COVID Rant and Stay at Home Activities

COVID Rant and Stay at Home Activities

Anyone else feeling like UGH? I am so over this COVID pandemic! I feel like it’s been a year since we locked down. Summer and warm weather, the little bit we had, definitely helped my mood, but now we are heading into fall and winter, not my fav time of year. I pretty much hate Nov, Dec, Jan & Feb. I mean… I live in Seattle, it gets pretty BLEAK, weather wise that is. The lock down for me has not been a major adjustment in terms of work, I have run my business from home for 14+ years. But wait! All of the sudden my husband was ordered to work from home, ugh! We’ve been married 35 years and we get along fine, mainly because he would go off to work everyday, and I would take trips to Cali every few months. But now, he is here, and everywhere I am, ALL DAY, locked in this house, luckily I love my house, but we’re together 24/7. OH! and now our 34 year old son is back home. I mean… I love this kid, but he is a grown ass man livin’ all over my house, and all up in my business, somebody could end up dead, jk, don’t kill, it’s wrong.

AND the news, ugh, showing people partying and gathering and going to the beach… with NO masks! We’re never going to get rid of this virus. Why are people so stupid? WHY, WHY… I ask you? It’s not a political statement to not wear a mask, it’s absurd stupidity! I’ve seen the people interviewed that say “it’s my right to not wear a mask” I’m guessing, low IQ?!  This rant is actually making me feel better. Anyway… I’m over it, I need to travel, NOW!

And now for the helpful part of this post, ummmm finally Katie. 🙄  Here are some of the things I’m doing during “stay at home” and things you could try to keep you sane and maybe save the life of a family member during this pandemic!

  1. Explore YouTube – OMG! YT has everything! How-to’s, animal rescue, podcasts that use video, TedTalks, learn a new skill, recipes, exercise classes, yoga, therapy, and now they are adding their YT series. I could spend all day searching on YT, I love it!
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  3. Audible Books – Ok so first of all… I have AirPods, THE best investment I’ve ever made! I now go through 4-6 books a month on Audible. I can listen while doing just about everything. I set my phone down 30 feet from where I am going to do my activity and I can listen cordlessly while I garden, do housework, putz in the yard, clean out a closet, puzzle, make dinner, and even while I work, if I’m not coding someone’s website, yikes!
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  5. Podcasts – Again, I use AirPods… SO AWESOME! There are now so many different kinds of podcasts, I have no doubt you will find something you like. Business building, celebrities, serial killer stories, therapy, movie buffs, music maestros, advice, education and cool people (Dax), and the list goes on. Podcasts are available on Apple, Spotify, Stitcher, Podbean, Overcast and more.
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  7. Netflix, Prime, Hulu, HBOMax – There is soooo much to watch… but you need to be selective. Start a few different types of series. Mix it up… pop on and watch one episode of something. Choose a cool doc, like Zac Efron’s Down to Earth. Like MMA and boxing? I do! Tune in to Kingdom on Netflix with Frank Grillo, Jonathan Tucker (my fav guy in the show) and surprisingly good in it is Nick Jonas, who knew. Be sure and choose something light and funny, like EMMY award winning Schitt’s Creek, Parks & Rec or Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, the cars alone get me stoked. How about some stand-up; I like Tom Segura. OH WAIT! Amy Schumer Learns to Cook, Amy and Chris, her Chef husband, turn up the 🔥 on good eats, and she’s so damn funny and lovable, and there’s always a cocktail… just sayin’. OH hey, and there’s nothing like a good HGTV binge! My newest fav is Home Town with big Ben (lovable bear) and Erin from Laurel, Mississippi, so good!
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  9. Music – OMG! a must… you have got to listen to music! I won’t even try and name artists, we all have our own loves. But listen, (pun inteneded) music is the flow, the chi, the rythum… of life! It makes you happy, makes you move, helps you remember, takes you away. Again, airpods… oh my goddess, they make listening to music FREE and flowy and a happy place. Spotify, Amazon Music, Pandora, Apple Music, iHeartRadio, they are all good. Pop on and make some playlists, go down that worm hole, it’s so fun and satisfying… get your groove on!
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  11. Social Media –  People, you have got to limit your social media screen time! #1 – you can get sucked in and lose a few precious hours, #2 – there is pure crap on there, #3 – FOMO, listen, those people that are acting like everything is fine are dum dum’s, you don’t need to see that. When you need a little fix, get on the gram and follow some cool people and channels. Keep it fun, like thedodo, ladbible, cutest_goldens, happycatclub, better_days_animals, shityoushouldcareabout, foodnetwork, and of course chrissyteigen… LOVE YOU GIRL!
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  13. Journal, Blog, Write  –  Listen guys, writing this post has been fun… I’m creating, being helpful, purging thoughts, venting, ranting, all good stuff! If you have a business website, you know you should be blogging, it helps you get found in search. I don’t do it nearly enough… don’t be like me, LOL. I have a journal app on my MAC that is password protected for personal thoughts and I use the notes app on my iPhone for to-do lists, grocery list, books to listen to, movies and series to watch… that’s writing, ha! Anyway, get your thoughts out yo’ head people, it’s a good thing.
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  15. Drinking Alcohol – Calm down, I’m not gonna say don’t drink. Here’s what I’ve learned about drinking too much during stay at home… it increases depression and makes ya fat! It can make things seem much worse than they really are… or seem better than they really are. Let me explain… too much drink can help you forget 👍🏻 and too much drink can also make you remember that shit has hit the fan 👎🏻 SOOO like anything, moderation is key. Google a fun, delicious cocktail recipe for HH one day, have one, the next day make a mocktail but serve it in a pretty wine glass or a fancy highball glass. Buy good tequila (or your fav spirit) pour it over a large ball of ice and sip it slowly. My point? One drink to take the edge off, not every night, but not not every night, make it special, and then blow it out once a month and dance on the coffee table like no ones watching 💃🏻

