How a simple new mantra is changing my life

Vale Design - How a simple new mantra is changing my life

My last living grandparent, my maternal grandmother, passed away a year ago this month. I was blessed to spend some of her final moments with her, holding her hand, watching her receive last rites and being able to tell her I loved her. We even shared some sass and laughs at the end. Her passing left me a little bit scattered and shattered, but I feel like the fog of grief is slowly lifting.

I have been reflecting on my grandparents’ life. Both of them lived into their 90’s. For their entire marriage, they lived in a small 1940’s house the size of a postage stamp, yet it had this magic ability to swell to include room for 20-30 family members every Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas or birthday. My grandparents left each of their children a monetary inheritance. My grandfather was retired the ENTIRE time I knew him. They traveled often. They believed that church, community service and giving back to others was non-negotiable. They were surrounded by friends. They lacked nothing and were honored and respected by everyone.

They lived small, saved their money, did not buy every “must have” or "pretty" item and cooked mostly at home (some of the best food I have ever eaten!). They spent time together just watching baseball on tv, listening to one of their grandkids chat about their lives and sitting on their sun porch listening to the birds sing.

But they lived big! Casinos when they wanted to. Traveling to all 50 states and internationally when they felt like it. They laughed, drank wine and told great stories. My grandfather liked televisions. He had 3. He liked cars and would trade his in every once and awhile for a new model. My grandmother liked clothes and lipstick.

I am not someone who believes in owning a lot of things, but we all fall into the brainless consumer trap. This North Face jacket is on sale at the consignment shop. It won’t hurt to buy it. I am tired and I don’t want to cook for my picky eater tonight, let’s go out to eat (so guilty of this!). I must have these 3 fonts in order to find the perfect one for this client. I have to sign up for this business e-course to learn yet another way for someone to tell me to trust my gut, get back to work and that there is no magic formula to success.

Reflecting back on my grandparents' lives gave me an epiphany.

A simple new mantra was born.


From now on, both personally and professionally, I am going to challenge myself to live small so that I can live big!

  • I want to move into a different neighborhood because they have better amenities, but I don’t need to. My house is gorgeous and sufficient.
  • I want all of the face lotions and potions to give me perfect skin, but I don’t need to. My faults keep me vulnerable and real.
  • I want to go on every trip that the Joneses take, but I don’t need to. I am a homebody and I love to work and I love my clients.
  • I want to purchase every stock photography image for my client, but I don’t need to. There are plenty of free stock photography sites with amazing, impactful shots.
  • I can still have meetings at Starbucks, but I do not need a drink every time.
  • I want to take every e-course under the sun to learn something new, but I don’t need to. I am a badass intelligent business owner who knows her s@#$.
  • Target...we might have to break up or at least have a trial separation for a bit.

I looked up to and respected my grandparents. I studied the way their lived and loved. They lived small and as a result of some sacrifice they lived so damn big!

I am grateful for what I have and I am grateful for the choice to sacrifice to have a full life, surrounded by family, donating and giving back to my community and most importantly...making my grandparents proud of the women that I am and continue to strive to become.

My personal and professional decisions will now be guided by some sacrifice and a constant mantra asking "will this help me live small to live big?" Do I need to purchase this thing or commit to this work event? How will this sacrifice pay off? Is this purchase a "hell yeah" purchase? Can I walk out of Target with less than $100 worth of stuff?

What choices can you make right now both personally and professionally to live smaller so you can live bigger?


6 reasons why Engagement Prompts should be part of your social media strategy

Vale Design - 6 reasons why Engagement Prompts should be part of your social media strategy

At Vale Design, we work with our clients to create impactful, social media marketing strategies. We brainstorm specific categories that are relevant for our clients, create the images and hand them off to our business owners to share across their chosen social media platforms. We include "Engagement Prompts" as one of our must have categories for our business clients.

First of all, "Engagement" is a HUGE buzzword for 2018 social media. Engagement means talking and interacting with your followers and who you follow on social media.

