8 Phone Hacks to Help You Grow Your Online Business

How many of you are working or blogging right now with your phone sitting within reach? I bet all of you are raising your hands because let's be honest our cell phone doesn't go far from us. 

Did you know your phone can be one of your biggest business assets? For Studio Krystal, I'm old school and I want to use a laptop or desktop for all of my business needs. But as I become more mobile and my schedule becomes more hectic, I'm needing to rely on my phone more than ever.

Today I've invited the talented, beautiful and successful Kayla from Ivory Mix to share with us 8 incredible ways that YOU can use your cell phone to rock your business and help it grow to brand new heights.

1) Create your business photography

Let's get this out of the way first. Yes, I am a photographer with free and paid stock photos.

So, why would I recommend anyone take their own blog photos?

For one, I don't think business owners want stock photos to be the only images they use. Granted, if you wanted to hire me to do something custom, I'd be thrilled, but if you're reading this, there's a chance you're a self-taught creative who just might want to create photography for yourself. It's not for everyone, but getting started with your own blog photography couldn't be easier. Here's where you phone comes in.

Taking blog photos on your phone has become a normal operation for business owners these days because the cameras on our phones are better than ever. You just need some basic knowledge of how your camera works and some quick and easy edits. A good place to start when looking to increase the quality of your images is to try a good photo editing app like SnapSeed.

Krystal's Tip: When it comes to blog photography there is never a right or wrong answer to how you take or edit your images. The biggest piece of advice I can share is to keep trying new things - lighting, props, settings and more. When it comes to learning photography, you never really stop learning and so you need to keep practicing and keep evolving your business through your visuals!

2) Use social media effectively 

Are you using social media for just sharing your blog or business related posts, or are you truly engaging with potential clients and your audience? Engaging in honest and thoughtful conversation through social media is a great way to find out what your target audience and clients really want from a business like yours.

Consider using your time wisely on your phone by spending just 5 minutes on your favorite social media to like, comment, share and effectively grow your audience by starting new conversations on social media. Don't be pushy, just thoughtful. 

In order to fully engage with our target audience and clients we first need to find them. One way to find your audience is by searching for a hashtag that you target audience might use. I'll give you an example from my own technique. Some of the stock photography I provide is meant for mocking up digital designs. Many graphic designers and those who sell printable graphics are on Etsy. So, I search for hashtags related to Etsy and I quickly find a portion of my targeted audience.

Krystal's Tip: Does social media completely overwhelm you? Do you feel like in order to succeed you need to be active on every possible platform? This is completely untrue and one of the biggest pieces of advice I can share is to focus on ONE platform per month. This month for me I'm focusing on having better Twitter interactions, having a more consistent schedule and creating a really engaging and beautiful feed.

3) Live stream to your audience

A few months back, I did my very first Facebook Live in the group I host for Ivorymix members. I called it an 'event' because it was a big frigging deal! Live streaming to hundreds of people? It may seem silly but really, anything could have happened and I was a little nervous.

But, guess what? Nothing bad happened at all. I was able to teach a little about photography in a live setting and I got lots of views and engagement afterwards. Members of the group seemed to open up more, ask lots of questions and validated a lot of what I was doing was feeding into their specific needs.

Getting that instant feedback and knowing that what you are doing is successfully helping your target audience is priceless. Facebook Live is a great tool for getting them to engage with you in a new and exciting format. The other benefit is that they begin to see you as a real human behind their screens. So, if anything, live streaming is great for humanizing your business.

4) Use the IFTTT APPP for automation

Have you discovered the IFTTT APP yet? It's this awesome app you can use on your phone or desktop to schedule automation activities for your business. The way it works is it links different things together so that one action creates another action. The things it can connect are anything from different social media channels to your refrigerator and your light bulbs.

You see, IFTTT stands for 'If This, Then, That'. One way I use it is that when I post a new photo on Instagram, IFTTT takes that photo and automatically shares it on my business Twitter account and Facebook account. This action/reaction is called a 'recipe' and there are hundreds, if not thousands of premade recipes you can try to help automate your business activities.

