Bi-weekly Resource Roundup Volume 5

Hi everyone,

Thanks for your ongoing support! We’re updating our pricing this month, removing the team plan and making it easier to choose an individual service.
You are also going to see a redesigned dashboard for easier navigation, and simpler briefs. We hope you enjoy these updates!

Sam Ryan
… and the rest of Team Flocksy!

Featured team member design of the month:


Here is a custom mascot illustration by our creative Sunardi, for a client. We think it’s pretty cool! All custom illustrations on Flocksy are drawn completely from scratch by one of our extremely talented illustrators. Start an illustration project today and see results in just hours!

Keys To Successful Start-Up Marketing

by Flocksy writer Matt Gladstone
The key to a successful business, including a start-up business, is mastering the art and process of great marketing. If you’ve just started a business or plan to in the future, follow these tips and techniques to perfect your marketing and get a leg up on the competition.   continue

5 Tips For Working From Home When Your Kids Are There Too.

  by Flocksy writer Scarlette Olivier
Whether your kids are also learning from home or you have little tots who are too young from school, it can be extremely challenging to work from home with your kiddos constantly asking you for snacks, telling you they’re bored, or fighting with their siblings… continue    

Tips And Techniques When Using Live Social Media For Your Business  

by Flocksy writer Matt Gladstone
  There’s an art to using live streaming platforms, however, and they work most effectively for companies who know the ins and outs of the process. Here’s a short guide to using live social media streams to enhance you brand attract new customers.  continue

5 Instagram Tips Which Will Help Boost Your Sales

by Flocksy writer Matt Gladstone
Instagram is unique and engaging because it’s primarily a visual platform, allowing you to post pictures about the products and services you sell. Instagram is relatively simple to use but there are some tips and techniques which will help you take your social media game to the next level.  continue 

How to Be A Resilient Business Owner During Economic Crisis

It’s no secret that 2020 was a difficult year for many business owners. Even if your business wasn’t locked down, many of your customers were likely strapped for cash and distracted by the state of the world. Also, it can be hard to keep your focus when the world is in crisis!

As a business owner, you have a lot of responsibilities and stresses. Resilience is a key part of business success. So, how can you cultivate the right attitudes and skills to deal with economic uncertainty? Read on to find out.

Embrace Creativity

Creativity stems from innovation which leads to problem-solving. When you make creativity a core part of your business, you open the door to new ideas that are crucial to resilience.

If you stay in your current processes, it’s much harder to adapt to change. How can you develop new avenues for growth if you’re set on certain ways of thinking? Creativity can help you “think outside the box” and find ways to deal with uncertainty.

So, be willing to sit down and brainstorm solutions. Or, open the door to ideas from your team. Fresh perspectives are always helpful when facing a crisis.

Prioritize Your Needs

When economic crisis strikes, it’s tempting to start hedging your bets…or getting rid of anything you’re unsure of. Many businesses make the mistake of laying off workers instead of trimming their bloated ad budget. Others start pumping money into “growth hacks” hoping to turn the tide.

In times of economic uncertainty, focus on the solid parts of your business. Then, identify the aspects that truly need attention. If the market is down, cutting your staff may not be the solution. Now, you’ve crippled your ability to reach out to potential customers.

Knowing how to prioritize your needs is essential to good business management. What do you really need to achieve, and how does your current income support that? You might find that you could cut down on your paid ads and focus on word of mouth …. or vice versa!

Embrace Technological Change

Like it or not, the world is becoming increasingly virtual. Even as things open back up post COVID, many consumers are now accustomed to digital interactions. Your business must involve with the times. That may mean offering online ordering, an eCommerce store, chat based support, and so on.

Technology can also help your team collaborate more efficiently. Do you have remote workers? Are some team members still working from home? Avoid the temptation to force everyone back to “the way things were.” Improved flexibility and communication can boost your profits and make your employees happier. Take some time to consider how tech has helped your business.

Turn A Doomsday Mindset Into One For Growth

The pandemic certainly seemed apocalyptic at times, and many business owners reacted accordingly. Some let pessimism take over their outlook. But resilient business owners either (a) adjusted their businesses to current market conditions or (b) pivoted to a new industry that would better survive the pandemic.

How? Resilience is more than putting up with poor circumstances: it’s finding new opportunities when things change. Innovative business owners made their services virtual, opened up eCommerce stores, or decentralized their operations to save money. You can learn from them: rather than dwelling on the negative, look for ways to grow your business. You might be surprised by what you discover.

