7 Ways To Work Around The Fact That Facebook Sucks Now


If you have a Facebook page for your blog or business you probably discovered a completely infuriating change in early December.  Instead of showing your updates to all (or most) of the people who have actively chosen to follow you, Mr. Zuckerberg and Co. now show your updates to about 10% of your followers.  And if you’d like everyone to see your stuff? Well, you’ll just have to pay up.  I did the math and I’d have to pay about $2,000 a month if I wanted my 3,700+ followers to see my posts!


So I’ve spent the last month experimenting with different ways to reach my readers since Facebook is now pretty much out of the question.   Here are seven things that I’ve tried - with some success.


1. Really commit to Twitter - and use the photo option
Twitter is much more egalitarian that Facebook and (fingers crossed) has not yet pulled any shifty algorithm changes, ala Facebook. You can connect directly with people,  friending the editor of that publication you like, rather than just liking the publication’s Facebook page.

Also!  Twitter has a relatively new option that allows you to add photos directly to your Twitter stream rather than linking to photos hosted elsewhere.  It makes a huuuuge difference in your traffic, especially if the thing you’re promoting is visually appealing.  If you want to be a level 10 tryhard, you can design images specifically for Twitter.   Here’s a super helpful post about how to optimize your images for Twitter Streams.  (P.S. Are we friends on Twitter?  We should be.)

2. Promote business-y stuff on LinkedIn
I know, I know.  You’re all “Uggggghhhhh. Who even uses LinkedIn?”  There are people there!  I swear!  A friend of mine got headhunted for a super cool editor job off of LinkedIn, so someone, somewhere is using it and reading it.  If you write about/consult about/work with business-y stuff, post your blog posts on your LinkedIn updates.  Can’t hurt, might help!

3. Share select stuff on your personal Facebook page
I usually limit my personal Facebook page to posting vacation photos and inviting people to stuff, but very occasionally, when I write something that I think other people might find useful, I’ll post it on the Yes and Yes Facebook page, and then ‘share’ it as Sarah Von Bargen.  Shares feed into the Facebook algorithm and show Facebook that your post is ‘worthwhile’ and then it’s more likely to be seen by others.

Use this method carefully.  Your ‘real’ Facebook friends will pretty quickly get annoyed if you’re constantly promoting your business when they’re just trying to chat with your about who’s bringing what to that baby shower.

4. Create an amazing newsletter opt in
You already know that you need an email newsletter, right?   It allows you to reach right into people’s inboxes and connect there, without the hubbub and distraction of the internet. Newsletters help you keep in touch with prospective clients, share important updates about your business, and build trust with your readers and followers.  AND Mark Zuckerberg can’t mess with your subscriber list!

One of the best ways to get newsletter subscribers is to create an irresistible opt-in - a free ebook that they get for signing up, a set of private videos, or access to tools and platforms that will help them.  When you sign up for my small business newsletter, you get my ebook 7 Tricks For A Polished + Impressive + Productive Online Life.  People who sign up for Yes and Yes’s newsletter get three (3!) ebooks: How To Charm Anyone. All The Time. Ever, Be Your Own Style Icon, and 29 Ways To Enjoy Winter.


5. Tell your Facebook people what’s going on
Use that ‘boost post’ option to tell everyone who follows you on Facebook about what’s going on. Let them know other ways they call follow/befriend you (newsletter, RSS feed, other social media platforms) and give them instructions on how to subscribe to your Facebook posts, if they really want to see your updates.  They can do that by hovering over the ‘liked’ button and choosing ‘get notifications’ from the drop down menu.

6. Dive into to a different social media platform
My personal policy for social media (and what I tell my clients) is “choose two, do them well.”  It’s better (and less overwhelming) to do two things well, rather than five things poorly.  If you’re not using them already, you could try out Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Youtube, Vimeo or Vine.  I’m still sussing things out, but I might dip my toe back into Pinterest.  Or Youtube.

7. Occasionally suck it up and pay to promote
If you’ve spent years developing a following on Facebook, it’s a pity to let all that hard work go to waste and there will definitely be times (like launches) when you want to access everyone you can.  In those moments, just spent $20 so all of your followers (and maybe a few other people) will see your posts.  Track your incoming traffic to see if it was worth it and then lather, rinse, and repeat.

Have the Facebook changes affected you?  How are you working around them?

P.S. Want more super helpful advice like this?  Check out my Clever Sessions!  People love ’em - one client said “Honestly, I learned as much, if not more, in Sarah’s 90 minute Clever Session than I did in a two day blogging workshop that I paid $700 for. ”

photo (without text on top) by Ricky Lai

Why having a disjointed social media presence is hurting your blog or business

This guest post comes to us via the lovely and talented Bobbi of Ready To Blog.  She helps small businesses, creatives, and bloggers with branding, blogs, and web design. Forpetessake, her custom-designed Blogspot blogs start at $200!  You can follow her adventures on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram


Having confusing or slightly obscure internet handle was pretty much a right of passage for anyone who can remember the times when dial-up was king and AOL used to send you CDs packed with ‘1,000 FREE HOURS, FREE!’

But, with the rise of social media and the proliferation of personal and social brands, it has become necessary for people to be able to find you quickly and in a way that makes sense. Before, using an acronym of all of the sports you used to play followed by a string of numbers as your Twitter handle–I actually did this at one point–might have been fine, but now doing so will rightfully earn you a few side-eyes.

A common, and damaging, mistake that many companies and brands are making on social media has to do with both consistency and clarity. How many times have you seen this: On Twitter, your favorite store has a handle of @marysteacups. Awesome! You scoot over to Facebook so give them a ‘like’, but you find it almost impossible to locate their page. It’s not facebook.com/marysteacups. No sign of Mary’s Teacups when you do a search. When you finally (finally) locate the page, you find a messy URL with an indecipherable string of numbers tacked on to the end. It’s annoying, and it’s totally unnecessary to force your customers to chase you around the internet just to give you some love!

If you’re running social media for a company or for yourself, it’s crucial that you make the best case for yourself online, and that starts with getting your social media property in check. Why?

You’ll look more professional
Once you decide on a name, stick with it, and hoover up all the real-estate you can get your hands on. If you are your brand and you’re going with @firstname_lastname on Twitter, go with the same on Instagram. If you can snag Facebook.com/firstnamelastname (or something close), do it! There’s no reason to leave your potential customers or fans playing a guessing game to find you. Make it easy and make it obvious. (To set a vanity Facebook URL for a fan page, log in to your account and navigate here: https://www.facebook.com/username.)

You’ll encourage people to engage with and share your content
It’s much easier to write, “Find me on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest at @brandname!” than it is to list three different handles. While it might not always be possible to get your desired usernames, you should get as close as possible and keep an eye on the handles you want in case they become available. When your handles reflect your brand in a concise and clear way, your viewers will have an incentive to not only check you out on your different platforms, but to engage with you on them as well.

You’ll protect your brand
You might not be Twitter-famous yet, but why risk having handles that can be closely associated with your brand snagged by someone who has nothing to do with your business? Having control of your name on different platforms means that you get to determine what’s done with the real estate. Even if that’s nothing, it’s important for you to control the content and messaging through as many of the channels at your disposal as possible.

So, how can you get your social media in order?

Start with your domain
If you’re currently blogging on a free platform like Blogger or WordPress.com, make the $10 investment and get yourself a custom dot com. If you’re feeling particularly thorough, look into securing the .net, .org, or other similar secondary domains as well! This is the first step to putting your best foot forward online and to avoid co-branding yourself with a third-party.

Bring your handles in line
If you currently Tweet from @firstname_lastname and Instagram from @highschoolnickname, start changing your handles to match your brand and each other! Whether that means that both are @firstname_lastname or @companyname is up to you, but make a choice and stick with it. It’s scary, I know! But the sooner you do it the better, and since you can switch your handles without losing your fans and followers, you’ll be glad you made the switch in the long run. Note: If you already have a following and don’t want anyone else to use your old username, swoop in behind yourself and secure your old handles with a new account. While it seems a bit strange to hold on to a handle that you’ll rarely use, you’ll want to have control over your old account to 1) prevent anyone else from pretending to be you and 2) direct any fans that may not check in with you regularly to your new handles.

