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We’re In Cahoots!

cahoots logo

What are we up to?

Our blog has been running for nearly two months now and we are getting closer and closer to launching Cahoots.com, so we thought we’d take a moment to let you know what’s up and what’s coming.  We don’t talk about it much, because we’re actually all about you. Here is what we mean by that:

We are building a website called ‘Cahoots’ at Cahoots.com.  Our goal is to make promoting yourself online less time consuming, more efficient, very organized, and more meaningful.  This website is being designed with small businesses, artisans, restaurants, musicians, funeral homes, dog walkers, pet sitters, lawyers, caterers and many other service professionals in mind.  These are the people and businesses that have to generate an ongoing stream of clientele.

With many jobs, once you’re hired you can stop looking for work.  With other types, such as a wedding photographer or caterer, the search is continuous, as people usually only hire you for one wedding!  So we’re shifting a large portion of the search to the consumer’s end so they can find and compare people without them even knowing they were applying for a job.  We”re also focused on short-form job applications that are quick and job matching. Why should a Cellist have to worry about SEO, scanning Craigslist, and constantly updating social networks when all they want to do is play music?  Running your own business or being self-employed is time consuming enough within itself. In Cahoots all you have to do is do your job, do it well, build relationships, and build your reputation.  As a consumer, all you have to do is know what you’re looking for (For Example, a Cellist for your wedding ceremony).

We are not building a directory, we are building a community.  The online communities that currently exist are either too niche, too exclusive, too busy, or too corporate.  They’re good at what they do, and we want to be good at what we do.  We are striving to enhance collaboration, exchange, organization of online space, and both B2B and B2C relationships.

We don’t talk about Cahoots.com much on our blog yet because:

  1. We’re developing a social business platform for people who  are looking to promote themselves and build relationships online.  We figured we would give people tips, inspiration, and insight rather than bombard them with technical jargon related to our development.  
  2. We want to build a great relationship with the online community.
  3. By focusing on content that may be of interest to our target market we are forced to research the subject ourselves.   This deepens our understanding of our target market in fantastic ways.
  4. We know that how our product ends up being used will emerge through it’s use.  We don’t want to make big claims or promises just yet. We’re staying supple, adaptable, and open to change.

Beginning next Monday, our blog is going to take on more structure and consistency and begin involving more people. We are committed to providing at least one post a day that will look something like this:

Mondays- We feature a post from a Guest Blogger/Writer.

Tuesdays- We feature a post on social media, small business, or professional tips.

Wednesday- We give an update on our development.

Thursday- We talk about relationships in business and communities.

Friday- A bit more visual, casual, and humorous.

Saturday– We will feature a small business or professional doing an awesome job.

Sunday- Surprise!

On Twitter @Cahootstweets we tweet useful articles, our own content, quotes, smallbiz news, and retweet the stuff we come across that deserves attention.

We have also started @cahootssub, an account dedicated specifically to scoping out content and tweeting calls for submissions.  Follow us if you’re interested in being featured.

We can be found on Facebook at http://facebook.com/cahootspage

We will be releasing our video content and Pinterest in conjunction with our launch.

If you would like to be invited to our beta site please go to Cahoots.com

Please do get in Cahoots with us!

Cah{o,o}ts

6 Reasons to Avoid Wearing Sunglasses in Your Professional Image

Matrix_Agents

Most people have at least one picture of themselves wearing sunglasses that they love.  It’s  easy to take a good picture in sunglasses: no worries about squinting, dark circles, or expression and they make us look kinda cool. Aside from looking like you stepped out of the film The Matrix here are 6 reasons why you shouldn’t wear sunglasses in your professional image:

1.  No Eyes:  The eyes are commonly described as ‘the window to the soul’.  When you hide your eyes you are missing a huge opportunity to say a lot about who you are.

2.  No Eye Contact:  In addition to missing out on the power of conveying who you are, you are missing out on the power of eye contact.  Studies have demonstrated that people make stronger connections with images that make eye contact with them.  Making eye contact projects more confidence and sincerity.  Images of people who are not looking at the camera are more likely to be perceived as  uninterested, aloof, pretentious, and detached.

3. Secretive:  Wearing sunglasses can make you look secretive and like you’re hiding the real you- because you are.

4.  Difficult to Recognize:  Celebrities hide behind sunglasses all the time to avoid the press because it makes them less recognizable.  When you are trying to promote yourself as a professional this is an undesirable effect.  You want to be memorable.

