It’s Time for a Change In Perspective

No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.

Albert Einstein

Considering the speed at which our online world changes, it seems like we’re all just doing our best to keep up. By the time we figure out that algorithm, or get our social media strategy in order, it seems like we must pivot to the next big thing. Always chasing, never able to take a deep breath and just exist where we are.

However, there certainly do come times when we feel that our content’s gone a bit stale. Or we’re not seeing the same kind of results from what we’ve been doing in the past. It is finally time for a change. But where to start?

Sometimes, all it takes is a change in perspective. It doesn’t mean you need to overhaul everything you’ve ever done. Maybe make a few tweaks here and there. And rather than looking at it from a “I-have-to-do-this” perspective, look at it as an opportunity for growth. Reframing your mindset in a more positive way can make a big difference.

So when it’s time to change your perspective regarding your marketing or content efforts, here are a few areas to consider.

1. Let your research guide you

In last week’s post, we discussed the power of insight. The analytics about our websites, social media activity, and other content provide use with valuable information that can be used in our favor. This information can help us learn from our past and guide our future. Any additional research you’ve done about your target audience or market trends can help in a similar way. When you make strategy decisions, you can feel confident that they’re backed up by hard, solid facts.

2. Focus on the important things

No matter how much you consider changing, make sure not to let your brand evolve into something you’re not comfortable with. It’s usually a good idea to keep the heart of your brand identity the same – you can always refine it to help it resonate further, but don’t turn it into something totally new. No matter how much your strategy ends up changing, it’s generally best to keep a consistent message to reinforce brand identity and recall for your audience.

3. Have fun along the way

Although you’re using research to back you up, and you’re staying true to the heart of your brand, it’s important to remember to have fun. Not everything goes perfectly the first time, or even the second or third time. Flexibility, agility, and a “roll with the punches” attitude will get you far, whether it’s in revamping your marketing strategy or in different aspects of life. Learn to embrace the unexpected and laugh along the way, and you’re guaranteed to find little moments of bliss.

A change in perspective or an adjustment in mindset. Or even someone to bounce ideas off of. If you’re looking for a partner in your marketing strategy, we’re here. Let’s work together to breathe new life into your brand.

Our Moment of Bliss

“Now you got the whole of the world at your feet.” – Charlie Cunningham (Minimum from Lines)

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Using Analytics to Improve Your Social Media Presence

The goal is to turn data into information and information into insight.

Carly Fiorina

When you think of number-crunching, you might picture accountants, data scientists, or auditors. Now, think about the smartphone that’s undoubtedly sitting not-too-far-out-of-reach. What about social media? Your social media apps are home to valuable information that can be tapped into. To provide insights to your past activity and guidance for your future campaigns.

And yes, there are people out there who are social media number crunchers. (Like us!) Your posts you’ve shared and the engagement you’ve received from your followers all work together to give a comprehensive overview of your digital activity. Working with someone who knows how to use this information can be extremely beneficial to your social media success.

So how do social media analytics help?

1. Understand your audience

Have you ever posted something on social media and hoped that no one would see it? Of course not. The purpose of social media is to share information with your network. But if you’re sharing updates during times when your audience isn’t active, what good is that doing you?

Social media analytics can give you information about your audience to better help you target them appropriately. Maybe they’re most active around 7:15pm, so that would be a better time to post than at 5pm when they’re heading home from work. Analytics can even tell you about your audience’s demographics – age, gender, location – to help you connect with them further.

2. Create better content

It’s likely that your brand utilizes multiple social media channels – maybe Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Remember that each type of social platform is used in a slightly different way. Instagram, for example, is much more visually focused than the others. And Twitter is used for short, catchy thoughts with a limited number of characters.

When looking at each platform, analytics can help determine which types of posts are performing the best so you know what to focus on. Maybe you find that one particular social platform isn’t driving engagement quite as much as the others. It could be better to let it go and give more attention to the higher performers.

3. Adjust your strategy accordingly

Some posts are better received than others. Some are more popular, and some stimulate more engagement. But it’s unlikely that your very first posts were the very best. In social media content creation – as in life – we rarely get it right the first time. We continue learning, growing, changing, and evolving into something better.

Using numbers and metrics give us concrete data about the results of the content and campaign strategies. And when you notice posts that aren’t performing as well as you hope, you know that it’s time to make a change. Back to the drawing board, or maybe a pivot back to a more successful strategy. When you have numbers backing you up, you can feel confident in the decisions you make.

If you’re looking to bolster your social media analytics strategy – or start from scratch – we at Brieffin are here to partner with you through the process. We have 8+ years of experience and are enthusiastic about sharing our knowledge with our clients as we work together.

Our Moment of Bliss

“You belong to the cause – come on, believe.” – Laura Gibson (The Cause from Empire Builder)

Join our playlist on Spotify and welcome new adventures in your life this week.

Why Invest In A Social Media Manager?

Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.

Ryunosuke Satoro

As technology has become more accessible and user-friendly over the past few years, the ways that we interact with the world are different than before. Sometimes called the “Do-It-Yourself” or “DIY” economy, when we need a service, we’re more likely than ever to take things into our own hands. Even if we’ve never done it before.

And why wouldn’t we? With the internet full of YouTube videos, blogs, and step-by-step instructions, it’s easy to see why we’d want to give things a shot on our own before paying for someone else to do it. In some cases, we know that our own version of the product or service may not be perfect, but it’s good enough to meet our needs.

So the continuing evolution of the DIY economy begs the question: when should we pay someone to perform a service?

Here’s a more specific example: why should any business pay to hire a social media manager when they can do it in-house? Almost everyone living in the 21st century knows how to use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram already.

However, it comes down to the quality and/or quantity of the social media presence that’s expected. Here are a few good reasons why hiring a social media manager is a great choice for many businesses.

1. Social media is always changing

Not only is the digital landscape always evolving, but each individual platform undergoes tweaks from time to time. Whether it’s a change in the Twitter algorithm or Instagram removing the number of photo “likes,” it’s true that when it comes to social media, the only constant is change. Rather than grappling with the changes on your own, a social media manager is an expert at tracking the shifts in social platforms and adapting content to reflect those changes.

2. It’s all about strategy

Social media can exist without a strategy, but that’s best left to personal profiles – where you can feel free to live-Tweet your favorite team’s game or post your toddler’s funny quotes. When it comes to business, having a strategy is important if you want to make social media work for you. Having one of your employees posting randomly can do more harm than good and doesn’t count as a strategy. On the other hand, working with a social media manager can ensure that your brand’s image and messaging are cohesive across multiple touchpoints and are advancing your company’s goals.

3. Show me the numbers

While some social media platforms have started to integrate insights and statistics at the user-level, it probably isn’t enough to give the larger picture of your social media success. A dedicated social media manager will track and monitor all social media campaigns, making note of which ones are high performers and making content, creative, or strategy tweaks when necessary – based on the numbers. Putting all this information into a report for clients is a valuable tool.

If you want to know more about how a social media manager can benefit your business, reach out to us at Brieffin. We have more than 8 years of experience, and we challenge ourselves to stay on top of industry trends to provide the most value to our clients. Plus, we just like learning. 😊

Our Moment of Bliss

“Fall back into place, fall back into place.” – Beach House (Space Song from Depression Cherry)

Join our playlist on Spotify and accept the bliss you find in your life.

3 Things To Know About SEO

Having an open mind is the most important precondition for creating new ideas.

Eraldo Banovic

Search Engine Optimization – often known as SEO – is something that has become increasingly in the forefront of digital marketing over the past years. You likely have an idea already about what SEO is. Put simply, it’s the way that your content ranks when someone performs a search using a search engine. You might even have heard a little bit about how the “algorithms” work, which what everyone wants: to understand the algorithm and use it to their advantage.

Since the digital world changes so quickly, it’s important to keep an open mind to the new changes if you’re interested in adapting the best practices. Here are a few things you may not know about SEO for your brand or business.

1. It’s more than just keywords

Keywords are probably the first thing that comes to mind regarding SEO, but it’s far from the only thing. Another way to make your page rank is by utilizing “snippets,” which are small text boxes that display under search results. Not only does this help your page rank higher, but it also makes it more enticing for potential customers. They get a little preview of your content, which could make them more likely to click through to your page if they want to learn more.

And, applying your target keywords to your snippet helps to reinforce the search algorithm. Add a photo for even more SEO power!

2. Optimize photos and videos… and more

Speaking of photos… did you know they can be optimized as well? The same is true for videos and other types of media. Just because it isn’t text doesn’t mean it can’t be optimized! Captions, alternative text, descriptions, and even file names can be strategically populated with your target keywords to further bolster your content’s SEO position.

3. Don’t forget about mobile

Having a mobile-responsive website is more than just about aesthetics and ease of use for consumers in an increasingly mobile-dependent society. In fact, Google recently changed its SEO algorithm to prioritize mobile results. And considering that 58% of Google searches take place on mobile devices – and 87% of smartphone users conduct at least one search daily – this isn’t surprising.

Mobile technologies are solidifying their role in the future, and the search engine algorithms will adjust accordingly. It’s all about streamlining the user experience.

If all this information about SEO makes your head spin a little bit, don’t worry. Whether you feel like an SEO expert already or you’re just getting started – or you’re somewhere in between – Brieffin can help. We have all the tools you need to revolutionize your social media, digital marketing, and SEO strategy.

After 8 years, we know how much and how quickly things change. But we’ve committed ourselves to the challenge of staying on top of it all and sharing that knowledge with others.

Reach out to us, and let’s get started. Together.

Our Moment of Bliss

“The first time I realized I was living in this world, I was probably looking at the sky.” – Fruit Bats (Humbug Mountain Song from Absolute Loser)

Join our playlist on Spotify and be receptive to positive thoughts and feelings – and good music – this week.

Your Professional Profile: Social Media

Do not hide your light for fear of what others may think of you. Let it shine and be a reflection of what is possible.

Kristi Bowman

We’ve talked before about how LinkedIn can be an important asset when it comes to the job application. But LinkedIn isn’t the only social media profile that can help or hurt your chances of landing the job you want.

