Honest Kinsta Review – Why You Need It, Why You Don’t

Honest Kinsta Review – Why You Need It, Why You Don’t

Thinking about using Kinsta managed hosting but unsure if it’s right for your next project. Read this article which explains the process I used to make the same decision you are contemplating at this point. Let’s start by knocking out the common misconception, this is not some run of the mil affiliate review article. But if you fall on the side of Kinsta after reading this article do me a solid and use my link (because you know Karma).

KINSTA LINK YO’

Now, that we’ve gotten that out of the way let’s talk why you would consider using Kinsta. First, let me begin by saying I used a multitude of hosting platforms from  Kinsta, Bluehost, Hostnine, Host Gator, 1 on 1, Namecheap, Godaddy, and Orange Hosting, SiteNine, and a bunch of others. I wouldn’t necessarily say some are better than others, more like there are different tiers of hosting and different features that are valuable in certain situations.

For example, if I’m just purchasing a domain name to host a single page or a small site I’ll use something like Namecheap.com. On the other hand, if I’m building a website for a company that is likely to produce and publish content regularly I’ll aim for something mid-tier especially if the company is on a strict budget for the project. Most web hosting companies have different tiers of service basic plans start relatively low and gradually you can upgrade your account to add more “umpph” as you need it.

So, let’s start out with reasons why you wouldn’t necessarily need Kinsta Hosting. Let’s just say, Kinsta would be nice to have in these situations but not at all necessary.

Reason 1 Why You Might Not Need Kinsta – You’re Building A Simple App Landing Page

You’re building an app landing page. Listen, get a Bootstrap landing page template and throw up a quick site, host it on Namecheap and bam you’re done. In this case unless you actually already have Kinsta hosting this is an unnecessary splurge. You can spend an absurdly low amount of dollars on Namecheap for a year of hosting with a domain. The last time I made a purchase there I spent less than $25 for a domain and hosting (for the year) and also purchased some erroneous .stream and .live domains for absolutely no reason at the same time. You can click on the image below to see this app prototype site I put up on Namecheap awhile ago. Works just fine for this purpose.

App prototype namecheap

Reason 2 Why You Might Not Need Kinsta – You’re Building a Website With A Blog But It’s Content Lite

Maybe you’re ready to create a website to promote your local business or service but don’t intend on publishing much content. If you invision the site as something you’ll use to post weekly sales flyers on or announcements or for people to be able to find information about you online but don’t intend to blog like a power blogger a simple scalable hosting plan will do. Personally, I’m always concerned with performance so even if a website is content lite I want to make sure that it’s scalable in case the business plans on taking on a more aggressive content marketing approach. Additonally, sites shouldn’t lag, because lagging sucks. If content takes to long to load people will go somewhere else. So, if you plan on uploading flyers or other marketing materials look for hosting that can handle the load. In this case I wouldn’t go for a super cheap hosting plan, instead I’d going with something like a VPN hosting or a smaller plan. This gives me the option to upgrade my hosting capability if I plan to push out more content.

If you tech saavvy and have the time or energy to deal with content delivery networks, debugging, etc or perhaps you have a webmaster / developer on hand services that use Cpanel are fine. It might seem foreign at first but you can get through it. Cpanel is an online staple so there’s a lot information out there to help you navigate through this.

If all of this is sounding a bit foreign to you there are sites like Squarespace and Shopify that are easy to use and simple enough to handle your needs. Personally, I perfer hosting with Cpanel maybe because I’m use to it but also because there’s a bunch of features you might not necessarily have with other website services like unlimited email accounts, add-on domains, ftp, etc.  More importantly, I prefer WordPress.org just because it’s so awesomely powerful , great for SEO , extremely flexible , etc , etc. If you’re thinking about using Kinsta you’re likely a WordPress Junkie too so, I’m probably preaching to the choir.

An example of a website I built and host is a furniture company’s website. The company generates millions in revenue every year but they really just wanted a website that put them online. Exactly the scenario I described above. Their website has been up for a couple years now and we have Zero issues with load time, discovery, etc.

Now let’s be clear because I manage their website, if something breaks I can fix it, if something needs an upgrade or update I take care of routine maintenance.

Reason 3  Why You Might Not Need Kinsta – You’re Using Amazon Web Servers , You’re A Pro , You Have a Team of Devs, You Should Stop Reading This Article

If you’re reading this article now and you are the reader this headline describes but haven’t tried Kinsta yet it’s likely you’re curious. You probably don’t need Kinsta but your curiosity might cause you to try it just because. Let me just say if you plan on spinning up a site real quick and don’t want to involve any devs but need staging environments and all the amazing stuff in Kinsta keep reading the article. You’ll learn more about the different might just start a new site just because you should be knowledgeable about these type of things Ms. or Mr. CEO 😛

Reason 4  Why You Definitely Do Not Need Kinsta – You Will Not Be Using WordPress

I know this seems like common sense but I just want to be completely clear. If you don’t intend on using WordPress there is absolutely no need for Kinsta since it’s a Managed WordPress Hosting Solution. WordPress is different from Shopify, Squarespace, Wix, etc. They are completely different platforms. If you’re reading this and saying “Duh, I knew that Andrea” (my bad) I just want this article to be super clear for everyone.

