Conquer the New Year with These 4 Top-notch Marketing Tools

Digital Marketing is always evolving and there are always new and exciting tools being introduced in the market to make digital marketing more effective. If you have a business, you need to know which of these tools can help you be the best that you can be. The right tools can help you stay updated with the latest trends, help you get organized, and can optimize your efficiency. Here are some tools you need check out this 2018:


Flock is a communication app for teams. Flock allows you to bring your team together to chat, share information, meet via video conferencing and push efficiency by using its productivity features. You can even integrate all your apps in a single platform. Once you sign up, you can create one big team and hubs for smaller teams. Flock is also faster, slicker and has a more intuitive interface compared to other team communication tools.


Sendy is one of the hottest tools in email marketing today. It’s a self-hosted email newsletter application backed by Amazon’s Simple Email Service. Sendy allows you to send attractive emails easily to your email audience and receive a detailed performance report afterward. And the best part is, it’s a lot cheaper than other email marketing apps in the market. You can send 20,000 emails for only $2! If you have less than that, let’s say you only have 10,000 subscribers, the cost can go down to $1. Now, that’s a deal you won’t find anywhere else.


Do you get frustrated when your website visitors suddenly leave and don’t convert? When you have a business website you want to find out why people are leaving your site. Ptengine is a heat map application that records every visit, click, scroll on your site and turns the data into a heat map to help you visualize at what point your customers are abandoning your site. Are they leaving because of usability problems? Pricing problems? Do they find the copy confusing? Once you’ve identified the issue, you can now make adjustments on your site and convert customers better.

Google Trends

Google Trends is a unique tool because it lets you know what people are searching for every day on Google Search. According to statistics, there are 3.5 billion users on Google Search daily and over 50,000 searches every second. Among the 50,000 searches, as much as 20% are from new users, which means that there’s always something new to discover. Google Trends can sift through all the searches and show you, by using keywords, what’s trending worldwide. It will give you an insight on what consumers are really looking for and predict market trends. To see the data, all you need to do is type a keyword or the industry name and press “Enter.” It’s that easy.

Now that you know some of the best tools you can use this year, give one of them a spin and let us know what you think.

NEW! SOB Episode: Seyi River – Composer, Filmmaker & Director of One Hit Wonder

Filmmaker and director Seyi River drops in to discuss music composition, how he got into the industry and his upcoming new film One Hit Wonder in the first Style of Business episode of 2018.

-Podcast Show Notes-

Episode: 31  

From Music to Filmmaking with Seyi River


In this new episode of SOB: Style of Business podcast, Keetria interviews Seyi River, a musician, composer, sound designer, writer, director, filmmaker and entrepreneur. Seyi shares with Keetria how he went from becoming a professionally trained musician because of a desire to score films – and then expanded his skillsets by becoming a self-taught filmmaker in the process. Seyi also is generous with his advice to people who are serious about filmmaking, the strategies that were involved in writing and directing his own projects, and also his personal assessments of where the motion picture industry is headed.


Show Notes:

  • Keetria gives an overview of Seyi River.
  • Seyi started his music career by attending the Berklee College of Music.
  • He is a self-taught filmmaker who spent time watching movies, reading screenplays, and reading books.
  • “If I Die Tonight” was a film Seyi created about police brutality named after a 2Pac song.
  •   He makes films based on what is meaningful to him and what questions need to be answered.
  •  “One Hit Wonder” is in the “magic realism” genre and is about a bestselling writer whose second  book flops.
  • Seyi’s lets his multiple writing ideas marinate until one is ready to write and focus
  • Relatability is an important element to telling a story to Seyi.
  • It is vital to learn the craft of film, become a visual person, and study human nature.
  • Seyi predicts a lot more diversity when it comes to filmmakers and that Hollywood won’t remain the center of creative and original storytelling.
  • Movies need to be good enough to deserve the price that audiences pay to experience them.
  • You have to wear multiple hats – creative and business- as an independent filmmaker.
  • With music scoring, it is very internal when composing audio interpretations of the emotions and themes of a movie.
  • Sound designing and enhancing audio is another skill he has to offer.
  • Seyi is motivated by striving to add onto the history of film in a positive way.
  • Writing down goals is vital to his strategy towards success.
  • Be honest about your assessment of your abilities in comparison to the highest level of your industry.
  • Health, eating right, being a nice person, sending out good vibes, and building up your stamina is important to be able to have the energy needed to work hard.


