Instagram, Undoing the Big Oooops

yikesSo everyone knows the rule about not texting your Ex when you have had too much to drink right. But what about when spell check becomes your worst enema ooops enemy? Did you know that you can delete a message after you have sent it on Instagram. instagram icon

Instagram has a quick & easy way to send a DM (direct message), also sometimes called a PM or private message. When you are “Home” in Instagram on the top right of your screen is a message icon that looks like an old school office file holder or “In Box”.   To send a DM click the icon to send your photo and/or message. Now here is the beauty of it; when you wake up the next morning and regret the message, you simply go back into the message (the same way you got into mubble with your trouth errr, trouble with your mouth in the first place). Put your finger on the message, boo-boo, or typographical error and a lovely little tool tip will appear giving you the option to “Unsend Message or Copy Text”. And Voila! You have the power to choose if you want to repeat your faux pas again or pretend that you never sent it in the first place!

When the message icon lights up to tell you that you have received a message from someone, let’s hope it doesn’t start with WTF (where’s the fire?)Blush Smile EmojiEileenDreams

Happy Mother’s Day

My Mother’s Day Wish For My Boys,

I don’t want you to buy me anything. I want you to read this and know that it is genuine.

You are all grown up now. It never ceases to amaze me how different and special each of you are in your very own way. I want you to know how proud I am of each of you. I want you to believe that I don’t expect you to be perfect; you already are in your own unique way. Embrace it.

 You are stronger, smarter, more capable and wonderful than you know.  You probably don’t believe me but it’s true. Know you are loved. Love yourself and love each other. You are worthy.

You are light and good. Follow your heart.  Believe me when I say I love you.

Mom

Me and My Boys

Me and My Boys

Instagram

Instagram for Newbieseileenbeach

Even if you don’t understand or wish to use Instagram at least set up an account with your branding name to reserve the name for when you see the light 😉 My company name is EileenDreams and I missed out on Twitter and got EileenDreamsD – pretty lame. While you are at it, do the same for SnapChat etc….

The easiest way to use Instagram is to use it how it was originally meant to be used:

  1. Take a photo,
  2. Post it,
  3. Add a relevant comment and a couple hashtags.

To Get Started:

1. Download the Instagram app on your smartphone and sign up for an Instagram account.

2. Add your profile photo and information. If you are better with a keyboard than a smart phone you can fill in your bio, profile, links, and upload your profile photo on your computer at Instagram.com

3. Link your new Instagram account to Facebook, Twitter and all your social media platforms and invite your friends to follow you.

There are enough features to edit photos within Instagram itself. There are photo editing tools, filters, tools to level out your horizons, and there is even a rule of thirds grid. Instagram is known for their filters so have fun experimenting with them.

Insanely Simple Photo Editing Sites To Create Memes:
 http://www.canva.com/   http://www.picmonkey.com/

I only ever use my own photos (but I am a photographer). If you need photos, try these free sites:
 https://unsplash.com/   http://deathtothestockphoto.com/   https://picjumbo.com/   https://www.morguefile.com/

As an alternative you can also use the big sites that give you seven days free with a credit card but just be aware that for the most part, (IMHO) they come across as cheesy:
Flickr, Istock, graphicstock

My 2 favourite graphics sites for images and fonts are:
 www.Creativemarket.com   www.inkydeals.com/

Take it up a Notch

First, decide what your goal for this Instagram account is and then have a vision of what you want it to look like. Always remember your own personality, voice, and look. While you should stay true to the look and feel of your brand, some Instagram accounts stay so rigid to their brand that they have become boring.  When I started I just wanted to learn how to do it and jumped right in. If you post photos that are not in line with your branding image you can always delete them later while you are still learning.
If you want to get fancy with your photo, add text and filters, I use an app that I downloaded to my smartphone called “TextGram”. I have tried others but I prefer TextGram because it is simple and it doesn’t load a bunch of advertising crap onto my phone. With TextGram you can add text, frames, filters and fancy effects.

Have Fun

 Turn on your phone’s location. Look at other people’s posts and start interacting with them. It is good etiquette to always reply to comments.

When I post a meme I always think of Johnathan Christian’s advice: 

  • “Is it t-shirt worthy?” Sometimes it is just relevant or newsworthy but it helps keep the quality of my posts.
  • Speak to your Uncle (or ideal customer). Instagram is all about connecting with real people.

Keep your posts positive. You have to be authentic but people turn to Instagram for an instant feel good feeling and appreciate a little smile.
When desperate for an idea; Cat photos always work. This is a fact.

