Digital Marketing: Don’t Be Afraid Of Change

online-shopping-blog

I recently got the opportunity to attend an amazing session on digital marketing put on by SearchKings in Salt Lake City at the Podium Headquarters. Just when I think I have the whole digital game figured out, I quickly realize I will never be able to keep up with the changes and it’s a good thing I know people who devote all their time and energy to do so.

In my role at O’Connor Company it is part of my job to help our HVAC dealers receive leads and market their business effectively and efficiently as possible. It is a task I can’t do alone so partnering with trustworthy and knowledgeable resources is crucial.

Not having a digital presence today is not an option. If your business does not show up in online search, you are missing the boat. What is the first thing you do when you want to know more about a business or service? You search for it online. You want to go somewhere new to eat, what do you do? You look at the Google ratings.

Word of mouth referrals are being replaced with online reviews. Phone calls are being replaced by text messaging. Going to brick and mortar locations for goods and services are being replaced by online shopping with same day delivery. You have to be where the customers are.

79 percent of people took a relevant action on their phone prior to making a purchase.

– Think with Google

One challenge I believe business owners face when it comes to digital advertising and online reviews is the fear of change. The most common things I hear when I meet with our HVAC dealers is “Well, I’ve always done it this way.” or “If I am not in the phone book, how will people find me?” That kind of thinking needs to be tossed out the window because staying in that mindset will not put money in the bank account. I totally get the frustration of trying or learning something new. It takes you out of your comfort zone. Think about it like this. Back in the day I am sure people swore they would never purchase a TV because radio was the best way to hear the news and listen to shows. Or how about the computer? I bet offices across the country never thought the typewriter would go away. Better yet the landline telephone. How many people swore they would never get rid of their home phones because the mobile phone is just a “flash in the pan” fade, yet now have one sitting next to them on the couch?

Local Search Behavior Stats:

4 out of 5 consumers use search engine to do a local search.

88% of users search on a smart phone.

– Google/Ipsos MediaCT/Purchased

Great things don’t happen if you stay in your comfort zone. You have to get out of the the little comfortable world you’ve created. And don’t let the fear of the unknown scare you. There are good resources out there to help you learn, understand and grow your business online. I read a great quote the other day. “In order to kick ass you must first lift up your foot,” Jen Sincero. It is not your job to know how online reviews and digital marketing/advertising works. It’s your job to sell or service your widget. However, it is your responsibility to be open minded and allow online and digital companies to partner with you to get more business and grow leads. If you’re serious about growing your business, you will find a way. If you’re not, you will find excuses.

For more search statics and research click here.

Did You Earn The Dirt On Your Jeans?

This is a post from May 6th, 2017.

One of the first things I do in the morning is hop on my Twitter and see what is trending around the world. I mean so much could have happened in the six hours I was sleeping, right?

Most of the time I enjoy tweeting and drinking my coffee, especially when I read a story like the one from earlier this week. Get this, Nordstrom has designed jeans to look dirty. Like you have been rolling in a pig pen kind of dirty. The kicker, they cost $425, and people are buying them! (Yes, that deserves an explanation point.)

Are we so lazy that we want to give the perception we are hard-working members of society?

_100311764

First, let me point out that I am in no way a fashionista. I am not hip to cool trends. I am in my late 30’s, so I still think wind pants and flip flops are a great combo. And I live in Kansas; we get all fashion trends last. Ok, so my thoughts on these “trendsetting” jeans are, why? Are we so lazy that we want to give the perception we are hard-working members of society? It’s like when you take a selfie and put a million filters on it to make your skin look flawless (ain’t gonna lie, I have done this). Or posting a status, on Facebook, talking about how awesome your life is, so others perceive you as having your shit together, but the truth is your spouse just left you, your kid is in jail, and your electricity will be turned off any day now. (Probably because you just spent $425 on a pair of dirty jeans.)

