Incorporating Holidays Into Your Content

Not gonna lie. Coming up with consistent, good content is hard. 

At some point, you might feel like you’ve completely run out of things to write. Or feel like you’re repeating yourself. One of my biggest social media tips is to be consistent, but when you have writer’s block, it can discourage you from posting at all. 

One of my favorite ways to mix things up and cure writer’s block is to highlight a fun, offbeat holiday. And let me tell you, there’s a holiday for everything. (Even mechanical pencils. Their big day is July 5th.) 

Keep Things On Brand 

I keep a running list of non-traditional holidays and regularly refer back to them to see if any are relevant to my clients’ brands and offerings. With enough time and planning, you can take fun photos, create a video, write a blog post or even conduct a press effort for the holiday.

No matter how you plan to create content around it, make sure that the holiday aligns with your brand. It should reinforce your company’s offerings and values, rather than leave your followers scratching their heads. (Example: Why is that bicycle shop posting about National Pineapple Day?) 

Marketing around these holidays should be fun, but it shouldn’t have to be a huge stretch for you to come up with good content.

For example, If you’re in the coffee business, run a discounted coffee promotion or offer a free cupping class on National Coffee Day. Or if company culture is integral to your company’s values, perhaps highlight your team’s participation in Bring Your Dog To Work Day (June 26) or organize a volunteer project for your team on Public Service Day (June 23). 

These holidays can drive so much more than social media posts. They can build team and customer relationships, too. 

Think Beyond A Social Media Post 

Whether you’re a brick-and-mortar or an online business, I encourage you to think outside the box and come up with an in-house promotion for the holiday. Done right, a good promotion will create brand awareness and drive new business. 

For example, I worked with a restaurant client to create fanfare around National Rum Day. We planned well in advance and created a limited menu of rum drinks. We photographed the drinks for use on social media and their website in the weeks leading up to the holiday, and we filmed a short video about how to make one of the drinks at home. In the restaurant, we created in-house signage to bring more attention to the promotion. It was not only super fun for their staff to mix things up, but it gave restaurant regulars new drinks to try and attracted new customers, too. 

Best Practices for Incorporating Holidays 

  1. Feature holidays infrequently. As much as I love them, pick one (maybe two, if it makes absolute sense) a month that’s on-brand for you. 
  2. Double check the date. Some of these holidays can vary by country, so if you find a holiday on Google, fact-check the date across multiple sites. 
  3. Use the hashtag. Hashtags for holidays have potential to go viral, so always be sure to incorporate a hashtag into your social media posts (#National[Blank]Day). Encourage your team and customers to do the same. 

Offbeat June Holidays 

We’ve all got Father’s Day on our calendars (just in case…it’s June 21st) but there are so many fun opportunities to create content around days in June. 

Compiling holidays each month requires some effort, so to save you time, here are some fun holidays in June. You could also do a month-long promotion around Pride Month, or create specials around Doughnut Week (June 1-June 5) or Men’s Health Week (June 10-June 16). 

Holidays in June 

6/4 – National Cheese Day 

6/5 – Doughnut Day 

6/7 – Cancer Survivors Day 

6/8 – Best Friends Day 

6/9 – World Gin Day 

6/13 – National Rosé Day 

6/14 – Flag Day AND Cupcake Day 

6/17 – Global Garbage Man Day 

6/18 – International Sushi Day AND International Picnic Day 

6/20 – First Day of Summer 

6/21 – World Music Day AND International Yoga Day  

6/23 – United Nations’ Public Service Day 

6/24 – Upcycling Day 

6/25 – Global Beatles Day 

6/26 – Bring Your Dog to Work Day 

6/27 – Pineapple Day AND Sunglasses Day 

6/30 – Social Media Day 

Happy content creating! What holidays will your business be recognizing? Let me know below!

5 Podcasts To Up Your Marketing Game

A silver lining of being forced to slow down lately is that I’ve had the chance to catch up on my favorite podcasts. The world of social media and content creation is always evolving, so I’m constantly researching and finding new industry thought leaders to follow. 

Whether you’re a small business owner or a creative marketer, here’s a roundup of binge-worthy podcasts I regularly listen to for marketing advice and tips on successfully running (and growing!) a business. 

