Tools We Love: Click to Tweet

Welcome to Tools We Love, where we highlight some of the tools that make us more efficient, productive, and effective in our businesses. Have a tool that you want to share with the community? Email us!

File this one under "yet another tool that we use almost every day." Click to Tweet is a super handy free (with a premium option) tool that lets you create pre-drafted tweets and share them with other people. The benefit? You control the message and you save the other person time- only they do is click Send. Sounds like a win-win to us!

Just like FollowerWonk, Click to Tweet can be a really valuable tool even if you're not crazy about Twitter.

Here's the gist, direct from Click to Tweet (cue The Jackson Five)...

    1. Write the message that you want others to share in the box
    2. Click the "Generate New Link" button to create a custom link
    3. Share the link and track the activity of each link over time

Where to include Click to Tweets:

    • Blog posts
    • Email signature
    • Emails (both personal ones and ones to your email list)
    • Powerpoint slides
    • Twitter (not gonna lie, just thought of this one- ha!)

Some ideas for when to use Click to Tweet:

    • If you're launching a new website or product: we provided pre-drafted tweets to all OWS ambassadors and contributors before our launch. We also used CTT when we launched our solo business calendar recently!
    • If you're doing a speaking gig: include the Click to Tweet on the first page of your slides to encourage attendees to share that they're there- this is great for personal and professional branding. Be sure to include your Twitter handle and the event hashtag, if applicable. We recommend plugging your Click to Tweet link into Bit.ly and editing it to make it short and memorable
    • Within your blog posts: create tweets based around the most important points in your post, hyperlink key phrases with the CTT link, and include a little note that lets readers know they can click to tweet the message
    • When you interview anyone on your site: just conducted an interview on your blog or podcast? Email the person with a pre-drafted tweet and ask them to send it to their followers- one of the main benefits of interviews is cross-promotion anyway, right?
    • If you're promoting a charity: remember when we went to Honduras with Habitat and held a Pay What It's Worth sale to fundraise? We included a little message and a pre-drafted tweet in our email signature for several months before the trip

And a bonus: if you look below, you'll notice a box with a pre-drafted tweet, ready for you to send out to all of your followers. See what we did there? So meta 🙂 We use the Click to Tweet WordPress plugin to create these stylish and prominent little boxes.

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Tools We Love: EchoSign

Welcome to Tools We Love, where we highlight some of the tools that make us more efficient, productive, and effective in our businesses. Have a tool that you want to share with the community? Email us!

You get a contract from your new contractor emailed to you, so you print it (after buying new ink for your printer), sign it, and then struggle to upload it with your scanner, right?

No more! It's no surprise that we love all things digital but if you're still managing paperwork and contracts the old-fashioned way, we've got a tool that's going to save you a bunch of time.

Adobe's EchoSign is a way to easily collect electronic signatures (also known as e-signatures)- which are legally binding, if you're wondering. A free account lets you collect 5 e-signatures every month.

Just visit the EchoSign website, click Get Started in the upper righthand corner, create an account (or sign in using your Google account), and get to saving time!

Some of our favorite features of EchoSign:

    • It links with your Google Drive account, so you can create a document in Drive, add signature areas, and send it using EchoSign
    • There are several pre-loaded forms that you can send, including I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification), W-4 (IRS Employee Withholding Allowance 2014), and W-9 (Request for Taxpayer Identification Number)
    • The ability to send documents to multiple people for their signatures
    • A back-up copy of the signed document is filed away in your EchoSign account for safe-keeping

When to use it:

    • When onboarding an intern
    • When hiring any service provider (designer, developer, social media manager, etc)
    • When confirming a speaking gig
    • When beginning work with a new client (we know you use a contract every time, right? If not, check out Small Business Bodyguard ASAP!)
If for any reason you're not feeling EchoSign, we recommend trying out these alternatives:

Disclosure: The Small Business Bodyguard link is an affiliate link. We will receive a commission on any sales made through this link. 

Tools We Love: FollowerWonk

Welcome to Tools We Love, where we highlight some of the tools that make us more efficient, productive, and effective in our businesses. Have a tool that you want to share with the community? Email us!

