Caffeinated Marketing

Gettting through all the noise, one cup at a time

My Move To D&B Supply March 24, 2011

Filed under: Cool News (to me),social media,Unemployed — jenharris @ 12:13 am
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On Wednesday the 23rd of March, I accepted a new position at D&B Supply as their new Internet Content Specialist!
Great job with a great local company. Funny how things happen…I started pursuing this job in this company almost 16 months ago.
I was unemployed and couldn’t get an interview anywhere in Boise. “In this current economic state” if you were in marketing, you were screwed…especially if you carved out a niche for yourself in this crazy new intranets type of marketing. Ahem.
I had to do something to get the needle to move so I put myself out there and said “I’ll give ‘it’ away for free– if you buy me coffee and my twins chicken nuggets”. I finally had some interest! Most ping backs were from out of town and I helped some via email but the best free coffee talk came from right here in Boise.
My daughters friends dad, whom I spoke with frequently at birthday parties and school functions, was “the IT guy” at D&B and “got it”. He was working to move the company forward in business through the website and new media. When I put out the call for free coffee and nuggets, Joe made a meeting happen -with him, the CEO and the head store manager. Wha? Crazy!?!
I talked their ears off for two hours, drank too much coffee and knew I wanted to work them someday. Down to earth people – aka: normal! I was asked if a job would ever come available at D&B in this capacity, would I be interested? Absolutely!
Fast forward 16 months, two jobs and lots of resumes later, they called. Actually, I got a tweet. 😉 Then email, then interview #1…#2…and then the offer. Wow.
I will be creating content, managing existing content and help gain momentum for bigger things.
I can’t sleep right now I am so excited- and I haven’t had any coffee since 10:15AM! Wish me luck and look out, things are just getting good.

*enter cliche “lets do it” type music here* whooohoooo!

 

Relocation Assistance: How Bad Do You Want The Job? September 14, 2009

Filed under: Unemployed — jenharris @ 2:05 pm
Tags: ,

Last week I had my first phone interview for a job that I was VERY interested in. One of the very first questions was “Are you willing to relocate?”  I answered: “Yes, I am.”

In my head I answered: Yes, I am willing to pick my family up to a town where my not-good-with-changes 6 year old would start a new school & get yanked from her new soccer team, a town that is 15-20% more expensive than Boise, a town that a comparable house is about $120,000 more expensive and a town where my husband would have to work from home because there is no facility for him to go to work to. Yes, I want this job, I want to make a difference in your company

“Would you need moving assistance?” Why, yes I would, thank you for asking.

WHOOPS! Was this where my candidacy for this position was 86’d? Should I have answered: “that is negotiable”?

They told me today that they hired someone local. I think this is where I lost the job.  Or maybe I am over reacting because I REALLY wanted this job & the reality is, I wasn’t a good fit.

Good luck to this company and their new Social Media Specialist – I look forward to seeing a multi-billion dollar company get on board and use social media to its fullest extent.

 

New Job: Cat Herder August 31, 2009

Filed under: Unemployed — jenharris @ 11:16 am
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Picture 183Today is it.  Today is the last day before I become a SAHM (Stay At Home Mom)  Me, who would of thunk it?

This might sound cold and I should probably feel guilty about this, but I don’t want to be a SAHM! I want to work, contribute & bring home a paycheck.  I love-love-love-love our twins (Ella’s in 1st grade, so she is not with us all day) but I truly believe that they become better people because they are exposed to so many things that I can not offer them.  I am so worried that they will get sick of me and I will be so tired of being “Mom” that I won’t be a good Mom to Ella, a great wife to Greg & great Mom that I know I am, to them.  *sigh*

But here is what will happen:

I will be an awesome SAHM.  I won’t “work” while they sit in front of the TV or I just let them play around.  If I am going to be at home, they are going to get sick of me interacting and teaching them how to be better people, better artists, better athletes, better 2-yr olds…in the most loving way of course.

