What Happens When You Get Up At 4.30am for 4 Years?

What happens when you get up at 4.30am for 4 years

I have created many habits. We all do.

It keeps life simple and allows us to get things done without having to make constant decisions.

But some are stranger than others.

What shoe I put on first in the morning and what side of the bed I sleep on every night are in the ordinary category.

Have you ever tried to change even those simple habits?

Felt the resistance?

Some habits work for you and others stop you changing and evolving.

A strange habit

What happens when you decide to get up at 4.30am and continue that habit for the next 4 years. And create before starting your day job?

A few years ago I started writing. Not a book but just publishing online.

A passion project.

At first I wrote late in the evening. But it soon changed to an early morning habit.

Five days a week I rose before garbage trucks and street cleaners. Turned off email, social networks and other distractions.

The ritual

The ritual included a coffee, a mug of lemon tea and sitting down and strapping myself in.

I researched, wrote and published. The last step was pushing that content to the waiting world. When you do that one day at a time for years then things start to happen.

Done before most people were awake.

It’s about your creative space. Blocking out time for your “deep work”.

Complexity to simplicity

It’s about designing your life.

Crafting. Sharing your expertise, experience and passion.

We all have the opportunity to be craftsmen. To be creators and producers owning the work. Not beholden to the corporation.

This habit of deep work is not just about productivity. It is much deeper than that.

It is a place where your learning and knowledge goes to a new level. Where you craft complexity into simplicity. Develop insights, influence and thought leadership.

Where magic happens

This personal creation is an investment in you.

But……don’t keep your creation hidden from the world.

Share it.

That is where the magic happens.

The reality is there are different approaches that you can apply to this life transforming habit.

Its not size fits all.

Check out “The One Habit that Transformed my Life“to find out more.

The post What Happens When You Get Up At 4.30am for 4 Years? appeared first on Jeffbullas's Blog.


A Simple Blog Post Process Blueprint

From conception to promotion, there’s a lot of effort that goes into a single blog post. New bloggers might be wondering how to get started with blogging and maintain a process that works for them. Remember that blog posts, like any online content, are much easier to produce and promote when there’s a system in place for you to work within. Chris Ducker has created a blueprint for the blog post process, which covers the four main stages of blogging: Creation Research and write the content Decide on a keyword-rich title Add sub-headings so that readers can scan easily Do a Continue Reading »

How to Get Promoted: Impress Your Boss by Doing These 7 Things

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I once made a really big hiring mistake.

After a series of promising interviews, I took on an intern whose level of professionalism, performance, and overall demeanor quickly took a turn for the worse. I discussed it with my supervisor, we agreed that it was in everyone’s best interests not to move forward with the internship.

However, when we sat her down to talk, she countered our concerns about her performance by saying, “But … I was driving all the way from [insert desolate location here] to get here every day.”

I recall staring at her blankly. Since when does the length of your commute warrant special praise? Download our free guide here for more interviewing and screening tips to build  your team.

We all wake up every morning, brush our teeth (hopefully), and make our way to work. However, the simple truth is that the act of “showing up” isn’t enough to propel career advancement. The most successful people earn the attention and respect of their bosses by proving they’re an asset to the team. So if you’ve ever entertained the thought of how to get promoted — or, at least, how to impress your boss — we’ve identified a few things every boss would love to see you doing.

How to Get Promoted With 7 Great Behaviors
1) Take ownership.

At HubSpot, we’ve been known to “fire” our best people.

No, that wasn’t a typo.

Here’s how it works: If you have a great idea — and you can prove that it actually delivers — you will be fired from your day job to own and grow that idea. After all, that’s what happened to HubSpot’s former VP of Sales, Pete Caputa. The story goes, according to CEO Brian Halligan speaking to Inc:

In 2008, one of our sales reps came to me with an idea that he believed could revolutionize HubSpot. At the time, we sold our software directly to consumers. But the rep, Pete Caputa, thought HubSpot should have a reseller channel in order to expand the business model. Basically, he wanted to sell our core product to third parties, who would then turn around and sell the product to their customers.”

Halligan was far from sold on the idea, but he decided to give Caputa an opportunity to prove himself. “If you want to do it so bad, start doing it nights and weekends and show us this will work,” he said.

Not long after accepting the challenge, Caputa was, in fact, encouraged to leave his day job here to grow what is now HubSpot’s Agency Partner Program.

Our point: Don’t be afraid to bring big ideas to the table. That’s the type of behavior that good bosses love to see because it illustrates your ability to solve problems for the business (and customers) on a high level. And while it’s easy to solve problems that specifically pertain to you and your reports, the goal is to identify and solve problems that influence the grand scheme of things. Think like a founder, and your boss will take note.

2) Support your colleagues.

Depending on your industry, getting ahead at work might sometimes feel like a dog-eat-dog type of situation. And while the old saying goes, “Nice guys finish last,” there is actually an opportunity for self-advancement through the act of helping others. Not to mention, if your boss catches you in the act, it can highlight your ability to be remarkably helpful: a trait almost every good boss cares about.

But don’t just take it from me. Adam Grant, author of Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success, also has something to say about it:

The more I help out, the more successful I become. But I measure success in what it has done for the people around me. That is the real accolade.”

In this book, Grant dives into the idea that in the workplace, people can be divided into three categories: takers, matchers, and givers.

Takers are known to, well, take from other people.
Matchers are more apt to make even exchanges.
Givers separate themselves from the rest by doing good without expectations for reciprocation.

Grant goes on to provide examples of successful givers throughout history, such as U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, venture capitalist David Hornik, and businessman Jon Huntsman, Sr. So do yourself a favor and dig into their accomplishments a bit — we have a hunch that it’ll inspire you to rethink the potential benefits of lending a helping hand.

3) Measure and report.

Not long ago, I swore I saw a notable actor from the TV show “Lost” on my flight.

I excitedly texted my friend to tell him, to which he replied, “Send pictures, or it didn’t happen.”

That request got me thinking about our innate desire to “see it to believe it.” If my own friend wouldn’t believe my claims without photo evidence, why would my boss simply take my word for it when it comes time to talk about my performance?

The simple truth: Most bosses are busy, leaving little time for them to investigate whether or not you’re accomplishing what you’re supposed to be accomplishing. If you’re not vocal (and visual) about your performance, you run the risk of going unnoticed. That’s why supervisors love to see employees who not only measure their efforts but also report on them. Clear, specific, goal-oriented reports serve as one of the most effective ways to communicate your progress and prove to your boss that you’re capable of taking on more.

In terms of what to include in these reports, focus on ROI. While vanity metrics like social media views might be worth noting for yourself, your boss wants to see how your efforts are specifically influencing the bottom line.

“Don’t just report on what you crossed off your to-do list, report on what those activities achieved. So often, young staff want to prove that they’re working,” explains HubSpot’s VP of Marketing, Meghan Keaney Anderson. “We know you’re working. We see it and are proud of you for it. Prove not that you’re working, but that what you are doing is working.”

4) Be proactive, not reactive.

“My kids will have chocolate dripping from their mouths, and I’ll say, ‘Did you just eat chocolate?'” Peter Bregman, author of Four Seconds, once recounted for HBR’s IdeaCast. “And they’ll be like, ‘No, I didn’t just eat chocolate.'”

What in the world does that have to do with impressing your boss? Well, it’s a silly, yet accurate example of how you sound when you’re being reactive — and maybe even a little defensive — rather than proactive. Not a situation you’d want to be caught in with your boss, right?

From a psychological perspective, we react to avoid punishment. It’s a direct result of the stimulation that our amygdala — a subcortical brain structure that is linked to both fear responses and pleasure — experiences when we’re caught off-guard. And while it’s unrealistic to assume that you’ll never be faced with a quick decision in front of your boss, proactive employees aim to control situations by causing things to happen, rather than waiting to respond after things happen.

What does that look like, though? Well, aside from taking steps to plan ahead and anticipate “what-ifs,” Bregman encourages people to pause for four seconds before responding to something. That way, you’re allowing yourself a moment to process the situation you’ve been faced with, which can help you strategically and intentionally choose the words that you’re going to say — instead of instinctively saying something that you don’t mean.

5) Make more with less.

Part of being a noteworthy employee is being able to adapt to the industry and company changes that, eventually, will come your way. Let’s say, for example, that your company runs into an unplanned expense, or an important member of the team unexpectedly gives her two weeks notice. That could certainly throw a wrench in your budget and bandwidth, couldn’t it?

Some employees might see these events as a huge setback — one that serves as an excuse for falling short on goals. But the most successful people find a way to do more with less — and the really successful people find a way to do better with less.

