Thursday, July 17, 2014

TrunkClub for Women: The Best 3 Options in 2014

As a young professional, it is a big challenge to transition a college closet to a legitimate business woman's wardrobe. But there are a few services out there making it easier, cheaper, and faster for us each to develop a personal style that is both on-trend and tailored.

Thanks to the the internet, great options are popping up for anyone willing to spend between $20 - $50 per month! Trunk Club is an excellent free "try before you buy" service for men, but the netflix of clothing for women or rent the runway for regular clothes is definitely out there. Here are the best two options!

I also have a few money saving LeTote promo codes, Stitch Fix promo codes, and Gwynnie Bee promo codes that I will be sharing as the months go by, and plenty of great tips to share!

LeTote - $19/mo - $49.95/mo, unlimited boxes per month

 Save $10 on your first month through the link! Use coupon code LETOTESTYLE31

LeTote literally makes your Pinterest dreams come true! "Heart" items in their store room, and they do their best to send them to you in an outfit format sized just for you. The price of $49.95 per month gets you 5 high-end designer clothing items per box with an unlimited boxes monthly subscription. With LeTote, it's 100% guilt free- you're actually encouraged to wear the clothes, and they do all the washing for you. There is also an option to buy what you love most. They have a $19/month jewelry option as well. One other thing I love about it is that when it's on it's way, you can get a sneak peek at what you're getting online in a personalized online store.

Stitch Fix - $25/box, price can be applied to purchase

$20 credit toward your first purchase, 25% off purchasing the whole box!

Complete a style survey and dish about your style woes, because whatever it is- Stitch Fix is here to solve it. Your $20 "stylist fee" gets applied to your order if you choose to buy, and that's it! I love Stitch Fix if there's something missing in your wardrobe or you want to be styled for a special occasion. And yes, they refer to your Pinterest board when piecing together your style options... glory glory alleluia!

I wish you success on your personal style journey. Enjoy the experience! If you find any others or have tried one of the above please let me know!

Gwynnie Bee - (sizes 10+)  $35/mo - $150/mo, unlimited boxes per month

Free 30 day trial through the link!

Ok, so I just got Gwynnie Bee for my mom, who is transitioning back into the workplace, and her old workplace wardrobe has unfortunately become a little dated. I happen to know her shirt size and that's really all I had to fill out. Actually, Gwynnie Bee is what set me on this road to finding a great styling service, not Trunk Club.

I hope this post has served you and I look forward to sharing more about my experiences with these companies. Please, if you hear about any others or have tried one of the above, comment below with your insight!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Gwynnie Bee for smaller sizes: The 3 best alternatives!

Love Gwynnie Bee's concept for "netflix for clothing" or "rent the runway for casual clothes"... but are smaller than size a 10? Here are the best options for smaller sized and regular sized women like you and I.

I recently saw a great ad for a new company that is basically netflix for women's clothes. What an awesome concept! I was so interested and ready to sign up but unfortunately, my size is too small- Gwynnie Bee is only for sizes 10+. So I found a couple of Gwynnie Bee alternatives for us smaller sized ladies. Here's what I've found so far. Happy to share with the world!

LeTote

Necklace and top from Le Tote!
I personally think LeTote is amazing and is a closer equivalent to Gwynnie Bee than anything else out there. I wish I had found it sooner... unlimited boxes per month, each containing 5 high end clothing items that you are encouraged to wear, they do the cleaning. I love their beautifully done website. Plus, they have a cheaper $19/month jewelry option as well which I love.

I received my first LeTote box recently and am totally in love. I got a few basic seeming pieces but when I went to work I got more compliments on my style than I ever have before. There is something about higher end items that is a subtle indicator of truly great style. The feeling is so worth it!




Stitch Fix

My "style fix" from Stitch Fix!
Stitch Fix - this one is great for that personal touch- You pay $20 for a "styling fee" which can then be applied to your order, but you're generally dissuaded from actually wearing items as rentals. I got lots of great stuff in the box and tried them all on, but only chose one to keep. I felt like a million bucks in this great blazer (see pic to the left) and kept it at $78- definitely a splurge for me. 

