My 5 Favorite WordPress Plugins

My 5 Favorite WordPress Plugins

WordPress has been a blessing to my life. Being that WordPress works differently than most popular website builders, I’m a blogger who depends on plugins to enhance my site. For those of you who love to blog and write and more, here are some of my favorite plugins for this month. I’ll be highlighting more each month.
Image Widget

1. Image Widget

This is the easiest plugin for adding graphics to the sidebar as people scroll down and read my articles. It also makes all images responsive which is a great plus. Remember that the goal is that your website is responsive in all areas so that mobile and tablet users have a great experience on your site.



2. QuickieBar

I get asked ALL the time about the top sticky bars that are on all three sites of Girls of Royalty, my own website, and Girls of Royalty’s teen ministry, Branded Teens. It helps me promote whatever my main focus is on my site. It also shows simple analytics. It will present how many people have seen it and how many people actually clicked on it. Knowing the difference between these two are very important. You want to have as high of a conversion rate as possible.



3. Seriously Simple Podcasting

When I decided to do Jesus & People Nation’s podcast, I needed an easy plugin that would help me put this podcast into motion in the easiest way possible. Seriously Simple Podcasting does this in the quickest way possible. It only took me about 10 minutes to set everything up including graphics for the podcast and providing the info. You do need to have at least one podcast already done and imported into the site in order to submit the podcast to iTunes for it to be placed there. However, this podcasting plugin has worked for me tremendously. It also provides a player for people to listen to the podcast right on the site and also download the podcast if they desire.



4. WooCommerce

WooCommerce is without a doubt the most effective and inexpensive way to setup your own online store including e-downloads. The e-download version is what I will be using the most as I prepare for the Holiday Season. However, you can sell tickets for events, sermons, music tracks, files, and more. There really isn’t any limit to this. I think that people really underestimate the power of WooCommerce because it isn’t the easiest to dive in. However, that is a blessing because it has so many options that it is a very powerful system. WooCommerce with some additional plugins by YITH, you can do gift coupons, wish lists, and more. You can build the perfect e-commerce solution. I currently use WooCommerce for my online boutique called Gigi over at!


5. WordPress Editorial Calendar

What I love the most about the WordPress Editorial Calendar is the ability to schedule out content over an entire year’s period. For those of you who have a media based platform such as a blog or news platform, the WordPress Editorial Calendar is a must have! We use it as the planning calendar for our entire blogging team over at Girls of Royalty. I also use it personally so that I can layout what I’ll be writing for the coming weeks and months. This is vital to having a great platform that delivers consistent content.

So which plugin do you love the most? Are there any that you will put into use on your website?




15 Graphic & Video Apps Your “Friend” Won’t Tell You About


This is how you look when people ask you about what apps you use to create your social media posts

So I’m writing this from a place of deep sympathy. I feel so bad for you. Your friend, that follower, that account won’t tell you what they use to make that graphic on Instagram or Facebook. Just how Jim from The Office moved his seat all the way down in the hilarious GIF above is how they treat you. I know. I know. You’ve been bullied.

This is me. This is how I feel when I see people who don’t want to share with you.

*hands tissue* Don’t worry. Gigi is here with the list that you need to know. I’ll be updating you if anything new comes out but for now, let’s get into this list. From now on, you won’t be an outsider. You’ll be an insider. You’ll feel like you just dropped 20 hot bars during a rap battle after posting your graphic. You’ll be the next Biggie on the social media block.

This is you once you read this list of apps & online software programs

(These are not ranked in any particular order)

