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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 Background image changes!

Do you have a LinkedIn Background image?

My favorite social media tool recently changed the way the LinkedIn background image appears on your public profile. I mean recently. I taught a class on May 7 and it looks different today!!

It is a good idea to include an image on your background. If you sell products or services, make it a marketing type image.  If you are in job search mode, try to find an image that reflects what it is that you do. When I teach LinkedIn workshops, I suggest to attendees that they create a word cloud to find / represent their key words. That word cloud image might make the perfect LinkedIn background image for your profile.LinkedIn background image changes

The image size they suggest is 1584 pixels by 396 pixels. If you have an image created for a YouTube or Google background, the image is about the right size. As you can see from the image, your profile picture covers the lower left corner of the image, so take that into consideration when you are designing something new.

I write and teach about LinkedIn. In my opinion it is the best tool to network and connect for business. Using this image and a professional looking head shot will boost your views. You need to also pay attention to the keywords you use in your profile and where. Interested in an upcoming workshop for job seekers? Check this site – Harper College Eventbrite

If you would like to read other articles about LinkedIn, check out these:

I am happy to work with you one-on-one to make your profile show up higher in search results organically. Consider this when searching for a new position or promoting your products and services.

While it is just something nice to have, you can make your LinkedIn background image work to your advantage. Contact me if you need more assistance.

Job Search Game Changer

This job search tool is a game changer!

Google Jobs is a job search tool that is definitely a game changer. You don’t have to go to Career Builder, Monster or even Indeed to find jobs listed near you.

There are even filters like:

  • Job Title
  • Location – the distance you want to search
  • Date Posted
  • Type of job – full-time, part-time etc.
  • Company type – the industry of the listing
  • Employer – select one and it filters just those jobs.

You can bookmark the job and save it for later.

In the Google Search bar, I entered the word jobs and then the industry job title. It filtered the jobs near my location.

I could go in and filter more like I listed above, but I was totally impressed. It even ranks the jobs in the order they were posted or close to it.

If I click on the “Blue” job bar, I get the details of the jobs and the listing. I can turn on alerts to match the search. I can share this job to Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and email to someone with a short link.

I don’t know about you, but this Job Search tool that Google has created is going to be a game changer for the job seeker.

Employers will still post their jobs wherever they like and it seems that Google will find it. The jobs I reviewed seem to be coming from Glassdoor, ZipRecruiter and CareerBuilder, but I did see some jobs directly from a company web listing as well.

Take a look at this video to see what I did and if you have any questions, please let me know and I will check it out further for you.

Cheers to all and happy hunting!

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 Services 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.