Well, that’s all have for ya today. Please stay safe and healthy by wearing a mask, washing your hands, don’t be a dum dum and go to large gatherings, stick to your pod or use safe social distancing to socialize. It’s hard, but it will be over sooner if we follow Dr. Fauci’s guidelines (not Potus’).

xo – Katie

 

 

 

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Marketing Your Business Online – May 2020 Link Roundup

Marketing Your Business Online – May 2020 Link Roundup

Hello friends! Hope you are staying home and staying healthy. These are unusual times… try to stay positive and try to make the most of any down time you might have. If your business is temporarily closed or just not as busy as usual, I have some ideas on how you can utilize this time to work on your business!

First; take a good look at your website. Start on the homepage, make notes as you go. Perhaps you haven’t updated your content in a while, maybe you’ve added new services or you have never really liked that top banner image. Go through your website page-by-page and make notes of what you need and want changed, even you can’t afford to do it now, you will have the notes for when you can afford to make these changes.

Second; pull up all your other business online presence platforms. Update your LinkedIn profile, reach out to new connections, post an update (you should already be doing this weekly, if not more often) maybe post an uplifting meme or image, share a connections post, like and comment on your connections posts. Get on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and your Google Business Listing and do the same. Add a new banner image, change your hours, update your followers on the status of your business during Covid-19, and above all, try to show positive fibes, your clients and customers need to see that you are expecting to and are ready and raring to get back to business as usual as soon as you can.

Third; Now’s the time to learn a new platform or app that supports your business. Maybe you’ve been putting it off because you’ve been too busy working IN your business. You’re probably using ZOOM, so that’s done! What about SLACK for communicating with your team or the Hootsuite posting dashboard? If you follow me, you know I love Hootsuite and have been using it for scheduling clients and my own, social media posts for 10+ years. It really is the best! I load it up with posts and then I know good content is going out on all my channels and I can interact on each platform at my leisure from my phone. I use hashtags on the appropriate platforms, Twitter & Instagram, no one follows hashtags on Facebook, and I doubt people follow them on LinkedIn either, but they give no stats, so think about only using them there as good subject indicators 🤷🏼‍♀️

Fourth; Try to stay positive and keep busy. Cook more, bake, start a jigsaw puzzle, clean-out your closet or kitchen drawers, schedule Zoom happy hour or coffee dates with friends and family, get outside and enjoy your fur-babies.

And now for this month’s link round-up!

Speaking of staying busy! Learn or teach a new skill. Skillshare is COOL. They have a myriad of experts teaching really rad, creative stuff. Hey… you could teach your special skill! Join Skillshare to watch, play, learn, make, and discover. (that’s their tagline, they NAILED IT!) https://www.skillshare.com/

Are you selling online? Man, I hope so! Now’s the time if there was any. Instagram is STILL hot and it’s a great place to shop, I should know, I buy something off The Gram gram at least once a week. 🤷🏼‍♀️ Learn how to sell the right way… check-out “How to Use Instagram Shopping to Make it Easier for People to Shop” via Business Instagram here: https://business.instagram.com/blog/how-customers-can-shop-through-covid19/

Always wanted to start a business? It may not seem like it, but now is a great time to start one! There are many things to think about when launching a new business… it takes time, research and all the right steps in all the right order. Do you know what they are? If no… I got you, check-out, How to Start a Business: A Step-by-Step Guide by the good people at FINIMPACT here; https://www.finimpact.com/starting-a-business/

Podcasts… you listen to them, you love them, should you start one? Hells yes! As I said above, now is a great time to start something new. Not sure where to begin? Go to the experts! The people at CALL FOR CONTENT have a playbook for all things Podcast. Check it out here: https://www.callforcontent.com/playbooks

Be well, xoxo Katie

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Marketing Your Business Online – February 2020 Link Roundup

Marketing Your Business Online – February 2020 Link Roundup

Welcome to February 2020! What the what? 2020 sounds ludicrous, doesn’t it? But… here it is, so LET’S GO!

