Can’t Do It All? 7 Ways to Simplify Your Social Media Efforts

One thing I notice time and time again with artists and crafters is the frustration with managing their online presence. Most creative entrepreneurs would much rather be spending their time being creative, making things, doodling… anything but getting caught up in the world that is facebook, twitter, pinterest, and instagram.

Sure, there are tons of ways to have other people do the work for you, but they all cost money. Until you’re really making enough, it’s easy to sit back and tell yourself that you’ll keep plugging along until… until… [insert random idea of a perfect scenario here].

So I’ve decided to come up with a list of 9 ways to simplify your social media efforts. Let’s go!

  1. Use tools. Potters use wheels and slab rollers and carving nibs. Painters use brushes and writers use computers/typewriters/pens. Stop wasting your time by going to each site all day long. Tools like HootSuite, Edgar, and others are there to help. Sure, some cost money but some don’t and you can always ease your way into it. Just do yourself a time-saving favor and look into them. Now.
  2. For the love of pound cake, use a daily planner. Do not sit down at your computer and think, “Oh, I’ll start with facebook, and then do some Pinterest work, and then maybe write a blog post.” Because you won’t get past facebook, I guarantee it. You need to have this stuff solidified in a plan. I actually do a 90-Day Action Plan with all of my coaching clients so they have absolutely no doubt as to what they’re supposed to do on any given day. And don’t go thinking you can block out an hour for everything you want to do. I’m talking 20 minutes, tops. Usually less, but depends on what you’re doing.
  3. Schedule your posts. I know you might start off thinking how impersonal that is, but it’s really not. It’s actually the equivalent of setting up an editorial calendar. You schedule out your tweets and pins and facebook posts a week or more in advance. Now, the tricky part here? You have to respond to comments and such real-time. So don’t go scheduling something interactive for 3am when you’re off dreaming about chocolate covered espresso beans. Got it?
  4. Limits. Have them. Stick to them. You do NOT need to be a member of 4,387 facebook groups or have 137 Pinterest boards. You do not need to follow thousands of people on Twitter. Doing all of this adds noise to your life, and what you really need is focus. Rome, not built in a day and all. You don’t need to come out of the gate with a cluttered, disorganized, un-sensible mess.
  5. Ask questions of your followers and group members. Get them to do the talking. Yes, everyone loves a story behind what you’re saying, but you don’t have to write dissertations for every single post. Even something as simple as, “Chocolate or vanilla?” can inspire hundreds of responses. And no, you should not do that daily.
  6. Use photos to tell stories. You may not have to do anything but toss in a few hashtags and post it on Instagram (of course, also flowing to Twitter and Facebook), maybe a one-liner explanation of the story, and blammo. Instant content. (Plus, posts with images on facebook get the most interaction.)
  7. If you manage a group, bring on another admin or two to help create content and engage with users. Make it well known to your group why you selected that person to help, and that you’re not going anywhere (by actually NOT pulling a disappearing act).
  8. Stay away from ‘like ladders’ and ‘follow trains’ and any other stuff like that. A) Regardless of what anyone will try to tell you, extra likes/follows does nothing for your credibility or exposure. The numbers don’t matter if they’re not genuine. B) It could actually HURT you in the long run. Facebook actually has algorithms in place that calculate your total number of fans versus fans active on your page… the greater the percentage of INACTIVE fans, the less likely ANY of your fans will see a damn thing you post unless you pay for it. Thereby making ALL of your fans inactive. #truth
  9. Share. Share the content that’s publicly posted by people you admire. You don’t have to be on the hunt for it, or create your own ALL the time. Share (with 101% credit to the original poster) and let your friends and fans and followers see what lights you up.

Have you discovered any others? Share them in the comments, or here in my new FREE facebook group: The Un-Starving Artists’ League!

HUGE News!

I’m so incredibly excited to share with you guys that I’ve finally been able to open up my one-on-one coaching program again!

coaching-with-lara-kulpa

I’m doing things a little bit differently this time, because I really need to know that you and I are a good fit before we start working together. I don’t want to set things up and have anyone spending their time or money on something they shouldn’t be, even if that’s spending them with me.

This time, I’ve instituted an application process, but don’t freak out! It’s not a pass/fail exam, and you’re definitely not going to be graded on your answers!

If you’re even remotely interested in working with me, go jump in here -> Apply Now.

If you’re still not sure, please read on…

I’ve written in a few places on this site about who I am, and what I can do for you. Please take the time to read those (the links open in a new window). I don’t begrudge anyone wanting to do their research, but I do want you to make your decision without hesitation, too. How many times have you sat there and talked about joining a gym in the past year, but never did? Or worse, you never go? It’s time to change those habits, and it all starts here.

I want you to learn that you’re worth more than you’re getting right now.