Lead With Compassion

Leadership is not simply a matter of making decisions and telling others what to do. You must be able to inspire others to action and stay calm in times of crisis. Your team can perceive how you regard yourself and your business. So, how are you acting?

In addition to leading your business with a cool head, you also need to show your team support. They may be concerned about their finances, fearful of losing their job, or generally stressed about the state of the world. It’s important to make them feel empowered. When they do, they perform better, which can help your business survive the crisis.

Wrapping Up

Resilience is ultimately adaptability. You must be able to change with the tide, especially during economic uncertainty. Running a business requires you to make the best decisions for your growth, and that’s not always a matter of maintaining the status quo! Don’t be afraid to embrace change, inspire innovation, and cultivate a flexible environment for your business. And remember, your team is crucial to your growth, so be sure to give them the freedom to solve problems for you. With these best practices in mind, you can be a resilient business owner, better equipped to keep your business thriving during difficult times.

5 Terrific Benefits To Running Your Own Small Business

Starting your own small business can be tricky and oftentimes even a little frightening. Getting out of the comfort of the usual corporate scene and commanding your own destiny is enough to give anyone pause. But the ambitious few who push through the fear and doubt soon realize that there is so much more to gain when you dare to take the first step.

It is true that many small businesses fail, but just as many succeed. The “why” varies as widely as the laundry list of potential pratfalls that made a particular business a success or doom it to disaster, but that doesn’t stop budding entrepreneurs from getting out there and taking a shot at making it in such a volatile economy. In fact, for many, it spurns them on. But why do something with such a stark likelihood of prosperity?

Why Entrepreneurs Take The Plunge

Maybe it’s destiny. Maybe it’s the desire to be the boss. Maybe it’s greed. But if you had to ask, many of them would likely boil it down to one word, and that is “love.” Love of family inspires them to work from home. Love of their passion that drives them to turn their art or skill into a profitable enterprise. Love of the idea of not answering to a nameless, faceless entity who signs their paycheck.

It is love, passion, desire, and grit that get the entrepreneur out of bed, make them want to get to work early, and keep their eye on the prize at all times. It is the love of the path they have taken that makes them work longer hours than they have ever before in their previous employment to ensure the trains keep running on time. And that love sustains them and gives them the push to reach new heights in their field.

That is who franchise opportunities are born, how they need to go on sites like Indeed.com to hire more staff is decided, and how someone working out of a garage can have a fortune 500 company in less than a decade. If you see a need, then fill it, there will always be work to do. The best entrepreneurs that succeed with the greatest frequency know there is always a need to fill.

5 Reasons A Small Business Is Worth Your Effort

Beyond the typical motivations, there are a few other ways you can profit from having your own business. And these apply if you intend to always stay small or if you wish to expand and create your empire. Just remember to pace yourself. Small business growth and cultivation is a marathon, not a sprint.

1. Credit Availability

Just like the equity in your home is available as long as it is gaining worth, your business is a resource for credit when needed. And these days, it is easy to get a credit line as long as your business model is viable for the long term. This is less true for niche markets, but these specialty shops are still a plausible risk as long as they have shown a quality history of positive returns.

But beware. Credit can be a slippery slope. Credit is against the profitability of your business, so when your business dives financially due to unforeseen market circumstances, creditors will still come for their pound of proverbial flesh. Don’t get overextended.

2. Tech That Works

Nowadays, we have the technology for everything. From your Point-of-Sale system to your marketing needs to your taxes, everything can be done and run by a single person on little more than a laptop. It is easier than ever to track transactions, issue billing, and even monitor employee efficiency, and you can do it all from home if necessary.

Tech has its downsides, though. If you haven’t taken the precautions to back up your data or properly secure your online systems, you are vulnerable to outside breaches. It is sadly easy to be targeted by cyber predators. Cover your technological bases and keep them updated.

3. Compete To Improve

More and more new online business opens every day. Sites like Shopify have made something as intricate as drop shipping so easy that the market is now saturated with stores selling everything from toys to pet products, all from the comfort of home, and never having to touch a single piece of inventory. But is this saturation a bad thing?

Many entrepreneurs would say “yes,” but the ambitious ones would disagree with that notion. Competition invigorates the soul, gets creative juices flowing, and makes a real fighter want to go a few more rounds. Having a few competitors raises the bar from mediocrity and complacency to excellence. It inspires you to strive to be the best.

