Social Media & Your Business Online Course

Social Media & Your Business Online Course

Hi Friends!

I just recently launched my online course “Social Media & Your Business”

If you’re a small business owner, entrepreneur, or creative person, its almost necessary that you learn how to promote yourself on social media. Learn the fundamentals of branding, how to use Instagram & Facebook to promote your business online. Learn to find and define your target audience, learn what to post, learn digital tools for creating graphics on your computer and mobile device, and learn how to create video content for social media.

Worksheets and actionable checklists included to guide you and to help you with creating your own company brand book and tools for organizing your content. At the end of completing this course, you will be able to successfully use social media to grow your business online. If you’re ready to take your business to the next level to grow your presence online, doing the work will help you to understand how some of the social media platforms work together. And as an entrepreneur, I also empower you to learn all these tools at your finger tips and not have to farm out your social media to companies that may not understand your business.

Learn at your own pace, the course modules don’t expire, get lifetime access whenever, wherever you are!

Get locked in at this rate and keep learning as I continue to update the course materials!

Social Media & Your Business Online Course

 

When you purchase “Social Media & Your Business”, you’ll also get the course, “Creating Social Media Graphics on Canva” for free! This course will be available in the next two weeks

Here are the Video Topic Tutorials:

  • Setting Up Your Canva Account
  • Navigating through the Canva User Interface
  • Uploading Your Images & Logos
  • Finding color hex codes from images
  • Typography & Visual Design Principles
  • Designing Your Facebook Page & Twitter Header
  • Designing Social Media Templates for Instagram
  • Designing Header Graphics for Email Newsletter
  • Sharing Your Graphics with Other Team Members
  • Exporting & Downloading Your Canva Graphics

Vlog #1 Freelancing from home & living creatively

Vlog #1 Freelancing from home & living creatively

Starting to blog about my daily/weekly thoughts! Let’s see how often I can keep up with this! I really love shooting and editing videos! Check out my channel where I will start vlogging more about all things freelancing, how to create a sustainable income as an artist and so much more! Subscribe to my channel if you like this kind of content! 

Just some thoughts on going to grad school, freelancing, and working from home. The path I followed was never a straight one! Moving from California to New York and then back again to California! As creatives we are constantly changing our minds!
[stnsvn-button-large url=”https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNf-YYiyLjc444SXq3rm07g” button_text=”SUBSCRIBE TO MY CHANNEL HERE”]
Places to find me online:
Online Courses on Skillshare:
Digital Tie-Dye Pattern Making in Photoshop – skl.sh/2ojBVpm
Social Media & Your Business: bit.ly/2I5CcpE
Camera I used for this video: Canon GX7 Mark II amzn.to/2tntJuD
Discipline, Routine, and Following Through.

Discipline, Routine, and Following Through.

Many artists and creative people fantasize about creating a project that they have a great passion for. But the reality is that these projects remain a fantasy and never get brought out and shared into the real world. This is the one thing that I think artists and creatives have trouble with. They often ask themselves, “How do I get my ideas out into the real world? How can I go from fantasy or fantasizing about my passion project and set some realistic goals? You can and you will. You need DISCIPLINE, ORGANIZATION, and ROUTINE.

Quite recently, a good friend inquired about the creative process and how I managed to finish my Graphic Novel “Dreamwalker” that I self-published back in 2011. Looking back in reflection now, I have to confess that it was not an easy process. Often times I wondered whether I would make any monetary gain or if people actually would be interested enough to read it. And there were many reasons I almost didn’t create it, and those reasons were just outside noise and distraction. And I realized that none of those things mattered. What mattered was that I was passionate about creating this project for my very own self satisfaction and at the time I was creating it – there were months where I had a burst of creative energy running through me. This burst of creative energy kept me up at night.  Almost every night! When inspiration hits, you have to go with it – let it flow through you, let it come out the way it wants to come out with no judgement. Over thinking these amazing creative projects won’t help it from being born. Its like a baby that you need to constantly nurture, be patient with, and there will be struggles and challenges – but that’s part of the process.

Sometimes you’ll doubt yourself or become completely over joyed, but regardless of what you think the outcome should be – you must enjoy the process and follow through with it.

