A Great Tool for Member Retention in Membership Sites

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This is an incredible new app that would be useful for any website, but I think is particularly phenomenal for membership sites. That’s because it allows you to share announcements with your members in a few very slick ways.


 This is what Beamer looks like on the sales page for my membership site.

This is what Beamer looks like on the sales page for my membership site.

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This is what Beamer looks like INSIDE the membership site.


The biggest challenge with membership sites is that members start off with good intentions but they never get to the majority of your content. After a few months of getting billed by you, but having not consumed any of your content, they cancel. With Beamer, each time a member comes to the membership site, they will see exciting announcements. You can bring their attention to something new you’ve got going on or maybe feature content that’s been in the membership site for a while that they may have missed.

One of the most powerful features that Beamer offers is push notifications. When someone lands on your page/site, they will see this pop up:

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If your member allows notifications, then each time you publish something new to your Beamers, they will receive a notification!

Members can also leave you feedback on each notification:

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The analytics are super detailed and informative:

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If you’d like to learn about more about Beamer, I created this review and tutorial video:

Are you using Beamer? Put a link to your site in the comments below…I’d love to see how you are using it! If you aren’t using Beamer yet, they have a 14 day free trial here.





How to Use the New Group Chat Feature in Facebook Groups Strategically

 This is marketing GOLD if you have a Facebook group!

This is marketing GOLD if you have a Facebook group!

Facebook added a new feature to groups recently that you may have missed.

The feature is group chat, inside of groups. 

I know what you are thinking because it was my first reaction, too. 

I don't want to be distracted by annoying notifications all day long.

I don't have time for "chats", I'm working! 

But if you are a group owner, you are going to see that this new feature is actually MARKETING GOLD.

Here’s the quick overview, then I’ll share with you strategies you can use to blow the minds of your group members.

  • The group chat happens inside of your group. Anyone in the group can join.

  • You can send personal invites to anyone in the group who is a Facebook friend. (I do NOT recommend this.)

  • Up to 250 people can be in the chat at the same time.

  • Up to 50 people can be in the chat with video (even desktop!) or audio (think Zoom, or Google Hangouts)

  • Video chats, once they are over, do not save.

  • Anyone in your group can start a chat in the group.

So no let’s look at the play by play of how these work:

 This is how you start the chat. I don’t think you should invite your friends, even though you can. I think this will end up annoying people!

This is how you start the chat. I don’t think you should invite your friends, even though you can. I think this will end up annoying people!

 
 I think it’s a great idea to be very specific about what you are chatting about in the title. You must add at least one person to the chat. I recommend adding your VA, or a trusted colleague who understand that you might be adding her to lots of chats and you can do the same for her. You can always mute the conversation and/or leave after other members join.

I think it’s a great idea to be very specific about what you are chatting about in the title. You must add at least one person to the chat. I recommend adding your VA, or a trusted colleague who understand that you might be adding her to lots of chats and you can do the same for her. You can always mute the conversation and/or leave after other members join.

 
 View from desktop after you create it.

View from desktop after you create it.

 
 This is what your group members see in their notifications on their phone. (This person was on an Android).

This is what your group members see in their notifications on their phone. (This person was on an Android).

 
 This is what the notification looks like in the feed inside the group.

This is what the notification looks like in the feed inside the group.

 
 This what it looks like when you go inside the chat (desktop). No one is here right now but notice the options to join the chat via audio or video up on the top right.

This what it looks like when you go inside the chat (desktop). No one is here right now but notice the options to join the chat via audio or video up on the top right.

 
 These are the options you see if you click on the top right “i” icon.

These are the options you see if you click on the top right “i” icon.

 
 Here we see 7 people. (I’m in the lower right). 5 have joined by video and 5 have joined by audio. The clarity is astounding. Our connection was rock solid.

Here we see 7 people. (I’m in the lower right). 5 have joined by video and 5 have joined by audio. The clarity is astounding. Our connection was rock solid.

 
 If you ever want to leave a chat, this is how you do it. I recommend creating a similar screenshot and posting it each time you create one of these chats.

