Dawn Stanyon

/Dawn Stanyon

About Dawn Stanyon

Careers in fundraising, sales, professional image, and personal branding have situated me to help individuals and small businesses to understand their brand, tell their stories, and grow their success.

Facebook Update: Videos Will Be Auto “Sound On”

Facebook is still the big kid on the block and able to set positive trends in social media. It seems strange that the company is bothering to make this seemingly negative change: video sound will be “on” by default instead of muted until the user chooses to listen.

Facebook reported last year that 80% of mobile users react negatively to automatic sound on videos (I know I do). Why the change? Could be that Facebook wants to appeal to people who love Snapchat, and “sound on” is a feature on that app. You can read more about this change here.

Tip: Users can disable the feature by switching off “Videos in News Feed Start with Sound” in Facebook settings.

I’m sharing social media secrets…and I want you to share yours!

Let’s face it: We all know how to navigate social media. No brainer, right? But you know what’s challenging? Communicating with customers/clients/prospects confidently and consistently today, tomorrow and four years from now.

If you’re a small business owner or the marketing team of a business (and when I say team, I mean YOU’RE the team), it’s challenging to find the time to generate worthwhile content for social media communication. And then you have to navigate the systems. Arggggh! I understand. That’s why I’m developing a live two-hour workshop for small business owners here in the Berkshires of Massachusetts where I live. I’ll also morph that content into a webinar that I will happily offer up to you, if you’re so interested.

I’m going to pack the seminar with social media hacks for small business owners. These are systems and techniques that I’ve learned over the years that help me manage accounts for multiple clients.

Here’s one of those simple tips that once you read it you’ll be like, “Duh. So easy.”

Have you ever posted an image on Facebook from a folder on your computer and then you went to Instagram and you didn’t know how to post that same picture because IT CAME FROM YOUR COMPUTER and it has to come from your phone? Here’s the tip:

  • Grab your cell phone and go to your Facebook app
  • Find the post
  • Tap on the picture
  • Go up to the right hand corner and tap on the three dots
  • Tap “Save Photo”
  • Bam! You can now access that photo to plop it on Insta

The point is, many of us just don’t have the time or inclination to work through this stuff. It seems I have the time and inclination. (Note to self: Get a life!)

And if you want to be part of the solution, share a tip to help others. And help me – I want ALL the tips.

Monumental urns have stories to tell

When I first moved from Burlington, VT to the Berkshires area, I was a little off my game. The move from a place I loved for MANY years to a new location was trying – much more stressful than I thought it would be. There have been ups and downs over the past two years, and I know there are a few more to come, but I am happy to report that I’ve found my footing. The Northwestern Connecticut/Southern Berkshire County area is gorgeous, I’m finding my people (serving on a couple boards – one non-profit, one business-related), and I LOVE the business I am growing: I help small business owners to tell their stories and grow their businesses through digital marketing (social media marketing, e-newsletters, email campaigns, etc.).

Like with any job I’ve ever had, I come at digital marketing with the perspective, “How can I be of help?” I did this with communications, fundraising, sales, professional image consulting & personal branding, and now digital marketing. (Yup! Jackie of all Trades, Mistress of Some, as I like to say.)

The photo above features a monumental urn – a ceramic vessel made by Steve Procter of Stephen Procter Ceramics in Brattleboro, VT. Steve’s one of my clients – I’ve just started working with him and am so excited to see where we go. He is busy creating amazing ceramic art, so he doesn’t have time to manage social media, website, e-newsletters, and much of the content creation. I happily work with Steve to understand his unique brand, his passions, his voice, what outcomes he’s looking for, and translate all that into amazing consistent and confident content for his audiences.

If you are the type of person who likes a five-foot tall ceramic garden vessel (and really, who isn’t? ;>), you can see his work on Facebook and Instagram. <– Follow Steve, won’t you?

I put myself out there for a great brand twice each year

When I was communications manager at a large non-profit, I began to speak on behalf of United Way during their annual fundraising campaign in the fall. Like many, I would do almost anything to avoid speaking in front of a group. I remember reciting a poem my Junior year in high school. (Sonnet 143, if you must know: “Lo! as a careful housewife runs to catch/One of her feather’d creatures broke away…” Really. Of all of The Bard’s sonnets, I chose this one? Go figure.) I almost had a complete and total breakdown. Many of you will be familiar with the wretched side affects I had to navigate: shaking voice, hands, and knees; sweaty palms and pits; dots in front of my eyes.

For me to take on regular speaking gigs was a big deal. I was ambitious and determined and I was committed to my organization, a Visiting Nurse Association, and the work of the United Way. I participated in some training (even though I had dropped out of a public speaking class in college). I recited my speeches in front of the washing machine and dryer in the basement of our house (appliances are soooo nonjudgmental). And I girded my loins to go out there and do it. The night before any presentation, I would lie in bed and say to myself, “Everything comes and everything goes. Whether this goes well or I bomb, it will pass.” And so it always did: It came, I was awesome or mediocre at best, and it passed. Job well done, Dawn!

