Emma Bullen | FreshGigs.ca

Author Archives: Emma Bullen

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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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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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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The Greatest Hits of Stakeholder Management

Ever walked away from a client call, taken a sip from your coffee cup, and wondered — “why are these people being such tremendous jerks?” As Michael Jackson sang, “You’re not alone. I am here with you.” Emma Bullen spoke to Copy Hackers’ Joanna Wiebe to get her expert advice on stakeholder management. Today, we are here with you, in a non-creepy Michael Jackson way.

It Ain’t Easy; It Ain’t Easy

“Think of all of the strange things circulating round,” sang David Bowie. He might as well have been singing about stakeholder management — the closest thing to herding cats you’ll ever get in your career. The best thing to do is to acknowledge that at times it will be a downright messy affair.

“I don’t think there’s any one technique outside of being ready for chaos,” says Joanna. “There is so much personal stuff tied into decisions that are made in board rooms and on calls that you might not know about. Do your best to stay cool while that’s happening. Keep the right people involved when they need to be and don’t worry them when they don’t.”

Tell Me What You Want, What You Really, Really Want

Your clients are not the Spice Girls. (That’s probably a good thing, because the Spice Girls are really picky). To set yourself up for success, you need to know who is calling the shots and what outcomes you’re going to be measured against.

“Everyone is so different. At the start of a project, finding out how your stakeholders want to be involved is probably the most important thing to learn, so you don’t have to make assumptions,” says Joanna. “Similarly, if outcomes are going to be measured, you want to know what and how, so you’re not making blind calls on things that matter, or really don’t matter.”

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5 Lessons from a FinTech Start-up with RentMoola’s Philipp Postrehovsky


Ever wonder why in 2017, you are still paying your rent with a cheque? Last year in the United States alone, tenants paid $600 billion in rent, $300 billion by check. RentMoola is a company that’s looking to change that through an online global payment network that allows users to pay rent simply — and get rewards that include travel, lifestyle, and home services. Emma Bullen spoke to RentMoola’s Philipp Postrehovsky about his lessons as Co-founder and COO of a fin-tech Start-up.

RentMoola launched in April 2013 out of a real need. Philipp Postrehovsky’s brother and RentMoola co-founder was living as an expat in Shanghai. Daily ATM limits meant Patrick had to withdraw cash for four consecutive days at the end of each month to amass the funds to pay his rent.

Patrick realized he could purchase local currency at Vancouver International Airport’s foreign exchange office for a small service fee using his rewards credit card. He quickly turned his rent payment into numerous free flights, and the idea of PAYING RENT IS REWARDING™ was born.

Fast forward five years and RentMoola are a growing team, mostly based in Vancouver, with Philipp’s brother Patrick now based in San Francisco. RentMoola have come a long way from their early days. Working in the growing fintech industry, the lessons Philipp has learned are universal.

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