Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Resumes: Go Big or Go Home

Posted April 9, 2014, by

When you’re job hunting, everyone goes on and on about how important your resume is. After all, it’s supposed to be a snapshot of you on a piece of paper. But how do you make it memorable? Here are a few tips to help set you apart from the rest.

  1. There is no perfect template. When you’re building your resume, remember; there is no winning formula that will secure you a job. Tailor your resume to whatever job you’re applying to. You don’t have to include an objective, then list your skill sets, then list your education experience, blah blah blah. Don’t be afraid to minimize and include just what’s important, not what’s boring and to be expected.
  2. Don’t be afraid of a little color. Resumes don’t necessarily have to be black and white. Go ahead and use an easy-to-read color, like a dark purple or green. If you’re feeling daring, you can even print it on colored paper, Elle Woods style (remember her pink and scented resume? Now that’s memorable.)
  3. Proof read. This is the real world – spelling counts. This is sort of a given, but it is one of the most important things to remember. Proof read your resume, then do it again, and then have someone else read through it as well. Nothing is worse than reading someone’s resume and noticing that they didn’t check grammar and spelling.
  4. Pictures are still more interesting than words, even to adults. There’s always the option to put a picture or graphic on your resume to liven things up a bit. This is a great technique that can definitely help you stand out from the crowd. But be warned; make sure your picture is appropriate and relevant. Take care in choosing an image that has meaning and will send the right message to your potential future employer.

Your resume is usually the first impression most employers will get from you, so make it a good one. These tips aren’t guarantees, but they will definitely set you in the right direction on the job search.

Tips for Building a Solid Client Relationship

Posted April 3, 2014, by

One of the most important things to do in a relationship is make the other person feel special. The relationship between you and your clients share this, and many other aspects, in common.

Think about the best relationship you’ve ever been in. Or better yet, think about all the best things from a few relationships. What made you feel loved? How did you make your partner feel special? Many times, we can apply these actions somehow to our work with clients.

First, just like the dating process, get to know your client. Knowing their preferences, weaknesses, strengths and business will help you win their hearts. Have an extremely busy and scattered client? Try to be extra-organized for them. Bring extra copies of materials to meetings in case they forget them and get to the point if they’ve got a hectic day. Make your meeting the easiest part of their day. Think about this like having dinner ready for your sweetie when he or she gets home from a long day.

Once you know some weaknesses of your “other half,” try to fill that void. Be the puzzle piece that fits perfectly into their world. Perhaps you have a client that is bad with emails. Instead of sending three follow up urgent emails, give them a call. If you’re really looking to score some brownie points, dropping gifts with hard copies by their office can be great reminders to follow up on matters.

As your relationship progresses, keep the long-term goals in mind. Hopefully you have established what you plan to get out of the relationship and some tangible ways to measure the progress toward that goal. If you’re not moving forward, you’re falling behind. They aren’t just paying you to help your bottom line; they’re expecting to achieve their dreams with you. Never let your client feel like you’ve lost sight of your role in their life. After all, you’re their knight in shining armor.

 

How to Create Your Own Personal Brand

Posted April 1, 2014, by

A great way to make a lasting impression on a future employer is to have a strong personal brand. It may not seem important when it comes to building your resume, but don’t you want to leave a little tid-bit behind that makes you stick out of the crowd? You can add color and dimension to your resume, or possibly an interesting font that represents your characteristics. These are concepts that stand out when it comes to the hiring process. Don’t know where to begin? Here are some tips to get you started.

1.)   Think about what colors represent you. What’s your favorite color? Looking for more of a professional feel? (if you’re not in the creative field) – then stick with black and grey tones or use minimal color.

2.)   Find your favorite font. There are millions of fonts out there! Find a font that you think represents you. Just use this particular font for your name and possibly the header of your resume. Be sure that the font is free. You can find free fonts on the web including these websites: http://www.dafont.com/ http://www.fontsquirrel.com/ https://www.google.com/fonts

3.)   Pick out a background, header or border for your brand. You could do something as simple as a border, or you can create something interesting like a chevron header. Be sure to play with all of these options so you can find what suits you best.

4.)   Make your own logo. This definitely is optional, but this is something that will for sure make you stand out. Your own logo could be your signature, your initials or your silhouette. You can make it anything you want, as long as it’s something that simply represents you. Be sure that your logo is made small enough to put on your brand materials.

