How do smaller, local businesses get started in social media?
I’m going to keep this simple and ask that you only focus on THREE things to get started.
1. Start a Google Business account.
This makes sure you show up in local search with photos, business hours, and a link to your website. I recommend spending time to take full advantage of all of they offer, however if you only have a few minutes, then at least just set up your Google+ page, add your phone number, your business hours, and at least one photo.
2. Set up a Facebook Business Page.
This gives you a way to connect with customers in your area and gives you a digital advertising platform. Set up your page and make sure to fill out as much as you can in the “About” section – people do read this! Especially if they want to call you or learn more on your website.
Start spreading the word. What does this mean? It means your social media handles have to be EVERYWHERE and you need to be posting EVERYWHERE:
3. Post on local Facebook community pages on behalf of your business.
These are great pages for promoting any specials, to say “thank you”, and to keep in front of your customers. SIDE NOTE: When you’re posting in a community page, make sure you’re not spammy, don’t promote yourself on someone else’s posts, are polite, and don’t over do it. You don’t want to turn anyone off … or worse, get banned from the page! Also, read the rules for the group to make sure company promotions are allowed.
Have fun. You've got this!
The best advice … is to have fun! You’ve got this!
Have you already done the steps above and want to go to the next level? Then it sounds like you need a Digital Marketing Business Coach to get to that next level. Let’s talk! Contact me today to get started.
Having a hard time finding that PERFECT emoji? Don’t laugh! This is a real thing for us digital marketers!
Not using emojis? 😲 You should be!
Emojis are a fun way to help you quickly – and most importantly, visually – tell your story online. You might argue … “Wait, wait, wait, this just feels so unprofessional. I’m supposed to be a refined expert.” It’s a great argument! But here’s another way to look at it: this is for social media where you’re having engaging conversations and showing that your business has a personal side, this is not for your website. AND you actually look behind the times and dated if you’re not using them. (Yes, it’s true. EVERYBODY IS DOING IT.) Obviously don’t go overboard with it … i.e., don’t replace all of your text with emojis just to take advantage of a trend – do what’s right for your audience.
Give it a shot! Utilize the stopping-power of an emoji to help your post get more views. Go to http://emojipedia.org/ and start searching. No more scrolling through tiny emojis and wishing you could find them on a desktop. Just search, copy and paste.
BONUS: You can even hashtag emojis now! #⏲️
Sounds silly but it’s a great resource! ☺️
“Babe, only white people say that.”
Yep, I’m an ignorant white person, too. I get called out by own spouse from time to time. He’s very patient with me and knows that I just don’t know and never will because I’ve been white my entire life.
I see a lot of white people (mostly white women) complaining that they can’t “say anything right” when trying to support POC. Maybe go back through your communications and see what you’re saying. Are you saying “I’m sorry about George Floyd, BUT…” (psst, a lot of you are).
What are you doing to change? Are you learning ,watching, listening? Every single time I hear about another death or injustice, I realize I’m not doing nearly enough to be an ally. This time I’ve realized, I need to put my money where my mouth is. It’s not enough to argue with people and try to explain why murdering, abusing, and holding back POC is wrong. I need to help those who are fighting in ways I can’t – legally, medically, etc. I’ll be donating to the NAACP Des Moines chapter monthly, forever, going forward. Maybe you can, too? The support is needed until there’s equality ... I hope that’s soon but from what I’m seeing from leaders, government officials, and my Facebook news feed … it’s going to be a while yet.
I’m White, Don’t Look At Me For Answers.
Don’t look to me or any other white person for answers. We have no place trying to “work this out” because many times we’re so used to our white privilege that we don’t even know we’re oppressing someone. This blog isn't about me having answers. It's just about me showing support. I support Black Lives Matter. And my business is 100% behind equality, being anti-racist, and supporting Black Lives Matter. I'd recommend starting here if you're ready to get on board ...
This is a great article if you’re wondering where to start and who to listen to: 75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice
Black Lives Matter.
You're eating out anyway. You may as well get a gift card, too! We write blog posts and post on social media to help support local businesses. We’re looking to crowd-source this information in an effort to find local businesses in Des Moines and the surrounding communities with diverse backgrounds, offerings, and clientele.
