I wanted to share some recent social media work I developed for DirectFood.store. Check it out and let me know what you think!
Milca (teammate) and I spent the afternoon filming on location at Goat’s Pride Dairy.
I arrived earlier, still late, but feeling excused because of the weather. I was greeted by a girl in a salmon-coloured romper, and then shortly, another young girl looking much the same presented herself smiling. They could have been twins, but one was taller and wore a hat I could not stop examining. For my life, I forget what Jo-Ann (matriarch of the Dykstra family) called it, but alas, it was some sort of hat slash cover used to protect the face and hair from harsh elements.
I asked a quiet girl sitting on a step if she knew where Jo-Ann could be. She turned out to be the farm gardener. I asked the young girls. It was only after they cautiously pointed me in the direction of the bathroom, that I noticed a small house set stoically aside an apple tree, which the girls promptly proclaimed, “That’s the shop! She is probably in there!”
And there I found her. She had an easygoing air and quirky smile and laugh. Jo-Ann Dykstra was stocking fridges for ‘social media’, which I thought was brilliant. I appreciated that she was still preparing her farm for our visit. We had a brief introduction, then went off on our ways. I had to check if Milca, my filmmaker, had arrived, and Jo-Ann was probably considering a few other things to wrap up before filming commenced.
Other family members started to appear; each one donning a bright blue t-shirt with amusing imagery and text that accurately explained the context of their ubiquitous smirks. It was fun and again very thoughtful and made a tremendous blue background for certain shots, primarily in the greens or browns.
And so she finally arrives, with all her equipment. I am mesmerized by her calm and friendly demeanour, telling myself in my head, I need to be more like Milca. We filmed for the next 3 hours, if not more. The processing room where we witnessed son Jason laboriously creating goat mozzarella (Mt. Lehman Cheese Co.). The interview portion on the backyard veranda. The goats inside their cozy home. A new baby goat only four hours old. And best of all, daughter and grand-daughter milking the herd. Finally, a quick visit to the babbling brook known as McLennan Creek, also the name of their store as prescribed on a handmade wooden sign.
It was a great experience. It felt like I was at home, as a boarder or wanderer travelling across British Columbia who finds a remote place that offers up service, work and a sprawling, farm-set playground. It was almost too hard to leave, sharing a last-minute conversation with Jo-Ann about their upcoming open house.
If you have a chance, visit their farm and experience goat farming first hand. You will be welcomed, and I guarantee, the two young farm managers will greet you with open arms, maybe matching outfits as they did us today. You’ll want to explore and find out what a smallholding agricultural operation is like.
I am just being introduced to the world of agriculture, and I am astounded every day. I look forward to learning more about farming in the future!
Here are some photos I captured. We will be sharing our first Farm Stories video soon, so stay tuned!
A differentiator is what sets you apart from the competition.
It’s playing sports vs playing ball.
It’s smiling when life throws you those base curves,
because by the end of the day, everyone will remember.
In marketing, a differentiator makes people revel.
At times in silence, but that silence is awe.
You have differentiated your product when,
people know your name by your vision,
your philosophy, your mission statement.
Your audience begins to recognize your slogan,
they begin to identify with your colours.
You are en route to differentiating when,
you feel nervous and yet grounded.
At the end of the day,
you feel like you’re taking a risk
like you’re in trouble for something because
it pushes boundaries, it causes discussions,
it breaks the rules but never forget,
you are leading the group.
A true differentiator cannot be physically realized, because it has infinite gain at infinite frequency – Wikepedia
Digital reach is UNLIMITED. How does art make a difference? COOL is an UNLIMITED concept. Take that back to the couch when you break. Like someone in sales talking about sales, talking about art takes vision. It takes direction and you must be a leader through and through. I am obviously trying to push myself. Always, always tryin’ ta be that purple cow. Let’s remind the crowd again –
The concept of the Purple Cow was introduced by Seth Godin in his groundbreaking book by the same title. Recently I read it again because it is full of ideas and case studies on how to make your business remarkable. When you drive by a heard of cattle they all look like cows and it doesn’t seem out of the ordinary. But if you drive by a heard and standing in the field is a Purple Cow you have to tell someone because it is so different. When something forces you to remark on it, by definition it is remarkable. This is what your new business strategy should be focusing on, finding ways to make your customers talk about your products to their friends.
I write about differentiation in light of the launch of DirectFood.store, an online platform that enables local farmers and vendors to sell their products to consumers, restaurants, and care homes. The food is fresh. SO FRESH. The food is local. SO LOCAL. And you get it right away, to your doorstep, the next day. DIRECT TO YOUR DOOR.
I helped to develop the brand identity which you can witness on our recently revamped website. And I run our social media campaign, which is meant to be fresh, in the definition of COOL, like Will Smith Fresh Prince of Bel-Air COOL, that shirt is sick COOL, those kicks are dope COOL.
