Category: digital marketing

“LIKE” a Prayer

You know those things that go around social media that say to give it a LIKE is worth one prayer, and to share it is worth five prayers? I mean the numbers are always different and sometimes a comment is worth a prayer too, which immediately boosts the value of the LIKE and the share of course.

I am not writing this to say anything about anyone’s belief system. Not at all. But I recently saw a variation of this thing on a Youtube video that made me pause for a moment. The guy in the video was in a rather harrowing situation, running away from an unseen horror when he told viewers to give his video a LIKE, because that would be equal to a prayer, of which he said he could use as many as he could get at the moment. Not because his channel was struggling due to COVID-19 or anything like that. He just casually tossed it out there because of whatever was chasing him.

Sort of like, “Hey guys, I might get killed by this thing that’s chasing me but make sure you smash that LIKE button if you want to see more of my crazy content!”

It was one of those videos demonstrating the Randonautica app. With the app, the user picks the kind of adventure they want to have basically. Some dark, some fun, some romantic even. Then the app generates a set of coordinates that the user heads over to. You’re supposed to think deep and hard about a certain thing that you want to find at that location, and allegedly one way or another you will. For the most part I think the power of suggestion, the stretch of the imagination and the seeing that which one wants to see are all at play here.

There are a string of videos on Youtube with people demonstrating it. Some are just silly, but some are “terrifying” and those are the ones I am interested in here. These “scary” ones, by the way, are almost always done at night and in many cases recorded by a lone “randonaut.” It seems like they always tell you that you should never go randonauting at night and you should never, ever do it alone. Then they proceed, of course, to do it at night alone to show you why you shouldn’t.

The app has been around a while now but the more of these videos I watch the more it is obvious to me that these videos are just very elaborate marketing for the app. I mean there actually were some people who legitimately did find a dead body while using the app. No joke. But these videos though…they are pretty much as dramatic as possible, much like the run of the mill supernatural explorer/ghost hunter videos that are all over YouTube. Many times when they get to the destination the app gives them, at some point they are met with some ominous sign. One time it said “Leave” on the wall of an abandoned hospital. One time they found a sign in a field that said “The End is Near”. Things like that, which are a bit more than coincidental.

We are supposed to believe the app itself is supernatural. I’ll just leave that one hanging there for you to do whatever you want with it.

If we don’t believe that, then we are supposed to believe that someone behind the app is leaving these signs to give the user the scare that they are seeking. But to believe that, we have to believe that there is someone waiting on call for someone in their area to play the app, beating the player to the spot in order to leave these ominous signs. Sounds like a very elaborate conspiracy.

You also may be wondering why they’d market the app this way. Well, people are into some crazy stuff right? There are thrill seekers out there, people who want to be horrified and they will pay money to be horrified. There is a whole genre of movies, certain theme parks and extreme sports that exist for these people. So it is no surprise really that this app was made for them, and that it would be marketed to them in such a way.

My guess is that when any random randonaut actually uses the app, not much happens. But I could be wrong.

Make World Social Media Day Every Day

Today, June 30th, is in fact World Social Media Day. I don’t know what that means precisely as most of the suggestions for how you can “celebrate” this day are things that people are increasingly doing anyway.

But I’d be remiss if I did not take this opportunity to remind you that if you own a business or are in charge of the marketing for such a business, you have to get serious about social media.

I’d call it “Social Marketing” but that is already a thing, and it’s different.

I am a freelance writer but I’ve always encouraged clients and prospective clients to take my work and unleash it upon the world via all manner of social media and let that wave of influence work the way it does. I find most businesses have a company Facebook page, maybe a Twitter account (or whatever the next big thing is this week) but they don’t always know what to post that is related to the business.

If you post the writing I do for you on your social media, odds are your followers are current customers – people who know your work, who trust and believe in you. When they, in turn, share my post, their endorsement should carry enough weight to inspire a number of the next wave to come see what you’re all about. If they like what they see, they will share the post with their friends. Ideally.

Then they tell two friends.
Then they tell two friends.
And so on. And so forth.

As “World Social Media Day” implies, you can get your message around quite literally the entire world in a day if you strike the right chord with the right people. If you do, well that’s gravy, but all you’ve really got to do is get people in your immediate area to share it with more people in your immediate area, depending on how massive you want to become.

Social media is the ultimate passive marketing, the most effective way to exponentially increase the number of people who hear about you, all with a good reason to trust the endorsement because they heard it from a friend. It is so much more personal than an ad or a local news article written about your business.

