About Face – The Alternative Facebook Origin Story.

The movie “The Social Network” was a smash hit and gave the general public a good understanding of how Mark Zuckerberg started Facebook. If you haven’t seen the movie, take a look at the Facebook Wiki and educate yourself on it’s history. The story told in the movie is one we have been questioning lately as our research indicates that Facebook may have borrowed some ideas from an employee management system known as About Face, who owned the domain facebook.com at the time.

What we are proposing about Facebook and it’s history is just speculation from internet archive digging we have done, don’t take this too seriously.

Facebook didn’t start as the Facebook we know now, they went through some name changes as the versions of Facebook advanced. It was initially called Facemash in 2003 and this is when Zuckerberg first developed the app. At this stage of Facebooks life, it was comparible to the once famed website “Hot Or Not” which allowed you to rate girls and guys with a “hot” or “not” rating.

Image result for the social network

Let us fast forward our story to 2005 when thefacebook.com acquired Facebook.com for $200,000 USD. The company was known as About Face, a website for companies to have an online yearbook of sorts to help track pictures and details about co-workers. This was the logical choice for Facebook, shortening the domain made sense. However, is it possible they had been eyeing this website for a lot longer?

Our research shows that About Face may have been the inspiration for the shift in Facebook’s early development.

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The About Face logo

“AboutFace Corporation wants to help your organization become more efficient and effective.  Our software solutions make it easy for you to manage and publish your most important information.  This increases communication so that people have the information they need to do their jobs more easily and effectively with a minimum of frustration and re-inventing of the wheel.” – About Face 2001 Mission Statement

About Face in 2003

About Face was created in 2001 and they were the primary owners of the Facebook.com domain. According to the facebook.com WHOIS record, About Face may have bought the domain as early as 1997 (WHOIS record) .

On a first hand look, About Face was a simple website that gave users the ability to create a profile, write a bio about themselves and upload a picture. It was primarily used for law offices, universities or large corporations. The software hosted on private servers and the various “About Face” networks did not interact with each other as they could only be hosted on a closed intranet.

About Face Features:

  • Network with coworkers on a closed network
  • Profile with picture
  • Profile includes details about career, expertise, schooling and phone number
  • Privacy settings to enable or disable access to certain users
  • Privacy settings to only allow certain computers into the network (IP filtering)
  • Advanced database searching to find results quickly
An example of an About Face profile in 2002

As early as 2001 About Face had a fully functional profile that displayed details about employees or users in database. This would be run on a local intranet, so it didn’t have the same networking value that Facebook would develop. However, Facebook did start as a service for just Harvard students on their internal network which would have been a suitable environment for About Face to run. Is it possible that Facebook found inspiration in what About Face was developing?

About face had a simple, but effective method for editing profiles. Done by an admin team, users would be entered into the directory and details such as University, Phone Number and job would included on their profile.

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Easy to Administer
Even though About Face is very powerful and flexible, it is extremely easy to use. Shown here is the data entry screen, used to enter new people into your directory and to modify existing entries.   Just punch in the information and click the Save button.  The system will automatically generate a username and password for the person, and then it will automatically generate an email to that person informing him or her of this information and explaining how to get into the directory.  It doesn’t get any easier! – About Face Product Demo

About Face was ahead of it’s time with their ability to network coworkers together to efficiently. This would add huge benefits to the workflow of the office as you’d be able to search people by name, phone number or even their area of expertise. This is very similar to the direction Facebook wanted to take at Harvard.

About Face was progressive with their security settings and privacy as well. As shown in their product demo, only IP addresses within a certain range would have access to About Face as specified by the admin team. About Face also allowed users to set their own permission settings and could hide certain details of their profile easily.

