It’s time for a mental health tip! A new pet may be exactly what you need as we move into a new chapter of 2020. But are you up for the responsibility?
In just a few weeks since widespread lockdowns were enforced because of COVID-19, more and more people have welcomed pets into their homes. And for good reason, too.
In a time of so much fear and uncertainty, pets can offer comfort and companionship, which can be truly vital in maintaining one’s mental health. However, this also entails taking responsibility for another living thing, as well as a commitment that goes well beyond the pandemic.
So if adopting a pet is something that feels compelling to you right now, refer to the links below in order to make an informed decision.
Research Your Options
If you find yourself gravitating toward an animal based on its cuteness alone, stop yourself and take an assessment of your lifestyle and living situation. If you live in a small space, for example, a big dog may not be the best choice for you!
You want to make sure that the pet you choose is a good fit; that they can live a healthy lifestyle! Here are a few resources to help you learn about pet ownership:
Before bringing your new pet home, you’ll need some supplies around the house.
Having several cool toys around the house and a pantry full of healthy pet food will allow you to focus on bonding with your new friend. By being prepared, you can focus on the positive aspects of new pet ownership — as opposed to scrambling around for what you need!
Of course, pet ownership isn’t all fun and games — you need to make sure you take good care of your animals. This includes discovering ways to show your pet that you truly love them and finding a vet that you can trust and rely on in the case of an emergency.
By taking care of your pet, they will, in turn, take extremely good care of you!
Welcoming a pet into your home—not just in the pandemic, but also beyond—could very well be one of the best decisions you will ever make. However, you do have to do the due diligence and learn everything there is to know about keeping a pet—the good and the bad—in order to truly make it so. That, alone, will truly speak of how ready you are for the responsibility.
This has been a guest post shared by Aurora James at Dog Etiquette! Their mission is to help dogs everywhere because there is no such thing as a bad dog. Check them out! If you are interested in creating a guest post for the CBCInked blog, reach out. I am always open to fun collaborations (especially when they involve cute dogs).
Is there anything better than checking something off your to-do list?
With all the technology that can help you be more productive, I wanted to share my old school – nontech – system for success. Yes, it actually involves real paper and a pen. Remember those?
When it comes down to getting things done, it can get lost in the digital mix. When you are assigned actions that need to be done, you are in charge of your own time. You are in charge of when that gets done.
What work processes or flows do you use that help you stay productive? There are loads of programs, software tools and calendars that will help you achieve more. But what habits have you formed that really get the job done?
Mine are all on sticky notes (or Post-it Notes, if you want to be fancy about it)!
Who else loves sticky notes? #CBCInked breaks it down with the “Sticky Note System for Success” – I’m diggin’ it! #productivity
I wish I would have taken stock in Post-it notes because I’m sure have paid my fair share in purchases.
So you may be asking, why sticky notes, Caylin? Why are you physically writing things down when we have one-touch tech at your fingertips? Here’s why…
When something is filed away in a folder, do you remember to use it as much? Not me.
When I close out my tabs, there is no guarantee that I will remember to get things done. But when a bright hand-written note is on my desk the next morning, I know exactly what to do.
When something needs to be done, are you going to guarantee that your mind will remember to do it without writing it down? Definitely not me.
So I rely on both my technology and my penmanship. I set all the calendar reminders, add all the events with notifications so as not to skip any of my daily activities. So I DO use technology for recurring tasks on my daily agenda.
Where the sticky note system comes into place is when I have larger goals, whether on a daily weekly or monthly timeline. These goals have actionable tasks related and have to be done outside of my everyday activities.
Hence, the sticky note system was formed and has worked for me since day one. (And I have now passed down to my stepdaughter. The husband didn’t adopt it as much.)
The CBCInked Sticky Note System
Are you ready to learn this wizardry? It’s really not that complicated…and maybe people are doing it everywhere! Here is the CBCInked Sticky Note System for Success (that’s the official title apparently):
3 long multicolor note packs
3 short multicolor note packs
2 different color pens
Break out your action steps on the notes. There may be 3-5 different notes that are going at one time because each one has a different time in which it is due. Some of the tasks that you write on one may lead to another!
The first note is for large to-dos that may take months.
The second is for the medium-sized tasks that can be handled in weeks.
The third is for the small daily tasks you need to get the large to-dos done, daily.
Create checkboxes for the action items on each list, I know it sounds silly, but try it. Or get a fancy notepad that has checkboxes on it!
As you work through each task, you can check them off individually. There is something that happens mentally to your brain when you manually check something off your list. It helps you feel worth and achievement for your day – no matter how small the task.
When the note is almost full, transfer the remaining checkboxes to a new note. I call this the waterfall technique, it allows you to see what you accomplished that day and what the overflow is. It is a scoring technique for how productive you were for the day and how much you have left to do.
There is a reason I don’t cross things out, and rather use a checkbox style and that’s simply because it looks prettier.
To recap, I create checkboxes with large, medium and small tasks. Check them off as they are being completed and consolidate lists accordingly. Evaluate what was completed and what is left to do.
PRO TIP: Don’t let your older sticky notes get piled up on your desk! Consolidate and throw away those old ones – that also feels good!
