Tools I Use In My Business
There are many tools available to help you run an online business. Here are some that I personally use and recommend.
NOTE - In the spirit of full disclosure some of these are affiliate links, which means I will receive a small compensation (enough to feed my coffee addiction) if you purchase the product. However, I never recommend any product just for the purpose of receiving commissions. I either know the person behind this product, have tested or use it in my own business.
Did you know that you're responsible for your own backup? WordPress doesn't offer any backup service and if you are counting on your website host to help you with restoring your site, please reconsider. It will be very complicated. Luckily there is BackupBuddy to guarantee peace of mind! It has saved my life many times already! This is one of the few paid plugins that are an absolute must for every website owner! (add link to blog post)
I've been using GoDaddy for many years for all my domains, as well as my client's domains. I find their process easy to use, affordable and if there's ever an issue they have good customer service.
I'm quite picky when it comes to web hosting and have tried different hosts over the years. First a local Swiss host (bad customer service), then Hostgator (too much down time), and I'm now hosting my site at Siteground.com. I'm very happy that I've switched to them. They have an extremely helpful & qualified team, and the site has rarely been down again since I switched to them. Or if it has, they have taken care of it immediately. I recommend them but please be aware that site speed doesn't just depend on the host, but mainly on your site's structure.
I use this tool to keep my website safe. Every week it will scan my site and send me a security report and alerts in case something needs my attention.
SOCIAL MEDIA TOOLS
Buffer allows you to add your posts to a queue and then posts these out at times you choose throughout the week. There's a free plan or the 'Awesome Plan', which goes for $10/month and allows you to manage up to 12 social networks with unlimited posts in each queue. The paid plan also allows you to integrate with other tools such as Feedly for example.
This is the tool I use to schedule all my Social Media updates. If you're new to Hootsuite, I recommend you read Mike Allton's 'Unofficial Book on HootSuite: The #1 Tool for Social Media Management'
I use Feedly for my content aggregation. It's in my opinion the most powerful content aggregation tool! I like the paid version because you can use it in combination with IFTTT to set up recipes for content automation. For only $3.75 per month I can tell it to post certain blog posts directly to my Twitter stream, whenever they get published.
I'm not an advocate of Social Media automation, but for some tasks IFTTT comes in handy. For example whenever I publish a new blog post, IFTTT automatically shares it on Twitter. Best thing? IFTTT is totally free !
SocialOomph is the lastest addition to my Social Scheduling tools family 🙂 Why I love it? Because for 6.97$ per month you can bulk upload tweets, run them on a loop and forget about them 😉 Now, let me warn you, the user interface is very outdated and old fashioned, but hey, it works.
ONLINE BUSINESS MANAGEMENT TOOLS
If you don't have a Dropbox account yet, you need one NOW! Everything I do is backed up several times. And one backup is directly on Dropbox.
I used to use this tool for time management. Paymo is a simple online project management tool for small & medium businesses and includes task management, time tracking and invoicing features.
This is the tool I use to manage all my passwords. I would definitely be lost without this. Read my review about Roboform here.
LastPass is another great password manager. It's acutally a bit more modern than Roboform and most of my colleagues use this tool, which is why I recommend it.
I love WiseStamp's paid version for my e-mail signature. I can use custom social icons, premium templates and no WiseStamp Branding. For $4 per month it becomes a mini-marketing tool because I can also add extensions that send people to my latest blog post or Freebie for example.
Ah, I absolutely LOVE Zoom! I barely use Skype anymore. The quality is so much better and I use it for my one-on-one client conversations as well as group coachings. And they even offer webinars which I haven't tried yet, but will surely check out as well.
EMAIL MARKETING & LISTBUILDING
ActiveCampaign is my e-mail marketing tool of choice. I switched to it at the end of 2015 when I needed to create more complex sales funnels. I love how it integrates with all my other tools !
If you are new to E-Mail Marketing and lists, you can start with Mailchimp which is a great tool. It's free for smaller lists and you can use it to send out regular newsletters. If you want to build a bigger, more complex list and send automated emails, I recommend you start directly with Aweber.
Aweber is what I've used for my newsletters and all my automated e-mails for about 4 years. It's a tool that grows with your business and I appreciate the friendly and helpful customer service team.
In order to grow your e-mail list, you need people to sign up. Thrive Leads is an awesome plugin that helps you create opt-in forms for your website.
Thrive Themes And Content Builder is a simple landing page builder that fits even smaller budgets. I use it for all my landing pages.
GOAL SETTING, APPOINTMENT SETTING & SCHEDULING TOOLS
I tested various different scheduling systems, did a ton of reseach about the functionalities and this is the winner: Acuity Scheduling. I use it for my onboarding process because it lets you create very detailed intake form questionnaires. Love it!
ONLINE TRAINING I RECOMMEND
FbInfluence 2.0 is a great training program by Andrea Vahl that contains all the information you need to be successful on Facebook.
If you want to become a Pro at Youtube Video Marketing, then James Wedmore's Video Traffic Academy is the ideal training for you! Highly recommend it.