San Antonio Visits Houston and Houston Influencers #SAinHouston

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A great big thank you to Local Table and Local Bar in Katy, Texas for hosting the SA in Houston Influencer Meet and Greet! Twenty Houston area influencers were invited to meet with representatives from Visit San Antonio and Sea World Texas. What better way to get an opportunity to work with a brand than to meet them face to face? Influencers had the opportunity to share their ideas, audience, accomplishments and more while learning more about the travel opportunities that our neighbors in San Antonio have to offer.

A big thank you to Shalanda Turner of Live Life In Style, Samantha Foster of The Pink Envelope and Melissa Moreno of MissieRosiesViews for sharing their photos with us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Blogging Conferences: I’m going to be at ShiftCon 2018! Will you? #ShiftCon

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ShiftCon

Are you still finalizing your blogging conference schedule for 2017-2017? I know I am! I’m so excited to be speaking at ConnectHer17 and also facilitating at ShiftCon2018. Two very different conferences but both with unique learning and networking opportunities for businesses, entrepreneurs, bloggers, and influencers.   ShiftCon is the only eco-wellness influencer conference in the US and after 2016 in New Orleans it is returning to California.

You may be thinking, “But Lisa, I’m not a ‘green’ blogger.  But you maybe more eco-well than you think you are. Do you worry about what your children eat? Do you research what cosmetics you use before you buy them? Do you look at labels before you buy a sunscreen? Are you going gluten free? Are you making changes to your lifestyle for health and wellness and sharing with your readers? Maybe you are great at creating crafts and recycling products and “trash.” Whatever it is that you are doing and sharing may be more eco-friendly than you think. You can learn how to do all those things better – AND -how you can better share them with your audience. Not to mention the chance to learn from other influencers, network and so much more!

ShiftCon 2018 Details

ShiftCon Social Media Conference will be February 1-3, 2018 in Irvine, California at Hotel Irvine. ShiftCon was born, by Leah Segedie of Mamavation.com, out of the idea that together we can create a profound impact on the world around us.  I first started working with Leah when it was “BookieWe can literally shift the way we eat, raise our families and our impact on the environment. That shift has begun, and now it’s time to come together and leverage our collective voice. ShiftCon was created to give wellness and eco-friendly influencers a place to network, share ideas, learn from experts, empower one another and organize their efforts into social change.

What happens at ShiftCon?

  • Professional workshops on social media growth, wellness topics & ways to increase your revenue without compromising your values
  • Keynote messages from professionals who are pioneers in their field
  • An exhibitor hall with over 50 brands and organizations who want to work with influencers
  • Networking with hundreds of your peers
  • Fitness events and NonGMO meals

 

 

Get Connected with ShiftCon 20178and find out more about speakers, topics, events and opportunities to volunteer! 

Visit the Website: http://www.shiftconmedia.com

Follow on Twitter: Twitter.com/shiftconmedia

Like on Facebook.com/ShiftCon

Are you ready to register for ShiftCon 2018?

Here’s my referral link. I would appreciate it if you would use and am excited to see you there!

Want to be involved? Apply to be a speaker, a sponsor or a volunteer at ShiftCon 2018

From the 2016 conference:

ShiftCon 2016 Videos On Sale For a Limited Time

ShiftCon 2016 was very memorable in the fun loving city of New Orleans. Did you miss out on all the fun? Or did you miss out on some workshops you wanted to see because they were during the same time as another one you went to? Well, we have solved you problem! ShiftCon is offering workshops from 2016 on sale TODAY. We have broken up the video series into two categories for you: wellness and professional. The wellness videos concentrate on science, wellness, public health, safer products & food, sustainability and justice issues. The professional videos focus on helping you build up your social media platforms, make more money and sharpen your skills.

Sale Starts Today and Ends Friday 6/16

We are offering you a discount to purchase your videos THIS WEEK and giving you $50 off each video set. Both sets are $99 each and if you take advantage of our sale you can have one for only $49! And if you decide to pick up both of them, they will be less than $100 for all the workshops at ShiftCon last year. If you would like to purchase one or both sets of videos, use code “shiftconwithlove” at checkout.

