introducing….

 Bookphoria’s Magic Sanity Drink Recipe:

 Ingredients:

  1. Green apple
  2. Celery 5 stalk large
  3. Ginger root (1/2 thumb)
  4. Carrots 3
  5. Lime 1 (peel the skin off)
  6. Spinach 1 cup

Directions

Process all ingredients in a juicer, shake or stir and serve.

Benefits: The calming properties of celery, lime’s immediate uplifting qualities, carrots’ and apples’ youth benefits, ginger’s magical powers to de-bloat and keep the digestion healthy, and spinach’s alkaline powers will leave you refreshed, slim, glowing, calm and happy!

Please, keep the holiday season fun! Share below YOUR favorite recipe and the winner of the best recipe will get a prize! You can also send us your recipes to: info@bookphoria.com

To make your holidays even more “sane” download the “Ultimate Online Tech Toolbox” that will help you minimize your stress while dealing with technology this season!

Cheers and Happy Thanksgiving!

Click the button below to get your free copy of “Ultimate Online Tech Toolbox” now!

5 ways to generate compelling visuals for your content marketing and e-learning

collageAs the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words… well, maybe not a thousand, but 1.5 words at least. We do remember pictures better than we remember words. Studies by Paul W. Foos and Paula Goolkasian shed light on the difference between memory for pictures and words. They found that pictures were correctly recalled about 1.5 times as often as printed words. Researchers at the University of Iowa James Bigelow and Amy Poremba have found that when it comes to memory, we don’t remember things we hear nearly as well as things we see or touch.

Since visuals win the memory challenge, it only makes sense to incorporate them in your content presentation if you want it to be memorable. I once received an email from a member of a LinkedIn group after I posted a comment on one of the discussion threads. Something in my comment triggered his memory of an image I had shared in the same group many months before. He wasn’t sure but thought I might be the one who had shared it, so he emailed me to see if I could give him the source of that image. This illustrates the fact that visuals are memorable and that your expert brand can be associated with and reinforced by the content you share. In order to be effective, your visuals need to reinforce your message, be unique, and be able to stir some emotion or reflection in the viewers so that they could connect to your content on a deeper level. How do you find or create such visuals?

1. Stock up. There are numerous websites where you can search and legally download Creative Commons (CC) license or royalty-free stock photos. Always make sure you understand the restriction on the use of such images. Here are some of those websites:

Wikimedia Commons is a database of 23,769,240 freely usable media files to which anyone can contribute.

Flickr is another popular site where you can use an advanced search to find CC images.

Microsoft Office offers visuals you can use.

freeimages has a gallery containing over 350,000 quality stock photos by more than 30,000 photographers.

Getty Images now allows to easily embed and share its imagery at no cost for non-commercial use on websites, blogs and social media channels through their embed tool.

While stock images can get the job done, don’t underestimate your ability to produce your own visual content. Just pick up a camera, even if it’s your smart phone camera and begin to look around. Our surroundings abound with the rich and complex material that can help you tell your personal expert brand story. Train your eye to see it. It is easier than you think. Here are a few tips to get started:

2. Organize your existing photo collection. Chances are you already have plenty of good, funny, personal images tucked away somewhere on your computer drive or in photo albums. They all tell your story. Take time to go over your collection with an eye to possible future business use. It is a fun thing to do. Plus, it can trigger memories that may result in new stories to tell about your personal brand and your business. We did just that with our Halloween post when Marina found an old photo of us dressed up for Halloween.

3. Start taking pictures – lots and lots of them. Get in touch with your own sensibilities. Look at other photography sites and photo sharing platforms, such as Instagram and Pinterest. Notice what appeals to you and why. What moods, styles, colors, patterns resonate with you most? What makes you laugh, think or inspires you? Start capturing those “snapshots of the moment” – often mundane but also funny, puzzling, memorable aspects of your reality. Notice patterns and disruptions. Our brains constantly search for patterns and make predictions to make us comfortable in our environment. Studies show that bizarre and grotesque images are especially effective at grabbing attention. People tend to spend more time on such images as they try to figure out what is going on in the picture – their brains are busy deciphering the pattern. Be ready to capture anything surprising, bizzare, humorous, unusual – such images are likely to provoke thoughts and appeal to emotions. Analyze your own work just like you did with other people’s photos. Use Flickr or Instagram as a way to filter and store the photos you like, get feedback from your followers and grow your own collection of visuals that can be later used for various projects.

