Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Book List

Being back in Denver has allowed me to start thinking of many ways to assist women in our WINN groups that I haven't been able to in the past. The first step that I am implementing is a "Book Library"

This Library will contain both physical books and Kindle friendly digital copies that can be shared. Below is the current selection I have and I will update this list as more become available. These titles are available on first come first get basis - please read and return promptly so that all can enjoy this added perk!

If you have suggestions for additional ones - please let me know!

In addition, I would love you to write a review of the book when you read it - Let me, and others know what you learned (or didn't learn) and why it is worth our time to check out!


The ONE Thing - Gary Keller - Digital (see my review in the blog)

10 Success Languages:  Reprogram your brain to clinch success faster, longer, better. - Karma Peters - Digital

Pinterest Marketing: That doesn't suck - Micheal Clarke - Digital

How to talk to anyone: Luke Williams - Digital

How to Declutter and Organize your House in 30 minutes - JD Rockefeller - Digital

Moving at the Speed of Twitter - Sonja Hegman - Digital 

You change Now- 7 day life transformation- Brandon Clay - Digital

Management and Leadership Skills - 4 book set - Brain Night - Digital

How to build your Business online - Ian Clayton - Digital

My Adobe Lightroom 4 - Ted LoCascio - Digital

YOU CAN'T JUST SNAP OUT OF IT: The Real Path to Recovery From Psychological Trauma by J. Douglas Bremner:  Psychological trauma can put a stranglehold on your life, and when people tell you to just move on it doesn't help. Wouldn't you "move on" if you could? This book gives you the tools for you to take charge of your recovery from psychological trauma. (DIGITAL)

MAGNETIC: How to Impress, Connect, and Influence by Patrick King is the prefect read for anyone who enjoyed How To Win Friends and Influence People.  (DIGITAL)

by Karma Peters: Learn how to become more effective in work, life, and love with this useful eBooks! This book features the most distinctive characteristics of extraordinarily effective people, from leaders to regular folk. (DIGITAL)

Monday, August 11, 2014

Thank You's with Style

Service is King, or in this case Queen. 

We all know this as business professionals we strive to excel in our clients eyes. We also look to be treated better than average and really take note of someone who goes above and beyond. You're likely not surprised to hear that great customer service really boils down to taking care of clients, and providing them with an experience that leaves a lasting impression. 

Even offering stellar service, sometimes doesn't make you stand out from the crowd. 
So how in today's marketplace do you make your mark?
Our Denver North group had a fantastic training session about just this subject with Anna, owner of Chloe's Closet

Anna was sweet enough to share this fantastic list of idea's with us on unique ways to extend your thanks to your clients! Sometimes, it's not the product or service you provide that will set you apart - but your appreciation for the business your client has given you!
It's that little extra that will keep them coming back for more!

1. Add Labels Heritage Makers offers printable labels that are perfect for adding around a sucker or chap-stick tube to say thank you or promote your business at large events! This Promotional idea - would work perfect as a thank you as well!
For more promotional ideas visit the INDIE A-LIST

2. Create your Own Scratch tickets Add a discount or special note to your clients order! Here's an instructional video I found to show you how!

3. Gift a Trusted Vendor List! Give a binder or a key ring of business cards to your clients. If they are new to a neighborhood be sure to include some local hotspots for delivery! (Great for Real Estate Agents!)

4. Themed Gift Basket: Create a small gift basket with a theme - Spa, Movie, Garden... Put together something small that expresses a life event or conversation you've had with them for the extra personal touch!
5. Be Personal. Hand write out a note. It's so much fun to receive "real" mail, or to know that someone took the time in this digital age to express their thanks!
BONUS TIP. Adding a Sweet to a package or purchase is a sure fire way to express your thanks! Totsie rolls or small bags of Jelly Beans kept me with a vendor long past the time when price should have deterred me. Opening that box when I recieved an order was always the highlight of my day!

Anna found someone taking it a step further!  