If you ever want to leave a chat, this is how you do it. I recommend creating a similar screenshot and posting it each time you create one of these chats.

 

Let’s talk about being strategic…

Use this for QA during your launches:

Do you ever start “pop up” Facebook groups for your launches? (If not, try it! It’s a wonderful place to create loads of excitement, show off your expertise, host challenges, and close sales!). This feature takes things to the next level.
When we talk to our members via livestream, it’s great, but even though they can comment, we are still sort of talking “at” them. This feature allows us to meet with the whole group, FACE TO FACE. There is simply no better way to build a solid relationship with someone than to meet with them face to face. The way I would use this during a launch is to host QA chats about your program. They will join for the information, but be DAZZLED by the community because what you are offering, which is so profound, is an answer to the iSOLATION we all feel when we are working as solopreneurs. They will feel the energy and the buzz of the group. They will laugh with each other. They will not want to miss the boat to join your program. Especially since doors to this pop up group will be closing soon!

Use this to welcome new members:

I’m thinking of using this welcome the new members who join my free group, The Front Row. As it is, I admit all new members on Fridays. Now, I can create a new member “Meet and Greet” each Friday afternoon from 4:00-4:40 PM. I will NOT invite them by tagging them, but rather, I will share the link to the chat and post it in the usual “Welcome to our new members post” and then tag them below the post. In other words, I am not going to add them to the chat (even though I have that ability), but just link them to the chat, so that they have the choice whether or not they would like to join. Can you imagine the impact of such a personal welcome will make? Wow. Additionally if you have a great freebie to offer, this is a wonderful time to drop the link to that opt in page while you are chatting. Now they have also joined your email list.

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Use this to host any QA around any particular topic.

I can see this being a really great way to host QA’s about any specific topic. I think the key is to post a beginning and end time, and end/delete the chat when it’s over. This will make sure people aren’t fatigued by it all.

Other ideas:

  • Quick feedback for content ideas or offers you are thinking about.

  • Featuring one of your members as an expert, where the members of the chat can ask questions.

  • Testimonials. A fast an easy way to get testimonials. Just remember to ask for permission to record them using Quicktime or Skype or whatever you use to record your screen.

Words of Caution:

In order to make sure this doesn’t turn into a nightmare for you and your members, I recommend:

  • Each time you start a chat, let members know right off the bat what the chat is about, how long it will last, and that they can leave the conversation at any time. Posting a graphic that shows them how to do this will be appreciated.

  • Decide what you want the rules to be in your group as it relates to this new feature. Are you OK with anyone and everyone starting a chat whenever they feel like it or would you rather limit that to only admins and moderators? Whatever you decide, add it to your group rules.

  • Be very intentional with your group chats. Make sure there is a reason behind it. Jumping on willy nilly is going to exhaust you and your members quickly.

The Bottom Line:

One of the things I love most about digital media is the ability it gives us to create real relationships with people all across the world. To share our message and what’s important to us and to help people all across the globe. Nothing has the power to build a real relationship like face to face communication and this incredible new feature in Facebook groups is allowing us to do just that.

How will you be using this feature? I’m dying to know. Let me know in the comments.

(For more ideas about how to use your Facebook group to grow your business, make sure and listen to this episode of my podcast.)

Here’s the YouTube video.

We update our articles regularly because things change quickly.  If you’d like to be notified about updates to this article, enter your email below. 

How to Repurpose Audio Content for Social Media and Beyond

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Got a podcast or Alexa flash briefing skill? Wonder how to repurpose your audio content for people who don’t have an Echo device or don’t listen to podcasts?

In this article, you’ll discover how to repurpose your audio content to reach a wider audience.

#1: Create an Audiogram From Your Flash Briefing or Podcast

Sharing and repurposing your Alexa flash briefings and podcasts across other channels are wonderful ways to reach people who might not yet even be aware of your broadcasts.

One way to do this is to upload the audio to Headliner. Among other things, this free web-based app allows you to upload audio to create audiograms. Audiograms are technically videos, but they present like a graphic with an animated audio wave as an overlay. The app will even transcribe the audio into text and overlay it on the graphic as well.

