Sharing Is Caring And Nothing Beats Retweets. How One Minute Briefs Adds Value To Content.

Sharing is caring

Sharing interesting articles, videos, photos, designs even memes is a fundamental digital content transaction we participate in daily. Just scroll through your Facebook news feed. Or Twitter. LinkedIn.

But why bother sharing?

Like. You know. Whatever.

Liking a post is great.

It shows that… You like the post.

And whilst that’s fine, it doesn’t really add any value. It doesn’t really help the content’s creator. At least, not in the same way sharing does.

Sure, a ‘like’ shows appreciation. It lets people know that you enjoyed their content.

But did you really?

Sharing A Post Adds Exponential Value.

Unfortunately, liking posts doesn’t really help the original publisher. It doesn’t move the content along. All it does is stamp a little heart or a thumbs-up on it.

And surely, if you really enjoyed the post, wouldn’t you want others to enjoy it too?

That’s why sharing or retweeting content is infinitely better.

By sharing a post you’re not only giving it your seal of approval, you’re vouching for it.

When you retweet or re-post something, you are effectively sifting through all the content traffic and cherry-picking the interesting bits for the rest of your network to see.

You’ve determined it has value. It is of interest. And it is worth people’s time and attention.

Passing on a piece of content means that you believe the rest of your close network will appreciate it too. And, because it came from you, they are more likely to trust it and engage with it. After all, you are infinitely more trustworthy than an anonymous source of content. Right?

You share it. Then someone else shares it. And all of a sudden the readership has multiplied.

Reach (the number of people who see the content). Impressions (the number of times the content is displayed). Engagement (the number of interactions people have with the content).

This is how retweets and shares add exponential value.

You Are An “Influencer”

This is a term that gets bandied about a lot.

But what does it actually mean?

Simply put, influencer marketing uses the popularity of influential people and their extended network to deliver a message to their followers. Individuals, who may have an influence over potential buyers within a target market, are identified and used to promote a product.

Sharing.

That makes YOU an influencer.

Widening The Net

That’s why sharing content is so important.

One Minute Briefs encourages retweets for this very reason. It expands the audience for the content creator.

One Minute Briefs Logo

If you like an ad created in response to a brief, retweet it.

You’ll gain the creator greater exposure. You’re adding value to their work and ideas. And this is a whole lot more appreciative than just a ‘like’.

So next time you read or see something that you really like and wish to show your appreciation…

Share.

Retweet.

You are influential.

We all are.

 

Gareth

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Success: What Does It Look Like And How Can You Be Sure When You’ve Achieved It?

Success: go get it! Written in chalk on a blackboard

Success is such a subjective term. Personal. Context-dependent. Relative.

I was asked recently by a student if I could write something on how to be successful.

This got me thinking.

Success means different things to different people.

What you might think is a success may be something rather ordinary for someone else.

For example: my two-year old son sees peeing in the toilet as a success. Frankly, who doesn’t! But to those of us who have mastered the art of peeing in the toilet, this doesn’t seem like such a big deal (unless you’ve had a few).

So how do you become successful, when success is variable? Subjective? Personal?

I started working backwards.

What are the steps taken towards success?

If you are to be successful you need something specific to aim for. A goal. A target. Something that you aren’t doing now. Something that you can’t do now. Yet!

Man on a mountain top taking in the view.

Make it relevant. There has to be a reason behind your target. A purpose. Something linked to what you already do. Or something that will develop you in another direction and broaden your skillset. Or something that will bring your personal satisfaction. Whatever it is. Make it relevant. You’ll be more inclined to work on it if you see a value and purpose in what you are doing.

Of course, it’s very easy to set yourself the target of turning over £1m a year within the next five years. And for some that is an achievable and realistic goal. But not so much if you’ve just started your A-levels.

And therein lies the crux. Whatever you want to be successful at has to be within the realms of reality. It has to be achievable. By all means be aspirational. But don’t be a fantasist. If you want to be successful, you need to give yourself a chance to succeed. A target that is unrealistic and unachievable is unworkable. Set the bar too high and you’ll end up demoralised, dissatisfied and dejected. Set the bar too low and there’s little value in your success.

