Artisan Blog

Personal Branding: Facebook

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Personal Branding: Facebook

Facebook seemed to have been created to allow us to reconnect with old friends, to help us remember birthdays and sometimes even to shout into the void when we feel the need to express ourselves. However, the longer Facebook is around, the more it changes and the more it becomes a marketing tool for companies, brands and people. Are you using Facebook to your best advantage for marketing your personal brand?

Although Facebook allows you to have both a personal profile and a business-person page, since they changed to the Timeline format, strangers have been able to see your cover photo and anything you publish publicly by searching for you. You may not need a page as well as a Timeline if you are being thoughtful about what you post and what is in your Profile:
  • About You—Be sure to include a link to your Business Page (if you have one) as well as your website or other social media accounts and your online portfolio in the About section of your Profile. Make sure if a business contact finds your Timeline first, they can easily access your business information.
  • Privacy Settings—No one’s friends are always perfect and you can’t control what they post, so set your privacy so that your Friends List is visible only to you.
  • Business List—If you want to be Facebook Friends with professional connections, make a custom list of your business contacts so that you can limit the privacy of your posts. You can create a Custom privacy setting so that your default audience is only your personal friends, but not your business contacts unless you specifically include them.
  • Always Check your Audience—If you do post to different lists at different times, it’s easy to forget that Facebook remembers your last post and uses those settings again next time. If you posted something publicly on Tuesday night, your post on Wednesday morning will be public, too, unless you change it. Best practice: post to your custom list every time. After you have posted, change the audience to Public or Friends if you want your post to reach more people. That way Facebook does not forget your custom settings and you do not have to recreate them later and save yourself some time.
  • Don’t Be Blank—Since you are searchable, take a moment to post something publicly every so often, once or twice a week, so that even strangers will find something valuable about you if they look. Links to work samples are a great example.
It is just a fact of life that people you meet in either a personal or a business setting are going to look you up on social media. Make sure they are finding the person you want them to find.

Wendy Stackhouse, Consultant for Artisan Creative

7 Tips for Your Online Writing Portfolio

Thursday, February 07, 2013

7 Tips for Your Online Writing Portfolio

Image by nkzs via stock.xchng

For copywriters, the work samples of today are often easy to find on the internet and only a click away. However, if you’re looking to secure future clients like your designer counterparts, it’s best to have an online portfolio with examples of all the different kinds of writing you have completed. 

Some may choose to use a more traditional, hosted portfolio site like Behance, Coroflot, Creative Hot List or Krop. But if you’re looking to create your own website of work, there are some important elements to consider:

  • Include an example of each kind of writing that you do—whether it is long-form articles, websites, instruction manuals, catalogue copy or blog posts, be sure to include at least one high-quality example of each genre of content that you produce.
  • Links—A list of links is not enough to be called an online writing portfolio. However, make sure you include links to other published pieces. An interested client might want to see any comments or discussion that came from your original publication.
  • A summary—If your crown jewel is a 14 page in-depth interview, a client might want an overview before diving into the whole piece.
  • Purpose—A potential client wants to know what you set out to accomplish with your piece so that they can evaluate how well you did, as well as how well you wrote it.
  • Scans of printed work—If your work was not published online, scan the printed article and post it as a PDF or image. Better yet – try to obtain the original PDF files from the designer.
  • Publication and Date—Don’t forget to give clients information about where and when your work was published. If you are able to share the client and/or agency – even better.
  • Add images—Your writing is the focus, but you are still trying to get people to read further so make your portfolio is visually as well as verbally interesting and compelling.
Although it is still a good idea to have a printed writing portfolio (or at least a collection of print and/or packaging pieces of your work), no copywriter should be without an online portfolio as well. Don’t forget to put the web address of your portfolio on your resume and business cards as well. Make it as easy as possible for clients to decide you are the best copywriter for their project.