Ran out of Reasons

Okay I know you might be saying are you kidding. But really I’m not. For WordPress sites once you venture beyond a $25/m hosting fee  there’s really no other reason to not use Kinsta. Unless you’re just stuck on the old Cpanel. I get it, sometimes new things can be scary. But that’s why I’m here. Now the remainder of this article will focus on reasons why you need Kinsta or why I believe it makes sense to use the service.

Reason 1 Why You Need Kinsta – You Want To Remove The Middle Men or Women

If you have experience with WordPress.org  you understand that while the interface may appear simple there are a bunch of things on the backend that requires a little bit of tech savviness including:

  • How to protect your site
  • How to restore your site
  • How to improve site speed
  • Site cache
  • Site Monitoring
  • Much much more

Many of these site hiccups don’t occur immediately. But they do eventually. Leaving you with either a bunch of research to do and support forums to forage. Or eventually having to hire a developer to fix your site’s issues. If you don’t anticipate having the time to manage these issues and don’t want to hire or pay for additional support Kinsta’s will save you a bunch of time and headache. Essentially, Kinsta has managed to create a solution that basically eliminates the middle men and women aka developers or webmasters.

A few years ago you may run into courses where someone will say something like.  Start Making Money Online with a Website. Purchase this course. The course will then take you into the process of understanding how to set up hosting. Usually, someone recommends Bluehost. 😛 (Techy joke). Now after you setup hosting they will run you through the process or installing cpanel, then uploading WordPress.org with Softaculous or something else in Cpanel sometimes they even required you to open up FTP and install it into a directory and then changes read / write permissions.

If you are taking a course like that now, please stop. Seriously, there’s a simpler, faster, 1000 times easier way to do this. Many people trying to make money online who fall into this techy trap get stuff, gassed out. It takes a lot of time to learn that stuff. Unless you want to run a development agency or something of that nature all of that is unnecessary. If you just want to build a kickass WordPress website that runs smoothly choose Kinsta.

Reason 2 Why You Need Kinsta – You’re Not Quite at the Amazon Server level of the tech pyramid but you definitely need more power and professional features.

Kinsta has some very powerful features that help you build, launch, and grow sites professionally. I’m going to break this down into sections just so we don’t get off track because there’s a lot to cover here.

1: Your Building an Important Site for Yourself or Business that Will Require Multiple Updates Overtime

Basically, you plan on launching stuff over time. We all know websites are iterative and so are businesses. Kinsta allows you to create staging environments so that you can test site updates like any professional agency would do before it’s live for the world to see. There’s nothing worse than landing on a site and seeing an “Under Construction” message or notice. That’s for rookies. I’ve been a rookie before. On one of my old websites I use to have a message that stated “This page is not under construction I’m just busy thinking” I was trying to be funny but still it’s not so funny for someone who just wasted their time right. No time wasters here.

The alternative to this is deploying your own staging environments, creating branches, deploying through GitHub or gitlab which is cool for most developers but definitely not easy for most people without that background.

2: You Manage Many or Plan to Manage Many WordPress Sites and Will Benefit from the The Ease of Use

Kinsta’s dashboard is probably one of the simplest user interfaces I’ve encountered. Especially when considering the capabilities. You can clone sites, get basic info , generate SFTP passwords, create redirects, change environments , enable a CDN, monitor logs, restore a site , and much more on one single dashboard.

When I was actively pitching site builds to businesses a couple years ago I really wished I was using Kinsta then it would have been 10 times easier to just clone a site and showcase what someone’s site could look like without all the hassle. Even the easiest plugins to clone sites (which I’ve used) still require a bit of setup. Kinsta is definitely the 10x factor for managing WordPress websites.

Kinsta Dashboard

Kinsta Dashboard

3: Avoid The Pain of a Site Crash , Updates , and Basic Management

It’s true we get very busy as general human beings, life is busy. As a digital marketer or entrepreneur or solopreneur or business owner or site hustler you’re super busy. There might be a few days that go by where a single site is at the top of your mind. Kinsta is a managed WordPress solution, so much of the worries associated with managing a site are covered by Kinsta. Which means if

  • If you or a developer screw something up you can revert back very quickly without having to worry about it
    • This happened to me twice in a week , one word “outsourcing”
  • Plugin updates, WordPress version updates, etc. all these things are managed by Kinsta
  • Kinsta secures your site if you know nothing about DDOS or Firewalls , don’t worry Kinsta knows and they use that knowledge to secure your site

4: Kinsta is Fast Yo’

I know it might sound like I’m not being serious but I’m really obsessed with Website loading. Just ask some of the people I work with. It bugs me half to death, maybe because I live in a remote place that load time is always something I think about. I ask myself questions like: Is this site slow because where I’m located , Is it the site build , the hosting service, scripts , etc. Sometimes I stand outside with a mobile phone just to see how fast a site loads. And occasionally I waste money buying hosting services because I want to test if a provider is really as fast as they claim. I mean I’m really OCD about this. But  — Kinsta is fast yo’ and I can’t express that enough. You can say it’s due to server architecture that would technically be right (Php7 , Nginx , LXD Containers , and MariaDB) but I just like to call it magic.

5: This one is a bit subjective but definitely something to think about

Kinsta provides built in analytics at the server level. Most sites use Google Analytics which is a staple in the community. However, there is an argument that because Google Analytics uses Javascript that many ad-blockers blacklist Google Analytics there’s a work around I found useful by Free Code Camp which is an awesome site 🙂 https://medium.freecodecamp.org/save-your-analytics-from-content-blockers-7ee08c6ec7ee

That’s All Folks

This has been a pretty lengthy review but I do hope it has benefited you in some way. If you have any specific questions or experiences to share please feel free to post in the comments below I’d love to hear about it.

