At the start of every year I always end up running around in a frantic whirlwind trying to catch up (and clean up) after a month of hectic holiday plans. At some point, when everything starts to calm down, I take it upon myself to organize my work space and freshen everything up for the months to come. There’s something to be said about starting fresh in January. It seems entirely possible to focus on goals and motivation comes easily with a blank slate laid out in front of you. The possibilities are endless and things seem so much less overwhelming when you have full control of the direction you’re going to take moving forward.
Usually after the holidays I have some new knick knacks to add, books to make space for, and a new calendar to put out. It gives me an excuse to tidy up, organize paperwork and purge/donate some unused items from the previous year. God knows I have way too many notebooks and pens for the average human so this step is essential to ensuring I don’t end up buried in unnecessary supplies. It’s also a wonderful reminder to kick it old school from time to time and take notes on paper instead of digitally. Never underestimate how inspiring a cute notebook can be! This year I was gifted quite a few new items for my office and was excited to make space for them. I added a cute desk calendar, a gratitude journal from local maker Pocket Squares, a beautiful gold notebook, a really fun #girlboss desk sign and an awesome Ambassador Bridge print from local agency Dark Roast Digital.
Do you refresh your work space every January?
What are your organizational tips/tricks for your home office?
With every new year, comes new trends and opportunities for businesses. Surely we can all appreciate how far technology has come in such a short period of time and this year’s social media trends are no exception. If you’re looking to invest in social, reset your goals, overtake your competition or stand out in a crowded market, these are the five trends you’ll want to consider as we move into 2018:
- Augmented Reality Makes A Comeback
Hard to believe that it’s already been five years since Google came out with a pair of glasses—Google Glass—that promised to bring augmented reality (AR) to the mainstream and change how we live and interact with each other. As you could have guessed by now, it was a flop. But now, multiple companies (Facebook, Google and Snap) are competing to enter or re-enter the market. After a handful of highly successful augmented reality apps, sales of VR headsets on the rise, and greater technological sophistication (faster internet speeds and better visual rendering), 2018 could very well be the year that AR takes off. If it does, and stays in the mainstream, you can bet that social media will be one of the most popular applications for the technology, bringing people together over vast distances and providing an entirely new user interface for social interactions.
- The Continued Rise Of Live Streaming
Some businesses may argue that live streaming already dominated in 2017. About 80% of consumers would rather watch a live video from a brand than read a blog and 82% would prefer live video to written social media updates. Now that social platforms and users have settled into the concept, 2018 is bound to bring with it not only a cool new way to interact with audiences online, but an expectation for your brand to keep up.
- A Change To The Standard Social Formula
Last year there were more than 50 million small businesses using social media to market their businesses. There’s no doubt that social media is popular for a reason, but the increased presence of brand-written content is leading to fatigue among users which makes them less likely to respond or engage. This shift in consumer behaviour is going to force brands to re-think their approach and consider a more unique approach to content and messaging.
- Gamification Extends Into Social
There’s no doubt that users love interacting with each other, even with complete strangers! There’s also no doubt that people love playing games so why not bring those two together to create a better overall experience? Since 2017 saw the rise of gamification and immersive gaming experiences, it’s only a matter of time before we see an app that blends social media and gaming more naturally. There’s no way to know what will come from merging these two interests but it’ll definitely be something worth exploring when it does!
- Social Ad Adoption
Now that brands are more established on social media, their focus is shifting to generating revenue and investing in ads. While most brands have already begun exploring ad potential across multiple platforms, this trend is going to grow even further as more small businesses catch up and work to compete with larger competitors.
While none of these trends are going to completely change the way brands and users interact with social media, they’ll definitely make for an interesting year. If your business is going to remain competitive moving forward, you’ll want to consider adopting and exploring these trends. Learn more about what they are, what value they present and how your business can leverage them for success.
Unsure how to move forward with your 2018 business goals? Consider scheduling a customized training session with Blab and start 2018 off with the knowledge you need to make things happen!
Super excited to announce that Blab is partnering with Imaginative Group to offer a workshop for small businesses at the Walkerville Brewery on Wednesday November 29th. Want to explore social media but aren’t sure which platforms are most valuable for your business? Looking to incorporate social media into your current strategy but aren’t sure how it’ll work with other elements? Let us help you take the first step towards better understanding the value of social media as part of an overall marketing strategy. We’ll be talking about the most popular platforms and the value they offer businesses, going over case studies to emphasize learning objectives, explaining the value of SEO and understanding the important role that your website plays as part of the bigger picture.