  1. Over (Graphic App): I love this app because it has the ability to have layers. So imagine one thing stacked on another. So I can put a layer of text on top of an image and I can put another graphic on top of that. The crazy thing is that you can export them as transparent layers. My church needed a quick t-shirt graphic. I made the canvas size 3000 x 3000 pixels and designed it using the fonts (I did purchase a few from their premium kits) and exported it. Sent it to the t-shirt printer. (Similar Apps: Studio Design, PicLab, )
  2. WordSwag (Graphic App): This app has changed the game for so many brands. It’s a typography creator. Basically you plug in your text and it lays it out different ways so that it’s not your boring usual post. The update now offers gold foil (for the glam ladies) and other textures. The gold foil is being overused in my opinion. However, I suggest balancing it out by using a similar app called Typorama. Please, purchase the “remove watermark” option. It makes me cringe when I see the watermarks. (Similar Apps: Typorama (duh), Kwote, InstaQuote (not a generator))
  3. Canva (Graphic App & Online Software): This online program has helped so many businesses create graphics on the go. You can create e-book covers, social media banners, documents, brochures, and more. It’s a FREE online program. Their premium plan (Canva for Work) does have some benefits but you have to weigh the pros and cons. I’m not going to go through the details because you have Google and you can simply visit Canva to look up the fine print. I’m not your fairy godmother. Just a US citizen doing their duty to fill you in my friend. Now, they released their app version for the iPhone (they had one out for iPad for a while) and in my opinion it’s crap. It definitely needs some more fixing and tweaks. Canva works best right now for the desktop and iPad. You can only do so much on the iPhone app. There really isn’t a similar app to this platform. It’s that amazing and it’s really helped all brands of all sizes become their own graphic designer for free. At the same time, there are many limitations. It’s a free platform though. You can’t get it all for free. (Similar Apps: Adobe Spark (Adobe also offers video creation!))
  4. Legend (Video App): Use this to put text on top of an image and turns it into a video. Comes with various layouts. It’s a generator as well. You just type in the text and go from there. (Similar App: Ripl)
  5. VidLab (Video App): This app used to be my favorite. Smh. You have the ability to pull short clips from YouTube (under 4 minutes). However, this app hasn’t been updated to fit Instagram’s new time limit (1 minute). So you can only make videos for 15 seconds -__- What am I supposed to do with 15 seconds? Smh. However, I still use this app to make quick vids. Plus I bought all the premium perks so I’m trying to get my $2.99 worth. Best believe!!!! (What I’ve moved to: Quik (bought by GoPro)-Quik is amazing and now that it’s been bought by Quick, I’m excited to see how this app grows. It’s a generator as well and you can add pictures or just video. Quik also comes with music to use for your videos/picture slideshow so that’s a lifesaver in so many ways. Plus, you can always use your own music if you’d like) (Similar Apps: Use Quik!!!! Also, there’s iMovie)
  6. ProCam4 (Video App): This is an app to record video in a very defined way. It has so many options to take your iPhone to another level as a small professional camera. (Video Editor/My Other Apps: Videoshop, Cameo, Videorama, Pixelmator)
  7. MailChimp Snap (Email Marketing App): Why am I including this? Because you can pull your Instagram post & caption and send it to your email list via MailChimp (you can also use photos from your camera roll). Why is this amazing? So let’s say you do super long encouraging posts on Instagram and you know that a good number of your followers may miss it PLUS you want to reuse your content. Use MailChimp snap. They give you a few templates to use and it’s off to send! I once was in a church service and had to send an email blast for a young adult event. I was out of town. I pulled out my phone. Made a quick graphic on WordSwag. Opened up MailChimp Snap and added the image and typed up a quick blurb and sent it off. (Similar Apps: MailChimp-to see stats, add subscribers, and more)
  8. Buffer (Social Media Mangement App): I use the online version and then use the app to post. Now this baby automatically posts to Facebook and Twitter for you but not Instagram. They just recently added Instagram and so I use it to schedule my posts. I also like it because I can add them into my online account and then go to my phone and the caption is already there. There are other programs that do this but I’m a huge fan of Buffer sooooo…yeah. (Similar: Later, Publish)
  9. Planoly (Social Media Management App): I’ve been using this for the past 2 months now for my Instagram. I think it was kind of pointless in purchasing it so I’ll be cancelling my account after this month. However, I wanted to test it out. It basically shows your Instagram layout just how it would look on IG before you post. So I can preplan my whole Instagram layout 2 weeks in advance if I want to and I’ll know exactly how it will look. So this is really cool if you’re into making your Instagram timeline into a work of art. However, once I figured out that I was doing picture and then quote and repeating that, I don’t really need to plan that out. Lol.
  10. UploadnRoll (Snapchat App): So there are times I want to promote stuff on my Snapchat and it’s stuff in my camera roll. I use UploadnRoll to post stuff onto my Snapchat. There are still glitches. It logs me out out of my actual Snapchat because you have to log in via UploadnRoll. However, it comes in handy a few times.
  11. Dropbox (Storage App): Use this to store social media posts in folders. You never know when you want to reuse content. You can also use Google Drive but Dropbox is my preference.
  12. Repost (Social Media App): So I get tired of screenshotting things and then reposting. So I just use the repost app. I paid for the watermark removal. I hate seeing watermarks. Just a personal pet peeve. It’s kind of like people seeing your underwear. Nobody wants to see that Leroy!
  13. Photo Editing: Here is just a list of ones I use…Camera+ (love this one), Enlight, Vsco, Fused). Now, there is an app called FaceTune that many makeup gurus and just crazy people use to edit their face. Baby, this thing takes away fine lines, adds lip color, will shed pounds by slight photoshop, and more. Use with caution. Don’t try to catfish that man babygirl. For collages, I use LiPix Pro.
  14. RecoLive (Video App): Small churches/Plant Churches are using this app to replace having huge tv cameras that bust their budget from the start. Use this app with a few iPads and you have a small amazing video team for your church/brand. I’ve helped a few churches switch to this app. I really suggest checking it out:
  15. Pixelmator (Graphic Software/iPhone App)(the Mac Computer version)-If I could be a Pixelmator spokesperson and travel the world speaking to small businesses, I would. Why? I’ve created tons if not thousands of social media graphics in the course of my past 5 years as a graphic designer. Pixelmator is my go-to next to Adobe Photoshop. It’s only for Mac users. It’s an amazing program that includes the basics that you need to create beautiful graphics. I’ve rarely needed Photoshop for many of my projects unless I’m creating vectors in which I need Adobe Illustrator. There are definitely some limitations but it’s a really amazing platform.