The Best Tools For Consultants To Grow and Manage Your Business Online

The Best Tools For Consultants To Grow and Manage Your Business Online

Tools For Consultants To Grow Their Business Online

It’s funny because I often meet people in real life that either have a consulting business or they are thinking about starting one. I have a certain adoration for people who are experts at what they do whether it’s in media, finance, education, food if you’ve found your greatness I’m often enamored by that confidence. When I hear them share their stories about what motivates their genuine love for their work or the story of a life changing event that created that AHA! moment I often find myself in a very lucid trance imagining what their website could look like and how they can share this story with the world.

I know it might sound like overreaching but it’s the god’s honest truth, I literally think, Wow! Do you know how many people can benefit from hearing this? Although I can’t necessarily build a digital presence for every consultant I meet I’d like to do more than just say,

Yes, please just give me a call and we can talk about how to set up your website

Because the reality is only a small percentage will ever reach that point with me. Ultimately, this is my way of cloning myself and hopefully doing a little good in the process.  The interesting thing about being a consultant is that not every tool mass marketed for digital media fits the consulting mode. Even still there are some fundamental tools you should a least be aware of and this post will help do just that.

Basic assumptions of this post and what you should expect 

  • You are a consultant or coach interested in building your online presence.
  • You may have an existing website but you’re interested in upgrading or enhancing it.
  • You schedule meetings often and feel like you need a better system in place.
  • You’re actively searching for passive or evergreen methods to acquire leads.
  • You’re interested in learning more about paid but affordable promotional methods.
  • You’re not a programmer but you’re dead set on setting up a system to improve workflow and productivity.

If the above sounds like you continue to read below. I promise integrating many of these tools into your work flow will drastically improve the speed at which your business grows or produces.

Tools to manage and grow your consulting business

Tools to Manage a Consulting Business Online

Email Marketing Tools

Email marketing is the primary medium of communication on the internet. As a consultant unlike many other aspects of sales, you’ll find that a keeping the lines of communication open is paramount to closing a sale. However, the absence of email automation as a tool for consultants makes communication a little challenging if you do not plan on cloning yourself.

To scale your consulting business you need to a way to both send out automated messages but at the same time retain some form of personalization. The more you dig deep into email marketing the more complex it can become. When you become extremely adept at creating funnels you can architect complex systems to manage every stage of your funnel.

This is where SAAS CRM’s like Infusion Soft or Active Campaign or Hubspot CRM come into play. However, when you’re first starting out email marketing tools like

  • Convert Kit
  • Aweber
  • GetResponse
  • MailChimp

are more than sufficient. Many of the internet’s fortunes rely heavily on services like Aweber or Convert Kit.  More recently, Convert Kit a bootstrapped company has really made a name for itself by making the process of creating a scheduling campaigns significantly easier.

Mailshake as an email marketing tool for Consultants 

In 2017, Mailshake has been an extremely refreshing email marketing tool. While the app is primarily built for Cold Email Outreach this is one of those hidden gems that works extremely well for consultants. Especially those who have a growing list of contacts In Real Life. With most other email platforms aside from transactional platforms, it’s a bit complicated to import your list of contacts. And more importantly, segment them without requiring an additional optin step.

Mailshake for Consultants

Mailshake interfaces with your Gmail account. It allows accomplishing many tasks related to email marketing with extreme ease. Some of these tasks include:

  • Importing .CSV files
  • Personalize and customize personalizations
  • Review personalizations before sending to ensure the email appears properly when your contacts receive it
  • Create automated campaigns based on conditions e.g. if a contact clicks on a link
  • Schedule Campaigns in advance

It’s basically everything you need to promote yourself consistently with the least possible effort. I’ve personally set up email servers to send automated emails in the past and this by far is the simplest method imaginable.

Project Management Tools

As a consultant managing multiple projects is one of those “money making activities”. With all the time you spend organizing your plans, client communication, and employee / freelancer communication it’s wise to create a system that allows you to manage all the moving parts with greater ease.

Basecamp is a staple in the digital world. It basically incorporates all the tools you need for managing a project into one platform. However, it can be a little pricey depending on your level or business or size of the team.

basecamp for project management

Source: BaseCamp.com

Alternatives to Basecamp include

  • Trello
  • Asana
  • Jira
  • Slack

Depending on the size of your time, current budget, and management style some of these platforms may work better for you than others. Personally, I’ve found that Trello works great for smaller projects as well as projects require many public facing plans.

Asana is also another excellent tool. It’s great for medium size teams and multiple projects. It’s relatively easy to use especially if you’re accustomed to creating lists.

Jira, on the other hand, is often synonymous with Agile teams.  One of the benefits of using Jira is that it’s sorta like the WordPress for Project Management. Meaning that Jira allows you to incorporate add-ons from their marketplace and allows third-party integration through their Rest API. This concept, in general, is always beneficial because as we all know there is no one size fits all scenario when it comes to business.  Some Jira add-ons and integrations that standout to me include BigGantt and Zapier.

Jira Addons

Source: Atlassian.com

You really can’t create a post about Product Management without Slack. It’s not just because Slack is cool 😛 but primarily because it helps you and your team communicate in a very agile way. Admittedly, some of Slack’s features can have you stuck in a parade of techy fun (giphy and such) but when it comes to communicating with your team and automated basic processes Slack is a winner.