4. Contact With The Customer

The worst cliché in any capitalist economy is the notion of “the customer is always right.” Why is this wrong? Because it is designed to move the meat, but it doesn’t address the real problem. The issue at hand has nothing to do with the customer, but with the way a transactional situation is handled in the intricacies of the deal. The nitty-gritty of the experience.

By interacting with your customers from the other side of the equation, you can see the perspective as the businessperson, and get involved in those details the average customer doesn’t know or even care about. It provides greater enlightenment into the mind of those who are often taken for granted due to that dated axiom. It flips the mental script.

5. Pat On The Back

When is the last time you felt truly amazing about doing something? When have you felt absolutely satisfied with a project or task? One last wonderful notion when running your own business is the ability to see the whole event from start to finish and know it all succeeded because of you. You did this. Maybe you had help, but they were driven by your love and passion.

Inspiring others, changing someone’s life, enhancing your own, are all great ways to see and feel that you have done work that is worthy of your efforts. You can stand back with a smile knowing that this is yours, a ship at your command, and you are at the helm. It is up to you to keep it on course, but those you have brought into your adventure will help you because they believe as you do that your small business is here to stay.

5 Steps To Help Grow Your Social Media Community

No one visits the store that’s hidden on a back street without a sign by the door. Most people like to do their shopping in just a few places, whether that’s at the mall or online. If you’re operating a business in 2021 and you don’t have a social media presence, that’s almost like choosing to open your store in the middle of nowhere.

To attract more new customers and keep your current customers engaged, you need to make sure people can find you and that you have a strong social media community. There are plenty of platforms out there, but it’s important that you start with the apps where your target market customers are spending their time. Once you’ve found out where your customers are, follow these five steps to grow your community.

Be Easy To Find

First, you need to make it easy to find you. It’s important that you’re consistent across all platforms, since you might need to run both a Facebook and a Twitter page, for example. Use the same page name wherever you can and make it obvious in the images you use as well that it’s the same company.

Include icons that link to all your social media pages on your website. Make those icons very easy to find. This goes both ways; you also need to make sure that it’s easy to find your website on your social media pages.

You should also make it easy for customers to find your physical business location as well (if you have one). Post your hours clearly, as well as your phone number and email address. You should be both easy to find and easily reachable.

Post With Purpose

Posting with purpose is the most important step in growing your social media community engagement. If your content isn’t adding value to the lives of your visitors and customers, then there’s a huge issue. Spamming customers with ads all the time or frequently asking them to take surveys is a sure way to lose your followers.

Research what your customers are interested in and develop a content calendar that takes their needs into account. Create posts that provide valuable information and that promote your business. You can include a helpful fun fact as the caption on an ad for a sale you’re running, for example. The important thing is to balance promotion with valuable information. Keep your followers informed and entertained if possible, and don’t over-promote.

Like And Reply

Once you have comments on your posts, it’s time to start liking and replying. You’ll want to delete comments from bots, if you get any, because they make it more difficult for your customers to communicate with you and each other.

Make sure you like each comment you receive and reply to it. If you receive a negative comment, you should diplomatically offer to resolve the issue. Always be polite and remember that anyone can screenshot anything that’s public.

By liking and replying to the comments your customers post, you’re showing that you care. This strengthens the relationship between you and your individual customers, which affects the whole community.

Sweeten The Deal

Once you have a dedicated following, you’ll notice that there are certain people who interact with your posts more than anyone else. On Facebook, these are the “Top Fans” of pages. You should definitely nurture these relationships.

Offer these customers coupons and explain to your whole social media community that you appreciate how they have consistently spent time interacting with your business. It’s a great way to thank your supporters while also incentivizing other followers to interact more often, especially if you directly state that more coupons are coming out in the future!

It’s also a smart idea to consider partnering up with influencers who can promote your business to your target customers. By sponsoring a post on an influencer’s page, you might get a lot more views, clicks, and purchases than you expect!

Be Personal

After planning out your posts with purpose, being personal is the next most important step in growing your social media community. By revealing details about yourself and your values, you will give your followers the opportunity to feel more connected to you.

Strengthening your relationship with your community is key. You want to have a good

relationship with the people who support your business. You want to learn from them and you want them to learn from you. There’s a reason why you started your business. Share what you’re passionate about and you’ll see how it helps you build your community.

