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Social Media Apps That Will Rock Your Small Business

Social Media Apps That Will Rock Your Small Business

Getting started with social media can be overwhelming when you really need to focus on launching or maintaining a business. Saying that a small business owner needs to manage their own social networks is a fallacy. Sometimes, the best thing you can do is hire a professional so you can focus on the rest. Are you ready to hire a social media professional for your small business? Click here for a consultation. However, if you feel like you want to embark on this journey, we have gathered a list of Social Media Apps that will most definitely help you rock your small business like a pro.

In order for you to better navigate through this post, we have created a key for clear understanding of where we stand with these.
👍🏼 = currently using and loving it. | ✅ = tried it but not currently using. | 📌 = interested in trying out.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something.

Social Media Apps That Will Rock Your Small Business

Gain 👍🏼

At first, we heard about Gain when we were still working full-time managing a digital marketing team for a group of higher education institutions. The community managers swore by it. A day without Gain app; meant they just could.not.function. I mean it; I never understood why… until several months ago. Being the type-A personality, organization freaks that we are, we had a custom (and pretty bad-ass) Excel editorial calendar file to work on our social media content. It had everything from: color-coded dropdown boxes for tracking purposes, content, copy, status, client feedback, our feedback, etc. However, file versioning was becoming an issue.





While looking for a tool that could help us automate this process, we stumbled upon Gain again and immediately scheduled a call. Eric, the sales guy was unbelievable. He explained every feature and happily answered all our questions. After the call, there wasn’t much to think about; we immediately purchased a couple of licenses for us and our clients and in the blink of an eye, we got started. Let me tell you, this app is a game-changer. From having a calendar view, to adding labels, creating Facebook and/or Twitter posts, sending them to approval, scheduling. It doesn’t get any better than this. Our clients love the ability to track calendar approvals from their computer or smartphone with just one click. Well, we’d love to see a Linkedin integration, but don’t let this stop you from making the best decision of your life.

Surprisingly, some exciting news arrived to our inbox just 6 days before publishing this article. At the time we scheduled this post, Gain app did not offer integration with Linkedin. However, on Tuesday May 30th, the announcement was made! What does this mean? In addition to creating and scheduling content on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, you can now schedule posts for LinkedIn using GAIN. Can i hear an Amen? Now, seriously; make the best decision of your life and take your business to the next level. Click here and like us, get started using Gain app now.

Visit the Gain App website | Cost: $20/user

Gain App | pink studios

 

Hootsuite 👍🏼

At some point we’ve all used Hootsuite; am I right? Clearly we remember Hootsuite as one of the first social media apps we ever used. Our favorite feature about Hootsuite is being able to, at a glance, view several Twitter streams. For example, from the Pink Studios Twitter account main dashboard (which you should go follow right now if you aren’t already), we are able to see: Sent Tweets, Home Feed, Mentions and Pending Tweets.
While Hootsuite lets you connect and manage your social media accounts across more than 35 global networks, according to their website; we mostly use it to manage our Twitter account. Hootsuite offers a free plan and several other pricing options according to your needs.

Visit the Hootsuite website | Cost: Free with upgrade options

Hootsuite - Pink Studios

 

Tailwind 👍🏼

We were first introduced to Tailwind by María Elena from ambinity (go check it out) and we could not believe the amazing things that could be done with this app. Tailwind  lets you schedule Pinterest pins and Instagram posts ahead of time and pushes them live at optimal times based on your audience. After the posts have been pushed live you’ll be able to see performance stats. In addition, you are able to create Tribes which basically is a group board where you invite peers and share content yo maximize your reach.
Are you using Tailwind? What’s your experience with it?

Visit Tailwind website | Cost: Free trial for 100 pins and plans starts at $9.99/mo.




BoardBooster 📌

BoardBooster, basically works very similar to Tailwind, allowing you to: schedule pins, clean up boards, group board contribution, test pins, and analyze data to optimize your strategy. Whether you decide to go to the Tailwind route or the BoardBooster; they both offer amazing features that will help you streamline your social media processes for your small business.

Visit BoardBooster website | Cost: Free trial for 100 pins and plans starts at $5.00/mo.

MeetEdgar 📌

For the longest time, we’ve been dying to try out MeetEdgar but things are always crazy at the office and we certainly have not had the time. Either way, we wanted to include MeetEdgar on our Social Media Apps That Will Rock Your Small Business article because we are dying to try it out and believe it could be a great tool for small business owners trying to get the most out of their social media.

Visit MeetEdgar website | Cost: $79.00/mo or $588/yr.

 

Now we’d love to hear about your favorites.
Do you use any of these? Which ones do you love and/or hate? Any new ones to recommend? Leave them on the comments section below.





