My Favorite Apps/Websites For Business Owners & Bloggers

Apps for apps. Because it never ends!

I wish that I had known about some of these apps/tools a long time ago, but it’s always better late than never!
Of course I have your basic apps/social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. I also have the Facebook Business page app, along with my e-commerce apps for Shopify & Etsy.

Here are a list of other apps/websites/tools I utilize to help run my businesses.

Scheduling/Planning
• Tailwind [App & Website] for Pinterest & IG scheduling: A scheduling website/app that allows you to schedule out Pinterest posts and Instagram posts. This is literally a must-have for any blogger/business owner. I think that Pinterest is a very important platform that needs to be taken advantage of, and Tailwind allows you to schedule out your Pins which is a great way to maintain an active account. Tailwind also helps keep track of your website traffic from your pins.

Planoly [App & Website] for IG scheduling/visual planning: I actually don’t use Planoly to schedule my posts, but I DO use it to visually plan my posts. This is a great way to make sure your feed is cohesive and flows well. It really has helped me make my feed more visually appealing. I also really like to use the analytics feature, which shows stats and top posts for the week/month/year.

Trello [Website & App] for project management: I actually didn’t even realize this was available as an app until JUST now. Ha! I use it online on the website. Anyways! Trello is AMAZING. It’s basically like virtual sticky notes that are very easy to organize. The great thing about Trello is the fact that you can invite people to join your “boards” and they can see/add to your notes. You can even upload photos, videos, and files. This is perfect for making lists for yourself or working on projects with clients, employees, collaborators, co-workers, etc.

Editing:
GetVela [Website] for Etsy (Bulk Editing): I just recently used this website for the first time while editing listings for a client. It makes editing listings so easy. The website is very user-friendly and there is a live-chat option available for if you have questions.

Collaborating:
Collabor8 [App]: Collabor8 is a great way for influencers to find businesses to work with, and vise-versa. I have used it a few times and have had great experiences.

Outsourcing:
Fiverr [Website]: Fiverr is basically a one-stop shop for freelance services. From logos, to graphics, to copywriting and more, you will find it all on Fiverr.
UpWork [Website]: I feel like UpWork is a higher-quality version of Fiverr. Basically offers all the same stuff for a little bit higher prices, so remember; you usually get what you pay for.

Graphic Apps
WordSwag [App]: WordSwag is perfect for making graphics for sales, giveaways, deals, quotes, etc. There are a lot of backgrounds to choose from, or you can use your own photo, then add pretty text over them.
Bazaart [App]: Bazaart is really fun to use, it has a ton of different fonts/backgrounds/images to choose from, along with some cool editing tools. I really like using this app to create images for things like sales and giveaways or for making collages of new products.

E-Mail:
MailChimp [Website]: MailChimp is my favorite E-Mail marketing platform. It’s very user-friendly, which makes it easy to send out e-mail campaigns to your e-mail subscribers. MailChimp also allows you to create Facebook & Instagram campaigns directly from their site.
WiseStamp signature [Website]: I use this to make my signature for my e-mails that I send out from my business e-mail address. This makes your signature look professional and allows you to add a photo and links to your website(s).

Bookeeping:
GoDaddy Bookeeping [Website]: My personal favorite way to keep track of my books. This website makes my life so much easier, and it also makes taxes not as scary! My accountant loves me for using this website. It’s SUPER easy to use, all you have to do is link your bank accounts and it automatically separates all your purchases and expenses. (There are some that you have to manually.)

Instagram Tools:
DisplayPurposes.com [Website]: OMG you guys! I wish I had found this website sooner. I have been using it for about a week now and I am obsessed. This makes my life so much easier when it comes to adding hashtags on IG. All you have to do is type in a hashtag relevant to your post, example: #girlboss, and it pulls up 30 or less similar hashtags for you to copy and paste to your post! (AND it has the little dots to make it look pretty.) I am obviously way too excited about this.

LinkTree [Website]: LinkTree allows you to link tour different sites all on one page. For example, on my LinkTree I have links to my blog, YouTube, Facebook group, and Virtual Assistant page.

FACEBOOK GROUPS:

Facebook groups are such an amazing recourse for business owners/bloggers/influencers. I have probably joined 100 in the last year. (Not even kidding.) Go into the Facebook search bar and type in anything, from: Photography, Etsy, Shopify, Business Owners, Bloggers, Collaborations, WAHM, Social Media Marketing, Facebook Marketing, Instagram Marketing, etc. etc. etc., and make sure to click “Groups” and you will find a ton to choose from. I try to join the ones with a good amount of active members. Groups are a great place to learn, collaborate, and ask questions. I definitely recommend joining a few that relate to your business!

