Category Archives: General Business Advice

Monday Motivation – Working with an expert

Work with a Social Media trainer

Work with a Social Media trainer

Social Media is relatively easy to use, most people have used Facebook for quite a while before starting a business so why do you need to find a good Social Media Trainer?  Because there are lots of Facebook business pages with very few likes and very little interaction.  Yes you could buy some likes but that is a waste of your money, far better to invest the money in learning how to use Social Media successfully yourself.  Lots of people say they are too busy to do their own Social Media but you don’t have to spend hours on Social Media if you learn how to use it efficiently and effectively.

Successful Social Media isn’t about the number of likes it is about the level of interaction you get from your followers and that depends on you being consistent and sharing quality, relevant and useful information with your followers, but to do this you need to know the basics of how to use the different Social Media sites.   Yes you can spend a lot of time reading blog posts about Social Media and trialing what works but the problem is there is a lot of information out there and not all of it is of high quality.

So save yourself some time and money by finding a Social Media trainer and work with them to make your business a success on Social Media.

If you would like to find out more about working with me get in touch, either using the contact form or give me a ring for a quick chat.  Let me know what Social Media platform you would like help with in the comments below.

Why is it important to use images in your blog posts?

Meercats - using images in blog posts

Is it wrong to use cute animals like Meercats to promote your buisness?

If you read any basic article about starting your own blog, somewhere it will mention the importance of using images in your posts.  This post is not just about why you should use images in your blog posts but why you should use your own unique images rather than stock photos.  At present I have 2 blogs, Green and Natural Living and Social Media Lincs, I have always found it easier to use my own unique images in my Green and Natural Living blog as I take my camera with me when I am out and about, or I take my own photos of things I am sent to review.   However using your own images for a business advice or social media advice blog is harder but it is possible and there are reasons why you should use your own images.

  1. Social Media sites are becoming more image based so having an image or 2 in your blog post will make it look better when shared.
  2. Pinterest is a great way to generate traffic to your blog, as it is image based if your blog post doesn’t have quality images people won’t want to pin it.
  3. Using stock photos means that other people might also use the same image, so they don’t help your business stand out.
  4. Orginal images stand out on all Social Media channels and are more likely to be shared especially on Pinterest.
  5. Using your own images means you don’t ever have to worry about copyright.

With todays technology it is easy to get creative with images, using a digital camera and free software such as Picasa you can produce images with text on quite easily, as I have done above, as well as creating collages using different images.  Once you have mastered Picasa, you can also use it to create images to use with all your social media sites like your facebook cover pic and google header image, and even your blog header as I have done.  Here is a great video tutorial on how to use Picasa to design a Facebook Cover pic and here is a useful infographic – ultimate social media sizing cheat sheet by Lunametrics with all the dimensions of different parts of social media profiles.

If you don’t fancy doing this yourself why not contact Ali at Creative Hands Marketing for some help with designs work.

You can also create Wordles to use in blog posts like the one below that I did for a post about Pinterest or you could create your own infographics, although I haven’t done my own infographic yet.

I love Pinterest

Wordle about Pinterest

I hope this has been useful. For more links to informative blog posts and infographics follow my boards on Pinterest.  Please let me know if you get creative with images on your blog by leaving me a comment below.


Being Happy Helps you to run a Successful Business and Earn More

Purple Stone Don't Worry Be Happy This post isn’t my usual post about business or social media, however being calm, happy, relaxed and feeling full of energy is essential for running a successful business, especially if you are also a mum like me.

At present I am reading Why Kindness is Good for You by David R. Hamilton PhD and in the first chapter it mentions a study that looked at how happy people were, and how this related to their earnings in later life, the study found that those people that were happiest earned significantly more money in later life than the less happy individuals.