While LinkedIn is the most-utilized social media website for recruiters to use during the hiring process, it’s far from the only one. 92% of companies are using social media profiles to help with hiring decisions, but 66% use Facebook and 54% use Twitter. Certainly, others use Instagram as well.

Maybe you’ve heard it before: you want to be sure to clean up anything that you wouldn’t want a future employer to see. Whether that’s removing certain photos from your college days, or deleting shared posts or memes that don’t reflect your very best. At the very least, make sure your profile is on private if you aren’t able to go through and remove everything.

Afterwards, try logging out of your account and taking a look as if you were a stranger. What image are you presenting? What message are you sending?

However, just as social media can work against you, it can also work for you. If you have a public or semi-public profile that showcases your personality or passions or professional image, consider keeping it available for future employers to see. It’s a way for them to get a look into who you are, before they even bring you in for an interview.

If you feel the message you’re sending is a positive one, there’s no reason to hide it away. In fact, perhaps the hiring manager – or CEO – will find something on your profile that they relate to. Or really intrigues them. Or maybe, they love your creativity. This could actually give you a leg up on the competition.

As with many things in life, it’s about finding the right balance. We have to be aware of the things we post online, because as many of us have heard – “The internet is forever.” Being conscious of our social media habits is a way of looking after ourselves and making sure nothing from our past inhibits our future.

And once you’ve struck that balance, remember to multiply it by the number of social media profiles you have. It’s not enough to have a stellar LinkedIn profile, though this is probably the most important one from a career perspective. But sharing that same, coherent message across different platforms, you present the most consistent version of who you are. And consistency is a highly sought-after trait.

Does any of this sound familiar? It should – because we are talking about personal brands (again)!

Your personal brand is how you can share your uniqueness with the world, in a professional, consistent manner. In a way that showcases your distinct experiences, skills, talents, and dreams. Across multiple platforms. All tied together with great content and design… and a pretty bow on top.

When you’re ready to get started, we’re here.

Our Moment of Bliss

Time races on, you’ve just gotta keep on keeping on.” – First Aid Kit (My Silver Lining from Stay Gold)

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Using Social Media For Visibility

“The power of visibility can never be underestimated.”

Margaret Cho

As the digital landscape and social media continues to change, it seems like there are always new ways to use it. You may be able to think of a few brands that have an excellent, stand-out social media presence, while others take a more middle-of-the-line approach. And some companies don’t use social media at all.

In our blog, we’ve previously discussed many of the benefits of using social media effectively, as well as strategies and tactics to bolster engagement, brand awareness, and loyalty.

However, we understand that many of our clients and followers face social media content creation from a unique perspective due to the nature of their industry. An international pizza franchise or a cutting-edge technology company may have more bandwidth for creativity regarding tone and content, among other things.

But for European industrial engineering brands – like our clients – much of the conventional advice about social media might not ring true.

If you find yourself in a similar category, you might wonder if it’s even worth it to keep up with social media. If it’s worth it to continue expending the time and energy. What about when the best practices don’t apply?

At Brieffin, we have an opinion on this. YES, it’s worth it to keep a social media presence.

Even if you don’t have the best, most exciting content in the world. Even if you think no one is seeing or engaging with your posts. Even if you might think it’s a waste of time.

Here’s something important to understand. Social media, among other things, is a strong tool for visibility.

Even if your Twitter feed isn’t full of fantastic, groundbreaking content, don’t worry. It’s not about that. It’s about getting your message out there. Consistently.

Because it’s likely your competitors are doing it. And the truth is, in 2019, brands – no matter what type – are expected to have a social media presence. The presence itself says just as much, if not more, than what the content says.

What does the content say? Well, if you feel like you’ve already said everything there is to say, there’s something else you can do. Re-purpose. It’s a key ingredient in content strategies, and it helps you share a consistent message in a different way.

So even on the days where social media feels like an uphill battle, remember the reason why you’re doing it. Because it keeps your brand visible, post after post, to your followers. Because it shows regularity and attention to detail. And… because it’s expected.

As social media content creators for industrial brands over the past 8 years, we’ve had our share of challenges. But we’ve always come out stronger on the other side.

If you want to know more about creating a consistent social media presence to increase visibility, reach out to us. Send us an email to connect@brieffin.com and we’ll be in touch soon.

Our Moment of Bliss

“Live through this and you won’t look back.” – Stars (Your Ex-Lover Is Dead from Set Yourself On Fire)

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Making The Most Of LinkedIn

The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra.

Jimmy Johnson

Some parts of the job search are the same as they’ve always been – like your resume and cover letter. But technological advances have led to some marked changes in how we make ourselves stand out as job candidates.

One of these big changes is the digital portfolio. Rather than bringing a paper folder to an interview, applicants can make an impression on hiring managers as soon as they apply. By attaching a link to an email, they can share a summary of their work digitally – allowing hiring managers to make quicker decisions on who to invite back for an interview.

But equally important, these days, is having a strong LinkedIn profile. As the world’s largest professional networking site, LinkedIn has secured its status as the place to be for job searchers, recruiters, and hiring managers alike. According to Hootsuite, 30 million companies have profiles on LinkedIn. And despite a stagnant number of new users on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn continues to grow year over year – with two professionals signing up for LinkedIn every second.

So, why is it so popular?

Essentially, a LinkedIn profile is like an interactive resume. It’s not limited to one or two physical sheets of paper, so you can add more detail. (My LinkedIn profile includes some of my less-relevant jobs – like when I was a waitress in college, though that definitely doesn’t make the cut on my official resume.) When you list a company as your employer, it becomes a live, codified link that is clickable for anyone seeking more information. And like a digital portfolio, you can upload samples of your work or important projects and display them on your profile as well.

If you’re looking for a job, LinkedIn is a good place to start. Three million jobs are posted on LinkedIn every month. Some of them, you can apply directly through LinkedIn with the click of a button. And not only will LinkedIn recommend jobs you may be interested in, but you can also utilize your network to help make connections within your desired companies.

Even if you’re not a job seeker, it’s a good way to stay in touch with industry trends and others in your network. You can join any number of specialty groups based on your profession or interests, which may even lead to new opportunities. Additionally, LinkedIn hosts its own blog publishing platform, allowing any user to blog about any topic they wish. You never know how far that post could reach!

At Brieffin, we want to help you take your professional image to the next level.

Whether you’re looking for website development, personal branding, resume design and writing, or even spicing up your LinkedIn profile, we’re here. For you.

 Our Moment of Bliss

“The whistling wind is on my mind, but I don’t mind.” – The Vernes (Hrglass from Yr of the Rat)

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Brand vs. Identity: What’s the Difference?

Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.

Jeff Bezos

Just as there are so many marketing “buzzwords” floating around when it comes to content – like campaigns, social media, and SEO – there are more when it comes to the essence of your business.

Brand and identity are two words that often seem to be used interchangeably. However, we’ll discuss some key differences between the two that indicate the different purposes they serve.

Brand

Brand is sometimes a “catch-all” term that is used in many different ways. When you think of your favorite logos, you might identify those as brands. But brands are actually much more intangible. A brand is the emotional relationship between a business and its consumers.

In a saturated marketplace, consumers are looking for a reason to connect with one company/product over another – and that’s where the company’s challenge is to set itself apart. One way this frequently happens through a strongly-developed story that resonates with its consumers, thus establishing a unique position in the market.

All of this together creates the essence of a “brand.” Take a look at our highlighted quote above by Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos. A brand is not what you say about yourself – a brand is what your customers say about you.

Now, let’s look at how this compares to identity.

Identity

Identity is also a word that is sometimes used in a variety of ways. But just like brand, it has a specific way it should be applied when discussing a marketing strategy.

Remember what we said about brands – they’re intangible. And here we have the first key difference between brand and identity. Identity is tangible. Identity is something you can see, touch, or hear. Whereas a brand is something you feel.

Since your brand is what others say about you, your identity is everything you do to influence those perceptions. In reality, much of this comes down to design. From colors, fonts, logo, graphics, video, product packaging, web design and more, these are all aspects of identity.

When you take all these distinct elements and create a unifying, coherent image across all fronts, that’s identity. And the identity is used to tell your story – to create that emotional resonance with your consumers.

Brand + Identity

As you can see, brand and identity are two separate but equally important components of any company’s image. Together, they make up a consistent voice that compels consumers to feel connected – through both the tangible and intangible aspects.

Our Moment of Bliss

“Let loose your glow, come settle down, settle down.” – Oh Wonder (Technicolour Beat from Oh Wonder)

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What Are Brieffin Workshops?

Teaching is the greatest act of optimism.

Colleen Wilcox

When you think of the word “workshop,” many different images might come to your mind. Maybe, you take it very literally – you imagine your dad’s workshop in the garage. Or maybe, your mind takes you to a boring work meeting that you’re forced to attend with your co-workers, while your more important tasks pile up. Or maybe you think of something else entirely.

So when we at Brieffin say that we offer workshops for social media/digital marketing – as well as personal branding – you might not know exactly what we mean by that.

Here’s how one dictionary defines it:

A workshop is a period of discussion or practical work on a particular subject in which a group of people share their knowledge or experience.

The way we see it: workshops are an opportunity for an interactive, hands-on learning experience in which all participants are fully engaged in pursuit of a common goal. Workshops can be useful in almost every area of life, and social media and personal branding are no different.

At Brieffin, we’re passionate about sharing our knowledge and experience with others because we remember the challenges we faced when we were just getting started.

Since 2012, we have years of experience in the design, creation, and distribution of online content, organic and sponsored, for brands and personal brands. And now, we’re able to offer workshops in these same areas in the hopes of inspiring and empowering others.

Social Media

Purpose and awareness are two words that perfectly match the mission of an effective online communication plan: Creating thoughtful messages for audiences, with the purpose of building knowledge and perception of the brand, thus raising awareness.

We’ll work together to develop a customized strategy for you and your brand. By taking factors such as purpose, target audience, frequency and timeline, and KPIs into consideration, we can recommend a content plan and the best social media platforms to meet all your needs. And later, we’ll provide you with all the necessary tools to track the success of your strategies.

Since the birth of social media, it’s never stopped changing, and it probably never will. But rather than allowing this fact to discourage us, we embrace it. We have to continue learning, evolving, and tackling the challenges that come our way. And we’re excited to have you on this journey with us.

Personal Branding

Personal branding is a buzzword that seems to have only popped up in the past few years, though the act of personal branding is long-established – whether we had a word for it, or not. Either way, it’s one of our other specialties.

Personal branding is all about turning the essence of you – your skills, your experiences, your passions – into a distinct professional image. We already think you’re pretty great, and we want the world to see that, too!

A personal brand includes obvious topics like your resume, but it may extend even further than that. A robust personal-brand presence includes consistency across multiple digital touchpoints, which could include a website/portfolio, blog, a logo, social media, your LinkedIn profile, and even search engine optimization.

Get in contact with us!

With our workshops, we come to the meeting prepared with an agenda, materials, topics of discussion, our knowledge and experience, and an open mind and heart to listen to our clients.

We know the importance of face-to-face contact – whether that’s in person, or over video conference. If you’re interested in scheduling a call with us, send us an email to connect@brieffin.com and we’ll be in touch.

Our Moment of Bliss

“If you come to find out who you are… may you find out, may you find out who you are.” – Kevin Morby (Parade from Still Life)

Join our playlist on Spotify and breathe – allow yourself to feel collected and calm.

Resume Writing Best Practices

Feel the fear and do it anyway.

Susan Jeffers

Ask anyone what the most important asset to the job search is, and most would say one answer: the resume. This short document summarizes the applicant’s skills, experience, background, qualifications, and education to a hiring manager. It also includes important contact information which is used to contact the applicant.

In the sea of job applications received for any given position, your resume is an opportunity to set yourself apart from the others.

You may have heard the oft-quoted statistic that hiring managers only spend six seconds looking at each resume. However, newer studies suggest that only 17% of hiring managers spend less than 30 seconds, while 68% spend less than 2 minutes reviewing each resume. Nevertheless, your time to make an impact is limited, so it’s important to ensure your resume establishes yourself as a strong candidate in a timely manner.

When it comes to writing your resume, standard advice has changed over the years. No longer are the templated, rigid resumes suggested for every position in every industry. As multimedia portfolios and LinkedIn profiles have entered the mix, it’s easier for a prospective employer to get a holistic look at any given job applicant through more mediums than just the resume.

However, resumes continue to be a crucial aspect of any job application, and here are several tips to keep in mind when writing yours.

Keep it short and sweet

In general, resumes are suggested to be no more than one page long. Remember – most hiring managers are spending less than 2 minutes reading your resume. If it’s too long, they might not even make it to the second page. Being able to condense all your information into one page also shows that you’re able to make decisions about hierarchy of information importance.

There may be some exceptions – if you are applying to a very high-level job and have many years of relevant experience, two pages may be more acceptable. But in general, one page is considered to be best practice across most industries.

Decide what’s really important

This goes hand-in-hand with the previous point, but on the flip side as well. Don’t include everything that’s ever happened to you, even if it keeps your resume under one page. For example, I used to be a waitress at the American pancake restaurant IHOP. While I value the experience gained and lessons learned, it’s not very relevant to the positions I’m interested in at this point in my life. However, if I ever find myself interested in the food service industry again, it might be something I would include. Be discerning about your experience and the desired position.

Show the numbers

Any time you can discuss results you achieved in your previous positions, it speaks to your previous success and suggests what you can contribute to your new company. Any time you can include numbers, statistics, or facts, it quantifies those achievements. Instead of generic statements, include specifics such as these: “Closed support queue tickets within target timeframe 100% of the time,” or “Implemented new travel management tracking software, saving $15,000 in overhead costs during initial 6 months.”

Fit the industry

When you’re applying for a creative role, such as an art director or copywriter, it’s generally acceptable to let your resume show a bit of personality. Using strategic pops of color or infographics would not seem out of place; in fact, it might be an advantage for the hiring manager to see how your creativity fits in with the company. However, if you’re applying for a more corporate job, it’s probably a better idea to use a very structured, buttoned-up format for your resume. You don’t want to stand out in a bad way!

Proofread

Just like we mentioned in a previous article about cover letters, it’s of the utmost importance to proofread. There’s nothing worse than sending off your resume – which you’ve worked so hard on, and are so proud of – to your dream job… and then finding a typo or grammatical error afterward.

There’s really no way to undo it, and all you can do is hope that the hiring manager doesn’t notice it. But the unfortunate reality is that many are looking for any reason to disqualify an applicant from the application pool, and spelling errors are an easy way to narrow it down. After finishing your resume, come back to it the next day with a fresh set of eyes. Have a friend or family member read it, too.

Include contact information

You should always include your first and last name on your resume – of course – because how else will they know it’s yours? You should also include your phone number with area code (and country code if applicable), full mailing address, and email address.

Many employers will make initial contact via email, so you want to make sure you have a “professional” email listed. If your everyday email is something like dance_gurl12345@gmail.com, you might think about using a different email address. Better yet, use an email provider like Gmail to create a brand new, professional email address. Ideally, it should be some variation of your name with minimal numbers.

Format appropriately

You want your resume to be visually appealing and organized in a sensible way. It should flow well from top to bottom. However, that’s not the only formatting you should think about. When including your resume file to attach to an online job application or email, you’ll want to make sure you’ve saved in an appropriate, efficient manner as well.

Saving your resume as a .PDF is a great way to make sure you don’t lost the integrity of the document when your file is being viewed on different computers or operating systems. Additionally, make sure you give the file a professional name, because the hiring manager will see it. John_Smith_Resume.pdf is a good example.

Resumes can be a complicated topic, but these tips should help to put you on the right track! Remember, at Brieffin we specialize in professional resume and portfolio design, so reach out to us if you need a hand getting started.

Our Moment of Bliss

“And the seasons will change us new” – Blind Pilot (3 Rounds and a Sound from 3 Rounds and a Sound album)

Join our playlist on Spotify and remember that your potential to succeed is infinite. Namaste.

Why Good Website Design is Important

Creativity is a combination of discipline and childlike spirit.

Robert Greene

It’s 2019, and long-gone are the days of the “old” internet. The days when having a website at all was an achievement, rather than an expectation. The days when websites were designed using handwritten – hand-typed? – HTML and CSS codes. The days when the idea of visiting a website via mobile phone was completely unthinkable.

Now, things are totally different. Good web design – including appealing visual design, a strong user interface/user experience design, and responsiveness – is crucial to the success of any company, brand or personal brand, or business. 

But if you’re not convinced, here’s a list of four reasons why good web design is something you’ll want to aim for.

To make a good impression

When your customer visits your website, what is the first thing they’re going to see? Within just a few seconds – maybe without even scrolling – they’re going to make a judgment about your brand. It might not necessarily be a fair assessment, but it’s going to happen. So it’s important to be prepared.

According to a study by Adobe, consumers prefer to look at something that is beautifully-designed, rather than looking at something plain. With an uninspiring designed website, customers may be more likely to leave the page.

To build trust

It’s harder for an audience to want to trust a brand if a website isn’t mindfully done. As we’ve discussed in prior blog posts, most people still seek and crave human connection, even though we’re living in the online world. A clean, well-designed, updated website gives an important insight into the type of brand you are.

Your website can even serve as the first contact when it comes to customer service. It’s important to make your audience feel welcome when visiting you online.

To increase SEO

Search engine optimization – SEO – has become increasingly important over the years. If brands want to capitalize on the search engine algorithms, then it’s essential to create, and index, website content accordingly. Even the little things, like including photos and tagging information in the right way, can make a big difference.

It all comes down to visibility. Web design can be challenging – though it’s a bit more manageable with content management platforms, and good practice of SEO fundamentals are what can really help your website get a step ahead in the search engine algorithm game.

To stay competitive

Even if you’re skeptical about all these other reasons listed above, there’s one more that might make you think twice: good website design is essential if you’re planning to keep your brand or business competitive in your industry. The truth is that your competitors might already be working on designing the latest, greatest website.

With more than 1.5 billion websites online, why should audiences spend any of their time on websites that don’t offer a thoughtful experience? You can probably remember times when you’ve been searching online, and for whatever reason, you didn’t like or trust the website you were on. (Maybe you were on your phone and it wasn’t mobile-friendly.) What did you do? You probably left the page in search of the next website that met your needs. Good web design will keep your audience from doing the same thing to you.

We know web design isn’t easy, especially with the never-ending changes and evolutions in the technological landscape. At Brieffin, our digital marketing focus has led us to a wealth of experiences in the web design space. We are proud of the websites we’ve created in cooperation with our clients over the past years.

If you’re looking for a partner to help you achieve your website design goals, we’d love to chat with you – so reach out to us!

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“Leave what’s heavy, what’s heavy behind.” – Birdtalker (Heavy from One)

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Cover Letter Do’s and Dont’s

It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.

Confucius

Maybe you’ve got your resume or CV all ready to go. It’s formatted, polished, and optimized to a T. 

Unfortunately, that’s not the only thing you need to be successful in your job search.

Yes, here we are talking about the dreaded cover letter. Just the name alone can be enough to send shivers down any job-seeker’s spine. For some reason, it seems easy to distill all the relevant information about our skills and experience into a set of clear and palatable bullet points. The resume is done. It covers all the most important stuff, like our basic contact information and work experience. Though we may need to tweak it, making small changes when applying for different jobs, it’s more or less ready to go.

But writing a letter… that somehow has the perfect balance of new information, while re-hashing the most relevant points from our resume without being redundant, and without it reading like it was written by a robot whose sole purpose is applying for the desired position… now, this is a real challenge.

At Brieffin, we specialize in professional brand-building – from portfolios, to resumes, and everything in between. And yes, that includes cover letters. Today, we wanted to share a few of our favorite tips for cover-letter writing – what to do, and what not to do.

