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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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Interview – Sell Me This Pen

Going to an Interview can be nerve wracking!

nervous man at interviewThe interview makes or breaks your chance of getting hired. An interview is a sales pitch for you to get the job. How can you use a sales tactic to enhance your chances of getting a job?  For those of you who don’t know, I teach many workshops on LinkedIn for job seekers, and I teach a job search class for using tools on the internet other than CareerBuilder and Monster (oh there is so much more!). In those classes, I discuss resumes, interviewing and many other job search related topics.

I saw an article today (noted below) that really struck me as something that job seekers should attempt regularly. I know when I managed retail stores, I used to have interviewees try to sell me an item I had on my desk just to see how they could think under pressure. These days with the necessity of good workplace skills and customer service skills, most jobs have a sales component whether you want it to or not. Using the following ideas during your interview may help show your versatility and value, and land you a job!

These are the four components of making a sale as noted in the article I read (make sure to read the article itself – it is really good):

  1. How you gather information
  2. How you respond to the information you gathered
  3. How you deliver information to the person you are attempting to sell
  4. How you ask for something (closing)

Here is how I could see this transformed to the interview setting for a non-sales position:

  1. What are the top three responsibilities (insert another applicable word here) that you envision for the position for which I am interviewing? Depending upon what the answers are takes you to point #2 above. Make sure you take notes so that you can respond intelligently.
  2. Listen carefully to the first item mentioned, and make sure you respond to it first. Getting hired or getting a contract is all about being able to meet someones needs or solve a problem.
  3. Be prepared with examples of how you may have already solved someone else’s problem based on the list of items mentioned. Seek to understand how you might be able to go “bigger picture” on the those items.
  4. Asking if the examples you provided would remedy the situation or meet the responsibilities would give you instantaneous feedback. Once you have described a previous situation or an idea, ask “is this something that could work for your business (this position).

Once you read the article you may agree with my take or not, but at least I got you to think about your approach to your interview. Let me know how I can help with your digital job search or LinkedIn profile!

Source: Best Answer to “Sell Me This Pen” I Have Ever Seen | LinkedIn

Check this checklist to make time for your social media

Does your marketing work better when you use a social media checklist?

I know that when I have a list of things to do, a checklist makes it easier for me. Some people use a digital version. I still like a paper and pencil type of list. OR I put things on my calendar and assign it a time.

Using a checklist for your social media tasks might work best using the calendar method. That way you can dedicate specific time each day, week, month or quarter to getting the things done for your business including your social media checklist.

Some of the things you might want to do would include getting posts out for your business. I like to keep the 70 / 20 / 10 rule for social media posts. 70% of your posts should be content regarding your industry. 20% of your posts should be your own content regarding your industry (like posting this post). Only 10% of your posts should be promotional in nature. That means if you have a 5 posts in a week, 3 should be content you find somewhere else, 1 should be your content and 1 could be a promotion. If all you ever post is sales, people will tune you out. Try to post witty, useful or informative items. don’t always be selling.

Use the tools on your checklist to help you maintain your posting schedule, monitor your goal achievement, check out what the competition is doing and where you will go next.

If you have any questions, or would like assistance in setting up your personalized checklist, I would be happy to assist. In the meantime, you can download this pdf version of the image above – social media checklist

The original inspiration for this article came from this source.

WordPress Post Template

Add a Subheading to your post with the keyword from your Title – Make this Heading 2 – Image bullet 2

Differentiation between a post and page – Post is where you put content that is not Static. Meaning it is not one of your main website pages. I added this piece using the ” mark from the WYSIWIG toolbar. It creates the pull quote option that we want for social media. Image bullet 9

blog template imageImage bullet 3 – Add content here. Make sure that the keyword you selected for your Title and Heading are included in the first paragraph. The content you write should be a minimum of 280 words but 300 is better. If you exceed 500 turn it into two articles of a duo or series. Make sure to “Save Draft” regularly, especially if you are writing a long article.

Include an image. The name of the image and the alternate text needs to include the keyword as well. Image bullet 4 is where you add the image for the post.

Add another subheading of lesser importance by clicking on Image bullet 2 – No lower than Heading 3

Image bullet 5 is where you can save the draft

Image bullet 6 is where you can schedule or pre-date a post, otherwise, it posts the moment you hit the “Publish button”

Image bullet 7 is where you can select a category for your post

Image bullet 8 is where you actually publish the post.

There are a number of SEO things that you can do with the Yoast SEO, but by following a number of these steps, you will have handled most of the cautionary items that you would trigger you to have to do something else with the post.

In your template, when you are typing in the text box for the post or the page, the side bar items might go away. This can be a little disconcerting, but you will get used to it. Just hover over one side or the others to get your menu items back.

blog template image 1

Tags in image bullet 10 is how people can search your blog for articles you have written on a certain word. They can include the keyword and other principle words in your blog article.

Depending upon your template, you may want to set a featured image. (Image bullet 11). These images may not post in social media, so if you can include a separate image as referenced above, it is best.

For the Yoast SEO (Search Engine optimization) you will want to include a snippet to describe the article that includes the keyword and interests people in what you are saying. Image bullet 12

Image bullet 13 is what Yoast tells you is readable. They offer suggestions to make your blog post better.

Image bullet 14 is where you tell Yoast what your keyword is so that it helps with people searching the web.

blog template image 2
If you want to see what your post is going to look like to make sure that everything is hunkydorey, just click the “View Post” at the top of the page in the WordPress toolbar.

Press This – How to use this plug-in

Press This used to be a standard feature

Now Press This is a plugin that you must add to be able to use. But if you write opinions on others work or as reference to a further point you are making, it is well worth finding it and downloading.

Find it here:

Activate it. Follow the directions to add the option to your bookmark bar, like this:

Once it is in your bookmark bar, when you are reading an article, (#1 in image below) click the “Press This” on your bookmark bar and you get a pop-up screen like this:

Put a few words or bullets in the body area to help you remember what you wanted to write about. Unless you are super confident, or have time to write the entire article right then, you will want to click the down arrow by #4 Publish to Save Draft.

Remember to change title (image bullet #3)to your words so you are not plagiarizing others work.

That is it! Easy peasy lemon squeezy, you have content for a new blog article. Remember you still need 300 words to make SEO work for you. Quite often, if you have a total different point of view you can easily squeeze out that many words.