Category: How To

5+ Virtual Conference Etiquette Guidelines Everyone Should Know About

Even before more people started working from home, virtual conferences were still commonly used as people wanted to be able to communicate face-to-face with other locations without having to travel for a meeting that might not even be an hour long. These days, though, with a good percentage of the population working from home, being able to communicate through virtual conferences effectively is of the utmost importance.

Just like in-person meetings, there are some guidelines that you should follow for virtual conferences that allow you to show respect to the other members of the conference. Let’s take a look at some of those etiquette guidelines that everyone should know about so you can ace your next virtual conference.


One of the worst things that you can do at an in-person meeting is to arrive late. When the other parties are on time, they end up awkwardly sitting there until your arrival, and it sets a bad tone for the whole conference. The same is true for virtual conferences. Just because someone is in their home or office by themselves doesn’t mean that it’s any less awkward for them. Even worse, you’re taking up their valuable time and throwing off their entire day’s schedule. It’s OK to be early, but being right on time is ideal for a virtual conference, just make sure that you’re not late.

Stay Focused

When you’re at an in-person meeting, there aren’t many temptations to look at your phone or start browsing the web because you’re giving your full attention to the person speaking. One of the biggest issues with virtual conferences, however, is how easy it is to become distracted from the speaker. When you’re not sharing your screen, it can be tempting to start checking emails or catching up on social media, but you have to stay focused. Respect the speaker’s time and give them your full attention.

Audio Etiquette

Nobody would ever speak over someone who is presenting at a conference in-person on purpose, but when it comes to virtual conferences, it happens on accident all the time. Many people put on their headset without knowing whether or not it’s on mute, and can accidentally speak during a presentation. It’s not malicious most of the time as they’re speaking to someone off-camera for a moment or speaking while taking notes, but it can be distracting. Make sure to double-check your microphone so that it’s always on mute when you’re not talking, and always off mute when you are talking.

Dress For Success

The great part about a virtual conference is that you don’t have to get fully dressed up like you would if you were at an office, but you should at least still look presentable. In fact, it all comes down to the top that you’re wearing. Since people can really only see you from the neck up, try to wear a nice clean shirt at the very least. If you know that you’re only going to be seen from the neck-up, then you can still get away with wearing basketball shorts or sweatpants as long as you look sharp up top.

Raise Your Virtual Hand

Virtual conferences can end up being pretty large in size with dozens, if not hundreds, of people all in the same virtual room. With that said, you shouldn’t just unmute yourself and chime in whenever you want. Instead, many of today’s virtual conference rooms like Microsoft Teams, Slack, and more, have options where you can figuratively raise your hand. This is a great feature that makes sure nobody is talking over one another.

Turn On The Camera

Many of us have probably been in virtual conferences where the only person that has their camera on is the one who’s presenting. While in larger conferences this is fine as the presenter will request that cameras and microphones are off, smaller and more intimate conferences should call for everyone to have their cameras on. You might not be “camera-ready” but it shows respect to the speaker of the conference, making things less awkward for them in the process. It also shows that you’re fully attentive toward them and that you appreciate their time.

Stay On Schedule

We already mentioned how important it is to be punctual for a virtual conference, but that’s not the only time-related tip that we have. Most conferences are going to have a schedule of topics that will be touched on, and it’s important to stay on that schedule. It can be easy to start a brand-new conversation during the middle of a virtual conference, but you want to stay focused so that the conference ends at its scheduled time. Many of these conferences are scheduled down to the minute, so respect everyone’s time by sticking to that.

How To Compose An Encouraging Message For A Friend

Encouraging messages are a great way to acknowledge a friend’s accomplishments, goals, and personal struggles. But you’ll want to follow these general guidelines to compose the most meaningful message.

1. When to Send Encouraging Messages

You feel the urge to connect by letting someone else know they’re doing a great job or moving in the right direction. But there’s a fine line between sending encouragement and butting into someone else’s business. 

So, it’s important to think about why you’re sending an encouraging note. Is it for you to feel good that they finally followed your advice or do you genuinely want to encourage this person?

2. Why Send an Encouraging Note

An encouraging message makes sense when someone has reached out seeking emotional support, but not when it’s congratulating them on a personal achievement they’ve never openly discussed with you.

For example, if you have a friend who struggles with their weight and has asked for your support, an encouraging message may be welcome.

