Welcome back to my beginner’s guide to PR series! If you’re just joining, I’m doing a 3-part blog post series all on how small businesses can begin to use PR for their business.
Here’s what I’ll be covering throughout the series:
Today, you’ll learn how to make authentic connections with media and influencers and how to build these relationships over time.
You know how important and business-changing getting media hits can be, but how do you get started?
How can you grow and cultivate an actual relationship with the media and get your stories featured?
How can you get media features when you’re just starting your business?
We’ll be covering all of this and more in today’s post!
Be sure to download the free workbook to help you along the way by clicking the button below.
Yup, we’re talking about goals again. Making authentic connections with the media and influencers is important, but you first have to have a game plan and a purpose.
Getting featured on Pat Flynn’s podcast is cool and awesome, but if you don’t have a goal you’re trying to achieve by being on his podcast you won’t see much return.
This is a big misconception about PR because often people think if they are featured on a major site like Entrepreneur.com or popular podcast like The School of Greatness that their business will finally “take off.”
The fact of the matter is, it takes a lot of work to get on these major sites and more times than not you don’t see a long-term increase in revenue just because you were featured once.
People consume so much content these days, and if you don’t have a specific plan for what to do after you get these media mentions, you will be forgotten in about 3 seconds. That’s an exact scientific answer, by the way. 😂
Laying out your goals ahead of time will help you achieve greater success than if you go about it with zero plan.
Here are questions to consider when deciding on your goals:
There are people already in your life that have connections to places you want to be featured. Yes, you. Stop shaking your head like you don’t, because you do. You just don’t know it yet.
Here’s the thing, to create authentic connections with the media and influencers, you need to build a relationship with them. Relationships take time so a great place to start is with people you already have a relationship with.
You know the theory of 6 degrees of separation (or maybe better known as 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon 😜)? Yeah, that’s like, a real thing.
Schedule calls with these people, hop on Skype, let them know of your goals.
I grew my business entirely through making authentic connections with people I followed online or met in person. My family and IRL friends still have no clue what I do and I imagine they think I do this every day:
Don’t give me the excuse that you no one in your circle knows what you do and they don’t understand and it’s pointless to reach out.
Questions to ask yourself while identifying people you may know:
My biggest suggestion is to remember you’re connecting with other human beings. Treat people like people, not robots or people on pedestals.Learn how to authentically connect w/media & influencers to start getting press for your #smallbiz! Click To Tweet
Do you want to how much time I spend researching for my PR clients? Do you really want to know? Okay fine, I’ll break it down for you:
30% of the time I am sending emails. Lots and lots of carefully written & targeted emails.
The offer 70% of the time? Research.
Okay, so it’s not all about research. It’s also about the pitch. But making authentic connections all starts with research.
Here’s just a handful of things I’m constantly researching for my PR clients:
Here are a few tips on making research a little easier for you:
Did you know that you can find out what magazines will be writing about well in advance? Yup, it’s true. Most print magazines publish their editorial calendars online for anyone to view.
Some will require you to sign up for it, others are just open online.
Print magazines are looking for content about 2-4 months prior to the release date, so you need to plan ahead.
Here’s what happens when I Google “Cosmopolitan Editorial Calendar”:
Often a magazine’s editorial calendar is included on their media kit page, so let’s click on media kit.
It then leads you to a page that has this header. We want to click on calendar.
Bam! The entire year of Cosmo’s print editorial calendar right there.
Now not every magazine publishes their editorial calendars, but most do. Sometimes you have to do a little digging, but you can most likely find it.
You can also sign up for a paid service like Media Bistro to get extra tips on how to pitch certain magazines. Right now it’s only a one-time fee!
Now it’s time for one of the most important steps: perfecting the pitch. Having the correct contact information for editors is great, but if your pitch stinks it won’t matter.
People get intimidated when they hear the word “pitch” because it gives the impression you only have one chance. While that’s partially true (you obviously don’t want to say something rude that insults an editor), crafting your pitch takes time. This is why we want to start with smaller publications and websites before working up to the big guys.
The fortune is in the follow-up
You have to follow up. No seriously, you have to follow up.
People don’t like following up because they feel rejected from not getting an initial response. I know this because I used to feel this way.
Now that I have over 7 PR clients that’s not the case.
The fact of the matter is, people are busy and their inboxes are full to the brim. Sometimes emails fall through the cracks. Emails get accidentally deleted or lost. People thought they responded but didn’t. And sometimes people are intentionally ignoring you.
Here are general ground rules you should follow when following up:
Hope you’re having a great week! I wanted to follow up on an email I sent a couple of weeks ago. I know you’re a busy gal/guy and that sometimes emails can fall through the cracks! Anyways, just wanted to touch base and see if you were open to my proposed partnership/feature story/whatever you’re pitching.
Thanks so much for your time!
I sent you an email last week and I still haven’t heard back. What gives?”
I seriously hope no one would ever send an email like this, but I no joke got something very similar. Uh, chill out dude.
Once again we covered a lot in this post but I couldn’t leave anything out! Building solid relationships with media and influencers can take some time, but it is well worth the initial investment.
Don’t forget to grab the workbook that accompanies this post. I’d love to hear of any additional questions you may have, leave them below!
Summer and I are in a mini-mastermind group together and I quickly got addicted to the content that she shares. Not only is she a Pinterest genius (seriously, check out her free course all about using Pinterest) but she also runs a local brick and mortar pet sitting company (dream job!). Most (if not all, I’m starting to lose count!) of the past Day in the Life guests have run online businesses so I thought it’d be interesting to feature someone that runs both a local business and an online business.
I hope you enjoy!
Want to be featured in the series? You can check out the guidelines and how to submit here. I’d love to feature you!
Hey everyone! I’m excited to be here today sharing a small snippet of my life as a wife, stay-at-home mom, and entrepreneur running 2 businesses.
To give a little insight into my current situation, I’m Mom to our 4.5-year-old daughter, 2-year-old son, and I’m almost 6 months pregnant. It’s summer vacation time for us, so every day is different, and the one I decided to chronicle was a random Tuesday in June.
I’ve been an entrepreneur for the past 9 years, during which I’ve grown my first business, a local pet sitting and dog walking company, from a one-person solopreneur operation, to now a 15 employee run company. I started it when I didn’t have any kids and was still teaching elementary school, and since then it’s allowed me to quit that job, become a stay at home mom, and have plenty of time to focus on my online business passions.
While that pet business keeps chugging along in the background giving me a full-time income on about 1 hour of work per day, I spend my time growing my online presence at Lady Boss League (soon to be rebranded to Summer Tannhauser!), teaching others to market their businesses online and create income for their own families. I believe in a “Live More, Work Less” business model, so everything that I teach focuses on evergreen and passive income strategies that do not involve directly trading time for money. I like to work on my own time … not when others tell me that I have to. 🙂
So that’s me and my life in a nutshell. Now let’s dive into the details!
My alarm goes off for the first time. Last night we got home late after a swim party to kickoff swim team for the summer, and I just can’t bare to get up quite yet. I hit snooze.
Decide it’s time to get out of bed, and I head downstairs to make a cup of coffee and settle down at the computer.
This is prime getting work done time before the kids get up, and I check emails and scheduling for the day for the pet sitting business. Then I take some time to work on the website rebrand that I’m doing for LadyBossLeague. It’s one of the fun projects that keeps getting pushed to the end of my to-do list, so I’m happy to spend a little time on it this morning.
My son wakes up (this is actually late for him!) and we wave bye to Daddy as he leaves for coaching. He’s a teacher so he has summers off, but he is a summer league swim coach so his schedule stays busy.
I wake my daughter up, and it’s a crazy hour of getting everyone dressed, eating breakfast, and packing up stuff for getting my daughter to camp. I grab a bowl of plain Greek yogurt with honey, strawberries, and granola for myself.
We’re out the door to nature + arts camp, and I drop by daughter off at 8:30 am. She loves it and can’t wait to arrive. I have a little time before our next thing, so I let my son spend a few minutes playing in the children’s garden area before we head off.
Arrive for Barre class. I attend fairly regularly 2 times per week, and they have free childcare so that works out great!
Barre is over (whew, it gets harder every week being pregnant!), and we drop by Starbucks on the way home to grab a cold brew for me and a cookie for my son. It’s a scorcher out today in the summer heat, so cold coffee is definitely the way to go!
I take a few minutes to get a load of laundry started and the dishwasher going before having my son down for a nap by 11:15 am.
