Link Love + Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween

Any fun plans for this weekend? Mine will consist of shopping tomorrow, work, reading, and watching Hocus Pocus. Maybe I’m lame, but that actually sounds like a fun weekend to me! I thought about making a costume, but since I can’t wear it to work and I’m not going to any parties this weekend, it seemed kinda pointless. But if I did, I’d probably choose one of the last-minute costumes I saw in that article I shared last week!

This past week I’ve been working with a few clients, finishing up my latest theme and working on that resources list I mentioned. I really expected for things to slow down for me over the holidays but surprisingly they’re picking up. It’s awesome that people want to get a head start on their goals for next year. You don’t have to wait until January 1st to work on your goals and plans for next year!

Halloween Humor

I love these top 5 freelancer Halloween costumes. So funny. Thanks, Sierra!

I love Clickhole. Check out their post about the best Halloween costume ever and try out their website on Halloween mode (click the arrows on the top right)!

Business + Freelancing

You’re doing what you love, but are you doing it wrong?

I really enjoyed Kathleen’s article about making creative magic.

I’m going on vacation very soon, as so many people do around the holidays. I found these posts on traveling with a freelance business and prepping your blog before your vacation really helpful.

New Music + Free Printable

You're Never Fully Dressed Without A Smile

It’s new music Tuesday! One of my favorite days of the week, because so much new music comes out.

One of my favorite songs that came out recently has been Sia’s version of “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without A Smile” from the upcoming Annie movie remake. This song puts a smile on my face everytime I hear it! And how cute is Quvenzhané Wallis in that movie trailer? I was so inspired by the song, that I did some hand lettering and I even decided to use it as the namesake for my next theme. The lettering turned out pretty well so I decided to share it as a free printable with you guys. You can download it below! You can also use it as a wallpaper for your smart phone or desktop.

The song is in my Spotify playlist below, but if you don’t have Spotify you can listen on Youtube.

♪ Listen on Spotify

  1. Sia – “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without A Smile”
  2. The Veronicas – “Line of Fire”
  3. Leighton Meester – “Run Away”
  4. Flo Rida feat. Lookas & Sage The Gemini – “GDFR”
  5. Sophia Black – “Vibration”
  6. Foo Fighters – “Something From Nothing”
  7. Nick Jonas – “Wilderness”
  8. Danity Kane – “Rhythm of Love”

Download your free printable!
Black | White

9 Ideas to Help You Own Your Next Networking Event

Networking event ideas

Whether you’re attending a Meetup.com event or a big conference like Bloggy Bootcamp, you’ll need some networking techniques that will help you stand out from the crowd. I’ve got some tips here that will help you get the most out of your next networking event!

Have your business cards ready.
If you don’t have a business card for your business or your blog, you need to go right now and get some made (I recommend Moo.com)! They should, of course, be well-designed and should match your branding. Oh, and make sure you have enough of them with you so you don’t run out. I usually bring a big stack!

Create a short eBook or guide and hand out a couple of free printed copies.
People love getting things for free. Of course, you’ll need to make it something that’s useful to the crowd that you’re networking with. So, for example, if you’re attending a blogger event, make it something useful to bloggers, like a list of tips. Even better, if you have an opt-in offer for your mailing list, you can use that. Just make sure it’s ready for print (no hyperlinks), print a few copies and you’re ready to go.

Ask people to sign up to your mailing list.
Make it where they can sign up via a subscribe page on your website that you can use on your phone or tablet. Then, you can just pull it up have them sign up right there at the event. You can also take down email addresses and add them to your list when you get home (just make sure that they opt-in first).

Hand out brochures with details about your products and services.
A lot of times, people meet you and take your business card but they don’t remember much later, and your card becomes just another one in the stack. Giving them a brochure gives you a chance to tell them more about what you do. You can even put a few pictures on there (a photo of you, samples of your work, pictures of your products, etc.) to help them remember. You can also put packages and prices on there. So, for example, if you’re a web designer going to a blogger meetup, you can list your blog design packages on there. You can include prices and put a “prices good until” date, or you can leave the prices blank and just write them in, with a “quote good until” date. This way, people don’t call you a year later asking for that same price or package.

Give out cheap marketing materials, like pens and pencils.
You can give out marketing materials with your business or blog name and tag line on them to help people remember you.

Set up a few one-on-ones with people you met at the event.
A one-on-one is a follow up meeting you met with someone at the event. This should be low key, like grabbing coffee or meeting at a quiet restaurant. It should also be no-pressure, so don’t try to sell them something. You’re doing this to get to know each other. Talk about what you do, your goals and plans. The point is to build a connection. You never know, maybe they’ll contact you when they need something in the future or refer a few people to you. When I went to my first networking event, I had one person ask me to a one-on-one. We met up, talked business and life, laughed and ate good food. She even paid for my meal. A few weeks later, I found myself referring someone to her without even thinking about it. THAT is how you network!

