It is easy to get stuck in our daily routines -- coffee in the morning, your normal drive to work (or a short walk to the home office), a quick lunch break to keep yourself fueled, coffee breaks in the afternoon and a drive home around 5pm, to hopefully have the right ingredients in your fridge for dinner. Some days (or weeks) can feel so routine that you end up driving yourself crazy or just falling into a complete state of comfort. And then, out of nowhere, your boss throws a random luncheon or happy hour event at you, and says “please attend this next week for us”. “Do I really have to?”, you think.
Well, the answer is yes. If you want to get ahead in today’s world, the answer is yes. We often hide behind our phones or computers and believe that a simple email will get the job done. We all do it, so don’t worry, you are not alone. There is always room to improve (and that is why I am writing this). Attending an event for work or hosting something to bring people together will make a small difference every time you do so.
Back to the luncheon that your boss asked you to attend... How are you going to walk into that event? Business cards in hand? Or a simple jet to the back table and a quick exit out the side door. Again, we’ve all done it. Lets just take this read as a friendly reminder to walk in with your head high, a few introductions to new faces, and then from there, enjoy that lunch or cocktail and be on your merry way. Every time you make an appearance, is a reminder to those in the room (and your boss) of who YOU are and WHAT your business does.
That brings me to the events and organizations that 440 Marketing has gotten ourselves involved with. If you missed our Yappy Hour events this past summer, don’t worry, we will have a couple pop-ups this winter at indoor dog friendly spots. These events were hosted to bring dog owners and lovers together, at client locations of 440, for happy hour (of course) and to support the Cleveland Animal Protection League. We will be hosting a Murder Mystery Dinner event at Sol restaurant in Downtown Willoughby this November 7th. Another way to bring folks together while supporting a local business. And of course, it is important to support the chambers and other community organizations. We’ve been working closely with the Lake County Development Council for the past three years. Promoting economic development and enhancing the quality of life in Lake County!
We hope that this simple read will give you a boost of encouragement to get out there and remember you are not alone. Take on the new week, and year ahead, and devote yourself to a new event every so often. It will pay off.
Posted by Sarah Bals | Oct. 14, 2019
Instagram has come to be one of the hottest social media platforms in existence. Starting off as a photo posting site, the network has grown to be much more. Between posting photos and videos, Instagram users can also follow many different kinds of accounts in addition to their friends and family. Memes, dogs, news, products, local happenings, and everything in between can be found on your Instagram feed.
It can be frightening! The search bar also presents you with a plethora of content that may spark your interest. Accounts that post relatable content is a crucial way to gain followers. Users can post to their Instagram stories as well as go live for their followers to see. Frequency is key, when your followers see and like your posts, more will begin to follow you. As a business, going live at an event or perhaps to showcase your products/ services allows your followers to see what you offer in action. Videos and photos give Instagram users a clear depiction of what your business is about and who you are. Posting relatable and relevant content that people want to stop and read will help your business be successful. Creative posts with a clever hashtag may even start to spread to users who visit your business, this becomes free advertising for you. Hashtags hold a lot of power on Instagram because once a hashtag is created, users can click on it to see who else is using the hashtag and in what context it is being used. Some awesome examples are:
#cleveland #clevelandohio #440marketing #socialmediamarketing #thisisCLE #ohio #lakecounty
Amongst hashtags such as these is a lot of information: the business’s name, location, qualities and more are listed. Businesses should be mindful of Instagram and realize the power it has come to hold. Creating an account for your business may be just what you need to give your business the edge it has been missing.
Overwhelmed yet? 440 Marketing is here to help. Our team of experts are all experienced and up-to-date with the latest Instagram features. Making your job less stressful. Check us out Instagram today and get in the know: @440_marketing
Posted by Sarah Bals | Dec. 17, 2018
The 440 Marketing logo portrays the creative spirit of our social media marketing company and the clients we serve in several ways. The Ohio icon is easily recognizable and celebrates the strong sense of civic pride felt by residents and small businesses within the 440 area code and its neighboring communities. The line through the "O" serves two purposes:
1) It reaches upward to the geographical location of the 440 area code in the state and
2) is a play on the name “440 Marketing," as residents almost unanimously refer to the area code as “44-O” (Pronounced "Oh"). The line visually distinguishes the "0" in the company name from the capital letter "O". The clean typeface selection complements the monoline imagery and soft, tonal colors used in the 440 Marketing logo. The conscious choice of light, natural colors represent the area's most important natural resource, Lake Erie, and the miles of shoreline along the county. Similarly, the vivid colors express the harmonious culture that 440 Marketing strives to uphold both in company attitude and business practices.
