The Most Retweeted Picture—But What Does It Mean?

Oscar Retweeted Picture

Samsung won the Oscars this year according to many marketing experts (although I do think that Chevy wins the award for Best Traditional Commercial for its endearing short about kids making movies). For those who missed the event, Ellen DeGeneres had her Samsung Note 3 out and on display during one bit as she cruised down the aisle filled with A-list celebrities looking for the perfect selfie. She then announced her intention to make the picture the most retweeted photo of all time—which she accomplished a few minutes later.

At the time of this writing, the tweet (found here) has been retweeted 2,697,857 times and favorited 1,383,948 times setting the record previously set by President Obama. In the fervor to retweet the picture, users managed to temporarily crash Twitter’s server.

But what does this mean for Samsung? Did they really win the Oscars?

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The Kickstarter Checklist

checklistKickstarter is a powerful tool to quickly gain funding, turning your dream projects into reality. However, unlike dreams, you can’t just rely on the ephemeral wonder that fuels your creativity when you launch a Kickstarter; you need a plan, and you need to make sure everything is ready to go.

We tell our clients that the hardest part about Kickstarter takes place before the campaign even starts (although there’s still plenty of work to be done during the campaign as well). That’s because we believe in setting our clients up for success before hitting the launch button. Here are a few things that are essential on our Kickstarter checklist:

1) Video

A video isn’t a good idea on a Kickstarter; it is mandatory. People are busy, and while your copy on the Kickstarter page may outline every single thing your Kickstarter is asking for, it is much easier for people to start your video and tune in than to scan through a block of text. Your video should outline your project, give a proper teaser of what you hope to accomplish, explain why you need the money, and provide some background information on you, the creator.

2) Resume

If someone walked up to you on the street and said they could design the most comfortable shoes in the world if you gave them $25, would you do it? For most people, they would ask the important question: what experience do you have? Everyone has great ideas, but people are more likely to help fund you if you prove you have the experience to make your dream real. Don’t be afraid to show past accomplishments or at the very least explain why you feel like you’re capable to make your project a reality after you get funded.

3) A Plan

Do you have your pledge levels set? Your stretch goals? Have you made a list of all the media outlets you are going to contact about your idea? Have you reached the appropriate number of fans on social media to help spread the word about your project? These are just a few things that need to be included in your plan. If you don’t know the answer to any of these questions (and many more), you should not launch your Kickstarter. Plan out what you’re going to be saying every day. Schedule interviews in advance. Send promotional products to reviewers to get some attention to your Kickstarter. Have a list of other Kickstarters that might be interested in cross-promotion. Whatever you do, know what you’re going to be doing on each day of your Kickstarter; changing or flip-flopping during a Kickstarter is one of the worst things you can do. Your backers will sense something is amiss and doubt the integrity of your project.

 

These are just a few items to put on your Kickstarter Checklist. If you’re ready to put your big idea on Kickstarter, contact us today and let’s get started, or maybe you should check out our Jumpstarter Marketing plan.

Finding Connections: The Importance of Life Outside of Work

3d movies

Chris, Carly and I are workaholics. It comes with the territory of being business owners. Yet, whenever we get the chance, we make sure we have lives outside of work. We love movies. We love music. We love games. We love hanging out with friends and going to new restaurants, bars, and seeing the sights.

And interestingly enough, frequently these times spent away from the computer help us tremendously in our professional lives.

We always talk about loving what you do, but it’s almost as important to take a break and remind yourself there is a world out there. Balance yourself and discover new things, because you never know where your passions may take you when you get back to work.

Penelope Tiam-Fook, one of the best networkers I have ever met, gave a presentation to a business networking group in Tallahassee and explained that she always tries to establish some kind of personal connection with whoever she talks to, business or personal. Not only does this have the added benefit of helping you put names to faces, but you can also develop one more connection that may help in future business dealings—and not even necessarily for you. Penelope’s example: a gentleman was talking about his love for fishing, and while Penelope herself wasn’t interested in fishing, she knew someone who was. She introduced them, they met and talked, did some business together, and both were appreciative of her actions. In the future, her two contacts are more likely to think of her when dealing business or might introduce her to people she should know. These conversation topics don’t have to be big things, either: maybe you’re the fan of the same sports team, or maybe you saw the same movie.

Knowing people and being able to refer individuals to each other is a useful skill to have. If all you know is your office and your employees, you are limiting yourself as well as the potential connections and referrals you can make.

Having pastimes and passions outside of work can also influence the direction you want to take during your 9-5. For example, after moving to Tallahassee, my wife and I found a group of friends that love board games (we’re married people now; we’re more than happy with our not-going-to-the-club-or-bar fun). Since then, I have personally been more interested in working with game companies, and 2930 has started work for two board game designers, Jasco Games and Ghoulash: The Last Game on Earth. Having experienced board games and having fun with these products firsthand, it’s easier for me personally to market the products to strangers.

While today’s society admires the hard worker–and hard work absolutely is a vital cornerstone to any successful business–be sure to take some time and do something outside of your office walls. After all, you might be setting yourself up for professional success and not even know it!

Have you ever had a business breakthrough by sharing something in common with your client? Tell us your story, or join in on the conversation on Facebook!

2930 Creative’s New Year’s Resolutions for 2014

shutterstock_121578196Every year, people around the country and world make resolutions to better themselves and the world around them. We wanted to share our list of five New Year’s resolutions as a way to jumpstart your own list of resolutions.

5. Responsible Sharing

The Internet is a wonderful place, but sometimes people abuse our gullibility and post erroneous material, whether it’s link bait, bad memes, inciting (and often under-researched) articles, and more. You know what I’m talking about: a very benign example is the Back to the Future meme where someone photoshopped the date to be a different day. The most harmful include political postings (why are they always political postings!?), celebrity gossip or other harmful messages. While we’re not advocating going to Snopes.com before you share any piece of content, we do suggest turning your BS detectors up a few more notches and don’t believe everything you read without researching it yourself. As a general rule of thumb, if you don’t have the time to research something, then should you really be reposting it?

If you have some time, Esquire wrote a great editorial about the Internet and why sharing wrong information is a bad trend that is getting worse. Read it here.

4. Be Real

Another thing that needs to be cut down on the Internet: hate speech. The anonymity that the Internet affords us makes it easy to talk big and oftentimes with vitriol, but that is rarely a good thing. Threatening others, getting into arguments, name calling—it’s all petty and all activities that happen far more often online than they do in real life. If you wouldn’t say something in real life to a person’s face, then you shouldn’t say it online. We’re not naive; no one is going to be singing Kumbaya online, but that we could all be a bit nicer.

3. Do something awesome

There are so many ways to be awesome.  You can volunteer your time—we did at Christmas and had a blast. You can donate to a cause that you believe in. You can start something awesome, whether that’s a website or a big idea you have on Kickstarter (by the way, we’re really good at helping people out with their Kickstarter ideas). Regardless of what you choose, do it big and believe in your idea. See it to the conclusion even in those moments you don’t want to. At the end, we guarantee that even if it doesn’t turn out the way you had hoped, your project will still have taught you something.

2. Be someone awesome

Piggybacking off of our last resolution, we’re going to try and be awesome people. This is about much more than doing something awesome; it’s about being awesome when no one is watching. It’s about having integrity and a strong moral code. It’s about being a good friend, a good coworker, and a good family member. Awesome people don’t need to advertise the fact they’re awesome. In fact, the coolest people we know have certainly never told us that they’re cool. We all know someone that we respect and admire, so we’re going to make it a resolution to try and be more like these awesome individuals. Who is someone who is awesome in your life?

1. Love what you do

Your job makes up a huge portion of your life. Can you say that you love what you do? Obviously, not every day at the office is going to be sunshine and daffodils, but the majority of your time spent on the clock should be enjoyable. Loving what you do improves the quality of your work, boosts your productivity and increases your overall happiness. If you’re not doing what you want to do, figure out what’s stopping you and how you can realistically get to where you want to be. Make a plan, stick to it, maybe even fire yourself. Just find what you love and do it every day.

 

These are just a few of our New Year’s resolutions. We’d love to hear some of yours. What are you going to do to make 2014 your best year? 

What I Learned as a Business Owner in 2013

Another end to another great year. We faced some growing pains this year, and learned a lot of lessons. We’re coming out of 2013 with a lot more wisdom, a little more humility, and excitement for what 2014 will bring to us. I asked each of the partners to write a retrospective about their year for our blog. There were no rules, just write what how you felt about 2013. This one is mine. – Carly

My retrospective is dedicated to all of the ladies out there. This year was an eye-opener for me, in more ways than one. So here are the top six (surprising) things I learned about being a ladypreneur and running a small business this year.

