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In one of our very last blogs for 2020, we are wrapping up this blog series about the best things you can do for your business now to make the new 2021 the best year yet!
Hello, Summerville! Welcome back to the blog writer's desk! The year is slowly picking itself up and putting itself away, and boy was it one for the books. We are happy to see it go, and we are happy and excited to see what this new year will be bringing us. As all of us at Creative Consulting have been gathering for our last in-person meetings of 2020, it's been interesting to sit back and see what this year has taught us. First and foremost it has taught us how resilient our town is. Nothing can stop Summerville! In fact, through all of the challenges we have been through as a community, it has been incredible to see just how much we have supported one another and continued to grow together and for one another. We have seen compassion, hope, and the dedication each of you have to your families, community, and your passions.
We have also experienced so much support and an outpouring of love from all of you supporting small businesses of all kinds right here in town. You decided to shop small, give big, and give back to your community. You took more time to be proud of the movers, makers, and shakers right here in town, Thanks to that you now own beautiful pieces of artwork and homemade products made by your incredibly talented neighbors, and you have tried some of the best new dishes and desserts made from your neighbors that you might not have known about unless the pandemic had happened, a tough silver lining, but one just the same. We have also seen resilience in our industry that we are so thankful for. We are honored to support and care for your businesses, and to help build and support them to help reach all of your goals and more. It has been an honor working with each of you, and we look forward to ringing in 2021 with you and stepping into new beginnings.
In part one of this blog, we spent time talking about all of the financial things you can do right now to help save on your 2020 taxes. While many of those decisions, purchases, and money moves might seem like a little bit of strain on your business accounts at the end of a very difficult year, we promise that they are still good decisions. While you might feel every penny this time of year, you will appreciate the time you dedicated to following the list in our previous blog and spending a little more money now. Come April 15th, your tax expenses will not be as challenging to cover, painful, or a surprise. In this blog, we are focusing more on the business aspects of closing out a year. What can you be focusing on and working on now that can help you create the best business plan for 2021? How can you make your goals become realities? How can you uplift and support your team? Let's talk about it!
Year-End Count Down
Before we all wrap up our work for the new year and settle into our holiday parties with our coworkers, there is still so much left to do. This is our busiest time of the year, so we understand that sometimes things can get lost in the shuffle. Don't let that happen this year! Use this end of the year checklist to wrap up 2020 and get your head in the game for 2021! We know the pandemic has been devastating to so many of you, and many companies are still trying to recover from its reverberations. Keep strong, keep going, you've got this!
From all of us at Creative Consulting, thank you for an incredible year! We deeply appreciate your support and friendship and couldn't do what we do without all of you and the incredible town of Summerville. We are so appreciative to our clients who have been with us for years, our new 2020 clients, and all of our future clients. We wish you all a very exciting and wonderful 2021!
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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 the blog writer's desk! Our whole team hopes this blog finds you happy and well where ever you might be. I personally hope that you are relaxing somewhere comfortable, with a view from your favorite spot in your home, or sitting in one of your favorite places in our beautiful town of Summerville. Even though we've had a lot of rain recently, it's helping keep the grass greener longer - and have you been paying attention to the clouds when these storms roll in? There is always a set of silver linings with every season, and through this tumultuous year, I have personally been trying to find as many as possible. What have you been doing this week to find your silver linings? Sometimes it's hard to do that, I understand. When it's hard to do that in my personal life, I try to focus on the silver linings in my day to day work life. One of the biggest ones is that Creative Consulting has been such a constant through a year that you can't count on what might happen in a few minutes, let alone a few days. I have never been more thankful to work for a company that can be just as successful when we are working in the office as we are remote. Thanks to the wonders of Google Meetings, Email, and Hubspot (if you don't know what that is - it's an incredible tool for your company, so look it up!) we were able to adjust quickly to our first shut down. Once we were back in the office, it was like we had just seen one another the day before. That comes with working with such a great team. Being supportive, helpful, and available to one another has also made this year so successful. My silver lining this week is having the chance to go to work, work with such a great group of people, and continue the forward motion in the growth of Creative Consulting.
Welcome back as well to our second to last (gasp!) team feature. Thank you, dear readers, for following along with this journey. While I only have four more blogs left to write for Creative in what's left of 2020, I am excited to come up with my next blog series for 2021. Make sure to enjoy these last few blogs and check-in with what wonderful things will appear next year. I have already started to brainstorm, and I am getting so excited. This spotlight is very unique because I have the pleasure to introduce you to an amazing team member who virtually started the same day that I did. We were both originally hired to be content creators for all of the social media clients, the only difference between the two of us is that she had more social media clients while I had some social media clients and all of my blog clients. I look back and think about those first few weeks we spent together; helping train one another, our first few Monday morning team meetings, and our first Creative birthday. We might have been working together and for Creative for five or six weeks, and we were already helping set up Creative's 5-year birthday party. It was such a whirlwind; we were meeting people who had supported and cared for creative since the very beginning, meeting some of our clients face to face and the FOOD was amazing. That was my first true introduction to the incredible food and sweets that are made right here in Summerville, and even now almost a year and a half after that party, I still look back and crave the finger food and the personalized cookies we nibbled on that night. What is so special about this young woman, is that from the moment we started working with one another, we formed an instant friendship. We started as easy-going coworkers who loved having their desks right next to each other. Now, we have formed a deep bond and friendship that I wouldn't trade for the world.
