Creative Combustion Blog
Marketing and branding tips for the badass small business owner.
Showing all posts from April 2011.
April 26, 2011
The temptation can be overwhelming. Create a Facebook fan page, Twitter account and a blog for your small business and at little or no cost you have the chance to market your products and services to hundreds, thousands, or even millions of potential customers. But for many small business owners, implementing a social media strategy can be confusing, overwhelming, and very difficult to manage.
But before you do a massive cannonball into the proverbial social media and blogging pool, be sure you’re able to answer the following questions:
- What do you hope to accomplish? Clearly define your goals and expectations up front as this will guide your overall social media and blogging strategy.
- Which social media platform(s) does your target audience use most frequently? Ask potential or current customers about their social media usage. Benchmark against key competitors to determine which platforms seem to work best based on your unique industry or niche.
- Define what will make you unique and memorable. With so many businesses already using social media, it can be difficult to stand out to your customers (think rows of indistinguishable tubes of toothpaste at your local grocery store). Before one Facebook status update or tweet, you must be able to articulate what you want to be known for and how you will position yourself to showcase the unique voice and personality of your business. This will be the thread that ties everything back to your core message.
- How much time do you really have to dedicate to content generation and routine maintenance? Growing your social media following will require weekly (if not daily) maintenance. Do you have the resources to dedicate to social media and blogging in the short and long term? Unfortunately, as we’ve learned from recent news headlines, this isn’t something you can easily farm out to someone else.
Creating an effective social media and blogging presence for your small business will involve a long-term commitment of both time and resources. When done right, it can pay huge dividends. When done wrong, it will be a huge pain in your gut.
If you’re a small business owner and you’re considering developing a social media strategy and/or blog, let’s connect--I would be happy to help you explore all of your options.
[Image: Flickr user Lachlan Hardy]
April 19, 2011
I am out-of-this-world excited to announce http://www.ShawnGraham.me (my new digital home) has been nominated for the CSS Design Awards—a contest recognizing the world’s greatest websites and an inspirational showcase celebrating emerging talent.
Check out my new site and, if you like what you see, show some love by casting your vote. Just click on the thumbnail of ShawnGraham.me to cast your official nod.
And if you would, please ask friends, family, your friends’ family and your family’s friends to vote as well. Winning this award would mean the world to Moly and I—over the past few months we put our heart and soul into bringing the site to life.
I hope you enjoy my new virtual digs as much as we enjoyed creating them.
April 13, 2011
Thanks to everyone for all of the positive feedback about my new website. It's been a long journey and it's so rewarding to hear all of the great comments and to finally see the fruits of our labor.
Here’s a small sampling of some of those great comments that came across the Twitterwire:
although @jrmoreau definitely takes the cake in the "Less is More" category, don't you think?
Not sure what all the buzz is about? Then let me give you a guided tour.
April 8, 2011
It must have been the warm glow of the neon Superman sign hanging above the door that drew me in like a mosquito to a bug light. Or it could have been my knack for spontaneous diversions when I’m out and about. Whatever the motivation, one day I decided to swing by Phantom of the Attic Comics, a ginormous comic book store located just down the street from Carnegie Mellon University.
Beyond just taking a leisurely stroll around their store, I also wanted to make a small purchase to help support a local homegrown business. Since I’m pretty much out of the loop when it comes to comic books, I had to go with what I know—Godzilla. And although I didn’t realize it at the time, as it turns out it also looks like I also scored myself one heck of a snazzy business card holder.
What do you think? Does Godzilla cut the business card holder mustard? Or should I make a beeline for the nearest Staples?
Categories: Marketing Inspiration
April 6, 2011
For the past few months, I’ve been conspiring with a rock star designer on a complete overhaul of my virtual digs to coincide with the launch of my freelance career consulting and marketing communications business.
For the past few months, I’ve poured my heart and soul into every word of every page. And today I’m excited to announce that my new site is officially live and in living color.
So welcome! Please let me show you around…
I wanted my bio to be a little unique — I wanted to share my story: from the apple farm on which I grew up that was purchased by my grandparents in the early 1900s, to my first entrepreneurial venture at age 10 to today. Oh, and there are even a few pictures to look at.
Since consulting is at the heart of my business, I wanted to provide a menu of services for each of my focus areas brought to you in four snazzy buckets: career, higher education, entrepreneurs, and medium to large businesses. Along those same lines, I also thought it was important to explain how I work with each client starting with our very first conversation.
Next, you’ll find speaking which includes a real, live glamour shot from a recent presentation to a group of eager and highly-talented MBA students at Duquesne University. There you’ll also find an overview of presentation topics, a list of the organizations at which I’ve presented, and some good old-fashioned testimonials.
My blog includes a fresh new design, tighter categories, links to sites I like, and of course no blog would be complete without Twitter and RSS feeds. I even came up with a fancy new name—Creative Combustion.
The press page includes my media mentions in a few well-known publications and is meant to establish instant credibility as well as thoroughly impress my mom (pronounced “mum”).
Finally, I’ve added a fancy new contact form to make it easier for us to connect. So what are you waiting for? Drop me a line to let me know what you think of my new digs or so we can start to explore how we might be able to work together.
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Hall of Fame
- Visual Interest: The Rise Of Photos In Online Marketing (15 comments)
- The Golden Rule Of Successful Social Engagement (14)
- Are Business Cards On Their Way Out? (13)
- Don’t Be An SEO Chaser (12)
- Using Holiday Cards To Deepen Customer Relationships (10)
- Is Going Viral An Effective Marketing Tactic? (10)
- 5 Must Read Books For Small Business Owners (8)
- Using Social Media To Break Into Your Local Market (8)
- Pittsburgh Young Professionals, PodCamp Pittsburgh, And Paneling (8)
- Delivering Killer Customer Service (8)
Getting ready to get my @burgatorybar on http://t.co/gGmL9Mg0Mj about 9 hours, 23 minutes ago
My Fast Company Blog
Creative fuel for intrapreneurs and chronic idea generators
- The Telecommuting Genie Isn't Going Back In The Bottle; Here's How To Strengthen Its Magic
- Why Invasive Marketing Will Come Back To Bite You
- Managing Customer Service In The Age Of Instant Gratification
- 5 Smart Sources For Finding The Best Startup Talent
- The Key To Successful Cross-Channel Marketing
Sites I Like
- Get Your Own Badass Business Cards @Moo
- Build Ecommerce Stores That Exude Badassery @Shopify
- Make Your Phone System Simply Badass @Grasshopper
- Manage Your Social Media Badassery @Argyle Social
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