Digital Art Revolution: Procreate Review 2.0

So my husband bought me Procreate for the iPad, along with an Apple Pencil.

Yes, he’s a great husband that’s very supportive of my art habit. He’s also a creative person in the technical world. He’s a UX/UI Lead Interactive Designer to be exact, so that’s pretty techy.

He introduced the word of digital art to me and I have such mixed feelings about it, I thought I would ask other artists in the world how they feel about it!

Here I am going to review my thoughts on digital art vs real life media, review Procreate and it’s tools and try to figure out if my art is headed in a new direction.

custom art and design

To Procreate or not to Procreate

That is the question.

For over twenty years, I’ve drawn, painted and colored with real utensils. I’ve gotten my hands messy, my shirts ruined and spots on the carpet with real materials. In college, my hands were black with charcoal and I almost always had paint on my face. It felt good. Like I had made something meaningful and those remnants were the aftermath of an epiphany.

Now, here we are. 2020.

There are digital artists making paintings in minutes with no paint at all. There are artists who never pick up a pencil and can undo a stroke at the click of a button. Does that feel like cheating? To me, it does. However….

Once I learned the ins and outs of the technical side of Procreate, it allowed a new side of my inner artist to emerge. Hear me out.

Without the need to purchase supplies, the unpredictability of the inks and the worry of making a stroke that would impair the piece…it works. The tools allow you to create work that is still in your style, still holds your essence – it’s just not in the studio. Needless to say, I still felt like I was cheating the art world somehow.

Here are a few pieces I made in Procreate… let me know what you think! (Sorry Disney, don’t get mad.)

Procreate Review

Procreate is an insane art tool! If you are an artist and haven’t tried it, you must.

To quote right from their website,

Procreate comes with an entire library of brushes with everything from pencils, inks, charcoals, to artistic brushes that lay beautiful painterly textures. Each brush can be customized with the Brush Studio or you can download thousands of brushes to suit any style you can imagine. If that wasn’t enough, you can even make your very own custom brushes.

When you first open the app, it’s mega overwhelming. Then you start to break down the tools one by one.

My husband (the tech master) taught me about the layers and the importance of working in different ones. That would be my first piece of advice.

Study the different brushes available and see what strokes suit you best. Play with the textures and backgrounds you can create with different angles of the pen. (The Apple Pencil is a must when you are creating!)

What I found was that when I learned every click meant something that could 100% manipulated, the true creativity came out. I learned I could use it as a light box, I could use it as a sketch tool, I could use it as a painting or a watercolor. And I never had to get my hands dirty.

Digital Art Revolution: CBCInked 2.0

Once I opened my mind to the fact that it wasn’t cheating, it was just using new tools – I realized that if you don’t evolve you die (as an artist). Evolution of your artistic ability may just be in the tools you use.

You never want to be comfortable doing the same thing, in the same style for the rest of your artistic career, right? #CBCInked

That is not to say that I won’t pick up a pen or a brush. I will get in the studio and make more messes with my art – I always will. But I am open to new beginnings, new styles and a new artistic revolution that may better me and my career.

Are you?

XO

CBCInked

Not sure if Procreate is your thing? No worries! I use Canva for simple design. Who doesn’t love Canva?? As an agency owner, I could NOT live with out them. Sign up to Canva with this link below and we’ll both get rewards!

If you ever need to create a graphic, poster, invitation, logo, presentation or anything that looks good – give Canva a go. It’s free!
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3 Ways to Embrace Change for Positive Growth

What do you think of when you hear change is coming? You definitely don’t embrace change, I know that for sure.

Does it strike a little fear in your heart? Be honest, it does. Even just the word “change” has a feeling of dread because it means that things will be different. Your gut reaction is to say, no thanks, I’m good.

Welp, life doesn’t care if you’re good! Change will come whether you’re ready for it or not. It’s time to embrace change and master the art of letting go. Clear as mud, right?

Let’s find out how we can learn to let change happen in a positive way and how we can plan for the future to grow.

the art of letting go

How to embrace change for growth

Again, change is going to happen. It’s inevitable.

What does change mean to you? Does it mean that you have to be different, that your life will go off course or that you will have to learn to adapt? And are those bad things?

Let’s look at it like this. Say things NEVER changed. You would be in the same position, doing the same things that you always do and there would be no room for growth. Now that is something to be scared of!

Here is how I’m trying to embrace change naturally in my life:

  • Control my reaction to it
  • Look at all sides of it
  • Plan for it

Seems easy enough. Let’s unpack that a bit.

Control your reactions to change

Controlling my reaction to change means that when the news hits (and it may hit hard) that I don’t freak out.

It’s completely normal for people to lose it when they hear change is coming, however, it really helps nothing. So I try to stifle my inner worry-wart and just try to remain calm when any news hits me. I know I can do this because I have built up my warrior shield to battle negativity and am armed to handle bad things that come my way.

How do I physically do this? Breathe. Sit with the information. Be still. Don’t scream. Ha! Anything I can do to keep calm is key to controlling my reaction to change. If the change is something little, you still need to control those little reactions just as much.

Look at all sides of change

Much like an argument or a debate, there are many different sides to change.

When you first get hit with any news, your brain may naturally go right to the dark side. (Insert Star Wars quote here.) Or maybe it’s just me? If it’s me, then I still need work to do. If you tend to think negatively about change, try your best to turn that ship around.

Often, there are changes being made that ultimately benefit you! You have to seek them out of course, because at first it will just grind at your nerves simply because it is foreign to you.

Being open to change is great, but you will need to find all avenues of this change to truly have it benefit you in the long run. Just look at all sides, weigh your options, even write them down!

There’s an app for that! Here are a few apps that will help you plan for change by the Balance Small Business.

Planning for Change

Planning for change can either be extremely daunting for you or it can be exciting.

Don’t forget, your life is a ‘choose your own adventure’ type of situation! Planning for change can be a very fun and exciting time, if you let it in.

We’ve talked about how to control your reaction to change along with how to look at all sides of it. Now comes the wild part. You get to plan your life around this change – in a positive way! Mentally you should be thinking of the ways you are going to rearrange your life so that it fits this new change into it in a positive way.

If you go about your day trying to work this change into your life with anger, resentment or worry – it will not fit into your life naturally. Not to mention what happens to your body when anger takes over. This article really opened my eyes about How Anger Affects the Brain and Body. Yeesh!

Every action step you take to make this new change a part of your life needs to have a positive spin on it. The attitude you take when you’re planning the changes makes more of a difference than the the action itself.

Take these two examples of how a “planning for change” scenario could play out:

“I will have to change three appointments in my calendar. Ugh, I need to call that person to cancel that… I have to rearrange my entire day for this! I don’t even know if I’ll have time.”

or

“It took some time, but I moved things around and now I am open to this new opportunity! I am so grateful that everyone was so understanding. I know that this schedule change is going to allow me the time I need to get everything done.”

Which one sounds better but is extremely hard to do? It’s all in the mindset.

Even if you don’t know if it will work out, you need to believe that it will. Those that ask for failure, usually get it.

