I send one letter a month right to your inbox. It has all the tools, tips, ideas and support you need to amplify your life and your business. Sign up and join the over 2,000 folks who read it!  


Weekend Links // 7

If You Can't Be Cute, You May As Well be Clever. David Sedaris Every week I read hundreds of blogs and articles – actually read, mind you, not skim the headlines – so you don’t have to and I collect the best links here.

compassion // Karen is right on with this list of ways to be more compassionate.

optimism is my love language // Buh bye cynicism and hello hope on late night tv.

practical business advice // Elise has this down, even when she is panicking.

growth hacking (my new love) // Are you on this trend for your blog?

branding // My branding board is off the hook with good stuff.

Are you following me on Pinterest? You totally should be.

so proud of moorea // I met her at Camp Mighty and am so super proud of her new book. Awesome town!

instagram love // looking for pretty places to shoot photos? There’s an account for that.

freezing at work // this is why.

loved // this video this week.

Take a look at this new version of the Beach Boys’ classic track God Only Knows – featuring Pharrell Williams, One Direction & many more. http://bbc.in/ZQqE32It’s been put together by the BBC to launch a new initiative – BBC Music. #LoveBBCMusic

Posted by BBC News on Tuesday, October 7, 2014

xo – Jacqueline – who is teaching branding through The Village Writing School. You should totally take this the next time I teach it!

I’ve added a BUNCH of resources to my Pinterest Social Media Tips Board! This is where I keep the things I’m researching, bookmarking, and saving! Enjoy!

Follow Jacqueline Wolven’s board Social Media Tips on Pinterest.

How I Hacked My Pinterest Account for Growth

Step By StepHow I Hacked my Pinterest account I’ve been redoing my Pinterest strategy for my brand. (It’s important to me that I test things on myself first before I recommend them to you and my clients.) People have thought I was going nuts. Seriously, I got notes from friends asking what I’m up to over on Pinterest.

A Few Pinterest Basics

Pinterest is NOT a pretty place to pin things that you might never do. Not if you are in business. Pinterest is a place to grow your expertise in what you know/research. This is where you can add value to your customers. What it is really… evergreen bookmarks to the things that matter to your customers and potential clients.

I watched a powerful presentation by Enid Hwang, the Community Manager for Pinterest, and she shared these tips:

Hashtags don’t work on Pinterest. Stop using them. Instead use pipes (the symbol above the backwards slash + |). Example: branding | logos | color palette

Pins are evergreen bookmarks. What does that mean? The Pinterest algorithm is set up to show users the pins based on what they LIKE not on time. For instance, a pin that you pin can be repined and like YEARS after you pin it. Which is UNLIKE Google (or Alphabet?) which shows the best answer based on date/seo.

Boards should be based on things you actually like. If you are a photographer you would, of course, pin your own posts, but you would also have boards on props, equipment, location, inspiration, portraits, ect. You are shaping your expertise to your customers and potential clients.

Pins are shown in search based on keywords. You want to use applicable keywords in your descriptions that will highlight your image. Think about how someone might search for your content and add those. You can always go back and edit pins if you think of more keywords.

The Pinterest Experiment for My Brand

Step 1: I took out all of the boards that weren’t relevant to my brand or the target customers I was hoping to attract. Yep. I just deleted them.

Follow Jacqueline Wolven’s board Goals, Planners & To Do Lists on Pinterest.  Step 2: I renamed my boards to be more relevant to search. Follow Jacqueline Wolven’s board Small Business Tips on Pinterest.

Step 3: I redid my profile and my board descriptions to have more clarity about who I was and why I was pinning these things.

Visit Jacqueline Wolven’s profile on Pinterest.

Step 4: I unfollowed almost everyone to uncrowd my stream. I then followed BOARDS that matched what I was pinning. Follow Jacqueline Wolven’s board Minimalism, Simplicity, KonMari & Simple Living on Pinterest.

Step 5: I started pinning 50 things a day. Yep. 50. I started with one board and did searches of things that were relevant to one board and pinned 50 of them. Then I pinned 50 the next day to another board. My goal is that each board will have at least 100 pins and then 150 and then… Board with more pins get followed rather than their somewhat anemic boards around them. More pins = more followers.

Follow Jacqueline Wolven’s board Learning to Meditate on Pinterest.

Step 6: I pinned content and blog posts from my own site. This wasn’t part of my regular work plan and now it is. I pin them to the boards that they are most relevant to – including one dedicated to my blog. Follow Jacqueline Wolven’s board JacquelineWolven.com Blog on Pinterest.

The Proof in the Pinterest Pudding

As you can see my analytics are showing that I am being viewed more often, my audience has grown and the activity from my own site has grown (people are pinning right from my site).

Pinterest Analytics showing growth after hacking my system. http://jacquelinewolven.com

I went from 488 followers to 535 in 4 days. I was at 488 for a year. Seriously.

It’s working and it isn’t that hard.