Targets need to be in the Goldilocks Zone. Just right.

You need to be able to measure or quantify what success will look like. It makes it easier to judge how far you’ve progressed and whether or not you have ultimately achieved what you set out to do. Say, for instance, being able to complete 50 push-ups without stopping. Or write a blog post every week (yours truly).

These are easily quantifiable targets that you can use to measure your level of success.

Without this, how will you know if you’ve been successful?

How do you know when you’ve achieved?

The next logical step is to decide how long you think it should take you to reach your target. Achieve your goal. Be successful.

Give yourself a manageable timeframe within which to hit your target. As you progress you may find you need to adjust this. You may take less time. Or you may need more time. However, don’t get caught in the trap of procrastinating. Adding time and doing nothing. Try to be strict with yourself and keep to your original timeframe. Making it realistic from the off means that you give yourself a fighting chance to succeed at whatever your goal is.

Once you know your aim and how long you want to take to get there decide on the actions you need to take during the allocated timeframe to get you to the end product. What are the steps? Small increments that you can make on a regular basis to advance you towards success? What little changes can you make? Something that won’t have an immediate big impact on your progress or your current way of life, but if formulated into a routine, if made into a habit, will, over time become second nature. Something you can build upon. The foundations of your success.

No matter what the end product. No matter what the means you go through to achieve it. The process remains the same for anyone wishing to be successful. 

So what’s the secret to success? How do you become successful? 

Be SMART.

Give yourself specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-constrained goals. 

This is the formula. Stick with it.

Success will follow.

Gareth

 

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10 FREE Website Gems You Need If You Work In Design, Advertising, Marketing Or Social Media

Free Gifts in Red and Black Gift Boxes

Working in Design, Advertising, Marketing or Social Media can be pretty full on. Time is not always on your side. It’s not always possible to find exactly what you need, when you need it, all in one place. For FREE!

Luckily, I’ve put together this list of websites to do just that!

This is your one-stop shop for online freebies to make your work that little bit easier.

1) Free Stock Images

There is always a need for stock images. Blogs, tweets, posts, ads, marketing materials; they all rely on high quality images to grab the audience’s attention.

Getty Images and iStock are the big hitters in the stock image game, but not everyone can afford to pay the subscription fees. Especially if you’re posting frequently.

The websites below provide equally high quality images for FREE (although their libraries are nowhere near as full and diverse as the paid-for sites).

PEXELS Free Stock Photos

PEXELS and PIXABAY are the go-to sites for bloggers the world over and my top picks.

You’ll soon see why.

2) Free Mockups

So you’ve got your stock images. You’re ready to create your design/advertising/social media/marketing masterpiece. Wouldn’t it be handy if there was a mockup available for you to just edit and modify?

There are plenty of mockups available online. Many are paid-for. Others are free. But it’s not always easy finding the right mockup to suit your needs. Searching can be time consuming.

Free Mockups from Mockup World

That’s where MOCKUP WORLD comes in. Offering an extensive library of FREE photoshop mockups, you are likely to find whatever design you need to give your work a professional finish.

Alternatively, you could pay a visit to MOCKUPTIME or GRAPHIC BURGER.

Time to call off the search!

3) Free Stock Footage

It’s no secret that video improves click-through rates on social media posts. If you haven’t got the time to create original video content why not use some stock footage instead? Or you could give your original video content an extra professional edge by adding some stock footage!

It all serves to improve the quality of the content you are posting.

Videezy Free HD Stock Footage

As with stock images, you can access an extensive range of stock footage online, at a cost. However, VIDEEZY offers a healthy library of FREE stock video for you to use.

VIDEVO also provides a substantial catalogue of FREE stock footage for you to download under both Creative Commons licensing (crediting the original creator) or under the Videvo Standard License (free to use, so long as you don’t make the clips available to download anywhere else).

4) Free Font Identifiers

“I really liked the font they used in that ad. What is it? Where can I find it?”

I’m no typography connoisseur, but I do like a good font.

Font Spring Font Matcherator

If you want a quick and easy way to identify and find fonts used in design pieces or ads head over to FONTSPRING or WHAT THE FONT. Simply upload an image to the site, or input the image’s URL, and let the identifier work its magic.

