Passion Squared This On Demand Life HD

This On-Demand Life

“The future of business lies in experience architecture and you are the architect.” Brian Solis

Today is Cyber Monday, which was created in response to Black Friday when e-commerce became a thing. And can you even believe that was in 2005? Exactly 10 years ago. Ten. Years. Ago! And now look at the world. E-commerce has now become on-demand anything. Think the W Hotel, whatever, whenever. Wow!

As I was scrolling through Instagram last week, I happened upon an ad, yes, an AD, done well, and seemingly timely and relevant to me, good job ad.

This ad was for Zeel, what I will call the Uber of Massages, yes, in home massages on demand. Breakthrough? No. Not now at least, as we are living an on demand life. And e-commerce has become more than just a transaction; it has become a way of life. We are consuming 24/7 via our mobile devices. All day, every day. We are even paying for our beloved Starbucks with our phone, without a wallet. Think about that. No money is exchanging hands. None.

Whether its someone to build my Ikea desk, thank you Task Rabbit, to someone to do my grocery shopping, thank you Instacart, to someone to deliver late night snacks, thank you Eat24, to someone to whisk me around town, thank you Uber, to someone to run an errand while I have the flu, thank you Postmates. On demand everything. And lets not even get started on Amazon’s new Prime same day delivery. Thank you Amazon.

The world has changed. Again. Just when you thought having a website and a presence on Yelp, Instagram and Facebook mattered, that now feels like so 2013.

With 2016 around the corner, it is imperative that we really take a serious look at our client’s digital experience if we want to stay relevant. Period.

This on demand life is creating experiences that are so seamless and awesome, there is almost no question as to why we would not just pick up our “phone” and click “book now”.

Here is a little “on-demand” quiz for your biz…

Can I book from my “phone” easily? And I mean awesomely! No bugs, easy to read, awesome to experience.

Do I have a responsive website (mobile + tablet friendly) that allows for no more than one click to connect with me?

Are all my links on my social profiles relevant? Meaning, why would you have the URL of your Facebook page on your Insta profile? I want a phone number and on online booking link.

Is your payment processing seamless and easy? Email receipts? Online sales?

Is your confirmation process seamless? And I mean without me having to pick up the phone?

Is there a system, which allows me to review your biz, not because you want a 5 star review but because you care enough to hear about my experience? Is it a one-click process?

Is it easy for me to share my experience of your biz with my friends? Like in one click?

Based on your answers, my challenge to you is to audit your entire online and offline experience, and create a plan to crate an experience so awesome, your clients truly enjoy engaging with you and shout it from the rooftops to all that will listen.

If you are thinking, screw that, I like the good old fashion way of doing business; here is what I will say…

This is NOT about changing face-to-face experiences; it is actually about making them better. This is NOT about not picking up the phone, this is actually about engaging on clients terms, not yours.

This is NOT about today; this is about being in business tomorrow. The world has changed, as have the clients seeking salon and wellness services, so my passionate plea to you is to open your mind, and focus on building the new, not fighting or defending the old. My challenge to you is to see the entire client journey from discovery of your business to entering the door of your business. What does that experience look and feel like? It matters.

Adele may try to call 1000 times, but your current and for sure your future clients won’t. #fact

Love + Awesomeness-


PS: All of the above on-demand services I mentioned are all ones I highly recommend. Of course.

PPS: If you are looking for some tools specific to the salon market, I blogged about that here and here.

The Art of The Question hd

The Art of The Question

In school, we’re rewarded for having the answer, not for asking a good question.  -Richard Saul Wurman

Questions… Our brain is triggered by questions. We move towards what we focus on. Awesome questions create awesome learning… In my life, with years of education, sales and marketing experiences, I have learned so much about asking good questions. #questionwisdom

Last night as I was getting ready for “sweet dreams”, and yes, if you didn’t know, when I post my sweet dreams message, I am in fact, getting ready to turn in for the night. I just happen to sit on #teamearlybird but will never ever tell you which team to sit on. Do you. Do awesome. So I digress… Let’s continue…

Last night, my awesome buddy and super smart human @andrewdoeshair posted a question he gets so very often, as do I, which is… “How do I get more followers?” You can see his post here. It’s awesome. He is awesome. He creates value. He is interested. He engages. It’s no wonder he has such a passionate group of followers and has managed to create wildly successful businesses and a rad life.

While I have blogged on the topic of engagement, relationships, and social, you can find just a few posts here, and here, and here… I will break it down one more time, well not really, I will blog on this topic til it no longer needs to be blogged on. Why? There still seems to be so much confusion about the word “social”.

