Knowing where to go and what tools to use when you are not a techy can be so overwhelming! Add to that the volume of resources available online and a person can truly get lost. You just want to get your message out and start serving and really don’t want to weed through it all. Well, I agree and that’s why I have put together this handy tools section just for you! I’ve been where you are and have felt the same way you do! One of the things I want to do here is to give you recommendations on some of the tools I have use to run my own business. It is by no means an exhaustive list, but it will definitely give you some great options on your way to managing your business online with confidence!

*Denotes that I am an affiliate – meaning that I get a small fee every time someone becomes a client.

ONLINE SCHEDULER

Acuity Scheduling*

This is my go-to scheduler because it offers so much than scheduling, from accepting payments, to intake forms to group classes, even helping you create your own online store. You can even create discount codes. It’s also got a mobile app. If you’re not quite sure then check out the free account option, but if you need more features you can upgrade for as little as $10/month.

PROJECT MANAGEMENT

Asana

I use Asana to manage all of my projects. It is one the best project management solutions I have ever used on the Web. Plus it totally has eliminated my need to send an email for any project I’m working on. It provides a convenient place for all the important files for your project. There is a free trial available so you can try it out.

HOSTING

Bluehost*

Offers great hosting packages whether you’re building a WordPress website or a custom site. with prices ranging from $3.95/month to $14.99/month depending on your business needs.

ANALYTICS

Buffer

How do you keep up with posting on social media? You use a tool which schedules your posts to go out at the best times for each platform, that’s how. Buffer is my go-to tool for scheduling all of my social media posts. It posts to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Instagram or Google+.

GRAPHIC DESIGN

Canva

I’m a designer so cracking open one of my favorite Adobe products to create what I want is easy, but what I realize is that not everyone can do this. So it was so awesome when I discovered Canva and I realized that anyone can create their own beautiful designs. From social media posts, to online course documents, even marketing pieces for printing can be created with Canva. And for a little extra you can customize it for your brand with your colors and fonts. It will help you elevate your design and create consistency across your entire brand.

EMAIL MARKETING ACCOUNT

ConvertKit*

Email is such an important component to our businesses that choosing the right provider is especially critical. With opt-ins, landing page options, automation, even A/B testing, using ConverKit has been a lifesaver for me. And I have seen my open rates improve since I’ve been using it. Easily incorporates into your website, online course or social media so you can grow your community of raving fans.

WORDPRESS THEME

Divi 

The Divi theme is a clean and robust WordPress theme that can be used to design just about any beautiful website you want using a drag and drop interface. One of the reasons I love it so much is how streamlined it is. There is no bloat when it is installed and it keeps your website running fast. I keep plugin installs to a minimum and all my sites load lightning fast. Try it for yourself.

WORDPRESS PLUGINS

These plug-ins expand the functionality and usability of your website. Quickly install them in your WordPress website via the plug-in section.

Akismet – Invaluable for catching spam comments in your website.  It is a fee-based service.
WordPress SEO by Yoast – All in One SEO Pack
WordPress Backup to Dropbox
SeedProd – Creates a highly customizable Coming Soon Page and counter

CLOUD STORAGE

Dropbox

This is my go-to cloud storage solution for my business. Gives me the flexibility to store all of my project files, manage design projects, grab files when I am away from the office or when I’m on the go. The more you invite people to share folders and space on your account, the more space you will be given. Install the app on all of your devices and stay organized and connected.

FACEBOOK LIVE PRODUCTION SOFTWARE

Ecamm Live

Hosting a Facebook Live is a great way to connect with your audience and also to provide some great teaching on concepts your audience craves. For as little as $29.95 Ecamm Live makes this process so much easier.

ONLINE METRICS

Google Analytics

This is the one feature I had to have must have on every website I built. It’s an invaluable tool and it’s free! It provides business owners and companies with critical information about who’s visiting their website, what keywords they’re using, which pages are converting best, who makes up the majority of your audience, plus so much more. All you need to gain access is to create a free Gmail account. Check your report monthly to see where you need to make changes to boost your sales.

FONTS

Google Fonts

Free, open source fonts that are available for use on the Web and on the Desktop for printing. And it’s from Google so you know it’s gonna be good.

PHOTOGRAPHY

iStock

Photography and images are an essential part of any brand. They help bring your content to life! If you write a weekly blog, post on social media, or create marketing materials for your business then you are going to need affordable, quality images that are also royalty-free. iStock is my main resource for quality, high-end photography. But they do more than photography, check out their videos, background images, icons, and fonts for other creative projects. Consider a monthly plan for as little as $40 if you need access to lots of images. They also let you try before you buy but will put a watermark over the image before you buy it.

PRINTING

Moo

I’m in love with beautifully printed pieces and Moo delivers. Letterpress, spot gloss, luxe, and gold foil are just some of the options they provide. But more than the great selection of printing and paper options is the wonderful experience they provide as you create your pieces using the online customizer. And wait until you receive your items, the packaging alone is worth the experience. When you click my referral link you will get 10% off your first order.

ECOMMERCE

Shopify*

Creating an online store used to require a great designer, a developer, a database and lots of time and careful planning before Shopify. They have taken care of everything you need to create your own, beautiful, very modern online storefront with ease. You even get to take it for a test spin for 14 days to see if you love it first. Plans start for as little as $9 for a small site to more robust enterprise solutions.

ONLINE MEMBERSHIP SITE

Teachable 

Creating an online course has so many components to it, Teachable has taken care of all of them. Why try to bootstrap a membership site when you can get everything you need in one place. Host all your files (audio or video), create your landing page, incorporate any payment system, manage students, offer affiliate signup, or even the ability to drip content. Starts for as little as $39/month.

VIDEO RECORDING & EDITING

Screenflow

Shooting video for your YouTube channel or your online course, then you need an easy to use tool, that’s why I love Screenflow. It provides screen casting and video editing software for the Mac. It lets me take my videos to another level with graphics, editing effects, even sound.  If you are a Mac user, download a free trial and give it a whirl.

VIDEO CONFERENCING

Zoom

Need to connect with a client who’s in London? Or want to host a webinar with your entire team? Then Zoom may just be the tool for you.  Zoom is my go-to tool for all of my conference calls and even for recording my upcoming podcasts. Just make sure you test it out prior to your call so everything goes off without a hitch.