Keep a positive mindset when you’re embracing change and it shouldn’t be an uphill battle for you. If it seems like a battle, adjust your attitude towards it and see if that opens new doors. Sometimes we’re just in our own way. #waystoembracechange #CBCInked

I absolutely love this comment from Psych Central from the article 5 Effortless Ways to Embrace Change – they say to “feel yourself grow“. That’s the key! Try to control your emotions, prepare for the good and feel yourself growing into the positive change. Boom!

CBCInked Wrap Up: Embrace change and it embraces you

I wish I could say that I embrace change 100% of the time. That would be a lie.

I am working on this just the same as you are! We are all a WIP and it really takes effort to create new habits and squash the negative mindset. My wish for you is that you will simply be prepared. Just be ready for what comes your way – good or bad.

The bottom line is that if you embrace change, it could embrace you. Have faith that changes are for the good and good things will come. One can only hope!

If you’re struggling with your mental health or staying positive, I’ve got your back. Been there! That’s why I created Artfirmations. Please take some time to read through each one and even say them out loud. I hope they help you in more ways than one.

You got this!

XO

CBCInked

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How to Transform Attitude to Gratitude

I’ve realized something. Turning attitude to gratitude can change your life.

Being a wife, a stepmom and a human being…gratitude goes a very long way. When you reach a level in your life where you have to stop fighting the fight, it really helps to switch your mental wellbeing to an attitude of gratitude.

Do you ever find yourself caught in the middle of minor battles with yourself and others and you think, why? This is such a waste of my energy. Yeah, me too.

Here’s what I have learned about how to take on an attitude of gratitude and how I train my mind to think with gratefulness daily.

The Daily Grind of Gratitude

Being grateful doesn’t come naturally unless you are an angel, saint or a magical wizard. Which you might be. I am not.

Having an attitude of gratitude comes from realizing that you need to train your mind to think in a positive way! You need to take a beat and realize all that you have to be thankful for. When you’re in the middle of life stuff, this can be challenging.

Here is how I keep gratitude in my life on the daily:

  • Before my feet hit the ground in the morning, I say thank you. Thank you for another day.
  • Before I fall asleep at night, I say thank you. Thank you for another day.
  • When something good comes my way, I say thank you. Thank you for this opportunity.
  • When something bad comes my way, I say thank you. Thanks for the lesson, I’ve learned from it.
  • When I have something I can’t understand, I say thank you. Thanks for the challenge, I will solve this.

Having an attitude of gratitude is a mindset.

You can turn every single one of those items on that list into a negative reaction. You can start your day wrong and end your day angrily. You can get upset about bad things coming your way…it’s all about how you frame it in your mind.

Gratitude is a choice.

Follow CBCInked on Instagram for more gratitude posts

Have Gratitude for Yourself

Do not forget to thank yourself!

If you thank your husband for doing things around the house and even the waiter for bringing your food, don’t forget to thank yourself for the good things YOU do.

This is a big one that falls by the wayside. Raise your hand if you don’t take enough time on yourself? I see you out there, raising those hands. It’s a natural thing, to put others above yourself. Again, this is a mindset.

  • When you do something little that needs to be done (and you really don’t want to do it), thank yourself!
  • When you do something big that took you a long time to do, thank yourself! In fact, celebrate it a little.
  • When you overcome something mentally that you have been struggling with, thank yourself.
  • When you know you have a challenge ahead, thank yourself for the resources you have to solve it.
  • When you have a moment of time to yourself, thank your body for carrying you through this life.

It may sound silly, but try saying out loud! Try saying it to yourself in the mirror or even with family at dinner. If you are raising a family, how nice is it to show gratitude to your children?

Let’s raise our children to have a little gratefulness for the things that they do.

How to Transform Attitude to Gratitude

You will not always be able to take the gratitude path, let’s face it. You are not perfect. I am definitely not perfect!

There will be times when you will be forced to put a little spice on it! Your emotions will take over and you will react with attitude, not gratitude. That’s okay!

Here’s the best way you can manage the attitude and transform it to gratitude:

  • Be aware that you are reacting with attitude. Simply note that your emotions are high.
  • Be mindful that you can control the attitude and transform it because you have power over these emotions.
  • Justify your emotions by going over each step, tracing how you got to this point. Is your attitude warranted?
  • Breathe. Taking a few deep breaths before you react with attitude can change the outcome dramatically.
  • Find ways to incorporate gratitude into the situation even if you don’t want to. Insert gratitude where it normally would not be.
  • Thank yourself for being so calm, cool and collected about it. Take notes for the future!

Remember finding an attitude of gratitude is a WIP! In fact, YOU are a WIP. (Read – you are a work in progress). #attitudeofgratitude #CBCInked

CBCInked Wrap Up: Go Gratitude Go!

Just in case you needed to hear this today, thank you.

Thank you for taking the time to read my posts, to cheer me on and support my art. Thank you for being an amazing human and liking this post!

Thank you for being a supportive audience and sharing this.

It feels SO good to thank someone, have you noticed? Go out there and thank someone today, no matter how big or small the task. You want to go big? Thank a STRANGER!

Gratitude goes a long way, my friends.

I am grateful for you!

Keep going.

XO

CBCInked

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10 Rules of Remote Work (+ Pros and Cons)

Ahh yes, working remotely. I’ve had the wonderful privilege of working remotely for many years now.

I once told my husband that I’ll never go back to working in an office. Do you know why? It’s not that I don’t like people or that I’m some sort of recluse….I promise.

The truth is, working remotely has been the backbone to building a successful artistic career, balancing a family and promoting my wellbeing. It’s a very sturdy backbone.

Today we review the pros and cons of working remotely and the rules you need to be successful from my perspective. I think I’ve nailed it, so this should be interesting.

remote work

Working Remotely Pros

Let’s get one thing straight. Working remotely is not for people who are lazy, unorganized or poor at time management.

If you think working at home is about lounging on the couch, eating Cheetos and watching Netflix, you are mistaken. I have never worked harder in my life than when I began working remotely. You will be busy. You will be very busy.

This insane infographic from Work Remote has unbelievable stats about remote work in 2020. Over 54% of people feel it made them more productive to work from home. I’m definitely one of those people.

That being said, working remotely has a lot of pros! Here are a few reasons why you should consider working remotely:

  • Ability to take care of your body and mind.
  • Ability to take care of your family (and pets).
  • Ability to work more hours because there is no commute.
  • Ability to eat food out of your own refrigerator and cook on your own stove.
  • Ability to wear comfortable clothing (yes, you have to put pants on).
  • Ability to balance life events, schedule small tasks and handle chores.
  • Ability to be in your own creative space to work.

I am 100% positive that there are more here, but these are the most important to me. These pros of working remotely allow you to work better, more efficient and have a good attitude while you do it.

It’s amazing what a little comfort will do for the soul.

woman looking at a view

Working Remotely Cons

Wait a minute, what? There are downsides to working remotely?

The answer to that is yes, if you let it. There can be cons to working remotely if you’re doing it ineffectively. It can be a path to a very different life if you don’t follow the remote work “rules”, which we will cover.

Here are the cons of working remotely:

  • Ability to lose touch with the outside world (IRL).
  • Ability to feel isolated.
  • Ability to feel lazy.
  • Ability to slack on your physical well being.
  • Ability to fear public places and travel.
  • Ability to get inside your own head and create anxiety.

Notice here how all of these “cons” of working remotely are choices? You can choose to become these things or you can choose not to. Working remotely is a balance between what you need to get done and how you are going to do that successfully.

