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Video Is Changing Businesses, Education, And Careers

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Video seems to have existed for a long time, decades even. Why then, is it causing such consequential changes now? The 21st century has so far proven itself to be the fastest-paced time in human history. This change has prompted conventional industries and organizations to shed their old practices and embrace the digital current. A key aspect of this sweeping current is the refinement and accessibility of video, and its overwhelming presence online. The “viral video” is a key component in the Internet space, and has amassed so much esteem and regard, that it has allowed average individuals to cross over and be showcased in mainstream media. Viral videos usually make an appearance on the main broadcasting channels or on shows like The Ellen DeGeneres ShowThe power and scope of video is not limited to viral pieces alone. Entertainment and humor from short clips online, videos have extended to impact every aspect of the physical world from business, current affairs, and education. A single, powerful device has found decades’ worth of practices and assumptions to uproot and revolutionize. A prime example is the mannequin challenge, were people freeze in action for about one min. It all started as a college challenge, filmed on a smartphone and shared on Facebook.

Businesses

Businesses have undoubtedly experienced the most positive change with the dominance of video. Videos are now widely used to market products and services that businesses may have to offer. This form of marketing has proven to be more concentrated and effective, and each video is a result of high-end production value and laser-like focus on a target audience’s consumption and response patterns.

With the popularity of social networking platforms and the sheer amounts of site traffic, businesses have taken to video to trace online patterns and usage to target advertisements accordingly. This makes for marketing campaigns to be far more lucrative in that they reach the intended audience at optimal times. Video production and video marketing services are encouraging businesses in all fields to use video to attract customers and to reach a new level of engagement.

A teenager scrolling through Facebook with a particular bias towards beauty will have makeup advertisements come across as an endorsed video of a particular brand. Likewise, if any user’s online preferences and behavior lean towards software and technology, they are more likely to find a few marketing videos related to the subject during their usual scrolling.

Video is increasingly used in presentations and orientations, to better accustom fresher recruits with business models and practices. A short 5- minute video outlining the core philosophy of a business has a better chance at engaging investors. The online fundraising website, Kickstarter, requires pitchers to publish a video alongside their business model which details their entire product at length. This specific video alone has the power to make or break potential investment deals, and startups often allow a lot of time and attention to go into making this short video exceptional.

Video calling and conference calls are slowly becoming somewhat of a norm. Businesses have found video to be an ever-helpful alternative. Not only are calls easy to arrange and connect, but they can be carried out on short notice and dramatically reduce the costs that usually go into long-winded business trips.

Video is also increasingly used by businesses in training initiatives and programs. This practice stems from the vast amounts of scientific evidence available that proves how learning and retention is linked with visual and sound aid.

Education

Statistics, numbers, and information are better processed via visuals. 40% of the brain’s nerve fibers are connected to the retina, which makes the brain’s ability to process visuals much more efficient than computing text. This is the reason why video is assuming a more dominant position in modern education and teaching processes.

According to the Visual Teaching Alliance, visuals are processed up to 60,000 times faster than plain text. This has greatly impacted the way teachers approach their jobs, and has allowed a number of companies to invest in the market of providing educational material that supports visual-aid.

Providing visual aid does not only translate into a positive increase in scores, averages, and performance values; the key here is retention and comprehension, and how researchers have discovered that visuals and video improve learning by 400%. Schools and colleges are now reinforcing video in curriculums and courses, to make teaching programs more efficient. The end result is a more competent, able, and lucrative job force, that is able to approach various areas of business with fresh perspectives and ideas. Video is quite literally aiding the development of a smarter, more skilled workforce for future generations. This has vastly changed career dynamics and competitiveness, as well as opened up new careers and professions.

The reach and influence of video is only expected to expand in the coming years. Educational institutions all across the world have begun to replace conventional paper-bound textbooks with iPads containing downloadable texts that feature a number of videos. For subjects such as History and Science where greater retention is required these videos prove themselves to be extremely efficient.

Careers

People can now form functioning careers out of video. The second-most popular website globally, YouTube, is a video sharing network that features a considerably substantial amount of online content creators and entrepreneurs.

These “YouTubers” have managed to gather millions of devoted followers, and content creation has become nothing short of a highly successful career for many of them. These individuals earn a considerate amount yearly by simply creating engaging and thought provoking content with paid endorsements and advertisements. Majority of these online personas go on to star in movies and series, become best-selling authors, and go on world tours. Video has opened platforms that seemed impossible before.