Once he’s asleep I go straight to the computer and start working on responding to pet sitting client scheduling requests, voicemails, and emails. The summer months are some of our busiest ones for the pet sitting business, so I have to devote more time to that business today then I’d really like to.
My parents come over to take care of my son for the afternoon. They live about 1 hour away from us, and normally come over to hangout with the kids 1 day each week. Good thing they do, since my son doesn’t seem like he’s into napping today and ends up wakiing up after only sleeping for an hour. Normally I get more towards 1.5-2 hours of solid work time while he naps, but not today!
I make us all a quick lunch of a sandwich and fruit, and then get freshened up for a few podcast interviews. I know I won’t actually be on camera since they are podcasts, but in the one we do have the camera on at the beginning to chat before getting started, so I’m glad I take a few minutes to get “presentable”!Check out what a day in the life looks like for Summer Tannhauser of @LadyBossLeague #dayinthelife #ditl Click To Tweet
My first podcast interview is with Tom Morkes for the In the Trenches podcast, where we talk all about evergreen sales funnels. It’s unusual for me to be doing 2 podcast interviews today, but in this case both of them reached out to me, and being able to batch both of them together when childcare is available is a perfect situation for my life!
I take a little time to prep dinner while my parents are still here with my son. We’re having Panko-crusted chicken with corn and BBQ-peach beans tonight, and I get what I can ready. Grandpa leaves to pick up my daughter from camp while I keep prepping dinner.
My daughter gets home and we all sit on the front porch for a late afternoon popsicle snack.
My parents leave, and my daughter gets to pick out a kid’s TV show to watch. She gets to pick one 30 minute show to watch each day, so I sit on the couch with both kids and check emails and browse social media while they watch Mickey and the Roadster Racers.
I start getting dinner on the table and by 5:30 pm we’re all sitting down together to eat.
My husband has evening swim practice tonight, so I go ahead and take advantage of a little time to myself before he leaves to take a shower and get into comfy sweats. Yes, I’m pretty much dressed for bed at 6 pm. Haha!
We go out on the front porch to wave bye to daddy, and the kids end up playing for a while with the sport balls out there.
It’s bathtime for the kids. They have a good time playing around in the water for a while, and we end up staying in there until bedtime. I normally browse and engage on social media for a little while sitting in the bathroom watching them.
Bedtime routine for both kids, and I try to have both in bed and going to sleep by 8 pm. I’m successful tonight!
I grab myself a snack of fresh cherries, and sit down on the couch with my laptop, while watching America’s Got Talent in the background. I do a final email check for both businesses, and then continue working on my website rebrand that I started on this morning. It’s fun work and I enjoy doing it while catching parts of the show. Since my husband is at swim practice I do this for the rest of the evening. On nights when he is home, we normally try to have all technology put away by 9 pm, and watch a show together. Right now we’re into House of Cards.
My husband gets home, and I head to bed! It’s been a full day, and the 5 am hour comes quickly tomorrow. 🙂
Summer Tannhauser teaches online entrepreneurs and bloggers how to increase their audience, influence, and revenue through the power of Pinterest and passive income strategies. She believes in creating a “Live More, Work Less” business model by utilizing the powerful combination of Pinterest and blogging strategy to grow your email list, increase traffic, and ultimately create more revenue for your business
I’ve been following Kaitlyn for over a year now and we just had our first Skype date a few months ago. To say we hit it off immediately is an understatement. We started our business practically at the same time and have seriously went through the same rollercoaster of emotions that is business ownership.
We even found out we work for some of the same clients and had no idea! Ha.
I was excited to bring her onto the Day in the Life series not only because I think she’s awesome, but because she’s not your typical graphic designer.
Most graphic designers work with clients on a certain project and then after that project is done, they stop working together.
Kaitlyn’s structured her services differently in that small business owners hire her to be their resident designer for a monthly retainer fee. How cool is that?!
Check out her day in the life and let us know in the comments what you think!
Want to be featured in the series? You can check out the guidelines and how to submit here. I’d love to feature you!
I’ve been trying to get in the routine of doing yoga first thing in the morning. I’m not totally good at it yet, but today I woke up and did it. I use an app called Down Dog and I really love it, they have cool music and a lot of different options for times/difficulty level/focus areas, etc.
After yoga I hop in the shower and do all the normal ‘morning routine’ stuff. Except I don’t do a great job at makeup today because I know there’s a slim chance of me actually leaving the house, so mostly I just try to hide my (genetic) dark circles under my eyes (haha)
Made a green smoothie! Not pictured: frozen banana (they don’t photograph so well), cranberry juice, and coconut oil.
Start actually doing work. So, I know a lot of people are like up at 6 am doing awesome things, starting work by 8 am, etc. Try as I might, I am not a morning person. So my workday starts around 10 usually! I write in my 5-minute journal first, review if I wrote anything down in my planner (it’s hit or miss mostly), and dive into client work.
My days are kind of weird, I think. I have a handful of clients that I am on retainer for and the tasks can be anything from a 5-minute tweak to a lengthier workbook or download. I try to check off all the quick little edits/tasks that don’t take very long first so that my to do list is less exhausting looking. So far today I’ve made a handful of different social media graphics for clients, made some Facebook prompts for someone’s group, revised/sent over finals for someone’s challenge launch graphics, and answered a handful of emails. I have some longer tasks that I’ll do in the afternoon.Take a peek at what a day in the life looks like for #design assistant @TheCrownFox! #dayinthelife #ditl Click To Tweet
Lunch time! This time varies, but I usually break up doing the quicker/short tasks and the longer/hours at a time tasks with food. Today I got a salad from this restaurant down the street because I can pretend it’s healthy even though it’s totally fried chicken, not grilled. Normally I’d have leftovers but we didn’t cook last night.
Longer design tasks are in the afternoon for me, because I can kind of zone out and just sit and do something without a ton of distraction. I’m making some icons for someone’s launch today and started by sketching them out before heading into Illustrator
I also have Denise Duffield Thomas’ manifesting course playing while I work. I’m going through it a few times, this is still the ‘rough draft’ listen where I just sort of absorb but don’t necessarily do all the tasks/meditations. I really like it and think it’s actually already working!
I have a Skype call with Rachel, who works as a brand strategist for a client I design for. We have a lot to review because things have been hectic for the past month for both of us, so we go over upcoming projects, tasks, ideas, etc.
Finish up some work, answer some emails, etc.
Will gets home around here and I stop working to spend time with him. Today is a gym day so we do that, we stop at the store, and he starts to cook dinner (because #blessed over here, the man cooks! Well!)
I’ve reached my peak level of introvert recluse at this point and now complete puzzles for fun, so this is what I am doing while Will cooks. Game of Thrones is also on because we are re-watching in prep for the next season. We got this puzzle because we both are big boat people and boat-living dreams, so I figured it was kind of like a manifesting thing right? To be staring at this puzzle of boats? I’m also drinking from my first Bota Box (Malbec) and it’s delicious.
Bio:I’m Kaitlyn, your design assistant! I work with successful creative entrepreneurs to create cohesive, clean, and compelling visuals for their businesses. You can keep being the #girlboss you are (but with more time to focus on growing your empire)! My job is to take your branding and create anything you need visually – social media graphics, blog post graphics, newsletter headers, opt-ins, downloads, course materials, workbooks, and whatever else you need to keep being the #girlboss you are (but with a little more ‘you’ time).
Congrats! If you are reading this new post on the blog, then you have likely started a successful small business and you are looking to grow.
But first, let me guess. You’ve created a strong email list, you dedicate hours to creating blog posts, and you are constantly scheduling out social media posts… but you realize there is probably more out there you can do to cultivate your business.If this sounds familiar and you are ready to improve, then grab a pen and start taking notes on these proven tactics I’ve used to get my clients featured on Brit & Co, Glamour, USA Weekly, The Washington Post and more.
You may be thinking ‘sure, PR is great, but I am a small business. How can PR help me?’
As my PR services have exploded over the last 6 months, I realized that not a lot of business owners like yourself, truly understand the power of PR for small businesses and I immediately wanted to share my knowledge on the subject.
Many business owners out there assume that PR can only be used by companies with big followers or celebrities when they’re going through a crisis (we all remember Britney’s breakdown of 2007, right?)
The fact of the matter is, PR is far more credible than any other type of advertising out there.
I know what you’re thinking, and yes social media is important, email marketing can transform your business, and paid advertising can increase your bottom line but it’s always more powerful for someone else to recommend you, and that’s exactly what PR is.
