Starting your own business can feel overwhelming. There are so many possibilities both on and off line, and the best advice I could give, from a far, is that compartmentalizing and organizing your thoughts and content is key to maintaining a brand and identity you want.
While creating my own content can be therapeutic and enjoyable, my goal is to create or develop brand identities for those who have content but have no idea how to publicize, design and enhance content for marketing purposes, and how it shall be shared.
This article will outline the Top Apps I use on my smartphone to create and develop content, stay organized, stay relaxed and market content on numerous accounts simultaneously.
Instagram: Instagram is a platform that originated with photographs and has since progressed with being able to post video, ‘stories’ for more frequent content, and live broadcasting features that can be saved. This app is probably the hub of content publicizing as it has the ability to reach the widest of audiences. As far as business success, this is the app that has enabled the expansive exploration of identities for both brands and those who maintain those brands. Not only can you now design your page and post a plethora of visual compositions, but you can follow others who influence audiences in the same way. Share ideas and maintain relationships within the community both geographically and hobbyist. This, I would argue, should be your main source of advertising and publicizing as a personal business. It is one of the most used apps in the world, and allows for an array of creative content to define one’s business identity.
Mint by Intuit groups all your finances in one place and better establishes your budget for EVERYTHING from necessities such as Rent and Groceries, to more lux wants such as shopping, transport (in my case Uber or Lyft) or gift shopping. Its so useful while operating a business online to have something which guides you and your spending. When I really want something or am looking to invest in a new item which is on the more expensive side, I am able to look at my cash flow; how much money have I spent this month? How much of my budget do I have left? How can I save money now or later? I feel it is almost important to mention that purchasing, from all perspectives, should be looked at as INVESTMENTS and the long term gain you will have from a product that lasts, versus satisfying the immediate gratification of smaller purchases very often.
Facebook and Facebook Pages are also useful apps for developing brand pages. Nowadays, Facebook may be more useful for the older generations of the populace but it works well as a central hub of information that isn’t one’s own website. This information may include office address, contact info, services offered, examples of content etc. The advice I offer is to use your Facebook page as a catch-all of sorts where content from other social sites can be posted and collected. Facebook Pages has a basic layout with which content can be designed how ever your business desires. It also allows you to connect with specific individuals, both foreign and local, past and present, which makes expanding a client base much easier. I know these may seem like basic concepts, but it is the foundation which sets you up for success and organization in maintaining content production/development.
Pinterest, while most think its best for DIY or Wedding Planning, is one of the most useful advertising and organizing apps. It allows you to organize other peoples content and ideas that you could use, as well as compartmentalize your own content such as clients work, your own photography or creation. Analytics allow you to look at the audience you are reaching and has a specific option for those running a business page where you can connect all social platforms so that one post will be shared all over the media. Pinterest’s algorithms also continue to display content on your homepage that interests you. The reality is that as a person behind a brand you need things that spark your interest, and rather than just replicate the same content, mean you have a plethora of creative outlets striking your interest and making your content even more complex and unique.
WordPress is for web design. In order to start and maintain a business, in the 21st century, you must have a website and while you may not produce a lot of your own content, like me, it is still important to create a domain that is your own simply so that people can visually translate your style and address whether you are the right fit for them. With that, WordPress allows you to pick your own design and customize it however it suits you, as well as reach a whole new community of online writers and developers who can give you feedback on your content and vice versa. SquareSpace is also a simple website designing domain that I have had the opportunity to use and develop on. It comes without the community, however provides a very clean, crisp look that can strengthen a brands identity. A website is part of the foundation for your brand. As someone who is also just starting out, I feel it is key to create a space, similar to that of your home, that makes you feel comfortable and gets your creative juices flowing *excuse expression*.
Snapseed is a photo editing app. Even if you’re not a photographer, visual representation of content is so important no matter your brand; and it is also important how you present your personal profiles as well. From small adjustments to full pre-sets, Snapseed gives you the ability to enhance your content and overlay it with text or frame it. Your brand identity should represent you, but it should also maintain some semblance of cohesion and cleanliness which is represented in your marketing designs. Finding an editing app which suits you can be challenging, but incredibly rewarding. You have the ability to explore your tastes in composition and test out what may or may not appeal to your audience.
Mailchimp, both on your phone and on your desktop, allow you to send newsletters, announcements and updates to your clientele through email. This app allows you to design your campaigns however you deem appropriate and make your big announcements. You can keep record of all the emails you have sent out, making it easier to maintain a consistent design, and categorize your consumers into groups and really target your target market – excuse the pun. While this is a basic characteristic of a business, which can often be quite annoying, it sets the tone for the scale and capabilities. Get the basics, grow the audience.
Unfold is an app developed to create better Instagram and/or Snapchat stories. They layout white backgrounds where you can insert multiple images with associated text and publicize your content however it suits you. I speak from personal experience, and can confidently say that when a brand or business online creates content that is clean and professional looking, I am more inclined to use it, support it, and repost their advertisements. Adverts, aside from your talent, are the things that attract your audience and represent your entire brand, so what Unfold allows you to do is create exactly the adverts you want on those social platforms, without the cost or inconvenience of delegating or outsourcing.
Netflix may seem like an app that is totally out of left field, but I can assure you, it is probably one of the most important in this list as it implies the necessity for down time and relaxation within your busy schedule. In order for your business to develop its most effective content, and in order for you to maintain your best-being, relaxation and rejuvenation are key to working from home. Mentally checking-out and taking a simple break can mean the world for your mind and its creative juices. With that in mind, I also want to mention that Netflix as a business model is an ideal influencer who is often ahead of the curve in creating content and sparking the interest of its consumers. You can learn a lot from observing other outlets, even if they are not in the same field as you. You may watch something or hear something which sparks a new or deeper interest for something diverse, and as such enable you to attract a wider audience and expand a more well-rounded business.
*** This article is not a sponsored piece of writing. All words expressed in this article are the original words of the author ***