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Monthly Archives: August 2017

17 Apps Every Entrepreneur Needs in 2017

17 Apps Every Entrepreneur Needs in 2017

Being an entrepreneur with my Online Business Management and Virtual Assistant network, I was quite curious when I read the title of this article. But them I was rather shocked when I read the list of apps. I don’t use any of the apps listed and I am a rather successful entrepreneur; go figure. I’m going to check out some of the apps in this article and see how they fit into my life and my company. I’d also like to add a few apps that I find exceptionally helpful…

Pages for FB – I manage a lot of client FB business pages and this app is a one stop way to keep them all straight without having to go to my own FB; this keeps me from getting side-tracked by my own FB shenanigans.

Groups for FB – Similar to Pages but as the name implies it helps you manage all the groups you’re in on FB. Again, I can manage these groups or post in these groups as needed without getting sucked into the FB vortex.

RoboForm – I have a boatload of logins and passwords for myself and all my clients. This is a password and auto refill app that helps me keep everything straight and gives me access to all my passwords across many devices. The security is above great and highly recommend this app.

HootSuite – With all the client social media we manage, HootSuite is a wonderful tool I can use from my laptop or iPhone. We are able to make social media posts to a boatload of social feeds such as FB pages, FB groups, LinkedIn, LinkedIn groups, Twitter, and so much more. You can setup your posts immediately, a future date, or even allow HootSuite to choose the best time for the most traffic.

DropBox – I have loads of information that has to be saved for myself and clients. This is a cloud based platform for saving all your files. Once you set it up, it functions just like your folder in Windows; no need to go to the web-based platform unless you have a unique reason to do so. For iPhone, with one tap you can download your pictures and save them at any time. This is awesome considering how many photos I take. I save them and then delete the ones I don’t need access regularly; saving value space in my phone’s memory.

BaseCamp – I recently purchased a subscription to BaseCamp and I swear it’s a fabulous project management tool. Whether using it on my laptop or my phone; I can be in constant communication with my team. BaseCamp is a wonderful way to setup clients and projects while assigning tasks and so much more. It keeps me and my clients project well organized and keeps my team on task and on schedule.

17 Apps Every Entrepreneur Needs in 2017

If you’re like most people in business today, there always seem to be a million things on your to-do list and you don’t know where to start.

You need to conduct research, streamline collaboration, increase communication, sell your wares, reach your fan base, log your time and keep track of your accounts, to mention just a few. How the heck will you do it all? Well, there’s an app for that.

In fact, there are quite a few. Here are the top 17 apps every entrepreneur should be downloading to make the most of each day.

1. Accompany
Touted as a virtual “chief of staff,” Accompany does all the research necessary to prep you for big meetings by emailing you a concise briefing beforehand. It provides you with all the pertinent information you will need to succeed in any situation. Accompany works by connecting to your Google or Microsoft email account, your mobile calendar and your Facebook and Twitter accounts. It examines your personal data and goes through biographies and other information online to create summaries of each of your contacts.

2. Pocket
This “save for later” app allows you to file away useful articles, interesting videos and any other content that you want to hang on to for future use. When you find something you want to view later, simply put it in your Pocket, and you’ll be able to access it from your phone, tablet or computer, even without internet access.

3. Slack
This team communication tool gathers group exchanges into one place, making information instantly available and searchable wherever you go. This cloud-based collaboration application began as an internal tool used by a now-defunct online game. Slack is currently the fastest-growing B2B application, used by over 4 million active users every day.

4. Motivation Daily & Positivity
If you are looking for a daily dose of motivation to keep you on track to achieve important goals and big dreams, this app is for you. It comes in a streamlined, simple format, which includes perfect quotes to keep you focused when you’re tempted to slack off. Whether you’re pursuing health and fitness goals, prepping for a major project at work or school, or just need some inspiration, this app will help get you there.

