The Latest: Dating Apps – Do They Work?

This is John and I in Mexico back in March. I met him on Hinge. I love him very much. && Yes, Hinge is a dating app. Our two year anniversary is coming up this July 2017!

If you missed the latest on the vlog, see below for more on my thoughts on dating online as a millennial:

It’s taken me a lot of thought, revisions and NERVE to post this next blog/vlog -oooh girl [or boy] I’m starting a conversation about dating apps! Before I go any further, please know that I understand online dating is NOT for everyone. I actually wasn’t an advocate for it until I tried it. My goal is not to tell you that you MUST try online dating if you are single. I simply want to share a pretty cool experience around the cultural phenomenon of dating apps that completely changed my attitude towards dating in your twenties. Join me in this conversation…I want to know your thoughts and experiences!

Modern Dating With A Traditional Mindset

Let me start by this: I actually have pretty traditional views on dating and have always felt opposed to online dating apps… especially for young people. Here’s why: if you are living close to the place you grew up (like me), you probably find that you have a variety of groups of friends from either high school, college, family or work. I regularly do social things like attending networking events, going to happy hours and going out on weekends with my friends. In many ways, I consider myself a pretty stereo-typical twenty-something year old girl. I’m driven to succeed but I also want to have as much fun as possible along the way (especially B.C. – before children YIKES). I also tend to be the first one to break the ice when I find myself around a new group of people. All of these things made me think that I was not a candidate for dating online.

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bareMinerals Last Chance Sale: 4 Products Under $50

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If you know me, you probably know how big of a sucker I am for a good sale. Whether it’s the Nordstrom Anniversary sale on products for the upcoming season or a sale on “last chance” AKA clearance items, I’m always on the hunt for a deal. Last weekend, I received an email from bareMinerals about a sale they were having on all “last chance” items in their inventory.

I don’t consider myself a huge make up junkie, but I do love make up that is quality but also not harmful to your skin. I’ve been using the bareMinerals powder foundation on my face for about ten years now and it’s the only foundation I trust. I’ve tried others that offer more coverage with a more “finished” look, but they weren’t a good fit for me. With bareMinerals, I don’t have to worry about breaking out, I can sleep in it if I forget to wash my face at night and this product line simply does not irritate my skin. It also gives me a more natural, youthful look – which I love! So low and behold, when I got the email about a sale, I had to look and see if I was in luck. And that I was! I found four products for under $50 that I now truly love!

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Christy Jean Jewelry Is The Next Kendra Scott – But For A Cause

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Alright ladies (and man friends of ladies who gift them)…I’ve been working on this for the past two months and am SO excited to finally release this blog post. Most likely you’re seeing this because we’re connected on social media, therefore you probably have seen me post about a new jewelry line I’m constantly talking about: Christy Jean. The reason I’m so excited about this is because I finally found a jewelry line that not only fits my style and my needs, but I know it will fit the needs of everyone I know… whether we’re friends, coworkers, friends of friends, family, or just basically anyone. Here’s why:

A) the pieces don’t look EXACTLY like every other basic jewelry line out there // it is unique

B) despite A, it DOES follow the latest trends i.e. tassles, drusy embellished rings, earrings and necklaces, chokers and much more…

C) it’s for a cause: a portion of proceeds go to charity (list of charities here)

D) it was created by an outstanding woman from Plano who decided to follow her dream and create her own line of jewelry

E) it’s affordable – can I get a “FINALLY!!”

F) before I run out of letters in the alphabet…. it is quality jewelry as many pieces are either dipped in gold or sterling silver

Before I continue, I think it’s important to know the story behind how I met the creator and founder of the line, Jeannie Barsam and how we began our partnership. I am young in my career and am always interested in meeting new people through networking. A coworker of mine, Gernelle Nelson, started her own blog and photography business and to jump start her business and contacts, she attended a networking group in North Dallas called Dallas Women Entrepreneurs. One day she was nice enough to ask me to join her. Not sure how I could contribute to this meetup considering I didn’t have my own business, I said “yes I’ll go!” in hopes I’d figure it out! And that I did.

