About Brooke Boser

Ambitious, resourceful, and team-oriented, I am passionate about the emergence of social media and digital marketing as key influencers in consumer decision-making. In my spare time I read, blog, tweet, post, pin, and +1.

Embracing the Art of “Not Knowing” in Business

in-the-unknownBusiness is a funny thing. It’s a space where knowledge, expertise, and excellence are revered more so than any other facet of our lives. We all strive to become the experts in our industries, the “thought leader.” But what happens when our know-it-all attitude becomes stale and we find ourselves bored in our work? What happens when we no longer feel challenged? It’s a dangerous position to find ourselves because when we are no longer challenged, we also lose motivation for creativity and innovation. Finding yourself in that place is certainly bad for business.

Ask yourself, what is more important – knowing or not knowing? The answer certainly isn’t black and white. Of course, when you are selling a product or service it pays to have a great amount of knowledge about that product or service. It helps maintain your reputation and your credibility that you know what you’re talking about, and that your advice can be trusted. However, we don’t need to take that to the extreme where we pretend to know everything. Products and services should always be changing, evolving, and with that so should your knowledge be ever changing and evolving. Admitting you don’t know something is a vulnerable place, but it’s also the catalyst for growth. It’s also the perfect opportunity to display your human side and be relatable – “I don’t know the answer to that, but I’ll find out for you.”

Business, learning, and growth should all go hand in hand. It should be encouraged to ask questions and challenge your existing products. Strive to make your business agile so that you and your employees can create and innovate as you go along. It is about creating a business culture that encourages what Liz Wiseman calls “The Perpetual Rookie”, which means embracing curiosity, humility, playfulness, and being deliberate in everything you do. In rookie mode, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

It’s been proven that being challenged at work increases employee satisfaction. That goes for yourself, as well. Embracing the “I don’t know” of a situation takes you back to square one, but it also will instill in you a feeling of challenge and excitement in figuring the problem out. It will also lead to greater product innovation and creativity, which I think we all can agree, is very good for business.

Marketing Strategy: Have A Blog? Become A Publisher on LinkedIn

audienceDo you write a blog for your business? Have you ever wondered how to get more exposure for your blog and/or website? Do you want to expand the reach of your message? For the sake of your marketing strategy and growing your business you should have answered ‘yes’ to all of these questions. That’s why it’s worth learning more about Pulse, which is LinkedIn’s Publishing platform.

In 2013, the social media platform LinkedIn purchased Pulse, a news reader app, for $90 million. At first, LinkedIn planned to use this app on its platform as a news aggregator and make LinkedIn a one-stop-shop for both networking and catching up on industry news. LinkedIn even compiled its own list of “Influencers” who wrote on specific industries and topics, and who could be followed individually by LinkedIn users. For over a year the only way you could become a contributor to Pulse was if you were one of these named influencers or if you wrote for a major news source.

However, the rules changed in February 2014 when LinkedIn opened up contribution to Pulse to all LinkedIn users, and essentially created it’s own blogging platform. This is BIG news for business owners. “Why”, you ask? Well, consider this: LinkedIn’s latest active user count is now northwards of 347 million users. While your published article may not come even close to reaching that many eyes, it’s still exciting to think about how many new eyes you can reach, and how reaching those people can help grow your business.

Still not convinced? Then consider these 5 additional benefits to publishing on LinkedIn:

Reach A Wider Audience & Create More Leads

Remember the 347 million? LinkedIn Publishing allows you to expand your reach beyond just your connections. It connects you to everyone. Take advantage of reaching this different, but wider audience in order to attract new business.

Increase Brand Awareness

Unfortunately, a lot of times people may be unaware of your company or brand. Especially if you are new to the game or operate in a smaller niche market. Publishing on LinkedIn can help you with this, as it will allow you to expand your network and share your story with more people. It will allow you the opportunity to be seen by new eyes, and potentially new clients.

Drive Traffic To Your Website

Like any blogging platform, you can add images and links to your article. This gives you the perfect opportunity to drive traffic back to your website. You could be talking about a product or a service, or just asking people to connect with you if they want more information. Any way you look at it, adding links to your article that drive people back to your website doesn’t just add value, it’s savvy marketing.

Build Credibility & Become An Industry Influencer

Share your industry knowledge and experience with your audience. Show them what you know and how you can help. Add value by giving them facts & figures, tips & tricks. Become the voice that people want to listen to and you will be well on your way to becoming an industry influencer, and a trusted source of information.

