Oklahoma

3 Reasons Your Business Needs a Twitter

Here at High Five, we breathe social media. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google +— You name it, we’re all over it. And while all businesses may not share this caliber of zeal for it, they definitely partake.

In fact, it’s as essential now for a business to be active on social media, as it is to have a phone number. 

Among these platforms, Twitter is an indispensable constellation of it’s own. The micro-blogging site, known for it’s 140-character post limit, hosts 310 million active monthly users

Ten years since it’s conception, Twitter has hatched and grown into a powerful communication tool to show us how much can be shared simply by being concise. Almost every major company, from American Airlines to Amazon, utilizes the platform

If you’re not part of the Twitter-sphere already, your business could be seriously losing out. That’s why we’ve complied a list of reasons your business should be on Twitter.

Connection

Twitter is an ongoing global conversation, different from other sites like Facebook, because the interactions it facilities are swift and intuitive. Organic, if you will. It’s the kind of space where you can pull a person, or business, aside and address them directly. 

It’s likely that your clientele is already on Twitter, sharing their opinions and concerns about your industry or business directly. They’ll appreciate you all the more for listening and responding. 

Branding

Hashtags are ideal for branding. Create custom hashtags for your business and use existing ones too. Local hashtags, like #OKCeats for example, will extend your reach to local audience and broad ones like #FoodPorn will expose you to a larger community. Establish your personality, and let the world see what makes you unique.

Twitter is a great place to fully engage people in what you’re doing. Utilize hashtag competitions, live tweets on events, Twitter ads and chats to interact with your audience. 

As an added bonus, consistently seeing interesting posts from your business builds familiarity and trust with customers. You’ll be on their mind when they need you. 

Expansion

Expanding your network goes beyond the customer base. When you’re active on twitter, it opens up a portal of communication to leading professionals in the industry. It lets you have a conversation with people you might otherwise not have access to. Just like you can see what your clients are up to, you can use Twitter to see what your competition is doing as well. 

Ultimately, you want what’s best for your business and to give it every chance possible at unrestrained success. So why not join this #party and make the best of all the opportunities it offers? 

3 Photography Hacks for Beginners

 

Here at High Five, we love our team and their creative brains. The hours and mad skills they put into their work leave us in a state of shock on a regular basis. Meet one of our photographers, Jonathan Burkhart

Jonathan was picked as one of TIME Magazine's 50 Instagram Photographers to Follow back in 2015*, and continues to embark on crazy adventures with friends, gathering a vast array of portraits and landscapes for his portfolio (and his 51k+ Instagram followers).  

We’re not quite sure how he does it . . . some in the office theorize that he listens to Baby Got Back to get in the zone, while others say that he does exactly five jumping jacks to find his Zen mode. Regardless, we are proud of all that he is and most importantly, we're proud of his humility and how he handles his talent. 

So after we finally found a free moment for Jon (he’s a busy man), we asked him for some tips and tidbits for all the budding photographers out there. Here’s what he said: 

1.) Composition is key. “You’ve got to think outside the box,” he said. “I know it sounds cheesy, but until you really dig in, you won’t be able to fully commit and get the results that you want. You’ll be working against yourself; you have to get out of the box and stay out of it.”  Another important thing to remember about a photo’s composition is the rule of thirds. The rule of thirds is all about balance and the natural way that the human eyes looks at photos. If you imagine a 3x3 grid when looking through your camera lens, place the points of interest on the intersecting points of the grid. 

2.) Lighting is make or break. “You want your lighting to convey the emotion of the subject,” Jonathan said. “To make your message most effective, use lighting to your advantage to create the mood, whether that be using shadows or fully exposing your subject.” It’s also important to be aware of the sun when you’re shooting outside. “Golden hour” is a term used for the time in the day (either right after sunrise or right before sunset) that has the best natural light. Be on the lookout for sunrise/sunset times! 

