Two Items You Will Absolutely Need This Holiday Season (Stock Up Now)

  1. Wise Chef Chip Clips- Available Only on Amazon: $8.95
    overheadZiploc bags don’t cut it; let’s face it. You buy in bulk from Costco (meat, cheese, muffins, cupcakes, cookies, everything) and you still feel the need to triple saran everything and double bag just to make sure no air gets in. Your food is stale and has freezer burn in no time.Alas, no need to suffer (or curse very, very loudly). Now all you need is one bag and one of these Wise Chef Chip clips and voila! your bag is 100% sealed.  I have half a loaf of sourdough bread I bought at the farmer’s market a week and a half ago in my Wise Chef Clipped Bag and that thing is still fresh. I’m amazed.

    You get 12 of these bad boys per package to accommodate various sized bags but you might need a couple of packs of them this holiday season if you’re a baker and especially if you have lots of leftovers from the various dinners and parties you’re having, or going to, this holiday season (Hello, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Hanukkah).

  2. Cascade Cooler Beverage Totes (Available Only on Amazon): $7.95 for a Limited Time Only
    HalloweenCascadeCooler-26If your holiday schedule is jam packed with parties like mine is for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas, then you really need at least a couple of these Cascade Cooler Wine Totes (fits many regular sized glass bottle beverage bottles).

    They’re padded bags (5mm Neoprene, thicker than their competitors) and they ensure your bottles don’t roll around in the car and/or break. Nothing sends more chills down my spine than expensive bottles of wine and/or liquor clanging and rolling around or breaking in the trunk, back seat, or driver’s seat. These bags keep your bottles safe.

    If you’re purchasing multiple bottles of wine for parties, then you definitely need a few of these. Even if you’re not driving, the comfy handle makes sure that walking to the party with heavy bottles isn’t torturous…perfect for people who live in big cities.

    And best of all…they’re only $7.95, down 68% from the original price. I don’t expect that price to last long so stock up now.


A Little Social Media Fun with #FOREVER21

Modern day inventors and artists, BREAKFASTNY created this brilliant thread spool installation as part of FOREVER 21’s instagram campaign. You post your photo on your Instagram account, use hashtag #F21THREADSCREEN and voila, your photo is spooled across the big screen.

AND they even send the video to you so that you can share it on your social media channels.

Your own personalized thread spool art installation. Brilliant.

Why Small Businesses Should Use Instagram

lloydmartinAs a photographer and a producer for the advertising industry, it’s par for the course that I know the latest and greatest in social media.  Not only do I create content for my clients to promote and share on social media platforms (sites), I use a variety of social media platforms to promote my own personal brand and services. I’ve always assumed that the masses knew how to use twitter, facebook, instagram, pinterest…

I was wrong.

I stood corrected a couple of weeks ago when discussing social media for restaurants with a bartender friend.  I was surprised to find out that many do not use instagram or even upload promotional photos to their facebook and/or twitter accounts.  Some don’t even have facebook accounts for their small businesses!  How could this be in 2013?

If you own a small business, or any business for that matter, you need social media.  You have a smartphone?  Then you have no excuse not to promote your business with photographs on social media… and Instagram, quite honestly, is your best friend.

Instagram is a fast, easy, and efficient platform that brings more exposure to your business.  How? It allows you to post your images simultaneously to your facebook, twitter, tumblr, flickr, and foursquare accounts all in one shot.   It will take you all of five to ten minutes of each day to promote your company.   Not a bad investment of your time, I’d say.

I could get very specific for each industry about what your social strategy should be, but to keep it simple and short for this blog post, here are some suggestions for three different industry categories:

  • If you are a restaurant, you should be uploading/posting photographs of your drink, food menu items, specials, and photos of the staff.
  • If you sell a product, you should be uploading/posting photographs of your product line with information about each product.
  • If you sell a service, you should be uploading/posting “Behind the scenes” photographs of your set up and/or process that makes your service unique.

Here’s a list of businesses who use instagram successfully; check them out for ideas of how you can promote your business:

Once you’ve set your account up, here’s a great article to get you started on the basics of posting to your instagram accounts.  Now you are ready to rock the marketing world.

Not sure how to set up your instagram so that it shares the image to your other social media accounts?  Coming soon:  “How to Set Up Instagram For Your Small Business.”