Create Engagement With A New Community

When you publish a piece of writing on LinkedIn, people are already geared up for engagement. That’s why they’re there! They want to connect and create conversation. That’s why you shouldn’t be surprised if you get a comment or two on your articles. And if this happens, be prepared to comment back. This is the perfect opportunity to create discussion and show your human side. Let people connect with the face behind the business.

There are many benefits to publishing on LinkedIn. However, as when writing to your blog, remember who your audience is. Remember that LinkedIn is geared towards business professionals, people who want to gain industry knowledge, or those who want to grow their connections. Keep your audience in mind, and also the purpose of your writing. Short articles can do well on LinkedIn, as long as they provide a clear and engaging message. Long articles can also do well, it’s really up to you and your writing style. The point is that it’s an additional platform for you to get your message across and to reach an audience that you may not have necessarily reached before. It’s a great opportunity for you and your business, and for your marketing strategy, it’s a no brainer.

Systems Aren’t Sexy, But Freedom Is. Why Documentation is Critical for Growth.

Hand drawing a black process diagamYour business is expanding, which is a wonderful thing, but the more you expand the more you find your time being taken up by training and answering questions. This defeats the purpose of expanding in the first place, doesn’t it? Wasn’t the point to bring in help in order to free up your time to work on the business?

Before you go blaming the poor person you hired for this, take a step back and look at the systems you have in place. Do you have a shared calendar where they can see you have blocks of time booked off for focus work? Do you have a task management system in place where everyone knows what they are responsible for and when it is due? Do you have documentation available to show rules of engagement, processes, procedures, and templates?

Systems aren’t sexy, and taking the time to put them in place isn’t a whole lot of fun, but in the end, freeing up your time is well worth it. In fact, it’s critical if you want to keep you business growing.

Here are 9 steps you can take towards documenting your important business procedures:

  1. Create flowcharts to show how a process should sequentially flow in order to reach an endpoint
  2. Implement checklists to ensure all steps of a procedure are taken
  3. Use screenshots where possible in order to give the person a visual representation of what is asked of them
  4. Keep text in documentation short and to the point
  5. Involve others in your office in the development of this documentation, in case they have suggestions or improvements
  6. Clearly explain why they need to follow the process and what may happen if they do not
  7. Keep all documentation in a central, accessible place so that people don’t have to search for it
  8. Create a clear folder / taxonomy structure so that finding documentation is intuitive and quick
  9. Review documentation at least once a year to ensure it is still relevant and up to date

In the end, the better the documentation you have in place, the less questions that will be asked of you, and the more time you will be able to spend on continuing to grow your business. Just think short-term pain for long-term gain, and believe that in the end, freeing up your time is worth it!

How “Busy” Can Ruin Your Business

busy-ruins-businessWhen running your own business it is easy to get caught up in the day-to-day management, operation, and tedious tasks. Entrepreneurs generally love to create. This is why they are drawn to creating and running their own business in the first place. Unfortunately, far too often they find themselves working “in” the business instead of working “on” the business.

This is an easy trap to fall into. When starting up one’s own business, entrepreneurs take on a sink or swim mentality. They have to go from zero to sixty in no time flat so that the bills are paid and food is on the table. Unfortunately, this is how the trap begins. Entrepreneurs take on more and more work so that they swim and not sink, but eventually the tide turns and all of a sudden they are drowning. This is where a lot of entrepreneurs find themselves, if they’re lucky, in that they have too much business and not enough time.

Now, this may sound like a great problem to have. They’re making money and doing well. However, eventually something will begin to nag at them. It’s that old feeling of wanting to create, wanting to improve, that they will find missing again. Busy-ness robs them of their creative time and energy, which is why they started their own business in the first place. And this is exactly why it needs to be avoided.

Here are four additional reasons why we need to avoid busy:

No Time for Reflection

Sometimes we need to take a step back and ask ourselves what has been working and what hasn’t? What tasks in your business have you grown to love, and which ones do you avoid at all costs? Are there areas in your business to improve or change?

If you don’t take the time to reflect you can’t answer these questions, and you can’t adjust your path accordingly. Time for reflection is necessary to ensure you and your business stay successful.

No Time for Experimentation

Have you ever taken the time to ask yourself what you can do to be more efficient? What skills do you want to expand on? What one thing could you do to add value to your company?