You’ll soon find that font you’ve been fawning over. If not, you’ll be offered something pretty close.

5) Free Vintage Posters

This one’s just for fun.Free Vintage PostersIf you love design, you’ll appreciate the extensive library of classic posters at FREE VINTAGE POSTERS. All are available to download. Completely GRATIS.

All you have to do is figure out how to use them creatively!

6) BOOKMARK THIS POST!

So. There you have it.

10 Website Gems You Need If You Work In Design, Advertising, Marketing Or Social Media.

And it only took FIVE headings! (This last one doesn’t count. I just thought I’d make my use of numbers in this post even more confusing. Not your average listicle!)

Anyway…

Go!

Be creative.

 

Gareth

 

 

 

Secret 7) Royalty Free Music

The importance of sound is underrated. Music adds atmosphere, creates mood and can turn into a motif that is associated with your work – especially if you’re into podcasting!

Bensound Royalty Free Music

For royalty free music look no further than Bensound.

There is a substantial library of tracks available under a whole range of different genres. The music is covered by the Creative Commons License, so make sure you credit Bensound and add a link back to his website.

Alternatively, you can browse YouTube Audio Library.

There are a range of tracks available to download for a whole host of moods and styles, including sound effects! Just make sure you check the licensing for each track as some require credit under Creative Commons.

So…

Why not turn a blog post into a podcast?

Or add some backing music to a slideshow?

You might even turn your creative portfolio into a short film reel with its own banging score!

You never know.

 

 

I think that makes 12 Website Gems now…

You’re certainly getting value here!

 

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Say “yes” more. Except when you mean “no”!

Yes written in grafitti

I’ve found that my default response when asked if I’d like to do/try something, go somewhere or meet someone new is typically a noncommittal “we’ll see”. Which in fact is a dressed-up “maybe”. But in actuality is an unequivocal “no”. I have decided, upon reflection, that I need to say “yes” more.

How many opportunities have passed me by? How many experiences have I missed out on? How many people have I failed to meet?

What is the total loss to the self, thanks to the unholy trinity of “we’ll see”, “maybe” and “no”?

I need to say “yes” more.

It’s important to say “yes”. But only in response to the right questions.

Only yes is yes written in chalk on a blackboard.

Since realising my love of “no” and disdain for “yes” I’ve started noticing similar patterns of behaviour in other people. It’s like waiting for a bus, and then two come along. Or spotting people glued to their phone screens as they walk down the high street. Or worse still,  scrolling through their feeds whilst out “socialising” with friends down the pub or in a restaurant. Once you notice it, you can’t un-notice it. You start seeing it everywhere!

People say “no” (or any number of the more passive utterances) all too readily. It becomes an instant reaction. Perhaps to buy time to consider what you’re being asked to do. Maybe because it’s become ingrained through habitual use.

I think it’s borne out of the fear of the unknown.

We’re scared to take risks.

New experiences, people, even opportunities, represent risk. And as an unknown quantity our immediate reaction is to shy away from them.

We are afraid of the unknown.

Will Smith described it best, recounting his confrontation with fear when skydiving in Dubai. We’re not actually afraid of the act itself. Once we’re there and experiencing it we commit and enjoy. It is the anticipation that frightens us.

“You realise that the point of maximum danger is the point of minimum fear.” – Will Smith

The build-up to an opportunity or new experience is scary. Because we have time to think.

Once we allow ourselves too much time to think, we convince ourselves not to go through with it. We psyche ourselves out. All of a sudden our brain has conjured up an infinite number of reasons why we should not be doing this thing that we will likely benefit from greatly. And that’s when it becomes easier to simply say “no”. That’s when we automatically make up excuses, reasons why “now is not a good time”.

The fact is, “now IS a good time!” If not now, when? This realisation has been a catalyst for me, and something which I’ve written about previously. It’s time to get out of your own way!

Don’t fear the unknown.

Say “yes” more. Unless what you should be saying is “no”.

Come again?

Let me put it differently.

How often have you said “yes” to a request (or a passive “ok”) when what you really ought to have said was “no”?

I do it all the time. Why is it suddenly so hard to say “no” when that’s exactly what you want to say?

