Sunday, March 31, 2024

March 2024 Reads

I'll be going back to my regular long-format monthly reads post, but not this month. 

This is what I read in March. I also went to two author events put on by Newtown Bookshop. I saw Lisa Gardner on March 17 (check out the Frankie Elkin series, she's on tour for the third book in that) in Northampton and Lisa Scottoline with my mom on March 25 at Bucks. Lisa S was hilarious which I was not expecting. Her latest, The Truth About the Devlins, was a solid read. 
As always support your local bookstore - if you're buying books, please do not buy books from Amazon or Target! They do not need your book money and there is literally no reason to buy from them aside from convenience. If you are a reader, I hope you value the presence of people who place books visibly in communities over convenience. Local bookstores do need your money, you can order advanced copies from them, most ship. If you don't have one near you or are unable to get to one, you can shop on and choose a bookstore to benefit from your purchases.

What have you read and liked lately?

Thursday, March 21, 2024

Things I've been meaning to tell you 3.21.2024

1. Items of interest from last weekend: I turned 47 Friday and celebrated by doing exactly what I woke up and wanted to do that day which included: semi-annual library used book sale, lunch at Lobster House, trolling around ReStore and TJMaxx/HomeGoods, overspending at the bakery, getting groceries, walking on the beach, putting my feet in the ocean, a quick drive to the dispensary, MFD picking up takeout from my favorite Italian restaurant in town and eating it on the couch in pajamas, MFD putting together the new cabinet I wanted (to have a third shelf where there used to be two in a small efficiency apartment with no storage? a dream), and my favorite comfort watch The Office. Thanks for all the birthday wishes - I typically share thoughts on my actual birthday and you can find them here. Saturday we met our new attached neighbors at the shore, I got the new loveseat I wanted for our porch from Big Lots, and we headed back to Philly for an impromptu fire pit night with my brother and the kids, MFD's brother and SIL and Harry, and Jared and Amy complete with a funfetti birthday cake a la Jared that was delicious. Sunday started with coffee outside then a pedicure, Lisa Gardner in conversation with Liz Moore, and the traditional St. Patrick's Day meal. I had myself a Sunday, which is not always the case. The boundary between Sunday and Monday is a hard one for me to hold most weeks.

2. I never did the weekend before either it appears. I was still in the spin cycle with insane work hours and deadlines. I watched Major League for the first time in an eternity and damn this movie holds up. I spent many hours on a rainy Saturday doing some trip planning, had a nice impromptu birthday week dinner at Mom & Rich's, Sunday I went to my first ever professional lacrosse game and it was definitely more fun than I expected. Enjoyable Wings game thanks to Tiffany and Brandon, followed by dinner at Chickies with Stephen and Aubrey and the kids. MFD met us there. Solid weekend!
3. The first quarter of the year was an hours and deadline trial by fire at work. I actually spent part of three days in Philly a few weeks back, which is rare these days. I still can't believe how different work life is post-pandemic March 2020. It's literally transformed my life in ways I never imagined before March 2020.

4. Yesterday was a banner sun ray through the clouds day - I saw it in Philly and later at the beach. It was a great reflection day as well. Clear skies with no clouds are my least favorite. I prefer a blue sky but clouds for interest, always.
5. This beauty is from last week. Clouds make a sunrise and sunset.
6. I'm this person now with reading glasses. They're everywhere yet sometimes I can't find them so now they can always be with me. 
7. Recent pet photos I like.

8. My bedside table project turned out as I wanted at the shore. Both have shelves in the middle for books which I loaded up on at the library book sale so I'll be populating them this weekend.
9. Watching: Just finished True Detective Night Country. Reading: Sally Hepworth's Darling Girls, which publishes April 23. 

10. Happy spring, folks. If the spring temps could come back, that would be fantastic.

I'm out here trying to stay in the day, present every day. To feel and welcome joy in the small moments. Living in a world where no one agrees on a damn thing and you can see that every second online is not easy. 

I cannot wrap my head around how we cannot at the least agree that people who are hungry should have access to food. I hate knowing people are hungry in America because they can't afford food and people cannot distinguish between inflation and corporate greed; that people are being starved in Gaza, including hostages, because food is not allowed in by land; that people are starving in Sudan because of six years of violence coupled with flooding and population displacement; that 25 years of violence and displacement and climate change has made hunger an ongoing fact of life in the Congo; and I could go on. If we cannot agree to feed people as a basic human right and have countries and corporations conduct themselves in a way that allows the earth to remain habitable for all of us, we are not going to agree to jack shit. 

Off to take Bruce to the vet for a weird irritated drooping eyeball. Wish us luck.


Friday, March 8, 2024

Niche Strategies For Precise Audience Targeting In Business Marketing

Imagine this: You’re throwing a dart in the dark, hoping to hit the bullseye on a board you can’t see. That’s what it feels like trying to nail your marketing strategy without knowing who you’re aiming at. But there’s no need to be afraid because we’re about to turn on the lights and show you how to throw that dart with the precision of a seasoned pro. Here’s the lowdown on some smart, yet surprisingly overlooked tactics to ensure your marketing message hits home, every single time.

