Wednesday, May 26, 2010

$50 Sunglasses: The Dangers of Promotional Writing

I got back from my most recent out-of-state adventure and was excited because my sunglasses have arrived.

Sunglasses that I don't really need, but I do. I do. I sold them to myself, after all.

They're Italian. Vintage. And they promise to be much better for my eyes than the $5 drugstore sunglasses I've been using for the last couple of years. Although now I will have to actually care where they are and watch out to ensure I don't sit on them!

I'm not supposed to have them at all, naturally. They break one of the cardinal rules of promotional writing, which is to love the products . . . but don't buy them!

If I bought one of everything I wrote about, I would have a house full of beautiful things and absolutely no money in the bank. Hence, the no-buy rule for my promotional work. It keeps my bank account insulated from trips to Spanish beachfront hotels, my bathroom free of Chi Nano curling irons, my sister's house devoid of Frontline Flea treatments, and my parents' yard uncluttered by solar alarm systems . . . just to mention a few of the things from the last month.

And yet this sales cynic sold herself on Italian sunglasses. Sigh. Will I never learn? It's one of the dangers of promotional writing - you are so busy convincing the target market that you can definitely end up convincing yourself.

The sunglasses will also come in handy for the next stage of summer roaming at hand. It's been hard to keep up with the blog and any other hobbies as I've been running between weddings and graduations and trying to work all the while. The next big jaunt is a drive from Nebraska to Washington DC for a cousin's wedding, and then I will be roaming on to North Carolina to visit dear friends and my storage unit. It will be hot, the sun will be out, and I will *need* those sunglasses, dear reader, really *need* them.

Definitely *need* . . . right . . . oh well. I do love my job, even if I do oversell to myself at the end of the day. Have a good laugh at my expense, and watch out for your own impulsive buys!
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Saturday, May 22, 2010

I'm As Old As Pac Man

Apparently, I'm not the only one turning 30 this year. It seems that the popular arcade game, Pac Man, is also 30 this year.

Google did not make a game for my birthday.

However, they did make a game for the Pac Man birthday out of the Google logo that appears above their search box on the main page.

Hit "Insert Coin" or just double click on the banner and you can use your arrow keys to play. If you hit "Insert Coin" twice, or keep clicking on the icon, you can get Mrs. Pac Man for two players, and play with a friend. Note that the second player has to use W-A-S-D as their arrow keys.

I made it through 8 levels on the first try. It's kind of fun. Very addicting, just like the real thing. I stink at the game, just like the real thing, too. Apparently 8 - 10 levels is about my limit.

It apparently has 256 levels. Dear Lord, who has that kind of free time?

Google is leaving the game up for the weekend, so why not play? Do note that in the bottom left corner of the play box there is a sound icon - the game has original style arcade siren sound, and it can get a little annoying by the third level.
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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Career Pick Me Ups: Client Love

Working outside of an office setting and being your own boss, it is sometimes hard to get that "way to go" love you get from co-workers in a real job when you finish a piece of work. After all, freelancing you work for yourself, and I've found that nobody gives a tougher performance review than I do. Unless I've absolutely knocked it out of the park in my own mind, there's no A+ rating from my internal boss voice.

In the midst of the continual grinding mental 360 review that I am always giving my work, it is FABULOUS to hear the positive voice of a client. My mailbox this morning contained the kind of client feedback I love to see:

"Once again another great job! I am very pleased to be working with you!"

Not that long, not that detailed, but you know what? Acknowledgment and a little praise go a long, long way in this business. This particular piece of feedback is also precious to me this morning because this is a new client I've picked up, and I always get extra nervous working with new clients. I'm also tired from having promised to complete too many projects before this weekend {what is this sleep you speak of?}, and the mental pick me up is very appreciated right now.

In the spirit of spreading the love, if you work with any freelancers . . . or for that matter, if you have anyone around you that you haven't yet thanked for a favor or praised for a job well done, make today the day you share. If it means half as much to them as it does to me, you'll completely make their morning.