Happy Freakin’ Monday Ep 56 – Selling Fools Gold

Here it is, the video you've been waiting for. How to GET RICH tomorrow without any effort, investment, or stress. That's right, it's time you learn how to make it rain. Oh yeah, and did I mention it’s easy? It’s super easy.

Ok sorry for leading you on but I see a lot of these advertisements on YouTube. You know, those  guys showing off their sports cars and their houses, or shooting from a beach to sell you on their money making “system” that has “worked for so many others”. They show you cheques and bank statements that “prove” it works.

I can’t tell you how much those ads annoy me... they annoy me a lot.

The reason is that coming from the world of self employment I know that it is anything but easy and effortless. Pretty much all of my clients are entrepreneurs, I am an entrepreneur as well and I don’t know anyone who found a way to make tonnes of money overnight. If anyone tells you they can, they’re lying and probably trying to sell you something.

Don’t get me wrong, it is obviously possible to make a lot of money quickly but it takes a machine and someone needs to build that machine and maintain it. That’s what takes energy, hard work, and sacrifices. Go ahead an name your business success Icon. Did they get rich overnight? NO! They might have a business that works like a fine tuned machine now but getting there was a major struggle.

I’m sorry if I’m crushing any of your dreams but being an entrepreneur is hard work and it’s even proven to be hazardous to your health. We are at higher risk of depression, anxiety, drug addiction, just to name a few. Probably because while we’re pushing through the grind, there are people out there selling this nonsense that it’s easy and you can make thousands of dollars a month without any effort. Ya it annoys me.

So if you’re self-employed and wondering if it’s worth it, If it’s going to be a huge failure (as I have too) just know that you’re not alone. We have all been there and it is always going to be an uphill battle but finding your success after what you’ve been through will make it that much more special because you built that machine all on your own.

Have A Great Week!

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Happy Freakin’ Monday Ep 55 – The Second Rule of Driving A Branded Vehicle

Well this wasn't originally my topic for the week BUT, sometimes things don't go exactly to plan. So I'm putting work on hold and looking after my son this morning but thought why not get a car wash! I mean it's spring and we have had a brutal winter so I am in desperate need of a good wash to keep the BFresh Mobile looking well... Fresh.

Considering that last week I talked about the cardinal rule of driving a branded vehicle, I thought I would address the obvious second which is to keep it clean. Now some might think that is the first rule but to me it's a lot less important than driving carefully and respectfully on the road. I believe that our actions speak louder and yes it's important to maintain a good appearance but if you act like a jerk, then you're still a jerk, no matter how you look.

Not to mention that it's really hard to keep your car clean in winter. It's like bathing a pig, what's the point? Now that it's spring however, I am hopeful that we are done with all the snow and salt and we can all look forward to beautiful weather and nice, clean shiny cars.

Have A Great Week!

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Happy Freakin’ Monday Ep 54 – The Cardinal Rule of Driving A Branded Vehicle

Branded Vehicles are amazing. It's like driving a billboard, everywhere you go, promoting your business. I own one, and I recommend this type of brand advertising to almost everyone.

If you own your own business, you just can't beat the level of professionalism and  exposure that a branded vehicle offers. Even an actual billboard will cost far more for just a single year of media but the great thing about wrapping your vehicle is that it's one cost to do it and it's there as long as you own your car. Even if you re-wrapped your car every 5 years, nothing will come close to how efficient and inexpensive this can be. I honestly cannot stress how amazing a branded car can be.

However, there is one rule that you should always remember. It is the single most important rule to owning a branded vehicle that should always always be in the back of your mind, no matter how rushed or stressed you may be...

Well to be polite, the number one cardinal rule to driving a branded vehicle is to drive safe. Be careful and courteous on the road because your actions represent your brand that is plastered in big letters on the side of your car or truck.

I drive a branded car myself and sometimes it can be challenging when you're stressed or in a hurry to remember this rule. If you're aggressive or dangerous on the road, it can undo all those benefits I mentioned and really work against you.

So be careful out there and be respectful because you never know when your next customer might be right behind you.

Have A Great Week!