COOL is just one aspect of the brand, obviously my favourite. But DirectFood.store is also about:
- Supporting local businesses
- Engaging the community
- Spreading the good word about fresh, healthy, organic & local food
- Promoting a good cause for the good of all people
Just wanted to share some graphics I created that are live on the website. And you need to follow us on Instagram, to check out the REAL DEAL grid. 2 posts per day. Slammin’ balls against the ground. ALL BALL SPORTS. It’s bold. It’s cheeky. It’s collage. It promotes our core values + image. It’s inspired by a retro van, who needs a name…any ideas?
I AM STILL AN ART DIRECTOR. PERIOD.
WHY DOES RANTING END BEFORE YOU’RE FINISHED?
Never let anyone sway you otherwise. If you’re capable, you’re capable. You don’t go back in time. You move forward. And forward-thinking people, know the game. But they’ve got their own game going on, and other people play that. That’s it. Goodnight.
PS – Props to Gurwinder!
PPS – A little lightness. I am lovin’ my work, my day, my grind at i-Open Technologies!
Delivering Real & Sustainable Technology Solutions for a Better Planet. Hi Ray!
As writers, we encounter roadblocks. For myself, one main challenge is believing that my voice, tone, and style are appropriate for business. Letters are usually a personal message sent to a loved one or friend. They can also be a crucial marketing piece, a clever (business letters should be clever) tactic to generate warmer leads.
So, how then do we craft a letter to a prospective client? And is there a way to write a letter that has the voice, tone, and style of a personal message?
In my mind, I envision a communicative piece that is not only unique (resonates with the world) and relatable but effective in portraying a brand’s core message and purpose. After all, at this stage, we are not trying to sell, we are building momentum to get to the selling point. Through powerful storytelling, our approach should stir emotion, provide vital detail, and promote a new relationship that could ultimately blossom into conversion.
I’ve put together notes based on a course I’m taking about brand strategy and expression. The notes identify our writer, audience and customer along a certain trajectory, starting with an introduction to their wants and needs and ending with a transformed sentiment that ushers the participants toward exploring whatever they have defined it to be, on a deeper level.
Have a read and let me know what you think!
Using what we know about our audience, we want to paint a picture of our customer’s backstory. This backstory includes what they are familiar with, and how they see themselves. Our goal is to distinguish what type of information could draw the customer in. By identifying relevant demographics and psychographics, then establishing a matching voice, tone, and style, we can conjure an experience that the customer will be ready to associate with.
Whatever our customers may be struggling with is presented to us as their wants and needs. We must ask ourselves, what is their current conflict, what do they need from us, and what emotions should we spark throughout the entire experience. To capture our audience at this stage, messaging must resonate and provide an opportunity for our customer to feel empathy with the characters (voice, tone, and style) that we have now established.
Call to Action
At this step, our audience carefully embarks on the journey, as they have made the decision to call upon this obstacle in their life. Either through increased stress or via messaging that sparks action, our goal here now is to express in a clear and articulate manner the reasons why we are here for them on the journey, emphasizing benefits, launching a revelation or some educational insight.
Meeting the Guide
Here the customer finally meets the guide, who is us, the brand. After being presented with a call to action, the customer has assessed his situation, wants to be further enlightened, and find this so called trajectory to embark on. We have their hand the entire time, and soon after, they become the ones to guide us.
Upon the new journey, the customer must now reveal her vulnerability and innermost fears. This can be accomplished through emotional investment or writing that breaks up the challenge into little pieces, making it easy to consume and digest. Our audience may be struggling, however, their desire for a resolution has been roused, so they will continue to explore the presented avenue, unafraid, because they are one step ahead of us.
Once we have piqued our audience’s desire for change, mutual reciprocity can be established. The brand’s efforts are paying off and the audience begins to see the rewards. At this stage, it is important to portray contrast between what once was and what is today. This same contrast can be shifted slightly to represent what is today and what the future holds. The emotion felt now is hope, which leads to trust status between the customer and the beloved brand itself.
The New World
Armed with trust, our writer has a new perspective. The obstacle has been overcome and they are inspired to take new, specific actions toward changing the very framework of their business. At this step, belief is established and can continue to blossom under an established agreement or circumstance. I may not meet you, but you will meet my brand and it will help you to do your work, become a better entrepreneur and commit to a brand new cause, because we are here to create solutions for the betterment of humankind.
Go big, right?
Of course, writing the actual letter would not be so dramatic, and roles so cryptic. But what really works well reading the above, is watching a top-rated advertisement on YouTube (try using Elton John & John Lewis & Partners Piano Christmas Commercial), then immediately after, reading this post. You might find that the storyline makes more sense, and ultimately you should be able to apply it to your business letter sales process.
Have fun ingenues!