1. Learn why investing in social media and digital marketing leads to success
2. See the cost and benefits of integrating social into their current marketing plan
3. Understand how social media can help businesses of all sizes grow and thrive
Join us to discover the value of social media marketing and learn more about how it integrates into a multi-channel strategy. Snacks, coffee and water will be provided free of charge and wine/beer will be available for purchase from the bar. Click here to purchase your ticket!
Last night was a blast! Shoutout to The Windsor-Essex Small Business Centre for putting on an awesome event. Over 70 exhibitors set up shop at The Caboto Club to sell food, alcohol, beauty products, apparel, giftware and more. Blab had a cocktail table in the B2B lounge and had a chance to chat with so many awesome individuals and entrepreneurs about social media marketing. Got to catch up with some good friends and even made some valuable new connections. Blab shared the lounge area with friendly neighbour Biz X Magazine and a handful of other local service based businesses.
The event was the perfect excuse to show off Blab’s new popup banner and print material (sell booklets and social postcards) courtesy of Imaginative Group. It was really great to see how consistently the brand was communicated across all pieces. There’s still something to be said about a nice and functional print piece. Definitely a solid investment!
While fitting everything on a small cocktail table was a challenge, it ended up being the perfect amount of space to showcase my print and add some personality to my display. It’s really important to stay true to your brand, no matter which customer touchpoint you’re exploring.
After a few hours of mingling in the lounge, I managed to escape and grab some food! I picked up some dinner from Cedar Valley Selections (seriously their fattoush salad is amazing) and I couldn’t leave without a few delicious treats from Licia Ruby, Ani & Fabi and Sweet Revenge Bakeshop. By the end of the night, over 500 attendees passed through the doors to shop, eat, drink and mingle. What a great way to support local!
Super excited to be featured in an article recently published by the St Clair College Media Plex highlighting Blab’s Business Babe Spotlights on social media! A few months ago I decided to start using my audience on social media to help promote women who are running their own businesses in Windsor-Essex. I’m a big supporter of all things local and often find myself out and about exploring our wonderful city and making new connections with business owners. In my travels I’ve learned about countless incredible businesses that are run by women. Being a female entrepreneur myself, I knew all too well that it can be a struggle to build up a support network so I thought, why not have Blab step in to help these women promote their businesses while offering encouragement and positive reinforcement in an often stressful career path? I got lucky in the friends and family department. I’ve always been surrounded by support in all forms but not every woman has the same opportunities I did. Since I’m a firm believer that we rise by lifting others, that became my inspiration for the campaign which is still running today. Each week Blab features a new women-owned business in Windsor-Essex by showcasing what they do and how they make our community a better place. If you’d like to get involved, please feel free to reach out via email or social media to nominate a woman-owned business that you think deserves a feature! Better yet, go out and support these women. Whether it’s purchasing something from them, promoting them to your networks or offering support as a mentor, it’s amazing what a big difference you can make with such a little gesture of faith.
Big thanks to Ryan Jones for the kind words and the opportunity to chat about woman-owned small businesses in Windsor. You can check out the full article here: http://themediaplex.com/put-your-money-where-your-heart-is/
Entrepreneurship can be incredibly difficult. It can be stressful, tiring, exhausting, scary and often times, it can isolate you from friends and family who just don’t understand what you’re going through. It’s for this reason that I decided to start a small Facebook community where female entrepreneurs in the Windsor area can connect, network, educate and inspire each other on a regular basis. Members can share their entrepreneurship story, reach out for insight, promote events/promotions, ask questions, share inspiration, motivate others and just enjoy connecting with other women who understand their mindset and goals.
Business Babes Windsor is in its infancy right now, but it would be great to see more female entrepreneurs join up. Being a mentor is such a valuable experience and I’m a big advocate of helping others succeed. In my opinion, we rise by lifting others and this group makes that possible. Whether you’ve been an entrepreneur for years, you just started a business or you’re curious about what it all entails, this group offers the perfect casual backdrop for conversation and education at any level.
Supporting local is incredibly important to me so encouraging others to explore entrepreneurship by providing them with the tools, network and support they need is the best way to give back to Windsor. Small, independent businesses are what make every city unique and vibrant. Plus, at the end of the day, the world could use more dreamers and doers!
We ❤️ emojis! Which one is YOUR favourite?
Since the early days of the internet, Emoji’s have been the best way to transmit emotion in the written medium. As internet technology advanced, so did the use of the emoji. Simple text symbols turned into a full-fledged animated series. The best part about emojis is that we’ve all used them at some point. World Emoji day celebrates the history of these emotional expressions and encourages us all to be exceptionally emotive. After all, communicating your feelings in written form can be difficult so why not inject some fun? Long ago the world used to communicate in images, before alphabetic languages were developed, and now in the modern age we’re back to using them again.
