Welcome to my resources page, a trusted list of the tools and websites I strongly recommend for building and optimizing your business at any stage. I have tested dozens and dozens of tools and narrowed it down to just the most reliable, practical and easy-to-use. These are the tools I personally use to run my business (and those of my clients).
Please note that a few of them are affiliate links that may give me a commission if you purchase. None of the fees have been increased to compensate me; In fact, there’s some special discounts I get to share with you. Scroll down for the goods!
I can’t say enough good things about Bluehost. I have worked with a ton of hosting companies from my clients and for myself, and this is by far the very best. They are affordable, have a very easy one-click install for a lot of common website apps like wordpress and shopify, and have the best support team, which is such a great bonus when you need help right away.
There’s really no excuse these days for having an outdated website. Of course, help from an expert is always good, but when you just can’t afford it, Themeforest has a nice collection of themes and plugins to bring your website up to speed.
I immediately fell in love with MailChimp and although some pretty appealing competitors have popped up, MailChimp has kept up the pace and proves to be a really user-friendly and reliable tool. Create email lists, segments, email templates, A/B tests, embedded forms for your website and social media… the list goes on. It integrates really well with WordPress, Shopify and other popular platforms. Create a free account for lists under 2k email addresses.
As a designer, its no surprise I always have Adobe Photoshop open and running on my computer. I log a crazy amount of hours a day on this program and I wouldn’t use anything else. It makes my projects run very smooth. I use it for just about everything, from graphics to branding and design mocks. I also love InDesign for all my print projects. Start a free 7-day trial.
Slowly step away from Vistaprint. I can’t tell you how enough that poor printing can ruin a gorgeous design. I found MOO a couple of years ago and fell in love with their top-notch quality and outstanding customer experience. Every single person compliments my business cards, and I hear the same from my clients. It’s amazing how a little extra quality can go such a long way.
Customer experience is important. Rather than sending bulking emails with attachments that tend to get lost, organize a dropbox folder to share files. Branding clients love this because everything is neatly organized, no questions needed. Plus, if there’s a revision to be made, you can replace the file so there’s no duplicates or confusion. It’s also great for working with team members to share large files.
If you have team members, this one is fantastic. It keeps projects in sync and moving along with assignments, deadlines, checklists, attachments, you name it. You can even save your workflows so duplicating a new project is a snap.
I can’t tell you how many hours this app has saved me. Gone are the days of word and excel for invoicing and tracking payments. Set up recurring or one-off invoices and let them work behind the scenes. Get paid online, track expenses, create proposals (and signatures upon approval- score), and even track your hours. With end of the year reports, tax season looks much less intimidating.
Let’s face it, ideas come and go quickly, regardless of your proximity to a computer. Evernote stores everything in one place from random notes, to books. No kidding, I have a client using this to write a book when he gets a free minute.
When you’re just not that happy with how an all-in-one social media planning tool manages Instagram, this is the answer. Just add your images to shuffle them into the perfect grid, add captions, add saved hashtags and save it for a schedule notification. If you’re like me, save more time by not reading or judging yourself too much when its time to post. Just approve and go.
BLOGS & WEBSITES
If you have a blog or are looking to start a blog this is for you. There’s no better out-of-the-box solution when it comes to blogging and optimization. If you’re a business that doesn’t sell products, it’s also a great solution. This website is run with wordpress. You can even launch your website in minutes with a one-click install from a good hosting company like Bluehost.
Shopify actually makes selling online pretty simple for small businesses. You can follow the steps during the installation to create your pages, add products, and set up your payment provider. You can even launch your ecommerce website in minutes with a one-click install from a good hosting company like Bluehost.
This tool has been a total game changer in my business. Within the first month, Tailwind helped Pinterest become my #1 source of traffic to my website. That’s some serious action. Use it to bulk schedule pins, join tribes to share and submit like-minded pins, track your analytics, and more. Get a free trial to see in action and be prepared to be amazed.
When you need a reliable and visually appealing form on your website, this is my favorite. Add forms to your website to collect email addresses and automatically send them to the right email list. You don’t need to worry about duplicates, crossover or any messy backend set up. Forms can used for popups with intuitive timing or any content block – no html needed.