4 Method to Improve Your Instagram Marketing

4 Methods to Improve Your Instagram Marketing 

 According to the software company, HubSpot, Instagram hosts more than 500 million daily active users. 71 percent of young adults (18-24) used Instagram in 2018, compared with 37 percent who did so in 2013. Instagram is consistently growing and offers unique opportunities for easy marketing.  

1. Know your target audience. 
As with any advertising or marketing campaign, having a target audience is vital. You cannot target all 500 million daily active users of Instagram, as most will not resonate with your brand’s mission. Pinpoint your mission, your values, and then build an audience that believes the same things as you. Once you have built an engaged target audience, understand it can lead to sales! According to HubSpot, more than one-third of Instagram users have used their mobile devices to online shop. This is 70 percent more than people who are not on Instagram!   

2. Utilize the Instagram stories feature. 
According to HubSpot, businesses that are on Instagram get up to 37 percent of their total impressions from Instagram stories. While Instagram stories lack heavy text opportunities, they can be a creative, engaging way to interest followers in your brand and be personable. Use stories to generate buzz by hosting polls and asking followers questions relating to your brand or industry.  

3. Invest in influencer marketing. 
When people think of influencer marketing, they think of getting a celebrity to endorse their brand on Instagram. Refocus your ideology on finding a celebrity in your niche! Every industry has people with a popular voice whose opinions are valued. Pinpoint these people, check to see if your values align, and work out a deal to add visibility to your brand! 

4. Discover your best times to post. 
According to the social media management and optimization platform, Sprout Social, the best times to post on Instagram are Wednesdays at 11 a.m. and Fridays between 10-11 a.m. These windows have the highest engagement on average. However, each brand will have unique analytics showcasing their best times to post. Track this data and use it to optimize impressions.  

“We need to stop interrupting what people are interested in and be what people are interested in.” – Craig Davis, former Chief Creative Officer at J. Walter Thompson 

 Define Your Shine! 
Cassie Malhado, Growth Associate 

4 Ways to Get Creative with your Marketing Strategy

4 Ways to Get Creative with your Marketing Strategy

With the rise of the digital age, individuals are consistently bombarded with online marketing and digital advertisements. Additionally, audiences are bombarded with messages on public transport, newspapers, and billboards. As a result, audiences have grown to tune out advertisements that do not interest them. Thus, it is important to use creative means to catch one’s attention through digital marketing.   

  1. Utilize video capabilities. 

According to the Pew Research Center, in 2018 68 percent of American adults used Facebook and 73 percent used YouTube. Both social sites offer video production and streaming opportunities. Whether you are a small or large business, smart phones offer the capability to produce quality videos. These videos are an opportunity to advertise your product, service, or brand to the large number of Americans on these platforms. 

2. Put your data to creative use. 

Social media analytics allow for even the smallest of businesses to see who is interacting with their content. Not only can you see who is interacting with your content, but you can see their location, other interests, and additional psychographics. Put this data to use! Use this information to tailor marketing content to certain audiences. By playing to their interests, they will engage with your brand. 

3. Use humor modestly. 

Humor can be a useful emotional appeal to draw the attention of your target audience. However, one must be careful when using humor as an attention-getter. Humor must not be offensive, or you are at risk of upsetting other audiences that you may have not been targeting.  

4. Make your testimonials visually pleasing. 

Word-of-mouth marketing will always be a vital component to the success of a business. Target audiences value the words of friends and customers over a business as they do not feel they are advertising to them. By putting the testimonial into a graphic, it is more visually pleasing and will grab the attention of the audience in an effective way. 

Define Your Shine! 
Cassie Malhado, Growth Associate 

4 Ways You Can Use Facebook to Guide Your Digital Marketing 

4 Ways You Can Use Facebook to Guide Your Digital Marketing 

Facebook offers immense possibilities for marketing success among businesses. With nearly 1.5 billion users every day, according to Facebook’s second quarter results of 2018, Facebook has a significant audience reach. However, many businesses find their marketing tactics are not as effective as they would like them to be. Facebook can be an untapped resource for small to medium-sized businesses, if they learn to use it effectively. 

1. Stop worrying about the numbers. 

Too often, business leaders are overly concerned about the numbers. Focusing on likes and number of followers can surpass thoughts of content and the value current audience members of a page add. Social marketing is about building an engaged, interactive group who will comment on your posts and share to their followers as well. Having a group of 50 people who care versus 1,000 who don’t is of better value to a business. 