But if that same friend just lost some weight but has never expressed they’re trying to, an encouraging message now feels like you’re judging them. The same goes for dating, kicking a habit or addiction, leaving a bad relationship, and similar sensitive topics.

Another opportunity for encouragement is when someone has experienced a sudden loss. This one is a bit easier to navigate. But you should still think about why you want to encourage someone—for them or you.

3. Focus on Them

Your encouraging messages should focus on the person and not a similar experience you went through and overcame. You may mean well. But the latter can be a sign of narcissism. 

Put yourself in their shoes rather than trying to fit them into your worldview and experiences.

4. Keep It Short or Long

This depends on the person. Think about what they would appreciate. Some people would love a 5-page letter from you, complete with flower stickers and a picture your 3-year-old drew for them. Others would get more out of words you might see on a locker room poster. 

  • Hang in there.
  • I’m rooting for you.
  • Sorry about your recent loss. 
  • Take care of yourself.
  • You’ve got this!
  • I can’t wait to catch up with you.

5. Take Your Time to Get it Right

Even if this is a 10-word message, take time to choose those words. Write it. Read it aloud. Edit. Pretend you’re them reading it. Edit again.

6. Add a Meaningful Quote

Find a quote from a person your friend admires that relates to the situation. Place it in quotes and cite the source so they know where those words came from.

Religious sayings can be a great source of strength, comfort, and motivation for the right person. But just like sending them a quote from a movie they’ve never seen, that same saying may not mean to them what it means to you. 

7. Make It Personal

Add an inside joke or reference only they’ll know. This one may not be appropriate in certain situations, but inside jokes foster feelings of connection. Whatever your friends are going through, you want them to know you’re thinking of them and will always be here for them. A little inside information demonstrates this in a way simple words cannot.

How To Inspire – And Deserve – Trust

There are few things as valuable in this world as having someone’s trust or putting your trust in them. When this happens, you are putting all of your faith in someone to keep secrets, come through for you when you need it most, or simply be there to listen during difficult times. Almost everyone has at least one person that they trust to some degree, with some being so trustworthy that they can be told just about anything.

But how do you inspire trust, and how do you deserve to have someone’s trust? It’s a long and delicate process to earn the trust of someone, especially if you didn’t grow up knowing them (like a family member). Let’s take a deeper look into the belief of trust and see how it can become a bigger part of your life.

Be Trustworthy

It should go without saying that you don’t really deserve to be trusted if you haven’t shown the ability to be trustworthy. If someone tells you a secret and you immediately reveal that secret to several other people, you’ve already broken that person’s trust and it’s likely that they’re never going to put their faith in you again.

In fact, that person might end up resenting you and letting others know that you are not to be trusted. It doesn’t have to be something that will hurt someone deeply to betray their trust, as even minor ways of not being trustworthy will add up and cause that person to become bitter. Be true to your word and show someone that you can be trusted.

Take it Easy

We’ve all met someone that instantly wants to share every part of their personal lives with you. It can be a bit overbearing to hear it, especially if they’re expecting to hear some personal details about you. Instead of this method of trying to build trust, it’s best to take it slow. After all, you don’t fall in love with someone just by saying a couple of sentences to each other, and you wouldn’t want to put all of your faith in someone you just met.

It’s a long, gradual process that takes a lot of nuances to get just right. If you find yourself putting too much trust into someone too quickly, try to reel yourself in so that you don’t get hurt by someone that only seemed trustworthy on a surface level.


You can make a promise to someone that you don’t know and it’s probably not going to hurt you one bit if you don’t follow through with that promise. If you show someone that you truly care about them and want to see them happy and put their faith in you, then you have to deliver any time that you make a promise. Care about those that you’re trusting, and the more you care about that person, the more you’re going to care that they trust you.

Admit Mistakes

We all know someone that doesn’t really take responsibility for their wrongdoings and tries to blame them on something or someone else. These people also aren’t likely to admit that they’re wrong in any situation, and it can be aggravating. Not surprisingly, these people don’t earn the trust of many that they come across.

One of the fastest ways that you can earn someone’s trust is to show humility and admit when you were wrong. It takes a big person to do this, and when it happens, everyone around you immediately sees you in a more respectful light and will be willing to trust you. When things hit the fan, you want to know that a person you trust would rather go down with the ship than abandon it.