The blog: The Dating Diva's
Has 7 pages of amazing FREE printables you can use to create your own Sweet Notes!
Here are a few examples! Be sure to head over there and pick up your printables!
  • You are a LIFESAVER! Thank you!
  • You are such a SWEETART!  Thank you!
  • You always come through in a CRUNCH.  Thank you!
  • I MINT to tell you how much I appreciate you!
  • Thanks for giving me a hand.  You’re worth more than 100 GRAND!
  • Thanks for all the fun and SNICKERS,we had a great time!
Have a few out of the box ideas? We would love to hear about them!

Meet Anna! 

Anna is a native to Colorado and lives in Denver with her husband and 3 children. Before starting her bowtique, she taught 5th grade and kindergarten for 8 years. Anna decided to try the stay at home hat and is loving it but also wanted to be do something she loves from home. That's where Chloe's Closet was born. She loved being able to dress up a little girl after having 2 boys. Anna's been able to create and find adorable boutique items for an affordable price. Chloe's Closet has been a dream job for Anna allowing her to be at home with her cuties but also being able to have a creative side and create and find adorable outfits and accessories.

Monday, July 7, 2014

What's in a Logo

Having a logo designed is one of the first steps in branding your business. Selecting colors and a style for a logo has more to do with your "gut" reaction to a design. In fact, it's big business! It always has been. So, how do you do it? What makes a "good" or effective logo? Here are a few fun factors for you to think about.

1. Color. 

when selecting the appropriate color to represent your business, take into account the vibrancy as well as the tone. Bright and bold might grab someones attention, but if your representing a sleepy time baby product it might not be the right fit. Every color as a psychological response. Keep this in mind as you begin to play with ideas for your logo.

The Psychology of Color in Logo Design. Here’s a quick break-down:
Red: energetic, sexy, bold
Orange: creative, friendly, youthful
Yellow: sunny, inventive, optimism
Green: growth, organic, instructional
Blue: professional, medical, tranquil, trustworthy
Purple: spiritual, wise, evocative
Black: credible and powerful
White: simple, clean, pure
Pink: fun and flirty
Brown: rural, historical, steady

2. Size and Scale

This is extremely important for someone printing business cards, or doing other marketing mailers and print jobs. Think about it, for someone with a long business name - it can be hard to make the text large enough to read on a small area such as a business card or postcard flier. You want something that is simple, clean and scaled appropriately to use regardless of the size it will be viewed as.

3. Think in black and white.

 When making, or having your logo made for you - ask to see the image in black and white. You might never plan on using it this way. However as you grow, do different events, participate in vendor fairs, networking, or even purchasing ad space you will find that many times tear cards and fliers will be printed in black and white or 3 colors to save costs. Which means the design has to be as solid and meaningful as the colors your utilizing to convey your message.

4. Keep it simple.

It’s important to have a balanced combination of simple and unique. Interesting and attention grabbing without being overwhelming or distracting. Think about a simple twist, a pop of color or icon that uses negative space and adds interest to your logo. This logo image is a great exsample on the using the play on "forward" and adding the perception of speed, precision and direction.

5. Use your resources.

Etsy, Storenvy and countless other online retailers have a plethora of options when it comes to finding someone to design your logo for you. Some offer more than just a logo - with complete branding and common documents as a "branded package" like, Aquarius Logos that specialize in photography logos. While others offer tools to allow you to be the designer such as LogoYes.
Check with friends - whose logos you LIKE - where did they have theirs done? Perhaps you have a graphic designer in your network who can help you!

You don't have to struggle for hours - or days on end to come up with the perfect logo for your business. I do suggest you review your goals for your business. Write down what feeling you want to give your clients. What's image do you want to convey if the logo is the only thing they have to judge you on. Go onto Google, and search other people in your field... look at their logos - is their a trend in colors or style? Is there a style that you are drawn to? Save those images and when it comes time to doing a mock up you will have a better idea in your head (or be able to convey your needs to the person who is doing it for you).

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

5 Must Have Apps

I have never been a big "app" person, however I find myself really impressed with the different options that are out there. I've put together my top five app's that I feel every woman should have. Most of them are free, some of them have a fee... however, I selected these over other free options for a reason!

1. App Lock 

Rated at 4.5 
Description: App Protector (App Lock) is one of the best app lock tools which could protect your privacy. It can lock Contacts, SMS, Gmail, Facebook, Gallery, Market, Settings, Calls and any other apps with password or pattern lock.

