#MomWinWednesday Having Fun

#MomWinWednesday Here on #MomWinWednesday I am encouraging you to celebrate the small wins in your day. Because, let’s face it, sometimes the small wins are the only wins we get in a given day.

I’ve written before about setting yourself up for a successful morning before–and make sure you grab your free printable here! Well, this morning was a payoff for proper nighttime preparation. I DID manage to make sure the  girls laid their clothes out last night. We ALL made it to bed on time–even me–which might have freaked out the teen when he came home from work to a dark house!

This morning we were up with the sun, and even had time for a home cooked breakfast! (thanks Dad!). But the most fun, and my #momwin would be the fun lipsync party we had to a favorite song over our eggs and bagels!

It set ALL of our days up for smiles and happiness.

(And WHAT is our favorite song for an epic lipsync battle?)

 

Pros and Cons of Using Social Media for Your Business

 

Pros and Cons of Social media for business

  I have a little side-hustle where I coach local small businesses on using social media. I’m going to begin sharing some insights here, in the hopes that I can inspire and encourage you!

Social Media can be a frightening thing. People either feel comfortable with social sharing or they do not. As a small business owner, the toughest part of Social Media is getting out of the way of your own humility. Mom taught you not to brag. Social Media demands that you do.

So here is a list of pros and cons to the use of social media in your small business:

Pros:

  • Social media is “free”. I share this pro with a HUGE caveat. While it is free to use platforms like Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, your time still has value. And, while you can work within the free aspects of these platforms, it is not uncommon to find that you have to invest some advertising dollars to gain visibility. I advise my clients who are dipping their feet into the social media waters to stick with free services. As you become more comfortable with the intricacies of each platform (and some of the great social scheduling tools available) you can slowly begin to invest some money to make social media work better for you.
  • Social Media is EVERYWHERE. Let’s face it–you can choose to not use social media for your business, but if you do, you risk losing out on valuable market share.
  • Your Customers and Clients enjoy the instant gratification that Social Media affords.  We are living in such an online, mobile society, that your customers enjoy finding answers quickly and easily using your social channels. Whether that means that they know that they can book appointments online, read customer reviews, or get personal answers from you, social media can save you time. A well-written FAQ on your website, or as a doc on your Facebook page will help your customers. Refer to them often and add to them as needed.
  • Social Media is fun! I challenge my clients to take advantage of humor and fun on their social media accounts. Appropriate and applicable humor can boost social media engagement, and may even help build your brand. I encourage clients to set up a bank of inspirational and humorous photos, videos and quotes to drip out  regularly across social media accounts.

Cons:

  • Social Media can be a time hog. I hinted at this on the first pro. While social media is free–it takes some time to set up and optimize. And, no matter how much you automate your social media (and I advise against over-automation), social media needs to be monitored regularly. (tools such as Hootsuite   or Mention can help with this.)
  • Negative Feedback is difficult to remove: If, for some reason, you make an online enemy, they can use your Social Media against you in the form of negative reviews and abusive posts. These need to be dealt with swiftly, and are a big reason that you need to be vigilant in monitoring your social media accounts.
  • Social Media Moves Quickly. There is always a “new thing”. The experts will almost always claim that the “new thing” is the most important thing. I counsel my clients to choose a platform or two or three that they are comfortable with–and most importantly–where their customers are. No one wants to shout into a giant void.

Conclusion:

Social media is not going anywhere. If you choose to ignore the power that social media can have over your business, you just may miss the boat. Need help? Check out my contact information here.

 

Love Your Pet Day is this Saturday!

Saturday, February 18 is National Love Your Pet Day and Gordmans wants to help you celebrate!

The first 50 guests at each Gordmans store when the doors open at 9 a.m. will receive a free bag of dog treats. Guests also can register in-store to win a free pet bed or cat condo. Shoppers also have the chance to win a $150 Gordmans gift card by snapping a photo with their pets at Gordmans and posting the photo on social media with the hashtag #GordmansLovesPets.

Additionally, Gordmans is inviting guests to support nonprofit organizations that help animals in need. Shoppers may donate at checkout to Paws With A Cause, an organization that enhances the independence and quality of life for people with disabilities nationally through custom-trained Assistance Dogs, and Gordmans will match up to $10,000 in donations. Gordmans also carries a collection of pet merchandise from the ASPCA, Dog for Dog, Humane Society of the United States and MuttNation, and a portion of the proceeds from the sales of this merchandise will be donated to these organizations.

Pets are an important part of our families! We celebrate them every day, but it is fun to have an event like this as well! Love your pet day graphic

 

#MomWinWednesday– The One in Which I Refrain from Yelling–Plus FREE Bedtime Checklist!

It is no secret that I am a mom who yells too much. I’ve talked about it before here. I come from a long line of yellers. My grandma even managed to yell in two languages.

I also am really, really, working on this. I’ve been working on this for almost 21 years.

It is NOT getting any easier.

However, my empathetic side tells me that I would be CRUSHED if someone yelled at me every single morning.

And so, I really work to tame my tongue.

I also remind myself that good mornings begin at night. Meaning, the more that I prepare for our mornings the night before, the smoother things will go. Sadly, at night, what I would prefer to do is knit or crochet and binge watch shows. Being a grown up is hard sometimes.

You can download this free printable bedtime checklist!

I’m working on implementing a checklist for the kids (and for me too!) so that we can help our mornings go a little smoother. I’ll share it with you here. I’ve left space for you to add some tasks that might be unique to your family as well! My girls love clipboards, so I have laminated this checklist and given them each a clipboard and a dry erase marker to check off each task.

Hopefully, as we get used to checking off our items each night, mornings will become easier and easier!

Chime in! How do you tame the morning crazies? Share your tips with other moms in the comments, or pop over to the Facebook page and join the conversation there!

 

Crochet Style: Review

 

Every Christmas I receive a generous Amazon gift card from work. I am an admitted autodidact, so I spend a good amount of the gift card on “continuing education” for myself. This year I purchased some books on writing, and specifically, copy writing. I also picked up an updated version of a book on non-profit fundraising. With a bit of money left over at the end, I decided to focus on my new favorite hobby–crocheting.

If you have read here, or  have been hanging around my Facebook or Instagram–or even following me on Pinterest, you can’t help but noticed that I fell down a crochet rabbit hole.

Crocheting was a great diversion when my oldest went off to Basic Training last spring, and I found, over the course of the year that it has had a fabulous effect on my stress levels.

I made several blankets–all multicolored stripes, with mixed stitches, which was a great way to learn to crochet. Crochet is an incredibly forgiving craft. And the community of crocheters is always willing to help.

Here in North Dakota we have notoriously long winters. I have made some cold weather gear with patterns that I have found online–which is hit or miss in regards to pattern quality. As a relative beginner, I like a well-written pattern, and as someone with a few miles of yarn in my stitch history, I appreciate a more complicated design.

I hit the jackpot when I ordered Crochet Style, Over 30 Trendy, Classic and Sporty Accessories for All Ages, by Jennifer Dougherty. Jennifer has several crochet patterns for sale at both Ravelry and Etsy, and this collection of more than 30 patterns is a great bargain–and will keep me busy for many more weeks!

Dougherty  is a very skilled artist and writes crystal clear patterns. This book is chock full of cold weather gear for the family–and each pattern has sizing for several different sizes–all written as a separate pattern.

I’ve made several hats from the book so far, including this cute cabled beanie that I made for myself (I never get a chance to make things for myself!)–Never mind the awkward office selfie–a working mom has to do what she has to do! Cabled beanie

I’ve made several hats for the girls using this book. These are not necessarily quick projects, as they are almost all highly textured (which does add warmth for these North Dakota winters).

Most designs call for worsted weight or bulky yarn, and a very few call for super bulky yarn.

The photos in the book are gorgeous. Each design has a really good summary page at the beginning with suggested weights of yarn, hooks and special supplies needed.

Another great feature is the lay flat binding. This softcover book is stitched such that I can have it open on my lap while working and not lose my place.

While there are a few projects that would suit a beginner, I think this book would be best enjoyed by an intermediate crocheter.

I’ve really enjoyed working on projects from this book during my daily Morning Make time after dropping a kid off at swim practice and before the other kids wake up.

 

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