Chronically Ill? Wow, you must be SO Brave.

Just so you know, I may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post. I have a full affiliate disclosure that you can find here.

Being brave isn’t the absence of fear. Being brave is having that fear but finding a way through it.

Bear Grylls

Do you think of yourself as brave? I never have. Growing up, I was always afraid of bugs, needles, heights, and oh so much more. Okay, I’m still afraid of all of those things, but I’ve gotten a lot better with needles! Let’s just say, I’ve never been the epitome of brave.

When I picture someone who’s brave, I picture a first responder. A veteran. A surgeon. A teacher (all those kids?! Whoah, that’s brave!). Someone who does difficult or terrifying things because they want to help others. Yet, since my Mulitple Sclerosis diagnosis, many people have told me how brave they think I am.

Can I get a refund on this body?! It’s defective!

Uh, me? Nope, I think you’ve got the wrong girl. Mulitple Sclerosis isn’t something I chose, and doctors don’t even know why it happens yet. I don’t want this disease, and I don’t think I deserve admiration for living my life with something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.

excuse me, can I get a refund on this body please? It's defective! Thoughts on bravery and inspiration from a Multiple Sclerosis patient.

Sharing about my treatments and my life with MS on social media is something I do to help raise awareness for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. And, I do it to help others will invisible illness to know that they’re not alone. I appreciate the never-ending support all of my friends and family give me. But, I’ll be honest, while I appreciate them telling me that I’m ‘brave’ and ‘inspiring’, I usually don’t feel like I am.

I don’t feel brave when I’m lying on the couch too fatigued or in too much pain to play with Dixie, my sweet dog. When I have to turn down doing things I enjoy with the people I love, because my body will not cooperate, I don’t feel brave. Trying to choose a medication that will possibly help me but likely will also have horrible side effects doesn’t feel very brave. I sure as hell don’t feel inspiring. But, as one of my dear friend’s often reminds me, I don’t get to choose who I inspire,

And as another friend reminded me, choosing to be vulnerable, choosing to fight my disease (and my own body, really), continuing to participate in Walk MS is actually very brave.

Brave: ready to face and endure danger or pain; showing courage.

While I may not ever be truly ready to endure the pain that Multiple Sclerosis causes me, I can recognize the times when I show courage. Using the wheelchair assistance in the airport, because I need it as much as I hate it, is brave. I wish it wasn’t brave, because I wish that people wouldn’t stare when you ‘look so good’ but actually need the assistance. #ThisisMS

I’d love it if we didn’t have to talk about how brave Selma Blair was for showing up at the Grammys with a cane because of her Multiple Sclerosis. I wish we could simply talk about how beautiful she looked. Or better yet, how talented she is! Yet, that’s not the world we live in. Disability, using assistive devices, etc., is still looked upon as ‘less than’. And showing your face in public when you’re different?! Wow, that’s brave.

Maybe one day, being different won’t be seen as so brave. We can hope, right? Truly, I hope that as a society, we can all learn to be kinder to each other. To judge less, love more, and believe each other when we say that we are struggling.

And of course, I hope that one day there’s a cure for Multiple Sclerosis so no one else will have to suffer and be brave enough to fight their own immune system.

How do you deal with being told that you’re brave or inspiring when you don’t feel like you are?

6 Comments

5 Strategies to Be More Consistent with Your Social Media Presence.

Just so you know, I may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post. I have a full affiliate disclosure that you can find here.

“Getting an audience is hard. Sustaining an audience is hard. It demands a consistency of thought, of purpose and of action over a long period of time.”

Bruce Springsteen

The number one struggle that I hear fellow small business owners or direct sellers in Full of Grit & Grace is with consistency. How can I be more consistent with my social media presence? How in the world do you stay consistent on Facebook etc. while dealing with health issues?

I wish there was a magic key! Or, at least one simple thing that I could share with you to help you keep a consistent presence on your chosen social media platform(s) without much effort. The reality is, the “Boss” aka Bruce Springsteen had it right when he said ”Getting an audience is hard. Sustaining an audience is hard. It demands a consistency of thought, of purpose and of action over a long period of time.”

Yes, I know he was talking about music, but it actually applies to social media and customer relationships perfectly as well. While I don’t have a magic key, I do have some strategies that help me to stay consistent for my own social media marketing (and for my clients).

Five strategies to help small business owners and direct sellers be more consistent with their social media presence

Increasing Your Consistency on Social Media for your Business

#1 Prioritize Ruthlessly: Is what you’re working on helping to further your goals (business or personal)? Will what is on your to-do list today help you succeed? If you’re reading this blog and you’re looking to be more consistent online, then yes, hopefully it does! If you’re spending hours (or even 10 minutes) mindlessly scrolling Facebook because you have a social media based business, then no, that isn’t furthering your goals.

Spending time interacting with others on social media as a business owner or direct seller is critical, but you have to be very careful about how you spend it. Set a timer for yourself, or block off a certain part of your day, to mindfully engage with friends, customers, teammates, etc. on your social media. Do not waste precious time or energy scrolling without a purpose!

