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The Speak Easy Podcast
36 minutes | 7 days ago
97: Building Strong Relationships In Business and Beyond — Featuring Guest Barb Byrum
This week we're welcoming a friend, advocate, and fierce feminist to our show: Barb Byrum, Ingham County Clerk. Barb has worked as state representative for the 67th District and is now serving as the Ingham County Clerk. Barb is also a champion for advocacy, and officiated the first same-sex marriage in the state of Michigan While we’ve known Barb for years through our children all attending the same school, she's never ceased to amaze us with her hard work and dedication to social change, all while maintaining her family and relationships. That’s why Barb was the perfect guest to chat relationships on the podcast. Both in business and in our personal lives, relationships aren't always easy to maintain — especially when you have different world views, goals, or ideas. Barb breaks down the nitty gritty of starting new relationships and maintaining old ones amidst a never-ending workload and advocacy. This episode, hard truths are good truths. Mentioned in this episode: Barb Byrum Ingham County Clerk’s Office
8 minutes | 14 days ago
Strategy Series 20: Creating Vs. Launching Your Brand
Creating a brand and launching a brand are exciting and important moments for your business. They present opportunities to elevate your work, change direction if necessary, and take new steps forward. But these monumental and transitional tasks require a strategic approach. What's the difference between new brand creation and the actual brand launch? How can we think outside the box when it comes to releasing our new brand to the public? Jen breaks down the difference between creating your brand vs. launching your brand from a strategic perspective. We also talk about different types of rebrands, and the top factors to keep in mind during a brand rollout. Whether or not a rebrand is in your future, this is the episode for you.
17 minutes | 21 days ago
96: Hiring Freelancers: When, Why, And How
Freelancers have become increasingly popular in the creative industry. Not only are clients relying on them more, but agencies also outsource to freelancers in order to offer additional services to contracted clients. Freelancers often offer a niche skill set for work that is completed on a limited timeline, while agencies have the capacity to take on larger scale projects and offer a broader range of services. But, when surveying which would be best for the task at hand, getting to know an agency and getting to know a freelancer are two different beasts. Making the decision on whether to use a freelancer, an outside agency, or your internal team for a new project can be a challenge. From a creative's standpoint, how can we identify when we should take on the project ourselves, and when we should look for additional support? This episode, we break down the pros and cons of freelancers and agencies and outline a few tips we've learned when it comes to hiring freelance help.
8 minutes | a month ago
Strategy Series 19: Edutainment – Creating Captivating Educational Content
From Sesame Street, to cooking videos on YouTube, or even the information you get from TikTok, educational entertainment is all around us. It's become a staple for educating people young and old, and is also a great way for organizations to get their own messages across. So, how can your brand or company's edutainment stand out in a sea of content? This Strategy Series, Karen discusses the ins and outs of edutainment. Using her own first-hand experience and videography knowledge, she breaks down the best ways to create content that not only educates your audience but also connects with them.
18 minutes | a month ago
95: Burnout and Boredom — How to Handle Feeling Blah
The last year has been a case study in how fatigue and boredom have a ripple effect across every area of our lives: at work, at home, and with our families. Most of us have battled with both of these feelings, whether we were aware of it or not. The pandemic and work from home life brought with it a new kind of monotony, and after a year of being confined to a very limited number of safe activities, we are beginning to feel the effects of this past year more than ever. But where is the line between everyday boredom and full-out fatigue? And, among our teams, how can we keep up morale? In this episode, we discuss the differences between the two and how we can address the challenges that come along with these complex emotions. How do we swim upstream when we're feeling tired and worn out? How can we stimulate ourselves and create variety before we get bored? We're sharing how we got out of our own slumps and what we learned along the way.
19 minutes | 2 months ago
94: When Business And Life Align — A Conversation With Karen
rning and perfecting our work-life balance every day, while trying to push ourselves and our careers to continue to grow. Alignment isn't something in our lives that happens overnight. It can take decades of hard work and learning to achieve. Luckily, for the first time in a long time, Karen has found that balance for herself and her business. While this past year presented countless challenges, Karen did her best to turn each into an opportunity for herself and for her business. Dive into this week's episode where we learn from Karen's triumphs and challenges over the past year that got her to where she is today.
7 minutes | 2 months ago
Strategy Series 18: Branding Strong Cities
Brand awareness goes beyond big-name products and companies — it reaches to the neighborhoods we live in and the streets we walk. When you can find a way to harness strategic branding to your advantage, you're able to sell anything. And a strong city brand makes for an even stronger city. Beyond consistency and cohesiveness, building a strong brand for a city helps build awareness. It helps establish a community-minded, proud atmosphere, and provides visual identifiers for both lifelong residents and weekend visitors. A city's brand can even identify itself in our senses when walking or driving around, through sound, smell, and taste that are linked to memory. If we have a positive experience linked with these senses in a certain location, we'll be more likely to return for a second visit. This Strategy Series, we chat about how marketing, strategy, and branding can build up cities to make them stronger and more memorable.
