NEW! SOB Podcast: Meagan Copelin of Maize Consulting

A great interview with Meagan Copelin, the CEO of Houston area human resources management agency Maize Consulting.

-Podcast Show Notes-

Episode 33:

Summary:

During this new episode of Style of Business (SOB), Keetria interviews Meagan Copelin, the CEO and founder of Maize Consulting, a human resources management company based in Houston, Texas. Meagan passionately walks listeners through her inspiring transition from New Orleans to Houston where she overcame adversity and not only educated herself, but built up her human resource business from the ground up. Learn more about the human resource industry, what it takes to build your own business, and advice on how to grow.

Show Notes:

  • Meagan fills in her background, which includes working in human resources since 2005 and starting Maize Consulting in 2015.
  • Maize Consulting provides multiple human resource services for start-ups and medium-size businesses.
  • Maize is able to help businesses with reducing risk, becoming legally compliant, removing burden, increasing profit, hiring, termination, training, conflict resolution, performance management, policy and procedure handbooks, and more.
  • Meagan spends time with her clients to get to know their business intimately and to be more effective for them.
  • It is a misconception that HR is just a “yes person” for management.
  • Meagan moved to Houston for a job in 2013 with $500 for her name – and they rescinded their offer. She had to live in her car for 6-7 months.
  • Aside from extensive learning, Meagan surrounded herself with positive people that wanted her to succeed.
  • Meagan measures productivity by prioritizing, eliminating distractions, using her time wisely, and forgiving herself for mistakes.
  • Some of the courses Meagan is developing include subjects like talent strategies, reinventing yourself, intentional and exclusive leadership, and building world-class cultures.
  • Books that Meagan Copeland is reading are “Fasting for Breakthrough and Deliverance,” “Think and Grow Rich,” and “The Power of a Praying Woman.”
  • It is ok to cry and it is important to focus and get rid of distractions.
  • Don’t compare yourself to other people because you don’t know their struggles.

3 Key Points:

  1. Meagan spends time with her clients to understand their business better and to be more valuable to them.
  2. Meagan judges her productivity by who well she did at prioritizing, eliminating distractions, using her time wisely, and forgiving herself for mistakes each day.
  3. Meagan is developing courses for talent strategies, reinventing yourself, intentional and exclusive leadership, and building world-class cultures.

Tweetable Quotes:

–   “This is the definition of human resources, is the organizational function that deals with people and issues related to compensation, hiring, performance management, training, employer retention, employer relations, etc.” – Meagan Copelin.

–   “I’m really, really hands-on. I want to make sure that when I am working with my client I want to be strategic, and I want to know everything there is about my client.” – Meagan Copelin.

–   “It is ok to cry.” – Meagan Copelin.

Resources Mentioned:

3 Creative Ways to Generate Publicity for your Brand

Publicity, if done right, can turn your brand into an instant star. Publicity is a way to spread the word about your business. And if you want your brand to get noticed in a big way, publicity stunts are a great way to get your brand in the spotlight. Here are creative ways on how your small business can turn heads:

Do the unexpected

While following trends is great, going the opposite direction can also do wonders for your brand. Doing something unexpected grabs people’s attention and makes your brand instantly memorable. Some of the most unforgettable publicity stunts recently have stopped people in their tracks and created ripples of delight in traditional and social media. You might get some ideas from these campaigns for small business:

  • No Pants Subway Ride for Shobha

Every January, brave New Yorkers face the challenge of walking around the city without their pants. Hair removal salon Shobha saw a unique opportunity to publicize their service during the event and sent out a team of pants-free individuals wearing underwear bearing the Shobha brand. The No Pants Subway Ride was organized by the Improv Everywhere prank collective and the stunt has succeeded in surprising and delighting the unsuspecting public.

