Evaluating resources to help you in your business can be a time consuming task, as there are new ones coming out consistently. These are tools that I recommend you utilize in your business. Many of these I use daily to organize and run my day.
Evernote: I’ve been using Evernote for years, as its the lifeblood of how I keep my notes organized. Prior to using it, I had notebooks everywhere with notes. Its simple to tag and categorize all of my notes, making it easy to find items I created several years ago. One of the greatest benefits of Evernote is using it on every device I utilize. If I create a note on my iPad, or iPhone, I can easily access it on my desktop later on, or vice versa. No longer do I have to worry about not having my notes readily available to me during a meeting.
Google For Business: One of the best things that anyone can do for their business is have a customized email address. If you or someone you know is still using a “free” email address in the marketplace, then switching to Google For Business is the way to go. Besides having a customized email address, you get access to all of the apps Google has. Utilizing Google Drive to share documents with clients speeds the process up, as they are able to see the changes that I recommend.
Bluehost: When it comes to hosting your website, Bluehost is one of the two hosting providers that I recommend. Besides having 24 hour support, they are very affordable for the services they offer. They have several hosting packages available. For your business needs I recommend either their WordPress Hosting or VPS Hosting.
WpEngine: If you are looking for a more managed approach with instant backups then you will want to check out WPEngine. What makes this platform different is how its managed. On other hosting providers you will have to do many tasks yourself which is fine if you are experienced in WordPress, but if you are just getting started this is the route you will want to consider utilizing.
WPCurve: Keeping your site up to date with changes and fixing things that are broken can be quite the challenge. WPCurve is a great program to have in your toolbox to keep your site up and running. Instead of wondering how to stop your site from being hacked, or to fix something that is broken, this service will solve your problems.
Genesis Framework: I’ve tried quite a few themes over the years, but by far my favorite has been the Genesis Framework (This site is built on it). One of the great features that this theme has are tutorials on how to utilize all of their themes. Additionally, each theme comes with demo content so you can see how its put together. This makes it simpler to reconstruct the look of any site that you like.
Filament.io Tracking social engagement is an important task every website owner must do. Filament.io not only does this but integrates with Google Analytics providing you a solid snapshot with how people are interacting with your site.
Canva: Creating images for your website and social media posts can be quite the challenge if you are not graphically inclined. Canva solves these problems by making it easy for you to create beautiful images quickly and easily at the exact size needed.
Fiverr: Sometimes there are things you need to have done, and you don’t want to spend the time doing it yourself. Enter Fiverr.com, here you can get just about anything done for $5. Literally you can have everything from banners, logos, etc done for this low low price. Just remember to look at what work someone has done prior to ordering a gig, as there will be some providers better than others.
PicMonkey: My other goto source for picture editing. When I need more customization than what I can find within Canva.com I will utilize picmonkey to customize any image I need.
ClickWebinar: One of the most important things you can do to grow your business is to leverage webinars. Of the various platforms that are available, I recommend utilizing ClickWebinar. It allows you to not only host webinars, but to utilize functions such as whiteboards. A feature found on their platform that’s not readily available on others is Google Translate within chat. If you have someone who might understand what you are saying, but is not able to write in the same proficiency, Google can handle the communication for you.
Leadpages: Generating leads for your business is central for long term longevity. Capturing emails and contact info is a simple process utilizing Leadpages. The platform is great for capturing emails, registration pages, etc. One of the best features is the ability to utilize templates that are proven to convert prospects into clients. With their platform you can quickly modify an existing template and get it up and running on your site within minutes.
ClickFunnels: A step up from Leadpages is ClickFunnels. When it comes to building a platform that’s automated to sell products and services, you will find ClickFunnels meets all of your needs.
Active Campaign: Utilizing an autoresponder is a core aspect to communicate with your audience. Of all the different platforms, this is one of the newer ones on the marketplace. However it has several unique features that make it ideal for marketing your business online. By far my favorite is to customize which emails a person receives based on their actions. Traditionally, with most autoresponders you can only send out emails based on a timeline. With ActiveCampaign, based on what emails you open, various sets of emails can be sent to customize a users experience with your site.
Dropbox: Having access to your documents wherever you go is vital, especially when you are on the go. Dropbox makes this simple for ensuring you always have access to your files as long as you have an internet connection. An added benefit is backing up all the photos you take with your phone. No longer do you have to worry about losing the 1000s of selfies you’ve taken because your phone suffered an early demise.
WpCore: Setting up plugins for wordpress can be a challenge, especially if you do this on a regular basis. WP Core is a great service for not only storing the plugins that you utilize on your site regularly, but you can find out what lists of plugins other users are recommending. This is a great timesaver especially if you are new to WordPress.
Skype: Communicating with clients around the country and around the world is easier than ever thanks to Skype. I’ve been utilizing it for years, and to communicate with people around the world before it was popular. Utilizing skype you now have the ability to call anyone in any country around the world for free.
Skype Call Recorder: If you are a mac user, this is a great program to record your skype conversations. If you are conducting 1:1 training or are recording a podcast, this is a tool you must have in your toolbox.
Google Hangouts: A quick way to host a meeting up to 10 people leveraging video is to use hangouts. It should be noted that an unlimited number of people can watch a hangout, but its limited to 10 people participating via video. There are numerous options to facilitate hosting a “webinar” with hangouts. A word of caution, sometimes it can be buggy, so if you are considering utilizing it for a sales geared webinar, you are better off utilizing ClickWebinar.
Google Voice: For many business owners having a second number is crucial to your business. In the early stages, instead of investing in a second phone, add a FREE Google voice number to your account. (Another Reason to Use Google For Business).
iMovie: If you are a mac user, and need to make simple video edits, this is the program you want to utilize. For the average user it will allow you to quickly trim and edit videos you shoot. If you are an iPhone user, there is a version for the iPhone that will allow you to do many of the same edits right on your phone.
ScreenFlow: If you need to take things up a notch, Screenflow is the way to go. Besides being able to record your screen, you can do many advanced edits not available within iMovie.
Amazon Prime: Education is a constant investment in today’s world. Utilizing Amazon Prime will save you money in numerous ways. First you get FREE 2 day shipping with your purchases. Secondly, you have access to Amazon Instant Videos as well as Streaming Music. If you are like me and sometimes forget to pick up a few things at the store, Prime Now is a great benefit if its available in your area. Prime now will deliver a wide variety of products for FREE 2 hours after ordering. It’s a great time saver to get those few things you need during the middle of your work day.
Kindle Unlimited: Let’s face it, reading books can add up quickly. This service for $9.99 a month allows you to read unlimited Kindle books on any device. You can expand your knowledge quickly without breaking the bank with this service.
BuzzSumo: Searching for content to share on social media sites, or doing content research can be challenging. BuzzSumo makes this process dramatically easier. By simple searching for a topic via keyword, you can see how many people have shared a particular topic on social media channels. Instead of talking about a topic that people are not interested in, you can model your content off what people are already talking about and join the conversation.
Postplanner: This is another great tool for finding content to share on your social media channels. The advantage here is you can schedule your content to be shared on various social networks. If you like sharing quotes that are popular with people, you will love this tool. This saves me hours every month searching for quotes to share with my audience.
Hootsuite: If you utilize twitter, this tool will help you make it a manageable experience. You can easily creates lists, searches and store them within the tool. If you are wanting to build rapport with a set group of people, this is the tool to utilize.