30 minutes | 2 months ago
93: Habits: The Good, The Bad, And The Weird
Habits are psychological patterns that we form over time through repetition in our daily lives. Whether we notice it or not, the work we do each day contributes to our good and not-so-good habits. Our habits could be as simple as taking a daily vitamin, or more complex like procrastinating on a deadline. Addressing all of our habits gives us more awareness and insight as we move forward. It's important to acknowledge the good habits so we can keep up with these behaviors, and equally important to change the bad (which we all know isn't easy). Both at work and at home, how can we form habits that will work in our favor? At the same time, how can we break habits that get in the way of our success? We're talking about all of our habits: the good, the bad, and the weird. If you've ever wondered what good, offbeat, or downright questionable habits get us through the day are, this is the episode for you. Mentioned in this episode: Sparrow Health System
7 minutes | 2 months ago
Strategy Series 17: The Power Of 'What If—?'
We've all heard the age old adage, "Curiosity killed the cat." Still, as entrepreneurs, we're familiar with the addition to the phrase: "But satisfaction brought it back." Sure, there are risks that come along with being inquisitive. But there is true satisfaction (and, ultimately, success) in asking the hard questions and keeping our curiosity alive. In this Strategy Series, Karen explores the power of asking "What if—?" She discusses how breaking down barriers of possibility helped guide her professional life, and how curiosity holds power both in our businesses and in our personal lives. How can we remember to ask ourselves this simple question to better reach out potential?
17 minutes | 3 months ago
92: Yes, And — Guiding Creativity And Exploring Everything
We hear a lot about the "creative industry" — but what makes a certain business, team, or idea "creative"? Creativity is as subjective as we make it, and it manifests itself in many forms. For one, creativity is how we foster innovative work environments amongst our staff. We want to grow our team's creativity, while ensuring that they know the end goal and boundaries of the client. But this can be tricky; when should we let ourselves run, and when should we come back to reality? Externally, another angle of creativity is problem solving for our clients. Entrepreneurs (and any keen businesspeople, really) are constantly searching for ways to deliver clients more than they ask for. We want to give them what they want, while also showing them what else we could do that might benefit their end goals. This is the "Yes, and" of creativity: taking the initial idea one step further with a creative twist. With our internal teams, how can we promote creativity without falling victim to ineffective creativity? And externally, where can we find inventive solutions for our clients to better reach their goals? We're talking creativity in all of its forms in this week's episode. Mentioned in this episode: Smickle The Christmas Pickle by Render Studios
8 minutes | 3 months ago
Strategy Series 16: Branding For Community Impact
When creating a new brand identity, it's important to keep your end goal top-of-mind. From brainstorming a brand name to designing a logo and tying it all together on a shiny new website, a new brand is a multi-faceted process — and all the while, it is imperative not to get swept up in the process and lose sight of the client's broader goal. At the end of the day, a brand is more than clarifying and enhancing an image. It's about amplifying the client's message and, as a result, inciting positive change. In this Strategy Series minisode, Jen references an example from her own work to discuss the balance between branding and the client's broader, community-driven vision. How can we let our own passions for advocacy and change shine through and inform the brands we create? Jen and Karen chat all that and more. Mentioned in this episode: BOLD Lansing
21 minutes | 3 months ago
91: How To Happy (And Know It)
What makes you happy? Is it finishing a project you've been working hard on? Giving a gift to a loved one? Reading a good book on a rainy day? Or, is it even more subtle than that? To us, happiness is something we can practice in our day-to-day lives. Joy can often feel elusive; unfortunately, we aren't always conscious of the moments that make us feel happy when we're in them. With that in mind, how can we become more intentional about our happiness? Of course, happiness is no easy feat. It is often entirely circumstantial and dependent on the cards you've been dealt. Regardless, there are a few methods we can use to be more intentional and present when it comes to the factors within our control. Whether it is simply waking up in the morning and setting your intention for happiness for the day like Jen, or finding your happiness and inspiration in the smaller things throughout the day like Karen, there are small ways we can become more mindful of our emotions. We break down down the importance of practicing happiness both inside and outside our work lives, and how we can strive to change our mindset when necessary. Mentioned in this episode: TED Talk by Dewitt Jones - Celebrate What's Right In The World
6 minutes | 3 months ago
Strategy Series 15: Honoring Efficacy and Efficiency
Working in a client-based industry means that, first and foremost, we are problem solvers. Our clients come to us with specific goals, visions, or a problems to be solved, and it is our job to deliver a successful end product that does just that. Our ability to create the best product possible means working in the most efficient and effective manner we can, while also staying realistic about client expectations and what we can provide. Karen uses a recent example from her own work to discuss her approach to project management. From efficacy to efficiency, we chat about strategies for approaching projects with equal parts realism and optimism.
17 minutes | 4 months ago
90: Creating Credibility: How Trust And Success Go Hand In Hand
We know credibility as the foundation of trust. In all areas of life, it is so important to be known for delivering on our promises: your staff needs to believe in you, your clients need to trust you, your friends and family need to depend on you. And while all of that is important and at the face of being credible, credibility runs much deeper than that. Credibility is established over time, and people often underestimate the hard work, consistency, and time it takes to build a credible reputation. It's incredibly fragile, requires regular upkeep, and can be lost over time if not maintained. So, as entrepreneurs, how does personal and professional credible affect our business? How do we build credibility and establish trust? And how can we rebuild this reputation if we've lost credibility? We cover it all.