Personal Sticky Notes for Success
The beautiful thing about the Sticky Notes for Success System is that it doesn’t have to be JUST for work. You can incorporate this system into your personal life too – because you may need a little organization in that area.
Here are a few other ways you can use the sticky note system for your personal gain:
Ideas – jot down your amazing ideas on a sticky note, even if you can’t achieve them right then. You can even create an entire board of these “idea” notes and challenge yourself to complete them.
Quotes – these are fun as you come across things that mean something to you – write them down! Share these quotes in places you will see them to help you remember how it made you feel.
Communication – it doesn’t have to stop with just YOU! Share other sticky notes with your friends and family. There is nothing like a little note to make someone’s day.
Personal self-talk – as you know I am a fan of affirmations (hence creating Artfirmations) and that sometimes you need a little pep talk – with yourself!
CBCInked Wrap Up: Sticky Notes for Success System
The important thing to learn is that you are learning ways to be more productive. You are also learning ways to get things off of your mind.
Don’t get mad at yourself if you haven’t checked everything off your list. I’ve been working hard at being more productive in my life. I launched the Marketing in a Box course and had to stay on top of my game!
I hope this system has helped you to do more, be better and stay happier! What types of things do you do to stay productive? I’d love to know!
It’s a downloadable course that teaches you how to market yourself, your product or your service. The course is broken down into easy to consume articles, tutorials, videos and walk-throughs. It’s affordable and can be used as a marketing guide to train other members of your team.
I wanted to share my marketing magic with the world in the hopes that we can promote positively.
Your brand deserves to be shared. That’s why Marketing in a Box was created. Easy marketing training on your own time. Check out this #MarketinginaBox course by CBCInked!
It really is that simple. Marketing in a box. Your inbox. Marketing training sent right to your inbox. You’ll want this course if you are:
struggling with brand awareness
struggling with social media management
struggling with your blog
struggling with hosting a webinar
struggling with website optimization
struggling with SEO
struggling with partnerships
If that sounds like you, head over to Marketing on CBCInked and take a look at the Marketing in a Box courses available. Currently, there are two available for download:
Digital Marketing in a Box. Digital marketing training techniques, templates and resources to grow your agency.
Content Marketing in a Box. Content marketing training, tips, guides and strategies to build your brand.
How does it all work?
It’s easy. After confirmed purchase, you will be emailed a link with the option to open in Google docs, or be emailed a download for desktop. It’s that simple!
There is a step by step instructional guide inside, explaining what each piece of course content means. Learn on your own time, on your own terms. No subscriptions, no hidden feeds. One purchase, one course – with a lot of training!
Read, listen or watch! Choose your own training adventure.
Content Marketing in a Box
Ready to start blogging with purpose?
Content marketing is a proven strategy will help build brand awareness and increase lead generation. If you need a strategy, a calendar and tips on partnerships, this course is for you.
Content marketing training, templates and resources to grow your agency. This course includes the following:
Complete Guide to Blogging
Free Blog Software Tools
Search Engine Optimization
Influencer Link Building 101
Complete Content Calendar
Blogging Guidelines Template
Call To Action Creations
Guest Post Guidelines Template
This Content Marketing in a Box course is a culmination of over 12 years of digital marketing experience. These templates, guides and tips are proven marketing strategies that will grow you or your agency.
Doing it correctly, is what matters most. Marketing has evolved and changed over the last 12 years and I have compiled all of my knowledge into this training course for you. The tips, tools and techniques you will learn are proven strategies for growth online.
The Digital Marketing in a Box course contains marketing training, templates and resources to grow your agency.
Digital Marketing in a Box includes the following courses:
Website Lead Generation Guide
Social Media Marketing
Social Media Calendar
Content Creation & Marketing
Content Marketing Calendar
SEO Link Building Steps
Virtual Event Planning & Promotion
Build a Webinar in a Box
Affiliate Marketing & Monetization
Marketing Plan Printable
Bonus: You get access to CBCInked discounts included in each course! Save on website hosting, design tools, marketing help and more.
Understanding how to market yourself should be easy. This Marketing in a Box course is easy to digest where you learn on your own terms. #MarketinginaBox
It’s funny. If you would have said to me ten years ago that in 2020 I would be saying the words “virtual fatigue” I would have laughed right out loud.
I mean come on, are we really tired because we can’t go anywhere or do anything? Do you know how silly that really is?
Here’s the cold, hard truth, folks. We can’t get mad because things are CHANGING. We are always mad about something – whether it be viruses, injustice or Jar Jar Binks, we have to start letting some things go.
If you are experiencing #virtualfatigue, you may be doing the whole virtual thing wrong! Here’s my it-sort-of-works attempt at overcoming virtual fatigue in a social distanced world – @CBCInked
A lot of us fight change. I get it. I do too, at first.
If we learn to pivot alongside change instead of going against the grain, it may help us to accept the changes that are happening. If you are a Bruce Lee fan, you know you are supposed to “be water, my friend” – but what does that mean?
Being like water means you literally take shape to your environment. If you have pivoted from online conferences to virtual meetings, so be it. Let it in! Try and make it the best because without this option, you would really be alone.
I know it’s not like the real thing – meeting someone in real life is irreplaceable. I get that. I miss my peeps and want to hug all of them tightly. However, if you had to choose to never see them again or at least see them virtually to laugh with – what would you choose?
