Five Tips for Being Socially Aware

We all know it. It doesn’t really need to be said, but I’m going to say it anyway. These days if you want to be seen and heard you have to be online.  And in a day and age when being online is no longer an option, being socially aware is more important than ever.

What do I mean by socially aware?

In this context being socially aware means being conscious of what information is available about you online and how people find and access that information. It might not be the best part of your business, but it is a very important one.

So what can you do to be more socially aware? Where do you start? Below are five tips on how to stay aware and protect yourself.

1. Google yourself.

Go on. Type your name or your business’s name in the search bar and see what Google has to say about you. A few years ago I would Google myself and find all of my race results from forever. Well, I haven’t been running much over the past decade, and have certainly been active online in a plethora of other ways.

Google Yourself

Recently, I found out their are more people out there that spell my name the same way (Nickole). Who knew?! Google did. And that picture I posted of me on my Facebook page where I was sitting at the cafe in San Francisco? Yep, Google likes that one a lot.

What do you find when you Google yourself?

2. Manage your privacy settings.

Doug’s dad’s uncle’s mother should not be able to see your Facebook profile unless you guys are actually friends. It’s pretty easy to manage who sees your content on Facebook, as long as you take the time to manage it. For me, only approved friends and family can see my personal page. Which brings us to #3.

3. Decide who your friends should be.

accept-rejectYes, you can be picky about who gets to view your profile. You do not have to accept Doug’s dad’s uncle’s mother as your friend unless you really want to. And there is NO GUILT there. I receive 3-4 friend requests each week. Sometimes I know the person, trust them, and accept their request immediately. Other times I have no idea who the person is, so I go check out their profile, see how many friends we have in common, and figure out if I do actually know them or if it is a totally random request before making a decision.

Here’s the deal. Whomever I accept to be my friend on Facebook gets access to all my posts, gets to see all my pictures, gets to like and comment and interact. I have pics of me, my husband, my kids, my pets, my hikes…. they get access to all of that.

You get to choose who gets access. You have ever right to be picky about who gets access. There is no obligation to accept. There is no guilt not to accept.

Same goes for all of your other social accounts as well. Monitor and be choosy about who gets access to your information.

4. Review, Purge, Protect

It is a good idea to sit down and have a heart to heart with your social network accounts from time to time. Think of it as spring cleaning, but for your online accounts instead of your house.

Review your privacy settings for each account and a make adjustments accordingly. The networks will make updates to their policies periodically, so be sure to go in and make sure your settings are still to your liking.

Purge your list. I know it sounds anti-social and icky and you don’t want people to hate you. I know that for me, there are a few people on my list that I accepted because we were friends in high school or because they were coworkers at a corporate job I had three jobs ago. Turns out that we have nothing in common now. And they are still seeing pictures of my kids and pets. No bueno. Take a look at your list of connections across your social networks and make sure you still want everyone on that list to continue to have access to your online accounts. Again, there is no guilt in removing someone from your social network if it is not longer a mutually beneficial relationship.

Protect your personal/professional image. By taking the time to review who you let have access and periodically purging people from your list you will be taking a big step toward protecting your personal and professional image – both online and off.

5. Accept that the Internet is forever.

imsorry-memeMy racing scores from ten years ago are still online. Today, I found a picture of myself running (mostly walking) the Seattle half-marathon from two years ago. The first thing I ever posted to Google Plus is on the first page of Google. That crazy picture of you drunk at the lake with your friends that you posted three years ago. Yep, your new boss can go online and search and find it. Embarrassing!

What you put out into the interwebs stays on the interwebs!

All this to say, be picky about what you put out there. Think before you post. I’m not saying everything you put out into the world has to be sunshine and rainbows. We all know nobody is always sunshine and rainbows. Yes, you can post that you are having a shitty day or that you are partying at the lake or that you are at the basecamp at Mt. Everest (they have wifi, right?). But when you post or comment or like or share make sure you take the time to think, “Is this a true reflection of me and how I feel or what I believe? Is this part of the image I want to project to the world?” And if the answer is yes, then go for it!

Using Visuals to Engage Your Audience

Five Ways to Engage Your Audience with Visuals

You’ve heard the saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” I’m going to go out on a limb here and update this old adage for our modern times:

A visual is worth more clicks, shares and tweets.