The Wellness Video Track

The ShiftCon 2016 Wellness Track: Click here to purchase. This series has eight videos. Speakers include Pete Meyers, Dr. Jessica Shade, Amy Love, and more! This video track includes the following:

Session 1: Dropping Science – Pete Myers of Environmental Sciences takes on Endocrine Disruption and Causes

Session 3: The Race Forward – How Challenging Racial Stereotypes Benefit Eco-Friendly Industry Growth

Session 9: Hot Science – How Organic Agriculture Improves the Environment

Session 10: What the F-ck Are We Eating – An Overview of Labels

Session 12: Hot Science – How Organic Supports a Healthy You

Session 13: From Garbage Islands to Poisonous Plastics – Solutions to Safeguard Our Children, Health, Family & the Ocean

Session 14: The Future of Sustainable Food Production in a Time of Climate Change. Sponsored by California Almonds

Session 15: Overcoming Obstacles – Keeping It Real When Life Is Crazy

The Professional Video Track

ShiftCon 2016 Professional Track videos: Click here to purchase. This series has seven videos. Speakers include Robyn O’Brien, JP Sears, Anya Katts and more! This video track includes the following:

Session 2: Going Pro – Using Email to Grow Your Audience and Turn it into a Profitable Business

Session 4: Backlash and Blowback – How to Navigate the Frontline, from Hashtags to Haters, to the Strength of the Human Heart with Robyn O’Brien

Session 5: From Pitch to Publish – How to Navigate the Realm of Traditional Publishing

Session 6: How to Successfully Pitch Traditional Media Outlets

Session 7: SEO Tips, Techniques, and New Technologies You Can Easily Utilize to Build More Traffic and Expand Your Audience

Session 8: How to Use Video to Grow Your Presence

Session 11: Stories, Not Selfies – Instagram Awesomeness for Influencers

 

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Blogger Fam Travel Opportunity in San Antonio, Texas

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New Creative Media (home to Money Saving Parent, AtoZ Learning Tree and GreatBeerNow) brings you this this super summer getaway blogger fam travel opportunity in San Antonio, Texas on the Riverwalk!

Now accepting applications for a blogger fam opportunity in San Antonio, TX. The Riverwalk Valencia had completed a 10 million dollar renovation and they want YOU social media influencers to unveil the updates!

Bloggers will receive a two night stay at the Riverwalk Valencia for up to 4 guests (including the blogger) on June 9 and 10, 2017. However, please note this is not a “family” vacation type of event. Applicants can not have greater than 4 in the party.

Bloggers will be responsible for the social media shares of their guests. Guests are required to share on their social media channels.

Also included in the event are dining experiences at the hotel (brand new Dorrego’s Restaurant & Naranja Bar) and additional opportunities (either at Valencia, Riverwalk or greater San Antonio area) MAY be made available at a later date.

Limited spots available.

Accepted bloggers will be invited to the Facebook group dedicated to this campaign for all information. Invite will be issued via “friends” or email. In some cases both as needed. If not responded to within 24 hours the spot will be filled by another applicant.

Bloggers will provide:
On- site social media campaign: Social media support on site during the blogger fam travel event June 9 and 10th at the Hotel Valencia Riverwalk. This support shall include social media shares, interactions with other influencers, as well as any other appropriate interactions with audience and sponsor(s).

Blog content: including up 2+ no follow links to the hotel and 3 or more images.

Social media shares of content (up to 4 or more)

Additional content and social media as may be required in the event of additional sponsors.

Live content is appreciated in the form of any video (Periscope, Live, Snapchat or Instagram) however is not required.

Use of FTC Disclosures and no follow links is required.

Travel mileage reimbursement is available and will be established.  Payments will be issued after the event is finalized.

Please leave any questions you may have in the comments section of the application.

APPLICATIONS CLOSED MAY 21, 2017.

Complete your application here >>>>https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScZyaXS9OeyExpMLib2xd4Bwg3a4FcTGMCsvIxxVM-88oBcDw/viewform?usp=sf_link

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6 Personal Branding Lessons Every Working Professional Can Learn from Trump and Clinton

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Today we have a very special guest post and content from Karen Leland.  CEO of Sterling Marketing Group, a branding and marketing strategy and implementation firm helping CEO’s, businesses and teams develop stronger personal and business brands. She is also the author of  “The Brand Mapping Strategy: Design, Build, and Accelerate Your Brand.”

