The Tools I Need to Run My Online Business
When you first kick off an online business, most of your tools can be either free or dirt cheap. As you grow, you’ll begin to want ease of mind and convenience rather than as-cheap-as-possible. But fortunately for solopreneurs, there are literally hundreds of inexpensive or free software tools available.
Here are the tools that I use to run my business.
I use eCamm Live to go Live into Facebook groups and do trainings with accompanying slides. eCamm Live lets you show a picture in picture as well as download your lives for repurposing later. Highly recommended!
ConvertKit is an easy to use email platform designed for bloggers, small businesses and creators to earn a living.
Thinkific and Teachable
Thrive Architect is a simple one-time fee WordPress plug-in to create landing pages and attractive forms. As one of the lower priced options (as opposed to LeadPages or InstaPages which charge a monthly service fee), it’s fairly easy to use especially as a beginning price point.
As with Thrive Architect, OptimizePress is a one time fee WordPress plug-in that will help you create attractive landing pages, opt-in pages and sales pages in mere minutes. I find OptimizePress to be easier to use (and much less buggy) than Thrive Architect.
The best thing I hear over and over with SiteGround Hosting is “yeah, no problems!”. I recently tried out a newer discounted hosting company and spent my very first day with them on tech support… SiteGround is reliable and responsive and is the hosting company that I use for this website and my CoffeeandPassport.com
I spend a lot of time on video conferencing calls. Rather than have to schedule each call individually by hand, I integrate my Google calendar directly with Acuity so people can schedule automatically. In order for this to work seamlessly, I pay for the upgraded version of Acuity and Zoom so that the end-user receives a conference link in their confirmation email. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
Zoom is everyone’s new darling. It’s utterly reliable, unlike some other online conference systems. They have a free or Pro version. I use the Pro version in order to have no time limit on group calls and to have meetings created automatically via Acuity Scheduling.
Tailwind for Pinterest helps keep you pinning without having to do the work!
Ah, the mother of all templates and graphics! I love Creative Market for Instagram templates, workbook templates (Word, Pages or Keynote), fonts and mockups for digital downloads. Highly recommended, especially for the Creative Market weekly freebies email!
Powered by Creative Market
PYT – Publish Your Thing
I work with Regina over in her epic Facebook group. This program for content creators, infopreneurs and self-publishers is the culmination of everything she’s learned in business over the last 10 years (plus her business school knowledge). It walks you through each step of building an audience, creating buzz, deciding what to create or publish and how to DIY the publishing process. This is worth thousands upon thousands of dollars and is a bargain at her price.
Canva and Adobe Spark
Both of these graphic creation tools are free and easy to use. Adobe Spark does an excellent job with creating quick videos while Canva has an incredible selection of graphic templates to use. You can also use them to create ebook covers (like I did below), lead magnets to grow your audience and Instagram/Facebook content.
Planoly is my current go-to for Instagram scheduling. While I also love the app Plann, it doesn’t yet have a desktop version. I’ve learned that a Desktop app drastically improves my productivity, so I’ve started using Planoly. Give it a go! It’s free for light use (up to 30 images a month) and even includes free stock photos within the program.
If you have any kind of a blog, y’all need the Epic Blog Planner by Regina Anaejionu. Regina is super duper mega awesome and if you aren’t already following her, you need to jump over to her site immediately and sign up for everything. This is a printed workbook shipped from Amazon that you’ll use to track metrics and plan content for an entire year of posts.
A Whack on the Side of the Head by Roger Von Oech. Not a planner, but a tool to help you continually renew your creativity! (Also check out my book recommendations here. Book nerds unite!) This book is celebrating its 25th anniversary and I think I’ve had my copy for 20 years!
I keep a stack of $.99 notebooks from Target and fill them with ideas constantly. I scribble through 1-2 a month. Take notes, jot down ideas, rip them out and throw some away…whatever you do, just keep the ideas flowing.
Any questions? What would you add to this list of business tools and resources?
Note: this post contains some affiliate links which means that if you make a purchase, I may make a commission at absolutely no additional cost to you. And you’re awesome.