However, that’s why there are rules put in place so you can overcome these things. Keep reading.

Remote Work Rules

Yes, there are rules! This isn’t like Fight Club – we CAN talk about it.

Working remotely is not a free-for-all chance to do whatever you want. There are rules to abide so that you are successful.

Rule #1: Get up early and move your body. Do not roll over and get on the computer right away. You don’t have an excuse, there is no commute. 😉 William Vanderbloemen of Forbes writes about how these successful start their day, take some notes.

Rule #2: Eat breakfast and take care of your body first, before work begins. Drink water, eat some good, clean food…drink your coffee (or tea if you prefer). Make sure you are fully nurtured before you flex your brain muscle all day.

Rule #3: Get cleaned up. Whether this means showering, putting real clothes on, putting your makeup on or brushing your hair for you, you need to do these things. Even if you don’t have any calls that day with the outside world, you need to feel worth for your emotional wellness. Sometimes that means putting mascara and pants on. Trust me.

Rule #4: Keep a tight schedule. Your calendar should be organized, full and colorful – that last one is optional, for all you creatives. Stick to that schedule for the most part and don’t forget to schedule in time for yourself. Here are some apps to help with health and wellness during the work day.

Rule #5: Take small breaks and stand up often. When you work remotely, you tend to get so into it that time slips by. You need to keep track of your time! Every hour or hour and a half, be sure to get up, stretch, stand up, play with your dog, do cartwheels, make a snowman, whatever your thing is. Just move for a few minutes.

Rule #6: Stay organized and be clean about it. If you’re a slob at your home office, that’s a reflection of your work ethic. You need to organize your work life just like you have to do with your home life. Keep your workspace tidy so your work reflects that. You can be messy in your closet if you really need to.

Rule #7: Balance your work life with your personal life. At work, you are dedicated to doing your job and at home you are dedicated to yourself and your family. So when your work is at your home, you need to balance both without failing to do either job. That means you need to separate out your time spent on work and your time needed for life stuff. Be mindful that you are being paid to do a job and you need to respect those parameters.

Rule #8: Communicate clearly, often and with purpose. When you work remotely, you’ll need to be in touch with your team (across the world) consistently. It’s not a “micro management” thing or a “checks and balances” thing, it’s a respect thing. Pop into your chats, emails or calls and let them know what you’re working on, what you are up to and how much you love them, often.

Rule #9: Keep the distractions to a minimum. Yes, you can watch, listen or view something while you work. Playing music or podcasts can be incredibly inspiring and motivating to your work flow! Just be sure not to tune in too deeply to something else that distracts you from your work. That goes for the 300,000 notifications that go off daily too! Keep that noise to a dull roar, please.

Rule #10: Know when to turn it off. The biggest thing that I had to remember when I began working remotely is how to turn it off at the end of the day. I often would be working way beyond the eight hour day because it is hard to shut it down. Keep your eye on the clock and unplug when you need to. Give the blue light a rest.

Optional Rule: Get a furry co-worker! Getting a dog was the best decision I have ever made. Sophie has made me healthy, enjoy my breaks and she provides much needed camaraderie during my daily work grind. I couldn’t do this life without my pup!

Sophie Love White
This is my favorite co-worker Sophie Love White

CBCInked Wrap Up: Remote for Life

I will work remotely for life. Or at least try!

I’ve known people that are not suited for remote work and I respect that! I know there are certain industries that are simply impossible to have a home office. I feel very fortunate that I have had the chance to work in an industry where I can make a difference from the comfort of my own home.

When you choose to work remotely your life will change, drastically. It will be a wake up call for you either in a positive or negative way. Another choose your own adventure situation! #workremotely

I am very careful that when I’m in the art studio that I am mindful of time and I get my work done first. I think it’s important to know when and where to get things done when you are working at home.

If you follow the rules of remote work, you will thrive! It’s that easy, people.

Tell me your remote work stories, how you got there and what you do to be successful! I want to know so I can add it to my arsenal.

If you need me, I will be at my desk. At my house. Because I work remotely, remember?

XO

CBCInked

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How to Battle Negative Vibes Like a Warrior

Not to be a negative Nancy, but bad vibes are all around you.

It’s like the dust you see floating around in the air when the sun hits it just right, you know? It’s always there but you can only see it if you look really hard.

As you probably know, my motto is positive vibes only. That doesn’t mean I beam positive vibes out every single day and negative things don’t affect me. I have just honed in the power of shielding negative vibes from harming my chi. It’s not always easy.

You are lucky enough to learn from years of me trying to figure out how to overcome negative vibes.

Here are some ways that I have learned to effectively overcome negative vibes (because they are undoubtedly going to happen):

  • Build your warrior shield
  • Pick your battles
  • Sharpen your positivity sword
  • Choose your reactions
  • Learn for future battles

How to Overcome Negative Vibes

You are going to get knocked down, let’s face it.

No matter how happy you are, no matter how hard you work to be successful, you will eventually fall flat. Understanding that factor would have been nice about 20 years ago, for me. Alas, here we are.

If someone had just said, Cay – your life is not always going to be butterflies and roses, I probably would have started to prepare warding off bad vibes earlier on in my life. But I was raised in a positive environment, had wonderful parents that loved me and had a pretty normal upbringing. Pretty much like most kids out there. We are going to talk about how to deal with negativity when you were never prepared to handle it.

Here is how to overcome negative vibes like a warrior. Suit up.

Build your Warrior Shield

You would never go into battle without your shield and sword, right?

Same goes for battling negativity. If you’re in the middle of an extremely negative time and you’re without your shield, you are going to suffer. Tremendously.

By ‘building up your warrior shield’ I mean you have to create an arsenal that can fight these vibes before the battle begins. Warriors dedicate hours to sharpening their swords and strengthening their shields, it’s the same concept.

Here are three questions you need to ask yourself when building up resistance to negativity:

  1. What am I doing daily to strengthen my mental and physical well-being?
  2. What am I doing mentally to combat negative thoughts?
  3. What am I doing physically to build up positive vibes?

The answers to these questions will bring you to your task list! What do I need to do take care of these things? BOOM.

Here’s what I did in response to each question asked:

  1. What am I doing daily to strengthen my mental and physical well-being? I meditate, I positively affirm, I breathe slowly, I practice yoga (sometimes), I foam roll, I go outside, I create some form of physical activity, I smile, I eat clean, I chug water, I take vitamins, I see my Chiropractor (not daily! LOL), I hug my family, I play with my dog, I take time off screens, I create art, I write, I read, I swing on my hammock, I text my friends and fam, I learn new things….I could go on. I will stop here.
  2. What am I doing mentally to combat negative thoughts? I practice positive self-talk, I check my complaints, I read and listen to positive influencers, I force myself to think in an attitude of gratitude, I calm my brain when it’s racing (CBD helps that), I take moments of silence when I feel mad, I leave the room when I feel bad vibes, I go outside when I feel frustrated, I watch what I eat when negativity crawls in. I also have been known to have a drink or two but that’s fiiiiiine.
  3. What am I doing physically to build up positive vibes? I walk my dog, I ellipticalize (is that a word?), I drink a ton of water and tea, I eat organically, I eat BREAKFAST, I do core floor exercises and stretching, I have a sit/stand desk, I get massages, I take vitamins, I move. You get it.