Making time to adjust, experiment, and record results is imperative to innovation and growth. Without it you and your business become stale. Give yourself time to experiment with new ideas and exercise that creativity.

No Time for Learning

When was the last time you were able to sit down and read that latest news on your industry? Or read the latest book or publication by someone in the business that you admire? What about taking an online or in-person course to expand your skills? Or even reaching out to a mentor to meet for a coffee?

Taking time to learn is critical for all human beings, not just entrepreneurs. It expands our world, allowing new thoughts, new ideas, new skills to enter our atmosphere. This, in turn, leads to innovation and experimentation. Both of which have already been mentioned for their importance to our business.

No Time for Implementing New Efficiencies

Have you ever wanted to improve your internal processes? What about offering new products and services to your client base? Or even keeping time open for yourself so that you can learn, experiment, create, go to the gym, or spend time with your family?

If we’re so caught up in the day-to-day operation of our business we forget about making time for these things. We forget about the importance of continuous improvement and quality of life. Shouldn’t these two things hold priority in our lives? It’s a good question to ask yourself.

Being too busy is a problem. It drains your energy and takes you back to a place of surviving the grind instead of creating your life. All entrepreneurs and business owners need to make sure they are creating space for themselves. This is how their business will grow and improve.

5 Steps to Creating a Successful Online Contest


For brands that live online, creating an online contest is a great way to drive awareness and engagement. It’s a way to create fun, anticipation, and community among your followers. It is also a great way to garner loyalty and insights. However, running an online contest shouldn’t just be about a “Like to win” or “Tweet to win” approach. It should be a well thought-out, valuable experience for everyone.

That is why we have come up with 5 steps that you can take to ensure your online contest runs smoothly and creates a great experience within your community.

Create a Unique Website or Landing Page

Being able to direct your followers to a location on your website where they can enter your contest is important. This space should be eye-catching, it should include a call-to-action with an ‘Enter Contest’ button, and it should include the Rules & Regulations of the contest. This is where you will drive traffic for people to sign up to your contest. Make it as aesthetically pleasing as possible.

State your Intentions Clearly

People need to understand why they are entering your contest, so take the time to explain this to them. What will they win? What is the purpose? What are you trying to achieve? What is the end goal? Explaining this to people will help them understand and will encourage them to be on-board.

Create a Video or Image to Introduce your Contest

Once the landing page is created you will want to then create a video or image that you can share to promote your contest. If you create a video, you should aim for it to be around 2 minutes in length. If you create an image, make sure several versions are created in order to optimize the image dimensions for each social media channel or advertising platform.

Drive Interest on Social Media

Most companies will have a social media community that they will want to leverage for their contest. Use these communities to create buzz and to encourage followers to enter the contest or tell others about it. You can even use a unique hashtag to track conversation about your contest. Whatever you do, make this fun for your followers. Encourage them to participate, and then engage with them when they do.

Leverage your Email List

Whether you use Mailchimp or some other bulk email service, make sure you share this contest with your email subscribers. These are the folks who value your insight the most, and should almost be given the first chance to enter. Once again, make sure you use a combination of graphics and clear intention to share your message, and make sure your readers know “what’s in it for them”.

Final Word

When running an online contest remember that you have already gained the trust of your followers by having them be part of your community. The point of an online contest is to have fun and create camaraderie, to show your community your human side. So have a good time with it, but make sure you pay attention to the details. In the end, it’s the little things that count.

The 3 Keys to Succeeding on Google Adwords


There are so many different layers to Google AdWords that at times it can be overwhelming. That is why today I come bearing good news! The key to Google AdWords is not actually within Google AdWords, but is a combination of 3 elements that you can brainstorm even before you log in to the advertising platform.

The 3 keys that I have promised work very closely together. Like any team, on their own they can only do so much, but by working together they are able to form a cohesive unit that brings success to your online campaign.

Let’s break these 3 keys down:

1) Know What Your Customers Are Looking For

An internet search can be entered in many different ways. It can be a full question (Where do I find a red widget?). It can be a partial phrase or question (red widget Calgary). Or it can be an audio question (Hey Suri, where can I find a red widget in Calgary?).

Whatever form these queries come in, you have to know what people are looking for and the keywords they are using to find it. Only then can you start to build your Ads and Keywords to take advantage of this search traffic.