That’s it!

An investment of 20 minutes is all it takes to get your house in order and begin to project a streamlined and professional front online.

Why Having A Personality On The Internet Will Help Your Business

This post is part of a blog tour inspired for Jump: Into your business, your life, your dream -  a must-have digital guide for new coaches & creatives. This all-inclusive eBook will teach you how to start a business, find your niche, brand like a pro, and make the jump with confidence. Find out more here.

Let your weirdo shine through! People hire people they like and how can we like you if we don't know anything about you?
If you’ve ever read my blog or if we’re friends on Twitter, you probably know:
I love - without irony - Ke$ha, Dolly Parton, Richard Simmons.
I think dressing my cat in costumes is hilarious.
I travel heaps and have been plotting a trip to Russia and Mongolia for a while now.
I would rather read National Geographic than Cosmo. Any day. Ever.

I’m sure there are people out there who would hide their love of cat costumes and ‘Die Young‘ under the proverbial bushel.  And maybe you feel like - despite my many happy clients - you can’t take me seriously because last year I wore a drop-crotch onesie, a single earring, and a faux-mo to a Ke$ha concert.  (I’m 34.)

And that’s totally okay.

While I don’t write a lot about my personal life or the intimate details of my relationships or family on the internet I very, VERY much believe in being who you are.  All the time. Online and off.

For me this means:
Occasionally being a hardass.  Being totally transparent about how much I charge and how I work.  Trying new things. Being open about my failures.  Liking what I like - unapologetically.

Why is it important to have a personality - on the internet AND in real life?

1. It will separate you from the crowd
There are about a million website designers/social media consultants/content strategists/life coaches and many of them deliver equally good products.  But inevitably, we hire people we like.  And you know who we like?  People we relate to.  I love working with Kim Lawler because she’s talented and prompt.  I also like working with her because her About page says “I think this is the place where I’m supposed to tell you that I’m a “web development ninja”, or a “jQuery wizard”… while both of these things might be true, I’m not a douchebag, so I won’t.”   There are heaps of lovely, mellow, green-juice drinking life coaches out there.  I will never hire any of them because I don’t particularly enjoy meditation or green juice.  I enjoy hip hop and coffee.

2. It will help you find your people
Success isn’t just about the people who hire you, it’s about the people you surround yourself with.  When you’re honest about who you are and what you’re about, you’ll attract similarly-minded people.  I’ve found amazing online and offline friendships with Winona, Kelly, Rachel, Alex, Marie and heaps more ladies - partially because we all love Dolly Parton and partially because who we are online is who we are offline.

3. It’s a million times easier than pretending to be something you’re not
A cautionary tale: a good friend of mine founded a successful accessory label when she was in her early twenties.  Said friend loves to drink, swear, tell dirty jokes, and generally be as awesome as humanly possible.  But her brand? It was all satin and buttoned-up sweater sets.  She felt like who she was wasn’t really ‘the right fit’ for her label so she spent yeaaaaars promoting and producing beautiful pieces that she, herself, probably wouldn’t use and going to cocktail parties in fancy dresses and making polite chit chat when she probably would have rather been at home watching The Walking Dead.

She also spent some time in therapy.

Lesson: it’s exhausting, time-consuming, unsustainable, and probably unhealthy to hide who you are on the internet.

So let that weirdo shine!  Tell us what you’re into, how you work, what you don’t like.  We’ll probably like you even more.

Who do you think lets their personality shine through online?  I think Ash Ambirge, Nicole Antoinette, and Smaggle do a great job with this.

5 Ways To Really, Actually Enjoy Networking (Or At Least Hate It Less)


This guest post comes to us via Alexa Fischer, a communication coach who helps her clients feel confident and comfortable speaking anywhere – in presentations, at networking events, on video. You can get free admittance to her Public Speaking 101 course here or follow along on Twitter and Facebook. 

