How to Set Up a Video Studio in Your Home

You don’t need a fancy studio to create videos for your business.

In this post, I’ll share with you a simple way to set up your home.

I recorded a Facebook live recently showing how I turned my apartment porch into a studio.

(Disclaimer: If the noise outside gets too loud or the weather is bad, you can easily take this indoors.)

The supplies you will need for your home studio:

A good background. You could use fabric (bed sheet or 3 yards of fabric) or poster board wide enough to cover the background behind you. If you decide to use your home as your background, make sure it’s not cluttered because this could distract your audience. Be sure your background (whether it’s natural or not) reflects your brand and the mood you want to set.

 

Something to pin the fabric to or drape it over. In the video I’m using a garment rack. However  you can easily pin this to your wall. Use pins or nails that can hold the weight of the fabric or poster board.

 

Good lighting. The light should always be in the front of your face so that you are easily seen on camera. In this video I used the light on the wall and a lamp in front of me. Remember to make sure that all the bulbs are the same wattage and type. If you prefer to bypass this and buy a professional lighting kit, that works, too.

 

Something to hold the device you are filming from. Because your arms will get tired trying to be your own cameraman. In this video I use a desk for my laptop. For my phone I will often use a tripod. (Here’s a link to a fancy one on Amazon.com)

 

Another device for your notes. You can turn your iPad into a teleprompter or a notepad that has your show notes on it. I like to have it handy with the outline for my video.

how to set up your video studio in your home pin

In Conclusion:

You can set up a professional-looking video studio from the comfort of your home. The investment is minimal and many of the supplies you might have around your home.

Adding videos to your website and recording videos for your clients can help you in building your brand.

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Facebook Cover Photo Tips For Hair Stylists

Image is important to your business so therefore your Facebook Fan Page cover photo should represent what your salon is all about.

The cover photo is the first image people usually see when they go to your page either on their desktop, tablet or mobile device.

Despite the every changing world of Facebook, your Facebook fan page can still be a powerful way to tell others about your salon, your services and to schedule appointments with you. Clients that want to brag about your services to their friends will likely share your page with others, either with a direct link or tagging your page.

In this post, I’ll share with you the current (as of January 2020) dimension guidelines of the Facebook Fan Page cover and profile photo along with some inspiration from salons around the world.

Facebook Cover Photo Tips For Hair Stylists

First things first – Facebook’s Size Guidelines (as of 2020)

Knowing what size you should make your cover image is important because you want to share your brilliance.

2020 Facebook Cover Guidelines

Here is an example I created using Canva.com.

Your Page’s profile picture:
  • Displays at 170×170 pixels on your Page on computers, 128×128 pixels on smartphones and 36×36 pixels on most feature phones.
Your Page’s cover photo:
  • Displays at 820 pixels wide by 312 pixels tall on your Page on computers and 640 pixels wide by 360 pixels tall on smartphones.
  • Must be at least 400 pixels wide and 150 pixels tall.
  • Loads fastest as an sRGB JPG file that’s 851 pixels wide, 315 pixels tall and less than 100 kilobytes.
For profile pictures and cover photos with your logo or text, you may get a better result by using a PNG file.
Keep in mind that your Page’s profile picture will be cropped to a circular shape in ads and posts, but will remain the same square shape when people visit your Page. To preview what your Page’s profile picture will look when cropped, please see a few examples below. (Reference)

4 Easy Ideas for Facebook Fan Page Cover Photos for Hair Stylists

 

1 – Show and tell them who you are.

2020 Facebook Cover-Ideas for salons 1

You can do this with images a short video or slideshow of photos in a carousel. (How to add a slideshow.) The Salons at by JC Penny in Greensboro, NC uses a short video to attract clients and potential stylists to their salon. Remember to write a description for any photo or video that you post. Use words that describe your salon or services.

2 – Showcase a selection of your styles.

2020 Facebook Cover-Ideas for salons 2

In the example below, Travis Bernard Douglas shows three different types of styles that he creates for his clients.

3 – Show the inside of your salon. 

2020 Facebook Cover-Ideas for salons 3

Everyone wants to know what the inside of the salon looks like. B. Coiffure, Blow Dry Bar located in Columbia, SC they show the inside of the salon with a nice ‘hello’ pillow. This is cute and gives you an idea of the mood of their salon.

4 – Show your logo.

This is a simple and easy. That is all.

2020 Facebook Cover Ideas for salons 4

Remember this…

Cover Photos Do’s:

  • Be creative and experiment with images your audience responds well to.
  • After uploading the image, write a description (caption) for the image so that it will more likely come up in Facebook search. Use words that people are more likely to search for regarding your salon (such as the location of your salon and what you offer).