There are a number of Internet celebrities that started off with uploading shaky footage, and have now catapulted into mainstream media platforms. Comedian Bo Burnham began his career 10 years ago in his room, where he recorded himself singing his own pieces. Today, the 27 year old has two specials on Netflix, and has been able to tour and perform stand-up comedy on live television shows.

Leading online sites such as BuzzFeed and NowThis offer 30-second videos to viewers that cover a range of topics. Anything between politics, current affairs, style, and technology trends are covered via short, informative videos. These have become nothing short of the evening news bulletin for much of the online crowd today.

As this year comes to a close, one can only help but marvel at the revolutionary leaps and bounds video has taken recently. What began as an innocent medium to share engaging content and media, has now transformed into something of a business essential, a corporate tool, and a socio-political rallying-point. Though video is still overwhelmingly used for various purposes, a sizable chunk of leading businesses and social institutions have discovered that video may be an excellent tool to engage, market, relay, and educate.

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NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS FOR THE ENTREPRENEUR

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Last year put entrepreneurs and business owners through the ringer. Those with small businesses were faced with a whole new set of unique challenges. Many people were forced into a career change and some elected to go into business for themselves. If you’re a business owner or entrepreneur: Congratulations! You made it through last year. Whether your business spent 2020 playing defense or you were able to thrive, the new year is a great excuse to take a look at your business and see where you can improve. Here are the top ten New Year’s Resolutions for entrepreneurs and small business owners.

1.    Mondays are for Planning

When you are in business for yourself, there is always the feeling that you could be doing something more. Perhaps, you could be optimizing your time better. Make Monday mornings your time to map out your work week. Give yourself 1-2 hours with your planner. Schedule your meetings, work time, and account for travel and lunch breaks. Having your schedule written down makes it easier to adhere to it and you won’t have that feeling that you forgot something.

2.    Keep Your Workspace Organized

Whether your workspace is an office in your home or a storefront, you can always benefit from organization. A clutter free desk is optimal for productivity. Invest in a filing cabinet. Vacuuming and sweeping are often overlooked. Organize the wires that run off your desk from your laptop, monitor, charger, lamp, and tools.

3.    Keep Business Hours

Yes, there is always more work to be done. But at the same time, there is always tomorrow. Resolve to assign business hours and stick to them. You will find that when you allow yourself the time to fully clock off, you will be more productive when you clock in.

4.    Improve Your Social Media Game

It can seem trivial to post and share on Facebook and other social media, but this could not be further from the truth. Engaging in your community through the internet is the biggest way to get your business out there. You don’t necessarily have to hire a social media manager. Programs like HootSuite help you manage your posts across all platforms. Just engage more. Try and post something once a day whether it’s a picture of your latest project or a special. Like and follow your competitors. Like and follow people who follow them.

5.    Tighten Your Spending

The beginning of the year is a great chance to look at the books. The budget is often something we consider when we make a purchase, but don’t often look back on the macro level. Do you subscribe to a graphic design agency? Perhaps a cheaper alternative has come along. Have your vendors slowly been increasing their prices? Take the time to look under the hood.

6.    Learn Something New

You have spent some time minimizing your steps and running your business the most efficient way you know how. Now it’s time to learn about other ways to improve your business. Take a field trip to the competitor’s store down the road. Look on their website. What’s a good business magazine to subscribe to? Look up your local community college’s class catalog.

7.    Check in with Your Customers

Customers rule your business. Not only are they your source of income, but they also hold the keys to how you can improve your business. Check in with past customers to see how they enjoyed your services. There may be opportunities for repeat business. Perhaps, they were unsatisfied by something, but haven’t spoken up. Constructive criticism is… well, constructive.

8.    Read Your Mission Statement

You don’t have a mission statement? Make one. Your mission statement is your north star. It helps keep you on track with your goals. If you do have one, take the time to meditate on it. Has your business strayed from what you set out to be? Perhaps you have evolved beyond it. Take the time to realign and adjust either your work or your goals.

9.    Exercise

For the truly dedicated, work can take precedence over everything else. If you’re deadline driven, nothing will get in your way. This attitude is essential in the short run but can be problematic in the long term. Make a point to take care of yourself outside of your business. Eat right, go for a run or walk. Clear your mind. Afterall, you are the head of your company. You want to be firing on all cylinders.

