How to Use Social Media for Life and Work

So, you have a dozen social media accounts, but do you know how to use them well? Social media networks are a great place to connect with friends, family, and even network with other people in your industry. In order to make the best use of social media that you can, you need to be smart about how and what you post.

Killer Harmony | How to Use Social Media for Life & Work | Social media is pretty cool. We can post text and images of what is happening in our lives. Social media can also be a great way for someone to get to know you: personally or professionally. You don't want to lose out on a client or a job offer just because of a bad photo or post. Don't be that person. Here is how I use social media for life and work.

Some social media networks make it easier to have only one account. On Pinterest, for example, you can make separate boards and people can follow the boards they like and ignore the ones they don’t. On Twitter, you have one feed, so you have to be careful about what you post. Today, I am going to share with you what I have learned from using social media both for personal and professional reasons.

PERSONAL
Most likely, you have a few social media accounts that you use for personal stuff. These accounts are where you connect with friends and family and keep them updated. You might post an update every now and then about professional (such as blog or business) related things that seem relevant.

Facebook
I use Facebook primarily as a personal social network. Most of my friends and family members have a Facebook account, so I can post updates about my life and more personal things in general there. Facebook is my oldest social media account, but I still keep up with it so that I can stay updated on what my friends and family are doing.

Snapchat
I have recently been getting into Snapchat, and I post pretty regularly on there now. I love using it to post funny things that happen throughout my day that don’t necessarily warrant a whole post on Facebook. I can be a bit more personal, but I still try to remain professional, since I do have a public account.

PROFESSIONAL
Unless you have a business or are working for a business where you need to manage a professional social media account, you probably don’t think all that much about using social media for professional reasons. You totally should, though. Social media is an important part to networking, especially if you want to have a career in the online world.

Facebook
Yes, I also use Facebook for professional stuff, but in a different way. I have my own Facebook page for my blog and business, which I tend to neglect, but I need to work on updating it more. It is the page where I have the least following, so I need to build that following first. I also love Facebook groups. They are a great place to ask questions about things related to blogging and business, and just questions about your industry in general. Finding Facebook groups that you like is a good idea if you want to learn a lot and get more involved in your industry.

Instagram
I mostly use Instagram for professional promotion, but I am more personable there than I am on my blog. I don’t really post a ton of personal pictures, but every once in awhile, you can find one. I used to use Instagram as a personal account, but I don’t know a ton of people in my life who use it, so I found that it wasn’t really benefiting me in that way. For my blog, I post behind the scenes pictures as well as a few day in the life things when I see fit.

BOTH
You might think I’m a little crazy for sharing a social media account for my life and biz, but I think that it can work if you do it well.

Twitter
I do post some personal updates on Twitter, because I know a decent number of my friends are on there, but I also like to post blog and business updates, too. I have a public account, so anyone can follow me. For this reason, I try to keep my location pretty private, but I will post tweets regarding my university (very occasionally). I also like participating in Twitter chats. It is a great way to get your name out there, plus like Facebook groups, it is a great way to connect with people and get questions answered!

Pinterest
Pinterest is literally a blogger’s best friend. Do not neglect Pinterest if you are a blogger. I started out, as with most other social media, using Pinterest for myself and the few friends on there. Now, I use it to promote my blog and biz, too! In order to clear up my account, I did make some of my out-of-niche (non college, blog, or otherwise related) boards private. I can still see them, but you will not be able to see these boards if you go to my profile.

Snapchat?!
I know, I know. I listed Snapchat under personal, but I am starting to post more about my blog, and am starting to promote my Snapchat. I post daily fun pictures on there, and sometimes they might include blog previews that I won’t post anywhere else, even Twitter or Instagram! So, follow me if you want these exclusive updates: HannahHaefele

So, what does this mean? Social media is a great thing, but you need to be smart when using it. I know some bloggers prefer to make separate accounts for their blogs so that their personal friends don’t get too annoyed. I understand this, and maybe I will make separate accounts in the future, but right now, I see no need. I love being personable on social media, because I can show people that I am a real person. I am not just some random blog post that you may come across.

