“You and I need friends who, instead of trying to fix us, help us fix our eyes more firmly on Jesus.”
As humans, we all have our fair share of flaws and imperfections. It can be easy to fall into the trap of wanting to fix ourselves, but we need friends to help us fix our gaze on something more extraordinary. That’s where Jesus comes in.
Jennie Allen’s quote reminds us that we need friends who won’t judge or try to change us but will support us in our pursuit of a deeper connection with God. It’s not about becoming perfect but seeking growth and guidance from the ultimate source of love and wisdom.
In a world that often tells us we’re not enough, knowing we can rely on God’s unwavering love and support is comforting. And with the help of friends who share our faith and values, we can find the strength and encouragement we need to stay focused on what truly matters.
So let’s strive to be that kind of friend to others and seek out those who can do the same for us. Together, we can fix our eyes on Jesus and find the peace and fulfillment we’ve been searching for.
“What matters now isn’t storytelling; what matters is telling a true story well.”
As a society, we have always been fascinated with stories. From the tales around the campfire to the latest bestselling novel, we crave narratives that transport us to new worlds and make us feel something. However, in today’s world, the focus has shifted from simply telling a good story to telling a true story well.
With the rise of social media and the constant barrage of information, ensuring that the stories we consume are accurate and reliable has become more important than ever. Fake news and misinformation can spread like wildfire, causing harm and confusion. This is why it is crucial to prioritize truth and accuracy over entertainment value.
But we can still enjoy a good story. In fact, by telling true stories well, we can create a more powerful and impactful narrative. Using real-life experiences and events as the basis for our storytelling, we can connect with our audience on a deeper level and bring important issues to light.
So, the next time you sit down to write or consume a story, think about the importance of telling a true story well. Doing so can help create a more informed and empathetic world.
Thanks again for joining me in this third iteration on the series highlighting social media in your community, importance of developing strategies and honing in your creative side.
In every one of us there’s an inherent need to be accepted by our peers, neighbors, friends, family, and in the case of many of you, your target audience. This acceptance especially becomes a necessity when we’re talking about the bottom line. How are you creatively connecting with your target audience on social when views and engagement matters to driving sales?
That’s a tricky question for many and isn’t all that hard to answer if you take the time to learn creative ways to craft your message. Enter your issue—you don’t have time to figure it out for yourself. Welcome! Glad you’re here!
“Creative marketing is essential in 2017’s fast paced social media reach and engagement age where the rules of marketing from the last century don’t apply anymore.”
For the most part anyway, we’re still here to connect, but now we have to be creative. There are a ton of free tools you can use to enhance your creativity. I know you’ve got it, we’re all creative in our own right, but here’s a list of just a few I’m always recommending folks take a look at because they really strip away the technical aspect of creative marketing and place it in your hands to knock it out for yourself.
Wix.com (simple, intuitive content management system and web host)
Weebly.com (similar to Wix.com in that it’s a simple, intuitive content management system and web host, but it also has education and non-profit pricing if your organization falls into that tax bracket)
Canva.com (quick, easy way to creatively marketing your business through engaging graphics on social media or print—the free option is great, but they also have a business model that lets you setup custom logo and color palettes for continuity across posts)
Adobe Spark (similar to Canva, but lacks the paid business model)
Here’s just a few to get you started on your path to a more creative and engaging content marketing strategy. Happy engaging!
Today’s communications mediums span a myriad of tools, applications, and devices our audience members use to keep in touch. As marketers and small business leaders we need to develop strategies that connect us with those potential brand advocates who’ll do the marketing for us.
In this way we’re personally connecting with them on those applications they’re already communicating with family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers.
The juggernaut? Facebook. If your brand, whether it be for business or personal, must have a Facebook if you hope to have a voice in the crowded space that is the internet. An emerging tool gaining traction is Instagram, which just happens to be owned by Facebook. With Instagram, you can connect with your audience members in a truly personal form of communication and it’s all thanks to the medium’s focus on visual content.
Just like we talked about in the last post, your brand’s visual content is the key strategyfor making the connection. Amy Schmittauer (@Schmittastic) in her “Vlog Like a Boss” book says, “The key is to focus on what makes you great and keep doing the work.” So if you’re a baker, and you love what you do, keep on baking and share that passion with the world. If you’re a butcher, you love what you do, share some insight into your work and your passion for your career. If you’re a handyman, and, again, you got it, you’re passionate about your craft, then share with others that passion and they’ll come to you for advice because they can visually see just how connected you are to the craft and them.
Amy continues with, “If your audience feels closer to you by being part of your journey, that’s a win for you no matter what you teach or sell.”
She hits the nail right on the nose encouraging all of us to reach out and really connect with our audiences. That’s a winning strategy that builds a community of trust around the content you’re sharing.
Finally, use your website or blog as the hub for everything you’re doing. Link back to this site and make it your central repository for all your efforts online, whether that be on social media or elsewhere, you want this website to ooze with your personality and shine through the crowded space of your subject matter expertise.