Action – Take a piece of paper and a pen and brainstorm what product or service you a trying to sell and all of the different ways people may search for you online.

2) Create an Ad That Grabs Their Attention

You have a limited amount of characters on a search ad to grab people’s attention and entice them to click on your ad. That’s why you need to come up with a compelling headline that first makes people notice (Max: 25 characters), then follow that up with ad text that let’s people know that you can help them with their question or problem (Line 1: 35 characters. Line 2: 35 characters). Doing this is no small task, but once you get the hang of it you will be able to model other ads off this first one.

Action: Without logging into AdWords, sit down with another piece of paper and brainstorm eye-catching headlines and supporting text that will entice people to click on your ads.

3) Create a Landing Page That Solves a Problem

A lot of people create ads on AdWords that direct traffic back to their homepage. The fact of the matter is that the homepage is the last place you should be directing traffic.

People use Google Search to find answers to their questions or problems. Your ad should first tell people that you have the answer, and your landing page should then give them the answer.

Take the above example. If someone is searching for ‘red widget Calgary’ and they click on your ad, they should be taken to a landing page on your website that is specific to red widgets. If they are taken to a general widget page, or a page for yellow widgets, it’s more than likely that they will hit the back button and be counted as a ‘bounce’ in your analytics.

Action: Once your products & services are identified, work with your web development team to create eye-popping landing pages that will let visitors know that they have come to the right place.

Now Go Ahead and Log In to Google AdWords

Now that you have put some thought and action into these 3 elements of creating your ad you can now log in to Google AdWords. While you still have to learn to navigate through the tool, having the pre-work done will now make the process much clearer and easier to apply.

Products & Services = Campaigns & Ad Groups
Headlines & Ad Text = Ads
Landing Page = Ad URL
Search Terms = Keywords

It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3!

The Top 5 Skills You Need To Rock Social Media

cc Yoel Ben-AvrahamOn the surface, being active on social media seems like child’s play.

Indeed, it is the younger generations that have made these communication platforms a marketing necessity for businesses of any industry.

However, once you have spent some time on social media you soon realize that it takes more time, effort, and skill to be effective than you first realized.

There are five skills in particular that you need to ensure you are using these marketing platforms to their utmost potential.

Let’s take a look at what they are.

1)   Grammar & Writing Skills

Being able to communicate clearly and effectively is essential for marketing on social media. Some platforms, like Twitter, limit you to communicating in 140 characters, while others give you free reign on your character limit. That said, no matter what platform you are communicating on, you need to ensure that your message is clear.

2)   Listening Skills

One of the key differentiators between traditional marketing and social media marketing is that it takes us from one-way communication (think magazines & billboards) to two-way communication.

The purpose of social media is to communicate with your customers, but it is also a means for your customers to communicate with you.This is what most brands don’t realize.

In order to be truly effective on social media, you need to listen for the conversations already taking place about your brand or your industry and be ready to add your own insight and value to the conversation.

3)   Pattern Recognition

There are many different ways to approach social media, depending on your brand’s goals and objectives.

For this reason, marketing success on social media is all about feedback. Making assumptions, trying new ideas, listening for feedback, and seeing what works and what doesn’t.

From these observations you are able to create your own map to follow for your own brand. These are the patterns you need to recognize to be successful, but they will be unique for everyone.

4)   Data & Insight Analysis

The only way to truly tell if social media is working for you is to measure it.

This is the step that most brands miss, because quite honestly, it takes a unique skill set to make sense of all the data being received.

Some say there is no way to measure social media. On the contrary, there is almost too much to measure at any one time. That’s why data analysis is a skill that is deeply needed in social media.

  1. How much traffic is your social campaign driving to your website?
  2. Which platforms are driving the most traffic?
  3. What type of content draws the most engagement?
  4. What days of the week is your target market most active?

These are questions that data analysis answers.

5)   Ability to Provide Feedback to Management

There is one thing that upper management wants to know when they invest money, and that is what is their return on that investment.

This is the classic argument against using social media, and is why social media managers need to be able to present data and feedback effectively. Being able to extract data from your efforts is one thing, but being able to present it in a clear and concise manner that makes sense to management is another.

This is the most important skill to master, because without it you may not get the support of those who matter.

Of course, there are many other skills that are required in effectively using social media, but out of all of them these are the ones we feel stand out. Without communication, listening, and analysis skills your social campaigns will flounder.

