How to Keep a Gratitude Journal and Why

How to Keep a Gratitude Journal and Why

How to Keep a Gratitude Journal and Why

The practice of gratitude has gotten a lot of press lately, and with good reason. Simply put, having a sense of gratitude makes you feel good. And sometimes it seems like there’s too much bad news in the world.

green river photo

Reframing

When my brother was very ill recently, I went to see him. My house was in danger of flooding, and I complained to him that I was afraid of what could happen with the rising river. And he said “I wish I had that problem.” And just like that, I felt very differently, and very grateful to have my health.

office apple photo

Gratitude and Serenity

Listing the things you’re grateful for gives you a sense of serenity, and reframes some of the not-so-good things, too. And those little every day miracles have a chance to surface, when they might otherwise get lost in the shuffle. If you’d like to read some other thoughts on gratitude, here are a few that I’ve written:

office apple photo

Extend That Thanksgiving Feeling

Who doesn’t love Thanksgiving? Brussels spouts, pumpkin pie, and time with friends and family? And showing gratitude in whatever way you please? Thanksgiving is definitely a feel-good moment, and so why not extend that feeling year-round?

Simple Things Matter, Too

Here are a few people (and things) that make me happy:

  • Friends. A couple in particular that I feel thankful for this week are fellow bloggers  and Dyane Harwood.
  • Parks. How fabulous is it that you find a park nearly anywhere you go, and unwind a little or a lot?
  • The Garbage Guys. These guys back up all the way down my narrow, road. I don’t know why, but it’s really cool that they show up every week. If someone from the Middle Ages time traveled to 2017, they’d say it was a miracle!
  • Indoor plumbing. And there are lots of ways that indoor plumbing has had an impact on us. Read about it at The Impact of Modern Plumbing.

bookstore photo

Finding the Perfect Notebook

My perfect notebook came from this year’s WordCamp Orange County. The lovely people from Dreamhost were giving them away, and they’re just gorgeous! Mine is smallish and is lined, which is perfect. Your perfect notebook doesn’t need to be made of leather, but you might like a beautiful picture, or maybe something customized, like this Steampunk Leather Journal with Brass Lock and Key // Hardback Artist Sketchbook. Or maybe just a regular ole notebook from the grocery store.

Find a Good Place to Write

Call me old-fashioned, but I like to write at a desk. Unless I’m recording dreams, a desk is the way to go.

woman writing photo

Start Writing

You may want to create regular paragraphs, but to make it even easier, how about creating a list? Lists are simple, and you can try to find ten things daily that you’re thankful for. The wonderful thing about writing is that you never really know where you’ll end up.

woman writing photo

Thank You!

Let me know if you have a gratitude practice, and how you express thanks. I’d be very grateful if you left a comment.

How to Outsource Your Social Media, Protect Your Valuable Time

How to Outsource Your Social Media, Protect Your Valuable Time

How to Outsource Your Social Media, Protect Your Valuable Time

Outsourcing. Among some circles, it has a bad connotation. But for those of you whose most valuable asset is time, it can save your time, your family life, and your money. Because unless doing social media is something you truly enjoy, giving it to an expert makes more sense than doing it yourself. I like this article: 10 Reasons You Should Outsource Social Media Marketing To Someone Else and its emphasis on the warning signs for botched social media management, by the way.

plumber photo

Do You Do Your Own Plumbing?

Unless you’re a plumber, construction guy, or handyman, probably not. So why do you do your own social media? When you first launch your business, you may want to save money. But then you realize that your main job is staying healthy so that you can stay in business longer. And social media isn’t usually seamlessly integrated into a business, but an add-on that people think of at the last minute (usually).

A Few Things to Look For in a Social Media Manager

Besides the big ones, such as sanity and strong communications skills, there are other things to look for. Personally, I like people I work with to be flexible and to have good people skills. Since your SMM has to deal with clients, they ought to be friendly and personable. There are tons of examples of people ruining their reputations with bad customer service, so why not have someone who might actually make you look better? Gasp!

executive photo

Make Sure the Social Media Manager Has Experience

How long have they been bouncing around the internet? Can they give you a few examples of people they’ve worked with? Do they have good testimonials from customers, for instance?

You may like some of these previous posts about social media managers:

Avoid Worst Practices

Sure, there are best practices, but there seem to be so many more ways to fail. People seem to find more and more creative ways to fail all the time. For instance, here are The 10 All-Time Worst Customer Service Practices from Forbes. Now consider if those worst practices happen publicly, on social media, and you can imagine how much one mistake can be magnified! Everyone has a smart phone these days, and they’re all snapping pictures and putting them on Facebook.

executive photo

Flexibility is Key

Employers are becoming more flexible, so entrepreneurs need to be more flexible, too. Here’s an article I like about How to Make Your Workplace More Flexible, from Fortune. So if you thought early on that you didn’t want to outsource your social media, perhaps now that your company is up and running, it’s time to revisit that idea!

executive photo

How Much Is Your Time Worth?

If you love love love social media, and you can optimize your post better than a manager, then perhaps you don’t need to hire someone. But if the entire process takes too much time (time you’d rather spend at the park or with your kids), then it might be time to hire someone!

 

 

How to Use Trending Topics for Your Business: Twitter Success

 

How to Use Trending Topics for Your Business Social Media Success

How to Use Trending Topics for Your Business Social Media Success

We’ve all seen those trending topics on different platforms, right? And sometimes you really have to twist your posts into a pretzel shape to use them appropriately. Trending topics can be a godsend if you like to be more spontaneous than scheduled.

party lights photo

Scheduling is Not Spontaneous

If you do like scheduling your posts ahead of time, you might like this post: Automation and Social Media: You Need to Learn to Balance. I recommend that you use a combination of both automation and spontaneous posts to succeed. If you rely upon either only spontaneous or all scheduled posts, you won’t be successful, in my opinion.

Trending Topics on Twitter

Trending Topics on Twitter

Trending Topics on Twitter

On Twitter, trending topics can appear and disappear faster than you can say “Taco Tuesday.” And if you’re tweeting about Taco Tuesday on a Friday, you’ll definitely feel as though you’ve missed the boat! So how do you keep in mind your audience as well as take advantage of a trending topic? Let’s take a look at a few.

Note: Change trending topics for your audience’s location, not yours. So, for example, if your audience is in a different state, then use that location. Because it’s not about you, it’s about them.

Look at the trending topics above. Of the list above, I could probably use #WednesdayWisdom for my audience. When I click through the hashtag, I find the tweet above that might be of interest to my audience. So I’m going to like it and then retweet it.

Tweepsmap and Trending Topics

Tweepsmap and Trending Topics

Tweepsmap and Trending Topics

One of my very favorite ways to see who your audience is and what they care about is to use Tweepsmap.(follow them on Twitter!). You can see the trending topics for your followers, and based upon that, craft tweets to target your biggest groups of followers and what interests them. For instance, based upon the information above, I have more followers in New York than San Francisco, so I should actually look at the trends in New York over those in San Francisco.

tailors photo

Tailor Your Message

Now, based upon what the trending topics are for your audience, you can tailor your posts for what they want to hear about. Again, you can use Tweepsmap to figure this out. Tweepsmap has a category called Intelligent Publishing, where you can see what your followers are talking about, and how they feel about it (not just based upon emojis, but sentiment analysis). The top topic my followers are interested in is #marketing, which is simple enough for me to write about, since that is what I do! So by simply adding the #marketing hashtag to a post, I’ll have tailored that post! Pretty nifty, huh? By the way, you might like this post: Twitter Trending Topics: Secrets for Using Them.

 trending photo

What’s Your Take on Trending Topics?

Do you like them, hate them, or ignore them? Leave me a comment! Thank you!

 

 

 

 

 

How to Succeed with Social Media During the Holidays

How to Succeed with Social Media During the Holidays

How to Succeed with Social Media During the Holidays

Embrace the Holidays

Don’t be one of those people who believes that no business gets done during the holidays. People do business with those they know, like, and trust. So this is your big chance to become known, liked, and trusted.