Scrolling through your feed on your favorite social media platform, what catches your eye? What causes you to stop scrolling and really pay attention to the content you’re consuming? Visually appealing content. It’s the lifeblood of every marketer’s marketing campaign plan.
How do different forms of visual content rack and stack for most social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter? Video first and always followed by photos, graphics and links with visual components. It’s all about those algorithms. A recent(ish) news article released by Facebook itself explained how your newsfeed’s algorithms determine what graces your feed and which posts it avoids altogether. Video remains the king of content.
So many of us considered among the millennial generation may be cord-cutters, but that doesn’t mean we’ve completely dropped the need for video content. We may not be receiving our content from originally-aired television, but we are accessing it on social platforms. Today’s digital marketing leaders could go on and on explaining the importance of visual content in a marketing campaign and it’s warranted. Most social network profile feeds populate based on our interests, past likes, comments and other forms of engagement. What does this mean for you? Be visual.
Small business owners and non-profit leaders need to understand the best way to connect with your audience and potential customer base is where they’re at. Meet with them on the device they carry around in their pocket daily. We’re on it on work breaks, during work, in the bathroom (yes, I know you, you’re on Facebook while sitting down in the stall—I don’t blame you, we’ve all been there), at the dinner table and sadly the list gets too long that I’m worried for society as a whole, but that’s not the point of this post. We’re here to talk about how you should be connecting with your audience.
Visual content comes in the form of videos, photos, and graphics. All which are very easily accomplished by anyone wishing to connect with their target audience with nothing more than the camera you carry in your pocket every day, just like your audience.
This is the reality, in order to connect with today’s networked audience, we have to jump into that same space. Evaluate your audience, figure out where they spend most of their time, whether it’s on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, YouTube, etc., and produce the content they’re looking for. Poll the people who come into your shop. They’re your community. But that’s a topic for another post.
Be visually appealing and you can do that with your smartphone. Stay tuned for a post on the applications I like to use on my iPhone. Simple, effective, engaging—free marketing that doesn’t impact your bottom line.
Hello and welcome to my very first post in a renewed focus where I’m sharing my experiences from more than a decade researching and discovering social marketing strategies for creatives.
As a public affairs photo and broadcast journalist in the U.S. Air Force, I’ve worked side-by-side with other creatives as we came up with no-cost solutions to every day marketing issues that plague the majority of our career field. Most of these strategies easily translate into the civilian sector. By combining sidebar research and analyses with numerous articles and books from various sources across the web, I’ve compiled tools and techniques you can use to further your marketing plans.
I earned my bachelor’s degree in public relations and marketing with Ashford University online. The “Inspiration” page on this site outlines the books I’ve read and resources that have been extremely helpful as a leader, marketer, father and even in starting this blog. I’m always reading so this list is continuing to grow.
My passion is you, the small business owners and non-profit leaders who are extraordinarily good at what you do but find marketing difficult at times. I’m here to help you and since I have a full time job, I’m not looking for significant monetary gain as your consultant, what I’d really like to see is for you to succeed at whatever it is you do in your community. We’re here as a combined workforce building toward the same goal:
“Developing social marketing strategies for creatives while engineering a community of trust and support across borders and backgrounds.”
The topics I’ll cover all relate to digital marketing in some fashion or another. I’ll evaluate each topic based on three categories:
We live in a world full of opportunities to reach out and connect with others in our communities at home or around the world. Our task as marketers is to help others engage in activities that improve quality of life, welfare, and relations with the our neighbors, friends, and complete strangers.
Digital marketing requires employing a series of well-planned techniques or maneuvers specifically designed to connect an organization with their audience. Marketing is about combining all aspects of of the digital world with the tangible in a cohesive strategy for obtaining a specific goal or result.
Always think outside the box, be original, imaginative, engaging, relatable, consistent, and accessible across all mediums and avenues of connecting with your target audience. Never stop communicating, researching, analyzing, and developing new and improved ways of reaching across the digital divide in an effort to build a community around your product or service.
Hold me accountable, but I’d like to bring you these three blog posts weekly followed up by a video blog posts further explaining each written post in an engaging, face-to-face, approach that shares the information in a relatable format for all viewers.
Thanks for joining me on this journey! Feel free to reach out at any time with your questions and I’ll be more than happy to help you as we work together to figure out the best strategies for connecting your organization with the community in which you serve.
You know how I said I wasn’t so sure I would be able to keep up a daily blog? I caved a few days ago, but I’m back! Life gets busy sometimes and while it’s still busy, let’s pump out a quick post here about planning the ultimate celebration for someone close. So instead of planning a new party, let me describe a party I helped plan a “few” years ago.
The seemingly perfect celebratory birthday party was for my dad. It was his 40th. Mom and I went all out inviting every one of our friends from across different friends groups. Dad and I were also on the local volunteer fire department, so of course we had a fire truck in the backyard.