To create an audiogram, go to Headliner and start a new project. For this example, select Audiogram Wizard to create a video from a flash briefing. If you want to make a video from a podcast episode that’s longer than 10 minutes, select Full Episode instead.

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On the next page, click Choose File and navigate to your flash briefing file, or drag and drop your audio.

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Once the audio is successfully uploaded, click Next.

On the next page, you have the option to edit the start and end of your clip. When you’re done, click Next.

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Now choose an aspect ratio and then click Next. Square is best for Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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The next step is to select your wave type, wave position, and wave color. Then click Add Background Image and navigate to your image file. When you’re finished, click Create Project.

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After your audio is imported into Headliner, make sure the audio transcription is switched on for captions. When you’re done editing the transcription, click Export.

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In the Export pop-up window, type in your email address so you’ll receive an email when the video is done. Because flash briefings are short (10 minutes or less), these exports usually only take 2-3 minutes. With podcast audio, the process will take a little longer.

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After you click Export, you’ll see a message that your video is being generated. When it’s finished, you’ll see a download link in a pop-up at the top right of the page.

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When you click the link to download your video, you’ll see options to download the file as an MP4 (video file) and get a link to share the audiogram. Now you have a piece of content that you can share across multiple platforms.

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#2: Deliver Your Audiogram to Facebook Messenger Subscribers

One way to share your audiogram is to send it out via a Messenger bot like ManyChat.

ManyChat is a visual bot builder for Facebook Messenger with broadcasts, analytics, scheduled posting, and many other features. To deliver your bot to subscribers, you’ll first need to set up a growth tool.

Inside the Growth Tools area, you can customize a number of different overlays, widgets, and pop-ups to encourage people to engage with you via Messenger and join your subscriber list. Select Growth Tools on the left and then click the + New Growth Tool button in the top right.

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You now see a list of widget types and growth tools. Select the Messenger Ref URL growth tool. This tool will give you a link you can place anywhere (social media, email, printed on a business card, etc.) and it takes users directly into Facebook Messenger.

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Name this widget so you can easily identify it and then click Edit.

On the next page, name your opt-in message and click Edit Flow.

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Now compose your message. When you’re finished, click + Add Button.

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Type in a name for the button and click Done.

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Next, click Go To Flow Builder in the top-right corner. This opens ManyChat’s visual editor, which is a bit like a mind map.

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Click the option button next to your call-to-action button and then click Send Message.

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Now compose your message. You can personalize your message by clicking the curly brackets icon and adding emojis.

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When you’re finished, open the Broadcasting tab on the left side of the page. This tab is where you can deliver broadcast messages to your Messenger bot subscribers. In many ways, it’s similar to sending a broadcast email from your email service provider.

Click + New Broadcast in the upper-right corner of the page.

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Now compose your message and add your buttons. For this example, you’re sharing the audiogram for your Alexa flash briefing, so add buttons for Listen Now, Listen on Alexa, and Leave Review.

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For the Listen Now button, add the link to the video you created with the Headliner app. This link will take users directly to the audiogram you created for your briefing.

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For the Listen on Alexa button, add a link to your skill in the Alexa Skills store so people can subscribe to your flash briefing there.

Finally, for the Leave Review button, include the link that will take people to the review page on Amazon.com. The more reviews you have for your flash briefing skill, the more visible your skill will be in the Alexa Skills store, and the higher your skill will rise in search overall.

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After you set this up once, it’s easy to duplicate the broadcast each day, switching out only the link to your audiogram and any relevant text in your message.

Here are some additional places to share your audiogram:

  • Upload it as a video natively to LinkedIn and Facebook.

  • Use it as your creative in a Facebook ad.

  • Upload it to YouTube (since technically it’s a video).

  • If your audiogram is a minute or less, upload it to Instagram.

#3: Transcribe Your Flash Briefing or Podcast for a Blog Post

You can upload your flash briefing or podcast audio to Temi and get inexpensive transcripts to convert it into blog posts.