Trump vs Clinton Branding Lessons Learned

Despite having the two highest unfavorable ratings of any major presidential candidates in history, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have outlasted their competitors—and one of them is going to become the leader of the free world.

What does success in the face of such highly unfavorable ratings teach us about personal branding? And what can working professionals at every level learn from it?

Below I examine both candidates’ personal branding successes, challenges and resulting lessons for us all in six specific areas. According to the predictive Brand Mapping Matrix I’ve devised, the success of any brand—in business, politics or otherwise—boils down to how the brand performs across these six key dimensions. Here’s a look at each dimension, including exactly how each candidate fared therein as well as the correlated Personal Brand Takeaways, to help other enterprising professionals achieve in kind.
1. Develop Your Brand by Design, Not Default. Know precisely where you are so you can discern where you need to go.
Trump: The Donald has clearly defined himself as the billionaire Maverick, owing no one anything. Trump has carefully crafted his image as the anti-establishment candidate proudly going against the grain. As a general strategy, it has allowed him to get away with more than the typical business leader or politician normally would.
Clinton: Despite her best efforts to promote herself as “the qualified candidate,” many Americans have by default stamped Clinton with the brand of Matron—part of the old guard of Washington politics. Recently she has begun to pivot and is trying to find her way to a brand by design based on straight-talking thoughtfulness.
*** Personal Brand Takeaway: Every business person, from secretary to CEO, needs to start by assessing the personal brand they currently have and be truthful about the degree to which it exists by design—or default. Then they need to take stock of the impact that current brand is having. Is your brand producing the reputation you desire? Is it creating the environment and responses you are looking for? If not, a pivot to a more powerful personal brand may be needed.

2. Anchor Statement. What is the go-to description of who you are and what you do? This is sometimes referred to as an elevator pitch.
Clinton: To date, Mrs. Clinton has made her marketing bottom line “I’m the woman candidate,” but that has not played well with Sanders supporters and younger voters in general. While Clinton’s status as the first woman Presidential nominee is certainly history-making and a proud moment, as an elevator pitch, it’s flawed. She would be better served by focusing on another message (consider Obama’s focus on messages of hope and change, as opposed to his race) that resonates with a wider slice of democrats and the population at large.
Trump: Four words—“Make America Great Again.” This single sentence has become Trump’s signature call to arms, his reason why voters should check the box next to his name come November. The issue Trump will face as the election gets closer is how he will translate this general idea into specific policies.
*** Personal Brand Takeaway: All business people need to be able to present their brand in less than a minute. For example: When at a cocktail party you are asked the standard, “What do you do?” can you answer in a few short sentences that pique the listener’s interest? If not, your anchor statement needs some work. In addition, it’s important to pay attention to how your anchor statement is resonating and landing with your desired audience.
3. Unique Branding Proposition. What is it about what you do, or how you do it, that makes you unique, distinct and special? What sets you apart?
Trump: The presumed Republican nominee, Trump has taken a two-pronged approach to differentiating himself. First off, he is keen to point out (at every possible opportunity) that he is a businessman, as opposed to a career politician. Secondly, his message of “I’m willing to go it alone,” whether it relates to raising money to fund his campaign or being supported by the Republican party, is at the heart of his “why I’m unique” message.
Clinton: Hillary’s strongest point of differentiation to date has been “I’m the woman candidate.” The problem is that too much of her messaging has focused on this, and the voters don’t really seem to care.
*** Personal Brand Takeaway: Positioning yourself by specifically articulating how your brand speaks to the needs of your audience, and the unique way you address those needs, is critical to creating an effective personal brand. And the more specific you can be, the better.
4. Brand Tone and Temperament. What is the consistent mood, tenor, quality, character and manner you bring to all your interactions?
Clinton: Clinton’s tone has consistently been one of a serious Implementer. The tonal subtexts to her speeches ring with “I’m experienced, I know what I’m doing and I can get the job done.” Her demeanor, while dignified, is missing an accessibility (and even friendliness) that voters need to see in order to wholeheartedly embrace her as their Presidential candidate. However, given the alternative, it may be enough to win her the highest office in the land.
Trump: Trump is always Trump. To some, his brash pronouncements play with a tone of rugged individualism. For others, (even some members of his own party) his demeanor shows up as angry, and even childish in cases. So much so that the question of his temperamental suitability to be President has become a Democratic rallying cry. Likewise, Trump’s tone has some Republicans begrudgingly supporting him for the sole “anyone but Hillary” reason. Not exactly the inspiring message you would want your personal brand to create.
*** Personal Brand Takeaway: What you say has power, but the way you say it—your tone—has just as much impact. Every businessperson needs to be aware of how their brand tone is coming across (online and off) and adjust where necessary. In addition, taking any tone to an extreme will always backfire: Too serious or too snarky both harm a brand in the long run.
5. Signature Story. Why do you do what you do? What’s the essential story that brought you to this place?
Trump: Rather than focus on a narrative based on how his past has informed his bid for the Presidency, Trump is pointing to the present problems America faces as his reason for seeking office. But by doing so, he is missing the opportunity to tie his brand to a bigger, more historical reason for running.
Clinton: After her win in California on Super Tuesday, Hillary Clinton spoke about her mother, the influence she had on her life and how the way she grew up set her on a path to public service. Clinton has skillfully integrated her history into her narrative and connected the dots from how what she learned there has brought her to here.
*** Personal Brand Takeaway: Never underestimate the power of a good story. A strong (and truthful) narrative about where you came from and what has influenced you to do the work you now do can connect you with your customers, employees and colleagues at a deeper level. Your brand needs to be more than a single sound bite or pithy elevator pitch. Otherwise, you run the risk of damaging your brand when things don’t go exactly as you planned. The best brands feature multiple, complementary messages that weave together to form an accessibly complex and in-depth communication.

