Category Archives: Business

Marketing Matters: Blogging and How It Can Benefit Your Business and Career

Computer keyboard / Public Domain Mark 1.0


Most high school and college students refer to blogging as creating a Tumblr or WordPress account, and then starting to write about themselves or create a collage of pictures on their blog’s wall. While there is nothing wrong with that, blogging can be used more effectively by students than it is. For business owners, creating a blog is another way of marketing, advertising, and informing their customers of their company’s services and or products. From both perspectives, let’s take a look at how students can advance their careers and small businesses expand their clientele.

There is a majority of college students and graduates looking to get their feet in the water and begin their careers in the workforce. With a 16% unemployment rate for young adults ages 18 to 31, some are finding it difficult to secure their first good paying job. According to a survey in 2011 by the Kauffman Foundation, 54% of millennials want to, or have already started their own businesses, leaving the remaining 46% of the young population who are aiming to get employed. However, as mentioned above, the unemployment numbers for the younger generation aren’t great, so what can these graduates and students do to help their chances in finding jobs? Blogging.

It doesn’t matter what age group, blogging has always intimidated people due to the fear of not writing well or not being able to supply enough content to make a difference. If they never try, they’ll always limit themselves when it comes to the debate between creating a blog to not. Being a student, I know the intimidation, but if you write about something you have a passion for or what you’re majoring in, you’ll soon realize that you can contribute a lot of information and articles on a weekly basis. In doing so, you’re showing potential employers that you have experience in that particular industry, and your blog alone can attract attention that you didn’t think was possible.

When I see the usual “I need a job” post, that’s not going to get that person anywhere. If they’re not searching for job openings, they need to stop posting on social media those four words and create a blog about something that can get noticed. Almost every student has a Twitter and or Facebook account, so without any effort they’ve already got the tools to help their blog posts go viral. The younger generation has so many media outlets at their disposal, and if they can’t find an job opportunity, they need to create one by displaying their experience.

For business owners, you already have the experience, and for some of you many years of it. Don’t be intimidated by a blank page not knowing what to write; a 300 word article on a daily basis can make all the difference. Write about your company, what it does, what you sell, and how you stand out from the company down the street who competes with you to get clients and customers. Every business is different, but if you don’t make that known to the customers, they’ll think to themselves that you’re company is the same as the guy across town. The same goes for you, the business owner; a Facebook page and Twitter account help with the distribution of your blog posts, so your chances of getting views are much higher than if you only had a blog by itself.

Blogging is essential for anybody, whether employed or unemployed, a student, or business owner. Remember, you’re marketing your business and who you are as a person, so be creative and impress the reader, show them what you can do and the knowledge you have. Marketing and advertising isn’t limited to written ads on the internet or commercials on TV or Youtube, blogging plays a major role as well. Create a blog and see the benefits it has on your business. For you students, you might realize you know a lot more about your career field or interest than you thought.

Marketing Matters: The Importance of Building Your Own Personal Brand

handshake isolated on business background
SalFalko / / CC BY-NC


When it comes to business, whether it’s the customer, owner, or CEO, everyone knows how important maintaining a respected brand is and how it intertwines with reputation and perception. Far too often people forget that there is another brand in business, the personal brand. We forget that we’re not just marketing our product or services, we’re also marketing ourselves, and this isn’t exclusive to business either. Marketing goes beyond the realm of the corporate world, and it starts with our image and actions on a personal level.

Before a small business can bloom into something larger, the owner is always meeting with clients, distributors, and customers. In those conversations and interactions, it’s the first impressions that can make all the difference. Just because they’re entrepreneurs and small business owners, they’re not excluded from interviews, in fact, they’re constantly seeking out clients and consumers, forcing them to hold a respectable image daily. The way they carry themselves is usually an indicator of how their business is run, and that can be either beneficial or detrimental. Perception is important in business, and whether the old saying is true “Never judge a book by it’s cover”, most people make their decisions based on first impressions.

It’s not just in business meetings or day-to-day interactions with customers and clients that are important to your personal brand. What you say on your Twitter or Facebook account, the pictures you post, or even the things you “Like” or the accounts you follow are all part of your image. When it comes to potential clients, they’ll seek you out, they’ll search for you or your business on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, and if they’re not too fond of what they’re reading or seeing, your reputation is already slipping. The way you carry yourself on a daily basis has to coincide with who you are when you’re with family or friends. Business partners and associates want sincerity and realness from who they’re working and making business decisions with, and whether you show it or not, they’ll know the real you sooner or later.

Present yourself as a professional, dress like a professional, be professional everywhere you go. It doesn’t matter if you’re a college student, business owner, or employee; the people around you will draw their own conclusions of who you are without even getting to know you. It isn’t right, but the image you’re portraying will ultimately make the decisions on how others perceive you to be.