Welp, we’ve reached the finish line. Maybe you’ll BOSS up your social media graphics. Maybe not. Who knows! However, I hope the next time someone tries to keep you on the outside when it comes to what apps they use, you’ll already be in the KNOW! You’ll be feeling like Stanley from The Office on Pretzel Day. Baby, it’s a good day!

This is you when you know all the apps to use for your social media.

Now, I’m sure I’m missing some apps. Of course, there is good ‘ole Photoshop. You can’t speed past learning Photoshop. Just download it, find some YouTube videos, and start practicing. It took me a few years to master it and you have to have a passion for graphics and the creative world to get good at it. I have a pet peeve with people who try to rush through becoming a great designer. Photoshop is a life saver for me because I know that none of y’all are using an app to create my magic. Haha. However, technology is really creating a bridge between amazing graphics and the everyday business owner/organization. So check out these apps. I’m sure there are a ton that I missed. However, I can only talk about what I know and have used. Here is a quick snapshot of one of my screens.

A Checklist: Making A Good Flyer (Infographic)

Suffering from making bad flyers? I get it. Well here’s some info on how to make sure you never make a crappy flyer ever again.
#Flyer101 When you make a flyer and want someone to share it, it MUST have the following:

1. Name of Event & Name of Host
2. Date & Time of Event
3. Location of Event (Online/Physical)
4. Price of Event (Free, Admission Cost, Ticket Price + Where to purchase the tickets)
5. (Optional) Website to learn more + Phone Number + Social Media accounts
6. (Optional) Why should people attend/What will happen
Make sure the flyer is also designed for social media as well. Don’t depend on social media to be the only platform for the flyer. Make other versions of the flyer for print, ad placement, online banners,ect.
If you have guests try to include pictures (avoid selfies but if that’s all you have, make sure they are in a frame so that they look better).
Not all flyers need to look like a club graphic with flares, shining lights, glow effects,ect. Of course it depends on your audience but definitely don’t make your audience go to sleep.
Need it all in one graphic? I got you! Look below!