It is my honor to introduce you to Rebekah McCubbins, the other half of the content creation team. Together with Kelsay, they make sure that hundreds of content posts go out every month. She is incredibly passionate about what she does, about her community, and her family and friends. I feel like every time Rebekah and I work together, she is teaching me about something incredibly important happening in the world, in pop culture, or telling me about an incredible recipe she made for her and her husband the other night. (I am still hoping to try her chickpea curry someday soon!). I love learning about new music, new artists, new companies, new restaurants from her. She is always five steps ahead of me in knowing the coolest and latest trends, and I am so thankful that she keeps me hip and cool. She is also just an incredible source of joy, putting the two of us together can be dangerous - especially during our Monday meetings. You get us going and we can interrupt and pause a meeting in a fit of giggles. I have loved working next to her from our very first days of work. A day hasn't gone by where she didn't ask or offer her support or help before she left for the day, checked in with how I was doing, or asked about what projects I am working on. Get yourself a co-worker who loves and cares as Rebekah does, and you'll understand how lucky you are once you do! Let's meet Rebekah, shall we?
How long have you been working at CC:
A little over a year!
How did you hear about the positions:
I stumbled across the position on Facebook and filled out the application. I didn't think I would get an interview, and I definitely didn't expect to get the position!
What do you do for CC:
I write social media content and manage the social media accounts for some of our clients.
What is your favorite part about working for CC:
Collaborating with the most talented people! Everyone here blows me away daily with their creativity.
What have you learned since you worked at CC:
It sounds cliché, but I feel like I learn something new every day. I think the biggest thing is that Stephen and Meg have been super transparent about the business side of CC, and that has allowed me to learn so much about business!
What is your favorite part of your workday at CC:
Any time that I get to collaborate with the amazing creatives I work with! Everyone here at CC is so sweet and so talented, and I love working with them.
Favorite memory at CC so far:
A little while after I started at CC, we hosted a 5th-anniversary party for the company. It was such a fun time! I got to know my still-new coworkers better and met some of the incredible business owners from around the Lowcountry.
Favorite Summerville Small Business (besides CC):
There are so many! I love the chai latte and baked goods at Coastal Coffee, the candles at ETC, and the macarons at Swank!
What is your educational background:
I majored in English and History and minored in Religion. I finished my Bachelor's degree at UofSC in 2019, and I plan to continue my education in English and get my doctorate in the future.
What are your hobbies:
Reading, Cooking, Embroidery, and Video Games!
What is your favorite book, color, song, movie:
Book: I've read so many that it's impossible to narrow it down to one, but a book I recently finished and loved is The Weight of This World by David Joy. It is a beautiful, haunting story that sheds a light on the reality of poverty in the South. I highly recommend his books!
Movie: V for Vendetta, The Princess Bride, and The Devil Wears Prada are all amazing, and I've recently become obsessed with Midsommar and The Day Shall Come!
Song: Right now I really love Water Me by Lizzo, but there are truly way too many I love!
I was homeschooled all the way until I got to college.
I am currently working on a set of small embroideries of sushi.
I have strong opinions about practically everything, especially the Oxford comma.
Thai food, soul food, and sushi!
Favorite Restaurant in Charleston/Summerville:
I love Pad Thai 1. They're right around the corner from our office, they're so sweet, and the food is delicious. I also recently discovered Alicia's Soul Food, which makes the BEST mac and cheese I've ever tasted!
Favorite things to do in Charleston/Summerville:
Shop, eat, and spend time with family and friends!
Reading this interview, you can just feel Rebekah's kindness, good heart, and passion. Reading back through this, it was even more of a walk down memory lane. Ironically, she and I had very similar experiences with our applications and first interviews. We both applied on Facebook and didn't think we'd get an interview. With my background in performing, I am so used to sending in my resume and information and not hearing back, so that's kind of what I expected. Thankfully, Stephen and Meg had a much different plan for both of us. We were also both so convinced that we tanked our interviews, but Meg and Stephen had a different idea about that as well, thank goodness! I am so excited to see what other incredible things Rebekah is going to do with her time working with Creative and in every venture of her life. Spoiler alert, I have seen sneak previews of her sushi embroideries, and they will make you crave a California roll they're just so incredible! Many thanks to Rebekah for taking the time for letting me interview her, and for sharing these wonderful insights about her and her time with Creative. I have loved sharing this with all of you. Coming up in December, readers, you will get to read the last team feature (until new team members join us!), which will be the blog writer's interviewer herself! Until next time Summerville, find the silver lining in your life, and stay caffeinated!