Stay Consistent And Authentic

When you follow the steps of being easily findable, posting with purpose, liking and replying, sweetening the deal, and being personal, you’ll see how your social media community grows. Cultivating a social media community is a lot of work. You need to consistently follow a strategy while staying authentic It’s not easy, but it’s worth it. Social media can take your business to the next level.

Digital Presence and What It Can Do For Your Business

The storefront is one of the most important eyecatchers of any brick and mortar business, as this is what makes or breaks the first impression of any passerby. What follows, of course, are interactions and transactions that strengthen the business’ branding and relations with their clients and partners.

It is not a surprise that the Information Age has revolutionized this landscape of catching eyes and improving relations. After all, the digital landscape has already made itself part of the environment the majority of us need to tread through both our personal and professional lives. This speedy growth of the internet realm makes it increasingly important to have what is called a “Digital Presence”.

A digital presence, simply put, is quite like having a digital storefront. It is concerned with how you “show” your business online. Of course, it roots far deeper than that. And, of course, not all digital presence can be considered good or beneficial. The following are a few good examples of good online presence that any business should attempt to achieve.

A Well Maintained Website With Good Traffic

First thing’s first: a business needs a good visual representation of their business, and nothing embodies this branding more than a website. A website can become anything you want it to be, and it is usually this freedom that can prove daunting when creating your first business website.

The function of your website may vary, from promoting to a wider audience, to securing transactions. Regardless of purpose, however, your website should be able to tell your potential clients and partners who you are, what your business is about, and what products or services you offer. Give them a form to contact you with, so that any inquiries, suggestions, and feedback may be entertained.

If you have a range of services, throw in some pictures and descriptions, if you can. A blog that gives a sneak peek on your business’ concerns would be a good touch to relate to your would-be consumers, as well. Such details and content expressed coherently not only reaches out to your customers and sets their expectations, but these details also set you apart from other businesses.

Having a coherent look and feel on your website is another good way to keep your audience’s attention, and giving them a good user experience (no site errors, smooth navigation from one page to another, visible and intuitive buttons and functions) would be the cherry on top.

A good-looking website will not be enough, of course. What makes a website good is the amount of traffic it manages to attract and retain, and, ultimately, to convert into interested and willing clients. For this, your business will need…

Advertising That Converts

Digital ads are rampant in the online world. They exist to promote products and brands to people scrolling through search engine results and social media sites. Although some ads may be quite common, they don’t always catch people’s eye or attention. A good tip for online ads would be to use noticeable colors, ones that set you apart.

For text ads, use catchy and relevant taglines. Such ads not only increase visibility (and clickability), but also increase brand recognition and contribute to your business’ identity as a whole. You wouldn’t want your business to be seen as one that is “out of touch” with its target market, would you?

Interactive Social Media Communities

Marketing used to be a one-way endeavor. Although word-of-mouth promotion exists, the difference between today and before boils down to the possibility for businesses to openly and publicly interact with its customers. This builds a strong sense of community around what businesses can offer. Utilizing the “social” in social media will not only help you widen your reach, it will also help you get to know your consumers more, on a more conversational level, too.

Visible Business Listing

Finally, a visible business listing will allow for a more professional viewership of your company’s values and offerings. Posting about your company on business listing platforms will help you push your SEO rankings further up, and make your business more visible to those who search for what you offer.

Working on your digital presence is definitely not going to be an overnight job. As with anything of great value, it will take a refined vision, hard work, and a few ounces of patience to get your business to the sweet spot of the internet.

Bi-Weekly Resource Roundup Volume 4

Hi everyone,

We’re continuing to update and add helpful and exciting changes to Flocksy so you should be seeing those happening during the next few months, and we have really appreciated all the feedback and suggestions we have had from both clients and team members alike, as we seek to make everyone’s experiences the best it can be.

Sam Ryan
… and the rest of Team Flocksy!

Featured team member design of the month:

Here is some marketing material created for a client by Flocksy team member Amanda. We think its pretty cool! All custom illustrations/brand designs/marketing materials on Flocksy are created completely from scratch by one of our extremely talented graphic design creatives. Start a graphic design project today and see results in just hours!