3.) Jonathan’s favorite editing apps. Apps are some of the greatest tools for beginner photographers—and professionals, too! “Apps are some of the greatest tools for getting your feet wet in the photographing world. If you just take a little time to explore the app and learn, you will become a little better versed in the terms and tools of the trade."

Below are some of Jonathan's favorite editing apps: 

Taking professional-grade photos is hard and takes a lot of time and attention. Don’t stress yourself out—find a professional! We’ve got a few around here who will get the job done AND give you some high fives. 

 

Why We OKC.

Photo of the Oklahoma City skyline by our very own, Jonathan Burkhart

Photo of the Oklahoma City skyline by our very own, Jonathan Burkhart

It's a common misconception that Oklahoma is behind the times (sigh). 

However, many Okies know the REAL truth-OKC has been on the rise and is actually pretty fantastic. At High Five Media, we're proud of our capital city, which is why we're giving you five reasons you, too, should OKC (yep, it's a verb). 

Since its inception, Oklahoma has been the wonderers destination. It started with those wanting the rush of the open frontier, railroad men, and early 89ers, all determined dreamers, dead set on leaving their footprint in an unknown wilderness. Today, in the same vein of the fearless explorer, start ups, risk takers, and entrepreneurs are reclaiming a city.

The steadfast pioneer spirit embodies and new generation of visionaries, who are not only shifting the culture, but are making Oklahoma City cool, again. 

Oklahoma City’s reinvention of cool, most obviously starts with the injection of the Thunder. But let's be honest, the metro area circa 2007 was already a sports hotbed. The University of Oklahoma was and still is a big league with seven national titles, five Heisman winners, twenty-three Hall of Famers and the longest winning streak in D1 history, and we’re just talking football. Up north there’s the brightest orange with OSU boasting fifty-one total national titles, Mike Gundy, an Oklahoma native head coach that’s birthed a powerhouse program, and billionaire Boone Pickens, who makes us feel that half-time uniform changes are somewhere within the foreseeable future. Add in a professional basketball team and you've got yourself a sports utopia awesome enough to make a governor serve up a slathered up platter of ribs to any national sports analyst – oh wait, that’s already happened. 

Which brings me to scoot my chair right up to OKC’s ample food offerings. Steaks, BBQ, burgers, whatever your little foodie heart desires, the city has you covered. Just please remember to generously add Oklahoma’s own Head Country BBQ sauce. When it’s not your cheat day, OKC has an amazingly progressive healthy food movement. Zoë’s Kitchen, All About Cha, Cafe 7, and Cool Greens are unanimous favorites because they strive to bring patrons into a healthy lifestyle community. 

Community is everywhere within this city. The Plaza District, The Paseo, and Midtown neighborhoods are products of OKC’s Renaissance. Millennial owned art galleries, storefronts, and restaurants now line these once dicey streets. This is where art and innovation converge and the new age pioneer’s roots run deep. 

Capital is increasingly generated, and the coolest thing about OKC is that Oklahomans give back. There is a certain standard in our state and it’s one that never hesitates to take care of our own. During challenges of catastrophe, natural disaster, or a mere case of someone down on their luck our citizens are always willing to give--Oklahoma continues to reign in the top ten most charitable states in the nation

We know that outsiders think first our tragedies and secondly the misconceived lack of culture; however, I truly believe OKC residents are the absolute definition of resiliency and innovation. So last but certainly not least, the pinnacle of cool in OKC is the Memorial Marathon. Coined A Race to Remember because of the 168 we will never forget, the Memorial Marathon is one of the United States' top 10 marathons. Similar to Oklahoma City itself, participating in such a worthy cause only gets better with every year that passes.

Networking is Not a Dirty Word

The year is 2016. You've just closed a deal for the business opportunity of a lifetime and opened the door to new horizons for your career. The question - how'd you pull it off? The answer - networking 

In a world of ever-expanding digital communication, the word "networking" is often associated with a string of retweets, Instagram likes, and the occasional LinkedIn request. However, the real benefits of networking come with strategic and intentional communication.  