Posted by Sarah Bals | May 23, 2018
As you scroll through your Newsfeed, you can’t help but see Facebook friends that have shared videos, posts, and other media content. With the millions of posts shared a day, it is hard not to see what your friends are sharing with you no matter if it pertains to you or not. Keeping in mind that there are many types of media shared; whether it be funny, sentimental, cute, or informative they seem to appear more and more on the daily. This has become a huge advancement for companies on Facebook and Twitter especially as they can easily be seen by you and all your friends by the simple act of a repost. The power of a simple share can make your friends/followers more informed.
What can Social Media Marketing do for your business?
Social media consumes much of our daily lives, between scrolling and posting we are constantly connected. A social media marketing team may be the component your business is missing. Allowing a team to create and post content for you while simultaneously observing the general public allows your business to work to cater to people’s needs. Promoting events and remaining present on sites is crucial to getting your business’s name out there. Rather than trying to figure out what works and what doesn’t, devote your time to other matters. 440 Marketing has all your social media marketing needs covered!
Posted by Sarah Bals | March 23, 2018
Knowing how to work the room (or the bar) is one of the most underrated skills an entrepreneur can possess. You know that networking is everything, from gaining job opportunities to ringing up sales for your company, but maybe you’ve never thought of it as a skill you can learn. Here’s five simple ways to network – based on my own experiences – to get you started.
Just Be You
I’ve had the good fortune of meeting so many interesting people over the last couple of years, from local community leaders to local business owners. I enjoy meeting people. When I show up to present myself to clients (and remember this: everyone is a potential client), I rarely have a sense of nervousness. Why? I show up as myself! I may not have all the answers to solve a particular challenge and I know that going into the meeting. The most important thing is to be able to listen, offer suggestions and walk away with a better understanding of what makes that person tick.
Building business is building relationships. The two are one in the same. We often conduct business with a “what’s in it for me?” attitude. This is exactly how to fail at business. Instead approach each situation with an attitude of generosity. Most business deals are not made in the first couple of meetings. It’s the long-term relationship we are after. Don’t hold back with what you can do or how you can help.
Put Puzzle Pieces Together
Life is not a linear experience. It is a complex web of interconnected relationships and situations, each coming together at the perfect time to help us find solutions. When I meet or reconnect with someone who presents a need (it may be a sales lead, a job opening, a social media connection or a recommendation), my mind immediately goes into high gear until I come up with a solution or a connection for that person. From there, the pieces of the puzzle start falling into place.
Build an Online Presence (Blog, Website)
Today, networking often takes place virtually. Crunched for time and can’t make it to the coffee shop to meet that prospect or client? No problem! Put your best foot forward and reach out with a platform that showcases who you are and how you can serve. Your website, blog and social media accounts can anchor your business with personality and thought leadership. It’s the most effective way to interact with people in your network.
Take Advantage of Social Media
Building a strong social network is no walk through the park. It’s more like an uphill climb. But fear not! In my next post, I will discuss the best ways to navigate the terrain. When time is of the essence, I can help you create lasting relationships through social media.
Posted by Sarah Bals | Feb. 1, 2017
Today we live in a world of technology – everywhere you look, you cannot go three feet without finding someone buried in his or her smart phone or tablet. Something new and exciting is always around the corner and no one wants to be the last to find out.
The same goes for the working world. The more the world adapts to the ever-changing technology landscape, the more opportunities there are. Read on to learn how to use technology and traditional job-hunting methods to land your dream creative job.
1. A Portfolio is a Must
It is a wonderful thing to land a job right out of college but are you working towards your dream? Collecting work and putting it together into a comprehensive & defining portfolio is what will one day lead you to your true calling. It’s important to stand out with your personal projects and be proud of your work. There is no room for modesty in this industry – strut your stuff!
