Marketing & Creative Jobs in Canada Blog

Creative Cultures: Charting Your Own Career Path with Clio

In our Creative Cultures series, correspondent Crystal Henrickson spends a day inside companies to learn how company culture play a role in employee happiness. From startups to design firms and all in-between, we’re pulling back the curtain on what it’s like to work in inventive and productive environments. Today she’s with the lovely folks at the legal software company, Clio.

Launched in 2008, Clio offers cloud-based practice management software for lawyers and legal professionals. Since then, they’ve gone from a promising startup to one of Canada’s fastest growing tech companies three years running — all while earning an enviable reputation for their people-first, growth-minded company culture.

With over 200 ‘Clions’ across Canada and Dublin, I arrived at their colourful Burnaby head office to meet a few, and discover why they find Clio such a great place to work.

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3 Simple Ways to Improve Your Communication Skills at Work

Various titles I considered for this article include: “I’m not psychic, and neither are you”, “your stakeholders won’t know if you don’t tell them,” and “heyeayeayeayea, heyeayeayea, I said hey, what the heck is going on?” It was a close call, but at the end of the day, search engine optimization won out.

Improving my communication skills has been a recent goal of mine along with ‘say no more often,’ and ‘improve all the workflows!’ Given that Brian Tracy describes it as a skill that anyone can learn, “like a bicycle or typing,” and that Richard Branson says that it’s “the most effective skill any leader can possess,” improving my communication skills seemed the best place to start.

I’m a writer; I should know how to communicate, right? Well, to some extent. When I found myself saying, “I’m not psychic” and “why are you all acting like I don’t have a plan?” several times a week, I realized that part of the problem was me. And it was time to do something about it.

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What’s the Difference Between Community Management and Social Media Management Anyway?

A couple of weeks back, I wrote an article about social media management in which I committed a cardinal sin. I used the terms social media manager and community manager interchangeably, implying that they are basically the same thing.

I’m so sorry! Think we can still be friends? Let’s see if I can make it up to you.

What are the main differences between community management and social media management?

In a nutshell, Social Media managers are responsible for the voice of the brand on social media channels. They’re out there making content, answering questions, getting the brand in front of people. Social Media managers bring the guests to the party.

Community managers are responsible for brand advocacy across social networks. They put their social persona out there, and they actively go out into the online community to form relationships with potential customers and champion the brand. Community managers boost awareness of the brand, welcoming the party guests with open arms.  Continue reading

Creating an Innovative Fin-Tech Brand [Interview with Daniel Eberhard]

Koho is on a mission to change banking in Canada, particularly for Millennials. The company’s goal is to provide low-cost (free), highly functional mobile savings and spending accounts. Dubbed “the mobile hub for your money,” the company is generating a lot of interest. Emma Bullen spoke to CEO, Daniel Eberhard.

Why attempt to solve banking?

Koho started from a place of frustration. From a consumer perspective, traditional banking institutions leave a lot off the table. We’ve got these giant banks, making huge profits while we pay some of the highest bank fees in the world, and navigate outdated experiences with little choice as consumers. It got really clear for me when I found out that my brother had spent $85 in banking fees over three months.

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So, You Want to be a Social Media Manager?

When I was at school, if you told the careers advisor that you wanted to be more social, then you’d be directed to roles at your local leisure centre. Today, almost everyone company has someone on staff who is responsible for social media. At smaller firms, the person doing the social may also be responsible for PR or marketing. At a larger firm, it’s usually a dedicated employee with a starting salary of around $50,000.

What Does a Social Media Manager Actually Do?

A Community or Social Media Manager is responsible for the day-to-day management and development of editorial content on social media platforms. This includes positioning a brand through tweets, posts and discussions on social media sites. It also includes passive monitoring of related discussions on social media sites, as well direct customer interaction on these sites.

A Community or Social Media Manager is embedded in social media communities and has a strong handle on various tools and interfaces. In addition, he or she must be a have strong people skills, communication skills and must have an enthusiasm for the brand they are promoting, as they are responsible for driving consumer engagement in social networks.

