5 Useful Resources for Indie Filmmakers

by Keetria on December 11, 2017

Indie films often lack a certain technical and creative savvy required for a film to succeed in today’s market. That’s why it’s important for indie filmmakers to always up their game and stay abreast not only with the latest techniques and developments in the film industry but also learn how they can successfully navigate the cutthroat industry. There are many resources online and we’ve compiled a list of five blogs we believe can help you become a better indie filmmaker.

1. NO FILM SCHOOL
No Film School is a community of filmmakers, video producers, cinematographers and independent creatives and it’s one of the leading online resources on filmmaking. Founded by award-winning writer/director Ryan Koo, No Film School is where filmmakers share their knowledge through articles, podcasts, and video tutorials, and learn from each other. The site offers an incredibly comprehensive range of material and has everything you may need as a filmmaker. Whether you’re a professional or a newbie in the industry, No Film School will help you get started and improve your craft.

2. VIDEO CO-PILOT
For those who want to sharpen their visual effects skills, Video Copilot is the site for you. Founded by special effects artist and software developer, Andrew Kramer, Video Copilot creates tools and training for people who want to learn and improve their skills on motion design and visual effects. The site offers the latest products for special effects editing, a blog, and a range of online tutorials to help you get your game on. Andrew Kramer is one of Hollywood’s most sought-after visual effects artists and has previously worked on Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

3. PROVIDEO COALITION
ProVideo Coalition brings together some of the film industry’s best writers, video experts, and bloggers on one website. The site offers a mélange of tools, tips, and techniques for budding filmmakers as well as production news and reviews from top experts. Readers get it straight from the source because each of the site’s contributor writes based on his/her personal knowledge of the subject.

4. GO INTO THE STORY
Founded by University of North Carolina screenwriting professor and blogger Scott Myers, Go Into The Story will teach any newbie screenwriter the basics of screenwriting and every trick of the trade worth learning about. The site is straightforward and is devoid of distracting ads and features a long list of useful websites for cross-referencing.

5. INDIE FILM HUSTLE
Founded by indie filmmaker Alex Ferrari, Indi Film Hustle is a treasure trove of knowledge. The site shares everything Alex Ferrari has learned over the years as writer, director, producer and post-production/VFX supervisor. Unlike other sites, Indie Film Hustle can be a bit raw and does not hold back. It’s brutally honest in telling the truth about how you can avoid costly mistakes and missteps and succeed as a filmmaker in a fiercely competitive industry.

Do you have other resources you want to add to the list? We’d love to hear about it.

-Podcast Show Notes-

Pingster: The App That Mixes GPS With Photo Sharing

Episode – 29

Summary:

Today, on SOB: Style of Business, Keetria conducts an interview with Nancy Shone, an electrical engineer, digital marketer, and the creator of the photo sharing app Pingster.Keetria and Nancy discuss Nancy’s journey in the business world as a woman and her chosen strategies for entrepreneurship. Nancy Shone explains how she witnessed the technology world make a drastic shift from hardware to software, and how she has participated in both phases of tech. Also, Nancy Shone discusses how and why she came up with the new photo sharing app Pingster, and the ways in which it will add value for users as it expands.

Show Notes:

  • Keetria gives an overview of Nancy Shone
  • Nancy Shone gives a summary of her background

o Nancy went to North Eastern University for electrical engineering

o Equal opportunity for women drove Nancy towards electrical engineering

o The need for hardware in the 1980s drove success in the industry, now software solutions have changed that

o Nancy’s career has taken her from the semiconductor industry designing integrated circuits/hardware chips for everyday electronics to then having kids and becoming a freelancer and entrepreneur at home

o More recently working as entrepreneur and video and digital marketing specialist

  • Nancy defines her video marketing/production as “Moving digital art through the use of a software program.”
  • Nancy’s mission for her app Pingsteris to make lives easier and level the playing field of popularity required to get photos seen online
  • Nancy explains what make makes Pingster different
  • How Pingster works, every location on the globe will have a story
  • “Pingites” are people adding photos to locations, Pingster will first launch on iPhone then Android, website: Pingster.info
  • Pingster is great for people that travel, are looking for places when they travel, hiking, investigating beautiful landmarks, connect with people locally
  • Pingster will be a social media app, people can enable the chat feature to communicate
  • It’s a geo-tagged imagery location-based app, so when images get uploaded to the cloud the app can direct people where the picture was taken
  • Nancy didn’t completely come up with Pingster alone, she bounces her ideas off of others
  • Real success with apps comes down to having users
  • Nancy measures success by creating something from nothing, finish what she starts, entrepreneurial success is when you create value
  • “Never stop trying and never give up.” – Nancy
  • Nancy’s contact information

3 Key Points:

1.Tech moving from hardware to software.