So… what changes and new ideas can you expect for online marketing and improving your website traffic in 2020? Here are a few tips and article links to help you make 2020 your best year ever!

Blogging and Website Traffic:

“What’s the point of blogging, nobody ever reads it!”… sound familiar? I’ve said it! Breath life back into your blog and increase traffic to your website… read “How Social Media Can Be Magic For Your Blog” – https://pegfitzpatrick.com/how-social-media-can-be-magic-for-your-blog/ by Peg Fitzpatrick

Are you reading this on your phone? Looks good, right?! Responsive website design is THE most important thing you can do for your website… right now! Check out this easy-to-read article, The Importance of Responsive Design and help the 2 billion smartphone users view your website with ease and interest.

Education and Growth:

January/February are typically bleak months for me… I suffer from holiday burnout, the weather in Seattle is dark & dreary (a maj issue for this sun worshiper) yearly goals are looming and I just want to crawl under a blanket and binge Netflix. To help me get new biz ideas and get motivated to set goals, I choose a new book to read or a podcast to listen to.

I freaking LOVE Mel Robbins... her advice, her no-nonsense attitude, her voice, AND… 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, f’ing works, man! Check out KICK ASS, TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR LIFE, and Mel’s Daytime TV Show and more. Listen to Mel’s books on Audible and watch her on Video, she’s got an awesome delivery and voice… I’m obsessed!

My other business guru is Marie Forleo. If you haven’t heard of Marie… get ready to enjoy the hell outta yoself! She’s a hip-hop dancer, an entrepreneur, a teacher, a mentor and the real-deal!  I am reading her new book Everything is Figureoutable, I get her weekly emails that include a new MarieTV interview with a great guest, she has B-School for entrepreneurs, a Podcast and so much more! Check out all of Marie’s great content here: Queen Marie.

Social Media Marketing:

What will the trend be in 2020? While TikTok is cool and showed a huge surge when it first started… it is showing a slight decline in brand marketing. What should you concentrate on? Take a look at Social Media Today’s article “20 Predictions for Social Media Marketing in 2020”.

Video… Video… Video… Did you know that YouTube is the second largest search engine behind Google. With 3 billion searches per month, YouTube’s search volume is larger than that of Bing, Yahoo, AOL and Ask.com combined. Do you have a YouTube channel? Launch your channel today and start creating and uploading videos for your business, NOW!

Obtaining New Clients and Networking:

It’s hard out there for an entrepreneur! Finding and retaining clients is NOT easy… I have relied on referrals for new business most of the 10 years I’ve been in business, however… I recently transitioned away from social media marketing services and I am now only offering website design, re-design, updates and maintenance and I need to add clients. I’m going to visit my local Chamber of Commerce this month and see of it’s a good fit. In the past I have joined different groups and stayed with them for 2-5 years, but I think it’s good to mix it up and try new sources of business building. What networking group or system works best for you? Leave a comment below.

Happy marketing!

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Marketing Your Business Online – November Link Roundup

Marketing Your Business Online – November Link Roundup

Where the heck has 2019 gone? It’s fall and I don’t even remember having a summer… do you? The days, weeks and months fly by and you wonder “How will I ever get it all done?”. This post will hopefully help.

Going into 2020 (that sounds bananas) using CMS software, posting dashboards, an online calendar scheduler and other automated and organizational tools… you CAN get it all done! Here are some tools I use, plus some that I don’t need, but encourage you to consider on the recommendation of clients and pro’s.

 

Social Media Marketing Posting:

Hootsuite – Manage multiple social media business accounts through one awesome dashboard. Create posts, schedule, interact and comment all in one place. My team has been using Hootsuite for 10+ years and we love it! I created a “team” account, added all of our clients sm pages, set up streams showing; my posts, scheduled posts, mentions, retweets and more… and all of us can view, edit and interact with all of the accounts and content. Check-out Hootsuite!

 

CMS (Content Management Sysytem):

monday.com – Plan. Organize. Track. In one visual, collaborative space. monday.com helps you manage your marketing campaigns, advertising, projects, deadlines, calendar, employee time-off, expenses, invoices, revenue and much more! Check-out monday.com!