3 Key Points:

  1. Filmmaking is not just pointing a camera – it requires mastering the craft.
  2. Diverse stories and storytellers are going to become much more normalized.
  3. While investing in your career, don’t forget to invest in your health.


Tweetable Quotes:

–   “I was born a musician…but I became a filmmaker.” – Seyi River.

–   “The important thing now is to gain craft, and to gain craft you have to do a lot of hard work and understand the medium that is film.” – Seyi River.

–   “Become a visual person, like go to a museum, look at paintings.” – Seyi River.

–    “With film, you have to be insanely patient, because films take a long time.” – Seyi River.

–   “Surround yourself with really, really excellent people doing what they do.” – Seyi River.


Resources Mentioned:

3 Ways Quizzes Can Help Grow Your Brand

Last year, I was introduced to the prospect of using an online quiz to help grow my brand. I’d always been curious about their effectiveness and the reason behind their rising popularity, but I never gave using them a second thought. It looked too complicated. It seemed too pushy. And, to be honest I use to think that quizzes were mostly used for lead capture and companies to figure out which product or products they should sell you. And while that’s a good purpose, after trying out Interact, I quickly learned that implementing a quiz was quite useful in other ways too. Here are three ways a quiz can grow your brand.

1. Gives your audience insight

When I launched my first quiz, “Do You have the Entrepreneurial Mindset? Find Out!”, I wasn’t too sure what to expect since I hadn’t used them in the past. I found the process with Interact very user-friendly and their set up made creating the quiz a breeze. After a couple days, I check to see that only a few people completed my quiz but there were no lead captures. And even though there were no new leads, I was thrilled to see — in the statistics overview that Interact provides in the user dashboard — those who did complete the quiz, completed it 100% and it showed the quiz taker if they had the “entrepreneur mindset.” A fun tidbit for those who enjoy these types of quizzes and seeking feedback from people outside of their inner circle. By giving your audience something to look forward to I’m sure they’ll be more likely to visit your site and tell others about you as well.

2. Gain insight on what your audience is interested in

When growing your business and working to build an audience, you’ll find it very valuable to know what they’re interested in. Using a quiz will help you ask specific questions in regards to which products they like. Is it your latest ebook they seem to enjoy or was it the recent podcast episode? You can also use your quiz as a poll to determine which products or services are more popular than others; This is a great way to figure out how you can customize and tailor your brand to those who are interested. When you know how the audience benefits, you can focus your attention on further product development so they gain a truly unique experience.

3. Encourages people to engage with your brand

Quiz products like those offered by Interact are a great way to encourage audience and visitor engagement. Whether you’re launching a fun quiz to entertain your audience or a quiz more tailored to gain feedback for your business, this platform is the perfect option. It’s an easy go-to if you’re looking for ways to highlight your brand’s overall style, look, and tone. A sleek pop up or eye-catching announcement bar with a trend-worthy question might just be a solution to getting your brand the attention it needs. Even the questions and personal branding within the quiz can connect people with the uniqueness of your brand making the quiz itself an interaction they look forward to.

This year, I plan to launch more quizzes through Interact. It’s a been a great experience so far and I intend to do a bit more customization on the backend by crafting new questions and themes. Overall, Interact has been proven to be an asset by showing me several ways I connect with my target audience and also increase brand engagement.

