Alexa Flash Briefings And Your Business

 
 
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00:12
Hey there, Jen here. You're listening to the front row entrepreneur podcast, episode number 19, and today we're going to talk about flash briefings and specifically Alexa flash briefings. Throughout this episode I will be referring to the device as well, Lexi so that I don't wake her up in case you have a Lexi device in the spot where you are listening right now. I had been waiting a long time to talk to you about this. I was so blown away by the results I was getting for my own business and with my audience growth that I wanted to record a podcast episode right away and just shout it to the world, but I held off because I wanted to wait it out a bit. I wanted to collect some more data. I wanted to listen to what other people were saying before I put this episode together for you and while we're going to cover a lot today specifically regarding how to use a flash briefing to grow your audience and your sales and how to market it and repurpose it, I imagine that there will be a part two episode in the not too distant future.

01:13
There's just so much happening so fast that I'm certain there will be a lot more to say. What we are starting to understand about the way people are consuming voice is that they are making these briefings part of their daily routines. Most people are able to commit to content that is 10 minutes or less because they're listening during those transitional moments in their lives, drinking their coffee on their way out the door, fixing the kids' lunches, getting dressed in the morning. No other piece of content could reach this audience. Okay, so let's start at the beginning. What the heck is a flash briefing anyway? A flash briefing is an audio clip. It's 10 minutes or less and you upload it to Amazon. People subscribed your flash briefing by enabling it in their Lexi skills APP or on Amazon.com.

02:06
After that, they hear your briefing whenever they give the command, Lexi play my flash briefing, setting up a flash briefing only takes about 20 to 30 minutes. If you use a platform that allows you to bypass having to code it. Lord knows I do not know how to code the platform that I like where I have my own flash briefing is called sound up and if you go over to soundupnow.com and use a coupon code called frontrow. Just type in frontrow, all one word. They'll give you a nice discount, but it's really affordable even without any kind of discount. It's like under $20 a month I think. Anyway, they've got great tutorials on their site, but I've also created a step by step pdf guide for you. Just text ALEXAGUIDE all one word to 44222. I'll also put a link in the show notes at jenlehner.com/alexa.

03:01
In fact, I'll put links to all of this stuff. Any resources we discuss, and I'll probably be adding stuff as well because new stuff is happening every single day, so any websites I come across it, I think you want to see. I will also put on the show notes page. Now you don't have to have a Lexi device in order to create a flash briefing. All you need is really a computer and a microphone, so after you set up your briefing, you're never going to have to do it again, but one really important thing to remember here is to use all 30 keywords that Amazon allows you to use when you set up your briefing so you're briefing is searchable from Amazon.com, which in and of itself if you think about is completely mind blowing. So like if someone goes to the Amazon store and they're searching for orchids, then all the books are going to come up about orchids and all of the products are going to come up about orchids.

03:56
But if you have an Alexa flash briefing skill that is about orchids is also going to pop up. If you gave it the right title and you gave it the right keywords, so keep this in mind when you name your briefing and with those keywords. If you aren't sure what keywords to use, you could use Google's keyword planner for an approximation and also here's a Ninja tip for you. Find top briefings in your niche and then use the title of that briefing as one of your keywords. I recommend rotating your keywords monthly until you find the ones that are really working well for you. Thankfully Amazon does give you an analytics dashboard that is easy to understand so you can always see how many listeners you have on any given day or week or month. I've had my briefing, the front row entrepreneur flash briefing for about a year now and based on what I've seen, I do believe that voice is here to stay and now is the time to jump in.

04:55
Like literally right now, as of April 2018, Amazon reported that there are 50,000 Lexi skills and while that's a lot, if you think about it, it's not really a lot. What if I said there were 50,000 websites in the world or 50,000 podcasts? To me, this sounds like a number that validates that briefings are viable, but it also tells me that it's probably the perfect time to jump in because I have a chance of getting found before 50,000 turns into 50 million and I really do think that that is going to be a reality very, very soon and just consider these numbers at the time of this recording, which is September 2018. Sixty percent of Amazon prime members already own a smart speaker and there are more than a hundred million Amazon prime members, so you do the math that $60 million people right there and 30 percent of non prime members own a smart speaker and I don't know what that number is, but you can be sure it's a lot.

