~by Haley Lynn Gray~
There are a ton of great tools out there to manage your online business. Finding the right ones can be a great exercise in fun — and frustration. There are so many new products and tools coming out every week; the hardest thing is not jumping from one tool to the next as shiny object syndrome hits.
There will always be great new tools coming out, but these are some we use in our business that we find very helpful.
1. Ontraport. We use Ontraport for a lot of functions in our business. We use it to manage our email list, opt-ins, email autoresponders, affiliate programs, online course delivery, auto-billing, and more. It’s not the least expensive tool out there for managing your emails, but it is quite possibly the best kept secret. It is insanely powerful, and it offers a ton of value for the price. If you are looking at creating landing pages, opt-ins, emails, affiliate programs, and any of those types of programs, Ontraport is rock-solid.
Ontraport can even be integrated with your website to manage your pop-ups on your website. That means all of your opt-ins and pop-ups on the website can be managed from Ontraport, and your management of your business becomes much simpler.
2. Social Quant. I use Social Quant heavily to help manage my Twitter accounts. It is one of the reasons that I’ve been able to add 16,000 new followers to my Twitter account in one year. The tool searches for people who match keywords you specify. It then follows them. If they follow you back, then they are active users and Social Quant keeps them. If they don’t follow you back in a few days, it releases them and moves onto another round. The cool thing is that Social Quant is helping me connect with legitimate businesses and helping me get in front of people without me having to do all of the legwork myself.
3. Crowdfire. Crowdfire allows you to message people who have followed you on Twitter and ask them to read a post on your blog or get your free download. Yes, it’s corny. Some people hate these types of auto-message tools, but the reality is that they do work, and they work really well. Most people only have about 200 followers on Twitter, so those of us in the business get a lot more messages than your average bear.
4. MeetEdgar. What I love about MeetEdgar is that it is super, super simple to use, and it allows me to reuse content on social media. That is especially powerful on Twitter, as the half-life of a tweet is just a few minutes. By being able to reuse the content we have created and sourced, we are able to make our work go much farther. It means I’m able to post around 60X/day on Twitter and increase my reach while growing my following. I can also pull in content from other blogs and sources so that I have more depth with the content I’m posting. That means better results too. The only downsides are the cost, at over $60 a month, and the fact that MeetEdgar doesn’t support every platform.
5. Buffer. I love Buffer because it’s super inexpensive and allows me to manage a ton of accounts for my clients. I can even re-buffer the posts and add those to the queue. It doesn’t allow for automatic reuse of posts, like MeetEdgar, but it does allow me to manually re-add items back into the queue. It supports nearly every platform out there, including Pinterest, Instagram, Google Plus, Facebook, Facebook Groups, LinkedIn, LinkedIn Business Pages, and Twitter. They keep adding new features, and it is a tremendous tool for helping manage your business.
6. Google Docs. I love Google Docs for managing non-confidential documents. That means that my assistant and I can pass information back and forth and keep it in a central repository. Since it allows multiple people to edit a document at the same time, and you don’t end up with versioning issues, it can be a fantastic tool for collaborations.
7. Microsoft Office 365. The cool thing about this is that you can buy one license, and install Microsoft Office on up to 6 machines. If you have kids and other family members, you can get your docs on pretty much everyone’s machines. If you have a very small company, this works too. Since Office is one of the de-facto standards for managing a business, this is a great way to get valuable software for everyone.
8. Acuity. Acuity allows me to manage my calendar — and it integrates with Google calendars. I can take payments for individual sessions or for classes, and they recently added the ability to accept recurring payments. You can block off your available times, with or without buffers. Then you can give people a link to your calendar so they can schedule a time that works for both of you. This avoids the back and forth that frequently occurs.
9. Canva. If you want to create fun graphics for your social media, website, etc, one of the easiest ways to do it is through Canva. They offer a TON of free options for graphics, fonts, illustrations, and more to help you get your point across for your business. I use them to create hundreds of memes. I also use them to create custom graphics for my clients.
10. Dropbox. I love using Dropbox for storing pictures that I can then share with clients and access from multiple computers. I like how it shows up as a folder on my computer and is super easy to use. You get one free Gigabyte of storage for each new person you bring in. It’s fairly inexpensive to use and works well for your business.
There are hundreds of great tools and apps out there that can help you with your business. Choosing the tools that make the most sense for you can be the hardest part. That, and not jumping from one platform to the next all the time.
Have you been using Google as your business consultant?
Are you ready to start working with an expert in business instead?
Meet the Author: Haley Lynn Gray
Haley helps female entrepreneurs create a strategy plan for their businesses – so they can make enough money to spend quality time with their family, pay for their children’s dance lessons, pay bills – and not worry about where the next client is coming from.
Haley is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Leadership Girl. She helps other entrepreneurs build their businesses by sharing the benefits of her business education and experience through Business Coaching.
Whether you want to get a new business off the ground or expand an existing business, Haley can assist you.
Connect with Haley:
- Work with Haley: http://leadershipgirl.com/work-with-haley/
- Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Leadershipgirl
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/haleygray