Know Your Audience

It’s always important to know who you’re talking to because then you’ll know which holidays you should track. And having some understanding of those holidays is important, too.

Acknowledge Different Holidays

If your target audience celebrates Hannukah, then you might want to do the same. At least acknowledge different holidays. Make a list of them and be sensitive to posts you might make on those days. Not everyone celebrates Christmas in our social media world! And it can feel pretty lonely if you’re in the minority on the holidays.

Wikipedia has a huge list of U.S. holidays, with links to other countries’ holidays as well: Public Holidays in the United States.

floating lanterns photo

Join Chats If Social Media is Quiet

Some holidays are very quiet on social media. The last week of the year, for instance. But if you’re there, you can join other people’s chats on Twitter or chime in on LinkedIn or Facebook groups. You might get the chance to chat with someone you’ve had a difficult time reaching the other times of the year. You might consider joining my chat, #DigiBlogChat, on Tuesdays at 1:00 p.m. pdt. Click on the search bar in twubs (dot com) for a more comprehensive list of chats you might like.

Be More Social and Meet in Person

This might not exactly fall under social media–unless one of your goals is to meet people in person! People you meet in person from social media can become lifelong friends. And everyone can use more friends, right? Here’s an article I wrote recently: Why Online Friends Make the Most Delightful Friends.

floating lanterns photo

Don’t Be Afraid

Talk to people. Comment on their posts. Do things you wouldn’t ordinarily do, and you may get results you wouldn’t ordinarily get.

Let Me Know

Do you have any special plans for your holiday marketing? Let me know! Leave me a comment. I promise to write back. Really.

 

 

 

 

 

How to Write Headlines that Will Help You Reach Introverts

How to Write Headlines that Will Help You Reach Introverts

How to Write Headlines that Will Help You Reach Introverts

Keep Your Promise

That’s not so difficult, is it? If you promise something with your headline, keep your word. Deliver what you’ve promised. So: no click-baity headlines for introverts. Instead, prove your point and show us what you mean.

Draw Us in

Draw Us in

Draw Us in

Don’t hit us over the head with your idea. Let us process all the parts of your proposition. Like most other things about introverts, we process more slowly, and perhaps more thoroughly, than others might. Luckily, we can take as much time as we need if we’re reading. By the way, here’s an article that you might like: Six Facts About Introverts and Social Media that Will Impress Your Friends.

 photo

Stop Talking

Seriously. Don’t talk so much. We like some silence, and that can help us as much as anything. If you’re writing headlines, keep them shorter and to the point.

light show photo

Don’t Use Lots of Useless Punctuation

Any headline with an exclamation point will probably get skipped over. Quotes and an ellipses? Probably not helpful, either. And if you use both an exclamation point and ellipses? Stop right there! Let’s not even start on all the ellipses abuse that’s happening right now. Note that the definition of an ellipses is the omission of a sentence from one or more words. It’s not to show others that your voice is trailing off. So stop abusing that poor ellipses! Now that deserves an exclamation point.

 photo

Use Humor

A little humor never hurt anybody, did it? Humor is one way to Revamp Your Social Media–when used sparingly. Light heartedness might even be part of your brand’s style. In which case it’s mandatory! Just kidding. Not really.

 photo

We Don’t Need Glitter

While we introverts do love cats, we don’t need as much glitter as extroverts do. And by the way, did you know that Introverts tend to be better CEOs — and other surprising traits of top-performing executives? Probably written by an introvert, wouldn’t you say?

Keep it Brief and Inviting

Shorter headlines rock. And another thing? Don’t repeat the headline all over the place in each paragraph, even if it’s good for your SEO. That is annoying to everyone.

 photo

Accept That Headlines Are Limited

Sometimes even the best headline can’t convey a message accurately. So, in the body of your article or post, imagery or music may be able to express what the headline can’t. You can only say so much with words. Here’s an article that resonated with me: Introverts aren’t voiceless—they’re quietly powerful.

light show photo

What Type of Headline Draws You In?

Let me know! And tell me if you’re an introvert or an extrovert. Thank you.