2.Pingster began with Nancy feeling that phot sharing apps are mostly popularity contests.

3.Pingster mixes GPS with photo sharing.

 

Tweetable Quotes:

-“If you or your business is not connected to the internet, then you will be left in the

dust.” – Nancy Shone.

-“Photo sharing apps, it’s all based on followers, and being followed by others. It’s more

like a popularity contest.” – Nancy Shone.

-“It’s all about capturing nature and culture through GPS.” –Nancy Shone.

– “It connects people physically through imagery.” – Nancy Shone.

-“Never stop trying and never give up.” – Nancy Shone.

 

Resources Mentioned:

 

4 Exercise Ideas for Cold Weather Days

by Keetria on December 4, 2017

What do you do when there’s no sun and it’s just too cold to go outside for a run? Do you hibernate or plod along? Truth is, along with the chilly air, your desire to exercise can also grow cold during the winter. Cold weather can make you feel sluggish and lazy and you can lose your motivation to exercise. But don’t let the cold weather ruin your fitness goals. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite calorie-busting exercises that you can do indoors.

  1. Go for a spin  

If you don’t like the feeling of cold wind on your face while you bike outside, a spinning class might just be perfect for you. These high-energy and intense cycling classes can burn about 700 calories in an hour and even has interval sets to target your buns, thighs, calves, and core. You don’t even need to wear a helmet. So, park your bike for the meantime and try a spin class.

  1. Climb a wall

Go vertical and try indoor rock climbing! Indoor rock climbing can get your mind and whole body in shape. When climbing a wall, you use your arms and upper body to pull yourself up and grab the next peg while you use your legs to thrust your body higher. While doing all these, you also engage your core muscles to support both your arms and legs. Indoor rock climbing can also sharpen your problem-solving skills as you figure out where to place your hands and feet as you climb. Lastly, rock climbing can make you feel great by giving you a feeling of accomplishment.

  1. Try Burpees

If you’re looking for an exercise that you can do virtually anywhere, Burpees is it. Burpees do not require any equipment or any special outfit. All it requires is stamina and a never-give-up attitude. Burpees combine push-ups and squat jumps in one intense activity and it’s not for the faint of heart. You begin by crouching on the floor with your hands in front of you. Quickly push your feet back and bend your arms so you’ll be in a push-up position. Do one push-up and swiftly bring your feet back under you, then quickly jump as high and land in the squat position. Repeat this routine as many times as you can.

  1. Box the cold away

Boxing combines cardio and strength training in one workout. It also improves your balance, coordination, agility, and reactivity. A few rounds in the ring can also engage your core. In boxing, the power of a punch doesn’t come from the arms and the shoulders alone, it also comes from the core. When you box, your body needs to move in unison and that movement is coordinated by your core muscles.

The cold weather may give you plenty of reasons to snuggle up and be lazy, but don’t let them stop you from exercising. Get creative and consider these interesting suggestions to stay active.

Coming up with new ideas takes work. And if you’re tasked to come up with fresh ideas frequently, it can be easy for you to hit a brick wall. This is when brainstorming sessions are essential. Brainstorming is the process of collecting as many ideas as you can and filtering them to get the best ones. During a brainstorming session, every idea should be heard. The goal is to just let the creative juices flow and gather as many ideas as possible without criticism. Remember that there are no bad ideas during brainstorming.

Here are five ways on how you can make the most of your brainstorming session:

  1. Be clear about your objective

For a brainstorming session to be effective, make sure that you communicate your objective clearly. A well-defined objective will prevent your team from losing focus and going astray. It’s futile to gather your team, hustle them in a room, and ask them to throw ideas without a goal in mind. Effective brainstorming needs a plan and a plan must have an objective.