Give the social side of virtual a chance! Don’t just book a meeting with work – book a happy hour with friends! The team at GoWP put together a “Virtual Happiness Hour” on Fridays at 3 PM ET in the Niche Agency Owners Facebook Group and I look forward to it every week! Some Fridays, its the reason I get up and get ready…
My advice? Act like it’s a party! Get dressed up, set up your camera, get your light going, get some good vibes in and chill with your peeps. Hey, it’s better than nothin’! And I bet that you will be happy to “see” them regardless if it’s in person after it’s all over. You’ll say, well that was fun.
Mix in social with professional!
Association Mindset: Virtual vs Meetings
The mindset behind virtual is that those of us who have been working remotely for years have had the “dread” of having to go on meetings. Since we associate virtual with work meetings, it automatically shines a negative light on it. We have to change our mindset so that the virtual events become a positive thing too.
I’m lucky because I actually enjoy my meetings at my job! I’m also “anti” virtual fatigue because I worked remotely for 6 years before the pandemic. I was used to virtual everything.
I’ve learned that the mindset should shift from dread to excitement.
You should take a break from the constant workflow (close those tabs!) to see the people that bring you joy everyday, if even for a moment. Your meetings should be filled with positive wins, challenges to overcome together and laughter to get you through. If your “meetings” don’t have these qualities, it’s time to look for a new job.
Are you registering for events you are ACTUALLY excited to go to? I sign myself up for events outside of work just so that I can have some fun!
Change the mindset from negative to positive and put your ALL into your meetings or virtual events. Always come with your A-Game, looking sharp and contribute something positive to the conversation. Be the light that shines in the Zoom room!
And then book your happy hour after.
Change your Schedule: Social and Professional
Another way to overcome virtual fatigue is to mix up your calendar a bit. If you truly are tired of meeting online, you may be doing it wrong!
Calendar checks are important for downtime and unplugging. If you are going from one event to the next, you don’t even have time to NOT be virtual! Give yourself days in between events where you can be yourself and get your work done.
Make yourself some goals to NOT have too many events in one day, week or month. Each event does need to be something that is meaningful, can help you grow or help you with your own relationships (self care 101!).
Change up the calendar and stop blaming the virtual event.
CBCInked Wrap Up: Beat the Virtual Fatigue
Anything can happen. I am learning to roll with the punches. I hate to tell you this but we may be in for a long haul of virtual events, meetings, doctor appointments, happy hours and maybe even funerals.
Who knows! You most likely will have to get on the virtual bandwagon and hang on tight! My advice is to take it slow, sign up for what you want, change your mindset and make some time for Zoom fun.
Here’s a recap:
Mix in social and professional to the virtual flow.
Change your mindset from dread to excitement by being present on your virtual events.
Let your virtual meeting or event BE the reason you get up and get ready that day.
Change up your calendar and take breaks from the virtual world.
What things do you do to overcome virtual fatigue? I’d love to hear your thoughts! Shoot me a message or reach out to me!
Introducing a fun new webinar-podcast mashup: CBCInked Saves your Social Media Webcast!
These Webcasts were my idea to get a positive concept out into the world about how to be on social media without drowning in the mix.
Just shoot me your email, get the video download link and enjoy the free marketing training on your own time. No need to put it in your calendar, it’s available when you need it. So here we go – a Social Media Webcast is born!
And, it’s free and always will be.
The Story Behind the Social Media Webcast Scenes
It’s time to grow your online identity with a little help from your friends.
As an artist, I struggled for years with getting my “art out there”. If you’re an artist, you know the struggle is real. I had the pleasure of being a digital marketer and my art was something I did as a creative outlet. I learned first hand all the ins and outs of marketing – and failing along the way.
The good news is that every time you fail – you learn. You get up and grow.
So, I took a lot of what I learned and applied it to my own art. If you don’t know, I create Artfirmations, they are artistic affirmations created for daily wellness. I also provide custom art by commission and have done so many pieces over the years I lost count. I wasn’t ready to let my art die or worse yet – wait to die to get famous. I wanted a way to get my art out there in a positive light.
Also – shout out to Dr. Sarah Porray of Soul Blessed Healing – she helped me to get this whole thing off the ground.
In this video, you will get a short introduction to me, CBCInked and the journey I am on to help you. I also share what these Webcasts will entail and the new things to come in the marketing world.
What You’ll learn in this Webcast
Get ready! You will learn a lot in 18 minutes or less.
First, these Webcasts are for those that are looking to increase brand awareness, build a solid social media identity and grow their business. These webcasts are meant to be delivered free, on your time and in bite-size learnable pieces to swallow.
My intention is to help you without overwhelming you!
Here’s what you’ll learn (without spoiling all the good parts):
How to get in the marketing mindset with a simple daily checklist
How to set your intentions and goals so that they are achievable
How to set up your social media profiles (and which ones to be on!)
Tips on building a loyal following
The best tools to use for social media and automation
Learn the rules of Influencer marketing and what not to do
Hear some posting tips for growth and more!
If this sounds like something you need, get your free Webcast here! And if you aren’t sure what this is all about, connect with me!
CBCInked Wrap Up: Webcasts and More Coming Soon!
I just want to say a huge thank you to those that have been a part of my journey thus far. I couldn’t have done this without the loving support of my family, friends and fans. It is such an honor to be among such inspiring people daily.
The reason I am doing this is because I want to help you grow in a positive way!
I have some special news to share with you that I hope you will enjoy. I am launching a new course that will be available soon. Introducing…. (drum roll please) ?
Marketing in a Box.Your inbox.
There will be two courses available – here’s a sneak peek.
Content marketing training, templates and resources to grow your agency.
Includes: Complete Guide to Blogging ? Free Blog Software Tools ? Search Engine Optimization ? Influencer Link Building 101 ? Complete Content Calendar? Blogging Guidelines Template ? Call To Action Creations ? Guest Post Guidelines Template
Digital marketing training, templates and resources to grow your agency.
Includes: Website Lead Generation Guide ? Social Media Marketing ? Social Media Calendar Template ? Content Creation & Marketing ? Content Marketing Calendar? Email Marketing Templates ? SEO Link Building Steps? Build a Webinar in a Box? Virtual Event Plan and Promotion? Affiliate Marketing & Monetization
The best part is you learn on your own time. You will get access to free marketing templates and guides that you can dig into on your own. Get on the pre-launch email list when you download the latest Webcast!
Until then, keep going. It’s easy to give up during these times but keep your marketing game strong.
Yeah, so is the whole world. It’s the end of summer in 2020. The whole world has been on fire for months without any sign of it going out any time soon. Burnt out seems to be the nice way of putting it.
Here’s what I did. I left my life for three weeks in order to bring myself back. I’ve never done anything like this before – leaving my schedule, my routine…my bed.
I learned some things that may help you at this time of your pandemic – I mean your life.
Here’s what’s going to happen when you start to plan to leave for three weeks.
You’re going to have a mini freak out, stress about what needs to be done, and probably fight with your significant other.
You’re going to wake up in the middle of the night and say OH NO THE PLANTS. Yep, those plants are going to be fine. Unless they die. That’s still okay.
I talked myself out of it about 30 times. It’s easier than you think! My advice would be to turn off the media and get it in the books. If you’ve told your family you’re coming, it’s locked in.
So, I left my life for three weeks and went to sunny Florida to spend time with my family.
Here’s what I did – the good, bad and the ragey:
I planned hardcore – coordinated with neighbors, lawn care workers, vets and my family to make this happen. It takes a village to leave one.
I cleaned the house pretty much all day every day – more for my energy than to actually have a clean house.
I over packed like a crazy person. I packed WAY too much but it made me feel better so I will probably do it again.
I fought with my significant other about dates, schedules, cars, dogs, and literally anything and everything because we were both stressed about leaving. It’s inevitable but somehow helps because you get the rage out.
I prepared everything – the car, the dog, the backyard, the kitchen, the garbage, the tech, the mailbox, literally everything. Make a list, that helped me. It felt awesome to crumple it up when I left.
I didn’t read the news. Turn it all off. It will try to instill fear in you and make you feel like you need to stay put. Shut that down.
I just went without overthinking it. Yeah right, I TOTALLY overthought everything. But I went.
Just go. Get in the car and go. Get gas first, but just go.
Let go of the schedule
So if you’re anything like me, you love a good schedule.
Here is what you have to do when you leave your little schedule behind. You have to let it go. You can’t have the schedule when you are outside of your regularly scheduled program. The place is different. The people are different. It’s…amazing.
At first it will be hard to change up the routine. Don’t fight it.
Your color coded calendars will be there when you get back. Try to just roll with it and see what happens. Take away the control of the calendar, if only for a moment.
You will still have to follow through with your responsibilities. Still work, clean, exercise and keep your self care schedule going. Just try the non-plan plan and you will still get it done. Trust me.
I am amazed at how much I got done outside of my schedule. I would say I was MORE productive because I was happier.
Also, my Mom and my sister always make me laugh and I found I was so much happier just to be around them. Laughter really is the best medicine.
Let in something new
One of the best things about leaving your life is the opportunity to let in something new.
This can take on many shapes! Letting in new people, new experiences, new schedules can all be very cathartic during this time. Being open to new opportunities and taking chances that you wouldn’t normally take if you were at home is huge.
It’s trips like these that can help you take on a new perspective about your life. You can learn new things about yourself and your thresholds – so seize that opportunity! Cherish every moment you have with your loved ones – seriously. It’s a crazy time and anything can happen so be sure to let it all in.
The goal of the trip is to help you. Remember that!
CBCInked Wrap Up: Results of Leaving my Life for Three Weeks
My advice is to take a break.
It doesn’t have to be for three weeks, but take a break. When I got back to reality things were easier to deal with. Sure I was sad that the vacation was over, but it was good to feel tired. I felt so happy that I shared memories, had some laughs and took pictures to last a lifetime!
When I got back it was easier to focus. My work felt easy, my mind felt lighter. I saw my productivity increase and my mood lighten. I treated other people better including myself. I found that I was able to handle things better.
Even though you do go back, it’s important to take a beat. Removing yourself from the everyday routine is healthy for your mind, body and spirit.
