Sunday, February 12, 2017



The purpose of networking is to make viable connections that are equally beneficial for both parties. Ask yourself, “What do they have to offer me? What do I have to offer them?”.  When a person feels connecting with you is as beneficial for them as it is for you, they’ll be more likely to continue to connect with you and also support and promote your brand.


For the person that tends to be reserved when meeting new people, using social media as a means of networking can be extremely beneficial.  Social media gives you a platform and an opportunity to meet others in a comfortable space...cyberspace.  By controlling what one sees, reads and/or hears upon meeting you virtually, it gives you the opportunity to put your best foot forward; to present yourself in the best light and in a manner that peaks one’s interest in getting to know you/your brand better.  You don’t have to know the right thing to say when you allow your social media persona to speak for least until you’ve made the desired connections and begin feeling comfortable with speaking for yourself.  


Before sending a request or accepting a new “friend” on social media, do a little research. Again, ask yourself, “What do they have to offer me? What to I have to offer them?” If there is no clear potential benefit in making the connection, consider it twice before accepting.

For more information and education on Professional Development and Branding and info on upcoming events, be sure to follow us on Facebook at BOLD Creative Solutions, LLC.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Hey, Girl, What You Wearing?

We are women about town so an invitation to anything is always welcome. These days every event is a hybrid of entertainment and networking. You never know who you will run into and a moment where you felt you could be laid back can quickly turn into a moment where you wish you had a more polished look.

As business women and the owners of, Bold Creative Solutions, Kim and I have gotten a handle on relaxed polish. Today's enviroment is uber casual and showing up over dressed can not only look clearly not functional it can also give off a stuffy vibe which can make others find you unapporachable. Mastering the art of relaxed polish is a breeze once you understand the componets that make it effortless.

How to Master Relaxed Polish 

For myself my structure item is my blazer everything after that is fair game and relaxed. I paited it with distressed denim, a netural colored sweater, and sensible but fashionable booties. I love quirky accessories so I brought in a my personality with my icecream cone pin. My blazer is serious and brings polish into my look and let's you know that there is more to my look with out going over board. I could easily take off my jacket and be completely relaxed.

Kim always manages to carry a bold look that is always inviting. The detail of her solid colored shirt is the polished element of her look. The rich burgendy looks great on her complexion and her matching lip color pulls her together. All of the other componets of her look are laid back and relaxed. Even if Kim chose to wear a long line jacket with a bold colored shell underneath she would carry the same strong casual look. Your look says more about you than you think even Kim's scoop neck top makes her apporachable. Covering your neck gives a subconcious message that says closed off. When you are networking you want to send messages of openess to create an energy that says talk to me.

What you want to keep in mind for relaxed polish is that you need an achor for your outfit. Your anchor could be a bold color or a structured blazer. A great rule of thumb is a light weight coat or duster makes everything looked pulled together.Try to avoid anything that isn't in good condition or has peeling fabric or missing hardware. Always be sure to bring in elements that speak to your personality because you want to be the truest reflection of yourself and your business.

To hear more about creating an image that leaves a lasting impression be sure to come to The Creative Professional's Talk: Image Is EVERYTHING on November 12, 2016 from 1-3pm at the Cincinnati Fire Muesum.  You can purchase ticket on Eventbrite

Sunday, October 23, 2016


Less than one week away from winning her first ever poetry competition at Dayton Poetry Slam (Dayton, OH's longest running poetry slam), BOLD Creative Solutions, LLC artist Jasmine Swanagan aka "Cocoa Flo" takes 2nd place at Lipstick Wars Poetry Slam (an all female slam open to poets from across the country) in Louisville, KY. "Cocoa Flo" came just three tenths (0.3) of a point away from tying for the win. As the second place winner, she took home a prize of $250.

photo credit: Bud Dorsey - Lipstick Wars Poetry

Though she's been performing spoken word for just under a year, "Cocoa Flo" is well on her way to achieving her goal of using her artistry as a platform to develop greater creative professional opportunities where she can empower and enlighten others through her words.

photo credit: Miss Gee Photography - Lipstick Wars Poetry

To stay up to date on "Cocoa Flo" performances, speaking engagements and appearances, follow her on Instagram and Facebook.

Flavor with a cocoa kind of flow... "Cocoa Flo".

Friday, October 7, 2016

The Real Reason You Prefer Facebook Over Instagram

When I first started using Instagram I loved scrolling through my feed because Instagram has an editorial magazine quality that you can look at for what feels like just a few minutes but was actually hours. The issue with using Instagram was when I posted pictures I had no idea why people were not interacting with me. It felt like I was talking to an empty room.

I was totally accustomed to Facebook where I could easily interact with my friends and family. Going from a platform where I could talk to everyone to hearing crickets almost made me consider not using Instagram. When I started to research the best ways to promote a new brand or business for my blog Oh Wize One, all of the industry experts said that Instagram was the best. I thought how can that be? At the time, I could barely average 5 likes on a picture.

One day I sat and scrolled through my favorite Instagram accounts and saw the difference between their Insta feeds and mine. The pictures were captivating and their messages were clear. When I looked at my own feed it was all over the place. If Facebook was my social media home where everyone loved me then Instagram was the cool kid's room and I wasn't wearing the right sneakers.

Here is the deal, if you want to put your brand or product out there you need Instagram. More and more people are being influenced by social media platforms and Instagram is the fasted way to interact with people outside of your friends and family circle. Facebook limits you to people you know but Instagram allows you to interact with people who have the same interest as you. I have increased my Instagram engagement by 70% in the past year. Simply by tailoring my posts to Instagram.

Oh the Difference a Year Makes

Before                                                               After  

Before my pictures were too grainy and it really wasn't clear what I did. I wasn't promoting myself I was just posting images from my personal Facebook so I could say that I made an Instagram post. I was sharing too many memes and reposts from other Instagram accounts. I don't even think you could tell that I was a blogger before. On the right it's clear that I'm showcasing my style and my life. I still post personal moments but I curate those moments differently if the picture doesn't clearly show what is happening or doesn't represent my brand I don't post it on Instagram. 

Photo Quality 

Before                                                               After        

Ove the past year, I have been training my eye to be more critical of picture quality. On Instagram, a dark image does not stand a chance it will just be scrolled past to the next shiny crisp image. There really isn't anything "wrong" with the image on the left but it's a little too dark and you can't see all of the details of my outfit. In the image on the right, the picture quality is much better. Try not to use Instagram filters that affect the picture quality of your raw image. On Instagram, less is more.

Pretty Products 



If you are selling a product on Instagram you need to add visual interest to the product. It's not just enough to take a picture of what you're selling, you have to stage it so people can imagine it in their own space. I now keep a few props on hand when I want to photograph products for Instagram. The top image is not that bad but it needed more dimension I should have spread some glitter in the frame to make it sparkle and lit the makeup pallet a little brighter. The bottom image is staged on a vanity so that you can visually see it as a beauty product.

Your Instagram image is essential for expanding your reach and customer base. Just think of Instagram as a portfolio of your work that you can showcase anytime you pull out your phone. If you want more advice on how to improve your brand image and taking it to the next level be sure to come out on November 12, 2016, to The Creative Professional's Talk: IMAGE Is Everything. For tickets and more information head to Eventbrite.

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