How many times have you been asked to do something extra at work, when you’re already up to your eyeballs, and said “yes”?

Don’t be afraid to say “no”. You’re already quite good at it when it comes to opportunities for personal growth and experiential development!

Say what you mean and be clear about it.

Say “no” when you mean “no”.

Don’t be afraid of what the other person might think of you. You don’t need to placate them with “ok”. Be clear. Say “no”.

Similarly, don’t be afraid to take risks. Take opportunities when they present themselves. Don’t fall into the trap of always saying “no” or “maybe” and never doing anything. Say “yes”. And mean it.

The anticipation, the build-up, will be scary… The event itself will be exhilarating.

Say “yes”. Unless you really have to say “no”.

And remember… “No” still means “no”.

Buy try to say “yes” more.

Gareth

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Businesses need a One Minute Briefs strategy. These are the top 6 benefits.

One Minute Briefs OMB Live 4 Event Photo

A One Minute Briefs strategy has a multitude of benefits for any business or enterprise. No matter the size or the scale of your operation, involving One Minute Briefs in your marketing strategy guarantees a return on investment.

WWF Logo

 

This is why charities (like WWF and City to Sea), awareness campaigns (such as The Drum’s Do It Day and Lyttle Fight), corporate bodies (including Grant Thornton), and businesses globally (as varied as Twisted Lingerie and BioSure) are choosing One Minute Briefs to enhance their marketing strategies. It’s an easy way to promote your work, business or cause. (See my previous post on the importance of getting noticed and promoting yourself.)

Grant Thornton Logo    The Drum Logo     Twisted Lingerie Logo

These are the top 6 benefits experienced by businesses who’ve engaged with OMB.

1.     One Minute Briefs is a verified account

Twitter Verified TickThat small blue badge is an indicator of influence. One Minute Briefs is officially recognised as an account of public interest on Twitter. And it’s not just because Twitter says so. Businesses who’ve engaged One Minute Briefs in their marketing campaigns will verify this too.

2.     Immediacy

One Minute Briefs is the complete digital agency. It is based entirely online and run via its social media platforms (Twitter and Facebook). This working model harnesses the immediacy, accessibility, portability, connectivity, interactivity and convenience offered by the internet to offer real-time responses to client briefs. This aligns with its founding principles: One Rule. One Minute. Create an Ad.

Immediacy is fundamental to One Minute Briefs. And this is a key benefit to any marketing strategy.

Generating quick responses to global events and developments is what One Minute Briefs prides itself on. It thrives on immediacy. Your business could greatly benefit from this approach.

3.     Reach

At the time of writing, the last 100 tweets by One Minute Briefs had reached an estimated 33,851 accounts along with 93.3k impressions. These figures relate to a Fun Friday brief set purely for creative kicks.

However, when you look at the numbers more closely, there is a much bigger picture to be unearthed. Consider the old ‘chain letter’ concept in the dark ages before digital.

The chain letter idea aims to convince the recipient to make numerous copies of the same letter and then send these on to a predefined number of recipients. This becomes an exponentially growing pyramid. One letter, one message, is spread widely and quickly.

Let’s turn this digital.

If 80 people are tweeting concepts and ideas in response to a brief, One Minute Briefs will retweet them to a potential audience of 15.6k followers every time. Multiply 15.6k by 80 and you’re into the millions.

One Minute Briefs LogoThis is just the start. One Minute Briefs is not the only profile tweeting content. Those 80 people are also sharing their content with their followers. And retweeting content they like or admire made by other contributors to the brief. With each follower having on average 300 followers of their own the reach figures really start stacking up quickly. Each tweeted ad in response to a One Minute Brief is exceptionally far-reaching. Like a chain letter, it becomes an exponentially growing pyramid. Only faster. With a greater, global, reach. And each post is a bit of content to advertise your product, business or cause.

Now that’s based on the premise of 80 people responding to a brief. Imagine the impact a prize or incentive might have?

The increased uptake from One Minute Briefs’ online community at the thought of ‘winning’ more than just kudos would grow the potential reach and exposure your business could enjoy exponentially. After all, this is the platform that got the NHS Choir to Christmas Number One, beating Justin Bieber to the top spot, in 2016.

