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or The 7 Steps to Leave Your Audience Blown Away

Everything that has ever been invented began as a story in someone’s mind.

May it be a piece of technology, a house, a movement, a work of art, a religious belief, or a philosophy of life and the universe. As humans we are wired for stories. Including you, my dear reader.

You have told countless stories that have made the people in your life smile, laugh, gasp, and cry. You may have not realized it, but you are already a storyteller. …


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From The Matrix

Let me tell you a story about one of my all-time favorite films The Matrix and how rewatching it recently on a flight back to New York helped me realize the secret to living a fulfilling life.

When I first watched the movie at the age of 11 at the movie theater⁠ — like most young boys at that time⁠ — I was blown away! The visual effects, nonstop action, and the world building.

The Matrix was a captivating piece of cinema that only reinforced my desire to make my own films someday. However something irked me about the film, I didn’t understood what it meant! …


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I have something to admit. For the past 3 years I have been addicted to reading everything I can about feminism and its history. Over 30 books later, I’ve kept this mostly to myself because I felt like I was intruding on a very serious cause by nerd-ing out on this topic.

However a few nights ago I had a conversation with two wonderful women where I shared my love for learning about feminism. …


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Videos are all over Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Kickstarter, LinkedIn, Amazon, and eventually even apps like Tinder and Etsy will have videos too. Think of this in the 1900s if you didn’t know how to write, you would left with little opportunity. The same thing is happening right now with video, it’s becoming increasingly important to have a basic understanding how to shoot a video. You could be marketing a product, sharing a comedy sketch, trying to increase your job prospects, generating leads, growing your audience, or even connecting with friends and family in your personal account. …


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Original Illustration by Owen Davey: owendavey.com

When it comes to online video, Facebook offers something that no other platform — like YouTube, Vimeo, Instagram — doesn’t. The ability to distribute your content. Facebook has 2 billion users and hundreds of thousands of pages and groups that are primed for sharing video.

Distribution vs. Discoverability

The #1 complaint I hear about Facebook video is that its hard to find videos. On YouTube you count on three things: search, video recommendations on the front page and sidebar, the auto-play feature when you finish watching a video, and subscribing to your favorite channels. …


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Illustration by Tara Jacoby: tarajacoby.com

Instagram is the museum of the internet. Aesthetics reign supreme on this platform, followed by the communities who appreciate each aesthetic. If you want to utilize Instagram to its maximum extent, then you have to constantly ask yourself “will this image beautify my followers feeds?”

Before we take a dive into the depths of Instagram, we need to be clear about our goals.

What should you expect from Instagram?

  1. Get more people to follow your account. Bigger audience equals more opportunity to spread your word.
  2. Increase engagement: more likes, comments, and DMs (especially for Instagram stories).
  3. Increase influence: strengthening your connection with influential Instagram communities.

If you’ve read my other articles, you already know that each platform has its unique strengths. While there are a few fundamental strategies you can apply to all platforms, there are specific strategies you can apply to Instagram. But, how does Instagram work? …


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Original Illustration by Tara Jacoby.

Twitter may not be as huge as Facebook or as hip as Snapchat, but it’s the number one place to connect with the top influences and organizations. If you’re only tweeting links of your work or products, you’re doing it wrong. Twitter is the place for conversations, updates, fun facts, and pithy witticisms.

Before we take a dive into the depths of Twitter, we need to be clear about our goals.

What should you expect from Twitter?

  1. Get more people to follow your account. Bigger audience equals more opportunity to spread your word.
  2. Increase engagement: more likes, replies, and retweets.
  3. Increase influence. This is difficult to precisely measure, but let’s stick with increasing the amount of major influencers interacting with your account. …


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Original illustration by Tara Jacoby.

Facebook is the leader in social media right now and it shows no signs in slowing down. With over 2 billion users worldwide, the opportunity for growth is massive. Especially considering how targeted you can get when building your audience.

Before we go into the nitty gritty of Facebook, we need to make our goals clear.

What should you expect from Facebook?

  1. Get more people to follow your account. Bigger audience equals more opportunity to spread your word.
  2. Increase engagement: more likes, views, comments, and shares.
  3. Ensure a steady stream of user-generated content.

Each platform has its unique strengths. While there are a few core strategies you can apply to all platforms, there are specific strategies you can apply to Facebook. …


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We already know that social media is vital to any business, creator, or organization. If you want to be heard, or if you want your work to be seen, or if you want to attract more business then social media is the best way to do it.

Many online courses about social media will drown you in jargon, seduce you with the promise of growth hacks, and make you a slave to analytics. I’m not going to talk about shortcuts in this guide. Hacks are nice, but if you want to build a social media presence that will scale, you will need a strong foundation. …


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Photo by Candyce Chad during Urbanist SoHo Tour.

Does live video even work? That’s the question I frequently hear from individual creators to major media companies. In 2016 live video made a huge splash when Facebook Live pushed aggressively to get everyone on the platform, but confusion and dismay were left in its wake. Many said live video is just television on your phone or that it’s only for video games via Twitch or that it’s only useful for celebrities like Vin Diesel.

Despite all of the doubts, I dived head first into Facebook Live and launched Urbanist. A page dedicated to exploring the world cities and their history, food, and culture mostly through live video. As Urbanist has gained over 13K followers and 1.5M …

About

Ariel

Filmmaker, Live-Streamer, and Storyteller— Making videos about hidden history @UrbanistLive . Hit me up: http://arielviera.com

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