How to get more likes on Facebook

Sassy Branding“I know Facebook can be good for business, but I don’t know what to say…” sound familiar? Facebook is all about being social, that’s why it’s called Social Media. There’s no need to be stuffy and boring when you’re sharing information and news on your business page, just be yourself. People want to connect with people, that’s why it’s important to be social, transparent and engaging. Still sound too hard? OK, try these steps… Show your personality: Inject a bit of humour into your posts, be a little bit vulnerable and share some daily experiences. That doesn’t mean telling us what you had for breakfast (unless it was something amazing in an exotic country), but things that make your heart sing. For example, I recently toured Italy with my art tutor and classmates, and we painted every day in the local Italian towns (I had to keep pinching myself – it was AMAZING!!), so I shared some of my musings and photos about that trip. The response was great, for some people it brought back memories, others were inspired to travel and others talked about their desire to paint, or dance or sing… Your vulnerability gives others permission to do the same and share their thoughts and feelings. Share your knowledge: Tell us why you’re the expert in your field. Share stories of encounters with clients, talk about the great outcomes you’ve had and really importantly, tell us how your clients have benefitted from your services or products. Post testimonials. Give us some tips that are relevant to what you offer. For example, I have a ‘Tip of the Day’ and post one sentence that might be useful to someone out there, such as “Use white vinegar to wash windows, it’s cheap, environmentally friendly and works a treat!” If you don't have any tips, jump on to google and find some. Use images: Images are powerful and a great way to engage people. It’s statistically proven that pictures and graphics get more likes and comments than plain text. Personally I like to use both and when I do post images, I mostly use ones I’ve created myself and try to make sure my branding is on it somewhere. So now you’re thinking; “Well it’s alright for you, you’re a designer” – true that. But there’s a groovy little program called picmonkey, it’s free and easy to use to make your own graphics. Go on, give it a try! See that pretty quote up there on the left? I posted that graphic on Facebook the other day and it got more than 50 shares… what a great way to organically promote your business! There are heaps of other ways to engage and connect on Facebook, but try these for starters and see how you go. Oh, and the other thing that’s really important is consistency. Post at least once a day. It’s the same principle as branding, the more you do it, the more people will get to know you, trust you and share your stuff. Mix it up, be creative and have fun! Have you got any other ideas? Share them here... Back to Previous Posts

Editing and tossing stuff out

Red ButtonA few months ago I had the pleasure of Nikki Parkinson's company in my wardrobe. That's right, in my wardrobe. There's not a lot of space in there so it was a bit of a squeeze, but we had great results.

Let me explain... Nikki is a Stylist, an award winning blogger and writer. I'd been thinking about getting her to pop in and help me out with my overwhelming amount of clothing, to refine my choices, toss out the old, mix up the good and burn the ugly.

It took some courage but I finally did it and I have about one third of my clothes left, the rest were bundled into big green garbage bags ready for Lifeline. I was amazed at how much lighter I felt!

Yes, my choices are fewer but I can create multiple 'looks' by mixing and matching a few different pieces (all of which are either red, black, grey, red, white or red - I'm a self-confessed red junkie) with my growing selection of scarves (almost a fetish) and jewellery, so that keeps me looking and feeling fresh.

So if you're thinking about freshening up your look, if you're wanting more style and a desire to feel great every time you walk out the door, engage a stylist and edit your wardrobe. You'd be surprised what nuggets of gold are lurking in there!

Nikki's website is Styling You - go pay her a visit, she's very stylish!

How much are you worth?

CoinsLast week I decided to put my prices up. I was feeling frazzled, over-worked, under-paid and running around like a chook with its head cut off. So I added 10% to my normal prices and sent a quote to a lady I'd seen that morning, and I got my first rejection. Hmmm... now apparently this is a good thing, if you don't get complaints about your prices it's supposed to mean you're too cheap. So that's OK. Or is it?

I sat with it for a few days and imagined living a life of luxury, the mansion on the hill, drinking pina coladas every day and working less hours for more money, you know, all those clichés. It felt lonely.  And I came to realise that none of that is what makes me happy. What gives me joy is helping other business people to make their dreams tangible, to use my skills to take their ideas and turn them into something that can be seen and touched. To give their business an identity that resonates with them and makes them proud. That, my friend, just lights my fire and gets me super excited!

So, I've decided I'm not in it for the big money. If I could afford to, I'd do this for free, seriously. Because I love it. But the reality is I need to eat and pay the bills and put fuel in my car, so I have to ask for money in exchange for my design services. This of itself is, in my estimation, an indication of the value of what I do. In return I value the services and skills that others can offer me, and I'm more than happy to pay them for it, so what goes around comes around.

I used to have a lot of trouble asking for money in exchange for my services, but as I learn to acknowledge that what I offer adds enormous value - not to mention the fact that I have years of experience and a hard-earned uni degree - it's becoming easier.

Ultimately though, the thing that gives me joy and happiness is the thing I get to do every day. I wonder how many people can honestly say that their job makes them happy? I suspect there are more of us every day as we begin to understand the importance of happiness, and that's a wonderful thing. What makes you happy?

What if facebook disappeared tonight?

I was wondering today, where would we be without Facebook? I don't know about you, but I think I've become quite dependent on it. One of the main reasons I use facebook is to find out about events in my local area. Gone are the days when you waited for an invitation in the mail or had to buy the paper to see what was on. I also keep in touch with friends, family and clients via facebook and it's an excellent referral tool for my business.

So, where would we be without facebook? If you're in business, are you entirely dependent on facebook for connecting with your clients, posting events and marketing your business? If so, and facebook disappeared overnight, what would you do? How would you contact your clients and potential market? Do you have a database of everyone's details so that you can contact them outside of facebook? If not, it might be time to get one together hey?

None of us own facebook, so we really have no control over it or the content we place within it. It could quite easily vanish and there's nothing we can do about it! Scary eh? The smart thing to do is make sure you have other avenues where you can build and develop your online business presence,  for example; a website, a blog, and other social media accounts like Linkedin and Twitter.

So, what would you do if facebook disappeared? How would you feel? I'd  love to know.

Blog Challenge Day # 4

4 January 2011
TV Sign
You don't need that many apostrophes

There seems to be an abundance of apostrophes in the world. They’re popping up in all the wrong places. They’re in DVD’s and TV’s and CD’s. They’re even turning up in Video’s and Hot Chicken’s. The other day I saw one on a car, advertising Pizza’s.

Portraying your business as professional at all times should include some knowledge of spelling and punctuation (although these days it’s hard to know what’s right and what isn’t in relation to texting and tweeting). So check your apostrophe quota and cut back if you’re over-doing it. Be fair and share.

Hint: There are only two instances when apostrophes are grammatically correct:
1.    Ownership. For example “This is John’s new car”
2.    Abbreviation. For example “I can’t do that today, I haven’t got time” Can’t is a combination of two words; can and not. Haven’t is also a combination of two words; have and not joined together and abbreviated.

Oh, and here’s a grammar thing that really really irritates me to the core; instead of saying “I could have done that” I can’t count how many times I’ve heard people say “I could of done that”. Of?? No people, that is SO wrong on so many levels. Grrr…

Can you suggest any others?