To celebrate World Emoji Day, Blab is hosting a simple online contest and giving away three emoji swag packs with tattoos, air fresheners and stickers. Visit our Facebook page for more information!
FUN FACT: The date of Emoji Day honours the date shown on the iOS Calendar Emoji (July 17).
Launched by multimedia company Mashable in 2010, Social Media Day celebrates social media’s impact on global communication. Friday, June 30th, 2017 marks the eighth-annual official global celebration. Join us and a host of amazing local sponsors at Lanspeary Lions Outdoor Rink at Lanspeary Park – 1250 Langlois Avenue in Windsor from 11am-1:50pm on Friday, June 30th. This location has a roof, so we’re covered, rain or shine!
WEtech Alliance, a non-profit organization helping accelerate tech-based companies in Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent, along with its Social Media Superheroes – a peer-to-peer group of over 30 local social media superheroes that represent a cross-section of our community, including school boards, the media, non-profit organizations and businesses – will once again be celebrating the occasion with their 7th annual Community Chalk Tweet, with this year’s theme centred around Canada’s 150th Anniversary of Confederation.
WEtech Alliance has partnered with Windsor-Essex municipalities including City of Windsor and Town of Lakeshore, organizations and businesses including Cypher Systems Group, Motor City Community Credit Union and Strong Body Yoga & Fitness and media partners including Windsor Star,AM800 CKLW and CTV Windsor to make this a fun, FREE, community event open to all residence and visitors in Windsor-Essex.
The event will feature a giant outline of the Canada 150 logo painted on the ground by local artist DERKZ, with the community invited to fill in the outline by using chalk to draw and/or write their favourite things about Canada, Windsor and Essex County.
The event will feature a soundtrack of music from local artists; an aerial drone powered by DarkRoast Digital to capture the footage of the artwook being created below; free snacks compliments of The Hub Powered operated by Samantha Buhler, Blab Media and Parker DKI; a free Canada 150 t-shirt from Hogans Printing to the first 150 attendees; a celebration of Canadian Innovation through the CANnovation project and other Canadian themed giveaways compliments of the Windsor Express, Rogues Gallery Comics and Playdium 5 Pin Bowling and the Stilt Guys will be on hand to entertain the crowd in a big way!
For more info about Windsor’s free Social Media Day celebration, you can visit the official website at http://smdayyqg.com/
Last night was fantastic! I spent the evening in a room full of incredibly passionate and motivated female business owners. From clothing and accessories to handmade items, medical services and beyond, the Windsor Yacht Club was bustling with energy. I met so many great women, learned about some pretty cool businesses and even enjoyed a cocktail. Blab was proud to be a sponsor providing free (and blue) #girlboss cocktails to attendees, a door prize and goodies for the 50 vendors.
While the event only lasted a few hours, I was able to catch up with some friends and meet some people I’ve only ever chatted with on social media. I discovered some cool new products, businesses and people as I walked through the vendor space enjoying my delicious blue cocktail.
Crossing my fingers that more events like this happen in the future. It’s great to go out and support the community while socializing and networking. As a female entrepreneur, it’s always great to meet more women who understand the struggle and the joy of entrepreneurship.
What are some of your favourite female-run businesses in Windsor-Essex? Share them in the comments below!
As some of you may know, I teach part time at St Clair College Centre For The Arts in the graphic design program. While I’m no graphic designer (by any means) I am qualified to teach the Copywriting For Design class first year, first semester. My class focuses on teaching graphic design students how to write copy for ads, how to use copy in conjunction with design to create effective and appealing advertisements and most importantly, how to use their minds to generate ideas instead of their computers.
So many of my students enter the class frustrated and unsure as to why they have to use a pencil and paper instead of laying things out digitally on a computer but I know first hand that an effective brainstorming process should always start in your own mind so I teach them accordingly. Typically by the time they’ve finished their 3 year program, they can reflect back on that class and see the value it added to their lives. I’ve been told that it helps simplify their thought process for assignments, streamline their work time and gives them a better understanding of how and why they generate ideas.
I teach these students for just over 3 months and then I don’t see them again until the grad show at the end of the program where they’re able to display their work and personal brands. I always enjoy attending because it gives me a chance to see how they’ve grown over time and what type of style they’ve developed in the process. As per usual, I ran into many familiar industry contacts, caught up with some past students and also had a chance to chat with most of the designers which is always a pleasure. I brought home a whole bag full of goodies and branded material that I was able to grab from each of their tables. I scooped up candy, business cards, art pieces, pins, pens and even a cootie catcher.
So proud of this year’s St Clair College Graphic Design grads and so excited to see where life takes them next!