Wondering what to pack for Alt SLC in less than 50 days? We pulled this video out of our closet from 2012. Check out these great tips from some of your favorite bloggers about what the fashion is like at Alt. Be sure to bring your best fashion game.
By: Natasha Lawler, of Minted
It’s getting to that point in the holiday season where it feels like a mad scramble. If you can squeeze in one more thing on your to-do list, we suggest that you send holiday cards for your blog or small business. Here are four reasons we think holiday cards are a smart idea.
1. Thank the people who have helped you over the past year.
2. Ratchet up your perceived level of professionalism.
3. Reinforce your brand identity in a physical and more lasting form.
4. Stay top-of-mind by earning your place on mantles.
Here are five things to think about when picking out your corporate holiday card design.
1. Photo or non-photo? A photo is a fun way to remind people of who you are and to remind them that there is an actual human being behind the keyboard, the flower arrangement, or the graphic design. If your line or work isn’t too serious, this “Real Characters” design lets you communicate a fun take on everyone on your team.
2. By the numbers. Communicate key milestones and celebrate your successes. We love infographic-inspired holiday cards that let you memorialize your year by the numbers. Mix in fun metrics (number of lights decking your halls) with serious metrics to avoid tooting your own horn. You can also let people know the days your office will be closed for the holidays here.
3. Geography. Especially if you are a local business – and even if you’re not – celebrate your locale! This takes the focus off of you and puts it on your community.
4. Greeting. It’s safest to go with a generic greeting like ‘Happy Holidays’ or ‘Cheers’ to appeal to everyone who will receive your cards. If you’re rushed, a New Year’s card is a great solution to several sticky wickets!
5. Branding. If you have a logo, be sure to tastefully work it in to your holiday card design. Your logo does not need to take center stage. For a more subtle approach, add your logo to the interior or backer of the card.
This post was written and sponsored by Minted.
We know your minds are on the holidays so we're here to offer you an early gift that will fit nicely into your stocking. To celebrate 50 days until Alt SLC kicks off, we're opening up a few more spots to the flagship event! Snag your ticket right here but don't delay, the spaces are limited and will sell out quick.
By: Sara Urquhart Image by: Justin Hackworth
The idea of the “elevator pitch” is born from the scenario in which you find yourself standing next to a potential investor/partner/collaborator in an elevator. You have five floors to tell your story and spark some interest before the doors open and your contact walks out.
While you may not find yourself in this exact situation, crafting the story you’ll tell about yourself is an invaluable professional tool. You’ll be required to succinctly introduce yourself and your work over and over at Alt and anywhere else you’re connecting with new people, so take the time to do it well.
Your elevator pitch will include your name, your business, your passions and expertise, and recent projects. For those involved in multiple projects, you’ll need to edit carefully and choose which aspect of your working life to talk about with whom. If a great conversation develops, that may be a perfect time to share multiple projects and interests, but your elevator pitch will be most beneficial if it is focused on the aspect of your work that’s most relevant to the person you’re meeting or to the project to which you’re most committed.
Begin by brainstorming several phrases about your story—who you are, what you do, what you love. Write a paragraph or two in your natural voice (not too formal or stilted) and then trim it to the three or four most applicable and interesting sentences. Send it to a friend or two for feedback. Then memorize it and repeat it until it feels and sounds natural.
The upcoming holidays are a perfect time to give your elevator pitch a practice run with family or friends. Not only will you improve delivery and confidence, your loved ones will help you ferret out any weaknesses and give you suggestions for improvement. (If their eyes glaze over while you’re talking, be sure to ask for those suggestions.) Don’t underestimate the importance of practicing with real live people. A friend of mine recently crafted his elevator pitch, practiced it a hundred times in the car, and then bombed the first time he tried it in person.
Trust that your work and passions are interesting as your create and practice your elevator pitch, and then share it with confidence.
By Sara Urquhart Image by: Justin Hackworth
We’re all balancing our typical roles of work, blog, online shop, and/or projects at this time of year plus the emotion and extra work of the holidays. If you have children, they’ll be out of school before you know it, then it’s a brand new year, and suddenly you find yourself on your way to Alt.
Now is the time to think about those things that need to be done to prepare for Alt. Avoid handing out business cards you’re not so proud of or that constant apology for the state of your site by putting those things on your schedule now. Account for design and printing turnaround time for business cards or promotional pieces; think of design and coding time for site updates. If what you’ll wear is important to you, plan to think about outfits with enough time to shop for or order extra pieces you might want.
