Pinterest: In The Spotlight

Pinterest: In The Spotlight

Pinterest: it’s not just for soccer moms and DIY crafty types. This visual-oriented social platform can be a great place to showcase your business.

Pin this: Now you can spotlight your Pinterest boards right on your website. Just click on the arrows button on the board you’d like to spotlight and grab the code for your site. Nice & easy!

If you’ve yet to utilize Pinterest for business (or aren’t really sure what you’re doing), start with switching to (or opening) a business account. You can still use your account for business and pleasure if you’d like. Switching to a business account just gives you access to analytics and other helpful tools. See which pins are driving the most traffic to your site, being repinned and drawing users in to click for more information.

After setting up your business account, get pinning with these tips:

  • Take advantage of board descriptions — Let other Pinterest users know what they should expect to find on each board. This is a great place to draw people (and potential customers) in! p.s. Don’t hesitate to include a couple of relevant hashtags to your board subject matter.
  • Share the love — Repin relevant information from other users in addition to pinning original photos, infographics and images. This is a great way to connect with other like-minded users and develop your professional network.
  • Find when your audience is on Pinterest — conventional wisdom has been that Pinterest is busier at night and on weekends but that may not be the case for your audience. Play around by posting at different times on different days until you begin to understand when your audience is on the popular site.
  • Show your story — Pinterest is a great place to show your story, not tell it. Showcase your products and services, successful case studies, happy customers, company culture, community involvement, industry, etc. Don’t be afraid to show some personality and let people know who you and your business are.

Real world examples:

  • Have a blog? Create a blog board for your posts and consider including interesting posts from other blogs as well.
  • Sell services? No problem! Stop users mid-scroll by showing the service in action. Let potential customers imagine themselves utilizing the service, so they can click through to your site or contact you for more info. CCC has marketing, social media and writing boards.

Your Turn

Is your business on Pinterest? Share your URL in the comments!

Who’s your favorite brand to follow on Pinterest?

Any other helpful Pinterest tips?

Visually inspired (and impaired),
Jaime

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14 Tips for the High School Class of 2014

college workspace

Oh, the memories. My desk in my college dorm room… I didn’t gain an appreciation of clean lines and white space until later. 🙂

  1. Always carry a notebook. You never know when an idea will strike. (This post was born in mine.)
  2. Start building your professional network now. It’ll come in handy later (and that may be sooner than you think).
  3. Learn every day. Formal education is important but remember that some of your most important lessons will come outside the classroom.
  4. An inspired professor (adviser, coach, counselor, etc.) can change your life.
  5. Be proud of how you got here and plan for the future, but always live in the moment. You miss so much when you don’t.
  6. Work hard but take a moment for yourself now and then. College (and life) should be fun too.
  7. Be a broke college student/young professional now so you can live a little later.
  8. Take a risk. Do something that makes you nervous — and excites you.
  9. Always think of real world applications. How will this class help prepare me for a career? How will this degree help me pursue my dreams? How does this apprenticeship prepare me for my future?
  10. Intern, intern, intern. (And that doesn’t mean you have to work for free.)
  11. Call your Mom once in awhile. She’ll appreciate it. 🙂
  12. Take good advice. (The hard part is knowing which advice is good.)
  13. Make your own decisions. Others can recommend, suggest and help guide you, but you’re responsible for your education and life.
  14. Some may think its cheesy, but take the time to walk on graduation day. You’ll be glad you did later.
college graduation photo

Smile! You’re a college graduate. Yours truly, before walking at graduation.

Share Your Real World Experience

What other tips do you have for this year’s high school graduates?

What do you wish you would have known at 18 years old?

What’s something that you did that worked wonders for you?

p.s. Did you know CCC helps with resumes, cover letters and personal essays, too? They’re a big part of your personal brand, which we all have today, like it or not. What does your personal brand say about you?

Class of ’99 and ’03,
Jaime

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Your Comfort Zone: Where the Magic Happens

Your Comfort Zone: Where the Magic Happens

“Your comfort zone, where the magic happens” by oklanica via CC2.0

We’ve all seen this picture before, and I get the message. Sometimes you have to do things in life and business that make you uncomfortable in order to succeed. But if you’re uncomfortable day in and day out in your normal environment, are you really going to accomplish much?

Here’s my advice: get in your comfort zone. Find out what makes you productive.