 

Online Calendar Scheduler:

Calendly – Schedule meetings without the back and forth emails and phone calls. Calendly is my jam! It makes scheduling client calls, screen-share meetings and in-person meetings so easy… and it’s FREE! Build-out your meeting types, set days & times and then post your personalized calendar link on your contact us page and send out via email. Check-out mine; https://calendly.com/katie-kay and then build your own… on Calendly.com.

 

Graphic Design Creator:

Canva – Create beautiful graphics for social media, invitations, business cards, announcements and more, with Canva’s easy to use drag-and-drop feature and templates. Finding and using Canva has been awesome for me and my team! We can upload logos and photos, choose fonts and create branded graphics to use for clients and VS. Check-out Canva!
 

Cloudbased Collaboration:

Google Apps – An integrated suite of secure, cloud-native collaboration and productivity apps powered by Google. Includes Gmail, Docs, Drive, Calendar, My Business and more.I mean… if you’re not using Google Drive, Docs, My Business and for most, gMail… well, I don’t even know what you’re doing! Haha, jk… but seriously, you and your team can access all your business goodies from absolutely anywhere! I have the apps on my iPhone, iPad, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, literally every screen I use. Check-out Google Apps!

Remember… procrastination is the enemy, start using one of these tools today. Keep moving forward, you are awesome!

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Marketing Your Business Online – August Link Roundup

Marketing Your Business Online – August Link Roundup

How’s your digital marketing and website presence looking? I know there’s a lot to keep-up with, so here’s some tips and helpful information I’ve come across to help you focus on some specific tasks to further your progress in positioning your business online for great success!

It’s all about the photo! Visual is very important when it comes to web presence, but did you know that search engines do not see images, they read the text added to your images? (title, alt and description) Now we learn that there’s even more you can do! Check out this easy to follow infographic and use the 19 actionable image SEO tips to optimize your images for search – https://seosherpa.com/image-seo/ by SEO Sherpa

Remember vision boards? Maybe some of you still create them… visual goals and written goal lists will never go out of style, they work! Take a look at Rebekah Radice’s article, 5 Simple Ways to Make Your Social Media Goals Stick – https://rebekahradice.com/social-media-goals/

I’ve talked about claiming your Google business listing before, and making sure you post on it regularly to boost your business in search… here’s an article that talks about using it for “Google Maps Marketing” to boost your businesses local shopping in search – https://pixelcutlabs.com/blog/google-maps-marketing/ from Pixel Cut Labs

Get more traffic to your blog posts! Sounds simple, but it’s not, it’s hard work. Take a look at this article featuring a unique method to increase reads and shares on your posts – https://growthbadger.com/double-survey-technique/ from GrowthBadger

Most importantly… make sure your blog posts look great on mobile! I have seen some really good looking websites, and then checked them out on mobile and UGH! what the what? Their web developer forgot that mobile is now in the high 60% for browsing.

Keep up the great work perfecting your online presence!

 

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Google Search Results and Website Ranking

Google Search Results and Website Ranking

Good search results… everybody wants them, every business and website needs them. You ask your web developer “why isn’t my website at the top of Google?” and “how do I get there?”.  Some know, some don’t! Here’s what I have learned on the subject.

– Begin by evaluating your SEO efforts.

– Are you consistently adding new content to your website?

– Does your website reflect the topics you are known for?

– How effectively are you marketing your content and website and getting quality backlinks?

– Are reputable sites mentioning and linking to your website?

Sounds simple enough, huh? Not really, Katie! Ok… so here’s my pep-talk on getting going.

Adding content by writing about what you know and what you do, should not be that hard. You talk about it all the time; like when you propose your services to a client, or when you tell someone how you can help them, how about when you explain what you do at a dinner party. Now you just need to write it out in a blog post!  Not a confidant writer? Ask a friend or reliable source to edit it or at least give it a once over and provide feed back. It doesn’t have to be a novel, at least 300 words or three paragraphs should do it, and always add an appropriate photo (visual is important).

Now you need to market that content. Post it on all your social media platforms (more than once) add it as an article on your LinkedIn profile, and above all, market your content to any relevant sites that have visitors that could benefit from your content. That’s called building backlinks.

Start by creating a list of sites that would be a good fit for your content. Reach out; ask if they would consider a guest blog post, or consider linking to your website, maybe posting an excerpt of your blog post with “read more” with a backlink to your site. Don’t just reach out once… consistently contact these relevant sites and offer your posts or website as content for their website. Don’t just trade links to get your website link on another site, if each sites visitors will benefit from the other link/content, that’s a good fit. Resource pages or “my favorite sites” pages are good way to go, but above all, a link to a blog post or relevant content page, is the best.

Now go, get out there and get your website to the top of your relevant search results… you can do it!

 

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