How to Get Free Marketing Tips

Beginning Monday I’m kicking off a new endeavor. I’m delivering monthly marketing tips directly into your mailbox. These tips will be quick, applicable things you can immediately put into practice and up your marketing game.

I’ll just go ahead and admit it: I geek out over stuff.

When something grabs my interest, I get really intense and want to learn as much as I can about that topic. I recently earned a certificate in Storytelling and Content Strategy, and since I finished that coursework, I haven’t stopped learning. I’ve actually had a hunger for more knowledge on the subject because digital marketing is a field that changes rapidly.

I listen to several marketing podcasts, and I am in the midst of putting a lot of my knowledge to use creating an updated branding and marketing strategy for my pen name 🙂

But, back to my monthly marketing tips. I realize not everyone enjoys figuring out marketing strategy, so my goal is to give solopreneurs, authors, and small business owners the tools they need to stay on top of things in the ever changing (and often times challenging!) digital marketing world.

Since you’re here on my blog, I trust that you’re a friend and we’re cool, so just because you’re you, I will drop a hint! My first topic will be on a popular feature that both Facebook and Instagram use, yet many business accounts aren’t utilizing…

Intrigued?

Then you need to sign up right here! I’d love to help you reach more clients, hone your message, and rock your marketing strategy.

Recent Freelance

Writing is one of those things that ebbs and flows. As a writer you go through periods where you’re in the “flow state” and the words are literally flowing, or you’re in the grind of being lucky to crank out a couple hundred words per session. In the past few months I’ve transitioned from the grind into flow, especially where my freelance writing is concerned.

Since I attended a travel writers conference in early spring, I’ve been focusing my writing and social media on travel and tourism related pieces.

Here are a few of those pieces below.

Over Tacoma drone photography feature. Tacoma is a city of juxtapositions. Those contrasts can be seen in the city’s various shapes and patterns, grit and charm, history and growth, its bustling port and scenic beauty. Tacoma’s differences are highlighted in the aerial pictures taken by drone photographer Aaron Bender, better known by his social media handle of Over Tacoma. Read more.

 

European eateries abound in Pierce County. If you love European food, but don’t have the money – or time – to hop across the Atlantic, never fear. You don’t need to travel beyond Pierce County to sample a variety of authentic European cuisine or purchase hard-to-find specialty grocery items. Read more.

 

The Camp Bar turns customers into happy campers. A place that touts itself as Tacoma’s urban place for adults to camp, The Camp Bar, in downtown Tacoma brings a bit of wilderness and whimsy to the local bar scene. Upon arrival, guests can’t help but notice the kayak hanging from the ceiling, along with various taxidermy mounts and a pair of 30-year-old hiking boots on the wall. Read more.

 

How to create your own staycation experience without leaving Pierce County.  For the past several years, Pierce County tourism records have been on a continual upswing, but this information isn’t all that surprising to those who live here. There are so many things to see, do, taste and experience in the region that you can’t possibly experience it all, even for those of us that call this place home. Read more.

 

 

Tacoma’s Instagram Hot Spots

I have to confess, I got this idea from the Vancouver tourism website’s Vancouver’s Most Instagrammable Places. I loved the idea, because before our trip to Vancouver last fall, we’d never been and the tourism website’s IG photos were instrumental in helping us decide what we wanted to do and see while we were in the city. On a side note, we didn’t get to see and do everything we wanted, because of course we couldn’t, there’s about a million amazing things to see and do there.

 

In the same vein of Vancouver’s tourism site, I decided to create my own list of top places in Tacoma that deserve Instagram fame. It’s by no means exhaustive, and to be honest, I spent a couple months mulling which places I felt should be on the list.

Without any further ado, here they are:

  1. Point Defiance Rose Garden
  2. The Narrows Bridge
  3. Wright Park
  4. McMenamin’s Elks Lodge
  5. Spanish Steps
  6. Owen Beach
  7. Opera Alley
  8. Bridge of Glass
  9. Stadium High School
  10. Union Station

If you’re new to Tacoma, planning a visit to Grit City soon, or just love T-Town, the next time you’re at one of these places, feel free to snap a pic, tag me on Instagram and use #tacomaten.