2. It’s all about the audience. 

Who is your target audience? What products or services do you offer, and who is attracted to them? These are key components to a successful digital marketing plan. Facebook users are bombarded with content every second of every day.  Thus,Facebook’s algorithm gives users more of what they want to see. With every post, you should be questioning, what is in it for my audience? Then, your target audience will interact with your posts, furthering their interest in your brand and positioning you higher in their newsfeed. 

 3. Optimize your Facebook page for increased SEO. 

Search engine optimization stems from what is important to the audience. There are many ways to increase SEO. First, use descriptive keywords regarding your product or service in your about section. Second, link your Facebook page to everything. By linking your page to your website, LinkedIn, and Twitter, you will drive more traffic to your page and increase your rank on Google. Third, create a custom URL. Customized URLs are search friendly.  

 4. Post conscientiously. 

Think about what you enjoy seeing on Facebook. Be concise with your content as you only have seconds to draw a user in. Use photos and videos to grab attention and retain interest. Boost posts you believe are valuable to your target audience. Be creative, courteous, and represent your brand in everything you share, create, and post.  

“A brand is no longer what we tell the consumer it is – it is what consumers tell each other it is.” – Scott Cook, Co-Founder Intuit  

Define Your Shine!
Cassie Malhado, Growth Associate

5 Digital Marketing Trends that Will Grow Your Business

5 Digital Marketing Trends that Will Grow Your Business

It seems every year brings new technology that affects how your business interacts with customers. As technology continuously advances, opportunities for your business’s digital marketing plan do as well. Here are 5 digital marketing trends that will assist you in growing your business.

 1.     The use of artificial intelligence (AI)

Artificial intelligence is the technology of the future. AI analyzes consumer behavior and search metrics, allowing for businesses to market to certain consumers. AI also makes customer service easy! AI empowered chatbots allow for constant customer support, quick responses, and recollection of a consumer’s entire purchase history. AI will allow for businesses to be more efficient and save money.

 2.      Personalization of E-Mail Campaigns

The large availability of customer data allows for businesses to track consumer purchase history, behavior, and online activity. Large amounts of data mean businesses have the opportunity to personalize their content to consumers. Personalizing content to consumers will create a higher call-to-action and a higher click-through rate of e-mail campaigns.

 3.     Video Marketing

Video marketing is a low-cost, high engagement way of interacting with consumers. As high-quality phone cameras continue to be advanced, video marketing is made easy. Don’t just think YouTube videos! Facebook and other platforms offer unique ways to post live videos, upload stories, or use 360-degree, interactive photos.

 4.     Influencer Marketing

The business world knows the importance of word-of-mouth. By creating partnerships with influencers in your respective industry, consumers are faced with a credible source promoting your products. As consumers are wary of business messaging, influencers promote products in a way that mimics friend-to-friend product recommendations.

 5.     Voice Search

Consumers continue purchasing products such as the Amazon Echo or Google Home. As a result, there has been a spike in voice search. Making your website compatible for voice search will increase customer visits and retention. When you make information easily accessible to your customer, their loyalty increases.

 “We need to stop interrupting what people are interested in and be what people are interested in.” –Craig Davis, former Chief Creative Officer at J. Walter Thompson

Define Your Shine!
Cassie Malhado, Growth Associate



5 Tips to Improve Work-Life Balance

5 Tips to Improve Work-Life Balance

“Time is really the only capital that any human being has, and the only thing he can’t afford to lose.” – Thomas Edison

Work-life balance is a term used to describe the balance between time allocated at work and time allocated for other aspects of an individual’s life. While work-life balance looks different for every individual, studies have proven that too much time spent with work leads to overall unhappiness with life.

Only you can find the perfect work-life balance ratio for yourself, so here are five tips to help you along your way.

1. What Matters

Sometimes we get so caught up in the “go” of life, that we forget what is important to us. Consider making a list of the values you hold vital to who you are. After making this list, compare it to what you are currently doing. If your actions don’t match, it is time to consider changes to your life that will increase your passion and happiness.

2. Schedule Your Passions In

Whether your passion lies in yoga, lifting weights, or writing poetry, it is important to schedule time for activities that fulfill you. The human mind and body require time to unwind. By constantly bombarding yourself with work stressors, you can start feeling drained. Taking time to partake in activities that make you happy will allow for you to relieve stress and ultimately perform better at work.