As a generation steeped in the digital age, millennials have the tools necessary to get the most bang out of their networking buck. That's why we've compiled a list of ways to tap into your networking potential.  

  1. Navigate the business waters. As the saying goes, "there are plenty of fish in the sea." This is especially true for the business community. There are numerous invaluable connections from all walks of life that could potentially help you in some way or another. However, Rome's network wasn't built in a day. Start by honing in on business professionals in your industry of interest. By establishing contacts within your career field, you're creating a path to future interaction and furthered insight into the inner workings of the industry.  

  2. Become a follower. (But, don't make it creepy.) Social media is a good way to get your foot in the door with new contacts. By following industry professionals on platforms where they are most active, like Twitter or LinkedIn, and engaging in the content that they post, you are making your name and your presence known. Follow their activity and strive to create professional and meaningful interaction.  

  3. Go off the Grid. With so much of business conducted digitally, a face-to-face conversation is becoming more rare, which makes it all-the-more effective. Attend events and get involved in business-focused organizations, like your local chamber of commerce. Connecting in-person with a business professional is a great opportunity to make a favorable impression, while also fostering unique discussion and adding a human element to your already-established digital presence.  

  4. Talk, don't squawk. Too many times, young professionals make the mistake of selling their experience and skillset from start to finish. While pitching your potential isn't always a bad thing, it can often lead to ending connections before they begin in networking scenarios. Rather than fixating on you, focus on them. Initiate a discussion about their passion for the industry. Glean the tricks of the trade from their years of experience. Turn the tables on traditional topics and become genuinely interested in who they are as a business professional and what they have to offer.   

After strengthening your connections, it's not unusual to find yourself with a vast network of industry professionals, excited about engaging you in the future of the field and ready and willing to help you kick-start your career.

Getting Honest about Your Potential

It’s interesting how there’s really nothing new.  

All high school graduations employ the same cast of characters—the popular ones, the beautiful ones, the athletic ones, the smart ones, the weird ones, the quiet ones.  Watching my daughter cross the stage at her graduation reminded me of my own high school experience, and it got me thinking about a person’s potential.  

Ah, high school

Those simple words are likely to evoke a range of emotions and memories ranging from excitement to nausea. Depending on who you ask, high school is defined as either a battleground where people claw for survival or a kingdom to be surveyed and ruledNo matter what sort of experience you may have had, though, there’s something universal about the experience—high school is a fertile ground for potential.  

Everyone has experienced that utter surprise when you’re told the deadbeat who sat beside you in History is now a venture capitalist for a multi-billion dollar company, or when, conversely, the

Valedictorian with all the prospects becomes a drug addict who’s living in his parents’ basement. The surprise is visceral and stays with you. This is because a person’s potential is important but it’s only one part of the puzzle for success. In high school, kids dream recklessly—they announce they’re going to be doctors and lawyers and astrophysicists with the aplomb of a British royal.

But potential, like high school, brings with it its own baggage. Some people shine when they’re told they have great potential, while others break out into hives and whither.  In business, it’s crucial to understand the potential of a sale or of a client, so in my own life I’ve given a lot of thought to the subject. The way I see it, people experience two lives—the life they believe they’re capable of and the life they actually live.  In order to succeed, I mean really succeed, you must not only reach your potential, but surpass it. Because blog posts are about boiling things down to sound bites and quotes, I’m going to make this part 1of a 3 part series on how to meet (and then exceed) your potential.

Step 1:  Be honest.  

This might be the most difficult part of the puzzle, because, let’s face it, you think you’re hot shit.  This comes out when you apply for jobs way out of your experience level, don’t get the job, then proceed to tell everyone how idiotic everyone at the company is who didn’t hire you. It happens when you play indoor soccer against an All-American and are genuinely surprised and frustrated when he or she absolutely schools you.  Having confidence is important—it’s actually crucial—but you can’t confuse confidence for cockiness. 