  • Ice Bucket Challenge

The Ice Bucket Challenge was a simple idea started by Chris Kennedy to raise funds for ALS. What started out as few videos showing people’s funny reactions became a viral phenomenon through social media. Soon, local and international media took notice and challenges were done on air by famous celebrities.

Go Guerilla

Guerilla Marketing is an advertising strategy that highlights creativity over budget. Ideas are often unique and yet easy to do on the local level. Concepts are often dynamic and imaginative and focus on grabbing the attention of the public. Here are some Guerilla Marketing tactics you can learn from:

  • Stencil Graffiti

Stencil graffiti uses stencils to create memorable street art. The idea is to paint as many stencils as possible in a given area, in a short period of time. The objective is for the street art to get noticed and create a buzz in public.

  • Treasure Hunts

Treasure hunts involve posting mysterious clues on social media about hidden treasures scattered across the city. The idea is to entice social media users to find the hidden treasures.

 

Attempt to beat a record

Beating someone’s record is a great publicity stunt because it’s fun and entertaining. There are also plenty of records to beat. When you decide to do this, make sure that the challenge is related to your line of business. For example:

  • If you have a pizza parlor, you can try to beat the 2017 record of Pizzaovens.com. Pizzaovens.com created the longest pizza that measures 6,333 ft 3.60 in.
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  • If you’re the owner of a barbershop, you can attempt to break the world record for the number of haircuts done in 24 hours. Proceeds from the event can be given to charity.

3 Amazing Reads for Personal Development

Do you want to know yourself more and how you can live a better life? Do you want to improve how you communicate with other people? These books we chose offer practical and illuminating techniques on how you can make positive changes in your life.

  1. The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin

In her latest book, “The Four Tendencies,” bestselling author Gretchen Rubin’s harnessed the power of personality tests to reveal the Four Tendencies that each of us has. We are either an Upholder, a Questioner, an Obliger, or a Rebel. According to Rubin, these Four Tendencies shape how we behave and react to the world, and understanding them will allow us to make better decisions and help us lead happier lives.

Best lesson: You’re more likely to thrive in a work environment that suits your personality

Best review:

“The Four Tendencies will immediately improve every area of your life—and I say this from personal experience. If you’ve been feeling stuck in your relationships, career, health, or self-confidence, understanding your Tendency and how to make it work for you is the game-changer you’ve been looking for.”

-Melissa Hartwig, author, and co-creator of The Whole30

 

  1. The Code of Trust: An American Counterintelligence Expert’s Five Rules to Lead and Succeed by Robin Dreeke and ‎Cameron Stauth

Robin Dreeke is a counterintelligence agent and the co-author of “The Code of Trust.” His main mission was to recruit American spies and counter the efforts of foreign spies. The way he approached his mission was unique because it was based on the power of trust. His goal was to inspire trust among people who could provide vital information. He believed that every person has a different style of communication. And the only way to get valuable information from anyone is to learn how they like to communicate.

Best lesson: The “platinum rule” is all about treating people the way you want to be treated.

Best review:

“Smart, empowering, and easy to follow, Dreeke’s manual should become a classic business―and personal―primer on the art of building trust.” – Publishers Weekly

 

  1. The Gifts Of Imperfection: Let Go Of Who You Think You’re Supposed To Be And Embrace Who You Are by Brene Brown

Do you feel the pressure of living up to other people’s expectations? Do you go through life believing that you’re not enough? Do you feel the need to be perfect in every way and feel that you’ve failed if you’ve fallen short? This book will teach you how to be gentle with yourself and how you can find your path to contentment.

Best lesson: Staying vulnerable is a risk we have to take if we want to experience connection.