  1. Start the session relaxed

The mind works best when it’s rested and relaxed so start your brainstorming session on a light note. Encourage easy conversation and allow your team members to speak out. Everyone is encouraged to participate. The goal is to get people unstuck and urge them to come up with thoughts and ideas. When the mood is light, ideas are bound to flow.

  1. Time the session

To get the thought process rolling, make sure to time your session. A clock is a good reminder that there’s a deadline and this will help propel your team to think quickly. You can keep the session to as short as five minutes or it can run to as long as 45 minutes. Make sure that you make your session long enough for ideas to flow freely.

  1. Write everything down

Make sure that all ideas, good or bad, are noted down. Use a whiteboard so that your team members can see all the ideas that have been shared and add more suggestions. Do not judge or favor any idea and just welcome everything: big ideas, bold ideas, and even totally ridiculous ones. Brainstorming sessions are all about quantity, not quality.

  1. Evaluate the ideas

After you have gathered all the ideas, the next step is to evaluate them one by one and separate the good from the bad. Remove all duplicate ideas and assess all the remaining ideas one by one. Is the idea fresh? Is it unique? Does it provide a solution? In choosing the best idea, you need to go back to the objective and ask yourself if an idea meets your objective.

Brainstorming sessions are one of the effective ways to come up with new ideas. If used wisely, it can a very effective tool to come up with great ideas and help take your company to the next level.

How Black Friday Became a Holiday Tradition

by Keetria on November 24, 2017

After shaking off the effects of the Thanksgiving buffet, Americans are off to the stores to indulge in crazy Black Friday shopping sprees. Black Friday is one of the most-awaited holidays of the year. It’s the day when people storm the stores in droves to do some serious Christmas shopping. Many are ready to push, jostle, and claw their way to the most coveted sale items. Black Friday is every super shopper’s ultimate dream, but does anyone really know when and how Black Friday started? Here are some interesting bits of information.

  1. Black Friday meant post-Thanksgiving laziness in the 1950s

The earliest use of the term “Black Friday” was in the 1950s in a labor market newsletter called Factory Management and Maintenance. The newsletter referred to the day after Thanksgiving as “Black Friday” to denote the practice of workers not reporting for work after celebrating Thanksgiving so they could enjoy a long weekend holiday.

  1. Black Friday informally began in the 1960s

From the time Macy’s Department Store started its Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1924, the Friday right after Thanksgiving has been known to be the unofficial start to of the Christmas shopping season. In the 1960s, the term “Black Friday” was used by merchants to call the shopping season. “Black” signified earnings as stores were expected to turn a profit for the year and move from being “in the red.” Back then, accountants used red ink to show negative amounts in the books.

  1. Black Friday meant chaos for Philadelphia police in the 1960s

Historically, the word “black” as an adjective was used to call days when calamities occurred. Thus, the term “Black Friday” was also used by the Philadelphia police to describe the large crowds and traffic congestion caused by the hordes of shoppers flocking the stores in the 1960s. In a PR attempt to improve the chaotic image associated with the term “Black Friday,” merchants in Philadelphia even attempted to change the term to “Big Friday” but the new name did not fly.

  1. Black Friday started to mean serious shopping 1970s

Though the term “Black Friday” remained a Philadelphia buzzword for a long time, the New York Times used the term in their November 29, 1975 issue, and called the day as the “the busiest shopping and traffic day of the year” in Philadelphia. The term gained national attention in the 1980s and soon became widespread.

Today, the term Black Friday can cause an adrenaline-induced frenzy among bargain hunters as well as cause violent outbursts to some. But despite the craziness, it still holds the title as the biggest shopping day of the year.

On this episode of Style of Business, Keetria speaks with the founder of Ucrowd, a new ticketing platform for events and entertainment, Miesha Robinson. The company is based in Los Angeles. Miesha talks about her journey, her new platform and gives advice to aspiring entrepreneurs about how to be prepared for investors and ways to stay motivated.

Style of Business
-Podcast Show Notes-

Episode – 28

Summary:

On this episode of Style of Business, Keetria speaks with the founder of Ucrowd, a new ticketing platform for events and entertainment, Miesha Robinson. The company is based in Los Angeles. Miesha talks about her journey, her new platform and gives advice to aspiring entrepreneurs about how to be prepared for investors and ways to stay motivated.