Your task list of building up your warrior shield should be all the things you know you can handle. Start slowly. It should also be an eye opener to what you may NOT be doing for your wellbeing.

Are you self-sabotaging your battle? Probably. I know I did.

Pick your Battles

This is still a WIP for me.

Pick your battles wisely. You’ve heard the phrase before but what does it mean to you?

Does it mean that you need to accept your flaws and others? Does it mean that you can’t get mad at traffic? Does it mean you should stifle your anger if someone makes you angry?

The types of battles that you’ll need to pick is on you. However, I have one thing to ask you.

Out of all the battles, big and small from years past, do you remember them clearly? Do you remember what you were worrying about even a few months ago?

Probably bits and pieces come back to you – I was worried about money, I was fighting with my spouse, I was in a custody battle. Those are pretty big. But what do you remember fearing or worrying about the small things? Not really!

News flash! That’s because THEY DON’T MATTER! So as you go about getting upset, frustrated or angry at something – ask yourself one simple question. Am I going to remember this next year? If not, move on.

Sharpen your Positivity Sword

Remember that badass shield you just built? It’s time to train with it.

Sharpening your positivity sword means you need to stop the negative power that’s being thrown at you on a daily basis. This is easier said than done.

Believe it or not, you’ve probably already had 10 negative things happen to you, today. To fight off negative vibes, you’ll need triple the positive vibes, whatever that means for you. Shields and swords ready! #positivevibesonly

Say you get hit with bad news right when you wake up. How do you combat that when you haven’t even gotten out of bed? You go back to your arsenal. What positivity do you have stored up that could fight the need to get angry or upset?

Oh wait, you’re a warrior now. So you have patience, breathe, create positive self-talk, think about the ability to process slowly and assuredly because you practiced this daily when things were going well. Right? Your shield is ready.

Harnessing your power simply means tapping the resources of positivity when they are needed most. The key is to not drain your wellness arsenal. Be sure to keep replenishing when it gets low! I recommend you include art therapy in there too if you can, it definitely helps.

Battle the negative vibes and move on. Then it’s right back to building back up again. Don’t drain yourself and wait for the next negative vibe to take you out.

Warriors don’t stop training after a battle!

Choose your Reactions

Notice how I said CHOOSE here.

Choosing your reactions is not exactly easy. Reactions are called that because you are re-acting to something that’s happening to you. You may jump to – “it’s not MY fault, or it was THEM that started it“…oh the irony.

To choose one’s reactions simply means that you have to stop before the reaction even happens, to assess if it’s the right one. A warrior would never just battle without knowing the basics in training.

Take what you learned in harnessing your power and test it in a negative vibe situation.

POP QUIZ: You have harnessed all the positive vibes and you’re feeling strong. A bad vibe comes your way – ZING! How do you react?

  • A) yell
  • B) cry
  • C) rage
  • D) breathe
  • E) eat chocolate

The correct answer is D) breathe. It just takes a minute but it may save you from so many bad decisions based on negative vibes that you might write me a letter thanking me someday. If you said E) eat chocolate, that can be after you celebrate your wins.

Choosing to react in a certain way will drastically alter the outcome of that negative situation. Choose to remain calm when you can – not always easy – but take a beat. Breathe for a minute and let your brain process.

Also, my amazing friend Dr. Sarah Porray and I play this fun game called – the “Glad Game”. When she or I are having a bad day or battling negative vibes, we will play this little game. We have to say three things we are glad about right then. It changes the mentality of anger to gratefulness within seconds. It doesn’t always last, but it puts your anger in check for a minute taking you out of that negative loop.

We are also huge geeks.

Learn for Future Battles

When a warrior gets home from battle they probably do two things. Thank God they’re alive and review what worked in order to win. Okay, they also probably drink mead too.

Let’s focus on the review what worked part here. Mead can come later.

When you go through a negative experience (big or small) you need to learn what worked for you to get through it. Maybe you stumbled, fell flat on your face and were a hot mess for a week and you say, welp, I’m never doing that again. Maybe you breathed through it, took your time with those raw emotions, consulted with your support system and took a walk to sort through the feels and you say, welp, I’m basically a warrior now.

Choose your own adventure! But whatever you do, learn from it. Take notes, write it down, whatever it takes – just learn from it for the future. #battlenegativeemotions

Negative vibes are only what you allow them to be.

Fight the good battle, warriors! You got this. Let me know your negative battle success stories. How did you overcome it? What did you do to fight the good fight? I would love to hear your story.

XO

CBCInked

Image credit: https://unsplash.com/@soulgazephotography

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Squashing the Starving Artist Mentality

Starving artist might be my least favorite term in the world.

One of the biggest challenges I have as an artist, digital marketer and content writer is finding my worth and putting a price on my value.

What’s the right price for valuable work?

Over the years I’ve gained my experience, I believe. Let’s take a look at the journey that is CBCInked and you can tell me if you feel that I am a ninja of sorts.

Here are the basics of my experience in an easily digestible list:

  • My mom and dad are both writers and artists, so I have been drawing and writing since I was 5. Soooo…that’s over 30 years of art and content right there. Sheeyit, I am old.
  • I graduated in 2004 with honors – Bachelor of Fine Arts at Eastern Michigan. So I got my schoolings.
  • I taught youth and adults art for 9 years in various classes and culture camps.
  • I began marketing and selling when I was 22, so 16 years of field sales, cold calls, flyer making, door to door knocking, content writing, schmoozing and SEO growth. It’s exhausting just thinking about it!
  • I’m certified in Email Marketing, Sales, Content Marketing and Social Media with HubSpot.
  • I’ve written hundreds of blogs, e-newsletters, monthly e-blasts, press releases, website copy – you name it, I have probably written it.
  • I launched CBCInked in 2001, so I am basically an entrepreneur – I can never spell that word right. I’ve created thousands of works of art and sold hundreds. Starving artist and whatnot.
  • I am certified in WordPress101 and SEO101 and have expertise in over 100 SaaS tools that have helped me get to where I am today. (Thanks, Buffer!)
  • Adding this because it’s a feat in and of itself – I am a wife, dog mom and step mother, along with being a homeowner, car owner and business owner. And I pay my taxes.

So, what do we think? How many hours does that make up to become an expert in my field? Would you say over 10,000?

If so, how do you put a price on that when someone says – “hey can I get a piece of your art“? Or hey, “can you write my blog for me“?

It’s the hardest question I’ve come across since beginning my entire artistic journey.

What are you (and your art) worth?

When you look in the mirror, what do you see?

Usually we see flaws, imperfections and most of the time aging lines that weren’t there before. But today, we are going to look in the mirror and see worth. We are going to clap ourselves on the back and say “good work” YOU for being amazing, learning all those skills and being the best you that you can be.

When you are a freelancer, contractor or an artist, there are ways you can showcase your worth so that people don’t shy away at your price or cost of service.

Let’s find out the ways you can showcase your worth, shall we?

  • Show your worth by creating a killer website
  • Share your worth on your social networks, a lot
  • Collaborate with other artists, friends and companies that will lift you up
  • Be transparent about your cost and show your value up front

Keep in mind that there are tons of resources and communities that will host your art. I started out years ago on RedBubble and have sold little pieces here and there! It’s really about getting involved in communities that are like-minded and RedBubble really does do it all.