5.  Too Casual:  Sunglasses are associated with being on vacation and out in the sun. When you’re wearing them in your professional avatar you are not conveying that you’re a hard worker or serious about what you do.

6.  Incognito Mode:  When people are wearing sunglasses we can’t see where they’re looking.  This is why sunglasses are associated with an overall sense of mistrust- not something you want a potential client or employer to feel.

Of course one shouldn’t hesitate to wear sunglasses to protect themselves from damaging UV rays, we’re simply advising you not to wear them in the pictures you use for your professional social media image and personal brand.  However, if you’re a celebrity and sunglasses are part of your brand, then by all means work it Gangnam style.

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Cah{o,o}ts

We’ve Hit Fifty

Our blog has received visits from people in over fifty different countries.

Our blog has received visits from people in over fifty different countries.

Cahoots.com hasn’t launched yet, but we’re pleased that our blog has received visitors from over fifty different countries since our start at the beginning of January.  Most of our visitors have been concentrated in countries where English is the dominant language, with the most being from Canada.  This is exactly what we expected as a Canadian start up with a blog written in English.  We are happy to see that we’re also reaching visitors from far away nations such as Ghana and Lithuania.  That’s the beauty of the internet.

Next Milestone: 100 Countries  Goal: By launch date

Cah{o,o}ts

@cahootstweets

Working the Professional Rainbow

The Psychology of Color and Your Personal Brand

With the popularity of social media and networking websites people really have become their own brand like never before.  Color increases brand recognition by 80 percent (KISS metrics), so how can people use this for their personal brand in their avatars, websites, profiles, and business interactions?  Below we’ve outlined the basic colors and their psychological connotations.

RedProfessional

Red is a bold, intense, emotional color.  Red is the most attention grabbing color, hence it’s use for stop-signs and red lights.  The meanings vary from culture to culture and one should take this into consideration when developing their brand.  For example, in China red is the color of good luck, so one who does a lot of business with the Chinese market may want to consider incorporating red into their image.  Red is stimulating and often used in restaurants due to its ability to stimulate appetite and gamblers are more likely to place high bets under red lights than blue.

Positive Connotations:  Power, passion, confidence, leadership, driven, bold, desire, energy, courage, assertiveness, sex, and ambition.

Negative Connotations:  Aggression, danger, anger, irritation, and temper.

Definitely avoid red when:

  • You’re late for work!
  • Anticipating/avoiding confrontation
  • You are not looking to be the focus of attention.

Pinkprofessional

Pink is the color of compassion, femininity, love, kindness and nurture.  Studies have demonstrated that pink has a calming effect.  This is why opponent locker rooms, psychiatric hospital rooms, and certain rooms in prisons have been painted pink to decrease aggression.  Although pink is commonly associated with femininity this doesn’t mean it’s for women only. One of Donald Trump’s signatures is a pink tie, perhaps to soften his hard business image.

Positive Connotations: Compassion, kindness, nurture, love, intuition, romance, hope, sweetness, tenderness, and comfort.

Negative Connotations:  Immature, weakness, and being over-emotional.

orangeprofessional

Orange is the color of enthusiasm, energy, and adventure.  Orange is a favourite among politicians, particularly in the United States.  It is easy to over-do the colour orange, so be considerate of that when using it.

Positive Connotations:  Sociable, enthusiastic, optimistic, extraversion, adventure, and spontaneity.

Negative Connotations: Arrogance, aggression, and gaudiness.

yellowprofessional

Yellow is strongly associated with optimism and happiness.  Yellow is the most highly visible colour, hence it’s use in pedestrian crossings and as the hue for McDonald’s golden arches.  Yellow is also the most likely to cause eye-strain or fatigue, so it isn’t the best choice for using as a background color or for events where you’re the MC.  Yellow is a great color for communicating new ideas and trying to get things across in a positive light.

Positive Connotations:  Optimism, enthusiasm, cheerfulness, friendliness, curiosity, communication and wealth (gold).

Negative Connotations:  Anxiety, cowardice, and hazardous.

greenprofessional

Green is the color of growth, balance, and harmony.  Green is symbolic of being environmentally friendly.  The feelings that green can emote vary greatly depending on the shade (lime green grabs attention almost as powerfully as red and dark green appears earthy, humble, and neutral).  Green is a great color for situations that require negotiation due to it’s balanced nature.

