The Backroad Ball 2018 Part 1!

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Holy fuck! We are less than one week away from the 3rd annual Backroad Ball! 

Last year, I attended my very first all women only moto weekend. It was one of the best times of my entire life and I am friggin excited to be gearing up for the next one.

I attend as a non-rider, so you don’t have to ride a motorcycle to attend. There are workshops, yoga, food and drinks, karaoke, organized rides, vendors, and some of the most incredible live music from North America. See more here.

Last year when I got there, I was floored. I was nervous, I didn’t plan to actually go and when I did, and look back, I am so pumped to spend this next weekend with some of the coolest ladies and to meet some new ones.

The event is held in Penobsquis, just outside of Sussex and year 3 will be bigger than previous. I will definitely be sharing lots of behind the scenes and sassy stuff next weekend so check out my Instagram story at @CaitMilberry.

Cheers

Backroad Ball | 2017

The Backroad Ball 2018 takes place June 15-17, 2018 in Penobsquis, NB. Here's a recap of our June 2017 event… Thanks for coming!!Registration for BRB 2018 is now open so don't miss out on this awesome motorcycle weekend with the babes!!Video by Emily St.Pierre & Abigail SmithMusic by Les Hay Babieshttp://www.thebackroadball.com/

Posted by The Backroad Ball on Tuesday, April 17, 2018

 

World Cannabis Congress + Chelsea Handler- Part 1

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Hey Everyone!

What an amazing week coming up! Thrilled to be working with Civilized and covering some great panels at The World Cannabis Congress, being held right here in my city, Saint John. How fucking cool is that? For me, personally, it’s crazy fucking cool!

This event was announced a few months back and I knew I needed to be part of it. This conference is bringing ALL of the best in the cannabis industry, in business and in research, and culture from all around the world.

The focus is to bring folks together from the cannabis industry, in business and research, politics and culture and really work together, and create conversations and know more about global quality standards. Over these 2 days, there will be over 1- countries in attendance, informative panels and some amazing connections to be made.

I will be covering quite a few panels so I urge you to check out the Civilized website and my Instagram story for behind the scenes. Find me at @CaitMilberry.

The other neat part of this is that Civilized is bringing someone who I really think is a rad person, Chelsea Handler. She will be speaking at one of the panels, and on Sunday night at the Imperial, you can join her for a special show! Get your tickets here right now! There will be a great discussion and some comedy sprinkled in.

I have been putting up posters and prepping myself for the emotions that will come from seeing her.

To be honest, when I first started consuming Chelsea’s content, it was for one reason, her late dog Chunk. She leads a very busy life, but he meant the world to her. You never saw her leaving for long periods of time, or jet-setting, and just leaving him behind. I really thought that was rad. I also felt connected to her because she just speaks my lingo.

My dog Herb turns 12 this Sunday the night of her show. I know how much she loves her pets and when her dog Chunk passed this past year it broke my heart and even though we don’t know each other I sent her a message and felt her grief. She has since rescued Bert and Bernice and its been wonderful seeing them on the gram.  On Chelsea’s posts, you see real people and Chelsea chatting back and forth, that to me is the whole reason I am in Marketing. ( See all of her pups below and a picture of herb furthest right)
               
I appreciate how fucking real she is. I try to stay out of politics and that realm of her world, but I respect her message and her confidence.
I don’t know what she will think of my little city or the conference, but I do hope she feels welcome and has a time here and tells her audience about us.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of this blog after the show and the conference and be sure to follow me on Instagram to follow behind the scenes!

How big is your blocked list?

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To be 100% honest, it’s really large. Fuck fake followers.

Let’s discuss what cleaning up “The gram” can do for you and your business.

I work full time as a Marketing and Project Manager at ICS creative agency. I also freelance, do workshops and work very hard in my community and with others to ensure they use their dollars where it can truly help their business grow.

If this is of interest to you I urge you to keep reading.

