Giving Props Where Props Are Due: Praise for Credit Karma

Today is a super short video just to give props to an awesome tool: Credit Karma. FYI, for my non-US followers, this probably isn’t going to be a useful post for y’all, sorry.

So, before I dig in, I just want to be clear with this: I am not getting paid anything by Credit Karma and, while I will for sure tag them on social media once I post this, I didn’t even connect with them about writing this post in advance. I am literally just talking about them because they kick ass and there are two reasons why: Continue Reading

How to Increase Your Chances of Having Your Guest Blog Pitch Accepted

Today I want to talk to you about guest posts and how to increase the chances that your submission will be accepted.

Guest posting can be a great way to get your name and a link to your website out there Continue Reading

How to Use Follow-Up Then to Drastically Increase Your Productivity

Today’s post will be super quick and super focused: it’s a discussion of the absolute best productivity personal management tool out there, follow-up then.

I’ve done a few posts about productivity tools and tips and I have mentioned some of the tools I use to keep me on track but today I want to go into detail on the one that is, in all honesty, the number one key to a lot of my career success. FYI, this is not an ad, I’m not being compensated in any way for this post and haven’t even had any contact with follow-up then besides using the tool, but I seriously love the service and just wanted to share with all of you.

Follow-up then is an awesome email tool that lets you pull emails out of your inbox and have them come back in at a specified future time or date. I am an inbox zero gal and my whole life is organized around my email, so this is life-changing. If you’re not an inbox zero person, this likely isn’t quite as amazing, but it’s still a great tool.

To begin using follow-up then, all you have to do is send an email to whenever you want your email to come back to your inbox at followupthen.com. For example, this morning I got an email reminder to renew my website hosting but it doesn’t have to be done for a month, so I don’t want to deal with it now. I do want that email out of my inbox though, so I simply forward that email to 3weeks@followupthen.com and that’s it. It will pop back into my inbox in 3 weeks and I can deal with the renewal process then. It’s amazing.

I do the same if I need to remember to follow-up with someone on something I’ve asked them to do. So, for example, I might shoot an email to someone on my team asking them to create a draft one-pager for a program we offer and I need to remember to make sure it happened by Tuesday of next week. I would add tuesday@followupthen.com to the bcc of the email I send to the employee and then that email will pop back into my inbox next Tuesday morning reminding me to check on the progress. It’s as simple as that.

Plus, unlike other similar services, which I have talked about before, follow-up then doesn’t have a limit on the number of reminders you can set so you don’t have to worry about exceeding any limits on the free plan and then having to pay. They’ve also been adding some awesome new features like short codes that will make a reminder pop into your inbox every day until you mark it complete. It’s honestly the best tool in my toolkit and I would really struggle to be as on top of everything as I am without it.

Okay, that’s it. I told you it would be short and sweet. I just don’t want to keep kickass tools that can help other entrepreneurs to myself so I wanted to share. This one is integral enough to my workflow that I thought it deserved its own post instead of being lumped into another list of tools.

 

Review: The Ultimate Guide to Content Marketing and Digital PR

This week is a little different than normal because, even though it’s guest post week, I don’t actually have a guest post for you. Instead, I have a review of The Ultimate Guide to Content Marketing and Digital PR from Charlie Marchant, Luke Nicholson, and Tim Cameron-Kitchen over at Exposure Ninja.

Before I get into the review itself, I want to make sure everything is transparent:

  • Am I being paid for this review? No
  • Is the link to purchase the book on Amazon an affiliate link (meaning I will make money if you buy)? Yes
  • Did I get my copy of the book for free? Yes
  • Do I honestly recommend the book? Yes

Just so you know, people give me free review copies of books often enough and I usually end up not actually posting the review because I don’t have anything nice to say. This book was the exception.

***

If I’m honest, when I started reading this book I was sort of dreading it because I had agreed to read it but was expecting it to be like most of the other review books I receive and be a waste of my time. I was almost immediately intrigued – and thought I might actually like this thing – though, when the book began by explaining the importance of identifying and understanding your ideal customer so that you’re not wasting valuable time and energy on marketing that won’t land with your target group and highlighted the importance of measuring the return on investment of your marketing activities. Amen to that! Anyone who does marketing for a living and goes out of their way to tell potential customers that they should actually track ROI and make sure they’re not just wasting money has me listening because I know they’re honest and not just in it to make a quick buck.

I also liked the structure of the book: in each section they started out explaining why a given tactic was important and for whom it would work and then went into the how of actually implementing that strategy, complete with lists of tools, examples, and step-by-step guides. This structure is perfect for someone without much background in the area because it allows them to get a good picture of both strategy and tactics as it comes to implementing some of the marketing methods covered in the book. It’s accessible to beginners but not so dumbed down as to be useless.

The examples provided – both good and bad – are also an excellent addition so that readers can see what a given tactic would actually look like in practice. I can vouch for the accurateness of the examples given in the section related to blogger outreach. I was actually chuckling to myself as I was reading because I have received countless emails that almost exactly match the examples given in the book, including the ones that seem too terrible to be real, and either deleted the email immediately, grumbled but responded, or was actually excited to work with someone and get something live based on whether or not they followed the guidelines in this book. I actually have a blog post coming up that will highlight this issue but these guys beat me to it.

If you’re interested in learning more about how you can promote your business online, this is a great, quick read. It covers everything from goal setting to blogging to giveaways to social media and is full of enough value that you don’t even mind at all that they’re using this book to help sell their services. In fact, it makes you appreciate the advice more because you’re literally experiencing them succeed at content marketing while they teach you about content marketing, so you feel confident that they probably know what they’re doing. Plus, they offer a money-back guarantee so, if you hate the book, just return it. I doubt you will.