Let’s start with a conversation to determine what you need your public to know:

What makes your business so shareable?

What will inspire your followers to turn around and say “Hey guys, you’ve gotta go check this out”?

Think about it and get in touch with me. Let’s go!

Super Bowl Week Reflections of a Fair-Weather Kansas City Chiefs Fan

When I was a little kid I had this irrational delusion that the Kansas City Chiefs were some unnaturally powerful football team. I feared them. This was in the mid-late 1980s when, back in reality, Kansas City had a losing record almost every year. I honestly don’t know where the notion even came from.

Then, in the early 1990s when suddenly they were an actual perennial playoff team, I began to root for them. This was the era of hand-me-down legends for the Chiefs’ roster. Joe Montana. Marcus Allen. Others. They became my secondary “favorite team” and I thought for sure they’d make their way to the Super Bowl. My tertiary favorite team was the Philadelphia Eagles, for equally hazy reasons. I always hoped to see the two of them face off in the big game, but looking back this would have resulted in some messy and unnecessary internal conflicts, so I’m glad it never happened.

I was always lukewarm about Philadelphia anyway. The Kansas City Chiefs repeatedly let me down all throughout high school. By the time I went away to college, I had stopped caring what they did too. They aren’t even my secondary favorite now. The Saints are. I actually rooted against Philadelphia in the Super Bowl one year!

This Sunday the Kansas City Chiefs will play in the Super Bowl for the first time in my life. I was actually kind of hoping they would face the Green Bay Packers, which was a moral conflict on another level, being from Minnesota. I justified it by saying that I was rooting for a rematch of the first Super Bowl, not the Packers themselves.

You know…for history’s sake. Yeah.

The funny thing is, after years of growing disinterest in what the Chiefs were doing, it is hard to revel in their success without feeling like I am being a bandwagon jumper-onner, or a fair-weather fan at best.

I know I still can root for them. If they win, I can smile at the team I thought so highly of so long ago finally making good. But I know their victory would be all the more sweet had I never stopped following them. A good friend of mine has been a Chicago Cubs fan for over 30 years, and when they won their first World Series in 108 years in 2016, he basically told me he could die happy now.

I’ll smile if “my Chiefs” win, but it won’t give me that sweet, life-affirming culmination of years of faithful fandom that it could have been.

I guess what I am saying is never give up on your dream. When you see it through to the end, I am sure it will be all the sweeter for you. Even more so because it will be something you achieved yourself, a moment that football fandom can never really give you, no matter how good your team is.

Enjoy the game.
Go, K.C.!

Watching For Deer

A few days ago my wife and I were on the road in some slushy winter weather. She was driving, I was in the passenger seat. Off to our right there were probably six or seven deer. Traffic has been a little nuts lately in that area, so I didn’t say anything. I let my wife drive.

Normally I would point out deer to her. In fact, growing up, if anyone in my family looked out the window and saw even one deer, they’d shush everyone and we’d watch the deer until it was gone. My dad would even take me, my brother, and sister out driving around solely for the purpose of looking for deer.

But it isn’t just a Midwest thing. In the movie “Stand By Me” which takes place in Oregon, in one scene Gordie is off on his own in the woods where he sees a deer. The older, narrator Gordie says “It was on the tip of my tongue to tell [his friends] about the deer. But I didn’t. That was the one thing I kept to myself. I’ve never spoken or written about it until now.”

Sure, deer are beautiful and graceful, and they are the largest mammal most people in America will likely ever see in the wild. But the way Gordie made such a point about never having talked about it to anyone, and the way that I’d watched the animals as a kid with such reverence even if they were just pacing around the yard, it seems like seeing a deer is nearly a mystical experience.

We all have those things, those experiences, those moments. Maybe, like for Gordie, for you they are deeply personal. I am grateful that he shared his, because as mundane as it was, it revealed that some things can be both mundane and mystical. For many, all things are both. But we all have certain things that stand out above the rest for us.

In my freelance writing I try to bring out that bit of wonder in the everyday, the magic in the mundane, or if nothing else, just that everyday stuff my clients do which is fantastic. I hope I can bring that to life for you.

Flag-Wavin’ Joe

If you live in Rochester, you’ve probably heard of “the flag-waving guy.” You’ve driven past him on your way to work, or you’ve seen him in the local news. The man’s gotten some press over the years.