Need more help dealing with the global pandemic or just life in general right now? I wrote these two articles to help:
You can’t live with it and you can’t live without it, am I right? It’s like being in a relationship with the internet.
So, I’ve been in a relationship with Twitter going on 5 years. I’ve watched it grow, evolve and slowly but surely – in a 140 characters or less – take over the world. If you are on it, you know what I mean.
If you’re looking to master the art of the Tweet, it’s time to learn a little about it’s history, it’s future and it’s impact on your business. It’s a huge platform that isn’t going anywhere, so if you want to grow, you’re going to have to accept the little blue bird into your social network.
Let’s talk Twitter.
What is Twitter and why does it matter?
Wikipedia defines it as an American microblogging and social networking service on which users post and interact with messages known as “tweets”. Registered users can post, like, and retweet tweets, but unregistered users can only read them. Who really defines things with Wiki anymore? Are we even sure we trust it?
Twitter, to me, is a tumbling newsfeed that has short snippets of info that can start threads of conversation all over the world. You can share comments, links, images and retweet them as well. It’s FAST. It’s like if Facebook were shortened and sped up.
The important thing you need to know about Twitter is that it’s run by Jack Dorsey and who knows which side of things he is on. You need to follow the right people, understand that the newsfeed “trending tweets” are hashtag based and that you have a voice. Make it a good one.
Here ya go – this is the beginning of Twitter. They make it seem as easy as 1-2-3. It’s a bit more complicated than that though.
When you get on the Twitter campaign, it’s hard to slow down! When you truly understand the power of building relationships in shorter sentences, it impacts how you do everything.
Let’s talk about marketing yourself or your agency on Twitter. It’s a slow process, so don’t get too excited about it happening overnight. Take it slow and learn the right path for you.
Create Twitter Lists of people you’d like to collaborate with. Thanks, Sprout Social for the awesome breakdown!
Tweet often! 4x a day is recommended here, folks. That’s why you need a sweet tool like Buffer or Hootsuite to get you automated.
Join the conversation (but be nice!) by jumping in on threads.
Retweet (read reshare) other people’s Tweets 10% of the time.
Pin your tweets about fun events, news or discounts to the top of your profile for more (and longer) engagement.
Join Twitter chats (thanks Raven!) for conversations centralized in a certain topic scheduled at a certain time. Join in enough and you might just get invited to be included in one!
It’s sort of a lot of work. Which is why people hire marketing managers (like me) to take on the full weight of the Tweets – amongst other social media profiles.
If you need some help, that’s what I do. I’m here for you. In fact, I wrote a little eBook that might help you not feel so overwhelmed by it all. It’s free – give it a read.
Twitter Do’s and Don’ts
Before you Tweet, think about who it will reach, how it will sound and how it will impact yourself or your brand.
Tweet with your best face (or typing hand) forward – as a human. Nothing more, nothing less. Don’t pass judgment, be evil or fall into the dark threads. Be authentic and nice, please!
Note: there are a lot of negative vibes on Twitter. You are going to have to do the filter noise technique I taught you because you can easily get swept away by the negativity. Be sure to unfollow just as much as you follow when necessary.
Do: Represent your brand with passion in a non-salesy way.
Don’t: Push sales every Tweet.
Do: Tweet consistently about various topics, not just yourself.
Don’t: Post only about yourself every Tweet.
Do: Retweet and support others.
Don’t: Retweet someone only to promote yourself.
Do: Follow trending hashtags and share your expert advice where necessary.
Don’t: Hop into threads that you don’t have expertise on and share your opinion.
Do: Research all news sources prior to Tweeting
Don’t: Tweet something you haven’t read and don’t actually support (or is fake news)
Do: Stay positive, consistent and true to your brand.
Don’t: Be negative, absent or fake to your brand.
Do: Share your Twitter social profiles on your website, content and in your newsletter.
Don’t: Forget to share your Twitter profile everywhere.
It’s easy! Treat Twitter how you would want to be treated. Tweet out of a place of love, not hate.
CBCInked Wrap Up: Twitter Growth Campaign
You ready to tackle the beast that is Twitter?
It’s a lot, I know. Don’t worry, take it one Tweet at a time. If you are ready to take the first step, get your Twitter account ready and start your tweeting engines. If you have a Twitter account and it needs some resurrection, I’m here for you! Marketing is a full time job, believe I know – it’s mine.
Twitter doesn’t have to be hard. Think of it as a conversation starter.
Instagram is my favorite! This Instagram Marketing Guide is from my pure heart. Personally and professionally, Instagram is gold for growth. Unless you royally screw it up.
As a marketer, it’s important to know the basics of Instagram, so you don’t fail. Things are changing daily, so you’ll need a plan of attack to stay on top of your digital game. Trust me, I have seen some pretty epic fails on Instagram that I wish I could help.
It’s time to tackle Instagram and the power it holds.
What’s all the Instagram fuss about? It’s simple.
Instagram is another one of those social media platforms where people post pictures and words. I try to separate it from Facebook, even though they own it, as much as I can.
Your mission is to post the best photos, with the best captions and be the best Grammer you can be. Easier said than done. Check out these #Instagram tips by @cbcinked
Here’s my CBCInked Instagram feed – please feel free to follow me! I love connecting with other people and would be happy to see what kind of adventures you’re having online. 🙂
Do’s and Don’ts of Instagram
I’ve been using Instagram for longer than I’d like to admit.