There is a bit of a learning curve involved with slack but it’s pretty minimal to use properly. If you can manage to use Twitter you should be able to use Slack as well. Also, if you plan on using Slack be sure to aggregate your communication so that this tool actually makes you more efficient.

Meeting / Appointment Scheduling Tools

Appointment setting and management is a huge task. In the past, you’d hire an assistant to just manage your calendar. While you can still hire a personal assistant doing it for just your calendar alone is unnecessary because there are many tools for consultants that solve the appointment scheduling challenge. Today you can use software to showcase availability / business hours, send confirmations, automate scheduling, send automated reminders.

  • Calendly
  • Vyte.in
  • Time Bridge

Next Level Calendar Scheduling

In the past, I created product funnels for consultants. Not many but a few. Unlike e-books, membership sites, or product downloads the product for a consultant is booking time. So I would build out the funnel including an optin page – sales page – and then a success page. On that success page, I would have to find a way to integrate calendar scheduling so that process was also automated for the buyer. It’s not incredibly difficult but it’s definitely a lot of moving parts if building a funnel is not something you do every day. Today you don’t have to be a professional techy 😛 you can just use tools like

VCita Tools for Consultants

Source: VCita.com

to automate the process of paid time blocks. If you in the service industry and charge by the hour or a flat rate that requires you to show up to a call/webinar or perform an in-person service VCita and Bookafy will definitely be worth both the cost and setup time.

Accounting and Invoicing

Automating accounting processes or creating a system to keep track of your expenses and revenue is not as daunting as you’d imagine. If you fear the general ledger and you’re not quite ready to outsource to an accounting firm internet guides like me have you covered. There are a bunch of different accounting SAAS available on the internet. Some of my favorites include FreshBooks Cloud Accounting and Zoho.  Take a look at what meets your business’ needs first. I’ve found that most of these services offer free trials, so a win-win situation if it works well for you.

Tools to Grow Your Consulting Business Online

So now that I’ve walked you through a pretty lengthy list of tools you can use to manage your consulting business. I will now be sharing tools you can use to grow your business.

Automated Webinar Tools

In 2011 – 13 I owned a website called AutomatedWebinarGeneratorx lol 😛 I was pretty confident that automated webinars would be the next best thing. I was right but I’m usually right about 5 years in advance great news if you’re an investor. Anyhow, I used the website to promote Ever Green Webinar Systems which is basically now Webinar Jam. Now that you learned a little about my past you should know that the point of this story is to help you make money while you sleep.

Webinar Jam for Consultants

Source: Webinar Jam

Automated Webinars help you generate high – quality engaged leads and sales by simply providing a method that allows you to conduct webinars 3x a day a present a sale without actually having to be awake across multiple time zones.

My absolute favorite webinar tools include

  • Webinar Jam
  • Easy Webinar

Regardless of the promotional method, you’re using to present your offer online whether it’s ads or content marketing automated webinars work.

Social Media Scheduling and Content Curation

You might be asking yourself why you should even bother with social media marketing. There are many industry nuances which speak to the effectiveness of Social Media Optimization, how the use of social media also improves SEO, and how you can measure social media ROI. The simplest rationale that explains why social media matters is, it introduces your offer to people who would not see it otherwise.

That being said, for most consultants or professionals, social media cannot encompass all your time. It’s all fine and well if you’re a digital marketing consultant or social media marketing consultant but there’s definitely a vast range outside this niche that will benefit from social media as a marketing or growth tool. This is why we use tools like Hootsuite and Triberr to schedule social content in advance. We also use content curation tools like Feedly and Pocket amongst a slew other aggregators like

We use tools like Hootsuite and Triberr to schedule social content in advance. We also use content curation tools like Feedly and Pocket amongst a slew other aggregators like AllTop and Zest.is to find high-quality content we can share in true Jab jab right hook fashion. There are many tools that you can use to get the job done but my favorite are those listed below.

  • Hootsuite

There are many different bulk social scheduling tools but HootSuite is definitely a staple in social media marketing. As a consultant, you might want to outsource scheduling and to be honest you’ll find that most social media managers worth the expense can use HootSuite effectively. If you decide you do not want to outsource but instead manage this task on your own HootSuite’s bulk composer is definitely the way to go.

Triberr is more than just a social media scheduling tool *I’ll explain more later* but for the purposes of filling your content queue with content created by people in your Tribe, Triberr is literally the only SAAS online that can accomplish this through reasonable automation.

  • Feedly / Pocket / BuzzSumo

If you spend any breath of time searching the internet, monitoring feeds, or content alerts Feedly, Pocket, and BuzzSumo will help you manage content curation.

Social Media Management Tools

There are a bunch of tools online you can use to manage social media activities. At a minimum, you should be monitoring your social accounts and engaging with clients on networks you make yourself available on. Although the list of tools for social media management can be quite lengthy the list below will include tools that are essential in the social media management community.

