THE TWIST: Getting Lost Along the Road to SHEL

The plot twist…that moment in a story when an event or experience dramatically shifts the future direction of the storyline and all the characters involved. I’ve always found these moments fascinating in real life, and so I started this new, recurring series—called “The Twist”—where I talk to entrepreneurs and explore the plot twist that led them to start their businesses.


Fifteen years ago, four sisters—Sarah, Hannah, Eva, and Liza—set out to use the artistic genes their mom and dad gave them, form a band, and find ways to blend their seemingly dissonant musical concentrations into one euphonious sound.

And 15 years and 2 full-length albums later, SHEL continues to harmonize their disparate styles and instruments—which include a rotating combination of violins, guitars, keys, pianos, mandolins, drums, beatboxing, and spellbinding vocals—into a flawless amalgamation of folk, rock and classical.

The five of us met before their recent show at the Hi-Fi venue in the Fountain Square neighborhood of Indianapolis to discuss their first musical memories, who they write their music for, and where they like to take people inside their songs.

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Why and How to Create a User-Generated Content Strategy

In today’s world of artificial intelligence, Instagram stories and ever-changing Facebook algorithms, brands are no longer in the driver’s seat of digital marketing. Instead, consumers are producing stellar brand stories, and businesses have an opportunity to direct these audiences towards creating content and conversation around their brand.

This is where user-generated content (or UGC) comes into play. 

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8 Ways to Design Your Content to Entice Readership

“Design content, then write it.”

We read this recently and pondered over it for quite some time. We’ve been writing content for years and have never followed this exact process. Sure, we always think about the layout of a blog post after we’ve written it, but we’ve never started with design. Until now.

Once we started digging into the “why” of this method, it makes sense. Content design describes how written content is laid out on your website. Think blogs, help sections, long-form guides with images and text, etc. While it’s almost required for your company to have a blog these days, many of these blogs are inaccessible to readers because of a poor user experience.

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How to Identify Your Customers’ Pain Points

Whether you’re starting a new business or already established and growing, identifying your customers’ pain points is critical to your success. Your marketing strategy, products and services should all be geared toward solving your customers’ needs. Identifying the trigger that causes your customers to seek out your solution helps to articulate your value in a way that makes them feel as though you genuinely care. It also allows you to adequately solve their problems.

So how do you determine what these pain points are?  

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Death and Taxes: In Memory of my Aunt Sandy

It’s Tuesday, April 18, 2017…Tax Day. And it makes me think of a blog I wrote this past November for my Joetography business, following the death of my Aunt Sandy.

After all the hatemongering and mudslinging that we’ve seen, given, and received this past year—it’s finally coming to a close. It’s time to vote.

So what if? What if after all the doom and gloom we’ve heard about the world were to actually end today?

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