5) Master your apps

A lot of us bloggers are masters at productivity apps. In fact, I love 'inbox zero', which is the active management of your email inbox to make sure it is empty as long as possible. In my desire to be the master at email management, I have had to learn how to not be locked into my desk chair and be able to manage all of my email and tasks while mobile

One tool that's available on your phone or on your desktop is Trello. This app and tool is for collaborating on projects that create a shared perspective on any project. This means you can share tasks with a team without receiving emails that say 'done' or 'thanks'. You don't have to use it with a team, though, because it's meant for solo entrepreneurs as well who want to simply improve their daily workflow.

Krystal's Tip: App's can also be an overwhelming experience. I recommend trying out as many management and productivity app's as possible and really choosing the few that work best for your business. Why have app's are on phone that are completely useless to you? This goes for all of the app's that you use daily!

6) use "text to speech" to help you write

I wrote this post almost entirely by talking into my phone. Yes, I talked to my phone and it wrote my blog post. It's truly the best little assistant I could have asked for. To try this, you must activate your speech to text function on your keyboard, but other than that,  it's super simple. Next time you go to write an email or send a text, just look for the microphone icon on your keyboard and give it a try.

7) Find and connect in Facebook Groups

I wouldn't be where I am in my blogging and business journey without Facebook Groups. Have you ever booked a client from Facebook?

That's actually where I found my first, and that one interaction keeps paying forward.

Facebook Groups for bloggers are almost a must these days because it gives us a place to chat about daily struggles, bounce new ideas off of others, and a place to share what we've been working on. These groups provide the support that business owners need. it feels good to know you're not alone, so connecting with others in Facebook Groups is a great way to get support all day long from your phone.

Krystal's Tip: By now, you should all know that Facebook Groups are my secret weapon but you really have to know how to use them properly. Facebook Groups are a give and receive type of system. In order to get your questions answered you first need to answer other people's questions in a genuine and engaged method. Don't just drop a one line sentence and leave expecting to get people to visit your website, purchase your services and become loyal to your brand. 

8) Pin to Pinterest while you wait in line at the checkout counter

Last but not least, if you've got 2 minutes, you've got enough time to pin something new to a Pinterest Board. If you're like me, your business Pinterest account is almost entirely automated. Doing this actually helped my blog receive 100,000 views in a short span of a month, which you can read more about right here.

Pinterest is a tool you should use for more than just business marketing. There's more to do there than just pinning your blog posts. If you want to learn something new or are working with a new client, Pinterest is an easy way to save and share ideas with the use of secret boards and shared boards.

So if you don't have a secret board yet for that next project you're working on, you might want to consider getting one. Thinking about starting a new business? Why not pin a few educational posts onto a secret board while you wait in line at Target, to help you learn more?

Working on a new client re-brand? Why not pin color inspiration to a collaborative board while waiting for your barista to make your offer? Using Pinterest and secret boards for planning and learning is one way to use your phone and grow your business.

Krystal's Tip: Don't forget about the all important use of Group Boards on Pinterest. Just like Facebook, Pinterest Group Boards can be full of amazing creators, bloggers and entrepreneurs who want to see, read and share your content.

With the explosive growth of mobile phones over the last couple of years combined with the hectic schedule that us business owners always seem to have, it's important to be mobile with our business growth. I'm so thankful that Kayla shared eight simple, effective and brilliant ways that our business can grow directly related to using our mobile phone.

So, what are you waiting for?

Get charging your devices and start implementing some of these amazing mobile strategies to help skyrocket your business and tone down your stress level!

Who is Kayla Butler & what is Ivorymix?

Kayla Butler is the Creative Director and Brand Photographer from Ivorymix, a caring and inspiring online space for doers, creators, bloggers and reamers to realize their full potential. With over 15 years as an Interior Designer and Business Manager, she's experienced every level of business from the formation of new ideas to the full blown completion of award winning projects. This experience provides her with a keen sense for successful business, branding, and marketing that she teaches today through Ivorymix. When she's not working hard on another new idea, or on a photoshoot, she is living the dream with her 3 kids and supportive husband.

To see the latest photos, tips, and fun from Ivorymix, visit and connect on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.