Best review:

“Brown… urges us to expose and expel our insecurities in order to have the most fulfilling life possible. Her latest is a guidebook for pilgrims on the journey to wholehearted living, which she defines as containing courage, compassion, deliberate boundaries, and connection.”- Publishers Weekly

NEW! SOB Podcast: Laughing Matters with Comedian Deveron “D” Dennis

In this 32nd episode of SOB: Style of Business podcast, Keetria interviews stand-up comedian Deveron “D” Dennis from Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

-Podcast Show Notes-

Summary:

In this 32nd episode of SOB: Style of Business podcast, Keetria interviews stand-up comedian Deveron “D” Dennis from Hattiesburg, Mississippi. This young comic embraces his authentic voice and speaks his truth, while incorporating his observations, without being afraid of expressing vulnerability and self-deprecation. Deveron shares with Keetria how he discovered his passion for performing comedy, his methods of generating new material, how technology has benefited his career, and the importance of honesty on stage.

Show Notes:

  • Deveron “D” Dennis first found comedy first by being a 16-year old rapper called Young Cupid.
  • Deveron’s comedy is observational, self-deprecating, and offers meaningful opinions.
  •  Authenticity, honesty, and getting people to think is important to his comedic material.
  •  “Talk that Talk” is Deveron’s podcast that faces taboo topic discussions for healing and uplifting purposes.
  •  The steps that Deveron took to get started with comedy are realizing he could do it, watching comedian Kevin Hart, studying stand-up comedy, and then he started writing and trying it out on stage.
  • The first time Deveron competed with stand-up comedy in a talent show, he came in second place, and fought back against his nervousness.
  • He experienced the feeling of failing on stage once later in his career, after going on feeling confident beforehand – but he has never been booed yet.
  • Creating new material often comes from conversations and when he is cleaning his house.
  • Deveron’s writing process includes jotting down concepts that he finds funny then later freestyling them into a recorder to see how the humor comes naturally out of him to craft the best parts into a set.
  •  Recording his own comedy special material has helped him challenge himself.
  •  Technology has made it easier for club promoters find him, but he doesn’t want to share too much of his work online to prevent it from being stolen.
  • Being true to himself has made Deveron appreciate his comedy work even more and to tackle topics that are meaningful to him.
  • He finds being an entrepreneur scary, but he finds it inspiring and motivational.

 

3 Key Points:

  1. Honesty, and getting people to think are important to Deveron’s comedy.
  2. Conversations are a golden source of comedic material.
  3. Follow your dreams, but don’t ignore your realities.

 

Tweetable Quotes:

–   “Knowing that I am brightening somebody’s day. I think that is so powerful.”           – Deveron D” Dennis.

–   “Every time I’m on stage, I’m conveying the truth. I’m making people think.”
– Deveron “D” Dennis.

–   “A lot of material comes from conversation.” – Deveron “D” Dennis.

–   “The best piece of advice I have ever received was – don’t fake it.”
– Deveron “D” Dennis.

–   “Everyone needs to follow their dreams, and make sure that they are dealing with their reality – while following their dreams.” – Deveron “D” Dennis.

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • Twitter – Twitter page for Deveron “D” Dennis
  • Facebook – Facebook page for Deveron “D” Dennis
  • Podcast – Deveron’s “Talk that Talk” comedy podcast

3 Easy to Implement Advertising Ideas for Small Businesses

Most small businesses attract customers the old-fashioned way—via “word of mouth.” While word of mouth marketing works, it’s a painfully slow process to build a business. If you have a business, no matter how small it is, the best way to grow your customer base quickly is to advertise.

Here are some easy-to-implement advertising ideas you can do so you can effectively reach your target market:

  1. Make your business newsworthy

If you want newspapers and magazines to write about your business, you need to make your business newsworthy in the eyes of the press. A write-up in a publication won’t cost you anything and can help get the word out about your business. So how do you go about it? You need to think of interesting stories that can create a buzz for your business. Examples of these are:

  • If you have a salon, you can devout a weekend giving free haircuts to orphans or the homeless.
  • If you have a small pharmacy, you can start offering delivery service to your customers.
  • If you have a store, you can have a Kids are the Boss Day and let children of your employees handle the day’s business.
  • If you have a restaurant, you can make a conscious effort to make your business eco-friendly

The key is to come up with stories that hit home emotionally. The story may not be directly about your product offerings but it’s a great PR tool for you.

