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Film Friday: “WP How-To” + 2 Mindsets INFOGRAPHIC!

Today’s film is more of a resource that I think will help ‘up and coming’ bloggers get off the ground. This site was built using WordPress, and I have to say that it’s very very easy to become confused while programming, hosting, and building out your blog’s structure. I have a (small) background in building things with HTML, and took some courses many many years ago – and any knowledge I didn’t have was intrusted in Google. So, without further delay, here’s a beginner’s guide to Word Press! Forewarning: it’s long – but extremely informative.

 

 

And finally, I found yet another INFOGRAPHIC that I’m obsessed with. It claims that there are 2 types of mindsets in which a person can adopt into their lifestyle. Personally, I think that people can mix and match the two mindset attributes, and it’s not always so black and white. That said, it’s still very interesting – and a good check-in guide to make sure you’re fully ‘embracing disruption’.

 

As always, I love hearing your feedback. Be sure to tell me your thoughts on this INFOGRAPHIC!

 

    App Attack: The Social Radio

    Time for another APP recommendation! This week, I was taken by ‘appsolute’ surprise with an application called “The Social Radio“.

    Appcircus describes The Social Radio as: “Listen to your tweets while doing anything else? Now it’s possible! The Social Radio converts your Twitter stream into a human-friendly audio experience. Listen to your Twitter timeline, lists, trending topics, funny hashtags and searches; everything beautifully mixed with the music you love. The result? Your own perfect experience of online radio. The content you care, with the music you love.”

    The reason I love this app? It uses all my music stored on my iPhone, and plays it in the background while a (suprisingly) human voice broadcasts my twitter stream. This has come in handy while working (I like to have a finger on the ‘twulse’ at all times), but it’s also great for the walk to and from work. I have a pretty severe fear of missing content, and this app helps me stay up to snuff on absolutely everyone I follow.

    You can download The Social Radio on iPhone or Android – and for those without smart phones, relax! You can use the web version by requesting an invite here.

    Tried this app or have an app you’re obsessed with? Tell me about it in the comments!

      How To Break Out Of A Creative Rut


      I found this in my travels, and HAD to share: notice the influence on ‘embracing disruption’ or chaos. What are your thoughts?

        Embrace Hustle: 5 Best Ways to Make Something Out Of Nothing

        Whenever someone ever achieves some level of success, there’s always a part of you that’s happy for them – but if you’re like me, you want to know how they did it. Of course, there’s several ways to really achieve and make ‘something out of nothing’ as it were – and I’m going to outline 5 easy ways you can get started. These methods can be applied to a job hunt, a product launch, or even PR tactics for your new start-up.

         

         

        1. Embrace Your Contacts: By now, we’ve all accumulated quite large contact lists from using our Hotmail accounts, Gmail accounts, yahoo accounts, Facebook friends, and twitter followers (you get the idea). Some people forget that all these addresses lay dormant in your hands (both old and current accounts). Take advantage of the resources you have, and compile every and all emails you have together in an excel spreadsheet. Use this list (segment accordingly), and blast out to your contacts. Whether you’re hawking a product, event or yourself – someone’s bound to listen: and what do you have to lose?

         

         

        2. Embrace Your Shame: BROADCAST yourself in conversations! Alright, it can be hard going up to people and talking about yourself – and many find it to be an impossible task. It’s true, if you enter conversations and simply talk about YOU, the interest will dwindle quickly. The reality is: if you employ strong conversational tactics, and show a genuine interest in who you’re talking to (no matter who they are – aside from sociopaths) – they’ll tend to reciprocate and listen to what you have to say. You never know: your next lead could generate from a bout of mindless chatter.

         

         

        3. Embrace Your Loved Ones: No one promotes you, or your products better than the people who love you. Generally the rule of ‘ask and you shall receive’ applies with close friends and family. Just be prepared to reciprocate when the time comes.

         

         

        4. Embrace Facebook Groups: So, if you don’t have access to all your Facebook contact’s emails.. you can create a group! Groups are different from pages, because you select the members yourself. They’re automatically added and receive any messaging you distribute. Writer’s caution: You’re treading a fine line – don’t get annoying on your friends/acquaintances, keep the message short and sweet.

         

         

        5. Embrace Events: Go out! See and be seen. Often when you live life to the fullest, things start happening. If you’re a homebody, push yourself to make a change – remember that you’re only as strong as your drive. Don’t know where to start? Google events in your area- or pick up local papers and look in the listings (and don’t forget Facebook!). Talk to people, and remember to be an engaging conversationalist. Keep it easy on the cocktails though – nothing good can come out of too many.

         

        And there you have it: 5 easy ways to start spreading the news TODAY! Have you got some other suggestions? Share them in the comments below!

         

         

          Don’t Be Tardy For The Twarty: How To Make 3.1MM Listen

          There are few things left that we as brands can really do to garner the kind of desirable attention we’re after. Simple media buying, banner ads, etc. really don’t make the cut anymore (or atleast, can’t be the sole pieces of your campaigns). The world of social media continues to evolve daily – and I’ve yet to meet someone who truly understands the ROI of their efforts. There’s so many tools and engines out there that promise to be the answer to all your social media needs, but they tend to distract from the true minimum viable product. The reality is, social networking is innately human – and when creating buzz, and drawing attention to a brand, product or subject, it’s only right that a ‘real’ person takes on the job.