The people that you trust the most are the ones that you hear from on an almost-daily basis. Keeping an open line of communication is paramount for establishing trust with someone, as you might not be seen as trustworthy if you’re a bit of a flight risk.

This is true in just about any scenario whether it’s personal or professional. People need to know that you’ll be able to answer their phone call or text message, and in some cases, even answer the door if they really need you. You’ll also want to communicate clearly. Don’t leave people guessing your true intentions, and you’ll be on your way to being more trustworthy.

How To Compose A Formal Complaint Letter that Gets Results

You should assert yourself when companies provide inferior experiences. But you must keep the goal of a complaint letter in mind. Here’s how to compose a formal complaint letter to get desired results.

1. When to Write a Formal Complaint

A formal complaint is only necessary after you’ve given customer service an opportunity to correct the issue. It is an escalated attempt to right a wrong against you and/or prevent others from a similar experience.

2. Commit to Brevity

You have so many things this company could have done better. But over-explaining begins to sound like a rant. Others will tune you out.

A formal complaint allows you to perfect how and what you communicate. Outline your main points. Prioritize to keep the focus on what’s important. Omit unnecessary sidebars. 

3. Gather Important Information

Provide everything needed to follow up rather than expecting them to dig for it. Certain facts are essential to understanding the problem and potentially preventing it from happening to others.

  • Serial numbers 
  • Model numbers
  • Membership account number (when applicable)
  • Dates
  • Place of purchase
  • What’s wrong
  • When the problem started (1st use, three months later)
  • Names of people involved (if you have them) or descriptions
  • Date/time/names when you spoke with customer service
  • Documentation (screenshots, receipts, email chains, etc.)

4. State What You Want

Do you want a refund, exchange, or replacement parts? An apology? Rather than have the complaints department guess what would make you happy, tell them. 

5. Establish a Reasonable Timeline

Unlike a quick chat with customer care online, a formal complaint may take longer to consider. Set reasonable deadline expectations for resolving this issue.

6. Is This a Consumer Safety Issue

In some cases, you may alert them to serious danger. If you have a genuine concern for the safety of others, you may also want to contact the agencies that review product safety in your area. In the U.S., that might be:

Try to resolve something with the company first. Wield this power responsibly.

7. Make an Effective Case

Some issues have no simple solution. Remember, formal complaints will reach people who can recommend change within a company. You’re trying to make something happen that isn’t happening.

Legally speaking, the burden of proof is always on the plaintiff (you). You’re the one who has to make the case, not them.

8. Take Emotion Out of It

You may feel anger, betrayal, or loss. These will cloud your judgment.

If you’re thinking “I’ll show them how it’s done” or “why are they so stupid?”, that sense of superiority is ego. The ego rarely aligns with reality. Being egotistical is not an effective way to get someone to listen to you.

Avoid sarcasm which can be misunderstood to mean the opposite—especially in writing. Try to set all of these aside in favor of constructive communication.

9. Don’t Threaten

Be nice until it’s time not to be nice anymore. The person getting the letter probably isn’t the one who harmed you. They deserve to be treated humanely.

Try to get them on your side rather than jumping to threats of legal action and contacting agencies. These kinds of “threats” should be reserved for subsequent letters if the first gets no response or inadequate response. Even then, follow the above tips.

Top 5 Ways To Make Money On TikTok

After a social media app starts to take off, not many people are thinking about how they can make money from the trend. Eventually, though, that platform will become so large that it’s a money making machine, and it’s not just those behind the scenes that are pulling in cash. Users are able to make money from their content, and that includes TikTok. Want to know how you can earn some cash through your TikTok hobby? Here are five ways to do just that.

5. Creator Fund

Beginning in March 2021, TikTok rolled out what’s known as the creator fund, calling it an appreciation for those that have made the app as successful as it is. This is not the easiest program to get into, however. To become part of the creator fund, you have to have over 100,000 authentic views in a 30 day span on your videos. As long as you get that amount, you can grab a piece of the pie, but there is no one set amount for each creator.

4. Ads Manager

Don’t feel like trying to get viewers the old fashioned way on Tiktok? There’s an easier route you can take, but you have to invest in yourself first. Through TikTok ads, you can promote your own videos that show up in between popular videos on the site, and this will direct people to your profile or a store that you run. While it might not be the easiest or most organic way of doing things, this is a better option if your goal is to sell things instead of creating videos.