With this app, you don't have to worry about your private information on your phone to be exposed to other people, you don't have to worry about your kids messing your phone up by changing the settings.

I have a full lock on my phone, so if I loose it no one can access my email and by default client information. I find it annoying to have to unlock every 2 minutes in order to check an email or text message. By utilizing this app I can lock everything down, or add additional protection to things like my email, kindle or other things that I want extra security on. 

2. ICE: In case of emergency

Rating 4.4  (Cost 3.99)

DescriptionStores important information for first responders and hospital staff to use in case of an emergency involving you:
+ A list of people to call -- can call directly from the app
+ Insurance information
+ Doctor names and numbers -- can call directly from the app
+ Allergies
+ Medical Conditions
+ Medications
+ Any special instructions or other information you wish to provide


This I haven't tried yet, however since I do have allergies to some medications and don't wear an alert bracelet this seems like a solid option. It would also give me a place to list an emergency contact or list who to contact if I was unable to pick my child up from school. 

3. Lookout 

(Free trail / then its a service fee based on how many phones your covering.)
Lookout Security & Antivirus FREE Features:
• App Scanning: Continuous, over-the-air protection from viruses, malware, adware and spyware
• Locate & Scream: Map the location of your device and make it sound an alarm - even when it is on silent!
• Signal Flare: Automatically save your phone's location when the battery is low
• Lock Cam: Get an email with the picture and location of whoever incorrectly enters the passcode multiple times in a row.
• Contact Backup: Save a copy of your Google contacts
• Download your contacts to your computer so you can transfer them to an existing phone or tablet.

Lookout Security & Antivirus Premium Features:

►Safe Browsing: Block dangerous URLs
►Privacy Advisor: See what personal information can be accessed by your apps
►Lock & Wipe: Remotely lock your device, post a custom message and erase your data
►Other Premium features: photo & call history backup, Premium tech support

I know that is a lot of information - but i LOVE this app! I use it all the time to locate my phone that tends to have a dead battery every time I need it. My husband even used it one day when he came home from work and couldn't find me, since my car was in the driveway. I had walked my child to school and stayed to volunteer... and my phone died. Since it gave him the last known location he called the school and was able to verify that I was still there and safe. 
It provides one more level of security in the lockout wipe options... and is one of the few antivirus plans I have seen - I tell you it is TOTALLY worth the yearly fee we pay ($30 for 2 phones) 

4. Lifeline

Rating 4.1 ($16.99 )

1) When an individual wants to take control of their safety or finds him/herself entering an unsafe situation, LifeLine’s monitoring system is activated by holding a finger on the screen. In case of real danger, patent-pending Intelli-Touch Technology then uses a person’s natural response of removing the finger from the screen, to activate the Distress Alert when provoked by the unexpected.
2) When the Distress Alert is activated and not disarmed within 20 seconds, the Response Verification Center will call the user back and verify there is a real emergency. GPS will then be used to track the user’s location and provide local first responders with this real time data if needed.
3) If an emergency is verified by the Response Verification Center, LifeLines will receive a text message and email with the same critical information provided to emergency personnel to help facilitate redundant layers of protection.

Having been the victim of a gun crime, I can tell you had I had this app I would have used it. 100% it would have been a safe option for the situation I was in where making a call wouldn't have been. It's discreet and unlike other free or less pricey options it works with a single push like a panic button should. The thumb mode is a great option for when your going into the bank or pumping gas in a neighborhood that your unfamiliar with, or waiting outside to meet friends... or even walking the dog. 

5. ListNote Speech/Text Notepad

Rating 4.3

Description:Take notes even when you don't feel like typing! Just speak your note, and it will be saved as text. This notepad app was designed to quickly jot down your ideas, with minimal hassle. And it makes it easy to keep those ideas organized.