6. Signature Services. What are your core competencies?
Clinton: At the heart of Hillary Clinton’s brand is her varied and deep experience in government—and her proven ability to get things done in a political system that makes this challenging at best. Her particular expertise in foreign relations—especially at this time in American’s history—gives her a powerful place to stand as the candidate of choice. She is able and willing to talk about the “how” of the why.
Trump: In almost direct opposition to Clinton, Donald Trump’s brand is rooted in being “not” a government insider—but a business one. Continually providing tough talk about his corporate success, negotiation expertise and business acumen, Trump is presenting voters with the idea of a president who would function more like the CEO of a company than the head of state. While this “non-establishment” message is resonating with many people, the downside is Trump’s lack of specifics and seemingly naïve understanding of how things actually work in Washington and the protocols that keep the wheels turning—thus causing a questioning of his suitability for the job.
*** Personal Brand Takeaway: Know exactly what your brand brings to the table and how it stacks up against your competitors, and craft a powerful way to talk about it that inspires confidence in others. The fulcrum of your brand needs to rest on the material ingredients of your values and commitments.

A standout style (be it a brash Trump or competent Clinton) is a plus, but it will only take you so far. At some point going beyond taking a stand for what you believe in and specifically letting people know how you plan to get there will become a central issue. Think about one area where your personal brand is being expressed more in talk than displayed in action and focus on aligning the two.

 

Karen Leland

Karen Leland is CEO of Sterling Marketing Group, a branding and marketing strategy and implementation firm helping CEO’s, businesses and teams develop stronger personal and business brands. Clients include AT&T, American Express, Marriott Hotels, Apple Computer, LinkedIn and Twitter. She is the best-selling author of 9 books, including her most recent title, “The Brand Mapping Strategy: Design, Build, and Accelerate Your Brand, ” which details proven strategies, best practices and anecdotes from real life brand-building successes to help readers design, build and accelerate a successful brand. Learn more online at www.KarenLeland.com.

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Social Media Influencer Opportunity with Wings Over Houston Airshow

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wings over houston airshow

 

The Wings Over Houston Airshow returns again this year with a unique opportunity for bloggers and podcasters which enjoy sharing local content, history, special events and Houston-centric information. It’s also a unique opportunity to work with the air show which has been voted by USA Today’s Top 10 list as  the 4th BEST Airshow in the U.S.