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6 Ways To Instantly Improve Your Website

iphone computer

What if you could control what people thought of your business before they ever got the chance to meet you face to face and shake your hand? I’ve got good news…. you can! A website is a first impression for anyone who doesn’t know you yet. Many times, people will find your website through search engines such as Google or through other people talking about you on social media. With so many tools available to build your own website, many are quick to think “this will be easy!” WordPress, Wix and Squarespace are all great places to get started with many tutorial sources available. You have a website, but does it do what you want it to do? Have you thought of a strategy for how your website will perform? Are you converting your visitors to readers? Customers? Fans? Based on experiences in different industries and different types of websites, I’ve compiled a list of six “universal” ways to instantly improve your website.

#1 – Convert Your Visitors

Whether the goal of your website is to sell a product online, inform new customers about your brand or service or simply gain a following for your blog, you want to be converting your visitors. What does converting a visitor mean? It means either they buy your product, leave their information with you so you can contact them or they can easily find how to email or call you directly from your site. There are several tools out there to help you convert visitors depending on which platform your site is on. Add an email subscription pop up to your site so whenever someone lands on your site, they are given the option to leave their contact information. Yes – these can be annoying, but you have to make it easy for people to subscribe or sign up for email reminders. Add a contact form or ask a question box on every page of the site. Include a contact button in the main menu navigation so users will find it in an obvious place. Include you NAP information in the header or nav. The idea is to make it as easy as possible for site visitors to convert.

#2 – Be User Friendly

I never stop hearing from clients about how they much love the Apple website – and I 100% agree. I may be bias since I have to have Apple everything, but do you know why the Apple website is so appealing? Simple: it’s user friendly. It’s easy to navigate and easy to find what you’re looking for. Keep your menu short with 5-7 main menu options. Make the answers to visitors questions about you or your product easy to get to with organized navigation in sub menus. Make the purchase process simple. Make it easy for the visitor to get in touch with you. Keep the content clean and organized. Leave room for white space. An easy way to test your site is to have a friend or family member spend 15-20 minutes clicking through the pages and giving their feedback on how they think the site flows.

#3 – Tell Your Story

Just because you might be in an industry or business that isn’t necessarily interesting or new doesn’t mean you can’t make it interesting and new. Use your website to tell your story. Who are you? Where did you come from? How did you get here? What are your goals? Who works for you? What’s their story? Who are your customers? What’s their story? How are you helping them? How can you help me? How are you better than your competitors? Many of these questions are meant to be answered creatively and in a way that draws a potential customer in, yearning to learn more. It’s the story of your business or blog. Add a page to your site with the story, then add a main menu option “Our Story” or “Who We Are” or “About”. You can also include it in a slider banner on your home page. People are more interested than you might think to learn about your story and what you’re all about. Talk about you, I want to know!

 

#4 – Call To Action

Does every page on your website have a call to action? This doesn’t necessarily have to be a conversion. Does it urge the visitor to do something, such as go to another page, fill out a form, call, add to cart, see what’s new, suggest another post, etc..? Your home page isn’t the only place where a call to action is important. Look at the different pages you have and see if you can find opportunities to add a clearer action item for new visitors. Tell them where to go or what to do next.

#5 –  Social Media

If you don’t have social media pages, I suggest creating some. You don’t have to get crazy with it by creating 10 different profiles. Depending on what you do, I only suggest certain platforms. Your website is a great place to connect customers and new visitors with your business social profiles. Add social media icons to the header or footer of your website. Add buttons such as “like us on Facebook” or “Pin to Pinterest” to different pages or posts. Social media is meant to be a place where you pull back the curtain of what happens behind the scenes at your business and show customers a closer picture of what you do and why. You can use this to your advantage by attracting new customers.

#6 – Add a blog feed

Adding a blog feed to a website is a great way to keep the site fresh in Google’s eyes. If a website is constantly being updated and adding new content, it’ll stay on the top of Google’s mind. But before you go blog crazy, be very cognizant of who your readers are and what they care most about. Writing sales-y articles that are constantly mentioning “come to me!” “buy me!” “I’m the best!” isn’t the best approach. Answer a common question in your category, appeal to your audience and be genuine in your topics. One place to start when trying to think of a topic? Google.