This same methodology applies to any business or personal tasks. I can get a better return on investment with my time and energy by working for an hour than I can by going to the grocery store (plus, I totally hate it). So grocery shopping is something my husband does (and he doesn’t even mind). Do I do tasks that I’d prefer not to do? Of course! But, I’m very mindful with how I spend my energy. I do the most critical/have to be done today tasks first thing each day, then I move on to checking emails etc., working on things that are important but not critical, and so on.

If I can make a task easier on myself (physically or mentally), I usually do. For example, I schedule most of my Pins to Pinterest using Tailwind, because I can schedule them out for a month and then not have to stress about it (you may find me browsing Pinterest on a Friday night, but that’s for pure enjoyment lol!).

I understand that you can’t always outsource tasks or make them more efficient, but prioritizing ruthlessly by what is most important will help you to get more done each day. Want my free checklist to help you prioritize ruthlessly? Get it here!

If you need help reclaiming your schedule and your time, I highly recommend this free download. You may find that you’re doing tasks that don’t need to be done at all!

prioritize ruthlessly to be more consistent in your small business and with your social media presence.

#2 Identify your target audience: You may have heard me say this before, but if you don’t know who you’re talking to, then what the heck you should say to them regularly is going to be much more difficult. If you’re trying to speak to the millions of people that could buy your product or service, instead of the people who actually will, you’re making writing consistent posts a lot harder on yourself.

Plus, you’re missing out on the opportunity to work with Facebook or Instagram’s algorithim. By understanding exactly who you’re target audience is, you’ll know what keywords, images, and pain points they identify with. These keywords are extremely important, because including these keywords in your posts will actually tell the algorithim who to show your posts to. If you haven’t defined your target audience yet, I recommend this course: MDS210 Target Audience.

Work Smarter, Not Harder On Your Business.

#3 Have a Plan. I tried to think of different ways to say ‘have a marketing plan for your business’ that sounded fancier or sparklier, but I got nothing. Sorry, friends! Having a plan isn’t super fun or sparkly (ok, it is if you’re excited by planning like I am!), but it is a key way to be more consistent in your business.

Planning for your business, at the very least a big picture plan for a few months at a time, is a huge timesaver. Plus, I can tell you from experience with large and small clients, planning always leads to more success (even if you decide to deviate from the plan later on).

How can you plan for your small business when your life and health is super inconsistent (like mine is)? The key to planning for me is having a plan that is flexible. Plus, it’s extremely important for me to plan time for self-care, and rest. What else do I always plan for? Well, I plan for not feeling well enough to work. That probably sounds strange to the average healthy person who can push through a cold etc., but chronic illness is a different beast and pushing through isn’t usually what’s best for me. You have to do what’s best for you, but no matter what you face in life, it’s always good to have a back up, just in case.

Whether your kids are off school for snow in March, or your best friend needs help unexpectedly, having a plan allows you to do what you need to do and stay consistent in your business. If you’ve never created a plan for your business before, or you have but you don’t have days to spend doing it, I highly recommend asking for help.

Join us for a Q2 Planning Webinar that will help you create a plan that works for you and your business, and will teach you a vital communication strategy for customers, with follow up email templates too. It will also help you with finances and more! Click here to read all of the info.

4. Repurpose Your Content: Trying to come up with new content every single day for use on your business page, your personal page, your Facebook group, etc. is exhausting. Plus, it’s totally unneccessary! You can effeciently re-use your content for different platforms, or share the exact same information in a new way.

For example, pretend you sell earrings and your Target Audience loves learning about new fashion trends. You can share a blog your wrote (or found) on your Facebook business page about what’s hot for spring fashion. Then, you can make a poll in your Facebook group comparing different hot new styles and asking your group members to vote on their favorite. Same content, multiple ways of sharing it.

Spending too much time looking for great content to share with your Target Audience? Prioritze ruthlessly and make it easier on yourself! Like other business pages with a similar target audience and utilize your Facebook business page’s news feed. You can share their content if you give them credit or you can re-create it with your own spin! You can watch my video on how to do that here.

If you want more tips on how to repurpose your content, check out this blog post from my friend Michele M. Bradley!

Consistency in business and on social media should be looked at as a netflix marathon, not a commercial. It takes time to build!

5. Consistency is a Netflix marathon, not a commercial. True business success, and consistency on social media take time to build. You won’t completely change your business by posting every day for a week. And if you post daily for 3 months, and then you miss a week, you haven’t ruined all of your hard work. Will your engagement drop after a short hiatus? Maybe. Will your business be doomed? No! Just like eating a donut after a week of eating low-carb won’t ruin your entire diet, missing a post here or there isn’t going to ruin your business.

Want to be more consistent in your business? Focus on priortizing what’s important, quit multi-tasking (there are tons of studies saying how it is actually far less effective for productivity), and work smarter with the ideas I shared above. Overall, remember to give yourself some grace and don’t waste any time beating yourself up over things you did not do, and focus on what you can and have accomplished!

What helps YOU to be more consistent with your business and social media presence?

12 Comments

How Blogging Can Benefit Your Business (and your life!)

