Robert M. Coles

Author, World Traveler, Public Speaker

Month: August 2016

10 Best Movie Quotes of All Time (According to Me)

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From Bond, to Baseball, These Quotes Stand Out Above the Rest

I supposed today I’m in a movie mood. Earlier, I posted a status on Facebook saying, “I’m not crazy, I’ve just been in a very bad mood for 40 years.” If you haven’t already figured it out, that’s a famous quote from Steel Magnolias, the 1989 adaptation of Robert Harling’s play of the same name. The Oscars (my favorite day of the year, besides my birthday) are coming up quickly, and soon my journey to watch all the nominated films will begin, and no one will hear from me for a week. Before that, let’s reminisce about all the great movies of the past. So, for today’s blog post I figured I’d stick with my mood and post the 10 Best Movie Quotes of All Time, in my opinion.

#10 – “Show me the money!” – Jerry Maguire

show-me-the-money

In probably one of my favorite movies, Jerry has a total mental breakdown when he’s trying to save face with a client and get him to leave the big flashy sports agency the client is signed with and instead join Jerry in his new venture. It’s Jerry’s commitment to show him the money that convinces Rod to take the leap.

Sean Connery as James Bond

#9 – “Bond. James Bond.” – Every Bond Film Ever Made

If you’re like me, you grew up watching James Bond, probably with your dad on a Saturday when it played all day on AMC. There was something about Bond and the way he said his name that was just so cool and iconic. That probably is why he’s the second most successful film franchise of all time, trailing behind Harry Potter.

#8 – “You can’t handle the truth!” – A Few Good Men

600full-a-few-good-men-screenshotWe all remember that moment when Jack Nicholson lost his cool while being questioned and blurted out the famous line, but what few know is that this film is based on a stage play of the same name, and the story packs a much bigger punch when you’re watching it live. If you can find a showing that promises to be at least halfway decent, check it out. You wont be disappointed.

#7 – “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.” – Gone with the Wind

GWTW_8lgSure, this movie made huge strides in film making, and changed the way the motion picture industry worked, but when screenings of a film need an intermission, the film is just too long. I have a feeling my thoughts on the length of this film would have been met with a “Frankly, Robby, I don’t give a damn,” by one of the three directors. Imagine, a film so long it needed three directors!

#6 – “There’s no place like home.” – The Wizard of Oz

the-wizard-of-ozDorothy’s adventure was probably one of my all-time favorite childhood movies, but I’d fast forward through the scary parts (and still do, actually), but there’s just something about her clicking her heels together and saying that famous line over and over again that brings comfort. Perhaps that’s why it’s stitched on pillows across the nation.

#5 – “Mama always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” – Forrest Gump

forrest_gump_image_1Who couldn’t fall in love with a character like Forrest Gump? He’s so naive and his loyalty to his mother, his state, his former girlfriend, and his son knows no bounds. Plus, he ran for a really long time, and that’s impressive.

#4 – “A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.” – Silence of the Lambs

936full-the-silence-of-the-lambs-screenshotI watching this movie for the first time when I was about 10 years old. It was a lot to take in at that age, and I still fear lotion, but Anthony Hopkins scared the bejeezus out of me with his story of eating a man’s liver with fava beans. I still can’t eat them, but I do love me some Chianti!

#3 – “I’ll have what she’s having.” – When Harry Met Sally

when-harry-met-sally-original1There is just something about Meg Ryan that made her the romantic comedy queen of the 90s and early 2000s, and when she sits at that table and acts out a “climax” there’s nothing funnier than the woman at the next table thinking she’s received those special “good feelings” from her lunch.

#2 – “Houston, we have a problem.” – Apollo 13

apollo-13Tom Hanks (who appears on this list three times) is brilliant as Jim Lovell in Apollo 13, and I remember as a kid watching the movie and going to school the next day and saying that to my teachers and friends over and over again. Aside from that, this film takes a serious turn at this point, and it’s very clear in Hanks’ voice that the situation is in fact serious.

#1 – “There’s no crying in baseball!” – A League of Their Own

A-league-of-their-ownFinally, my favorite quote of all time. It appears on the AFI Top 100 Movie Quotes as number 54, but it’s number 1 to me. The movie as a whole is excellent, but what makes it my top quote is Tom Hanks and his performance as Jimmy Dugan, the rough, often drunk coach that eventually warms up to the female baseball team.

With Mr. Tom Hanks appearing on this list three times, can you tell who one of my favorite actors happens to be?

What are some of your favorite movie quotes?

Content Overload: Setting Your Content Above The Rest

Originally written for Sona Creative Marketing by Robert Coles as a guest post.

