Thursday, May 28, 2015

How to Manage Stress as an Entrepreneur

Stress kills. If we're going to be friends then I figured I'd go ahead and introduce you to this blunt, but loving side of me. At the end of the day I want what's best for you. Stress is not it. That's not to say that stress is not a normal part of life that we all deal with. It's the "deal with" part that I want to help you with. I believe that we should always have a go to toolbox of skills to rely on to help us cope effectively with the stress we may encounter when following our dreams. Wanting to be an entrepreneur is one thing, but properly preparing for the journey is another. That's why today I want to help you beat stress before you even experience it. Check out your very own toolkit below.

How to Manage Stress As An Entrepreneur 

1. Tap into awareness 

Be aware of what you are feeling and why you are feeling it. By the time we realize we are stressed it is often after we have hit the point of being overwhelmed. The key is to know what triggers stress for you and to cope with immediately instead of letting build up.

2. Seek clarity 

Clarity often comes from simplifying. If you need clarity it's good to get the problem out and then break the problem down. Start by writing the problem down and then breaking it into small parts. Solve each part until you've solved your problem and found clarity.

3. Focus on your goal

When things get tough remind yourself of why you started. Your goal should always be in the front of your mind. Your why should be so strong that you refuse to quit until you've accomplished what you set out to do. Remember to always work from a creative mind and not a competitive mind. When we are competitive we compare ourselves to others and have a limited mindset. When we are creative we do not compare ourselves because we know we are unlimited and that there is more than enough for all.

4. Visualize the outcome

Instead of thinking of the barriers visualize your desired outcome. Take a few minutes to see yourself having already achieved your goal or dream. Visualize how you will feel, act, and think. When we visualize we not only relieve stress, but we also keep ourselves motivated. 

5. Level up

We often face the most problems and stress when we are about to break through. It is up to us to realize this and pass the test. I like to think of it as leveling up. When you're facing a problem or stress, remind yourself of your dream and that this will not make or break your dream. Face the problem or stress you are dealing with head on.

What is causing you the most stress on your entrepreneurship journey?

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

How to Keep Your Audience Coming Back For More

I hate spoiler alerts just like the next person, but at this moment I feel like one is necessary. So here's the spoiler alert: this whole post is about value. If you want to know the best kept secret about how bloggers and brands keep their audience coming back for more, then you have to understand value. To know that providing your audience with value will keep them coming back is one thing, but to understand and know how to do it is another - believe me I know! I never want you to struggle when it comes to simple but effective methods and I want to help you take another step in the right direction and better understand a simple thing that sometimes seems complicated. Now that you know providing value is key, I want to help you learn how by understanding the different types of value you can provide. You can then choose which type you provide and how you want to deliver it. Check out how to provide your audience with value and keep them coming back for more below.

How to Keep Your Audience Coming Back For More

Golden Rule: You keep your audience coming back for more by providing them with value. Here's how:

1. Provide information 

One way to provide others with value is to be a source of information. We see this in action through things like the news, radio, and Internet. People value those sources because they keep people current. This is a great way to provide your audience with value. This particular method however can be very time consuming and you will need systems in place so as not to become overwhelmed.

2. Provide education

People are always looking to learn new skills, tricks, and tips. What better way to provide value than to educate someone. Education can take you many places and this is what it is so valuable. People will always return if you are teaching something that they have an interest in.

3. Provide motivation

Even though life is beautiful, sometimes it can get a little tough. That's where the use of motivation becomes valuable. The key to providing motivation is to inspire action. Motivation is especially valuable in the areas of exercise, parenting, and entrepreneurship to name a few.

4.  Provide entertainment

Laughter, dance, and drama are all a way to escape for a while and that's why the world of entertainment is so valuable. Do you have a talent that can inspire others and give them a positive escape, some motivation, or even relief? Well then you may just have some God given talent that could be very valuable to others.

5. Provide inspiration

Ever just need a kind word or reassurance to remind you that everything is going to be okay? Well then you know just how important it can be to have just a little bit of inspiration to bring a smile to your face. People need to feel good and that's why inspiration is so valuable. A little feel good goes a long way and if executed correctly it will keep your audience coming back for more!

Which one of these methods do you use to provide your audience with value?