06:00
The holidays are just around the corner and I'm guessing that the number of people who own smart speakers is going to increase exponentially. I'm willing to bet that these devices will become as ubiquitous as televisions in every American household and soon enough across the globe. Really today I just read that BMW announced that they are incorporating Lexi into the dashboard of their cars. And what about this? You may already buy products through your Amazon Echo. I know I do. I'll find myself in the middle of a recipe, realized that I need organic Tahini or preserved lemons or some other inconvenient item and I'll just shout it out to Lexi. Lexi order preserved lemons in two days later. It's at my doorstep so I'm no Nostradamus, but let me just put this out there. If you currently have an Amazon affiliate account, meaning you could share links to products and get a commission, I'm sure it is only a matter of time that we'll be able to do the same thing through our flash briefings and I'm sure that that won't be the end or even really necessarily the beginning of how we're going to be able to directly monetize our briefings.

07:11
So the bottom line is that you just need to be paying attention to this trend. The possibilities for marketers and businesses are mind-blowing, but for today we're going to focus on using our flash briefings to build an audience and convert our audience into customers. The number one thing that I've learned with flash briefings is like with any kind of content creation, we must be consistent. When I first started, I was publishing my briefing once a week and then one day a listener left me a review, a bad review, a one star review, and said that the content was good, but that she had to listen to the same thing every day until I published the new episode of the following week. This was a real eyeopener for me. See, when you set up your briefing, you either tell Amazon that you're going to publish daily or weekly. If you say that you'll publish weekly than your listeners will hear the same thing for a week and after a week.

08:08
If you don't publish anything new, Lexi will tell your listeners. There is no new content for the front row entrepreneur flash briefing or something to that effect. So what I recommend is setting up your flash briefing for weekly publishing. So you're going to tell Alexa, I am only going to publish once a week, but actually publish every day. This way, if you miss a day, your listeners won't get an error message, but they will hear whatever your last briefing was again, but stay with me here because I know you're thinking, no way. I am not going to record a flash briefing every day. I don't have time for that. Do not worry. You do not have to. Like with podcasts, you can batch record your content and schedule them in advance and because flash briefings are so short, you can knock off probably a month's worth of content in no time at all.

09:01
I do actually record every day or at least Monday through Friday. That is because my flash briefing is news. It's all about the latest news in online marketing and online business. I do take the weekends off however, and based on the research and my own analytics and some of the limited research that I've been able to find out there. It looks like people don't listen as much anyway on the weekends, but while we're on this subject, I have to say that incorporating this into my morning routine has been by itself one of the best decisions I've ever made outside of the fantastic Roi Return on investment of my time and energy, which we're going to discuss in a little while. This has become a very important cornerstone of my day. I never would have expected this. I get up at five, oh, eight every morning, and then I get to my 6:00 AM yoga class about 20 minutes early.

09:57
I write my morning pages and the minute I get home I'll walk to my office which is in the back of my house and I record my flash briefing before my day has even begun. I have created something if nothing else goes right all day long. I know I have created a piece of content that has hopefully helped at least one person somewhere, and because I'm reporting the news, I've also learned new things in a way I wasn't learning before because I'm reading an article about the latest changes in twitter or Facebook ads or whatever. Then I have to condense it and interpret it for my audience. I have to truly, truly understand what I'm talking about. My own knowledge base has increased so much by doing this, that by itself, even before all the new email subscribers and listeners and members of my Facebook group and new customers before all of that, I would say this has been 100 percent worth it, but if you don't want to do it daily, uh, the platform that I use sound up allows you to upload all of your batch content.

10:58
You put the publishing date and that's it. It goes out on the date it's supposed to go out on. And maybe some of the other platforms do that as well. But I know for sure sound up does that. Now, the actual process of creating the briefing could not be simpler. It's really the easiest content I create all day long. I use Zencaster, which I'll link to in the show notes, but you can really use anything that allows you to record audio like GarageBand, which I think comes free inside your Mac or audacity, which is 100 percent free and a lot of people in the podcasting industry really love it. Then you upload the briefing to sound up and that's absolutely it. Another little tip is that I think having a short, I mean short, very, very short little musical intro, even just a sound effect and a musical outro is great for brand recognition and it adds a certain level of legitimacy and professionalism, a little bit of Polish that will set you apart from some of the, quite frankly kind of the garbage that's out there.

