Friday, April 19, 2019

Brand Storytelling And Why It Is Vital

Brand storytelling is more crucial than ever these days. What is brand storytelling? It is easily defined as such:

"Brand storytelling is defined as the art of shaping a company’s identity through the use of narratives and storytelling techniques that facilitate an emotional response and establish meaningful connections." - Source 

 Customers are consistently interested in what your brand is about, what drove you to start your brand/business, and what values your brand stands for. In essence, your brand has a story that customers would love to hear, so tell it!


Studies on storytelling have found that:

"Stories are 22 times more memorable than facts & figures alone  

Our neural activity increases 5X when listening to a story 

Storytelling lights up the sensory cortex in the brain, allowing the listener to feel, hear, taste, and even smell the story" - Source 




There are plenty of ways to get your brand's story out there. You can use your website, social media, even video production. Of course, if you have a marketing team by now, they should also be aware of your story and easily share it. By telling your brand's story, you can easily connect with your customers and watch as success comes rolling in. 

For example, is your product fair trade and ethical? You can explain why you feel this issue is important to your brand and why you choose to only conduct your business this way. Is there a message that you would like to put out and have represent your brand? Absolutely tell your customer why this particular message is of the utmost importance to your brand. Some great examples of brand storytelling would be Dove's Self Esteem project, Nike's commitment to athletic excellence, and Ikea Singapore's Shelf Guru campaign. Dove is committed to showing the beauty of all women, Nike stands for and supports all athletes, and Ikea Singapore has connected with their customers by answering queries with punny humor and memes. 

All of these campaigns are easily identifiable to customers and bring much more attention to the brand. Even more meaningful is that it sparks a conversation about your brand and products and keeps it in the front of people's minds. Customers love to know that the company they are buying from has the same interests at heart. It gives them something to think about and more importantly, it also gives them a lot to talk about with others. The more customers connect with your story and values, the more other consumers will take notice. Once your brand's story is established and shared, it can give you the inspiration to continue forward with even more purpose than ever before!


Through the power of brand storytelling, you can easily connect with your customers which can lead to unlimited success. Customers are definitely interested in a brand's story these days as the market is so overcrowded with so many brands and businesses vying for the consumer's attention. By telling your brand's interesting and unique story, you can easily shine through the masses and reach people much more easily leading to success for you and your brand!

What is your brand's story?

Sunday, April 14, 2019

How To Use PNG or JPEG Files To Create Craft And Design Mockups

What are craft and design mockups? The simple answer is that mockups are a prototype of what you would like to/can accomplish in your design; a model or example of a finished product. This can help you with designing your craft and seeing the end product before it's actually done. 




The most common way people create mockups is by using PNG or JPEG files, which is what I will be focusing on today. I am no great wizard when it comes to Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator. I am barely able to take decent pictures as it is, much less edit them so they look amazing on the internet. However, I have been practicing now that I have more time and I am getting the hang of it. 

Photoshop is an amazing tool and resource, I am finding. Using the Photoshop (or Adobe Illustrator) program, it is easy to make a mockup of anything! You just:
  •  pick your background, whether it's a plain non-specific scene or backdrop or a picture of a room or an item you want to superimpose your idea onto
  • start adding your designs
  • make your creative changes as you find them! 

A lot of home decor and design websites and/or apps use a sort of mockup program. You can take a picture of the room you would like to put the product you are interested in buying, superimpose the product over your room picture, and then you have an actual idea if it's going to work or not. Mockups are a lot like that, except YOU are the designer! It's a quick and easy way to actually see your finished product or design before you finish it so you can adjust and make changes as you see fit! 

Mockups are especially useful when you are trying to sell your finished product and/or design. You see this most often with clothing items, like T-shirts, for example. You can choose your background and superimpose your design onto your clothing item background. This way your customers know what you are offering, and you are also able to use those images on your website, Etsy and other shops, social media pages, or anywhere else you would like to market your product. That way, you aren't spinning your wheels by working on or purchasing materials for something no one is interested in buying. This saves you money and energy to pour into the project people are definitely interested in!