This series will consist of three blog posts:
You can download the free workbook that helps you along below.
We’re going to start at the very beginning, in case you aren’t familiar with PR whatsoever.
PR stands for public relations and is defined as, “Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.” Public relations can also be defined as the practice of managing communication between an organization and its publics.” from Wikipedia.
So in laymen’s terms, this means …
PR can, in fact, be the way that you drastically improve your business. One media mention can catapult your business and can absolutely change the trajectory of where your business is headed.
I’m a believer that a small business like yours benefit more from using PR than bigger businesses.
And the best part is? It’s usually free.
Here are three reasons why you will want to consider using PR to improve your business.
So now you’re probably thinking … okay, great, but what are the different types of PR and how can they be used for me?
These are the primary types of PR for small business that are most influential right now. Just like with online marketing, PR is always changing so naturally these will update from time to time, but in general, these are types that are here to stay.
Now, before you get started, remember that there is not a one size fits all PR plan for each business. Every business should have a unique PR plan.Have you ever wondered how to use #PR for your own small business? Here's my beginner's guide! Click To Tweet
Before you can craft your pitch, you need to define your purpose for pitching. It’s amazing to be featured on huge websites like Entrepreneur or Oprah’s Favorites, but if you aren’t strategic with your pitches you won’t see the return you desire.
To define your purpose for pitching, you’ll need to answer the following questions:
The whole reason for even getting PR for your small business is to help you achieve your business goals, right? So you need to make sure to define those before you start pitching like crazy.
What are your goals for pitching that are in line with your business goals? More brand exposure? Increase email subscribers? Land speaking gigs? Drive more traffic to your site to increase sales?
For example, if your primary business goal is to increase sales by 25% this year, then your goals for pitching should be to drive more traffic to your site and get more exposure.
If your primary business goal is to grow your speaking platform, then that’s what we’ll focus on pitching you for, ya see how it all aligns?
Yes, it’d be awesome to be featured on the Today show, but if your ideal audience doesn’t watch the Today show it won’t move the needle much for your bottom line.
Brainstorm relevant places that make sense for your brand and your goals, not just super cool features that aren’t aligned with your purpose.
Now let’s start crafting your pitch! You’ll first want to do some brainstorming. This is a step that is often skipped because many see it as a “waste of time” but you couldn’t be more wrong.
You need to start writing down potential pitches for your business before you can go out there and expect to be featured on the Today show. Media often move fast and you don’t want to be caught like a deer in headlights not knowing what the heck to say when they ask you follow up questions.
Journalists and media can sniff through the fluff, they want to see the real story of your business, so don’t hold back.
Here are questions to ask yourself while you are crafting your businesses pitch:
Let’s say for example you’re the CEO of a web design agency (ahem…actually one of my clients, hi Andrew!). The questionnaire I had him fill out asked this exact question, and after a conversation, we decided to focus on the following:
Answering these questions will help you when you’re looking at places to pitch. You don’t want to get sidetracked and read about all of the places you could pitch in the world, because not all of those will be relevant to you and your business. For example, I won’t be pitching Andrew for any story that is pet related because pets aren’t a part of his story.
You may say, “Nobody will care about my story,” “My story doesn’t matter.” Not true. You just haven’t found the right angle for your story yet.
Everyone has unique story angle because we’re all unique individuals with different strengths. You just may have a hard time crafting your story because you haven’t been taught how. You’re in luck because I’m here to help you!
When you’re thinking about your story, think of your entire life. Think of all the trials and tribulations you’ve had to go through to get where you are now. Think of how your experiences led you to your business. Physically write down (or type out, whatever you prefer!) all of these stories that come to mind.
Or maybe you’re going through a trying time right at this very moment. Write out the feelings that you’re feeling. The self-doubt, the fear, the unknown. All of this can be a part of your story.
Once you have rough drafts of these stories, it’s time to start crafting them into the categories of topics you listed above.
Write a paragraph for each category related to the stories you just wrote down. Weave those stories into the description of each of these categories.
You’ll most likely write more than a paragraph because you won’t have room to fit it all in 4-6 sentences. That’s okay.
I say start with a paragraph because some people feel like they aren’t the best at writing and saying to write a full page would scare the bejeesus out of them. Start small and you can always edit, change, remove, and update your pitches later. We’re just working to get something on paper to start with.
While everyone’s story is unique and interesting in its own way, we must remember that we have to put it into the context of what journalists are writing about now. You will have much better success if you submit to journalists or media if you’re pitching something that they are already looking for. That’s why we have you create your pitch stories first before submitting, so you can know what to be on the lookout for.
Okay, now that we have our stories, let’s find some places to pitch!
Help A Reporter Out (HARO) is a great free resource to check out. Everybody likes free, right? Right!
HARO is an online service that connects journalists and bloggers with sources for the articles and stories they are writing about. Anyone can sign up and pitch themselves (or pitch clients like I do). It’s awesome because these are stories that are already being written. You don’t want to blindly pitch yourself, you want to be targeted and timely when you pitch.
Here’s how to sign up for HARO:
Go to their website & click on “I’m a Source”
Click on “Subscribe now” & select the free option
Fill out the information & receive confirmation email
Confirm your subscription and start pitching!
Here are a few tips on using HARO:
Now you’re ready to send your pitch! Here are a few nuggets of advice I have:
Whew, this is probably the longest blog post I’ve ever written but I felt like I needed all 2,000+ words to really educate you on what I know when it comes to PR for small businesses.
In the next post, I’ll be sharing how to authentically connect with media and influencers. Don’t forget to download the free workbook!
If you have any questions, I’d be happy to answer them below!
Krista was one of my very first business buddies. She even was kind enough to do a webinar with me when I was a total newbie!
I admire Krista for how she’s grown and changed her business over the last year. This girl has so much going on and I have no idea how she keeps up with everything.
I mean, she has client work, a WordPress theme shop, a podcast, workshops…girlfriend has it going on!
Check out how she handles it all by reading a day in her life!
Want to be featured in the series? You can check out the guidelines and how to submit here. I’d love to feature you!
Each morning my day starts at 5 am. This is a habit that’s carried over from working a day job and I really enjoy it, since morning is my go-time. I love working when no one else is awake, Facebook is pointless to check, and my mind is fresh.
I don’t have what people are starting to look at as a traditional morning routine. There’s no journaling, meditating, or anything like that, but I do have a few things I do before diving into work.
I start by helping my husband get himself off to the gym. He is not a morning person and he hates the gym, so I take it upon myself to get his pre-workout drink ready and make sure he gets out of bed.
After that, I get myself some tea started, fill a big water bottle, and take a few vitamins.
After my tea is ready, it’s down to business.
I see my day as being broken up into 3 pieces of work. This first one right after I get up, the shorter one after I get back from the gym, and then after lunch.
Each day, I focus on a specific set of tasks before lunch and a specific set after. Since the day I’m writing this is a Tuesday, that means client work before lunch and what I’m calling “CEO work” after lunch. (We’ll talk about that later)
Today I’m finishing up responsiveness on a custom blog design project for Printable Crush. Responsiveness isn’t my favorite thing, but a few episodes of The Strategy Hour Podcast along with the Pomodoro Technique have helped keep my mind more entertained than it would be otherwise.
In my first session, I ended up finishing the header, footer, sidebar, blog, blog posts, and about page. Almost done!
I wasn’t always good at stopping work to eat breakfast. My husband would leave for work and take his breakfast with him and after he left I’d grab something easy and sit at my desk and eat while I worked.
But as of about a month and a half ago, my husband works from home so now we set aside a little time each morning to have breakfast together.
Today’s breakfast for me consisted of two boiled eggs. Doesn’t get much easier than that.
As I’m sitting down to start back up, I’m a liiiiittle too excited to be almost done with coding this project and am doing my best not to rush it. Just a few more things to wrap up before I send it off to the designer (Kory in this case) for revisions!
During this session, I finished responsiveness on the rest of the site (yay!) and touched up a few other things I forgot about like heading styles and blockquotes. I also went back through Kory’s mockups to make sure everything looked just the way she’d designed it and tested everything on my old iPhone 5s, my current iPhone 6s Plus, and my iPad. A few things I ended up fixing include the color of section titles in the sidebar and the text that is shown on the comment button on blog posts.
Since that meant the end of my development for this project, I let Kory know that I was ready for her revisions!
Whenever I get to a good stopping point like this in the morning, it’s time for the gym!
