What Freelancing Has Taught Me About Social Media and Direct Sales

scarlett with jewelry via 2009, 2009 photo

Out and about with my jewelry, 2009

Since I left my long-time jewelry business and started working freelance, I have learned so much about myself and about what it really means to use social media to work a business. My former jewelry business was direct sales, and therefore, there was always a roadmap of where to go. When working for yourself, you have no one to answer to but yourself: no incentives to hit, no pre-determined marketing and no team to rally. Just you.

Sometimes it gets lonely and a little boring being just you. But it also really helps to figure out who you are, and what your social media presence means to your business. You start making friends because you just want to BE their friend – you aren’t constantly thinking about selling them something or snagging them as a possible recruit.  I am not just spraying and praying on social media to attract business, but only posting things that are meaningful to me. And if I do post about selling something, it’s because I really mean it and genuinely want to share it.

I’m certainly no pro at freelancing, far from it. But I have learned a few things from working freelance that has given me a greater perspective on using social media for business and/or direct sales. Separately, not necessarily together. Continue reading

Live to Dance: Another Dance Season Complete

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In so many ways, this school year has flown by. As my girls get further into high school, I find that they have even more activities plus their own social schedules, yet they still need as much assistance as they did when they were younger. When everyone is coming and going every week and into the weekend, 6 months can pass by in a flash. Our dance season consisted of 4 competitions and one trip away to Kelowna, and so if felt like the months of March, April and May, which also is our year end recital, had something almost every weekend. Since Isabella will be entering Grade 11 in the Fall, I have come to the realization that she won’t be in high school too much longer – and her time at Essence of Dance will be coming to a close then too. So, I am looking at the next years ahead with so much gratitude. Continue reading

Did the New Cabela’s Store Convert Me to Becoming an Outdoor-Girl?

cabelas abby, scarlett musings, cabelas canada

I am not really an outdoorsy-type of girl.

Surprising statement, I know!

I grew up in Saskatchewan, but still somehow, was always more of an urban girl rather than an outdoor girl. It’s only since we have moved to BC that I have enjoyed nature more like White Rock beach and the other things this beautiful province has to offer.  I remember reading an interview with celebrity Rose McGowan who was raised travelling Europe in communes with her hippie parents, and she said that she always knew from a young age that she was different then them. She said that at around 10 years old she saw a woman putting on red lipstick and she immediately thought….”My people!” I have always related to that statement, because I think I knew at a very young age that I was that girl too. Continue reading

Confessional: I Can’t Adult Today

Source: Kandee Johnson

Source: Kandee Johnson

I saw this image on social media yesterday and realized that sums up exactly how I have been feeling recently:

I Can’t Adult Today!

I have had a plethora of rejections of the past several months – some personal like from my kid that no longer wants my help backstage at dance events, and some professional, like a writing submission rejection (tonnes of those), emails going unanswered and contract job rejections.

In theory, I know I can’t take it personally, but in actuality, I usually do. My sensitive heart is more sensitive when I haven’t had enough sleep, am feeling stressed out or maybe have had too much coffee – yes, I am dabbling in coffee again, despite giving it up a year ago.

The overwhelming feeling is, this Adulting thing really friggin’ sucks!  Continue reading

2016 Beauty Trends for Gals over 40 – Do’s and Don’ts.

beauty trends over 40, trying beauty trends

Wearing the Kylie Lipkit in Posey K.

Just because we are over 40 doesn’t mean that we aren’t interested in beauty products and trends. However not all trends are created equal – and many beauty trends are in vogue for a short time – 6 months to 2 years. If you are over 40, trying these trends can wind up looking more foolish than trendy.

Here are a few of my recent observations in beauty trends: Continue reading

Branded Summer Apparel for Work and Play

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It was in the summer of 2015, that I started gaining momentum as a Blogger for Hire, and blogging for business. I was delighted to be nominated as one of the Top 30 Mom Blogs of Vancouver last year which culminated at an amazing summer party at apparel designer Nicole Bridger’s Studio. and through that I have made many friends, connections and learned a tonne about blogging for brands. Blogging allows you time for online networking, but also to connect with other writers and businesses for work and play, that have the same desire for authentic connections with the people that they do business with. Continue reading

Creative Dance Photo Shoots with Gemini Visuals Photography

dance musings, dance mom, dance photography, creative dance photography surrey, Adrienne thiessen, scarlett Ballantyne, essence of dance, arts

As a family with two kids that have been dancing for years, we have folders packed away of past year’s group dance photos, and numerous boxes of old costumes. I have written before about upcycling costumes, and some ideas for photo shoots with costumes. Basically, as a veteran dance mom, I’ve tried every way to make dance costumes go that extra mile and create fun an interesting ways to capture some of these best years of dance on film. I am always committed to making dance the best experience that I can for my girls.

When our studio offered the option of photoshoots to our senior dancers at local studio Gemini Visuals, Isabella was ecstatic. She’s a natural in front of the camera because I have used her as a muse for lots of different shoots and makeup work over the years, and she is pretty confident as a dancer too. Adrienne, the owner of Gemini, offered photoshoot packages with fabric or flour. The flour shoots are a little messy; Isabella had paste in her hair afterward from sweating during the shoot combined with falling flour! However, the art that Adrienne created with our dancers is truly stunning. I’ve included some fabric images of another Essence dancer with her permission – and both concepts are truly beautiful! Continue reading

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