Yeah. Years. He’s been at it as long as I can remember, and probably much longer. His name is Joe Johnson, and people call him the flag-waving guy because on almost any day of the year he can be found on the sidewalk outside his apartment on Second Street, usually waving a United States flag. He has others, like his Mexican flag for Cinco de Mayo, for example. But the red, white and blue is his trademark.

If not a flag, he might be spotted just waving Pepsi cans at passing traffic, with equal gusto, though the Stars and Stripes are clearly closer to his heart. He is a patriot in the most sincere, pure, and non-partisan kind of way. He is also almost always barefoot, and often shirtless even in the dead of winter. He appears to be totally immune to the cold. He claims he’s just warm-blooded.

People are either amused, puzzled, or inspired by Joe. Some people do not approach him. Some people are missing out. Because in stopping and talking with Joe on many occasions, my wife and I have found him to be a very talkative, fun-loving and sweet man. He’s retired, and he does what he does, seemingly for the absolute hell of it, but you get the sense that he takes it as his responsibility – his civic duty even, and that it means the world to him.

Apparently the feeling is mutual. His recent absence from his post on Second Street raised enough question that he’s made the news again. Turns out he had his gall bladder removed and has since been hospitalized with high blood pressure and non-stop headaches.

Maybe by the time this post is published he’ll be home recuperating. For all I know, by then he’ll already be back at it with the star-spangled banner waving. And I certainly hope so.

Every town should have a Joe. I mean only Rochester, Minnesota has our Flag-Wavin’ Joe, but my sincere wish is that every town has someone like him who you can scarcely imagine driving through the neighborhood without seeing, someone so dependable that if he’s not there, the alarm is raised and someone calls the radio station about it. I wish we could all look out for each other that way. But not every one stands out as much as Joe.

Every town should have a Joe, if only to provide a splash of color, whether it be the red, white, and blue, or any other colors Joe feels like throwing on, on any given morning. We need people like him for the same reason we need our music to have different notes. And really what’s the point of anything if you can’t, every now and then, see a guy waving a U.S. flag, wearing a giant sombrero, a tie-dyed sweatshirt, and Las Vegas-themed shorts, and only think “Oh good, Joe’s here”? Serious question.

Dear reader, if you are reading this and wondering who your town’s Joe is, maybe it is you. If so, please be that. Be the hell out of it. We need you.

If you see this, Joe, we hope you’re well. Thank you for making our city a little bit more fun. We look forward to stopping by for another chat the next time we get the chance.

Maybe Their’s To Little Time For Worrying About It? Or Is Their.

Do you think people who become writers are those who are naturally inclined to be grammar police types? Or is it more likely to be the other way around?

I’ve considered myself a writer for as long as I can remember. But it has only been in recent years that I’ve felt a building irritation whenever I see statements ending in question marks (“I thought this was a question? Maybe in some universe it is?”), questions ending in periods, or – God help us all – the wrong too, to, there or their.

I blame the fast pace of social media, and the inconvenience of switching over to symbols mode from alphabet mode on a mobile device. It’s not really inconvenient but it is another step. I think people figure everyone is going to know what they mean anyway and life is short. They don’t want to throw away valuable moments on strict adherence to the laws of grammar.

I think the only reason everyone is going to know what they mean anyway is because it is becoming the norm.

It probably stands out to me more because, while I do use social media quite a bit, I do not use a mobile device.

Not at all.

I’m dead serious.

I went through a phase years back when I was making it my life’s work to point out everybody’s infractions with to and too and there and their, etc.

I’m not proud of it. Just being honest.

And right in the middle of all of this, out of the blue I started catching myself doing the very same things. It was humbling.

Then recently, I started noticing an increasing popularity of question marks where they don’t belong and missing question marks where they did belong. I was legitimately baffled. And I started letting people know about it.

And then the question mark button on my computer got stuck and I couldn’t use it. I knew what was happening, on a karmic level. For a while I would type out “question mark” where the punctuation should have been. I guess I was doing my best to be accurate, but I was also probably doing penance of some sort, going through all those extra keystrokes.

Then my keyboard started working the way it was meant to.

Though I hope being so serious about these things makes me a better freelance writer, or if nothing else a better editor, it does not keep me from writing in a casual, informal style when the job calls for it. And there are a ton of other grammatical rules I am probably very lax about. Like commas. I put them wherever I bloody well feel they belong.