  • Social Media Marketing Podcast – This podcast is rich with content, tools and tips for using social media in your business. The host Michael Stelzner asks great questions from leading experts about everything from creating organic content to digital advertising strategy. Want even more great social media content? Visit his Social Media Examiner website for more insights and the latest research. The site’s annual social media study is also can’t-miss. (The 2020 Study just came out on May 11th–recap on the blog coming soon!)  
  • Online Marketing Made Easy with Amy Porterfield –  I always have a notebook and pen ready when I listen to this podcast. Amy Porterfield is the queen of creating and marketing online courses, but her podcast offers value far beyond that. I love her tips for improving business processes and growing an online presence. If you’re still working to move your business online, check out recent Episode #310: Taking Your Brick & Mortar Business Online.
  • Goal Digger – Jenna Kutcher is one of my all-time favorite people to follow for sound marketing and business advice. Her episodes come out on Monday and Wednesday each week and they’re such an important part in my morning routine! (Well, that and coffee.) I love her interviews with fellow female entrepreneurs, like this one with Barbara Corcoran, and the marketing tips she offers in each episode. I’m always applying new learnings from her podcast and online resources to my client work and what I do for my own businesses. 
  • The Copywriter Club – This is one of the more recent podcasts I started listening to, but I’m already in love! So much of what I do consists of writing blogs, websites, printed materials and social media for clients–this podcast has so many great tips and ideas! If you’re looking for tips on storytelling, refining key messages and freelancing, this podcast’s for you, too. I just wrapped up designing and writing a client’s website, and Episode #183 had great advice about writing with SEO in mind! 
  • Being Boss – This podcast is also a new find but quickly becoming a favorite! The tips from hosts and businesswomen Emily Thompson and Kathleen Shannon are so helpful and range from productivity hacks and financial strategies, to starting and marketing a business. Their recent Q&A episodes were one of the first episodes I listened to and offer such great tactical advice for all kinds of businesses and entrepreneurs. A must-listen!

Do you have a favorite podcast or listen to any of the ones on this list? Drop it in the comments below! 

5 Things To Do Now To Benefit Your Small Business Later

If COVID-19 has impacted business for you like it has for many others, you may have had to temporarily close your doors. Or maybe you’re a business in planning whose opening date has now been delayed indefinitely. While certain sectors (at least in California) are starting to slowly open back up in a limited capacity, the restrictions may still be impacting your business operations and your bottom line.

If you’ve read my previous blog posts, you know I stress that now is not the time to lose momentum. And if you know me, you know I love a good checklist. So here are some things you can do *right now* in this season of waiting that will benefit your business in the future.

  1. Update your website. Take this time to ensure your business information is up to date (including new hours of operation, if they’ve changed!). Refresh your photos, add new customer testimonials, and make sure your website copy reflects your company’s services and values. While you’re at it, make sure that your Google Business Page and any other platforms you’re on are current, too.
  2. Create content. Even if your doors aren’t open right now, you can still create content that engages your customers and keeps you top of mind. Allow your employees to do an Instagram takeover to introduce themselves and show off their #WorkFromHome set-ups. Create simple videos with favorite recipes or other DIY creations your customers can try at home. Offer free workout classes online or do a free guided wine or beer tasting event. Business that offer free value now will see a great return when they reopen.
  3. Connect with customers. Whether your business is on pause or if you haven’t opened yet, encourage people to sign-up for your email list. At a pace that makes sense for your business, you can send updates, connect more personally with your customers and create excitement for when you reopen. I typically use Mailchimp for my clients but there are so many great platforms out there to try.
  4. Network, network, network. Chambers of Commerce and other local business groups are a great way to stay connected to the business community right now. So many of the Sacramento Region’s Chambers of Commerce are going above and beyond to offer value to their members, from virtual seminars to resource portals. Connect with fellow members for virtual coffee. And see if the organization has any opportunities for you to promote your business, like Member-To-Member discounts.
  5. Plan ahead. Your marketing budget and timeline may look a lot different now, so take advantage of this slower time to reevaluate your strategy and priorities. You may want to develop a plan around your reopening and devote more resources to it. If you’re able, you may want to consider taking your brick and mortar business online. Whatever this looks like for you, use this time to plan ahead and develop a sound strategy that will benefit you now and in the long run.

I’m working right along side you during this uncertain time! If you need help with any of the above checklist items or want to brainstorm over a virtual coffee, let’s get in touch.