2. Promote Yourself
It’s normal, during that first post-college job, to get caught up in working for someone else and going “through the motions”. Punching the timecard and doing whatever is needed to get that paycheck every two weeks. While that is necessary, most of the time young professionals are getting farther away from their true passions, and instead, falling into a corporate rut. Do not forget about your own talents and promoting that portfolio you have spent so much time on. Promote yourself and your skills. Create a website or blog, and social pages (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Behance, etc) for your work. And then make sure to share with your colleagues and friends to connect with potential creative peers.
3. Be Different
Get out and invent something new, something your passionate about, and start making it immediately. Grab attention from the ordinary and make them want to invest as much time and energy in it as you do. If you are driven, odds are you will find yourself drawn to those who have the same energy and passion as you do.
4. Network, Network, Network
Landing that creative job is not going to happen by laying on the couch, eating potato chips and catching the next episode of ‘Breaking Bad’. You need to get out there! Attend events, workshops, gallery openings. Take your new, hot-off-the-press business cards, and interact with anyone and everyone. There is nothing like a great first impression – networking is your best opportunity to make it. You never know, that casual handshake with the next stranger could end up being your next colleague, partner, or future boss!
5. Start Applying!
Just like networking, applying for those intriguing creative roles, is not going to happen on its own. Use everything you have been working so passionately on and apply them to your next interview process. Internships are another great avenue to get your feet wet and help direct yourself into the career path that makes the most sense for you. You can’t land your dream job if you don’t apply for it.
6. Resume & Cover Letter
In order to land that interview, land that job…first thing first: updating your resume and creating a solid cover letter. Resumes and cover letters may seem like small, standard components of the job-hunting process – but they actually hold a lot more weight behind them. Your resume & cover letter can either get you, or keep you from getting, that elusive interview. They are the first glimpses into who you are, and what you can bring, to that position. You want to make yourself stand out. Remember – first impressions are key. Make sure your information is up to date, and that your roles & responsibilities are clearly defined from previous positions. Sell yourself and land that interview.
7. Do Your Homework
Thought research and studying was behind you once you grabbed that college degree and took your last steps on campus ground? Wrong! It is imperative to do your due diligence and study up on the companies you are interested in applying for jobs within. Don’t just skim the company’s website – research articles, make sure to know the CEO’s name, the company’s background, any latest relating news. Having this background information in your pocket during your interview could be the one thing that puts you above your competitor in the eyes of the interviewer.
8. Ask Away
Make sure to come prepared to every interview with a handful of thoughtful questions to ask your interviewer. You don’t need to be the Riddler, but be prepared to ask insightful questions relating to the company, position or industry. This will not only show that you did your research we talked about, but it will also show the level of interest you have for the company & position you are working towards. Ask about the opportunities for growth in the company, what drew the interviewer to work there, what are the greatest challenges he or she has faced there. Be cordial and make sure to listen carefully to their responses.
9. Follow Up
Nailing your interview may seem like the last step before landing your dream job – but not so fast. You can’t forget about the last, crucial task on your end – following up with your interviewer. It may seem like a small gesture, but it can go a very long way. It does not have to be a long letter, even a simple hand written note or thoughtful email can stand out to the person considering you for their open position. Thank them for taking the time out of their day to meet with you and again, express your interest in the role. This is also an opportunity to state anything you may have either forgotten to mention during the interview, or something you may want to clarify.
10. There Is Only One YOU
You can do all of the job research, networking, portfolio-making you want – but at the end of the day, none of that matters unless you are portraying the real you and going after the job YOU want and can succeed in! Be confident in your abilities, your strengths (and even weaknesses), your passions and your goals. Let those shine through your interactions and applications. And when you do finally get that dream job of yours – don’t stop there! Continue to find ways for your talents to push you to the next level. Remember what got you to where you are – YOU!
Sarah Bals, a 2011 graduate of John Carroll University is the founder of 440 Marketing, a 2015 start-up that offers social media marketing services to local businesses in Northeast Ohio. On a consulting basis, Sarah and her team help build, maintain, and optimize multiple avenues of social media marketing and public awareness.