  • Are you a female blogger (you don’t have to be a “mommy blogger”, but you certainly can be) who writes amazing posts and puts your heart and soul into your blog, but you’re afraid of offending people so you hold back on really asking your audience for money (by selling them things) or to buy certain things through your affiliate links?
  • Are you an artist or crafter who has been afraid to spend money on your website or marketing efforts, and still wonder why you’re not making sales?
  • Do you have a unique style of writing or drawing or painting, but don’t know how or where to market it?
  • Are you the person who simply would rather spend your time creating your craft than doing any of that icky marketing stuff?
  • Do you need help getting past the fear, or rather, do you need help just knowing what to do next in order to take your business to the next level?

Yes, if you answered “yes” to any of those questions (or anything similar), we need to spend some time together. Apply Now.

I’m not about dragging these things on, you know. Either you know in your heart that you need help, or you don’t. In case you need to do more research, here are a few other things  from others who have written about me during various times in my career as a consultant:

  • “Lara Kulpa helped me organize the ProBlogger meetup in NYC. Actually she did it all and I ‘helped’ her. Lara’s a generous person who knows how to get things done. She’s enthusiastic and efficient and approached the task with a lot of passion and fun. I’d recommend her to anyone.” – Darren Rowse
  • That VIP Feeling
    (Over at Chris Brogan’s blog)
  • Podcast with Srinivas Rao on BlogCast.fm
    (Srini is a bestselling author, his most popular book, The Art of Being Unmistakable is a huge hit, but his other books, podcasts, and conference are equally top notch.)

Let’s connect, see where you’re at, and get your business on the fast track to success! Apply Now.

How and Why I’m Cutting Back My Services for 2015

Lara Kulpa's services and packages availableI think sometimes when you’re the kind of person who’s been making a living online for nearly 20 years like I have, you tend to have this, “I can do that for you!” mantra that pops out of your mouth every time someone tells you what they need.

Sometimes it’s happened on coaching calls. It’s determined the person needs a new branding package, so I hand them a deal since they’re a coaching customer.

Other times, it’s because someone contacts me as a friend of a friend who needs a new website for their club, which is a non-profit, so I give them a deal.

And still other times, I get a new client who “just” wants a website, but really needs a full branding package, a new site, some SEO and marketing work, and so on.

But the truth of the matter is that all of this stuff kind of ebbs and flows, and it’s not me who’s in control of my workflow. It’s chance. I mean, don’t you hate not knowing if next month you’re going to have the same money coming in as you did last month? Especially when it can vary by thousands of dollars? (Yes, this has happened to me. Many times.)

It was one thing when it was just me. But I’m a Mommy now, and have my family to think of. I need stability AND growth. And I need to stop doing things that don’t bring me joy (not that I hate them, but dammit, I want the JOY!)

So here’s what’s about to go down as of January 1, 2015:

  • There will be no more basic/moderate web design packages. I realize that this is probably going to upset some of you who’ve been saving up, but I really just can’t afford the time. If you wish to schedule one before the end of the year, you can do so here. I’ll honor all that are purchased between now and Dec 31. Otherwise, I’ll be building some great resources and a referral network to help you out.
  • There will be no more Custom Website Inspections, either. If you want one, grab it before the end of the year, and I’ll honor all that were purchased prior to Dec 31.
  • I am going to be offering Group Mastermind calls that will focus on helping creative people build and grow their businesses online, but in a group format (don’t worry, it’ll be a small group). It’ll start in January, and each session will run for 3 months. Total price for the full shot is $397. (Details coming soon.)
  • I will open up 6 spots per year for “The Big One”, which will include full design, development, branding, and marketing packages for creative entrepreneurs, and includes some one-on-one coaching. The investment on your end will be $8997. (Details coming soon.)
  • I will also maintain availability for 2 coaching clients per month. My current packages will be coming down at the end of the month, too, so if you’re interested, book them now.If you’re already a coaching client, you’ll need to reserve and pre-pay for the months you’d like to have as soon as possible, so make sure you email me now to keep the spots you like. The one-on-one coaching investment is $397/month, and is a much more detailed package than what I’ve been offering thus far. It’s the first time I’m going to open it up this big, and I promise not to disappoint. :)

So if you’re interested in any of the above, you can either watch your email like a hawk for opening announcements, or you can message me now to let me know which you’re interested in, even before the links and details go up.

The reasons are many, but the bottom line is that I have to tighten up my business, and you need to tighten up yours. I’m still on a mission to help as many people as I can, but I have to do it in a way that makes sense to me. I realize I may lose some fans here, but I hope instead I’ve inspired more of you to take control of your lives and build the business that fills your soul with joy and success and peace.

Remember, I love each and every one of you, and am ever so grateful to be on this journey with you and for you!

7 Things I Learned Doing My First Pre-Sale

WOW! First, I’d like to thank all of you who purchased the 2015 Creative Entrepreneur Planner Pre-Sale! You guys have honored me in a way I can’t even begin to put into words. I can only hope that I can live up to (or better yet, exceed) your expectations!

Now that November 1st has come and gone, and the download links have been put out there for everyone who purchased, it’s time for me to turn this whole thing into a lesson for you, my dear readers.