  1. Make a YouTube video

As focus shift from television to computer screens, YouTube has become one of the most important platforms online. With over 30 million visitors every single day, and five billion videos viewed daily, YouTube is an essential tool for any business looking to reach a large audience. You can create a video demonstrating your product and post it on YouTube. Or you can even create a series of videos that revolve around your product and its benefits and place them all on a YouTube channel. Here are some of the types of videos you create for your business:

  • A how-to video demonstrating how to use your product.
  • A Q&A about your product or service
  • A series of video testimonials from your customers
  • A video how your product is made in the factory
  1. Maximize your Facebook Business Page

The Facebook for Business Page has easy-to-use and affordable advertising tools for small businesses, use it to your advantage. You can boost a post and make it appear on your target market’s New Feed or promote your business page by clicking the Promote button. Here are other ways to advertise on Facebook:

  • Facebook Events – get the word out about your business by creating an event on Facebook. You can invite your friends and prospective customers and watch your guest list grow.
  • Content syndication – if you already have a website or a blog, you can use Facebook’s Social Plugins to enable them to be shared quickly.

Conquer the New Year with These 4 Top-notch Marketing Tools

Digital Marketing is always evolving and there are always new and exciting tools being introduced in the market to make digital marketing more effective. If you have a business, you need to know which of these tools can help you be the best that you can be. The right tools can help you stay updated with the latest trends, help you get organized, and can optimize your efficiency. Here are some tools you need check out this 2018:

Flock

Flock is a communication app for teams. Flock allows you to bring your team together to chat, share information, meet via video conferencing and push efficiency by using its productivity features. You can even integrate all your apps in a single platform. Once you sign up, you can create one big team and hubs for smaller teams. Flock is also faster, slicker and has a more intuitive interface compared to other team communication tools.

Sendy

Sendy is one of the hottest tools in email marketing today. It’s a self-hosted email newsletter application backed by Amazon’s Simple Email Service. Sendy allows you to send attractive emails easily to your email audience and receive a detailed performance report afterward. And the best part is, it’s a lot cheaper than other email marketing apps in the market. You can send 20,000 emails for only $2! If you have less than that, let’s say you only have 10,000 subscribers, the cost can go down to $1. Now, that’s a deal you won’t find anywhere else.

Ptengine

Do you get frustrated when your website visitors suddenly leave and don’t convert? When you have a business website you want to find out why people are leaving your site. Ptengine is a heat map application that records every visit, click, scroll on your site and turns the data into a heat map to help you visualize at what point your customers are abandoning your site. Are they leaving because of usability problems? Pricing problems? Do they find the copy confusing? Once you’ve identified the issue, you can now make adjustments on your site and convert customers better.

Google Trends

Google Trends is a unique tool because it lets you know what people are searching for every day on Google Search. According to statistics, there are 3.5 billion users on Google Search daily and over 50,000 searches every second. Among the 50,000 searches, as much as 20% are from new users, which means that there’s always something new to discover. Google Trends can sift through all the searches and show you, by using keywords, what’s trending worldwide. It will give you an insight on what consumers are really looking for and predict market trends. To see the data, all you need to do is type a keyword or the industry name and press “Enter.” It’s that easy.

Now that you know some of the best tools you can use this year, give one of them a spin and let us know what you think.

NEW! SOB Episode: Seyi River – Composer, Filmmaker & Director of One Hit Wonder

Filmmaker and director Seyi River drops in to discuss music composition, how he got into the industry and his upcoming new film One Hit Wonder in the first Style of Business episode of 2018.