10. Journal

Just as important as organizing your days in the beginning, you should also keep a journal at the end of the day. Set aside time to record the things you accomplished, and things you are hoping to accomplish. What did you learn today? Did you come across any problems? How did you resolve them? Journaling gives us the chance to reflect on the things that we ignored or overlooked.

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Stocks and 2020: A Love Story

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With 2020 finally in our rearview mirror, some investors in the stock market are licking their wounds – hoping that 2021 offers some relief. Many business owners are now watching from the sidelines as their companies did not make it through the year. The pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have radically affected our economy and how the world does business. While industries like travel and entertainment have taking a beating on the market, some companies have been able to thrive. Here are some of 2020’s most successful businesses on the stock market.

FedEx (FDX)

Unsurprisingly, the dramatic lifestyle changes that the world faced last year has paved the way for a successful FedEx in 2020. While foot traffic at storefronts went down, people took to the internet to do their shopping, and FedEx was there to deliver.

  • Stock at start of 2020: $152.42
  • March 2020: $90.39
  • Stock at end of 2020: $262.20

Moderna (MRNA)

Moderna is one of the drug development companies to create a vaccine for COVID-19. Developing a vaccine in a fraction of the time it would normally take, the company has seen success in both development and value. It saw nearly 600% growth.

  • Stock at start of 2020: $18.70
  • March 2020: $21.30
  • Stock at end of 2020: $104.77

Amazon (AMZN)

Amazon is another business that is seemingly pandemic proof. The lockdowns were devastating for the mom-and-pop shops, but Jeff Bezos only small more success for his online shopping juggernaut.

  • Stock at start of 2020: $1,874.97
  • March 2020: $1,874
  • Stock at end of 2020: $3,259.93

Zoom (ZM)

As millions across the world adapted to working at home, Zoom became a household name. Companies used Zoom to conference with their employees and clients. Friends and families used Zoom to stay in touch when they weren’t allowed to leave the house.

  • Stock at start of 2020: $67.28
  • March 2020: $107.47
  • Stock at end of 2020: $337.32

Netflix (NFLX)

Last year, movie theaters and gyms were closed. Sporting events and concerts were cancelled. In some places, it was even prohibited to go for a walk in the park. When looking for some entertainment and a break from the doom and gloom of the news, households all around turned to Netflix.

  • Stock at start of 2020: $325.90
  • March 2020: $332.83
  • Stock at end of 2020: $540.73

Tesla (TSLA)

Elon Musk’s electric vehicle company, Tesla has seen amazing success in 2020. With 830% growth from the beginning of the year, Tesla became one of the top ten most valuable businesses in the world.

  • Stock at start of 2020: $84.90
  • March 2020: $72.24
  • Stock at end of 2020: $705.67

Even with vaccine distribution well underway, the world is not out of the woods yet. COVID-19 and the lockdowns will leave a lasting impression. And the market will adapt. With businesses adjusting to incorporate a permanent work-from-home model, some think Zoom maybe worth a long-term investment. But what will Netflix and FedEx look like as the world opens up again?

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7 Crucial Trends in Graphic Design Technology You Should Know About

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The value and need for the services of graphic designers are of pressing importance nowadays. Any business or company will know how crucial great graphic design work is to its brand and marketing strategies. And it’s no secret that technology geared towards improving the graphic design process has risen in the past few years. With emerging technologies in graphic design and a whole global talent pool at anyone’s disposal, there is absolutely no excuse for a company not to get a graphic designer.

As trends change and industries adapt to the ever-changing atmosphere of creative work, one must know where graphic design is going in the next few years. Whether you’re a graphic designer yourself or you hire graphic designers, it’s important to put one’s ear on the ground and listen to the rumbles of the digital industry and marketing world. 

Here are some seven crucial trends that graphic designers, marketers, and business owners should get a vibe of in 2021 and beyond.

1. Artificial Intelligence in Graphic Design

Artificial intelligence is on an inevitable rise and is changing the way we do business. In 2015, only 10% of businesses used some form of artificial intelligence in their operations. Only four years later, that number rose to 37%, a 270% jump in such a short amount of time.

New technology in graphic design is moving towards making use of artificial intelligence in the design process. AI companies are venturing towards developing systems that use the massive online repositories of fonts, icons, and colors to develop algorithms that will produce sleek design work for companies. 