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We are finishing up our blog series on the best ways to handle negative social media comments. We know it's a difficult situation to deal with, but with enough preparation, you can be ready to handle anything!
Hello, Summerville! Welcome back to part two of our blog about handing negative social media comments. We hope that part one of this blog gave you a good basis for how to move forward if you are faced with this issue. As we mentioned before, this is not something we would wish on anyone. Sadly, it is very possible. Hopping on the internet and telling everyone exactly how you feel has become a trend since the dawning of Facebook, if not sooner, and has continued to grow stronger in the years following. As a business, you prepare for the inevitable with insurance, a strong plan, a good financial team, and a good workforce. Why not be prepared for everything you might face? Keep a watchful eye on all of your online networks, and be ready to handle everything and everyone you come across with an attitude of being calm, cool, and collected.
It might be incredibly hard, but take a moment to see the issue from the client's point of view. There will be people who will be angry just to be angry. If the product or service your company offers is broken, doesn't deliver as promised, or arrives extremely late, apologizing and owning up to your mistakes will help. Offering a discount, refund, voucher, or replacement can also help calm the tension at hand.
Make sure you are aware of the comments you're receiving. Keep notifications on and connect them to a phone or email that will be checked and monitored frequently. Also, make sure to follow up with any complaints and follow through with what you promise to offer your client. Make sure you understand what the problem is and discuss how it can be fixed. Once these terms have been agreed on, follow through with them and check back in with your client to make sure they're happy and satisfied with the situation. This shows that you really care, and you didn't just fix the problem and forget about them.
Sometimes you will run into a situation where an issue is out of your control. A system error could be beyond your knowledge to repair, your suppliers that help create your goods and services could be doing something to harm the quality of your product, and sometimes you are in a situation where you don't have the answers or a way to fix it yourself. That's okay - you're human. This doesn't mean you just toss it away and brush the problem off, you still have to fix it. What you can do is outsource someone who can help you. Recruit a good IT company, find a new supplier, and find the best of the best in what you're having issues with. This can cause a hike in price than just refunding your customer, but this can be a priceless decision to help keep your customer and continue bringing in others. It is never wrong to ask for help with something you don't know! Not only can this help relations between you and your customer, but it can be a learning opportunity for you and your team as well!
According to Forbes, 84% of people who go looking into a company online say they trust the reviews they see. Sometimes you can't help how people will respond or react, their anger could be something completely out of your hands. If you can, try to get ahead of any potential problems so negativity can be avoided. Listen to your customers before things get difficult. Have you been hearing similar small complaints? Have you been hearing the same suggestion over and over again? Have people been supporting you for a significant amount of time, but have been asking for a revamp of your goods and services? Listen to them! They are giving you excellent free advice, why not take it? If you can get ahead of the curve, this can help avoid negative situations.
Negative comments are bound to happen. It's how you deal with them that will make all the difference. Everyone is allowed to have their opinion, but make sure your voice as a company isn't quiet. Don't be afraid to connect with these unhappy people, human to human. Remember too, one bad comment does not reflect your company as a whole. Take it in stride, and keep doing what you do best! 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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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.
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Chatrooms and Instant Messanger dominated the early years of the internet and created some incredible connections. They also created some very dark and dangerous moments. With Facebook constantly evolving and the need for a connection with others becoming more important, are we seeing the rebirth of a safer forum space online?
Remember the very first time you joined Facebook? You were able to connect with your friends and family members as you were heading off to college, staying in touch with friends at the moment, or reconnection with friends and relatives you might not have seen in over thirty years. Facebook, despite its sometimes challenging marketing systems and the roadblocks it places on small businesses, can be an amazing tool. Through the pandemic, we have seen this even more so. While we were at home we were able to see the news, see our friends, shared truths, shared things that made us laugh, and shared things we believe in. There is a reason why Facebook is such a successful platform and why Mark Zuckerburg has become the businessman he is today. From its humble beginnings in 2004 when we were all friends with Tom Anderson (please look that up if you don't remember) to now employing over 48,000 people, the way Zuckerburg intended communities and gathers to appear has evolved into something much different than planned. In this blog, we will be discussing how Facebook groups could be bringing back the culture of forums, and if this is a positive thing or not.