3. Say No

Opportunities present themselves on a daily basis. Living in a fast-pace society has taught us to make decisions quickly. Consider taking more time before committing to opportunities. While taking this time, think about how the opportunity will benefit you. Will it provide more reward than a previous work experience? Are the rewards worth my time and dedication? By considering important factors to you and your business, you can say yes to the rewarding opportunities and no to those that are unfulfilling.

4. Hard Stop Time

Whether working in the office or remotely, it is important to schedule your day. By scheduling a specific leave time or “hard stop” time, you can hold yourself accountable to the things you must accomplish before you leave work. By telling co-workers, family or friends your hard stop time, they can assist in holding you accountable for leaving work at work.

5. Unplug

Technology has allowed us to become available at nearly any time to our professional capacity. As a result, we check our emails, text messages, and notifications every waking hour. To improve work-life balance, turn your phone off when surrounded by family and friends. It is not enough to be physically present, while mentally at work. Doing so will improve the quality of time spent with those close to you, fulfilling both you and them.

Define Your Shine!
Cassie Malhado, Growth Associate

Strategies for Managing Multiple Projects

Strategies for Managing Multiple Projects

Sometimes it may feel as if you are drowning in deadlines, projects, and work. How do you stay on top of the mounting list of tasks while creating a quality product you are proud to stand behind? These five tips will help you better manage your projects.

1.    Prioritize

Some projects will take extended lengths of time. Other projects will have an enclosing deadline. By using a calendar to set times of when you should be working on which tasks, you will be able to better prioritize. Setting reminders on your phone, using Google calendar or a traditional planner, will help decide what needs to get done when.

2.    Make a Check List

A check list is a great way to visualize what needs to get done from your calendar. You work hard! A checklist is a great way to reward yourself for that hard work. Physically checking something off your list will allow you to see how much closer you are to finishing your goals. It will make working hard even more rewarding! 

3.    Delegate

While it can be hard to assign tasks to others, it is a must to meet deadlines. It is key to surround yourself with individuals who hold a similar work ethic to your own. When you can trust the people around you, managing multiple projects becomes easier.

4.    Stay Organized

When working with multiple clients on multiple projects, it is important to have your ducks in a row to maintain good relationships. You do not want to send the wrong material to the wrong organization! While mistakes happen, staying organized through tools such as Asana, Trello, and Dropbox will help eliminate common errors and keep everyone happy.

5.    Communicate Openly

If you are aiming to improve your life in any area, chances are open communication can help. Being able to come to people with your concerns, issues, and challenges will make for stronger and longer lasting relationships.

Life is a balancing act, and how you choose to balance it is half the battle.

Define Your Shine!
Cassie Malhado, Growth Associate


Beige Background and Simple Border Good Morning Quote.png

The Ultimate LinkedIn Checklist

The Ultimate LinkedIn Checklist

LinkedIn is a platform that seems to evolve daily. It’s crucial to stay on top of the latest trends, avoid common profile mistakes, and update with all of LinkedIn’s changes. Your LinkedIn profile is a representation of you, so why not take the time to make it look professional? Consider your audience, review your profile, and make sure it’s strong with this ultimate LinkedIn checklist. 

 1.   How’s your top fold looking?

Your top fold is the first part of your profile. Make it easy for someone to consider hiring you. Make sure your profile uses your professional name and has a strong and specific headline that aligns with your audience. Your photo is also something that catches someone’s eye when initially viewing your profile, so have a professional picture that represents you best. A solid background, genuine smile, and professional attire are recommended.  Make sure your contact information is provided and consider adding an industry-related background image, but nothing too crazy. Your top fold is completed with a custom URL. 

2.   Is your summary strong?

Your summary is your own personal introduction to your audience written in first person. You should have a few sentences that sum up who you are, what professional field you’re in, what position you’re currently searching for, and contact information. Next, include brief background information such as education, field-related experience, volunteer work, leadership opportunities, etc. Include keywords and finish by attaching an updated resume, along with other up-to-date media pieces. 

3.   Refresh your experience.

Your experience is important on LinkedIn, so make sure it is current. Your employment history should be thorough, industry-related, and include descriptions. Highlight your talents, strengths, leadership, and communication skills. 

4.   Is your education available?

List your education experience including your university, degree, major, minor, year in school, course list, and extracurricular activities, clubs, volunteer work, and organizations. Your GPA is optional. 

5.   Are your skills impressive?

Your skills work as keywords, so make sure they match up with any job descriptions you’re interested in or applications you’re filing out. Double check if your skills are up-to-date with the latest industry trends. 