5.)   Repeat your brand as much as you can. Impressions are another way to make you stand out. The more someone sees your brand the more they’ll think of you. This means you can replicate your brand by producing thank you cards and business cards. Create your own website using your theme, as well as putting it on Facebook and Twitter as your cover image and background image. This will show that you have consistency and professionalism.

6.)   Add your social media logos to your branding materials. If your social media profiles suite your career, there’s nothing wrong with extra networking. Place a small LinkedIn or Twitter logo on your resume and your business card for a little extra touch to your brand.

Depending on what you are applying for and where, be sure to alter and change your branding materials according to the company. If you feel that social media logos and different colors are not appropriate according to the company you’ve researched, simply remove those details.

 

Happy branding!

  

 

Reaching Consumers Through the Clutter

Posted March 25, 2014, by

As consumers, we are constantly processing ads. TV, radio, billboards, grocery stores, store window signs and even sidewalks all have things for us to look at. We’re surrounded by advertising all of the time, no matter where we go. So, from a marketing standpoint, how do you get through? How do you reach that consumer that’s already seen 75 ads today and it’s only 3 p.m.?

The trick is to find what works for your specific product and match it with your consumers. If you’re trying to reach a certain demographic, there has to be a reason for that, right? Take Old Spice for example. They’re targeting young adult males with their new campaign featuring moms crying over their boys growing up. They’ve created the perfect moment for their consumers: Old Spice creates a “manly man,” which gets them girls and makes them appear grown up in their mother’s eyes. And you want to know what? Not only are they reaching their target audience with this idea, they’re also reaching their families. How much do you want to bet the next time Johnny’s mom goes to the store and she asks him if he needs anything, the conversation goes something like this: “Do you need any bathroom stuff? Oh, how about some cologne or body wash? I always see those Old Spice commercials, they’re so wacky. Do you use Old Spice?” It’s the idea that she would even suggest Old Spice as a brand that gives you a reference for just how successful that ad campaign has been. It’s clear that Old Spice has found their connection to their consumers.

Here’s the video for the Old Spice “Moms Song” ad:

This ad pretty much sums up what today’s advertising is all about. It can’t just be about informing consumers about how great your product is anymore. You have to grab their attention in a way that’s memorable and makes a real connection. And because we’ve become so desensitized to ads, our expectations are higher. As a company, you better come with your A Game because as consumers, we expect nothing less.

5 Tips to Move Past a Sales Funk

Posted March 6, 2014, by

We all have periods of time, in our sales lives, where nothing seems to work, absolutely nothing. If you feel down or a bit off your game, it’s time to make changes.

Below are some tips that I use to move past my sales “funk”…Those times when you just can’t get a reply, when you’ve done everything except sit in your client’s parking lot waiting by their car…

  1. Music. Ask your office DJ to play some jams. Music, to most, is a getaway from the often times noisy and distracting world. It can help you get focused and can be used as a motivational tool. Just turn down the Snoop Dog jams before making your next call. Your potential client may not share your same great taste in music.
  2. Follow up with past clients. How long has it been since you have reached out? Even if it’s just to say hello, there may have been a change in circumstance and they may need you again. Besides, talking to clients you already know and have a great relationship with is an awesome way to practice your sales lingo.
  3. Cheese Balls. This pretty much states its case. Who DOESN’T love some orange fingers, cheesy, fake air balls as a break every once in a while?! Simply. Delicious.
  4. Take a walk. Sometimes a change of scenery is something that we all need whether you’re in sales or the CEO of a nationwide chain. Take some time to re-direct your motivation. Most often I think of my sweet little family at home and the little boy who demands loads of animal crackers, trains, juice, kisses, books and one day…college!
  5. Burn the past. The past is dead, so get rid of it. If your last five clients said ‘no,’ so what? Just keep going…

“Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the things you can think up if only you try!” Dr. Seuss

80 Things Remembered from the 80s

Posted March 4, 2014, by

As we gear up for the radest party in town, The 80s Flashback Fundraiser, I thought it would be fun to do a list of 80 things that I remember from that fun decade. Granted I was a young child of the 80s, but I still do look back on that time quite fondly. Hopefully as you read over this list it will spark a memory or two for you and entice you to join us for some fun on March 22 at the CAWLM 80s Flashback Fundraiser!

