5 Apps that Amplify my Business
If you have followed my blog for a little while, you may be aware my schedule is pretty damn packed - see: Freelance, Funding and Fashion Design. So naturally working multiple jobs leads to times of overwhelming tasks, but there have been a few routine go-to's I have developed recently that have resulted in a smooth run of this chaotic lifestyle, especially in terms of driving Xandra Jane forward. Here's my current top 5:
H o o t s u i t e
Every Sunday I sit down at my trusty MacBook and compile a handful of scheduled posts for the coming week. If you didn't know, I ensure every social platform offers unique content tailored to your preferences. For informative articles and to further your knowledge, head over to our Facebook. Want to have daily visual updates and behind the scenes insights? Our Instagram is the place. Fancy a chat on a more personal level, you can usually reach me directly via the Twitter page. Anyway, enough of the shameless self promo...
S T R E A M F E A T U R E
Hootsuite allows me to create a feed based on keywords such as "new clothes", "love fashion" and "online shopping" enabling me to see live posts of potential customers who I can then go forward to engage with and contact should I feel my aesthetic is in line with their profile. Typing "fashion" would be too varied so consider what search terms you use, research your customer and your results will prove more useful.
P U B L I S H E R
This I use the most, I can oversee the content I am sharing and edit anything similar. I only use Hootsuite for Facebook and Twitter (yes my Instagram really is posted by me daily at 5.30AM) - sharing informative articles and information ahead of time ensures my social media presence remains on a daily basis. My audience can return for reliable content knowing it will be published on time and I can rest easy knowing if I'm taken down with the flu mid-week, Xandra Jane as an internet presence is still turning up to work on time. This isn't to say what I post throughout the week is entirely scheduled, more often than not I am right next to my phone and laptop sharing and commenting organic content too, so don't be disheartened.
But I can't deny, Hootsuite is an absolute life saver.
F e e d l y
It may come as a big surprise that I, unfortunately, am not a fountain of knowledge. I know, shocking.
I am, however, dedicated to developing my understanding in the field of sustainable fashion and passionate about inviting you on that journey with me. Posting two articles a day on Facebook is 14 articles a week, that's 728 a year! Enter Feedly.
S E A R C H F O R F E E D S
Using key words you can establish tailored feeds of related content. This suddenly becomes Hootsuite's best friend. Just to clarify: Yes, I do read every word of the articles I share. Admittedly my partner introduced me to this recently which is why my screen grabs look a little sparse, but throughout the week I can take five minutes to save posts and review them later for scheduling.
E X P L O R E & O R G A N I S E
Once you've been suckered in to hours of browsing you can start to get a feel for what blogs are of use and where your interest lies. You can then start to categorise them into tailored feeds to suit your preferences, developing quick go-to's when you open the app. I'm aware my customer visits my pages for fashion updates and sustainable information, but as a whole we do have interests outside of the fashion world (gasp!) and it's great to share these too.
I c o n o s q u a r e
This is a bit of a cheat reference as I am only using the 14 day free trial, but do not despair, 14 days is more than enough to gleam all the useful data needed to push your Instagram forward. I'll just jump right in:
O V E R V I E W
The homepage to this wonderful little app is a treasure chest of information. You can instantly assess vital statistics relating to the growth of your account and engagement, quickly getting an idea of what's working for you and the results of recent posting.
E N G A G E M E N T
Don't focus on your follower count, engagement is where it's at. You can give yourself a slap on the wrist by tapping into comments you may have missed the opportunity to reply to (it's never too late) and Iconosquare also goes above and beyond by letting you into statistics on when the best time to post is related to response rate.
p r e v i e w
I'll admit I've naively underestimated the power of Instagram until recently. Though becoming a social media guru is not what I studied at university, it is rapidly becoming something I now value in order to run a business. As I said, this is definitely a journey. Now, a friend of mine first introduced me to the layout app UNUM, however, it has recently glitched on my Android so I've swapped over to Preview which is effective in its simplicity.
L A Y O U T
I would originally post things to Instagram to check they complimented each other, before swiftly deleting them and trying again. Now I can simply layout my images, swap them around and analyse the final look. Whatever you do, don't scroll too far on my instagram page, it won't be as aesthetically fluid as it is now!
U N U M
It is worth noting that if UNUM didn't glitch so much I would have this recommended instead. A great additional feature Preview unfortunately doesn't have yet is a simple analysis tool which also offers insights into your most successful hashtags. Not as in depth or comprehensive as Iconosquare but given it's a free feature you can't complain!
A N Y D O
I don't think I could have written a 5 App Essential Guide without incorporating an organisational tool. We all know I have colour coded everything in order to function through life. Although I will never replace the good old paper and pen, to satisfy my need to make lists, it is essential I have the ability at my finger tips. I actually have a folder on my phone of productivity apps. All of them practically identical, but AnyDo is by far the most simple interface to use.
M U L T I P L E F O L D E R S
I know I rattle on about working more than one job, but even within those jobs there are multiple sub-categories my mind has to wrap itself around. This is why the multiple folder feature is great to break down those daunting tasks into bitesize pieces. and should you enter something into the wrong folder, it's super simple to move across the categories.
I N V I T E P E E R S
Often my Studio Manager folder includes tasks ready to delegate to my interns or freelancers, and it's so easy to invite and add them to the list so they can see the to-do list too. Perfect for those sleep disrupting thoughts at 2AM when you have to jot these things down without wanting to disrupt anyone else.