Feel like there are other places in Tacoma I missed and should be added to the list? Let me know! Leave a comment or feel free reach out on Instagram.

Pouring at the Coast

This St. Patrick’s Day weekend my husband and I participated in what is now becoming our new ritual. No, it’s not drinking green beer. But, there is beer involved, obvi. I mean, we’re proud self-proclaimed beer geeks.

We spent St. Paddy’s weekend at the Pouring at the Coast beer festival in Seaside, Oregon. We attended the festival for the first time last year and it was such a fun experience that as soon as the festival was over last year we knew we’d return.

New for 2019, the festivities were spread out over three days. Friday night there was a brewer’s basketball tournament. Saturday was the main event, as far as I’m concerned; the brew fest was from 12-6 and in the evening there were two bands from Portland hitting the stage, plus a beer garden. Sunday the weekend got capped off with a brewer’s brunch.

We only attended the brew fest on Saturday during the day, although I’m sure the other events were entertaining in their own right.

And speaking of that main event, with 40 craft brewers + hundreds of craft beer enthusiasts descending on the Seaside Convention Center, it was quite the party. The beer was flowing like…well, beer, and there was live music, food and a few drinks for any non-beer geeks that might’ve been drug along for the ride. There were a handful of craft ciders (just like in 2018) and a craft distillery had a booth at this year’s event.

But my husband and I only had eyes for the beer, so we didn’t branch out to try anything else. As far as beer goes, this year’s selection was amazing. It far surpassed the 2018 selection, but, our beer palates have also evolved in the twelve months since the last Pouring event.

In 2018 we were into pilsners and lagers. In 2019 we went to the dark side. Porters and stouts are our current jam. And, as luck would have it, the 2019 festival had dark beers by the truckload.

A few of our runaway favorites were the Fluffernutter (a peanut butter and marshmallow) by Fort George Brewery and the Stand Up & Shout (vanilla and coffee stout) by Wild Ride Brewing.

See, I told you we’d gone dark.

Our hands down favorite of the day was the Maple Quest Porter by Astoria Brewing Company, it was sweet, malty and had a rich, maple finish.

Some notable breweries that ranked high on our list were Seaside Brewing, Buoy Beer Company, Mill City Brew Werks, and the new kid on the block Sisu Beer.

These are some of our favorites from this festival…until next year, Seaside.

A Review of the Sights and Flavors of Vancouver B.C.

Potatoes, cheese curds and brown gravy are, admittedly, three kinda boring ingredients. However, when you put all three of those items into one dish, you have the trifecta of a mouth-watering, comforting and highly addictive dish. Yes, I’m talking about poutine and I’m a fan. So big a fan that I almost subtitled this post Adventures in Poutine, but thought better of it.

The one regret I carried home from my November trip to Vancouver, B.C. (like a sad souvenir) is that I only indulged in poutine four out of the five days I was there. I mean, dang it, I could’ve had a perfect record!

Despite my waxing poetic about those gravy and cheese smothered fries, I wasn’t just in Canada for the iconic comfort food dish. Our trip to Vancouver was a nice getaway over Thanksgiving week, and the trip was almost a year in the making.

Since we stayed in downtown Vancouver, we opted not to drive and instead take the Amtrak in. I’d never traveled by train before, and, although there were numerous delays on both the trip to the Great North as well as on the way back to the U.S. of A., overall, it was a comfy way to travel. Not to mention, I enjoyed the view of the mountains and water, as well as towering cityscape and sweeping countryside landscapes along the way.

 

During our time there, we of course, as dedicated beer geeks, tried out a few breweries. Our first stop was at 33 Acres Brewing, where we enjoyed a flight and a round of cards. The following night, we hit the warm and cozy Yaletown Brewing for another flight. The day before we left, we ventured to Tap & Barrel for a flight and the spacious Craft Beer Market, which boasted over 100 taps, but didn’t allow custom flights, so we enjoyed a pint instead.

