Let me start with this admission: I want to be successful.
To some that might sound obvious, but in other crowds the word “success” is a dirty one. Artists and working class friends sneer at the idea as selfish and unaware.
Some of success is money. Enough money to make decisions with your money rather than your money making decisions for you.
One of my favorite songs by a Pittsburgh musician (Crisp Lake), and friend of mine, says “When you see the wheel, I hope you know which way to steer.” I hope so too.
That song wasn’t written about me. He wrote it before we ever met. However, I always feel like that line is speaking at me directly.
I am the artist friend who focuses a lot more than my friends on the business aspect of the field. A lot of the time I’m made to feel like a sellout either directly or indirectly.
A lot of my time is spent on self-improvement. I’m a bit of a workaholic, but even work-life balance is something I’m committed to figuring out. Maybe I’m a control freak because I want to control every facet of my life.
Success to me is freedom. Everyone gets to define what success means to them. I think when most people hear that seven letter word they think of Bill Gates or Warren Buffet. They think of it in terms of money.
There’s part of me that does too. Some of success is money. Enough money to make decisions with your money rather than your money making decisions for you.
It’s important for everyone to identify what success means in terms of financial status. For me that’s a little above the average income so I can make investments in projects that I want to see make a difference. The other parts of what success looks like are health, love, and happiness.
A book I recently read (Habits of a Happy Brain) defines the “happy chemicals” in our brains as Dopamine, Endorphins, Oxytocin, and Serotonin. It made it really easy to pinpoint each part of my life that I can work on to achieve health, love, happiness, and even wealth.
For me it goes a like this:
That massive goal part is something I recently had to refocus on. I have a tendency to go all over the place with my passions and ambitions. The question is never “Do I want it bad enough?” but rather “What is IT that I want?”
Hard work only matters when it’s directed towards a goal. So working aimlessly, but hard, for an undefined IT feels like burning rubber. It’s not getting me anywhere.
So I’m going to write another post about how I’m working on gaining more clarity in my goals and focusing on those goals. In short, goal-oriented meditations and deep work is my solution.
What does success mean to you? Is it something you feel like is a dirty word or something everyone should be open about striving towards in their own way?
Thanks for reading and don’t forget to share if you liked this post.
Do you feel like your Facebook page or website aren't helping your business as much as it used to?
The cost of getting your posts out to your audience have skyrocketed.
Website trends keep moving ahead at light speeds.
eCommerce is a huge beast that takes time commitment to set up and manage.
The system is not rigged against you; the system has just evolved with more competition online. The internet is capitalism in it's truest form.
It has now become a business by itself just to keep up with the rapid changes happening with Facebook, YouTube, Websites, eCommerce, and the ecosystem as a whole. (I know because that is my business.)
You need one of two resources for online marketing: Time or Money.
how facebook has changed
On Facebook there is something called "organic" reach. That is who sees your post in their timeline without you having to do anything but hit "post".
Organic reach used to go out to everyone that has liked your page. That's not the case anymore-- as you may have noticed.
It might feel like Facebook is holding your fans hostage to get you to shell out some cash to show them your posts.
You can do that with boosted posts; however, those costs continue to rise with competition increasing for space in users' timelines.
The alternative is to understand Facebook's algorithm. The algorithm is a complex mathematical equation that decides what posts show up in a user's timeline. This is constantly changing, but there are a few key factors it always takes into consideration.
The big one is engagement:
How It Is Measured: If a user interacts with your posts, then Facebook's Algorithm decides that user must like your posts. Facebook then will show that user your posts without you having to pay for it.
(These interactions are likes, comments, shares. Each of those holding more value than the last.)
What To To: Make sure your posts encourage interaction. Simply asking people to share or asking questions rather than posing statements will increase interaction. Increased interaction will make your posts show up on more people's timelines naturally.
This only works if the posts can add value to those users. That value can be entertainment, interesting specific knowledge, or inspirational.
These types of posts take a lot more time to create on a regular basis, so make sure to recycle the posts that do well after a few months.
Remember: Attention spans online are short. Nobody will get mad at you for reposting something popular a few months later.
There is A LOT going on with Facebook and the changes will keep coming. Knowing how to use the worlds most used social media platform is a must for any business that wants to survive the next few decades.
