Gadget of the Week - BottleLoft

Have you ever opened your refrigerator, only to throw up your hands in frustration because you’re all out of room? It happens, particularly if you love to full up the fridge with tasty bottles of pop, beer, sparkling water, or cider.

The possibility of gaining even a little more fridge space is something it’s easy to get excited about. BottleLoft magnetic strips could help turn this lofty dream into a reality.

According to the gadget’s description on Amazon, BottleLoft bills itself as: “the world's first and patented bottle hanging device to free up space and make your refrigerator cooler!” In short? The BottleLoft helps you attach all those loose beverage bottles to the roof of your fridge, freeing up space on the shelves. It’s a convenient way to create a little bit of extra room - and it looks pretty chic, to boot.

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App of the Week - Highball

App of the Week, Highball (Geek Chicago)

There’s nothing like gathering with friends to try a new, exciting drink, is there? Whether you’re serving as an amateur mixologist at home, or coming together at your local speakeasy to sip something tasty, cocktails are a great way to experiment with different flavors while discovering what makes the classics work.

For those Geeks out there who love to make and share creative cocktails, Highball could just be your new favorite app.

Developed by Studio Neat, the Highball app is a great way to log, discover, and share cocktail recipes, from the classics to the cutting edge. For serious spirit aficionados, the app is a great way to store and share your favorite recipes, so you never have to hit the bar empty-handed.

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Want to Close More Sales? Great Content Is Your Secret Weapon

According to recent studies, 70% of people would rather learn about a company through articles than an advertisement. 68% report feeling more positive about a brand after consuming content from it.

What’s more, research shows that B2B decision makers tend to engage with at least five pieces of content before they buy. And yet, in spite of all of this, there is still a common perception that content marketing is only about bringing in prospects, rather than generating real, substantive conversions.

While content is a vital tool for inbound marketing, it can also be put to work turning leads into customers – at every step along the buyer’s journey, and in a variety of creative ways.

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Online Reputation Management for Law Firms

Sourced From and Illustrated by Edwin Cho!

It’s fair to say that practicing law may be one of the world’s oldest professions. That is to say that, as long as there have been laws to enforce, there has been a need for lawyers – going all the way back to ancient Greece.

And, for our Chicago-based audiences, we hardly need to reiterate how important lawyers are – after all, Illinois’s favorite son and America’s 16th President, Abraham Lincoln, got his start practicing law, as have countless other politicians and prominent figures in world history.

With all that being said, it’s important to realize that the practice of law has always adapted and shifted with the times. The young Mr. Lincoln may not have needed to worry about what people were saying about him via online reviews – but the practicing attorneys at your law firm certainly do!

Whether your focus is on real estate, personal injury, business, family law, estate planning, or any other area where lawyers practice today, it’s important to be able to keep in contact with your audience – so that new clients can always be ready to find you when the time comes.

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How To Write Content That Actually Converts

How To Write Content That Actually Converts

There are countless reasons why your brand needs to be generating unique, high quality content – it primes the pump for social sharing, it cultivates community and loyalty, and it’s a surefire SEO solution for boosting organic traffic.

But blogging has another function, even if we content marketers tend to keep it quiet. The dirty little secret behind most copywriting? While it is a sure way to create value, there’s no escaping that, at the end of the day, your words are there to help sell – to convince users that your site, your brand, is where they should be placing their trust and spending their hard-earned money.

With that in mind, veteran copywriters will be quick to tell you that it’s all-but-impossible to write one golden blog post that will convert every audience member to a customer, every time. (If you know that copywriter, let us know, because we’d love to hire her.)

But there are some important tricks, reminders, and rules keep in mind for writing creative content that converts.

Here are five ways to write content that helps drive conversions – without sacrificing quality: 

1.) Add Emotion

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The Digital Marketing Mixtape: Strategies for Musicians

The Digital Marketing Mixtape: Strategies for Musicians (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Do you remember that one time when Beyoncé skipped the hype and dropped an entire album, complete with 17 flawless music videos and some deeply personal songwriting, all in one night? Do you remember how it broke all sorts of records and completely changed the music industry?

Yeah, we do, too.

For most musicians, however, defying the laws of digital marketing isn’t an option. It’s a sad truth, but there is only one Beyoncé. Most musicians have to engage with the internet and promote their music with certain strategies that aren’t exclusive to any given genre. Like a piece of well-composed music, the beats, notes, and dynamics of a successful marketing campaign have to come together deliberately. Here’s an introduction to digital marketing for musicians:

“What’s In a Name?”

If you’re still in the phase of naming your act, it’s wise to consider SEO as you brainstorm. Choose something that isn’t too familiar with another phrase or wording, as language with double-meanings can disrupt SEO and cause followers to get lost on their searches for your group.