          Enter the TWITTER PARTY (Twarty for short). A revolutionary new way to engage with consumers and brand advocates alike, while effectively spreading a message across millions of viewers. I currently handle the marketing efforts for a Toronto start-up called Shopcatch. Shopcatch works with retailers to provide promotional strategies that will enhance consumer experience while driving transactions. Recently I had the pleasure of taking on H&M Canada as a client: they were looking to create some exposure for their amazing CONSCIOUS collection. I thought this would be a great opportunity to provide them with a customized twitter party, and really dive into their massive consumer base. Although this was not my first time hosting a ‘twarty’ – I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised with my results.

          I’ll let the INFOGRAPHIC do the talking:

          As you can see, the potential for exposure is PHENOMENAL. But it doesn’t stop at retail. There’s plenty of brands, events, restaurants, openings, galleries and more that could benefit from the kind of attention a TWARTY can grab them.

          If you’re interested in what a TWARTY can do for your business, or would like more info, feel free to reach out! I always love discussing initiatives, and helping brands/companies achieve maximum potential within the socialsphere.

          How about you, have you ever participated in a twitter party? Tell me about it in the comments below – and be sure to include your twitter handle so I can follow you!

            Pay Attention To These TV Shows

            There’s a few really great business related television that I’m currently addicted to. Sure, there’s a lot of fluff out there, but there happen to be a few fantastic shows that you can really grab some great insights from. Allow me to elaborate:

            The Pitch: A great new show brought to you by AMC. This centres around 2 ad agencies fighting for the same client – eventually with one prevailing. There’s a lot of creativity and business sense displayed within the program, and some definite learnings to be drawn from each episode. For more info, click here.

            The Celebrity Apprentice: Ok, so there’s obviously a few skeptics on how this show is really just a product placement vehicle for a variety of brands. I’d have to agree with that assumption. However, the resourcefulness and creativity displayed by some of the contestants tends to be a breath of fresh air. Although not always applicable to real life, there’s definitely some great skill sets on display here. For more info, click here.

            Shark Tank & Dragon’s Den: It’s obvious that there’s some great innovation and real entrepreneurial spirit within these 2 shows. I can’t tell you how much the valuation and business model discussions have opened my eyes to different perspectives. Be sure to also check out the UK version of Dragon’s Den: it’s equally as good! For more info on Shark Tank, click here. For more info on Dragon’s Den, click here.

            The Big Decision: Follow two of the Dragons as they uncover struggling businesses and decide whether or not to rescue by investment. Unfortunately, this show didn’t get many episodes in its first season. I feel as though Arlene Dickinson may put a little too much emphasis on the ‘marketing’ component of each business, and not focus on the business model as a whole – but it’s still worth a watch. For more info, click here.

            Obviously with any TV show, there are moments that are sensationalized for ratings. As an educated viewer, you can take what you will from these shows; and feel good that you’re not watching another mindless episode of ‘Keeping Up With The Kardashians’.

            Think I missed something? Tell me your favourite shows in the comments!

              App Attack

              I’m going to make an effort to constantly share any apps that I  discover which I consider to be life changing.

              I recently have become obsessed with an app called Flipboard.

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              Essentially, Flipboard allows you to be the master curator of your own digital magazine. You can easily select your interests, connect to your favourite social networks, and this app will create a magazine-like experience with engaging and interesting content sorted just for you! The best part is, your tweets/facebook are incorporated to provide you with a seamless, image-based customized experience – which I love.

              Having a history as a community manager, I always found myself looking for content to share with my audience. I can tell you that Flipboard will make this a cinch for anyone looking to engage both their work and personal communities with relevant news.

              This app is completely free, so download before they “wise-up” and start charging!

              Also: if you’re constantly buying apps or music through the iTunes store, check out this deal on a gift card (valid this week only).

              Have an app you’re obsessed with? Share it in the comments – I’m always on the look out for new and exciting tools!

                The Advice Parents Don’t Want You To Hear

                I’ve been incredibly lucky. In fact, some may say I have a horse shoe stuck in my you know what. Let me explain: I started out wanting to be a singing and acting sensation (really, what kid doesn’t?). I took lessons, had some (minor) accolades for my work, and even got to travel to Europe on a tour! Then the time came where I was told I had to decide what I was going to study in school. I’ll admit, the LAST thing I ever wanted to do after highschool was jump into a post secondary education – infact, I was willing to do anything to avoid any more useless dictation and theory. You see, I always did well in school – you could even say above average in some classes. However, I get frustrated easily, and have a hard time forging passion for projects that have no result beyond a grading from one subjective person. The reality is: in the workplace, your work is seen by many – and there’s not always one right answer to achieve the end result. To me, school seemed like there were many ‘wrong ways’ to do something, and only one right way to get the stamp of approval. Reluctantly, I attended post secondary school. It wasn’t until after finishing that I realized the purpose was never furthering my education, but simply another opportunity to start growing up.

