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Useful Tools to Save you Time

As a social media professional, I am always seeking ways to make more efficient use of my time.  I belong to a couple of forums and groups that often discuss free tools or low-cost options.  I would like to share a compiled list here with you:

  • Hootsuite – one of my faves – up to 5 social media accounts for free, up to 20 for $5.99 per month
  • If This Then That – will help you do just that with about 11 social platforms – ex. if [Twitter mention] then [thank them] – will work with Facebook pages.
  • Buffer – share your posts at a later time on any Twitter account or Facebook personal pages
  • Dreamstime – free photos for use in your materials – they also have photos for purchase.
  • DIIGO – similar to Dropbox for websites you want to save for later – lets you bookmark in a cloud favorites by keyword.  You can even highlight things, place sticky notes on pages and share it with connections.
  • FanTools – the free side lets you set up one Twitter and one Facebook page, upgrades available for planning, coupons and deals.
  • YouSendIt – sending large files through email is no longer a problem, use YouSendIt.  You upload, the receiver downloads.  You must stay under a size limit for it to remain free.
  • Morgue File – more free photos. Has a connection with Dreamstime.
  • CutePDF – makes pdf files for any of your printable documents for programs that don’t already convert them.
  • Join.me – screen sharing
  • Skype – video calling and screen sharing, have a group video conversation for a monthly fee.
  • IWOWWE – video email and conferencing.
  • MailChimp – e-newsletter system free up to 2000 emails
  • FreshBooks – on-line accounting, up to 3 clients for free, up to 25 clients $19.95 mos.
  • BeFunky – photo effects editor
  • Zoho – CRM on-line tool.
  • Gimp – photo editing software – you download it.  You don’t need Photoshop with this one.
  • Inkscape – modify vector art similar to Illustrator.
  • ClipArt – open clip art library
  • AVG – anti virus
  • Adobe Browser Lab for website testing
  • WeTransfer – for sending files
  • PrimoPDF is also free PDF converter
  • Hamster – another Free video converter
  • MyPictr – Avatar creator – for profile pictures on social networks – not sure if its up to date but you can manually change the px size
  • DaFont – Free Fonts
  • OpenOffice – The Free and Open Productivity Suite
  • LastPass – Online Password storage.
  • Malwarebytes – Don’t run windows without it – not free
  • Nitro PDF Reader – recently added thanks to SME club thread
  • Toggl – Time tracking, great when you are billing by project
  • Avast! – Anti-virus, some free, but all the bells and whistles cost
  • Audacity – Sound recording and editing
  • TeamViewer – Screen sharing and more.
  • Jing – screen capture. pro version for a small upgrade is no longer available.  Will have to switch to Snag-it or Camtasia.
  • FileZilla – FTP management
  • CCleaner – keep your hard drive clean and optimized
  • Synergy – use one mouse and keyboard to connect multiple computers (from Zoho)
  • Any Video Converter – convert any video, aptly named
  • Dropbox – store and share files online
  • Google Docs, Calendar, mail, keyword tools, alerts, analytics, insights for search – access docs that you share, share with others, check your calendar, multiple email accounts from you desktop, phone, or laptop, find what keywords you need to use, set up alerts for anything you want to track from the web and blogs, add analytics to your website and track traffic to your site, .
  • Evernote -remember everything, anywhere
  • Readitlater – don’t have time to read that article now, save it to readitlater.
  • SimpleNote – similar to Evernote, jot yourself a note anytime, anywhere
  • KeePass – another password compiler
  • Free Conference Call – teleconferencing line available 24/7. Each call accommodates 96 callers on an unlimited number of 6 hour free conference calls.
  • SuveyMonkey – free survey tool
  • Evite – free party planning tool
  • Producteev – task management app, helping to organize office days. It’s cross-platform, desktop and mobile.
  • AnyMeeting – web conference meetings
  • Bit.ly – link shortener and tracking
  • Box.net – add files to this on-line application and link it to your LinkedIn profile
  • Scribd – post your pdf files and documents to share on your social networks if you don’t want to post them on your website.
  • Visual.ly – create your own infographic
  • Get Listed – enter your business name and zip code.  The tool finds the location sites on which you are or aren’t listed.
  • Timeline Image Tool – helps you build custom tab images without needing design software.