So, what kind of things make your website successful? Do you have any tips to share that could help improve a website? I’m excited to hear what other tips are out there! Please leave a comment below or contact me to start a discussion 🙂

~Mary E. Robb

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Why You Should Hire People From The Service Industry

Why you should hire

While there’s always exceptions, I find that many of the people I’ve worked with in the professional world who previously had experience in the service industry all have a skill set that helps them excel faster than others. Exposure to different scenarios and personalities combined with good ole’ basic dirty work creates a stronger and smarter work ethic. Basically, we get our sh*t handled and we do it with a smile on our face. Here’s what I learned from working in over 15 different restaurants and bars through high school and college and why I think this has helped my peers and myself advance our careers quickly:

#1 Exposure At A Young Age

Being an employee in the service industry since the age of 15, I’ve learned through experience more than what most people would expect out of a 24 year old. I’ve been managed under several different styles of leadership, I’ve worked with several different coworkers with different types of personalities, and I’ve provided a service to several types of customers. I have a soft spot for waitresses, bar tenders, hostesses, cooks, bus boys – anyone in the service industry, especially at a young age,  because you are exposed to a lot and you learn fast what kind of people exist this world. The bubble you live in is soon revealed as just that – a bubble!

#2 Hustle Hard

Have you seen the videos of that couple in the car where the boyfriend asks “Babe, what do you want to eat?” she says, “I don’t care babe, you pick!” and he says “Okay, how about Italian?” she says “ew no way, what else?” he says “okay, what about Mexican?” she says “oh my god thunder thigh city!” and he says “Okay, salad?” and she says “do you think I’m fat?!” and he says “well what do you want??” and she says “I don’t care, I’m just starving, pick something!!” If you haven’t seen the viral videos or memes about being hangry (hungry + angry), then you’re missing out. Point is, when people go out to eat, they are hungry and they want their food or drinks NOW. People in the service industry learn early on that you need to HUSTLE if you want to make money (as you work on tips) and this skill is carried over into a business setting when working with clients or bosses who want things done as soon as humanly possible. Efficiency is KEY to making a customer happy in this setting and is a very useful skill to have.

#3 We Handle It

Angry customers. Overwhelmed managers. Drunk customers. Drunk coworkers. And even sometimes, drunk managers. All of these issues arise when you work in the service industry and at some point you realize what you need to do….you just handle it. Angry customer? Quickly take charge, calm and reassure them that their concern is your top priority and find a solution. Overwhelmed managers? Do your best to not bother them with any issues you or customers are having by finding a reasonable and creative solution. Drunk customers? Call a cab and cut them off. Drunk coworkers? Avoid at all costs. Drunk managers? Start thinking about pursuing another part time job. We are problem solvers and have to get creative amid all the chaos that surround working in a restaurant or bar. Problem solving is a VERY good skill to have no matter what professional industry you end up in.

#4 Ridiculousness Isn’t As Ridiculous As It Seems

Things don’t phase service industry workers as much as workers in other industries because we’ve seen it all. It’s interesting to watch what people are like the moment they get a little liquid courage inside of them. Most people handle themselves responsibly, but some find themselves taking on an entire new persona. Arguments between couples, obnoxious orders to waitresses, demanding more alcohol from a waitress when they are way past the legal limit, fist fights, loud talking or yelling, ridiculous dancing…the list is endless. Being exposed to erratic human behavior makes it harder for us to be surprised or shocked when something is thrown our way that seems either irrational or out of left field. You want a dolphin in your pool by the morning for your daughters 8th birthday? Sure!

#5 Lessons From Doing The Dirty Work

Last but not least, I think having to do dirty, laborious work really does something to you. It makes you appreciate the type of work that doesn’t involve sweeping wings off the carpet, cleaning vomit stained toilets, taking out dirty women’s bathroom trash cans or mopping beer and vodka stained floors. I never enjoyed this kind of work and I don’t know if any sane person does, but it made me appreciate the fact that I worked my way up so that I wouldn’t have to do that for the rest of my life. You have to start somewhere.

