My current jewellery website, www.chantelmccabe.com, and linked social media accounts also serve as part of my portfolio, together with the samples published on this page.
See here my latest, informal blog style page on Kiki Time: The Lifestyle Page
Here's my ancient WordPress blog: Chantel McCabe - Stamped Metal Jewellery
by Chantel McCabe
An introduction to e-bikes
The first time I saw an electric bike was when I was standing outside my house and I heard a strange, faint whirring noise. I looked up to see what it was and I saw this bloke belting past our house on a bike at an abnormal speed. I was fascinated! I know it may sound sad, by seeing him speed past my house became a bit of a highlight in my day. I was so intrigued and I had so many questions such as: was it easy to ride, was it dangerous, could it go out of control, was it legal, did you need a special licence to ride one, and so on. As you can see, I am a bit of a worrywart. I decided to investigate and my fears were soon put at ease.
First of all, regarding the legalities, an e-bike can be ridden just about wherever a regular bicycle can be used, but to be on the safe side, you will have to check with your own council to see what the rules say as laws are of a territorial nature. However, your local e-bike seller will no doubt be able to point you in the right direction too. Also check out the People For Bikes site for information on riding e-bikes policies and laws.
Regarding the technical aspects, my fears were rapidly put at ease. An electric bike is NOT going to catapult you on a dangerous trajectory and leave you lying bleeding in the gutter! The magic of an e-bike is that it gives the rider a very gentle boost in their pedalling power; just enough to make your ride just a bit easier and more pleasant, but not too much either so that you are still guaranteed to get a good workout. What is even more ingenious is that you get different levels of boost. Most bikes have settings such as Eco (20% boost), Sport (50% boost) and Turbo (100% boost). I bet the bloke speeding past my house was a turbo fan.
Power is added very gently as you start pedalling so there’s no sudden jerking movement as I had feared. In fact, most e-bike riders have reported that they barely notice that power has been added to their ride, but they are most certainly aware of the fact that the ride is so much easier, hills are less daunting and the trip seems much shorter. In essence, riding an e-bike is just like riding a regular bike but only better.
When you are ready to look into buying your first or next e-bike, I suggest you call in at ERIK’S. ERIK’S is the Midwest e-bike expert and they only sell quality electric bikes that they know, ride and service.
Why do we love video content
and why you should love it as well
by Chantel McCabe
Video is an extraordinarily powerful marketing tool. Audiences are hungry for more of this experiential form of marketing. It is somehow much more engaging and captivating than the mere written word, and this inevitably results in more views being converted to sales. It is for this reason that we highly recommend that any marketing agency worth its salt includes video marketing in a client’s portfolio.
What is experiential marketing? As the word “experiential” suggests, this form of marketing relays a story of some sort of experience to the viewer. The viewer experiences the product through the personal testimonial of the video presenter of the product instead of simply being presented with a list of benefits in the standard marketing method.
An example of experiential marketing would be a video presenter telling the story of how he or she personally experienced certain health benefits from the use of a certain health supplement. It then doesn’t take much for the viewer to relate to the story in the video and come to the conclusion that they too could be on the receiving end of those same health benefits. This of course translates into more sales and that is naturally what the goal of all marketing is about: more sales. Experiential video marketing is therefore essentially persuasive storytelling. It is alive, dynamic, easily accessible and a highly successful sales tool.
One of the reasons why this form of marketing works so well is because humans love stories. Storytelling has a long and illustrious tradition in human history. Humans learn vicariously from other humans by means of stories. The experiential marketing video is simply the modern, commercial form of the ancient tradition of storytelling. That is where its magic stems from in essence.
The next question to address is where should a marketing agency recommend that these experiential marketing videos be located on the Internet. Obviously, these videos must be uploaded onto all of the marketing client’s various social media outlets, such as Facebook and Instagram, and their personal websites. However, hands down, the most important place to upload your experiential marketing videos to is You Tube. You Tube is absolutely fantastic for general, easy, free public access. If a potential customer googles a health supplement for instance, a whole bunch of relevant experiential marketing videos will instantly be at the fingertips of said potential customer. As a side note, may we suggest that these videos NOT be sullied with incessant advertising breaks. There is no greater killer for an experiential marketing video’s success than a You Tube channel that ruins everything by pestering the viewer with a flurry of irrelevant, random advertisements. They have googled the product and they have found your experiential marketing video. Do not kill the vibe by trying to maximise your potential You Tube revenue, as ultimately you want product sales first and foremost. This point needs to be stressed by a marketing agency so that experiential marketing campaigns are not sabotaged by this rather annoying You Tube feature.
