TinkeringKate.com

Helping busy mompreneurs keep their sanity


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2 Great Sites to Design Your Own Graphics

Designing your own graphics for your business is so important. It is especially important in direct sales. There are thousands, sometimes millions, of other representatives all selling the same thing. So how do you stand out in the crowd?

Please note this post contains affiliate links. That means if you choose to use the services, I get a small percentage back, which helps me continue this website. But don’t worry, I only choose products and services I have used, and I stand behind! 

Here is an example. Origami Owl released a special promotion to raise money for Down Syndrome Awareness. Shortly after it was released I search #OrigamiOwl on Instagram. Which images stand out to you? Many people used the company sponsored photos, while some did try to create their own. Those that created their own have a better chance of being noticed.

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Always be sure to check your company’s policies on creating or altering graphics. Some companies may want you to use their graphics to keep their branding consistent.

If you are able to create your own there are many options out there to help you. The two I like the best are:

  1. Pic Monkey
  2. Canva

Pic Monkey

Pic Monkey is my go-to graphics creator. They offer a few plans to meet your needs. There is a free plan, but as you would expect you are limited to the features you can use. Don’t let that scare you off. You have access to plenty of fonts, graphics and templates to get you started.

Next is there Premium plan. It is $7.99 a month, but if you pay annually it is half the price. With premium you have access to additional fonts, graphics and effects. Most importantly, you will have access to the Hub which is their storage area. You can start a project and finish later or use it as an easy way to say your images to your phone through the Pic Monkey app. They offer a 7-day free trial if you would like to try before you buy. I have the Premium plan and I love it! I would highly recommend it.

Lastly, they have a Supremium plan. That is $99.99 for the year. With Supremium you have unlimited Hub storage and the ability to organize your Hub with collections. Below is a great comparison between the two plans.

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Canva

Canva has a two tier option. There is the free plan and a paid version. Again their free plan has plenty to help you get started. They have many free design templates for those that have a little trouble being inspired. Their free version includes storage of your designs. You can go back and edit them as well. They have a great branding feature where you can save your branding colors for consistency. There are additional branding features in the paid subscription. You can also add team members to share designs easily with your team.

Canva for Work is their subscription service. It is $12.95 a month or $119.40 a year (savings of $36). With the upgrade you have access to additional templates and features.  Full use of branding features like adding your fonts and logo. You can add up to 50 team members with the Canva for Work subscription. Canva offers a 30 day free trial.

My best advice is to try out both platforms. Start with the free version, then use the free trial if you are interested in more. Just be sure to cancel the tree trial if you do not want to continue the subscription. That’s how I started with my Pic Monkey subscription, but it was a happy accident. I couldn’t imagine going back to the free. 🙂

What’s your favorite way to create graphics?

I hope this helps you start designing your own graphics. For more tips be sure to join my FREE Facebook group. It’s primarily for busy bees who would like a little support managing their busy life.

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Cinchshare Social Media Post Scheduler| A to Z Challenege

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If you want to keep a social media presence consistency is key.  There are over 1 billion users on Facebook. Let’s let that sink in for a moment… one BILLION, with a B! There are more that one hundred million users Instagram every month. Pinterest has reached 150 million users a month. That is a lot of people! Chances are there are going to be a few who could benefit from your business.  How do you keep yourself in front of them? Cinchshare is my go-to for scheduling posts for when I won’t be online. I do still have a 9-5 job and being on the internet all day is frowned upon. 😉

Please note this post contains affiliate links. That means if you choose to use the services, I get a small percentage back, which helps me continue this website. But don’t worry, I only choose products and services I have used, and I stand behind! 

When Cinchshare started, it was simply a Facebook post scheduler. It would let you schedule posts to your personal timeline, business page and events. It also let you save frequently used wording as a textclip. Over time they have added many features. Batch posting is my favorite, especially for Facebook parties. If you are in sales I highly recommend you read How to Keep your Business Rockin’ in the Winter.  It goes into why Facebook parties are a great addition to your business at any time of the year.

Cinchshare is also integrated with Pinterest and Twitter now. We just need Instagram to get on board!