Cover Photos Don’ts:

  • All cover photos are public, which means anyone visiting your Page will be able to see the cover photo. Cover photos can’t be deceptive, misleading, infringe on anyone else’s copyright or be in violation of the Pages Terms.
  • Cover photos may not include images with more than 20% text.
  • You may not encourage people to upload your cover photo to their personal timelines.

Resources to help you create a FAB Facebook Cover Photo

Resources to help you keep your Facebook page FAB

In Conclusion

As you use Facebook to showcase your salon services remember to use images that show what you do, who you are and how you can help your clients. The Facebook cover photo and profile area is a great place to start. Using Facebook as part of your overall branding strategy can be beneficial. Just remember to make it FAB and stick to their guidelines.

4 Easy Ways to Use Your Facebook Cover Photo

The Facebook fan page cover photo is the first image people will see when they go to your page either on their desktop, tablet or mobile device.

2020 Facebook Cover-Ideas for salons 2

So your fan page cover photo could represent what your page is about, who you are and what you sell.

In this post, I’ll share with you four simple ways to get the most out of your Facebook (Fan page) cover photo.

Pin - 4 Easy Ways to Use Your Facebook Cover Photo

The Guidelines For Facebook Cover Photo Images

Dimensions of the Facebook cover photo for Fan pages currently displays at 820 pixels wide by 312 pixels tall on your Page on computers and 640 pixels wide by 360 pixels tall on smartphones. In the ever-changing world of Facebook, be sure to check out their latest Facebook page guidelines on their website.

Facebook cover photo example created using Canva.com

Facebook cover photo example created using Canva.com

4 Easy Ways to Use Your Facebook Cover Photo

1 – Thank your fans. Revlon thanked their 500,000 Facebook fans.

Revlon Facebook cover Photo - thanking fans

2 – Show your product in action. Mary Kay shows a model’s wearing their makeup and signature lipstick color.

Mary Kay Facebook cover Photo - Side of face

3 – Promote your business tagline.

Nike Facebook cover Photo - logo

4 – Promote your other social media sites. In a previous Facebook cover photo, I used an image of me ‘walking’ to show that I was on the move, and thus the social media badges are below.
Make Me Over EB Facebook cover Photo - social media

Remember this…

Cover Photos Do’s:

  • Be creative and experiment with images your audience responds well to.
  • After uploading the image, write a description (caption) for the image so that it will more likely come up in Facebook search. Use words that people are more likely to search for regarding your business, service or page.

Cover Photos Don’ts:

  • All cover photos are public, which means anyone visiting your Page will be able to see the cover photo. Cover photos can’t be deceptive, misleading, infringe on anyone else’s copyright or be in violation of the Pages Terms.
  • Cover photos may not include images with more than 20% text.
  • You may not encourage people to upload your cover photo to their personal timelines.

Resources to help you create a FAB Facebook Cover Photo

Resources to help you keep your Facebook page looking good

In Conclusion

As you use Facebook to showcase your salon services remember to use images that show what you do, who you are and how you can help your clients. The Facebook cover photo and profile area is a great place to start. Using Facebook as part of your overall branding strategy can be beneficial. Just remember to make it FAB and stick to their guidelines.

Supercharge Your Business Growth – 5 Ways to Get Organized

It’s a new year and we all know what that means. Resolutions, good intentions, and hopefully a ton of growth in 2020!

If you’re planning on growing your business, though, you need to have a solid plan of organization.

I’m not going to lie. It’s tough to stay organized and on task, all the while looking at your bottom line. Over the years, though, I’ve learned that cutting corners to “save time,” in the end only causes more stress, and eventually the loss of revenue.

You know what I’m talking about.

It’s when you decide that you’ll move that client file to right digital spot when you have time. Or, that you’ll sit down and make your weekly to-do list later, but right now you have to get to work because someone has to pay the bills!

Ultimately, you just end up spending more time (hence, money) later on when you’re trying to find that missing file or when you have that sneaking suspicion you’ve forgotten to do something (like a client project).

Let’s let this year be the year we all kick the bad habit of organization neglect. Here are a few of my tried and true tips and tools for easing the overwhelm and getting organized.

Pin - five ways to get organized in your business

5 Ways to Beat Organization Neglect

Take a few minutes each morning to plan. It can be tempting to roll with the punches and tackle every project or issue that happens to confront you during the day. It’s also exhausting! So take a few minutes each morning to think about what you want to accomplish this week. Then think about what you want or need to accomplish that day. Tie up any loose ends from the day before and then work methodically through your task list.

