Thursday, November 26, 2009

5 Questions @ The Letterbug: Mel Quick - Green Goat

Hi there!

While gazing out of my office window the other day (searching for inspiration??), I had a bright idea! Let's throw some crazy questions at my clients and see what they can come up with in response.

Mel Quick from Green Goat has a good sense of fun and adventure, so she most nobly agreed to be the first to tackle "5 Questions @ The Letterbug". Here's what happened...

1. If you had a theme song, what would it be?

Wow, straight up you have given me a tough one! Having recently taken my sister to the Pink concert I was leaning towards one of her songs, I admire her for her strength and independence. However, one of the things that I put a great deal of emphasis on in operating my business is customer service. I am not one of the “big guys” and I like the fact that personal contact with each of my customers. Also having my own children I can relate to my customers and give them my own honest opinion on what products work and what doesn’t. Therefore, I am going to go with “We are family” by Sister Sledge, it has a catchy vibe and I am sure could be turned into a funky Green Goat jingle.

2. Chocolate milkshake or iced green tea?
Is this even a question? Of course chocolate milkshake!

3. What mantra do you repeat to get yourself through a bad day?

I am quite an easygoing person, so it takes quite a lot to rattle me. I just try not to sweat the small stuff, in the end it only takes up valuable energy that I could be putting into something worthwhile.

4. Sam or Greg for Yellow Wiggle?

I am sitting on the fence here, they are both excellent entertainers and are obviously very committed to their job, I often wonder when they see their own families. I really felt for Greg and his sudden departure from the Wiggles, going to shows and looking back at DVDs it was clear that he really loved his job, and I always believe if you love what you do you will be successful at it. I have taken my daughter to a concert with Sam and she thoroughly enjoyed it, admittedly she was quite young but she didn’t even notice that Greg wasn’t there (sorry Greg).

5. If you were stranded on a desert island and could take only one thing from Green Goat, what would it be?

Ahh, that sounds nice.... sorry I drifted off on the 'being stranded on an island' bit, back to the question at hand. A Cocoon Bean Bag would be really good for lounging around in, a Seedling Outdoor Explorer Set would also be great to check out all the critters and a Sparkle T Cupcakes Puzzle to keep my mind occupied. I know you only said one thing, but it is too hard - I love all the things that I stock!

Thanks Mel for being such a good sport - you breezed through your 5 Questions a@ The Letterbug with total class!

To learn more about Green Goat and the beautiful range of traditional toys and clothes they sell, click here.

Jen x

Thursday, November 12, 2009

6 ways to get your writing humming

While its nice to have a lovely Letterbug to write copy for you, from time to time there's a good chance that you will either want to, or have to do some writing of your own.

Don't panic! If you take the following 6 things into account next time you sit down to write, I guarantee you will get a better result.

Here we go:

1. If you are writing about yourself or your business, its not just what you do that matters, it is why you do it better than the rest that sets you apart from the mob - so spell it out!

2. First impressions count - the electronic age means we're now more impatient than ever. You need to grab your reader's attention within the first few seconds by using some well chosen words to engage the reader.

3. Write the same way as you would talk. Techno jargon, biospeak etc. limits your ability to communicate and connect with readers. Personality on the other hand draws readers in. Its a bit like the Apple adverts with stiff, suit-wearing PC and cool, easy-going Mac.

4. Who are you writing for? You always need a target reader in mind. When writing, imagine you are talking to one potential customer. What would you say to them?

5. Stand out from the crowd and don't copy your competitors. It is far better to be fresh, unique and original.

6. Ditch any techo industry speak and use words that sell instead. As an expert in your field you might know what you mean, but chances are your readers may not.

So there you have it - 6 ways to get your writing humming a pretty tune. Remember them when you are next required to write something (anything!), and just go for it. You might really impress yourself! And if all else fails - you know where to find The Letterbug!!
Jen x

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Grammar on the porch #3

Is it just me, or do high school English classes slide further and further away with every year? Thank goodness I have "Grammar on the Porch". Good old Grammar loves to visit The Letterbug from time to time for a nice cup of tea and a natter about the English language. She knows we know - really she does. But just in case...

Image kindly supplied by Toni Grote - visit to see more of her beautiful artwork

It's vs. Its

Grammar loves to make you to look like clever young things every time you write. Today she wants to remind you that sometimes our use of seemingly harmless little words can be like sour milk in your Earl Grey to your writing. So, let's ensure we are using these two correctly!
Many people trip over the use of it's vs. its - so let Grammar explain it for you.

"It's" is a contraction of “it is” or “it has”.
- It's time for a Nanna-nap.
- It's a long way to the top, if you want to rock and roll!

"Its" is a possessive pronoun.
- This lamington has lost its coconut.
- My cat walks with its head (and tail) held high.

The confusion between it's and its occurs because on just about every other word, 's indicates possession. So we naturally want to use it's to mean "something belonging to it." But don't be tricked! It's is only used when it's a contraction of it is or it has.

Grammar's money-back guaranteed rule - if you can replace the word with "it is" or "it has," use it's. Otherwise, it's always its.

Now then, it's rather sunny on the porch this afternoon, and the sun is kicking out its summer-strength rays. Don't forget to slip, slop, slap dears....

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