Thus began the portion of my career where I spoke in front of groups, large and small, on a regular basis. Fundraising, professional image consulting, and sales all offered many opportunities to help others by sharing my knowledge. A year ago, I transitioned my career (yes, well, again – I like to say I’m a Jackie of all trades, Mistress of some) and began to focus my brand knowledge on small businesses in the Berkshires. Most digital marketers are not known for their public personas (Guy Kawasaki and a handful of others aside). I’m now extremely happy to work behind the scenes to help small businesses share THEIR stories.

While I’m joyous to be behind the screen 90% of the time now, I still present for The Emily Post Institute twice each year. I talk to their Etiquette Train the Trainer participants about tools to grow their fledgling etiquette businesses. I always learn something and get to meet great people passionate to help others. Thanks to my friends at Emily Post for hosting me. Keep up the amazing work to sustain your brand focused on consideration, respect, and honesty. See you in the spring!

Did I mention I’m soooo happy to be behind the computer again? ;>)

#hashtags are now a thing on #linkedin

Hashtags are clickable on IOs and Android applications

In the old days, like a week ago, some people used #hashtags in their #LinkedIn posts to no avail. While hashtags are a search tool for some social media applications, such as Twitter and Instagram, LinkedIn didn’t have a hashtag search capability. Good news! LinkedIn announced  on Thursday, August 25, that hashtags are now supported on iOS and Android applications. You can use hashtags in your posts to help people find your content and, conversely, searchers who are interested in specific content can search posts by hashtags and keywords. Currently, you can click on hashtags on mobile aps but not on desktop versions. #thankyoulinkedin!

Hey! I’m focused on helping small businesses to succeed...

Hey! I’m focused on helping small businesses to succeed these days, less on personal brand and image. You know how it goes. If you’re interested on brand content for business success, including digital marketing stuff, follow me on my blog: http://professionalityconsulting.com/

Or just follow me on Facebook and Instagram – Professionality. Facebook is more business-y; Insta is more of my life in the Berkshires.

Source:: Professionality Consulting

Maybe wearing a personal label goes too far…

I’ve had the experience more than once where I’ve walked down the street and had someone I don’t know say, “Hi Dawn!” as they breeze by. For one hot minute, my brain races, “Do I know that person? I don’t think I know that person. How do they know my name?” There’s a tremendous brain flash as I look down below my right shoulder and lay my eyes on the name tag from the event I was just attending. Talk about personal branding. ;>)

A Joyous brand: ExtraSpecialTeas

The second I walked into ExtraSpecialTeas in Great Barrington, MA, I felt happy. Their brand was front and center starting with the sunshine-yellow front door, and splashed everywhere with bright colors, cozy seating nooks, inspirational quotes on the walls, and smiling servers. And tea! So up my alley.

ExtraSpecialTeas (EST)  hosted a Chamber of Commerce mixer in advance of their grand opening on April 2, and they offered up their finest to the participants: iced Tiesta Tea, tea-infused shortbread cookies, and a variety of other finger foods. I understood the brand immediately. And then I heard their story.

EST is a vocational program for adults with autism and other special needs, AND a teahouse open to the Great Barrington community. Their servers, called “ExtraSpecial Servers,” work five days each week side-by-side with vocational trainers. Cherri and Scott Sanes, EST’s co-founders, were concerned with the lack of support for young adults with special needs once they “age out” of the school system. Their son, Jache, who has autism, had reached that stage. They founded EST for him and other adults who want to continue to learn, live with purpose, and be an active part of their community. Cherri and Scott, with the help of EST’s board of directors, plan to open several teahouses across the country.

I told Cherri that night that I wanted to help EST to get their message out. She graciously accepted my offer and we’ve been happily working hand-in-hand for the past three months.

Do me a favor: follow ExtraSpecialTeas on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram. And let me know if you pick up the vibe of their extra special teahouse: joyous; bright; and filled with purpose, possibility, and gratitude. If you live in or near the Berkshires, drop in for some tea! ExtraSpecialTeas is located at 2 Elm Street, Great Barrington, MA.

When discord happens, people question brands

Have you been following the detritus in the wake of Dan Lyons’ book, Disrupted: My Misandventure in the Start-Up Bubble? Lyons, an established journalist and author, worked at Hubspot, a digital marketing software company headquartered in Boston, for a couple years; and then he wrote a book about it. Dharmesh Shah, Hubspot’s founder, responded to content in the book yesterday on LinkedIn.

I’m not taking sides here. What I’m interested in is how a dynamic brand can stumble. Hubspot just got a dose of self-awareness in front of a world-wide audience. Nope, they aren’t as transparent as they positioned. Nope, they aren’t one big happy family. There are problems in paradise.

Hubspot has consistently and confidently showcased its expertise, exuberance and team spirit up to this point. I’ve used the product and read plenty of their content: I like what they do and how they do it. Be that as it may, not everyone does or will. Mr. Shah writes that they are aware of their issues and are working on them. Well, they’re certainly aware now — and in front of a large audience.

How the company represents itself and how it’s currently being showcased do not mesh. That’s brand discord. When discord happens, people question brands. Disrupted is one person’s perspective; however, now that it’s out there, it can’t be ignored. Seeds of doubt have been sown in even the biggest fans’ minds.

The simple formula for brand success: Authenticity + Awareness = Strong Brand. Hubspot has the opportunity now to morph their PR version of authenticity into self-aware authenticity. The result will be a stronger brand.