How to Use Music to Inspire Your Creativity and Fuel Your Imagination

Hans Christian Andersen once said, “Where words fail, music speaks.” Music is universal. It transcends language and culture and allows us to communicate with each other through melodies. Music resonates in each one of us and we are born to with a natural affinity for music. Since the day we were born, our first lullaby has connected us to music. From then and until now, music continues to fire up our emotions, move our bodies to dance, and spring us into action.

But can music inspire creativity? The answer is a resounding yes!

According to studies, any music has its effect on us. Whether it’s classical, pop or jazz, the tempo of a song, as well as its major or minor tonality, affects how we feel, which could affect our performance. And the better we feel, the better we perform.

If you’re looking for ways to inspire creativity in your work, play your favorite music and feel it lift you up. Let your mind wander as you listen. Music can unlock creativity and help you with your work.

Here are the benefits of music:

Music makes you happy

If you’re a writer and you’re in a bad mood, your emotion will show in your work. Your writing may come off as angry and cold. To improve your mood, start listening to music that’s upbeat and uplifting, for example, James Brown’s I got you. Play all your favorite music, and soon you will feel the veil of anger lifting from you.

Music can bring powerful emotions

If you’re an artist and you want to add emotion to your work, you can use music to awaken certain feelings within yourself. For example, if you’re tasked to paint a serene landscape, you can listen to soft, classical music to help calm your mind. If you’re designing, let’s say, the cover of a scary horror novel, you may want to play Mussorgsky’s Night on Bald Mountain.

Music can improve performance

If you love to dance, the sound of dance music can make you want to move your body. Music can also refine your movement, timing and coordination. Take for example, the Tango. Many of the moves in this dramatic dance are choreographed and practiced along with the music. This synergy gives the performers a feeling of pleasure from the music as well as the dance itself. Music has also been proven to improve productivity, increase focus and efficiency, and boost performance.

Inspiration from music is real and most of us already instinctively know that music can get our creative juices flowing. Science explains it simply: our brain waves change as we listen to music, and the more relaxed we are, the more creative we get. This fact might be a good one to remember the next time you feel creatively blocked.

New SOB Podcast Episodes Coming This Month!

I hope everyone’s New Year is off to an excellent start! As I line things up for this year just wanted to drop a quick update to let listeners and subscribers of my podcast SOB: Style of Business The Podcast know that new episodes are on the way. Please stay tuned for the first episode of 2018 scheduled for January 18th! And, if you haven’t subscribed to SOB on iTunes and would like to, you can do so here.

In the meantime, here’s some encouragement for the New Year!

Top 5 Vacation Spots for a Meditation Retreat

Vacations to be truly rejuvenating, doesn’t always to be about going off to exotic lands on going on an adventure. Sometimes, the best vacation you can have is the most laidback—the one that will help you rejuvenate from within. Vacations that are packed with activities can be stressful. Such vacations can ruin the purpose of a holiday, which is to rest and relax.

To truly relax, you can take a different kind of a vacation—one that can quiet your mind and open your heart. I’m talking about going to a meditation retreat. We’ve picked some of the best ones you can consider for your next vacation. Here are our top choices:

Rolling Meadows Retreat, Brooks, Maine

Rolling Meadows offers city slickers that chance to unplug from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Silent retreats are held year-round and are designed to quiet the mind and increase awareness. Guests can join a series of meditation and yoga sessions and free time can be spent for reflection, solitude and in exploring the breathtaking beauty of the land.

Stillpoint Lodge, Halibut Cove, Alaska

With short boat ride or plane trip through the magnificent Kachemak Bay, you’ll find the secluded Stillpoint Lodge located in enchanting village of Halibut Cove. The lodge offers guided meditations, yoga and rejuvenating walking meditations in Alaskan wilderness. The lodge also features a poustinia, a silent meditation space that’s open 24 hours a day. Guests also get to see local wildlife as well as dine on organic meals using local ingredients.

Ala Kukui, Maui, Hawaii

Literally translated as “Path of Enlightenment”, Ala Kukui is ideal for those in search of spiritual renewal and creative awakening. Located in the beautiful land of Hana, Ala Kukui offers stunning views of Haleakala as well as the Pacific Ocean. The center offers different types of retreats including wellness retreats, corporate retreats, family retreats, and even retreats for veterans struggling with PTSD.