Try https://ifttt.com/ to save time if you wish to cross post to your other social media platforms.

Ideas To Increase Engagement

Using the search option is a great way to find like-minded connections. If you view someone’s profile and honestly like their photos, they will notice and start looking at your posts and may even become a follower.
Take advantage of your profile section with a photo of you, what you do, and the link you want to share.
Participate in a weekend hashtag project hosted by Instagram. These are fun and always provide an unexpected perspective.
Use #hashtags.
March 15 of this year Instagram changed the way it feeds. People were in a big panic and posted all sorts of things to get to be front in feed. Honestly, unless you have gazillion followers it really didn’t change much. It became more similar to Facebook where you see who you interact with most first. Just continue to keep engaged and authentic, and have fun!

Link to my Instagram: Instagram.com/EileenDreamsEileenDreams

Social Media

In my last blog post I committed to writing in my blog more often even though I’d rather scrub a toilet. Well my toilet just can’t get any cleaner so I guess I have to write again.

I’ve heard it said many times that social media isn’t “real” and there are valid points for that argument, but for me personally, I have mostly encountered very real and heartfelt connections. I am on Twitterhello which seems to have a life of its own that is far too fast paced for me to keep up with and for the most part I ignore it. I’m just not a cutting edge type. Although, if you are on Twitter and have any sort of customer service problem, just tweet about it and see how fast your issue is resolved! Plus, in an effort to reach a more targeted audience, many stores (like Safeway) offer super coupon deals to Twitter followers.

Recently I experienced an earthquake. I was alone and it made me feel very vulnerable. To my surprise I immediately started receiving tweets asking if I was ok. At that moment, those tweets felt as real and as connected to the real world as I could possibly be.

I am also on Instagram which I love for its pureness. Admittedly big businesses have jumped onto this social circle because they have recognized the power of connections made through IG (Instagram). However, for us “little” guys, IG is still real time, (you take a photo with your phone and instantly post it). If you follow me on IG you know that I love White Rock where I live and I like to go to the beach as often as possible. When I am there, I take a photo or video and share it right then and there. Through doing this I have connected with “real” people. Sure, I get the occasional spam but I also get small business owners and residents from along the drive sharing real time life. I “met” a SUP enthusiast who has since had a baby and posts the most incredible shots from what must be a GoPro mounted on his board, I follow a local artist whom I was thrilled to meet in person and he shared his innovative technique with me. Plus I get to see the most amazing photos of the place I love most through the use of hashtags (#). I even follow some of the tattoo artists at the beach which would normally be out of my social circle but I admire their skill and artistry.

On IG I am so genuinely awed by photographers who encourage me with their comments. A professional photographer just recently sent me a PM (private message) offering to share some water photo hacks. Like WoW! Does that even happen in the real world!

But the most touching and “real” connection through Instagram came from a small business owner down at the East Beach. I don’t actually “know” this person but love her bakery and follow her on IG. She recently had a baby born with a life threatening problem. I sent her a quick PM wishing her well. I was incredibly touched with the message I received in return. And I just can’t imagine anything more “real” than that.
EileenDreams

 

I’d Rather Scrub a Toilet

 

Valentines Day cards by Eileen Dreams

Valentines Day cards by Eileen Dreams

Last night I went to hear Jonathan Christian speak at the Fraser Valley Social Media (#FVSM) meetup and he challenged us to write in our blog twice a week. Well, I would rather do anything than write and I said to myself “No flipp’n way”. I like the process of blogging because I get to post my pretty pictures, try out new photo

Friends should send friends Valentines

Friends should send friends Valentines

sliders, play with WordPress, do some updates, SEO, check out some new themes, and waste time creating new graphics… You get the idea; do anything but write. Which is why I have been so sporadic about writing my blog. But then Jonathan said “Write as though you are writing to your favourite Uncle”. Well, his “favorite Uncle” analogy hit home with me because when I create a card I always create with someone special in mind.

When people ask what I do, I tell them I make cards. Although what I really make is people happy. It is always why I can’t help but smile when I think about the cards I make. What I am really thinking about is someone’s reaction when I give them a card. The whole time I create a card I am imagining my sister, mom, dad, aunt, bff and now that Valentine’s Day is approaching – my lover, reading my card. I guess you could say I am a professional people pleaser except creating cards sounds a little more socially acceptable.

So Jonathan, keeping in line with my people pleasing obsession, I am accepting your challenge to write a blog weekly even though I would much rather scrub a toilet.EileenDreamsValentine Card

Montreal

Wow! What a diverse city Montreal is. I thought Vancouver was diverse but my trip to Montreal really expanded my horizons.

