OUR FAVORITE TOOLS.
One of the most stressful parts of running a business is deciding where to invest. Determining where to spend your time and money can be overwhelming, but we want to make it easier. We have tried countless resources that claim to be the best for our business, but these are the tools that we can’t live without.
Some of these links include affiliate links, meaning I may get commission off of your purchase. However, this happens without an additional cost to you. I am simply sharing what I love and what has worked for my business.
Leadpages is the program we use to host all of our landing pages, our opt-ins and lead magnets. We love LeadPages and the many design options it offers. It hooks up perfectly with our email platform, ActiveCampaign, and we can even get email notifications for every sign up. It is user friendly and allows us to track page visitors and retarget them on Facebook. We love it because it makes collecting signups easy and professional.
We have studied countless email platforms but we always come back to ActiveCampaign. It has so many features for at unbeatable price. We can schedule campaigns in advance, resend them, create activity-based automations and organize subscribers by adding tags or segmenting them into separate lists. It is user friendly and we can easily teach our customers how to get started using ActiveCampaign for their businesses. When comparing email platforms, we believe ActiveCampaign is the best.
There are many web host options out there and making a decision can be overwhelming. The host we have chosen to use is GoDaddy. It makes setting up WordPress websites simple at an affordable cost. For just a few dollars a month, we are able to host our website, renew our domain and use our company email.
We love WordPress for the endless options it allows. With thousands of free and premium themes available, WordPress sites can be fully customized to fit your business. There is a reason WordPress is one of the most popular web platforms, it covers a broad spectrum of features and designs and can meet any business needs.
For a quick and simple professional website, SquareSpace is the go-to option. They offer templates that are attractive and clean, and very user-friendly to lay out content. There are some limitations, but SquareSpace makes creating a professional website simple enough for anyone.
SOCIAL MEDIA RESOURCES
Buffer is the social media tool we use to schedule posts on all of our Facebook and Instagram pages. This one size fits all tool allows us to schedule months in advance in Facebook groups, business pages, profiles, on Instagram and more. We are able to upload content for review before it gets posted, which is important when we have multiple people posting. Buffer gives us once central location to manage all of the social media pages we run.
When it comes to design, there’s no competition. Adobe Creative Cloud is easily the best software to use. The possibilities are endless, does require some advanced knowledge to use. We believe it’s worth taking the time to learn to master design.
For a quick and basic design, Canva is a great option. It has an easy drag and drop design but it also allows us to test and create new ideas and easily share them with customers for approval. If you have some design sense but aren’t ready for the more advanced programs, Canva is our recommendation.
TEAM MANAGEMENT RESOURCES
Acuity is the program we use to schedule all of our appointments. We are able to put in our availability, appointment length and share it with our customers so they can choose the time that works best for them. Once they’ve chosen a time, they automatically receive reminder emails and can easily reschedule or cancel at any time. It allows you to charge customers while they are scheduling and ask them questions so that you can get background information ahead of time. It has helped us increase our efficiency and taken the headache out of scheduling meetings.
We use Dropbox to manage and organize all of our information, documents and projects. We have a team account that allows us to access everything in one place. We are also able to share folders with our customers so that they can upload their files and data in one central location. Dropbox gives us a secure place to share information as a team with ample space to upload everything we need. (Reseller ID: 9VAZ2U9QF8)
We use Rocket Lawyer to create contracts for our employees and our clients. It allows us to simply input the client’s information and we can have a contract done and sent in 15 minutes or less. This streamlines the process and gets us to business working on projects much quicker. We love Rocket Lawyer because it takes the guesswork out of the legal work so that we can do what we do best- marketing.
We use Zoom to video chat with multiple members and record videos. Zoom allows us to communicate with our customers and within our team. We also use it to create a personal resource library to demonstrate how to use our technology as a training tool. Zoom is provides us a personal and professional way to stay in touch and keep everyone on the same page.
Paypal is our recommendation as the best way to invoice and collect payment. We’ve used other tools in the past, but we’ve found PayPal to be the easiest, most secure option. The speed of transaction is phenomenal, the money often hits our account in as little as one day. PayPal allows us to remind our customers and add interest if necessary. It’s easy to use and comes in an app form, making invoicing quick and painless.
Stripe is another tool that we use to collect payment. Depending on the situation, we use either Stripe or PayPal. We use Stripe to collect money from our courses on Thinkific. It is easy to hook up the account and a secure method of collecting money.
Thinkific is the program we use to design and host our courses. We love this platform because it allows us to not only receive payment, but also provide the course material in a drip format. The students are able to view videos, documents, text and workshops all within the Thinkific platform. It has a professional appearance and is user-friendly to set up and create your first course.
The Sparkle Hustle Grow box is our favorite business expense. It comes every month and adds some fun to our life. The box comes with fun office supplies, a business book and free online training. It gives us education and supplies that help us move our business forward.