Groups are something that has become such an integral part of Facebook, to not be included in one is strange. According to The Atlantic, more than 400 million Facebook users are involved in a group of some kind. This popularity has lead Mark Zuckerburg, the creator and founder of Facebook, to start focusing entirely on Facebook groups. His goal, reports The Atlantic, is to create a small network of communities that would be the equivalent of a "living room" letting you interact with anyone you want on the popular platform safely and privately. But, there is more to Facebook than just your traditional Facebook groups. There is also another very popular platform on Facebook, similar to groups, that is dominating its servers. This is called the tag group. You will see these tag groups appear as bold catchphrases or sayings that are tagged in the comments of any picture, post, or video on Facebook. These tag groups can be about or linked to any catchphrase, saying, or any idea possible. Once you join them, a tag group is similar to a subculture. It can be used in a positive way to combat ugliness found on Facebook and can bring you together with likeminded individuals. You can thank these tag groups for supplying you with tons of random memes, strongly opinionated posts, and videos from strangers that you might love seeing on your feed - or not! Facebook is home to thousands of these tag groups. Some view them as a great place to safely share your option, while others are now viewing them as new ways to be a bully, according to Intellectual Takeout.
Although you might not be a huge fan of some of the content that appears on your page when you purposefully or even accidentally join a tag group when you find one that's perfect, you find a welcomed escape from the internet world around you. You are seeing what you want to see, and you're able to share and talk about your options with other liked minded individuals, more often than not, in a very safe way. Does this ring a bell to you? Sounds like the early days of chat rooms and forums! You can use these groups to your advantage, tagging them in the comments of a post so those in your tag group can see it, providing a laugh or support from another group member to prove a point. According to The Atlantic, these tag groups offer a sense of comfort and can allow you to meet like-minded people in a safe zone, getting rid of the bad reputation that chat rooms carry when it comes to meeting people. They allow you to take comfort in knowing the bonds you're creating are with individuals who share a core understanding because you both go looking for the same things. It's what brought you to this group. Chat rooms are open ground for anyone to walk in and take advantage of someone because the only thing they have in common is the chat room they both logged into.
It looks like, even though the platform is very successful, Facebook is not connecting to the popularity of these tag groups. They aren't as supported as users might suspect them to be, especially since so many of the platform users are now apart of tag groups. Facebook has recently gone after meme tag groups for too much activity, making groups impossible to find or even deleting them. With such a huge part of the Facebook world being edited, affected, and changed - what could this mean for those who love these groups and have depended on them during the pandemic? We are also interested to see if these tag groups are going to be recognized as regular groups are if their popularity continues.
There is still another side to the tag group. As good as they might sound, you might want to take them with a grain of salt. As much as we love a great tag group that supports equal rights, funny animal pictures, and positive quotes to get your day started, there are just as many tag groups that support some very questionable, hateful, and potentially violent ideals as well. It's connecting people who believe in anything and everything. Could this be a positive thing? Is that why Facebook is wanting to create their own versions of groups and tame the rampant growth of tag groups? It looks like the future will be the one to decide that! What do you think? Do you feel that tag groups are harmless, annoying, or something that needs to be paid attention to? Comment below and let us know what you think!
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Keeping your business and personal information safe needs to be one of your top priorities if you run any part of your business online. If Facebook is part of your business plan, are you utilizing all of the privacy settings they offer?
Facebook is an incredible and powerful tool. We talk about it all the time! It's amazing what it can do for your business when used correctly. It can gather amazing information about your clients, the demographic that follows you, how you can achieve a better reach, and how to improve your content and ad campaigns. There is no other platform that knows how to learn about you better than Facebook. With every post liked, every ad you click on, every group or company you follow, Facebook learns more about you. It's so intelligent that it will keep showing you more of what you love as time goes on. As much as it learns, is there ever a point where it's learning too much? Even the strongest, smartest, and most powerful companies have their flaws. Facebook privacy has been breached and private information has been leaked before, it's not immune to these attacks. Some of these leaks have been due to hackers, some have been due to apps that use Facebook to log into them, and many other reasons.
When it comes to private information getting hacked, it can be a difficult thing to recover from. When a company's information gets leaked, it can be devastating. Privacy needs to be one of your top priorities when running your Facebook Business Page. Thanks to the built-in safety precautions Facebook has added to the platform, you have the power to maintain and control your Facebook pages at all times. Don't let it control you. To help keep you and your company as safe as possible, we wanted to share some tips and suggestions on how to utilize the built-in privacy settings on Facebook. Please note; these tips and suggestions can be found on every Facebook page. You can access them through the Facebook Help Page or your Settings page. To learn more about each of the settings, you can read more about them on Facebook's help page (listed at the bottom of this blog) or through countless videos on YouTube!
There are more safety and privacy settings available to you than what we have listed here. Make sure to utilize all of them, or at least know and understand where they are and what they do. Spend time going through your privacy settings on your personal and business account on your phone and your computer. If there is something you don't understand, we urge you to look it up and not pass it over. 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!
To directly visit Facebook's privacy settings visit the link below:
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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!