There are many websites that have splendid images that you can use in your creative process, as well as many free or almost free tools and resources to start making your own mockups. I have even found them to be priceless when trying to make an image for a blog post. For those of you who use Pinterest to share your creations, the perfect image for your pin is essential! Your pin image should give others a clear idea of what the product is as well as what it looks like finished. Most of you savvy pinners know that the image you use for your pin must be eye-catching and attention grabbing at first glance!

And so, mockups are incredibly useful as they help you see your finished design/product so you can find any creative changes you need to before you begin and they can give your clients and/or customers an idea of what you can and will accomplish and bring to them!

Do you use mockups in your design process?

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Treat Yourself Tuesday: Re-Nourish By Pure Radiance

Here's a fun thing I learned about being in your 40s: Your hair texture changes.



via GIPHY

I started to notice my hair getting drier about two years ago. It was getting dull and I was at a loss about what to do about it. I changed shampoos and conditioners, I tried every leave in conditioner, hair masks...nothing. I felt like I was never going to have soft, bouncy hair again!




Luckily, Pure Radiance by Dr. Sears reached out to me for a product review and I was excited to try Re-Nourish. Re-Nourish is nutrition for your hair using plant stem cells and essential nutrients to revive and support healthy hair by feeding your starving hair follicles. 

https://mypureradiance.com/sm_tomoson_ss_renourish_20190322


It Was Super Easy To Use

You can use it on dry or damp hair. I just replaced my normal hair care routine with the Re-Nourish for about twenty days so far. Two spritz on my scalp after a shower and done.

No Weird Smell

I have a thing with smells. I will absolutely abandon a hair product if I don't like the smell. Re-Nourish smells like...nothing, really. 

It Actually Works

I initially wanted to give it thirty days before I finished my review, but after twenty days, I am really pleased with the results. My hair is softer, thicker, and shiny. 

It's Treat Yourself Tuesday, and I would absolutely recommend Pure Radiance Re-Nourish to anyone who wants healthier, thicker hair! So, go ahead, 


Tuesday, April 2, 2019

The Amazing Ways Music Is Changing

Music has helped people in so many different ways over the years. From helping people to overcome a dark time in their life, to making some people millionaires because they’ve been able to turn their love for music into a career. It’s also one of the biggest industries in the world, with artists of all kinds making it a billion dollar industry that just seems to keep on growing. And there are so many different ways that the music industry is changing at the minute, some positive, some negative.

Like with most things in life, there are always going to be some negative changes, and unfortunately with the music industry, this means that it’s all over the news and social media. So it’s easy for music to be put in a negative light, simply because people are so focused on it all of the time. So, we’re going to try and show you some of the amazing ways the music industry is changing, just so that some of the negatives don’t cloud your vision, and so that you notice the power of the music industry.

It Speaks To Everyone!

Music really does speak to everyone, and that’s one of the things that we love about it so much. It speaks to everyone in a way that can save lives, open up minds, and bring people together. There is at least one type of music that somebody is going to enjoy, but there’s no reason why that can’t connect you with someone who likes another type of music. It’s so easy to access now, with things like Youtube and Soundcloud, giving people the platform they need for on the go listening. But for those of you who prefer the old school way, if you look here you’ll see ways that you can download music for free. The more music you have at your disposal, the more your mind is going to be able to relax and drift off. That’s the common feeling that people have in terms of music, it helps take you to a place where you don’t have to worry about the troubles of the day anymore!

More Focus On Equality

There definitely needs to be a bigger focus on equality in life, and luckily it seems like the music industry is one of the areas that is doing it at the minute. All you seem to hear about lately is women standing up for themselves in the music world, and calling out men who might have acted in inappropriate ways. But it’s important to remember that it works both ways, and that females can be just as bad as males, especially in the music industry. But it’s nice to see that an even amount of males and females are breaking through into the music world, with minimal worry of whether their gender is going to determine their success.