Okay, so this list was pretty short, but I wanted to make sure to be authentic and only include apps/websites that I truly love and use often.

I am always open to new recommendations, so if there is an app/website that you can’t live without, please let me know!!

I plan on doing a separate blog post about my favorite Shopify Apps. I will link it here once it’s finished! 🙂

xx

 

 

Branding Your Instagram Feed

6 Tips For Branding Your Instagram Feed

So, in case you didn’t know, I’ve recently started working as a virtual assistant and social media manager. Owning two businesses has helped me gain first-hand experience with social media marketing. My first business, Root Avenue, was instantly successful by using Instagram as my main marketing tool. In fact, I would say that a majority of the small apparel businesses that started a 1-5 years ago can thank Instagram for most of their success.
Unfortunately, Instagram has changed a lot over the last year. While it is still a great marketing tool, it takes a lot more effort to get your product and brand seen by consumers.
With that said, it is definitely still possible to have amazing success on Instagram. There is ONE main thing that I highly recommend you do, and that is to have a clear vision of your brand and portray it across all of your social media, ESPECIALLY your Instagram.
I will be doing a whole post on branding your business, but for now I am going to focus on branding your Instagram.

6 Tips For Branding Your Instagram Feed

1. KEEP YOUR FEED CONSISTENT 
Find your style and stay true to it. If you like warm tones and nature, then stick to it! If you like cool tones and city backdrops, then stick to that! Consistency is the KEY to branding! A couple things that you can do to keep your feed consistent is adhering to a color scheme/filter, and creating a pattern for your posts.

I really love @lizakoshy‘s feed, and think it’s a great example of a consistent feed that sticks to the same filter and tone. (I am not sure which filter this is, but I love it!)

2. PICK A THEME
This goes hand-in-hand with branding. One reason that “niche” accounts do so well is because they focus on one thing which draws people in. Picking a theme goes along with being consistent. You don’t NEED to have a theme, but it really does help!


A good example of a brand that does this is @thebeeandthefox. They have that vintage/70’s vibe.

3. KEEP YOUR FEED VISUALLY APPEALING
A good looking feed is going to have more success gaining and keeping followers. If someone lands on a  page that is visually appealing they’re more likely to browse for a while.
igblog-e1494880085438.png
@vickiee_yo‘s Instagram catches your eye right away, and keeps your attention.

4. DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR ADVICE
Sometimes a second (or third or fourth) pair of eyes can help when you’re stumped on what direction to go. Don’t be afraid to reach out to marketing managers, or even creative friends, and ask for advice on how to style your feed. Often times I will go through my feed and delete pictures that I feel stick out (in a bad way) and clash with my tone.
One of my clients had a great grasp on their brand, and their website is amazing. When I took over their social media accounts I noticed that their Instagram did not portray the vibe of their brand. Here is a side by side look at their feed before I took over, and after.

Left is before, right is after. I totally brightened the feed and made sure that their brand’s message (“There is always a reason for a party!”) was portrayed to people that came across their page.

5. REACH OUT TO SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCERS/BLOGGERS THAT FIT YOUR BRAND
Just because a social media influencer has a large following or takes good pictures doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good reason to reach out to them. If their style doesn’t match yours you might not want to use their photos on your feed, and their audience might not be the customers you are trying to reach. Find people whose photography style fits your tone, and whose personal style/interests match your target market.
nena
@nenaandco is a great example of this. They work with a lot of social media influencers, and they all have that boho style and/or an adventurous feed.

6. UTILIZE HASHTAGS
While hashtags don’t have anything to do with the look of your feed, they do have the ability attract your target market. Instagram has recently been cracking down on activity that looks like spam, and unfortunately using the same hashtags over and over again can cause your posts to be shadow banned. So, I suggest having 3-5 different sets of hashtags to choose from. Use as many as you can think of. (Up to 30 per set.) And post them in the caption or comments of your post.

Those are my six tips for branding your Instagram feed. I hope you were able to take away at least one thing from this post!
If you want to reach out to me for branding advice/social media management or even a second set of eyes on your social media pages, don’t be afraid to holla at me! Click Here to email me.

 

xx