Cover letter DON’T: Use a template

Google search “cover letters” and you’ll get no shortage of results. But many of them will be templates. Just stay away from them. While it might not hurt to read a few samples to get an idea of formatting, it’s almost always obvious when someone uses a template. Plus, using a template always carries an additional risk – you might accidentally leave in some of the pre-set information instead of replacing it with your own. 

Cover letter DON’T: Use the same cover letter for each job

Your cover letter should be so specific that it wouldn’t fit if you sent it to another company. That means you should focus on the details of the job you’re applying for, and tailor your letter for the company and job description. That means you’re going to have to do your research and write a different cover letter for each job. And this isn’t a lot of fun, but it’s imperative to the cause. Also, like we talked about before, using completely different cover letters helps keep you from making mistakes by forgetting to replace one company name for another. 

Cover letter DON’T: Write your autobiography

Just like a resume, cover letters should generally be limited to one page. This includes the heading and salutation, which can often take up one-fourth of the page or more. When you get into the body of the letter, don’t immediately launch into your life story. While you want to put your best foot forward and include all the necessary information, a shorter, more concise cover letter is less likely to exhaust a hiring manager just by looking at it. Focusing on the most relevant details makes each one more salient.

Cover letter DO: Let your personality shine through

Your cover letter is the only opportunity you get to be “you” in your whole job application. And what you can offer to a job or a career is so much more than the sum of all your skills and work history. Your potential employer is – or should be – keeping that in mind as well when making hiring decisions. They want to know how you’ll fit into their current company culture and who you are as a person. The only way you’re going to set yourself apart from every other applicant is with your cover letter. Let your personality shine through.

Cover letter DO: Focus on what you can offer

While you want your personality to become apparent, remember that the cover letter isn’t really about you. It’s about what you can offer to the company; why you’re the best fit for the job in a sea of other applicants. It’s okay to talk about yourself, but make sure it all relates back to the desired position. 

Cover letter DO: Proofread

There’s nothing worse than sending off your resume and cover letter – which you’ve worked so hard on, and are so proud of – to your dream job… and then finding a typo or grammatical error afterward. There’s really no way to undo it, and all you can do is hope that the hiring manager doesn’t notice it. But the unfortunate reality is that many are looking for any reason to disqualify an applicant from the application pool, and spelling errors are an easy way to narrow it down. After finishing your cover letter – and resume, for that matter – close it and come back to it the next day with a fresh set of eyes. Have a friend or family member read it, too. This will ensure that your cover letter is working for you, not against you.

While cover-letter-writing may not be anyone’s favorite activity, especially while dealing with the stress of the job search, we at Brieffin want to you know what we’re here for you. With our consulting services, you can feel confident that your professional image is coherent, working together in harmony to offer the best of yourself.

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“In the end it will work out, but when does that become right now?” – Elovay (Sort It Out from Sort It Out EP)

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Personalizing Your Digital Marketing Strategy

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but in seeing with new eyes.

Marcel Proust

No matter our stories, no matter our life experiences, there’s one thing most of us have in common: we’ve all had someone play the role of a coach in our lives.

Maybe it was an actual coach, like for a sports team. (Personally, I played soccer and basketball growing up.) Maybe it was a teacher or some sort of special instructor. Or maybe it was your parents, grandparents, or even an older sibling. The role of a coach, regardless of the official title, is someone who provides guidance. Who cheers you on. Who wants to help you succeed.

Here’s what the dictionary has to say:

Coach (noun): someone who helps you identify and focus on what’s important; someone who trains you to achieve your goals.

Even as we grow older and move into professional careers, we often identify someone in our workplace or industry to act as a mentor. Through this person’s lens of experience, they share their knowledge to help us achieve more than we could alone.

But sometimes, we may need coaching in another area. It might be something that’s totally foreign to us. Or maybe, though we’re already experts on a given topic, we may be looking for an outside perspective.

The best coaches I’ve had in my life were ones who challenged me in a way that I wasn’t expecting. When I showed up to the soccer field, or to band practice, or to my professor’s office, I often walked in feeling confident in myself. Like I knew what I needed to do. But several times, they asked me to totally re-think what I thought I knew. And that’s not always a comfortable feeling.

But without the change in perspective, our ability to grow is limited. In some cases, we even have to unlearn the things we thought we knew, that we took to be completely, unequivocally true, to reach our full potential. Long story short – change isn’t easy, but we rely on coaches to help us uncover more than we thought possible.

So, speaking of coaching… if you’ve seen our social media lately, you may have seen that we at Brieffin are offering something we’re really excited about: personalized social media workshops. Whatever your story is, and whatever you’re hoping to gain, we want to help spark your creativity and share inspiration to revitalize your digital marketing strategy.

We know that the digital marketing landscape is constantly changing. Sometimes, it seems like if you blink, you’ll miss a new trend that’s taking over the online world. It can truly be exhausting to try to keep track of everything.

With our personalized workshops, we’ll sit down with you to help identify your business goals and start from the very beginning to create a custom strategy for you.

A few of the topics we’ll cover include:

Strategy & Purpose | Audience Targeting & KPIs | Frequency & Timeline | Budget | Content | Social Networks | Engagement Flow & Protocol | Advertising | Content Type | Copywriting Tone | Design | Monitoring | Brand Reputation | Analytics

Most of all, we want our clients to know that this is not a presentation – it’s a conversation. While we may be the coach in this case, we want our clients to take an active, participating role. One common theme of our workshops is the HANDS-ON approach, and this is the only way the end result can be the very best it can be.

If you want to learn more about our personalized social media workshops, please don’t hesitate to contact us! We’d love to connect with you.

Our Moment of Bliss

“Close my eyes for a while again, everything will be all right.” – Human Resources (Bad News from Pizza Dreams)

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5 Ways Your Brand Can Create Content

There’s no good idea that cannot be improved on.

Michael Eisner

In last week’s blog post, we discussed some different “buzzwords” that are often associated with digital marketing. One of these words – content creation – is maybe seen as the biggest enigma. It’s such a broad term, that it can be difficult to pin down exactly what it means.

Put simply, content creation is anything that an audience can consume or interact with. Providing this content to your customers gives them a reason to come to you, so relationship between brand and consumer becomes mutually beneficial.

That being said, if the content isn’t very good, it’s not going to attract anyone. So maybe you know you need to focus on creating quality content, but you’re not sure where to start.

Here are 5 different types of content your brand can create to share with your audience.

1. Blog posts

According to a study by HubSpot, businesses with blogs can expect 55% more visitors than their competitors without websites. In fact, most website visitors are expecting to find a blog when they click on your site. A blog can also help establish your brand as trustworthy to your consumers. You can show that you’re an industry leader, writing about relevant topics and topics that are important to you and your audience.

Not to mention, blogs are a great way to bring organic traffic to your site by ranking for SEO.

2. Social media

With social media, you’re meeting your audience where they are – online. Without being overbearing or “spamming,” brands should find the social platforms that work best for them and focus on creating meaningful content. Share news with your followers to distribute information to a large group. Promote your existing content by repurposing it into something smaller and more digestible for a social audience. Answer questions or engage in conversation with anyone who engages with you. Tell a story to cut through the noise and chaos of an increasingly digital world.

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Snapchat, YouTube, Tik Tok… find your platform(s), and find your people.

3. Videos

Videos have become increasingly important over the past few years, and it’s clear that trend isn’t going to die any time soon. The statistics about videos speak for themselves:

  • 43% of people want to see more video content from marketers. (HubSpot)
  • Almost 50% of Internet users look for videos related to a product or service before visiting a store. (Google)
  • Product videos can increase purchases by 144%. (Neil Patel)

Whether it’s creating a new YouTube channel for product demos, or incorporating “story” videos into your brand’s social profiles, consumers want to see more – just make sure you’re producing content that’s truly valuable to them.

4. Infographics

Who doesn’t love a good statistic? Similarly, who doesn’t love a great piece of design?

Put them together, and you have the infographic.

However, infographics are so much more than the sum of their parts. By using aesthetic appeal and useful information, they are a great way to attract a target audience – easily. When creating infographics, ask yourself this question: what does your target audience care about and want to learn about? It’s another chance to show yourself off as the expert on a given topic, and it positions you to share why your audience would benefit from using your product or service.

5. How-to articles or checklists

Creating great content always comes down to providing something useful. It might not always be explicitly – or even implicitly – advertising your product or service. Sometimes, it might just be showing your industry authority and associating yourself and your brand name with that industry.

That’s where content such as how-to articles or checklists come in. Consider topics related to your industry that consumers have common questions about. By writing an article that breaks down that topic step-by-step, you establish yourself as a leader and an expert. The same goes for creating any kind of checklist that your consumers might need. Give the consumer what they need right now, and they will remember you later.

Content creation. It’s so much more than just a buzzword; these 15 letters convey so much of the way that digital marketing is moving in the future. Less shouting into the void, less spamming – more conversation, more focus, more value.

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“Don’t you know that there’s a time to live?” – Fyfe (Cold Air from The Space Between)

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5 Important Digital Marketing Buzzwords

Do what you can, where you are, with what you have.

Theodore Roosevelt

What’s the difference between branding and a campaign? Or content creation and social media? The world of digital marketing is constantly evolving, meaning there are always new puzzle pieces to fit into a comprehensive marketing strategy.

Some companies hire an expert to handle all or part of their digital marketing, like we do social media for our industrial clients (and we love it!). Others might handle all of it in-house. And others still might be interested in learning more, in order to feel that they’re taking a fully hands-on approach to their marketing.

No matter which category you fit into – or maybe it’s a different one altogether – we wanted to provide a refresher on some of these common digital marketing buzzwords.

Branding

Branding is what your company or product looks like in the eyes of your customers. As we say, “your brand is your message.” Your brand is the message that you’re sending out into the world.

Think about your own favorite brands. What images pop into your mind? More than just physical features of the product being offered, branding can also be about an emotional connection. What words do you associate with the brand? How does it make you feel? What does your association with the brand say about you as the consumer?

When you create your brand strategy, you’re breathing life into your product or business. You’re establishing its personality, its likes and dislikes, its values, and more. While other aspects of your company may change with the seasons, your branding should be less temporary. It should only become stronger and more consistent with time.

