Social media, email, and content marketing expert specializing in building project maps using the RACI chart method | Helping B2B companies implement a 9-point strategy to drive long-term and sustainable growth
Hey everyone! My gosh, has it been a long time! I’ve been so busy working on my career that I haven’t had two seconds to post on my personal website. Transparency aside, I wanted to share a new series based on a weekly project I run at work called Social Media Update. In this series, I touch on social media and general marketing strategy, and I thought it would be great to share it with you all.
I’ll work my way back to when I started at Longboard, so here is our first instalment! Have fun with it, and if you have any questions, feel free to reach out at email@example.com.
Finding the ‘intriguing angle’ is the idea that we can focus on big-picture topics like our core aspects (innovation, sustainability, quality) to create compelling content that impacts our target audiences.
When creating social media content, we can ask and answer a couple of questions:
Q: What is a significant concern for our business and other businesses today?
A: Our audience demands a greater understanding of where and how our products are sourced and manufactured.
Q: What approach can we take?
A: We can and should comment on sustainability by promoting a transparent and traceable approach. This entails a mix of carefully curated messaging that effectively positions our differentiators while driving an emotional reaction from our audience.
For example, we could share that all production is on-site and that we have an incredible production team that helps to build our premium products. We would also mention that we pursue responsible consumption and production, which helps create sustainable architecture that positively impacts the environment and the communities around us.
Our team is mindful that we must not fall into the trap of hoping word will get out and the customers will come. Through proactive and strategic messaging, we can understand why we do what we do, and share that message with the world.
So, what did you think of that? Do you feel inspired to identify some core aspects of your business, then do a deep dive into how they can impact your target audience? Please share your thoughts!
A good curveball is an opportunity (remember, problems are opportunities) to:
1 – Own your dreams.
2 – Reimagine the world.
Own Your Dreams
To own your dreams, you must recognize, acknowledge, and value the fact that something is waiting for you out in the world.
It is there to fulfill.
It exists to make you happy.
You are satisfied when united (or reunited) with it.
It becomes a part of you and can be shared with others.
Owning my dreams is being connected to work I’ve always envisioned doing—building a sustainable and scalable brand that will influence people inside and outside the operation.
Reimagine the World
Second, to a good curveball is our ability to reimagine the world. Through a clear and defined vision and mission, we can accomplish anything. With a good heart and holistic stance, our world can become something better, more equal and more understanding.
Reimagining the world involves pushing boundaries, setting new standards, and developing a structure or process that leads to innovation, progression, and growth.
I think I get thrown more good curveballs as I age, so I hope this becomes the norm and the opportunities don’t cease!
As I continue to inspire and empower people to make a difference in their daily lives, I recognize three things that matter to me today. Of course, there’s always more, but let’s get started with these!
One of the biggest influencers in my marketing career has been the formative relationships I have built over time—in both the long and short-term. Having a direct report has taught me to be vulnerable and courageous as I’ve had to steer a small team in a viable direction while maintaining strong, personal connections which benefitted the entire team. I am particularly grateful for the opportunity to work directly under the Founder and CEO of Clearbridge, Ryan Kononoff. He has taught me many things about engagement and the effort required to make meaningful projects matter to an audience. I am also thankful for every other team member I’ve had the chance to grow alongside.
You are bright.
You are dedicated.
You are special!
2 – #goodenough
This is one lesson that has helped me to conquer my perfectionism. I recall working on one of my first projects, a new brand book (or later called a Playbook), which in scope was a huge undertaking that could have demanded months of work. But with the knowledge that a marketer should be agile, or as the Agile Marketing Manifesto states –
“To keep up with the speed and complexity of marketing today, we must deliver value early and often over waiting for perfection.”
In creative marketing, we challenge ourselves by generating work that is original, unique and that manifests a change in its surroundings. In analytical marketing, we must use data sets to quantify results. Pairing the two (creative + analytical marketing) is where #goodenough truly shines—we can experiment to determine what approach works the best, and we don’t have to wait to be enlightened. We should find insights with every movement or decision we make!
3 – Indispensability
I rarely finish an entire book in one sitting. It’s often hard for me to finish it at all. I prefer to scan information and read what will be of value to me. Such was the case with Seth Godin’s book Linchpin. As he writes –
“You have brilliance in you, your contribution is essential, and the art you create is precious. Only you can do it, and you must.”
Such an important lesson because it’s much too easy to forget your worth. We must use every inch of our being to recognize and become more self-aware. In marketing, the potential to get lost in a sea of tasks and activities might forsake where the value truly lies—creating, ideating, and examining the wonder and change that a type of approach can incite.