Going to the gym is one of my favorite parts of the day. I’m really into weightlifting and I love going there, feeling like I’m in control, and going at my own pace.
I’m in a great membership program from Jessie Hilgenberg that gives me workouts to do each day. 4 days a week are lifting, 1 day is high-intensity intervals, 1 is plyometrics (aka the worst thing ever invented…ever), and 1 is yoga.
Today was a lifting day focusing on biceps, triceps, and calves. I did 3 sets of 15 reps for the following exercises:
Here’s a nerdy picture of me doing the cable curls and having to concentrate way too hard to take the picture before someone else walks in the room. (Can you tell I don’t take selfies often?)
What being “presentable” means to me varies greatly from day-to-day. Usually Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays I can go without seeing anybody so I hop in the shower, hop out, and I’m done. Wednesdays are a toss-up. I schedule calls on Wednesday’s, but unless it’s a client I’ve never talked face-to-face with before, I usually just throw on some makeup and put my hair in a ponytail. And Thursdays I do a Facebook Live, have a mastermind call, and take client calls and coffee chats so those are the day that I’ll do makeup and put a little more effort into my hair.
Even though today, as I’m writing this, is a Tuesday, I did manage to schedule myself a couple calls today, but I decided to go the lazy route and just throw my hair up. Making it cute just takes too. darn. long.
It’s also been about a week since I freshened up the pink in my hair, so I did a deep conditioning treatment and caught up on Facebook and commenting on videos in my YouTube pod while that was setting. (I meant to spend about 5 minutes on Facebook and have been sitting here for 20 minutes, soooo time to shower now)
The last thing I did before I jumped back into work was grab some applesauce to get me through to lunch.
Now that I’ve gotten the gym out of the way it’s time to jump back into client work. Kory was awesome and sent her revisions over while I was at the gym so I have those that I can get out of the way a day early!
Usually I’d work on client work until about 11:30 and then stop to see if there were any important emails that needed to be answered, but the revisions only took about 25 minutes and I don’t have any other client work to do at the moment so I decided to work on a proposal to clear up some extra time this afternoon.
The proposal ended up taking me about an hour (I know, too long), and I spent about 15 minutes in my inbox (aka my least favorite place in the world).
Now it’s time for lunch!
During lunch I tend to reheat some leftovers and sit on the couch and eat while I scroll through Facebook and watch Instagram stories. I should probably just learn to sit and relax, buuuut we’ll work on that.
I usually like to either go for a walk or do a little Bible study, but today I ran out of time (too much scrolling) and had to jump back over to my office to get ready for a call with my lovely assistant.
Oh, and my husband surprised me with these two awesome books! I love how they couldn’t be a whole lot more different.Checking out what a day in the life looks like for #WordPress developer @HeyKristaRae! #dayinthelife #ditl Click To Tweet
Last week I realized that I was having my assistant spend way too much time scheduling tweets and Facebook posts for me when that isn’t at all where my clients are. As a result, the platforms that really matter to my business, Pinterest and Instagram, kind of take a backseat. So today we’re working up a new strategy!
Coffee is required:
This week I’m hosting a 3-day paid workshop. Since I like to have the content fresh in my mind each day, I usually make the slides the day before…like I am today. But I’ll be honest, I haaaate slides so I’m going to try to power through these bad boys as fast as possible.
(No joke, I went from writing that update, straight to Facebook without even starting on the slides. This is gonna be rooooough)
(Then I went and talked to my husband, filled up my water bottle, and did some stretches.)
(Okay, I’m really making the slides now)
I did it! 48 slides later and I’m doooone.
Lately, I’ve been getting pretty good at giving myself at least one break throughout the afternoon. Usually it means scrolling through Facebook and having a snack, but today I answered a couple emails, had some trailmix and paced around my living room.
Technically, my to-do list for the day is empty, but since my husband and I are leaving on vacation next week I’m going to use my last hour of the workday to get ahead. Instagram pictures is something I’ve been dreading so might as well get it out of the way now!
I always start by making a huuuuge mess in the living room with all of my props.
Then, I rotate through and just take random pictures with my iPhone. I do have a nice camera, but iPhone pictures are easy for me to edit so that’s what I’ve been using lately.
I ended up taking way longer than I meant to, but ended up with about 70 usable pictures and I’m preeeetty thrilled with that. They’re edited and uploaded to Later, ready to schedule!
Usually, I stop working around 4:00, but today ran a bit late. I’ll spend the rest of my evening relaxing with my husband and probably watching some Parks & Rec (yes, even though I’ve already watched the entire series 4 times).
After work, I’m usually pretty worthless, so there’s nothing too exciting to share here. Some days we’ll go for a walk or do some cleaning up around the house, but I’m pretty exhausted so I just sat around, wishing it was an acceptable time to go to bed.
Oh, but there was this:
Thanks for following along!
Krista is a WordPress developer who specializes in collaborating with passionate designers to craft strategic websites that directly support their clients’ goals while helping them ditch the tech and spend more time doing design. Through WordPress development and website strategy consulting, she’ll help you create websites your clients will love for years to come. Learn more over on her website!
Dia was actually one of my very first business buddies that I met via a Twitter chat (yup, for real). From there, we became emailing buddies, offered a webinar together, and eventually met up last month in person.
I always get a little nervous meeting someone in real life after meeting them online because I wonder if they’re actually going to be like they portray themselves online, ya know? But Dia was even more amazing and awesome in person. You would think we’ve been friends forever!
Dia works a full-time job in addition to her side hustle, and I know y’all like to read those types of posts because many of you can relate. I hope you enjoy!
You don’t realize how many things you do on a given day until you make a conscious effort to record all of your movements. Currently, I am serving double duty. By day I am a copywriter and website optimization strategist at a digital marketing company and by night I am a blogger, freelancer and time management strategist. I will confess three things before I get into my day of the life:
The alarm goes off. I’ve been up for awhile because of my small bladder but refuse to embrace it. I lay in bed thinking about how I feel. What I have going on today? Just trying to have some shred of mindfulness.
The real alarm goes off. Time to stop wasting time. I grab my phone and play the 2 minute Power Aspirations Track by Carrie Green, the founder of the Female Entrepreneur Association to get me excited for the day. Then I turn on my TV and plug in my curling iron. While the curling iron heats, I put together my snack pack for the day. Typically a sparkling water, two pieces of fruit, a lemon, sliced cucumbers and then some other yummy beverage. Today it was a sparkling kombucha tea.
My next alarm goes off to tell me it’s about time to make my way out the door. I grab my things and head to the car. Most days I listen to something on Audible or songs from Crazy Ex-Girlfriend while trying to understand how some people are such horrible drivers.
I always attempt to get to work five minutes early to clock in and catch my breath. The first few minutes of the day my team has a quick huddle to discuss what big things we are all working on that day. After everyone settles down, I grab my first piece of fruit and get to work. This morning the focus is client link building. This is when we look for opportunities to get a customer on some industry bloggers or local directories to improve their domain authority.
I try my hand at a development task. We have a development team, but I like to learn what I can as a blogger and handle anything simple. I get frustrated with a development task I don’t understand and I decided to talk to my boss to clear up how to do it. I still felt furious so I proceeded to listen to “I Hate You So Much Right Now” by Kelils and “Let the Bodies Hit the Floor” by Drowning Pool.Check out what a day in the life is like for #Copywriter, #SEO Specialist & Blogger @diadoll! #dayinthelife #ditl Click To Tweet
Switched to another client to create some new website copy.
Decided to take some of the 15-minute break I didn’t use this morning to express some gratitude to try and improve my mood. I sometimes get out my work notebook to write down three things I’m grateful for when I’m dealing with negative feelings.
Go to lunch. I have to go to lunch late because I get super hangry by the end of the work day if I go too early. I run over to my nutritionist to weigh in. I go three days a week; the accountability has helped me lose almost 30 pounds since New Years. Then run to Bill Millers to get a salad and some chicken, while checking some of my side hustle emails.
I head back to work and start to do some social media posts for one of my HVAC clients. Then work on some admin tasks until the end of the day.
Traffic time. I get in the car hoping I make it to the gym in time for class. On the way home I like to listen to uplifting music because everyone looks so miserable during rush hour. How can you be in a bad mood listening to Bruno Mars?
Zumba! I go to an all women’s gym so my gym clothes are what you may call “slob chic”, but it feels good to dance.