So, you won’t hear from me on Twitter, FaceBook, your blog etc as much during the day…but I will still be here.  I will be blogging still, but it might be about my favorite toy, kid event or new shaving product, where I will most likely write out a social media marketing plan for them.  The faucet will never be turned off!

Yes, I am still looking for that full time gig & eagerly wanting to start at the drop of a hat…but my kiddos are now first & I am thrilled to be able to spend this time with them & teach them what I know (twin-twitter accounts?) so stick with me, don’t forget me & I will see you soon.

xoxo
-jen

 

Why a Newspaper Should Hire “The Enemy” July 27, 2009

Going back almost four years ago, I was considered one of the the anti-traditional media people here in Boise.  What ever happened to everyone at BlueLine Marketing anyway?  😉  (Tac, I think the post needs to be updated!)

We were shakin’ things up…granted, we burned bridges, ticked off a few traditionalists, but hopefully (hindsight is 20/20) we made people think.

**Hi, my name is Jen & I am here to tell you – I no longer carry matches.**

I have always thought that there is a way to integrate traditional media and social media to make things “work”.  “It” is more than the medium, “it” is the messaging, the voice, the integration, the culture & how IT can be sustainable through the lifespan of the company.  If your messaging says one thing & you deliver another…you will be found out & fail faster with social media than any other medium out there. (anyone can buy an ad that says “we have great customer service” but it is the public who will determine if that is true through the actions of the customer).

Newspapers are failing and losing money (notice, I didn’t say dying) and they need to figure out where their revenue is going to come from.

Are they going to be paid for their content? Sorry – a little late.  One domino fell prey to the “free newspaper online” gig & they all fell – not going to go back on that.

Are they going to keep raising ad rates and give them more “value” by also giving them ad space as a banner ad online?  Yes, this has been happening for 10+ years…but revenues are still down.

Are they going to hire the bridge burners Social Media people and build a value ad program that will teach local SMB’s how to use social media to work to their advantage while using traditional media as another (not ONLY) tool to market their business?  These can intertwine so easily!!!  My head is spinning with ideas…and I am not going to give you any of them.  🙂  If you are reading this and know of a newspaper/tv/radio station that is hiring and wants these ideas (oohhh, and wants to pay me)…you can get ahold of me in a plethora of ways.

In order to get to sleep tonight, I am going to go put these ideas on paper (to burn later if needed) so I can get them off my brain.

 

Buzz Word of the week: Emerging Technologies July 20, 2009

The Twitter Watercooler - perhaps?

The Twitter Watercooler - perhaps?

When I started this whole “thing” that I have imersed myself in almost four years ago, we called it “New Media” (vs. Traditional Media).  We also called it “marketing on the web, but not banner ads”.  (That was a tough sell).

Then it morphed into “Social Media” which has stuck for about two years now…until just recently.

We are now at the stage where corporations are jumping on this awesome band waggon and realizing that “whatever” Media is not a fad and it does not mean that they must have a bitchin’ MySpace site (unless the corporate CEO has a band & they still have pie-in-the-sky dreams of making it big…dude) but they must be involved.

So why the new name?
According to one definition from Webster Social means: involving allies or confederates. But my favorite one is: living and breeding in more or less organized communities. That’s right, we are living & breeding for a common goal.  It’s who you know, and the more you know & breed with (or give them an opportunity to breed for you) the more opportunities will come your way.  Replace “breed” with “market” and you will get my gist.

So what is “Emerging Technologies”?
Per the all knowing, Wikipedia:

Emerging technologies are those technical innovations which represent progressive developments within a field for competitive advantage;[2] converging technologies represent previously distinct fields which are in some way moving towards stronger inter-connection and similar goals.

I feel as though companies think of the word “social” as a time suck. A waste of time.  What you do at 5:05 after you punch out and head to your local watering hole.  Or the voice in my head of some old crumudgen bald guy spouting “Son, you don’t go to work to be social…you go to work to pay the bills.”