5. Buffer
As a powerful social media publishing tool, Buffer streamlines the process of reaching your fan base by making it easy to schedule content on social media. It helps increase your reach by ensuring you get the most out of each post. With one click, you can share content across multiple social networks and ensure that it’s posted at the optimal time so more followers will see your updates.

6. Salesforce1
Salesforce1 empowers you to connect directly with your customers and run your business from your phone. It channels all your customer information into a single, integrated platform, enabling you to build a client-centered business that includes marketing, sales, customer service and business analysis. This gives you a more complete understanding of your customers, allowing you to drive your business’s success and make smarter decisions from anywhere in real time.

7. Square
Square credit-card processing works for any size business, and is easy to do from anywhere. Square allows you to accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express, all for one low rate. Once you sign up, they will send you a free magstripe reader (their newest reader even takes chip cards). Or you can use your iPad in a Square Stand for countertop sales. The Square Register app also includes other useful tools to help you manage every area of your business.

8. Toggl
Toggl is an insanely simple way of tracking and logging your time that eliminates the need for timesheets. This app allows you to track time from a browser, computer or smartphone so you never again lose a minute of billable time. You can organize your time by project or tag, and mark as billable. If you forget to turn it on, just enter the time later.

9. Trello
Trello is collaboration tool organizes your projects into boards, lists and cards so you can better prioritize work and life. At a single glance you can see what’s being worked on, who’s working on what and where in the process a project is. It makes project management–which can include work assignments, family chores or travel plans–easy and enjoyable.

10. MobileDay
This one-touch dialing app gets you into all your conference calls on time and unflustered. With MobileDay, there’s no more searching for misplaced conference call PINs or passcodes. The app auto-syncs with your iOS or Android calendar and plugs you into your calls with one click, so you can connect to that business call from anywhere.

11. Workflow
Workflow allows you to connect the best features of your applications, so you can combine multiple steps across a number of apps into a single tap. With Workflow you can create shortcuts, manage your media and share content. It has been lauded as the “Swiss Army knife” for completing complicated tasks, and basically feels like you’re designing your own app (but much easier).

12. Box
Box offers a simple, secure way to share files and collaborate with coworkers, customers and partners. It allows you to centralize your files, keep your team on track and simplify workflow, not to mention ditch email attachments. You can create, edit and review documents with others in real time from anywhere and on any device, and can view full documents without needing to download the file first.

13. Wunderlist
Wunderlist helps you tick off your personal and professional to-do list by getting your life in sync and making it easy to share your lists. A cloud-based task-management application, it makes sharing grocery lists, working collaboratively on projects or planning household activities and vacations easier. It syncs with your phone, tablet and computer so you can access your lists from anywhere.

14. CloudMagic
If your inbox fills up quicker than a sinking ship takes on water, you need CloudMagic. This email management application is known for its searching capabilities, cross-platform capabilities and user interface. It can scour all of the email you’ve ever received to locate exactly what you’re looking for. It supports multiple accounts, and even includes a feature called Cards, which connects services like Evernote, Pocket, Trello, Salesforce and Microsoft OneNote. This makes it easier for users to get the information they are looking for without leaving their email.

15. Wave
Wave helps you create and send professional invoices, estimates and receipts in seconds. It keeps your business organized and running smoothly by tracking income and expenses effortlessly, with receipt-scanning tools and bank connections. It includes a suite of online small-business software products, including direct bank-data imports, invoicing and expense tracking, customizable charts of accounts and journal transactions.

16. HelloSign
HelloSign is the easiest and simplest way to handle contracts or other agreements on the fly, because it lets you view and sign without visiting the office. This app also eliminates the burden of needing to print, sign and scan a document to be sent back. It allows you to just use your fingertip to sign any PDF file and forward it to the necessary party.

17. 1Password
Do away with all those sticky notes with your passwords scrawled on them. 1Password allows you to collect all those codes in one safe place online. This app keeps all your passwords and important information protected behind your Master Password. It has extensions or plug-ins for all the major browsers, and can securely store other things, like credit cards, bank accounts and licenses. You can save all the entries from a webpage form, so you can remember answers to security questions or other information.