Content Marketing Tips and Tricks From A Silly American

content-writingI don’t know about you, but I find myself constantly overloaded with content on the internet. Everyone is trying to sell something, there’s always a contest to enter, and someone is constantly trying to push a brand that you just don’t want to think about (like the Snuggie… Or is that just an American thing?), yet we as inquiring humans always want to know more.

With over 160 million blogs currently on the internet (only half of them are mine), and more and more being created each and every day, it’s difficult to weed through the quality content if you’re a reader. For a content marketer, this becomes a huge challenge, and it’s one that hasn’t entirely been solved yet. While we’re coming up with new way of marketing almost by the minute, the world hasn’t quite caught up to our brilliant minds.

We’re constantly having to come up with new methods of blog creation, and new ways to make our titles interesting. Simply put, if it isn’t interesting in the first 10 words, no one is going to read it. Fortunately, we content marketers have the numbers on our side, regardless. 46% of internet users read blogs more than once per day, and when marketing for businesses, that can convert to real leads, and real sales. Companies that blog have 55% more visits to their website than companies that don’t.

So what is the internet marketer to do? For starters, it’s about creating interesting content what will hold the reader’s attention. Check out these 5 ways to keep your content interesting and your audience begging for more.

#1 – Your titles are boring. Spice it up a bit!

If I read another “X Ways To Improve Your Business” article one more time, I’m going to throw my computer out my window and adopt a life without technology. Seriously, your titles matter. Consider coming up with something interesting. If you’re forced to write an article about ways to improve your business, think about what area you’ll be focusing on, and the spin it. If that article were to focus on ways to improve your business using social media, use a title like “X Ways Your Business is Failing (And How To Improve Them).” People are drawn to the negative, so use that to your advantage.

By the way, I did a Google search for the best blog titles and all I got were search results like “How to Write a Captivating Blog Title.” I didn’t click it.

#2 – Don’t forget mixed media. It can save your life.

In a world where 72 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, there will always be a video to spice up your content. The fact is, people are attracted to what they can easily see and watch. They don’t necessarily love reading anymore (and that’s a shame) so it’s important to spell things out for them. The best way to do that is with a video. If there isn’t a video out there, make one. With apps like Vine making short videos are easy, and if you want, you can use a website like fiverr.com to have a video created for you with graphics based on your script.

If videos aren’t your thing, no problem. Use infographics that drive your point home. You can also use screen captures if you’re referencing something you’ve found on the internet. For example, I wrote an article about social interaction, and included a screen capture of people interacting socially. It’s that simple. People just want to be able to see what they’re reading, rather than actually read what they’re reading.

#3 – Talk as you. Not about you.

People want to hear your voice rather than your life story. Sure, you should write with your own personal flare, and almost make fun of yourself (coming from the silly American), but people don’t want to hear about your life and what you ate for dinner. That’s what Facebook is for. Instead, consider telling about a product or service that you’re marketing in your own tone, but don’t insert personal stories about Aunt Cathy’s hip surgery.

#4 – Stay consistent

If you’re going to take a stance on something, stick to it, especially if you’re talking about a theory. People are going to site you and use your word as a source. If people end up linking to your blog, or your client’s blog, you are going to want to make sure that one blog post doesn’t contradict another. You’ve just made yourself or your client look ridiculous.

When you’re blogging, its also very important that you use consistency in your grammar, punctuation, and style. You can change things up a bit, but not too much. Your readers are going to get accustomed to your style, and if you change things too much they’re going to rebel. You’d be surprised how many people actually do read your words.

#5 – Offer a unique point of view

With over 160 million blogs on the internet, there are bound to be repeated views, but if you can find a way to present a unique point of view you’re going to captivate your readers. For some of my clients, I write the every day business blog because that’s what they want, but for others I have the freedom to experiment with humor and stylistic choices.

Content marketing is still very young in the marketing world, but it’s growing quickly, and staying ahead of the curve with your writing will ensure that you ride the content wave smoothly to the finish line. Good luck!

The 7 Catchiest Marketing Jingles of My 90s Childhood

Earworms of the Ages

catchiest marketing jinglesPerhaps I’m showing my youthful age in this article, but that’s okay. Jingles have been a part of the advertising world since around 1926, when General Mills broadcast its song “Have You Tried Wheaties?” on Christmas Eve. Since then, the world has seen jingles such as the song for McDonalds’ Big Mac, Coca-Cola’s “I’d Like To Buy The World A Coke,” and Mentos’ ever-popular “The Freshmaker”(which I remember mostly from Clueless).

Jingles have become a staple for advertising, and people arespending up to $3.8 million for a 30-second commercial to display their latest jingle. Some fall flat on their face, much like “Chicken Tonight” from Ragu (the only thing it has going for it is that people are doing the chicken dance), and others are just plain awful like Sea-Bond’s attempt at humor (be warned… it will make you cringe).