Taking stock of your skills, really understanding your capabilities, your strengths, and (you     guessed it) your weaknesses is a significant part of getting real with your potential.  So many times in job interviews I’ve asked candidates to rank their skills on a set of 1-10, and invariably they spout off a host of 8s, 9s, and 10s. If it’s for writing, I’ll then ask, “If Mark Twain or Jane Austen is a 9, what are you?”  Puzzled they’ll sputter, “well, ah, I mean I guess I’m a 3 or a 2 or (God forbid) a 1.” 

So many people have absolutely no concept of what they’re really worth. This happens on both ends of the spectrum and both sides are equally detrimental. Understanding, I mean really understanding what you have to offer is like putting prescription glasses over your 20/8 eyes.  With honesty you’re able to assess when someone short shifts you, when you’re overwhelmed, or when you need to ask for help. Self-assessment is hard, but totally worth it.

I’m not saying you need to constantly compare yourself to the greats, but I am saying you need to really understand what it means to be an 8 or a 9 in your field. If you’re a 5, what are you going to do to bump up a number? This is a tough pill to swallow, because many of us had (and still have) big dreams for our lives. We see ourselves as capable of anything, so when we fall short, it’s a shock. Getting real with your talents allows you to remove the rose colored glasses and see your work for what it’s worth, and then assess how you can improve it. 

I’m excited to continue with this 3 part series, and hope you find it inspiring so that whoever you were in high school, you’re able to achieve a success you can be proud of today.  

What are ways you can get honest with yourself? Do you feel you’ve reached your full potential? Why/why not? 


5 Reasons Why Employing Millennials is #Winning

Let's be honest. The term "millennial" likely makes you cringe, and I can't say that I blame you. I'm a member of the expansive, ever-active millennial generation, and sometimes even I become exasperated over the generational hoopla 

If you look past the marathon of selfies and the frenzy of status updates, however, a startling truth emerges: millennials are changing the world.  

A trend of data is surfacing in support of more openly embracing the integration of millennials into the workplace. Why? Well, for starters, according to the Deloitte Millennial Survey for 2014, millennials are expected to make up 75 percent of the global workforce within the next decade. This means that, whether you're on board or not, millennials are likely going to be working for or with you in the very near future.  

Because of this, seasoned professionals are beginning to take notice; they're discovering that we've got plenty to offer.  

We are digital pioneers.  

It's no surprise that millennials are tech-savvy. Nearly every aspect of our lives revolves around digital devices. However, there's more to our savvy than a sophisticated Instagram post or a well-planned Snapchat story.  

Technology developed as we did, and we've easily adapted to each new wave of advances. This means that we're always looking to push digital boundaries. We're looking for new ways to connect online and improve our daily lives. 

Consequentially, this carries over into our professional lives, as well. In an article on Fortune.com, Sally Susman, the executive vice president of corporate affairs at Pfizer, highlighted the crux of millennial potential when she said, "Greater insight from millennials can help us connect online with people of all ages in ways that are, frankly, new and unexpected... 

If given the chance, millennials can be great assets for social media strategy and connecting with consumers on a digital level. 

We lead through inspiration.  

According to an article on Business Insidermillennial managers are more optimistic and lead by "pulling" their employees to succeed rather than pushing.  

What does this mean for business? When millennials lead with inspiration, optimism and by example, motivation increases among employees, and millennials rise as "champions of change," often for the benefit of the company's image and its bottom line.  

We move to improve.  

There's a saying that one of my college professors used to recite, "I give back through feedback." Of course at the time, it usually elicited an eye roll from me. But even then, I eagerly welcomed feedback, nearly chomping at the bit for a chance to better my work and refine my craft. 

Zenger/Folkman's research captures that sentiment by suggesting that millennials are "looking for new ways to work smarter and produce higher-quality work." This often encompasses the desire to both give and get feedback. Such a desire increases communication and fosters a drive to continuously improve - a win-win scenario for employees and companies.  

We are challenge-seeking goal-setters.  

This goes hand-in-hand with our digital drive and our desire to improve. We push the envelope, constantly looking to take things to the next level. It's as if the powers-that-be told ambitious millennials, "Jump," and the resounding response was "How high?" 