** Quick and easy note taking with speech to text. Your voice is "recorded" as text. Does not function as an actual voice recorder though.
* You can create a to do list, also refered to as a ToDo list, or 2do list. Similar to list maker apps such as anydo (any.do) or mobislenotes, but with voice recognition as a more integral part.
* Task list. Like other free notepad apps such as wunderlist, astrid, or gtd, but with speech recognition playing a more prominent role.
* Shopping list. Great when you want to quickly write down something you'll need at the grocery store.
* Notebook organized with color tabs. You can make a color note tab by long-pressing a note and selecting "Change Tab Color".
* Simple notetaking. Many people prefer a notepad app that doesn't require you to make an account and upload all your notes to a server like Evernote or Springpad. There is no account necessary with ListNote. All your notes are stored on your own device.
* Dictation software. You can transcribe your thoughts quickly and easily. You can then edit the result like you would with any text pad or scratch pad. When you're editing the notes with the textpad, you can insert speech anywhere in the text, and even undo the last speech input if it didn't turn out right.
* Memo pad. Works great as a memo app, much like others such as inkpad, mobisle, and catch, but with a different feature set.
* Secure notes. You can create safe notes that are private. These private notes are locked with password protection. When you lock a note it's an easy way to encrypt text from prying eyes.

I might be in love with this! I never... and I mean... never have a pen around when I need one... and I am often driving when I am thinking the most... making groceylists in my head or making a to do list for the business... now I can do it hands free and have it emailed to me - or just go back to it later! 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

What's on your Book Shelf?

Recently one of our FANTASTIC networking groups got together and complied a list of their favorite inspirational books. I thought since the group enjoyed sharing them so much that many members are sharing copies, and purchasing them for themselves that I would kick the list out to all of you! I would love to know if you have read them, your reviews, and what is your #1 Business / Inspirational book.

Busting Loose from the Money Game

You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero

The Success Principles by Jack Hanfield

Daring Greatly by Renee Brown

Entre Leadership by Dave Ramsey

Everyday Sacred by Sue Bender

What We’re Talking About When We Talk About God by Rob Bell

Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life by James Hollis

A Year of Miracles by Marianne Williamson

Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer

The One Thing by Gary Keller

How full is Your Bucket? by Tom Rath

Monday, February 10, 2014

How to Make Twitter Less Intimidating & More Manageable

Twitter is one of the biggest things I get questions about, it's a totally different platform than Facebook or any other social media outlet and it's much faster when it comes to pace and it can be extremely hard to keep up.   Personally, Twitter is my favorite platform to use I get information in and out quickly with little to no effort.  When a big news event happens I hop on Twitter because I know at least 5 news sources I follow will have all the coverage possible about the situation and I don't have to search for links they are right there. I also connect with so many people around the globe.

Excited Yet?! I know what you are thinking "Kristina, I have logged on there before. It's a scary place and I'm overwhelmed being on there for even 5 minutes!" I get it, you are nervous  because you have looked at Twitter your timeline rotates faster than you can blink and the article you wanted to read is now 24 tweets lower than it was a couple minutes ago, how can you possibly keep up? How can your information be read and found? Won't you just get lost in the chaos?

Let me ease your fears a little bit, it's not as scary as you think it is once you get on there, I promise.  

Unlike Facebook, on Twitter it isn’t weird to follow anyone and everyone.  The more you follow, the more people end up following you back!  When you first are trying to join twitter think of people that you would enjoy following (celebs, industry powerhouses), topics that interest you (health, photography), or find someone you know on twitter follow them and look through their follower/following lists. On twitter it's easy to find lots of people and topics that you would be interested in following without much effort and all you have to do is hit "follow", easy right?

Again, unlike Facebook on Twitter it's completely normal to "tweet drop" and chime in. Sometimes it's kind to say "Tweet Dropping..."then proceeding but that's not something I would consider necessary. Want to look for conversations to drop into? Use the Search bar. Search for keywords or hashtags (more on # in a minute) to find the conversations that you want to drop in the most on. For example if your business is "fitness & healthy solutions" search for keywords that surround that like "lose weight" "healthy eating", etc. 