But for graphic designers afraid of the day that robots will take over their jobs, there is little to worry about as artificial intelligence in graphic design looks to augment and not replace human designers.

2. The Rise of Non-Adobe Graphic Design Software

It’s hard to imagine that there was once a time that Adobe held a near-monopoly on the graphic design software industry. Tools like Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, InDesign, and Illustrator seemed to be the only viable options for editing graphics and making various collaterals and materials. But today, there are more options available to designers. 

Tools like Sketchapp, Pixlr, and Vectr are great alternatives to Adobe Suite products. Designers can also now use cloud-based design software Canva, which starts with a free plan. To check out all the available graphic design software available, check out this graphic design software guide by CompareCamp.

3. Increased Demand for Landing Page Design Software

Nowadays, people who run online businesses will have some form of landing or sales page to promote their products. A landing page is one long-form web page that sells one or a few products with a compelling storyline or sales script. 

Building websites previously needed fluency in HTML and CSS to happen. But today, various landing page design services are available online.

Services like Leadpages, Convertkit, Instapage, Shogun, and Kajabi allow people to create websites with a drag and drop interface and practically zero code work. These services also provide various landing page layouts that have proven conversion history with other users.

4. On-Demand Graphic Design Services

Another rising trend in the field of graphic design is the surge of on-demand graphic design services, a business model that gives customers access to a team of graphic designers whenever they need them. This model contrasts with the more traditional method of hiring a freelance graphic designer. 

With on-demand graphic design companies, clients get a hold of a graphic design agency and ask the company to link them with a designer when needed. Compared to hiring a freelance designer, getting an on-demand graphic design service can provide certain benefits, including instant availability and a wider variation of styles. Of course, there is still a place for freelance graphic designers, but on-demand graphic services prove to be a good alternative to companies who don’t need a high volume of graphics for their business. 

One good example of a company that provides on-demand design services is Penji, which offers entrepreneurs and small businesses access to a graphic designer who can create unlimited designs for as low as $399 a month.

5. Infographics Templates and Builders

In the last few years, infographics have taken the internet by storm. Nowadays, even B2B marketing places a big premium on infographics, with 65% of B2B marketers using some form of an infographic to promote a product or service.

But anyone who wants to keep up with graphic design trends should know that there is now an extensive collection of infographics templates and infographic-generating online services available online. Now, graphic designers don’t have to start from scratch when making infographics, saving a lot of time and resources. Online tools like Piktochart and Venngage are great examples of such services.

6. Computer Systems Design

As high as the demand for graphic designers is today, the industry is hitting a tipping point. Experts say that the number of available graphic design jobs will decrease by 4% in the next few years. But even as the overall market for designers falls, there’s a subset of graphic designers that disproportionately goes against the flow.

As the number of needed designers in print and traditional media poises itself for a drop, there will be an increase in needed graphic designers in computer systems design. In fact, a report shows that there will be a 20% increase in computer systems graphic designers from 2016 to 2026.

7. Smarter Revision Software

One of the most tedious parts of the graphic design workflow is dealing with revisions. Designers have dealt with the seemingly never-ending back and forth of revisions and comments. A good chunk of the refurbishing of designs often happens because of a lack of communication between clients and designers, especially when communicating online. 

As innovators look to address that need, some have become better at improving the revision process with graphic design technologies. A good example of such tools includes Wipster, Filestage, Usersnap, and Skitch.

Where Graphic Design is Heading Towards in 2021

The year is coming to a close pretty soon, and we’ll be welcoming another new year before we know it. As 2020 comes to a close, it’s time professionals in the creative space and business, in general, should start looking towards graphic design trends 2021 predictions. Like every other year, graphic design trends have changed immensely as people seek more novel ways to communicate messages. 

But just as important for graphic designers and clients to know are the various technology trends shaping the way designers operate and work. Much has changed in little time as more services that help with the creative process pop out. Yet even as more and more softwares becomes available, creatives will be happy to know that the future looks bright for graphic designers everywhere as many of today’s tools look to streamline the creation process and allow artists to work smarter and more effectively. 

Of course, that is if graphic designers stay with the times and continue watching over the horizon for the next tool that will provide them with hacks to improve their design processes. For anyone ready to adapt to the latest trend in graphic design and try new tools and processes, there can be a whole new world of possibilities and growth in the field of creative work.

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