My Life
Why I Love the Digital Marketing Community
March 17, 2018
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I spent most of last week trying not to cry in front of the digital marketing community…

Last week I spoke at SMX West in San Jose, my first speaking gig back after recovering from burnout, beating cancer, opening my own firm, and returning to agency-side from a few years spent brand-side. I was incredibly nervous to dust off my personal brand and jump back into the digital marketing community as a thought leader and now, an agency owner.

Speaking after a 2-year hiatus is nerve-wracking, the last time I spoke at a conference was at HeroConf Portland in 2016. In addition to participating in the Mastering Social Advertising workshop, talking about Facebook ads that convert, I took a gamble and put together a presentation about CRM campaign tracking that I delivered during the Multi-Touch Attribution Models that Move the Needle panel. Attacking the attribution conversation from a completely different angle then I’ve ever seen covered in the past. On top of this change in topical focus, I was also representing my own venture for the first time ever, having formally announced HDC Digital to the world only a month prior to SMX West. So yeah…I was nervous.

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Intentional Living
Year of Yes | Book Review
March 7, 2018
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Year of Yes Book Review

I love this book. I love Shonda Rhimes. I love everything about this story. I loved the way the book made me feel while I was reading it and the motivational hang-over it left me with. I rarely re-read books, but this is one I will pick up again for sure!

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Cancer Chronic Illness
Books on The Metabolic Theory of Cancer
February 23, 2018
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Books on Cancer

These books really helped me gain confidence in my decision to trust natural and alternative cancer treatment. I highly recommend these books to anyone dealing with a cancer diagnosis navigating their treatment options

Once you understand the metabolic theory of cancer and how treatments like radiation and chemotherapy work, it just makes sense to change your lifestyle regardless of the cancer treatment you choose. The point is, you have to be educated in order to make a decision on cancer treatment. I’m really big on informed consent after everything I’ve been through. Only you can choose the right treatment for you and it’s crucial that you have all the information you can get your hands on.

Many of these are pretty dense with science and research. I found it much easier to digest this material in an audio format. You should be able to find all media types available for each of these on Amazon.

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My Life
HDC Digital Launch Announcement
January 31, 2018
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hdc-digital-launch

I’m starting off this year in an amazing place!

Today I’m announcing the launch of HDC Digital, a digital and demand marketing agency revolutionizing the way companies think about and approach growth.

After years of working both agency-side and brand-side with awesome people and brands, I’ve decided to open my own firm!

The impetus for this change comes out of a period of self-renewal…

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Cancer Chronic Illness
Mammogram Ruptures Tumor – Breast Cancer Patient Dies
January 1, 2018
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Damn…did you know that mammograms can rupture tumors and spread malignant cells?

One of the gals at my cancer clinic passed away last week. She had breast cancer, diagnosed in January 2017.

She went the conventional route for treatment initially including radiation therapy. The conventional treatment didn’t help and she started treating naturally at the clinic I attend where I was able to get to know her during our IV treatments together.

When she started treatment she looked healthy and young. I was shocked to learn that she was in her early 50’s, she looked like a young 45! She was so strong and had a great chance of living a long healthy life.

She took a turn for the worst when she went in for a mammogram to check the progress of her treatment. The compression of the mammogram was so powerful, it ruptured her tumor causing her cancer to spread into the pleura of her lungs. Since she had also had radiation therapy her lungs were damaged and weeping fluid. The combination caused fluid to build up in her lungs and difficulty breathing. Over the last couple of months, she has been on oxygen and was going in every 14-19 days to have her lungs drained of fluid.

In early January she stopped her natural treatments and the doctors could no longer find any fluid in her lungs. However, she still had difficulty breathing. She was hospitalized and two weeks later passed away.

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Intentional Living
My Favorite Productivity Tools
April 16, 2014
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Working in the digital atmosphere means keeping up with a lot and keeping out a lot of distractions. Staying organized, on track, and focused can be a challenge.