Take this advice and create some great posts for your customers to interact with. Best of luck!
If this is all a little overwhelming or you just don't have the time to deal with it; send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to talk about Inzana Social Solutions' services or give me a call at (eight one four) 661-1220.
The year 2016 has been full of changes. This was big for our production company, Sideline Pictures. We released a feature film and have started new initiatives in the last few months to grow our audience.
As an online marketer and content creator myself, I have been watching over our statistics to see what lessons I could learn from this experimentation stage in Sideline Pictures.
In this post, I am going to go through the last three months of the Sideline Pictures website growth and related social media channels. Those are my primary responsibility and what I do for other businesses, so they are of the most interest to me (and probably you).
At the beginning of December, we started posting to the blog a few times a week.
This content was primarily informational and is intended to help our target audience of other filmmakers. The goal here is to increase authority and network reach. Also helping people makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
Unique visitors to the site started to spike immediately after new content was being created. Not only did this give visitors more potential pages to land on, it also opened up new opportunities to share pages on social media.
Here I am again. I'm sitting in front of my computer during a late night shift at a job that I don't hate enough to quit. Paralyzed by choice.
I rapidly Google online tests to tell me whether or not I should stay at this job, in this place, with my significant other. The answers are unsatisfying at best.
Everything seems to point to quit, move, leave them. Yet... that doesn't feel right.
On any given day my gut instinct about these three big questions sways in a totally different direction. How can you possibly make big choices like these without feeling like you're leaving another option behind?
In today's world there are so many opportunities sprawled out in front of us. I've found this one simple question has gotten me on the right path when I'm really struggling to come up with the answers myself.
Sitting here in front of my computer, I have long forgotten the first time I asked myself this. When I ask myself this question again, it will likely change the path I'm on for the better and I feel a huge weight being lifted from my shoulders.
[Note from a year later: It did drastically change everything. I moved halfway across the country and then back again after asking the big question again!]
The Million Dollar Question
I recently wrote an article and submitted it to The Filmmaker's Process. I would have posted it here on my site if not there, so go ahead over and check it out.
The Filmmaker's Process has some other great articles to check out as well. Some of my favorites include Filmmaking Doesn't Have to Be a Business, What It Takes to Become a Successful Filmmaker, The Case for Passion Projects, and How to Craft a Remarkable Story with "Iceberg Storytelling".
Also, I've been Vlogging roughly every week and uploading those videos to my normal YouTube channel. I've been trying to make videos about the mindset of being a filmmaker with some updates sprinkled in here and there.
I drove home from Philadelphia, barely able to stay awake on the turnpike. We had just completed a feature film, Blood on the Leaves, in the prior 13 days. Although I was a producer of the film (so my experience may have been slightly different than most), this was my first time working as an Assistant Director. I think it's valuable to share my experience, because most of the information out there is about being an AD on low-budget to full-budget feature films or TV shows; the experience working on a micro-budget film as the only member of your department is quite different.
I bounce around positions a lot. It's not abnormal at the micro-budget range I usually work in. I'm a producer, cinematographer, editor, visual effects artist, and sometimes director.
When we were sitting down in our producer's meetings for Blood on the Leaves, it was assumed at first that I would be the cinematographer-- we were working with the same team that did Blue Card, and I was the cinematographer on that series. However, I took notice pretty quickly that Ryan Haggerty-- who was slated to be camera assistant-- had a much different visual style than I do; a style that I felt fit the story much better.
I also noticed how complex the schedule was going to have to be in order to complete a feature film of this nature in less than two weeks. So I volunteered to dive in as the 1st Assistant Director and let Ryan take over as Director of Photography.
I immediately jumped online and started researching what fell under my responsibilities as an AD other than the schedule. There are some great resources out there to get you started, How To Film School and LineProducing.com, to name a few.
These sites taught me a lot, but I kept noticing they were definitely talking about bigger budgeted productions than what we were about to undertake. That's perhaps one of the biggest challenges when working on a micro-budget feature: every film is different, and micro-budget's especially must be done in a way that fits the limited resources.
So I took everything I learned on those sites with a grain of salt and sat down to figure out exactly what we NEEDED from me, what would be nice if I could pull off, and what was irrelevant to our production.