J is for JotNot: ABC’s guide to shoestring marketing

For some reason I am always having problems with technology.  Printers/scanners/copiers are not connecting to my computer properly, they start to function very slowly or just not at all.  It is so frustrating when you want to do something very simple, like scan one page and email it to someone.  In comes JotNot, my new favorite smartphone app.  It’s very simple and easy to use.  You take a photo of your document and it converts it to a PDF document that you can email or save to your cloud. That’s pretty much it’s only function and it does it well.  It’s all I need and it’s free!

jotnot

I first heard about JotNot at a board meeting.  A fellow board member had one copy of an event invitation that she wanted to circulate to the entire board so she used JotNot to make a PDF scan and then emailed it to everyone on the spot.  It was amazing!  Now I use JotNot in the workplace and at home to organize mail and bills.  If you’ve been thinking about going paperless, I think JotNot would work great for scanning your documents.  You’ll never loose a piece of paper again!  And you don’t need to buy the fancy $400 Neat Scanner.  Sure it does a lot more than JotNot, but are you really going to take the time to learn how to use all of the bells and whistles it comes with?  Probably not.  You are probably like me and just need to get the simple tasks done.  In that case, get the JotNot app ASAP.

 

Inspiration: Photos from the PA National Quilt Festival

Best of Show & Viewers Choice Winner: PA National Quilt Extravaganza XXI
Best of Show & Viewers Choice Winner: PA National Quilt Extravaganza XXI. “Once Upon A Time” by Sieglinde Schoen Smith from Carlisle, PA. Hand appliqued, hand pieced, hand quilted, original design.

Somewhere in my nightly web browsing/exploring, after I had put my babes (baby and husband) to sleep, I came across info on the Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza XXI which was coming up this month at the Pennsylvania Expo Center in Oaks. It worked out that I was able to catch the last few hours of the last day of the festival with my mom and baby E. I didn’t know what to expect, having not gone to any sort of quilting store or event before, but I was curious. I’ve always been drawn to textiles and sewing and want to learn more…

Quilt Fest featured a vendor marketplace with shops and groups from all over the country selling products from craft embellishments and fabrics to high-end quilting machines and equipment. But my favorite part of the Festival was the showroom that displayed countless quilts of various styles from around the world.

I’m no quilt expert (my quilting technique consists of basic designs and making it up as I go), but I was completely blown away by the quilt selection on display. The amount of time, attention to detail, and intricate designs apparent in these quilts has me convinced that quilting must be up there on the list of art forms that require a significant amount of skill, creativity, and patience.

My mom taking a closer look at this quilt's details.
My mom taking a closer look at this quilt’s details.

I wish I could have taken a picture of every quilt they had (including detailed shots), but I probably would have had to go to all 4 days of the Festival for that! Below are some of the highlights from the Quilt Festival with excerpts of notes that their creators included on the display…

F is for Fotor: ABC’s guide to shoestring marketing

Fotor is my new go-to tool when creating Facebook status updates for business.  It is a free, online photo editor — basically like Instagram but with collage making capabilities for your computer.  What makes it even better is that it has a function that helps you easily create cover photos that are compatible with all your social media profiles.

Use Fotor free photo editing to add effects:

Like Instagram, you can add effects to your photos giving them a vintage or other unique look.  Unlike Instagram, you do not have to have a square photo and you don’t have to post after you edit, instead you can save it to use later for a blog post, profile picture, or to add to a photo collage.

fotor edit

Use Fotor free photo editing to create collages:

Unlike Instagram, you can make simple photo collages with Fotor.  This is great if you have multiple photos you’d like to include in a status update or blog post but don’t want to take up a lot of space or to attract more attention with one shot.

fotor collage

Use Fotor free photo editing to create cover photos for all your social media profiles:

Best of all, you can use Fotor to make cover photos for all your social media profiles.  One of my pet peeves is seeing an incorrectly formatted cover photo.  What’s frustrating is that every social media site uses different cover photo sizes so one photo does not fit all.  So, instead of looking up the dimensions of each cover photo, then messing endlessly with Paint to find the right type of photo to get to the precise configuration, use Fotor to do it for you quickly and stress free!

fotor cover photos

 

 


ABC’s guide to shoestring marketing is a series of blog posts featuring quick, easy tips for marketing on a budget.