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About Face Profile Security Settings

Conclusion

It’s impossible to know if Facebook was inspired by About Face, or if it’s a simple coincidence that the domain they wanted to buy was hosting a similar service. About Face was a fully functional profile network with a simple user interface long before Facebook had developed what we know call a social network. What we do know is the similarities are extremely obvious and About Face had a functional product that could have been adapted outside of an internal network if they desired or had the means to do so.

wordpress is the best patreon alternative

If you’re not already familiar with Patreon, it is a platform where curators can add extra content and charge users a monthly fee. Patreon allows you to host videos, pictures or any other added benefit someone might provide for a monthly fee. A lot of YouTube stars and Instagram influencers use Patreon to generate some extra income on the side. However, Patreon is not offering an altruistic service out of the goodness of their hearts.

Patreon does of course take a monthly fee and a percentage of sales to provide this hosting service for it’s customers, which is of course quite hefty. So this made us wonder: What is the best alternative to Patreon? The answer we came up with is our good old friend, WordPress. With a domain, a monthly hosting plan and a PayPal account you too can create your own alternative to Patreon.

Patreon alternatives

Why use an alternative to Patreon?

Patreon is going to eat into your profits, that is the most obvious downside. However, the biggest downside in our opinion is the fact that you don’t own the digital real estate your content is hosted on. Let’s say you spend years pointing traffic towards your Patreon and start building an audience. If you suddenly decide you want to shift your business model or change your niche entirely, you’re locked into a Patreon domain, instead of a website you own where you can pivot and not waste previous effort. This is the biggest gripe with platforms such as Patreon because you don’t really own the content or digital real estate at the end of the day.

Patreon Alternative

Setup your own Patreon alternative

Now that you understand the importance of owning your digital real estate front to back, we will get into how you can setup your own Patreon alternative. All you need to do is the following steps (or email Metric Hunter to build you a beautiful website):

  1. Acquire web hosting and a domain
  2. Install WordPress
  3. Install WooCommerce
  4. Attach your PayPal
  5. Make money πŸ’°

It’s that simple to host your own Patreon alternative. Still not convinced? Let us break it down for you. All Patreon is offering is a place to host your extra pictures or videos and a payment gateway to collect fees from your customers. This can all be achieved by building your own ecommerce store on WordPress. The monthly fee for a high quality server is going to be $50 a month or less, which is significantly leaner than the fees Patreon takes from it’s creators. By accepting PayPal as a payment method, you give yourself insurance that your payments will be secure and easy to deal with. With these things in mind, are there any benefits to using Patreon over your own website?

Is there a downside to Patreon alternatives?

If your alternative is hosting your own website, there is one glaring downside to it. If you are a Patreon user who uploads a lot of high quality video content, you are going to need a robust web server to host that content and serve it to your clients. However, Patreon uses Vimeo to host videos so you essentially mimick what Patreon is doing by opening your own Vimeo premium account and linking to those videos. So once again, we can conclude that Patreon is not superior to hosting your own alternative on a web server with WordPress.

Conclusion

As you can see, hosting your own ecommerce store with WordPress is a far better alternative than paying exorbitant fees to Patreon on a transaction basis. Patreon does of course have name recognition, but if you position your brand correctly you should no problem leading people to your freshly built Patreon Alternative.

How GoDaddy Can Sink Your Business In Under Two years.

GoDaddy is the most well known web hosting service for small businesses and people entering the world of e-commerce. That is where Godaddys claims end unfortunately because many who sign up for GoDaddy, regret that choice shortly down the road of entrepreneurship. Starting a business means you’re trying to keep initial costs as low as humanly possible, so finding an affordable web hosting service is very important. This article is going to show you the true cost of GoDaddy and provide higher quality less expensive options. Free domains are not exclusive to GoDaddy, don’t get fooled.

So, why is GoDaddy so popular and how does it entice people into starting their first websites? This article will help to explain why all entrepreneurs should avoid GoDaddy in 2019 and moving forward. By the end of reading this, you should feel extremely hesitant about giving your hard earned dollars to a company like GoDaddy. Don’t let GoDaddy wipe you out within 24 months.

GoDaddy’s prices

The most notable aspect of GoDaddy is their enticing marketing offers, which usually states you get a free domain with any hosting plan. Wow, free domains?! This is an offer that most won’t be able to refuse due to the wording. However, you will soon find the costs adding up if you accept this discounted domain. The offer is legitimate of course, they will give you an introductory discount but when the math is done over a one year period, you end up paying more.