6.   Is the rest of your profile complete?

Many tend to forget about the bottom section of a profile. However, by providing information such as groups, publications, honors and awards, certifications, interests, and hobbies, you might have a chance at appearing at the top of searches made by employers. 

Your LinkedIn profile is now complete, impressive, detailed, and professional. 

Love & light,



What Your LinkedIn Profile Should Look Like In 2018

What Your LinkedIn Profile Should Look Like In 2018

If someone wants to do some digging or see what you’re up to, they simply type your name in a search bar and have everything they need to know right in front of you – hopefully.

It’s more important now than ever to have a solid LinkedIn profile to tell the professional world who you are and what you’re looking for, because the world is fast, digital, and often doesn’t have time to ask questions. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, more than 90% of recruiters rely on the LinkedIn to seek applicants. So, what exactly should yours include?

LinkedIn can be thought of as an extension of your resume. By not having a certain page limit, you’re free to further explain some of your experience and work history – and, if you’re smart, include a touch of personality.

What to include

Simply copy and pasting your resume onto your profile is not going to cut it. You should add your voice into how you explain positions and describe your experience. Remember that there are humans just like you on the receiving end of your messages, so don’t be afraid to talk in first person or jazz it up with the right amount of “you.” Consider creating a summary that highlights some of your work history, as well as who you are as an individual.

Referencing your education is proved to be a significant leg-up on your surrounding LinkedIn competition. LinkedIn professional Blair Decembrele said, “Users who list their education appear in searches up to 17 times more often than those who don’t.” So, do yourself a favor and flaunt that degree you worked hard for.

It’s also important to have up-to-date samples of work. Whether it’s a recent article you wrote or your best essay for class, have something that people can look at to find out what kind of quality of work you produce. This increases your credibility and shows you’re proud of your work.

Unfortunately, in the social world, image is everything. Make sure you have a professional-looking headshot as your profile picture. This means no selfies or pictures at inappropriate places (bars, parties, etc.). It’s as easy as asking a friend or co-worker to snap a photo of you against a plain wall.

How to use it

Now that you know what you should include on your profile, you need to know how to use it. Remember that LinkedIn is a social media. It’s where work meets life. You should be exploring and interacting with other professionals to expand your network and gain insights both in and outside your industry.

Definitely share relevant articles, comment on other posts, connect with people in your network, and keep it active by logging on at least every week. LinkedIn provides many opportunities to expand your knowledge and network with others whom you may not usually have.

Perfecting your LinkedIn profile doesn’t have to be super complicated. Remember, it should reflect who you are as an individual and a professional. Include what you want others to know about your work history and industry knowledge. Follow these tips, and you’ll be a top contender for the job you want in no time!

If you have any additional questions or comments about your social media brand, contact A. Victoria MAE!

Shine bright!


5 Ways Highly Successful People Stay Positive

5 Ways Highly Successful People Stay Positive

“Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.” –Willie Nelson

It’s nearly impossible to stay constantly optimistic and on cloud nine at all times of the day. However, learning to dance in the rain is an important skill to master. When it comes to success in life, it’s critical to understand your mindset is in your control, and great success is truly achievable when positivity shows through in times of adversity.

The most successful people in society seem to have this skill grasped. Here’s a list of how highly successful people stay positive.

 1.    They believe in their abilities.

Failure is a scary thought. It’s important to remember that everyone, even the most successful people have failed at one point in their career. Trust in your abilities and take risks. Learn from your mistakes and know that failure is not what defines someone. Approach new tasks with confidence and believe that you can either succeed or learn from your mistakes.

2.    They continuously set goals.

Set goals. Some prefer setting smaller goals, such as daily or weekly intentions. Others prefer long-term goals. Whether your goals are small or large, they’ll keep you focused, motivated, and on track.

3.    They practice gratitude.

It’s easy to continuously look towards your future plans and dreams. However, it’s still imperative to remember how you got to where you are now, and give thanks. Take time to appreciate the people who have helped you succeed thus far, and know that practicing gratitude creates positive emotions, ultimately helping you on the road to success.

4.    They look at the bright side of situations.

Nothing is dark forever. There’s sunshine right around the corner. Another chance, another choice, another possibility, and another opportunity are up ahead. You have the choice to look on the bright side and look for silver linings. Optimism pays off.

5.    They’re dedicated mentors and learners.

Successful people don’t just settle. They’re not afraid to learn and are constantly seeking new advice, concepts, ideas, and skills. Surround yourself with people who challenge you to do better and work harder, and those who teach you valuable lessons. Push yourself to think outside of the box and never stop learning.

 “Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow.” –Helen Keller

Love & light,


How What I Do Helps You Grow Your Business

How What I Do Helps You Grow Your Business

Growth has always been a constant theme in my life – whether it’s through my education, career path, relationships, or even seeing sunflowers grow in a garden.

As an entrepreneur, I have a natural interest in seeing businesses grow and for other business owners to succeed. This is exactly why I started my business, A. Victoria MAE – to help companies get where they want to be. I do this by sharing their unique stories with others in ways they can’t quite put into words themselves.

My main goal is to execute a business’ vision and help make ideas happen. I’m here to lend a helping hand – from consulting services to full-blown marketing and public relations execution.

By pairing strategic thinking with a modern, tailored-to-you plan, A. Victoria MAE tells your company’s story and gets the right people hear it.  

I’m proud to say that A. Victoria MAE has helped small-to-medium sized businesses grow significantly over the years, and we have made thousands of ideas happen. I’ve built unique relationships with each of my clients, and I care so much about their success.

My company is in business to help others prosper. Through every strategy we implement, we take your business one step further towards your vision.

Find out where my team at A. Victoria MAE can take your business! Contact us for a consultation today.



Social Media Management, Simplified

Social Media Management, Simplified

How do you stay on top of your social media marketing tasks?

The rise of social media has made it common for individuals and businesses to have a presence on multiple social networking sites. Achieving a consistent flow of content is now easier than ever with one-stop tools that allow social media platforms to be managed all at once. These tools can help save you time and ensure your content reaches the right audience at the right time.

 Here are 6 of the top social media management tools out there. 

 Buffer offers the ability to program multiple posts on various platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Google+ . This management tool helps drive and track engagement and results of the social media content posted. Buffer even has a unique option that scans your audience to allow you to know the right time to post.

Sprout is a management platform for teams of all sizes that allows for three main functions including publishing, engagement, and analytics. Custom link tracking is available to monitor campaigns, referral traffic, and conversions. You can also benefit from this software by identifying and engaging with customers who might prove potentially advantageous for your business. The Sprout dashboard is divided into six sections: Messages, Tasks, Feed, Publishing, Discovery, and Reports. These sections that can help you know where you stand with your customers and prospects.

Sprinklr is a complete social media management system that includes assistance in marketing, advertising, research, commerce, and of course social media. This unified platform allows for an all in one experience even allowing teams to collaborate to help deliver even better results. An external API is available for customers and developers to build the applications. Downside: it doesn’t include Instagram. 

Tweetdeck is a social media dashboard application for Twitter accounts ONLY. This management tool assists to organize and build collections, keep track of lists, searches, and activity of multiple accounts in one interface. Refine results with filters that are accessible at the top of each timeline. Tweetdeck’s social media dashboard is customizable and live updates are available.

HootSuite is known as one of the top applications for managing all social media platforms from a single dashboard. This management site allows for automatically scheduling hundreds of social media posts at once across your social accounts. The impact of your social media campaigns can be measured through comprehensive reporting and separate ROI between owned and paid media. This tool can be used to delegate tasks with multiple users so it is a great option for a team.

IconSquare is a management tool for Instagram and Facebook accounts ONLY. This application is great for running Instagram videos and photo contests. To do this, all you have to do is pick any three hashtags of your choice and then Iconosquare will collect the photos and videos into a gallery. Comment tracking is also available, which tracks as many as 30 media comments and lets you respond to them. Options to mark comments as read, reply to each of them individually, and delete comments are a plus to this management tool.

Each social media management tool has its pros and cons but there is one thing for sure: there is an option for everyone. It is important to check out your options and decide what management tool is best suited for you, or you and your team, and provides you with the most effectiveness.

All the best!


Network Your Way To Success

Network Your Way To Success

Networking may come easier to some than others, but it is an essential way to build relationships for a long-term investment.  We live in a connected world, making networking an essential way to gain professional opportunities. People like to do business with people they know and trust. If you are curious about the preparations and expectations that come along with networking, here are four things to know.

Networking is Constant

Every person you meet could lead to a potential network opportunity. Networking never stops, so be ready to make a good impression. Be ready to interact with anyone at anytime. You never know who you may run into to network with, it could even happen at the grocery store.  


Actively engage in conversations - you’re searching for inspiration, knowledge, and advice in every person you meet. Find a topic of interest to help connect and build an even better, more relatable relationship.  It is easier to remember someone if that person is connected to something else, for example, with a similar interest. It is also important to remember good conversation comes from being a good listener.

