Emma Bullen | FreshGigs.ca

Author Archives: Emma Bullen

Why Every Organization Needs Storytellers [Interview with Ron Tite]

Branding and creativity expert, Ron Tite was named one of the Top 10 Creative Canadians by Marketing Magazine. An award-winning advertising Writer and Creative Director, Ron has worked for some of the world’s most respective brands including Evian, Hershey, Johnson and Johnson, Kraft, Microsoft, and Volvo to name just a few. He is founder and CEO of the Tite Group, Executive Producer and Host of the Canadian Comedy Award-winning show Monkey Toast, and the author of Everyone’s An Artist (Or At Least They Should Be). Emma Bullen picked his brains on why every organization needs storytellers and how brands can tell great stories.

Storytelling is a fundamental part of business. Research tells us that stories help us pay attention, teach us to be more empathetic, and allow us to remember concepts years after we’ve heard them. Within the workplace, narratives can help us make sense of an organization, and are an impactful way to communicate values. More than that, storytelling can turn something ordinary into something interesting.

As a brand storyteller and comedian, Ron Tite uses storytelling every day. He’s helped notable brands tell their story. He tells stories on blogs and podcasts and on stage at stand up gigs and at conferences. And he’s changed his personal narrative, the story of what he does, multiple times. In fact, storytelling is so much of a habit that he answers every interview question he’s asked with a narrative. 

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How to Create Big, Bold, Brave Content [Interview with Ann Handley]

Ann Handley was recognized by Forbes as the most influential woman in Social Media and listed by ForbesWomen as one of the top 20 women bloggers. The world’s first Chief Content Officer, Ann is the author of the Wall Street Journal best-selling book, Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide for Creating Ridiculously Good Content and co-author of the best-selling book, Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business. Currently, Ann is CCO at MarketingProfs, a website dedicated to making you a better marketer. Emma Bullen picked her brains on content marketing, writing routines, and social media.

Emma Bullen: What does a typical day look like for you?

Ann Handley: I am gently awakened in the morning by the sweet calls of the downy-throated songbirds, welcoming me into a new day. I arise and dine on a firm scramble of eggs laid at dawn by my cluck of heirloom chickens while sipping coffee from the rarest Kopi Luwak bean, harvested deep in the Sumatran jungle. By monkeys.

So after that… you can imagine that I flit to my desk, dip the nib of my fountain pen in its corner inkwell, and the marketing insights spill out of me onto the page with the same intensity as the yolks of those heirloom eggs spread onto my breakfast plate.

Or: I wake up, sit down at my computer, and force myself awake by scrolling through Twitter.

At some point during the morning, I wander to my backyard Tiny House. It’s really a tiny office. But it’s a dedicated space that helps me focus and do the work I need to get done.

I actually have zero chickens and no songbirds. In case anyone is wondering.

EB: Tell me the story of how you became the world’s first Chief Content Officer

AH: Scene: The offices of ClickZ, my first company, circa 1997. The Internet was brand-new and fresh-faced. There were maybe 13 or 14 websites including ClickZ, which was one of the first sources of information for digital marketing and advertising. Everyone got only four emails a day. There was no social media, no email marketing. No chatbots or Snapchat or Fitbits. Life was simpler. And quieter.

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Throw Out the Rule Book: Business Advice For Female Entrepreneurs

Paula Skaper is a marketer, a mentor, and a natural storyteller. A sought out speaker; she will be presenting at CIMC2017 about email marketing in a talk titled, “We’ve Been Watching You.” In addition to being a serial entrepreneur, having built three successful businesses from her home base in Vancouver, she has recently launched Adizue — a business training company specialising in working with women entrepreneurs. Emma Bullen picked her brains on business advice for female entrepreneurs, email marketing, and speaking in public.

Emma Bullen: What does a typical day look like for you?

Paula Skaper: There’s no such thing! Typically I’m up early in the morning and I’ll check in and clean my inbox from all the clutter. I forward anything to the team that I need them to take care of. Then, I do the usual mom thing and take my kids to school. By 9.30 am, I’m in the office, and I’ll be writing copy, reviewing analytics, or planning client strategy for a campaign. Our client base is quite varied, so I’m switching all the time. In the evenings, I go home and become a mom again. I usually check my email in the evening and I might go to a networking events, work on a presentation, or go out on date night. There’s no typical day, which I love.

EB: You have a broad background of skills. What would you describe as your greatest strength and how have you put that to use in your career?

PS: I think the thing that’s helped me the most has been my willingness to say yes and try something new. I love learning, and that has helped me immeasurably. I dive right into a topic. I’m not a course junkie; I tend to explore. I view the internet as my private library. I’ll sign up for webinars, and I read copiously. Then, I’ll talk about what I’ve learned with my team, and we’ll test stuff out to see how it works.

EB: Tell me the story of how you came to went from opening your own video production company to mentoring female entrepreneurs.

PS: My husband and I started the company when my daughter was a toddler. I had returned to work after she was born, and the hours were insane. When the company changed direction, I saw it as a good opportunity to branch out on my own to start my own business and spend more time with my family. I talked to my husband about the decision and he said, “You’ll be fine. What’s for dinner?”

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How to Write the Perfect Resume: Tips from a Recruiter

How to write the perfect resume: tips from a recruiter
Image of girl typing from Shutterstock

Everybody needs one, but not everybody has a good one. Yes, we’re talking about resumes. The average time spent reading a resume is 5-7 seconds, so making a good first impression is mission critical. To get a professional opinion, Emma Bullen spoke to executive recruiter Joanne Acri from Ari Agency Digital Recruitment in Toronto.

