Two years ago, if you’d asked me what tools did I think were essential for successfully offering a service-based business online, I would probably have given you a blank faced look and perhaps sheepishly ventured “website?”
Fast forward a few months and that’s all changed! There’s a whole heap-load to learn about online business and a bunch of tricks to make it easier and less time-consuming. I learned through trial and error… and time. However, it occurred to me that if I tell you what my favourite tools for doing business online are, then I can perhaps save you a bunch of time, money and mishaps.
1. Mad Mimi: This is an email marketing and email newsletter software that makes list building, list maintenance, newsletters and mailings a whole lot simpler to do. Mad Mimi is so easy to navigate and experiment with that I am doing things now with my email marketing that I hadn’t even heard of when I ran a traditional bricks and mortar business (even though we did run email marketing campaigns!) Plus, their customer service is totally out of this world. Nothing is too much, no question is too stupid (and I’ve had a few of those!), and there is a mega quick turnaround from their uber-friendly team. There are lots of alternatives out there that are probably great too, such as MailChimp and Aweber, but Mad Mimi works for me.
2. Social Media schedulers: Listen, you just can’t be have a presence online, without having a social media presence too. The problem is, it can gobble up time faster than anything I know. You fall down the Facebook rabbit hole, for example, and resurface two hours later wondering where the time went. I’ve been there. I get it. My solution? Schedule posts in advance. I use Hootsuite and Facebook‘s own scheduler to post on Twitter and Facebook, which are my two main social media platforms. I do use Pinterest and Instagram too, but to a lesser extent.
3. Online Scheduler: I’ve used a few different online scheduling programs but recently settled on Acuity Scheduling. They are all pretty much the same, and do a great job of facilitating clients to book in for their own appointments at times that are convenient to both of us. It saves a whole lot of toing and froing on email settling on times and dates.
4. Canva: This one is new, but so far I am totally blown away by it. I am no graphic designer by any stretch of the imagination, but this snazzy little program allows me to create graphics and pdfs for social media, blog posts, e-books, special offers, posters and so much more. I’m still exploring it, but already its made the graphics side of business accessible and doable for someone like me.
And there you have it. My top 4 for you to check out. If you’re in business online too, what are your top tools?