3. Make Some Coins

There’s a newer feature on TikTok where a virtual currency can be sent to content creators called coins. When someone sends you coins, you can cash those out for real money with a minimum cashout of $100. The best way to get coins is through live video on TikTok. People that are watching are more likely to do realtime donations through coins than they would a video that was published several days prior. Think of it like donating bits to a Twitch streamer.

2. Sponsored Content

Of course, nothing makes money on social media quite like doing some old fashioned sponsored content. There are plenty of companies that are willing to advertise on TikTok by working with content creators, even if they’re on the smaller side of the follower spectrum. To get in on the action, simply go to the ‘more options’ tab on your ‘post’ screen then click on ‘branded content.’ You can also work directly with brands to advertise on your TikTok, eliminating the middleman in your sponsorship.

1. Merch Sales

Just like any entertainer, you can make a good amount of money just from your merchandise sales. Musicians do it, movie studios do it, content creators do it, so you might as well join them. Making merchandise on websites like Teespring is easy and doesn’t cost you anything. Of course, they’ll take a cut for being the ones using inventory to design and ship out your merchandise, but you still can set how much of the profits that you’re getting. Make sure to add your merchandise link on your TikTok profile and you’ll be good to go.

Top 5 Ways To Make Money On Pinterest

With over 450 million active users, Pinterest is one of the most used social media platforms on the internet. It’s different in a lot of ways compared to other sites, too, but it does have one thing in common: the ability to make money. If you’re on Pinterest daily, consider using it to earn some extra cash. Here’s five ways to do just that.

5. Tagging Brands

The first way you can make money on Pinterest doesn’t involve Pinterest in the transaction at all. Instead, you can work directly with brands via paid partnerships, and you don’t have to have a massive following to take part. You can tag a brand on your Idea Pin, and they will receive a notification. From there, the brand can choose to approve your pin. If they do, then the brand can promote your pin and start earning you some money. Of course, brands will be selective when doing this, but as long as your pin is good, there’s nothing to worry about.

4. Affiliate Links

On top of the tagging that you can do on Pinterest, you can also work directly with a brand to become an affiliate. When doing this, the brand will set up a contract with you to create a certain amount of pins with an affiliate link that guides people to their website. Each of your posts will have an affiliate link that’s able to track how much web traffic that you brought in. Though you may not be paid up front, a successful post can net you a lot of money in commission thanks to your link.

3. Set Up Your Own Shop

Want all the money for yourself and not have to split it with other brands? That’s something that you can do on Pinterest, as well, as the app makes it incredibly easy to open up your own shop. When under the ‘Shop’ tab on Pinterest, let them know what products are available and for what price. From there, you’ll be able to showcase your products in your pins and you’ll get most of the sale minus a small fee. It’s a great way to not have to create a full website, instead using a business account on Pinterest.

2. Creator Rewards

Pinterest recently introduced a program known as Creator Rewards, and it’s a great way for users to get paid without needing a massive following. All you need to do to be eligible is to have a business account that has at least 250 followers with three idea pins and 150 saves on published pins in the past 30 days. Your original content will get you enrolled in the program and you’ll be able to work toward goals that get you paid. It won’t be much at first if you have a small following, but it can blossom quickly.

1. Become a Coach

Let’s say that you’re a Pinterest expert, but don’t really have anything that you want to sell or don’t feel like trying to monetize your content. Instead, you can help other people get to where they want to be through coaching. Offer your services as someone that can grow a brand quickly and you can make a full-time career out of it. Small businesses are often looking for social media managers, and this could be the right spot for you.

Top 5 Ways To Make Money On YouTube

YouTube is the absolute king when it comes to video content on the internet, and it has made some of its content creators very wealthy. When seeing how much money some of the highest creators are making, it has caused a lot of us to think about getting into the YouTube business ourselves. It’s not an easy egg to crack, but you can still make some money on the side with your channel. Here are five ways you can do just that.

5. Use Original Content

One of the quickest ways to make sure that your YouTube channel doesn’t make a single cent is by using other peoples’ content. It’s even faster when you’re using content that’s owned by a large company such as movies, television shows and music. If everything that you post is completely original content, there’s no way that you can get a copyright strike filed against you. Even playing video games can be tricky as some of these games contain copyrighted music so you have to be careful.