Do you have separate personal and professional social media accounts or do you combine them? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter: @HannahHaefele

 

Survey Sites: What You Need to Know

So, you want to make some money online, and you think that filling out surveys might be a good choice. I’ve done it, and I think a lot of people who want to work from home try survey sites at one point or another, and I want to tell you to not waste your time. Surveys take time to fill out, even if it’s only five or ten minutes, that’s still something. And for a survey that will only pay 50 cents maybe a dollar if you’re lucky, that’s not a good wage.

Killer Harmony | Survey Sites: What You Need to Know | Survey sites may seem like a quick way to make some money online, but they can be deceiving. Surveys can be really long, and they don't pay as much as they advertise. Most surveys pay a dollar or less and they take time to complete. Don't waste your time. Still need convincing? Read this post in full.
Over this past winter break, I tried to make money from survey sites. I signed up for Opinion Outpost and Swagbucks which are the two biggest sites that I know of. It seemed like a good deal at first. I could make some easy cash doing stuff that I already knew about. People would PAY me to give my opinion!

The thing about these sites is that they make it seem so easy. They tell you that you will probably qualify for quite a few surveys and that you can earn a decent amount of money. Well, that is true…for like the first hour of using the site. After I joined these sites, I qualified for quite a few surveys, and I continued to get emails about surveys I qualified for, but the thing is, I would get booted out of surveys despite “qualifying” for them. Not cool. This happened when there were already enough people from my demographic who took the survey, which is fine. Just tell me that before I fill out an entire survey only to not get paid for it.

I was wasting my precious time attempting to make just a little bit of money trying to find a survey I would qualify for. And the thing is, there was always a limit on the surveys that I could do at one time. It seemed like I was constantly hitting the limit. I did manage to make enough money to cash out on Opinion Outpost, but not enough for Swagbucks.

These survey sites seem to be more catered to stay at home moms, or at least the surveys I was given. They had questions about home ownership, cleaning products, cars, family stuff. Nothing really related to millennials. That’s fine, as I would rather make more money with my time.

Personally, I value my time much higher than $3-6 an hour which is what you might make if you qualified for ever survey you did. If you are a stay at home parent or need some extra money, surveys would be a great choice, but as I work towards starting a business and career, I have to know how much I value my time. I value an hour at least triple what surveys would pay…if not more.

Please don’t under value yourself or your time. The internet is filled with ways to make money, more than what survey sites pay. I can’t recommend survey sites as a money maker, because they aren’t. You can make some easy money for a nice weekly treat, but it is not enough to consider it a job. It’s a lot more work than what it’s worth. Don’t waste your time.

If you do want to make money online, there are better ways to do it.
Have you tried survey sites before? Tell me your experience in the comments or on Twitter at @HannahHaefele.
Thanks for reading!

#BlogLife: WordPress vs. Blogger

Note: Since I have only ever used Blogger and WordPress.com (the free WordPress site), that is what I will be comparing.
I have been blogging since September 2013. For a long time, I didn’t blog regularly. It wasn’t until many months later that I started to take it seriously as a hobby and a possible career. (I haven’t made any money from this yet, but I am working on some projects for my Etsy shop).

Killer Harmony | #BlogLife: WordPress vs. Blogger | A battle of the two biggest, most popular, free blogging platforms. This post is mostly based off of my opinions, and I realize that not everyone will agree. Please consider your situation before deciding on the best platform for you.

Over the course of the past two plus years, I have used both Blogger and WordPress. I switched over to using WordPress on Christmas Day, a decision I later regretted. I was using the free version which, in my opinion, has more limitations than the free Blogger. I will be comparing the two platforms by categories: Website, Mobile Apps, Customizability, Templates, Ease of Use, and then a final overview of the pros and cons of each.
Website
While Blogger is clean and simple, the WordPress online site allows you much more flexibility and creativity with your site. If you are starting your first blog or if you are not very tech-savvy, Blogger is a good choice. More likely than not, you probably already have a Google account, in which case you can simply login to Google, click over to Blogger, and start a blog. If you have been blogging for awhile or you want to grow your blog, it might not be a bad idea to use WordPress. It is not for the faint of heart blogger, but if you have a passion for blogging, it is the way to go.
Winner: Tie (Use your best judgement based on your personal situation)
Mobile Apps
WordPress takes the cake on this one. The Blogger app is very limited. All you can do in it is write, edit, and immediately publish posts. If you want to schedule a post for later, check statistics, or anything else, you will need to access the website. WordPress’s app allows for all of this. You can even change the settings of your site from the app, too.
Winner: WordPress
Customizability
I have heard that many people think that you can’t do much to customize your blog if you work in Blogger. While this is true if you want to use the premade templates. However, if you are willing to get your hands dirty and learn a little HTML, anything is possible. With WordPress .com, you cannot access the HTML, so you are limited to the templates. Sure, you can change the color or the font (you can do those things in Blogger, too), but you can’t do some of the other things that require access to the back end of your site.
Winner: Tie (If you want to learn HTML: Blogger, If you can’t care less: WordPress)

