Before you dive deep into my review of online tools have a look at the top three that I find most essential. I'm choosing Shopify, Google Drive, and Mail Chimp because without them, I WOULD NOT have been able to start my own business. Why? Because they are the "tool box" that houses all the other fancy shiny equipment. Without a place to organize all your essential tools, how would you be able to find the Philips head when you actually need it?
This is my #1 buddy. Shopify provides everything you need to build an online business. It covers all bases from creating a beautiful website to selling online, you're even reading a Shopify generated blog post. WOOP WOOP! My favorite function of Shopify is the “abandoned checkout” function. They have a pre-populated email that links back to your users cart. You click one button and Shopify sends an email to encourage your “almost” customer to come back and purchase. That email includes pictures and prices of the products they left behind. So nice!
Now onto the shiny wrenches and sharp chisels.
An AWESOME, but not free, tool that helps you schedule out your Instagram posts in advance. It’s great because you can customize a “queue” that corresponds with your most optimal time of day for Instagram engagement. You can get this information through your Instagram Insights function. I like to add all of my workable photos to the “drafts” section, then add my captions, #hashtags, and user tags, then add it to the Qeue that i’ve set up. It takes away the everyday stress of thinking about posting. It’s so relieving.
This is an Instagram automation bot that reaches out to other Instagram users through comments, likes, and follows. I’ve noticed that these bots are considered taboo in some circles, and others find them to be brand building gold (as I did). For instance, our Instagress bot by chance found an editor at one of the largest online tech publications and liked a couple of his posts. It ended up in an article feature and hundreds of dollars worth of sales.
Unfortunately, this service was canceled :(
So I did a trial of two other Instagram bot services. Here are my thoughts:
This was the first Instagress replacement that I tried. I actually just got whim of this similar service and signed up for it. They give you a 12 hour free trial. Customization is limited in terms of telling the bot who to target. You can only do this by entering hashtags and locations, which is a bummer. Once it was turned on though, it worked immediately and I saw a huge rise in engagement getting over 1,000 likes on one photo. The boost worked REALLY FAST, which scares me a bit. Because of the lack of customization, I have to unfortunately gather that these weren't relevant users.
The service is $89.99 for 90 days which seems a little steep. I don’t think I will be paying them anytime soon.
Thanks to a good review from Sheri of Flowers and Freckles I decided this would be my Trial #2. Why not?
Definitely the more “janky” of the two and difficult to initially use. Also the presence of simple spelling errors is ALWAYS a red flag for me. This trial lasts for 3 days which is much more to my liking than just a meager 12 hours. After setting up your account it’s time to configure your settings and tell Instazood bot what you would like it to do. On this platform you have many different options to target specific users, locations, hashtags, or most importantly the followers of other users (this function directly correlates with reaching relevant users who are likely to be interested in Fairystring, very important!).
Unlike Gramista, InstaZood was relatively slow. And by slow I mean for the first few hours it didn’t do anything. While the learning curve was relatively steeper in comparison to Gramista, from what I’ve read, I’m hoping to get more targeted engagement from this bot. We’ll see how it goes.
*DISCLAIMER: keep in mind all of these tools require access by outside sites. The more you give access out, the more Instagram marks your page with red flags. Ultimately this could mean your account could be shut down or suspended without explanation. Do your research and figure out which tools work best for you.
For their month of “launch” they sent daily emails straight to your inbox providing priceless tips on how to get journalists to write about your business or startup. Everyday for a month they sent a journalist straight to my inbox and tips on how to approach them. However, I sent countless emails not only to them and the journalists and never received anything back. Because I subscribed early to their service, I received a 50% discount to access their database of 13,000 journalists around the world. I receive access in a few weeks. We will see how it goes. I really like this service but the hopefulness of a positive outcome is iffy.
Moving to a different country can be difficult. Especially when you want to assimilate into the culture and search for group meetings and events to attend. How do you gather information about where your potentially new friends are hiding when the entire page is in German? Well, thanks to google with the click of a button, any page is immediately translated into english.
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