  1. Book It
  2. Pac Man
  3. Trapper Keeper’s
  4. Care Bear’s
  5. Strawberry Shortcake
  6. Cabbage Patch Kids
  7. Garbage Pail Kids
  8. The Cosby Show
  9. Full House
  10.  Po Go Ball
  11.  New Kids On The Block
  12.  Big Hair
  13.  Double Dare
  14.  Smurfs
  15.  Jelly Shoes
  16.  T-shirt Clips
  17.  Fraggle Rock
  18.  Tight Rolled Jeans
  19.  Body Suits
  20.  Slap Bracelets
  21.  Cyndi Lauper
  22.  Big Hair
  23.  Neon
  24.  Dirty Dancing
  25.  Mr. Scent Markers
  26.  Glo Worms
  27.  Plastic Charm Bracelets (which I still have some pieces to)
  28.  Popples
  29.  The side pony
  30.  Get in Shape, Girl
  31.  My Little Pony
  32.  Rainbow Brite
  33.  Scrunchies
  34.  Pound Puppies
  35.  Caboodle’s
  36.  The Swatch Watch
  37.  Kirk Cameron
  38.  Any Molly Ringwald Movie
  39.  Penpal Letters
  40.  Teen Beat
  41.  See Thru Telephones
  42.  Hulk Hogan (yes, sadly my sisters and I were obsessed with wrestling)
  43.  Banana Clips
  44.  Scratch n’ Sniff Stickers
  45.  Cootie Catchers
  46.  Debbie Gibson
  47.  Leg Warmers
  48.  The Facts of Life
  49.  Fruit Stripe Gum
  50.  Troll Dolls
  51.  Baton Class
  52.  Friendship Bracelets
  53.  Floppy Discs
  54.  YM Magazine
  55.  Fashion Plates
  56.  Punky Brewster
  57.  Have I mentioned the Hair
  58.  Koosh Balls
  59.  Sit and Spin
  60.  Puffy Stickers
  61.  Rubix Cube
  62.  Snoopy Snow Cone Maker
  63.  Sticker Books
  64.  Stirrup Pants
  65.  Alf
  66.  Rabbits Foot
  67.  “Sit ubu Sit” Commercial
  68.  Supermarket Sweep
  69.  Pay Phones
  70.  Roller Skates
  71.  Karate Kid
  72.  Mr. Bubble
  73.  Metal Merry Go Round at the Park
  74.  Card Catalogue at the Library
  75. 35mm Film
  76.  Canopy Beds
  77.  Candy Sugar in the plastic Fruit Shapes
  78.  Croquet
  79.  Silly Putty
  80.  Jelly Bracelets

5 Social Media Marketing Tips

Posted February 27, 2014, by

Everyone wants to use social media as a marketing tool. It’s popular, easy to track and you can do it from any computer. But how do you use it well? There’s a fine line between putting things up on the internet randomly and actually making an impact with what you’re saying.  Here are some of the most important tips to know about social media marketing:

  1. Be consistent.
    If you’re going to seriously try to build a social media presence, you need to be constant (constant vigilance, as Professor Mad-Eye Moody would say). You should make a post on every social media outlet you have at least once a day, for every business day of the week.
  2. Timing is everything.
    Do you have something exciting to share? Wait for the right moment. Social media has trending times of the day, just like everything else. Most social media sites have analytic tools that allow you to see what times of the day your fans are most active. Use these to your advantage, and be sure to post content during your peak time of day.
  3. It’s not all about you.
    We get it, your company is fantastic. And we believe you! But not everyone wants to hear about you all the time. Retweet, share or repost things that are related to your industry or something cool/exciting that’s happening in your community. Trust us, your readers will most definitely notice. They’ll not only look to you for what’s happening in your company, but what’s happening around them as well.
  4. Respond, respond, respond.
    Don’t forget to write people back! You need to be up to date on what sort of comments people are leaving you on your social media. That way, you know what your reader’s feelings are, and you’re interacting with them as much as possible.
  5. Know what’s going on across the board.
    If you have multiple social media profiles (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.), make sure you have consistency across the board. If you like one company on Facebook, follow them on Twitter as well. Make sure to keep an updated database of your social media followers/friends/connections. This lets you know exactly who you’ve connected with, and who you should consider reaching out to.

Social media varies from person to person, and from company to company. This list just highlights a few of the key aspects you should try to strive for in a social media presence. The internet is a fantastic tool, as long as you know how to use it to your advantage.

