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Dealing with negative comments or bots is sadly something every business needs to prepare to handle. It's not a fun situation or topic, but it's always best to be prepared.
Hello, Summerville! How is our favorite city? We hope you're staying safe and making the best out of your week! This week's blog is going to touch on an uncomfortable topic that sadly every business that has an online presence needs to prepare for. When a company creates its online presence, its goal is to create a positive community to share their products, services, knowledge about their industry, to connect with their customers and future customers, and connect with anyone who happens to discover their brand. With the freedom that the internet allows and the ability to hide behind a keyboard, this positive community isn't always positive or well-received. People will have their opinions and the internet allows them to share them in an instant, regardless if they're good or bad.
In a world dominated by Google reviews, Yelp reviews, comments, and opinions, staying on top of these interactions is incredibly important. It's not a pleasant part of owning a business today, but it is a reality. Hopefully, this isn't something that you'll have to deal with often but just in case, it's always best to stay prepared. Social media and the internet has its own culture, its way of interacting, and its way of how best to communicate. It is a different animal compared to dealing with an upset or disgruntled client in real life, which is why many of the normal practices of dealing with these situations might not work. In this two-part blog, we are going to give you a few tips and suggestions on how to deal with handling negative comments, and how to move on from them.
Many trolls, scammers, and bots are trying to get an emotional response from you so they have the upper hand in making you and your company look bad. Don't allow them to do this. First, make sure to document these posts or comments. Take a screenshot on your phone or computer just in case. Deleting the comment won't be in your best favor. It could anger the person who commented in the first place, and it could also bring your integrity into question by the commenter and anyone who saw the post before the comment was removed, according to Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences. The only time you should remove a negative comment is if it has nothing to do with your company or if they are inappropriate. Remove these comments and block the user who is abusing and attacking your social media platforms. This is an example of people being mean to be mean.
Make sure to discuss your response with your fellow employees, if a response is necessary, and make sure to do it quickly. Anyone can see these comments, and news travels fast on social media. Make sure to get a handle on it before it handles you. With this being said, the continued conversation doesn't have to be in the public eye. Make sure to respond to every comment, but invite the disgruntled party to connect with you outside of social media. Invite them to email you or to directly message you to fix the issue at hand. Make it known to your customers where they can turn to if they do have issues and who they can speak to. This can channel these issues into a safe space instead of all over the internet.
The internet can be an easy escape and a wonderful addition to running your company. It can also be a harmful place for quick and ugly comments and opinions to spew. We do believe that inherently, people are trying to be good. Sometimes, a bad experience makes us angry for a split second, but that doesn't mean that we are bad people. The internet opened up a world of wonderful and it also opened up the possibility for a lot of ugliness. Learning how to deal with it professionally and quickly is a skill that you will acquire when owning a business. In our next blog, we will be continuing this topic and giving you more ideas on how to handle these situations. Until next time, stay safe and sound Summerville!
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Get to know the hilarious, hard-working, and creative individuals that make up the Creative Consulting family one blog at a time.
Hello, Summerville! Welcome back to another fun and exciting spotlight on another member of the Creative Consulting team! We are still enjoying these cooler temperatures - it seems like the heat just broke overnight. We know this might be a sad change for many of you who enjoy those hot and humid temperatures, but we are so excited for fall to settle in. I have noticed that it's starting to get a little darker a little sooner every night, and THAT is what I am the saddest about when it comes to letting go of summer. This has been an interesting year for all small businesses in Summerville, but we are so thankful for the continued support and love from all of our clients, friends, and followers. The Creative team is growing and expanding, and we are excited to introduce you to more team members.
Until then, we wanted to introduce you to our newest team member! This bright young lady was hired to work with us just as the pandemic hit, and we all met her for the first time during a zoom meeting, and have only recently met her in person. Even though it was a virtual introduction, she has felt like family since day one. I will never forget the first time she was apart of a team meeting because she brought a special guest with her. We all logged into the meeting, and a sweet black and white baby goat was sitting on her lap. If that doesn't wake you up on a Monday morning, I don't know what will! Dear Summerville, I would like to introduce to you Kelsay Pattillo! This bright Summerville native has been a wonderful addition to our Creative family, and I am very excited for you to get to know her!
Name: Kelsay Pattillo
How long have you been working at CC: Since March of this year.
How did you hear about the positions: I live in town and happened to be at Swank and saw the banner on the side of the building. I looked them up to see what they were about and if there were any open positions to apply for.