While we are on the topic of joining conversations lets talk about something else for a minute: spammers. Don't be one. Most users of twitter have zero tolerance for spammers and luckily for twitter users there is a little button that says "Report Spam" if you see a conversation and you just jump in and say "I have solutions. Go here:" or something to that effect 9 times out of 10 you just bought yourself a one way ticket to the spam button. Yikes.  Instead, use conversation - position yourself as an expert - I can't express this enough.  People use twitter to converse and spread information and gain information quickly. So instead use yourself as a transporter of information to give information and in the long term again more social exposure. Someone tweets that they need something healthy to eat for dinner? Reply "I've been eating healthy lately too! If you like chicken and fresh veggies, check out this recipe {insert link} "  OR "I might have a few ideas! Are you a fan of chicken?" wait for the reply and then say "Here is a favorite recipe of mine, it has chicken and a variety of veggies {insert link}."
 You are relating to the user and also giving information (even driving traffic to your site.)

Twitter can be overwhelming.  Lists allow you to put people into categories so that they are more easily seen and manageable for you.  This makes twitter less overwhelming. Lists are fantastic to make twitter more manageable.  Since Twitter is constantly feeding and updating, non-stop, lists make it easy for you to see what you want to see.  You can create as many lists as you want, and add whoever you want to it.   (ex. NEWS.  Business Networking Partners.  Fitness.) You can also see who has you on a list too, and if it’s a list you want to follow too, simply click “follow”.

Now that you understand the navigation portion lets talk about the Hashtag (#), and why it is important to use it!
When you use a Hashtag it turns it into a hyper-link.  For example, in the example below I used #Denver. So anyone who clicks on #Denver they will see my tweet, along with the lists of others that used it.

Hashtags can also be used to used for what is commonly called “Twitter Parties”.  Companies, bloggers and websites will use a unique hashtag to have a party (example: #WINNTwitterParty), then everyone participating uses that hashtag in their conversation responses keeping a long thread, allowing everyone to see who is participating and their responses.
A great tool to use to keep up with these conversation is TweetChat.com It allows you to type in the Hashtag you are following and feeds live updates for you - plus, you don't have to remember the hashtag it does it for you.

See something that you want to spread to your followers? Do it! I always feel like if I'm RTing something I am "endorsing" it, so if it's something borderline inappropriate think about how it will reflect you to your followers.
I recommend "Quoting" the tweet. It looks like this:
RT @WINNational If you are a woman in business please check out WINNational.com

When you add the RT making it your own, it immediately notifies the person who tweeted it, without them searching for that information.  Most people appreciate seeing their information is being pushed out even further!

You can also chime in as long as there is space in your 140 characters
I LOVE WINN! RT @WINNational If you are a woman in business please check out WINNational.com

I LOVE favorite.  Why?  Because when you click that little star you can come back later.  So whether you are checking in on twitter on your smartphone but want to look at the link on your actual computer, or it’s something in general you want to follow up on whether it’s a conversation, etc.  It saves it for you under “favorites” which you can access if you click on your name and go to your profile.  This also makes tweets more manageable
The biggest question I get is what should I post on Twitter?
Twitter users want to see who you are, but they also want to use twitter to take them elsewhere. So change up your updates - through in some tweets telling them what you are up to throughout the day, shoot out whats on your mind - but also add valuable content. Use twitter as a traffic source, to send them to other websites - your blog, your Facebook, articles you have written, articles that you have read and want to share, etc.


Twitterfeed (www.twitterfeed.com) is a great way to feed your sources.  If you have an RSS site (Facebook, Blogs) you can use twitterfeed to feed twitter directly which causes you a lot less work! Twitterfeed, and other similar sites, allow you to update multiple sites, with a fraction of the work, and drive your information on your updates to other sites.

A lot of networking sites, you have the options of feeding the information to twitter, and from twitter.  LinkedIn, allows you to update your social media sites when you update on LinkedIn; and you can feed LinkedIn with your Facebook or Twitter Updates.  E-mail Marketing sites such as Mail Chimp, and Constant Contact allows you to publish a link to your social media sites when you send out your e-mail campaign.  Pinterest also allows you to post your pins to your social media sites.

It's so easy to spend hours upon hours on Twitter and Social Media outlets and I don't know about you but when I have those time suckers interfering I don't get anything done...ever. So a great way to decrease your time on the sites is using a third-party interactor. The following will allow you to sit down schedule out your social media posts for the week (or longer even), and all you have to do is check in here and there and interact.