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Happy Freakin’ Monday Ep 53 – Digital Main Street – Grants for Ontario Businesses

If you own and operate a business in any “Downtown” area of any city or town in Ontario, then you might qualify for this digital marketing grant called Digital Main Street. It is funded by the Province of Ontario in partnership with the Ontario BIA Association. It is pretty awesome because they are giving away grants called Digital Transformation Grants which are $2500 to do things like enhance your digital marketing and adopt digital tools, technologies and services.

What is really great about this program is that they have an onboarding process that will help you assess your digital marketing needs and put together a personalized to-do list to help you reach your goals. It is a requirement that you go through this assessment first before you apply for the grant but I think that is really key because money won’t make you a better marketer but having educational tools and resources, plus a solid plan, will make you a better marketer.

So who can apply? Almost any Registered or Incorporated business located in the downtown or within a BIA of any city or town in Ontario could be eligible. They have a full list of the requirements and eligibility on their website so I highly recommend checking it out at digitalmainstreet.ca. If anything, go through the onboarding process to learn more about what you could be doing to enhance your digital marketing. But do it soon because there are only 2000 grants available until March of 2020. So don’t wait too long because they’re going to be gone soon.

I will note that businesses that are ineligible are Franchises, Charities, or service providers of digital marketing. So businesses like mine or web developers, designers, social media agencies, etc., are not eligible. However, they do have a directory of digital marketing service providers so if you do fall into that category you can create an account and promote your services to the thousands of businesses going through the program.

And there you have it. I hope that’s helpful. Be sure to share with anyone you think might also benefit from this grant and have a Happy Freakin’ Monday and a great week and I will see you in the next video.

Have A Great Week!

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Happy Freakin’ Monday Ep 52 – 1 Video Every Monday For A Year – 5 Lessons Learned

Welcome to episode 52 of Happy Freakin’ Monday which means that I’ve been creating and posting a video per week for one full year. Ok, so not every video was specifically about marketing and there were 2, or 3 at most, that were just to say “hey not doing a real video this week...” but it was either because I was on vacation or that time I just got out of the hospital. However, no matter what was going on in my life I have made it a priority to post a video with the end goal of helping you be a better marketer. New content, every Monday for the last year and here are 5 things I’ve learned from this experience:

#1: It can always be better

This is something that I had to come to terms with early on in order to just get the videos out. In the beginning, I hardly had a plan, I just started with a basic concept of sharing marketing insights and knowledge as an Entrepreneur and Dad working from home. If I had aimed for perfection with those first videos it surely would have worn me out and I don’t know that I would have made it a full year. Instead I’ve looked at each video after the fact with a critical eye to find ways I can improve and over time I think the content has definitely improved. Little by little I’ve developed and fine tuned the look and feel from the camera and lighting to the background and wardrobe. By the end of year 2 I’m certain it will again look very different but hopefully even that much better than today.

#2: A Script Always Makes Things Better

I’m definitely not one of those people who can hit that record button and spit out a video that is concise, informative, and entertaining in a single shot. I am still working on my ability to be all of those things within a reasonable amount of time. Until that day however, I need to prepare ahead of time what I want to say for my sake and for your sake as well.

#3: Keep it consistent but mix things up

This seems contradictory but what I mean is there should be consistency in terms of your branding, your personality, your topics (which I developed over a long period) but also don’t be afraid to mix it up. For example, I’ve done almost all of my videos from my office except a few where I’ve done something different like my recipe for marketing success shot in my kitchen, or my holiday sing along in my living room, or just two weeks ago I did a vlog of my Family Day that was nothing like any of my previous videos. To me, the consistency is important for long term growth and development but mixing things up every now and again is a way to keep things fun and engaging for everyone.

#4: Audiences don’t build themselves

There is always more I could be doing to grow my audience, to get more people watching, I know that. I really need to work on YouTube the most and there are things that I know I should be doing to help that but it all comes down to a matter of time; how much i have to dedicate to this project. But again, if I aim to improve, little by little and do things like be more involved in the YouTube community or advertise my channel, I can continue to grow. I know I won’t have a million subscribers anytime soon but all I can do is work on producing better content and work on the little things that will help that growth.

#5: It takes a lot of time. More time than you think.