Take that hypothetical budgeting issue. If it forces you to reduce or reallocate funds for freelancers, don’t use it as an excuse to allow content production to come to a halt. Instead, consider what you can do to turn the situation around. Maybe you work toward creating one strong piece of content on your own, like an ebook, that can be repurposed as separate blog articles to fill your editorial calendar until the budget gets back to a healthy level. Or, what about reaching out to a co-marketing partner to join forces on a piece of content that benefits you both?

Another great way to demonstrate your ability to do more with less would be to scale back the average time of your meetings. According to the book Time Talent Energy: Overcome Organizational Drag & Unleash Your Team’s Productive Power, “the average organization spends 15% of its collective time in meetings.” That plays into the belief that simply working longer hours is comparable to doing more with less when really, it’s all about making better use of your time. Cutting your meeting time in half will force you to get to the point quicker — and leave you with extra time to allocate toward other projects and tasks.

Remember: Excuses don’t promote career advancement. Solutions do.

6) Welcome feedback.

I have a confession to make. I hate it when I don’t have the answer for something. I want to think I know everything — so when I’m faced with the reality that I don’t, admitting so is a bitter pill to swallow. But being able to do so is a big part of getting ahead.

That’s one reason why it can be so helpful to welcome third-party feedback when we need to know what we’re missing — like when you’ve worked on a long-term project, and you start to see any progress through rose-colored glasses. At that stage, it’s most helpful to invite an outsider in to poke holes in your approach. What’s working? What’s missing? What is needed to take this project from good to great?

According to Gallup, the most engaged employees are the ones who meet with their managers at least once a week — which suggests that both positive and negative feedback, as well as overall effective communication, plays an instrumental role in the way we perceive goals. Asking for that kind of time with your manager is a reasonable request, if you make it count. Make sure that you’re prepared to handle whatever feedback comes your way. While positive feedback is often pretty easy to accept, negative feedback can come as a challenge for many but is often the most valuable.

To ensure that you make the most out of constructive criticism, take note of the following tips:

Listen. Sure, it’s easy to tune someone out when you’re not particularly thrilled with what they are saying, but that doesn’t make it right. Give the person the respect she deserves by listening to what she has to say, before you interject.
Ask clarifying questions. If you don’t understand the point someone is trying to make, don’t hesitate to ask him to elaborate. Following up with questions will help to ensure that you both walk away on the same page.
Consider the source. All feedback is not created equal. While getting some honest feedback from a co-worker who knows little about your project may help you to identify weak spots, it’s important that you focus on the feedback coming from those to whom you report. In other words, give attention and energy where they’re due most.

7) Smile.

We hate to sound like a bunch of “Pollyannas,” but trust us: No supervisor wants to walk into an office and see a team of people that look like they are suffering through a dental appointment. Not only is it detrimental to company morale, but it also sends a signal that there’s something wrong with his management. If there is, that’s an important conversation to have — but not by going around looking like someone just asked you to spend the day watching paint dry.

At work (and at home), it’s important to try to focus on the positive, no matter what’s on your plate. According to a 2010 study from the National Bureau of Economic Research, it pays to be positive — literally. Not only did it find that optimistically inclined MBA students have an easier time finding jobs compared to their peers, but also, they saw a 5-10% increase in the probability of being promoted over their pessimistic peers.

Note to Self: Keep On and Smile On

Research like the study cited above taps into the idea that success can correlate with an ability to stay positive, even when completing overwhelming tasks.

And really, those findings align with many of the behaviors we’ve covered here. Even when something happens at work to upset us, proactively addressing it is more likely to be productive than reactively sulking and wallowing in it.

It may sound cliche, but beneath most of these tips is the foundation of a good attitude. So the next time something at the office bums you out — or you’re searching for the best way to progress in your career — revisit this list to see what you can actively do about it.

What are your best tips on how to get promoted? Let us know in the comments.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in April 2015 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

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How to Easily Create Professional-Looking Videos for 4 Popular Social Media Platforms

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Video is dominating social media marketing. In fact, experts predict video will account for 80% of global internet traffic by 2019. So now is the best time to master the medium.

Thanks to easy and free video creation tools, you don’t need a big budget, professional equipment, or a filmmaking degree to make compelling videos for your brand. But since each social network comes with its own guidelines and unique audiences, you’ll need an understanding of what kind of content is effective on each network. 

We’re breaking down what performs best on four of the top networks: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, so you can easily create videos that truly shine no matter where you share them. 

Creating Video for Your Instagram Newsfeed

Instagram has experienced incredible growth recently — especially in terms of video options — but let’s first talk about your main Instagram page.

These posts, which appear in your followers’ feeds, are the main window into your business or brand. As such, you want to reserve this space for your most polished, on-brand content. Here you might publish a video that explains your brand’s value, or a process video that offers an inside peek into your craft.

Keep these Instagram video rules in mind when creating your video story:

Instagram imposes a one-minute time limit. If you have a longer piece of content that you still want to promote, you can post a portion as a teaser on Instagram and use the link in your bio to drive people to your website to see the whole thing. Note this in your caption and add a tracking code to the link so you know how it performs. 

Keep it inside the box. Videos can play in square, vertical, or landscape mode, but make sure you tap the “expand” button in the bottom left corner if you have a non-square video so it does not appear cropped. 

Video covers are important! Instagram allows you to select a video cover that shows as a thumbnail in the feed. Make sure you select an intriguing frame to compel people to watch. 

The best videos work with sound off. Instagram videos autoplay with the sound off, so make sure your message is clear whether or not the viewer taps for sound. 

The following examples from Persnickety Prints, a photo printing company, show how video can help communicate both your mission and craft, two essential pieces of content for small business video marketing.

 

In the end, we all become stories. Let us help you tell yours. #printyourphotos #persnicketyprints #archival #silverhalide created with @adobespark #adobespark

A post shared by Persnickety Prints (@persnicketyprints) on Feb 1, 2017 at 8:14pm PST

 

 

Are you printing photos at home? Do you know someone who is? Watch Rafus shoot & develop using his Grandfathers pinhole camera from 1900 … it’s the same process we use at Persnickety Prints… because your memories matter 💚 #noink #silverhalide #wontfade [filmed & edited with @adobespark on iPhone] #adobespark #sparkvideo

A post shared by Persnickety Prints (@persnicketyprints) on Mar 8, 2017 at 4:34pm PST

You can also modify classic Instagram content pieces into video, like this slideshow video that transforms a #motivationmonday post:

 

Tip: turn your #motivationmonday #quotes into videos with @adobespark Video! Example by Spark user @neophyte_v #repost ・・・ #instagram #instagrammers #adobe #adobespark #adobesparkpost #adobesparkvideo #photography #photographer #life #challenge #photographerslife #choices #focus #success #happiness #travel #adventure #cameraman #like4like #likeforlike #art #sacrifice

A post shared by Adobe Spark (@adobespark) on Apr 24, 2017 at 10:10am PDT

Creating Videos for Instagram Stories

Instagram’s new Snapchat-like feature is the latest platform to win marketers’ hearts and time. And for good reason. IG stories have impressive engagement stats: according to Instagram, one in five Stories earn a direct message from viewers and one-third of the most viewed Stories come from businesses.

Instagram Stories are cool because they’re fleeting inside looks that allow you to create more of a connection with your followers. Feel free to get a little less polished and little more real with on-the-fly content that use stickers, filters, and emojis. Here are the basic parameters to remember when creating your Instagram Stories videos.

Take the opportunity to get personal. Unlike posts to your Instagram page, Instagram Stories last for 24 hours and users see them by clicking on the avatars at the top of their feed. Live Video disappears once the broadcast is over.

You don’t have to edit everything directly in Instagram. You can shoot photo or video within the app, but if you’d like to use graphics, animations, or video that you’ve created previously, simply swipe up in the Stories view to publish content from your camera roll. 

Keep in mind, the only content available will be videos or photos created within the last 24 hours. Consider using a free graphic design tool, like Adobe Spark, which allows you to resize content for Instagram Stories and animate text.

Keep it short and sweet. Each photo or video that you include in an Instagram Story is limited to 10 seconds. Live broadcasting from inside the app is limited to one hour.  

Don’t be afraid to share multiple stories a day. You can post as much as you’d like without fear of annoying your followers because users have to opt-in to see the content. 

You can tag users within stories. Tag other Instagram users in your video by typing their handle using the text feature in the top right corner. Tagged users will have a notification sent to their Instagram inbox. 

We suggest offering content to your followers they can’t get anywhere else across your channels. This provides incentive to follow you and can act as a great conversion tool for your most active supporters or customers. You might post about a special offer, provide a behind-the-scenes view of your business, or go live to talk directly to your followers, which doesn’t require anything special beyond guts and tapping the button.  

