THE ONE THAT NEARLY BROKE ME
My very first paid udemy course - Becoming a Creative Brand Advocate
i'm so excited to share this course with you, to empower you and inspire you to take control of your online storytelling, your own personal seo that you carry with and amplify and storytell your own and other companies along the way.
this course is a brain dump from my mind to yours of hacks, tips, process and pipelines of what i consider before, during and after an event, conference or working on a social storytelling strategy for a brand.
i've tried to keep the course very 'chatty' on purpose. i want to humanise the content instead of giving you bullet points, i want you to see that i've actually done this and been through it rather than some niche i've discovered and learned about. this stuff i've actually done and used in the field. AND YOU CAN TOO.
as this is my first paid course (one of many) it's also one that i'll be adding to all the time as i'm certain i've missed bits out, when you pay for this course you can be safe in the knowledge that i'll build upon it and you will continue to get more value, tips, real life execution and new cloud software that can help a creative like you get that message out.
i'm so excited to share my wisdom and knowledge with you. purchasing my course helps me build out my online life and allows me to spend more time making better courses for you.
this is the biggest course i have done yet on udemy. it was for many years of my life my bread and butter (money) and the way that i built up my social media networks early on. i was at different locations in the uk, europe and america. it was an amazing time. if i had used some of the tips in here more regularly and with more planning i would have more to show for it today. you will learn a great deal from this course.
i want to describe to you what i think a brand advocate is, especially in the digital age in relation to brands, products and events. what the power of a number of advocates can do for your business and how you get the most from your brand advocates.
you'll quickly get to know the background about the creator of the course, intentions with all of his online courses and how to get the most value from them.
we will cover why you would open a dialog with a person, brand, digital agency or conference. each has different ways of working with you. i'll briefly touch on some methods that have really worked for me in starting a conversation.
reminding you here that chances are why you like a particular brand is that your a fan too. it's ok to add this side of your attempts to open dialog with a company. if you own or use their products your already an advocate of what they do.
in this lecture i'll go into two real life situations regarding two agencies, one from europe and one from new york that i indirectly worked with as an advocate 'ontheground' and how things normally happen and what you can expect.
we any job it has its highs and lows. i'll quickly discuss the good stuff and the bad and give you ways to prepare yourself for both. this area may expand in time.
as an advocate cranking out blog posts and content in general you'll find that it can bring attention you did'nt expect. startups are made and sold in hours these days with mega money floating around. you never know when you'll get caught in the crosshairs but there are things that you can do to be discovered if you put in the work. your digital legacy can have profound effects.
you'll never be able to just keep to a script, especially when the project is a personal one. you can go with your head screwed on the right way, with the right gear with the right content collection plan and have your world turned upside down. this was one such case that happened to me and how it changed me with the work i did after i visited this town. sometimes you just have to use your methods to spread an unfolding existing story with the mediums of output you have learned to use.
if your going to be a realtime, on-demand, distributed node of the internet you need to have the ability to schedule yourself in a proper manner. personally, i'm terrible but if your good then you already multiple this course by ten times. your going to crush this. i've had to self hack myself to be more on top of the requests and needs from people and brands at the most random of times. this section is really about self reflection.
seriously, if your gonna be a brand advocate you need to define how much time your going to allow to do it. is this a hobby, do you want to do it full time as a job, do you want to be an advocate for multiple companies, manage advocates. questions to ask yourself before you get into this. how much time do you have at the moment?
are you a morning or evening person, weekends only work for you, after exercising are you super focused. finding out when you are most productive can makes such a difference to how much work you can get done. some of my tips to working that out.
i have a workflow that i keep to with every job that i do, using trello i plan out each part of the trip in regards to pre-prep of digital assets, cloud storage locations and sharing, travel plans and levels of redundancy and try to plant some seeds of asset collection for the days i'm 'ontheground' either at an event or content that i'm required to make over a period of time.
i have some hacks that i apply on myself when i'm working for a client to make sure things get done in a timely manner. from making sure you get your content in a cloud location to backup operatives that deal with things at home in a different timezone you can employ some of these methods to keep you grinding away and help you keep going if your doing back to back clients thus saving time of rollover.