Make dinner and watch TV. While I make dinner, I generally watch that day’s episode of the Young and the Restless. Tonight I’m enjoying a hamburger and some stovetop grilled veggies. After I wrap up dinner, clean up and finish the show, it’s time to get to work.
I hit up my scrum board to see what is on deck and get to work on the newest post’s outline. As it often happens, I find myself with a “great” idea and have to write this post that isn’t on my blog post schedule. Sometimes you have to listen to your inner muse.
Take a shower and unwind. Then I hop into a few Facebook groups and try to be helpful and make some new connections. I check any lingering emails and plan for the next day. Each night I try to pick three tasks I want to accomplish the next day.
Gratitude and Goal Journal
The alarm goes off for my gratitude journal. I take a few moments to reflect on the day, any accomplishments and short-term and long-term goals.
I try to shutdown the laptop, but it’s always a difficult thing to do. I turn on the TV to enjoy a little American Dad, while I work on a few more tasks.
Time for lights out. I switch to the YouTube app on my TV and pick a guided sleep meditation to shut down my mind and call it a night.
Each day is a little different. Some days I find myself inadvertently working on a blog post at 7:00 am that I couldn’t sleep without getting out. Other days I eat lunch in my car and share Instagram stories. Other nights I find myself updating sticky notes and working till 1:00 AM. Starting my website and working to build it over the last two years has been a challenging but amazing experience. While sometimes I want to chew my hair and cry, most of the time I love the hustle.
Dia Darling is a copywriter and search engine optimization specialist by day and a blogger/side hustler by night. Check out her blog for tips on balancing your side hustle with real life.
I first got introduced to Kristen Caballero from Lauren Frontierra’s Grit and Glitter podcast episode where she talked about her struggles with starting a business. Listening to Kristen explain all of the doubts and fears she had was like listening to myself. We had so much in common but yet had totally different businesses.
I immediately reached out to her and asked if she would be a part of the series and she said yes!
She has a completely different type of business than all of my other previous guests, most offering a service. Y’all know my goal is to have a wide variety of guests so I knew I wanted a day in the life of someone who sells a product versus a service.
Hope you enjoy!
Hi! I’m Kristen, the owner of Along Came A Box, a gift box company where you can send a gift every hour of the day. To give you bit of background info, I work from home in a one bedroom apartment, have a cat, a fiancé who works at a bank, and we’re planning our wedding and building a house. And…I also own another company called Penny Stocks Co., where I offer stock photos, custom product photography, and custom web design. So, to say I’m doing a million different things every day is an understatement and every day looks entirely different!
I tracked a random Tuesday of me working from home alone, no special events, no outings, just a very average day. I do have to say I was insanely surprised by how much I get done and totally recommend everyone writing a “Done List” instead of a “To Do List”, because rereading this made me so insanely happy!
Anyways, onto the day and the photos…
I woke up to the sound of my fiancé making breakfast….something he never does. He’s usually up and out in five minutes, not exaggerating, but yesterday he said he wanted to start eating a better breakfast and he stuck to it!
I usually lounge around in bed, cuddling my cat (Ollie) as my fiancé rushes around getting ready and heads out the door. I’m actually feeling really sick this morning, runny nose and sore throat, and cuddle Ollie a little longer than usual while reading emails and checking social media accounts.
Here’s our bed all dolled up…totally not what it looks like when I’m lying in it sick…
I open a couple of emails that get me really excited:
I call my fiancé, speak insanely fast since I’m so excited, and tell him the good news.
*Side Note: Planning a wedding, building a house, and pouring into a business = very little money. The struggle and stress is very real.
Up and out of bed, wash face, get dressed, make bed, play with Ollie while making bed, blow nose a lot in between.
I don’t wear makeup working from home, but do semi-do my hair. I typically wear black jogger pants, a lace bralette, and open-sided tank…just in case anyone happens to care.
I recently received my first ever custom gift box order (something we did not currently offer but made an exception for and are thinking of expanding into) from someone I’ve admired forever on Instagram. I recently collaborated with her to launch our wedding box collection and ended up booking her as our wedding photographer!
She loved the inspiration board I designed for her Southern inspired boxes yesterday and is ready to move forward. So I sit down to work while eating breakfast (a chocolate almond butter bar), design the card to go in her box, create her custom listing, and make a few tweaks to her inspiration board with the number of gifts she ended up selecting.
Break time, not because I ever schedule them, but because Ollie needs some attention and is clawing at the back of my chair. I pick him up and take him out on the patio since he loves getting a look from a higher perspective.
Clean up my breakfast, brush my teeth, and back at the computer.
My handsome little man…
Finish up working on the custom boxes, send over the email to her with the link to her listing to purchase, and get ready for a 10 am webinar I randomly signed up for on Facebook (I do that sometimes).
Join webinar about getting more interaction on Facebook and Instagram. Don’t really need the Instagram part but am interested in seeing how to get more than my mom and mother-in-law to like our Facebook posts…
Determine that the webinar isn’t for me. I’m not the best at sitting and listening to someone that doesn’t have a great story telling voice or great visuals. I just get anxious and angry until I stare at the big red “X” in the corner of my screen and realize I haven’t been listening to a word. I tried, I tried, but there’s no time to spend listening to someone who has a 90s powerpoint slide….it’s just not my thing. I like all the pretty pictures and meaningful content…
My newsletter was sent out at 10 am, so I hop onto Campaign Monitor, check the stats, review the email sent out, review my recent blog post, and update the website homepage to show a photo from the newest blog post.
I also renew my P.O. Box and get on Pinterest to pin our blog post image.
Coffee time and responding to Penny Stock inquiries and Along Came A Box emails. Two not too good updates:
My mom calls and updates me on my grandma’s health (she has cancer, we’re trying to find out what type, although I knew this already and the updates are just on how she is currently feeling) and on news with my mom’s business. She has a couple of new places interested in wholesaling her products.
She runs a bath and body products company that I designed and photographed. Her scrubs are amazing, I seriously don’t use any others anymore.
Off the phone with my mom, reheat my coffee (this is a daily thing, there isn’t a day that goes by without reheating my coffee, and yes, I drink it daily), and then get back to answering Penny Stock inquiries. I create a Custom Product Photography Questionnaire and email it to our new customer, post on Instagram for Penny Stocks and realize that this Friday is 1 year from our wedding and write down a note to plan a date night for us.Checking out what a day in the life looks like for @alongcameabox founder Kristen Caballero! #dayinthelife #ditl Click To Tweet
She purchased the listing for her custom boxes! So excited to see that big number on our Shopify account! This means I can start ordering the gifts we’ll place in her boxes. I start reaching back out to companies, confirming I’m ready to place our order.
Time for another webinar (this is seriously not a daily, or even weekly thing), let’s see if this one is any better.
It is amazing! Loved it! It was by The Youngrens and was titled “Fill your Calendar with Amazing Dream Clients.” I’ve never researched much on service based companies since I’ve only ever done product based up until now, so I figured I’d give it a shot. While it totally had the whole pitch to buy my e-course thing at the end, there was a lot of great content that allowed me to dream off on my own and really narrow down my ideal client for Penny Stocks and solidify my vision for the brand. I plan on rethinking through all of the notes from the Along Came A Box perspective if we do end up offering custom box options to larger clients.
I eat lunch while ordering more of the custom gift box items, mainly her custom card that will go in the box. This takes forever as they always overcharge for shipping and I have to hop on the chat to negotiate. This time I also have to call to pay by phone, but it’s worth it…I save $7, and I don’t care what you say, $7 is a lot, it’s almost two coffees.
Lunch today is a premade package of veggies, chicken, and hummus. We usually only buy one of these a week, but they’re so helpful for days like these where time just gets away from me.
Brush teeth and do a mini dance (heard a great song on insta stories, told you I watch them way too often)
I go back to ordering things for the custom gift boxes including a new color shredded paper, which is also a pain since they refuse to give a discount even to loyal customers that spend a ton there. After a lot of research looking at competitor’s sites, I end up buying from them anyways since they are the cheapest by like $2…
Make to-do list for tomorrow/the week. I always start a to-do list and make it wayyy unnecessarily long and usually never end up looking at it again. I just need it out of my brain I think to process it all correctly, who knows.
Change into yoga clothes. Back pain + sick = no cardio or 21-day fix, so yoga it is today.
New yoga DVD sucks. Haven’t moved much, lots of breathing and talking and “ommms” (not my thing), so I turn it off and turn on the Wii to do yoga on there. It’s way better, I actually sweat, use my muscles, and meditate at the end.