Creating Video for Facebook

Facebook has 1.94 billion monthly users and they watch more than 100 million hours of video each day. Take for example Tasty — Buzzfeed’s food video offshoot — which is hitting 1.8 billion video views each month on the platform. Facebook rewards this video content like crazy in the algorithm, which means hopping on this macro trend will score you more visibility on the network.

Like Instagram, you can go live directly on the platform to talk to your users. However, live video is fleeting — great for boosting engagement on your page, not so great for generating traffic back to your site or creating content that you can use over and over. For that, you still need polished video content that speaks to your value or tells a story.

There are three things to keep in mind when creating a video for Facebook:

Ask yourself: will my viewers watch this whole video? There’s no time limit, but the algorithm rewards content that viewers watch all the way through and generates interactions (likes, shares, and comments). The best videos capture attention within the first three seconds.

Your video should work with the sound off. Up to 85% of viewers watch their Facebook videos with no sound, according to media publication Digiday. 

Videos that autoplay in the newsfeed garner 186% more engagement than videos shared via posted link. You can use the Adobe Spark Video iOS app to natively share on Facebook with one tap.  

In a single month last year over 3 million small business owners posted a video to Facebook. Here’s an attention-grabbing example made with Adobe Spark that conveys a story regardless of sound:

Creating Video for Twitter

Live video and curated video content are booming on this formerly text-driven platform. Twitter has well over 800 million monthly users, 82% of whom engage with brands on the platform, according to its Video Playbook report.

Video views on Twitter grew 220 times from what they were in 2016 to 2017, and opportunities for advertisers are also growing, with the site offering pre-roll ads for live video and replay for Periscope videos as of March 2017, according to Forbes Tech writer Kathleen Chaykowski. But you don’t necessarily need a large advertising budget to capitalize on this trend.

Create polished video content for your Twitter feed keeping these three rules in mind:

Max video length is currently 140 seconds for imported content.

Grab attention within the first 3 seconds to stop thumbs from scrolling.

Upload videos natively to Twitter to ensure autoplay in the newsfeed.

Whether you animate graphics or use video clips, you’ll engage your audience. Check out a few examples of these techniques in action:

What story will you tell? Join us for a intro to Adobe Spark this Tuesday at 12:30PM. https://t.co/g3q45uUxRj #tutorial #nptech pic.twitter.com/EtrNUU4WgT

— TechSoup (@TechSoup)
May 6, 2017

 

#MayTheFourthBeWithYou #StarWarsDay pic.twitter.com/lwjA08JDyA

— Adobe Spark (@AdobeSpark)
May 4, 2017

Creating Video for YouTube

Youtube has over 1 billion users who watch hundreds of millions of hours of YouTube per day. Unlike the other social platforms on this list, YouTube comes with Google’s massive search power and metadata tools, too.

Your content strategy for YouTube should support your overall SEO stratgey. One way to go about this is to figure out which keywords you want your brand to rank for and craft compelling and entertaining video content that uses those keywords in your video, titles, images, and video descriptions.

The key to is to think about what the ideal path for your customer is who is coming through Google search. Say your company is a photo printing company. You might be interesting to people who are searching for things such as “engagement photos” “scrapbooks” etc. If you want to capture those interested folks, your best bet is to create content for what they’re already searching for.  

There are also certain types of videos that people eat up on the platform. According to marketing agency Mediakix, product reviews and how-to videos rank as the top two types of videos on YouTube, with vlogs (video blogs) coming in at number three.

This is great news for small businesses because the platform comes primed with a huge audience looking to learn more about products or how to do something. You could ask influencers or customers to post a video review of your business to marry your influencer marketing with your content strategy or you could create a series of how-to videos that relate to your product or service. 

When crafting and publishing video content to Youtube, keep these tips in mind:

Short videos still rule the day, but long form content is gaining traction. if you’re just starting out on YouTube or have an unverified account, your videos will be limited to 15 minutes. However, once verified, you can surely publish your hour-long webinars, trainings, or courses and of all the social networks and YouTube is the best place for those content pieces. 

Skip the long intro and instead jump right in with your hook to improve viewer retention.

Use YouTube’s built-in caption generator to create subtitles for dialogue. 

Don’t neglect your metadata fields. Your title, description, keyword — even channel art — are all meta data that tell search engines how to index your content and make sure it surfaces in front of interested searchers. Craft keyword-rich titles and descriptions and use YouTube’s keyword fields to improve search ranking. Add your bio, tagline, and website link to the description field of every video you publish so it’s easy for viewers to learn more about you. 

Add a YouTube channel art. Just as your video and metadata tell search engines that your content is relevant, your YouTube channel art and video thumbnails tell people browsing through search results that they should click and watch.

Your YouTube video cover and thumbnail are additional branding opportunities to communicate your content’s value and compel clicks. Plus, it makes your channel look more professional, which is important when competing on this massive platform.

Video Isn’t Optional

The moral of the story? Your business belongs on video across all platforms. Regardless of the platform, there are three overarching points to keep in mind when creating your social video content:

1) The best videos grab attention within the first 3 seconds and inspire emotion in viewers.

2) Text on screen is a crucial ingredient to social video marketing,

3) A clear call-to-action is essential to seeing results.

Now go create something!

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65 Photoshop Keyboard Shortcuts to Help You Photoshop Like a Pro

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Have you ever accidentally wasted an entire day in Photoshop?

I have. It’s not like you start out aimlessly. You have a simple goal in mind, like cropping a photo, improving the resolution, or changing the size of the canvas. But then, you look at how many options there are — and trying to figure out which buttons to press to execute a single task suddenly turns into an attempt to solve The Riddle of the Sphinx.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just press a button, and magically, do what you wanted to do? Well, we’ve got good news for you: It turns out there are a wealth of Photoshop shortcuts that pretty much work just that way. New Call-to-action

By pressing a few keys on your computer keyboard at the same time, you can select tools, manipulate images and layers, and even make adjustments to your project’s canvas. But if we’re being honest, if you’re just starting out with the software, there might be far too many Photoshop shortcuts to remember them all. That’s why we created this guide — for you to bookmark and return to next time your design project leaves you stumped.

Note: All of these shortcuts can be accessed on PC and Mac, but sometimes, they’re different on each operating system. We’ve included both types below, and in the cases where they might be different, Mac instructions appear in italicized parentheses. Also, in these formulas, the plus sign (+) is present only to represent the combination of key commands. On occasion, it might be part of the command itself, like when you press the plus sign to zoom into a part of an image, but otherwise, don’t press the plus sign between commands.

65 Photoshop Shortcuts to Save You Time

Got something specific in mind? Click on a section below to jump to that section.

Getting Set Up
Choosing the Right Tools
Using the Brush Tool
Using the Marquee Tool (for Slicing/Selecting)
Using Different Blending Options
Manipulating Layers & Objects
Saving Your Work for Later

Getting Set Up

You’d think setting up your content in Photoshop would be second nature. But sometimes, the shortcuts to change the background size, or zoom into your project aren’t what you think. Here are some of the most crucial fundamental shortcuts to know:

1) Control + Alt + i (Command + Option + i ) = Change the image size.

2) Control + Alt + c (Command + Option + c ) = Change canvas size.

3) Control + + (Command + + ) = Zoom in.

4) Control + – (Command + – ) = Zoom out.

Control + ‘ (Command + ‘ ) = Show or hide the grid, the automatically-generated horizontal and vertical lines that help align objects to the canvas.

Choosing the Right Tools

These shortcuts will activate different groups of tools, like “Lasso,” “Brush,” or “Spot Healing Brush.” Within these tools, though, there are different functions. Under the “Magic Wand” tool group, for example, you have the option to execute a new selection or add and subtract from a current one.

Each one of these tools has a keyboard shortcut, and we’ve outlined some of them below.

5) v = Pointer, a.k.a. Move Tool pointer-tool.png 

6) w = Magic Wand magic-wand-tool.png

7) m = Rectangular Marquee, a.k.a. the Select Tool marquee-tool-1.png

8) l = Lasso lasso-tool.png

9) i = Eyedropper eyedropper-tool.png

10) c = Crop Screen Shot 2017-05-26 at 12.09.20 PM.png

11) e = Eraser Screen Shot 2017-05-26 at 12.21.32 PM.png

12) u = Rectangle rectangle-tool.png

13) t = Horizontal Type text-tool.png

14) b = Brush Screen Shot 2017-05-26 at 12.15.15 PM.png

15) y = History Brush history-brush-tool.png

16) j = Spot Healing Brush spot-healing-tool.png

17) g = Gradient Screen Shot 2017-05-26 at 12.14.32 PM.png

18) a = Path Selection path-selection-tool.png

19) h = Hand hand-tool.png

20) r = Rotate View rotate-view-tool.png

21) p = Pen pen-tool.png

22) s = Clone Stamp clone-stamp-tool.png

23) o = Dodge Screen Shot 2017-05-26 at 12.16.48 PM.png

24) z = Zoom Tool zoom-tool.png

25) d = Default Foreground and Background Colors Screen Shot 2017-05-26 at 12.23.24 PM.png

26) x = Switch Foreground and Background Colors Screen Shot 2017-05-26 at 12.25.24 PM.png

27) q = Edit in Quick Mask Mode Screen Shot 2017-05-26 at 12.26.26 PM.png

28) x = Change Screen Mode Screen Shot 2017-05-26 at 12.27.48 PM.png

Using the Brush Tool

With the brush settings, you can change the size, shape, and transparency of your brush strokes to achieve a number of different visual effects. To use these keyboard shortcuts, first select the Brush tool by pressing b. brush-tool.png

29) , or . = Select previous or next brush style.