I really think Stitch Fix and LeTote are two great alternatives.

PS: Don't you love it? These websites are actually asking for our Pinterest pages to influence what they send us. Finally my hours of pinning chic women's business wear on my pinterest women's office outfits page is paying off!

Or... mix your own

If you already have a sense of your personal style, why not mix your own creative cocktail of box subscriptions to amplify your good taste?  I recommend Birch Box as a fun and inexpensive way to enter the subscription scene and try some new things skincare/beauty wise.

As a young professional I'm looking to stay trendy and build my wardrobe without breaking the bank. These options (alone or combined) seem like a great way.

Friday, December 27, 2013

GaryVee smiled at me! A rhyme and a call to discussion.



I'm newly active on Twitter and got a kick today realizing how easy it is to connect with thinkers you admire there. I thought I'd share this screenshot for posterity.

It's true- I'm reading through Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World and am looking forward to sharing insights gained here in my public journal.

LinkedIn isn't safe from my public requests for their input- I'm looking forward to getting into as many discussions about this as possible. I'm happy to discuss it here too- and drag any useful quotes from LinkedIn onto this forum as well.

Talk soon!





Friday, May 31, 2013

WeLikeEtsy.com will RUIN your Etsy business: 5 Reasons

When I first heard about WelikeEtsy.com, an online service which is raking it in from selling "ad space" to Etsy sellers, my e-marketer alarm bells went off like never before. This is how NOT to promote your Etsy shop in the most classic sense. I knew it was time to write this important call to arms against this and other Facebook like sellers who are taking advantage of small business owners- and leaving destruction in their wake.

For $5, these people are preying on well-intentioned Etsy sellers to involve themselves in a Facebook "likes" pyramid scheme.

If it's already too late and you've already done it, take heart. I mean, they made it just *too* easy didn't they? Lots and lots of writing and one big, easy buy now button with the promise that it's $5 "for life".  Before you read on, I need you to know that this post isn't against you, it's against them and their practices. Don't let my post get you down... Read #5 for some good next steps and further reading.

Friends, for your own good please avoid this or any other seller of fake social proof - for the good of your own business.

Here are 5 reasons why buying Facebook likes from WelikeEtsy.com or any other online seller is bound to RUIN your Etsy business.

1. A Zombie Like's Favorite Meal: Your Credibility and Business Ethics

Because they were purchased, these likes mean nothing at all for you and your Etsy business, because they don't represent people that truly value anything you have to sell. Your Facebook page gives you a unique opportunity to engage with people who feel strongly about you as an artist and the beautiful pieces that you sell. 

But by buying likes, you are essentially saying that this fan engagement means nothing to you.

The "slippery slope" theory is bad logic, I learned that in philosophy class. But I will say this: buying likes is very tempting, and once you've done it, you might find yourself addicted. This is what they call "selling out".

How would someone who really cares feel being surrounded by zombies who never "like" any of your posts, never write a comment? Pretty uncomfortable. And they'll catch on quick and may even turn away, realizing that you would have just as soon bought their like as earned it.


2.  You'll Paralyze Your Facebook Page and Placement in Search

The Likes will clog your Facebook page analytics, paralyzing your ability to tell how you're *really* doing.

With so many likes doing nothing on your page, you won't be able to tell how well your posts are performing, what's working and what isn't with your audience. Your data will be irreparably skewed.

If your intentions in buying these likes are really to improve your page's performance, consider that doing so will destroy the performance metrics that will actually make a difference for your long AND short-term business strategy.

Swapping links on link ladders and "boosting" your prominence online with these questionable practices creates a facade that the folks at Google work hard everyday to break through. Google wants their search results to reflect pages that earn real social proof.