WE’RE LOOKING FOR:
3-5 photos – including of the establishment (inside and/or outside) and food/products. If owners and employees allow, pics of personnel is also nice to have (make sure to get their names and permission if you do that).
3-4 paragraphs (at least 4 sentences in a paragraph). Include information about:
You agree to give rights and ownership of all assets (text and photos) to That Digital Rush to be used for our clients.
WHAT YOU GET:
We’ll send you a $25 gift card to a local business of your choice or we can send you $25 via check or PayPal to be used where you’d like.
TO GET STARTED:
First and foremost, we must first agree to work together before you receive payment. Please send your local business recommendation to us (the place you’d like to review for us), along with a sample of a review you’ve written on Google or Facebook in the past (doesn’t need to be for that particular business, and doesn’t have to be long or include pictures – we just want to see your writing style and descriptive words). We’re only choosing 4 a month, so stay patient with us as we filter through requests.
Sound good? Fill out this form to get started and we'll reach out to you. Thank you so much for your interest!
Starting a Facebook Group is a GREAT way to connect with your customers and let them start conversations around topics pertinent to your business. If this is something you're thinking about, I say go for it! My biggest word of advice? Make sure you can dedicate the time! You will need to jump in to answer questions, comment on posts, respond to violation flags from members, and accept new members if your group is private. Here are few benefits to starting a Facebook Group ...
Benefits of starting a Facebook Group
Here are few reasons why you might want to give it a shot.
Types of Groups
Put some thought into how you want your group set up. A public group can grow quickly but you will eventually start picking up people who might bring your vibe down by being negative and you'll also get more trolls (ugh). A private group won't grow as fast but you can have FULL control over who joins. You can even ask them pre-qualifying questions ahead of time to make sure they're a good fit.
Types of Groups:
Public: anyone can see who’s in the group and what they post.
Private: only members can see who’s in the group and what they post.
For businesses using Facebook groups to interact with customers, private is the best option. This allows your audience to be more open (knowing not just anyone can view what they post) and it prevents spammers and bots from joining and ruining your conversation.
Process of Joining
Ok, so how do you get members to join? Start inviting them!
With a private group, you’ll want to invite members. You can invite them via email, on your social platforms, when they’re in the office, etc.
ASK THEM TO ANSWER QUESTIONS FIRST:
One way to make sure they’re ready to be engaged (and lessen the chances of a bot) is to have them answer pre-admission questions before joining. Questions like:
This allows you to collect a bit of information for your own tracking, but also forces engagement right away.
Rules & Code of Conduct
You must include rules or a code of conduct that members need to accept before joining. This keeps your Group open, welcoming and provides a safe atmosphere.
Here are some common rules or policies that groups use ...
Roll of a Moderator
The biggest tasks of group moderators include ...
Policing a Group
Continually policing the group will help keep the group positive and open. You may need to ...
Next Step: Start Your Group!
Come up with engagement ideas (polls, questions, etc.) so you're ready to start conversations and then get your Group started! Comment below with a link to your group if you'd like to have us join!
Stay With Me. I Almost Get Positive Toward The End.
Does anyone else feel like this COVID-19 self quarantine is forcing you to deal with every weakness and flaw in yourself and your household? Maybe it's because I'm at week 3 (or 4?) of self-quarantine and I'm starting to crack just a little. This morning when I woke up and sat down to drink coffee while a baby climbed over my lap reaching for the coffee, cell phone, everything except baby toys, my main thoughts were ... wow everything bad is out in the light and I'd rather just go do something fun so I can avoid this unpleasant eye opening that's going on.
Wow! Were We Always This Dis-functional?!
Turns out ... YES! When I say everything is coming out in the light ... mean EVERYTHING is out in the light. I'm a little stunned, a little blinded, a lot discouraged...
I don't think I realized how much I relied on the strength and the disruption of others until we had to start this self quarantine. Turns out my introvert self had a habit of turning to my extrovert self when I didn't want to work on anything within. Within myself. Or within my family. Or within my career. Now here I am forced to deal with it all. I heard a quote that said "Feel it all if you want to heal it all." I think I'm going to change that to "Feel it all to heal it all so you can finally deal with it all."
Working Smarter AND Harder
I always loved the saying "work smarter, not harder". It gave me hope and inspiration to look at my situations and see how I could make things easier on myself but still get the same outcome. That was great until March! Now, I truly believe I have to work smarter AND HARDER. Like many parents in the world, I'm finding myself in new roles. I have to home-school my children! And keep them on a schedule! I also have to provide daycare to a baby (who is teething and right now ... right this second and every other second of the day ... just wants her mom). Plus I'm working full-time.
In the past when I've helped my kiddos with school work, I'm not going to lie, many times my help ended with "Ummmm I don't know. You'll have to ask your teacher tomorrow" and this was after using that handy Google on the handy interwebs. You guys, now I'm the teacher!! What universe is this?!
Week 1 and 2, I was getting up extra early so I could get 4 to 5 hours of work in and then I'd take over the daycare duties from my husband so he could log into work for a while. Weeks 3 and 4, I'm sleeping in, barely functional, and trying to rush to get things done between baby naps and home school assignments. I'm starting the feel more depressed and anxious and have no energy to find solutions to any issues creeping out from under their hiding places.
I would say it's time to step back and breathe a little. Wouldn't you?
New Routines - Changing Daily, Multiple Times a Day
You're probably finding this out, too. Our daily routine is changing every day. We don't have a good routine down yet. Every time we think we're in a good place something changes (meeting times, school zoom meeting times, the baby's sleep schedule) and we start over. This might be the new norm. But I hope not, because I'm not doing well with this.
Are you feeling the same? I don't think I've ever felt so discouraged and stuck. I knew I had to start changing my routines and my mindset. Even if my routines were going to be adjusted here and there - I had to incorporation some self-care and positive thinking. Later last week I started writing affirmations on my day planner to try to help myself. It did help. I don't think it's the only answer, but I think it could be a good way to take one step toward being more positive. Because whether we like it or not, COVID-19 is here and it's taking over our lives, so we need to quickly find way to cope. Especially if we have kids watching to see how we react.
So, here's what I'm doing. And PLEASE comment to tell me what you're doing because I'm still trying to figure this out! I'm listening to meditation podcasts (I love Meditation Minis) before bed and when I get ready to start work. I'm reading affirmations MULTIPLE times a day. I have them written in my day planner and have them printed out and hanging in front of me. I'm wearing essential oils to help with anxiety and mood (yes, I'm an oils person). And I'm trying to walk at least twice a day.
Turns Out I Have to WORK at Positivity. Like Everyday.
My new positive routine doesn't always happen the way I'd like and sometimes not at all. Sometimes I'm only by myself while using the restroom and I'm not ready to meditate in there yet. (Yet!) What I've learned while talking to friends is that we HAVE to be gentle on ourselves. This is hard and even though there are memes going around laughing about how we're just being asked to "sit on the couch to save the world" like hahahaha and other memes that might us feel like we're overreacting and everyone else is having a grand time with wine and zoom.com. It's not true. We are all struggling.
The other thing I've learned is that I have to really work at being positive and not allow myself to be dragged into negativity. I have to work actively to change my thoughts. When this first occurred to me I felt frustrated and angry - like, "Oh one more thing I have to do today! Be positive! Let me schedule that in with everything else." ... Then I realized I was pouting and whining and wasn't feeling any better with those thoughts. Time to change.
List of Things That Are Keeping Me Positive
Meditation Minis Podcast
Joy Revive Oil
Healing Tea (I make my own)
Calls with friends and my mama.
I hope these help you, too! My goal is to get my mental health back under control and then I can start tackling problems and finding solutions. Until then I'm just going survive and work at being positive.
Please comment below and let me know what you're doing! Stay safe and stay sane my friends!
Cheers to women who inspire us!
Let's learn from them, raise them, and celebrate them! Always!
For a while now I've been wanting to feature women on my blog who inspire me and aren't scared to reach down and pull up other women. Have you ever met someone like that? Who, after just a few minutes, you've gleaned something so useful - some nugget of wisdom you can use in life and your viewpoint is forever changed?
I met Kerry in 2001 and we've been tight ever since. I remember the two of us walking arm-in-arm down the stairs of a big corporate building holding each other up so we wouldn't trip in our heels. So funny to think about! We hated corporate life so much but always found ways to make each other laugh and get through it. Now, we're both out of the corporate hold and doing our own things and not even once looking back ... well except to offer up advice.
Put your glasses on honey, we don't want you to miss anything ...
Ok, I wrote that headline in the voice Kerry uses when she's making fun of herself. She cracks me up.
I often go to Kerry for advice. How to grow my business, how to deal with difficult people, all of the above. But also go to Kerry when I'm needing soul-nourishing friend time (or just a night out that I may or may not remember!). She always listens and always has something to share. Which is why I was so excited when she said she'd give advice on my blog! I sent her a few questions and she took it from there ...
Hi there! I’m honored you asked me to participate in your blog! It’s because I’m old right? Ha! Well, I’m proud of my 60 years of life experiences-not that I know everything, but I’ve been there and done some…. Am still doing it, still exploring, reinterpreting and experimenting. And, hopefully, will be for several more years!
I’m grateful to have been born a creative! The downside is I bore easily, my mind is in a constant state of A.D.D.—easily sidetracked--looking for shiny new objects or finding unique ways to entertain myself. (Was that a squirrel?) But to be honest, I wasn’t very creative, or courageous when it came to earning a living. In hindsight, I understand why I became a bit of a thrill junkie and chose the most adrenaline filled hobbies. I flew airplanes, rode horses, and toured cross-country by motorcycle, most likely to balance out the routine that corporate marketing jobs can bring—but it was my safe and easy choice to earn income.
Part of the strategy (or lack thereof) was born from the practical fact that this was where the highest paying jobs were. Back in the day (I know, geez) the people you knew, and the people they knew, were your Internet. That was the extent of your search engine. Today it’s equally difficult because the opposite is true—so many jobs to sift through. Ok, see…nothing has changed! It’s still hard. One thing remains unchanged, your “people internet” is still your best search engine resource. Probably why LinkedIn is such a great platform for job hunting. It allows you to leverage the people and companies you know!
The bottom line, we do what we must to survive and even now with the help of being connected to the world, it’s difficult. Its hardly ever as glamorous as social media makes it look, and if we’re honest, it’s mostly hard. Along the way, most of us will take a less- than- dream job or two just to get by. (I sold tickets to the circus once as a telemarketer!) Sometimes, we just fall into careers/jobs, and sometimes they stick, and even become good ways to earn a living. Adapt. Be flexible. Please believe me when I say that there’s potential to make almost any job interesting and fulfilling. Being observant, and creative, I did everything I could to make corporate marketing exciting and challenging. I became a fixer. I used my creative brain to invent new products, develop solutions to business problems, make processes work better, and as a result, became an asset to my employers (albeit there were some who felt I was less than an asset). I learned to communicate, listen and sell my ideas. These skills are useful and imperative really, in any job or business. I saw new opportunities when things got stagnant. It wasn’t my dream career, but I made the most of it by using my creative brain.
OK, I’m rambling, and I was asked for career advice. So I’ll get on with a few simple things. Looking back, it’s easy to see what was important, and what was fluff. Here are a few things that stand out as important:
1. Be true to yourself. Don’t seek a job for the sole purpose that it might impress someone or because it’s what someone else wants you to do. It’s perfectly fine to choose a job with the main motivation to earn an income. It might not be perfect, but the income might allow you to get to the perfect place. And it’s OK to choose the perfect job even though the income might not be perfect. Do what you need to do. Make decisions that are right for you.
2. If you’re unhappy doing what you’re doing, think carefully about what really turns you on and why the current job doesn’t. What makes you feel amazing? What gives you a sense of accomplishment? Look to those answers to guide you to your next step. Treat this like a project.
3. Don’t panic. Anything is possible, period.
4. Love your people.
5. Be honest.
My path was rather unextraordinary - work hard, save money, enjoy life, make friends, get out of the corporate world early to do what I really love. Some might think that just delayed my soul purpose in life, (art). Ok, it did somewhat, but I have no regrets. Without the path, (and the money) the experiences, the lessons, and all the awesome people collected along the way, I wouldn’t be this artist today. The struggle provided amazing experiences, made me grateful and gave lots of context to produce art that I’m passionate about. It really is about the journey.