30) Shift + , or . = Select first or last brush style used.

31) Caps Lock or Shift + Caps Lock (Caps Lock) = Display precise crosshair for brushes.

32) Shift + Alt + p (Shift + Option + p) = Toggle airbrush option.

Using the Marquee Tool (for Slicing/Selecting)

When used correctly, the marquee tool will let you select individual elements, entire graphics, and determine what is copied, cut, and pasted into your graphics.

To use these keyboard shortcuts, first select the Marquee tool by pressing m. marquee-tool-2.png

33) Control (Command) = Toggle between Slice tool and Slice Selection tool.

34) Shift + drag = Draw square slice.

35) Alt + drag (Option + drag) = Draw from center outward.

36) Shift + alt + drag (Shift + option + drag) = Draw square slice from center outward.

37) Spacebar + drag = Reposition the slice while creating the slice.

Using Different Blending Options

Blending options include a number of features to enhance the look of your graphic. You can always choose a blending option by going to the top menu bar, under Layer > Layer Style > Blending Options. Or, you can double-click any layer to bring up the options for that particular layer.

Once you open blending options, you can use keyboard shortcuts to select them without moving your mouse. To use the shortcuts, select the Move tool (“v”), and then select the layer you’d like to use the blending options on. Below are some of the most popular modes.

38) Shift + + or – = Cycle through blending modes.

39) Shift + Alt + n (Shift + Option + n) = Normal mode

40) Shift + Alt + i (Shift + Option + i) = Dissolve

41) Shift + Alt + k (Shift + Option + k) = Darken

42) Shift + Alt + g (Shift + Option + g) = Lighten

43) Shift + Alt + m (Shift + Option + m) = Multiply

44) Shift + Alt + o (Shift + Option + o) = Overlay

45) Shift + Alt + u (Shift + Option + u) = Hue

46) Shift + Alt + t (Shift + Option + t) = Saturation

47) Shift + Alt + y (Shift + Option + y) = Luminosity

For more niche blending shortcuts, check out these tips from Adobe.

Manipulating Layers & Objects

If you want to modify an object or get complex with multiple layers, here are some shortcuts you might like to know:

48) Control + a (Command + a ) = Select all objects

49) Control + d (Command + d ) = Deselect all objects

50) Shift + Control + i (Shift + Command + i ) = Select the inverse of the selected objects

51) Control + Alt + a (Command + Option + a) = Select all layers

52) Control + Shift + E (Command + Shift + e) = Merge all layers

53) Alt + . (Option + .) = Select top layer

54) Alt + , (Option + ,) = Select bottom layer

Note: In shortcuts 55-57, the brackets ([ ]) are the keystrokes in the command, and “OR” refers to the actual word — as in, press one bracket OR the other, not the letters “o” and “r.”

55) Alt + [ OR ] (Option + [ OR ]) = Select next layer down or up

56) Control + [ OR ] (Command + [ OR ]) = Move target layer down or up

57) Control + Shift + [ OR ] (Command + Shift + [ OR ]) = Move layer to the bottom or top

58) Shift + Control + n (Shift + Command + n) = Create a new layer

59) Control + g (Command + g) = Group selected layers

60) Control + Shift + g (Command + Shift + g) = Ungroup selected layers

61) Control + e (Command + e) = Merge and flatten selected layers

62) Control + Shift + Alt + e (Command + Shift + Option + e) = Combine all layers into a new layer on top of the other layers. Note: This step gets you one, combined layer, with all elements of that layer in separate layers below — which is different than a traditional merge-and-flatten layers command.

63) Control + t (Command + t) = Transform your object, which includes resizing and rotating

And Finally — Save Your Work for Later

Congratulations — you’ve finished working on your project, and now, you want to share it with the world. Save time saving your project by using these simple shortcuts:

64) Control + Shift + s (Command + Shift + s) = Save your work as …

65) Control + Shift + Alt + s (Command + Shift + Option + s) = Save for web and devices

Which Photoshop shortcuts can’t you live without? Let us know in the comments.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in October 2013 and has been updated and for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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Why Generation Z Should Be Included in Your Content Strategy

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I’ll admit it: I’ve always been a bit befuddled by the letters assigned to generations. In fact, I remember the day that I lamentably found out that I wasn’t a member of Generation X. I had missed the mark by just a hair, and growing up in the 90s, learning that it wasn’t me who the Spice Girls were singing about in soda commercials was very sad news.

But now, pop musicians are singing to one of the newest populations, and as marketers, it’s time for us to turn our attention to it: Generation Z.

If you’re asking, “what is Generation Z?”, here are a few fun facts, courtesy of Adweek:

Generation Z is comprised of those born between about 1996 and 2010.
Members didn’t witness the dawn of the online era like Millennials did — they were born into it.
Half of them say they “can’t live without” YouTube.

But why should marketers pay attention to this particular generation? Well, like every other one before it, Generation Z is steadily gaining some degree of purchasing power, especially those who were born in 1999 or earlier. Many of them are about to start or graduate from college and enter a new phase of independence and decision-making. And who’s there to help guide those decisions? Brands, of course.

But what’s the best way to reach them? To find out, look no further — Adweek broke down the digital behavior of Generation Z into this helpful infographic, which we’ve shared below.

data-Generation-Now-20171.gif

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The Anatomy of a Perfect Blog Post

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Even though we all are crunched for time, spouting off a mediocre blog post for the sake of hitting a deadline isn’t worth it. Considering our audiences have access to countless other articles, it’s unlikely that they’d settle for a half-baked attempt.

New Call-to-action

We get it, though: It can be difficult to keep track of all the right blog components when you’ve got a full plate of projects. There’s a lot to remember when crafting a solid blog post — which means there’s also a lot to forget.

To make sure nothing slips through the cracks and every one of your blog posts is both comprehensive and useful to your readers, we’ve created a rundown of everything you need to remember when you start writing. Bookmark this blog post, and make sure you’ve completed this checklist the next time you press “publish.”

How to Write a Perfect Blog Post
1) Headline

Every great blog post starts with a headline that grabs the reader’s attention, and compels them to click and keep reading to learn more. Internet readers have very short attention spans — around eight seconds in length — and the headline is one of the critical first elements that help readers decide if they want to click and stay on your site. In fact, 60% of readers don’t read past the headline, which presents a big opportunity. Here’s how to write a great headline:

Brainstorm a Working Title

Start with a working title in mind and brainstorm how to make the angle as interesting as possible. This is the phase of blogging where you start with a general topic and narrow down exactly what you want to write about that topic.

For example, if I want to write about the topic of “blogging,” I need to come up with a more specific working title first. And those working titles depend on the format of my blog post. Whether you’re writing a listicle, an explainer article, or a how-to guide, brainstorm a few titles to guide your research. Here are a few ideas:

The Guide to Business Blogging
How to Get Started with Blogging
10 B2B Blogging Strategies We Love (and Why)

Once you have an angle you want to pursue, it’s time for keyword research.

Conduct Keyword Research

Keyword research will help you create a headline that will perform well on search engine results pages (SERPs). Your headline is one of many factors Google considers when ranking results on SERPs, and an optimized title will help people find the information they need more easily.

Tools like Google’s Keyword Planner, SEMrush, and HubSpot’s keywords tool can help you determine exactly which terms people are searching for, and which will be easier or more difficult for your new blog post to rank for.

“Blogging” is a broad search term, and when I dropped it into SEMrush, more than 75,000 keyword results were returned. We recommend targeting long-tail keywords that are more specific to the exact audience you’re targeting — which you can learn more about by creating buyer personas.

When I searched for “business blogging,” on the other hand, I found keywords with lower search volume, but would be more specifically targeted to the audience I’m trying to reach.