When I talk about finding ways to improve I’m not only talking about the content and look of the videos but also my own workflow to get them out. To give you an idea, on average I spend about 5-8 hrs on each video from start to finish. That includes scripting and writing the blog post, shooting, and editing(which I often try to keep to a minimum). Then I create 2 video thumbnails, one for YouTube and one for IGTV. Posting the video actually takes quite a lot of time as well. I post to YouTube, share that on twitter and LinkedIn, then Facebook and I’ve started using the auto generated captions which always require editing. Then I share that to my personal profile. Then comes Instagram which I’ve been working on a lot with a post in my feed plus a customized, vertical version of the same episode posted to IGTV. then I do a story to promote the topic as well. If I can finish all of that by 2 pm on Monday I’m happy but sometimes, as you may have noticed, I have posted as late as Tuesday once or twice or just around midnight was when I posted the Family day Vlog.

If you’re thinking about doing your own content marketing or video series, the best thing I can tell you is to just start. Don’t worry about making it absolutely perfect because perfection is often not sustainable. Start with one and try to make the next one better and go from there. The benefits have been great for my social media channels and brand awareness. Consistent content marketing is about building an audience through shared value and keeping your brand top of mind. So I will continue to try adding value to my content and making them fun and entertaining as long as I possibly can.

Speaking of fun videos, I have to say that looking back, my favourite one I think so far was my montage video. That one was a lot of fun to make and the end result was pretty ridiculous. What was your favourite episode or moment? What about that time my son puked on me? Wasn’t that awesome? Let me know in the comments below.

Have A Great Week!

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Happy Freakin’ Monday Ep 51 – Ads from Nike & Tim Hortons You Need To Watch

Today I was just going to talk about Tim Horton’s recent “Legends of Roll Up” series as part of the “Roll Up The Rim To Win” Campaign but Nike dropped another new “Dream Crazy” ad, last night during the 2019 Oscars, and damn, it’s another one worth talking about. I mean, I don’t know that anyone will be burning their shoes over this one but It’s a good one for sure that you need to watch.

The Tim Hortons spot is far less serious but it caught me off guard. For a brand that typically puts out sappy, emotional ads, (don’t get me wrong, I often do like sappy and emotional) this one was different and that’s why I think it’s great.

The “Legends of Roll Up” is done in a mockumentary style that follows 4 “Legends” of the, quite obviously fake, sport of roll up the rim to win. In case you’re not from Canada, this is a campaign that goes on for the whole month where hidden under the rim of every cup is a chance to win a prize. If you are Canadian, you know that we take Roll Up The Rim very seriously and that’s what Tim Hortons is playing on here. They are poking fun at those people that we all know who might take it a bit too far. There are 4 videos, profiling 4 different people from the office rivals, to the grandmother, and a few more.

Here are all 4 spots in the Tim Hortons series:

Nike's New "Just Do It" Ad

As for Nike, what can I say? They’ve done it again. It’s another amazing example of a powerful script, combined with equally powerful imagery that just goes a little bit against the grain. What I really like about what Nike has been doing in their last two ads, is that instead of featuring obvious stars, they’re championing the underdog. Ok, Serena Williams is certainly no underdog, but what I mean is that they are telling a greater story of not just physical hurdles but social and economic hurdles that can make it more difficult for some athletes, and in this case, women in sport. If it doesn’t give you goosebumps, then I don’t know what will. Here it is for your viewing pleasure:

Have A Great Week!

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Happy Freakin’ Monday Ep 46 – Cure for the Blue Monday Funk

Today is Blue Monday, apparently the most depressing day of the year and I am definitely feeling that. I woke up not really motivated at all. I had a topic all lined up for today’s episode too but all I wanted to do was drink coffee, play candy crush, and try not to think about work or how bloody cold it is outside.

The thing is, I still have to do a video. I would be letting everyone down, and letting myself down, if I don’t get a video out. So what do I do? Blahhh...

Hang on, I think I know what can pull me out of this funk. It’s crazy enough it might just work... What’s the one thing that can help overcome any challenge? What does every underdog need to persevere? One word, MONTAGE.

For the record, mental health is no joke. We as entrepreneurs and business owners are certainly not immune to depression. Do yourself a favour and talk to someone about it.

That’s my Public Service Announcement for today. Wishing you a happy and healthy Freakin’ Monday.

Have A Great Week!

