Accelerate your success by using the right tools from the outset
Knowing where to start can be hard.
Discovering which tools to use can be really time-consuming.
And expensive, if you make the wrong choices. Believe me, I’ve made many of those, and had many sleepless nights about making poor investments in tools which weren’t serving me.
So this is a list of the tools that I use in my business and which I would recommend that you use/research/sign up to, before you waste too much time trying out numerous other online tools.
Now, don’t get me wrong. There are many many tools out there which you could be using. And lots of them will do a great job. So just because a tool that you’re considering doesn’t appear on this list, it doesn’t mean that it’s not valuable. It’s just that I’m not using it, and I’m only recommending tools which I know and love.
When I was starting out, I literally spent DAYS researching different platforms and tools.
I WISH I had been given access to a list like this to just simplify the process and save me a whole load of time.
So I hope that this list saves you HEAPS of time.
I should stress that these are tools which I endorse, and I am not partnering with them in any other way.
Essential Tools That I Recommend
There are some things that you simply HAVE to invest in in order to get your business off the ground.
The great news is that many of the tools that you need are free, or at least free to start out with.
And because I realise that resources are tight when you’re starting out, I’ve marked whether they’re free or not.
Email marketing software which will gather your subscribers and enable you to send newsletters.
Free for your first 2000 subscribers
It’s really critical that you start tracking your traffic from the outset. Google Analytics enables you to do that.
Even if you’re not planning to build a website just yet, you need a domain name in order to have a professional email address. No more gmail/hotmail. You’re a business now!
About £8 per year for a domain name
You need to host a website and an email address. Choosing the right hosting plan is really critical to your success. Siteground are the only hosts I recommend.
About £30 for your first year
Whether it’s imagery for blog posts, social media or banners, at some point, you are going to need access to good stock imagery and a way to edit them. There are lots and lots of resources for this, and if you’re looking for free stock imagery, you can access links to my favourite free stock image libraries here.
There are lots of stock image libraries, but this tends to be the one that I refer back to most of the time. I usually find something suitable here.
Editing your imagery is a doddle in Stencil and I love that it saves your uploads and previous images for easy access.
Free for 10 images per month
There are many platforms available for building websites. And there are lots of pros and cons to each of them. WordPress is my recommendation for so many reasons, but mainly because it’s so well-supported, it’s scalable so it can grow with your business, and because it’s robust. Yes, it’s a steeper learning curve than many, but I have had so many clients come to me who have started on an easier platform and bumped into restrictions, so need to switch. You may as well save yourself the hassle and start out on the right platform from the outset. And if you want to accelerate your learning, you can join my WordPress Success Bootcamp to learn everything you need to know about building your website and launching successfully online.
There are 2 versions of WordPress, so don’t get confused. I recommend and teach the self-hosted version of WordPress (wordpress.org) which gives you more control over your content and means your website is infinitely scalable.
There are plenty of free themes available for you to use, as well as hundreds of thousands of premium ones. It can be overwhelming to know where to start, which is why I recommend and teach Divi from the outset.
$89/year (or free with my course)
Backing up your website is an often overlooked step, but for anyone who has ever lost any work or their entire website, they will tell you that it’s absolutely critical. This free plugin will automate backups to ensure that it happens without you even having to think about it.
Having your website show up on search engines, is absolutely crucial to your success. It drives traffic and potential customers to your site for free. Yoast is a plugin which helps you show up in the search engines and on social media in a compelling way, and you can get started with it for free.
Running your Business
As entrepreneurs, we’re juggling so many things and wearing so many hats. Tools which can do the job of another person are invaluable, and there are many that I use. These ones which I’m listing below are indispensible in my business.
This was the first ever SaaS (Software as a Service) that I ever invested in, and it was such a great choice. It is my accounting software – it sends my invoices, chases them up on auto pilot, reconciles my accounts, calculates my tax and so much more. I couldn’t live without it.
Giving people the ability to schedule calls with you on your website without having to go to and fro with calendars is like having your own PA looking after your diary. It also syncs with your calendar so the appointments appear in your diary like magic. Clients can also pay for calls or workshops.
Free to try and £12 /month thereafter
Buffer will schedule all your social media posts for you so you don’t need to constantly be online to get visible. You can post in advance and let Buffer do all the hard work.
I run all of my client calls on Zoom, whether they are 1:1 calls or group calls – Zoom enables me to record the calls, take remote access, split groups into breakout rooms and so much more.
If you’re wanting to deliver online courses, it’s great to have a platform which will take care of it for you.
Free, up to 100 students
This is a great tool to keep your projects organised and to help you collaborate with a team.