3 Tips for Getting Media Coverage During COVID-19

To Pitch or Not To Pitch During COVID-19

In all honesty, I wasn’t sure how media pitching was going to go earlier this week.

A craft brewery client of mine had to (like many others in their industry right now) pivot their business and drastically change the way they sell their beer. They asked me to write a press release about the brewery starting to ship its beer anywhere in California.

Press coverage is never a guarantee, but in the wake of COVID-19, I couldn’t help but think: Is this angle truly unique or “new” enough? Will reporters even care, when they’re busy covering a pandemic? Will consumers? 

While alcohol consumption during shelter-in-place is on the rise, craft breweries are seeing a drastic decrease in sales due to COVID-19–nearly a 42% decrease across Northern California, according to a California Craft Brewers Association survey. Unable to invite beer enthusiasts to their taprooms where most of their money is made, small breweries now must rely predominantly on carryout sales and, thanks to relaxed ABC laws, many are now delivering and shipping their beer statewide. 

When creating content during this unparalleled time, I’ve urged my clients to remember that any piece of content can end up sandwiched between two COVID-19 related posts or headlines. It’s so crucial to be mindful of the content you’re putting out there and the context in which it can show up so your brand doesn’t come across as tone-deaf. 

With that in mind, I crafted my press release and made it clear throughout: This business pivot was a direct response to COVID-19. This is a small business that has been impacted by the pandemic. And of course, it didn’t hurt that the brewery was named Brewery of the Year in a large beer competition and has kick-ass beers.

We got some great coverage, and there’s still more in the works. But just like my client, I had to pivot in the way I do things, too.

Here are my three takeaways I recommend to brands when pitching media in the current news landscape.

1. Do your research. This is always something I tell clients to do before approaching the press in general, let alone during a pandemic. In many cases, publications and news outlets are working with less staff, if they’re in operation at all. Your usual press contact may be out of work or covering a different beat. I was even more diligent than usual with this in mind and was careful to research how publications were covering the topic of craft beer in their area. With any pitching effort, do your due diligence to avoid unnecessarily cluttering a reporter’s inbox and be mindful of their time when you do send an email. It will help build (or preserve) your relationship with them.

2. Expand your definition of “the press.” I knew getting media coverage in the client’s target markets – namely the Bay Area and Southern California – would prove more difficult than usual. With publications looking to support their own local businesses and report on COVID-19’s impacts in their area, I wasn’t expecting them to take too kindly to the idea of promoting a business that was, in some cases, on the opposite side of the state from them.

Instead, I approached social media influencers in these target markets. Anyone who knows me knows that I love good influencer coverage! I researched influencers in our target markets who met my additional criteria, and I asked if I could send them product and the press release so that they may consider posting about it. So far, the response has been overwhelmingly positive, and I know it will make a huge difference for my client–both increasing their following on social media (hello, awareness!) and moving the needle for their sales in new markets.

3. Be relevant. When approaching news media or industry-centric publications, think about other angles or insights you can offer that provide value. In the case of pitching this release, I sent it with the caveat that they please keep the brewery in mind for future coverage. On a macro level, their brewmaster could speak to beer trends or the pandemic’s impact on small businesses. Regionally, they could attest to the state of the Sacramento Region’s beer industry. While coverage may not happen on the press release topic right now, I created a foundation that furthered my client as a resource and industry thought leader that can come back ten-fold for them in the future.

And it’s important to never discount your local media outlets. The relationships you build with local media will support you beyond the pandemic and be even more helpful when things return to normal (or whatever the “new normal” will be). Publications are looking to support local businesses right now. Even if you are expanding to a market that’s not in their coverage area or feel like it’s too similar of a topic they’ve covered about a competitor, still send that press release…taking Tip #1 into consideration, of course.

I earned coverage for this effort in the Sacramento region’s largest news publication and in less than a day of the client posting the article to their Facebook page, their engagement went through the roof. At the time I’m writing this, their post has nearly 200 Likes and more than 20 Shares. Who said media relations doesn’t work!?

If you’ve had to pivot, think about ways to communicate it to your target customers through social media, news outlets and the other platforms you have available. You’ll be one step closer to building a resilient brand that survives this crazy time and is stronger than ever when it’s over. If you have any questions, please feel free to drop me a line at