Facebook and Instagram have algorithms that are difficult for businesses. The algorithms decide what feed they think a follower would be interested in seeing. If the algorithms determine that someone does not want to see your feed, you will be buried in the social media abyss and no one, especially not potential customers and clients, will see your feed and that is money lost for your business.

What is an Engagement Prompt?

An Engagement Prompt is a question or thought that inspires an "action of interaction" with your followers and potential customers and clients.

Interaction (double taps, likes and comments) is the best way to beat the algorithms!

Facebook has decided that it has wrecked the way we interact with each other (which they did!) and now they are trying to fix it so people will not delete Facebook and walk away from the social media platform all together. Less people means less money for them. 

Facebook and Instagrams' algorithms will now REWARD interaction by keeping your feed up top for your followers. The algorithm will NOT REWARD mindless scrolling with no stopping. Again, they are trying to fix the damage they have done. Interact with each other or be buried.

The more engagement and interaction you have with your followers = the more people who see your feed = the more chances to convert a follower to customer/client = the more opportunities for your business to make money.

Why you need to use Engagement Prompts in your social media marketing: 

1. Build community

Prompts encourage you as a business owner to engage with your followers. They let your followers know that you are curious about them and curious how to make your business better for them. Prompts let your followers know that you care about them and are invested in their wellbeing. That your follower number means community to you, not just vanity metrics.

2. Ask Questions

Do you offer weight loss services? Do a mid-week check-in and inspiration engagement prompt. Do you sell perfume? Post a quiz question asking what the most popular fragrance is. Let your followers guess in the comments. Asking questions is a simple way to learn more about your followers and inspire an "action of interaction."

3. Research your community

Who is your target market? Do you know? Maybe you think you know, but have you studied your analytics? Have you asked your followers? Do they have a problem that you can help them solve that could make their lives more positive? Look at your numbers, and ask some questions. Knowing your target audience helps you to offer better products and services that are relevant and that there is a need for.

4. Learn pain points

As a business owner, you can love what you do. You can create amazing products and services, but if you do not understand the pain points and actual needs of your ideal audience, then you will not be profitable. Prompts ask them what problems they have. What is holding them up from purchasing your product or service? Don't assume to know. Ask them and learn from their responses. 

5. Educate how to move through pain points

Engagement Prompts stop a person from mindless scrolling and encourage them to think about a problem they are experiencing. Once you know your audience's problems, or pain points, hold ups and needs, you are better equipped with the correct information to create a product or service to meet those needs. Better yet, show them that you already have that product or service to help them.

6. Showcase your expertise

You have an incredible business! You are an intelligent expert in your field and know your products and services. You can remind followers what your business expertise is with an engagement prompt. Ask questions that lead followers back to your area of expertise.

Visual Examples

Here are some examples of Engagement Prompts we created for one of our financial planning clients.

Below are some images that represent the overall look and feel of their current social media marketing strategy that we developed for them.

Here is an example of their overall social media feed.


Above you can see how we utilized the brand pink to create Engagement Prompts that grab attention and stand out. These prompts pose questions that relate back to the business's areas of expertise encouraging interaction in the comments and call-to-actions.

Engagement Prompts should still be visually "on brand." I like to brand them in a small sub-brand all their own. (On the Vale Design Instagram feed, our "Instagram Tips" category is an example of a small sub-brand.  

Engagement Prompts need to stop a follower from mindless scrolling with something eye-catching and engaging that inspires an "action of interaction."

Are you feeling like your Facebook or Instagram feed is being buried by the algorithms? Have you noticed that your follower number is decreasing at a rapid pace? Looking to professionally brand your feed to get back to the top of the social media mountain and into the eyeline of your ideal target audience?

We can help you increase your followers, create eye catching images that stop your ideal customers from mindlessly scrolling, educate and inform your potential customers about your business and increase your double taps, likes and comments. 

The more engagement and interaction you have with your followers = the more people who see your feed = the more chances to convert a follower to customer/client = the more opportunities for your business to make money.

Click the button below to schedule a free social media feed consultation!