I’m Popular on Instagram. Should I Become a Social Media Manager?

So, you use social media every day? Does that mean you’re an ideal candidate to be a Social Media Manager? In a word — no. Your career will not be determined by your number of Instagram followers alone. This position generally requires a degree in journalism or a related field. In addition, two to three years of experience in journalism, communications or social media is desired in addition to education.

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How to Build a Company Culture Across International Borders

Business Team Meeting Image by Shutterstock

Teams that can knock down cultural and geographical barriers and work together to solve problems, deliver an unmatched level of service to their customers and true value to shareholders.

While a dispersed team can present a challenge in many ways, there’s no greater force than a united company culture. An international culture that thrives is one built upon foundations of communication and teamwork.

But an international company can’t succeed on communication and teamwork alone. Four key elements are vital in uniting teams that cross borders.

Balance Differences

In my experience, there’s a balance required to lead individuals of different cultures. Especially in international business, where you can’t assume everyone is living and working in the same way. Being aware of differences is key to understanding what drives people to perform at their potential. From this understanding, we can build a culture everyone can rely on and gain from. Yet, focusing too much on what differentiates each person can limit your view of what unites them.

Balancing the two is essential for merging teams, restructuring for new projects, and tapping into new markets.

Find a New Model of Management for Global Culture

Companies are shifting from traditional management styles, where leaders are the all-knowing controller of employees, to an autonomous way of working. This is especially valuable when managing employees across international borders.

While setting expectations and holding people accountable is a huge part of any successful business venture, management teams must posses a level of fluidity that allows them to adapt to changing circumstances and employee needs. This type of forward thinking is now paramount in for future innovation and profitability.

Even more important is providing support digitally to these internationally dispersed teams—and encouraging everyone within the organization to do the same. Instead of managing based on logic and reason, try incorporating creativity, connectivity, and empathy into your everyday role to allow for cultural needs that may differ from your own.

Use Collective Intelligence

For any business to perform at maximum potential, the value of collective intelligence must be understood at the most basic level. We’ve all heard it: teamwork makes the dream work. This is an absolute truth and must be at the core of your company to experience growth.

When your business spans the globe, you can no longer rely on one or two people to bring brilliant ideas to the table. You need a collective group of intelligent people in each region you can rely on to execute. The foundation and onboarding process set early on is key.

When your business spans the globe, you can no longer rely on one or two people to bring brilliant ideas to the table.

To assess how you’re doing with this right now, and how you can improve, ask yourself: Do potential team members see your vision and share your purpose? Are they willing to evolve with your culture? If the answer to either of these is no, it’s time to make a change. You can’t be united physically, so you must stay united within the mission and vision of the organization.

Be Authentic

Authenticity is the most important factor for building company culture across international borders. McKenna Dalby, VP of People and Culture at Valeo, says it best. “The most important aspect in creating a global corporate culture is the authentic approach we take to allow each member in our tribe to be individualistic. Yet, in all we do, we stay true to our core values: Work Hard, Have Fun, Help Others. We encourage our people to find their unique approach in each category to fulfill their desired purpose and drive toward a common goal: Happy Tribe, Happy Vibe!”

Ted W. Rollins, Co-Chairman and Founding Principal of Valeo Groupe, is a seasoned real estate entrepreneur with more than 30 years of experience in real estate investment banking, development, structured finance, start-up businesses and construction. He is focused on niche opportunity investing in both real estate and financial service sectors, particularly those that balance economic, environmental and social outcomes. Connect with Ted on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Celebrating Canada’s 150 with EventMobi

This year marks the 150th birthday of Canada, also known as the 150th anniversary of Confederation or the sesquicentennial anniversary. With businesses across the country starting special initiatives in honour 150 years, tech startups are no different. We spoke to Toronto-based EventMobi, who are launching a new program, 150 Days of Action.

Tell us about EventMobi

EventMobi are the global leader in conference and meetings technology. We make it easy for event planning and marketing professionals to create and manage their online registration and event app. Our platform is trusted by over 12,000 event professionals in 72 countries and has reached over 10,000,000 attendees worldwide. We’re proud to say that we’re revolutionizing the way event organizers leverage technology at conferences and meetings around the world.