What have I missed?  What do you like best?  What wouldn’t you use?

 

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LinkedIn Tags and Notes Going Away

LinkedIn Tags are Disappearing

I am totally disappointed in LinkedIn because of an email that I just received from LinkedIn telling me they are discontinuing the tags and notes functions in LinkedIn connections.

Here is the email I got:

At LinkedIn, we’re always looking for ways to simplify and improve your experience – helping you be more productive and successful. This sometimes means removing features that aren’t heavily used by most of our members to invest in others that members tell us offer greater value.

As such, we’re removing the Notes and Tags features on the LinkedIn profile, which allowed you to add notes and tags to your connections, to help manage your professional relationships. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you, so please know that you can download this information through March 31, 2017. You’ll find instructions below.

As an active user of Notes and Tags, you will find similar functionality in LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator. To see if Sales Navigator is right for you, we are offering you a free three-month trial*, which will allow you to transfer and view your existing notes and tags. LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a product we launched a couple of years ago and is targeted at sales professionals – it lets you keep track of your existing relationships, research your network, and find new leads with tailored recommendations.

Below you’ll find instructions on how to download and transfer your data as well as information regarding your free Sales Navigator trial.

Well, I guess they aren’t going to totally get rid of them, but they are going to make you pay for them if you want to continue using them. It’s all about the money! I have been using tags to differentiate my connections for many years now. It is something that I teach in my LinkedIn workshops as a valuable searchable tool. Now, I will have to make sure I stress the importance of keywords in your profile even more.

AND on top of this, I just saw the roll-out of the new personal profile. Upon investigation, it makes more sense about how to add things, but the functionality has changed and I don’t know if it will come back. You used to be able to reorganize the sections and at this time until the roll-out is complete, you can’t do that. All this change all at the same time!!! It is one of the reasons why I love and hate social media because it is always changing. Not always for the better!

Reply Don’t Accept Yet – LinkedIn Invitations

Do you get invitations from people you don’t know? Use the Reply Don’t Accept Yet feature

I get a ton of invitations from people that I have not ever met. I bet you do too or your wouldn’t necessarily be reading this. I have a solution for you that I have been using ever since I found out about the option. It is one of my Gotta Love this list of features on LinkedIn – reply don’t accept yet.

This has changed over the years, and I pray that LinkedIn never eliminates this feature. Change it how you want, but puhleeeeze LinkedIn keep it!!!

Here you go:

Hover over the Invitation Icon next to your picture in the Upper Right hand corner of LinkedIn screen. You should see the words “See All” next to the Pending Invitations. This works best from a laptop or desktop instead of a tablet. Click the “See All”.

A new screen will appear with all of your invitations – see below:

LinkedIn reply don't accept 1

If an invitation has a pair of conversation icons, it means that the invitation was personalized. If it has an arrow, it was not. Click the arrow in the corner.

A new window will open and a conversation option will appear where you can ask the potential contact – “Please refresh my memory of how we may have met. I like to tag my connections for future reference.”

After that, if the person replies to you, you can decide whether to accept the invitation or not!

Don’t forget to tag you new connections. Need to know how to do that? Read this article. It is a few years old, but the concept is valid. I will write an updated version later this month.

Milestones in your Life

Today is one of those Milestones in my life!

This is my birthday. It is one of the milestones birthdays that ends in a zero. I am not birthday milestonebeing dramatic or overwrought because I did that when I turned 20 because I wasn’t going to be a teenager any longer.  No, today I celebrate a milestone and want to recount the good things that have happened in my life.

I am blessed! I have a husband with whom I have loved, laughed, fought with and fought for, for 25 years this year. We met on a blind date over 30 years ago and I am blessed every day that this man is in my life. We have built a life together, a home together – literally built the house together, and enjoy spending time with each other. We are there for each other in good times and bad.

That man I met so many years ago, came with a 6 year old daughter that has become the daughter that I love with all my heart. We never had children of our own together, so this, technically a step, daughter is more important to me than she will ever know. I thrill in her accomplishments, agonize with her pains, and enjoy seeing her happiness blossom.

