Archive for the ‘ Creative ’ Category

  • Monday, August 24th, 2015

  • Get the Lead Out. Create Scribbles.

    This is an open invitation… a call to arms, or fingers as it were. Reminding Creatives: Thinkers, Writers, Planners, Doodlers — the child at heart — to mute the mouse, quiet the keyboard, pick up a pencil and FEEL it in your hand. HEAR it scratch the page.

    Pencil - Scribbles

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  • Wednesday, July 8th, 2015

  • Summer Doldrums

    If you’re like me, the mid-summer period can be challenging in business. Client and staff vacations, warm weather & abundant sunshine, and a general “I’d rather be doing something outside” mentality all compete for your attention and get in the way of getting things done.

    What’s a business professional to do?

    summertime blues


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    There is a saying in Taoism: “The shape changes, but not the form.”

    Marketing to millennials is challenging, but in no way impossible. Many companies have already found success—and even significant growth—because they were able to connect with this up and coming market. Millennials may be youthful, but they are still people with hopes, desires and dreams. They want to interact with you. They want to customize your products. They will do their research and they will hold you accountable.

    Millennial Marketing

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    What can I tell you about marketing to Millennials that you haven’t already heard, read or researched?

    Here’s what we know: This is a generation that grew up on a steady diet of radical change. Not the kind of slow-rolling progression from the industrial revolution on, or even the 50’s revolution of a throw-away consumable culture. No, millennials have witnessed lightning fast advancements in technology, upheavals of traditional social thought, education and economic infrastructure failings.

    Millennial Marketing

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    It all starts in our formative educational settings. As the world reinvented itself post WWII, technology, industry and the concept of white collared work became highly valued with the general public. The benchmark and bottom line meant making money—as much as possible. Career paths that swelled the ranks of white collar work became the #1 desire and priority. While I could begin my 100,000 word dissertation here, I’ll sum it up instead: careers that were directly related to this new societal focus prospered, while those that weren’t so obvious in their monetary value, suffered.

    English, along with all humanities studies, skilled trades and other non-white collar types of work were pushed to the side, while a fast-track career path quickly came to dominate the overarching mentality of entire generations that developed different belief and value structures. In time, anything intellectual that wasn’t math or science related became seen as frivolous, and antiquated—a remnant of an archaic past that had no place in the world of the future.

    Writing Quotes


    So what then, does the English major offer to the workforce that other areas of study do not?
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    If you’re anything like me, you love writing. In fact, you need to. Writing offers you insight into the inner world of your mind—chaotic thoughts and all. Allowing you to see through the emotional storm, writing provides a foundation where we can begin to organize and understand that internal struggle we all face. Acting as a tether, writing gives us the chance to explore as deeply as we care to delve—or fear to.

    And honestly, the act of writing has the potential to make us better people.

    Writing for Marketing

    That pretty much sums it up—I don’t even have a choice in the matter. I need to write. I’m not writing myself into fame or fortune. I’m not writing to be the next Hemingway, Shakespeare or Gaiman. I’m writing because if I don’t, I begin to unravel.
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    Identify Your Archetype

    By Gregg Kerttula for our 15 Ways to Build Your B2B Brand in 2015 blog series

    I think the CSI theme song performed by one of the most influential rock bands, The Who, poses the question best:

    “Who are you? I really wanna know…
    Tell me, who are you? ‘Cause I really wanna know!”

    Rockin’ tune… daunting proposition, especially when aimed directly at your brand.

    Who is your brand? What characteristics does it embody? How does it engage with your audience? How does it wish to be perceived and received? Marty Neumeier, Director of Transformation for Liquid Agency, says it well; “A brand is not what you say it is. It’s what they say it is.” With this in mind, you’d best get your story straight. (more…)

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  • Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

  • The Best Cheat Sheets for Designers

    Learning a programming language or program quick keys can be like learning another speaking language.

    Creativebeacon.com has compiled a great resource of the Best Cheat Sheets for Designers available as PDF downloads. There are cheat sheets available for HTML 5, CSS3, WordPress, JQuery, PHP, Photoshop and Illustrator. Curated from a variety of sources including Tuts+ and Smashing, these at-a-glance references will quickly have you coding like a pro.

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    As a child, you are told that it pays to be positive. This theory has carried through as I’ve grown older and ventured into the professional world, particularly when it comes to writing. You shouldn’t write negative headlines – it gives the wrong message for your brand. But a recent study is telling people to bring their worst and it may give the best results.

    In a study of 65,000 headlines, Outbrain compared positive, negative, and no superlative (using words like best or better) headlines. The study found that headlines with positive superlatives performed 29 percent worse and headlines with negative superlatives performed 30 percent better. The average click-through rate on headlines with negative superlatives was 63 percent higher than positive ones. (more…)

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    Creativity is the fastest, easiest and least expensive way to bring added value to your brand, product or service. Fortunately, your next creative breakthrough can be just as fast, easy and inexpensive.

    Great writers and artists included walks into their daily creative practice. These walks provided insight and inspiration, and often served as the cure for writers block. Henry David Thoreau’s approach to the art of writing is more relevant than ever…

    “How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live! Methinks that the moment my legs begin to move my thoughts begin to flow–as if I had given vent to the stream at the lower end and consequently new fountains flowed into it at the upper. A thousand rills which have their rise in the sources of thought–burst forth and fertilize my brain. . . . Only while we are in action is the circulation perfect. The writing which consists with habitual sitting is mechanical wooden dull to read.”
    (A Year in Thoreau’s Journal, August 19, 1851)

    A recent report from Stanford University confirms what writers like Thoreau have know for centuries… walking boosts creative inspiration and increases creative output.

    So if you feel like you need a creative boost, here’s my suggestion:

    Step 1. Click the link and print out the story on “walking vs. sitting.”

    Step 2. Walk to your printer to retrieve the story.

    Step 3. Fold up the story, put it in your pocket and keep walking!

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