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!
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.
Curious about lead generation and exposure for your business? Not sure what the difference is between the two or what they can do for your online marketing? We are here to answer all those questions and more!
Hello, Summerville! We hope this blog finds you happy and well. This has been a very exciting few weeks for us, and if you've been following our social media pages (which if you're not - catch up!) you'll understand why! We've started a new local business feature, we've started a brand new video series answering all your business questions, and more! Stephen was also a recent guest on Invest Local!, a fantastic local podcast. Visit their website to hear Stephen give the insider scoop on what it's like to run a top-tier, full-service agency that handles client's brands from a hands-on and personal approach! We have so many exciting things coming our way, and we are so thankful for the amazing community of Summerville for helping us make it all possible!
One of our most recent posts on social media was dedicated to Lead Generation vs. Exposure. Did you know that there are two main types of digital marketing? That's right! Lead Generation and Exposure are those two main types. Lead generation seeks out new leads or sales and exposure grows your audience and brings awareness to your business. We wanted to dig a little deeper into these ideas and talk a little more about how both can help your company grow and why they're so important. If you want to know which focus is best for your business needs, reach out to us! We can help you understand the strategies used in each type of marketing, and help you create your custom system.
One of the most important things for businesses to gain through their marketing is to convert followers into clients. You don't want to waste time or money into an advertisement plan that doesn't get attention or any conversion. That goes against the whole purpose of why you have an advertising plan in the first place. With the way that the market is right now, and with so much up in the air, you want to make the most of your advertisement right now. Your goal, as always, is to attract the highest quality followers and leads that are going to turn into consistent and supportive customers.
According to Forbes, most new small businesses fail because they didn't have enough exposure in the beginning, to get the clientele needed to get them off the ground. Early exposure can help you get ahead of the game, ahead of your competitors, and help keep your head above water. The main focus is to grow your audience at a steady and productive rate. You need to understand and know your product and what demographic will be most likely drawn to your goods and services to make this a successful campaign. Once you understand that, you can begin to expose them to what goods and services your company offers, and why you're the experts in the world of your industry. It's an important process that needs to be seen in the early stages of your company and throughout its entire lifetime.
What is very important to remember is that both types of marketing are not only important to your business, but also to one another. Someone might be introduced to your company due to your exposure, and thanks to the efforts of successful lead generation, could become official clients. It can be difficult to pick and put either practice of marketing into successful action. We are here to help you make those decisions and to make that marketing dream become a successful reality. Have any questions? Please feel free to reach out, we'd love to hear from you! If you would like more in-depth training and someone to help you walk through your issues, we can help you with that. We offer individual social media training to walk you through on how to use each platform. If you or your company wants to take another step up in your online business world, we are here to make that happen. Don't hesitate to reach out. We are here and excited to help your company grow. Thank you for continuing to follow us, learn with us, and support us. We are here for you Summerville, no matter what!
There are so many working pieces of a successful company and workflow. Is keeping up with trends one that you have to do? We believe it to be one of the most important things to stay on top of!
The business world, just like any industry, changes rapidly. The right thing to wear, the cool things to do, where to eat, and the latest catchphrases can grow in popularity thanks to one viral Instagram post in a matter of seconds. It can be exhausting to follow and keep up with. It's even more exhausting when you're trying to run a business on top of staying aware of these changes. We get it. It's part of what we do for our clients and is something we deal with every day.
Is it really necessary to stay on top of and to follow trends? Or do you just find what works for you and your company and stick with that? In all reality, as much as we hate to say it, not staying on top of these fast-paced trends can endanger your company. Sticking to your very traditional means of business can be very damaging and will leave you in the dust of your competitors as they take the lead, your customers, and your business.
Also, remember to identify if the changes in your industry are true trends or if they're just fads. Fads will disappear overnight and can lead to a lot of frustration. A lot of money and time can be spent on implementing a fad. If it's mistaken for a trend, it can lead to a lot of frustration and money and time lost. Make sure you know the difference between the two, and how to spot both. What we want you to take away from this blog is to make sure that you are staying on top of trends. We do recognize that it can be a lot of added work, but it needs to be added to your workflow. We want to hear how you've encountered and implemented trends in your business! Comment below and share your experiences. If you want to learn more about trends, let us know! It could appear in future blogs.
There are so many incredible tools to help grow your business. Some of them are waiting right under your fingertips. Do you know about Facebook Business Manager? Have you begun to use it? It's time friends, and here's why!
Hello Summerville! Here is a toast to each of us for taking the next steps towards a sense of normalcy. We are hanging in there together, and we continue to appreciate your support. Let's keep loving our little town, and continue to move towards the future.
Business management is so important to keep any company running smoothly. Keep up with your clear communication and a positive and decisive workflow. Did you know that Facebook offers business management to its users? In this blog, we are going to be discussing all the great things Facebook Business Manager can do for you and your company. We will also be discussing how it can make things much easier for you and your company.
Facebook business manager was developed to help keep you organized and to help you stay in contact with your employees. It is a tool that Facebook developed to help any business that uses it to manage and maintain all of their company's pages, ad accounts, pixels, catalogs, and more all in one centralized location. This tool allows this information to be used, utilized, and attainable to your employees who need access to it. It also doesn't require you to share yours or your client's personal or login information. Of all the tools available to you on Facebook, it is one of the best there is. You can track results and optimize your work as a team. Best news of all, it's a free platform to use.
If you don't already have or use Facebook Business Manager, you need to begin looking into it. No matter the size of your company, if you are running a business along with maintaining your personal Facebook page and its safety, it's a must-have.
If you fall into these categories, you should begin setting up and working with the Facebook business manager.
Do you fall into these categories? Remember, switching to using Facebook Business Manager will allow you to share only what your employees need. It helps them to stay up to date, in communication, and you can still keep your personal account separate. You also need to claim permission to your business page. As Facebook and Instagram continue to change, if you don't claim and control the permission of your business pages, you could lose your Facebook Business Page.
Having a Facebook Business Account will also allow you to create custom audiences, which is half the battle of getting your product or services out there. You need to know and understand your demographic to create effective ad campaigns and to get your service/products in front of the people who will buy it. Finding and targeting these groups can take a lot of time. Having these groups created for you and being able to connect with them quicker is amazing. The platform allows you to run multiple ads and accounts (or assets) at one time, too. You can stay organized in all branches of your company. Truly, the only disadvantage you could be facing is having to take the time to learn about how this platform works and how best to utilize it. Which, considering how much it offers you and the time it saves, is worth it!
In short, the Facebook Business Manager allows agencies that run the business side of companies on Facebook to link to their client's pages without having employee accounts linked as administrators. It will give those who use it unrestricted access to all of the features within the business manager itself. They will be able to post to their client's account, customize their pages as desired, and even be able to link apps to the account. No employee would be able to use any account inappropriately.
If you still aren't sure about using Facebook Business Manager, now might be the time. Facebook has been pushing it so hard, especially in the last year, that it might turn out that you'll end up being made to use it. Facebook could automatically change your account for you. Don't fret, it's not as daunting as it seems. It is a lot easier to use and work with once you understand it. It is a great tool that we use and recommend. You got this! Also, don't forget! We offer individual social media training to review these features. So, if you or your company wants to take another step up in your online business world, we are here to make that happen. Don't hesitate to reach out. We are here and excited to help your company grow. Thank you for continuing to follow us, learn with us, and support us. We are here for you Summerville, no matter what!