When it comes to content marketing, many of us - including myself, are guilty of trying to create something amazing before putting it out for the world to view. Because of this, we get caught in an analysis-paralysis loop.
Gary Vaynerchuk, who I've followed (idolized) on social media for years, said it best in his post: "Document, Don't Create."
Instead of focusing on fabricating a masterpiece of work, we should focus on the journey of getting there. See? Much more realistic and achievable.
My new CMO (aka boss man!) made a wonderful analogy: A pot of water won't boil if you turn the heat on high then off, the water will boil if you turn the heat on and keep it on, even if the heat is on a lower setting.
To be in the game, you gotta show up. So, here I am. And the heat is on.
I sure do love my vision boards. I’ve made one each year for the past six years, and while some years it has proven more effective than others, I still enjoy taking the time to plan out my goals for the year. Let’s look back at 2016: Left to Right, Top to Bottom: 1. Take a scuba diving trip - done! Turks & Caicos 2. Grow into my new role as mom to two girls - still growing 3. Continue raising my girls to be little heroes - work in progress! 4. New running goals - ran two races, finally admitted to myself that running is not my sport. 5. I love this quote from “The Devil Wears Prada,” it’s a great motivator for me for this new year of business and career goals 6. Spend more time outdoors with the girls and work on our garden - backyard landscaped, got a playset for the girls 7. Get my pre-baby body back - work in progress! 8. Travel more - LA for work, Knoxville (see next) and Turks & Caicos for a family vacation 9. Eat more of a plant-based diet, inspired by Dudley, also make a trip to visit him in Knoxville this year. - still working on the plant-based diet, but we did visit Dudley! On to 2017! Here is this year’s vision board. Left to Right, Top to Bottom: 1. Take a scuba diving trip 2. Continue growing my relationship as mom to two amazing little girls 3. Explore the outdoors in the Atlanta area more with our little family 4. Grow a garden in the spring, complete with a fairy garden for the kids. 5. Continuously challenge myself to be uncomfortable in order to grow 6. Fitness goals: get my pre-baby body back and improve at kickboxing 7. Go to the Hot Air Balloon Festival this fall at Callaway Gardens 8. Travel more for work and personal career growth 9. Visit my (little) brother in Portland, Oregon this summer
I've been a "fan" of the Gentle Barn for years now, following their incredible stories of rescue on Facebook, it's one of my goals to visit Gentle Barn in Los Angeles in the next five years. So, when Dudley's story started on Gentle Barn's facebook page about two years ago, I was glued to the screen following along on his journey to recovery. Dudley is an amazing cow who lost his foot when he was a calf, luckily Gentle Barn was able to step in and save his life. Now he lives at The Gentle Barn Tennessee in Knoxville, which fortunately for us, is just a car drive away from Atlanta. After a few months of anticipation, we finally got to meet Dudley at The Gentle Barn Tennessee over Memorial Day weekend. Getting a hug from a cow really is an amazing thing: Why Gentle Barn is an amazing place: They not only rescue severely abused animals, they rehabilitate these animals so that they in turn teach kindness to us humans. It is never too early to teach kindness to children. Thank you for the hug, Dudley. We can't wait to visit you again soon!
