Inspiration Station

Taking the highway outside my comfort zone

If you had told me one year ago today that I’d be coaching a global network of learners on how to tell their stories for maximum impact for IDEO (!!!)... well, I would not have believed you because that would have sounded insane. Alas, here we are, one year later and I wrapped up a 6-month fellowship coaching business leaders, designers, innovators, etc. on how to strategize, and craft their stories through the design thinking methodology in IDEO U's online course, Storytelling for Influence. And if that wasn't amazing enough, I had the absolute honor of working alongside and learn from an amazingly talented and collaborative multidisciplinary team that has been so giving of their time. I don’t have enough room here to go into all of the details of the experience, but in summary, I hella stepped outside of my comfort zone, I conquered imposter syndrome, and I think it’s safe to say that my creative confidence is back. IT'S BACK BABY!!!

Yesterday I met up with a small few of my amazing cohorts at the IDEO U office in San Francisco for lunch, and each of us gifted a copy of, The Little Book of IDEO. Herein lies tangible proof of how far I’ve come since June. Damn. Is someone cutting onions in here?  I’m feeling so incredibly grateful for the experience, all the wonderful creatures that I've met, and I'm also very freaking proud of myself...

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This is only the beginning.

Kirsten, web content strategist and designer

Kirsten, web content strategist and designer

Digital Marketing for Entrepreneurs 101

As as a new business owner, I was struggling with shiny object syndrome especially within the context of marketing my offerings online. And while I enjoyed social media personally, I found it difficult to use it professionally in a way that felt authentic.

"Help Wanted"

"Help Wanted"

Here I was creating and posting on various social platforms Instagram, Twitter, my Facebook page, even a Pinterest account. I experienced a few likes, shares, and follows here and there, but I felt a lack of vision, purpose... a plan! And I had trouble creating my quality content because I was so distracted by learning all the best practices of these channels. I needed to take a step back and develop a keen understanding of digital marketing as a whole, and develop a content strategy that felt more in alignment with my brand. You know the adage, "work smarter, not harder."

In order to accomplish this, I needed to find an immersive experience that gave me a bird’s eye view of the process. Something reasonably agnostic so I could walk away and apply the frameworks and best practices to suit my own needs.

I recalled an email that I had received from Udacity advertising a course they had on digital marketing. As someone that loves to learn by doing, and as an individual that genuinely enjoys picking up new skills online (I was a learning experience designer for many years, after all!) I did a little research, and I liked what I saw.

The Digital Marketing Nanodegree is for people like me: busy working professionals who crave experiential project-based learning experiences.  I felt that the combination of rich content, mentoring, project feedback, in addition to a Slack community filled with other learners all over the globe, met all of my learning objectives. This program isn’t a place to pick up a skill or two; this is a place to build a new vocation. Also, the price was right, so I signed up.

The Struggle...

The Struggle...

I’m about 25% through with the course, and it has exceeded my expectations. I think it’s important to note that there are a lot of misconceptions about digital marketing out there, some of which I believed to be true. Digital marketing isn't all about social media. Yes, having a social media presence is one piece of the puzzle, but digital marketing is about creating an online presence with quality content and a clear message, so your target audience:

  1. can find you,
  2. fall in love with your product or service, and...
  3. buy your stuff and/or hire you!

Of course, that sounds simpler than it is, which is why I highly recommend the Udacity Digital Marketing course if you’re looking to do it yourself or possibly change careers with a pretty high-demand skill set. I’m excited to share more about my experience in a future post!

Kirsten

Kirsten

Save time and money by creating a compelling brand optimization content strategy in alignment with your business goals and your user's needs. The Evokery is here to help you get your story out of your head and into their hearts. Curious? Then let's chat!

The Antidote to Perfectionism


Do you consider yourself a purposeful procrastinator? Meaning: do you often find yourself putting off tasks or creative projects because you want to wait until everything is “just right?” Well, I do. Purposeful procrastination is a compensation mechanism for perfectionism. Here's the silly thing, perfectionism doesn't exist, and it is self-destructive. We create these "perfection-seeking" narratives as a way to seek societal acceptance and approval.

Repeat with me now, perfectionism doesn't exist!

Repeat with me now, perfectionism doesn't exist!

In Brené Brown's book, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are, she warns that perfectionism can hamper success. Perfectionism causes "life paralysis" which Dr. Brown describes as "all the opportunities we miss because we're too afraid to put anything out in the world that could be imperfect." Can you think of a project that you've put off? Why do you believe that is?

Have no fear of perfection, you’ll never reach it.
— Salvador Dali

How do you conquer feelings of perfectionism? Self-compassion! Begin each new day with a healthier mindset. Say to yourself, "I'm just going to show up and strive to do my best." Be like Dali and say, "Adiós" to perfectionism!

Kirsten, web content strategist and designer

Kirsten, web content strategist and designer

Save time and money by creating a compelling brand optimization content strategy in alignment with your business goals and your user's needs. The Evokery is here to help you get your story out of your head and into their hearts. Curious? Then let's chat!

How owning your "inner" story can inspire your "outer" story

More often than not, I’ve found during the co-design process of helping my clients strategize their online content marketing I see two different stories that surface: the "outside” story that they share with others, and the “inside” story ridden with struggle, apprehension, and resistance...

How owning your "inner" story can inspire your "outer" story

That inside story has a theme, and it’s usually self-doubt. Self-doubt is the result of an assortment of hindering beliefs, like fear of judgment, fear of failure, analysis paralysis, imposter syndrome, need I go on? Because I’ve experienced these various narratives in my struggle with my inside story preventing me from telling my outside tale, it is relatively effortless for me to speak and listen to from a place of empathy (joining). But it’s often difficult for me to express self-compassion while I’m under the knife.

One thing I’ve found that has been extraordinarily powerful in my experience coaching clients through storytelling is through opening up about my vulnerability when it comes to sharing my personal experiences. In doing so, I establish a connection, build trust, and thus creates a safe space to for the person I am working with to share. It’s incredible to witness that transformation from fear to courage with that simple step.

That's the power of sharing your story!

Courage is indeed a mindset and embracing it as such is truly powerful. Personally, I experience fear in my work and life every single day. The thought of publishing this piece terrifies me! Where I've grown is in my handling of it. I invite it to coffee, but I don't allow it to take over. Fear is OK, but don’t let it keep me from an action, such as telling my story through my content online.

Kirsten, web content strategist and designer

Play for Today

I feel very fortunate to have grown up in a city known for its innovation. Kodak, Xerox, and Bausch & Lomb (to name a few) are all companies that started up in my home of Rochester, New York.

Image of lego bricks with the words, "be playful"

Image of lego bricks with the words, "be playful"

Last month, while I was visiting family there, I took my two kids to The Strong National Museum of Play appropriately located in the center of downtown. Surrounded by the tall buildings that used to house the headquarters of the corporations I mentioned above, it truly is a unique place for both children and adults to explore all the wonders of creativity. An exhibit featuring various quotes on play and creativity caught my eye, so I shot a video. I'm posting it here if you're seeking some inspiration today.

Play is so important when fostering an environment of innovation because it encourages us to let our guard down and ask questions. With play, there's no right answer. When we play, we try things out. We suspend our judgment. We shift our focus from "I should..." to an open-ended, "what if?"

How do/can you incorporate more play into your content strategy and creative processes?

Kirsten, web content strategist and designer