As you can see in the above example when purchasing a domain you would pay the following: $3 in year one + $25 in year two for a total of $28 to register a domain for two years. At first this may appear to be priced fairly in comparison to other domains until you want to add anything of value to your domain. Let us proceed further through the GoDaddy checkout.

Here is where things start to get pricey when using GoDaddy. Privacy protection is important when purchasing a domain because without it, the info you provided during the domain registration is public. This may not be a concern for some people, but privacy is paramount for most.

Now let us assume you want your identity protected, this adds another $20 to your 2 year package bringing our GoDaddy cart to $48 CAD

There are companies that offer this for free when you purchase a domain, so this is $20 you don’t need to spend. We will list those companies later on in the article. However, we aren’t finished with GoDaddy yet so let us proceed further into the checkout.

The next step in our cart is adding a domain branded email to the account. So for example: sample@geek0.com would be considered a domain branded email because it uses the @geek0.com domain.

Is GoDaddy email Good?

Again, this is free with other web hosting providers that are mentioned later in this article, but GoDaddy charges a minimum of $6.50 per month. So no, we would say they are not good. Their minimum plan only includes 5GB of email storage which would mean you would constantly be having to delete emails in order to accept incoming ones. To keep things as cheap as possible for this blog post, we will choose the $6.49 / mo plan which costs us a grand total of $155.76 for our two year plan.

That brings the projects total to $203.76 CAD

(don’t forget we haven’t purchased a server to host this domain yet)

Picking hosting is where GoDaddy really starts to sink their hooks into your business. Any entrepreneur will vouch that any of these plans will not suffice for anything larger than your Grandmas blog about where to find cute cat sweaters in North Dakota. If you’re expecting to see any amount of traffic or plan to build an e-commerce store you will soon regret going the GoDaddy route.

(Note, they do include email for free in these plans but they do not specify if it’s a domain branded email or a @godaddy.com email)

Assuming you’re someone who is planning on earning a profit from their web project, you will need an SSL Certificate for your domain. If you’re unfamiliar on why this is important, check out this article. It is impossible to take credit card payments if your website is not SSL secured, so we are forced to purchase the Ultimate package at $16.00 / mo.


GoDaddy Total:$ 587.76 CAD 

$587 is a lot of money for someone to spend on their new venture, especially if the idea is experimental. This cost could be enough to sink an idea someone has before it even blossoms into a business. GoDaddy uses their discounted domains to draw clients in and rake them over the coals as they start adding necessary service to their cart. It’s very clever marketing, but you’re much smarter than that after reading this article.

The GoDaddy Alternative

Hopefully if you’re at this part of the article, you are no longer considering GoDaddy as a viable option for your web hosting. This is where we would like to introduce a hosting company called Dreamhost. Dreamhost is an excellent company with extremely affordable solutions for web hosting. They offer free email, free SSL and robust servers even at their bottom tier. The best part is, the cost is substantially lower than GoDaddy’s plan we priced above. Let us make our way through the Dreamhost checkout and compare prices.

For Dreamhost, we will stick to the same rules as GoDaddy; find the lowest cost hosting plan that can host an e-commerce store.

As you can see in the above, we have picked a shared starter server which will perform quite well in comparison to GoDaddy’s servers. They allow you use to caching plugins and other tools to speed your website up which GoDaddy does not allow. They include SSL for free, a domain branded e-mail and a free domain when you signup.

This brings our cart and grand total to $94.80 USD ($126 CAD) for two years

Yes, you heard that right. On a higher quality server, with all the same features that GoDaddy offered. So how much do you save by choosing a provider like Dreamhost over GoDaddy?

$461.76 saved over two years

With such large savings by choosing a web hosting provider such as Dreamhost, it makes little sense why anyone would choose GoDaddy. It all comes down to marketing and tricking new entrepreneurs into overpaying with clever wording.