Accounting Apps That Will Rock Your Small Business

Accounting Apps That Will Rock Your Small Business

Initially this post was intended to include apps for small businesses in general. However, as we are continuously asked for app recommendations, we decided to split this up into a series of blog posts with the goal of helping you focus on what you need the most. We intend to continue update these, as we find more fantastic apps for your small business.

While searching for the perfect application to track client’s invoices and payments; and keep our business’ accounting organized; we narrowed it down to our two favorite options.

In order for you to better navigate through this post, we have created a key for clear understanding of where we stand with these.
👍🏼 = currently using and loving it. | ✅ = tried it but not currently using. | 📌 = interested in trying out.

Accounting Apps That Will Rock Your Small Business




Wave 👍🏼

By the end of 2016, we decided that our small business we needed a more robust application to manage or invoices and accounting. Somehow, we got our hands on Wave. Their “get paid faster” phrase kept sticking around and we could not help but give it a try and we have recommended Wave to plenty of business owners ever since. Initially what drove us to Wave was the amount of accounting options it provided; such a complete tool. From customizing templates, to creating vendors, items, estimates and invoices. In addition, it even has complete reporting tab with everything from balance sheets to tax reports, P&L, aging reports, income statements and more. After creating invoices you have the option to schedule payment reminders for clients to be automatically sent out after a certain time period has elapsed.

Wave also has a very complete initial dashboard in which at a glance you are able to see: overdue payments, send reminders, income reports and quick links. Additionally, this app allows for expense tracking and you can also take advantage of this using the Wave Receipts mobile app. Oh, did we mention that all of this is cloud-based and free? There’s never anything to update or install. Seriously, if you are going to only use one of these apps we’re recommending, it’s gotta be Wave.

Wave Apps Dashboard


Visit the Wave website
| Cost: Free
Image from: WaveApps.com

Pancake ✅


As many business owners at the beginning, we started our invoicing with Excel, then moved up to Paypal. After a while, we realized that we needed a system in place, no questions asked. One day we heard about Pancake. The name alone intrigued us, so we immediately went on and researched it. Pancake seemed to have exactly what we wanted, an easy way to send estimates and invoices and keep track of them. Yes! An accounting app to track our business’ income? Downfall? Once you purchase the application, you’ll need your web developer to install it and configure it on your server. One thing we absolutely loved about this app when we used it was the ability to attach a file to an invoice and have it deliver automatically to the client as soon as the payment was received.

Other features include: client area, online invoicing, project management, proposals, time tracking and more.
If you’d like to try it out, you can visit their demo page, login with their provided credentials and take a quick tour.

Visit the Pancake App website | Cost: $149




We’d love to hear about your favorites.
Do you use any of these accounting apps? Which ones do you love and/or hate? Any new ones to recommend? Leave them on the comments section below.



It all started eight years ago…

It all started eight years ago…

It all started eight years ago…
and it could not have been possible without YOU!

Eight years ago, we decided to begin our “little” journey called Pink Studios; and clearly this has evolved into something that never in my wildest dreams I imagined.

What has happened ever since?
  1. We’ve worked with way over 50 clients.
  2. Built over 22 websites.
  3. Worked on over 150 projects.
  4. Managed over $100K in digital media buy. (yes, you read correctly!)

They say, Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life and boy, were they right!




Today, I want to really show you how grateful I am for you, your business and my wish to your continuous growth. Therefore, starting today through the end of April 2017; we will be offering 20% off on any service booked by the end of the month. Yes! It’s not a typo! We are that happy! 🙂

Whether it’s a website audit, help with your social media content, strategy or ads; email marketing, graphic design; you name it; it’s included!

Take advantage and grab this today, before it’s too late. Click here to send us an email or here to fill out the contact form.
We’re so excited. Let’s get started!

Don’t forget to sign up to your mailing list below, it’s quick and easy and you will receive tons of free and valuable information.



Marketing Your Wedding Planning Business

As a wedding planner, you have the unique opportunity to live through this special day over and over again, each time making it a new experience. However, in addition to the fun, being a wedding planner also means that you have to run your own business, wearing the hats of an accountant and a marketer.

Marketing without the right background

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can be a daunting task, especially if you don’t want to invest thousands and thousands of dollars into conventional advertising. Luckily, you don’t have to invest much more than time when you use the following marketing techniques:

Face-to-Face Marketing

A booth at a bridal show with a custom stand banner can be more effective than almost any other type of traditional marketing. When selecting a show, look for a well established show and preferably one that is affiliated with a statewide or national bridal magazine. At a show, you will have the opportunity to chat face to face with brides to

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be, but don’t forget to network with the vendors. You need a list of preferred vendors, and an expo is the perfect way to meet them.

Professional Certification

With professional certification, you give your business an extra edge. Clients will take you seriously, and businesses will be more likely to partner with you and share referrals. Along with lending to your credibility, a wedding planner career diploma from schools like PennFoster.edu, for example, grants you admission to the Association of Bridal Consultants (ABC). ABC is a professional organization that gives you access to educational resources, support, and networking opportunities with other wedding industry professionals.

