Blog

What the hell is a hashtag anyway? #love

Follow me

Audrey Isbell

Speaker and Author of "100 Simple Truths All Virtual Assistants Should Know"
Audrey Isbell
Follow me

Latest posts by Audrey Isbell (see all)

Hashtags are keywords that link off to additional content. When people click the hashtag, the link takes them to a listing of posts made by people who also used the keyword (hashtag) with their content. Hashtags work similarly to a thread.

Great! What the hell is a “thread”? Right!?!

PCmagazine helps to define a thread as:

“A running commentary of text messages pertaining to one topic or question.”

The benefits of using hashtags are many, but here are a few:

  1. Hashtags help audiences filter what they are viewing.
  2. They help businesses reach target audiences/a defined demographic.
  3. Strategic use of hashtags can help thought leaders build their communities.

What is hashtag abuse, and how to avoid #overkill:

Have you ever followed a person/brand only to find that every post was harder and harder to digest simply due to hashtags? If you discovered them by way of hashtag/filtered search results, you may not have noticed it right away. When you land on your media newsfeed now, you see a post that’s a billion miles long — mainly hashtags!!!…

Ugh! Unsubscribe. Block. Remove. Unfollow. Unfriend. Report Abuse.

LOL! Kinda joking about those last two… KINDA.

That really isn’t the kind of “abuse” that social media platforms are looking to have reported, but for many of us, it does feel like abuse on the senses. It doesn’t take much to be visually stimulated (okay- get your brain out of the gutter). We build graphic designs, ads, and logos for people sometimes, so please, increase engagement in a way that won’t make me dizzy.

Need help with executing marketing tasks? Contact Us.

Working Mom at home

Stop giving 50/50: The WAHM’s Secret Weapon for Sanity & Productivity

Follow me

Audrey Isbell

Speaker and Author of "100 Simple Truths All Virtual Assistants Should Know"
Audrey Isbell
Follow me

Latest posts by Audrey Isbell (see all)

As we talked about in the last post, being a work-at-home mom can be very rewarding, but it doesn’t come without its challenges! Just imagine how productive your workday would be if there were a tiny human in the office with you who couldn’t do anything on their own. (Hint: not very productive!)

I remember when I first started working again after having my son. He was three months old and I was excited to rejoin my amazing AVA team. However, I soon found out just how tricky being a work-at-home mom (WAHM) was going to be. Maybe you can relate: you think you have the best of both worlds but then discover trying to do two challenging jobs simultaneously is not a piece of cake. The good news is, it can be feasible—and enjoyable. You just have to utilize a few secret weapons.

So today, let’s look at my first key tip for maintaining sanity and increasing productivity for the WAHM.Working Mom at home

Secret Weapon #1: Stop Multitasking

Wait, what? Isn’t the whole working mom thing all about multitasking? For some personalities, maybe. But for me, I found my stress decreased and my productivity and happiness increased when I stopped multitasking. Let me explain.

When I first started working from home postpartum, I would often set up my son, Alan, beside me in a bouncer or on the floor with some toys. He would play for a little while by himself, but soon he would grow restless without any interaction or attention. I’d try to look over and smile or talk to him, but he wanted—needed—interaction. Babies grow rapidly and as their brain is developing, interaction and stimulation are necessary pieces to that growth.

Not only was I beginning to feel like a bad mom for ignoring my baby while I worked, but the lack of consistent focus on whatever task I was doing was also incredibly counterproductive. Every time I’d look away to hand him a new toy or pick him up if he was fussing, I’d have to re-orient myself to what I was doing. I’m sure many of you have experienced trying to work while being frequently distracted. It’s not a good use of time and quite draining to boot.

The solution for me was to focus on only one role at a time. If it was Mom, I was 100% there. Alan had my full attention. If it was VA, I was 100% there. Work had my full attention. I was able to breathe a huge sigh of relief once I got this down. No more being torn between two things and not giving either one my all. I felt like both a good mom and a good employee. Each in their own time. Score!

I hope this sheds a little light on why giving 50/50 is exhausting and frustrating for both you and your baby. Trying to pay attention to both work and baby at the same time ends up with you giving only half your best to each. So you know you’re reading to make a change… but how to accomplish this 100/100 lifestyle? That, my friend, is my 2nd secret weapon… stay tuned!

Working at Home with a Baby: Where to Start

Follow me

Audrey Isbell

Speaker and Author of "100 Simple Truths All Virtual Assistants Should Know"
Audrey Isbell
Follow me

Latest posts by Audrey Isbell (see all)

When you hear “work-at-home mom,” what image comes to your mind? Is it a relaxed woman in comfy sweats drinking a hot cup of coffee and closing her laptop after an hour of good work to get her peacefully sleeping baby?  Or is it a frazzled woman with a milk-stained shirt trying to balance a wailing baby on her hips while buttering toast, all while on a phone call with a client?

Every working mom has to find the careful balance of mothering, working, and the rest of life on the side—but the dynamic certainly changes if she’s working from home.

While many mothers dream of working from home with their little ones, it’s often much more of a challenge than they anticipate. In the next several months I’ll be posting a series of articles of things I’ve learned as I try to navigate this new season of life.  I hope to answer a few of your questions, as well as offer some tips I’ve found helpful as a new mother of a 7-month-old who’s working from home.

So where to start? Well, right at the very beginning: making the decision to be a work-at-home mom (or WAHM in internet lingo). Obviously, a lot of us can’t work from home for one reason or another. I feel extremely blessed to be a virtual assistant who can both be at home with her son and have the creative, lucrative outlet of work. If you have a job where you can work virtually, I’m talking to you! And if you’re not sure, please talk to your boss about it. Chances are, they may be happy to try to facilitate you working from home for at least a couple days a week, if you present your case with confidence. A good boss will realize that your level of satisfaction directly affects your work performance.

Freelance-type work (like being a virtual assistant) is ideal for the WAHM. That’s because your work hours are extremely flexible (which is a very good thing, because most often you work when baby sleeps!) So if you fit in that category, you’ve already got a great start. But even if your hours are set, don’t despair! Our next post is all about scheduling.

I actually pursued working as a virtual assistant for this exact reason. Many years before I ever got pregnant, I jumped at the chance to work for AVA Virtual Assistance because I knew that I’d want to be able to work from home when I had a baby. And now that I have one, I’m really glad I did!

But how to make it work once you’ve established that you will indeed be a WAHM? That’s what we’ll start on next time. In the meantime, I’d love to hear from you in the comments! Are you currently working at home? Planning to? How and why did you decide to be a WAHM?