The colors of Christmas

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Some, who are reading this, may wonder why a black and white photo with no snow was chosen to be included in a blog post entitled “The colors of Christmas”. It’s really quite simple. For some, the season of Christmas brings no color at all, no fancy lights, or dinners or parties. No joyful trimming of the tree or waiting for presents to be received or to be given.

For some, this can be the darkest time of the year, when they may feel most alone. Now, there are some that revel in the loneliness and in some ways actually welcome it. For those individuals, this time of the year is not unlike any other time. Just another day in which to get things done while others are spending time with friends and family.

Yet, for most people who dread this time of the year. It is a 30 day reminder that they do not share this joyous time of the year with someone. No one special for them to sit with and enjoy the endless onslaught of Holiday movies, nor to share a hot cup of cocoa at the end of the day.

Well, if you find yourself reading this, and find yourself one of those individuals, no need to fret this year.

I, myself, have been one of “those people” for a few years now. In fact, this will be the eighth Christmas and New Years season I have spent alone, and am hear to say that, it may not be easy, but, you can make it to the new year.

Instead of focusing on the fact that I have no one special in my life right now with whom to share the holidays. I focus on myself. During an eleven month period, one can accumulate quite a lot of stuff. During the holiday season is, for me, the perfect time to reduce the “stuff” I have.

Old clothes go to the Salvation Army, old books go to the library, and I go through and clean out my “catch -all drawer” (and we know we all have one!). As a photographer of community events, I then go through my SD cards, drives, and pictures folders on all PC’s and devices, to make sure that they have all been categorized and uploaded to the cloud, so that they are readily available.

After that, I get into my own “Holiday Traditions” of watching “The Thin Man” with a nice cup of hot tea (with lemon), some chocolate chip cookies (is there really any other kind?!),and then settle in for the showing of the “Doctor Who Christmas Special”.

This year, however, I am adding a new tradition to the mix. And that is of being online. If you read my blogs, and I know there are not a lot of entries, if you find yourself not having anything to do this weekend, give me a shout-out.

We can email, exchange thoughts on movies, music, or just whatever. Just my way of saying that “no one should be alone on the Holidays”. Yep, sounds a bit cliché and a bit sappy. But, I will be here blogging all weekend and if you wish to chat, let me know in the comments.

Till then and make sure you are ready for this years “Doctor Who Christmas Special”, it comes on this Sunday (Christmas night) at 9:00 p.m. on BBC America.

 

Never get to comfortable….

Mistakes of the past
When one gets to comfortable, that is when things tend to get uncomfortable. And nothing more truer than this week for me. After starting my own business of social media marketing, and building up many clients customer base through the use of various social media platforms, daily photo, text, and video postings, one of my largest clients made a decision to cancel the two contracts they had with me, due to a negative event ten years ago in my past.

Of course, being self-employed, this has also had an effect on my finances but, it has also given me resolve. For I refuse to let this set-back force me to stop doing the social media work that I enjoy. Yes, while it is true that I will have a need to seek additional employment, I will continue to push forward with existing business in my area and let them know my services are still available to them.

The abruptness in which the contracts were ended has left a “sour taste” in my mouth, so to speak, as many times in life and in business we are told “put the past behind you, and move on to improve yourself” and believe me, that is exactly what I was trying to do.

It’s not that the past needs to be forgotten, it is a choice that I have made not to continue to dwell on it.

So thank you for reading and following my journal and I believe that we are now getting to the best parts of it!

Have a great week and stay safe!

Warmer weather means busier times!

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Now that the weather is warmer (and not so much rain!), It gets very busy around town for me this time of year. The summer is filled with a number of events that need to covered and blogged about and at times, I have to wonder how they can all be given the amount of time that each of them are due for fair coverage!

Fortunately, my first event, which is June 5th, is an indoor wine & cheese tasting event that is invite only. So, an event like that will be relatively easy to cover. However, starting with June 14th, there is the “Art On The River” and the Gasoline Gypsies CD release party, both on the same day!

So for that event, I will be covering “Art On The River” all day and then at 10:00 p.m., move around the corner to Lynch’s Irish Tavern for the Gasoline Gypsies CD release party. My only hope is that between now and the 14th of this month, nothing else come up, I am beginning to run out of time to keep up with my own social media!

But wait, ..if social media marketing is your choice of careers, shouldn’t you be so busy that you fall a little behind in keeping your own up to date?…Hmmm, something to think about!

Have fun and stay safe everyone!

New client brings new challenges!

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Yes, another client this week! Going to be such a busy summer for me this year! This client is the Downtown Port Huron Bar and Restaurant Collective (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dphbrc/1440194492885580), and it is a non-profit organization consisting of 16 restaurants in our downtown area. With the restaurants covering everything from traditional Irish dishes to BBQ to “American home-style”, and even Coney Island flavor! And that doesn’t even include the one that specializes in desserts or beer and wine-making!

The challenge will be to ensure that each and every client gets the same type of exposure as the other clients. The best way to ensure that was to assign each restaurant a “highlight week”. During this week, the restaurant will have their “day in the sun” so to speak. This will be done by, highlighting each of their post in Facebook, focusing on special events they have coming up, and if possible – a little video feature on background operations.

Also, each restaurant has it’s own unique charm and flavor, and the task will be to represent them all on a level playing field. If you are interested in seeing the many restaurants in the Collective, you can visit the webpage ( http://www.dineporthuron.com) for a complete list. And, visit the page often, as I will be in the process of updating their webpage and blog also!

Have a great week everyone!

Charles

Branding Your Business on Social Media

Starting your own small business can be a wonderful, exciting, and yet often very scary task! And getting your business noticed, can be an even bigger task. There are so many ways to gain attention for your business and your brand that it can be a job in and of itself to figure out the best way to get that done.

Be Consistent!

For me, I think the first rule in “branding” with your business is to be consistent! If you have a company logo, be sure to use that photo in every internet profile that you create. Taking that small step can help potential customers associate that logo with your name and what services that you have to offer to them. And be sure to follow that up with the naming of your social media accounts. Strive to stay as close to your business name as you can. For some platforms, it may be needed to shorten the name to confirm with their particular naming schemes, but do try your best to have screen name reflect the name of the business.

Which platform for my business?

This can be a crucial question for many a small business.  Because all of the platforms have their own merits as to what they can offer to a small business. First a word of caution: When creating an account on any social media platform, always check to see if there is a “business option” available on that platform. A social media business page will almost certainly offer you better ways to engage, track, and communicate with your customers over the “personal page “option.
When choosing your social media platform, take a look and see what your are comfortable with! Facebook has the “comfort level” that brings the most people on-board. You may already have a personal page, so using it create a business page would not be a stretch for most. If your business is more of a visual medium, try taking a look at platforms such as Instagram, or consider Pinterest if your business is that of arts and crafts, or a restaurant! For the more adventurous, open a YouTube channel for your business to post “how-to” videos.

Location, Location, Location!

For many small business owners today, sometimes the task can be getting noticed. Many consumers will just check for a business on their smartphone using Google Maps, Search, or Yellow Pages. A simple step many business owners forget to take can help them in search engine results. That simple trick is “verification”! If you google the phrase – “Google for Business” you will be given a link to where you can actually verify all the information about your business to make sure that it is correct! You will also be given the option to receive a postcard from Google with a verification number on it. This lets Google know that the business is in operation and ready to go! You can also follow the similar steps for Microsoft Bing. The folks over at Yelp and YP.com have a free basic listing that will allow you to offer customers coupons for percentage off at your business. And a Foursquare account will allow your customers to “check-in” and spread the word about your business.
There are a number of avenues for businesses both large and small to use social media and local services that are internet-based to “brand” and attract, retain, and engage customers and bring them to your door and to inquire about your services.  Taking just a little time to look over each one, can be one of the most important tasks a business owner can do!
If you have any questions, you can can use our company contact form!
Charles
“Your business is our passion”
810.488.0060

Need a Facebook page for your business?? Here are some tips and hints!

