All posts by Chelsea Berler

This is 30.

Tomorrow is my 30th birthday.

Yep.

30!!! I’m going to be 30. Where has the time gone??!

You’re probably also thinking – “You’re the CEO of Solamar and you’re only 30!”

I get that a lot.

More importantly… I want to share with you some really important lessons I’ve learned in the past 30 years. You can read about them in my book, too!

12 really important lessons... and they are quite simply, actually. Here goes! Continue reading

You can’t do it alone.

Hi ya’ll! Excited to be blogging for you today. :)

One topic that keeps coming to mind for me is — building a business and the success around that.

Some people’s vision of success has to do with money or popularity.

I beg to differ.

I’ve found that I truly reached a successful place in business when my team began thriving and collaborating with each other in a really big way. It was this moment of having the right people collaborating together, creating incredible things together… and changing the world – together. And one of the best moments in my life.

solamar team

I realized they wanted what I wanted. They cared about my business as much as I did. They wanted to serve more people and truly make a difference in the world.

We all wanted the same things and worked hard each day to make the world a better place.

That is the definition of success.

Without them, I’m nothing.

solamar girlsYou need a strong team that loves your business as much as you do. Because at the end of the day – the company belongs to all of us… collectively. And that’s exactly what I hoped success would look like.

When your team isn’t jiving – you’ll find yourself really struggling through understanding why things aren’t running more smoothly. You’ll find yourself feeling frustrated because it’s not making sense and you’ll end up really, really exhausted.

Step back, take a look at where your team is. How are they contributing? Do they love what they do? Do they care as much as you?

Solamar isn’t about me. It’s about them. All of them. WE are Solamar. And that my friends – is a true definition of success.

#forevergrateful

Enjoy our manifesto below. We live and breathe it!

solamar-manifesto-web-791x1024

 

B-Metro Visits Solamar + We’re Turning 7!

metro2I’m not sure why all of this Solamar love and deliciousness is converging all at once but I have to say, I can really get used to this.

A couple of weeks I told you about spending the day with the fabulous Dave Sherman from InfusionSoft. It was a great day where I got to talk about my favorite topic, Solamar, and one of my favorite business tools, InfusionSoft, all while playing with my dogs, eating sushi, and showing off B’ham. Good fun!

Then yesterday I did a video and photo shoot for B-Metro Magazine, the totally hip magazine for all things Birmingham.

Each month B-Metro does a feature called One-on-One and in November, I’ll be the ONE! Continue reading

Why We Love InfusionSoft

Last week I had a visit from the fabulous Dave Sherman from InfusionSoft.

InfusionSoft has around 300 partners and they recently picked 9 of them to highlight as they roll out a new website next month.

They interviewed me a couple of months ago by phone and then soon followed up asking if they could come out for a photo shoot.

Boom! Hell yes!! I’m ready!
Continue reading

THE RISE OF BITE-SIZE VIDEO

vine-instagramAs social media has taken over the marketing landscape, brand promoters have had to find ways to condense their messaging into increasingly smaller formats. First it was the limited wall post, then the 140-character tweet. The instagram photo, the pinnable image, the hashtag, we communicate to the public in ever briefer broadcasts. It was inevitable that this culture of brevity would make its way into the realm of video.

In January of this year, the free iPhone app Vine (owned by Twitter) was released. Using the app allows users to record 6-second videos and share them. Recognizing the broader scope of communication capable via even an extremely short video, and already trained to produce media content by Instagram, the social media public took to Vine very quickly. Within months, it became the number-one video-sharing app in the app-store, as well as the free app with the most downloads.

In June, the Facebook-owned Instagram service countered by adding video to its already popular photo-sharing service, with an increased recording time of 15 seconds. The race was on, and here we are only a few months later and major brands (including McDonald’s, XBOX, Virgin Mobile and more), have already embraced both services. It’s clear that video-sharing is something that is going to stick around for the near-future, and it’s time to engage with it now.

So, which service to use, and what to do with it? That’s what we’re here for! Stick around and we’ll go through some tips for the best ways to engage.
Continue reading

Survival Tips For The Overworked Entrepreneur

stressStarting and running your own business can be an exciting, empowering act that has positive ramifications for your entire way of life, but the responsibility entailed in such an endeavor can often lead entrepreneurs to place themselves in situations where they are handling too much at one time, pushing themselves physically and mentally to the brink.

True, you may enjoy the work (in fact, if you’ve taken on the task of creating a start-up, then I’m sure you do), but it can be a fine line between someone who works hard and someone who is over-worked. Too much stress caused by mountains of looming deadlines and lack of food/sleep/companionship can have real negative repercussions on your health, not to mention your business.

While it’s unlikely that you will be able to completely avoid situations where you need to push yourself to complete the tasks you have set, here are a few tips to help you avoid overloading yourself, and a few tips to help you make it through if you do.

