Resources

Here are some resources I personally use and highly recommend to have a strong, solid online/ social media presence along and to keep your personal development on point.  

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Social Media Marketing

Social Connection LA is a social media marketing suite ideal for local business owners. Manage your business social media accounts in one place. Its features include a social media calendar/ scheduler for Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, reputation management where you are alerted to any reviews left about your business across the web. On top of this, local business can create custom deals (online coupons) and sweepstakes, collect customer emails, and sell goods via your very own online store.

Successful social media marketing involves having eye-catching, professional social media graphics to captivate your audience's attention. Canva helps anyone create social media posts very easily. You have hundreds of templates to choose from and even more free stock photos to choose from. However, some elements are not free but paying $1 for any premium element is pretty good. Not only are you able to create social media post images, but you are also able to create print marketing materials (i.e. flyers), ad images, infographics, and book covers. 

Legend - Animate text (Mobile App)

Legend, available for iPhone and Android, allows you to create text animation posts for social media marketing content. What I like about Legend is that you can save the animations as a video of as a gif. With social platforms like Facebook, video receives more engagement and pop up higher the news feeds. So you are able to deliver a message, in a cool animation, that catches attention, and the best part is.. Legend is free!!

Animoto (Mobile App)

Animoto is a video slideshow software app where you can create and share your videos on social media. It comes with pre-built templates ( for many occasions like holidays) and some commercially licensed music for you to choose from. I have used the free version (a.k.a the "lite" version) for most of my videos. With this version, you are only allowed to upload up to 12 slides ( pictures and text slides) and the "Animoto" logo shows up at the end of your video. There are paid options that you can choose from. There is Animoto Plus ($4.99/month or  $29/ year) where you can create unlimited full-length videos. Then there is Animoto Pro where the pricing ranges from $16-$64/month or $96-$408/year. I recommend trying the Lite version first to get a feel of the features.

Website

GoDaddy

GoDaddy is primarily a website domain purchasing site. However, GoDaddy offers other services like website development, email marketing, web security, and other business-related software. There are sites that offer free domain names but having a branded domain name means that you OWN it. Honestly, I only purchase domain names and domain privacy protection ( to block spammers from getting the website owner's personal info.) The domain name pricing is very reasonable, if not very cheap. GoDaddy has domains for as cheap as $10 per year.

Wix

If you are not a professional web developer but need a nice looking website, I recommend Wix. There are thousands of templates to choose from, which helps alleviate the steep learning curve for design. Wix is a drag-and-drop, what-you-see-is-what-you-get type of interface that helps take care of all the "techie" stuff.  As with any website development platform, some aspect of design knowledge and basic knowledge of how websites work is needed. However, I think Wix does a good job of giving instructions on what steps to take to create a functional, professional website. You are able to use your GoDaddy domain ( any other domain provider or Wix domain service) for the website and Wix has its own hosting platform. Wix does offer your website for free, however, you would have a subdomain (ie www.website.wixsite.com) and the Wix logo present on your website.  I use Wix for my clients and this is a "Wix-made" website.

Hostgator (Website Hosting)

Every website needs hosting. Your domain name is the "house" and hosting is the "mortgage." without hosting, your website will not be visible to your customers. If you create a website through Wix, you would have to use their hosting plans. However, if you are using another web development platform like Wordpress,  then I recommend Hostgator. Hostgator has high marks for loading websites very quickly. 

Personal Development

Quickbook (Intuit , Self Employed - Mileage and Taxes) Mobile App

As a business owner ( freelancer or independent contractor) it is important to track expenses, income, and even mileage because every year we have to answer to Uncle Sam.  This app is like having a mini accountant in your pocket to keep all things financial and tax-related in order. You also have the ability to snap pictures of your receipts, create invoices, and get a nice snapshot of your profits and spending. This app offers a free trial but after the free trial period, there are in-app purchases that range from $2.49-16.99 per month. In my opinion, is pretty easy to use and gives clear instructions on how to track everything.

Fabulous

This mobile app helps you to hold yourself accountable to build positive habits. Want to lose weight? Clean that office? Get enough sleep? Carve out some "me" time? Fabulous helps with this (and more). This app teaches you to go about your goals in a systematic, consistent way that allows you to form a solid habit through small actionable steps. It's one thing to want to do better at something and actually doing better. You have to check in daily by checking off completed tasks and read inspirational messages. Afraid you might forget to check-in? Fabolous has a built-in alarm, that you set, to remind yourself to complete your daily tasks.  This app helps you to understand that you cannot reach your goals with just willpower alone. You have to create an environment that enables you and reminds you to attack your goals. In order to be successful in life, one must maintain a healthy balance and Fabolous can help with that.

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Copyright 2019  Micaela Hayes-Walker