Are you distracted in a condo cube environment? Wear headphones or ear plugs. Do you get brilliant ideas outside of the office? Go for a run or head for a coffee shop for lunch. Early riser or certified night owl? Talk to your boss about adjusting your hours or allowing you to handle certain tasks at home.

We all have preconceived notions about how business is supposed to work. Sometimes these long-held beliefs actually make us less productive, less efficient and more frustrated.

So go ahead… think outside the box to find your comfort zone. Hey, it’s where the magic happens.

How do you get in your comfort zone?
In my comfort zone (blogging at 12:30am),
Jaime

Connect with CCC: we’re in your comfort zone! 
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And The Award Goes To…

CCC is excited to accept its second award for this blog — The Butterfly Light Award — from Sage Doyle, author of The Journal of Wall Grimm and guest blogger extraordinaire.Thanks, Sage!

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This award is given to those who are using their blog to spread light or be a positive influence in today’s world. We’re honored to accept this award, because we’re big believers in helping others, bringing a smile to people’s faces and Paying It Forward. With every post, we’re aiming to help business professionals and small business owners with their marketing, writing and social media efforts while also reflecting on life, lessons learned and what moves us as human beings. If one person walks away from reading a post with more knowledge, an idea for her business or a smile on his face, we’ve done our job. If we’ve accomplished one of these goals with you, please chime in and let us know about it! What post(s) or type of post(s) are your favorite?

Now comes the hard part: choosing who we will bestow this award upon. We appreciate the entire CCC community for your loyal reading, continuing the conversation with your keen insights and comments and sharing our posts with your networks. When thinking about what this award stands for, one reader quickly came to mind.

Rich Mistkowski of Proforma ROI Marketing

Rich is a small business owner, volunteer firefighter, husband and dad. He and his wife, Lisa, are blessed with two great kids, including Mattie, who has Down Syndrome. The family is active in promoting Down Syndrome awareness and supporting the Special Olympics. As a volunteer firefighter of 30+ years, Rich has been involved in numerous fundraisers, charity benefits and helping out those in need. He’s truly one of the good guys, and we’ve thoroughly enjoyed working with him for the past year. Congratulations Rich, you deserve it!

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Rich and Mattie hang out at Mattie’s favorite place — the fire station. Mattie wants to be the first firefighter with Down Syndrome. Go, Mattie!
(Photo courtesy of Rich Mistkowski)

 

“I’m blessed to have Mattie as my son. “It never ceases to amaze me about the impact that Mattie has on people. He seems to be able to bring something out in people that I’ll never understand, but always marvel at.”  –Rich Mistkowski

Thank you to Belinda for creating this award to promote positivity and helping others.

Cheers,
Jaime

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An Omnipresent View? The Life of a Small Business Owner

As I sit here and watch the conclusion of the Nets-Heat game, my thoughts keep drifting back to my business. It’s not for lack of excitement: this game, and especially the 4th quarter, has been a back-and-forth affair. In fact, I’m loving the view on TNT Overtime:

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Wouldn’t it be great if you had this type of dashboard for your business? I’m not talking about social media software but an overall sneak peek into the state of your business. Cameras focusing on different areas — key clients, where the action is, your cash flow, etc. — along with measuring fan excitement and the overall score. Oh, and the ability to pause (vacation, anyone?), rewind (eliminate a mistake before it happens) and fast forward (through a crappy day). Hey, I can dream, right?

While we don’t have an omnipresent dashboard view of our businesses, we do have resources at our disposal. This week is National Small Business Week, celebrated annually every year since 1963. If you’re an entrepreneur or small business owner, check out the following ways you can participate:

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, more than half of Americans either own or work for a small business, and they create about two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. each year.

Whether or not you’re a small business owner, you can help! We can all shop small, and not just one day or week a year. Visit the Shop Small Map to check out dining, shopping, entertainment and other small biz options in your community or search online. (Social media is a great tool to search and gather feedback on small businesses you find.) As Business News Daily points out, it’s National Small Business Week, and you (yes, you!) should care.

Well, the game’s over (Heat won!), the tornado warning has expired and the flash flood warning is winding down. I guess I should wrap up this blog post; I’ve got a client meeting early this morning (before you’ll even read this post). Crank up the espresso machine…

p.s Looking for writing, marketing or social media help? This small business would love to help!

Small Business Owner, Writer, Driver & Janitor,
Jaime

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