Thursday, May 21, 2015

How to Turn Your Idea Into a Blog

Have you been throwing around the idea of starting a blog? Too many ideas and not sure where to start? I know exactly how you feel because I've been there, not once, not twice, but three times. Blogging appealed to me immediately once I knew what it was. When I first started blogging, I didn't do tons of research about what it was or how to do it. I just knew that I had ideas that I wanted to share with the world. Starting out without research was a blessing and a curse. It was a blessing because failure never crossed my mind, and a curse because I winged it the first two times so basically I failed to plan. It wasn't so easy to turn all of my ideas into a blog that made me and my audience happy, but I finally did it and now I want to help you do it too. Here's how:

How to Turn Your Idea Into a Blog

1. Pick a concept

More than likely you have more than one idea. Instead of trying to turn one specific idea into a blog, try grouping all of the ideas that can fit under the umbrella of a concept. Once you have grouped all of your like ideas, flesh out the concept. You can do this by figuring out how the ideas connect and flow together. Write down the ideas you have that don't fit into your concept and save them for later.
Remember to keep the concept and ideas simple. 

2. Find your ideal audience 

This isn't always easy, but I've got a post, "How to Discover Your Ideal Client" for that! The main idea is to get to know what makes your ideal audience tick. Get to know their problems and how your ideas may be of value to them. Brainstorm your concept and ideas and how you can turn them into several bite sized pieces of valuable information that will serve your audience.

3. Choose a blog schedule and social media plan

If you are just starting out and planning to launch your blog soon, I always suggest testing the waters. Blogging is new to you so this is a good way to test out if you will really like it and stick with it. To do this create a schedule for when you will write posts and how you will promote them on social media. 

4. Practice writing a few posts

Once you have created your schedule try it out. Write some sample posts and have them prepared for the day you have set on your schedule. Brainstorm the type of photography that will really bring those posts to life. Also, preplan what social media channels you plan to use. It's a good idea to write some samples of the types of social media messages you would create to promote your posts. Doing all of these things will have you achieve two very important tasks: finding your voice and writing style and creating a bank of posts to use for your blog in the future.

5. Choose a platform 

You must have a platform to host your blog on and this is perhaps the piece of blogging that you'll do the most research on. The most well known platforms are Blogger and Wordpress. Decide on how you want your blog to look and how you want it to function. See what platforms fit your must haves. There is tons of research out there, but my recommendation is to try out platforms you are interested in to figure out if they are a good fit for you. 

What is you biggest question about starting a blog?

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

How to Balance Blogging and Your 9-5

If there were some magical keys to unlock the secret of balancing life, I promise, I would hand them over to you! I think I've read every article about finding balance, but almost none of them helped me to actually do it. The more I grow Kelley With Love, the more I learn that you have to create your own path and make your own mistakes before you truly find your way. Since finding balance is an ongoing search for just about everybody I know, I thought it'd be cool to share with you what has worked for me. I love the idea of helping you along the way on your journey and so today I'm sharing with you how to balance blogging and your 9-5. It may seem impossible, but it can be done. Here's how:

How to Balance Blogging and Your 9-5

1. Get a good planner

If there is any advice I could give you right now, it would be to get your ideas out of your head and on to paper. If you're anything like me, then you probably think you're not a paper person and you don't like to write things down. Don't let this belief about yourself keep you stuck. When you get your ideas out of your head and recorded, you give them a chance to live. Whether  it is a blog or a business that you're working on part time while also working a 9-5 you will most definitely need a planner that has space for you to record ideas. Your ideas are only valuable if you can remember what they are.

Planners will also help to give you a visual of what your time actually looks like. This will help you to better prioritize what is a necessity and what is not. Make a list of all of the things you need to do and then sit down with your planner and pick a time and date for each thing. To take it a step further, put the amount of time you plan to spend on each activity beside it.

2. Schedule activities 

I know I just told you to get a planner, but let me be honest with you. Getting a planner can be a trap. If you're not honest with yourself and don't actually schedule what it is you've planned to do, then you'll be at the same place you are next year. Don't plan and then fail to execute. Planning alone won't get you where you want to be, but action will. Hold yourself accountable by scheduling. This will remind you of what you had planned.  

Use your phone to schedule reminders for what you've written out in your planner.

3. Practice Discipline 

Discipline made simple is the ability to follow through and continue following through. Setting goals, sticking to schedules, can all sound so overwhelming. Start small. Don't try to plan your whole year and hold yourself to sticking to it. Remember that this is new to you. Start with picking one thing to plan, schedule and then execute. Think of it as cultivating a new habit. Don't try do it all. Give yourself small tasks and once your are able to follow through with the small tasks, then add on from there. Practicing discipline takes practice!