Here is my latest marketing training presentation. Hope you enjoy it, if you have any questions, feel free to reach out!
Keyword 1 – Connection
Keyword 2 – Automation
Keyword 3 – Transformation
I worked on these two documents over the span of a year. They were presented during my second interview with I-Open Technologies and contributed toward landing the position! Have a read and I hope you enjoy them. Even though I won’t have as much time to work on Blox. Communications, I’m sure my new role will provide ample opportunity to develop and implement more exciting campaigns.
I won’t go on about the trials and tribulations of 2019, because there were too many. The year felt like a constant questioning of my best-fit existence.
This was me: So, there’s tape (and mind you, I’m pondering colour, weight and texture) on the middle of the ground and I must jump back and forth, from side to side almost every day.
In the end: I did make some spectacular connections (lol), some I hope will not expire AND I have exited on the other side (but which side of the tape, she said? L.) victorious, in my eyes.
Looking forward to fulfilling the role of Online & Digital Specialist for I-Open Technologies and their group of companies. Some keywords I hope to define and tackle – connection, automation and transformation … to the future everyone!
I created a brand strategy presentation with the hopes that it would inspire change. As mostly an introduction, I failed to address several elements, including company (Buyer) positioning, strategic factors and most importantly, key stakeholders (employees). Failures aside, I’m quite confident that I could deconstruct the design and come up with a feasible, long-term plan that would incite metrics for profitability, scalability and an improved customer experience.
The greater joy is the chance to do this work with a team. A fearless leader to look me in the eye and say, “This is amazing. But what are you going to do with it, Chona?”. And then, to be surrounded by other supportive creators; we could sit down together and come up with something rather attesting! Marketing is always about brilliance, because there are a trillion answers and a trillion more ways to approach what we do (thanks to our beautiful digital landscape!).
Enjoy #impromptus no. 3 and take note: having a template works wonders and I highly recommend it to anyone trying to develop their technical writing skills.
*Featured Image by Kasimir Severinovich Malevich | Black Cross (1923)
Here’s a rant I wrote when returning from a run a little while ago. Sometimes these ideas get stirred around during physical activity, perhaps a cocktail tumbled by adrenaline, cortisol and/or endorphins. Needless to say, it doesn’t take much energy for me to produce content, as I’ve said this time and time again. What takes energy – and time – is pairing down said content, so that it makes sense to my audience and can relate to my work as a whole. Have a read (some major thesis edits were made) and tell me this: how would we A/B test to further quantify/qualify this as an experiment?
abstract – italic (R) : Visual Transparency & Communication, what makes AI right-brained, Insight / bold (L): platforms, IT, ME, WE, US, UP sales, Currency / underlined words have DUAL meaning (typically analog vs digital
2-way communication is what we’re dealing with today. It is no longer multiple channels (which I think is still the way most dominant marketers believe it to be), but 2 separate, individually performing platforms that interact with each other, either knowingly or not.
So, say there’s Platform A and Platform B. An example of this idea is when I sat down to use Markeko’s FB Blueprint Exam Study Guide YouTube video. As platform A, I intentionally participated in communication. Markeko was Platform B and he simply took my need and fulfilled it. Now, the way this works as a 2-way communication experience is what I take from him is fed back in his direction. He may not know this, or need it, however, the point of the ‘internet of things’, is this interaction in existence.
IT (internet of things) is a thing in the air, in our system, online that is being dispersed, received, re-dispersed and transmuted into other forms. These forms utilize adaptive learning or my exploration of AI as a right-brained system. IT will impact our economy and the poverty line, because we will be able to apply it to everything (Visual Transparency/Communication). WE can begin (as marketers, social media specialists, art/creative directors) to imbue all of our work with this element.
IT is not a new element. Marshall McLuhan’s explorations of ‘medium as the message’ were done in the late 50s. But our society has changed, and we have not figured out a way to apply his concept to our new technologies. IT has been explored by many (think movies, books), but we (apparently) have a small percentage of geniuses, intellectuals and educated individuals with high IQ+EQ+PQ (Global Comprehension), so we have an enormous remainder of people left out externally.
We are all internally capable, but the ‘alone ability’ to read or decipher content and context using right-brained AI in today’s digital circumstance deserves more recognition.
The amazing proposition (GC) is that, again, we as marketers and social media specialists have both the ability and avenue to distribute this new form of technology, as we are catering to clients, businesses large and small, that require some form of interpretation for their business needs. We are developing their projects, campaigns and overall the content of their identity with purposeful motivation. Therefore, behind the scenes, each project or campaign where we can apply the maximum effects of visuality (Visual Transparency/Communication) will cause massive changes in branding, marketing and sales applications. This holistic approach will impact the general stream of Insight (Insight Selling – right-brained) and paired with Solution Selling (left-brained), we are fully realizing AI and what it can do, for society, culture and most importantly …
This is my notion of XE (Currency). High-quality work that only a true and talented artist can create, combined with that person’s ability to make the most abstract concepts and ideas, will turn them into (Visual Transparency/Communication) money. I say money (interchangeable with Currency/Insight), because we know WHAT this is – customers, clients, target audiences are accustomed to a high-level customer experience.
