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William Arruda

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VanityVid is an exciting innovative social media tool that changes your profile pic into a video

Exude your brand with VanityVid

Wouldn't it be great if people could click on your Facebook, Twitter and Wordpress profile photo – wherever it appears – and make it come to life?

VanityVid is a fresh new tool for changing your profile pics into a short introductory video, allowing you to connect with your audience like never before.

VanityVid_Facebook

What makes this tool different?

Web technology is expanding faster than a blink – the sheer volume of tools, apps, plugins and widgets is mind-boggling. When I'm evaluating a tool, my first priority is personal brand building:
  • does it increase online visibility
  • does it enhance brand communication
  • does it have an attractive, well designed interface
  • is it customizable
  • is it integrated with new media networking
  • does it offer something unique?
My second list of criteria is practical:
  • is it free: if not, does it really justify the cost
  • can it be installed quickly and easily
  • is it easy to use
  • is it supported by browsers, social media, blog platforms, etc.


VanityVid ticks the boxes – and it's free!

What's really impressive about this tool is the on-the-spot setup. All you need is a webcam, video camera or camera phone and a few minutes of your time.

If, like me, you've been meaning to create a video but thought you didn't have the right tools, skills or time to do a good job, think again.

How it works

When I'd created my first VanityVid, I was offered the full URL and an optional tweet with shortened URL. This is the linked page:

  Vanityvid_firstlink 

My VanityVid: the link is repeated at the end of the post if you want to keep reading now (all screenshots are half size).

Additionally, if you install the browser add-on (main browsers are supported. It's just a couple of clicks and a browser restart), then you'll be able to see my VanityVid wherever it appears.

After you've clicked on my link, you will be invited to make your own VanityVid. Here's a quick walk through:

Making your own VanityVid

Vanityvid_start

Note, this is the entire home page. No frills, no distractions.

It offers you a choice of ways to proceed. If you choose to record using your webcam, it will ask for your permission to connect and then off you go. Or you can opt to upload a video or send one from your camera phone.

If you're happy with the result and you want to use it, sign in to VanityVid using your Facebook or Twitter account.

Notice the thumbnails along the bottom: this is how your profile icons will look in friends lists and next to your comments. The original images remain just the same, but a little blue button appears in the left bottom corner, which activates the video.

Vanityvid_vidspage


This is how your newly created video will look on the Vids page of your account. Tip: don't invite your Facebook friends yet.

The first thing to do is mouse over the video to reveal the tools:

Vanityvid_tools
  • attach – allows you to choose the accounts your VanityVid will show up on
  • send – reveals the URL for the Vid and an editable tweet
  • adjust – easily crop the length of the video. The max length is 17 seconds so this is where you select the bit you want
  • delete ...if you hate it.
Vanityvid_attach

Any time you want to change which VanityVid is used where, go to the Profiles page and add or remove from an account with a click.

Now you can go ahead and invite your Facebook friends and tweet your Twitter followers to let them know about this amazing tool.

You can have up to 20 VanityVids and the list of ways they can be used will grow as VanityVid becomes more established.

Vanityvid_Twitter

Your video will be displayed on every site that partners with VanityVid. In addition, for anyone who installs the Firefox, Chrome or Internet Explorer add-on, your Vanityvid will also be displayed on Facebook, Twitter and Wordpress blogs comments. VanityVid intends to extend the list of partners very soon so the need for the add-on will reduce.

It's very new but it will catch on soon, so why not be one of the first!
http://vanityvid.com/addon/install?twitter=SueBrettell

Sue Brettell is the Creative Passionista, a designer, writer and online identity strategist, specializing in the Exude phase of personal brand building.
http://www.suebrettell.com (site relaunch coming soon).

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Dubbed 'The Personal Branding Guru’ by Entrepreneur magazine, William Arruda is a pioneering brand strategist, speaker, author and founder of Reach Personal Branding. He is credited with turning the concept of personal branding into a global industry.

William delivers keynotes and workshops on the transformative power of personal branding for some of the world’s most successful companies. He energizes and motivates his audiences—and his private clients include some of the world’s most influential leaders. As a thought-leader, William is a sought-after spokesperson on personal branding, social media and leadership. He has appeared on BBC TV, the Discovery Channel and Fox News Live and he’s been featured in countless publications, including Time Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, Forbes and the New York Times. William is the coauthor of the bestselling book Career Distinction. He is a member of the International Coach Federation and the National Speakers Association. He holds a Master’s Degree in Education.