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Feeling Like A Misfit Toy

Well Halloween is over and I ate too much candy and had a wonderful time playing a police officer. My 25th birthday has come and I received a wonderful gift from Mother Nature….2 gray hairs on my birthday! Thanks for that! Thanksgiving was warm and wonderful with family that only comes to town once a year for the best food ever. And finally we begin this countdown to Christmas. The Christmas tree is up at my house and was on Black Friday. Instead of standing in lines like a cranky zombie about to bite someone’s head off for a computer or tv I spent the day at home being lazy and slowly decorating the house for Christmas. I must say it was completely enjoyable and much needed after all the events that this holiday season has brought.

This countdown to Christmas always brings canned food drives, toy drives, angel trees, company Christmas parties, caroling, carriage rides, plays, driving through miles of traffic to see houses decorated for the season….and also leaves me feeling like a misfit toy. It’s an odd comparison I guess considering the fact that I wasn’t bullied onto an island with toys that don’t work or work incorrectly. But it does feel that way sometimes when I focus more on making magical moments for others instead of enjoying them for myself. I have definitely found a new respect for the people who work behind the scenes to light the tree in New York and also all the caterers who spend hours laboring over the perfect seasonal meals just to bring everyone a little more Christmas cheer.

This year I’d like to focus on taking some time out for myself to enjoy this magical season with the rest of the gang. Reflect on what gifts I have been given throughout the year, not just the ones wrapped in paper or hidden in big bags. I want to focus on my home, my husband, and my little family. I’d like to actually watch a movie without checking my email on my phone. I know I’ve worked myself into this routine of being everything for everyone but sometimes I have to be something to myself and to the ones I love. Not just leftovers.

Do you ever work yourself into those holes? Work yourself into constantly smiling and being happy because it’s the right thing to do for others? The holidays are always crazy for me and always bring up moments of personal reflection. Moments when I ask myself…”Why did I say yes to all these events?” I say yes to these events because they are for the betterment of others and the community. I feel selfish for not giving my time to everything I can. At some point I will find better balance to my madness and maybe not feel quite so much like a misfit.

This post is dedicated to every misfit out there who dedicates their time to others and never to themselves!

Marketing For Annual Events

For the past several years I have been involved in marketing for Relay For Life of Statesville, Carolina Balloonfest, Tee Off For Teachers Golf Tournament, The Davis Regional Amazing Race, etc. What I have found to be the most effective is to build awareness all year-long so that your followers and fans have a vested interest in your charity, organization and event overall. They don’t have to be posts about the event itself all year-long but can be more seasonal, social and interactive. For example you might want to post content about the fact that Halloween is Monday and ask people what their plans are. The point of this post and main message is that you can effectively grow a large following and keep them active for an event that takes place one time every year without losing ground, energy and momentum. Some ways to achieve this are:

  • Be mission oriented but understand that everyone is not going to have the same amount of passion so try not to overwhelm your followers.
  • Care about your followers, fans and friends
  • Share ways that they can help you event, charity or organization all year-long that will build towards the event and build their excitement about how well the event goes.
  • Be a person, share stories, photos, and experiences with your fans
Those simple steps will help you build a better relationship with your fans and help the events grow larger and retain followers long after the event has taken place.

Get Local Deals And Give Back To Your Community!

So what’s this ChamberDeals.org we’ve been hearing about? Well ChamberDeals.org is a new community spirited online Deal website that promotes shopping local. I know what you’re thinking….”Another deal website? Why should I choose this one over others?” Well get ready to feel good about shopping! From every deal purchased 10% goes straight back to your local community! Of that 10%, 5% goes to the local chamber of commerce and 5% goes to the local parent teacher groups at your child’s local schools!

If you’re a business owner you’re wondering how you can get signed up to host your own Deal and the answer is so simple. If you are a member of your local chamber of commerce you can sign up today, if not then you would need to join your local chamber. The wonderful support team from ChamberDeals.org then helps you create the best Deal for your business. That’s basically it…no smoke screens or trick mirrors. You join, you host and you make money for your business instead of spending time and money on traditional advertising where the rest of the competition already is!