1. Other women entrepreneurs are there to help you and support you. Female entrepreneurs really became my support system this year. My aunt provided coaching in times of doubt, I received words of wisdom and advice from veteran entrepreneurs, and I had good friends to vent to and ask questions about taxes and expense reporting. That they were quick to talk and explain things was surprising to someone like me, who never really had a lot of female friends growing up. I am introverted which makes it easy for me to go long stretches of time without reaching out. This year I found out that I was really going to have to make an effort and ask for help and guidance from others. It was rewarding and helpful.

2. You will be spoken to (and treated) differently than your male counterparts. Here are things that were said to me this year in a professional setting: “You should probably not tell them that you and Chris are engaged.” “You should let Chris handle this.” “You are an inexperienced business owner.” “Why are you so moody?” “Now don’t get upset.” (I’m not.) The last one is my favorite because it’s usually said before constructive criticism, but there’s a misconception that my tear ducts won’t be able to handle it. I don’t need to get into an essay on gender politics in business, but it’s important to understand that you will be treated differently. Be prepared to handle it with grace.

3. Honesty and integrity always win over money and the bottom line. 2930 Creative was a company built on integrity. We believe in doing our best and providing the best level of service for our clients. Throughout 2013 we were reminded that honesty is the best policy, and it will almost always work in your favor. Align yourself with good business partners and clients who practice the same worth ethic and best practices you believe in. As a small business owner, your integrity is your most valuable asset. Do not sell it to the highest bidder. The right work will find you.

4. You are your biggest critic. I had some hurtful things said to me this year and unfortunately, I started to believe these things were true. What was I doing? What did I know? How could I keep this up? Well guess what? I was doing something I had dreamed about doing my whole life. What did I know? I know a lot about digital marketing, design, writing, and, shockingly, about running a business. How could I keep this up? By not believing the BS. By giving myself a break. Everyday I remind myself of a very simple truth: What small business owners do is not easy, and no, not everyone can do it. What we do is awesome. Pat yourself on the back.

5. Delegate. I started 2930 Creative in a tiny basement apartment. It was not easy. I was by myself a lot and taking on the work alone at the beginning. So when Chris came on full time followed by Josh a year later, it was very hard to give up control and let someone else help. This was my baby. Learning that I couldn’t do everything was a hard wake up call for me. Holding on to things will cause you to burn out (and I know this because I did burn out in October).

6. The laundry can get done today OR dinner can get cooked. Pick and be ok with it. I’m looking around our apartment right now and there are about 3 loads of laundry waiting to get done. I only just managed to remember to get the chicken in the crockpot. I’m very lucky to have a partner who understands that sometimes something just has to give. Usually that means the house work. It can be hard to find that balance, so be ok if you don’t find it. The laundry can always wait. Don’t have clean underwear? Run to Target.

I support women in small business, and I hope that someone can read this and find a little comfort. No one ever said starting a business is easy (and if they did, I would like their name and number to find out what they are doing). It can be lonely. It can be rough when you try to balance work and life. You might even feel like you are losing your friends, because the business becomes a priority over going out and having fun some nights. But I promise you, we all feel this way. You are not alone.

If you are a ladypreneur and need some words of encouragement, let me know! We’ll do a call or if you’re in the Dallas area, we can do coffee. We’ve got to stick together.

Here’s to a very happy, successful, and healthy 2014!

 

My First Year at 2930 Creative

Another end to another great year. We faced some growing pains this year, and learned a lot of lessons. We’re coming out of 2013 with a lot more wisdom, a little more humility, and excitement for what 2014 will bring to us. I asked each of the partners to write a retrospective about their year for our blog. There were no rules, just write what how you felt about 2013. Here is Josh’s post. – Carly

I only joined 2930 Creative halfway through the year, but already it feels like home. And just like home, it hasn’t always been easy, but there has always been love, always been great people, and always something to do.

I’ve learned that I love working with clients and meeting new people; I have completely bought into the 2930 Creative idea that our clients are partners. I’m used to receiving phone calls at 8 PM asking questions about this and that. I’ve stayed on Skype calls longer than I needed to in order to make sure everything is going well with a client and talking to them about this and that.

I’ve learned to take pride in my work while staying humble and self-critical. There is always opportunity to improve and innovate for each of our clients. Even when I am not working, I am looking for new ways to connect our clients to new audiences. Sometimes, the best solutions I have found happened when I walked away from the office and really paid attention to the way people respond to advertising.