Being able to do what you love is sometimes the reward itself. Our passions fuel us.

Well its easier said than done right? How do we even begin or start the process of creating these amazing projects? Whether it be a graphic novel, a novel, a short film or a painting/drawing, whatever it is you have to put pen to paper. Write that shit down. Record it. Track it. The process of writing something out by hand does some amazing things to the brain. It helps us remember so much more than merely tapping a few buttons on your phone or even typing out words onto your laptop. I’m not going to go into this in detail, but here is a cool article I found online explaining this. Click here

Think of working on this passion project as part of your routine everyday, setting aside a few minutes to an hour everyday to your passion project can lead you closer to finishing it. Routine makes for good building, in order to build something amazing, you have to do the work. If you’re on the verge of finishing a page, a drawing, and its 2 o’clock in the morning – that’s probably a sign to quit and save the rest for the next day. Balance is what helps us, if we don’t get adequate sleep and rest – how can you put your all and your 100% best into something you love? The only way to get real world results is to constantly work on this project, whatever the amount of time you can dedicate to seeing it through – Do it. No excuse. Got back to back work meetings all day? Go to a cafe right after work and give yourself 20 minutes to work on it. You’ll get more done in those 20 minutes than trying to think about it during work.

Every artist has their own special and unique process of creating things. Some of us struggle with many different excuses or procrastination. How did I finish my “Dreamwalker” Graphic Novel? Well for one, I had a constant obsession with a story that was stuck in my mind for about two years before I even produced it. And let me tell you, it was a never ending process! When I went about planning my pages and how best to convey the story, I had thumbnails upon thumbnails of stick drawings with dialogue notes on the side! ( I work in 1×2 in thumbnail boxes) I ended up re-drawing and editing a page more than twice, I’d mess up, I’d spill ink everywhere or realize I totally missed a drawing that I wanted to include. I’d have other friends that I trusted to help revise my work or give me ideas at different points of the project. Art is such a collaborative process that I relied on the good advice that my friends generously gave to me, even if you want to do your own thing – constructive criticism is very valuable. It took me about 6-8 months to finish my graphic novel. the first three months was just solely working on story ideas and research. The next 3-4 months was spent drawing and inking. I think by the end of it all, I developed a system for myself in managing the drawings that I ended up cranking things out in April and May of 2011. Most of the things that I did in the last month was scanning, designing the layout for the pages and color correcting jpegs in photoshop. Make a list from start to finish and you can determine what needs to get done when it needs to be done. If you don’t, you can burn out and waste time.

The most important element to be able to finish a project is COMMITMENT. Commitment to yourself, to the project, and commitment to following through to finish. You decide what’s more important to you.

Do something about it. We all have a a very special way of looking at the world – and to have something born out of you leaves a very special energy pattern on the world. And that should be enough motivation for you to finish your work. You are important.

The very thing that you choose to do now can positively alter your future. No pain, no gain.

I’ve made a list of things that I do to get myself going and whether you find it useful or not – it will serve as a good reminder of getting yourself organized. The key here is ORGANIZATION. Organizing your thoughts, ideas, notes is the first step really. If you can’t do that – I don’t know what else to tell you. Learning to discipline yourself is a good lesson to go through, if you don’t have discipline than you can’t focus. If you can’t focus on one thing at a time or that moment you set aside to work on your passion – then it will remain just a potential. Who wants to spend their life just being a potential?

Set the bar high for yourself and you’ll succeed even if you think you’ve failed. Do what you believe is great work.

Keep track of you. Some ideas to get you started:

Get a journal, write in it 10 minutes a day or more to record tasks, make lists. Jot down notes on research or things you want to accomplish for the week.

