My Heartbeat (Professionalism)

Being yourself has become such a cliche that I literally cannot even, dear readers. I just literally cannot even.

Sorry, bad habit from dating someone in their early twenties.

Such a beautiful create who is still figuring herself out and doesn’t really know what she wants out of life yet.

Someone who is exploring the open road and wants to see what is out there.

Well actually, I’m really sorry but not sorry, because I already know what I want out of life, and while I’m pretty fucking cool with adapting to other people and their life pursuits, I’m most definitely not cool with someone trying to force me to do that which is against my goals and aspirations.

So bye bye baby, baby goodbye.

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Now that might not seem professional my friends, but as you’ve slowly come to learn about me, I’m an art maker, and I try really hard not to be a heart breaker, because after all, you can’t have heart without art, and as my friend Singh likes to say, you also can’t have art without heart.

My authentic self

My authentic self is entwined with the arts, and I’ve made great efforts to get back to a place where I am supporting the arts at every turn, and so I cannot be in a relationship with someone who won’t let me do my thing, and whose interests follow another path, and so if that led to an ultimate situation, then so be it. Because my professionalism is important in this journey of timotheories.

Which means it’s for the best Lindsey, I really hope you get the love you need in this life, and while I highly suspect that won’t be me anymore, I’ll always have that garden party, Ticker doodle doo.

Now, why do I care? Well friends, we’ve arrived at the final introductory post on the Importance of Marketing series, and as sobering of a topic as this is for me personally (thought I never would’ve expected that on first glance), it’s relevant that I write what I know.

After all, if we’re going to discus professionalism, it’s important to address that a professional is competent. A professional is both efficient and a producer of quality. Which means that as it relates to your brand or voice, your marketing needs to be consistent, unique and representative of you.

Think about your own favourite brands, you are the audience for the brands that you consume, and so as a marketer, you have a unique position. You know both sides of this story. It comes down to expression of an authentic message. Or as I like to call it, the why of your business.

My professional joy de vivre

Do you know your why yet? Your joy de vivre? If you can get to the purpose of what inspires you to do what you do, then you can start the process of articulating that why statement that will lead you to your brand statement. Once you have a brand statement, holy shit Batman, you can keep your professional image on point.

Figure out your audience and align with those in it, support what is being consumed, be authentic in your social media, learn the rules of marketing, and stick to the fundamentals, don’t worry about being cool.

There is a lot more to this professionalism than what I can share in a healthy post length, but I can assure you this much, I DON’T know it all friends, but because I’m working on sharing the arts with everyone from the artist’s perspective, I know that I’m going to learn as much as I can, and I’ll keep sharing theories with you along the way.

So now the real question comes in, did you really break up with your girlfriend just to make a post? No, I didn’t art shakers. I only made the best of an authentic situation to give you a solid example of keeping it real in your business.

I’m out of theories for now friends, but I’ll see you tomorrow with something timely.

Tim!

Grow Up And Blow Away (Your Image)

Growing up is hard to do.

Or to if I were to rip it off of a writer like E. E. Cummings, it takes courage to grow up and become who you really are. Which is why Peter Pan never did it, why Peter Pan syndrome is real, and it’s also why we don’t all get there.

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Also, I’ve never been a large fan of this above meme, but you know what? This seems like an appropriate time to use it, after all, marketing is about communicating a message, and so I’m making a solid point with a message about dummies using a baby to be funny.

Real mature dummies. Way to devalue the importance of marketing.

Hold on a tick, timotheories, are you saying what we think you’re saying?

That’s right, we’re onto post number four in the Importance of Marketing series!

As I’ve already done a few times before, I should start us on the right track by clarifying what an image means in this instance. It could be a representation of the external, whether the form taken is that of a person or a thing. It could also be a metaphor. In most cases it usually means a physical likeness, which can be best demonstrated with a photograph, painting or sculpture.

But what about a mental representation? An idea? a conception? Especially given the weird quality that computers have which allow them to produce an image themselves. And thusly we arrive dear readers. I’m referring to your online image.

An online image is that which houses all of the internet related information available to the public about you, and it can be very unflattering. Your online image is a summation of characteristics and interactions you have with other members of the internet. Most of the interaction happens on forums, content channels, and digital vending machines, but regardless of what you do with your time online, each website builds a profile of who you are and what you do.

Which is why you should learn some basic online hygiene in order to take that road. Yes, I could teach you about branding related image elements, like your logo, mailing list, etc. But upon more reflection, it occurred to me that we can all benefit from the below first, and build up to that level of attention.

So here it is, a short(er) list of things you should do.