Follow Up

It is important to understand the power of communication and relationships. It is difficult to have a relationship without communication. After meeting someone at a networking event, connect with him or her again. A good way to do this would be via email or through social media, like LinkedIn. Message them along with comment on posts to stay engaged and help continue to build the relationship. This will grow your networking database even more.

Tip: Gather business cards at network events so it is easier to connect with those your meet.

Meet People Through People

When meeting someone new, take the time to make a real connection. The person you meet has hundreds of other connections that may be relatable to you, and likewise. Ask contacts and people you meet, selectively, if they know anyone that may be able to help you. The goal of networking is to not only meet people but to tap into the network of the people you meet as well.

All the best!


Connect with me on LinkedIn.


De-Stress During your Workday

De-Stress During your Workday

It’s completely normal to feel stressed or overwhelmed at times in the office. Workdays can be chaotic, challenging, stimulating, and busy. However, it’s important to step back, relax, and take some time to ease your mind to be productive to your fullest potential. Here are a few simple tips to help you calm your nerves and chill out. 

1.     Turn on mood-boosting music. 
Music has a natural way of boosting positivity, providing inspiration, and calming anxiety. If your office is quiet, bring headphones with you every day. Music can stimulate productivity too, so it might even help you complete your tasks quicker.

2.     Buy a small essential oil diffuser for your desk. 
Natural essential oils like lavender, rose, ylang ylang, bergamot, and chamomile can provide relief as a natural remedy for anxiety. Put a couple drops of oils in your diffuser and take a few slow, deep breaths. You can even close your eyes, picture yourself at your favorite place stress-free, and try to mediate for a couple of minutes.

3.     Socialize. 
Social interaction will help give your mind a break from work and help you step away from the screen for a bit. Try to avoid strictly talking about work and change the topic to something fun and tension-free.

4.     Write it down. 
If your mind feels overwhelmed with a million thoughts at once, write them down in a bulleted list. By writing them in a list format, you’ll be able to focus on tackling one task at a time.

5.     Remember you can accomplish anything. 
Take a few minutes to remind yourself that you’re capable of anything you set your mind to. Have confidence in yourself and know that you can and will accomplish your goals.

Sometimes it’s important to take a step back and relax. Stress and anxiety in the office is unavoidable, but it doesn’t have to feel that way. Always remember to take care of yourself and take control.

Love & light,




Increase Your Productivity

Increase Your Productivity

On their own, they are not as efficient; when practiced together they will change the way you work. It can be hard to constantly be productive throughout the day. These four tips give high-quality insight on a few ways to help keep you moving efficiently.

Remove Distractions

Distractions are circling around us daily. Doing what we can to remove distractions can be beneficial, specifically when it comes to technology. With constant social media updates, it is easy to get sidetracked when unneeded technology is in eyesight. Place the phone out of view and set a goal to only visit social media for 10 minutes out of your day. If lacking self-control, try using an app like Onward, which allows you to selectively disable apps and limit phone use for a specific amount of time.

Plan Ahead

Stay organized by creating a daily and weekly to-do list to help stay on track with the important tasks that need to be done. This will help prioritize your time effectively. To-do lists not only provide you with focus but also reward you with satisfaction when you complete items on the list. Know the three most important tasks and focus on those each day before working on the others.

One Task At A Time

Dedicate yourself to one task at a time to help you accomplish more while bringing more attention to your work individually. It is more time consuming to start, stop, and switch tasks leading to less productivity. Focus on one thing at a time to best accomplish more in less time. With single tasking, your focus isn’t distributed so you are working more efficiently with less distraction.

 “Productivity is like any skill. The more you practice it, the better you get.” –Michael Hyatt

All the best!



Stop and Smell the Sunflowers

Stop and Smell the Sunflowers

When’s the last time you said thank you?

Each day, we wake up and experience some degree of a routine. We somehow end up going through the motions and not stopping to look around and be thankful for what we have. It’s easy to get caught up in life’s commotion, but don’t forget to take a moment to stop and smell the sunflowers.

If you’ve found yourself complaining about having to wake up and go to school or work, remember that you were once hoping to get that opportunity. Maybe it’s time to say thank you to your boss for everything he or she does for you or thank a co-worker who helps you through those Mondays – you know the ones.

Maybe you have some family members who are there for you no matter what, and they deserve to hear a thank you.

It can be as simple as a text message or as extravagant as a random delivery of flowers and other goodies.