Start here…

Full disclosure, I’m in with RedBubble because I love them! If you click on any of my affiliate links, I will get a commission. But that’s not what I’m in it for – I really do love and respect what RedBubble is doing and I’m so happy to be connected with them.

How do you value yourself?

Putting value on your work is a tricky balance between what you know your worth should be and what you know someone will pay.

One thing I’ve learned is that you aren’t the one that is going to dictate what level of your career you are at. Most likely a company, boss or someone in a leadership role will. Which is backwards and nonsensical but this is the way the world works.

If you have been working at a career for 16 years, does that mean you earn your title? What if you work for yourself? Does that mean you can title yourself as “Expert”? I’m not sure about you, but when I see 20 year olds on LinkedIn with the profile title CEO, Owner, I think you don’t know anything about that yet! Sorry, not sorry.

I applied for a senior level position a while ago that I know I was qualified for. I was sure I would get the role, and even had four interviews. Ultimately, I didn’t get the role and I was crushed. They made me feel that I wasn’t senior level yet and I doubted myself. It took the better part of the quarter to build myself back up again because I was so sure I was qualified.

When it comes to value, the rule for me now is, never doubt myself.

I am qualified. I am enough.

How do you put a price on your value?

We are down to the question of the hour. How do you put a price on all of this amazing, fantastic value you bring to the world?

Obviously you want to do the basic mathematical equation to find the profit. Thinking about things like cost of supplies, time spent on labor, and getting a net profit out of it.

Labor costs + Supplies + Profit = Value

Except don’t forget about your worth! Factor that into the equation because the actual creation to conception is the real labor. Your worth is your motivation, your drive, your creative spirit and your patience to make it all happen.

This Instagram post by Jessica Durrant (one of my fave artists) really nails the artistic dream. Let’s squash the starving artist mentality. Also follow her, she’s magic.

For more inspiration on Instagram, check out these influencers that are crushing it at life.

CBCInk’s Conclusion: Squash the Starving Artist Mentality

Starving artist – I think not! So…don’t undervalue yourself. Don’t underestimate yourself, know you are worthy. Your shit is most likely AMAZING and you doubt it everyday. Trust me, I know.

You are an artist. At whatever you do.

After all, there is nothing quite like finishing a piece of artwork, am I right?

Bottom line – my advice is add a little on the top for yourself because you deserve it. Don’t ever underestimate your worth or value and always, celebrate your earnings. Every penny.

custom art

Carry on, artistic friends.

XO

CBCInked

P.S. I did a thing. Check out my little novella on Amazon – Sliced Time. It’s a WIP but it’s all mine. Kindle and Paperback editions available. I would LOVE to know what you think!

10 Partnership Building Tips for Marketing

There is one basic rule of marketing. Be all about the connections you build with people. Partnership building is all about connections.

That’s what it’s all about anyways, right? The people!

Partnerships can mean many different things to different people. For some it means brand ambassadors, referral business, products or services to use or ongoing publishing relationships. For others it could mean you meet a dope soul and feel deeply connected to them. You could just want to party with them!

Either road you choose in the partnership path, you should know some basic guidelines on how to build up a good relationship through best marketing practices.

brand awareness

Share their content FIRST

When you’re building a relationship with someone, do you start talking about yourself first or do you ask questions about them? If you’re a person genuinely interested in someone else, the rule of thumb is to show interest.

What’s the best way to show interest in someone else when you don’t really know them yet? Share what they do with the world!

When I respect someone and want to work with them, I’m happy to share their content! I have so many amazing partners that I am honored to work with and share their love just like they share mine.

Just check out the CBCInked Instagram or Twitter to see how much I love sharing other people’s content. I would love to share yours too!

If you’re building a partnership, it needs to start with trust and respect.

Ask permission to connect

Chivalry is not dead, my friends!

You are a lot more likely to go places with people when you ask permission. There is an art to creating personal relationships and it all starts with courtesy and kindness. #partnershipbuilding #CBCInked

When you’re sharing their content and lifting them up, that’s a great introduction to an actual connection. When you’re attempting to connect, you can ask them if it’s okay to share or cite their content or even if they would like to be connected with you on social media.

For example, LinkedIn offers a great feature when connecting with someone that allows you to “send a personalized note”. Take advantage of this and make it as personal as possible, people!

Compliment them publicly

Who doesn’t love a compliment? I know I do!

When kicking up a partnership, throw compliments out like it’s your job. I would pick a short list of people you want to partner with and follow them across their social networks.

Practice the art of observing at first, don’t jump the gun and compliment on the first picture you see. We aren’t Joe from Netflix’ YOU, come on now.

Patience, my friend.

Learn their story by seeing their brand voice and tone online. Understand their passion so when the partnership does form, it’s genuine and beneficial for both sides.

I love complimenting other people because it makes me feel good. Doesn’t it?

partnership building

Actually meet them

Okay, it’s time to be bold! Does this mean you have to put on pants and go out into the real world? Maybe, maybe not!

So often we make these isolated social connections, get excited about what they do and then it falls by the wayside because the online world is so saturated with the next best thing. My advice is this. After you’ve made a special and personal connection with a potential partner, offer a meet up! This can mean you schedule a virtual coffee date, a video call or even a phone call to make 100% sure you vibe well with them.

I have a few ways I do this and tools I use to make it happen. Here are my go-to’s in the virtual meet up space:

  • Zoom – free video conferencing
  • GoToMeeting – paid video conferencing
  • Calendly – free online schedule coordinator
  • G-Cal – Google’s calendar

There is nothing worse than following a brand that you thought you loved, only to find out that the person behind the curtain is not who you thought they were.

It may be worth a conversation to find out what kind of people you want to partner up with.

Be transparent with them

This pretty much goes along with everything you should do in business. Be transparent with everyone! But especially with your potential partners.

What does this mean and how transparent should you get here?

The answer varies based on the type of person you are. Some partners like to know your ROI, your goals, your vision, your passion, your struggles…the list could get tedious.

I would advise that you should be as transparent with them as you want them to be with you. If there are struggles and strife right off the bat of a potential partnership, that may be a red flag that they aren’t the one for you. (Same goes for regular relationships, am I right?)

Be open, honest and trusting and good will follow when it comes to #partnerships.

Offer a Guest Post

As we all know, content is the way to build just about anything. Partnerships are no different!

If you are a skilled blogger (like me, wink wink) you want to offer a free guest post to be hosted on their website. This should be a reciprocal offer as they get benefit from providing one on your website as well. Just not on the same topic with the same keywords, lol.

Offering a guest post is a great way to provide value to their website while allowing mutually beneficial links to other respected brands along with your own. A basic rule of thumb for guest posting is that you should only include one backlink to your domain. It also should be quality content and bring value to their audience, that’s a given.

Here are some guest posting guidelines from Backlinko to check out.

Once the blog post is live, you can then share away on all your social networks so it is maximized for each. A win-win for both partners involved.

Create a Partner page

One of the coolest things you can do for a partners is highlight them on your website. It really is the ultimate compliment.

Creating a partner page may require a little technical expertise if you aren’t website saavy. Not to worry! There are a million people out there that can help, including me.