I’ve seen it grow, evolve and trend. It’s important to be sure who you want to be online (on any social platform). Your online identity is equally important as who you are in real life, so be sure you represent yourself correctly.
Do: Represent your authentic self.
Don’t: Create a fake life online that doesn’t represent the real you.
Do: Take quality photos (background matters!)
Don’t: Take out of focus, fuzzy photos (with a toilet in the background!)
Do: Write a classy profile with correct information, grammar and punctuation.
Don’t: Put together a half-ass profile that has spelling errors and bad spacing.
Do: Post no more than three times a day. 1-2 posts are ideal.
Don’t: Post a thousand times a day.
Do: Post inspiring, helpful and educational content (young eyes are watching!)
Don’t Post hateful, judgmental or cruel content.
Do: Offer a reference to where they can find more information in the comments.
Don’t: Put a link in the comments, it’s not hyperlinked!
Do: Leave positive, uplifting and inspiring comments on other accounts.
Don’t: Spam other people’s accounts with salesy type comments.
I could go on, but I think you get it. You need to be authentic, respectful and helpful. I can’t express this enough – BE NICE.
Interested in more Instagram knowledge bombs? Learn how to market your agency in one simple download. Download the free eBook for a sneak peek at what’s included in the exclusive Marketing in a Box course!
Stories are like those little images in a viewfinder – remember those?
Your Instagram Stories are another way to showcase your profile and brand with a little fun. They are short snippets of images and video that will last in an archived database outside of your feed. They are increasingly popular and should be used…properly!
When you create a story, it should be compelling, interesting and “on brand” as Alexis Rose would say.
Resist the urge to post whatever comes to mind first! Be sure to take some time to do a little research as your online identity is at stake.
PRO TIP: Share highly personalized and professional snippets of short, sweet videos. Nobody likes a video that’s just too long.
How to Gain Followers and Influence People
Instagram is not easy to gain followers. You don’t automatically get people to follow you just because you post an image that you think is cool. Sorry to burst your Gram bubble, babe, but you are going to have to work for it!
So how do you gain followers? You put time and effort in, just like anything else.
Instagram is going to require daily activity, engagement and commentary. Other than posting 1-2 images a day along with your Stories, you are going to have to put time and love into other accounts as well. Here are few tips to gain followers and influencer people on Instagram:
In your caption be sure to tag influencers, mentors, inspiration or brands that you are posting about. That involves doing some research to find out the appropriate handles for each brand.
In your caption, be sure to hashtag the key categories you are posting about – the magic number is seven hashtags. Be sure you research each one to try and rank in search for the keyword or topic of the image posted.
Follow trending hashtags in discover or in your feed. Comment (encouraging, uplifting and positive!) on posts that are relevant to what you’d like to rank for.
Create a unique hashtag that is specific to you, that you can use and reference for brand awareness (I.E. #CBCInked)
Follow people, brands and companies that you admire, like and want to reshare. Re-share their posts and stories, tagging them and their hashtag to show support.
Comment, engage and re-share DAILY. There is no limit to the amount of comments you can share on other people’s accounts, so go nuts.
One of my favorite accounts to follow is NuLeaf Naturals:
If you’re looking for more marketing help, let’s chat! I have helped companies all over the world learn the ins and outs of digital, content and social media marketing. I am happy to chat with you about your goals for growth.
CBCInked Wrap Up: Instagram Guide for Growth
Instagram is an excellent avenue for growth in the digital marketing world. I encourage you to learn it, hone it and make it your own.
Be patient as you watch it grow. It takes time and dedication to successfully grow an Instagram feed. Don’t give up!
If you’ve learned something from this post – I want to hear about it! If you are an artist looking to further your Instagram presence, branch out with communities like RedBubble. They helped me grow SO much.
Do you know who Chris Lema is? If you don’t, you definitely need to now.
This is Chris. Chris changes lives.
I have had the pleasure of knowing Chris from the WordPress community and he has literally changed my life. I’m on a quest to better myself, my business and my future. Chris just helps me do that.
Here’s what I learned from Chris Lema:
The Bridge Framework
Pitching a Sale = Losing that Sale
Investment > Cost
Storytelling vs Listening
None of that makes sense to you now, however, if you take a minute out of your day – this article could change your life like it has mine. These life lessons are not just for sales, they are for your everyday life.
For the quick record – I don’t work for Chris. Although that would be rad! Kidding, I love my job. I am not making any commission off of this article (which would also be rad!) NOPE! This is just something I wanted to share with the world because it has helped me so much.
Let’s talk about life changing stories.
The Bridge Framework
To kick off, I want to talk about sales. I am in the marketing and sales world and have evolved my strategy over the last 12 years as times change.
The evolution of sales has come from cold calling, knocking on doors to throwing events and social media networking. It has come so far! I am super happy that we are moving toward a more human-centric approach as that’s more my style.
There are two types of salespeople in the world. Those that pitch a sale and those that educate and offer assistance. That framework set up front is everything.
Here’s a little story about a milkshake….