Shower, wash hair, change into pretty Anthropologie PJ bottoms with a tank top.
Grab another coffee, as I read articles and browse websites I discovered throughout the day. I usually just move the tabs to the side as I discover them and get to them when I have time. Since my fiancé is at a work event, I have a little time tonight to go through them slowly and enjoy a little time geeking out over some really cool brands.
Fiancé is home and we begin cooking dinner, which usually involves long chats with glasses of wine while prepping on our island. Tonight we make a fast dinner, salmon and broccoli, both roasted in the oven.
We watch The Fosters and Switched at Birth while eating dinner on our cool coffee table that lifts up so we can eat on the couch, it’s kind of a daily thing since we talk about our day while cooking dinner. My current fav show though, is The Magicians, and I live for Wednesday nights. One more day!
Time to do dishes and shut everything down out in the living room. My fiancé showers while I typically read, but lately I’ve been brainstorming about my own fictional novel, something I’ve wanted to do for awhile.
Time to sleep, and cuddle as our cat jumps in bed between us.
I know this is technically tomorrow…but I woke up because my phone buzzed and guess what? I turned it over and freaked out….a celebrity I tweeted at followed me back and DM’d me to email her with my ideas for her TV segment….whattttt?! I couldn’t go back to sleep for two hours. Not typical, but too exciting to leave off of this day!
I hope you enjoyed the totally long and semi-boring day of an entrepreneur! Please note this day luckily included no self-doubt, insecurities, or major distractions, which happen all too often. The stress of running a business is insanely hard and so so taxing!
I hope you find a little of yourself in my day and can totally relate to doing #allthethings. Have a wonderful day my friend!
Ashley and I became what felt like besties after having a long Skype session a few months ago. For one, she’s just so darn genuine and easy to get along with. Seriously, I think anyone she meets she becomes immediate friends with. Two, she has a passion for building real, honest relationships with people which is exactly what I’m all about.
Ashley offers a different perspective in this post for two reasons: 1) She is an HR consultant for entrepreneurs. Many of the past people who have been featured have been in the online marketing world and I knew I wanted to broaden the scope a bit to invite people outside of that industry and 2) She works part-time for a local organization while balancing sproutHR.
Ashley’s feature was actually supposed to go up a couple of months ago but it was happening right when she was starting this new part-time job, so we decided to push it back further so we could feature what a day looked like while balancing her own business and her part-time gig.
That’s what I love about working for yourself, you can do it your own way. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing.
Anyways, I’m so happy we were able to take our friendship off the Insta and I hope to one day meet in person! Hope you enjoy the post!
Hey y’all, I’m Ashley and I’m thrilled that Brittney invited me to join in the fun of her Day in the Life series. Imagine that I’m opening my front door and inviting you in for your favorite drink. Come along as I share a glimpse into my life and business and chat about the stuff that folks don’t usually get to hear about!
I’m the owner and consultant at sproutHR, where I help creatives navigate the confusing and overwhelming world of hiring, training, and leading their teams. When I’m not getting geeky with all things HR, I love hanging out with my hubby, Mike, and our border collie-hound mix, Myla May (aka Myla Mayhem)! I’m passionate about building genuine relationships with others, traveling the world, getting crafty, and giving back however I can.
Now that formal intros are out of the way, here we go…
Rise and shine! Time to get up and get ready for the day. Shower, dress, coffee and out the door OR head to the desk. Oh yeah, and when I work at home, I’ve probably skipped the showering and dressing part – but never the coffee.
(Isn’t this the cutest little coffee mug?)
In mid-March of this year, AccelNow, a local organization that helps entrepreneurs start and run successful businesses in Northeast TN (where I currently live) asked me to come help them out on a part-time basis. After careful consideration, I accepted.
Although sproutHR is where I’m fully vested, I was excited for the chance to give back and help other businesses through an organization that’s helped me in my own ventures since early 2016. But if we’re keeping it really real, I was a little jazzed by the fact that I’d be getting a steady paycheck, too. Because we all know those steady paychecks are hard to come by in the early phase of a new business!
Did I mention sproutHR has only been around 10 months as of the writing of this post?
I work Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays at my part-time job. I get to work in this really cool new co-working space called Sync.Space. I then work Wednesdays and Fridays (and some evenings and/or weekends) in my own business, sproutHR.
I get to do some really cool stuff for both of my jobs, like…
If I’m working at home, I may start my day a little earlier than 8:00 am, but when I’m working my PT job, I go into work from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm.
First things first – I review my short list of what I need to accomplish for the day (which I make the night before), then I like to check emails to see if any priorities need to be readjusted.
(The short list! My top 3 priorities for the day.)
I do this for both my business as well as for my part-time job. I think it’s really important to have a plan for your day, even if things get derailed. Creating a list of my 3 most important to-do’s also helps me avoid getting overwhelmed and distracted by ALL the things.
Time to tackle the biggest project on the list. Today, I’m writing a few job descriptions for a client. I like to work on my biggest, most taxing, or high priority projects first thing in the morning, when I need to give my full and best attention. A good 90-minute sprint is a great way to start the day off on the right foot and feel like I’ve accomplished something important!
(I love creating templates to use in my business for client work. They help me save time and allow me to serve my clients more efficiently! Here’s a sample of the beginning of my job description template.)
I think it’s important to know what time of day you function your best. I’m a morning person – always have been. So I try to schedule really important meetings or tasks for first thing in the morning. I save my easier tasks and coffee chats for the afternoon when I’m starting to lose my creative mojo!
I typically take a quick 10-minute break and have a snack like fruit, raw veggies, a cereal bar, or whatever I have on-hand around 10:00 am. I like to munch on my snack while I scroll through social media to see what’s going on in the world. Then it’s back to the grind!
(Myla thinks carrots are a good mid-morning snack! )
My lovely neighbor, Thelma, saw me working outside. I love to work from my back deck when the weather’s nice and it was in the low 70s this morning! So I popped down to our shared fence line to have a chat. Thelma and her husband, Ken, always have the best gardening advice and love to encourage me and my hubby in our gardening adventures and in our marriage! They’re the very best example of the wonderful neighbors you dream of having.
I finished up my job descriptions and sent them out to my client for review. Now I can move on to my next task on my short list – writing a guest blog post for my HR column, #askHRashley, for the Little Black Desk Society! I love this Q+A style column where readers submit their HR questions using my special hashtag on social media, then I provide a response via the blog.
I stay on a pretty regular eating schedule so when noontime hits, I’m ready to eat – otherwise, I seriously get hangry! Today I have a coffee chat scheduled at 12:00 pm, so I’m eating a bit early. I pack my lunch when I head off to my part-time job and eat at home when I’m working on my business.
Lunch isn’t fancy. I either eat leftovers from the previous night’s dinner or grab something quick and easy to fix. One of my favorite lunches to make is a simple meat and cheese tray like the one below, along with some fruit! Of course, Myla enjoys lunching with me when I’m at home, too. I’m sure she nearly starves to death when I’m gone all day.
Time for that coffee chat with a new friend! I love meeting and getting to know other business owners. It’s something that’s really helped me stay connected and grounded in my own entrepreneurial journey. Today, I met Carolyn Keating with Wholesale For Creatives for the first time on Skype. We recently connected on one of Nevica Vasquez’s Digital Boss Roundtable episodes and knew we just had to meet. If you don’t know her yet and you have a product-based business, get your fanny on over to her page right now!! She helps you with all things wholesale – because that’s a cool way to grow your business, but there are some very specific things you need to do in order to get it right.
Holy cow – our 30-minute coffee chat turned into a nearly 2-hour session!! Carolyn is basically my business soul sister – we both came from the corporate world, tried out a creative endeavor, discovered creatives who needed our help with what we used to do in the corporate world, then decided to use our professional experiences and services to serve the creative industry. Not confusing, right? Oh yeah…and we brainstormed a workshop that we’ll be doing together on June 21st – so be sure to follow us on Instagram here and here for all the details!!Check out what a day in the life is like for Owner & HR Consultant Ashley Cox! #dayinthelife #ditl Click To Tweet
At this point, I only had about 20 minutes before my next call, so I checked my emails and popped into social media to check and respond to comments and posts.
One of my favorite things to do is help other business owners with their questions in Facebook Groups. I can admittedly spend too much time in Facebook Groups, but I find a great deal of joy in helping others. Especially if I can save them some time and headaches!