  • Hootsuite
  • Sprout Social
  • Hubspot
  • Coschedule
  • For Twitter TweetDeck
  • For Pinterest Tailwind
  • Google Alerts
  • IFTTT

Social Media Growth Services

Generally speaking a good social media manager you hire on retainer can grow your social media accounts. However, there is a huge difference between management and growth these days. Social Media in 2017 has grown far beyond the scope of just managing responses and scheduling content. Social media growth hackers are becoming more and more popular because the task behind growing social is no easy feat. Right now these people are essentially the hidden secret of every growing digital business. The term growth hacker is pretty broad, encompassing programming hacks, bot creators, social strategists, community builders, ninja content marketers, essentially those employing measurable digital marketing tactics that have a consistent potential for growth. Most social growth hackers won’t actually call themselves social growth hackers. The ones that teach or share proven methods usually end up being consultants or CEO’s who offer courses that teach you these strategies.

Avoid without regret those who tell you they can grow your Twitter or Instagram account for $99 a month. It’s more appropriate to identify the growth strategy the will work for your social account and THEN outsource the execution of those strategies.

However, they are a few hidden gems you can use for social growth that are the hidden secrets to grow your following and get your content shared on social media.

Social Media Growth Services

Source: QuantSocial.net

  • Quant Social

Quant Social uses their proprietary algorithm to follow people on Twitter using your account as well as tags or handles you select. Whenever I meet a business person outside of the digital realm most of them can’t stand Twitter. I personally, love it 😛 but for those who can’t stomach

  • Triberr

I have to divulge I do work with Triberr. However, I used this platform for many years before I was given the opportunity to work with them. I never recommend something I don’t use myself. Triberr is a platform unlike any other on the internet. It allows you to build Tribes around shared interests. It then gives your Tribes the ability to share each others content on social media platforms using social scheduling and automated content importing. The key here is that when you build a tribe your content then has the potential to be shared across a network of like minded influencers. Thus growing both your social reach and the reach of others in your tribe.

Landing Page / Funnel Creation Software

If you have nothing else online you should have a funnel or landing page. The growth of your consulting business depends on a steady flow of acquisition from lead acquisition to sales acquisition. To acquire leads you need an optin form or some method to capture your visitor’s information. This will allow you to communicate with your potential clients over time. Landing pages are the medium you use to capture this information. To be honest with you creating landing pages requires a post or course of its own. It’s not something that can be covered in a few paragraphs. However, I want to provide a basic rundown of what tools you can use and what you need to pay attention to when deploying a landing page or funnel. To begin with below is a list of landing page software as a service.

  • Clickfunnels
    • Combined CRM ,Affiliate Management, Funnel Builder (Landing Page / Sales Page)
  • Instapage
    • Software as a service
  • Gumroad
    • Combined Payment Processor and Landing Page Service
  • WordPress + Plugins / Software / Themes
    • OptimizePress
    • Thrive Landing Pages

Instapage and Gumroad are the easiest to use if you want to get up and running quickly. The drawback between these options and the others is that they lack some of the features as the other platforms. For example, Clickfunnels integrates a CRM and Affiliate management. Whereas Optimize Press integrates with most membership sites. On the other-hand, while these two are not necessarily as complex as others the decreased complexity can be beneficial since we all know simple is hard. These platforms execute simplicity and elegance pretty well.

Clickfunnels for consultants

Source: Clickfunnels.com

For the past couple of years Clickfunnels has grown in popularity for many reasons. First, their marketing is stellar 😉 but more importantly, the product does something which many landing page software fails to do, which is to create a comprehensive suite that supports the product creator on all ends from marketing to payment processing and design. If you’re unfamiliar with the product creator, Russell Brunson, he’s essentially the internet guru behind some of the most popular internet marketing info products launched over the past decade. Suffice it to say Russell understand’s what it takes to launch a product online. He took that experience and created something that solves the friction product creators face.

Obviously, I have an affinity for really cool software. If I had to make an analogy which I love to do, I would say Clickfunnels is the Basecamp for Funnels. That being said let me play devil’s advocate, here. There’s, of course, no one size fits all platform.

There are various benefits to building landing pages within your CMS itself (like WordPress or Shopify). In many cases, the flexibility and depth behind Clickfunnels might not be necessary. Meaning that you may already have an existing CRM, you might not want to launch an affiliate program, or you have an existing infrastructure that supports a custom build. These are all considerations you should make before deciding on using any platform.

Now let’s move on the WordPress. It’s no secret I kinda dig WordPress. It’s IMO the most flexible CMS known to man 😛 With WordPress you don’t need to be a programmer to build impressive web properties. There’s a headline I love about WordPress by M. Munford that reads,

How WordPress Ate The Internet in 2016… And The World in 2017

WordPress powers at least 25% of the world’s websites today. Basically, anything you need to do with a website you can do with WordPress. And if that WordPress plugin doesn’t exist yet, it’s not difficult to find someone who can build it for you.

As you know I’ve been a self-taught WordPress junkie for a while now. I even bought the very first version of Optimize Press which was painful in comparison to Today’s OptimizePress. That being said OptimizePress is one of my favorite funnel builders for WordPress. Another one of my favorites is Thrive landing pages. It’s easy to use and simple to integrate landing and sales pages.