Now is the time to update your bio, begin thinking about goals for next year, and do a little research about people you might like to connect with at Alt. Think about how you’ll introduce yourself and what you’ll want to be talking about—and listening for. Give yourself a little time to prepare for Alt by thinking now about what needs to happen in order for you to feel calm and prepared about attending. Then put those items on your calendar, and enjoy the preparations!
By: Sara Urquhart Image by: Justin Hackworth
It’s both common and expected to thank someone for their kindness and help in the moment it’s been given but I believe it’s powerful to also follow up later to let someone know their actions affected you in a significant way.
A “thank you” in the moment is anticipated, but the surprise of taking the time days, weeks, months or even years later to express gratitude for a thoughtful gesture, a moment of rescue, an insightful idea or bit of advice—that is unexpected and can forge a relationship in a unique and significant way.
When you reach out to emphasize your gratitude, you’re showing thoughtfulness and depth. Your gratitude has more weight and will be more meaningful when it’s given that extra effort.
This is a perfect time of year to create an annual practice of reflecting on those mentors, clients, friends, and partners who’ve made a difference in your life and business. Make the time to express your appreciation, and do it again next year, and the next.
By Todd Lappin
You’re not just a blogger or content publisher — you’re a media brand. Content is the tool you use to make your brand come to life, which means that in addition to a blog, you may also share content via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. Each expresses your brand in a distinctive way, but it’s also challenging to weave all the threads together in a single place.
Flipboard can help. Flipboard makes it easy to collect all the content you love from all your social networks and websites in a beautiful, paginated package that looks fantastic on mobile devices or the web. We call these collections Flipboard Magazines, and so far more than 4 million of them have been created by people who use them to publish and share their favorite articles, photos, products, and videos.
But what are Flipboard MagMakers doing with their magazines? We love seeing all the creative ways people use their magazines, but if we had to group them together, here are the common types we see:
1) The CollectionMag
A CollectionMag is a place to save and organize content that relates to your own hobbies, interests or passions. The items you add to a CollectionMag may be interesting, or useful, or relevant, or inspiring, or worth revisiting later, but first and foremost, it’s material you curate for yourself — although if anyone else happens to enjoy it, that’s fine, too. CollectionMags are handy for saving favorite products into catalogs or gift guides, but they’re also great for cooking ideas. In a Soup by Poonammaj is a great example of a CollectionMag; it’s a curated cookbook of soup recipes.
2) The ThemeMag
A ThemeMag curates content about a specific (and sometimes quirky) idea. ThemeMags are often visual or photo-driven, and they are intended for public sharing and consumption — preferably among like-minded enthusiasts. A ThemeMags is born when a Flipboard MagMaker notices a “particular kind of something” in the world, and the scope of that particular kind of something becomes more compelling when they curate a lot of it, all in one place. For example, did you know that many cars want to learn how to fly? We didn’t either, until we found Flugplatz, a Flipboard Magazine for cars that wish they were airplanes.
3) The NewsMag
Think of these as curated news magazines or digital newsletters. NewsMags are meant for general consumption, and they provide a timely, ongoing feed of information for a specific community of readers. A NewsMag can be about a place, a topic, a business, a cause, a hobby, an industry, a brand, or a band. NewsMags can include just about any kind of content, and many take advantage of the fact that Flipboard magazines can combine different sources all in one place. Idaho travel website Twin Falls Guide uses a Flipboard NewsMag to balance hard news with local recreation and lifestyle coverage.
4) The EventMag
These magazines document an event or experience. “We went here. We did that.” EventMags can combine perspectives, photos and videos from multiple participants or co-contributors. Although the period of active curation for an EventMag may may be limited, the magazine itself can live on indefinitely as a shared scrapbook or souvenir. That’s the purpose of “Graduation 2013” a magazine created by Texas’s Spring Branch Independent School District to commemorate the district’s graduation ceremonies:
5) The UtilityMag
UtilityMags are convenient, mobile-friendly replacements for traditional print products: Educational course readers, portfolios, training manuals, brochures and the like. These magazines gather material with a functional purpose, and they are intended for widespread sharing. UtilityMags are often created by educators, marketers, realtors, creative professionals and managerial professionals. CA Technologies uses a UtilityMag to share how to tips and technical information about the company’s SiteMinder software package.
This post was sponsored by Flipboard.