So, how about that Roanoke Writer’s Conference?

SFSlogo

Y’all, the Roanoke Writers’ Conference was so great. This was their fourth year, and I can only imagine the total global domination they’re heading for. Get in there next year so you can be all hipster and say, “Yeah, I was going there way back in 2019 before it blew up and sold out.”

I met some fantastic people, reconnected with others, and got asked some very clever questions by folks looking to up their marketing game. As promised, here’s a link to the deck and my notes for their reading pleasure. But first, a couple of the resources I mentioned. Continue reading

So, does your biz have a social media policy?

 

SFSlogo

Even though we now shop online, bank online, and even find our spouses online, there are still folks out there meeting news of vicious social media attacks with, “It’s just the internet. Grow a thicker skin.”

But let an employee be candid about work disappointments online, and some of those same folks are ready to grab the torches and pitchforks.

We can’t have it both ways. But you know what we can have? Solid social media policies.

And your company needs one.

Need proof? Let’s look at a couple of problems you might encounter, starting with a case that’s been in the news recently.

Y’all have heard of Curt Schilling, I’d imagine. If not, here’s a recap. Let me warn you, though, it ain’t pretty. I usually keep it light around here. The issue I’m about to address is anything but.  Continue reading

So, what do Andy Beal and Wil Wheaton have in common?

 

SFSlogo

The folks at DFWSEM, who are professional but refreshingly un-phony, have a meeting the second Wednesday of each month. And said meetings aren’t just fluff and filler. They bring in some heavy hitters to speak on a wide range of online marketing and social media topics, cats like Bill Hartzer and Roger Dooley and Dallas Search Engine Academy superheroine Beth Kahlich.

Last week, they snagged Andy Beal, who’s more entertaining than a dachshund in a cardigan, to speak on what not to do online under any circumstances and then how to fix it when you do it anyway.

I blogged about it for Argent Media over at the [Ag] Search Blog, but here at Stately Studer Manor, I wanted to concentrate on one point he made. One, because it neatly dovetails with my personal philosophy of Don’t Be Creepy. Also because it was a profoundly weird story. And because sometimes, hey, we all need to be reminded of certain rules. A particular rule often called Wheaton’s Law in the nerdier sectors of the intarwebz. Y’know, Wil Wheaton? Ensign Crusher of the Enterprise? Nemesis of Sheldon Cooper? Yep, he’s got a Law. Which is this: Continue reading

So, ready to get your graphics on?

 

SFSlogo

As anyone who’s ever seen me try to decorate a cake will tell you, I am not a graphic designer. At all. And if you’re wearing a lot of hats in your small- or medium-sized biz, I’m guessing you’re not a designer either (unless you run a design firm, in which case you don’t need this post). But not being a graphic guru is bad news for both of us, buddy, and I’ll tell you why.

Gmail grid view.

Now, I’m not saying that those three words should cause you a bowelquake of panic. But I am saying you should check it out.  Continue reading

So, here’s Thought Experiment #11

Time for a Thought Experiment

There’s always time for lateral thinking.

You don’t have to be Lamont Cranston, who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men, in order to see if something’s wrong at work. If you have a business, or run a department, or supervise anyone or anything at all, you know that one of your responsibilities is to shore up the weak and make best use of the strong. That could mean people. That could mean processes. That could even mean weird directives handed down from the home office/upper levels that make no real-world sense. So here’s my question to you. Do you know what the weak parts are?

In other words, if you were the bad guy, all nefarious and mustache-twirling, how would your take down your own biz?

Maybe you’d approach a dissatisfied employee who’s vital but feels under appreciated and has been more negative than usual recently. Maybe you’d exploit a manufacturing inefficiency. Maybe you’d develop a social media strategy for your competing company that whupped the pants off what you’re currently rocking.

What’s really important is that you take stock. New year, new start, right? Like Peter Drucker said, “There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.”

Why would I ask this?

Because as you let your inner evil genius out to play, it ought to occur to you, buddy, “Hey, now I know what parts of my sky-writing firm/jelly bean factory/envelope licking service need to be fixed!”

Go on. Take a look around. See what you find.

So you wanna set the mood, baby?

Storytelling for Success Logo

Working at home = distractions. ‘S just a fact. Laundry or housekeeping if you’re feeling virtuous. Junk food and daytime TV if you’re not. And if you don’t live alone? Someone else’s robot sweeper or reality show gets added to the mix.

Enter RainyMood. With over 800 thousand shares and likes and pins, this site clearly fills a need. For me, it blocks out Matlock. But folks use it while reading, for sleeping, and for discovering new music with the swanky “add cool tunes to your rain-drenched experience” option.

There’s Coffitivity, too. For when you want to be in a coffee shop but don’t want to wear pants.   Continue reading

So, let’s talk about perception and engagement

Storytelling for Success Logo

Storytelling is a specialized subset of communication. And communication requires two parts to complete a circuit of meaning — you need a speaker (writer, artist, Martha Graham-type interpretive dancer, etc.) and a perceiver. Then those two halves switch sides so information flows both ways. Then and only then do you get engagement.

You, my darling little alpaca, only have control of one half of that circuit. What do I mean? Gather ‘round and let Auntie Steph tell y’all a tale.  Continue reading