Today I’d love to share some tools that have been instrumental in streamlining my online business and process. I’m all about making my life simple and eliminating redundancies. So below are my go-to tools and systems to help you do just that!
I love Evernote because I’m constantly making notes (and then losing them). Using Evernote, keeps all my notes online so that I can reference them from anywhere at any time. I use it to archive my web copy, blog posts and any event notes from a webinar or seminar I’ve attended. It also allows me to share my notes with others if I’d like. Evernote offers an online version, a desktop version and a mobile version, really how you use it is entirely up to you!
Cost: Free / $25/yr+ for premium version
I use Dropbox to store my work files. I keep folders for my client work so everything is backed-up and it allows me to work from anywhere, so files are in a cloud vs just on my laptop. It also allows for file-sharing, so I often use it to gather my client’s site content and images for their design projects. This allows us both to have a copy of the files they’ve provided. Another alternative (close second) is Google Drive.
Cost: Free / $10/mo+ for premium version
I personally use Typeform to gather information about projects prior to having a live consultation. I have a clear list of questions that I’ve created to give me a good sense of what I need in order to ensure we’re a right fit for one another and that I have the appropriate information to provide a quote. I find having a detailed questionnaire allows my prospects to give some thought to what they’re requesting, and allows me to have a little background before we hop on the phone. Additionally, Typeform has extensive features within their premium accounts that include things like quizzes, surveys, adding attachments to forms, etc. It’s also pretty customizable and easy to integrate into your site.
Cost: Free / $35/mo+
Calendly will help you organize your calendar and eliminate the back-and-forth of trying to coordinate meeting time with clients. It syncs easily with your Google Calendar and you can set “office hours” and blackout dates as needed. You can also limit the number of appointments on any given day and the buffer time between appointments. Your client will easily see what dates and times you’re available and pick a time that works for them. Having an online scheduler has made a huge difference in clearing out my inbox and coordinating meetings.
Cost: Free / $8/mo+
I started using Venmo instead of PayPal for two reasons. 1. Payments process faster. Typically funds are available next day vs. 3-4 days with PayPal. 2. There is no charge to you or the client if you’re using a debit card or direct transfer from your bank account. if you’re using a credit card, there is a 3% fee, which is comparable to other online payment solutions.
Cost: Free for Debit or Bank Transfer / 3% Credit Card Processing
In order to improve your site performance, it’s important to know what’s working and what’s not. With analytics, you can track which of your pages are getting the most love and which need a little extra attention. It helps you get a sense of which blog posts are doing best so you can write more of those and it can help you track any major changes to your site. If you have a site redesign or update your sell copy, you can see whether traffic improved. You can also see where the majority of your traffic is coming from. Knowing where you are now, will help you decide where to go next.
Having a mailing list is the best way to gather a following that you can speak to directly and share your knowledge and expertise. Most email marketing systems allow for automation, which of course is the name of the game here. You can setup an email series when someone signs up, create email campaigns based on a trigger action such as a birthday, product purchase, opening your latest newsletter, etc. I currently use Mailchimp, but full disclosure, I’ve been looking at GetResponse and CovertKit because I’ve heard so many good things that I’d be remiss not to at least give them a try. While I don’t have a final recommendation at this time, I’ll definitely update this post when I have a final answer. In the meantime, feel free to share what you use and what you like about it!
MailChimp Cost: Free / $20/mo+
GetResponse Cost: $15/mo+
ConvertKit Cost: $20/mo+
All prices listed above are as of the time of this writing, please refer to each site for any pricing changes.
Please note that I am an affiliate for some of the resources listed above. As an affiliate, I may earn a referral fee if you purchase these products based on my recommendations.
Feel free to share below if you want to receive a specific recommendation or if you have used another service that’s I’ve not listed above. I’m always open to growing my list of resources.