Wendy Stackhouse, Consultant for Artisan Creative

When Being Disruptive Is a Good Thing

Thursday, January 17, 2013

When Being Disruptive Is a Good Thing

The dictionary defines “disruptive” as tumultuous, chaotic, troublesome, or unruly. None of these words sound too good in a job search or work context. But in business, being disruptive is taking on a whole new meaning:

Disruptive Marketing

Sometimes criticized for being more like spam or unwelcome communications, disruptive marketing at its best is marketing that is so different from what came before that it takes over for it. We can understand why this might be troublesome to those who are more traditional marketers, but creatives are outside-the-box thinkers and when given the opportunity to come up with a new way of doing things, they may very well come up with something that disrupts tradition in a good way.

Disruptive Innovation

Great developers and designers are practicing disruptive innovation—creating something new that replaces the previous technology. When we pick up a new app or tool, soon we wonder how we ever lived without it. Talented creatives are thinking of new ways to perform familiar tasks every day.

Disruptive Job Search

No one looking for a new role wants to be “unruly”, but what if you think of “disruptive” as “unexpected” instead? Most candidates are trying to match the keywords on their resumes and skillsets as closely to a job description as possible. But every candidate is also unique, with unique qualities and value they bring to a company. 

If your job search has continued for longer than you’d hoped, it might be time to try something new, displace your old way of doing things, take a chance on a new story in your next interview or showcase something unexpected about what you bring to the table. You might even disrupt your search by landing an amazing job!

Let us know what works for you!

Wendy Stackhouse, Consultant for Artisan Creative

Artisan Creative Places Talent in 3 Top Jobs for 2013

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Artisan Creative Places Talent in 3 Top Jobs for 2013

We hear a lot on the news about jobs that are disappearing or being outsourced. But what about jobs that are expected to have growth in the coming year?   

Artisan Creative actually places talent in 3 of the hottest job categories for 2013: 

  1. Social Media Manager—Online marketing gets bigger every year. And these days, no Digital strategy is complete without a business presence on multiple social media platforms. To ensure companies reach as much of their target audience as possible by delivering frequently updated and engaging content, organizations are looking to hire a dedicated resource to develop, implement and manage a comprehensive social strategy for their brand.
  2. Marketing Specialist—Like the Social Media Manager, the Marketing Specialist focuses on particular campaign strategies within a company. This could be Direct Marketing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), eCommerce, Product Marketing or Brand Strategy. Depending on the nature of one’s business, finding experienced marketing professionals with industry-specific skills could come at a premium. Therefore, the trend will most likely continue as companies continue to seek experts.
  3. Web Developer—These days, every company needs a website. And any good website need to be updated. Often. To do so requires some level of front end (and often back end) web development work – from simple HTML/CSS, to more complex Javascript or PHP. Working in conjunction with Web Designers, Web developers help get entrepreneurs started and keep established businesses thriving. 
If you are new in the creative job market or thinking of changing careers, keep these fast-growing paths in mind for 2013. 

Who knows where they might lead!

Marketing to the Boss

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Marketing to the Boss

Last week we talked about some of the qualities of a boss who is also a leader. One of those qualities is a willingness to listen to and reward creative solutions offered by members of their team.

As marketing professionals, we know how to develop successful strategies to reach our potential customers, but sometimes we could also benefit from thinking of our boss as a “target audience” when we have creative and innovative ideas:

  1. Make your pitch match her personality type. Does she like numbers? Does she like passion? Does she like simple or complex? Think about what she likes when you are planning your pitch.
  2. Tell him a story. An engaging hypothetical can engage his imagination and bring him into the story with you.
  3. Make it fit. Find the qualities in your idea that make it perfect for your culture and put those at the top of your list of arguments.
  4. Use the right voice. If you have a great idea but you’re not the right person to approach the boss, team up with someone who has the boss’s ear and convince them first.
If your boss doesn’t like to hear from the peanut gallery, you might have more trouble. But if your boss is a leader and likes to utilize the creativity and imagination of his or her team, make it easy for her to say yes and she will do it more often!

Wendy Stackhouse, Consultant for Artisan Creative

Why Aren't You Blogging Yet?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Why Aren't You Blogging Yet?


Pretty early in the life of this blog, I wrote a post on why you should be blogging.

Did you pay attention?

Did you start a blog? Did you ever write a second post?

Or a first?

Excuses, Excuses!  Why not?