You can skip the gravel roads I took and go straight to curating a life you love. Today, anything you imagine and feel is right, is actually possible. Regardless of the path you take, or where you are in life, it’s conceivable to love where you are. Take a breath, spend a moment or two and really explore the possibilities, embrace where you’ve been and what you’ve learned. Dream. Be grateful for what you have and take note of your accomplishments. Draw a picture of it! It will help provide perspective for the future—it will help you paint a bigger picture of yourself.
One thing is certain. You bring your own DNA, a totally unique personality, and a unique perspective, to every task, every job, every situation, and every relationship. Bring it. Observe, learn, move forward. Rinse and repeat.
Jobs and businesses come and go. Nothing is permanent. Change will happen. It’s the people that each job, or business encounter bring you that enrich us, feed our souls and inspire us to be, and do better. Cherish this. It’s the most important benefit any job, business or career brings. It’s what makes life, the journey, and all of us, rich.
Love and peace, because it matters,
Speaking of Kerry's creative brain ...
See what she's been up to? How gorgeous is her work? You can view more of her work here (do it, you'll love it!).
Can't you picture this in your house or office? I L.O.V.E. art, so when I see art that moves me and makes we stop the Internet scrolling for a few minutes to rest my heart and brain - I'm hooked. And that's how Kerry's art makes me feel. It's soul consuming and I love seeing her work from start to finish. I love reading the reviews and comments from those who have her work hanging in their homes.
What inspires you? What are you currently working through? Whatever it is, you can do it! 2020 is your year! You'll learn, grow, give, take, and every thing in between.
Thank you so much for sharing, Kerry! I always always always learn from you and your blog post was no different. Your kindness, wisdom, and bad-assery show through :)
3 Times I Give Experts a HARD Eye Roll
I’m writing this blog post because I’ve had enough. There are some "experts" out there that have me rolling my eyes ... like hard rolling my eyes with so much drama and sass. Here’s the deal, I don’t tout myself as an expert in my field. I don’t think anyone should. Digital marketing is changing every day.
What causes digital marketing to change?
With all of these changes happening, there’s literally NO WAY you can be an expert. I do think you can be smart and effective and easily roll with the changes, which makes you VERY successful. (I’ll touch on that in my next blog post.) But an expert? Be careful.
Today I want to talk about these EXPERTS who are great at making phone calls with sales pitches but can't seem to provide results. You know ... results. What our clients are looking for. What makes a program successful and worth the budget dollars. RESULTS.
When experts recommend anything for your business - it should be through their real-life experience. Either through other clients or at least by reading about case studies from industries and businesses like yours. If they can't provide this for you then you need to start asking more questions ... or just run. I've been noticing a trend with so-called experts that I want to point out. Things you should look for ..
1. They play the “Jonses” game
I get so angry when I see digital marketing experts play this game with business owners - especially small to medium sized businesses who don't have the budget dollars to make huge mistakes. If you hear any of these phrases you should run ...
”EVERYONE is using [fill in the blank]. NO ONE is using the app you’re currently on.”
“This is the ONLY effective platform right now. I can’t believe you’re still using [fill in the blank].”
”Oh my gosh, you’re STILL running ads on [fill in the blank]. Hahaha I didn’t even know people where still on that.”
“It’s all about [fill in the blank]! Anyone not doing [fill in the blank] is getting left behind!”
The biggest red flag is hearing "EVERYONE IS DOING IT" ... listen to me - that doesn't mean anything. Do not ever make changes to your business because everyone is doing it. You want to hear "THOSE WHO'VE TRIED IT HAVE SEEN AN INCREASE IN LEADS" (or website traffic, phone calls, whatever their measure of success is).
At the end of the day it doesn't matter what everyone else is doing if it's not going to make you more money.
2. They are pushy AF ... and kind of confusing
You want to know who's pushy? Someone who wants you to make a decision and fork over money before you realize it's a mistake. You want to know who isn’t an expert? Someone who tries to push you into a decision before you have time to think about it. If you have someone who's super pushy ... and then they start saying things that confuse you ... it's time to run.
Digital marketing is confusing to those who haven't worked in the field before. No shame in that! I don't know how to do your job and you don't know how to do mine. That's why we have different jobs. If an "expert" takes a painfully long time to spell out processes to you using jargon that flies over your head it's because that person is trying to make their job sound harder than it is.