The customer service with Dreamhost is also phenomenal as they are a small team of web developers who actually understand technical questions. If you have ever had to deal with GoDaddy customer service, you know their workflow and corporate agenda takes priority over solving any of your issues. If you have ever tried to email GoDaddy customer service, you will also know the pain it causes; it is near pointless trying to troubleshoot with GoDaddys team via email.

Conclusion

GoDaddy is more expensive than we had originally anticipated when planning this article. We knew that GoDaddy was more expensive, but we had no idea it was almost 4x the price of Dreamhost . This goes to show that marketing is a supremely dominant factor in the web hosting game since Dreamhost offers exactly what they do and more.

We hope that whatever web hosting path you decide to take, you don’t choose GoDaddy. Save your money and support a smaller company like Dreamhost, you won’t regret it.

How To Earn Wealth And Respect From a Twitter Account

The e-mail inbox is still the most important point of communication for entrepreneurs trying to close sales and is a fundamental tool in any business consulting course. Everyone knows and agrees about the value of an inbox but are entrepreneurs underestimating the power of Twitter? Can you build a funnel with Twitter?

On the surface, you might overlook Twitter for being yet another social media platform to vent your thoughts and comment on your friends Tweet; woohoo, how does this help my business? Twitter is an ongoing conversation with the most important people inside of any niche. If you haven’t found the value in Twitter, you haven’t found your community inside of it. This article will help you understand how to leverage Twitter for your business and increase sales.

Identifying your Twitter community

Before we go any further, we are going to assume that you’re building a Twitter account within a niche or category and are not looking to build a personal Twitter account. A personal Twitter account would function much like your Facebook wall and consist of random posts. For the purpose of this article we are focusing on building accounts within a small niche for business.

Image result for twitter sales

Which Twitter accounts do I follow first?

Your first step is going to be identifying the leaders inside the niche you’re looking to integrate yourself in. When you first start prospecting Twitter accounts to follow, it’s going to be a fairly surface level quest. For example, if you wanted to integrate with the basketball community on Twitter you would start following ESPN, Michael Jordan, Nike, Lebron James. These accounts are most likely going to be verified celebrities or businesses.

The first accounts aren’t very important in themselves, it’s the clues that they present is where you will find value. As time goes on, you’re going to want to pay attention to the comments left on these accounts Tweets. Start identifying Twitter users who are consistently getting their tweets liked or up-voted. These are the most valuable accounts inside of your community.

Identifying Niche Twitter Influencers

On first look, you’d think an influence inside your niche are the same type of accounts we listed above; verified accounts for celebrities and large corporations. In the big picture, they are at the forest, but you want to focus on the trees instead.

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John Wexler (@wex), Adidas executive and sneaker Twitter Star

In every Twitter community there is people who hold high credibility inside of the niche you’re focusing on. They may not be verified (the blue check mark beside their @) or have a lot of followers but you will find these people being quoted quite often. We can’t specifically tell you what to look for when identifying these accounts in your niche, but keep your eyes open and start following people you think will be important down the road.

Rising Twitter Stars

Once you have started to identify the key figures inside of your community and what sort of traits come with that, start scouting for rising stars. These are accounts that are new to the scene but you see something special in them. These people are the most likely to respond to messages, Tweets and inquiries. These accounts are also the first people you’re going to bring into your “Inner Twitter Circle”.

Again, we can’t advise you on what these personalities will look like but it should be pretty clear who is finding their way into important Twitter conversations even though they’re new to the community. Most new accounts will get ignored in Tweet threads or be overlooked due to the infancy of the account, but some will rise above this trend and those are your new friends.

Image result for twitter employee

Creating a Twitter Army

So how do you make the transition from commenting on a Tweet to building a relationship with someone. Bonding with key accounts is make or break for your success in the Twitter realm. Again, this will depend on what niche you’re focused on but we do have a few tips on how to strengthen that relationship.