  1. Regularly track your Google search results. Are you competing with someone else for  name attention? What kinds of URL results come up when someone searches for you and are the results consistent with the image you want to have? Is someone else with the same name in the top results? If you set Google alerts, you can run interference on both positive and negative feedback whenever someone has something to say about you.
  2. Buy all of the necessary social media names associated with your brand. For example, I have YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter locked up. Your personal URL needs to be in sync with your brand too, so look into that as well. Domain names are relatively inexpensive to acquire, and the internet is the future after all, so make a commitment now. And then make your email signature align – add all of the links.
  3. Participate in the above mentioned online social and business related groups. That also includes LinkedIn, Google+, and other ones like ZoomInfo. Your goal is to structure your profiles, replies, and posts so that you can attract your target demographic and send a professional message about your expertise. By connecting with those who already do what you want to do or are on their way too, you’ll gain access to job openings, freelance opportunities, and networking events.
  4. Blogging. I blog because I love it, but Google and other search engines love blogs too. The content is regularly updated, and as you participate in the culture, which means guest posting, commenting on other blogs with your handle, and sharing useful information. And reference other relevant blogs when you can because the community commitment makes all the difference. Of course, if you can fit your blog into a full-meal-deal website that showcases your career, achievements, and portfolio, all the better.
  5. Share your expertise. That means participating in professional associations that have physical and online forums, and take advantage of their networking opportunities. If you go to Yahoo!, Google Groups, LinkedIn, Reddit or WikiAnswers, you’ll find lots of people that’ll appreciate your help. You should also write reviews of relevant books for online publishers like Amazon and Indigo. And of course don’t forget to link it to your personal brand.

But what do you think? Did I miss anything? Do you still never wanna grow up? I know it’s scary out there, but I have a theory that if you follow the above you’ll get where you need to go on your marketing journey. I’m out of theories for now friends, but I’ll see you tomorrow with something timely.

Tim!

I Can’t Get No Satisfaction (Syndication)

Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever have it all, dear readers.

I want to have a successful blog, publish a few bestseller novels, create & feature in at least 3 popular YouTube video series, maintain a healthy diet that include meals, meditation, exercise, & affirmations, create meaningful & beloved paintings, and operate a community driven app for the arts.

Now you might say that that is crazy, but a lot of that those ideas tie in and relate to each other, which means that I’ll be sharing my brand across a number of channels, and working together with others to produce a brand that is viable and collaborative.

But in order to do that I need to syndicate – which happens to be a major part of marketing.

This is post number three in the Importance of Marketing series. We already have the business plan post ready for your absorption, so be sure to check that one out as well. But I digress, let’s now focus on today’s Wisdom Wednesday topic – A post about the importance of content syndication.

What’s content syndication timotheories?

Well my dear, sweet readers, content syndication is a way to put your name and ideas out there into the ether. It helps you build your reputation and generate leads which then generate sales for your business. If you can figure out a healthy mix of syndication, you’ll be rewarded with search rankings, increased traffic, and better exposure to your personal brand. Did I mention that it will also help promote you as an industry leader too? And when you become a leader, people start back linking to your blog.

That’s when you know you’ve hit the big time.

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But in order to get your name out there, you should set up a strategy first. Set some goals and determine the results you need in order define that content strategy. You need to be honest with yourself and ask the hard questions. Like whether you’re positively impacting the community around you with your syndication methods or if you’re really going to drive traffic with your current plan.

What it comes down to is quality content and quality resources to manage your syndication. You could use the carousel method and increase your traffic by publishing to established websites like Hubpages or you could go the advertising route and use something like Newstex to get paid when other publishers source your material. Having said that, you aren’t assured to get paid right away if you share your material for a fee, your content has to be of a certain calibre.

And we haven’t even touched the tip of the iceberg when it comes to promotion. Just using a syndication delivery method isn’t going to get you there alone. Yes, you have to take advantage of the networks mentioned already, but you’ll also have to start guest blogging on websites that already have success in a wide breadth. And of course you need to consider where social media and forums fit into the mix. Every social media application and forum has a different tone, so be very mindful of how you construct your tweets, posts, shares etc.

But before I get too far into the weeds and begin the process of telling you in detail how to syndicate your content, I’m gonna stop the post and let these theories sink in.

After all, at timotheories, we are about digital curating at heart, and that means giving you content in bite size pieces. We would never expect you to swallow the elephant all at once.

And so I’m out of theories for today, I hope you enjoyed this peek into syndication, and I look forward to releasing the remaining introductory points on the importance of marketing. I’ll see you tomorrow friends, with something timely and rather tasteful.

Tim!

Mind Your Own Business (Your Business Plan)

You ever have someone tell you to mind your own business, dear readers? It’s a fairly common saying in our western culture. It’s supposed to be a direct way of telling others to stop meddling in that which does not concern them.

The expression started out innocently enough.

It came from the Christian bible and in particular from the New Testament. I’ll share the verse with you for reference –

…and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you,

1 Thessalonians 4:11

As time passed it slowly entrenched itself into our culture more and more, and even had a place on the first official 1 cent coin of the United States when it was designed in 1787.

By the 1930s a slang version of the phrase came up, which stated “mind your own beeswax.” Author Eric Frank Russell shortened the phrase into Myob!, and various comedians like Kevin Hart and Eddie Murphy have used it in their standup. My personal favourite is, of course, from pop culture.