Apart from the services, I really love the community they have created on Facebook. Their SocialCinch Club is a great free community. They offer all kinds of tips and challenges. Tonight they are hosting an event titled, “Tips to Make More Money With Your Biz” and it is completely free.  I love it when a company offers free resources. It makes me feel like they really care about my success and they’re not just about making money.

Speaking of money, there is a monthly cost for Cinchshare, but if you are on social media regularly it is worth it. You can check them out for yourself here, Cinchshare. They offer a 7 day free trial, but if you use the code “CINCHFREE” you get an additional 30 days free.

I hope this helps you keep your business online. For more tips be sure to join my FREE Facebook group. It’s primarily for busy bees who would like a little support managing their busy life.

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Be Kind | A to Z Challenge

Today I was going to write about branding because I think it is important to help you stand out in the crowd, but something else came to me that I wanted to write about.

This is a little more about my story so it’s probably a good extension of my last post, About Me. There I mentioned that I’m not just a mom, but a special needs mom. My son has ADHD/ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder), along with expressive language disorder and newly discovered hearing loss (yay!).  His symptoms are more mild than some, but his behavior leaves a lot to be desired at times.

This is still pretty new for us so we are still trying to figure out what is best for him. I still worry what other people think when they see us in public when he’s having an outburst. “He’s too old to act like that.” “He’s probably spoiled.” The worst of all, “He needs a good smack on the rear.” I promise he’s not spoiled. We are doing our best. So my message today is pretty universal. You never know what someone is going through so please…

BE KIND!

Today was a particularly rough morning and for some reason I felt like writing about it. I came up with this poem to put down what he goes through. The phrase, “hurt my heart” is something he says when something scares him or it gets too loud. 

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We could all benefit from a little kindness, don’t you think?

If you’d like to keep in touch to see how things go, feel free to come join my FREE Facebook group. It’s primarily for busy bees who would like a little support managing their busy life.

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About Me | A to Z Challenge

Blogging has been something I’ve been wanting to do for a while now. I don’t get a chance to get my thoughts out very often so I thought this would be a great way to say what I’m feeling for any one who cares. So I decided to do a blogging challenge. For the month of April I will blog about a topic from A to Z. I am a mom running a direct sales business so things will revolve around business and kids.

In true TinkeringKate form, here I am at 10:40pm trying to type up my first post for the month. Here we go…

I am a wife, mother of 2 children ages 5 and 2, IP paralegal AND I attempt to run not one, but TWO direct sales businesses. People wonder how I do it all. I’ll let you in on a little secret. I Don’t! There is always something that is NOT getting done. Most things are done last minute as evidenced by my last-stitch effort to post this before midnight. Week days are spent ushering the kids off to school in the morning and trying to guess how late I will be for work. I had everything timed perfectly. I even had my son’s bus stop moved so it was more convenient, then they changed the trolley schedule. So I have decided that I will NEVER get to work on time. My employers seem okay with this. I’ve been there almost 15 years. They know I’m good for it.

The evening is even more fun. It is a whirlwind of trolley troubles, what’s for dinner, who’s going to eat said dinner, homework, bath and bed. Let’s get real though. My kids are lucky to get a bath twice a week. We wouldn’t want their skin to get dried out. 😉

So why on Earth why would I join 2 direct sales businesses when I barely have time as it is. This is why…

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I never wanted to be a working mom. There I said it. I want to be the mom greeting her kids at the bus stop in yoga pants, not running through the terminal to catch the train so I can make the 6pm pick up time. I started my first business to make a little extra money to help towards bills because let’s face it, after daycare I don’t have much left over anyway. Another company came along and I decided to give it a shot. It was newer, but completely different from my first. Well I found I was making more money with the second biz so that took over really.

Fast forward 3 years and I am still working full time and still working my businesses. Well, maybe just the one business. I teeter on going inactive with the first, but I just don’t want to give it up. Something always pulls me back in. In those three years, my son has started school and received an ADHD/ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) diagnosis. So now I’m not just a mom, but a special needs mom. That just adds a crap load of challenges and responsibilities that we didn’t have before.  My kids, particularly my son, need me now more than ever so it is time I get myself together.