CAWLM and AT&T Donate to the Lansing Promise

Posted February 26, 2014, by

The Capital Area Women’s LifeStyle Magazine (CAWLM), partnered with AT&T, donated $15,000 to the Lansing Promise.

The Lansing Promise is an award promised to graduates of public and private schools within the Lansing School District, providing the financial assistance necessary to obtain a two-year degree at an eligible school.

“I love this community,” said Tiffany Dowling, President of M3 Group and Publisher of the CAWLM. “Doing great things for our students will only maximize this whole region and what we’re able to do in the future.

A press conference for the check donation was held at AT&T’s Lansing office where Tiffany Dowling, Ruth Faudard (Area Manager External Affairs at AT&T), Andy Schor (State Representative for the Michigan House of Representatives) and Kellie Dean (President of the Lansing Promise Broad) all shared a few words. Footage of press conference below

CAWLM will host the forth annual 80s Flashback Fundraiser at the University Club’s Henry Center on March 22, 2014. Once again, the CAWLM has chosen the Lansing Promise as the event’s beneficiary.

For more details or to purchase tickets to this year’s CAWLM 80s Flashback Fundraiser, visit www.cawlm.com/cawlm-80s-flashback-party/

Internships: They’re Not Impossible.

Posted February 6, 2014, by

When you’re in college, people mention internships a lot. And by a lot, I mean every day. In every single class you will ever have. Professors will go on about how important they are, how they show you’ve had experience and how they will set you apart from the thousands of other soon-to-be college grads that are all vying for jobs.

As a junior at Michigan State University, I remember thinking that’s all well and good, but how on earth do you get one? These mystical internships that are supposed to be life-changing, door-opening experiences into the job market seemed daunting and quite frankly, impossible. Now as a senior at MSU with only 12 credits left (and currently working on my second internship experience here at M3 Group), I can tell you for a fact that they are not impossible to achieve.  After some tried (and failed) interviews of my own, I compiled a list of my own personal interview tips to help you land an internship.

  1. Do your research. This one is obvious, but in all seriousness extremely important. If you get caught not knowing anything about the company you’re applying for, it won’t look good for you.
  2. Know how to sell yourself. You are different from every other person applying for this position. Now is the chance to show them why. Explain what you like, what you’re good at, and make it marketable.
  3. Dress the part. Know what kind of atmosphere you’ll be working in should you end up accepting the position. Understand that this is an interview; look professional! That means no blue jeans, no sneakers and certainly no graphic T-shirts. Remember that it’s always better to be overdressed than under dressed.
  4. Never underestimate the power of real life interaction. Most people these days want you to apply via the internet. But what about your personality? You can’t effectively sell yourself through an email. Don’t be afraid to stop by in person and chat with someone. Chances are they’ll take five minutes out of the day just because you took the initiative to come visit them (This was how I got my foot in the door here at M3 Group!)
  5. Always say thank you. This is something I think most people overlook. Don’t forget that whoever you’re interviewing with is giving you their time. Time is valuable in the work place, and there’s never enough of it. Always be sure to say thank you after the interview is over. I personally think sending a handwritten note is the best way to thank someone, but it’s up to you and your personal preference. Just know that they will appreciate it, and they will remember you.

Just remember, finding an internship is not impossible. Your chance will come along. And when it does, don’t be afraid to jump.

Super Bowl Sunday

Posted January 30, 2014, by

We’re just a few cold days away from one of the most anticipated yearly sporting events, the Super Bowl.

The Super Bowl has been around since 1967, just over two decades longer than I’ve been around. To say that I’ve watched each of the past 25 Super Bowls would be stretching the truth, but I can guarantee that I haven’t missed a single one since my bedtime was pushed back past kickoff-time.

While talking about the upcoming game with a friend a few days ago and being asked which team I wanted to win, my honest reply was “Not being a big fan of either teams, I just want to see a good game.”

That got me thinking, if I didn’t root for either team all season, why am I so excited to watch the game? The answer to my question is, when I think of the words “Super Bowl” instead of thinking one-handed grabs, shut-down corners and last-second field goals, I tend to think of heading to my Grandparents with my family, a table full of food and complete silence during commercial breaks.

I guess there is something about the tradition of watching the Super Bowl that may actually trump the Super Bowl game itself.