Show Notes:

  • Miesha started working on Ucrowd in college.
  • She graduated in 2014 from Cal State Dominguez Hill with a Bachelor’s Degree in marketing.
  • She was involved in a few different companies where she helped with sales, merchandising, and management.
    • Kellogg’s, Target, Hertz Rental Cars
  • Has an extensive background in sales and marketing and helped her launch Ucrowd, an online ticketing platform.
  • Took a computer information systems class in school where she had to create a blog about one of the projects they created.
    • She came up with the idea of creating a blog about events that were free with in a 10-mile radius of where she lived.
    • She couldn’t find a platform that combined all of the information about free and affordable events in the area.
    • She created Ucrowd to fill this need.
  • Ucrowd is an online self-service ticketing and registration platform for events.
    • Ucrowd focuses on bringing people together offline while simultaneously redefining the ticketing industry.
    • Not only is it a ticketing platform, it’s also a social platform.
    • Ucrowd is bridging the gap between social and ticketing industries.
    • You can go on the site and filter by distance, category (such as music and theatre).
    • You can create your own event or register for an existing one.
  • Miesha’s tech experience.
    • Miesha had little tech experience but used YouTube to understand how to build her website.
    • She created Ucrowd’s website from scratch choosing look, feel, and flow.
    • You can find so many things online to help you do all the tech stuff for your website.
  • When it comes to a business plan, it’s important to link up with someone who knows more than you.
    • A business plan is a blueprint for your business.
    • It took about a month to lay out everything she needed for her business plan.
  • When she was looking for events, it was hard to find ones that weren’t really expensive.
    • A. has events going on constantly, but Miesha has to find events that fit her niche market.
    • She wanted to take her experience at live events and put it into one particular app or tool to find things to do during the week.
  • Ucrowd is different from other platforms because of pricing.
    • Other ticketing platforms focus on adding fees to the event price
    • Ucrowd focuses on making event booking affordable so you get your money’s-worth.
    • They have straightforward pricing so you know exactly what you’re getting and there’s only one fee associated with the purchase.
    • Ucrowd uses social buying – there is a direct button on social so people can buy tickets directly from social media.
    • The event organizer can share pictures from the event and people can comment on them.
  • What was the strategy for launching Ucrowd?
    • Creating a business plan.
    • Creating a pre-launch and post-launch marketing plan.
    • Miesha had a great professor that took time to go over her business plan with her and helped her map out:
      • Where she wanted to go
      • How she wanted to get there
      • Who she needed to connect with.
    • Used the SBA (Small Business Association) who helps entrepreneurs get from point A to point B.
    • She funded her own processes, such as the Trademark process.
    • Miesha encourages entrepreneurs to use their day job as a stepping stone to get to their dreams.
    • She put away money from each check to fund her dreams and make Ucrowd work.
  • People are afraid to move forward and act on their vision because they listen to outside voices other than their own
    • Instead of embodying our confidence we listen to the detractors.
    • You have to encourage yourself through the entire journey.
    • If you listen to others opinions, it will discourage you and deter you from bringing your ideas into fruition.
    • Take time, plan everything out, if you don’t know something reach out to someone who knows more than you do.
  • The evolution of the event industry over the next 5-10 years.
    • Miesha believes there’s going to be a merge between purchases and social media more than it is now.
  • Miesha enjoys the independence that comes from her entrepreneur journey.
    • Through entrepreneurship, unless you have a day job, you’re not sure when the next time will be that you make a big sale.
    • She likes working on a project where she gets to be creative and can push herself.
    • She likes to help other people create opportunities within business and encourage them.
  • What challenges has she faced as an entrepreneur.
    • For Miesha, the main challenge has been financial resources.
    • Raising funds for your business out of your own pocket can be straining.
    • It’s hard to raise funds and convince the investor that it’s worth their while.
      • You have to be able to get other people to understand your vision.
    • Before presenting to investors in an incubator situation, you need to make sure you have a pitch deck and business plan. You need to be ready for presenting.
      • She went to a luncheon for an incubator and was asked on the fly to pitch her idea.
        • Thankfully she was prepared and invited back to do a full presentation.
      • Did 10-15-minute presentation for investors.
      • You must know your numbers, your marketing plan and your ROI.
      • You need to know your business like the back of your hand.
    • Miesha stays motivated through prayer and circumstance and expectation.
      • She did not have a wealthy upbringing and in moments where you have to stay motivated.
      • When you pray, you expect God to move and change things.
        • Personal mantra: Faith without works is dead.
      • She prays herself through any circumstance.
    • The best advice someone has given her is to believe in herself and continue to move in love.
      • She focuses on what’s important to her: being creative and helping others.
    • Another key piece of advice for aspiring entrepreneurs:
      • Don’t become a slave to your circumstance. There’s a lesson in failure, use it as a stepping stone.
    • Working on an online talk show for entrepreneurs.