If I hear my clients say "I don't even know what that is" or "I don't know what that means" I immediately start reworking how I explain things and try to cut out the "how" when all they really need is the "why". I don't want anyone to feel confused when I walk away.
If someone is making you feel confused or being too pushy, just ask them to send a proposal over to you so you can think about it. Then start Googling the terms mentioned in the proposal to see what they stand for so you start to get a handle on it. Better yet - I offer a free 30 minute consultation so I can take a look at it for you. I'll tell you what kind of questions to ask and if I see any red flags. I'll even tell you if I think it sounds like an awesome opportunity so you can get moving on it and start making money from it.
3. They can’t stop talking about themselves
"Johnny is AMAZING! He's the best in our area. Trust me, he's better than everyone else. You can ask anyone and they'll tell you he's way better. We're so lucky to have him. You'll get access to Johnny if you work with us. In fact, let us bring Johnny in so you can meet him. He's super cute, too." Ummmm... the more they talk up Johnny the more you can guarantee he isn't that great.
Also, let's take a minute to talk about awards. Awards are great and all - it proves that a company is good at networking and filling out forms to have their materials entered in to contests. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that and I envy the people who've done this (hey, feel free to contact me today if you have an award you'd like to nominate me for!). Here's my problem with awards and other achievements and I'm not going to be popular for saying this ... I don't think they mean much about the firm's talent. Sometimes I'm wrong though! So when an expert starts showing you their awards, check to see where they came from. Is it from a group they pay money to? Or is it from an unbiased industry expert?
Your conversation with an expert should be like this ... "We can do this, this, and this for you. As a matter of fact, we did that for this other company over here and won an award for it!" It should not be like this "Now we'd like show you a PowerPoint for this project we did where we won an award" (then the whole PowerPoint is just photos of pretty creative they had a designer create ... not a PowerPoint outlining results).
Just watch closely at how they talk about themselves. You should still be the center of the conversation as they mention their achievements, not them. Getting an award is not a bad thing - and trust me, I'd tell EVERYONE if I had one - but it shouldn't be the focus of your conversation with an expert.
Not all experts are bad, just be careful
I'm definitely not trying to scare you away from using experts - you need to (even though I don't think they should use the term "expert"). You need to work with someone who's living digital marketing day in and day out. Someone who knows how to quickly make changes and adjust your strategy on the fly so you can continue to be successful in that space. You need someone who lives and breaths digital marketing because I'm assuming you don't have time for that, nor should you be expected to have time for it.
So go out and interview "experts" from Digital Marketing firms - look for the red flags above and ask questions important to your bottom line so you can find someone you click with. Trust is everything! I can tell when a client doesn't trust me and even though it leaves me feeling bummed out, I know that if we don't click then we just don't click. I walk away knowing they'll eventually find someone they click with and they'll do great. I can tell when a client does trust me and because of that trust, we see great results and have open conversations about changes, strategy, and future projects.
Good luck with your digital marketing! Let me know if I can help!
Soooo ... my brain defaults to "huh?"
One thing I've always struggled with is staying organized and REMEMBERING commitments ... heck, remembering someone's birthday would be nice ... ok, just remembering things in general!
As you can imagine - being a business owner, I need to stay organized. It's something I'm constantly struggling with, but also constantly improving upon. And one thing that's made a WORLD of difference is color. Throughout the years, I've come to realize that I NEED to use color to help me remember things that are important ... well to remember anything.
Convos with my husband goes like this ... "I don't remember her. What color was she wearing?" or "I don't remember her name, but she was wearing the pink lipstick." or "I don't remember if I saw it. What color was it?" or "Is that location beside the red building?" (I should mention he's color-blind, so his answer back is usually "I don't know. I can't see color." But hey, we make it work!!)
Color came to my rescue
I first noticed how much color helped me when I was in college and having a hard time studying for exams ... to me it felt like the whole premise of college was memorization. Which isn't my strong point. At all. To help myself remember important facts, I'd highlight them on the page in certain colors (I liked yellow and green). Then while taking my test I could visualize the page and where the colors stood out on the page. From there I'd then remember what text I had highlighted. Voila - better grades.