The New Sounds Coming Through

There’s always new sounds coming through, and the music people are listening to now is totally different to what it was 10 years ago. There are new sounds coming through in all genres that we think you should be listening to, just because each genre has their own style and their own way of affecting you!


Friday, March 22, 2019

Need An Interest Outside Of Work? Try Your Hand At One Of These!

"Do you have any hobbies or interests?"


Whether you’re being asked at an interview, during a team exercise, or even on a date, that awkward pause as you wrack your brain can be painful. Having some interests outside of the workplace, aside from ‘socializing’ and browsing the internet can make you a more rounded person, but it can also be a great way to relax and build up some interests outside of work.


What would you like to do? If there’s something you’ve always been interested in or wanted to learn, then now is the time to go for it. Need some ideas? Here are some great suggestions for hobbies you can start outside of work today!

Learn A New Language

Where to begin with why you should learn a new language? It could improve your career prospects, help you meet some new people and gives you an excellent excuse to go traveling. There are some useful tips that will help you learn any language to get you started. Whether you choose to learn in a class, with a tutor or by yourself, this is a great interest to have that will help enrich your life.

Learn An Instrument

Have you always regretted not learning to play guitar or the piano? Well, the good news is that it’s never too late. You can learn an instrument at any age, and it can be a great stress-reliever while also helping you to keep your brain engaged. Get useful tips on learning the piano at https://pianoin21days.com/the-4-ways-to-learn-how-to-play-piano/. Even if you don’t decide to share your new musical talent with the world, it can be a fantastic personal interest for you.

Learn How To Bake

Sometimes the best hobbies are the ones you can eat! Baking can be a fun and creative interest that can certainly come in handy. But did you know that baking has several benefits for your body and mind too? Baking can relieve stress, while also giving you some focus. Plus, providing baked goods to friends and family is a wonderful way to spread happiness, which will make you happier too.

Get Into Fitness

Fitness is important for your health, but it can also make for a fun way to spend your free time. Try out different fitness classes, give yoga a try or take up running - there are all sorts things you can try to help you find something you enjoy. Nervous about exercising alone? They say that fitness is better with a buddy, so why not rope a friend into working out with you?


Having hobbies and interests outside of work can be a great way to fill up your free time and can help give you the answer to those awkward "tell us about yourself" questions. Finding something that you enjoy, that relaxes or excites you is something worth searching for - all work and no play can make things very dull indeed!

What will your exciting new hobby be?

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Tips For Teaching Leadership Skills To Elementary Students

Today I have a guest post for you from Emily at WhooopsaDaisy.com!  Enjoy!

Children in elementary education today will grow up to be global citizens, living in a world where leadership skills are valued and rewarded over and above many of the other outcomes of formal education. In order for students to grow into happy, productive and successful adults, they must be taught leadership skills from the very beginning of their school journey. But how do we as educators ensure that these skills are nurtured and developed, whilst maintaining a focus on necessary academic achievement? Here are some tips on teaching leadership skills to elementary students. 


Lead By Example

Quite literally, be the leader that you would like your students to be. Show them your process, let them see and hear how you lead them. It is helpful if you vocalize your thoughts and decision making, as this modelling of good practice allows students to see leadership in action. Children will naturally mimic behaviors, and your example will give less confident students a framework on which to hang their own ideas. 


Allow Students (And Yourself) To Make Mistakes

The most effective lessons are learned from failure, so in allowing mistakes to be made, you give children the opportunity to overcome them. This in turn builds resilience, one of the most effective and useful attributes we can teach our students. Resilient children take more risks, are less afraid of failure, and display more effective leadership skills. 


Nurture Self-Esteem And Self-Expression

Successful leaders believe in themselves and in their ability to lead. By building students' self-esteem and self-belief, we give them a sense of what is possible and what they can achieve. All skills are valuable, whether it be in the field of science, mathematics, art, physical or social literacy. Show them how proud you are of all your abilities. 


Expect More From Your Students

No child should be limited by low expectations, either from themselves or others. Give children the opportunity to lead, even if you know they will find it difficult. Support for reluctant leaders can come from their peers, who are often far more understanding than we expect them to be. 