5 Reasons To Establish A Blog For Your Small Business

by Flocksy writer Matt Gladstone

Blogs are more in use now than ever before, and it’s never too late to start one. Here’s a brief guide to why you should start a blog today, this very moment.   continue

Live Your Purpose: Five Reasons To Become An Entrepreneur

by Flocksy writer Mary Lee Ptacek

In the world today, you don’t have to stay in a career that makes you unhappy or that isn’t as fulfilling as you hoped. In the gig economy, there are many opportunities for people to build their own business.  continue

How To Move Past A Failure At Work

by Flocksy writer Allison Denny

Remember that everyone makes mistakes from time to time, including your management team, director, board, and other decision-makers. Explore the following steps to minimize, address, and move past professional mistakes.  continue

Managing Vs. Leading

by Flocksy writer Matt Gladstone

If you’re wondering what the difference between effective management and effective leadership are, read this quick and informative guide.  continue 

How Much Is Too Much Work?

We love our smart phones. They provide a constant connection to the Internet and to each other. However, they also give us the ability to be constantly connected to work. Many people are finding it more and more difficult to separate their work from their personal lives, which leads to several different problems.

Whether you work remotely full-time or you’re expected to check emails every night, you probably struggle with your work-life balance. We’ve come up with five tips for dealing with the demands of working in our modern world of constant connection.

Measure Your Workload

If you’re worried you might be working too much, you probably already feel stressed and overwhelmed. There are other signs that you are working too much, too.

One of those telltale signs is forgetting tasks. If you have too much on your plate, something’s going to slide off. Then you’ll be left cleaning up the mess that the forgotten task has created, which just causes more work for you.

Take an unbiased look at your workload. How much work have you agreed to do? How much of it is extra or not related to your job description? How much of it do you think goes beyond the scope of what you can handle?

Measure your workload. Estimate how much time it will take to complete the tasks that you’re currently expected to do. Find out if there are enough hours in the work week for you to complete them all.

When you measure your workload, you help discover just what is taking up the biggest chunks of your time. Having a clear picture of your workload will help you better understand the problems you’re experiencing.

Evaluate Your Health

Too much work can absolutely affect your physical and mental health. When you’re stressed because you don’t have enough time or the ability to complete what you need to do, then you’re more likely to make poor choices.

For many people, the first thing to go out the window is healthy eating. Overworked employees don’t have the time or energy to stick to a diet or prepare healthy meals. We eat from the vending machine or grab takeout at the end of an 11-hour day. Sometimes we resort to overconsuming alcohol or using substances to take the edge off after a stressful day or week.

Needless to say, these unhealthy choices cause serious issues. Even unhealthy eating, which seems fairly harmless, can lead to major health problems down the line. These physical issues also affect mental health.

When mental health issues are ignored, serious problems occur. If you have too much work on your plate, you could suffer from much more than simple stress. More serious anxiety and depression are possibilities, and you could eventually suffer from burnout.

Ignoring how you feel about work can make everything worse. If you have too many tasks and not enough time, you could end up resenting your coworkers, your supervisors, and even yourself.

It’s important to regularly evaluate both your physical and mental health while you’re at work and at home.

Make A Plan

Measuring your workload and evaluating your health are the first two crucial steps you have to take before you make a plan. Yes, we know we’re asking you to add another item to your to-do list. However, taking the time to follow these steps will help reduce your workload and your stress in the long run.

Figure out when you’re going to accomplish your tasks each day and each week. Write down these items on your calendar. That means literally setting aside time to finish projects before their due dates.

Take the time to schedule healthy meals and exercise sessions. You also need to prioritize “me time,” when you’ll do what you love the most, whether that’s reading a book, watching a movie, or having a game night with friends.

Once you’ve made your schedule, ask yourself how realistic it is. Make any adjustments that you think are necessary.

Talk To Your Supervisors

You know you have too many tasks on your plate. You’ve measured your workload and found out just how much is expected of you. You’ve also evaluated your situation to determine what you can actually accomplish without damaging your health. You’ve made a solid plan.

Now it’s time to talk to your supervisors. Show them the data you’ve collected and the plan you’ve created. Prove to them that you’ve been doing more work than should be expected for someone in your position. Ask them if there’s anyone else who can handle the tasks that don’t fit your job description or shouldn’t be part of your role.

Be direct and do your homework before you begin the conversation. Showing your supervisors that you know exactly what you’re talking about will go a long way.

Stay Consistent

Most reasonable supervisors will assess what you’ve brought to them and agree to make some changes. However, you are still responsible for staying on top of your own workload. As time goes on, you need to consistently check in to make sure that you’re not falling in to the same trap as when you were overworked before.