Once you’ve nailed the keyword you’re targeting, you can create your final title, as well as your headers (more on that later). For the purposes of this example, I chose, “The Definitive Guide to Business Blogging.”

Craft a Title

When it comes to the art of the perfect blog post, we’ve done some analysis and looked at how our own titles have performed. Here are the consistent principles we found:

The ideal blog post title length is 60 characters.
Headlines between 8 and 12 words are shared most often on Twitter.
Headlines between 12 and 14 words are liked most often on Facebook.

headline-length-vs-social-shares-3.png

We also found that headlines ending with a bracketed clarification — for example, “The Definitive Guide to Business Blogging [New Data]” — performed 38% better than titles without that clarification.

If you’re having trouble trimming down the length of a title, run it through SEOmofo and Twitter to see how the title will appear on SERPs and when it’s shared on social media.

2) Meta Description

The meta description doesn’t live on your blog post — it lives somewhere different that’s just as important.

The meta description refers to the HTML attribute that explains the contents of a given web page. Basically, it’s a short description you see on a SERP to “preview” what the page is about. Check it out below:

business blogging serp.png

The headline, URL, and meta description work together to convince searchers to click on a link to read the entire blog post, so you’ll want to put thought into what to write for this piece of your blog post, too.

In our analysis, we found the ideal meta description length is under 155 characters.

3) Featured Image

Featured images usually sit at the top of a blog post and are another element to draw readers in to learn more. The image should reflect what the story is about, intrigue readers, or provoke them. It shouldn’t be too literal or obvious, and it can simply be aesthetically pleasing, too.

Here’s an example of one of our featured images. It features a mobile phone and a bright yellow color — fitting, considering I was writing about Snapchat:

snapchat-mistakes-example-image.png

Make sure you choose featured images that you’re legally able to edit and distribute. Here are some of our suggestions:

The Free Stock Photos You’ve Been Searching For
Negative Space
StockSnap.io

4) Introduction

The introduction needs to quickly hook your reader and convince her to read the rest of your blog post. It also has to let the reader know what your post is about, so she knows what she’s getting. Nobody likes clickbait, so you want to make sure your post is about what the headline says it is.

Whether your approach is humor, interesting and surprising facts, or asking a question, find a way to make the first lines of your blog posts as attention-grabbing as possible. Write an introduction that would make you want to keep reading an article — a quick few paragraphs to draw the reader in and let him know what he’s about to read.

Here’s an introduction my colleague, HubSpot Staff Writer Aja Frost, wrote that does this effectively:

aja-frost-intro.png

Frost uses a cliffhanger approach here — and now I want to read more to learn about how hard it is to be an entrepreneur. For more introduction inspiration outside of HubSpot Blogs, I recommend reading posts on Medium and Buffer.

5) Sub-Headers

Sub-headers are another on-page SEO element that helps your blog post to rank in Google Search. Sub-headers organize and break up your blog post into different sections to signal to Google (and your reader) what the post will cover.

Sub-headers should be written with H2 tags or smaller — never H1 tags, which signal a title. Use sub-headers to split up sections of your blog post — making sure to integrate the keywords you’re using this post to target.

In this particular post, I’m targeting the keywords “perfect blog post,” which I’ve used in my title and the first sub-header.

6) Body 

The meat of your blog post — separated by various sub-headers, of course — is where your readers will undoubtedly derive the most value. In our analysis, the ideal blog post length is roughly 2,100 words, but that will vary depending on your topic. Medium found that posts that took seven minutes to read earned the most engagement and attention, and serpIQ found that most of the top-10 Google results are between 2,032 and 2,416 words.

7) Data

Whenever it’s possible to use data and numbers, do so. Numbers written as numerals (23) instead of words (twenty-three) have been shown to attract reader attention when they quickly scan what they’re reading online. Additionally, numbers represent facts — which are unimpeachable and most trusted by your readers.

If you’re using numbers or data in your blog post, add [Data] or [Research] to your headline for additional impact, as we discussed earlier in the post.

8) Multimedia Elements

We’ve told you a few times that your reader is having trouble staying focused, so wherever it’s possible to use multimedia content to break up the blog post and re-engage your reader, add images, videos, audio recordings, and social media posts. Changing up the format of your blog post will provide additional value to your reader while making sure their eyes are focused on what they’re reading and seeing.

 

This pic sums up our #Mondaymood. What’s yours? 🗒🖊☕️

A post shared by HubSpot (@hubspot) on Mar 27, 2017 at 5:12am PDT

Works, huh? 

9) Conclusion

When you’re ready to wrap up and sign off, make sure to let your reader know the article is closing. Your conclusion doesn’t need to be lengthy, but it should serve to recap the blog post the reader just finished and provide more resources and guidance, if wanted. More on that next.

10) Call to Action

Finish your conclusion with a meaningful call to action (CTA) for your reader — whether it’s advice, a content offer, or a link to another related blog post. Use the last lines of your post to leave the reader feeling like he or she learned something from you — and like there’s even more to learn from you, creating the desire to click a link or CTA image and read more.

For more ideas on how to write a killer blog post, learn from our analysis of 175,000 B2B and B2C blog posts.

What’s your go-to blueprint for a blog post? Share with us in the comments below.

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Top 10 Powerful Moments That Shaped Social Media History Over the Last 20 Years

Do you remember your first social media profile? Or, how about your first social media post?

My first profile was on Myspace, my first friend was “Tom from Myspace,” and my first post was something like, “Myspace is awesome!”

The rest is history.

Social media has changed and evolved so much since the early days, it’s almost hard to believe how far we’ve come. How people use social media has changed as well. Gen Zs (now beginning to enter the workforce) only know a world with social media, compared to their counterparts – Millennials, Generation X, and Baby Boomers – who can still fondly remember back to the days of snail mail and dial-up modems!

In light of #SMDay (6/30/2017), we’re teaming up with Bitly to share stories and celebrate the positive impact that social media has had on individuals, businesses, and the globe over the last 20 glorious years – all using the hashtag #impactofsocial. Check out the details at the bottom of this post about how you can join in on the fun!

Here’s a look at 10 powerful moments that shaped the social media history.

Let’s dive in!

10 Powerful Moments That Shaped Social Media Over the Last 20 Years

Top 10 powerful moments that shaped social media history

There have been so many wonderful moments over the last 20 years on social media that it was quite a challenge to boil them down to just 10! But since we’re celebrating the positive impact of social media on people’s lives and on the world for this campaign, these are all particularly meaningful and important moments in the social media history.

Feel free to jump to a certain moment(s) in the social media history!

The Birth of Facebook
Miracle on the Hudson
Going “Viral”
Ellen’s Selfie (and the Nuggets guy)
NASA’s #YearInSpace
ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
#BlackLivesMatter
Arab Spring
Community Support during World Tragedies
Natural Disaster Relief

Let’s count down to the top moment in the social media history!

10. The Birth of Facebook

Facebook, the social media network that has an incredible two billion monthly active users (nearly a third of the earth’s population), is the only network that I’ll mention in this post for moments-sake. Given its sheer size, the impact it has made on families, friends, businesses, and world events, I felt as though I might be remiss without a mention of Facebook somewhere!

It’s amazing to imagine what the world might be like if Facebook had never captured the hearts and minds of so many people the way it did. One of my favorite Facebook moments, in particular, is during an early 2004 interview on CNBC with Mark Zuckerberg:

The anchor asks: “Now there’s a new form of cyber match-making, college networking websites. Is this perhaps the next big thing? The Facebook. Mark, if someone was to put the question to you about the magnitude of what you’ve launched; how big do you think your product or service is?”

We all know the rest!

A short six years after this interview (2010), Zuckerberg would go on to become Time’s Person of the Year along with many other accolades along the way. Facebook has changed the way we interact and communicate on all levels and only time will tell if another network will come along and take its place in social media history.

9. Miracle on the Hudson

It was January 15, 2009 when U.S. Airways Flight 1549 took off from LaGuardia Airport in New York and struck a flock of birds on the way up. Moments later, both engines were lost and Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, along with his co-pilot, Jeff Skiles, were asked to pull off the miraculous landing.

When the plane finally landed safely in the frigid Hudson River waters, all 155 passengers on board were safe. The “Miracle on the Hudson” has been called the most successful ditching in aviation history.

But something else happened that day… Jeff Krums tweeted:

http://twitpic.com/135xa – There’s a plane in the Hudson. I’m on the ferry going to pick up the people. Crazy.

— Janis Krums (@jkrums) January 15, 2009

Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey told CNBC in 2013 how that changed Twitter and the way people get news.

It changed everything. Suddenly the world turned its attention because we were the source of news—and it wasn’t us, it was this person in the boat using the service, which is even more amazing.

One small tweet began the Twitter revolution. Hundreds of millions of people now turn to Twitter as a source of news, a place to build a following, a place to share your stories and connect with others.