We recently asked our Facebook peeps, “What is your favorite communication vehicle to use that you feel gives you more connection + engagement with your audience?”

Overwhelmingly, the answer was visuals: images, video, and the new kid on the block – Periscope.

People engage better with visual content. Period. It’s easier to understand. It tells a story. It evokes emotions. Our busy lives, our modern brains – for better or worse – like to skim over words and go right for the juicy stuff – the images.

So here are a few ways you can use visuals to engage your audience, increase engagement and ramp up social sharing.


#1: Use Videos

How many times have you stopped to watch that cat video just because it is already rolling as your scroll through your feed? Facebook peeps love video. Eight of the top 10 most shared posts in 2014 were videos. And Facebook (the company) loves videos, too. Their algorithms seem to favor them over text and link only posts. So if you haven’t considered using video to engage your audience, I encourage you to rethink your choice. There are several options out there to help you out. And they don’t have to be professional quality (remember those cat videos?). They just need to be engaging and informative.

Use video to engage your audience

#2: Create Quote or Testimonial Graphics

I love sharing inspiring quotes. And by turning them into an image they have the potential to reach a larger audience. And people are more likely to share your quote or testimonials if it is an image instead of just text or a link. Also, try to add your logo or website address to the graphic. It it blows up and is shared worldwide, you want to make sure people know where it came from originally.


#3: Use Personal Photos

Engage your audience with a personal photo of you, your employees, your office…. Whether you are attending an event or showing off your new, cute office space, let your followers know there is a real person behind everything that you do. Remember, people do business with people. Make sure you take the time to show the face, space, activities behind the magical work you do for the world.


#4: Add Captions

Don’t leave your visuals to tell the story all by themselves. Tie your image or video to your brand by adding a one or two line caption. It gives your audience a hint of what to expect and helps you tell the story.Go a step further and follow the caption with a link or a hashtag to further encourage them to engage with your brand.


Use a caption to help engage your audience

#5: Say Thank You to Your Followers

Never forget that your audience is taking time out of their busy day to engage with you, to provide feedback, to share what it is you’re sharing. My mama always said, “You catch more flies with honey.” A simple expression of gratitude when you hit milestones in your journey makes you and your brand more accessible. It will also encourage people to leave comments about their personal experiences.

These types of posts tend to attract high engagement, so be sure to add your logo and use your fonts to brand the image. Let make sure everyone knows who is saying Thank You.


How do you use visuals to engage your audience? Share in the comments below and let us know!


Quality vs. Quantity

Quality or Quantity, THAT is the question!

Is your audience response quality or quantity? Does it bring you aligned clients?

I mean, how much of your audience actually responds to what you share with them?

1 to 2% is the average. What’s yours?  Feel free to share below.

I recently was told by another master coach that the industry average of list engagement is only 1% to 2%, so that you HAVE to have a big list to fill your programs + make your goals. That’s only 20 to 40 people engaged. Not a lot, right?

What if you had a list of 25% or even 40% continuously engaged audience who came from your list of 250 people instead? Less work, 62 more people engaged.

Curious, we ran our numbers and realized that while we have a small list according to industry average, we have a rather surprising engagement rate of 26% to 30% sometimes more (and we are paying attention to that!).

It was an eye opener for us to find out we are above average!

So, how did we do it?

Well, it was simple for us to create a more aligned list since we are only adding people to our list who ask to be on it.

Yep, that’s it.

What did we do exactly?  Well, it’s not just adding all the cards you get from a networking function or at a party or meet up where you don’t really get to connect with anyone.

Nope, we just ask them.  Simple, right?< We created lead magnets like our uniqueness quiz, that attracts our kind of Spirit-based, heart-centered kind of crowd…and ask them to join us.

We go to networking things and chat with a few people, and ask them if they want to jump on the list if we feel they would be a good fit, or offer something of value like a check list or follow up script to exchange.

Our unsubscribe rate is rather low.  Who knew, right?

It’s like having a party…do you want there to mostly be people there you know + enjoy chatting with?

OR a bunch of people you don’t know who are only there to eat your food and heard there was an open bar?

