5 Reasons Why Social Media is Alot Like Dating

Ever notice the similarities between social media and dating? Think about it…as with dating, there are many of the same rules when it comes to presenting your business on social media as well. Here are a few to help you improve your online presence.

Brixel Creative Blog - 5 Reasons Social Media is alot like Dating

1. First impressions

This is a big one! You wouldn’t walk into a first date wearing your sweaty gym clothes – that wouldn’t make for a very good first impression now would it. It’s not so much your clothing or that we focus on looks first, its simply that you should always put your best foot forward. This is the same with social media. If you have a potential client visit your LinkedIn page and it is incomplete or you have no profile photo, this is a problem. If you are on social media, all the information you can fill in should be done as soon as you sign up. If you have to, put in a placeholder photo just so there is something there instead of the “generic” avatar image. Chances are you won’t get any likes or follows if you profile is incomplete. Something is always better than nothing!

2. Be a good listener

Listening is very important whether on a first date or on social media, and for life in general. The better you communicate, the more connections you can establish early on to build your social community. Pay attention to trending topics so you can join in on the conversation, Twitter is a great example of this. With so many people tweeting 24/7, there surely is a lot to talk about. Between tweets, retweets, mentions and comments, engagement is necessary and taking genuine interest in your fans and followers is a must to keep them around. You must show interest in them and be human just as you would if you met them in person.

3. Mind your manners

Manners always go a long way on a date, as it does on social media. Just like I tell my kids when they leave the house, “remember your manners”, all those participating in social media should keep this in mind while posting and commenting. So you might see drama happening on Facebook – stay out of it. There will always be someone that disagrees with another one’s views, and that’s okay but there is a right and wrong way to handle the situation. You should not be the one fueling the fire to spark engagement – this is not the engagement you want. Keep it professional if you are representing your business or brand and you can always leave a conversation if you start to feel uncomfortable. You are more likely to stand out if you are representing yourself in a positive manor.

4. Playing the field

Okay it’s not what you think, so let me explain! With so many social platforms out there, why stick with just one – explore your options and find the ones that are right for you. Don’t be afraid to experiment, because it’s impossible that they all will work for you. However, you should also keep in mind where your current and potential clients are on social media. If you get the most engagement from LinkedIn or Pinterest but you personally do not like it, oh well! Get over it! If it means more business for you, then so swallow your pride and make sure your presence is known.

5. Looks matter

Maybe this is true for dating – you know, love at first sight – but that’s not what I mean here. It’s the visual content on social media that matters most, because this is what is most likely to be shared more than any other post form. Photos will elicit more emotion from the viewer than just plain text so make sure your images are share worthy. They should be unique and follow your branding image. Use the same colors, fonts, even the same layout and always put your logo or website on the image because you never know who will see it. You only have a few seconds to grab the viewers’ attention, so you’ll always see an increase in engagement when you post photos. Go ahead, give it a try!

Let me know how these tips help your business! And if you have any tips to share, please let me know!

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What is Freedom?

“True bravery is shown by performing without witness what one might be capable of doing before all the world.”
– Francois de la Rochefoucauld

Brie+Pixel_Brixel Creative Blog_What Is Freedome

As I sat down to write this blog post, I got to thinking about the Memorial Day holiday weekend and what this has come to stand for. Maybe it’s the tradition of a family camping trip, BBQ with friends or maybe going to watch your local parade to honor the true heroes. Although these are all great freedoms, I wonder if we’ve forgotten the real reason for the holiday. I also had a couple questions come to mind: What is freedom? Do we take advantage of our freedom?

The unfortunate thing about life is that we do tend to take advantage of our freedoms, along with many other things as well. The fact of the matter is, freedom isn’t free and it should always be valued at the highest level. Imagine for a minute if you had no freedom – what would that feel like? Our lives today as we know it allow us to walk the streets freely, feel safe in our homes and attend school to learn.

Although these are all things we could never see our lives without, that is the exact reason we should never take them for granted. And it is the heroes of our military that allow us all these freedoms. The commitment of these individuals that risk their lives to defend our country and our freedoms should never be forgotten. Always remember the price paid by our service men and women, for it is a promise they make to us to continue their unwavering commitment to our country – the land of the free because of the brave.

Happy Memorial Day!

The honest truth about time…and why we always need more!

As a new work from home business owner and mother of 2, one of the downfalls I’m quickly realizing is I am NEVER OFF THE CLOCK! Some might say “well, you should have known this was going to happen”. Okay, okay yeah I thought it was going to happen but I also thought it wasn’t going to happen.

The thought of running my own business was like landing on “cloud 9” and being my own boss sounded so amazing! I mean most of the time it is pretty amazing and I have nothing to complain about. But being that I am the sole owner and employee of my business, I have to be the one that does it all – graphic design, promoting, marketing, blogging, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc, etc.

Wearing all the hats to make my business run, along with all the hats to make my house run can sometimes be slightly overwhelming.

Brixel Creative - Maine Graphic Designer

My decision to start my own graphic design business was the best for me and my family, however there are always pros and cons to any decision, business or personal. I absolutely love being my own boss, yet this great accomplishment is also a balancing act that comes with a lot of stress and late night tweeting. The never-ending task list for my business is added on to my regular daily tasks associated with being a mother and wife.

I find it hard to stop working not realizing it is dinner time and I am responsible for cooking. I find it hard to stop working when the laundry starts to pile up. I find it hard to stop working when the house needs vacuuming or the dishes need to be done. And although my family is willing to help out with all these tasks, they are also busy with their lives too – work, baseball practice, art class, school, homework, etc.

It didn’t take me long to realize there are only 24hrs in the day and everything cannot and will not be done within this time frame. On my most overwhelming days, I find comfort knowing there are probably millions of other moms out there juggling their business life with their mom life. And when life pulls me in 19 different directions, I know I’m not alone. As time goes on I know it will get better and running my own business will get easier. I have to allow myself to prioritize what needs to get done first on both the business side and personal side.

What I know now is this: if my house is not running smoothly, my business will not run smoothly either.

I am never off the clock and I have to make peace with this. For right now I will just push through and be the rock star entrepreneur I know I can be. Because at the end of the day, family always comes before business and most of the time it can wait until tomorrow.

Graphic Design: Why You Should Keep It Simple

Even when it comes to graphic design, sometimes simple is better. It’s hard explaining this to the client though. For one reason or another when they involve a “graphic designer” they need to make magical things happen. In some instances though magical isn’t always necessary. As a graphic designer you need to know when to make a design sparkle and shine to WOW the audience, and when to make a design look flat (or simple) so it does not take away from the message that needs to be portrayed. This is a learned trait.

Brixel Creative - Simple Graphic Design Blog

I’m what you might call a “self-taught” graphic design aficionado. I did not go to college to learn all the valuable graphic design techniques I use every day, I just sat down with Adobe and embraced my one-on-one time. I’d like to think my 15+ years creating wonderfully creative graphic design for various types of companies gave me more hands-on experience than any college would have done. With that being said, I’m sure there are some techniques I may not know about in PhotoShop or Illustrator, and I’m Ok with that. There are tons of amazing tutorials online I can take a look at on YouTube or read about on a blog. Some things in life don’t need to be complicated and are better if they remain simple.

When you strip away all that is unnecessary – get rid of the fluff – you’re left with a simple message that speaks quite loudly to the audience. Take a moment to think about the some of the most well know logos out there. I bet the ones you thought about are very simple designs. The ones that come to mind for me are FEDEX, Gap, NBC – all pretty simple, huh? But that’s what makes them memorable. It is less information for the brain to process and therefore makes it easier to remember.

Rather than piling on the effects, may I suggest you cut through the noise with white space, choose a clean type, incorporate simple shapes and limit your color palette. Sometimes it’s best to keep your graphic design simple. Get back to the basics because less will always be more, especially when it comes to graphic design.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this subject. Do you like to keep your designs simple?

For the Love of iPhone

As a work from home business owner, mother of 2, and winner of the “Best Wife Award” for 12 straight years, I tend to reach for my iPhone when I need a moment of sanity. I mean it’s the only ME time I seem to be able to find these days. Between work, kid’s activities, house cleaning, laundry (blah, blah, blah), women tend to need alone time to decompress after a long day. Maybe men don’t need this time, but in order for us to stay somewhat sane, this time is a must.

For the Love of iPhone - Brie + Pixel New Blog Post - www.brixelcreative.com

Think about this: name one person who doesn’t love the iPhone? Ok well, maybe Droid users. But seriously, I feel like the iPhone was somehow created as a relaxation tool. After a long day at work or home with the kids, you look forward to that moment when you can relax on the couch and just sit there – doing nothing but using your iPhone. It’s a great feeling, right?!?!

Whether you’re checking Facebook, scrolling through your Twitter feed or pinning children’s party ideas on Pinterest, sometimes there is nothing better than your one-on-one time with your iPhone. Honestly, I don’t think you could get the same feeling from a Droid. I wouldn’t know, I’ve never owned one. And call me crazy, but it doesn’t seem like the owners of any other smartphone out there have the same “love at first sight” feeling like those that have iPhones.

For me, my iPhone is heaven sent – it is irreplaceable – it keeps me sane – it had me at hello – it completes me. By now you might be thinking it’s a little silly to talk about a smartphone like this. Well to this I say, there’s a very good possibility it’s not me that’s weird, maybe it’s you.