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The Tools & Services I Recommend
When you are just starting your business, you might feel tempted to go on a zero budget; however, if you’re serious about making your small business a long-term profitable endeavor, you should focus on building an online presence, creating consistent content for your ideal client and growing your email list.
The tools below are the ones I currently use or have used in the past, and I recommend them because I trust you’ll be in good hands. I also add tools and services colleagues of mine love, as it’s always good to have options.
I hope this helps you get started and build a solid base for your business, even if on a small budget.
I love, love, love moo.com
Organizing And Storing All Your Information & Files
I have used another company for the longest time. However, as my website traffic grew, the plan I thought was unlimited (and wasn’t!) became a headache. Their customer support was terrible, and I always had to figure things out on my own.
I currently use BigScoots, and my website is safe, backed up, and has better loading speed than ever before. Their customer service is amazing, and they take care of me 100%.
If you already have a website and would like to move to BigScoots, they include a free migration service, which comes in handy when you have so much on your plate.
I love building my websites and have done so for years now. With the constant evolution of technology and design, starting your blog or website is easier than ever before, and the choices are limitless.
To help you narrow it down, here are my favorite sources of themes.
Feminine WordPress Themes: Restored316designs.com
WordPress Themes: StudioPress Themes for WordPress
Tools to Keep You & Your Business Safe
The Contract Shop – Want to protect you, your business, and your relationship with your clients? You need a contract! At The Contract Shop, you can find all the contracts you need for service providers, your website, online business, and online courses.
Iubenda – I rely on iubenda.com to keep my website compliant with GDPR and other privacy laws. iubenda provides user-friendly solutions for generating privacy policies and managing cookie consent. It ensures that my readers’ data is handled responsibly, aligning with my commitment to creating a safe and trustworthy online space.
My Favorite WordPress Plugins
SocialWarfare is a powerful and easy-to-use social share plugin.
YOAST is an excellent choice if you care about making sure that every single post you write is optimized for SEO. It’s the easiest way to make sure all the Ts are crossed before you hit publish.
Conditional Widget allows you to show a specific widget on a specific page or category. It’s great if you have an offer related to specific content or audience.
Media Library Assistant saves my sanity as it allows me to add tags and categories to all images uploaded to the website.
Creating a Brand For Your Business
Color Palettes Tools & Inspiration
1 – Canva Color Palette – Upload a photo you like to create a color palette from it.
2 – Coolors.co
3 – Design Seeds
Finding Images For Your Business
The gorgeous images you see on my website and social media graphics are by the talented Rachel Rouhana at Haute Stock
Rachel keeps her image library fresh, delivering a new batch every Monday. You can get your first images (FREE!) right here.
Creating Graphics For Your Site, Blog Posts & Social Media
Easy to use, has a free plan and many templates to help you get started – PicMonkey
Canva is my personal favorite and the one I use for everything you see on my website and social media accounts. You can also download the app and create your graphics on the go.
Email Marketing – List Building
Flodesk – When I first started building my list, I used Mailchimp; however, as my online presence grew and I had subscribers on multiple lists, it became quite costly. At that time, Flodesk was brand new, and I decided to join them, and I am happy I did. They are incredibly easy to use, the deliverability is excellent, their templates are gorgeous, and it’s a fixed price no matter how big is your list of subscribers.
Social Media Tools For Your Business
Pinterest Scheduler – You work hard on your blog; now it’s time to bring traffic to your website, and there’s nothing better than Pinterest to do it for you. Tailwind simplifies and automates this process.
MeetEdgar – I have a long love affair with Edgar, and that mighty octopus has been churning my content since 2014! I love it and recommend you use it, too.
HootSuite was the first tool I used to schedule my social media content, and I would probably still be using it if I didn’t have to reschedule everything all over again every week/month. Hootsuite is a great resource, and if you’re on a tight budget, it’s the way to go.
Buffer – is an excellent tool for scheduling your social media content, and with a free version, there’s no reason not to use it in addition to other tools.
Recording – Audio & Video
Recording Video for Mac – If you’d like – ScreenFlow
Recording Video for PC – Camtasia
Recording ScreenCasts – This is a great tool to record and edit videos – Soapbox
Loom is so easy to use and has a Chrome extension to make it even simpler to start recording your videos.
Hosting Your Videos for Paid Your Programs – When I decided to launch my online marketing training for professional organizers, I needed a place to safely host all my videos. I chose Wistia because it is easy to use, has a beautiful interface, and allows you to customize your videos to your branding. It also allows you to capture emails if you’re using videos on a sales page, for example – Wistia.com
Selling Info Products (aka ebooks, online courses, etc.)
Woocommerce – many website themes that are already set up for e-commerce will come “Woocommerce-ready”, including the one you see on my website, which is Refined.
SamCart is an amazing shopping cart that allows you to create funnels and upgrades for your products easily. Use this link to start a 14-day trial, load your digital product, and check the results for yourself!
PayPal.com is the easiest way to sell goods and services and be paid online.
Stripe.com is very similar to PayPal, but I prefer Stripe simply for its cleaner interface. Receive payments and create subscriptions, all in one simple and easy-to-navigate platform.
Hosting Your Info Products
Text Editing Tools
Grammarly – If you want to put your best foot forward on everything you share online, Grammarly will be your best friend. From blog posts to emails and social media messages, this powerful tool makes sure everything you write is correct.
Finding Service Providers For Your Business
I find great service providers in all areas at Fiverr.com
Another great source for professionals in all areas related to design – 99designs.com