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Participation in this opportunity includes:

1 item of pre show content with invite to the Twitter party

Participation in the Twitter Party.

Social shares of pre content and throughout your attendance at the show.

Appropriate use of tags, hashtags and disclosure.

Travel to and from the event is not included in this opportunity. Should you need help planning and pitching for travel feel free to ask me for recommendations.

The Houston Airshow is scheduled for Oct. 22 and 23. We have tentatively scheduled the Twitter Party for Oct. 6th.

Thank you for your interest and I look forward to working with you!

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The fourth annual 4th of July #GoHouston blogger fam travel event

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This year New Creative Media celebrates it’s fourth year of the official Go Houston blogger fam travel event. Each year we experience some of the best that Houston has to offer while sharing with our audience the sights, sounds, entertainment, accomodations, dining and more. This year’s participants including

Lisa Carey of MoneySavingParent.com 

Shalanda Turner of Live Life in Style

Nasreen Stump of Traveling Moms 

Alba Garza of Independent Mami 

Participating Sponsors

Our participating sponsors included:

wydham1

Wyndham West Houston/Energy Corridor

ten bar and lounge

Ten Bar and Lounge – Lobster Ravioli

Ten Bar – located in the Wyndam

Houston CVB – CityPass

grimaldi's pizzeria

Grimaldi’s Coal Brick Oven Pizza

elaine turner

Elaine Turner

 

hotel sorella

Hotel Sorella – City Centre

Radio Milano – City Centre

 

 

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The Comicpalooza 2016 Official Blogger Campaign

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comicpalooza 2016

 

This year New Creative Media joins Comicpalooza and Houston First for the fourth year. In prior years we have been part of the blogger program and in 2015 was the coordinator for the Podcaster and Blogger Program. This year we again returned as a Social Media Consultant, Blogger Campaign Coordinator and Press Junket Organizer.

About Comicpalooza

Comicpalooza convened on Father’s Day weekend – June 17-19, 2016 – at the George R. Brown Convention Center.
Comicpalooza is Texas’ largest pop culture event, catering to a wide variety of interests, including anime, fantasy, science fiction, art, film, fashion, high profile guest appearances and more.
It reaches a multi-generational audience with 2,000 hours of programming.
Over the past six years, Comicpalooza has grown to become one of Houston’s largest consumer conventions.
In 2015 alone, Comicpalooza hosted more than 40,000 attendees and booked 16,000 hotel rooms and generated a $20 million economic impact to the City of Houston.

Fun Facts
• First ever US appearance of the Aliens cast, including three-time Academy Award nominee Sigourney Weaver and Bill Paxton, marking the 30th Anniversary of James Cameron’s hit blockbuster film (1986).
• Reunion of Norman Reedus, Sean Patrick Flanery and the cast of the cult classic, The Boondock Saints.
• Norman Reedus will also be joined by fellow The Walking Dead star, Lennie James.
• Other notable appearances include Underworld star, Kate Beckinsale, world-renowned wrestler Ric Flair, Lou Ferrigno (The Incredible Hulk), Eliza Dushku (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Walter Koenig (Star Trek), David Prowse (Darth Vader, Star Wars) and Carl Weathers (Rocky, Predator, Happy Gilmore).

FX Series Sons of Anarchy star Charlie Hunnam is returning to the Lone Star State to meet with fans at Comicpalooza, Texas’ largest comic and pop culture event.  Hunnam is scheduled to appear on both Saturday, June 18 and Sunday, June 19 at the event. Hunnam is honoring the Sons of Anarchy VIP ticket holders from Space City Comic Con, offering them free autographs Wolf Studios will honor unredeemed VIP photo op vouchers from Space City Comic Con. In addition, Comicpalooza will issue one free adult 3-day pass to each of those SoA VIP ticket holders. Space City Comic Con and Comicpalooza are separate entities and are not connected to each other in any way.

