Thank you for celebrating with us!
Let’s chat (about small business life, your marketing needs or what you’re celebrating):
November is National Gratitude Month, which is fitting for the month that hosts Thanksgiving. It’s the perfect time to continue our annual tradition, 50 Things I’m Grateful For. It’s refreshing to jot down a happy moment in the rush of day-to-day life. Enjoy browsing my list, and join the conversation below. What are you grateful for?
View this post on Instagram
How is your audience interpreting your marketing communications? 🤔 Over the weekend, I visited Mernet Larsen: The Ordinary, Reoriented at the @akronartmuseum. In her works, Larsen plays with perspective to make viewers rethink what's happening in everyday situations, including business interactions. 🤝 Think about how your customers and prospects interpret your marketing activities and communications. Are they receiving the message you're trying to deliver? 📨 This is why it's so important to understand your target audience as much as possible, so you can connect with them in the best possible way, which may vary from customer to customer. 🎯 How do you learn more about your customers and/or target audience? One-on-one communications? Focus groups? Surveys? Data analysis? Join the conversation below! 👇 #cccgetsmktg p.s. If you have a chance to view Mernet Larsen's works, do it! They will make you think.
There’s so much in life to be grateful for, even on mundane days. Sipping coffee on a patio instead of going through the drive-thru… Walking in the park after lunch… Catching up with a longtime friend. Try to grab more moments this holiday season and beyond doing things you enjoy, however small. These moments add up to a lifetime of happiness.
So, what are you grateful for? Share your list, long or short, in the comments below.
Let’s chat (about gratitude, your marketing needs or whatever else is on my mind):
This week, Clearly Conveyed Communications turns seven! It’s hard to believe my little venture is hitting the 7-year milestone on May 15th, but I’m so grateful to so many people who I’ve met and worked with along the way.
As we celebrate our seventh anniversary, I want to share seven tips I’ve learned during our seven years in business.
Thank you to everyone who has supported us along the way. What an incredible journey it’s been, and we can’t wait to see what the future holds!
Toasting 7 incredible years,
Let’s chat (about small business life, your marketing needs or what you’re celebrating):
Editor’s Note: Thank you to Vizaca, an online magazine for global entrepreneurs and small business owners, for interviewing me about my small business journey. It was a pleasure to discover this resource and share my experience with others.
Tell us about yourself?
I’m Jaime Shine, founder of Clearly Conveyed Communications. I’m a writer, marketing professional and social media strategist helping brands communicate with their target audiences.
While most kids were playing with blocks or dolls, I was publishing magazines and newspapers – feature articles, ads, sports box scores, the whole nine yards. From promotions director to advertising roles to branding projects, I’ve always been interested in all forms of marketing. That interest blossomed into a career path and led me to open my own business in 2012.
It’s been a crazy ride, but it’s the best decision I’ve ever made. Growing up in an unincorporated village, owning a business isn’t something you do. I’ve learned so much about business – and myself – along the way.
How did you get your idea or concept for the business?
It was an aha moment 15 years in the making. One day at work, I realized that so many small business owners don’t know how to market themselves and can’t afford traditional agency fees. With my diverse background in marketing, I could start a business offering professional marketing services and experience at affordable rates. I could give brands a voice – via marketing, writing and social media services – so business owners could focus on the reason they’re in business, their sweet spot, and not struggle with marketing decisions, writing copy and developing social media strategies. While I work with brands of all sizes, I do have a soft spot for fellow small businesses and startups.
“It was an aha moment 15 years in the making.”
How much potential market share can you achieve in next 3 years?
I’m not focused on market share, because I realize I’m a small fish in a big pond. My focus is on finding the right mix of clients that generate enough revenue while still allowing me to deliver the personal service they expect.
What was the best book or series that you’ve ever read?
Three books have impacted my life the most.
A Big Life in Advertising by Mary Wells Lawrence gave me big ideas about my future (in marketing and advertising) when I read it in college. Lawrence left her mark in a male-dominated space and encouraged me to do the same.
On Writing by Stephen King is a memoir by my favorite author and a straightforward, practical guide to help writers perfect their craft. This book (and a professor) inspired me to pursue writing as a career.
Susan Cain’s Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking felt like it was written for me. There’s value in listening to all voices – not only the loudest – in business and in life.
What are the best and worst purchases you’ve ever made?
My home makes me smile every time I walk in the door. Even though I bought it at the worst possible time (right before the Great Recession), it was a smart decision. It’s hard to believe I’ve been here for 10 ½ years!
Owning a home can be frustrating and expensive, so my worst purchase has probably been a service company who failed to live up to my expectations (or even show up).
What takes up too much of your time?
Owning a business takes a lot of time. I’ve implemented processes to handle administrative work more efficiently and am starting to outsource some activities, such as IT, but there’s still room to improve. The more I can focus on my clients and revenue-generating activity, the more my business will succeed.
What three pieces of advice would you give to college students/new startup business owners who want to become entrepreneurs?
Learn from every opportunity. Pay attention and make yourself useful in every situation, from the classroom to volunteer work to your current job. It may not seem related to what you want to do, but there’s insight to be had if you’re looking for it.