Use project management apps. A few of my favorites include ToDoist and Trello. I’ve used ToDoist when working with clients and I use Trello as a tool to plan my blog posts, content, and my goals. It integrates with many other apps, and it’s free!

Set a timer. How many times have you thought to yourself,“Oh that takes about five minutes to do,” and an hour and a half later, you’re still at it. Setting a timer helps to keep you aware of how you spend your time. Also, if you have clients that you bill by the project, it will help you to provide a more accurate estimate as well as keep you on task so you don’t lose money. Toggl is a great tool for keeping track of your time — both for solopreneurs and for teams.

Don’t let your inbox get overwhelmed. Alright, this is definitely easier said than done. However, it’s totally possible to get to inbox zero (I admit I’m still working on this!). Make it your goal to address your email every day at a fixed time. Reply to any emails that warrant a response, and if they involve a to-do item, put it on your Trello list. Delete any emails that you don’t need. Email extensions like Sortd can help you to organize your emails and even integrate tasks, put snooze timers on emails, and sort them into lists that you’ve created.

Name your files and/or label them. If you’ve noticed that “wheel of death” (for Mac users) or the timer that just won’t go away (for PC lovers), it’s probably time to do some digital cleanup. However, when looking at your thousands of files, it can be overwhelming to try and sort through them all. So, this year, make it your resolve to clearly label all of your files. For instance, if you have client image files, name them all something consistent, like “[Client Name] — [Images] — [Image Name].” When you have to delete old files, it will be so much easier to do so!

I hope these simple tips help you to get ready for an amazing new year with lots of growth, and of course, an incredibly organized business!

How I Create My Social Media Marketing Strategy

Using social media for fun is EASY. But how do you use it to get people to buy from you? 

When I started using social media back in 2007, it was to share pics about my life, my lunch and randomness. I eventually shared my blog posts hoping someone would read it.

Twelve years later, I use it to share stuff about my life, my lunch AND my business. All social platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, etc have been great places to promote products, services and agendas (good or bad).

But how do you create a social media marketing strategy that doesn’t feel like one pitch or sale after another?

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Social media was made to be social (not really for business)
  • Nobody likes to be sold all the time
  • Social is the ‘new’ tv

In a recent Facebook live video on my Fan page, I shared the following tips for creating a social media marketing strategy to help you get new business.

Here’s how I create my social media strategy for myself and my clients:

  1. Determine WHO my message is for (Define my target market)
  2. Determine WHAT my message is (Define my message)
  3. Determine my GOAL for each post and overall campaign (this helps you decide on a call to action in each post)
    1. Do I want to sell products
    2. Do I want to sell services
    3. Do I want them to join my list
    4. Do I want them to comment/share the post
  4. Determine HOW I want to deliver the message
    1. Photos (illustrate the message)
    2. Graphics (Images with text on top. I use Canva.com to create my images)
    3. Video (64% of consumers say that that watching a marketing video on Facebook has influenced a purchasing decision)
    4. Text/link posts: Just words and words and links (which you can include a link in the other delivery methods)
  5. Analyze the results to see what’s working. Focus on the engagement and views of the post. Each platform (LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc) has a way for you to analyze your results.

How I accomplish this

I usually like to take time each month and write all this out for myself and my client. Having a strategy helps me to have clear direction and gets results.

In conclusion

I’ve received comments on posts and requests from people (who may not comment on the post) to work me. My clients also see an increase in engagement on their posts and requests for new business as well.

So is it time for you to makeover how you approach your social media strategy? It’s easier than you think.

If you need help with creating a social media strategy, I’m just an email away. Schedule a discovery call with me to see if we’re a good fit. Schedule a Discovery Call

How to Prep Your Car for a Hurricane

You never know how much you needed your car until a tree falls on it from strong winds.

Living in an area that is a hurricane prone area, we typically will prep our home ahead of a storm. However, I have never thought about prepping my car because it usually sits safely under our car port. We will occasionally park on the street.

One day in 2014 after a bad thunderstorm on my street and flooding in surrounding areas, a huge tree fell on a car right in front of the owners’ home. That was enough for me to reconsider just how safe my car was.

Even though, I can’t shield my car from every catastrophe, I can take some precautions.

In this sponsored post, by University Motors, I will share a few tips on what you can do to prep your car for a hurricane (or any other disaster that might destroy your car).

Take Pictures.  This will be helpful in providing proof to your insurance company as to what damages were done to your car. Consumer Reports suggests.