7 Things I Learned Doing My First Pre-Sale

  1. Planner kits take a LOT of work to put together. I’m not even kidding you. To not only come up with your own design, but then think about what has to go into each page, lay it out so that it fits even after the holes have been punched, and create template after template after template takes a TON of time for each component. I’ve always created printables for myself, and I’m the Queen of Paper when it comes to making lists and diagrams with a pencil, but there was a lot of tweaking that had to be done to ensure that these pages would look great as well as be functional and useful.
  2. I did too much, in not nearly enough time. This pre-sale offer included a TON of components for the main planner, but then I added a bunch of bonuses that I had no idea would take so much time to pull together without sacrificing things like cleaning my house and playing with my daughter on the weekends. Part of this is because while I certainly could’ve chosen one color and one pattern scheme to do everything, instead I decided to do FIVE color options for over 97% of the components, which all had varying patterns. This was probably NOT my best idea, but I really hope that my buyers are happy that they have so many choices and combinations available.
  3. It’s best to limit the initial offer, and then add bonuses and freebies later. What I should’ve done is just do the pre-sale at the discounted price for the main components, and then whatever I was able to make later could’ve been sent to my buyers as a thank you or included as part of a “… plus any other planners I create during the remainder of 2014″ kind of thing. Again, this goes back to building the pre-sale offer up bigger than I was able to finish up in the time I gave myself.
  4. My customers are AMAZING! Everyone’s been so kind and understanding that it’s going to take a few more days before they receive every bonus I offered. I’m beyond grateful, and intend to fully make their patience worth their while by giving them “pre-sale buyer only” goodies. I’ll figure them out once I get everything together, and just send them off as they’re done. Again, anything to make my customers smile, and let them know I appreciate them.
  5. The next time I do something like this, I’m going to enlist some help. Again, it comes down to time, and I underestimated mine. I know loads of great designers and Photoshop people I can call on (and help out by giving them a paying gig), and next time, that’s what I’m going to do. I know what I’m good at and what my time allows for. I need to call on people rather than trying to do everything myself.
  6. Facebook is NOT a great place to advertise this kind of product/offer. I know I got a few buyers from my facebook posts (and maybe even the ads I bought), but really it came down to my email list. You guys are awesome, have I said that already? I need to make sharing from the email or my site as easy and inviting as possible, and hope that I can do that in the near future so you guys can help me get the word out when I have new stuff going on, but other than that? I’m not going to waste my money on facebook ads ever again. Not for this stuff.
  7. Organization is SO important. Had I not kept a spreadsheet and sorted my files the way I did on my computer, I would’ve never been able to track what was completed and where I could find it to send out. I can’t even begin to think of the time that would’ve been wasted there… days, I’m sure.

So there you have it. Learn from me, my children. ;) While I made some mistakes, I’m very happy with how things have turned out, and I can’t wait to get rolling on my next product/offer. Just not until I completely finish up with this one!

Yippee Skippy! New Tool with a HUGE Presale Offer!

I am unbelievably excited to announce a brand new product here, designed to help creative entrepreneurs manage their time, their businesses, their finances, and much more! I know I’m not alone in my struggles with “doing it all” so I wanted to share my tools with you, dear readers!

It’s the 2015 Creative Entrepreneur Self-Employment Planner!

cesep-front

I decided I wanted to do a huge launch discount bonus thing, so here’s the deal…

IF you purchase prior to September 30, 2014, you not only get the CESE planner, but you get it at a discount, with over $50 in bonuses!

2015 Creative Entrepreneur Self-Employment
Planner Kit

Here’s what’s included in this exclusive pre-sale offer:

Weekly Planner (Calendar) Pages (With plenty of room to write)
Etsy/Shop Tracker (When do you need to relist, remove, update, etc?)
Budget & Finances (For Business) Planning Kit
Social Media Task Planner (Plus which tools help to get the job done!)
Blog Builder and Planner (Stuck on what you need and don’t need? You got this.)
Editorial Calendar (Strictly for planning out your blog content)
Quarterly Evaluation Pages (Track your progress, learn about what needs changing and what you’re doing right)
Monthly Goal Tracking Sheets (Break it down and be honest with yourself)
“Thinking Outside The Box” Planner and To-Do Sheets (For extra ways to make money from your business)
Site Tracker (To help you keep track of your sites, logins, and so on)

This is a downloadable, print-at-home kit. No shipping, just buy now and have it with plenty of time for the new year!

Now, this wouldn’t be an awesome, exclusive pre-sale event if I didn’t include some killer bonuses, right? RIGHT!

I’m including over $50 in FREE Bonuses:

Weekly Menu Planner & Shopping List
Manage Your Home Kit – Seasonal Honey Do List, plus Cleaning, Organizing, and Project Planning Pages
Budget & Finances (For Home) Planning Kit
Health & Fitness Planning Kit


 Click below to get the 2015 Creative Entrepreneur’s Self-Employment Planner for $5 off, PLUS over $50 in bonuses!

$40.00 $35.00 Read More


Please Note: This is a Pre-Sale. You will receive your download link via email on November 1, 2014, but you must purchase by September 30, 2014 in order to receive the free bonuses.