One of my greatest joys in my business is helping other creative business owners get their businesses both going and growing.
After owning my own decorative business for 16 years and nearing a social media following of 500K people, I have figured out a lot of resources that have helped my business to grow and I want to share them with my fellow biz owners.
This list does contain affiliate links but these are all products I personally use and recommend. They have all helped me run my business more efficiently so that I can spend my time doing other things like growing my business.
I honestly hope that this list will help take some of the guesswork out of tools and resources that you could use!
My Top Business Tools
We created an 800 number for clients to call (it ups the professionalism factor); our voicemails go straight to an email. It’s a virtual business phone system that is a lifesaver for any business! It lets you keep your existing cell phone, have a 1-800 line and have multiple extension lines. Love this! Get it here.
I use Zoom for all of my online meetings, coaching calls and webinars. It’s much cheaper than GoToWebinar, which I used to use. You can hold simple online meetings with video conferencing and web conferencing. It has easy registration for its users, I can host additional panelists and do a live Q&A chat! Zoom also lets you present content from a mobile device if you are speaking in front of a group and giving a live demonstration at a show. Get it here.
My portable light that I use for all videos. You will look like you got a face lift. Trust me on this light! You’ll look your best when broadcasting live and filming demonstration videos. It’s a lightweight, portable beauty light that is a favorite among studio and location photographers as well as video blogging studios. It renders soft shadow-less light so your skin will look amazing! Use my checkout code magicbrush to receive 10% off. FREE SHIPPING INCLUDED. If you need a smaller version to go on your computer, I use this one here.
Small Ring Light with Clamp for Computer Monitor: Talk about making a difference! This little gem will take 10 years off your face! (And things look so much more professional with good lighting!) http://www.stellarlightingsystems.com/webstar-ll/#_a_magicbrush
Talk about making a difference! This little gem will take 10 years off your face! (And things look so much more professional with good lighting!) Get it here.
This is a lifesaver and so handy to use! It’s like having an extra hand! Get it here.
My camera of choice to shoot still shots for my blog and to do some videos. Get it here.
A tripod that moves up and down is so important if you do projects! Plus it holds my phone for Facebook Lives! Get it here.
This is an awesome pin scheduling tool for bloggers. It helps me schedule my pins and forget about it by automatically spreading new pins over ideal pinning hours and looping my pins so they are seen more than once and get more impressions. You can also work with Tribes to promote each other – making it easy to find quality content in one area. Get it here.
9. Day Designer
A yearly strategic planner and daily agenda for creative entrepreneurs, business women, and working mommas everywhere. I am still old school and need a day planner right in front of me (instead of on my phone which I don’t use!) Sometimes I just need to write it down and it really helps to have cute, fun prints!
This is a step-by-step course by Tasha Agruso to teach you how to start earning money from your blog by giving your audience content they love. It will help you add a new revenue stream and give you great strategies for blog posts and social media posts. She’ll teach you a ton on affiliate marketing and how to reach out to brands and use the links to increase your income. AND Tasha can show you how to set it all up and give you all the techie advice you need!
Take credit card and debit card payments on the go from a home show or vender show. Square is basically a register in your pocket. It’s user-friendly and easy-peasy. We use this for taking payments at home shows & speaking events.
There are tons of free online photo editing software. I love PicMonkey because it’s easy to add filters, frames, text, and effects to images. It’s free, but the $33/yearly cost is worth all the extra goodies. Plus there’s a whole section to touch-up skin and blemishes! Yes, please! We use PicMonkey for all of our photo edits and watermarking.
This email marketing tool lets me have different lists to reach my audience based on their different creative interests and fits seamlessly with my WordPress Blog. You can see which emails are successful with stats on read-rates and click-throughs. Since your online presence should be focusing on building your email list, AWeber has easy email sign-up forms to add to your website. I used it to capture email addresses and send out newsletters until I hit 20K email subscribers. Get it here.
Once I hit 20K subscribers, I switched to Ontraport in the winter of 2016 and I’ve seen a HUGE increase in subscribers. Create beautiful custom landing pages to help capture emails and make sales and organize subscribers. It works seamlessly with WordPress. Easy to add slide-ins, opt-in forms, pop-ups and videos! Get it here.
15. WP Curve
Provides unlimited small WordPress tech fixes 24 / 7. It’s like having someone help you with all your website problems because something will ALWAYS happen at the wrong time. I have used this service for over a year on the $99/month plan. They do all of my site maintenance and fix issues.
This is the shopping cart software I use for all my online sales. It’s the most affordable way to automate marketing and make sales online. This is an all-in-one online store. It’s easy to link up my products, DIY Videos and webinars with this site. There is no second guessing if I set it up right!
To really make money online you need to have a self-hosted WordPress site and you need to host it SOMEWHERE. Bluehost is a cheap hosting site (like $3/month) with a great reputation. If you sign up for 12 months, you get your domain for free!! Get it here.
I used to use Sprout Social for my sales and when I scheduled out all of my tweets. Get it here.
This is my podcast mic! One of THE BEST USB mics on the market! Get it here.
No more back and forth emails or phone calls! Scheduling is done online and your clients can choose from the days you’ve made available for appointments. Get it here.
21. Arkon Mount
This is so handy for dual live streaming on Facebook and Instagram. You can also use it with an iPhone or other mobile phone and an iPad or other full-size tablet! Get it here.
Get more email subscribers and generate more sales using a Pop-Up on your site. Get it here.
Do you love audiobooks?! Then you need to check out Audible! I have a list of my favorites here!
Record and stream in HD with amazing clarity on your PC, laptop or Mac. I use this to record all of my training videos and it is super simple to set up. Get it here.
All of these tools are a great start to the tech-side of your online business.
For more business guidance and support, I also have a monthly coaching group that I would LOVE for you to check out. We talk a lot in there about the resources listed here and how to grow your biz fast using social media and the online space. Details HERE.
Best to you and your biz!