Here are a few of my favorite applications that help me stay on track on a daily basis.

Chrome & Chrome Canary

Chrome is my favorite browser. It’s fast and cleanly laid out. Not to mention I can use it to manage multiple Google accounts at one time. Now that there is an additional version with Chrome Canary, I can work across several Google accounts at the same time without much hassle.

Producteev

When it comes to task management I’ve searched high and low for the perfect tool. I’ve tried Google Tasks, Remember The Milk, Wunderlist, and a whole host of other apps.

I need something that I can use easily on the go with my mobile devices, keep notes in, mark priority with different numbers, set dates and reminders in as well as simply capture tasks and sub-tasks. I thought I had hit the jackpot when I tried out Asana after some colleagues raved about it. It almost did the trick but not quite.

Then I found Producteev, similar to Asana but a little more robust. It does everything I need it to do and it’s accessible across all of my mobile devices. I luuuurrve this app!

Google Drive

Google Docs, Google Drive, whatever.

Everyone has this baby on their list and I’m no different. Google Drive makes it so easy to collaborate on docs without overlapping changes and it’s just so easy and constantly accessible.

Hootsuite

When it comes to social media I’m a longtime user of Hootsuite. Many have tried to get me to switch to TweetDeck or Buffer, nope I’m a hardcore Hootsuite girl!

Hootsuite is a web based app and includes a browser plug in and mobile apps. This tool is so robust. It connects with Google Analytics, allows for content scheduling, and so much more! They’ve even got an open source app community that makes additional plugins for all kinds of cool things.

Feedly

I’ve been using Feedly since the death of my beloved Google Reader. I loved Google Reader so much, it was the king of feed readers.

I’ve grown to really enjoy Feedly though, it’s well laid out, easy to use, and works seamlessly across my android phone and tablet.

Evernote

Another evergreen tool that is on everyone’s list, the best note taking tool evar!

Evernote has so many uses and so many plugins, the mobile app is amazing, and…well, there is no other note taking option in my book.

These are just a few tools that help me stay productive and on track during my workday, what am I missing? Share your faves in the comments!

Wellbeing
5 Steps to Stress Relief
April 2, 2014
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How do you react when things don’t go according to plan?

Do you roll with the punches or does anxiety keep you from enjoying life?

To a great extent, our personality determines how we deal with stress in our lives, but here are 5 things to help keep your stress under control:

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My Life
2014 Professional Goals
January 1, 2014
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Whelp…it’s December 31, 2013. The very last day of 2013 is here and it’s time to reflect on the closing year and think through goals for the New Year.

I don’t really do the New Year’s Resolution thing, but I do sit down each year and create personal growth goals. Things I’d like to accomplish over the next year in both personal and professional categories. This year there are two things I’d like to accomplish.

Here they are, my 2014 professional goals:

Content Calendar

This goal is more of a desire to develop a positive habit. I am horrible about creating content at the very last minute. It doesn’t seem to matter if it’s a blog post, a video, a presentation deck, etc. I always end up scrambling at the last minute to get things done.

This year will be different!

I have already put in motion the makings of a content calendar. I’m using the template made available by Vertical Measures last year in their Developing Your Editorial Content Calendar For 2013 post over on MarketingLand.

This template is so great. I’ll be able to keep track of industry events, pitch and deck deadlines, blog deadlines, as well as other content creation deadlines for videos and publications. The goal is to be so organized that I can easily stay at least 30-days ahead of myself in terms of completed and scheduled content.
Of course, part of my problem is procrastination so wish me luck on this one…I’m gonna need it!

Excel

The second thing I’m working on this year is continued excel mastery. I am constantly amazed at how much easier my job would be if I had John Gagnon level excel expertise.

…I’d be unstoppable…

iStock_superhero

Really though, the amount of time spent analyzing data would be cut in half and I’d be able to answer complicated questions much easier if I could master this tool.