Store Important Items. Store copies of your car’s registration and insurance documentation in a safe place like a zip-top plastic bag, Consumer Reports recommends. Make additional copies of this documentation, as well as your car key/fob, and distribute them to all licensed drivers in your family. That way, in the unfortunate event that you are separated from your vehicle or family, your vehicle is ready for use.    

Fill Your Tank. Before a hurricane hits, be sure to fuel up your car to be ready to evacuate if need be. With a full tank of gas, you’ll be more likely to get to where you need to go without having to make a stop for fuel.

Park Safely. Consumer Reports recommends parking your car in a garage if possible. If you don’t have a garage, consider parking your car close to a building, which can offer at least partial protection from high winds. Avoid parking under trees or power lines that can be blown down, says Consumer Reports.

Check Your Vehicle. Once the storm is over and all members of your family are accounted for, check over your car thoroughly to evaluate its condition. If there’s damage, you can take pictures of the car and compare the “before” and “after” version, as advised above

And if you have to drive after a tropical storm or a hurricane has swept across your neighborhood, consider this advice from Ready.gov:

  • Drive only if necessary.
  • Avoid flooded roads and washed-out bridges.
  • Watch for fallen objects, downed power lines and weakened walls, bridges, roads and sidewalks.

Planning ahead can help give you some peace of mind about your car so you can focus on staying safe.

Resource: Allstate.com

** This post is sponsored by University Motor Company. University Motor Company located in Columbia, SC offers nice used car options and uses CarFax for vehicle history reports. They sell a variety of pre-owned vehicles that range from high end cars like the Mercedes-Benz E-class to enthusiast cars such as the Jeep Wrangler. This post is sponsored by University Motor Company.

5 Easy Ways to Ease Your Nerves Before a Presentation

Eb teaching blogging for City of Columbia-Sept2014

True story. I get nervous before a presentation. While teaching a workshop on blogging and creating websites (circa 2014), I felt like cotton was being formed in my mouth as I talked. ?

But as the session moved along, and I had a nice sip of water, my nerves were eased.

Truth be told, it was more than the sip of water that helped me during the presentation.

Here are several tips, that I’ve learned, to use that can help calm your nerves before and during your presentation.

1. Arrive Early. When I arrive early, I am able to get used to my surroundings, ‘freshen up’, get a cup of water and lay out my documents if need be. Arriving early helps me not feel rushed. I may not always get it right, but my best presentations have happened when I arrived early to an event.

2. Meet and greet as many as you can before your presentation begins. This will help you feel like you are talking to people you’ve already met. You can even reference them during the presentation perhaps with questions or make eye contact with them.

3. Start off slow and pause during your presentation. Speaking slowly in the beginning leaves room for you to build momentum during your presentation. Pausing during moments allows for emphasis of various points, and is a great way to allow what you say to ‘sink in’ to your audience. Also, it allows you time to catch your breath if you feel hurried.

4. Take deep breaths. “The many benefits of deep breathing include a reduction in stress and blood pressure, strengthening of abdominal and intestinal muscles and relief of general body aches and pains. Deep breathing also promotes better blood flow, releases toxins from the body and aids in healthy sleep.” (Livestrong.com)

4. Drink water.  Even the best speakers and performers can get dry mouth while talking. Keep a water bottle handy so you can take a sip, especially during your dramatic pauses.

In Conclusion

It’s normal to get nervous before a presentation, especially if it’s your first time presenting on a topic or speaking to a new audience. However, applying these few tips will help you deliver your presentation with ease and delight your audience.

By, the way, in the follow-up survey, the participants said they enjoyed the class, but they said they wanted to learn more on the subject.  This was a reminder that there is always room for improvement, but I was happy that they wanted me to teach them again.

It’s always a good sign when you are requested to return to speak/train again at an organization.

How to Really Plan the Perfect Road Trip

At some point in your life, a road trip must and will happen. Maybe you had an emergency trip back to your home town (which is 4 hours away) because of a family health crisis or funeral. Or maybe you love the idea of the long drive with your friends, family or spouse.

I’ve always loved a good road trip. My first long trip (that I can remember) was with my grandparents when I was a little kid. Flying wasn’t an option at the time because it seemed too expensive. So driving was the preferred mode of traveling back and forth to NYC to visit family.

As I’ve gotten older, although I have the option of flying (thanks to decreased rates), I still like the idea of being on the road. I like the idea of seeing seeing parts of America that I don’t usually see in my everyday.