WordPress.org Themes

There are a bunch of different Content Management Systems (CMS) and website builders online. From Drupal, WIX, Squarespace, Blogger / Blogspot, WordPress Shopify, the list goes on and on. Of course, there are also successful sites built on aforementioned platforms. But

1. I don’t talk about something I haven’t done or used

2. My observational bias is that in many cases when content creators begin to amplify marketing, content production, and customization they usually choose to migrate to WordPress. Which is definitely a pain I always choose to avoid if I can. I prefer WordPress.org over WordPress.com because it’s open source and gives you the opportunity to choose where you host it and how you customize the site. None of this might be so important when you build your first website but as it grows it will begin to matter more and more. Some of my favorite WordPress themes or WordPress membership sites include:

  • Headway DIY Themes
  • Elegant Themes
  • Theme Isle
  • Theme Forest

25 Places To Promote Your Consulting Business

At the end of the day after you spend your time promoting and building your presence both on your website and social media you can still amplify your reach by promoting your business or content on other websites in most cases completely free and in other cases for a reasonable amount. Google and Facebook are definitely not your only options for advertising. Here’s my big list of places you can use to promote your consulting business or website content.

  • Reddit
  • StumpleUpon – Submit Your Website
  • Manta.com
  • Local.com
  • EntireWeb.com
  • Scoop.it
  • Create How To’s About Your Industry on WikiHow
  • Answer Questions on Quora
  • RSS Submissions (Just hire someone to do this) Overwhelming list of places
  • Product Hunt – It’s much cooler to be hunted tho’ 😛
  • Google My Business
  • Bing
  • HARO
  • A Bunch of Press Release Submission Sites 
  • Guest Blogging
  • Email Signature Generator 
  • Inbound
  • Taboola
  • Outbrain
  • Buzzstream
  • Ninja Outreach
  • Triberr 
  • Solo Ads 
  • List Builders (they still work)
  • Directly on Blogs

This post was obviously a long one. But I for one believe your business requires this type of attention. If you’ve landed here an have a quick tip you might want to share with other consultants please feel free to comment below! Thanks for your time and Attention!

With Gratitude,

Andrea

6 IFTTT formulas every social media growth hacker should know

6 IFTTT formulas every social media growth hacker should know

If you’re unfamiliar with IFTTT I’m about to rock your world. IFTTT is a SAAS automation tool that allows you to create formulas based on the IF this than That principle. For growth marketers who aren’t programmers IFTTT is nothing to be afraid of infact as soon as you lay eyes on it , it will be the simplest form of coding you’ll ever be asked to do, which is basically logic. With IFTTT you can use services like Google Sheets and Instagram. Essentially allowing these different to communicate with each other based on Triggers and desired actions. I’ve always been a fan of this software but never really delved too deep until I was required to be superhuman. Now that you know a little about IFTTT let’s go straight into the 7 applets (an applet is what they call formulas which used to actually be called recipes) every growth marketer show know. 

[su_note note_color=”#fbccdc” radius=”4″]Here’s how to navigate through this post. For every applet, I’ll provide the context behind the automated tactic. I will also include an image of a suggest applet.

When logging in to IFTTT.com simply navigate to the search bar. The best way to search for a specific applet is to type in the name of the applet verbatim if you exclude a word it becomes difficult to find. (This is why I’m including a screenshot of the applets 😛 )

  • For example: Do This: Build a spreadsheet with tagged pocket links

  • Don’t Do This: Build a spreadsheet with tagged

Another method you can use is to begin by searching for the Platform associated with the Trigger. For example, IF Twitter hashtag then send notification The service listed after IF is most commonly the Trigger. Therefore, to find the applet above the easiest method is to begin by searching Twitter in the search bar. [/su_note]

#1 Create a spreadsheet of everyone who follows you on Twitter without ever having to copy and paste again

You can do a lot of things if you know your audience or at the very least know the people that are organically attracted to you online.

  • Are you reaching the right people?

  • Are you engaging with your followers?

A spreadsheet of who follows you and when they followed plus all the other twitter data that comes along with it like their names and descriptions is like SLAM for your Twitter profile. Imagine all the things you can do if you had a google sheet of all the people who followed you… The Possibilities are endless.

The applets for taking great care of your Twitter followers

Keep in mind that if you plan on running scripts and such to accomplish more than just knowing who followed you the spreadsheet is probably the best way to go. However, if you simply want to manually get a count and reply to your new followers every Monday that’s cool too. There’s an option for every growth strategy.

Ifttt applets for growth marketers

#2 Save Every URL you favorite on Pocket

If you’ve ever scheduled a social media post you know how hard it can be to aggregate good content let alone schedule it. Pocket is the end all be all source of good content but it’s an easy way to create an endless stream of content to share just by favoriting something. This is literally the first time in history that “hearting” something on the internet actually yields a solid end result lol :p If you really want to be gangster about this pocket strategy you can extend the formula to use specific tags instead of favorites.

The applets for taking full advantage of Pocket 

You might see a pattern here 🙂 I’m a little in love with spreadsheets for aggregating data. Keep in mind there are a bunch of pocket applets that might help you improve your work flow. You can also create applets that interface between Pocket and Feedly , Pocket and Evernote , Pocket and Facebook , Pocket and Twitter there’s a bunch of options. I spent a few hours on pocket and buffer but it really pissed me off so I gave up on it but it might work well for you. (haha full disclosure)

pocket ifttt formulas pocket applets

#3 Auto post every Instagram post to a Pinterest Board

Reuse your IG content by automatically Sharing it to a Pinterest board. Simple stuff but if you’re trying to grow a business sometimes the details slip through the cracks. So here’s a way to fight back! 