Tweetable Quotes:

  • “I encourage entrepreneurs to use their day job as a stepping stone to get to their dreams.”
  • “You have to encourage yourself through the entire journey.”
  • “Faith without works is dead.”

Resources Mentioned

Styleofbusiness.com – Podcast website

Ucrowd –Miesha Robinson’s company – Website will be available next year.

Cal State Dominguez Hill – Miesha Robinson’s Alma Mater

Social Media Handles: @iammiesha; @officialucrowd

Social media ads and sponsored content are great for marketing your products. However, it doesn’t always work. And as an entrepreneur, you’re probably wondering if there are other strategies to help you promote your brand and ultimately, sell more products.

The answer is cross-promotion.

Cross-promotion is basically “co-marketing,” and it means teaming up with another business to craft a promotion that benefits you both. By utilizing another medium or channel, you can promote your products and services to new markets. The beauty of cross-promotion is that it’s not only powerful, but it’s also an inexpensive way to generate more sales.

Here are some ways you can cross promote your brand:

Collaborate with non-competing brand

Start by finding a business who is not a direct competitor of yours but sells a product that complements your product. By tapping into their established community, you get more qualified leads. And you can do the same for them. Some ideal prospects would be other local businesses or social media influencers.

Collaborate with influencers

While we’re on the topic of influencers, cross-promoting to each other’s audiences could prove to be mutually beneficial. If you’re a local business, look for an influencer who has the attention of your local community.

The influencer could mention your business in a Tweet, a Facebook or Instagram post, or on their blog. Remember that depending on the influencer’s following and reach, you may have to shell out. There’s more than one way to compensate an influencer but think along the lines of cash, exclusive access to your events, product gifting, or promotion of their platform by your brand.

Co-promote on social media

Together, you can co-promote your brands on social media. If you both have an established social media presence, you have the opportunity to win more followers thanks to the increased visibility that cross-promotion will bring.

It can be as simple as crafting messages that relate to each other’s audiences through a shout out that will get each other’s followers to pay attention to both your brands.

Co-produce a newsletter

The trick is to find a way to tie your brands together that seems natural. Some brands organically mesh while you may need to get creative if your two companies wouldn’t otherwise be seen together in a typical setting.

By cross-promoting each other’s products or services through newsletter campaigns, you both benefit from the other’s email list.

Cross-promote through content marketing

If content marketing isn’t a part of your digital marketing strategy, it should be. Consumers consume cast amounts of content each day, looking for the solutions to their questions. When you produce content that is compelling and relevant regularly, you’re getting placing yourself as a leader in your industry.

Cross-promote using your content by adding links in your content that will lead them to websites that you may want to link back to you. Don’t forget to email them to let the content manager you’ve linked to their site. You never know, but they may return the favor.

Do you already have prospects for your co-promotion strategy? Good luck!

On this episode of SOB (Style of Business), Keetria interviews Charlynda Scales, the CEO of Mutt’s Sauce. Charlynda is an Air Force veteran who took her grandfather’s sauce recipe and turned it into a business.

Style of Business
-Podcast Show Notes-

Episode 27

Summary:

On this episode of SOB (Style of Business), Keetria interviews Charlynda Scales, the CEO of Mutt’s Sauce. Charlynda is an Air Force veteran who took her grandfather’s sauce recipe and turned it into a business. Mutt’s Sauce was created because Charlynda’s grandfather strongly disliked condiments and wanted to create a sauce that could go on anything. Charlynda talks about becoming an unlikely entrepreneur, how she manages her time, what motivates her, and what she’s learned as a business owner. She also gives advice to other aspiring entrepreneurs.

