Going VIPERal

So like we said yesterday (actually just a couple minutes ago), the next step of the VIPER process is to create an image. And that image has a purpose, which is to be shared on social media - Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Google+, whatever. Because there are all these damn surveys on social media which have generated a body of wisdom.

And the core of that wisdom is this: the single most common thing for people to share on social media is a picture. And I'll go into some more on that, but first let me cover the other element people share on social media - videos.

While videos do create a lot of clickthru, and generate a lot of likes, it is the images which tend to get shared. Specifically, images which are:

  • Square
  • Visually interesting
  • Supportive of a philosophy or mindset

Which means an interesting image to start with, and some text on top of it to support a particular dogma. There have been various efforts to figure out the best way to do this, and most of those surveys come out suggesting one of three basic elements.

  1. An image of nature - sunsets, beaches, clouds, rainbows, shit like that
  2. Some sort of animal - especially a baby animal, preferably a kitten
  3. A cartoon image - line art, iconified people or objects

I have been lucky enough to have Colin Theriot provide me with a line-art version of my face, which I use all over the damn place.

My Face In Line Art
This is not egotistical at all, I swear

I also have a collection of badge images which I use on my stuff, and a logo I designed about ten years ago, and it all fits together into this basic template. blank

Alternately, you could use some happy fluffy kitties...



Or some hippie-faggy nature shit...

02-14-07_0719But the basic idea is the same. You take a picture that people will look at and want to share, and you put some sort of saying on it along with your URL. Then you stick it on social media.

Put your URL on the image. Also put one in the description when you share it, and that will be clickable. Your initial interest is getting people to click and go to exactly the thing you are promoting. But other than that, you also want your image to sit in your archives for people to potentially share, and if they share it you'll still have your main URL on the image.

See, people are lazy and stupid. They will grab your image and save it on their own hard drive to share later. Then when they do share it, they won't type in your URL or say where they got it. So you have to put your URL actually on the image.

You can't stop them from cropping it off, but fuck it, those people are jerks. Don't waste your time worrying about jerks. The people who are not lazy and will actively work to take credit away from you? They are not worth your time. There are all kinds of "how to make your URL really hard to remove from the image" techniques, but I don't care.

If you have a logo, put that on your image too. Branding, branding, branding. You want people to see your logo and your image collateral everywhere. Share a lot. Archive your images on your own hard drive and recycle them. I've got just short of a hundred images saved into a folder, each related to a specific blog post. It will be a whole hundred by the end of the week.

Your goal in doing this is to gradually produce a huge quantity of content, which you can promote and reference over and over again. (I'll be talking about that somewhat on Sunday.) You generate a critical mass by doing only a little of only a few things, but doing them frequently until it's easy to produce them.

This is the core of what I'm trying to build into my lifestyle - a life where content just naturally falls out of everything I do, and that content can be sold outright or used to promote other content. I've talked about that before, so I won't belabour the point now.

Tomorrow, we'll talk about the centrepiece of my own efforts, the blog post. Stay tuned, and look at this open loop right here, where I tease you with just enough information to make you say "I'd better come back tomorrow" to yourself...