Templates
Both platforms have different templates, and the options vary. If you don’t want to mess with HTML, WordPress definitely has more. Again, if you are interested in writing your own code, then Blogger is where it’s at. WordPress has a huge selection of both free and paid templates, and there are also many third party templates that you can use.
Winner: WordPress
Ease of Use
Even though WordPress has come out ahead in almost every other category, this is where it falls a little flat. Once you learn how to use it, it is not that bad, but I am still finding new and interesting ways to do things. Blogger, however, is much easier to learn to use. You just pick a template, write your first post, which you can access that from just about anywhere within your account. WordPress takes a while longer to learn, but it is not that bad.
Winner: Blogger
Overall, neither platform wins. I love using Blogger, but I think both platforms are worth giving a try to see which one you like more.
Pros of WordPress:
More capabilities, both on the website and within the mobile apps.
More templates, fonts, and colors which allow you to customize your blog.
Used by a large portion of bloggers and website owners in general.
Cons of WordPress:
Takes time to learn how to use it well.
Not as easy to set up.
Not the best in terms of starting a blog for the first time.
Pros of Blogger:
Comes with a Google account.
Quick and easy to set up and start writing.
Can use AdSense with a subdomain.
Cons of Blogger:
Limited in terms of customization and access to different functions on the mobile app.
Not very much active support when you need help.
Your blog looks a lot like other blogs.

I hope this information helps you with your decision between WordPress and Blogger! Next up, scheduling posts! Don’t forget to keep up with me so that you don’t miss the release of my eBook. You will get offline access to all of the posts in my #BlogLife series as well as bonus content that you won’t want to miss!
Thanks for reading!

Your Online Self: Keep it Clean (+ How I Do It)

I love it when I see people be themselves. It can be quite refreshing, shocking even, to see people who are confident enough to be real. I love that. But there comes a point where you can take it too far. I don’t think that you should be fake on the internet, but you have to remember that what you post online will be there forever. Even if you delete something, people have ways to access that information.

Your Online Self: Keep it Clean (+ How I Do It) | It's great to be yourself, but somethings are okay to be kept secret. You want your profile to be clear of anything that might negatively affect you in the future. People use Google. They will find that picture of you chugging a beer. Don't do it. You don't have to post anything and everything.

I try my hardest to keep the not so great things off of the web. I’m not being fake. I’m putting my best foot forward. Companies, schools, and individuals have access to the internet. Most people know how to work a search engine. If you apply for a job and the HR director for a company looks at your Facebook or Twitter profile and finds something that looks bad, bye bye job opportunity. Keep your social media clean. Don’t be negative towards a specific person or company. Don’t post pictures of yourself chugging a beer (especially if you’re under 21). Post the good things in life, like accomplishments or something good about your day. Keep it looking nice, because the internet is a one stop shop for first impressions. You don’t want to leave a bad one for the world to see and save.

How do I keep my online presence clean? Well, first, I avoid posting tons and tons of pictures. The ones that do make it online are ones that I would be proud to show my grandparents. I also don’t post my location. Not that that in and of itself is a bad thing to post, but depending on that location, it can give a bad impression.
The third thing that I do to keep a good profile is I avoid using foul language. Don’t get me wrong, I do cuss in real life. But I only do it in front of people who, with absolute certainty, I know will not be offended. Again, it’s the things that I would be uncomfortable saying or doing around my grandparents that you will not find online.
Lastly, I avoid gossip and drama as best as I can. It is not always easy, but it is something that I definitely don’t want being logged forever. I usually have responses, but I will keep them to myself or find some more positive way to articulate what I mean.

