{Video} How to Find and Join Pinterest Group Boards

I love Pinterest – it's great for finding tutorials, trying new recipes, and especially for driving traffic to my own blog. 

When I started to really utilize Pinterest for business, one of the first things I did was start joining group boards. This is an easy way to get your pins in front of more people! 

In this video, you'll get a quick tutorial on how to easily find more group boards!

To join my Pinterest group board, click here!

What to Do When Life Gets Hard as an Entrepreneur

In this Instagram-obsessed world, it can sometimes feel difficult to share the "real" us online. When we open up and talk about the bad days and the failures, it makes us more relatable to our audience. We become more "human" than just another name on a screen. So today, I'm talking about something that no one likes to talk about – those seasons when life is just hard.

In this Instagram-obsessed world, it can sometimes feel difficult to share the "real" us online. When we open up and talk about the bad days and the failures, it makes us more relatable to our audience. We become more "human" than just another name on a screen. So today, I'm talking about something that no one likes to talk about – those seasons when life is just hard.

Two months after I went full-time with my business, I unexpectedly lost my mother. Talk about a whirlwind of a first year as a business owner, right? I'm not going to sugar coat it – it was a long, rough year. 

Having gone through this season, and still going through it to some degree, I wanted to help you if you're going through it now. Whether you're going through grief, depression, or just having a hard time in general, here are some things you can do when life feels hard.

Say No

As I struggled with grief and depression, anxiety came along for the party. There were many days that I just sat at my desk, staring at my computer feeling completely overwhelmed. There are certain things that you may need to keep doing in your business, but there are also things that you just need to say no to! Here's a few starters:

  • Thank you so much for considering me! At this time, my plate is full, so I will have to say no, but I would love to stay in touch for the future. 
  • A collaboration sounds great! I have a lot going on right now, so I think I'm going to say "not yet" -- but maybe later this year, we can re-visit this!
  • I would love to be a part of this, but right now, I'm going to have to say no. I would love to be a part of it, if you do this again in the future!

Outsource

If you can't say no to certain things, outsource! This doesn't mean you have to bring on a VA for 20 hours a week (or, maybe it does). Can you hire someone to just help you with a few tasks here and there? Can you trade services with someone? Maybe outsourcing to you looks like investing in a tool or software. Some inexpensive ways to outsource or automate:

  • Social media scheduling (with Meet Edgar)
  • Scheduling blogs or newsletters (with the help of a VA)
  • Use IFTTT or Zapier 
    • I used to have a "zap" that would auto-reply to new inquiries! 

If you do have the funds to hire some people, here are some suggestions:

  • Hire an OBM to oversee all the different moving parts
  • Hire a VA to manage your little tasks (that can seem overwhelming)
  • Hire a writer to ghostwrite your blogs
  • Hire contractors in your industry that you can off-load projects to when need be

Meditate

Meditate, read, color – do something that is calming. Often, during these rough patches, it's hard to concentrate or be motivated. Do something simple that makes you feel better without much effort. (Holly has a great blog series about anxiety and overwhelm!) Some good resources:

Exercise

You've probably heard it before – exercise is good for you, especially for those who are depressed. Endorphins, ya-da, ya-da. This does not have to be a full work-out, five days a week. This could be something like walking around the neighborhood once, or trying something fun like Zumba. These are also great gymless workouts to have on hand. 

Go outside

You can double this up with exercise! Fresh air and sunshine can be really refreshing and energizing, especially after sitting at your desk all day. If you can, take your laptop outside and work for a few hours. If it's cold outside, open a window, or buy a HappyLight for your desk. 

Do something that makes you smile

Grief and depression are not things you can just "get over" quickly. I'm not listing this recommendation as a quick-fix. But, little moments of joy are still possible in these hard seasons! What do you love to do? Baking, hiking, going to the movies? If nothing else, look up a funny YouTube video. My favorite funny YouTube channels:

  • Tripp and Tyler
  • Ellen DeGeneres
  • Any channel with The Office bloopers (because, duh)

Be open

Do not isolate yourself. Tell someone what you're feeling. I went to counseling after losing my mom, and it was a huge help. If you don't want to (or can't afford to) see a counselor, just talk to a friend. (Heck, talk to me!) Sometimes it's just good to have someone who will listen and simply say, "I'm here for you."

Give yourself grace

Life is hard. Whether it's depression, grief, or just a hard time... give yourself some grace. Work four days a week instead of five (or seven). Get some rest, take care of yourself. One of the best perks of being an entrepreneur is having our own schedule, which means we can take time off when we need it the most. 

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{Video} Three Free Ways to Improve Your Website

I know outsourcing sites (such as Fiverr) are popular places to get design or website work done for next-to-nothing. But, after hearing horror story after horror story from entrepreneurs who wasted a ton of time and money getting work done that way, I wanted to share a few affordable alternatives. In the video below, I’ll tell you how you can get good work done, for free!

The #1 Money-Wasting Mistake People Make in Their Business

If you’ve been reading the blog for a while now, you may have read things I’ve written on this topic before.

It’s one of the few topics that I’m SERIOUSLY opinionated about.

For the third time now, I’m talking about a few big issues I have with the outsourcing site, Fiverr.

The only reason I decided to talk about this topic again is because I’ve had countless conversations with people who told me about their own experiences using Fiverr to find creative and business service professionals.