According to my findings – this service is enjoyable. They want to deal with us. They want to see our results. The whole experience, for both the Seller & Buyer is productive.
And then, it just turns into a pay-it-forward type of system. Pay me, I will pay you back, well now, let’s pay them, and finally, why not just pay the whole existing world? I am scaling the most minute, Critical Mass to create a huge tidal wave effect. Again, this effect is imbued, may or may not be intentional, but the point is, it will snowball toward to right direction, UP.
This is the way I built it. More equality, happier business owners, more enticing and vibrant ads, campaigns that focus on world change and not simply on reach vs influence.
I would love to present this idea to the CEO of Microsoft and see what he would have to say. The most brilliant thing I have experienced, just in the last week, is while studying for the FB Blueprint exam (September 2019), I’ve begun to learn these new terms, almost 100% analytical and in turn I am funneling my right-brained ideas into beautiful left-sided friction. Highly needed as my conscience purports many individuals disagree with anything termed right-brained. So then, let’s get measuring!
The below is more abstract, but perhaps you want to read it –
The strength of application lies in between ability (to develop sound) and our ability to apply (these concepts) to solutions (sight) that would impact our interaction with customers. I often develop concepts in sets of 2. I believe DUALITY is a great way to present information (internally and externally), because it provides CHOICE (to see and/or hear). And everyone likes to choose what they think is BEST for them. This is where my Seller & Buyer persona study began – choosing a WAY to communicate, to tell a story, to sell/buy a TALENT, that’s IT/ME/WE/US/UP!
And so, can you see how we hear things together?
I just wanted to break down the steps that were involved in developing a digital marketing startup agency. Now, I don’t have a formal background in business or marketing, so it’s taken me awhile to put all this information together. One thing I know about being a mostly abstract thinker is that, following a logical progression based on reasoning and detail is a lot easier than gathering data that is specific to a certain cause and effect. So, this is my attempt at quantifying and qualifying the work I did at VanWhistle Media. Note: I am no longer affiliated with the company. The reason why I left was that my creative vision did not align with the founder’s business style. The owner is always in charge – #winknudge! Jeremiads aside, I am now identifying with the title Creative Director because my work crosses over the walls of artistry into a very consummate dedication toward design and strategy.
If you have any feedback, I am all ears. Please reach out!
Duration: 6-month contract
Goal: To establish company through brand development and product awareness.
Outcome: Sizing market, understanding market potential and organizational design.
- Startup Development (stages / discovery, strategy, implementation, mid-measurement *wider release required)
- Concept & Research
- Commitment & Traction
- Software application – Pipedrive, Qwilr, Pomodoro, Canva, Basecamp, Ahrefs
- Sales & Marketing (stages / discovery, *heavy strategy, implementation, mid-measurement)
- Working directly with company CEO
- Development & Launch
- Sales strategies and marketing approach – solution selling (action), insight selling (aim), prospecting methods and scripts, Letter of Engagement, Value-Based Price Sheets, Mom & Pop Store Spring Promo, Door to Door Mapping)
- Creative & Technical Writing (stages / discovery, strategy, implementation, early measurement *wider release and further market research required)
- Strategic Development (responsible, transparent & accurate)
- All creative and copy across multiple platforms
- Campaign Creation – #ourlocalcrew (awareness/brand image), #targetaudience (definition), #thursdaytheory (attraction)
- Brand Development (stages / discovery, strategy, implementation *establishing workflow, process & guidelines)
- Promote brand
- Promote products/solutions
- Buyer Persona and Market Research – Brand Concept Kit, VWM Complete Branding Package)
- Solution Development (stages / discovery, *heavy strategy, implementation, early measurement)
- Website Revamp/Rebuild/Build (The Hub Concept)
- 1st Meeting Form, Digital Marketing Plan, Value-Based Price Sheets
- Media Kit, Digital Presence Business Model, Step by Step SEO Guide
- Content Creation (stages / discovery, strategy, early implementation)
- Simpler & Larger, Passion & Efficiency, Seller & Buyer
- The Hub Concept, Digital Collaboration
- Digital Presence, Make Change Happen
- Art Direction (stages / discovery, strategy, implementation)
- Communication style – branding, project documents
- Design style – marketing & sales collateral, Media Kit, logos
- Contract and proposal templates (100% original design and content)
- Project Management (stages / discovery, implementation, early measurement)
- Coordination & Scope
- Bottom-Up & Kanban
- To promote and encourage incremental, logical change without triggering fear of change itself