I applaud anyone in the service industry and will always be supportive of the work that goes into remaining sane after 14 hour shifts, crazy customers and dysfunctional management. Anytime I see a resume that has experience that includes service industry work, I get excited. Do you have experience in the service industry? If so, how do you feel it’s contributed to your career? If not, what industry did you work in before you started your professional career and how did it help you? I’m curious to know because I am sure there are other experiences out there that are very helpful. Please leave any comments or feedback below! ~XXXO

 

 

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5 Things To Do In Dallas On Saturday Morning

dallas saturday morning

I know what you might be thinking. Saturday mornings??? This is sleep in time…

Studies show if you wake up on the weekends around the same time you do during the work week, you won’t feel as tired when Monday/the rest of the week comes along. I’m still testing this theory because I am a BIG sleeper. I could sleep all day if I could. But – I know how it feels when you sleep too long (normally 10 hours or more) and it really does ruin the day when your sleep tank is too full.

With a full work week taking up a lot of time and energy, you owe yourself some “me” time. Do something all alone, something new and something that might bring you out of your comfort zone. You’ll be surprised as to what is in store 🙂

There are some really fun things you can do on Saturday mornings to get your day started, and perhaps not feel as guilty once brunch time rolls around.

| 1. Yoga At Klyde Warren Park |

Every Saturday at 10AM, enjoy a FREE yoga class at Klyde Warren Park, hosted by the Dallas Yoga Center. Wake up and start the day feeling centered, stretched and positive. Chicken and waffles at brunch? You got this! You already completed a work out today.

| 2. Dance It Off |

At Lifetime Premier Club, join top fitness instructor Bobbi W. as she leads over 100 students in a dance jam sesh – guys AND girls! Rumor is, a famous Dallas billionaire makes some appearances at this class, you may want to try it. Just don’t try and pitch your latest business venture, he’s not in business mode here.

| 3. Feel The Breeze At White Rock Lake |

White Rock Lake is gorgeous in the mornings. You can watch sail boats or rowing teams drift across the lake as the sun slowly moves towards it’s peak for the day. The dog park is huge and has a separate section connected to the lake. The trail is over 8 miles long leaving you plenty of room to bike or jog along with other Dallasites ready to start their weekend right.

| 4. People Watching At Katy Trail |

If you’re feeling extra Dallas-y this morning, you can head over to the Katy Trail and see what Dallas looks like up close and personal. You’ll see a somewhat diverse crowd, all in some way shape or form dedicated to that Saturday morning work out or walk of shame. Sometimes it’s hard to tell, but on your way down you can stop at Katy Ice House for breakfast or beer.

| 5. Knox & Henderson |

If you’re not into fitness and just trying to get your brunch on, I love eating at Toulouse Café & Bar. You almost feel like you’re not in Texas anymore. Here’s their morning spread. Once you’re done, you can walk around and explore the different stores. Some of my faves include:

Betty Lou: great for cute gifts for any occasion, lots of books, cards, mugs, cups & knick knacks

Apple: I don’t need to explain

Z Gallerie: if anyone wants to give me a $20,000 gift card here, I won’t be mad 🙂

As I spend more time in Dallas, I plan to continue to explore and find new fun places to share. What’s your favorite thing to do Saturday morning? Have you tried waking up around the same time you normally do for work? Push yourself to try this next weekend with a plan to do something new and fun. I promise you won’t regret it!

XXXO ~Mary

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7 Interview Questions You Should Be Prepared To Answer

7 Interview Questions (1)

For many people, the hardest part of the job hunt process is the actual interview itself. You wake up early in the morning with butterflies in your stomach, having not much of an appetite, and anxious over the fact that someone today is going to be directly judging your character, your appearance and your intelligence. You carve out extra time in your routine to get ready, making sure your zippers zip, buttons are all there and no bra straps are showing (sorry boys – it’s true).

