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When starting an online business one major question is what tools do I need? The other question is what will these cost me? I laid out the top ten tools I use to market my online business. The good news is most of the tools on my list are free or very reasonable.
After trying many (many) programs, free trials & software these are what I rely on day to day to help my business run effectively. The focus on this set is driving visibility and growth while saving you time (since that is our most precious commodity). I’m hoping by sharing I might help you discover something new or find a tool that helps you grow and save money.
Do you use any of these tools or planned to ty them? I’m happy to answer any questions you have (you can find me most active on Instagram). Send me a DM – I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Top Ten Favorite Online Business Tools
Do you hate those “when can we meet / what works for you” emails that go back and forth? Or where the Zoom link? Calendly solves these pain points beautifully. You can share your link and have people find a time directly based on your availability. You can integrate to automatically set up a zoom and even payment if you choose. There is a free and paid version – this tool has saved me hours.
Check it out here: Calendly
My business partner and I manage a lot of projects and it was getting hard to keep track of billing, deliverables, and timelines. This is project tracking software at its finest and although it has a deep feature stack even using the simple functionality works well. Honestly, I am blown away by the features available in the free version and that is what we use exclusively for all our client and business project management.
Check it out here: Click-Up
Evernote has been around for years, but I tried it on a recommendation and had one of those “why didn’t I use this sooner?” moments. I keep track of inspiration, blog ideas, client folders with notes, creative I like and want to come back to later, and important links (like my Calendly links). I use the free version across my phone and computer. It really helps keep things organized.
Check it out here: Evernote
Website Hosting: Siteground
When first starting out I learned a self-hosted WordPress site was the best option because you own all your content. In the process of finding a hosting company, I was recommended Siteground. Years later and multiple hosted sites later I get more impressed with Siteground as time goes on. Their support is best in class – chat is usually always in real-time. I can’t stress enough if you are new to websites how key good support will be and Siteground is the absolute best IMO.
Check it out here: Siteground
Website Building: Divi
If you want a professional, beautiful WordPress website that looks like you can code (even if you can’t) then you should check out Divi. They have thousands of templates and customization. I use it for all of my and my clients’ sites.
Check it out here: Elegant Themes / Divi
Social Media - Instagram: Hashtag Hacks
Everyone knows hashtags are important to get reach and visibility on Instagram but are you maximizing them? This is the only course I’m recommending here but I’m adding it because the topic and value are excellent. Implementing the strategies I’ve more than doubled accounts with nothing more than hashtags. At $27 it’s packed with value for the price and comes with membership in an engagement pod as well as other perks.
Check it out here: Hashtag Hacks
Social Media - Instagram: Planoly
I’ve spent hours (and hours) comparing social media schedulers. Running social media for multiple clients a good scheduler can make a huge difference. For Instagram, there isn’t anything I like as much as Planoly. They are ahead of the curve on so many elements like stories scheduling, ability to schedule off IG links, grid preview, auto-publish, and first comment. Another feature is it is just as easy to use on desktop as on your phone. There are more features but if you are really focused on IG this is a tool you need. It’s also free to use for one account!
Check it out here: Planoly
Social Media - Instagram: Unfold
Do you ever see really professional, beautiful stories and wonder how they did them? Many times people are Unfold templates. They have many templates (some free) that are easy to edit and populate. You simply save the files and publish (or schedule if you use Planoly).
Check it out here: Unfold
Social Media - Pinterest: Tailwind
If you are serious about Pinterest for business at all this is going to be some of the best money you’ll spend. Tailwind has helped multiple of my pins go viral and gained massive visibility. Even better it allows you to set it and forget it and saves a ton of time.
Check it out here: Tailwind
Social Media - Graphics: Adobe Spark
Don’t get me wrong I love and highly recommend Canva, but if you want templates that are a little more unique go check Adobe Spark Post. They even have a brand feature where the software will auto brand images with your logo and colors.
Check it out here: Adobe Spark