Another great chat with the fabulous Brooke Olsen, of Brooke Olsen Consulting, which included some brainstorming and Brooke’s gracious feedback on a course I’m creating to help creatives hire their teams!
If you don’t know Brooke yet, she’s a super sharp and savvy business owner, who helps wedding creative pros simplify your life and business through pricing and financial assessments and workflow development and implementation. Basically, she’s amazing!
Since starting sproutHR, networking – online and in real life – has played a huge role in my business. Building genuine relationships is critical! You can’t network effectively with the mindset of getting without giving. I’ve invested a lot of time in building and nurturing those relationships intentionally and creating space for mutual trust and respect. No sleazy sales tactics or me-centric approach here, thankyouverymuch!
Final email check of the day. I don’t like to spend all day in my inbox, so usually 2 – 3 times a day is my goal. Not being consumed by my inbox helps me stay focused on the tasks at hand, because that dang squirrel definitely gets in the way! Before I end my day, I also update my short list of tasks and see what needs to get done the following day. Then I close up shop.
I’m grateful that we were able to convert one of our spare bedrooms into a home office for sproutHR. It’s important for me to separate my work life from my home life. When I worked in corporate, I couldn’t leave my work life at work because corporate HR in the retail world is very much a 24/7/365 job. One of my favorite parts of owning my own business is the ability to create space and boundaries that support the life my husband and I want to live!
Generally, my hubby gets home around 5:30 pm. Lately, he’s been working late nights and weekends because the branch he manages is undergoing a full remodel – yikes! Since he’s not coming home for another three hours, I decided to use this time to do some more work. Since I only have two full days per week to work on my business, I’ve gotten very good at prioritizing and being efficient with my time. But sometimes, it’s nice to have a little extra time to take care of those things that get pushed off to the side – like planning my social media (which I’m so bad at doing)!
Some nights, I just like to binge on Netflix shows. I know, not super glamorous or exciting, but again, just keeping it real. This week has been especially draining with some late nights with my part-time job and making sure I’m taking care of business for sprout. So tonight…I veg with a burger. (Get it? Veg with a burger…okay, okay. I’m lame, I know!)
Most nights, however, we enjoy working in our garden, grilling and eating outside on the deck, working on projects like remodeling rooms, refinishing old furniture or cleaning out the garage, daydreaming about our next traveling adventure, and just enjoying the simple things in life.
It’s time to hop into bed! We both get up early, so we typically go to bed between 10:00 pm – 11:00 pm. I like to read one of my books for a while (I usually have 3 or 4 going at one time!), while my hubby likes to watch YouTube videos, and then we drift off to dreamland! I’m at my best when I get a full 8 hours of sleep. I can go a few days in a row on less sleep, but then watch out! It.is.not.pretty. So, girl’s gotta get her sleep, ha!
Thanks for allowing me to share a little of my behind-the-scenes with you. Now, I’d love to meet you, too. Tell me in the comments below if any part of my day resonated with you!! I can’t wait to read what you have to say.
About Ashley Cox:
Ashley Cox is the HR Partner for Creatives at sproutHR, where she helps you hire, train, and lead your thriving team, all with confidence and heart. She loves to make the confusing, overwhelming, and intimidating parts of growing and leading a team feel simple, actionable, and fun.
Hiya friends! I’m so happy to share with you the first international guest on the Day in the Life series! Ginny and I got hooked up through Jess Freeman’s Facebook group and share an obsession with Asana so I knew we would get along really well 🙂
Ginny is an American Expat living in Germany which was SO intriguing to me. I’ve dreamed of living in other countries but I’m not sure if I could ever actually do it! I loved getting a peek inside what a day in her life is like and hope you do too!
Hey y’all! I’m so excited to be a guest for Brittney’s Day in the Life series. I always find it interesting to see what other people’s typical days look like. As an American Expat living abroad in Germany, I get asked all the time what my days look like here and honestly, they aren’t all that different from anyone else’s. I hope you enjoy taking a peek inside of a typical day with me.
My two-year-old son, Oliver is starting to wake up and my husband & I try our best to hope he can hold out for just five more minutes. Sometimes we’re lucky, other times, we’re not. He used to sleep until 7:30 am so the new 6:30 am wake up is something we are still struggling to get used to. My husband gets up first and gets Oliver out of bed because they love starting their mornings together (and I sneak in ten more minutes of sleep). They usually have breakfast together, and then I take over so my husband can get ready for work. I don’t usually like to eat when I first wake up so I usually eat a little later in the morning.
Living in Germany, I am lucky to get to wake up to this beautiful view every day.
My husband takes our son to school on his way to work, so once they both are out of the door, my day begins. On the days I work out, which I did on this particular day, I usually go straight to the gym first thing. I’m not an evening workout person, so if I don’t do it in the mornings, then it doesn’t happen. It’s a short walk from my house, so I can usually get there and back in an hour and a half.
Once I am ready for the day (note: some days are yoga pants all day kinda days, but on days when I have client calls, I typically try to get ready), then I typically start my work day off with checking Asana to see my tasks for the day. Asana has changed my life this past year and really has streamlined the way that I work. I am all about working smarter, not harder and this tool helps keep me in check. Then, it’s diving into my inbox and taking care of anything I need to tackle for the morning. Depending on the day, you can find me working from the couch or at my desk. Today just happens to be a couch day.
I work with entrepreneurs all over the world, so this means that I am usually managing anywhere from 2-3 time zones on any given day. It really depends on what I am working on exactly that determines my plan for the day. Today, I am working on planning a launch for a brand strategy client, so this usually entails spending time chatting with my design partner in Singapore to ensure that we’ve dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s for our client’s project. As a brand strategist, not only do I help clients map out their brand vision, I also play the part of project manager to ensure the project goes smoothly and every single thing is directly reflecting our brand vision, and the project stays moving along in a timely manner. This is truly what I love most about what I do.Check out what a day in the life is like for Brand & Marketing Strategist Ginny Krauss! #dayinthelife #ditl Click To Tweet
Being in a mastermind has been a game changer for my business. We have a call every other week and in between, we use Voxer to stay connected and help each other out with our businesses. My mastermind group consists of Meghan Maydel, Kristin Kaplan, and Jessica Freeman.
On days when I don’t have client calls during this time, I try to take 30 minutes of me time before I pick my son up from school at 4pm. I love going to the park that’s literally in my backyard. There’s a cute little outdoor cafe in the park, and I love to sit here and reading a book. Stopping to smell the flowers is a great way to relax before the chaos ensues when I pick my toddler up, he is full of energy!
Every day at 4 pm, I pick my two-year-old son, Oliver up from school. My business is full-time so he goes to school from 8:15-4pm every day and he loves playing with other kids. When the weather is nice, we usually meet our friends in the park for a playdate. Oliver loves playing with his friends and being outside, he’s a typical boy.
In Germany, it’s normal to go to the grocery store daily, as needed, rather than doing one big trip for the entire week like a lot of people in the states do. Since I live in the city, we take public transportation or walk everywhere. So, this means that when I grocery shop, I only buy as much as I can carry home. I actually prefer this and it keeps the spending down as well.
It’s time to make dinner! I actually love to cook, but it isn’t always easy with my two year old demanding to be in the kitchen with me. Luckily, my husband usually walks through the door around 6:30 pm, just in time to save me from the chaos and my son loves the moment when Papa comes home. I can finally finish up dinner so we can eat together. Tonight, I’m making one of my favorite dishes, Curry Coconut Chicken.
This is the time of day when I can be found doing one of two things; bath time with my son or hopping back into work mode due to the time difference. On this day, my husband is on bath and bedtime duty and I am hosting a workshop for our Wedding Business Academy students along with my design partner, Patricia Villa, and my other business partner, Kristin Kaplan. It’s always nice when I get to collaborate on something with the both of them. Tonight’s workshop is all about your visual brand identity.
Finally, my day is done. My son is sound asleep, the house is quiet, and I can relax a bit. My husband and I both love to cuddle up and watch TV together. Tonight, we’re finishing the last few episodes of Girl Boss on Netflix. We’re usually in bed by 11, although my husband would prefer an earlier bedtime and I’m the one that likes to stay up just a little later.
Thank you so much for allowing me share a typical day in my life. It was so fun writing this post and sharing what a normal day is for me.
