Hi I’m Mike

Hi! Does your company effectively use it’s social media pages to add value to your followers, or are you just posting blatant ‘asks’ for a sale?  Through a blog posted on my website I broke down some of the 5 annoying things brands do on social media. You can read the article  Most brands treat social media as another chance to boast about a new deal or to remind their followers as to why they should buy their product.  

Your customers are looking for entertaining and educational content about your brand which will then ENTICE them to purchase your product or service. They want it in your voice and your personality so they get to know you better through your business.

The conversation on social media shouldn’t be treated like a one time ad in a newspaper, but a constant conversation you’re having with a friend about your business.  They know what you do but they’re interested in the nuances.

If you’re a restaurant is there a special cheese or ingredient or sauce that helps make your food special?  Talk about that for a couple posts. Break that down and explain why you chose it, how you came up with it and why it’s important to you.

If you’re a dentist are there certain foods or drinks to consume to help either strengthen teeth or help whiten teeth?  Talk about that for a couple posts. Try not to get too technical, but explain about different acidity and what too much can do to your teeth.

If you’re an auto repair shop are there little tips to either help customers get more miles per gallon or help a car extend it’s life?  Talk about that for a couple posts. Break down the different parts and things that need more attention than the other parts.

An extremely important thing to remember is if someone comments on your post: Respond!  They’re reaching out to you so respond to them! Then whomever visits your site will see your response, know that you care about your customer and know that they’ll get the same support from you when they have a question!  (managing negative comments is a whole other conversation, but if you acknowledge their issue and try to make it right you’re showing them and everyone else who sees it that you take pride in your business and want to do everything to make it right.  Don’t ever go head to head with them or air any grievances. Be mature and make things right and you could potentially earn them back)

Being engulfed in your business for years you become the expert and learn every little nuance for you to become the expert, but those tips are things your customers as a beginner may not know.  Going back to the basics can be a great source of expert content for your social media pages which help educate your customers and help you become the trusted advisor in your field.

My name is Michael Rataj and I’m the owner of Bulb Brain Creative.  We specialize in creating video and photo content for distribution over social media to full hands on social media management like posting, engaging with customers, replying to comments and messages, etc.  I have mobile studio where I’d bring lights and camera to your business or I have spaces to film interview content. Call me at 708-942-1791 or if you want me to give a no obligation review of your social media and the story you’re telling. You can follow me on instagram or facebook at bulbbraincreative.  


Where’d ya go?

I was doing really well with blog posts, until I decided to setup a facebook and instagram for bulbbraincreative.  The pride and joy and why I got into the social media/content strategist thing was because of the Bulb Brain Gallery instagram.  To be able to grow an instagram account from 0 to over 4000 followers in over 2 years was a great marketing piece for Bulb Brain Creative that when people would visit the Bulb Brain Gallery instagram they would always ask ‘how did you do that?’  To answer that question was exactly why I started this venture of content production and marketing.

In addition, if I were to offer social media services to people it’s important to let go of the past (Bulb Brain Gallery) and create Bulb Brain Creative on social media.  To tell the current story of what I’m doing on social media instead of just the gallery client was important.  It helps me refine my mission and strategies and does exactly what social media is meant to do: help tell a story.

The Bulb Brain Creative social media pages are an experiment in the Gary Vaynerchuk ‘Document don’t Create‘ mantra. My idea with clients is to produce well crafted and thought out content, but mixed in with that if you do some honest content it helps tell your story.  Stuff with a phone or not as good camera is almost just as important as the stuff with a good camera.

So that’s where I’m at.  I will get back to posting more blog posts, soon. I’ve actually just been doing more filming and editing and networking and meeting people and thus the writing has fallen slightly.  As someone that’s new to running his own business it’s an entirely new juggle to comprehend.  As things get busy I need to figure out what things are important and what things should fall to the wayside.  Lately I’ve found that meeting people face to face and telling my story has been an effective use of my time, as it helps me see what people WANT so I can then create the kind of materials they’re looking for.

And with those struggles and the traveling is where documenting over creating is taking me.  I don’t have enough work to just keep posting finished products and so I don’t want there to be a big lag in between posting.  I do also think I’ve been fortunate enough to meet with a lot of interesting people and go to a lot of new places, and I think documenting those kinds of things are important, and thus, why I’ve been filling my social media with those travels.

On that note, please follow along! I’m in the process of editing a BUNCH of stuff so there will be a good amount of stuff coming soon.  I’ll post the finished products on this blog, on my site and on the social media sites so as long as you’re following me somewhere you’re going to see it.  You’ll see the kind of full court press I can give to your business and the kind of cool, valuable content I can help you create!  You’ll also see how I’m able to film a podcast and use it for video and audio, as well cut it up to smaller bitesize valuable bits of content.

Photoshop vs Lightroom

This article will mostly be geared towards other techies like myself, but if you’re a longtime photoshop user (like me) and have recently been hearing about Lightroom (like me) and wonder what the differences are, check this article.

It’s a great article and the images below are wonderful, and i’m somewhat remiss to use them since there’s no tag from the original site.  Note to business owners, it’s OK to watermark your stuff, especially if it’s really useful.  Chances are it will get shared and you’ll get free advertising.

This is one of the benefits of creating infographics and other useful graphics for your business.  They allow you to show the wealth of knowledge that you have gained through your year(s) in business and when someone shares it, if your business name or web address or whatever is embedded it’ll be able to bring people back to your site.

It’s also an argument that you should continue to make cool things like that for your business.  They don’t have to be entirely new, they can be close but similar.  Maybe you try out different designers, different color schemes, etc.