NHS 4 Xmas No. 1 Logo

4.     Huge talent pool

With 15.6k followers (mostly interested or working in marketing and advertising ), One Minute Briefs has instant access to a significant pool of talent. This includes designers, copywriters, developers, art directors, photographers, videographers, marketers, account managers… The list goes on.

How many agencies can say the same?

5.     Quantity and choice

One Minute Briefs is and ideas generation machine. It’s the very principle behind it. No idea is discounted. Every idea is valid as a step towards the final outcome. And One Minute Briefs’ followers (the OMBLES) feed off this; collaboration, development, improvement.

Every idea, every concept, submitted in response to a brief stimulates new thinking, new ideas, new concepts, amongst the huge talent pool of followers and contributors. This quantity of ideas, the variety and choice of concepts made available by a single brief is a massive benefit to businesses.

You can enjoy witnessing the creative process as it unfolds in real time. Engage with it and enter into conversations and discussions with the creatives as they respond to the brief. Choose which concepts, and indeed how many, you wish to push out across your social media channels. You don’t just get the end product, you get the Full Monty.

6.     Low risk. High Gain.

When all of these benefits combine you experience the optimum success model. The risk is virtually non-existent. The potential gains are huge! The cost of providing prizes as incentives (along with One Minute Briefs’ commission) is nothing in comparison to the coverage, reach, quantity, choice and immediacy of work submitted by the biggest online marketing and advertising talent pool available.

If your business hasn’t considered a One Minute Briefs strategy, it should.

What’s the best that could happen?

Follow @OneMinuteBriefs on Twitter. Send a Direct Message. Start benefitting from everything that One Minute Briefs has to offer.

And whilst you’re at it, give me a follow too: @alvo_muses.

Gareth

 

Other businesses who have benefitted from working with One Minute Briefs include:

(Header image courtesy of Erika Szostak http://www.erikaszostak.com/)

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Get Noticed. Get Out Of Your Own Way.

Silhouette of a man, standing in the shadows, desparate to get noticed.

It’s time to get noticed. Again.

I’m not the biggest U2 fan. I think their best music can be found in their earlier albums. However, they never fail to strike a chord (pardon the pun) lyrically.

There’s always a single or two on every album that has lyrics that really resonate. None more so than their recent release, Get Out Of Your Own Way.

It’s been a long hiatus. I haven’t written a blog post in years. And I’m pretty ashamed and appalled by this fact.

I don’t buy into empty New Year Resolutions or cliché New Year, New Me rubbish.

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” ~ Aristotle

 

Actions speak louder than words. Just do it. Call it what you want. I haven’t been doing it. I haven’t been putting my words into action.

New Year is an arbitrary point in the Earth’s orbit around the Sun. January 1st in the Gregorian Calendar is an arbitrary starting point to the New Year (fashioned so that Easter falls at the same point in the lunar cycle every year). So, in an equally arbitrary fashion, I have decided that now is as good a time as any to get noticed again. It’s not a New Me. It’s just Me. I’m back.

I’m blogging. Posting. Sharing. Updating. Creating content that interests me. If it interests you too, great!

When I first launched my website in 2013 I had a fairly regular blog where I wrote about the creative process, explored the ins and outs of social media, commented on adverts that interested me and creative work that inspired me. That content drove traffic to my website. It helped me get noticed. It gained me followers. Clients. And, most importantly, I enjoyed it. I enjoyed writing. Creating. Sharing. And all the conversations and interactions that resulted from it.

Old garetalvarez.com landing page - Welcome to my workshelf.

Then I just stopped. I didn’t stop being interested, I just stopped writing about it. I didn’t have the time.

Sorry. What?

I didn’t make the time. So I stopped getting noticed.

And it’s this that I am going to change.

This is my plan to get noticed

One Minute Briefs Logo

Taking inspiration from One Minute Briefs (@OneMinuteBriefs) and Nick Entwistle from the Bank of Creativity (@BOC_ATM)and now Trunk Agency (@TweetsByTrunk) I plan to “get sh*t done” this year.

Write it down. Post it. Share it. Whatever it is. Just do it. There is no point in doing nothing. So let’s do something.