One of the things I get asked most often by my friends is if I can take a look at their resume. I love my friends, and I’m always flattered to be asked for my opinion. I’ll tell them when I think they’re selling themselves short and help them find pesky spelling mistakes, or get rid of information they simply don’t need.

The thing is, there are a lot of questions I have about resumes myself. So I thought, why not talk to a recruiter? They have to look at resumes all the time — from the lacklustre to the outstanding – so they know what makes a CV stand out. Curious about what separates a good resume from a bad resume? I asked Ari Agency’s Executive Recruiter, Joanne Acri to spill the beans. 

Emma Bullen: What common mistakes do you most frequently see in resumes?

Joanne Acri: Other than spelling mistakes and inconsistencies, it has to be formatting. Different computers view documents differently, and sending a Word document from a Mac to a PC can make your font and layout change completely. I’d always recommend sending in your resume as a pdf. It locks down the design, so it looks the same on every device.

The other thing is the length. If your resume is longer than two pages, you’d better be Barack Obama. Most recruiters don’t have time to read a three page resume. There’s no excuse not to keep yours succinct and cut it down to two pages.

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How to Build a Great Company Culture [Interview with Bananatag’s CEO Corey Wagner]

How to Build a Great Company Culture: Interview with Bananatag's Corey Wagner

Image of company working as a team by Shutterstock

Whether you’re looking for a new role, or you’re looking for a new hire, company culture can make or break your decision. According to a recent survey, 81% of employees think a company lacking in culture is doomed to mediocrity. Yet, it’s something we can all play a part in building. We spoke to Corey Wagner, Co-founder and CEO of Bananatag, whose own company culture went from broken to brilliant, about how to build a great team culture. 

Bananatag started in 2012 as a tool to help sales teams measure how clients interact with their emails. But the close-knit startup was quietly surprised when their audience started using their service to track employee engagement. Initially, they didn’t understand why their customers needed to measure internal engagement. But as the team moved into new offices and began to rapidly expand, they realized they had engagement issues of their own.

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Redundancy: A Survivor’s Guide with Michaela Alexis


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Even when you can see it coming, the shock of redundancy can feel lonely and overwhelming. Smart hikers know that you should never ask advice about climbing mountains from someone who has never climbed a hill. With this in mind, we spoke to writer and content strategist, Michaela Alexis who has not only climbed the mountain, but conquered it.

Frame it as an Opportunity

Michaela was laid off from her job in 2016 and describes it as a distinctly surreal experience. It wasn’t until she shifted her mindset that she was able to reframe and ultimately change her situation.

“I felt like my emotions were all colliding in my mind. I felt embarrassed and distressed by feelings of failure,” she says, “But, I was relieved to be dismissed from a company culture that I didn’t align with, and weirdest of all, I felt liberated. Once it happened, and I realized that I was still standing, it completely shifted my perspective. I started looking for the career that I deserved, instead of just a steady pay check. I almost wish that I was laid off earlier on in my career so that I wasn’t paralyzed by the fear of it!” Continue reading

Don’t Fool Yourself with Evan Carmichael


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What’s dangerous about not being passionate? A few words from entrepreneur Evan Carmichael on the problems of getting caught up in a financial opportunity that you don’t really care about.

I think far more dangerous than being passionate too early is not being passionate at all. I see it over and over and over again, and when I think about “don’t fool yourself,” this is what comes immediately to mind for me. Because they say the devil always comes carrying a bag of cash, and you make the wrong decision because you see a pile of money on the table that you think is yours and so you go for it only to find out that you’re never gonna get that money.

I see it all the time where people say, “Join my network marketing company.” You know, you can make tons of cash. It’s easy money, no problem. You know, within three months you’ll be up and running and the money will just keep pouring in. Now there’s nothing wrong with network marketing. It just isn’t the best fit for everybody. Continue reading

How to Create an Online Presence (And Stay Present) with Meredith J. Powell

Meredith J Powell

Simon Sinek tells us we’re addicted to our phones and it’s ruining our relationships. So how can we create a strong online presence, without spending every passing hour maintaining our social media feeds? Is it even possible to create and maintain a healthy online/offline balance? We asked Vancouverite, serial entrepreneur, and strategic advisor Meredith J. Powell for her advice.

In his book, Leaders Eat Last, Simon Sinek talks about how we’re all becoming dopamine addicts — getting that rush of endorphins every time we get a new email or a text message. When you’re building an online brand, that chemical imbalance can start creating problems in our personal life. But it is possible to build a brand without it taking over our live.

Be Authentic

Creating and maintaining a strong online presence takes energy. Being authentic is key to maintaining balance. It’s important that your brand is intuitive and natural to any company, founder or individual. A great example is fellow Vancouverite Sunny Lenarduzzi. You meet Sunny, and she truly radiates positivity, embodying her online presence and messaging. Continue reading

7 Secrets for Getting that Hot New Job in 2017


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Ah, 2016… or 20-suck-steen as it’s been called in our house a few times. Can’t wait to see the back of it? Us too. Many people are starting the New Year with the goal of finding a new job. If you are, you’ve come to the right place. Make it your best year yet, with 7 secrets from FreshGigs that will help you land a new job, and plan for future career happiness, to create a kick-ass 2017.

Clarify what you want from life

Feel like you’re spinning your wheels, but not getting what you want? Or are you focused on material things, but still feeling empty? Getting caught up on the wrong details can lead you away from what’s meaningful in life. So, before you go chasing the next big opportunity, take time to set the right goals and you’ll create a bigger impact. Continue reading