Here’s the premise…(I am going to butcher it, Chris does it WAYYYYY better.) *Cringe
You want a milkshake. It’s across a stream. You can’t cross the stream because it’s too deep. You need another way. You keep walking and asking others if they know a way. You need a bridge to get over the stream to get to the milkshake. So, in actuality – you don’t need the milkshake, you need the bridge.
So, do you build a bridge for your clients or do you sell them the milkshake? They already know they want the milkshake, what they don’t know is that they need a bridge to get there. That’s your job.
The bridge framework is about education. The reality is that people don’t know what they don’t know. Sometimes, they don’t understand how to get there!
If none of this makes sense to you – you need Chris in your life. His services have transformed businesses on a whole other level. He’s pretty epic. And as his website says – Reach out, Say Hello. Promise you won’t be disappointed.
Pitching a Sale = Losing that Sale
“You don’t have to accept the framing that a customer brings to you.” – Chris Lema
What does this mean? Simply that there are two ways to start a conversation in sales. You can pitch the sale and talk about how awesome you or your service are. Or you can educate your potential client on how you can help them.
If the services don’t fit what they need, that’s okay! If it’s the right fit, it will work. There is no need to convince someone that they need your product or service. if you are pitching a sale, you’ve already lost – according to Chris.
So how you get your sales pitch across without sounding pushy? That’s easy, framework.
A framework allows you to develop and deploy a philosophy that engages with a buyer in a meaningful way. It allows you to align your point of view with that of the buyer, giving you the flexibility to work with them to achieve their objectives, thus delivering specific business and personal impacts.
Basically, think in the mind of your target audience.
Here’s an excellent resource that really changed my entire perspective around on framework. You can use this book to learn about ways to handle conversations in your business, your personal relationships and your own self-care.
PITCH ANYTHING by Oren Klaff An Innovative Method for PRESENTING, PERSUADING, AND WINNING THE DEAL
I know it says “pitch” anything…and we talked about not doing that – but you have to read it to find out why!
Investment > Cost
This was a cool thing I learned on one of our “Virtual Happiness Hours” at GoWP. We host a Friday afternoon get-together on Zoom with a few (hundred) of our WordPress friends…and it’s amazing.
Chris Lema joins us quite a bit for these and the knowledge drops are priceless!
The problem in question was “what if my client says it’s not in the budget and the cost is too high” – which, let’s face it, happens a lot. It’s always about money, right?
The answer is simple. (Again going back to framework here…) When a potential client talks about cost – you ask them the question – are you building a website or are you building a business? Are you investing in your future or are you “paying for right now”?
If the potential client is not invested in their future they are always going to focus on the cost right then. Thinking of it as an investment is another framework in that they believe their business will last. This is their PASSION. There is no price on the value you place in your future. You can’t argue with that logic.
Next time you have a potential client haggle about money, it simply means they aren’t invested in it. They aren’t passionate about what they do because they can’t see beyond money.
Try a take away! Let them know that they may not seem invested. See what they say!
Storytelling vs Listening
If you know me at all, you know I’m a talker. 🙂
Growing up everyone always told me that I talk too much. I even got ‘excessive socialization’ on my report card in 4th grade (and probably other grades…) Talking is why I am in the sales bizz to begin with, right?
I have learned over the years that there is a balance to it. Knowing when to conduct a story and knowing when to simply listen are the factors. They are both equally important. You are trying to connect with someone and educate them at the same time.
And, here’s a little step by step sales (call) process that I came up with, both from watching Chris and from experience over the years:
1 – Smile and ask questions. Make a connection and be sure to say their name. Don’t be distracted by notifications. Focus and eye contact are key. Do NOT start talking about yourself first.
2 – Ask them to talk about their problems, pain points and why they reached out to you. Keep asking as needed! Take notes here and listen without interrupting.
3 – Answer questions with short, technical responses. Do not go off on any tangents.
4 – Reassure, be understanding, and offer results – not the product. Be relatable and compassionate regarding their problems or pain points. Always end with asking questions about them.
5 – Wrap it up – be mindful of their time. Be helpful, courteous and organized in your closing with next steps action items. Go back to the beginning connection and don’t forget to smile!
The only time that storytelling plays a role here is if they are specifically asking. Do not launch into a story about how you know how they feel because this and that and you you you. Nope. Nobody cares.
This call is considered a “WIIFM” conversation – “what’s in it for me”? Understand that the potential client is only interested in how it benefits them – NOT YOU OR YOUR COMPANY.
Other than that, I would sit and listen to Chris Lema tell stories all day long. And you can too – I recommend tuning in to his podcast.
There is definitely an art in storytelling. There is an equally important art to listening. You have to become the master of both. You may need Chris’s services to do it, but that’s fine!
CBCInked Wrap Up: Lessons I Learned from Lema
These lessons have helped me so much in my life, my work and my self talk! I now take a breath before I respond when asked a question. I now try to listen before I inject. TRY being the key word. I fail sometimes, but that’s okay!
I’m a WIP! And being a work in progress means that I’m working on it. Are you working on being a better you? Are you working on selling without selling? It’s a tough time out there for business, so it’s important to evolve as the times change.
The media can be incredibly overwhelming. Learning how to dial down the social media noise is a full time job.