Just so you know, I may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post. I have a full affiliate disclosure that you can find here.

“Too often, feeling intimidated becomes our excuse not to be awesome.”

Scott Stratten

Are you thinking of starting a blog for your business? Or starting a blog to share your thoughts and connect with others in your community?

I’m still relatively new to having a full blog for my own business, but I’ve already connected with some amazing people in the blogging community. Plus, I’ve been blogging on behalf of clients for many years so I have seen the benefits of blogging for your small business or your direct sales side hustle first hand!

How blogging can benefit you and your business. Plus suggestions for getting started in blogging!

Build Your Business By Blogging

Content is king and blogging provides an excellent way to create content that will resonate with your business’ target audience. Each blog post can be targeted for a specific group of keywords or keyword intention, which can provide useful information to your target audience about who you are and who your product serves.

Blogging is also an excellent way to become known as an authority on a subject, which builds your credibility as a business owner or direct seller. As you create quality content on topics you’re passionate about, you will become thought of as an authority on the subject by your community. As you cement your reputation as an authority, you may eventually become known as an influencer in your niche or industry. An influencer is defined as someone who is regarded as an authority and to whom many people look for advice and opinions. In reality, an influencer can be anyone who people trust to recommend products, services, strategies etc.

Blogging for Community

Not the least of the benefits of blogging, you’re going to meet new people, share new ideas, and have a lot of fun in the process. Creating new content can be a lot of work, but if you are blogging about a topic that you’re passionate about, you will enjoy it! I have met some amazing women through blogging already. If you’re interested in lifestyle blogging or becoming an ‘influencer’, I have learned a ton from being apart of the Style Collective. Plus, I’ve made some great business connections and new friends too!

Join me in the Style Collective, an online supportive community with influencer education that empowers women to find their purpose, be inclusive, and achieve success.

Blogging As a Business

Even if you’d prefer not to blog about a product you sell, or you don’t have a business built, you can still blog about topics you are passionate about and make money through a variety of avenues. As you increase your readership and establish yourself as an expert in a niche, there will be opportunities to monetize your blog. Many bloggers use AdSense to show ads on their blog, and make a few extra dollars from clicks on those ads. Personally, I don’t use Adsense or any ad networks yet, but you will see graphics on my site recommending products that I personally love.

Affiliate marketing on your blog is an excellent way to make extra money by sharing products that you love and would recommend anyway! For example, I’m an affiliate for my favorite business courses and tools, because I use them often and genuinely recommend them. As an affiliate, I make a small percentage if you buy through one of my links, but your cost remains the same. Is this a get rich quick scheme? NOPE. But affiliate marketing can add a few extra hundred dollars to your bank account each month. Who wouldn’t like that?! Follow me on Full of Grit & Grace or sign up for my newsletter (right hand side bar) if you’d like to learn more, because I’ll be sharing more tips on affiliate marketing soon!

Getting Started on Your Blog

If you don’t already have a business or blog name in mind, I recommend Michele M. Bradley’s free download or course to help you get started with branding! Personally, I use WordPress for my blog and Siteground for my domain name and hosting. I’ve found that both are quite easy to use (and you guys know I’m not super tech savvy!). Of course, there’s a cost associated with blogging, but the payoffs can more than offset the startup fees.

strategies to get started blogging today quickly and at a low cost.

Now that I know what I’m doing on WordPress, I find it super easy to use (you don’t have to know how to code or anything crazy!). However, I wouldn’t have been able to get it all set up without help. I recommend investing in a course from Hope at the Purple Teacup to learn how to set up your blog quickly, efficiently, and without a huge price tag. You can get a blog up and running in just a few hours!

Want your blog to match your branding? There are ton of themes you can use for your blog too. Personally, I use a BluChic theme, because I love their feminine styles, but Creative Market has tons of WordPress themes in every style too.

Are you ready to start blogging? I’d love to hear from you and follow you, so please comment below!

8 Comments

Life’s Hard, Find Joy Anyway

Just so you know, I may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post. I have a full affiliate disclosure that you can find here.

“Without pain, how could we know joy?’ This is an old argument in the field of thinking about suffering and its stupidity and lack of sophistication could be plumbed for centuries but suffice it to say that the existence of broccoli does not, in any way, affect the taste of chocolate.” 

John Green

Most of us believe that happiness is an event. However, I think that happiness is more of a state mind. Happiness is not based on how much you have. It’s not based on how much you achieve, or how many friends you have (although they all help). It may be based on how many dogs you have…if you’re a crazy dog mom like me!

Life is hard, whether you’re facing a chronic illness or any number of difficulties in life. While it’s impossible to be happy all the time, you can create little pieces of joy throughout your day and throughout your life.

Life is hard, especially with a chronic illness or other difficulties. Here are my strategies to help you find joy anyway.