Twitter is also the platform that our co-founder, Joel Gascoigne, successfully built Buffer on back in 2010! This powerful moment in social media history has a special place in our hearts.

8. Going “Viral”

How many of you have sat around with friends or family and binge-watched several classic YouTube videos in a row? I know I have!

What is now one of the largest social media networks on the planet (more than 1.5 billion people log in every month), started with a few viral hits and began a trend that today we might call, “going viral.” This launched YouTube into a massive entertainment hub – complete with TV streaming, movies, music videos, tutorials, celebrities, vloggers, and of course, viral videos.

Let’s take a look at three early videos that helped to shape the viral side of social media history:

Charlie Bit My Finger (Published: 5/22/2007 – 851,140,074 views)

“Chocolate Rain” (Published: 4/22/2007 – 113,787,749 views)

Numa Numa (Published: 12/11/2006 – 26,800,130 views)

Honorable Mention: “Lazy Sunday” 

In December of 2005, the first “viral video” appeared online under the name “Lazy Sunday.” It was the second-ever SNL Digital Short aired and featured cast members, Chris Parnell and Andy Samberg. Following its appearance on SNL, the video appeared on YouTube and was viewed more than five million times until February 2006 when NBC Universal asked the site to remove it.

7. Ellen’s Selfie (and #NuggsForCarter)

Ellen DeGeneres’ selfie that took the social media world by storm is the epitome of everything that is awesome about social media.

If only Bradley’s arm was longer. Best photo ever. #oscars pic.twitter.com/C9U5NOtGap

— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) March 3, 2014

First, it is the fact that this photo is in “selfie” form which has come to be a staple of how photos are taken and shared across social media platforms. Two, it shows just how light-hearted, yet powerful social media can be. A smiling group of beloved actors, actresses, and performers has the ability to touch the lives of the more than 3,400,000 people who retweeted it and the millions more that saw it. For more than three years, Ellen’s selfie held the title of the most retweeted tweet of all time.

That was until Nevada teenager Carter Wilkerson’s plea for free chicken nuggets from Wendy’s went viral.

HELP ME PLEASE. A MAN NEEDS HIS NUGGS pic.twitter.com/4SrfHmEMo3

— Carter Wilkerson (@carterjwm) April 6, 2017

The world watched as #NuggsForCarter swept Twitter like wildfire – eventually passing Ellen’s selfie as the most retweeted tweet of all time. And although the #NuggsForCarter tweet never quite reached 18 million, Wendy’s still awarded Carter free nuggets for a year anyways. A win-win!

In my experience, we as social media managers tend to take social media very seriously. But if we can learn anything from Ellen’s selfie and #NuggsForCarter, it’s that social media is meant to be a fun and sprightly place for people to share stories, connect, and be themselves.

If you’d like to hear more about the “Nuggs Guy” and how entrepreneurs and small businesses use social media, check out episode #47 of The Science of Social Media where we chat with Paul Jarvis. 

6. NASA’s #YearInSpace

Named one of the most influential social media campaigns of 2016 (and maybe of all time), NASA’s #AYearInSpace demonstrates the wildly powerful ability of social media to document the human condition.

Day 179. The #Nile at night is a beautiful sight for these sore eyes. Good night from @space_station! #YearInSpace pic.twitter.com/eAMBZ9p428

— Scott Kelly (@StationCDRKelly) September 22, 2015

What made the mission so unique is that NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly has an identical twin brother he was to be compared with (physically) upon his return in hopes to uncover what happens to the human body after long exposures in space.

Astronaut Kelly tweeted continuously using the hashtag #YearInSpace, which was followed closely by millions of intrigued spectators. While tumbling around in zero gravity aboard the ISS, he even hosted an AMA session on Reddit!

This was a powerful moment in the social media history because we were able to experience space first-hand from the comfort of our own homes. People from all over the world chimed in using #YearInSpace to express their support, marvel in the wonder of the cosmos, and share an interconnectedness of human activity.

5. ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge was a wonderful testament to the power of social media to make a charitable impact on an important cause. Since 2014, largely due to social media, the ALS Association has raised more than $115 million for research towards Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

It drew the attention of hundreds of thousands of people, including celebrities like President Obama, LeBron James, Lady Gaga, Sergey Brin, Sheryl Sandberg, and Bill Gates. Within the first 15 days of the campaign taking off, the ALS Association had received $15 million in donations from 307,600 new, first-time donors.

What followed was an interesting study into viral content and how organizations might be able to repeat this virality in the future. And while no definite conclusion was made from Facebook’s study and visualization, many attribute the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge success to former Boston College baseball player, Pete Frates, who was diagnosed with ALS in 2012 (helping to explain the concentration).

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Graph

The Ice Bucket Challenge can help to act as a guide or blueprint for achieving viral success via social media. As TechCrunch author, Sarah Perez writes, “Simply ask the selfie generation to once again turn their cameras on themselves, but infuse that act with a higher purpose” and you have a recipe for success.

4. #BlackLivesMatter

Over the past several years, social media has become an important communication tool for political groups and social movements to organize and take action. One of those social movements, #BlackLivesMatter, has become one of the largest in the social media history. Used more than 12 million times, the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter is the third most-used Twitter hashtag around a social cause.

Analysis of #BlackLivesMatter Hashtag

#BlackLivesMatter is an incredibly powerful example of how a social media hashtag can ignite action in the real world and be tied directly to a major movement. The implications for something like this are huge considering that we are all only becoming more digitally connected by the day.

A quote from Bijan Stephen in WIRED helps to sum it up perfectly:

“In the 1960s, if you were a civil rights worker and you needed to get some urgent news out to the rest of the world, you would likely head straight for a telephone. If you’re a civil rights activist in 2015 and you need to get some news out, your first move is to choose a social media platform.”

3. Arab Spring

I’ll never forget the digital marketing course I took in college that examined social media’s impact on the Arab Spring. It was then, back in 2011 as a student, that I realized the true power and potential implications of social media. Up until that point, I thought social media was only for sharing pictures with friends and family!

There has since been a strong debate over the role and influence that social media played in the Arab Spring. Researchers at the University of Washington examined more than three million tweets, gigabytes of YouTube content, and thousands of blog posts and found that social media played a central role in shaping political debates in the Arab Spring.

Arab Spring Map Overview

“Our evidence suggests that social media carried a cascade of messages about freedom and democracy across North Africa and the Middle East, and helped raise expectations for the success of political uprising,” said Philip Howard, project lead and professor at the University of Washington. “People who shared interest in democracy built extensive social networks and organized political action. Social media became a critical part of the toolkit for greater freedom.”

2. Community Support during World Tragedies

Social media can mean the difference between a few minutes or even a few seconds, and in unforeseen often-desperate situations, a few seconds can mean the world.

Moments after the tragic events in Brussels, friends and family members turned to Facebook and Twitter for information regarding anyone they might have known to be involved.

Following the Boston Marathon bombings, one-quarter of Americans looked to Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites for information, according to The Pew Research Center. Boston community members offered complete strangers a warm bed, food, and a shower when roads and hotels were closed (via a simple Google Doc).

Boston Marathon Google Doc

Social media also provides essential communication channels after these tragic events. Thinking back to Paris in 2015, social media helped to give many people a feeling of comfort, of solidarity, and of solace knowing that they would not have to face this alone. It acted as a support system even though we were all thousands of miles apart.

1. Natural Disaster Relief

One of the biggest strengths of social media is the speed at which it can disseminate important information to a large number of people in a very short amount of time. For example, after a 7.0 earthquake hit Haiti in 2010, non-profits and relief groups used social media to mobilize rescue efforts and support the community in various ways.

According to a CNN report, social media – Twitter specifically – became a pivotal tool in the fundraising efforts that raised millions of dollars in aid for the country. By the end of the week, the use of social media helped to raise more than $8 million in relief.

Haiti Earthquake 2010

Photo: Yale Economic Review

Haiti is just one of many cases where social media played an integral role in disaster relief. The earthquake and tsunami in Japan (2011), Hurricane Irene (2011), Superstorm Sandy (2012), and the earthquake in Nepal (2015) are examples of the power of instant communication. During Sandy, 10,000 Instagram photos (#sandy) were uploaded per second, many complete with geo-tagged locations!

Social media provides real-time, first-person information so that people and organizations can make informed decisions about where to focus their efforts. A critical piece in ensuring that relief is provided where and when it is needed most.

Over to you

It’s quite hard to fathom that social media is only 20 years young and that the majority of growth and innovation has happened over the last few years. It’s even harder to believe that we’ve likely only just begun! As the world population continues to increase, communities become more connected, and the internet becomes available for more and more cities around the world, we will undoubtedly witness a deeper integration of social media into our everyday lives.