#1 – Kit Kat Bars

Kit Kat did something really special with its candy bar commercials. The company made it about the everyday nine-to-five worker, and what he or she would want during their break. Their commercials featured construction workers, cashiers, office receptionists, and the common man and woman, all wanting to enjoy a short time away from work; and a new catchphrase was born. “Give me a break, give me a break. Break me off a piece of that Kit Kat Bar” became a common saying around offices.

#2 – Meow Mix

This jingle was a creative masterpiece because it was the first to introduce a jingle sung entirely by an animal. Sure, it was probably some girl standing in a recording booth doing her best Cats impressions, but to us it was a cute kitten who just couldn’t wait to get her little paws on some Meow Mix. You had better believe people sang that song in their heads for hours after seeing the commercial, which made it a highly effective marketing strategy for the cat food company. Commercial found here.

#3 – Oscar Mayer

If you’re like me, you grew up wishing that Oscar Mayer WeinerMobile would drive down your street passing out hot dogs. Sadly, that never happened (until I became an adult, but that’s a different story for a different blog), but I was able to enjoy the famous Oscar Mayer commercials with that glorious “My bologna has a first name…” jingle. It was all the talk on the playground, and all the kids at the cafeteria lunch table sang the song if their mom or dad packed them a bologna and cheese sandwich, and the whole table would join in song. It was just like a scene from High School Musical…only not really. Song here. 

#4 – Toys ‘R Us

It was the battle cry of a generation: “I don’t want to grow up! I’m a Toys ‘R Us kid!” We literally lived for those Saturdays that hardly ever came. Mom and Dad would take us to the toy store, give us five dollars, and cut us loose. We’d test drive every bike through the aisles, even though we knew we weren’t going to get one, and we’d play with the balls in the big wire contraption that kept them all in. The store’s jingle was pure genius. It made us believe that, with the help of a Furby, we’d never grow up. ’90s flashback here.

#5 – Chili’s

You know after that bass vocalist sang “barbeque sauce” you immediately wanted to head over to Chili’s for a slab of baby back ribs. It’s effective advertising. This catchy song (which closely resembles The Doors’ “Roadhouse Blues”) got stuck in the heads of millions. It was even named one of Ad Age Magazine’s “10 Songs Most Likely To Get Stuck In Your Head.” Earworm link here.

#6 – Fanta

“Wanta Fanta? Don’t you wanta Fanta?” After seeing these flashy, colorful commercials? Yes. Yes I do wanta Fanta. The “Fantanas” took the country by storm with their adventures bringing Fanta to those who needed it most around the world. The commercials made you want to jump right up and grab one. Also, they use a form of subliminal messaging in these commercials. The singers all nod their heads when they ask if you “Wanta Fanta?” They’re telling you that you do. There’s no other option. And it worked. Millions of Americans did in fact wanta Fanta. Do you wanta?

#7 – Wrigley’s Doublemint Gum

If this commercial campaign taught us anything, it’s that if you chew Doublemint gum, you’ll fall in love with twins. Actually, the commercials were geared to a more sporty, athletic, and fun audience, and this showed in their commercials. They featured two sets of twins playing tennis and falling in love over their deep romance with chewing gum. Rekindle your crush here.

What are some of your favorite (or least favorite) jingles of all time and why do they make your list?

Stop and Smell the Roses

My thoughts on passion projects and finding inner happiness in a world of struggles and stresses

fortuneThere’s a strange thing that happens when I open up a fresh word document, or open a brand new notebook. I somehow loose myself and forget all of the struggles that have plagued me as of late. Whether it’s the fact that I basically haven’t had any alone time in over a month, or that I’ve worked 60+ hours a week for almost a year. Maybe it’s that I’m publishing a book in February and a text book in the spring. Any combination of these could cause the normal person to stress.

But I’ve got words, and they never fail me.

I’ve been so tied up in projects that are going to bring me closer to my long-term life goal that I’ve forgotten to stop and smell the roses for the past few months. I’ve forgotten to take time to write for pleasure, instead of for purpose.

That stops today.

I live my life on a very regimented schedule. I work a normal day job doing what I love, then teach acting to my students every day, which I also love, but I’m lacking the free time to work on my passion projects. So, I’ve developed five life goals that will allow me to complete my passion projects.

1 – Make time

There’s always going to be an excuse. There are a million things that have to get done, and that’s never going to change. Projects get piled on top of other projects, and just when you finish one thing, another one pops up. My new goal is to make time, and it should be your goal, too. I use Google Calendar for everything these days, and I love it. I’ve started to plan out my day according to my writing hour (first thing in the morning) and my project hour every evening.

2 – Stick to the schedule

I love living a flexible life, but sticking to the schedule is the key to maintaining balance.  I’ve decided that nothing comes before my passion projects and my fun writing times; not even the writing time for work.

