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Why Your Business Needs Facebook

 

You be living on a martian planet if you haven’t noticed small businesses taking over Facebook. It’s not just major brands and labels who are targeting markets through social media, your local dentist probably has a Facebook page! Here are the top three reasons why you need Facebook for your business:

1. Community

A great reason to put your business on Facebook is to create a sense of community. By being active on Facebook, you can engage with people in your local community and build relationships. Facebook is great for one on one conversations that can happen in the comments section. It’s a good place for people to ask questions about your business and receive quick answers. People are less inclined to call businesses to seek more information, they would rather find online resources to get their questions answered. Facebook provides the perfect platform for individualized answers to questions and a chance to increase sales through positive engagement before the potential client even walks through the door.

2. SEO

SEO, ever heard of it? It’s an acronym for “Search Engine Optimization”. The greater your social presence online, the more searchable your business will be. One of your biggest obstacles as a small business can be standing out against competitors. Creating a healthy community online across social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Instagram, etc.) will increase your chances of being seen on the first page of relevant google searches.

3. Meet Your Audience

Facebook analytics and audience engagement can teach you loads about your target audience. You will engage with people personally and have the unique opportunity to peak into your clients lives and interests (in a non-creepy way). Social media platforms now offer basic analytics directly on your business’s page. You can track who is visiting your page, their ages, genders, and where they live, among many other features. This makes it easier to create ads and promotions for certain audiences, increase engagement, and know what content your audience responds best to.

 

I’ve heard from clients that social media is just a “trend” and that we should rely on traditional marketing techniques. I agree with the general marketing philosophy of knowing your audience, targeting information that they would engage with, and promoting your brand where greater amounts of people will see it; However, we are a tech heavy world now and our eyes are almost always focused on a screen. You can quote me on this, social media isn’t going away any time soon. If your business isn’t currently online with a website and an established social media presence, you are missing out on a great opportunity for growth.

 

What are your favorite business for Facebook features? Would you ever try live Facebook videos to enhance your experience?

3 Ways to Start Living Minimally

 

When I first heard the term “living minimally”, I thought of living in a dreadfully tiny home for extended periods of time. A bit of research taught me that this isn’t the case. Minimalism is about being minimizing expenses on hoards of consumer goods in order to invest in things you really value. It’s a great philosophy to adapt for people who want to travel regularly. I am hoping to minimize my life in order to make space for things that I value. Here are my top 3 tips for begging to live minimally:

 

1. Spring Clean

It’s not quite Spring yet; however, as I have made my larger goals a reality, I have noticed a distinct need to clean out the clutter in my life in order to create better focus and increase revenue. I decided to check out ThredUP, an online service that delivers recycled clothing to your door every month! The idea is that you receive quality, gently used clothing for a fraction of retail costs. They also offer “kits” to help you clean out your closet. It’s great for those of you (like me) who want to get rid of some clutter but never quite commit to getting the clutter from your closet to the local charity shop or consignment store.

You can keep the a fraction proceeds for yourself (which is a great way to earn a little extra money for travel) or if you would rather, ThredUP will donate the proceeds to charity! I think it’s a wonderful and doable idea.

 

2. Create A Budget

When it comes to keeping track of my budget and spending trends, I like good ol’ paper and pen. I have tried apps in the past but I have found that keeping a daily list tucked in my purse and writing down how much I have spent on bills, food, and other goodies, really makes saving money a more tangible goal. I can better remember how much is in the bank and how to hit my goals of spending less. Find a strategy that works for your – sometimes it’s not in the form of the most trendy app but in old school strategies like balancing checkbooks and creating lists!

 

3. Visual Reminders

I tend to give into peer pressure a lot when I am trying not to consume more stuff or spend money. I find that photos, writing blog posts, and subscribing to websites that feature money-saving tips and tricks, help me be mindful throughout the day of why I set these goals and where I want to be in a year. Pinterest and other vision boards are great ways to get inspired!

 

While I am still figuring out what living minimally means to me, I can say that I have felt greater sense of calm in my life as I have made space for the things I truly value. It’s already been rewarding getting closer to my travel goals while dealing with less clutter.

5 Amazing Things to See In Peru

 

In preparation for my expedition to Peru, I decided to do a little research and find out more about the amazing history and rich Peruvian culture. I’ve compiled a list of the top 5 amazing things to do and see in Peru. Enjoy!

 

1. Salinas de Maras

My brain can hardly process the fact that there was a time before the Inca’s thrived in Peru. Among the lush, mountainous geography that sets Maras apart from other South American destinations, lies a natural wonder known as Salinas de Maras. Natural springs have produced salt-evaporation ponds that lie down a canyon near the Sacred Valley of the Incas.