Applets for cross posting 

First, let me say I’m not a huge fan of cross posting. Generally speaking, every platform has its own form of ideal media. However, if done in a controlled manner you can select which posts are appropriate for cross posting. Which is why I choose the applet that allows for a specific hashtag. You can accomplish the same concept with Instagram to Facebook Page as well as many other options. The key to this is remember to ACTUALLY include the hashtag in the post otherwise it won’t work.

Instagram to Pinterest

#4 When a tweet from a specific user is tweeted save to a google spreadsheet.

This is a given but if you ever want to spy on your competition a great way to do it is to see how they Tweet. Even better spy on a few of your biggest competitors and learn hidden data gems about your industry. One thing is certain companies with bigger marketing and R & D budgets definitely have an upper hand in the world of data. But there’s no reason you can’t do the same by simply mimicking their formulas through observation. 

Applets for Being a Social Spy, R & D on a shoe string budget

Please note this is ethical spying 😛 Using this method you’ll learn a lot about how your competition Tweets and what they Tweet about. You won’t have to second guess if you’re headed in the right direction. Keep in mind this doesn’t necessarily have to focus on your direct competitors you can also use this method to observe trends by specific leaders in your industry. There are literally hundreds of methods you can use to employ this strategy at any level.

Twitter spy

#5 Browsing Medium Much, Why Not Curate Content As Well?

It’s no secret Medium is becoming a content powerhouse for high-value content. If you’re in the business of curating quality content chances are you’re doing it on Medium at some point in your day. Yes, it’s true you can simply import medium RSS feeds and probably never spend another minute on Medium. But and this is a BIG BUT, you’ll miss new trending content plus it’s not much fun right.

Applets For Curating Content on Medium 

#6  Save Trending Gifs to your Google Drive (For Fun) 

It might not seem obvious at first but GIFS rule the internet and you should always have some in your arsenal for social media responses or just good karma in general. But on a serious note it takes a lot of time to siphon through and save gifs by doing this you can create a library on Autopilot. If you do this with Google Drive you might want to turn off your notifications, seriously your phone might just explode. 

Applets for Keeping up With The Internet Cats 

I’m definitely a fan of Google Drive the obvious benefit being you can download the gif on demand. However, if you don’t plan on being an ‘internet guide’ 😛 it might be unnecessary. These applets below work and will keep you in touch with your internet roots 🙂

I hope you enjoyed this post! If you did do me a huge favor and tweet using the little tweet box below.

6 IFTTT Applets Every #SocialMedia #Growth Marketer Should Know Click To Tweet

4 Principles That Will Help You Become a Freakishly Productive Remote Marketer

4 Principles That Will Help You Become a Freakishly Productive Remote Marketer

Every day we aspire to bigger and better. But today unlike most days we’ll stick to just being better or at least more productive. Realistically, there are only a few things in life we can control BUT I’m confident everyone can manage to do a least 4 Things everyday to improve and slay the heck out of your day.

Product Remote Marketer

Some of the pros of a “have laptop will travel lifestyle” also comes with a few cons like extreme freedom, which in lieu some personal discipline can be a little like escaping the YouTube wormhole we’ve all found ourselves trapped in at 3 am in the morning. To help you avoid this pleasant nightmare here are 4 things you can do daily to be a better remote marketer instead of getting stuck on the dark side of the web.

#1 Crack the Self-Starter Formula

One of the my favorite books of all time is The Boron Letters by Gary Halbert. It’s not his promise of literary genius that captivates me. It’s his understanding of what it takes to create formulas. Not just formulas associated with Copy but also basic life formulas required to press on regardless of what blocks you may experience. In one of his lessons to Bond Halbert writes,

Run. Walk. Jog. Write. Do the dishes. Or whatever. But don’t sit around waiting for a flash from Heaven.

When you work remotely, being a self-starter is key. You always see that phrase in job descriptions “Must be a self-starter”, they don’t put it there for lack of reason. You WILL get stuck, feel idle, feel lost in the monotony … But Gary put it so simply Run.Walk. Jog. Write. Basically, rule your day with a sense of clarity. Whether it’s creating a routine or finding ways to keep you motivated, engaged, and on fire. Do the things that work for you and do it consistently.

Actionable Task : Develop a list of things that will keep you unstuck. Do at least one unsticky thing from that list each day. Click To Tweet

#2 Learn The Power of Automation

When working remotely you’ll often find yourself in situations where you’ll need to scale your productivity. Basically, the privilege of working remotely is usually accompanied by a superhuman prerequisite. Or at least super awesome. Tim Ferris is famous for the concept of the New Rich. Where we are encouraged to abandon our previously deferred industrialist lifestyles to a lifestyle designed to OWN OUR TIME.

The power of automation is our tool to thrive. As a remote marketer the power of automation rivals nearly every other skillset you can invest in learning. Focus on becoming a time doctor that specializes in automating the following areas:

– Project Management

– Data Science

– Growth Hacking

Any of the areas above will not only make you a better marketer but it will also make you more valuable financially. If you don’t believe me search the job boards.

Actionable Task: Be an experimentalist. Find a task you’re doing manually online and challenge yourself to figure out an automated way to get it done. Click To Tweet

#3 Focus on Your Strengths

We can’t all be Personal Brand Marketers. In fact, if you’re beating yourself over the head right now because you think you need a .com website to make money I’m here to tell you the .com website I owned back in 2013 made me no money. But learning skills that are actually needed by companies will. I’m not saying that you should not market yourself. What I’m saying is that you shouldn’t force marketing mediums on yourself that don’t work for you. If you suck at being on camera and rock those Google sheet formulas, don’t be pissed because you’re camera shy instead spend your time focusing on being a data rockstar.