All week I’ve had these jeans on my mind, for starters because the marketer in me is kicking myself for not thinking of this idea first. Just kidding (Well maybe). But it just reinforces the point on how we strive to be beautiful, accepted, wealthy, educated, well-groomed, organized, socially active, world traveler and an amazing chef. In real life, being just one of the items on the list of things above just seems to be to much work. However, on social media, you can be whoever you want to be with a simple click of a button.

It is a standard practice just to coast through with an entitlement attitude. Example, I am a marketing professional in the HVAC industry (Sexy work, I know. It’s ok to be jealous.), one of the biggest hurdles our clients have is finding reliable, driven, hard-working people.

I was taught to not be a lazy sack, work for what I wanted, and the rewards will follow.

I am so thankful I had adults in my life growing up who pushed me to become something real. I was taught to not be a lazy sack, work for what I wanted, and the rewards will follow. Now do I lose motivation from time to time, of course, I do. My point is we should be striving to be better people, better employees, better spouses, better parents, better sons and daughters, better neighbors, instead of better liars, better deceivers, better hiders and better cheaters.

Fun Fact: More than 75% of people lie on social media, ranging from bio information to the photos posted.

The invention of social media, actually the invention of the internet, has made us lazy. (But for the record, online grocery shopping does not make you lazy.) It allows us to get sucked into a world which allows us to be something that in the real world we can’t be or should I say, “work at” to be. I’m telling you, when your mom would tell you that you could be anything you wanted to be when you grew up, she wasn’t pulling your leg. She was serious. If you did not hear that phrase growing up, you are hearing it now. You can be whatever you want to be. All you have to do is work for it. lazy-person

Fun Fact: More than 75% of people lie on social media, ranging from bio information to the photos posted. We read about our friends and followers doing awesome things with awesome people in awesome places. And here we are sitting at home, watching reruns of Cops on a Friday night. No wonder people lie on their statuses. Who wants to look like a loser?

So obviously, social media can make you depressed. It can give you feelings of unworthiness. Make you feel like you are not good enough. The facades need to stop. Back in the day, I can remember this thing called, daydreaming. It was a vision you would think about quietly in your mind, usually when you were doing something that bores you, like sitting in math class or rolling silverware at work. You could dream about anything you wanted from sitting 8cf2df4ae24c443f1e15f27138ba5a6don the beach to riding on a white horse with Fabio. (Google Fabio and you will see who I am talking about.) With the invention of social media, nothing stays in people’s brains anymore. We post about everything even if it is false.

Below is the order of status people post about the most. Just in case you were curious.

 

1. Attention -seeking
2. Selfies
3. Praising/sharing about kids/grandkids (This is probably one of my top postings.)
4. Secretly dissing people
5. Food Pictures
6. Pregnancy Updates
7. Charities/Donations
8. Pet Photos

Just to be clear, I am not dogging social media. When used for good and not evil, social media is an excellent tool to communicate. However, I am dogging the $425 pair of dirty pants, which brings me back to my original topic.

Raising two teenage daughters I see the struggles they face, They would probably argue and say social media doesn’t have anything to do with those issues, but I see what they share and like. I follow some of the people they follow. Social media brings insecurities and drama I could never image dealing with growing up. Why? Social media is always on, always updating and forever changing.

Ok, here is the warm and fuzzy take away. (Because every good blog has a moral or lesson to teach.) Don’t let the fake dirty jean wearers define who you think you should be. Don’t false represent yourself just to fit in. You will be unhappy, and eventually, your lies and deception will filter to the top and be exposed. And 99% of the time people can smell bull shit a mile away. If you want people to think you are a hard worker, then go out and work. Get dirty. If you want people to think you are organized, then buy a planner, show up on time and be prepared. If you want people to think you are wealthy, then go to college or attend a trade school, invest in a promising startup or invention, marry into it. (The last one was a joke.) You want people to think you are well-groomed, then take a shower and get a haircut. You want people to think you are socially active, then go outside and talk to people. It is called an action. It is that simple.

Sidenote: However, if you are going to pay high dollar to make yourself look like you’ve been plowing a field all day, hit me up, I can roll your clothes around in the mud for half the price.

