having faith in facebook: the angel story i’ve got to share!

Angels all around...check out the proof. (via livlane.com)

Around here lately, the angels have been working overtime. So awesome! I know lots of people believe in angels, but not everyone trusts they’re waiting in the wings to help them.

I hate that. I want to change that.

I have been aware of angels swirling around me all my life, but one thing they’ve made very clear over the years is that it’s their honor, their joy, their mission to help ANYONE who asks. One of the reasons I started Project Light Year was to create a year-long opportunity for open-minded, open-hearted women to feel less alone – totally supported as they invite more meaning and magic into their lives.

And oh my gosh, it’s working!!

Each month we focus on a new topic (pssst! you can still sign up through this weekend & catch up!). First, we focused on the power of intention and right now, we’re flying with the angels – connecting with those celesital beings who have been seen and celebrated in nearly every culture and spiritual tradition since the beginning of time.

I cannot even explain how awesome it’s been to witness all the magic happening here. 

white feather = angels in your midst (say hello!)There are so many aha moments, energy shifts, and signs from the the universe being shared by participants. In our private forum, for instance, sooooo many have posted photos of white feathers suddenly showing up in their paths over the past couple of weeks (no down pillows in sight). Hello, angels!

I’ve been so tickled by the ways the angels have stepped up their game with me. too. Even though I know they’re around, sometimes it just makes my heart flutter to feel or see tangible evidence of their presence. And over the past few years, I’ve noticed a pattern: when I share info about angels with others, the angels do something cool to let me know they’re thrilled.

This month? The angels have started following me on Facebook. 

It takes no special talent or super power to talk to your angels. They're always listening. (via livlane.com)A few days ago, I was excited for some upcoming interviews with Project Light Year contributors about their knowledge of and experiences with angels. I decided to share my excitement via a quick post on my Facebook page and added the image on the right, which was originally part of a blog post from last summer about angels. I posted the photo to Facebook with a brief message, hoping it would reach the people who needed it that day. But when I returned to the page just 20 minutes later, my jaw dropped. The post had already been shared 100 times!

(Now, this calls for a little Facebook footnote: anyone who runs a Facebook page for their business can see how many people have viewed their posts. When someone who follows my page likes a post and shares it, it then appears on their personal Facebook page. If their friends like it, they might share it again…to their pages. Each time that happens, more people see a post and the number of “views” increases. Got it? Cool.)

With around 1300 followers, most of my Facebook posts garner 200-800 views. I think the biggest number I’d reached before this month, thanks to a few folks sharing the posts, was a few thousand. But 100 shares in 20 minutes?! As soon as I saw that, I knew the angels were responsible for guiding so many people to that post. By the end of the day, more than 300 people had shared it and over 16,000 people had seen it.

High five! I figured it was a one-time publicity push from the heavens above – but I was wrong. 

I’ve posted plenty of other nice things (though none about angels) on my page over the past week, and all have received a typical and sweet response – a few dozen “likes,” a couple of shares, a few comments. Love engaging with my peeps over there! But yesterday, I swear the angels swooped in again. 

I believe in magic and miracles...and you.I decided to share the new design for my I Believe greeting card. It celebrates having faith in the things we can’t see, including angels. I posted it on Facebook, and hours later my jaw dropped again. Even more people had shared this post than the previous angel-related one. The last time I checked this morning, it had been shared 730 times with over 35,000 views.

OH. MY. HEAVENS. 

I’ve done a lot of research on Facebook marketing over the years (there’s a whole science to generating more page likes and it’s pretty nauseating). But the so-called social media gurus have nothing on the soulful media gurus waiting in the wings; angels thrilled to help, especially when it comes to sharing their light and helping anyone feel less alone.

Think about it: if the angels have time to share pretty pictures on Facebook, they surely have time to help you, too. Just trust. Just ask. And when you feel them around you, tell somebody. Because when we spread the love and share the light, magic happens.

*****

Note: Registration for Project Light Year ends this Sunday, Feb 23rd. You can still catch up on content we’ve covered and join our amazing community; we’d love to have you (and the angels would too!).

3 networking no-no’s for nice people

networking no-no's for nice people

Yesterday, I had a great 20-minute call with a lawyer. She had helped me with my business years ago, and we reconnected at a recent eWomen Network meeting. She had questions about my offerings and I was curious about her current work, so I emailed her and we set up time to chat via phone. We talked about kids, travel, work projects, our businesses, and we both thought of ways we might work together or refer each other to our ideal clients (in fact, she already referred a Star Mapping client to me – awesome!). Genuine, purposeful, nice networking.