What skill do you think is necessary for being successful on social media?

8 Steps You Need to Take to Rock LinkedIn Like a Pro

At over 300 million users in over 200 countries, it’s no wonder that LinkedIn is becoming the first stop online for many business professionals. It not only helps you to expand your network online, but it also allows you to form closer relationships with those that you network with offline. With the ability to connect, endorse, recommend, comment, and share all things business related, it’s a must-have for any professional business person or company.

That said, if you’re wanting to learn more about how to be a LinkedIn rock-star, look no further. We have created a fun video for you that outlines the 8 Steps You Need to Take to Rock LinkedIn Like a Pro.

We hope you enjoyed!

Our Latest Web Design – Open Hearth Studio – Providing Therapy Through Art

Web-Design-Open-Hearth-StudioRecently, The New Media Group launched a brand new website for our client – Open Hearth Studio. Run by Francis Bryant-Scott, Open Hearth Studio is a place where people in pain or distress can find comfort, new energy, new ideas, and help when it seems like nothing else is working through the practice of Art Therapy.

Located in the heart of Victoria on Oak Bay Avenue, Open Hearth Studios offers a warm and accepting environment for those looking for one-on-one therapy or a group workshop environment.

Our goal for this website was to reflect the same values and feel as Francis and Open Hearth Studio with warm colours, easy to follow text, and inviting images. It’s important to us to work closely with the client in order to mirror their offline personality with their online presence. We are proud to say that with this new launch we have achieved our goal.

If you’re in the Victoria area please check out Open Hearth Studios. Or if you like our work and are looking for a new or improved website please feel free to contact us to book a chat.



Client Testimonial: “I felt like I was in good hands. They were great at listening to what I wanted, and willing to go the extra mile.”

Could your Site & Social use a little Spring Cleaning?



Attribution: Barret Anspach

“I get more cleaning done in the ten minutes before someone comes over than I do in a week.” ~ Anonymous

How many of you can relate to this quote?

It’s true that tidying up around the house isn’t a real priority for most until a visitor is expected. But what if that house was the Internet? Your website, your social profiles, your SEO activities?

Your presence on the web is available to anyone and everyone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There is no notice that people will be there. They just show up.

That is why you need to ensure that AT LEAST once a year you take time out to check in on and update your website and social media profiles. Call it spring cleaning for the web.

Refresh your website

When it comes to web design trends a lot can happen in a year. Here are three trends for 2014 that you will want to consider when reviewing your website:

  • Responsive Design – More and more consumers are viewing the Internet from their mobile phone or tablet. This means that your website needs to be simple and “responsive” to these viewing platforms.
  • Tell a Story – Your website can no longer be only about the sell, it needs to be about the story. Your customers need to know who you are and what your product is about beyond the standard feature sheet. This makes having a blog that much more important, because original content posted consistently is what will continue to drive traffic to your website.
  • Less Text, More Images One of the biggest trends we have seen over the past year is the transition from text to visual stories. People don’t have time to read long articles anymore. They want short text, videos, or visual representations of data (aka Infographics).

Refresh your Social Profiles

Most people think that once they set up their Social Media Profile for Twitter or Facebook or LinkedIn they are done.

However, a lot of things can change in a year, and your social profiles should keep up. Here are three updates you can make, no matter what social platform you are on:

  • Update your profile picture – Have you changed your hairstyle in the past year? Have you changed your fashion style? Would people recognize you if they met you at a networking event? These are all things to consider when reviewing your profile picture. Keeping your profile picture up to date allows people to see how you look today. Also, make sure to keep it consistent across all of your social platforms. This helps to create a consistent brand.
  • Update your ‘About Me’ or ‘Company Description’ – Evolution is a natural occurrence throughout a year. Not only for yourself, but for your company as well. That is why you should take the time to review what you’ve previously written about yourself on your social profiles and see if things have changed. Most likely they have, and taking the time to update this information will keep your followers up to date.
  • Sync your site, search, and social – This is by far the most important point. Make sure to link everything together! Your website should contain links to your social media profiles, and your social media profiles should contain links back to your website. This allows people to find you and connect with you much easier. Do a quick audit to ensure all of these links are present and working.

Want to update your Site, Search, or Social but don’t have the time or resources? Book a consultation with The New Media Group today. Limited spots are available for March, so act fast. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!