What is 150 Days of Action?

150 Days of Action is a program which kicks off July 1st to provide employees with meaningful opportunities to give back to their communities. As a company, we are incentivizing our employees to contribute to a total of 150 company days dedicated to volunteer work of their choice. We are excited to launch this program on Canada Day and inspire our staff to be Helpful and Empathetic – values that are core to our company and part of Canadian culture.

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Making Travel A Career [Interview with Flytographer’s Nicole Smith]

Nicole Smith is the founder of Flytographer, a Canadian-based startup that connects travellers with a community of hundreds of local photographers in 200 destinations around the world for fun, candid vacation photo shoots that capture the magic of travel. A former high-tech marketing manager, Nicole’s idea for Flytographer came after a trip to Paris to reunite with her best friend, Erika. Disappointed with awkward selfies and the blurry photos strangers had snapped, the duo asked a local friend to take some candid shots of them exploring the city together. The photos take on her iPhone were the best souvenir possible: priceless memories. On returning home, Nicole saw an opportunity and launched Flytographer in 2013. Emma Bullen spoke to her about her career, what she looks for in a photographer, and what’s it’s like to work at Flytographer. 

How did you get to where you are today?

I studied international business and marketing at business school and then spent two years working and studying languages abroad after I graduated. That was an incredible education as I learned Spanish in Mexico City and learned all about Korean culture living in Seoul for over a year. As for my formal career, I have worked as a product manager for a tech startup in Seattle then spent the next 13 years in various marketing and consulting roles at Microsoft.

What do you enjoy most about your role as CEO of Flytographer?

It’s an incredible gift to be an entrepreneur. To take an idea and turn it into something that customers value. To design a culture with values that matter. To foster a global community of creatives. But I think what I enjoy most is (every day) seeing the memories we are preserving all over the globe, and going to bed at night knowing we are building something that is making a difference in people’s lives.

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Social Nature: Where Profit Meets Purpose

In our Creative Cultures series, correspondent Crystal Henrickson spends a day inside companies to learn how hiring, onboarding, and company culture play a role in employee happiness. From startups to design firms and all in-between, we’re pulling back the curtain on what it’s like to work in inventive and productive environments. Today she’s with the healthy folks at Social Nature.

At Social Nature, building a high-performing, profitable business doesn’t have to come at the expense of creating positive impact.

Launched in 2014, Founder and CEO Annalea Krebs (who’s behind the now-acquired daily deals site, ethicalDeals) envisioned a company that would help millions make greener choices. Since then, Social Nature has built a loyal community of over 200,000 ‘everyday influencers’ who try natural, green products in exchange for honest, authentic reviews shared on social media.

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How to Create a Kick Ass Portfolio with Kim Pickett

Kim Pickett has been in the advertising business since 2001 and has owned KIMBO Design for over 15 years. Kim receives around ten emails per day with links and attachments to design portfolios. Emma Bullen spoke to her about what she looks for and how to create a kick-ass portfolio.

Emma Bullen: “What do you look for in a portfolio?”

Kim Pickett: “I look for a designer that matches the work that we do here at KIMBO Design and the work I have done with my signature style. If someone does approach KIMBO, they should have a tailored portfolio. Look at where you’re applying and curating your work so it fits and it’s in line. Look at your target audience. What are they going to engage with? You’re not doing it for yourself; you’re doing it for your audience. I can tell very quickly a designer applying to work at KIMBO is a fit.”

EB: “Where do you start when you’re building a portfolio?”

KP: “Start with a brief — ask yourself, “What do I want out of it? Do I want a job? Do I want to win awards?” Hone in on your purpose for creating your portfolio before you get started.

“The most important thing is having a portfolio online. People are busy. If I’m on my phone, I want to see it and be responsive. Some designers don’t know how to program. That’s okay — trade favours with a developer or use the tools that are out there and do a decent job. Add white space and let the work speak for itself. Don’t go overboard, just be clean and simple.”

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