My own family was small. I was an only child. Both of my parents left this earth a number of years ago. What I gained from meeting this man I married, is a huge loving Italian family. So many brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews, aunts and uncles, and cousins that I truly lose count! There is always some sort of celebration or family function that we could attend, and I love it!

I have wonderful friends who have become the sisters that I never had. While I may not see those friends every day or talk to them even monthly, the friendships that I have been blessed to create is another milestone in my life. When my mother died, one of those friends came and spent a few days with me so that I could go through mom’s things. She recognized when I had enough and helped me get through everything.

Our home is a milestone. We built it from scratch and it is still everything that we need. And it created an opportunity for us to expand into a design build custom home and remodeling business.

I have had a few jobs in my life. Many of them have accounted for long periods of time. My most recent milestone was getting laid off from a job that I had had for 12.5 years. Because of that I started my own consulting business which has been thriving for a number of years.

I have many milestones and many blessings, but I think my very most favorite of them all is my grandson that I wouldn’t get to love unconditionally and spoil unmercifully if I hadn’t made that very first milestone. These two men are what make me happy and joyful and looking forward to the next milestones in my life!

 

Showcase pages on LinkedIn – what Value?

To showcase or not to showcase – that is the question!

Recently in an on-line forum I use as a resource tool, I ran across a question from another user asking about how to remove a showcase page.

I maintain one for my business LinkedIn page just to explain and demonstrate. For my purposes, that is the only benefit I see for them.

If you are a large company with a number of product lines that are diverse enough that someone wouldn’t want to see posts or information about your other products, it would be worthwhile to consider a showcase page. Several questions to ask yourself are:

  1. What kind of content will I post that is different than I would post to my general company page?
  2. Is there enough content to post at least a weekly update to the showcase page?
  3. Do I have the time or manpower to dedicate to posting on a showcase page in addition to the other pages I have on all of my social media channels?

If you have substantive answers for each of these three questions you may want to create a showcase page for your product or service identity in addition to your overall company page.

Here is what you would do:

  1. Go to your company page
  2. Click the edit
  3. Select Create Showcase page

Fill in all of the appropriate information and add an icon and header image.

Once created if you need to make edits or delete the page do the following:

  1. Click on your company page. Find the showcase page on the lower right side.
  2. Click on the Showcase page.
  3. Click the edit button.

Make your changes or go to the bottom right and remove the page.

Remember that if you are going to have a showcase page, it really should have some activity on it.

Not everyone is big enough or diverse enough to benefit from the efforts needed to create and maintain a LinkedIn Company Showcase page.

Is Professional in your LinkedIn Headline?

If the word Professional is in your LinkedIn headline, you need to consider removing it.

If you are a professional singer, dancer, actor, sports figure, OK, you can professional dancerleave the word in your headline. But if you have any level of notoriety on a professional level, you probably aren’t using LinkedIn to help you advance your products and services.

One of the things that I advise in my LinkedIn workshops and one-on-one coaching is to remove the word professional from your headline. It is a dead give away that you are in job search mode. My thought pattern is this – if you were employed and were using your job title as your headline, does your job title say “National Sales Representative Professional”? If you are currently employed are you no longer a professional at what you do, when you were a professional when you did not have a current position?

Instead I suggest that you employ the keyword tactic. If you want to read more about this, read this article that I published. Using keywords helps you in the search algorithms and doesn’t make you look like you are looking for your next opportunity.

Other words that you should consider removing from your headline, especially if they are the majority of your headline, include:

  • Seeking next opportunity
  • Targeting XYZ Roles
  • Actively “anything”
  • Seasoned
  • Determined
  • Experienced

All of these words are a dead give-away you are in job search mode.

I also recommend that you don’t use them in your summary until, at the very most, if at all, the last sentence.
linkedin-keywords-2

Participants ask, what do they do about having a current job. Put it in your profile so that your profile gets to All-Star status, but grab and drag it below a job that is in your career field.

Remember that when you do land your next position and update your profile that you don’t lose all the effort you put in to update your headline with keywords.

If you need to work on your profile, give me a call. We can work in-person or via a webinar.