In most cases, the status quo is just not good enough. We set goals that seem unattainable and then strive to bypass reaching them and focus instead on surpassing them. This pushes us to bigger dreams and better results.  

We are social investors.  

Investing in the well-being of the community and society as a whole is kind of our mantra, whether or not we're consciously aware of it is a different story. As one of my co-workers puts it, "Millennials grew up on Harry Potter and The West Wing." It may sound cheesy, but it rings true. Our expectations for how to treat others and our elasticity toward social acceptance gives us an innate drive for social responsibility.  

As for how that translates to businesses, Susman explained, "As a new generation entering the workforce without pre-set notions of traditional models, millennials can help shape corporate responsibility programs to move beyond charity and towards entrepreneurial models that benefit society." 

If millennials can and are changing the world, imagine what they can do for your business. 

What have millennials done for your business?

The Intern Files: What Happens When You Don’t Like PSL? *gasp*

So because we're really weird and love our Intern, we've decided to dedicate a few posts to asking (read making) her try out new, hip thangs because she's a new, hip gal.  Her musings and thoughts combine to form (dun, dun, DUN) The Intern Files. 

Hello, Kennedy the intern here, enjoying a great day of fall weather. I’m a college kid, so hours spent at Starubucks are not foreign to me. On a study session a couple of nights ago, I got to drink Starbucks’ newest drink, the Toasted Graham Latte (#TGL). I’m a lover of all things fall, but one thing I’ve never been able to get behind is the Pumpkin Spice Latte. I prefer my sweet drinks to be in cold, Frappuccino form. So when I walked into Starbs last night, I was surprised to see a poster for a brand new drink in the emerging #PSL season. 

Our Intern getting her #TGL on.

I must admit, my mind went straight to skepticism. I consulted my barista, Hannah (yes, we are on a first-name basis), and asked her opinion. “It’s really subtle,” she warned. “I’ll make one for you and then you can add a syrup to it if you want.” Ladies and gents, this latte needed no extra syrup.

What I found in that drink was the best tasting flavored latte I’d ever tasted.

Perfectly subtle, in-between the black, vital coffee we find ourselves drinking and the sweet, frivolous coffee drinks we enjoy with our friends. 

There’s an article on Eater.com that refers to the TGL as “graham crackers and milk all grown up”. I think perhaps in our world of extra-shots and fancy syrup combos, the simplistic nature of the TGL gets wrongly categorized as too simple—a drink for reminiscing about simpler days. I think that it could be intended for invoking nostalgic feelings, but not so we can sit around and wish for simpler days. Instead, we should use it as a time to simply have a pleasurable moment in the midst of our busy days. When we embrace the here and now, we get the best of both worlds: a simple pleasure that recognizes and appreciates both joyous childhood memories and the life we currently live. 

Thank you, Starbucks, for capturing a more unconventional part of fall and for teaching us a lesson about enjoying life. 

Happy fall, 

The Intern

3 Reasons Engaging Content Still Matters

Hello there, today we're going to beat a dead horse, but it's going to be fun and completely hypothetical and non-violent. Today, we're talking content, how to use it, and why any of this even matters. Let's dive right in sans weapons, shall we?

What sets you apart from the rest? What makes your post have the most likes, the most views, or the most subscriptions? What makes content matter so much? 

Everything has become a tagline.

How do you get attention-grabbers, while still maintaining a sense of professionalism?  Why does this matter?  In this digital age, your content becomes synonymous with your name. Unfortunately, sometimes it is hard to get good quality materials for your content in the world of 140 characters. Some of those in the writing world turn their nose up at the thought of social media and online content replacing their beloved hard-copy pieces they grew up dreaming about writing. But we’re here to tell you that written content is still king in this age; it just shows up in different mediums.  

