As a solopreneur there are so many hats that we’re required to wear. We need a whole tool box full of business tools or we’d go crazy!
At any point during the day I need to be a designer, writer, consultant, accountant, social media expert and manager, teacher, etc.. the list goes on and on. And when I first started Creative Rebel it got a little overwhelming.
But then I found a program that helped ease some of the stress … and then another … and another. And now, while I still have to do all of those things and then some, I don’t have to do them ALL every single day. I have help.
So today, I wanted to share that help with you by giving you a list of
The Top 10 Tools I Use To Run My Business:
I use to struggle with the project management tools. They never seemed to fit what I needed and honestly, using a pen and paper always worked just fine for me. But then I started doing bigger and bigger projects. My daily tasks were no longer: design graphic and write post. They had grown into bits and pieces that needed to be done every day for larger and larger projects. My clients were now wanting to be in the loop and were constantly asking me for updates and next-step emails. That’s when I discovered and fell in love with Asana. I had to get organized ahead of time and realized sending all those updates via email or keeping track of everything for every clients and every job wasn’t going to cut it. Asana allows me to create to-dos and assign them to my clients, add notes for each project (like links or instructions), upload files (so I’m never left trying to find that one email with those images from 3 weeks ago), set due dates (for everyone involved), track time, include comments and conversations, and they have a really nice app so I can answer questions and still be in the loop even when I’m not sitting in from of my computer!
I sorta fell into this program about a year ago (give or take). I’d been using another program (one with a monkey logo) and it was doing ok, but I could never quite get the segments and the menus and all the hidden things figured out. I was sending out wrong emails at wrong times to the wrong people – which was resulting in A LOT of unsubscribing. ugh! So I was going through my email one day and I clicked a link that I thought was to a blog, but it was to ConvertKit and it’s been true love ever since.
ConvertKit makes it really easy to creating forms, landing pages, and organize/segment your list. You won’t find another platform with such an intuitive and easy subscriber tagging system. It keeps your followers organized and receiving only the emails they’re REALLY interested in! I use it for my weekly emails, my “ooo-shiny-jump-in-your-inbox” emails, and the automated email sequences people receive after signing up for downloading a freebie from my site.
ContentStudio is my go-to for scheduling my social media content. It lets me post now, schedule, or add to queue for Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and LinkedIn. It has a “Discovery” tab which makes it super was to find relevant articles and blogs that my readers will love as well as offers the ability to post from my own blog all WITHOUT having to login and post by hand. This means my social queue is always full of content I’ve picked 24/7 but I can focus on the other more important aspects of my business.
I’m a new member to Tailwind, but I am already in love! Although ContentStudio does allow me to post to my different Pinterest boards, their Pinterest tool doesn’t compete with TailWind. I pin every single post I write to several boards at least once, sometimes more, so being able to schedule a pin to multiple boards at one time is a HUGE time saver! Tailwind determines the best time to schedule my pins throughout the day for even more traffic hits, which again, HUGE time saver! That’s double people!
This was probably my first true business tool. While I still love writing in my notebooks, this app has been my go-to for saving blog post ideas, email inspiration, new products idea and plan and yes, random journaling while out and about moments. It’s always on my phone and my phone is always with me so I never forget an idea or miss a spark of inspiration.
I just launched my first FREE e-course, which means I have recently done A TON of research on all the different platforms that are out there. I can honestly say, Teachable is one of the best. There is no coding required and no complicated installation. You simply add your payment email, upload a few images, build your sales page (which is super simple guided step-by-step process) and then upload the content for your course. Videos, quizzes and worksheets can be embedded right in the lessons and you can track students as they move through the course.
Another newbie to my toolbox is Xero. I have been searching for a bookkeeping software that would work for my industry and for selling digital infoproducts for a few years. (aka: I have tried everything I think!) The hurdle I always run into is the software wanting me to create a client and an invoice for everything I sell… with a digital infoproduct sold online… those don’t usually exist. Xero was recommended to me by a friend in a similar situation and has bee the only platform that I’ve found that has a way to skip that step. WIN!
Working with clients and having customers means you constantly have questions. I’m always wondering what I can do better, how I can improve, what else do my clients need, etc… I also have a lot of projects where I need to gather information before I can even start working. Typeform is an awesome solution to both of these scenarios! I can send out an “After Completion Survey” to see what I did that my clients liked and what I could improve on for next time. I also have several Questionnaires that I send out for different projects so I never forget to ask something and the information I get back is always easy to find and not lost in a hundred mile long thread of emails.
I use Leadpages for all of my Opt-ins, Landing Pages, and Webinar Registration Pages. Yes, it’s a little pricier than others, but honestly after all of my research and reading all of the reviews it’s the one that wins in every category that I need. It also has some of the best tracking software and stats integrated into it so that I know what’s working and what isn’t without having to dig around. Truly, if you’re looking for an easy to use landing page platform, this is it! It even has some really user-friendly, easy-to-work-with templates with stats so you can see how well they convert and from there it’s basically just a fill-in-the-blanks.
And last but definitely not least, my fav program out there for business purposes: Adobe Illustrator. This program is one that I could not live without. I can create graphics, web banners, Facebook ads, signs, flyers, business cards, logos, brochures, etc.. It does everything I could hope for and then some. I’ve used it for over 10 years and I’m still learning things it’s capable of. There are no limits to what I can create and design and it makes my blog and my business look professional and branded.
So there they are, the top 10 tools that I use to make my business run smoothly and to keep me focused and not running around like a chicken with my head cut off.
Hope you found something useful that you can use for your blog or business!
This post does contain affiliate links (which means I earn a commission if you sign up through my links) but regardless I would still share them because they all make my life SO much easier!
TELL ME: What’s something in your business tool box?
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