Lucky for you, if you are reading this, you’ll learn that I’m one of the rare people who doesn’t get all worked up over an interview… anymore. How is that lucky for you? Because what you might not know is that I haven’t always felt this way. It was a learned skill through trial and error where I found what works and what doesn’t. After attending over FIFTY interviews (really) and having over 20 jobs (will explain this in a later post), I’ve found the most challenging but important questions to prepare for before going to an interview. As long as you’ve prepared, researched and done your due diligence, you should be able to show up feeling confident yet calm. Being present and yourself is what will make you stand out.

I’ve gathered 7 interview questions that will help you in more ways than one: they will help you sound educated in what you do, be prepared for the interview and appear confident in yourself. While I haven’t listed these questions in any particular order, they are questions that you should be able to answer confidently, no matter what industry you are in or what job title you’re striving for.

Question 1: Tell Me About Yourself

I once was in charge of recruiting interns and account executives at a previous job. Part of that process was screening candidates before bringing them into the office for interviews with other members of staff and management. One of the first questions I always ask is the simple “tell me about yourself”. This is a question I used to struggle with because it’s so open ended and can lead down several different roads. One time, I asked a candidate this question, and they quickly answered nervously “I graduate in 2015, I really like macaroni and cheese and I really enjoy school”. This is a judgement free zone and I’m sure this person is happily employed at this point in their life, but I couldn’t help but go back to moments in my several interviews where I thought “why did I say that??” This question is one you must – and I mean MUST – prepare for ahead of time. This is your 60 second elevator pitch to sell your potential future employer why you are the best fit for the role. Don’t know how to construct a good elevator pitch? Follow this link for some tips, this one is good too. In 60 seconds or less, you should be able to articulate where you’ve been, where you want to go, and why you want to be here.

Question 2: What Do You Know About Us/Me And Why Do You Want To Work Here?

This is where you show off your research abilities. This is called doing your due diligence. Tell them how long the company has been around, who founded it, who their customers are, what their mission is and if it aligns with your beliefs, what their strategy is, how many locations they have and where, what problem their product or service solves etc… Secondly – this is a chance for you to explain why you want to work for them. Before showing up for the interview, you might want to take the time to look into further detail what the company is all about and if it truly is somewhere you’d like to spend 40+ hours a week, every week, for however long you plan to be there. I’ve made the mistake of NOT doing enough research before accepting a job, and let me tell you, it’s a mistake I won’t make again.

Question 3: How Does Your Prior Experience Relate To This Role?

Another question you might want to think about before showing up for your interview is how what you’re doing now or in the past aligns with what you will be doing at the position you’re applying for. It might sound pretty straight forward, but many job roles are similar yet different. Make a list of the skills you have and pick the top 3 that would be the most beneficial in your new role. Then spend about 1-2 minutes per skill elaborating on what that skill is and why it’s important.

Question 4: What Is Your 5 Year Plan?

Whether you have a real plan or not, you might want to start developing one before interviewing. This question tells the interviewer whether or not you are able to set and strive to achieve goals. Come up with a plan of the different roles you’d like to be within the company, and how you’d reach your goal at the end. Do you want to be in management? Do you want to manage more or larger accounts/clients/customers/patients? Do you want to own your own business one day? All of these things are important to think about and great to share with your interviewer.

Question 5: Why Are You Thinking About Leaving The Company You Are At?

This is my least favorite question because I’m not sure there’s really a “right” answer. Every answer I’ve ever come up with, whether it be I would like to make more money, or I’ve reached the ceiling, or I would like to have more responsibilities, or my beliefs don’t align with the companies – these all have bad repercussions that lead to “well why haven’t you expressed this with your company and found a solution?” Another issue this question brings up is that our generation is known to have a commitment issue across all facets of our lives – we aren’t good at staying in one place. This is one you will want think about and prepare for. Once you come up with an answer, I suggest reaching out to 3 or 4 of your most trusted peers – family, friend, mentor, previous boss, etc.. and see if they think your answer is genuine and understandable. Have them challenge you with follow up questions so you are prepared for questions from the interviewer once you explain your position.

Question 6: What Are Your Weaknesses?