This is YOUR party. That is how you cultivate your aligned list, like building lasting relationships. Same thing. It doesn’t have to take years to grow it and you probably have a great core already.

It’s just perspective.

Your [Inspired action] ~ start thinking of what you really want in a client, what do you they need to know before engaging you, be feeling, want to get out of or solve, and create engagement around that.

AND ASK THEM TO JOIN YOUR LIST.  If you don’t ask, you don’t get.  Permission goes a log way in building trust.

So, that is our insight for the day.  Please leave your feeling on your engagement rates, and how you want your party to be like, and if you enjoyed this, feel free to join our email list.

Exciting Stuff!

Cristy + Nicki of Soulful Aligned Entrepreneur

Finding Your Ideal Audience

[video] Who’s Your Tribe + How to Find Them!

Who’s Your Tribe + How to Find Them!

So, do you know your tribe? By that I mean your audience to whom your work transform’s their lives. It’s important to know who they are. And you can use this information to simplify and streamline your marketing.

Your tribe is who you think of when you create your offers, your content, and your marketing efforts. And it’s not just knowing their demographics – how old they are, how many children they have, if they are married. These things are only important if they are specific to your niche.

I still find it surprising when a client tells me they don’t know their audience.

Not knowing your audience or tribe and can make your marketing efforts feel chaotic and drain your time + energy…and get you hit or miss results in your campaigns.

So, how do you find out who you audience is?

First, look at who you are attracting with your current marketing efforts.  Do you like them?  Wish they were more______?

Then, who do you dream your client was like?  Love your work?  Pay you what your worth + on time?

Next, where do they hang out? Do they shop online? Do they not like going to stores? Do they love shoes? Who else talks to this audience? Who are they following + engaging?

All this goes into what we call your client avatar.  Your avatar – your ideal client – is the one person you talk to when you are crafting your marketing content + offers. Because if you craft a message for this one person, it will resonate with others that are attracted to what you have to offer.

Hope that helped get you heading in a more aligned direction, and we’ll see you in the next video.

Exciting Stuff!

Cristy + Nicki of Soulful Aligned Entrepreneur


Completely Burned Out

Have you ever heard those stories of people at the turn of the century being hospitalized for exhaustion? They were either admitted to the hospital for several days or weeks to rest, or sent to a retreat resort in an idealistic mountain setting and are told to rest and recover.

Exhaustion. It has happened to me for the past two years at the same time of the year. I hit a wall. Hard. I have nothing left to give. I’m done. And my business screams to a halt. But the year isn’t over. I still have clients. I still have projects. And the to-do list keeps getting longer and longer. So now I’m exhausted and anxious.

I am sick. It hurts to move. I feel nauseous. No amount of rest seems to help. I am completely and totally burned out. I want to be sent to the resort in the mountains to recover. What exactly is the insurance billing code for “Exhaustion?” Does Blue Cross Blue Shield cover this?

Has this ever happened to you?

This year instead of just suffering through it alone and feeling sorry for myself, I reached out to my community of friends to get their advice. I just want to say that my peeps are amazing. Sure, my Facebook friends and Instagram followers Like and love the pics of my kids, the silly cat memes, pictures of my dog and some of the other fluff I put on my social media outlets. But when it comes to the really serious stuff – you know, when you really need help and advice – these people come out of the woodwork to offer support and advise. I feel truly blessed to have such amazing people in my life.

Here are a few of the tips they shared for recharging your soul:

