If you attended a seminar where I spoke, or joined in on a webinar, I told you I had a page on my web site that lists the various small resources I reference in my discussions. Of course, since text message marketing comprises only one part of your overall digital advertising strategy, none of the resources I refer to here are related to the service we provide.
Congratulations, you found it! This is the page! Have a look below – the following list of resources should get you started off on the right foot…
Website Building Resources
There are all sorts of resources that allow to build a free web site. They aren’t worth the effort – not because they do not build great looking web sites, but because a great looking web site is only a small part of what you need. Heck, a 10 year old kid can build a web site. You do not want just a web site… you want an online income generating machine. That is a little tougher to do.
1) Site Build It!: Everything you need to build vibrant, highly-trafficed web site that works. And you’ll do it yourself. If you don’t currently have a web site, you’ll want to have look at SiteSell’s Site Build It!. Full disclosure: I worked for Sitesell from 1999-2006 and can testify to the fact that the systems works as described… if you work it.
2) BizXpress: This WordPress plugin allows you to integrate the business building elements of SBI! directly into your WordPress site. Get the best of both worlds – the awesome flexibility of WordPress, and the business building tools of SBI! all together!
3) WordPress: An awesome tool for creating great web sites! This site is built on a custom WordPress template!
Facebook Resources (Posting)
There are tools available to help you queue up and even find material to post to your social media profile. My personal preference is to do most of this by hand, as it is the only way to ensure the highest quality posts. But hey, you may want to things differently.
1) Postplanner: Leverage viral content onto your Fanpage. Free trial available.
2) Fanpage Curator: Like it says, curate content for your FaceBook page.
3) Hootsuite: I have had a Hootsuite account for a number of years now. Affordable and extremely useful!
Facebook Resources (Engagement Tools)
If you want to implement a “like” gate (where people have to “like” your page in order to access a coupon, for instance), or you’d like to try other engagement strategies (polls, etc.), that reguire some sort of an application be created, the following two resources are worth a look. Both offer free trials and “drag and drop” simplicity.
Google Plus Resources
1) Plus Your Business: A great resource for Google Plus! Start by reviewing this infograhic!
Graphic / Timeline Creation Resources
1) Fiverr.com: Where else can you get a professional timeline created for as little as $5?
2) Gigelite: This is a free software application provided by Gauher Chaudry that allows you to find the best providers on Fiverr. It’s a time saver and headache eliminator. Gauher’s a well known, Canadian marketer. I’ve bought several of his products and have no hestitations about recommending this free resource.
Image Sourcing Resources
1) Photodune: Buying the rights to stock photos can be expensive. Not here. The smallest version of most photos (all you need) can had for $1. Why risk copyright violations?
2) Creative Commons image search: Find images in the public domain that can be used for free.
Free Image Modifying Tools
Social media is very much a visual medium. Unless you want to be sharing other people’s images all the time, you are going to have to learn to manipulate images to create your own. Luckily, this does not require exspensive software, a long learning curve, and oodles of time. The following two free resources are “drag and drop” simple and do a nice job.
1) Pixlr: A free, easy to use tool for modifying your images.
2) PicMonkey: Another free image modifying tool.
1) ZoSocial: Run contests directly from your business’ fan page. I have a developer’s license for this product and at this time have some slots available. If you’d like to lease a slot on a monthly basis, drop me a line and let me know.
2) WP-Contest Creator: Works on WordPress sites. At the time of this writing, it does not integrate into Facebook posts – you have to promote your contest on your fan pages, and then direct people to the sign up page. You can see what the subscription looks like here (I use it occasionally on this site). What’s powerful about this solution is that it has a built in viral element that allows participants to earn additional entries in your contest by sharing it with the friends on a number of social networks. If you have the right prize, this might be a great solution.
If you’re doing a lot of low value, busy work that doesn’t make the best use of your time, consider hiring a VA (virtual assistant) from the Philipines.
1. OnlineJobs.ph: Hire a VA (virtual assistant) from the Phillipines from this directory – I’ve used it many times! My recommendations…
- Hire an individual over 30, who’s married and has a family. In my experience, such people are generally much more reliable than single, younger people who have few responsibilities.
- Don’t pay less than $400 per month for full time work. Just because you can hire someone for $200 per month, doesn’t mean you should. Like everywhere else in the world, quality workers usually demand a higher salary.
- Always ask whether your VA has reliable Internet access and reliable electric power.
- Be clear in your expectations.
- Set up a spreadsheet on Google Docs, and have your VA login daily to list his/her accomplishments.
- Have your VA check in with you via email twice per day; once in the morning to detail that day’s “to do’s”, and once in the evening to full up on the progress made.
Search Engine Optimization
1. WhiteSpark.ca: Provides citation services for your local business.
2. Google Places for Business: Get your small business listed here!
Pay Per Click
1. Google Adwords Express: The simplest way your business shows up for searches conducted for your business in your local area. While a top 10 “organic” ranking is preferred, it’s not always possible. And if it’s not, Adwords express provides a nice backstop.
Note: Don’t spend too much before doing a site audit though; it’s one thing to drive traffic to your web site, and it’s quite another to have those visitors convert into visitors – and if they are not converting, it’s best to fix that issue before spending money driving traffic.
Page Speed / Responsive Design / User Experience Testing
Page Speed Insights: From Google. Test your site’s performance and usuability on desktop and mobile devices.
Email Marketing / Autoresponders
1. Aweber: What I use. Have done so for 10 years. My #1 recommendation. Very affordable.
2. Constant Contact: Another quality newsletter and autoresponder service.
3. MailChimp: Another quality newsletter and autoresponder service.