Beyond the Comic Book
• 1,000 hours of tabletop and video gaming including an “Indie Gamer Alley” featuring a select group of entrepreneurs beta testing their games with a public audience and the Hearthstone Fireside Gathering and Tournament presented by Microsoft.
• Largest literary festival in Texas featuring more than 100 authors and 3 New York Times best sellers.
• Comicpalooza Film Festival to showcase 1,200 short films and 10 hours of feature films submitted by directors from around the world. Program will include exclusive Q&As with directors and select cast members.
• The Comicpalooza MakerSpace will showcase engineering marvels in interactive booths.
• Houston Community College presents CodeFest 2.3, challenging participants to create an entire website from scratch during the event. Students who participate will receive credit.
• Live sports, including professional wrestling matches, roller derby bouts, Quidditch matches and Monster Energy BMX stunts.
• Comicpalooza’s “Artist Alley” will host more than 200 local and regional talents and a PTSD expert artist will educate guests on art as therapy. Comicpalooza will host an art auction, raising money for the Ronald McDonald Charity House Charities of Greater Houston/Galveston.
• Japan’s first and largest “J-Fashion” house, Baby the Stars Shine Bright, will host a fashion show to display their creations for Comicpalooza attendees.

Comicpalooza partnered with Growtix, an event management software company, to create an app where attendees can download important event information including celebrity profiles, maps and the latest schedules. The Comicpalooza app can be downloaded for free from the App Store and Google Play.

comicpalooza 2016

Comicpalooza 2016 Bloggers

Pre Con Content

 

Post Con Content

 

Comicpalooza 2016 Twitter Party #CPHou

Additionally this year was the Comicpalooza first every Twitter party including special guest Ming Chen, with official blogger participants and hosted by New Creative Media.

Find all coverage of the event by using the #CPHou on your favorite social media channels.

 

Press Junket and Bloggers Meet and Greet

A big thank you to SkyHouse Houston for providing the beautiful rooftop lounge for both the Press Junket and the Blogger Meet and Greet. Celebrity and Talent Guest included Eva Bella and Livvy Stubenrauch, Ming Chen, Anita Long (the CEO, of Long Films Studio and President of Women in Film and Television Houston), James Morrison – FBI Cyber Crimes, Lou Ferrigno, Chuck Huber, Sandra Joseph Taylor  – Author The Scholarship Guide and CEO and Founder of EDU Funding Guidance, Dr. Linda Seger –script consultant, seminar leader, and author of four books on spirituality and nine books on screenwriting includingWhen Women Call the Shots: The Developing Power and Influence of Women in Television and Film and Ravi Brahmbhatt  – Director of Student Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Adjunct Faculty
Houston Community College. 

Participating sponsors who made everyone’s day with delicious food and drink include YourPie Houston, Cadelaris Washington Ave., Karbach Brewing and Dripping Springs Vodka.

Each event yielded millions of social media impressions and hundreds of thousands in social media reach. Please contact New Creative Media for more details and to arrange your next Twitter Party, Press Junket, Interview or Blogger/Social Media Influencer Campaign.

 

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Using the Paypal invoice feature for your small business needs

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Whether your are a new blogger or an experienced blogger, a small business owner or freelancer you may have been asked if “you accept Paypal.” You may have also been asked to submit an invoice via PayPal or by some clients to accept credit cards. All of these things can be done, making PayPal an efficient way of keeping track of payments and expenses as well as what is outstanding or unpaid, and providing a quick way to send a reminder. I find PayPal (other than the fees) to be one of my favorite methods of handling my small business finances.

+ The information provided is based on the belief that you currently have a PayPal account. If you don’t have one, it can be easily created by visiting Paypal.com. If additional assistance is needed when setting up your account or using it for business be sure to talk to the helpful customer support system.

creating a paypal invoice

Log into your account and select the Send and Request option.

creating a paypal invoice

Select Create Invoice.

paypal invoice feature

 

Select the type of invoice you need to submit. I usually use the default function because my invoices usually are a flat rate sum but I like being able to detail what it is. You can also use the amount function if you are charging a rate only. Select hours if you charge by the hour (example 4 hours at $55 an hour).  The invoice number and date are automatic, however you may want to change the invoice number if you have for example submitted other invoices using an alternate method.

If you need to you can create your own template, however the three provided do offer most the itemization that they need.

Optional items: You can upload your logo and use your logo on your invoice. Other optional items include changing the due date, reference number, currency or due date. Additional options include attaching files like reports.