If this entire topic is new to you, feel free to dive a little deeper into the two biggest problems with sites like Fiverr:

  1. They give you what you pay for.

  2. They encourage entrepreneurs to settle for low-quality branding.

The only reason I decided to talk about this topic again is because I’ve had countless conversations with people who told me about their own experiences using Fiverr to find creative and business service professionals. Most of the stories had similar beginnings:

  • A new entrepreneur looking to the site to save some money

  • An experienced business owner needing quick turnaround on a few basic tasks

  • A successful creative trying to make space in their schedule by outsourcing stuff like social media, SEO. etc.

The most frustrating thing to me (a hard-working creative entrepreneur who works tirelessly to provide quality services for my clients) though, was that a lot of those stories also had similar endings.

In this post, I’m sharing how many of those stories ended as I outline a few unfortunate issues people have when they decide to hire on Fiverr.

Issue #1: Paying for work that is a total waste

Something I can’t stand hearing is how the work people get back from Fiverr hires is total junk. So bad it serves no purpose at all. This means, in some instances, people are literally paying to have their time wasted.

Here are two examples of frustrated entrepreneurs who wasted time on Fiverr:

“I was struggling to choose a blog name. I put a request on Fiverr because I figured $5 was worth investing for a bit of inspiration. I got contacted by this guy who seemed to know what he was talking about. He had a couple of reviews, so I thought [he might just be getting started on the site]. He was quick to turn around my order, but his ideas for my blog name weren’t even words, or names that had anything to do with my blog (and this was after me giving him a full brief on the [focus and direction] of my blog). Some of his ideas were things like: Steerz, Inchey, Raft Girl, Our Inks…. So, I asked for a revision and then got more stupid names I simply couldn't use. So, eventually I gave up on giving him further instruction. But, what could I really expect for $5?” (Ana, The She Approach)

“I wanted a new logo, but wasn’t prepared to take on an entire rebrand. So, thought Fiverr would be a good place to get some ideas prior to working with a professional designer. I had a few really specific requirements for the new logo: It needed to be text-only (NO images), I needed it to be in both horizontal and vertical dimensions and it needed to be simple. I paid two "designers" on Fiverr to create 3-5 samples and I provided tons of context on my business--what I do, who I market to, etc.

One designer returned plain, horizontal text- with a line above and below it. One was grey and black. One was black on white. One was white on black. Apparently that was three samples -- exactly the same design, in three different colors.

The other designer returned two samples image logos that had nothing to do with my business. And the third was simply Times New Roman text with a line above and below the text. All three were horizontal.

I asked both designers to review the direction and update their work. One disappeared and the refunded my money with no additional communication.” (Abby, Write Solutions)

Issue #2: Receiving forged or stolen work

This might be the issue that drives my opposition to Fiverr. You’ll see why when you read these stories:

“I hired a designer on Fiverr to design a book cover. After asking for many iterations, and doing a lot of research, I realized all the images used were from a Google image search, one right after the other.” (Samson, Salon Your Way)

“I've had a lot of bad experiences on Fiverr. But, once I hired someone on the site to design a logo for a new business. After a few days he sent me a templated design that he’d stolen from another site. I requested several revisions but all of those were templated, as well. It wasn’t going anywhere, so I asked for a refund. The Fiverr designer refused the refund and said he’d spent time working on the logo. I raised it to the Fiverr support team, but they failed to give me a refund.” (Zak, Foolishness File)

“I hired a designer on Fiverr because he had a great online portfolio. But what I got back from him was bad clip art that didn’t follow any of my directions at all. Out of curiosity, I did some research into the logos he included in his portfolio. I reached out to companies who had their logos featured there, and I learned he’d stolen them and claimed as his work.” (Karen, Sweet Lulu's Bakery On Wheels)

Issue #3: Having to fix or trash “cookie cutter” work

“We were having trouble with the branding of our subscription box and had low sales, so we decided to get our box redesigned on Fiverr. Unfortunately, our money went down the drain because both designers came up with boxes that were a lot worse than our original design. After such a horrible experience, we decided to hire a real packaging company and regret ever wasting time on Fiverr. Sometimes cutting corners to save a few bucks isn’t really worth the hassle.” (Karina, Hang-O-Matic)

“I hired someone who said they would personally create a custom promotional video to demonstrate how my app worked. It turned out to be some DIY slideshow where I would have to insert my own screenshots. Fiverr is NOT a good source for "custom" work. Many of the gigs use a cookie cutter program that feeds your images or text into some software and creates an unimpressive, unoriginal final product.  This gig was no different.” (Sheldon Martin, Texas Jack Poker)

See my frustration?

Your business and your brand are worth more than the issues you’ll face on Fiverr.

Now that we’re on the same page, I don’t want to leave you hanging without a solution to find work that will fit your budget and/or your timeline.

This week my video will be talking about free ways you can tweak and refresh your website – subscribe to be notified when it comes out.

DIY-ing Your Visual Brand Checklist

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{Video} The Four Best People to Follow for Video Marketing

It's been just about six months since I launched my YouTube channel, and while it was scary to start – I've loved the experience. Video is becoming a bigger and bigger part of business, and I've already seen the impact it has on growing my brand. 

But, I didn't just start a YouTube channel and magically figure everything out. So, today I'm giving a shout-out to four of my favorite video marketing ladies

Who do you love to learn from? Let me know in the comments!