The Power of a Story

The Power of a Story

It’s another week! We’re walking right into September this week! This week, we’re talking about the power of storytelling. Today we’re talking about the first component. Why is a story important?
Everyone loves a good story! That’s why this week we’re focusing on the power of storytelling. Storytelling is essential when it comes to branding. Every brand has a story and it’s being told right now. By not telling and controlling your story, the story being told is one of the receiver/those that experience your brand.

It’s time that you take back the narrative. Now if you’ve signed up for my email list (which you can do at the bottom of this post), you will read/have read my keys on branding. There were 3 essential things that make up your brand. Now, I won’t tell you because you’ll need to sign up for my email list to see them. However, what we should note is that storytelling is powerful. It creates intimate connections that are essential to brand growth. People want to know why. They want to know how. They want to know who. So let’s go over some questions.

  1. Who are you?
  2. Why this? (In other words, why did you start your brand)
  3. What void or gap does your brand fulfill?
  4. What is it that your brand does that no one else is doing?
  5. How do you connect with people?
  6. What products or services do you offer & how will they help the audience?
  7. What are the stories of people that have experienced your brand? What were their thoughts?

If you can answer all of these questions, it’s time for you to start telling your story. How do you tell your story? Start with videos, blog posts, social media posts, and more!

Here’s some ideas to help kick you in the right direction.

  1. Write a blog post sharing why you’re passionate about what your brand does.
  2. Share a video introducing yourself & share 3 reasons why people should connect with your brand. Make sure the 3 reasons have keywords. For example: The reasons why we love Ignite Church is because we’re about: relationship, transformation, and cultivation. If you’re a hairdresser: What makes Unique Hair so amazing is that we are passionate about 3 things: Our customers, their hair, and their experience. If you’re a personal brand (I’ll use myself-I only use 2 keywords): I’m passionate about two things: Jesus and People. I seek to connect people to one another and ultimately to God.
  3. (Idea for already established brands) Share #tbt on your social media pages of when you first started your brand. Showing people your journey gives them a sneak peak into your history. This is really important. This also shows that you’re passionate about your brand and believe in it to the point that you have stuck with it.
Unleashing the Creator Within!

Unleashing the Creator Within!

Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way -Edward de Bono

We’re back with another topic for and it’s creativity. When I first opened up GigiCreates, I immediately knew what would be the foundation. It was Genesis 1:1. The beginning of the Bible shows us the power of creativity when combined with the power of God. It literally changes the reality of what we see around us. Creativity is not just powerful. It is life changing and life giving. It has the ability to turn cities into thriving areas for families. It has the power to take a man like Walt Disney who had a passion for creating animations and turn that passion into an entire world of Disney products, theme parks, and television channels. Those of us who desire to lead long term must first tap into our creativity. I’ve heard the saying that if you’re not creative, find someone who is. However, many of us attach creativity to being able to draw past stick figures or being able to doing something related to the arts or music arena. However, creativity is greater than pens and paint. Creativity is the ability to break the mold in whatever area you seek to dominate. Creativity has many levels and functions and we must be sure to treasure those “breaking points”. A breaking point in creativity is when the norm is broken and fresh passion is released.

For instance, a breaking point came in my career when I realized my ability to create monthly content for the members of Girls of Royalty back in 2013. I began to see that we could combine them with matching bible studies streamed through Google Hangout. At the time, I didn’t see that many people in the spiritual world taking advantage of Google Hangout for bible studies and communication for members. We were able to really change the idea of doing online ministry and how we could connect to people. Break the mold. Learn that creative leaders make the best leaders. Why? We’re always focused on maximizing the NOW and staying ahead of the crowd for the FUTURE.

As a leader, I’m thinking of ways right now that we can increase the visibility of the amazing work that the 4A team is doing for God. We’ve collaborated with amazing leaders in the spiritual & educational industry to help enforce our brand values. We’re working on our Men of Royalty’s features and bringing in men who we know are doing amazing things for the Kingdom. I’m working on an online university within our ministry to help develop our members and the public to work on natural things such as finances, relationships, career development, and more! On a larger scale, we’re looking to change how we do online ministry through our mentor programs and our newly introduced children’s program. If something isn’t working, get up & change it!