This is the way networking is supposed to be. But, frankly, some people seriously screw this up and give networking a bad name. If you want to be known for being authentic and compassionate in your work (and of course you do!), go through this quick list and make sure you’re playing nice.

1Never, ever, ever add someone to your newsletter list or blog feed just because you met in person. I’m so fed up with it happening that I tweeted about it yesterday – and got so many responses from people who are equally annoyed. Connect and follow new contacts via social media in hopes they reciprocate (it is social media, after all) – but consider people’s inboxes to be sacred space. If you didn’t get a chance to give them your card, you could send a brief, “loved-meeting-you” email with a link to your site (and then they can decide if and how they want to receive your content). But automatically adding someone to your list holds great potential for irritating a person who could have been a great connection or future client.

twoDon’t add someone to a Facebook group without their permission. I love connecting with certain communities on Facebook, but I’m intentional about the groups I join. So, it’s unnerving when new groups I know nothing about pop up in my sidebar. I used to approve everyone who “friended” me Facebook (nowadays, I’d much rather connect over here). I’m amazed how many of those so-called friends have added me to groups without my consent. I just checked – and I currently “belong” to 38 Facebook groups (what!?) – half of which I’ve never visited and now need to manually leave. Think someone would be a great addition to your group? Send them a Facebook message with an invitation. I recently received a totally warm-and-fuzzy, personalized note from a group of coaches who thought I’d add and find value in their Facebook community – and that prompted me to join. That’s the way to do it, peeps!

threeTake control of your settings. This one is a new learning for me, specifically about LinkedIn. I’ve tweaked my profile a bunch in recent weeks, and each time I made a slight change, I got a note from someone congratulating me on my new job. Huh?? Turns out, whenever you update your info, LinkedIn alerts your LinkedIn contacts, sometimes even encouraging them to congratulate you on your new job. Unless you really did make a major career move, that is confusing for your network! I tweeted about this issue, too – and someone at LinkedIn got right back to me. Guess what? You can change your LinkedIn settings here to make tweaks without announcing them to the world. Awesome.

See? Easy as 1-2-3 to be super-nice and more effective in your networking. Got tips or questions? Fire away, love…

i’m super sorry if i bug you.

Hope you don’t mind me tooting my own horn, but I’m growing something pretty wonderful over here.

On Monday, I’m kicking off my BuzzWorthy ecourse for creative spirits – and it’s shaping up to be awesome. I’ve actually {ironically} kept the buzz for it to a minimum because I wanted to keep the class small-ish for this first run, and full of  artists, healers and other soulful entrepreneurs who feel really ready to move into this potentially uncomfortable space of self-promotion. I know it’s kinda scary. I know it’s kinda overwhelming. That’s why I’m so excited for the hand-holding, dream-catching and purposeful buzz-making that’s going to occur over the next six weeks.

I’m doing one big promotional push today, offering $24 off for 24 hours {just input the coupon code 24HR}. So…I’m mentioning it all over the place – in social media, my newsletter, on this blog. I apologize if you’re swimming in all those spaces and see the message over and over. But, to tell you the truth, I feel really good about it. See, I know how it feels to promote something that doesn’t light me up or feel like an authentic extension of me. It sucks. It knots you up. You hit the “post” button on Facebook and Twitter with one hand over your eyes. Yuck.

But when you cross that hurdle of knowing what you do serves others and taps into your own passions and purpose, it becomes so much easier to tell the world  and to do it in ways that mirror who you are and lovingly invites others into your space. I’m excited to show participants how to do that – and I’m already feeling filled up by the excitement brewing among them, with notes like this:

“The timing of this is nothing short of magical.”

And this one:

“I just looked at your list of contributors…a powerful constellation. Wow.”

Or this bit of love:

“I am so excited for this, I can hardly stand it. It’s exactly what I need to help me get more customers and more press.”

I would love to have you join us – or share today’s sale with artists, healers, writers and others in your circle who deserve to be seen and heard and loved by the world. Just send them to BuzzWorthyBiz.com. Thank you from the bottom of my buzzing heart.

A Love Letter to Facebook {and YOU}

Happy Monday, Dear Hearts!

It’s hard to believe I’m fast approaching the five year anniversary of being my own boss. Wowza! There’s so much about entrepreneurship that I love. But when I left corporate America, I was so wrong about the things I thought I’d miss the most. I worried I’d miss the material things – the benefits, the regular paychecks, the paid-for computer and phone and office supplies {never underestimate the power of color-coordinated paper clips!}. Turns out I got over that stuff pretty quick. {Okay, fine – the regular paychecks were awfully nice.}

The thing I actually missed most? The instant feedback. Truth is, self-employment can feel lonely at times. I’m still a little jealous when Brad comes home from work complaining about all his meetings and impromptu brainstorming sessions.  I remember feeling that way too; when you’re in the middle of it, all those interactions can feel like distractions from your real work. And then, when you’re in business with and for yourself, casually kicking around ideas with co-workers suddenly sounds downright delightful.