Your brand has to be friendly, open, professional, and real. Just as we are when meeting new people outside the office, the same has to be applied in the business world. Especially for students, this is a time when your brand needs to take shape. You can’t say, “I want to be successful” or “I want a job” while being lazy and acting in a completely non-professional or immature way that everyone can see. Have some self-respect, work hard, stand out from your peers; you’ll get noticed. The same for small businesses. You’ll get noticed by who you are and your identity; if it’s open, unique, friendly, and professional, you’ll attract customers that reflect what your business sells.

Personal branding is so important, but so easily forgotten. Start now, get ahead of your peers or competition in the business world, and show the clients, business partners, and customers who you really are. Make that a part of your marketing strategy. As a business owner you’re the marketer and advertiser, and you’re the best representer of your business and how it’s constructed. Good marketing is a vital part of the company’s success, but without a respected and honorable brand, your business will never reach it’s full potential.

Can Instagram and Storify Be Used For Marketing and Advertising Purposes?

brendanlim / / CC BY-NC-ND


Instagram is used by millions of people who post pictures of themselves, others, the skylines of the cities they live in, the changes in seasons, and anything else that can be captured on camera. In terms of marketing can this social media site be used to advertise products? Absolutely. However, not even the major stores such as Best Buy or JCPenny are taking advantage of the opportunity to market their TV’s, laptops, or clothes. The companies are missing out on a whole new way of advertising that doesn’t cost a cent, but worst of all, there is a marketing element to Instagram that these stores are failing to capitalize on.

When customers go to the stores, especially at clothing outlets, what is the order of their actions? They search for the item they want that in some cases they stumble upon it in the store, try on the clothes, and then decide whether to buy the article of clothing or not. American Eagle already has this idea in mind and posts pictures of what they have in stock on Instagram, and the same should be done by all clothing stores across the entire industry. Social media is where the customers are, and some of these big conglomerates aren’t marketing the cheapest and easiest way.

In most cases, it’s the customer posting pictures of what they bought, making them do the marketing, but it’s not a complete guarantee that they’re going to say where they bought the item. Best Buy on the other hand specializes in technology, and the products can sell themselves, but posting a picture of the price of the TV or laptop for instance, especially if there is a discount, can easily bring in customers to the store.

Even on a local level, why aren’t small businesses getting in on the action? Hashtags, if used properly can get many viewers and if they’re interested, they might read more into your business. If you’re a business owner from Boston and have a product to sell, hashtag the picture with appropriate tags, but also mention the area in which you’re based. Viewers will look at the profile and publisher of the photo, see the website that is part of your profile, and you’ve successfully advertised your product without spending a dime. Instagram is more than a social media site for photographers, it can be a way of marketing for both big and small businesses.

Storify is another social media site, but not as well known. Unlike Twitter or Facebook that only allows you to post a link at a time, Storify is more like a blog, giving you the power to drag tweets, Facebook statuses, Youtube videos, pictures from Instagram, and links from other sites all into one short or long article. This is another site that is a gold mine, but not being used to its full potential yet. Forbes magazine posts conversations from Twitter onto Storify, but if you have Twitter, there is no point in reading the same responses that you can find elsewhere.

Whether a big or small business, Storify can be exploited, and can be an efficient way to market and advertise to your customers. Instead of the consumer going to Facebook and then to Twitter to find information about your business or products, Storify conveniently puts everything you want to share with your followers all in one post. It’s incredible that businesses and magazines haven’t taken advantage yet, but this is when hopping on board can be beneficial, especially for the local startups and businesses.

Social media can be a business’ best friend when it comes to marketing and advertising. While most people use these sites to keep in contact with each other, there is a whole different aspect of social media that hasn’t been unearthed yet. The opportunity to cheaply market is there, and millions of potential customers are already in place to be marketed to. Take the next step; approach the consumer, inform them, help guide them to your business, and it can all be done on these sites.

Marketing Essentials Every Small Business Must Utilize

A Portable Joanna!
National Library of Ireland on The Commons /


There are dozens of businesses in your city or town, but what are most of them not doing? Marketing and Advertising. There is the occasional ad in the local yellow pages, but it’s the 21st century, not many people look to the phone book when they’re looking for someone or some business. Marketing on the internet, email, and social media should be a must for all businesses, but there are a number of companies that don’t have a Facebook page, Twitter account, or email subscriptions to attract and interact with regular and new customers. So let’s take a more in depth look at all aspects of social media and how they can be used to help your business prosper.

