Twitter Tools That Will Change Your Life

My headline might be a little over-dramatic, but it got your attention, didn’t it?

Twitter is such a powerful social media tool.  At some point, though, it can become overwhelming because of the sheer volume of information you have to look at each time you log into your account.  Here are a few tools that can help you streamline your Twitter account, build traffic, and enable account management collaboration with other team members.

1.  Hootsuite
Hootsuite has been a total game changer for me.  It has helped me manage multiple social media accounts in one location (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook), and I don’t want to remember what my life was like before pre-scheduled tweets.

Hootsuite is a web-based application.  You can use the free version, but there is also a paid version that is especially useful if you have more than one person on your team who will be managing your social media accounts.  The following features make Hootsuite ideal:

  • Scheduling function: Schedule your tweets in advance.  You can use this to post event announcements, links to key sections of your website, quotations, etc.
  • Team management: Hootsuite will tell you who sent/scheduled a tweet, and it will also tell you when a team member has responded to a tweet.
  • View multiple streams at once: Instead of having to click around to view mentions and direct messages, all of these streams are available in one screen.

Hootsuite also offers statistics reports and a whole host of other features – I’ve only listed my top three favorites.  Mashable has a very useful guide for getting the most out of your Hootsuite account. [Read more…]

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Freelancing Tips: Effective Time Management

Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.
~Benjamin Franklin

Time is money.
~Bejamin Franklin

One of the best things about freelance work is that you set your own schedule, and you work at your own pace. Some of us are early birds, while some of us are night owls. If you prefer to spend your time burning the midnight oil, that is totally up to you. At the end of the day (or night), however, freelancers need to be very diligent about budgeting their time in order to ensure that they get paid. Here are a few tips to help you manage your time wisely.

Set a billing quota for yourself. One of the best pieces of budgeting advice I ever got came from the novel Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl, by Tracy Quan. As you might have guessed, the novel’s protagonist is a call girl named Nancy Chan. Nancy doesn’t understand fellow sex workers who struggle to make ends meet. After all, Nancy sets a quota of the number of clients she needs to service in order to make and invest her money. By sticking to her quota, Nancy lives pretty flush as an escort, who works via referral only – no street walking or internet porn for her! Who knew that a hooker could provide such sound financial advice?

In order for a quota system to work, freelancers need to set a realistic number for themselves. [Read more…]

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