Here’s a few reasons why good content matters: 

  1. Content is the essence of every idea. A challenge companies could face in the age of endless scrolling is having a single, overriding message. Themed blog posts, catchy hashtags, or creative titles have ways of tying everything together nicely. It’s no different than serial publishing from years ago—it’s just taking a different form.
  2. Content’s form is make or break. Content reaches a much broader audience than in previous years, and with so many formats and layouts like Instagram, Twitter, and Google +, the format of a post could make or break it when it comes to views, likes, shares, and ultimately a reputation. 
  3. Content will live long. If content is well-crafted, the idea it presents will reflect well on every aspect of the company. Content will only last long in the reader’s mind if it is noteworthy.

Written content, in all its forms, is the same. If anything, this digital age challenges writers to be more on top of their game. In a world with a short attention span, writers are called to be even more relevant, clear, and creative. We are not all defined by our #hashtags. Content at its best is self-evident, self-affirming, and completely essential to today’s written world.

What are ways you use content to reach and engage with your audience? Do you think content matters to businesses? 

What Makes You Happy?

It's a pretty simple question with a not so simple of an answer. Everyone is different with different lives going in (you guessed it) different directions, so the definition of happiness varies with each situation.

Maybe happy is your favorite food. 

Maybe your happy comes from a perfectly designed space.

Or possibly you derive great joy working on your craft.

Whatever tips the corners of your mouth up is worthy and important. In a world of fast paced insanity, it's so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle or become inundated with bad news. At High Five we're all about facing the facts and reporting quality news. 

We also know how to have a whole bunch of fun.

We see the importance of showing gratitude year-round (not just around the Thanksgiving table) as a way to combat the blues and show appreciation for the beauty surrounding everyone--if they take the time to notice.

That's why we decided to take part in the 100 Days of Happy project, but gave it our own little spin. Thus #HappyWithHigh5 was born! Around the office we've been using it to detail things big and small that makes us happy (there have been a lot of dog pics).  We'd love if our readers took part as well, even if it's for one day! Taking a moment to show some love to the universe for the crazy, delicious, wacky, awesomeness that makes up every day is worth it. 

So what makes you happy? Big, small, everything in between works, we just wanna' know!

 

Photos Credit of Jonathan Burkhart Photography

High Five in the News

Hello again, we couldn't be happier you've decided to continue reading our posts.  Here's a little update we can't help but brag about. Our very own photographer, Jonathan Burkhart, was selected as the number one Instagram account to follow in Oklahoma by a little publication you may have heard of...TIME Magazine. To say we're over the moon with pride is an understatement. Here is a press release detailing the achievement.

Can you blame us for bragging? 

High Five Media's Photographer Selected in TIME Magazine's Top 50 Instagram Photographers to Follow

Oklahoma photographer, Jonathan Burkhart, picked by TIME Magazine as one of the 50 Instagram accounts to follow.

High Five Media's photographer, Jonathan Burkhart, was part of TIME Magazine's top 50 Instagram Photographers to Follow for his excellence in social media and photography. The list includes one photographer for each state, with Burkhart representing Oklahoma. Burkhart is a Choctaw, Okla. native, one of ten siblings and has over 55K followers on Instagram. As a photographer for marketing company, High Five Media, Burkhart is able to expand his photographic portfolio. 

"I never really thought about TIME Magazine ever looking at my work, or even knowing I was alive," said Burkhart. "I'm still kind of shocked, but I'm also really honored that such an institution noticed and appreciated my work." 

Burkhart began working for High Five Media in May 2015 and takes photographs for both the company's magazine, Linked, and for clients. On Instagram, his specialties are portraits and landscape, though at High Five he is able to expand his repertoire to include food photography, business photography and videography. 

"At High Five Media, I'm able to continue working and growing as a photographer," said Burkhart. "I'm able to have freedom to express my creativity and vision." 

"Jonathan is awesome," said Earle Haggard, partner at High Five Media. "He captures things on his camera that others standing beside him are unable to see. His talent far exceeds his experience and his age. I am so proud of him not only for accomplishing this honor from TIME magazine, but also for the humility that he possesses all the while. We feel so fortunate to have Jonathan as a member of our High Five team."