Finding Joy

In order to be happy and find joy, there is not one thing you need to do or one thing you need to have either. And of course, if you’re struggling with mental health, as I do, I always recommend seeing a professional therapist or doctor. While I used to say that ‘life is hard, choose joy anyway’, I’ve decided that it’s not always about choosing joy, and more often it’s a matter of finding joy. Sometimes it’s easier to choose, but in my life, it’s often an all-out battle to find some damn joy. Happiness and joy aren’t just chilling out in the universe waiting there for you to pick them. More often, you have to actually work to find them. And if you have a chronic illness or pain? Then I can speak from experience, joy is a feeling you have to work really freakin’ hard to find.

Start off by writing a list of things that bring you joy, and anything you’re feeling grateful for. Think about what makes you smile, what happy looks like, how happy shows up in your life. Then, focus on those events and times when you felt joyful.

Recall those memories, feel them, remember how you felt and feel it again in th moment.

Recall & Create Joyful Memories

Recalling fond memories when you are struggling to find joy is a great way to pull yourself out of a dark place. This is why I keep a folder of happy memories, quotes, nice notes from friends and clients etc. on my phone for easy access on the go. I also keep a gratitude journal, and I keep my favorite mantras front and center too.

Smiling and laughing, according to some research, is good for your health. Apparently, endorphins are released when you smile and laugh. So that cheezy movie that always makes you laugh?! Go ahead and play it again (for me, it’s usually Elf). It will do your body and your mind a world of good.

If you focus on the positive, it will grow. Focus on making a choice every day to find something that will make you smile, you will get closer to your goals in life or business. Try to find something every day for which to be grateful, chances are that you will have that much more for which to be grateful.

Look for the slightest of things in the mundane and every day such as a message from a great friend, running water, a delicious cup of coffee, your dog jumping all over you. Anything that can make you smile, is worth thinking about, because in the end it will help you to find joy. And, a little joy goes a long way.

What brings you joy?

0 comments

Galentine’s Day Gift Ideas!

Just so you know, I may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post. I have a full affiliate disclosure that you can find here.

What is Galentine’s Day?! Oh it’s only the BEST day of the year! In the words of Amy Poehler’s emblematic character Leslie Knope on Parks and Rec, here’s what Galentine’s Day is: “Every February 13th, my lady friends and I leave our husbands and our boyfriends at home, and we just come and kick it, breakfast-style. Ladies celebrating ladies. It’s like Lilith Fair, minus the angst. Plus frittatas.”

Of course, I love my husband and I think traditional Valentine’s Day is sweet, but my besties deserve to be celebrated too! Plus, you guys know that I enjoy anything sassy, silly, and pink. I’m also a huge fan of ‘Treat Yo Self’ (also started by Parks and Rec) so these Galentine’s Day gift ideas are perfect for celebrating your friends or showing yourself some much deserved love too!

Gifts are my love language so any excuse to shower my favs with presents is a good one in my book! I used to love hosting parties and girls night’s at my house, and while I don’t usually have the energy any more, I created a whole Pinterest Board with Galentine’s Day ideas if you’re in a party throwing mood!

Truly great friends are hard to find, difficult to leave, and impossible to forget!

How cute would a mani and mimosas Galentine’s Day party be?! Gift your girl friends Color Street nail strips and do your nails together. The best part?! No dry time, so you don’t have to worry about smudges or staying away from the snacks.

You add sparkle to my life! Happy Galentine's Day! Gift your bestie some fabulous Color Street nail strips and do manis together.
Shop Color Street Nail Strips Here.

Are you the Leslie Knope of your friends? Always encouraging them and reminding them that they are beautiful majestic mermaids?! Treat them to a beautiful bracelet that reminds them of their favorite mantra, your friendship, or how wonderful they are!

Happy Galentine's Day! Gift your besties a beautiful MantraBand
Use code JENNA10 to save 10% on MantraBands

You don’t have to spend a lot to show your friends that you care! My favorite USDA organic lip balms, Moroccan Magic, can be found at your local CVS, Walgreens, or Bed Bath and Beyond for less than $5 each. You can shop directly from their website or grab a 3 pack now on Amazon!

You're the balm, moroccan magic makes a great galentine's day gift!

Is your bestie a bit silly and sassy?! She’ll love these adorable donut and coffee handmade leather earrings! I also have a great variety of gorgeous earrings in other styles and patterns here too.

Donut and coffee earrings! I donut know what I'd do without you!
I ‘Donut’ Know What I’d Do Without You!

Of course, we can’t forget our four-legged best friends! I am a crazy dog lady, and proud of it. Yup, I even made myself a t-shirt, because my dog is my Valentine! I love my FriendShipCollars (a collar for my dog Dixie and a matching bracelet for me!) and they have adorable designs for any style. More importantly, I love that for every sale made, they donate food to animal shelters across the USA. 

Friendship collars are a matching bracelet and collar for you and your four legged bestie.
Save 15% on your order with code JENNAGREEN

Are you hosting a Galentine’s Day event with your friends or community?! I’d love to hear how you plan to celebrate and what your favorite gift ideas are too!

0 comments

What is a Mantra and How Can it Help Me Reach My Goals?

Just so you know, I may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post. I have a full affiliate disclosure that you can find here.