Need more convincing? Look how many times Google has changed their algorithm to fight things like Welikeetsy.com and other sellers of zombie likes and links. Check out: Google algorithm changes effecting placement on search results by Moz.com 

3. You'll Ruin Facebook for All of Us

Eventually, these likes sellers could destroy the benefits of business pages on Facebook for all of us.

Think about it. Now that you know likes are so easy and cheap to buy, (one site allows people to purchase 500 likes for $16, or spend $40 on 3,000 likes) doesn't that make you question the integrity of a lot of different pages? 

So, doesn't that make you question...

That one Etsy seller from your group who makes cheap looking jewelry and has tons of likes but no sales? Or how about the annoying one who acts like a know-it all just because they have 4,000 likes, but doesn't have any true business education or good items at all?

By inflating their Facebook likes, these people make themselves look bigger than they are- and take away the honesty of social media. This honesty or "social proof" is what makes social media valuable for small businesses. 

Websites like WeLikeEtsy.com shouldn't just be chastised- they should be shut down for their tactics. Which brings me to #4...

4. It's Probably Illegal

This has the stench of a pyramid scheme- but at the very least it's Bad business. That's right- bad with a capital "B".

A pyramid scheme is a business model that has many people at the bottom paying money expecting results, but the ones who join early on are the ones that benefit most, and the people who created it are the ones getting any real income- because of the way they've fooled the ones at the bottom.

Things like this are actually quite common in the internet marketing world, the internet is still like the "wild wild west" of business marketing. There is even a name for marketing tactics like these, tactics that are done done to fool people or skew information, called "black hat marketing".

5. It's Hard to Repair the Damage... 

(But you should try.)

If you're already involved with this company, and you've read the above, I really hope that you see that it was a mistake that can only serve to hurt you and everyone else using Facebook for small businesses. 

Follow these 3 steps to begin to repair the damage and be empowered by an excellent business decision that will set the tone for the rest of your career as an independent professional.

Step 1:
Take a moment to e-mail them and ask for your ad to be removed and your money to be refunded. Here's their e-mail address: support@WeLikeEtsy.com If you try and they give you some cookie cutter response, send it my way. I'm curious.

Step 2: 
Share how you feel about this business with your Facebook fans, old and new. Come clean, and let them know that you fell victim to this scheme. Your newest fans will hopefully see and they may follow suit by cutting ties with them. Your old fans will be grateful that you care that they are real.

Step 3:
Increase your awareness of this and other companies who are decaying the value of social media through their black hat marketing tactics, and stay away!!!! And call it when you see it! 

Key Takeaways:
There really is no replacement for "white-hat" marketing that will get you real, earned likes. Sure, it involves more time- you can't just buy it. So keep on learning and growing and reading good articles that will help you learn how to market yourself effectively. 

For a great blog post that offers some more info on this topic and great alternatives to buying facebook likes, check this out: Should You Buy Facebook Likes? by Jon Loomer.

That's all for now, thank you for reading my little manifesto ;) 

If you like what you read and want more Etsy watch-doggery and marketing ideas coming to your inbox, subscribing by email is easy, right under my picture at the top of the page.

Never stop Learning, Growing, and Reaching.

~Laura

Thursday, May 23, 2013

How to Post a Clean Looking Link on a Linkedin Group Page

So, I'm having a case of e-marketer envy.

There several of my competitors on industry group pages on Linkedin that have seemed to discover a very clean and beautiful way of posting blog links.

While normally, a link is buried under a group post header and isn't accessible in one click unless you show a "preview", this one is sitting pretty on on the feed.

I really need to learn how to do this!

Here is what theirs look like:

I'm posting this as a call to anyone who can teach me the way! PS it's not just hubspot shortlinks that look this way.

Never stop Learning, Growing and Reaching
~Laura

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Wait And See

When people question your path, just shake your head, fold your arms and say "wait and see". The fact is, some people live their lives with no vision, while others use strategy. The risk-takers open themselves to opportunity. The leaders are few. You know who you are. I can't wait to meet more of you.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

That Awkward Moment when...