The inverse is also true. If you’re great at marketing your personal brand and your the shiznet on Periscope or Facebook Live, if that works you, then do several live broadcasts a day.

Actionable Task : Perform a task related to your strength every single day. EVEN ON THE WEEKENDS 😛 Click To Tweet

#4 Buy Into The Agreements You’ve Already Made

What makes you a digital nomad , entrepreneur , subject matter expert , blogger , mompreneur ??? You’ll notice all these titles are self-imposed. No matter what you call yourself these titles don’t become reality unless you buy into the agreement you’ve made.

Find a mentor whether in books , blogs , videos , or real life who is the closest thing to THE BEST of what you already call yourself. Learn the realities of their journey because history is a really good indicator of what you can expect to face. This way when you hit a block or achieve a goal you’ll have insight on what you need to do next.

Actionable Task: Read autobiographies , follow your mentors online, engage in conversations whenever possible , watch their videos, etc. Basically, pull whatever insight you can from their work.  That’s all she wrote , literally. Let me know what you think and maybe share some tips that have worked for you in the past. Thanks for reading 🙂 Btw if you interested in being even more productive pick a copy of my automated cheats.

[thrive_2step id=’561′][/thrive_2step]

3 “FOOT-TRAFFIC GETTING” STRATEGIES TO MARKET YOUR LOCAL BUSINESS ONLINE

3 “FOOT-TRAFFIC GETTING” STRATEGIES TO MARKET YOUR LOCAL BUSINESS ONLINE

There’s a word on the internet that explains things you should already know.

Basic

I’d like you to use this simple concept as a premise for this post. Because most times the simplest most underused or “Basic” strategies if executed consistently on the internet can win you a whole lot of traffic IRL (In Real Life). Now that I’m done playing with internet slang 🙂 Thanks for bearing with me. I’m going to share 3 completely free strategies you can use today to get more foot traffic to your local business. Cool right? So let’s begin.

Strategy #1 Use the Power of Trending Apps like AirBNB

Everyone loves AirBNB these days. It’s trending, an easy conversation starter, and pretty hip if you ask me. But did you know you can also use AirBNB to list what they call “experiences”.  Listing your services or experiences on sites like AirBNB allow you to capitalize on the sites organic traffic. It’s basically free non-pushy advertising that showcases your products or services. More importantly, visitors to sites like AirBNB are actively seeking an experience they can pay for. Which means on a fundamental level they are a lot deeper into the conversion funnel than normal site visitors. This is what one of my mentors would call “commerciality” without the cost of an actual commercial.

Strategy #2 Conquer Your Map and Claim Your Business

The very first thing I do with local clients is, ask them if they’ve bothered to see what their business looks like on an internet map. Nine times out of 10 if you’re not actively using the internet like a marketing addict you are also not paying attention to the user generated content that tells at digital story about your business. Many business owners are afraid of user-generated content because of the horror stories they’ve heard about bad reviews hurting their bottom line, but honestly, you can’t escape UGC so whether you claim your business or not people will be reviewing it. It’s better to get a positive head start on managing your reputation by claiming your business on different sites like Google, Yelp, Trip Advisor, and even your local online directories. Despite what horror stories you’ve heard claiming your business and monitoring your online reputation can add more value and win your local business more clients or revenue.

The key here is to remember that as a business owner you still retain control over your internal culture, your values, and your customer service ethics. These characteristics shine through online. It’s a great opportunity to attract the right type of clients to your doorstep. More importantly, claiming your business allows you to communicate with the world instead of having others tell the story for you. Plus, again this is all free so….why wouldn’t you use it???

Strategy #3 Start a local Tribe with Facebook Groups About An Interest Related To Your Business

If you own an automotive business or clothing store creating a group about cars or fashion and inviting your local friends / customers/ family to join is a great marketing medium if you can consistently share valuable content. Groups are a free and easy method you can use to build a local network or people who are interested in what you sell. If being social and marketing online had a child you would call it a “Tribe”.

You can also take it one step further by branding your tribe with AR filters (Like filters you see on SnapChat). The great news is Starbucks recently sold a bunch of Unicorn Frappucino’s by being ridiculously social so there’s really no reason why small local businesses can’t capitalize on the same concept, even a small percentage of this type of “people-based” marketing can win you a lot of business. And you know… this site is all about helping you win online, so there you go…

 

I hope you enjoyed this short piece and actually put these 3 powerful strategies into practice. If you do be sure to come back and share your results with us. Until next time!

11 Growth Resources That Will Make You Superhuman

11 Growth Resources That Will Make You Superhuman

Alright everyone’s talking about growth hacking and well it’s such a cool word. But what happens after we actually stop using it as a verb at start using it as a philosophy, a way of growing and solving problems / obstacles / challenges. Well the first and most obvious ‘after the sensation’ goal is to actually start doing the work : finding creative yet hmmmm…data backed methods for growing your startup, business, or influence in 2017.

To help both you and I accomplish growth goals I found some pretty in-depth resources on the web despite the fact that they are free they also come from an experienced point of view (I guess that can be both good and bad for a growth hacker but well, you know that’s how the story goes… So let’s begin 🙂

I know I know… As short as this is it should be a Reddit post 🙂 but you know I’ll be updating this in the future so once you’ve got your fill return and Get Some … more