Positive Connotations:  Growth, renewal, calmness, harmony, wealth, health, balance, nature, hope, peace, sustainability and restoration.

Negative Connotations:  Envy, greed, inexperience, and naiveté.

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Turquoise symbolizes openness and relaxation.  We separated it from our descriptions of blue and green because it doesn’t quite fit in with either.  When people think of turquoise they think of pools and tropical beaches.  This makes it a great color for travel agents and businesses catering to vacationers and relaxation (spas, tanning salons…).  It is also a great color for educators as it is clear, open, and eye-catching.

Positive Connotations: Clarity, calmness, and invigoration.

Negative Connotations:  Clinical, aloof, and unemotional.

BLUEprofessional

Business brands  and corporations frequently use blue to appear logical and promote trust.  Blue is the most commonly used color for offices and studies have found people to be more productive in blue rooms.  Blue is also the color of the social media giants Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.  Navy and other hues of dark blue are great for interviews because they are safe, appealing, and show more originality than black.

Positive Connotations:  Integrity, communication, calm, intellect, security, and trust.

Negative Connotations:  Cold, icy, unapproachable, conservative, and depressing.

purpleprofessional

Purple is the color of the imagination, fantasy, and creativity.  Embrace purple for brain-storming sessions as it is such an imaginative colour.

Positive Connotations:  Mystery, creativity, imagination, magic, individuality, whimsical, luxury and innovation.

Negative Connotations:  Aloof, unrealistic, secretive, gaudy and flamboyant.

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Brown is a stable, down-to-earth colour.  It’s a great color to wear when you want to appear more humble and mature.  Brown is a good decision when you don’t want to come across as pretentious or aloof.

Positive Connotations:  Wholesome, practical, approachable, stable, safe, warm, natural and humble.

Negative Connotations:  Dull, frugal, boring, dirtiness and predictable.

blackprofessionals

Black is frequently worn for its slimming effects and ability to act as a canvass for adding accent colors.  Black is a sophisticated, formal color and looks good on everyone.  However, wearing black and only black can make you easy to forget.

Positive Connotations:  Formality, mystery, discipline, seriousness, luxury, sophistication and self-control.

Negative Connotations:  Secretive, negative, conservative, intimidating, and unapproachable.

whiteprofessional

Like black, white acts as a great canvass for other colors.  White is the easiest background to stare at for long periods on the web.  It’s great as a background in an avatar as it doesn’t steal the attention from you. White is a great color to wear when in doubt or going to first meetings/events.  It is the color of cleanliness because any mark or stain will show up. Wearing all-white is largely unpopular because it makes one look larger and it is easy to ruin, however those who are bold enough can use this to their advantage and wear all white to show attention to detail and immaculate attire- just pass on the red wine!

Positive Connotations:  Purity, cleanliness, simplicity, innocence, and openness.

Negative Connotations:  Sterile, clinical, conservative and plain.

When choosing colors for yourself or your brand we recommend making a list of what attributes you want to project and then determining which colors best represent that.  You should also think about your target market and any cultural factors you should be aware of.

Here are some additional tips:

  • Choose colors that look good on you and make you feel good too.
  • As a general rule, it’s best to choose one or two colors to feature paired with black, grey, and/or white- this helps prevent the color from overpowering you.
  • Try to keep your colors consistent across different platforms.  For example, if you’re using black, white, and red on Twitter try to carry that over to your LinkedIn, personal website, etc.  This doesn’t mean you have to wear black and red everyday, simply that you should try to find a signature look for yourself that you can build around, particularly with your online presence.

Hope this helped!

Sharing is caring,

Cah{o,o}ts

The Winning Icon

We asked. You answered. We listened.

In our testing grounds we polled visitors to help us select the icon for Cah{o,o}ts:

Research

Over fifty percent of you chose A. So we are going with option A, the simplest one, with the rounded edge framing where applicable.  Here it is in high res 🙂

cahootslogo

If it were left up to us we probably would have gone with C, the second most popular choice, but there is something to be said for simplicity.  We truly believe that involving the online community in our development is the best way to create something of value for http://cahoots.com . We are not building this platform for ourselves, so your opinion matters.

Thanks for the help and check out our current poll !

Cah{o,o}ts

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