You are receiving this monthly newsletter
because of a relationship with Holli Friedland and/or Social Squids. I
hope you enjoy it and find some value in what you read here. Feel free
to pass The Ink Slinger along to anyone you think might enjoy it.
To succeed with your social media accounts, be consistent and post often.
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Handy app of the month PayPal Here
If you use PayPal, adding PayPal Here is a helpful addition. The regular
PayPal app only allows you to accept payments from people who have a
PayPal account. With PayPal Here, you can order a free card swiper that
allows you to accept payments on the spot from anyone with a credit or
debit card. There is no monthly charge, just PayPal’s normal fees for
accepting a payment.
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Why blog?
Blogging… do I have to? I hear this often from business owners.
Blogging is a critical tool to market your business. One goal of every
business owner is to have a website ranked highly by Google and other
search engines. An inactive page, even if it is highly ranked today,
will fall if it is not updated regularly. By having a blog on your
website, you are adding content and making the search engines take
Keyword saturation used to be the end all of SEO (search engine
optimization). It is a little less important to the ranking process now,
but using keywords or key phrases in your blog and web pages, will
certainly help your website gain popularity.
In the beginning, pick topics that are easy for you. These topics are
critical to your business and you already know them inside and out,
making the writing easier. Here are some other blog ideas:
Successes and how you achieved them
Failures and how you dealt with them
Common problems in your field and how you overcame them
Tips, tricks and shortcuts (everyone loves these!)
Find well-know people in your field for guest blogging
Something fantastic you discovered and would like to share
Your blog can serve you in multiple ways. After a blog is written, the
major points can be used for social media posts. Larger chunks of blogs
can be used in newsletters. Some businesses will even take blogs or
newsletters and put them together for a book to give away or sell.
Social Squids offers writing for newsletters, web content, blogs,
graphics for print or online, social media, website design and
updating. We have far-reaching tentacles!
Last week I found myself in an awkward situation. Maybe you have been there a time or two yourself. Here is my story...
This morning I am sitting in Starbucks for the second time
waiting for someone who has not shown up. It is my second attempt on an
appointment with this person and getting together was his idea. He seemed rather
embarrassed when I talked to him after he missed the first appointment and here
I am again. I really thought he would show up this time.
How many appointments do you make with someone and how long
do you wait before you bail? This is someone I’ve known for over a year, but we will not be working together at this point. And, I feel like I can't refer people to someone who doesn't feel I am important enough to keep an appointment.
To make matters worse, one guy is talking loudly on his cell
phone and a couple is having a conversation with someone on speaker phone. The loud guy is talking to his appointment who did not show up either. I clearly heard him say, "That's okay. Whenever you can get here is fine."
have resorted to my headphones, which I don’t like to do because I’m liable to
start singing without realizing it. That will not be good in any way.
What is the protocol for being on time?
In my opinion, you
should always be 5-10 minutes early. Then you are never late. I get into panic
attacks if I am stuck in traffic and I think I’m going to be late for anything,
even if it’s just dinner with good friends and there is no time constraint.
Maybe that’s just me.
In the age of cell phones that have alerts to let you know
an appointment is coming up or reminders that can let you know you need to do
something, there is really no excuse.
When I first contacted the guy after
missing the first appointment, he doubted me, checked his phone’s calendar and
admitted I was right. Ouch. Doubting me? That hurt right off the bat. I should
have just said forget it, but I was hoping that we could at least share referrals.
If I’m going to be late, I text or call the person to let
them know. I had an appointment last week and the guy was 30 minutes late. He
messaged me three times letting me know there was an accident on the beltway
and that he was trying to get to the appointment. However, this time I have been disrespected – and for the second time.
Last night I considered sending a reminder email, especially because he missed the first appointment, but I figured we're all adults here and should be able to keep an appointment. Seems like I got that wrong.
I will admit, I missed a doctor’s appointment once. I spent the day with that nagging feeling that I was forgetting
something, but couldn’t remember what it was. Two hours after the appointment,
it hit me. I was embarrassed and felt terrible especially since I would
probably be charged for it. Granted, that was years before Siri was around to remind me. I made absolutely sure I did not miss the second appointment!
Should I be insulted? I am. Should my feelings be hurt? They
are. Should I just chalk it up to experience and enjoy my Starbucks latte? I
should, but I can’t.
OMG. The guy I’m supposed to be meeting just walked in the door and sat down with
someone else six feet away from me. Now I’m really mad and in a completely
awkward situation. I have no idea what to do. I feel like a complete idiot. I am embarrassed, although I should not be.
This is crazy. I should not have started writing this and instead left when I
had a chance for a clean break.
Life sure does throw me curve balls. Did he see me sitting
here with my headphones and typing away at my keyboard or was he focused on his
OTHER appointment with the loud guy I heard talking on the phone earlier.
Apparently, he forgot that appointment too. I am seething…
This has become too
angry to be a blog. It has become a rant.
The guy didn’t even go up and get coffee, offering me an
escape route. I am trapped like a wounded animal. Being generally
non-confrontational, I am at a loss. I just want to escape with what little
dignity I have. At least his back is to me as I contemplate my predicament.
What would you do if you found yourself in this situation?
In the wake of the events of the past few weeks, many people
throughout the world are realizing just how precious the right to freedom of
speech is. As Americans, we sometimes take this right for granted. Between the
terror events in France and the Sony movie The Interview, we are now seeing how some other people view our
In my business, I have the opportunity to write about a wide
range of topics. The most controversial I have gotten in my work has been
organizing your clothes closet or picking a team that might win tomorrow’s game.
But I know I have the right to write about whatever topic I chose. This is not true for
As a college intern, I worked
at a Baltimore television station during the American hostage crisis in 1979
that took place in Iran. It was an exciting yet scary time to be in the news
business. The Associated Press and United Press International alarms were
ringing in what we called “the wire room” all evening, every evening with news
updates and bulletins. Every time the alarm went off, my heart jumped.
Back then, we didn’t have a 24-hour news cycle, social media
or cell phones. Okay, maybe there were cell phones, but they were about the size of a
shoe box and few people owned them. At the TV station where I worked, they
didn’t even have computers. We typed on typewriters with large keys so the
stories could be put directly into the teleprompter for the anchorman.
As a young adult, it was the first time I was exposed to terrorism. I also learned a lot about patriotism and freedom during my internship. It has been a long road from that job to creating Social Squids, but freedom of speech has been there all along.
With the technology of today, people use freedom of
speech and social media to instantly send images and words to the world. With
this freedom people have gotten themselves into all kinds of trouble from “sexting” to
sending out things by accident. Of course, many also use it for sending funny, informational, inspirational or newsworthy
As citizens of the world and especially as writers, we
should remember how precious this freedom is. Some people have paid the ultimate
price. We should take advantage of our freedom of speech and use it wisely.
I found myself in a bit of a dilemma yesterday when my
&#%$ cable/internet/phone went out right in the middle of a phone call with
a client. With a large deadline looming, I was in a panic. It seems that every
time I do have a problem with my internet, it happens during a big deadline.
What to do…
I refer to my neighborhood Starbucks my “branch office.” The
branch office comes in handy when doing writing or website jobs. Unfortunately,
for this job I need all of my old files in order to do the work. Starting with
old ads, changing expiration dates or making other alterations, is part of what
I do. In this case, I need to have all of my files handy.
This is where the cloud comes in handy. Too bad I haven’t
quite made the commitment for a cloud company. I wrote some web content about
the various cloud companies and it did more to cloud the issue for me. Pricing, storage space and ease of
use are all considerations and I have not yet made a commitment. Lucky for me,
things have been so busy lately, there has not been a lot of time to think
But, the time is now. Putting off the decision will result
in more stress. Who needs that? A decision will be made, and soon.
Like most graphic artists, I am not a fan of doing graphics
on a laptop. The screen on mine is so small that it becomes frustrating, even
if I connect a mouse to do some of the finer Photoshop movements. But when push
comes to shove, a laptop will have to do.
My desktop computer is a Mac Mini. Those things are amazing.
One time the power went out during a bad storm and I just unplugged my computer
and power cord, and took them to someone’s house. By simply unplugging their
computer, I attached my Mac Mini to their monitor, keyboard and mouse. Then I
was good to go. My old files were on CDs in a binder that was easy enough to
carry along. Using other person’s wifi allowed me to finish my job without
moving any heavy equipment. It was relatively stress free.
A digital fax service, in my opinion, is much more useful
than an actual machine when switching from laptop to computer to another
location, etc. Many times I avoid printing anything (saving toner/ink and
paper) by just looking at the fax on my screen.
Lucky for me, the internet was fixed back before I even
figured out what to do.
Yesterday I had a meeting with a
prospective client about setting up a website. He is a very nice man, but
really had no idea what a website does or why he should have one. He never
thought about it before because he doesn’t really use a computer.
I see less and less of this type of
person. Most people, even many of my relatives over the age of 80, at least use
email and Facebook. Not this guy.
It was difficult explaining things
to this man because I had to define the terms I was using as I went along. That
often got me sidetracked. The man wants to sell something on his website that
he makes by hand. He said he’d rather be working with his hands than using a
My explanations included how a
search engine works and what it does, what Etsy.com is, Facebook, web hosting, domain name, etc. The poor
man’s eyes glazed over when I talked about setting up a PayPal account so he
can sell his products online. Of course, I had to explain what PayPal is and
how it works. “How would I get the money?” he asked after a 10 minute explanation. I had to start from the
Luckily, I am very patient. Years
ago, I taught word processing in adult education. It was the same situation.
The idea of switching from typing on paper to on the computer screen is
confusing at first. I explained everything to this man as thoroughly as I
could. I’m sure everything I said to him was a confused jumble in his mind when
As a result of the conversation with
this man, I have decided to write out some definitions/explanations to hand to
people when I get together with them. It is my responsibility to explain what I
do and all of the terms involved to a prospective client. I can either email
(if they have email) or hand a prospective client the paper so when they go
home and discuss it with people, they will have a better idea of what I do.