If you already have an act named after something or a one-word concept, make sure that your web presence distinguishes you from other meanings (i.e. “Chicago (Band),” “Deer Tick (Band)”, etc.).

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Gadget of the Week - Oracle Touch Complete Espresso Maker

Gadget of the Week-Oracle Touch Complete Espresso Maker

If you’re looking for a kitchen appliance worthy of your true dedication to coffee, the Oracle Touch Espresso Maker is here and ready to help you step up your caffeine game.

Unlike many espresso machines on the market, this Breville model is simple to use and provides consistently well-made espresso, without having to worry about flicking switches, cranking knobs, or grinding your own beans.

It’s remarkably easy to get started. Aside from the power button, the machine is operated with a straight-forward touchscreen, where you’ll be able to select from five preprogrammed espresso drinks including latte, cappuccino, Americano, flat white, and the classic espresso. If you’re ready to recreate some of your coffee shop favorites, there are an endless number of customizable possibilities, as well, from bean texture to foam preferences. Once you input your favorite recipe into the machine, it’ll remember your go-to order for mornings to come.

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App of the Week - Flowstate

If you follow the Geek Chicago blog, you know we’re writing on tech, apps, and digital marketing all the time. And our talented team loves to write - but sometimes, even for skilled wordsmiths, it can be tough to find that little bit of inspiration it takes to actually get typing.

We’re not alone, right? All of you writers out there know that sometimes, creativity can be hard to grasp. Fortunately, the Flowstate app can help writers truly write, by allowing us all to get over any form of writer’s block we might experience.

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Gadget of the Week - Casabella Cookie Dough Tray

Who doesn’t love cookie dough? Whether you like it soft and chewy straight out of the package, or baked to crispy perfection in the oven, there’s nothing like having a batch of cookie dough on hand and ready to go. Of course, sometimes that craving for cookies strikes - and you don’t have anything on hand to make cookies or fix a snack in a flash.

Whether you’re making your cookie dough to store long-term, or you’re looking for a quick and easy way to determine what the right amount of dough is for each cookie in a batch, there’s a new baking gadget designed to help you out.

The Casabella Cookie Dough Tray has 15 wells that can hold up to a tablespoon of cookie dough each, which is an ideal amount if your end goal is to make medium sized cookies. Typically, a tablespoon of dough will yield a cookie about three inches in diameter, depending on the type of dough you’re baking.

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App of the Week - ChefsFeed

App of the Week: ChefsFeed (Geek Chicago)

Calling all foodies! Have you ever tried to research a restaurant online, only to find yourself frustrated with your go-to review site?

You’re not alone. The average review site for restaurants can lead to long periods of sifting and searching, as you winnow down countless options to find the perfect dinner spot. With a variety of exciting features, the ChefsFeed app can help you narrow your search to only the best, in absolutely no time.

Here’s the secret to its success: The app gives users guides to worthwhile restaurants and bars, as recommended by food industry professionals including chefs, bartenders, sommeliers, and more. After all, who would know where to have a great dining experience more than those who work in the restaurant industry?!

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Jason Finn

Founder & Chief Geek

Jason has nearly 20 years of consulting experience, predominantly in the technology space. Most recently he was the COO and Director of Technology for Rich Casto & Company, a national training and consulting organization in the real estate industry.
As a consultant for IBM, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, and Envision Consulting Group (now IMS Health), Jason has served clients of all sizes, including Big Pharma, Fortune 500, and Global 1000 companies:

  • Allstate Insurance Company
  • AOL (America Online)
  • Astellas Pharmaceuticals
  • Eli Lilly and Company
  • Ford Motor Credit
  • Wockhardt USA (formerly Morton Grove Pharmaceuticals)
  • Norwich Union
  • PNC Bank
  • Reynolds and Reynolds

Sarunas Budrikas

Creative Director

Sarunas is a web design and development expert with hundreds of successful projects in his portfolio. He is passionate about delivering extraordinary user experiences for every client and consistently goes above and beyond everyone’s expectations. As an SEO expert and strategist, he can optimize your website, or app, to get the most out of it, day in and day out. Sarunas holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from Kaunas Technology University, in Lithuania. Sarunas now lives in Chicago, and calls it home.

Alexandra Olsavsky

Client Experience Specialist

Alex specializes in content generation and social media promotion for Geek | Chicago clients, helping to solidify their presence in the online community. This includes blog writing, graphic design, co-ordination and design of weekly newsletters, and active engagement on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. Outside of Geek, Alex is a classically-trained soprano who professionally performs around the city of Chicago (most recently with the Chicago Baroque Band, and with the Rolling Stones for their "50 and Counting" tour).