Dad hates surprises. Like the time he came home from serving in South Korea for a year with the Army and we had bought an Akita dog without consulting him. Yup, he hates surprises.
This time, although he’d made himself clear how he felt about surprises, we did it anyway. He loves us to this day; I promise.
He had no idea what was coming and as he road his bike home from work he could see the bright red fire truck through the trees (I group up in a VERY rural town in the Montana Rocky Mountains, so anything else would’ve been hidden through the trees). We had music, drinks, food, brats and burgers on the grill, a piñata and all our friends. What an awesome celebration held in our backyard, our happy place. It was amazing and Dad accepted it. I don’t remember if he instructed us to never do something like that again, but we didn’t anyway. Perhaps we’ll have to do something special for his 60th in five years. #evillaugh
Traveling is a huge aspect of my job and I love it! We actually received orders to Japan in a few months here and I’m very much looking forward to it (other than being so far from family). It should be a four-year assignment with plenty of opportunities to explore their amazing… Food! I love sushi. I miss the fresh sushi I’d eat all the time during my year-long assignment in South Korea. All that aside, I don’t know that’s it’s my dream tourist destination as today’s prompt implies.
I’ve always wanted to visit Europe and more specifically, I feel like, if countries can do this–I don’t know, I feel like Germany has been calling for me. I’d love to visit where Luther began the Reformation! Oh and the beer too, you know, cuz beer and religion go along so well… In this case they do because it’s Germany. “Nuff said.”
The old architecture is also a drive for me there and of course learning about a different culture. I think that’s probably one of the things that has remained ever-present in my mind following my assignment in Korea–the people. They were, on average, so nice there! I think the only time I really felt uncomfortable was in certain cabs at night. If they ever ask you if you want to watch something, just say no. Trust me, you can never unsee that. Also, my friends and are were apparently getting too loud on one of the public buses and this tender old man came up to me and started shaking his cane at me yelling, what we presumed were, profanities in Hangul. Not pleasant.
But overall, what a wonderful country I wouldn’t mind revisiting again, but off to Japan first!
Have you ever gotten lost in a favorite activity? Whether that’s running, chopping vegetables, folding laundry, or for me: researching social media and marketing entrepreneurship strategies. Yeah, I’m weird, get over it; I love what I do.
See that last sentence? It was a real doozy, I tried fitting in as many commas as I could and I even was able to fit a semi-colon in there! So anyway, when I’m in the zone it’s like I’m lost, mouth wide open, jaw every now and then drops, little bit of drool comes running out. But it’s okay! I’m in the zone, generally in my office or bed or the car or any place most people can’t help but stare at my complete and utter obliviousness to the world around me. That’s me researching digital media strategy.
When I’m in the zone, I’m at home and can seemingly spend hours in said zone without really realizing how much time has gone by. I research this material all the while generally trying my best to avoid my homework. Eventually, hours later, I snap out of it and do what I’m supposed to, but still, yes, you’re staring at me right this very moment and if I had an emoji for the Vulcan hand gesture, I would send it your way and laugh.
So something they never tell you about writing a daily blog post–how easy it can be to put your thoughts down on paper and push the publish button. I’m horrible at it. I’ll be the first one to admit that I’ve tried starting a blog before and it just ends up me sharing other people’s thoughts. Which is okay, but it’s not really what blogs were intended to do. I’m using it to help get my creative juices flowing before tackling an even bigger project for school.
Alas, today’s Word Press post prompt is called, “Silver Linings,” and asks that I write about something I consider “ugly” — war, violence, failure, hatred — but to try and find beauty, or a sense of hope, in my thoughts. I think I’ve got this.
War is inevitable in a sinful society. There’s simply no getting around it and at the end of the day, I thank God the Father for his dearest son, Jesus Christ. Yes, I’m a Christian, and proud of it! Even though we may feel as though our whole world is crumbling down around us, there is a silver lining to it all: we’re saved by grace alone through faith in Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection three days later.
There’s hope! Whenever you’re feeling downtrodden, don’t fret! Christ is there, here, everywhere, just take a moment and pray. He’ll hear your prayers, but he may not answer your prayers in the way in which you might suspect.
My wife and I were going through a tough time in the first year of our marriage. I prayed to God for help and he handed me a deployment downrange. We couldn’t believe it. Was space, thousands of miles apart, really what our marriage needed? We didn’t think so, but God apparently did. And you know? We’ve grown increasingly closer ever since I returned. I read a lot of books on how to be a better husband and finally had time to read a few of the books my wife had asked me to read. I made it my mission to come back a changed man. One that focused on my wife’s needs rather than so focused on my own.
Now I’m not saying I’ve been perfect since my return, but we’re definitely as close now as we’ve ever been and grow closer in every moment we experience together, whether in person or not. I say this because while I haven’t been deployed downrange recently, I’ve gone on a few temporary assignments that have sent me miles away from a week to up to two months at a time. But the heart grows fonder. I love my wife. Thanks God for deploying me so I would realize just how much I do.
The silver linings do indeed contain a sense of hope.