Will Smith’s Fresh Prince persona has a solid point.You have to stand up for yourself and if it comes to it, tell people to lay off. Now, what does that have to do with today’s Wisdom Wednesday? Well, if you recall there was a time, roughly two months ago, when I wrote about the importance of marketing. And it just so happens that one of the associated points on marketing for a professional was developing a business plan.

Your reason to be, or as they say in french, votre raison d’être.

Writing you business plan may seem stressful at first glance, but it’s not that difficult to do, which is why we will start with the framework of your business plan –

http://www.canadabusiness.ca/eng/page/2753/

Business plans come in all shapes and sizes, but every business plan needs to consider its audience, the business goals, and especially the mode of delivery. I took this layout directly from the Canada Business Network section of the Government of Canada website, so you know that we’re not messing around on timotheories.

Here are some sections that you could POTENTIALLY include in your plan:

  • Executive summary
  • Business strategy
  • Marketing strategy
  • Operational plan
  • Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats analysis
  • Human resources plan
  • Social responsibility strategy
  • E-business strategy
  • Financial forecasts and other information
  • Business exit strategy
  • Additional resources

But now you’re probably wondering how to get started in filling out those sections. Well, I went to another website to dig up some info on example business plans and get you art makers and art shakers some tips.

And here are a few tips to get you started on your own business plan –

  1. Look at other industries that already do what you do, for inspiration. But you need not worry about looking for a duplicate match. The reality is that even if another business functions similarly to yours, every business has a different location, team, and business strategy governing it. Just like individuals.
  2. Emulate their plans at the first draft, and scour other sources with each revision. Good artists copy ideas, and great artists steal them. I think some guy obsessed with apples said that once. You’ll get over your initial fears, learn something about your business, and potentially gain new ideas.
  3. Remember to write your business plan, avoid the copypasta. Professionals like lawyers and accountants can see through this and because your vision isn’t there, you only hurt your businesses chance of success in the long run.
  4. Like art, the real joy and growth comes from the process. You are creating a business plan. And like any creative pursuit, questions arise and insights are gained. You’ll be forced to answer questions you didn’t know you had, and you can then share your vision with stakeholders and anyone you think should know about it.
  5. Build a better business by using your plan every day. Put it on the wall, and keep it there so that any time you have questions about growth, strategy, and costs, you can stay on target and grow your business the right way.

All of it comes down to this, if you mind your business, people will mind their own and you’ll get a innumerable amount of monkeys off of your back. But that’s just a theory.

Tim!

So Fresh and So Clean (timotheories July 2016)

I cannot believe that we’ve already gone through half of 2016, dear readers, so much has happened and so much has changed.

I feel like Jay-Z in Change Clothes. You know I stay fresh to death, I’m gonna bring art through the mess of pop culture and to the top of the internet. So lets go.

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You know what that means, I’m going to bring the hammer down and talk the month of July on timotheories. We’ve had a post about fairness in art, and some wisdom about research via the website Snopes. But what else is on the menu for the rest of the month?

I’ll get to that sweet sweet schedule, but first, I need to share my disclaimer. That old chestnut.

*Disclaimer* As always, every week I purchase an album and movie one week ahead of the actual review release and while I have the best intentions, I don’t always get what I want… so if you follow me on instagram (@timotheories) you can actually see what’s coming.

Great! Now we can get into the thick of it. And of course I’ve included the week of July 3-9 as a reference point, even though we’ve already had a great review of White Chapel and Ex_Machina:

Stimulating Sundays – (07/03) Fairness in Art, (07/10) Mystery Interview ???, (07/17) Cross Talk Ep. 7, (07/24) Comic Books, (07/31) Brad Fehr interview
Melodic Mondays – (07/04) White Chapel, (07/11) Magic!, (07/18) The Avalanches, (07/25) Good Charlotte
Theatrical Tuesdays – (07/05) Ex_Machina, (07/12) Pride & Predjudice & Zombies, (07/19) Everybody Wants Some!!, (07/26) Whiplash
Wisdom Wednesdays – (07/06) Snopes, (07/13) Your Business Plan, (07/20) Syndication, (07/27) Your Image
Timely Thursday – (07/07) timotheories July, (07/14) Art Walk, (07/21) Taste of Edmonton, (07/28) K-Days

The year of all killer, no filler continues friends! Can you believe that I have something special in store for you this month too? I’m going to share an international artist interview with you for the first time ever!

 

AND this month’s Cross Talk features a guest appearance from an action movie expert in the form of a gentleman. And I know I sound like a broken record but you really won’t want to miss it.

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Lastly let’s go over a really cool interview I’ll be sharing with an artist who is conscious of everything; he makes intuition seem like Mickey Mouse cartoons. Brad Fehr. That’s all you’ll get on this interview for now, but it’ll be cerebral at the very least.

And now we’ve covered it all, my friends. Or have we?

Sorry one more thing, I’m still working on the table top games videos, so stay tuned for more on that front. For realz.

And those are all of the theories I can come up with for now friends. Please leave some comments, to let us know what you want to see in coming months and subscribe to the blog too!

Tim!