  1. icon-hikeGo take a hike. As in literally get up, put on your walking shoes, and head outside to take a walk. Exercise helps work off loads of stress and negativity. I swear sometimes I can feel the stress flowing out of my fingertips. And stepping away from your work, even just for 30 minutes to an hour – can help you refocus and get clear.
  2. Check what you’re eating. Healthy foods recharge your mind and body. I know when I get really busy, I start eating out more which means bigger portions, more queso and chips, and dessert with every meal – things I wouldn’t normally make myself for dinner if I cooked at home. When I take the time to cook healthy meals at home I have better control over what goes in to my body. (Sadly, that means less queso.)
  3. Go green. Green juice helps clear out the toxins that have been building up due to stress.
  4. Take time for yourself. If all you do is give, you never have a chance to take care of your self. This could include a walk (see #1 above), a pedicure, going to the movies by yourself in the middle of the day, visiting an art show or museum. Do something that you like to do, just for you. And make it part of your regular routine.
  5. icon-meditateMeditate. I’ll admit I’m not good at this one. But even if you’re not a Buddist meditation master, you can set aside time each day to just sit and breath. Clear your mind, concentrate on breathing in and then breath out the stress.
  6. Wine and dine. Catching up with your friends can be a great way to recharge, and what better way than over dinner and a glass of something yummy. I know when I am at my busiest, I tend to isolate myself because I’m trying to get it all done. Look up, pick up the phone, and arrange a night out.
  7. Stretch yourself. Do something outside of your comfort zone. Maybe it’s something you’ve been meaning to do but haven’t yet. Maybe it’s something that scares you, but you know it wouldn’t hurt you. We have an indoor skydiving company here in ATX. I sat by and watched my kids do it. Scares the hell out of me, but I think me and the hubbster are going to take it on for our next date night.
  8. icon-strawberryChocolate and music. I love both. And together they are even better. Both help soothe and satisfy an aching soul. Crank up the tunes, bust out the extra dark organic chocolate and savor the moments. Ahhhh, that feels good.


Thanks to advise and input from friends and the support of my family, I’m almost back to 100% full steam ahead. But this time I’ve tried to put some safety nets in place to try to make sure it doesn’t happen again. I’m learning to ask for help instead of just doing everything myself. I’m learning to watch for the signs that lead to my becoming exhausted, so that I can take action before I hit the wall. Only time will tell if these things will help. Guess we’ll know about this time next year.

Have you ever burned out? What steps did you take to recover? Please share your thoughts below in the comments.

Have you lost your spark?

How’s your business going?
Are you wishing it could just be easier?
Or maybe not so complicated + time consuming but still bringing in awesome clients and income?

Well, I have a story for you…
I hear you.  Over the last 6 months, I’ve been in this space: wondering why my business felt so hard and complicated, like I was always walking up hill. I felt like I had lost my spark.  I got into this business to help people make their business easier and feel more natural + authentic, while I was sitting here not feeling that way at all.  Totally bummed + heading to burn out.
Have you ever felt this way in your business?

And I’m pretty sure I’m not alone.
So, what did I do? I walked through my own process to see how it worked, and I was surprised + even a little amazed at myself. You see, I was trying to design + grow my business to be how someone else told me it should be…. instead of doing what I was pulled to do and doing it consistently. I realized I needed to tweak my business to actually fit who I was as a creative + a coach, not force it to be something it’s not and I’m not.  That’s the hard way.

Now, I have my spark back.  Everything I do in my business feels clear, connected, and on target.  Clients are coming into my pipeline that I really enjoy working with.  I was stressed out and stuck, and now I’m inspired and flowing again.

Do you want YOUR spark back for your business, too? If you are feeling stressed out, stuck, or just plain frustrated with how your business is (or isn’t) going, then let’s talk it out and see what resources + ideas we can come up with together to better fit who you are…..and get your spark back.

If you ARE ready to get your Spark Back, then let’s set up time for a Spark Strategy Session where we can see how we can work together to help you get where you want to be.

In Your Session, we will cover:
~ Getting clear on what you really want in your business that isn’t happening now
~ What you are doing that really feels off or not like you at all
~ Why this feels so hard + complicated for you and how to simplify things
~ Next steps to finally stop doing what’s not working for you + what to do instead.

This session is a great for you if:
~ You are tired of busting your butt and still not getting the results you really want
~ Feel drained, unfocused, and done spinning your wheels
~ Finally want to know why this is all happening + how to change it for good!

So, Are you ready to get your spark back?

What to do next
~ If this speaks to you, then let’s chat.  Grab your spot here on the calendar.  Then I’ll send you some quick questions about your business so we can get to the meaty stuff when we talk.

If this isn’t for you ~ That’s cool.  I’m happy you are in a great place with your business. If you know of someone who would enjoy this story, please forward this on to them. It could be their game-changer!

Losing my spark was a big “a-ha” for me, and it was a game changer to get it back.  I’m super excited to see what we come up with together to really help you get your spark back.

With Grace + Ease my friends!

Co-Founder of Soulful Aligned Entrepreneur

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