Being indispensable takes:
A growth mindset
And most importantly…talent. You can’t duplicate indispensable work. I truly believe this!
A pièce de résistance, I hope you find value in reading it!
I love to write, and emails are a breath of fresh air.
No editing. No fancy words. No issues over length. No need for profundity.
It has been almost five years since I left Bell Mobility to pursue a career in marketing, and one thing that has drastically changed is how often I communicate via email.
I miss the simplicity of it all. I miss reaching out to my clients daily. I miss the back-and-forth motion that builds connection.
At Bell, I had so many great relationships; I used email to build better ones along the way. It was just so damn efficient. Templates allowed the writing to take shape quickly. In mere minutes, I was sending off concise and compelling messages. Over and over again. Each email was re-read once, at most twice, and then sent so I could continue to the next case. It was a beautiful workflow, and it was all supported by Salesforce.
And by the way, I am trying to write more like Seth Godin. Also, finding my way back to my university days. My favourite professor and mentor, Paul Woodrow, graded an essay I wrote on the fallacies of Coca-Cola, commenting in tiny writing and bright green ink, “Swift and punchy, Chona!”
So begets my email manifesto –
I will always try to write swift and punchy.
If I can remember to, that is.
Alas, I have a pop quiz for y’all.
I want you to decide which entry below is authentic, meaning not edited. And which one is “fake”, as in completely and utterly revised from its original style + tone.
How can you tell? What gives it away? Which is written better?
Ah, so many questions to ponder, but if only we had more time.
Off to bed, now, enjoy the exercise!
For all my years as a Corporate Account Manager at Bell, some of my fondest memories included writing emails. I loved how fluid and uncomplicated it was to craft messages on the spot without spending copious amounts of time editing. I would not mind working on some ideas to “wow” our current and prospective customers with something easy to read, memorable, and impactful!
I spent many years as a Corporate Account Manager at Bell, crafting friendly and professional emails. I thought it was so exciting (yup, I love communication!) to be able to write something on the spot that didn’t require any editing. It’s an art form really. Would love to work on some ideas to incorporate more emails into how we communicate with our customers.
After all that hard work, you’ve finally made it here.
I’m ready. She’s ready. She’s finally prepared!
“Where are you going?” it asks quizzically.
Well, I am headed toward reality.
It’s bursting at the seam from being grappled for so long.
I’ve been waiting, hankering, perfecting my song.
“Do you know where you’re going?” it asks once again.
Well, I certainly have an idea. The spot is a delight. Filled with smiling faces, happy circumstances and scenarios of hard work.
“Well, welcome home then, I suppose!” it pats my back congratulatorily.
Why, thank you, my friend! Now, let’s pencil this in!
A little explanation:
On Monday, March 14th, 2022, I had a wicked phone interview that started with a compliment about the same content you’ve been passionately reading here on ChonaBLOX. Swiftly, I was scheduled super bright and early the next day, Tuesday, March 15th, 2022, to meet the CEO and Operations Manager of Clearbridge Business Solutions. I walked away from that interview, thinking I had done horribly. And as I arrived at work, I furiously texted my husband, saying, “Man, I’m worried. I don’t think I did that well.” But it turns out I did because I received a phone call within minutes saying they wanted to offer me the job! So, it’s done. I’m starting a new journey with my new company, Clearbridge. So excited! This is going to be a lifetime experience. Can’t wait to get started!
It’s weird how important points in life can become permanent as art—written in 2018. In other words, it can feel like the universe has swallowed me up, and I have become a planet—experienced as a child and adult. So big, my sight became distorted—on the drive into work. I would look at my bedroom door, and its imposition startled me—the nightmare. I tried to comfort myself by huddling underneath the blankets, but they too swallowed me whole—while dreaming. It was and still is the most alarming thing I have ever experienced.
What is the fear factor? The risk that you will not change. The fault of your pursuits. The question of your intentions. We form who we are based upon who we’ve been and are set on a continuous quest to find and form a new self. These pieces have formed me for a small portion of time, yet they are timeless, ongoing representations of growth and quiescence. My art is my refuge. How do you relate?
Day to day, I think of ways to express the importance of change. How it can help guide us toward growth. How by honouring and trusting in it, we can start to thrive.
Still, we have such a hard time adjusting our habits. They are formed and a part of who we are, though not always good for us.
What happens when you start the process of change and go backwards, reverting to previous habits, undeciding that you’re brave enough to follow through and succeed?
These are the questions I am constantly asking myself. What will be the conclusion? How come we’re not there yet? Will we ever arrive?