Do a giveaway.
The specific details will depend on the event and what you’re giving away, but this is a good way to market your products and services. Obviously, it should be something either related to your business or something that you can easily attribute to your business. For example, I could give away a blog theme or a gift card to Office Max with a thank you note attached (with my contact info included, of course).

Get to know the event organizer.
I think it’s important to get to know the organizer of the event because they are usually acquainted with most of the people in the group. Of course, I’m not talking about kissing butt, here. I’m talking about really getting to know the person.

Host your own event.
What better way to make connections than to host your own event!

Link Love

Link Love

Thanks so much for all the love on my last link love post! I think that’s the best part about sharing these links. Helping and interacting with other bloggers, designers and entrepreneurs.

I’ve been doing a lot of soul-searching and research this week. It seems like every now and then I stop and question what I’m doing. It’s so hard to stay focused when things aren’t going the way you planned. One thing I’m learning to do is take those fears and doubts and turn them into actions. It’s okay to not have all the answers.

I’ve also been working on a resource list. I wanted to share some of my favorite tools and links that I personally use and recommend. It should be ready soon!

Vanessa shared a great post about how she prepared to make the leap into freelancing full-time.

Kory’s inspiring story about her freelance journey almost made me ugly cry. I can relate, and I think so many other bloggers and entrepreneurs can relate, too.

Melyssa’s 10 tips for new freelance designers are really helpful! I’m not a new freelancer but I’m still working on a lot of these things.

Check out this post by Grace Bonney about what she learned about life from blogging.

Halloween is right around the corner, and you know I love movies, so these 5 last-minute costume ideas based on movie characters are so awesome. They are simple, you can make them for cheap, and I bet you already have a few of these pieces in your closet! My favorite is the Cher costume!

These two posts are inspiring me to do a makeover on my living room! Beautiful!

Reading List 02

Reading List #2

I wanted to share a few of the books on my reading list. I’m usually reading a lot of fiction books that are just for fun, but I throw in a few non-fiction books from time to time because I love reading about other people’s experiences in life and business. I think going forward I’m going to keep posting reading lists and start posting book recommendations, instead of doing individual book reviews. Maybe I’ll do the same for movies? I’ll try it out and see how I like it. I love sharing some of my recommendations!

  1. Not That Kind Of Girl by Lena Dunham
    Girls is one of my favorite shows. I just love Lena’s honesty and her sense of humor. I’ve heard great things about this one!
  2. Every Idea Is a Good Idea: Be Creative Anytime, Anywhere by Tom Sturges
    This book landed on my list after a glowing recommendation from Sara. I’m always looking for ways to boost my creativity and the quotes and structure of this book sound really interesting to me.
  3. #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso
    I’m reading this one now and I’m almost done. Everybody’s been talking about it, and I’m kinda late reading it but it’s been on my list for a while. I’ll definitely share my thoughts in my next book post.

Link Love 02

Link Love

I’m so glad it’s Friday! This week seemed to creep by so slowly for me. I got so much done, though. I had a few small victories with my clients, I reorganized the categories here on my blog, I did a bunch of writing, found a new web host, and I finally setup an editorial calendar and schedule for my blog. It’s so crazy how organizing and planning can give you so much clarity, because you can focus on the task itself instead of how and when to get it done. I’ll definitely share how I setup my calendar with you guys in a couple of weeks!

Emily wrote a piece about jealousy and envy and how she learned to deal with it.

Melyssa shared 6 ways to grow your blog using Twitter.

I absolutely LOVE Corina’s beautiful lettering, business cards and free wallpaper.

Just discovered a new tool for sharing links, called Linkis.

Angie shared 10 brush-lettered fonts for free or cheap. I love these!

Regina shares how she started making a full-time blogging income and the tips and tools she used to earn $7000 last month. I’m taking notes!

Michelle has 6 ways being cheap can cost you money.

I love this post about how to build your creative tribe over at Braid Creative. I’ve always wanted to have a circle of like-minded friends so I’m making this a goal.

Check out this beautiful cake blog by one of my recent clients, Natasha!

Mixtape: Yellow Flicker Beat

Mixtape: Yellow Flicker Beat

I’ve been influenced by a lot of R&B and urban pop music lately. It’s no surprise, since the top songs in the country right now are all pop songs with hard-hitting bass by female artists. All of the songs on this mixtape are by female artists and they’ve all inspired my work lately. They all have a classy feel but then are also very dark. This has become one of my favorite playlists to listen to while I work!

♪ Listen on Spotify

  1. Lorde – Yellow Flicker Beat
  2. Justine Sky – Collide (feat. Tyga)
  3. Jhene Aiko – The Pressure
  4. Niykee Heaton – Champagne For The Pain
  5. Tove Lo – Thousand Miles
  6. Tinashe – Feels Like Vegas
  7. Jasmine V – That’s Me Right There (feat. Kendrick Lamar)
  8. Ariana Grande – Love Me Harder (feat. The Weeknd)
  9. Niykee Heaton – Bad Intentions
  10. Ariana Grande – Best Mistake (feat. Big Sean)
  11. Jhene Aiko – To Love & Die (feat. Cocaine 80s)