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Embed links to these posts on a show notes page that’s designated specifically for your flash briefing or podcast. Not only is this a wonderful way to drive traffic back to your website, but also your content is no longer ephemeral. All past episodes can live here in a library. It will give your listeners a place to ask questions, give feedback, and explore any resources you’ve mentioned in an episode.

Tips to Optimize Your Alexa Flash Briefing for Discovery

As the adoption of Echo devices and Alexa flash briefings grows, so too will your Alexa audience. You want to make it easy for people who become aware of your briefings via the tactics above to find and subscribe directly to your briefing when they own a device. These tips will help.

Use Keywords

Alexa flash briefing skills are searchable in the Amazon store and the Alexa Skills store. To get found by listeners, it’s imperative to pay attention to keywords. You’re allowed 30 keywords and it’s recommended that you use all 30. This will require some testing, so you’ll likely want to rotate your keywords monthly.

If you’re unsure what your keywords are, you can use Google Keyword Planner as an approximation for what people are searching for on Amazon. You can also search for the top skills in your niche, and use the titles of those skills in your keywords.

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Publish Consistently

The most important factor in having a successful flash briefing skill is consistency. While this is true for everything in marketing, it’s particularly true for flash briefings.

Because it appears that most people are listening to this short content (10 minutes or less) daily, your briefing becomes part of their daily routine. If you only upload once a week, or even less frequently, your listeners will hear the same audio each time they tune in, or they’ll get an error message and then stop listening.

This doesn’t mean that you have to actually record each day. You can batch record and upload for scheduling.

Do you want to be alerted when
we update this article?

More articles about Alexa Flash Briefings:

Alexa Flash Breifings and Your Business

How To Set Up Alexa Flash Breifings: A Guide For Marketers


If you'd like to make sure you never miss these briefings, you have a couple of options:

  1. Let my bot deliver them to you daily: http://bit.ly/flashbriefingbot

  2. Add the briefing to your Alexa Echo or your Alexa Dot ("Alexa, add The Front Row Entrepreneur Flash Briefing" http://bit.ly/FrontRowFlash).

What do you think? Do you have an effective way to promote or repurpose your flash briefing skill that isn’t listed here? Tell us about it in the comments below.


Create an Alexa Flash  Briefing in 2 Hours

Alexa Flash Briefings And Your Business

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TRANSCRIPT OF PODCAST EPISODE

I was so blown away by the results I was getting for my business and with my audience growth. What we are starting to understand about the way people are consuming voice is that they are making these briefings part of their day. Most people are able to commit to content that is 10 mins or less because they are listening during those transitional moments....drinking their coffee on their way out the door, fixing the kids lunches, getting dresses in the morning. No other piece of content could reach this audience.

What is a flash briefing?

A flash briefing is an audio clip, 10 minutes or less, that you upload to Amazon. People subscribe to your flash briefing by enabling it in their Alexa skills app or on amazon.com.After that, they hear your briefing when they give the command, "Alexa, 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. The platform I recommend is called Soundup. and if you go to soundupnow.com and use the code frontrow, you’ll get a nice discount, but it’s very affordable even without the discount.

You don’t have to have an Alexa device in order to create a flash briefing. All you need is a computer, and a microphone. After you set up your briefing,  you never have to do it again.  One important thing to remember here is to use all 30 keywords that Amazon allows you to use when you set up your briefing. Your briefing is searchable from Amazon.com, which in and of itself is mind-blowing, so keep this in mind when you name your briefing and with those keywords.

If you aren’t sure what keywords to use, you can use Google Keyword Planner for an approximation. Here’s a ninja tip for you: find top briefings in your niche and use the title of their briefing as one of your keywords.  I recommend rotating your keywords monthly until you find the ones that are working well for you.  Amazon does give you an analytics dashboard so you can always see how many listeners you have on any given day 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 that now is the time to jump in.

As of April 2018, Amazon reported that there are 50000 Alexa skills and while that’s a lot, if you think about it, it’s not really a lot. What if i said there were 50k websites in the world? or 50k podcasts? To me, this sounds like a number that validates briefings as a viable means of content distribution and as a marketing channel, but tells me that this is probably the perfect time to jump in because I have a chance of getting found before that 50K number turns into 50 million. 