Esalen Institute, Big Sur, California

Surrounded by majestic mountains and blue ocean, the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California offers an amazing location for meditation, yoga, wellness, spiritual renewal and relaxation. The lodge sits on 120 acres of lush property where guests can bathe in hot springs overlooking the ocean, meditate, practice yoga, go hiking, and volunteer in its organic farm.

Feathered Pipe Ranch, Montana

Situated in the heart of the Montana Rockies, the Feather Pipe Ranch is an oasis of peace. Here, guests can go on a personal retreat, reflect, and connect with nature. Accommodation choices include tepees, yurts, and tents as well as deluxe rooms. Guests can join in meditation, yoga and chakra sessions, as well hike in the forest, canoe, and swim in the lake.

A meditation retreat can provide you with an entirely new perspective on life. It can help you de-stress by removing the pressures of daily life. It can also help you rediscover joy and peace and will teach how to sustain it in your life.

3 Worthy Reads for Budding Entrepreneurs

As they say, you are what you read. And if your dream is to build your own successful startup, then you should start reading the right books. We searched online and came up with a list of some of the best books around to help you through your journey. These books have received wonderful reviews from other entrepreneurs. We hope that this selection can inspire you in your quest to grow a business.

Here’s our top three:

1. Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World

by Gary Vaynerchuk

New York Times bestselling author and social media expert

Book description:

Gary Vaynerchuk shares hard-won advice on how to connect with customers and beat the competition. A mash-up of the best elements of Crush It! and The Thank You Economy with a fresh spin, Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook is a blueprint to social media marketing strategies that really works.

Best quote:

“Your story needs to move people’s spirits and build their goodwill, so that when you finally do ask them to buy from you, they feel like you’ve given them so much it would be almost rude to refuse.”


2. “Screw It, Let’s Do It”

by Richard Branson

Founder of the Virgin Group

Book description:

“Screw It, Let’s Do It” is one of Richard’s favorite sayings. In the book of the same name, he reveals the lessons that have helped him through his business and personal life, like believing it can be done and that if others disagree with you, try and try again until you achieve your goal; or that you must love what you do. These and other lessons, with examples of how he learned them and how he’s used them, are included in this stirring and candid look at his lessons from an exceptional life, which will inspire you to make a difference in your everyday life.

Best quote:

“As soon as something stops being fun, I think it’s time to move on. Life is too short to be unhappy. Waking up stressed and miserable is not a good way to live.”


3. The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers

by Ben Horowitz

Co-founder of Andreessen Horowitz

Book description:

Ben Horowitz, one of Silicon Valley’s most respected and experienced entrepreneurs, offers essential advice on building and running a startup—practical wisdom for managing the toughest problems business school doesn’t cover, based on his popular Ben’s Blog.

Filled with his trademark humor and straight talk, The Hard Thing About Hard Things is invaluable for veteran entrepreneurs as well as those aspiring to their own new ventures, drawing from Horowitz’s personal and often humbling experiences.

Best quote:

“Life is a struggle.” I believe that within that quote lies the most important lesson in entrepreneurship: Embrace the struggle.”

How about you, what’s your favorite business book? Feel free to share your most inspiring list in the comments below.

6 Holiday Gifts Freelancers Will Surely Love

‘Tis the season to shop for gifts, and if you happen to have a freelancer on your list, you might need a little spark of imagination when choosing a gift. Freelancers are a special breed. They’re resilient, eccentric, and independent and they deserve something truly unique. We’ve rounded up some gifts that are guaranteed to please:

For the freelancer who lives on coffee: The self-heating coffee mug

For freelancers, coffee is life. And what better gift to give than a coffee mug that keeps coffee perfectly hot? The Ember Ceramic Mug’s smart technology enhances the flavor of coffee by automatically choosing the best temperature for the coffee. It can also adjust its temperature according to the user’s preference to keep beverages at the ideal temperature.