ChamberDeals.org has a complete marketing strategy to reach local residents and promote your Deal. With the use of social media marketing by me Ashley High Stevenson, SVP Social Media Marketing I post content daily to linkedin, facebook, twitter and other similar websites! We also have a youtube channel to educate you on just how it has helped other chambers of commerce and business owners. I hope you’re excited and ready to get signed up today! If you’re ready to start shopping then you can head over there right now!

Alzheimer’s Benefit Concert and Day of Fun

In my last post I spoke about social media marketing tips for non-profits. Throughout my career I have worked with several non-profits/charities to promote increased donations and overall awareness for their cause. I am happy to announce that I am working with Shea Musick to bring the Alzheimer’s Benefit Concert and Day of Fun to Iredell County. This event holds a very special place in my heart, my grandfather suffered with alzheimers disease for over 10 years. It is a silent criminal, stealing precious memories from those you love most. It is because of this memory and for my grandfather Alvin High that I work to promote the awareness of this event and this cause.

The event will take place at the Iredell County Fairgrounds on September 24th from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm. If you are interested in sponsoring or obtaining your own booth for the event you can contact Shea Musick or myself. We will have live entertainment, food, drinks, and activities for children. We hope you can join us for such an amazing event! Please see the flyer below for more info.

On A Mission….To Do Good

Today I had the pleasure of meeting with David Comer at Iredell Christian Ministries in Statesville,NC. Iredell Christian Ministries is a food pantry and crisis center located in Historic Downtown Statesville and sees many visitors. David expressed an interest in social media exposure for this non-profit organization and that made  me think about all the options that are open to non-profits if they choose to view their surroundings in a new light. What are the options? Where should they focus their energy and what are they trying to achieve through this exposure? These are all questions I asked before giving my own ideas and suggestions. Listed below are my view points about social media marketing  in the non-profit world.

Facebook

Facebook pages are a great way to get the word out about the location, the hours and what is needed. If they are in need of canned foods, fruits and vegetables or even volunteers. This would be a great avenue to use but will it give them the maximum amount of exposure they want? Of course not. They need to do more.

Twitter

In Statesville, NC twitter might not be the best use of time or even information because of the lack of users within a mile radius. On the other hand its a great way to share information very quickly to mass audiences everywhere for funding possibilities and donations on a much larger scale, if you want to reach outside the city for exposure.

LinkedIn

We’re all familiar with this great job hub….but it’s also a useful tool to search for professionals who are in the same position as you. Search for directors of non-profits or even non-profit groups and you are surrounded by a wealth of knowledge and information you didn’t know was possible. By surrounding yourself with others in the same situation you become a mob of volunteers working together to achieve a common goal. This can all be accomplished with social media marketing as long as you know how best to use your time and efforts.

Other countless options are available but a non-profit organization needs to think about the staff, the volunteers and the time in which it takes to create and manage such a marketing strategy. It’s all completely possible for someone to volunteer such a service. Do you have your own ideas about non-profit marketing?

Davis Regional Amazing Race

Grab some comfortable shoes and a team you can depend on! The first Davis Regional Amazing Race is coming to Statesville, NC! High Profile Marketing Solutions is proud to promote and coordinate all social media marketing for this year’s first event! Let’s give a little back story shall we? Has everyone seen The Amazing Race on CBS? Teams are paired together to compete against each other by completing tasks and challenges that can include crazy heights, eating bugs, bungee jumping, car crashes, deep-sea diving…anything imaginable that you can possibly get away with! Statesville is scaling it down to a one day event on August 12th starting at 8 am and ending between 5:30 and 8:30 pm ending at the Piedmont Healthcare Friday After Five Summer Concert in front of Mitchell Community College in Statesville.