“Plenty of studies have shown that happiness leads not only to a higher income but also to more energy, better health, a longer lifespan, a more satisfying social life, more confidence, and a higher quality of work.  Most people believe that these things are what make us happy, but most of the evidence suggests that it’s the other way around.  When we feel happy, these things come to us much more easily.  Happiness, studies show, comes first.” Quote from Why Kindness is Good for You by David R Hamilton PhD

So if you want to make more money and run a successful business, you need to work at being happier, here is where The Happiness Garden can help.  Helping you find ways to relax, stop worrying and calm down.  Helping you over come the guilt that for women is often associated with doing the things we love to do and make us happy, opposed to the things we feel we should do to make others happy.  Also for many men they feel the need to work long hours to provide money for the family, but maybe they need to look at how putting time into things that make them happy could help them earn more money and be healthier too.

The Happiness Garden is a virtual retreat membership website, which contains 10 minute meditations to help you calm down and de-stress and other great resources like The Weight Loss Secret.  Heather Bestel is the life coach behind The Happiness Garden and wants to help people live the life they want to be living.  I have worked one to one with Heather and she is so positive and full of energy.  To get access to all the lovely goodies in the Happiness Garden, it is only $47 (about £30) for a years membership and if you join now it remains that price every year.  Heather is adding new content every month so this is an absolute bargain, for something that has the potential to change your life and your business.  Membership would also make a great present for someone you love.

So why not come and join me in The Happiness Garden and start working towards being a calmer, happier and more successful you, today.
The Happiness Garden

This post contains affiliates links to the Happiness Garden membership website.

Pinterest Passion Coaching

In January I will be launching my Pinterest Passion Coaching Package.  During 2012 it is likely that you have either read about Pinterest or heard someone talking about Pinterest or seen a tweet about someone Pinning something to a board on Pinterest.  You might have then thought “oh no!” not another Social Media site to keep upto date.

So why should you bother with Pinterest?

  • It is all about the links back to your site so it is great for referral traffic to your site, whether you have a blog or e-commerce site.
  • There are more women than men using it 79% female to 21% male, so if your ideal client is female it is a brilliant place to be.
  • It is a brilliant tool for telling the story of you and your business.  Helping people to know, like and trust you.

So if you want to take your pinterest account from this…

Heather Bestel Pinterest Account before working with me

To this…

Heather Bestel’s Pinterest Account after working with me

The above image shows what Heather was able to do after just one hour of coaching from me and here is what she said about working with me.

“I just loved my Pinterest Passion Coaching Session with Jackie!!! I’d heard everyone talking about Pinterest for ages but just hadn’t taken the first step. I wished I’d done it sooner now. Jackie was just the person I needed. During our session, she walked me through each step of the process until I felt confident to do it by myself. She was so patient and I learnt so much in such a short space of time. Now there’s no stopping me.”

During the Pinterest Passion Coaching Session I will show you how to:

  • Navigate Pinterest
  • Create boards
  • Update your profile
  • Add pins using the Pin It button
  • Upload your own pins and link to your site
  • Add prices to pins
  • Re-arrange your boards
  • Repin other people’s pins
  • Give you ideas on what boards to create to support your business branding

After your Pinterest Passion Coaching Session with me you will be pinning with confidence.  I will also give you feedback on your boards when you have set them up.

My Pinterest Passion coaching package is no longer available, however I still work with businesses and individuals so please contact me if you would like training on how to use Pinterest or me to manage your account.

How to Generate a QR code?

QR code to Social Media Lincs Twitter profile

This QR code takes you to Social Media Lincs Twitter profile

A QR code is a black and white square that looks similiar to a barcode that you might find on products at the supermarket.  It can be used to direct smart phone users to a particular page on a website.  You can use them on a sign in a shop window to direct people to follow you on Facebook or Twitter or on any traditional marketing material like business cards, leaflets, brochures etc.  Having them on a sign either in a shop window or near a till with a call to action, like follow us on Twitter or Facebook makes it easy for your customers to follow you, as even if they haven’t got signal there and then the QR code scanner will save the url so they can go to the site later.

The QR code above will take you to my Twitter account @SocialMediaLinc

I use a site called to generate QR codes as well as shorten links.