What do you do for CC: I am a social media manager and strategist. I research many different topics and curate content based on my findings and also touch on what is currently trending in each industry of my clients. I also manage their cross-platform social media channels by keeping everything up to date, replying to their clients through messages and comments, running ads each month, and more.
What is your favorite part about working for CC: My favorite part about working for Creative Consulting is the great work environment and communicating team. I love that we can all work together towards a common goal and all stay on the same page!
What have you learned since you worked at CC: I have learned that you can be creative in the workplace! Creative Consulting has allowed me to express my passion for marketing and add my creativity to it.
What is your favorite part of your workday at CC: My favorite part of my workday is working alongside my lovely co-workers!
Favorite memory at CC so far: My favorite memory here so far is the first time everyone was able to come back to the office from working remotely during the pandemic- I got to meet everyone and get to know them better! This was my first official day working in the office.
Favorite Summerville Small Business (besides CC): My favorite Summerville Small Business is Discover The Magic Vacations! It is a full white glove service travel agency, and their services are free! It is great to have a local travel agency that truly has its clients’ best interests at heart.
What is your education background: I am currently going into the very last semester of my college career and will be earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Fashion Marketing & Merchandising Management.
What are your hobbies: I love to shop, hang out with my family and friends, and read. I also love researching and keeping up with trends within the fashion industry! Fashion is something that I am very passionate about.
What is your favorite book, color, song, movie: My favorite book is The Last Song, my favorite color is baby pink, my favorite song is Whatever It Takes by Imagine Dragons, and my favorite movie is currently the new remake of Valley Girl.
Interesting Facts: I love coffee, fashion, and Jesus.
Favorite Food: My favorite food is Mexican!
Favorite Restaurant in Charleston/Summerville: I would have to say Five Loaves Cafe and Margaritas for some good Mexican food!
Favorite things to do in Charleston/Summerville: I love to go to the Farmers Market when it is in season, go on golf cart rides through beautiful historic Summerville, and I absolutely love finding new and local coffee shops to try!
I have to admit, writing these blogs has been such a fun adventure for me. I spend my work hours researching and learning about companies and industry-related topics that I otherwise might not. I have learned so much in my time at Creative, and I have enjoyed learning more and more about my incredible coworkers. Each of them teaches me a little bit more about why I love this company, and why I love Summerville and its surrounding areas. I hope you've been enjoying these blogs as well - and I look forward to sharing more of these interviews with you! Until next time, stay safe, be well, and stay caffeinated!
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Creating a strong brand identity can make or break your company's success. Here is why it is so important, along with a few tips and suggestions to make yourself stand out!
Hello, Summerville! We hope you're doing well. The smell of pumpkin spice abounds, all of our favorite stores here in the square are starting to put out decorations. We also might be a tad embarrassed about the number of baked fall goods from Swank that we've already sampled. To say the least, we are pretty excited about fall! Celebrating Summerville, supporting our fellow local businesses, and creating exactly what our clients want is a part of our brand. The bright orange color we use in our logo is a part of who we are. We are quirky, hardworking, and usually a little over-caffeinated. This is who we are and what makes us unique as a company. All of these are traits that we are proud of and what we want our current and future clients to know about us.
All of these elements are a part of our branding. It's the part of our company that you see online, what you see when you drive by our office, and what you hear about us when you ask about us around town. Brand identity is the unique fingerprint that people will see and look into before they meet the people behind the business. This is why having a strong branding identity is so important.
More Than Just A Logo
Granted, yes. Your company needs a logo, a color scheme, and fonts that you'll use consistently. There is something very special in seeing your signage, window decals, business cards, website, social media, and stationary all decked out in your logo, colors, and fonts. All of these tools are necessary because you'll use them to catch the eye of your future clients. When it comes to the whole of your brand identity, this is a very small part of the whole story. Your brand identity is so much more than your meticulously created logo. It is your reputation, how you want people to perceive you, your unique and individual voice, and what you want to be known for. It needs to stand up to the challenge, support your business, and get your message across.
What It Does For You
Now that you've established what brand identity is what can it turn around and do for you?
It takes work to create your brand identity. Creating your logo didn't happen overnight, and your brand identity won't provide these amazing benefits to you overnight either. The steps to creating a strong brand identity aren't overwhelming, they're actually very straight forward. The challenge is implementing them into your workflow and your company's everyday life.