Five Powerful Ways to Complete the Circuit with Social Media

Five Powerful Ways to Complete the Circuit with Social Media.

Five Powerful Ways to Complete the Circuit with Social Media.

Completing the circuit, closing the loop, or sealing the deal: they’re all ways to say the same thing. My clients always want to know the best ways to get the most out of social media, so here you go.

search engine photo

Search for Your Blog Post Title

If you’re a blogger, you want to know who’s talking about you, and where. It’s not always easy to tell on Google Analytics. But when you do a search within a platform, you can often tell right away. Not everyone will tag you when they retweet or repost your article or infographic. If you have a unique title, searching is much easier. Then you can reach out, thank, and connect with those people. Search within Twitter, Pinterest, or Facebook (or whichever platform you’re using). And search in several different ways. For instance, use both “Five” and “5” if your headline has the number in it.

Develop Power Partners

Power partners are those who have similar businesses, but are not in competition with you. Find these people, befriend these people, and keep in touch with these people. They may be able to give you referrals! You can connect with these people on whichever social network they’re on. Here are some good ideas for social media power partners: Do You Have Social Media Power Partners for Your Small Business? 

Follow Up

Following up is not given enough credit. Depending upon who you talk to, you need to have 7-9 “touches” before someone buys your product or service. People are busy. They might have forgotten to answer your tweet or post or call you. So contact them instead. By the way, here’s a post on follow up that you might like from Forbes: How To Master The Art Of Networking Follow-Up.

Contact People Where They Have the Fewest Connections

Say you want to connect with an author, but that author has 25,000 followers on Facebook. But on Twitter? Her audience is much smaller. So if you can, go where that person has the smallest audience for the best chance to make contact. You might like, retweet their content, then open a conversation. And don’t forget to be generous first!

 new york city photo

Meet in Person

This might sound strange, but the best thing to do once you really know someone well on social media is to meet in person. Social media will only take you so far, and for a lasting connection it’s best to meet in person! You might like The Surprising Importance of the Offline Meeting, by the way.

How have you completed the circuit on social media? Let me know in the comments! And thanks!

 

How To Arrest Social Media Humble Brags After Big Storms

How To Arrest Social Media Humble Brags After Big Storms

How To Arrest Social Media Humble Brags After Big Storms

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know about the storms in Florida and Texas. And, the entire west coast is on fire! Many people have had to move, have lost their homes, or have lost their lives. Every day we’re getting terrible stories about the end of the world.

The News is Awful

The News is Awful

The News is Awful

And not to downplay the seriousness of the ecological disasters. Not at all. But one thing that’s been bugging me is the humble brags.

There are Real Heroes

There are Real Heroes

There are Real Heroes

Now I really like the human interest stories about real heroes. People who drag entire families out in tiny rowboats–now that’s impressive! People who rescue dogs, cats, horses, and babies? They’re the best!

Then There Are the Humble Brags!

Then There Are the Humble Brags!

Then There Are the Humble Brags!

But people who bake cookies for a family and then spend an entire day telling the world with a video? Now that’s a whole different story.

To me, baking cookies is being neighborly or generous. No need to create a video telling how grateful the person receiving the cookies was. In social media, being generous is the best way to start a relationship.

"I Gave a Man Kleenex!"

“I Gave a Man Kleenex!”

“I Gave a Man Kleenex!”

Are we really so desperate for attention, that everyone has to brag about the tiniest thing we do so we can get credit for it? “I gave a man Kleenex! Now he can blow his nose!” I’m expecting to see a whole video about that. “Before I came along, he had no Kleenex!” “Not only that–I gave him a new box! Come on, can’t we do any better than that?

Self-Serving Isn't Just a Line at the Grocery Store

Self-Serving Isn’t Just a Line at the Grocery Store

Self-Serving Isn’t Just a Line at the Grocery Store

When did we all get to be so self-serving? And isn’t it the best form of charity to remain anonymous? And in my first-ever quote from the Bible, below, how about staying anonymous?

“But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know
what thy right hand doeth”

~Matthew 6:3

Is it Gamification?

Is it Gamification?

Is it Gamification?

