Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Tune Out, Turn Off - Live.

Technology is GREAT, but...

With the rapidly changing technology we're all scrambling to understand, use, and implement, we have made vast leaps and bounds over the years. Remember 20 years ago when people had actual car phones, almost anyone that had a cell phone had one of those ugly Motorola's, and payphones (apparently not even a recognized word any more) were on just about every corner (let's not even get started on beepers!)???

How about the awful racket of your modem as you were signing in to AOL, and the only websites were god awful and took a ton of time to load, or the fact that you ACTUALLY had to go to a library to do research?

Too far back? How about 10 years ago, when smartphones became more affordable, more popular, and were readily available to regular consumers, or 5 years ago when mini tablets became popular and smartphones started getting bigger again after years of companies trying to downsize them?

Point being, over the years, we have all made massive adjustments to our lives to keep up with technology. In doing so we immerse ourselves and our lives in the latest gadgets, trends, great news, terrible news, satire (which far too often is taken as gospel), humor (which typically offends at least some portion of the population), time-wasting apps and games, and a wealth of information (and misinformation) so readily accessible that oft times we forget what we learned the day before.

Not to downplay the benefits of tech advancements...

But all of these changes are great - our behaviors are not. As illustrated by Jean Jullian (courtesy of CreativeFinder), and Simon Sinek (take 13 minutes to watch this video... and really let it sink in), our interactions with people are poisoned by this same technology. Our primary mode of communication these days is text or email, with many of us no longer making phone calls or visiting our reps. While we all say we NEED those devices to keep in touch with family or friends... we are gradually forgetting that each and every one of us had a much easier, less stressful life before the "tech takeover."

How does one overcome this daily doldrum, what the APA calls "fear of missing out" (originally a study based on graduate students feeling sub-par, but later related to technology by a handful of articles and blogs), and the fact that we all feel like we are always working, or always aiming to impress?

Some solution(s):

There is no right or wrong answer, but when looking at how we act with technology, with the behaviors we have established, there are some very simple steps that can definitely increase your quality of life as well as your real-life connections with friends, family, and colleagues. By no means are these suggestions exhaustive, and by no means are they scientifically founded or official... just practices I have taken to:

• Turn your device off and leave it alone for 15 minute periods throughout the day... especially times like lunch, dinner, meetings, or social gatherings. The amount of fun you have, your quality time will be astounding.

• Stay off your device when you're in bed. Obviously many of us use our devices as alarms, but there is absolutely no need to stay on your device for the last 30 minutes or hour before you go to sleep (sorry internet/mobile daters and social media junkies... I promise the same people will be there tomorrow).

• When you are with family, or at home (and you're not waiting on last minute client approval for a vendor), set your phone aside. That constant need to be on top of everything has only come about since the popularity of devices has increased. Changes are that years ago, the "drop-dead" deadlines of client, corporation and vendor were all at least one to two days prior to publication or production date, if not longer. We have forced ourselves into a corner by making ourselves available to everyone 24/7. Granted, there are on-call and emergency situations that require immediate attention... obviously you can't set your phone aside in those instances.

• Most importantly, on those rare occasions where you are having a real face-to-face conversation with someone put your phone away. Don't hold it in your hand, don't wave it about. Just experience that interaction without distraction. The value you will find in that interaction is without a question more emotionally invoking and thought provoking then the value you will get from thumbing up a post, swiping right or left, re-tweeting someone else's 160 characters, or any of the myriad other things we take as "necessities" in our daily lives.

I am a Digital Marketer, and I know how hard all of this is... if you take nothing else from this post, watch the Simon Sinek video and soak it in. His words are far more valuable than mine, and should help you set aside your digital persona for at least a few minutes a day.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

No Headline because AWESOME!

Time for Spring Cleaning. Image courtesy of
So we've been absent for a little bit, cleaning up some things so that we can provide you with awesome insightful information, silly factoids, tips, tricks, hacks, excellent music selections for your working days, and yet another distraction for when those TPS Reports just get too cumbersome.

All that being said, we're happy to be back, and we hope you like what we have done, and that you're interested in seeing what we can do for you. We harp on this a lot, but we are not your average agency. We are a family business that does everything we can to treat our clients as friends. We understand it's still all about business, but a good friend makes a great business partner, and a great business partner is typically a good friend to have. 

We manage everything a little differently. We don't build-in useless overhead costs - we don't want you paying for Jack (ya know, over there by the water cooler, hitting on Sabrina, talking absent-mindedly about everything he has seen through various social media channels, but just eating up dollars and not producing anything of quality or value), and we don't want you paying for posh "business retreats" where we wander off and have fun while you wonder what's going on with your projects (or worse yet - what is NOT going on with them).

We bill fairly, track to the minute, and provide comprehensive reporting for you when it comes time for invoicing. We don't aim for profit on agency rates for printing... we just ask that you pay for our time, which you will see accurately.

More importantly, our goal is to build brand ambassadors for our clients - not just repeat customers, but LOYAL patrons, partners, and clients for your business that will organically spread the word and help you to grow. Now... we can't help you if Jack is on your Sales Team and not meeting his quota... we're not psychologists or psychiatrists.

We want you to love your marketing, feel confident and comfortable in our abilities and the results we provide, and heck yes (pardon our eagerness), we WANT you to ask questions, to challenge us, and to work WITH us to build your presence, your customer base, and your ROI.

Now... we are polishing up a few details for our blog, but in the mean-time, you can check out our awesome new site (it's only a single webpage... a completely different take on the latest Tumblr-esque Stack trend... and rich in SEO) - or alternately, if you want to learn a little more about us, wander here, send us a little bit of information, and we'll respond in kind... wanna know about pups? WE LOVE PUPS! Wanna talk about music? WE LOVE MUSIC (in fact, our CMO has been a vocalist in more than a couple metal bands over the years - so long as you call that music). Wanna talk about business goals? WE LOVE helping create, push, and expand on goals to grow your business.

Ultimately, we are far more than those other firms that charge you thousands of dollars for days of work that you don't see for weeks. As Entrepreneurs, we are always looking for the best, most effective, most efficient, most awesome ways to do business... and we LOVE sharing that knowledge.

We also love giving credit where it is do... this site would not have been possible without Muse Themes, FreePix, or BuyBackWorld. Should you see anything on our site that is not appropriately accredited, please drop us a line... 

Be patient with us while we redefine our business... we're stable, but felt like something a little more uplifting and fun would more accurately describe us. So here we are, still Spring Cleaning at the beginning of Summer. You will see archived blog posts showing up over the next month or so, so when all is said and done, should you like to subscribe, we'll have a process set up for that as well.

One last thing. As Google Partners (re-certifying right now), former HubSpot partners (too costly of a platform to use and sell, in all honesty), SharpSpring partners (we offer a comprehensive white-labeled CRM, CMS, Blogs, Landing Pages, automation, and pretty much everything), Facebook partners (with minimal dollars, our clients see upwards of 200+%per month... as high as 600%.... for about $150/week), RedBooth and Muse Theme partners, among a slurry of other "renowned" certifications, partnerships, and all that mumbo-jumbo.... we guarantee our results... We will get you where you want to be within a year for far less than an employee, with better results... hands down. Don't take our word for it. Try us out for a project, and see what we can do for you.

Thank you for reading. Now get back to work.... or Buzzfeed.