60% of Amazon Prime members already own a smart speaker and there are more than 100 million Amazon prime members. That’s 60 million people right there and 30% of non prime members own a smart speaker. I don’t know what that number is, but you can be sure it’s a lot.

The holidays are just around the corner, and I guess 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. 

BMW just announced that they are incorporating Alexa into their dashboard. You may already buy products through your Amazon Echo. I know I do. I’ll find myself in the middle of a recipe, realize I need organic Tahini or preserved lemons or some other inconvenient item, and will just shout it out to Alexa and two days later it’s at my doorstep.

I’m no Nostradamus but let me just put this out there. If you currently have an Amazon affiliate account, meaning, you can share links to products and get a commission, I’m sure it’s only a matter of time that we will be able to do the same thing through our flash briefings. And I’m sure that won’t be the end out how we will be able to directly monetize our briefings. They bottom line is that you need to be paying attention to this trend. The possibilities for marketers and businesses are mind-blowing.

We are going to focus on using our flash briefings to build an audience and covert our audience into customers. The number one thing I’ve learned with flash briefings is that like with content creation, we must be consistent. When I first started, I was publishing my briefing once a week. Then one day, a listener left me a 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 one the following week. This was a real eye opener. 

When you set up your briefing, you either tell Amazon you will publish daily or weekly. If you say you will publish weekly, then your listeners will hear the same thing for a week. After a week, if you don't publish anything new, Alexa will tell your listeners, "There is no new content" or something to that effect.

What I recommend is setting up your briefing for weekly publishing, but publish every day. This way, if you miss a day, your listeners won't get an error message. I know you are thinking, “No way, I am not going to record a flash briefing every day.” Don't worry, you don't 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 months worth of content in no time at all.

I do actually record every day, or at least Monday to Friday, but that's 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 limited amount of research that is out there right now, it appears that listeners aren't as tuned in on the weekends.

But while we're on the subject, I have to say that incorporating this into my morning routine has been by itself one of the best decisions I've every made. Outside of the fantastic ROI of my time and energy, this has become a very important cornerstone of my day. 

I get up at 5:08 ever morning and get to my 6am yoga class about 20 minutes early. I write my morning pages, and the minute I get home, I walk to my office in the back of my house, and 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've created a piece of content that has helped someone, somewhere 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 understand what I am 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, I would say it's been worth it.

If you don't want to do daily, Soundup allows you to upload all of your batched content. You put the publishing date and it that's it. The actual process of creating the briefing couldn't be simpler. it's rally the easiest content I create all day long. I use Zencastr but you can really use anything that allows you to record audio. Like GarageBand or Audacity, which is free then upload the briefing to Soundup and that's absolutely it.

Having a short musical intro and outro is great for brand recognition and it adds a certain level of legitimacy and professionalism. Let your listeners know how to contact you and make it interactive. I often ask people to tweet at me or tag me on Instagram. It's a thrill to see it in action. I always drive people to my Facebook group and because one of the questions I ask members when they fill out the application form is how did you hear about this group, I can see all the people who are coming straight from the briefing. Even more exciting are the number of people who are joining my paid VIP community because of the briefing.

Since this is a self contained thing, you don't necessarily have to tie this to your existing brand. 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 go on forever. Start a flash briefing called Daily Orchid Tips then spend a Saturday afternoon creating 30 one minute tips about growing orchids. Maybe in each recording you mention a link to your favorite orchid growing medium, is that 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 and maybe an affiliate link to that dirt.

Let's say you are a realtor, and you do want to tie your briefing in with your existing business. I would create a briefing that focuses on your town. So if you live in Minneapolis, maybe it's just called the Minneapolis minute. You can highlight events happening each day, talk about civic news, favorite restaurants. Maybe at the end of each briefing you mention that this Minneapolis Minute is brought to you by Sarah Johnson, Minneapolis's favorite realtor and you also have a show notes page. When people come to that page, they see links to the resources you mentioned, but also a picture of you with your contact info. But you will be using the briefing to build authority as Minneapolis expert, “the go to person” for information about Minneapolis.

