940 612 Charles Hsuan

Bigger And Better 2018? What if you could trade a paperclip for a house?

When people say, “you can accomplish anything you put your mind to,” many of us laugh it off as rainbow and unicorn talk. Canadian blogger, Kyle MacDonald, however, fully embraced this mentality.

In 2005, Kyle posted a picture of a red paperclip on his blog and in the barter section of Craigslist. He then asked if anyone wanted to make a trade for this red paperclip. His goal was to see if he could eventually trade the paperclip for a house.

Over the course of the year, Kyle made many successive trades, including a fish-shaped pen, an electric generator, a snowmobile and a trip to the Canadian Rockies.

Around this time, his trading progress had garnered some media attention. When he appeared on one TV interview, he wore a shirt with Cintas’ logo (the uniform company). The head of Cintas happened to see Kyle on TV wearing the shirt. They met up and the guy offered Kyle a trade. For the trip to the Canadian Rockies, he’d give Kyle one of Cintas’ vans.

At this point, Kyle stepped up his game as his goal had become more real.

He traded the Cintas van for a recording contract which, after a half dozen or so more trades, led him to getting a house in Kipling, Saskatchewan a year and a day after making his first trade.
So, what can we learn about our own goals for 2018 from Kyle’s red paper clip project?

  • Have a BHAG and share it:

    We all need at least one Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG). When you share it with the world, you never know what might happen or who will help get you there. This is the main reason why I started visualizing each of my goals and sharing them.

  • Find the win-win:  

    Even though Kyle was the ultimate beneficiary, his project helped a lot of people get what they wanted. This was one of the reasons that he got on the press’ radar and why people around the globe were rooting for him. He focused on the win-win.

  • Community and connection:

    Kyle created a community around one red paperclip and developed genuine relationships with those he met along the way. This contributed to his project becoming a movement.

  • Be humble:

    Despite his rise to fame and success, Kyle is a humble, authentic guy – another likely reason why so many wanted to help him on his journey.

  • Marketing matters:

    Make no mistake, Kyle is a savvy marketer. He found smart ways to engage the media in his efforts, which was a big part of his success

Two years later, Kyle has a website, a new book and an entertaining, inspiring TED Talk describing his journey. By being curious, taking a risk and engaging those around him, he has changed his life in ways he could never have imagined. Kyle also combined his inspiration with perspiration, doing the hard work to turn his crazy idea into a reality. The difference between a dreamer and a visionary is execution and follow-through.

For 2018, how big and bold are you thinking? Get in touch with us here.

Quote of the Week

 “If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it.”

Albert Einstein

Article originally published on Friday Forward.

168 112 Candice Link

Why content is King in the online marketing game

Content is King (or Queen if we’re being politically correct!)

Content is King

Content is King

You’ve heard it a million times I’m sure, you’ve been lectured by your consultants, your own team or you are guilty of saying it yourself, but when it comes to being visible and engaging through online marketing, content is vital, fact.

What does it mean?

It means showing information that’s of value to your customers, showing them what they want, what they are interested in, answering their questions before they’ve been asked, being helpful – not just beautifully written articles and amazing imagery.

Why is this important in online marketing?

Being found online is imperative for your company, however the old days of lecturing them on why your business is the best is long gone. Feature, Function, Benefits are suited to brochures but don’t work well online. Showing content to potential customers or existing customers that is truly engaging and relevant to them will ensure loyalty, show them know what you’re talking about, it gives you the edge and builds trust online.

The top search engines prioritise good quality, regularly updated content on your website as well as through your social media platforms. It all helps in your overall search engine optimisation to get your site seen.

Sounds so simple, why aren’t we all doing this already?

It does sound easy, and makes sense as I’m sure you’ll agree. However, taking the time and resources to dedicate to this area of the business means it’s often forgotten about. Let’s be honest it’s a bit of a drag, and it’s something that has to be done regularly too. So without a dedicated staff member or marketing consultancy it often starts off as a great idea and then ‘more important’ jobs come along and it’s pushed to the back.

Where to get inspiration for writing good content


Try get your marketing team (if you have one)  involved in various department meetings to see what’s happening across the business. Getting the marketing department to know the key players in your company and allowing them access to personnel will aid in a lot of content ideas. Let them listen in to customer calls or read the customer feedback forms. If you don’t have a marketing team it’s something you can do yourself or contract our to a specialist company (like us – cheeky!).


Google loves content, there are some amazing tools they give out for free to show you what’s trending in your industry and other tools to see who is searching on what key words or phrases relevant to your company, find them and use them


Take a look at what your competitors are doing, anything interesting or different? Agree with them or disagree? Get online and write about it.

Where do you put all this content?

Your website, email, blogs, social media sites such as FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc. Got fantastic pictures your customers would love? Why not try Instagram or Pinterest. Join groups online, submit your info as a press release – whatever you have there is an appropriate channel online to get it out there, let your customers see it, be where THEY are.

Stop procrastinating, get going

Sit down, make a plan, consult with someone – for every minute you aren’t writing / planning / doing – your competitors are. It’s a long-term commitment but worth the time and effort. Think of your customer and deliver.