I recently did a training on vision boards, and while they’re a bit ‘out there’, I do find them extremely helpful in guiding my life and my business! In case you missed it, you can watch it here and download my free vision board template here. Funnily enough, I started using Mantras far before I had a vision board, and really before I truly understood the benefit of having them! Now that I know the power of vision boards, I do recommend that you create one to help you visualize your goals before you work on creating a mantra (or three).

What is a Mantra and how it can help you reach your goals

What is a Mantra Anyway?!

Traditionally, a mantra is a word, sound, or phrase repeated to aid in your concentration while meditating. Yes, I do meditate (or at least I try), but I promise this blog is not going to try to convince you or teach you about meditation! I created my first ‘mantras’ after realizing that I needed to work on re-training my brain to find more joy, and to encourage myself to reach for my goals. At the time, I hadn’t yet been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, but I was dealing with back pain and going through some large changes in my life.

Your brain will work tirelessly to achieve the statements you give your subconscious mind. And when those statements are the affirmations and images of your goals, you are destined to achieve them!

Jack Canfield

A mantra can be very short. It can be one word such as “Breathe”. It can also be longer and contain specific information and affirmations depending on what you want to get out of the mantra. My first three mantras were ‘Choose Joy’, ‘Be the Change’ and ‘She Believed She Could So She Did’, and I still repeat them to myself frequently. Plus, I have each saying on a MantraBand Bracelet, and on signs, sticky notes, and decor throughout my house (what can I say, I’m a visual learner and I need visual reminders too!).

Choose Joy
Use code JENNA10 to save 10% on MantraBands

How Can A Mantra Help me Hit My Goals?

Whether your goals are personal or business related, mantra(s) can help to keep you focused and set your intentions. Too often we get caught up in the day to day running of our businesses (or our lives) and we simply forget what is actually important. Is your goal to focus more on your family and be present with them? Do you strive to give yourself more grace? To allow yourself to dream bigger and launch a new business? Do you believe in yourself? Are you trying to reduce your anxiety? No goal is too big or too small to be encouraged by a mantra.

Developing a mantra (or three lol!) will help you reach a goal that you have by focusing your thoughts and intentions each day. However, mantras don’t work if you don’t see them and repeat them to yourself!

Are you Struggling to Find a Goal or Mantra?

Try asking yourself a few questions about your life and business, and what you can do each day to achieve them.

  • How do you feel about your life now?
  • Do your thoughts tend to stay positive or do you find yourself putting yourself down and being negative?
  • How do you envision your life one year from now? One week from now?
  • What is something that you could do every day to make your goal happen?
  • If you were speaking to your best friend about her goal, what would you say? Try speaking to yourself as you would a dear friend!
  • If you find yourself thinking negatively, what would be a positive saying to counteract the negative ones?

A mantra is a positive affirmation that you will say every day until you start believing it and acting on it. Remember, you likely will not be able to follow your mantra every day, some days you might just not be quite as strong or up for the challenge as others, which is totally normal! One of my mantras is ‘Choose Joy’, but I certainly don’t find joy in every moment of my day. In fact, some days, I have a hard time finding much joy at all. The important thing is that I keep trying. You deserve to give yourself grace, and please do not beat yourself up for ‘straying’ from your mantra.

You are enough.

Do you have a mantra? I would love to hear what it is and how it’s helped you!

Mantra Band bracelets
Use code JENNA10 to save 10% on any Mantra Band purchase
6 Comments

Tips to Sell More in the Marie Kondo Era of Owning Less.

Just so you know, I may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post. I have a full affiliate disclosure that you can find here.

Devoting an entire weekend, or week, to de-cluttering my house couldn’t possibly be farther down on my to-do list. Yet, while I may not be in her target audience (or maybe that sentence shows that I am?!), Marie Kondo is still everywhere I look. She’s being recommended to me by Netflix (uh, Netflix, that’s nothing like my favorite rom-coms), and my friends are talking about her all over social media. Even my husband knows who she is. Now that is saying something (I’m not sure the man knows who Kesha is).

I haven’t actually watched Marie’s Netflix show, but I’ve read enough that I understand the gist of her de-cluttering tips. In her book, she says

“The best way to choose what to keep and what to throw away is to take each item in one’s hand and ask: “Does this spark joy?” If it does, keep it. If not, dispose of it. This is not only the simplest but also the most accurate yardstick by which to judge.” 

Marie Kondo

How can we convince shoppers to buy from us when they just Kon-Mari’d their whole house?!

I am a big fan of ‘choosing joy’, and I did do a recent closet purge/donation of clothing that I no longer wore, but the KonMari method goes through everything from your pantry to your bookshelf. Since de-cluttering is a trending topic right now, how can we use this to our advantage? De-cluttering can spark a great conversation in your Facebook Group or on your business page, and I bet a lot of your target audience members can relate to struggling to choose which items ‘spark joy’ (or if you found a salad dressing that expired in 2012).

Talking about trending topics is a great way to engage with your Target Audience, but uhhh… how can we convince them that they need more ‘stuff’ if they just donated six bags to Goodwill?!

Here’s my advice: don’t try to sell them more.