Adding a landing page on WordPress is fairly simple. After that it’s more about obtaining their logo, brand images, affiliate links and bio context so that you can portray them in the best light.

I have some pretty amazing partners myself.

Another cool addition to the partner’s page is to write a blog post highlighting your origin story of meeting each other. People love an origin story!

Communicate consistently

Once you have established a quality partnership you want to maintain it, right?

Ever have a friend that you met and thought that you really connected…only to find out that they were horrible at communicating and you lost touch so fast you couldn’t remember the connection in the first place? Yeah, don’t be that friend.

Communication doesn’t have to be annoying! If you wanted to set up a guideline of comms before you kick off a partnership, that is very smart. You can let them know you prefer email, Slack groups, LinkedIn messaging or maybe created a Shared Google Drive folder for a file dump.

Communication should be FUN with your new partner. Like getting together over a cup of joe (or a margarita) and kickin’ it with your pals.

Get legal with it

If you’re in the business of making money (who isn’t) you should probably think about some legal stuff when you’re partnering up.

If you’re a high volume, big enterprise company you probably have a department that handles all these types of documents. But if you’re starting out like most of us out here, you may want to come up with a short, sweet contract between the two parties that states the expectations, protocol and policies of the partnership.

There are a ton of resources for this! You don’t even have to create one from scratch. AND you don’t have to kill trees to have people sign it because it’s 2020 and we have eSign now.

Here are a few resources for getting legal with partnerships:

Send them freebies

Who wants free swag? Secretly, we all do.

There’s nothing better than getting something in the mail other than bills. So if you have something fun that you can send that’s free, go for it! If you don’t have swag, maybe it’s time you think up some fun freebies to send out for just this reason alone.

There are several companies that can help level up your swag game – like Moo, Vistaprint, Redbubble and more.

The beautiful thing about sending out freebies is that the chances of them sharing on social are pretty high even if you don’t ask them to. I know I would!

And when you’re thinking of sending out free swag, don’t forget your girl CBCInked. She loves free stuff!

My partners send me free swag all the time and I LOVE sharing it to the world! Check it out…

partnerships

CBCInked Wrap Up: Build those partnerships

Creating lasting relationships and fun partnerships is one of my favorite things about being in this bizz.

Check out a few of my fun CBCInked partnerships right here on my About page. If you want to partner up, let’s do it! I am always looking to expand my network and meet cool people.

Howdy, partner!

XO

CBCInked

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WordPress Community Building For Growth

Whether you’re new to WordPress or a long-time pal, you have to admit that the community is one of a kind.

The people of WordPress are just plain genuine. They are all united under the same principle of passion for WordPress and it shines through whenever you meet them.

WordPress community

Have you been to a WordPress event and walked away thinking, wow that was actually fun?

I was invited to a WordCamp a few years ago and thought (don’t judge me) that it would be just another boring conference. It most certainly was not boring. It was the opposite in fact!

Let’s dive into the wonderful, wild world of WordPress and how to build a community through partnerships successfully.

This is what we will cover, WordPress peeps:

  • WordPress social
  • WordPress local events
  • WordCamps
WordCamp Berlin 2019

WordPress social

There are forums on the internet that WordPress peeps hang out on and you should too! These are great places for networking online and building your brand with a personal touch.

You can join 6,000+ friends on the social network WPFriends. This is a social network specifically designed to connect those that love WordPress. It offers a free login along with groups, forums, classifieds and a WordPress shop that may help your brand grow.

WordPress local events

One of the most intimate events in the WordPress community are it’s local Meetups. These meetups are created by local WordPress fans or community leaders and can range from being 3 members to 300.

WordPress meetups

Each city or county most likely has a Meetup dedicated to WordPress. Doing a simple search in your area should bring up the surrounding cities and locations available to meet up with WordPress fans.

These Meetups range from development training to building your WordPress website as a business. The opportunity you have here is to learn how to be better at WordPress but also to meet and connect with fellow fans as well.

Your goal at Meetups should be to find like-minded people who could possibly benefit you in your business.

You can learn a lot from students and leaders in the #WordPress space, simply by being a part of the conversation. #WordPressMeetups

If you can partner with a few people to become referrals, affiliates or promote products on your WordPress site, that’s great!

WordCamps

These are the jackpot of WordPress networking!

If you are truly looking to expand your network, build relationships and form partnerships you need to attend a WordCamp (or 10). These are amazing conferences that are put together by sponsors, volunteers and community organizers to bring the people of WordPress together.

Check out WordCamp Central to find out where and when the next one is being held!

WordCamp Central

When I first attended a WordCamp I was so excited to see all the people behind the brands that I learned to love. There was food, coffee and tons of smiling faces everywhere and I immediately felt comfortable being myself.

There are WordCamps that will have thousands of people (like WCUS) and there are some that will have a few hundred. Both have equal value! You may get a chance to meet some “famous” WordPress people like Matt Mullenweg as well!

These WordCamps are affordable as well! Tickets usually start around $35 and often include snacks or lunch. They range from 2-3 days and are flexible with all different types of talks (called tracks). If you are a beginner, this is a great conference to attend!

The last day is usually a “Contributor Day” where students and leaders of WordPress lend their skills to help others. This is a great day to really connect with the community.

Your goal at WordCamps should be to look for great partners, potential companies to use and refer and talk about your brand. My advice is to go about it in a very non-salesy type of way. Don’t be the person handing out business cards and only talking about yourself! Be engaged in the other party!

If you are bold and experienced in WordPress, I highly recommend sponsoring, setting up a booth or applying to be a speaker. You will get a lot of value out of any one of those because that is increased exposure to the WordPress community.

WordCamp Jacksonville

PRO TIP: Save all your WordPress swag, buttons and stickers each time you visit a WordCamp so your lanyard grows and grows! Make the memories and keep them along with all the free t-shirts you will receive.

Build your network organically! Be yourself, be natural and be personable when you attend any WordPress community event. People will remember how you made them feel the next time you see them! Give hugs, give smiles and give good vibes only.

See you at the next WordPress event, friends!

WordPress
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Marketing in a Box Ebook by CBCInked




10 Tips for Positive Growth (2021)

I’m not always positive, let’s get that out of the way right now. But I have done the research on the tips for positive growth over the years.

I’m also not always doing things that benefit my growth! However, I am always trying to learn, grow and be a better person. It takes a lot of effort, let me tell ya.

As the year closes and a new chapter, even a new decade begin, it’s time to work harder at being positive and growing in a good direction.

Here are ten tips for positive growth in 2021.

Aromatouch therapy

1 Be honest with yourself

This is not always easy. We lie to ourselves all the time, don’t we? It may just be me.

If you are currently lying to yourself about your health, your relationship, your career or your life choices, you might want to stop all that noise. Lying to yourself does nothing but keep you in the same place, doing the same thing and being pissed about it.

So what are you lying to yourself about and how can you stop it? Here’s your tip for positive growth – stop lying.

2 Don’t waste time on toxicity

This is a loaded tip because this involves being around toxic people, eating toxic foods and being toxic in your behavior. I know, it’s a lot.

As you listen to yourself talk, are you being toxic to yourself or about others? Are you bringing toxicity into your home with a negative attitude or poor self talk? You might be and it has become a habit.

Kicking toxicity to the curb might be tough for you. It could mean you have to let toxic people go or that you may have to kick a dirty habit. But it has to be done.