Firstly decide where you want to direct people to.  In this example I will direct them to my Social Media Linc Twitter account.  Copy the address for the page.

Then go to and create a free account if you don’t already use bitly.

Paste the link to your page in the Paste a link here box at the top right of the page.

Then go to Stats

Find the link you want to make into a QR code and click on it.

Next click the small QR icon next to the shortened bitly url. This will generate a QR code for your link.

Right click the image of the QR code that appears and click Save as, then use it where ever you want.  Before printing lots of copies of a leaflet with a QR code on always check the QR code to make sure it works and goes to the correct site.

There are other QR code generators, but as I use bitly to shorten my links it makes sense to use it to generate my QR codes too.  Do you use bitly or would you recommend another site?  Do you use QR codes? Let me know in a comment below.

An Introduction to Using Social Media to Promote your Business

Social Media is a fantastic affordable way to promote your business and interact with your customers, on the Thursday 23rd August from 9.30am till 4.00pm I will be hosting a social media workshop at the Red Lion Quarter, Spalding.

The workshop will explain the basics of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google + and Pinterest.  It will help you to decide which Social Media site is best for you and your business.  Here are some of the topics that will be covered:

  • Facebook – the difference between profiles, pages and groups
  • Twitter – how to build followers, who love what you do and will Retweet your Tweets
  • LinkedIn – How to make your profile stand out
  • Pinterest – How to use Pinterest to drive traffic to your site
  • Google + – The one for the boys.
  • QR codes – How to generate them and how to use them.

Antonia Bates is a jewellery designer and mum who started out on Twitter February 2012

4 months later with some advice from me and a lot of work on Antonia’s part putting into place my recommendations.

Follow Antonia @abb73 on Twitter or have a look at some of her designs AB Designs on Etsy

To help Antonia on her way I retweet some of her inital tweets to my followers (over 1000) and introduced her to some of my contacts on Social Media that I thought would be useful to her.  A big part of her success on Social Media is that she interacts with people and also recommends people that she thinks might be of interest to her followers.

Here are a few of the things that I do to help my clients:

  • I follow them on all the Social Media sites that they are on
  • I retweet some of their tweets (I have over a 1000 followers on Twitter)
  • I mention them in #ff on Twitter
  • I share their post on Facebook
  • I pin images of their products on to my Pinterest boards
  • if I know people that would be useful to my clients I introduce them

So if you would like to see how I use Social Media to promote my business and the businesses of my clients then book on to this workshop.  It is the only time I will do a workshop like this at this price.

As an added bonus, all attendees will get £5 off any of my future workshops.

The workshop is limited to 20 places and as an introductory offer for those people that have never worked with me before it is amazing value at only £20 (not including lunch). To book a place please contact me via the Contact page.  I look forward to meeting you in the future and doing work with you.

If you would like to find out a little more about my Social Media experience then have a look at the About Me Section.


What does your business card say about your business?

First impressions always count especially when you are at Networking Events.  What sort of impression do you want to make?  Do you want to stand out from the crowd and be memorable?  Of course you do.  When people are back in their office you want them to remember you and what you do.

One of the easiest ways to do this is with a well thought out and designed business card.  What do you want your business card to say about you?  Boring and cheap, or unique and valuable.  I was at a marketing event last year and the keynote speaker asked us all to get our business cards out and hold them to our forehead so everyone else on our table could see them.  Lots of them were on white or cream card, rectangular in shape, some with a logo, some without a logo and of course contact details.

My business card is different.  It is a Moo business card, yes it is on white card with my distinctive logo and my contact details, however it is double sided and on the back I have different pictures of my products, I could have upto 50 different pictures if I wanted.  So I tend to fan a few business cards out with the pictures showing and ask the person to pick a card.  At networking events you need to be memorable, to stand out from the crowd and a Moo business card can help you do that.

