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8 Network

Marketing Podcast with Biznik

Marketing podcast with Dan McComb (Click to listen, right click and Save As to download – subscribe now via iTunes

I’ve been running with a consistent theme of late that the best use of social media platforms comes from blending online and offline tactics. My guest for this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing podcast is Dan McComb the co-founder of Biznik is a social network that allows people to join and form local communities as well as create and host local events. You can view my profile on Biznik here.

Biznik recently conducted a small business survey in conjunction with iStockphoto and the finding make up a large part of our interview. You can view a summary of the survey findings here

Some notes of interest

  • 33 percent said that the most important reason they started a business was to do something that they enjoyed!
  • 26 percent said they did because they didn’t want to work for someone else
  • 6 percent did it for the money

The biggest challenges facing entrepreneurs? I

  • Reduced income (44 percent)
  • Isolation (19 percent)
  • Long hours (15 percent)
  • Lack of access to health insurance (13 percent)

In this podcast:
The meaning of Biznik

  • Findings from Biznik and istockphoto entrepreneur survey
  • Online support/community for entrepreneurs
  • Using social media to expand business
  • Difference between Biznik and other networking sites
  • Biznik’s growing success

14 Stunning images the easy way

Images help tell your story in vivid ways. Blog posts come to life, presentation are more interesting, printed materials look richer, and web pages are more appealing. Most people get that but finding the right images and turning them into something useful can be a bit of a costly pain. Help is on the way in terms of low-cost, high quality images and image editing software that is easy to use and low or no cost.

View My Portfolio

Here are some tips for adding and editing images to make your marketing more visually appealing.

iStockphoto – low cost library of royalty free images that cost from $1-5 depending upon the size and resolution needed. You can search by keyword, subject, color, and white space. This is every small business marketer’s dream.

Picasa – Google’s free PC editing software allows you to organize and edit photos easily. You can also store them online using the Picasa service.

Adobe Photoshop Elements – Adobe’s lightweight version of Photoshop comes in at about $99 and does more than most small business owners would need. (The tools to optimize photos for the web is worth the price.)

    Check out some of the online photo editing tools as well. They all offer different features and have free versions.

  • Picture2Life – edit, collage and animate
  • Pixenate – very simple and create your own photo editing
  • Graphita – let’s you play with photos

If you really want to take advantage of the power of images you can start your own photo editing site or add photo editing to your classified or auction site by purchasing Pixinate’s server version

6 I want my iStockphoto fix

Lesa KingI visited with Lesa King, editor of the Graphic Reporter, author the training series – Graphic Secrets for Business Professionals and chief evangelist for iStockphoto for a recent edition of the Duct Tape Marketing podcast.

Lesa gave the Duct Tape Marketing Coach network a guided tour of iStockphoto at my annual gathering of coaches. For those of you who may not know about iStockphoto, you simply must. If you use images, illustrations and video clips in your marketing, this is a gold mine. Great, royalty free stock photos, that are easy to find and inexpensive.

    Some of my favorite tips and tricks Lesa shared had to do with ways to find great photos.

  • Do a search and look deeper into the results to find great photos that might not be used by as many folks
  • Search by color to find photos that possess a great deal of a color that better compliments your designs
  • Search by CopySpace to find photos that are composed in a way that lets you add type to certain areas
  • Filter search for shots with people, for orientation and price.

iStockphoto is also a big supporter of Duct Tape Marketing and is offering my readers 10 free credits (good for 5-10 stock photos)

Update: Free credit offer has ended – thanks for such a great response!