Create new healthy habits Follow through. I said practice discipline by discipline takes practice Tip: scheduling not enough? Get an accountability partner 

4. Have good thought life

Having a good thought life is important when trying to balance your 9-5 and blog, because you must learn how to control your mind. You have to train your mind to always be able to find time for the things that are truly important without sacrificing your health. Balancing your life starts in your mind. If you believe you can do it, then you can. If you believe you can make time, then you will. If you practice being thankful for where you are and what you have it will multiply. Yes, time can literally multiply for you if you are grateful for the time that you have no matter how small of an amount. Train your mind to think good thoughts. 

5. Be fully in the moment

When you are at your 9-5, be all there. Give it your all. When you are working on your blog or business, give that all of your focus. When you fill the position you are in, and you do a good job at it, then you open yourself up for better opportunities and more creative ideas. Do your best where ever you are and don't wish you were somewhere else. The truth is, where you are now is preparing you for where you want to be and will be. So be your best in what ever position you are in and make time to work hard towards your dream whenever you can.

What helps you find balance?

Thursday, May 14, 2015

How to Choose Your Website Design and Designer

Do you find yourself obsessing over the websites of your favorite bloggers and brands? I definitely get it. Your website is your first impression and you want your first impression to really stand out! When I decided to create Kelley With Love, I refused to launch without a website that I was not only proud of, but that really drew in my ideal audience. For me, it was important that my website grabbed your attention. In the past I was all about DIY design, but I was honest with myself when it came to Kelley With Love. I knew I did not have the time to dedicate to learning the things I would need to to create the design I wanted. For the longest time, I let my website design stop me from launching. Then one day I decided enough was enough and I found a professional to design my website. I was terrified it would go all wrong, but it was THE best experience ever. What's  even better is that the result was everything I had imagined. She was able to create exactly what I wanted when in the past no one else could.  I know that choosing a designer to work with can feel overwhelming. That's why I want to help you through the process. You don't have to let your website make or break you. Choosing a designer and communicating what type of design you're looking for does not have to be hard. I'll walk you through an easy step by step process to make deciding on your design, finding and website designer, and working with that designer feel like a breeze. Check it out below and download the My Website Design worksheet.

How to Choose Your Website Design and Designer

1. Decide on a budget

The first thing you're going to want to get clear about is how much you are willing to spend.  Remember, hiring a designer is not frivolous. Is is an investment for your business/brand. Sit down and come up with a price that you are comfortable with and a price that you would want to be paid if you were a designer.

2. Get clarity about what you want

Here are some questions that may help you find clarity......

What platform do you want your website to be on?
Is your website self hosted?
Will you want to tweak on your website design in your own in the future? 
Do you want your site to be compatible with mobile phones 
How soon will you need your design to be done?
Do I want social media icons
How many edits am I allowed throughout the process?
What questions will you have for your designer about the overall design process?

3. Know your brand style

It's always a good idea to go into the process of working with a web designer with knowledge of your brand style. Your brand style needs to be apparant as soon as a new reader lands on your site. The only way to make sure this is the case is to be able to effectively communicate your brand style to your web designer. To create your own brand style guide download the free worksheet. 

4. Go on a website tour

It's always a good idea to brainstorm for your website design. A fun way to do this is to visit your favorite brands/businesses websites and write down what you like about their website designs and which parts are your favorites. This will help you and your designer get a better idea of how you'd like your design to be executed.

5. Create a mood board 

Creating a mood board can be very helpful in establishing how you want new visitors to feel when they visit your website. It can also help you if you're struggling to find your brand style. A fun way to creatw a mood board is by creating a board dedicated to your brand and how you want it to feel on Pinterest. Be sure I share this board with your designer. If you want to keep it top secret until your reveal your new website design, be sure to select private when creating your board!

6. Research website designers

Do your research! Do not just hire the first designer you come across, or the cheapest, or the person you know that dribbles and dabbles in design. Hire the person that is going to give you the best experience and design! Believe me, it pays to be proactive instead of reactive (I.e. - your designer got your design all wrong)! Being proactive means researching designers to find the right for for you. Think of this as an interview process. Ask around, read reviews, look at their portfolios, read through their process. If you're having a hard time finding website designers, go to your favorites sites and scroll down to the bottom of the home page. The designer of the site is often listed there with a link!

What is your biggest fear when it comes to choosing a website design and designer?

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

How to Brand Your Business on Social Media

Creating a stylish and consistent brand that connects with your ideal audience can be overwhelming if you don't know where to start. What can be even harder is communicating that brand across several social media channels. A good rule of thumb to follow when introducing the use of different social media channels to your brand is to be familiar with them all, but to only focus on and use two. I'm all for claiming your name as a handle on all social media channels, but using them all as a solopreneur will lead to burnout. Your brand may even begin to seem a bit diluted if you're on too many channels. Instead of spreading yourself or your brand too thin, pick two channels and become an expert at them. Once you've conquered two, then feel free to add another. 