4. Accept Fan Donations

Even if you don’t have a large following, there might be some people that still want to donate to your channel to support your efforts. Make sure to set up a PayPal link in the description for each of your videos. This allows people to send you money directly, but make it clear that there are no refunds as there have been some issues with chargebacks to troll YouTubers. YouTube also has ways in which content creators can receive money directly from fans, and we’ll get right to that.

3. Become a Partner

To add a button that allows fans to send you money right under your video without having to even leave your channel, you have to become part of the YouTube Partner Program. This isn’t an easy program to get into, however. You need to have at least 1,000 subscribers, which is the hardest part of the program. You also need to have 4,000 hours worth of your videos watched in the past 12 months. You can then link your AdSense account and you’ll start to earn revenue from your videos.

2. Find Sponsors

Some content creators that don’t have a large enough following or post enough videos to get into the YouTube Partner Program will find a way to get revenue through sponsors. It might not be a large deal that you strike with a sponsor, but you can get paid to do a quick shoutout to your sponsor or even have an affiliate code that tracks how many people are using your video to get to your sponsor’s website.

1. Sell Merch

Selling merchandise is one of the easiest and most fun ways to earn money on YouTube. Websites like Spring allow you to create your own merchandise for free, and the ability to not have to pay anything upfront means that you get a big chunk of the profit. Of course, these sites will take a big cut since it’s their inventory that’s being shipped, but if you have a good enough design, it might transcend your YouTube channel altogether.

Top 5 Ways to Make Money on Facebook

Facebook isn’t just a website where you can update your status or see what your friends are doing. These days, it has evolved into a massive social media platform where you can do just about anything. That includes making money, whether it be on a part time or full time basis. So whether you’re using Facebook as a side hustle for some beer money or making it a career, here are five ways to make money on Facebook.

5. Use the Marketplace

Believe it or not, one of the oldest features on Facebook is the Facebook Marketplace. In its infancy, it became a very similar feature to Craigslist, basically being a classifieds section for Facebook. SInce then, it has grown and relaunched with new features, now being featured as prominently as other Facebook apps like Messenger. Marketplace now offers sales for items that you might not be using across the nation instead of locally. This can be anything from hand me down clothes to that brand new car you bought and for some reason decided you didn’t want.

4. Start Making Videos

Do you have a lot on your mind and want to do some live streams to get your opinions out there? Or perhaps a giveaway that can help drive viewership? Facebook allows you to go live, and the platform now offers in-stream advertising. The algorithm will find a natural break where they can fit an advertisement in, and you’ll get paid. How much you get paid depends mostly on the amount of people watching, as well as the company that’s advertising.

3. Getting Branded

Just like with other social media platforms, working with brands so that they can advertise on your content is one of the most surefire ways of making money. Those with an active following on Facebook can use the Brand Collabs Manager tool on Facebook to set up sponsored content that’s most effective for both you and the brand. There’s an application process, but if you’re following is pretty sizeable, you should be accepted.

2. Fan Subs

Just like seemingly everything else now, people are able to subscribe to your page no matter what type of content you’re creating. This is good if you already have a large following but aren’t sure how to monetize your popularity. For a small fee, people can subscribe to your content for exclusive access to certain posts or even just to support you. All in all, your page must have 10,000 followers and at least 250 returning viewers every 60 days. Lastly, you’ll need to have 50,000 post engagements during that time.

1. Stars

Is your page not quite large enough garner subscriptions but you still have plenty of loyal people who want to support you? There’s good news, as you’re eligible for the Stars program when you have 1,000 followers for 60 days in a row. With this program, users can give Stars to their favorite content creators during live streams or on demand videos. Every one Star that a fan sends you translates to $0.01 USD, and the amount of stars that’s been given is visible to everyone. This means it can turn into a competition amongst users to see who can be the most generous.

Top 5 Ways To Make Money On Instagram

People are learning more and more these days that they can actually make money on social media. It’s a place where many of us never thought we would be in, but even apps like Instagram allows the average person to make some side money. If you want your piece of the massive money pile that is Instagram, here are five ways to get your hand on some cash.