If you are a financial advisor, or a money person, stock tips or investing tips would be fantastic. Coaches can create tips based on whatever your SME is. Is your audience made up of parents of young kids? How about a story telling app? I really can't think of any business or industry that can't create a flash briefing. It may not be that you are going after an audience of thousands. Maybe you create a flash briefing that is for internal use only for a select group. 

If you are a marketer who works directly with clients, can you imagine the response when you head into your pitch meeting to discuss all the things you can offer them and then plug in your echo and say, Alexa, play my flash briefing and they hear the sample flash briefing you set up that features their company. They will fall out of their chair and start throwing money at you then you can set up their flash briefing in your Soundup account 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 with them on location. The point is, the margins on this are great for you, with your only relay overhead being your time and even that can be minimized. Your clients will be delighted, too. Again, now is the time for this because your competitors haven't thought of this yet.

Now you have a flash briefing, now what? How do you get listeners?

Unfortunately Amazon isn't going to market your briefing for you. Here are some things you can do:

  1. Create a bitly link to your skill in the amazon Alexa skill store. The link that you are given by default is long and cumberson. Creating a short link is not just easier to manage, but allows you to track clicks.

  2. Link your skill to your email signature.

  3. Post regularly on reddit.com and quora.com , answering questions in your niche, with occasional mentions of your flash briefing skill.

  4. Talk about your flash briefing using Twitter’s audio livestreaming feature and on all of your livestreams.

  5. Let your email subscribers know about your briefing. If you send out a regular newsletter, make sure to mention it each time.

  6. You can upload the audio of your briefing to temi.com and get very inexpensive transcripts to convert your briefings into blog posts.then you post it on Medium. 

  7. Post information about your skill on your social channels and on each of the pages of your website that get the most traffic.

  8. Create business cards exclusively for your flash briefing skill. put a bitly link on the card or even a qr code. 

  9. Sharing and repurposing your flash briefings across other channels is a wonderful way to reach people who might not yet even be aware that flash briefings exist.

  10. One great way to do this is to upload the audio of your flash briefing to the app, Headliner. This is a free app (web based) that among other things, allows you to upload audio to create audiograms. Audiograms are technically videos, but they present like a graphic with an animated audio wave as an overlay. It will even transcribe the audio into text and overlay on the graphic as well.

Now you have a piece of content that you can share across multiple platforms.

  • Embed these on a 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 you’ve mentioned in an episode.

  • Upload it as a video, natively to LinkedIn and Facebook.

  • Use this audiogram as your creative in a Facebook ad.

  • You can upload this audiogram to YouTube (since technically it is a video). If your briefing is a minute or less, upload it to Instagram. You can even send this out via a messenger bot like, Manychat.

Here are the key points for your regarding starting your own flash briefing:

  1. Use keywords

  2. Publish consistently, whether you batch your recordings or record each day, consistency wins

  3. Give a call to action in each episode.

  4. Consider repurposing your briefing

  5. To market your briefing, share your Bitly link everywhere

If you'd like to enable the Front Row Entrepreneur flash briefing, simply head over the amazon and start typing front row entrepreneur in the search and it will pop up.

Did you know you can hire Jen Lehner Media, LLC to set up your Flash Briefing? Click here to learn more.

CLICK HERE FOR THE GUIDE

Create an Alexa Flash Briefing in 2 Hours

How to 10X Your Productivity

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My favorite Chrome browser plug-in in the world is called One Tab and you already be using it. Stick with me because I’m going to show you a feature in the app that you may not know about. If you are new to One Tab, it’s a free Chrome browser plug-in that allows you to collapse all of your open tabs into one tab, for future reference.

But that’s just the beginning of the fabulosity! . In the video below, what I show you are some features that allows you to create whole systems with a click of a button. Now, that’s my kind of app!

After you watch the video. let me know in the comments below if you found it helpful. If you aren't already subscribed to my YouTube channel, make sure and do that and you'll never miss one of these tutorials.

How to Set Up an Alexa Flash Briefing: A Guide for Marketers

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Want a new way to deliver content to customers and prospects?

Wondering how Amazon’s Echo or Echo Dot can help?