Show Notes:

  • Host Keetra introduces Charlynda Scales, CEO of Mutt’s Sauce and former airforce veteran.
  • Charlynda gives a brief introduction of herself.
  • Background of Mutt’s Sauce:
    • Charlynda grew up in the country with her extended family.
    • Her grandfather came up with a recipe for a sauce because he hated condiments.
    • He wanted to make one sauce for everything and came up with Mutt’s Sauce through trial and error.
    • Final recipe was created in 1956, stayed with the family for years.
    • Charlynda’s grandfather left the Mutt’s Sauce recipe to her.
    • Charlynda turned the recipe into a business.
  • The Mutt’s Sauce business began as a gift to family and friends and grew.
  • It took four months to turn the Mutt’s Sauce recipe into a business.
  • Used org for mentorship as she was a budding startup.
    • org builds you a checklist to get to a final product.
  • Created the product while she was active duty in the military.
  • What makes Mutt’s Sauce stand out?
    • “Tasting is believing.”
    • It has a flavor that’s unlike anything anyone’s ever tried.
    • It’s sweet and tangy with a little bit of heat.
    • Not like anything on the market in terms of flavor and consistency.
    • It’s not like mumbo sauce because everyone has a different version of mumbo sauce.
  • The number one question people ask about Mutt’s Sauce is if they can drink it.
    • Someone created a cocktail called The Bloody Mutt.
  • Types of market research for brand positioning and making sure that the products stand out.
    • The BBQ sauce market is flooded, Mutt’s Sauce is a specialty sauce.
    • Lab testing has to be done before you can get into stores.
      • Worked with university labs to test pH and shelf life of the sauce.
      • Safety and preservatives need to be tested.
    • You have to apply to stores to get your product on the shelves.
  • The launch process.
    • She joined the local chamber of commerce.
    • The chamber of commerce helped her to a launch event.
    • First production was by an Amish family in Wellston, Ohio.
      • 700 bottles were hand poured.
    • Great turnout to the launch event, all 700 bottles were sold.
    • Launch event members connected her to local stores to get Mutt’s Sauce on the shelf.
      • Her first client was a hotel, some farmer’s markets, and some local vendors.
    • What time management looks like.
      • Learned about time management in the military.
      • You need to be efficient and choose your top priorities and be realistic about what can be done.
      • Get your top two critical things done each day.
    • Helpful books on business management and entrepreneurship.
      • The Power of Broke by Daymond John.
        • Charlynda is a VIP ambassador for Daymond John’s new book Rise and Grind coming out next January.
        • Talks about his journey with FUBU.
        • Hear about testimonials from people with humble beginnings.
      • Charlynda’s interests when she was younger-
        • Charlynda wanted to be a doctor, has an interest in anatomy and the human body.
        • Never aspired to own a company but likes to work with people.
        • Naturally inquisitive about how people operate and wants to know what motivates them.
        • Majored in business and got an MBA.
      • What she enjoys most about her entrepreneur journey.
        • The people she’s met and the friends she’s made have made the journey worth it.
      • What are the challenges of entrepreneurship?
        • Not having a partner to help.
        • Entrepreneurship can be lonely and networking can help.
        • Trying to explain to people who aren’t entrepreneurs why you’ve chosen to run a business and make sacrifices.
      • Understanding that the business is bigger than her is what keeps her going each day.
      • She considers herself a servant leader of the people who have made Mutt’s Sauce a part of their lifestyle.
      • The best life advice she’s ever gotten is to believe in something bigger than herself and stay humble.
      • Advice for aspiring entrepreneurs: If you’re thinking about doing something, there’s a reason why they’re having that thought and it’s tied to a purpose.
        • Just have faith, do it and realize it’s not as scary as you thought.
      • All social handles are @muttssauce

Tweetable Quotes:

  • “Entrepreneurship is to embrace the unknown.”
  • “Opportunities stop when humility is gone.”
  • “Even when you hit it big, you operate like you did when you were broke.”

Resources Mentioned

Mutt’s Sauce – Charlynda’s product website

Charlyndajean.com – Charlynda’s personal website

Score.org – Mentorship site

The Power of Broke – Book by entrepreneur Daymond John

Rise and Grind – Book by Daymond John and Daniel Paisner

FUBU – Daymond John’s clothing company

5 Top Fitness Trainers to Follow on Instagram

by Keetria on November 7, 2017

CreateHerStock.com

What’s the best thing about following fitness trainers and your “body goals” inspiration on Instagram?