That awkward moment when buyers in Brookyn and Boston actually purchase moss from the trees in the back of your Montana backyard... and they want expedited shipping. My friends, I can sell anything.

Thank you Etsy.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Beauty of the Non-Sell (marketing prose)

If I am calling you to book your services, don't give me a hard sell.

Ask me questions to see how you can tailor your offering to my needs. 

Sheesh. #sales101 #wontbuyit

Don't sell me.

Don't "enchant" me or "fascinate" me.

Just be. Let the product exist, give me the info, inject who YOU are, and don't self-sabotage. 

This is the internet. I'll find you if our vibrations ever align.

That's the beauty of the non-sell.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Get him to propose! 5 tips

My engagement ring
As you've probably gathered from the tone and content of this blog, I'm a type A, go-get-em kind of lady. So naturally, one of the greatest challenges of my life was waiting 2 years for my man to propose to me, when it felt so right from the very beginning.

So, good news! Almost one year ago today he finally proposed. Need proof? Here's the video: Surprise Mountain Proposal *hint* ladies, always look your best... hiking or not, tame the 'fro. OOPS!

Without further ado, here are my 5 tips for how to land the guy of your dreams! Good luck!!

TIP #1: Give the wedding talk a rest, and LIVE YOUR LIFE.

A girl who is always staying at home, bugging a guy and giving not so subtle hints- is a BORING girl WITH NO LIFE. Have fun, go out with your girlfriends, get dolled up- keep your network strong.

Check out this book by one of my favorite advice gurus, Marie Forleo: Make Every Man Want You By Forleo, Marie (Google Affiliate Ad) Her book "How To Make Every Man Want You" goes right to the heart of some of what I'm saying here!

You need to take care of yourself, physically, spiritually, and psychologically. To have a healthy relationship, and a healthy marriage someday, you need to reduce your reliance on this man to make you feel whole and happy. That's too much pressure to put on anyone, so practice NOW. Commit yourself to developing yourself into the best person you can be, because that's the partner that your man deserves, right??

Feeling fairly in control of my future is part of my psychological health, so I went ahead and cooked the Engagement Chicken. It's a superstitious recipe, that gives you back that psychological edge. Yes we women are crazy, aren't we. But hey, give it a try! Cook the magical "Engagement Chicken"

 And guess what- those hints are doing you more harm than good! Read on...
 
Engagement Photo by Youa Photography
TIP #2: Let him surprise you!

I had one big serious talk with him, asking WHEN back in January- little did I know he already had the ring, and that my asking would just serve to delay his proposal. It would be another 4 months until I saw the ring!

Later, when he told me about the way he delayed it, I nearly went crazy. All that waiting, but it made a lot of sense. He wanted it to be a surprise and for me to stop thinking it was because I asked for it! 

LET HIM BE A MAN. LET IT BE HIS CHOICE. Otherwise, you might as well do a full role reversal and go for the proposal yourself, but beware- most men don't appreciate being emasculated at such a traditionally male ritual/experience.

TIP #3: Dating rules still apply!

Remember when you were trying to land him as your boyfriend? The key was to always look put together, have a positive outlook, SMILE, be busy some of the time but not all of the time... these are universal laws that still stand, and must be upheld to land him as your husband, too!

 
Engagement Photo by Youa Vang
TIP #4: Be realistic

This seems obvious, but know where you stand in your relationship!  This means without asking about marriage. If he mentions marriage, great! Don't let Tip #1 turn you off from wedding talk when he initiates it.

Honestly girls, if you need to ask where the relationship is headed- then that's a bad sign. However, some men aren't big talkers so you will need to pay more attention to his actions. Tip #5 will help with that, so keep reading.

TIP #5: Know his intentions

When he makes plans, he includes you, but doesn't force you. If he truly cares for you, he may not always talk in absolutes- he wants to know you're in for the ride by choice.

Personal example: When my man told me he wanted to move out West to go to graduate school- he didn't say "and you're coming with me!" He simply said, "I would love it if you came too... But I know it's a big choice."