Did you put ‘Attend more networking events‘ at the top of this year’s list of resolutions?
Make awkward small talk with strangers while shoving my business card in their direction‘?
Wander around hotel ballrooms while avoiding eye contact‘?

No? Now I find that surprising. 😉

Most of us think we hate networking. We think it’s a necessary evil and if we do it at all, we probably do it with a healthy dose of grumbling and side eye. Regardless of your industry - coaching, photography, copywriting, or a brick and mortar business - your business will benefit from networking.

And it’s really, actually possible to do without dying inside. Here’s how.

1. Stop telling yourself (and anyone who will listen) how much you hate networking events
If you spend 20 minutes complaining about networking for every 10 minutes you spend actually networking you’re not going to get any closer to liking it. We all do things we don’t like that are good for us in the long run (I’m looking at you, 6 am spin class). It’s part of being a successful adult. It’s okay if networking isn’t your new hobby, but commit to stopping the complaints.

2. View networking as an opportunity to help + connect people (rather than just promote yourself)
This is the biggest, best thing you can do for yourself and your business. Can’t you just feel your shoulders relaxing at the thought of it?

Instead of feverishly prowling the room looking for people to pitch, what if you just approached someone with a friendly face and talked to them like a human being? And then when they mention that they’re struggling with social media, you can tell them about your beloved Twitter guru. Or when they say they need a virtual assistant for 10 hours a week, tell them about yours.

If they’re buying something you’re selling or need help with something you know about, by all means tell them about it! But don’t worry or rush or force yourself to ‘always be closing,’ just be the kind, helpful human that you usually are.

3. Don’t limit the conversation to business stuff
You’re more than a web developer or a wedding photographer - and so is everyone else at this networking event. Go ahead and ask people what they did last weekend, if they’re doing anything fun this winter, what they’re reading. Their answers will give you insight into their personalities that a job title won’t and you’ll be a lot more likely to connect when you discover you both love winter vacations to Utah.
4. Invite people to join your conversation
Don’t you hate hovering at the outside of a conversation circle, doing that thing where you nod and make eye contact and devotedly hope that someone will include you? Be the person who invites others in.

Include them by telling them what you’re talking about and inviting them to contribute. “We were just talking about our post-holiday plans and our obsessions with Park City, Utah. Are you doing anything fun to get through the rest of the winter?”

5. If you’re really, truly shy, don’t force yourself to stay for three hours
If you’re introverted or really uncomfortable in groups don’t force yourself to network for a million hours. Give yourself a goal (talk to three new people, stay for 45 minutes) and when you’ve met that goal, head home to your Netflix. Maintaining your sanity is a lot more important than exchanging one more set of business cards.

How do you feel about networking? Share your best tips in the comments!

P.S. How to befriend bloggers

photo by Rex Roof // cc


The Snarkiest Copy I’ve Ever Written (And Why I Loved It + What I Learned From It)

I love all my clients.  I’ve worked with companies launching amazing apps, fancy NYC stylists, and super talented photographers  - to name just a few.  I count myself as insaaaaanely lucky to assemble sentences for a living.

This fall, an assignment fell into my lap which was - no holds barred - the most fun I’ve had in my professional life last year. (Okay, not actually more fun than shooting a cat calendar. But definitely the most fun I’ve had writing this year!)

I got to write copy for a new company that sells high-end clothing for toddlers.  BUT!  The kicker?  The owner wanted funny, slightly snarky, story-based copy for the product descriptions.  I PRETTY MUCH DIED AND WENT TO COPYWRITER HEAVEN.



A few things I learned from this experiment in awesome?

1. When you’re doing something you really, really, reallllllly love it doesn’t feel like work
File under the heading of ‘Duh, Sarah, I know.’  I love the work I do.  If I didn’t love it, I wouldn’t do it.  But.  The way I feel when writing taglines for an HR company?  Or a landing page for a marketing firm?  This is different than the way I feel when I’m crafting a funny, snarky story about a rich toddler wrestling a dog.  I didn’t track how long it took me to write these product descriptions but I doubt it took me longer than 2 hours to write 20 of them.