                This brings me to a recent encounter with an acquaintance of mine. She… well,  let’s call her ‘Margarita’ for writing’s sake. Margarita had reached a point in her early twenties where she had just graduated school and had no idea what to do with herself. Parents experience empty nest syndrome after youth leave the home, and it’s my firm belief that youth have a similar sort of symptom soon after graduation. This was certainly the case for good old Marg. You see, Margarita has worked the odd job, and even has some fantastic opportunities on the horizon. Her problem? She wasn’t sure if the path she’d paved so far was one she wanted to continue on.

                I think this happens to many of us early on in discovering what the world has in store for us. I jumped from job to job for many years – in fact, I can probably walk the streets of Toronto and recall a place of employment within each kilometre of travel. The truth is, everyone moves at their own pace when trying to get from point ‘A’ to point ‘B’. The important thing to remember is: the alphabet has 26 letters, and it’s ok if ‘A to B’ becomes ‘A to Z’.

                If there’s any advice I’d be able to give to people in this situation, I think it would be this:

                We constantly think that we’re in a race. A race against our peers, our family, and ourselves. We make these master plans that map out exactly how we’re going to accomplish the aspirations we have in life, yet we rarely are actually able to follow these detailed scripts. Take your time, make mistakes, and have some fun – opportunity is always around the corner but don’t just jump into it because you think you HAVE to. It’s ok to take a step back, wait tables, bartend, or work in retail for awhile just until you get things figured out. Sometimes you just have to live life until the right opportunity presents itself.

                Please don’t interpret any of this as an encouragement to lose your ambition and drive, because by no means do I think that people should become complacent or simply settle. This is directed at those who know they’re destined for greatness in the world – but have yet to figure out how to unleash their strengths. Have a plan, but don’t beat yourself up if it doesn’t materialize in the time period you sought out. Practise and patience mixed with progressive behaviour and positivity will take you to your destination. Many of the most successful people I know have arrived where they are after something that wasn’t in their ‘plan’ somehow bumped them off course. As it turns out, sometimes a detour is the faster way to get to your destination.

                As for Margarita? I poured her another cocktail, and told her to follow her gut.

                  Film Fridays: 2 Vids You Should Watch

                  Each Friday, I’m going to scope out a couple of videos for your viewing enjoyment. Some will be resources, and some will be just plain ‘special’.

                  The first of this breed is an instructional video on how to tie a tie. I think this is a skill a lot of us didn’t pick up along the way, so enjoy (I’d love to hear your thoughts about why this individual may have felt compelled to share her techniques with the world – and anything you have to say about her name: ‘Pink So Foxy’).

                  The final video is this collection of ads that I found while putting around the inter-web. Warning: the first one is disgusting.


                   

                  Have a fab weekend everyone, and thanks for checking in.

                    Entitled Youth: 4 Things You Need to Know

                    There’s a common misconception of my generation that we’re all very entitled-minded people. Yes, our parents have had the benefit of a some-what steady economy (at least, up until a few years ago), and I know myself and many of my friends have reaped the benefits of that. I grew up with parents who nickle and dime absolutely everything – not because they have to, but because they plan for disruption. That said, I’ve grown up with a humble outlook on life – knowing that I have to earn every piece of success that I want to obtain.

                    The unfortunate part is: youth in the media are depicted as Jessica Simpson pondering the existence of tuna within a tuna can. Yes, the reference is a little dated, but still – imagine how much the media has distorted youth since 2001. I know it’s extreme to resort to immediate pop culture references when comparing to corporate culture, but you have to wonder – how many top level execs have seen this trashy media and unwillingly let it slip into their subconscious? I’m extremely lucky to work in a progressive environment that thrives on the talent of youth in the workplace, while impressing challenge to accomodate growth. However, not all youth are so lucky.

                    I was recently reminded of a few key facts that we as youth really need to remember while pursuing our life dreams and desires, and I thought I’d share them with you.

                    1. You Drive The Car – Every move you make teaches people how to respond to you. Be sure that the image and persona you project is one that you’re proud of. If you’re unsure of what you appear to others as, ask for an opinion from a close friend or co-worker – feedback is IMPORTANT.

                    2. Work Your Butt Off – If you really want something, it can be yours. All of this comes with a cost of practice and patience – but you need to be driven enough to start from the bottom.

                    3. Make Sure You’re In The Know – I constantly get feedback from my job, and I’m sure my boss will tell you how often I require it (sometimes to a fault). The fact is, don’t allow yourself to slip – always check in and make sure you’re meeting (or exceeding) requirements. It always feels good to know that you’re on the right track, and I’m sure your boss will appreciate the check in.

                    and finally:

                    4. Make Sure You’re Valued – It’s easy to undermine yourself, particularily when you’re early in your career. Make sure that the environment you work in embraces you and allows you to grow. I know we don’t always have the luxury of being selective with our careers – but we can make the choice to do something if we’re unhappy. Believe me: you DO NOT have to be stuck somewhere that you feel badly or unwanted. If you want a change, you have the ability to make it happen.

                    That’s all for today, and please feel free to sound off with any comments or feedback – I’m anxious to hear your views.

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