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I love this quote. Even more so because it’s used in the new movie Moana. 🙂 I see the mistakes I’ve made in the past and I need to learn from them if I am going to move forward.

Keep in touch to see how I do. If you’re a busy mom (or non-mom), come join my FREE Facebook group to share ideas to help you with your busy life.

Bee Happy!

 

 


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How to be more productive

So I just did something that I knew I was going to do for a couple weeks now, but actually doing it brought on more emotions than I expected. I almost want to cry, but I know it is for the best. I removed myself from the wait list of a brand new company. A BRAND NEW company with no representatives anywhere! Think of all the potential! Just imagine being one of the first Mary Kay or Avon reps. At least that’s what I told myself when I signed up for the pre-enrollment.

Let’s get real. Nothing is easy. Nothing sells itself. Don’t let anyone fool you. You still have to put yourself out there and advertise yourself and your products. All that takes time and that is a commodity I am running low on. I already have a direct sales business, no make that 2 direct sales businesses. I have invested 3 years into each of these businesses and I am fairly successful. If I worked the business like a full time job, I know I could be much more successful. However, my real full time job, 2 kids (one of which has special needs), house and hubby (because I kind of need to spend time with him too) take up pretty much all of my time. I have yet to find the magic formula to make it all work. If only I didn’t need sleep. :-/

For the sake of my sanity, I cut my to do list. We tend to feel like we need to do it all. In the process we can spread ourselves too thin. The “village” mentality is fading fast and the “Super WoMOM” is taking over. Asking for help or taking a step back is NOT a sign of weakness. It is a sign that you are in tune with yourself and you know your limitations.

So my best advice for being productive is to CUT YOUR TO DO LIST. Focus on what really matters. Can mundane tasks be outsourced to a high school student or someone looking to make a little extra money. I often have my kids help label catalogs. Are they perfect? No, but it’s done and it’s something we did together. It can also be a great conversation starter with someone. 🙂

Find one thing you love to do and focus all your effort there. Stop chasing the next big thing. Best of luck with that. I’m still working on finding my ONE great thing, but I think I’m getting closer. 🙂

Are you a busy bee who needs help getting it all done? Come join my FREE community on Facebook to get help from others in your shoes, Kate’s Busy Bees.


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Hello Spring !

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Happy first day of spring! Here in southeast PA we are still dealing with the melting snow from the ONE snowstorm we had this year. Now that it is officially spring, I am hoping that the snow is behind us.

If you are in a sales or service business, you should be using this to your advantage. Spring is a universal subject and many people will be searching for ideas and inspiration for the season. #Spring has over 55 million posts on Instagram!

How can you incorporate this into your marketing? Make sure to tie your products into the season, such as:

  1. Cleaning Products – #springcleaning
  2. Fashion – #springdress, #springfashion
  3. Makeup – #springstyle
  4. Toys – #springbreak
  5.  Purses/Bags – #springstyle, #springfashion

Another option is to offer something of value to your community. Search for local first day of spring freebies. Rita’s Water Ice and Dairy Queen both have offers today!

How will you use #spring to help further your business? Come join my Facebook group to come learn or share ideas for your busy life/business.


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A New Opportunity

How many times have you heard someone say, “They had it easy, they started at the beginning?”  While nothing is easy, it certainly does make it more likely you’ll be the first to introduce someone to a company if you are one of the first representatives. Just take a look at these numbers!

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Origami Owl is introducing a skincare company to it’s family of brands. They purchased a small skincare company called Willa, run by another mother/daughter team and have created Willing Beauty. This new company will have something to help young people with their skin and something for more mature skin as well.  I have already started using some of the Willa products and have already received compliments on my skin.

What makes this company so great? It’s their commitment to using better-for-you ingredients. They are also cruelty free and made in the USA! How awesome is that!

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I would love to get some product testers on board! Feel free to email me at tinkeringbeauty7@gmail.com or find me on Facebook at Tinkering Beauty.

Are you Willing?