This list doesn’t even begin to cover the hundreds of amazing moments throughout social media history. And so it’s up to all of us to celebrate its positive impact on our lives whenever we can. Let’s encourage each other to not take this incredible tool for granted!

Here’s to 20 more years of powerful, wonderful, and world-changing social media history (and beyond!)

Feeling inspired? We’d love for you to share your story!

How has social media positively impacted you? On June 30th (#SMDay) and throughout the weekend,  share your social media story with us using the hashtag #impactofsocial! We’ll be retweeting some of our favorites and picking a few winners to receive some special Buffer swag. We’re also hosting five exclusive Facebook Live chats throughout the day, check out the awesome schedule we have planned below!

Facebook Live #impactofsocial schedule (Tune in Here!)

Tom Redman (Product Manager at Buffer) – 7:00am PT, 10:00am ET
Arielle Tannenbaum & Hailley Griffis (Community & PR at Buffer) – 8:30am PT, 11:30am ET
Mark Josephson (CEO at Bitly) – 10:00am PT, 1:00pm ET
Brian Fanzo (iSocialFanz) – 12:00pm PT, 3:00pm ET
Courtney Seiter (Director of People at Buffer) – 1:30pm PT, 4:30pm ET

10 Jobs Artificial Intelligence Will Replace (and 10 That Are Safe)

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The other day at work, my colleague, HubSpot Marketing Director Ryan Bonnici, sent around a link on Slack — to a website called “Will Robots Take My Job?”

We were thrilled to learn marketing managers had only a 1.4% chance of our jobs being automated or replaced by robots and artificial intelligence. And although I breathed a sigh of relief that writing has only a 3.8% chance of being automated, it made me think about job roles that weren’t so lucky.

If you think job disruption by AI is limited to the assembly lines, think again: AI is doing a better job than humans at some aspects of sales and marketing, too.

Artificial Intelligence Disruption is Already Happening

AI can analyze sales calls far faster than any sales manager could — in fact, it would take 9 years of nonstop sales call analysis for a human being to compete, and that’s if they didn’t take vacation or sleep. And AI is already being used to develop marketers’ content strategies and email marketing playbooks — it’s only a matter of time before it plays a bigger role in the process.

HubSpot co-founder and CTO Dharmesh Shah has a more positive outlook on the future of AI — in fact, he thinks bots and AI will make us better at our jobs and more secure in our careers, not the other way around.

The truth probably lies halfway between these camps — in many cases, AI will serve to make our jobs easier and will make us more effective and data-driven. But the fact remains that some jobs will be replaced by machines — it’s the essence of any industrial or technological revolution. The good news is; some jobs won’t be strictly replaced — they just might be adjusted to account for new technologies’ “careers.”

Based on the landmark 2013 study that inspired “Will Robots Take My Job?” we’ve rounded up some of the marketing and sales roles most likely to be replaced by robots, bots, and AI in the next few years. This study analyzes the likely probability that a job will be replaced by automation and computerization — based primarily on the level of routine a job has and the specialized training and social intelligence required to complete it. It’s not an exhaustive list, but it gives you an idea of what your life could look like in a few years.

10 Careers AI Will Replace (and 10 That Are Safe)
Most Likely to Be Replaced
1) Telemarketers

Likelihood: 99%

Why: You probably already receive robo-calls on behalf of various products and services, and career growth in the telemarketing space is expected to decline by 3% by the year 2024. This is largely in part because of the requirements to be successful: Unlike other sales roles, telemarketers don’t require a high level of social, or emotional, intelligence to be successful. Think about it — are you likely to purchase from a telemarketer? Conversion rates for direct telephone sales are typically less than 10%, making this role a ripe opportunity to be automated.

2) Bookkeeping clerks

Likelihood: 98%

Why: Jobs in this role are expected to decline 8% by 2024, and it’s no surprise why — most bookkeeping is becoming automated, if it hasn’t been already. QuickBooks, FreshBooks, and Microsoft Office already offer software that does the bookkeeping for you that’s much more affordable than a person’s salary, so it’s no surprise this job has such a high probability.

3) Compensation and Benefits Managers

Likelihood: 96%

Why: This one is surprising because the job growth is supposed to increase 7% by 2024. But just because there’s demand doesn’t make you safe from automation. As companies grow in size — especially across multinational markets — a human and paper-based system can present more hurdles, time delays, and costs. Automated benefits systems can save time and effort for providing benefits to large numbers of employees, and companies like Ultipro and Workday are already being widely adopted.

4) Receptionists

Likelihood: 96%

Why: Pam predicted this back on The Office, but in case you’re not a fan, automated phone and scheduling systems can replace a lot of the traditional receptionist role — especially at modern technology companies that don’t have office-wide phone systems or multinational corporations.

5) Couriers

Likelihood: 94%

Why: Couriers and delivery people are already being replaced by drones and robots, so it’s only a matter of time until this space is dominated by automation altogether. At the same time, this space is expected to grow by 5% by 2024, so it might not happen as quickly as you think.

6) Proofreaders

Likelihood: 84%

Why: Proofreading software is everywhere — and we use it a lot here at HubSpot. From Microsoft Word’s simple spelling and grammar check to Grammarly and Hemingway App, there are a lot of technologies out there that make it easy to self-check your own writing.

7) Computer Support Specialists

Likelihood: 65%

Why: The field is projected to grow 12% by 2024, but with so much content on the internet with instructions, step-by-step guides, and hacks out there, it’s no surprise companies will rely more heavily on bots and automation to answer support questions from employees and customers in the future.

8) Market Research Analysts

Likelihood: 61%

Why: Market research analysts play an incredibly important role in the development of messaging, content, and products, but automated AI and surveys can compile this information more and more easily. GrowthBot, for example, can conduct market research on nearby businesses and competitors with a simple Slack command.

9) Advertising Salespeople

Likelihood: 54%

Why: As advertising shifts away from print and TV and towards web and social media landscapes, people simply don’t need to be managing those sales for marketers who want to buy ad space. More social media platforms are making it easy for people to buy space through free application program interfaces (APIs) and self-serve ad marketplaces to remove the salesperson and make it faster and easier for users to make money — and that’s reflected in the projected 3% decline in the industry.

10) Retail Salespeople

Likelihood: 92%

Why: If you’ve visited a mall, car dealership, or furniture store lately, you might not have been assisted by a salesperson at all from start to finish. Companies are democratizing the shopping experience with features like self-checkout, and the modern buyer is much more internet-savvy and more likely to do internet research and make a buying decision on their own.

Most Likely to Be Safe (For Now)
1) Human Resources Managers

Likelihood: 0.55%

Why Not: It’s kind of in the name — but your company’s Human Resources department will likely always need a human at the helm to manage interpersonal conflict with the help of non-cognitive and reasoning skills. The field is projected to grow 9% by 2024 as companies grow and need more robust structures for supporting and helping employees.

2) Sales Managers

Likelihood: 1.3%

Why Not: Sales managers need a high level of emotional intelligence to hit their quotas each month, network and collaborate with customers, and motivate and encourage the larger sales team. Managers also have to analyze data and interpret trends, and the high levels of intelligence required — plus the constant need to adapt to new situations — makes this role safe from automation.

3) Marketing Managers

Likelihood: 1.4%

Why Not: Marketing managers have to interpret data, monitor trends, oversee campaigns, and create content. They also have to nimbly adapt and respond to changes and feedback from the rest of the company and customers, making this another human-forward career AI isn’t quite ready to replicate.

4) Public Relations Managers

Likelihood: 1.5%

Why Not: Successful PR managers rely on a network of relationships and contacts to procure press placements and buzz for the companies they represent, making this another completely safe role. PR managers who have to raise awareness around an issue or mission need a particularly human touch to raise funds or get people to participate in a campaign, too — and jobs are expected to grow 7% by 2024.

5) Chief Executives

Likelihood: 1.5%

Why Not: It’s nearly impossible to automate leadership — after all, it’s hard enough to teach it. Chief executives have to inform broad strategy, represent companies’ missions and objectives, and motivate huge teams of people working for them. Companies may answer to stakeholders and boards of directors, who likely wouldn’t want a robot giving them an earnings report, either.

6) Event Planners

Likelihood: 3.7%

Why Not: Event planning is a growing field, and if you ask anyone on our events team here at HubSpot, whether you’re planning an event for employees, customers, or an industry event with tens of thousands of attendees, the planning process has many, many moving parts involved. Planners have to coordinate and negotiate with vendors, contractors, and freelancers to make things come together, and the organizational and people skills involved will make this another near-impossible role to automate.