Teams of 4 (no less than 3) will compete against each other for bragging rights and a team trophy that will change hands every year based on the winners! Each team that is signed up is currently being promoted on the Greater Statesville Chamber of Commerce facebook fan page! The team with the most “likes” on their team picture will win time subtracted from the overall time for the day. Even if a team reaches the finish line first doesn’t mean they will be the winners…votes and rules will have a lot to do with who wins and who comes up short! Participate this year by sponsoring or having your own team! 

It’s Summertime…What Should I Post?

During the summer months business pages can tend to see a decline in activity and interaction amongst fans and followers….so what should you do? There are several ideas that you can use to increase activity you just have to make sure that your content will hold your audience’s attention long enough to answer or comment. With the beach, lake, pool and summer shopping calling our fans and followers away from the computer one thing sis still certain….they still love savings and recognition!

  1. Hold a summertime contest. It could be worst tan lines photo contest, best beach sunset photo, sand castles or the biggest fish! Reward your winner with the essential summer items!
  2. Post content about summer savings at local businesses in case people are saving money and having “staycations” this year.
  3. Host a customer appreciation cookout or bbq with raffle items!
  4. Host a charity car wash at your business! Team up with a local charity promising all proceeds to them!
  5. Host an intern day at your business! If the kids are out of school then let’s put them to work!
These are easy and quick options for summer time promotions and posts for your business! Do you need help creating your own event? Contact High Profile Marketing Solutions for help today!

Don’t Make Your Customers Feel Like A Number

Early on its important to set goals for your business’s social media accounts. I think one of the worst things you can do is check your fan page numbers to see if they’re climbing. When you start your social media presence you shouldn’t be focused on suggesting people to like your sites. This is a crucial period to build your platform so that you’re customers aren’t flooded with emails and requests to like a Facebook, Twitter or Youtube account that’s blank. Think out your social media strategy.  I’ve listed a few tips on making sure you’re customers don’t feel like numbers….and actually feel like a customer you care about.

  1. Create your social media platform and  connect all forums.
  2. Fill out all information sections and tabs linking information to your website and other social media sites.
  3. Upload photos of your business, your staff and your products if possible.
  4. Set up a plan to let all of your existing clients/customers know that you have a social media presence. If you have emails you can create a professional account and then import those contacts to then advise that there is a social media site you’d like them to follow you on.
  5. Make the environment fun and safe for all followers.  Create a commitment to the social community about post quality and return comments within a reasonable period of time.
  6. Once you have created a safe, branded, complete social media presence then you can start using it as a huge marketing/advertising tool for your business.
  7. I would stay away from contests that focus on numbers, for example…”Be the 1,000th fan and you win a prize!”…That doesn’t really work for most fans because it seems like you don’t really care about anything but the number.  Instead I would focus on doing charity fundraisers like “During the month of blank we will donate $5 per customer to a charity. Please “like” our fan page and write a local charity on our wall!” It gets fans involved and you’re giving back to charity so people are happy to like your accounts.
  8. Make sure you reward your fans for following you and following the rules for all your contests. Give away a gas card or movie tickets… something that’s not expensive for you but is still really nice to do for your fans.
  9. Let your fans/followers see that people are interacting with you. Take photos and shoot videos of as much as you can so your followers can visualize your commitment to them.
  10. Ok now you’ve become “likeable” but you’ve got to market your brand effectively. This is a great time to start educating them on your products and you as a business. Then you can use those same contests and gear them more towards selling a product or getting their business. Afterall that was the whole point of having your business on social media sites. You have to translate the “likes”, “follows”, and “tweets” into revenue. And now that your fans feel like part of the family and not like a number then I’m sure they’re the right kind of audience for you and your business.