-Podcast Show Notes-

Episode: 31  

From Music to Filmmaking with Seyi River

Summary:

In this new episode of SOB: Style of Business podcast, Keetria interviews Seyi River, a musician, composer, sound designer, writer, director, filmmaker and entrepreneur. Seyi shares with Keetria how he went from becoming a professionally trained musician because of a desire to score films – and then expanded his skillsets by becoming a self-taught filmmaker in the process. Seyi also is generous with his advice to people who are serious about filmmaking, the strategies that were involved in writing and directing his own projects, and also his personal assessments of where the motion picture industry is headed.

 

Show Notes:

  • Keetria gives an overview of Seyi River.
  • Seyi started his music career by attending the Berklee College of Music.
  • He is a self-taught filmmaker who spent time watching movies, reading screenplays, and reading books.
  • “If I Die Tonight” was a film Seyi created about police brutality named after a 2Pac song.
  •   He makes films based on what is meaningful to him and what questions need to be answered.
  •  “One Hit Wonder” is in the “magic realism” genre and is about a bestselling writer whose second  book flops.
  • Seyi’s lets his multiple writing ideas marinate until one is ready to write and focus
  • Relatability is an important element to telling a story to Seyi.
  • It is vital to learn the craft of film, become a visual person, and study human nature.
  • Seyi predicts a lot more diversity when it comes to filmmakers and that Hollywood won’t remain the center of creative and original storytelling.
  • Movies need to be good enough to deserve the price that audiences pay to experience them.
  • You have to wear multiple hats – creative and business- as an independent filmmaker.
  • With music scoring, it is very internal when composing audio interpretations of the emotions and themes of a movie.
  • Sound designing and enhancing audio is another skill he has to offer.
  • Seyi is motivated by striving to add onto the history of film in a positive way.
  • Writing down goals is vital to his strategy towards success.
  • Be honest about your assessment of your abilities in comparison to the highest level of your industry.
  • Health, eating right, being a nice person, sending out good vibes, and building up your stamina is important to be able to have the energy needed to work hard.

 

3 Key Points:

  1. Filmmaking is not just pointing a camera – it requires mastering the craft.
  2. Diverse stories and storytellers are going to become much more normalized.
  3. While investing in your career, don’t forget to invest in your health.

 

Tweetable Quotes:

–   “I was born a musician…but I became a filmmaker.” – Seyi River.

–   “The important thing now is to gain craft, and to gain craft you have to do a lot of hard work and understand the medium that is film.” – Seyi River.

–   “Become a visual person, like go to a museum, look at paintings.” – Seyi River.

–    “With film, you have to be insanely patient, because films take a long time.” – Seyi River.

–   “Surround yourself with really, really excellent people doing what they do.” – Seyi River.

 

Resources Mentioned:

3 Ways Quizzes Can Help Grow Your Brand


Last year, I was introduced to the prospect of using an online quiz to help grow my brand. I’d always been curious about their effectiveness and the reason behind their rising popularity, but I never gave using them a second thought. It looked too complicated. It seemed too pushy. And, to be honest I use to think that quizzes were mostly used for lead capture and companies to figure out which product or products they should sell you. And while that’s a good purpose, after trying out Interact, I quickly learned that implementing a quiz was quite useful in other ways too. Here are three ways a quiz can grow your brand.

1. Gives your audience insight

When I launched my first quiz, “Do You have the Entrepreneurial Mindset? Find Out!”, I wasn’t too sure what to expect since I hadn’t used them in the past. I found the process with Interact very user-friendly and their set up made creating the quiz a breeze. After a couple days, I check to see that only a few people completed my quiz but there were no lead captures. And even though there were no new leads, I was thrilled to see — in the statistics overview that Interact provides in the user dashboard — those who did complete the quiz, completed it 100% and it showed the quiz taker if they had the “entrepreneur mindset.” A fun tidbit for those who enjoy these types of quizzes and seeking feedback from people outside of their inner circle. By giving your audience something to look forward to I’m sure they’ll be more likely to visit your site and tell others about you as well.