TweetDeck is a great way to keep your tweets right in front of you, and get updates that you want to get while you are working on other projects.  Have different categories, show different lists, and see the information you want.  The other great thing? You can schedule your tweets!  You are able to look like you are on-top of being on twitter all day long, with only spending a minimal time at once and scheduling it out.   It’s simple and accessible.

HootSuite allows you to monitor Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Foursquare, Ping.fm and WordPress profiles all in one place.  You can also schedule posts. It’s more complex that TweetDeck, with allowing you to run reports, add reminders, etc. There is a free version, however, you do have to pay to use some features.  The only downside: it can be overwhelming.

Still a little confused? Need a virtual walk through? Contact me, I teach Twitter users regularly! 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

5 Steps to Achieving Your Goals

With each New Year most business owners make new goals for their businesses. A lot of lists have items that take things in stride of "things I hope to achieve", others are goals that they know they can achieve while we typically stick in huge lofty goals that terrify themselves and sometimes leave us feeling a little overwhelmed or defeated. No matter the list approach or the items on it - there is not a right or wrong ways to build your list of goals for the year - after all it is your own list. Here are some tips to achieving your goals no matter how big or how small.

1. Define Your Goals
Get more specific. Broad goals are less intimidating which isn't always helpful. If you have a goal of having 500 sales you need to decide if you want to sell 500 items or if you want to have 500 sales total no matter how many items are within that order. Maybe you want to break down both and have a goal for each. Something like 500 sales and 800 items sold.

2. Map Out Your Big Goals. 
With the 500 sales goal break it down in chunks - months or quarters are usually best. It helps make the goal feel more obtainable and less scary. You could break it down into even segments, or you can make it on a gradual scale.*Make a goal that works for you and your schedule.

  • If you are breaking 500 down into 12 months - you get 41.66666 sales - so round up to 42 and you will actually exceed your goal by 4! 
  • If you are interested in a gradual scale of sales each month - increasing your goal each month. For example - Jan.-10 Sales, Feb - 15 sales, March - 20 sales, April - 25 sales, May 30 sales, etc. If you increase your sales goals by each month by 5 you will get your goal and exceed it. 

If your goals are 600 in person sales you need to map out where you plan to get them. Networking groups you are apart of? Events/Craft Shows? Now that you've decided those two things - make a plan within them. Find the events and craft shows you want to go to, where they are and what their cost is. Find the networking or meet-up groups in your areas. Start filling in the details to achieve your goals.

3. Be Proactive. 
At lot of times goals are made and little effort goes into them, or if effort does go into them it is for the first month or so and the effort begins to dwindle off. If you want to reach your goals you have to put effort into it every day, whether it's out on the forefront on social media or in person, or it's doing behind the scenes work at the computer or in your studio.  Do a little something every day, even if you don't have a ton of time to devote take 5 minutes daily and do something. 

4a. Write Your Goals Down.
Goals are easier to forget when we keep them in our minds. Our minds are full of other things and sometimes things are pushed to the back of our minds and we forget them.  When we write things down our brain obtains the information and almost stores it away in a secondary place because it's important.  Not to mention, when we write things down we are make more effort towards our goals and seeing them on paper or on the computer screen makes them more real.  If you are a visual person you can also make a visual chat using images to represent your goals.

4b. Put Your Goals Where You'll See Them Daily. 
Excellent - you have written your goals down, now don't shut that notebook or word document just yet - save them and put them somewhere you will see them every day. Maybe that place is the bathroom mirror, or the wall next to your computer or you desktop.  Put them where you can see them. If you goals are staring you in the face every single day you are more likely to achieve them.

5. Give Yourself Some Grace
So maybe it's March and you are a couple steps behind a goal or two...or ten. It's okay. Remember - your goals are just that - goals. They can be adjusted and moved around.  Life happens and there is always tomorrow and next month.  Goals are just that - goals. They most likely aren't ticking time bombs that will make your business implode if they aren't achieved by the 30th of the month. Take a deep breathe, readjust and continue.

What are some tips you would add to the list?

Post Originally Posted to The Indie A-List