4. Turn your content into a collage. Here’s how it works. Pick the key elements and relationships that describe your concept. Then, find images that you associate with those elements. You can browse magazines if you want to make it low tech or find images on the web if you want to create your collage in a digital format, or maybe, you can sketch them yourself. After you are done collecting your visuals, arrange them in a collage trying to reflect the relationships among the underlying elements. The benefit of a collage is that it allows you to see the concept as a whole whereas the verbal description can only be sequential. Collages can serve as visual metaphors, allowing for personal interpretation. Visit Creativity Portal to explore various collage resources on the Internet.

5. Get moving with video marketing. Videos offer a great way to promote yourself as an expert, speaker or author. According to comScore, website visitors are 64% more likely to buy a product on an online retail site after watching a video. In addition, visitors who view videos stay on the site an average of 2 minutes longer than those who don’t view videos. People have short attention spans and tune out easily. Keep your videos under 3 minutes in length. You can do a series of videos on different topics. If you use a webcam to record your videos, make sure you position yourself in the center, look into the camera, choose an appropriate background, and have light facing you. A webcam does not have the energy of a live audience, so you have to bring your own energy up through your body posture, smile, and variations in your pitch, tempo and volume. The good news is that you can re-record any number of times you want, so you get the result you like. Whenever you upload your videos onto video sharing platforms, such as YouTube or Vimeo, make sure to use appropriate keywords and links to your website to build traffic and subscriptions to your email list.

Ready to package your expertise online? Sign up for a FREE consultation with Marina and Anastasia!

How to Create Engaging Online Discussions?

engaging discussions

Have you ever tried to lead an online discussion? How about a group discussion? If you did, you probably struggled with figuring out how to guide your participants towards the desired goals without dominating the conversations and “giving” them the answers? Today I will give you several strategies that will ensure everyone’s participation and avoiding the situation when 1-2 participants colonize the conversation while others disappear into the cyber abyss. 

Here are 5 strategies to have engaging online discussions:

Strategy #1 Analyze post trends

While you are reading posts from others, try to think about some general themes that show up throughout this discussion. Start new threads with these “themes”.

Strategy #2 Narrow down discussion

Your discussions should have a very narrow goal. Strive for depth and not breadth… when you see that your participants are straying away from the main purpose of the threat, guide their discussion to its original narrow focus.

If there is a controversial point, try ending your comments with a question. This suggests a variety of perspectives on this issue as opposed to the “my way or the highway” approach. If you want to guide someone to another idea, or correct someone’s trail of thought, you can start your sentence by saying” Have you considered?  “What do you think about…?”

Strategy # 3: Support minority perspectives

Pick up on some ideas that have been sidelined by the main stream ideas and then gently bring them back for others’ consideration. Think- what might be the merits of these points? Are they founded on valid information? How could they be beneficial for others?

Strategy #4: Model Behavior

Everything about you (including your message) should reflect what you preach. Your message posts and message replies should reflect the standards that you require from others. When you compose a message, set it aside for a while. Then come back to it and ask yourself – is the message clear? Is it emotionally charged? Does it express the desired perspective? What feeling does it provoke? Make sure to never post anything when you are in a negative state of mind.

Strategy #5: Make your silent participants shine

 It is your job to bring in the silent participants, make them feel comfortable, and give them room to expand.

If you see that someone is not involved in the discussion, shoot them a private email asking if everything is ok. If you see them doing something great, bring in their name and tag them, make an example of them, and encourage them to share their experience with others, make sure to give the spotlight to everyone in your group.

WHAT TO DO NOW:

In the comments below please share YOUR strategies for building engaging discussions online.