Fast forward to my first office job and I found out quickly that if I wrote something down with colored ink or better yet, wrote it on a colored post-it note and put it on my computer, then I actually remembered what I was supposed to be doing. (This is how much I rely on post-its - I love these "extreme" post-its that keep on sticking through thick and thin.)
Fast forward again to owning my own business and organizing the life of multiple children, I've found that once again the use of color was my saving grace. We have a huge marker board in our hallway where I write down everyone's schedule for the week and each person is in a different color. Instead of feeling frantic, I can visualize the marker board and which days have which colors on it and then it helps me to remember what was written down in that color.
I also use lots of color in my day planner as I map out my day - especially if I have a meeting coming up that I cannot forget. Meetings and appointments are highlighted in yellow and written in ALL CAPS.
All of this probably sounds crazy to those of you who remember everything all the time (I have a friend who remembers everyone from high school, their birth dates, what songs they liked to listen to ... the list goes on). But to the rest of us who walk into one room and can't remember why ... or look in the back seat to see if you've picked up your kids yet or not ... or leave a meeting and can't remember what you just talked about ... or standing at your front door staring at it wondering what you were supposed to grab on your way out ... this can be life changing. (Psst - those extreme post-its will stick on doors, too. We sometimes have up to 3 on ours so my kids can make it to school with everything they're supposed to have.)
I'm not revolutionary - this has been a "thing" for a while
So it turns out, this is a THING. Studies have been conducted on how much color helps us out (I won't go into it, but you can read it all here). Even the company who creates post-it notes has written about color helping to boost your memory.
Use more color in YOUR life
If you're wanting to add more color to your life, then start with these ideas:
Ready to color-code your planner? Use these tips from a pro.
What about email? Outlook let's you color code specific emails and lets you color-code your meetings as well. I'm a Gmail user and I don't use the calendar as much (Gmail let's you color-code your meetings, too.). Since I don't use the calendar as often, I've decided to look for another solution. I've started using a Gmail Chrome extension, called Boomerang, that allows me to schedule reminder emails TO MYSELF (and for my clients, too). In the subject line of the email I'll use a bright colorful emoji so it stands out and guess what ... I remember it!
Don't forget to let others help! Keep post-its handy for your spouse and kids. They can write reminders down as well! My daughter loves doing this (probably because it's like bossing mom around).
Good luck with staying organized! Our world just gets busier and busier each day. It's hard to stay on top of it all! Hopefully the use of color can help you like it helps me.
Let’s talk about your social voice. Your tone on social media. What should it sound like?
That seems like SUCH a simple question … until you get started. You might be thinking, “Well, my social voice is MY voice. I’ll just be myself.” OK, yeah that’s like 70% true. The other 30% (religion, politics, your new fad diet, weird passive-aggressive rants about family members who just take advantage … you get the point) needs to be left out. Don’t do it. Don’t drink and post. Don’t drama and post. Repeat after me … “I won’t do it.”
Now let’s focus on that other 70%. Go head – be yourself (after all – that’s why you’re so successful!) and start connecting with your clients. While communicating with your clients, make sure you SHOW your audience your voice and values – don’t just TELL them. What’s the difference?
Post A: “I just love my clients. You guys always make me feel special!” (Zzzzzz….)
Post B: “Oh my gosh! Look at this little cutie who stopped in with her grandma today! Customer in training!!” [insert the MOST adorable picture you’ve ever seen]
Post C: “Stop in this weekend, tell me what you LOVE about our community, and I’ll give you 15% off your order! Stay tuned … I’ll be posting all of the wonderful things I hear!” (Don’t forget to throw in some hashtags! #smalltownlife #bestcommunity #bestneighborhood, etc.)
So obviously, I’m a fan of B and C. A … eh, you can do better. Your business isn’t about how your customers make YOU feel. It’s about how you make THEM feel.
See the difference? I knew you would!
Be yourself. Be weird. Be quirky (you can tell I am!). Be compassionate. Be “real” and open. Just leave that 30% out while you’re doing it.
First, I'm the mother of three crazy, sassy, sarcastic, hilarious children. Second, I work in the world of social media, email, digital marketing. Third, I'll probably try to tell you what to do.