19 minutes | 4 months ago
89: Cracking The Glass Ceiling And The Work That's Left To Be Done
n her nomination acceptance speech, Vice President Kamala Harris shared some moving words that stuck with us: "While I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last because every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities." We thought Inauguration Day would be a fitting time to break into this beast of a topic, the glass ceiling, and all of the nuances that come along with it. Women in the workforce are all too familiar with the barriers that the metaphorical glass ceiling presents. While women have outnumbered men on college campuses since the mid-1980s, women have not moved up to positions of prominence and power in America at a rate that is reflective of this. Today, there is a substantial gap between a small number of prominent women at the very top of their fields and the vast majority of women nationwide. While many might feel that the glass ceiling has been shattered and our work is done, this is far from the truth. While we're seeing more women than ever step into positions of leadership, the glass ceiling is still looming over our heads. This episode, we're tackling this topic from a variety of perspectives: everything from the large-scale economic impact of the glass ceiling, to the inspiring women who have helped crack the ceiling, to the work that's still to be done. Mentioned in this episode: The Women’s Leadership Gap (Center for American Progress)
8 minutes | 4 months ago
Strategy Series 14: Sensory Branding
Our senses are directly linked to memory. That's why some of the most iconic brands in the world are attached to sounds (PlayStation's startup sound), taste (Olive Garden's mints), and scent (Delta Airlines). Our senses help us remember hyper-specific factors of a situation, thus cementing a brand in one's long-term memory. As marketers and business owners, it only makes sense that we would want to use this to our advantage. Still, while sensory branding is an extremely effective marketing tool, it is often overlooked. How can your brand appeal to your audience's senses to make your product more memorable or build connection? All this and more in this week's Strategy Series episode.
37 minutes | 4 months ago
88: How Inner Strength Propels Community Strength — Featuring Guest April Clobes
Working your way up from an entry-level job all the way to CEO sounds like a dream come true — but professional success doesn't happen overnight. We're thrilled to kick off the new year with an episode featuring our special guest April Clobes, president and CEO of Michigan State University Federal Credit Union (MSUFCU). April is proof that success comes from inner strength, community-mindedness, and a whole lot of sleeve rolling. In addition to her work at MSUFCU, April sits on an astounding number of boards that constantly keep her on her toes. How can we balance and blend the work within our organizations with the work within our communities? How can we stay grounded while embracing new opportunities? This week, April sits down to share how hard work, curiosity, and saying yes molded her career into what it is today. Tune in for an inspirational leap into 2021. Mentioned in this episode: Michigan State University Federal Credit Union MSUFCU's Desk Drawer Fund WKAR: MSUFCU continues to grow and “build dreams together” during the pandemic
2 minutes | 5 months ago
Happy Holidays From The Speak Easy Podcast
The holidays might look different this year, but that doesn't mean you can't still celebrate. This week, we wanted to wish all of our listeners a happy holiday season and give you all the tools you need to make a special holiday cocktail in this festive minisode. We've almost made it to the end of 2020 and that feels celebratory in its own right. This year has been nonstop start to finish, and even the holidays are looking different for us. Everyone could use a drink after this year, so we're gifting you the recipe for our special Cranberry Mimosa. As Speak Easy gets ready to take a short break for the remainder of the year, we wanted to give you one last festive cocktail recipe before the new year. And don't worry – we'll be back January 6th with a very special guest episode. Until then, happy holidays and happy new year!
21 minutes | 5 months ago
87: Moving Forward (Literally And Figuratively) — Part Two
Last episode, Karen dove into how and why she decided to move buildings even after all the unexpected changes 2020 brought – and this week, it's Jen's turn. To some, a monumental business move might not seem like the most logical thing to do this year; but why wouldn't you take an opportunity when one presents itself? Jen lets us in on the details of her big office move at Redhead Design Studio and why she decided to go for it. We break down the logical, quantitative reasons that lead to making big workplace decisions, but also the highly illogical and emotional reasoning behind these choices. How do we know when it's time to make a big change for our businesses? What are the challenges and benefits that come along with these transitions? All that and more in this week's episode. Mentioned in this episode: George Nelson Building in Downtown Lansing
7 minutes | 5 months ago
Strategy Series 12: How Animation Brings Video Marketing Plans To Life
Animation is a powerful video tool that is often overlooked. Animation can be used to demonstrate science at the cellular level, show an entire kitchen simultaneously in chaos, explain abstract concepts, or even make your software come to life. In short, animation can get the job done. Animation and motion graphics are phenomenal video marketing solutions that give us other options for video when in-person filming isn't available to us. However, if you've never used animation in your business projects before, you understand that it can seem a little daunting. When it comes to launching an animation project, where do you start? This week, Karen breaks down the details of how we can use animation, a generally underutilized tool, to meet our business goals. Mentioned in this episode: - “What We Cover” animated video - Software explainer animated video
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