Embrace Democracy In Your Classroom

Give students the opportunity to set up and run their own democracy, to see how democratic values work in real life. Decision making and leadership become much easier once children realize that all voices are important, not just the loud and confident ones. 


Give Honest Feedback

Feedback is a gift, which students can use to inform how they behave or perform in the future. Honest feedback builds resilience and trust between students and educators, allowing children to take real pride in an achievement that they worked hard for. 


Use Local Community Leaders In Your Setting

By involving local leaders from business, social organizations, charities etc., you will be bringing to life the lessons the students are learning. 

Above all, make effective and respectful leadership a part of your students' daily lives, giving them a shining example of what they can achieve!



Friday, March 15, 2019

Doing It Up For Date Night!

As my kids were growing up, my husband and I didn't get to have too many date nights. (Silly us, we were trying to save for the future so other things seemed less important). However, now that they are all grown up, one in college and one working and living with his wife and soon-to-be baby girl, we have been able to get out more than we ever have. Since our move to an entirely new town and state last summer, we have had a great time exploring as well as taking in all of the local culture. All of those sacrifices we made were definitely worth it!



The big news around town is a new restaurant opening and I wanted to check it out. It's just a bar and grill type place but around here where the nearest store is at least 20 minutes away, new businesses opening in town are exciting. That's been the biggest thing I've had to get used to since moving out to the middle of nowhere. When I say I live in rural North Carolina, I'm not kidding! I love it, though and definitely don't miss the city at all. Back home, a new restaurant opening happened just about every week and no one really noticed. Here, new businesses opening is all everyone can talk about. Definitely different for me. 

I've been experiencing all kinds of new stuff lately so I thought I'd continue the trend for date night! 





Kalaia asked me to review their skincare solutions line recently and I thought this would be the perfect time to try it out! A week ago, I started using the products and I love them!

You start with an online beauty consultation, where you tell your online consultant all of your skincare concerns and problems. I resisted wearing daily face moisturizer for far too long through my 20s and 30s because I could not find a moisturizer that didn't make my skin break out. I'm definitely paying for it now in my 40s, but I have found my new PERFECT skincare routine. FINALLY.

For the first step, I start with the Detox and Cleanse Bar. It's made with papaya and ginger extracts with activated charcoal that gently cleanses and detoxifies your skin.  I love that you can use it on your face and body! 

The Fresh Canvas Exfoliating Powder is next. I love this stuff! It is a powder scrub that combines Hibiscus, Neem Leaf Powder, Licorice Root, Kaolin Clay, Gotu Kola, Turmeric and Rose essential oil and....



...then transforms into a paste after adding a few drops of water to remove impurities, excess oil, and dead skin cells revealing soft glowing skin that is ready to absorb all of the good stuff in the next step!



The Keep Smooth - Day and Night Serum is my absolute favorite step in my new Kalaia skincare routine! This stuff is magic in a bottle! It is made from Indian Gentian Leaf extract, peptide molecules, and Kalaia's proprietary Bright & Blur Complex(which is amazing). It comes in a dropper bottle and you apply it all over your face. It *instantly* brightenened and improved the texture of my skin. I saw results after one use, especially under my eyes (my nemesis). My skin even felt firmer and after one week, I am so in love with all of these products. My skin feels so very soft and I have almost conquered those pesky under eye bags (thanks, insomnia)!

The last step is the Hold Tight - Overnight Moisturizer and that is definitely where all of that new firmness I feel is coming from! I was a little nervous at first because it is so thick and creamy, I thought for sure that it would break my skin out...but I was willing to make that sacrifice for beauty. You apply it to your face, neck, and decolletage and keep it on overnight. After a week, no new breakouts! It combines bamboo silica, pea extract and that magical Bright & Blur Complexto help blur fine lines and wrinkles and increase skin hydration for rejuvenated, (definitely) firmer looking and feeling skin.



So, now that I was feeling all glowy, I decided I was going to try something else new, false eyelashes.