In 2013 I mastered the pivot table and figured out vlookup. This year I want to be quicker at my recall of how to answer questions with excel. Half of my problem seems to be trying to figure out which feature or command to use before I even get started.

So here is the start of my “Master Excel Resources List”.  I’ll be dedicating two hours each week to reading and practicing with the help of these links. If you know of others please let me know!

By this time next year I will be able to hang with the John Gagnon’s of the world when it comes to excel.

What are you working on this year? I’d love to hear where you plan to grow professionally. Good luck with your goals and Happy New Year!

Inspiration
Ladies in Tech Who Inspire Me
December 11, 2013
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One of my former colleagues at Clix Marketing sent me a super cool article in AdWeek about a recent ad campaign from Pantene Philippines done by the guys over at BBDO ad agency, and I love it.

panetene-bossy-final-hed-2013

I’ve worked in the digital agency space for several years and I have to say this business is still very MadMen and these perceptions are still alive and well. Having been on the receiving end of some of these perceptions, I completely agree with my girl Sheryl Sandburg when she calls out how poignant this ad campaign is in illustrating how men and women are received differently when their actions are identical.

ssandberg_quote

Women in business are a growing voice, especially in tech, and in order to break through these barriers, we need strong role models. I thought I’d take a minute and introduce you to some of my favorite ladies in tech. These gals inspire and motivate me to be the best I can be, no apologies or excuses, to lean in!

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Business
Difficult Clients & How To Deal
September 23, 2013
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stress_memeAre you afraid of your clients? I’ll admit, sometimes I am…

All consultants have been there, dealing with a super intimidating client. Whether it is a whale of an account that you are stressing to keep happy or a micro-managing client that’s driving you bananas, there’s usually at least one in your book of business.

I have found that clients fall into three main buckets and you have to deal with each bucket a little differently in order to save your sanity, your consultancy, and your self-respect.

Here’s how I deal.

Bully Client

This client tends to be the most difficult; the client that likes to threaten you. You know the type, “If performance doesn’t increase, I’m going to have to find someone else”, type client. This client relationship is particularly stressful in that the threats, whether empty or not, can send us into a spiral of anxiety and fear of lost business.

There’s nothing worse than an unhappy client, let alone one that is ready to leave.

How to Deal

The biggest thing in this scenario is to take a step back and breathe. This client needs to be heard, and needs to know that you are actively working to fix whatever it is they are unhappy with. The worst thing you can do in this situation is ignore the threat. The bully client is quick to jump to conclusions and you must Manage with Cold, Hard Facts and document everything.

These clients are the most damaging because they get us all worked up over losing business that we can’t clear our heads enough to do our job. Often this causes us to make heavy handed decisions that lead to additional damage down the road. Our main goal here is to stay calm and focused. Find your Zen and do not let the threats get to you. Beyond that, let the chips fall where they may…there is plenty of business out there!

Once you’ve found perspective and focus, communicate to the client that they are heard and that you are working diligently to solve the issue(s). Make sure to gently set realistic expectations on turnaround time of performance and then get to work on a plan. Once you have a plan, communicate that plan, then communicate as the plan is implemented as well as how performance changes and how your action plan changes in response.

Chaotic Client

These clients are just plain all over the place. They’re often dealing with chaos and lack of resources internal to their organization that bleed into your consulting relationship. This often means lack of direction, rapid changes in goals, KPI’s, and direction, as well as quick decisions made with little data.

How to Deal

This client needs a hug. They need to feel supported, like they can count on you to help take a bit of the load off. That means two major tasks for you:

  1. Be patient
  2. Be organized

Dealing with a client contact that is being pulled in a multitude of directions means often answering the same questions repeatedly, lots of gentle reminders and check-ins, and clear communication at all times. I prefer to communicate in email as often as I can with this kind of client so they always have a point of reference. Prepare yourself to deal with longer time lines on implementations and set up a system that allows you to remain present in the conversation while accommodating these longer timelines.