However, every road trip isn’t created equal. While in my teens, I dreaded the 12-hour drive from SC to NY with my grandparents simply because they didn’t play any music during the trip. I was a teenager. But the time did allow me time to write in my journal, so the trip wasn’t all bad.

As, I’ve gotten older, I realized that I could set the rules of my own road trips and really enjoy them. There were certain elements of the trip that I loved and that really make for an enjoyable trip. Here are a few…

Get your car ready for the drive (unless you are getting a rental). Here are a few steps to get your car road trip ready (via Wikihow.com)

  1. Check the fluids in your car.
  2. Check your air pressure.
  3. Get the oil changed before you leave if it’s almost time for a change.
  4. Check your tire wear by using a penny or tread gauge.
  5. Check your car’s air filter.
  6. Wash your car.
  7. Check to be certain that all lights and signals are functional on your car.

Ride with people you can have fun with.

Because who wants to be in a car with someone they can’t along with or have fun with? My husband is my best friend road trip buddy (along with a few other friends whom I adore). We laugh, talk and just enjoy the silence of being together. We even work out little ‘issues’ that were weighing on our minds, while on our trip. I like to think of it as driving therapy. I feel like we get to know each other just a little bit more while driving together.

If you have kids, try keeping them amused with games. Pinterest has an abundance of ideas.

(Ok, I don’t have kids, so I’m not the expert here. However, I used to be a kid and I know what I didn’t like. So I’m pulling from those experiences. LOL.)

Plan your route.

Planning your route will help you know where you are going. Everyone knowing the route plan will help decrease the likelihood of getting lost if your spouse is asleep. You might laugh at this statement, but we’ve gotten ‘lost’ and wasted time when the wrong exit was taken to get on a highway that was NOT on the planned route. Wasted time and getting lost can be stressful on a road trip. I like to keep this down to a minimum. So, yeah, talk about the plan before getting on the road. Unless you decide to go old school and have a paper map handy, Google Maps is very useful for planning the details of your route.

Google Maps app

Make a playlist that everyone will enjoy. 

Music can affect our mood. On a recent drive up from South Carolina to New York, my husband and listened to a Destiny’s Childs playlist that he created via Spotify (while I was driving). The upbeat tempo from Destiny’s Child songs helped me drive another few hours before our next break. All was well. We were well into our 5 hour of the drive.

However, the playlist of the first few hours of our drive included my husband playing his Aaliyah CD collection. After the 10th song, I needed a break and asked him to change the CD. (Side note: Her album just didn’t pump me up while driving.)

So realize that your drive music might be different from everyone else in the car.  There has to be a compromise. Perhaps the one driving can choose the playlist. However, thanks to having headphones, this might be an easy fix.

BTW, did you know, Spotify has several Travel playlists for everyone!

Classic Road Trip Songs

Be quiet.

I love to talk. I’m a talker, but there are times when I just want to do something else like listen to a podcast, read, sleep or just ponder in deep thought about stuff. A long road trip provides ample opportunity to do all of that. So don’t force everyone to talk all the time. Sometimes quiet time is OK. Allow everyone to listen to their own music, podcasts (via their headphones of course) or even sleep. If your trip is more than four hours, it’s quite natural that you might want to do something else. It’s ok.

Savor the moment.

Realized that everything doesn’t have to be tightly planned. Mistakes and mishaps will happen. Have the goal of keeping calm and going with the flow and you will enjoy your road trip 🙂

** This post is sponsored by University Motor Company. University Motor Company located in Columbia, SC offers nice used car options and uses CarFax for vehicle history reports. They sell a variety of pre-owned vehicles that range from high end cars like the Mercedes-Benz E-class to enthusiast cars such as the Jeep Wrangler. This post is sponsored by University Motor Company.

 

How to Care For Your Wig

I like wearing wigs because of the versatility of changing up hairstyles daily. Wigs are convenient, always styled and protect your natural hair from over-styling. It’s important, however, that you take care of your wig as if it was your own hair. If you don’t take care of your wig, you can could ruin it. This would defeat the purpose of wearing one.

Here are my 3 basic tips to care for your wig.

Storage
Keep your wig on a wig stand away from heat, humidity (like the shower), or dust

Washing
Wash after 6-8 wearings if you live in a warm climate; or 12-15 wearings if you live in a cooler climate; use gentle shampoo (wig shampoo) in cool water, rinse, apply wig conditioner (follow label instructions) for shine and softness, rinse well by swishing in clean cool water

Drying
Gently towel blot without twisting, don’t comb or dry out while wet, place on wire wig stand to air dry.

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