And so, as change is constant, we can only continue on our quest, taking the small steps to bring us closer toward our goals.
As you search, tell yourself you’re alright. Then, document your actions and take time to examine how you got to each stage. As Deepak Chopra says, “All great changes are preceded by chaos.” Chaos being –
We all wonder about things, everyday things, that lead us to research and ponder.
For example, are you starting a new diet? Curious about trying fresh, healthy food? Just nosy about the history of something? Well, these graphics will satiate you.
The #AllAbout campaign explores a variety of fresh, local, and healthy products, giving customers the chance to learn something new in a colourful and digestible way. As part of an ongoing strategy to define the tagline #TrulyFarmtoTable, I explicitly position an image at the bottom of a newsletter, like my brother Alan would say when we were kids eating dinner at the dinner table –
“The Ultimate” a.k.a. the last bite.
It satisfies and perfectly wraps up the meal (conversely idea) (metaphorically conversation).
Are you munching on words or proverbial nuggets or just vegan nuggets?
Well, these images will work in the same way! Once again, satisfying and perfectly wrapping up your dinner.
Another analogy – who didn’t chew Bazooka bubble gum only to unwrap the tiny comic folded neatly on the inside? Take it apart. Pop the pink gum. Immediately unravel the humorous reward.
It’s a ritual in a sense, and these graphics were indeed a ritual to create. So, I hope you enjoy them and that they will entice you to…Munsch!
Daisy was always looking for inspiration, the appearance of cursive writing or the look of a padded, bulky knit sweater featuring crimson and indigo animal characters like Filburt. Anything creative, really, would do.
The day she noticed something, she quizzically peered into a bathroom mirror, hoping because she was in the large stall, her sweater would reverse.
Utterly distracted, Daisy made a note never to do it again.
“My progress has become insuperable from all the months of writing exact-sized phrases and headlines with five words or less.” Daisy thought fast while twiddling her phone in her hand.
“Have things changed in A Day? What were things like when I first started anyhow?” she thought. “Well, I was definitely more satisfied. Had a bounce to my step, could care less about the matchy-ness of my outfits. I also felt more powerful, like people were listening to me, learning from me, and so on.”
Stroking her phone, Daisy continued, “However, today, everything is an exercise—an exercise in recalling (all types included).” Distracted, she goes on, “I have great hair, and my skin is young, it seems. On that note, ageing has not necessarily imparted more wisdom or money in my purse.”
She was always digressing.
Back home, Chona grabbed her fire orange Frank & Oak bucket bag and booked it out the door. She was late, again. Always leaving the house ten minutes post-shower. She hopped into her 2008 white Rogue and took off toward the light.
The road was slick, and rain dripped down hard, like her binary code pleated skirt that streamed neon pink zeros and ones from her waist down to her thighs.
She hated driving, though. It was dangerous in Elevententeen, and she knew one day it would kill her. Still, she cranked the radio and listened to old 90s songs like The Cranberries’ Linger. She hummed this tune imagining it more regal played on the baby grand piano at her dad’s house.
When she sat back to play, his gigantic TV wouldn’t let her use the old music books, so she had to carefully balance grade 8 Royal Conservatory in volumes six, seven, eight and ten. The chords? They prevented her from falling.
Daisy’s next big project was sitting in her bag. She put it in there to prevent its glorious shimmer from stirring the Outsiders’ eyes. It could kill, and she didn’t want to be a murderer tonight.
Finally arriving, she stepped out of her car. There were Dreams everywhere! She blinked. Then, blinked again. Her eyes started to roll back into her head, and she could feel the surge streaming now from her crown down to her feet, hiding neatly inside her red rain boots.
In her room.
Someone painted her Brooklyn studio apartment bright orange-red! So, she knew the test had begun.
Should she attack? Chona could barely hold her head up, let alone break out into dance and song. She would just have to sleep it off, her phone continually buzzing that darn song. Then, like all the other times, she passed out. What remained Wide Awake in complete consciousness (forget Artha today) was her supple orange bucket bag. And within it, her project, slipping away…
“‘Oh, how I wish I could shut up like a telescope! I think I could, if only I knew how to begin.’ ‘For, you see, so many out-of-the-way things had happened lately, that Alice had begun to think that very few things indeed were really impossible.‘” – Alice In Wonderland
What happens when you lose your voice? You must force yourself to speak out loud, to as many people as possible. So often do I long to stand quietly and watch, blinking slowly at each word that exits from his mouth.
Then back to my mouth the words come again – you must speak to be free; you must believe and recount everything good that is happening. Because is it no longer impossible. It is not impossible, it is coming.