Network, network, network. Your professional network can be a big boost to your career or business, but it’s up to you to build and maintain it. Get to know professionals in your industry, offer your help when appropriate and listen when they speak.
Plan and adapt. Starting a business is a big risk, but you can mitigate your risk by planning as much as possible. Why do you want to start a business? What market need are you satisfying? Who is your target audience or ideal customer? How will you pay for your business? Despite all your planning, you’ll need to adapt – to changing consumer tastes, market conditions and life occurrences. The ability to adapt is one of the biggest advantages of startups and small businesses, and you’ll need it to succeed.
Who has impressed you most with what they’ve accomplished?
I’m impressed by Richard Branson, both his accomplishments and his outlook on life. He’s experienced successes and failures but learns from every situation, even today. He’s an innovative thinker, calculated risk taker and genuine human being.
Tell us about something you are proud of – about your greatest challenge.
This spring, my business celebrated its sixth anniversary. Most small businesses fail, so I’m proud that Clearly Conveyed Communications is still giving brands a voice. It’s been a long, winding road, but what a feeling of accomplishment!
How should people connect with you?
Visit my website for my full contact information, so we can connect via your preferred channel. I’m looking forward to hearing from you.
Are you an entrepreneur or small business owner? Vizaca can help you showcase your business, connect you with the right audience and promote your products and services worldwide.
Continuing on the small business journey,
The tradition continues. Each year since 2012 (the year I started CCC), I’ve published a list of 50 things I’m grateful for. This isn’t a 5-minute exercise. I create the list over the course of weeks or even months. Oftentimes, I’ll jot down an activity I’m doing or a memory triggered by a conversation or passage in a book. What are you grateful for?
50 Things I’m Grateful For, Summer 2018 Edition
That’s my list for the summer of 2018. Take a moment to think about what you’re grateful for in your life right now. Share your list, however long or short, in the comments or leave a link to your own post. Writing down what you’re grateful for is a powerful exercise to remember to count the blessings in your life.
So, what are you grateful for?
Counting my blessings,
Danke. Grazie. Gracias. Thank you.
They are simple words yet heartfelt.
When I started this blog nearly three and a half years ago, I had no idea what to expect. It was a crazy time, equal parts terrifying and exhilarating. I was starting a business, starting a blog and walking into the unknown.
The CCC blog isn’t big by any means, but I’m so grateful. We hit 230 followers recently, and I want to say that I appreciate each and every one of you. Whether you’ve been here for years or months, I hope you find our content valuable.
Clearly Conveyed Communications exists to give brands a voice, but you give me a voice. Your questions, your interest, your likes and shares encourage me to keep writing and find others who can provide a unique voice and valuable content for you. Thank you to our awesome contributors!
Lately I’ve been thinking about the future of this blog and how we can continue to provide value to our loyal readers. You may see some changes, probably minor, in the coming months but we’ll continue to give you the latest news, updates and insight in the marketing, writing and social media arenas.
Thank you, loyal readers, for sticking by my — and CCC’s — side.
CCC is honored to accept the Sunshine Award from Ahh the Simple Life! It’s an award one blogger gives to other bloggers “who are positive and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere.” Carol Preibis, co-founder of Ahh the Simple LIfe, is a contributor to the CCC blog and also recently published an eGuide, Living a Good Life: Live a Meaningful, Happy and Fulfilling Life, which we reviewed here. Check it out!
Read Ahh the Simple Life’s nominating post (and learn more about Carol!) here.
*** How does the Sunshine Award work? ***
Upon nomination, bloggers accepting the Sunshine Award should:
*** Ahh the Simple Life Asks and CCC Answers ***
1) Why did you begin blogging, and what keeps you going?
I started the CCC blog on April 7, 2012, during the formation of my company, Clearly Conveyed Communications. Our goal has always been to inform and educate our loyal readers in the ever-changing areas of marketing, writing and social media, although sometimes we take the scenic route.
It’s been a strange and wild ride, but we hope you’ve enjoyed the journey. Sometimes we wonder what kind of impact we’re making, so it’s always refreshing to hear from you!
2) What is your favorite topic to write about?
Although the diversity of the CCC blog seems to be a big draw, I love to write, even about writing. Maybe especially about writing. Our series on the writing process is my favorite series to date on this blog.
3) What is your favorite inspirational film?
While Rocky’s victory over Apollo Creed is the epitome of the classic underdog story, I love Field of Dreams. (We even blogged about it, in relation to blogging of course.) Not only does this movie focus on baseball, it’s message of being selfless and following your dreams still resonates today.
Let’s face it: some people will think you’re crazy for following your dreams, and listening to a voice in your cornfield ranks right up there.
My favorite inspirational film outside of the sports world is Goodwill Hunting.
4) How would you describe your perfect day?
My perfect day would begin when I wake up naturally, no alarm in sight. After taking in the amazing view, I’d saunter downstairs to brew some espresso for a delicious, handcrafted latte, which I’d enjoy with fresh fruit and peanut butter on toast. The rest of my perfect day would be spent reading, writing and enjoying nature, via a trail run or hike. After a vigorous swim (and maybe some paddle boarding), we’d grill some mouth-watering fish for dinner and sit around the fire, toasting s’mores and telling stories.