Let’s look at the formal definition…

Social adjective (aka action word)
: relating to or involving activities in which people spend time talking to each other or doing enjoyable things with each other
: liking to be with and talk to people
: happy to be with people
: of or relating to people or society in general

Wow, it’s an action word. Who knew, right? Lol.

So now let’s try flipping the script, shall we?
1. Instead of asking how to get more followers, ask how can I be of value?

2. Instead of asking how to get more followers… ask how can I create more valuable content that followers want to follow.

3. Instead of asking how to get more followers, ask how can I create awesome work, consistently, and share it.

4. Instead of asking how to get more followers, ask how can I spend way more time listening than talking? Engaging, two way conversations, relationship building, you know, the stuff that matters.

5. Instead of asking how to get more followers, engage. And by engage I mean follow others who are of value to you, like, comment and share, authentically. Authentically. I mean authentically. There are some Insta experts out there that tell you to randomly search hashtags and make a super inauthentic comment on random peoples pages. #lame

6. Instead of asking how to get more followers, ask how can I become an awesome storyteller. Find out what’s important to your target audience and share. Consistently.

It’s not that we don’t know how to get more followers, and by followers, I mean create something of value for people to follow, it’s just that many of us are looking for a magic bullet, a secret sauce, and a short cut. And I am here to tell you, just as Andrew did so well in his post, there is no magic bullet or secret sauce.

Oh wait. There is a short cut… You can buy followers. I know, crazy huh? And good luck with that.

Love + Awesomeness-

Nina @passionsquared

PS: A big shout out of thanks to Andrew for inspiring this post! Love your face buddy.

5 Steps To Creating #InstaAwesome

5 Steps To Creating #InstaAwesome

“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” Dale Carnegie

Ok, so I am pretty sure you do not need convincing that Instagram is the platform of the moment for so many people and businesses. And by that I mean, the impact of relationship and biz building for creative small businesses and the humans who lead them and work in them. #fact

But there are still so many myths and misconceptions on how to create awesome with the platform so I thought I would share what I know to be true and where to begin… And yes, I have written about this many times, and yes, I believe it cannot be repeated enough. So here we go…

First and foremost, as with any platform, we always start with why, as the great Simon Sinek says. The objective. As in, why are we engaging on Instagram and why does anyone care? Instead of focusing on followers, focus on creating value, consistently. Yes, consistently. Let me say that one more time, consistently.

1. What is your story?
People respond to stories. Brands and businesses tell stories. What is yours? And while we are on that topic, what is in your about section? It matters. Why are you, who are you, and how do I connect with you?

2. What value will you bring to the conversation?
Listen more than you talk. But when you do talk, what value are you bringing to the table? This is not about self-promotion, it is about creating value.

3. What will your theme be?
All the best Insta’s have a theme. A look. A feel. A vibe. They exude energy. And your theme needs to be consistent with your brand identity. Your overall brand look and feel.

4. What hashtags will you use to connect, engage and become more discoverable?
Yes use hashtags, even more important, use them consistently. Unless you are Beyoncé, then clearly there is no need, we will seek you out. But if you are not Beyoncé, here are the general guidelines for local businesses…

a. Use popular hashtags that are consistent with your content and story. i.e. #ombre #braids #bridalhair #fitspo #athlete
b. Use branded hashtag, always. In my case, its #passionsquared
c. Use your local hashtags. In Portland, its #PDX, in Downtown LA, its #DTLA, find yours by searching hashtags on Insta or Google it.

5. How much time are you willing to invest in building relationships, engaging, and content creation?
Ok, this is where the pro’s and amateurs divide. If you are serious about building relationships, engaging, and listening, then you will invest the time. Period. How much? It depends on your content and engagement plan. I spend 2+ hours a day on Instagram. It is my primary social platform. And yes, a majority of my referrals come from Instagram. Is there a secret? Nope.

When capturing, creating and posting content, please keep these things in mind…
Take a gazillion photos so you can choose the best one. One photo is not enough. How many are enough? You will know when you get the money shot.

Only post quality stuff. Really, did Nina just say that? Duh. Yes, I did, cause it needs to be said.

What do I mean by quality stuff? Lighting, Background, Detail, Clarity

Want to see how some others are doing it? Follow these passionate and talented humans. And look for themes, quality, consistency, storytelling, backgrounds, lighting, clarity, and detail. And educated eye and is an awesome eye. And why do I share these? Because I know for a fact Instagram has helped empower their biz + their lives. And I only work with facts. Not hype. Not theory. Simply facts.