Learn To Say No

It can be very hard to turn down work, especially when a business is first beginning, but before you accept a new client or job, take stock of what you already have on your plate and make sure you have time to tackle the new work with your full attention and without sacrificing vital parts of your life. Don’t cram an extra job into the spaces where you would normally be spending time with your family or getting rest. You might be able to squeeze it in if you do, but would you really be doing your best work? You should never do sub-standard work in the name of an extra paycheck. Decline gracefully, explaining that you are fully booked at the moment, and would be happy to work with them if their time-frame would allow you to approach the project at a later date. You might actually make a good impression with the client, who will see that your services are in demand.

Efficiency Saves Time, Plan Ahead

No matter what you do, you’ll probably end up in a situation where there is more work than time. When you find yourself there, don’t start your days by jumping straight from bed to work. Take time at the beginning of the day to map out your day, prioritizing the things that must be completed immediately, grouping like tasks together by type or geographical location, and excising anything that can be pushed back. You’d be surprised how much more quickly you work when you know exactly what you need to accomplish.

One Thing At A Time

As tempting as it is to multitask when you are extra busy, try to avoid it. You will actually complete each individual task faster by focusing your entire attention on it, and with better final product. You waste precious seconds by switching back and forth, and an interrupted chain of thought isn’t good for productivity. Lists are a great tool, make them, cross them off item by item.

Moderation in All Things

So you’ve turned down the jobs you could afford to, streamlined and mapped out your work process and are diligently tackling it one step at a time, but you’re still bumping up against the boundaries of your day. The impetus here is to stay up all night, skip meals, forgo breaks, and go full steam ahead in work-mode until the job is complete, but DON’T DO IT! Discuss your situation with your family, and make sure they understand that you may be a little less available, but also make sure that you schedule time to spend with them. Take small breaks every couple of hours, make time to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner. Go to bed at a reasonable hour. Late hours only mean rough mornings anyway, and sustained work over a period of time without any breaks and a lack of food and sleep leads to fuzzy thinking and poor decision making. If you must, it is better to realistically communicate with your client (as much in advance as possible) about the need to push back a deadline, rather than kill yourself to meet it.

Social Media Tips For Events

secret-stagesI just finished spearheading the social media for a music festival that Solamar sponsors called Secret Stages, and while it’s still fresh in my brain, I thought this would be a good time to go over the best way to utilize social media to promote a mid-to-large sized event, whether it be a festival, convention or retreat.

Events are a great way to gather a lot of notice from areas of the real world you may not yet have approached, while simultaneously reenforcing your connection with folks who already know you exist. Using social media in the lead-up to and during an event can can increase that effect exponentially. However, handling a number of social networks while making sure the other event logistics also happen smoothly can be a difficult task.

Here are a few tips to make that task more manageable. Follow these few simple pieces of advice, and you’ll be promoting your event in real-time while making sure everything else goes forward without a hitch, no problem!

Don’t Go It Alone

While you should most definitely have one person who is over-all responsible for making sure the social media marketing plan is executed properly, the job is much too big for one person to achieve effectively. One person can only be in one place at a time, and your social media strategy should be attempting to cover as many aspects of your event at the same time as possible. To overcome this problem, choose a few people whom you trust, and give them access to all social networks you plan to use during the event. Make sure they understand what you expect in the way of content, and then let them loose!

Who Should You Choose?

There are more social networks these days than you can shake a stick at, so choosing which ones to focus on during your event can be difficult. That said, there are three services you need to pay attention to if you want to be successful – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. You can use more if you like, but don’t skip these. All of these networks have large numbers of users, and allow hashtags, photo-uploading and tagging. Being able to tag your attendees and hashtag your events will go a long way towards increasing attendee engagement and the possibility of your posts going viral.

Speaking of #Hashtags

You must choose a hashtag to represent your event, but don’t choose it arbitrarily. Make sure it’s easy to type, unique and not being used somewhere else in the social-verse. Once it’s chosen, make sure you promote it in the weeks leading up to the event, so that your attendees know what it is and are in the habit of using it. Provide incentive for them to use your hashtag. This also increases engagement, while having the added benefit of giving you an easy way to check in on the over-all state of your event.

Automate What You Can

Despite how important it is, you want to minimize how much time you need to spend during the event dealing with social media. If you had to upload a photo to each network separately, it would take forever! That’s why it’s important to automate as much of the process as possible. My personal favorite way to do this is to link my Instagram account to my Twitter and Facebook accounts, and then post the things I want translated across all three networks on instagram. The photos that accompany every Instagram post translate really well across all three networks and are visually engaging. It’s still important to post unique content to each network as well, so people don’t feel like there isn’t a reason to check them all out, but this technique should save you some time. If you are using some alternative networks, check out IFTTT (If This Then That), a service that will let you automate the sharing of content across dozens of available social networks.

There you go! You should be a little bit better prepared to take on the task of handling social media for your event. Here’s hoping your next one is a smashing success.