Not only will thanking people in your life make others feel better, but it will also have a positive effect on you. This creates an opportunity to think about all of the good things in your life and allows you to value people and experiences more.

It doesn’t have to take much time or any money. Saying thank you to those who help make your life a little easier creates a world of a difference!


3 Simple Ways to Show Gratitude In Your Life

3 Simple Ways to Show Gratitude In Your Life

Going out of your way to show you’re grateful for others leaves a positive, lasting impression. Whether it’s your co-workers or friends, it’s important to find little ways to let people know you appreciate their help. Here are a few ways that take little effort but make a big impact.

  1. Thank you cards
    I’ve said it before, and I’ll continue to say it again: thank you notes are extremely valuable and underrated in the business world. This is a secret weapon when it comes to professional networking or just making someone’s day in general. When someone does something kind or helpful, it’s important to always reach out and take the extra step to show your appreciation - bonus points if it’s handwritten.

  2. Random acts of kindness
    At A. Victoria MAE, we’re all about sunflowers. Any chance you get to make someone’s day – make it happen. Spread positive vibes in little ways like words of affirmation, holding the door open for someone, giving compliments, and just asking yourself, “how can I make this person’s day better?”

  3. Don’t complain for 24 hours
    This may seem difficult once you first start, but you will really be surprised when you realize the difference it makes. Not only do negative thoughts have an impact on your attitude, but when you share them aloud it brings others down, too. Avoid negativity for 24 hours and instead vocalize what you’re grateful for!

It’s not always easy or going to be the first thing that comes to mind, but showing gratitude spreads more positivity than you think. Even if it seems like no one else is doing it, be the person to make someone else’s day! If there’s one positive attribute to be remembered by, let it be the one who is grateful.


Why College Students & Young Pros Need More Than Just a Resume

Why College Students & Young Pros Need More Than Just a Resume

Each new internship and job-hunting season is a learning experience for both sides of the table. The potential employer is learning what the current trends for resumes and cover letters are, as well as what is being taught to students. The students are learning to first dip their toes into the world of being a professional.

I’ve seen a fair share of resumes, portfolio pieces, cover letters – you name it! Each lands on various parts of the spectrum. If there’s one thing that sticks out to me when looking for a potential new hire, it’s a student with a business card!

Most students may not think they need a business card until later in their careers, but this is an important tool when looking to network and show off your professional side. It helps establish your brand as well as credibility.

"Once you’re in the professional world, you sort of make the assumption that people have a card--if you want to play in that world, you have to have the tools,” says Lindsey Pollak, career expert and author From College to Career: 90 Things to Do Before You Join the Real World.

You may be asking yourself, “But what should my business card look like?”

Here are a few tips:

1. Keep it simple.
Include your basic contact information such as name, phone number, and email (recommended to use a personal email address not school-related one). Don’t go over-the-top by trying to squeeze your whole resume and qualifications on here.

2. Stand out.
This is an opportunity to show your creative side – if you want. Business cards range from plain to flashy. Find what works best for you and make it unique!

3. Make it count.
Take the time to create something you’re proud to distribute.

“Experts agree there is nothing more undesirable than a flimsy business card with ink that smears. There are many deals that offer business cards for free or at a highly-discounted price, but cheap cards make students look unprofessional,” according to Fox Business.

When you’ve created a business card to match your professional personality, use it confidently, and get ready to “wow” the next potential employer (or client) you encounter!


A. Victoria MAE Chief Growth Officer & Founder Accepted into inGAGE Master Class

A. Victoria MAE Chief Growth Officer & Founder Accepted into inGAGE Master Class
The Inforum program works with women entrepreneurs to help them grow their businesses

Congratulations to A. Victoria MAE’s Chief Growth Officer & Founder, Ashleigh Laabs, as she has been accepted into Inforum’s inGAGE Master Class. The inGAGE Master Class is a program created for women entrepreneurs who are looking to grow and develop their businesses. This program will not only help Laabs to learn about the best practices and growth strategies, it will also allow her to discuss and engage with other women entrepreneurs.

Formulating specialized strategies to create new opportunities is what the inGAGE Master Class is all about. The program brings together participants who are in the same area, business-wise, so they can work collaboratively to assess their businesses. The entrepreneurs will learn about operations, management, finances, and personnel. The goal is to help women entrepreneurs find the strengths and challenges in their businesses.