It’s more than just doing though. It’s looking at these types of questions:

  1. How can we present this in a different light than the norm that was done before?
  2. Does this break the mold from what everyone else is doing?
  3. Have we created our own lane or still riding behind others?
  4. What makes this say “US”?
  5. Which team members have the skills to maximize this opportunity?
  6. How can our team come up with a creative yet effective strategy to make this plan work?
  7. How can we tap into a part of our demographic that we’ve struggled to connect with?
  8. How can we stretch ourselves when it comes to promotion, presentation, and engagement?
  9. Is this a short or long term project? If long, what short term goals can we include within the project to keep the momentum going?
  10. How can we create a culture of creativity within our team? Where are we stifling and suffocating creativity? How can we change that?

Asking these kinds of questions will help unlock creativity within your team. Have brainstorm sessions. Have team development sessions. If your team isn’t getting better at their skills, your brainstorm sessions will be a waste. Passion boosts creativity which means that development is essential. Be passionate about what God has called you to do and go HARD!

Finding Your Voice

Finding Your Voice

There is a huge difference in marketing & branding. I wish people were more aware of how different they are. They work hand in hand but have different purposes. Marketing serves to connect customers to products in a way that would entice them to purchase. Branding serves to connect customers to the business in a way that would have them to support who you are as a company. People will follow what they love. I’ve seen businesses gain customers that purchase one item but would they follow them and desire to keep up with the company ? No. You want to build up a community of people who believe in what you do. That is where branding comes in.
It’s not necessary about following in terms of social media (likes, followers, reposts, ect.). It’s about the support and having people genuinely love you for what you do and your mission.
The late Steve Jobs said this:
“Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me … Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful … that’s what matters to me.”
Many people get so focused on selling that they don’t give voice to their brand and who they are as a company. Why do you do what you do ? If it’s just to push out products and make money, customers will start to catch on soon enough and there will be no customer connection. Get back to the “WHY” ! Can you say that you are doing something wonderful for people ? Are you helping people live a better life ? Do you help them celebrate their beauty ? Maybe you help people have fun and relax ?
Here are some questions to help you find your voice for your brand.
1. Why do we do what we do ? (your desired impact)
2. What do we offer that makes us set apart ? (your niche)
3. Who do we desire to serve ? (your demographics) 
Never forget that every business should seek to serve humanity in a greater way and make it a better place. Whether you desire to bring beauty to women’s lives or help people with better products to take care of their families, do it well. Tell people why you decided to enter into the market with your products and/or services. What’s missing in the world that you provide ?
When I started GigiCreates, I didn’t want to be just a graphic design company. There are TONS of graphic designers and branding companies. I remember being tagged by a follower who had seen a very popular person in need of a graphic designer and website creator. As I scrolled through the comments, I saw at least HUNDREDS of tags of graphic designers and website experts. I began to think, what sets me apart ?
What was my mission ? Why did I wake up each morning with a passion for GigiCreates ?
I desired to help people make their mark on the world while keeping Jesus first. I wanted every customer to be confident in their own mission by providing beautiful graphics, websites, and tools to help them serve others. I wanted them to keep Jesus first in their business and to never forget that He was their #1 supporter. I didn’t see that many graphic designers & branding coaches do that. They weren’t doing it like me.
I remember beginning GigiCreates after looking around and seeing how there was no one to walk me through the dark when starting Girls of Royalty and how to present a beautiful display of my brand to the world. Where were the God-inspired creators who prayed for their clients ? Who encouraged their customers to go after the great things God had placed within them ?
It would be me. People became drawn to my creations. However, those were God-inspired creations. When people see me, I want them to see God and how His creativity will help you take your business to higher heights.
A customer’s job is not to guess who you are and what you do. You need to show them. Whether it is videos about how the company came to exist or customers getting behind the scenes footage of what goes into making your products, make it special. Make people see how special what you do truly is. You are the #1 seller of your own brand. Before a person becomes a committed and continuous customer, they must first believe in your brand like you do. They need to see what you see.
Keep people inspired. Keep them connected. Keep them coming back.
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