@HollyEgg says: maybe social means “we don’t want to be human” in some companies defense, they’re so blarking boring they should be faceless.

Blarking Boring is hillarious but I am ok with “Emerging Techologies”…just get on board already!

When was the last time you made a deal where the ENTIRE conversation was 100% work.  Yea, it didn’t happen.  Why? We are social beings. We want to share, we want to converse. We buy, deal with, refer and promote those that we…..*gasp*…..can be social with.  Conversation is key. The more keys you have, the more deals you will close.

 

Judging A Book By It’s Cover

Yes, I do judge a book by it’s cover…actually in my case: Your Twitter by your Tweets

I was stalking going through who follows @BoiseHawksOC (Onalee Carson) when I saw that another local flower shop is on Twitter. Yea! So I thought.  Until now, @SlingFlower is the lone tulip in the garden in Boise on Twitter (from what I know, please update me if I am wrong).

So I think “Welcome @KaBloomofEagleto the TwitterVerse”…until I saw what they were Tweeting.  *sigh*  All “ads” stating what their hours are, where they are at, that….(shocker!) they are on FaceBook & that we should join them!  Why? To get more ads lambasted at us?

Here is what I suggest (and can we beat this dead horse anymore?)  Of course, this should have been answered in your social media strategy plan that you mapped out…correct?  😉

1.  Reach out to people through conversation (aka: JOIN IN!-the water is nummy)
2.  Tell us about your customers, not you. (any local “celebrities” just walk in the door?)
3.  Share your knowledge in flower-ese (I would love to know is it ok to put sugar in a vace of flowers?)
4.  *On the biz side* Search for people’s wishes online & connect with them and solve their problem. Search is the least used MUST-HAVE Twitter tool that is just not used.  Too bad, someone is getting your biz.
5.  *On the biz side* Randomly send flowers to a Twitter (or FB) user & see what happens.
6.  *On the biz side* Blog about your passion of flowers/arranging/seeing glee on others faces. (this content lives FOREVER on the web – always searchable)

Ok, that is enough – I can only give so much away…you know, being w/o a job and all.  🙂

Good luck KaBloom of Eagle – I wish you all the luck in your social media ventures – just don’t sell me. How you interact with me & others will sell you.

UPDATE: 7/21/09
Kuddos to @KaBloomOfBoise! She DM’d me (sent me a direct message through Twitter)  this afternoon and gave me permission to publish what she said.

KaBloomofEagleGood job paying attention to your Twitter stream & responding quickly!  Like anything it takes time to get started & “get it”…but once you do, your tweeps will support you!

 

Discovery Channel Missed a Social Opportunity July 14, 2009

Monday night we watched 2 segments of a 3 part documentary series on the Discovery Channel highlighting the Pacific Ocean called Wild Pacific, voiced over by Mike Rowe. One segment struck me right where my heart lies, preserving (while harvesting) the mass amounts of food that is available in our oceans through sustainable means (vs. raping the ocean of young fish that have not yet reached sexual maturity, therefore eliminating the next generation)…and I am off my soapbox, for now.

The overfishing issue in our Pacific Ocean is huge, and I want to make sure that the fish I buy is sustainable and supports companies that don’t overfish (this would be the raping of the ocean that I spoke about earlier).

  • Where can I go on Discovery Channel’s site that will give me the name of the companies that were highlighted in their series?  And can I order from them?
  • Where can I go on Discovery Channel’s site that will allow my voice to be heard so these companies can start to be regulated?
  • Where can I go on Discovery Channel’s site that gives me more information on where to shop locally for sustainable Pacific Tuna?
  • Where is their community/forum where all this is possible?  They should start by talking to Lithium.

So despite my soapbox moment (thank you for reading this far w/o throwing a dead spotted owl at me that you just happen to hit in your pick-em-up truck with the gun rack on the back & the “get-er done” bumper sitcker) I would love to see the Discovery Channel take their voice up a notch.  Allow us to participate (not rant) and learn more.  My Dad use to call it “The Educational Channel”…I want to see that developed to where we have a place to go, learn, share and be educated to make the lives of my children better.