My Business Cards from Moo

My Business Cards from Moo

Moo Business cards aren’t free like some business cards but you need to invest in your business branding to be a success and stand out from the crowd.  Moo Business Cards can also be purchased in small amouts, which is ideal when you are starting out in business as things can change quickly or if you are adding new product lines.

Moo business cards are very easy to design on their website and they have online chat if you are having difficulties.  Uploading your pictures is simple to do too.  You even have the option of having your cards made from 100% recycled paper, which I did as that is part of my business ethos.  Moo also do mini cards that I use as a tag on some of my products.

So if you want to build your business brand Moo Business Cards are the ideal solution. Click any of the links or the advert across in the side bar to have a look at the Moo website.

This post contains affliate links, if you purchase some Moo business cards using one of the links I will earn a small commission.

LinkedIn Profile Tips #1 Websites Section

If you are a Business that works mainly with other businesses you should be on LinkedIn, but is your LinkedIn Profile as good as it could be.  On your profile you can add links to 3 websites, make sure you use all these links, even if you only have one website and don’t just leave them saying Company Website.  You can use these links to direct people to where you want them to go on your website. So here is how to change your website links from Company Website to something that tells people about what you do.

From this

To this

As you can see from the bottom Screen Shot, it tells the prospective client what they will find on your website. If you have only one website direct them to facebook as well or direct them to different pages of your website.

So here is how to edit your profile so that your websites section stands out more:

1) Go to Profile on the Linked In menu across the top of the page and click Edit Profile

2) Then scroll down to where it says Company Website or Blog and click Edit

Next click on the arrow next to Company Website or Blog and choose Other.

Then where it says Website Title, type in what you want that website or page to be described as using keywords.

Then click Save at the bottom of the page and your website section should then be personalised for your business.

Keep following my blog for more hints and tips on using LinkedIn for your business.

Please let me know whether you found this post useful by commenting below.


Benefits of Networking at Local Events

Do you concentrate most of your networking online?  Too busy to go to local networking events?  Find the time and make the effort to go to a local networking events near you.  Recently I have found some great networking groups in Lincolnshire, I like getting out and meeting people as being a sole trader sat behind a computer all day, face to face social interaction is limited.

Benefits of attending your local networking group:

  • You meet people face to face and can get a feel for whether you can work with that person
  • People will get to know, like and trust you quicker meeting you in person, than when you are on line
  • You can find local business people that may be useful to you and your business
  • It gets you out of the office chatting with people that are in a similar situation to you
  • You might even get some direct business from it
  • People you meet might recommend you to their friends or business contacts
  • Listening to interesting speakers on their specialty
  • Contacts you make and relationships you build may be useful in the future

Since starting networking in Lincolnshire I have gained new clients, found people who are able to print my leaflets and found a T’ai Chi expert.

Read my post about some of my favourite networking groups in Lincolnshire

What are your experiences of networking in person? Leave me a comment below.

Easter Social Media Offer

As my way of saying Happy Easter to 10 lovely people I am offering a never to be repeated special Easter Social Media Offer.

1hr of Social Media advice from me for just £10

That is way better than half price as I usually charge £25 per hour when working 1 to 1 with someone.  So for £10 you get me for an hour discussing whatever you want about social media via a landline number or Skype.  So if you are great on Facebook but want to learn more about Twitter then that is what we can talk about.  However, if you are doing brilliantly on Facebook and Twitter but want to know about Google + or Pinterest then we can talk about that instead.

So how can you be one of the lovely 10 people that work with me for just £10?

Firstly sign up for my newsletter using the box at the top of this page, then send me an email at with your twitter id, facebook page link, what you would like to talk about and some times that would be good for the call. Then I will email you with details of how to pay and when I will call you, if you are one of the lucky 10 people.

To be eligible for this offer you need to either follow me on twitter @GreenAspirations or have liked my Business Mums Lincs page on facebook.

So sign up for my newsletter now to get an hours Social Media advice for just £10. I can’t wait to get to know you and work with you to make your social media shine!

Offer ends 9pm on Easter Monday.


One of last years chicks