“This program will allow me to create a solid growth plan for A. Victoria MAE and will help me brainstorm and share thoughts and ideas in a safe space while receiving real feedback from peers. I love Inforum. This organization brings together wonderful women who I can network and learn from. Not only am I excited to learn how to grow my business, but I am excited to help others do the same,” said Laabs.

Along with admittance into this prestigious program, Laabs also secured a $1,500 scholarship. This scholarship covers the entire cost of participation in the program for Laabs. Laabs intends to utilize the program to help her create a financial growth strategy for A. Victoria MAE.

Since the beginning of the inGAGE Master Class in August 2012, it has helped 89 women entrepreneurs, created 304 jobs, gained $41.3 million in new capital, and much more. The master class is led by Patti Glaza, one of Michigan’s foremost venture capital experts.

The program lasts from March 2018 to August 2018, with, on average, one meeting each month. When admitted into the program, attendees receive other benefits, such as an Inforum membership, a personal leadership assessment, and one-on-one coaching.

The Power of Gratitude: Shout Out to Young Professionals

The Power of Gratitude: Shout Out to Young Professionals

Picture this: You just left the best interview you’ve ever had with your dream company. You spent hours perfecting your resume, practicing your best smile, and crafting all the right answers to their questions. You are certain you’ve got this job offer in the bag, and all you have to do is wait for that phone call, right? Wrong!

All too often, job seekers leave the conversation without a follow up and wonder why they didn’t hear back. This is because sending a thank you is the final, and most crucial, step in a successful interview.

Saying thank you for someone's time is important; it shows you are a person who has empathy, emotion, and appreciation. This is incredibly valuable to a future employer.

At a bare minimum, send an email thank you. It takes little time and energy.  If you really want to set yourself apart from your competition, hand-written notes are the way to go. This shows that you care enough to put in those extra few minutes of your time to show appreciation and genuine interest in the company you’re interviewing for.

"The best timeframe to send a thank you email is within 24 hours after your interview," says Whitney Purcell, associate director of Career Development at Susquehanna University.

A hand-written thank you note shouts passion to me.


  • Send within 24 hours of the interview.

  • Be genuine.

  • Take advantage of this time to make yourself stand out.

  • Wow them!

A good thank you can go a long way. This is your time to shine!


Are You Hitting Your Target?

Are You Hitting Your Target?

You have a business because of an idea. You want to see the idea continue to grow, so who are you directing your business strategies towards?

Knowing your target market is the difference between huge success within your business and a good idea without direction. If business owners cannot describe how their ideal consumer thinks, acts, looks, decides, eats, sleeps, and breathes, they have not done their homework and aren’t maximizing their potential success.

It may seem like a lot of work, but no one can afford to target everyone, so learning to target the right people at the right time is critical. As Inc. notes, “Targeting a specific market does not mean that you are excluding people who do not fit your criteria. Rather, target marketing allows you to focus your marketing dollars and brand message on a specific market that is more likely to buy from you than other markets.”

So, how exactly do you go about defining and delivering to your target market? Here are some helpful hints:

Do some internal reflection.

What are some things your business is doing really well at right now? Who seems to be engaging with the company and providing feedback? Are there areas where you feel need a little more attention? Knowing where you are versus where you want to be is a great first step in catalyzing change.

See what else is out there.

Checking out the competition, or just similar businesses, is a very effective way to compare and contrast. This allows you to evaluate your strengths compared to others, as well as brainstorm possible things to improve on or add to your business.

Define your unique characteristics.

What products or services do you offer? Try making a list of what your business specifically does. Then, think about who or what kind of person would need or want these services.

Making a list of specific demographics and psychographics that align with your business’ services makes it much easier to simplify your search for a target market. Some demographic factors include:

  • Age

  • Gender

  • Location

  • Education

  • Occupation

  • Income level

While some psychographic factors could be:

  • Interests/hobbies

  • Personality

  • Values

  • Lifestyle

The important piece to think about is understanding how your customers think. If you can do that, you will then understand how to successfully reach them to keep them coming back for more.


After you’ve gathered a well-thought out list of your target market, ask yourself if it’s realistic. Do you have a substantial number of people who are a good fit? Will they benefit from my services? Do I truly understand how to reach them?

Reach out!

Re-evaluating a huge part of your business such as the target market can seem a bit overwhelming and maybe even complicated. It’s not something to be done overnight – it takes time and strategy.

A. Victoria MAE specializes in business growth strategies such as marketing and public relations. We make it easy to help you define your sunshine and make your ideas happen. For more information and ways to define your target market, contact A. Victoria MAE today! #MakeIdeasHappen