As I mentioned above, commercial breaks are usually the quietest the room gets during most of the Super Bowl parties I’ve been to, which probably makes the brands that are paying $4 million per 30-second spot happy to hear.

So as another Super Bowl Sunday approaches, I asked my co-workers what their favorite Super Bowl commercial was and also – just to see which was more memorable – if they remembered (without the help of Google) who won the game that year.

Enjoy the responses, the clips and this year’s Super Bowl party, food, commercials and game!

 

Jaime Hardesty

The commercial that always sticks out in my mind is for Budweiser. It is the one with three frogs sitting in a pond. One says “Bud,” one says “Weis” and one says “Er.”

I have no clue who won the game that year.

Year Aired: 1995
Super Bowl Score: San Francisco 49, San Diego 26

 

 

Lisa Twenter

Google ad from several years back … 2009 maybe? Searches related to France, ending with the guy getting married to a French lady and starting a family.

Have no idea who even played that year…

Year Aired: 2010
Super Bowl Score: New Orleans Saints 31, Indianapolis Colts 17

 

 

Tiffany Dowling

I’m old school so I remember vividly the Apple commercial for Macintosh that launched a billion ideas. 1984 was one of my favorite books so this was extremely memorable at my age. I’m not sure, was there a game that year?

Year Aired: 1984
Super Bowl Score: Los Angeles 38, Washington 9

 

 

Emily Caswell

I totally had to look up the ad. I remembered the concept – it was the working for monkeys ad – Careerbuilder. Year 2005

I don’t remember the game, etc.

BUT when I think Super Bowl, I think Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction. I also had to look up when that happened – 2004.

Year Aired: 2005
Super Bowl Score: New England 24, Philadelphia 21

 

 

Kyle Dowling

My favorite is the CareerBuilder.com’s Super Bowl Ad from 2009.

No idea who played.

Year Aired: 2009
Super Bowl Score: Pittsburgh Steelers 27, Arizona Cardinals 23

 

 

Virginia Bernero

Because I don’t watch a ton of sports, the most memorable for me was last year. No idea who was playing or who won, but there was that blackout for a period of the game. My favorite was the Oreo “you can still dunk in the dark” ad that was posted on twitter.

I love it so much because it was so relevant, so clever and to me showed awesome collaboration by the team responsible for it.

Year Aired: 2013
Super Bowl Score: Baltimore Ravens 34, San Francisco 49ers 31

 

 

Katie Brown

The monkey Budweiser commercials. Not sure who played. Hahaha. They were so FUNNY! Maybe five years ago?

Year Aired: 2004
Super Bowl Score: New England 32, Carolina 29

 

Jill Bailey

I loved the spot with the little kid in the Darth Vader costume for Volkswagen.

From 2012…I think that the Giants won…

Ami Iceman

The Darth Vader kid. That was great!

No clue the year or the game.

Year Aired: 2012
Super Bowl Score: New York Giants 21, New England Patriots 17

 

 

Manny Garcia

I am pretty sure this was a Super Bowl commercial BUT not 100 percent positive….. The Bud Light commercial WASSUP???!!??

No idea of the year or who played in the game.

Skylar Kohagen

You guys seem to be forgetting the most important commercial.

2000 Super Bowl

Rams V. Titans with Rams winning.

Year Aired: 2000
Super Bowl Score: St. Louis 23, Tennessee 16

 

 

Kristine Richmond

For sure the best ad was the 2013 ad for Budweiser with the Clydesdale foal. So cute, I cried the first time I saw it.

I don’t follow football, so I don’t remember who played.

Jennifer Hodges

I didn’t remember the commercial Kristine mentioned so I watched and …. I LOVED IT!!!!!  I agree with her.

Year Aired: 2013
Super Bowl Score: Baltimore Ravens 34, San Francisco 49ers 31

 

 

Jake Paquin

One of my favorites recently was the Coca-Cola Security Camera commercial. It captured people doing good, silly, brave and honest actions. I really like the copy that went along with each scene as well.

This was shown during last year’s Super Bowl where the Ravens beat the 49ers.

The video cannot be shown at the moment. Please try again later.

Year Aired: 2013
Super Bowl Score: Baltimore Ravens 34, San Francisco 49ers 31

 

So, what’s your favorite Super Bowl ad? Need help creating a memorable ad? Contact me: jake@m3group.biz our team can help!