Homemade Soap and Natural Lotion

I spent today doing one of my favorite things. A group of ladies came over to make soap. As a special treat Chelsea from Genesis Naturals gave us a science lesson on how to make natural lotion. She had an oil pot and a water pot that she emulsified together with  ingredients like rose water and coconut. She was very exact in her measurements and methods but I don’t remember any of it. I just know how wonderful the lotion smells and feels. Now my home spells like a spa.

We used goat’s milk soap for our soap base. We all loved how easy it was to work with. It seems to be denser than clear glycerin so when you add an exfoliant like blueberry or strawberry seeds, or crushed walnuts, it distributes evenly instead of floating to the surface. I love this environmentally friendly alternative to microbeads. I want to exfoliate my skin but just can’t bring myself to use products with those plastic microbeads in them. Personally I went heavy on the geranium and lavender but one of the guests with young boys used Tea tree and peppermint and hid spiders in their bars.

I’m not sure what the best part is; how everyone makes their own soap so different and personal, how much fun it is to spend time with a group of friends, or how wonderful my home smells after everyone leaves. 🙂

Canada-BC Job Grant

Canada-BC Job Grant training available

Canada-BC Job Grant training available

If you are a small business owner this is exciting news. There are training funds available to businesses in BC through the Canada-BC Job Grant. They will cover Two-thirds of eligible costs up to $10,000 per participant per fiscal year (April 1 to March 31)). I specifically say it is exciting for small businesses because the eligibility criteria is not complicated and is accessible to any business.

Here is the link regarding the Canada BC job Grant:
https://www.workbc.ca/Employers/Run-your-business/Canada-B-C-Job-Grant/How-to-Apply.aspx

This pdf is a checklist of eligibility:

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B1vs3_G457fBeFkxTFZLdGZVTlU/edit?sseid=MzS3NDEBAA&sslid=MzQ0sDAwN7AAAA&jobid=b41bd1ea-a171-4914-8afa-82bc2676bfd4&pli=1

Domain Renewal Scams and Search Engine Scams

cautionsignSo many of my clients have received emails like this that I feel I should warn people.

Emails like this:

Don’t miss out on this offer which includes search engine submission for “InsertYourdomainnamehere”.com for 12 months. There is no obligation to pay for this order unless you complete your payment by 3/10/2015. Our services provide submission and search engine ranking for domain owners. This offer for submission services is not required to renew your domain registration.

Failure to complete your search engine registration by 3/10/2015 may result in the cancellation of this order (making it difficult for your customers to locate you using search engines on the web).

Then they include a big colourful link to make your payment.
Normally I don’t rant but this really frosts me. This part here:

“(making it difficult for your customers to locate you using search engines on the web).”

is a big fat lie!! don’t believe it! These are not SEO companies. You can submit your own website for SEO if you want. Plus, it is free to submit your website to search engines. If you need help with SEO, hire a Company or person you know and trust.

Plus, to make it look like they are complying with the new CASL laws they add an address to make their scam look legitimate:

You have received this message because you elected to receive special notifications and offers. If you no longer wish to receive our special notices, please unsubscribe here,(No Don’t! Block the sender or flag it as junk!) or mail us a written request to the attention of: Customer Contact Manager, PO Box 4668 New York, NY 10163. Please allow up to four weeks for the complete unsubscribe process to take place. NOTE: If you have multiple accounts with us, you must opt out for each one individually in order to fully stop receiving these notifications. This message is CAN-SPAM compliant. (No it isn’t!)
Please do not reply to this email, as we are not able to respond to messages sent to this address.

This should be a big red flag. Legitimate companies allow you to reply.

Do a Google search for the address. This particular address has 5 businesses at this PO box. None of which are Tech or SEO Companies.

If you receive a notice that your domain is expiring, phone your host before handing over money. Another email scam that my clients often contact me about is domain renewal. They receive an email saying that their domain is about to expire and if they don’t pay now they will loose their domain. These emails are quite clever and it is easy to be fooled by them. This really frosts me. Not only do they get your money under false pretenses they steal the domain from your registrar and possibly even steal it from you.

So, please be very careful when renewing your domain.

EileenDreams

Artists Walk


A big thrill and milestone for me this year was to get accepted onto the White Rock Artists’ Walk for the opportunity to share my cards at the beach. Creating and giving cards has always been a passion of mine. I am especially excited to be able to share them at White Rock. Many of the cards feature photos I have taken right there at the beach with words I have added that resonate with me.

If you wander along the promenade on a sunny day stop by and say hello.