as a temporary job i was recently working twelve hours shifts over four days (it was killing me creatively) but i learnt how to turn those few hours each night into breaking down tasks in my next available time. understand your energy levels is super important to taking your time back and being super productive in the time you have.
from the uk to america flight time is around eight hours and trust that you can get a lot done in that time, constructing draft tweets and alarms, optimising your laptop and running utilities to mapping out intro and outros graphics and building draft emails to crucial people. get stuff done.
having the fastest connectivity tools on you can be the different from being digitally empowered or offline. having a quad band mifi device with preloaded sims with the fastest connection available at your destination is a great redundancy backup, don't rely on wifi networks (always wear a vpn people) get your content into a safe web location as soon as you can.
just a little quiz about this section, just to make sure you have been listening and taking it in? :)
this section really is only a taster to an overall bigger area that you will need to hone but these pointers should be enough to get you started and start making you look at this area with better clarity. engaging brands via their social channels is a faster way to get contact details and speedy access often to the people in the brand that make decisions on sponsoring, partnerships and advocacy.
i wanted to be a brand advocate for a few reasons, one of the core ones is because i loved the product that a brand was selling. you can have many reasons why - build quality, ethics, dedication to brand message, ideology, sustainable production, future thinking. ask yourself the same questions and you'll be on your way to understand how to best talk to the people you maybe want to be advocates for.
when i joined twitter in 2006 (user 10,000 something) i had to pound the digital pavement to get my name out there as someone that was interested in video and video streaming. i had to find information, a few years later anything video related was finding me. you have to blog, you have to make noise, you have to network and your stuff has to be well formed, good and supported. you have to have the complete package.
your blogs, your comments and your opinions will be judged, broken apart, analysed and corrected. voted up, down and potentially manipulated. at any time your life can be remixed. you are your own shogun when your online. you need to be able to defend your digital reputation in a super timely manner should your ever need to explain your comments and statements. understand the laws of the countries you are broadcasting in. never hype to get attention, you'll end up with the wrong audience.
you have a voice, you have something to share and say to the world about a product from a brand that fits (or not) into your day to day. as a brand advocate leaning towards one brand over another your voice is a powerful standalone message that a company can use (they tend to lean towards good messages over bad i will add) so reach out to the social media team of the product, service or brand that you love and point them to one of your masterpieces. you do have content right?
why you? ask yourself some serious questions about your intentions with opening a dialog with your target companies of choice. why would they write back, what do you offer, can they get excited about it, is it fresh or are you copying someone else. is it timely, are you adding value to the overall social messaging. you gotta bring it.
'these are not the advocates you are looking for' - unless of course you use these tactics and self hacks to get yourself in front of the right people to use them. these behaviours can help a lot in your journey to being a true digital brand advocate.
of course you can do what you like but i promise you that if your starting advocacy today, learning this course i heartily suggest you looking into the ethics and sustainability of a company. doing so will be more attractive in the long run whilst maintaining relationships with those bigger brands. remember your a story teller, stories can make or break a company these days.
brands that are new to digital engagement and conversation are desperate for your input. your voice once added to the overall strategy and marketing mix can help keep the audiences focus on a companies products and services (often indirectly) if your using a companies product on a daily basis chances are your using it over another because of a number of factors - quality, reliability, features. all these decisions you have taken are perfect for a brands social media outreach.
i'm interested in what you picked up from this section in the way I would approach a situation, let's see if you can really understand what i would do.
not only will these pointers serve you well in educating your potential agencies you wish to work with about you - they will also contribute to help you inform your current and potentially future followers about the way you work. putting out the way you like to work in the world has served me well in finding work with like minded people. these are merely a guide that i use for me, your mileage may vary so i suggest you adjust accordingly.
it's just called 'doing the right thing' if your talking about a product, service or brand and they have paid you some kind of renumeration for your input (mainly is a positive review most times) then please please, tell people! not only can people make their own decision about the review they can see that it's possible that it was part of a bigger marketing effort to use social channels to get their product out there.
get your digital cv in order. if you got an email right now from an agency could you with the flick of a few buttons in an app send out something super fast that shows you have your digital house in order. your gonna need to be ready to go at the drop of a hat. sometimes same day! so have an advocate ready bag ready to go. keeping all your videos and projects at a quick jump location with serve you well.
most of the time a digital agency will have a social media team that will make decisions on what puts the brand in a good light to their audience. the best way for you to be a part of that if to do your best work but also remember that your the face of the brand. tweets, audio interviews and video snippits should always have the brand values at the heart. if your at a conference remember your the face of that brand. respect it, be humble.
what you think is good might be completely off base. get your content feedback as soon as possible so you can factor in changes. if your gonna be a busy advocate jumping from one project to another you need a solid release and fix cycle. you need to be able to fix what a brand needs and get it out the door before the next project starts. overlap is a killer for a dynamic brand advocate. i know, i've been there.
we concentrate in this lecture about website (wistia - i'm a brand advocate for those guys btw so i'm totally biased but trust me here, they are awesome) which allows you to create web folders similar in some ways to sites like dropbox that allow you to work with your drafts and share them securely with your client before the final post. they are able to comment and leave feedback but also download and share with other team members.
so you heard how i work with agencies. which of these are true or false?
this is not a complete list of tools for the job but it will certainly power up your existing outreach and advocacy if you are already making content on the internet. while this is not a complete list of tools it is a solid foundation and will help you find other tools and communities based around their usage.
tools for brand advocates are changing all the time, you have to keep current and you have to know what's going to work when your on location for a brand, adapting your toolset on the go can be a risky business and can be the difference between capturing an interview or not. you need to know the tool inside out and have backups ready in case of an update gone wrong, feature removal or connectivity issue when out of cellular range. in this lecture we will discuss cloud tools, why you should play with them, how to use them and what backups to have.
having solid comms between team members is crucial to make sure everyone in the team is on track, you can get some great chat systems now so your covered across platforms. in this lecture we look at slack and why it's a brand advocates dream for retaining information and linking to additional services across the web.
being a brand advocate means lots of pre-prep for the job before it starts and having web tools that make that easier. if you know your going to busy on location you can automate a number of updates without being too spammy. i find making these while i'm in transition between places is a good way to optimize your time. updates on speakers, background videos, photos to remind people to connect. scheduling is a power move you need to get under your belt.
as i mentioned in the previous lecture building up digital assets on the web that you can schedule really add to your package as a brand advocate. sync your assets to a programme guide or schedule for an event and use the hashtag will bring lots of attention to you as an advocate, often can make you a lot bigger and more organized as a digital agency jack all of trades.
got video editors back at base waiting on your content? ftp, dropbox, dropmark, wistia, etc -- lots of tools exist in the world for you to get things back to base but have you thought about using the bittorrent protocol to sync folders between the operatives in your team. bittorrent is an incredibly resilient protocol and it can be super speedy to get your content over to your editor using whatever connection you have.
as part of your creative process at some point your going to need to start making lists for delivering on the requirements of your client or agency requests. i've found trello to be a brilliant web service that make list creation an easy process and allows you to share updates with team members, assign them tasks, create checklists and generally organize things better. i'll give you a quick walk through how i use it when working with a client.
picking your video streaming tool of choice. i'm not going to tell you which one is better than each other but i will tell you that building a community on one of these platforms and taking your tribe with you on your adventures is brilliant for not only having friends with you on the go but it validates your skills at the same time. time sensitive, location based transmedia making is huge for digital agencies. having digital operatives in the field is a very powerful addition.
can't afford creative suite well you might be surprised that you can make your web graphics using powerful cloud tools in your browser. take your graphics assets with you on the go and make banners for blog posts, audio and picture posts that enhance your messaging on the go.
how many different audiences do you think you have and why do they follow you on one platform over another. have you ever used the powerful dm messaging feature of instagram - did you know that you can message up to 15 people at a time with a direct message using either a picture or video? with powerful geo location features you can almost leave an imprint of your visit in locations all around the world for people checking into that location. all methods of starting a global conversation.
i find myself constantly telling people what i do, what i'm doing, who i work for and why at conferences and events that i decided that it might be an idea to make a super fast way of spreading that information en masse to a set of people to allow me to focus on my work at an event for the client. one of the ways you can do this is to make a slide deck super quickly. you can even do this on your tablet these days. this is one such way that you can do this.
blogging on the go can be hard but you really do have the tools you need in your pocket now if you have a smartphone or tablet. blogging on the go is possible you just have to factor it into your daily social pipeline. we discuss tablet applications that make it super easy to tell the story as you go.
getting that perfect audio interview is hard. timing, people being busy, background noise, mics that need a battery replacing and then getting the most out of the audio once you have it. you can help that process along by doing a series of things at the start that effect the outcome, especially when you have an application that has ordering of transcripts already built in.
another section done, well done you. let's have a look at some web tools questions. hope you get them all right!
my brain to you. everything that goes through my mind when i go into 'getting the most out of this trip' mode as soon as i arrive in the airport. from arriving and flying, encrypting, meeting up, staying sharp and prepping questions. nothing like being prepared to show up both mentally and physically.
i'm addicted to data, so much so that i love to be kept in the loop when it comes to when i'm able to get the next bus once i land. before the flight i'm getting push notifications and gate updates via flight board. two power tools you should get to help you get to where you need too.
your posting on that, over here, on that public wifi, your on the move, your buying things, booking things, confirming things, having private conversations via direct messaging across different applications. you need to encrypt your internet traffic, luckily it's as easy as just clicking a button and as standard everyday it's something you should be doing without fail.
i felt like i was constantly telling people over and over again everytime we wanted to ask someone questions about a topic. it seemed to waste time so instead we developed a postcard which they got to keep and we would put on all the places they would be able to see their little snippit of content be it a picture, video or audio interview. that way they also got to share with their social networks. our postcard had the questions written down and they would read it first then read the question out and give us their answers making it easier (if video) to cut it up in edit later on.
seriously. after a full day of doing conferences people are not in the mood to talk business (or shop as we call it in england) it's best for you to leave those conversations until morning over breakfast. that's when it's been the best times for me to engage. morning time, but allow everyone to drink coffee first ok? :)
groupme really made my sxsw one year. side stepping the busy twitter ecosystem to engage in a room (app) with a hundred strong group of people who have strong networks and seemingly vip access everywhere. having a back channel can help massively to making connections and interviews happen outside of the madness.
don't ask me why, weather, sheer number of connected devices in one location, cellular service, overloaded wifi networks, people drinking too much in a short space of time. don't assume that your equipment will last all day long, take some backup equipment with you to cover you.
i always take two bags with me when i go to conferences for my clothes and kit. i also try and have a day and night bag ready to go so that i can call back to the place i'm crashing to get my GO evening bag which although has equipment is much lighter and more suited for evening potential craziness.
when i'm at a conference i arrange my programs not just by type but by function regarding things i need to make. i'm often tired and later on in the evening having a few drinks so being able to be remembered what to do in a sequence really helps.
networking, chatting and catching up with people can through your usual schedule out. i'm certain you'll probably remember to eat with the group but if not try and keep some foods on you to help you get a lift in an emergency if you have forgotten, set some timers really helps. especially when it comes to water. keep yourself alert, drink that water!
did you listen, did you catch it all?
these are strictly my opinions only of course. this is how i act or want to act when i'm working as a brand advocate for companies. they might not apply to the way you work as an advocate. some of these are just general belief systems that i stand by that i believe will serve you better regards legacy in building up a relationship over time with a brand.
be careful of digital agencies that have a brands advocacy as wholesale. their mission is to send out to a number of people, get feedback and blog posts floating around the web that they can use the stats of for reach to feed back to the brand. the brand is willing to give away a number of free product to get in the hands of bloggers who have the reach to get their audience to look at it. amplified word of mouth social media is incredibly powerful to help promote and selling products. be careful what your reviewing. remember to value your connections that you took time to build.
please, don't review it because what it looks like and because it's new and cool. give it a proper test, go into detail, only say it's awesome if you know it's awesome, not just because everyone has one. things are often needing a number of revisions before it becomes awesome, take the difference between the iphone and the iphone6s for instance.
my personal preference of brand advocacy is talking to those brands that hand made everything they make, for sure components need to be mass produced to scale up production of a popular product and sometimes for the internals of the hand made items but with hand made comes something else. the passion and perfection and the build quality of standards, checking, legacy and the human touch and eye of taking something from an object to something of beauty. i would rather be an advocate of hand made over mass produced junk limited life scale production.
seriously, don't just get one device and think that's all that style of device can do. feature set is important, especially for a brand advocate. why have a device that can have one thing when you can have the same device that can do three things together? if you can do your best to try devices head to head. comparing hardware products from build quality, image quality, power usage. highlight what makes something better for an application rather than just point scoring something over something else.
this might be an interesting quiz regarding right or wrong. be interested in your results from this quiz.
this was my first paid course. i put my heart and soul, passion and wisdom into it. it will grow much bigger. i loved being a brand advocate and hope to build on it in the next two years as i start my new life more offgrid in a different country hopefully so your reviews and feedback/questions are super important to me. i'm chasing down my passion to live completely on the grid but live my real life outside of it. i hope you will come on this journey with me.
i had a revelation one day while onsite at beehive farm regarding the huts they have onsite. these huts would not only make a perfect to go 'coffee shop' but also mini co-working and dedicated maker space for fiver. a simple partition inside would help with reducing noise and allow for safety when the laser is operational. nest cameras mounted inside and out for storytelling and security would mean this was an always on, drop in space for creatives, makers and coffee people who wanted to 'grab and go' takeout. this is my dream, and the best part is once it's up and running we will get a trailer designed for it as well.
my courses are designed to ebb and flow. i'll remove the poorly viewed or engaged content and add new content as and when people ask. i'm especially certain that this paid course will have lots of students with lots of questions for me to go into detail about. i know i've missed a lot out and i want to fix that. this course was super hard to get done in the time frame that i had but i got there. i'll be really happy if i have ten course up before the end of 2015. expect this course to get new content every few months.
if you did not notice already the majority of this course and some of my free ones is about feeling comfortable, informed and confident about having the knowledge to do a good job. to feel confident that what you capture will be of good quality and that your brand can use it to amplify their products or services. now you have the knowledge you need to turn that into skill, how do you get skill i hear you say? practice and focus. zone out from everything around you and focus on what YOU need to do. it can be hard work at first but there is nothing more empowering than seeing your portfolio of work expand.
i hope you loved this course. if you did not, why not. please message me directly and let me know. i want you to be over the moon (english expression only?) with it so that you go away with so much value that you just want more and more. if you loved it and cannot wait for more tell me that too. you can find me on twitter AT philcampbell, drop me a message i would love to hear from you. i have at least twenty courses in my trello board and i'm shooting for twenty courses up before the end of 2015.
two reasons exist for my courses. the first is obvious, i'm trying to make an income stream so that i do not have to spend eight or twelve hours in a job i hate talking to people around a water cooler that don't really give a damn about my creative wants and needs. in this place i'm happy. i get to the other big reason. i get to share my wisdom that i have collected, curated and narrated over the year so that you can be more informed. nothing makes me more invested in the world around me than people who want to learn and want to share. my heart felt thanks to all of you that paid your hard earned money on my course. it means, the world.
hey, boo! let's see what you picked up about apiary and my mission statement from this section. true or false time my friends.
I love playing with technology and making it easier for others to understand.
My journey has taken many paths in the last twenty years and currently i'm living in Derbyshire, England from the icanhazvan project.
I've Worked with Digital Agencies over the years as a Video Brand Advocate and Blogger with 1000heads (Nokia) and Crayon (watchtv/verisign) learning the art of Transmedia Storytelling.
My intention is to push to be living off-grid (with on-grid internet!) teaching my daughter about all things sustainable in the process and teaching her and others about data.
Sold the domain name 'medm' to Evan Williams of Twitter fame during the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games for a five figure sum and helped out a Tornado hit town with the same name (Phil Campbell, Alabama) with Social Media and awareness to help get the coverage it deserved as part of the 'im with phil' project and documentary.
My courses are priced for everyone to afford. Purchasing my courses allows me to live out my dream of working digitally from revenue i make from my creative works.