5) What is the greatest challenge facing humanity today?
While our challenges are numerous, so many come back to the massive (and growing) income inequality problem. It’s disturbing how quickly people label someone not firmly upper middle class as lazy or ignorant (or both). Teachers, social workers and entrepreneurs may be some of the hardest-working people you meet, but their skills aren’t valued in our society nearly as much as professional athletes and rock stars. (No, all entrepreneurs aren’t Elon Musk or Mark Zuckerberg.) It’ll be interesting to see how this issue affects all of us in the coming years.
6) If you could travel anywhere on the globe, where would you go?
I would love to travel nonstop, experiencing other cultures and traditions, although I would make Italy (or a tropical island) my home base. I’ve long been interested in exploring my Italian roots, and I love water. Someday, I’ll wake up to a beautiful water view.
*** 6 Questions for CCC’s Nominees ***
*** CCC’s Sunshine Award Nominees ***
While our nominees are under no obligation to acknowledge or accept their Sunshine Award, we’re grateful of what they bring to the blogosphere. Take a few minutes to visit their blogs and explore what makes them tick. We think you’ll be glad you did.
Congratulations to our nominees, and a heartfelt thank you to Carol Preibis at Ahh the Simple Life for the nomination. One of the biggest blessings of blogging is the fellow bloggers that you meet, and Carol is at the top of my list.
We’d also like to thank our loyal readers! Without you, we’d be writing to ourselves in a public forum. We hope that you continue to find our content valuable and take a moment to drop us a note once in awhile. In turn, we’ll keep on keeping on trying to educate, inform, entertain and inspire.
“In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.”
-Andy Warhol (or not)
People often ask me what the hardest part of leaving the corporate world and starting my own business was. It was learning to promote myself, which may come as a surprise. Granted, I should have been doing that in the corporate world, but that’s always been an area of weakness for me.
In the past, the old adage was to keep your head down and work hard. Today, that will get you nowhere. You need to work hard and let others know what you’re doing, in a positive way. How can you do that?
Photos with faces get 38% more likes and 32% more comments on Instagram.*
Related: How to Self-Promote Without Being a Jerk (on my reading list!)
On the topic of humble self-promotion, I’m excited that the CCC portfolio page is live! Feel free to browse some of our work, and let us know if you would like to discuss a project. (Perhaps how to build your brand on social media?) 🙂
Your reluctant self-promoter (and introverted business owner),
We’ve been celebrating all week, and today it’s official. My company, Clearly Conveyed Communications, turns 3 years old.
In some ways, it seems like yesterday that I made the leap to start my own company; in others, it seems like a lifetime ago. In 3 short years, CCC has gotten social with first responders, worked with international clients and connected with people the world over. We’ve scratched, clawed, struggled and grown, experienced the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. That’s the life of a small business owner.
And small business owners are close to our heart. While we’ve worked with companies of all sizes, we love helping small businesses succeed and realize their hopes and dreams. If you’re a small business owner, drop us a line. We’d love to hear about what you’re doing, so we can help spread the word.
We’re grateful to everyone who’s helped spread the word about us and wanted to thank you. Earlier this week, we announced a contest for those who engage with us on social media and are excited to announce the winners!
View this post on Instagram
My company, Clearly Conveyed Communications, is turning 3! We're celebrating all week, and you're invited to join us. 🍸 🎉 💃 Head to the CCC blog (link's in my bio) to see how you can win CCC swag and other cool prizes. (Hint: Get social with us!) 👍 💬 📣 How do you like to celebrate?
The winners of the ‘CCC Turns 3’ contest are:
Congratulations to our winners! We’ll be in touch with more information on your prizes.
A sincere THANK YOU to everyone who has helped shape CCC in any way, from clients and customers to ardent supporters to close friends who serve as sounding boards. We appreciate you!
p.s. We’re still partying! Penelope and Mojo are swinging around the office. 🙂
Grateful and blessed,
We’re throwing a party, and you’re invited — to win.
Clearly Conveyed Communications is turning 3 this week, and we’re celebrating with our clients, customers, supporters and fans. All week, we’ll be partying (while we work) at the office, so we’re inviting you along for the fun.
While you’re here, kick off your shoes and stay awhile. We’d love to help you with your next marketing, writing or social media project. Let us know your challenges, so we can help you with solutions. Have a question? Ask!
To kick your Tuesday up a notch, here’s what we’re dancing to in the office right now. Join us!
Now that you’re done dancing, here’s a chance to win.
What’s your favorite post (or series) on the CCC blog? Let us know below to be entered to win!
(New to the blog? Check out the right-hand sidebar for recent posts, popular content, categories, subject tags, archives and contributors to the CCC blog. You may be surprised at what you find!)
p.s. THANK YOU to all of our loyal readers and followers. We love to hear your thoughts and appreciate everyone who likes, comments on and shares our posts to further the conversation.
The CCC Crew
Jaime, Penelope & Mojo