Blog

Featured

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?

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Associated Colleges of Illinois

Speaking to the Associated Colleges of Illinois on LinkedIn

On November 3, 2017 I spoke to the Associated Colleges of Illinois about using LinkedIn and other social media to reach out to potential students.

I went to LinkedIn and compiled into one document the items that are associated with creating and using a University page on LinkedIn. If you want to download it click this link – University Pages on LinkedIn.

One of the things I noticed as I was researching all of this is the fact that they differentiate Company pages from University pages for the alumni aspect of the pages.

While many businesses have alumni, not all of them will talk up the positive aspects of that business as they may not have parted company in a good way.

LinkedIn has a whole section of videos and resources for higher education professionals. Take a look at them here. I watched the videos and hope to be able to share more information on the differences to other learning institutions who might have alumni like high schools or prep schools.

I also addressed why social media is important to incorporate in overall marketing plans. (Need me to talk to your group about that?) Here is that handout. Why social media

Last but not least I provided everyone with a copy of my current version of the LinkedIn takeaway from when I teach hands-on LinkedIn workshops. It is here – LinkedIn Take Away. (Need your group to learn more about their personal profiles and what to do with them after they are up to date?)

Whatever I can help you with for your social media needs, I am all ears. Give me a call or send an email so that we can communicate about your social communication desires!! Remember I can help you design, build or remodel your overall social marketing plan.

 

Email Marketing – a few tips to consider

Are you employing email marketing in your tools?

I was very diligent about sending out my email marketing, twice a month. Then, I got a gig with a customer that is a majority of my billable hours. I fell off sending out my email newsletters for about a year and a half.email marketing

It came time to renew the annual subscription and I was thinking hard about whether I needed to pay out that money when I wasn’t using the service. I decided it is better to have it and not use it, because when I do need it, it will be there.

When I went back in to the system there were a number of challenges that I faced. Couldn’t pay on-line because my password had expired, had too many contacts for the subscription that I had, and the people in my list were probably not going to want to receive my emails.

When I went into my connections, I had 500+ that were bots that had signed up for my emails. I cleaned out as many as I could find of those 500+ email addresses before I could send an email out to my real subscribers to see who still wanted communication from me.

In the process, I spoke with my email marketing provider and discovered how to add the “I’m not a robot” confirmation and to add a approve my subscription by email option – or opt-in.

This should cut down on the unwanted subscribers. Sending the email also allowed me to check the bad email addresses and allow people to unsubscribe. That way when someone sees my email, I know that they want to see it!!

Another tip you might try is using the automated options for sending emails to new customers or those who sign up for your email marketing newsletters. Need more information about using this? Drop me a line.

Essential Skills are Best!

Essential Skills, workplace skills, soft skills, people skills are all names for the skills we continue to use no matter the technology.

This morning at a Small Business Advocacy Council meeting of the Fox essential skillsValley Chapter, I was leading a discussion about what has changed in your career pathway and what has remained the same. In almost everyone’s discussion it was one of the essential skills that employees need to demonstrate in the workplace that remained the same.

Everyone mentioned that technology was a big change – computing power in a phone, being able to get an insurance quote in 10 seconds vs. what used to take hours to compile. Faster, smaller, more precise, flexibility were all mentioned in the conversation. The few things that remained were things like customer service, standing behind your product, the know – like – trust factor of sales, and building relationships. These are such important elements that cannot be short-changed. If someone does not have these skills, they are more difficult to teach than the technical skills it takes to run a machine or an accounting program. In the picture, you can teach a dancer the steps, but can you teach them the value and responsibility of being a team player, or being proactive and ethical.

If you or your business need assistance with social media marketing, I am your girl. If you or your employees need help with essential skills (workplace skills or soft skills) use a resource of one of my clients – Illinois workNet. Check this guide for more information that can help you.

A small commercial about the SBAC IL – this group advocates for  small business at the local, state and federal level. They are a non-partisan group founded by a Greater Chicago Area attorney. If you are interested in supporting local small business, consider joining us at an upcoming meeting. You can find out more information by clicking the link in the first paragraph.

Net Neutrality Day – July 12, 2017

Net Neutrality is something we all need to consider!

net neutralityI wasn’t aware until early this week that today is the day organizations across the world are voicing opinions about Net Neutrality. Do you want your internet capabilities to change?

Read more about it in these articles. Form your own opinions and if it is important to you, share your thoughts on what is currently the free internet.

Wikipedia typically gives a non-political view of what something is. Of course it is not without faults, but… https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Net_neutrality

You can join a protest here: https://www.battleforthenet.com/july12/

The Tech companies of the world have banded together to support net neutrality https://www.theverge.com/2017/7/12/15957800/day-of-action-protest-net-neutrality

This one looks like a different opinion https://www.wired.com/2014/06/net_neutrality_missing/

And, this article provides some thought provocation that makes sense about why taking away net neutrality could be good. https://www.forbes.com/sites/joshsteimle/2014/05/14/am-i-the-only-techie-against-net-neutrality/#4ec67f8c70d5

Personally, I don’t know what the right answer is. I will research to the best of my ability. I would love to read your thoughts! Share them in the comment section. Perhaps we can come to an educated decision together.

Beware of Email Messages for LinkedIn

Don’t click on email Messages about LinkedIn until you think it through.

I received the email message that is pictured in this image. I had to think about it for a minute or two and really look at the content, the sender and the email to which it was addressed. This was focused on LinkedIn, but it could happen with any platform or service that you use.

Here are a couple of the clues:

Sender – LinkedIn would not be sending a message to me from an Outlook email address. Even though they are now affiliated with Microsoft, they are branded as LinkedIn.com

Address – this got sent to an email address that is not the primary one on my account and it was sent to undisclosed recipients.

Link to click – has nothing to do with LinkedIn.

De-activated – Linkedin does not deactivate any accounts without going through tons of work to get it done. Trust me on this one, I have tried to help customers delete duplicate accounts and it is TOUGH!

Web link – WHAT!!!???!!! this link makes absolutely no sense, why would I click on it?

Date – the way the grammar and punctuation work on this, it looks as if no one proofed it or does not speak English well.

Sincerely. – this could have been a typo, but if a major corporation is sending out a mass mailing like this, you betcha they are double checking and proofing several times.

Copyright – Just because they put it, doesn’t mean it is. PLUS, 2017 Information isn’t the name of a corporation – that is what the copyright is for typically.

All in all, to the untrained observer, they might click on this and BAM – virus or trojan horse gets unlocked. Just beware of any type of email that says to renew, verify, whatever before you click and give them what they want.

Call me if you have questions 708-822-2152.

BTW, Microsoft won’t call you either – read this one: Be aware of potential hacks