11:59
So also you want to let your listeners know how to contact you. Make it really is interactive as you can. I often ask people in the middle of my flash briefing to tweet at me or tag me on Instagram. It is a thrill to see this in action and I always drive people to my Facebook group and because one of the questions I asked members when they get to my Facebook group, when they fill out the application, one of the questions I asked them is, how did you hear about this group? And they'll tell me that they heard about me on my flash briefing and even more exciting than that are the people who are going to my paid VIP community because of the flash briefing. So now let me give you a couple of ideas of what your flash briefing might look like. Since this is a self contained thing, meaning you don't necessarily have to tie this into your existing brand.

12:50
In fact, you don't even have to tie this into your existing business. Maybe you are a huge fan of growing orchids. You have so many tips about growing orchids. You could just go on forever. Perfect. Start a flash briefing, call it daily orchid tips. Then spend a Saturday afternoon creating 31 minute tips about growing orchids. Maybe in each recording you mentioned a link to your favorite orchid growing medium. If that's even a thing, I don't know your favorite orchid dirt, you send people to a simple landing page where you have the show notes. It may be an affiliate link to that dirt or many affiliate links or a link to your book about orchids or whatever. Let's say you're a realtor and you do want to tie your briefing in with your existing business. This is what I would do. I would create a briefing that just focuses on your town, so if you live in Minneapolis, maybe it's just called the Minneapolis minute and you can highlight events happening each day.

13:49
In Minneapolis. Talk about civic news, favorite restaurants. The fire department just got a new fire truck, whatever, and maybe at the end of each briefing you mentioned that this Minneapolis minute is brought to you by Sarah Johnson. Minneapolis is favorite realtor and you also have a show notes page and when people come to that page, they see the links to the resources that you mentioned, but they also see a picture of you with your branding and your contact information, but basically you'll be using your briefing to build authority as Minneapolis's expert, the Minneapolis expert, the Go to person for information about Minneapolis. If you're a financial advisor or a money person, stock tips or investing tips would be fantastic. Coaches can create tips based on whatever it is you coach about. Well, whoever you are, wherever you are, whatever your subject matter expertise is, that's what you can talk about. Is your audience made up of parents of young kids.

14:48
How about a storytelling flash briefing? I really can't think of any business or industry. They can't create a flash briefing and it may not be that you're going after an audience of thousands of people. Maybe you create a flash briefing that is for internal use only or for a select group of clients. Maybe it's a perk. It's an extra. It's a bonus that you can offer to special clients and if you're a marketer who works directly with clients, can you imagine the response when you head into your pitch meeting to discuss all the services that you provide and then you plug in that echo and you say, Lexi play my flash briefing, and they hear the sample flash briefing that you created that features their company. They're going to fall out of their chair and start throwing money at you. Then you could set up their flash briefing in your sound up account.

15:41
I think their agency accounts give you up to like 10 feet or more and then you can easily systemize the process by either getting the client to email you a batch of recordings each month or you can record them with the client on location. You just take your laptop and your Yeti mic and you spend an hour with them grabbing a month or two worth of content, but the point is the margins on this are fantastic with your only real overhead being your time and even that can be minimized if you just outline your process really, really well and your clients are going to be thrilled because this is of huge value to them, not to mention the cool factor and the fact that they know their competitors are not doing this and again, in your competitors, haven't thought of this either about this agency model, so again, now is the time before we head into part two of this episode to talk about how to market your flash briefing and repurpose it and find listeners.

16:40
Let me pause and let you know that this episode of the Front Row Entrepreneur podcast is brought to you by front row VIP entrepreneur mastermind. This is a private community focused on providing online entrepreneurs with the training and information you need to grow your audience and your business online. Front row. VIP offers you access to a comprehensive library of courses and trainings from Facebook ads to Messenger bots to funnel building and productivity. It's all their best of all. We have two monthly live q and a calls where I take your questions in advance and take a deep dive to help you in your business. You may or may not be able to show up that day, but I answered your question anyway and send you a timestamp link to your question and answer in the replay. We have a regular co-working session which is a lot like study hall in high school, but we're working side by side virtually in a virtual space and I facilitate these sessions with a timer, making sure to time block our efforts. We have guest speakers and an annual live event as well. At the time of this recording, doors are still open and you can learn more at frontrowvip.com.