Becoming a Twitter Community Star

Now that you’ve started to identify who the leaders of your niche community are, you can now start to rise through the ranks and become on yourself. This is no easy task and takes a considerable amount of time to achieve. If you try and force your way into a community, you will be rejected surely because you’re not speaking their jargon or you’ll eventually overstep a boundary you didn’t know existed. This is a task you cannot force and if you’re not gaining any traction, reevaluate your tactics.

  • Comment on a Tweet and elaborate your point inside their direct message inbox. This is important because once someone has accepted your message once, you will always rise to the top of their inbox when sending a message in the future. So when you’re ready to ask for something, you already have rapport.
  • Create personalized content for the people you’re trying to bond with. Don’t under estimate the power of a custom made meme or emoji because this feeds on their ego. People can’t resist being complimented and targeted content is a tactful way to do so.
  • Use animated gifs as replies with clever quotes. Animated gifs are a very easy to make one of your Tweets go viral. It’s all about timing and if you can get the first animated gif on a potentially viral Tweet, you’ll be soaking up likes and retweets.
  • Tag people in things you think they would be interested in. Many spam accounts do this and tag 10-20 accounts at a time which is a mistake. Take your time and only tag people in things you truly think they’d be interested in. Don’t forget to include a message with something along the lines of “@geek0, this is totally a recipe you’d enjoy since you’re Italian”.
  • Take chances with your Tweets (within reason). It’s okay to have a failed Tweet, but take chances and don’t be afraid of failing. Twitter communities forget bad Tweets overnight, but remember good ones for years.

How do I covert my Twitter followers into customers?

Again, this will be case to case depending on what niche you’ve integrated yourself in however there is some static rules that will apply to all business models. When you’re selling to someone you already have rapport with, the barriers are going to be lower and your conversion will be higher. If you’ve followed our tips in the article above and are becoming a rising star in your Twitter community, start reaching out to some of the other influential users you’ve networked with. Get these users on your side and get them helping to promote or buy your product.

Assuming you’re doing honest business, your friends are going to be happy to promote your product and if they have credibility in the community, your product is suddenly validated. Another benefit to having a supportive community behind you is you can get honest feedback from your community so you know where to tighten up details before a mass marketing campaign. The final point is members inside of your community are going to be easier to covert to to customers because you are a trusted member of the community at this point and they will be more likely to trust you.

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Moving your community off Twitter

If you’re looking to further grow your community outside of Twitter, check out our guide on community building for your business.

Jarvee – A Complete Guide To Instagram Automation

Building your Instagram account is a very easy and successful way to create a niche sales funnel. It only becomes difficult when you’re left on the outside and the tools of the trade are foreign to you. Most successful Instagram accounts are using automation of some kind, unless by a stroke of luck they hit a viral niche and gained notoriety naturally.

However, be cautious with using automation software because it is a violation of Instagram’s terms of service and you will have your account banned instantly if they find out. Luckily for you, this guide will help to explain how to automate your Instagram with a program called Jarvee and how to avoid getting banned.

jarvee bot
The Jarvee Dashboard


How do I start using Jarvee to build my Instagram account?

The first step to Jarvee, is to not use Jarvee right away. This might sound silly, but using automation software right away will put up a red flag on your account and increases your chances of being banned.

So, for your first month or so for the best chance of longevity on your account you want to just post from your phone and treat it like a normal Instagram account. Slowly build your following naturally and post original content. The idea is to make your account look as natural as possible, so once you do introduce automation you’ve already passed a handful of Instagram’s security filters.

The longer you naturally grow your account, the more effective automation is going to be down the road.

jarvee bot

If you have already created 3 accounts with your phone number, you are going to need to use an external phone number verification service to activate your account. You can create an account without a phone number, however they eventually ask you to SMS verify and you will not be able to access your account until it’s verified.

Proxies for Instagram

Proxies is a way to route your connection through a separate IP to spoof your location or bypass Instagrams security that monitors usage from one IP address. Essentially, you don’t want Instgram to see that you’re running more than one or two accounts from a single IP; this is a dead giveaway that you’re using automation software. If you’re unfamiliar with proxies, this article helps explain the differences.

