January Seminar for Marketing Beginners

Thom Hiatt, Seminar Host
Thom Hiatt, Seminar Host

At today’s lunchtime seminar we will be covering a few “basics” that can help the beginning marketer kick things up a notch. Topics include:

BETTER PICTURES: Everybody can take pictures, but few people take the time to make them look better. Be one of the few people who care, and make your pictures stand out. Before you print or broadcast another “typical” photo, use some free online tools to make it unique and attractive.

  • UPLOAD the photo to a site like PicMonkey.com or Google Photos (plus.google.com/photos)

  • CROP the photo using the Rule of Thirds

  • ADJUST the contrast, saturation, and brightness… and EXPERIMENT with various presets

  • DOWNLOAD the edited image to your computer

  • USE your newly edited image in your emails, newsletters, website, etc.

SHORT URLs: Super-Long website addresses are ugly and confusing, while short addresses are easier to see and they are trackable. Once in a while we need to share a website link with friends or a large group. This can be a PayPal product link, the results of a web search, etc. Instead of copying and pasting the long link as-is, convert it to a short URL, then share it.

  • COPY the long link by highlighting it and pressing CNTRL+C or COMMAND+C (apple)

  • OPEN a shortening service like goo.gl or bit.ly

  • IF you want to track clicks, you’ll need a free account and need to be logged in

  • PASTE the long link into the URL box and CLICK “shorten” or next / apply

  • COPY the new Short URL

  • PASTE the new Short URL into your email, etc.

  • TRACK clicks by returning to your online shortening service to review statistics

QR CODES: Quick Response Codes are all the rage… sort of. They look cool, and are incredibly useful, but few people use them. Rather than worrying about whether or not someone will scan your codes, just make them and use them. Readers will perceive you as being high-tech and in-the-know. Those who use them will be appreciative. QR Codes allow a mobile (phone / tablet) user to quickly and easily visit a website, start an email, download a personal contact card, etc.

  • COPY the website address (and to track hits, use a Short URL instead of the original link)

  • OPEN a QR service like qrcode-monkey.com or qrstuff.com

  • PASTE the website address into the URL box and select other options

  • CREATE the code so that you can see your options applied

  • DOWNLOAD the code image to your computer

  • RENAME the file so that you know what it’s for (website vs. email vs. product etc)

  • USE the image file on your newsletters, posters, flyers, etc.


  • LIGHTING is critical. Don’t go overboard, but make sure the subject is clearly visible and in focus.

  • TRIPODS and MONOPODS can help steady your shot… But do experiment with a non-shaky, free-flow style!

  • MIC the subject if possible with a wireless or wired mic. Nothing is worse than bad audio.

  • AVOID “cute” transitions while editing. Flipping blocks & shattering glass was cool in the 90s. But not now.

  • MUSIC underneath ties it all together and makes the scene transitions less severe.

  • EXPORT your video and UPLOAD it to a free storage service like YouTube.com

  • EMBED your video in your own website if possible, then promote that web page as the destination to see it!