For the freelancer who never bothers to change clothes: The “I woke up like this” sweater

For a freelancer, working from home can a blessing and a curse. They can work on their beds, in their pajamas or bathrobes. They can go on for days without a shower because frankly, no one really cares if they don’t. For the bleary-eyed, sleep-deprived freelancer who hardly changes his clothes, this gift pretty much says it all.

For the freelancer who is the best multitasker: The multitasking watch

Freelancers are great multitaskers. They could be juggling multiple projects while doing laundry and surfing the net. Managing multiple projects and deadlines can be stressful that’s why they need a watch that works as hard as them.

For the freelancer who needs to save: The modern piggy bank

Things can be volatile for freelancers. There are peak seasons and slow seasons. One day, they’re turning away projects because they’re swamped. The next month, there’s no new work. The best gift for them is a modern piggy bank where can save and withdraw money.

For the freelancer who always falls asleep in front of the computer: The weird head pillow

Most freelancers are sleep-deprived, and others have strange sleeping habits, like napping in front of their computer. For the freelancer who’d rather sleep on his desk than his bed, the perfect gift would be the Ostrich Pillow. It will conveniently block the light out and has pockets for easier napping on the desk.

For the freelancer who loves to procrastinate: The procrastinator t-shirt

There are many reasons why freelancers are prone to procrastination. One, the freelancer dreads doing the project. Two, there’s still plenty of time to do the project. And three, the freelancer is lazy. For the dude who lives to procrastinate, this t-shirt is for him.

For the freelancer who loves to put his feet up while working: The feet hammock

The feet hammock is the perfect gift for the easygoing freelancer who works better and faster with his feet up. The feet hammock is easy to install and can be adjusted to the desired height of the user.

Do you have other gifts in mind? Share them by commenting below.

NEW! SOB Episode: Kalyna Miletic – Career Coach & Founder of KickStart Your Work

-Podcast Show Notes-

Episode 30: Kalyna Miletic

How to Design the Career You Truly Desire


During this new episode of (SOB) Style of Business, Keetria interviews career transition coach, human capital developer, and founder of KickStart Your Work – Kalyna Miletic. As a passionate career coach, Kalyna assists clients in reaching their career goals and has helped organizations increase overall team performance in multiple countries including Canada, United States of America, India, Brazil, Australia, Colombia, Nepal, and others within the European Union. Today, Keetria finds out more about Kalyna Miletic’s achievements and strategies that have benefited educational institutions and corporate environments to maintain their motivation, engagement, and performance.

Show Notes:

  • Kalyna studied business in university, didn’t enjoy corporate world during her first internship
  • Started her own company at age 20 doing digital strategies doing website content
  • While running her own business she lived in Europe and the Caribbean but she ended up still feeling something was missing
  • While living in Brazil her biggest client gave her 30 days notice that they were ending her services
  • Kalyna transitioned into coaching: it focused on helping people solve problems
  • Kalyna got certified in coaching and has clocked in over 1000 client hours with people in 17 different countries
  • Vision behind KickStart Your Work: came from struggle with jobs and running digital strategy business and feeling alone, knew she needed to be helping recent graduates and inexperienced young professionals (18-34)
  • Group element of career coaching started with teaching her toy dolls, and now she gives people actions, steps and a plan without settling
  • Seeing the final completion of clients get their end results is what Kalyna enjoys the most about career coaching
  • Clients with alternative careers like singing can learn how to make an income doing what they love
  • Not everyone knows what they love to do and have the skills to make an income with: What you are good at + What you love to do + What you can get paid to do + What are your core motivators (what puts you in your element and what impact you want to make)
  • Mash together your core interests to create a career that is a hybrid that keeps you excited and motivated
  • Types of audiences she speaks to for speaking engagements: high schools, college students, business settings
  • Kalyna does most 60 minute and 2 hour speaking sessions that are interactive, similar to workshops, that includes a package that involves the audience asking questions and translating the information into their life – not just talking about her life
  • Always learning or optimizing is what Kalyna enjoys and entrepreneurship
  • Age plays a roll to tailor her content to the audience for career design
  • Talking and sharing and interacting is important – but doing is vitally important
  • Her speaker topics include: finding your genius niche, designing a career that you love, who do you want to be, choosing your work environment, having a vision, making an impact, taking perfect action now, leadership
  • Most of Kalyna’s social media is done through her name Kalyna Miletic: website, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn
  • Keys to Entrepreneurship: Resilience/Determination: it’s not about if, but when & how. Being Open to New Things and Learning
  • Mentorship and Community is key to success in business