Via Pexels

Embrace The Power Of Niche Networking Events

Let’s kick things off with networking events, but not the usual ones where you’re stuck listening to someone drone on about their “revolutionary” app. Nope, we’re talking about niche events where you’re so in sync with the crowd, that you feel right at home and actually want to make small talk with everyone there. These are gold mines for businesses looking to connect on a deeper level with their audience. For instance, if you’re looking for a merchant account for credit repair businesses, then you should be looking for events specifically tailored to the financial industry or fintech gatherings that attract a crowd interested in innovative financial solutions, not just any random business expo. 

Curate Collaborative Content Initiatives

Next up, let’s talk about content. But not just any content - we mean the kind that’s so good, it gets shared faster than the latest celebrity gossip. The secret? Collaboration. When a small business reaches out to an influencer or another business that complements its offerings, magic happens. Picture a boutique clothing brand teaming up with a popular lifestyle blogger for a series on sustainable fashion. Or imagine a local bakery joining forces with a nearby coffee shop to showcase the ultimate breakfast combos on Instagram. This strategy is all about creating win-win situations where everyone involved gets to shine, reaching audiences in a way that feels organic and genuine. 

Leverage Advanced Data Analytics For Hyper-Targeting

Now, onto the high-tech stuff: data analytics. Now you may think you’ve heard it all before, but this isn’t about creeping on your audience; it’s about getting to know them like you know yourself. By digging into the data, businesses can pinpoint exactly who’s interested in their services, from the night owl browsing for tips on how to fall asleep at a decent hour to the early bird looking for productivity hacks before the crack of dawn. It’s about sifting through the mountains of online behavior to find the golden nuggets of insight that tell you not just who your audience is, but what they need, when they need it, and perhaps most importantly, why they need it. This level of detail transforms your marketing from a broad-spectrum broadcast into a precision-guided conversation. 

Foster A Community, Not Just A Customer Base

Finally, let’s talk about creating a community, because who needs customers when you can have a fan club? This is where your brand stops being just another company and starts feeling like a club for the elite, but without the snobbery. It’s about transforming your audience from mere purchasers into passionate advocates who’ll champion your brand at every turn. When you manage to turn your brand into a community hub, the magic really starts to happen. Your brand’s values and mission become the glue that binds everyone together, creating a vibrant ecosystem where engagement is natural and loyalty is a given.

In conclusion, remember, the aim is to connect with your audience on a level that feels genuine and engaging. By zeroing in on niche events, collaborating on killer content, mining data for insights, and building a community, your message won’t just be heard; it’ll resonate. So, let’s ditch the generic and embrace the strategies that speak directly to those who matter most to your business—your customers.

This post was written with Life According to Steph readers in mind

Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Things I've been meaning to tell you 3.6.2024

1. Items of interest from last weekend: My first do nothing weekend and non-working weekend of the year. It's been a battle out here, I am already 12 full days over for the year that I have to flex somewhere. My niece and nephew came over Friday night and MFD, Jared, and I took them to Nifty Fifty's. I was on the couch all day Saturday and it was fucking glorious. Sunday was a repeat with just some more laundry and organizing and blondies. I finally placed an order to update some wall photo canvases we have in Philly. 
2. A moment of appreciation for these fantastic athleisure shoes.
3. Flowers for all of us here in America on the heels of Super Tuesday. I don't think I've ever wished more for two alternative candidates for president. And yes, folks, there are only two candidates who have a chance to win in November. I found this on my phone and have no clue where to attribute. 

4. Things I miss the most overseas: iced coffee. American eggs. 
5. Spotted in transit. Flaubert for fun? Grow up. Also look, Air France, an airline I was never supposed to be on but ended up on thanks to Air Canada's shit assery stranding they still will not address with me.

6. Photos I take of my husband vs photos he takes of me. LOL Just kidding on the middle one but really. Redeemed by the end one. I almost returned that pink dress and it was my favorite. 

7. Many people asked and no, I did not plan this trip. We went on a tour with Exottica  so the route was set and it was fine - we did everything we wanted to do, in the amount of days we wanted to do it in. It would have been nice to have a full first day as planned but that's on Air Canada. I am happy with the decision to not go to Morocco on a DIY trip - there are a lot of customs and interactions/payments expected etc that we relied heavily on an english speaking guide to help us navigate. There are guides who do small group tours and individual tours if you want to go that way, but if you are going and traveling around the country I'd definitely lean on a local guide, or get a local guide in each city.

8. What I brought home:This fucking fantastic hand done copper and metal mirror with leather backings. A little art piece from a village. Pottery from the art school in Fes. Protective hamsas for all. A baller bracelet I haggled the shit out of. Beauty products including prickly pear cactus oil. Rocks from everywhere and sand from the Sahara. Not pictured: a super thin "rug" that I'm using as a topper for our bed. 
9. Since I just returned from a trip, it's about time to plan the next one - heading out west in the fall! It's been right about nine years since we've been out that way. 

10. I'm dying to get back to the shore, but I had to be in the city yesterday and back tomorrow and Friday and I have something here on Sunday so that'll be on hold until next week. Not that it would be enjoyable with this fucking hideous rain. Relentless out there today.


Friday, March 1, 2024

February 2024 Reads

I'll be going back to my regular long-format monthly reads post, but not this month. 

This is what I read in February - lots of advanced copies from Netgalley mixed with some library books. I've got two author events coming up in March and I'm pumped!

What have you read and liked lately?

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