First things first, oOOo we got some new followers, OMG! Our profile or clients is growing, we got some engagement happening, Great job! I am certain you are probably just “killin” it with great photos, captions and content just urging your audience to interact with you, your story offers and whatever else you got for them. Thing is, once we started and the profile grows, Did we or will we now put pillars in place to measure what is happening? Continuous improvement for our audience? How many of these followers are real? 

Real in the sense that they could potentially buy from you.  Are they a friend or family member, local business you support? Is it a Dog account you mutually follow back because Hey, Legend Ronnie Ortiz The English bulldog is adorable and you need him daily to get through the day? As long as they add value to you, and you add value to them, This is a mutual follow that is consistently engaged with.

Dominique Legere is someone I continue to be floored by. Her voice, her drive, the way she starts conversations that don’t end after a new post is up is so inspiring, Her business, the growth of it, just everything about her, stands out. This is why she is growing her business WITH and FOR the community who helped her get to that point. Rewarding her biggest fans and making them super fans. Also, this is her dog and it makes her even more magical. Check out In pursuit -A mobile boutique.

Now let’s go back to the rest of those new followers you got…

Question is, Do they actually engage?  Did they say Hi? Like any photos?

 

Whether you are interested in influencer marketing or what is left of it, big campaigns, celebrity endorsements, whatever it is, the performance is based on your Audience. 

Inactive, ghost, and ultimately just ” Followers” making your number bigger won’t make your monthly recurring revenue any higher. They just bury your content and profile and make your ad dollars go against you and sometimes for your competitors or clients competitors. Get them out of there. Make your content and marketing/ advertising dollars go the furthest they can. For example, You can start by blocking anyone who doesn’t have a profile picture.

Let’s say you are a women’s high heel company and you have 10k followers on IG. Let’s say you check your insights and maybe 4k of those followers are men and let’s be honest, It is to see beautiful, sophisticated women in your shoes and fashions. Now if we want to be superbly optimistic we could say maybe a couple would buy for their Significant other, but being realistic, you can see my point here.

“Cait, our competitor has a bazillion Instagram followers while I’m over here trying to get a comment”. I hear this at least once a week. I am sure you are nodding your head, yes saying, me too…

Working full time with a marketing agency, I have seen a few instances where accounts we worked with had up to 100k followers and were not sustainable. They just were not cutting it. From the outside, they were “ Killin” it.

Example-Having a condensed list of referred customers, clients, additional businesses you support could bring you, in fact, more business. It could also do the same for them. Having let’s say a CRM or an Instagram account ( which by the way can connect with Hubspot 😉 Ask me how… But let’s say that you have 1000 vs 5000. You nurture and work with these people. Market your offers and content to them. This often times helps businesses keep their sales pipelines full.

Example- Email Marketing, you have a list now of 2k names from your Instagram ads. You do a cleanup. You then do a campaign and notice you get a 17% open rate compared to a good open average of about 32%. Knowing if that 2k actually was tailored to what your offer was and condensing that list into segments would help convert immediately.

We use the app cleaner for both Android and iPhone. It allows you to do bulk actions and the most needed, the block tool. Just last week I brought my following from 3600 to about 1100 and wow what a difference!!! I will admit it was very scary. Scary to see the count go down but again- they were not folks who use my content, they are not my ideal audience.

The level of engagement if you are not being reactive to it, and what you put out, simply won’t fly anymore.  If this were another industry, you would be responsible for the performance and potentially lose your job. If you were in finance or sales and delivered a proposal there would be data points that make the sale close or not.

For us at ICS Creative Agency, We always look into the data first. Analyze and action. We want our clients to go from a present state to a future dream state with us.

The truth is, just be real. Like J-Lo and Jarule said. Be legit. Don’t bullshit and don’t fuck around.  See what magic unfolds.

The big number that makes you” credible”?

Screw the 10k followers, IF 65 % of them are not buying from you or your WHY.

Let’s revisit the high heel company from above.  Scrolling and creeping never helped anybody.