Schedule a monthly meeting with yourself to measure your workload and evaluate your health. Take stock of the days where you feel stressed and overwhelmed. Your health and happiness are more important than any job, especially a job that is continually dragging you down. Keep checking in on your workload. Be your own best advocate so you can enjoy your life!

Top 5 Ways to Power Up Your Productivity and Work Smarter

Productivity advice is one of the top searched topics on the internet, and it’s no wonder. Everyone is always looking for the perfect way to get more done in less time. There are seemingly thousands of apps all promising to make this possible.

The truth is, everyone’s productivity needs are different, but you don’t need to focus on getting more done. You need to get the right things done. Here’s how to work smarter, not harder, and enjoy greater productivity every day!

1. Cut Down Your Task List

How many of your to-dos are actually necessary? How many could you cut with no harm done? Many people feel overwhelmed by their task list because they simply have unnecessary items on it. It’s hard to feel motivated when a task has no benefit to you. Subconsciously, you know this.

So take a good, hard look at your to-do list and do the following:

  • Cut anything that’s been sitting undone for weeks or months. It’s probably not important. If it is in fact important and still relevant, it’s likely an unpleasant task and you should just go ahead and get it over with.
  • Delegate tasks that someone else could do. Lean on your team! Could someone else do it better? Resist the urge to keep it on your plate just to feel accomplished.
  • Eliminate “would be nice” tasks that don’t support your goals. Perhaps you’ve been meaning to sign up for that Krav Maga class your friend recommended, and it’s been sitting in your todos for months. Learn to identify tasks that just don’t align with your life. Pro tip: If you haven’t made time for it, it’s probably not crucial to your endeavors.
  • Automate anything you can. Tedious tasks such as writing standard emails and updating CRMs suck up precious hours. Use an automation tool to do the heavy lifting for you.

2. Stop Multitasking

You may feel more productive when you’re catching up on your favorite podcast as you check your email while you make breakfast and wait for the laundry to be done. Phew, I was exhausted just writing that. Imagine how your body and mind respond when you do that.

Multitasking is not actually getting more done. If anything, you are splitting your attention and energy, causing everything to take longer. Your brain also can’t process these multiple stimuli effectively, so you end up losing focus. When working on projects, that’s the absolute worst thing for productivity!

Resist the urge to multitask. Break your day down into chunks of time, then allot each chunk to a specific task. You’ll get more done and feel less stressed.

3. Create Routines

We are creatures of habit. We like consistency and predictability. This is why the world’s most effective productivity systems such as Get Things Done focus on habits.

After you’ve broken down your day into chunks as described in Tip #2, map out a workflow. Think about a logical flow for your schedule. For example, most people check their email first thing in the day. Block out a time for that, then focus on other tasks. After 2 hours of work, you might want to take a break, then check your messages again.

By creating a predictable flow, you can stop the “daily grind” that makes you feel stressed. You’ll stop worrying about squeezing in so many tasks because you know, without a doubt, that you’ve blocked out time to do it.

4. Focus On Self Care

Speaking of routines, don’t forget to leave time for self care in your schedule. It’s so tempting to skip meals or your daily workout because you’re eager to get things done. But these “recovery” moments are crucial to your overall productivity. They will keep you from feeling like you work, work, work with no time to yourself.

Try creating a morning, afternoon, and evening routine in which you do your self care. Include your essential health tasks (eating a meal, taking medications, showering) as well as some time to yourself. This can be when you catch up on the news or do a bit of pleasure reading.

Make a short list of items you will do at these times every single day, e.g. wake up, shower, eat breakfast, and do yoga in the morning, then read, wash your face, drink tea right before bed.

5. Take A Break

It may sound counterintuitive, but when you take regular breaks, you give yourself time to recharge and therefore get more done. Our brains simply aren’t designed to sustain mental focus for hours on end. So when you are trying to get your tasks done, an endless marathon of work is the worst thing you can do. You’ll burn out fast.

Incorporate breaks into your workflow. This doesn’t mean taking a long break to watch Netflix every couple of hours, but it does mean getting up to stretch, grabbing a (healthy) snack, and forcing yourself to step away from your work to recharge. If you’re a workaholic, this can be a challenge. But once you learn to

The Pomodoro Method is an excellent way to boost productivity. You focus on a task for 45 to 60 minutes, then take a short 5 minute break. Each focus session is called a Pomo. Every few Pomos, you take a longer 15 minute break. This keeps your energy levels up and helps you feel less overwhelmed.