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Posted by on August 29, 2017 in Entrepreneurship

 

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5 Referral Marketing Strategies

5 Referral Marketing Strategies

As a service provider/business owner, I understand the importance of gaining referrals from my clients. Referrals lead to new clients for me. I love making my clients happy and when they refer me, it expands my network. Check out these strategies to generate referrals..

5 Referral Marketing Strategies

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Referrals should be one of the top marketing strategies professional service providers focus on.

Why? Because referrals are likelier to translate into more clients than leads generated through other marketing methods. According to this study, the two biggest factors that increase the probability of referrals are visible expertise (34.7 percent) and a professional relationship (24.4 percent).

There are two types of referrals — experience and reputation — and your marketing strategy should target both.

Experience referrals are a direct result of working with your business. A previous client is a prime example of an experience-based referral.

Reputation referrals come from people that have heard of your business. Someone who has previously seen your advertisement or engaged with your content online is an example of a reputation-based referral.

Here are five marketing strategies to help generate more referrals for professional service providers.

1. Become an industry thought leader.
Many professional service providers have experts on staff, but they are not known names outside of their own firm. There are a few simple things you can do to position yourself as an industry thought leader.

Start by contributing consistent content on your company blog. Most service businesses will have several team members — those that take the initiative to publish helpful content can use it as a stepping stone to secure contributor and guest blogging positions on relevant industry websites. The exposure these websites provide will often be your number one source of reputation-based referrals.

2. Publish case studies and results.
Publishing case studies and results on your company’s website is an easy way to increase referrals two ways. First, the subjects of the posts will often want to share it with friends and family members, which can spark instant referrals. Second, when someone visits your website but doesn’t convert, there is still a chance they can be a valuable asset in terms of future referrals. They might not have engaged with your company, but if your published results and case studies were impressive, they might refer your business to someone that needs your service in the future.

“Publishing our case results directly on our website shows potential clients that we are results-driven, and it also helps attract referrals. If someone lands on our website looking for representation in a practice area that we don’t focus on, there is a good chance they can provide us with a referral down the line if they are impressed with our published case results,” explains Marc C. Brotman, Partner at Brotman Nusbaum Ibrahim.

3. Make your client list public.
Many people don’t want to list their clients publicly or simply can’t because of non-disclosure agreements. If the only thing preventing you from making your client list public is fear of your competition attempting to poach them, you need to reconsider.

When someone is deciding whether or not to do business with your company, a client list can give them the confidence to move forward. Also, a potential customer might reach out to a client on the list and ask them about their experience with your company. This is very simple to implement and it can be an easy way turn your client base into a referral machine. Make sure you receive written permission from any client you add to the list.

4. Focus on your specialty.
You will attract more referrals if you focus more of your marketing and branding efforts on your specialty, rather than a wide range of services. When I first launched my marketing agency more than seven years ago, we did everything under the sun. With dozens of services, we were not known for one specialty over another.

Over time, we reduced the number of services we offered, and today we only do one thing: performance-based digital ad buy management. We were also heavily involved in influencer marketing from the beginning, so we launched a separate agency to handle that part of the business. Our referrals have increased dramatically now that we have two agencies, each specializing in one thing.

5. Feature your clients in your marketing.
Steve Kappel, President of Coldwell Banker Kappel Gateway Realty explains the benefit of client-feature marketing, saying, “Including a client success story in your marketing can send you referrals two ways. First, the client will typically share the marketing piece on social media, introducing your company to his or her friends and family. This can send highly qualified leads, in the sense they are already comfortable with your company because of the close connection. Second, success stories show that your company is good at what you do. In our case, someone might see our marketing and refer a friend to use that is in need of a real estate agent.”

Featuring clients and sharing your company’s success shows that your service solves the problems a potential new client is facing. You can attract reputation-based referrals from people you don’t even know if the marketing featuring previous clients is done right.

 
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Posted by on August 15, 2017 in Marketing and SEO

 

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