Wow, thanks Jenna, that’s super helpful (insert eye roll here), right?! I’m kidding, I mean mostly. Instead of writing more and more sales focused posts as sales are dwindling (which they typically do in January regardless), I recommend creating content arcs that help them to figure out what products you carry WILL spark joy for them. Focus on engaging with your target audience, being authentic and vulnerable, and then quit trying to convince them of anything (besides how awesome you are). Truly, no one can convince you to buy something, you have to want it.

I sell Color Street Nail Strips. How can I create a content arc that relates to my Target Audience and makes them want some cute new nail strips too? Here’s an example of a content arc that would work well with this trend:

  • Post 1: Poll my group on Marie Kondo and see who’s doing it/done it to spark the conversation.
  • Post 2: Share an article on the KonMari method and my anxiety towards getting rid of things… I mean, I can’t be alone on that, right?! Again, sparking conversation with my group.
  • Post 3: Share a funny photo of my dog hiding under the blankets while I start de-cluttering (I’m a crazy dog lady, and my target audience loves animals). Include a call to action like ‘how does your pet feel about this de-cluttering stuff’ so they’re asked to comment/engage.
  • Post 4: Ask my group what the funniest thing they’ve found while de-cluttering is and share a funny story about what I’ve found.
  • Post 5: Confess that I’m still holding on to some drugstore polish that I bought in 1998 and I never use ‘regular polish anymore, because I prefer the ease of Color Street. Show them the before and after of my bathroom shelf, and highlight how much cleaner it looks without the giant box of old nail polish. Plus, I’d ask them to share a before and after photo too!
Nail polish before and after decluttering
Confession: that’s not even all of my old nail polish, and no, I didn’t go through and thank each bottle, but I did put aside the best colors to gift to my niece.

Now that I’ve created an entire content arc on Marie Kondo, over a few days or a week, I’d write a promotional post sharing some of my favorite things about the product. Color Street has everything you need in one small package, is easy to use, and the new Valentine’s Day collection can we worn year round. Plus, I would share my favorite sets that ‘spark joy’. Of course, I’d also remind them how to shop and include a call to action. And that is how I’d sell less often, to actually sell more.

How does this work for any product?

Remember, people come to Facebook (and social media in general) for community, entertainment, and education. They do shop on social media, but that’s not their primary reason for engaging with you. You can create content arcs on nearly any topic! For example, I used to sell clothing, and Marie Kondo can even help with that.

“If sweatpants are your everyday attire, you’ll end up looking like you belong in them, which is not very attractive. What you wear in the house does impact your self-image.” 

Marie Kondo

While I beg to differ with her assessment of sweatpants (I am still cute in mine, ok?!), your Target Audience need some new comfortable clothing to wear around the house that also make them feel good. While they may be less likely to buy tons of new clothes, they probably have a half-empty closet that could use more staple items (aka higher price point pieces). The same applies to kitchen supplies, accessories, books etc.

The key to capitalizing on most trends, is to understand your Target Audience and whether or not it’s something that interests them. If you haven’t fully defined your TA, I recommend this course.

How have you found ways to engage with your audience through the latest trends?

0 comments

50 Social Media Engagement Post Ideas for Small Businesses & Direct Sellers

Just so you know, I may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post. I have a full affiliate disclosure that you can find here.

Why do people go to Facebook? To waste time at work? Probably (I won’t tell your boss)! 

The three main reasons that people use Facebook are actually very simple, they’re looking for: information, entertainment, and community. People go to Facebook to see what their friends are up to, to oooh and ahh over their cousin’s new baby’s photos, and to connect with their community of friends and family. 

Have you ever opened the Facebook App hoping that someone would ask you to buy something you don’t even think you need?! Nope, me neither!

However, Facebook groups and Facebook business pages are excellent tools for selling on social media. Most direct sales companies and small business owners are encouraged to advertise their products on Facebook, but if you’re constantly posting promotional content and nothing else, you’re going to alienate all of your Target Audience and potential customers. Plus, Facebook favors non-sales posts, which makes it critical to post high engaging non-spammy content so that you’re promotional posts are also seen by your target audience. 

Now the BIG question is, what the heck do I post to engage with my Facebook community?! Start by figuring out who your ideal customer is, what they like, what interests and entertains them. If you need help defining your target audience, I recommend this course

Once you’ve defined your target audience, you’ll find it much easier to share content that they will engage with! Be sure to include original images whenever possible, writing an engaging story, and including a call to action.

Are you struggling with creating engaging stories for your social media? We consistently review posts and give feedback for the members of the  Social  Strategy Squad, a small premium coaching group. I also recommend downloading the weekly free backgrounds, templates, and fonts or purchasing your favorites from Creative Market to help you create your own graphics and stand out from the crowd!

Here are 50 engagement post ideas:

Improve your facebook group engagement and increase your sales with these 50 post ideas

1. Ask your group where they’re from and use the recommendation feature to create an interactive map! 

2. Create a poll in your group with photos or gifs. Ex: Do you prefer Nachos or Buffalo wings? The Beach or the Mountains?