Content Creation

This one may be the biggest buzzword of the past few years. And how can it not be, given the influx of Instagram influencers who call themselves “content creators” as their job titles? Regardless of whether you find that to be superficial, content creation is very much a legitimate need for many businesses, and a crucial part of a comprehensive strategy.

Almost anything we consume is considered to be content. How-to articles, news articles, blogs, gifs, memes, social media posts, YouTube videos – that’s all content. And the point of this content is to have someone reading, watching, or interacting with it.

That’s where the need for content creation comes in. When brands are able to create meaningful content for their consumers, they’re more likely to bring that consumer to them, rather than needing to go looking for them. Good content has the ability to gain repeat visits from those consumers, and it accomplishes another important goal: building trust with the target audience.

Campaigns

Remember how during the branding section, we mentioned that some aspects of marketing are more temporary? Well, campaigns were one of those temporary things. Simply put, a campaign is generally an activity outside of your daily marketing tasks with a fixed timeframe that aims to accomplish specific goals.

Whether it’s a new product launch, a contest, or just a new perspective on the brand, campaigns generally seek to augment customer interaction with the brand, bolster brand awareness and positive impressions of the brand, and convert new leads.

One recently memorable campaign was U.S. feminine hygiene brand, Always. Using the hashtag #LikeAGirl, they got the world talking about their campaign as they endeavored to change the negative connotation of this phrase into a powerful mantra. You can learn more about how their campaign got started, and find out the numbers behind the campaign’s success.

Social Media

Facebook. Twitter. Instagram. Snapchat. Pinterest. LinkedIn. YouTube. Tumblr. Reddit.

At Brieffin, we’re firm believers in the power of social media. It’s a great way for brands to magnify reach, enhance relationships, and exchange knowledge with others. But we’re on the topic of definitions today, so let’s stick to what social media actually is.

Since “social media” was added to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary in 2011, let’s see what they had to say:

social media (noun): forms of electronic communication (such as websites for social networking and microblogging) through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content (such as videos)

Long definition short, it’s where users go to share content they’ve created with each other. And of course, brands entered this space long ago. There’s a lot of outreach that can be done on social media, but you have to remember: consumers want human connection.

SEO

Can you remember the last time you Googled something? (We’ll guess it was probably today.) Now, can you remember the last time you went to the 10th page of search results? What about the fifth page? The second?

And here we have in essence the importance of SEO, or search engine optimization, for your brand or business – no matter how amazing your content is, if it’s not showing up as close to the top as search results as possible, you’re not going to get the consumer engagement you want.

When you create an SEO strategy, it’s all about keeping the almighty Google in mind. Google arranges its search results with a very specific algorithm. It takes into account your keywords, but not only that – your snippets, your images, and even your site speed! Even if you have the best keywords in the world, your site won’t rank highly if it’s slow.

There are many ways you can improve your search engine optimization. From hiring a professional, to taking advantage of the tools your content management platform offers, SEO is something worth investing in.

At Brieffin, we understand that these topics can be confusing or even overwhelming, but they don’t have to be. We’re always here if you need us.

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“Kid, you gotta take it into your own hands.” – Magic Bronson (Fences from Wildlife)

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Why Your Brand Should Be Using Hashtags

Every once in a while, a new technology, an old problem and a big idea turn into an innovation.

Dean Kamen

For our industrial brands – and Brieffin, as well – we utilize a variety of social media channels. The type of message we focus on for each channel is different. Some social channels, like Twitter, are where we focus on a high volume of information. Others, like Instagram, are great for sharing visual content, like photos and videos.

But no matter the platform – whether it’s one of these, or even LinkedIn, lately – you’re likely to see one thing in common: the presence of hashtags.

The hashtag got its start on Twitter, back in 2007. A social technology expert named Chris Messina is credited for inventing it when he posted this Tweet:

When Messina shared his idea with Twitter founder Evan Williams, Williams didn’t really care for the idea. He doubted it would be very popular.

But the uses and popularity of hashtags grew. 12 years later, there are 125 million hashtags used every single day.

So why should brands use hashtags? Though some may see them merely as a gimmick, we believe hashtags provide value when used with good judgment. Here are 5 reasons why brands should be using hashtags.

1. To create community

Just as Messina intended in his Tweet containing the original suggestion, hashtags are very efficient when used for a group. In fact, for many of my college courses, we would have a class hashtag listed on our syllabus along with the professor’s office hours and the course textbook name. When my classmates and I would use that hashtag – such as “COMM441” – it was a way for us to share interesting thoughts or information related to the class, with each other. It gave us a group identity in a social space.

2. To help your target audience find you

Hashtags have evolved beyond a way to identify groups. Now, they serve another very important purpose: they are basically their own version of a search engine. Since hashtags are links, clicking on a hashtag on any social channel will bring the user to a new page showing all the recent posts with the same hashtag. Or, they can simply type the hashtag into any search field – even Google! When your brand is using the right hashtags, it makes it easy for the people who are interested in that hashtag to find you. You don’t even have to go looking for them!

3. To build excitement

Maybe your brand wants to announce a new promotion, product, contest, or campaign. The perfect hashtag can go a long way to generate buzz as you share the news with your audience. That hashtag can ensure consistency with your messaging. Even more than that, you can encourage your audience to use the same hashtag – to share their feedback or even enter the contest. Not only are you building excitement, but also fostering the sense of community (just like in #1.)

4. To improve engagement rates

Everyone is looking for the magic formula that improves engagement. It turns out, hashtags might be part of that formula. According to a study by Linchpin SEO, Tweets with hashtags receive twice as much engagement as Tweets without hashtags. While there are varying opinions and statistics on the exact number of hashtags that works best, it can depend on industry and audience. Brands should experiment to find that perfect number.

5. To build connections within your industry

Most of us know the power of networking, and surprisingly, hashtags can even be good for that! Using the same hashtag as others in your industry can lead to connections made – especially in niche industries. Also, it’s quite common for industry events or conferences to have an “official” event hashtag. (Like #METEC2019, which we recently attended.) Make sure to include it while sharing content from the event, and there’s a good chance you’ll be able to meet and connect with others in attendance, even if just virtually.

Looking for more advice about navigating the ever-evolving world of social media? Get in contact with us, and we’ll be happy to connect and point you in the right direction.

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“I need to wake up and learn things today.” – Goth Babe (Sunnnn from Pacific II)

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Losing Control, Making Peace

All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on.

Havelock Ellis

In a previous blog post, I shared a story about a great social media interaction I had with a popular U.S. airline a few years ago. Today, I’m here to share a not-so-great story about that same airline.

I’ve been back in the U.S. for a visit, and I was flying from my hometown of Kansas City to Spokane, Washington for a vacation, with a short layover in Denver. Before even leaving Kansas City, I learned that my connecting flight from Denver had been delayed three hours. I would be landing in Spokane at 3 a.m. – which was 5 a.m. in my home time zone.

I was angry. I felt helpless. And when the flight attendant asked me what I wanted to drink, I had to stop myself from saying “An on-time departure from Denver, please.” Instead, I took a deep breath and politely ordered a Sprite.

Later, I decided to check the plane’s location and see how much time until landing. When I looked at the map, the image I saw threw me for another loop. Literally, the plane had made a looping zig-zag, and I could tell we weren’t headed toward Denver anymore. Instead, we were backtracking away in the opposite direction. Bad weather in the Denver area meant that we were being diverted to Wichita to re-fuel – Wichita being a city I could have driven to faster. I wasn’t sure if we’d even make it to Denver at all.

At some point, I finally started to understand: there was really nothing I could do. Confined to my window seat on that Boeing-737, all I could do was keep breathing and try to remember that there was nothing I could do. Really, the only option available to me was making peace with the fact that it was going to be a long night.

There are so many points throughout our lives – from plane rides, to the workplace – that we want to have control. We all have a deep need for control. We want things the way we want them, without other people meddling or messing things up for us. Not having control makes us feel insecure, uncomfortable, and threatened.

Most of us strive for that control, sometimes to the point of unhealthiness. This can be particularly true in career-focused societies, and even more so in the entrepreneurial lifestyle. When you feel entirely responsible for every aspect of your business, it’s especially hard to relinquish control in any capacity. Worst-case scenarios flash through your head.

According to Cheryl Cran, author of The Control Freak Revolution, you might have some control issues in your professional life if you answer yes to any of the following statements:

  • You’re proud of never taking vacation time.
  • You feel angry when others let you down.
  • You’re always “swamped.”
  • People ask you a lot of questions (because they’re afraid they’re not doing it right).
  • You actually believe that no one else can do what you do.

A lot of it comes down to the idea of trust. You may believe that you can’t trust anyone else as much as you trust yourself. This isn’t an inherently bad trait, but it certainly can lead to a lot of additional stress in the workplace.

Learning to delegate effectively is an art, and it may come more naturally to some people than others. But surrounding yourself with those you trust might help make the transition to delegation easier. Little by little, learning to lean on the people you trust can help alleviate some of the discomfort that comes along with feeling like you’re letting go.

At Brieffin, we also use the practice of mindfulness to guide our professional work. Being mindful of when we’re feeling “out of control” can also help to re-center us. It can turn an anxious feeling into an accepted one (even if it’s not entirely welcomed).

Even just acknowledging how you’re feeling can help take some of the feeling’s power away. Recognize that feeling without judging yourself. The need for control is not a character flaw or a weakness – it just is. When you’re not sure what to do, breathing more is always a good solution. Breathe and focus on what’s around you.

Mindfulness is about focusing on what’s real in the here and now. And while you can’t control everything – or, let’s face it, much of anything – in life, you can control your breathing.

And in the end, I was “lucky” that my flight to Spokane was delayed. After arriving super late in Denver, I was still able to make my connecting flight. And while the whole ordeal to get halfway across my own country took longer than it would have for me to fly back to Madrid, I took a deep breath, stepped off the plane, and felt grateful that I’d made it. Even if it was 3 a.m.

