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Passionate Digital.

Written Words

  At the time “selling insurance” was to me the prototypical “job.” No offense to insurance salesmen. I’m sure there are plenty of them who love what they do, but to me, it was the epitome of what I didn’t want in life. Even at that young age, I knew myself fairly well. I knew that if I wasn’t internally motivated, there was no amount of external motivation that could make me move. Nothing could make me sell insurance. I didn’t care about it. I knew what I did care about, though. Music. There was nothing that I loved more.…

If your answer is no, that’s ok. You’re making advertising. Advertising is great for a lot of things, but don’t make advertising and think you’re making content. Don’t make advertising and expect to receive organic reach. That Pearl Harbor Day post from the pre-packaged food brand? That’s advertising. Same with the R.I.P Prince tweet from the clothing store. If you’re trying to sell something that isn’t a concert ticket or the new season of Game of Thrones, that’s probably advertising too. If its non-existence wouldn’t cause people to ask for it, it’s advertising. People are SICK of brands confusing advertising…

Social media and I grew up at about the same time. In 2005 when I got my first music industry job with an actual paycheck, I was still finishing my bachelor’s degree at KU and eager to prove myself as a legitimate presence in the business. Social media was in a similar spot. Myspace was barely a year old, and Facebook was still only available to college students. Twitter and Instagram hadn’t even been thought of yet. In the media landscape of that time, few were considering social as a serious outlet for their marketing messages Things have changed a…

Dale Carnegie typed out this mandate in his enduring tome on How to Win Friends and Influence People way back in 1936. He realized 80 years ago the same thing that many of today’s most popular brands have, that the best way to bring someone around to your way of thinking, is to make them feel like they matter. So fundamental to a person’s wants and desires is the feeling of importance, that if you can give them that gift, they will stand by you despite all sorts of other faults.   One of the major discussions happening in agencies…

How do you create content for your social media channels? If you’re like most social media marketers, your publishing schedule is based on some vague idea of “engagement” or “community.” Only after the fact do you dig up more precise numbers to see how your content performed. It’s easy to get into the bad habit of only thinking about metrics after you’ve published. You post a video and then realize it received a lot of shares. Or maybe a graphic you tweeted got a ton of likes. But what if you could create content with the end goal in mind from the very start? What if…

It’s May. The hoops season is over, spring football is done, and you’re beginning to look forward to the end of baseball/softball seasons. Summer break is almost here. For social media managers in college athletics, it’s easy to stay in reactive mode. The industry is kind of built around that mindset. You see what happens on the court or the field, and you react to it. It’s a natural ebb and flow. Staying in that mindset is dangerous though. If you’re always reacting you can never get ahead of the wave. You’ll always be playing catchup, and eventually you’ll be left…

It’s the same with social media content. Sometimes the purpose of your content is to very intentionally and specifically drive traffic into your house. If you’re optimizing content for clicks, you’ve left the door wide open. But why would you ever leave the door closed? Too often brands spend all their time decorating their front porch with flowers and chair swings but forget to do the work of opening the door. Sure, your viral content might be gaining you a ton of attention points, but if the door’s locked there’s nowhere else for that attention to go. That’s why in…

If you’re a social media manager for a major brand, there are certain concepts and phrases you’re going to get really tired of. How sick do you think @Nike is of typing “Just Do It?” I’m sure @Volkswagen has worn out the letters VW on its keyboard. It would be natural and totally understandable for their social strategy to drift away from these themes over time. But guess what? It’s those themes that attracted followers in the first place. It’s the big ideas that make your brand what it is that attracted your social community. So give your followers what…

Everything looks and feels the same. We’ve reached a point in the recruiting game where the importance of social media, graphics, and branding are indisputable. No longer are they a “nice to have,” they’re now clearly a necessity. Early on in the evolution of this digital shift, having a rock star graphic designer on staff or on retainer was enough to set you apart. If you were creating modern designs that appealed to teenage athletes, you could win in this new space. No longer. Every school is creating graphics, and if you didn’t know better, you’d assume there was one…

I read “Permission Marketing” by Seth Godin 10+ years ago. It was a crucial read in the early development of my career as I integrated the book’s philosophy into nearly everything I’ve done since. Little did I, know just how prevalent its world view would become within the fabric of social media and content marketing. In the book, Godin describes Permission Marketing as “the privilege (not the right) of delivering anticipated, personal and relevant messages to people who actually want to get them.” Seventeen years after its initial publishing, marketers are using the book’s ideas more than ever. They are the…