Ending the year with new clients and huge accomplishments like Mega Man The Board Game’s Kickstarter and our charity work seem like the perfect way to bid farewell to 2013 and kick off 2014. I am so fortunate to have wonderful friends and coworkers like Chris and Carly in my life, and I know that we will continue doing great work together for many years to come. We accomplished so much in just 6 months together, and I know with a full year, 2014 is going to be even more amazing for 2930 Creative.

A Mega Success: How 2930 Creative Helped Raise $70,000 in Less than 5 Hours

mega man

2930 Creative is the very definition of a small business, and there is nothing we like more than helping other small businesses. Our motto here is “Think Big” so of course we jump at the opportunity to demonstrate it. We were thrilled when Jasco Games hired us to help them with their Mega Man Board Game campaign.

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Extra Life: November Charity Information

Extra Life charityOne of the core tenets of 2930 Creative is our charitable drive to give back to our local community, which is why we’re doing Extra Life this year. It’s no secret that we love video games, but we also love helping people. Playing for a cause is much better than just playing for our own personal high scores.

We’ve talked about Extra Life before, but a little background: Extra Life began as a video game marathon, but has since grown to showcase the charitable side of video gamers everywhere. The way it works is simple: you pick a game or games you want to play and have a marathon. It’s almost like a Walk for the Cure organization with a little (okay, a lot) less walking. As gamers play their game(s) of choice, followers can make donations, with all donations directly going to support local hospitals and the Children’s Miracle Network. Some gamers even stream their games through services like Twitch.tv (which is what we’re going to be doing!)

How much can a few video game nerds possibly raise in a day? The program has raised 4 million dollars to date, with this year expected to be even bigger than ever before.

We will be participating in Extra Life on the official day, November 2. You can find us streaming games online at www.twitch.tv/2930creative. We might even have a few special challenges and games for our followers and donors.

Help us support a great cause on November 2 while hanging out with us online. We’ll be playing some popular games like Dota 2, Starcraft 2, some classic games like The Legend of Zelda, and some of our favorite indie games of recent years.

The details:

When: November 2 from 8am until (possibly) 8 am

Where: Online at www.twitch.tv/2930creative and through our Twitter accounts (@2930Creative, @joshmduke, @iamcoolc, and @carlyjennifer)

Who: the 2930 Creative team, their families and friends

What: Streaming video games for your entertainment!

Chris will be on Twitter sharing his friend codes for Nintendo DS games (he’s a wicked Pokemon pro) and possibly Xbox Live gamertag.

Josh will be on stream playing games and interacting with fans via webcam

Carly plans on playing some classic Mickey Castle of Illusion and Sonic the Hedgehog games

Why: To raise money for children’s hospitals! Please consider donating, as your donation is tax deductible and goes directly to the hospitals. You can donate to us using the Make a Donation buttons below.

Friday Jam: “Hold On, We’re Going Home”

Also known as the #StarbucksDrakeHands song. I don’t think I can ever drive down the street and hear this song without wanting to put the back of my hand to my forehead now. It’s a great song, and so is this cover by Holy Ghost. Here is “Hold On, We’re Going Home” by Drake.

What are you listening to today? 

Our Halloween Playlist

Happy Halloween! Of course we had to go ahead and make a list of our favorite spooky songs. So play it loud at your office party. Enjoy!

Werewolf Bar Mitzvah (Tracy Jordan)

Fun fact: Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino wrote and appears on the song as Tracy.

Season of the Witch (Donovan)

Howl (Florence and the Machine)

Wolf Like Me (TV on the Radio)

Winner for spookiest music video.

Time Warp (Rocky Horror Picture Show)

Fun fact: This is Carly’s favorite.

This is Halloween (Nightmare before Christmas)

Ghostbusters Theme Song (Ray Parker, Jr.)

Fun fact: If you ever watched Vh1′s Behind the Music (or you know, had ears and heard both songs), you’d know that Huey Lewis sued Ray Parker, Jr. for sampling “I Want a New Drug.”

Rock Lobster (The B-52s)

What the heck is a Rock Lobster? I don’t know, but it’s probably scary. (h/t Nerdist.)

Sympathy for the Devil (The Rolling Stones)

Superstition (Stevie Wonder)

People are Strange (The Doors)

Of course, we had to include a song from our favorite Halloween movies.

I’ll Put a Spell On You (Screaming Jay Hawkins)

And of course…

Thriller (Michael Jackson)

Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments!