Visit the Shaks
Shak & Jill
Join Jill for savvy Real Estate discussion.
visit the shak!
Did you know?
The average income for home office households is $59,000, versus $45,000 for total households.
When starting a business, you may need to consider hiring a graphic designer to create a representation for your brand. If you are skilled at drawing, design, or photoshopping, you may be able to make your own! However, the matter still stands that you do need a good, visual image for your brand. It creates recognition, and good advertising with it can even bring in new clients. People all over the world recognize the Coca Cola logo, and the McDonald’s golden arches– it is up to you (or, you and your designer) to create a good logo. So, what images do you need? Check out this infographic at the Mogul Mom:
-A logo: In one concise image – including your business name, tagline and often a graphic (logomark) - a logo communicates the message of your brand. Once you have a logo, its design elements – colors, fonts and imagery – should be carried through and built upon in all imagery for your brand
-Avatar for social media
-Facebook cover photo
-Twitter profile images
-Web ad/ banner
-Sharing image template
One of the hardest parts of working from home on a computer connected to the Internet is…..working at home, on a computer, connected to the Internet. There are no supervisors patrolling behind you to make sure you’re not slacking. You’re free to slack as much as you want… and if you love the Internet as much as I do, that can be a recipe for disaster. My poison of choice is Pinterest, but I also get really distracted by Facebook and online games. However, if you have almost NO willpower, like me, there are tools out there that can be used to help! Check out this post by Victoria Heckstall at Career Addict for tips:
-Cut off Facebook chat all together
-Disable all game requests
-Install the News Feed Eradicator to minimize other Facebook distractions
What do I do? I use a free Chrome extensions called Block Site. You enter the sites you want blocked, and it doesn’t allow you to go on them until you manually go in and give them permission again. Works like a charm!
Working from home is great for lazy people (like me!) I’m not saying all people that work from home are lazy, (most are stay-at-home parents who work their tails off!) but it’s a great option if you like sleeping late, setting your own hours, and staying in your pajamas all day. But, since you don’t have to wake up early, get ready, commute, and go out into the world like “normal people,” it can be really easy to let your health sit on the back burner: especially if you’re sitting all day.You kind of adopt an “anything goes” attitude: my diet consists of almost all fast food, and my exercise routine is non existent. Why should you care? It’s not like you have to look good for anyone. This attitude can be really bad for your health, though. Check out this post by Jennipher Walters at Spark People for ways to stay healthy when you have a work at home job:
-Choose your chair: sit on an exercise ball, an ergonomic chair, or even a treadmill desk!
-Set a timer- make it a point to stand up and walk around every hour
-Create a routine- set a bed time, a wake up time, work time, and gym time- stick to your schedule!
-Use your kitchen- keep it stocked with healthy, fresh foods
-Go outside whenever you can!
Do you have a desired skill? Are you a trained writer, graphic designer, editor, artist, translator, website designer, coder, etc., who wants to hire yourself? Getting into the freelance world can be tough- it’s often extremely competitive, and most people are turned off by the unreliable nature of the jobs. There’s not real security- and you have to constantly put yourself out there to find new work. But, the good part about freelancing is… well, the freedom. You set your own hours, work from home, and do what you love. For most freelancers, that makes it worth it. Plus, all the creative people that I know would absolutely HATE being tied down to one job for decades. So, now that you’ve decided you want to freelance, what do you do? Check out this post at ByRegina for a complete guide on getting into the freelance market. Here are some starter tips:
-Develop a “content” plan. Include credentials, a portfolio, business info (contracts, price sheets, budgets), and product/ service descriptions, start a blog and get a good foundation of posts going.
-Choose your brand name
-Decide on your pricing
-Decide on invoices / payment systems (Paypal, etc.)
Hosting a giveaway on your blog is a great way to show readers that you appreciate them, and will also draw in new followers for you. However, if you’ve never thrown one before, giveaways can be pretty complicated. There are all sorts of legal rules, as well as general unwritten guidelines that need to be followed. This post by Taylor at Pink Heels Pink Truck is a fantastic place to start- she lists all the legalities that need to be in order, as well as other useful information on hosting giveaways. The article is so good that I wish I could paste the entire thing here, but I won’t. Make sure you read the whole post though!
-Use a widget like Rafflecopter.
-Your giveaway MUST include a disclosure and policies regarding your giveaway. (she also lists everything that this disclosure must include)
-You have to give everyone a free entry.
-You cannot make a kajillion entries mandatory. That in and of itself, turns your giveaway into an illegal lottery
-Do not ever announce the winner’s name via social media.
-Any giveaway in which the prizes are valued over $600 (in a combined total), must include a 1099 to the giveaway winner.
I’ve written many times about the power of social media, like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. But what about Instagram? It’s basically like Twitter, except you can only post pictures, and is primarily used by teens and young adults (and cats). However, it can also be a powerful marketing tool if you know how to use it, and especially if you are selling something extremely visual. For example, I follow a tattoo artist who is constantly posting his work, and a girl who crochets and sells her handmade items online for a living and uses Instagram for free advertisement. Not only does it let you market your products (possibly, home listings?), but it gives your followers a personal look into your life. It makes them care. Check out this post by Carrie Barrett at Internet Marketing Inc for some ideas:
Tell A Story Give users an incentive to follow you by providing a “behind the scenes” look into the culture and daily events of your brand.
Find Relevant Followers In order to build your following, it is important to optimize your profile for search with a robust “about” section that includes your website and relevant keywords, as well as your logo as the thumbnail. Utilize appropriate hashtags to maximize your reach.
Expand Your Reach Within the Instagram platform, you can tie a Facebook (profile, not brand page) and a Twitter account. Once you publish an image on Instagram you have the ability to share across either of these channels.
WorkShakWorking from home? You've come to the right shak..