In this article, you’ll discover how to set up an Amazon Alexa flash briefing to regularly deliver product updates, event information, and expert tips to an engaged audience.

What Is a Flash Briefing?

The Amazon Echo and Dot are voice-activated devices that can perform an array of tasks from simple voice commands. Setting up your own flash briefing for the Echo allows you to deliver prerecorded audio content to customers and prospects on a daily or weekly basis.

When you set up a flash briefing, it’s available to Echo owners in the Alexa Skills store. After they install it as a “skill,” they simply say, “Alexa, play my flash briefing” to listen to it through their Echo. Each briefing can be up to 10 minutes long.

Here is a flash briefing of marketing tips for lawyers:

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This pharmacy created a Flash Briefing of daily health tips. 
 

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This  life coach has created a Flash Briefing that shares daily positive stories, anecdotes, quotes and other “feel good” content for her listeners.

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You can create a flash briefing to offer tips, industry news, inspirational quotes, professional insights, and more. For example, a pharmacy might deliver daily health tips or a life coach could share “feel good” content.

Eagle Realty’s briefing, “The Myrtle Beach Real Estate Minute,” delivers price and inventory updates, and shares investment and home buying opportunities in their market.

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Here’s how to set up and upload content to your own flash briefing. And if you need additional help, check out this guide.

#1: Create an RSS Feed

The first step is to set up an RSS feed. This is where you’ll upload the audio files for your flash briefing.

If you’re looking for a more “plug and play” tool, SoundUp (Discount code: frontrow) operates similarly to the way Libsyn and Soundcloud work with podcasts. You upload a recording to SoundUp and it’s pushed out to Amazon. It even lets you upload and preschedule your briefings. SoundUp has plans starting at $14.99 per month.

If you want a free tool that’s similar to SoundUp, try Effct.

After you sign up with SoundUpgo to the My Sounds tab and click My Links on the left side. You’ll see the feed URL link on the right. Click the copy icon to copy the feed URL, which you’ll need on the Amazon Developer Console.

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#2: Register as an Amazon Developer

Now, you need to create an Amazon Developer account. Go to https://developer.amazon.com/ and click Developer Console in the upper-right corner of the page. You’ll be prompted to sign in to your Amazon account if you haven’t already.

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Next, provide your contact information and company name to set up your account. Click Save & Continue when you’re finished.

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Review and accept the terms for developer accounts.

On the next page, indicate whether you plan to monetize your content. After you click Save and Continue, you see your Developer Console dashboard.

#3: Create a Skill

Now that you’ve set up a developer account, you’re ready to create your first Alexa skill. At the top of the screen, click the Alexa tab and then click Get Started under Alexa Skills Kit.

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On the next page, click Create Skill.

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In the text box under Create a Skill, type a name for your skill and click Next.

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To build a skill, you can design your own custom model or start with a prebuilt model. For your flash briefing, click the Select button below Flash Briefing and then click Create Skill.

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#4: Configure Your Flash Briefing Feed

Now you’re ready to set up your flash briefing feed. First, type in a custom error message, which can be up to 100 characters. Alexa will say this text to the user if the skill fails to deliver the content. For instance, you might say something like, “[Skill name] is not available at the moment.” To hear a preview of Alexa saying your error message, click the Play button on the right.

When you’re finished, click Save and then click + Add New Feed.

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Now you need to fill out the information about your flash briefing feed.

For the Preamble, enter a short introduction for your feed, such as “In marketing news….” It should start with “In” or “From” and can be up to 70 characters. Alexa will read this intro to the user before delivering the feed content.

Click the Play button on the right to have Alexa repeat the introduction back to you. If the audio sounds too fast, add a comma or a period to insert a short pause.

Next, add a name to identify your feed (such as, “Marketing news”) and indicate how often your feed will update. Your options are hourly, daily, or weekly. For the content type, select Audio.

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For the Content Genre, select a category for your feed from the drop-down menu. Your options include Headline News, Business, Technology, and more.

In the Feed field, paste the URL for the RSS feed you set up. Then drag and drop to upload your feed icon. The icon can be a PNG or JPG file, and the recommended size is 512 x 512 pixels. When you’re finished with the form, click the Add button.