Oh and by the way…I am soooo available to head this up. *ahem*

 

I am Not a Social Media Expert

Filed under: Tip of the Day,Unemployed — jenharris @ 10:10 am
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Actually, I really dislike the word “expert” when people describe me.  I love doing the behind the scenes work & making “stuff” happen.  A pat on the back (or a surprise cup of hot Chai Tea) usually is satisfaction enough for me.  (my husband would argue that being paid would be nice-that whole “time to pay the mortgage” thing pops up every month!)

Since I am (take your pick) 1.  trying to attract new clients for my life as Caffeinated Marketing or 2.  score a sweet gig inside a company where I can help be a change for better, I thought I would put my .02 in on the following article by Sara Evans & Peter Shankman: Is yous social media expert really an expert?  The top 25 ways to find out.
My answers are in orange.

Ways to tell your Social Media “Expert” Might Not Be An “Expert” After All

  1. They call themselves an evangelist, guru or expert, and no one else does.  I do not call myself any of these & I correct those that do.  I know stuff.  Stuff that comes along with doing this “stuff” for almost 4 years now.
  2. They use “expert” or “evangelist” or “guru” or our personal favorite, “influencer” as any of their user names. Nope. You snooze for 10 minutes, you loose.
  3. They “discovered” social media in the last six to 16 months, and there’s nothing online from them in the social media space prior to that. (Remember – Google is your friend.) Start date of discovery: November, 2005 – but always knew there was a better way of marketing: my professors always told me I was way off base for thinking “that way”.
  4. All of a firm or agency’s “social media strategists” come from traditional PR or Marketing agencies. Would love to work for an agency that sells it, yet doesn’t do it them self. hmmm
  5. Everything they learned about social media they learned by reading blog posts (i.e. no application). You can learn a ton about sex from reading Kinsey’s manuals, but I’d still rather be with someone who has some practical experience. I blog, have set up others blogs. Managed & tracked blogs for ROI.
  6. They haven’t done anything of significance using social media (i.e. demonstrating they know how to apply the tools). Again, see point on Kinsey. I am a do-er
  7. They keep shouting about “widgets.” (Or worse, they’re still talking about push marketing.) WHAT?
  8. Their resume doesn’t include anything that has to do with social media (i.e. no results using social media). And no, having a Twitter account doesn’t cut it. Set up Mike Boss’ rogue blog at MPC which had audio pumped into in for impromptu pod-casts via his Blackberry. Gained traction with industry publications that got us off the “black list”.
  9. Their sound bites eerily resemble what you just heard from Chris Brogan andBrian Solis. And quite frankly, following them and a few others (including Sarah) can usually answer 95% of your social media questions to begin with. Four years of voices mushed in my head-and some original thoughts of how to implement.
  10. Their firm has added social media as an additional service (as opposed to integrating it into a comprehensive PR approach). If they say “And we’ll do Facebook and Twitter!” beware. Argh, welcome to Boise.
  11. Any use of the term “MySpace” unless you’re only targeting 14-year-old males, or independent bands. If you are under 17 & an Indi band, you’re allowed to be on MySpace.
  12. Their networks don’t reflect that they are connected. (You should probably research them before hiring them. If their blog hasn’t been updated since 2004 yet they tweet every time they take a slurp of Yogurt, something’s up.) I love yogurt.
  13. When you Google them, it’s difficult to find them. If they don’t show up on the first page of Google, how are they going to get you up there? Yea, my name is kind of common – but “JenHarris09” rocks the Google.  But I am there & present in all forms.
  14. They never talk to you about free ways to monitor your online presence (likeGoogle alerts and Twitter search). Perhaps they’re afraid you can do it yourself?  Buy me a cup of coffee & I will spill my beans guts.  I think this is why the agencies don’t like me, I teach their clients how to be sustainaible!
  15. They don’t maintain an active blog (at least two posts every month). http://CaffeinatedMarketing.com
  16. Any case studies they present only involve very big companies with very big budgets At the 6 week mark at TSheets, we saw the same number of hits to the site (this was our objective-increase site hits), but our conversion rate went up.  60% of the clients were tech, so I focused on Twitter – and saw results.
  17. Their lead social media strategist is “this kid we picked up after his internship ended.” jeepers, people – come on!
  18. When they talk strategy, there is no approach that encompasses a discussion about: communications, marketing, advertising, business development, internal communications and/or customer service. I also think it should flow over to HR as well.
  19. They see “Social Media” as a replacement for customer service, when in fact, only good customer service propels positive social media.  Enhance & work together & we will achieve SM Nirvana….ahhhhh
  20. They want to charge you to get you signed up on social media sites (yuck).  I work with them to get up and running (and then they get to pay me).
  21. There’s a pay structure that includes a pay-per-post model. Run very far away, very fast.  ARGH!!!
  22. The strategy they provide you primarily includes a Twitter profile and a Facebook fan page.  Ummm, goals? Objectives? Measurement?
  23. Measurement to them means building up lots of followers and fans. Quality over quantity.
  24. After you work with them you’re just as confused as when you started.  And that is when I start waiting tables…teaching to someone is different than teaching AT someone.
  25. They’ve never used Help a Reporter Out (added by Sarah, not Peter). To Sarah’s point, they’ve also not suggested any of the wonderful free services out there before they recommend paying.  I love HARO!  Use it every day!
 