Being that I’m married to a shutterbug, we did a fair amount of wandering during our stay. We walked to the upscale False Creek neighborhood and strolled around Coopers’ Park, found our way to the Vancouver Lookout for 360 views of the city, I did some writing at the Vancouver Public Library, and we even took our frugal selves to Costco for lunch.

Besides sight-seeing, poutine-gobbling, brewery-hopping and snapping pictures, we also:

  • Stumbled into a curling club
  • Ate LOTS of street food
  • Indulged in Tim Horton’s famous donuts
  • Had total strangers in a brewery offer us part of their nachos (Score, free nachos!)
  • Got lost twice
  • Almost climbed a mountain.

Yeah, about that last one…we planned to hike the super challenging Grouse Mountain Grind Trail, an almost 2 mile trek with an elevation gain of 2,800 feet. The trail is tough because it’s considered “nature’s stair master.” If one is able to hike the grind, they will have managed to have hiked the equivalent of taking the stairs to the top of a 200-storey building, or a distance that is twice the height as the Empire State Building.

We didn’t make the whole climb, we only achieved about a quarter of the distance before turning around due to us unwisely bringing a hefty backpack and some other reasons. Even though we didn’t complete the climb, it was a fun once-in-a-lifetime thing to have at least tried.

Despite not getting to do everything we’d hoped, and not having the best weather, this was one of the best trips of our lives and we can’t wait to return to Vancouver for more exploring in the future.

 

 

Empowerment Marketing – A Story Strategy Sample

I created a brand strategy for the final project in my Content Creation: The Power of Storytelling class, the first class in my three part certificate program in Storytelling and Content Strategy through University of Washington.

The brand strategy method was based on a storytelling strategy outlined in the book Winning the Story Wars by Jonah Sachs, creator of viral brand videos such as The Story of Stuff and The Meatrix.  Jonah’s strategy is all about empowering our audiences through our brands, by utilizing the power of story.

As part of the project, I developed a character who is the ideal audience for the brand, tapped into what she’s thinking, feeling and doing before coming into contact with the brand, then outlined how she can feel empowered through the brand and what it stands for.

The YouTube video below is a video of the PowerPoint presentation I created of the brand strategy.

My Summer in Pictures

Hello over there! The past couple of months have passed like the blurred scenery one can glimpse from the window of a fast-moving train.

In June, I started freelancing again. I’m writing for a lifestyle site called South Sound Talk. I enjoy being a journalist, it engages so many aspects of my personality: writing, meeting new people, taking pictures and learning people’s stories. In my freelance role I write features about businesses/places in the Tacoma area.

One of the perks of being a journalist is writing about restaurants. This soup and salad was every bit as tasty as it looks.

Also in June, I launched a blog called The Womanhood Honor Project. It’s a place that I envision coming alive with women’s truths. You know, the kinds of things we all feel, think or believe that maybe keep us stuck in life or keep us from being our most authentic selves. I want this online home to be a place where women can talk about things that impact their lives, their world, but also, I want these shared stories to uplift each other, support each other, and let other women know they don’t have to walk their journey alone.

Rocking the power pose, but so many women rock the “Wonder Woman” pose, even if they only do it mentally. While it’s awesome that we can dig deep and be Wonder Woman when we need to, I know too many women living their whole lives feeling stuck in the dichotomy of either being Wonder Woman or being a failure. I hope my blog can change that.

In July, I started an internship with a non-profit. As the communications intern I’m working on press releases, updating social media, taking pictures at events, going out “into the field” to gather stories and use those stories to spread the organization’s mission, as well as to use in fundraising appeals. I’m also trying to do a bit of outreach for this organization, because I really believe in the work they’re doing and I want more people to know about it so they can benefit from the tools they offer.

I was lucky to get to attend National Night Out as part of my internship. It was an inspiring experience, seeing so many people in the community coming together for a common cause.

In my “free time” (ha!) I’m spending time with my hubby taking walks, reading books on storytelling to prepare for my online certificate program that begins in October, and, of course, I’m working on my personal writing.

What have YOU been up to this summer? Let me know in the comments!