Just another thing to continually test for your business.



Lightroom is an image ma

Michael Jordan – How Important is Practice?

As a guy growing up in Chicago in the 90’s Michael Jordan was the guy you wanted to be like and the Bulls were the team to watch. It was a great decade for Chicago basketball so everyone knew of MJ and watched him closely.

My favorite quote is near the end when he mentions that you need to practice like it’s the real thing, so when the real thing happens you’re prepared. It’s a great philosophy and the reason why I wanted to share the video!

Psych! 5 Brain Tricks to Make Customers Buy

As an aside, if you’re not following the Inc page on facebook, twitter, or just regularly going there you’re missing a wealth of great business information.  With such an established magazine they report on a lot of great business topics (and really know how to write a headline, as shown above).

Below are the 5 points from their article of the same name, based on the book Brainfluence.

“Fact No. 1: People aren’t always rational thinkers. In truth, research shows that a huge amount of decision-making is actually based on subconscious factors.

In both his new book, Brainfluence, and in a recent interview, Dooley offered several ways to use “neuromarketing” to do a better job persuading consumers.

1. Clean Up Your Font


“Probably nine times out of 10 the simpler font is going to be the better choice,” Dooley says, “because the text will be more likely to be read, for one, and you’ll better convey information.”

Bottom line: Go easy on consumers’ eyes; use a clear, easy-to-read font such as Arial, for product and service descriptions as well as any instructions.

2. Don’t Show Them the Money

A restaurant currency study showed that patrons tended to be more price-conscious when dollar signs appeared alongside the prices on menus. If there was just a solo digit, by contrast—no dollar symbol, no decimal point—then spending went up.

Bottom line: If you’re a restaurateur, take dollar signs off the menu to increase your sales.

3. Remember the Senses

Look for environmental elements that you can control, like pleasant scents—even if your products don’t naturally have a smell. “You can create a scent environment that is pleasant, memorable, and distinctive that reinforces your branding,” Dooley says. “The scent will then trigger consumers’ senses and create a desire for that [the product or service].” Tests have shown that scents in shopping areas can increase sales.

Bottom line: Find creative ways to tempt customers’ senses.

4. Respond to Customers

Dooley cites one study that looked at people who complained via social media about a company or its products. When they got a prompt response—even if it wasn’t an actual apology—the majority of customers either removed their negative comment or revised it with a positive addendum. So take a minute to acknowledge what was said; it’s worth your time.

Bottom line: Keep your cool and respond to customers promptly.

5. Tell a Good Story

So whether you’re citing case studies or designing ads or other promotions, draw customers in by weaving facts and favorable information into a story format. A great story can engage customers on a deeper level; this also increases word-of-mouth marketing. “In general some of your information should be in a story format to keep your reader engaged,” Dooley says, “because if it’s all facts and all statistics, you’ll lose a lot of your audience.”

Bottom line: Turn percentages and figures into a good tale to capture—and keep—your customers’ attention.”

What Designing Over 10,000 UI Screens Taught This Veteran Creative

This article about design may not be as relevant to everyone, but as it’s dealing with a consistent and repeatable process the core nuggets are extremely valuable, whatever the service, process or widget that you offer. It’s posted on design taxi from a post he wrote on medium, and I’m writing down mostly the design taxi piece.  Go check out the other articles if you’d like to read everything he wrote, it’s linked multiple times throughout the piece below.

“Design isn’t something you can pick up from reading a textbook. It takes more than one try to build a masterpiece that you’ll be taken seriously for, and involves several rounds of trial-and-error.

Jon Moore, Co-Founder at UX Power Tools and Senior Design Partner at product agency Innovatemap, has worked on over 10,000 UI screens in the span of his career, and if there’s one takeaway from it, it’s that trends don’t have to be followed so fervently.

Check out five things Moore learned from his design career thus far and read his full article with five more points on Medium.

1. Prioritize your design criteria

Focus on the fundamental aspects of your project before working on to the frills. Moore says he swears by one analogy: “No one cares what color the stitching is on the leather seats of your fancy concept car if it doesn’t even have wheels yet.”

2. Animations aren’t key

Animations are undoubtedly cool, but they won’t make or break your projects. Moore points out that some of the best products in the world are scant of animations—think Google, Salesforce, and Medium.

First and foremost, work on building quality user experiences, “then you can spend all the time you want making a cute little menu button that morphs into a McDonald’s ‘Big Mac’,” Moore explains.

3. “Templatize” your projects

Moore says he successfully created 52 screens for a client, even developing a workable prototype, in just a week-and-a-half. The proposed system was fully customizable too, and could be tweaked according to the brand’s tone.

All of this wouldn’t have been possible if he hadn’t made templates out of his earlier work. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel—if a project of yours has succeeded before, it will likely work again.

4. Consistency isn’t just user-friendly, but also convenient

Consistency is a UX rule that allows platforms to be more understandable, and thus adoptable, for users. What many creatives might not know is that it’s time-saving.

If you create a button symbol and use it from start to end in a project, all your buttons will not only look consistent, but you’ll also pick up speed because you don’t have to make new ones from scratch.

5. User value isn’t just important, it’s just about everything * (*ed note: this might be the most relevant business advice there is in conveying your service to a potential client.)

Looks aren’t important when you bring value to your users. Case in point: Craigslist. You likely won’t applaud it for its aesthetics—and somehow, it has a value of US$3 billion.

All in all, user experience is a priority; user interfaces are afterthoughts. You can read Moore’s full post on Medium for five more tips.