The Daily Post: Better

Communication – WTH, TBH, IMHO

Effective-Communication-Skills

The classes I loved in college were communication focused. I loved learning about verbal and nonverbal communication. Encoding and decoding. Body language. I was super jazzed to give my demonstration speech in front of my classmates. Public speaking was awesome and I was the first to raise my hand to talk. And don’t even get me started on written communication. So….freaking…..cool!

I dabbled in the radio world for a few years and was sucked into the hype of speaking to listeners across the corner of four states. What a fantastic way to communicate. Someone calls in and I pretend to really care about dedicating a song to their girlfriend who just broke up with them. Then I open the mic, say a little spill. The end. Now that I think about it, radio was an early form of social media. You had tons of followers (listeners) who you would never meet. (With the few exceptions of the crazy, stalker listener who randomly show up at the station to chat.) Eek!

10457922_10203332951458537_249975795934854802_n
My radio days.

I do use my communication skills every day in my career. Working in the advertising world, you have to be able to communicate a message to someone that motivates them to purchase your product. Create a problem someone didn’t know they had then turn around and provided them with a solution to the problem. That’s basically marketing 101. You’re welcome.

Throughout my day I have multiple conversations going on at any given time. From discussing a radio spot for one client to deciding what SEO search terms we want to use for a digital campaign for another, (brag time….I have a great team I work with to help keep me on track. Hugs DeeAnna and BCC folks.) I have to be able to focus and shift directions at a moments notice and be able to communicate effectively.

text-messaging-top-20-185x215

Total side note: Where in the world did proper phone etiquette go? It is like no one understands how to communicate over the phone, it’s all emails and text messages. And resumes? I can’t believe people actually write like they text on a job application. I think the technical term is SMS shorthand.  Srsly? OMG! SMH. IMHO. IDK? IKR? LOL! BRB.  Who does that? If my professor, Les Anderson, were still here he would be going crazy. And just so you know, those are the type of applications I send right to the trash. If you can’t take the extra three minutes to write out complete words and sentences, I don’t want to work with you. (It is totally cool if you have to Google the text abbreviations to know what they mean. I had too.)

Ok back to the topic.  How we communicate with one another has changed but communication is still one of the most valuable assets we have. Think about not being able to order your favorite meal in the drive-thru? Or telling your doctor you have a throbbing pain in your foot. Or sweet talk your way out of a speeding ticket? Not being able to communicate would suck!

Whelp, that is really all I have for now. I have to feed my son. Apparently, he is going to starve to death if I don’t heat up his pizza within the next five minutes.  WTH? LOL.

Love, peace and hair grease ~ Deeds.

Communication – WTH, TBH, IMHO

Effective-Communication-Skills

The classes I loved in college were communication focused. I loved learning about verbal and nonverbal communication. Encoding and decoding. Body language. I was super jazzed to give my demonstration speech in front of my classmates. Public speaking was awesome and I was the first to raise my hand to talk. And don’t even get me started on written communication. So….freaking…..cool!

I dabbled in the radio world for a few years and was sucked into the hype of speaking to listeners across the corner of four states. What a fantastic way to communicate. Someone calls in and I pretend to really care about dedicating a song to their girlfriend who just broke up with them. Then I open the mic, say a little spill. The end. Now that I think about it, radio was an early form of social media. You had tons of followers (listeners) who you would never meet. (With the few exceptions of the crazy, stalker listener who randomly show up at the station to chat.) Eek!

10457922_10203332951458537_249975795934854802_n
My radio days.

I do use my communication skills every day in my career. Working in the advertising world, you have to be able to communicate a message to someone that motivates them to purchase your product. Create a problem someone didn’t know they had then turn around and provided them with a solution to the problem. That’s basically marketing 101. You’re welcome.