Don’t be scared to WALK people out of your Instagram account. Pun intended.

What if your partnerships asked about these metrics? Who your demographics are based on vs who your followers currently are? I bet the conversation and potential opportunity would shift if these things are not carefully tailored.

Website Action?

Get that listed in your profile right freaking now! Make it easy for people to understand WHY you do what you do, what the offer is and make it even easier to buy it from you.

Important number, how many people go to the site from your profile? These insights will give you incredible feedback. If there are no clicks, WHY? Maybe your audience is not your ideal customer.

Use Google analytics to look into your website data. Just log in, go to all website data and then referrals. This allows you to track people coming from these platforms and what to hone in on, make tweaks to etc.

How much engagement did you get yo?

Have you ever posted something that was really great and like nothing happened? Are you nodding your head hell yeah? I bet you are, we all have had this happen. A big piece of advice, treat your audience like a community. Respect them, tailor content to those who follow you and refer you business now.  Be the place people go to because they find great info, great content and best of all, You.

Reach? I only reach so tall…

Your content doesn’t just show up anymore. If your engagement is going down, and you do nothing other than post more, it’s like you’re on the escalator in market square going the opposite way and oh yeah it’s broken until June. Keep on the stuff that is helpful to people, and helps you gauge the potential for your business and others.

Instagram stories

Make it a point to start watching stories. Create your own. Maybe storyboard it if you are not comfortable being the face of the brand or company. Don’t be the account that makes people swipe through, or sigh every time they come across yours by accident.

I do hope that this sheds some light on improving your Instagram efforts today.

Check out @ICS Creative Agency for any Business and Marketing Services and please feel free to reach out and comment to dig into this a bit more, and bring personal experience to the table.

Cheers, and thank you so much for taking the time to read this.

Catching up and passion projects

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Over the past few months, I have been working really hard to do a better job working with and understanding all my clients, needs in my community and really collaborating on some cool projects I’d love to share with all of you. This would not have happened without meeting some incredible people over the past few months and trying to personally grow, which we all know can be hard to do or put a focus on. I started taking a night class at UNBSJ and since then collaborating and sharing ideas has really changed the definition of what that meant for me. Projects and client work I take on now provide more results and better relationships and has made the purpose of these projects so much better.

Strange Grooves has become a really important project for me. It has opened up some phenomenal opportunities and even more amazing conversations. We are on Episode 17 and I am extremely humbled. Check out the latest episode above with Josh Bravner from The Hypochondriacs. We have been working hard, Cherise and I, to book great interviews, plan and create great events, book more slots where we spin our records, spend more time at peoples hours and venues talking about music and it has been so freaking fun!

More on Strange Grooves from Grid City Magazine or from the website.

Area 506 has been something else I have been putting a lot of time and effort into. It is a festival here in my hometown of Saint John and I am thrilled to be on their board of directors as the head of marketing and communications. This festival means a lot to me and so does the success of it. I love music and seeing people enjoy it even more. That being said, There is a wicked show on March 13th that Shivering Songs and Area 506 are putting on. The sheepdogs will be playing the Kent Theatre here in Saint John. Make sure to grab some tickets yo. I would also ask if you know of anyone who may be interested in being a vendor or a sponsor to get in touch on the website.

Check out more on the Area 506 Instagram page here.

These passion projects have really made me do a deep dive into why I do the things I do. That goes for clients, community, myself and many other factors.

The last one I will tell you about for now is The love economy NYC Gathering.

Over the past couple months, I have been working with some phenomenal people to make this event a reality and its happening it’s under 2 weeks. If you know someone who should be at this get them in touch with us via the Facebook page or Instagram.

Hope you are all doing amazing! Give me a shout if you need help with anything marketing related or if you would like to help or contribute to 506 or Strange Grooves.

Cheers 🙂

 

 

 

MAUDE + MONTGOMERY- Bring the Maritimes home.