Photo by Carito Photography
About Ginny Krauss:
Ginny Krauss is a Brand and Marketing Strategist for creative entrepreneurs. Ginny specializes in building brands with a whole lotta strategy + heart, two things she feels every business and brand should have. With a background in marketing and extensive knowledge of the wedding industry, she helps creatives develop strategies that embody their heart, and in turn, build brands that their dream clients line up for. She is also the Co-Founder of Wedding Business Bosses and The Wedding Business Academy.
Ginny is known for her sweet, life-giving spirit and her record-setting success for helping brands stand out confidently and with purpose. Love carried her across oceans, and she now lives in Munich, Germany, with her husband, and their two-year-old son.
Photo by Carito Photography
In today’s Day in the Life post, we have Anna Osgoodby and Mallory Musante of Bold & Pop here! I started following these gals on Instagram (how can you not, their photos are so fun!) and I knew we’d be BFFs in real life. We eventually got connected through a Facebook group when I was looking for other business owners who do social media management and the rest is history!
I actually just had a virtual coffee chat last week with Anna and they have some super exciting projects launching soon, I can’t wait to see how it goes!
This is the first duo guest post I’ve featured, which I was super pumped about. I loved reading how they divide and conquer their days, as I’ve always wondered how a two-person team keeps everything organized.
Hi everyone! Anna Osgoodby and Mallory Musante here. We’re the Co-founders of Bold & Pop, a branding, web design and social media collective, and we’re so pumped up to be featured on the Day in the Life series. As business partners, we get asked a lot how we manage a business from two different states (New York and North Carolina) so we’re so excited to share what one of our days looks like. Huge thanks to Brittney for having us on!
AO: Every morning I set my alarm for 8 a.m… And just about every morning I wake up at 8 and then change it to 8:30. Plus today is definitely a dry shampoo day so I can definitely sleep in that extra half an hour right?! #Nightowlstruggles
MM: My mornings can vary but for the most part I’m in the same boat as Anna. I’m definitely in the “set 2 alarms for the morning” camp — one for 8 am and one for 8:30 am. This morning was no different!
AO: When my alarm goes off the second time, I pop in the shower and get dressed. After that, I run my trusty weenie dog out for a short walk. I started drinking hot lemon water because I heard it’s good for you. So today I had my lemon water and some leftover frittata that I made yesterday. It was the first one I made and I added garlic aioli. Mmmm it’s a good breakfast morning. After that, I turn the TV on to Live with Kelly and then I open up my laptop.
MM: The first thing I do after I get out of bed and get dressed is run out for a little walk with my frenchie, Phoebe! (These don’t last too long since she’s not really a morning ‘person’ either.) We come back inside where I feed her and finish getting ready for the day. By getting ready, I mean straighten the front of my hair a bit and throw on some CC cream and call it a day. I then make my first cup of coffee, turn on MSNBC, and grab my laptop to start the day!
AO & MM: Check in time! Each morning we start our day by checking in with each other and talking about our priorities for the day. Sometimes it’s a quick gchat saying, “here’s my plan for the day” and we divide and conquer and other days we hop on a call to go through things a little further (especially when we’re starting new projects or need to brainstorm some ideas).
AO & MM: We launched a HUGE website project for a client this week that we’re super excited about! It’s a food, music and cultural festival in NYC so there’s a lot of moving pieces and participants, so today we received some updates from our client and plugged all the updated assets in. During this time we also split our time with engaging on social media for our clients. Because of our career backgrounds, we’re able to offer a wide range of services so we’re always bouncing between projects throughout the day so having two of us is SO key!
AO & MM: We write a weekly newsletter for our email subscribers and today we put that together so that we could send out tomorrow. For this week’s content, Mallory wrote the content and Anna worked on the graphics. Dividing and conquering is always our motto!
MM: My dog is very scheduled so usually around noon she’s standing at the door staring at me to take her outside. We go out for a longer walk around the apartment complex to check my mail and then head home for some lunch! I’m incapable of cooking for one person so I pretty much always have leftovers for lunch. Quick zap in the microwave and lunch is made!
AO: I usually eat lunch around 1pm, mostly because the Chew comes on and you can’t have that on and be hungry. True story, my TV schedule totally keeps my day on track as silly as that sounds. This is also the one time of the day my dog decides to come see me. We may live in a small apartment but he likes to have his own space. He’s independent like that haha. He won’t miss an opportunity to try and get food though! During this time I usually add our latest blogs to Pinterest and browse the Facebook groups we’re in and engage with posts that catch my eye.Check out what a day in the life is like for co-founders of @boldandpop Anna & Mallory! #dayinthelife #ditl Click To Tweet
AO & MM: To keep our days from getting sidetracked, we try to put off any non-essential emails until the afternoon. We’ll star anything that comes in throughout the day and spend the next hour or so responding to these. Admittedly, we email throughout the day with clients, etc. but if it can wait, we try to hold off until 2 pm to answer them so we can focus on the task at hand.
AO & MM: Today we hopped on an afternoon check-in call to go through this morning’s projects with a fine-tooth and chat about any client updates. While our skills may be similar, we try and divide our projects so that we are each project managers for different projects. This allows our clients to have one key point person (even if they work with both of us) and helps to prevent one of us from being overwhelmed by client calls or emails! Following our check-in we had an impromptu business strategy call because as we were talking we just came up with a few great new blog topics. We swear some of our best calls come out of the blue like this.
AO & MM: We always set aside time at 4 pm to look for new business. We send out pitches and proposals to various companies to keep the flow of business rolling!
AO: My boyfriend gets home around 5:30pm. And he’s usually ready to eat as soon as he walks in the door. This week has been pretty busy because we’re nearing launch on a few projects but I promise I’ll take a break at 6:00pm. Then we take the pup on his evening walk because let’s be honest I need out of the apartment at this point. Normally I like to get in an afternoon walk, but that didn’t happen today. After our walk, we cooked a new recipe chicken lettuce wraps and it was delicious!
MM: Again, Phoebs is on her own schedule and already standing at the door waiting for her evening walk as I wrap up for the day. We go out for another walk around the complex and head back for both our dinners! Tonight is a quick pasta night for me since I have climbing league. I quickly sauteed some asparagus, cooked some pre-made ravioli, added a little lemon, butter, parmesan cheese, and walnuts and voila dinner (and tomorrow’s lunch) has been made!
MM: I get to the gym for the start of climbing league and I’ll be here until about 9/9:30 pm climbing with my team. Yayyy for being the only all female team!
AO: Instagram shoot. When I’m not working at Bold & Pop, I also have a lifestyle blog and was sent some seriously pretty flowers today from a florist in the city. I’m going to be including them for a future blog post so tonight I did a mini Instagram shoot and also did some seasonal shots for Bold & Pop. Multi-purpose shots are the BEST! Then after I took these pics I admired at how cute my little office space is even though I worked from the couch today. Also, #realtalk it’s more of just a desk, I live in a tiny little NYC apartment so mini home office space!
AO: By 9pm I’m ready to relax on the couch for a bit. I don’t have any shows on tonight so I’m stuck watching basketball with my boyfriend.. So I definitely busted out my phone and spent some time scrolling through Instagram.
MM: I get home from the gym, take Phoebs out one last time (if you can’t tell already… she’s the boss in our house), and then hop in the shower. I’ll watch a bit of TV while scroll through Facebook and Instagram on my phone to start to wind down for the night. I’m not as much of a night owl as Anna so I typically try to get in bed by 11 pm…. Even if I spend the next half hour still scrolling through Facebook and Instagram!
AO: I finally shut down my computer, leave my phone in the living room and then try and head to bed. Usually feel guilty about not going to bed earlier even though I told myself this morning I was for sure going to go to bed early. Daily struggle.
Our day-to-day schedules vary a lot based on the projects we’re working on, but if there’s one thing that’s true it’s that there is always work to be done! Owning a biz is non-stop HARD, and sometimes brain-sucking work with a lot of ups and downs. There never seems to be enough hours in the day even when you’re super productive. We try our best to shut our computers down in the evening though and give ourselves a little rest! It’s a wild, awesome and sometimes nerve-wracking journey but holy moly we live for those days when we hear how much our work has helped our clients.
About Anna Osgoodby & Mallory Musante:
Anna and Mallory are the Co-founders of Bold & Pop — a branding, web design and social media collective. After working in PR and social media industries for 7+ years, we decided to take a chance to start Bold & Pop and haven’t looked back since! At Bold & Pop we specialize in working with other lifestyle entrepreneurs and small businesses to reach their goals by launching engaging social media and influencer marketing campaigns as well as building brands from the ground up through logo, branding and website design.