Include the email address to the person you need to bill. Once you have included their address it can be saved and used  repeatedly by starting to type the name. You can also send to multiple parties. For example I’ve had some clients where I send it to the accountant for payment, but also to the marketing department so that she would know it had been submitted and be aware of where it was in the process.

paypal invoicing

I like to end my invoices in the notes section with “Thank you for your business,” or other note of appreciation. I leave other correspondence for email messages. Terms and conditions can be stated, for example my contractor included a note about the warranty on the parts and labor for the repairs made in my house and attached the files of the items used and hours worked.

PREVIEW: It’s important to preview and review your invoices before sending. The wrong number can cause difficulties with your client. You can also save them to be sent at a later date should you get called away from the office.

SEND: Click send and you will receive an email message to the email account associated with your Paypal account confirming your invoice has been issued. An email will be sent to the client to pay and they may use their debit or credit card or their PayPal funds available in their account.

It’s that easy. I like that I can also go through the unpaid invoices quickly and easily with the sorting function or I can look at the full list of all paid and unpaid. Use the “REMIND” button to remind clients that they invoice remains unpaid when it has not been paid by the time agreed upon.

Remember PayPal just charge a fee but then again most of these types of services as well as even some banks do. Consult your accountant to determine if it is a tax deductible expense.

This is just the basics of using the PayPal invoice feature, be sure to contact their customer service department for additional information as well as assistance should you have any problems.

 

 

 

 

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Facebook Pages Feed: Instant engagement and feed information

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How to and Benefits of Using Facebook Pages Feed

A great number of bloggers I know frequently say “just don’t know what to share on Facebook.” They don’t want to be egocentric and only share content from their blog. But what they do want is engaging content, information and hopefully not have to pay for the increasing their engagement through the use of boost or ads. One really fun way of finding new content for my pages Facebook Feed is to look to use the “Pages Feed” tool available on each of your Facebook Business Pages.

How to Use the Facebook Pages Feed Tool

facebook pages

Start with making sure you are following the blogs, brands and news sources you know and love. For example, if you frequently create and/or share recipes there are probably a number of food brands out there that you follow like Red Gold or Hillshire Farm.

facebook pages feed tool

Check your Facebook Pages Feed when you are looking for interesting content to share.

facebook pages feed tool

Read down through the pages feed content and when you find something you think your readers will enjoy share it.

Be sure to include the original content and create a status post which not only includes a tag back to the original source, but add a few comments or thoughts. Returning to the food brand idea – say Hillshire Farms posts a recipe. You could share it, tag Hillshire Farms and indicate that you may try it tonight – after all it’s easy and you already have all the ingredients at home. Then maybe ask them to share what they are making for dinner that night.

Benefits of Using the Facebook Pages Feed Tool

There are actually several benefits to using the Facebook Pages Feed Tool.

Stay on top of the brands, blogs, services and events which are of interest to you as a blogger and writer, but also those which may be of interest to your audience. 

  • The key to this: know your audience. Look at other posts and see what types of content they respond to on your Facebook business page. What makes them like, share or comment.

Using the Facebook Pages Feed Tool saves you time.

  • I also use Google alerts, but the pages feed tool helps me quickly and easily stay on top of the information I need and want to know from brands, businesses, services and events. The less time I have to spend on research the more time I can spend on other things like graphics, social media, content, images, and learning more about the tools of my trade.

Be seen as an expert in your “field.” 

  • Using the Facebook Pages Feed tool you are “in the know.” So could everyone else be if we actually saw EVERYTHING which those we follow share on Facebook. But thanks to the Facebook algorithm we don’t. As a result, you may have knowledge which others don’t. This creates a trusting relationship with your audience as they continue to see you as knowing what they want to know you that you will share it.

Creates engagement. 

  • Not just engagement with your audience, though that may be a result too. But you will also create engagement with the brands, businesses, events, services etc., which you want to get to know and which you want to get to know you. I know I check to see (and I know brands do too) who has shared what from my Facebook feed and as a result use those opportunities to not only learn what my audience likes, but also to create opportunities for engagement, conversation and relationships with those I want to work with in the future. Brands will do the same thing. Noticing that your ability to share and create opportunities for others to know what they are doing, will continue to bring you to their attention and possibly lead to an email or private message and an opportunity to work with them on a more official basis.