Know –it-all Client

You might know this client as the micro-manager, or the client that “knows just enough to be dangerous”. This client has a clear interest in what you do, why you do it, and how you do it. They may just find your art fascinating or they may be trying to figure out how the system works so they can help. Don’t get me wrong, it is true that in some cases they’re trying to figure out how they can do this themselves and save some cash by cutting you out of the equation or they just have a hard time letting someone else spend their money. But more often than not, they’re just curious.

How to Deal

This client needs to feel like they’re involved.

I’ve found the easiest way to deal with this kind of client is to work on building your relationship with them, to share, be honest and friendly, and to over communicate. It really is just that simple. You will need to be patient and willing to train and educate this client. Above all else, do not get into a power struggle with this client, this will only agitate the situation. Instead, set boundaries and let them help where appropriate.

No matter what kind of difficult client you’re dealing with, it is important to try and sniff out these quirks in the initial sales and discovery phase of your engagement and Identify Succubus Clients ahead of time. This way you can bake in additional costs to cover the time you’ll need to appropriately deal with these clients.

Sometimes these difficulties will not be easy to spot, so it’s super important to have a thorough investigative conversation or several prior to engaging in a contract with any client. Really focus on learning about their need, their previous challenges, etc.

How do you deal with difficult clients? Share your tips in the comments!

Intentional Living
What Not to Put in Your Social Media Profile
February 27, 2012
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Online social networks have rapidly increased in popularity, especially over the past couple of years. Social networking websites are popular because they easily allow you to find, connect with, and develop friendships with other internet users, often ones that share the same interests as you. To find those individuals, you must join a social networking website and create a profile. It is often advertised that your social networking profile is the key to making and finding friends online.

As previously mentioned, your social networking profile is important when it comes to meeting other internet users. This is because, in most cases, internet users are looking to chat with someone who has the same goals, views, beliefs, and interests as they do. Without a personal profile, it would be difficult or impossible to tell what your interests are. That is why social networking profiles are not only important, but they are needed.

When it comes to social networking profiles, a lot of focus has been placed on what you should include in your profile or display on your profile page. It has been said that pictures produce the best responses, as well as detailed personal information. Although a picture and detailed personal information may help to increase your page views, you may be getting views that you do not necessarily want. Despite what you may believe, most social networking websites do not have restrictions on who can view your personal profile. In fact, internet users, even those that do not belong to your online community, can easily see profile.

Since anyone, literally anyone, can see your social networking profile, on most social networking websites, you are advised to be cautious. Essentially, this means that instead of focusing on what you should put in your online profile, you should be focusing on what not to put. This is one the best ways to protect your safety, both on and offline.

As previously mentioned, pictures are often recommended with social networking websites. If you are interested in positing a personal picture of yourself in your online profile you can do so, but you are advised to carefully choose that picture. While you will want to look your best, you are advised against posting a picture that is too revealing or seductive in nature. Most internet users can look at these types of pictures without feeling a thing, but for others these types of pictures spell danger.

If you make the decision to post a picture of yourself in your social networking website profile, you need to be careful about the rest of the information that you post. Although you may not necessarily think about it, a picture is just a picture, but combined with your name and address, it could be a deadly combination. You are advised to only post your first name in your profile. This will make it more difficult for anyone to try and contact you off of the internet.

It is also advised that you carefully choose your location. A large number of online social networking sites require that you select a city, as well as a state. If it is allowed, you may only wish to list your state and not the city. If you are required to list the city and the state that you live in, you may want to think about using a nearby city or town, especially if you live in a small town. If an internet predator wanted to contact you and you lived in a small town, it could be fairly easy for them to find you. That is why it is advised that you carefully select the answer to the location question.

In addition to the above precautionary measures, it is advised that you do not post detailed information on your children, the location of your home, your income, or when you will be leaving for vacation. By keeping these and the above mentioned points in mind, you should be able to enjoy online social networking without having to always look behind your back.