Tools I Recommend
Below you’ll find some of my favorite tools that I’ve used to build my online business. These are the tools that, many of them, I pay for. Some aren’t cheap. But if you want to get serious about growing your business, this is what I’d recommend.
Managing Your Business:
- Task Management and Productivity: Nozbe is simply amazing. After years of using an Excel spreadsheet (free download above), I’ve gone digital and couldn’t be happier. I can record tasks for everything I want or need to do, organize by Projects (per client, per focus area for my business, etc.), organize by Categories (this week or next week, home, honey-do item, etc.), assign due dates, recurrence, and so much more. And I can share projects with my team. You get a free month’s trial and then it costs about a cup of coffee per month. It’s more than worth it.
- Collecting Your Money…Gumroad is an excellent tool to collect payment when you sell digital products, online. It’s incredibly easy to set up with excellent customer service.
- Legal Stuff: Small Business Bodyguard is for you if you’re doing anything online and you haven’t already reviewed it with an attorney. It’s an affordable way to address everything you need to know to legally cover your bases, from client contracts (with downloadable templates) to trademarks to copyright to taxes…and more. You’re running a business. You’ve got to have your legal stuff together.
- Email Communication and Member Management: AWeber. AWeber is an excellent tool to manage your email database and communicate by email with your audience. I find it secure, easy to use and full of resources.
- Email Sign-Up and Landing/Sales Pages: LeadPages is a simple and very effective tool to collect email subscriptions in more ways than you thought possible. It also provides proven, high-converting templates for landing pages, sales pages, and much more. And their customer service is beyond excellent…it’s truly outstanding. LeadPages is not cheap (relatively speaking) but it’s worth every single penny.
- Hosting: Bluehost. I selected Bluehost after countless others recommended them to me and I’ve been very pleased with my own experience. The performance of my site is solid and their customer service is excellent.
- Development…the framework: WordPress.org. Used by the vast majority of the world’s biggest bloggers, I’ve also found WordPress to be an easy and effective web software to create and manage my site. It’s totally free! You just have to have it hosted (see above) and you need a theme (see below). If your primary focus is not blogging, check out Wix instead. It’s affordable, much easier to use and has a great assortment of templates to make your site look fantastic from day one.
- Design…the appearance (for WordPress): I am using the GetNoticed theme, and I love it. It’s incredibly easy to use and to customize, without having to know funky coding. The support and member community is fantastic too, so if you can’t figure something out the answer is a click away. In the event that theme doesn’t suit you though, I also really like Studio Press. There are a number of premium themes (aka templates, but that you can customize). They have numerous themes to choose from that look great out of the box. The cost is reasonable and the support is excellent. One note: mobile responsiveness is hugely important. Make sure you find a theme with this capability (GetNoticed is, and Studio Press has many that are as well).
- WordPress Support: I don’t know anything about coding or how exactly, anything actually works in my site. When it comes to security, speed, simple edits beyond what my theme allows…I’m lost. Lucky for all of us there is now WPCurve, where you get 24/7 access to developers who will provide maintenance, support and take care of any number of small tasks you could come up with. I’m over-the-moon thrilled with this resource.
Image Design: For those of you without access to an awesome, affordable graphic designer like my hubby, or if you don’t have time to wait for yours, check out Canva. It’s a great tool to create images for social media and much more.
Facebook Tips and Tricks:
- Check out Amy Porterfield’s free Intro to Facebook Webinar
- Follow this official Facebook Marketing page to keep up-to-date on Facebook for Business.
- Click this link to see the exact dimensions you need for the cover photo on your Facebook page.
- Check this page to find the exact image dimensions you need for various ads you may be publishing.
- Use this grid tool to make sure the images you’re promoting have less than 20% text.
- Use Facebook’s debugger tool when your website links shared on Facebook don’t show up on Facebook the way you want them to.
Also worth noting, some of the links above are affiliate links where at no additional cost to you, I earn a commission if you make a purchase. Please know that I only recommend products with which I have personal experience and where I’m extremely satisfied. The small commission earned has no impact on my decision to recommend them. If you have any questions about these tools, just ask!
Books I Love
I’ve read a number of fantastic books and can’t wait to tell you about the very best. It’ll take some time though, so check back or sign up for updates at the bottom of this page!
I also highly recommend the following books. I’ve not been able to write a review on each, but I’ve shared them with others often enough that I need to include the list here for your convenient reference:
Platform: Get Noticed In A Noisy World by Michael Hyatt
Permission Marketing by Seth Godin
Book Yourself Solid by Michael Port
The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss
Remote, Office Not Required by Jason Fried
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown