Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Christmas Greeting

Send a Personalised Christmas Greeting & Sales Video



Cheaper than a real card* - Says more than an e-card

We can personalise the Christmas greeting video with your choice of message, add your logo image or name, or even include a sales promotion with your festive message. See the two examples below.

About the Greeting Video
  • Send it to your email mailing list
  • Post it on your social media accounts
  • Embed it on your website or blog
  • 30 seconds long
  • Choose your own greeting in the sky
  • Include your logo or name as text
  • Full festive greeting or promotion on the end card
  • Voiceover recording of your promotional script (£99 version)



Two versions available

  • Standard: Text + Music: £49
  • Deluxe:     Text + Music + Voiceover (just like a TV ad): £99

Standard Version - £49


Deluxe Version - £99


Book Now
Contact Tosh Lubek to book your Christmas Greeting Video.


Telephone: 01292 570823
email: tosh@toshlubekproductions.co.uk


Final orders by 5.00pm Friday 27th November



* Compared to the cost of 50 printed Christmas cards with envelopes and postage. 



Thursday, 15 October 2015

Best Royalty Free Music Sites For YouTube Videos

What is the best solution when it comes to music for YouTube videos?

If you want to know what you can use, where you can get it and how to get FREE music that won’t get you into trouble on YouTube keep reading.

I will explain why you should avoid using your personal music collection, expalin what is  the best alternative and then give you 13 sources of music that are ideal for online use.


If you're just looking for the 13 sources of music I suggest you scroll down until you get to that part of the post.




Many people think because they have paid for CDs or downloads they can legitimately use their personal music collection on their YouTube videos, which is NOT the case. A personal music collection is exactly that, personal. All they have bought is the right to listen to the music themselves, technically playing their music in an office in ear-shot of several other people would require a performing rights license.

Some people would have you believe that under copyright Fair Use you can use anything you like provided you only use clips of up to 30sec. Again this is not true. Fair Use laws do not stipulate the amount of a work you can legitimately use, partly because 30sec of an hour long concert is a small fraction of the original work but 30sec of a 1minute track is a significant proportion of the original.

There are other factors to consider when claiming Fair Use but the only way to determine whether something is indeed Fair Use is to take it to a Federal Court and have them make a judgement, something that would obviously be impractical and very expensive. A useful article on Copyright & Fair Use by Rich Stim is available on the Stanford University Libraries website. YouTube also provides useful information on Fair Use.

In my opinion, in terms of cost and quality, the best alternative is royalty free music for youtube videos.

Unfortunately this type of music includes the word “free” in its name, which can lead to confusion. Royalty free music is NOT free of charge, it’s not free of copyright and it may not even be royalty free. If you feel confused that is perfectly understandable since the different royalty free music libraries may offer music that is royalty free to the video producer, music that is completely royalty free, or both. The important point for YouTubers is that both flavours of royalty free music is free of royalties for them as video creators.

If you are a YouTube Creator royalty free music licensing means you pay once and YOU don’t pay any royalties (if any are due). However if you intend to monetize your YouTube videos it is worth checking the licensing details of each music library. You can read more about these two types of royalty free music here.

Having just established that royalty free music is not free let me contradict myself because sometimes royalty free music can be free. Sometimes composers or publishers will make some of their music available free of charge for non-commercial projects and only ask for a credit or link back to their website. Some online libraries may also make a few tracks available free of charge to encourage you to try their product, I’ll give you links later in this post.

The important thing is royalty free music for youtube videos gives you good quality music at an affordable price. To find suitable tracks you could search online but I have prepared a list of 13 of the best royalty free music sites. I have used, like and trust all of these sites and have never had any problems with them.


Royalty Free Music Sites For YouTube Videos


123RF offers music tracks, logos and idents. You can search by genre, mood or instruments and the styles range from corporate and pop to classical and world beat. You pay using a credit system with a minimum purchase of 10 credits but to save money you can buy a larger number of credits. There are no daily limits but prices vary; 12 credits per track is quite typical. For me in the UK that’s £11, which is equivalent to about $16 US. For YouTube videos you just need their standard licence and you can usually downloaded as Waveform Audio File Format (WAV), MP3 and Audio Interchange File Format (AIFF). Their website can be viewed in 14 languages and their support service is excellent, both online and telephone. Although the head office is in Kuala Lumpur they have offices in North, Central and South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia.
In summary, 123RF offers good quality audio content, is inexpensive and you can speak to real people if necessary.
123RF website linkwww.123rf.com

Stock Photos from 123RF



Audio Jungle has a huge amount of music including instrumental, vocal and logo stings – all really useful stuff. You can buy on a pay as you go basis or deposit funds for future purchases, the latter saves you a couple of dollars on each transaction. Typically a full length track costs from $19. A quick tip: because Audio Jungle is part of the Envato marketplace any deposits you make can also be used on any of the other Envato sites, such as VideoHive, GraphicRiver, PhotoDune etc.
Note that each license allows you to use the music on only one end product, in this case a YouTube video, which differs from some other royalty free libraries.
Audio Jungle websiteaudiojungle.net 




Royalty-Free Stock Video at Pond5
Pond5 offers royalty free audio, images, video and AfterEffects templates all in one place. Their royalty free music ranges in style from acoustic to hip hop but I think prices vary a bit more than on AudioJungle but typically a track costs around $20. If you want some free and unusual stuff check out their Public Domain project that includes free music tracks and old video clips.
Pond5 websitewww.pond5.com



 https://www.shockwave-sound.com/
Shockwave Sound offers good value at $29.95 per track or $99.95 for albums. Tracks are available in full length, commercial lengths and loops, which is very useful. Bulk discounts are available and they even suggest you can save yourself 10% by joining their affiliate program and using your own affiliate link. The website has recently been upgraded  (Autumn 2015). It is easy to use and is one of the growing number of royalty free suppliers who provide short and simple to understand licensing terms and conditions (well done). Youtubers just need to buy the music with a standard license. The site provides a wealth of tools, articles and information, all of which are worth seeking out.
Shockwave sound websitewww.shockwave-sound.com




 https://www.audioblocks.com/
Audio Blocks is a subscription service and it can be one of the cheapest sources of royalty free music. You get unlimited access to more than 100,000 tracks. The annual subscription offers maximum value for money at $99 and if you decide to cancel your subscription you can keep everything you have downloaded and continue to use it royalty-free as many times as you like for ever.
Audioblocks websitewww.audioblocks.com


Royalty Free Music Royalty Free Music is part of Getty Images, a big player in the stock content market. They have 8,000 music tracks in a wide range of genres and you can search by style, category, tempo, mood, genre and instrument. Prices start at $9.95 a track and $99.95 for albums. They have specials available but since they are updated frequently it’s best if you check the site for their current one.
Royalty Free Music website: www.royaltyfreemusic.com



Yopo music and AKM Music
Both these sites sell their music as albums and individual tracks. The music prices on both sites are very good but are priced in British pounds. An individual track from Yopo Music costs £7.99 with albums at £24.99. AKM Music charges £10.96 per track and £36 for albums. At the moment (Autumn 2015) a pound is approximately $1.50 so just multiply these prices by 1.5 for the approximate dollar price. Support is good from both companies and if necessary you can speak to the owners by telephone.
Yopo Music websitewww.yopo.co.uk
AKM Music websitewww.akmmusic.co.uk 




Stockmusic (dot com) from Sound Ideas offers over 13,000 royalty free audio tracks on 209 albums. You have a choice of albums, tracks, production elements and sound effects. Prices start from $2.49 for sound effects, $29.95 for full tracks and $99 for complete albums. Unfortunately the look of the website is a bit dated but don’t be put off. The site make it easy to understand what you can do with their music and that you can use each track forever in an unlimited number of different videos. As a side note, Sound Ideas also sell on AudioJungle and their own website and are one of the largest suppliers of SFX libraries.
Stockmusic.com website: stockmusic.com




Stockmusic (dot net), not to be confused with the similarly sounding one above, offers royalty free music tracks for $39.95 and the quality is excellent and up to date and you have over 4,000 tracks to choose from. They say all their music comes with an unlimited license, is completely royalty free and can be used over and over in your projects. So as stockmusic say in their blog, “you could use a track in a YouTube video, then in a commercial, then for the backdrop of a podcast.” So you’re getting plenty of value here.
Stockmusic.net website: www.stockmusic.net




Premium Beat is the royalty free music arm of Shutterstock. Their Standard license specifically says you can use their music on YouTube videos and even monetize them. The choice is superb and includes high quality classical recordings. Full tracks cost $39.95 but you can also add shorter length versions and loop sets to your purchase for a little extra. They have some free stuff on their site, check out the link to my blog in the description below.
Premiumbeat website: www.premiumbeat.com




Smart Sound is a royalty free music library is different in a few ways. You can access it through their Sonicfire Pro app and plugin, the Vimeo music store and the Smartsound website. The smart thing about smartsound is you can customize the duration, the musical variation and mood of each track. Despite the flexibility the standard commercial license is £39.95. Smartsound also has some free music for YouTube videos on their website so check it out.
Smartsound home page: www.smartsound.com
Vimeo Music Store: vimeo.com/musicstore



YouTube free music for Creators This is a collection of YouTube royalty free music that is completely safe to use on YouTube with no risk of a Content ID Match. And even better it’s also FREE. Log into your YouTube account, go to Creator Studio and click on Create. Alternatively go to youtube.com/audiolibrary/music. You can choose from “Free Music” and “Sound Effects”. If you want to monetize your videos click the play icon of the track you like to check the license terms.

So there you have thirteen sources of royalty free YouTube music that I’ve personally used, like and trust. I would recommend checking the licensing terms before buying to ensure you buy the correct license for your project.

If you have used other royalty free music sources please share the information in the comments. 

Please note some of the links above are affiliate links and I may earn little if you click and buy music. I have included these links because I have used those libraries and their products. I do not recommend any music libraries whose music I have not used for my own projects for YouTube videos and radio & TV advertisements.





Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Why Ladder Grips Are The Best New Ladder Safety Accessories

Ladder Grips safety device
If you have ever climbed a ladder you will know that it can be an unsettling experience and sometimes downright dangerous. So it is good to find ladder safety accessories and devices that work, are easy to use and are NOT one of those use once and put away and forget gizmos.


A Scottish company has developed and patented a new ladder safety accessory called Ladder Grips, which will soon to be available direct from their website laddergrips.com.



You can watch LadderGrips' new corporate video here.



Bobby Park, Inventor
I met Bobby Park, the inventor, who told me about his ladder safety devices and even took me to the Ayrshire factory where Ladder Grips are being manufactured. Bobby told me that Ladder Grips are a unique new ladder safety accessory for the workplace and home and that, size for size, no other ladder safety devices or accessories provide the level of safety or versatility. The key feature of Ladder Grips that make it so powerful in improving ladder safety is the formulation of the rubber pad. Bobby went through several prototypes until finding the perfect rubber for his ladder grips.



Ladder Grips parts laser cut from 2.5mm steel

The Ladder Grips are manufactured from welded 2.5mm steel with a powder coating and non-ferrous fittings to maximize strength and durability. The special natural rubber ladder pads are fixed to the steel and provide the grip necessary to keep the ladder stable.





One of the unique features of Ladder Grips is in the approach Bobby has taken to improve ladder stability by upto 350%. Most ladder safety devices concentrate on trying to fix the ladder feet whereas Ladder Grips aim to fix the top of the ladder. If the top is made immobile the feet are unlikely to move. To illustrate this Bobby prepared a demonstration to illustrate how the friction between the rubber pads and the working surface secure the ladder. Although you must always secure your ladder feet, and NOT replicate Bobby’s demonstration, he put his ladder feet on a castor-board that was free to move on the concrete ground surface. Climbing up the ladder and even bouncing on the ladder did not make the ladder slip, demonstrating the success of the concept that ladder stability can be improved by fixing the top of the ladder.

Ladder Grips independently attach to the ladder stiles
Ladder Grips can be attached to all box section ladders, transforming almost any ladder into a much safer working platform. They are clamped anywhere along the ladder stiles, or legs, and secured by tightening the thumb screw. Because the grips can be independently positioned and clamped to the ladder stiles you can work more safely on sloping surfaces, such as a gable end.



Staggered fitting for awkward surfaces
Normally the poor contact of the ladder would allow even a moderate gust of wind to blow your ladder off its landing. But by off-set clamping of the Ladder Grips your ladder maintains full and secure contact with the working surface. The 14,000mm2 of natural rubber pads can be locked parallel to the ladder stile, or pivoted, providing full contact with the surface for working angles up to 25 degrees.


Gripping power for angled ascent
Another one of Bobby’s demonstrations was to set up the ladder at a sideways angle by extending one of the ladder legs. In the image you can see the true vertical indicated by the cable on the side of the house and the hammer hanging vertically from Bobby's work belt. Again you should not do this but the gripping power of his Ladder Grips allowed Bobby to climb the ladder with confidence, even at this ridiculous angle.


Ladder Grips are also small enough to pack away in your tool box once the job is done, or you can leave them on the ladder for storage. Stay secure, stay safe. Get your Ladder Grips today. For more details and pricing visit laddergrips.com

WARNING. DO NOT replicate any of the demonstrations in the Ladder Grips video. Ladder grips are NOT intended to help you use a ladder inappropriately. For details of best practice in safe ladder use visit the HSEwebsiteThe HSE have produced a brief guide for Safe use of ladders and stepladders. The Ladder Association also provide guidance and training for proper ladder use.





Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Pink Truck Supports Think Pink Scotland Breast Cancer Charity

Instead of the usual business tips this post is about Newtown Waste Solutions launch of their new Pink Trucks in support of Breast Cancer Charity Think Pink Scotland. Watch the video below or read on for the full story. If you would like to help in the fundraising please contact Newtown Waste Solutions on 01698 250007.



£50,000 target
Newtown Waste Solutions will be holding various fund raisers throughout the year to help raise funds for breast cancer research in Glasgow. The skip hire company is based in Motherwell and is set itself a target of raising £50,000 for Think Pink Scotland’s breast cancer research campaign. In the UK breast cancer is now the most common cancer with about 125 women diagnosed with the disease every day. Increasingly people are becoming aware that men can also fall victim to breast cancer and 300 UK men are diagnosed with the condition every year.


Martin McLindon and Billy Neilson with their team
Martin McLindon and Billy Neilson, co-owners of Newtown Waste Solutions, launched the company’s two Pink Trucks, supplied by MAN Truck and Bus Limited, on 1st September 2015. For the next year or two they will become a familiar sight on the streets of Motherwell and Glasgow.

A stunning pink livery


Newtown Waste's MAN Euro 6 8x4 in the Pink Think Scotland Livery
The trucks have been given an eye-catching pink livery to support Think Pink Scotland’s breast cancer research campaign. The trucks are MAN Euro 6 8x4 with hook lift and a power of 400bhp. Roger Turnbull from MAN Truck and Bus was at the launch to support Newtown Waste Solutions. Roger said he thought, "the truck looked absolutely stunning and that he was certain it would make a big impact on the roads".

Roger Turnbull, Sales Territory Manager, MAN Truck & Bus Ltd

By supporting Think Pink Scotland Newtown Waste Solutions and Skip Hire are helping to fund ground-breaking cancer research in the University of Glasgow’s laboratories. All monies raised will help to bring the best scientific talent to Glasgow and purchase vital new equipment. The ground breaking breast cancer research at the University of Glasgow is advancing our knowledge of breast cancer and is helping to develop new and better breast cancer therapies. It is hoped that the charity fund raising will help lead to breakthrough breast cancer treatments.

Research in Glasgow  
Think Pink Scotland will use the £50,000 raised by the breast cancer campaign to help fund vital research projects, scientists, equipment and technology, and those funds will be spent in Glasgow. By funding research we hope to develop new treatments and more effective treatments for people with breast cancer.

The good thing about Think Pink Scotland is that administration costs and a lot of the other costs are absorbed by Glasgow University so every pound donated to Think Pink Scotland goes to research.

Motherwell FC lend their support

Motherwell FC players attend the press launch of the Pink Trucks

As part of their partnership with Think Pink Scotland Newtown Waste will be holding a variety of fundraising events including a fundraising golf day, an afternoon tea, and also a sportsman’s dinner. And one of the first things Newtown Waste will be doing is a collection at MotherwellFootball Club.

Please help
If you would like to help in our breast cancer campaign contact Newtown Waste Solutions in Motherwell on 01698 250007.


If you would like to link to the video or embed the video it is available from Tosh Lubek YouTube channel.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

5 Surefire Tips To Build Your Facebook Page

Today's post is based on a seminar presented by Liz Melville to a packed room during the Social Media and Marketing Show in Edinburgh in July of 2015. Liz have built three businesses using social media and currently runs her own Social media company helping clients to use social media effectively to generate real sales. However the trick on Facebook, as you will discover below is not to SELL, SELL, SELL. You can watch the video I took of Liz's seminar (you'll get more details by watching) or you can read the summary that is the post below. Whichever you prefer I suspect it will change the way you use Facebook.







Research your ideal customer

You need to know who is your ideal audience. Who do you want to find? You have to know who you’re looking for on social media. You might say, it’s everyone, but you would be wrong, that’s not your ideal audience. You need to think about who you really want to talk to and reach on Facebook and then tailor your message to them.

So you need to understand your customers but how to you do that? You need to use a Facebook tool called Graph Search. Now if you are not in the USA you probably will not have heard about Graph Search because it generally has not been rolled out beyond America. Do not worry, you can still access Graph Search by going to your personal profile and change your language settings to “English US” and you will have access to Facebook Graph Search. It is an amazing tool that very few people know about but will tell you all you need to know about your target market on Facebook.
Type in phrases into the search bar at the top of Facebook. For instance, “Pages liked by people who like Liz Mellville”. Obviously you would substitute your business page name for “Liz Melville”. If you want to snoop on the competition it could be a competitor’s business page name or another page where you might find your ideal customer. Facebook will return a list of other pages that your fans like so you can build a list of their topics of interest. In Liz’s case the results show that her fans are into books and literature. So it is a no-brainer that Liz ought to talk about books and literature but she could bring it back to a business context and ask her fans, “what’s the best business book you have ready lately?” By doing so she is linking it back to what she has found out about what her audience is interested in.

Other searches you could try could include “favourite interests of people who like (insert your business page name)”. You will gradually build up a profile of your ideal customer and once you have that information you will be able to decide what to talk about on Facebook. If you have local clients you can use graph search to find local client information. So type in “Pages liked by people who like (insert business page name) and live in (insert city name)”. You will get lots of information about people who live in that city who like your business page.

By using Graph Search you are able to hone in on what your audience wants to hear about. Importantly do not talk about what you want to sell but what they want to hear, that’s the key because most of the time that people are on Facebook they are not there to buy but to have a chat.


You can also like other business pages who have the same ideal client as you. Do it while logged in as your business page and start joining in the conversation on their posts. Your thumbnail profile will start to come up in those conversations, people will see what you do and they may just come across and like your page. Again don’t try and sell, you are just gradually drip-feeding into their consciousness that you are around.
   
A further great tool on Facebook that allows you to gain even more information about your ideal customer is Audience Insights. It will tell you everything you need to know about people (not individuals) on Facebook. Go into your personal profile, on the left hand side you will see the menu and look for Ads Manager, go in there and you will see Audience Insights. It will give you detailed information about your ideal customers, such as income levels, where they live, the car they drive, whether they are married etc. Again you can start to build up a detailed profile of who you are trying to talk to and what is happening in their lives that you can talk about.





Set some goals and measure your success

It does not really matter what it is but you should have a goal. If you do not know what you want to get out of using Facebook how will you know it is working for you? Make sure your goals are specific so that you can measure your success. So it might be…
  • ·         How many website/blog visitors you can drive from Facebook?
  • ·         How many email subscribers you can get?
  • ·         How many page likes do you want to get?
  • ·         What level of post reach do you want?
  • ·         What percentage uplift in sales?
Whatever you choose make sure it is measurable and after a set period of time see whether you have achieved your goal. This is important because this will tell you whether the cost of your time is worth it. Remember every hour you are on Facebook you could be potentially be doing something else. If Facebook is not working for you either need to adjust your approach or use your time productively doing something else.


Seek out your audience

You need to “fish” in the right place to find people you want. Again you can use Graph Search to answer:
  • ·      Which Facebook pages do your audience love?
  • ·      Which Facebook Groups might they be in? 
Here again, Graph Search is your friend. Use it to hone your customer profile and then go looking for them in the places they hang out on Facebook. For instance search “Groups joined by people who like (insert your business page name)” and then join those groups, where appropriate, join-in the conversation and occasionally mention what you do. People will get to know you and come across to your page.  


Create Attention Grabbing Content

You need the right bait to hook your customers and that’s your content. If you find that you are not getting post reach and engagement on Facebook it is not Facebook’s fault, the truth is you are not creating the right content. However the attention span of the average human is just 8sec so if you want to capture their attention quickly you need to have great headlines and images. Your post does not have to be anything to do with your business but make sure the post hits the mark with your ideal audience. For instance, if it is holiday time post a picture of an ideal holiday destination and ask, “Who wants to be here?”

Great images are like gold dust on Facebook because they grab the attention and will engage your audience. If your audience loves chocolates and you post an image of the perfect Belgian chocolate and have a headline like, “Would you share your last chocolate?” you probably have got the right bait.


  
It’s Facebook suicide if you try to sell, sell, sell. That’s not to say you should never sell but just follow the 80:20 rule. 80% of your content should be for your ideal customer and only 20% should be about you and your business.

So what should you be posting? How about news and topical items? Think about what is happening around you, there’s always something happening locally, national and internationally and it is all stuff you can talk about. If your ideal audience is a woman between 35 and 55 post some inspirational quotes, there is a good chance your audience will love that. You may hate it but that’s not the point, post what your ideal customer likes.

Caption competitions are a great way to get engagement. How-to videos and top-tips are very popular and you may have noticed that video is now HUGE on Facebook.
If someone has asked you a question post it and get your followers to answer the question. If you are about to launch a new product ask people what they think, people love to give others their opinion! Post links to other people’s content, you do not have to create everything yourself so reuse other people’s content. How about fan only discounts, your audience will love it. If you have a review or testimonial from a customer put it on your page, it’s great social proof. Put seasonal posts on your page, apart from the old favourites like Christmas, Easter and holidays look up those special days throughout the year. For instance September the 19th is International Talk Like a Pirate Day, so why not create some posts in pirate lingo “me hearties, a-harr!”

If you want lots of ideas for your Facebook posts download Liz Melville's FREE e-book: 47 Fabulous Facebook Post Ideas for Coaches & Business Authors.

Use Facebook ads      

Since the start of 2015 organic impressions on Facebook have gone down by 35% year on year, which is a huge drop. Like it or not Facebook is now pay to play with paid impression up 8% year on year and rising. If you want your content to be served to your ideal customer you need to have a Facebook ads budget in place. Facebook is now one of the largest ad networks in the world and it offer you laser targeting by using “interests” when you set up your ads. During the process of setting up your ad Facebook will ask you the questions about who you want the ads to reach. Use “interests” to fine tune it. You have already done your research to identify your ideal customer, now use that information in the “interests” box.
When it comes to ad copy make sure you include your offer and the most important information right up at the top before the cut off. Ask a question, spark curiosity, or invite people to interact with your advert. Experiment with the length. Some ads work better is they are long while others are more effective if they are short. To find out what works best try A/B testing and then use the one that produces the best results. Also test your images and headlines on your ordinary non-promoted posts to see what is likely to get the most likes, comments and shares before you use them on an ad. Your image should be 1200 x 628 pixels because Facebook will then optimise it to look good and PNG files work better than jpeg. If you are using text in your image Facebook will screen it to make sure the text only takes up 20% of the image.




If you struggle with creating graphics use canva.com. Use an attention grabbing headline to get people to click and have a clear call to action. For the best results use sign-up or download as your call to action button. Remember to have a strategy for where you are going to drive the traffic. Remember to play on the pain points or the issues that your customers have – it’s always about them and not you.

Summary
  1. Research your ideal customers. Use Facebook Graph Search to discover their interests and hangouts.
  2. Have a plan. Be focused on the results you want and how you will measure success.
  3. Fish in the right pools. Seek out your audience and join in the conversation.
  4. Create attention grabbing content your clients will love and want to share.
  5. Set aside a Facebook ads budget and have a strategy for their use.

As mentioned above this post is based on Liz Melville's seminar at  the Edinburgh Social Media and Marketing Show on 8th July 2015. For a flavour of the day watch the very short video below and look out for Liz Melville at 47sec into the video.







I would like to thank Liz Melville for giving permission to use her seminar presentation and slides for this blog post and and 5TopTips for Business video. The content copyright is Liz Melville's.