This is my second most hated question and I’ve gotten to the point where [if for some unthinkable reason] I interview for another job again, I would decline the offer because this question is so stupid!!! …I mean helpful 🙂 But it happens, and it has happened… and it will continue to happen. The most annoying and overused answers include (and I quote):

  • I work too hard
  • I’m a perfectionist
  • I’m very type A

And to be honest, who can argue with that. While deep inside I roll my eyes at these answers, I use them because business owners want employees that go above and beyond, are genuinely willing to work more than the typical “8-5” and go the extra mile. So I’d suggest picking something along those lines so long as they apply to you, annoying as they may be 😉

Question 7: Tell Me About A Time When You Solved A Problem.

I love this question because I enjoy solving problems and do this quite often, but when you are on the spot and someone asks, you can’t say “well, at McDonald’s this morning there was a problem. You see, I couldn’t get there fast enough, so I ran five red lights, cut off an elderly person and boom- problem solved-hunger vanished.”

Joking aside, think about some of you best accomplishments and perhaps what problems or hurdles you faced on your way to achieving these accomplishments. Turning an unhappy client into a happy client, building a relationship with a coworker that’s hard to get along with just to get the job done or taking on extra work or projects to keep the business running or clients happy are good examples. Managers and business owners like employees who are self-ran – meaning you can handle it and don’t need help solving every single problem that comes your way.

What questions do you think are important to know how to answer during an interview? Have you ever been completely at a loss for words when asked something? I want to know what you might have struggled with and talk about how to get over these challenges. Leave a comment below or reach out @ hello@maryerobb.com <3

PS – I wrote this post because my best friend asked me to talk about it. Please, tell me things you want to hear more about, I’m open to writing about almost anything, so long as it falls under a topic I cover: career, marketing or lifestyle.

7 Interview Questions

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5 Social Media Post Ideas For Local Businesses

social media posts for small businesses

 

Establishing an online presence starts with two things: a solid website and a solid social media following. Whether you are a small business, a one person shop or simply striving to promote your blog, having a social media presence is essential to your online success.

How do you get there? Share things people want to see and care about. Share things that people will want to share with their own friends or followers. Share your story. Follow my five tips for posting on social media channels and watch your engagement increase drastically!

| 1. Social Media Posting: Rule Of Thirds |

When thinking of different ideas and topics for your social media channels, keep this simple trick in mind: the rule of thirds. Your posting strategy should consist of the following: 1/3 selling, 1/3 educating and 1/3 sharing.

Selling – this means explaining what you or your product/service does. You can share photos of what you do or share the latest “special” or “promotion” for your products. Social media is an easy and FREE outlet for promoting yourself, but beware – only using your social media sites to sell will lose engagement and could even turn off your followers.

Educating – this means sharing blog posts you’ve written or really great articles that discuss the product or service you offer. Educating your following about what you do is different than selling. For example, if you sell an antioxidant drink that does amazing things for your body, you would share an educational article that explains what antioxidants are and why they’re beneficial.

Sharing – I typically see the most engagement in these kinds of posts. This is sharing a funny meme, a viral article, a local news article or event in your city, photos of your customers, photos of you, celebrations, etc.. The idea is establishing an interpersonal connection with your followers while also being a community expert. It’s about sharing things that most people can relate to or have an interest in.

*Note – it is never a good idea to share political or religious views unless you are 150% open to subjecting both you and your company to other people’s views as well. Either way, I advise against it.

| 2. Share Links To Your Website |

Social media profiles are great opportunities to drive more traffic to your website or blog. I get the most site views whenever I share links back to my blog. For many of my clients, I see the same results. Facebook or Instagram are especially great for sharing blog posts or pages on your site, linking your followers to your website. You should have a website before you have a social media page, but the two work together and I recommend you have both – you won’t be as successful with just one over the other.

| 3. Share Video |

When you scroll through your Facebook or Instagram feed, what are you noticing the most? Videos are becoming more and more popular. Facebook’s recent update allows for videos to play in your news feed without the need to hit “play”. A quick 15-20 second demo of your product or a 30 second intro of yourself can draw hundreds to thousands of views. Sharing video generates the most viewers and is the fastest way to get your message across. Simply upload your video to YouTube and share the link across all profiles, such as Facebook and Instagram.