The point of this is not to make anyone feel bad if they post any of the things that I don’t. I wanted to explain why I don’t post certain things, and if you don’t feel the same way, that’s totally cool. Just remember that the internet is a very powerful place, not only for you, but for everyone else with access to the internet.
Thanks for reading, and be sure to leave a comment about how you keep your social media clean!

*Updated* My Favorite Apps (for Musicians)

Click here to read my other post regarding apps for musicians.

There are quite a few apps and programs for streaming and downloading music and people have reviewed those apps. This post will be a little different, I have a list of apps for people who are musicians. I have explored the iOS App Store quite a bit and I have come across some good apps for tracking practice time, working on theory and aural skills, and composing on the go.

SymphonyPro
($9.99) available on iOS
This app is only available on the iPad, but it is my favorite for composing and arranging music when I don’t have my laptop with me. It does cost money, but I think it is completely worth it. The app has most of the features of a full computer notation program, plus the touch screen gives it a very user friendly interface. You can create a score right in the app and you can choose from a bunch of instruments. Most contemporary orchestral instruments as well as voice, guitar, and possibly a couple others. You can write all instruments in concert pitch and then the app can transpose the parts accordingly when the piece is complete. You can change both the key and time signatures in the middle of a score, add repeat signs and first and second endings, and use various articulations. You can also change a track to a different instrument if you like, this is only for the entire piece. My favorite feature is probably the onscreen piano keyboard. It allows you to enter notes very easily and you don’t have to worry about inputting the wrong note.
NOTE: The three following apps are available on iOS in a bundle.
Music Journal
($6.99) available on iOS
This app is a good way to keep track of what and how much you practice each day. You can time yourself as you practice, or you can input an amount of time if you want to log your practice that way. You can add folders and different “songs”. I have a folder for each of my instruments and various songs for different areas of practice such as warm ups, technical exercises, and études as well as a track for each repertoire piece I have. In order to organize everything further, you can color code the different items you have. If you don’t have a metronome, there is one built into the app, and you can use that to track your progress with regards to tempo. I have never used this feature, however, because I have another app for that which you can find later in this post.
Do Re Mi Ear Training
($6.99) available on iOS
I have not used this app a ton yet, but it is great if you need to work on your aural skills. It plays a chord and then a single pitch in the key, and you have to correctly guess the note. You can have the app play between one and three (possibly more) notes in a row for you to guess. There are different levels of difficulty that you can choose from to practice and test yourself.
Do Re Mi Voice Training
($9.99) available on iOS
This voice training app helps you improve your pitch accuracy. You need to give the app permission to use the microphone so that it can detect the pitch of your voice and determine how close or far you are from a note. I have only used it once, but it is cool how the app knows what note you are attempting to sing. I plan to use this more in the future to help me with the sight singing part of my aural skills class.
NOTE: This ends the bundle.
MusiciansKit
(Free) available on iOS
This app is great to have on your phone, because it has a tuner, metronome, and voice recorder all in one. The tuner allows you to select whatever pitch you want to play, and it can sense the pitch of your instrument. With the metronome, you can set the tempo from 40-280. You can also set the number of beats from 1-16 and subdivisions from 1-8.
YouTube 
(Free) available on iOS & Google Play
YouTube is great for listening to recordings of pieces that you’re working on. YouTube is also a good place to promote yourself and your music.
YouTube Capture
(Free) available on iOS
If you post videos on YouTube for fun or as a way to get your voice out there, you should get this app. It allows you to post videos to YouTube very easily, but it still takes time for the video to go through the upload process.
A PDF Reader
Many are available on the different smart phones: search your app store.
The PDF reader to get depends on you and what you need. Some allow you to highlight and annotate documents, others are solely for the purpose of reading a document on your device. An app like this is good for viewing sheet music on the go or when you are at home. You can view the music for a piece you are working on and decide whether or not you want to download it. If you play flute, check out My Favorite Flute Sites where I list a few sheet music websites that I have used.

As you can see, most of these apps are for iOS. That is the platform I use for my phone and tablet, even though I do not actually use a Mac. I plan on going into more detail on what I like about iOS and how I use that software and Apple hardware in a post sometime in the future.
Thanks for reading!

My Youtube (I am not currently posting videos, but I would love to sometime in the future).