Living a toxic life is not happening. Here’s your tip for positive growth – detox.

new year cheers

3 Stop being something you’re not

I recently talked about being fake across your social media channels and I meant it. However, this also pertains to IRL (in real life). If you are going around being something that you are not, that could be crushing the real spirit of you – deep inside.

What the heck do you mean, Caylin? I mean that sometimes when we are around other people, we bury our true selves deep down and fake it for them. We put on a show because we know it’s what best for the other person. Nope. Not doing that anymore. We are going to do what’s best for US now.

This year, your tip for positive growth is to do what’s best for you and your true light will shine through. Promise.

4 Use food as your medicine

How are we doing on our diet, everyone? Still making all those healthy decisions and being a perfect fit person? Psh, no one is perfect.

Again here, it’s the effort you put into that will your body will thank you for. If you can feed your body good foods, it will be your medicine to keep you alive. Literally.

Be a label reader! Read the damn label and if you can’t pronounce more than three words in it, don’t buy it!

Your tip for positive growth is to eat less foods out of a box and more foods out of the ground.

Family photo

5 Cherish your loves

This one should be on your list every year.

We all need to be a little more patient, a little more kind and little more compassionate to those around us, not just our loved ones. We need to be better parents, better coworkers and better spouses. We need to be better to ourselves.

Cherish the time you have with the people you love but also the time spent with yourself. It’s important to be in the moment because they go by quick.

It’s already been a whole decade! How have you cherished your loved ones this year? Here’s your tip (you guessed it – for positive growth) is to love the ones you’re with.

6 Understand your weaknesses to improve them

What is your weakness? I have a few…

Mine are moving too fast, drinking too much and getting impatient with my husband. Also, I am not good with down time at all. How am I working on these things? It’s a work in progress.

The most important thing you need to take from this tip is that you need to understand your weakness. Understanding something allows for you to help, change or omit it. Just take some time to understand what’s wrong with you. It’s okay to say there is something actually wrong with you. You are not perfect. Sorry.

Understand, accept, change. Simple

7 Make time for the small things

Time is not going to stop for you or for me. We need to learn to adapt to the clock.

If you can simply take some time to do things for yourself, your loved ones and even your dog, life can be a bit easier.

What things would you do if you had more time? What little things would you incorporate into your schedule if you could just “make time” for them?

I would read more (even though I do every day), draw more, walk my dog more, sip coffee slowly more, visit my friends more, travel more, chat with my Mom more, craft more…the list is endless.

In the new year, make some time to do these things! It will be worth it.

Sophie Love White

8 Don’t be your diagnosis

We are all getting older, every damn day. We all feel it.

If we have health issues arise during the new year, we will deal with it. If we have bad news for loved ones in the health area, we will deal with it. If we have to change behaviors because of health conditions, we will. If we have to help others through unhealthy times, we will.

And take some CBD!

You are not your diagnosis. Be brave and tackle what happens to you head on.

9 Save your damn money

Maybe just take a year where you aren’t buying pointless stuff on Amazon? Maybe let the bank account grow instead of sit there…

If you can start to think about the next decade, because it will be here before you know it, you should probably put the credit cards away. It’s time to just stop wasting your money and be happy doing nothing. Well you can do a lot of things that don’t require money, but don’t overspend.

This year, be frugal. Be smart and be savvy.

10 Never stop being silly

I love this one! I just had a good friend tell me that she was so excited I was coming over because she knew we got to be “silly” all day. That makes me so happy!

Being silly is not overrated. Laughter can literally cure diseases. Maybe not but it sure feels like it could!

Laugh, laugh, laugh! Be sure to find the funny in the things that may not jump out as funny and never lose humor in your life, relationships and with yourself. It’s really okay to make fun of yourself once in a while, it keeps you humble.

stay silly

Enjoy the decade! I will be right beside you with my stories, adventures and art.

Cheers to 2020!

XO

CBCInked

Free eBook! Marketing in a Box – free marketing training, templates, guides and resources to grow your agency. Download now!
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Selling on Social Media: Major Wins + Epic Fails (2021)

All we need is more likes, right? Strange times we live in. 

Social media has basically taken place of the trips to the mall with friends, the sleepovers talking gossip and the adventures of youth all over the world. We can’t stop it, we can’t hide from it and we certainly want to be a part of it. 

Besides the fact that social media has us all addicted, what benefit does it bring to building a business? A ton.

Are we capitalizing on the addiction of social media? Probably? Do we care? Probably not. 

Social media makes up 62% of new leads for businesses. That’s a pretty high percentage! Peep these stats from Pew Research Center and let me know if you think social media has gotten out of control: 

  • Facebook has 2.4 billion monthly users. 
  • YouTube has more than 1.9 billion logged-in visits every month. 
  • Instagram has over 1 billion monthly active users. 
  • Twitter has more than 330 million monthly active users. 
  • LinkedIn has over 560 million registered users.
  • Pinterest has 291 million monthly active users. 

Sorry Google +, you died. What happened to MySpace? Ha! 

With these staggering numbers, what does that mean for the safety of our children, the future of business and the fake lives we are trying to lead? It means so much. 

I’m going to dive into the scary world of selling on social media. There are a few ways you can score major wins and a lot of ways you can have epic fails.

Sabotaging your Social Profile 

The start of all social media selling begins with setting up your profile. 

Your profile is like the cover of the book of your life, no pressure. There are a few criteria that should be met when you set it up, the rest is pure creativity. Don’t blow it. 

Here is how NOT to sabotage your social profile: 

  • Add your official name and don’t change it often – people need to remember you. 
  • Upload a profile picture that you are proud of or a business logo. Don’t post something that isn’t quality. It’s a small photo – be big!   
  • Include a tagline or one-line sentence you are offering/service listing and check your spelling and grammar! There is nothing worse than a typo on a public profile. 
  • Add some personality! Emojis are fun but don’t use too many.
  • Definitely include a link to your website. I like to clean up the URL taking out the https, it looks more crispy.

Don’t be afraid to get creative with your profile bio! 

A few more tips are…Don’t bore your audience with mundane information, you want to tease them a bit to get them interested. You want to lead them to want to learn more. Don’t give them too much information up front, it takes the excitement out of it.

Be yourself! 

Decide Your End Game 

Where is this whole social media selling thing taking you? Did you think about the next steps before you make it big time? 

Your website is your lead conversion magnet when it comes to selling on social media. If it’s not ready for the leads to come in, it’s considered a lost lead! 

Your landing pages should have plenty of calls to action! Just like social media, you should have “share buttons” all over your website to link the two. 

Any content created needs to have that call to action too! This is your portal to the social media world. What good is an article if it isn’t easy for your audience to share? 

I also highly recommend that you follow Google’s guidelines on how to set up your website for on-page SEO. If done properly, you will be able to track your referrals from each social media account to see which one is performing the best. 

What’s your end game? Hopefully, it’s not the same as Iron Man. JK, I love you, Tony. 

Drop the Fake Fuss 

What percentage of our lives is actually real on social media? I would guess it’s less than 50%. 

Why do we post fake pictures that make us fake happy? 