Where to buy proxies for Instagram is a common question you will see in your research about automation. We have been using proxies from the same website listed about (Resell Cartel Proxies) however there is many places you can purchase high quality proxies from. Most proxy providers will allow you to choose the location where the server is hosted. Ideally, you’d want to find one that is close to where you originally created the account. This is important because you may still log into the account with your home IP, so you want the proxy to be relatively close so it doesn’t look suspicious. For example. if you live in Texas and your proxy is located in California, Instagram will see you switching between those locations as suspicious behavior and your account will be flagged.

Outside of the provider we mentioned, you’re on your own when it comes to proxy research. You can technically get away with automating a handful accounts without proxies, but do so at your own risk because it could all come crashing down in a moments notice.

Jarvee – a brief overview

Jarvee is currently one of the best Instagram automation tools. It gives you a large suite of tools and flexibility to grow your instagram account. You can have your account completely hands off once you’ve optimized your Jarvee setup. You can automatically follow/unfollow users, repost pictures, like pictures, comment, direct message users and so much more. It replicates normal human interaction styles which is the secret to success when using Jarvee. For this article, we won’t be going into technical details about how to set Jarvee up, instead we will focus on best practices for Jarvee and some hacks we have come across in our usage.

Jarvee has a few different tiers that you can purchase, but they do offer a free trial so you can familiarize yourself with tool before jumping in. Their pricing can be seen here. With their base package you can run 10 Instagram accounts at once cor $29.99 a month which what we recommend when you’re getting started. Unfortunately Jarvee is only available for Windows at the moment so you’ll need to have Windows installed or use a Windows based server. Amazon AWS has a free tier option that would allow you to run Jarvee no problem.

We usually start the bot by posting 9 pictures from our phones so that the profiles looks active, then start the bot with minimum settings (~ 50 likes and ~50 follows per day). Slowly increase this number until you’re at 400 likes / 400 follows per day. We will explain these limits further down in the article and why it’s important to follow.

Where can I find Jarvee tutorials?

If you’re looking for some basic tutorials on Jarvee, their website is full of useful articles that will get you going in no time. You can access those links here . Jarvee also offers an online course that helps you understand the basic aspect of Instagram and gives you a simple recipe for success. That course can be found here and we recommend going through it.

Jarvee hacks

Here is a few simple rules that we follow to grow our accounts to epic levels with Jarvee:

  • Set the bot to do 400 likes per day in your niche (start with only 50 in the beginning and than increase)
  • 50 comments on posts in your niche (10 to start)
  • DO NOT follow/unfollow until you reach 1000 followers, than bring the number of people you follow down between 0 and 15. In the beginning the number of new followers per day will decrease but this is a necessary step! Instagram doesn’t ban people who follow/unfollow but will limit their reach. So this technique may bring you results in the early stages but will limit your growth in the long run.
  • Once your account gets to 1000 followers join an ENGAGEMENT GROUP! This step is what will make your profile grow very very fast if you have good content. We won’t point you towards where to find a good engagement group, you’ll need to figure that out on your own. Our best advice is just find fan pages that have some influence (perhaps at least 30-50k followers) that are in your niche and ask if they’re in an engagement group. Then ask that account to join their engagement group, or ask to form one with them. You just want bigger accounts liking and commenting on your posts.
  • Make contact with pages in your niche with similar amount of followers as you and ask to exchange shoutouts. You can also pay some shoutouts but be always careful, some pages have a lot of followers but their engagement rates are horrible and you will and up paying $10 for a useless shoutout. Always check how many likes their picture have (good over 5% of their followers), if the shoutout is in their stories ask always a screenshot of their current stories to see how many people have seen it, some times their engagement rate is good but no one watched their stories!

Instagram banned me for using Jarvee

This will happen to you a number of times before you find the formula that works for growing instagram accounts. In saying that, you should be okay with losing a couple of accounts because it’s nearly unavoidable. Being banned and deactivated is just a cost of being an Instagram Manager. You can get your account back if you’re lucky, but do not mention using any software in your claim or you will have zero chance at account recovery.