How To Get Started
As we said, strong brand identity doesn't happen instantly. It takes time, research, and doing all of those necessary tedious things that arent the glamorous side of owning a business.
The list goes on with the many ways you can create, strengthen, and grow your brand identity. This blog is just a peek into everything that is available to you. We did mention that this took time, right? Every company and business is different. You need to find what works for you. We just wanted to provide a little foundation for you to build on. The long and short of it is that brand identity is important and it's worth your time. If you need help or would like to learn more, please contact us! We look forward to talking to you soon!
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Get to know the hilarious, hard-working, and creative individuals that make up the Creative Consulting family one blog at a time.
Welcome back to another team member spotlight, Summerville! We hope you've been doing well, and are slowly getting settled into the school year. Even though this school year does look different for many of our friends and family members, there are still a lot of things happening that make this time of year special. Pumpkin and apple-flavored goodies are showing up in all of our favorite Summerville businesses, the smell of fresh school supplies greets us where ever we go, and the chill of 80 degrees is a wonderful reminder that fall is right around the corner!
This week we will be featuring our second Creative Consulting team member, Stephen Slappey. I've had the pleasure of working with Stephen for over a year now, and I am thrilled to share his interview with you. As a creative being who has lead a very different career path than many of my 9-5 friends, coming into a business like Creative Consulting was an interesting transition for me. As an independent contractor, musical theater actor and singer (spoiler for my spotlight!), and writer, I haven't had the greatest luck when it comes to a normal 9-5 schedule or experience. I have waited tables, catered, and paid my dues in retail. Working with a company that does work on a 9-5 schedule was a big change for me, and even though I still work on my own schedule, it's taught me quite a bit.
A lot of this education is thanks to Stephen. I've not met someone so passionate about learning more about the people he's talking to, even if he will only have one conversation with that individual. I've not met someone so inspired to learn more about his industry and to apply it right away. I have personally watched him single handily turn a meeting from a difficult situation into an atmosphere of joy in a matter of minutes. He always puts others first and is dedicated to the growth of his company and to his friends, family, and co-workers. Also, his excitement over learning new things, the latest update in his favorite videogames, and life, in general, is refreshing. He can be a goofball and strictly professional in one sentence, and I still don't know how he does it.
He was also very kind to take the time to sit down with me and answer these questions so that you can get to know the other half of the Creative Consulting founding team and owners. Meg and he make an amazing team. Working for them has been the easiest thing I've ever done. It's rewarding, it continues to teach me, and pushes me in all the right ways. I'm proud to be a part of their team, and I'm thrilled for you to learn more about Stephen!
How long have you been working at CC:
Around six years.
How did you hear about the positions:
I invented it.
What do you do for CC:
Marketing, planning, management, customer relations, pricing, and sales.
What is your favorite part about working for CC:
The ability to help set people on the right path.
What have you learned since you worked at CC:
Too many things to count.
What is your favorite part of your workday at CC:
Teaching our clients.
Favorite memory at CC so far:
When I was able to help one of our long-standing clients avoid a $10,000 scam.
Favorite Summerville Small Business (besides CC):
What is your education background:
Marketing, Graphic Design, and Computer Science.
What are your hobbies:
Board games and games in general, reading, learning, spending time with people, deep conversations.
What is your favorite book, color, song, movie:
Book: Marvels Civil War
Song: Too many to count
Movie: Marvel Avengers
CC is just the beginning. There is so much coming for everyone to see.
Favorite Restaurant in Charleston/Summerville:
One specific one doesn't come to mind. Anywhere I can make a memory with the people I'm with.
Favorite things to do in Charleston/Summerville:
Be with the people I love
Make sure you are following Creative Consulting on all of our social media platforms. Stephen has recently started a new vlog series discussing everything you want to know about business, social media, and more. If there is something more you want to know, reach out and tell him! His love for learning more about the industry is equally matched with his love of teaching. So make sure to give Stephen a shout out on his new videos and to watch all of them. I guarantee that you'll learn at least three new things every time you watch! Until next time Summerville, stay safe and be well. Take a moment to enjoy the things that make fall in the Lowcountry special. Things might be tough, but you and your coffee are strong enough to take on anything!
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One of the most important skills as a business owner or successful employee may not be in the perfect marketing plan or new idea. The key might be in the power of your small talk.