Our Moment of Bliss

“Don’t know how to tell myself just stop, breathe.” – RKCB (Elevated from In Contrast)

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Social Media Marketing And Industrial Brands

No niche is too small if it’s yours.

Seth Godin

Industrial engineering brands might be the last type of brand you’d expect to have a social media presence. For a long time, that was true. But back in 2012, we entered the social media space for our first industrial client, and we haven’t looked back since.

In the beginning, it certainly wasn’t easy. With the continually shifting technological landscape, it seemed like a new social media platform was popping up every month. After getting a handle on those, the next step was deciding WHAT to share. Our clients already had plenty of interesting and informative content available on their websites: photos, technical brochures, presentations, videos, news, press releases, career opportunities, and more.

Little by little, with trial and error came experience. Seven years later, we’ve become more confident in our digital marketing and online branding strategies for our clients. But social media has never stopped changing, and it probably never will. We’re ready to keep learning, keep evolving, and keep tackling the challenges that come our way.

When considering social media for industrial brands, keep the following topics in mind.

Different platforms, different strategies

On social platforms like Facebook and Instagram, it’s all about visuals. With Facebook, we also focus on the stories, trivia, and human-interest aspect of our brands. We want our community members to be involved in the experience. Twitter, on the other hand, is where we really focus on sharing technical information. We can connect with other companies in the industry and answer questions from our customers. For this reason, we often focus on Twitter with a high level of communication every day. We’ve also got touchpoints on other platforms such as YouTube and SlideShare, where our clients can share very technical information for engineers or clients of their own.

Magnifying reach

An important aspect of any type of marketing campaign is identifying the target audience and the message. After that, we can focus on actually reaching that audience. Social media is one of the best ways to broadcast a message directly to a selected audience – and much of the time, it’s completely free! On top of that, it’s easy to track and quantify the metrics of how well a certain post or campaign is performing. With access to this data, marketers and brands can receive valuable insight to audience attitudes, feelings, and behaviors. From there, messages can be reinforced or re-adjusted.

Enhancing relationships

Connection is an essential part of the human experience. That doesn’t change just because we start talking about a relationship involving a brand. With social media, the brand is able to change from an “it” to an “us” – which includes the people who make the brand, as well as the people who engage with it.  Not only that, brands have a way to listen to and learn from their customers in real time. It’s an opportunity that shouldn’t be ignored. Brands can offer better and enhanced user experiences from their products and services, thanks to the live feedback from the target audience.

Exchanging knowledge

What better way to stay on top of market trends than being a part of the conversation? By following and engaging with others in the same industry, brands on social media can get front-row access to what’s happening elsewhere. It’s a great way to keep on top of industry trends. Not only that, but there can be a high-quality information exchange with consumers. We mentioned before that we often share very technical content with our followers on platforms such as Twitter. When they ask us a question, we as the social media managers may not necessarily be able to answer right away – we need to call in an expert. But once that expert does respond with the answer, the customer walks away with new industry knowledge and (hopefully) a reinforced positive image of the brand.

Social media marketing – no matter the industry – is so much more than just spamming your followers with links and endless self-promotion. It should be a conversation, carefully thought-out; an investment of time and effort.

Whether you’re a beginner looking for a place to start, or just looking for a more hands-on approach to your digital marketing strategy, we can help. We offer coaching and consulting services, to exchange our own knowledge with others and build a stronger community of social media marketers.

Let’s find your communication destiny – together.

Our Moment of Bliss

“One day, you will find how to be rogue.” – Cobra Man (Rogue from Toxic Planet)

Join our playlist on Spotify and step out of your comfort zone. Even for a day.

The Art of Social Media

Art is a step in the known toward the unknown.

Kahlil Gibran

As the technological landscape continuously changes, there are more and more voices participating in the social space. Anyone with an internet connection can write and publish anything at any time.

With this, social media has evolved from its original purpose. It’s more than just a place for friends and families to stay in touch. Instead, individuals and brands alike have the opportunity to share content. But with more voices comes more noise. Social media is sometimes seen as the void that internet users are shouting into. Everyone is saying something, but is anyone listening?

For this reason, social media sometimes gets a reputation for being superficial. But here at Brieffin, since we manage social channels for our industrial clients, we make a special effort to practice mindful social media. To us, this means designing and writing content with purpose. Purpose that meets our clients’ needs while also providing value to our audience.

In each of our Brieffin blog posts, we include a song at the bottom: our moment of bliss. Last week, I heard a song for the first time that really made me stop and think. Of course, it’s included at the bottom of this week’s post. But let me explain why I found it so interesting.

The song is called “Blood,” by the band ANIMA!. Its lyrics talk about the process of creating art and the struggle behind it. It made me think: the writing process that we go through when writing social media is similar. By that definition, does it mean that mindful social media is art?

Let’s take a look at some of the lyrics and see if/how that pertains to social media.

“Art is a mean meditation, staring at a blank screen
In between what we mean and the things we say.”

In general, I think that most types of writing qualify as art. It’s a creative practice. Anyone who has ever written something they cared deeply about has had the experience of staring at that blank screen or blank page trying to find the right words. Whether it’s poetry or social media, we often write with intention, but that doesn’t always mean writing plainly. There’s a careful strategy to everything.

“So I try to put a little piece of myself in
Keep the pretty people listening.”

This first line relates very closely to what we firmly believe at Brieffin: that personality is an indispensable ingredient to any type of brand or social media strategy. Putting a piece of yourself into your message helps to humanize it, therefore connecting with your audience in an authentic way.

The second line refers to the nature of performance when it comes to art. Painting, sculpture, music, theater, dance, or social media – all are generally meant to be public, made by varying degrees for audience consumption. For some of these, such as social media, they wouldn’t really exist without that audience. Keeping that audience in mind is crucial when creating that art form.

“Too many sides to a story, all these colors and shapes
I’m afraid if I love it they won’t agree.”

When sitting down to create, design, or write, there’s a decision to be made about the art’s creative direction. With so many options, choosing the most meaningful and impactful way to tell the story can be overwhelming. Along with that, especially when you’re working with your audience in mind – whether that’s your client, the consumers, or both – you have to remember that it’s possible they won’t like what you came up with. It’s opening yourself up to be in that vulnerable position.

“Art is love, love is work
It hurts to give yourself to it.”

Writing has always been something I’ve loved doing. From the time I was young, I was always writing – from stories and journal entries as a kid, to articles and campaign strategy books as I got older. These days, I spend more time writing blog posts and social media. But there are times that I work on a social campaign and feel totally spent afterwards. Just because it may be a 280-character Tweet or an Instagram post with emojis and hashtags, doesn’t mean that it wasn’t carefully thought out, written with intention.

These are only a few of the lyrics from this song, but just from these ones, I’ve personally come to the conclusion that social media – mindful social media – can be art.

If your business is looking for mindful social media content creation, or to take a more hands-on approach to your marketing strategy, get in touch with us. We’ll be here to help you however you need, to help you create social media art of your own.

Our Moment of Bliss

“Art is work, work is love, reminding us why we do it.” – ANIMA! (Blood from Art:Work)

Join our playlist on Spotify and reconnect with your artistic being.

A Different Perspective on Brand Personality

Find out who you are and do it on purpose.

Dolly Parton

Many people have heard of the famous Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, also sometimes known as a personality test. When I was in my first year of college – and an “undecided” major – I went to our campus career resource center to do a few tests that could hopefully help to provide me with some clarity. One of these tests was the Myers-Briggs.

While some discount its accuracy – or even usefulness – it’s still the most widely-administered personality test that exists. And whether or not it’s totally accurate, doesn’t actually matter. We’re just going to talk about it in a way that’s fun and could potentially give us something new to think about.

When you take the MBTI, the classic result format is something like INTJ or ESFP. Test-takers are grouped into one of two categories for each of the four “digits.”

First: I (Introversion) or E (Extroversion)

Second: N (Intuition) or S (Sensing)

Third: T (Thinking) or F (Feeling)

Fourth: J (Judging) or P (Perceiving)

Most recently, when I took the test, I was allegedly an ENFJ. But looking at the acronym, even knowing what all of the individual components mean, does that really tell you anything about my personality?

A newer development in the Myers-Briggs world is the website, 16personalities.com. It rounds up each of the 16 possible results into a tangible personality – not just an unhelpful string of letters. Nearly 200 million people have taken the test via this platform.

My result: “The Protagonist.” According to 16personalities, protagonists are “charismatic and inspiring leaders, able to mesmerize their listeners.” My sister is an ENFP – “The Campaigner,” and campaigners are “enthusiastic, creative free spirits, who can always find a reason to smile.”

The website breaks it down into four subgroups with four personality types in each:

Analysts

  • Architect – INTJ
  • Logician – INTP
  • Commander – ENTJ
  • Debater – ENTP

Diplomats

  • Advocate – INFJ
  • Mediator – INFP
  • Protagonist – ENFJ
  • Campaigner – ENFP

Sentinels

  • Logistician – ISTJ
  • Defender – ISFJ
  • Executive – ESTJ
  • Consul – ESFJ

Explorers

  • Virtuoso – ISTP
  • Adventurer – ISFP
  • Entrepreneur – ESTP
  • Entertainer – ESFP

Having a concrete title for each personality type definitely tells you more than just the four letters. You can also dig into more information about each personality type’s strengths, weaknesses, workplace habits, relationships, and more.

Now switching gears… let’s talk about it from a brand perspective.

At Brieffin, we believe that personality is an extremely important part of any brand. It’s the magic dust that brings your brand to life. Finding a way to humanize your brand will make it relate to your customers. They’re looking for connection. “What is your brand personality?” is a great question to ask yourself when evaluating your brand’s humanity.

The idea of these 16 personality types can be a different angle when looking at, or trying to determine, your brand’s personality.

Even with just the brief descriptions of each type, you start to get an idea of who that “person” is. Those who identify as the Logician, for example, are “innovative inventors with an unquenchable thirst for knowledge.” And the Entertainer is someone who is “spontaneous, energetic, and enthusiastic. Life is never boring around them.”