Maybe it has to do with gamification. Maybe we all expect to get points in the game of life now. I really don’t know. But I don’t like the trend. Not one bit. It’s embarrassing.

Knock it Off

Knock it Off

Knock it Off

So what I’d like to say to the entire world, and especially to all the people making the self-serving videos: Cut. It. Out.

You're No Mother Teresa

You’re No Mother Teresa

You’re No Mother Teresa

You’re not Mother Teresa because you gave someone a sanitary pad. You’re not the Pope because you gave someone a sandwich. Nobody is going to proclaim you a saint for fixing someone’s shoe. Just quit it. If you have to give someone a sandwich, give them a sandwich. Don’t make a damn video about it.

How to Stop it?

How to Stop it?

How to Stop it?

The easiest way to stop the trend? Ignore it. Don’t click on the story. Don’t watch the video. And above all, don’t make eye contact! You might even want to get some help with looking on the brighter side with a Law of Attraction exercise!

Have You Seen This Trend?

Have You Seen This Trend?

Have You Seen This Trend?

Does it bug you, too? Let me know in the comments! I promise not to make a video of your comment.

Greatest Ways to Do Time in Facebook Jail

Greatest ways to do time in Facebook jail.

Greatest ways to do time in Facebook jail.

Now you’ve done it! You’ve landed yourself in Facebook jail! You know that there’s no easy way to get out, right? And you’ll never even know what you actually did to land yourself there. Like Instagram, Facebook is often a mystery. People’s accounts get deleted or they can’t post for a certain amount of time–and often they don’t even know why.

Tally up the Days You Have Left

Tally up the Days You Have Left

Tally up the Days You Have Left

If you only have three days to spend in jail, then maybe use hours instead because that’s more impressive. Use a piece of chalk and hatch marks.

Have Your Best Friend Tell Everyone What Happened

Have Your Best Friend Tell Everyone What Happened

Have Your Best Friend Tell Everyone What Happened

After all, you don’t want all your friends and fans to be guessing what happened! They need to know that you planned to do this so you could write about it later!

Work out Like the Wild Internet Marketing Thang You Are

Here’s an excuse to finally make use of that Fitbit you got last Christmas! Oh, wait. You don’t get to keep a Fitbit in jail. But you can still do pushups!

Encourage People to Bake You Cakes with Files in Them

It’s not old-school, it’s retro! Your friends can find a good recipe on Pinterest, no doubt! What? They’re not on Pinterest yet? Here are a couple of ways for them to get started!

weight lift photo

Be Proud

Like some of the most seasoned criminals, feel proud that you were in jail! Show off the nifty haircut you got while you were there. Talk about all the interesting people you met, and some of their stories. And tell them about the — gulp! — showers!

 tattoo photo

Get Tattooed

Bet you didn’t know you could get tattooed while you were in Facebook jail, did you? You can and you should!

old cinema photo

Catch up on Old Movies

You might not have cable or Netflix in Facebook jail, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have rabbit ears! Remember those?

 beautiful bed photo

Get Some Sleep

You were getting up early and staying up late because of your Facebook posting schedule, weren’t you? Now you can stay in bed a little longer.

Play Chess

If you don’t know how to play, someone will surely be happy to teach you!

Start Digging

Remember the Shawshank Redemption, Stephen King’s novel that was made into a movie? If not, put it on your list to watch as soon as you get out of jail!

Guess Who Squealed on You

Was it the guy whose meme you stole? Maybe.

How’d You Spend Your Time in Facebook Jail?

Let me know in the comments! If you’re still in jail, let me know later!

 

Why Friendships Are Absolutely the Best ROI Of Social Media

 

Why Friendships Are Absolutely the Best ROI Of Social Media

Why Friendships Are Absolutely the Best ROI Of Social Media

This is something I really can’t say enough: your ROI (Return on Investment) with social media is all the connections you’ll make. Some of those connections deepen and become associates. Some of those deepen and become friendships. Some will lead to business, and some will not. Either way, expect magic from those connections.