| 4. Share Photos |

Just like videos, photos are also very important. While you are able to make a status update on Facebook or Twitter with no photo, I advise against it simply because it won’t get as many views as a photo would. Social media users want to see things faster than they can read them. If you have a photo that is intriguing, it’ll lead to them reading what you want them to know.

| 5. Share Local Events Or News |

This is a good strategy if you need more engagement. Typically, if I see a social profile struggling to get views, I’ll start sharing popular news stories or viral articles to get back into the algorithm of the newsfeed of the page’s followers. This will quickly generate more viewers and allow other posts back into their feed. As you may or may not know, you don’t see every single post of every person you friend or follow. You only see posts of the pages or people you interact with the most. So this simple trick is to help get you back on the mind of your followers.

I hope you found something here you haven’t heard of before or at least feel refreshed on the things you already know. If you have any questions or comments about the best social media strategies to generate engagement, please feel free to comment below or email me at hello@maryerobb.com <3

social media tips for small businesses
5 tips to get your social media up to par.
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April $100 Splurge: Spring Shades Via Nordstrom

Nordstrom in under $100.
Nordstrom in under $100.

 

April Splurge: Under $100 Deals & Steals

I know this might not seem like a true deal or steal, but I promise I have an explanation for this. Just hold tight. This month I’m sharing my first discovery under the “Deals & Steals” category where I will share thoughts on what I think is worth a little splurgey-splurge! Every month, I put aside a handful of bonus cash – approximately $100 – to spend on whatever I please. Whether it be an experience or tangible item, I’ll share what my splurge is and why I think it’s worth the extra cash.

This month, I found my way to the Nordstrom.com make up aisle after spending way too many hours engulfed in make up tutorials by the wonderful make up blogger, Jaclyn Hill. After spending a little over $100 on new make up products I’d been wanting to try, I returned several items I didn’t need and held on to the ones that worked for my skin [and let’s be real – items that fit my budget].

I think it’s always a win if you can leave Nordstrom [or Nordstrom.com] without spending $100, so if you’re looking to incorporate a little spring pop of color into your normal make up routine or just feel like treating yourself, I suggest checking out these products that really make you feel pretty and renewed for spring.

*Disclaimer: I use drug store make up, including mascara, eye liner and lip gloss and have never been into throwing hard earned money at expensive name brand make up, but these brands are worth the spend in my book. The quality, wear and lasting effects are very apparent.

Bobby Brown Lip Color in Bare Pink – $24.30

This lip color is a daytime natural, bare pink hue that essentially goes with anything. I wear this to work on the days I have time to get ready in the mornings, and I feel like a real lady boss when I’m rocking this color. It completes my day to day look without overdoing it. I feel confident, complete and ready to take on the day with this color!

Bobby Brown Lip Pencil in Pale Pink – $20.70

Lining the lips after putting on lipstick is a trick first established by Bobby Brown. Lining the lips really solidifies and defines that beautiful pout that women are able to highlight.

Anastasia Brow Wiz in Medium Brown – $18.90

It wasn’t until my late college years/post-grad when I discovered all the wonderful things you can do with your eye brows. A late eyebrow bloomer, I used to apply powder that matched my eyebrow color (laughing is allowed). If you haven’t already heard by now, the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz is pretty incredible because you can draw and fill in your eyebrow while blending it in to avoid any harsh lines that make the eye brow fill look unnatural. A defined eye brow changes a face. It’s scary how different I look with and without this little step.

Total Cost = $63.90 before tax

So, you still have $36.10 left to spend on something else like a cute top or pair of shorts. Let me know if you think this is worth the splurge in the comments below! XXXO~

Nordstrom in under $100
Nordstrom in under $100
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Burnt Out By Breakfast: How To Stay Motivated In A Growing Career

When the sun rose this morning, I was feeling a bit less like myself. The week has been a busy one to say the least. Although I’d slept a good 7-8 hours, I felt mentally, emotionally and physically drained. I snoozed my alarm five times and woke up feeling tired, dull and unmotivated. I cooked breakfast slowly, somehow managing to burn the eggs as I waited until the last minute to get in my car to drive in rush hour traffic down 75 to the office. I was burnt out by breakfast.