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MAUDE + MONTGOMERY  brings the soul of the Maritimes alive and allows you to take the maritime home with you no matter where you are in the world…
 
Featuring an incredible collection of curated Artisanal Gifts and gift boxes that offer a sense of nostalgia for east coast living. Simply beautiful items and gifts for everyone.
I recently received one of their signature maritime gift boxes and was floored. Everything from the way the box was made, the smell, the contents, I would 100% recommend checking this company out and getting one of these special boxes.
I have been working with Kerri and heather for a short time now and I am loving what they are doing with their brand and online business. The story is being told from so many different views and that is so cool
 
The artists, the owners, their customers, and ultimately how their customers use those special items and make memories with is bringing the MAUDE + MONTGOMERY brand to new levels. I am over the moon to be working with this company and I love how everyone in Atlantic Canada is helping each other and the community at the same time.
I urge you to check out their website and the items in their shop. The gift box alone for 25$ is a steal and is extremely well crafted. It could be used for so many things.
 
Specific items I really liked:
 
Sea Salt and Spoon  Used this to make a stew on the weekend and felt like I knew what I was doing with this special little ingredient and the stew was amazing!
 
Sea Kelp Soap  Some of the best soap especially for sensitive skin. I will be switching to this 100%.
 
Linen towels  Honestly, these make me look like I have a nice kitchen and that I know what I am doing LOL. They are very nice and made extremely well. I will be ordering some of these for the bathroom next.
 
Quiet Coast Candle– Love the smell of this. Light, and refreshing. I love the smell it put through the house.
 
The flowers…These were such a nice touch. I really enjoy all the contents sincerely and recommend checking them out.
 
Check out their Instagram.
Check out this article by Huddle for more information and an interview with Kerri.
#Community
 
 Cheers 🙂

Visiting 11thmile.yfc in Fredericton

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When choosing ingredients, decor, and location Jenny and Peter definitely went the extra Mile, in this case, when they opened the 11th Mile in Fredericton.

I visited their establishment this week as part of a photography shoot with ICS Creative Agency and we were there to film a commercial with NB Liquor. Jenny and Peter were incredible hosts and their restaurant was a pleasure to visit and work from.

The snacks that were offered were gone very fast! The crew enjoyed them. Deviled eggs, togarashi-spiced popcorn, and a beef tostada was served.

Great menu, ingredients and cocktail choices were amazing. The decor and vibe overall are certainly welcoming, social and modern.

We had some of the best drinks I have ever had from the bartender there, Travis with The Craft Collective. 

Jenny then made me a new fave called the Muffie Meyer made with my favorite gin! Gin Thuya from New Brunswick.

I really enjoyed my visit there and love the story behind the place.

” a  reference to the Scott Expedition. It’s a terrific story, but it also serves as a metaphor for hospitality (or any job really): do a job correctly until it’s done, or your previous efforts don’t matter. In other words, don’t leave them waiting for the check”.

 

This week’s menu below:

I will most certainly be back and urge you if you are in Fredericton to check it out.

Cheers

Volume 8 with Saint John Record Enthusiast, Jeff McLennan

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Strange Grooves was on location for Volume 8 with one of our most anticipated guests, one of Saint John’s biggest record enthusiasts, Jeff McLennan.

We were so honored to be invited to check out his personal collection which is the most beautiful collection we have actually seen with our own eyes. He has over 2000 records and very stunning ways of displaying them. Jeff’s wife and son also have vinyl of their own in the collection. The wide variety of tunes is astounding and we are certain you could spend days just combing through them all.

Only a small area of the 2000+ records in Jeff’s personal collection

In this episode, we chat about what Jeff has been listening to lately, top 5 albums we would bring to a deserted island, some of his favorite treasures and gems he has found over the past 20 years. We chat about some of our favorite artists to listen to and for what reasons, for example, Les Paiens, Miles Davis, Deerhoof, The Sheepdogs, Primus and much more.

Cherise and I have been members of Jeff’s Facebook Group for a little while now, and we find it so valuable for sharing our music and finding new stuff, check it out SJ Record Enthusiasts.

