Thursday, April 12, 2012

ARE YOU AN EGGHEAD? -The Importance of a Social Media Profile Picture

A professional profile picture in your social media presence, whether it's Twitter, Facebook, or on your website or blog, might be more important than you think.

I have to admit that when I first started learning about social media, I was an egghead. I literally had the default photo of a white egg with a pale blue background for my Twitter profile picture. Once I saw that my posts were associated with this default image and many newbie users were doing the same, I realized I had to make a change to set myself apart.

At first I added in a snappy little piece of art for my Twitter picture.

Then I put a great shot of me camping with a bandana devouring a piece of corn on the cob on my Facebook profile.

I thought I was being trendy and interesting. But as I listened to more seminars and podcasts about social media I kept hearing the same message. Your profile picture is the first visual impression a customer, client, reader or fan will see of you. First impressions are everything. They are the difference between clicking on something you have to offer, or clicking away. You need a photo that gives the viewer an instant connection with you.

Here are a few must dos when it comes to a social media profile picture:

If you do not have a profile picture - get one now. If you use the default, your image will be nothing but a Facebook silhouette or even worse, a Twitter egg. Viewers will simply move on.

Avoid using fun, silly or party pictures. Be professional. Choose a photo that exudes confidence and shows the viewer how you want to be seen in your profession.

Take a high quality shot. Have a simple background, use a good camera on a tripod with good lighting from both sides. Wear something professional but neutral that you feel good in and emerge out of your shell leaning slightly forward with a natural smile.

My profile shot might not be exactly perfect, in fact I'm due for a new one since it is 2 years old, but it is simple and professional. Ultimately, your choice of profile picture comes down to you. Is it a casual Facebook page, or for your business page? Are you promoting a book, an event, or a piece of art? Or are you planning a family reunion? Effective profile pictures can range from you working in your garden, to a family pet, to a business logo. The Facebook timeline is set up perfectly so you can portray a photo of your latest book as the cover shot while still having a professional profile picture of you on the side. Check out my Facebook page here. You'll see that I have a more casual picture associated with my profession in the quilting industry. Whatever you decide...don’t be an egghead.

Monday, March 26, 2012

A Renewed Sense of Writing Self

As you can see from the date of my last post, poetry and writing in general have been put aside for a bit as I took a few months to start my new business! Well, I am officially a Fibre Artist, Writer, Teacher and Speaker in the quilting industry! And now that things have settled a bit and I've reviewed my long list of goals and made some priorities, my passion for writing is back on the table.

Two quilting industry writing projects that I have in queue are a children's picture book and a pattern book that I aim to get published by a quilt industry publisher.

As far as mainstream literature, I have just entered 3 poems in the CBC Canada Writes poetry contest. You can check out the contest entry rules here. It was so nice to dive back into my pile of poems and pick a few favourites to revise and send in.

Thank you so much to everyone who has followed the Write Hearted blog in the past. I'm back! Thanks for sticking with me!

Brandy Lynn :)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Personal Essay

Have you ever thought about writing a personal essay? Until a few weeks ago, the thought had never crossed my mind. Then I just had this reminiscence about a major decision in my life in my early twenties and started writing. At first it was so harsh and close to me that it just felt like ranting. Then I focussed on trying to get it down to 1200 words in case I wanted to enter a contest. Then I started to edit and went into a free fall of writing boosting it up to 2700 words. I think what I've learned from all of this is that if you have something deep and personal that seems to be haunting you for some reason, just spill it onto the page. Don't worry if it sounds angry, or bitter or even weak-minded. Don't worry about following some contest guideline. Just put it out, take a rest and then look back at it again later. Now that I've looked back, accepted feedback and really focussed on the theme of the piece, it seems to be coming together quite nicely. So be thoughtful, write what you know, and be generous to yourself with writing time. And above all, be real.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Numbed Silent

I didn't know I was such a terrible chatterbox until I realized this morning that my husband was thrilled and unable to stop laughing at me because I could barely speak with my mouth frozen after my morning dentist appt. I was feeling sorry for myself, well not really, but I imagined I was entitled to some pudding after all those needles. (7 in total because I don't freeze easily). So I cracked open a portable mini pudding, took in the delicious vanilla scent, and shoved a massive spoonful into my mouth. Not having any muscle control, or I realized, functioning taste buds, it was a choking, slobbery, tasteless mess and I placed it back in the fridge to try again later. I've gradually lost the numbness and snacked it up all afternoon. Wait 'til my husband gets home...I'm going to talk his ear off.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Banff Experience

To immerse yourself in a genre that you love, with people who are passionate about it They really invest in helping you grow as a writer. I think the peer experience is the foundation of the Banff Centre programming. I've been shocked, warmed, stretched and tested. My poetry has changed with angry elephant strides and tiny fleeting bird sounds. An adventure.....

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Moving - a liberating experience!

We recently announced to all of our friends and family that we are moving across the country and several of them have said that a move is one of the top 3 most stressful events in life. But for me it has been an entirely liberating experience. Besides the fact that we are moving from the big city to a small town and a house on a hill with a view of the lake on one side and a mountain on the other, I have packed, cleaned, taken stock and ultimately cleared loads of clutter. I mean literally truckloads of clutter. We've realized that we had too many gadgets, knick knacks, clothing, toys, shoes and personally I have way to much fabric. Yes, I put that into words. As a Fibre Artist I can't purge too much of my precious stash, but I did donate a box of my least favorites to the local charity. And I released loads of old magazines. So throughout the packing and unpacking process we have been giving every item a critical eye and deciding whether to pitch it, sell it, donate it, or give it to a friend. Initially we were worried going to a smaller kitchen space, but getting rid of gadgets we haven't used in years, we've ended up with an entirely empty bank of cupboards. It feels great to have things spaced out and easy to find, each in their own place. Moving across 4 provinces and not being able to take every single item gives you a great perspective on what you really need in life. And life is good!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Punctuated surprises

Looking at the poem "Times Change Cafe" by Gloe Cormie I love the style she uses with a full paragraph of sentences with periods rather than choppy unpunctuated line breaks. Each period denotes a break or end of thought, but the next sentence is always unexpected and changes the meaning of the sentence before. She mentions the world stopping which can be quite scary and fierce, but the next line refers to her getting an autograph which, for a teen, could feel like the world has frozen for that instant. In the 3rd line she talks about the cook crying which, of course, could mean any terrible thing but really, it is just on account of the onions. The description of Big Dave McLean is smashing and the second paragraph, and final sentence, ties in the one getting the autograph with a wild haired woman getting a tattoo. It could be the same person. Classic Winnipeg poem.