FollowerWonk is a tool from Moz (formerly SEOMoz) that allows you to search Twitter bios. For those of you who are social media averse, don't close your window yet- you can still make use of the tool.

We use FollowerWonk for a variety of reasons: to find bloggers to work with, to build the One Woman Shop community (by searching for "solopreneurs," "female entrepreneur," and "freelancer" for example), to find local service providers, to find sources for our Prior to the Hire features, to do competitor research for clients, and more.

Wondering how the tool might be useful for you? Use it to find interesting individuals in your industry to form partnerships with, profile on your site (like Rachel does in her PRo PRofile series, pitch about guest blog posts, and get inspired by. You can also seek out relevant individuals to send product samples to or use it get on the radar of corporate PR folks or local media (tweet this)!

Let's say you want to know who in your area is already offering professional organizing services- if you're in Philly, you could run the following search:

example of followerwonk search

You may notice that there are a bunch of near-duplicate accounts- sort by Social Authority to separate the legitimate accounts from the spam accounts:

followerwonk searching

Likewise, if you wanted to find multipassionates to chat with (like we do!), you could search for "multipassionate" and "multipotentialites" on FollowerWonk.

In our opinion, it's great to use FollowerWonk to connect with individuals directly on Twitter, but we like to take it a step further by searching Twitter bios, following the links in people's bios, perusing their websites, and contacting them via email for a more personal connection.

P.S. Want an more in-depth look at FollowerWonk's features, functionality, and uses? Check out this guide from State of Digital!

7 Creative Ways to Use Boomerang to Manage Your Email

We love the email tool Boomerang so much that we pay for the premium version- with hundreds of emails going in and out of our inboxes each week, the free plan just wasn't cutting it. The two main features of Boomerang are to 1) send emails at a later time and 2) to be reminded if someone hasn't responded to your email.

Here are some creative ways to utilize these features in creative ways to save yourself time and your sanity.

So that people don't know how late you're working: Sometimes you work until 2am- and that's okay! But maybe you don't necessarily want to advertise that fact to everyone you're in touch with via email- so use the "Send Later" feature to make it look like you're writing emails at a more- ahem- normal time.

To avoid bombarding people: If you're like us, your mind works in a million directions, constantly coming up with ideas to implement. The downside of this is that it might result in tons of emails to contractors, teammates, or clients. Avoid "email bombardment" by scheduling your emails to send several hours or days apart.

So that clients don't assume that you're always available: Even in our fast-moving digital world, many freelancers and solopreneurs choose to only be available to their clients and customers during standard hours, like 9am-5pm. And we commend them for that! But let's say that you want to work later one evening but don't want your clients to begin to expect that you'll always be available at 8pm. Draft your emails, choose the "Send Later" option, and your clients will be none the wiser.

To make sure no outbound email goes unanswered: Let's say you're emailing twenty potential clients or reaching out to ten bloggers on behalf of a client. Sure, you could track all these contacts in a Google spreadsheet (which is probably still a good idea!), or you could just mark each email to "boomerang" back to your inbox if it's unanswered. First emails are very often overlooked or forgotten about, so sending a follow-up can increase your response rate immensely!

To maintain inbox zero: Let's say you're about to head out of town for the weekend and don't love the idea that your full inbox will haunt you all weekend. Go set your emails to boomerang back at a designated time- maybe late Monday morning. Clear out your inbox, reset to inbox zero, and poof- out of sight, out of mind- just in time for a work-free weekend.

To buy yourself some time: We love this Boomerang tip from Alexis Grant. Often times, you'll send an email, only to have someone immediately reply- now you feel compelled to respond back right away too, right? Instead, set your email response to send in several hours, giving you at least a free few hours before the recipient's reply lands in your inbox. Note: this shouldn't be done with time sensitive emails!

To automate your systems: Do you have a weekly or monthly email you send out (we're talking something simple, not a fancy email marketing email)? Maybe it's a monthly reminder to your website contributors or your clients- when you have a few extra minutes, take the time to draft several months of emails in advance!

Do you use Boomerang? How do you use it?