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Happy Freakin’ Monday Ep 45 – Why Use Instagram Stories

I am admittedly late to jump on the Instagram Stories bandwagon. It is January 2019 and I posted my first story last week. The reason? I just never had the time or the interest to flip through the stories of those I follow and so I never felt the need to post my own. However, I know that is a terrible excuse! When it comes to choosing your marketing channels, it should never be based on anecdotal evidence but true, honest data and the data is pretty clear.

Why use Stories

Instagram Stories is a trend that is not going away and in fact becoming more and more popular and I cannot ignore it anymore. How popular you ask? Well between June and October of 2018, the number of users grew by 100 million to an estimated 400 million users daily. So at least I’m not the only one who is late to the party.

Here is a chart of that growth up to june of last year. Source: Statista.com (click the image for direct link)

Now in my defense, the demographics using stories does tend to be younger which is not exactly my target audience. That being said, some of my clients do fall into that age range and therefore it is a channel that I want to explore.

It is also a channel that my followers are using and by not being there, I’m definitely missing an opportunity. According to Ad Espresso, 80% of all daily active instagram users are watching stories as often as they are browsing their feed.  Source: AdEspresso 

So here is a very active and popular media space that you need to be exploring. Last week I spoke about capitalizing on “Micro-Moments” and stories was a prime example of how to do that. If you are trying to get your message in front of Instagram users and keep your brand top of mind, then you need to diversify your messaging and understand some users might be looking at their feed while others are looking at stories.

Stories are fantastic at keeping your audience engaged with short messages and there are lots of creative ways to make that message fun and entertaining. Not to mention, you can and should use those to expand your Instagram profile by creating Highlights. These are saved stories that remain at the top of your profile which is a perfect way to showcase different products or services that you provide.

The point is that Instagram is an amazing channel for engaging your audience and advertise your business. However, if you’re not using stories, you’re not getting the most out of the platform and you’re missing a huge portion of your audience.

Stay tuned next week when I continue to spread the Insta love and talk more in-depth about HOW to use stories for your business.

Have A Great Week!

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Happy Freakin’ Monday Ep 44 – Instant Marketing

The landscape of digital marketing is changing. In fact, it has always been changing and evolving, the trick is trying to stay on top of change and lasting trends. One of those lasting trends that I want to talk about and focus on for myself even, is the Instant marketing trend.

What is instant marketing? Well there are 2 aspects to this concept of Instant marketing and the best way to illustrate them is to think about how you consume media. The first part is about our expectation for “instant” as consumers. For example, if you have a problem like your toilet is backed up, you will probably google plumbers and hope to have a solution within minutes. The same goes for shopping with sites like Amazon really pushing that instant solution, and speedy delivery.

As consumers, we are all becoming increasingly demanding with our need for instant solutions to our problems, and as marketers we need to be aware of that, and cater to it.

The second aspect is how we actually use our devices. Statistics show that we are online a lot but that’s a total amount that is generally made up of many short bursts. So if you think about your day you probably looked at your phone when you had time. You might have spent 10 min here, 15 min there, checking social media, or shopping when you had a few minutes to spare.

Google actually coined the term “Micro-Moments” to define this behaviour of usage and demand that seems to only be getting more micro as digital media continues to evolve. The fact is that the window of time that advertisers have, to be in that right place at the right time, is becoming shorter and shorter.

Digital marketing may have always been considered “instant” but new channels and tools are making your regular Facebook posts look like a week old newspaper because of their increased immediacy. To stay on top of this trend we need to think micro, think instant, and even right now.

Here are 2 ways to stay on top of this and deliver your marketing to consumers in an effective way:

1. Live streaming

Live video is a very powerful tool that I have talked about before but I will say it again that you should be live streaming things like events, sales, and special promotions to cater to that “in the moment” mentality. You want your message to be shorter but more frequent and across more platforms. Live streaming is instant because it is happening right this moment and your followers will get notified when you go live.

2. Stories

Stories should also be a key focus for you in 2019. So Instagram and facebook stories for example that allow you to craft simple but short messages that disappear in 24hrs. These are capitalizing on the immediate with an added sense of urgency as the posts are usually deleted after 24hrs so it’s a great place to post about a sale that your followers won’t want to miss.

I for one have been late to jump on the story bandwagon for my own business but one of my resolutions for 2019 is to kick that into high gear. So stay tuned for next week when I talk more about stories, why they are effective and how to use them to your advantage. See you next week!

Have A Great Week!

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