Some might see this as a millenial/generational issue or simple laziness, but days like these are upsetting to me- not because of the feelings I get in these moments, but because of how awful I feel for allowing myself to feel unmotivated. But something I need to work on is understanding one thing: and that is that I’m human. I can’t wake up every single day feeling full of energy, inspired, creative and ready to take the bull by the horns. While I’m still accepting this truth, I will continue to pull my butt out of bed and put my game face on and try to remember that it’s okay to not always be and feel 150%.

As I reflect on my day, my week and my perspective, I start to think. Are things really that rough? No. Are things rough in comparison to the things I’ve been through thus far? Not really. Did I decide that I wanted to grow in my career at a fast pace? Yes. Can I help that I care so much about my career and being someone someday? No, I was born with this feeling inside. I can’t help that I care so much. I can’t settle for being average, for riding the wave or for being stagnant. I constantly want to be moving forward, one step ahead, always “on” yet somehow always dreaming. It’s a blessing more than a curse, and to get through this burnt out feeling I get when I have crazy busy weeks, I like to over indulge in things that make me feel like I’m right where I need to be. Motivation for me starts with five simple things:

  1. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: this book is one I’m still reading, but there are some really powerful insights into what I may be doing wrong, how I could change my perspective and how the most successful people think. The book is very empowering and motivating, and it makes me feel more educated every time I put it down. It addresses issues in every facet of life – not just career, but also relationships and family. I love this book and will read it over and over until hopefully one day I can be a living example of the philosophies in this book.
  2. Super Soul Sunday: my mom got me hooked on Oprah at a very young age. I wasn’t quick to latch onto her new network, but there are now two shows I LOVE watching: Undercover Boss and Super Soul Sunday. I watch this show in the mornings as I get ready for work, it’s such a great way to start the day on a positive note. On SSS, Oprah interviews some of the top entrepreneurs, writers, and philosophers in the world. She’s had the owner of Whole Foods, the author of “Wild” which later turned into a hit film with Reese Witherspoon, the CEO of Starbucks, the author of Eat, Pray, Love just to name a few. I recently was impacted by something the CEO of Starbucks said in his interview. He talked about the importance of vulnerability in leadership. Basically it’s not always about being right or being perfect, but allowing yourself to be vulnerable. I could write a book about how much I love this show, and it’s not just for the ladies. If you want to learn something from someone who’s figured it out, I suggest recording this series and watching it.
  3. Networking Groups: every time I get together with a group of career-minded people outside of work to talk about the work we do, I always leave feeling refreshed, motivated and full of new ideas. It makes me feel as though I’m not just bettering myself, but also creating ideas in which I’ll contribute to the company I work for. Attending these groups and learning from the members in these groups is such a positive thing for anyone’s career. I highly recommend that everyone, no matter what industry, joins a professional group or two.
  4. Good Friends & A Glass Of Wine: one thing I’ll never be bad at is relaxing while spending time with friends and a glass of the good stuff. Sometimes when things get rough, a simple glass of wine and a long time friend to converse with is all I need to get my mind off the troubles of the day or week.
  5. Pray About It: this should be first, but I’m tired and not ordering things properly tonight. I pray for the happiness of others. I pray for my family. I pray for my friends. I pray for every person I work with. I pray for my clients. And I thank God for all the good things in my life. The last thing I pray for is the strength, the guidance and the knowledge to get through the daily problems I will face. A simple “thank you/help me Jesus” never fails me.

If I want to accomplish anything, it would be to share my small struggles in hopes to help you with whatever struggles you might be going through. Maybe you’re my age, trying to make your way in this world, trying to find yourself or just trying to find what makes you happy. I hope my writing and my stories encourage and inspire you. Please share with me in comments below how you find motivation in your day to day life, I want to hear from you!

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