Let’s call my approach uptight informality.


On the Subject of Perseverance – The Minnesota Vikings and Your Blog

I am a Minnesota boy, but I do not live and die by the success and failure of the Minnesota Vikings. I can’t remember the last time I referred to the team as “we”. But I do like to see them win.

In my life, I have watched the Vikings get within a game of the Super Bowl only to lose five times. Three of those games came down to the very end. That would take a lot out of most fans.

As a kid watching with my dad and my older brother, I saw them lose the Conference Championship on a last-second dropped pass against the Washington Redskins.

In Community College I sat with my three roommates and watched them lose to the Atlanta Falcons when kicker Gary Anderson who’d not missed a kick all season…missed a kick.

Two years later I was alone when they took on the New York Giants for the title. At some point early in the game I drifted off to sleep, waking up to find the Vikings down 41-0 late in the game, which is how it ended.

In 2010, I probably mortified my wife the way I paced around the living room as they lost a gut-wrenching back and forth game against the New Orleans Saints.

In 2018 my wife would not even stay in the room with me when the Vikings took on the Philadelphia Eagles for the championship. Which was probably good because they got spanked almost as bad as they had against the Giants.

So yeah…0-for-5. They are actually 0-for-6 in NFC Championships all-time. They lost another one before my time. And they have made the Super Bowl four times. Also before I was around. Oh, guess what. They lost all of those too.

For now, they are a team known for these “failures.” I don’t know how far they will go in this year’s playoffs but I do know that when they do finally win the Super Bowl, these six conference championship games, and four Super Bowl appearances will suddenly loom large in their legend. They will become recognized as part of the team’s “tradition of excellence.”

So I guess what I’m getting at is if you are blogging and it doesn’t seem like it is getting anywhere, it will. I know this. This is the fourth blog I’ve started and I remember wondering when it was going to take off.

And then it would take off.

Maybe all the Minnesota Vikings’ timely losing didn’t get to me too much because I have never been a die-hard fan. In that case, it did me good to be a bit detached. When it comes to marketing your business, though I suppose a little detachment is healthy, you certainly should care what happens a lot more than you do about your favorite football team.

It will take off. But even before it does, the people who are really looking for the content you put out are going to find it if it’s done right. That’s where I come in as your freelance writer.

After they find you, your audience will expand so that people who didn’t even know they were looking for you, will find you. And when they do, you’ll have an entire “tradition of excellence”, a history of great work ready for them to discover.

So let’s get to work.

Would You Rather…? A Business Owner’s Dilemma.

Remember when you were a kid and you played that game where you had to decide, hypothetically of course (hopefully) whether you’d rather wrestle a tiger or…I don’t know…like, eat a bike?

It was called “Would you rather…?” and it was supposed to present you with two equally unpleasant experiences but you had to decide which one you’d rather do. You know, for fun.

Now that we’re grown, we are presented with real world dilemmas like that sometimes. If you own a business and are under a time crunch, while I certainly hope that none of your responsibilities are comparable to fighting a tiger or eating a bike, you may have to decide whether you want to prioritize writing your promotional and marketing materials, OR:

  • Customer service – Often you’re the face of the company. You’re at the front desk. You’re greeting customers at the door. You’re answering the phone. It’s the most constant of all of these things. While you may be able to get in some writing between calls or customers, you won’t be able to give it the focus it requires.
  • Training – I’ve been a supervisor for a small company and spent hours periodically training small groups of new hires. You want to take the time to do it well so you don’t have to do it again. Probably sooner than later. You balance the desire to train them well with the desire to be fully staffed.
  • Maintenance -Little things will come up that you’ll have to take on whether it be changing a light bulb, fixing the office toilet or unclogging a sink. All of these things need to be attended to in the moment, and take up a part of your day.
  • Human resources and “the books” – If you own a small business you may be the person who does payroll, and pays the bills. You probably do the math to figure out how much you need to bring in just to “keep the lights on” and what steps you need to take to make it happen.
  • Legalese – There is a lot that a business owner has to know in order to cover their own backs. Any legal issue that comes up will fall squarely in your lap.
  • Scheduling and taking appointments – Whether it be clients coming in to do business, interviewing potential new employees, or maybe even local media interviews, a small business owner often has a lot of slots filled on their daily calendar.