I have already made my vision board for the new year, but when I saw my friend, Esther's 16 in 2016 list, I was inspired to make my own. If there's anything Esther and I both love, it's making lists. Does anyone else do this? I just love planning my year out and figuring out what I want to accomplish. These goals are essentially my vision board, broken down into more specific and manageable tasks. Personal Goals: 1. Speak more Mandarin to my girls. 2. Teach my oldest daughter to swim this summer. 3. Eat healthier: - soda or sweet tea once a week in Jan, then once every two weeks for rest of the year - same for desserts - fast food (Chick-Fil-A) once a week - no French fries 4. Plant a fruit tree in the backyard this spring 5. Grow vegetables and herbs in our garden to cook with in the spring and summer 6. Vacation at a new Caribbean island 7. Visit a US city that we haven't been to before Fitness Goals: 8. Run a 5k race in under 30 min 9. PR in the Peachtree Road Race 10. PR in the Atlanta Half Marathon: shouldn't be too big of a stretch since I sucked it up real bad when I ran it in 2010. 11. Lose 15 pounds by Dec 31, 2016 Always Learning: 12. Work on rescue diver certification - finish online e-course 13. Get CPR and First Aid certified 14. Learn conversational French - work my way through Duolingo Career: 15. Get Google Analytics certification 16. Get Google AdWords certification
I love my vision boards. I've made one each year for the past five years, and while some years it has proven more effective than others, I still enjoy taking the time to plan out my goals for the year. Let's look back at 2015: Left to Right, Top to Bottom:
We recently hired a new graphic designer at work, to help take on some of the design workload since I became digital marketing manager. It was interesting, coming from the "other side" as a hiring manager, you can see so very clearly what employers are looking for when making a hire. Finding a great graphic design job can seem like an impossibly difficult thing to do, especially if you are new to the field. But, it really doesn't need to be that hard. 1. Be prepared - make sure your portfolio is up to date, there’s almost nothing worse than a designer who comes into an interview and when asked “what’s a project you are most proud of” and not be able to show off said project. Speaking of portfolios, if web design is listed as a skill, you should have an online portfolio. No excuses. No website, no interview. We are moving on. 2. Google is your best friend. Do your research - look up everything there is to know about the company you are interviewing with, and if you know who you will be meeting with, read up on them too. Why? Knowing something, anything, about the company you are interviewing with will set you apart from all the other candidates. You would be surprised at how many people don't do their research. 3. Relax - once you're asked in to interview, the hiring manager is usually pretty sold on your skills, now we want to see if you're a good fit for the company and the team you will be working with. So relax, and talk to us like we are real people. This is the time to connect with your future co-workers. 4. Want it. (This may be the most important) If they give you a design test, put some effort into it. It will be painfully obvious if you don’t. And remember that bit about the portfolio that I mentioned? It wouldn't hurt to update your portfolio with your latest work. Especially with work that the company that you are interviewing with would be interested in seeing. 5. Thank yous. This is a detail that many job seekers forget to do. After the interview, if you really want the job, ask for business cards and send a thank you email as soon as possible. It's that cherry on top of the sundae that employers notice.
REI's most recent marketing campaign is taking over social media by storm. In what is almost unheard of in the retail industry, the upscale outdoor gear company is closing all of its stores on Black Friday, encouraging its customers to #OptOutside instead. In recent years, social media has been buzzing with complaints about stores opening earlier and earlier for Black Friday, with many opening on Thanksgiving evening. And while I was never one of those who shopped on Thanksgiving after our family dinner, I usually do go out and do some shopping on Black Friday - that's just what you do, right? Granted, we would go shopping as a family, so there's that. But, if your family is like mine, we are spread across the country and don't get to see each other very often. This #OptOutside campaign actually made me stop and think: "Hey, maybe we can go do something together, rather than do shopping together." This marketing campaign is brilliant and fully in line with REI's target market. CEO, Jerry Stritzke to CNN Money, "This business centers [on] the outdoors," he said. "Thus, we can do something like close our doors on Black Friday, and we'll have the membership that'll think that's cool." Stritzke thinks that this campaign is going to be a great way to bring in new, passionate customers. Which will be worth more than competing with holiday bargain shoppers. Yes, I would have to agree.
Or, how your customers are just like a three year old. The same principles that you use to convince a toddler to eat their vegetables can also be applied to content marketing. 1. Get to the point and it better be interesting. You have a grand total of about 3 seconds to grab the attention of a toddler. I would venture to guess that you have about the same amount of time to grab someone's attention online. 2. "Again!" When my three year old likes something, her favorite word is "again!" Entertain me and I'll watch that awesome video five more times. 3. What's your favorite color? Something boring can be amazing if it's the right color. It's all about the packaging. 4. Shhh... It's a secret Anything can be special if it's a secret. Make people feel special and feel like they know something their friends don't know yet. ---- If you think about it, we are all kids at heart. Appeal to that inner child and see what happens.