From a consumer perspective, can you think of any brands that fit the above profiles, in your opinion?

As you read all 16 profiles, which ones stand out to you? Which ones resonate with who your brand is, or who you want it to be?

Even if you already feel that you have a strong brand personality, choosing one of the 16 types and reading the additional information may inspire you to look at your traits or messaging from a new perspective.

If you’re not sure, an interesting idea might be to actually take the test, and answer how you think your brand would answer – or how you’d want it to answer. Getting that result back can tell you a lot about how your brand interacts with the world, what your brand values, how your brand processes information, and how it reacts to different situations. These are all definitely human traits, but that’s what we want to do – bring humanity to your brand.

When it comes to the result – whether you distinguish it for yourself, or let the test do the work – it’s important to remember that there is no such thing as a right or wrong type. Just like people, every brand has a unique set of characteristics; strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes. The goal here, is not to be boxed in by any results, but to be empowered with the knowledge of seeing your(brand)self from a new angle.

Our Moment of Bliss

“Don’t concern myself with all of the lives I might’ve had.” – K.Flay (I Like Myself (Most Of The Time) from Solutions)

Join our playlist on Spotify and breathe in and out. Namaste.

Falling in Love with Brand Awareness

Awareness is like the sun. When it shines on things, they are transformed.

Thich Nhat Hanh

Brand awareness is sometimes seen as a marketing buzzword in the world of strategic communication. But what does it really mean?

Put simply, it’s the a measurement of consumer consciousness or recognition of a product or company. Within that, there are multiple levels to brand awareness. First, is the product or company recognized by its name? If not, it’s lacking brand awareness. If so, it’s a step in the right direction. The next question: what qualities or characteristics are being associated with the brand? What are the defining aspects that are easy for consumers to recall?

In some historical cases, the level of brand awareness has been so strong that the brand name of a certain product has replaced the generic term.

“Can you pass me a Kleenex?”

“Why do you have a Band-Aid on your finger?”

“I can’t find my Chapstick.”

Despite being part of our everyday language, Kleenex, Band-Aid, and Chapstick are actually just industry-leading brand names for generic products – facial tissues, adhesive bandages, and lip balm, respectively. Generally, these “generic trademarks,” as they are called, actually go against the trademark holder’s intentions, though it represents market dominance or monopoly.

Okay, so these are extreme cases. Brand awareness doesn’t always have to – and rarely does – go that far. Even if you aren’t aiming to be the next Velcro (which was also originally a brand name!), you should still strive for brand awareness – whether that’s business or personal.

When considering your brand awareness strategy, keep the following things in mind:

A differentiated message will help set your brand apart from its competitors. What about your brand is special? If your brand doesn’t have anything distinctive to offer, there’s no reason for your target audience to remember it. Find your niche and make your unique claim. This helps prevent market confusion when your customers know exactly what you alone can offer them.

When consumers know what you’re offering, they’re more likely to go straight to you for their product needs, rather than researching other brands. It’s like a shortcut through the decision-making process, which can sometimes be stressful. With a strong brand and clear and consistent message, you’ll become front-of-mind for consumers – that’s your number one goal.

Speaking of that clear and consistent message, your brand is your message. When your brand is sleek and coherent, it creates harmony. That harmony is appealing for consumers, and strong branding gives you credibility – before you’ve even said a word. For this reason, you’re more likely to be viewed as trustworthy by your target audience. And according to HubSpot: “In a world where consumers rely on extensive research and others’ opinions before making a simple purchase, brand trust is everything.”

Social media is one useful way to increase brand awareness, regardless of your industry. Whether you’re an industrial engineering brand like many of our clients, a small business owner, or anything in between, you can use social media as a tool to help create recognition.

We’ve previously posted here about the benefits of a strong social media presence. Not only is it something that virtually every brand can use, it also can help create a strong community. This community can become a base of your most devoted customers, who may be quite outspoken in their loyalty. After they’ve made that bond with your brand, they’re unlikely to waver from it. The consumer loyalty aspect is another key feature of a brand-awareness creation.

If you’re interested in developing a comprehensive brand awareness campaign, we at Brieffin are here to be your partners on that journey. We invite you to learn about our roadmap and philosophy for designing your unique strategy that gives your brand the WOW! effect you’re looking for.

“Awareness is like the sun. When it shines on things, they are transformed.” When your brand exists without awareness, it’s in the dark – unknown, unseen, unspecified. Bringing awareness is the special ingredient that transforms the anonymous into the familiar.

It’s time to fall in love with brand awareness.

Our Moment of Bliss

“Breathe in and out and go easy.” – WHY? (Easy from The Wild Honey Pie Buzzsession)

Join our playlist on Spotify and breathe in and out. Namaste.

Human Connection in a Technological Society

Our well-being depends on our connections with others.

Matthew Lieberman

It’s an age-old question: how is the technology in today’s society affecting the connections we make with others?

Well, maybe it’s not age-old. The technological world we live in today is constantly evolving, and at a faster pace than ever before. So in decades past, most of us didn’t even realize we’d ever be asking this specific question.

As a late millennial, I’m old enough to remember dial-up Internet, but it also feels like it was forever ago. The majority of my tech-related memories involve more modern developments, such as social media and – of course – mobile phones.

At the beginning of the shift, I was a preteen using AOL Instant Messenger to send chats tHaT lOoKeD lYkE tHiS to my middle school classmates. And for some reason, we also liked chatting to the AIM Bots. (Hi, SmarterChild and MovieFone.) The idea that technology had advanced to a point where insentient “beings” could understand and respond to us humans in real-time was interesting and exciting.

But all of the things that have changed in the last 10-15 years, one of the biggest might be the attitude toward doing just that: talking to bots. As much as we can recognize how far technology has come, and as much as we recognize that we’re online, we’d still almost always rather talk to a human.

How many times have you called a customer service line, only to receive a list of automated options? Or the robotic voice on the other side asks you to explain your issue, as it “listens” and attempts to direct you to the correct department?

Or what about when you engage in an online chat with a business – and you can just tell that it’s a robot talking to you? (And no matter how many times you ask, “Are you a real person?” you just don’t believe them?)

There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to get in contact with an actual person, especially if you’re already contacting customer service because you’re having some sort of issue with their product.

While businesses may feel that it’s in their best interest to streamline their helplines by employing these types of strategies, it often has the opposite effect when it comes to gaining and retaining consumer trust.

In fact, 88% of consumers say that “talking to a person” is their preferred method of seeking customer service (GetApp). It’s not just because it’s often faster and easier than talking to a bot. It’s because humans crave social connection. And because they’ll always trust a human more than a robot.

And while your consumers know that you’re a brand, they are still able to form emotional connections with it. They want authenticity. They want openness. They want inspiration.

Humans have always needed connection – in every society, through every period of time – and that hasn’t changed just because we’re living in a digital world.

The only thing that has changed is the ability for that connection to happen in a lot of different ways.

So when it comes to your brand, here are some questions you can ask yourself to evaluate its humanity:

What is your brand’s personality?

Why should consumers feel connected to you?

What type of interactions will you have with your consumers via social media platforms?

What is your tone and style, since the interactions aren’t face to face?

What type of community are you creating?

How are you acknowledging your consumers as individuals?

What story are you telling?

How are you being authentic?

How are you being true to your values?

If you’re feeling stuck or could use a little help, we at Brieffin are here. With mindful planning and consulting, we’ll support you as you take important steps to put the best version of your brand forward to connect with the world.

Our Moment of Bliss

“Never thought I’d find love and peace of mind.” – Merk (Ash & Sand from Swordfish)

Join our playlist on Spotify and reconnect with your childhood space. Namaste.

5 Ways Your Brand Can Use Social Media

Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world.

Robert McKee

When building a brand on social media, there are lots of different things to consider.

For example, our specialty is industrial brands. At first, it may seem difficult to imagine how industrial brands – or other highly-technical or regulated industries – can or should use social media.

We recently shared some best practices for social media engagement, but sometimes there is uncertainty whether your industry can use social media in the first place.

First, consider these statistics about using social media:

– There are nearly 3.5 billion social media users worldwide – that’s almost half of the world’s population. (WeAreSocial)

– 95% of adults 18-34 online follow brands on social media. (MarketingSherpa)

– 71% of consumers who have good social media experiences with a brand are likely to recommend it to others. (Ambassador)

Now that we’ve established some of social media’s benefits, you may still be wondering how your brand fits in. Here are just a few of the ways all brands can leverage social media:

1. Share news

No matter your brand’s industry, social media is a fantastic way to get the word out about exciting news. Maybe your company is attending a prestigious conference, got an award, or even received a great write-up or review in a publication. Sharing news with your brand’s followers via social media helps distribute information in a way that has a larger reach than it might have had originally.

2. Promote existing content

If you have a website, you’ve got social media content. But that’s not to say that you should cut and paste directly from your website into Twitter. However, you can certainly repurpose your existing website content into compelling social media. It helps you keep in front of your audience, and you may introduce them to information about your brand that they wouldn’t have encountered without digging around your website on their own.

3. Answer questions

Even in highly-technical industries, your followers may still have questions they want to ask you on social media. It’s an easy way for the consumer to get in contact with your brand, and they do expect you to respond, even if not immediately. Of our industrial brands, we occasionally receive questions on social media about LOESCHE Mills or MACARBON® bricks. Though we as the social media managers may not be able to answer these questions, we always acknowledge the question and then call in a specialist from the brand who can actually provide a detailed response.

4. Tell a story

Storytelling is part of human nature as we attempt to connect with each other. Social media is no different. Though more brands are creating content online than ever, you’ll have to find creative ways to cut through the noise. Sharing your brand’s story in an interesting and authentic way can go far in capturing and keeping your audience’s attention.

5. Create trust and provide value

Not everything you post on social media has to be selling something. If you inundate your followers with nothing but links, they’ll quickly lose interest and potentially unfollow you. Social media provides an opportunity to engage with your consumers in a different way. You have the potential to provide them with meaningful content about your industry that keeps them coming back – because they want to, not because they’re being targeted. Blog posts are one great way to deliver value, so make sure you share them on social media.