Wrapping Up

The greatest productivity happens not when you’re piling on tasks, but when you’re leaving space for recovery. The work you do should be important and meaningful, not an endless parade of tedious, pointless tasks. So, the more you can do to cut down your task list and care for your health, the more you will get done in the long run. Try these tips and see for yourself!

How To Craft An Effective Newsletter In 6 Easy Steps

One of the easiest and most effective marketing tools you can use is an email newsletter. It allows you to build your brand, engage with your customers and even close sales. As you send email newsletters on a regular basis, you’ll also be able to build a relationship with your customer base and demonstrate an industry knowledge, creating more trust and leading to higher sales volumes.

Here are a few of the areas that you should focus on when crafting your email newsletter.

Plan It Out

To start off, you need to plan out your email newsletter. It seems easy to just write it up and send it out, but that won’t get you the result you’re looking for. First, know what kind of newsletter you want to send.

Whatever the focus of your email newsletter will be, keep it consistent. If you’re sending out a newsletter focused on business tactics and tips, you shouldn’t include a recipe for your grandmother’s cornbread.

You also have to give your customers a reason to sign up for your newsletter. You can incentivize them by offering a discount or coupon. Once you do that, be sure to set expectations from the get go, as for how often you’ll be sending newsletters and what content the readers can expect.

You should also figure out the look of your email newsletter. Pick a color scheme, one that follows the same look as your official website. You should stick to this color scheme going forward. You should also pick out a newsletter template that you’ll stick to. This will make your newsletters predictable for your readers.

Start Strong

With everything planned out and ready to go, you can finally write your newsletter. Nothing will kill your open rate like not starting strong. The first thing most of your readership will see is the subject line. These are statistics from leading data about newsletters:

  • 35% of the recipients will open an email newsletter based solely on the subject line.
  • 69% of people report emails as spam based on subject lines. That means your email subject line has the power to make or break you.
  • 82% of marketers say a personalized subject line leads to more opens
  • 75% of experts agree that a personalized subject line drives higher click-through rates.

Consider a few subject line options and try testing them out. Over time, you’ll hone your skills and know what will work best for your readers.

Along with making your subject line engaging, you have to pay attention to the opening of your email to grab their attention. If they aren’t interested in what you have to say, they’ll click away.

Context Clues

The content of your newsletter is crucial to building a successful following rather than having a bunch of people unsubscribe. To set yourself up for success, you need to connect with the reader, showing them how your brand and your products can provide them something of value or improve their lives.

Keep your content and your design short and simple so the message of your newsletter is clear. This will also help you personalize your content.

Throughout your newsletter, stick to the goal and focus of your newsletter. If you are jumping between topics or trying to cover too much ground, you’ll lose your audience. Instead, focus on being relevant.

Whether it’s highlighting new products or teaching your readers how to do something, make sure you’re on topic and relevant, it’ll matter to the reader. You want to keep your newsletter about 90% educational and 10% promotional.

Another thing you can do to connect with your reader is to offer a behind-the-scenes look at your operation. Introduce them to your workers. Show them your packed stock room. Send them pictures of your notes. Whatever your behind-the-scenes view is, give them a peek. It’ll help them feel a part of your business.

Visuals

While the content of your newsletter is critical to keeping your readers reading, visuals can certainly help. Adding simple things like pictures, graphics,, and animations can give you new ways of condensing information in an easy-to-read format. You might also consider using a brand mascot that helps with brand recognition.

An important part to adding visuals is adding alternative text to them. Better known as alt text, this is a way to add a short description of your visuals in case your readership has their images turned off for emails or in case you have readers with visual impairments.

This will also keep you from having chunks of blank space in your newsletter, keeping it more visually appealing and easier to read.

Nail The Closing

Just like you need to start strong, you have to finish strong. Consider closing with an offer, discount, or coupon. This will help incentivize your readers to keep reading in the hopes of another savings.

You might also have the offer connected with your primary call to action. Making sure you only have a single call to action is important or you’ll split the deck on what people choose to do.

You need to include links to your brand’s social media pages. This further allows your readers to engage with your brand. It can also help you in offering social proof, or demonstrating that a large group of people your readers trust would recommend and use your brand. This can improve the chances of your readers making a purchase.

Final Touches

Once you’ve sent the newsletter, you have to track, test, and optimize each one. That’s how you will know what to use in the future. You also have to come up with a way to send your email newsletters consistently. If you aren’t sending them on a schedule, your readers will likely miss them in their inbox.