WordCamps

WordCamps

WordCamps

When you connect with people online you have something to look forward to, and something to look back upon with fondness. For instance, every year I attend WordCamp Orange County with my best buddy Bridget Willard. We met through Twitter. Here are some of the posts I’ve written about WordCamp Orange County, by the way:

Who you'll meet

Who you’ll meet

Who You’ll Meet

You’ll meet people who are brave, and people who touch you with their writing abilities. You’ll also meet people who make you laugh, and a few who’ll make you cry. My bestie Amy Donohue is one of the bravest ones I’ve ever known. She donated her kidney to a stranger and now she’s one of the most awesome entrepreneurs as her career is skyrocketing! Go follow her on Twitter: @TheFabulousOne

The Future

The Future

The Future

Dyane Harwood, Kittie Walker (@avidmode on Twitter), and Larry Mount (@LazBlazter on Twitter) are people I’ve not met yet. But I’m planning on it! You probably have a few people you really want to meet, too!

Instagram is Next

Instagram is Next

Instagram is Next

So far, I’ve corresponded with lots of people on Instagram, but haven’t met anyone. That’s my next frontier! Maybe do some photography and travel around locally and then post the pictures.

What's Next for You?

What’s Next for You?

What’s Next for You?

Have you met a lot of people through social media? What’s that been like for you? I really do want to know, so leave me a comment!

How to Make Money with Social Media without Losing Your Mind

 

How to Make Money with Social Media without Losing Your Mind

How to Make Money with Social Media without Losing Your Mind

Although social media isn’t magic, it is possible to draw attention to your products and services using social media, especially when your posts are thoughtful and anticipate what your audience wants. By the way, you might like this post: Social Media Isn’t Magic — it Takes Planning and Hard Work.

First of all, you are creating connections and trust with your social media accounts. You are engaging with people regularly (am I right?), answering questions, and blogging.

In case you were wondering, the answer to whether you can make money with social media is a resounding yes!

So here are a few ways to make that happen.

steak chef photo

Create Products

A product doesn’t have to be big or fancy. You don’t have to start with an e-book. You could start with a really good checklist, as my friend Tess Witter says. Or a short guide to whatever you’re an expert in.

video shoot photo

Post Images of Your Crafts

Where you sell can be just as important, if not more so, than how you sell. Selling your crafts on Instagram or Pinterest will probably gain you more sales than Google Plus. But you can also use Twitter and Facebook to drive traffic to your own website or an Etsy site. Here’s an article about getting started on Pinterest that you might like: Pinterest: 10 Quick and Easy Tasks You Can Do Right Now.

Sell Your Services

I don’t recommend giving away your services for free, but how about a friendly “get-to-know-you-better” price to attract a few people? Could be a one-hour introductory rate for a specific period of time.

Videotape What You Do

You may offer a service that no one else does. For instance, perhaps you create videos to showcase others’ businesses. Why not create a video showing what you do? And of course have a call to action at the end. Of course, you may also want to create tweets, Facebook and Instagram posts and a blog post featuring the video. Here’s a post about how to turbocharge your blog post production that you might like, by the way. Your ideal client might be in any of those places on the inter webs! video shoot photo

Long-Tail Keywords for the Win!

If what you do is very specific, a video could attract a really big customer, such as the one my friend Bridget Willard attracted with her video about epoxy and tilt-up construction when she was working for a construction company.

Appeal to Those Who Learn Differently Than You

Most people are visual learners, but what about those who learn best through hearing something? Create a video so people don’t have to read, but can instead listen!

And the most important way to make money?

Create Relationships!

Yes, that’s right. Social media is a long game. You’re probably not going to have a bunch of new friends by next week. But regularly adding value to conversations on social media, being helpful where you can, and answering questions go a long way toward having some relationships. After awhile, you’ll start to see some familiar faces, and you’ll engage more with them.

family holiday photo

Be Generous First

How? You might ask. Share others’ content. Offer helpful links. Listen to other people first. It’s one of those simple but not easy things. There are really no shortcuts.

 

 

Visit Us On TwitterVisit Us On FacebookVisit Us On Google PlusVisit Us On PinterestVisit Us On YoutubeVisit Us On LinkedinCheck Our Feed