2. When you really, really want the work you might want to take a pay cut
Are you dying to add more editorial work to your photography portfolio?  Are you a designer who wants to get into wedding invitations?  If you really want to do that stuff - and the potential client is just starting out - you might want to consider working for less than your usual rate.  Just this one time to fill out your portfolio.

3. Telling stories is The Actual Best
Much of my writing takes its final form in About pages and Sales pages - of which I am both fond and adept.  I forgotten how much I’d loved telling mini stories and using humor in my writing.  I mean, I do it regularly on my blog, but it’s been a long time since I’ve been able to use those skills for my clients.  And it feels gooooood to be professionally witty again.

Tell us about your favorite client/project of the year and what you learned from that experience!

P.S. As you may remember, I’m putting my copywriting skillz on indefinite hiatus in 2014.  Stay in touch if you’d like to be on the waiting list or need a referral!

4 Reasons to Use iPhone Photography On Your Website

Alison Chino wants to live in a world where the adventures are new every day, the soups feed a crowd, and the kids still play outside. Her travel musings, stories about expat life in Scotland and yummy recipes can be found at alisonchino.com. Or follow along on Twitter or Instagram.

I am going to let you in on a little secret. Sometimes people call me a photographer and I don’t even own a camera.
Except for the one that is in my phone.

Here are a few reasons I love using my phone to take pictures for my travel blog.

1. Small and Simple

I love taking pictures, and sometimes I think about getting a bigger camera, but the block for me is not purchasing the camera.  It’s the idea of carrying it around, and learning how to use complicated editing software. I would have to come up with a storage system for the bigger files that bigger cameras hold, and I would rather spend more time wandering the world than figuring that out.

2. Phone Editing Apps

Everyone has their own favorite photography apps, and there are new ones being made all the time that make the pictures on your phone look amazing.

For me, it’s like this:
Snapseed + VSCO Cam = Life Changed

The drama filter on Snapseed makes the textures on your photos pop, and will add light to a picture that is too dark.  It’s like magic!Also I love Instagram like a thirteen year old. Seriously.However, sometimes I want an Instagram filter on several photos for a blog post, but I don’t want to put them all on Instagram. In that case, you can turn off your data (or wifi on an iTouch) and Instagram all the photos you want.  They will come up in your feed as “failed” but they will save to your photos.  You then delete the failed photos and turn your data back on.  Voila!
I often run a picture through all three of these apps before I’m happy with it.
3. Pictures go straight to my blog via the WordPress App
One of the handiest parts of using my phone for all my pictures is that I can upload my photos to where they need to go through the apps on my phone.  When I had a camera, I had to store the pictures on my computer, resize them and then upload them to a website.

Now you can use the apps for WordPress or Etsy or wherever your website is hosted to upload your photos directly from your phone. So easy!

4. Work on the go.
Using my phone for photography means I am getting more work done when I am on the road.  If I take, edit and upload pictures while I’m traveling, when I get home I can open up my computer, sit down and just write. The pictures are already there.  All I have to do is use my journal to fill in the stories.I  have to say that I do have a huge appreciation for gorgeous DSLR photos.  We have our family photos done every year by a professional photographer and I wouldn’t trade them for anything.  But for every day blogging, I am finding that using my phone works beautifully!

Do you guys take the photos you use on your website?  Which apps and editing tools do you use?  I swear by Flickr Creative Commons + Picmonkey!

8 posts for smart-working, creative-types

Friends!  Some helpful links before you dive headlong into Christmas debauchery.

Did you launch something?  And it didn’t go quite how you would have liked?  Here’s how to regroup.
The truth is, most product launches don’t go viral. In the normal world, those occurrences are the outliers in the statistical universe. For you, it’s probably going to take a little more time, a little more effort, and a lot more patience.After all, there is a ton of behind-the-scenes work that goes into an overnight success.

Is it time to rebrand?  3 questions to ask yourself.

So helpful!  The Small Business Year-End Checklist.

Does SEO make you want to scratch your eyes out?  Here are some totally doable, non-overwhelming basics.

Want to increase your rates in 2014?  Here’s how.
1. You’re in charge of your business and your rates–not your client. So act like you’re in charge. That means communicating the information directly and with confidence as if it were the most natural thing in the world—and your client will have confidence in your decision. Communicate with hesitation, however—meekly asking what they would think if, or how they would feel if—and the client will see it as an invitation to negotiate.

One of my favorite time-effective ways to engage in ‘professional development’ is to put on Social Triggers videos while I’m making lunch or fold laundry.  Tons of helpful info that I can listen to in the background!

Yet another alternative to Paypal.

I do all of these - do you?  10 things to do to each blog post before you click ‘publish.’

Hope you had a lovely, calming holiday, friends!

photo by blupics // cc

5 Business Lessons I Learned From Creating A Cat Calendar (Yes, really.)

pussinbooks-2PicMonkey CollagePicMonkey Collage1adollshouse-photo
If you’ve been within 10 feet of me in real life or on social media for the last month, I’m sure you’ve heard me natter on about what is probably the most awesome/ridiculous project of my professional life: the 2014 Puss In Books calendar. While this is not my first calendar/rodeo this year I really, really went all out.  A separate website.  A professional photographer.  The whole nine.

And here’s what I learned (and don’t worry, these are lessons any business can benefit from, cat-related or not)

1. Ridiculous, just-a-joke ideas can lead to awesome stuff
I work on a lot of Serious, Important things and I have some clients who even intimidate me a little bit - six-figure building industry recruiters, healthcare leadership consultants, fancy, complicated apps.  On Yes and Yes, I interview people with major medical issues and really tough jobs.  With stuff like that, I wrote off the idea of a calendar based on cats, dressed in literary-themed outfits, accompanied by quotes from famous literature.  That’s silly!  Shouldn’t I be banging out sales pages for entrepreneurs?  Or working on my book proposal?  Why should I devote time to something so silly and fun and easy? Because I wanted to.
Your lesson: Sometimes easy = right.  Just because something is fun or feels natural, doesn’t mean it’s wrong.  You’d be amazed at what happens when you stop believing that only hard work is good work.

2. Add little, personal touches to your products
I add a spoonful of confetti to every calendar I send out. (That’s not a metaphor. I literally sit at my dining room table with a tupperware container full of bulk confetti and drop it into those envelopes.)  I also include a thank you note from my cat and a handwritten request that customers take a photo of their pet with the calendar and send it to me.  Is this stuff time-consuming?  Of course.  Do people notice it and appreciate it and buy the calendar again the next year?  Also, yes.
Your lesson: Get on your packaging game.  And your thank-you note game. And your ‘tiny extras’ game.  People notice.

3. You can be more creative within boundaries
When I decided that I was going to create this calendar, I made a list of my favorite books and then spent an inordinate amount of time googling “Ponyboy costume for a cat.”  Shockingly enough, said costume does not exist.
So I changed my strategy.  I planted myself in front of Amazon’s pet costume section and started scrolling.  As I looked at the costumes, I thought about the books I’d read in high school and college and thought about what I could make work.  What books involve sailors?  Could I do something with a lobster costume? The second approach worked a lot better.
Also: I was able to find a use for this costume.
Your lesson: If you’re feeling overwhelmed by possibility or you don’t know where to start - narrow your view.  Instead of thinking “I want to make jewelry” think “I want to make vintage-inspired jewelry that incorporates foreign coins.” Instead of “I’m a health coach” think “I’m a health coach for women over 35 who work full time and live some place with long winters.”
Things actually get easier when you create creative boundaries.

4. How long do you think it’ll take?  It’ll take longer
One of my travel rules is ‘everything will take twice as long and cost twice as much and you’d expect” While that didn’t quite hold true for this project, I probably would have been happier if I’d mentally doubled my estimated costs and time.  Any time you do a project involving other people or even a self-contained project with lots of moving parts (photos! layout! website! marketing! printing!) there are lots more things to screw up.
Your lesson: Pad your budget and time frame. Be pleasantly surprised when things come in faster or cheaper than you’d expected.

5. Involve your readers and followers
In previous years, I involved my readers none in the calendar process - or follow up. This year, I asked them to take photos of their pets with the calendar and the results have been hilarious. It’s hard to track exactly how many more sales I made through those photos, but I’ve really enjoyed captioning them and sharing them - and that’s just about as important as sales. 😉
Your lesson: Ask your readers to get involved!  Offer them discounts if they send you photos of your products in use!  If they have a social media account, @mention them when you post their photo!

Tell us about your biggest product launch!  What did you create?  How did it go?

Win A Free Solution Session For Your Small Business!

In the spirit of the holiday season (and helping you + your business get a jump on 2014), I wanted to do my small part in spreading good cheer.  In an attempt to repair my karma after regifting that sweater and making my cat wear costumes, I’m giving away a Solution Session to one deserving company, creative, or entrepreneur.

Last year, Arc’s Value Village won.  They’re a Twin Cities-based, chain of non-profit thrift stores that supports children and adults with disabilities.  Last year, their stores brought in over $2 million dollars to fund special needs programing. Isn’t that lovely?  I was flattered to be able to work with such a wonderful organization. (You can see nice things previous clients have said about my work here.)

While I’ve got a weak spot for nonprofits, you needn’t be rescuing puppies or curing cancer to win this Solution Session.  I love businesses and people who are passionate about their mission - whatever that is - and show that they’re serious about what they’re doing. You’re on at least one social media platform. You update things regularly. You do not quake in the face of terms like “at mention” and “Hootsuite.”

Sound like you?  Wonderful!  Fill out this questionnaire to apply for the free session; I’ll choose a winner next Tuesday.

And? This is probably a good a time as any to tell you:

My Clever Sessions will go from $250 to $300 and my Solution Sessions from $1,000 to $1,200.  If you’ve been thinking about working together, you might want to book now and lock in my lower rate 😉

Why the change? I need a break from sales pages and About pages.  I’m working on one (or three) apps, a book proposal, and a new ebook. I’m planning trips to Mexico and Alaska and Florida.  My clients have straight up told me I should be charging more.  And honestly? I’m ready for something new.

As always, I am so, so thankful that you make Yes and Yes and this blog part of your online life.  I so appreciate it!

8 Super Helpful Posts About Self-Employment + Small Business Awesomery

Helpful links for you, dear creative/freelancer/small business owner!

A reminder that the words on your website are often more important than just about anything else.
Think about all the things you could communicate with a simple page like this. If you’re a businessperson, you could sell something. If you’re a teacher, you could teach something. If you’re an artist, you could show something you’ve made. And if your words are good, people will read them.  If you’re a web designer, or a client who is working with one, I’d like to challenge you to think about words first. Instead of starting with a style guide or a Photoshop mockup, start with words on a page.

Want to know all the different ways you can monetize your blog?  Listen to this.

Another good podcast - this one about content marketing.

If you’ve ever had clients, you’ve probably gotten angry at them.  A reminder that amateurs get angry with clients - professionals educate them
But the truth is, we deserve the clients we get. Bad clients aren’t the result of some cosmic force working against us, they’re more likely the result of our own actions. Frustrating clients are the result of some misstep we’ve made along the way. To do our best work and work with the best people, we need to be diligent in our relationship with our clients.

I cannot believe I didn’t know about Explore. Create. Repeat.  A gorgeous website full of helpful content for creatives, makers, and the self-employed.

Do you have a virtual assistant?  And you’re pretty sure you could be making better use of their time?  Here are 101 things you could have them work on. 

9 habits that make freelance life hard + 9 counter-habits that will grow your business.

Helpful! 20 things to do when business is slow.

What great things have you read recently?  Leave links in the comments!

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