I’m Addicted To The Internet…And I’m Not Sure That’s A Bad Thing

This entire week I have been stricken with internet connection problems. No WiFi, no direct cable…nada. The only internet connection was mobile apps on my cell phone and let’s face it after a while that gets old. You can only do so much on a smart phone. In order to feel complete I need to feel the keys of a keyboard beneath my fingers and hear the sound of the snap and pop as the words come to me. So how did this make me feel? I was stressed out, flipping out and feeling completely useless. I decided to breathe deeply and focus on what I could to make me feel useful. I used this time to do my “busy work”. So in a way it was good for me to be forced to let go of the internet. After all I spend most weekends without it entirely. But the control freak in me was very close to throwing a tantrum. Which made me take a good look at myself and my work ethic. I had to admit certain things to myself that I need to change or understand better. Every person needs to do this in life…every person needs to realize that there are things that cannot be changed and some that can be changed. Before having this conversation with your business partners please have it with yourself.

1. No matter how much I schedule and plan for the day surprises are hidden around every corner and I have to make myself more flexible.

2. Do not…I repeat…Do not spend your time trying to solve a problem that you already know cannot be solved alone.  Ask for help before you frustrate yourself and exhaust your energy. You do not have all the answers. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness.

3. Take a few minutes everyday to get inspired. Read a few pages of a self-help book, listen to a new music artist, or take a quiet walk. Whatever gives you inspiration…try to spend a few minutes a day doing that.

I’m going to stop at 3 because I’ve found it’s too hard to get people to stick to more than 3.

I’m glad I realized I was addicted to the internet, those days of pure frustration opened my eyes to an understanding of my own limits that I had never experienced before. Now I will move forward everyday to make myself well-rounded  and I hope that this experience has given light to your own addictions, and will help you take the steps in personal and professional life to be well-rounded.

Social Media Superpowers

I am no Wonder Woman when it comes to social media marketing. I post what I like, what I think is newsworthy, and ultimately what I think will help give you insight into growing a successful social media platform for your business. There are always questions about what sites are hot or trending right now. A few automatically come to mind like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Foursquare. Is there more out there? Of course there is…but do you need to be on every single social media site just because everyone else is? I’d say no…didn’t your mother ever ask you “If everyone decided to jump off a cliff would you jump with them?” You need to make the decisions for your business that make sense. Understand your audience and find out where they are. You can also decide what platforms to choose based on the direction you want your company to travel in. Let’s say you’re an insurance agent and you want to attract some big commercial clients….where would you start? Well they’re businessmen/businesswomen so of course sending them business or helping them grow would be a friendly and extremely acceptable way of getting in their good graces. But how would you send them business? Simply sending referrals isn’t going to be enough…you need to think bigger! Think outside of the box. Offer them something no one else can, knows how to, or is even willing to do for another company.

Let’s Be Partners

Teaming up with another business to host events or giveaways is an awesome way of attracting business and having fun with your potential clients! Call it Partner Spotlight or something catchy that draws in other businesses. Pick one a month or one a week to partner with to spotlight their business, entertain, have door prizes, etc. If you were trying to get their business wouldn’t you jump at the chance to take them to lunch or dinner to get to know them? Well here’s a better opportunity to get to know them and help them grow.

How Do We Use Social Media To Promote It? What Would It Look Like?

There’s no need to re-create the wheel. Go talk to your local chamber of commerce and pick out some clients that you think you could help grow and would love to have their business. Give them a call or stop by welcoming them to the community and to the chamber of commerce and ask about their business. Ask what they do and how they impact the community. Ask if they have a website or social media site that you can send traffic to. Sometimes you can come right out and say “I’d love to help you grow your business! How do you feel about partnering together to host some events and attract new business for both of us?” I always say honesty is the best policy so don’t waste time beating around the bush.  The normal reaction after telling someone you want to help them grow their business is usually “That’s awesome! I’d love to! What can we do to make it work?” So hit the ground running with actual ideas and plans that way the client knows you’re serious! Create events on Facebook, send out tweets from the event, post photos on all social media sites, record video promotions before and after the events. It’s really a simple process as long as you don’t let yourself get caught up in all the “tools”. You can make these marketing attempts…so the next time your mother asks you “If everyone jumps off a cliff are you going to jump too?” you can say you have a plan…you can say you have a safety net.

 

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