Networking

Once you launch your bridal planning business, spending time on Facebook stops being a distraction. Instead, it becomes the cornerstone of your marketing efforts. Create a business page, and invite all of your friends to like it. As they start to follow you, your posts will be seen in the sidebar of their friends’ pages, which will help to garner even more attention.

Apps like Edgerank Checker (EdgerankChecker.com) will help you figure out when your client base is using the network so that you can maximize the effects of your posts. Pictures are worth a thousand words and weddings are very visual, so be sure to post lots of pictures. This is a really easy way for potential clients to visualize your capabilities and get excited about what you do.

The First One’s Free

Before you attract a huge roster of clients, you may need to give a bit away. Keep the fact that you are working for free a secret, or people may undervalue your services. Make your first few forays into the wedding planning world a gift for friends. Those free jobs are an investment into finding paying gigs, and you need to treat them as such.

Labeled Party Favors

When you plan someone’s wedding, don’t forget to market to the guests. Most brides and grooms have friends who are also at the marrying age. Labeled wedding favors and water bottles are the perfect place for you to get your name out there. At My Wedding Favors, you can grab anything from bubbles to customized wine stoppers. The couple’s name and the date should take center stage, but add a bit of text that credits the planning of the big day to you.

Create a Blog

Your website should talk about the services that you provide, but your blog is where you can showcase past events. Create a story of each wedding that you plan, and make sure to give the link to the happy couple. They will share the link on their social networking sites, and as their friends scroll through the story, they may be convinced that they need your services as well.
Also remember that a website or in this case a blog, would be your presentation card for potential customers. You don’t want their first opinion about you to be misleading. Hire a professional to create your blog – there are plenty of designers who can help you with this. For example, Pink Studios offers a variety of price ranges to fit most budgets and we specialize in event planning businesses.

Don’t Forget Pinterest

Even before they realize they need a planner, couples will start searching for ceremonial ideas online. Create an attractive Pinterest account dedicated to wedding ideas. DIY projects won’t necessarily convince the bride to do it herself, but it will show her what you and your preferred vendors are capable of creating. Keep in mind that providing useful content online will posit you as an expert in the field, and it will bring you more traffic than you would normally get.

Feeling a bit overwhemed with all of this? Sit back and relax. We can definitely help you put all the pieces together to market your business in the most productive way! We have the expertise needed to take your event planning business to the next level. From stand banner designs, favor boxes, goodie bags and boxes, table numbers, business cards, trifold brochures, folded cards, blog designs, social media management and cosultation and so much more!

Take a look at some of our creations by visiting our Facebook page.

Which other techniques do you use to maket your wedding planning business? We’d love to hear!

 

Direct Mail Marketing in a Digital World

Twenty percent of Americans have no Internet access in their homes, according to Face the Facts USA, and that means a fifth of your potential client base can’t see your witty status updates, search for your hashtags or jump on your Living Social deal. These people look to the mail for notice of sales and promotions—is your postcard going to be there, or are you going to forget about this block of potential customers?

Direct mail campaigns aren’t just about reaching the people who don’t have Internet access. They are also about reaching those who are skeptical of marketing emails or who don’t know you’ve just opened a new shop down the street. It may be a hashtag world, but direct mail still has its place in a healthy marketing plan.

Targeted Solutions

The U.S. Postal Service has delivered almost two billion pieces of mail through their Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) program. Designed to reach customers based on their address, this program provides targeted marketing solutions for business owners with all sizes of enterprises, according to USPS.com, and it is the most effective way to blanket an entire zip code with your ad.

If you don’t have experience with EDDM, find an online printing service that will produce your pieces, fill out the USPS paperwork and deliver your shipment to the post office.

A Personal Touch

For the best results, ensure that the mail you send out offers value to your potential clients. Include a coupon or promo offer, and if possible, make your messages look personal. A handwritten address or customized romance copy may be just what you need to catch someone’s eye. If you can’t personalize, make sure that you offer value through a coupon or a promo deal.

Repetition

Remember direct mail should only be one piece of your marketing plan. Clients need to repeatedly hear

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about your brand over emergent media like social networking sites as well as over traditional media like radio or direct mail. The postcard is just the first step. Use your direct mail piece as a tool to invite customers to your social media page. Marketing Think reports that only nine out of 51 direct marketers are linking their social media and direct mail campaigns, and if you do, you’ll be ahead of most of the competition.

Online Integration

In addition to using a direct mail

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campaign to bolster the rolls of your social networking page, you can also tie your direct mail campaign to your online campaign in other ways. Pop a QR code on your card, and link your new clients to a demo video, an ordering form or any other part of your online campaign. If you think your clients will be reluctant about getting online, make it valuable for them with a coupon or a special offer.