Throughout my day I have multiple conversations going on at any given time. From discussing a radio spot for one client to deciding what SEO search terms we want to use for a digital campaign for another, (brag time….I have a great team I work with to help keep me on track. Hugs DeeAnna and BCC folks.) I have to be able to focus and shift directions at a moments notice and be able to communicate effectively.

text-messaging-top-20-185x215

Total side note: Where in the world did proper phone etiquette go? It is like no one understands how to communicate over the phone, it’s all emails and text messages. And resumes? I can’t believe people actually write like they text on a job application. I think the technical term is SMS shorthand.  Srsly? OMG! SMH. IMHO. IDK? IKR? LOL! BRB.  Who does that? If my professor, Les Anderson, were still here he would be going crazy. And just so you know, those are the type of applications I send right to the trash. If you can’t take the extra three minutes to write out complete words and sentences, I don’t want to work with you. (It is totally cool if you have to Google the text abbreviations to know what they mean. I had too.)

Ok back to the topic.  How we communicate with one another has changed but communication is still one of the most valuable assets we have. Think about not being able to order your favorite meal in the drive-thru? Or telling your doctor you have a throbbing pain in your foot. Or sweet talk your way out of a speeding ticket? Not being able to communicate would suck!

Whelp, that is really all I have for now. I have to feed my son. Apparently, he is going to starve to death if I don’t heat up his pizza within the next five minutes.  WTH? LOL.

Love, peace and hair grease ~ Deeds.

Did You Earn The Dirt On Your Jeans?

This is a post from May 6th, 2017.

One of the first things I do in the morning is hop on my Twitter and see what is trending around the world. I mean so much could have happened in the six hours I was sleeping, right?

Most of the time I enjoy tweeting and drinking my coffee, especially when I read a story like the one from earlier this week. Get this, Nordstrom has designed jeans to look dirty. Like you have been rolling in a pig pen kind of dirty. The kicker, they cost $425, and people are buying them! (Yes, that deserves an explanation point.)

Are we so lazy that we want to give the perception we are hard-working members of society?

_100311764

First, let me point out that I am in no way a fashionista. I am not hip to cool trends. I am in my late 30’s, so I still think wind pants and flip flops are a great combo. And I live in Kansas; we get all fashion trends last. Ok, so my thoughts on these “trendsetting” jeans are, why? Are we so lazy that we want to give the perception we are hard-working members of society? It’s like when you take a selfie and put a million filters on it to make your skin look flawless (ain’t gonna lie, I have done this). Or posting a status, on Facebook, talking about how awesome your life is, so others perceive you as having your shit together, but the truth is your spouse just left you, your kid is in jail, and your electricity will be turned off any day now. (Probably because you just spent $425 on a pair of dirty jeans.)

All week I’ve had these jeans on my mind, for starters because the marketer in me is kicking myself for not thinking of this idea first. Just kidding (Well maybe). But it just reinforces the point on how we strive to be beautiful, accepted, wealthy, educated, well-groomed, organized, socially active, world traveler and an amazing chef. In real life, being just one of the items on the list of things above just seems to be to much work. However, on social media, you can be whoever you want to be with a simple click of a button.

It is a standard practice just to coast through with an entitlement attitude. Example, I am a marketing professional in the HVAC industry (Sexy work, I know. It’s ok to be jealous.), one of the biggest hurdles our clients have is finding reliable, driven, hard-working people.

I was taught to not be a lazy sack, work for what I wanted, and the rewards will follow.

I am so thankful I had adults in my life growing up who pushed me to become something real. I was taught to not be a lazy sack, work for what I wanted, and the rewards will follow. Now do I lose motivation from time to time, of course, I do. My point is we should be striving to be better people, better employees, better spouses, better parents, better sons and daughters, better neighbors, instead of better liars, better deceivers, better hiders and better cheaters.

Fun Fact: More than 75% of people lie on social media, ranging from bio information to the photos posted.

The invention of social media, actually the invention of the internet, has made us lazy. (But for the record, online grocery shopping does not make you lazy.) It allows us to get sucked into a world which allows us to be something that in the real world we can’t be or should I say, “work at” to be. I’m telling you, when your mom would tell you that you could be anything you wanted to be when you grew up, she wasn’t pulling your leg. She was serious. If you did not hear that phrase growing up, you are hearing it now. You can be whatever you want to be. All you have to do is work for it. lazy-person

Fun Fact: More than 75% of people lie on social media, ranging from bio information to the photos posted. We read about our friends and followers doing awesome things with awesome people in awesome places. And here we are sitting at home, watching reruns of Cops on a Friday night. No wonder people lie on their statuses. Who wants to look like a loser?