You’ve got the business ready to go and now you want to create that all important social media platform page! And you say to yourself, “Hey, I’ve already got a Facebook page, I’ll just create one for the business!” So you click the “Create Page” button, then off you go and your business Facebook page is up before your cup of coffee gets cold. But, did you make the right choices when you were sitting up a page for a business?

Business or Personal..there is a difference!

The quickest way to see if you set up your business Facebook page correctly is to check two things. One: Does your page have an “About” button located under you Facebook cover photo. And two: does your page have an “Admin Panel” If those items are not present, then your page was created as a Personal Page.

As a personal Facebook page, there is no tools that are available to you in order to monitor the performance of your posts, who sees your page, or to be able to promote your own business page.

Let’s Get Started!

When you make the choice to create a Facebook page for your business, the first item to consider is: “What type of business am I?” Because the answer to that question defines the catagory you should use for your page. Once you have decided the type of business, now you can “Create Page”!

Actually Easier Than You Think!

First, using your favorite Internet browser, type www.facebook.com in the address bar and press enter. Once you are logged in, click on the “gear icon” on the page and you will see a menu. The “gear icon” is located on the top right-hand side of the page. There are many choices in this menu, but we are only concerned with the one that reads – “Create Page”. Click that one! You are now looking at a page with six (6) boxes on it, and each box has a different name or choice.

Boxes, Boxes, Oh Why So Many Boxes!

 For the purpose of this writing, let us say that you have a physical location for your new business; in that case you would click the box labeled “local business or place”. When you click the box, you are presented with a new menu! Choose a category for your business by clicking on the arrow and scrolling until you find the type of business you are opening. Then fill in the rest of the information, and agree to the terms and conditions. Once you have all the information filled out, Facebook will let you add a photo. The ideal choice is to use your company logo. For best results, the photo should be 180 pixels by 180 pixels ( you can modify the photo in MS Paint by using the Resize function!) Now you can fill in your “About” section. Tell the public a little about who you are, about the company, and what the company can do for them! You get about 2-3 sentences, so put important information in there including a link to your company website (so they can find you right from your Facebook page!)

Admin Panel

 Now you will have an Admin Panel which is used to edit and manage your page. From here you can add individuals that manage your page. Be sure to read the description of each type of manager so that you give the right level of control to the right person.

Cover Photo

Now it is time to change the standard Facebook cover photo. The cover photo will need to measure (in pixels again) 851 x 315.  

First Post!

 

WooHoo!! Now you are ready for your first post! Be creative, be funny, be welcoming, but above all..just be yourself. This is your company, something to be proud of! (Hint: Clicking the little star in the upper right will “highlight” the post to give a more prominent space on your timeline!)

Done and done!

 

Well, look at that, on your way to becoming a “Facebook Guru”! Created a business page, made a cover and profile photo and made your first post and highlighted it! And all in less than one day! Pat yourself on the back, have a cappuccino, and smile and feel good about the job you have done! Feel free to stop by and take a look at the Facebook pages I have done. My company Facebook  page is at: www.facebook.com/contentmarketingcreations and the Facebook  page I did for a client is at www.facebook.com/ShoeMaze

New Year, new me!

Again, I do apologize for the length of time between posts, but have been really busy! This year, I made a decision to make some major changes in myself and around me.
My first major change was a cutback on all the junk food that I normally eat – daily! In the past, I would go thru an entire bag of chips almost in one sitting! This year, the focus has been on more fruits, vegetables, and cooking at home. And you know what? I actually had forgotten how much I enjoy cooking.

Another big change for me, and the reason for the long time between posts, is that I have started my own business! It was kind of scary to put my own name on a business and call it “my own”, but I thought that it was time. So what is it I do? Well, I create content for social media platforms that a business may have. All across the Internet, there are a large number of small businesses that will build a web page of Facebook page for you, but, not that many will help you create daily content for the page. And that is where I come in at. What I do for my clients is create daily content for their social media platforms, so that they can concentrate on the day-to-day of the business!

If you wish to take a look at the website for the business here is the link: http://chmcgill91.wix.com/cmcreation
We are also on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/ContentMarketingCreations

Stop by, take a look, and tell me what you think!