I have peeps to lean on, like fellow entrepreneurs I meet with monthly, but it’s not the same as ducking inside a co-worker’s cubicle for feedback on a fresh idea. I never imagined that Facebook would become my virtual water cooler – a place where I can count on connecting with like-minded, supportive, insightful folks like you. I pay close attention to the posts you “like” or share with others or comment on. When you take a second to provide feedback, it’s like you’re in the cube right next to me! ;o)

via happytownusa on etsy

Yesterday, my Facebook “fan” page hit 2,000 followers – cool milestone! It’s not the number that matters, but the evidence that this community continues to grow. Facebook draws more perfect peeps to my blog and artwork than any other medium, thanks to all of you awesome-blossoms who share my posts and projects with others, either via the actual Facebook page or by clicking the “share” and “like” buttons at the bottom of my blog posts.

It’s such a gift to be able to gather around that virtual water cooler and hang out with such amazing cheerleaders, whenever I want. Thanks for being there for me, in so many ways.

Love & Light,
Liv

Pinned With Love {4 Ways To Play Fair on Pinterest}

a popular pin, via vol25

 

Let me first say that I love the premise of Pinterest. The way it allows us to so easily share beautiful images with each other – art, quotes, ideas, DIY projects – is pure genius. But as the site grows like crazy, I find people are pinning recklessly, without any consideration for the person who made or photographed the original image they love. I’d hate to see this site, which was developed to celebrate and share creativity, actually become more hurtful than helpful for the creative community.

 

The image above has been pinned many times, rarely with proper credit. I saw it yesterday in a friend’s Pinterest feed and loved it. But before I re-pinned it, I wanted to make sure it linked to the artist behind it. No such luck. It took me through several blogs – none of which credited the artist – which finally led me to an error page on an abandoned blog. Not cool. It took me a while searching the web to finally discover Jessica from vol25 – an Etsy artist I already loved – had created it. Like so many artists, me included, she’s not sure how to handle situations like this. Do we complain and risk sounding like whiners? Do we report it to Pinterest as a terms violation? Or do we play nice and bite our tongues – again and again?

 

Pinterest can’t possibly monitor the legality of every pin and re-pin, so it’s up to each artist or creative organization to decide how to handle these situations. But it’s also up to those of us within the Pinterest community to treat the images we pin with love and show some respect to the artists and photographers that created them. Agree? Here are four ways to pin with love:

 

Be Original

See an image on a blog or site you want to pin? Make sure it credits and links to its original creator. If it doesn’t, do a little research to find out where it came from {search Google images using a description of the picture or the quote within in} and then link from the real source. I know this sounds like a pain, but you’re not only helping the artist – you’re helping yourself. Upon joining Pinterest, you agreed to follow copyright rules, so make sure your pins give credit where credit is due.

 

Follow That Link!

Do the same thing with any image you love that’s already on Pinterest. Your Pinterest home page is full of pins from the people you follow. If you see one you want to share with your followers, click on the image…and then keep clicking until you arrive at its source page {the place from where it was originally pinned}. If you find it easily, great – go ahead and re-pin. If not, don’t continue to share that pin. You might even want to inform the person who pinned it that it’s not properly credited {I would totally want to know if you find anything like that on my Pinterest page; I know I wasn’t as diligent about this early on}.

 

Pin the Permalink

If you’re pinning an image from a blog, make sure it links to the post it was part of – not just to the blog’s home page. Let’s say you want to pin this sunrise image. If you’re reading this post on the main/home page of my blog and pin it, the link will take people right back to the home page. That’s a problem weeks or months down the road, because people looking for the source of this image won’t find it on my home page. It will be filled with other blog posts by then. SO – click on the headline of this post to be taken to a page where just this post appears. Now, when you pin the image, it will capture the permalink – the unique URL for that blog post, where the sunrise image resides.

 

Show and Tell

If you share images elsewhere {via your own blog, a company web site or even on Facebook}, you have the power to give artists and other content creators the credit they deserve. Whenever you share someone else’s image in a blog post, be sure to link with love: include a caption and link the image to the web page where you found it, ensuring that page also gives proper credit to the artist or photographer. I’m especially appalled by so many blogs on Tumblr where it seems nearly impossible to find the source of photos. What is going on over there?? Meanwhile, if you’re going to share an image on Facebook, find out who created it and include their name in your comment section {better yet, a link to his or her site or Facebook page}.

 

It’s only fair. If you love an image, pin it with love.