17:53
If you're listening to this and enrollment is closed, there will of course be an opportunity for you to get on the waiting list and now back to our episode. So now you have a flash briefing. Now what, how do you get listeners? Unfortunately, Amazon is not going to market your briefing for you, so here's some things that you can do. First of all, create a Bitly link to your skill in the Amazon Lexi skill store. In other words, whenever you create a flash briefing skill, it's listed in the Amazon Alexa skill store and there's a direct link there that people click on and they can enable your skill, your flash briefing skill, so you want to take that link and it's really just by default, very long and cumbersome and you want to plug it into something like Bitly.com to make it short and pretty and more manageable, and of course also you'll be able to track it and then you want to use that link everywhere you want to put it in your email signature.

18:52
You want to post regularly on Reddit.com and quora.com, answering questions in your niche and always mentioning your flash briefing skill. Talk about your flash briefing using twitter's new audio live streaming feature and on all of your live streams. Let your email subscribers know about your briefing. If you send out a regular newsletter, make sure to mention your briefing and the newsletter each and every time you can upload the audio of your briefing to Temi, t, e, m i.com, and get really inexpensive transcripts to convert your briefings into blog post or to post on medium.com. Post information about your skill on all your social channels and on each of the pages of your website that get the most traffic. Create business cards exclusively for your flash briefing skill, so it's not going to have all the other things about your business. It's just going to have, let's say, your flash briefing logo and that nice elegant little Bitly link that's gonna get them there.

19:55
Maybe on the flip side of the card, you also put a qr code sharing and re purposing your flash briefings across other channels is a wonderful way to reach people who might not even know what a flash briefing is at all, so they can't find you in a traditional way. So what you could do is upload the audio of your flash briefing to the APP. It's called headliner APP. I'll link to it in the show notes. It's 100 percent free based on the language on their website. It's always going to be free and I got to say this is probably one of the best apps I run into in the last two years. It's unbelievable. It's among other things. It allows you to upload audio to create these audiograms and audiograms are really technically videos, so the end of the link, we'll have .mp4, but they present like a graphic with an animated like audio wave as an overlay.

20:46
I'm sure seen these. They're all over social media these days and the APP will even transcribed the audio into text and overlay that on the graphic as well, so now you have a piece of content that you could share across multiple platforms. You can bend these on that show notes page that we discussed earlier. Not only is this a wonderful way to drive traffic back to your website, but your content is no longer ephemeral. All past episodes can live here in a library. It gives a place for your listeners to ask questions, give feedback, and explore any resources that you've mentioned in an episode. You could upload it as a video natively to LinkedIn and Facebook. You can use this audiogram as your creative in a Facebook ad. You can upload it to YouTube since technically it's a video and if your briefing is a minute or less, which that's kind of pretty short as a minute, but if it's, if it's less than a minute, you could upload it to Instagram.

21:47
You can even send this out via a messenger Bot like Manychat or what's the other one? Chatfuel. Okay. I know this was a lot to take in. Let me summarize what I think are the key points for you regarding starting your own flash briefing. Number one, use key words. Number two, published consistently whether you batch your recordings are record each day. Consistency wins. Number three, give a call to action in each and every episode. Number four, consider repurposing your briefing. Number five, to market your briefing, share your Bitly link everywhere. If you'd like to enable the front row entrepreneur flash briefing, simply head over to Amazon and start typing front row entrepreneur into the search and it will pop right up or I'll also link to it in the show notes at jenlehner.com/alexa

22:44
That's it for this episode of the Front Row Entrepreneur podcast. I hope you found this helpful. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to tweet me at j. e n r g y, and of course if you aren't already a member of my free online classroom, that Fast Company magazine called one of the top 10 Facebook groups to join before quitting your day job, head over to front row classroom.com and join us. I'll see you next time.

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