Notice how I said we. I have been at fault for posting pictures to see how many likes I can get, in the past. It’s natural to do so. Just please don’t be a fake social media person. You don’t always need a filter. You don’t always need to be perfectly placed. Be real. Try out a post without makeup or a pose. Just try it. 

It is extremely imperative that your true passion shines through in your social media. 

This is going to be hard because social media standards are high! I joke that I am not a Tumblr girl who has their hair perfectly tousled, with all the right angles. I choose posts about me that are real, raw and full of my CBCInked passion. 

Your passion should shine through in every post. I try to be as creative as possible with every post. If I don’t feel it, I don’t post it. 

PRO TIP: Candid is better than posed. Catch a moment without saying “hey look at the camera”, just take the picture when no one is watching. Capture the candids. 

social media selfie

Robotic Repetition Never Works 

Do you know the movie “Groundhog Day”? That is something you do not want to recreate on social media. I do love Bill Murray though. 

I had someone follow me the other day that had 1756 photos and every single one of them was a selfie. Oh no. That just will not do. 

Being spontaneous and keeping your posts different is the key to a successful social media experience.  What keeps your social media audience interested, engaged and coming back for more? Not 1756 selfies that’s for sure! 

Here are a few ways you can mix it up on social media: 

  • Adventures outdoors
  • Family fun 
  • Pet poses (those are a fan favorite) 
  • Portrait mode selfies 
  • Still life (literally like fruit and stuff) 
  • Artwork (Check out my artwork lol) 
  • Quotes
  • Memes + GIFS 
  • Reshares of friends/influencers (Check out my influencers post) 
  • Celebrity spotlights 
  • Homemade graphics (check out Canva
  • National holidays (check out National Day Calendar

By providing your audience with a creative calendar, you are inviting them to come back for a surprise every day. You are encouraging a friendship with a total stranger! Be safe about it of course, but also be different. 

Please don’t just post selfies. Please. 

Internet Best Friends vs Trolls 

The internet is a big place. It’s a great place but it’s also a scary place. It’s like you are a Jedi when you gain the ability to peruse the world wide web. You can choose to use the internet force for good or evil. 

Ask yourself this question. Are you an internet troll or an internet best friend? 

There is a person behind every social media post, did you know that? Of course, you did! Except for the fact that it’s easy to forget that when we are posting behind the safety of our keyboards. 

We put our hearts and souls into these posts (at least I do) and there is a sense of transparent vulnerability in that.

If you are the person that trolls the internet to start fights, create drama or spoil someone else’s fun – shame on you! 

If you are an internet best friend and you are out there lifting up strangers like you have known them your whole life, props to you. You are the ones that are using the internet force for good. 

You are an internet Jedi. (Insert Baby Yoda quip here.)

Are You Over Posting? 

Here is the biggest question of them all. When and how often do I post on social media? I know some people that post 10 times a day! Too much? Maybe. 

Here is when I post on social media (I am not an expert but it seems to be working for me): 

  • 1 post a day on Instagram (including a few stories and regrams) 
  • 2-3 posts a week on Facebook (including lots of likes and comments)
  • 3-4 posts a day on Twitter (including a retweet) 
  • 1-2 posts a week on LinkedIn (including 1-2 likes and comments)

When do you post? Oh boy, I definitely don’t follow any proper protocol at all. I post when the mood strikes me or when I remember to. However, if you’re a business, it matters. 

Sprout Social recommends the optimal time to post on social media and here is some research (based in EST): 

  • Facebook – between 1:00 – 4:00 PM
  • Twitter – between 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM 
  • Instagram – between 8:00 – 9:00 AM or 2:00 – 3:00 AM
  • LinkedIn – between 10:00 – 11:00 AM

The most important factor you need to know is that consistency is key. 

Once you get into the flow of posting, you may need automation tools in order to stay ahead of the game. I love Buffer for automated social media posts. They really nailed it and continue to get better with their software. 

Don’t over-post and don’t under post! Find your social media sweet spot. 

hashtag

Harness the #Hashtag 

Ahh, yes, the great and powerful hashtag.

Do you believe in the power that is the “hashtag”? You definitely should! It has the ability to get your social post in front of more people daily.

Have you seen now on LinkedIn that they are “suggesting” you use of hashtags? Thanks LinkedIn people, we got this. 

Hashtags have become more and more prevalent as the years go on. The problem is that most businesses are using them incorrectly. This, like the timing and frequency of social posting, is unique to each platform. This may require additional research as each hashtag pertains to each unique business.

If you are going to learn how to harness the power of the hashtag, you need to know the proper usage per social media network:

  • Facebook – 1 or 2, relevant to the post. 1 for the topic and 1 for your services offered.
  • Twitter – 1 or 2, relevant to the post. One for the topic and one for your services offered
  • Instagram – 7 is the magic number, relevant to the post. 3 for the topic and 4 for your services offered.
  • LinkedIn – 1 and only directly relevant to your services offered

There are several different companies that teach you the power of hashtags. You can evaluate, analyze and learn unique hashtags. Here is an in-depth article by Hootsuite on how to use hashtags

Harness that hashtag! Don’t overuse it though. There is nothing worse than seeing a post overrun by hashtags – you lose the power of the post! 

Commenting Etiquette

Comments are available on every single social media network. After all, the point of it is to be social, so that makes sense. 

However, there are a few unspoken rules when it comes to commenting on other people’s posts. 

Here are a few proper examples on commenting etiquette: 

  • “Love this! ? I love following along on your adventures. Thanks for being amazing! Keep going.” 
  • “This is truly awesome, friend! I am so inspired by your posts. Thanks for always providing great info. Can’t wait till the next one! ?”
  • “Another stellar post! I would love to connect with you on some fun collabs, love! ? I would be so happy to support your journey. Reach out to me if ever you want to create something together. #supportlocal” 

Here are few ways you can fail miserably on commenting etiquette: 

  • “Looks like you may be lonely! Need to meet people? Try out my dating app!” 
  • “Interested in making more money online? DM me for details and you could be making hundreds of dollars a day!”
  • “OMG, you guys, this is CrAzY! Mashable is giving away a FREE iPad Air to the person who gets the most likes!” 

Please tell me you see the difference there.

The first set of comments is being real, being human and being compassionate. The second set of comments is being fake, unreal and sales-driven yuck. 

Be cool! 

social media

CBCInked Wrap Up: Social Media Success

Social media is a powerful tool if you can learn how to use it correctly. Harness the power of social through knowledge, etiquette, and compassion. 

Choose a good and righteous path to social media success! 

Here is the social media success wrap up: 

  • Don’t sabotage your social profile 
  • Be sure to decide your end game
  • Drop the fake fuss and be real 
  • Robotic repetition never works, keep them on their toes
  • Choose to be an internet best friend or a troll
  • Don’t over or under post, find your sweet spot 
  • Harness the #hashtag 
  • Learn the commenting etiquette

I truly hope this education on social media will help you grow online. I do feel there should be a social media etiquette class so that there is less bad and more good out there. 

Here are my social media channels – follow me and we can be internet best friends!

I sure hope you are a social media Jedi choosing the internet force for good. 

See you on the social flip side! 

XO 

CBCInked

Image credit: https://unsplash.com/@tonyxliao, https://unsplash.com/@epicantus, https://unsplash.com/@creativegangsters, https://unsplash.com/@ogelamar, https://unsplash.com/@joanjo65

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