Communication is incredibly important to our company. If you've worked with us, talked with us, or seen our day to day schedule, you'll know how important staying in touch is for us. We talk about the importance of an online business plan, strong marketing plan, and creating a knock out online presence very frequently. Each of these tools lies in the heart of our business model and what we offer our clients. When it comes to being a successful and pragmatic part of the business world, it comes down to something much simpler. It's not everyone's favorite part of the working world, but it's something we all deal with every day, and that is small talk.
I know, you might be shuddering at the idea, but it's more important than you might realize. Not only does it strengthen your bonds with your coworkers, but it also helps you stand out to your bosses and managers, and can make those cocktail parties and work events a little less awkward. Even on online meetings and video conference calls, small talk can play an incredible role in staying connected and making your work from home set up a little less lonely. Learn a little more about how to strengthen your small talk skills to make a bigger and better impact.
We're sure you've had those days where you're over people asking "how are you?" when they aren't listening to what you're saying. We're sure you've had days where you feel that question is the only one to ask before your Monday meeting or while you're stuck in the elevator with new coworkers. There is a way to fix this situation, and it only takes a little more effort. According to CNBC, the best place to start is to stop asking those easy everyday questions. Throw them out of your conversational repertoire and dig a little deeper. You can still ask these question, but in a much more meaningful way. Instead of asking "how are you" try starting with "what's keeping you busy right now?" or "what's your biggest goal for the week?'. Opening up the conversation for something more meaningful can take the panic and dread out of small talk. Connections can be made with these kinds of questions, and you can draw in the attention of who you're speaking to. Once you ask these deeper more open-ended questions, continue the conversation with an equally deep follow up question, CNBC recommends. In recent studies done by Harvard, individuals who take the time to ask these follow-up questions appear more likable, that they understand their conversation partner, and that they really care.
OPEN YOUR EYES
CNBC suggests that you "open your eyes before your mouth". Pay attention to your surroundings before you start a conversation. Notice any unique decorations in an office space or on a desk, a coworkers vintage mug, or a new hair cut. You can begin by complementing these items or wardrobe changes, and then ask about how these items make them feel or what their connections are to such items. If you can also connect to these items, offer up these little anecdotes about yourself. You're allowing a connection to be made over a mutual loved object or topic while making those around you more comfortable. You can even up your small talk game by not answering any questions at all. According to an interesting tidbit from BusinessInsider, sharing simple things about yourself and offering up something real that recently happened to you can start a deeper, meaningful, and sometimes hilarious conversation. Most people feel strange and awkward about small talk, too. Skipping to the actual conversation can make things much easier. Don't overshare or get too personal with these interactions, they still need to be business appropriate. Sharing your latest cooking ventures or your first grader's favorite book can be all that it takes.
PAY ATTENTION AND BE ATTENTIVE
Asking the question or giving up a conversational anecdotes is only half of the puzzle. If you're going to ask these questions, you need to listen to what's being given back to you. This needs to be read in your facial expression and in your body language. Being warm and welcoming to the answers your receiving is very important. Also, it is never too soon to speak up. Don't wait to break the ice on Monday morning or before the big Friday Zoom conference. One of your fellow coworkers might jump ahead of you and ask your questions. This can leave you in the dust and in the back of the minds and attention of your boss and managers. You can use small talk to be remembered for later when your current project succeeds or you're preparing to ask for a promotion. Staying quiet can leave you lost in the shuffle. You don't need to stand and perform a monologue, but asking more than about the weather can give you a little more daily credit.
HONESTY AND PRACTICE
According to BusinessInsider, admitting that you're not a fan of small talk and that you want to get into a deeper conversation can also win favor in small talk situations. Always remember to be sensitive about questions concerning religion, politics, or money and move onto really wanting to know the person you're speaking with. Start with "what's been your hardest challenge so far" or "what's your proudest achievement this year?". One of the biggest keys to success in these situations is asking questions about the person you're speaking with. People love to talk about themselves when the opportunity arises. Compliment them in an honest way or open the floor to allow them to teach you something new.
How do you get in the habit of naturally being able to have these elevated forms of small talk conversations? The same way you get better at anything; practice! Practice small talk with everyone you meet. There is a very high probability that you won't see these people again, anyway. Every time you strike up a conversation like this you'll make someone's day and get beneficial practice time.
It doesn't take make, but strengthening your small talk skills can improve so much in your personal and professional life. Being stuck in a very digital world where we rely so much on our cellphones and email can be dangerous to our communication skills. Don't fall into this trap! Take a few moments out of every day to make a meaningful connection, even if it's just over your excitement about the return of pumpkin spice. Make every conversation count a little bit more than the last.