I know. 

How did I make it to 42 whole years of age without wearing false eyelashes? 

Because I can't do it to save my life, that's how.

Private Label Mink Eyelashes wanted me to review their (GORGEOUS) mink false eyelashes and I was hesitant at first because of the aforementioned failure, but decided to give it a try!

They sent me their Chloe and Eden lashes to try.


They felt so soft! You can use these up to 20 times as well! My daughter is just about an expert at putting lashes on (how?!) but the ones she used seemed really stiff compared to these. They are ready to apply once you take them out of the package and so, I took a deep breath and began....

(SPOILER: I AM STILL NOT VERY GOOD AT PUTTING ON EYELASHES)


I tried.

Although I will say that after all of my attempts to get them just right, the glue stayed like the first application so that was good. Once I felt they were just right, we were on our way out the door!

I had a gloriously delicious burger and we sat and talked for awhile before hopping back into the truck and riding around. It was a lovely night and I had fun trying a bunch of new things!

What are you doing on your next date night? 

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Unique Tips That Will Help You Start Your Very Own Business

Starting a business is not easy to say the least, but with a bit of work and a lot of dedication, you can be sure to make the most out of your venture.

Excuses

So many people dream of becoming an entrepreneur. They never do though because they are so burdened with the fear of failure. They feel as though they don’t have enough money, enough time or even too many responsibilities. You really can make a million excuses for not starting your own business because let’s face the facts, being your own boss is quite a scary thought. You also have a lot to lose as well, but at some point, you need to start working towards your dreams. Those fears are never going to go away, and the only way for you to deal with them would be for you to just go for it.


Absorb As Much As You Can

It’s so important that you listen to what other people have to say. This could include your friends, family or even other experts. When it comes to entrepreneurial goals, you have to be a sponge, and take in as much as you can. As you start to learn more and more, you can then begin to work out the idea in your head and you can also write things down as well. This will really help you when the time does come for you to start your own business plan. When you do make the decision to tell people about your plan, read any body language that they have. Do they like your idea? Or are they just being nice? Encourage those who are listening to you to be honest. When you do this, you can then feel confident knowing that they are being genuine, and it could even help you to smooth out any issues that you might face in the future.


Always Be A Solution

It’s way easier for you to gain a solid customer base when you try and solve a problem. Your start-up should try and fill a hole in the market, and it should also be a solution as well. If you are able to do this then you can easily gain a foothold in the industry and this can work wonders for your level of success.

Starting Your Company

Before you start your company you also need to think about the reason why you are doing it. What is your motivation? If your motivation is to earn a lot of money, then this isn’t good enough and it won’t keep you going if things start going downhill. Think about what you are passionate about, and use that as your drive. This will get you through those difficult times and it will also help you to really come to terms with any decisions you have to make.

Keep Things Simple

A lot of entrepreneurs get an idea and they run with it. This is great, but you don’t want to over complicate matters. You could end up with an elaborate product that people just don’t have an interest in, and this is the last thing that you need. As a new business owner, you need to narrow your focus as much as possible. You also need to learn how to test your idea on the market. A simple but high-quality service should help you to do this. For example, if you want to open up your very own cupcake store then don’t start out by offering endless flavors. Instead, keep it simple and start by offering 3 or less. This will make it easier for your customers to connect with you and it will also make it easier for them to make a purchase. Believe it or not, there is such a thing as having too much choice.

Cost

When you start to develop your very own business idea, you then need to try and add up how much it is going to cost you. You need to take into account every single business expense and you also need to think about how much it is going to cost you to operate in general. Some costs will include marketing, supplies, rent and even registration fees. When you think you have a solid number, you then need to add 50% on top of it. Most business expenses are unexpected, and there will be hidden costs behind every single corner. It is far better to be over prepared than under, and the sooner you understand this, the better business owner you will become. If you want to hire a team to work with your business then this is great, and there are ways that you can save money here. For example, instead of giving them an office device or phone so that they can stay in touch, encourage them to use their own. You can look into this link if you want to find out more about that: https://www.templafy.com/blog/how-to-provide-the-right-corporate-templates-in-a-byod-policy/