And then:

  • Social media – Keeping your company’s social media up to date can be just as time-consuming as marketing/blogging. But it is also something that business owners tend to take overly seriously. Social media should be regular but it doesn’t always have to be directly about what your company makes or sells or the service it provides. It can be fun, off the cuff, and doesn’t have to take up too much time.

This is a service that Dailey Freelance does offer, though most business owners prefer to do this themselves.

  • Advertising – if you’re a small business this may involve nothing more than calling the local newspaper and telling them what you want your ad to look like. Maybe they handle the rest. But putting out the right message is a consideration that takes time.

This is very similar to the blogging service provided by Dailey Freelance, except that with your blog, you publish the content yourself. You have control over it. You own it. It’s just a matter of whether you want to take the time to write it yourself or hire a freelancer.

As the owner of the business, each of these things are of more immediate concern to you than blogging. But that doesn’t mean that blogging is of less importance. The more and more digital the market place becomes, the more essential this type of marketing will be. Why not hire someone who has the time to craft great, effective messaging for you?

Foresight 2020

Hey, Happy 2020, alright?

When the new year comes, I don’t make a point of big personal statements, soaring platitudes about what I’ve learned in the past 365 or 366 days or where I see life taking me in the year to come. I try to trust that the past has been instilled in me and installed in my consciousness well enough that its lessons will serve me well, and I usually just like to see for myself what the next year will bring as it happens.

It’s not that January 1st is just another day for me. But I am not the type of person who thinks that somewhere between December 31st and January 1st we discover a “New You” for the New Year.

If you are that kind of person, that is great. No sincere effort toward personal betterment is ever wasted.

But for me, like many people, at the end of most years, I am simply ready for it to be over. Take 2019 for example. In just these few days since Christmas I have

  • been sick
  • had a minor skin wound
  • had part of my wheelchair break off, and
  • someone sat on the laptop on which I do my freelance blogging work screwing it up irrevocably, I fear. I’m working on seeing what I can do about that. Meantime, I’m writing this on an older laptop. I’m soldiering on the best I know how.

Yet guess what. After all of the frustrations numerated above, tonight I discovered that I’ve got a new gig writing about one of the things that I’ve always told myself I am meant to be writing about. The Beatles. I can’t wait to jump into 2020 with this project immediately in front of me.

The traditional concept of hindsight will nag at me saying that I should have been doing these types of projects for years now. But I know there is no point in thinking that way. It is here now. Hindsight is 2020 because you have the benefit of…well, hindsight. You’ve been there and done that already, so you have an informed perspective on events.

I want to approach the year 2020 like that, except going forward instead of looking back. I want to approach the future of Dailey Freelance with the confidence of someone who sets goals with an informed certainty.

I want you, the client to set expectations on my work for you with a certainty as though when I discuss what I’m going to do for you, you can consider it already done.

I want to cover every freelance subject I write on with the certainty of an expert, to make myself so well-informed on the subject that it will be the most natural thing in the world for me to write your content.

So let’s put 2019 behind us and move into 2020 with certainty.



Write What You Know

Many years ago, I began amateur blogging, not really certain of what the point of it would be or who would read it (I know, that sounds like the first line of every blog anyone has ever started), but doing it in earnest nonetheless.

My first one was all about my life with spina bifida and various issues involved with disabilities. In my community. In America. In the world.

The experience gave me a wide-ranging perspective on myself and others. I’d never known a ton of other people with major disabilities before that. The blog grew in its reach the more I wrote from experience. But more importantly, it grew the more I wrote from a growing inquisitiveness on the subject.

My second just-for-kicks blogging project was even more in earnest. It was a blog about the Hindu religion/culture/community. In my city. In America. In the world and beyond.

It gave me a greater understanding of a culture I had begun to delve into deeply, but had just reached the point where I could fluently share my personal insights on it. In doing so I made connections with some people who mean a great deal to me to this day. It showed me that what I thought of as my “self” was a much more vast inner experience than I’d ever imagined.

Fast forward years later and the next two freelance projects for Dailey Freelance Blogging are for a wheelchair and medical supply shop and for a local international community. Though the material from those original blogs has been dispersed in various ways, the experience remains with me.

Though I come to the wheelchair shop project with a lifetime of experience, I can now confidently say I will “write what I know.”

The Hindu blog was an even more life-changing experience. I learned new customs, systems of thought, new ways of looking at the world. With that background, I can now approach the local international community with a mind that is heavily inclined to opening, and embracing.

Sometimes you don’t know until years later why you took on certain projects with such diligence.