2. Gain insight on what your audience is interested in

When growing your business and working to build an audience, you’ll find it very valuable to know what they’re interested in. Using a quiz will help you ask specific questions in regards to which products they like. Is it your latest ebook they seem to enjoy or was it the recent podcast episode? You can also use your quiz as a poll to determine which products or services are more popular than others; This is a great way to figure out how you can customize and tailor your brand to those who are interested. When you know how the audience benefits, you can focus your attention on further product development so they gain a truly unique experience.

3. Encourages people to engage with your brand

Quiz products like those offered by Interact are a great way to encourage audience and visitor engagement. Whether you’re launching a fun quiz to entertain your audience or a quiz more tailored to gain feedback for your business, this platform is the perfect option. It’s an easy go-to if you’re looking for ways to highlight your brand’s overall style, look, and tone. A sleek pop up or eye-catching announcement bar with a trend-worthy question might just be a solution to getting your brand the attention it needs. Even the questions and personal branding within the quiz can connect people with the uniqueness of your brand making the quiz itself an interaction they look forward to.

This year, I plan to launch more quizzes through Interact. It’s a been a great experience so far and I intend to do a bit more customization on the backend by crafting new questions and themes. Overall, Interact has been proven to be an asset by showing me several ways I connect with my target audience and also increase brand engagement.

How to Use Music to Inspire Your Creativity and Fuel Your Imagination

Hans Christian Andersen once said, “Where words fail, music speaks.” Music is universal. It transcends language and culture and allows us to communicate with each other through melodies. Music resonates in each one of us and we are born to with a natural affinity for music. Since the day we were born, our first lullaby has connected us to music. From then and until now, music continues to fire up our emotions, move our bodies to dance, and spring us into action.

But can music inspire creativity? The answer is a resounding yes!

According to studies, any music has its effect on us. Whether it’s classical, pop or jazz, the tempo of a song, as well as its major or minor tonality, affects how we feel, which could affect our performance. And the better we feel, the better we perform.

If you’re looking for ways to inspire creativity in your work, play your favorite music and feel it lift you up. Let your mind wander as you listen. Music can unlock creativity and help you with your work.

Here are the benefits of music:

Music makes you happy

If you’re a writer and you’re in a bad mood, your emotion will show in your work. Your writing may come off as angry and cold. To improve your mood, start listening to music that’s upbeat and uplifting, for example, James Brown’s I got you. Play all your favorite music, and soon you will feel the veil of anger lifting from you.

Music can bring powerful emotions

If you’re an artist and you want to add emotion to your work, you can use music to awaken certain feelings within yourself. For example, if you’re tasked to paint a serene landscape, you can listen to soft, classical music to help calm your mind. If you’re designing, let’s say, the cover of a scary horror novel, you may want to play Mussorgsky’s Night on Bald Mountain.

Music can improve performance

If you love to dance, the sound of dance music can make you want to move your body. Music can also refine your movement, timing and coordination. Take for example, the Tango. Many of the moves in this dramatic dance are choreographed and practiced along with the music. This synergy gives the performers a feeling of pleasure from the music as well as the dance itself. Music has also been proven to improve productivity, increase focus and efficiency, and boost performance.

Inspiration from music is real and most of us already instinctively know that music can get our creative juices flowing. Science explains it simply: our brain waves change as we listen to music, and the more relaxed we are, the more creative we get. This fact might be a good one to remember the next time you feel creatively blocked.

New SOB Podcast Episodes Coming This Month!

I hope everyone’s New Year is off to an excellent start! As I line things up for this year just wanted to drop a quick update to let listeners and subscribers of my podcast SOB: Style of Business The Podcast know that new episodes are on the way. Please stay tuned for the first episode of 2018 scheduled for January 18th! And, if you haven’t subscribed to SOB on iTunes and would like to, you can do so here.

In the meantime, here’s some encouragement for the New Year!