I will continue to learn and refine my strategy and keep you informed of how it is growing. Do you have tips that you are using? Share in the comments and we can talk all things Pinterest!

Do you want a free 10 minute consult on your Pinterest account? Email me with your Pinterest URL and I will give you feedback and a step towards growth.

xo – Jacqueline – who believes a good Pinterest Board should grow your audience and your expertise!


10 Things Every Business, Entrepreneur, Blogger, Artist, Maker, Writer, Nonprofit Director Should Do in 2015

10 Things Every Business, Entrepreneur, Blogger, Artist, Maker, Writer, Nonprofit Director Should Do in 2015 There are 10 Things I want every small business, entrepreneur, blogger, artist, writer, nonprofit director – anyone who is selling anything to do this year. These aren’t huge and they are meant to make your life easier. They are also meant to make your work and life better. Isn’t that what we all want?

10 Things Every Business, Entrepreneur, Blogger, Artist, Maker, Writer, Nonprofit Director Should Do in 2015

Pick Your Hashtag

That’s right. Pick the one hashtag that you are going to use every single day and stick to it. You can have more throughout the year, but it is time for you to pick one and go with it. Having trouble figuring out what you want to choose? Post your options in the comments and we can brainstorm that out together. Personally,  I am considering #GoodLove or #LoveYear – my little word is Love and I want something that works with that. Which do you like? For our Main Street district we are sticking with #OnlyinEureka because Eureka Springs offers experiences that you just can’t get anywhere else.

Choose Your Social Media

Pick one social media that you want to rock and really go for it. Personally, I am choosing Instagram for myself and Pinterest for our Main Street District. It doesn’t mean I am neglecting other media, but I am spending my energy where I want to grow. Several of my clients are focusing on LinkedIn and Facebook. So, do what works for you – and your business. Just choose one.

Live Your Brand

If you brand is about making everyone else’s life better please don’t publicly be a mess on social media. If you are a happy brand learn to tame your inner bitch. If you are progressive don’t keep talking about retro things. Really. I see these mistakes everyday and because we live our lives and business online you are showing who you are everywhere. Think before you post.

Learn Something New

The world changes in nanoseconds now (no, I don’t really know what a nanosecond is, but it sounds about right). So, there is no time for you to rest on your laurels. Learn something new. Sign up for a class on the social media that you have chosen. Take a webinar. Read a book. Do something that moves you forward. We can get better and better at what we do only by continuing to be lifelong learners.

Learn to Take Better Photos

The entire internet lives and breaths on images. Why? Because we are visual creatures who love beautiful photos. Learn to take better photos on your phone or with a real camera. This is one skill that will bring the most bang to you over and over. It is high on my list to just get more focused and better with my images this year for my own brand and for the clients I work with.

Learn to Say No

Learning boundaries for your business is THE skill I wish I could teach the whole world. This means saying no to being on the committee, buying the ad, being part of the crowd and focusing on your own plan. I see myself and businesses say yes to things that don’t move them forward in any real way and if they could harness the power of no it would be amazing. Let’s learn this together this year.

Focus On Your Own Stuff

I see too many people (and I am guilty of this too) focusing on everything everyone else is doing. Sure, it is important to understand what the competition is doing, but you do not need to know what everyone in your community or reach is doing at every given moment. I advocate a day a week of hands free work. Don’t scroll through Facebook, get off Instagram. Stop Tweeting and just do your own thing for a whole day. The time you invest in yourself and your own work will pay back in huge rewards.

Stop Complaining

I hear a lot of people complain about lack of traffic, not enough customers, not the right mix of things at any given moment. They complain and complain until that story is so stuck in their heads they are unable to see anything else. Just stop. If you can’t personally fix something in your business or work find another way to do it or focus on something else. The time wasted complaining is precious time that you can’t get back.

Know Your Stage

Today I was sitting in a meeting and it occurred to me that I am at a different stage in my career than other people sitting there. I am in the middle of my career where many of the people sitting around me were at the end of theirs. It completely released me of comparing myself to where they are or what I am doing in relation to them because we are at different places. You can not compare your middle with someone else’s ending. It is just futile. So if you are just starting out you won’t be getting the same accolades as someone who has been building their brand for years. That is ok. You will get yours if you just keep working hard.

Lighten Up

There is a lot of joy in the world (yes there is suffering, too) and we can tap into that joy every single day if we choose to. Most of us aren’t brain surgeons. Thank goodness. (I would not be good at that.) Our work is important, but it isn’t life and death. We can laugh a little. Enjoy the events we are at. Enjoy the people we encounter. Enjoy the actual work we are doing. Just because the work might be hard or the people difficult sometimes doesn’t mean we can’t relish in the times that there is a little more sun. Experience the joy and be grateful for the time you get doing the work that you love. Isn’t that what it’s really all about?

This is your life and your work and you get to choose what you do to make it amazing. I think these 10 are pretty on mark.

P.S. I send awesome other stuff that you might need to make your life a little simpler and your work a little smarter. You might want to check that out.

Do Good. Be Great.