A gentle subterranean stream has been carefully managed and guided into polygon shapes, flooding acres of land into shallow salt water pools. Salt settles to the bottom of these ponds and is collected. The salts pink hue is due to the large mineral count and makes it a luxury item that can be outsourced across the globe. Let the photo speak for itself about the amazing geographical wonder the site has become.

 

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2. The Sacred Valley of The Incas

Experience Peru in the height of the Inca Civilization. Well-preserved ruins of the fascinating Incans dot the emerald-green mountainside, standing as sentinels guarding the past. Wander through history and walk where an ancient civilization once thrived.

 

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3. Machu Picchu

As a child, I was fascinated by Machu Picchu. Imagining the great civilization that built this limestone, archeological wonder filled me wonder. How could it be done without machinery and modern luxuries? Hiking trails will lead you around the beautiful ruins, with sweeping views looking over the large plateau. Brave the Amazonian jungle and experience the past like you never have before.

 

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4. Indigenous Tribes of Yaguas

Earn a greater appreciation for life in the Amazon as you spend the day with the Indigenous tribes of Yaguas. Learn more about their distinct culture, traditions, and every-day way of life as they lead you on a tour of their village and teach you to create handicrafts that are valuable to them. While it may seem invasive, cultural knowledge presented in this way to travelers can lead to greater understanding of differing cultures and people. It allows the indigenous people to continue on in their way of life while sharing their unique view on life itself.

 

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5. Monkey Island

Endangered monkeys are cared for at La Isla de Los Monos, otherwise known as “Monkey Island”. Learn about the largely growing destruction happening in rain forests and see first hand how lives are suffering as strenuous efforts are made to stop deforestation. Walk away with a greater knowledge about monkey reintegration and how we can have an environmentally positive impact on our climate.

 

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Whether it is walking through the green treetops of the Amazon rainforest, wandering through ancient ruins of past civilizations, trying new cuisine, or meeting locals, I am excited to be with good people, making memories that will last a lifetime this summer.

For more information and to request an itinerary, contact Darcy Mae at contactdarcymae@gmail.com

Why Personal Investment in Travel is Important

 

Growing up I was one lucky kid. From six to 21, I traveled around the globe with my parents. As a child I soaked up history like a sponge, but when I hit my teenaged years my experience was vastly different. I no longer saw life through magical child-eyes. I placed too much expectation on a place to “wow” me and entertain me. I forgot the true nature of travel.

As an adult I can see how personal investment in travel creates a more meaningful experience. Perhaps what I was missing as a teenager was the fact that I didn’t have to invest in my experience, it was more or less handed to me. I’ve compiled a list of ways to make my experiences more meaningful so that I can gain a better appreciation for traveling as an adult.

1. Use Your Own Savings

Not all people but some people have the option to ask family to fund their travel. Since I have started saving my own money for new adventures instead of waiting for the next family vacation to Disneyland, I have come to appreciate the journey and realized that it starts at home.

Before you buy your tickets or book a hotel, your commitment to the expedition means your journey has begun. Working extra hours, sacrificing nights out with friends, and not buying new clothes or other items, increases the value of the upcoming event. I have lived by the phrase you value what you invest in for a few years now. It’s true. The experience of working hard, sacrificing, and the reaping the rewards of your efforts in the form of an amazing travel experience, will greatly heighten your appreciation for the journey.

 

2. Grow

Whether you enjoy solo travel or traveling with select friends, finding what works for you will ensure a richer experience on your new adventure. Plan your adventures around enough comforts that make you look forward to the trip whether they be staying in a certain kind of hostel or hotel or maybe traveling with a certain group of people; however, make sure to include new things that will enrich your experience by pushing you out of your comfort zone and embracing new customs and cultures. Each time you go, you’ll want to gain something new.

 

3. Live Minimally

Growing up, we always traveled in luxury. Our traveling experiences as a family were more about relaxation and comfort. However, as an adult I feel differently. My only comfort that I insist on when I travel is that I stay in a clean and safe hotel and part of town. Fly as cheap as possible, pack light (carrying around too much can be frustrating and tiring), and make sure that you save enough money to check those “must do” activities off your bucket list. Living minimally doesn’t mean living without. It means not living in excess and saving for better experiences to indulge in.

 

Everyone personally invests in different ways. The goal is to invest in your new adventure until it gains an exponential amount of value. How do you personally invest in your travel experiences to create a more meaningful experience?