In most cases, Instagram will ask you to send a picture of yourself holding a piece of paper with the account name and a code they will provide to you; this doesn’t mean you’ll get the account back but it is likely.

Can I repost other users content or pictures?

Absolutely you can. Jarvee has excellent reposting tools integrated into the bot, however you will have a higher chance of success if you’re modifying the image and hash inside of Jarvee and giving credit to the original poster.

Reposting is the easiest way to get banned and flagged for botting Instagram, so do everything within your ability to keep the content natural and honest. Most large accounts aren’t creating their own content so the sky is the limit if you’re careful.

Should I buy likes ?

Previously, if you were trying to rank for a hashtag on the explore page of Instagram you could buy likes to artificially boost your posts, however this has changed in 2019. You will see much more success if your follower engagement is high when you post a picture. For example, if you’re trying to rank for #baseball and your account is already in the niche, then your own followers are the most valuable asset. Don’t ever try and create false engagement by buying likes or followers, this adds absolutely NO VALUE to your account. People who buy followers and likes are simply inflating their own egos because they don’t fool anyone else.

jarvee hacks

5 free apps every hustler needs.

You’ve taken the leap of faith and have decided to start your own business; congratulations ! This article will help to outline five of the best tools to use when you’re getting started with your small business. However, when you enter the market you’re overwhelmed with information being thrown at you from every direction; what makes this article different? How do you decide where to start and what tools you need to get started? These are questions with answers that will vary from person to person but there is a few essential tools that almost every entrepreneur will use in their life time.

This article will keep it dead simple and won’t attempt to cram any paid solutions down your throat. When you’re embracing the hustle and starting your own venture try and keep it simple. You will have time to grow into advanced software solutions and other scaling options, but it’s best to start on a path of low friction so you can get the ball rolling.

This article also assumes you’ve chosen a hosting provider and are ready to get your website launched (If you’re not interested in E-Commerce, this probably isn’t the article for you)

  1. WordPress

WordPress is the most versatile and low cost platform to build your website on. It has all the functionality and ease of use when compared to other platforms such as Square Space or Wix, however the plugin store is massive in comparison. You can download thousands of plugins to your site easily without cost.

SEO Tools Free

Another huge benefit to using WordPress is the ability to integrate WooCommerce as your E-Commerce platform. WooCommerce is free unlike Shopify or other store platforms so you can start your website without any fees or initial costs. WooCommerce also integrates with most popular plugins and payment processors such as Stripe and PayPal. If you’re a Cryptocurrency fiend like us at Geek0, you can also install custom plugins that will allow you to accept Bitcoin and other coins as payment. As we said before, it’s all about low friction when you’re starting out and you can have a full website ready to take sales done within hours if you decide to choose WordPress (Did we mention it’s free too?)

2. Google Suite

Did you think we weren’t going to include the amazing suite of tools that Google offers? If you didn’t think we were going to, you probably don’t realize the value it offers.

Google Tools

In our mastermind group, we often joke about all of our businesses being started inside of a Google Spreadsheet. The reality is that most of our businesses did start inside of Google Sheets and some are still functioning as that. Google Sheets offers all the great features as a program like Microsoft Excel, but is stored in the Google cloud. You can integrate a vast number of plugins as well for most advanced usage if you desire so. Don’t waste money on expensive products when Google offers everything you need for free.

Aside from their suite of office tools, we have to mention Google Analytics as well. Google Analytics allows you to track your customer traffic and how they behave on your website. With this information you can optimize your website with the data GA reports to you. Getting to your customers and how they interact is essential to a successful e-commerce business.

3. YouTube

This one might be something you haven’t thought of, but YouTube is a brilliant platform for creating a strong customer funnel. This isn’t a requirement and might be a step outside your comfort zone, but creating evergreen content for your niche is a free way to get in front of your target audience for not cost. Depending on your product or service, this path is going to vary widely but no matter what you decide, make the content engaging for the community. If you’re going to live stream, answers questions. If you’re posting videos, make sure it generates a conversation in the comments. YouTube can take some time to marinate before they start showing your content in the search results, so plan ahead with this content as it will be a slow burn.