Since the global pandemic my family now refers to as “Rona”, I’ve learned how impactful the media – specifically social media – can be on your mental health.
I live and breathe social media, marketing and all things online. Being online and in the media is my job. Literally. So how then, do you not let it impact your life in a negative way when the world is on fire?
Social media wasn’t created to solve your problems! It was made to connect us. I found a few ways to dial down the noise of the media and still feel informed (and positive)! It wasn’t easy. #socialmedia
Since my career is built around social media and marketing, I spend 8 hours a day hearing from people all over the world – the good the bad and the ugly. I am an empathetic, sensitive person who absorbs feelings. I find myself wanting to help or “fix” situations that are helpless. I’m assuming most people feel this way when they read about the woes of the world online.
Even before the pandemic hit, there were wars going on in the world that I could do nothing about. I continued to let it creep into my subconscious and affect my daily life. I couldn’t help but let it in!
Quickly it started to dissolve my positivity, my physical strength and my immune system. Have you ever felt physical body pain from reading an article online? I have. I realized how impactful the content that I consumed on a daily basis was to my mental health, my relationships and my physical health. That’s when I knew it was time for a change.
If you’re like me, you check your notifications when they come up. You obsessively and compulsively check your comments and feel the pull of the response. That can be draining!
Hence, this article. Let’s find out ways to dial down the social media noise and still stay informed (and positive!).
Social Media Audit
One of the biggest things you realize when you’re in the middle of a “social media trend fest” is what kind of content comes through from whom you follow.
For years you may be following someone you thought you knew (newsflash – you don’t know these people online behind their profiles) and then something dramatic happens in the world and they all of a sudden pipe up. They say things that you had NO idea they felt. They turn into an expert on things you know they might not be. Everyone has an opinion all of a sudden and it is SO imperative to get it out to the world that there is a battle. It’s not your battle!
Here are a few ways you can begin the journey of filtering the noise of social media:
Review (and trim!) who you’re following. You do not need to follow 3 million people that have a negative impact on your mental health. Review their feeds, their engagement and their comments. Trim out the people that don’t have a positive affect on your life, your future or your mindset. It’s okay to cut those people out of your life, trust me.
Review (and purge!) your own content! You have evolved and changed over the years and your social profiles should reflect that. I wasn’t the same person that I was two years ago. If you’re actively engaged on deep matters online, be sure you still feel the same way you did when you posted (in the throws of emotion) at that time.
Assess which platforms are needed (and throw away the rest!). If you are no longer a fan of a certain a social media platform, pitch it! If Instagram brings you joy and Facebook brings you sorrow – listen to those signs. You don’t need to be everywhere all the time. Pick a platform or two that will help you (or your business) and run with it.
Please dedicate some time to also understanding yourself, your opinions and your stance on things. Having an online identity is a reflection of who you are as a person.
You need to ask yourself, are you spreading love or hate online?
Filtering the Notifications
How many bleep blarp bubble dings did you receive today?
Your notifications can be your best friends or your worst enemies. The good thing is, they are adjustable according to the priority. And again, you have evolved from the same person you were when you set them up…maybe. If you’re not, and you feel good with all the notifications, skip this section.
Here is what I did when I felt so overwhelmed by the social media notifications across the board:
Phone: I moved the apps that went off constantly to the second page of my phone screen – still open. I then adjusted the notifications of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat to be only when I am mentioned. I turned off “news, discovery or friends comments”. I turned off all lock screen notifications that didn’t mention me. Alternate idea: create a Social Media folder on your home screen and put all social apps in there, still minifying the notification settings.
Desktop computer: Turn off ALL social media notifications! You do not need your social networks bothering you during your work day. You have a phone for that noise. Turn off desktop notifications and watch your “trending news” emails from those as well. You do not need a summary of news in your inbox, it should be your choice to read it, when you open it.
Timeboxing: this concept is ideal for those that need to get things done in blocks of time (like everyone). Time boxing is literally blocking your calendar, email and notifications during a certain period of time to stay focused on the task at time. Here is an amazing color-coded (FTW) timeboxing example from Clockify. I dig the colors.
Shine a Positive Light
Understand that you have a voice. Your voice is important.
This means that you have an online voice and a presence that is contributing to the noise. Time for a social sense check up! When you are learning to dial down the social media noise, it’s important to know your own online presence.
Ask yourself these questions when it come to your social presence online:
How often do you post?
What type of content do you post?
Where do you comment?
How do you comment and why?
What do you re-share and why?
If the answer to any of these is based in a place of anger, hatred or judgment – take note! Your voice matters whether it’s good or bad. If you can provide insightful, educated and positive contributions – go for it! Post away. If you are online to simply debate, debunk, shoot down or spread evil – check yourself.
Also, proofread your posts! Just sayin’.
Please take a look at my social platforms….
Do you notice a theme?
Check out the profile information, the smiles and the positive vibe? Yeah, that’s online CBCInked. There is no hate, no judgement and zero drama. I’m not saying I’m the perfect online gal, however, this is one statement I am making by simply posting photos and content.
Your online life should be who you are in your real life!
If you have a negative feeling, ask yourself if it is worth it to post online? Is it going to hurt someone? Is it going to cause more anger to more people? And do you want that associated with you?