Starting with email subscriptions; this is a great way to personally send information about products, sales and discounts, or any news that could be important to your customers. We all get emails from bigger companies, whether a clothing store, magazine subscription, or any other place you have shopped in the past. But why aren’t small businesses doing the same? To attract customers and give reasons to return for regular customers, you must draw them back, and even if you have a sale or a discount, they’ll never know unless you’re informing them that the product is on sale via email. Websites are a great place to show your products and what is in your inventory, but there is a chance customers won’t go to the site, you must go to them, and that’s where the use of email comes in.

Social media is the future of marketing and advertising. Twitter and Facebook are the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the potential technology can have on your business. A Facebook page can be used to draw customers in, and if your fans share your page, there’s a likelihood that their friends will also look into what your business does. It’s a way to interact with customers if they have any questions, and if your business has a product you can post pictures and or videos  to help visualize that specific product to the fans and customers. People want to see themselves using or wearing the product before purchasing it. If you can give them a clear picture of what they’re buying, that’s half the battle, especially if you don’t have a brick and mortar store.

Twitter pages have been proven to be successful for businesses. A small clothing store in Massachusetts is drawing in more customers through Twitter than their main website, and as a result, all the marketing and news about their clothes are being posted in tweets only. However, with this form of social media, continuously tweeting and using hashtags that are relevant to what you sell and your customers buy is vital to the success you’ll have on Twitter. Always post pictures if your business has a product, respond to your followers, and make it interactive. In most cases, the twitter accounts who have many followers is a result of them interacting and having conversations, showing that they’re friendly and open.

To effectively market what you sell or do, you must go to the customer first. The internet is the best way to get news and information out to the public, and it must be utilized. There are many businesses still operating as if it’s still the 20th century. To stand out from your competition you must reach out to who you’re trying to sell to and gain consumers. After all these years of it’s existence, social media isn’t being used correctly. Be the first to take advantage of what these websites have to offer, and separate yourselves from the pack. It could be the difference between a somewhat successful business and a complete success.

No Matter What Profession, Being Truthful and Honest Goes A Long Way

The_Warfield / / CC BY-NC-ND


In my time as editor and writer for basketball and sports; rumors, half-truths, and being the first to report a news story dominated the social media world and still does, especially on Twitter. Whether it’s the big news corporations, or the smaller blogs and websites that have a solid following, news stories will break, either true or based off of a rumor that either way attracts viewers and followers. However, in most cases there is no legitimate source reporting these rumors, creating a boy who cried wolf scenario that can be detrimental to the smaller news outlets and blogs. Why is this important and how does it effect you?

Whether you’re a passionate blogger for your favorite sports team, or a small business owner, what you tweet, post, or advertise cannot be half-truths or complete lies to attract followers or customers. Knowing this, I always frowned upon writing articles just to get viewership, in which money can be made based off the traffic these posts attracted. Sure it’s a great way to make a few extra bucks, but the loyal readers, the ones who could potentially tell their friends and co-workers that this site is good and honest, will leave and find another website or blog to follow that won’t waste their time posting bogus news stories.

The same can be said for the business world. Whatever you’re selling: a product, your skills in a certain profession that requires physical or mental labor, or the information that you’re reporting as a journalist, has to be 100% honest or sooner or later the person who bought into you will leave once they learn the truth. A good reputation is what builds up a strong core of followers or customers, and that starts with being open and honest about your product. In the sports journalism world there are some writers who are respected much higher than others, and that’s due to the connections they have, but also the accuracy of the rumors or stories they are reporting.

Walk down a main street in your city or town, there is most likely a town diner or a family owned restaurant that is famous in your neighborhood. They rarely if ever advertise, but how did they gain their popularity and customers? The first patrons who stepped foot into that restaurant were satisfied with the food they ordered, and in turn told their friends and relatives about that specific place and how they must go there.

The best way to grow your clientele is to have a product that is so good they immediately share their experience at your store, restaurant, or your services such as plumbing, computer repair, etc. Your first customers are your advertising, whether they enjoyed the time and money they spent, or didn’t. The customer’s satisfaction builds up your reputation, and being truthful further enhances what you’re selling.

We can all learn something from sports, but take a look at the sports journalism aspect of the industry. Lessons can be taken away just from one article or Twitter account in which lies, false rumors, and lack of credibility become exposed. This also happens in business on a daily basis.

Do you want a loyal following and fan base (yes companies and businesses have fan bases too)? Marketing and advertising that is true and honest that reinforces the product you’re selling will attract new customers, and the ones who have already bought into what you’re selling will return. If you’re a writer or blogger, the same applies to you as well. Reporting rumors isn’t wrong, but check the facts and sources releasing these news stories before posting. Followers on Twitter want information, and if you’re not reporting news that’s worth their time, they’ll find another outlet to follow.

Honesty and being truthful cannot be stressed enough. If you apply those two qualities in anything you do, you’ll be successful with many loyal and real customers and followers.