These are only a handful of the many ways that brands can leverage social media to develop relationships with their audience, but each and every brand can benefit from an individual strategy.

Though our specialty is industrial brands, we’re social media strategy experts and we are here if you need some assistance with your business’s online presence.

We also provide tutoring and consulting to those who want a more hands-on approach to their marketing strategy, and we can help you get started – so don’t hesitate to contact us for more information.

Our Moment of Bliss

“I hear a song from inside the maze.” – Aldous Harding (The Barrel from Designer)

Join our playlist on Spotify and reconnect with your childhood space. Namaste.

Should You Include a Photo on Your Resume?

In a gentle way, you can shake the world.

Mahatma Ghandi

It’s one of the many questions that professionals and job seekers ask: should you include a photo on your resume or CV?

The answer, of course – like so many things in life – is simply: it depends.

It depends on so many different factors. Where in the world are you? What position are you applying for? Even… what photo would you choose?

With all this in mind, let’s weigh these factors and help you come to a conclusion about the right decision for you.

Based on Location

Interestingly, every continent of the world seems to have a different idea regarding what’s appropriate. As someone from the United States, we would never even think of including a photo on a resume. It’s seen as unprofessional and excessive. But with the advent of LinkedIn, which includes a photo, I can understand now that opinions may be changing.

In most of Europe, the consensus seems to be that you should include a photo. In some regions, such as Scandinavia, it’s strongly encouraged. In other parts, it’s typical and generally expected to include a photo. And in places like Spain, it’s often required. However, in the United Kingdom, it’s extremely uncommon to include a photo and job seekers are generally advised against it.

In South America, the Middle East, many parts of Asia, and most of Africa, applicants should generally include a photo. Some of these places do not have explicit anti-discrimination laws that would discourage photos. And in Oceania, the choice to include a photo is yours. It may not be a norm, but it would not be out of the ordinary for you to include one.

Based on Position

If you’re in a place where including a photo is a legitimate option – so, almost everywhere except the U.S. and the UK – another consideration you should make is the position you’re applying for.

Here’s one benefit of not including a photo: it allows your skills, knowledge, and achievements to speak for themselves.

At Brieffin – as professional resume designers and consultants – we generally advise our clients not to include a photo when applying for high-level positions. We want the resume’s content to be the focus, not the photo. However, we do provide our clients with two resume designs – one with a photo, and one without. This ensures that our clients are equipped for any situation in which they need their resume.

Choosing a Photo

If you do decide to include a photo, it’s imperative that your photo works for you, not against you. Keep these things in mind for effective photo usage:

  • Use a high-quality photo – selfie photos are not appropriate for your resume. You may consider hiring a professional photographer, or even set up your own do-it-yourself photo studio in your home and ask a friend to help you take a good shot.
  • Dress according to the role – a corporate banker and a creative director are likely going to dress differently when they come to work, and you can reflect this in your resume photo.
  • Your photo should be an asset, not a distraction – don’t do anything crazy with your hair, makeup, or outfit.
  • Be consistent – use the same photo for your LinkedIn profile to show a harmonious uniformity between the two mediums. Show the employer you have a personal brand.
  • Make sure the photo is an appropriate size – don’t make the photo seem like an afterthought on your resume, but also not the main feature. Use it in a way that enhances your resume’s design but doesn’t steal the focus.

If you’re looking to revamp your resume, you’re in the right place. We’ll give you two resumes – one with a photo, one without – so you’re well-prepared for any situation.

We’re here if you need us.

Our Moment of Bliss

“Would you rewind, do it all over again, given the chance?” – Wallows (Remember When from Nothing Happens)

Join our playlist on Spotify and reconnect with your childhood space. Namaste.

Social Media Engagement: Building a Community

True joy results when we become aware of our connectedness to everything.

Paul Pearsall

Social media users know the difference between a brand that engages with its consumers and one that doesn’t. Of those that engage, these social media interactions can make or break the associations that consumers have about your brand – positive or negative.

Although it may seem that negative interactions may have more lasting impacts, positive engagements can go further than you may think. In fact, these positive experiences can build a community of extremely devoted customers, who may be quite outspoken in their loyalty.

Here’s a personal example that I love to share:

I was once on a Southwest Airlines flight to San Francisco with a short layover in Los Angeles. While I was on the flight to LA, I received a courtesy text message notification that my flight to San Francisco had been canceled.

I started to panic. My mother and I were meeting in San Francisco for a weekend together, and I was afraid the trip was ruined. What if I couldn’t get there?

Since I was cruising at 10,000 feet, I couldn’t call Southwest to help me. I wasn’t able to rebook a new flight in my app. I had one option left: I bought the $8 in-flight WiFi service and sent a desperate direct message to Southwest on Twitter.

Within 45 minutes, a social media agent had responded, apologized for the inconvenience, booked me on the next available flight from LA to San Francisco, and checked me in for that flight.

By the time I touched the ground – as other passengers arrived to the news that their ongoing flight had been canceled and took their places in line at the customer service desk – I was ready to continue my journey, stress-free.

This happened more than three years ago, but I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve spoken about Southwest’s fantastic customer service and recommended them to others. With that service they provided to me, they converted me into a fan for life.

Though not all brands are in industries that can provide that kind of save-the-day service, social media engagement can still go a long way with your target audience to create a community of loyal customers.

Here are some best practices when it comes to social media engagement.

1. Respond in an appropriate timeframe for your business.

According to a study by Lithium Technologies, 53% of social media users who tweet at a brand expect to receive a response within one hour; 72% expect that response in the same timeframe if it’s a complaint. This is especially true with time-sensitive issues such as a delayed or canceled flight.

However, if you’re like us and have a specialized industry – like industrial brands – a prompt response would most likely not be expected by your audience. If they’re asking a highly technical question about a piece of equipment, you as a social media manager may not be equipped to answer that question. In that case, it’s best to post an acknowledgement of the question and then get in contact with a specialist who can answer the question.

In these cases, don’t worry about speed – the quality of response is more important.

2. Talk with your audience, not at them.

Most young people – Millennials and Generation Z – don’t like being targeted by brands. They’d rather engage with you on their own terms. This is where alternative channels for content creation, such as blog posts, can be beneficial. Provide this audience with useful information without expecting anything in return, and you’ll gain their trust organically.

3. Share the good stuff.

When your consumers are happy and tag you in their social media posts, share it on your own channels! It’s basically free advertising. Whether it’s selfies with LOESCHE Mills or an excited customer that just received a long-anticipated delivery, sharing this consumer-created content shows that you care and you’re celebrating their positive experiences with them.

4. Don’t censor your users.

Some social platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram, allow a brand to delete other users’ comments from their page. But the internet was meant for the freedom of expression, so instead of deleting a negative comment, think again about the best way to handle the issue. While not everyone may have the experience with your brand that you’re hoping for, attempting to silence those users reflects badly on your credibility.

5. Be authentic.

Some brands – particularly fast-food chains – have recently gone viral for their quick-witted humor and sarcastic clapbacks to consumers and other brands on social media. While some might enjoy this kind of social presence, others feel it gives an air of inauthenticity and “trying too hard.”

Remember to stay true to your brand’s voice. Consistency is important, and while your brand’s personality and tone may evolve over time, customers need to feel like they “know” you in order to feel a strong sense of loyalty.

Our world has always been about connectedness, and today’s technology allows us to connect in a different way, on a larger scale than ever before. By putting in the work to streamline your social media content efforts and engage with your consumers, everyone involved is able to benefit from this new form of connection – a true online community.

Our Moment of Bliss

“Life is a honeymoon phase.” – Shakey Graves (Kids These Days from Can’t Wake Up)

Join our playlist on Spotify and reconnect with your childhood space. Namaste.

Creating Your Personal Brand

At the center of your being you have the answer: you know who you are and you know what you want.

Lao Tzu

The first time I learned about building a personal brand was my last year of college. My communication-department senior seminar class was focused on preparing us for the “real world.”

How to write resumes. How to prepare ourselves for the full-time job that is job-seeking. How to stand out. How could we stand out?

You could undoubtedly teach an entire course on personal branding alone, but I got more than a few takeaways from my class. I was inspired to redesign my resume – unafraid, for the first time, to use pops of color and infographics – and ordered a stack of custom-branded thank-you cards.

With my purple accents and clean, sans-serif font, I hoped to portray a little bit of my personality to my potential employers. And this was the first time I’d ever learned that this was okay.

After a few years and spending time in the branding industry, it’s clear steps like those are crucially important. At the same time, they only scratch the surface.

The word “brand” itself can sometimes be seen with less-than-positive connotations. In an era where social media has transformed into more than just human-to-human interactions, there are of course examples of brands trying to connect with consumers and missing the boat completely. These can give off an air of inauthenticity.

But your personal brand is another matter entirely. The best part about it is that it’s 100% YOU. As a positive, creative person with so much to offer to the world, you can’t possibly be anything other than authentic.

Showing your personality is not the professional faux-pas that most of us were taught to believe at one point or another. Personal branding is about turning the essence of you – your skills, your experiences, your passions – into a distinct professional image.

So you can start with the resume – don’t worry, we can help you! But a robust personal-brand presence includes consistency across multiple digital touchpoints: a website/portfolio, blog, a logo, social media, and even your LinkedIn profile and bio.

When starting to think about your personal brand, here are some questions you can ask yourself:

What is my passion?

What is my story?

What are my values?

What 3 words would I want to be associated with?

Who do I want to attract?

What can I offer?

What differentiates me?

Am I following my bliss?

What message do I want to send?

As we say here at Brieffin: Your brand is your message. People will encounter your brand before they ever meet you. This is your opportunity to send them a message. What do you want that message to be?

It’s a lot to think about, to be sure.

But this isn’t something you have to do alone. Personal branding just so happens to be one of our passions, and if you need us – a lot or a little – we’re here.

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“Calm down, now stop and breathe a second; go back to the very beginning.” – Glass Animals (Agnes from How To Be A Human Being)

Join our playlist on Spotify and breathe for a second. Namaste.

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