Rising from the ashes...
Start: The Rising (Part 1) - Introduction
Previous: The Rising (Part 14) - Door Hangers
Current: The Rising (Part 15) - Headshot & Explainer Video
Next: The Rising (Part 16) - Accounting Review

This series of posts is all-over the place because my journey does not follow in a nice orderly fashion. I am influenced daily by what I read and find myself shifting my priorities. From project management perspective, :eek: this is how scope creeps, delays, and failures occur.
Does that mean that I need to take a corrective action? Maybe...
I've been reading-up on accounting, looking up locations to lease, evaluating technology applications, and certainly have more to do and to share. However, I find that changing context makes it easier for me to work longer by working on smaller interesting chunks, than working on long monotonous tasks; so, this ping-pong activity keeps me motivated, engaged, intrigued, and productive.

I intend to include an expliner video on my website; I also plan to include a profile picture, which can be used for social profile as well. Lets take a look at my attempt for materializing these two digital assets.​

Having a good headshot seems like a good idea, as it conveys your image and brand; but, how do we do it.
For Linkedin, you may find that white background headshot is a good idea; but, if you A/B test your headshot you may find that a good picture can lead to increase traffic. There is a science behind a good profile picture; but, here is a quick list of items to consider:

  • Smile with teeth
  • Dark-colored suits
  • Light colored buttondowns
  • Jawline with a shadow
  • Head-and-shoulders or head-to-waist
  • photo Squinch
  • Asymmetrical composition
  • Unobstructed eyes
  • Worth trying out: Facing the camera (or not)Bright background
  • Hats
  • Sun glasses
  • Hair, glare, and shadows over the eyes
  • Laughing smile
  • Sexiness

We know professional photography make a big difference; but, I didn't realize that tilting my head to stick out like a giraffe is a must for a headshot. Be sure to look at the tilt head video; here is a before/after example:

So, I tried taking the picture as explained in the above video. I grabbed my tripod and put a timed-delay for camera to take my picture outside my home (because natural light is better than "my indoor lighting"). I don't have photoshop to remove my background, so used open source (free) Gimp photo editor to easily remove my headshot from background using Gimp (or advanced gimp editors). I also brushed (touched) up my face using clone-stamp and smudge tool for good measures. [If you want to have different background (or transparent color) you can clean-out edges].

Below is my before/after profile picture of this forum.


A photographer can certainly do a better job. For example, because of the lighting I have a dark shadow in my eye sockets.
Never the less, I look younger already :rolleyes:

I may try different background and even test it like the link from above; but, I don't think anyone can dispute that the right image is a much better profile picture of me. I also thought about making my photo cartoonish (here and here); but, I haven't found anything to suggest that it adds value or is better. I guess it is something different!

Explainer videos

In my first technology stack post I mentioned that explainer videos can increase conversion rates of a site by 20%; but, some marketers suggest conversions as much as 80%. There are several different explainer videos that we need to choose from, which include: screen cast, animated whiteboard, cartoon style, and motion graphics. Here is a nice overview of different explainer videos.
Ideal length of explainer video should be under 90 seconds. Needless to say the video needs to be engaging and have call to action. We may also want to add video captions if we plan to be mobile (because they can't hear us) and search engine friendly. Lastly, the video may need voice-over.

I decided to use PowToon trial account to create my own video draft:

I'm not an explainer video marketer; but, I see the following issues, which I need to fix in future iterations:
  1. It takes too much time in the early segment to highlight the parent challenges.
    Or perhaps, the video is not as dynamic enough in the beginning to keep the viewer engaged.
  2. I have no captions for search engine indexing
  3. There is no voice over
  4. My video is at the threshold of 90 second limit
    It might be a good idea to make smaller segmented videos. For example:
    I should have "a problem video" (followed by short we can help), a video on "How we help" (preceded by short short problem segment), a video on communicating with parents & teachers, etc
  5. I think I can do a better job of call to action throughout video
  6. Perhaps call to action should be a hyperlink or a phone number
There you have it. My attempt to work on a few things that seem to look good on a paper; but, have no evidence to support their value to justify my time spent.
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