I don’t have anything to say
Actually, the bar here is pretty low. Do you talk? To anybody? About what’s going on? Anywhere? Excellent. Post.

Now, of course, we’re talking about a blog that has some value - to you and to your readers.  Random thoughts won’t work forever, but I’m willing to bet that if you try this 2 or 3 or 4 times, you will start coming up with relevant ideas. And guess what? You can go back and get rid of the early stuff later!

Remember - you don’t have to write an essay. Think of your first few posts as updates, just like Facebook or even Twitter. A sentence or two, a paragraph. Put your toe in the water.
I’m not a writer
Believe me, most bloggers aren’t “writers” either. They’re not perfect and they’re not any better than you. They just post anyway. (Shh, they often don’t even proofread!)

A good way to get started is by doing some curated content. Find some articles that you think are interesting or relevant or well written and pick out your favorite quote. Explain why it’s your favorite and what drew you to the article. You look smart without doing much of your own writing!

Remember that you MUST (was that loud enough?) hyperlink to the original article in your post.

I don’t have time
Do you have time to update your Facebook status? You have time to blog.

Do you have time to Tweet? More than once a day? You have time to blog.

Guess what? You can use the content from your Facebook status or your Tweets to get your blog started. What are you writing about today? Make it a little longer and post it. See, you are a writer!  That information was already out there in public, this is just another venue for it.

I don't know how
Technology can be intimidating, but blogging has been around long enough to have some great resources for you to get started. Here are three of my favorites: is a free site which walks you through the blog creation process step-by-step—my 10 year old has a blogger blog. Blogger is part of the Google family of products so if you have a Google account, it’s even easier to start a blog there. is another free site for creating a blog. Tumblr blogs are usually shorter-form and might be less intimidating. Tumblr has lots of fun themes and also walks you through the process of creating your special place to post. is another free blogging platform that is easy to use. Commenters on Livejournal have to register, but if that doesn’t bother you take a look at this platform.

If you’re still nervous about blogging, write a few draft posts on whatever you want.  Don’t publish them until you feel good about them. 

A company blog, an industry blog or even a personal blog is an important part of your brand, whether you are an executive or a freelancer. Stop making excuses! Blog!

Wendy Stackhouse, Consultant (and blogger) for Artisan Creative

Freelancers: Use Online Marketing to Kickstart 2012

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Freelancers: Use Online Marketing to Kickstart 2012


We are about to go into a quiet time of year, whether you choose to work less or there is just less work, and so it is a good time to think about what you can do to get a jumpstart on your freelancing in 2012.

With today’s technology, it is easy and cost-effective to do some online marketing for your career as a freelance entrepreneur. Let’s look at some ways to make online marketing work for you:

  • Social Media Profiles - Now is a great time to take a look at all of your social media profiles to make sure they:
    • Reflect most recent work experience
    • Are Consistent
    • Tell your story
    • Use keywords to help search engines find your skills
    • Have been carefully edited for professional purposes
  • Facebook Timelines - You’ve probably heard that Facebook profiles are changing into timelines, but you might not know that you need to go to your timeline and make sure there is nothing posted there from the past that you don’t want potential clients to see. You might not have been as careful in 2006 or ’07 about the photographs you posted and Timelines make it much easier for people to see your posts of long ago.
  • New Platforms - While you have a couple of free hours, set up your Google+ Circles and start getting comfortable there. Still new-kid-on-the-block, Google+ may very well be a big player in 2012.
  • Build or Tweak Your Website - If you are a Designer, you have a website, but maybe you haven’t had time to update it for a while. If you are in other creative fields, it is great to have a website of your own and there are free and inexpensive places to host. A domain name only costs $10 a year and Google Sites is one place where you can build a site easily without any knowledge of coding.
  • Start a Blog - Since you are an entrepreneur, you own a business—you! Your business needs a blog where you can talk about recent projects, things that inspire you, link to articles that are interesting and give the world your take on current creative trends. Give blogging a try, it’s fun!
  • Comment - If you’re like me, even on your downtime you’re surfing the web for interesting information. Now is the time to take a moment to comment on relevant articles in your field or in LinkedIn Group discussions and build your credibility. If you add a link to your website or blog, you might increase your own traffic as well.
See, you thought you had nothing to do over the holiday break! Get to work!

Wendy Stackhouse
, Consultant for Artisan Creative

Top 8 Traits Employers are Looking For: Creative and Marketing

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Top 8 Traits Employers are Looking For: Creative and Marketing

I was reading an article on 8 traits employers are looking for on the other day and although some of them were right on target, others missed the mark in terms of Creative and Marketing roles.  And of course the hard part is making sure you show them all off in your interview. 

So here you go, à la David Letterman, my Top 8 Traits Creative Employers are Looking For (and how to work them into your interview):


8.         Engagement. Direct eye contact and listening skills are just as important as being articulate. Show how well you collaborate right from the start.

7.         Confidence. A classic, but still so important. You are creative and skilled and talented.  You ARE!

6.         Dress. Whatever your style, be clean and put together. Hiring managers expect you to be professional, but still want to see a bit of that personality shine through. Check out our blog for more tips on what to wear to your creative interview.

5.         Do your research.  Know as much as you can about the company culture and the person you are meeting.  Prepare a couple of interesting questions to ask your interviewer.  LinkedIn is a great place for finding inspiration!

4.         Adaptability. I agree on this one. If there is any chance to express that you’re ready for anything, do so.

3.         Curiosity.  Creative people are interested in learning new skills and coming up with new angles on old problems.

2.         Stories.  A great story is gold. Have a few stories prepared to illustrate how you accomplished something challenging, delivered a project with unexpected results or learned a valuable lesson.  Come on, you must have some stories to share!

And 1.  Energy.  Be a bright shiny penny.  There are a lot of people out there who are tired, overworked and underpaid. You might be interviewing with one of them.  Remember - you may be between roles and stressed, but you are NOT tired! 

Did you notice anything that was missed from the lists?  What traits do you think are important?  We’d love to hear your favorites!  

Wendy Stackhouse, Consultant for Artisan Creative

Designer? I thought you said you were a Developer? | Becoming an Expert in your chosen field

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Designer? I thought you said you were a Developer? | Becoming an Expert in your chosen field


Q.  What do you do for a living?
A.  I'm a Web content copywriter.  A writer/producer, really.  I do some screenwriting.  But I'm sort of a writer/print designer hybrid.  I have an art gallery opening this weekend.  And I know CS5 really well.  Also, I'm an artist/electrician.  A plumber/horse-wrangler.  I can pretty much do whatever you need!  Find me a job!

In the creative services industry, a talent manager views and reviews hundreds of resumes each week.  Some resumes are clean and coupled with bold portfolios.  Other resumes are all over the place.
So, let's get right to the point:  If you're looking for work, pick your top two areas of expertise and stick with them.  Wear them on your sleeve.  In your cover letter/email, state exactly what you do best.  In your resume, do the same.  On a phone call, tell me exactly what you do best and NOT what you're CAPABLE of doing well.  

In delivering your message succinctly and repetitively, I will be able to know what you do, and consider you (possibly hire you!) again and again - as long as your work history is solvent.  If the position I'm looking at is not for you this time, we'll know it right away...But, if our conversation is good, we'll remember you in the future.

Not good: 
Do you remember that guy, Greg? 
He's the one with the marketing background, but he's trying to get into AfterEffects and Maya.
Well, what is it that he's actually doing now?
I'm not sure.  I don't think he really knows either.
Who else do we like?

Do you remember Scott?
The HTML/CSS coder?
Call him.  He'd be a perfect fit!

We remember the talent who specialize in something and do it well.  And we would remember Greg, too, if he'd just figure out what he's good at and focus on it.

Here are some example skillsets that work well together:
  • Maya/After Effects
  • Web Content Writer/Blogger
  • Broadcast Producer/Agency Producer
  • Corporate Communications Manager/Internal PR Manager
  • Print Designer/Graphic Artist
  • Traffic Manager/Print Production Manager
And so on . . .

So, when you looking for work - remember:  I don't need to know everything you've ever done.  I need to know precisely what you're best at doing.

Kevin Kahn
Talent Manager


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