 

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10 reasons to Switch to a Custom Domain Name

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reasons to own a custom domain name

I did it. I admit it. I was once upon a time a blogspot blogger. I started out with a blog, just for fun while I was freelance writing for Yahoo and other online and print magazines. I know how easy it can be, but I also know that at some point you may want to grow beyond where those types of sites can take you. Once you are ready to take that step it is time for a custom domain name.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links which are used to support this site and my family. All opinions expressed are 100% my own, based on my own experiences and education.

 10 reasons to switch to a custom domain name

  • Increased opportunities to make money. Have you ever wondered why you didn’t get an opportunity you applied for in a network, affiliate company or group? Or even get accepted to some blogger networks? Some have rules that they can’t accept anyone without a custom domain name.
  • You control what people see when they “Google” you. Did you know having a custom domain name can actually make some of your less than complimentary posts, comments, or pictures drop further down in search engines? On the other hand, it increases your presence in search engines as they identify you with your brand and your blog. It also can translate into increased page views – as visitors are more likely to click on a custom domain name link than those which are not.
  • You have control over your online presence. Some people purchase their name as a domain name just so no one else can have it. They don’t plan on using it, but it makes sure that no one else uses it for less than honorable purposes.
  • It’s a tax write off as a business expense. Both your hosting and domain name purchases are tax write offs in the expense column. If you are making any money you know how important those can be, no matter how small.
  • FREE – doesn’t always mean free. It can come with a pretty hefty price. You know all that work you have put into your images and content. You may own it, but someone else (WordPress, Weebly, Google) actually OWNS your site. This means that they in essence own your content. They can shut you down and no one even has to tell you why. All your hard work is GONE.
  • As a blogger your online presence is evidence of your brand. How often have you visited a website and quickly “bounced” off of it because you didn’t think it professional? Because it wasn’t well organized? Unfortunately, not having your own custom domain says that to those who visit your site.
  • You are limited in what you can do – from the types of design you can have to the types of ads you can use. Sure you can depend on sponsored content as your only source of income but why would you? And why wouldn’t you create a website, presence and brand which shows off who YOU really are and what your expertise and interests are?  Do you want to be limited in your business efforts?
  • Customer support. How often have you encountered difficulties on your site and have to spend time looking for how to fix them? And how often have you just given up and let it go or moved everything else around to accommodate the problem. I’m not saying you don’t have site outages or other problems, but when you do have your hosting company, who is quite often your domain name provider can provide you with customer and technical support.
  • Other forms of revenue. Do you have a store? Create printables? Plan on adding e-books, clothing or other branded items to your blogging business? Adding yourname.weebly.com simply is advertising for your free service not for your business.
  • Which brings me to no. 10. Don’t take it personal – but in the online world it’s not considered professional. With a custom domain name you now have a professional business email address in addition to your blog.  If you don’t take the time, effort and money to invest in something as minor as a custom domain name then others aren’t going to consider you a professional blogger- and they may not be willing to invest in you and your skills.  It adds to your credibility as a social media influencer, author, expert or other business owner.

Getting a domain name and hosting service can cost you less than the price of a couple of visits to Starbucks each month depending on your services. I’ve purchased domain names for $1.99.  Purchasing a custom domain name doesn’t have to cost a lot of money and in the end it may even make you much more than you will ever spend on it.

There are many hosting services available both where you purchase your domain name or you can purchase them separately. You can start with “baby” plans and always increase your services to more bandwidth, faster speed, and more image storage when that day comes around. But it won’t come around as long as you let someone else have control over your online presence.

 

Resources: 

HostGator has made WordPress a breeze! Optimized WP Packages for as low as $12.95 a month!

To switch from Blogspot to Custom Domain Name

www.whois.net – lists registered domain names

Yahoo Small Business

GoDaddy.com

Carol Jones/PinkhairedPixels.com 

Debbie Tortorigi/ Langniappe Group  you can also submit a request for a quote under “Project Inquiry”

Affiliate Networks 

shareasale.com

Flexoffers

Impact Radius

Commission Junction

Enroll Now

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