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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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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Believe in 2017

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Let’s face it 2016 kinda sucked for a lot of people. One of the oldest New Year’s traditions is to make resolutions. Resolutions are a firm decision to do or not to do something. It’s so definite. Many people see it as an all or nothing approach so if they slip on their resolution they give it up completely.

You may have noticed a shift away from this trend. Many people, especially business owners, choose a word to help guide them and motivate them throughout the year. There’s no strict adherence to some behavior. Just a thought to help you be your best self through the year.

In the beginning of 2016 I vowed to make it the year of me. Now that might sound a little narcissistic, but after two kids and working full-time I really lost myself. I vowed to start taking better care of myself and making time for things that I enjoyed doing, including my home business.

Well….that didn’t go as planned. It started off great with a trip to Las Vegas for a leadership conference. Then I had a procedure on my knee which lead to full-blown knee surgery in March. Before I even finished my PT from the knee surgery I hurt my back in May. Laying in bed in pain was not how I planned Memorial Day weekend. Then, just for fun, I broke my toe in June. My brother was diagnosed with brain cancer and then my daughter developed a weird inflammation of her blood vessels right before my trip to convention. Lastly, my son’s ADHD and Autism diagnosis. I tried to keep up with things the best I could, but my business just didn’t get the attention it needed.

It wasn’t all bad. I was still able to keep up some pretty good sales and welcomed 6 new team members.  Overall though, I just felt like everything I did didn’t work out right. I had many events and parties that flopped. That lead to a lot of disagreements with my husband who thought it would be better that I be home instead of “wasting” my time. He doesn’t get the whole planting seeds analogy, lol.

All of this left me with such self-doubt. I still haven’t completely got it out of my head. So for 2017 I chose the word Believe to remind myself to believe in myself as a mother, wife and business owner.

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I think it’s fitting that we had 2 “Believe” products this holiday. Maybe it was a sign pointing me in the right direction. 🙂

 

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Halloween Safety Tips 2016

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Halloween is an exciting time of year for kids, and to help ensure they have a safe holiday, here are some tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

ALL DRESSED UP:

  • Plan costumes that are bright and reflective. Make sure that shoes fit well and that costumes are short enough to prevent tripping, entanglement or contact with flame.
  • Consider adding reflective tape or striping to costumes and trick-or-treat bags for greater visibility.
  • Because masks can limit or block eyesight, consider non-toxic makeup and decorative hats as safer alternatives. Hats should fit properly to prevent them from sliding over eyes. Makeup should be tested ahead of time on a small patch of skin to ensure there are no unpleasant surprises on the big day.
  • When shopping for costumes, wigs and accessories look for and purchase those with a label clearly indicating they are flame resistant.
  • If a sword, cane, or stick is a part of your child’s costume, make sure it is not sharp or long. A child may be easily hurt by these accessories if he stumbles or trips.
  • Do not use decorative contact lenses without an eye examination and a prescription from an eye care professional. While the packaging on decorative lenses will often make claims such as “one size fits all,” or “no need to see an eye specialist,” obtaining decorative contact lenses without a prescription is both dangerous and illegal. This can cause pain, inflammation, and serious eye disorders and infections, which may lead to permanent vision loss.
  • Review with children how to call 9-1-1 (or their local emergency number) if they ever have an emergency or become lost.

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 CARVING A NICHE:

  • Small children should never carve pumpkins. Children can draw a face with markers. Then parents can do the cutting.
  • Consider using a flashlight or glow stick instead of a candle to light your pumpkin. If you do use a candle, a votive candle is safest.
  • Candlelit pumpkins should be placed on a sturdy table, away from curtains and other flammable objects, and not on a porch or any path where visitors may pass close by. They should never be left unattended.

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 HOME SAFE HOME:

  • To keep homes safe for visiting trick-or-treaters, parents should remove from the porch and front yard anything a child could trip over such as garden hoses, toys, bikes and lawn decorations.
  • Parents should check outdoor lights and replace burned-out bulbs.
  • Wet leaves or snow should be swept from sidewalks and steps.
  • Restrain pets so they do not inadvertently jump on or bite a trick-or-treater.

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ON THE TRICK-OR-TREAT TRAIL:

  • A parent or responsible adult should always accompany young children on their neighborhood rounds.
  • Obtain flashlights with fresh batteries for all children and their escorts.
  • If your older children are going alone, plan and review the route that is acceptable to you. Agree on a specific time when they should return home.
  • Only go to homes with a porch light on and never enter a home or car for a treat.
  • Because pedestrian injuries are the most common injuries to children on Halloween, remind Trick-or-Treaters:
    • Stay in a group and communicate where they will be going.
    • Remember reflective tape for costumes and trick-or-treat bags.
    • Carry a cellphone for quick communication.
    • Remain on well-lit streets and always use the sidewalk.
    • If no sidewalk is available, walk at the far edge of the roadway facing traffic.
    • Never cut across yards or use alleys.
    • Only cross the street as a group in established crosswalks (as recognized by local custom). Never cross between parked cars or out driveways.
    • Don’t assume the right of way. Motorists may have trouble seeing Trick-or-Treaters. Just because one car stops, doesn’t mean others will!
    • Law enforcement authorities should be notified immediately of any suspicious or unlawful activity.

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HEALTHY HALLOWEEN:

  • A good meal prior to parties and trick-or-treating will discourage youngsters from filling up on Halloween treats.
  • Consider purchasing non-food treats for those who visit your home, such as coloring books or pens and pencils.
  • Wait until children are home to sort and check treats. Though tampering is rare, a responsible adult should closely examine all treats and throw away any spoiled, unwrapped or suspicious items.
  • Try to ration treats for the days and weeks following Halloween.

©2016 American Academy of Pediatrics

If you’re a busy mom and need a place to unwind after the kids go to bed, check out my VIP group The Twilight Lounge. Come share triumphs and challenges of your day or a funny meme or drink receipe. 🙂

Stay Happy!


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First Step to Success – Get Organized

If you’ve read any of my other blog posts, you know I work full time while trying to take care of 2 little ones. I also have a home based business called Origami Owl. So yeah, I’m a little busy. ☺

Whenever I go to meetings or conferences I see people who are so successful and sometimes it gets me down because I’m not as successful as them. I know they say, “Don’t compare yourself to another person’s success.” You can only expect back what you put into it. So yeah, there are others out there who have more time to run their business. The problem is I WANT to be successful like them.

So how do I do that when I have so little time to work my business?  My uplines are awesome and always willing to offer advice or suggestions to help. I feel like part of my problem is I have so many ideas in my head, but not enough time to implement them.

The first thing I need to do is GET ORGANIZED!  There is no room for a real office space in our house so that’s problem number one,  but there’s nothing I can do about that until we move.

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Here’s what I’m working with. When my daughter came along we had to sacrifice office space for her huge crib. I do most work when they are asleep so that doesn’t work. I put a cabinet in the living room to house some stuff too.

When I started I didn’t have systems in place to stay organized. (I’ll post more about that later) The paperwork piled up and it took me forever to find stuff. I’m still working on finalizing my tax info from last year (yes I know it’s May!).

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This is my newest planner. I’ve gone through several trying to find the right fit. This is a Happy Planner and so far I like it. It’s not huge, but gives me plenty of room to write. Those stickers are to help me stay consistent on social media.

This is the first step to getting everything together. I know a lot of people like digital apps or websites, but I still like having something physical to write stuff down. I do use some apps so I have everything on the go too. This is more so when I’m planning things out.

Be sure to follow me to see how I do. I’ll be posting an update in a few weeks and YES it’s on my calendar!

Let’s stay in touch!