What is personal branding?

Lately, I have been thinking a lot about personal branding.  What is personal branding?  Wikipedia gives a great description:

Personal branding is the practice of people marketing themselves and their careers as brands.[1] While previous self-help management techniques were about self-improvement, the personal-branding concept suggests instead that success comes from self-packaging.[1] Personal branding also involves creating an asset by defining an individual’s body, clothing, physical appearance, digital and online presence and areas of knowledge in a way leading to a uniquely distinguishable, and ideally memorable, impression.[citation needed] The term is thought to have been first used and discussed in a 1997 article by Tom Peters.[2]

Personal Branding is essentially the ongoing process of establishing a prescribed image or impression in the mind of others about an individual, group or organization.[3] Personal branding can often involves the application of one’s name to various products. For example, the celebrity real-estate mogul Donald Trump uses his last name extensively on his buildings and on the products he endorses (e.g. Trump Steaks).

It’s a funny sort of concept.  I mean, you are who you are.  But personal branding takes “you” to another level.  It means taking who you are and putting it out there in the universe in a strategic and intentional way.

I preach to my husband all the time about his personal branding.  As a golf professional, his professional success comes largely from his reputation as a golf player and instructor.  Yet, I myself struggle to practice what I preach.  Golf is not just Michael’s professional life, it’s his personal life too.  The Golf Channel is on at our home 24/7, he loves to play golf with his family and friends, and he truly enjoys teaching and inspiring people through golf.  His personal brand has a clear focus and is easy to identify and built upon.

I, on the other hand, consider myself a “jack of all trades, but master of none.”  So what is my personal brand supposed to be?  Social websites ask us this all the time.  Instagram and Twitter ask you to include a few words about yourself for your profile.  LinkedIn asks for your headline.  Ivanka Trump has a great personal brand:

ivanka trump on twitter

I ask Dr. Google, “What is my personal brand supposed to be?” and a few articles about how to create a personal brand come, including this article from Forbes.  It outlines the first steps to building your personal brand:

  1. Determine your emotional appeal.
  2. Determine your description.
  3. Determine your function.
  4. Put it all together.

 These are the questions I will be thinking about and discussing with my husband (he doesn’t know it yet) during our 3 hour drive to Ocean City, Maryland tomorrow for our first family vacation.  In the meantime, I have started to re-vamp my website to take a more personal approach.  Check back in a week or two and hopefully you’ll see a “brand new” me.

New website for Maloles Law

Check out the new website I created for Maloles Law, LLC.  Maloles Law is a law firm serving the Greater Philadelphia area serving clients with integrity and passion throughout all of life’s milestones.  You should consider a free initial consultation with Maloles Law at any of the following life events:

  • Marriage
  • Purchase or sale of a home
  • Death of a family member
  • Administering an inheritance
  • Receiving a diagnosis of a critical illness
  • Birth of a child
  • Purchase, sale , or start-up of a business
  • Planning for  death or disability
  • Divorce
  • Planning for a child with special needs
  • Gifting of real property or financial assets

maloles law screenshot

 

There are several features that I incorporated into this website that help make it more effective:

  • The website is mobile ready.  When you visit MalolesLaw.com on your smartphone or mobile device, there is a mobile version of the site that is easier to navigate through on a smaller screen.
  • Each page has a photo to make the site more visually interesting.  Also, when you share the site on social sites such as Facebook or Pinterest, photos improve the appearance of your links.
  • A Call-to-Action is on every page.  The footer of the website includes a contact widget — “Contact us today for your free initial consultation.” with a contact button.  Having a Call-to-Action on every page of your website makes it easy for viewers to contact you and will help capture more leads.
  • Include client testimonials.  Client testimonials can be especially helpful for professional services.  It shows prospective customers that you are consistent with providing quality work.

All of the above listed features should be considered the standard when developing your website.