My Move From Consilio June 29, 2009

Filed under: Unemployed — jenharris @ 11:02 am
Tags: ,
Off We Go!

Off We Go!

The time has come for the birdie to leave the nest.  Rochelle DeLong took me under her wing and brought me into Consilio in March to not only help her company learn, promote and market with social media but to have a place for small businesses to turn to for help getting into social media that wouldn’t cost them an arm and leg.

She helped me release the fear that I have had about opening up my own company and start helping the people step into the pool with all this social computing “stuff”!  🙂

Ideally, I would love to be inside a company and really get my teeth into their soul and bring it to the masses…but those positions are only just now starting to emerge and corporations and still skeptical of adding a full time social media gal to their payroll.  Which we all know is completely foolish…better to be on the 8 ball than behind it at this point.  IMHO.  🙂  But, let me say, there are smart companies out there that are hiring – good job!

Tuesday is my last day.  Rochelle and I are working out who goes “with me” etc.  There are things that she can do, things that I can do & we will be working that out.  I will still be working for her as their internal social media gal doing strategy, management & rallying for them.  I will also be part of her network of contractors that makes her & her company just absolutely amazing.

Her business model is to help small businesses with the thinking that outsourcing is the best model.  Do what you are good at…and don’t worry about the things you are not.  But at the same time she teaches you to be aware, be a smart business owner & learn how to grow yourself & your business to reach your goals.  She is not a coach for your business, she is a paramedic & a neurologist.

Thank you Rochelle, I couldn’t ask for a better 4 months of work to learn more about myself as a human being, a parent, a wife and a friend.  You make people be good at being human.

xoxo
-jen

 

My New Working Venture March 10, 2009

I have landed!

With out breaking into song & dance, I now have The Best of Both Worlds.

Being a rock star mom and wife is number one in my life while work allows me to express myself with the a path that I have found a pretty good niche in. I have found a job (or did they find me?) where I am able to be a mom and help a company communicate & market themselves to the right client.

I am now with Consilio and it’s sister company Perfect Order as their Communication Manager. I will be communicating about classes, services as well as assisting in internal marketing efforts.

This “Best of Both Worlds” opportunity is part of the revolution with the way working moms decide whether or not they should stay at home with their kids or fulfill their need to work and contribute to something that they are great at. All the while, being a rock star mom & wife.

I will also be out and about picking up new clients to give them my nurturing, hands on approach to social media all the while doing other “things” with my new working family.