#5: Set Up a Profile for Your Briefing in the Alexa Skill Store

At the top of the page, click the Launch tab to set up how your skill will appear in the Alexa Skills store.

In the Public Name text box, enter the skill name that will be displayed in the Alexa app. This name can be different from your invocation name and must be between 2-50 characters.

For the one sentence description, add a short sentence that describes the skill or what customers can do with it. This information will appear in the skill list in the Alexa app.

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Below that, provide a more comprehensive description of your skill. Include information about any prerequisites (like hardware or account requirements) and detailed steps for users to get started. This description appears in the About This Skill area for your skill in the Alexa store.

Note: You can skip the example phrases fields because that information is already built in.

Next, scroll down and upload your small and large skill icons. A size of 108 x 108 is recommended for the small icon and 512 x 512 pixels for the large skill icon. Also, choose a category that best describes your skill to make it easier for customers to find it.

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Keep in mind that users can do a keyword search for skills in the Alexa store, so add simple search words that relate to or describe this skill. You want to make it easy for users to find it. Add spaces or commas between search terms.

Finally, link to your privacy policy and the terms of use that apply to this skill. When you’re done, click Save and Continue.

#6: Answer Privacy, Compliance, and Availability Questions

Next, you need to answer some privacy and compliance questions. When you’re done, click Save and Continue.

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On the next page, answer the Availability questions. If you select Public for the first question (Who should have access to this skill?), your skill will be sent to Amazon and they’ll review it. If it’s not certified, they will tell you what you need to do, and you’ll have to come back and fix it. Click Save and Continue when you’re finished.

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#7: Submit Your Skill for Review

The final step before submitting your skill to Amazon is to run a validation check. On the Submission page, Amazon will list any fixes you need to make to your submission. Once you make all of the requested fixesclick Submit for Review. Your submission will then be sent to Amazon for approval.

Note that whenever you edit your skill, you need to resubmit it for approval.

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#8: Record and Publish Your Flash Briefing

Once you have your briefing feed set up, you’re ready to record your first audio file, which can be up to 10 minutes long. You can use any application that allows you to create MP3 or MP4 files, such as:

When you’re finished recording, upload the file to SoundUp, Effct, or whichever tool you use.

If you’re using SoundUp, log in and click My Sounds at the top of the screen. On the left, click Add New.

In the Add New box on the right, type in a name for your episode. For the Sound Text, you can choose either text or audio. For text, add up to 4,500 characters. For audio, you can leave the Sound Text field blank.

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Next, click Choose File and upload your audio fileSelect your published date and click Save New to add your audio. You can schedule as many briefings as you like in advance.

Your flash briefing skill is now enabled. To preview it, ask Alexa, “Alexa, play my flash briefing,” and you should hear your briefing loud and clear.

#9: Measure Analytics

To check out the analytics for your flash briefing, go to your Developer Console and click Measure.

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You can choose from several options for the time interval (Today, Yesterday, Last 7 Days, Last 30 Days, and Custom Range) and see the majority of all the information you need to know.

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You can also change the graph from chart view to grid view by clicking the icons to the left of the download icon.

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#10: Promote Your Flash Briefing

In order to get listeners and subscribers, promote your flash briefing the same way you’d promote your blog or podcast. Write a social media post, send an email to your subscribers, add a link to your email signature, and include a link on your social profiles.

To share your briefingnavigate to your skill in the Alexa Skills store and click the Share button.

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You’ll then see a link that you can share. Keep this link handy on a digital note so you can share it everywhere and often!

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Conclusion

It’s safe to say that these kinds of audio updates are here to stay, whether they’re delivered through Alexa as a flash briefing or in the future through Google Home or Apple HomePod. For marketers, the key to maximizing the potential of this new medium is to publish briefings consistently, use relevant keywords, and promote your skill across all channels to build your audience.

Did you know you can hire Jen Lehner Media, LLC to set up your Flash Briefing? Click here for more info.

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Create an Alexa Flash Briefing in 2 Hours

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Don't forget to download the workbook!