It was an invitation, giving  me a way out so that he could know for sure that I was the girl for him. Not a test really, but a turning point! Think back on turning points in your life together and consider how he's dealt with your relationship when those changes happened.


That's all for now!
 Something that you think should be added to this list?
Questions? 
Leave me a comment!! :)

Make sure to add your name so I know you're not a robot ;)


GOOD LUCK! BIG HUGS! ~Laura

Monday, April 23, 2012

Peter Rosten is the man!

Essay # 5
by Laura Simpson

Film and TV Production with Peter Rosten and Jeremy Sauter
This seminar focused on production for Film and TV and was by far the most engaging and interactive of our classes thus far.  I expected to learn about experiences that these professionals had but they were very humble for the most part, and threw away those expectations right away. As some other professionals have told us, “what worked for me in the 70’s isn’t going to work for you today.” So, instead of going deeply into their personal stories, these two tried to get us involved and thinking about the actual creative process used to create and market a film.

 Peter Rosten

I really liked Peter Rolsten, he has 30 years of experience in the entertainment industry and has produced 8 films ... He is now retired but continues to give back through forming and running The MAPS Media Institute where he gives young students experience-based learning to help them succeed in the entertainment industry.

"In 1985, Peter Rosten came to Montana for what he thought was just a vacation; little did he know that this visit would leave a permanent impression.

Today Peter and his wife, Susan (she’s a fourth generation Montanan) live in Darby. Her four children, and now Peter’s as well, are grown. Two attend MSU in Bozeman, one lives and works in Great Falls and their oldest is married and living in New York City.

Best known as the President and Founder of MAPS: Media Arts in the Public Schools (www.mediarts.org), Peter created it in 2003. The program is now in five Montana locations (Corvallis, Missoula, Bozeman, Red Lodge and Wolf Point) and has received local, state and national recognition.

Recently honored with the 2008 "Award of Excellence in Education" from the San Francisco based, Society of New Communications Research, the program has evolved into a profitable business run by high school students. "We currently have TV spots running in 38 states and the Center for Disease Control is broadcasting our tobacco-prevention PSA’s nationwide," says Peter. "Our clients pay us, we pay the kids in stipends and scholarships - it’s the real world."

-Taken from desription on the University of Montana Entertainment Managment Program page.
Me, The Student
I learned so much from Rosten. He gave me several great rules of thumb, that I’ll list below. All these things will be incredible bits of wisdom that I think will help me in the future. I have no criticism of how Rosten found his path in life, although I will have a different path, he seems happy and that’s what matters.

  • Study the history of the business, this will help you build rapport and bond
  • Hollywood doesn’t know anything, so show them something
  • If the word “no” tends to crush you, you’ll never make it
  • Just one “yes” can change your life.
  • Everyone will describe themselves as “smart”, “ambitious”, or “creative”, so how do you stand out?
  • Be HARDWORKING.
  • Buzzwords that smell like money: Fresh, Edgy, Committed, Passionate
  • Without integrity, on your bad day, no one will stand up for you
  • How do you make luck? HARD WORK. Create opportunity.
  • No one “knows” anything, you either like things or you don’t.
  • Being from Montana is something worth telling people. They think you’re hardworking.

Article, “How Pixar Fosters Collective Creativity”: How I will create an environment to allow communication.

I imagine that I am in a film company just like Pixar and I am managing a group that needs to generate ideas for a film within 20 minutes (we did something like this in class).

  • Make sure I have excellent talent on my team
  • Create small incubation teams to help refine ideas
  • Emphasize that creative vision is what matters most
  • Don’t second guess or micromanage people
  • Be a meritocracy: based on merit
  • Force accidental interaction, so people will respect and support each other
  • No ego
  • Allow people to consult experts outside our group for advice
  • Allow heated discussions so long as everyone knows that the passion is about the story, and not personal.
  • Show unfinished work as it happens
  • Applaud crazy ideas: these can turn out to be the best!