3 Key Points:

1.What you are good at + What you love to do + What you can get paid to do + What are your core motivators (what puts you in your element and what impact you want to make)

2.Kalyna does most 60 minute and 2 hour speaking sessions that are interactive, similar to workshops, that includes a package that involves the audience asking questions and translating the information into their life – not just talking about her life

3.Keys to Entrepreneurship: Resilience/Determination: it’s not about if, but when & how. Being Open to New Things and Learning


Tweetable Quotes:

-“Is this really what the rest of my life is going to look like after school? Where, I look forward to, two weeks of vacation and lunch breaks and coffee breaks?” – Kalyna Miletic.

-“Where am I at? Where do I want to be? How do I close that gap?”– Kalyna Miletic.

-“Talking is important, but doing is also critical.” – Kalyna Miletic.

– “Just because you are good at something, doesn’t mean you should be doing it.” – Kalyna Miletic.


Resources Mentioned:

5 Useful Resources for Indie Filmmakers

Indie films often lack a certain technical and creative savvy required for a film to succeed in today’s market. That’s why it’s important for indie filmmakers to always up their game and stay abreast not only with the latest techniques and developments in the film industry but also learn how they can successfully navigate the cutthroat industry. There are many resources online and we’ve compiled a list of five blogs we believe can help you become a better indie filmmaker.

No Film School is a community of filmmakers, video producers, cinematographers and independent creatives and it’s one of the leading online resources on filmmaking. Founded by award-winning writer/director Ryan Koo, No Film School is where filmmakers share their knowledge through articles, podcasts, and video tutorials, and learn from each other. The site offers an incredibly comprehensive range of material and has everything you may need as a filmmaker. Whether you’re a professional or a newbie in the industry, No Film School will help you get started and improve your craft.

For those who want to sharpen their visual effects skills, Video Copilot is the site for you. Founded by special effects artist and software developer, Andrew Kramer, Video Copilot creates tools and training for people who want to learn and improve their skills on motion design and visual effects. The site offers the latest products for special effects editing, a blog, and a range of online tutorials to help you get your game on. Andrew Kramer is one of Hollywood’s most sought-after visual effects artists and has previously worked on Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

ProVideo Coalition brings together some of the film industry’s best writers, video experts, and bloggers on one website. The site offers a mélange of tools, tips, and techniques for budding filmmakers as well as production news and reviews from top experts. Readers get it straight from the source because each of the site’s contributor writes based on his/her personal knowledge of the subject.

Founded by University of North Carolina screenwriting professor and blogger Scott Myers, Go Into The Story will teach any newbie screenwriter the basics of screenwriting and every trick of the trade worth learning about. The site is straightforward and is devoid of distracting ads and features a long list of useful websites for cross-referencing.

Founded by indie filmmaker Alex Ferrari, Indi Film Hustle is a treasure trove of knowledge. The site shares everything Alex Ferrari has learned over the years as writer, director, producer and post-production/VFX supervisor. Unlike other sites, Indie Film Hustle can be a bit raw and does not hold back. It’s brutally honest in telling the truth about how you can avoid costly mistakes and missteps and succeed as a filmmaker in a fiercely competitive industry.

Do you have other resources you want to add to the list? We’d love to hear about it.