There's a nifty feature in Constant Contact (an email marketing program) where you can embed a YouTube video in your email blast and Constant Contact will create an image for you. So I was creating a blast for my friend and client, Mikki Williams, and look at the image that was created for me (right).
Not such a nifty feature when the image looks like that.
(Sorry, Mikki. But there's a payoff for you - I'm linking to info about Speakers School with Mikki Williams, CSP.)
Which, by the way folks, if you have any interest in becoming a professional speaker, you MUST attend!
Anyway, here's the dilemma - how do I wipe that unattractive grimace off of Mikki's face? I'm loath to send out an email blast to thousands of people with that image (the fact that I just put it out into the cyber-universe notwithstanding). I tried restarting the video and stopping at a different point and then copying the link to see if it would create a different image but there was no change.
So here's what I did: I took a screen shot of the YouTube video where Mikki has a nice smile on her face and I opened it in Photoshop (any other photo-editing program will work just as well - Gimp, for one, and that one's free). Then I found an image of a 'play' button and I opened that in Photoshop too. Then I cloned the play button onto the good-Mikki screen shot and saved the whole thing as a JPEG file. So now it looks like this:
Much better, right?
Next I imported the new image into the Constact Contact email I was creating, and I linked it to the original YouTube video.
Voila! Good-Mikki works the same way as grimacing-Mikki, only cuter! And isn't that what it's all about?