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!

Is There Any Way To Make It Play Itself? (Real Time Games update)

A few months back I wrote a niche post about an idea we have at timotheories.

I put it fairly directly at the time, and it still rings true, but I’ll expand on that idea today. The idea was one that might be obvious, but like many obvious ideas, it should be repeated. BECAUSE it’s important – Board games have been associated with children, fun, and idle time for a few decades, but the truth is that not only are they a lot of fun, they are now absolutely useful and necessary in our culture.

And they will continue to be a key feature of life as we become more reliant on digital tech to work, communicate, and conduct most affairs in our personal lives.

The reason for this need is that board games do something that is really is important for human beings, but which cannot be achieved via digital tech. Direct human contact.

See a little light bulb just went off, didn’t it?

But before we continue, we should clarify that much like realm of advertising, which is a component of marketing, and not a root word, board games are a facet of something larger and should be used in context. As dogs are to mammals, board games are a type of table top gaming.

Table top gaming can refer to games played with dice, cards, on a board, with tiles, timers, miniatures, wargames, and any other variation that would be done on a flat surface. Which is what separates them from live action role-playing games, video games or sports games. Which is why I would make the argument that playing sports or playing video games in the same room as your friends works decently well too. But video games aren’t made that way any more

As for the politics surrounding chance for strategy in table top gaming, let’s not get into that today.

This is where Real Time Games came into the fold – Real Time Games, as I’ve mentioned before, is about people and sharing the joy of board games with them. My brother Ryan and I set up a weekly gaming group so that we could ensure that we spread the message, so-to-speak, about the hundreds of hobby games now available and which have slowly been cropping up since the turn of the century.

Nowadays, there are all kinds of hobby websites, YouTube channels, brick-and-mortar stores, and organizations that help promote this niche industry. But the proletariat are less versed in culture shift that needs to take place.

Yes, it’s happening, but ever-so-slowly, which is ironic given the motility we are supposed to have with the current technology at our fingertips.

And so we play different games every week, with the intent of sharing the social value of the games that we play. And my original plan was to develop a video series for Real Time Games wherein we discussed the value of said games via a standard table top review. But it occurred to me that that wasn’t a realistic use of Ryan’s time, and he wasn’t comfortable getting in front of the camera to declare expertise. So the idea sat, and ruminated for 6 months or so.

But now it looks like I have found a new partner in crime, and so Real Time Games evolves to become more timely delivering content to those who are using technology but looking for analog connection.

So please stay tuned as that idea unfolds. Because we’ll be discussing the latest and greatest at Edmonton’s new hot spot, The Gamer’s Lodge. I’m not going to reveal any more, since I’m out of theories for today, but stay tuned as I work with my new partner to set up this regular service and help flesh out our community.

Tim!

I #Love My #Dad (Father’s Day)

That’s right, we’re doing my first-ever reaction post to my own post. I’m sure it’s been done before, but this is exciting for me, because I get to refresh you memory about my Mother’s Day post, all while celebrating the fathers in our lives.

Even better for me, because Father’s Day is a very short 3 days away, so there is still time for you to reflect on this holiday before it happens, and hopefully do something meaningful for all the dads you know.

In anticipation of writing this post, I did basically nothing for research, and at first I thought maybe it was because I was tired from the work day, or maybe it was because my girlfriend is working out of town for the summer or maybe it’s because I was scared to write about Father’s Day because we don’t communicate with our dads very easily anymore.

I’m going to share a commercial with you dear readers. This time it won’t be a satire of Mother’s Day, because all of the comedy channels seem just as ill-prepared as I am for this holiday.

See, I promised something of a mirror post, and so far so good.

The ad we just watched explicitly pointed out how disconnected we are from our families, how little time we all appear to be spending on communication and teachable moments.

Dads have always been shown to be the solid figures in our lives, whether they are there for us or not, they are stoic in their presence and reliable. But this Gillette ad uses emotions to prove that all over the world children are leaning more and more on the internet for sage wisdom and less on one of their best real-world teachers, their dads.

I have a theory that the reason why the first few things that come up when you type “Father’s Day” into Google are gift ideas is that we don’t give our dads the real gifts that they would like communication and intimacy. When you go and ask your dad for advice, your giving him an opportunity to share knowledge with you and impart some of his own personality.

A poorly kept secret is that most everyone you and I know will admit that dads are hard to shop for, but while it’s true that many of them don’t want a gift, it’s because they would much rather have an experience with you.

Another reason why I personally think Father’s Day takes a backseat is because it was invented to complement Mother’s Day. And on top of that when Father’s Day initially took off, it only received attention through the promotion of it’s founder Sonora Smart Dodd. When she left to study at the Art Institute of Chicago in the 1920s, the holiday faded away.

When Dodd returned to her home town of Spoke in the 1930s, she began to promote the holiday again, this time focusing her efforts and raising awareness at a national level, so that it finally stuck in the United States.

Because we never gave fathers a holiday that was uniquely theirs we assumed that they would figure out how the want to celebrate it. The problem with this logic is that both mothers and fathers are wired to give more than receive after they have children, assuming they are healthy. If we want to celebrate our fathers properly we might need to turn inward and focus on them as individuals, rather than as symbols.

But that’s just a theory.

What do you think? Have I finally gone over the edge? Leave some comments below!  Share! Subscribe! Otherwise, I’m out of theories for the week, I think I’ll take a break and wind down for my own fathers Father’s Day celebrations.

Tim!

 

 

 

Why Captain America Turned Nazi And Other Fan Theories (Cross Talk Ep.6)

Fandom is broken.

Well, that’s what Devin Faraci of Birth. Movies. Death. would have us believe anyway.

Now, normally I don’t like to indulge the reaction post/video side of humanity on the Internet because I find doing so to be far too specific and not in the least satisfying – The problem being that creating content around a “trending topic” runs the risk of quickly becoming dated and it’s often not broad enough to build an entire timotheories sized post on.

Sure, I could do something everyone likes, like speculating on the next Angry Birds movie, but I’d prefer to write like a Shrek movie, one with many layers, sort of like an onion, because I don’t care what everyone likes.

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But fortunately for you, dear readers, you’re going to get your cake and eat it too, because that Faraci article is something of a whopper and conveniently related to the topic I was going to bring up this evening anyway.

It just so happens that in doing research for Episode 6 of Cross Talk, how fandom influences studio direction, Chris came across the above article and decided to share with me. And we had a good chat about it.

But let’s get into it!

Without giving too much away, Chris and I have found a way to demonstrate the value of a measured approach to the challenge that is social media, because if you follow his logic through to it’s logical conclusion, then Faraci’s fandom has always been broken.

Faraci tells us that because of the Internet, extremists like Annie Wilkes now have a way to terrorize anyone and everyone, but what about the other side of the coin? Those who never had a voice now have potentially have one, and petitioning for artistic changes just go a lot easier.  So where did we land? And how upset are we about the Steve Rogers: Captain America #1 reveal? You’re about to find out, and I’ll give you a hint, as an artist, I happen to have a few theories on this topic.

I’ve included a direct link to the full video for you here, but as always, the real action is just below for your convenience. Otherwise, please sit back and enjoy Episode 6 of Cross Talk!

I’m out of theories for now, but please check back tomorrow for an album review that is all about Simon. It should be a good one! Please comment, subscribe and share this with you friends. We want to hear your feedback!

Tim!