Scrolling through your feed and pausing to watch a video or appreciate a post gives you instant fitspiration. You think to yourself, “If they can do it, I can do it.” And before you know it, you’re off your couch where you’ve spent too much time going through your social media feeds and off to the gym or rolling out your yoga mat.

Here are the top 5 fitness trainers on Instagram that you should definitely be following if you need motivation to get back on track:

  • Jennifer Nash Forrester | @jenniferforrester

Jennifer is not only an Instagram star but also an entrepreneur. And on top of that, she’s a new mom. In fact, she took all her Instagram followers on her pregnancy journey, proving that pregnant moms can still be active. Now her feed is also filled with her gorgeous son who often joins her on workouts! Be inspired by Jennifer’s quick workout videos and motivational quotes.

  • Amber Karnes | @bodypositiveyoga_

Amber Karnes teaches us all about self-acceptance and making body peace through body positive yoga. We love her for spreading fat positivity and proving that yoga is accessible to us all. Her Instagram feed is filled with yoga poses, and she often features the beautiful women who embody the #bodypositiveyoga campaign.

  • Tanya Popett | @tanyapoppett

Tanya Popett has a killer body that she achieved despite a business lifestyle. She gives nutrition advice and workout ideas. All the images on her Instagram feed are beautiful shots, making her not only #fitnessgoals but her Instagram account is #feedgoals too!

  • Christmas Abbott | @christmasabbott

Christmas Abbott offers inspiration daily. She’s doing it all – a motivational speaker, transformational guru, branding advisor, and professional athlete. As an online fitness coach and the creator of Badass Body Diet, expect her feed to be filled with fitness and lifestyle goals.

  • Estelle Archer | @estellearcher

Estelle Archer has been an inspiration to her followers for how she gained control of her health and well-being by battling her depression. Her focus has been to help people do the right thing. We’ve watched her go from a size 18 to a size 6 and so motivated not only by her body transformation but how she also transformed her entire outlook on life.

Who’s your favorite fitness instructor on Instagram? Are you looking for exercise tips or meal ideas? Or are you most inspired by body transformations? Tell us about it!

Did you know that having a sense of purpose for your life will make you live longer? In fact, it’s even been proven to reduce your risk of heart disease and Alzheimer’s.

Those who develop a strong sense of purpose usually do so by discovering their passions. Following your passion doesn’t necessarily mean finding the right occupation; it means finding what you love and what you live for.

But how do you discover what your passion and purpose in life is? With so much noise going on out there and in your head, maybe you just need to quiet your mind and soul so that they can tell you what it is.

What you need is to observe your thoughts as they drift through your mind. And the only way to do that is through meditation.

Meditation allows you to refocus your awareness and let go of random thoughts. As your experiences play out in your head, recognize how they make you feel. Meditation has the power to unlock even our deepest memories, things you may have thought were left behind in your childhood. You’ll be surprised by how glimpses of the past can have a profound effect on you today and in this moment.

You can remember the warmth on your face on a sunny day or your laugh as you played with the family dog. Sometimes our purpose in life comes from the recollection of simpler days when we remember the things that made us happiest.

Ask yourself when the last time you laughed uncontrollably was, had a grin on your face you couldn’t wipe off, or had butterflies in your stomach.

Was it the times that you’ve helped others? Or maybe it was when you baked your first pie. Perhaps the last time you felt true happiness was when you traveled alone.

Reflective and mindful meditation allows us to gain a deeper insight or wisdom to a question we bring to mind. Sit comfortably and take slow and increasingly deeper breaths until you are relaxed and calm. Ask yourself the question.

“What is my purpose?”

Insights will surface in your mind. They could be memories, random thoughts, or even dreams you’ve once had. Watch them like a movie. Observe them without judgment while you continue to focus on your question.

The answer won’t always come to you right away. But overtime, you will be able to focus on what the insights are telling you. And soon, you’ll come to recognize exactly what your body, mind, and soul have been trying to communicate to you.

Remember that you have your own path and your own pace when it comes to tapping into your consciousness. Only you can make the mind-body connection.