And of course, @passionsquared

Love + Awesomeness-


The Customer Experience (online)

“We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.”

Jeff Bezos, CEO


Are You Discoverable
Here is the audio version of this post. Thanks so much for listening. Enjoy.

Today is Cyber Monday, another made up shopping holiday to drive traffic to websites to consume goods and services. I’m sure you know this by the gazillion emails that are waiting for you to click on in your inbox. That fact is, we are all online. Whether we are socially networking on Facebook and Instagram or shopping for the holidays.

We are all in e-commerce today, one way or another. And we all need to think hard about the customer experience (online), if we want to be a relevant business in 2014 that is.

Here is a simple checklist for you to see if you are a discoverable business and for you to audit the customer experience (online).


Search Engines
1. Google terms that relate to your business. If you are a hair salon, Google “best hair salons”, “best colorist”.
2. Take a look at what results come up. Are you there?
3. Click on the links. Are they your business pages? What do they look and feel like?


1. Visit your website.
2. Is it easy to find your location? Contact info? Hours of operation?
3. Are there pictures of your business and your work?
4. Can I make a reservation or at least contact you?
5. Is the copy reader friendly and relevant to your business?
6. Can I easily see where to find you on Facebook, YELP, etc?
7. Is it mobile friendly?




YELP (being active on YELP is one of the best ways to rank higher in search engines. Fact.)
1. Have you claimed your page? If not, click here to learn how.
2. Have you added images of your business and work?
3. Have you filled in the “About this business” section?
4. Are there recent reviews?

Google Places

 Google Places
1. Have you claimed your business?
2. Have you added images, contact info, hours of operation and a business description?


1. Do you have a business page?
2. Have you claimed your unique URL? This is the best way to show up in Graph Search, the “Google” of Facebook. Click here to learn how to claim your name.
3. Is your about us section filled out?
4. Are the hours of operation there?
5. Is your website, phone number and an email address available?


1. Have you written a short about message?
2. Is there a link to your website?
3. Do you have your phone number or email listed?


1. Can I easily find where to sign up for your emails?
2. Do you have a subscribe area on your website?
3. Do you have a subscribe tab on your Facebook page?

While this is not even close to a complete list, it’s an awesome start if you are in a service business. When was the last time you took a look at your online presence? Today may be an awesome day to start.

(shared with LOVE from Nina)

Facebook Post

Facebook…Sharing The Love

“Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened.  Happiness never decreases by being shared”


Have you ever wondered what makes a Facebook post engaging?  And by engaging, we mean the post earns likes, shares and comments.  Is it magic?  Is it a secret?  Well, maybe a little, but there are some key elements to consider in developing engaging posts on Facebook.

Facebook Post

As we write this blog post, we still are freaking out (in a good way) about the most engaging post in our history (that’s 2 months and 25 days).  Which earned 133 shares and 49 likes. WOW.

What about this post resonated with our Passion Squared community?  Here is our take…

Are you posting for your Target Audience?
Our community is passionate about making the world a better place, and this is done by starting with ourselves, which this quote was speaking to.  In our industry, we crave inspiration, growth and personal development, which is why inspirational quotes and images resonate with many of us.

Are your posts drenched in Authenticity?
The most engaging posts are those that people can feel the authenticity of your message.  The message from this post was just that, authentic, as was our intention in posting it.  People know when we are being “real”, the social space is no different, authenticity rules.

Are you enchanting your audience with Pictures?
On Facebook, posts with pictures or videos are typically the most engaging.  Makes sense, doesn’t it?  We all love images that make our heart sing.

Are you part of the Conversation?
The social web is the ultimate cocktail party.  Its designed for us to engage in two-way conversations.  This means its super important to always be checking your page, looking for posts, questions, comments, and responding, acknowledging and engaging your followers.

So many of us have thought that our Fan count was most important, when in reality, its the “Talking About This” number that counts.  This number represents the actual people engaging your page either by likes, shares or comments.

There are tremendous insights available on your “admin panel” of your business page. We recommend taking a look to see what your pages most engaging posts have been, and doing more of that.

Facebook has given us all such a cool opportunity to engage, empower and share with each other.  We are so grateful for our friends of Passion Squared and for all the love and support we feel from each of you every day.

For more info on Facebook Insights, you can jump onto

We found this incredible image on Google, via a super cool Pinterest Board named Wordy Things.  We heart.

(shared with LOVE from your passionistas Nina+Gordon)