YouTube Blogging

4. Twitter

If you’re not already on Twitter, we will assume that you’ve been turned off by how it appears on the surface. On the surface is might appear to be random thoughts posted on a wall with no cohesive focus on what you should write, however this couldn’t be more opposite. As you grow your followers/following you’ll start to find yourself involved in a community and the Tweets become one giant dialogue surrounding your niche and the various topics. Information about major events or any business decision is usually announced first via Tweet.

Twitter Hustler

Twitter is also one of the few places left that you can actually reach the person you want to speak to. The barrier between you and a top level CEO is minimal when you’re on Twitter. Some people have their accounts managed by a social media team, but for the most part everyone is accessible. In a way, Twitter is the modern version of an E-Mail inbox which used to be the only way to reach someone without going through a gatekeeper.

5. Reddit

A strong community a solid foundation for success because if you have a loyal audience and do right by them, the pay off is massive. Reddit is host to every niche community you can possibly think of. We encourage all our readers to sign up on Reddit and get to the sub-Reddit most applicable to their niche or business. You will get a raw sample set of potential customers and people who know your product or business inside out. For example, if you were going to start selling Skateboard Wheels online, you would want to find a sub-Reddit of skateboarders who can speak to everything surrounding the culture. The value in this is perhaps something like plastic wheels versus rubber wheels is a make or break for some potential customers and knowing that preference could be huge for your new Skateboard store. This is a silly example of course, but you should get the idea of why Reddit is valuable.

Reddit Logo

Honorable Mention: PayPal

Everyone hates PayPal in the world of small business and so do we. However, we can’t forget where we made out first sale and that was inside PayPal which most entrepreneurs in 2019 would probably say is the home of their first sale too. PayPal integrates with every platform around the world and only requires a bank account to sign up with. They’re not technically free since they will rake you over the coals with fees, but PayPal is still the most simple option to getting paid.

Facebook crashes for hours on march 13th 2019

When many people woke up today to check their social media feeds, they may have been confused as nothing was loading in the longest unscheduled downtime in Facebook’s history. The most searched website on www.isitdownrightnow.com was probably a tie between Facebook and Instagram as both services suffered an extensive outage that is still ongoing at this moment. The reason for the downtime is unknown and Facebook has offered very little insight into why Whatsapp, Facebook and Instagram are all unavailable for normal usage. The only info that has been confirmed by Facebook at this time is it is not a DDOS attack on the Facebook servers. Their Twitter account only Tweeted twice about the issue today and they were cryptic to say the least.

Facebook Twitter March 13th 2019

twitter.com/facebook/status/1105888649676111877


When social media sites stop working, we are suddenly faced with the reality of how much we rely on these external services. Many people make a living off social media platforms in many different niches and because of that Facebook is considering offering a full refund to their advertisers during this downtime. This means if you are currently using Facebook or Instagram for marketing purposes you may be credited back for the time Facebook was unavailable. This only seems like the right thing to do in an instant like this, but this rumor has not been confirmed as of yet.

Seeing these services down for such an extended period of time also makes us question how reliable these assets are and how they will respond under pressure in times like these. The stock market seemed to find this downtime quite unfavorable as well as the stock settled at $173.37 , a bearish signal compared to the earlier highs found during the day.

Facebook stock price March 13th 2019 close
Facebook Stock Price March 13th 2019 Close

Other sites that were less covered by the mainstream media were also down today such as Etsy, Yahoo Mail and Google drive. This raises the question of whether there is a large scale cyber attack taking place or if the internet needs to decentralize and move away from Amazon AWS. Amazon AWS currently has a 35% share in the computing market with most social media juggernauts in their client list as well. This hardly makes for a decentralized experience and makes our infrastructure susceptible to large scale cyber attacks .

Image result for amazon aws server room
Does Amazon AWS have too much digital real estate?