Imagine Yourself Bankrupt

You need to imagine yourself having absolutely nothing. There is a chance that this will happen, and there is also a chance that you will become close to bankruptcy as well. Launching an idea that does not end up being successful is a reality, and over half of new businesses fail within their first five years. Think about it, how would you handle having absolutely no money? It is a good idea for you to come up with some kind of plan in case this does happen. You may end up needing to find a job quickly, and you may also need to move back in with your parents as well. The comforts that you are used to right now may end up going out the window, and if this happens, you need to be ready to accept it.

So, there are many ways that you can prepare yourself for starting a business, and by following the above tips, you can be sure to make the most out of your experience and your finances in general.

Do you have any tips to add?

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Best Music Directors Of All Time

Music directors are not always given the credit they deserve. This is because they tend to operate behind the scenes, whilst those who sing or play an instrument tend to be celebrated. However, with the booming of Bollywood and the new found love for musicals, music directors are rightly gaining more attention.




Nevertheless, the term “music director” does not merely relate to the world of film and theatre, it incorporates a wide scope of roles. It can be used to describe anything from the individual who directs an orchestra to the person who coordinates the songs at a school assembly.  They have the responsibility of making creative decisions and their input is integral. Therefore, in the celebration of their role, let’s take a look at the best seven music directors of all time.


A. R. Rahman

There is only one place to start and this is with the person described by Times as the most prominent and prolific film composer in the world; A. R Rahman. His unique and innovative style is widely appreciated as he incorporates contemporary electronic sounds with classical Eastern music. The talented Indian man has won Filmfare’s “Best Music Director” award a monumental ten times; more than anyone else. The most recent award came in 2012 for the film Rockstar, an Indian musical film centered on romance and drama. Nonetheless, he is recognized for more than just his musical direction in films. He has also directed many orchestrations and has even released his own original compositions too.


Michael “Shawn” Crahan

Whether you are a fan of Slipknot or not, you cannot deny that the unique band has had a monumental amount of success. A lot of this success has been credited to Michael “Shawn” Crahan. He is ‘number 6’ of the eight-piece band; however, his influence has been colossal. He is responsible for many creative decisions; regarding the music made, how they perform at events, and how they market themselves. His direction has been imperative.  


Ennio Morricone

Italian Ennio Morricone has achieved a lot in his 84 years. His musical talents have touched over 500 films and television programmes. Not only this, but he has received a monumental number of awards for his work in the industry, including Grammys, BAFTAs, and Golden Globe Awards.


Salil Chowdhury

Salil Chowdhury is a great music director who is unfortunately no longer with us. He was well-known for his talent for creating complicated compositions. His ability to arrange musical instruments impeccably meant that he certainly wasn’t bad when it came to taking control of an orchestra either! Chowdhury’s legacy will definitely live on for many years to come as he transcended borders by taking global influences and blending them together.


Ilaiyaraaja

Ilaiyaraaja is not one to shy away from taking a risk and being experimental. Yet many would agree that his risks are well worth taking as his input can now be found in over a colossal 950 films. In fact, he was even voted as the greatest Indian music composer of all time, with 49% of the votes in a poll recently carried out by CNN-IBN.


David Robert Pack

And last but not least, we have the former frontman of rock group Ambrosia; David Robert Pack. The Grammy Award Winning artist is now responsible for directing music events all over the world. One of his most notable achievements has to be acting as the music director for the inaugurations of former President Bill Clinton.


If this has got you in the mood for a bit of dancing, there are lots of great music concerts going on at this time of year. You can check out TicketOffices.com Top Country Concerts and sites like this, based on the genre you are interested in, and you should have no trouble finding tickets. Of course, you do not have to wait. With the music streaming sites and platforms available at the moment, you can start listening to some musical masterpieces right now!




So there you have it: some of the best music directors of all time. Do you have a favorite music director? Did you recognize everyone featured in this post?