Coming up

We will be spinning at HeartBreak Boutique as part of Uptown’s Sparkles event on December 1st from 5- 9 PM.

The date for our Pop up Record Expo is December 13th, 6-8 PM.

The event can be found here.

Email strangegrooves@gmail.com for an invitation.

We would love to have you join us for some vinyl collection chit chat, snacks, and some S T R A N G E  B R E W S at the Five and dime afterward.

Check this out!

Jeff created Volume 8  playlist as well for your listening pleasure after the podcast. Great way to find some new tunes.

 

Find us on Facebook or Instagram 

Thank you to everyone who has been tuning in, participating, coming out to the events. We sincerely just love sharing conversation and tunes and we always welcome new guests.

#KeepItStrange

Volume 7 with Wayne Long

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Wayne Long joins us for Volume 7

On this episode, we take a deep dive into some of Wayne’s fondest concert experiences, favorite records, his current playlists and a surprise Tom Petty appearance that happened in New York, his love for live music, how the music community has been a huge part of his life, and much much more.

Grab your headphones and turn it up!

Wayne is a wonderful dude to chat about music with. He has an abundance of knowledge and enthusiasm that really you can feel. He loves to play music live, loves to share experiences and last week he shared a post on Facebook about his first concert experience. There were over 200 comments and that really made me so happy that Strange Grooves is now a thing.We really want to engage with people, bring them out, listen to music together and really have a community of music lovers that love to share conversation, knowledge and much more about the music they love.

We were honored that Wayne was able to join us and we urge you to listen to the podcast above! There are some really fun and shocking stories he told us as the conversation unfolded.

Thanks for listening~!

#KeepItStrange

SLAB- Wood From The Hood

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∇  Audio and blog Interview with Judith Mackin of Tuck Studio- Interior Design and Decor.

All Photos by Kelly Lawson
I was honored to sit down with Judith on Tuesday at Tuck Studio on Grannan Alley for a few minutes and get a sneak peek into the SLAB project launching on November 16th. Some of the furniture is stunning and really tells a story.
I also asked her about some of her favorite musicians, concerts she is attending in 2018 and generally what she wants for her city moving forward.
 
Judith has a creative brain some of us creatives wish we had for Projects and design. Her work ethic and love of music, as well as sincerity toward her brand and team, are very humbling and very apparent. Judith chooses her projects wisely and with the highest level of respect for her community. This project certainly reflects that.
 
 Click play below to hear our conversation:
 


Watch video of Jean François Landry of JMN Enterprise in Claire New Brunswick working. You can see this incredible piece on November 16th.

Strange Grooves Volume 6 with Ray Gracewood

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Ray Gracewood joins us for Volume 6.

On this episode, we dive into some of Ray’s favorite records and memories associated with them. We chat recent concert experiences, including his 40th birthday Guns and Roses surprise, Area 506, and much more…

Ray tells us about a very cool Headstones experience from about 15 years ago and a few Matt Mays memories. We chat The Strumbellas, Blue Quarter, Stars, all things Area 506 and the intimate experiences with the bands that go along with running a festival and how listening to them after can feel. We dig into some of our favorite vinyl recordings, and how incredible live music can be for everyone and all ages.

The first record Ray introduced us to is the second album by Canadian band, Ox, released in 2006. They are from Vancouver. Really incredible sound. This is the record you are hearing in the background of this episode.

We also chat about the first record that stands out to us or that we lived through and Ray brought his Loverboy album…If you are not listening yet… press play and turn it up to find out more.

Photos all By Ray Gracewood

The Strumbellas in Denver

Stars performing at Area 506

Guns and Roses New York October 2017

Check out the Area 506 Instagram and stay tuned for next year’s lineup! 

Thanks for tuning in folks! Please let us know if you would like to join us for an episode or if you would like to write, or share anything with the vinyl community. We would love to hear from you and what you are enjoying and watching. 

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

#KeepItStrange