How Do You React to Mistakes?

I hear it all the time – “If you’re not making mistakes, you’re not trying anything new.”

While it’s comforting to hear that everyone makes mistakes, they can be a small blow to the ego. I’ve made lots of mistakes over my professional career. Some still stick in my mind and return from time to time to serve as cautionary tales.

It’s great to learn from mistakes and look back on them. But another important factor in the experience is how you react to the mistake at the time. Continue reading

For Event Promoters: A simple fix to prevent wasted time and energy

As part of our business, we also manage blogs for clients. To create new content for these blogs, we often have to research events using websites and social media. A big waste of time occurs when an event listing contains no information about whether there is an entrance price for the event.

IMG_7867When we need to find out whether or not there is an entrance fee, and if so, how much it costs, we usually have to contact the event organizers or the exhibition hosts. If we are doing research during normal business hours, we can typically call them. If we’re researching outside of normal business hours, we have to send an email, or message them on their Facebook page.

Either way, it takes time for us to contact them. On their end, the person answering the phone or responding to emails has to take the time to reply with the information we need. Continue reading

How to Be Properly Possessive

We know we’ll never be able to rival Grammar Girl’s fabulous blog, but we do like to occasionally post our own tips for those who are writing their own content.

One of the biggest problems we see when we copy edit is the confusion as to when “its” should be used and when “their” is more appropriate.

“Its” as a possessive is used for singular nouns, while “their” is used for plural nouns. Is the word “company” singular or plural? It’s singular – so the correct pronoun to use is “it,” meaning the correct possessive word to use will be “its.” Continue reading

Should You Consider a Selfie Station to Promote Your Business?

I’m not usually a selfie-taker, but there have been some selfie stations that were just so funny, I couldn’t pass them up. There was the time I posed inside a reproduction Baker’s Dunk at an old Silesian castle (#torturemuseum). Perhaps you’ve been known to stick your head through a picture of a jouster at a Renaissance Festival (#renfair), or stand inside a large speech bubble in a major city (#BeBerlin) – or even to simply pose with a costumed mascot at a sports game (#GoNats). All of these are ways businesses and institutions use to get someone else to do the marketing for them.

Small business owners have limited resources when it comes to online marketing – limits both on staff hours and funding available to dedicate to promoting the business on social media. However, this doesn’t mean they have to resolve themselves to being hindered by these limits. Continue reading

Tips for Sharing Quotes & Memes to Your Business’ Social Media Channels

Sharing inspirational quotes and memes is part of what makes social media … well … social. However, there are some tips to keep in mind when you are sharing quotes and memes on the social media accounts for your business.

Make sure you promote yourself.

quote example

I see many small businesses, entrepreneurs, consultants, and coaches caught up in the circle of sharing advice by famous people, or by big name business competitors. Instagram is filled with quotes by folks like Gary Vaynerchuk and Elon Musk (who, quite frankly, don’t need all that extra free exposure).

Don’t fall into the trap of always promoting the wise words of others – especially if you are sharing gifs and graphics that feature a competitor’s website! You’re pretty much driving your potential clients to them.

Continue reading

Things Small Businesses Can Learn from Street Artists about Standing Out on Social Media

It’s a noisy marketplace out there on social media. When you post on Facebook or Twitter, it can seem like a leaf falling in a forest. Yours is just one among thousands of posts happening across the internet at any given moment.

How do you stand out?

Graffiti and street artists have a similar problem, so there are some great tips we can learn from them to help us stand out on social media. Continue reading

How I Get to Know My Client’s Unique Voice

Do you remember when the theatrical show STOMP hit the scene in the early ‘90s and – suddenly – every advertisement had the same percussive stomping audio track? No matter whether it was cars or sports shoes (maybe even bathroom cleaner?), for a while there, it seemed like one advertising agency was using the same ad format and sound for all of its clients.

For businesses that create content for other businesses, how do you avoid having all of your clients’ materials sound exactly the same?

Continue reading

Stand out from Competitors by Taking Your Own Stock Photos

Nowadays, instead of pictures being worth 1000 words, social media has come to rely on pictures having space for at least a handful of words.

I’ve seen a lot of discussions lately on use of images to catch the eyes of people scrolling by on Facebook or Twitter. Many of those discussions also warn about the danger of scooping images off the internet and using them in your own posts. Ask my friend about that danger. He had to pay a sizable sum to Getty Images because he made that blunder last year. Now, he himself takes many of the photos he uses for his business.

There are many sites where you can access free images, but I’m not here to talk about those. One of the problems I’ve noticed with those sites is that you start to see the same image in posts by dozens of other people. Continue reading