3. Share a 360 degree (panoramic) photo of your view/workspace and ask them to share their view too! 

4. Create a ‘watch party‘ and watch a video that you know you’re community will love. 

5. Share a gif and have a ‘gif dance party’.

6. Ask their opinion on your outfit and give them a few choices (people love to share their opinions!)

7. Ask what their favorite taco toppings are on #TacoTuesday! 

8. Share a favorite recipe and ask for some of their favorites too.

9. Ask them to tell you a happy story in just 3 words.

10. #MotivationMonday: ask them to share their favorite motivational quotes

11. Invite your community to join you in a challenge: example, water challenge Wednesday.

12. Ask what their favorite seasonal activity is.

13. Ask what their favorite sport is.

14. Tell a story about your past and ask them to share a similar #ThrowbackThursday photo and story.

15. Ask them what food that they hate that everyone else seems to love?

16. Share your funny pet photos.

17. Share your favorite memes.

18. Ask what the best movie is that they have seen lately.

19. Ask what book they are reading.

20. Ask them if they have a garden and what their favorite flower is.

21. Share a photo of your closet and ask them what color they wear the most. 

22. Ask if they could go anywhere right now, where would they go?

23. Ask who they’d love to have a coffee date with (anyone in the world!). 

24. Share a photo from your last vacation and ask them what their favorite vacation spot is.

25. Create a fun and unique name generator, like what’s your superhero name?

What's your Superhero name? FB engagement post ideas

26. Ask them what their favorite song is.

27. Share a silly photo of yourself and ask them to copy it and share.

28. Ask what their favorite comfort food is.

29. Share your outfit and ask them what they’re wearing too.

30. Celebrate a random holiday.

31. Ask them what their favorite podcast is.

32. Ask them what their favorite rainy day activity.

33. Brag Flag Friday: ask them to share something good that happened this week.

34. Ask them if they prefer iced or hot coffee or tea. 

35. Ask if they prefer cats or dogs. 

36. Make a funny saying with your initials.

37. Share your best self care tips.

38. Ask what the funniest thing was that happened to them this week.

39. Ask them to describe you with a gif.

40. Ask them what their spirit animal is and why.

41. Ask them what their favorite childhood toy was and why.

42. Share your guilty pleasure food and ask what theirs is.

43. Ask them what 3 words they would use to describe you.

44. Make up a holiday and ask them what holiday they would make up to celebrate.

45. Ask them what their must have beauty product is.

46. Ask them what their ideal temperature is and why.

47. Ask them what their least favorite chore is.

48. Ask them what movie they could watch over and over.

49. Share your favorite styling tips and ask them to share theirs too.

50. Ask them what they think of the latest dance trends. 

I hope you find these engagement post ideas helpful! If you’re looking to be more consistent in your business, I’d love to have you join my new Facebook group as well. Full of Grit and Grace is a group for anyone that cannot work a traditional 9-5 job due to chronic illness, mental health, or other factors. Together, we thrive through life’s challenges with grit and perseverance while giving ourselves (and others) grace and understanding. We each determine our definitions of success, and we encourage each other along the way. 

0 comments

Let’s Skip The New Year’s Bullshit

A few days before the New Year, and I’m already sick of the whole ‘New Year, New You’ bullshit that’s everywhere. Whether you’re on Facebook, watching TV, or at a store, you’re bombarded with messages asking you: What did you achieve this year? What are your goals for next year?

There’s a lot of pressure, especially on social media, to be able to list all of the awesome things that you’ve achieved in the last year, and share your hopes for an even better year in 2019. Half of your friends are probably reminiscing on their new marriages, babies, houses, promotions, and triathlon medals. All of those things are awesome, and totally worth celebrating. Yet, what do you do when you didn’t achieve anything big or your year’s gone completely off track?

Re-Adjusting Our Expectations

I entered into 2018 with a lot of plans, a lot of hope for improved health, and goals for my business. It’s incredibly easy to look back on the year and think of all of the things that I DIDN’T do. Items on my to-do list that I never followed through with. The fun events that I missed out on, because of health issues beyond my control. The symptoms that progressed instead of subsided. All of the goals that I created, but didn’t take action on in my business. Yet, I know that focusing on the negative has NEVER made me feel better.

In general, society defines achievements as physically gaining things or reaching some big life goals. Like there is some sort of  a lifetime achievement checklist, and you’ve only had a ‘successful’ year if you’ve checked off a few boxes?! It’s easy to feel sad and mentally beat yourself up when you look at life like that.

Instead, I try to readjust my expectations (my therapist’s idea) to think of the little feel good moments, and celebrate the small wins. When I list out all of the GOOD that happened over the past year, it really is a much longer list then the ‘bad’. Yes, the list of good items may seem like small things at first glance, but that’s okay! As Robin Sharma said, “Small daily micro-wins when done continually over time lead to staggering results.’’

“Small daily micro-wins when done continually over time lead to staggering results.’’

Can You Still Benefit from Setting Goals?