5. Badge Support

Live streaming has been the biggest trend in social media, following the likes of Twitch and YouTube to get people engaged in content. Instagram is now on board with live streaming, and there’s a setup that allows streamers to earn money from their live feeds. Instagram introduced what they call badges, and viewers can purchase them and give them to their favorite creators. These badges will convert into real money for the creators, with badges being marked at $0.99, $1.99 and $4.99 increments.

4. Bonuses

While some social media platforms will refer to them as bounties, Instagram has a system where you can collect bonuses from your amazing content. One of those programs is called Reels Play, which brings in revenue depending on how many views your reel has. If you have a reel that goes viral, you can pull in a lot of money, though the minimum cash out is $100 total. This is invite only for now, but it is only offered to those with under 1 million followers.

3. Affiliate Program

Instagram rolled out a program where you can become an affiliate with the platform, working with brands where you drive sales from your posts. Instagram offers a playbook where you can find out all about the program, but in short, you get a commission from a brand’s sale anytime someone clicks the link on your profile and makes a purchase. The commission will vary based by brand and your following on Instagram, with some of the larger Instagram profiles making more enough to earn a living. This is still a new program so not everybody is eligible yet, but keep an eye out for the future.

2. Become a Salesman

You don’t have to sell things for other people on Instagram to make money, as you can simply sell your own merchandise. Let’s say you design your own clothing or make art, you can sell those products directly on Instagram without users even having to leave the app. To start, you’ll have to tag your product and there will be a link to purchase said product. Instagram will take a small cut for being an advertising platform, but you’ll still get most of what you charge to potential customers.

1. Sponsored Posts

While the affiliate program isn’t open to everyone just yet, you can still make sponsored posts without being a big time Instagrammer. Brands are willing to work with just about anyone, although you’ll obviously get more sponsorship opportunities if you have a larger following and get more money. Try connecting with brands that fit your interests. If you’re often posting about your fitness routine, try to team up with athletic brands that may be able to hook you up with a sponsorship. This will likely be in the form of a link in your caption or a code that tracks how many sales you’re bringing in.

How To Build A Following On Twitter

There are well over 300 million active users on Twitter each month, and that many people are bound to have a wide range of followers. Out of all of those profiles, only a few hundred have at least 1 million followers, as it can be hard to build a big following without being a celebrity. You might find that it’s difficult to start from scratch and get Twitter famous, but it’s possible. Sure, you might not be amongst the Barack Obamas or Rihannas of the world, but you can still get yourself a solid Twitter following. To do that, follow some of these easy steps.

5. Complete Your Profile

Have you ever seen a tweet that you really liked and wondered what else that person had to say on a wide range of topics, only to click on their profile and it’s completely bare? There’s a good chance that you probably didn’t follow that person. With that in mind, you want to make sure that your profile is complete, including having a profile picture, bio filled out and the whole nine yards. People are more likely to follow those that have the coveted blue checkmark, and having a complete profile is one of the requirements for getting that checkmark.

4. Tweet Every Day

One of the issues that people have with not being able to grow a following is that they simply don’t tweet enough. They’ll make a few posts that don’t get much traction and then completely give up. Not every tweet that you make has to be a viral hit that gets thousands of retweets. Just focus on being consistent and you’ll be deemed a good follow that people come to for daily comments and opinions.

3. Make It Visual

Pretty much everyone can have a response that’s a few words to something on Twitter, but having a visual tool is going to catch a lot more eyes. Try responding with videos, gifs, photos or any other visual that will grab attention. Not many people are getting followers just because they responded to a Justin Bieber tweet with “hello Justin.” You have to be unique.

2. Watermark Your Content

On the internet, things get stolen shamelessly. Even the likes of Elon Musk have been called out for stealing memes and not giving credit where it’s due. If you come up with original content and post it on Twitter, make absolutely sure to watermark it like crazy. It might seem like overkill, but the last thing you want to see is someone stealing your post and getting hundreds, if not thousands, of new followers as a result. It could also help you in court if a movie or video game studio decides to steal a design of yours.

1. Tag It

The main reason people get on Twitter is to follow trends and breaking news. If you want to be visible to people that aren’t following you, using hashtags is a surefire way to do so. This is especially true if you’re one of the first people to comment on something that’s breaking like a big sports trade or a celebrity breakup. If you’re the first thing people see on a trend, you’re probably going to get a lot of follows.