Create scribbled in pencil.

Nick once said, “there is nothing more important than the work you do, to get the work that you do noticed.” Or words to that effect.

And that’s what I plan to do.

This year I plan to spend more time promoting my work. It doesn’t matter what it is. It doesn’t matter whether people like it or not. You can’t please everybody. And if you set out to try to please everybody you’ll create nothing meaningful.

If you don’t take the time to work on promoting the work that you do you’re as good as invisible.

It’s not just good enough creating. Share what you create. Be visible. Get noticed.

And that’s my plan this year. I have a new website. It’s going to be cleaner and neater. I will update it regularly with new content. New posts. My latest work and endeavours.

Now is the time to “get sh*t done.” Do work to get the work that I do seen. Share more. Post more. Create More. Get back into old habits.

No more excuses.

It’s time to get out of my own way and get noticed! Again.

Gareth

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Brief: Be Brief! The Secret To Sending Your Creative Mojo Into Daily Overdrive With One Minute Briefs

Done in 60 Seconds. The One Minute Briefs Way!

It’s Throwback Time!

“Brevity is the soul of wit.” Said Shakespeare of One Minute Briefs.

Not really.

Although he could have done!

It’s a great line.

Ironic though. The line is delivered by Polonius in Hamlet. A man who is not known for his brevity. Nor his wit.

I suppose, the dramatic irony of knowing this, makes it an AWESOME line!

Thank you Shakespeare. You clever little sausage!

He’s right though. Polonius.

Being brief is a talent.

Just ask Thomas Jefferson:

“The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do.”

Some of the best ideas come to you in a flash. Some of the worst concepts are devised by committee after a long, drawn out process of discussion and debate.

Therein lies the beauty of One Minute Briefs. An addictive creative challenge devised by Nick Entwistle of The Bank of Creativity (and now Trunk Agency).

One rule. One Minute. Create an ad.

As brief as a brief gets.

One Minute Briefs gets you thinking. Sharpens your writing. Inspires creativity.

And it doesn’t take much time.

Since discovering @OneMinuteBriefs on Twitter, my creative disposition has changed and my output has greatly improved.

As a creative tool, there really is nothing like it. It’s perfect practice for the real thing. And I’m unashamedly addicted to it.

Some of my best ideas and concepts have only taken a minute of my time to devise.

Whilst walking back to work from lunch, the idea for my winning entry to the Man City Manager brief just popped into my head.

Half way through a tuna salad wrap, I devised another winning entry for advertising an electrician!

Notice the theme of my inspiration?

And then there are all the other entries. Some good. Some bad. All brief.

The effects of this regular creative work are long-lasting.

A whole concept for the Audi R8 just materialised from a brief about sports cars.

It has developed into a portfolio piece that I am particularly proud of. A piece that I continue to develop. All because I took a minute out of my day to be creative.

Take a minute out of your day to be creative.

Follow @OneMinuteBriefs on Twitter. Check out the OMB blog or Facebook Page to see all past briefs and winners.

It works for me. It’ll work for you.

Remember. Some of our greatest experiences only take one minute!

Postscript 2018

A lot has happened since I published the original version of this piece.

Year on year, One Minute Briefs has continued to grow and is now a Verified Account. It has developed into a massive online community of nearly 16,000 followers. Many are regular contributors. And these contributors are made up of a range of industry experts, award-winners (including Chip Shop Awards Grand Prix Winners in 2016 and 2017), students and hobbyists.

It has its own OMBoard of OMBassadors (of which I am one)- advocates and acolytes who help promote and build this unique advertising platform.

Collaboration is encouraged. Criticism is constructive. Discussion is supportive.

Everyone improves.

Anyone can be an OMBLE. Anyone can win. And win Big!

Businesses are regularly seeing the benefit of using One Minute Briefs as a means of advertising and promoting their products and services. As are charities. And there are big prizes on offer.

However, the biggest prize of all is one that hasn’t changed since OMB’s inception.

Your creative mojo will go into overdrive.

And you’ll notice it!

So what are you waiting for?

Advertise…

 

Toothpicks…

 

Go!

 

Gareth

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