I am currently loving Instagram and Snapchat and those are the channels that my ideal audience can find and interact with me and my brand. I've put together a How to Brand Your Business on Social Media Starter Kit to help you find the best way to brand your business on social media. In this starter kit you'll find out 3 Strategies For an Irresistible Instagram. You'll learn How to Create a Microblog on Instagram. I'll provide you with an Instagram Editorial Calendar and show you how to use it. You'll get the courage to jump in to latest "big thing" in social media and learn How to Brand Your Business on Snapchat. Finally, learn How to Style Your Instagram Photos and keep your Instagram flawless! Check out the full list of resources below.

Brand Your Business on Social Media Starter Kit

5. How to Style Your Instagram Photos

And....for an added bonus I've also included the Brand Your Blog Starter Kit.

What has been your biggest roadblock when it comes to branding your business on social media?

Thursday, May 7, 2015

The Entrepreneur Style Guide: How to Style Floral Shorts

How to style floral shorts

I love creating easy go-to looks to catalog for days when I just don’t know what to wear or I’m feeling just plain lazy. I enjoy sharing the looks I create here in hopes of inspiring some easy go-to outfits for my fellow creative and budding entrepreneurs. If you’re new to the world of entrepreneurship then you know that time is of the essence, which means you may not have much of it to dedicate to style. That doesn’t mean, however, that you can’t be a stylish head turner. Remember, at the end of the day you represent your brand at all times. Just like you’ve learned or are learning to work smart and not hard in business, the same applies to style. My style motto is "Style Smart, Not Hard."  Floral prints have been a staple of mine lately, so I thought it would be fun to show you a couple of ways I change my look up using one pair of floral shorts.

How to Style Floral Shorts

1. Choose the base of your outfit.

Make the base of your outfit unique by choosing a fun print or colored top to pair with your shorts.

Here the base is the floral shorts and striped shirt

How to Wear Floral Shorts

How to Wear Floral Shorts

2. Choose two pieces of outerwear.

Try to choose two completely different pieces. One piece for day and one for night.

Here the two pieces I chose were a button up shirt and a cropped denim jacket.

how to wear floral shorts

3. Choose 4 accessories. Two for day and two for night.

Accessories could include anything from purses and shoes to hats and scarfs.

Here I chose two different pairs of shoes and two different purses.

how to wear floral shorts

4. Choose your jewelry.

Here I kept is simple and dainty for both looks.

How do you style your floral shorts?

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

How to Be a Well-Dressed Entrepreneur

You know how the saying hard play hard. I'd definitely say we've been working hard over the last few weeks from learning How to Create Your Brand Experience, to learning How to Discover Your Ideal Client, and even learning How to Experience Everyday Luxury Like a Boss. Now, it's time to have a little fun. One of my favorite ways to play and to express myself is through style. I love working hard on my brand and making it look good, but I also know that at the end of the day I am my brand and so I make sure to spend time working on my style so that it becomes as effortless, efficient, and stylish as possible. I want to help you do the same that's why I'm sharing a few tips that will help you to shine bright as a well respected and well-dressed entrepreneur.  Check out the tips below to learn how to build a wardrobe that you will always have something stylish to wear. Be sure to download The Well Dressed Entrepreneur Shopping List to take on your next shopping trip!

How to Be a Well Dressed Entrepreneur

1. Stock up on basics

  • Button Ups (white, baby blue, pink, black)
  • Tees long sleeve and short sleeve (white, black , blush, army green)
  • Chambray top
  • Floral bottom (skirt, shorts, pant)
  • Basic romper (light, dark)
  • Denim jack (light, dark)
  • Denim skirt (light, dark)
  • Jeans (black, white, blue, boyfriend, skinny, distressed)
  • Dress pants (black, navy blue, white, blush) 
  • Blazer (white, black, blush, tan)
  • Pumps (black, nude)
  • Flats 
  • Slides

2. Stick with classic prints and patterns

  • Stripes
  • Polka dots
  • Gingham 
  • Chevron 
  • Floral

3. Build a neutral color pallette 

  • White
  • Beige
  • Tan
  • Black
  • Grey blush

4. Invest in classic silhouettes and fabrics

  • Leather
  • Cashmere
  • Peplum
  • Shift dress
  • A-Line dress
  • Pencil skirt
  • Trench coat
  • Baby doll coat

5. Add a little you

  • Accessories 
  • Bright colors
  • Textures 

For example, I like to add gold, glitter, pink, tulle, and bows to a look.

What makes your style standout?