7) Writers

Likelihood: 3.8%

Why Not: (I breathed a sigh of relief on this one.) Writers have to ideate, create, and produce original written material. AIs can do some of this with title suggestions, writing prompts, and automated social media messages, but blog posts, books, movies, and plays will likely be written by humans for the foreseeable future.

8) Software Developers

Likelihood: 4.2%

Why Not: Software engineering and development is hard enough for human beings to do, and the time and skill investment needed to create applications, software, and websites will be tough to replicate — especially since developers need to execute perfectly to create great products for customers. The field is expected to grow by 19% by 2024, so if you’re a software developer, you’re sitting pretty for now.

9) Editors

Likelihood: 5.5%

Why Not: While some of the load can be lifted from editors with the automated proofreading technology mentioned previously, editors have to review writers’ submission for clarity, accuracy, comprehensiveness, and originality. While there is some software that can spot-check for clarity and scan for plagiarism, the editor role must be carried out by a human in order to read work as another human would.

10) Graphic Designers

Likelihood: 8.2%

Why Not: Although there are some AIs taking small (and somewhat creepy) steps in the graphic design space, graphic design is both artistic and technical, making it an ideal role for a human being to carry out. Like writing, all work needs to be original and created to the client’s wishes, so graphic design needs to be created with a human artist and editor all-in-one.

To learn more about how you can keep working with AI to improve your work and optimize efficiency, read our research report here.

What jobs do you think will be replaced by AI? Share with us in the comments below.

AI YouTube Live

YouTube SEO: How to Optimize Videos for YouTube Search

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When I was just a wee lass and HubSpot was first starting to make a name for itself, inbound marketing was a brand new idea. Marketers were learning that they couldn’t just publish a high volume of content — it also had to be high-quality and optimized in ways that made it as discoverable as possible through search engines.

And once upon a time, that content was largely limited to the written word. Eleven years later, that’s no longer the case — a comprehensive content strategy includes written work like blogs and ebooks, as well as media like podcasts, visual assets, and videos.

That last part — video — continues to be on the rise. According to the 2017 State of Inbound, marketers named video as a huge disruptor. “I mostly write content right now,” one respondent said, “but I’m afraid it may begin to diminish more and more with video.” Check out our interactive guide to creating high-quality videos for social  media here.

And with the rise of other content formats comes the need to optimize them for search. One increasingly important place to do that is on YouTube, which is a video distribution website used by the masses (HubSpot included).

But how does that work? What are the steps you need to take to optimize your YouTube channel for search? We’ve outlined some major tips below. And if you’re short on time, no problem — check out the video summary here.

7 YouTube Search Optimization Tips
1) Title

When we search for videos, one of the first things that our eyes are drawn to is the title. That’s often what determines whether or not the viewer will click to watch your video, so the title should not only be compelling, but also, clear and concise.

It also helps if the title closely matches what the viewer is searching for. Research conducted by Backlinko found that videos with an exact keyword match in the title have a slight advantage over those that don’t. Here’s a linear representation of those findings:

exact-match-title.png
Source: Backlinko

So while “using your target keyword in your title may help you rank for that term,” report author Brian Dean explains, “the relationship between keyword-rich video titles and rankings is” weak, at best.

Finally, make sure to keep your title fairly short — HubSpot Content Strategist Alicia Collins recommends limiting it to 60 characters to help keep it from getting cut off in results pages.

2) Description

First things first: According to Google, the official character limit for YouTube video descriptions is 1,000 characters. And while it’s okay to use all of that space, remember that your viewer most likely came here to watch a video, not to read a story.

If you do choose to write a longer description, keep in mind that YouTube only displays the first two or three lines of text — that amounts to about 100 characters. After that point, viewers have to click “show more” to see the full description. That’s why we suggest front-loading the description with the most important information, like CTAs or crucial links.

As for optimizing the video itself, it doesn’t hurt to add a transcript of the video, especially for those who have to watch it without volume. That said, Backlinko’s research also found no correlation between descriptions that were optimized for a certain keyword and the rankings for that term.

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Source: Backlinko

Dean is careful not to encourage ditching an optimized description altogether, though. “An optimized description helps you show up in the suggested videos sidebar,” he writes, “which is a significant source of views for most channels.”

3) Tags

YouTube’s official Creator Academy suggests using tags to let viewers know what your video is about. But you’re not just informing your viewers — you’re also informing YouTube itself. Dean explains that the platform uses tags “to understand the content and context of your video.”

That way, YouTube figures out how to associate your video with similar videos, which can broaden your content’s reach. But choose your tags widely. Don’t use an irrelevant tag because you think it’ll get you more views — in fact, Google might penalize you for that. And similar to your description, lead with the most important keywords, including a good mix of those that are common and more long-tail (as in, those that answer a question like “how do I?”).

4) Category

Once you upload a video, you can categorize it under “Advanced settings.” Choosing a category is another way to group your video with similar content on YouTube.

It might not be as simple as it looks. In fact, YouTube’s Creator Academy suggests that marketers go through a comprehensive process to determine which category each video belongs in. It’s helpful, the guide writes, “to think about what is working well for each category” you’re considering by answering questions like:

Who are the top creators within the category? What are they known for, and what do they do well?
Are there any patterns between the audiences of similar channels within a given category?
Do the videos within a similar category have share qualities like production value, length, or format?

5) Thumbnail

Your video thumbnail is the main image viewers see when scrolling through a list of video results. Along with the video’s title, that thumbnail sends a signal to the viewer about the video’s content, so it can impact the number of clicks and views your video receives.

While you can always pick one of the thumbnail options auto-generated by YouTube, we highly recommend uploading a custom thumbnail. The Creator Academy reports that “90% of the best performing videos on YouTube have custom thumbnails,” recommending the use of images that are 1280×720 pixels — representing a 16:9 ratio — that are saved as 2MB or smaller .jpg, .gif, .bmp, or .png files. If you follow those parameters, it can help to ensure that your thumbnail appears with equally high quality across multiple viewing platforms.

It’s important to note that your YouTube account has to be verified in order to upload a custom thumbnail image. To do that, visit youtube.com/verify and follow the instructions listed there.

6) SRT Files (Subtitles & Closed Captions)

Like much of the other text we’ve discussed here, subtitles and closed captions can boost YouTube search optimization by highlighting important keywords.

In order to add subtitles or closed captions to your video, you’ll have to upload a supported text transcript or timed subtitles file. For the former, you can also directly enter transcript text for a video so that it auto-syncs with the video.

Adding subtitles follows a similar process, however, you can limit the amount of text you want displayed. For either, head to your video manager then click on “Videos” under “Video Manager.” Find the video you want to add subtitles or closed captioning to, and click the drop-down arrow next to the edit button. Then, choose “Subtitles/CC.” You can then select how you’d like to add subtitles or closed captioning.

Google has provided great instructions on how to do that here, as well as in the video below.

7) Cards and End Screens
Cards

When you’re watching a video, have you ever seen a small white, circular icon with an “i” in the center appear in the corner, or a translucent bar of text asking you to subscribe? Those are Cards, which Creator Academy describes as “preformatted notifications that appear on desktop and mobile which you can set up to promote your brand and other videos on your channel.”

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Source: Google

You can add up to five cards to a single video, and there are six types:

Channel cards that direct viewers to another channel.
Donation cards to encourage fundraising on behalf of U.S. nonprofit organizations.
Fan funding to ask your viewers to help support the creation of your video content.
Link cards, which direct viewers to an external site, approved crowdfunding platform, or an approved merchandise selling platform.
Poll cards, which pose a question to viewers and allow them to vote for a response.
Video or playlist cards, which link to other YouTube content of this kind.

For detailed steps on adding a card to your video, follow these official steps from Google, or check out the video below.

End Screens

End screens display similar information as cards, but as you may have guessed, they don’t display until a video is over, and are a bit more visually detailed in nature. A good example is the overlay with a book image and a visual link to view more on the video below:

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Source: Jamie Oliver on YouTube

There are a number of detailed instructions for adding end screens depending on what kind of platform you want to design them for, as well as different types of content allowed for them by YouTube. Google outlines the details for how to optimize for all of those considerations here.

It’s important to note that YouTube is always testing end screens to try to optimize the viewer experience, so there are times when “your end screen, as designated by you, may not appear.” Take these factors into account as you decide between using either cards or end screens.

It’s Worth It to Optimize

These factors may seem a bit complicated and time-consuming, but remember: The time people spend watching YouTube on their TV has more than doubled year over year. There’s an audience to be discovered there, and when you optimize for YouTube, your chances of being discovered increase.

Of course, it all begins with good content, so make sure your viewers have something high-quality and relevant to watch when they find you.

How have you optimized for YouTube search? Let us know in the comments.

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