    • Schedule. Use your Google Calendar to sync to your mobile phone calendar. Even if it is a small increment of time such as 10-25 mins, schedule it into your workday –  you’ll benefit from working on one small thing every day and soon you’ll start to see those little things adding up. Schedule in anything that has to be done that day, whether its sending an email or doing the laundry – you’ll be able to track your time better and see whether you are making progress or just wasting time. ( But time is never wasted in my opinion, things you may never use as part of the research and development process can teach you a lot.)
    • Setting realistic goals. They could be short and long term goals, you can make separate lists for yourself and re-evaluate on a weekly or monthly basis.
    • Give yourself a deadline. If you want to put something out there into the world then you must give yourself a reasonable deadline and mark it on your calendar. Having a deadline will help you get things done.
    • Ask yourself, “Why am I doing this project?” Is it monetary? Is it my passion? Regardless of your reason, giving yourself a specific outcome will help you in finishing this project. Maybe you want to get your work ready for a festival, workshop, submission to a publisher, etc.
    • Tune into your inner self. How? Well, get quiet and find a comfortable space and let yourself DAYDREAM. This is the only way great ideas can come in – is when you are open and receptive to that universal flow of energy. Einstein was said to have “thought experiments” when he scheduled in a period of time in the afternoon to let his thoughts wander and lead him into some amazing insights. In one year he published a collection of essays on the theory of relativity. Go ahead Google it.
    • Get Visual. Do some image research online – find things that inspire you – it could be about the story’s location, a character outfit, etc. Use your imagination! Print your images out and create a Vision Board for your project. You can also create a mood board on color, places and environment, character drawings and ideas, this is your world – Create it and let it fuel your imagination! Better yet, find images on Pinterest! This is a great way to create some digital boards – if you wish!
    • Listen to Music. Create a playlist in your computer, ipad, mobile device, etc. Or get on Pandora, spotify, or any of those awesome music sites.
    • Watch some Movies for inspiration. Feeling stuck or hindered by your project? Watch some Princess Bride, or the Matrix, or whatever suits your fancy.
Using Instagram to Promote a Sample Sale : Sausalito

Using Instagram to Promote a Sample Sale : Sausalito

Using Instagram to promote a sample sale

 

How can you use Instagram to promote a sample sale or event? The Freda Salvador brand did a great job of promoting their sample event on Instagram! It was my first time ever attending a sample sale in Sausalito! I love brands and I do love quality products, yet I focus so much on building my business and working with clients that I rarely have time to go out and enjoy the morning. A friend of mine recently invited me to partake in a sample sale by Freda Salvador,  a local shoe brand in the bay area. It was a very interesting experience!

 

Using Instagram to promote a sample sale

 

The power of using social media is a great way to engage with customers about your brand. In this case they posted about their event on their Instagram account on Monday July 17 and Wednesday July 19th, for their sale that was going on that Thursday July 20th. Posting multiple times during the week right before the event is a good way for people catching your posts and seeing it at different times. You also don’t want to post more than once about an event in one day, you want to spread it out so that you don’t become too salesy or pushy about trying to sell something.

Using Instagram to promote a sample sale

Two of my lovely friends Cigdem and my good friend Kristy visiting from San Diego, so we made a girls day of it and had brunch afterwards!

Using Instagram to promote a sample sale

 

Excited customers waiting in line! The event started at 10:00 a.m., yet there were people in line even earlier! The event hosts even encouraged their customers to post their purchases on their Instagram accounts and to tag the brand for a contest. I think this is also a good strategy to get a brand promoted through other people’s accounts and to get seen on multiple accounts, this in turn brings in more traffic to a brand’s profile page.

Using Instagram to promote a sample sale

 

Unfortunately they had a limited amount of shoe sizes for different shoe styles, my friends were disappointed with the selection as their sizes ranging between 6.5 – 8.5 and those sizes are very common women’s sizes. The best shoes came in very small sizes in 4 and 5.5, yet I think the majority of women don’t typically have shoe sizes that small! Many women rushed in grabbing an armful of shoes to be one of the first to try the best shoe! It seemed like the average was one to two pairs of shoes. It’s interesting that some women had no clue which ones they wanted to buy and I noticed a lot of them were standing around trying to decide which pair of shoe they wanted to invest in. I mean the shoes are quite an investment!

using Instagram to promote a sample sale

Woman trying to figure out which pair to buy.

Using Instagram to promote a sample sale event

 

It was actually also really nice that they served complimentary coffee and pastries which is a plus! I think that at any given time that a company is trying to promote an event on Instagram, it’s also a good idea to hashtag the post to specific tags so that people searching through tags can also find it. Instagram has definitely become my go to place for finding things, I typically use it to look hairstyles, study brands, and also observe brand strategy through different accounts.

Instagram has come a long way from just being a phone little app on your iPhone to give your photos a cool filter that you can share with your friends. It has become such a great way to sell products, to promote and gain brand awareness, and many more! Its a great way to showcase your brand or your work so that you can build and engage with an audience.

Some great ways to engage with people by promoting your content:

  • Encourage contests and have your customers tag you in their posts
  • Ask your audience questions, it provides great market research into their consumer habits
  • Experiment with different postings, something that people would respond to. Maybe a product in different colors or a variation? Maybe some inspiration photos or some process photos to show people the behind the scenes workings of your company or brand.

 

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Is WordPress right for you?

Is WordPress right for you?

Do you like learning how to do things on your own?

Or maybe you have a hobby, side hustle, portfolio, or a business that you want to build a website for?

Depending on how fast you learn and how patient you are, you too can create a WordPress site from scratch.

But there are also a good amount of people who don’t want to put in the time into creating a WordPress website and want to focus more on running or building their business. And this is also ok, because why spend time and energy on something that someone else does better than you at probably a faster turn around time? You’d be better off hiring someone to do it for you so you can focus on the things you love. Back in the day there was no easy way to create your own website, there was only a web designer or developer to help you code the page from scratch and that could take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.

If you come from the early days of the Internet from the early 2000s like I did, If you are a small business with 1-10 employees and you want to Maximize your budget, you’ll want to read this carefully. And….maybe this is where you fall in, a small business owner or founder of a startup who wants to get something quick up and running online for a low cost. And….you want to learn and be in control of managing your website and your content, to be able to update your site when you want and however you want. For me it is so easy, I manage three websites and I want to be able to blog when I want to or upload new products or images on my website without having to contact a developer and waiting to have them change something minuscule on my site for an expensive amount of money. If your business changes quite frequently, then you need to have a website that you can change whenever you want. It will serve you well to keep reading.

A quick rundown on WordPress and what it is:

WordPress is a CMS, there is a big difference between a WordPress.com and a WordPress.org site. Can you guess what it is? WordPress.com is the platform to host your site while WordPress.org is the product that can be installed on a self-hosted hosting site. Just like Squarespace, Weebly, and Wix, WordPress.com is in the same category. It is a platform. WordPress.org however is a content management system, a software that you can install on your hosting site. It’s well worth doing because you can customize the css, PHP, and customize the functionality of the site to your heart’s desire! However a WordPress cms can be installed on any hosting site. And let’s not make this more complicated than it needs to be.

A hosting site is simply a place to host your website and web address or domain. It’s like the place you house your website, where you can keep it safe and comfy. If you have several small websites or businesses you’re better off getting a hosting package, most hosting sites like 1and1.com allow you more than 1 website to host. You could be paying for a whole set of websites hosted in one place for a lot less versus other independent platforms like Squarespace that charges $16 a month and you can’t even change or add a 2nd website. But only you can decide what’s the best option for you.

 

WordPress may be right for you if:

  • You have a willingness to learn new things
  • Are patient with learning a new platform
  • Like to figure things out on your own
  • You’re okay with doing the work and have time.

My favorite places to find WordPress themes:

Station Seven WordPress

Superfly WordPress Themes

Divi Theme from Elegant Themes

Divi Themes Store – Layouts for Divi

I’m not a spokesperson or affiliate of WordPress in any way but having access to something quite powerful with the possibility of doing more is freedom. There are quite a few components involved, more detail on that in a later future post! Like this article? Share it on social media!

The Business of Fine Art Podcast

The Business of Fine Art Podcast

I had the opportunity to participate in a podcast discussion a few months ago,  back in November of 2016 and I forgot to post it!

We chat about how to find clients, how to build your core audience online with social media, how to generate opportunities for yourself, and we also talk about some of the early mistakes we went through starting out. Check it out because there are a lot of good advice from two other professionals that were also in the discussion.

There’s also a few really good podcasts on Networking, Hustling Your Career, and Getting into Games & Animation that are also worth checking out. And an archived section from past years on Portfolio advice, to resume and to building your career as a creative and artist.

Check it out here!