3 – Have someone hold you accountable

I’ve got a group of writing friends that keep me on track with my books, but I’ve got another friend that keeps me on track with working on projects that I love. It’s not about them telling you what to do, it’s about them checking in on you to see if there’s anything they can do to ease up the time to give back to you. Just make sure that you do the same for them. I’ve been fortunate enough to gain friends that share common interests and help me when needed, and I help them.

4 – Silence the outside world

I’m one of the most connected people I know. Face to face interaction, phones, texting, email, and social media have gotten us all more connected than ever, but during your passion project time, you’ve got to shut the rest of the world out and dedicate yourself to what you’re working on. It’s you time to the extreme, and it happens daily.

5 – Forgive yourself if you break the schedule

You’re bound to falter. Maybe you’ve set your passion project hour to first thing in the morning and you’ve got to get that extra hour of sleep because the night before was rough. Maybe you’re going on vacation for a while. Whatever the situation may be, forgive yourself if you miss a day or two, but don’t let yourself fall out of the habit. It takes 21 days for something to become a habit. Don’t break it for too long.

Whatever you do, take time to stop and enjoy life, and do what makes you feel good. That’s the ultimate purpose, isn’t it?

What are some of your tips for making time to do what you love?

Small Business Marketing Is A Big Job

You’re Only Hurting Yourself

small-business-marketing-planLet’s face it, there are never enough hours in the day, yet for some strange reason small business owners are expected to cram multiple days worth of work into a single workday. It’s not healthy, and it’s no way to expand your business. It was once said that, in order to be truly successful, you have to stop working inyour business, and start working on your business. I don’t know about you, but that sounds a little convoluted.

We’ll break things down with some facts and figures. Currently in the United States there are roughly 23 million small businesses that account for around 54% of all sales. Through the recessions of the 90s and 2000s, while big businesses cut jobs, small businesses continued to add job. Small businesses are no small business.

But how in the world does one get to the point of expanding and growing? What does it take to build a better business, not just a sustaining business? Sure, we all want a sustaining business. It’s easy, cheap, and efficient. But is there any room for advancement? One of the biggest areas of concern that cannot be avoided is small business marketing. It directly ties into the business’s successes and failures, and it’s too much for a small business owner to handle if he or she wants to join the other successful businesses climbing their way to the top. Here are 3 reason marketing is too big of a task for small business owners.

#1 – Marketing takes time

If you’re fighting the 12 hour (or more) workday blues, the last thing you want to do is interact with your customers when they aren’t even asking for anything. Save your energy for something more worthwhile, like relaxing. Marketing has become a full-time job for small businesses. The world has changed, quickly, and it’s difficult to keep up with whatever latest trend has come up in the marketing world.

Fortunately, there are services available for the savvy small business owner who wants to begin working on his or her business. For starters, you don’t have to do everything yourself. Hiring someone to handle the marketing and design aspect of your company frees you up to deal with so much more. If you’re really looking for a good deal, be sure to choose a marketing agency. It’s less of a financial commitment than a full time staff member.

#2 – Marketing isn’t an ad in the paper anymore

If you haven’t noticed, there’s this little website called Facebook, and this other one that’s slightly smaller, called Twitter. Together they account for over 64% of the internet’s activity.No doubt you’re a technical person (you found this blog, after all) so we’re not going to dumb things down for you. Marketing has gotten harder.

Marketing is no longer putting an ad in the paper and making sure your storefront is clean. No, those days have long sense past. In fact, it should be noted that roughly 74% of consumers look up a company before entering the store or picking up the phone. People are looking at your brand and social interaction on websites. They’re picking apart every word you say to see if you fit in with their personal style. The ones who don’t fit will be left in the dust. Do you have the hours a day it takes to monitor your online and social media presence?

#3 – Customers have evolved

By show of hands, how many of you have always heard, “The customer is always right?” Now, keep your hands up if you still believe the customer is always right. Several of you just put your hands down, no doubt because you’re a business owner or you’ve worked retail. In fact, it should be pointed out that now even the customers don’t think they’re always right. Sure, they always want the best deal, but they’re willing to bend for quality.

Consumers are starting to bounce back from the recession. Spending is up, and businesses that are prepared for the new-age customer will profit. The new-age consumer is looking for the best product or service to enhance their personal image. What does your marketing strategy offer your customers looking to build a reputation and enhance their image? If it doesn’t speak to them, you can bet they’re going to keep moving.

Marketing is a tough job in today’s economy, and it takes a village to raise a business. Don’t attempt to raise the business by yourself. Stay focused on your advancement goals and make sure you’re letting a dedicated team of individuals take care of all your company’s marketing needs.

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