As you do these things, you’ll find your email newsletters becoming your favorite marketing tactic. Along with marketing, it’s a way to connect with and form a relationship with your customer base. This will help you as a brand to grow and thrive.

Breaking Through A Creative Block

Your deadline is coming up and you haven’t even started yet. You feel nervous, anxious, and maybe even a little bit defeated already. You’re starting to wonder if you’ll ever finish the project and if you’re even in the right career.

When you suffer from a creative block, it can feel like everything is stacked against you. But there is good news: you’re not alone. Many professionals (and beginners) in creative fields have suffered, and eventually broken through, creative blocks.

It’s important to be productive, but it’s also essential that you stay true to yourself as a creative. We’ve gathered five tips that have helped others break through creative blocks while maintaining their authenticity, and we hope these tips will help you, too!

Fix Your Space

You might already have office space, whether it’s at home, in a coworking building, or at a company office. No matter where your workspace is, take a look at your desk. Do you have all the supplies you need? Do you have the space to sketch or write when you do get that flash of inspiration?


If your desk is overloaded with papers, you’ll need to clear them off first. You can even stack them on the floor if you need to; just get them out of the way of your creation space.

If your walls are lackluster and bare, consider hanging prints, paintings, or photographs that inspire you. On the other hand, if you find visuals distracting, keep your walls empty.

To break through a creative block, you need to take stock of your environment. What’s bothering you? What’s distracting you? Find out and fix your space issues before you move on.

Set Your Schedule

Having a schedule is critically important. Research has proven that routines are necessary for success. Your brain knows that “this is creating time” if you sit down in the same spot at the same time every day.

Your brain is prepared to help you get in the right mindset and avoid distractions. When you don’t have a schedule, you have to force your brain into that mindset every single time you need to work.

If you need to break through a creative block, take a good look at your schedule.

Do you have one? Do you dedicate mornings to research and afternoons to writing, for example? Or mornings to sketching and afternoons to fine tuning? Do you have a plan or a process for how to approach projects, such as brainstorm, sketch, revise?

Write down a schedule for yourself and stick to it. You should also look at your big-picture schedule closely. If you have lots of projects due around the same time, you’ll need to set aside time each day to work on different projects. Think about when you work best and what will conflict with your personal life, and then, design your schedule.

But Be Flexible, Too

On the other hand, if you become too attached to your schedule, you might end up making your creative block even worse. Sometimes people might “go through the motions” of sitting down at the same spot and opening the same programs on their computer without actually putting any thought or heart behind their actions.

If this is the case, consider taking a break. You can take a quick 10 minute walk outside. Watching a 10 minute YouTube video about relaxation or meditation might help you as well. If it’s later in the day and you think it could help, consider taking a quick 20 minute cat nap.

Flexibility is important. When you’re stuck in a rut, take a break from what you do every other day and see if it helps!

Try Different Exercises

If you have a good space and schedule, and you’re also being flexible, but you’re still not making progress with your project, then you should look at different exercises.


We’re not necessarily talking about physical exercises (although physical exercise can definitely help you with a mental reset, too!). We mean exercises for your brain that can help you look at a problem from a new perspective.

For example, you can do a word association exercise when you look at a list and write down the first word you think of for each item on the list. You can open the calendar and put your finger on a specific day, then try to write down all your memories from that day. You can challenge yourself to draw something that you’ve always hated drawing before.

You can find many other mental exercises online to try out if you think that none of those will work for you. No matter what exercise you try, it should help you come to your work with a fresh set of eyes and a different attitude.

Motivate Yourself With Small Rewards

At the end of the day, work is all about reward. If you meet your goals, you’ll be rewarded with income by your client. But sometimes, you have to reward yourself to break through a creative block.

Tell yourself that as soon as you finish the first draft, then you can take yourself out for a latte. Then act on that promise. Or, tell yourself that when you finish your sketch of the logo design, you can spend 20 minutes texting friends or playing games.

Give yourself little rewards along the way for making progress, no matter how small that progress might be. Remind yourself that each step you take will help you get the big reward at the end!

Wrapping It Up…

When you fix your space, set a schedule, embrace flexibility, try different exercises, and motivate yourself with small rewards, you’ll find yourself on the way to breaking through creative block. Keep your eye on the prize, but also take time for yourself. You’ll need to balance what you’re capable of with what your client needs. At the end of the day, breaking through creative block means doing what’s best for you.