So obviously, social media can make you depressed. It can give you feelings of unworthiness. Make you feel like you are not good enough. The facades need to stop. Back in the day, I can remember this thing called, daydreaming. It was a vision you would think about quietly in your mind, usually when you were doing something that bores you, like sitting in math class or rolling silverware at work. You could dream about anything you wanted from sitting 8cf2df4ae24c443f1e15f27138ba5a6don the beach to riding on a white horse with Fabio. (Google Fabio and you will see who I am talking about.) With the invention of social media, nothing stays in people’s brains anymore. We post about everything even if it is false.

Below is the order of status people post about the most. Just in case you were curious.

 

1. Attention -seeking
2. Selfies
3. Praising/sharing about kids/grandkids (This is probably one of my top postings.)
4. Secretly dissing people
5. Food Pictures
6. Pregnancy Updates
7. Charities/Donations
8. Pet Photos

Just to be clear, I am not dogging social media. When used for good and not evil, social media is an excellent tool to communicate. However, I am dogging the $425 pair of dirty pants, which brings me back to my original topic.

Raising two teenage daughters I see the struggles they face, They would probably argue and say social media doesn’t have anything to do with those issues, but I see what they share and like. I follow some of the people they follow. Social media brings insecurities and drama I could never image dealing with growing up. Why? Social media is always on, always updating and forever changing.

Ok, here is the warm and fuzzy take away. (Because every good blog has a moral or lesson to teach.) Don’t let the fake dirty jean wearers define who you think you should be. Don’t false represent yourself just to fit in. You will be unhappy, and eventually, your lies and deception will filter to the top and be exposed. And 99% of the time people can smell bull shit a mile away. If you want people to think you are a hard worker, then go out and work. Get dirty. If you want people to think you are organized, then buy a planner, show up on time and be prepared. If you want people to think you are wealthy, then go to college or attend a trade school, invest in a promising startup or invention, marry into it. (The last one was a joke.) You want people to think you are well-groomed, then take a shower and get a haircut. You want people to think you are socially active, then go outside and talk to people. It is called an action. It is that simple.

Sidenote: However, if you are going to pay high dollar to make yourself look like you’ve been plowing a field all day, hit me up, I can roll your clothes around in the mud for half the price.

The Daily Post: Better

When Leaving Great Makes You Excellent. Discovering My Full Potential.

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We’ve all heard the saying, “When one door closes, another opens.” It’s such a cliche and probably way overused.

However, it is very fitting for this post. In fact, I would even change that to, “When a great door closes, an excellent door opens.”

When 2016 started I felt I was totally on top of my game career wise. I had been working back at the company that started my marketing career. It was pretty much all I truly ever known and I was making things happen. I was ready for a killer year and looking forward to all the possibilities and projects destined for me in the upcoming months.

I was swamped with projects and enjoyed every single minute. I was proud to go to work every day, knowing I was working with amazing talent. It was fun. No, it was great.

I was knee deep in spreadsheets, trying to organize data for a client. This project was pretty big and I was in my zone. In the midst of creative and organization, my desk phone rang. When I saw the name on the caller ID, my heart sank to my toes. I knew what was waiting for me on the other end of the line.

Before we left for Christmas break, there had been talks of layoffs. I wasn’t too worried about it because I was busy, had work to do, and it wasn’t my client that was giving the agency issues. And hey, I had missed layoffs in the past, so I am golden. I never really thought twice about it. I belong here. This was my home.

Looking at the caller ID, I knew what was awaiting me. My career here was over. I didn’t want to answer. I didn’t want to leave. I braced myself and picked up the receiver. For a split second, I was hoping I was being punked. Nope.

I entered the conference room where two of my colleagues were soberly sitting. For a split second, I flashed back to the day I interviewed in this room. The demeanor was much different today. My heart was now lodged in my throat.  I’m pretty sure I was frozen in disbelief.

I had invested many years with this agency and they in me. I started working there when I was 23, still in college. This organization molded me, taught me, instructed me and lead me to become one hell of a marketer. I had worked there almost six years before I left to tackle another endeavor, but you always end up coming home. I had been back for almost a year, even though the people had changed, it was still like home.

Standing in the doorway of the conference room, my mind gets a little fuzzy, because I don’t remember sitting down. As my colleagues began to speak, I closed my eyes with my head down. For a second, it was like I couldn’t understand them. You know, like how the adults talk in the Charlie Brown cartoon. Again, am I being punked?

They told me they had to let me go. My actual response was, “Are you sure? I am mega busy right now.” They were very kind to me. They could have been a-holes. One of my colleagues was explaining reasons why and telling me about the layoff process. In a daze, I asked him to stop talking. It was silent. Before I realized it, I was crying. I was super emotional. I began defending myself, not all psycho like, but reminding them how busy I was and how things needed to get done. And how I fit the agency motto and was so pure of heart and passionate about my job.

They told me it was a hard decision to make and it had nothing to do with my work performance. Of course in my head, I was thinking, “Damn right it don’t. I am a hard worker.” With a shaky hand, I signed the paper knowledging I am being let go. And just like that, my career was over.

It was January 11th when I became unemployed for the first time since I started working at the age of 15. What in the hell am I going to do now? I am 36 years old, have a family and bills. The door to my career just got slammed in my face. I felt like a loser. I was deflated.

At first, I tried to play it cool. I posted a blog post about being laid off. I posted it on social media. By January 12th, I had a job interview. Didn’t get the job. I applied at many places. Then on January 14th, I received notice I made it to the phone interview round for a company I had never heard of before but had applied for on a whim. That lifted my spirits.

The phone interview went well and I made it to the next stage, face-to-face interview. The only downfall was I had to wait until February 4th before the interview would take place. To me, that seemed like a lifetime.

As the days after my layoff passed, even though I had this scheduled interview in a few weeks, I sank into this funk. There were days I didn’t get out of bed until mid afternoon. I felt worthless. Looking back, it amazes me how I let my career define my self-worth. I just wanted to work.

Finally, February 4th arrived. I had my interview. I was nervous. This was the first time I had actually had a real interview, with people I didn’t know, in 10 years. Prior to my interview, I had to research how to interview. I can’t explain it, but going into this, it just felt right.

The interview went well. I found myself totally jazzed and hopeful. Now, I just have to wait for my phone to ring with an offer. Twenty-four hours later, it did. I got the job.

I started working for the O’Connor Company February 8th. And I had no idea what I was in for. For the first two months, I was overwhelmed. My brain was on overload. I loved it. Since my employment with O’Connor, I have done more in my field of marketing than I ever had at my former employer. I have developed marketing plans, written television, and radio commercials. Shared my marketing knowledge with clients. Helped organize the sales team. Met amazing people, who believe and trust my field of study.

When I was first laid off, I thought I would never find a place as awesome as my former employer. But I have come to realize, my potential was being underutilized. I was comfortable at my old job. I wasn’t being challenged. And now, I am tapping into my forgotten passions. I am blossoming and growing more and more each day.

In the beginning of my unemployment, I was sure I would never be as successful as I once was. Boy, was I so wrong. I can honestly say I am grateful for my lay off. I am thankful because I now know what it is like to work for a company who values my skill set and wheel house. O’Connor has relit my creative fire and let me tell you, it’s hot.

So back to the cliche, the agency I worked for was great. I loved every second there. The staff is some of the most creative and passionate people on the planet. I have made lifelong friends. And I know they will continue to do great work. I look forward to seeing it. But I’ve moved on to excellent. My eyes have been opened to a whole other side of marketing and advertising.

I will never forget my month of unemployment. I know it wasn’t long and some people are unemployed for months. But for me, it was long enough. When it is all said and done, I am so thankful I was let go from something great, so I could become excellent.