Absolutely. I believe that you can still benefit from setting goals in your life and your business. Yes, even if you’re dealing with chronic illness, uncertainty, or life in general. I try to focus on creating small goals, because not only do big goals seem achievable, they also don’t focus on the small wins along the way. “Help more people in 2019” is a great wish. But, without any small goals to help you get there, it truly isn’t an attainable goal. Finish this damn blog post, now that is a small goal that I can actually DO.

I’ve always set goals and taken pride in being a high achiever. On the other hand, I’m usually the hardest on myself when I don’t achieve a goal or complete a task. Who has the energy for that? My immune system is already attacking me, life in general isn’t easy for anyone, why are wasting so much time beating ourselves up?!

That’s where grace comes in. I KNOW I deserve to give myself the same grace I consistently give to others. I am proud of myself for working on giving myself more grace every damn day. It really is a conscious process for me, and I am constantly working on re-phrasing my thoughts. Is it easy? No. Is it worthwhile? Absolutely. And it’s exactly why I started this blog, and Full of Grit & Grace. 

I think we all have a ton of grit that helps us get through life, but we also deserve to give ourselves a lot more grace as well.

What was one of your small wins in 2018?

12 Comments

Four Words that Will Change Your Life Forever: You have Multiple Sclerosis

Just so you know, I may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post. I have a full affiliate disclosure that you can find here.

Dear Newly Diagnosed Me,

Welp. This sucks. Remember that time you were sideswiped in your car and you had no idea that you’d live with chronic back pain every single day going forward? Yeah, this is gonna suck more than that did. And it’s going to hit you much harder than that accident did, not over a long period of time and trials.

 

Those four words “You have Multiple Sclerosis” are absolutely going to change your life forever.

 

Cry. Scream. It’s okay to feel all of those feelings. But know, deep deep down somewhere that you probably can’t feel right now, that you are still going to live a good life with chronic illness. In fact, you’re going to live a GREAT life.


Is every day going to be great? Nope. A lot of days are going to be complete suckfests. You’ll need more surgery (not even related to your Multiple Sclerosis), you’ll have new symptoms that don’t go away. Remembering things that came easily to you before will now be hard. But no one will be more frustrated with you than you are. You won’t listen to your body, you’ll overdo it, and you’ll pay for it.

 

Trusting your body and your mind will be harder than you ever imagined. Symptoms and fatigue are unpredictable. You will lose friends. Learning to cope with your Multiple Sclerosis will take time, and you’ll grow distant from people. Your depression will be the worst it’s ever been and you’ll have some bad days. Plus, you’ll start living with anxiety, which isn’t something you ever had to face before.

In fact, when you tell someone you have Multiple Sclerosis, when use your cane, the handicap service at the airport, or know the secret pathways through the hospital, people will stare at you in disbelief. ‘But you look SO GOOD’ they’ll say. And they’re not wrong. You can have a chronic illness and still be cute. Who said that you suddenly ‘look sick’ when you have Multiple Sclerosis? Or any other invisible disease for that matter? Invisible diseases like Multiple Sclerosis, Degenerative Disc Disease, Depression, Anxiety, and so many more are referred to as INVISIBLE for a reason. And yes, you WILL get frustrated when people (lots of them) tell you how good you look, or how brave you are because you know they mean it as a compliment, but it’s frustrating as hell when you feel like someone doesn’t believe you.

 

Hope is not lost. Life’s hard, choose joy anyway, right?

Rocking my Chronically Ill Badass t-shirt and my Tysabri infusion to help slow the progression of my Multiple Sclerosis
Rocking my Chronically Ill Badass t-shirt and my Tysabri infusion to help slow the progression of my Multiple Sclerosis

You’ll learn that sharing your story, your diagnosis, and your struggles will resonate with people you don’t even know. The kindness and empathy you receive from complete strangers will move you beyond words.

 

You’ll learn to re-prioritize your life, your business, and what brings you joy so that you can actually do things you love AND listen to your body’s needs. Thankfully, you will learn (super quickly) to become an advocate for your own health (and others). You’ll have an amazing team of doctors that advise you to combine holistic therapy and traditional therapies as you see fit. Spoon theory will become a valuable term that helps you to describe your capabilities to your family, friends, and doctors.

 

You’ll quickly learn that you don’t have energy or ‘spoons’ to waste on negative people, anger, or drama. You will surround yourself with people who lift you up, who support you, and who empathize with you, even if they can never truly understand you. Most importantly, you’ll never be alone, and you’ll work to make sure that no one else facing an invisible illness feels alone either.

 

Life isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. Some days are still going to suck with Multiple Sclerosis and chronic illness. But you’ll learn to find more JOY in the mediocre days, and truly savor the GREAT in the good days. You won’t find balance (spoiler alert: it doesn’t exist), but you will find joy again. You’ll help people more, love stronger, and learn to ask for help, even if you still hate it, and you’ll thrive.

 

You’ve got grit, and you’re going to figure out how to give yourself the grace that you so freely give to others. Plus, you’re pretty chronically badass too. 

 

Do you have a chronic illness? What do you wish you could tell your newly diagnosed self?

0 comments