Word count: 500 (article only, excluding headings)
TIPS FOR EMPLOYERS WHO RUN CONTESTS
by Chantel McCabe
Freelancer contests are a great way for employers to get a whole lot of work done for them for very little money. I won’t go into the ethics of that sort of mindset right now, but what I will say is that with that sort of resource at your fingertips, there come certain responsibilities, recommended behaviour and some common sense suggestions.
SUGGESTIONS FOR EMPLOYERS
- Provide the contestants with a well thought out description of what you require. Pithy one or two liners, with no meat to them, are not very inspiring or informative. Freelancers are not necessarily psychic and able to read your mind as to what you require!
- Do not ask for too much in your contest. I have seen people asking for entire eBooks or articles of 1,000 words plus and then offering a low reward. That is not on. Rather ask for a sample of work and then the winner of the contest potentially gets awarded a proper project to write the whole eBook or article. To expect someone to write an entire book for a contest is just a bit too much.
- Put a little imagination into your heading while you are about it too. Make it a bit more informative and interesting instead of bare bone basics.
- Offer a decent size reward. Seriously, if you are a company looking for a new name, your contest is going to attract dozens, if not hundreds, of creatives from all around the world to brainstorm for you for free. The least you can do is offer a decent size contest reward. For example, ten dollars does not cut it.
- Offer free sealed entries for your entrants. I admit it is nice to be able to view the entries of others but from an entrant’s perspective, I believe it is better to seal your entry and preserve your work from the public eye. Freelancers, who are not even being paid for the work, should not have to pay for this.
- Interact on the Public Clarification Board. The people who are asking you questions on that board are working for you for free. The least you can do is interact with them and answer questions posed. I am so impressed by one employer who really got into his contest with enthusiasm and provided regular updates and replies. I don’t think I got a personal reply and I am perfectly okay with that as I can see he was doing his best to engage with the contestants.
- Say thank you! Yes, it is still a good idea in this day and age. Manners matter. Say thank you at the end of your contest description, say thank you on the Public Clarification Board, and say thank you to your contestants who have taken time out of their days to work for you for free. Don’t just dismiss them with one star rating and think you are done. Acknowledge them and maybe they will pitch again for free. It costs you nothing.
- Finally, if you decide you actually do want to use one of the non-winning articles, remember that you can’t just go ahead and use it for free. You have to pay the freelancer for it! The entry submission process includes providing a price for the use of the work which is limited to the size of the contest prize.
REASONS TO ENTER CONTESTS
Having said all of this, I will probably continue entering the odd, better quality contest here and there for the following reasons:
They are fun. I love the variety of issues that you encounter in them. They are great if you have time to fill or feel like procrastinating in a constructive manner.
- You only have to give as much of yourself as you have available at that moment in a stress-free setting. It is no big deal if you submit a lousy pitch but at least you are trying and gaining experience.
- I appreciate the opportunity to contemplate unique situations and try think of a solution for something that would ordinarily never cross my path. Who knows, you could discover you have a new talent and it gets recognised!
- They are a great way for a new freelancer to practise their pitching skills and produce work for a potential client. It builds your confidence.
- They are a great way to build your portfolio. Your article may not have won the contest and they may not be published at all, but I am saving all of my work done for contests for this purpose. They are my own, original work and I am free to use them as and when I see fit as the copyrights vests in me.
And yes! This article is going into my portfolio too! Freelancing is such a great lifestyle if you can make it work for you, but it is always important to remember that you are dealing with fellow human beings on the other side who would like to treated decently and with respect. Contests are a great way for a small business to have the benefit of global brainstorming but common decency should be used when engaging this wonderful resource as it is actually quite a privilege.
© Copyright Chantel McCabe - writer
© Copyright Chantel McCabe - writer