Resources

There are literally hundreds if not thousands of tools, systems, and apps that are each designed to help entrepreneurs and small business owners track, delegate, organize, and stay focused on their business. So how do you navigate them all? How do you know which ones to use for your business?

This resource page is designed to give you the key tools that I used to grow my business. Below you’ll discover some free tools you can use as you’re first getting started, along with the tools I personally use.

Please Note: This page does contain affiliate links, but I only recommend products I have personally used and 100% believe in.

Image Editing

The images you use in your marketing and across social media matter. And today, it’s easier than ever to create your own amazing, high-quality images with free tools. I highly recommend Canva for image editing.

Canva: Canva is a free image creator/editor. It’s the fun, free, easy-to-use version of Photoshop (without all of the bells and whistles). This free image creator/editor. The free version of Canva only costs if you use their premium stock images. The easy-to-use templates within Canva allow you to create high-quality images where you can just plug in your own wording and have a totally professional-looking image for your website or social media. Upgrading to the business version for $9.95/month will allow you to resize images with the click of a button and will allow you to store your branded colors and fonts.

Landing Page Software

When you break down marketing into its most basic form, Traffic → Leads → Sales. Having a professional landing page to send your traffic to will ultimately generate more leads, which will lead to more sales.

In fact, if you’re trying to decide where to invest in your business, a good landing page software would be one of my first recommendations {yes, even before a website!}

While I mentioned a few options within the video, I want to make this super simple, and LeadPages is my #1 recommendation for Landing Pages & Thank You Pages (as well as sales and booking pages).

If you’re just not ready to invest in your business, you can use the Landing Page and Thank You Page that comes with your CRM, but in most instances, these simply will not look as professional and polished, and you will not receive the same analytics as you will when you are willing to invest
in a tool like LeadPages.

LeadPages – LeadPages start at just $37/month, and they are one of the BEST tools you can use to create flawless, professional landing Pages, thank you, sales and booking pages. LeadPages literally has a template for everything – from opt-ins to webinars to sales pages and booking pages.

I know a colleague who created her first website using LeadPages and generated thousands of dollars with LeadPages before ever investing in her website! There’s a free 14-day trial you can take
before you buy, so I definitely suggest you try it out here.

Email Marketing Software

An email system is vital to connect with your clients, and not all email systems are created equal. While there are dozens of options out there, I highly recommend Aweber for most business owners. It’s perfect for business owners at every level, and it’s a platform that your business won’t
outgrow.

Aweber – Aweber is an all-in-one email marketing, marketing automation, sales and CRM that starts at just $19/month. Aweber is the CRM that I used when I first got started building my business online and it’s still one that I use today. I LOVE the simplicity of its user interface and I can easily get anything that I need done without much hassle or confusion. It includes great features such as tagging and campaigns. Plus, it’s really easy to integrate with most landing page software, including Lead Pages and Instapage. They offer a 30-day free trial, so you can absolutely try it here
before you buy!

Converkit – Convertkit is another alternative email marketing software that has all the capabilities of higher level CRMs like Ontraport and Infusionsoft without the high price tag. If you have more than one early stage offer, or if you want to be able to send automatic campaigns, you want to upgrade and use Convertkit. Convertkit is kinda the new kid on the block when it comes to CRMs, but it has all the professional business features you’ll need including tagging, campaigns, segmentation and much more. And it’s pretty decently priced at only $39/mo to start.

Mail Chimp – If you’re not yet willing to invest in your business, then this is the tool I recommend. The thing I love about Mail Chimp is that it is perfect for a new business owner or small business who is just starting to grow their email list. The benefit of Mail Chimp: it’s completely FREE until you reach 2,000 subscribers. The downside: Mail Chimp double-counts subscribers, so if one subscriber opts-in to four different lists, they are counted as four separate subscribers. Additionally, the free version of MailChimp does not allow for multiple automations, and Mail Chimp requires some tedious steps to be able to send one email to multiple lists.

Scheduling Calendar

If you’re in a service-based industry (coaching, consultant, photography, etc.) and have clients who will need to book discovery calls or weekly sessions, tools like Calendly and Acuity Scheduling will make your life super-simple!

Both of these tools sync with Google Calendar, iCalendar, and Outlook, and both are super-affordable and easy to learn. If I had to pick just one, I’d recommend Acuity Scheduling.

Acuity Scheduling – This is my preferred method of scheduling my VIP client consults, discovery calls, technical clarity calls, team calls, and life! Clients can go in and schedule their appointments, and Acuity syncs with my Google Calendar. Acuity sends each client a reminder email prior to their session, sends me a daily report of upcoming calls, and it allows me to generate a monthly report of where my time was spent. {Acuity does have a free version, but it’s limited functionality doesn’t make it really useful. I recommend the intro level for $15/month. If you’re not sure and want to try before you buy, with this link you can try one month free!}

Calendly – Calendly is another alternative scheduling tool that I recommend. It’s pretty comparable to Acuity but doesn’t have many of the advanced features that Acuity offers in it’s paid version. Calandly is free to use and you can upgrade to the paid version at any time for only $10/mo. It also has a free trial so you can go here to sign up and try the paid version before you decide to buy.

Website Tools

There are so many different platforms you can use to host your website. So which is best? Where should you start? Well, I personally use WordPress.org as my website builder and it’s hosted by SiteGround. WordPress.org is open source software you can use to create a beautiful website, blog, or app. I mainly use it because it’s super flexible when it comes to customization and it’s great for ranking well on Google.

However, even though there’s some aspects of WordPress.org that’s simple to use (once you get it set up), if you’re a total novice to WordPress and building websites on your own hosting platform, it can be totally overwhelming. It can also possibly require you to know a bit of coding and HTML (or at least be willing to learn the basics of it by researching on Google/YouTube), depending on what you want to do with your website as far as personalization goes.

As far as the pros of WordPress.org, in addition to being super flexible when it comes to customization, it’s incredibly cheap to start. The WordPress.org software itself is totally free and all you’ll need to get up and running is hosting service like SiteGround (which is what I use and is only $3.95/mo) and a mobile responsive theme. There’s free WordPress.org themes you can use or you can use a paid theme that will allow for more customization, user-friendly features, and higher performance. The current theme I use is the Genesis Theme with the Prose subtheme.

Now, if you’re completely new to building websites, my #1 recommendation for your website is Squarespace. While you can start out with a free platform like Blogger or WordPress.com, I recommend starting out with Squarespace in the beginning as a novice website builder.

I tell you this as someone who has bounced from service provider to service provider… constantly changing your site can be time-consuming. I personally started out with a Weebly website. Then I moved to Blogger. Then to WordPress.com. And now, as I mentioned, I have a self-hosted WordPress.org website. BUT, if I wasn’t such a tech geek and needed to get set up quickly, I’d totally use Squarespace.

Squarespace: Squarespace is the perfect tool for almost every online business owner, especially those first starting out. Your Squarespace site can grow with you, and it will do everything you need it to do. Plus, the templates are amazing. Squarespace is easy to navigate, allows for brilliant customization, is perfect for the novice or the six-figure earner, and plans start at only $12/mo.

Side Note: If you do decide to outsource your website and work with a developer who is encouraging a self-hosted WordPress website, I highly recommend that you ask them what happens if you need to make changes down the road. Custom designed WordPress websites can include advanced CSS and HTML coding, and it’s important to know whether or not you’ll be able to make updates on your own.