'Australia’s housing prices rose as much as 10.7 per cent over 2016 and are predicted to hike up an average of five per cent over 2017. Despite that, many homeowning retirees are still...'
Read more of my article on WYZA.
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Here’s a collection of things that I have personally used that make my professional life easier and more productive.
I can often be found muttering to myself ‘geesh, I love technology’, because really, how great is it? That we can do our best work and have so many useful tools and programs to help us achieve great results and outcomes. Just so you know, I am an affiliate of Harpoon and Scrivener, which means that I get a minimal kickback if you purchase by clicking on the links below. I genuinely love and use these products, however, so feel free to ask any questions you have.
Harpoon is my “one stop shop” business running app. It invoices my clients (and sends automatic reminders should their payment be late), it stores all my clients’ data, helps me to budget and forecast my income and most importantly for me, it tracks my time so I can accurately keep track of how long it takes me to write something and if I am charging my clients correctly.
LiveChat is a plugin for my website that runs an automatic chat bot for anyone who visits. You can outsource to consultants but I prefer to be the one chatting to potential clients/site visitors, even if that means I miss out on some opportunities. Fortunately, I can access chat via both my phone and laptop and I am alerted as soon as someone has questions. This week, I had the opportunity to encourage someone to buy my book, book into my ecourse and let a potential client know about the extra services that I offer (we’d originally discussed some product brochures but he was also interested in getting some media releases written).
This is a great tool for anyone in a customer or client facing business that wants to add another layer to their customer service.
Boomerang for Gmail
Boomerang is an add on to your Gmail platform that performs a few handy actions including scheduling your email to be sent at a specified time, triggered reminders in XX number of days if the person hasn’t replied and has a tracking option to not only show you when someone has opened your email but what links they have clicked on in the email.
This is a handy instrument for those people working with less than desirable clients who claim to have never seen an invoice (thankfully I am yet to have one of those, touch wood).
So, we all struggle with being distracted by the internet. Anyone who says they don’t is probably lying or in a place with really bad WiFi. Sometimes you just need that extra kick up the butt and Freedom is just that. It blocks out the internet or designated apps or social media sites for a predetermined amount of time so you can explicitly focus on your task at hand. As a writer, this is such a key factor in being super efficient.
IFTTT – which stands for If This, Then That – is one of the most incredible automation tools of the new world. It is a collection of applets (conditional statements) that bring together your existing apps and online services using a myriad of “recipes” to basically make your life easier and make the absolute most of almost everything that exists in this glorious world of tech. For example, I have set up recipes to guide my iPhone to repost every one of my Instagram pics as native posts on Twitter (this saves the hassle of those ugly links that Insta sharing creates). I also get a message an hour before it rains, when I need to put sunscreen on and more.
It can even get you out of bad dates, automatically unlock your front door when you arrive home.
As an avid reader and collector of information, Pocket has been an app that I have used consistently for years, both in a professional and personal context. There’s always so much content (articles, videos, listicles, slideshows) floating about that there is barely enough time to read it all and the chances of you stumbling across an interesting link during a busy work day or just as you are about to fall asleep is highly likely. For these occasions you can simply send a link to Pocket and review later when you have half an hour to wait at a doctor’s appointment or are doing some research for a client.
I know I have mentioned it before but CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer [sic] is really a worthwhile tool, particularly in my line of business.
If you write a lot of longform stuff, such as ebooks or books or even courses, then you definitely need Scrivener. It has a simple yet effective visual layout that can help you see what you've written and what you need to write to finish the project. Plus it has handy features such as a project target counter and can help compile and format your book to sell it.
Would love to hear about your favourites!
How Scrivener looks:
Adelaide copywriting examples
Copywriting client: City SA magazine, editorial and advertorial
Take a look at more copywriting samples and client work.
Social proof is a psychological term stemming from the 1930s that encompasses the way we feel as consumers - if other people are doing or buying it, then we should be doing so too. It’s that generated feeling of ‘you are safe to do this because others are also’. Canned or recorded laughter on your favourite sitcom is a classic example of social proof. Weight loss companies are also great at using social proof as a marketing technique.
Social proof as safety
Social proof may appear to be an illusion of “safety” but I believe it’s a good and harmless safety net to foster - particularly if you really believe in your service or product and everything that your business offers. As humans, we inherently seek safety, so why not encourage that safety by openly reinforcing it where possible?
Examples of social proof
Examples of social proof that you can integrate into your business include
Reviews as social proof
According to the website Visual.ly, a good online product review can hike up a product’s sales by nine percent, whilst a bad one can drag down someone’s intention to buy by eleven percent. Let’s keep the punters happy, eh?
'84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation and 54% of people will visit the website after reading positive reviews.' Check out these statistics and more with this great post by Scout Digital Marketing on How to get online reviews.
'What is social proof? Put simply, it's the positive influence created when someone finds out that others are doing something. It's also known as informational social influence,' Aileen Lee.
Content writing services available.
Just a little heads up that I use some affiliate links in this post.
Buying Christmas presents can be time consuming and overwhelming, particularly if you are like most of the population and leave it until the last minute and as a previous HuffPo article discovered, Australians will be spending less this Christmas. But there’s no need to be unoriginal or gift something meaningless this year. Here’s a list of helpful suggestions to ease your Christmas shopping and “empty bank account” panic:
Gift of comfort
Buy someone the luxury of fancy pyjamas, showing them you love to see them comfortable and luxuriating. Grab yourself some gorgeous Peter Alexander sleepwear:
Give the gift of buzz by arranging fresh coffee delivered to the home of a loved one. The only problem becomes which roaster to choose.
Yoga gift card or subscription
According to beyondblue three million Australians are living with depression and anxiety. Yoga has been proven to significantly help with both.
Let’s face it, Netflix is the new religion.
Because there is no better time to be a slovenly human right now. THESE.
If you’re a digital native or pretty savvy with something that was made by Apple and have parents/grandparents/friends that still haven’t quite mastered how to update their apps or take a photo or “do a tweet”, then perhaps you might like to offer a few hours of your time and patience to help a family member set up a modem, learn to use their iPhone to its capacity or give them a run through on some social media platforms to help them connect with friends and family.
Corporate branded gifts
If you’re gifting to clients but know they already have an office full of wine or don’t drink alcohol, why not send them what my branding agency did – a branded bottle of olive oil. Every time I cook, I’ll be reminded of them.
A journal of love
Buy a beautiful blank journal but add a personalised touch by writing something you love/admire/notice about the ‘giftee’ on each page. Smiggle have some great ones here:
Dream or goal box
Fill a box with items to show someone you believe in their dream. For example, if they are an aspiring writer, buy a nice pen, notebook and book of quotes. Be sure to add a card or a note and handwrite three reasons why you believe in the person and their ability to achieve their goals
Avocados are a wonder berry and loved by many. Why not send a box of mail order avocados?
Have you ever considered buying Lego or building blocks for an adult? Deep down every adult is really just a big kid and we all love to play and utilise the creative and problem solving parts of our brains.
Nobody likes chores. Make someone’s life easier and more pleasant by committing to making someone dinner, cleaning their car or doing their ironing once a week/fortnight/month.
Shades of cool
Get someone the gift of badassery with some of the hottest on trend sunglasses around. Like these bad boys: