It’s No Secret: Working With Great Brands Satiates Your Soul

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Anyone who works in a creative field knows the feeling. The one that slowly buzzes throughout your body after you’ve finished a project that you’re truly proud of. Whether it’s acting, designing, writing or making sculptures out of popsicle sticks, you’re filled with pride and you bask in that warm glow of accomplishment.

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But then, you submit your work to your boss/ client/ colleague/ popsicle judge, hoping they’ll share in your sparkly enthusiasm.

They don’t.

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They don’t like the way you performed that scene. Or the way your red logo is “TOO red.” Or how you described something in your script. Or the brand of popsicles you went with.

You feel deflated, just like Tom Brady’s fooseball. (Sorry, too soon?)

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But you realize that maybe your work wasn’t well-received because your boss/ client/ colleague/ popsicle judge doesn’t quite “get” it. Or maybe they’re afraid to do something different. Or perhaps they’re hesitant to let a little personality shine through. They probably hate taking risks.

Then there are the kind of brands that you always hope to work with, like Secret Squirrel.

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They’re a local family-owned business that makes incredible cold brewed coffee.

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And they’ve got an inspirational story.

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Owners Trevor and Rebecca Smith are the epitome of successful entrepreneurs.

These self-proclaimed coffee lovers would often experiment with different ways of creating and enjoying their favorite drink. The duo built Secret Squirrel from the ground up and embarked on a grassroots marketing campaign. They began selling their products at a local farmers market and quickly developed a community of cold brew loyalists.

Now Secret Squirrel is partnered with the largest independent natural foods distributor and just rolled out a new line of dairy-based drinks. (Yummy Hint Alert: stay tuned…more recipes are in the works.)

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I had the pleasure of working with Secret Squirrel recently, and I admire them for a myriad of reasons.

Trevor and Rebecca have created a great, approachable brand that invites people to be a part of their world.

They don’t hide behind an anonymous corporate wall.

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Their website is a welcoming digital experience with fun facts, pretty pics, and a rad recipe section, complete with boozy brew beverages!

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And they absolutely love interacting with their customers.

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Best of all, they clearly have a spectacular sense of humor.

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Oh, and their coffee is downright delish!

It’s so refreshing to see brands like Secret Squirrel. I know that as they expand and grow their empire, they will continue to be an inspiration to people like me, and to other businesses. I’ll drink to that!

How I Scored The Best Job I’ve Ever Had

So. Recently I started working at an awesome company doing incredibly fun things.

I somehow lucked out and scored a job that allows me to write. To interview comedians. And to utilize everything I’ve learned in the last 11 years about web design, web development and digital marketing. #WinWinWin

I’ll be honest – for the last year, I’d been filled with doubts and fears. I didn’t mind waiting tables and freelancing, but as bills piled up and friends from home were getting married, buying huge houses and creating babies…I was washing my apron, grimacing at my bank statements and feeling like a broke useless oaf who drinks cheap whiskey.

Then the clouds parted and I got that call. That amazing call. That job offer call. Obviously I accepted.

I thought about what I’d done to land such a killer opportunity. And I realized that once I’d decided to be a writer, there were a few things that definitely helped me get where I am.

1) Decide what you wanna do. Then take actionable steps to make it happen.

When I left my perfectly stable job as a Project Manager to pursue writing, the first thing I needed to do was….write! I had no portfolio, and the few pieces I’d previously written didn’t do much to showcase any kind of diversity. So I started blogging. Started tweeting more. Made a few more video jingles. And wrote some articles about bars and restaurants in the West Hollywood area.

2) Make yourself visible.

Wouldn’t it have looked weird if I called myself a writer/ content creator, but kept my Twitter posts and Youtube videos set to private? Don’t make it difficult for people to find you. If you take the time to create good work, don’t hide it!

Bad, bad, bad!

Bad, bad, bad!

3) Prove that you’re a pro.

Once I had some solid writing samples, an active Twitter feed and a healthy blog, I needed a proper website to showcase my best work in one place. I purchased my domain and sought out a talented web designer. I hired an amazing photographer. I bought some rad business cards. Basically, I cleaned out my checking account to make myself look professional. Best decision ever.

Wonder if Moo.com will accept an IOU?

Wonder if Moo.com will accept an IOU?

4) Give your LinkedIn some lovin’.

Like a good girl, I brought 3 copies of my resume to the big interview. But when I sat down in the conference room, I saw that they’d already printed out copies of my LinkedIn profile. How embarrassing would it’ve been if my profile looked incomplete, sad and skimpy? Don’t underestimate the importance of having a nice robust LinkedIn page. And don’t be shy about listing accomplishments or anything else that helps you stand out. My new boss was impressed that I’d taken a dozen classes at UCLA in 2012, and liked that I’d listed poetry among my college writing activities.

Upload a photo, you dingbat!

Upload a photo, you dingbat!

5) Be yourself.

If you know me, you know that I’m loud, very hyper and always a bit animated. On my way to the interview, I thought that I should perhaps hold back as not to scare off a potential employer. But as I chatted with my new bosses, I relaxed and let them get to know the real me. Fun fact: I performed one of my jingles live during the job interview…without music. Hey, sometimes you just gotta be a goofball!

Look who found the perfect outfit for her interview!

Look who found the perfect outfit for her interview!

Everything I Know About Love I Learned from Marketing

Whoever said that love and marketing have nothing to do with each other clearly knows nothing about love. Or marketing. I compiled a checklist to help make sure that your next campaign for romance will be successful.

Ladies, listen up.

Make sure to clearly define your expectations upfront.

This means letting him know that you expect to be treated like a queen. Or goddess. Foot massages are expected on a daily basis, in addition to kisses, hugs, and constantly asking how your day was. He will be expected to agree that yes, your coworker was a bitch today, and her butt HAS been getting fatter (even though he’s never met her).

Make sure his strategy is well-planned.

He must always have a clear plan for keeping this relationship afloat. His strategy should be perfectly aligned with your expectations, and if not, then you need to ensure he understands his role. Communication must be concise. If need be, leave notes in his pockets and on his windshield. Men like being corrected if they’re doing something wrong.

Make sure to conduct the 4 C’s analysis:

Cuddling: He must be the big spoon. Cuddling must occur outside the bedroom – it should be incorporated into scary movie nights, PMS, or after your bitchy coworker implied that your butt is bigger than hers.

Cooperative: He must get along with your friends, and agree even when they’re wrong.

Cocky: If he’s an ego-maniac, he’s out. Confidence is fine, but cockiness is uglier than his stupid shirt with the popped collar and bedazzled dragon.

Cats: If he doesn’t like cats, he’s out. Plain and simple.

Make sure that his key deliverables are on-time, and within budget.

Deliverables may include, but are not limited to: roses, jewelry, alcohol, books, tabloids, clothing, household appliances, toys for the cats, tickets to a show, funny cards, banana peppers, bottles of Sriracha, or Apple products. Bonus points if the deliverables are given ahead of schedule.

Make sure to explore all key areas of opportunity.

Ladies, areas of opportunity may include, but are not limited to: having him run your errands, wash your car, and clean your pool in a man-thong. If you do not have a pool, he can clean your tub in the man-thong (silver sparkles or leopard print are usually best).

If you follow these simple guidelines, you are sure to run a successful relationship campaign. And if you’re really on track, you may even get him to submit a proposal.